What’s a Daytime Emmy Year Without Complaining? Or Even Watching?

For a full report on the Viva Las Vegas Daytime Emmys, read the post following this one by Marlena’s friend, TV columnist Ed Martin.  But first …


daytime emmyBy Marlena De Lacroix

Due to a car malfunction, Moose, Nigel and I had to stay away an extra day this past Sunday, (delightfully) stranded in a cabin without a TV.  (I made a fabulous salt-free dinner of Thai noodles with chicken and scallions from scratch.)

And so let it be recorded in anno domani 2010 that  moi,  Marlena De Lacroix, missed the Daytime Emmys.  Marlena, who has never missed watching or attending the daytime awards in thirty years.  Marlena, who first went to the Emmys in 1980 in the old Waldorf Astoria, and flipped when I saw that year winners, Another World‘s Doug Watson and One Life to Live‘s Judith Light, live and in the flesh?  Wow!  What an amazing moment in my career that was.    

You don’t care that I missed watching the 2010 Emmys?  Then why, when I got home, did I find 312 messages on my computer complaining about the Emmys, asking me what I felt, from friends, Romans and countrymen all over the world? With that kind of pre-sold audience, why did I not immediately run to watch the show, which I had pre-recorded on my DVR?  

Friends, here are seven reasons why Marlena did not and will not watch the 2010 Daytime Emmys:

1.  No suspense. When we finally got home on Monday, I read the net, finding out immediately who won.  Congrats to Best Actor and Actress  Michael Park and Maura West (Jack and Carly, As the World Turns)jack and carly and all the other winners!   Now that I know the results, why spend more of my precious  time watching  the Emmys two days later?  It kind of reminds me of how ruined soaps were for me starting in the late 70s when soap spoilers started to appear in print. Why should I watch a soap when I already know what’s going to happen?

2.  No clips (I am told).  Huh? It’s an Emmy tradition — we have to show clips of the nominated actors’ work. Otherwise, how can we viewers complain how unrepresentative they are of the actor’s/show’s work during the year?   What’s an Emmy year without complaining?  Complaining  a tradition, a sacred right — and rite — if you are a true soap lover.

3.   No death roll (I am told).  No clips of or homage to daytime notables who died this year. No Frances Reid, no Helen Wagner, no James Mitchell.  These people were giants!  Our moms, our grandmoms, our Uncle Palmer!  What is a Daytime Emmy year without the opportunity to shed a few genuinely heartfelt tears about losing people we love?

4.  No focus on daytime soaps (I am told).  Quite the opposite.  According to all reports, the show was a showcase for Las Vegas and its myriad entertainment wonders. The awards ceremonies were sandwiched in between chunks of big Vegas shows. As my friend pjs remarked,  “The shows in Vegas (Cirque de Soleil, Lion King, etc.) got better promotion than the Broadway shows were given on the Tonys this year.”   You expect moi to watch this infomercial for Las Vegas?

5.  No dignity, no respect (I am told).  You think dissing daytime soaps by basically ignoring the awarding of the highest daytime awards there are is something new?  Honey, writing about the lack of both dignity and respect not accorded by the Daytime Emmy show to our favorite shows and performers paid for my summer wardrobe for years!

6.   No really awful awards.  Well, there has to be one!  A lot of people were apparently shocked that Drew Tyler Bell (from Bold and Beautifuldrew tyler bellwon Best Younger Actor.  Come on.  Give the kid a break.   Have a drink on moi and toast poor Drew.  We were all best younger somethings ourselves once, and not very good at what we did, either.

7.   No principles, no guile, no baloney.   Sue me, folks.  I always tell my journalism students you can’t review any work of art that you didn’t watch, see or attend.  Well,  I didn’t watch the Daytime Emmys this year.  And for reasons, number one to six,  I’m not planning  to again — ever. 

I also said I’d never write a Daytime Emmy column this year,  either.

P.S.  I love to cook, and you’re all invited for Thai noodles at chez Moose, Marlena and Nigel on Daytime Emmy night 2011.


  1. horselover says:

    I watched the first part of the emmys but turned them off when I realized it was an infomercial for Las Vegas. When will TPTB of the emmys get that we want to see the clips of the daytime stars? We want to see a decent tribute to a show that was on the air for over a half a century (and that I never even saw). We want the daytime stars that passed away honored. Instead, every year, they try to sell us the daytime emmys by having primetime actors and movie actors steal the limelight. What’s the point? It’s the DAYTIME emmys. They’ll never get it.

  2. D. Rand says:

    I had the Emmys on because I was working. Even though I have been soapless since Guiding Light was extinguished, I thought it would be good company. Ok, I was really hoping for one last award for Guiding Light, but alas, no dice.

    Oddly enough, a few moments really got me choked up. It was a mix of true sentiment and the realization that soaps are really done for. This award show, soapwise, screamed “Farewell” to me.

    Here’s the highlights I took away, Marlena, so you won’t have to sit through the dreck:

    The appreciative, sad yet classy presence of the lead ATWT stars who won trophies. Their heartbreak and love for ATWT was obvious. Jon Hensley was visibly struggling to remain composed as he introduced the eight-millisecond ATWT tribute with his wife.

