A Negative Vote on This Year’s Daytime Emmys

By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman 

Last year I praised HLN’s first production of the Daytime Emmys because it was straightforward and lean.  This year’s show was exactly the opposite — overlong (almost three hours) and full of things that just shouldn’t have been included.  Boring!

Doug Davidson and his well-deserved and long overdue Best Actor award (Photo by Richard ShotwellInvision/AP)

How about that couch?  I’m talking about the one on which winners were interviewed by such “journalists” as Giada Di Laurantiis and Sheryl Underwood.  At least some of the winners — Best Actor Doug Davidson and Best Supporting Actress Julie Marie Berman, for instance — handled themselves well and with grace in the awkward situation.  There was just too much stuff stuffed into the show — like two Lifetime Achievement awards (Monty Hall and Bob Stewart) and presentation of three generic Best Song performances by co-host Robin Meade (who is at least a pretty woman with a nice voice).  Nancy Lee Grahn’s brief comedy bits filmed outdoors were not very good..

The whole problem with the show is that in content it aimed to be a major network presentation, but missed because of poor and cheap production.  It makes us remember and appreciate what a good job Dick Clark Productions did with the show over the years.  The hosts — Sam Champion, A.J. Hammer and Meade — were just meh, and scattershot appearances by them did nothing to keep the whole production feeling cohesive.  All in all, the 40th annual Daytime Emmys was a production not befitting of its own lofty aims or of the hard work done on daytime television by so many creative people over the year.

The winners in most of the acting categories, on the other hand, were well chosen.  Finally, Davidson deservedly won his Best Actor statuette after 35 years in the show in a very emotional storyline on The Young and the Restless (Paul shot his would-be murderer son Ricky.)   The Bold and the Beautiful’s Heather Tom always excels, particularly in her storyline in which Katie suffered a near-psychotic breakdown after the birth of her son.  And General Hospital’s Julie Marie Berman’s win as Best Supporting Actress was a good parting gift from the show.

Speaking of GH, wasn’t the show shortchanged in a year when the big awards (Best Show, Best Writing, Best Direction) went to B&B. Not that B&B had a bad year (it was very good, especially with the scenes leading up to Stephanie’s death), but GH literally had its finest years in decades, an everyday must-see show which corrected the mistakes made by the horribly crime-centric longtime headwriter Bob Guza.  Except for an underserved award for Best Young Actress to Kristen Alderson (while she was still playing Starr Manning), GH deserved many more awards and  rewards this year.

On Days of Our Lives, Chandler Massey was rewarded for a very nice job with Best Younger Actor. Then the show went on to score the evening’s the real upset – Days won as Best Soap.  As bitterly noted by executive producer Ken Corday in his acceptance speech, this was the first time in 38 years the show had won the ultimate award.

So, Thinking Fans, did Days deserve it?

Comments

  1. esther says:

    I agree with much of what you’ve said here — especially your kind words about Dick Clark Productions. :) I haven’t cringed that much during the show since the one that spawned the New Image Committee… but this was more horribly proudced (that one was just offensive). The couch was cruel — the winners are flying high and have no idea what they’re saying and you stick them on a couch to talk?!?! Unreal. I liked Nancy Grahn’s short bits (if only the rest of the show could be short). I bet people were wishing for Dick Clark was around to ask people to speed things up. That show felt like an eternity.

    Marlena says: {{Esther!}}

  2. Marc says:

    I agree with you, Marlena – it was a disappointing and depressing show that was not worthy of the nominated talent. Those so-called “interviews” on that red couch were painful to watch – and the three hosts (a weatherman? really?) were not up to the task. The Daytime Emmys have definitely fallen on hard times since the days when Oprah and Susan Lucci used to host. Hopefully HLN – or better yet, some other network – gets their act together by next year.

    As for the actual awards, I was thrilled that “Days” won. I thought for sure “B&B” would sweep the 3 main awards. And wouldn’t it be nice to see some actual clips from the nominated shows and performances?

    Marlena says: Great to hear from you, Marc. Love your blog!

  3. BL says:

    I liked this better than the Vegas ad years, as even though there were dull moments at least there were no ads for something that had little to nothing to do with daytime television. Last year’s HLN broadcast was better as I felt like they tried to do way too much in a 2 hour show so this went over 2.5 hours. Between 10-1030 ET, they had over 5 awards and a lifetime achievement award given out that’s nuts. So when it came to pacing they had no clue which was a production issue.

    Also they didn’t have such glitches as Sam’s mike not working or Aisha getting the wrong envelope. I did like Monty Hall asking where his tribute package was. (Also there was a whole mess behind the scenes with press credentials as even Tom who wrote the Emmy book from Gold Derby had them pulled for a time…)

    I’m amazed you didn’t remark about the catfight clips as really that is one of the few packages for its 40th year. That reminded me of the image committee flap as really only cat fight, diva, and father’s day clips made the broadcast.

    The episode that GH submitted was about the toxic water story. That wasn’t exactly the best material to win an Emmy, so I understood why Days got best show.

    Marlena says: A catfight montage? Glad I missed it.

