Sometimes actors and characters lay on the back burner for months and sometimes even longer on soap operas.
Soap Operas: Back Burner Blues
This past year saw some former front burner players who we know give their all languish away with no story. Here are Soap Hub’s picks for the biggest waste of talent in 2019 on Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful, and The Young and the Restless.
The Bold and the Beautiful: Everyone Who Isn’t Hope/Liam/Thomas/Steffy
If your name was Hope (Annika Noelle), Liam (Scott Clifton), Thomas (Matthew Atkinson) or Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood), you did not want for work during 2019. Sadly, the same could not be said for the other talented actors and actresses also on contract at this CBS daytime juggernaut.
Heather Tom deserved far better than that two-week and done kidney transplant storyline and the screen time for powerhouse performers like John McCook, Rena Sofer, and Don Diamont was negligible. Also, the less said about the total ignorance of the Avant family the better.
Days of our Lives: Greg Rikaart
The Young and the Restless’ loss was certainly Days of our Lives gain. With his big hair and loud suits, libidinous Lothario Leo Stark was an absolute revelation and a first for daytime television – a gay villain. But, apparently, you can have too much of a good thing. After a mere four months on-screen, Rikaart was dismissed and Leo bid Salem adieu in March.
General Hospital: Billy Miller
The writing was on the wall for Billy Miller the moment Steve Burton was hired to return as Jason Morgan and the final nail hammered in the coffin was the writer’s decision to eschew the inevitable Sam/Drew/Jason love triangle –which is what soap operas are made for.
Instead, Drew was given an instant family in the form of Kim (Tamara Braun) and Oscar (Garren Stitt) and then said family slowly disintegrated as Oscar died from a brain tumor and Kim succumbed to a nervous breakdown that led her to try and rape Drew.
The final indignity came courtesy of the writers who not only “gifted” Miller a low key exit but then scripted an off-screen death by plane crash — an event which, when revealed to Drew’s loved ones on-screen, elicited barely a tear.
The Young and the Restless: Michelle Stafford
YR pulled off quite the coup when they convinced dynamo performer Michelle Stafford to reprise her role of Phyllis Summers in June of this year. The much-ballyhooed return saw Phyllis mixing it up with new partner-in-crime, Adam (Mark Grossman), flirting with ex-husband Nicholas (Joshua Morrow), and feuding with Abby (Melissa Ordway) and Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan).
And…that was about it. Phyllis’s return didn’t exactly generate much forward momentum and Stafford was left to sort of drift from story to story; the equivalent of throwing something at the wall and seeing what sticks on soap operas. Hopefully, in the New Year, the writers can concoct something worthy of this two-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning actress.