1. The Real World
No one moment more solidified ATWT's status as the best in the business at real-life drama than the one when John Dixon said goodbye to his prematurely born infant son. But the heartrending storyline that allowed two-time Daytime Emmy winner Larry Bryggman (John) to offer up maybe his best work ever was hardly a surprise. For over 40 years, ATWT has consistently delivered the goods when it comes to true-to-life heartache. From little Tom Hughes' custody trial to Margo's rape by an HIV-positive attacker, this show can wring every ounce of emotion from a situation - without going over the top.
2. Timeless, Ageless Talent
From Helen Wagner (Nancy) to Jordana Brewster (Nikki), ATWT continually has one of the best multigenerational talent pools in daytime. Whether they're hatching a plan to create a baby or save a marriage, longtime favorites Eileen Fulton (Lisa) and Larry Bryggman (John) regularly mix it up with young turks like Maura West (Carly) and Michael Park (Jack). The results leave us with the feeling that we're watching old friends through new eyes every day.
3. Fearless Couplings
Who would have thought that together, grouchy John Dixon and man-eating Barbara Ryan could make sparks fly? But ATWT seems to be fearless when it comes to experimenting with way-out duos. Other notable mix-and-matches include bad guy David Stenbeck and psycho Molly Conlan, the very married Tom Hughes and the very confused Emily Stewart, and - the granddaddy of them all - persnickety Lucinda Walsh and her archenemy, James Stenbeck.
4. Holden on to Lily
They've been star-crossed lovers for an eternity (well, 12 years, anyway), but now that ATWT's inveterate romantic duo, Lily and Holden, are hitched, don't expect the hearts-and-flowers to stop anytime soon. From their first electrifying scenes in the stables years ago to Holden's impromptu wedding ceremony earlier this year, this couple brings new meaning to romance every time they gaze into each other's eyes.
5. Delicious Divas
They scheme, they flirt, but when the going gets tough, they fight back. And that's why ATWT's quartet of divine divas is such a riot to watch. Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda) can blow out a beacon with her bluster, and after 38 years, Eileen Fulton (Lisa) is still the quintessential femme fatale. With relative newcomers Lesli Kay Sterling (Molly) and Maura West (Carly) - equal parts spunk and sex appeal - the combination of these lovely ladies keep the men of Oakdale on their toes.
6. Homeward Bound
Warm sets and even warmer characters always make tuning into ATWT feel like taking a trip home. Every Christmas we feel like we are part of the celebration when the Hughes family gets together for a traditional holiday with all the trimmings. Elaborate set designs and a rich history between characters make Oakdale the quintessence of small-town life.
7. A Dastardly Duo
When Public Enemy No. 1 James Stenbeck wants to stir up a little trouble, he always goes home to Oakdale to hatch his diabolical plans. And since we can't seem to get enough of this delicious devilry, the show has given us his recently discovered son, terror-in-training David. We can hardly wait until these two officially team up and set Oakdale on its ear.
8. All in the Hughes Family
After 40 years, Nancy is still the matriarch, and Bob and Kim still the pillars of the family and the community. Although we've watched generation after generation of Hughes progeny grow up and leave the fold, we always know they'll be back in times of trouble. Case in point: Andy's recent return after a two-year absence to help rouse his mom from a coma.
9. Clowning Around
When it comes to downright goofy hijinks, Kirk Anderson takes the cake and then some. Kirk's side-splitting (and seam-splitting) rendition of Saturday Night Fever was an absolutely hoot. But it's Tom Wiggin's (Kirk) Rubbery mug that makes Kirk's antics so delightful to watch. Add Sherri Alexander's elegant portrayal of Sam, Kirk's partner in love and laughter, and Kirk's wild gyrations seem all the more endearing.
10. Blast from the Past
A few months ago, Kim cleverly used her former career as a torch singer to get info on Molly's whereabouts. More recently, twice-divorced Barbara and Hal turned to each other for support, and John Dixon is starting to remind us of his old ways as a schemer extroidinaire. The past is always a big part of the future on this show, which is why so many its core cast members are still around.
Edited by CarlD2, 06 September 2010 - 04:35 PM.