Mike is a regular recapper of Days of our Lives for soapcentral.com. He has been a fan of Days of our Lives for over 15 years, but he also watches The Young and the Restless, One Life to Live, and General Hospital on a regular basis. This is his first year as an official Emmy predictor for soapcentral.com.
This is Suellen's first time making Emmy predictions.
Who will win: The Bold and the Beautiful
Who should win:: The Young and the Restless or The Bold and the Beautiful
Who will win: General Hospital
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR
Maurice Benard's reel showed a strong portrayal of focused rage, but that was all that it showed for the first five minutes. When Benard finally started to show a different side of his character near the end of the episode, the camera kept cutting away from Sonny to remind us that Dante was eavesdropping. I understand why that was important for Dante's growth, but that choice didn't do Benard any favors -- it just took me out of the scene.
Ricky Paull Goldin's reel seemed like an odd choice -- maybe it resonated with fans, but as someone who doesn't watch AMC, it really didn't seem like Emmy-worthy material to me.
Christian J. LeBlanc's reel was strong at the beginning, but there was too much filler at the end. Still, LeBlanc can make stirring a cup of coffee interesting.
Full disclosure -- I'm not a fan of E.J. DiMera, and James Scott is often too over-the-top for my tastes. That worked in this particular reel, though, because E.J. was drunk the entire time. This is the kind of heavy material that you expect to see in an Emmy reel, but if there's one thing that the Daytime Emmys are consistent about, it's that Days of our Lives will consistently be snubbed (exception: when an actor or actress has already left, or is about to leave, the show -- see 2009 as an example). The phrase "it's an honor just to be nominated" was practically invented for the fine actors and actresses of Days. Therefore, I don't expect James Scott to win, despite the fact that his reel was one of the strongest in this category.
Michael Park's reel was the longest, and I was riveted from start to finish. I'm surprised that he chose this particular episode, but I think it was a smart decision; quiet, reserved scenes are often more difficult to play than scenes of seething rage or overwhelming grief -- the typical staples of Emmy reels. Oh, how I miss As the World Turns.
Who will win: Michael Park
Who should win:: Michael Park or James Scott
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR
Wow...this category is tough. Overall, I felt that the submissions for Lead Actress were much stronger than the submissions for Lead Actor. I really wish that I had been able to view Susan Flannery's full Emmy reel, because I've heard that the "Skid Row" episodes were really powerful. Alas, I was only able to find a clip from the last five minutes of that set of episodes. That clip left me wanting more, though, and Flannery played the scene -- which could have been preachy and cheesy in the hands of a lesser actress -- beautifully.
Alicia Minshew's reel was spectacular, and Minshew showcased a range of emotions. That wail of anguish in the middle of the episode was particularly haunting.
Debbi Morgan's reel was quite strong, though it probably would have resonated with me more if I had known more about her storyline. Her reel wasn't very long, though, and I expect that to hurt her. (As an aside, I personally liked Ricky Paull Goldin more in this reel than I did in his own reel, despite the fact that he was playing a supporting role for the bulk of this episode.)
For a character that, like E.J. DiMera, is often over-the-top, Laura Wright's reel captured a moment in Carly's life when she had to be strong, composed, and understated. You could feel the rage, the frustration, and the sadness building up inside of her, but she knew that she needed to suppress those emotions for Michael's sake.
Colleen Zenk's reel, where she and Henry exchanged their vows, was magical -- she even managed to sneak in a bit of airtime with Anthony Herrera, and that's always a bonus. It's a travesty that Zenk has never won an Emmy, and I would love to see her win, but with such a strong field of competitors, I don't expect it to happen.
I thought that Michelle Stafford's performance reel was Emmy-worthy when it originally aired, and it still holds up on repeated viewings. Her confrontation with Nick was so satisfying, and she played it perfectly.
