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« Who Knew That ABC Was So Charitable? | Main | I Couldn't Contain It (My Boredom, That Is) »

February 04, 2009

I'm Sorry To Bother You, But Are You Aware That Your Show Sucks?

Well, by now you've probably heard the big Days of Our Lives news:

Soap Opera Digest has learned exclusively that the super popular Mary Beth Evans (Kayla) and Stephen Nichols (Steve), who returned to the show in 2006, have been let go. "It's like they're getting rid of everyone over 40," sighs a setside source.

Yes, it is like that.  But that makes total sense, because younger viewers are tuning in in DROVES (what with there being no other forms of media to attract them) and women in their 30s through 60s hate soap operas and never watch them!

I refuse to be all "Sob!  When Steve and Kayla are gone I will be too!  There is almost no reason not to boycott television, end my life, and/or start watching Guiding Light!" Because 1) I mocked people who did that about John and Marlena, 2) I get paid to watch this show, so my threats would be empty, and 3) come on, there is no reason on earth to watch Guiding Light.  But . . . without getting all uber-dramatic about it, this could very possibly signal the end of Salem, you guys.  Because what's left is either terrible or is tainted by what's terrible, and I see no signs of anything improving.

I am creatively tapped out lately, so let me just be blunt:  Days sucks right now.  The emphasis is almost entirely on:

  • Daniel
  • Chloe
  • Melanie
  • Phillip
  • Stephanie
  • Nicole and her babymama (Worth noting: The actress playing the babymama just got a contract!  !!!)

Some of those characters are occasionally entertaining, but none are well-written or central to the canvas and certainly none can fill the void left by John and Marlena, Steve and Kayla, and Bo and Hope.  (Yes, I know technically the idiots in charges have not yet fired Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso, but the writers have made Bo a FUCKING PSYCHIC and turned Hope into an occasional and frequently sanctimonious day-player, so that last remaining 80s supercouple is MIA for our purposes.) 

Every new character this writing team brings on is worse than the last, and they have demonstrated zero ability to write a decent 1) romance, 2) slow-burn build-up (romantic or otherwise), 3) adventure plot, or 4) socially progressive story.  What the HELL else is there?  What do they do well?  Bring really good gossip to the water cooler?  Make tasty guac for the holiday party?  Brake for animals?

I was willing to look at the bright side of the show canning Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn because I wasn't a fan of John and Marlena: The Truest Love In the History of All Love That Is So True We've Lost Track of the Fact That It's Fictional, and I thought maybe the showrunners would take the opportunity to creatively re-align a bit, redistribute some of the resources that had been going into what I imagine by soap standards were pretty giant salaries, and generally get their shit together to make Days a show you looked forward to watching again.  Why is it that when I'm wrong, I'm so horribly off-base that it's laughable?  This is exactly what happened when I grew out my bangs, and when I jumped on the overalls trend.

I will be back to post something substantive about the show, as soon as I'm inspired or entertained enough.  No wait, that's crazy talk.  I'll try to cobble together some review of the last month or so soon.  I know I've been a derelict Days blogger.  I mean, it hardly matters anymore, but let's put on a happy face and unite around making fun of the last few characters left wandering the streets of Salem aimlessly doing boring stuff and falling in love with people we don't give a crap about, okay?

I think it's really important to think positively at a time like this, obvi.


I gave up on Days a while ago. General Hospital is marginally better, so I chose it as my daily source of crap and agony. My guess is that Days is going to fire Frances Reed hastening her demise like GH did to Anna Lee.

Anyway, Guiding Light may not be all that bad. Apparently there's an interesting story involving two straight women exploring the possibility of a lesbian romance... and one of them is Carly Manning. I'm tempted to watch Carly go sapphic, but... GH and Days have killed any optimism I have for daytime television.

Actually, I WILL be turning in to watch Guiding Light, because Grant Aleksander is coming back, and and I've caught some recent clips on YouTube, and I don't feel like heaving heavy objects through the window aftewards.

If its really good, I plan on becoming like OLTL fans, telling you that your life will improve and your hair will be perfect if you only watch the show.

So you know that part in What Happens in Vegas where the best friends go to the ex-boyfriend's house, kick him in the balls and say "You know why!" well I really, really want to do that to Ken Corday and anyone else involved in decision-making at Days.

And the 12 year old babymama got a contract, seriously!!

Hey can I join you in the "kicking the decision makers in the balls party?" Sounds fun and is long over due.

Great blog couldn't have said it better myself.

I'm really disappointed about MBE and SN being fired. I thought they were great on this show, their old chemistry was back effortlessly. They still had years of story to mine. I also loved him as Stefan Cassadine and I'm still pissed about what Guza did to him.

I've watched Guiding Light off an on for 20 years and I have to agree with the above comments suggesting you give the show a try. It's not exactly a masterpiece at the moment but it's much better than it was recently and much more of a true soap than most of what is on daytime now. The Natalia/Olivia story has been surprisingly well-written and believable, and there's much less of the deifying or demonizing of certain characters that is commonplace elsewhere.

