No. 10: Jason and Sam, General Hospital
Daytime Confidential has a reputation for being a pro-Liason site. Okay, technically this isn't an undeserved rap, since the majority of our bloggers favor the Jason and Liz (Steve Burton and Rebecca Herbst) pairing over JaSam (We still love ya, Jillian!), but our mourning over the loss of Liason had absolutely nothing to do with why JaSam finds itself on our list of the Worst Couples of 2009— we promise. Brian Frons's manufactured, wannabe Bonnie and Clyde pairing earned their spot on this list without any help from Nurse Liz Webber. After forcing Bob Guza to split up Liason, reportedly citing JaSam's popularity over Liason (yeah, tell that to the Nielsens), Frons and JaSam lovers got their dream come true in 2009, while the rest of us threw up a little in our mouths as Sam re-entered Jason's orbit via a rushed kidnapping storyline for Jason and Liz's lovechild Jake, that saw Sam literally try to make up for having watched Jake being kidnapped herself earlier, not to mention hiring goons to terrorize Jason's son and little Cameron, all before the commercial break during a car scene. If that wasn't bad enough, the moment JaSam begin "finding their way back to one another", GH became a watered down version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, once again, thanks to JaSam's mobtacular activities. Kudos to Burton and Kelly Monaco for giving it their all in trying to sell this farce, but sorry Fronsie, we ain't buying it!
No. 9: Frank and Natalia, Guiding Light
Poor Frank Cooper (Frank Dicopolous). Ever since his beloved Eleni dumped him to go off to become the next Rachael Ray, Guiding Light's top cop has endured one romantic disaster after another. In 2009, Cupid gave Frank one, final cosmic wedgie by having him fall for latent lesbian Natalia Rivera (Jessica Leccia). Frank remained clueless about Natalia's obvious affections for Olivia Spencer (Crystal Chappell) for much of the year, even proposing marriage to the Friend of Ellen and Portia. Fans of Otalia went crazy when Natalia proved a runaway bride during her nuptials to Frank, only to be found by Olivia, who confessed her love for Natalia at a snow-covered gazebo in the center of town (Swoon!). Not that it was smooth sailing for the pair, Frank's little swimmers had managed to do Greece proud, when Natalia found herself preggers by Harley's big bro. It would have been kinder to put a "Kick Me" sign on Cooper's back. Otalia fans and critics alike were incensed by this sexist, all-too-typical plot twist. Frank went from being one of GL's most beloved heroes, to a representation of everything TPTB were doing to try to quiet the growing Otalia storm. By the end of the show, Natalia and Olivia were finally together and Frank found happiness with Blake (Liz Keifer).Unfortunately that wasn't enough to make us forget how Frank and Natalia had been one of the Worst Couples in Soaps in 2009.
No. 8: Frankie and Randi, All My Children
All My Children's legendary creator Agnes Nixon was determined to make the soap operas she created much more racially diverse than the WASPY ones originated by her mentor Irna Phillips. While Nixon introduced ethnic characters on One Life to Live and AMC in the 70's, it wasn't until the early 80's that Nixon created daytime's first black supercouple, Jesse Hubbard and Angela Baxter (Darnell Williams and Debbi Morgan). The story of the streetsmart kid and the bourgie, society princess took America by storm, resulting in Williams and Morgan achieving near-rock star like popularity. While we realize that's quite the legacy to live up to, AMC's Frankie and Randi (Cornelius Smith, Jr. and Denise Vasi) don't even come close. Conceived as a retelling of one of AMC's popular "hooker with a heart of gold" storylines from the past, former street walker Randi fell for Dr. Frankie Hubbard, resulting in one lame plot twist after another. In 2009, Randi's ex-lover Henry North (Kieran Campion) and his wife Madison (Stephanie Gatschet) showed up in town to torment Randi, and AMC's few, remaining, loyal viewers. To say the storyline has been dreadful from day one would be like saying Tiger Woods was just a little bit promiscuous. However, the Norths weren't the biggest problem Frankie and Randi faced in 2009. That would be the fact that Vasi simply cannot act. There's no nicer way to say it. Smith is a talented, young thespian, who immediately clicks in scenes with his legendary onscreen parents, and he deserves a leading lady of his caliber. Perhaps recasting Randi in 2010 might finally make this couple viable? It certainly wouldn't hurt.
