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Michael Fairman TV Names The Best and Worst in Soaps 2022

Photos: Peacock and ABC

In a year that saw Days of our Lives leave network television after almost 57 seasons and move exclusively to Peacock as its new streaming home, that left only three daytime dramas on the air.  The times are definitely a-changing.

Now, as 2022 comes to a close, Michael Fairman TV takes a look back with our annual list of the Best and Worst in Soaps.  As it does every year, we want 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 is a feat in and of itself.  In addition to naming the best moments and performances of the year, there were several not-so-stellar moments featuring characters, storylines, and more, that get the dubious honor of some of our “Worsts”.

One note: 2022, in our opinion, was not a banner year for the soaps.  At times, it featured lackluster and lazy storytelling among all four long-running series, and because of that, our annual kudo fest will not be naming a ‘Best Soap of the Year’ accolade.

While we know many of you have your own views and picks, and 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 enduring community at Michael Fairman TV and soap fans everywhere, a very Happy New Year.  It is all of you with your passion for the genre itself, which makes this such a unique form of entertainment with a special connection between the audience, the performers, and the storylines themselves.

So, here we go … the Best and Worst in Soaps … and with that… 2022 out!

Photo: JPI

MOST SHOCKING SOAP

The Bold and the Beautiful

Throughout the year, B&B shocked viewers with some major plot points and reveals that either left us with our jaws dropping, or scratching our heads.

MOST ENTERTAINING SOAP

Days of our Lives

Laughter, thrills, and wacky or whacked-out surprises, DAYS continues to be the most entertaining soap with its ‘go for it’ motto, and over-the-top stories.  It would be nice to see it counter-balanced with a bit more emotional heart in 2023.

MOST DISAPPOINTING SOAP

The Young and the Restless

It was hard-pressed for us to find one or two storylines through the year that made us care to tune-in every day.  The show is about to have its golden anniversary in 2023, and we hope that exciting stories and writing to the strengths of its all-star cast are in its future.

Photo: ABC

SOAP IN NEED OF MORE BALANCE

General Hospital

When GH is good, it is the absolute best drama on daytime television, bar none.  The cast is sensational, the emotional fallouts offer Emmy-winning material for the show, and some of the stories have legs that involve many characters on the canvas.  On the flip side, there are often too many stories going on at once, often utilizing characters we don’t care as much about and that often lead to nowhere.  With a few tweaks, GH will have a Happy 60th anniversary run in 2023.

Photo: JPI

BEST LIMITED SERIES

Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem Chapter 2

This was a perfect five-episode arc told with nods to history, clever writing, and the appearances of Kristian Alfonso, Peter Reckell, Steve Burton and Miranda Wilson, to boot.

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS

Maura West – Ava Jerome – General Hospital

Any year that Maura West is involved in a front-burner storyline is always a smart move.  During 2022, Ava was put through the emotional wringer and fought back as only she can do. West’s scenes of: learning her husband Nikolas slept with mortal enemy Esme Prince, then her confrontation with the nasty girl, and the fallout from that, continued to show us why West is in a league of her own.

Courtesy/CBS

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A STORYLINE

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

This story hit so close to home for so many, and it was played to perfection by Y&R’s Melissa Claire Egan.  It made sense why Chelsea would lose all hope, and not be able to find a way to go on another day after all of her past transgressions and failures, and her complex relationship with her sons: Johnny and Connor.  When Chelsea took to the rooftop to consider ending her life and then its aftermath, one could make the case that it will be Egan taking home Emmy gold in 2023.

Courtesy/NBC

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LIMITED RUN

Alison Sweeney – Sami Brady – Days of our Lives

DAYS head writer, Ron Carlivati has continually found the sweet spot at how to write Sami and give Alison Sweeney material to sink her teeth into every time she makes a return to her soap opera home.  In 2022, after her wedding to Lucas blows up, and truths are revealed, Sami eventually finds her sister, Belle in EJ’s bed.  This time, when Sami leaves Salem she stands up for herself with limited histrionics, and says to EJ, “I have been ping-ponging back and forth between you and Lucas for the better part of two decades, and I’m sick of it. You’re not worth the powder it would take to blow you up.  I would like to point out that we’d be together right now if you hadn’t believed his lies. So, thank God it happened the way it did, so I could learn my lesson. Because I can’t even count the different ways you have found to break my heart. So, I’m done. Good luck with Belle, or whoever comes after her. I hope you make each other miserable. I’ve had it. With you. With this place. With all of it!” And with that, Sami walks out and leaves Salem once again. BRAVO to Sweeney!

Courtesy/CBS

BEST SINGLE PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A STORYLINE

2022 also gave us some heartbreaking performances from several actresses in a single performance within an episode or a short arc.  Here are some that standout among the rest:

Mishael Morgan – Amanda finds Devon making out with Abby – The Young and the Restless

The Daytime Emmy Lead Actress winner in 2022, came back to Y&R to wrap up her storyline and she did it with gut-wrenching emotion and heartache as only Mishael Morgan can.

Sal Stowers – Lani leaves Salem – Days of our Lives

Sometimes we save the best for last, and in Sal Stowers’ case, she delivered in spades in her final episode as Lani says farewell to her family before serving out her prison term.

Sharon Case – Sharon learns Rey is dead – The Young and the Restless

When Sharon’s intuition tells her Rey is dead, and she learns the fateful news from Nick, it provided Case with a canvas to display Sharon’s devastation.  Problem was Case had nothing else to do on-screen for the remainder of the year.

Finola Hughes – Anna watches Peter die – General Hospital

Anna blamed herself for Peter’s existence in the first place, but how fitting was it, when the guy’s time on this earth ran out, that super spy Devane did not call for the paramedics, but made sure his evil reign had ended.  In the capable hands of Finola Hughes, the scene was riveting.

Marci Miller –  Chad says goodbye to Abigail at her gravesite – Days of our Lives

When Abigail visits Chad at her gravesite, it gave Chabby fans the fitting goodbye to a storied DAYS couple.  Miller’s understated performances as Abigail was the perfect counterpoint to Billy Flynn’s grief-stricken husband.

Photo: ABC

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Kelly Thiebaud – Britt Westbourne – General Hospital

This marks two years in a row for Kelly taking our top honors for Supporting Actress.  In 2022, the story got even more heartbreaking as Britt’s battle with Huntington’s Disease progressed and as the end of the year brings her exit from the show, it reminds us of the power of this actress. Kelly can do it all: play tough, despair, dedication, humor, darkness, imperfection and most of all humanness.  Thiebaud made GH a better show every time she graced the screen.

Honorable Mentions:

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

Amanda Setton – Brook Lynn Quartermaine – General Hospital

Photo: JPI

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR

Billy Flynn – Chad DiMera – Days of our Lives

Was there anything more poignant than Chad avenging Abigail’s death then confronting her murderer (Clyde), then reuniting with his beloved wife at her gravesite? Flynn was so masterful in these scenes and throughout the entire journey of the grief-stricken husband trying to identify his wife’s killer. Billy’s portrayal by all accounts should earn him some Emmy love come 2023.

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTOR

Nicholas Alexander Chavez – Spencer Cassadine – General Hospital

What’s so good about Nick Chavez’s work is that it’s never over-the-top, in fact, many times it’s underplayed.  However, when Spencer explodes and lets his emotions out, it is pure soap opera gold.  Look no further then when Spencer finds out his own father was sleeping with his supposed girlfriend. Let’s not forget when Spencer risked it all to save Trina’s life in the courtroom and wound up going to prison for it … or how he just can’t get out of his own way and admit how he feels and who he loves.  Chavez is a real find for GH.  Now the trick is …. how long can they keep this guy when the sky is the limit for his burgeoning acting career?

