Days of Our Lives Month and a Half in Review
Yeesh, what a difference six weeks makes. I was in such a good Days place, I even busted out the Awesome Alert Scale. But since then, it's all kind of...fizzled. There have been a few highlights, and the daily dialogue isn't bad, but I just don't understand where the show is going. As far as I can tell, the big points of focus right now are:
- Chelsea and Daniel's "romance"
- Lexie and Abe
Oh, sorry, that last one was only a focus of one episode. More on that later. But really, has there been an episode in weeks that hasn't primarily revolved around one of the first three? And is there any reason I should be interested? Chelsea and Daniel -- repulsive. Max -- seriously? Who decided he was a lead character? And can we take a vote or something? And Chloe and Morgan -- I don't want to talk smack about anything that puts the very handsome Jay Kenneth Johnson on my screen, particularly in various stages of undress, but this triangle could not be less interesting if it involved actual geometry.
I continue to be thoroughly entertained by the new John Black. It's gotten to the point where all he needs to do is refer to his house as "my mansion" and I giggle. Let alone when he says something truly funny and I lose all pretense of jaded soap fan/critic.
John: Alone at last.
Hope: What do we have here?
John: I believe that's an old photo album belonging to my half-brother.
Hope: To look at this you'd think the DiMeras were just your average happy family. Nothing but smiling faces.
John: Still, I'll bet it brings back some memories for you also.
Hope: There's nothing I care to remember about Stefano DiMera.
John: And I can't remember. Which is kind of a nice thing about having amnesia, only along with all the bad stuff I've lost all the good stuff too.
Hope: I know. Your life with Marlena, the kids, your career.
John: Nah, I was thinking about something else.
Hope: Such as?
John: The time you and I had spine-shattering sex on a submarine.
The rest of the conversation is not worth transcribing, even with John's awesomely smug description of the many "notches on [his] bedpost" despite his supposed devotion to Marlena. Wait, that's not true, it's worth transcribing, but I was still laughing from "spine-shattering sex on a submarine" so I couldn't focus. And I wasn't even watching when the submarine sex happened! It's funny just as a stand-alone line, especially Drake Hogestyn's delivery. His delivery of almost every line he says cracks me up -- and it's meant to! I don't even know how to adjust to that after all these years.
Even random stuff becomes funny:
John: Rolf's on breakfast duty. He said he was going to experiment, and I really wasn't in the mood for anything strange. May I have grilled liver smothered in assorted fruit please?
Kudos to Peggy McCay on her hilarious reaction shot, though maybe she had actually broken character and just finds Hogestyn's new approach as hysterical as I do.
I'm not sold on this relationship with Ava for several reasons, but when they kissed
I didn't recoil in horror, so that's an improvement. I'm assuming there is something more to Ava's interest, in John in general and in the disk in particular? Because she seems awfully obsessed with it. At this point though, given that dropped storylines seem to be par for the course with the Ava character (seriously, are Steve and Kayla ever going to discuss the fact that Kayla walked in on Ava and Steve in bed together?!), I would be fine if the disk just disappeared altogether, so that I didn't have to worry about annoying as hell Old John coming back.
Oh, and before I forget, about John's mansion. I'm not the most detail-oriented when it comes to soap viewing, but per a recent show, this is the exterior of the DiMera mansion.
And from a couple of months back, per my embarrassingly extensive screencaps collection, this is the exterior of the Kiriakis mansion.
If I am looking at a screencap that includes Phillip and am gasping at something other than Jay Kenneth Johnson's hotness, we have a problem. Rachel Melvin's hairstylist: Please fix. I won't even call those streaks highlights, so as not to offend the many acceptable forms that highlights can take (when they are not used on General Hospital). She's so pretty; why can't she work out the hair thing? I was so happy about the cut, especially after those truly dark times, but I didn't know those...things were lurking underneath. I guess at least it makes the Kate's-her-grandmother thing extra-believable.
I might be willing to overlook the streaks (no, I wouldn't) if Chelsea weren't in this awful "relationship" with Daniel and weren't reverting back to being the annoying variety of bad girl.
Nick: What do you want,
Chelsea: I want to tell you that I messed up. I made a mistake.
Chelsea: I...I trashed a really good relationship and I ended up with nothing. I was stupid and I hurt you, and that was something that I never wanted to do.