No. 7: Elizabeth and Nikolas, General Hospital
What better way to finally water down Rebecca Herbst's popularity (read: bargaining power) at General Hospital than to transform her beloved character, Nurse Elizabeth Webber Spencer into an unapologetic skank, who would bang her first love's brother repeatedly under Lucky's nose? While TPTB can cite Liz and Nikolas's (Tyler Christopher) brief flirtation way back when Lucky was presumed dead as a historical root for this tired tale, we're sorry, this coupling came out of nowhere. Contrary to popular belief, we at DC know our girl Elizabeth is far from perfect. Yes, she slept with Zander (Chad Brannon), her BFF's ex (Have you seen Zander, who wouldn't?), and yes she stood by sicko Ric Lansing (Rick Hearst) for far too long, but Liz has always taken responsibility for her actions and shown remorse in the end. That wasn't what we saw on our screens in 2009 with this disgusting romp. Is someone telling Herbst to play Liz as a cold, heartless bitch, complete with evil smirks and eyebrow raises? Is it in the script for Christopher to play Nikolas as a selfish douchebag, who knocks boots with his baby bro's girl just because there's nothing better on the Gothic Channel on Dish Network? The return of Jonathan Jackson as the original Lucky, who even we Liason freaks at DC can admit was Liz's great love, has only made this ridiculous affair even more unbearable. There is no way Liz would do this to the sweet, charming boy who saw her through her rape nightmare all those years ago. Two characters assassinated for the price of one. We guess that will come in handy when contract negotiations come around again for Herbst and Christopher.
No. 6: Paul and Meg, As the World Turns
Even though Paul (Roger Howarth) and Meg (Marie Wilson) were divorced in the early part of 2009, they continued to infect just about every storyline on the show for much of the year. Every man in Oakdale wanted to be with Meg, which all but wrecked the characters of Paul, Dusty (Grayson McCouch), Damian (Paolo Seganti) and anyone else who had the misfortune of being drawn into the Vortex of Suck. Luckily, TPTB finally listened to the fans, and blew Paul and Meg apart, putting Paul in a refreshing storyline with childhood sweetheart Emily Stewart (Kelley Menighan Hensley), and turning WhinyMeg into NutMeg, as her obsession with Damian took a dangerous, and hilarious turn in 2009. Let's hope the Vortex of Suck stays closed for repairs in 2010.
No. 5: Ryan and Erica, All My Children
What do you do when your show's writing is in the toilet, fans are in an uproar and the critics are circling with stake knives? In the case of All My Children's brilliant Chuck Pratt you try to pull a fast one, distracting everyone by capitalizing on pop culture's craze of the moment, in this case the "Cougar" phenomenon. AMC, claiming they were listening to "the fans", put their most recognizable character, Erica Kane (Susan Lucci), in a bogus, icky relationship with lead hunk Ryan Lavery (Cameron Mathison) and then bombard the media with "Erica Kane is a Cougar" headlines. Yeah, we really wanted to see Erica lusting over Ryan, the ex-husband of her daughter Kendall (Alicia Minshew), and son of Erica's ex. Erica had been a mother figure to Ryan for years. Sorry, one inappropriately hot scene in the rain was not the makings of a supercouple. We love us some Erica Kane, and we're all for her getting her cougar on, but next time, can it be with someone who didn't father her grandchild? Yuck!
No. 4: Rick and Steffy, The Bold and the Beautiful
Rick Forrester (Kyle Lowder) underwent an unexplained personality change in 2009 that resulted in a campy, scenery-chewing obession with sticking it to his adopted brother/stepfather/almost father-in-law Ridge (Ron Moss) on The Bold and the Beautiful. His weapon of choice proved to be Ridge's daughter Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood), whom Rick once believed to be his niece. If that didn't make Rick and Steffy's pairing grotesque enough, there was all the creepy, lustful staring Rick did at Ridge over Steffy's shoulders when he hugged the dimwitted young woman. The overacting, telenovela-style histronics the storyline inspired in Moss, Hunter Tylo (Taylor), Drew Tyler Bell(Thomas) and MacInnes Woods was enough to make us wish an earthquake would hit Los Angeles, killing Ridge, Taylor and their offspring all in one 20-minute CGI spectacle. If it wasn't for troopers Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) and Susan Flannery (Stephanie), this farce of a grossmance would have been simply unwatchable. Even with their additions in the storyline, it came close. Here's to hoping Lowder is spending a little time learning how to tone down his acting choices while he bonds with his new baby daughter Isabella. We're sure the tyke's insanely-talented Mommy, Ari Zucker (Nicole, DAYS) can give him a few pointers!
No. 3: Billy and Mac, The Young and the Restless
It was inevitable for The Young and the Restless to attempt to play out one of their greatest young adult love stories, when the soap decided to reverse Kay Alden's boneheaded move of making Billy and Mac (Billy Millerand Clementine Ford) cousins. By revealing that Jill Abbott (Jess Walton) wasn't really the daughter of Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper) in 2009, Y&R's writing team freed the once starcrossed lovers to finally be together. It's too bad Billy and Mac's magic left with David Tom and Ashley Bashioum. Billy and Mac as a couple were over long before the insatiable Miller or the unimpressive Ford joined the soap opera. Felled by numerous bad recasts, fans had all but forgotten the sweet teen romance from the late 90's'/early 00's. Y&R managed to circumvent the Billy recast curse by hiring Miller in late 2008. The actor proved not only to be an amazing recast, but quickly became one of the best leading men in the soap's storied history in 2009 (Yeah, we said it!). Unfortunately we can't say the same for his screen partner. While Ford may possess a decent pedigree (in case you were under a rock in 2009, she's the daughter of Cybil Shepherd), and a sapphic fanbase from her L-Word days, the actress recites her dialogue in the most robotic, monotone manner we've seen on Y&R since Brenda Epperson vacated the role of Faux- Ashley Abbott. Sorry Y&R, this ship has sailed and sunk. Let's move on already.
