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« Our Latest Soap Opera Digest Column | Main | Jack and Jennifer Would Be Appalled »

April 13, 2008

Days of Our Lives Dozens of Weeks in Review

I realize I haven't done a non-bizarro Days post since about 2003, but I fell behind in episodes and unlike in high school, I can't fake it here if I'm behind on the required materials.  (Except with that one AP teacher who inexplicably made the daily homework assignments credit/no credit based only on whether you turned in a thought or question about the book, allowing you to get credit for stuff like "The heights, are they actually wuthering?  I'm finding this mystery fascinating!") 

Anyway, the good news is that I've returned with an epiphany!  And that is, a tremendous amount can happen in one day on Days.  If that day is a Saturday on which you watch 12 consecutive episodes.  ("Sitting" includes folding laundry, time on my elliptical machine, and assorted chores, lest you think I am a gigantic couch potato.)  But really, it's amazing how much forward story movement happens in, like, two and half weeks.  Well, it's not amazing really, just noteworthy.  If your notes are otherwise from the James E. Reilly era of a single day lasting for six months.

I'm talking in circles and not really getting anywhere here.  I should move on.  Hey, just like this show!

Let's hit the major stories first:

Bo is still sick.
Ava is still crazy.
Hope is still kidnapped.

Phew.  So much to say, so little space.

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I really wanted to love Dr. Daniel Jonas.  First off, he's hot.  And we all know that goes a long, loooong way with me.  Second of all, he's new in town and at least initially appears not to be related to the Bradys or Hortons, something I've been asking for with new characters for decades.  Third, he's hot.  Fourth, he's not the conventional, buttoned-up doctor type.  Fifth, he's hot.  And sixth, it's possible his medical prowess might expose to all of Salem what a horribly incompetent doctor Lexie is.

So, many good things.  However, there is a catch.

He annoys the everliving fuck out of me.  The surfer-speak is crazily irksome, and I say this as someone who 1) grew up around surfers and who as a result 2) liberally sprinkles "dude" and "awesome" throughout daily conversation.  The slang is just so awkward with him -- so forced.  And wildly inappropriate in many of the situations in which he uses it.  I think it's a combination of an age-inappropriateness and unprofessionalism.  I can't even think of an equivalent, although something like Paul Newman texting his Newman's Own employees "WHR R CEASAR DRSNG BOTTLES AND DO U WANT2TLK ABT GAY PORN?" would come close.  You know, just pure WTF-iness, enough to trump even otherwise unimpeachable hotness.

The other thing that bugs the crap out of me is this relationship they appear to be forcing between Daniel and Chelsea.  I already bitched about the age difference, and it's not bugging me any less.  I'm sorry, a 20-year difference is just not something that goes unaddressed when one of the people is a woman in her early 20s.  I'm not saying it's right, but stuff like that raises eyebrows.  Yet Chelsea's grandmother and father and friends are acting like it's completely normal that she's pursuing this guy, who is also her doctor.  Weird.  And ew.

Oh, and the guy playing Mr. Hollingsworth?  Is somehow way hotter than the guy playing Dr. Jonas.  Which I assume is not what they were going for?  Particularly since Morgan and Chelsea are supposed to be the same age, and Daniel and Paul appear to be the same age as well? 

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EJ and Sami have returned from wherever the hell it is that they were, and thank god.  As annoying as I found Sami when she was on everyday, yelling, I miss the character when she's off the canvas entirely.  And as for EJ, well, James Scott is really super duper hot, in case you hadn't noticed.  Though he didn't get enough vacation time to work in a haircut?  For shame.

I am totally an easy soap target, because I'm enjoying their hijinks with the immigration guy, am totally willing to accept the ridiculousness of EJ's secret law degree and weird employment by Mickey (BTW, I'm still undecided about that recast, will stew over it and discuss in next week's post), and I'm even looking forward to them moving in with John. 

John: You mean like the average American family?  Brainwashed dad, gun-totin' mom, married couple who hates each other, mismatched set of twins and an evil scientist butler.  Hafta think about it.

Hee.  (Especially "mismatched," which is so perfect.)  Oh, this reminds me.  I have to tell you guys something.

I know that he was ridiculously annoying when he was acting like a horny 14-year-old all the time with Marlena, and I know that his 79 backstories were ridiculous even for Days, and I know that his current robot impersonation is repetitive and gimmicky and very lowest-common-denominator humor, and I know that his hair is INSANE, but . . .

I LOVE JOHN BLACK.

I do.  I'm sorry.  I love that he mocks everyone around him and loathes Marlena most of the time (we have these things in common).  I love that there is at least one writer on staff who is decent with comedy and is giving Drake Hogestyn some fun lines to work with.  And I love that for the first time in at least a decade, I look forward to John's scenes.

I also used to hate Rolf, but think as a butler he's hilarious.  But that's enough confessions for one day.