Nick: I know that.
Chelsea: Do you?
Nick: Okay, um, while we're being honest, there's something I want you to know too. I'm still in love with you.
Chelsea: You are a really special guy, Nick.
Nick: You're pretty special yourself.
Chelsea: So, what do you think? You think it's possible that we could stay friends? Because I would like that. I really, really would.
Nick: What the hell, you insensitive she-beast?! Learn to read a room!
Okay, that last line might have been me. Fortunately, Nick did then tell her to pound sand, but I really don't understand why the writers are throwing away all the great character rehabilitation that the previous writing team and Rachel Melvin put into Chelsea over the last couple of years. Even if she has to fall into a relationship with Daniel (which she does NOT, writers!), she doesn't have to be a bitch to Nick.
Though her inappropriate bitchiness/insensitivity does make her a decent match in at least one way with Daniel, who is just inappropriate all around.
With his "patient" Kate:
I've never had a doctor comfort me like that. And I wouldn't want him to, hot or not. Ew. (Are we going to find out why Kate reacted the way she did to Daniel potentially doing surgery on her? Because if it's something like she and Daniel had a fling, why didn't she wig out long ago? This storyline makes no sense.)
Anyway, back to Daniel being inappropriate. With Lexie:
She's his BOSS, for god's sake. You do not lick whipped cream off your boss's nose, unless I have been going about this whole professionalism thing entirely wrong.
And then there's the near-constant inappropriateness with
And he continues to talk like Jeff Spicoli.
Daniel: Man's gotta have a little chill time with his compadres.
He said that while his two friends, also looking to be in their 40s, were
And it really is such a shame the way they're writing Daniel, because Shawn Christian has the potential to be so dreamy.
Why must they ruin this?
The Chelsea/Daniel storyline has, however, given Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso additional opportunities to entertain me, so for that I'm grateful. Bo's reaction to the new couple at Chez Rouge was hilarious, as was Hope kicking him under the table.
Chelsea: You okay, Dad?
Bo: Yeah, just a bit surprised. He's kind of old for you.
Hope: Bo. Don't.
Bo: What? It is what it is, and um, you're an adult, you're over 21.
Chelsea: It's not like he's an old man, Dad.
Bo: No, actually...no, um, he does seem rather youthful for his age.
Daniel: Well, thank you, I think.
Chelsea: You know what, why don't we let them get back to their dessert.
Daniel: Ah, right, right. We don't want to intrude any longer. You two enjoy your evening.
Hope: Same to you.
Bo: Yeah, same to you.
Hope: Why'd you have to be so rude?
Bo: I wasn't rude!
Hope: Yes you were. You were very rude.
Bo: Well, he shouldn't be with my daughter. He should be with someone his own age and type.
Hope: Well, what is that?
Bo: I don't know...globe-trotting bohemian commitment-phobic surfer! Not my daughter!
Hee! I like this Bo so much better than DumBo of a year or two ago. I also love the boomerang of Bo having to deal with the much-older-guy-dating-my-daughter thing that he previously inflicted on Doug.
Speaking of Doug (and Julie), I am all about vets making return appearances, but this?
...is about 78 pieces of flair too many.
James Scott's EJ continues to be a major highlight of Days for me. Drunk EJ might be my favorite EJ.
Ha! And Drunk EJ leads to Hungover EJ, which was also amusing.
But mostly I'm enjoying EJ in couple-y situations that don't involve yelling, as most of his with Samantha in recent months seem to. EJ and Nicole are lots of fun. I still can't believe how much I like Nicole this time around, and Arianne Zuker and James Scott have awesome chemistry.
They are clearly the winners in the Great Elevator Sex-Off of 2008.
Oh, and I actually love that EJ was making up the citizenship stuff, because the explanation for why he needed a visa was otherwise so idiotic, plus he's best when he's a bit evil.
And just because I know some of you will think that I only like Nicole because she's in EJ's orbit and I have, you know, a little bit of an issue in that department, no, I like her relationship with Ava, too.
(Though that whole strange-men-in-a-hotel-room thing was icky.). And I like that they've looped that back by having EJ be Ava's lawyer also. It's possible I'm overlooking huge flaws with all this storytelling, because I'm just so thrilled to have any stories happening in this age bracket after years of nothing on that front.
