Katie: So, what kind of doctor are you?
Reid: Neurosurgeon.
Katie: You’re a brain surgeon?
Reid: Don’t look so shocked.
Katie: I’m sorry. Just not what I expected.
Reid: What did you think brain surgeons looked like?
Katie: I don’t know, but I thought they’d be a lot nicer.
Reid: Sorry to disappoint.

— Katie and Reid

Van Hansis’s Emmy Reels from 2007-2009

Embedded clips of all of Van’s Emmy reels from 2007, 2008, and 2009, along with those of the eventual winners, as well as 2010’s winner, and some speculation into what would have been Van’s episodes in 2011. Plus the buzz from the pundits, my analysis upon viewing the reels, and other associated research.

In the meantime, in a complete aside, here is something just plain WRONG: I was just filling in the links for the September 9th episode near the end of this post, and searched YouTube on AnthonyDLangford and September 9th. Buried among unrelated links were the two for the episode above, plus one whose thumbnail was Noelle Beck’s Lily in an outdoor setting crying. Except that the date on the episode read September 9, 2009. Looking at the caption, it reads: “Luke and his family hold a tree planting memorial service for Holden.”

Am I the only one who thinks there’s something truly wrong when Luke attends a memorial service for his life’s love on the one-year anniversary of one for his father, whom he thought was dead?” And that in between the two he was told his other father was dead as well?!?!?

All after the jump….

As often seems to happen with this blog, some “just curious” surfing turned into an obsessive search for the full story. Given my appreciation of Van’s work on ATWT, and his Emmy history (three nominations, no wins), I was curious to see what exactly he submitted in the past, and what the other actors put forth that was deemed better by the Emmy judges, as I would guess this experience would have informed his decision not to submit this year.

I’d seen some of these clips before (both Van’s and the others), but have seen posts on various forums suggesting that they weren’t necessarily Van’s best work. Far be it from me to second-guess Van and anyone he sought advice from, but it did make me curious about what was actually submitted.

I think I finally have identified all of the clips, and the info is from fairly reliable sources. The main sources I used were the forums on SoapOperaNetwork.com, the LA Times’s Gold Derby awards blogs, and the SoapCentral.com Emmy archives. The SoapOperaNetwork and Gold Derby blogs are particularly interesting because their members and contributors appear to be more industry insiders. I don’t know this for sure, but would definitely come to this conclusion based on the near complete absence of fangurling.

A word of thanks to the Luke Snyder YouTube channel owners

When I started researching this, one thing I realized is how lucky Luke/Van fans are that there are SO many great channels devoted to his episodes. Yes, of course part of that is because of Van’s awesomeness, but in all honesty, that’s in large part because he’s gay. Because there are so few gay storylines, YouTube fan channels have started, largely devoted to posting scenes from shows with gay storylines (e.g., AnthonyDLangford, BombayHighway, MarkDutchViewer, and smuchshypush to name a few, along with the couple-specific sites of LukeVanFan, NukeOakdale, Happyinchintz72, stacerace). And their viewership stats are impressive.

For example, it’s not unusual for each of the above episodes to have thousands of clicks each (even when all of them have posted the same scenes). The most extreme case, of course, is LukeVanFan’s Nuke’s first kiss clip, which now  has nearly 2.6 million hits (though, to put this in perspective a random fan posting of a Mitchel Musso music video has over 2.7 million. I used to think this was AMAZING until I noticed the hits on my daughter’s favorite music videos. As much as I (admit I kinda) like Mitchel Musso, even being WAY out of his demographic, I would class him as a B-rated Disney star. So, compare that to Miley Cyrus’s official Party in the USA video, which has 197 million or Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance at 350 million and you start to appreciate why daytime is in trouble.

Compare that with even the best loved straight pairings who are adored, but so commonplace, that no one thinks they’re worth preserving in their entirety. Not only are there so few gay romances on TV, there are so few gay characters on TV is that its meaningful to see how they are portrayed when NOT involved in their romantic scenes.

Maybe it’s like stamp collecting – where rare stamps aren’t worth a lot because they’re beautiful or special, but solely because they’re rare! Because, let’s face it – Luke’s lamest episodes clearly can’t stand up to the strongest episodes of other actors, and yet it’s Luke’s complete story that we’re privileged to watch.

So, Luke-related YouTube channel owners, you have my eternal thanks (especially as someone who has lived overseas in a country that doesn’t air ATWT for the entire duration of Van Hansis’s run – hard to believe it’s been so long!).

34th Emmy Awards, Outstanding Younger Actor (2007 awards ceremony, 2006 episodes)

Van started on the show in late 2005 and had some great storylines in 2006 – starting with the aftermath of his drinking and kidney transplant, and followed by the coming out story and associated storylines (Lily’s coma, Damian taking him to Malta). Thanks to MarkDutchViewer, who runs the only comprehensive Luke channel on YouTube for the clips!

2007 ATWT Pre-Noms

Van Hansis (Luke Snyder)
Jesse Soffer (Will Munson)

2007 Nominations

Van Hansis (Luke Snyder, ATWT)
Jesse Soffer (Will Munson, ATWT)
Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan Randall, GL)
James Stevenson (Jared Casey, PS)
Bryton McClure (Devon Hamilton, Y&R)

Van’s Episodes

March 9th, 2006. Prior to this episode, Holden, suspicious that Luke and Kevin were more than drinking buddies had read the riot act to Kevin and forbidden Luke from seeing him. Behind Holden’s back, Luke invited Kevin to the stables to confess his feelings, but Holden walked in on them and Kevin bolted before Luke had a chance to say anything. The episode begins with Holden confronting Luke, and Luke lying that he had asked Kevin over so he could tell him to stay away from Jade (whom Kevin definitely is interested in), and that he invited him to the Farm so he wouldn’t be sneaking around. Then, despite the lies, we get angsty, smart-mouthed, teenage Luke. Holden reminds Luke he just wants him to be happy (aww….) and is clearly working up the courage to ask Luke if he’s gay, when Jade arrives and covers for Luke. Later, Luke and Jade have a nice scene where Jade encourages Luke to tell Kevin how he feels, and they talk about why Jade wants to be part of his family. The episode ends with Holden, alone in the stable, imagining that he actually asked Luke if he was gay; he plays through two scenarios – one where Luke admits he is, but accuses Holden of judging him and trying to change him; a second where Luke says he isn’t and is appalled that Holden knows him so little as to think it’s possible. Both scenarios end up with Luke running out in a huff.

[spoiler name=commentary]I hadn’t seen this episode before I found it on the Emmy Reels posts and I’m SO glad I did. For starters, Van is really gorgeous in this episode. Very vulnerable and absolutely beautiful….Um, right, where was I again?

Oh, right. The Emmy reel. This is a great episode for Luke/Van, and also a really interesting story on its own. From Luke’s POV, knowing how long he’s pined for Kevin, and how long it’s taken to get to a point where he’s actually taking steps to tell Kevin how he feels, my heart stopped for him as he desperately tried to keep Kevin from leaving before he was able to get the words out. And his expression when he tells Holden he can’t stay away from Kevin. Ouch. Poor Luke! Then you can see him considering telling the truth to Holden before the lie pops out and the defense mechanisms go up.

Van and Elena Goode have great chemistry in this scene from when Jade over does the lying to cover for him by calling him the best cousin ever (“Okay, Jade, stop it.”), to moments where the scheming Jade actually sincerely seems to want Luke to find happiness with Kevin, to a poignant moment where she asks Luke whether he’s ever imagined what it would be like if Kevin reciprocated his feelings, and he replies “when I let myself, I guess.” Brought tears to my eyes.

You get real hints at Luke’s character (probably not so impressive to the Emmy judges, but really interesting for Luke fans). Jade points out that “Luke always puts other people first, before himself,” and Holden agrees, though clearly this worries him (hello! can anyone see Noah-blindness foreshadowing here?!). And then later, he quietly asks Jade why she took Lily’s bracelet and even says “I’m not judging. I don’t understand.” SO Luke.

It’s interesting that Jade calls the Snyders a “nice normal family” despite both Lily and Holden’s bazillion marriages. It’s even more interesting to me that I’m inclined to agree. That for all the soapy plotlines thrown their way, and the wealth of the Grimaldis and the Walshes, they’ve done a credible job of making Luke’s home environment seem loving, desirable, and middle-America.

It’s also sobering when they decide that they’re best friends. Poor Luke really could use more friends!

I think the main reason I like this episode is because of Holden’s dilemma and I think Jon Hensley rocks this episode. As a parent, I can totally imagine being in his situation – not judging my kids, but wondering if they’ll be harassed, worrying that it will be harder to find someone to love (as at least my gaydar sucks). I thought this was really realistic and an important part of Luke’s coming-out storyline. And when Holden imagines Luke’s responses I thought the scene was really well crafted and Jon played it so well. As Holden so clearly struggles to find something to say, everything feels like the wrong thing (and plays out the wrong way in his imagination) despite the fact that he almost doesn’t get in a word edgewise as Luke over-reacts. Great scene.

[/spoiler]

Fast forward the clip to 6:19 to skip the Lily/Jade stuff.

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August 16, 2006. Luke confronts Damian at the airport about the fact that it was Damian’s idea to send him to reprogramming camp, that this indirectly led Luke to push Lily down the stairs leaving her in a coma, that Damian was willing to let Luke believe that Holden and the Snyders hated him for this, and that Damian faked his illness to get Luke’s inheritance! Way to pile on, TPTB! Luke finally decides that he doesn’t want to go through the trauma a trial for Damian might cause, he just wants Damian out of his life. So he signs over his inheritance, gives Damian his Grimaldi ring, and insist he’s a Snyder through and through. Holden give Damian a nice “so there!” and Damian leaves Luke and Lucy to have a nice moment, followed by some quiet scenes of Holden and Luke talking about Lily, Damian, and how proud Holden is of Luke.

[spoiler name=commentary]One of Luke’s epic BIG soapy scenes (if only he weren’t wearing that hideous stripy shirt! Some classic moments included Damian telling Luke “you blamed yourself” and Luke replying “but you LET me blame myself!” (Oh, Luciano, did you learn NOTHING from Damian during the whole post-fireworks situation?). Also, a fantastic moment where tells Damian he fully intends to pretend Damian never existed: “Hell, I’m already there.”

A real tour-de-force for Van, though Lucy’s “arrest that man” entrance is SO cheesy. Ick. There’s another quiet bit where Lucy talks about leaving so “grandmother can hover” – oh yeah, so THAT’s how they’re related – Lucy’s mother is Sierra, who’s Lily’s adopted sister – well, Lily’s adopted; Sierra’s really Lucinda’s daughter).

This episode stands on its own – like the Jonathan Jackson and Trent Dawson clips I am guessing will be their reels this year. I included them on Eric’s episode post, and have included them here in this post as well.[/spoiler]

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The 2007 Outstanding Younger Actor: Bryton McClure (Y&R)

16-year-old Devon Hamilton first appeared in 2004 as a streetwise kid living in foster care. His biological mom is a crack-head and his dad is presumed dead. He meets wealthy Lily Winters who’s doing community service work and she takes a liking to him. Eventually, Lily’s parents, Drucilla and Neil, take him in as a foster child and later officially adopt him.

January 24, 2006. Devon’s biological mom, Yolanda, arrives in Genoa City and asks him to move back with her to Seattle. Note: Bryton’s complete scenes are not available for this episode to the best of my knowledge. I could only find a partial episode on 01814ma’s Y&R channel. S/he only posts complete episodes and notes on this one that “I do not have the first half of this episode]. You’ll have to do a bunch of FF’ing through other storylines to get to Bryton’s scenes. I checked the transcript for the episode and it sounds like there was a microscopic scene where he walks in on what looks like an inappropriate moment between Yolanda and Neil (she’s in a bathrobe) and then a longer (but still short) scene where he talks about how many times she’s let him down before.

