“I come to damn Caesar with faint praise, not to bow before him!”
 Kate Brown, Resident Cynic

Yes, this is my Emmy column and not some weird tangent into ancient history.  

The Caesar I am referring to is the Emperor of ABC Daytime, Brian Frons.  Every ABC winner thanked him. He got more camera face time than the nominees. Clearly the director thought we would rather see the Emperor’s face than Josh Duhamel’s. Or is that Josh does not sign the director’s paycheck? 

I now have a whole new image in my mind of how ABC daytime works. Executive Producers and Head Writers enter Brian’s office, which is modeled after the Coliseum in Rome. They present their ideas and look heavenward. Brian rises from his throne and gives “THUMBS UP” or “THUMBS DOWN.”  “THUMBS UP” they live to write another day. “THUMBS DOWN” they are forced to watch endless hours of the WB until they “get” the Emperor’s vision for ABC daytime. 

At next year’s Emmys I will not be surprised if the Emperor wears a wreath of gilded laurel leaves on his head and a toga. 

And the faint praise? It was a smart decision to hire new producers for the show and let them do their thing with it. Now if only you would give the same leeway to the professionals who produce your soaps. 

And the new Emmy producers did a fine job. The graphics were good. The set designs were right up there with the prime time Emmys. All the presenters were related to daytime. On some level these producers understood that the viewers would be watching because they love daytime, not to see Michael Bolton present the award for Best Daytime Drama. There was a real opening number that rhymed Lucci with Gucci. Or was it Pucci? It got the evening off to an energetic start. 

All that good stuff aside, it was still the Emmys. The mysterious Emmys. A long time ago I gave up getting riled over who won and who lost. I realized none of it really made any sense the year Brad Maule lost for his excellent work during BJ’s heart transplant story.  

That was an extremely freeing experience for me. Occasionally someone who actually deserves an award will win it. (For me this year that was Benjamin Hendrickson for Supporting Actor, although Josh winning would have made me happy, too.) Sometimes a category will be so filled with talent that whomever they pick deserves the award. (For me this year that was Best Supporting Actress, although I was thinking either Rebecca Budig or Cady McClain would win.) AMC did indeed to deserve to win Best Directing for the Miller’s Falls episodes. But most of the awards presented will just have me shaking my head. GH for Best Writing?  (Sure if the category was homoerotic mob literature with misogynistic undertones, but best soap writing?) 

If I don’t care who wins, why do I watch? To see what people are wearing. To hear what they have to say. To see if anything goes wrong. To see the clips and montages.  

And that’s my biggest gripe about this year’s show. Not enough clips. Sorry, Ms. Walters, but I did not “sit back and enjoy The View” intrusion. Clips of all the nominated performances were something I could have enjoyed viewing. 

And then there were the musical performances. Credit given for trying something different, but the execution had the feel of “hey, kids let’s put on a show.” I am not knocking the performers. It hardly seems fair, though, to have all those singers on stage each only singing one verse from a song. Next year, why not have individual singers perform during montages of love scenes from the year? And fight scenes? And heartbreaking scenes? And, of course, sex scenes?  Or maybe, hey, how about singing the nominated songs?  

Almost all the presenters did well. (Note to Brian Gaskill: how would have felt had you won an Emmy and a presenter announced to the world that your co-star deserved to win instead?) 

And almost everyone looked better than they did at the Soap Opera Digest Awards: 

All My Emmy Schmattes 

Let me start by giving real, not faint, praise to Lisa Rinna. I hated her SOD Award dresses. She is a very striking woman with a very “busy” face: large expressive eyes, even larger lips, layered hair. And she is “well-endowed.” She already has a lot going on. Instead of emphasizing her beauty, the SOD outfits just added more busy-ness. It was hard to find her in all that excess. At the Emmys she was absolutely stunning. Her dress was simple, made dressy by a band of gold under her breasts and over her shoulders. It was hard to believe it was the Pucci-Hoochie from the SODs. 

Regrettably another SOD disaster did not improve much for the Emmys. At the SOD awards Ron Moss looked like an extra from Easy Rider. The Emmy ascot made it look like he had just wandered in from a Pasadena Playhouse production of Interview with the Vampire.  

Most of the other men looked great. I could do without the ruffled shirts. Silver ties with black shirts are a little too Guys and Dolls for me. His win made me happy, but was Benjamin Hendrickson wearing a gold-plated shark’s tooth around his neck? Overall though the men of daytime clean up really well. 

Let’s face it, women have more options. And exercise those options, they certainly did. 

The only explanation I can come up with for Eva LaRue’s outfit is that she was sending us a hint about upcoming AMC episodes. Are Maria and Edmund getting remarried? Is that why Eva was dressed like a wedding cake? 

Susan Lucci looked great in a Thierry Mugler. She understands that when you are tiny, frou frou is not the way to go. 

I liked the color and material of Cady McClain’s dress; the problem was there was too much of it. She looked lost in all those yards of fabric. On the other hand her hair looks the best it ever has. 

Alicia Mineshaw and Rebecca Budig looked good. Rebecca always looks good. Sometime I would love to see her step away from the lace, silk, pearl look and into something a little more dramatic. A little more womanly. 

The “hottest triangle in daytime” looked, um, interesting. Kamar de Los Reyes looked great in basic black.  Sheri Saum’s outfit was a great color but looked a little too contrived. Notice how Kamar contrived to have his hand in an interesting place. Bree’s dress could have worked had that lei not been hot glued to the neckline. It made the dress too fussy. Like Lisa Rinna, Bree needs to highlight her busy face and hair, not add to the confusion. 

It looked like Erin Hershey Presley also hotglued a lei to her dress but on her it worked. Both her hair and dress were simple. The flowered neckline framed her face instead of competing with it.  

Here is a picture of two of Roger Howarth’s co-stars on ATWT, Napiera Groves and Lamman Rucker. The pattern on her dress reminds me of a Pachinko machine. A very tiny Pachinko machine. With her exotic looks and great body, she carried that elaborate pattern well. 


Erika Slezak, Susan Flannery and David Canary proved you don’t have be under 30 to look great. They define elegance and style.  

On most people this dress would look like a tapestry slipcover. On Vanessa Marcil however it looks like a million bucks. 

On some women this two piece ensemble would look too casual for the Emmys but not on Nancy Lee Grahn. She has her own style and knows how to work it. 

I thought the best-dressed woman at the Emmys was Robin Christopher. That red hair, that black dress, those jewels. There was a lot of competition for best dressed, but her panache put her at the top of the list. 

And I bet she would look better in a toga than Brian Frons, too. 

AMC Spoilers and Commentary by Kate Brown

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