I might also be willing to overlook a lot because of...
...well, you know, the sexgodliness.
Much like Nicole, Lucas isn't annoying me as much as he used to. Maybe it's because I'm amused by his futile attempts to be a badass criminal. First he left his illegally-removed ankle monitor randomly in a paper bag on the floor of the living room. And Sami, of course, found it. Sly! Then he sports this amazing "disguise" in an attempt to evade the cops when he sneaked out, anklet-less once again.
First of all, that is second-worst wearing of a baseball hat disguise in the history of Salem. Second of all, why do you even need one, when you're dealing with the Salem PD? Just carry a pocketful of shiny objects to distract any officers you might encounter; and that's including your father-in-law.
I'm sick of the Lucas and Sami yell-fest, so I'm all aboard the Lucas-Chloe train. I like her and Phillip as friends-with-benefits (I especially like how much it annoys Nicole), but she needs a little more drama. I'm assuming Brady will be coming back at some point (is this the appropriate place to advocate for him being played by Josh Duhon?), but until then a little triangular distraction is fine by me.
EJ/Nicole are still running away with elevator sex title, though.
Now, because they don't fit anywhere else, it's time for random Lucas screencaps.
Ha! This reminds me of when Martha Madison was playing Belle, and one of the twins playing Claire so obviously disliked her so much that she even mentioned it in a Soap Opera Digest interview. That baby playing Johnny is like, Lucas, man, let me put it in Maury terms for you, you are NOT my father.
I have no reason for posting this one
other than to draw your attention to that ridiculous phone. I love how the people who run Days think rich people constantly refer to their homes as "mansions" and have phones last used by interior designers in 1984. Granted, Samantha had one on the first season of Sex and the City, but I'm pretty sure that was ironic. Or the work of Patricia Field. Anything visually bad on that show I blame on Pat Field.
Back to the Samantha on the show I'm actually supposed to be discussing: Pop quiz!
Sami is a) horrified to discover that she is still married to EJ, or b) just realizing that she is wearing a shirt that a dorky extra would have worn on That 70s Show (P.S. at some point I still need someone to explain the appeal of Laura Prepon to me).
Sami has not been annoying me lately, which is a little unexpected given that she's in the middle of a triangle involving Lucas, and she almost always annoys the shit out of me when she's in a triangle involving Lucas.
I especially like her relationship with John. (Yes, I know my affection for New John is bordering on fangirly and is totally inconsistent with my previous hatred of Old John and annoyance with Early Stages New John. Please pretend not to notice these things.)
Anyway, Sami and John being friendly, and her doing stuff like advising him on cologne? Ha!
Her annulment story with EJ kind of whizzed by -- I really thought they would drag out EJ's deceit about the annulment not going through longer (though maybe the quick pace was for the best, because it gave me less time to compare the storyline unfavorable to its predecessor [in reverse], Ross and Rachel's "this isn't a marriage, it's the world's worst hangover!" plot on Friends -- but maybe it's for the best if it gives the EJ/Nicole relationship time to take off.
By the way, I'm so nervous about what they're going to do about Alison Sweeney's pregnancy and maternity leave. I mean, last time they recast her -- WITH A MAN. That was so horrifying. I still have flashbacks. Oh, and I'm not really a "OMG cute kid story!" kind of person, but this:
"When we showed him a picture of the ultrasound and asked him, 'Would you like a little brother or sister?' he said 'Can it be a helicopter?' " Sweeney tells PEOPLE. "So ... we're working on it."
...is perfect. Ben, I am with you, little man. I would have been so much happier if my little sister had been a helicopter. (Um, at the time I would have been happier. Love you, A!)
You guys, I'm not sure, but I think Max might be upset about something.
The dude has become a rage-o-holic, and it's thoroughly uninteresting. I love that they brought Roscoe Born on as his father (BTW: sexiest voice ever), though that whole reveal seemed fairly bungled to me. There are blind and deaf children in countries that lack television who knew Dean was going to be Max's daddy. It wasn't even foreshadowed. It was, like, elevenshadowed. Anyway, I hope that Max finds his sister and that that calms him down a bit. Because my reaction to his constant ranting now is pretty much
And the Stephanie-Max relationship needs a third party or something else interesting. Way too much schmoopiness, not enough angst. They haven't been together long enough or through enough together, and the characters aren't well-established enough, to settle into relationship bliss. Plus apparently if you are a happy couple you have to have a baby, and then you disappear almost entirely
and we wouldn't want that.
