Friday, May 2, 2014
Thoughts on the 2014 Daytime Emmy Nominations
I have a theory: While GH is endlessly entertaining, always fully stocked with supervillains, outrageous plot twists and comic relief, it falls short of one long-time hallmark of the daytime soap: It lacks heart. I'm rarely bored while I'm watching GH, but aside from Robin and Emma's reunion during Patrick's wedding to Sabrina (above), I don't recall ever being moved by the soap in 2013. In some ways, executive producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati have created the daytime equivalent of the nighttime serial Revenge (not exactly a Primetime Emmy darling), one in which characters are constantly doing dastardly things and getting away with it. This might make for an hour of riveting television. But whom are we supposed to root for and relate to?
2. Who does Alison Sweeney have to sleep with to get her first Daytime Emmy nomination? Will they finally reward her next year for her final season on Days? (Based on what she's done so far, her work during last week's "dream" sequence in which Sami found out about EJ and Abigail's affair would be her best bet)? And why are there only four Best Actress nominees compared to five in the other acting categories.
Although the final four is a pretty formidable line-up, I wish GH's Maura West and especially Finola Hughes had made it in. But the problem, once again, might be GH's current style. West's Ava Jerome is like the Virginia Grayson of GH, which might affect overall love for her performances. Meanwhile, Hughes' work during the episodes in which she was playing another character (Dr. Liesl Obrecht, normally brought to deliciously evil life by the also sadly overlooked Kathleen Gati) pretending to be Anna Devane while wearing an Anna Devane mask was some of the best acting I saw in 2013, but the details of the storyline were so intricate and arcane that the greatness of Hughes' work might not have been apparent to those voting on the submitted reels if they weren't regular GH viewers. In this case, their loss.
3. Days did so much right last year, but it really fumbled Nick Fallon's prison-rape storyline. Blake Berris did exceptional work in 2013, and should have been a Best Supporting Actor shoo-in for an arc similar to the one that got GH's Chad Duell the first of his three Outstanding Younger Actor nominations. But they rushed through Nick's healing process, showing a few scenes of post-traumatic anguish with Gabi and Maggie but no follow-up therapy. After a few episodes of contrition, he was back to scheming, which didn't allow Berris time to garner more audience sympathy while showcasing other sides of his talent.
5. It's about time Emmy finally noticed the most underrated hunk in daytime. Kudos for the inclusion of first-time nominee Eric Martsolf in Best Supporting Actor. In the past few years, he's successfully transitioned Days' Brady Black from a milquetoast, square-jawed hero into a frequently sloshed antihero who can make you want to slug him and hug him in one scene.
7. Where's Greg Vaughan? Best Actress nominee Arianne Zucker (Days' Nicole Walker) couldn't have worked her magic in Days' The Thorn Birds storyline last year without Greg Vaughan (Father Eric Brady) as her costar. Vaughan submitted himself in the Best Supporting Actor category, but he belongs in Best Actor along with GH's Maurice Benard, whose hallelujah moment while betraying his son Morgan (Outstanding Younger Actor contender Bryan Craig, who deserves that prize more than anyone, save non-nominee Casey Moss) was one of the soap's most-rewindable moments of 2013. Did The Young and the Restless's Peter Bergman and Doug Davidson do anything in 2013 that you just had to see more than once?
Click here to read a complete list of the nominees.