No. 2: Rex and Gigi/Rex and Stacey, One Life to Live
Even if Madam Delfina (Lea DeLaria) herself had told us back in 2008 that in 2009 Rex (John-Paul Lavoisier) and Gigi (Farah Fath) would end up on Daytime Confidential's list of the Worst Couples of 2009, we would have said Delfina needed to be reported to Dionne Warwick for impersonating a soothsayer. How could one of our favorite couples from '08 end up becoming one we literally hated seeing on our screens in '09? Well, we're about to tell you how, and no, it ain't all about Stacy (Crystal Hunt), though she certainly didn't help matters.
Now granted, we bitched and moaned, and bitched and moaned, and bitched and moaned about how awful Stacy was when the blonde bimbette first appeared in Llanview, determined to steal Rex from her sister. The plot twist made no sense to us, and after seeing Rex and Gigi in a much smarter, well-written triangle featuring the fabulous Adriana "Bitchy Bangs" Cramer (Melissa Fumero) the season before, to say Gigi/Stacy/Rex was a let down is an understatement. But along the way something happened. Stacy, thanks to the arrival of sidekick Kim (Amanda Setton), became increasingly more likeable, (especially once the blond bustier blood bandit was no longer in a romatic storyline with Rex), meanwhile Rex and Gigi were the ones who made us want to chunk our remotes at the TV.
What happened to the scrappy, little waitress Viki Davidson (Erika Slezak) bonded with in Paris, Texas? Where was the smart, sexy comedic foil Bo Buchanan (Robert S. Woods) put so much stock in? In 2009, they weren't on our screens. Instead they were replaced by a pair of unbelievable, moopy humanoids, who although they looked like our Rex and Gigi, acted nothing like them. At one point time, both Lavoisier and Fath took the press, complaining about the storyline, with Fath saying it was the hardest storyline she'd ever had to do in daytime. Wait. Seriously? God made you STERILE after an abortion on DAYS, Farah. COME ON! But even if this storyline was that difficult for the actors to get through, we the fans never had to know that on screen. Sure, speak out till your little hearts content, but ACT on our screens! We deserve no less. Ask Kim Zimmer or Katherne Kelly Lang how they've gotten through decades worth of turkey storylines in daytime, while still giving their fans there all if you need pointers. Or better yet, just ask your costars like Slezak and Strasser. Strasser made it no secret she wasn't feeling Dorian pretending to go gay, but you never would have known it when you tuned in to that groundbreaking episode. Sigh. We really, really want to love Rex and Gigi again, but for that to happen, Fath and JP are gonna have to get over themselves and meet us half way if they don't wanna be on this list again in 2010.
No. 1: Adam and Rafe, The Young and the Restless
If the brass at The Young and the Restless wanted to get us to stop begging them to write storylines for anyone other than heterosexual Caucasians, 2009 was quite a successful year for the sudser. There was, of course, the revolting Neil/Tyra/Devon catastrophe (Which just missed our Worst Couples List at Number 11.), but the way the blacks on Y&R were treated in 2009 was nothing compared to the shoddy treatment the gays received.
We won't even discuss the implications of revealing Phillip Chancellor III (Thom Bierdz) had faked his death and abandoned his young wife and infant son, just because, you know, he sorta thought his mom and stepmom would be intolerant, even though they never gave him any reason to feel this way. No, we won't discuss that. What we will discuss however, is the heavily-hyped "tryst" between Adam Newman (first Chris Engen, then-Michael Muhney) and Rafe Torres (Yani Gellman). Y&R received coverage in every major gay magazine, not to mention tons of mainstream press, due to this storyline, yet when it was all said and done, the brass pulled a chicken shit move and didn't even allow Rafe and Adam to kiss onscreen. Lame. So that was what all the fuss was about? Engen walked mid-contract— allegedly in large part over concerns about this story twist— and all we got were a few awkward hair strokes and Rafe's bottom lip being molested by Blind Adam? Both Adam and Rafe's characters were completely, irrevocably destroyed, for this? Y&R's storytelling made it look like an educated, seemingly sane, gay man was so hard up he would forget his aunt was being framed for for a little game of straight bait, meanwhile, in Y&R's world view, the most repulsive thing a desperate, straight criminal could do to keep his secret was (gulp!) sleep with an attractive young, gay man?
If that wasn't bad enough— which trust us, it was— Adam's bisexual experimenting was actually cited by the Newmans as more proof of his sociopathic leanings!
Victoria to Nikki upon learning her brother was "gay": That explains so much [Giggle].
Um, yeah, what exactly did that explain Vic? Go brush your hair!
If this is Y&R's example of gay love in the afternoon we think they should leave all attempts at diverse storytelling to the pros over at One Life to Live.