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« Night Shift Episode 5: Bed, Bath and Be Gone | Main | General Hospital Week in Review »

August 12, 2007

Days of Our Lives Week in Review

What a snoozefest of a week on Days.  Mal and I were just whining over email about this -- isn't summer when the shows are supposed to break out their big, fun stories?  Because all the youngsters that the powers-that-be really want to be watching are home from school and need to be entertained?  When I was a kid, Days' summers were the best time of the year.  I secretly had someone tape for me while I was at horse camp, because I didn't want to miss anything.  Whereas now, if not for the blog and the column, I would totally be on one of my soap hiatuses.  (This is why commitment is bad, kids!)  And Days was so good, just a month or so ago.  It's ridiculously uneven.  Anyway, not much happened this week, but let's see if we can make fun of what did.

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So I guess we finally know what Belle and Shawn have in common.  Remember how Mallory pointed out that Belle is probably a robot from the 1950s?  Yeah.  She kept that up this week, including using "mister" in a scolding way unironically (!), and sharing this little gem:

Belle:  If we have a problem, we talk, not walk, buster.

Yeah, buster!  Now sit back and watch Ozzie and Harriet with me, mister, and then we can discuss what's wrong.  If that's okay with you.  Whatever you want.  Because you're the boss!  But first let me go get my hair done so I can put on my best dress and pearls to vacuum.

Belleshawn

Shawn: We can't both work, Belle.

Seriously!  The Eisenhower administration really frowns upon such things, and who will iron your man's tank tops if you're off being a highfalutin' nurse?

(Side note:  Where is the fabulous new wardrobe Phillip bought Belle?  I've seen no evidence of it.)

This whole storyline is seriously irksome.  There's the whole hopelessly outdated thing, but bigger than that, do the showrunners really not see that these two have no chemistry or anything of interest between them?  They need an exciting storyline, stat, and I'm not even sure that will help.  I'm certain conversations about the insidiousness of two working parents won't.  (I am happy they're finally having Belle get a career, but that buzz was mostly killed by the writers deciding she had to get her husband's permission first.  And as I've mentioned, I'm not against stay-at-home moms, but the writers' approach to this whole things was bad from start to finish.)

Shawn's whole "what if you have a final and Claire has to go to her grandparents or a sitter!" outrage was just insane.  First of all, Claire has like six sets of grandparents, most of whom I'm sure would love to hang out with her for a while.  Second of all, oh no!  Not a babysitter!  I heard at my quilting bee that they all take drugs and sleep with boys!  You might as well just leave your kid alone in a hot car.  Third, later in the week they were talking about the fancy pre-school Claire is at, so why would it matter if Belle went to school while Claire was at school herself?  And finally, the overprotectiveness is big talk coming from the dude who threw this same kid off a cruise ship.  (No, I'm never getting over that.)

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Oh, Lexie.  For a moment after her return, I thought I might actually like her.  But I think I was just riding high off her hissing, grunting, cartwheeling entrance from that tunnel underneath the piano bar.  I'm back to being alternately perplexed and bored by her.

A black wool cloak in the middle of August in the midwest?  The hell?  What does she have against a baseball cap and sunglasses?  Is there anything more conspicuous than skulking about town in the grim reaper's wardrobe?  Nice disguise, Dr. Used to be a Cop.

Lexiecloak

And just what was the whole conversation with Abe about?  Lexie was like, you made me feel like a tramp!  Um, not to be judgey, but are you sure it wasn't the long-term adultery with your husband's subordinate that made you feel that way, Lex? 

And then Abe apologized!

Abelexie

Abe: You know Lex, the hoops I put you through.  I don'€™t know how you put up with me for so long.
Lexie: Hoops you put me through?  What are you talking about?
Abe:  Every day of our married life, you had to prove you were worthy of being Mrs. Abraham Carver.  And I had no right to sit in judgment.  But it didn'€™t stop me.

What?  I'm sorry, but if this had been their marriage, it might have been interesting to watch, instead of the decade-plus of boredom it actually was. 

I do hope that one day I meet a man who marries me but not only understands when I need to get some from a hot younger guy on the side, but apologizes to me for driving me to it.  Ah, romance.

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Nick/Massive Headwound Harry got married in Vegas?!

Chinalee

At least it's an interesting twist, I suppose.  Though wouldn't it have been better if they'd had him marry someone who could be a possible love interest, instead of the crazy con woman?  Sigh.

This screencap reminds me that Rachel Melvin is quickly developing Katie-Holmes-as-Joey-Potter posture, which has to stop.  Nothing good can come of emulating Katie Holmes, given the developments of recent years.

(Random side note:  This week Nick referred to Chelsea as his and Stephanie'€™s "mutual friend."  Why do the writers not seem to remember that Stephanie and Chelsea are first cousins?)

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I can't decide what disturbs me more.  Kate selling herself to Stefano . . .

Stefanokatekiss

. . . or her hair.

Katehair

What in the holy follicular hell is going on there?

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Billie finally has something to do!  Yay, Julie Pinson!  Who continues to be unfairly gorgeous.

