Daytime Soap Operas
2010 The Year That Was

Best & Worst of 2010: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY


Best Sense of Humor

  • One Life to Live. David alone (4th of July shorts, The Assassination of David Vickers by The Coward Robert Ford) would be enough for any show, but add in heaps of smart sarcasm from Todd, Dorian, and Clint, along with ditzy Roxy, and any given day this soap is intentionally funnier than most sitcoms.

Worst Sense of Humor

  • The Young and the Restless. Or at least I hope they were joking with all the doppelgangers, and boring sons of Nina, and uptight, corporate Victoria turning hippie dippie meets fifties housewife wannabe. Uptight corporate Victoria could have made for less contrived odd couple comedy and romance with bad boy Billy, producing genuine conflict rather than the faux connection that has somehow endeared them as a couple. And while weíre on the subject of not endearing, letís add Meggie, and all the absurdity that went with her.

Father and Sons

  • B&Bís Dollar Bill is easily one of the showís most entertaining characters, made even more so now that he has a son, Liam, whoís his polar opposite.
  • OLTLís David just canít get enough of calling Bo, Pa, and I just canít hear it enough.
  • Y&Rís Cane story became infinitely more interesting the moment Tristan Rogers arrived as his dear old nasty dad.

Best Decisions

  • NBC renews DAYS, brings back Jennifer and donít air a single rerun over the holidays.

Worst Decisions

  • CBS opts for the Chen-Bot over the warm welcome of Emmaís kitchen on ATWT
  • OLTL going all in on a gay storyline only to completely chicken out
  • AMC announcing they had a new love interest lined up for Kendall, making it tough for fans to give talented actor Jordi Villasuso a fair shot when they and Kendall are still grieving the loss of Zach. Ever heard of chemistry just evolving naturally? Not only between the characters, but between them and their potential fans, as well?
  • ABCís reruns may be unavoidable, but they donít necessarily have to be less than a month old, giving viewers no reason whatsoever to tune in
  • AMCís Vincent Irizarry Out! Oh, no just lying to loyal viewers cuz clearly who doesnít love being lied to? Just another faked death, heís alive, oh, nope, sorry, letís keep you waiting on this storyline even more weeks while we shove him into a coma and arrest Erica for her five hundredth attempted murder. At some point we are just not going to care at all, which is appalling given that this is one of their finest actors.

In Praise of Romance

  • Days of Our Lives Victor and Maggie, who would have guessed? E.Jís proposal to Sami on the docks, sure, eventually she shot him in the head but lovely at the time. Nathan and Melanie in quarantine, "dying", and finally confessing feelings
  • ATWTís Luke at Reidís hospital bedside, horrifically sad, yet beautifully romantic. Every scene they ever shared, featured an undercurrent of romance whether the cowards behind the scenes wanted it there or not.
  • Many OLTL viewers hated the Jessicaís sixteen again plot, but watching Brody try to win her affection, and his heart breaking each time he did so, made for some dreamy, wrenching moments.

In Praise of Abstinence

  • The Young and The Restless fairly well corners the market here. Deacon plies alcoholic Nikki with alcohol and itís the start of a courtship? Steal my baby and tell me sheís dead and thatís the key to my heart if my name is Sharon. Nick and Diane, all kinds of eww! Not the least of which being that Maura West is so, so above it.

Best Recycled Plot

  • Buried Alive on Days. Better the second time around as Vivian had the tables turned on her only to turn them back again. Humor abounded. Brady got much more entertaining. Victor rescued Maggie and declared his love. And everyone ended up under Vivianís crazy thumb. Brilliant fun.

Worst Recycled Plot

  • Lisaís Fatal Attraction on GH. The only way depriving an HIV patient of her meds would have worked for me is if- Oh, yeah, right, there is no way that would have ever worked for me, not even if Lisa and Patrick were the most star-crossed lovers ever, with major chemistry to burn, so since they were the exact opposite of that, it really, really doesnít work! And yet it goes onÖ and onÖ

Biggest Shocker

  • Considering B&B is a show that in the same calendar year had Brooke "accidentally" have sex with her daughterís boyfriend, and kiss on her stepson, the actual shock is how serious this soap can be when it wants to, some of its finest half hours devoted to issues like cancer and homelessness and Sandy/Aggieís rape kit.

Most Worthy Anniversary

  • ATWTís Bob and Kim. Letís see now, clips from their past, plenty of emotional highs and lows allowing Don Hastings and Kathryn Hayes to remind viewers of what a great couple, and brilliant actors they are, and extra special guest star Julianne Moore merely filled out the ensemble rather than took it over. If only theyíd added Andy, it would have been perfect.

Most Un-Worthy Anniversaries

  • I could have sworn last January AMC was supposed to be celebrating an anniversary, but no, apparently it was just a celebration of Kelly Ripa, who, while contributing a memorable character to AMCís history, should not have been the focal point of proceedings just because she got famous (see ATWT not giving in to the temptation to hand over Bob and Kimís day to Julianne Moore).
  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are few actors more deserving of being the focal point than ATWTís Eileen Fulton, celebrating fifty years in Oakdale, which begs the question, why have current characters act out Lisaís past, rather than letting us see those old clips of Lisa as they were meant to be seen, played by a legend?

