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Michael Fairman TV Names The Best and Worst in Soaps 2020

Photos: ABC/Gilles Toucas

In a year like no other, 2020 will always be remembered for how the coronavirus pandemic changed the course of all of our lives. The film and television industry were greatly impacted; and your favorite soaps had to shutdown production in the spring; leading to several months of airing of rebroadcasts.  Only Days of our Lives, which at that point has been shooting many months ahead of air, had original episodes to carry them through.

Now faced with having to follow strict safety protocols, the soaps all eventually got back up and running and had to find innovative ways to keep the stories moving forward, and the love stories daytime is known for still translating to its audience while keeping cast, crew and production safe.  We can’t say that 2020 was one of the best years of story on the soaps, because it wasn’t.  However, there was still enough to keep us hanging in.

So with that said; as 2020 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.  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”.

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

Finally, we want to wish our wonderful community here at Michael Fairman TV and soap fans everywhere, a happy New Year.  It is all of you with your passion and devotion to the genre itself, which make this such a unique medium that we all squabble, and delight over week after week, month after month, and episode after episode.

So here we go … The Best and Worst in Soaps … and with that… 2020 out! Thank God!

Photo: JPI

BEST SOAP

General Hospital  

In a year which was not daytime’s best by any means, it could be broken down by pre-pandemic episodes and return-to-production-amid pandemic episodes.  And when we broke it down by heart-tugging moments, surprises, twists, returns and vision, we landed on GH as our pick for the Best Soap of 2020.  While not everything was a home-run or close to (more on that in our annual list below), it had enough for us to keep us wanting to see what happened next, and its return to taping new episodes this summer felt like (not sure it was intended that way),  a solid re-set for the show which brought viewers: Dante and Britt back on the canvas, the final and devastating arc of the Alzheimer’s story and Mike’s death,  Laura front and center, Kim Delaney’s debut as Jackie Templeton, delving into some deep history of the iconic soap, the explosion at the Floating Rib, which caused quite the stir for fans of the series, and more.  In the first half of the year, Taggert returned, Nikolas revealed himself, and the truth about baby Wiley FINALLY came out.  But above all else, the cast of General Hospital rose to the occasion no matter what the material and delivered and left us with many memorable moments in 2020.

MOST DISAPPOINTING SOAP

The Young and the Restless

The juggernaut that is Y&R, unlike GH, seemed to lose more of its footing when returning from its Covid-19 production shutdown.  It was hard to care about most of its storylines; a lot felt predictable, scenarios we had seen before were shown again, etc. And that is shame, when  Y&R features the amazing talents of: Jason Thompson, Sharon Case, Eric Braeden, Mark Grossman, Amelia Heinle, Michelle Stafford, Melody Thomas Scott, Greg Rikaart, and more, who delivered with the material they were given.  Making it even more obvious, was during the shutdown the airing of classic episodes of Y&R reminded viewers what the show was like in its glory days.

Courtesy/GeneralHospital

SOAPMAKERS OF THE YEAR

Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor – General Hospital

This year with General Hospital being our pick for Best Soap, it would not have been without the creative storytelling decisions by Chris and Dan. The co-head writer’s depiction of Mike’s decline with Alzheimer’s and the effects it had on him and his loved ones was raw and true-to-life in many respects. They told all the right beats of the story – never short-changing it for those in the audience who have watched their mother, father, husband, wife, partner or friends die from this most horrific disease.  In soaps, it’s easy to cop-out and move through a story, but Chris and Dan took their time, and this son, of a mother who died from Alzheimer’s, appreciated the love and care they took with the story.  Additionally, how can you not love Laura being back in the mix and now connected to two brothers she never knew she had… Cyrus and Martin? These were just a few of the reasons; they were our choice for Soapmakers of the Year 2020 – our highest honor.  Read the interview with the honorees here.

Photo: JPI

SOAP VANGUARD AWARD

Brad Bell – The Bold and the Beautiful

Our “Soap Vanguard” honors goes to someone in the genre who in the past year moved the medium forward, and for 2020 that has to go to B&B’s head writer and executive producer Brad Bell   Through Bell’s unrelenting tenacity, he got his show to ultimately become the first American broadcast television show back in production amid the pandemic.  With that, it shed light on the soaps again through the mainstream media, who ran major stories on how Brad planned to get back into production and keep his cast safe.  2020 will go down as the year, actors kissed mannequins, or had their real-live spouses sub for a deep lip lock, or kept socially-distanced in heavy dramatic scenes, all started by Bell.  Later, he smartly wrote a mannequin into the storyline, which gave us the Thomas thriller with his demon doll, Hope.  And in the middle of all this, Brad addressed one of the social issues of our time – opioid addiction – utilizing his rock star young leading actress, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, but telling the story in “Operation Warp Speed” time. Yes, the story and Steffy’s recovery all happened too fast, but Bell did not want the audience at home, who was already suffering from depressing circumstances in their lives due to the impact of Covid-19, to have to watch months of harrowing story.

Courtesy/ABC

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS

Genie Francis – Laura Collins – General Hospital

When the Daytime Emmys roll around in the summer of 2021, the field of women vying for the Lead Actress prize should include the incomparable Maura West, who once again was outstanding in everything she was given in 2020; plus Sharon Case, Nancy Lee Grahn, Finola Hughes, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Laura Wright, and Genie Francis.  Now while Genie was on in spurts during the pre-pandemic GH and then not till the fall with the return to production, she reminded us all just why she is the icon, and why she is GH’s earth mother and moral center.  When you think of her scenes back in January, when Laura is blindsided that her son, Nikolas, is alive and knew it for three years and did not tell his own mother! When you think of the scenes where she has a heartbreaking goodbye with her daughter, Lulu (Emme Rylan) now that she has to be put in a long-term care facility; when you think of her going toe to toe with her new nemesis and half-brother Cyrus Renault, Francis played the beats and we felt for Laura; partly because it’s ingrained in us and we are conditioned to want the best for Laura, but mostly because Francis just seems to get better and better with time.

Courtesy/CBS

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A STORYLINE

Jacqueline MacInnes Wood– Steffy’s Opioid Addiction – The Bold and the Beautiful

There wasn’t a more gut-wrenching performance in the soaps this year, then watching the strong and independent Steffy Forrester succumb to opioid addiction – something that is happening to millions of people – who simply need painkillers to help through surgery, a physical trauma and then find themselves unwittingly dependent on them.  Jacqui delivered in extremely intense scenes none more so than when she comes for her child wielding a knife to use on her family, or the moment she is shaken to her core, realizing she is an addict and admits it out loud to herself.  Yes, it all happened in record and condensed time, but Wood’s performance will stand among the best of this, or any other year.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LIMITED RUN

Alison Sweeney – Sami Brady DiMera – Days of our Lives

The perfect soap marriage really is Alison Sweeney as Sami as written by DAYS head writer, Ron Carlivati. Under Carlivati’s tenure, Sami gets the best lines, the best moments, some outrageous situations, and Sweeney plays them to the hilt.  Remember the custody trial for Allie’s child? And all the strings Sami pulled; including out of nowhere letting loose Jan Spears on Salem?  And what about that Ericole wedding cake fight with Nicole? Sweeney’s portrayal makes Sami one of the all-time best characters on the soaps and every time she makes a return it lights up the long-running NBC daytime drama.

Photo: ABC

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR

Maurice Benard – Sonny Corinthos – General Hospital

It’s this simple … Maurice Benard did some of the finest work of his entire daytime career playing every heartbreaking turn of a son wanting to remain connected to his father, after finding common ground with each other year’s later, only to have their relationship ripped away from them by a foe they can’t defeat … Alzheimer’s disease.  Maurice’s unforgettable performances from:  Mike’s passing, to the funeral episode, to everything in between was gold.  For anyone who had lost a parent to this disease, Benard illustrated the grief, and the hopelessness and the dreadful decisions one has to make along the way when caring for the afflicted.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A STORYLINE.

