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« Our July Soap Opera Digest Column | Main | How Can I Put This, Without Saying "Sucks"? »

July 18, 2007

Seriously, I Hate Him More Than Gauchos

So, Jeremy "Horton" reached new levels of assitude yesterday.  He's ruining my Days of Our Lives awesomeness buzz.  In one conversation he -- who, as a reminder, is not a character on Saved By the Bell or Beverly Hills, 90210 in the early 1990s -- used the following words:

  • homeboy
  • bro
  • legit

And, oh yeah, he basically TRIED TO DROWN HIS GIRLFRIEND.  And then he told her he loved her for the first time.  Squee!

I think my hatred of Jeremy "Horton" (about which I have not been shy) has surpassed even my loathing of GH's Sonny Corinthos (especially since suddenly various characters are calling out Sonny on his "career" and personality flaws).  I get that the writers intended for him to be a bad guy, so kudos on that, but did they intend for him to be watchable?  Because the list of things I would rather watch on TV than Jeremy "Horton" includes but is not limited to:

  • bowling
  • news coverage of devastating natural disasters
  • that unspeakably horrible Dawson's Creek episode in which Joey gets mugged but ultimately ends up singing a duet of The Carpenters' "Close to You" with the mugger in the hospital right before he dies and then she tells his kid his daddy was a hero and tips his widow in cash (not that I watched Dawson's Creek, of course, or that I am still waiting for Josh Jackson to call me)
  • golf
  • the last three seasons of The Real World
  • Nancy Grace
  • that Danny Bonaduce reality show

What were the writers going for here? 

They re-introduce this character who last anyone saw was an adorable toddler with loving doctor parents, they make him a total asshole -- and I mean total, as in no redeeming qualities at all, unless "nice pecs" is a newly minted personality trait.  They give him no layers whatsoever.  They pair him with a recast Stephanie who, while beautiful, is now mostly an awful person herself.  Spoiled and bitchy with occasional 80s hair and trashy clothes and an unfortunate habit of saying "Papa," I'm supposed to care that she's in a bad relationship?  The two of them paw each other constantly, including in front of her father -- whose missing eye Jeremy finds it tres amusing to mock -- and generally make me wish for the by comparison subtle sexual innuendo of John and Marlena. 

They have Jeremy head up this ridiculously stupid airline that only runs between Salem and Vegas (imagine the demand for that!), have him (a military pilot) run some stupid illegal side business that is connected to the DiMeras in a way that I can't even be bothered to remember.  They have him nearly sexually assault Chelsea and speak to Stephanie in a way that makes the relationship dialogue on the paternity test episodes of Maury look healthy and makes after-school specials look subtle.

And then yesterday, when Jeremy expressed his annoyance with Stephanie by holding her under [gross, no doubt bacteria-infected Vegas hot tub] water for so long it was questionable whether she'd still be breathing when she popped up, was I supposed to be surprised?  The aggressive, narcissistic, misogynistic asshole is also maybe completely psycho and capable of hurting someone?  WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING?!  I am caught totally unawares and cannot wait for this intriguing tale to unfold!  Next you'll tell me the Salem PD is a tad inept, the DiMeras have terrible accents, or Sami is a bit of a schemer.  Will the shockingness never end?!

Oh, and now they're writing Max as the freaking sleuth/hero in this scenario.  Max.  Max?!  Max is out to save Stephanie.  You know, his niece whom he used to kind of date.  Or maybe he's out to protect Chelsea.  His other niece whom he used to date.  It's too late to make this guy a solid romantic lead, especially with that hair.  If he can convince his big brother (in Jeremy-ese, "bro") Frankie to come back into town and become the DA who will prosecute Jeremy "Horton" and send him to prison, then maybe we can talk.  (That's a lie -- he would also need to convince Frankie to marry me.  No, not Billy Warlock, since he's married to the fabulous Julie Pinson, and I do have scruples.  The character of Frankie needs to marry me.  Or actually just shack up, since I have commitment issues.  My sanity will keep me warm at night until that day comes.)

The only good thing to come out of this whole Jeremy Horton situation is that one time Steve bellowed at Stephanie that "The dude had no pants!"  And really, while it was truly hilarious, it now only serves to remind me that Jeremy is a guy who gets attitudinal while appearing pantsless in front of the father of the barely-legal he's schtupping.   

Days can write a good villain with layers -- they just did it recently with EJ (well, they f'ed that up a bit too, but I don't have the energy to deal with that right now; my hate reserves are low).  So why the laziness, particularly with one of the younger characters, since that age bracket is the weakest on the show? 

