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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.