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I'm so glad to see Victor onscreen so much more often, and his dinner party, capped off by Nicole's return, was a highlight of my marathon viewing session yesterday.  I'm not a Nicole fan -- she reminds me of the overly-campy Days that I hated -- but 1) she's new and somewhat interesting and 2) I have been bitching almost endlessly about Sami not having any contemporaries, so I am going to postpone being annoyed by her for at least another week or two.

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I have gone on record as being mostly over the Max-and-Stephanie-are-technically-related issue, but for the love of god, the writers have got to stop reminding me of all their shared familial connections.  Caroline providing romantic advice to her son about going after her granddaughter was positively squick-tastic. 

Stephanie: Yeah, I guess I kind of consider him my boyfriend.

I kind of consider him your uncle.

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Tony and Anna are a bit predictable and kind of OTT for my taste, but they're still one of the highlights of the show for me.  And if Anna keeps doing stuff like reminding people that Kate used to be a hooker, Leann Hunley should start to be concerned about a certain blog-based stalker.  Because seriously, that kind of thing can inspire affection on an immense scale.

Hey, did you know that uber-judgmental, Sami-hating, children's-lives-meddling Kate used to have sex for money?  True story.

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A couple of general things I've noticed that are even more irksome when you watch a bunch of episodes in a row.  First, the endless flashbacks to stuff that happened a day or so ago -- don't they no longer have the writers' strike as an excuse for these?  Are they trying to cultivate a fanbase of mostly stoners?  Because even with our busy lives, those of us who are usually sober can generally remember what happened over the last few days.  And if we don't, well, it's a soap -- I'm sure we can figure it out.

Also, what the hell is going on with the timeline?   Last week Stephanie told Caroline that it's been a couple of months since Shawn died.  So Bo has been in the hospital for two freaking months?   What?  How about Chelsea?  And why does Dr. Jonas still not know where to get a cup of coffee on his own if he's been in town for a couple of actual (as opposed to episode-based) months?  And do the writers understand how totally inexcusable the near-absolute lack of story movement is if actual days correspond to episodes of the show?  Damn.

Comments

I'm even further behind Days than you are, but I have to agree on your comment about Morgan's Dad being pretty hot and relatively young. When they first introduced him, when we had the name "Hollingsworth" but not the explanation that he was Morgan's father, I was going to go with him being her brother, because he seems to young and attractive to be her dad, especially when you throw in the Chelsea-Daniel thing.

I missed Sami and EJ too. I actually thought the scenes with Nicole in Chez Rouge were pretty funny. I guess I'm just so used to watching depressing, sad-sack GH that I will take campy soap if I have to. GH has been so joyless lately. Days is a good balance especially with Robo-John. He cracks me up! Great post!

I don't watch any of the soaps you guys do, but I can't stop coming to your blogsite because you just crack me the hell up. Even when I don't know what you're talking about. I've watched just enough of the soaps you post about and spend enough time on other boards that I have enough familiarity with the characters to appreciate your commentary. But I refuse to allow another soap into my life. I just regret that you don't watch any of the same ones I do. Most notably OLTL. But thanks anyway for the laughs.

Paul Newman texting his Newman's Own employees "WHR R CEASAR DRSNG BOTTLES AND DO U WANT2TLK ABT GAY PORN?"

Well, that was funny.

Finally a Days post! I agree completely with your Daniel (Dr. Douche) comments, he just drives me up a wall with the surf talk. Did you catch Philip's face when he started spouting surf at the Kiriakii table? If I didn't love him before I would love him for that alone!

Also yay for the return of EJami! I hated Nicole during her first run but if she brings back the venom in Sami and helps drive EJami together (this non-relationship they're having right now just annoys) then I'll applaud her.

Paul Hollingsworth is HOT. I'm hoping that if Chelsea hooks up with Daniel (she better not) they end up at Chez Rouge at the same time as Morgan & Paul so we can laugh at the utter inappropriateness of the Chan pairing. He is way hotter than Daniel. Also don't you think that if Daniel were to hook up with Stephanie, who appears far more womanly than Chelsea, it wouldn't be as jarring? He looks like he is going after a 15 year old, you expect to hear the "To Catch A Predator" music every time they're near one another. Gross.

You did lose me a little when you professed to love John Black though. I admit I liked this nuJohn at first but he's quickly wearing on me. WHY does he have to want Marlena? He should be like, you don't like me as me, oh well, and start hooking up with every female he runs across just to drive her insane. And the robot talk has got to go. I like when he's snarking, but that's about it.

Paul Hollingsworth is played by the ultra awesome Linden Ashby who (1)was on Y&R as a crazy (2)played Coop on Melrose and (3) has the best name in the history of naming.

