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« Friday, I'm In Love | Main | Shot Through The Heart »

January 25, 2010

Days of Our Lives Gazillions of Weeks in Review

I will start as I seem to do with every post over the last year or so, by apologizing for my nonexistent Days of Our Lives coverage lately.  Real life, and my day job (which has the slight advantage over this side one in that it, you know, keeps me from being homeless), have kept me ridiculously busy.  Fortunately, Mallory is hilarious and somehow keeps up on all her shows while producing awesome post after awesome post in addition to carrying on with her myriad real-life responsibilities.  (I secretly suspect a meth habit, but don't plan an intervention until things slow down for me and I can therefore afford for her to be less productive.  I am a good friend.) 

But I know our Days-viewing readers have been deprived of late.  (If "of late" = 2009.)  However, what helps to balance out my abandonment of our weekly snarky sessions, I hope, is that this show?  Got good!  It's not perfect, but it is far superior to what it was, to the extent that even with months of episodes to choose from, I had difficulty finding things to make fun of.  This kind of situation has the potential to alter my entire world view!  If I can't make fun of Days, what am I supposed to do?  Sit back and enjoy it?  What is this, 1987?  My bangs aren't nearly voluminous for that to be the case.

Anyway, with my crazy schedule I don't even have time to read Soap Opera Digest, the publication that kindly publishes our monthly rants.  And I already didn't read online spoilers except in rare circumstances.  So now I am basically completely spoiler-free, and I have to say, I highly recommend it.  I've had a couple of surprises over the last few weeks alone, including Mickey dying and EJ being in on the kidnapping.  I honestly didn't see that latter one coming at all.  Maybe that's less that the writing is improved and more that years of watching soaps has finally done what my dad said it would (eaten my brain), but regardless:  Go spoiler free!  It's fun, it's less time-consuming, and it will make you lose weight and help save the planet!  

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I started watching Days in 1986, by which time Mickey Horton was already one of the show's elder statesmen (along with his dad Dr. Tom Horton -- sniffle).  I had sensed with the recent increased mentions of Mickey that the show was planning to have him die, but it was still a jolt when Maggie announced he had passed away.  This is largely due to the fact that Suzanne Rogers freaking rocks.

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When Maggie took the wedding ring off Mickey's finger, I might have teared up.

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And I am a sucker for flashbacks of all varieties, including those from before I was watching (and perhaps even before I was born).

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I thought there could have been more build-up and more than just the two sets of flashbacks, but overall this was a decent send-off.  I hope John Clarke is well enough to have watched and knows how fond the audience is of him.

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Anna returning as a psychotic baby-stealer was a bit of a head-scratcher,

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until the reveal that EJ was paying her to kidnap Sydney.  Gasp!  Twist!

My only real beef with this storyline -- other than that it has required Ali Sweeney to either scream or cry basically every day for the last six months and I worry about her facial muscles ever recovering because she seems awesome and The Biggest Loser gig must already be pretty worry-line-inducing -- is that, seriously, in this day and age why would anyone use this ransom note method?

AnnaRansomNote

Just print that baby out in Arial Bold on some Office Depot recycled copy paper and you're golden.  They'll never be able to trace you.  This shiz is practically scrapbooking.

Anyway, I am especially excited to get slightly evil EJ back because for several months he would show up only to 1) yell at people, or 2) sexily talk on the phone.

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But now he's actively participating in messing with Sami's mind to an inhuman degree in a most DiMera-esque fashion, and it's kind of delightful.

Oh, P.S.:  Next time I have to go to court to yell inappropriately at the psycho who faked a pregnancy and stole my child, would one of you kindly remind me that perhaps a braided mohawk is not the best way to convey a sense of maternal concern?

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In fact, why don't we just work together to eliminate braided mohawks altogether?  The planet is certainly better off without them, and we have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this trend (on account of it being hideously ugly and therefore adopted by so few) to effectively annihilate it.  That's it, I'm starting a nonprofit for this purpose.

Honestly, the terrible things the hairstyling staff do to Ali Sweeney's glorious hair on a regular basis are just inexplicable and appalling.  It's like taking the yumminess out of chocolate!

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Basically Daniel and Chloe show up every week or so to be uninteresting and kiss weirdly.

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Every time they start making out, I wonder if I've been doing it wrong all these years.

(Side note:  Is Daniel going to be Carly's baby daddy?  The thought occurred to be during their conversation about having been old friends on Friday, and is now kind of haunting me.)

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Doug and Julie came back for the holidays, and were adorable as usual.

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Julie is a bit much for me, but having Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes around for Mickey's death was a nice nod to history.  On the other hand, they were two additional loved ones who passed up the opportunity to beat some sense into Hope's thick-ass skull, but we'll get to that later.

