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Heartbreaking DAYS: Steve Learns Adrienne Died, An Anguished Sarah Lays Into Xander, Brady Tells Kristen Their Baby Is Alive

Courtesy/NBC

If you caught Tuesday’s episode of Days of our Lives, it proved to be one of the more dramatic and emotional episodes of the year in soaps; featuring stellar performances from the cast.  First, knocking it out of the park was Stephen Nichols (Steve), who while in the hospital and regaining his true self back, learns from the love of his life, his sweetness, Kayla (Mary Beth), that she has moved on with another man in his absence.  Then, when Kayla admits she has been involved with Justin (Wally Kurth), he immediately questions her, “What about my sister? Did they split up again?” Confused and shocked, he tells Kayla she would never have an affair on Justin.  With nothing left to do but tell Steve the truth, Kayla has the painstaking task of telling him that his beloved sister, Adrienne died and the events that led to her death. Steve is gut-punched and breakdowns in tears over his sister’s death and that he was not there for her.  When Steve says she was such a good sister it is crushing moment as he says he will always love her.

Photo: JPI

Later, when Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) and Jack (Matthew Ashford) visit Steve in his hospital room, Steve hides his face.  Jack learns that Steve knows about Adrienne, as he sees Steve just overcome with grief, and goes to hug and comfort his brother.  Jack also tried to help Steve understand how Justin was devastated when Adrienne was killed and that Kayla was grieving the loss of her relationship with Steve, knowing she signed the divorce papers and he went MIA from Salem and did not contact her.

At the Kiriakis mansion, Sarah (Linsey Godfrey) is supposed to start her wedding to Xander  (Paul Telfer), but now she is armed with the truth that he switched her and Eric’s (Greg Vaughan) baby, with Brady (Eric Martsolf) and Kristen’s (Stacy Haiduk) … and her little girl actually died.  As Justin presides over their nuptials, Sarah is filled with moments of anger, hatred, and shock towards Xander.  He is not sure what is going on with her.  When it gets to the vows, Sarah finally blurts  “How could I marry you after what you did?” It is then he learns she knows he switched babies and let her fall in love with a child that was not hers!

Photo: JPI

Sarah reveals to Xander that Eric told her everything on how he covered his tracks and passed off Brady and Kristen’s baby as hers, Justin leaves and once he’s gone, Xander tries to explain he did the switch for her, because he loves her and she had gone through so much.  Sarah, who is an emotionally fragile state, hears Xander suggest that they take Mickey and run away.  She tells him she is going upstairs with Mickey (Rachel) and when she comes down she wants him gone and she never wants to see him again.  Realizing he has been found out and his plans have blown up in his face, Xander collapses to the floor.  Upstairs with the baby, Sarah doesn’t know how to let her go.  And in the cliffhanger of the entire episode, an overwrought Xander turns and sees that Eric has showed up, ready for a confrontation …. and to see Sarah.

Photo: JPI

Brady, who has been through an emotional rollercoaster learning from Eric and Nicole (Arianne Zuvker) that baby Rachel is alive, and that it is now his brother, Eric who is grieving the loss of a child, goes to find Kristen to tell her the shocking, and yet wonderful news.  He finds her at the gravesite of their believed-to-be-dead daughter.  As she continue to grieve the loss of their child, it is then Brady tells her that their little girl is alive!. Kristen begins to understand the revelation when Brady reveals that “Mackenzie” has the same birthmark as Rachel. and he has DNA test results to prove she’s theirs.  At first, Kristen is too scared to believe this could be true, but she reads the DNA results and is overjoyed.  Just then, Eric and Nicole arrive at the gravesite. Brady hugs his brother and Kristen tells Eric how sorry she is, even though she knows he does not like her for what she has done in the past to him.   Then, Eric and Nicole have a moment at the gravesite, as an emotional Eric says goodbye to his daughter.

Later at their home, Kristen says she wants to go get Rachel.  Brady says they need to give Sarah and Eric a day to grieve before barging over to the Kiriakis mansion to claim their baby.  Kristen tells Brady she is not sure she can wait another day.  When she starts questioning how the hospital messed up the birth of the babies, it is then she learns that Xander was behind the baby switch; and as expected, that was not going to sit well with Kristen!

Photo: JPI

Kudos to Eric Martsolf, Lindsey Godfrey, Greg Vaugha, Stacy Haiduk, Paul Telfer, Mary Beth Evans and the aforementioned Nichols for their performances in this episode that featured several hankie x 10 moments.

So, what did you think of this episode of DAYS? Were you emotional through it? Did you enjoy the work of the cast? Comment below.

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PatriciaLincolnGoodLuckChuckFireReRonanne Recent comment authors
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Jimh
Guest
Jimh

You know when there is a wedding there isnt going to be a wedding…well there be a who shot Xander-JR Ewing style…Since her arrival Sarah has changed men faster than i change my shorts-lol..at least this baby drama didnt last as long as GHs…please no more mind control, amnesia or Ciara being kidnapped or Ben being suspicious of a crime…time for Days to move on with something different than the overuse of the same plot devices…ps-i still think Adrienne is alive and will show up thinking she is Bonnie Lockhart-yes, another mind switcher-with Bonnie thinking she was Adrienne and it… Read more »

TMJ
Guest
TMJ

Stephen Nichols’ performance in this episode was Emmy worthy. It was so raw and truthful. I’m glad they remembered to address Adrienne’s death.

