No. 10: Jessica Heap, The Young and the Restless
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result. This applies to certain soap characters. The Young and the Restless is on their third casting of Michael's (Christian LeBlanc) younger sister Eden Baldwin. It doesn't look like her predecessors left Jessica Heap a road map, because this baby definitely didn't know where she was in 2012.
Heap furrowing her brow intently, as Eden strained to recall what happened the night Ricky (Peter Porte) died made us want to watch with our hands covering our eyes, fingers spread apart just enough to witness the acting carnage. The third time definitely hasn't been the charm for Eden, or the actress playing her.
No. 9: Bruce Weitz, General Hospital
Bruce Weitz is an acclaimed primetime and film actor, there is no denying that fact. There also isn't any denying he was a shameless ham as mob boss Anthony Zacchara on ABC Daytime's General Hospital. We were absolutely thrilled when Johnny (Brandon Barash) committed grand-patricide, because it meant we no longer had to endure ZaCrazy's antics.
No. 8: James Franco, General Hospital
What is it about General Hospital that transforms actors who are decent performers in other mediums (see: Bruce Weitz above) into goofy scenery chewers? Maybe movie star James Franco was playing what he thought a soap villain should be like, but Franco's portrayer should have spent more time watching clips of masters of soap operatic villainy like Anders Hove, the late Michael Zaslow and James Herrera, instead of renting Soap Dish. Thank the Soap Gods, Stank-o Franco bit the dust on GH in 2012.
No. 7: Julia Pace Mitchell, The Young and the Restless
We feel bad for Julia Pace Mitchell. The actress was another in a long line of stars The Young and the Restless served up in a half-assed attempt to fill the void left by Victoria Rowell (ex-Drucilla). Unfortunately, Pace Mitchell's one-note performance as Neil's (Kristoff St. John) latest wife Sofia Dupre Winters didn't get any better in 2012. The unsure manner in which Pace Michell consistently delivered her lines always made Sofia seem like a nervous school girl, giving a speech before a packed auditorium.
Pace Mitchell's evergreen chops became all the more apparent when TPTB decided to make brash, recovering crackhead Harmony (Debbi Morgan) Sofia's rival for Neil's affections. Don't get us wrong; we weren't crazy about the character of Harmony. Yet, it was embarassing to watch acting legend Morgan own Pace Mitchell in scenes that were clearly written for Sofia to win. We're hoping Sofia continues to live offscreen with Baby Moses for the forseeable future.
No. 6: Texas Battle, The Bold and the Beautiful
The Bold and the Beautiful has won numerous Daytime Emmys, thanks to the soap's heart-tugging, socially-relevant storylines. For their text messaging farce in 2012, however, all this sudser deserves is one big dunce cap, to be worn on Texas Battle's (Marcus) head.
While the storyline was abysmal—Marcus and his equally dopey friends believed his texting-while-driving caused him to mow down a homeless dayplayer—the actor's delivery of the heavy-handed, PSA-rejected dialogue surely provided Joel McHale with enough content for an entire season of The Soup. What the DC crew texted to one another about this story: SMDH.
No. 5: Yvonne Zima, The Young and the Restless
With Maria Arena Bell vanquished from The Young and the Restless it is our sincerest wish that Daisy Carter and her portrayer Yvonne Zima never darken a Genoa City doorway again. We’ll leave it at that.
No. 4: Kelly Sullivan, General Hospital
Playing a dual role on a soap isn’t easy, which is why those who do it well tend to win critical acclaim, not to mention Daytime Emmys. Just ask Erika Slezak, David Canary, Martha Byrne, Anne Heche, Anna Holbrook and Ellen Wheeler. Not every soap thesp can pull off creating more than one character, however. General Hospital's Kelly Sullivan proved she wasn't quite up to the task in 2012 when fashionista Kate Howard had a mental split, causing the ball-busting persona of Connie Falconeri to emerge.
While Sullivan can occasionally provide humor as Cuckoo Connie, overall the character—not to mention the actor's execution—has been one big joke from day one. Granted, this isn't all Sullivan's fault. On an otherwise masterfully-restored GH, the Connie/Kate debacle is keeping the soap from getting an 'A' on its 2012 report card from us. In fact, it has us wanting to call Cartini in for a parent/teacher conference! Let's hope this character (and storyline) gets integrated into something making some semblance of sense early in 2013.
No 3: Lindsey Morgan, General Hospital
This isn't even about the whole Lexi Ainsworth vs. Lindsey Morgan thing anymore, because really there is no comparison. Ainsworth is an incredible talent, while Morgan proved a terrible recast as General Hospital's Kristina Corinthos Davis in 2012.
The beautiful young woman definitely looks like she could be the daughter of Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and Alexis Davis (Nancy Lee Grahn), but in scenes with the two acting powerhouses who play her parents, you start to wonder if Krissy—not Baby Daniel—was the one switched at birth. We get that all soap teens have to be portrayed as shrieking nightmares, but Morgan had us reaching for earplugs and flasks of Jack Daniels every time Kristina had a dramatic scene to play.
Something is really amiss when fans are actually hoping the psycho mobster murders the kidnapped legacy character. The talented Erik Valdez (Trey) might have been salvageable if he'd had a better screen partner. Somebody had to say it...
No. 2: Linsey Godfrey, The Bold and the Beautiful
Bless Linsey Godfrey's heart. This baby had absolutely no clue where she was in 2012 on The Bold and the Beautiful. You can hardly blame her. During an early establishing scene for her character Caroline Spencer Jr., veteran performer Ronn Moss (ex-Ridge) snotted, cried and caterwauled so poorly about her dead, namesake auntie, she probably allowed that to become her benchmark for soap opera acting. To borrow from the fairytale hooker Julia Roberts played in Pretty Woman, "Big mistake — huge".
Moss can't be blamed for all that nose-crinkling and overacting to the backs of chairs, though. Who does she think she is, Clint Eastwood? We're not sure, but her performance certainly didn't make our day in 2012.
No. 1: Alyshia Ochse, General Hospital
We struggle to put into words the sheer shit-tastrophe that was "The Woman in White Storyline" on General Hospital in 2012. Alyshia Ochse looked as if she'd just escaped from a wedding chapel, where an 800-year-old Hugh Hefner was waiting to make an honest woman out of her. Speaking of Hef, we saw better acting on his old E! reality series Girls Next Door.