They could have brought back one of the [currently invisible] Kiriakis kids with Adrienne and had him be a money-hungry, charming-yet-possibly-evil romantic interest for Stephanie or whoever.  He could have bonded with his Grandpa Victor over how to straddle the appealing/appalling line.  Or they could have brought Jeremy back and had him be an at least somewhat decent guy, so that the audience was surprised/disappointed when he turned out to be an abusive asshole.  But no, instead we get the "Guy Who by All Appearances Was an Asshole Is, Indeed, an Asshole" headline.  Brilliant. 

I'm also very concerned about where they're going with this story about the frightened Russian girl who doesn't speak English huddled in Jeremy's (well, Bo and Hope's) living room.  A while back I made a joke about Jeremy using his stupid airline as part of a human trafficking plot. That was just a joke, not a recommendation!  If the powers-that-be at soaps start taking our off-hand sarcasm literally, we'll end up with, among other things, Bob Guza having a Genie Francis dartboard, dead fathers advising daughters to get STD tests, a police commissioner painting toenails and fetching dry cleaning,  writers imprisoned in cells by armed guards, all while I have a mini-breakdown and am forced to wear zippered-ankle Guess jeans and Promising Ingénue routinely does her Dolly Parton impression and stops brushing her hair

Although it would also mean Jason Thompson and James Scott would never appear fully clothed, and I would end up in a meaningful relationship with George Clooney, so perhaps I've discouraged this concept prematurely.

Comments

I loathe Jeremy too, although it's because I'm clearly supposed to. I thought that in Monday and Tuesday's scenes, the actor finally did a good job of portraying a sweet, charming side (with Stephanie) before turning on a dime and being psycho. It was actually kind of chilling.

We're clearly heading down the road to an abusive relationship. I actually think it could be a good story if done right because of the Johnson family history.

Anyway, I'm in the minor minority, but I am intrigued by the Touch the Sky story and am interested to see how it plays out. That doesn't mean there aren't a bazillion things to snark at in the story, but they have got me interested anyway.

Oh, and I don't think any of Adrienne's kids could be a legitimate love interest for Stephanie, since they would be cousins (albeit, not biologically except for the youngest son). But, if we're going to give Max a hard time for dating his nieces, I don't think we can also endorse the cousin-lovin'.

I completely forgot they were cousins. Dammit!

I don't hate the actor who plays Jeremy, I just hate how they've written the character so one-dimensionally. They had a good opportunity bringing in a character who is for all intents and purposes brand new, yet tied to a core family, and I think they blew it. Unless they surprise me, and soon, which is always a possibility. I'm easily fooled.

I have never wanted to lunge through the TV and strangle anyone more than I wanted to strangle Jeremy yesterday. If she falls for his whole "I love you, okay! I said it," I will have to consider changing my name.

Plus if he is running a human trafficking ring there is NO WAY the writers can redeam him after that. The only suitable resolution would be to have Chelsea stop suddenly while driving when Jeremy is hanging out of the sunroof, then drive over his body!

Oh, I absolutely agree that they could have introduced Jeremy in a much better way. In fact, somebody posted the casting call for his character and he was supposed to be this charming guy with a dark side (or something like that). It certainly wasn't "fratboy asshole" in any case.

I guess I've just decided to embrace Jeremy as a one-dimensional BSC!bad guy. I'm not looking for underlying motivations or redeeming qualities. To me, he's a plot device for the story, nothing more. That makes the whole thing much easier to take and my interest in the story is primarily centered and wanting to see how Jeremy gets taken down. I don't know why they decided to use a character from a core family as a plot device, but whatever.

And, I feel your pain on the cousin thing. On TWoP, I posted a whole thing about how if Bo was really a Brady, it would open up a possible Chelsea/Phillip pairing. Then somebody reminded me that Phillip would still be her uncle because of Kate.

Unlike most of the legacy families in Days, Hortons are an endangered species, so it's shocking that they'd make Jeremy into a one-dimensional misogynist, especially since his background is so rich. At least make him Jewish!

I truly think that all Sheffer did was ask someone, "get me a list of any kid that we can SORAS to be in his 20's", he randomly picked "Jeremy Horton" for this assignment, and that was it. Sheffer probably did no research into who Jeremy's parents are, other than having the Days anti-incest squad give their seal of approval. The character is an insult to both older and newer viewers alike.

I hate what they've done with Jeremy. The only way "Jeremy Horton" can be redeemed is if this guy turns out to be an impostor, which wouldn't be much of a stretch. Though the Ken-doll kid looks a lot like the last actor who played Mike, he's clearly not Mike's son.

I can't even watch Jeremy anymore. I have to ffwd everything he's in, unless of course he is arguing with Patch cause Patch is so badass.

