I was chosen by one of my favorite website Goldderby.com to view the tapes for two categories for the Daytime Emmy Awards. I watched the episodes for Outstanding Lead Actor first. Listed below is a summary of the actor's tape, and my own opinion of the performance.
Maurice Bernard as Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital
Airdate: July 21, 2011; Runtime: 13:05
Brenda interrupts a conversation that Sonny is having with Carly because she needs to talk to him. Brenda is planning to leave Sonny after learning about something he did to Jax to help Carly get custody of their daughter Josslyn back from him. Sonny doesn’t want Brenda to leave, and asks if she would stay with him if he agreed to move away from Port Charles with her, to live in a nice house in California and hand over his dangerous business to Jason and commute to Port Charles to see his kids. Brenda says that would be perfect, but Sonny says it would be a lie. He says Brenda loves a version of him that she invented, that she’s never accepted that the ruthless and dangerous man she is seeing now is the same man he’s always been. He says that his power is more important to him than anything, and he couldn’t give it up. Since Sonny can’t change, the two share a sorrowful farewell. Carly returns, and seeing Sonny drinking alone on the balcony, tries to comfort him, to cheer him up. Carly can’t understand how Brenda can have known Sonny for so long and not get him, but Sonny defends Brenda, saying that she changed when she found her son. He says he can’t guarantee the safety of Brenda’s son Alec, so she did what she had to do. Later, he gets a call informing him that Brenda and Alec have left with Jax, and mobilizes his plane to leave also.
Analysis: I am not a huge fan of the Sonny character, this is a big reason why I never watch this show. I was pleasantly surprised by the storyline, and the way Bernard was able to have so much control, and to create beautifully subtle performance within this scene. The scene is beautiful because Sonny plays off the two the women who are "the loves of his life" Brenda and Carly. Bernard does a great job in a sense giving up his "power" by allowing himself to be more vulnerable than I have ever seen the character become. Usually when I watch Bernard uses shouting to convey the most dramatic moments, but his subtlety shines through and proves to give on of the best performances has ever had. I like this tape because the scenes feel cohesive short and emotionally to the point. If size matters, voters could lose the emotional context, but that was another strength, you get pulled into the emotion right away.
Anthony Geary and Luke Spencer on General Hospital
Airdate: June 13, 2011; Runtime: 17:56
Lucky finds Luke with a pretty young woman and asks to speak to his father alone. Lucky apologizes for how he handled finding out that Luke was the driver who hit and killed his son Jake, and for how aggressive his efforts to force Luke to get treatment for being an alcoholic were. Lucky tells Luke that he should come home, for the sake of his kids and his wife Tracy. Luke counters that he was a lousy father and husband, and those people who love him want him to be a version of himself that doesn’t exist. Luke tells Lucky that Lucky doesn’t even know who he is, and he has no intention of going back to try to fit into Lucky’s mold. Luke says that he never wanted to be a father or a husband, that he grew up learning to be practical and really all he ever wanted was the freedom to drink and lie and cheat, and have sex with the prettiest woman he could afford. Luke says that he’s sorry that he killed Jake, but that the silver lining was that he felt liberated, having become so irredeemable that he no longer felt the pressure to try to live up to anyone else’s expectations. Lucky leaves, and when the woman returns, Luke tells her that he’d put his son in an impossible position by killing Jake, for Lucky to have to love, to forgive, the person who’d taken his son away. Luke says he freed Lucky from that by making sure Lucky would hate him as much as he would always love Lucky.
The scene builds to a slow start with Lucky doing most of the talking, and I was worried that Geary was going to be out acted, this is not the case. Tony Geary is probably one of, if not, the strongest male actor in the genre of daytime drama; he knows how to deliver a scene, and does not fail here. Geary unleashes this self loathing tirade, and boom, he becomes angry, heartbreaking, and easy to hate within the same breath. Geary has won 6 Emmy Awards and been nominated for 15, for playing this character. I think this is a great performance, and based on the wide array of emotions he leaves you feeling I can see him taking home his 7th trophy. my only reason he may lose is you walk away disliking the character more than you like him; he killed his grandson while driving drunk. I think voters will get past this, but I had a hard time sometimes thinking about this fact. Great performance.