[spoiler name=commentary]I’m not sure if I’ve seen any of Devon’s episodes before this, though I’ve followed his storyline via recaps on SoapCentral.com, so my first surprise was that his name is pronounced DeVON, not DEHvon. Overall, I’d say Bryton’s scenes are more understated than Van’s

Of Bryton’s two episodes, this one is definitely his “small moments” scene. A really understated performance. He does a good job of expressing his disappointment that she’s leaving, expressing his love and respect for the Winters who have adopted him, while trying not to hurt her.[/spoiler]

Part 1 – cue to 1:27 then to 7:24

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Part 2 – cue to 6:58

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October 16,2006. Previously, while Dru was in Europe, Carmen put the moves on Neil. Dru didn’t like that and made it known in no uncertain terms. I can’t remember what happens next, but Carmen ends up having a restraining order taken against Dru among other things, then Carmen gets Dru fired from Newman. The episode starts with Dru triying to save face by saying she’s taking a leave of absence to take sign language classes since Devon’s lost his hearing due to a bout of meningitis (at least he doesn’t have to squint!). Devon takes matters into his own hands and goes to tell off Drucilla. Devon’s scenes end with him yelling at Neil about his and Dru’s need to coddle him and how he wants needs to be independent and do things on his own (sound familiar?).

[spoiler name=commentary]It’s really interesting the contrast between how Y&R portrayed Devon’s deafness vs. Noah’s blindness. They’ve picked up on all kinds of accommodations from attaching a light to the phone so he can see it ring (he can still speak, so presumably they either have some TTY ability or he could just say – call back later….then again, maybe voicemail would be better!

But his family members have all clearly taken some sign language and they make good dramatic use of Devon’s limited ability to lipread. Neil and Carmen do a particularly good job here, but Drucilla overacts so badly, it’s distracting to watch. She has a more soapy dramatic scene where she’s upset at being fired and trying to put on a brave front, but is yelling like some people do with non-English speakers (DOOO YOOOUUU UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYYYING?) and then doing really bad sign-language while over-acting. Ugh.

There’s a really interesting scene when Neil walks in and starts arguing with Carmen and the sound cuts out, so you’re seeing it from Devon’s perspective. It seems a little out of place because it’s done only once, but it could also get old really fast. Just an interesting directorial/writing choice.

Conveniently since he is newly deaf it allows him to monologue without having a conversation because he just tells Carmen to stuff it – he can’t understand what she’s saying. They’re both equally frustrated by her inability to write fast enough to have a conversation (and he can conveniently ignore what he doesn’t want to see/hear.[/spoiler]

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The Buzz

We Love Soaps posted a great summary table of predictions which reads:

We Love Soaps: Hansis
Carolyn Hinsey, SOD/NY Daily News: Pelphrey
Michael Logan, TV Guide: Pelphrey
Nelson Branco, In Touch Weekly: Hansis
Snark Weighs In Blog: Hansis
Daniel Coleridge, TV Guide: Hansis
Mala Bhattacharjee, SOW: Pelphrey
Marlena De Lacroix, Savoring Soaps, Soffer

Interesting, because I couldn’t find Nelson Branco’s In Touch comments, but he wrote on the Gold Derby blog:

Pelphrey should nab his second Emmy, but watch out for Hansis’ coming-out reels. Other big news is the fact that ‘Passions’ earned a rare acting nomination here for promising newcomer Stevenson, but his material stinks although he’s a great actor.

Three months later, Nelson wrote (again on the Gold Derby blog site – wonder if the difference was whether or not he had seen the reels at time of writing?):

Outstanding Younger Actor
Van Hansis (Luke Snyder, "ATWT"): 1
Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan Randall, GL): 2
Jesse Lee Soffer (Will Munson, "ATWT"): 3
Bryton McClure (Devon Hamilton, "Y&R"): 4
James Stevenson (Jared Casey, Passions): 5

WHO WILL WIN: Van Hansis story was the most enthralling and artistically respected.

WHO SHOULD WIN: Van Hansis manages to make you fall in love with him; he was smart to pick an episodes in which he acted out two different scenarios when Holden ponders if his son is gay or not.

SPOILER: Tom Pelphrey could read the yellow pages and win an Emmy — however, his best work wasn’t submitted. He would have won this category easily had he submitted his breakup with Tammy and his transplant scenes with mom, Reva. Anyway, he’ll win next year for Tammy’s death storyline — that race has already been called.

And yes, he was SO right on the Tammy’s death (which would have aired by the time he wrote these predictions).

There has been an interesting friendlhy debate ongoing about “who was better” in the post-surgery scenes – Van or Eric – and whether it’s safe to submit a reel where you might be outshined by your co-star. Interestingly, in the same post, GoldDerby highlights examples of this very situation:

Worst Decisions: Nominees were better on their co-star reels than on their own once again. This year: Heather Tom was better on Daniel Gauthier’s, Tom Pelphrey rocked on Kim Zimmer’s and Stephanie Gatschet’s reel; Michelle Stafford on Christian LeBlanc’s, Genie Francis’ on Anthony Geary’s, "ATWT’s" directing on Van Hansis’ reel; and "GL’s" writing on their star’s acting reels.

Wrote Carolyn Hinsey on the NY Daily News site (ouch!):

Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan, "GL") will wipe the floor with Van Hansis (Luke, ATWT), Bryton McClure (Devon, "Y&R"), Jesse Soffer (Will, "ATWT") and James Stevenson (Jared, "Passions").

Read more:

In Soap Central’s annual predictions, the columnists split 4:2 for Tom Pelphrey and Van (with SOC users going for Tom). So, interesting that Bryton won. Yes, he was on a show with a large cast, but so were Tom and Van, so that doesn’t seem like a logical explanation.

Soap Central founder, Dan J. Kroll, wrote:

I feel about Tom Pelphrey the way I did about former All My Children star Josh Duhamel. Both make acting look a little too easy. You could watch Guiding Light every day, for example, and it wasn’t a big deal to see Pelphrey turn in a great performance. It’s just what he does. So it’s easy to cast a vote for him. My only concern this year is that much of his Emmy reel was weepy. There may be some voters who don’t want to see a guy sob all the time. It would be great to see James Stevenson win for Passions – a show that has yet to win an acting Emmy. But, unfortunately, I wasn’t wowed by his submissions… and I don’t think he will make the cut. Van Hansis turned in some great performances on As the World Turns. The coming out storyline and "conversion" therapy plot was not as powerful as the one All My Children did… about ten years ago… but it was still good. I’m thinking that it will end up being a very close race
Who I’d like to win: James Stevenson
Who should win: Van Hansis
Who will win: Tom Pelphrey

    Jaeger Li, described as “a workaholic who watches all nine soaps when working at home” wrote:

    This came down to three of the choices for me, but Van Hansis ultimately got my nod based on his submissions. The character of Luke has gone through so much on the show, and Hansis bravely stepped up to the challenge and knocked it out of the park. (Admittedly, I lean towards Pelphrey since he got me back into GL, but Hansis just blew me away.)

    Liz M, “a moderator on for all three ABC soaps on the soapcentral.com message board forums. She is a former recapper and a prolific blogger” wrote:

    Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan Randall, GL) – To tell you the truth it was impossible to pick here. All are very talented young actors. It came down to which submissions pulled at my heart strings the most. Tom’s won.

    And last, in a SoapCentral feature, they have one pundit, Lisa Svenson, whose predictions are basically random. I’ll let you read the details of her “methodology” yourself if you’re interested.

    [spoiler name=svenson]Lisa Christine Svenson is a non-viewer (of soaps and virtually all television). She is a writer and student who lives with her child, her grandmother (who she cares for), and a variety of pets (who have been known to be somewhat helpful in assisting her with her selections, although her older cat generally refuses to cooperate entirely). As in most years, she has no idea who to vote for, and risks brain damage to find interesting, and ideally (but rarely) accurate, ways of making predictions. These methods are described below, after her prediction in each category.

    Based on my previous Emmy prediction experience, I have opted to read the information provided (the briefest summary), and use my own intuition, or gut feelings, or whatever you want to call it (basically, it is what I have that isn’t knowledge of the subject), and make my best predictions. My pets, while they have been willing, have yet to predict accurately. While tossing bits of paper down the stairs might be entertaining, and might actually simulate some sort of experiment, in truth (based on previous years’ experience), it is a very inaccurate indicator of who the Emmy winners might be. It is noteworthy, however, that the well-informed experts aren’t always much better at this predicting than I am![/spoiler]

    Van Hansis (Luke Snyder, ATWT) – I would hope the scene where someone wanted to deprogram him from being who he was was handled with sensitivity, because a deprogramming camp is a hideous institution.

    The links to Mosholder and lee’s rationales were not available online.

    The Student Operated Press wrote:

    Who should win: Pelphery is the favorite choice as Springfield’s latest bad boy, but McClure is the pick because his character was not only on trial for murder, but he is also dealing with his hearing loss.

    After the fact, the New York Daily News wrote:

    Bryton McClure (Devon, "Y&R") won for Younger Actor in an upset over last year’s winner and clear fave, Tom Pelphrey (ex-Jonathan, "GL").

    And from Soap Opera Gal’s blog:

    Bryton McClure from Y&R. SAY WHAT?! I was completely stunned! How could the Emmy not go straight to Tom Pelphrey (GL)?! I thought it was his before I even saw everyone’s submitted scenes. Having said that, Bryton’s scenes left me amazed. He’s good; he had a shot. But who knew that shot was great enough for him to earn his first Emmy? Too bad Pelphrey didn’t win, but it’s cool that Bryton did.

    Judos to Soap Opera Gal, apparently THE only pundit in the web universe who picked Bryton McClure!

    35th Emmy Awards, Outstanding Younger Actor (2008 awards ceremony, 2007 episodes)

    2008 ATWT Pre-Noms

    Van Hansis (Luke Snyder)
    Jake Silbermann (Jake Silbermann)
    Jesse Lee Soffer (Will Munson)

    2008 Nominations

    Van Hansis (Luke Snyder, ATWT)
    Jesse Soffer (Will Munson, ATWT)
    Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan Randall, GL)
    Darin Brooks (Max Brady, DOOL)
    Bryton McClure (Devon Hamilton, Y&R)

    Van’s Episodes

    Van had an interesting dilemma, and perhaps a shorter-than-obvious timeline ot episodes to select from. Early in the year, I don’t believe Luke was frontburner much at all, so his big storyline unquestionably was the Luke/Noah romance.

    The trouble is, Noah’s first episode was on June 1st, 2007, and I believe Van had to choose episodes that aired prior to September 25th because he turned 26 on the 25th, and the Younger categories are restricted to performers aged 25 and under.

    Luke and Noah have their “tense moment” of UST (the infamous “towel fight scene”) on August 9th, and share their first kiss on August 17th. By the time Noah admitted he did have feelings for Luke and they shared his second kiss, it was already September 26th, which wouldn’t have been eligible (nor any of his post-camping trip with Col. Mayer scenes, the paralysis, standing up, nor Christmas).

    Interestingly, Van’s clips include very little PDA with Noah – just a very brief flashback to the tense moment with the towels. I’d be curious as to whether he received any advice to avoid the kiss and towel scenes, or whether he just didn’t think they were his strongest work.

    August 16, 2007. Prior to this episode, but right after the towel scene, Maddie turns up and interrupts their tense moment. Noah freaks out and asks Maddie (who has an acceptance to Wesleyan) to move in with him. Maddie announces that she’s decided to defer, and Luke calls her on throwing away her college education for Noah (not that he has any ulterior motives!).

