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2015: 2 for 8
2014: 1 for 8
2013: 6 for 8
2012: 3 for 8
2011: 3 for 8
2010: 2 for 8
2009: 3 for 8
2008: 5 for 8 2007: 2 for 8
2006: 5 for 8
2005: 3 for 8
2004: 0 for 8
2003: 2 for 8
2002: 2 for 8
2001: 1 for 8
That would seemingly bode well for Jacob Young, who made a last-minute switch to the second episode in his Emmy reel. I would love to know what he swapped out. That may go down as one of the great unanswered questions of this year's Emmys. That and why isn't the ceremony on television? The two reels show totally different sides of Jacob's acting. In the first, he's angry. Heck, he even fires a gun. His character on All My Children was a little trigger happy, too. Hmm... The second episode shows a more tender side and has the added benefit of having a twist. When Rick found out that Maya was transgender, I think most of the viewing audience had the expectation that Rick would flip out and maybe even get violent. I mean this is the same character that was taking target practice in the first episode of the reel. Instead, Jacob got to show vulnerability. Whereas Jacob was more of a "lead" in the first episode, in the second, he truly supported the storytelling. For a good portion of the latter half of the reel, Jacob had no lines... but spoke volumes with his expressions and uneasy fidgeting. This is also one of the few warm and fuzzy reels that were submitted this year. So that helps it stand out, too.
Steve Burton shows a great tenderness is his reel. It's such a refreshing change from the emotionless gunman I'd gotten to know from his work on General Hospital. My only reservation here is that I feel like Jessica Collins steals the spotlight in both episodes. And yes, I know that's somewhat of a contradiction, since the category is supporting actor. Yes, I suppose the argument can be made that Steve is appearing in that capacity in the reel... but I don't know that voters look at it that way. In most years, the eventual winner was someone who commanded the scene. If that's the case, I'm not sure that this will take the prize. Of course, an argument can also be made that because Jessica Collins is so strong, it automatically elevates the entirety of the reel.
Sean Blakemore is a perennial contender. He typically doesn't get a great deal of meaty story, but even then he manages to spin what he's given into gold. Just not Emmy gold. Yet. In the first episode, Blakemore gets to go back and forth between venting anger and bottling it up. It's kind of fun to watch to see if and when his character is going to explode. And then, just when you're ready for his head to pop off, the second episode kicks in and you get a totally different vibe. The best part of the reel is when Shawn and T.J. share a tear-filled farewell. What this reel suffers from is what a lot of GH suffers from (and in past years, I've said this about DAYS): scenes are choppy. Sometimes they barely last 30 seconds. It can ruin the fluidity of a scene when every few minutes there's a "slam" to a black screen. There really are also no fireworks of any kind from Sean... and voters love to look for fireworks.
Bryton James had a pretty solid set of material. I thought he had some great moments in the reel that Kristoff St. John submitted. What I said elsewhere in my predictions about Tracey Bregman and Christian LeBlanc holds true for Bryton and Kristoff. When they are on-screen together, I'm watching every second. Often I will watch more than once so that I can focus only on one of the two actors at a time. In the second episode submitted, I really had a hard time not focusing on Kristoff St. John. So I can make the same argument here that I made about Steve Burton's reel.
Dominic Zamprogna's reel had something that I don't think any other Emmy reel in history has ever had. Since we're in a political season, I'll call it "the flip-flop." In the first episode submitted, Dante angrily confronted Lulu because he thought she was cheating on him. In the second episode, Dante was forced to defend himself after Lulu learned that he'd had an affair. It's the perfect Emmy reel. The first reel allowed Dominic to angrily rail against his on-screen partner while the second reel showed him as a remorseful and broken man. The performance captured my attention even though it was the longest of the reels.
I honestly thing that Dominic Zamprogna will win with the voting panel. For me, though, Jacob Young pulled me in a bit more by making me "feel," so that's where I will put my vote. This is one of the rare times, though, that I would also be happy to be wrong.
Who voters will pick: Dominic Zamprogna
The final rankings: Jacob Young, Dominic Zamprogna, Bryton James, Sean Blakemore, Steve Burton
Peggy McCay is absolutely delightful to watch. We often grumble about 40something women not getting storylines, so it is incredibly gratifying to see a beloved veteran get screen time. I wonder if the reel is a bit too "out there" when compared to the other reels that are grounded in plots that are a little more tangible. Caroline is seeing her late husband... but why? Is she being drugged? Is someone gaslighting her? Is she dying, as she fears? There is also the same bit of abruptness in the way some of the scenes transition to one another, and there is a large chunk of "content" in the middle of the reel. Peggy has never won an Emmy, and with a strong first two or three minutes of the reel, it could very well be enough to have enough voters rank her first on the ballot.
Reels aside, I think Jessica Collins got a raw deal in her forced exit from Y&R. Her exit story was somewhat of a convoluted mess, but she acted the heck out of it. I'm not sure how the reel will be received, but it's really a solid performance. There is also a throughline to the reel that I think people who've never seen Y&R before will be able to follow. In the first episode, Avery has a heated argument with her ex-husband then in the second part of the reel, Avery is accusing her ex of having sexually assaulted her. The reel goes from sarcastically pouring her heart out to a much more vulnerable performance. Maybe winning an Emmy will convince Y&R to rehire Jessica Collins... or maybe another soap will snatch her up.
Lauralee Bell is another first-time nominee this year. How her not being nominated before was allowed to happen is something I won't understand. I guess Christine has always been a character that's just sort of been there and taken for granted. The two clips also tell a full (well most of a full) storyline -- Christine was involved in an accident and lost her unborn child. She then tried to get on with her life much sooner than she probably should have. The description sounds like a hands-down Emmy winner. I am not sure, though, that everything that I would have wanted to see from a storyline like this found its way to the screen. I also have concerns that while this is Lauralee's reel, it seems in much of the reel that it could be Doug Davidson's submission.
Linsey Godfrey has been my choice to win for the past two years (once in Supporting and once in Younger). I am pretty convinced that the reason she hasn't won is because I've picked her to win. Linsey's reel had everything that a good soap reel should have: love, crying, confrontation... a pregnancy by your husband's son. What?! But that doesn't come until the last moment of the reel. There are two schools of thought on this reel. The first: Linsey does a phenomenal job of crying and displaying total remorse and regret, and she does it for the entire reel. The second: she cries... and cries... oh, and cries. Crying is not a limiting factor. There are oodles and oodles of Emmys that have been handed out in scenes that had crying. Linsey has submitted more comedic reels and did not win. She has submitted dramatic reels and did not win. At some point, voters are going to remember viewing Godfrey's past work, and when they do and realize just how strong her appearances are day in and day out, she's going to win a lot of Emmys.
I am not at all sure who will win this category. A lot will come down to who voters pick as second and third because I suspect that there will not be a consensus top pick. Next year, I will unveil five different ways for me to pick winners so that I am guaranteed to get them all right.
Who voters will pick: Jessica Collins
My final rankings: Linsey Godfrey, Jessica Collins, Melissa Reeves, Lauralee Bell, Peggy McCay