Mike is a regular recapper of Days of our Lives for soapcentral.com. He has been a fan of Days of our Lives for twenty 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 fifth year as an official Emmy predictor for Soap Central.
Who will win: Days of our Lives
Who should win: Days of our Lives
It's never wise to count out Anthony Geary, but his reel just didn't work for me, and it's easily the least relatable of the four. People can relate to struggles with cancer and the loss or abandonment of a loved one, but evil twins? Not so much. As for Jason Thompson's reel, he never really manages to impress me much, although I know he has quite the fan base.
For me, this is between Christian LeBlanc and Billy J. Miller. Both reels are strong, but I'm giving the edge to LeBlanc, even though the shouting at the end is a bit over the top for my taste, and Tracey E. Bregman kind of overshadows him in parts. In the end, it's still a reel about dealing with a cancer diagnosis, and I expect that to resonate with voters more than the others.
Who will win: Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin, The Young and the Restless)
I like Maura West, but I feel like it took too long to get to the good stuff in her reel. It was more about Maurice Benard than her until the last two minutes or so. Again, a fairly weak reel, in my opinion.
I admire how Gina Tognoni stepped into the role of Phyllis and made it her own right from the start. She had big shoes to fill, and she has done an excellent job of accomplishing that task. She has a strong reel, but I don't think this is her year. I expect more nominations in her future, though.
It's nice to see Alison Sweeney finally get a nomination. But her reel is over twice as long as all the others, and while it certainly showcases everything she has to offer, I'm concerned that voters might not bother to watch all of it. I didn't particularly care for this episode, and I think there were better things she could have submitted that wouldn't have carried the same risk of trying voters' patience.
I have seen people raise concerns about Peggy McCay being in the Lead Actress category, arguing that she simply doesn't amass the screen time in any given year to warrant that title. Frankly, I couldn't care less about that. Right or wrong, she chose to enter the Lead Actress category, she earned a nomination in the Lead Actress category, and she has the best reel in the Lead Actress category -- perhaps, for my money, the best reel in this year's competition, period. I can't think of anything I saw in 2014 that moved me more than Will and Sonny's wedding episode did. Of course, it's painful to think about how everything went downhill in their story afterward, but that episode will forever be one of my fondest memories of daytime television viewing, and McCay's monologue is one of the best parts of it.
While it would be nice to see Sweeney win, if only because she has been around for such a long time, McCay has been around even longer, and she managed to pull more emotion out of me in under five minutes than Sweeney did in over twenty-five. As far as I'm concerned, no one deserves the award more.
Who will win: Peggy McCay
Who should win: Peggy McCay
Scott Clifton has said his reel sort of bucked the tradition of what an Emmy reel "should" be, and I can see what he means, but it's still a good reel for him, although it's an even better one for Darin Brooks. My main complaint is that it doesn't necessarily work as a standalone reel for the uninitiated viewer -- it's not entirely clear what's going on at first, and even at the end, there's a reference to a possible drowning that doesn't really make any sense in the context of just that scene.
It's somewhat ironic that Chad Duell aged out of the Younger Actor category just when he no longer had Chandler Massey to compete against. Duell submitted a great reel, but the whole time I was watching it, my main focus was on his poor arm, which was probably getting tired of holding that gun up in the air. In fact, his body often relaxes too much for the type of scene he's doing, which sort of threatens the authenticity. There were several times when it wouldn't have been particularly difficult for an experienced mobster like Sonny Corinthos to grab that gun and get the upper hand. I'm not sure if voters will care about that as much as I did, though.
The reels in this category are pretty evenly matched, but I'm picking Kristoff St. John as the winner. Like Young's reel, St. John's does have some flashbacks, but they work better for me than Young's montage did, and in terms of emotional weight, blindness sort of trumps everything else on display in this category. If it weren't for that fact, I'd probably go with Duell instead.
Who will win: Kristoff St. John
Who should win: Kristoff St. John or Chad Duell
I didn't really get the GH reels. Finola Hughes's reel seemed more like Ian Buchanan's reel, and Lisa Locicero's reel, while mildly humorous, just doesn't scream "Emmy!" to me.
This is between Amelia Heinle and Elizabeth Hendrickson for me -- just as it was last year. And, just as I did last year, I'm giving the edge to Hendrickson -- longer reel, more emotion -- but I wouldn't be surprised if Heinle wins instead, just as she did last year.
Who will win: Elizabeth Hendrickson
Who should win: Elizabeth Hendrickson or Amelia Heinle
Who will win: Max Ehrich
Who should win: Max Ehrich or Freddie Smith
Who will win: Camila Banus
Who should win: Camila Banus
This one feels like a toss-up, but I'm going with Meredith Baxter. I did like Linda Elena Tovar's reel more than I thought I would (once I remembered I was supposed to be focusing on her instead of Chad Duell, who is featured in several reels this year and really shows that 2014 was a No Good, Very Bad Year for his character), but I'm not sure she stands a chance against the bigger names on the ballot.
Who will win: Meredith Baxter
Who should win: Meredith Baxter