Violet Lemm2
Guest
Violet Lemm2

I can’t wait for Victor to find out that he and Xander have been found out, but it will kill poor Maggie to find out it was her fault the baby died.
I am also hoping Maggie wI’ll run into Adrienne’s double in prison but it will actually be Adrienne with amnesia.

anne
Guest
anne

I can’t wait for Kirsten to confront Victor and nail him to the wall. Also, I wanted Kirsten and Brady to immediately phone the police to have Xander arrested. The police would have Marlena to take Rachel.

carol1952
Guest
carol1952

I knew that wedding was never going to happen.

aria
Guest
aria

if dool wasn’t written by RC I would probably give the show a chance, they do have a lot of interesting actors. Every show is rich in history especially if they been around for so long, but like I said I just can’t bring myself to watch this show under RC writing. It would be to much, I don’t want to see hope being princess gina, patch being stephano, Adrianne being dead maybe, Marlena possecesed, ect, its to heavy loaded w/ soapy content, and w/ everybody’s life turned upside down. whose life in Salem is just normal?

FireReRon
Guest
FireReRon

The cast showcased in this episode was amazing! It proves if you give halfway decent material the actors will come through. Stephen Nichols has proven he is hands down the most gifted and versatile actor in daytime right now. Mary Beth Evans and he are magic together 30+ years and never miss a beat. Chemistry/connection off the charts!

GoodLuckChuck
Guest
GoodLuckChuck

Everything was great, except for the ridiculous Justin/Kayla/Steve triangle..history has been conveniently rewritten to fit plot, Kayla OOC, etc She waited 16 yrs, wouldn’t sleep with Jack(when married to him) because she wanted Steve, went through 3 separations and she never moved on. Most importantly, she is a hypocrite at times and would never choose Justin, a known cheater, to get involved with. Hope Steve walks away and she realizes grass isn’t greener with the safe rebound called Justin.

Lincoln
Guest
Lincoln

That was a good week! Steve having to come back from having that dumb “stefano chip” in his brain to find out his life has been imploded was heartbreaking. The actors that play Kayla and Steve have some kind of chemistry and connection, its natural. The writing/dialogue makes it hard to support the Kayla/Justin pairing. Writers have flipped Kayla’s dialogue from month to month, those scenes where Justin was hanging out at the hospital seemed desperate. Then you had him telling anyone in Salem that would listen about his and Kayla’s relationship..its seems they are trying to hard to sell… Read more »

Patricia
Guest
Patricia

What a good week of Days that was! Kept you pretty much on the edge of your seat and it was nice to see the 30+ age crowd and veterans putting on a show.Some of those younger actors (and older ones such as WK who is spotty at times) could take lessons from Mary Beth Evans, Ari Zucker and Stephen Nichols..Stephen Nichols deserves every kudos given his way during this time jump-he’s been that good. He and Mary Beth Evans are just so natural on scene it’s nice to watch.

Breaking News

Days of our Lives, General Hospital, and The Young and the Restless Receive WGA Award Nominations

Nominations were announced Thursday morning for the WGA Awards in the fields of television, new media, news, radio/audio and promotional writing.

In the Daytime Drama category, the writing teams from Days of our Lives, General Hospital and The Young and the Restless scored nominations.

Of note: The Bold and the Beautiful chose not to submit themselves for competition this year.  So, it was not a matter of the series not receiving enough votes to be in contention.

The winners will be announced on Sunday, March 20, at the 74th annual Writers Guild Awards.

Here are the full writing teams nominated in the Daytime Drama category below:

General Hospital, Head Writers: Chris Van Etten, Dan O’Connor Associate Head Writer: Anna T. Cascio Writers: Barbara Bloom, Suzanne Flynn, Charlotte Gibson, Lucky Gold, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Shannon Peace, David Rupel, Lisa Seidman, Scott Sickles; ABC

The Young and the Restless, Head Writer: Amanda L. Beall Writers: Susan Banks, Jeff Beldner, Sara A. Bibel, Brent Boyd, Susan Dansby, Christopher Dunn, Sara Endsley, Janice Ferri Esser, Marin Gazzaniga, Lynn Martin, Natalie Minardi Slater, Teresa Zimmerman; CBS

Days of Our Lives, Head Writer: Ron Carlivati Writers: Lorraine Broderick, Joanna Cohen, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Jamey Giddens, David Kreizman, Rebecca McCarty, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Katherine D. Schock, Elizabeth Snyder; NBC

To view the entire list of nominees click here.

So, who do you hope takes home the prize for the WGA Award for writing in a daytime drama series … DAYS, GH or Y&R? Comment below.

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All My Children

Three-Time Daytime Emmy Winner, Cady McClain, Reveals She’s ‘Back On Set’ But On Which Show?

After her Instagram post earlier this week, fans of Cady McClain have been attempting to dissect her cryptic tease of a message. McClain, a three-time Daytime Emmy winner, shared the good news with fans that she is ‘back to work’, except she didn’t share which show or project she is working on … just yet!

