Dan recently celebrated the 22nd anniversary of Soap Central, the go-to soap site he created. His life is not nearly as exciting as what you might see in Port Charles or Genoa City, but he has dubbed his home Kroll Manor in an effort to keep up with the Quartermaines and Newmans. He recently discovered a child he never knew was his. Okay, it was a rabbit that someone abandoned on the streets of Philadelphia. He opted not to run a DNA test to determine if he was the father. Dan is also a renowned snacker and takes strange pride in never having been nominated for anything.
As has been the case for the past few years, Dan will share how he would have voted if he were an Emmy voter and also offer his thoughts on who the pool of Emmy voters will select. Sometimes the two choices are the same -- and sometimes they are wildly different. And somehow, they are usually both still wrong.▸ Skip ahead to Dan's picks for Drama Series
2016: 3 for 8
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
This is another really competitive category. I suspect that voters will be all over the map with this one, meaning that any of the five nominees could win. I really don't think anyone will be surprised by the eventual winner.
Until this year, John Aniston had never received a Daytime Emmy nomination. Let that sink in for a moment. After watching his reel, it is pretty clear why that was the case. He's just so damn good. Everything looks effortless. There is just such an ease with everything that he does. Even the scene with Victor faking a heart attack. It wasn't campy. It wasn't over the top. It was like sitting outside his house and staring in the window and watching... admiring the beautiful artwork and curtains. Not that, um, I've ever done anything like that. The scenes between John and Lead Actor nominee Vincent Irizarry were fun to watch. I wish that Vincent had included a portion of those scenes in his reel, though they didn't really play into the story that was being told in Vincent's reel. There's a great line in the reel when Victor says, "And the Oscar goes to..." I have no idea if John Aniston will hear "And the Emmy goes to..." before his name, but he certainly deserves all the praise he's receiving this year.
James Reynolds gets ditto marks for a lot of what I said about John Aniston. Maybe it is because James and John have been acting for so long. Maybe it's because they are both truly great actors. They just make it look so damned easy. I would pay to watch both of them -- and considering how high my cable bill is, I guess I sort of am already paying to watch them. The highlights for me were the tender moments with Theo. There really is a lot of parent-and-child tenderness in this year's Emmy race. And it all works so, so well. Often, hospital scenes can go south fast, especially when there are critical health issues involved. James rocked his scenes in the hospital as well.
Steve Burton has gotten to do all of the crying during his run at The Young and the Restless. I think he cried more in his final six months than he had in the previous six years of his tenure on General Hospital. I mentioned to Steve a few years back on the Red Carpet that it was refreshing to get to see him really act again. For me, there wasn't a lot of range in the material he was given on GH. Steve benefits, in my opinion, from great acting from everyone else in his reel. Watching the give and take with Sharon Case, for example. I wasn't a fan of including the final scene with Dylan bashing a baseball. I guess there was a need for "closure" in the reel, but it didn't do anything for me in terms of adding any value.
Chad Duell's reel was interesting to me. There were a lot of scene segments where he wasn't a part of the action. Take, for example, the part when Michael is eavesdropping on Kiki and Dylan. There's also another short blip of Finn and Tracy talking at the hospital while Michael is saying goodbye to Sabrina. There are other pieces that I would have trimmed off to make the reel a little more compact. There were two highlights for me that really stuck out: the heartbreaking goodbye to Sabrina and the I-can-see-the-veins-on-your-face-throbbing savaging of Kiki. Chad is so, so good at those angry scenes, and his work stuck with me even after I was done watching the reel.
Jeffrey Vincent Parise is so great at playing a [naughty word deleted]. The scenes in the church with Carlos posing as a priest were great. The visual of a priest pointing a gun at Sonny hooked me. Carlos came across as a bad guy who should not be messed with. In the next set of scenes, we saw a tender side of Carlos as he tried to keep Sabrina calm as she went into labor. Then we are hit with the scenes of Jeffrey playing Joe. What a buzzkill. Okay, great -- he played two roles on General Hospital. Unless the dual roles are being played opposite each other, I see no reason that they should be included in the reel. It just took all the wind out of the reel's sails. Thankfully, the reel ended with Carlos haunting Julian, and we got back some of that bastardy magic that kicked things off.