Max Gail – Mike Corbin – General Hospital

The Alzheimer’s storyline could never have been as effective if GH did not have the absolute right centerpiece. Max Gail is a phenomenal actor, who the audience grew to love as Mike Corbin.  The final leg of his performance from the summer until Mike’s ultimate passing was masterful work.  Max made us grab for the hankies 50 times over

 

Photo: JPI

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LONG-RUNNING VETERAN

Marla Adams – Dina’s final moments – The Young and the Restless

Fans also had to say their final goodbyes to the character of Dina Mergeron who also died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease.  With the pandemic putting a wrecking ball through most of the story, it had to be wrapped up and Adams, played Dina’s final scenes to heart-tugging perfection.  In it, she becomes lucid after seeing the Teardrop of Love and says a goodbye to each of her children, before going to heaven to ultimately meet up with John Abbott.

Photo: ABC

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Lisa LoCicero – Olivia Falconeri Quartermaine – General Hospital

If you want to talk about heartbreaking scenes, look no further than when Olivia goes across the world to see her son, Dante, who is being treated for some form of PTSD.  She hasn’t seen her son in such a long time, and she just wants to see him and hold him. But Dante would not let her in the door of his room.  That gave LoCicero one of 2020’s most gut-wrenching moments that any mother watching would feel for her child.  Couple that with Liv’s James Bond adventures with Robert, her fights with Ned, and still showing us the realness of the girl from Bensonhurst, LoCicero was on point every step of the way.

Photo: JPI

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTOR

Matthew Atkinson – Thomas Forrester – The Bold and the Beautiful

If you would have told us, that we would have witnessed a story between a mannequin and a guy who clearly has gone off his rocker (we later find out he had suffered a brain bleed/trauma) and it made for some of the most intense riveting drama of 2020, we would say, “What universe are you living in?” But this is life amidst Covid-19, and the story inspired by the use of mannequins as scene doubles truly showcased just how talented Matthew Atkinson is.  Here he showed the confusion, the conflict, and the terror, the obsession with Hope and her mannequin, and so many layers that it was exhausting watching him in episodes, so it had to be for him as well.  A great performance, and let’s not forget, he was stellar prior to the mannequin story, too.

Courtesy/ABC

BEST ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE

Mike’s family says their goodbyes before he passes away – General Hospital

All of Mike’s family gathered and had their moments alone to say their goodbyes.  In it, the characters visualize moments with Mike that are in the future that they will never have.  We also were treated to Vernee Watson (Stella) helping get Mike comfortable in heartbreaking scenes before his death.  There were so many wonderful moments played by Laura Wright, Rebecca Herbst, Maura West, Steve Burton, Eden McCoy, Chad Duell, Maurice Benard and more, that it truly showed the strength of this acting ensemble.

Photo: JPI

BEST VILLAIN, FEMALE

Chloe Lanier – Nelle Benson – General Hospital

Nelle manipulates and comes up with despicable plots all in her vendetta against Michael and Carly. Then, she turns on the water works at the right time to get people to fall for her victim-routine! Chloe Lanier delivered and played all the complexities of Nelle. Now, when will she be revealed to be alive???? When will we see Nina and Nelle find out they are mother and daughter?

Photo: JPI

BEST VILLIAN IN A LIMITED RUN

Kassie DePaiva – Eve Donovan – Days of our Lives

When an unhinged Eve was revealed to be responsible for Ben’s kidnapping, Kassie DePaiva had to take her character on a very dark turn and make it believable, even though the circumstances of: putting an I Pad screen on top of a dummy version of Ciara in a wedding dress, and trying to fry and destroy Ben’s mind were outrageous.  When all was said and done, Kassie’s guest arc was pretty sensational.

BEST VILLAIN, MALE

Jeff Kober – Cyrus Renault – General Hospital

When Cyrus first appeared on GH, we thought, ‘Who is this guy’? Is this just another bad drug lord for Sonny and Jason to go up against as in Batman and Robin vs. any villain from Gotham City? But we soon found out; Cyrus would wind up being a complex villain tied to Laura Collins and more, and Jeff Kober is excellent at bringing the menacing and troubled Renault to life.

Photo JPI

BEST TEEN SCENE

William Lipton, Eden McCoy, and Sydney Mikayla – Cameron, Joss and Trina – General Hospital

It’s not often that a soap finds success with a consistently great group of teen actors.  Often fans want the teen scene off their screens, but in the case of GH’s Cameron, Josslyn and Trina, the actors are so good in their roles that they don’t feel like filler, but instead a part of the fabric and future of Port Charles.  Lipton is intense when Cameron is agonizing over the plight of Franco, or losing his friend, Dev.  Sydney Mikayla delivered in a recent scene with a substitute Taggert as her on-screen father and showed she can make the most out of heavy emotional material … and she holds her own in scenes with the one and only Maura West, too.  As for Eden McCoy, soaps has their future leading lady, a chip-off-the old-block like her on-screen mother, Laura Wright.

BEST SCENE-STEALER MALE

William Utay – Dr. Rolf – Days of our Lives

Two years running for this honor! Whenever Dr. Rolf pops back on to our screens – this time from the slammer, William Utay brings the shtick of crazy scientist, Wilhelm Rolf, and we are here for it.

BEST SCENE-STEALER FEMALE

Kathleen Gati – Obrecht – General Hospital

Two years in a row also for Dr Rolf’s would-be Port Charles German counterpart, Liesl Obrecht.  Kathleen Gati always makes the most out of every scene Obrecht is in and we are also here for that!

Photo: JPI

BEST COMEBACK

Kelly Thiebaud – Britt Westbourne – General Hospital

The”Britch is Back” twice in one year.  In March, she popped up out of nowhere to help try to save her friend, Brad Cooper, before he was whisked off to Pentonville, and then later in the fall, Britt shows back up in Port Charles, wait for it… as the new Chief of Staff at GH.  Kelly plays Britt to the hilt and we love anytime she is back on-screen. We hope she stays that way for a long time to come.

BEST RETURN IN LIEU OF COVID-19

Emma Samms – Holly Sutton – General Hospital

When the planned story of the return of Holly Sutton had to be put on hold because Emma Samms was battling Covid-19, the producers of GH were clever enough to get her to film herself in London, and have the character turn out to be alive and held captive, meaning we could get more to this story once this pandemic is far from gone.

BEST RECAST 

Kim Delaney as Jackie Templeton – General Hospital

The daytime world was rocked and in a good way with the news that former All My Children darling, Kim Delaney (Ex-Jenny Gardner) was heading back to ABC daytime and to General Hospital.  Then it leaked that she would be playing none other than ace journalist, Jackie Templeton made soap-famous by Demi Moore.  Now Jackie is in the mix with some intriguing story that ties her to her son, Chase, and the obvious drama between her, Finn, and Gregory.  Great casting choice.

Photo: JPI

BEST NEW CHARACTER

Emily O’Brien – Gwen Rizczech – Days of our Lives

Days of our Lives Gwen has a score to settle, she was even willing to fry Abigail’s brain.  She is manipulative, but there is definitely some terrible pain underneath all in the capable hands of Emily O’Brien – who fans first loved as crazy Jana Hawkes on The Young and the Restless and now as Salem’s Gwen

BEST TWIN

Jake Lambert – Days of our Lives

When Jake the mechanic showed up looking just like Stefan O DiMera, obviously they were twins.  But the difference between the two is startling thanks to the performances of Brandon Barash.

WORST TWIN

Amanda Sinclair – The Young and the Restless

When mystery woman Amanda showed up, it was not very hard to figure out she would be the twin of Hilary Curtis Hamilton, and the story really never took off.

Photo: JPI

BIGGEST MISTAKE

Writing off #Wilson – Freddie Smith and Chandler Massey- Days of our Lives

What was the point of writing off a super couple who are also representing the LGBTQ community on daytime, when there are so few depictions?  How do you let go of these Emmy winners? Call us confused.

CHARACTER WHO DESERVED THE BIGGEST BITCH-SLAP

Nelle Benson – General Hospital

I mean, c’mon! All of Port Charles should be lining-up to bitch-slap Nelle, not only Carly!