Who will win: Michelle Stafford
Who should win:: Michelle Stafford or (if I'm voting based on emotion) Colleen Zenk
Note: I could see a tie happening in this category, but I'm going on record with just one choice -- anything else would just feel like cheating. That said, if a tie were to occur, I have a feeling that it might be between Michelle Stafford and Susan Flannery.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR
Let's be honest -- this is Jonathan Jackson's race to lose. Doug Davidson's reel didn't really grab my attention like the other reels -- I think that he's slightly out of his depth here. The end of Brian Kerwin's reel was good, but I felt that it took too long to get to the really good stuff. Jason Thompson was convincing as a man who made a terrible mistake and deeply regretted his actions, but again, I think that he's out of his depth in this category. I love watching Billy J. Miller -- he always brings something interesting to his scenes. Unfortunately, I couldn't find clips from his reel online, so I had to rely on my memory of the episode from its original airdate. I remember being impressed with Miller's performance, and there was definitely that range of emotions that I feel is important in an Emmy reel, but conventional wisdom gives the edge to Jackson.
Jonathan Jackson's reel was amazing. Before preparing for my Emmy predictions, I had only seen this episode once, but I remembered every single moment of Jackson's performance. Watching it for the second time, I was just as blown away as I was the first time. Jackson's reel gave me chills -- you can't argue with chills. As far as I'm concerned, Jackson is the best actor on GH, and he's quite possibly the best actor on daytime television.
Who will win: Jonathan Jackson
Who should win:: Jonathan Jackson or Billy J. Miller
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Tricia Cast was convincing as a grieving mother, but I wish that there had been more to her episode; her scenes were fairly short, and there wasn't a lot of dialogue.
Melissa Claire Egan's reel was fairly complicated, especially for someone who doesn't watch AMC. I didn't fully understand Annie and J.R.'s argument until around the four-minute mark; then Susan Lucci (Erica) entered the scene, and the next part of the reel featured a cryptic conversation with Erica about another facet of the storyline. I just don't think that her reel is going to grab Emmy voters.
Nancy Lee Grahn was one of the only bright spots in an incredibly annoying storyline. I don't always like Alexis, but Grahn certainly pours her soul into every performance. On a completely flippant note, any grown woman who can utter the phrase "hot mess" without any sense of irony deserves some respect.
As much as I adored ATWT, one of my biggest pet peeves about the show was the inconsistent audio; even with my computer speakers cranked up to their maximum volume, I still couldn't hear everything that was said in Pinson's reel. That said, I liked Pinson's scenes, but I think she'll be eclipsed by some of the other people in this category.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find Heather Tom's episodes online; based on my recollection of her time on Y&R, I'm sure that she probably did a fine job, but I had to rely on recaps to find out what her reel was about.
Bree Williamson submitted the quintessential Emmy reel -- it was gritty and emotional, but it also conveniently recapped the storyline for anyone who wasn't familiar with the show. Williamson has been nominated three times for her work as Jessica, and they've all been well-deserved nominations. I think the third time will be the charm.
Who will win: Bree Williamson
Who should win:: Bree Williamson
OUTSTANDING YOUNGER ACTOR
Chandler Massey's reel didn't show a whole lot of range, but he handled the scene well. Massey is the first Will who can actually hold his own in scenes with Allison Sweeney (Sami). I expect great things out of him in the future (provided that the writers give him suitable material), but I don't think that he's been given enough to earn himself an Emmy at this point.
The first half of Chad Duell's reel was excellent; unfortunately, in the second half of his all-too-short reel, he was little more than a prop for Sonny. His reel ended not with a bang, but with a whimper.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but again, I was only able to find a brief clip from Scott Clifton's reel. That clip -- approximately five minutes in length -- consisted mainly of a monologue delivered by Don Diamont (Bill); additionally, the audio was out of sync with the video. Needless to say, I really wasn't able to get an adequate taste of Clifton's performance. Regardless, I have always liked Clifton -- first on GH, then on OLTL. I know that he has the chops, so I can only assume that he delivered in his reel.
