Daytime Confidential's Top 10 Most Improved of 2008

No. 1: Melody Thomas Scott - The Young and the Restless

We admit it. We were pretty hard on daytime television hair models in 2008. Sorry, we couldn't help it. While we realize the soaps have always been a training ground, seeing so many Breck girls and Walking Tag Body Spray Display Ads in front burner storylines — and earning Emmy nods no less— was a bit much for us to swallow with the industry in such a precarious state and needing now more than ever to recognize true talent. Though to be fair, many a hair model has transformed into a damn good actor during his or her time on soaps – Josh Duhamel, Shemar Moore, hell even Genie Francis and Susan Lucci were all once known more for giving good face or flashing a sexy six pack, than they were for turning in an impressive performance. There has been no better example of the Evolution of a Hair Model than what has taken place on The Young and the Restless with Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) in recent years.

The one thing LML did right during her reign of terror was pen Victor (Eric Braeden) and Nikki's War of the Roses-style breakup storyline. It was during this tumultuous period that Scott became more concerned with bringing raw, earthy emotion to her portrayal of the stripper-turned-socialite, than with looking pretty for the camera.

In 2008 Scott took her performance as Nikki to amazing new heights, allowing the character to be stripped raw (no pun intended), emotionally and aesthetically, as Nikki dealt with her alcohol-soaked guilt over the deaths of Victor's most recent wife Sabrina (Raya Meddine) and his unborn child. For the first time on over 25 years, Scott has matched Braeden toe-to-toe in scene-after-scene as the star-crossed lovers they portray bitterly tear open each other's psychic wounds and pour in fresh sea salt from that Mexican beach where they found each other. At a time when many once-stellar veteran soap stars are phoning in their performances out of frustration or boredom, Scott is doing the work of her career. We couldn't be more impressed or proud.


bonobochick's picture
Member since:
3 December 2008
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45 weeks 2 days

Pleasantly surprised to see Jake Silbermann on here. I get flack from friends for saying that he's gotten a lot better than when he first started on the show (they still say he's wooden). I like him and I think he does a good job portraying a character with stunted emotional growth. I just with TPTB would take him off the back-burner and put him in a decent storyline along with Van.

Nice to Arianne Zuker on here too. She was terrible when she first started on Days but she's grown tons since the return. Too bad her current storyline stinks.

Member since:
8 May 2008
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2 days 13 hours

I think that Judith Chapman could act, but her character was simply irredeemable until today's episode. It was the best work of her career and made me and the fans sympathetic to her. I wanted Gloria gone, but I am loving her now.


daisyclover1938's picture
Member since:
14 November 2007
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3 years 49 weeks

Thank You for putting Brandon Buddy on the list! I'd put him #1 on my most improved list. The kid has come a loooong way. Not only has he improved but I think he's turned into a terrific actor who brought me to tears several times over the last year. I haven't watched recently (my own private Tarty Boycott) and BB is one of the few things I really miss...

DaisyClover (aka SamBot #1)

Melodie's picture
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12 May 2008
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2 days 9 hours

SO glad to see My girl Mandy Bruno on here. She really did do the Damn thing this past year. I'm just happy to see her get the credit she deserves!

Brandon Buddy, Lawrence St. Victor, and even Judith Chapman have all improved leaps and bounds this past year as well!

Nice list, y'all!

Member since:
20 December 2008
Last activity:
3 years 38 weeks

You guy's really hit the mark on the head about
lawrence St Victor & Mandy Bruno...they really have been amazing in a very turbulant year over at "Guiding Light". I do have to say there seems to be more interest in the show as of late for many reasons...let's just hope we can save the LIGHT.

Scout's picture
Member since:
21 November 2008
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9 weeks 3 days

While some actors transcend mediocre to bad writing, it seems like Judith Chapman needs it on the page; when it's there, she brings the heat.

Good picks all the way around... Wink

Member since:
24 January 2008
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1 year 24 weeks

i would just have to say that picture of star and cole rivals any hollywood golden era movie poster. they have chemistry and energy and knowing their story makes the picture even more amazing.

awesome choices - i bow to your listmaking! keep them coming!

n69n's picture
Member since:
6 September 2008
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6 days 13 hours

i'm glad that DROOPY DAWG lady won, i like her!