While mere common sense (not to mention a 17-year losing streak) dictates that Susan Lucci shouldn’t bother preparing an acceptance speech for this year’s Daytime Emmys (May 15 on NBC), handicapping the Best Drama Series race takes more effort. Here, then, is EW’s analysis — taking into account successful plots versus colossal clunkers — of all the nominated shows, and our choice to take home soapdom’s grand prize.
ALL MY CHILDREN
SENSATIONAL SUDS Three lavish weddings (including millionaire Adam’s to gold digger Liza) and one fatal plane crash, which claimed long-suffering Maria (Eva La Rue Callahan)
BURST BUBBLES One definite yuck factor: Homeless advocate Brooke (Julia Barr) fell for a child pornographer, unaware that he had taken photos of her adopted daughter.
PREDICTION No illicit couplings? No long-lost characters back from the dead? No bad hair days for incarcerated kidnapper Erica (left)? No Emmy for this ABC soap!
DAYS OF OUR LIVES
SENSATIONAL SUDS Four juicy roles for nominated actress Eileen Davidson (left): psycho sexpot Kristen, hick Susan, controlling Sister Mary Moira, and slimy hitman (yes, man) Thomas
BURST BUBBLES The laughable jungle adventure (to find a cure for a lethal mystery virus) was the lamest plotline since Marlena was possessed by the devil.
PREDICTION No Emmy. One awful recast (Josh Taylor as Roman) is forgivable; two (Steve Wilder as Jack) is Emmy suicide for the NBC soap.
SENSATIONAL SUDS Three torrid affairs, including Stefan’s with Katherine, whom he accidentally shot; one hidden maternity: Ex-hooker Bobbie (Jacklyn Zeman) turned out to be Carly’s mom
BURST BUBBLES A major addiction overdose: high school heroin junkie Emily, her painkiller-popping hospital chief of staff dad (Stuart Damon), and drug fiend Brenda
PREDICTION No Emmy. Socially aware to a fault, ABC’s GH should have just said no to drugs, not to mention the departure of Luke’s better half, Laura (Genie Francis, left).
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
SENSATIONAL SUDS One glorious return from the dead: Doc Joshua’s first wife, Veronica (Candice Daly), disguised herself as second wife Nikki’s (Melody Thomas Scott, left) maid.
BURST BUBBLES One courtroom misfire: Legal eagle Chris’ (Lauralee Bell) face-off with her former stalker Michael (Christian LeBlanc) was a tad too Sally Jessy Raphael for our taste.
PREDICTION Hand this CBS soap the statuette. Tangled love lives, bitter rivalries (Chris vs. supervamp Phyllis? Meow!), and a good dose of suspense — now, that’s classic soap opera.