The Best and Worst in Soaps 2015

2015 Best of Soaps
Clockwise from left: Sean Smith/JPI Studios (2); Rick Rowell/ABC
Karla Mosley and Obba Babatunde, Eric Braeden, Finola Hughes

Best Soap

The Bold and the Beautiful
Long delinquent when it comes to diversity, this CBS soap made fast and massive strides in 2015 by revealing that gorgeous African-American fashion model Maya Avant (star of the year Karla Mosley) was born male and introducing us to her vibrant, marvelously messy family. The drama was trans-cendent!

RELATED: How Bradley Bell Has Made The Bold and the Beautiful a Must-Watch Soap

Best Actor

Eric Braeden, The Young and the Restless
The Man! The Myth! The Mustache! Braeden has always played control freak Victor Newman with balls of titanium, but this year he hit a level of macho-maniacal power that was both frightening and wickedly hilarious. Dude needs another Emmy.
Runner-up: Y&R’s Justin Hartley (Adam)

Best Actress

Finola Hughes, General Hospital
Watching her kickass character, Anna Devane, driven to the brink of madness—and murder—by the death of her lover has been a breathtaking experience. Hughes deep-dives into her role with nuance and complexity rarely seen in soaps. She is every bit as gifted as our greatest movie stars.
Runners-up: Y&R’s Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) and GH’s Laura Wright (Carly)

Best Supporting Actor

Kin Shriner, General Hospital
He’s played wily rat terrier Scott Baldwin on and off since 1977, never more deliciously than this fall, when he busted mob boss Ava Jerome in court and then became her lawyer. With his brisk, staccato sass, Shriner is a truly timeless talent—straight from the TCM vaults.
Runner-up: Days’ Billy Flynn (Chad)

Best Supporting Actress

Lauralee Bell, The Young and the Restless
Bringing something revelatory to miscarriage—that overused soap staple—would seem impossible, but Bell did it, layering the sad loss of Christine Blair’s baby with harrowing anger and a desperate need for revenge. Stunning work from an underrated vet.
Runners-up: Days’ Kassie DePaiva (Eve), Peggy McCay (Caroline) and Mary Beth Evans (Kayla)

And Now For The Worst…

Double Trouble: Why has Y&R become a show for the undemanding? We’re all for soapy theatrics, but head writer Chuck Pratt seems to think his stories—like Jack having an evil Peruvian doppelganger (easily the worst plot of the year), Hilary’s kidnapping and that lameass towering inferno—require no logic or intelligence at all. He plays us for chumps. Not cool.

Critical Condition: Thankfully, ABC saw fit to oust genius-gone-haywire Ron Carlivati as head writer of GH, but not before he trashed several beloved characters, rewrote key historical events, sabotaged some of his biggest stars (Michelle Stafford, Roger Howarth, and especially Maura West), and sent the show to its lowest ratings ever. Now things are wonderfully on the upswing, but it got pretty damn scary there.

Dead Wrong: The murder of Days of Our Lives’ landmark gay character Will Horton via brutal strangulation meant the loss of an insanely fascinating firestarter who had kept the show spinning for years. Worse yet, Will’s death was pretty much forgotten by the people of Salem within days, even by his own mother. Many are calling the move homophobic. We’ll settle for idiotic.

RELATED: Matt Roush’s 10 Best TV Shows of 2015