Dan recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the founding of his web site, Soap Central. He is also the host of the weekly live Internet radio show, Kroll Call. He became hooked on soaps because of All My Children and quickly fell in love with the genre. His work on Soap Central over the past two decades has given him an appreciation for all of the soaps and talented men and women in front of and behind the camera. Dan is also a renowned snacker and supporter of all things Philly, and he takes strange pride in never having been nominated for anything.
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2014: 1 for 8
2013: 6 for 8
2012: 3 for 8
2011: 3 for 8
2010: 2 for 8
2009: 3 for 8
2008: 5 for 8
2007: 2 for 8
2006: 5 for 8
2005: 3 for 8
2004: 0 for 8
2003: 2 for 8
2002: 2 for 8
2001: 1 for 8
Max Ehrich had great support from costars in his scenes. Greg Rikaart, Tracey Bregman, and Christian LeBlanc? Sign me up for that job! The reel was a little light on material, but the emotional play is really strong. There is a great relatability in this reel that I think works for it. So many people have had their lives upended by cancer. A voter being able to understand what a character is feeling and then weighing that with what the actor delivered might help earn some additional votes.
Tequan Richmond selected an episode that had a fully contained story. Someone who was watching just this reel and had never heard of General Hospital would be able to follow along with very little problem. His performance was subdued yet powerful. Sean Blakemore and Vinessa Antoine supported Tequan beautifully. For me, it was the best of the bunch.
Freddie Smith's selection was a bit surprising to me, too. But he was wise to submit work with Camila Banus. Freddie and Camila have really good chemistry, and it is conveyed well in the reel. There isn't a great range of "feeling" to pull from the episode. It's a good episode, but I am not sure if it is the episode that shows Freddie's best work.
Who voters will pick: Max Ehrich
My final rankings: Tequan Richmond, Max Ehrich, Bryan Craig, Freddie Smith
Kristen Alderson could win on name recognition. She also has a great reel that is deserving of a win. What would you do if you walked in on your significant other in bed with someone else? Kristen is from here in Philly, so I am surprised she didn't ask that the writers have Kiki pull out a shank and slash the skank! Chad Duell was a great counter for Kristen in the reel. He was smarmy and downright mean. And Kristen perfectly displayed the hurt Kiki must have been feeling.
Camila Banus' character may be one of the least favorite characters on DAYS in a long time. Maybe on any soap. People just loved to hate Gabriella. But I think voters are going to love this Emmy reel. While there were other people in the reel, Banus delivers 90% of the dialogue. There is great use of flashback. Her emotions are never over the top -- which could easily have been done. On top of that, Banus doesn't appear to be "acting." Plus, she is no longer on DAYS -- and Emmys somehow always seem to land in the lap of people who are no longer on daytime.
Hunter King has an Emmy -- and with some of her current work in 2015, I suspect she will have another Emmy in 2016. Having those scenes in my mind, I don't feel that this reel is indicative of her best work. It's solid, but it's hard for me not to want to compare it to other scenes where I've seen her hit a home run. The content is a little late-80s/early-90s MTV teen drama series. She does, however, have her previous Emmy win going for her: Emmy voters love to see repeat winners in the Younger acting categories.
I would be lying if I didn't say that Haley Pullos isn't an emotional pick for me. She covers the Emmy Red Carpet with me for Soap Central, and I think she's a pretty amazing young woman. That said, I have to say that I was honored to have Haley and her family ask me which of her episodes she should submit for Emmy consideration. The episode that she submitted is the one that I chose. It is the most heartbreaking of the reels, and Haley gets a great assist from two-time Emmy winner Nancy Lee Grahn in the scenes. You have great mother/daughter scenes and a daughter who believes her father is dead. If I were voting, this would be my clear-cut winner.
But since I am predicting who I think will win, I think voters will select Camila Banus, who is certainly equally deserving.
Who I'd like to win: Haley Pullos
Who voters will pick: Camila Banus
My final rankings: Haley Pullos, Camila Banus, Kristen Alderson, Hunter King
I will admit that I have not seen the movie M*A*S*H -- at least not in my adult years -- so I was not familiar with the role that made Sally Kellerman a household name. I thought she was a great addition to Y&R, and even though the show was seeking a "name" star for the role, it didn't feel like stunt casting. Her reel had dramatic content, and her acting was quite strong, but I am not sure that, when it stacks up against the other submissions, it will be the one that voters rank first.
Donna Mills was so much fun as Madeline. Her role was perfectly suited for her. Donna delivered in the submitted episode, but I don't know that there is the range of emotion that voters look for. There's no creepy villain, no murderous rage... and the reel feels a little more like it should be Ryan Paevey's reel than Donna's.
Elena Tovar (as she prefers to be called) is like the little engine that could. She is surrounded by HUGE names from television and film. It would be easy to dismiss her based on that sort of marquee billing. To do that would be a pretty big mistake. Elena shows why fans were clamoring to see more of her on-screen. Great delivery and a "realness" in her acting makes this a serious contender.
Fred Willard makes me laugh. I think I first remember him as the upper-right square on the Hollywood Squares. At three-minutes and thirty-eight seconds, Willard's reel is the shortest submission this year. I suppose that is the very definition of "guest" performer. This goes back to the question of "Does it have to be dramatic to win?" The scenes are delightful, but I don't know that being delightful will be what voters respond to.
What was missing from this year's Emmy reels? Villains. Other than the fake Luke in Anthony Geary's Lead Actor reel, there wasn't anyone to really make your skin crawl. Enter Ray Wise. While Ian's overall storyline may have been a little scattered in terms of quality, Ray's acting in this reel makes me feel the need to soak in a bath of Purell. Normally, I would say that is a bad thing -- but in this case, it's very good.
Who voters will pick: Meredith Baxter
My rankings: Ray Wise, Elena Tovar, Meredith Baxter, Sally Kellerman, Fred Willard, Donna Mills