In her post, McClain teased: “Back on set! Fun to be working again on such a terrific show! Can’t wait to be able to share the news with you all soon! Meantime, hoping you are all taking good care of yourselves. Sending hugs!! ”

Now, it could be Cady is working on a primetime show, not a daytime show, but we shall see.

She has previously appeared on The Young and the Restless and Days of our Lives of the four remaining daytime soaps.  On Y&R she played Kelly Andrews, and on DAYS, Jennifer Horton Deveraux.  And, as viewers of the NBC soap saw this week, Jennifer (in a short appearance by Melissa Reeves) returned to Salem with Jack (Matthew Ashford), only to tie-up loose ends over the holidays and exit the show.

Since DAYS still tapes months ahead, could McClain be returning there, or might she pop up on GH and B&B? The character of Kelly was killed-off of Y&R back in 2015.

Previously, Cady became soap-famous for her roles as Dixie Cooney Martin on All My Children and Rosanna Cabot on As the World Turns.

Share your thoughts on which show you hope Cady is working on, whether, primetime, daytime, or a streaming series, in the comment section below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Cady McClain (@cadymcclain)

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Breaking News

Michael Fairman TV Names The Best and Worst in Soaps 2021

In a year which saw the continuance of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021, saw your favorite soaps finding ways to work under safety and health protocols to bring you the stories you love the best they could, but it was not fraught with some problems along the way.

Now as the year comes to a close, we take a look back with our annual list of the Best and Worst in Soaps.  As it does every year, Michael Fairman TV,  takes this opportunity to pay tribute to the tremendous work of the talented men and women in front of the camera and behind the scenes, whose tireless efforts in the grind of producing and acting in this genre’s format is a feat in of itself.  In addition to naming the best moments and performances of the year, there were several not-so-stellar moments featuring characters, storylines, and more, that get the dubious honor of some of our “Worsts”.

While we know many of you have your own views, picks, and choices, and while you may disagree or agree with ours, we encourage you to let us know your thoughts as well.  Most of all, respect everyone’s opinions, as you wish them to respect yours.

 

Finally, we want to wish our wonderful community here at Michael Fairman TV and soap fans everywhere, a happy New Year.  It is all of you with your passion and devotion to the genre itself, which make this such a unique entertainment medium with an undeniable connection between the viewers, the performers, and the storylines.

So here we go … the Best and Worst in Soaps … and with that… 2021 out!

BEST SOAP

General Hospital  

Day to day, week to week, the soap that delivered the most through 2021 was General Hospital. It wasn’t by any means sheer perfection, and had its share of relationship and storyline issues, but whether you loved “Nixon Falls’ or not, or Britt with Jason, or Carly with Jason, Sonny and Nina, or were upset about Franco’s death, or Peter continuing to exist on this earth (more on this later), or loved the introduction of the SORAS’d Spencer Cassadine, the show retooled the Quartermaines, the Cassadines, and all along the way gave emotional payoffs and big cliffhangers.

MOST ENTERTAINING SOAP

Days of our Lives

The last six months of 2021, Days of our Lives seemed to find its groove, balancing the kitsch, with the drama, and it all really got cooking with the Marlena Possession storyline 2.0 harkening back to its brilliance some 27 years later.  DAYS was clearly the most entertaining soap with a plethora of wink-winks to the audience, snappy dialog and humor, an excellent use of history, and a cast and a writing team that trusted the material and it paid off.

MOST DISAPPOINTING SOAP

The Young and the Restless

The once mighty Y&R became the hardest show to sit through.  The storylines were boring, the pairings often felt like re-treads, the rooting factor was basically non-existent for anyone, and it gets our pick for the Most Disappointing Soap. When you have an A-list cast with some of the finest actors in the genre in one place, and the stories just aren’t there for them, and many scenes feel like they go nowhere, it’s a head-scratcher!  The show needs a boost of adrenaline.

Photo: JPI

BEST LIMITED SERIES

Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem

Truly, the most enjoyable, fun romp of the year in soaps.  It had to be a hoot and a half for head writer, Ron Carlivati, and his team to develop this five-episode story about the missing gems from the Alamainian Peacock.  There were the inside Lisa Rinna jokes including: integrating the infamous RHOBH ‘drink in face’ fight with Eileen Davidson recreated ‘Beyond Salem’ style, plus Sonny, Will, and Chad in drag, Leo saving the day, Charles Shaughnessy back as twins Drew and Shane, Peter Porte as an uptight spy who turns out to be a VonLeuschner, and it was all so kitschy, in a genius kind of way that it left us wanting more.

Photo: ABC

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS

Laura Wright – Carly Corinthos – General Hospital

Scene after scene in 2021, Laura Wright did some of the finest work of her daytime career, and that is saying something, because she has already delivered so many memorable performances.  But this year, whether it was: a grieving Carly grappling with the loss of her beloved Sonny, stepping up and taking control of the mob, her complicated relationship with Jason, and falling back in love with him, and then the return of a very much alive Sonny and the volatile relationship with her nemesis, Nina Reeves, Laura had the material day after day, and gave us 110% as an actress through it all. Bravo!

