Days of Our Lives Month in Review
It's actually five weeks in review. Yikes. I know I have been falling down on the Days-blogging job. I had been so uninspired by this show of late. My revulsion at the Daniel/Chelsea relationship -- and their hair (since half resolved) -- perked me up enough to briefly blog, but other than that it hardly seemed worth the effort. Then 1) I realized I had a month's worth of weeks in review notes stored up so that would almost be enough substance for a single post (seriously, it was draaaaagging), and 2) this last couple of weeks Days suddenly became somewhat awesome again! I'm even busting out the awesome alert scale! Seriously! Okay, I should be clear: only parts of the show are awesome. But those parts are awesome enough to warrant the awesome scale, and that is a huge improvement.
Things I find irresistible, no matter how bad they are:
- makeover shows
- Real World/Road Rules challenges
- a slow-burn soap romance involving a bad boy
- Hugh Grant's haircuts
- chocolate mousse deserts
- EJ Wells
So of course, I am ridiculously excited about everything associated with the EJ/Sami/Lucas/Nicole potential quad and all of the soapy deliciousness involving EJ and Sami in particular. I have actually looked forward to watching Days episodes for the last week and half because of them. I cannot tell you the last time that happened. I think I had really big bangs. Whatever. For the recent EJ and Sami developments, I'm busting out the big gun:
But in addition to that high honor, this level of soapiness has earned more detail. Read on for soapy goodness!
So, EJ and Sami have been [reluctantly, on Sami's part] shooting longing glances at each other for months and -- particularly because James Scott and his sex godliness has been involved -- it's been fun to watch. The banter, the schmoopy eyes, the snarkiness, the James-Scott-as-baby-holder? Loved it.
The couple forced to marry in order to end a generations-long vendetta and forced to stay married because of a totally nonsensical citizenship issue start to fall for each other, despite their rocky past? Soapy!
Meanwhile, Lucas -- Sami's alleged truest love of all, although I submit that if you watched Days from the time those two came on the show through the 90s you have serious issues with that characterization -- is locked up for the soapy crime of trying to kill Sami's new husband at their wedding. And he won't have any contact with Sami, even told her she had to move on with her life while he served out his prison sentence. Soapy!
Then, one of Sami's worst enemies in the world comes to town and starts flirting with EJ
. . . and it is on. Sami kind of lost her mind and started to mark her territory
. . . which of course just encouraged Nicole. And upped the tension between EJ and Sami. Soapy!
Oh, I should mention here that I really like Nicole this time around! I was not excited about her return, because she's from an era of Days I hated, but Salem really needed a bad girl in this age range. And alcoholic, meddling, flirtatious, gold-digging, metallic-jacket wearing Nicole is just the right fit.
Anyway, back to the soapy tale. I loved, loved, loved EJ and Sami's conversation about The Incident. Sami confronting EJ about how Johnny was conceived was great, as was EJ's non-deflective response. I know there was some whitewashing/re-writing in there, but I don't care. I totally accept it, because the actors totally sold it and because the way that whole thing was handled after The Incident made me want to kick many shins and god knows my shin-kicking list is long enough and due for some removals. Sami acknowledging what she did to Austin, EJ apologizing, Sami accepting his apology . . . it was all just made of soapy awesomeness. I know I sound like a fangirl, but seriously, it was great soap!
So THEN, the married-for-convenience couple had sex. I know it's a contrived soap plot, but it's a contrived soap plot involving actors with great chemistry and more importantly James Scott getting almost naked, so it was fabulous.
But meanwhile, Lucas was getting sprung from the big house (which is ironic, since EJ had tried but failed to make that happen - soapy!)
(BTW, how cute are NewMickey and Maggie? They need a storyline.)
. . . and he walked in on EJ and Sami in bed together!
I know, right? What are the odds of something like that happening?!
Okay, it was totally predictable. But still awesome. Not awesome? How quickly Sami and Lucas fell back into the yelling routine.
She looks kind of like an angry Pekinese in that last one, and he is already veering back to angry emoticon territory.
But back to awesomeness: The look on James Scott's face when EJ overheard Sami tell Lucas EJ meant nothing to her was perfect. And EJ is totally going to end up retaliating by getting into some kind of relationship with Nicole, right?
