By Patrick Erwin
Basketball may have its March Madness, but the soap world has its own spring madness ritual — the Daytime Emmy nominations. The discussions about this year’s nominations have come fast and furious since they were announced yesterday. Marlena gave her take on the whole process, and I had a few thoughts of my own I thought I’d like to share.
Most Confusing Nomination: The three younger actress nominations for The Young and the Restless. Look, I know everyone has their own favorites, and their own likes and dislikes. And as far as these performers go (Vail Bloom, Emily O’Brien, Tammin Sursok), I have nothing against any of them per se. But even the most ardent Y&R fan has to admit all three of these performers played characters who were unpopular with viewers, and have been in very unpopular storylines. For all three to be rewarded with a nomination defies logic.
The “Guiding Light Survival Raft” Nominations: All of the acting nominations for Days of our Lives. Like GL, Days has been the subject of cancellation rumors over the last year or so. GL had many nominations and wins in 2006 and 2007, including a mind-boggling win for Best Writing last year. Days has long been an Emmy shutout (for mostly political reasons — there are certainly talented people working there). This year, the show received nominations in four of the six acting categories. As with GL, I suspect voters may be thinking that perhaps some Emmy love will translate into a stay of execution.
Knee-jerk Nominations: There are always a few nominations of performers who are just wonderful to watch, and you generally hate to complain about them because they are important parts of their show. But after it all starts to sink in, you realize that the actors and actresses in question had such minimal story, and you have to ask, “Why the hell did THEY get nominated?” Yes, I’m talking about you, Kristoff St. John. And ChristianLeBlanc. And Tracey Bregman. (All, not surprisingly, from the nomination machine at Y&R.)
The “Thin Line Between Love and Hate” Nominations: For Y&R and GH for Best Show, and Bob Guza and Lynn Marie Latham for writing. Apparently, eliciting a massive response gets critical love from the Emmys — even if that massive response is massively negative. Guza, in particular, is one of the most reviled figures in all of daytime right now. But as Marlena has discussed many times before, all that negativity somehow brings out a schizophrenic response. People still have those TV sets on, and they still watch the train wreck that GH often is.
Biggest Oversights: The list is long and completely dependent on your personal preferences, but for me, these were two big oversights. Y&R managed to nominate practically everyone except the cleaning staff, but Melody Thomas Scott wasn’t rewarded with a nomination for the best work of her career (and some of the best work last year on the wildly uneven Y&R). And although OLTL’s Erika Slezak may have a billion Emmys, she deserved at least a nomination for Viki’s adventure in Texas, a story that revitalized the aging soap and put Slezak, and Viki, right where she belongs — at the show’s center.
Ones They Got Right: OLTL‘s nominations for best show and for Ron Carlivati’s writing, which made Llanview a much nicer place to visit. And the acting nominations for Brian Kerwin, Kelley Menighan Hensley, and Trent Dawson.
It was widely rumored that many people on the nominating committee didn’t watch all of the DVDs of the scenes submitted, choosing instead to vote for familiar faces or friends. The nominations tend to bear this out. It’s a complete sham, riddled with backstage intrigue and politics. The soap industry is fighting for its very survival. It needs to start by having a little self-respect.