My top two picks are Burton and Parise. Both had segments of the reel that I don't think were necessary. If I were voting, I think I'd give the edge to Parise because there was a broader range of material in the reel. However, it is my belief that a masterful performance by Steve Burton will take home the gold.
Who voters will pick: Steve Burton
The final rankings: Jeffrey Vincent Parise, Steve Burton, James Reynolds, Chad Duell, John Aniston
I have two very strong opinions in this category. The first is that Finola Hughes will win the Emmy. The second is that without question, Anna Maria Horsford deserves to win in this field. So let's get to the nitty-gritty.
Stacy Haiduk's performance as Patty blew me away. She had some downright stunning performances as the paternity secret started to unwind -- but none of the scenes that I remember most were included in the reel. There was a scene where Patty was talking about her paintings and had a total breakdown. It was chilling. That is not to say that the selected episodes weren't good. Patty Williams clearly has some mental health issues. Stacy's portrayal showed a tenderness to Patty. This was not typical "soap opera crazy." No, this was a layered performance.
Kate Mansi also portrayed a woman who was facing some mental health challenges. Kate carried a whole lot of story in 2016 on Days of our Lives and deserves a great deal of praise for the work she did. I'm not sure if the scenes selected were the best representation of everything that she accomplished in 2016. I was a bit turned off by the "Wheee!" squeal as Abigail was preparing to set Ben on fire. Fortunately, that was a very small blip on the radar. The scenes between Kate and Lead Actor nom Billy Flynn were perfect. I also thought that the final scenes of the reel in which Abigail consented to treatment were incredibly poignant.
I've always been a fan of Kelly Sullivan's work. I thought she did a great job on General Hospital, and I was a bit disappointed that her time at The Young and the Restless was cut short. Of course it has worked out well for her because she landed a role in a hit primetime series. Her reel was super short, and it left me wanting more. That, of course, could be a good thing. It's better to have a voter craving more than begging for the reel to end. But I didn't feel like there was enough meat in the reel to compare to the buffet that was offered up by the next two performers.
Finola Hughes will more than likely win because her reel was perfectly compiled. Truly, Finola's reel should be used as the template for any and all future Emmy reels. Things kicked off by showing a more comical side of Anna -- Anna waiting at a bar for a blind date. The chemistry between Finola Hughes and Richard Burgi was really kind of awesome. I felt that way about all of their interactions on GH. The second set of scenes featured multiple Emmy winner Kimberly McCullough. There is no better mother/daughter pairing on soaps today than Finola Hughes and Kimberly McCullough as Anna and Robin. I thought the scene of Anna pleading with Sonny not to kill Carlos was strong... but a bit abrupt. It was sort of wedged in there just to change the narrative of the reel to the final episode with Anna confronting Carlos. The exchange between Finola and Supporting Actor nom Jeffrey Vincent Parise was a great ending to a great reel. I think Finola will be very hard to beat.
For me, I really, really responded positively to Anna Maria Horsford's reel. The scenes were all from one episode, and it offered a condensed version of a storyline that played out over several months. Emmy winner Obba Babatunde and Anna Maria Horsford are so great together on-screen. The gist of the story is that Julius stepped out on his wife and fathered a child. In this reel, Anna Maria's Vivienne finds out about that affair -- and that the child in question was her daughter's BFF. Why did this work for me? It was just so right on so many levels. Anna Maria was acting with every inch of her body -- even when she wasn't given any lines to recite.
Who voters will pick: Finola Hughes
My final rankings: Anna Maria Horsford, Finola Hughes, Stacy Haiduk, Kate Mansi, Kelly Sullivan