2005 was a crazy year: Couch-jumping celebrities, supercouple divorces and embarrassing scams thwarted on live television. And that's just the real world. While Oakdale didn't have Tom Cruise, Brad and Jen, or Ashlee Simpson, it had enough wackiness, humor and splendid storytelling to be named the best daytime drama of the year. By whom, you ask? Well, me. Yes, I know it's just my meaningless opinion, but hey, I've been around the dial, and ATWT is truly the best daytime show out there. Period. (Even TV Guide agrees.) Here's a look back at some of the best and worst moments of the year. Enjoy...
Best new character: You know the show is doing something right, when I can't choose between my two new favorite characters: Gwen Norbeck and Maddie Coleman. So, ladies, congrats to both of you. Gwen is the drama queen with pluck. But, Maddie gets points for humor, spunk, brattiness and brains. Girl power rules.
Worst new character: Celia Ortega. From the moment that orange crate opened and she stepped out, I've never been able to look at an orange the same way. Thankfully, the show realized its mistake and cut its losses.
"Drop it like it's hot" or worst dropped storyline: Jennifer and Mike were happily married just a few months ago and expecting a baby. Granted, it wasn't his. But, he knew and didn't seem to mind. Their union ended amicably, supposedly, yet, they no longer speak, see one another or even check on each other when one of them ends up in the hospital.
"Alien abduction" or put their photo on a milk carton as missing: Oakdale could be in the running to be the next Roswell. Several folks just disappeared this year, never to be spoken of again. John Dixon, Curtis Harris and Ben Harris, we'll be sending out search parties soon.
Worst departure: Craig went wacko and ran Rosanna off the road. She wrecked her car and is lingering in a coma, far from Oakdale. He's serving a jail sentence. Can you say ridiculous? Rumor has it that Rosanna woke up in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, and is now going by the name Dixie. As for Craig, I hope he's planning a prison break.
Best departure: Ali got a proper sendoff. She got to say goodbye to all her friends and family. And she got her happy ending with Aaron.
Best twist: Craig really is the father of Jennifer's baby. I would have bet my chocolate stash that Mike was the baby's daddy. I love it when I'm wrong. Plus, if Craig is the father, hopefully, he'll come home where he belongs when he gets out of the hoosegow.
Best-reformed criminal who we now love: Redeeming criminals is a touchy business. Sometimes it works and the character pulls a Luke Spencer to become beloved. That's the case with Will Munson. Sure he murdered his brother's fiancée, but, hey, he's sorry. And I believe him.
"Get the Kleenex" or most touching storyline: Lucinda's battle with cancer was bold without being maudlin. Elizabeth Hubbard did some of her best work. And it's not over yet.
Best recast: Meg Snyder. Marie Wilson shines as Meg. She's gorgeous, bubbly and devious. And she has chemistry with everyone, including her own brother Holden. All together now, "Ewwww!"
"The Felicity/Ben/Noel award" or Best love triangle: Mike/Katie/Henry. I got my wish from last year that Henry would become a leading man. He got the girl, if only briefly. This triangle had fans choosing sides and discussing passion versus friendship, and what makes the better foundation for a relationship. Both couples have rooting value. Let's hope we haven't seen the end of this geometry lesson.
"Dawson/Joey/Pacey they aren't" or Worst love triangle: Keith/Lily/Holden. For a love triangle to work, each couple must have chemistry. As great as Kin Shriner is, his Keith just didn't click with Lily.
"Welcome back" or Most welcome return: Cass Winthrop, the quick-quipping attorney from Bay City burst back into town to argue for truth, justice and a big, fat paycheck. Whether he's tossing off one-liners to Iris, Paul or Jack or just keeping Carly and Gwen in line, Winthrop makes me smile.
Missing you: Iris, Ali, Simon, come home.
Best six pack: Mike Kasnoff, for the second consecutive year. Seriously, you could bounce a quarter off those abs.
Most annoying event: Network preemptions. For the second consecutive year, this is by far the biggest problem in daytime television. I can't count the number of times this year that I've missed important plot points due to the "news" cutting in with a car chase, political speech, or some item that could have been easily scrolled across the bottom of the screen. This continued trend only serves to alienate the audience that invests weeks into storylines only to miss the payoff. Last week was another example, thanks to the transit strike coverage on CBS. I hear the show was good, no?