Honorable Mentions:

Greg Rikaart – Leo Stark – Days of our Lives

Matthew Atkinson – Thomas Forrester – The Bold and the Beautiful

Dan Feurriegel – EJ DiMera – Days of our Lives

Photo: CBS

BEST SINGLE PEFORMANCE  BY AN ACTOR IN A STORYLINE

Jason Thompson – Billy saves Chelsea’s life – The Young and the Restless

Y&R utilized one of their finest actors in a story of depression and a suicide attempt, by having Billy be the one to come upon Chelsea about to end her life. What followed were scenes of a man unsure and helpless, trying to do the right thing.  Thompson’s portrayal was honest and raw, and for anyone who has been on either side of a suicide attempt, it showed viewers how a split-second decision just may save the life of someone you love or care about it.

Honorable Mentions:

Maurice Benard – Sonny has a manic episode in front of Nina – General Hospital

At the beginning of the year, as Sonny is integrating himself back into Port Charles, he goes off his bipolar meds and it’s Nina who witnesses his emotional and erratic behavior.  Eventually the two just sit quietly, while he rests his head on her shoulder.  Realizing he needs help, Sonny is vulnerable. This reminds us that when given the material, Benard is as fine an actor as they come.

Tanner Novlan – Sheila has Finn kidnapped – The Bold and the Beautiful

In one of the shocking twists of the year, Finn is revealed to be alive, and being taken care of secretly by his adoptive mother, Li.  Only when Sheila gets wind of his whereabouts, it becomes the movie “Misery’ with Sheila kinda, sorta, torturing her bio-son, so he won’t leave captivity. Meanwhile, Finn is trying to get the hell away from her, so he can reunite with his wife, Steffy, who believes he’s dead.  Novlan showed up for this and proved he’s not just another good-looking soap opera hottie, but can act, too.

Photo: CBS

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LONG-RUNNING VETERAN

Kathrine Kelly Lang – Brooke Forrester – The Bold and the Beautiful

B&B put Brooke through the wringer in 2022! The 35-year veteran of the series, had two, count em’ two, storylines where she was blamed for something she didn’t do!   From her New Year’s Eve booze fest with Deacon …  to that voice-changing app CPS call, Brooke spent the entire year in tears, wondering how all of this could happen to her?  Let’s recall A) Sheila switched champagne bottles, so Brooke thought she was drinking non-alcoholic champagne when she was actually drinking real champagne and kissed Deacon. Brooke is an alcoholic to boot.  B) Thomas pretends to be Brooke calling CPS on him, so Ridge thinks she turned his son in, thus he leaves her for Taylor. Lang brings it every single time, and it would be nice for her to get an Emmy nomination in 2023, but sometimes the stories she is saddled with just go on for too long and are too ridiculous. FREE BROOKE! Hopefully 2023 will give the character a chance to find her center without any machinations, and not in need a man, especially Ridge!

Photo: ABC

BIGGEST DOOFUSES

Soap writers really stunk up some of these key characters on your favorite soaps.

Nikolas Cassadine, General Hospital

Number one has to be Nikolas Cassadine, he became the ultimate doofus.  Sleeping with his son’s girlfriend? Lying about an affair with Elizabeth? Keeping Esme locked up at Wyndemere? This guy used to be so smart and savvy, and this character has hit rock bottom.

Jack Abbott, The Young and the Restless

You have the great Peter Bergman and you make Jack Abbott a doofus too? Is he that stupid that he would just fall back in love with questionable Diane Jenkins? The audience at home feels like Ashley does! Every time she sees her brother ogling over Diane or defending her, she gets a bad taste in her mouth combined with a look of disdain.

Ridge Forrester, The Bold and the Beautiful

We have no sympathy or empathy for Ridge Forrester.  He can’t even tell Brooke why he is so upset that he is leaving her, and he runs back to Taylor and then that blows up.  This character needs a serious makeover, or better yet, some deep therapy.

Courtesy/CBS

BEST CHILD ACTOR

Henry Joseph Samiri – Douglas Forrester – The Bold and the Beautiful

All hail Douglas! Henry Joseph Samiri is a real find for B&B.  He was great at the beginning of the year when Grandma ‘Drunk’ Brooke was kissing Santa Deacon and later, even better when he told the truth about his father and his voice-changing app antics to destroy Grandma Brooke’s marriage to Ridge.  Kudos.

BEST ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE

Cast of Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem Chapter 2

This was pure fun watching how the stories were interwoven with emotion, humor, and high-stakes adventures. It featured returning and beloved favorites, new cast members, and more.  Everyone brought their A-game.

Photo: Gilles Toucas

BEST VILLAIN, FEMALE

Kimberlin Brown – Sheila Carter – The Bold and the Beautiful

Sheila had an unbelievable year in story, shooting her son and his wife, somehow surviving it all, donning a wig and prosthetics, seducing Deacon to let her stay with him, cutting off her toe, her fights with Li, her apparent alliance with Bill, and so much more.  Yes, B&B has let Sheila get away with EVERYTHING, but Brown is so good in the role that you have to give her props for making Sheila just so pathological that we kind of can’t wait to see how she will get out of spending her life behind bars, time after time.

Honorable Mention:

Avery Pohl – Esme Prince – General Hospital

BEST VILLAIN, MALE

William Christian – TR Coates – Days of our Lives

TR was a murderous bad man with a nasty drug habit too! Wasn’t it nice seeing former All My Children good guy William Christian (ex-Derek Frye) playing the dark and evil TR?

Courtesy/ABC

BEST SCENE-STEALER FEMALE and BEST RECAST

Alley Mills – Heather Webber – General Hospital

Alley Mills was a surprise recast for crazy town Heather Webber when Robin Mattson was unavailable to resume her signature GH role.  Mills has infused Heather with new vigor and made us count the minutes till she returns on our screen again to cause more trouble. Mills had gone from crazy Pam and her lemon bars on B&B to ultimate ‘cray-cray’ as Heather on GH.

BEST SCENE-STEALER MALE

Greg Rikaart – Leo Stark – Days of our Lives

To say that Days is loving Leo and Greg Rikaart is relishing playing the role is an understatement.  This is a perfect match of quick-witted writing and the right actor to take what’s on the page and make it even more delicious.  Rikaart is so fantastic in the part that Leo has become the gift that keeps on giving in Salem!

Photo: JPI

BEST TEARJERKER

Hope is reunited with Bo and Zack in Heaven – Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem Chapter 2

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Hope briefly goes to heaven and is reunited with her beloved Bo Brady, and then later, her son, Zack.  It was beautifully played by Kristian Alfonso, Peter Reckell and Scott Shilstone.

Photo: ABC

BEST GUEST STAR TURN

Linda Purl – Peyton Honeycutt – General Hospital

The best part of the long-winded ‘Jacksonville layover’ was Carly’s old nemesis Peyton being part of the story which gave TV and motion picture star, Linda Purl, a nice role to sink her teeth into, while Peyton got her claws into Carly for a bit.

Courtesy/ABC

BEST SCENE

(TIE)

Holly and Robert say goodbye – General Hospital

It was nice to finally have Emma Samms back for a limited run as Holly Sutton.  Her return worked the best when she appeared in scenes opposite Tristan Rogers (Robert Scorpio).  When it was time for Holly to go on the run and wrap-up the story, Robert and Holly shared a kiss, he got the ‘ice princess’ diamond necklace back from her, and GH fans had the chance to walk down memory lane for a bit. Well-played.

Brook Lynn gives Bailey Louise back to Maxie – General Hospital

When Peter was finally dead and Maxie could raise her child in safety, it was time for Brook Lynn to give her back to her birth mother.  In a gut-wrenching scene, Brook Lynn hands the little girl back to Maxie.  Beautiful work from Amanda Setton and Kirsten Storms.

WORST SCENE

Taylor being chased by Ridge in Aspen – The Bold and the Beautiful

When Taylor was running away from Ridge in the mountains of Aspen, was she truly running or hoping he would catch up with her?  He eventually does, romance ensues, and it kind of fell flat.

Photo: JPI

WORST MURDER MYSTERY

Abigail’s murder mystery – Days of our Lives

This was such a huge disappointment that after all the suspects and months of false leads, that Abby’s murderer turned out to be Clyde Weston.  The rationale for Clyde being the killer was the part of the story that was the flimsiest of all.

