No. 10: Room 8, The Bold and the Beautiful
We applaud CBS Daytime's The Bold and the Beautiful for venturing into the world of web serials, but next time can it be an afterhours peek into Brooke's (Katherine Kelly Lang) Bedroom? Room 8 was a lame, dated, vanilla dud — both on TV and on the net.
Guiding Light alums Karla Mosley (Maya) and Lawrence Saint-Victor (Carter) were both welcome additions to B&B in 2013, but we'd like to see them in one of the scandalous, raunchy tales B&B is known for, not used as "C" story fluff. Though we did get a hoot out of Caroline (Linsey Godfrey) popping that waterbed!
No. 9: Viki's Broke, One Life to Live
One of the main reasons we watch soaps is to live vicariously through the lives of the rich, the wanton and the occasional split personality sufferer. No one wanted to see regal Queen Victoria Lord (Erika Slezak) pinching pennies to save her newspaper on Prospect Park's version of One Life to Live.
On ABC's OLTL, we were led to believe Viki's fortune was massive, in the hundreds of millions, if not billions. Yet on the web update, she only had a few paltry million, all of which she'd idiotically invested in The Banner.
We think it's great TPTB wanted to explore a story about a dying newspaper—certainly a timely tale—but to write it as though Viki was a big dummy who didn't know not to put all her eggs in one Banner made no sense at all.
No. 8: Franco's Return, General Hospital
General Hospital is definitely a soap that goes big or goes home. When it comes to Franco's (Roger Howarth) return, the sudser started out on a one-way trip to nowhere fast. Franco (originated by James Franco) was one of the most awful characters ever conceived in GH history. We don't mean awful in a love-to-hate way. We mean just plain stinky, toe jam-smelling awful.
Why on Soap Earth did this character have to come back? Because the brass needed a role for Howarth to play that was as out there as popular antihero Todd Manning—snatched away by Prospect Park—who had relationships similar to Todd's.
Todd and Heather Webber (Robin Mattson) were co-conspirators. Franco was Heather Webber's cousin/son. Todd found redemption in Carly's (Laura Wright) bed. Franco found redemption in Carly's bed.
We totally get it, but we still can't help but wish Howarth had been brought on as another character. At least he did dye his hair back to a more aesthetically appealing hue and move out of the Q mansion.
No. 7: Katherine's Last Will, Testament and Scavenger Hunt, The Young and the Restless
One bittersweet after effect of the death of a beloved soap matriarch or patriarch is the battle for the estate he or she leaves behind. It's almost a no-brainer storyline. When Douglass Watson died in real life, causing his iconic character Mac Cory to perish on Another World, the soap's writers penned a powerhouse story featuring Mac's widow and daughters battling it out for control of his publishing dynasty.
The story carried AW for its last good years and helped keep Mac's legend alive. Asa's (the late Phil Carey) death had a similar impact on One Life to Live.
Unfortunately, we won't be adding the fight for Kay Chancellor's (the late Jeanne Cooper) fortune on The Young and the Restless to any list of soap opera estate battles done well. As implausible as it was to believe an octogenarian, recent brain surgery patient—who could barely get up the stairs the last time we saw her on screen— spent her last months checking off her acrobatic bucket list, we gave the sudser leeway on that plot point. Where we can't give an inch is Kay using her Last Will and Testament to send her loved ones off on ridiculous, cruel scavenger hunts.
Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) was bullied from the Great Beyond into going off to search for a baby she'd given up after being raped by a cult leader. Meanwhile, Jill (Jess Walton) was sent off searching for clues about some silly music box, that was when she wasn't complaining about not being able to pay for the upkeep on Chancellor Mansion, even though she owns half of the Fenmore's Department Store chain!
Who got the bulk of Kay's estate? The company went to fellow billionaire Victor Newman (Eric Braeden), while most of Kay's liquid assets passed on to grandson Devon (Bryton James), a guy who makes Eeyore seem positively sunny by comparison. Kay deserved better, and so did we.
No. 6: Pickle-Lila, General Hospital
We've been begging for General Hospital to do an ELQ-based storyline for years here at Daytime Confidential. The soap's re-visitation of Pickle-Lila, the revolutionary condiment that saved the Q's bacon when the family went bankrupt a few decades back, definitely falls under the category of be careful what you wish for.
We totally appreciated the nod to history, but if we never hear the brilliant Jane Elliot (Tracy)screeching about stolen relish again, it will be too soon. The puke point of no return came when AJ (Sean Kanan) and Tracy waged a vinegar-soaked war on The Chew, ending up with the co-hosts vomiting all over everywhere. Our sentiments—and condiments—exactly.
No. 5: Sharon Switches Summer's DNA Test/Phyllis' Endgame, The Young and the Restless
Remember all those promises The Young and the Restless made about "restoring" the character of Sharon Newman (Sharon Case)? We didn't think it possible, but under Josh Griffith one of the soap's most popular female characters of all time was trashed 10 times worse than what Maria Arena Bell did to Nick Newman's (Joshua Morrow) boyhood love.
