Mike is a regular recapper of Days of our Lives for Soap Central. He has been a fan of Days of our Lives for over 15 years, but he also watches The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, and General Hospital on a regular basis. This is his third year as an official Emmy predictor for soapcentral.com.
I suspect that the edge is going to go to one of the soaps that submitted back-to-back episodes -- Y&R, B&B, or OLTL. Days of our Lives and GH's reels might not resonate with the voters because the choices are seemingly random. They aren't necessarily bad choices -- they just don't offer the same sort of "complete package" resolution that the other three soaps offered in their respective reels. Obviously, I'd love to see Days of our Lives win the award, but I don't expect that to happen. I wish that they had chosen two episodes from their "DAYSaster" storyline or two episodes that focused on either Chandler Massey or Eileen Davidson's storyline -- two of the strongest tales that the show told last year, each of which involved some of the best actors in daytime television.
It's never wise to count GH out in this category -- the show has been generating a lot of buzz lately and has won the award more than any other soap, even in years when many viewers believed that it was not at its creative best. I tend to attribute this to the fact that GH -- like B&B (at least in recent years) -- knows how to play the game, so to speak. GH likes to submit big "event" episodes that typically involve a lot of explosive drama -- sometimes quite literally -- and B&B has recently gained a reputation for submitting episodes that focus on social issues that tug at the heartstrings and almost seem to have been written specifically to secure an Emmy win. Both strategies are quite effective, since the coveted award is won on the strength of a single episode (or two, in this year's case) instead of being indicative of an entire year's worth of work. GH did that with one of their episodes this year, but I'm surprised that they chose to also submit a completely unrelated episode instead of doubling down on that strategy. I expect that choice to cost them the trophy.
That leaves Y&R, B&B, and OLTL. I liked Y&R's choices, but the actual death of Stephanie Forrester kind of trumps the presumed death of Victor Newman, so I think that it's going to be a battle between B&B and OLTL. B&B once again plays the somewhat heavy-handed emotion card that has proven to be extremely effective in the past, and OLTL offers the final two episodes that aired before its unwarranted cancellation. OLTL's final year was quite good, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them win, but that seems like less of a sure thing now that everyone knows that this won't necessarily be the last chance for that to happen (assuming that OLTL and AMC remain eligible to compete in their new online format).
I'm going for the safe bet -- B&B -- but I would much rather see OLTL or Days of our Lives win the award. I won't be surprised if there's a tie in this category, although it probably won't be the tie that I would like to see.
Who will win: The Bold and the Beautiful
Who should win: One Life to Live or Days of our Lives
That leaves Jason Thompson and Doug Davidson. Thompson's reel is the shortest one, and I think that it's probably a bit too subtle. Yes, it's sad to watch a husband deal with the death of his beloved wife, but there's just not much to this particular reel, and I suspect that Thompson probably had better performances during this storyline that he could have chosen instead.
Doug Davidson's reel is exactly what Bergman and Muhney's reels aren't -- a strong reel that has a singular focus throughout. Davidson's performance is emotional and riveting from beginning to end, doesn't go off on an unrelated tangent in the middle, and ends on a particularly high note. I think that he's the obvious winner here, but with the amount of buzz that GH has been getting for its creative resurgence in 2012, I wouldn't be completely surprised if Thompson managed to secure the victory.
Who will win: Doug Davidson (Paul Williams, Y&R)
Who should win: Doug Davidson
I feel like B&B probably has the best shot of taking home the trophy, but when a show has two strong actresses engaged in a friendly competition for the award, there's always a chance that they could end up splitting the votes and allowing a dark horse to take the win. Obviously, Susan Flannery's reel has a finality to it that might resonate with voters -- "This is our last chance to give Flannery a trophy!" -- but Heather Tom won last year, and she submitted a reel this year that's certainly capable of securing a repeat victory.
Let's face it -- Flannery and Tom have each had their fair share of victories in the past. While that shouldn't matter in the end -- the trophy should go to the most deserving person, period -- in a tough category like this one, it might be a deciding factor. Michelle Stafford has also won twice -- once in this category, and once in the Supporting Actress category -- and if I had to choose the weakest of these four reels, it would be hers, but I have always loved Stafford. She's a great actress, she's always fun to watch, and I'm going to miss her when she leaves Y&R in June.
Peggy McCay is the only person in this category who has never won an Emmy. I would love to see her win, and I think that she has a pretty good shot of doing so. Her reel is very strong, but it isn't quite as long as Flannery's, and it's less than half the length of Tom's, so that might hurt her chances. Still, I'm giving her the edge, because this category is such a toss-up anyway, and Days of our Lives has always been my favorite soap opera.
There could easily be a tie in this category, but I'm only going to pick one winner, since anything else would feel like cheating. I want McCay to win, and I believe that she has a real shot at doing so, but I suspect that she might need some help from the aforementioned split-vote factor to secure the victory.
Who will win: Peggy McCay (Caroline Brady, DAYS)
Who should win: Peggy McCay
I don't like Spinelli. I never have. He irritates me. However, Bradford Anderson chose a reel where Spinelli wasn't being so...Spinelli, and that was a wise choice. For once, Anderson showed a Spinelli who wasn't pretending to be a film noir character or using silly nicknames to describe his scene partners. His reel also has a singular focus throughout, and I think that's important, but it does lose a bit of steam toward the end.
GH's recent buzz could lead to a victory for Anderson, but I think that Scott Clifton is the clear winner here. Clifton's reel doesn't just maintain momentum the entire time -- it builds momentum, ending on a particularly strong note. I think that Clifton is going to go down in history as the first person to win an Emmy for portraying a character with red skunk-striped hair and a neck tattoo who spends half of the reel wearing only his boxers. That arguably warrants a special trophy, but I'm sure that he'll be happy with the normal one.
Who will win: Scott Clifton (Liam Spencer, B&B)
Who should win: Scott Clifton
Who will win: Arianne Zucker (Nicole Walker, DAYS)
Who should win: Arianne Zucker
It would be cool to see a tie between Massey and Freddie Smith, whom I also love, just so that fans could see both of the men in this stellar Days of our Lives storyline share the stage, but I firmly believe that the award should go to the most deserving person instead of being used to make statements or create "moments." Massey's reel is the clear standout here, and he deserves to be the sole victor.
Who will win: Chandler Massey (Will Horton, DAYS)
Who should win: Chandler Massey
Personally, I really like King's reel, but this is probably Alderson's race to lose.
Who will win: Kristen Alderson
Who should win: Hunter Haley King
Who will win: The Bold and the Beautiful
Who should win: One Life to Live
Who will win: Days of our Lives