Welcome, welcome, welcome to the Sixth Annual Golden Donut Awards! We're delighted you joined us, and in your holiday best nonetheless. You all look fabulous! Well now, especially you over there in that reindeer sweater. Hey, hey! Call me. Right. Laurisa's giving me a stern look. Sorry. There's no time for flirting, as we have armloads of golden cyber-statuettes to hand out.
But a word of warning before we begin! Please buckle up. This is going to be a full-blown sleigh ride of delight and merriment that will rival even portly Ole Saint Nick's spin around the globe.
And why wouldn't Laurisa and I celebrate DAYS in 2012!? Among many other things, it was the year that both Kristen DiMera and Eric Brady returned to Salem! Those alone are reasons to put on our party hats and break out the eggnog. And by "eggnog," we mean champagne. And by "champagne," we mean a lot of it. This isn't a time to skimp, after all -- we survived both the non-apocalypse and Madison's wardrobe choices this year.
So, without much further ado, Laurisa and I graciously thank you again for joining us as we present the Sixth Annual Golden Donut Awards, the Best Of Days 2012! If you're wondering about the history, or the rules and regulations of the Golden Donut Awards, please click here to head over to my blog, which will explain everything. We'll stand by with our champagne in hand. Well, maybe just for a second or two, as we really do need to get cracking.
Awards beginning in five, four, three, two...
Tony: Agent Spencer
When the good agent ventured to town, he was exactly what DAYS needed -- a smart, savvy good guy with scruples and an unbiased standpoint on all those whacky Salemites. The fact that he was easy on the eyes and had a swoon-worthy accent to match was just icing on this Best New Character cake! I'm not sure where he eventually disappeared to, but Salem certainly has enough intrigue to bring this guy back to help solve another caper. Let's make this happen, dear writers!
Jessica's return was monumental and long overdue. She hadn't been seen in Salem for thirty years (and the same actress reassumed the role -- awesome)! Another Horton in town is always a good thing, even if she just returns from time to time. In fact, Nick could certainly use some parental guidance these days.
Seeing John, my pal Lucas Castigliano from Another World, brought back all sorts of wonderful memories of NBC's other long-running soap. I'm lobbying for John's Arthur to stick around Salem. He's a great actor, and DAYS could use another handsome, powerful mogul type to mix it up with the mature crowd.
And Anne-Marie is a fantastic actress who could easily win over viewers with her charm. She captured my heart when I first saw her on an '80s made-for-TV movie and later Melrose Place. Plus, Dr. Patel would give Marlena an ally (unless she was paid off by the DiMera famiglia *insert evil laughter*), or give Abe another lovely lady to mingle with. It could be a win/win all around. Just saying!
Tony: Kristen DiMera
I mean, really! Raise your hand if you didn't think I would pick Eileen's triumphant return as Kristen for this award. Anyone? Anyone!? Nope, I didn't think so. My love for Eileen runs so deep that I practically dedicated two columns to her return (one when the news broke and one when she actually returned). By "practically," I mean I did. I totally did. Yeah, I should probably apologize to readers for my Kristen-Fever, but I can't. I've waited fourteen years for that moment, and I simply adore her. I hope that everyone is finally realizing why. Eileen is amazing! Kristen is amazing! And it's amazing to have her back!
Tony: Nicole Walker
Because of Arianne Zucker's amazingly endless talents, I got through the entire baby drama and the Nicole/Dr. Dan/Jennifer sagas. But as much as I love my Nicole and ultimately want to see her come out on top, she was a bad girl this year. A really bad one, in fact! She manipulated, lied, and used her baby to land a man, keep its paternity from another man, seek revenge by framing Jennifer for baby murder, and, well, she used that poor baby for pretty much every dirty deed one could use a baby for. Oh, oh! But since the repeat of Jennifer and Dr. Dan isn't flying with most fans, I guess we could actually thank her for standing in their way for as long as she did! See, maybe it's good to be bad after all. Thanks, Nicole!
