The Golden Doughnut Awards
For the Week of December 31, 2007
Part one of a two-part look back at the events of the past year in Salem. This week, our columnists talk about the best that Days of our Lives had to offer in 2007.
Happy Holidays one and all! You know, this really is my favorite time of year, but it's not because of the gifts and cookies and spiked eggnog - wait, it's partially because of them, but it's also because 2007 is wrapping up and we get to reflect on the good, bad, and just plain ugly of our favorite soap. And, oh, what a year it's been! We've witnessed controversial exits, great returns, arguable recasts, joyous births, wild weddings, devastating divorces, and, of course, lots of backstabbing, bickering, and all out brawling. Just another day in Salem, U.S.A. right?
This year, however, has also been a special one for Laurisa and me as we became Two Scoop Columnists! I mean, seriously, how cool is it to discuss one of our favorite shows with the finest readers on the net? Very exciting (at least for us anyway, ha-ha)! To commemorate our new venture, we've joined forces to present both the "Best Of" and "Worst Of" awards for 2007. We began coming up with ideas in mid-November and have had a blast! Really, everyone should be so lucky as to work with a fantastic partner like Laurisa - a creative genius if there every was one!
To kick off our two week extravaganza we've decided to first present the "Best Of" Awards and we couldn't think of a better person to pay tribute to than the "Golden Girl" of Salem herself - Alice Horton. I think it's safe to assume we all love this woman and her baked goods! This year the format has also changed a little bit as we set things up in more of a "he said/she said" type of breakdown, therefore each category will have two winners, or losers depending on how you look at things!
So, without any further ado, we graciously thank you again for the warm reception into the Two Scoops world and welcome you to the "Golden Doughnut Awards!"
Best New Character
Tony: Morgan Hollingsworth. Maybe it's her "Southern charm," but I'm smitten! Within her first few months in Salem she proved that she wasn't a stereotypical air-headed sorority "chick," established herself as loyal friend, and managed to land a Brady boy - not too shabby! Yet, they've hardly scratched with her character and this girl has a lot of potential. My vote for 2008 - more Morgan!
Laurisa: Morgan Hollingsworth. I love the actress, Kristen Renton, and I love the idea of Morgan. She's kind of like Abby, but grown up and with balls. She's a great example of how a female character can be strong without being a villain or a brat. This southern belle does not "depend on the kindness of strangers". Instead, she goes after what she wants and does all she can to protect her friends.
Tony: Adrienne Kiriakis. She's not always front and center, but what a great character to have roaming around on the canvas! Adrienne is tough when she needs to be, yet always supportive and kind. My hopes are that they give her a juicy storyline soon because Judi Evans is amazing! It's hard to believe she played both Bonnie, who was, err, well, lets say eccentric, and lovely, loving Adrienne. Welcome back to Salem!
Laurisa: Stefano DiMera. Raise your pinky rings and a big glass of Merlot to the Phoenix!! I am so glad to have Joseph Mascalo grace my TV again with his magnificent portrayal of Stefano DiMera. Playing a character that's been off screen for a while isn't easy, especially when he's a villain. But Mr. Mascalo managed to bring tenderness to the role this time. Stefano is literally scared of Santo- and Stefano isn't scared of anyone.
Tony: Jay Kenneth Johnson (Philip Kiriakis). Sure this is kind of a flip-flop recast, but one nonetheless. Jay Ken not only brings a dimple filled history back to the part, but he also exudes an arrogant "silver spoon in his mouth" charm that his predecessor didn't. Whereas Kyle Brandt pulled off cocky in a "frat dude" kind of way, the old-new Phil has the kind of smug attitude you just love to hate.
Laurisa: Jay Kenneth Johnson (Philip Kiriakis). This fan, for one, is glad that TPTB remembered that fans like seeing the same actor that we came to know and love in a role. I don't have anything against Kyle Brandt. I thought he did a good job with the role. But, when the time came to look for a replacement it was a real treat to see JKJ back as our beloved Kiriakis heir.
