Days of Our Lives: 2008 In Review
I really hope I'm wrong, but I fear 2008 was the year Days of Our Lives' chances of sticking around for more than a couple years slowly went down a non-soapy drain. I know that sounds awful, especially compared to how optimistic I was a year ago. 2008 started off pretty well on Days! I was all optimistic, writing in our Soap Opera Digest column about all my silly hopes for the coming 12 months:
DAYS has some overexposed characters, too. Take Sami, for example. I think Allison Sweeney is great, but I wouldn’t be disappointed to see Sami onscreen a bit less. She’s really the only character in town in her generation, the one between the sorority girls and their moms, so she ends up involved in too many stories. On the guys’ side, DAYS doesn’t have a hired killer with an alleged heart of gold, but they do have a redemption-of-EJ arc underway that seems promising. (Of course, the storyline has involved James Scott being shirtless, so it’s entirely possible my judgment is clouded.) The DAYS powers-that-be need to develop younger leading men beyond Scott, though – maybe pair them up with new contemporaries of Sami. Salem needs couples in the 20s- and early-30s-range that viewers can root for. Here’s hoping that in 2008, DAYS really focuses on the younger set and gets them into some chemistry-filled pairings, because right now the best couples are the same ones I was picking that lock to watch in the 80s.
Let's break down in detail just how stupid I look now, shall we?
I wouldn’t be disappointed to see Sami onscreen a bit less.
I was disappointed, especially now that she's spent like 17 months in a condo -- I refuse to call something a safe house when it doesn't even have a deadbolt -- with the [admittedly quite yummy] dude from Passions. Also, I think I might actually hate Sami now. I know my eardrums do.
they do have a redemption-of-EJ arc underway that seems promising
No they didn't, and no it wasn't.
Salem needs couples in the
20s- and early-30s-range that viewers can root for.
Looking back, I'm not even sure why I was that optimistic. In January, Salemites wore really ugly scarves (oh, and John came back from the dead). The writing became relatively crappy, but Mrs. Partridge showed up as John's long-lost mom for like five minutes, and I became focused on the stupidity of the show firing the only halfway decent writing team it had had in more than a decade and I kind of forgot how much the show was annoying me. Then February kicked up the annoyance factor again with horrible dialogue and yet another Marlena-OD, but then, bless its solid wooden heart, The Door happened.
Be my BFF, Door.
We soon learned Belle and Shawn would soon be headed out of town because Martha Madison and Brandon Beemer got canned. I was fine with those exits, both because the characters got on my last nerve, and because I had spent my righteous indignation bitching about this dumb show letting the awesome Julie Pinson go. Now she's on As the World Turns, almost single-handedly turning it into a non-Grandma soap I'm sure, and I'm stuck watching the idiot Days writers give Billie's love interests to her daughter and mother. Blech. And to make matters worse, at the same time Days gave Judi Evans her walking papers, depriving me of more Steve/Adrienne nostalgia. Well, it would have deprived me of that if Steve himself had been on for more than maybe a combined five hours for the rest of the year.
Steve and Kayla were featured in that whole plane crash dealie that was pretty good soap. Somehow I let my optimism get the best of me again, especially after Salem's send-off of Shawn Brady was a well-done tearjerker. (Of course, I still managed to be super pissy and bitch about Kimberly Brady. Not like that's hard.)
In early March, coming out of February sweeps, the soapy components were firing on all cylinders, or some less mixed metaphor. But then the rest of March was boring. April was too. Though I did go all recap-crazy on the one decent episode I could identify in April. I wonder why I picked that show? I was probably drunk.
Shortly thereafter, I began my cringing over barely legal Chelsea Brady and overgrown surfer-dude Dr. Daniel Jonas. I became increasingly concerned about their hair. Okay, truth be told, maybe my concern was a bit about their totally inappropriate and thoroughly disturbing relationship. It's possible. Thankfully, Rachel Melvin soon got a haircut, and eventually, thank the [James Scott when he's not growing out his hair], Chelsea and Daniel finally broke up.
The month of May had enough awesome moments that I actually broke out my trusty Awesome Alert Scale. (Side note: I believe this may have been the last time in 2008 that I really enjoyed Sami and EJ.)
Oh, and Days finally got nominated for some Emmys! But of course the actors got shut out and the poor souls had to suffer through that horrendous pre-show and ceremony, with only the hilarious reality that their show won the award for best hair (!!!!!) to bring a smile to their otherwise faux-grinning faces.
So things were still going pretty well on the actual show, but then June and early July happened, and Days burst my bubble in a big way. Which is a bad thing, in case that imagery is unclear. Maybe I was just grumpy, and should have taken some Midol! Wherever would I get an idea like that, though?
In July, I watched an AWESOME episode of Days. From 1988. I also wish blogs were around back then because the fashion posts, at least, would have been like shooting shoulder-padded fish in a sequined barrel:
I briefly saw light at the end of the tunnel when it looked like Dena Higley was kicked to the curb (I'm trying to fit as many euphemisms for "fired" into this post as possible), but instead showru[i/n]ner/ Ken Corday canned Ed Scott, the guy who had seemed to be responsible for the few noticeable improvements on the show.
August was insomnia-inducing and inspired me to post a word cloud. A freaking word cloud! I must have been drunk again. I also came to realization that I basically hate every couple on the show. And
This fall the frequency of our Days blogs was directly proportional to the level of interesting things happening on the show. Yeah...
Then, um, I had an incident.
I bounced back because truly, someone had to address the vital issue of the men of Salem's awful, awful hair.
Virtually every storyline during November "sweeps" (seriously, did anyone explain that concept to Higley and her crew?) was soooo boring (or weirdly nonsensical), but Stephanie did get a cute haircut. So it was kind of a draw.
Then, just as I went public with my love for NewRoboJohn, we found out Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn got shitcanned. Since I'm not a fan of Deidre's recent acting choices or Marlena's tendency to eat the show, I was pretty okay with that decision, actually. When I start to get even a little mopey about the decision and what it means for the future of the show, I watch this, and I feel better:
Dr. Daniel Jonas was determined to ruin Christmas, because even though he initially seemed to have been created in a soapy laboratory to appeal to women just like me, he rang in the holiday season by groping his patient, who is also the current bone-marrow donor and future daughter-in-law of the grandmother he is schtupping. The grandmother, to be specific, of his ex-girlfriend, the one with the again-tragic hair. It's all very difficult to process. But Chloe did slam his knuckles in a door, so that was
fun to watch.
The Days writers decided to wish me a happy new year by turning their unskilled pencils to to the destruction of Victor. If I had an awesome mustache like John Aniston, I would stroke it evilly and plot their demise.
But remember, Days is going to be around for a couple more years! Woo...hoo?