    Luke and Noah have their towel fight and Luke is beginning to think that Noah has feelings for him. Maddie comes in and says that she’s changed her mind and is not going to move out of Oakdale. Noah interrupts and wants to know what Luke said to Maddie to make her so upset and says he’s not gay. Then Luke and Aaron have a lovely heart-to-heart about how Luke’s belief that there was a real spark, but that he doesn’t want Maddie to be hurt.

    [spoiler name=commentary]Another episode I hadn’t seen before this post, and another one I’m glad I found. Van and Alexandra Chando (Maddie) also have great chemistry and they really sell their friendship – both in their scenes together, and in their separate scenes. This is a nice “small moments” episode with not a lot of OTT emoting.

    Some interesting foreshadowing. Luke totally calls out Maddie for giving up Wesleyan, saying, “You offered to give up Wesleyan for Casey, too, and he said ‘no’ because he loves you and now you’re giving up your dream for someone you don’t even love?” And he TOTALLY picks up that it was Noah’s idea! (Run, Luke, run!)

    Then later, in a Noah/Maddie scene that I’m assuming wasn’t part of Van’s reel, it’s actually Maddie who comes to Luke’s defense when Noah starts to badmouth him. But damn, if Noah doesn’t go completely passive-aggressive on her in response, asking her if (her defending Luke) means she’s not staying in Oakdale (which she’s not suggested at all).

    I loved that Luke and Maddie’s friendship shines through – both in their honesty when they’re talking to each other – and in their parallel scenes with Aaron and Noah where they both show the care and respect they have for their friend.

    The scene with Aaron is awesome, much like the scenes with Holden in the previous year’s reel. They have a great interaction and chemistry as brothers. And again, they bring up Luke’s sexuality in what to me, feels like a very realistic way, without clubbing you over the head with it and announcing “GAY SCENE COMING UP!”

    Aaron immediately senses something’s wrong, and Luke awkwardly worries that Aaron’s not gonna wanna hear. Aaron automatically jumps to the (correct) conclusion that it’s about his love life, and adds “I’m not gonna freak out.” And Luke asks “Even if it’s about a guy?” Aaron totally shrugs it off. And then it’s a non-issue – just Luke talking about his latest love interest (BTW, his boyish grin when he talks about the towel scene is adorable).

    And, THANK YOU, Aaron, for reminding Luke he said something about “not going after straight guys again.” Luke says it’s different, and again, I love the honesty and closeness in their relationship as Aaron says, “Don’t be mad, are you sure this isn’t just wishful thinking?”

    I didn’t watch much of Aaron’s storyline other than a few parts (around  Branson, I think) with Ali and Lucy, so I don’t know if this is representative of his relationship with Luke. I definitely did get a similar vibe from the Noah/Ameera wedding scenes when Aaron comforts Luke as well (again, laughing that he’s no expert at this love stuff). I have seen a bunch of other good Luke/Maddie stuff though – from their post-prom breakfast, to the scene where Maddie tells Noah to be good to Luke.

    Where were friends/family like Maddie and Aaron when Reid died? I still can’t believe they held the memorial service without Katie, but really that just scratches the tip of the iceberg.[/spoiler]

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    August 31, 2007. Noah and Maddie are moving in together. Holden walks by with a newspaper headline about the dead bimbo (Cherie Love) that Dusty is accused of killing (this is during the Dusty/Lily/Holden triangle that I thought was totally unbelievable). Holden notices tension between Luke and Noah and they have a nice chat about Holden worrying (given the Kevin experience). Luke goes to WOAK to find Noah and walks up THISCLOSE to him and tries to tell him that he’s lying to himself and won’t be happy. Noah tries to convince himself he loves Maddie. We get an almost-kiss before Maddie walks in again and demands to know WTF is going on.

    [spoiler name=commentary]Not sure these would be my first-choice episodes, but I’ll have to attribute that to possible constraints on Van’s choices. The injection of the Holden/Lily/Dusty/Cherie storyline is incredibly distracting; it actors are allowed to edit their scenes, I would assume it was included because it segues into the nice talk between Holden and Luke.

    But jeez – Holden picked up on the Luke-Noah tension pretty quick and calls Luke on it, so there’s a lot of overlap with Maddie noticing the tension. Holden also raises Kevin and Luke starts to say “That was completely different, Kevin wasn’t g–“ but Holden obviously points out that Noah is dating Maddie (!). The fact that Luke says (almost verbatim) the same line about “it’s different” to Holden and Aaron makes these scenes sound WAY too much the same to me and would make me think twice.

    Holden repeats that he’ just wants Luke to be happy and that he will still be worried about him when (Luke’s) 52. Awww….I did like the twist that Luke injects when he asks Holden what he’ll be worried about when Holden’s 52 and it’s not just a repeat (gold star to the episode script writer for that one).

    One question is how many of this year’s viewers also screened Van’s reel the previous year, because, again this is awfully similar to the Holden/Luke scene from before, which would also concern me.

    LukeVanFan’s clips include some great moments of Col. Mayer walking in on Henry and Vienna about to do the dirty deed (complete with Vienna in costume and at her dippy, horny best) at Al’s.

    Last observation: in the “Next Episode” previews, I couldn’t help but notice that OMG – Ali/Marnie looks so gawky! After seeing her in Utrecht it’s hard to believe anyone could make anyone so beautiful look so ordinary (bad, Hair and Makeup, bad).[/spoiler]

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    The 2008 Outstanding Younger Actor: Tom Pelphrey (GL)

    Jonathan Randall (Reva’s biological son) arrived in Springfield with a chip on his shoulder. A real “bad boy” he wreaks havoc and falls for Tammy (Reva’s half-sister’s daughter). I think this makes them first cousins? He then obsessively pursues her, and she falls for him, and against odds they marry. Along the way, a drunken roll in the hay with bratty and impetuous Lizzie Spaulding results in a daughter (Sarah), whom the courts award to Jonathan as custodian. This puts Jonathan on Alan Spaulding’s bad side, so Alan puts the hit out on Jonathan, but it goes awry, and Tammy ends up being collateral damage. Both of Tom Pelphrey’s episodes surrounded Tammy’s death.

    Tom was nominated for an Outstanding Younger Actor for every year from 2005 to 2008, winning in 2006 and 2008.

    Thanks to YodaLuvr for the clips.

    January 24, 2007. This episode starts with Tammy near death on her bed in the hospital, and Jonathan begging her to come back. Tammy is cogent enough to demand that Sarah be brought to her, insisting that she doesn’t belong with Alan. Everyone is relieved and jubilant that she’s awake. Reva begs Alan to give up Sarah (he refuses), while Jonathan hauls a delusional Lizzie away (she thinks he wants to reconcile) and offers to trade Lizzie for Sarah; Alan refuses. But Beth goes behind everyone’s back and brings Sarah to Jonathan (how the heck does she know where he is?!?), much to Lizzie’s chagrin, and asks that Jonathan not cut Lizzie out of Sarah’s life.

    [spoiler name=commentary]This is Tammy’s final episode, and Tom Pelphrey is in most scenes of the show. The writers gave him epic, classic soapy stuff. Starting with quiet desperation begging Tammy to come back, elation when she comes back, raging fury as he goes all out to get Sarah for Tammy, to hopeful, and back to desperate. He gets to do the full range of emotions. Already he has an advantage in both airtime and in variety of emotions he has to portray. I think Van got to do much of the same range,though Luke’s rage wasn’t as OTT (but then again, that’s part of the difference between Luke and Jonathan) and Van’s scenes were split over several days.

    Incidentally, not only does Jonathan get killer emotional scenes (and not just grief), but he’s matched in his confrontation with Lizzie, and then Lizzie and Beth’s showdown is pretty impressive as well! Lots of emotion and stuff going on surrounding the death, and putting it in context. Tammy’s death, as unpopular as it was, was really woven into the story in terms of how it was brought about, and in terms of all the lives that were impacted – Cassie, Jonathan and Sarah, of course, but also Josh (because of Cassie’s obsession with Alan), Alan, Lizzie, and Beth (because she chose to bring Sarah to Jonathan), for starters.

    A few asides: First, although this scene shares many similarities to Reid’s death scene – notably, Jonathan actually says to Tammy both You’re so beautiful.” and Don’t you give up on me, we just got started.” (!) – but most of the similarities are superficial. The way the scenarios played out was completely different.

    For starters, in one of the few non-Jonathan scene, at 8:42 of Part 2, after Tammy asks Cassie to take care of Jonathan and Sarah, Cassie tells Tammy that she bought the house that Tammy’s had her eye on since moving to Springfield as a wedding present. This scene is referenced in the series finale. After Alan’s death, and with Jonathan and Lizzie making peace, Jonathan decides to stay in Springfield, and Reva asks if Jonathan and Sarah can live in this house that Cassie bought for them. Thank you, GL writers, for paying attention to show history in the finale and acknowledging Jammy, whom I believe had a decent following. Ahem – perhaps some other writers should have paid attention.

    This scene started the waterworks flowing, and I was bawling by the end of the episode. Not just because of Tammy’s death but because of the impact it clearly had on everyone else. Tammy was on her deathbed for the entire episode. Like Reid, she is stuck on the hospital bed with mortal injuries. One big difference, she has one large bruise on her head and still looks beautiful. Another, since they’re not trying to preserve her organs, she’s not chained down or made to be unable to move, so she’s able to do things like hold hands – important in reinforcing the bonds she has and playing on the sympathies of viewers like me.

    Also, Tammy gets to tell a remorseful Cassie that despite her poor upbringing, “you gave me everything that matters.” And Cassie got to tell Tammy that she was wrong about Jonathan and that she believed they would get a happy ending. Tammy gets to see Sarah and to tell Jonathan that she loves being his wife.

    Also, because they had a whole episode to play out Tammy’s death, there is so much more closure in their conversation. Tammy says to Jonathan, “I’m glad you’re here….There’s so much good in you. Don’t you hide it.” And he in return tells her she has to survive, after all, “Who’s the only person who can make me human with a touch. with one little kiss?” When he kisses her, she says “Sarah” (which is a bit out of character if you ask me, but furthers the plot), and is able to silently mouth “I love you” before she flatlines. Unlike Luke’s kiss, which seems to cause Reid’s death (talk about traumatizing! as if this whole travesty wasn’t bad enough, but Luke has to live with the sound of Reid’s alarm going off during their last kiss? Really, TPTB, really? You couldn’t give Luke that one last kiss even?!? (No, I’m not bitter.)

    Throughout the episode, Jonathan and Cassie hug and support each other (despite their former animosity, and the mutual thawing which we saw played out onscreen), and Reva is also there to comfort them both. When Jonathan’s with Tammy, you can see first Father Ray comforting Cassie and holding her hand, and then Reva wrapping her arms around Cassie through the observation window. And you can see baby Sarah being handed from one set of loving arms to another.

    When Tammy dies, she’s surrounded by ALL the people she loves the most – Jonathan, Cassie, Sarah, Reva. They in turn are there emotionally and physically supporting each other – along with Father Ray. Their love and support can be seen in the hugs, arms around shoulders, and tears. This, as much as Tammy’s death was a big part of what made this scene have real emotional resonance for me that Reid’s death lacked (as much as Van did his part). The people who had grown to care for Reid (especially Bob and Katie, and maybe even Jacob playing the role of “Sarah”) weren’t there for Reid to see (and to know how much he was loved); not only they weren’t there, but Bob was distastefully put in a position of salivating over Reid’s available heart (ugh!); and Luke’s support network was so non-existent as to be a separate tragedy.

    How much more meaningful and emotional would Reid’s death have been if he were able to actually tell Bob that he was right – there was more to life, and that Chris was going to be a worthy COS? And for Bob to shed a tear over the man he had treated like a son for the better part of a year? Or for Holden and Lily to actually have known Reid well enough to grieve with Luke? So many missed opportunities.