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Kate's scarf made of an old woman's dreadlocks refuses to go away.

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I don't really have anything else to say about the one-note character that Kate is, and I certainly can't talk about the fact that Lauren Koslow has INDIGO STREAKS in her hair, so I'm just going to move on.

Kate's son, Lucas the angry emoticon, returned.

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But not for long, as Bryan Dattilo has been let go.  Lucas is among the most irrelevant characters in Salem, so I can't say I'm sad to see him go.  Plus if we're choosing, this show is in much more need of 30-something women than 30-something men.

INDIGO STREAKS!  Anyway...

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Phillip and Melanie's ridiculous "relationship" continues.

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For all its improvements, this show cannot properly pace a romance.  AT ALL.  These two idiots -- who by the way look utterly age-inappropriate for each other in a way that bugs me more than these things usually do on soaps -- went out on maybe half a date and then were attempting to elope.  Their passion for each other is not at all evident, and even if it were it would make absolutely no sense.  What is going on here?  I suspect some influence from the "Outstanding" Emmy-winning General Hospital writing staff. 

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What's up, y'all?

Sydney
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Am I not the most adorably expressive TV baby ever? 

(And yes, I'm sure she's played by twins, but that sentence didn't work well in the plural form.  Plus I'm fairly certain that only one of the twins is that expressive and the other one handles the more mundane scenes.  Which totally reminds me of how one of the twins who played Claire seemed to despite Martha Madison.)

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I hate the teens.  All of them. 

 TeensMiaTeensChad
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I. Hate. Them. All.  Or perhaps that's too strong -- I'm just terribly bored by all of them.  Every aspect of them.  I just can't bother with any more detail than that.  Okay, wait, one detail:  Somehow the writers found the only way to make mousy, whiny Mia more irritating, by -- with zero build-up -- morphing her into Mean Girl Mia. 

TeensMiaMeanGirl

Ugh.  No.  Stop trying to make Mean Girl Mia happen, Days.  She's never going to happen.

And, okay, I guess one more thing: I don't know if it's a performance choice by the actor or the bitchier alternative, but...Will has whatever is a step beyond Duh Face.  Der Face?  That sounds too German.

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That boy is slower than [insert folksy reference here; I don't have any of these because I was raised in California].

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Does ANYONE understand why Hope and Bo split up, other than 1) Hope lost her damn mind, or 2) the writers got way too excited about a Bo/Hope/Justin/Carly quadrangle and forgot to first logically drive a wedge between the supercouple at the heart of the quad first?

Witness this recent argument, which pretty much summed up the nonsense:

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Hope:  The truth is, honestly?  I don't know what I feel anymore.  About anything.
Bo:  Little confused, huh?
Hope:  Listen.  I have been one half of Bo and Hope for most of my life and now I'm just supposed to be Hope and...how did we get here?
Bo:  It started when one half of us moved out of the house and took our daughter with her.  So we --   
Hope:  Bo, stop.
Bo: -- wound up not having the chance to work out our problems.
Hope:  We had hundreds of chances.  [You need to work on your counting skills.  - Ed.]
Bo:  Yeah, right.  And Carly came to town and ruined everything.
Hope:  What's wrong isn't about her or Justin; it's about you and me.  It's about us, Brady.  Granted, I mean, yeah, okay, if Carly didn't come back when she did, yeah maybe, maybe we would have been able to solve things somehow. 
Bo:  How, Fancyface?  Hmm?  What would I have had to do?  What should I have said?  'Cause you know damn well I would have done anything, said anything.  Bottom line, you walked out on us.
Hope:  I would've wanted you to make me a promise: That you would never ask me to go against my instincts again.  [In this moment Hope reminded me of Carly on GH's "amazing instincts" and obviously, upon drawing such a parallel, I promptly threw up.  - Ed.]

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Bo:  ::world-weary sigh in which he is joined by the entire viewing audience::  Back at the ransom.
Hope:  And I would've wanted you...I wouldn't wanted to hear you say you're sorry for risking our daughter's life just so you could play hardball with the kidnappers.
Bo:  How many times to I have...If we had paid the ransom, they would've killed our daughter.
Hope:  How do you know that?  How do you know that?  Because of some vision?  You don't know that!  You can't know that!
Bo:  Yeah, right.  No one can.
Hope:  You know what there is, there is one thing that I do know.  And that is just a few days ago, I really wanted to hear you say that you didn't still have feelings for Carly.  But I never heard those words.  Got it.  I'm never going to.  So now, all I'm left with is the fact that no matter, no matter how many years there was Bo and Hope, the reality is that a part of you always belonged to Carly.

