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Michael Fairman TV Names The Best and Worst In Soaps 2019

Photos: JPI, NBC, ABC

As 2019 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  take 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.

Now, 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 “Worst’s”.

So with that said; we give you our year-end review.  As you will read, we tried to dissect the calendar year on your favorite daytime dramas through our various categories.  While we know many of you have your own picks and choices, and may disagree, or agree with ours, we encourage you to let us know your thoughts as well.  And 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 healthy, prosperous, and exciting New Year!   It is all of you with your passion and devotion to the soap genre itself, which make this such a special and unique medium that we all share, squabble, and delight over week after week, month after month, episode after episode.

So here we go … the Best and Worst in Soaps … and with that… 2019 out!

Photo: JPI

BEST SOAP – Classic and Traditional

The Bold and the Beautiful – The 8,000 episode of this CBS Daytime drama kicked-off an eight month journey that had fans anguished and throwing things at their TV or computer screens, but in the Bell tradition of storytelling it was all actually worth the wait.  After Hope was told that her baby was stillborn by Dr, Buckingham (Guest star, Wayne Brady) while giving birth alone on Catalina Island in the middle of the storm (yup), he sells the baby to Taylor (who is in the dark on his misdeeds to get out of a debt) who handles the transaction thus setting the stage for Steffy to unwittingly raise Hope’s baby.  When all was revealed, it was an epic soap moment not only for its emotion, but for the production value B&B brings to its remotes and major payoffs.  Add in a shockingly darker and twisted re-emergence of the character of Thomas Forrester, some noteworthy newcomers in Denise Richard and Katrina Bowden, and then putting back to front burner status, Ridge and Brooke, as their marriage crumbled thanks to Thomas, and B&B proved utilizing some classic soap storytelling, no matter how viewers protest at times, is still the ticket for them while focusing on families, couples, and the workplace.

BEST SOAP – Risk-taker and Entertaining

Days of our Lives – This was the year that 54-year-old-soap did something no other soap opera has ever done on daytime.  Not only did it continue to roll out plot-driven, quirky, clever and outlandish stories and moments, but it reset the show, by jumping all the stories one-year ahead in a flash-forward.  Thus, viewers now have more questions than answers triggering them to make sure to tune-in every day or you will miss something.  In addition, DAYS saw the DOOL app really take shape this year. and in addition to all the backstage and behind the scenes content, DAYS launched three new digital drama series, and one, Chad & Abby in Paris timed perfectly so that Chad & Abby’s return on the air shows matched the timing of the end of the digital series. And…. if you want have fun and look for some of those saucy soap tropes, you can find them in Salem.

Photo: JPI

SOAPMAKER OF THE YEAR

Ron Carlivati – Days of our Lives

Have to give it to the head writer of DAYS; for after pitching his idea for the time jump to both OLTL and GH, and even DAYS once before, the series had the courage to go for it, and Carlivati did not disappoint, weaving stories for some time to come that have not even scratched the surface yet on-screen.  While we know the time-jump has received mixed reviews from fans; we are only two months in since it started.  So … hold your horses!

Photo: JPI

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS

Maura West- Ava Jerome – General Hospital

This makes it two years in a row for West to take this category.  And this year, her character of Ava Jerome really went through the ringer, and in the end came back to the other side of it regaining her strength. Think of how Ava fell in love for a serial killer, without even knowing it? Then, learns of the startling revelation that she has been sleeping with her daughter’s killer!  Then, she sees her dead daughter, then, she has an apparent mental breakdown, then she is being duped by a returning Nikolas, then she is being trolled online following her cover story in Crimson, and we could go on and on.  Whatever the story required, West took it on and delivered with a classic movie star style non-compare in daytime,

BEST SINGLE PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A STORYLINE

Camila Banus – Gabi’s grief-stricken as Stefan dies – Days of our Lives

It’s amazing that you can hate Gabi Hernandez for all of her revenge-plots and then sob right along with her when she is gutted.  In the capable hands of Camila Banus this is made possible. When Gabi is sitting vigil near Stefan’s bedside, (after he is shot and brain dead) and then later at home wakes up alone missing the man she loves, who is ripped away from her, like everything else in her life, it set the stage for Gabi’s next heinous plot, and Banus delivered in all of these scenes.

Photo: JPI

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR

(Tie)

Maurice Benard – Sonny Corinthos – General Hospital

Jon Lindstrom – Ryan Chamberlin/ Kevin Collins – General Hospital

Michael Easton – Hamilton Finn – General Hospital

We are tying this one up three ways, because each of these gents from General Hospital had story throughout the year, (at times, more prominent than others) but each made an indelible impression for some time to come.  Let’s start with Maurice Benard, who coming off his Lead Actor Daytime Emmy win, continued to deliver heartbreaking scenes when acting opposite his on-screen dad, Max Gail in the Alzheimer’s storyline.  Who can forget the scene in which Mike is going to live at “Turning Woods” and move out of the Corinthos home, and Sonny has to say goodbye to his dad as he puts a photo of himself and Mike from last year’s Nurses’ Ball in Mike’s suitcase? And, speaking of the Nurses’ Ball, how about Sonny’s talk with Josslyn in her time of need; where he mentions his grief over Stone as she is reeling from Oscar’s death? These moments illustrated just how good Benard continues to be in touching and grounded scenes.  It’s nice to see Benard in these types of story points; instead of always Sonny mobster-mode.  As for Jon Lindstrom, as much fun as it was to watch all of Ryan Chamberlain’s twisted antics, you couldn’t help feel that Lindstrom was having the time of his life playing the role.  Think of: the Ava and Ryan showdown scenes, when he loses a hand, his snarky vernacular, and the fact that he was playing two roles with the addition of his twin Kevin.  Then, there was the aftermath of Ryan’s crimes, and his continued work opposite Genie Francis. Great performances from this soap opera veteran.  Michael Easton has made Hamilton Finn this quirky, loveable doctor despite himself, and as only he can do.  We can think of three instances where this was best illustrated: When Finn proposed to Anna at the Nurses Ball, when Finn cries his eyes out reading the letter that Hayden left behind that he is now left with raising their daughter solo, and has to face the difficult task of telling the little girl that her mother is gone, and then of course, the just aired “A Christmas Carol” episode which as Scrooge or Finn, Easton was pure joy to watch.

Photo: JPI

BEST SINGLE PEFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A STORYLINE.

Scott Clifton – Liam is reunited with baby Beth – The Bold and the Beautiful

There was not a dry eye in the house, when Scott Clifton delivered the most poignant and memorable moment of 2019.  It begins when Liam gets a call from the OBGYN in a Vegas hospital saying there is no record of Flo being there and giving birth, and the doctor was out of the country at the time of said birth.  It is then that the pieces start to fit for Liam after he recalls a moment with his brother says that Flo acted like she had never given birth.  It is then Liam realizes that “Phoebe” is his believed-to-be-dead daughter, Hope!  Liam runs into the baby’s room knowing that this is the little girl he believed had died! The baby says, “Dada!”  Liam says, “Yes, I’m you dada” and Scott Clifton showed us why come Emmy time he may be the actor to beat, which could make it his fourth piece of Emmy gold.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LONG-RUNNING VETERAN

Kin Shriner – Scott Baldwin – General Hospital

We couldn’t love Kin Shriner and Scott Baldwin anymore than did in 2019!  How touching was his work in GH’s 56th anniversary episode which centered around Gail’s final wish. We will always remember the end of the episode when Scott walks to the Memorial wall at General Hospital and there is Gail’s plaque.  But that was not all, Kin delivered the goods as a loving father, fighting for the return of his son, Franco (while he was Drew) and even before that story, being there for Franco and wanting to be a good father to him through thick and thin.

Photo: JPI

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LONG-RUNNING VETERAN COUPLE

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

When DAYS wrote a story that had Julie having a heart attack, which would put her in critical condition, it would serve as the backdrop to see Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes given material to act up a storm with … and boy did they ever.  Bill Hayes delivered one of his best performances of his storied career as Doug is frightened of losing Julie, but at the same time, he also must give her the will to fight.  For the Hayes’, this story hits close to home, when you have been married in real-life for as long as they have, having to portray a story like this is tough, given their undying love for one another.

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTOR

Max Gail – Mike Corbin – General Hospital 

GH did not waver in their commitment to tell Mike’s battle with Alzheimer’s and in doing so showed his decline in 2019.  Now Mike does not remember his loved ones, “married” Yvonne at Turning Woods, loses his temper, has tantrums and is confused and frightened, and all of this is brought to us through the brilliant performances of Max Gail.

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Kassie DePaiva – Eve Donovan – Days of our Lives

Eve schemed and did her damn best to hold on to Jack Deveraux, but that damn Jennifer Horton always seems to come out the victor, much to the chagrin of Eve.  But through it all, soap vet, DePaiva plays “bad girl with deep emotional pain” so well, that when she is on the screen she delivers time and time again, no matter what the circumstance.

Photo: ABC

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE DUO IN A STORYLINE

Maura West and Genie Francis – Ava and Laura – General Hospital

When Laura had to tell Ava at the bridge that she has been sleeping with Ryan and not Kevin, it set the stage for these two powerhouse leading ladies to come together in the most unique and heartbreaking way.  Ava crumbled at the realization, and Laura was there to pick up the pieces and help her through it, even knowing how both of them were completely duped in the process.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE DUO IN A STORYLINE

(Tie)

Wally Kurth and Chandler Massey – Justin and Will – Days of our Lives

Wally Kurth gave the monologue of the year when Justin visits Will in prison.  There, Justin talks about losing Adrienne and how he hates what has happened, but that he will always think of Will as his “son” and he tells Will to not give up on life.  Kurth was brilliant and we bet he will receive an Emmy nod for his work, and Chandler Massey is always stellar and always good, so this was the perfect set of scenes.

Roger Howarth and William Lipton – Franco and Cameron – General Hospital

“Tell your mom, I love her and I will be back” those were the most memorable and heartbreaking words at the outset of the mind-mapping story (that showed promise at the beginning) with this gut-wrenching scene played to perfection by Howarth and Lipton.  Franco saves Cameron from being mind-mapped by Dr. Cabot and Shiloh, and switches places with him as Cameron watches in horror.  Great performances and Howarth is always good no matter what is asked of him in story.