BEST THROWBACK

DAYS marks its 57th anniversary revisiting the Julie shoplifting plot from its first episode

This was a very clever move – utilizing scenes from the pilot episode of DAYS in 1965 with the original Julie – then 57 years later having Shawn arresting adult Julie for shoplifting.

Photo: CBS

BEST RETURN

Susan Walters – Diane Jenkins – The Young and the Restless

While the story has been dragging, it was great to see Susan Walters back as troublemaking Diane Jenkins on The Young and the Restless, when the show decided to bring the character ‘back from the dead’.

WORST EXIT

Rena Sofer as Quinn – The Bold and the Beautiful

After all the build-up to Quinn and Carter finally being together, we get the news that Rena Sofer has made the decision to leave the series.  Instead of crafting a proper exit story, or even ONE scene with her in it, viewers find out she has vanished and her bestie Shauna arrives revealing that Quinn has left Carter.  We understand contracts necessitate quick changes in soaps, but was there a better way to have handled this departure? Maybe even a Facetime video from Quinn explaining herself to Carter? Just sayin’.

Photo: ABC

BEST COUPLE-IN-THE-MAKING

Sprina – General Hospital

Star-crossed Spencer and Trina on General Hospital are everything.  In this case, GH wrote the story building and building the tension, and have left the viewers waiting, hoping and wanting the two to finally have their romance, or how about even a big smooch???  Stay tuned in 2023.

BEST COUPLE

Anna and Valentin – General Hospital

They’re sexy, sophisticated, and now we just need to see them in a real high stake’s drama where against all odds they reunite. “Vanna” had captured GH viewers imaginations with their portrayal of mature love played by the always excellent Finola Hughes and James Patrick Stuart.

Courtesy/ABC

WORST COUPLE

Austin and Maxie – General Hospital

This doesn’t work on so many levels.  Get Maxie back with Spinelli and find an actress (to bad Kelly Thiebaud left the show) that can hold her own with Roger Howarth, and make us care.

Honorable Mentions:

Ashland and Victoria – The Young and the Restless

They hogged so much airtime and we did not care. It was the ‘Ashland and Victoria Show’ for so many months and are heads were spinning.

Photo: JPI

Nancy and Clyde – Days of our Lives

This was embarrassing to the character of Nancy to not only have her duped by her longtime husband Craig, who has been apparently suppressing his sexuality to be with men all these years, but then the fallout finds her keeping time with murdering Clyde? Ugh.

MOST TORTURED CHARACTER

Sasha Gilmore – General Hospital

Losing your baby, battling addiction, losing your husband, battling addiction, it’s not been a good year for poor Sasha on GH.  Can the woman have two days without a calamity in her life? Kudos to Sofia Mattsson for illustrating Sasha’s inner pain, but c’mon now! Sasha needs a ray of light in her life at this point, or at least an all-expenses paid trip around the world!

CHARACTER IN NEED OF BETTER WRITING

Dr. Austin Gatlin-Holt – General Hospital

It appears that GH cannot quite figure out what they want to do with Dr. Austin Gatlin-Holt and in doing so have beloved fan favorite Roger Howarth languishing in the role.  Is Austin a good guy? A really bad guy? The story with ‘cousin’ Mason has been convoluted and we hope that in 2023 we can get some clear direction for this character.

BEST NEWCOMER

Tabyana Ali – General Hospital

Filling the shoes of Sydney Mikayla was no easy task, but Tabyana Ali has brought her own style to Trina and we have all fallen in love with her for it.  From her emotional courtroom drama, to her longing for Spencer, to the death of her boyfriend Rory and everything in between, Tabyana is a star on the rise.

Photo: NBC

BEST TRIANGLE

Allie/Chanel/Johnny – Days of our Lives

Talk about breaking old soap tropes and doing it well! Days of our Lives, didn’t do the traditional here.  You had a young woman (Chanel) in love with not two brothers, but siblings … Allie and Johnny.  In this sexually fluid storyline, it was a breath of fresh air to give new meaning to the word ‘triangle’ on a soap opera.

WORST TRIANGLE

Brooke/Ridge/Taylor – The Bold and the Beautiful

Seeing all three characters ping-ponging back and forth provided pure frustration for longtime viewers of The Bold and the Beautiful.  While it was an inspired casting choice to bring Krista Allen to BOLD as the new Taylor, we then were treated to months of whether or not Taylor would win Ridge back.  However, nothing is ever clean and on the up and up.  With so much chicanery from Taylor’s children, and Ridge being an absolute jerk of a man, this whole triangle found us praying it would stop.  Hopefully it has, for now, since Brooke and Taylor are now besties and have ousted Ridge from their lives.

Photo: JPI

BEST ‘GREAT-TO-SEE-YOU’ ON DAYTIME AGAIN

Trevor St. John – Tucker McCall –The Young and the Restless

We love TSJ and Y&R had the ‘get’ of the year bringing the former beloved bad boy from One Life to Live to the CBS daytime as a recast Tucker McCall.  St. John is such a fine actor that his scenes seem effortless, and we think viewers should give him a chance and let him run with the character in 2023 without any pre-conceived notions of how the part looked or was played-previously.

CHARACTERS WHO DESERVED THE BIGGEST BITCH-SLAPS

Steffy and Thomas Forrester – The Bold and the Beautiful

There were weeks where we wish Brooke Logan Forrester could have slapped Steffy and Thomas to Timbuktu! How many manipulative and nasty conversations could these siblings have about how they will do anything to get their parents, Taylor and Ridge back together?  We thought Steffy was a heroine, so this made her antics all the more confusing! Thank God, in the end, she blew the whistle off Taylor and Ridge’s sham of a wedding ceremony, by eventually revealing Thomas called CPS on himself, not Brooke.

BEST STANDALONE EPISODE

General Hospital 15,000th episode

While there were not as many standalone episodes in soaps this year, GH brought us there 15,000-episode milestone which centered around Laura Collins and featured the entire cast.  With the use of vets, and the amazing Genie Francis, it’s always special to harken back to this show’s deep history.

Courtesy/NBC

WORST RELATIONSHIP

Leo Stark and Craig Wesley – Days of our Lives

While we give DAYS kudos for delving into a story of a middle-aged man coming out and finding love in a same-sex relationship, because of the often-comedic hijinks, it was at times hard to root for Craig and Leo at all, and especially since Leo was revealed to be duplicitous from the start.

Photo: JPI

BEST STORYLINE

Finn is Alive – The Bold and the Beautiful

This story worked on many levels.  First, it was a shocker!  Sheila actually shot her own son and then shot his wife.  Then, after everyone believes Finn died, coupled with his adoptive mom Li’s curious behavior, months down the line it’s revealed that Finn is actually alive.  From there, the story got even juicier as Sheila tries to keep her biological son locked up while recovering from his injuries, so he couldn’t get away and reunite with his wife, Steffy.  Eventually, Steffy and Finn are reunited in Monte Carlo, and the story came full-circle.

Courtesy/ABC

WORST STORYLINE

Elizabeth Webber’s Mental Anguish and Past – General Hospital

This story was so convoluted when it should have been a showcase for Rebecca Herbst. First, we get Liz in a ‘fugue-state” …. later we get her having some flashbacks atop a stairwell … still later, we see a woman was pushed down the stairs.  As the story evolved, it brought in Liz’s parents, Jeff and Carolyn Webber.  Liz visits her childhood home after decades only to learn that Jeff had an affair with Finn’s wife, Reiko while working at Doctors Without Borders. It’s revealed, Liz found out about it and had a tussle with Reiko who falls down the stairs, then dies later in the hospital.  This whole thing seemed to be more about causing a rift between Finn and Liz, then Liz’s past.  It was also troubling that Carolyn used hypnosis tactics on her own daughter to make her block out the whole event.

RUNNERS-UP:

Billy’s Podcast – The Young and the Restless

This just doesn’t work on a daytime soap opera, or at least the way Y&R went about it.  You have the phenomenal Jason Thompson saddled with a story where he talks into a microphone. The show tried several times to rev up the story especially when Billy went under an alias to expose the underbelly of Genoa City, and that still fell flat. Give Thompson something better than this, please.

