Sunday, June 17, 2007

The beautiful disaster known as the Daytime Emmys

I hate award shows in general.

I used to look forward to watching the popular ones such as the Grammys and the Oscars. I got even more excited about those that were less known such as the Junos and the MMVAs (I caught some of it last Sunday and the nominees for Best International Group were enough for me to turn off the TV). But the Daytime Emmys are different. I ALWAYS have nominees to root for.

No doubt that I'm in the minority but daytime television to me is far more fascinating than that of primetime and more often than not, the world of Hollywood films...that is, if you're a bigger fan of acting rather than writing. If you wanna know how good an actor really is, go watch a soap opera where they appear almost every day of the week for several years (some, years on end) and often, have to make subpar writing somewhat entertaining. I mean, Hollywood seems to looove Orlando Bloom. That's because viewers aren't subjected to his dry acting almost every day of the year (although nearly three hours seems torturous enough)! If they were, I'm sure critics and movie buffs alike would be singing an entirely different tune.

Unfortunately, the voting process for the Daytime Emmys is just about as invalid as those of other awards. People don't win based on their work for the entire year but on two episodes. This year's results just goes to show how people who don't necessarily deserve a trophy can win.

Of course, tapes can be disregarded altogether. As exciting as Genie Francis's (Laura, General Hospital) win for Outstanding Supporting Actress may have been for the actress herself and for anybody else who wished that she had won an Emmy years ago, it just wasn't fair. I caught some of GH during Francis's big return last to see what the big fuss was all about but I was underwhelmed. The win was clearly a sentimental vote. Francis's speech said it all. She mentioned how she had been waiting 31 years for that moment. What does that say about the Emmys??? Hmmm...that they should start handing them ON TIME rather than rip off other talented, well-deserving people because they want to make up for the stupid mistakes they decided not to prevent the first time!

Another thing that bugs is repeat winners - who, in reality, aren't that exceptional. Ellen Degeneres's multiple wins have become tired and predictable. Is this woman really the best talk show host out there? Ellen herself must be phoning in her acceptance speeches by now. And I can only imagine how the View ladies must feel.

Then there's the Outstanding Younger Actress category - becoming well-known for its obsession with repeat winners and even eerier, girls named Jennifer. Jennifer Landon (Gwen, As the World Turns) won again this year. Before her, Jennifer Finnigan (ex-Bridget, Bold & the Beautiful), won three years in a row. Landon, the daughter of one of TV legends Michael Landon, is currently ATWT's darling as can be seen by the amount of airtime she dominates. Sadly, I see her as daytime's version of Mischa Barton - monotonous, overexposed, and way overrated. To be fair, though, Landon had surprisingly good performances in the tapes she submitted. It's too bad that the other nominees who deserved wins for their work overall last year kicked themselves in the foot by submitted bad tapes. Julie Berman (Lulu, GH) has been the one to get the most buzz in her category but the fact that her tape would have been a better submission for Genie Francis (her onscreen mom) resulted in a loss. Stephanie Gatschet (ex-Tammy, Guiding Light) also made the same mistake by submitting scenes that could very well have gotten her onscreen mom, Nicole Forester, a nomination.

I'm still in disbelief that the kid who used to play Richie on Family Matters won Outstanding Younger Actor. I'm usually in the camp that says, "If they submitted two great tapes, they deserve it". I don't know what Bryton McClure submitted but from the little I've seen of him on The Young & the Restless, the guy lacks the charisma that Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan, GL) obviously has in spades. Speaking of Pelphrey, what is it with him continuously losing to 'nobodies' from Y&R? In 2004, his loss to David Lago (Raul, Y&R) practically had everyone in the daytime industry in shock. Pelphrey played a huge part in rejuvenating the dinosaur that is Guiding Light for two and a half years. He should have easily won three years straight. And while I'm not a big fan of Van Hansis (Luke, ATWT), I think him winning would have made more sense. There's been so much talk about how his portrayal of a gay character is one of the most realistic ones ever done on television but if Reva having cancer didn't matter, if Lulu's abortion didn't matter, then Luke being gay, unsurprisingly, didn't matter.