Tony: Sami Brady and Kate Roberts-DiMera vs. Adrienne Kiriakis (September 19, 2012)
Hot damn! Three of my favorite ladies shared a catty, nasty little smackdown and, whowouldhavethunkit, Sami and Kate were on the same side! Sure, sure. It stung to watch Adrienne act all un-Adrienne-like, but eventually she came to her senses, and all was forgiven. However, it was beyond amazing to watch Sami and Kate team up against a common enemy to defend Will's honor. They were two ruthless ladies on a mission, and I ate up every second. I was simply enthralled by the always-awesome chemistry between Alison Sweeney and Lauren Koslow. They never fail to entertain! Heck, there was even a Vivian Alamain nod at the end of things. I repeat, "Hot damn!"
Click here to watch Tony's pick for Best Brawl!
Tony: Abe and E.J. Hug It Out (June 20, 2012)
Kleenex loved me in 2012! I'm not too proud to admit I bawled like a baby for several months as Lexie slowly succumbed to her brain tumor. However, the moment that really made me realize that she was gone forever was when Abe and E.J. gave each other a quick, yet meaningful hug. These two shouldn't be hugging, but they did. They did it because they were both suffering from a pain only the other could understand. And they did it for Lexie. I'm sure somewhere in Soap Heaven, she was looking down on them with that radiant Lexie smile we all miss. Wow! That was depressing. Moving on...
Click here to watch Tony's pick for Best Tear-jerker!
* Best Tear-jerker is a brand new category!
Tony: Jack "Super Dad" Deveraux
Sure, Jack ran out on his family once upon a time, but just like Abigail, I forgave him last year. And Jack took that forgiveness and ran with it! He became one of the funniest, yet most earnest, characters in recent memory. His total adoration of Abigail was so sweet, it would have given me a toothache if Matthew Ashford wasn't so talented that he found the right balance of fatherly concern and adorableness. He wanted to create DADDE (Dads Against Daughters Dating Ever), for goodness sakes. I appreciated that as much as I did the enchanting father/daughter chemistry between Matthew Ashford and Kate Mansi. Three cheers all around, please!
Laurisa: Nicole Walker
I fully believe that the reason Nicole is able to pull off so many of her schemes with so little resources is because she can talk circles around pretty much everyone. And I mean that in a good way. Nicole can approach an awkward situation with humor or dodge confrontation with sarcasm. In a way*, her words are her best asset.
Tony: Nurse Maxine
Oh, hell yeah! My BFF, Nurse Maxine, returned to our screens in 2012 with her special brand of sass and sincerity. I love her friendships with Dr. Dan, Melanie, and the rest of her hospital "family," but more so, I love her way of keeping them in line with her lines. Her delivery is one part a "don't cross me, fool" look and one part a perfectly delivered line that oftentimes acts as the voice of the viewers, as Ms. Maxine never minces words. If it's on her mind, it's coming out of her mouth. Seriously, how many times have you wanted to say what Maxine did? Exactly!
Tony: John Black
Give this man a suit, and he looks all shades of corporate perfection, but that's not all! John's casualwear is always classy and chic. Granted, it would be hard to make Drake Hogestyn look bad, but that's a challenge the wardrobe peeps didn't win last year. John always looked like a million bucks, which is actually quite appropriate for a multimillionaire, I'd say.
Tony: Kate Mansi as Abigail Deveraux
Not only is she an ah-mazing actress (seriously, Emmy peeps, give this gal an award), but the Lady Mansi is just all shades of gorgeous! Kate has this sly attractiveness about her that simply grabbed my attention every time she came onto screen. Simply put, Kate's like a sunrise -- beautiful, captivating, and only gets brighter as time goes on!
Tony: Shawn Christian as Dr. Daniel Jonas
Yeah, sometimes being a Two Scooper is hard, especially when picking an award like this. It's like being at an ice cream parlor and having to pick only one flavor out of a billion delicious ones. Well, congratulations, Shawn, you're this year's winning recipe! He has all the textbook Soap Stud qualities that could easily nab him this award, but what clenched the deal is his swoon-worthy twinkling eyes/bashful smile combo. It's no wonder Nicole was so batty for Dr. Dan! I think I went a little cray-cray for him, too.