Phillipbillie

She also has Unintentionally Inappropriate Chemistry with Jay Kenneth Johnson.  Melissa Brennan and Michael Weiss had a bit of this back in the day, and more recently Stephen Nichols and Nancy Lee Grahn had it on GH.  It is hard to believe that tolerable characters like Billie and Phillip both originated in Kate, but they are siblings, so I think there should be a bit less sexual tension in their scenes.  Maybe none, in fact.

I had really hoped that the whole embryo-switching nonsense had been intentionally ignored by the new writing team, but I guess it does kind of create a good reason for Belle and Phillip to spend time together, and will alienate Shawn.  Which I'm all in favor of.

I'm also in favor of cute babies (and them not being in constant peril, so I guess it's a good thing I don't watch AMC), and my god the one (or ones, probably) playing Tyler is adorable!

Tyler

And as much as I was dreading a Steve and Kayla baby story, this one seems okay to be because the kid is going to end up with Phillip eventually, right?  Or maybe with a recast Mimi?  Or maybe amidst all the egg scrambling, he's Belle's? 

Kaylababy

I am so looking forward to the scenes on Monday with Steve and Tyler that were teased in the preview.  Stephen Nichols' scenes way back when with an infant Stephanie were an overload of cute, so I'm thinking these will be too.

Speaking of Steve and Kayla parenting . . .

Stevekaylasteph

Stephanie: I liked you a whole lot better when you were just a made-up bedtime story.

Oh no she di'int!

I wish Steve had responded "THE DUDE HAD NO PANTS!"  Because really, he should respond to everything that way.  Just to amuse me.

Stephadrienne

Stephanie moving in with her Aunt Adrienne (whom I realized for the first time this week she actually resembles -- yay, since she looks nothing like her parents) has possibilities, especially if it brings back Adrienne's kids.  And Justin.  And yeah, I realize I've been talking about that since before we even knew Adrienne was coming back but come on, it's new blood!  Related to Victor!  Bring 'em on. 

Much as I adore him, I don't even need Wally Kurth as Justin.  You know who would make an awesome Justin, and also bring back fabulous Another World memories?  Tom Eplin.  Tell me I'm wrong.  You can't, right?

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Saving the worst for last.  Could the writers please decide who the hell EJ is, and what his motivations are?  And please, for the love of soap gods, could we stop with the cartoonish homicide plots?  Poisoned lipstick, exploding flowers, locked freezer trucks.  So stupid.

Does EJ actually care about Sami?  Because someone who did wouldn't send the very pregnant woman's blood pressure through the roof, making her freak out about her husband being dead.

Ejsami

BTW, could Sami take it down a couple levels?  She's been yelling or threatening to kill someone in every scene for weeks.  She's almost, I hate to say, inching towards Carly on GH territory.

Anyway, back to EJ.  His repeated fantasizing about killing Lucas, and now his actual attempt to do so?  Not okay.  We know Lucas isn't going to die, so there's no genuine suspense.  And however you feel about what happened between EJ and Sami, or whatever you think about all that gloved-hand-crimes ridiculousness, at least EJ had layers, and seemed repentant for his actions.  And it seemed that many of his misdeeds were because he was under Stefano's control.  Speaking of the fact that EJ's a DiMera, something easy to forget given how unsophisticated a criminal he's become, can't he come up with a more creative way to get Sami away from Lucas other than killing the competition?  There are endless soapy possibilities!  Instead he just bounces from one silly plot to the next, and all I can say is that Days is very lucky James Scott is so insanely hot, or I would not be at all invested in EJ's many personalities and storylines.  Yet again, my shallowness comes to the rescue.

Comments

You are so right on all levels "buster." :D Spot on with Belle's vernacular! I remember the first time I heard her talking and fell into a short epileptic seizure thinking over, "Did she really just say that?" o_0

Julie Pinson is the bright light on that show.

I was such a big fan in the 80s with the Steve/Kayla and Bo/Hope stories. I could not miss a show; but now, I'm glad I can read your recaps because I cannot sit and watch it.

Thank you for suffering through this for all of us. m(_ _)m

v(~__^)/

Let's just make Phillip and Billie the Billy and Brenda (of SFU) of Days. Because every scene they share, I want them to make out.

Yes, Belle, the 1950s called and they want you back. Malena was more liberated when she joined the show in the 70s. I've seen it on Youtube.

Shawn was so my pretend boyfriend back in the Jason Cook days. But not only is Brandon Beemer wooden they are also writing him as a complete male chavaunist, I can't stand him now. The crap he was spewing about how it didn't matter if he was gone during the day, but if Belle was gone, heaven forbid!

On the plus side. How fabulous did Adrienne look too? I mean finally the wardrobe dept got her some clothes that fit.

Regarding the latest Belle and Shawn non-story, I've noticed that for a long time, DAYS has had this weirdly socially conservative streak - or maybe it always had one. For instance, has anyone else heard of the DAYS story from the 70s where Julie had a lesbian neighbor and convinced her to see a therapist so that she would be "cured"?