Ric Hearst (Rick, GH) winning Outstanding Supporting Actor was one of two acting wins that didn't make me go WTF...mainly because I've hadn't watched enough of the nominees in the category to really have an opinion as to who should win. Hearst's win, followed by Francis's, however, had me worried for two seconds that a GH streak might happen.

The other acting win that I was fine with was Outstanding Lead Actress. I was praying for Kim Zimmer (Reva, GL) not to win again. She's good but she's also on my list of overrated daytime actors. GL loves her but it's become obvious in the last few months that she alone cannot carry the show. So I was happy when Maura West (Carly, ATWT) won. I'm surprised that this is actually her first win.

Having only two hours to get through the awards show compared to last year's three, this year's Emmys felt very rushed. However, kudos has to be given to showing acting clips for all the acting categories. Actually, they missed one: Outstanding Lead Actor. I don't think it was so much that the technical staff forgot, but because someone wasn't timing those embarassing fan videos or Tyra Banks and Elmo's flirty conversation and cutting them short (speaking of Tyra, what the hell was she wearing??? She may have been a model, but no way could anyone pull that disaster off). Nevertheless, the result was greatly disappointing. Christian LeBlanc (Michael, Y&R) over Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R) and Ricky Paull Goldin (Gus, GL)??? From what I've heard about LeBlanc's tapes, he would have been better off being in the Supporting category. I happened to watch RPG's submissions, an episode dedicated to showing his pain med-addicted character going through withdrawal, when they aired and while I didn't become an RPG fan after watching them, I was convinced that the man could really act. RPG looked a tad pissed (along with Bergman when they announced who won. Can't say I blame them.

Bob Barker was in the same boat as Genie Francis in that he got a sympathy vote with his Outstanding Game Show Host win but unlike Francis, Barker made it more about the staff from The Price is Right rather than about him. The man couldn't be any classier.

There needs to be some kind of rule to prohibit drinking before an awards ceremony. The director from ATWT who got up to make the acceptance speech for winning Outstanding Directing was sooo wasted. What was even funnier was how the camera panned to two ATWT actresses to show their "OMG..she's tanked!" reactions as the director stumbled over her speech and movements.

Despite an overall lack of creativity and sense in GL's writing last year, I was still rooting for them to take Outstanding Writing. They submitted two very well-written episodes so I think they deserve the win if that's what the rules are.

Ditto with Outstanding Drama Series. I was almost certain that One Life to Live was going to take it home (really, what beats an episode based around an innocent man's execution?). So it was definitely a shocker when Rachael Ray revealed that there was a tie. Guiding Light was the first one announced. Now, I admit sympathy played into this win since this is GL's 70th anniversary year but again...two well-written and acted episodes equals deserving win. It's really too bad that they had to share the spotlight with Y&R, which used the worst episodes as submissions out of the four shows nominated. What a great irony, however, that the two winners for Drama Series are the highest-rated AND one of the lowest-rated soaps. It's also very ironic that the two shows GL submitted heavily featured three of their nominees (Gina Tognoni, Tom Pelphrey, and Stephanie Gatschet)...who didn't win. It seems illogical how a show can win but lose out on all the acting awards. Doesn't a great show require great acting?

Thanks to this article, I feel better knowing that I'm not the only one who thought the results of this year's Emmys were seriously flawed.


angela said...

Speaking of Pelphrey, what is it with him continuously losing to 'nobodies' from Y&R?

So only already famous people should win awards...

Anonymous said...

nobodies? with 20 years under his belt in the screen actors guild, Bryton has been on a #1 prime time show for 9 years and 4 years on a #1 daytime show. probably should check out his bio before speaking again.