BEST PODCAST EPISODE

Soap Nation Live’s Tribute to Kristoff St. John with Guest co-host, Daniel Goddard

Yes, we are giving this episode to our own broadcast, because being a part of it and listening to it back months later, it was the most riveting, raw and honest podcast, we have ever heard where co-stars speak about a man they loved and missed amidst a terrible tragedy.  Daniel Goddard was the perfect co-host and guests ranged from: Bryton James, Eileen Davidson, Joshua Morrow, Victoria Rowell, Christel Khalil, Mishael Morgan and more.  There were tears shed and we will never forget this as much as we will never forget our dear friend, Kristoff.  You can listen to the replay here.

BEST SOAP OPERA PLATFORM

The DOOL App – Days of our Lives

In its first full-year, the DOOL app brought fans backstage content that any superfan of the series would enjoy from interviews, games, auditions, behind the scenes. the making of, tributes and more, but also added the app added three new digital dramas to it– Last Blast Reunion, Chad & Abby in Paris Chapter One and Chapter Two.   Soaps need to evolve and this is the next evolution for watching, viewing, and being connected to your favorite stars, and for content you won’t see anywhere else.

BEST ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE

Neil Winters Memorial Service – The Young and the Restless

Y&R brought all of its viewers to tears with this send-off for Neil Winters; which in turn honors the late Kristoff  St. John.  The eulogies delivered with such emotion, sadness and heart by Eric Braeden, Bryton James, Christel Khalil, Daniel Goddard, Peter Bergman, and Shemar Moore were heartbreaking.  As we watched Genoa City mourn, we mourned, and the cast mourned through this cathartic and heartbreaking experience.

Photo: JPI

BEST VILLAIN, FEMALE

Camila Banus – Gabi Hernandez – Days of our Lives

OOOH she is so bad.  But, we can’t think of anyone who did it better in 2019!  First, she has this horrific revenge plot for Abigail, and then she has a horrific revenge plot for Julie and Lani.  Through it all Camila brought the soapy villainy of Gabi to these scenes, making her one character you do not want to cross!

BEST VILLAIN, MALE

Matthew Atkinson – Thomas Forrester – The Bold and the Beautiful

Thomas returned to Los Angeles, as a sneering, constantly shirtless, manipulative sicko and yet, we couldn’t turn away.  B&B needed an uber-villain pronto, and turning Thomas into one fit the bill. For those who say they don’t like Matthew Atkinson’s performance, I say think again, maybe you hate this new Thomas so much, because Matthew is just that good and being bad.

Photo: JPI

BEST YOUNGER ACTOR

William Lipton – Cameron Webber – General Hospital

He can act, he can sing, and he was front and center stage in key scenes.  We already honored him for his work with Roger Howarth, but remember when he learned Oscar was dead and how Cam went into the hospital elevator and weeped alone, so one would know how devastated  he was at the loss of his friend? Or, when he sang at the Nurses’ Ball? Or Franco and Liz’s reception? And then there is his ongoing relationship with Josslyn.  Lipton is a young talent on the rise.

BEST YOUNGER ACTRESS

Olivia Rose Keegan – Claire Brady – Days of our Lives

That little fire starter! Olivia Rose Keegan received some juicy material and played it to the hilt when it was revealed that Claire had set the cabin fires, and was all whacked out!  Keegan made it all work brilliantly!

BEST SCENE-STEALER MALE

William Utay – Dr. Wilhelm Rolf – Days of our Lives

You’ve got to admit … whether its concocting serums to bring people back from the dead, implanting brain chips, being comical (we loved the scene where Rolf thinks Kristen wants him to get her pregnant) or vindictive (when he turned Hope into Princess Gina, he blames Hope for shooting his beloved Stefano), William Utay can make you pay attention to any scene he is in, with anyone …and speaking of fun German accents…

Photo: JPI

BEST SCENE-STEALER FEMALE

Kathleen Gati – Liesl Obrecht – General Hospital

….Our female scene-stealer also has a German accent on her show, GH.  That’s right! Kathleen Gati, who can go from comedy, belting out a tune, evil, or heartbreak, has been able to keep Liesl Obrecht on the canvas, because so many fans can’t wait to see what she will do next.  Kudos to Gati for always bringing her A-game.

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A WEDDING BREAK-UP

Lamon Arcbey and Sal Stowers – Elani Wedding – Days of our Lives

The scenes that followed Lani walking out on her wedding to Eli (thanks to Gabi’s blackmail) were so poignant, because Archey and Stowers made it so.  The devastation on Eli’s face as Lani tells him she does not love him anymore was picture perfect. Best work of both Lamon and Sal’s career to date.

Photo: JPI

CHARACTER WHO DESERVED THE BIGGEST BITCH-SLAP

Gabi Hernandez – Days of our Lives 

Get in line! Let’s see who should slap this biotch – Lani, Eli, Julie, Doug, Abby, Chad, should I go on?

CHARACTER WHO DISHED OUT THE BEST BITCH-SLAPS

Brooke Logan Forrester – The Bold and the Beautiful

All of a sudden Brooke became “slap happy” and after being provoked by a nasty Thomas and a manipulative Shauna, she lay the smacketh down upon them.  We love seeing feisty Brooke back in action!

Photo: ABC

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A PRIMETIME SOAP MALE

Lincoln Younes – Danny – Grand Hotel

The emotional heart of ABC’s summer soap, Grand Hotel (which unfortunately was cancelled after one season) was former Home and Away star, Lincoln Younes.  His character of Danny comes to Miami and goes undercover by getting a job as a waiter at the hotel to discover who killed his sister Sky … and in the process falls for the owner’s daughter, while having a life and a woman back in Chicago.  Complicated, but Younes made us root for the guy.

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A PRIMETIME SOAP FEMALE

(Tie)

Robin Givens – Stephanie – Ambitions

Elizabeth Gilles – Fallon –  Dynasty

In OWN’s Ambitions, Robin Givens gives us a sexy, back-stabbing, vixen reminiscent of the classic daytime divas,  while on Dynasty, Elizabeth Gilles steals the show as the ultra rich Fallon, but snobbery and all, she is still a heroine we root for.

Photo: CW

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMER IN A PRIMETIME SOAP

Rafael de La Fuente – Sammy Jo – Dynasty

He has the best one-liners on primetime soaps, and Rafael delivers the comedy, the drama, the romance, and has become the heart and soul of CW’s Dynasty as Sammy Jo.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A PRIMETIME SOAP

Essence Atkins – Amara – Ambitions

Stephanie needed a rival, and Amara fit the bill … and she has been played with a fierceness and ferocity by Essence Atkins.  And, oh by the way, Atkins is one helluva an actress.

BEST PRIMETIME SOAP

Dynasty

Soapy, over the top, goodness. Yes, it’s a train-wreck, but we kind of love it for that.

Photo; JPI

BEST PERFORMANCE MALE IN A DIGITAL DRAMA SERIES

Van Hansis and Kit Williamson – Thom and Cal – EastSiders Season Four

The fourth and final season of EastSiders gave fans of the series closure for the journey of Thom and Cal.  Van Hansis (Ex-Luke, As the World Turns), brought the depth, reality and made us love imperfect Thom, who through all the open relationship sexcapdes and having a commitment phobia, finally realized he had what he wanted all along, and so too, did his longtime partner, Cal played by series creator, Kit Williamson.  Their performances kept us in engaged for four seasons over the seven year journey of the LGBTQ-themed continuing drama

BEST PERFORMANCE FEMALE IN A DIGITAL DRAMA SERIES

Kate Mansi – Abigail – Chad & Abby the Series Chapters 1 and 2

Let’s just say Kate Mani is a lioness! She always gives a 100% every time, and in key scenes; after Abby kissed and flirted with Austin and realized how her marriage to Chad could down the drain, and later stood up to vixen, Juliette, who tried to wreck her marriage, it all showed just how good Mansi is at playing all the beats required, and then some, to make the scenes work.

Photo: JPI

BEST COUPLE

Ben and Ciara – Days of our Lives

#Cin was IN throughout 2019, and if you weren’t on the #Cin train you were missing out.  This was the year that Rob Scott Wilson and Victoria Konefal cemented themselves as the star-crossed lovers to root for, and that they are the hottest duo on daytime,

MOST TORTURED COUPLE

(Tie)

Hope and Liam – The Bold and the Beautiful 

We don’t know how Annika Noelle continued to play all of those emotionally tortured scenes throughout this storyline!  Hope and Liam were put through the ringer with machinations gone wild from Thomas, cover-ups, and more, all leading to the truth that the daughter they think died at birth was alive and being raised by Steffy!

Will and Sonny – Days of our Lives

Anguish x 10: Will having a brain tumor from the serum he received to get his memory back, getting rid of Leo Starke who tried to come between them once and for all, and now the worst of all, Will is in prison for killing Sonny’s mother and they are divorcing!  What next?

Photo: JPI

MOST BORING COUPLE

Kyle and Lola – The Young and the Restless

The fact that these two got married already, makes us already bored, and they are in essence, two good characters who found love, although some of Kyle’s sketchy past came into question, but did anybody care? Snooze.

BEST RECAST MALE

Brandon Barash – Stefan Cassadine – Days of our Lives

Tyler Christopher is one of the best actors ever to be in the soap opera genre, and earlier in 2019 before his departure at DAYS, he turned in riveting work.  Enter Brandon Barash, who had the task to make Stefan O DiMera all his own … and he did! Barash was key to developing the love story of #Stabi with Camila Banus, and thus they became a popular on-screen duo of 2019, before the characters demise.

Photo: JPI

BEST RECAST FEMALE

Cynthia Watros – Nina Clay – General HospitaL

Taking over from Michelle Stafford in the role of Nina Clay on General Hospital, would be no easy feat, but it just might work if you are the one and only, Cynthia Watros.  In short order, Cynthia has made her Nina quite different, complex, and original.

BEST NEWCOMER FEMALE

Denise Richards – Shauna Fulton – The Bold and the Beautiful

Richards, who has been a primetime and reality series star previously, has breathed life into Shauna, who easily could have just been this interloper in Brooke and Ridge’s relationship, but her complex past and her love for her daughter, Flo, make her portrayal intriguing and fun to watch; especially in scenes opposite Katherine Kelly Lang who needed a new nemesis.

BEST NEWCOMER MALE

Mark Grossman – Adam Newman – The Young and the Restless

Talk about hitting a home run and out of the park   Y&R found gold when they cast Grossman as the nuAdam following Justin Hartley.  Grossman has fit in nicely with the cast and has handled everything they have thrown at this misunderstood, bad guy, black sheep of the Newman clan. Kudos to Mark for an outstanding job well-dine.

