What a year 2012 was for soap fans! After trying to cope with the loss of another canceled soap, all types of new daytime programming other than soaps emerging on the daytime landscape, the bad rap that soaps are dying from the mainstream, it’s a wonder everyone did not need two Xanax before they sat down to watch the remaining soaps on the air for fear that at any given moment the networks might levy the boom and cancel those too!
However, what 2012 proved the most is that, say what you will, daytime soaps and the genre is surviving with renewed interest. In the case of most of our hit list for the year, the performances and creative energy abound, has given the genre its own back-from-the-dead new lease on life! Once again, On-Air On-Soaps pays tribute to the tremendous work of the talented men and women in front of the camera and behind the scenes, whose tireless efforts in the grind of producing and acting in this genre’s format is more than just respectable! But of course, in addition to the best moments of the year, there were several not so stellar moments, characters, or storylines that get the dubious honor of some of the “Worst’s” of 2012.
So with that said, On-Air On-Soaps presents our fifth annual Best and Worst of the Year. As you will read, we try to dissect it all in our annual look back at the year in review. In several categories, it was almost too tight a race to call, and so, we had to call it a “tie”. In other cases, there were several runner-ups that deserved recognition and those are included, as well.
Now, while we know many of you have your own picks and choices, and may disagree or agree with our picks, we encourage you to let us know your thoughts as well. And most of all, we want to wish all our soapers a healthy, prosperous, and fantastic New Year! It is you, the fans, who have willed this daytime industry to continue!
So here we go … after the jump, we reveal the list of the Best and Worst in Soaps 2012!
SOAPMAKERS OF THE YEAR
Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati - General Hospital and One Life to Live – For their achievements raising the bar in the daytime genre, Valentini and Carlivati receive our highest honors. Cartini reinvigorated an ailing GH as the show to watch in 2012, and gave us the perfect goodbye under extraordinary difficult circumstances with One Life. Through their efforts daytime, as we come to the close of 2012, is on an upswing once again! To read our new interview with the honorees click here!
BEST SOAP (TIE)
General Hospital – Stunning returns, a new regime with a fresh perspective on Port Charles, an entire canvas utilized, fantastic performances and creative storytelling, where just a few of the reasons we are naming GH Best Soap Of 2012! Clearly and easily the best daytime soap to watch of the year!
One Life to Live – The best two weeks of daytime soap opera we have ever seen as OLTL said farewell to its 43-year run on ABC. Think about it: The entire town got shot, it involved a trip to heaven and hell, it paid homage to the fans and the soap itself with the cancellation and the final episode of “Fraternity Row”, had heartbreaking family goodbyes, a baby was born, and an amazing cliffhanger. In two weeks, One Life did what the remaining soaps on the air, except GH, could not do in one calendar year and made us cheer, cry, and care!
BEST EPISODE OF THE YEAR
One Life to Live’s – Second to Last Episode- Airdate: January 12, 2012 – From Viki’s speech on soap operas, to Starr, Rex, Gigi and Shane saying goodbye to their families and moving out of Llanview, and the ending of “Fraternity Row”, this show was the one that has us reaching, and reaching, and reaching for the hankies!
BEST PRIMETIME SOAP
Revenge - Is there anyone in the Hamptons who doesn’t come with a twist on a twist? And that what soap operas are all about … juicy scandal, dirty schemes, backstabbing and life and death! Bring it on!
Dallas – Who knew that you could take the most popular primetime soap of them all, Dallas and update it and make it even better the original? Well, TNT’s Dallas reboot had us screaming, “More please!”
The Young and the Restless – The number one soap was a number one bummer throughout most of 2012, with lackluster stories, fan favorites thrown into the mix who were wasted, yes, Debbi Morgan, Darnell Williams, Genie Francis, what was the point? Genoa City was a snoozy town in 2012.
MOST DISAPPOINTING SOAP
The Young and the Restless – The reason this is most disappointing because it has such A-list talent attached to it, that it was hard to watch the bad storytelling and the entire cast trying to make it work. They did their best, but Y&R was still hard to invest in it.
BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR
Jason Thompson as Patrick Drake – General Hospital – Every episode that Jason Thompson has graced the daytime screen this year has been filled with raw emotion, and stunning performances. Robin’s exit has provided this outstanding actor an opportunity to strut his stuff and in 2012 there was no one better and not a dry eye in the viewing audience, thanks to Mr. T!
BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS
Finola Hughes as Anna Devane – General Hospital – Fans who may never been witness to the sheer acting brilliance of Finola Hughes, when she won her Daytime Emmy as Lead Actress in 1991, were treated to heartbreaking performances throughout the entire 2012 soap season as she played a mother grieving the loss of her daughter, and being duped by “Duke” brilliantly. Welcome back to daytime, Fin!
Kelly Sullivan as Kate Howard/Connie Falconeri – General Hospital – The first part of the year was a marvel for Kelly Sullivan as we learned about Kate’s rape in stunning scenes and when she went back and forth between, Kate and alter Connie. Now Connie has been to long at the party … we want Kate back!
BEST SINGLE PERFORMANCE MALE
Jason Thompson – Patrick gets ready to attend Robin’s Funeral – General Hospital – Is there anything more memorable than Patrick seeing visions of Robin and trying to put on his tie to get ready to attend her funeral? Hankies! Brilliant work.
James Scott – Lexie tells EJ she is dying – Days of our Lives – The dashing brit showed once again why he is also tops in the game for the scene in which his sister, Lexie informs him she is dying of an inoperable brain tumor.
BEST SINGLE PERFORMANCE FEMALE
Laura Wright – Sonny tells Carly that Jason is dead – General Hospital – Simple, heartbreaking and raw, no one on daytime does this better than Laura Wright. In a scene with Maurice Benard (Sonny) informing Carly her best friend Jason, has been shot and assumed dead, Wright once again delivered a brilliant piece of work.
Katherine Kelly Lang - Brooke helps Stephanie die in her final moments - The Bold and the Beautiful - In her best work to date, Katherine Kelly Lang brought us to tears as she sang Stephanie to her final breaths, while she admitting she was ashamed at all that she had perpetrated on Steph throughout her lifetime.
Jane Elliot – Edward’s death, – General Hospital –Elliot was extraordinary as she had to come to grips that her beloved and often time adversarial relationship with her daddy, Edward has come to an end. Her scenes in the Q crypt were hankie-worthy alone!
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A FINALE EPISODE
Robert S. Woods as Bo Buchanan -One Life to Live – It was Woods, who in the final moments of OLTL, made us reach for the hankies! Remember, when Matthew informed Bo that he was going to name his newborn son, Drew? Or, when Bo tells Nora, “I love you, Red?” Waterworks!
BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTOR
Doug Davidson as Paul Williams – The Young and the Restless – Veteran Davidson, received an opportunity to showcase what he does best, but this time there was a twist! Paul shot his own son, Ricky! Rot-ro. It provided Davidson with a chance to break viewers’ heart and he did it well.
BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Genie Francis as Genevieve Atkinson – The Young and the Restless – We were beginning to like Genie’s work on Y&R! Did she really have to be shown the front door?
Honorable Mention: Ilene Kristen for her final appearances as Roxy Balsom on One Life to Live.
BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY A YOUNGER ACTOR
Chandler Massey as Will Horton – Days of our Lives – Will came out, and we suffered along with him wanting him to accept himself. Massey proved he has the chops and is one of the finest young actors to ever appear on daytime.
BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE BY A YOUNGER ACTRESS
Haley Pullos as Molly Lansing – General Hospital – As Bradford Anderson (Spinelli) has told On-Air On-Soaps; “Pullos is the Helen Mirren of GH!” Enough said!
Kristen Alderson as Starr Manning – One Life to Live – It was Alderson’s last series of shows that were most exceptional on OLTL this year. As Starr dealt with almost losing Cole (which she ultimately did on GH) and saying goodbye to Llanview!
BEST CHILD PERFORMANCE
Brooklyn Rae Silzer as Emma Drake, General Hospital – Is there anything more precious than Emma? Brooklyn scenes with Jason Thompson are always note-worthy!
MOST HEARTBREAKING EPISODE
Stephanie’s Goodbye Party (Parts 1, 2,3) – The Bold and The Beautiful – With B&B being a half hour and minus the commercial time, the sum of these three episodes made an hour of a perfect tribute to the matriarch of the Forrester clan. The family gathered to celebrate her life, trying to smile beneath their tears, Eric sang to his Irish lass, Celtic Woman’s beautiful voices, and Stephanie saying farewell to her family as she prepares to die, was … heartbreaking!
