Gag Me With a Spoon
As a devoted fan of The Facts of Life (that might be the saddest sentence ever typed), I'm well versed in the idea that one must take the good, take the bad, take them both and then you have the facts of life.
But Tootie never prepared me for what happens when you take the good, and then the bad is not only bad, but gut churningly, offensively, horrifically, tragically, campily, terrible. If you take them both, I'm pretty sure you have a chemical reaction.
Days of Our Lives has the good: it has Steve and Kayla, who continue to have unparalleled chemistry in all that they do, and Sami, and the surprisingly adorable Chelsea and Nick (if you had told me last year that I would have wound up loving Chelsea and Maxie on GH, I would have laughed in your face and then made fun of your shoes), and the hot-yet evil-yet hot EJ and the surprisingly good new/old Philip and even crazy Willow, who seems like she'd cut you just for fun.
And Days also has the aforementioned gut churningly, offensively, horrifically, tragically, campily, terrible. I think we all know that I speak of John and Marlena.
I don't get John and Marlena. I have never gotten John and Marlena. When their fans staged an enormous protest when they were all too briefly written out last summer, I was confused and fascinated and wanted to study them in for an anthropological paper.
I've never liked Marlena, I think, due to a combination of missing her glory days where she was actually, like, good, and residual anger over the fact that she was possessed by the devil and made my show a laughingstock to the entire world. I also concluded, through nothing based in reality, that Deidre Hall is a bitch.
Drake Hogestyn, in his own simple way, rules. I firmly believe this. The man has no acting talent whatsoever and has a face devoid of all substance, but when he commits to something, he commits to it, even something like dressing as a murderous nun. I respect that.
So I'm trying to understand the thought process the writers go through when they decide that half of a supercouple spends sweeps in a coma. First it was Kayla, and at least Stephen Nichols is brilliant enough to emote opposite someone unconscious. Deidre Hall is not. When paired with master thespian Drake Hogestyn, it's easy for her to come across as a talented actress, much like Christie Clark looked Emmy worthy opposite Austin Peck, but with everybody else, including people in comas, she's really cheesy. She squints in lieu of actual emotion and she gasps and she moans pornographically and she delivers every line with misplaced emphasis and emotion and she's pretty much horrible, so the past few days of her angst filled monologues and the stuff I have nightmares about.
And also, what if Drake Hogestyn forgets to breathe when he's not being filmed? I worry!
He's like, "What do I do? It's so different than usual!" Look at his poor furrowed brow! I mean, in all fairness, nobody, not even, like, Peter Bergman and Nancy Lee Grahn could make some of this dialogue work.
Marlena: I don't care what anybody says. I heard you. Not just in my head. I heard you. And now I know that you're in there fighting. And I'm fighting, too. And I'm not gonna leave your side. Not until we find a way to connect. There has to be a way. There just has to be a way.
John: Dreams. Come to me in dreams. Dreams. Dreams. Dreams. [ Door banging ]
John: Marlena, open the door. I'm here. I'm right here.
Marlena: John, it is you.
John: I'm waiting. [ Door banging ] Marlena, the door. Open it and come to me.
Marlena: John, just keep talking and I'll follow your voice. John! John!
Marlena: Where are you?
John: In the light. Cross the threshold and take my hand. Into the light, doc. Come into the light.
Marlena: No. John, I don't understand. I don't know where this is. Is this... is this heaven? Are you... oh, dear lord. John, are you dead?
Marlena: Answer me. I'm scared.
John: Don't be.
Marlena: John, are you --
John: No. You know I'm not. I love you, Marlena. Just...take my hand.
Marlena: Don't let go of my hand. Hold me tighter. Tighter.
Marlena: John...where are we? What is this place?
John: Everywhere. Nowhere. The place between here and there. Life, death, waking, and dreaming.
John: You know the answer to that.
John: Makes anything happen. You taught me that. Love makes anything possible, makes...anything real.
Marlena: John, could I -- John: Touch me? If I let go of your hands right now...
Marlena: Maybe one? Maybe just one hand? Oh. Mmm.
John: What do you feel?
Marlena: I feel...warm. I feel you. You're real.
John: Yes, I am real.
Marlena: I'm sorry. I'm just not --
John: Yes, you are. You're very sure.
Marlena: Maybe -- oh -- maybe if you could kiss me...then I'd know for sure. If I could just feel that.
John: Do you feel this?
Marlena: Yes, I do.
John: Do you feel this?
I...I feel violated. ... I mean, really, who thought people would want to watch this? Please, make it stop!
- Promising Ingénue