2017: The Year In Review - Top Newcomers
Posted Sunday, December 17, 2017 01:44:43 AM
Photo 2017: The Year In Review - Top Newcomers
It's time to take a look back at the year that was -- the highs and the lows, the best and the worst, and everything in between. In this installment of our year-end special, it's a look at the new faces that graced our screens in 2017.

OUTSTANDING NEWCOMER, FEMALE
Courtney Hope (Sally Spectra, The Bold and the Beautiful)

The Bold and the Beautiful's decision to revisit the past by reviving the Spectras had the potential to go wrong -- very wrong. And we admit that when he saw that the new wave of Spectras were going to have the same (or similar) names as the Spectras of old, we were... let's go with "concerned."

From the moment the brassy redhead appeared at the bar next to Thomas, we've been mesmerized by Courtney Hope. Hope must have worked previously for Cirque du Soleil because she's been an expert at walking the tightrope between campy and comedy. The campiness that viewers loved about B&B back in the late 1980s and early 1990s isn't necessarily received by viewers the same way in 2017.

Despite being a newcomer to daytime, Hope quickly found her footing. Yeah, that cake fight between Sally and Steffy could be seen as juvenile (or worse -- a waste of cake), but it was a lot of fun to watch. In fact, the Sally versus Steffy feud provided some of our guiltiest pleasures of 2017. And while the two sort-of kinda-of maybe seemed to bury the hatchet as the year drew to a close, we suspect that the two will be butting heads in the near future.

At least we hope so. It would be a shame if the writers found another shiny object to chase after and the Spectras once again faded into background.

Other female newcomers of note: Laur Allen (Juliet, Y&R), who took Juliet from concerned coworker to bogus sexual harassment claimant, and Lexie Stevenson (Mattie, Y&R) who made Mattie's toddler-to-teen overnight transition believable and enjoyable.

OUTSTANDING NEWCOMER, MALE
Abhi Sinha (Ravi Shapur, The Young and the Restless)

For years, daytime audiences have asked for soaps to be more inclusive. And while the soaps have taken great strides to make sure that daytime viewers can tune in and see increased diversity, which is more reflective of society, or someone who is going through the same experiences as them, all too often, non-white characters have been marginalized with stereotypical storylines or pushed off the canvas when the writers didn't know what to do with them.

With its casting of Abhi Sinha as Ravi, The Young and the Restless put forth an Indian-American character -- and it wasn't just Sinha's mom that rejoiced that he had "finally broken the mold" by becoming the first significant character of Indian descent on daytime. While he technically first appeared at the end of 2016, his importance on the canvas didn't really kick in until 2017.

Ravi could easily have been relegated to occasional appearances as the tech geek who inhabited a storage closet Phyllis' old office. It was a wise decision to pair Ravi with Ashley because the two seemed so diametrically opposite. As a tech guy, one would think that Ravi wouldn't know how to cut loose. Instead, it was Ashley who needed a nudge to let her hair down. As the younger man, one would also assume that Ravi would be the player who just wanted a quick roll in the hay. As it turned out, Ravi was the one who wanted more, and Ashley seemed to want more of a no-strings-attached fling.

Though Ravi unfortunately has never been a major player in Genoa City, Sinha commands attention when he's on-screen. We've seen Ravi gussied up for the opera and shirtless for some bodyboarding. What we'd like to see in 2018 is more airtime for Ravi as his own story lead -- perhaps exploring his past or bringing in a family member or two. Sinha has already landed a minor part on Designated Survivor, and we suspect that if he doesn't get tied into a main story on Y&R, he could easily slip away to primetime or film. And while we would love for his career to skyrocket, selfishly we want him for ourselves for at least a little while longer.

Another male newcomer of note: Max Shippee (Graham, The Young and the Restless) had us guessing for much of 2017 whether or not Graham was a good guy or a bad guy -- and we're still not 100% sure that we know which he is.

Which actors and actresses do you think were the best of 2017? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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