Tony: Dr. Kayla Brady-Johnson and Abe Carver (Tie)
I really, really tried to avoid the dreaded tie here, but my heart was torn. On one hand, I had Kayla. She's managed to hold her head up high and put her life back together after divorcing the love of her life, all the while remaining supportive of her family and friends. She's graceful and kind, and went from being a cook to Chief of Staff! Not too shabby. On the other hand, Abe also lost the love of his life and, like Kayla, he's been a rock star at coping with loss. Two single parents doing what it takes to put their families back together is always a commendable thing. Plus, tie all those factors together with the budding whatever Kayla and Abe have going on, and I believe the future is bright for them both!
Tony: Peter Blake
This award selection has nothing at all to do with Jason Brooks's über hunkiness. Nope. None, I tell you! Well, okay. Maybe a little, but I digress. Peter would be an interesting character to have floating around Salem once more. He's not only Jennifer's ex, but he's a DiMera. I always enjoyed his bond with sister Kristen, but how would he interact with E.J. and Chad? I'm dying to find out! Plus, I'd love to watch him mix it up Kate or Nicole. Hmm, lots of potential there, writers. Just saying!
"If you had come clean after even the first 50 lies, maybe, maybe it would have been different. But the truth is, the bottom line is that you still chose her over me. (No, I didn't!) Yes, you did. If I had lied to you like that -- no matter what, no matter why -- I would have been out on my ass, and you would have been judging me for the rest of my life because you are a sanctimonious hypocrite -- two things that people would never say about me. So you know what, Rafe, next time you're grieving and you want someone to help you get rid of it with sex, you go find someone else, okay? (That's not what I was doing.) You know what else, I'm not finished. You gonna let me finish? (Okay, finish please.) I don't forgive you. I'm done. We're done."
Click here to watch Laurisa's pick for Best Surprise!
Tony: Will Officially Comes Out to Marlena (April 5, 2012)
The writers crafted an amazing coming out storyline for Will, but the one particular moment that stuck with me was when he finally admitted he was gay to Marlena. It wasn't an OMG!-shocking moment, but it was a fantastic surprise to watch Will regain his confidence and address the issue he and Marlena had been trying to talk around for months. It was a sweet, tender moment with splashes of humor thrown in. I couldn't have adored it more if I tired! And both Chandler Massey and Deidre Hall continued to knock their performances out of the ballpark during these scenes with their sincere brand of grandma/grandson chemistry. As John later said (and it applies perfectly here), "Will's out, and I'm proud!"
Click here to watch Tony's pick for Best Surprise!
Tony: E.J. DiMera and Sami Brady
They were only a couple for a hot second over the summer, but, oh, what a hot second it was! And a lot of that smoldering was done while Sami was wearing some God-awful pants, which certainly proves love is blind. Well, at least when it comes to pants. Anyway, James Scott and Alison Sweeney easily proved their fiery chemistry was still red hot even after a long "EJami" hiatus. More so, the writers gave the characters (and fans!) an honest start to a relationship, something E.J. and Sami have never really been given. Sadly, it ended way, way, way too quickly, but it seems like a reprieve may be on the horizon. Fingers crossing in five, four, three, two...
Tony: Dr. Lexie Carver
Celebrating Lexie isn't difficult, it's just sad because she's no longer with us. But Lexie left a legacy behind that is certainly celebration-worthy. She faced her terminal diagnosis with grace and dignity. She even kept a brave, warm smile on her face, even when she was in pain, to assure her loved ones that she and they were going to be just fine. And Lexie did the impossible, really. She united nearly everyone in Salem who knew and loved her, and that includes archenemies Abe and E.J. So, she may have left us far too soon, but what she left behind was a great gift as well.
Tony: Matthew Ashford as Jack Deveraux
There were many brilliant performances by the men of DAYS this year (please see above), but Matthew sealed the deal for me early in the year as Jack faced his PTSD demons. We didn't get to witness all of his recovery, but for what we did see, Matthew was completely astonishing. As the writers have a tendency to script Jack as the class clown -- probably because of Matthew's well-honed comedic chops -- it was extra special to see Matthew flex his dramatic ones. He was simply wowing!
