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Daytime Emmy predix: 'One Life to Live' star Susan Haskell will win best actress

August 26, 2009 |  1:36 pm

Most of our gurus disagree over who'll win this Sunday night at the Daytime Emmys, but Matthew "Boidiva02" Cormier and Michael "Emmyloser" Jenkins concur on who'll prevail in the top diva smackdown: Susan Haskell ("One Life to Live").

Also check out our posters' predix in these races: best drama series, lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, younger actor, younger actress, talk show (entertainment). talk show (informative), talk show host, game show, drama writing, drama directing. See more Daytime Emmy predix in our forums.

Susan_haskell_One Life to Live

(Ranked by likelihood of winning)
1. Susan Haskell, "One Life to Live"
2. Debbie Morgan, "All My Children"
3. Maura West, "As the World Turns"
4. Jeanne Cooper, "The Young and the Restless"
5. Susan Flannery, "The Bold and the Beautiful"

EMMYLOSER'S COMMENTARY: Unlike last year, where the nominees largely underwhelmed with their submissions, these ladies greatly impressed in half as many episodes. This is a great race with five strong submissions, and against weaker competition I can see myself voting for any of them. This is the kind of competition the Daytime Emmys should be about in every category.

To pick a winner, though, I have to go with Susan Haskell. While I had a hard time wrestling her name away from Debbie Morgan's and Maura West's, there's an undeniable gravity to her reel, a power in her performance I can't not root for. Haskell meets the material head on, as Marty discovers the man she's fallen in love with has held her captive, kept her from her son, and orchestrated and participated in her rape years earlier. It's a horrifying realization, and Haskell, rather than deliver mere highly emotional reactions, draws out the horror and the madness of everything that's happened to her. The reel is not only riveting, it's easy to follow, and makes you long to see what comes next. The heft of this material and the strength of the performance may make this reel unstoppable.

Debbie Morgan seems likely to benefit more from the intangibles of Emmy voting than any of the other ladies, and that's why I give her the number two slot. She had year-long buzz for Angie and Jesse's reunion early last year. Her win would be most historic, as she'd be the first African American winner in this category. And while all of the ladies here have Emmys already, it's been the longest since she won hers. Of course, I don't mean to ignore her performance, which is wonderful. Most of the punch comes at the beginning and end of the reel, but the middle doesn't fall flat. After a year of buzz, though, it may leave some voters a little disappointed.

Maura West is largely underestimated in this race, maybe because she won this award two years ago with a much more in-your-face version of the scenario she submits here, Carly and Jack admitting the reasons they can't be with each other. It may be because her show's writers gave her mostly recycled story lines in 2008. West has a great charm on screen, no matter what she or her character is doing, which for the first half of the reel I thought was the saving grace. But once Carly and Jack actually start to discuss their failed and unsustainable relationship, West is fantastically moving. She makes Carly every bit the manipulator she's accused of being, but she makes you feel for her anyway. She is, as Jack says during one scene, a force of nature. If voters compare this reel to the one she submitted two years ago, she won't stand a chance against Haskell or even Morgan. Taken on its own, however, it has a real shot.

Jeanne Cooper and Susan Flannery are a couple of steps behind the others. Both give excellent performances, but neither has enough in her reel to put her in the top tier. Jeanne Cooper does a great job of giving two distinct characters in ritzy Katherine and country gal Marge, but there's nothing else in her reel that sizzles. Typically, a double role is a huge advantage, but the dual role is all that puts Cooper in the race. If these characters were being played by different actress, this reel would not be up for Emmy consideration for anyone. It's also less advantageous than it could be because Marge and Katherine are really only dealing with each other. Cooper interacts mostly with herself.

Susan Flannery, likewise, does a great job as Stephanie has to accept that the love of her life is dying. It's a nice change of pace for Flannery, who more often than not is bullying and bulldozing her way through Emmy reels. But there is just not enough of a spark here to make her a real threat to the top three.

(Ranked by likelihood of winning)
1. Susan Haskell, "One Life to Live"
2. Susan Flannery, "The Bold and the Beautiful"
3. Jeanne Cooper, "The Young and the Restless"
4. Debbie Morgan, "All My Children"
5. Maura West, "As the World Turns"

BOIDIVA02'S COMMENTARY: It's the battle of the Susans in this race. You have clear-cut front-runner Susan Haskell submitting a powerhouse tape in which Marty, after months of laying in bed with amnesia, finally remembers some of the truths about her life, including the fact that her former rapist is the man that has nursed her back to health and made her fall in love with him. Marty discovers Todd's many lies, including the fact that she has a son Todd never told her about. She goes through many expressions and emotions that are evident on her face and body but not overly done. Haskell's expertise as an actress is clear as she successfully moves from one emotion to the next.

Susan Flannery is the spoiler here. In her episode, Stephanie learns her ex-husband, who is in a coma, will not survive and she has to break the news to his children so the family can say their goodbyes. Flannery has a magnificent moment by his bedside where she says her final goodbye to him before he dies. There is subtleness to this tape that the other tapes lack and this is what I call the Susan Flannery Factor that tends to give her the Emmy over other people, even in years when it's not expected.

Jeanne Cooper submitted an episode in which she plays two characters — sophisticated Katherine and working-class Marge. In the episode Katherine comes upon a drunken Marge at a bar and the two reminisce about their history together. Utilizing flashbacks, Cooper is effective in playing two very different women. Voters love dual roles so this gives her an advantage.

Debbie Morgan, the first African American to be nominated for lead actress, submitted her most talked-about tape, in which Angie is reunited with long-presumed-dead husband Jessie after nearly two decades. There is a real sense of sadness on her face and body that shows she was really feeling the emotions; but I question if this sweet simple tape can compete against ones in which the lead character learns that her lover raped her and another featuring the death of the lead character's ex-husband.

Next up is Maura West, who submitted a tape in which Carly learns ex-husband Jack is going to marry his new girlfriend Janet and she must deal with the fact she won't have him anymore.  The tape takes awhile to get started and, while competent, isn't enough to beat four other actresses.


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Photo credits:  ABC

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