Anyway, even with that in mind, the whole idea seems really ill-placed. Belle looks silly fretting over her husband's feelings about her proper wifely duties when her mom has always been Salem's ultimate career-woman. Meanwhile Shawn's mom had a lively career as a supermodel/supercop when she wasn't busy being presumed dead and he turned out...hm, never mind.

Actually, that would both make sense and possibly make for interesting soapiness: Shawn feels he missed out on something because he didn't have a mother at home, since his was off being dead/a prisoner of Ernesto Toscano/a prisoner of Stefano DiMera/a brainwashed jewel thief. So he's imposing his deep-rooted feelings on Belle and their plans for Claire's upbringing. Eventually Shawn is forced, with Belle's help, to confront his supressed resentment toward both his parents. It writes itself!

But, I know, I know, basing a storyline on a character's actual past and its logical consequences is sooo not what a twenty-first century soap opera is about...

I must come on here and say if they brought Tom Eplin as Justin it would be awesomer than awesome. I'm still bitter about the horrific ending of Jake/Paulina on AW and Judi had the best chemistry opposite Tom (sorry Wally Kurth fans though I would love for him to return too).

Man, this show blows. Steve & Kayla and Bo & Hope are not enough to pull me in anymore, especially when there's so much wrong with so many aspects of the show. I really need Ed Scott to come in and produce the hell out of this show and do an overhaul. Thank GOD he's bringing a new Casting Director. Maybe someone finally realizes how BADLY the show needs new mid-aged characters integrated into the canvas. Sami and AS have actually killed my James Scott love. For real! There needs to be an alternative to watching her, and while I had hoped it would be B/H and S/K because those are the characters/actors most adept at spinning shit into gold, it has to be with well cast, skilled and charismatic actors playing naturally and properly developed characters that bring a certain demographic of thirty-something stories.

While Scott brings promise that Days will finally be produced like a real episodic TV show and has a lot to oversee, the biggest change I hope he'll make is to bring in a new Co-Head Writer. Hogan cannot write a complete arc in a three-act structure. That's just a fundamental of narrative writing in any format and despite what his ideas are, he hasn't been able to produce that basic element in any of his stories within the past year. He needs a competent co-writer to do this for him (preferably Leah Laiman, whom I will never give up hope for a Days return), and perhaps a demotion to Co-Head Writer is neccessary.

I just feel that the current team at Days is not skilled and capable enough to bring this sunken show above water. A nominal improvement from the Reilly era still leaves a vast majority to be desired. Thankfully, Sony and Corday Productions have recognized this and are bringing a Supervising Executive Producer in to make the neccessary changes. Short of an Al Rabin and Shelley Curtis producing reunion, Ed Scott appears to be a wise decision. He seems to understand what the job title entails and hopefully he'll deliver. Until then, this show and I are officially on a break.

As much as it pains me to say this, but Belle and Shawn's discussion about her going to school and having a career is actually kind of spot on. I know a number of men at work who have wives who do not work. And these are people in their 30s and 40s.

Now about the show...all of your comments are really on the money. I love evil EJ, but one who had a multipurpose existence. This EJ is just pathetic. Sami has reverted back to histrionics. It seems as if both she and Lucas have only two speeds - turned on and turned up.

Steve is just all shades of cute with that baby, but I suspect his past behavior is going to really ruin things. I think having Kayla realize she does not need anymore babies to complete her life will be a good way to wrap up this baby storyline as it unfolds. MBE and SN are going to do a great job either way, but that idiot child they already have does not give me great confidence.

If Tom Eplin were to take over the role of Justin I'll stop stabbing my Corday and Sheffer voodoo dolls for a whole month. If he doesn't I rather Justin be like Mickey, always napping or out of town. I find Wally very creepy looking, and the Justin/Adrienne clips I've seen are too cheesy for my taste.

You forgot to mention my favorite part of the EJ-attempts-to-kill-Lucas bit, which was the overaccessorized Kate mannequin.

I have a high tolerance for Days', but even I FFd through most of Friday.

I should think Shawn would be insisting that Belle work and he stay home with Claire, since he's so afraid she'll think Philip is her father.

you are right on the EJ thing.....if it wasn't for his hotness or chemistry with Sami....I wouldn't be watching Days right now....

I want Tom Eplin! Where the hell did he go anyways?

Are we sure James E. Reilly isn't writing for the show anymore? That "asking the husband's permission to go to work" crap sounds like the kind of bullcock that he would write.

I am an unabashed lover of all versions of EJ...except this latest one. WTH??? I would not have thought it was possible to make me FF through a scene that James Scott inhabits, but I'm getting there and soon. Sweet EJ, lovesick EJ, evil EJ, sexy EJ, lying EJ - no problem. Stupid, delusional EJ? No thanks.

I've learned that when Phillip went into that typhoon and didn't allow Belle to call for help that made it A-Okay for Shelle to toss Claire over the side of the cruise ship.

A bad habit of DAYS is making one unforgiveable act forgiveable by making someone else do something just as bad if not worse, other wise known as throwing someone under the bus, usually Phil or Mimi.

I don't know hernamebut when she and EJmet in the park and it was love at first sight. Where did she go. I felt she looked better with EJ than the one that's playing the part now.

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