No. 10: Adam Gregory and Kimberly Matula (tie), The Bold and the Beautiful
It’s no easy feat to pull off representing the next generation of chiseled Forrester studs and sun-kissed Logans, but newcomers Adam Gregory and Kimberly Matula have managed to do just that as California dreams Thomas Forrester and Hope Logan respectively on The Bold and the Beautiful. Whether it’s reeling from learning her mom accidentally slept with her boyfriend (her), or pulling his father’s wife into a scandalous lip lock (him), Gregory and Matula have proven they are more than capable of carrying on their families sexy, near-incestuous traditions for years to come.
No 9: Trent Garrett, All My Children
When fans of All My Children learned the soap planned to reinvigorate the Cortlandt clan we thought we’d be discussing names like Ross or Petey, not Caleb (Michael Nouri) and Asher (Trent Garrett). Even still, that doesn’t take away from Garrett’s impressive contributions to the soap in 2010 as Caleb’s bitter, long-lost son. Asher may not be one of Palmer’s (the late James Mitchell) direct descendants, but he has managed to breathe new life into Colby’s (Natalie Hall) storyline, while adding a human layer of tension to Caleb’s uninspired feud with cousin JR (Jacob Young). It’s a shame AMC decided to ditch their 2009 addition, the equally charming Finn Wittrock (Damon). We were really looking forward to watching Asher and Damon’s rivalry intensify, however we’re sure Garrett will keep us entertained in 2011 in his own right, especially when he takes off his shirt.
Trent Garrett Photo Credit: ABC
No. 8: Kristolyn Lloyd, The Bold and the Beautiful
Forgive us for being a bit skeptical when we learned The Bold and the Beautiful was introducing another new black character. The splashy, 30-minute sudser hasn’t exactly had the best reputation for showcasing diversity, however with Kristolyn Lloyd as Stephanie’s (Susan Flannery) homeless pal Dayzee, it looks like the times they are a changin’ in SoCal. From the moment Dayzee nabbed the scarf Stephanie’s late mother gave her, causing the cancer-stricken matriarch to chase her throughout Skid Row, we knew B&B’s top scribe Brad Bell was intent on making good on his promise for this to be a storyline unlike anything we’d seen on B&B. Lloyd as Dayzee is a fresh-but-skilled talent, capable of holding her own in scenes with a true soap legend like Flannery. Now that La Forrester is buying Insomnia for Dayzee and there are hints of romance in her future (Even if it is with Marcus and not his daddy, sigh.), we bet Lloyd will have even more opportunities to shine in the New Year.
No. 7: Nic Robuck, One Life to Live
Ah yes, those hunky Fords on One Life to Live! We don’t think there’s been a more polarizing family to hit Llanview, PA since the showeaters known as the Rappaports, and just like some members of that family ultimately managed to worm their way into the hearts of fans (Lindsay, anyone?) at least a couple of the Fords have started to win us over. One such sturdy, young example of automobile excellence is Nic Robuck as Starr’s (Kristen Alderson) Knight With Shining Abs, James Ford. We’re not sure if it was because James was the one who suffered the most at the hands of their monstrous daddy Eddie (John Wesley Shipp), or if it was his adorable chemistry with “Twinkle” or his ability to keep a straight face during those scenes where 70-pound Hannah (Meghann Fahy)—who couldn’t hold a gun straight to save her life—managed to keep James, Starr and Hope hostage, but whatever it was, in 2010 Robuck proved James Ford was a keeper.
No. 6: Erin Chambers, General Hospital
Contrary to his name, General Hospital’s Lucky Spencer (Jonathan Jackson) hasn’t had much good fortune when it comes to romance in recent years. His run of bad luck came to an end in 2010, however courtesy of one Siobhan McKenna as played by Erin Chambers. Chambers’ portrayal of the strong-willed, independent-yet-vulnerable Siobhan has injected refreshing new energy into Lucky’s storyline and has proven to be one of the few bright spots in the monotonous Balkan storyline. It doesn’t hurt that the couple has chemistry to spare. Talk about the luck of the Irish!