    Poor Reid. Poor Luke.[/spoiler]

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    January 29, 2007. After it becomes known that Tammy’s not likely to have been an accident, and that Alan Spaulding was involved, Jonathan lets himself in to the Spaulding mansion and torches the dining room table while Alan’s asleep upstairs. Mom (Reva) arrives and reminds him that revenge on Alan will keep him away from daughter Sarah. The episode ends with Jonathan cradling baby Sarah in his hands and promising he’ll never leave her. Images of Jonathan, gazing wordlessly at Tammy’s wedding photo, still holding Sarah, bookend a musical montage of various characters mourning Tammy that closes out the episode.

    [spoiler name=commentary]Funny how there don’t seem to be any servants or smoke alarms at the Spaulding mansion. Reinforces the BIG soapy acting, but ends with a very quiet, small moment. Back when performers were allowed to select two episodes, there was a question about whether or not it was advantageous to choose two episodes that were back-to-back (or close to), in order to give viewers a better sense of the story arc. One big question for Jonathan is whether he would fall apart and go back to his heinous pre-Tammy days. The final scene here starts to answer that question.

    (Oh, how strange – As I’m typing, my daughter is watching Disney’s Hallowe’en Town and I just realized that the lead is played by Kimberly J Brown – ex Marah Lewis).[/spoiler]

    Thanks to kinkyprincess1982 for the clips.

    Part 1 – cue to 3:44

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    Part 2 – cue to 4:11 and again 8:25

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    Part 3 – cue to 5:40

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    Part 4 – starts at 0:00

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    Part 5 – cue to 4:53

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    The Buzz.

    In the We Love Soaps experts’ prediction chart, the experts split 5:3 for Tom Pelphrey vs Van, with Nelson Branco, Marlena De Lacroix, Michael Fairman, Soaps in Depth, and Shark (of Shark Weighs in) going for Tom, and Roger Newcomb, Carolyn Hinsey (SOW/NY Daily News) and Sara Bibel (Deep Soap) leaning towards Van.

    Michael Fairman named Tom Pelphrey in his “fearless Emmy predictions.”

    Roger Newcomb noted that Daytime Emmys are virtually impossible to predict (among the experts, the best record was 4 called correctly out of 9 races). This one is a toss up. If the judges (assuming they watched the DVDs) love scenery chewing, Pelphrey is the man. If they prefer a more subtle, nuanced performance, it will be Hansis. Don’t forget about McClure. I’m worried that all those Y&R nominations could mean a victory in categories it is not deserved, including this one.

    Connie Passalacqua Hayman was editor of Afternoon TV magazine and Soap Opera World, freelanced for several soap magazines, and writes the Marlena De Lacroix blog, which boasts “soap criticism for the thinking fan” and predicted:

    Outstanding Younger Actor: Tom Pelphrey (ex-Jonathan, Guiding Light) Van Hansis (Luke, As the World Turns) has done a wonderful job, injecting nuance and emotion into scripts that were short on the kind of affection two people like Luke and Noah would naturally express.  But I think Pelphrey will win.  Emmy voters historically prefer fireworks over subtlety. The scene where Jonathan actually poured gas all over  Alan’s dining room and lit it with a match was among the most terrifying I’ve ever seen  on a soap.  Then mamma bear Reva showed up and calmed down her cub.  To me, that capacity for tenderness has always been Reva’s most redeeming quality. I humbly  submit that Kim Zimmer’s best scene partner over the past twenty years has been Pelphrey.   And I bet you she does, too!

    Soaps.com Bold and the Beautiful recap writer, Days of Our Lives news writer and roving interviewer, Lori Wilson wrote:

    I’d like to see Van Hansis take home the win for Outstanding Younger Actor. He has played the controversial Luke on As the World Turns with great conviction, emotion and believability. Tom Pelphrey is usually a critical favorite, but I think he often overdoes his portrayal of Jonathan on Guiding Light.

    In Soap Central’s annual predictions, the columnists again split with 2 each for Tom Pelphrey and Van, and the fifth (random) “vote” going to Darin Brooks and SOC users voting for Van this time.

    Soap Central founder, Dan J. Kroll, prophetically wrote:

    I think that there is a "sentimental" favorite in this category for the first time in a long time. Van Hansis has been playing Luke Snyder, a gay young adult trying to find his place in Oakdale. The past year has focused a lot on whether or not his character should be able to share an on-screen kiss with another male.

    Previous winner Tom Pelphrey shows why he’s won an Emmy before. His scenes are both powerful and dramatic. And there’s a good chance that a sentimental viewer might even have to wipe aware a few tears. In his most powerful reel, Pelphrey’s Jonathan is ready and willing to torch the Spaulding mansion. However, his mother, Reva, tries to talk him out of it.

    Who I’d like to win: Van Hansis
    Who should win: Van Hansis
    Who will win: Tom Pelphrey

    Liz M, agreed, saying quite simply:

    Van Hansis (Luke Snyder, ATWT): I like all the nominees in this category but Van Hansis is my favorite.

    Soapcentral.com Days of Our Lives Two Scoops columnist, Tony S, on the other hand, wrote:

    I did the Hansis/Pelphrey tug of war on this one over and over again and in the end I picked Pelphrey. Whereas they’re both very talented young actors, Pelphrey seems to have the deck slightly stacked in his favor. His performances were rock solid and he had stellar material to work with. With a win already under his belt he has the momentum and I think he’s an Emmy freight train that can’t be stopped. Sorry Darin Brooks, I still "heart" you too, don’t worry!

    Finally, SoapCentral.com’s tongue-in-cheek, semi-randomized predictor, Lisa Svenson described this year’s effort:

    In the much-anticipated sequel to her previous Emmy predictions, Lisa Svenson returns to predict the winners again. She has been the person-on-the-street Emmy predictor for soapcentral.com since 2001, and revels in her successful selection of seven Emmy winners (combined, since 2001). She has used a variety of methods, from reading storylines and character histories to “scientific” experiments in that time, and attributes the bulk of her “success” to sheer chance (when she picked three in 2005, she perhaps should have bought lottery tickets, too, because it was clearly a lucky year, aside from her personal life, in which luck went out the window, smashed on the pavement below, cracked open its skull, bled profusely, and suffered major head trauma).

    2007 will be different, though. In 2007, Lisa will return to experimentation, and will spend hours devising and implementing tests, perhaps even endurance tests, to select who the winners might be in the various categories. She has a moderately big house (undergoing a lot of repair at a slow pace—ample places and situations to conduct experiments). She has six pets (four dogs, one cat, one betta fish named Fedora), all of whom might be willing to assist in the selection process—provided food is involved. She lives with her teenaged daughter and 99-year-old grandmother, but understands the rules that she must make her selections herself. She will also not consult with friends or family, classmates or professors, lawyers or doctors, physical therapists or pastors (most of whom will, if they know she is doing this, offer opinions and confess to watching at least one soap).

    Apparently, Lisa’s failure to watch soaps throughout her life puts her in an unusual spot. Even her boyfriend has more familiarity with the soaps his mother used to watch than Lisa has. She worries sometimes that she is missing something, and yet still almost never remembers that she has a television and can turn it on. And certainly, the thought of turning it on during the daytime never crosses her mind. However, this only serves to make her predictions that much more interesting.

    In the interests of scientific purity, each of the methods used is described in sufficient detail so that you, the reader, can visualize the steps Lisa took.

    For this category, I chose to use my vitamins. I divided them as follows: Van Hansis, B Complex; Soffer, Women’s Multivitamin; Brooks, Flax Seed Oil; Pelphrey, Omega 3 Fish Oil; and McClure, Vitamin C. I tossed the vitamins in the air above a series of concentric circles (a bullseye), and the one closest to the center was selected. After a series of ties, Flax Seed Oil came closest to the center, and was chosen.

    36th Emmy Awards, Outstanding Supporting Actor (2009 awards ceremony, 2008 episodes)

    By 2008, Van had aged out of the Younger Actor category and received both a pre-nom and nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category in the 2009 Awards season. Though again, as previously, Van was one of the frontrunners, he went home empty-handed. In this year, NATAS reduced the number of episodes per reel to just one. The Emmy was won in a tie by veteran Vincent Irizarry (go, Lujack!) and GL’s Jeff Branson.

    Incidentally, in this, the first post-Van Hansis year for Outstanding Younger Actor, Gold Derby’s GL Fan wrote:

    Where are the likes of Roger Howarth, Rick Hearst, Michael E. Knight, David Tom, Jonathan Jackson, and Tom Pelphrey? All of these past Emmy champs took home the gold in the younger actor category at one point or another. While there is a past Emmy winner nominated again, the tapes submitted by this year’s crop of younger actors seem rather weak, making the entire category rather uncompetitive. Why is it so hard to cast a young male with acting chops and write him a decent story?

    Anything is possible; the entire category is a true mind boggler! Whoever takes home the gold on Aug. 30 will be undeserving of this gift. Scrapping this category entirely would have made more sense!

    2009 ATWT Pre-Noms

    Van Hansis (Luke Snyder)
    Trent Dawson (Henry Coleman)

    2009 Nominations

    Vincent Irizarry (David Hayward, AMC)
    Jacob Young (JR Chandler, AMC)
    Van Hansis (Luke Snyder, ATWT)
    Bradford Anderson (Damien Spinelli, GH)
    Jeff Branson (Shayne Lewis, GL)

    Van’s Episode

    June 16th, 2008. This episode takes place near the end of the Ameera storyline, when Col. Mayer reappears, drags Noah to NY, and disappears in the depths of a lake (apparently dead). Upon their return, Noah decides he needs his space and asks Luke for a break. Luke confronts him and you could basically excise the dialogue from their rooftop scene around New Years 2008/2009, or from many of the blindness/hospital scenes – i.e., Luke and Noah break up. Yadda yadda yadda. Thanks to ADL for the clips.

    Incidentally, I ran across the AfterElton liveblog for the next episode (which ended up being Ameera’s last) and had look for this one. Brian Jeurgens was liveblogging at this time and shares a lot of snicks’s sense of humor…and his penchant for obscure nicknames (thankfully, there’s a secret decoder ring).

    [spoiler name=commentary]I’d be interested to know what the judges’ opinions on viewing this scene, because while I could objectively watch the earlier reels, I had a really hard time with this one. Luke comes off as clingy/needy and it’s just a repeat of the other Luke/Noah break-ups (though it precedes most of them, so perhaps at the time it felt fresh). My absolute favorite Luke scenes in this episode were those with Reg because they did feel fresh.

    I liked Reg in this episode and how he’s straightforward about what he wants (“obviously I’m attracted to you”) but in a way that’s completely different from Reid. Reg: “So, if he has a wife now, are you allowed to see other guys?” And I adored how Luke is so completely oblivious that anyone else could be attracted to him (duh!) – though I gotta admit, the stringy hair in the face and the green shirt don’t really do him any favors! Hair and wardrobe – what the heck are they paying you people for?!?

    I also thought Reg’s line was interesting: “Who knows? It could be fun to hang out some time…without all the baggage.” Sounds like of like Noah’s comments about Richard.

    It’s an interesting choice of episodes – definitively NOT romantic. I wonder if there was any concern about homophobia as there were plenty of kisses to choose from in 2008 (though I wonder how much was romantic vs playful/casual/hot – like their kiss on the streets in the Ameera arc). I do thank heavens it wasn’t an episode from even earlier in the Ameera arc because all of the above criticisms (stringy hair, lousy shirts, whiny doormat Luke) apply ten-fold earlier on.