Photo: CBS

The Fall of Ashland Locke – The Young and the Restless

As we previously noted, there was just so much airtime devoted to Victoria and Ashland’s game of corporate and relationship cat and mouse that who could care by the end of it? It was like Ashland Locke’s character took over the show for months.  Mind you, it was nice to see Robert Newman again, after Richard Burgi’s departure, but this story was so monotonous.  The kicker was Nick ‘killing’ the guy and we never hear about this again.

MOST PREPOSTEROUS PLOT TWIST 

Sheila and Bill Form an Alliance – The Bold and the Beautiful

From spoilers for 2023 this might be a ruse, but if you go off of what aired in the final week of 2022, Dollar Bill’s turn to the dark side has him defending Sheila Carter, and threatening to blow the whistle on Taylor for shooting him years ago, if Steffy and Finn press charges and try to get Sheila put behind bars.  OKURR, got that? What makes this so preposterous is that previously, Bill actually helped Finn reunite with Steffy and helped Li bring down Sheila, who was keeping Finn prisoner.  Go figure.

CHARACTERS WHO NEED TO GET THEIR COMEUPPANCE

As much as we love them, enough already, right?

Sheila Carter – The Bold and the Beautiful

Kristen DiMera – Days of our Lives

Victor Cassadine – General Hospital

Courtesy/ABC

END OF THE ROAD EVERYONE WAITED FOR

Peter August’s death – General Hospital

In early February 2022, Peter August finally met his maker thanks to Felicia using a tire iron to knock him out cold!

MOST OVERUSED PROPS

Go back and count the number of times these props were mentioned in story, or in dialogue, and your head might spin.

Voice-changing app – The Bold and the Beautiful

Sheila’s toe – The Bold and the Beautiful

Orchid – Days of our Lives

Photo: CBS

WORST USE OF TRANSPORTATION TO STOP A WEDDING

Quinn on a bicycle pedaling to Carter and Paris nuptials – The Bold and the Beautiful

This looked so ridiculous. We are to believe that Quinn is going to grab a bicycle on the Venice boardwalk or wherever, and take a jaunt and arrive in time to bust-up Carter’s wedding to Paris? Well, somehow the bike got her there and she did the thing.  This is not what we would call a good use of a remote location shoot.

Photos: IMDb, IG

BIGGEST HEADLINES: TRAGIC DEATHS STRIKE THE SOAP WORLD

2022 will be remembered as the year we lost so many beloved stars and members of their families including:

Anne Heche – The Daytime Emmy-winning star of Another World died tragically following a brain injury after her car crashed into a home.

Sonya Eddy – The end of the year brought with it the shocking news of GH favorite, Sonya Eddy’s passing following a surgery that developed into complications.

Harrison Wagner – The youngest son of GH’s Kristina Wagner and Jack Wagner was found dead after suffering from addiction for many years.

Jerry verDorn – The two-time Daytime Emmy-winning actor of Guiding Light and One Life to Live succumbed to his battle with cancer.

Helmut Huber – Susan Lucci’s longtime husband and manager passed away suddenly at the age of 84.

What did you think of our picks for the ‘Best and Worst in Soaps 2022’? Agree? Disagree? Who would be your top choices in several of our categories? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Michael! I don’t post often but I look forward to this feature every year. Thanks for your work on this site. Can’t wait to read your picks and hear others’ reactions!

Gr8 compilation!!!

Wow, what a list! Thanks for all the time and effort it took to compile this “Best & Worst” collection. But, you forgot one category: Best Online Soap Opera News Source 2022? Michael Fairman!

I’m probably not in the majority on this but I find Nicholas Alexander Chavez WAY over the top when he’s upset; it’s so theatrical I feel like I’m watching Macbeth, lol. “Spencer” just gets on my last nerve. His animosity toward Ava is absurd; the stalking because she disappointed his 10-year-old-self? The whole hatred thing made no sense. Do I think he’s a good, older, recast? Yes; he’s great-looking and he fits the role for Spencer at this time in Spencer’s life…when he’s not playing Spencer as this tragic victim shouting his angst to the world, I enjoy the actor.

I agree. He’s overrated.

Agreed!

I completely agree with you regarding the over the top performances of Chavez. He definitely has had his moments but I often find him unwatchable‍♀️

I totally agree with this. Well said.

I agree, watching his character interact with the character of Trinia is like watching a really bad Hallmark movie.

I really loved the original Trina and her chemistry with Spencer…The new Sprina just doesn’t work as well and I find their height difference somewhat awkward.

I did as well, the original actress that played Trinia had chemistry via spades with Chavez. With the new version, its so forced and unnatural its just uncomfortable to watch.

Agreed. I fast forward through their scenes.

I disagree. Nicholas Chavez has brought an acting A game to GH since day one. He has done an amazing job with the material given him. And they changed his leading (Trina) lady on him with no break and he handled it like a pro!

I’m with you and Michael Fairman. As I see it, Mr. Chavez is most definitely NOT over the top. I realize that judging acting prowess can be subjective but I have no idea where folks are getting this impression. Chavez is understated when the scene calls for it, and he says more with his eyes, expression and mannerisms than most actors do when shrieking their lines in order to emote. Here’s an example; Spencer is sitting on the stairs of the stable house looking down at his father who is trying to wax euphoric about how much he loves his son. As Nikolas (as played by a mediocre, mouth breathing actor who cannot emote if his life depended on it)rambles on about how much Spencer means to him, Spencer’s eyes flood with tender emotion. He is at once a little boy and a grown man who has waited for years to hear what he means to his father. The next day Spencer learns that his father slept with his girl friend and the torrent of emotions he had been repressing for so long comes rushing out. When Nikolas tells his son that he didn’t do it to hurt him, Spencer replies,”That’s just it. You don’t think of me at all.” He is not just talking about sleeping with Esme but referring to faking his death and scarring Spencer’s entire boyhood with the grief of losing his lone parent, his father. So, of course his reaction is going to be explosive. Nicholas Chavez wears his heart on sleeve and almost seems to be channeling James Dean. I think Fairman is correct when he says the sky is the limit for Chavez. The kid’s got a lot of talent.

As usual, I agree with all your points, Harry. Rarely can an actor (much less one in his early 20s) display so many conflicting emotions in one scene. He’s fascinating to watch, and unpredictable. I love NOT knowing what he’ll do next. Unlike Dante, Droop, Finn, Cody, Michael, and others who’ve worn out their limited talents ages ago and offer nothing fresh.

Agree!!!

I like his acting. Maybe it’s because I am over the top when I’m upset.

Don’t forget Donald May (Adam Drake of Edge of Night and Kathryn Hayes Kim Hughes of As the World Turns fame

I read the list, and I noticed that you didn’t mention the Tessa and Mariah nuptials on Y&R, For me I think that wedding was the only bright spot on the show in 2022.

Kathryn Hayes death really upset me since ATWT was my favorite show.

You are so correct about Y&R. Bill Bell should be rolling over in his grave as this magnificent show (through 2005 specifically) has suffered so much through poor writing choices (some of these writers have had some good moments, even the awfulness that was Lynn Marie Latham and 2007). But I have never seen such boring, limp writing like I have under Josh Griffith. Stories are started and then dropped; there is a total aversion to drama. Such talented actors are given drivel for dialogue. It is hands down the worst it has ever been.

TPTB are just as much to blame for letting such a show deteriorate over the last 20 years. I beg of them to beg writers like Nancy Curlee, Stephen Demorest, and Patrick Mulcahey to take over. Their time at Guiding Light in the early 90s was spectacular and inspired. A change has got to come.

Amen! I just can’t believe how CBS doesn’t step in and make a change to the writing team.

Joel,
They also do not need the head writer be the executive producer at the same time. Only Bill Bell could do that. I fear now that JG is the sole runner of the show that the show will only fall in creativity. I mean how many “who is the daddy” storylines does one need… it’s been done and done and done. I could care less because Sally is shoved down the viewer’s throats every day.

