Daytime Soap Operas
2012 The Year That Was

Best & Worst of 2012: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

Best performances

  • General Hospitalís Jason Thompson and Days of Our Livesí Arianne Zuker. Both characters in mourning, both amazing. If Thompson didnít rip your heart out grieving for Robin, then you probably donít have a heart. Same goes for Zukerís Nicole. After her latest miscarriage led to suicidal thoughts, she even had E.J.ís sympathy.

Most Absurd Storyline

  • General Hospitalís poisoned water. Despite an entire city on the verge of dying, it apparently didnít make the news, as Starr and Michael didnít hear about it Las Vegas, and no government officials showed up, because really, what massive act of terrorism wouldnít be left on the shoulders of one small town surgeon to solve. This story was all kinds of wrong. It didnít even kill Jerry Jacks.

Most Pathetic Excuse for a Leading Man

  • Generally when Dollar Bill Spencer says something, you roll your eyes or chuckle, or both, but never, ever do you agree with him, except, maybe about the pathetic nature of his eldest son. When Liam showed up for his wedding with fake tattoos and weird hair, Hope wasnít the only one who thought she deserved better, every viewer thought they deserved better, too. Scott Clifton is a good actor, but the character is so not ready to own the show and yet the keys have been handed to him anyway. Huge mistake.

Favorite Couple

  • While Iíd love for this to be an epic romance (the soaps have a misguided aversion to that these days as you will read later), a genuine relationship of any kind is almost as good. Despite the years they spent apart, Days of Our Livesí Will and his grandma Marlena feel totally true to their claim that they always kept in touch. These two actors have created something emotional and real, whether teasing one another or sharing a serious moment.

Do They Just Close Their Eyes And Hope For the Best?

  • The Young and The Restless have serious casting issues. Just because Shemar Moore worked, it doesnít mean another model will. Just because Maura West and others succeeded beautifully on another soap, it doesnít mean theyíre right for Y&R, especially not if the role isnít fleshed out. Just because you sucked up to Jill Farren Phelps, it shouldnít give you an automatic in wherever she goes. This is not brain surgery. Itís simple. Know who the character is and what their initial story will be, then screen test everyone and give the role to the actor most suited to it, not to the prettiest, not to the name, and not to the producerís pal.

Wedding of the Year

  • The Young and the Restlessí Cane and Lily. Personalized vows and a family excursion to the French countryside made it a ceremony worthy of a super couple. Sure, no one actually jetted off to Paris, but the behind the scenes folks did a fantastic job of making it feel as though they had through the music, the scenery, and the beautifully chosen wardrobe. It may have been on a budget, but it didnít look it, and thatís all that matters.

Poorest Rich Boy on Earth

  • Days of Our lives, Brady. Why canít they give this guy a good story? First they write the Madison romance so purple that eventually whatever chemistry they did have completely fizzled out. Now, they have him in an icky pairing with Kristen, who at one point was basically his mom. The talented Eric Martsolf deserves better.

Best Nod To The Past

  • The Bold and the Beautiful continues to keep Sally Spectra alive long after the passing of Darlene Conley. During Stephanieís quest to say goodbye to her loved ones, she gave her old frenemy a call, and in a cute twist, Fabio answered for her because Sally was much too busy loving life.

Whereís the love?

  • Why have all the shows pretty well gotten out of the supercouple business? Is this more evidence of meddling execs who seem determined to drive the soap opera genre into the ground, and the best way to do so is to get rid of the thing that makes fans most passionate? Or in the era of primetime procedurals have writers simply forgotten that their genre is tailor made for much more epic storytelling, that we come to them because we want an ongoing saga about peopleís lives. Fans return to Twilight and The Walking Dead in droves, not so much because of the supernatural, but because of the human stories. Itís the same reason we tune in to soaps. The heart is what matters most in daytime, so why does it seem like more and more thatís whatís missing?

Most Thoughtful Moment

  • During the final week of One Life to Live, Viki delivered a speech that not only spoke to everything fans love about their soaps, but also spoke lovingly of the fans who endure sneers from those too close-minded to realize theyíre missing out on an amazing medium.


  • B&B - Sightseeing in Italy and Aspen. Marcus kind of, sort of, almost had a storyline.
  • Days - EJ has Sydney call Nicole for Christmas. Melanieís tears. EJ and Abeís bonding moments surrounding Lexieís death.
  • GH - The handling of Edward Quartermaine and John Ingleís passing. Tea returning her little boy to Sam. Vintage Lucy with the Qís.
  • Y&R - Avery in her kitchen. Adamís office in the restroom. Abby kidnaps herself.


  • B&B - Brooke and Bill kiss. Ridge didnít say goodbye to his mom. Steffy and Hope continue to trade their pride for an idiot.
  • Days - Rafe and Carrie in love. John and Princess Gina. Stefano on the sidelines when he should be enriching EJ, Chad, Kristen, John, and Abeís stories.
  • Y&R - Sharon loves Nick, no Victor, no Tucker, no Adam, no, sheís bipolar, that explains, that explains it all. Actually, it doesnít.

New Yearís Wishes

  • AMC & OLTL - Some old favorite characters. Heartfelt storytelling. Commercial not pay broadcasts. Options as to how and when we watch.
  • B&B - Steffy, Liam, and Hope, lost in an Aspen blizzard for six months or so.
  • Days - Bo returns, or at least his absence is explained in a way that allows Hope to move on with a story of her own, whether itís her career or as a mom, anything.
  • GH - Scotty Baldwin would work ever so nicely with Lucy or Alexis, while his daughter Serena might form an interesting triangle with Michael and Starr. Imagine daddies Scotty and Todd facing off.
  • Y&R - No murder mysteries. No courtrooms. No jails. No one-dimensional psychopaths. Nearly identical to last yearís wish. Hmm.

Fan Comments:

Have Your Say Here

Sound off on our picks, make your own or sound off on the soap year in general.

Amber (Norman, OK USA)

I agree with so much of this. I think though another lowlight was Nicole miscarrying the baby. I can't believe they did that to her again. Also, please explain to me the lure of Sami. E.J., Rafe, and Lucas? Sami herself is a lowlight no matter who she is paired with.

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