Photo: JPI

BEST RETURN BY AN ACTOR IN A LIMITED RUN

Dominic Zamprogna – Dante Falconeri – General Hospital

When Dominic Zamprogna came back for ten-episode stint on GH, viewers learned just how troubled Dante had become since his time in Turkey.  Now feeling he was a danger to his fanily and himself, and haunted with horrible bouts of PTSD, and about torture, Dante left to get healed and deprogrammed by the WSB or so we hoped.  His final scenes with Lulu were heartbreaking.   Great work by Dom Z in a storyline that has some holes and loose ends in it to tie up, but what do you do when you are no longer under contract with the show?

BEST RETURN BY AN ACTRESS IN A LIMITED RUN

Jessica Tuck – Cassandra Pierce – General Hospital

Soap veteran, Tuck takes villainy to a whole new level, with her know-it-all, drug-lord, Cassandra Pierce, and her no-one-can-take-her-down attitude.  Trouble is … now the character is supposedly dead!

MOST DISAPPOINTING RETURN

Rebecca Budig – Hayden Barnes – General Hospital –

This was not disappointing because of the actress, but because all of a sudden Hayden made a hasty exit out of Port Charles, thus leaving her daughter, Violet with Finn and us wanting more of this potential family dynamic.  It was disappointing in that that we did not get to see this play out more with all parties involved.  Maybe …. Budig will be back?

Honorable Mention:

Karla Mosley –  Maya Avant – The Bold and the Beautiful

They said Karla and her character Maya were on her way back to the show, but I guess, blink and you missed her! What’s up with that?

MOST CONFUSING CHARACTER RETURN

Nikolas Cassadine (now played by Marcus Coloma)General Hospital

Is Nikolas now a vengeful, bad guy who just won’t tell his beloved mother or sister that he is alive? Confused.

Photo: ABC

BIGGEST WASTE OF A TALENTED CAST

The Young and the Restless

All the big returns have not amounted to a storyline that has riveted the viewers or given the talents of the likes of: Michelle Stafford, Melissa Claire Egan, Doug Davidson, Mishael Morgan, Greg Rikaart, and Elizabeth Hendrickson, something to really sink their teeth into.  Here’s hoping something juicy emerges for all of these outstanding performers in 2020.

BIGGEST WASTE OF TALENT

Tamara Braun – General Hospital

She is a Daytime-Emmy winning actress (Ava, DAYS) and at one time Carly Corinthos on GH, and has a soap resume any actress would kill for.   But somehow the character Braun was portraying, Dr. Kim Nero, became so unlikeable that fans wanted the character off the canvas and it didn’t matter how great Tamara was in performing her heart out with the material she was given.   Kim’s grief over losing her son, Oscar had the character acting out in very unsettling ways – drugging the original Drew, so she could rape him and get pregnant by him again, then having sex with her good friend’s Elizabeth’s husband, Franco while he was mind-mapped as Drew.  Things could not have sunk lower for the character; even though we tried to understand her grief,

MOST UPSETTING GOODBYE

Dante says goodbye to Lulu to get help from his PTSD/torture – General Hospital

“Don’t go Dante”, yelled all of us at the TV, while Lulu was devastated that her husband was leaving her a second time!

Photo: CBS

BEST STANDALONE EPISODE

Jack walks down memory lane – Peter Bergman 3oth anniversary episode – The Young and the Restles

Y&R gave Peter Bergman a 30th anniversary salute that featured some excellent retrospective clips; several which we do not see often, which made it all the better. Watching Bergman’s reactions to Jack’s life story, and Bergman in the retro clips, makes you realize why Peter is a giant in this genre in a fulfilling special hour of soap.

Runner-up:

 “A Christmas Carol” – General Hospital

The performances led by Michael Easton, the costumes, the sets and the supporting cast made this a fully realized episode from top to bottom just in time for the holidays.

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A STANDALONE EPISODE

Jason Thompson – “Billy Battles His Demons” – The Young and the Restless

It was great to see stalwart Thompson, get a standalone episode all his own on Y&R. This time the gum-chewing alternate personality of Billy’s tried to fight for control of him. Billy went down this rabbit hole once Adam resurfaced and opened the old wound of Delia’s death.  In this special episode, Thompson shared scenes with Peter Bergman, Jess Walton and Michelle Stafford where the characters were dishing it out to Billy and bringing up all of his failings, in the end, he wanted to do better for Victoria, and the children.  Good one won out that time.  Great performance.

Photo: JPI

BEST WRITING

Days of our Lives

Soap twists, doppelgangers, serums, brain chips paternity pickles, cabin fires, might on paper sound like, “How can this be the best writing on a soap” But, under head writer, Ron Carlivati somehow all these things come together making for the most entertaining soap opera of the year, love it, like it, or hate it.

Photo: JPI

BEST EPISODE

Kristen is unmasked at John and Marlena’s Anniversary party episode – Days of our Lives

Yes, it was high camp, and yes, it was one of the most preposterous plots of the year. but it was still a riveting romp, especially when John ripped that “Nicole” mask right off of Kristen’s head.  Thank God! How Kristen got away with this charade for as long as she did, and duped Brady in the process, and wandered around Salem was so far-fetched, but this reveal was deliciously fun and everyone in the cast delivered!

BEST TEARJERKER

Oscar’s death and the aftermath – General Hospital

Yes, you can argue, that so much attention was given to a character who was not on the air that much.  However, the episodes in which Oscar finally passed on, and was escorted by Lila and Edward to heaven, and then the aftermath, which saw bravura performances by: Garren Stitt, Billy Miller, Wally Kurth, Eden McCoy, Tamara Braun, William Lipton, and more were pretty hankie inducing.

Courtesy/ABC

BEST STORYLINE

“Phoebe” is Beth – The Bold and the Beautiful

One thing that The Bold and the Beautiful does better than any other show in the genre is those big sweeping, majestic pay-offs, after months of fans tearing out their hair hoping that the truth will finally be revealed.  But when it does, it’s a watershed moment; which usually brings the audience to tears.  B&B did just that, bringing the climax of the story to its conclusion following Thomas and Liam duking it on out on a rooftop, which led to Liam’s headlock on Thomas (with a confused Hope standing there as the men try to kill each other).  In the process, Liam got Thomas to admit to Hope that he knew Beth was alive.  Since Thomas did not dispute it, Hope knew it was true! Then, next step, Hope is finally reunited with her daughter! Then, the story takes another turn on how to tell Steffy and get custody of her biological daughter that was sold to … Steffy!  8 months of torture, led to a satisfying conclusion. We only wish Dr. Buckingham would have got his comeuppance on screen instead of off-camera.

Photo: JPI

MOST SOCIALLY RELEVANT STORYLINE

Mike’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease – General Hospital

The fact that GH has continued to show the decline of Mike Corbin with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease should be commended.  Often times on soaps, the shows will start a storyline about a medical or socially impactful story, and do one arc of it and be done with it and drop it.  Not this time, the performances and the writing have been excellent in this story.

Photo: JPI

WORST STORYLINE

Haley’s immigration deportation storyline –Days of our Lives

With chants such as “Send her back” about a character none of us cared about, it just didn’t make for an engaging, riveting, socially-relevant topical storyline that DAYS had hoped it would be.

Runners-Ups:

Dawn of Day – General Hospital

Franco Becomes Drew – General Hospital

Katherine’s will contested– The Young and the Restless

BEST TWIST DAYTIME SOAP

Flo is the daughter of Storm Logan – The Bold and the Beautiful

Katie has basically no vital organs of her own anymore! And it all goes back to when Storm Logan (Will deVry) shot himself and his heart went to Katie in the process! Since then, she has has health crisis after health crisis.  Now as Katie needs a new kidney to live, it is revealed that Flo Fulton is actually a Logan and daughter of Storm and can be a donor.  It was an interesting, if not cliché soapy way, to add some needed oomph to the Logan family tree.

Photo: JPI

BEST TWIST PRIMETIME SOAP

Alexis’ new face is that of Fallon – Dynasty

After Nicolette Sheridan made a quick exit as Alexis Carrington, the show had to come up with a plan to keep the character alive. So, what does it do? It has Adam push Alexis face first into a fireplace.  Later, after plastic surgery she emergences with the same face as Fallon! The plot was so juicy! Problem is, the show in its current season recast Alexis with another actress so it looks like the doppelganger story for Elizabeth Gilles was dropped.

MOST PREPOSTEROUS PLOT TWIST 

The “Nicole” mask – Days of our Lives

Does a voice alternator, prosthetic mask, and taking tats off of you make you a dead-ringer for another woman! Don’t try this at home! Because on DAYS, Kristen, got away with it.  What we did not understand was how no one noticed that it was a mask when people were intimate with her … or two inches away from her … when they were speaking with her.  But in the end, Arianne Zuker and Stacy Haiduk were so fun to watch in this that it made it work through this suspension of belief drama

MOST PREPOSTEROUS CHARACTER TURN

Dr. Shah goes from good doctor to obsessed psycho with a mother problem – Days of our Lives

Out of the blue, Dr Shah becomes the key catalyst to jogging Jack’s memory.  We can be thankful for that, but turning this seemingly nice doctor who liked Jennifer into a psychopath out of the blue was a little jarring, but at least we got our JnJ back!

Photo: JPI

MOST UNDER-UTILIZED CHARACTER 

(Tie)

Eva LaRue as Celeste Rosales – Y&R

Vincent Irizzary as Dr. Jordan Armstrong – B&B

We were thrilled to hear that former All My Children stars, Eva Larue and Vincent Irizarry were returning to daytime, only, they were hardly seen, in the case of Irizarry, or used properly, in the case of LaRue, on either of the CBS Daytime shows they were recurring on.

BEST ‘SO GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN’ CASTING

Robin Strasser – Days of our Lives

In a bold move, DAYS recast the role of Vivian Alamain with OLTL icon, Robin Strasser.  When Louise Sorel was unavailable they turned to Strasser, who came in for a limited run and still delivered the goods as Vivian. And, it was nice to see La Strasser, back on our screens.

MOST POLARIZING CHARACTER

Peter August – Wes Ramsey – General Hospital

Two years running, fans seem to be at impasse with the character of Peter August. They either love him, or hate him.  Since Peter was revealed to be conspiring with Helena Cassadine, and involved in the original Drew-napping … and then trying to stop the mind-mapping where Franco would be restored to his former self, at times he is evil and a bad guy, and then all of a sudden he has a moral compass.  Will GH settle on a direction for the character?