That’s another massive problem. Character development is so poor and uneven that many of the characters just do not work (like Sally and Elena). What do they even stand for?

They need to take the advice of Harding Lemay and Douglas Marland: read Middlemarch and then follow the rules for writing a soap. This is supposed to be a great American artform, but JG couldn’t write drama if it was written for him. He writes for 8 characters and inserts long boring conversations that lead nowhere, in stories that have no direction. CBS needs to save this show and quick.

I disagree. I don’t care for Elana, but I LOVE Sally! She is intelligent, a hard worker and a great character.

She is definitely, the new Phyllis, she knocks me out.

Hope you arent comparing Sally to Phyllis. There is no one like that bitch that rains hell down on everyone in her atmosphere, even family.

Do not care for Sally

I have no idea why Josh is stlll at the helm at all. I would even welcome Jill Farren Phelps back to bring back some energy. Josh needs to go now.

The same w/ B & B. Sad to say.

I only watch General Hospital and although I’m slightly behind, I agree with your assessment.

Nice report. I don’t know what’s keeping B&B on the air. The writing? – Yikes! Thank goodness “The Bay” is on Peacock now & I’m searching for other online soaps.

B & B is a half hour soap and I think that’s helping it. Glad you mentioned the Bay because it’s overlooked and there are almost 100 episodes . Lots of current and former daytime actors in the cast.

Great list! Why is the press so afraid to call out the bad writing for Finn on GH though? The fans have been than vocal about it.

Just for Finn?
how about bad writing for characters not named Sonny, Carly, Nina and Britt.
someone should also explain to Frank and writing team what ensemble means.

The fans definitely have that covered! Finn became so unlikeable…he has an anger issue too.

Yes, the writing for Finn has been poor. I like Michael Easton, he deserves better. How about bringing him into this century with a new haircut and shave, too? If the romance with Liz doesn’t pan out, bring someone else in. Also, every pairing doesn’t have to revolve around a monster. There’s enough evil on the evening news. More love in the afternoon. More Vanna!

Michael Easton definitely deserves better. Plus, Finn and Liz have little to no chemistry; that pairing was terrible from the start.

NolaGirl
Actually I preferred him as Silas Clay and I’ve never seen Liz have chemistry with any man only sex.

Michael, you nailed it. I don’t watch Days but agree with everything you wrote about the other three. Thank You and Have a Happy New Year.

Days is doing a disservice to the talent that is Billy Flynn by keeping him in this stupid story. Do what needs to be done and bring Abigail back – there are thousands of capable actresses who would be willing to commit full time to that role – and put him back where he should be front and centre. This very clearly chabby wannabe triangle is not working.

Agree! And, the HW is a waste of time/talent. Bring Abby back (Marci or someone else). Marci is/was the best.

What is the HW?

Y&R is a complete disaster. The entire writing team needs to be replaced. On B&B, Sheila makes the show!

here are others who need screen time than Sheila. They are stuck on stupid.

Only being a GH viewer I can agree totally on your picks. “The best doofus” is perfection. Changing characters’ personalities is not new on GH but they really gutted Nikolas. Thanks!

Does anyone else think the actor who was playing Nicholas looks way too young. Even his physicality is off. Spencer towers over him. I never understood this casting

I just think he’s a bad actor. Maura, Genie and Nicholas all have to carry his weight when in scenes with him.

Yes, I agree. MC as Nikolas is no match for MW’s Ava.

Congrats have a great year ! Thank you for being honest the soaps we have four left they are awful

Unlike 2021, I agree with a lot of what this list has, especially Maura West’s entry and the feelings on General Hospital! Amazing list! But, my question to you, Mr Fairman: what do YOU think American soaps need to do to better themselves in 2023, especially when I do feel like we’re regressing in story-telling.

Love the praising for Finola Hughes’ work. She does so much in her scenes. Also agree with Anna and Valentin being picked as Best Couple of 2022. HANDS DOWN

Vanna is amazing. Shows that sexy isn’t just about skin and constant bedtime scenes. FH and JPS have really given this couple humanity with sensuality. Flaws included.

You forgot John Aniston. Smh

Ok,sorry. I guess I misunderstood.

Gina, I do agree with you, sadly, a death is a death, is it not?

It was probably tragic for his family and friends. How about a compilation of every soap related person we lost in 2022. There were a bunch.

Folks, please look up the word,”tragic.” Dying of old age is really sad, it’s a loss for sure, but it’s not tragic- it’s natural.

michael great job and yes yes yes days is the most entertaining soap

and also michael great job on the shock of bold and the disappointment of young and restless and not only does gh need balance it is the most overrated soap on the air

Don’t think so. Watch B and B Y ad R. General Hospital is the best.

Correct the ERROR DOOL, BIG mistake to get rid of the Character Abby. Bring Marci back not matter what or recast her. Marci please come home.

I agree. I’m not a big Abby fan, but she should not have been killed off. Really bad decision!

Jeanine
More importantly was the way they killed her off, could it have been any more gorey?

agree fully!

Most Boring Story = Jacksonville Carly: Eat, Pray, Love. What a waste of time and money they spent to push this failed romance with Ryan Lavery. Anna and Valentin should’ve gotten the beach instead. Nobody asked for another rehashing of Carly’s childhood and the Reese retcons made it even worse. Carly doesn’t work as a crusader for the little people or in a relationship with an altar boy. And of course she went right back to scheming to keep Nina from knowing Willow is her daughter just like she did with Nelle. Kill off Austin. Bring back Todd. Carly’s last good romance. Keep Sonny and Nina together. One of the few that have chemistry. They bring new drama to the show over the old retread of this family kissing each others butts. I hope they keep blowing up the Sonny and Michael relationship cause it’s when Duell is at his best. Cam needs to catch Joss and Dex in bed to recreate the Lucky and Liz scene. I want Carly to take her turn losing the grandkids by Willow siding with Nina.

I live in Jacksonville. I tried to look past the silliness of the whole story but i just could not do it. It was so bad!

I disagree. The worst thing on General Hospital & what kept it from being good this year, was putting Sonny with Nina. No chemistry at all. When Sonny & Carley are together, they exude chemistry. There is no better actor than Laura Wright. She and Maurice Bernard have always been fabulous together. Would love to see Carley run Nina out of town.

Martha Anderson
Sorry, I loved Laura Wright on GL but Carly makes her so unlikable, even though she is better with Sonny. I’d also like to see Nina take a hike, it’s hard to even look at her.

But Linda Purl was excellent

Eat Pray Love is the perfect description of the Carly in Jacksonville detour!

It’s not the first time FV gave a Rebecca Herbst story to his OLTL faves. Tom Baker’s return was all about Franco trying to conquer his demons instead of Liz confronting her rapist 20 years later. Who cares about Finn’s late wife? Jeff Webber’s return after 40 years was all about making a story for Finn and Liz’s highly unpopular romance. It should’ve been all about the father and daughter reunion. Finn was painful to watch on Friday in his constant staring at Liz from across the room. Bring back Ric Lansing for Liz Webber. He would love sticking it to Carly that Nina took Sonny away from her.

Personally I am sick of poor Elizabeth getting the short end of the stick. RH was brought back after she was fired and FV has not helped her at all. If you don’t want her with Finn fine then recast Nik or bring Lucky back (resurrect Lulu too). RH deserves so much better.

I have to disagree about Y&R. It’s trying to be a soap again instead of boring filler hour. Diane and Tucker’s returns have been a plus than a minus to give the Abbotts a real story. I also liked more than disliked on Ashland pulling several fast ones on the Newmans. He was finally written like the true villain we were promised. Sally has been a good addition to the show. New faces are needed when they have a purpose. Chelsea’s downward spiral was a great story. Happy to see familiar faces like Daniel and Danny back.

How about Beth Maitland. She’s fabulous. Loved her reunion with Danny. Would love her to have a viable love interest. Also I totally agree with you as I’m sure many others do about SC. JG has his pets and Sony needs to do better on oversight now that he appears to have complete control.