Which would set up a great quad with Nicole and Lucas falling for each other, this time for real and without the involvement of a large monetary incentive. Crazier things have happened! Maybe Lucas can get her to attend an AA meeting or two. Or at least not drink at the gym.
What I am not looking forward to is more of this:
Lucas: ...[Sami]'s a lying, cheating whore.
This is false on so many levels. First of all, she didn't lie about anything. Granted, it's a bit difficult to obfuscate when you've been caught naked in bed with the other guy and have hardly had time to throw on a hoodie and yoga pants let alone create a cover story, but she didn't lie. She wasn't like "um, we were practicing how to give CPR if some tragic collapse happens during a skins vs. shirts pick-up game!" And she didn't cheat, since due to a series of contrivances, Lucas and Sami got divorced and she married EJ. But let's get to the really objectionable part: the W word. Even assuming this was meant in the "promiscuous" sense, as opposed to the "exchanged the deed for cash" sense, it's ridiculous, and offensive. I hate that soap writers always go there. Sami's a lot of things, many of them bad, but she's never slept around, and even if she had I can't really see how calling a woman a whore for having sex with her husband is kosher. I don't know why I'm so worked up about this, but I am. It's possibly transference of my anger at the limited amount of time James Scott spent shirtless.
And then before I had fully recovered from the W word, ugh, they followed that gem up with this:
Sami (to Lucas): ...I'm the one who screwed up. And I hurt you. I'm sorry. I hate myself for that.
Oh god, we're back there again? Where Sami isn't good enough for Lucas? And when she walks around handing out invitations to her self-pity party? No. I hate that Sami. She irritates the hell out of me. If the writers want me to buy into this whole EJ/Sami/Lucas thing -- and clearly I'm predisposed to, on account of the soapiness and James Scott's shirtlessness in whatever quantity -- then they are going to have to steer clear of all accusations of whoredom and Sami being a pitiful wet blanket. I have my limits. And I am not afraid to downgrade this whole soapy shebang on the awesome alert scale.
You guys, I discovered the depth of my love of flashback montages. I love them so much that I even love them when they're about Marlena and John.
I used to really like them together! And actually, as long as John is still a snarky dickhead without a memory of their One True Love, I still enjoy them. I especially loved John reveling in the fact that even back in the day, he could be kind of a jerk. He was downright smug about Marlena cheating on RealRoman with him. (Oh, and while we're on that topic, EJ's glee at the conference table sex reveal was awesome.) And John's current-day prickishness continues to amuse me:
John: Now you two kids. You wanted something when you broke in here and interrupted me.
Sami: A small favor.
John: Small favor. You're living here under my roof and you've eaten all of my corn chips. I'd say you're doing pretty well for yourself.
Hee! But here's the problem: they're starting to make out again.
Nothing good can result from this.
I'm sure there are less interesting things than Abe and Lexie's relationship.
In the world, I mean, because I'm reasonably certain there are no less interesting things on this show. Or television in general.
Marriage counseling based on growing apart, and a developmentally disabled child? Really? Did I stumble into an ABC Family Channel movie? By the way, in terms of Theo, the biggest concern is not his development:
Um. I'm going to have to assume that Abe took Theo to the barber shop in the midst of one of his crazy eyes fits and that was the result. Because the crazy eyes are back in full force.
Lexie can blame the terrifying effect of the crazy eyes when she sleeps with their hot marriage therapist. Because she will, you know. It's Lexie. Cheating on Abe and being a crappy doctor is pretty much the extent of her personality repertoire. Save for the occasional stint living life as a hissing tunnel-dweller under a 1980s nightclub. And you can't really do that more than more than every couple of years; it would be unrealistic.
Recently, something horrible happened to Stephanie Johnson. I think you all know what I'm talking about.
Yes. She wore a strapless linen jumpsuit.
Oh, and she was kidnapped for about three minutes. But I think it's clear which of those two incidents is more traumatic, with longer-term consequences.
She also had sex with her uncle-via-adoption, Max.
I hope these two are in it for the long haul. You know, they can really commit, then meet each other's families . . .
I still do actually like these actors together, but the writers need to acknowledge the weirdness of the pairing. To start with, I don't think having them have sex over the Brady Pub was the best idea. You know, since it's their family's restaurant. Ew.