Morgan: ::moans, grabs stomach::
Stephanie: Are you okay?
Morgan: Ugh, cramps.
Chelsea: Ugh, I hate that, it's the worst. It's always back before you know it.
Stephanie: Yep. Exercising didn't help?
Morgan: Usually it does, but not today.
Stephanie: You know what? You are in luck, missy.
Morgan: My mom uses this.
Stephanie: You don't? You should -- it really works.
Chelsea: She's right. I mean look, it says right on the box, even, that it takes care of cramps, bloating, fatigue, and backache.
Morgan: For real? Alright. Damn, I cannot believe that harlot Chloe's here.
Chelsea: I'm sorry, what? Harlot?
Morgan: It's a southern thing. Now I got a headache too.
Stephanie: Well, it's a good thing you're going to take Midol because it'll make that disappear.
Chelsea: It's the miracle drug!
I was embarrassed for Rachel Melvin, Shelley Hennig, and Kristen Renton. I was also embarrassed for Midol, the advertising industry, the concept of marketing in general, over-the-counter medication, and menstruation.
I get that economic times are tough, but MY GOD, there has to be a better way to drum up ad revenue.
I know that it means that I am an insensitive asshole, and that I have a black hole where my heart should be, but I really don't care about this autism storyline.
I mean, first of all, it's so obviously one of those Very Special Storylines, and I hate those if they're not done just right. Which this one isn't, because....well, it's happening to Lexie and Abe. Is anyone invested in Lexie and Abe's relationship or happiness? Theo is a cute kid (and I'm glad they ditched the mohawk),
but up until now he's had about five minutes of screentime, and that was pretty much all in the context of his parents having some stupid argument in his general proximity. I don't even know that the show cares that much about this story, because they had Abe and Lexie find out about the diagnosis off-screen. I'm not going to pretend that I was dying to see their immediate reaction to the news, but this just seems like such an obvious attempt to shoehorn in a "meaningful" story without sufficient build-up that it annoys me tremendously. Much like virtually everything associated with Lexie, save her brief tenure as a hissing tunnel-dweller, does.
This story has given Marlena additional opportunities to act like an asshole though, which is...nice. I'm not mis-reading things; her reaction to Theo's diagnosis was basically "I see your autistic child and raise you a dead one," right? She's smug about everything and it makes my fast-forward button finger itch. She was especially smug about bring the disk to John. I don't want him to look at the disk for many reasons, especially that Old John bugged the shit out of me, but I especially want him to leave it locked up because it will tick off Marlena. God, she's annoying. She wasn't always! What have they done to her? Can we put her current personality on a CD-ROM and lock it away in a drawer too?
Oh Paul Hollingsworth. We hardly knew ya.
What is this, General Hospital? Ugh. Anyway, Paul's dead. But good news, Linden Ashby! 1) You're still fine, 2) You made the Best Week Ever blog, and 2) You've got that whole Anaconda 4 thing going for you. Plus if you'd stuck around, they probably would have had you start dating one of your on-screen daughter's friends, so it's good you got rolled into the river with your dignity and Most Hetero Man to Man Soap Opera Slap title intact.
Phillip's involvement with Paul and his possible involvement in Paul's murder should make his budding relationship with Morgan all that much soapier, but I'm sorry, I'm totally bored by it.
I don't know if it's that it took too long to get started, or if she wasn't connected enough to the canvas to be an interesting love interest for Phillip regardless, or if the actress' "southern" accent just bugs me so much that I can't focus. She says "life" as "laff" which reminds me of that "I don't wont yer laff" line from the Varsity Blues trailer, which makes me think of James Van Der Beek, which makes me think of what a huge asshole Dawson Leary was and how only someone on par with Bob Guza would have written him as the hero of a show, and also how Pacey was so much hotter than Dawson yet got the villain write when he hooked up with Joey and how Josh Jackson's new show better not suck because it's already not my cup of tea but I will totally watch it because I would watch him do almost anything, up to and possibly including Mighty Ducks 14: The Quackening, and...What was I saying?
Screencaps courtesy of Days of Our Lives 2.