Word word word on Daniel Jonas. I wanted to love him. The show has needed a man in this age range for sooooo long. And he looks like he is in this age range. However, they trying to act like he isn't in this age range so we can see something between him and Chelsea (which poor Nick constantly telling her he will be a better boyfriend when he's a GREAT boyfriend already) and there is nothing there (I think SC is playing it scaled back as I'm sure it creeps him out too). The surfer talk is bad and the idea he would talk like that to VICTOR of all people makes me want to scream.

And I find Paul so hot (so much more so than Daniel)! Maybe because he is acting his age. Maybe it's because he hasn't be ridiculously propped to death. I'm waiting for the moment for Paul, Morgan, Chelsea and Daniel go out to dinner together and people presume Daniel is Chelsea's dad too.

I do like this version of John better. But sadly it seems he is starting to fall for Marlena (yes, I knew it was inevitable but still!) I so don't want that.

I haven't been a fan of Tony and Anna since their return but I loved their scenes this week.

Hee, Nolebucgrl, on the dinner thing with Paul and Morgan. You beat me to it!

I see some serious potential with the whole EJ / Sami / Nicole triangle. This is going to be good - I feel it!

And *yawn* with the Max Stephanie storyline.

WTF is up with Steve kissing Ave on Friday? Was he mesmerized by her craziness or what?

YAY for finally getting a Days post! I've had major withdrawals. :) Thank you!!

I tend to have a soft spot for Nicole, mainly because I did off-and-on watch the period where she was married to Victor. It had the usual Reilly terribleness (remember, it was on the eve of Maleswen, which made me stop watching quick) but the scenes where Victor dehumanized and terrorized Nicole were actually fairly chilling and surprisingly "serious" compared to the nonsense happening elsewhere on the show.

While I don't mind the character of Daniel as much as you (but I definitely agree with how the age difference needs to be addressed; I can see how Kate would be indifferent, but Bo?), seeing the attention he's getting does make me onder if Dana Higley is falling into the bad habits she had as HW of OLTL: focusing on several storylines and characters to the exclusion of all else.

Chad I wouldn't mind Daniel nearly as much if he got the hell away from Chelsea and toned down the surfer talk. It just appears that the writers are trying to make him look younger by talking surfer but it's failing miserably. Plus is there one character who hasn't propped him? Even Philip got in on the action. It's just too much too fast and I too would like to like the new blood on the show. Ava's insane and not really likeable when she's interfering with S&K and Paul is awesome but they're making him a criminal and will probably throw him in jail, which would stink. I hope they keep him around tho, he's hot. Really hot!

So true Nolebucgrl on the Daniel propping. I couldn't believe they had Victor saying he not only saved Bo's life (I can let that go) but Chelsea's too. How did he save her life? He didn't even operate on her. Then they have Nick hearing about how he freaking built a hospital in Sweden that was green.

Speaking of Nick...can they please write him into stories involving his own girlfriend? It's tough being a Blake Berris fan on this show.

I really like Ava and Paul but they probably won't get to stick around that long. The show needs new blood and in this age range.

I love RoboJohn! I never liked John before(except with Gina), so this is weird for me. I don't want him to fall for Marlena either, but I did crack up when he told her "I'm going to give you what you want. Me." And the crazy hair is funny too.

Oh, Daniel. I had such high hopes for you. I was even ok with you going after Chelsea, but then you went all perv on the entire female population of Salem.

You know, Daniel doesn't really bother me, but there are two things I would change about him. Get rid of the surfer talk and address the age difference between him and Chelsea. I don't know about you guys, but I love a good May/September romance. The plot itself is inherently soapy, and could keep the storyline running along for a couple of years at least. Too bad they chose to ignore the one thing about Daniel and Chelsea that would have made them interesting.

Paul is smoking hot. I just saw him for the first time on Friday. Wow.

Chelsea and Dr. Dan is almost as gross as Chelsea and Patrick.

Nicole's making me watch the show again. Damn her! LOL

I don't get why John is fawning over Marlena either. Since she won't sex him up, you'd think he'd file for divorce and play the field. His hair is so bad. The color is bad too. I thought that John was being a total hypocrite for getting on Anna for flirting when he massaged her foot 2 months ago.

Wake me up when Bo's recovered.

Hee! I'm glad you pointed out that EJ needs a haircut! Not that anything could diminish his hotness, but it is bugging me. Much like whatever is wrong with Nicole's face!!

Yay! Becca's back.

It's funny that you hate that the writer's remind you of Max and Stephanie's shared family connection because for months people on message boards were bitching about the show's refusal to acknowledge it at all.

Personally, I don't care one way or another. I can deal with the familial relationship, but I can't deal with boring and depressing. And, lately, that's pretty much all Max and Stephanie have been. I liked the pairing but if they are going to have them being boring and depressing together then it's time to try something different.

And, I loved your recap of the major storylines. You captured it perfectly.

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