MOST ANNOYING CHARACTER

Wyatt Fuller – The Bold and the Beautiful

While we absolutely love Darin Brooks, Wyatt’s flip-flops between his relationships with Flo and Sally make the character an indecisive guy who at any given moment will chose one women over the other pending the latest circumstances.  Now it seems Wyatt is becoming much like his brother, Liam in the love department. Oh-no! Make it stop!

Courtesy/ABC

MOST ANNOYING PLOT POINT 

Kim decides to rape Drew – General Hospital

When a grieving Kim cut the circuits at the Haunted Star and then followed Drew to the fuse box and pulled out a syringe and injected him with something, fans were shocked. Next thing you know, she becomes creepy and gets him into bed with the hopes of getting pregnant. To make matters worse, the man she supposedly loves, Julian, happens upon the scene, and says he understands that her grief is making her do these out-of-character things.  Fans were outraged, and from here, Kim’s fate was probably sealed. Months later she would be written off the canvas.

BIGGEST SHOCKER IN SOAPS

Phyllis Switch – The Young and the Restless

Gina Tognoni was let-go from The Young and the Restless in the pivotal role of Phyllis Summers, a part that she made her own over the last five years, in order for the series to bring back another powerhouse, Michelle Stafford to the role she made soap-famous.  It was surprise move since Stafford was over at GH killing it as Nina Clay. Y&R wanted to reset the show and bring back many fan favorites and in bringing Stafford back many fans were rejoicing; while others were upset that Tognoni was shown the front door.

Photo: JPI

BIGGEST SOCIAL MEDIA FIRESTORM

Jussie Smollett – “Hate Crime” – Empire

When Empire star Jussie Smollett was reportedly the victim of a homophobic and racist attack in the early morning in the streets of Chicago, everyone including cast members and politicians came to his defense.  Then, in a shocking turn from the Chicago PD, they alleged that Smollett arranged for the attack on himself to gain more notoriety.  The whole series of events led to Smollett being dropped by the series for the conclusion of its season.  Then, Smollett was exonerated of all charges, although the city of Chicago was suing him.  Now as we enter the New Year, it looks like Smollett may be back as Jamal Lyon before the series finale of Empire.  This case had many weighing-in on the controversy via social media with all its twist and turns throughout 2019.

BEST PROPS

Billy’s Chewing Gum –The Young and the Restless

Masks Are Us:  (Lucha Libre, Nicole) – Days of our Lives

So, when it comes to props for 2019, Billy’s chewing gum was a key to watching his alternate personality come out and play. No one chewed gum like Billy Abbott!  And as for masks, well DAYS used this as quite the prop from Xander’s Lucha Libre mask to that “Nicole” mask which caused much havoc for a good deal of 2019 in Salem

BEST “FALLING AND I CAN’T GET UP” OR SO THEY THINK!

Thomas Forrester – The Bold and the Beautiful

How many times can a guy fall and get back up unscathed?  Following over railings, cliffs, and even into a vat of Hydrofluoric acid, Thomas still came back with a vengeance. But doesn’t his back or head still hurt? What’s up with that?

Now below let us know if you agree with our picks, or have picks of your own for the Best and Worst in Soaps 2019 via the comment section below.  

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Agree with most, if not all of your choices. I would add one performance, though I don’t know how you would categorize it. The performance of Jacqui Wood when she walked through the Stages of Grief from denial to acceptance to complete devastation collapsing into her father’s arms as “her Phoebe” was taken, was perfection. I was mesmerized. The dialog and performance was this perfect little capsule in the middle of the larger story of happiness that kept you hanging on every word.

Maura West was marvelous, per the usual, this year! Her work was unlike any other in daytime! She is a hidden gem; an actress with Old Hollywood glamour and regal nature! 2019 was a shock for soaps. Let’s hope 2020 is more consistent, and brighter!

If you say so, but will she still be alive in 2020, since Valentin threw her over the edge of where they were talking, He’s pretty good at that, look what he did to Nickolas in Greece.

Let’s hope so. I’m not in any hurry to have Ava in Hell.

I don’t see TPTB letting Maura West go. If anything, this is going to be a temporary exit for Maura’s Ava, and that she has a major storyline happening. If anything, Nikolas will find her, and they’ll come back, codicil-in-hand and reclaim the Cassadine estate together, despite how horrible Nik was to Ava.

After throwing glaring Ava off the balcony, Valentin should be voted MVP of GH.

He should have thrown Peter over as well and have him land on AMY! Perfect!

Ofcourse she’s still alive! No one would kill off such a pivotal character especially rt now w so many great stories! Can’t wait to see what her character and new Nina get up too! I personally don’t love the recast of Nina but we can’t love everyone! Kudos to Brandon Barash and the Gh team.., the folks at gh couldn’t be winning these awards if the writing wasn’t good too

Oh, Violet! TPTB will NEVER kill Ava–they’ll just let her kill everyone else! 🙂

I truly do, to too;

yeah, watch

“GH gave up”
“Y&R has no meaning”
B&B is glossier forget

@DAYS streams along

Yep, Michael got it right with Y&R- it’s sucks and yes letting go Gina T was the biggest mistake! The storylines are awful right now, the beginning of the year was going great, then after June/July when Gina was shown out the show went down. Michelle S is not all that she should have stayed at GH. CBS get this fixed like ASAP this show is horrible and with all the talent on this show it’s sad, but the storylines are boring as hell.

GINA T COME BACK! She had fire and made Y&R awesome.

I completely agree the show is terrible right now. I am still not use to Michelle as Phyllis. Gina was killing, but to me it seems like Michelle is just going through the motions. Like she really doesn’t want to be there. The whole Adam Chelsea Connor storyline is grating on my nerves. You can already see Lola and skanky Theo together. Like you said, was Paul brought back to have a ten minute coffee chat with Chance And what was the point of bringing Chole out of hiding if they are going to keep her hidden. They need to regroup and freshen up. And you are right about Gina. She brought out the best in the other actors she was working with

What? You don’t think Billy’s psychological naval gazing, part 101, to be utterly riveting as he heads into yet another extra-martial affair with Hillary’s doppelganger? Yeah, me either.
I also agree about Gina’s nuanced performance being much more compelling than Michelle’s constant scene chewing. Now Phyllis just stomps unwanted into every scene–she appears to be out of place. I am also bored by Chelsea and Nick. And really, who cares about that little brat Connor?

Harry, Happy New Year first of all. I do agree with your assessment of these GC citizens.M.S worst of the worst , as you say, chewing the scenery, whilst stomping thru every scene she’s in.She must have taken Carly’s shoes when she left GH. I think poor Conner was just used to pull Adam and Chelsea together. Billy is an ass, not much worse than the others.

Exactly! Nostalgia and “iconic sensibility” will never trump talent. MS is nowhere near as talented and nuanced as Gina is. Her return has turned the character of Phyllis into a cartoon. It’s been a total downgrade and regression. I refuse to watch a show that can’t recognize, respect, and utilize their talent.

I agree with many of the GH points here (it’s the only soap I watch), except for the parts about Dante’s brief return and Cassandra’s reappearance. I love both of these actors—in fact, I feel like GH wasted the talents of Dom Zamprogna, and if they’d utilized him better, he might not have left in the first place. But the “return” didn’t offer any better resolution than his character’s original departure. And Cassandra is a one-note villain with no real ties to the characters. I hope she stays exploded.

Agree I also think they should bring back billy miller and Rebecca bunting … terrible way for them to leave

Yes, agreed!

And I hope Dom is returning! Fingers crossed!

While I agree with some of the awards for individual performances, B and B was the WORST soap of the year, with their repetitive dialogue and dragged out stories.

Certainly agree that GH blew the return of Hayden and short changed not only the viewers but the actors as well. Clearly obvious Michael E and Rebecca B were dying to explore Finn&Hayden and with the intro of Violet GH writers truly botched this and GH again screwed up by letting Rebecca Budig go with a poorly written exit-If anyone at GH has a brain they’ll bring Rebecca as Hayden back ASAP-Such a HUGE misstep to make twice-have to wonder if Rebecca would even consider returning given the disrespect shown to this talented actress-Shame on GH!!

Bravo Robyn! I want justice served for Rebecca and Michael, for Hayden and Finn. This couple has been treated badly. They are a very popular couple and it makes no sense both times Rebecca has left. The only solution is to bring Rebecca back long term and fix Hayden and Finn, it can be and should be done. Ann aka Lois

Hayden and Finn should be together and Anna and Robert.

her dismissal still has me scratching my head, not only did they do it, but they did it what? three times already. she’s a goner yet a few questionable people are still around. go figure.

I agree with most especially Maura West–she is amazing!!However, all the praise on the Days time jump I don’t understand. There are production errors, music too loud, dialogue errors and they have gotten away from the family concept of days..look the stupid Gina/Steveano story arc. How can no one not figure out Gina/Hope in over a year..these are long established characters, it’s joke.

I agree with most of it except Cin. They should have been the “Most Boring” & maybe you could have created a new catagory: “Most Obnoxious & Arrogant” for Ciara. She’s become insufferable since she took up with The Necktie Killer & even more so since the time jump [which I love, btw]. I wish Adrienne had lived & they had run over Ciara instead. Happy New Year, Michael!!

Michael is spot on about Cin being the best couple. I love them. They are exciting and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Cin deserves “Best Couple.” I don’t remember any other coupling that came close to this one across all four.

—– MOST BORING COUPLE

Kyle and Lola – The Young and the Restless

,,,,,,,, ^^^ BWAHAA! (spot on!

everything about Lola is cooking and Sex; that’s it-
Kyle is becoming moot being with her..