    If it were my choice (which of course, it’s not!) without rewatching, I think I would have picked one from later in the year during the election cycle/Brian. My recollection is that there was so much more going on. Strong/determined Luke – trying to win. Conflicted Luke with the reintroduction of Kevin. Some Luke/Brian scenes were great – not just around the kisses, but in their conflicts over the Foundation and Lucinda. Both Brian kisses. Drunky Luke punching Casey. Rooftop Luke telling Noah what he needs. Even Luke getting told off by the dean and then trying to avoid Lily/Holden’s disappointment. At least he was an active contributor to his own doom in that storyline (making him a tragic hero) rather than the doormat he was in so much of the Ameera storyline.

    For me, the reel was largely a pre-hash:

    Luke: A break or a break-up…you’re pushing me away, Noah!…I just want you to talk to me, Noah….Do you remember last Christmas, you gave me that card…and in it you thanked me, Noah, for always standing by you.”

    Noah: “My father’s dead! He’s dead, and I’ve got to move on with my life. And that’s not an excuse, that’s just the way it .”

    Oh gag. Sound familiar?

    Luke: “Every time I try to stand with you, I have to fight to get there." So when are you gonna fight for me, Noah?”

    Noah: “What about when you were paralyzed….I never once gave up on you!” (WHAT?!??!?!?!?!)

    Say WHAT?!?!?! Noah didn’t even call Luke when he was in the hospital, and it was only because Dusty talked some sense into him that he went back and stood by Luke.

    Luke: "You haven’t even taken off your stupid wedding ring.” When Luke tells Noah that Reg asked him out and Noah says, “I can’t tell you what to do.” Way to make it clear you don’t give a damn, Noah. Ouch. Poor Luke.

    Reg: “Are you still together?” Luke: “Uh, we’re trying to work things out.” No wonder Reid went ballistic when Luke said that in the hospital. Luciano, what were you thinking that day?!?

    A few more interesting lines:

    Luke: “You haven’t touched me since we got back from NY and the ICE isn’t here.” Interesting way to establish that this is an intimate, romantic relationship, without actually showing it!

    Luke: “What more do we have to go through?” This one was interesting to me and got me thinking. Soap couples are broken up and re-formed all the time – it’s a defining characteristic of the genre. However, for other couples, their breakups typically involve hookups, and brief bouts of happiness with others (e.g., Lily/Damian, Holden/Molly, Carly/Craig, etc). For Luke and Noah, NONE of their breakups involved their finding happiness. Noah sacrificing his love for Luke to marry Ameera (and I’ll grant him that much), nutso Col. Mayer, the election scandal that results in Luke’s humiliating expulsion, Brian, Mason/blindness. Oh yeah, and the Z Twins rape storyline (don’t even get me started). I hadn’t really put this two and two together before (sorry, sometimes I’m just a little dense) but wow, when you look at it that way. Yikes.

    And a few more observations. I had a chuckle when I read Anthony’s recap, which says, “Luke and Noah’s troubled relationship is further complicated by the arrival of a third party, this time an gay friend of Luke’s who is interested in dating the sort of single Mr. Snyder.” I wondered how they would establish quickly that Reg is gay, as I don’t recall if Reg actually previously appeared onscreen, and I hoped he wouldn’t be wearing a neon sign saying “I am gay.”

    As it turns out, they did it in Luke’s first 1-2 lines with him. First, by saying something alluding to the Alliance meetings they’d gone together. This would allow hardcore Luke and Noah fans to pick up on it instantaneously. And for those a little slower on the uptake, he then asks if Reg has broken up with his boyfriend. At any rate, I thought this was interesting. Susan Dansby made a point in one of her webinars about setup, talking about how it’s important to let the audience know what’s going on quickly, but by showing it rather than saying “Reg is gay” or “Luke is upset.”

    The Lucinda/Noah scene was an interesting one. I didn’t realize that they had this kind of relationship as well (though I know it’s Lucinda who basically tells off Noah and sets the wheels in motion before the famous New Year’s love scene). It’s such a grandmotherly, family relationship and again makes me wish Luke and Reid had more screen time, since it’s virtually impossible to imagine Lucinda having this kind of relationship with Reid!

    And last, I felt Jake was SO much better here than in the squinty episodes near the end of the show. He was less whiny and more natural. Since Van was just the opposite, the gap between them was much less pronounced to me than in later episodes. If I didn’t know the context, I would be much more forgiving of this Noah.[/spoiler]

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    The 2009 Outstanding Supporting Actors: Vincent Irizarry (AMC) and Jeff Branson (GL) 

    Vincent Irizarry (AMC)

    Vincent Irizarry originated the role of David Hayward in 1997 and has won several pre-noms and nominations for his portrayal including his 2002 nomination, and 2003 and 2004 pre-noms for Best Lead Actor, as well as a 1999 win for Soap Opera Digest Outstanding Villain. Vincent has had a long career in soaps, beginning with the role of GL’s Lujack, which he originated in 1983, and which gained him his other Daytime Emmy nomination, for Outstanding Younger Man, in 1985. Vincent has been on and off AMC over the years, returned to GL after Lujack’s death as his doppelganger, Nick McHenry, and had stints on Santa Barbara and Y&R. In 2009, he shared the Daytime Emmy for Best Supporting Actor with Jeff Branson.

    November 3rd, 2008. After the death of his daughter, Babe (he had previously lost another child), David thinks about killing himself before Krystal (Babe’s mom) shows up and talks him out of it. He later shows up uninvited at Babe’s funeral to apologize for all his misdeeds and to declare that he’s turned over a new leaf (not surprisingly, they tell him he’s full of it and to go away). Thanks to alwayslost for the clips.

    [spoiler name=commentary]With a clip starting with him loading a gun and contemplating blowing his brains out (!), he certainly gets a bigger nod for gravitas vs Luke and Noah breaking up (again). His clip is very short (only 8:40 or so) and the grieving bits are pretty OTT to me, though the gun to the head is pretty powerful. His apology comes off as being scripted (in a way, I suppose it’s supposed to, since no one else believes him either), but it doesn’t make for strong Emmy material. I was a big Lujack fan (never liked Nick McHenry or David Chow on Y&R), so I always considered myself a Vincent fan. I haven’t watched his work for years, but this did not strike me as anywhere near his best work. It certainly doesn’t compare to Van’s best work, but it’s a closer call with the episode Van submitted.

    Call me “surprised” that this was an award-winning reel. There just wasn’t that much to this reel. A bit of emoting at the start, and angry shout, and some stony-faced apologizing. Vincent was by far the oldest of the candidates, so as someone much closer to being his contemporary than the other nominees’’ I was pleased to see that there was no ageism, but this felt like it had to be more of a “lifetime achievement” award than one based on the reel submitted. Sorry, Vincent.[/spoiler]

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    Jeff Branson (GL)

    Jeff Branson has packed several soap roles into a short span of time: Jonathan Lavery on AMC (2005-2007, for which he received a Outstanding Supporting Actor nomination in 2005), as Shayne Lewis on GL (December 2008 to September 2009) and on Y&R in 2010.

    Just after Thanksgiving 2008, Shayne reappeared on GL after a recast and a lengthy absence. He had been in Europe working on a mine removal team, and stepped on a landmine, leading to his paralysis. He was understandably bitter, anger, and depressed when he returned to Springfield. Thanks to EarthSpaceTime for the clips.

    [spoiler]It is later revealed that he had fallen in love with (and unbeknownst to him, fathered a child with) a woman named Lara (who turns out to be evil Edmund’s daughter), who died in a minefield that he, Shayne, had failed to clear. Shayne was so distraught that he purposely walked on the active field after her, hoping to die.[/spoiler]

    What’s startling is that Jeff Branson only joined the cast of GL in December 2008 (IMDb lists his first episode as December 1st).

    December 19th, 2008. In this episode, Shayne is pissed at the world and ready to leave Springfield until Jeffrey (mom Reva’s husband) finally comes out and tells him that Reva’s cancer has recurred and she could really use his support. Reva and Shayne share some scenes where they compare notes (she’s pregnant and might not live to see the birth of her child), he’s paralyzed. She asks him to stop by and he tells her not to count on it, but leaves her hopeful. The episode ends in a killer of a Friday afternoon cliffhanger which I won’t give away in case you actually want to see it.

    [spoiler]As Reva and Jeffrey share a light-hearted moment, the scene changes drastically to a railroad track with a car parked on it (REALLY!). The episode ends in a cliff-hanger with Shayne, peacefully sitting in his car, waiting, as the whistle blows in the distance. The resolution comes at 1:12 in the next episode:

    [/spoiler]

    Here is the commentary on the cliffhanger ending:

    [spoiler name=commentary]Holy fuck. Really. Watching this episode with no spoilers made the ending stunning. The cut from happy Reva and Jeffrey, imagining Christmas lights (this would be like watching Reid put up Christmas lights) to the car on the railroad is stark and dramatic. Shayne is eerily calm as he sits and waits, with a haunting rendition of “Silent Night” playing in the background. And knowing that we’ve just seen happy Reva makes this scene that much more powerful.

    The camera pans (heavy foreshadowing) to the keys still in the ignition – giving the viewer hope that he’s still gonna change his mind then damned if he doesn’t pull the key out and toss it on the tracks! The camera shows his eyes in the mirror (haunting) and the episode ends with the car still on the tracks and the train whistle sounding in the distance.

    Shayne’s scenes start in the next episode with Dinah in the car (where did she come from) and trying to get out. They could have used another couple of seconds of setup here! Shayne explains to her that “it’s all part of the game” to see if he can hotwire the car in the 30 seconds he has after the sounding of the third whistle. He does. Shayne clearly has been flirting with death (look at his chosen profession!) and this is another harbinger of what’s to come (there’s a famous January 2009 scene where Dinah talks him off a rooftop).

    Yow.[/spoiler]

    And here’s the rest of the commentary:

    [spoiler name=commentary]Aside: At the beginning of the clips, Otalia move in together. Awww….

    THIS was a good reel. Though Shayne is angry and bitter at his paralysis, the scenes are not played with the usual soapy histrionics. Instead, Jeff Branson is intense but subtle. I can see why this would win, but it makes me even more bewildered that Vincent Irizarry’s reel tied. Not even close, IMNSHO.

    A few asides. First, this is clearly when they are starting to sow the seeds of the Otalia relationship. And Christina (who doesn’t know either of them) and is as much talking about herself and Remy says, “Different isn’t always such a bad thing. Two people can think they hate each other but once they spend a little time together, that can change for the better….sometimes someone comes into your life under the strangest circumstances just when you need them most.”

    Sigh. That captures Otalia – and LuRe – so well, and is clearly a “planting the seeds” kind of line. Good stuff.

    The other great thing about this episode is how tightly woven all the characters on the canvas are.  Starting from Olivia’s daughter Emma (who only has scenes with Olivia and Natalia) to Shayne (who only has scenes with Jeffrey and Reva), we can make unbreaking chain connecting the whole episode:

    Emma bakes cookies with Natalia

    who is moving in with Olivia

    whom Christina obviously doesn’t know from Adam, or Natalia for that matter, when she shows up for a PT session

    who later sees Remy whom she wants to stay married to, for a scholarship….and also because she’s kinda starting to fall for him

    who’s torn between Christina and Ava

    who’s Jeffrey’s daughter and shows up at his office (not to mention Olivia’s house just before Christina leaves to go see Remy, and in time for her to overhear Olivia and Ava talking)

    who is married to Reva and is father of her baby

    who tells Shayne about Reva’s cancer

    GL was always good at this, and it’s one way they tied the last few episodes together so well, though perhaps in a “too pat” way for some.[/spoiler]

    Part 1 – cue to 5:05

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    Part 2 – cue to 0:42

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    Part 3 – cue to 4:03

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    Part 4 – cue to 3:23

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    The Buzz

    Van’s own modest reaction:

    I’m very surprised. I was nominated twice before for younger actor but now I’m too old for the category, so I had to move up to supporting," Van Hansis (Luke Snyder, ATWT) told TVGuide Magazine. "I submitted a break-up scene between Luke and Noah [Jake Silbermann] that aired last May — stuff that aired a full year ago, which is so weird. I didn’t think I had a chance because there are so many more worthy people in the supporting group — way more than the younger category.