Photos: JPI and ABC

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A STORYLINE

Melissa Claire Egan – Chelsea’s Stroke – The Young and the Restless

Cynthia Watros – Nina and Mike in Nixon Falls – General Hospital

Camryn Grimes – Mariah’s kidnapping and aftermath – The Young and the Restless

Lisa LoCicero – Olivia finds out Alexis and Ned had sex – General Hospital

These four actresses along with Laura Wright may just be vying for the Daytime Emmy in 2022 whether it be in Lead or Supporting.  Each one of these women delivered complex performances within their storylines … Melissa Claire Egan as stroke victim, Chelsea, who gets her revenge on Adam and Sharon that comes with consequences, Cynthia Watros for her brilliant work opposite Maurice Benard and the Tan-O gang and its aftermath in Port Charles, Camryn Grimes, whose scenes by herself in lock-up (in a storyline we hated), after being kidnapped while pregnant were well-done, and the hurt of longing for the baby she carried months later showed why she remains one of the strongest actresses on daytime, and there was Lisa LoCicero for the heartbreaking moments as Olivia finds out that Ned slept with Alexis and then the volatile showdown between the two women over the tryst. All deserved mentions in our year-end honors.

Photo: ABC

BEST SINGLE PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A STORYLINE 

Kirsten Storms – Maxie frames Peter and reveals she knows of his deception – General Hospital

While in the hospital, Maxie, pretending she lost her baby, in an effort to get Peter to admit to his crimes, was played by pure brilliance by Kirsten Storms.  Finally, taking control of the situation, Maxie records Peter’s confession of those he murdered on her phone which she sends to Mac. All along the way telling Peter how disgusted she is by him. Best line though, “I would say you’re as bad as your father, but you’re not. At least, Faison was an evil genius. You’re just some cheap imitation knockoff.” Got that right!

Photo: ABC

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR

Maurice Benard – Sonny Corinthos – General Hospital

While the “Mike” in ‘Nixon Falls’ story went on too long, it provided Maurice Benard with an opportunity to show another side of a character then mob boss Sonny Corinthos, and pair him with another leading lady, Cynthia Watros, to form a potential new couple.  All of this on top of Benard’s scenes with Sonny’s wife, Carly (whose relationship has now hit the skids) provided this three-time Daytime Emmy winner a backdrop to do something different, and prove once again, that he is still the finest actor in the genre.

Photo: ABC

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTOR

James Patrick Stuart – Valentin Cassadine – General Hospital

Whether it be romancing Anna, (and sharing scenes with the fabulous Finola Hughes,) or trying to take down Peter August, or his machinations with the Quartermaines, or being duped by Brook Lynn, and his devastation over finding out that ‘Bailey’ was not his biological daughter, we always enjoy all things JPS.  He delivers episode to episode and continues to make Valentin’s reactions and actions intriguing.

Photo: JPI

BEST SINGLE PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A STORYLINE

Ted King – Jack admits to Li his secret about Sheila and Finn – The Bold and the Beautiful

It has been great to see Ted King back on daytime.  The former GH and OLTL star always delivered in his scenes, and he had his moment to shine in 2021, when Jack admitted to his wife, Li that he lied all of these years about their son, Finn.  In actuality, Jack had a fling with the dangerous and psychotic, Sheila Carter and he is Finn’s true biological father.  The whole situation was made all the more heartbreaking because Li believed they adopted the little boy, when in truth, Jack covered-up his tryst for decades.  King played all the beats in these key scenes.  He was understated in his performance, and this went under the soap press radar, but you could see all the pain in Jack’s eyes, thanks to Ted King’s work.  Sometimes less is more in front of the camera.

Photo: JPI

BEST PERFORMANCE BY LONG-RUNNING VETERANS

Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes – Doug and Julie Williams – Days of our Lives

Doug as the devil was delicious! Julie standing up to MarDevil was a moment! The Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award winners had the opportunity to act in great scenes about faith, strength and love, played to perfection by these two television treasures. Their work provided some of the most memorable moments during Satan’s return to Salem.

Photo: JPI

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Kelly Thiebaud – Britt Westbourne – General Hospital

This year, Kelly Thiebaud truly got to show all the facets of Dr. Britt Westbourne. When she was afraid to know and then learned she had the marker for Huntington’s Disease, her struggle with the information and falling for Jason Morgan, then losing him, made this once Port Charles bad girl, someone we truly, truly cared about. In addition, Britt’s scenes of grief with Carly over Jason’s ‘death’ and more, made Kelly’s performances must-see daytime TV.

Courtesy/CBS

BEST PERFORMANCE IN AN ON-SCREEN BREAK-UP

Michelle Stafford – Phyllis Summers – The Young and the Restless

No one can deliver the kind of ‘balls-to-the-wall’ performance that Y&R’s Michelle Stafford can. She did it again, in a series of powerful and heartbreaking scenes, where Phyllis realizes she will always be Nick’s second choice to the Newman family. Combine that with Nick knowing that Phyllis’ feelings for her ex, Jack Abbott are back, it was combustion central for ‘Phick’ and they ended their relationship.  Stafford should remember this scene come Emmy submission time!

