Train — “She’s On Fire” (from Drops of Jupiter) —
As has, badly and so sadly, become de rigueur over the past few years, last night’s presentation of the Daytime Emmy Awards was a painful, ponderous exercise in stretching one’s patience to its bitterest, most tenuous extremes, and it must be said that this latest telecast was the worst yet: a two-hour infomercial for Las Vegas’ entertainment lineup, Universal Studios’ various theme parks, the Childrens’ Miracle Network, and, apparently, the International House of Pancakes, this program — whose sole reason for existence, it must be noted, is to reward the bountiful excellence which airs on television during the daytime hours — managed once again to make the awards themselves an inconvenient afterthought, a way to fill (kill?) time between wobbly performances from the likes of poor Gladys Knight (struggling mightily to stay both on key and in time with the lifeless Muzak-level beat during her tremble-filled tribute to Lady Oprah) and Marie Osmond (no offense to her at all, but the fact that the producers of this telecast found time to include her random and irrelevant performance of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” but couldn’t be bothered to include one clip of any of the nominated performers’ work is simply unconscionable). Still, every rough patch hides a diamond, and here is this insulting travesty’s gem: the electrifying, gloriously brilliant Laura Wright, who has toiled in the trenches of daytime dramatic television for some two decades now — she has spent the past six years breathing beautiful life into that brazen bitch-on-wheels Caroline “Carly” Spencer Corinthos Alcazar Jacks on General Hospital, and spent eight extraordinary years on Guiding Light, and six on Loving and its ill-fated spinoff The City, prior to that — and who deserves to have no fewer than four or five of these shiny, golden tchotchkes on her mantlepiece by now, can finally, at LONG last, be referred to as an Emmy winner, having just been named this year’s Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her stupendously superlative work. This honor has been one hell of a long time coming, and it was worth sitting through the entirety of last night’s epic misfire of an Emmy show just to be able to catch the look of pure, unfettered, stunned joy on Wright’s face as she made her way to the stage to accept her trophy. Brava, gal: the whole damn world now has no choice but to concur with my long-held belief that you are the inarguable best, my dear.