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Inside track: Daytime Emmy race for best drama series

June 22, 2010 | 10:19 am

In anticipation of the Daytime Emmys this weekend, our forum posters have carefully evaluated the sample episodes submitted by nominees to the judges. We created a whole new message board just for that analysis. Below: discussion from that forum over what show will win best drama series. Matthew "Boidiva02" Cormier predicts "The Bold and the Beautiful" will prevail. Our poster known as BC picks "General Hospital."

General Hospital Bold and the Beautiful Daytime Emmy predictions

(Ranked by likelihood to win)
1. "The Bold and the Beautiful"
2. "The Young and the Restless"
3. "General Hospital"
4. "All My Children"

In most years, this is a race between two series: "General Hospital" (ABC) — which usually wows viewers with a specially produced stunt-laden, special-effects-driven episode — and CBS' "The Young and the Restless," which usually produces some big, heartfelt family drama featuring death and heartbreak to balance each other. This year is not like that at all. The two front-runners this year don't even include ABC's highest-rated soap opera. Instead, the nominees are CBS' "The Bold and the Beautiful" and "The Young and the Restless," and ABC's recently transported-to-Los Angeles "All My Children," which scored a pretty surprising nomination over fellow ABC soap "One Life to Live." ("One Life to Live" had been critically acclaimed all year long.) Also nominated is the previously mentioned "General Hospital," which is not a factor in the race at all this year.

If I were a betting man, my money this year would be on "The Bold and the Beautiful," which last year made history by becoming a victor for the first time. It also become the first half-hour soap opera to win this award since "Ryan's Hope" won in 1979.

Like last year its producers gave to Emmy judges an episode featuring death and a heart-wrenching family drama. In the episode, Stephanie (Susan Flannery, a major Emmy favorite) and Pam (veteran character actress Alley Mills) deal with the death of their mother, Ann, played by guest star Betty White (who is all the rage these days). In the episodes submitted, we see Ann, who is gravely ill, have another pulmonary embolism (a blockage of the lung) and is clearly on her death bed. Stephanie and Taylor have to go to the pharmacy to get a prescription for Ann, which leaves Pam alone with her. Ann's attack happens while she is alone with Pam, who knows that Ann wishes to die and does not want to be taken to a hospital. But as fear takes over, Pam allows the medics to take her mother to the hospital. The resulting scenes are of Stephanie and Pam discussing what to do next; honor their mother's wishes or allow the doctors to save her. Pam realizes she has power of attorney and orders the doctors to save their mother, mostly because she is afraid. Stephanie pleads with Pam to reconsider and do what she thinks is right. Later in the episode, after Ann convinces the doctors to release her, she, Stephanie and Pam go for a walk on the beach. This is when Ann finally dies. The overall feeling of the episode is bittersweet, as a mother is dying and her girls are doing their best to honor her wishes. White does a terrific job as Ann and Flannery puts on a particularly brave showing. My only concern is that this episode could come across as too sentimental, what with the montage of seagulls and the sappy music played toward the end of the episode. Also, the image of a woman in a red dress fading into white and, eventually, away altogether, may come across as too corny.

CBS' "The Young and the Restless" also submitted an episode of death and family drama. After Colleen dies, her family must consent to a heart transplant, which will (and does) save the life of Victor Newman (Eric Braeden). This episode mostly focuses on the aftermath of Colleen's death, with Victor learning that her heart is a match for his, thus giving him a chance to live. There is also much talk of a baby having died (though for the viewer who hasn't watched the show, before there's no real clarity about whose child it is). One can guess the baby was Sharon's, but that isn't really made very clear. The strength of this episode is the inherent drama of the material itself, which is very strong and could certainly get many votes because of its intense storyline. But because the episode contains many references that would be lost on casual viewers, the storyline could be difficult to fully understand.

The episode submitted by "All My Children" is an even bigger mess, if I do say so myself. It mostly centers on everybody in town wanting to kill Adam Chandler, but features so many side plots about dead babies and hurt feelings that one would become confused trying to keep track of all the motives around wanting Adam dead. Though the acting is excellent, especially by David Canary and Bobbie Eakes, the overall feel of the show is too dark to muster much emotion, and the jumping from one plot to the next doesn't add any value to the episode.

Last up is "General Hospital," which as usual submitted an episode that focuses first on special effects and stunts, and secondly on writing and character development. That strategy that has worked well for them in the past, having won them the Emmy in 2005, 2006 and 2008. This year's episode features a deadly accident at a carnival. The culprit, Edward Quartermaine, having been drugged, is having a heart attack and causes a major accident at the carnival; multiple injuries occur. The episode is fairly typical for "GH"; it features lots of explosions and screaming people, but no real major character development. The acting is fine, but nothing extraordinary. I wouldn't bet my money on this episode at all.  

1) "General Hospital"
2) "The Bold and the Beautiful"
3) "All My Children"
4) "The Young and the Restless"

WILL WIN: "General Hospital"
SHOULD WIN: "The Bold and the Beautiful"

(NOTE: Below are BC's descriptions of the episodes submitted to Emmy judges as examples of their best work from the past TV season.)

"All My Children" — It was a classic whodunit. Everyone wanted Adam dead, and were hell-bent on making Adam pay. However, some of the camera movements were shaky and I thought that I was watching "Guiding Light" instead.

"The Young and the Restless" — It was a good storyline, but a lot of redundancy. It was about loss, and loss, and loss.

"The Bold and the Beautiful" — It was a great storyline. They didn't waste time on the fluffer like "General Hospital" did (see below), and it was all about one thing, the right to die. At least "B&B" picked two episodes, because if they didn't, Maura West's reel would be longer than "B&B's."

"General Hospital" — The Hotel Fire of 2004. The Train Wreck of 2005. The Hostage Crisis of 2007. The Carnival of 2009? Yep. I think that if "GH" wins, it will be for that carnival itself. It was punchy and full of excitement and drama, just like its three older brothers, as lives hung in the balance, but the suspense wasn't spread over two weeks like the three aforementioned "GH" disaster plots that won Emmys. However, the shootout with Spinelli and Johnny was a distraction -- fluffer to add to what was already a short reel. (The total reel time was less than 33 minutes, making "GH's" submission the shortest episode submitted.)

Photos: "Bold and the Beautiful" (CBS); "General Hospital" (ABC)

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