BEST ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE

The cast of Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem

I mean, everyone was so much fun to watch! From Eileen Davidson, Rinna, Jackie Cox, Greg Rikaart, Shaughnessy, Zach Tinker, the list goes on, and it truly was the best ensemble performance of the year, and it looked like everyone had a great time being part of the limited series.

BEST FEUD

Nina Reeves and Carly Corinthos – General Hospital

When Carly went at Nina over Nelle’s ‘death’ on a phone call, just as Nina found Sonny alive and well in Nixon Falls, it set up a series of events that had now pitted these two powerhouse women against each other, and the feud is one of the best on daytime due to Cynthia Watros and Laura Wright’s performances.

Photo: JPI

BEST VILLAIN, FEMALE

Deidre Hall – MarDevil – Days of our Lives

When Satan comes to town and inhabits Marlena, the MarDevil comes out to play and terrorized everyone in Salem with delicious venom and we were here for it!

BEST VILLAIN, MALE

Mike Manning – Charlies Dale – Days of our Lives

Mike Manning made Charlie creepy and misunderstood, and someone everyone in town wanted dead, and eventually he met his maker in a solid “Whodunit?”

BEST SCENE-STEALER

Deidre Hall – MarDevil – Days of our Lives

Deidre Hall looked like she was having the time of her life, chewing the scenery as Satan and getting to take a pause from being the moral center of DAYS to be able to do and say things “Doc” would never utter out of her mouth: including calling her own daughter’s Belle and Sami “sluts’’. HA!

Photo: JPI

BEST UNEXPECTED SCENE

Susan and EJ in the hospital – Days of our Lives

After the devil made mince-meat out of Susan Banks, she recovered in the hospital where her son EJ sat by her side.  When Susan said she was willing to sacrifice herself to save her son from Satan, it brought with it an unexpected mother/son scene we never saw previously between the grown-up EJ and Susan, and played by two actors who were both successful recasts in their roles. Cheers to Stacy Haiduk and Dan Feuerriegel.

Photo: JPI

BEST COMEBACK

Cameron Mathison back to ABC Daytime

The All My Children fan favorite (Ex-Ryan Lavery), turned host, turned Hallmark and GAC Family star, returned to ABC Daytime decades later where it all started for him, this time as a recast Drew Cain on GH.  Now, while his story on General Hospital is just getting started, we think Mathison will fit in nicely with the cast that he has admired so much, and on the show, he has dreamt of appearing on. Welcome home, Cam!

Photo: JPI

WORST EXIT

Linsey Godfrey – Sarah Horton – Days of our Lives

To facilitate Linsey Godfrey’s exit from DAYS, the writers once again fell back into old tricks, or should we say, old prosthetic masks! This time, Kristen pretended to be Sarah to sleep with Rex, and break-up her relationship to Xander, even though Kristen and Sarah are nowhere near the same height. Then, Sarah is put in a steamer trunk and snuck her out of Salem. What???????

WORST EXIT HONORABLE MENTION

Kim Delaney – Jackie Templeton – General Hospital

We love Kim Delaney, and all of a sudden, her heralded return to soaps and GH, came to an abrupt end after the entire “Who is Harrison’s real bio-dad” story and apparently Jackie Templeton left Port Charles.  We guess to do some cracker-jack reporting?? Dunno.

Photo: JPI

MOST HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED RETURNS

Kimberlin Brown and Sean Kanan – The Bold and the Beautiful

With two of daytime’s all-time baddies back on the canvas, you would think that B&B would have hit a homerun, but so far, it’s been a wait and see approach, as fans long for the days that Sheila and Deacon perpetrate bad deeds on people for their own gain.  However, we may be in luck! Looks like Sheila might be finally digging her psychotic heels into Brooke with the NYE booze switch, while Deacon seduced Brooke. Jury is out! B&B…  don’t botch this!

Photo: JPI

WORST RETURN

Sean Carrigan – Stitch – The Young and the Restless

This was so predictable …and so bad.  Former fan favorite, Sean Carrigan returns as Stitch and everyone had already figured out, (even before he set foot on the airshows), that he would be the culprit – the person who had kidnapped a pregnant Mariah. Then later, we get his twisted reasoning for holding a preggers woman captive, apparently, because of his love and past with Abby. All of this made no sense for this character.

Photo: JPI

WORST HIT AND RUN

Liam runs over Vinny in Bill’s car – The Bold and the Beautiful

This storyline, which went on for months, had Liam and Bill covering up their tracks after mowing down bad boy Vinny, who just happened to be walking out in the middle of the road at night at the exact time Bill’s car showed up.  Trouble is, it turned out to be a suicide storyline? Apparently, Vinny sacrificed himself for his buddy Thomas, so Thomas could get closer to Hope, and that’s after switching paternity results to make it look like Liam was Hayes’ father, not Finn! While we had liked Joe LoCicero as Vinny, this ending was a bad comeuppance, and even though Scott Clifton and Don Diamont acted their hearts out episode after episode, in the end the story came to a screeching halt and thud. Wasn’t there even a PSA for suicide prevention after the reveal???