Based on my familiarity with Clifton's capabilities, and based on the soapcentral.com recaps of those episodes, I'm going to give the edge to Clifton and say that he's finally going to pick up a well-deserved Emmy for his work. The fact that his reel is over three times the length of Duell's reel certainly doesn't hurt. However, Duell has done great things on GH; I think he's a shoe-in for next year.
Who will win: Scott Clifton
Who should win:: Scott Clifton or Chad Duell
OUTSTANDING YOUNGER ACTRESS
Again, full disclosure -- I'm not a fan of Kristina. I found it incredibly difficult to root for a character who was using an innocent man as a scapegoat for the abuse that she had suffered. That said, Lexi Ainsworth performed admirably in a fairly meaty storyline, and she wisely chose a scene from after she had finally revealed the true identity of her abuser, giving Emmy voters the opportunity to focus on her pain instead of her lies.
Brittany Allen's reel was good, but here's the thing -- "I Had an Affair" confessionals are such a soap staple that they're practically a dime a dozen. There are eight affair-related reels in this year's Emmy race alone. Contrast that with Ainsworth's reel, which deals with something much more rare in the world of daytime -- teen dating abuse.
Emily O'Brien can shriek with the best of them, but the crazy storyline that she was involved in really doesn't stand a chance against Ainsworth's story, which was far more believable, and far more culturally relevant. I can only see this turning out one way -- with Ainsworth giving her acceptance speech.
Who will win: Lexi Ainsworth
Who should win:: Lexi Ainsworth
OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A DRAMA SERIES
As the World Turns
Again, history has shown that Days is going to get snubbed, but beyond that, I simply don't think that the episode was strong enough overall. The cancer storyline was heavy stuff -- particularly because it involved a little boy -- but I don't think that the rest of the episode was cohesive enough to win.
Y&R's episode was quite strong -- it lacked cohesion in the same way that the Days episode did, but practically everything that happened was emotionally packed (as opposed to Days, where the heavy drama of the cancer storyline was juxtaposed with sex and prison conspiracies). I could see Y&R winning, but I have a feeling that they will be overshadowed by B&B and ATWT.
B&B featured a storyline that they were obviously extremely confident about, and extremely proud of. Meanwhile, ATWT featured their last hurrah -- an emotionally packed hour that would also be their last. While I wasn't happy with the way that certain storylines ended on ATWT (such as Luke and Reid's storyline), I can't deny that the finale was quite special. It was, overall, a fitting end to the series, and Bob's voiceover tied everything together nicely.
I'm going to give the edge to ATWT for a few reasons -- I certainly want to see the show win, but I also genuinely believe that they submitted an episode that was worthy of the trophy. I assume that B&B's submission was also quite worthy of a win, but I'm going to guess that voters are going to want to give the edge to ATWT; B&B has other categories that they'll be dominating, while this is ATWT's one and only shot.
Who will win: As the World Turns
Who should win:: As the World Turns
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A DRAMA SERIES
Emmy voters seem to love GH's "big production" episodes, but this particular episode was, visually, very dreary. Their carnival episode last year was much stronger, and it failed to grab voters; I don't expect this year's submission to be more successful.
Y&R had an episode with some clever directing, particularly in the carnival scenes with the carousel and the house of mirrors, but I don't think that it's going to be enough to nab the win.
OLTL's musical episodes are always impressive, and none of the other soaps are doing anything similar. I thought that this particular musical episode was one of their best ones, but I wonder if voters are starting to grow tired of the musical format.
Once again, I really regret the fact that I was unable to fully evaluate B&B's "Skid Row" episodes. Regardless, I expect B&B to take the win.
Who will win: The Bold and the Beautiful
Who should win:: One Life to Live (I can't consider B&B without seeing the episodes -- recaps aren't really capable of conveying the directing feats of a reel).