Lisa Svenson does not watch soaps, but she knows what happens in all of them. By day, she works as a therapist, and by night she is an editor for soapcentral.com. She did not watch any of the clips for any of the soaps, but she did read all the recaps when they were written. Her selections rarely have anything to do with the clips.
In previous years, Lisa has made picks by using pseudoscience, with experiments that have included pets, hydrodynamics, aerial trajectory, and other exciting techniques. These experiments have not had a high rate of success. So, without further ado, here are her predictions.
2011: 2 for 8
2010: 2 for 8
2009: 2 for 8
2008: 0 for 8
2007: 3 for 8
2006: 0 for 8
2005: 3 for 8
2004: 1 for 8
2003: 0 for 8
2002: 1 for 8
2001: 2 for 8
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Days of our Lives
Seriously, the child was missing after gunfire and they couldn't find him, but then, magically after searches and lots of time, he was found right where he had been the whole time
. I would have been looking under saltshakers for my child. Parents and police lacked the skill to find little Johnny, but maybe he just got really small
for a little while. For sheer absurdity, I have to go with this.
What I didn't pick and why: All My Children's ending seemed too much like a transition, and it needed more resolution; General Hospital was very heavy (which probably means it stands a better chance than my choice); and The Young and the Restless seemed as if the whole murder mystery was written as they acted it, and the Nikki episode probably was more meaningful watched than read.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR
There are a lot of things that happen with older and/or ill people. We're not all bold, beautiful, and
20something. It would be cool if they explored more aging issues on more soaps. Balance it, kind of like the population is balanced. Give people who face these issues a sense that they are not alone.
What I didn't pick and why: I didn't sense a connection between Sonny Corinthos and Brenda Barrett for their reunion; Luke Spencer's behavior frustrated me when he was so stubborn about admitting he drank too much and when he shunned his wounded child; for Jesse Hubbard, the magical arrival of another baby who could pass as his and Angie's ruined the story; and the Bo Buchanan portion reminded me of the Thanksgiving episode when Matthew said he died, but wasn't dead (quite the cliffhanger, though).
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS
Drug withdrawal isn't pretty. Things I learn in the day job make me think that she did a good job with the material. Really, she's done whatever she's been asked in any role, and that to me seems pretty award-worthy. They don't give her easy material.
What I didn't pick and why: On GH, I just can't get past not liking the character of Carly; Viki's dissociative identity disorder just doesn't sit right with me (none of the characters with DID do); Katie's heart transplant recovery is a hang-up for me; and I cringed the whole way through the baby-substitution story, so as wonderful as Angie might have been, I couldn't buy it.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR
My favorite work for the day job is with trauma victims, because so many people are wounded deeply and need to heal. I like that Shawn was able to help Molly with her trauma. I just like the character, not sure why. The moments when people can tell their story are powerful and can be liberating.
What I didn't pick and why: Spinelli as the Jackal was comical at moments, but it did not resonate with me and just got confusing -- I never knew if it was faked or not; Jack could not escape the battle with Daniel for Jennifer's love, and that's the part that sticks with me about his character; Lucky seemed too intense -- nothing good happened to the character since Jonathan Jackson resumed the role; and Patrick seems like an arrogant guy who was surprised by being a reasonably good family man, but that didn't strike me as dramatic enough (however, the post-death-of-Robin stuff? Different story).
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Nancy Lee Grahn
I just like the character. Plus, I haven't forgotten how Alexis defended her daughter when she learned Kristina had been abused. I enjoy reading about pretty much all her scenes.
What I didn't pick and why: I read a lot about Annie, and I couldn't even begin to guess what mental illness she might suffer from, which made her shenanigans seem more like the acts of an immature child; Genevieve still seems hard to read -- it's hard to route for someone when you can't quite figure out their motivation; Chloe annoys me because she can be mean to Billy, who I still like as a character; and Elizabeth confuses me with her relationships with men.
OUTSTANDING YOUNGER ACTOR
Michael Corinthos, III
The rape in jail storyline was potent. The buildup, from the unexplainable anger and unwillingness to speak about it to the final revelation that it had happened, had to have been a challenge to play, but the character did it. Does the character do stupid, immature things? Yes. But he's a kid, which makes it more forgivable -- and more believable.
Who I didn't pick and why: Matthew perhaps didn't do the worst thing when he eliminated Eddie Ford, but it seemed like a disappointment that he was the killer with all the other possibilities; Will's 2012 stories seemed stronger than the 2011 stories, so I'll probably think he rocks next year, when I fully expect he'll be nominated; Ethan Lovett seemed like an afterthought for most of his time on General Hospital -- so many potential story starts, and all just kind of fizzled.
OUTSTANDING YOUNGER ACTRESS
I just like Melanie Jonas better than any of the others.
Who I didn't pick and why
: Stephanie seemed so insecure and absurd that I couldn't get behind the character at all; Lily seems like such a pushover most of the time that I forget there were a few dramatic scenes, but the ghost story got annoying when Cane was alive and just messing with her for his misguided romantic reasons; Steffy /Hope/Liam just cannot be overcome in my mind.
OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A DRAMA SERIES
I do encounter dual diagnosis in the day job; I wonder if there's something psychological underlying the drinking that they didn't explore (the rough childhood, for starters). But sometimes a family does need to gather to get a person to see that they have a problem; however, just like in real life, when a person denies they have a problem, they won't be able to do any work to fix it. The episode seemed to have been written from a place where everyone who cared about Luke conveyed that their concern came from a place of love (although they were firm). That might be instrumental to a lot of families who are just "trying to help" -- and ruining people in the process.
What I didn't pick and why: All My Children… really, I can't get over the back-from-the-dead things; Days of our Lives… Brady and Madison; The Young and the Restless… lack of sympathy for Diane, and for all the people on the show who fake their own murders to frame someone.
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A DRAMA SERIES
The Bold and the Beautiful
As much as it pains me sometimes to read the recaps for The Bold and the Beautiful (just sounds incestuous most of the time), I do appreciate their efforts to raise awareness for social concerns we can easily overlook. Unprocessed rape kits, homelessness, foster kids who aged out of the system. These are all important things we should think of, but we try not to think of them if it interferes with our comfort level. Using real people who are in that situation puts a real face on it, not just an actor playing a role. I'm not sure if it made it more tangible, but I imagine that working with real people presented greater challenges for the directing team than working with a script.
What I didn't pick and why: General Hospital, because the writing was all I encountered, and it worked for me as a story, not as a visual experience; One Life to Live because I think they could have found better parts of Viki's vast history on the show to draw from to create a powerful scene, and because the DID thing just didn't cut it for me; and The Young and the Restless because I felt less sorry for Diane than I should have.
PICKS AT A CLICK (Check an overview of all our panelists' picks)
DAN J KROLL (soapcentral.com Founder)
LIZ M (soapcentral.com recapper)
TEDDI GIGGY (soapcentral.com recapper)
MIKE BRADFORD (soapcentral.com recapper)