No. 10: Levi Dunkleman/Peter Harrell, Jr. General Hospital
We love it when our soaps draw from history, but General Hospital could have saved this particular stroll down memory lane. Revealing Levi Dunkleman (Zachary Garred), the vegan, hippie Australian Maxie (Kirsten Storms) met on her Eat, Pray, Love journey, was really the all-too-American son of Peter Harrell—an ancient foe of Maxie's super spy parents—had us choking on vegemite in 2014. One good thing came out of Levi's goofy saga of vengeance; it gave us the swoon-worthy romance of Maxie and Nathan (Ryan Paevey).
No. 9: Kiki Jerome, General Hospital
What a wet blanket Kiki Jerome (Kristen Alderson) turned out to be in 2014. When she wasn't all up in Carly (Laura Wright), Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Franco's (Roger Howarth) business, she had little else to do — besides serve as eye candy for Fluke (Anthony Geary).
What happened to the spunky mob princess who hooked her Captain Morgan (Bryan Craig) on internet gambling, only to quickly start lusting for his brother? That Kiki had potential. This watered down Starr-lite version is fast forward material.
No. 8: Kelly Andrews, The Young and the Restless
When Cynthia Watros booked her MTV show, the character of Kelly Andrews should have caught the first thing smoking out of Genoa City on The Young and the Restless. Instead, the soap opted to recast with yet another big name actress from All My Children (because that worked out so well with Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams).
Suddenly, gritty, raw, grieving mother Kelly transformed into a Vivaldi-loving ball of neuroses with a Madonna-esque faux British accent. We've adored Cady McClain on several soap operas. Unfortunately, we won't be adding Y&R to that list.
No. 7: Will Horton, Days of Our Lives
It's always difficult making a recast work. It's 10 times harder when the character also takes on a completely different personality in conjunction with a new face. Guy Wilson is an impressive, young actor, but Days of Our Lives deciding to morph Will Horton into a selfish, sanctimonious asshat did the new performer no favors.
As played by Chandler Massey, Will long had issues with his dysfunctional family, but he was never vicious and self-serving enough to profit from their misfortunes. He also wasn't the kind of guy to put his insta.writing career above his new marriage. Is there any wonder Sonny (Freddie Smith) is having lusty memories of his time humping that closet case baseball player?
No. 6: Ben Rogers, Days of Our Lives
Robert Scott Wilson is one of the most physically beautiful people on soaps. Unfortunately, his gorgeous face and killer bod can't make up for the lack of depth afforded to his Days of Our Lives character.
We're sure the character of Ben sounded great on paper. He's the son of a gangster from the Ozarks, who went on the run with his sister, changing his identity from state-to-state.
The problem is, none of Ben and Jordan's (Chrishell Stause) gamey, colorful back story helped inform what we saw on screen in 2014. Currently, Ben's sole purpose in Salem is to screw Abigail (Kate Mansi) and clench his perfect jawline whenever another Armani Exchange model makes eyes at her. Not interested.
No. 5: Carter Walton, The Bold and the Beautiful
Like fellow, SoCal legal eagle Justin Barber (Aaron D. Spears), Carter Walton (Lawrence Saint-Victor) doesn't get much to do outside filing legal briefs on The Bold and the Beautiful. With ex-flame Maya Avant (Karla Mosley) firmly focused on Rick Forrester (Jacob Young), all Carter did in 2014 was attempt to serve as her conscience. Surely, B&B can find something or someone better for him to do in 2015?
No. 4: Paige Larson, Days of Our Lives
Are we sure Paige Larson (True O'Brien) isn't adopted on Days of Our Lives? There's no way sultry, sex cat Eve Donovan (Kassie DePaiva) bore this snore.
With all the hand-wringing and freaking out Paige did about boyfriend JJ (Casey Moss) drinking and partying like a normal teenage boy in 2014, there's no wonder he decided to bang her cougar mom. Here's hoping when Paige learns the truth about JJ and Eve, she re-enrolls in Stanford and leaves Salem U.S.A. for good.
No. 3: Fluke, General Hospital
We're glad playing doubles excited Tony Geary enough to keep him around General Hospital for a few more years, but we're sick of all things Fluke. It's bad enough Duke Lavery (Ian Buchanan) was replaced by a mask-wearing doppelganger not so long ago on General Hospital—making the story seem like an uninspired copycat tale—but it also requires too many smart characters to look like dumb-asses to make it work.
No way would Tracy Angelica Quartermaine (Jane Elliot) cede control of ELQ for some lookalike goofball supervillain. We'll be glad when the Fluke farce comes to an end.
No. 2: Billy Abbott, The Young and the Restless
The Young and the Restless struck gold with recasts for the iconic characters of Phyllis and Adam in 2014. Two out of three ain't bad.
When Billy Miller decided to leave the soap, CBS Daytime and Sony thought bringing back David Tom, who was popular as teenage Billy, would soften the blow. It didn't. Billy went from being a virile, wisecracking guy every woman in town wanted to bone, to a whiny, little boy-man in need of a diaper change.
A course correction brought on very masculine, very formal and very stiff Burgess Jenkins. It's like Goldilocks and The Three Billys. One was too hot. One was too cold. We're still waiting for the one who's just right.
No. 1: Ian Ward, The Young and the Restless
We had reservations the moment we heard The Young and the Restless was revisiting Paul (Doug Davidson) and Nikki's (Melody Thomas Scott) teenage days in a cult. Unlike, General Hospital, which makes a habit of bringing back actual villains from the past, recent Y&R regimes tend to favor re-writing history with abandon. This was definitely the case when Ian Ward (Ray Wise), a never-before-heard-of cult leader descended on Genoa City.
For the retcon, Y&R revealed Ian fathered a child with a fragile Nikki. That child turned out to be Genoa City's resident war vet/child rescuer/kitchen re-modeler/bartender/barista Dylan McAvoy (Steve Burton). The next thing we knew, half of the town was battling the evil Ian. By battling, we mean yelling at him a lot at the local coffee shop and/or chasing him off the Newman Ranch property. For a villain, Ian rarely did anything menacing, except cause Dylan to smash a lot of coffee cups.
In the end, the tool wasn't even the douchebag's real father. What was the point again?