Thank you, Vicki, for mentioning wonderful Beth Maitland. She needs a major story. Why not have her write a book about the history of the Newman family, fictionalized, and perhaps discover some buried secret. That’d be fun. I’d also like her to befriend Adam. Jack is the only Abbott who pays attention to him (understandably) but Traci could be a good friend to him, as she was to Cane Ashby.

Spot on about Kelly Thiebaud!!

I only watch Y&R and agree with all of your Y&R choices. My all-time favourite actor and character = Peter Bergman/Jack – but this is probably the first time he’s driven me to distraction in this Diane roller coaster – which I hope will end soon. I am a big Jack/Phyllis fan, always wanted them back together and they were so close. He couldn’t forgive Phyllis for one thing but is now on the Diane bandwagon. I’ve never thought of my Jackie as a Doofus but the time has come.

I am a new fan of Trevor St. John – did not know him previously and initially wondered what his fans from his other soap were raving about. Now I know; he quickly grew on me and now I absolutely love him.

Give MCE an Emmy.

I forgot to add – the one comment about Y&R that I did not agree with was the Ashland/Victoria sl. Loved Richard Burgi and was sorry to see him go due only to an oversight on his part. Robert Newman did grow on me (although I preferred Burgi). Regardless, I don’t agree that the sl was a failure – at least in the beginning. There was such chemistry between Victoria and Ashland when Burgi came on [not quite so much with Newman.] Victoria glowed, I’ve never seen her like this in any other relationship. What failed was the way they ultimately handled the story. Ashland was a great addition and could still be on the show if only the writers knew how to write. I hope they don’t make the same mistake with Stark.

I agree about the opinion regarding parts of Y&R. It’s the only soap I watch though. The podcasts of Billy were horrible, snooze city! The Ashland Locke story was such a disappointment because once again, Victor Newman, got away with covering up what really happened. That gets tiring. But now Chelsea and Billy are putting me to sleep and Elena and Nate together are a snoozefest. I dread the storyline coming up with Mariah and Tessa. Why does Tessa talk like a 10 year old? I love Diane and Jack together, but I’m sure the writers will ruin that too. The Phyllis and Jack together story has been done too often for this viewer. Bringing Susan Walters back as Duane was the smartest thing they did in 2022. I hope she’s there long-term, but TPTB will probably be dumb enough to write her out again. If so,thus viewer is done. Sally is an interesting character but I don’t care to watch a “who’s your daddy” tired old storyline?

Absolutely agree with both you and Mr. Fairman. Trevor St. John is a gem. I love his droll sense of humor which reveals the insanity of these characters with whom we’ve become so accustomed. He delivers his line with a deadpan sense of humor which lifts the dialogue to a whole new level. Clearly, Eileen ( Ashley) loves working with him too.

Isn’t he great, Harry? Trevor is a breath of fresh air. I smile like a fool whenever he’s on and, yes, he’s brought Eileen’s performances back to life. What a difference between him and Diane the Downer…and now Kyle has developed the same downturned mouth as a permanent facial expression. Way to turn a handsome guy into a drag, Diane!

Diane leading Jack down the wrong track. Don’t like them in this Fiasco. Like Phyllis much better.

Totally agree on the Tanner Novlan praise! The Sheila holding Finn hostage arc helped to rejuvenated the Finn character, giving him an added depth and layer and illustrated one of Tanner Novlan’s finest work. He gave a gut-wrenching raw performance accompanying with range of emotions (displaying anguish, sadness, helplessness, determination powerfully). I am really hoping he earns his first Emmy nomination this year for those compelling and masterful scenes.

Agree, Tanner has great potential.

wow! your picks are dead on!

Totally disagree about Tanner Novlan. When the camera is on him he’s passable but when he’s in a group scene it’s like he doesn’t know what to do. And always sucking on that bottom lip. As to his character’s return fron the dead it’s what made me end my relationship with the series

I agree, John. He was better in those Insurance commercials.

I complete disagree with you, and SoapHound. Tanner has chemistry in spades with his co-stars, especially, in group scenes. Whether, it is with his adoptive mother, Li, or birth mother, Sheila, and especially with his love interest, Steffy. Also, with his, in-laws, Taylor and Ridge It is palpable. Also, we can also speak endlessly, to his fantastic rapport with child actors. I think not many actors can connect with child actors, as much Tanner is able to do so, which is evident in the Sinn family reunion scenes, as well, as the Christmas episode with Finn and Kelly. They seem to be often drawn to him. He’s a joy to watch.

I am not sure what you mean by “sucking on that bottom lip” when it is probably just a natural aspect of the actor, and I don’t find it distracting. I find that to be a picky criticism when it is probably a quirk of the actors.

I totally agree with Michael’s choices, with being a given an honorable mention for his performance in the story, and “Finn is alive” being named the best storyline this year in soaps. Novlan delivered a superb and emotionally-layered performance as Finn woke up from his coma and going toe to toe with Sheila. When Finn broke down about his son, Novlan’s use of voice inflection was excellent and appreciated, making the audience feel Finn’s desperation, vulnerability and helplessness as a father. With bass in his voice, Finn then demanded to see Steffy and Hayes, showcasing how enraged and frustrated Finn had become. Additionally, Novlan delineated Finn’s physical pain and weakness. The accompanying challenges of being confined to a bed was a feat, but Novlan rose to the occasion.

Finn is alive story, gave Bold and Beautiful, the most buzz, the show has gotten in recent years. It is no wonder Michael, as well, as other soap sites such as Soap Opera Digest, SoapHub and SoapCentral, named it, the Best Story.

John
Talk about sucking on their lip, someday Jack’s will get stuck or he’ll wind up with teeth marks if he doesn’t knock it off.

Ok. I think I know who the hook killer is on GH. Adam, Joss’ classmate at PCU. The scenes are always her shutting down him down for trying to be nice to her. But I just read Adam (Josh Benard, Sonny’s real life son) just had an accident rock climbing. He fell and broke his back. I was right about Esme being Ryan Chamberlain’s daughter. I’m confident about who the hook killer is!

Wow! I think you’re right! On Friday I thought the hook killer did Not look like a female and besides Esme is locked in a tower.

I’m sure they just use stunt people for those shots. I don’t see them using the real Hook every time they use them in a shot or scene.

Sorry, can’t see this kid being the Hook. What motives does he have, if any? I think Bernard just wants his son on board.

I am sorry, but I think DAYS is unwatchable. The writing team careens from ridiculous plot point to the next. There is zero character development, zero beats where they really play the history unless it’s for comedic effect (or he completely re-writes a character), and he over and over shows he has no interest in actually playing out real impacts of character’s actions and/or plotting a realistic resolution of a story. Paulina and Chanel got off for murder literally because of something Belle did off-screen; no apparent impact or real consequences for their characters. Jada had an abortion and it’s being treated as something with little impact on her, Eric, or, for that matter, any of the characters who might have real opinions about the issue; that could have been used to cement her character’s connections to other legacy characters. Ron has completely destroyed the character of Nicole, who goes from man to man literally in the span of an episode. She and Eric pined for each other for months and then because Ron has no interest in building story or playing beats, they’re both with other partners in the span of a week. Kristen is a cartoon; no offense to the actress playing her. Crimes never result in any consequences; basically it’s an understanding that you can repeatedly blackmail the Salem PD or associates in exchange for getting you off. And, details matter; it’s ridiculous that an interrogation room would have all of that stuff in it; the entire point of an IR is to make it barren so the cop can build a rapport, or not distract the perp or victim. There are lots of bright spots with individual actors/actresses, but Ron gives them crap to play – often stultifying repetitive crap. I can’t imagine any one of them winning an Emmy unless it’s given with the asterisk “rose above godawful writing”. James E. Reilly could write over-the-top but still was a master at pacing and keeping you hooked (the entire Kristen/Susan/John/Marlena storyline). It’s sad how far the show has fallen.

(I should add I pretty much agree with the assessments of GH and B&B.)