Also, can we talk about how not awesome this Max Is Rain Man story is? Perhaps worst of all, it's making Nick look like an idiot, figuratively
This whole thing makes no sense. Max has never, until this point, shown any aptitude for anything academic. In fact, he's been kind of an (occasionally) lovable dim-bulb. I mean for god's sake, the kid went to summer camp and didn't find his way home for 15 years!
But really, why was Max working two and three jobs to pay the bills if he has some genius brain that could get him fat grants and a professorship? (Of course, why does he have to work two and three jobs to pay the bills if he was a professional race-car driver with sponsors for years? But that was soapy stupidity I was willing to overlook. This savant thing is unsoapy stupidity, and I'm less forgiving of that.)
The only thing that might save this story is that apparently Roscoe Born's character is going to be involved. I freaking loved Roscoe Born on Santa Barbara. It was completely age-inappropriate for me at the time, but damn, I thought that guy was sexy. I have high hopes for his entrance on the Days canvas.
Villainous Victor is back! I love that he was the one who kidnapped Brady.
It totally reminded me of the 80s. Remember the horrible things he would do to Adrienne, to "protect" Justin? Also, remember how you thought Wally Kurth's dimples were the dreamiest facial features ever? Uh, never mind, that wasn't entirely on-topic.
I loved Victor handing the reigns over to Phillip. I'm optimistic about Phillip as the big corporate villain of the next generation. (I did have some concern about the future of his empire after this though: "Hey, it's Phillip. Get me the computer division." The "computer division"? Wow, how super advanced. Do they also have a ham radio division? The hell? )
I'm also less than optimistic about Phillip with either Morgan or Chloe, because both possible pairings are boring me lately.
Oh, but we finally got to see the exterior of the Kiriakis mansion!
It's little things like this that make me happy about the direction the show is headed in. I know this means I have turned into the "look, something shiny!" girl now, but whatever . . . look, gothic mansion! Pretty!
All things Kiriakis in general:
I'm bummed they killed off Martino Vitale so quickly.
Joe Penny was great in the role, and I was excited about there being a new bad guy in town. Victor needs a contemporary to battle, especially if it leads to him wanting to get more back in the game and therefore a power struggle with Phillip. Soapy! Plus Penny had good chemistry with Kate (who is conveniently Victor's ex and Phillip's mom), and I haven't enjoyed watching scenes with Kate since . . . ever. Anyway, while I'm sorry he's gone, it's probably for the best. The last time I found a newly introduced mafia character interesting and thought he held promise as a long-term villain and source of new additions to the canvas, it did not turn out well.
So for his short tenure and the fact that his death pulled us out of the interminable Ava Done Lost Her Mind storyline, I aware Mr. Vitali:
I know ER is ending soon and everything
. . . but with paychecks and residuals from 37 seasons, are times really this tough?
I know I have been against Steve and Kayla having another baby from the beginning, but I must admit, I got dragged kicking and screaming into caring about this storyline. Because really, how could you not? Mary Beth Evans KILLS me when she cries. It's ridiculous. I have some kind of Pavlovian response where I just immediately mist up. And Stephen Nichols is probably at his best when Steve is a mixture of protective and distraught (remember when he rescued a sick Kayla from the Devereaux mansion?), so the two of them have just been amazing.
Sniffle. Please be okay, little Joe Johnson. I don't really understand why your parents can't visit you, but thank god the formerly crazy lady sneaked in to snap a photo on her cell phone to let us know you're doing as well as can be expected.
I like Ava much better now that she has more than one line to say ("You ruined my life, Patch!") and it turns out she was cuckoo because of being drugged by her daddy, not for some more organic, non-fixable reason. Who are they going to pair her up with now, though? They've put her into an age group where everyone is already spoken for, probably permanently, and she hasn't had interaction with people closer to her age. My hope is they put her with Daniel, but since it's clear the people who write for Shawn Christian hate me, I imagine that won't happen.
Oh! Are Steve and Kayla ever going to discuss the fact that he got semi-naked with Ava? I feel like that really got dropped, and if I were a wife it's something I'd want to at least momentarily address, don't you think?
I cannot award all things Steve and Kayla the highest level of awesomeness just because they themselves are made of awesome (though I am tempted to), and I'm still a little worried about this baby story and the boredom it could ultimately bring, so I'm going to have to with:
Tony proposed to Anna.