"Because what's left is either terrible or is tainted by what's terrible, and I see no signs of anything improving."

Taint that the truth.

I'm shocked one of you finally blogged about Days. Whenever you do, I'm torn between agreeing and being mildly disappointed--not enough mock, outrage and criticism. Maybe it's due to lack of The Shiny and Hot. GH does have a slightly higher production value and tenured Casting Director. But, I guess it doesn't really matter since it won't be around for much longer and will go before the others. Then the burden will be lifted and your job will be that much easier.

With the firing of Mary Beth Evans and Stephen Nichols the show has lost its heart and sould (NOT TO MENTION THE BRAIN THAT HAS BEEN MIA FOR WAY TOOO LONG)...IT'S TIME TO PULL THE PLUG ON DAYS...

The suckage of this show is beyond mindlessness....

I wish MBE and SN had their jobs, I wish S&K had good writing, would have been part of the canvas for the last year and that they would continue....

but in the end MBE and SN, the charcacters they have created and loyal fans and viewers DO NOT DESERVE THIS!

Higley coulnd't get a passing grade on a 5 paragraph essay!!!Corday is and idiot!

I don't watch Days anymore, haven't in who knows how long, right before Belle was born, I think. One can only take so much of the Deirdre Hall Vanity Hour, you know. But, I've followed enough to know what's been going on both in front of and behind the camera. So, let's see, Corday, you put a person playing a role that should be a few weeks, couple months (the baby mama in Hackley's so original, everyone knew it would happen the second it was announced both Sami and Nicole were pregnant, baby switch) on contract, yet you get rid of the people that your fans want to see. Hell, even if I hate Marlena (and I do), I can acknowledge that she should be around still over quite a bit of the fat you could trim. But, cutting the two presumably highest paid stars on your show should have freed up some money. Obviously not all money you can spend, since, if you could spend at the same rate you were, you wouldn't have had to cut them. However, it should have given you some room to work. What you do then, is identify, of what's left, what characters are working for your audience. Yes, your audience, not Hackley's issues she likes to work out via her soap writing. Patch and Kayla and Bo and Hope should be a given to stay with John and Marlena gone. No questions. Do you talk to the actors about taking pay cuts? Sure. But you don't just cut them. Who else do your long time fans have to watch? How about you take a look at your most ill-advised character on the canvas, Doctor Skeevy? Yeah, he's attractive, but even reading plot summaries and the SOD synopsis, I get a squicky feeling reading about him. And I bet he didn't come super cheap. Write his behind off and cut your losses on a character that never found its footing. Stop thinking every time you write a character under 30 into a scene that you need to put them on contract. Just because they come cheaper doesn't mean that a quantity of them doens't add up after a while.

Bravo - on point and really makes me sad for this show. I mocked it in the 80s but I loved watching it anyway, sorta the way I watched 90210 - laugh at the fashions and yet eat up the soapy goodness of it all. Now, I've come to expect no less from Corday who seems bound and determined to make this show unwatchable so he can dump it. There is not a single fanbase I can think of that is happy at the moment. Well, sorry that one Melanie fan (hi Terry) is prolly jumping for joy but I digress. We can put up with alot of stuff if the writing's somewhat palatable, but this? Crap.

I couldn't agree more - Payla has been woefully under used since they were brought back - but at least they are a key part of the history of this show.

To be honest, though, what bothers me even more than Payla is they've also fired the AWESOME Thaao Penghlis. DAYS finally gets the first Emmy nomination in a lead acting category in years and they respond by making the character basically non-existent, and then firing him?

It's as though the fans are the only ones that want the show to have a shot in hell at succeeding - so they are doing everything they can to make it as miserable for us as possible. About the only thing they are doing well, these days...

As sad as it is to say, I think the soap industry deserves to go down. Now, I wouldn't be saying it if this was the same industry from fifteen, twenty years ago - but today? Those in charge on almost all shows have made the same mistakes year after year after year, never learning at all. The writers, the producers, the networks have literally driven the shows into the ground, backed up, and driven them into the ground again - over and over and over. The same tired writers keep getting hired and are allowed to decimate shows, then move on to the next and do the same thing. There's the brilliant move of focusing on plot over character until there is no character left. And of course, that so long sought, constantly missed goal to get that perfect demographic - the same one that keeps getting smaller and smaller and smaller, but also the same one that the networks are willing to sacrifice all other viewers for. So that in the end, they've driven off their loyal viewers in other demos, and briefly caught the attention of their desired demo - before that demo moves on to something else. Congrats. When you run a business this way, constantly doing the same thing that brings fewer and fewer viewers each year, then you get the results you deserve - a cancelled show.

Maybe Nikolas Cassadine on GH will get another tumor and start having converstaions with his dead uncle Stefan and his ex Catherine Bell.

I've taken Days off my DVR lsitings. I gotta admit, it was Baby Switch Number Eleventy that made me break. Is there NOTHING original on soaps anymore? (I know Days is at a huge disadvantage in the originality department, what with Dena on board)

And sadly I am not shocked at Steve and Kayla's departure; I'm only shocked it didn't happen sooner.