    In the annual We Love Soaps roundup, the experts split with 4 for Jeff Branson (We Love Soaps’s Michael Goldberg, Nelson Branco, TV Guide’s Michael Logan, and Michael Fairman), 2 for Van (We Love Soaps’s Roger Newcomb and Damon L. Jacobs), and 1 vote (Daytime Confidential’s Jamey Giddens) leaning towards Jacob Young.

    Michael Fairman wrote:

    Nominee Handicapping
    Jeff Branson 3 to 1
    Van Hansis 3 to 2
    Jacob Young 9 to 1
    Bradford Anderson 10 to1
    Vincent Irizarry 14 to 1

    Will win: Jeff Branson
    Should win: Van Hansis

    I hope Emmy voters get this one right. To me, there are two performances that stand out here. “GL’s” Jeff Branson has the best shot at giving Guiding Light its last acting award in the shows history. What makes this good is that Branson’s Shayne in one episode shows us his unease at being back in society and in a wheelchair, when all he wants to do is get back to fight in the war….a plight many soldiers who come back home have to face. Secondly, he is thrown for a loop when he finds out his mother, Reva, has cancer. It is there that Branson shines.

    However, “ATWT’s” Van Hansis really delivered a solid reel that was poignant and touching as his Luke, the impulsive romantic who tries to stave off his beloved Noah, from packing his bags and calling it quits on their relationship. The reel told a whole story from beginning to end, and a win by Hansis would be thrilling for many reasons on Emmy night.

    In a shocker, “AMC’s” Jacob Young in the episode where he takes his dying Babe to the hospital chapel and they say their goodbyes, was not as bad as I remembered it when it first aired. “GH’s” Bradford Anderson, who is wonderful as the eccentric computer nerd Spinelli, day in day out, just did not give me an episode that I loved. Yes, it had comic timing and all, but it just did not pull me in like Branson and Hansis.

    If the voters want to award soap comedy, then Anderson is the guy. Sadly, “AMC’s” evil doc, David Hayward brings up the rear in this category. Vince Irizarry shows us his skills, but it left me feeling like I wanted to hand the Emmy to Branson and Hansis.

    GoldDerby.com’s EmmyLoser wrote:

    1. Van Hansis, "As the World Turns"
    2. Bradford Anderson, "General Hospital"
    3. Jeff Branson, "Guiding Light"
    4. Vincent Irizarry, "All My Children"
    5. Jacob Young, "All My Children"

    Rightly, the Emmy should go to Van Hansis. His is the strongest and most complete reel, with a clear story that’s well conveyed. Hansis makes us feel every emotion Luke feels and makes those emotions relatable. As an out and proud gay student, Luke has the most rooting value of all the characters, especially given the recent explosion of gay characters in daytime. Hansis is probably also perceived as overdue, which won’t hurt him at all.

    Bradford Anderson and Jeff Branson make strong candidates as well. Anderson may appeal to voters because his is the only light reel in the bunch and is quite funny at times, though it may be too short to make an impact. Branson’s acting throughout his reel is excellent, even if extremely subtle, but the episode feels too much like we’ve just entered a conversation halfway through. Nonviewers aren’t given enough context to understand the character’s motivations or state of mind, so the work is difficult to fully appreciate.

    Despite all the voter support "All My Children" seemed to get this year, Vincent Irizarry and Jacob Young should have no chance of winning this category. Irizarry’s episode has a good arc, but he plays it flatly. There’s nothing interesting in the performance. Young doesn’t adequately convince us of what his character, JR, is saying. This is not a man who is losing the love of his life.

    Shows how much EmmyLoser knows! In the meantime, in the same post, Boidiva02 wrote:

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: BOIDIVA02’S PREDIX
    1. Vincent Irizarry, "All My Children"
    2. Jeff Branson, "Guiding Light"
    3. Van Hansin [sic], "As the World Turns"
    4. Jacob Young, "All My Children"
    5. Bradford Anderson, "General Hospital"

    BOIDIVA02’S COMMENTARY: Vincent Irizarry is the veteran actor in this group, and I believe he will prevail because of this fact. The character he portrays, David, is distraught and suicidal after his daughter Babe’s death and is about to kill himself when Krystal, Babe’s mother, persuades him to spare his life. After she does so, they rehash old wounds and eventually make peace with his actions and the consequences therefore of his life.  His performance is one that shows an experienced actor overcoming writing that was somewhat abrupt.  His performance felt natural and effortless despite writing that called for too many emotions to overlap.

    Jeff Branson gets some excellent material as he is now wheelchair-bound but begs Jeffery to call on some favors and get him to return to the military to clear land mines. Jeffery tells Shane his mother, Reva, has cancer again, which upsets him even more. After a heart-to-heart talk with Reva, he tries to commit suicide.

    Van Hansis, Jacob Young and Bradford Anderson have nothing in their Emmy tapes to suggest they could win. Anderson’s tape doesn’t even tell a full story and is less than five minutes.

    Soaps.com editor-in-chief wrote:

    I truly have no idea on this one and seem to be leaning toward Jeff Branson, who submitted the scene where he finds out Reva has cancer. Van’s scenes were decent and I would have predicted him but they weren’t as strong as Jeff’s.

    Joe Reid and Jesse Murray of Soapnet wrote:

    Two "AMC" boys nominated here: Jacob Young for the whole fallout of Babe’s death and Vincent for a similar arc. Bravo to Vincent Irizarry for returning to "AMC" and reminding us within 3.5 seconds what a fantastic, despicable villain David has always been. And Van Hansis has been so consistently great and groundbreaking as Luke, we’d love to see him nab a statue after his many nominations. We’re tempted to give our vote to Bradford Anderson as Spinelli because a) he’s Spinelli and b) his unrequited love for Maxie broke our hearts. But we’re going with Jeff Branson.

    Our Guess: Yes, Jeff Branson is our guess. Poor, tortured Shayne returning to Springfield could have been a cliche, but Jeff humanized him.

    SoapCentral.com’s writers split with 2 for Jeff Branson, 2 for Jacob Young, the random vote to Bradford Anderson, the fan vote going to Van, and no one predicting Vincent Irizarry.

    Wrote SoapCentral.com editor Dan J. Kroll:

    I find this to be the hardest category to predict. Every nominee is deserving — and I won’t be disappointed no matter who wins. Jeff Branson is overdue for an Emmy winner. Branson reminds me of another daytime alum, Josh Duhamel. It’s not that they look alike — they don’t — but they have the same believability in their acting. I thought scenes from Vincent Irizarry’s reel were phenomenal, particularly the ones in which a distraught David held a gun to his head and said he couldn’t go on now that he’d lost a second daughter. Jacob Young also had some great material as JR watched his wife choose her own death in order to save their son. Van Hansis picked scenes where Noah married Ameera to keep her in the country and Luke called things off. Hansis’ work felt very natural and didn’t show as "acting." Bradford Anderson is a fine performer, but his Emmy reel was a scant five minutes — about half as long as his fellow nominees. If someone doesn’t watch GH, I don’t think they’ll "get" his character.
    Who I’d like to win: I wouldn’t mind seeing any of these actors win
    Who should win: Jeff Branson
    Who will win: Jeff Branson

    Allison J. Waldman was a new addition to the SoapCentral pundit list this year. Her bio lists her as a regular Two Scoops columnist and recapper with soapcentral.com, longtime soap fan and journalist, and as a former managing editor of Soap Opera Update who has written for Soap Opera Weekly, Soaps In Depth, and many other daytime publications. Like Dan Kroll, she picked Jeff Branson (though it doesn’t sound like his Emmy reel episode she’s describing), saying:

    If you were sitting on an Emmy panel and saw these five nominees, only one would really stand out as something different. That would be Bradford Anderson as Spinelli. However, out of context, it’s hard to appreciate exactly what Bradford does. He’s completely different from other soap actors. But, he won’t win. Van Hansis should have won last year for As the World Turns, and Vincent Irizarry doesn’t even seem like he’s in the right category because he’s 20 years older than the other nominees. Jeff Branson has a stellar reel all about clearing the mines in Iraq and losing Lara. Guiding Light may be going off the air, but it’ll still win a couple of Emmys, including this one.

    OTOH, returning predictors Tony S and Liz M both picked Jacob Young, with Tony S saying:

    I’m putting my money on Jacob Young this year. He’s a very talented actor and he got to play the trump card of soap scenarios – a grieving widower. His past Emmy win only confirms that he’s great, but I think a second win for his work in ’08 is in store because his acting has only gotten better over the years. So, let’s go, team Young – I need to beat last year’s score!

    And Liz M arguing:

    Bradford Anderson is a wonderful comedic actor who has a quirky way about him that I find charming. I just don’t see the character of Damien Spinelli as Emmy worthy. I know he has his fans, but other than falling in love with beautiful women, idolizing mobsters, and waxing poetic about everything under the sun, there’s no real depth to the character or range with the performances. By contrast, we have Jacob Young (ex-Lucky, GH) whose Emmy reel focused on the aftermath of the tornado when JR Chandler realized that the love of his life, Babe, was dying. Jacob’s performance was phenomenal from start to finish. Although, I have to admit I was also impressed with Vincent Irizzary’s [sic] scenes as David Hayward, Babe’s father. David struggling with thoughts of suicide following his daughter’s death was powerful. It really was a toss up between these two fine actors, but what ultimately decided it for me was the range of emotions the characters had to display. David didn’t have to be strong for anyone because everyone in Pine Valley despised him. He was free to wallow in his sorrow. JR, on the other hand, had to keep it together for Babe and Little A. We saw that plus JR’s profound grief as he watched his soul mate slip away before his eyes.

    Lisa Svenson is proudly listed on the website as possibly the only person who works for soapcentral.com who is not a viewer, although she is now more conversant in the ins and outs of all the soaps than the average person on the street. Lisa has been serving as editor for the site since January 2008, so her guesses, while not based on performance, do not need to be as random as they have been in previous years, when she has used fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, and pets, among other pseudo-scientific prediction methods, to determine her picks for Emmy winners. Her experimental picking processes have been met with mixed results. This year she wrote:

    Okay, moment of honesty. Spinelli speaks to the geek inside me. My inner geek might be hidden a little better, but at heart, I feel as socially awkward as Spinelli is sometimes. I think we all do. We all worry about babbling or saying something absurd, we all do babble and say absurd things. There’s a little Spinelli in all of us. I imagine the role is fun to play.

    After perhaps Greg Hernandez summed it up best in his Greg In Hollywood blog post:

    Van….was up for best supporting actor for the first time after two previous nominations in the younger actor category. He has never won. So on Sunday night when there was a tie in his category it seemed certain that this gifted actor, who makes his character so heartbreakingly real on a consistent basis, would be one of the two winners.

    It did not happen.

    Instead, the name of Vincent Irizarry of All My Children was called first. He took the stage and gave a very long speech. Then the second name: Jeff Branson of  Guiding Light.

    I have not seen too much of the work of the co-winners so they may very well be quite deserving but I want to point out that Hansis does an amazing thing playing a gay character and having him pass muster with gay viewers – even when the writing veers off in sometimes wacky directions. He stays true to his character and it doesn’t seem like acting.

    Maybe he makes it look too easy.