CHARACTER WHO DISHED OUT THE BEST BITCH-SLAPS

Laura Collins – General Hospital

Two big wallops in one year: First, Laura hauls off and slaps her son, Nikolas in the beginning of 2020, and at the end of 2020 hauls off and slaps her half-brother, Cyrus!

BEST DUELING BITCH-SLAPS

Jennifer Horton Deveraux and Kate Roberts – Days of our Lives

Well, this honor has to go to DAYS, Jennifer and Kate, who had some serious slapping going down following the reveal that Kate slept with Jack, while Jen remained in a coma.

Photo: CW

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A PRIMETIME SOAP MALE

Rafael de La Fuente – Sammy (Sam) Jo Flores – Dynasty

Sammy Jo lights up Dynasty whenever he is on-screen and we got to see de La Fuente sing a tune or two with bestie Fallon in season three to boot! Now, will former Y&R star Lachlan Buchanan return in season four so Sammy Jo can have some lovin’?

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A PRIMETIME SOAP FEMALE

Elizabeth Gillies – Fallon Carrington – Dynasty

Here is one uber-talented gal.  She plays the reboot incarnation of Fallon Carrington with humor, zest, and Gillies can sing like nobody’s business.

BEST PRIMETIME SOAP

Dynasty

Back in May when the season three finale of Dynasty aired, they had to cut their planned episodes down a few due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down production – which left us wanting to see Fallon and Liam’s highly-anticipated nuptials, which could not be filmed.  But either way, Dynasty is pure soap on steroids each week, complete with wicked humor and enough cliffhangers to keep us wanting more.

Photo: JPI

BEST PERFORMANCE FEMALE IN A DIGITAL DRAMA SERIES

Heather Lindell – Jan Spears – Last Blast Reunion – The DOOL App

Back at the end of 2019 and into January of 2020, The DOOL app launched its digital drama series, Last Blast Reunion, which included the return of the cray-cray Jan Spears; played to perfection by Heather Lindell.  In this series, she kidnapped Shawn and tied him half- naked to a bed, and had a bomb in an anniversary cake ready to blow up the “Last Blast Crew”, and she made us remember why we couldn’t wait to see what good ole’ Jan would do next?  The stint went so well, that Lindell was asked back to the air shows and make a guest appearance in the fall, ultimately disrupting Shawn and Belle’s attempt at getting hitched.

BEST PERFOMANCE MALE IN A DIGITAL DRAMA SERIES

Sean Kanan – Sam Stevens– Studio City

In the final week of 2019 and then into January of 2020, Sean Kanan’s Studio City became must-see digital viewing.  The show had a look and feel all its own and Kanan’s portrayal of an actor on a soap who’s life off-screen has gone off the rails, reminded us all of why Sean can bounce from the dramatic to the comedic with such ease.

Photo: JPI

BEST COUPLE

Ben and Ciara – Days of our Lives

Rob Scott Wilson (Ben) and Victoria Konefal (Ciara) brought to life the unlikely pairing of a former serial killer and the well-to-do renegade daughter of one of Salem’s most respected cops, and made it work for the last few years.  So much so, that their #Cin fan base remains one of the most active and vibrant on social media.  Rob and Victoria’s commitment to the material they are given (in extreme circumstances – see below) is unwavering and we, the viewers, never question the two characters love for each other.

MOST TORTURED COUPLE

Ben and Ciara – Days of our Lives

How much can one couple endure within a one-year span?  First, Ben is ready to be served up a lethal injection for supposedly murdering his sister – enter Ciara to save the day by a split second! Then, they finally tie-the-knot and a bomb goes off right after the “I do’s”.  Next thing you know, Ben is kidnapped and tortured by Eve to get him programmed to kill his bride!  And wait for it … then… when Ben is hot on the trail of Vincent (who has kidnapped Ciara) the car she is in blows up!  And yet … we have hope it will be a better 2021 for #Cin.  What do you think #Cinners?

BEST WEDDING

Ben and Ciara –Days of our Lives

When the nuptials of Ben and Ciara were taped months ahead of air, pre-pandemic DAYS, the show went all out for their young signature couple.  This wedding had EXTRAS … translation…a lot of people in the church!  A beautiful gown for Ciara… an explosion and special effects … and some beautiful vows and performances by Rob Scott Wilson and Victoria Konefal,   It was the wedding to remember of 2020.

Photo: JPI

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A WEDDING BREAK-UP

Wally Kurth – Justin Kiriakis – The Wedding of Kayla and Justin – Days of our Lives

In a sensational scene, Justin must admit to Kayla as they are just about to say their “I-do” that he overheard Steve saying he wants his sweetness back.  In a stroke of friendship, and heartbreak, Justin tells Kayla to go to Steve and that he will always love her. We were on set the day that Kurth delivered this performance and the cast and crew applauded his work. It was that good.

Photo: JPI

MOST BORING COUPLE (three-way-tie)

Kyle and Lola – The Young and the Restless

Kyle and Summer – The Young and the Restless

Theo with Lola– The Young and the Restless

Any way you sliced it, we weren’t that invested in Kyle and Lola, or Kyle and Summer or Theo with Lola.  Were you?

Photo: JPII

WORST COUPLE

Peter and Maxie, General Hospital

This pairing becomes even more increasingly hard to tolerate the longer they are together.  Maxie is no dummy and she seems completely oblivious to the fact that her beau, is a duplicitous killer and beyond unscrupulous.  Get Maxie back with Spinelli stat or someone, anyone!  To make matters worse, Paxie is about to have a baby.  Make it stop!

MOST TORTURED EXIT

Julian Jerome – General Hospital

Was it really necessary to have Julian spend weeks of suffering before his ultimate demise?  William deVry gave his all to Julian Jerome, and it felt a bit cruel to us to have him shot, shot again, drown, and whatever else was done to him,. Yes, Julian did unforgiveable things, but wouldn’t one bullet suffice?

BEST STANDALONE EPISODE

Women’s Right to Vote – General Hospital

We have to admit when we saw the previews for this; we thought this will not work.  How is GH going to tell a compelling hour of TV on the suffrage movement given the constraints of daytime?  But boy we were wrong! The story was crafted complete with historical references and gave the GH all-star female cast, different roles to play.  Laura Wright was just one of the standouts in the episode, which was an important remembrance of how far women have come especially for the female audience- which is the primary demo of the soaps.

Courtesy/CBS

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A STANDALONE EPISODE

Sharon Case – Sharon dreams of how her cancer diagnosis will affect her and her loved ones – The Young and the Restless

Breast cancer awareness was a major part of Y&R in 2020, thanks to the story where Sharon has to deal with her cancer diagnosis.  In a standalone episode from back in February, Sharon goes through a series of dreams/nightmares of what it will be like going through her battle and ultimately possibly dying or losing everyone in her life along the way. She is visited by her late daughter, Cassie, and in the ultimate hankie moment Sharon has a request that her daughters sleep next to her for the night.  We see Faith and Mariah on each side of her as Cassie watches over them.  Case played this one to perfection and honored the feelings of women everywhere who face this diagnosis.

Photo: NBC

BEST TEARJERKER

Mother’s Day – Days of our Lives

Back in late January, Days of our Lives aired a week’s worth of episodes that kept being interrupted by the impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump, leaving viewers to have to watch on digital or mobile platforms, mostly.  This is when we learned what happened to Adrienne on that fateful night when she was involved in the car crash and Will believed he was the responsible party.   The performances by: Wally Kurth, Chandler Massey and Freddie Smith in these episodes delivered hankies x 10 moments.  Justin losing his wife, Sonny losing his mother, and both of them so outraged at a guilt-ridden Will, they could not even look at him.  All of these gentlemen should remember these scenes come Emmy time.

BEST STORYLINE

The Alzheimer’s Storyline – General Hospital

This story hit so close to home for so many viewers and was delivered with such care, understanding and most importantly respectfully to the dying and their families, that as we have stated before it will be remembered as a GH classic for years to come. The performances were outstanding, the writing on-point, the direction top notch, and we cried along with it every step of the way.