I agree with so much of this post about Days, especially your point about the absence of playing out real impacts of the actions of characters and plotting resolutions. It’s absurd that the charges against Chanel and Paulina were dropped b/c of some legal maneuvering Belle did offscreen. Ari Zucker is a fine actress and she deserves better than the ridiculous, trashy way Nicole is being written. Kristen is a godawful character who needs to be written off the show. (I wouldn’t miss the actress, but it’s certainly not her fault that the writing for the character has been so dreadful.) I can’t stand the way doors at the DiMera mansion are left open for anyone who doesn’t live there to come and go as they please; that place should be a fortress. Another character that has been nearly ruined is Xander. Paul Telfer deserves better. For that matter, so does Emily O’Brien. Regarding the Emmys, it does seem that Days repeatedly gets minimal Emmy love — few nominations and even fewer wins, save for in the Young Performer category.

I only watch GH and I think Kathleen Gati is pure gold. I’m not sure what category she’d be in but she’s had gut-wrenching scenes with Kelly Thiebaud as well as hilarious situations with Anna as they threw axes and destroyed TV’s and typewriters. Again, she’s just an incredible niche performer.

She is the best! I do miss her dark hair though.

Linda Moeller
Yes, definitely! She’s great and the scenes following Britt’s death were so sad and understandable.

100% agree! The scenes with Britt and Austin are always the best. I often wonder how much of their scenes are ad-libbed. They just seem to really have fun together.

Great article! I am also impressed that you did not give best soap to any show. Because they did not deserve it. I have been watching gh for years and was disappointed they won best writing because it is a serious issue with the show. The dragging story lines are done too slow that the audience loses interest and no longer cares. They are in danger of doing this with sprina. One of the most popular couples. Soaps need to understand that this is a different time where content of a whole season can be watched in one weekend. They need to adjust! I love this genre and don’t want it to go away. GH has a very talented cast MW, FH, AP NAC TA MB GF JPS RH. It’s the writing that is the issue. These actors are just so talented they make it work. Praying for a better 2023 where the Audience finally sees story movement.

Michael, Your lips to Brad Bells ears on getting KKL a decent story and a non Ridge love interest. Having this syrupy friendship with Taylor works but this daily high fiving and loving one another is ridiculous.

Taylor and brooke * NO way for this real friendship.

southern lade
The revised friendship is too much and if it turns into more, that will be the end for me.

I was a devoted Y&R fan but left over 5 years ago due to frustration with slow moving stories & too many characters. I began watching Days & GH and LOVE them. Was disappointed Days went to streaming. At least I still have GH

I couldnt agree more about kristen Dimera the whole thing about the villain is you love to hate them I dont even love to hate her I just cant stand her she either needs to do something good for a change or be written out cause it’s not even interesting she is heartless and all she makes me feel is disgusted

Brady Black
Wish the other Brady felt as you do, she’s really tiresome.

Thank You, Michael, for this feature ~ and really, this entire site! I look forward to reading your posts every day and especially look forward to your Best and Worst each year. I don’t comment a whole lot even though I read all the stories you carry. Sometimes, I wish I could just hit a “Like” button because what I would write would be repetitive. I trust your reporting and thank you for it. Please keep it going in 2023!

You didn’t include KATHRYN HAYS as a terrible loss this past year? My all-time favorite daytime actress.

O.K., my picks:

BEST OVERALL SERIES: General Hospital. I agree with the criticisms but it is the most entertaining show and the one with the most episodes where I loved entire episodes this past year.

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS: Maura West as Ava, General Hospital

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A STORYLINE: Kirsten Storms as Maxie, General Hospital – Peter takes Maxie overseas and she tells him off when he points a gun at her right before he is killed!

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LIMITED RUN: Alison Sweeney as Sami, GH – the non-wedding to Lucas and then the final saying goodbye scene with E.J.

BEST SINGLE PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A STORYLINE: Kelly Thiebaud as Britt, GH – she learns the severity of her Huntington’s disease

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Genie Francis as Laura, GH – she is so fierce and the work she did when Luke died was phenomenal!

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR: Nicholas Chavez as Spencer, GH.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A STORYLINE: Billy Flynn as Chad, Days – Abigail’s murder

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LIMITED RUN: Kevin Spirtas as Craig, Days

BEST SINGLE PERFORMANCE BY ACTOR IN A STORYLINE: Chandler Massey as Will, Days

BEST OVERALL SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jon Lindstrom as Ryan, GH

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LONG RUNNING VETERAN: Genie Francis as Laura, GH

BIGGEST DOOFUS: Nikolas Cassadine, GH

BEST CHILD PERFORMER: Easton Rocket Sweda as Leo, GH

BEST ENSEMBLE: General Hospital

BEST VILLAINESS: Esme Prince, GH

BEST VILLAIN: Ryan Chamberlain, GH

BEST FEMALE SCENE STEALER: Alley Mills as Heather, GH

BEST MALE SCENE STEALER: John Aniston as Victor, Days

BEST TEARJERKER: Britt learns the severity of her Huntingdon’s disease, GH

BEST SCENE: Spencer learns that Nikolas had sex with Esme, GH

BEST GUEST STAR TURN: Jane Elliot as Tracy, GH – Luke’s death

WORST SCENE: Bill protects Sheila, B&B

WORST MURDER MYSTERY: Abigail’s murder, Days

WORST EXIT: Rena Sofer as Quinn, B&B – she deserved so much more!

BEST COUPLE-IN-THE-MAKING: Dex and Joss, GH

BEST COUPLE: Will and Sonny, Days

WORST COUPLE: Carly and Drew, GH

WORST CHARACTER: Carly, GH

BEST NEWCOMER: Tabyana Ali as Trina, GH – but I still love Sydney Mikayla more!

BEST STANDALONE EPISODES: I have to go with Britt’s birthday bash! But Laura’s episode was great, as was the death of Peter August!

WORST RELATIONSHIP: Carly and Drew, GH – blech!

BEST STORYLINE: Trina’s trial, GH

WORST STORYLINE: Elizabeth’s mental anguish, GH

MOST PREPOSTEROUS PLOT TWIST: Sheila and Bill’s alliance, B&B

COMEUPPANCES WANTED IN 2023: Carly, Esme, Sheila, Kristen, Sonny (GH), Victor (GH)

END OF THE ROAD EVERYONE WAITED FOR: The death of Peter August!!!!

Yes. Kathryn Hayes lived a good long life, and who crossed over at age 87. That’s not tragic. But Richard, loved your list- well done. Thank you.

” Drum Roll ” not one iota; not one mere mention … @GH Laura Wright, Chad Duell, or Eden McCoy. NOT ONE! Maurice Benard got one honorable mention, back in February, when he seizures out with Nina. Indicative, of just HOW DONE , the audience is with the Corinthos family known as the sonny and carly show. They do not carry the show.

Damn it, Fairman. I wish I could think of something negative to say but you were on point every step of the way. Moreover, this piece was really well written as you crystallized performances so succinctly. Well done!

Totally agree

Young and the Restless ( most disappointed soap )and yet it has been # 1 for the umpteen years I guess they thought Give someone else a chance to be # 1

Loved what you wrote about the Bold and Beautiful. It was a fail all year long. I am a day one watcher and stopped watching because of the repeated stories and lines. On the stories bad/good you nailed it! I loved what you wrote about Brooke. Love the actress would love to see her in a story where she didn’t have to cry all the time.

I only watch GH and I agree with most of your picks. However, I disagree about Tabyana Ali. I can’t watch her, her voice is terrible and her acting is just ok. I hope they recast the character. Sydney was great in the role and I wish she was still in it.

I’m glad Laura Wright was not mentioned, she is a fantastic actress, but her pairing with Drew is sooo boring! There is no chemistry there and it feels forced.

Speaking of no chemistry, Finn and Liz are just not interesting, neither are Joss and Cam. Joss and Dex are hot.

Roger Howarth needs a much better storyline. He is so talented and versatile, please give him a storyline to show his range.