MOST MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Elizabeth learns about Jason’s ‘death’ off-screen – General Hospital

Liz shares a son with the guy, and Rebecca Herbst does not get any screen-time to show Elizabeth’s reaction to Jason’s supposed death? C’mon now!!

Photo: JPI

BEST RECAST LIMITED SERIES

Zach Tinker – Sonny Kiriakis – Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem and Days of our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas

We were very impressed with Zach Tinker’s version of Sonny Kiriakis; and that right out of the gate he was dealt some very heavy emotional scenes in ‘Beyond Salem’ when Sonny believed Will was cheating on him. Zach replaced longtime fan favorite, Freddie Smith, and a new version of “WilSon” was born.

Photo: JPI

BEST RECAST 

Dan Feuerriegel  –  EJ DiMera – Days of our Lives

Dan has brought his A-game as the recast EJ DiMera; a role that was made so wildly popular when played by James Scott, but Feuerriegel is putting his own spin on the part and making it work.

Photo: JPI

BEST RETURN LIMITED-RUN

Blake Berris – Nick Fallon – DAYS Halloween episode/Days of our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas

Berris is a very fine actor and it was on display twice! First, in DAYS zombie-Halloween episode when the MarDevil awakens evil from their graves! It is then, Nick is back in action terrorizing Gabi, and then in the flip in the Peacock Holiday special, Nick is very much alive, playing the longing suitor for Gabi’s affections, Berris should come back to DAYS as Nick’s twin, Mick! Can we make that happen DAYS writing team?

Photo: JPI

BEST NEW CHARACTER

Paulina Price – (played by Jackée Harry) – Days of our Lives

Writing a role for Jackée, and playing to her strengths; while ramping up the Price family back-story was a triple win for Days.

Courtesy/ABC

BEST NEWCOMER

Nicholas Alexander Chavez – Spencer Cassadine – General Hospital

Fans took notice and instantly fell in love with Nicholas’ work as a SORAS’d Spencer Cassadine.  Spencer’s return was one of the best of 2021, which showed the emotional damage done to the young man who has a vengeful streak willing to go up against the likes of his father Nikolas, Ava, and Valentin while pining for Trina, and being shoe-horned into a relationship with evildoer, Esme.  Good stuff!

Photo: ABC

BEST TRIBUTE

John Reilly Tribute – General Hospital

When GH was able to get the one and only Sharon Wyatt (Ex-Tiffany Hill) to do a voice-over, and John Reilly’s daughter, Caitlin, acting and central to the story all the while paying homage to the spy stories of the past, it was a solid episode to honor one of the shows most beloved all-time cast members.

BIGGEST WASTE OF AIRTIME

Jesse Gaines – The Young and the Restless

Weeks of being held up in Italy in a room, threatening to expose Ashland’s past, but it was all a set up, and by the end of it, who cared! Anyone?

Photo: JPI

BEST GREAT-TO-SEE-YOU ON DAYTIME AGAIN

Linda Dano – Vivian Alamain – Days of our Lives

Although it was short-lived and Louise Sorel did not return to be part of the plot, we loved seeing Linda Dano back on daytime; even for a short blip, and this time taking on the role of Vivian Alamain.  She’s still one of the best of the best.

Courtesy/ABC

CHARACTER WHO DESERVED THE BIGGEST BITCH-SLAP

Peter August – General Hospital

Line -em-up! GH’s Peter August deserved a thousand of these! Where do we start???? Peter August has escaped the once-smartest spies, killed multiple key characters, held some captive, obsessed over Maxie and their baby, and everyone wants him dead-dead.  We can’t think of anyone who deserves to be bitched slapped by one person after the other in Port Charles than Peter AKA Henrik!

Photo: JPI

CHARACTER WHO DISHED OUT THE BEST BITCH-SLAPS

Steffy Forrester – The Bold and the Beautiful

Whenever she could, Steffy bitch-slapped Sheila to kingdom come, once the evil one showed up at Steffy’s wedding to Finn and the fallout. We assume, Sheila grabbed an icebag after those bops to the face?

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A PRIMETIME SOAP MALE

Adam Huber – Liam Ridley – Dynasty

Playing off scenes with his on-screen love interest, Elizabeth Gillies (Fallon) has let Huber show other facets to his character of Liam. Now we enjoy the guy!

Courtesy/CW

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A PRIMETIME SOAP FEMALE

Elizabeth Gillies – Fallon Carrington – Dynasty

Fallon makes CW’s Dynasty go-round, and whether it be drama, high camp or musical moments, Elizabeth Gillies is the star of the show and can be anywhere else she chooses to go!

Courtesy/CW

BEST PRIMETIME SOAP

Dynasty

Still the ‘soap on steroids’ with all the tropes including: bombshells and double-crossing of a double-crossing, you will need a scorecard each episode to follow along which character does the most despicable thing … but we are here for it!