Most Improved Character
Tony: Chelsea Brady. Sure she's still headstrong and impulsive, but now her "powers" are being used for good! Chelsea has definitely grown from a brat with a chip on her shoulder to a young woman determined to make a better life for herself while protecting her family and friends in the process. Chelsea also rebuilt a lot of bridges this year with Hope and Shawn and I, for one, wish to see a lot more Brady half-sibling interaction. And, she even matured enough to know that Nick might be a dork, but he's her dork. Awe! All of that and we found out the woman formally known as dead baby Georgia packs one heck of a punch!
Laurisa: Philip Kiriakis. Even though I can't stand the guy now, at least I am interested when I watch him. Last year's Philip was weak, interrupted everyone sentences, and acted as an all around door mat for Belle. This Philip is quickly living up to his last name. We're talking about Kate and Victor's son after all! He should be a villain- smart, conniving, and ruthless. Jay Kenneth Johnson embodies all of those characteristics. It doesn't hurt that my eyes don't bleed when I look at him either!
Tony: Andre DiMera. He was bad to the bone, showed no remorse, and even went rogue when his Uncle Stef told him to stop. He didn't care who he hurt, how he hurt them, or what he wore when he did. That man was definitely not clowning around! *insert groans and eye rolls*
Laurisa: Andre DiMera. Never was there such a dastardly villain that he could evoke so much fear in the city of Salem. Plus, the guy dressed up as the scariest clown I've ever seen. I understand why the writers had to kill him off (poor Thaao must have been tired from all the double duty) but I wished that he could have stayed around a little longer. If nothing else, his sheer insane brilliance brought such a great dimension to the character.
(Words were slung and so were fists, the best fight of 2007)
Tony: Kate Roberts and Anna DiMera. Get these two a saucer of milk! I mean, me-ouch! Within a minute of meeting each other, they were slinging more catty comments then the presidential wannabes! And - it was over Roman! No wonder he had that smirk on his face. I'm SO ready for round two! Ding! Ding! Let the games begin!
Laurisa: Caroline Brady and Victor Kiriakis. That mean ol' Victor had the nerve show up at the Brady Pub after he had pulled every puppet string he had to take Claire away from Belle and Shawn. He didn't listen to Bo, Shawn, Belle, or Hope. But, all he could do is stand there with a stupid look on his face when our favorite spit-fire grandma gave him a piece of her mind. Considering the history between these two, there was no one better that Caroline to take on Victor.
(A character, on average, that always has something snappy to say)
Tony: Steve "Patch" Johnson. From his nicknames for, well, almost everyone to his antagonizing of the DiMeras, the Patch-Man definitely has the gift of gab! Seriously, this man can really pack a verbal punch be it hysterical or heartbreaking.
Laurisa: Chelsea Brady. If you always wondered what would happen if that smart little mouth was on the good side, you got to find out this year. Watching Chelsea berate Jeremy Horton for the ego heavy man-pig that he is, was the best medicine for a stuffy storyline. She also got some great jabs in with Ford, Max, and Stephanie. But, my all-time favorite was when Chelsea referred to Willow as, "the pyro-hooker that my brother sometimes likes to sleep with." Are you kidding me? Brilliant!
Tony: Kate Roberts. While the multicolor nails are still a little suspect, the rest of her style is pretty posh! As well as dressing age appropriate, Kate manages to be trendy, hip, sexy, yet true to the socialite status she clawed her way to get to. She even manages to make some gaudy jewelry choices work for her! Talk about en vogue.
Laurisa: Belle Black. Even when trapped on Tinda Lau, our favorite fashionista couldn't help but look great. Personally, I think that Martha Madison is a super refreshing change to the stick-thin models turned actresses that too many soaps are employing. Martha proves that real ladies have curves and look great in 'em! I love that she wears super cool cuts, bright colors, and wonderful accessories (what I wouldn't give for some time in the girl's purse closet). Belle acts the part, so she might as well look like a princess too.
Best "Babe," Days' Hottest Female Eye Candy
Tony: Julie Pinson (Billie Reed). She said it best; she's "sexy and fabulous." So true! Julie is proof that you don't have to be twenty-something to have something going on.
Laurisa: Suzanne Rodgers (Maggie Horton). With all due respect to Alison Sweeney, Julie Pinson, and Kristain Alfonso, there's something about a timeless beauty like Suzanne Rodgers. Aunt Maggie always seems to look beautiful and carry herself with dignity and class. I just love this classic red head's grace and style.