Worst new trend: Product placements in storylines. I think we all remember Margo's need to touch up her roots using a certain hair care product that went on ad nauseam for several episodes. I realize advertisers are trying to get back at those of us who fast-forward through their commercials, but watching characters go on about their favorite food, toiletry or car isn't my idea of entertainment.
Best storyline: The baby switch. There was hardly a character in town not involved in this complicated plot. From the veterans to the teens, the Billy/Cabot/Johnny/Rory paternity tale gave most of the cast the chance to show their stuff.
Worst storyline: Katie's got a stalker, again. Plot redux is inevitable, but Katie's had more stalkers than David Letterman. Her latest, BJ - the chocolate-milk-drinking, stuck-in-the-80s computer genius - certainly rivals Pilar and Dahlia in the creepy department. But, this story has been done to death. No pun intended. Give Katie some peace and something to do other than be a victim.
Best villain: Julia Larrabee. She met her demise at the hands of her crazy ex-husband, Les. But before that, Julia was shaking up Oakdale by putting the moves on the Snyder boys. She rattled Carly, Lily, Jack and Holden without becoming a cartoon villain. And she maintained her likeability with many fans. Nice job.
Strangest character change to fit a plot: Paul Ryan's descent into evil has been a bitter pill to swallow. I like Paul dark, but not this dark. He isn't James. At least he wasn't. However, if he keeps on this path, a clown suit may not be too far from his future.
Strangest plot that was never developed: Katie and Henry open a gym in Oakdale, yet no one works out there or mentions the place again. This would have been a great chance to see Carly sneaking a peek at Mike's six pack or Emily and Barbara shooting daggers at one another, while running on the treadmills. And who wouldn't like to see the guns on Will, Jack and Holden? After the Colemans spent all that time and money opening the gym, somebody should get a payoff. Why not viewers?
Best Line of the Year:
(Craig is waiting at Lucinda's house and samples her liquor.)
Craig: "You're running low on vodka, dear."
Lucinda: "Well, there's plenty of hemlock. Why don't you start there?"
Best Reader Spotlight of the Year:
(From Two Scoops reader Kara)
"About the Ortegas...where is the INS when you need them?"
That's a look back at 2005. Thank you all for taking time to read my take on "As The World Turns" each week. I truly appreciate every e-mail message you send sharing your thoughts on plots and characters that outrage you or make you smile. Here's to 2006! And now a quick look at this past week's show:
--I know it's early to have formed an opinion about Nick "Sometimes-you-don't-think, you-just-do" Kasnoff. But, here it is. He's no Mike. Or Jack. Or Dusty. Or Holden. I can usually tell from the first few shows whether I'll like a character (Gwen and Maddie.) Sometimes, I change my opinion, with time, as the character grows on me (Aaron and Casey.) And then, there are those folks who make me wear out my fast-forward button (Celia, Rafi and Keith.) Unfortunately, I think Nick is going to fall in the latter category. Don't we already have plenty of hunky heroes in Oakdale? Considering his splashy entrance and substantial screen time already, I hope he'll grow on me, because it appears he's here to stay.
--The year is never complete unless Henry puts on a dress and heels and goes drag queen for a day. He just can't seem to break that pattern. Lucky us. He's too funny as a glamour gal. But, how did he get Olga out of that coat and outfit when she was handcuffed to the wine cellar bars? I guess one should never underestimate Henry's ability to get a woman naked.
--Why do some events in Oakdale that could be amazing happen at warp speed? (I'll never forgive the show honchos for the rush on the Katie/Margo liver transplant storyline.) The most recent offense is the police telethon. This could have been a fantastic event, similar to the former nurses' balls on "General Hospital." Instead, we got clips of just three performances over the course of two shows. I wanted to see Jack's entire number, darn it. He was great! Can you imagine if the whole town had got involved, the way the folks in Port Charles used to do? I know some folks shouldn't sing, but there are other ways to entertain the audience. And why didn't anyone call Lily? She's got one of the best voices in town.
--Oakdale businesses really must be rolling in it. Lisa's company Fashions donated $50,000 to the telethon. Worldwide chipped in $150,000. Wow. For folks who rarely put a day in at the office, these companies must be thriving. That's the only explanation to be able to part with that kind of cash for a local charitable donation.
That's all for now Scoopers! See ya next time.