BEST CRAFTED EXIT
EP and head writer Brad Bell for Susan Flannery’s exit and the final days of Stephanie Forrester – The Bold and the Beautiful – Bell constructed and delivered what he promised … a true send-off to a legendary character and an iconic actress in Susan Flannery.
BEST CRAFTED EXIT FOR A SOAP OPERA
One Life to Live- See “Best Soap”! No question, One Life to Live delivered a package with a bow on it to its fans and went off the air on a high note, even though we were all bawling our eyes out at home!
Stephanie’s death – The Bold and the Beautiful – The big question was who would be with B&B’s Stephanie (Susan Flannery) when she died? The answer was the one that made the most sense and provided heart-tugging drama at its finest as Brooke sang Stephanie to her death, and the two had one final dramatic heart to heart on their long and storied feuding relationship that evolved into love and respect.
Robin’s funeral – General Hospital – While the characters of Port Charles were mourning the loss of Robin Scorpio, the fans at that point at home were too! The emotions on display from Patrick, Anna, Maxie, Mac, Sonny, and Jason made this most memorable.
Lexie passes away – Days of our Lives – What was so great about this story was Days of our Lives for once, delivered a real human story about dying with dignity, while family and friends tried to cope with the loss. Now if only the rest of 2012 on DAYS had a huge emotional heartbeat!
BEST MEMORIAL EPISODE
General Hospital pays homage to John Ingle, Edward Quartermaine passes away! – The performance of Jane Elliot, the returns of Ned and Skye, and the ending, “First we sing, then we eat!” The famous Edward Q phrase was followed up with the images of Edward and Lila finally being reunited as they go up the Q staircase to heaven together. GREAT!
MOST TOUCHING MOMENT IN A STORYLINE
Edward tells Tracy to give the anti-toxin to Emma instead of him – General Hospital – In just a small scene that said so much, Jane Elliot, the late John Ingle in his final appearance, Jason Thompson and Brooklyn Rae Silzer, made this one for the record books!
Robin’s believed to be dead, but really is alive! – General Hospital – After Kimberly McCullough’s decisive exit as the beloved Robin Scorpio Drake, leave it to Cartini, to get her to continue on! And was this story filled with shockers and blasts from the past: Faison, Duke, Helena, and Robert … Yummy drama!
Will’s Coming Out Storyline – Days of our Lives – Most realistic coming out story ever told. Too bad, it had to get ruined when Will slept with Gabi. But we will look at the bright side!
Stephanie Death – The Bold and the Beautiful – Once again, beautifully written and told from Stephanie delivering invitations to all her family and friends one by one, flashbacks of over 25 years of Susan Flannery as Stephanie, the goodbye party and Steph’s passing. Bravo!
The bizarre antics and character shift of Sharon Newman – The Young and the Restless – Talk about bi-polar! This storyline was up and down and all over the place! Sharon Case had the task of trying to keep up with the writer’s decimating her character. Thank God, she is a good enough actress to survive this nonsense!
The Woman In White/Cassandra/Irina Helena’s Pawn – General Hospital – What a mess!
Franco rapes Sam and is Jason’s evil twin -General Hospital – James Franco’s return as psycho Franco and the re-writing of GH history that had Susan Moore giving birth to twins: Franco and Jason, was a EWWW moment. So was Sam’s rape. And after awhile, we didn’t care. Not good.
Ron Carlivati – One Life to Live and General Hospital – Carlivati and his writing teams delivered high-stakes drama, human emotion, clever and humorous moments, and paid respect to the history of both OLTL and GH in episodes that aired in 2012!
Maria Arena Bell – The Young and the Restless – While we know Maria has written some great stories in the past, 2012 was not her best, nor her team!
Victor is alive on One Life to Live - Alison Perkins had a tied up Victor Jr. who was indeed alive! Thrilling cliffhanger that made everyone at home happy that Trevor St. John’s Victor was still out there somewhere!