Most Revitalizing Actor/Character

  • You never quite realize how stagnant the air is in Genoa City until Marcy Rylanís Abby breezes into a room and brightens everything. The naked heiress thing isnít good, and Daniel couldnít be more unworthy, but there is such greatness in Rylanís lively performances. There are few things more pleasurable in daytime than seeing Victor/Eric Braeden seemingly having to suppress a smile in his scenes with her. Give her the airtime the other young dullards donít deserve.

Outstanding New Actor/Character/Every Show Should Be Looking For Someone Like This

  • Eric Sheffer Stevens as ATWTís Reid, felt like a breath of fresh air the moment he delivered his first tongue lashing in Oakdale, there wasnít even any fanfare over his homosexuality; it was just part of him, no big deal. From sparring with Kim over a fender bender, his bond with Dr. Bob, goading Henry, operating on a stuffed toy, and falling in love with Luke, in a too short time span, Stevens created many memorable moments, not to mention the easiest curmudgeon to adore.

Best Goodbye

  • When a show loses an icon like the unforgettable Frances Reid, a single episode is never enough to encapsulate all she meant to the soap and its fans. What a brilliant, thoughtful idea, to have her impact the story for months, bringing so many beloved characters home to pay their respects, finally culminating in a teary-eyed tribute episode. Only, even that wasnít final. Alice is frequently mentioned, her memory lives on in the scripts, lovingly so on the Christmas episode, the ornament, the photograph, and especially her chair, were perfect touches. How it should be done.

Worst Goodbye

  • As The World Turns. The powers that be squandered so many months after being given notice, that surely they were just making us wait, saving the best for last. Only they werenít. Johnny Dixonís return was a blessing, but other than that? Letís see, we off Reid, ignore Lisa, donít even get a final loaf of bread from Emma, a blink and you miss it Jack and Carly wedding, and Lily disowned Lucinda. Oh, but thank goodness they wrapped up story for Liberty, Parker, faux Craig and his son (whatís-his-name), who among us wasnít dying to know what would become of them? And searching the old episodes to slip in a Goodnight, Dear, from Nancy, well that would have just required way too much effort, wouldnít it?

Highlights

  • AMC - After her party goes bust, a raging, soaking wet Annie, cries her way right into J.R.ís arms. If Adam had to leave, at least he left with Brooke.
  • ATWT - Barbara on the front burner. John and Lucinda, together. Jack and Carly flashback to Montana.
  • B&B - Stephanieís scarf flying through the streets of L.A.
  • DAYS - Bo breaks Hope out of prison. Classic. Any argument with E.J., the man does seething self-righteous anger to perfection. Victorís one-liners.
  • GH - Lucky finds out about Nik and Liz, best Jonathan Jackson ever. The wink to James Dean with Francoís clapping monkey. Kristina in an abusive relationship.
  • OLTL - Snoop Doggís return. Bo and Nora rewed. Dani grieves for Tea. Jack and Sam see Santa. Viki and Dorian team against Echo. Kelly calls Joey.
  • Y&R - Victorís Christmas Carol. He may live one life of lies after another, but Caneís easily the finest husband in Genoa City, any moment dealing with Lilyís cancer, the actor delivered.

Lowlights

  • AMC - The gaping holes, Adam, Zach, and Palmer have left behind. Ryan and Greenlee, together, are like the showís kryptonite, completely sucking the life out of it. Get her another love interest, please.
  • ATWT - The End. Blackie. A show once upon a time known for its great teens like Lily, Andy, Gwen, Casey, etc, leaves us with a generation as riveting as paint drying. Destroying Vienna to make Henry and Barbara work.
  • B&B - Owen and Rick as statues and I donít just mean the day they were covered in body paint
  • DAYS - All the almost finding out makes Daniel look like an idiot, not good for the actor or the character.
  • GH - Smart beautiful Claire made to look pathetically desperate asking Sonny to father her baby. Davis girls practically disappear after abuse storyline. Carly plots against Lulu.
  • OLTL - Stories either aborted (Fish, Schuyler) or big for a minute then barely seen (Destiny and her family)
  • Y&R - Victoria and Abby need Victorís money to prove their independence. Howís that? Even Tucker still doesnít know who he is, hence calling every woman Darliní like a certain Steve on Days.í Hmm. Sheila incarnations. That horse has long been dead. Quit trying to beat it.

New Yearís Wishes

  • AMC - An honest to goodness love interest and storyline for Tad.
  • B&B - Nick, Aggie, Felicia and Whip become more than pretty set dressing.
  • DAYS - Carly gets her own story and love interest who doesnít belong to Hope.
  • GH - James Franco tackles a dramatic story next time rather than an odd one, maybe heís ill and takes Robin hostage to heal him, and they heal each other, platonically, or not. Oh, and a genuine Quartermaine tale would be a nice change.
  • OLTL - Kellyís pretend fiancť Kevin returns to Llanview intent on making their engagement real.
  • Y&R - Intelligence. Whether those behind the scenes donít have any, or obnoxiously donít think we have any, it needs to be fixed, pronto, the number one soap surely canít go on being that dumb and stay number one. Take a vow against coincidences, convenient look-alikes, plastic surgery and bending characters to fit the plot. Start with Jack, one of the few semi-smart people on the canvas and build story organically from there.


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