You know how you have that one friend who always gets too drunk and makes a scene at parties? And you swear you’re never inviting him/her to anything again, but then s/he meets you for lunch and it’s nice and civil, and when your next party rolls around you’re all, “It’ll be fine this time, I’m sure,” and then that friend winds up destroying your living room and getting your dog high and vomiting on you and whatnot?
That’s basically my relationship with the Daytime Emmys. Every year, I sit there cringing and praying for it to be over, crippled by secondhand embarrassment. But then months go by, and Days gets a few nominations, and I think, “Oh, it’ll be fine this year.”
IT’S NEVER FINE.
This year, the horror was compounded by the fact that I was watching with my boyfriend — or, rather, my boyfriend was also in the living room, doing things on his laptop and trying to be a good sport, oblivious to the anguish he was about to endure. I even warned him about the time Marie Osmond sang “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” but he was like, “No, it’s fine. You can watch it!” So on top of my usual secondhand embarrassment for everyone involved with or forced to attend the telecast, I was also personally embarrassed to be voluntarily watching this shitshow.
What was the lowest point? When the camera kept flying around, unable to find anything to focus on? When there was a tie and neither of the winners knew nor received any guidance as to what to do? When we were forced to sit through those horrifying post-acceptance interviews, conducted by people who knew nothing about the subjects? When one of the hosts, a woman who is apparently a morning anchor on HLN (the network condemned to broadcast this thing, no doubt chosen in some kind of hellish Hunger Games-esque lottery), burst into song not one, not two, but three times? No, it was probably the painful moment when the women of The Talk were attempting to present an award, only to open the envelope and discover that it was the envelope for the wrong category and winner. That could only have been more terrible if Sharon Osbourne had been the one to open it.
Seriously, the entire thing was a nightmare.
Okay, not the entire thing. It was touching how everyone associated with The Young and the Restless seemed genuinely moved to pay tribute to that show’s grand dame, Jeanne Cooper, who passed away last month. Those “40 Years of Daytime Divas/Catfights/Etc.” montages were the right kind of melodramatic and funny. And… uh… okay, there was Chandler Massey winning for Outstanding Younger Actor, and then there was this:
We won! Days of Our Lives won for Outstanding Daytime Drama. This has happened only once before, in 1978. WE WON!
(For the full acceptance speeches and more background info, check out Jason47’s site. It’s an amazing resource for all things Days.)
I am so, so happy. Days has been largely ignored by the Emmys forever, aside from a few acting prizes in recent years and last year’s Outstanding Writing award. To win the big one is huge. It seems like Days has sort of been the bastard child of daytime lately, less high-profile than Y&R, B&B, and General Hospital. But I keep up with the other shows enough to feel confident saying that Days is turning out the most effective, intricate drama of any of the remaining soaps. Maybe it’s the cheapness of the production that undercuts it, but it continues to be satisfying and surprising to me on a near-daily basis. I’ve seen a few arguments that because the winning submission episodes came from the end of the McPherson/Thomas regime, it proves that Corday was wrong to replace them with Tomlin and Whitesell. I don’t think it proves that at all. The MarDar period had its strengths, and one of those strengths was pulling together impressive single episodes or mini-arcs. But the show feels so much stronger on a day-to-day basis now. Just about everything that hits the screen means something, even if we don’t know it for weeks.
Regardless, kudos to everyone at Days. These people work their asses off to churn out an insane number of shows, and it’s brought me an incredible amount of entertainment (both intentional and… otherwise) over the years. And dammit, this means I’m gonna have to watch this shitshow next year, huh?