MOST TORTURED COUPLE

Sonny and Carly – General Hospital

Nothing went right in 2021 for ‘CarSon’.  Sonny was presumed dead for a good portion of the year, believing he was a man named ‘Mike” and living a life in Nixon Falls and falling for a deceitful Nina Reeves.  Carly stepped up and in for Sonny to protect the Corinthos mob territory by originally having a marriage-arrangement with Jason.  However, Carly and Jason found themselves falling for each other again circa the 90’s, and on their wedding night, as they were about to have sex, Sonny shows up alive and well. Now, Sonny has been all confused for his feelings for Nina since regaining his memory, Jason is ‘dead, and the relationship has blown apart and it looks like the end of the line… for now for this storied duo.

Photo: JPI

WORST WEDDING

Kyle and Summer– The Young and the Restless

Not only did the popular duo of ‘Skyle’ exit the canvas, they got married off-camera, so no one saw the long-awaited nuptials … and the two actors, Michael Mealor and Hunter King … left the show after reports of contract negotiations falling through.

PhotoL ABC

BEST COUPLE IN THE MAKING

Sprina – General Hospital

Everyone is loving the on-screen chemistry played by Sydney Mikayla and Nicholas Alexander Chavez as Trina and Spencer.  Now will they be headed for a romance in 2022?

Photo: ABC

WORST COUPLE AND MOST BORING COUPLE

Michael and Willow – General Hospital

These two are double winners this year! Michael Corinthos and Willow Tait have become so boring that GH is now coming up with ways to instigate trouble between them that it is so apparent to the audience and you can see it coming a mile away.  Chad Duell and Katelyn MacMullen are very good actors, they just aren’t an exciting pairing as Michael and Willow. Break them up for good, already!

Photo: JPI

BEST COUPLE

Sami and Lucas – Days of our Lives

Alison Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo have a long and enduring friendship, and an on-screen partnership that just works so well.  Many loved seeing ‘Lumi’ reconnect in 2021.  Sami, of course, despondent over EJ, sleeps with Lucas and thus starts the story, but it was all done with great flashbacks, comedy and more. What will happen in 2022 when Sami finds out Lucas was the one who kidnapped her? It probably will end any possibility of them ever becoming a bonafide couple, as it looks like EJami is the end game.

Courtesy/ABC

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A STANDALONE EPISODE

Nancy Lee Grahn – Alexis Davis – General Hospital

“I’m Alexis Davis, and I’m a Fighter, and an Idealist, and an Advocate!” True that! In a well-crafted story, Nancy Lee Grahn celebrated her 25th anniversary on GH with a special episode dedicated to Alexis. In a therapy session with Kevin, we come to the crux of the story.  Alexis looked over in the corner of the room at a vision of her younger self crying.  In that moment, Alexis embraced herself, forgave herself, so she could move on with her life after being guilt-ridden for the death of her mother and the cruelty of her father.  Beautiful work from La Grahn!

Courtesy/NBC

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A STANDALONE EPISODE

James Reynolds – Abe Carver – Days of our Lives

James Reynolds might be going for his second Lead Actor Emmy after this performance. In it, and to honor the actor’s 40th anniversary as Abe Carver on DAYS, the show had Abe shot and then flatlining which means … Abe was going to the light. While there, he meets up with his beloved ex-wife Lexie and while the audience is shown flashbacks of their life together, it’s Reynolds acting against an actress (who’s face is unseen, since Renee Jones was unavailable for the episode) that brought all the heart and the drama, which is why we in-turn are invested in the life of Abe Carver. And, don’t we all grab for the hankies when James brings the tears?

Photo: JPI

BEST STORYLINE

The Devil Returns to Salem – Days of our Lives

While for many they found this story ridiculous, we found ourselves wanting to fast-forward through episodes of DAYS just to get to all the moments of Marlena’s possession 2.0 and all that came with it! From the outlandish dialog, the special effects soap-style, how MarDevil served up revenge by morphing into OG Kristen, or taking looney-tunes Jan Spears and morphing her into Belle, plus having a “Rosemary’s Baby” angle to boot with a Cin baby on the way … and more, it was fun to see what happened next.  The best twist was letting the audience think that Doug had dementia when he actually had been possessed by the devil which then allowed Satan to take over Marlena.  And didn’t we all love the exorcism episode, too? Great use of history, camp, and it allowed for some solid performances from longtime vets that had to be having too much fun playing those scenes.

WORST STORYLINE MOMENT

Paris’ laxatives ruin her romantic evening with Zende – The Bold and the Beautiful

In an effort to thwart her sister’s budding romance with Zende Forrester, Zoe puts laxatives in the smoothie she gave to her sister, Paris, which gave her gas and an upset tummy during her date. Enough said.

Photo: JPI

WORST STORYLINE

Eric’s ED and giving permission for Quinn and Carter to have sex – The Bold and the Beautiful

The Bold and the Beautiful had the opportunity to truly tell a story about Erectile Dysfunction in older men, but instead made it ridiculous and tried to justify it. While we absolutely love Lawrence Saint-Victor and Rena Sofer as Carter and Quinn, and John McCook as Eric, are we expected to believe that Eric would give permission for his wife to carry on her affair with the stud that is Carter because he can’t please her anymore in the bedroom? But that’s actually nothing compared to the Donna “honey” scene, which got Eric all riled up and fixed his problem, complete with music bed crescendo.