Tony: Eileen Davidson as Kristen DiMera
Within five seconds of seeing Eileen as Kristen again, I remembered exactly why she received an Emmy nod last time she was in Kristen's scheming stilettos. She's simply divine! For starters, Eileen seamlessly stepped back into the role and reignited a spark that had been missing on DAYS since she left. In fact, the show needed someone to stir the pot again, and Kristen brought two large wooden spoons and a KitchenAid mixer. Eileen perfectly plays Kristen as a multilayered badass who's cunning, yet comical at times, which is a hard combo to pull off convincingly.
The natural chemistry she shares with every one of her cast mates is also impressive. Be it as a sparring partner with Dee Hall, flirting with Drake Hogestyn and Eric Martsolf, or being the big sis to James Scott and Casey Deidrick, Eileen radiates energy that keeps me glued to the screen. You can tell her and her cast mates are having a blast with the material!
Lastly (solely for the sake of time and not because I couldn't gush more about Eileen's talents), one of the best parts about how Eileen plays crafty Kristen is that you never know exactly what she's up to. Is she plotting? Is she being sincere? Or is she simply thinking about what she'll have for lunch? I don't know! And that's why Eileen rocks. She keeps things fresh, and she'll always keep you guessing. So, welcome back, Eileen and congratulations! You came. You saw. And you conquered!
Two Scoopers' Note: The Best Actor and Actress Categories were extremely close races this year! It took a lot of deliberation, and Scotch, to come to our final decisions. And whereas we completely stand behind them, we would like to give oodles of accolades to both Peter Reckell and Arianne Zucker. They are DAYS legends, and we can't praise their talents enough!
Second, the show took its time letting us get to know Will (and Chandler Massey, for that matter) before the storyline started. That small move took him from a sterile, statistic "token gay guy" to a real person -- a distinction that other shows should most absolutely follow.
But most importantly of all, it really was a storyline about how faking any aspect of your life to please others will eat away at you. DAYS didn't go the political route, as so many other shows do, and that was smart. Instead. DAYS actually played their best hand and made it a story about family, friends, and the feat of not being loved. In other words -- the wheelhouse of all soap operas. Genius.
For starters, NBC kicked into high gear to promote the show's return after the Olympic Hiatus. The promos were flashy, fun, and intriguing. More so, the brass showed us for the first time in a long time the network was truly invested in DAYS and its fans. That was greatly appreciated!
Next, the Special Effects Department completely rocked and rolled! It's been a very, very long time since I've seen such an elaborate action sequence on a soap. Scratch that! It rivaled what I've seen on primetime and in the movies. So, accolades all around for that!
And finally, snaps to the writers and actors! The storyline gave so many characters andactors moments to shine. How cute was Theo riding to that little girl's rescue!? Brady and Melanie remembered they were best friends, which allowed Eric Martsolf and Molly Burnett to enchant us once again with their special brand of BFF chemistry. The immensely enjoyable mentor/mentee relationship between E.J. and Will was showcased as was the smoking hot budding relationship between E.J. and Sami. Plus, Roman got to be a hero again. Kayla got to be a doctor again. And, shucks, Rafe wasn't around to irritate me, and annoying Madison kicked it.
Whoops! Was it insensitive to celebrate those last parts? Perhaps, so let's just say this storyline did wonders to pump up viewers again and tie so many storylines together. As far as an epic summer blockbuster goes, the DAYSaster ranks right up there. Mazel tov!
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, those are your 2012 winners of the Sixth Annual Golden Donut Awards! Once again, Laurisa and I want to thank you for not only joining us today, but for following us throughout the year. Your feedback and encouragement is always sincerely appreciated.
And speaking of feedback, next week Laurisa and I get to give ours on the "Worst of DAYS 2012" as we join up again to present the Sixth Annual Alex North Memorial Awards! Be sure to join us before heading out to celebrate the New Year. We'll be easy to spot. We'll be the ones wearing matching snark and "I Hate Madison" t-shirts. And "That's a fact!"