—- MOST ANNOYING PLOT POINT

Kim decides to rape Drew – General Hospital

—— WORST STORYLINE

Haley’s immigration deportation storyline –
Days of our Lives

Runners-Ups:

Dawn of Day –
General Hospital

Franco Becomes Drew –
General Hospital

Katherine’s will contested–
The Young and the Restless

—— MOST ANNOYING PLOT POINT

Kim decides to rape Drew –
General Hospital

((( GH absolutely stunk during 2019..
I don’t see much better in 2020 🙁

A GREAT 2019 review.
Apresheate all the time you put into it, Michael.
and- it was spot on…

definitely agree with Y&R cast being wasted,all this wonderful talent is not being given a chance to shine because of bad writing. Maura is the best actress. I would add Jason and Sam as most boring couple,they bore me

Michael, there was to many categories and by having so many you kind of diluted the categories, I mean I thought there was going to be a category for best gum chewer, and then a supporting one for that. I only watch GH so of course I have a bias for everything GH. totally agree w/ Rebecca Budig and Tamara Braun not being use correctly, I’m still confuse with the way they drop Hayden storyline and question why they keep bring her back and then quickly ending her run on the show, surely she’s not un popular character so why do they keep doing that ? w/Tamara sure they mess up her storyline and probably made the character unlikeable to viewers (not me) but I believe they could of fixed it instead of just getting rid of her. oh Michael you forgot to mention how the show handle billy millers exit. I’m not sure if it was by choice or not but I feel the way the show handle the exit was not their best. Michele Stafford whom I really liked as Nina is a total bore as Phillis, her so called signature role, ok I’m being bias but really this phillis chick is boring to me or maybe the show is because comparing it to GH I really find YR boring. its just my bias opinion so disclaimer for anyone who might be tempted to batch GH to defend YR, both shows have a very different vibe, and YR just puts me to sleep and yawn alot. GH pace is more my style, I’m not saying the show is perfection because at times the way storylines play out can be infuriating but if I’m honest most fans aren’t really 100% happy with what ever show they choose to watch. So for 2020 I wish GH all the success in the world and please bring back Tamara, Rebecca and keep Jane Elliot around longer.

Thanks for rewarding Michael Easton. And thanks for mentioning Worst Return as Hayden. GH must bring Rebecca back and do it right this time. I want the Finn Family, Hayden, Finn, Violet reunited and the love of Hayden and Finn rekindled that I know is still there. Get Rebecca back and on long term contract pronto!

…wish Days and GH would stop with over use of camp and far fetched plotting but both still hold my interest GH’s downside with Dante is they forced him off by bringing Chase so front and center too fast..Dante and Chase could had been partners who often butt heads when on cases…Peter Peter Scene Eater..with Maxie wish he would please leave her…(Peter just doesnt work here or interest me at all-when i need a sleeping pill i just watch him instead)..worse storylines i agree…i prefer new Nina on GH but i still think both Sasha and Willow are Nina’s daughters…two fraternal twins s seprated(spelling) at birth…Shiloh and Franco as Drew was the worse in daytime!!!

Jim, I wish someone could explain the appeal of Peter. I’ve begun to FF his scenes because they remind me of junior high drama class. They’re wasting Maxie and Anna’s time on this bore. Ours, too.

* think they want to make him the ‘new ‘ Faison for the next generation and it doesnt work here at all and never will!!!

Agree I’m not a peter fan I’d much rather have billy miller back … also new Brooklyn the other one was superb and now we have this one who isn’t even pretty or a good actress

Overall, GH is the best soap and only Soap I Watch, :))

I absolutely LUV GH right now with all the interwoven stories for the very large cast who I love all of them!

Another fun, year-end list. Whew, that took a while to read! Random thought: Your Best Recast Female award reminded me of the odd multi-strand necklace that Cynthia Watros (Nina Clay – General Hospital) wore on GH a couple of weeks ago for several episodes. Every time I saw it, it made me think she looked like an old lady with a very wrinkled neck. 😛

An on-topic thought: the hate-hoaxer and vile Jussie Smollett was not “exonerated” as you said. He forfeited $10K bail and did community service, which does not meet the legal definition of exoneration.

Maura West Should of won last year for her performances! Everything I Agreed with on this list from
Top to bottom.. can’t wait to see what 2020 bring the soap world! I’m team #GH

I have to politely disagree with Kyle and Lola as the most boring couple I really love them together.
I truly loved The Christmas Carol episode with Michael Easton and all the wonderful GH actors.

Kyle and lola are the most wonderful new couple of 2019 and were very popular. So many care about them. They arent boring. Love them!

I love them too, Hope. But I do think they got married too fast. I would have liked to have seen the struggle between the rich boy and the girl in the cooking- truck have more working-class struggles before they got married. They are so young! The problem lies with the transition of writing teams. The old writers saw Summer as a complete and total villain while the new regime see her as a heroine. Summer could have afforded these star crossed lovers with the perfect conflict but suddenly she became a cuddly,teddy bear.

The softening of Summer back to her 2013 vision was a poor decision by Josh Griffith, and again proves how incapable he is in his position, again!

I didn’t like them changing Summer’s attitude either,i liked how Mal wrote Summer,she was becoming a mini Phyllis,now she’s back to being whiny and weak

Exactly; it’s Josh’s M.O. to undo all character development done, and return to the show he used to write.

I enjoy them, too. A different kind of couple. But, I do think they were put into marriage a bit too fast, and the cracks also began to show too fast, too.

it was not a good decision to marry two people so young so fast,their was loads of story they could have done,but they went the boring route

Because Josh Griffith is a boring writer.

my biggest issue was it was too rushed,they could have shown the struggles of them finding their way back too each other while Kyle was still married to Summer

The triangle inwhich Kyle was married to Summer but loved Lola was kinda fighting his feelings for Summer too was classic soap triangle and sooo juicy. Lola couldve stayed in recovery with maybe Fenn scooped in . Also Mia was stillhiding her crime in her injury while messing up her ‘babys’ paternity!!.
But alas Josh ruined 2 awesome stories
Ff a year later and Kola are tip toeing around insta cuz Theo! Summer still pining …
Good job Josh!

I’m glad kola married and with the timing of it. I agree J G has dropped the ball kola were headed to be a supercouple n Josh is messing it up. Let seo be together n let kola have a baby n move the story forward. Love kola always.

Glad they married kola. Should reunite seo. Let Kyle and lola have a baby.

All in all I agree with most of your choices! I don’t watch DOOL, so I can’t have an opinion there. Good job!

I agree with almost everything. What a wonderful walk down memory lane, and how many magnificent stories and performances! I don’t know where it would fit, but I am ecstatic to see Michael E Knight again. I hope they come up with a good story to use his talents well.

It’s very difficult for me to agree with the best storyline because B&B was a hot mess this year. The “Phoebeth” story dragged out far too long, Dr. Buckingham’s arrest and fall-out occurred OFF SCREEN when he was the central figure in this whole plot, Flo and Shauna are extremely boring and annoying characters that come at the expense of B&B not utilizing its vets, and the story was a catalyst to spin Thomas into a full-on sociopath.

Thomas’s turnaround from when he left town being played by Pierson Fode to returning in the form of Matthew Atkinson made him completely unrecognizable. It was as if he was a different character altogether, and instead of addressing his bizarre behaviour as a lapse in sanity, mental illness like bipolar or something else believable, the writers chalked it up to… Thomas’s love for Hope?! Which came out of left-field considering that they never had a real romance, and his most substantial relationships were with Sally and Caroline! Completely ridiculous.

B&B also has a massive problem of dropping characters without an explanation and focusing entirely on a handful of others in order to propel storyline. As usual, the majority of the year was led by Hope, Liam and Steffy, and the baby story brought Flo and Shauna into the fold. But this all came at the expense of Donna, Justin, Maya, Rick and others who were rarely, if ever, on-screen, and most egregiously, there was barely any story for John McCook, who should be at the forefront of story since he’s one of only two remaining veterans from day 1 of the show.

And what’s with all the stunt casting? Why was Vincent Irizzary brought in for a handful of episodes in a role that a day-player could have been cast in? He would have been much better served joining GH as David Hayward, which is what fans are clamouring for. B&B is not the only soap guilty of this, but it seems to be happening more and more frequently.

Finally, off the topic of B&B, I would add all the psychic nonsense on GH into the most annoying plot point category. For the life of me, I couldn’t fathom why more than one GH character was taking actual advise from a psychic, and why that one particular psychic (who was almost as annoying as Nurse Amy), was on so much! A one day visit with Ava? Sure. Maybe a single run-in with Franco, who is just as eccentric? Fine. But end it there! This woman was on for about a month and it drove me mad that grown adults, who are normally much smarter than to fall for a scam like this, were going to her for “spiritual guidance.”

Jimmy – I wanted to comment on the psychic storylines. Psychic Mediums are hugely popular right now. The “Hollywood Medium” aka Tyler Henry and the Long Island Medium are huge hits series on the E network and extremely popular. They are in their 5th and 14th season, respectively. Surprisingly, I really enjoy them as well.

I’m glad you enjoy psychic-celebrity mediums. But please know those people are con artists. Please don’t give them a dime. They’re carnival charlatans.

B&B does a poor job using their cast,i hate how Brad only shows one story at a time and focus on the same few people every single day,why aren’t Don Diamont,Heather Tom,Rena Sofer not being used,their too good to being sitting on the sidelines

I thought the B&B certainly did well in the big reveal of Beth. But the writers could have done what GH did with their baby story line (still ongoing) and not have it rehash dialogue on this story line.

And I am just wondering if Thomas Forrester is part cat. In this year he has nearly died twice. Once falling er pushed off a cliff. And then to a vat of acid er water. This plot annoyed me in that both times he comes off without a scratch

It was far more interesting and logical if they made Deacon, Flos daddy. Or Bobby Ewing….but some dead character was pointless

I think a mention should be made of Beth Maitland as Tracy Abbott. She brings such an understated yet heartfelt performance each and every time she is in a scene. She is truly the glue in the Abbott family – never afraid to call out any of her family members on their BS and yet is tender and loving to them all. It is great to have her back and I hope they continue to give her air time.

I completely agree, Chaz. Whenever Beth is on, I find myself smiling without even realizing it. I’m glad she’s on more often now. Makes up for the Theo invasion.

Thank you for this! Well done!-I agree with your every point pertaining to Y&R and GH (I do not watch Days or B&B). I really don’t have much to add to your very thoughtful review except this–I was wrong about Wes Ramsey (Peter from GH). I said that he was a lousy and flat actor but he proved that he is quite an adept and skilled actor in the GH adaptation of “A Christmas Carol.” His accent, dialect and affectation was spot on. He didn’t sound like he was reading which is more than I can say for Ms. Storms. I just think he and Maxie afford a resounding THUD with their forced relationship. Kristen Storms seems to be one of those child actors who peaked way too soon and now she sucks the air out of every scene she enters, and unfortunately, that includes her leading man.
PS. I do hope Hayden returns as Finn and Anna (like Maxie and Peter) are deadly together.

YEs, Harry, BIG THUD! 🙂 And, yes, Finn and Anna are deadly and ill-suited.
Finola and Tristan need to just give in and start up the fun ad-libbing and fireworks. Anna and Robert FOREVER.

Most boring couple
Sam n Jason
General hospital

Agree!

Oh, Jodi, thanks for saying it! When those two are on, I try increasing the volume, getting up to walk around…anything to stay awake. And when I CAN decipher their mumbling, I find it not worth the trouble.