MOST PREPOSTEROUS PLOT TWIST and CHARACTER WHO NEEDS TO GET HIS COMEUPPANCE

Characters sacrificed to keep Peter August’s reign of terror continuing – General Hospital

Franco, Drew, Jason, and more have all at one time or another been killed or supposedly killed due to the machinations of Peter August.  Even after setting fire to The Tan-0 in Nixon Falls and jumping off a cliff or something, Peter escapes all the time, every time, every moment of every day.  Even the smartest all-time WSB agents including super spy, Anna Devane, can’t stay a step ahead of him. How can one evildoer have so much power? Don’t the good guys get a win, evah? Are we ready for the murder mystery of who permanently snuffed this guy out???

Courtesy/ABC

BEST TEARJERKER

Baby Liam’s Death – General Hospital

It was controversial to have a little baby being taken off life-support over the holidays, but General Hospital went there. Within it, Liam’s parents struggled over what they had to do, and found themselves in inconsolable grief.  As young parents and a young couple trying to deal with the cards they were dealt, both Sofia Mattsson (Sasha) and Johnny Wactor (Brando) stepped up to the plate and gave us a 10-hankie moment culminating in  a visit from the late Mike Corbin (Max Gail), who takes baby Liam back to heaven with him.

Photos: ABC

BIGGEST HEADLINE

Ingo Rademacher and Steve Burton get fired from GH after not adhering to vaccine mandate

Both actors were willing to lose their jobs over their anti-vaxx stance during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Disney/ABC mandates all employees to be vaccinated.  While Burton shared one message on his reasons for not following the mandate, Rademacher has taken his stance to the media including to Tucker Carlson, and continued to rev up his social media with his views.

Photo: JPI

SOCIAL MEDIA FIRESTORM

Cassandra James fires back at Ingo Rademacher for transphobic repost on social media

Trans actress, Cassandra James (Terry of General Hospital) took to social media in utter disappointment and disgust at one of her then co-stars, Ingo Rademacher, for a post he shared on his Instagram story from conservative author, Allie Beth Stuckley, which said, “Welcome to ClownTown, where the dude on the left is an empowering woman, and the woman on the right is a white supremacist.”  The picture on the left was that of Assistant Secretary of Health, Rachel Levine, a transgender female who was sworn in as a four-star admiral. The picture on the right showed Virginia Lieutenant Governor-Elect Winsome Sears, a black woman, who is seen brandishing a weapon in her hands as part of campaign paraphernalia.

In a tweet on the matter, James shared: “Shame on you. You have some serious unlearning and education to do. I feel deeply disappointed that such a public display of ignorance could come from our ‘GH’ family. Misgendering trans folks is violence and if you come for one of us, you come for all of us. The cis world doesn’t get to decide which of us is valuable. I am so proud of the fans for always holding us to a high standard, for calling out transphobia and violence.”   Mainstream media picked-up the story and many of Cassandra’s GH castmates took to Twitter to stand in solidarity with her.

Later, Rademacher took to his Instagram and apologized to James stating that he should have crossed out the word “dude” from the original post. He added, “Cassandra, I apologize to you sincerely. I think you’re an absolute talent and you’re very beautiful as well. I don’t think a transphobic man would say that. I think you’re absolutely gorgeous, I really do.”

Photo: JPI

BIGGEST DOOFUS 

Finn – The Bold and the Beautiful

Sooo, a woman claiming to be your mother steps out of the shadows and shows up at your wedding.  Without really investigating her claims, you literally bring her to the Forrester mansion front door and introduce her as this ‘amazing thing that just happened’ not knowing that the woman, Sheila Carter, shot your bride’s mother and other people along the way.  Finn wins our doofus award for this scene alone!

Photo: JPI

FIZZLE TO SIZZLE

Greg Rikaart – Kevin’s return on Y&R to Leo Stark’s re-emergence on DAYS 

On Y&R, Kevin was teaming up with Phyllis again and we thought that would go somewhere, but his returns to Genoa City have been written as lackluster, HOWEVER, Greg Rikaart really got to strut his stuff and have a field day playing Leo Stark on DAYS, Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem and Days of our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas.  Leo is the gift we never know we needed and Rikaart plays him to the hilt!

Photo: JPI

MOST DISAPPOINTING CHARACTER

Phillip Kiriakis – Jay Johnson – Days of our Lives

This was one of the most disappointing returns making Phillip a sniveling dishrag dirtbag with no redeeming qualities at all, or did we miss something?

WORST CASE Of SOAP ABUSE

Overuse of special episodes – The Young and the Restless

Call the intervention squad! How many special episodes highlighting individual characters in a crisis of conscious can one soap fan sit-through?

BEST PROP

“Mike’s” Cowboy Hat – General Hospital

Sonny’s Nixon Falls amnesiac character “Mike” and his special buddy … his hat, were shown and mentioned in many a scene for months on end!

So, what did you think of our picks for the Best and Worst in Soaps 2021? Let us know in the comment section below if you agreed, or have you own choices for the categories above.

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Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
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Power Performance

Sofia Mattsson and Johnny Wactor as Sasha & Brando

General Hospital

Airdate:12-17-2021

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