John McCook as Eric Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful
Airdates: October 13 and 14, 2011; Runtime: 14:31
Eric has set up a romantic surprise to celebrate the news that Stephanie’s latest test results show no tumors, indicating that she’s getting better. Stephanie goes along with the dinner Eric has prepared, even though she is reluctant to celebrate or believe that she is really cancer-free. Eric gives Stephanie a gift, a piece from the “Intimates” collection that he’s designed. Stephanie has no interest in wearing this sexy ensemble, which segues into a discussion of their relationship, and the role that sex and intimacy play in their lives. Eric wonders if Stephanie is somehow repulsed by him, as his very presence seems to make her feel more sick than she is when isn’t around, and feels she uses her sickness as an excuse not to be intimate with him. Stephanie admits that, yes, she does sometimes use her charity work, meddling, etc., as an excuse to keep him at arm’s length, physically. Stephanie says that Eric’s desire for sex has ruined their relationship in the past, like when he married Donna and Brooke. Eric admits that things haven’t always been great for them, but he stands firm that he won’t apologize for being a sexual person and shouldn’t have to feel badly about wanting to be intimate with her. Stephanie says that he deserves to have his desires and needs understood, but so does she. Eric says that just means that she gets what she wants, and he doesn’t.
Analysis: Talk about a build up this tape started even slower than Geary's. For most of the beginning I did not know where the story was going. McCook and on screen partner Susan Flannery were talking about her recovery. As the scene progressed Eric (McCook) fights to understand why his wife is being distant. While McCook ends up giving a solid performance the disjointed tape and slow build up prevent you from fully investing in that build up.
Darnell Williams as Jesse Hubbard on All My Children
Airdate: March 30, 2011; Runtime: 12:01
Jesse tries to calm a very pregnant Angie, who is experiencing contractions and pains. Angie is convinced that the baby is coming, and they won’t have time to get to the hospital, so Jesse will have to deliver it. Jesse calls for an ambulance, but it doesn’t seem one will arrive in time. Jesse pulls double duty keeping Angie calm and preparing as best he can for a home delivery. Angie passes out during birth, but Jesse successfully coaxes the baby from the birth canal. He is struck with horror when he realizes that their littlie Ellie, as they’ve decided to name her, is not breathing. He tries desperately to revive Ellie, to no avail, as Brot arrives to help. Brot tends to Angie, but there’s nothing to be done for Ellie. Jesse begins to accept this awful truth when he hears a baby’s cry coming from a box that Brot brought in, which had been left in his squad car, and Angie begins to regain consciousness.
Analysis: Williams is great, as Angie is going to labor he rushes into concerned father mode. Williams hits all of the right notes as he is trying to balance being the cool and calm for his wife, but not freaking out as she starts to go into labor. After Angie gives birth she loses conscientiousness, and Jesse is left with his baby girl dead in his arms. Jesse rages rocking the girl back and forth in his arms saying "We always loved you." As he hears a baby crying in the room Jesse cradles his dead baby close to him once again rocking back and forth grief stricken by the thought he will have to tell his wife they lose their child. I thought Williams was superb and there is a genuine sadness at the end of this clip; he makes you feel everything you are supposed to, and while it may be a bit showy, I think it works.
Robert S. Woods as Bo Buchanan on One Life to Live
Airdate: June 14, 2011; Runtime: 6:26
Bo talks to Viki as he struggles to decide the best course of action regarding his comatose son and his ailing brother. Matthew’s doctors are not optimistic about him ever waking up from his coma, and his heart is a match for Clint, who is in desperate need of a transplant. Both Viki and Bo are still shocked by the terrible things Clint has done, but neither of them wants to lose him. Bo doesn’t want to give up on Matthew, but can’t help feeling that if Matthew never recovers, he’s basically killed his brother. Nora arrives and says that Matthew is looking better. She says she confronted Clint about the situation, and he said he’d sooner die than have Matthew’s heart. Nora says they’ll take him at his word, and Bo needn’t worry about it anymore.
Analysis: I miss Bo Buchanan. Woods is so natural, and plays this character wonderfully. Bo has to struggle with the grief of giving his son's heart to his ailing brother. When Bo says "How do you let your child go" his eyes say it all, and you can see the strength in this performance. The problem with this reel is that its incredibly short and choppy, which never lets Woods shine as much he could within this situation.
Personal Ranking/Predictions1-Anthony Geary
5-Robert S. Woods
I think this award follow my own personal rankings, as much as I would like to see someone new win, based on the material Geary deserves to win. Williams and Bernard are neck and neck behind him, and they both have a great shot of taking home the trophy as well. I think the race is only between these three I would be shocked if anyone else won.