WORST STORYLINE (Tie)

The murder of AJ Montalvo – The Young and the Restless

This story was to explain Adam’s bad behavior- that he killed a guy when he was a kid.  Adam blocked it from his memory – Victor helped cover it up.  When the dust settled, and Adam found out the truth and how Victor protected him, he became more venomous against his father and everyone else.   When you deliver to the audience a murder of a character no one ever saw before, or cares about, and try to tie it to a characters’ troubled past – it’s doomed to fail.

The Teardrop of Love – The Young and the Restless

For weeks we heard “Teardrop of Love”, “Teardrop of Love”.  While, it brought inner peace to Dina in the final moments before she passed, and for Jack, who found it for his mother just in time, later it became part of a sappy story with Kyle and Summer.  We were hoping for a bigger story behind this after all the build-up. Are we missing something?

Photo: JPI

MOST PREPOSTEROUS PLOT TWIST 

Steveno – Days of our Lives

Brain chips are us! Just how many characters can get implanted with these babies? This time it was Stephen Nichols turn to reappear on the canvas but this time with Stefano’s memories in him, and acting like Stefano, not Steve Johnson, and without his eye patch.  To make the plot all the more preposterous and to get our beloved “Patch” back, Anna DiMera had to throw a high heel shoe that hit the guy in the eye reversing the whole thing and there we have it … we have our anti-hero Steve back, black eye-patch, and all.

Photo: ABC

MOST UNDER-UTILIZED MVP 

Rebecca Herbst – Elizabeth Webber Baldwin – General Hospital

She is a treasure for General Hospital and loved by its longtime fans.  In 2020, we got to see Herbst display some beautiful work, especially in her scenes with Maurice Benard and Max Gail in the Alzheimer’s storyline, or dealing with the trauma and the trouble of her relationship with Franco and her son Cameron, or her “flirtation” with Nikolas.   However, Herbst is capable of driving story and it’s time this Most Valuable Player is given something more worthy of her talents.

Photo: JPI

BEST TRIBUTE 

Eric Braeden’s 40th anniversary as Victor Newman, and Newman Enterprises 50-year Gala – The Young and the Restless

Y&R went all out for its iconic star and well it should! On-screen we had the Newman Enterprise 50th anniversary gala, complete with moments of honor from his family and guests including: Meg Bennett (Julia) and Robert Parucha (Matt).  The art installation that was created as a gallery of Victor and his life was also in tribute to Braeden, and it was very impressive.  Off-screen, Eric had one of the most heavily-attended celebrations with speeches, surprise guests, and even many members of the cast of GH came by to salute the man who has meant so much to daytime.

CHARACTER WHO NEEDS TO GET HIS COMEUPPANCE

Peter August – General Hospital

How much longer can the unpopular Peter August go on getting away with murder and sabotage?  He orchestrated Drew’s death, framed Obrecht, was in cahoots with Helena Cassadine from way back, if memory serves us.  It’s time for this guy to face the music!

Courtesy/ABC

WORST LUCK AFTER A NIGHT OF SOAP SEX

Alexis Davis – Nancy Lee Grahn – General Hospital

Finally giving in to her desires to reconnect and be with Neil, the new man in her life, Alexis has a night of glorious sex with the guy, only to go get him some coffee in the morning to realize he is dead in her bed.

BEST PANDEMIC SERIES

Nancy Lee Grahns’s “Covid Support Group”

While everyone was at home during Covid-19, many daytime stars were creating content and chief among them was Nancy Lee Grahn.  Her pandemic digital series, Covid Support Group featured Grahn with some of the all-time greats of daytime; Jane Elliot and Kim Zimmer that had us wildly entertained.

Photo: JPI

BIGGEST DOOFUS 

Liam Spencer -– The Bold and the Beautiful

So let’s set the scene.  Liam walks in to Thomas’ apartment and see a shirtless Thomas (in the dark no less) kissing what Liam believes to be his wife, only Thomas is kissing the Hope Mannequin.   We think Liam needs some glasses!  Next, after hightailing it to his ex-wife, Steffy’s place, the two have some drinks and then have sex.  Later, when Liam is in for a rude awakening from Hope herself, that Thomas was making out with a mannequin, not her, he has egg on his face.  Dude!

Photo: JPI

BEST PINCH-HITTER AT THE LAST MINUTE

Justin Gaston for Donny Boaz – Chance and Abby’s Wedding – The Young and the Restless

When Donny Boaz came down with Covid-19, just around the time Y&R was to film their big wedding of Chance and Abby; to be a the centerpiece of their 12,000 episode celebration, the show brought in Melissa Ordway’s real-life hubby, Justin Gaston to play Chance.  It worked like a charm.  You believed even more that Chance and Abby were in love and Gaston did an excellent job at coming through at the last minute and saving the day!

BEST PINCH-HITTERS

Briana Lane as Brook Lynn and Lindsay Hartley as Sam – General Hospital & Cady McClain as Jennifer – Days of our Lives

2020 was the year of jolting temporary replacements, some due to Covid, some due to other issues such as maternity leaves, etc   GH replaced Amanda Setton with Briana Lane in the role of Brook Lynn and Kelly Monaco was subbed for by soap vet, Lindsay Hartley. Both women did terrific jobs at keeping the characters alive when they were in heavy duty scenes.   Meanwhile over at DAYS, Daytime Emmy winner, Cady McClain came to Salem to keep the character of Jennifer alive, and in major story; while Melissa Reeves stayed with her family in Nashville during the pandemic.  A job well-dine by all three women.

Photo; JPI

BEST PROPS (Tie)

The Hope Mannequin – The Bold and the Beautiful

The Moss – Carly and Sonny’s Kitchen – General Hospital

Two props on daytime TV also became social media stars! First, without a doubt the Best Prop of the Year honors has to include B&B’s Hope Mannequin.  The creepy doll was everything! Over at GH, the moss in Sonny and Carly’s kitchen became wildly popular too.   Can there be an Emmy award for this in 2021?

Now let us know if you agree with our picks, or have picks of your own for the Best and Worst in Soaps 2020 via the comment section below.

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Michael
You got it all right for 2020. What a year and yes Y&R went to shits, that’s for sure. They need Gina T back for a huge SHAKE UP! Those idiots behind the Y& R going down need to be fired, what is CBS waiting on, the #1 daytime soap is NO LONGER #1. GH and DAYS are rolling. What shame for those outstanding actors & actresss at Y&R knowing they aren’t #1 anymore. Boring boring and yes the same storyline over and over with Adam and Adam, maybe it should be called Adam Young & Restless. We are tired of the ADAM crap!

I’ve watched this show for 33+ years and it’s definitely not what it used to be. My viewing is mostly hit or miss these days. My discontent started with not rehiring Michael Muhney for the Adam role and escalated when they fired Gina Tognoni. Storylines are for the most part not interesting either. They definitely need someone to shake things up!

Great comment, Kathy!!!

Hi Michael. Happy New Year! I agree with everything you said about GH. Thank you

Michael, for the first time in a long time, I agree with the majority of what you’ve selected for your best and worst of 2020! So happy you continue to share this! Here’s to an overall better 2021, especially for the CBS soaps. Hoping YOU are well!

agree with many of these picks,Y&R really went downhill, it’s boring stories have no payoffs,and they have cast to be great, writing just isn’t there,GH was best soap,really injoyed it since returning production

Y&R has been absolutely horrible for too long now. I can never watch for more than a couple of scenes once or twice a week. Such a shame given how good it was in years past. You should add a most missed category next year; mine is Kimberlin Brown/ Sheila Carter(preferably on B&B).

I loved Kyle and Lola and was completely invested in them and still am. Patiently awaiting their eventual reunion!! Michael and Sasha have outstanding chemistry:)

I’m a Kola fan as well! 🙂 Would love to see Kyle & Lola reunite in 2021

Oh you guys, don’t hold your breath! Michael should have titled them The Worst of The Worst.