Photo Credit: ABC
No. 5: Chad Duell, General Hospital
Chad Duellhad some pretty big shoes to fill and legions of broken hearts to mend when he took over the role of Michael from fan favorite Drew Garrett in 2010 on General Hospital. It didn’t help that the show made the move to recast Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Carly’s (Laura Wright) son just as the explosive storyline that saw the teen having killed his stepmother was about to climax. While Duell’s first couple of weeks were bit shaky, the young actor quickly got over his jitters and settled into the role quite nicely. As Michael went to prison for his crime and suffered things so horrific he has yet to share, Duell managed to expertly convey the sorrow, anger, confusion and angst of a privileged young man who had to pay for the lifestyle his parents raised him up in. The Sins of the Father, indeed.
Photo Credit: ABC
No. 4: Chandler Massey, Days of our Lives
For years Days of Our Lives fans have begged for a SORAS’ed Will Horton, capable of holding his own opposite the Mother of All Teen Moms aka Samantha Jean Brady (Alison Sweeney). In 2010 we got our wish in the form of Chandler Massey. With Massey in the role in 2010, DAYS finally had an actor capable of the challenge of taking Sami to task one minute and showing her unwavering love and support the next. Whether Will was checking his mom over her dysfunctional relationship with EJ DiMera (James Scott) or scheming alongside her to cover up Sami’s latest scandalous stunt, their relationship proved believable and heartfelt in 2010. Sami finally has someone in her family to cover her back and we say it’s a long time coming! Then there’s Massey’s insanely hot chemistry with Casey Deidrick, who plays Will’s best frenemy Chad. While we aren’t sure if the homoerotic subtext these two added to their scenes in 2010 was intentional or not, it’s no wonder fans online are praying for these boys to “Chill” together in 2011.
No. 3: Meghann Fahy, One Life to Live
You can pretty much set your clock to a One Life to Live psycho going bat poop crazy just in time for Sweeps. In recent years, there was that whacked out, down low politician, Margaret Cochran, Stacy Morasco, etc. It’s hard to keep them straight, which is why when the show manages to cast a phenomenal performer to portray one of their escaped and/or future mental patients, it can make all the difference. That’s what happened in 2010 with the character of Hannah played by Meghann Fahy. No matter how out there Hannah’s obsession for Starr’s (Kristen Alderson) baby daddy Cole (Brandon Buddy) became, the graduate of the Marcia Cross School for Soap Opera Sickos, played the material for everything it was worth. Watching OLTL in 2010, you truly believed Hot Mess Hannah was so itchy in her twitchy for Cole’s human hockey stick she was willing to kill the mother of his child, said child and a Ford boy to get him. We can’t believe we’re saying this, but we wouldn’t exactly mind another visit from Hannah, or her fantastic portrayer, in the near future, but only if she’s learned how to hold a gun just a tad bit more menacingly. Hey, nobody’s perfect!
Photo Credit: ABC
No. 2: Brianna Brown, General Hospital
We were half temped to create a special category for Brianna Brown, Biggest Character Save of 2010. The actress came thisclose to being on our Top 10 Babies Who Didn't Know Where They Were In 2010 List, but then something magnificent happened. General Hospital had the bright idea to turn boring, mealy-mouthed Dr. Lisa Niles into a baby toy-boiling, stalking, cool-as-a-cucumber sociopath, thus lighting a fire under the stagnating Scrubs coupling. Instantly we went from hating Lisa because she bored us, to loving to hate her because she was tormenting our beloved Dr. Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough), all because of that cheating cad with the perfect tan, Dr. Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson). Brown, who sucked at playing a flirty former friend with benefits for Patrick, excelled at playing an unstable-yet-methodical ice queen mess. Heather Webber would be proud and so are we.
No. 1: Eric Sheffer Stevens, As the World Turns
He may have arrived in Oakdale just as the 'World" was about to stop "Turning", but that didn’t keep Eric Sheffer Stevens from leaving his mark as Dr. Reid Oliver. Brought to town by Luke Snyder (Van Hansis) to help his blind lover Noah (Jake Silbermann), Reid's bluntness and lack of anything resembling a bedside manner had As The World Turns fans remembering another brilliant doc with a nasty attitude, one named John Dixon (Larry Bryggman).The seemingly-impervious doctor wasn’t interested in relationships, compassion or romance. Luke changed all that. By the end of the World, Stevens' breakout performance as the best gay male character ever created for daytime television, along with his smoldering chemistry with Hansis, had many a fan saying "Nuke, who? It's all about Lure, baby!" It's too bad the show made the decision to end Reid and Luke's love story in tragedy, but we have a feeling that won't be the case for this incredible actor's career.