Sydney left very big shoes to fill, I agree Tabyana does not fill them

JP1
Agree with your comments plus I don’t like Sam and Dante, Nina and Sonny and didn’t like Maxi and R.H, would have loved seeing him and Britt. I like Dr.O and Scotty and have really lost interest in Anna and Valentin, seems forced between them.I don’t like Nickolas and Ava, guess I’m sick of them both. Also, I find Curtis and Portia boring to say the least.

I totally agree about Sam and Dante, forgot to include them. Is it me, or is Sam just a bore? It’s like she’s just going through the motions. I feel like I dislike more of the couples than I do like. It’s got to be the writing because most of the cast is very talented. I love Curtis but, you’re right, he’s boring with Portia.

GH has faltered on the Nicholas/Eliizabeth story and screwed up Roger as Austin but it is still by far the best written and entertaining soap.

Honestly I couldn’t agree with u more about the Young and The Restless. Anthony Morina finally was let go after 4 years of the most lazy lifeless soap I have seen. Why the hell is Josh Griffith still at the helm of the soap now as the sole showrunner? Get Wendy Riche to helm YR and give it the changes it needs. Josh has been here over four years and it’s time for him to retire. I totally agree about GH it really was kind of a bust. Dan OConner and Chris Van Etten need to exit stage right and they need a new energy to the show. The Maxie and Austin thing is so bad as was the storyline of Liz past.

Totally agree with all the GH choices except the new Trina!

You nailed it on the head with all 4! I just wish these soap operas didn’t drag every storyline out for 6 months to a year! Now Esme went over the cliff again! Give it up!!

Greg as Leo is great fun. For me, Days is the best soap.

Hi Michael…I thought of a new category…Most Irritating Female Characters……Carly, Steffy, and Victoria. Runnerup…Phyllis. I can even stomach Diane over them and that’s saying a lot. :)))

rose
Can I add Abby, Chelsea, Liz and Nina to your list?

Violet…Of course add them as your choices. They are fast forward for me as well. Except Nina, and I know I’m in the minority here:)))

Your choice for the Most Shocking Soap is actually the Best Soap. B&B is in most of your best acting categories and the plot changes have viewers tuning in each day to see where Brad and his writing team will go next. Agree that GH is actually the Best Soap when it focuses on a few key storylines. Still don’t see how DOOL is most entertaining but agree that Y&R is the worst. I tried to watch but have enjoyed B&B the most in 2022.

All My Children

EXCLUSIVE: Jacob Young, Joan Collins and Nadia Bjorlin to Prague to Film ‘Murder Between Friends’

On Thursday night during the Michael Fairman Channel’s livestream interview centering around Jason Cook’s (ex-Shawn, DAYS and ex-Matt, GH) latest movie Four For Fun which stars Brytni Sarpy (Elena, Y&R) and Jacob Young (ex-JR, AMC, ex-Rick, B&B and ex-Lucky, GH), revealed another upcoming film project with some very familiar faces.

Jacob Young shared an exclusive that he is set to direct, produce and star in a Agatha Christie-like murder mystery feature film aptly tiled Murder Between Friends.

Speaking on the upcoming project, Jacob said, “I’m flying at the end of the March to Prague to direct, produce and star in a film with Joan Collins (ex-Dynasty). Nadia Bjorlin (ex-Chloe, Days of our Lives) is in it, and Toby Alexander Smith from Eastenders (ex-Gray Atkins). Plus, a couple of my Broadway friends and a very well known Czech actress (Hana Vagnerova).”

Photo: BBC

According to Jacob, the production start date is April 1st. He added on the premise of the film, “It’s very Agatha Christie sort of ‘Knives Out’ without having a hundred million dollars to shoot it, but still will be a lovely film nonetheless.” Young said the plan is to finish all principal photography by April 17th.

Photo: JPI

IMDb has more on the film. It shared that former All My Children star Trent Garrett (ex-Asher Pike) is listed as co-directing the feature. Mark Rozzano is listed as writer of Murder Between Friends.

So, what do you think about this upcoming feature from Jacob that will feature Joan Collins, Nadia Bjorlin et al? Share your thoughts in the comment section. 

Then below, check out the full livestream conversation with Jason Cook, Brytni Sarpy and Jacob Young on ‘Four For Fun’ and their notable soap roles.

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Breaking News

The Young and the Restless Renewed for Four More Years at CBS

Congratulations are in order to the cast, crew, creatives and fans of CBS’ The Young and the Restless. On Wednesday, the top-rated daytime drama was renewed by the network for four more years.

The renewal will bring Y&R through the 2027-2028 television season, and brings the series through its 55th season. The Young and the Restless has continued to remain the #1 daytime drama for over 36 years and is CBS’ longest-running series.

In a statement, Amy Reisenbach, president of CBS Entertainment shared, “The Young and the Restless has been a staple of daytime television for over 50 years, and it is with great pleasure that we will continue that legacy at CBS,The talented cast and writers deliver compelling performances and stories on a daily basis and have provided iconic moments that have kept the show on top of the ratings and thrilled generations of fans for over five decades. We look forward to seeing what new creative twists and turns they have planned for the folks of Genoa City.”

Photo: JPI

According to CBS, Y&R is averaging 3.50 million viewers this season. The series is also the #1 daytime program among African American viewers. Full episodes of the series are streaming on Paramount+ and CBS TVE.  The soap opera airs weekdays at 12:30-1:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m.-12:30 p..m. PT.

Y&R notables are also celebrating anniversaries in 2024 including series icons: Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) for 45 years this month, and Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) for 44 years. In April, the show will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Nikki and Victor’s wedding, which aired in April 1984 and was one of the highest-rated episodes in the history of the show.

Photo: JPI

Other notable cast anniversaries in 2024 include: Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott) at 35 years and Joshua Morrow (Nicholas Newman), Sharon Case (Sharon Newman) and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Summers) all at 30 years.

Photo: JPI

The Young and the Restless debuted on March 23, 1973 and the show celebrated its 50th anniversary season in 2023. Y&R was co-created by the late William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell. At present, Josh Griffith currently serves as the series executive producer and head writer.

Share your thoughts on the news that Y&R had been given a four-year renewal by CBS and will continue on with the lives of the people you love in Genoa City through its 55th season via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

Kimberlin Brown ‘Killed-Off’ as Sheila Carter on The Bold and the Beautiful in Shocking Twist

The Monday, February 26th episode of CBS daytime’s The Bold and the Beautiful brought with it the apparent end to one of the all-time villains of soap opera.

In story, Steffy Forrester (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) was being stalked by Sheila (Kimberlin Brown) in the dark. Eventually, Steffy stabs Sheila in the heart with a knife and she apparently dies.

Speaking with TV Insider, Brown admitted that it is extremely hard to leave a now iconic role she made soap-famous since 1990 on first The Young and the Restless and then The Bold and the Beautiful.

Photo: JPI

Kimberlin expressed: “It’s a tough place for me to be in right now; I’m not going to lie about this. I guess if anyone were going to take Sheila down, I’m happy it’s Steffy. I just wish that no one was taking Sheila down.”  Three time Daytime Emmy-winner, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood expressed: “It’s bittersweet because I absolutely love working with Kimberlin; she is just the consummate professional.”

Courtesy/CBS

However, the stabbing is vindication for Steffy as Wood related, “This is her moment. How long has it taken Steffy to take her down and it’s finally happening, so it’s going to be a big shock.”

As to her B&B death scene and to her future plans, Brown revealed, “Laying there on that floor when the paramedics pronounce the time of death, my eyes were closed and you’re holding your breath so it doesn’t look like you’re breathing. It was just like, ‘Wow, OK, I guess we’ll have to see what might come next for me.’”

Courtesy/CBS

If this holds up and Sheila is “dead” dead, it will open up the story and trouble in the marriage of Finn (Tanner Novlan) and Steffy, because ultimately, Steffy killed her husband’s biological mother.

Photo: JPI

This is leading many to believe this move will bring Steffy back together with Liam (Scott Clifton) while Finn and Hope (Annika Noelle) draw closer. Is that part of the reason for Sheila’s death? Stay tuned.

What do you think about The Bold and the Beautiful killing-off Sheila Carter and Steffy to be the one who put an end to her life? 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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