    Agnes Nixon, gracious and smiling amid clips from all of the shows she worked on. She thanked us for participating in her “real world of make believe”. Sadly, the Dick Clark tribute was far longer and included more interviewees. This was the only tangible link with soapdom of yesteryear the entire evening.

    Scott McKinsey accepted the best directing award for GH, and instead of doing the usual bit, thanked daytime, mentioned GL, ATWT and P&G, and dedicated the award in part to his legendary mom, Beverlee.

    The young man who won for Y&R gave a really touching acceptance speech. It beamed with respect for his fellow actors and showed how unique daytime acting really is.

    See if you can get someone to cut out the non-soap parts. If you lose the jukebox oldies and the Broadway bits, it should run about 12 minutes!

    Marlena says: What a fine and very heartfelt letter, Daniel. Thanks for sending it to me.

  3. Ah, Marlena – you’re being optimistic that there WILL be a 2011 Emmys. (I’ll still show up to say hi to you, Moose and Nigel, though!)

    I’m not even surprised that there was no mention of Mitchell, Reid or Wagner. ATWT’s tribute for 54 years lasted 54 seconds.

    Yes, the daytime we knew for many years is dying. But unfortunately, none of the networks or production companies seem to have the grace to give these shows and performers the dignity that you’d give someone at their funeral. They’re just tossing the body of work aside like scavengers, moving on to the next thing they can run into the ground.

    Marlena says: The imagery, the imagery here! Patrick, go to the head of the class. Then again, you’ve always been the best young writer out there!

  4. The show….like last year’s…was a joke. Dick Clark is a great man and I don’t mind a tribute to him…but why was his 20 minutes and Agnes Nixon’s five? Plus the hot mics! OMG! Agnes Nixon shouldn’t have to worry she only has 30 seconds. First off it’s a lifetime achievement award…she is the Mother of Daytime…Agnes Nixon can speak as long as she wants.

    The dated nature of the acts (Really? Chubby Checker? The Spinners??) didn’t make any sense considering the way daytime has been chasing the teen-tween market to their own destruction. Why not get Snoop Dog and James Franco to appear? both have appeared on soaps this year. Julianne Moore? One of the moments of the Tony Awards I loved was when the Jets player came out and admitted he was a huge theater dork and a part of the reason why he came to play in New York was because of Broadway and how he went to as many shows as he could. The producers couldn’t check to see if maybe any of the cast of Glee for example is a raging Days or ATWT fan?

    Marlena says: American Bandstand predates even me, but I still have great respect for Chubby, the Spinners and all the groups Dick Clark introduced to and promoted to the American public. Before Mr. Clark and Bandstand was there even a term “teen-ager”? After all, when one thinks of Clark, one thinks of his old press moniker “American’s oldest living teenager.” All hail Dick, whose daily 4:00 PM show out of Philadelphia, AB, WAS daytime television to generations of Americans.

    As for Franco, he is so overexposed on daytime now, I half expect them to rename a soap after him. General Franco? (Wait a minute…) No, his GH character is ALREADY named after him! I love Snoop Dogg (despite the bizarre sexism in his music!) and wish they would make him a regular character on One Life to Live. And everyone knows I think the world of Agnes. She deserves a whole Daytime Emmys show all to herself!

  5. I didn’t watch the Daytime Emmys either, Marlena! Instead, I watched brand new back to back episodes of “Leverage” on TNT. (If I could afford to subscribe to HBO, I would have watched “True Blood” as well!)

    I was disappointed that Doug Davidson didn’t win for Best Actot for Y&R. I was also disappointed that Sarah Brown missed the chance to be the first woman to win in all the acting categories for her amazingly brilliant role as Claudia Zacharra for GH! And I was especially bummed out that Bree Williamson was upset again for Best Supporting Actress for her work as Jessica Buchanan (I know that you’re not a fan of BW as Jessica, but I am! I only started watching OLTL a few years ago, and I’ve only seen YouTube clips of Erin Torpey as Jessica, but at least she was nominated for her performance of the legacy character back in 2000 for the storyline when she miscarried her baby that she conceived with Will Rappaport during a drunken one night stand).

    I unfortunately don’t watch ATWT since it’s on at the same time as OLTL. I only watched the show once when Julianne Moore came back to the show to reprise her role of Frannie Hughes a few months ago. I think that the reason why that three of the ATWT actors won their awards was that it was more given out to them as a send-off award for the show getting cancelled. I don’t mean to offend the credible talents of these actors, it’s just strikes me as peculiar that they would give these awards to the actors just a few days after they finished taping their final episode!

    I know that ATWT could still be eligible for Daytime Emmy nominations for next year, but it just seems a bit jarring to me that all three of the ATWT actors would almost make a clean sweep by taking home all THREE acting awards!!!! The only wins I’m happy for was Billy Miller winning for Best Supporting Actor for Y&R (but I was a bit dissapointed that Brian Kerwin lost this award again for his brilliant work as Charlie Banks on OLTL.) and Julie Marie Berman second Emmy win for playing Lulu Spencer on GH.