I still maintain that the real Jeremy Horton is locked in a basement somewhere with the real Tony, and this is a DiMera plant. Either that or we have proof positive that one parent running off to have flying bed sex has a really bad impact on a kid...

Wow, another disagreement. I'm fine with Jeremy or BamBam as he is affectionately know over on TWoP. I'm fine with loathing him. While I enjoy a good grey hat as much as the next person, there are a gaggle of them on Days already (EJ, Stefano, Tony/Andre, Phillip and Sami--when she not imitating her mother or her sisters) I don't want or need anymore. It's a refreshing change of pace to be able to simply hate a character and have good reason to do so. The actor's competent. The writing's solid--unless he's not a sociopath then they're screwed the pooch worse than they did with the "rape." The other characters are responding in a realistic and interesting fashion. That's kinda a stretch, but no body's extolling his virtues. The audience has been given hints to the depths of his depravity, so we don't get unduly attached. No muss, no fuss--he's a jackass. I also think the way Hogan and Co. are writing Jeremy can only help the genuine white hats on the show. I usually find myself rooting for the villains because, in order for them to be viable long term characters, they are given layers and nuances.... and deeply stupid adversaries. Having Jeremy be this unredeemable gives Steve, Kayla, Bo, and the Salem Police Force an adversary who the writers won't rewrite in order to sustain him. He can go to jail, die horrifically (my choice) or stay around as a long term genuine villain. In the tradition of ATWT's James Stenbeck, someone the audience can loathe right along with the characters. I also think it would be soapy goodness for poor Alice to have to attend her grandson trial for white slavery.

I also don't agree with the complaints about his background. First, who says he isn't Jewish? Because he's blond? Because they haven't mentioned it? Jett's African American and no one has pointed that out. I know that it's not as obvious, but being Jewish isn't as simple as wearing the Star of David and it isn't about being particularly observant. And, while I'm sure that the writers missed this tidbit in the character's history, there is NOTHING about the character, as presented, that would make Jeremy saying, "You growing up in Israel was interesting" an impossibility.

Second, maybe because I didn't watch Michael T. Weiss (who I adore) in the role, but I'm just not that bent out of shape about his kid becoming a sociopath. And, as for the Jeremy's an impostor angle it's possible (it's a soap) but unlikely for two reasons: one, Tony/Andre. The writers aren't dipping into that well again. Two, Jeremy was in the Army, with Jett. That rewrite would be extremely stupid, IMHO.

I just don't accept him as Michael T. Weiss' sweet Jewish son. I am holding out for a cute nerd and for it to be revealed that Mr. Das Experiment here is a DiMera plant.

I do like having a character to hate, but that character for me was Chelsea. Now they've "redeemed" her, but I still hate her. I don't mind hating a main character, but why Mike's son? Why?

I watched Michael T. Weiss and Derya Ruggles (Robin) in the 80's. They had a luckluster, but respectful storyline from 1986-1987, with her commitment to Judiasm the only real obstacle.
I HATED the way they brought Robin back in 1989 after she gave birth to Jeremy and never told Mike. It was complete character sabotage then, and was so unpopular the character was quickly written off.
They had an opportunity with Jeremy to create an interesting complex faulted Horton, since he did not actually group up around the family. Instead they did this. Another nail in the coffin.
PS - Has anyone that Lucas is Jeremy's uncle? (Mike and Lucas were half-brothers)

Yeah, I was thinking the other day that Stephanie and Jeremy are almost related, because his aunt is married to her uncle. And his other uncle is married to her cousin. Jesus, get some new unrelated blood in town, people.

I think the Mike/Robyn romance was wrapping up when I started watching (in early '87, I think?). Either that or it was so boring I tuned it out. I liked him with April, though I did not enjoy her mulleted brother Emilio with Mike's sister Jennifer. Even back then, not enough separate families!

ande, I guess my problem is that if "hate" is the only emotion a character stirs in me, that's not going to keep me tuning in. I don't think Salem has too many villains with layers, because I think all villains -- if they're going to stick around -- have to have layers. But maybe the writers will surprise me. We'll see.

I understand what you're saying, and if it was all hate for me, I would agree. Yes, I can only hate Jeremy, but I care about Stephanie,(sure do) Jett,(really) Max, (even with the hair) and Cheslea (despite her yo-yomance with Nick) and they are a part of this story too. How Jeremy's schemes and behavior affects them has me no longer FF'd Chelsea and Max--which I did when there only purpose was to the be other half of a pairing with Nick and Abby, repectively. I also place a high premium on the fact that I can despise the character without becoming crazed because the writers are using other characters to tell me that they are well intentioned and sweet without bothering to write them that way. (See Belle and Shawn D.)

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