As much as it's bashed constantly on this blog, I just may have to turn to AMC. C'mon, Greenlee riding on the Bike o' Death with her bridal veil flapping in the breeze? What's not to love (in a deliciously snarky way)?

Ooookay... why was my comment yanked? Was it the AMC comment?

WOW!! I am just really shocked to find this out! First they have Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn leave and NOW Mary Beth Evans and Stephen Nichols?? WTF is up with having all these veterans leaving this soap?? That is just really sad!

I mean, I really don't often watch DAYS, but i am aware of who these characters are on the show. This is just plain sad and horrible! I'm surprised DAYS still dares to be on tv. The ratings must really be plummeting!

But man! I would really like to see SN and MBE back on GH though, but knowing Guza he would not have that happen.

This is just so disappointing to hear, although the whole "Papa" thing with Stephanie was wearing on me. Patch is "Dad" or "Dude" not "Papa".

I guess I'll keeping watching Days for a little while longer. I mean, they have to pull the plug sometime, right? I might as well watch to the bitter end.

And they'd better pay closer attention because there *are* people over 30 who watch (and we're not talking I just turned 30... I'll be 38 this year). I'm one, and I know of a few others.

So I watched Days for about 12 years of my life, but stopped watching when Another World (my one true soap love) was cancelled. If I wasn't a regular reader of this site my response to the bullet points above would be:
*Okay, her I know. She was seducing Viktor as I left the scene.
I mean, I know who Stephanie and Phillip are. And at least they're legacy characters that had been born 10 years ago. But Phillip was still being played by twins.
Anyway, my point is, I LOVED old Days, and there seems to be no trace of it left. Also, I LOVED Steve and Kayla back in the day (the Riverfront knifer! Jack Deveraux as a bad guy!), and if I hadn't moved to England, I would have watched their return. But now I have no interest in watching Days ever again. Well done NBC!

Also, way to cancel Another World! (Yes, it was 1999, and yes, I'm still bitter.)

Somebody better warn the "Hourglass" it's time may be up soon too. Maybe it can get a job in somebody's kitchen timing roasts? Although I have to say at least DOOL is just firing its vets, not killing them like on GH.

The whole thing sucks toxic balls!

Had I not sworn off Days when Dena was hired, I would surely do it now (everyone should be so lucky as to get paid to watch soaps!). But as it is, now I don't have to wonder if I'm missing out on S&K anymore.

Agree with everyone who said they're not surprised, just disappointed.

Though I am certainly saddened by this news, I am not surprised. Having never been much of a John/Marlena or Bo/Hope fan, Steve & Kayla were my supercouple of choice (later it was Jack & Jennifer).

I was noticing the intense focus latley on Daniel & Chloe (and wondering who in the hell cares about this couple at all?) and Nicole & EJ. I don't see anything compelling that makes me want to watch. I cannot stand Phillip & Stephanie together; they are like nails on a chalkboard to me. Melanie is shriekly and whiny and I have no use for her either.

Of the characters still on the canvas, I'm most interested in Max (what happened to his genius-ness?), and Sami's damn bodyguard, which is a clear indicator of how far this show has fallen.

Though the baby switch is, well, a bit overdone, I think the actress playing Nicole does really good desperation... But I do miss drunk Nicole.

I haven't been watching Days for very long - have Steve and Kayla been on the scene for more than three of the last, like, fifteen years? People must seriously have loved them when they were on before to inspire this much of an uproar.

I'm hoping this is all paving the way to erasing the last ten years of GH - Maybe Stephan could break still smart Lucky out of Helena-prison and take her down? Thereby waking everyone from the mass nightmare-like, violent-mob-centered hallucination they've been in for the last decade???

Here is my tip to the soap writers. Pop on into the Nickelodeon studios or perhaps share your Disney channel writers, ABC. Surely some of those writers are wanting to jump ship from Zoey 101 or the Wizards of Waverly Place. You want younger viewers, look at what they watch. The stories aren't original, but in reality, none are, its all recycled since before Shakespeare. Its not the beginning or end we are interested in, but the middle...how they got there. Show that, not just a couple falling into bed and thus in love. I'm looking at you, Chloe-Dan, Chloe-Lucas, Nicole-EJ. We also like non-romantic stories....say something work related or a murder mystery.

Boo to letting Steve & Kayla go, but that was not surprising. Hopefully, the show will have a revitalization, but the stories are so dry and disjointed. With all the unemployed out there (and more to come), they should be looking to hook new viewers.....afterall network tv=free tv.

Hate to point this out but the ratings are actually UP.
I don't get it either.

I lost my patience with Days and Steve/Kayla when they started trying for a baby, and I officially gave up with the show when Sami and Nicole got pregnant. But it's still sad to hear how this show is dying. Fucking Corday.

I think this is the perfect time for GH to swoop in, grab SN up and bring back Stefan! Probably I'm compounding the idea that the devil you know is better than the devil you...know. Okay, it doesn't work, but still, I'll take bad Cassadine writing any day if they'll shuttle batshit-crazy Daddy Zucchini and his boring siblings the hell out of town.

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