The 38th Annual (and possibly last televised) Daytime Emmys aired last night. Some wins were expected: “The Bold & the Beautiful” won Best Show for the third consecutive year for a storyline focusing on the plight of the homeless on L.A.’s Skid Row. Other victories were complete surprises. “All My Children‘s” Brittany Allen won Younger Leading Actress even though the show had fired her and replaced her with another actress. Some wins were as satisfying for viewers as they were for the winners. Laura Wright won her first Emmy, for Leading Actress, after spending two decades working in daytime. Here, in no particular order are my top takeaways from this Emmy experience.
Random Actor Factoids: Interviewing a good chunk of the daytime community for about two minutes in the in the space of 48 hours, I picked up a few random bits of information that I find interesting. Shenaz Treasury(Rama, “One Life To Live“) originally auditioned for the role of Aubrey. The producers decided she was not the right actress for the role, but liked her enough to create the character of Rama for her. First of all, good for OLTL for considering actresses of different ethnicities for the role. Second of all, given how similar Aubrey and Rama’s personalities are, is the reason I like Rama so much better because of the qualities that Treasury brings to the role? Or is it because Rama is conning peripheral characters that am not emotionally invested in, while Aubrey conned the nicest guy in a core family? Joey used to be Nathan Fillion, for goodness sake. Jeff Branson (Ronan, “The Young & the Restless“) currently has platinum blonde hair and looks so different that I didn’t recognize him. I am not sure if it is for a role, or he jut felt like bleaching his hair. What color will Ronan’s hair be when he returns to Y&R? CBS, there’s your next Y&R promo. I recently wrote about my admiration for Kassie DePaiva‘s (Blair “One Life To Live”) amazing figure. On the red carpet, while looking fabulous in a skin tight sequined dress, she jokingly claimed she looks so good because of stress and admitted she does not even work out.
Watching the Emmys at Home Is Different From Being There From the press room, the ceremony seemed better than last year’s catastrophe. With my attention focused on interviews, and the sound on the telecast turned frequently turned off, I didn’t see most of the Vegas acts or the Oprah tribute. Yes, the actors speeches seemed short, but it was hard to tell if they really were, or it was just my perception. Judging from fan reactions, this one was every bit as bad as last year. That’s unfortunate. The telecast’s producers struck a Faustian bargain when they decided to move the awards to Vegas and feature content related to the city. Yes, the show is till on the air, but now it’s a show focused on Vegas not daytime. 99 percent of the people who watch the Daytime Emmys are soap fans. The people who want to see Vegas acts are not going to tune into a show honoring daytime. The people who work in daytime don’t even get to make real speeches if they win. If Vegas want to promote itself, it should create its own version of the Tonys honoring the best acts on the strip, and leave daytime out of it. I’d rather see a true Daytime Award show take place in a 99 seat theater.
The Emmy Voting System Needs to Change Ever since the Academy eliminated the final round of voting, meaning that the same votes determine the nominees and the winner, the acting categories have had some strange results. Brittany Allen (ex-Marissa “All My Children”) seems like a great person. I hope she finds a role that suits her and has a long, successful career. But she did not have a better reel than “General Hospital’s” Lexi Ainsworth. If the three nominees competed head-to-head, the results might have been different. As it is, everyone who voted for actresses other than the final three nominees was effectively disenfranchised. It’s the equivalent of skipping the November elections and just appointing whichever politician got the most vote in the primaries as our new president. It’s unfair to both performers and voters.
The Daytime Emmys Are Prom Everyone gets dressed up. Everyone gets hotel rooms. Everyone gets drunk. Everyone stays up all night. Everything is a popularity contest. Who makes the invite list for pre and post parties? Which pre and post-parties were the coolest? Which actors are selected as presenters? Which actors does everyone want to talk to on the red carpet? Which journalists get the best spot on the red carpet? Who’s in? Who’s out? The awards themselves are almost an afterthought, particularly now that the ceremony has so little to do with daytime. It’s exhausting and ridiculous and seems incredibly important during Emmy weekend. Then everyone goes home and it instantly ceases to matter.
Live Blogging is Tough This was my first live blogging experience. If I had it to do over again, I would have focused on just the ceremony in the peace and quiet of my living room, or live blogged something simpler first so I could have gotten used to the pace and format. I hate it when I put out subpar work. It proved difficult to keep up a running commentary while asking actors questions, and attempting to keep an eye on both the press room and the ceremony. I hate typos. I hate that I made so many of them while I was live blogging. I hate that I was not particularly witty or insightful. The silver lining is that it was a good reminder that sometimes, even when you try your best, things go wrong. That’s a good reminder for me the next time I criticize a daytime show. No matter what the results, hundreds of people worked their hardest to attempt to put out an entertaining show. In the fast-paced world of soap operas, there is no time to correct mistakes. I will try to remember that the next time I am tempted to write something scathing about a storyline I dislike.