Nothing is worst is than sanctimonious Liam and Hope on B&B. Or no chemistry Ridge-Brooke.

Thank you for stating what I consider the majority of GH fans have been saying for years – it’s time for Peter to go. Ramsey seems like a nice guy. Once Liesl finds this out, we’ll hopefully begin Peter’s exit.

On the subject of Emmy nominations. I’d say at this point, NLG should submit in supporting. Alexis’ current storyline is the C or D level story these days. Genie hasn’t submitted in Lead in years, but based on storyline, I’d say that’s where she belongs. LiLo has to be a frontrunner in this category. Would Emmy rules permit WK to submit nominations for both shows. Both Ned and Justin featured prominently in story this year.

Yes,to Genie as Lead Actress! Yes, Yes!

I agree with most of these. While DAYS remains my favorite Soap on the air at the moment, GH had an amazing year. I would like to say that firing Emme Rylan was another huge mistake worth mentioning here! Finally, not only was having Cady McClain pinch hit for Missy Reeves brilliant move but a great indicator that she should be a permanent recast! I much prefer her to Missy Reeves!

While I agree with most of Michael’s choices I have to mostly agree with the Lola, Kyle and Summer trio. I did not like Kyle with either girl, so possibly he’s the one messing up things, maybe try the two gals together? Don’t remember Theo being mentioned. Could not stand him! I don’t know if it was a mistake dropping Emme Rylan but an even bigger mistake would have her replace Melissa Ordway as Abby as has been swirling around the rumour mills.

I don’t think Melissa is going anywhere!!!
Unless they pull a “Michelle Stafford” and replace like they did to Gina T

Yes, to biggest mistake–firing Emme Rylan. Lulu needs to come back NOW.

I believe that the situation with Peter on GH has yet to be completely revealed. It may be just like it seems to be and if it is then I believe that Peter will come through for Maxie and Lou in the end. I believe that Lou should be alright and that Peter is going to be a good father to his daughter. I believe that Maxie and Peter can sort out this mess whatever the situation has been. Peter will prove that he can be the man that Maxie can trust and love.

Peter cannot be as “he seems to be”, we have seen him numerous times giving orders and incriminating himself to his flunkies on the phone, to have this one or the other to be killed as he demands. In the beginning I liked Peter when so many other fans hated him from the start, but he has shown his true self and I think we have to believe the writing on the wall in this case.

I believe that Peter can be redeemed. It has not been completely clear as to who he has been dealing with. I believe that even if it is the worse case scenario that Peter can get back on the road to redemption. He was living a completely law abiding life until the situation with Shiloh happened. I believe that he can open up to Maxie and the others that he cares about and can make some sort of restitution in some way. I believe that if Franco and Luke can be transformed into better people the same can be done with Peter as well.

BRAVO!! Michael Fairman–
Your; The Best and Worst in Soaps 2020
_____ It is Outstanding..
I got nothing- but-Right On !!
and-
Thank You 🙂

Two thumbs up. You got it right. I’m only a regular viewer of GH but I can say I agree with you 100% at least on that show. Maura West is and always has been brilliant. Laura Wright has made Carly her own and I’ll always be a Sarah Joy Brown fan. Genie Francis can do no wrong. And if Ingo Rademacher & Laura Wright had a baby, it would be Eden McCoy. Finally everyone loves Maurice Benard but I also adore Steve Burton & Bradford Anderson. And will miss William DeVry more than I could ever miss Julian Jerome.

Happy New Year everyone. Looking forward to new, positive beginnings.
Michael, liked you categories. I would also add The Christmas Carol as another best Standalone episode along with the Women’s Right to Vote. Both were outstanding. But as long as GH keeps guns, shootings, bombs, criminal characters trying to play pillars of society, plus drug and alcohol addictions as growing storylines they sure aren’t the best imo and not what attracted me to the soaps in the first place. Too much in everyday “real” news. And if you think Peter (I’m probably one of the few who doesn’t mind the actor playing Peter) needs a comeuppance, Sonny‘s is way past due. Just curious what does Sonny do for a “living” besides his coffee import business? Have loved Genie/Laura.

Couldn’t agree more with Michael on the stuff regarding #YR, #BandB and #GH. #YR doesn’t deserve “most disappointing”. They deserve worst drama series of the year. I don’t watch #DOOL at all so I really can’t say anything about them. But yeah, as someone on here said, #YR was a shit show this past year.

I couldn’t agree more with your MOST BORING COUPLE (three-way-tie):
Kyle and Lola, Kyle and Summer, Theo with Lola.
Kyle/Lola/Summer ALL need to go! They are sleep-inducing in every scene.
It’s really too bad Theo got wrapped up with those 3 characters. He never really had a chance. It only they had given him his own S/L, he could have been a great addition to the show.However, anyone involved with the Tedious Three is doomed!
I hope that the Sally character can do something to shake things up, but if she’s destined to be with the Tedious Three, she’ll be a goner soon!
SOLUTION—GET RID OF LOLA/KYLE/SUMMER!

I was and am extremely invested in Kyle and Lola’s relationship. I think their marriage ending was a huge mistake, but I think Sasha Calle and Michael Mealor give excellent performances when “Kola” are dealt with angsty scenes. Their chemistry is electric and their love story is magical. Kola is my favorite part of Y&R and it’s a bummer that they’ve broken up. I hope a new love interest is in store for Lola for the new year. And I hope Sasha Calle will be nominated for a Daytime Emmy again next year. Would love to see Michael Mealor be recognized as well.

Its time for Anthony Morina to go hes an awful EP. The show feels directionless, visionless and all around terrible. Hes the worst EP ever for YR. At least Mal Young was creative. Josh Griffith is just writing terrible stories. Steve Kent i hope ur listening its time for another new team at YR. The show needs a jolt in a big way.

Only watch GH. Max Gail, SUPERB!

The Devil would like to add a category to the list….

WORST SOUND EFFECT ON A SOAP

That ridiculous “baby with serious asthma” noise on Days of Our Lives.

When they first used it for Brady & Kristen’s kid, it didn’t seem all that weird, as the kid was known to be sick and might have actually had breathing issues. But then they used it for Allie’s kid Henry, and now are using it again for Lani & Eli’s twins. And on that note, shouldn’t they be wheezing in stereo since there’s TWO of them??

Enough already! We all know there’s no actual babies there (due to COVID) but just let the dolls be silent. Maybe an occasional crying sample or some other noise that baby mortals make. But no more of “baby COPD”, for the love of all that’s unholy!!

What they have done to Y&R is inexcusable EB was bitching about Mal Young you ended up getting a worse writing team ! I also resent the heck out of actors stomping their feet and demanding who they are going to work with! Be lucky you are drawing a paycheck and shut your mouth.

Trust MF to undeservedly kiss ass. B&B is a shadow of it’s former self and frankly has become a complete joke. Giving Brad Bell any credit for this mess is ridiculous.

Agree with most things #GH (especially the lovely underused Rebecca Herbst), but in addition to the gratuitously overkilled (pun intended) demise of Julian Jerome, the inexplicable exit of Lulu just as Dante came home was the absolute worst. We need more Spencers, not less. Whether it’s Julie Marie Berman or Emme Rylan I hope Lulu wakes up and is back in Port Charles stat!

Agree with you 666% on the Spencers. And I’m fine with using Elizabeth more, as long as they leave Frodd out of it.