    37th Emmy Awards (2010 telecast, 2009 episodes)

    2009 started as the year of the ice cream love scene, and things looked more promising for Luke and Noah. But then Luke got caught up in the Casey-Elwood-Reg-Matt saga, and was largely back-burnered until he and Noah decided to move in together. After facing homophobic discrimination, Luke and Lily appeared on WOAK to discuss the plight of gays in housing discrimination and Luke was hit by a car (!), just in time for the appearance of Damian and the dreaded Z Twins. Shortly after, Mason arrived, and well, we all know how THAT ended up. I haven’t seen the housing discrimination arc yet, but let’s just say I’ve seen the Z Twins arc.

    With weak storylines, Van failed to get a pre-nom this year, and ATWT failed to get any nominations in this category. Thank you, Mr. Goutman & co.

    Billy Miller, a first-time nominee, took home the Emmy. The competition featured a controversial format in that actors were for the first time allowed to edit out scenes in which they had no dialogue, group scenes, or did not forward the plot. Consequently, many Emmy reels, including those for Lead Actor and Actress were quite short (under 10 minutes). Billy’s was the single longest reel submitted among all nominated performers (over 32 minutes long—an entire episode) – said to be as long as the other four actors’ reels combined.

    2010 ATWT Pre-noms

    Trent Dawson (Henry Coleman)
    Austin Peck (Brad Snyder)

    Soaps.com wrote about the ATWT pre-noms:

    Trent Dawson provided more comic bravado as his relationship with his lady love, Vienna, accelerated and decayed. He became the new Stenbeck heir and had to hold his own against his mad mother. Even with some stiff competition, he still proved to be a scene stealer and often the saving grace in some lackluster plots.

    Austin Peck’s role as Brad underwent a significant overhaul before being killed off and left to haunt the town as a ghost. Even dead, he managed to provide his story with charm and some of the most emotionally complicated work of his career.

    To file in the “how quickly things change” category, Nelson Branco wrote about the “Brad takes over Henry’s body storyline”:

    As The World Turns — Why did CBS cancel this show?
    Melrose Place should check out World Turns for ideas on how to write a buzz-worthy, watercooler show. It’s ironic that CBS decided to cancel the Emmy-winning venerable series this week because World Turns was simply on fire.

    Brad taking over Henry’s body (Bravo Trent Dawson — you just earned your Emmy reels); Nut Meg’s undoing (who knew the delicious Marie Wilson could act?); Molly and Holden’s promising, sizzling chemistry; Lily’s relentless self-righteousness and stupidity; the mystery surrounding Barbara and Mick; Simon’s sweet reunion with Katie; and the overall spectacular acting and writing of the serial. Go out with a bang, World Turns! And hold your head up high. It’s about time you did.

    2010 Nominations

    Bradford Anderson (Damian Spinelli, GH)
    Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake Martin, AMC)
    Jonathan Jackson (Lucky Spencer, GH)
    Brian Kerwin (Charlie Banks, OLTL)
    Billy Miller  (Billy Abbott, Y&R)

    The 2010 Outstanding Supporting Actor: Billy Miller (Y&R)

    Billy Miller took over the role of rich, spoiled Billy Abbott  on September 22nd, 2008. Billy submitted the year’s longest Emmy reel among all nominated performers, and was awarded for his work in an It’s A Wonderful Life-styled episode. This had all the hallmarks of a “made-for-Emmy-reel episode”, just like ATWT’s Our Town-themed finale.

    December 31st, 2009. On New Year’s Eve, a drunken Billy got a glimpse of what his life could be like if he continued on his destructive path. Led by his dead father, John, Billy realized that his loved ones moved on without him. At the end of the not-so-wonderful vision, Billy learned that his loved ones hadn’t turned on him – he’d been killed in a DUI accident. Thanks to davidgreg2607 for the clips.

    Notably, Billy is rescued from his drunken stupor at the end of the episode by Victoria Newman, marking the start of their relationship. The next episode features an interesting storytelling device where they both remember the same events from their own POV. I’ve seen lots of flashback episodes, but this one is done pretty well. You can see what happens next below (thanks to Partygirl045).

    [spoiler name=next_episode]

    Interestingly, almost exactly like David Hayward, Billy issues apologies for all the horrible things he’s done and promised to be a better man. But Victoria actually buys his apology, and Billy does a much better job here in his apology to Jack (even though the words are so similar). Jack also doesn’t buy it, but the interaction is much more believable. Still hard to believe that Vincent Irizarry won for that clip.[/spoiler]

    Note: A commenter, who lost a loved one to a drunk driver on the Serial Drama site made the following observation – calling it a DUI accident is a misnomer when Billy is the driver.

    John even points it out: “You’re no victim – you made a choice.”

    [spoiler name=commentary]Some of the Emmy reel reviewers thought Billy’s performance was laugh-worthy. While I thought that they actually intentionally played parts of the episode for laughs, it didn’t take away from the episode’s impact. With 32 minutes of material, I could easily see how it would come off as a tour-de-force in comparison with shorter reels.

    For me, most of the episode for me is humorous. Ironically, the scene that got to me most was Delia dancing with Chase and Chase telling her that it should be her moment with her dad. That was the scene that got to me and brought tears to my eyes. Chloe’s scene is pretty touching, too (though it reminds me a little of the scene from Sixth Sense when for a moment it looks like she might be able to hear him).

    How nice it was to see Jerry Douglas reprising his role as John Abbott (in the part of angel Clarence) – and taking no guff from smart-mouthed Billy. As he reminds the drunken tabloid-monger, “Jabot is not about money, it’s about family!” This is a great point and part of what makes me root for always runner-up Jack in his quest for Jabot over The (irredeemable) Mustache. And wow is John’s makeup/lighting of him creepy as he strokes dead Billy’s head in the car after he crashes.

    BTW – complete aside – how is it that Jerry Douglas’s eyes are crystal clear blue in that scene in the car and Eric’s always seem to look brown on screen?

    Oh and how nice to see Beth Maitland’s Traci Abbott.  And a reference to Colleen. Thank you.

    LOVED Billy’s reaction to finding out that Mac’s husband is Kevin Fisher! LOL! And the banter between Esther, Kay, and Jill before Delia’s wedding is wonderful! (Funny how no one seems to look any older in this scene 20 years later, though). Gee – John Driscoll looks good![/spoiler]

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    The Buzz

    Several columnists described this as the closest race among all the acting categories, suggesting that there were five deserving nominees

    After the fact, SoapCentral.com wrote:

    The five men nominated in the Outstanding Supporting Actor shared several things in common: among the commonalities, none had won previously in the category, and all five have turned in extraordinary work that was anything but supporting.

    Michael Fairman’s thoughtful analysis on the competition:

    Nominee Handicapping

    Billy Miller                         2 to 1
    Brian Kerwin                     3 to 1
    Jonathan Jackson             3 to 1
    Ricky Paull Goldin              3 to 1
    Bradford Anderson            5 to 1

    WILL WIN: Miller

    SHOULD WIN: Kerwin, Jackson, or Goldin

    Just shoot me now Jack Snyder!  This is the hardest and toughest category of all to predict.  In one of the more powerhouse fields in recent memory in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category, all five of these deserving nominees hit it out of the ballpark with their reels, and they are all so different and all worthy for various reasons. 

    Again, as mentioned earlier, I have a really tough time with these short, short reels with edited out scenes, as opposed to a decent length performance, as opposed to a reel that is the entire 39 minutes of the episode.  That is the kind of the conundrum the blue ribbon panel must have faced with these fantastic performances.   I went back and forth and watched these reels several times, back-to-back, and still it is too close to call.

    All My Children’s Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake) in three scenes, nailed it with his performance as a man scorned when he is told by his woman, Amanda, that she did the unthinkable and slept with his enemy, David Hayward.  Goldin, who deserved an Emmy as Gus Aituro on Guiding Light for his drug addiction storyline, could just walk away with the prize with this one. It hits you in your gut and he delivers the goods. Goldin is beloved by the industry and has never been recognized with Emmy gold. However, his reel is and felt very, very short.

    Next, comes another “shorty” that packs a wallop of emotional depth that is hard to equal in daytime. I am speaking of General Hospital’s, Jonathan Jackson. JJ is a previous three-time Daytime Emmy winner for his role as Lucky Spencer. While all the buzz is that he is going to receive the Emmy next year for his scenes and performance of Lucky ripping Elizabeth and his bro, Nikolas, to shreds for their infidelity, don’t underestimate this Emmy year either.

    Jackson, in a simple heartfelt emotional scene, simply wants his father, Luke, to share Christmas with him, and his family.  So, Lucky goes over to the Haunted Star, sits with his father, six-time Daytime Emmy winner, Anthony Geary (Luke), and delivers beautifully written dialogue, and every time you watch it, you can’t help but get all teary-eyed.  But again, the reel feels too short.

    Brian Kerwin, who is remarkable in the role of Charlie Banks (when they give him something to do) got the opportunity and seized the moment, as a man grieving the loss of his son, Jared, and battling his demons to not reach out for a bottle of booze in his time of utter devastation. The reel was the perfect length. When Charlie utters the words, “He killed my boy.”  (about Mitch Laurence shooting Jared), the viewers gulp big time… add a little Erika Slezak (Viki) in the mix to act with, and you have one killer performance.

    General Hospital’s Bradford Anderson attempted a daring feat…that worked!  If the blue-ribbon panel is not familiar with the Spinelli vernacular, this performance of a young man so devastated to learn of the betrayal of his girlfriend, Maxie, with Johnny, that it could have played wrong in less than capable hands.  But, Anderson was incredible. He made you understand everything Spinelli was feeling by talking in his own vocabulary, which felt very Shakespearean in this one! 

    Finally, no one has really come on in a role, made it their own, gone toe to toe with the top stars on the number one show in daytime, and most of the time come out looking pretty impressive. We can only be talking about Billy Miller (Billy Abbott). The writer and the producers were also so impressed with Miller that they even wrote him his own episode, a la the Christian LeBlanc, “It’s a Wonderful Life” Emmy episode last year. This episode had comedy, Miller’s own distinctive acting style, and some emotional drama, and he had plenty of material in the over half hour reel to showcase his work.  I think the panel loves this kind of show; a neat package, with a beginning, middle and end.  That is why I am picking him to win.  However, my vote does not go with Miller- it goes with three other gents who I would also be thrilled to see in the winner’s circle- Kerwin, Goldin and Jackson.

    Meanwhile, We Love Soaps’s Roger Newcomb predicted Jonathan Jackson, and Damon L. Jacobs went with Brian Kerwin, giving them a goose egg in this category.

    Nelson Branco predicted Bradford Anderson and Billy Miller in a tie, making him half-right:

    1. Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, GH): Spinelli catches Maxie kissing Johnny
    —tie— Billy Miller (Billy, Y&R): Billy’s It’s A Wonderful Life rip-off
    3. Jonathan Jackson (Lucky, GH): Lucky urges Luke to spend Christmas with the Spencer family
    4. Brian Kerwin (Charlie, One Life): After Jared’s death, recovering alcoholic Charlie is tempted to drink again
    5. Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake, AMC): Jake walks out on Amanda after learning she had sex with David

    Who Should Win: Anderson, Miller (tie)
    Who Will Win: Anderson, Miller (tie)
    Dark Horse: Jackson
    Reader’s Choice: Miller
    *Tightest race of the year

    The Serial Drama blog ran an amusing series where they scored the nominees with one point each for reels featuring Emmy “buzzwords” (aka clichés) including alcholism, rage, betrayal, breakdown, death, confrontation, goodbyes, hospitals, illness, kiilling, pain, or tears). In this marking system, Brian Kerwin had five points and everyone else was a distant second.