Those four words, relatively to the rest of this beastly long post, roughly represent the airtime the two of them got over the last five weeks, so I'll leave it at that.
I am withholding an awesome rating because of the limited airtime and the insufficient soapiness of the proposal (at the Pub? yawn).
Holy crap, Ciara is practically a teenager.
I think this was a really smart use of SORAS. Given the ages of her parents and her brother, and the almost impossibility of involving soap characters in an interesting story when they have an infant, I approve. Plus, this little girl is darling. I want to introduce her to the kid who plays Cameron on GH.
Oh, Daniel and Chelsea. I've saved you for last, because you -- to speak in language Daniel can understand -- harsh my awesome buzz like whoa, dudes.
This whole "romance" was botched from the beginning. First of all, there was zero build-up. They had one conversation on a park bench and then he performed surgery on her. Now she talks about being in love with him and this connection they have and she sounds like a moron. And he, well, he just sounds like a moron because the writers thought having him constantly wear a comparably subtle "I am a cool, hip guy [who despite my 40+ years is a totally appropriate love interest for a girl whose character was a minor less than two years ago]" t-shirt, have opted to have Daniel continue to talk like a teenager. A dorky teenager, from 1982. Stuff like
Daniel: Man, I have got to start gettin' some Zs.
Daniel: ...I'm bettin' Abe thinks you're all that and a bag of chips.
Good god. I'm embarrassed for poor [gorgeous] Shawn Christian just reading that again. Maybe he does crunches when he's repelled by his dialogue. That would explain a lot.
Chelsea's half-naked in that locker he's leaning on because this super-hot-for-each-other couple just couldn't keep their hands to themselves! Aren't you overwhelmed by the soapiness?
No? Yeah, I know.
As for her health status, I don't know whether there is any truth to
this whole "a funky pancreas can contaminate your hoo-ha" medical condition, but regardless let
me say I'm unimpressed with the new writers that one of their first big acts is to make Chelsea sterile. Ugh. At least we can hope this means no Chelsea/Daniel baby. I would have thought that a kid was an age-inappropriate story for Chelsea anyway, but, well, you know . . .
I feel a little bad about how much I hate this storyline, because I like both the actors. I think the Daniel Jonas character has such potential, and Shawn Christian -- provided he gets a haircut! -- is truly hot. And Rachel Melvin is adorable. She and Kirsten Storms turned our two least favorite bad girls into two of our favorites, and I salute them for that. I still like Chelsea and Stephanie's friendship, and I liked the 17 minute relationship that Chelsea and Nick had. But that brings me to another reason the Chelsea/Daniel story sucks. Nick.
I didn't expect Chelsea and Nick to stay together forever -- and frankly they'd already started to bore me -- but how un-soapy was it for Chelsea to immediately fall in love with Daniel and then dump Nick in the shortest and least interesting break-up in history?
Chelsea: How are you so amazing?
Nick: You taught me.
1) Barf, and 2) Bullshit!
If the writers wanted to get the audience invested in the Chelsea/Daniel relationship -- strike that, if they had any shot of getting the audience invested, because I'm convinced the age difference is insurmountable -- they should have had Chelsea and Daniel grow closer over several months, and they simultaneously should have written Chelsea like she actually wanted to be in a relationship with Nick. Because at least in 2008, I didn't really get that impression. They should have written everyone as disapproving because of the age difference and the doctor/patient issue, instead of this creepy "good luck you crazy kids, he's gorgeous!" reaction that Chelsea's friends and family have put on bizarre display. Oh, AND, if they had to do the "Billie sleeps with her daughter's crush/boyfriend" story, THIS was the guy to do it with, not Nick! And it would have given Billie a much better reason to leave town and not come back.
But instead, they threw together a couple with zero backstory and almost no soapy angst, and as a result I have to watch two pretty and talented people in scenes that seem to have been created in a laboratory to be as unappealing as possible. It's so unfair! To me, to them, to soapiness, to the entire medium of television.
The sad truth is that Daniel and Chelsea are so far into the negatively awesome zone that they broke the awesome alert scale. Are you happy now, Days? You have a lot to make up for. I think you should start with lots of scenes that require EJ and Phillip to be shirtless.
Screencaps courtesy of Days of Our Lives 2.