MOST BELOVED CHARACTER AND PERFORMER WE MISS THE MOST
Erika Slezak as Viki Banks One Life to Live – This was easy! Just look at the comments we received all year at On-Air On-Soaps! Everyone misses six-time daytime Emmy winner Slezak. Here’s hoping she is part of Prospect Park’s OLTL in 2013!
Finola Hughes as Anna Devane – General Hospital – From February of 2012 through to the end of the year, it was Finola whose return was a treat for long time fans of the series, and new ones!
Eileen Davidson as Kristen Blake DiMera – Days of our Lives – Y&R’s loss was DAYS gain, and who doesn’t love a snarky and spiteful, Kristen? We do!
Lisa Rinna as Billie Reed – Days of our Lives – What was the point of Rinna coming back if there was no story for Billie? A DAYSaster in every way!
Jen Lilley as Maxie Jones – General Hospital – Lilley had the most difficult task of all in 2012. And she wowed the audiences at home, replacing fan favorite Kristen Storms while she was on leave from the series. Lilley did a more than admirable job, in fact, she was incredible.
Linsey Morgan as Kristina Davis – General Hospital – While we understand GH’s decision to age Kristina a bit, we can’t help but miss Lexi Ainsworth who really took off in the role.
B&B’s Ridge and Brooke over a text message! – Ronn Moss’ sudden departure called for a quick out to break-up the just married Ridge and Brooke. But this was kind of ridiculous, don’t ya think?
BEST RECURRING PERFORMER
Jeff Branson as Ronan – The Young and the Restless – Everyone is clamoring for Branson to return to Genoa City, because this Daytime Emmy winner, is just that damn good!
BEST RUINATION OF A CHARACTER
Jennifer Horton, Days of our Lives – What happened to her? First, she has had every body part operated on, her heart and now appendix, and her mood swings and behavior towards, Jack, Daniel, Nicole and everyone else made her a shrew at time and that is not our Jennifer!
Neil Winters, The Young and the Restless – How many women can they throw this business man in one calendar year? Did anyone of them work? What is his storyline?
MOST TORTURED COUPLE
Jason and Sam Morgan, General Hospital - Jason and Sam survived it all only to have Jason shot and pushed into the Port Charles waters. Ugh!
MOST OVERUSED PLOT DEVICE
Heather Webber, General Hospital – We love Robin Mattson’s return; however, Heather just kept popping up everywhere in almost every story!
WORST WAY TO WRITE OFF A MAJOR SOAP CHARACTER
Bo Brady just exits the Brady Pub never to be seen again!
SADDEST MOMENT OF THE YEAR
Soap Fans and the series stars, saying goodbye to ABC’s One Life to Live!
MOST INEXCUSABLE WAY TO HANDLE THE SOAPS AND ITS AUDIENCE
Replacing One Life to Live with The Revolution which ultimately got canceled signaling to ABC that “OOPS”, they made the wrong move!
WORST DECISION THAT IMPACTS SOAP FANS
Network executives continuing to believe that putting on talk shows, cooking shows, makeover shows, will make viewers tune-in back into daytime, while depriving its loyal and adoring audience of the shows they want to see, their soap operas!
Steffy/Liam/Hope – The Bold and the Beautiful – How long can this go on? How much air time can this triangle have? How indecisive can Liam be?
EJ/Sami/Rafe – Days of our Lives – With so many DAYS writing regimes, it’s hard to care anymore about this triangle. Everyone thought this was the year for Ejami, now Rafe is back in the picture. Lucky Alison Sweeney, she has two hunks to act with, James Scott and Galen Gering!
MOST CRINGEWORTHY COUPLE
Sharon and Victor, The Young and the Restless – Oh yes! Shiktor! Not only the fans rejected this, but the series star got into a heated debate over tweets on Twitter!
Nick and Gabi, Days of our Lives – This was like, how fast can we get a guy into Gabi’s orbit, so we can build towards this storyline where she is pregnant by her gay best friend, and gets involved with the first new straight guy she sees! And said guy exhibits … homophobia!
Jennifer and Daniel, Days of our Lives – After getting this couple together, only to have them broken up by the next writing regime, Jennifer and Daniel are slowly, slowly, slowly inching their way back to each other. Of course, Jennifer had to mourn the loss of Jack for a few minutes before this happened.
