By Marlena De Lacroix
I first attended and wrote about the Daytime Emmys in 1980 and I should be over them by now. But I continue, year after year, to be exasperated by the fact that two things never change. 1) No matter how many times they have been revised or have been updated over the years, the nomination and award processes are still inequitable and unfair. 2) There is always one irritating thing that happens along the way with either the nominations or awards that’s so egregious, Marlena explodes with rage!
This year it happened right away, as the nominations were announced on The View. The person interviewed on the show as a daytime awards expert/prognosticator wasn’t anyone from the soap press or a soap publication or blog. Instead, he was a senior writer from People magazine. I’m sure Marc D’Agostino is a capable guy, but does he dedicate 100% of his working time and career to the soaps, the way soap journalists do, day after day, year after year, decade after decade? Marlena, who has moved on to teaching, was born and bred in the soap press and has great respect for young soap magazine writers and editors who have full-time jobs doing interviews and other reporting on soaps. They deserve the spotlight!
This is not the first time ABC has gone for a big time magazine writer over a poor soap press scribe in publicizing its show. Years ago ABC launched a campaign for Loving with live endorsements featuring “soap” journalists from places like Entertainment Weekly and People. A very angry Marlena wrote a very nasty letter to the ABC Daytime VP at the time (it was pre-Frons) and she wrote one back to me telling me it was none of my business.
Well, we all know what happened to Loving!
Oh readers, I’ve been away for awhile, but now I am back in fighting trim! You gotta be for Emmy nomination day. So let’s throw a few punches!
The biggest traditional complaint about the Emmys is that there are always outrageous nominations that ridiculously deny a slot to those who should have been nominated but weren’t. This year it’s Outstanding Actress nominee Nicole Forrester (Cassie, Guiding Light). Granted, she’s done a fine job during the time she’s played the character’s harrowing tragedies (a daughter’s death, a demon-child son), but how can even that good work compare to the pure gutsy greatness of un-nominated Kathy Brier (Marcie, One Life to Live) who toted her adopted son on her knee all year long and then had to give him up. Is Forrester a better actress than un-nominated Nancy Grahn (Alexis, General Hospital)? And how does her predecessor in the role of Cassie, Laura Wright (who now plays Carly on GH) feel about Forrester’s nomination? I’m not usually the greatest fan of the other Marlena, Deidre Hall (Days of Our Lives) but she did her best work ever when John “died.” She isn’t nominated, yet she is certainly as deserving as Jeanne Cooper (Kay, The Young and the Restless), who is. Both surely deserve Outstanding Actress awards for their decades-long respective bodies of work!
That’s just one problematical category. Practically every category has thorns or similar problems. Doubtless you dear Thinking Fans will make ample use of the comments section below to sound off on your own un-favorites!
But there are a few good things hiding in these nominations, too. Much delight has already been expressed over the fact that the usually overlooked Days of Our Lives has three acting nominations, the first since 2003. Wait a minute. Wasn’t their writing team fired? And has someone finally and wisely bound and gagged Ken Corday, restraining him from dissing the press?
My fellow TV journalist Ed Martin sees the Days acting nominations as big news. “The big story is the NBC comeback,” he enthuses. “Look at ABC! They only got three nominations and those are three old men.”
Oh, Ed, but they are Marlena’s cherished three old men! My favorite is, of course, Brian Kerwin, the career character actor who quietly sailed onto OLTL as Charlie and stole Viki’s heart. Kerwin has expertly kept Charlie totally down to earth, and even more believable because he is a human being full of flaws. We all know that Tony Geary (Luke, GH) can do anything, except, as we found out this year, perhaps sing. And David Canary (Adam/ Stuart) is the glue that holds All My Children together. His acting is so expert, his energy and enthusiasm so real, after all these years he is one of the only actors in daytime who is truly writer-proof.
We can go on arguing the Emmy nominations endlessly and I’m sure we will, right up to the Emmys ceremony in June. Until then, always remember Marlena’s yearly stance: the Daytime Emmys are unfair and inequitable — unless some one or some show you really love wins, of course!