    Thanks for writing this smart and honest article on the disappointment of this year’s Daytime Emmy Awards!!!

    Marlena says: Thanks, C.L.B. and for singling out the brilliant Mr. Kerwin. And I mean he was SO brilliant this year playing his son’s death, reunions with Viki and scenes with Slezak and Robin Strasser’s marvelous Dorian. Loved Charlie’s writing–what great depth it had to begin with!

  6. they weren’t bad as bad goes…..but i agree, atwt tribute could have been bigger, more, then the what 30 seconds that we go, and hello where was the mention of their matriarch helen wagner, and like you said, nothing was mentioned of the people that started the three soaps, the mentioned helen, james, and frances….none of them were mentioned, and all should have deserved applause, yes, that was surely lacking, the tribute to those who went, we got to say goodbye to james, and frances but sadly we will not get to say goodbye to helen/nancy, i only started to watch the show 9 years ago, but, i loved her….and really the show should have said goodbye to her for us….cbs should be ashamed of themselves, for leaving her out, and squelching their own show like they did.

    did we really need a tour of that room, hell, none of us will ever stay there, if they were going to give us a tour of the place, hello let’s see other areas, not just the one stupid room, that was beyond annoying…

    i could go on, but i will not

    Marlena says: Susan, thanks for writing. But although it’s the custom of some internet users to post all in lower case, I personally have problems with it. I hope my letter writers will use all upper and lower case in the future. Thanks.

  7. I have to as C.L.B. where the send off awards for Guiding Light last year, or maybe a touching final award to GL this year since this is the last Emmy’s that GL will ever be eligible for in any way.

    I agree D. Rand…the death bell is ringing for daytime loud and clear, and that Emmy show was just one of the chimes of the bell.

  8. The Emmys were painful to watch. No tributes, no clips, no chance to appreciate the work of the actors, even on shows you don’t watch. I was happy for ATWT and I don’t think it was rigged. I’m not much of a “Janet” fan but Maura West and Michael Park hit the ball out of the park last year.

    Come September, this 35 year daytime TV fan is hanging it up. I’m 46 and I started watching AW when I was homebound with a lengthy illness. AW, EON, GL (until it’s last few years) and ATWT (when AW went off) were my shows. No more. No more soap-related magazines, no websites, no TIVO. The networks have made it clear they do not support the genre. I don’t need to have my intelligence and loyalty insulted anymore.

    And BTW Marlena/Connie, I always loved your columns. I think you were the one that posted a photo of Mitch (my first crush) and Felicia with the caption “See, Mitch is dead. Felicia props him up to give him the illusion of life.” I still laugh about that.

    Thanks for everything.

    Marlena says: Thanks for your loyalty over the years, Jason. But our friendships here at marlenadelacroix.com are never over! Soaps or no soaps, keep on reading. I’ll be here. P.S. I eventually came around on William Grey Espy. I’d love to see him on a soap now. He was the first and REAL Snapper on Y&R and a bigger soap superstar there hardly ever was. He was charming, sexy and gorgeous before there were many gorgeous men on soaps. If anyone knows how WGE is today, send me a note, so we all may know he is doing well.

  9. Chere Marlena,

    For the first time in 2 decades, I also did not watch the Daytime Emmys on the day it aired. I usually tape the show and anxiously watch right after it concludes (thus allowing me to cut out commercials).

    But this Sunday, I wanted to get to bed early (after an exhausting weekend), so I skipped them.

    And then on Monday night, I was out late attending a writer’s group and didn’t want to stay up to watch that night.

    So, it was Tuesday night before I finally sat down to watch the show. By that time, I already knew who the winners were but was still curious enough to watch anyway.


    I felt so detached through the whole thing. Knowing the winners contributed to my boredom, but the show didn’t seem to be about daytime at all. It seemed to be about Dick Clark and Vegas; daytime was an afterthought. No actor clips, few jokes about daytime cliches, no daytime song parody, very few shots of the stars in the audience, no shots of the stars waiting to hear their names called as the winners.

    Oh, there were a few nice moments. Brad Bell introducing each of his writers and talking about his father. Maura West bringing her daughter up on stage, Michael Park finally getting the trophy.

    But if I had any doubts about soaps dying, watching this awards show squashed them.

  10. Dear Marlena/Connie,

    “The 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards” [CBS, June 27, 2010] were an infomercial for Las Vegas, Nevada.

    As I mentioned at another site, I noted that the national commercials — consisting of “Feed the Children, Starkey Foundation, Gulf Coast Mississippi, Oxi Clean, and Wayne LaPierre’s ‘Safe'” — were the types one would find on a cable channel at 3 a.m. ET. A real low-rent feeling to this whole affair.

    This “ceremony” wasn’t about honoring daytime television; it was about Las Vegas followed by — oh yeah! — an awards “show” of some kind.

    The 2010 Daytime Emmys were yet another reflection of the sorry status of daytime television. (And I mean it that in more ways than one!)

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