Holy Hunk, Days' Hottest Male Eye Candy
(That is why we watch soaps after all, isn't it?)
Tony: James Scott (E.J. Wells). Even though his character is named after Elvis, he has more in common with the Beatles - I.E. he totally brought the "British Invasion" back to Days (remember Shane Donovan anyone)? Between the clothes, the charisma, and the abs, he definitely satisfies viewers' sweet tooth for eye candy.
Laurisa: James Scott (E.J. Wells). While it's hard not to look good in a suit, EJ always still seems to have that added flair that makes us fans swoon. Even if he has the occasional appearance in a towel……………………………………………………..sorry, what was I saying?
Most Likely to Succeed
Tony: Stephanie Johnson. She hit rock bottom when she accepted Jeremy's apology after he held her head underwater, yet she's definitely made some smarter choices since then. Her unwavering support of Cordy is proof enough that a change for the better is brewing. Besides, with the Brady and Johnson genes rattling around inside her, it's only a matter of time until we see a little more Patch and Sweetness and a little less Bootlylicious Barbie.
Laurisa: Chelsea Brady. In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that I've been a Chelsea fan from day one- even through the Zach fiasco. Most of that has to do with the acting gift that is Rachel Melvin. But, I think that Chelsea- good or bad- has always kept viewer attention. She is the perfect mix of her father's wild side and her mother's guts. This year she even learned a little bit from her stepmother and became a genuinely compassionate and caring friend. For that feat alone, I'll proudly wear my "I Heart Chelsea" gear.
Most Likely to Return
Tony: Andre DiMera. In my hope filled dreams it would be John, Justin, Kristen, and/or Kim and Shane, but my bets are on Andre. Seriously, how many times has he been down for the count and got off the mat? Exactly.
Laurisa: John Black. Assuming that Drake wants to come back, I see no reason why John Black should remain dead. The juicy storyline is already set up. John could easily come back to rescue Marlena and Sami from the talons of the DiMeras.
Tony: Alice at the Brady/Horton 4th of July picnic! She holds such a special place in my heart and I can't think of a better surprise dealt by Days this year. I loved the feisty way she joked with Jeremy … "well, you remind me of my great-grandson, but he never comes to see me." Such a grandma thing to say! Or, her response to Maggie's concerns, "I'm alright. I'm nearly perfect." And, she's right!
Laurisa: Sami and Lucas's Wedding Reception. Just when we thought it was over before it even started. Just when we thought we were about to get another unwanted helping of Kate's meddling with a side of "Scami". Lucas stood up for his new bride and, more importantly, stood by her side. So what if Kate flashed that picture of Sami and EJ together? Lucas knew that he had waited too long and let too many things come between him and Mrs. Samantha Roberts. Cheers to you, Mr. Roberts!
Tony: Bo and Hope. I think they managed to be together for an entire year without too much third party interference! From "diaper duty" banter to being honest with each other and facing things as the great team they are, Bo and Hope truly put the "super" back into super couple.
Laurisa: Bo and Hope. This year was the re-emergence of what makes Bo and Hope great- their intriguing blend of comedy and tough love. Hope honestly accepted Chelsea into the family. Both are helping Shawn prepare for the police academy. And they welcomed their beautiful little Doodlebug into the family. Their comedic bets involving diaper duty and streaking (hopefully not performed at the same time) was a real treat for us Bope fans.
Best Veteran Character
Tony: Dr. Marlena Evans-Black. Doc has dealt with a lot of ups, but, mostly, downs this year yet her character just keeps getting better and better! It's refreshing not to see her as an abducted victim and instead as a strong woman who's had enough. The best part is she's not possessed and she's not being brainwashed, she's just one ticked off widow and mother who is out for good old fashion revenge. Its obvious Marlena is as mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. It's about time!
Laurisa: Bo Brady. He's got a father who's more trouble than a Griswold holiday, a pop who wouldn't speak up about a multi-generational vendetta, a daughter-in-law who can't read the name on her marriage license, a brother who does not play well with others, and a son with a hair trigger temper. But, Detective Brady also has a wife who always supports him, a niece who took a look at her own driver's license and actually acted her age, an ex-wife who has her own life, and a daughter who buried the hatchet with his wife. Bo Brady has been involved in many of the storylines and he has done an excellent job of keeping Salem together.