MOST IRRITATING CHARACTER
Sharon Newman – The Young and the Restless – Even though Sharon Case did an amazing job with the material she was given, let’s look at this character: Sharon marrying Victor, being with Adam, all the men, burning down the house of Newman, and on and on. How could we like this once beloved heroine and character, without feeling irritated?
MOST OVERUSED CHARACTER
Connie Falconeri From Bensonhurst, General Hospital – Connie’s got to have a rest! Even a third alter would be a pleasant departure. Who thought we would be begging for Kate?
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT IN AN ABORTED STORYLINE
Caroline’s two moms story that never that got off the ground featuring Crystal Chappell and Joanna Johnson – The Bold and the Beautiful
MOST REVITALIZED CHARACTER
Tracy Quartermaine, General Hospital - We love Jane Elliot! This year the uber-talented fan favorite, brought Tracy back to the forefront, thanks to Cartini!
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A RECURRING CHARACTER
Florencia Lozano as Tea Delgado – General Hospital – Got to give it to Florencia here; for a mother who has to come to terms with the gripping horror that her baby died in the baby switch concocted by Heather and Todd.
MOST CREEPY PERFORMANCE
Anders Hove as Cesar Faison – General Hospital – The creepiest villain of all-time in soaps resurrected! And it was a blast watching. Anders Hove was deliciously sinister and scared the pants off all of us!
BEST NEWCOMER MALE
Robert Adamson as Noah Newman – The Young and the Restless – Noah’s come and Noah’s go, we think this one will stick! Handsome, charming and he can act
Marco Dapper as Carmine Basco – The Young and the Restless – Dapper is great to look at and interesting to watch in his performances.
BEST NEWCOMER FEMALE
Teresa Castillo, General Hospital – “Ugly Betty” lives in Port Charles! Teresa Castillo is delightful as Sabrina Santiago and we can’t wait to see her decked out in a beautiful dress, sans glasses, and hair down!
WORST NEWCOMER FEMALE
Kelly Thiebaud General Hospital - Is it Kelly or is it the part she plays as GH’s Britt?
BEST NEW CHARACTER
Sabrina Santiago – General Hospital – She’s fun, quirky and she could be spoiler in the relationship between Patrick and Robin …. for a short while!
WORST NEW CHARACTER
Joe Scully Jr. – General Hospital – This character fell flat to us!
BEST GUEST STAR PERFORMANCE
Jessica Tuck, One Life to Live – How great was it so see Megan interact with mom, Viki, one last time in heaven before One Life took its final bow?
MOST SHOCKING ANNOUCEMENT
Ronn Moss decides to leave B&B after 25 years! – While Flannery, Burton and Reckell all left daytime and seemed like no surprise, Moss’ decision happened fast, without warning, and shocked us all!
Peter Reckell as Bo Brady, Days of our Lives – How could DAYS do something so lackluster for one of the most popular characters in the history of soaps?
THE WORST CHARACTER WHO KEEPS POPPING BACK UP
Daisy, The Young and the Restless – Just when you thought Daisy was done, she popped back in 2012!
HARDEST WORKING PERFORMER WHO ACTS AND DANCES!
Kelly Monaco, General Hospital – Chutzpah, talent, and beauty, Kelly wowed us doing double duty during Steve Burton’s exit story and Dancing with Val on the DWTS All-Stars.
BIGGEST WASTE OF TALENT THAT ALL FIZZLED IN STORIES
Sarah Brown, Ian Buchanan, Christie Clark, Patrick Muldoon, Matthew Ashford – Days of our Lives – Ill conceived stories sealed the fate of these favorite daytimers.
Peter Porte as Ricky Williams – The Young and the Restless – Porte changed our minds about him, as he delivered performances that were psychotic and scary. Great job!
Barbara Garrick – One Life to Live – She shot Viki and Clint near the end of One Life to Live. And … had the distinction of tying up Trevor St. John.
Viki’s speech about Soap Operas – One Life to Live Jan 12, 2012 – The perfect monologue to what soaps mean to all of us as we prepared ourselves for the finale of the iconic soap the next day.
Jeanne Cooper, Not Young Still Restless – Bombshells galore as told by the one and only Mrs. C!
OK soapers, after reading our list of the Best and Worst Of Soaps 2012, do you agree with our picks? If so, which ones? If not, who do you think deserved the honors in the categories above? Weigh-in!