A-freaking-men

Mr Fairman
I wish you had the balls to call y n r out for the trash it is. Why yourself and other soap bloggers and publications wont is a mystery to me
Worst soap: young and restless
Period
Most frustrating soap: young and restless
Worst head writer ruining a soap:
Young and restless
Headwriter who needs to get fired as so he doesnt do any more damage: josh griffith
..and to fans also pls stop picking on Kyle and Lola as most boring couple on.y n r that spot will now forever be held by Chelsea and Nick. Barf. Where is Sharon in all this!?
Worst firing in the middle of a hot story: Mia Rosales and Arturo Rosales. A stortyline about a assault against Lola, a paternity toss up between two brothers, a crazy fun actress all dumped to bring back supposed fan faves to im still waiting on to deliver. Shame
Soap to be saved in 2020: young and restless!!!!!

Agree!! Good overview.

Damien, I’m in nearly total agreement. For me, the Theo character was the last straw before life support. I give kudos for finding Mark Grossman, a true talent, but that story with Devon’s fortune going to Cane was stomach churning. Why don’t they start asking fans to submit ideas? We couldn’t do any worse.

Damien,
I feel you man, the problem is I would say dool, dool, RC the awesome soap killer!…I stopped watching YR in 2013, and BB in 2009, and Dool 3 weeks ago.
If NBC/Sony does renew Dool, Corday should fire RC, immediately, and Mr. Michael should apply for a journalist position at the New York Times!
Happy New Year!
viewer88

I think saying Y&R is the biggest waste of talent pretty much sums up the mess that is Y&R.

The reason Fairman doesnt play hardball with these actors is the same as your local sports media covering pro teams, they usually dont criticize players. THEY WANT INTERVIEWS!

I meant the hw btw. The actors are the only reason i still torture myself. I actually feel bad they have to these horrid scripts. Josh Griffith should be called out. I mean some bad stories are 1 thing but the whole year was forgettable and cringeworthy and a complete waste

Maura was awesome as usual! Last yeah she got robbed at the daytime Emmys. I agreed with the list top to bottom great year in soaps can’t wait till 2020

I want to respond to as many of your awards as I can. I am a regular Days viewer but I’ve dabbled in all four remaining soaps throughout 2019. While I may be biased, I believe I’ve given all the soaps a fair shot for my attention.

The “Best Soap” decisions were spot-on. B&B was very good (for what it was) this year but I tapped out of the “PhoeBeth” story immediately after that storm (yup) and barely watched since. Days, on the other hand, had a good year. Some stories were better than others but the train kept chugging along with entertainment. B&B was solid while Days dazzled more often than not.

I also agreed that Ron Carlivati has been doing a helluva job at Days! Stories move quickly and there is a winking sense of humor that I appreciate every day.

Maura West is simply a force of nature. What else can be said?

Ahh…Banus as Gabi Hernandez. I love to hate that girl. She reminds me of Erica Kane so bad that I have to blink twice. CB has been killing it and 2019 was her year. I will be surprised if she isn’t at least pre-nom’d as Supporting Actress (Lead would be more fitting) for her work.

Best Overall Male Performance on GH. I didn’t really see much of any of the awardees’ work on a consistent basis but Michael Easton always stands out. Such quiet sex appeal and quirky humor. ME is like no one else on Earth. He’s been working on soaps for almost 30 years but he just seems to improve as his character is revealed.

Best Ensemble Performance is absolutely correct for Y&R. I cried my eyes out that entire week and couldn’t take my eyes away. Such a fitting tribute to a Genoa City icon.

William Lipton on GH is a STAR, period!

Days is the best written show of the lot while GH seems to have a shiny finish, great costumes and sets.

The Phyllis switch on Y&R was whack! TPTB lured MS back to the show without a suitable story, and I cram to understand the point. Characters talk in circles every day. I hate the Rosales clan and want them eliminated in a fiery plane crash. I sincerely want to return to watching but it’s just so friggin’ boring.

William Lipton is very good and appealing. And may I say right here that Genie Francis is A STAR! TRE STAR!

Robin Strasser was horrible as Days’ Vivian. There was nothing good about her playing Vivian as Dorian. And don’t get me started on the annoying way she said “Dr. Rolf.”

And Ben has more chemistry with Will than that shrew Ciara.

ALL of ReRon’s recasts on Days have been horrible. Thank all that’s unholy that the REAL Vivian will be back the next time around. Now if only we could get the REAL Kristen & the REAL Eve Donovan back….

The REAL Diana Colville ain’t likely to be seen again, as Genie is back in Port Charles where she belongs…. dealing with another questionable recast as her son, ironically enough.

Satan: Re Genie–you got that right!

You sure got it right with Kathleen Gati. Leisl played by anyone else would have been out of PC years ago. But she is a fan fav and her scenes are must see. I loved her dust-up with Ava at Nina’s wedding yesterday!
I also agree with Maura West as your choice. She can turn sh*t to sugar like nobody’s business.

Kathleen Gati can be rather tiresome. And talk about character violation. TPTB can’t decide whether she is a villain or comic relief. Come on!
ANd I can’t believe how everyone fawns over Maura West. All that lip licking and side-eyeing? Wow! Again, she is a real scenery chewer!

Disagree with just about all of yours choices. I watch all of the shows and you got a lot of them all wrong. I like watching them all when they are not really dumb story line. My favorite GH, then Young and the Restless, Bold and Beautiful and they One life to live. Right now the only one I watch is GH good stories going one the rest of the shows are really dumb now, don’t get me wrong I still check them out but only for a short time and then I turn them off.

Way too many categories– let me sum it up

Best in Soaps for 2019– absolutely nothing
Worst in Soaps for 2019–absolutely everything

I have been watching soaps since the sixties, and if anyone believes the nonsense we are being given is good then you either never knew or forgotten soap opera excellence.

As for the performances, I give all of them credit for trying, but when the actors look and sound more bored than I am watching them, that’s says a lot.

I was a die hard soap fan, the SF in my name stands for Soap Fan. I loved the genre, I loved the performers, I admire all the work and effort in takes to put a show on air. So it gives me no joy to say what a shambles all 4 shows have become.

I stopped watching GH; Days seldom, because unlike some I find it tedious; B&B only if a plot line is wrapping up otherwise, you can miss months of it without missing a day; Y&R daily, but more out of habit and hope–

I used to come to this website daily, sometimes more because I couldn’t wait to read or hear comments on what was happening on air–Now I come here maybe twice a month and I rarely comment, because watching soaps used to be fun and a joy to share the experience with others– now meh

I don’t blame the writers or producers– I blame the networks- they stopped investing in new soaps, and they are content to let the last four die a slow and painful death, maybe encouraging it by restricting budgets and over managing the creative side–daytime always took a back seat to prime time for networks, but now that networks are trying to save their own skin to compete with streaming services, where a viewer can get quality programming at any time of the day–network daytime is now like the neglected child, abandoned and left to fend for itself.

So this comment isn’t a criticism, it is a lament– I am mourning daytime drama- for all it was, for what it has become and for all it could have been.

Dear Mary SF,
I feel like you and I are on similar journeys…

<>

No matter whose to blame, why it’s all failing, is that artistry, is becoming lost in our world…

I disagree with you about the ‘quality’ of streaming though, most streaming shows can only manage 8-10 episodes a year, wbw, we used to get 250 a year on the soaps, the only reason streaming seems to be quality, is due to the lack of artistry elsewhere.

The networks have lost the plot big time.
viewer88

I’m lamenting along with you.

I gotta say worst return of 2019 was Michelle Stafford. There was so much hype about the Phyllis swap. She was returning to reclaim the role that made her famous. Instead it’s been very badly written. Michelle’s phyllis has turned into a complete cartoon who lurks and spies on people. They keep trying to put her in any situation to see what sticks. Her best interactions are the ones she is most comfortable with. Like with Peter Bergman, Lauralee and Josh. She is completely awkward when she has to play scenes with actors such as Jason Thompson because that stuff was when Gina played the role. She lost that complexity, vulnerability and nuances. We the viewers really accepted Gina as Phyllis. I mean she had great chemistry with Peter, Jason T, Hunter and won an Emmy for her portrayal. She was so complex under Gina and the character now serves no purpose. Honestly Gina should have stayed Phyllis and Michelle should have stayed Nina. As Nina she was in a huge story with mega chemistry with JPS and also IR. I wonder if Michelle regrets it.

I agree with you 100%. It’s sad how bad Y&R is these days. I stopped watching Y&R about 2 months ago and I’m waiting for the announcement of a new head writer…

GH has the most talent on their show. They really hit a home run with the new Brook Lynne. She is the new Tracy! I love how Brook zips that mouth of Olivias! Ned is so refreshing as the head of the house. Sprinkle in Monica and maybe Louis coming back to try and rekindle her and Ned’s relationship, not a bad idea. Plus, I see something bad on the way for Brook and she will need her mother!

Y&R is number 1. Why? It is a cold mess! GH is much better than Y&R but Y&R has more support from the network and loyal fans. The best move Y&R made is recasting Chance. Just perfect! I’m still not a fan of the new Adam. I dont dislike him. He is one hell of an actor! He dove into a major story with major players and has done well. BUT, maybe its because I thought Michael Muhney was the perfect Adam. HE was the one actor I could see filling Braeden’s shoes when he retires.

PS: Welcome back Michelle!

Love Wally Kurth (Ned). Not loving Tracy’s new look. And, I agree: Brook came on gangbusters–like she owned the part. Good on her.

Only one that I disagree with is the GH recast of Nina Clay Cassidine. Michelle Stafford’s shoes are hard to fill. Cynthia Watros is not doing Nina justice…but that could be the writing of the character.

I agree with some of your picks. Maura West and Genie Francis were fantastic. Hope they give Genie more to do this year. Her reaction to Nicholas yesterday was right on. The best couple on GH, who have been completely neglected by the writers, are Alexis and Neil. Nancy Lee Grahn always has great chemistry with all her leading men. Finally, they find her a great match, build it slowly, create some smouldering looks, witty repartee and then – Alexis is being poisoned and Neil becomes detective and then disappears for the holidays!! What are the writers thinking? Give them a chance!!

“Hope they give Genie more to do”–my common refrain. She can act gangbusters–IF given the opportunity.

The Biggest Waste of Talent/Biggest Mistake was GH writing Billy Miller off! He deserved So Much Better!!!