Only ‘best ‘ thing of y n r was the vintage eppys aired during the covid shutdown. Wow. What a treat to relive how magnificent the show once was. The 80s was truly their golden era. Even b-plots like Gina Roma hiding her boyfriend who was responsible for Katherines look alike switch was thrilling! The background music, the buildups, the climatic cliffhangers ..
Only to get back to new eppys which brings me to the ‘worst’ part. Everything new is just the complete worst. The dismantling of Kola only to have Skyle bore us with no real conflict is a crime when Griffith has sooo much to work with! Billy and Adams conflict is like stale mouldy leftovers. Phyliss and Nick , I cant believe Josh Morrow and Michelle stafford even show up to work its so embaressing for them. This shows a mess beyond belief. Griffith and Morina s work should air in the early am hour to help nightowls get a sound sleep….snoozefest . Fire their asses and at this point whomever keeps them employed. Y n r gives soaps a bad name and I cant believe even suckers like me keep hoping it’ll get better…

Had Bill Bell and Kay Alden outlined the “who shot Adam” storyline, it never would have ended so abruptly nor with the obvious suspect being the reporter. I kept hoping the real culprit would have been a drunken Faith, who had strong motive for shooting her uncle– with the help of that insipid Jordan. After all, how in the world did Billy’s gun end up at the scene of the crime? The gun was stolen from Victoria’s house break-in… only a family member would have that kind of knowledge… again, possibly Faith. UGGGH!

Love that idea! I too was hoping Faith was in on it after her anger towards Adam. At the very least they could ve upped the conspiracy angles and made her a suspect…but alas nothing this regime does has any thrill. Faith is too good to waste with that useless Jordan character, she needs a teen scene around her to boost the young set. Griffith sidelined the Kola triangle and along cut more young characters with sooo much potential like Anna and Fenn.
Key Alden should be offered the moon and stars to come back and save us from this past regime and further the last 15 years really. Shes the few who could restore Bill Bells vision…
I think lorraine broderick or megan mctavish i remember being also good writers who could cowrite!

Hi Damien– Just getting to your response– Kay Alden should come back and steady a sinking ship. As we know, she was with Bell since the 70s.

The moss! Ha!

I’ve been smh about it that stuff since it first appeared

I disagree. GH was NOT the best soap and Chris & Dan weren’t worthy of being “soapmakers”

While there was a noticeable improvement with more focus on Laura (and I love her new brothers) there was far too much Sonny & Co. (MB did NOT deserve to be the best actor either. 2 good scenes out the the far too many he’s in doesn’t make him best at anything.

And the dragged out story of Michael & his sister wives. Has there ever been a quad with less sex appeal? Michael & Willow have no chem. Willow was on the show far too much, and was borderline obsessed with a kid who wasn’t hers.

The writers took a story that should have been dramatic for Lucas and disappeared him from it. Wiley became a Carly story. Why? Carly doesn’t need any more stories. S

GH continues to be lopsided in the amount of screen time actors get. It’s ridiculous. You’re so right about the horrid underuse of Becky Herbst. I blame that on your “soapmakers” whose moronic attempt to rewrite history and make Friz poor was a badly conceived story, as was that “flirtation” with Nik. (And Ava’s & Franco’s) It’s like they couldn’t think of anything decent for those 2 to do.

I found, overall, Days was far more entertaining.

ANOTHER Sonny hater! Go away! He was on a lot because he was in one of the great stories in the last TEN years! He and Max Gail knocked it out of the park sister!

There are a lot of Sonny haters out there and we’re not going away

I know your cult, “The I hate Sonny, Carly, Jason and Sam” following. You get out of life what you put into it! Goodbye.

Maurice Benard’s work on the Max Gayle stories showed how very talented and versatile he is. The scene
with Sonny crying at his father’s bedside was wonderful. If you hate a character, please fast forward
and if you don’t like a show move on but please don’t ruin it for the fans who do like it. You are very welcome to your opinion , but remember what these actors are going through during Covid. jMO

Lucy, you have nailed it! Thank you for your commentary! While I do appreciate Mr. Fairman’s role in promoting soaps and I am thankful to him for this website and its platform, as a “Sonny hater” since day 1, I am so tired of the incessant ass-kissing of this character and actor.

Over the years at this website, I have repeatedly mentioned my objections to the Sonny character (and endless mob storylines). But to sum up:
(1) I object to the glorification of a despicable, abusive killer.
(2) I object to the moral center of GH being hijacked from doctors and nurses doing their invaluable work and morphing into the focus on an amoral, dark, villainous crime boss.
(3) I object to writers/producers constantly creating situations to enhance the character of Sonny and his portrayer (e.g., the entire Alzheimer storyline).
(4) I object to the countless characters/actors that, over decades, had to be diminished or outright excised from the show, simply to make room for the interminable focus on Sonny.

I also find it rich that a poster could equate “Sonny haters” to a cult while apparently condoning membership in the political cultism of Trump, another despicable, criminal bully who currently seeks to overturn an election and undermine democracy. The difference is that one “cult” involves a TV soap opera, whereas the other “cult” is harmful to democracy, truth, and life itself.

Thanks. I agree with you. The moral center bit is what truly disturbs me. Sonny is a terrible person. Why center your show around that?

And the latest version of Carly, where she just shrieks most of the time is soooo bad

Steve Hardy
Luke Spencer
Sonny Corinthos

Without at least one of these guys, there is no General Hospital.

Steve Hardy can’t come back, and odds are against Luke ever showing up again.

This show is already starting to fall apart without Sonny… let alone his own organization with Carly going rogue and kidnapping some frail old lady who has nothing to do with her son being a drug running douchebag.

Most of the rabid Sonny hate started up after February 2012, so let a Devil make this perfectly clear. There is not now, nor will there ever be, a OLTL character (whether using their real name or rebranded under a new name) who will take the place as the male anchor of this show.

No Sonny, no GH. So if you want the show cancelled forever, keep hating Sonny, I guess.

Between COVID, the attempted MAGAtt terrorist coup against the Capitol and whatever other excuses ABC/Di$ney uses to take the show off the air, it’s some kind of unholy miracle that GH has lasted as long as it has.

Great article! Will say what separates great actors such as Maura West is that they can do any type of story to include those written poorly and spin it into gold 100% of the time. Actors like Wally Kurth need specific material written for them and acting is spotty at times.

Agree

Not all of Mike’s family got to say goodbye to him. Kristina was not involved in or even mentioned when Mike was dying and the only reason she was included in the memorial episode was because of fan uproar on SM.

General Hospital is definitely the best! Your reviews of all the actors and their story lines are right on point, I agree Rebecca Herbst a MVP and could be utilized much more!
I don’t know why this incredible show is not at #1.
Marilyn Miller

I was saying that to somebody today that I don’t know what’s happening with Y&R, and I was thinking maybe it’s since we’ve come back from the pandemic and they started filming again, it’s just stale like the stories don’t flow.
And it saddens me because they have such incredible talent, and I’m worried that the talent will go somewhere else if they don’t feel like they’re getting storylines….
The Alzheimer storyline on GH though was so gut wrenching and so beautifully done. I lost my dad two years ago to Alzheimer’s.. it was just an amazing storyLine and GH was his favorite soap.

Michael, I agree with every choice you made. With the exception of Days of Our Lives awards as I’ve never watched Days. I do wish there was an award,beside Best Storyline, to make known the exceptional storyline and acting done by GH in their Alzheimer storyline.Max and Maurice were at their pinnacle. The acting, and connection these two shared made you feel honored to view ‘this “something so special and rare” you didn’t want to end! Then Eden McCoy got the chance to contribute and she delivered!!!!I can only remember one other time when just viewing made you feel part of the story and that was another GH story. Bobbie Spencer made the choice to donate her dying little daughter’s heart! These moments are rare and mean everything to we dye hard soap fans!

BEST TWIN

Jake Lambert – Days of our Lives

When Jake the mechanic showed up looking just like Stefan O DiMera, obviously they were twins. But the difference between the two is startling thanks to the performances of Brandon Barash. “aint talk of the town, but venture gues’t : libido intstincts first, ad hurl

coming on best his hard on still take

Jake is more like Johnny Zacchara than he is Stefan, really. Hooking up with Kate for example. On GH, he hooked up with three different women who were old enough to be his mother. I think Johnny also worked as a mechanic for a while when he was trying to stay out of the “family business”.

GH was awful, IMO! Maura West and Genie Francis were the saving graces of the show. KD, as a recast for Jackie Templeton is horrible. Olivia’a performance was so over the top, that it made me FF!

You overlooked the scene with an alive Holly being held hostage, as a highlight of 2020…but you would.

DOOL was definitely the best, all around soap of 2020!