When Summer Newman (Hunter King) started crushing on Kyle Abbott (Hartley Sawyer) it sent Nick into a panic. The dimpled hunk knew he hadn't been upfront about the botched results of Summer's paternity test years ago. Could his "supergirl" really be Jack's (Peter Bergman) daughter and therefore Kyle's half-sister?
The story began with totes soapy potential, only to go downhill fast. Upon learning the "truth", Phyllis (Michelle Stafford), the smartest schemer in soaps, decided to kiss Kyle to solve the problem. Okie Dokey. Next up, she opted to lie to Jack, so he wouldn't fall off the wagon.
Just when we thought the story couldn't get any more ridiculous, Sharon (Sharon Case), incoherent and hallucinating, revealed to her dead daughter Cassie (Camryn Grimes) that she'd switched the second DNA test. Of course Phyllis was lurking around in the graveyard in couture and the two ended up in a poorly-filmed stairwell fight, where Phyllis tumbled to her endgame. Did someone really get paid for writing this?
No. 4: Celia's Secret Benefactor, All My Children
We don't know who on the writing staff of the web version of All My Children was a fan of Jane Eyre fan fic, but they should have left the tepid tale of Celia (Jordan Lane Price), the virginal lass and her secret benefactor, on the cutting room floor. Why was this clearly adult woman still living in a girl's boarding school? What 18-year-old finishes high school and decides to "take a gap year" to remain in her Eastland uniform and have to climb down trellises to see a hot boy?
Why did she care if her "benefactor" cut her off? Couldn't she just, we don't know, get a job and support herself? Nothing about this story made sense. It's no wonder Pete Cortlandt (Robert Scott Wilson) couldn't wait to let Colby (Brooke Newton) blow him. We suspect he was easier to swallow than this storyline.
No. 3: Genoa City Blogger, The Young and the Restless
Can soap operas do the blogosphere a favor and stop channeling their frustrations about us into storylines? That probably won't happen, since we keep publishing lists like this one, but hey, we tried. It took everything we had not to hit fast-forward anytime The Young and the Restless cut to the silly saga of a vengeful blogger attacking the Winters and Michaelson clans.
Rather than use something that actually happened on screen during Neil Winters' (Kristoff St. John) over two decades of history in Genoa City, the writers spun a never-before-mentioned back story (Boy, Josh Griffith loves those!) centered on this one drunken trip to God's country, where a grieving Neil encountered some sloppy lush named Rose.
Because Rosey Posey couldn't hold her liquor—and choked dead on her own puke—her daughter decided to exact revenge on Neil and Co. by (Gasp!) setting up a Tumblr. Oh the drama.
At least this dismal mess gave us the sex-sational Mishael Morgan (Hilary). Someone give that girl a Kim Zimmer Award. She definitely turned sh** to sugar in 2013.
No. 2: Victor's Return from the Dead, One Life to Live
How do you mess up Victor's (Trevor Sr. John) return from the dead on One Life to Live? No, seriously. We want an answer — though not in the form of a press release from Jeff Kwatinetz. As Barbie says, "Math class is tough!"Cartini set that ish up perfectly when the soap wrapped on ABC Daytime!
Prospect Park can't blame this one on ABC. Victor Lord, Jr. never set foot in Port Chuck. So what was the excuse for having him racing through the night with some wonky tattoo, showing up at that tacky dancehall establishment—then later the hospital—for basically no one to even have a reaction to his being alive?
Other than Tea (Florencia Lozano) and Dani (Kelley Missal), everyone in Llanview was like, "Victor, what up fool? Where you been hanging?" Even his sister Viki (Erika Slezak) was all, "Yeah, I heard Alison Perkins (Barbara Garrick) snatched you up? Bummer." Terrible. Just terrible.
No. 1: Delia's Hit-and-Run Death, The Young and the Restless
We could actually save ourselves a ton of trouble, not to mention HTML code, by searching our archives for blog posts we wrote on Baby Jake being mowed down like a stray blade of grass a few years back on General Hospital. Jill Farren Phelps recycled a terrible, ugly plot from GH on The Young and the Restless. She might be the most swell lady at the party—as half the industry will attest to when coming to her defense—but it is, what it is.
Is she the first soap creative to recycle a plot? Of course not. Bill Bell did brothers-battling-for-the-same-woman-ending-in-gun-play on just about every soap he wrote. Agnes Nixon has admitted several times that Another World's Rachel Davis and her signature character, All My Children's Erica Kane, are one in the same.
As we type, Days of Our Lives writer Lorraine Broderick is playing out a three-women-team-up-to-hilariously-off-a-bad-guy story very similar to one done on AMC during her tenure. The difference between what Bell did and what Nixon and Broderick still do, is they borrowed from well-received stories/characters.
Jake being slaughtered by his drunken grandfather was universally panned. It plunged GH—already a dark soap at the time—into an abyss of sorrow, grief and unrelenting pain — which is just what mommies want to look at during the daytime.
Why are we blaming JFP for Jake's ugly death? Wasn't Guza the writer? He sure was, but Guza ain't at Y&R. We were perfectly ready to let go of the past and judge JFP by what she brought to Y&R. What we got was same script, different cast in 2013.
Are we to believe Josh Griffith was the one who solely came up with the idea to tell a paint-by-numbers rip-off of a storyline from JFP's last daytime soap? Doubtful.