I have mentioned before that I am not really one to cast stones in this area, because I have decided not to date or broken up with guys for the most ludicrous of reasons.  So when I say your break-up reasoning makes no sense, you are in serious trouble.  As far as I can tell, in this case Hope's reasoning was:

"We have to end our 25-year marriage [with usual caveats of the times you thought I was dead and/or when I thought I was a princess] because I disagree with a law enforcement decision you made that related to our then-kidnapped daughter who was ultimately returned unharmed many months ago.  OBVIOUSLY."

Does that make sense, Hope?

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Right.

I would have preferred the writers just drop the fourth wall and have Bo and Hope turn to the camera and say "We'll totally see you guys in six months but right now we've got to get movin' with some sudsy interlopin'. Thanks!" 

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I must say, though, I approve of the interlopers in question.  Hope and Justin could be a good match if the slow-burn is done properly (fat chance, I know),

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and Bo and Carly are kind of super hot.

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The actors are all talented and have great chemistry.  This story may force us to reconsider our general opposition to soapy quadrangles.  If this is the start of each of our bitchy, sweeping over-generalizations starting to fall, soap-mocking is going to become even more of a chore than it already is.  Sigh.

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Vivian is back, with her plotting, her fixation on Phillip, her Carly-hatred, and her...insane run-on sentences.

Vivian:  Gus, I'm talking to the girl I don't know if I'm going to find out anything and I don't know why Carly's back but it may not matter because the only thing that matters is that she murdered Lawrence and she's not going to run and she can't hide.

Seriously, that was all in a single breath without pauses.  I think Louise Sorel might just have been very over-caffeinated that day.

But in general, I am enjoying the Vivian/Carly dynamic.

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Vivian:  My god.  Look at this décor.  It reminds one of how little we pay our public servants.  Wait a minute.  Hope has money.  This is intentional, isn’t it?
Carly:  You haven’t changed a bit.  Getting really, really old hasn’t mellowed you in the least.
Vivian:  Grief makes you lash out.
Carly:  It is, it is my grief.  And the fact that I can’t stand you.
Vivian:  Have we gotten off on the wrong foot?  I think we should start over.  I think I need to apologize to you.
Carly:  No, no, no.  What’s a little premature burial amongst friends?
Vivian:  Well, I just wanted to say, I am so, so sorry for trying to have you killed.  I could just shoot myself.
Carly:  Oh, please…Let me.
Vivian:  I said to myself, self, you need to get hold of that poor girl and make things right, and get rid of all this animosity between us.
Carly:  I really wouldn’t hold your breath on that one.
Vivian:  Well, even so, I’m sure I’ll find a way to bury the hatchet.
Carly:  With me holding it, right?

There is not nearly enough of this kind of witty bitchiness in daytime.

The main source of the current Vivian/Carly drama is a bit perplexing to me.  Vivian has a document that contains most all of the pertinent details about Carly's daughter, right?  If I put aside the fact that given when Carly left Salem, in Real Human Years it isn't possible for either Melanie or Mia to be her daughter -- which I am totally willing to do, because SORASing is a necessary evil and has all birth timelines completely jacked -- those two girls are several years apart thanks to the ridiculous aging of Molly Burnett's Melanie over the last 18 months or so.  Can't Vivian just tell from the year whether Mia is Carly's daughter?

Why am I putting this kind of thought into a storyline that already involved two grown adults (including a physician) running around town for weeks talking about "the secret" and referring generically to "my/your daughter" like it was perfectly reasonable never to use her name?  (The dialogue writing for that story has been seriously bad.)

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Stephanie and Nathan are pretty, but boring.

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Decidedly not pretty is the sweater Stephanie was forced (obviously by a blind or sadistic gunman) to wear last week:

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I'm virtually certain I wore this for my school photo in 1986.  In my defense, it was 1986.

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There is, of course, lots more going on in Salem.  But I will have to cover all that in my next Days post, which at this rate should be in approximately 2012.  In the meantime, please discuss amongst yourselves!

Screencaps courtesy of Sheryl's Days of Our Lives Screen Caps.

Comments

A Days post! I saw the title on my RSS feed and about fell out of my chair. Good stuff, as always. The teen set is definitely boring, but the interaction between Vivian and Carly has been spiffy. I'll be waiting for the next post in 2012... though I'll start looking in 2011.

What Celine said! OMG, I *did* fall out of my chair...

I'm holding you to more Days posts in the coming year. Watch the show with a laptop on your lap (that's how I used to recap episodes of ER...)

I nominate the phrase Doy Face for Will!

The comments to this entry are closed.