Why all the love for B&B? My dvr had to break up with the show. It was becoming too painful to watch even before the pandemic.Days was pure soapy goodness this year.Agree Y&R needs storyline work It wasn’t the greatest but still above the hot mess of B&B.Plus y&r delivered the treat of all those wonderful classic episodes something GH was unable to do with 50+ years of shows. Agree GH was the best this year because of the fantastic Alzheimer’s story, the teens and the queens Genie, Maura, Nancy. Lisa, Chloe and Kathleen.Nice for Jane to pop in. Gh still dismantling the legacy families (Qs, Spencer’s) continues to be a weak spot.

Hi Michael
Your picks were right on but have to disagree on best new character, Gwen on DOOL, maybe should be Best New Bitch! While I liked her role on Y&R, I can’t tolerate her as Gwen. Guess it shows how good she is huh?

As a GH fan for too many years to count, I definitely agree with you about Becky Herbst. I always feel that the writers seem to leave her in the background, only to appear when necessary. She is a far better actress than some that are always front and center. I do hope the writers see what a treasure she is and give her a story line that is worth her talent.

Hi Michael, Happy New Year. I read the article and although I do agree with most of it, particular the GH stuff cause I’m a huge fan. I think you should have added the youtube content from Steve Burton and Bradford Anderson. Their podcast and their 7 Questions with Steve and Brad have been the best to watch during Quarantine, and should’ve tied with the best pandemic series. But that’s just my opinion. All in all this is a great article, Good job.✌️

It’s obvious Michael leans more towards GH. I watch GH and Days. I fast forward far more through GH than Days. Ron Carlivati is the best writer in daytime and he has the best writing team. I know it’s all apples and oranges. I just felt compelled to defend my favorite show.

Ron Carlivati is the best writer in daytime? wtf! haha haha haha haha haha, that was unintentionally funny.

Mario
We all have our favorites and if GH is Michael’s it would be totally understandable. I watch all four shows and have from the beginning. Three have not stood up to time but GH has pretty much given us interesting characters, SLs,etc. That cannot be said of the other three. Hopefully Summer on Y&R checking out Sally previously on B&B in LA will add a little excitement to that show.

Agree with most everything except for Britt.. nothing against the actress but she is like nails on a chalkboard to watch… FF all the way

PS no comments about Sam? The danger junkie leaving Jason?! She will always be in danger and knew that, together or apart. They were my all time favorite soap couple, and this “reunion” has been painful. Were they happy for a day?! They are supposed to be together.

IMO the Worst Soap is B&B. A Vanguard for rushing the return of a soap yet whereas other soaps have cast members stand closer, sit next to each other, even hug B&B have the actors still at opposite sides of a room. Even ones in love with each other.

Michael I love this list this year you were right on but the one that I really agree with you over is Rebecca Herbts most undersuse MVP, I pray EP Frank Valentini and Head writers and soap makers of the year no less, will see this and finally do something about it, It completely boggles my mind how Kelly Monoco and Laura Wright are in everyones storyline’s yet poor Rebecca is reduce to less then actors who are not even contract players? GH do something right with Rebecca finally this year once and for all.

Before we start making predictions for 2021 Daytime Emmy nominations, I would love to see DOOL get some love. Rob Scott Wilson needs a nomination as Lead Actor. He has carried the show and seems to be the only actor that deserves a Lead nomination. I always love Ari Zucker’s work. I also think it is time for Lauren Koslow to get a Supporting Actress nom.

Wow! So much. I don’t watch GH. For me, Days is the best. Y&R does need help. Too much on the A.J.-Adam story and the Teardrop of Love. Liam was so stupid. Why didn’t he go in the room to see what Thomas and “Hope” were doing?

Looking forward to a great 2021!

GH was awesome. They really wrote some great stuff after the Covid shutdown. Y&R was and still is horrible! I love Victor but he is just a shell of himself now. After this current story warps, he should retire and bring back Michael Muhney. Also, Lola’s mom should be Jack’s new love interest. Recast Kyle and I liked Mellissa Orday’s husband as Chance. But, none of this matters if they cannot find capable writers.

I really liked your selections, Mr. Fairman! GH has been especially outstanding since it’s return to production. There is so much mentioned about GH and it’s spectacular cast, writers, production team, that I totally agree with.

Here’s to a fabulous 2021 for ALL the soaps!

I agree with most of what you wrote. Upon return I felt Frizz was finally getting a good story. So while Rebecca Herbst does deserve more screen time I felt like Tracy Bregman is the most underused VIP

As the daughter of a nurse who took care of Alzheimer patients for over 30 years I can say GH did a beautiful job, all the way down to Max wanting Sonny to leave so he can pass on alone. It really happens.

With absolutely NO disrespect to a legendary actress like Marla, I was completely disgusted and off put by the Y&R Alzheimer’s story. So ridiculous and way too unrealistic – which todays viewers are over with.

Yes Soaps are supposed to be outrageous but over the decades we’ve come to expect more realism and Y&R historically never did the “un-realistic soap” No witches with spells, no possession, no diner that’s a portal for time travel.

Y&R was always in a different category and pushed the beginning of Daytime Drama and the end of “Soap”. 2019 was a great year to watch. I do think they did Covid19 the best by digging into the vault and letting a new generation of viewers know how long time fans fell in love with Y&R.

GH was absolutely the best of the year. Want to end on a good note.

Michael
Can you add an addendum or whatever and call it the worst injustice done to an actor and the fans? The firing of Donny Boaz as Chance on Y&R has got to be one of the stupidest things they’ve ever done. I know there are tons of fans that agree with me.

Breaking News

Patrick Mulcahey OUT as General Hospital Co-Head Writer

After various reports surfaced, it has been confirmed that Patrick Mulcahey is out as the co-head writer of General Hospital. This is after a very short tenure of under five months.

Mulcahey was named to the position back in January of 2024 along with longtime GH writer Elizabeth Korte. They replaced the team of Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor, who had been the head scribes of the long-running ABC daytime drama since 2019.

A source informed Soap Opera Digest that stories created by the co-head writing team of  Mulcahey/Korte team will air through mid-summer. However they added “There will be more news to share at a later date as to the composition of the new writing team.”

In addition, eagle-eyed soap fans have seen that in recent episodes former co-head writer, Chris Van Etten has been credited, as he is reportedly a breakdown writer with the show.

Soap Opera Network is reporting that Korte has assumed the head writing duties solely on her own at the moment, while Buzz blog initially reported Mulcahey’s exit.

We will have more on the GH writing team evolution in the days ahead.

What do you think about the writing team changes at GH thus far? Comment below.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Melody Thomas Scott and Edward J. Scott to Receive Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Honors

The Young and the Restless iconic Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) and her husband, Emmy-winning producer, Edward J. Scott have been named by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences as Lifetime Achievement Honorees at the 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

Melody and Ed will be presented with the award on June 7th during the 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards (8 PM ET/delayed PT) broadcast live on CBS and streaming live and on-demand on Paramount+*.

In a statement Melody and Ed expressed, “We are honored and humbled to receive this recognition from NATAS. Throughout our decades-long careers in front of and behind the cameras, we have had the opportunity to work not only with each other, but also with an incredibly talented pool of people who excel in their crafts and are passionate about the art we create in daytime television. We are grateful to have worked side by side with them and to be included with such esteemed recipients who have made their mark in our industry. We look forward to spending another wonderful evening celebrating the daytime community!“

Adam Sharp, President and CEO, NATAS added,“We’ve long wanted to honor the legendary daytime duo of Melody Thomas Scott and her husband Edward J. Scott. With a combined 93  years of contributions to our community, they are true institutions in the world of Daytime television.”

In addition to Melody and Ed receiving their Lifetime Achievement honors, public television host and cookbook author Lidia Bastianich will also be honored.