I totally disagree about Gina T., don’t get me wrong she’s hellva of actor. She was excellent as Dinah on GL. But Michelle Stafford is “Phyllis” in my book. “Red” is back as MS slipped back into her tight fitting dresses smoking hot. All I want are Phack back in orbit. YR is uneven in the storytelling right now. I will take JG over Mal Young any day. At least Josh does do character driven stories. There are some good things at YR but like always YR is constantly bash because you can’t knock them off their pedestal at NO.1. People bitches and moans about YR and there are many closeted fans or it wouldn’t be the top dog!

Mark G. is my favorite “Adam” he’s amazing actor and to boot has great chemistry with MC and story about Connor is well done. Josh needs to sink his teeth for MM now she’s back because the weakest link is the Billy story Phew. I like how Josh has mellowed TGVN in retiring sitting back with Nicki. Say what you may but EB can act his ass off in any situation. Victor will be Victor in his children and grandchildren lives. Adam & Chelsea is the next “Victor & Nicki”.

Just watched today’s episode and Sharon Case is going to tear this story UP! Kudos to the character of Sharon tragic heroine back in character. Forget Rey write him out, he’s useless and Nick is the one that should be at Sharon’s side….it’s all about Shick.
I’m done but someone needs to defend YR!

OH! CW on GH I have peeked in they have all CBS’s divas. Now GH cast Kim Zimmer as a foil to Nina, because those two have excellent chemistry. They can do cut throat drama and at the same time play comedy off each other. Are you listening GH I would be a full time viewer.

Watching Y & R, first time in months. Michelle Stafford is so awkward.. I loved Gina in the role.

ALL I’m going to tout : Stacy Haiduk , for serious reason, she shows

she does not Mask all thats intelligence Eileen Davidson, hoak who does… Stacy is PULLING , off MOST of it

she’s a katapult character who mainstays … with Stacy “TOO” come on this show is continuing, on no?

I think Ron Carli’ is a hunk
he’s started as pornstar, I think

so kudos three cheers to a lady that thinks, acts her own shows up and dines

HUNK

I’ve always – loved – the DiMera mystique

Stacy plus everyone else match

Worst exit: Billy Miller (Andrew Cain, GH)

Billy Miller was a talented actor. He was an amazing Jason Morgan recast and when he became Andrew Cain in 2017, he won me over as well despite Drew being upset quite a bit at first, although his character’s reaction was spot on as he just learned his life was not his own and he was someone else. Then, Billy Miller had very little to do and was on the sidelines a lot. I was excited that Drew seemed to finally be getting a good storyline when Hank first came on, but they dropped the Drew/Hank thing until July 2019 when Billy Miller’s exit was confirmed. To make matters worse, they did not give him his memories back and instead gave them to Franco, and worse than that?! His exit was an elevator scene closing on him and then later saying he was presumed dead in a plane crash with no one except for Sam (and later Franco) truly upset about his “presumed death.” I think he is alive, but feel cheated from lack of closure and that GH is seemingly trying to erase Drew fron existence. Well it ain’t gonna work. I will always remember Drew

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Blake Berris to Chat Live on the Michael Fairman Channel as Everett & Bobby’s Story Heats Up

The tale of Everett Lynch and Bobby Stein is starting to reveal itself on Peacock’s Days of our Lives, which puts returning cast member, Blake Berris front and center in story.

On Monday’s, February 26th episode of DAYS, the results of Everett’s CAT scan indicate he suffered a traumatic brain injury which jives with his story that he was in a car accident and spent in a year in a coma, or does it?

Stephanie (Abigail Klein) and Everett are reeling that Everett as Bobby Stein was married to Jada Hunter (Elia Cantu) and treated her badly. While Everett claims he doesn’t remember anything about his time as Bobby, despite his fingerprints matching those of Robert Stein’s, Marlena (Deidre Hall) ponders if he could be suffering from PTSD, which might explain his memory loss.

Courtesy/Peacock

Everett wonders if he has a brain tumor, but Marlena points out that they would have found it on the CAT scan. While there is no obvious reason for his memory loss, Kayla wonders if he is faking his amnesia? Marlena tells Everett that she is a psychiatrist and they should set up sessions immediately. Will it be revealed that Everett and Bobby are split personalities living inside one man?

Blake Berris is set to chat about the latest storyline developments and more, when he visits the Michael Fairman Channel on Wednesday, February 28th beginning at 3 pm ET/Noon PT.  Make sure to join Michael and Blake in the live chat for your turn to share your questions and thoughts on the story.

Photo: JPI

Days of our Lives fans first met Blake when he played the character of Nick Fallon who was eventually murdered in 2014. Later, Nick made a few return appearances from ‘the grave’, in 2021 and 2023. Recently, Blake returned to the show in his newly-minted role of Everett Lynch at the end of October of last year.

Blake will talk about portraying Everett/Bobby, plus working his co-stars, and being a dad to his three boys, and more.  You can catch the livestream below.

Now, let us know, what is your theory about Everett Lynch and Bobby Stein? Looking forward to hearing what Blake has to say? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives Legendary Susan Seaforth Hayes Talks on the Horton House Fire Storyline, Mourning the Loss of Husband Bill Hayes & His Near-to-Final Performances

It has been an emotional time for longtime fans of Days of our Lives and beloved veteran, Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie Williams). On-screen, the iconic Horton home was burned to the ground in what appears to be a storyline-dictated decision that shocked many. In real life, Susan is mourning the loss of her husband and DAYS enduring favorite, Bill Hayes (Doug Williams), who passed away at 98 in January. Over the weekend, during the 2024 SAG Awards In Memoriam tribute, Hayes was remembered along with other motion pictures and television stars whom we lost over the past year.

Since the Peacock streaming soap opera tapes months ahead of air, the Horton home fire and its aftermath are currently playing out in all-new episodes with more on this story featuring Susan to come. Bill Hayes also appeared in several of these episodes making it all the more touching and heartfelt.

When Julie came back to the Horton home to see what remained of it after the fire, Days of our Lives fans were treated to a heart-tugging episode that streamed last Wednesday, February 21st. In it, newly-taped scenes of a young Tom (Zach Chyz) and Alice (Sydney Kathrann Smith) Horton telling the story of how they came to live in the house to raise their children, juxtaposed with Julie and Doug (and members of their family and friends), surveying what’s left of the beloved house, brought many a tear.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Susan Seaforth Hayes for this very candid and heartfelt conversation to get her feelings on the Horton house fire, and being given the opportunity to have a storyline at this point in her storied career. In addition, Susan provides some insight on what it was like for her ailing late husband to tape scenes at DAYS shortly before his death, what the series plans to do about writing off the character of Doug while honoring the legacy of Bill Hayes, and how she knew she had the greatest love affair that anyone could hope for in their lifetime, which in turn, has inspired all of us.

Photo: JPI

I was shocked when they decided to burn down the Horton house. Were you at first devastated … and did you know that there would be a big story surrounding it?

SUSAN: I did not know how big a story was with it. I knew that many years ago, another regime had planned on trashing the set and getting rid of the set because nobody cared about the Hortons anymore. It was stopped by one person, and I was eternally grateful for that. This time I thought, “Oh, my goodness! I guess I’ll be meeting people for a cup of coffee at the Horton Square. No home, no roots, no reason to be called in,” and thinking that’s the end of Julie. That’s the end of Doug and Julie. Then, when they began to structure a story around it, I think all of this came up during the writer’s strike. So of course, I was curious to see how this was going to turn out. I enjoyed the aftermath, because in the aftermath, and a little bit before the fire, if you saw the show, I get to talk a bit about the history of the household and the people in it.

Photo: JPI

In the special episode that aired last Wednesday, Julie gave Leo (Greg Rikaart) the family tree history of the Hortons for his story in the Spectactor.

SUSAN:  I’ve had a couple of good long soliloquies about the past. I’m fated to be the character that does that because I’m the one still standing. I must say, I do enjoy doing them. Emotionally, all I have to do is rerun some of the actors and my own family in my mind and the emotion starts to come, you know, the emotion starts to flow.

Julie talks to Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) immediately after the fire. She is upset that the Horton family Christmas ornaments are gone. Fans were not happy that they could possibly have burned up. Thank God! There was a happy ending when they were located and unscathed, or there would have been hell to pay! 

SUSAN: I knew that they were in the prop room and that they still existed. But how much they were going to put a story around their loss, I did not know. We don’t get to ponder the plot. We just get to show up and start doing it. I think on this particular matter, something as important as a structure of the original set of the show, there’s been quite a bit of interest. So, I can appreciate that.

Photo: JPI

I was thinking, ‘Did they decide to burn the house down, because they were finally retiring the old Horton home set?’ What was the purpose of it?

SUSAN: They’ve done everything to make quicker set changes, which is remarkable and very efficient right now. The set designer said, “I’ll be interested in your input,” which was nice. The one thing that I loved that had been done, didn’t work. You couldn’t shoot into it. It was a federal mirror over the mantle. I loved it. The size was perfect. I was just delighted. And then, we tried to shoot it, and because of the roundness of the mirror, you got a perfect view of camera one and camera three. So, it came down.

This is Julie’s project to renovate the home. She’s determined to bring back all the memories and redo it?

SUSAN: Absolutely, which is another nice note to play for my character. She’s determined to make the house something that her grandparents would recognize and still feel comfortable in.

Photo: JPI

What did you think of the episode that just aired where the show incorporated flashbacks of a young Tom and Alice Horton?

SUSAN: Well, I set it up. They had their own their own lovely scenes. I read them, and I’m sure the audience was charmed.

What do you remember when you first came to DAYS, and you were in that house, in that set?

SUSAN: What did I notice about the set? I noticed that it was a strange shade of green. (Laughs) It was explained to me that that dull color meant that your face would pop on color TV. I understood that. I loved the little window up the staircase. I’ve always loved that. And at one time, there was a model of the house that sat on the set on its own little pedestal, a little playhouse of the exterior of the house. Whenever the house was on (and remember this is when we were a half-hour and practically live, but not live, because there was no editing), there would also be the sound of a barking dog whenever we reached the Horton house neighborhood. We never saw the dog, but I’m sure his name was “Spot”, and I’m sure he belonged to someone.

PhotoL JPI

You shared so many scenes with Frances Reid (Alice) and MacDonald Carey (Tom) in the Horton living room set and up till they passed. Did they get along well with Bill? Looking back, how was your relationship with them?

SUSAN: They loved him. Well, Mac and Billy had worked together before in theater. Mac was very kind to me at the beginning and helpful. Frances was as well. As Frances got older, she got a bit testy. When someone says, “You’re not going to read the line like that … are you?” It catches your attention. (Laughs). I got peeved at Frances from time to time, but her intent was always to make everything as good as it possibly could be. I saw her come back from her stroke. learn to talk again, learn to do it all again. Not do it easily, but to do it at all was wonderful, and the same with Mac. In his last shows, he was very frail, but we’re actors. We liked being there.