Tony: Thaao Penghlis as Andre/Tony DiMera. I hate to fall into the trap of handing out an award to someone who played dual roles, but he was amazing! He had a way of making each part so unique even while one of his characters was impersonating the other! As Andre, Thaao was just merciless, yet as soon as he stepped back into Tony's shoes his mannerisms changed and, for those who remember back that far, we knew in an instant that the "real" Tony had indeed returned to Salem.
Laurisa: It's a tie- James Scott and Bryan Dattilo. Not a tie in the "I can't decide" way, but a tie in the "one wouldn't be as great without the other" way. These two have managed to split the Days fan base right in half. It's not hard to have chemistry with Alison Sweeney, but it is hard to do it exactly on par with another actor. Bravo to these two great gentlemen for keeping the balance between Ejami and Lumi for an entire year. It's been 12 months since the rape and viewers still can't decide who to root for! I find myself flip-flopping between the two camps almost every week. But, the one thing that hasn't changed is the respect I have for both of these actors.
Tony: Mary Beth Evans as Dr. Kayla Brady-Johnson. What a year for Sweetness! From going through all of the drama with Steve's memory problems to having to cut out one of John's kidney to saying hello and goodbye to Pocket to mourning Benjy to dealing with a new and, umm, improved (?) Stephanie, she's really had her hands full! I'm tired from just thinking about it! As always, Mary Beth brought such an honest, warm, and realistic portrayal to a character that would otherwise be lost in the crazy world of Salem. Besides, just one of her heartwarming Sweetness smiles is reason enough for the award!
Laurisa: Deidre Hall as Dr. Marlena Evans-Black. In the absence of Alice Horton, Days needs a matriarch. Personally, I've been waiting for years to see Marlena be the "top doc". Deidre is good when she's compassionate; she's great when she's vindictive; and she's the best when she's a ferocious mama cougar to her ever-flighty daughters. Even without John, Marlena isn't missing an ounce of courage or love.
Tony: Who Shot E.J.? Although this is an offshoot of the Vendetta, I thought it was handled so much better then the rest of it. The action moved quicker, the acting was awesome all across the board, and there were huge surprises - I mean just look at the list of the culprits! Marlena took a shot and her only remorse is that she didn't kill him! Shocking! Even Roman showed us his darker side by trying to help Doc, while Kate proved just how deliciously nasty she could be when cornered. Add a little Tony rubbing salt into Stefano's wounds with a dash of super heroes Bo and Hope on the case, then mix in Shawn D, Belle, and Philip, and top it of with Sami's claws coming back out and you got one great storyline! But, most importantly, it integrated the majority of the cast and proved the veterans like Marlena, Bo, and Hope could do so much more then read letters!
Laurisa: The Vendetta. I'm not talking about the flash back Galway stuff. I'm talking about the storyline which brought us the return of the DiMeras. I know that Colleen and Santo disappointed some fans. But, can anyone argue with the return of Joseph Mascolo, Leanne Hunley, and Thaao Penghlis? I sure can't! I'd sit through weeks more of Santo and Colleen if it meant that I get to have Stefano, Tony, and Anna back! These three not only brought some huge acting chops to the table, but they really established the DiMeras as a bonafide antagonist for the Bradys. It makes the DiMeras actually seem like a family (dysfunctional, but whose family isn't?) rather than a single evil villain propped high on his throne of terror, waiting to unleash pain on the masses.
Parting Thoughts …
Welcome to Salem Ashlee Holland, who debuted last week as Crystal! As most of you know, she was the winner of 2007's "I Want to Be a Soap Star" and landed a contract role on Days of Our Lives. I predict she is going to stir up a lot of trouble in Salem next year!
Again, thank you all for logging on to the "Golden Doughnut Awards." We hope that you enjoyed our picks as much as we enjoyed presenting them to you. And, now that you know who we thought were nice, make sure to check out part two of our extravaganza next week to discover who we thought were naughty!
Tony and Laurisa
Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.