    • Chris says:

      All the soaps that were nominated for Best Drama Series actually submitted two episodes. Other than the toxic water storyline episode, GH also submitted the episode where Heather buried Anthony Zacchara’s dead body and Tea and Sam gave birth to their babies during a rainstorm. The two episodes that DAYS submitted that won the top prize for them were the “DAYSaster” episode and the episode where John and Kristen were stranded in a cabin during a snowstorm.

  4. Greg says:

    Regarding the winners, I was all in all pleased although as much as I like Julie Marie Berman, Katherine Kelly Lang is long overdue & I thought this would be her year. Now, as for the show itself:

    An absolute disgrace & embarassment to the daytime industry. I could not bear another minute of the train wreck & turned it off after the first hour and waited to hear of the remaining winners on-line..

    The concept, the continuous glitches, everything stunk to high heaven. I’ve loved daytime for many years & am saddened yet furious that the medium has been slapped in the face with this drivel.

  5. Coggie says:

    Nicely done, Marlena. Great overall assessment of what I also agree was a terrible Daytime Emmy show. I did appreciate the live factor — where anything can and will go wrong — and what it shed light on (who will shine? Billy Miller, Doug Davidson, OMG Corbin Bernsen), and Nancy Lee Grahn’s (not my favorite person) funny comedy bits. At least NLG is from soaps; maybe they should use soap actors and soap staff more if there’s a next time. To me, because I’m a soap fan, the Daytime Emmys should’ve been soap-centric. Have soap-related people do the live interviews, hire NLG to help produce. I know why they don’t. They’re ashamed of soaps. But we need to celebrate them.

    Marlena says: Great to hear from you, friend Coggie!

  6. Kevin says:

    Let’s face it: Heather Tom is the new Erika Slezak.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if she takes home her sixth Emmy next year.

  7. Cyberologist says:

    Yep it was extremely bad; CBS’ Les Moonves even said it was a poorly produced show but his network pulled out at the last minute maybe he’ll produce it next time

  8. Jovin says:

    II agree with much of what you said, however I have to respectfully take you to task on 3 points. First of all….meh??? Please tell me you did NOT use the most annoying, slacker non-word in the history of spoken language!! Best to leave it at that.

    Next…Kristen‘s Emmy win was very deserved. She has deserved nominations and wins for the past 15 years…long overdue!
    And about GH…I agree that Cartini SEEMED to right many of the previous regime‘s wrongs, but look at the show now. It is more misogynistic than ever! Sonny threatening to murder Carly? Really???? I have always despised the character of Sonny but now more so than ever! And what is with all the characters wishing death on others?

  9. Jovin says:

    Sorry I got derailed. Characters are just disgusting with all their talk of wishins death on Franco, talking of dancing on his grave, etc. Now Carly is ordering hits on people. And what is with Tracy? She had one nice moment with AJ then instantly she is back calling him every name in the book and trying to get Franco on her side to oust him. It would make much more sense, and would be much more entertaining if the Q‘s united against Franco the interloper.

    And what is with slutty young girls shamelessly disrobing in front of strangers?? Kiki did it in front of Michael, and Taylor (one of the worst introductions and one of the most unlikeable grating characters in the show‘s history) did it in front of TJ. I dont get what audience segment the show is aiming at by featuring young girls taking their shirts off for no reason.

    And is the show seriously trying to make us feel sympathy for Shawn?? Boo hoo…he shot the wrong man and it tormented him. So how does he deal and cope? He becomes a murderer for hire. There‘s some logic.

    There is very little rooting value currently for ANY of the new characters. They are all obnoxious, unlikeable, and mostly unnecessary. The show is unrecognizable most days. The new Morgan is a charismatic kid, and has star potential, but he also has shoulders that would hold up amazingly well under the weight of a shirt!

    The show destroyed Brenda and Jax and Brenda. They have wrecked Luke and Laura and reduced their legendary love to an afterthought. They brought back one of the most loathed characters in the show‘s history (Franco) in a history bending, nonsensical storyline. This psychotic character is being played for laughs, and there is just nothing funny about it.

    GH has gone SERIOUSLY off track. After many months of lavish, deserved praise, the bloom is definitely off the rose for this regime!

  10. Kevin says:

    So many of my fellow gay fan boys were devastated that Jacqueline MacInnes Wood lost to Kristen Alderson. Not sure why Wood has collected such a Madonna, Liza fan following but she has.

    Did Alderson deserve to win for her 2012 work? NO. Since around 2008/09, Alderson has not been connecting to her character. Yes, she can be subtle and yes, she can bring on the tears, but there’s no organic talent there anymore.

    Kristen Alderson deserved to not only be nominated — but to win — for any of the following years: 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 but she never even received as much as a nomination. So in a way, the Emmy panel, as always are late to the game and rewarded her for the fine work she did when she was a tween (and a better thespian!).