Photo: JPI

During the taping of the episodes surrounding the Horton house fire, Bill was mostly in them with you. How was Bill doing at the time you taped these scenes?

SUSAN: He was okay. He was up for it. He had difficulty moving at that point. So, they restricted his movement a lot. Bill always enjoyed coming to work a lot, and it was extremely difficult for him because he was blind, and didn’t move very well. And now, to do a scene with people who may or may not, have rehearsed with you, who may or may not, give you the exact cue, and when they are attempting to have you look each other in the eye, you can’t see who’s eyes they are, that was the hard part. The easy part was working with him, which was lovely and was a gift. It was a gift from Corday Productions that he was able to work within three weeks of his death, which I thought was super and extraordinary.

Photo: JPI

That is amazing. Did Bill understand everything that was going on at the time of the tapings?

SUSAN: Absolutely. He understood what was going on. He just couldn’t see it or touch it.

The timing couldn’t have been easy for you with Bill’s declining health, and that the show was going to burn down the Horton home where you shared so many scenes and memories.

SUSAN: Well, it hasn’t been my greatest stretch. But I knew that life would be like this. I’ve had five decades of an absolutely wonderful, blessed marriage and a chance to work and a chance to live in my own home and travel, all good. And now, we’re going to have the epilogue. And the epilogue is the hard part, seeing rapid change around you and losing the people that were the center of your life. I’ve just been very fortunate to have cultivated some wonderful friendships, and to have a wonderful large family of Hayeses.

Photo: JPI

You do realize that you and Bill were the gold-standard of what we all should be lucky enough to have in our lives. What an incredible, beautiful, passionate, loving marriage that the two of you had. You don’t see marriages like that anymore. We were all just in awe of the two of you. To us, it was the greatest love affair. You got to have that which is so extraordinary.

SUSAN: I know, and it was all Bill. I mean, any idiot could have been married to Bill Hayes and been deliriously happy. The guy was so perfect in every way that you really would have to pick something and blow it out of proportion to ever complain about any of his traits of character. He was just all good character, goodwill, and good humor. I just followed along and tried to live my life for him, with him, and follow his style, which I hope to carry on. I hope to be as good to people as he was to people, and, not be selfish.

Photo: JPI

I always remembered how the two of you would come to the studio with your suitcases, ready to work no matter what material, large or small, they gave you. You showed up. You just had such great work ethic and you don’t see that as much anymore.

SUSAN: At the moment, it’s hard to find it everywhere. I think it’s probably generational. You cannot get too angry at people that are still holding up their phones in the one rehearsal that we have. I think it’s more convenient to receive your work electronically, but somehow it doesn’t seem quite as real. You don’t have a script in your hand anymore unless you print one up yourself.  Sometimes you haven’t met the person you’re working with. Well, that’s not unusual, but no rehearsal at all, that’s kind of marvelously new.

Photo: JPI

Does Julie lean on anybody for emotional support as she tries to rebuild the Horton home. Who’s there for her?

SUSAN: As far as I can tell, nobody. I’m supposed to be the wise woman, and Marlena (Deidre Hall) is supposed to be the other wise woman. I haven’t had any scenes with Marlena for help. I would think Marlena would be the person I would be going to for grief counseling, for friendship, for all of that. I haven’t seen it in the scripts, yet. I’m still deeply entwined with Chad’s (Billy Flynn) storyline.

How is Billy Flynn to work with?

SUSAN: A pleasure. Billy Flynn has grown a lot as a human being and as an actor since I’ve known him. I’m really enjoying his company and really enjoying doing scenes with him. We rehearse and then we get on other subjects and laugh and talk and inform each other. We’re interested in a lot of the same things. He’s a new parent. He’s really devoting himself to that, to that experience in the best possible way. So, I’m lucky.

Do Julie and Chad try to figure out who set the fire?

SUSAN: Oh yeah.

Photo: JPI

I kept thinking about how Julie got burned in the kitchen fire years ago and her face was scarred, At the time, your mother Elizabeth Harrower was writing DAYS and wrote that for Julie. Did you hate that story?

SUSAN: Well, I know where the story came from. It came up from something in mother’s own life. I knew the people involved, and I wasn’t crazy in love with the idea. Then, when it was supposed to go for six weeks and went on for months and months, I was concerned. Mainly, I was concerned that my face was going to be affected because of the appliance, the scars, that I was wearing. I was told by a dermatologist, “You’re going to have a little beard after this. Ripping your face every single day to get this off is going to be hard on you.” But, I seem to have survived.

Has the show even addressed with you how they plan to handle writing-off the character of Doug Williams, and how they want to honor Bill?

SUSAN: Only in the smallest way. I had a conference call with the producers and our head writer last Friday. I was informed about the immediate, immediate future. I’ve also been promised that they’re going to keep me busy. It’s a cast of over 40 people. I’ll be happy to show up and to be included.

Photo: JPI

I was just hoping that whatever they decide to do with the character of Doug that they were going to run it by you, first.

SUSAN: They have, and they have been very sweet about it.  I’ve got to tell you, this regime, they have a sign up on the wall now, that says, Things we expect on this stage.”  The first one at the top of the list is “kindness.”

Have you watched your work back all these years? I know some actor’s never like to watch the scenes they taped.

SUSAN: I think you learn by watching yourself, if you have an open mind, and if you are not hypercritical, or dismissive. I cannot be dismissive of a character that has given me such a wonderful life. I’m still interested in Julie, perhaps I wouldn’t have been if I’d been on the show for three years and never returned to it. But I’m quite interested in her now, and what she has to offer as a member of this ensemble.

Photo: JPI

Julie’s ties to the whole history of Days of our Lives from this point on are very important. How do you feel about that?

SUSAN:  There are those that don’t care about the history of the show. I know that. I know there are those that only care about continuing with something snappy to keep eyes on the screen through action, adventure, drama, death, kidnapping, missed opportunities, all that, which I suppose that’s what the audience craves. But, that’s not just what the show can do. What the show can do so well is character. There’s a lot of people over 70 who are still on the show now. I’m the oldest one, but I’m not the only one. We’re coming up on the 60th anniversary. I don’t think the show is worn out. And if it is, it’s had a remarkably successful six decades.

Lamon Archey (Eli) is back on DAYS for a stint. What has it been like to work with Lamon as his on-screen grandmother?

SUSAN: I think he’s terrific and visually he is so beautiful, so appealing. I think both Eli and Lani (Sal Stowers) are very appealing as characters. I’m delighted to be connected to Eli as a family member. That was a lucky break for me.

Photo: JPI

Do you think DAYS fans are going to continue to be emotional in the aftermath of this fire and all the story that comes out of it? Do you think we’ll be touched by what Julie goes through to get the remains all cleaned up for a new house?

SUSAN: I think anybody in America who’s gone through a disaster, and have unfortunately had the disruption of their home, will be sympathetic and interested in how it all turns out. It’s a nice note to play. We haven’t had to do that very often. We just go from one lovely apartment to another without much discussion. I think this is the one set that meant a lot to people. I was very sorry to lose “Julie’s Place,” as it turned into kind of a sandwich shop. I still loved having a business, a tangible place to be, and an alternate place for people to meet.

Photo: NBC

Upon reflection, what was your favorite scene with Bill? Was it when Julie and Doug got married on-screen, or was it something else that was much more intimate?

SUSAN: I think our last scene is going to be more important, emotionally. I think the first wedding was beautiful, but the material around the time of our second wedding, when Brenda Benet (ex-Lee) came back on the show and Doug stood up to her and says, “I’m not going to be manipulated anymore,” was also strong. There has been a lot of very important times – when Doug was killed-off by James Reilly, and we met in the tunnel of light. That was a day. That was a difficult day, which I certainly can’t revisit right now emotionally. When Julie found out Doug had run off and married her mother, Addie, that was a day. It was a day because, I went to the producer at the time, Jack Herzberg, and said, “Is this it? Am I not going to work with him anymore?”And he said, “Right! That’s it. You’re not working with Bill Hayes anymore.” We were not married at the time, and I thought I was going to go through the floor! That wasn’t a happy day.

Photo: JPI

In terms of Bill’s final day on the set with you, did you know that it was his last, and what would turn out to be his last scene?

SUSAN: Well, they didn’t know. But I knew. I had been allowed to rewrite it. So, I can’t tell you Bill’s last line now, of course, but I will in time.

What do you think about the sentiments shared by Susan on her late husband, and this storyline? How do hope the show properly honors Bill and Doug Williams when the series writes-off the character? Are you enjoying the Horton house fire story arc or does it upset you too much? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

Daytime Stars We Lost Remembered in 2024 SAG Awards In-Memoriam Tribute

On Saturday night at the 30th annual SAG Awards streaming on Netflix, several stars from the world of soap opera were remembered in a very moving In-Memoriam segment.

Honoring those actors we lost this past year, and set to the song “How do I Say Goodbye” by Dean Lewis, the screen was filled with so many heartbreaking losses.

Those who were remembered in the tribute included: Bill Hayes (Doug, Days of our Lives), Ellen Holly (Carla, One Life to Live), Nicolas Coster (Lionel, Santa Barbara et al), Tyler Christopher (Nikolas, GH, Stefan DAYS), Billy Miller (Billy, Y&R and Drew, GH), Sharon Farrell (Flo, Y&R), Arlene Sorkin (Calliope, DAYS), Kamar de los Reyes (Antonio, OLTL), Jeffrey Carlson (Zoe/Zarf, AMC) and Mark Goddard (Ted, OLTL).

Photo: ABC

Other notable stars who passed away and were included in the tribute were: Chita Rivera, Andre Braugher, Suzanne Somers, and Matthew Perry.

Before the video package was played, actress Naomi Watts took to the stage and shared, “We have lost so many extraordinary actors in the past year, but because they touched the world with their talent, we all share their loss. To those of us who worked with them, alongside them, we feel their loss and their absence deeply.”

Photo: Netflix

She added, “Of course their memory will live on in our recollections of the precious time we shared together — and through their work, their performances captured in countless frames of images, ever ready to dance across the screen and come to life again, if only for a while.”

What did you think of the In-Memoriam Tribute at the 2024 SAG Awards and seeing a lot of familiar faces being included who represent the soaps? Comment. below.

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Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

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Airdate: 7-24- 2023

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