    In their fan poll, fans split 35%-35% on who SHOULD win (Jonathan Jackson and Brian Kerwin) and Jonathan Jackson (58%) winning the “who WILL win?” poll overwhelmingly.

    Brett Claywell (Kyle Lewis, OLTL)

    October 27th, 2009. BTW, Brett Claywell received a pre-nom for his role as Kyle Lewis in the Supporting Actor category. This was the only nomination for either Brett or Scott Evans (the Oliver Fish half of Kish). His submission was an episode in which Fish talks him out of marrying Nick. Like with many LuRe episodes, it’s a short episode (only 6:02 on ADL’s channel).

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    38th Emmy Awards (2011 telecast, 2010 episodes)

    Which brings us to this year. As previously discussed in the post on Van’s decision to stay out of the race, surely, this history had to weigh into Van’s consideration this year. In the past, he has been named frontrunner (or at least one of the top two contenders) by many pundits in years that he’s won.

    This year, despite fantastic episodes by Van, and tons of series-end recognition (including three “Star of the Week” type awards), Van didn’t even make everyone’s list of sure nominees, never mind nods as favorite. This was a BIG surprise to me, but it is what it is. OTOH, Eric made a lot of lists (more than Van) including several proposing his as best Supporting Actor overall, suggesting he has a shot of winning.

    Given this year’s Emmy buzz, based on the history (and how difficult these races have been to predict) it’s not clear to me that Van is “guaranteed” a nomination. Again, I say that as a pro-Van biased fan who has seen very little of the other actors on the other shows. Add in the fact that Trent is also a three-time nominee with no wins, and I could see why Van would stay out of the race.

    I agree with him – another nomination wouldn’t help his resume. And given the unpredictability of these races, I’m not 100% convinced that a nomination would even be a lock (no offense, Van – I’m just looking at the evidence here, which you probably did, too!).

    So, with that being said, I’m including what I think (and I believe are generally agreed) are Van’s episodes from this season, along with Trent’s and Jonathan Jackson’s best episodes from this season (those are repeats from Eric’s post). If you want to see Eric’s please check out the post on Eric’s Emmy-worthy performances. (Interestingly, Gold Derby lists Luke and Noah’s final breakup as an Emmy episode for Jake, but none for Eric).

    Arguably, if Van wants to win an Emmy (which it doesn’t really sound like is high on his list), he should get himself cast as Kim Zimmer (now OLTL’s Echo DiSavoy)’s son Rex Balsom, as Kim’s on-screen sons (Tom Pelphrey as Jonathan Randall, and Jeff Branson as Shayne Lewis) won back-to-back Emmys! Both their reels featured scenes playing opposite Kim’s Reva and she is a worthy screen partner (not too much scenery chewing!).

    Van Hansis

    Gold Derby proposes the March 16th episode for Van (and Jake) where they  break up (again). Ugh. Luke is so sniveling in this one I want to tell him to wake up and smell the roses (and to go back and watch Van’s Emmy reel from 3-4 breakups ago!). Click here for Part 1 and Part 2.

    May 5th, 2010. Reid tells Luke Noah may have brain damage. Luke goes ballistic and then finds himself magnetically drawn into Reid’s kiss.

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    September 7th, 2010. Luke starts off all happy that Reid is going to come back victorious. But when Reid’s near lifeless body is wheeled in, he says a heartfelt and heartbreaking goodbye.

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    September 8th, 2010. After Reid’s death, Luke deals with the aftermath, and struggles to cope.

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    Though Van is phenomenal in the September 9th episode as in the others, the crappy cardboard box that they stick Reid’s ashes in, along with the dumpy attire of all present, should be more than enough to knock that episode out of consideration! Click here for Part 1 and  Part 2.

    Jonathan Jackson

    Among other advantages (i.e., soapy scene, and LOTS of screen-time) he has, these clips need no introduction and speak for themselves.

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    Trent Dawson

    July 12th, 2010. Henry laments the loss of his unborn child, and Katie can’t take the guilt any more and tells Henry the truth – that there never was a baby. Henry returns and gives Vienna a chance to come clean, pretending to worry about her in post-miscarriage state, but she just perpetuates the lie. When he finds her baby bump, he goes ballistic. Then he immediately runs to find Barbara, and when he can’t find her, he leaves her a lovefelt apology by phone. Katie comes by to try to make amends, but he’s too busy drowning his sorrows to forgive her.

    [spoiler name=commentary]I didn’t see all that many Trent scenes, but I saw this one live and was blown away. Gold Derby lists it among Emmy choices for him as well. I was even more impressed watching it the second time around. I think this is widely being discussed as Trent’s most likely Emmy episode. It’s shorter than Jonathan’s but it’s again super-soapy, and what’s going on in the clips is self-evident. He also shows a TON of range at the beginning starting from genuinely sad about the baby he thinks he’s lost, to confused/worried for Katie, then angry, scared, and just plain sad about the turn of events.

    Incidentally, while I was searching for the above clip, I came across this one at first from elle1406’s Katie fan channel. It was really interesting watching Chris (of all people!) in this episode as he’s actually likeable! If they’d written Chris this way, I could have actually liked him. Chratie will never match LuRe (DUH) but at least they would be likable and people I would cheer for. It was particularly ironic that Chris tells Vienna off for lying to someone she claims to love, and telling her that Henry should run, not walk, away as fast as he can. If only THIS Chris had stayed on-screen. I would have liked to see this Chris either stay healthy or get someone else’s heart, and give Reid a legitimate run for his money. Ultimately, I think poetic justice would leave a young Hughes as the moral center of the show (Daniel, and even Casey were too young for this role, and let’s not even get started on Adam), so Chris was the logical choice. It’s too bad they didn’t make him worthy of the role.[/spoiler]

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    August 19th, 2010. Gold Derby also picks this episode for both Trent and Colleen Zenk and it’s a good one! After Henry and Paul rescue Emily and Barbara from the Fairwinds wine cellar (and after pining for him during entire time) she tells him to take a hike. But Henry persists, and with a little help from Katie, Barbara finally thaws and Henry proposes (and she says yes!).

    [spoiler name=commentary]I really liked this episode because it has a serious storyline, but is told with great humor. The bickering with Emily and Barbara is so much more believable than their basement reconciliation. And I loved both Will and Paul coming to Henry’s defense.

    Even Chris is good in this episode, and I adored Henry babbling while Chris is trying to listen on the stethoscope.

    When Barbara talks about deserving to be alone and tells Henry she never wants to see him again, I had tears in my eyes. When Henry explains, “ I didn’t want to be like my mom, I didn’t want to be like my dad. I wanted to be a better human being.” I had tears in my eyes AND laughed out loud at Barbara’s trademark sarcastic reply: “The bar’s not raised very high, you know.”

    And, OMG and Barbara admitting that she knows that Henry loves only her, and that that knowledge helped her survive. And the awestruck look on Henry’s face when Barbara talks about Chuckles. I was bawling by the end of that bit. But Colleen’s posture as she walked out of the hospital room was so defeated, so perfect.

    Henr’y’s scene with Katie is just as touching, “She’s the one but I wasn’t man enough to stand up for her,” he laments. And how nice it was to see Katie putting his head on her shoulder instead of the reverse.

    And even Chris and Henry have good chemistry in this episode. I like that Chris comforts Henry (a nice contrast to his telling off Vienna in the other Emmy reel episode). If only he weren’t such a douche in the Reid’/Chris/Katie storyline, this Chris was redeemable. Epic FAIL.

    I love when Katie tells off Barbara, that she acknowledges that Katie indeed could imagine the horrors she’s been through (having been held at gunpoint and having her husband shot at a minimum; don’t recall if there were other occasions when Katie was kidnapped). And then when Katie says, “He even put on a dress to help find you.” Barbara retorts, “That’s just a typical day in his life.”

    And I loved the counterpoint of Henry talking to Chuckles after so many months of Barbara doing so. And Henry babbling again when Barbara knocks on the door. Perfect Henry.

    And finally, Barbara’s “You better get down on one knee and start over.” Perfect. I was a bawling mess by the time Henry proposed again on his knee.

    Lots to like in this episode for me. Go, Benry![/spoiler]

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    8 Responses to “Van Hansis’s Emmy Reels from 2007-2009”

    1. mmc says:

      LL I have found you always to be fair.i am a fan of Van and of Eric , but anyone who has ever read my posts knows that if I had to choose, my heart will always belong to Van.And you are so right, there is not a sure thing.My late Mother (
      who was a wise woman) said there are only two things you can be sure of ,death and having to pay taxes.And while I and so many of Vans fans think his work in 2010 was consistently good and really some of his best, he chose not to submit.I still wish he would have so people(TPTB) could see his wonderful range of every emotion and how real and how gorgeous he is….it was his choice and that says it all.in my heart and mind he was always a winner and will continue to be.And thank you again LL for you info….it’s much appreciated!

      • lovelure says:

        Thanks for the vote of encouragement, mmc. I try to be fair, but it’s so hard to give equal airtime with so much more news coming out of the ESS camp these days. I just wish I had more Van news to report!

    2. Bowie says:

      Thanks for all the information. You obviously did a lot of work to obtain it. I, for one, appreciate it.

    3. CD says:

      Thanks for this comprehensive look at Emmy process. It’s always been a mystery to me, and since I never got to see all of those Emmy submissions before, it does help clear the haze a little. Good job!

      • lovelure says:

        Thanks! There have been so many times I’ve heard that “so-and-so is a lock on the Emmy” that I really wanted to see for myself how it works and whether or not I believed it! 🙂

    4. liz says:

      First of all, I applaud your effort of making this entry. However, as a fan of Van Hansis, I really don’t need to be reminded of the heartbreaks and the fact that he was locked out of all year end reviews. Besides, I am sure all fans of Van are familiar with Van’s previous Emmy reels, and I don’t think the LuRe community cares what they were when their focus is solely on Eric’s Emmy reel and chances.

      • lovelure says:

        Hi Liz, thanks for your post. I can empathize with not wanting to hear about the year-end reviews, and I debated whether or not to restate that fact, but I felt it was important because there are still many diehard Van fans who are posting all over the place that Van should have submitted because, essentially, he was a “sure thing” for the nomination and/or win. What the exercise of creating this post told me is there is virtually no such thing as a sure thing. Sometimes the “sure thing” wins (Tom Pelphrey), sometimes they don’t (Crystal Chappell) and sometimes you get surprise winners that are both great (Jeff Branson) and not so great (Vincent Irizarry).

        OTOH, I disagree pretty strongly with your second comment, though. First, many fans joined the LuRe fandom, long after Van’s previous Emmy nominations (esp. since he missed out in 2010) and have watched very little of the Nuke storyline. Second, even some pretty hardcore fans who have watched Luke’s story from the beginning aren’t all “familiar” with Van’s reel. I say this both because I recognize some of the posters (long-time Luke fans) in recent forums saying they’re not sure what Van submitted, and also because it was not all that easy to find the clips when I went to search for it for this post.

        Last, I disagree that the LuRe community doesn’t care. I have only publicized this post via Twitter, my personal Facebook (forgot to post on the Reid Oliver FB), LRO, and the lure_atwt LiveJournal, and the VH Mutual Admiration Society FB. With the exception of the last, those are all LuRe-centered communities and this post is well on its way to being one of the most popular posts on the site. Moreover, the original post I did on Van’s Facebook post re: his Emmy decision outpaces the posts on Eric’s pre-nom and possible episodes by nearly 2:1. So while sometimes the Eric fans in the LuRe community are louder, they don’t represent the fans that love both actors or who actually (gasp!) prefer Van. So to say that the LuRe community is focused solely on Eric’s reel and chances is overstating things a bit, IMO. YMMV.

        -LL

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