Photo NATAS

Lidia Bastianich said, “It is a tremendous honor to be recognized and receive the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award for having shared my passion for food with TV audiences for over 25 years. Cooking together and sharing food remain a common denominator of all cultures. Food nurtures, it connects diverse people, and it brings families, friends, and strangers together. There is no better place to be on this earth, especially in these trying times, than sharing food at a table with others. That simple idea has been the basis of my life’s work. Hence, as I say in my shows, “Tutti a Tavola a Mangiare!” Mille Grazie to NATAS for this honor.”

While Adam Sharp shared, “Lidia Bastianich’s astounding success combines her love of cooking while simultaneously entertaining millions each day. It is an honor for us to say ‘grazie’ for the many fine meals borne from her TV kitchen and cookbook pages.”

Melody Thomas Scott recently celebrated 45 years in the role of Nikki Newman, having joined the show in February 1979. Scott’s character has matured from the girl from the wrong side of the tracks to the serial’s luminous and resourceful leading lady.  After garnering a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in 1999, she went on to win in the same category for the Soap Opera Digest Award in 2001 and received four Soap Opera Update Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress (1992, 1993, 1995 and 1996). Scott began her career at age three. She studied singing, tap dancing, ballet and jazz and became one of the world-famous “Meglin Kiddies,” performing in USO shows as she started booking national commercials and guest spots on such series as “Wagon Train,” “My Three Sons,” “Ironside” and a recurring role on “The Waltons.”  Scott made her motion picture debut at age eight when she was cast by Alfred Hitchcock as the young Tippi Hedren in the thriller “Marnie.”  She has co-starred with legendary actors Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, John Wayne and Kirk Douglas. Scott has worked on stage and in numerous television shows and  was the subject of Lifetime Television’s “Intimate Portrait.” As a lifelong fan of “I Love Lucy,” Scott served as a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, N.Y., which is committed to preserving the legacy of the great comedienne. In 2020,

Scott released her memoir, “Always Young and Restless.” Married since 1985 to Edward J. Scott, the couple have three daughters and five grandchildren.

Photo: JPI

Edward J. Scott is a six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning producer who has played a pivotal role in the historic development of the soap opera genre for nearly five decades. Scott is currently supervising producer for The Bold and the Beautiful, the #2-rated daytime drama in the U.S. and the most-watched daily drama in the world, which is nominated for 12 Daytime Emmy Awards this year. Scott began his association with The Bell Family and Bell-Phillip Television Productions when he joined “The Young and The Restless” as an associate producer in 1976. He quickly moved up the ranks and served as the show’s executive producer for decades.

Scott’s legendary 48-year producing partnership and creative collaboration with “The Young and The Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” creators, the late William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell, and their son, Bradley P. Bell, has helped create the two most popular daily American television series. Today, both daytime dramas are syndicated internationally.  Before joining “B&B” Scott was executive producer for the NBC daytime drama “Days of Our Lives.” Born and raised in Santa Monica, California, Scott earned a B.A from California State University at Northridge with a double major of anthropology and broadcasting journalism. He has been married since 1985 to actress and author Melody Thomas Scott. The couple have three daughters and five grandchildren.

So, excited to hear Y&R’s Melody Thomas Scott and longtime daytime soap opera producer, Edward J. Scott are receiving this year’s Lifetime Achievement Honors at this years 51st Annual Daytime Emmys? Comment below.

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‘Daytime Stands Up: A Benefit For Stand Up To Cancer’ Live Virtual Event Announced; Featuring Soap Opera Notables and Moving Tributes

Stand Up to Cancer in collaboration with Alan Locher and Michael Fairman, will come together for a a three-hour livestream benefit, Daytime Stands Up: A Benefit for Stand Up To Cancer … We All Have a Story.

Several stars from from daytime drama television past and present are scheduled to participate for an evening of stories of emotional on- and off-screen experiences with cancer, and moving tributes to beloved daytime favorites who lost their battle plus musical performances.

Daytime Stands Up: A Benefit for Stand Up To Cancer … We All Have a Story, streams live on Thursday, May 16, from 8 to 11 p.m. ET/5 to 8 pm PT simultaneously on StandUpToCancer.org and YouTube channels The Locher Room and Michael Fairman Channel.

Photos: CBS and JPI

Tune-in for cancer survivorship stories with General Hospital’s Cameron Mathison and The Young and the Restless’ Colleen Zenk, who will reflect on the impact of publicly sharing their diagnoses; 2024 Daytime Emmy nominee Eric Braeden, who shares his cancer journey as well his memories of beloved The Young and the Restless co-star Meg Bennett, who passed from cancer April 11; and more.

Moving tributes to soap stars who’ve lost their cancer battles, including: Daytime icon Jackie Zeman, who played nurse Bobbie Spencer on General Hospital for 45 years, shared by daughters Cassidy MacLeod and Lacey Gorden, a tribute to Elizabeth Hubbard who played the iconic Lucinda Walsh on As the World Turns and Dr. Althea Davis on The Doctors, as shared by her on-screen daughter Martha Byrne and real-life son Jeremy Bennett, two-time Emmy Award-winner Jerry verDorn (Guiding Light  One Life to Live), shared by widow Beth verDorn and his on-screen wife on Guiding Light, friend and co-star Liz Keife, the iconic Andrea Evans, who played Tina Lord Roberts on One Life to Live, shared by her husband Stephen G. Rodriguez and daughter Kylie Rodriguez and Kamar de los Reyes shared by his One Life to Live co-stars Michael Easton (General Hospital) Trevor St. John (The Young and the Restless).

Photo: MEastonFacebook

Poignant reflections from actors who have portrayed breast cancer survivors, including Sharon Case and Eileen Davidson from The Young and the Restless; Erika Slezak from One Life to Live; Tina Sloan and Kim Zimmer from Guiding Light and more.

Additional talent slated to participate in the virtual benefit include (*subject to change): Eddie and Kristen Alderson (One Life to Live); Elia Cantu (Days of Our Lives); The Day Players, Featuring Days of Our Lives castmates Carson Boatman, Brandon Barash, Wally Kurth (2024 Daytime Emmy nominee), Eric Martsolf (2024 Daytime Emmy nominee); Kassie DePaiva (One Life to Live); Don Diamont (The Bold and the Beautiful); Linsey Godfrey (2024 Daytime Emmy nominee, Days of Our Lives); Leo Howard (Days of Our Lives); Lesli Kay (The Bold and  the Beautiful); Eden McCoy (General Hospital); Kin Shriner (General Hospital); Michelle Stafford (2024 Daytime Emmy nominee, The Young and the Restless).

Courtesy/LaceyGorden

“Daytime television invites viewers into the private lives of characters, often bringing important issues like cancer screenings into living rooms and around water coolers. Soaps debuted the first cancer storyline in 1962 – years before the topic was discussed in the mainstream, and it left an indelible impact: a whole generation of women who scheduled a potentially life-saving Pap smear for the first time,” said Daytime Stands Up host Alan Locher. “For so many viewers, this brought the issue front and center,” added co-host Michael Fairman. “Today, it’s become almost impossible to avoid; but there is hope with cancer research, thanks to organizations like Stand Up To Cancer.”

SU2C Co-Founder Sue Schwartz, SU2C President and CEO Julian Adams, Ph.D., and SU2C Health Equity Committee Member Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., will also participate to speak to the importance of early detection, exciting scientific breakthroughs, and the ongoing work yet to be done to make screenings and treatment equitable for all.

“This year, an estimated 2 million people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer, presenting an opportunity for the public to stand with us and rise to the occasion,” said Adams. “We’re thankful to Alan Locher, Michael Fairman and our friends from the daytime television community, who will raise critical funding to honor those we’ve lost – and to propel new scientific breakthroughs for current and future patients. Everyone has a story, and we’re grateful to all of you for sharing yours.”

For over 15 years, SU2C has leveraged its relationship with the entertainment community – which includes more than 1,100 celebrity ambassadors – to generate public donations, increase awareness and fund cutting-edge cancer research. SU2C research has contributed to the development of more than 10 scientific breakthroughs that have significantly impacted the field and provided new treatment options for breast, colorectal, lung, melanoma, pancreatic, pediatric and prostate cancers.

Photo: SUTC

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