  11. Jovin says:

    Hi Kevin. I would like to respectfully reply to your Kristen comments. Since the baby switch on OLTL, when Jess and her mess of alters stole Hope and Starr grieved for her…it seems when you think that‘s when her organic talent disappeared. Kristen excelled in that story, and it was far beyond what anything she could use for life experience to draw on. I believe the writing was to blame in this case. She had far too much trauma and grief piled onto her. Then they‘d hand her light, teeny-bopper fare, interspersed with High School Musical bits, and I just think she got very lost and confused as to what the hell they wanted from her. Tragic young heroine?? Young leading lady?? Then she got shoehorned into the Ford brother love triangle debacles, Cole was arrested, then died, then came back…then we come to GH.

    IN one of the most disturbing, unnecessary plot twists ever, Cole and Hope were killed AGAIN. Kristen Alderson was forced, for months, to play unbelievable scenes where she often talked to herself, or walls, uttering lines like “I‘ll get you Sonny Corinthos! You will pay! I‘ll get you!! You won‘t get away with killing my family.“ I half expected her at one point to say “Why am I talking like Kate Roberts on Days of our Lives???“

    Even soap actors who have been at it for 30 and 40 years cannot make bad, stereotypical soap writing good. I think it is the opposite of what you said…Kristen has all the organic talent in the world…and that it is being betrayed and hampered by writing that does not allow that talent to shine through. And then there‘s Kiki.

    I don‘t know why the writers felt the need to bring her on as such as a brash, unlikeable, sexed-up brat other than to force-feed the audience by saying “This is NOT Starr!“ The writers have Roger Howarth essentially playing Todd again…going by the name Franco. They have Michael Easton basically playing (insert past character name here) going by the name Silas Clay. I think if they had made Kiki more like Starr…they could have had her as the voice of reason in the Q house in the midst of all the treachery and corporate backstabbing.

    Bottom line…when Kristen and the material are in synch…she is a young actress of top notch calibre. When the writing is too soapy and overwhelmingly melodramatic, maybe it doesn‘t translate as well, but that is the writing, not the fault of the actress. GH is a mess right now, and not a hot one. They have bombarded us with a whole slate of new characters and not one of them are likeable or have any rooting value. This can change…the writers just have to relax and realize that often times a little subtlety goes a LONG way!

  12. janet says:

    If Les Moonves is so smart why did he cancel ATWTs and GL, and put his wife’s show on in their place .A show I might add I will never watch no matter what guests they have. I also didn’t think much of the show for the same reason. Soaps were not prominent on it. Soap actors can walk and talk at the same time! No one who isn’t related to the talk show talkers would NEVER bother watching this. Cooking show cooks should stay on cooking shows , no matter whom they are related to.
    Jovin you said it all about GH ,all and a hundred times better than I ever could. FrankenRon are ruining GH .As for KA deserving it other years, I don’t know didn’t watch her. I hate FrancoTodd and do not find a murdering slob funny.Franco not R.H. I actually find myself not caring if I catch the show or not. I will say this if HLN hadn’t aired it, no one would have so I will give them credit for this, just explain to them if they want any ratings next year . we watch for the soaps.

  13. DS0816 says:

    I tuned in the Daytime Emmys and, within 15 minutes, decided I’d be better off putting it on mute. It’s now become a ceremony where most of the people producing it don’t seem to have their heart it. For those who do care, they don’t know how to pull it together. This leaves me with no expectations.

    I am more than happy that Doug Davidson, long underappreciated, won best actor for playing Paul Davidson on “The Young and the Restless.” He was first nominated in 2003 as he marked his 25-year anniversary with the CBS soap. Now it turns out Davidson finally won the gold as he reached his 35-year anniversary with “Y&R.” Coincidentally that is also the gap between the first (in 1978) and second (here in 2013) Emmys for the top prize of best drama series won by NBC’s “Days of Our Lives.”

    I came across one comment, responding to the tie in best supporting actor, where it was said who strange it is a tie takes place in a category that doesn’t merit it; yet there is a different one that would be better served. Those who preferred Jason Thompson, who plays Patrick on “General Hospital,” prevail in lead actor might have loved the tie to have occurred in this category. Then it might have felt perfect.

    Perfect for me, by the way, is that the fact the 2012-13 Daytime Emmy awards ceremony is now in the past.

  14. Jovin says:

    I know this can never happen, but how awesome it would have been! Roger Howarth should have played the long lost son of Jimmy Lee Holt. He could have showed up with his hayseed daughter, played by Kristen Alderson, of course, and his trashy old lady, played by Maura West. They could have been like the Beverly Hillbillies, crashing into the Quartermaine mansion looking for their share of the family fortune. That would have been FUN, and funny, and made that house alive with comic characters again. It would have given Roger a completely different way to use his comic talents. Then he could have been a viable leading man for ANYONE…Sam, or Carly, or Alexis, or…anyone. As Franco, there is no woman who would ever get involved with him and not look like a misoginistic sadist. Thats how it would have played out if I wrote it. That also would have made Michael and Kiki 2nd or 3rd cousins, and able to be involved without the ick factor. I just would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the writers room on the days when Ron was going over possibilities for who to cast Roger as. He chose the WORST possible outcome.

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