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« An AMC Grab Bag | Main | Serial Drama's Best and Worst of 2007 »

December 30, 2007

Happy Holi-Days

It's possible nostalgia is making me overly generous, and it's also possible that General Hospital's horrific "Christmas" episode would make anything seem brilliant by comparison, but still:  Days of Our Lives gives good holiday, right?

The Christmas episodes, much like most Days episodes these days, were totally enjoyable.  Highlights:

* The Horton tree-trimming! I love those hokey little ornaments so darned much.   (They even make me say "darned."  See?)

* Alice!


(For GH watchers, let me help:  This is a rare species, known as Veteran Actor, genus Respected and Treated Well by Executives.  Don't be scared -- despite what GH has taught you, these people aren't here to hurt you, and they are more afraid of you than you are of them. Well, Veteran Actors on GH are actually more afraid of executives than anything else, but I'm getting off-topic.)

* Tony's great speech to EJ about how he should treat Sami and how Stefano is a big fat jerk


"Why do you give him credit for barely meeting the minimum requirements for parenthood?"  It's because of moments like this that I think Tony deserves the uber-awesome Anna.

* Hope in two adorable dresses, celebrating not only Christmas but her birthday and anniversary to boot



Plus, Hope and Bo being all supercoupley and adorable,


including Bo carrying around his own mistletoe like the lovable doofus he is.  (Yeah, the fleur-de-lis necklace gift from Bo to Hope was just an excuse to pimp Kristian Alfonso's jewelry line, but I like her, so . . . pimp.)

* Phillip being all flirty with Chloe and her cleavage, and then being shirtless.  Merry Christmas to straight women and gay men viewers everywhere!  (Actually, straight men and gay women got Chloe and her cleavage, so....happy holidays to everyone!)

* Marlena being a demanding mother-in-law to Chloe and her cleavage.  (I much prefer Marlena in the temperamental matriarch role than in the ridiculous teenybopper in love one, or god forbid, the demon-possessed loon or serial killer ones.)

* Stephanie telling Kayla about the rape. (Mary Beth Evans is fantastic, and she brings out the best in everyone she has scenes with)

Plus, Steve and Kayla walkin' around with all their chemistry and stuff.


* Bill singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas over a montage of various family scenes (In contrast to Tony Geary's Luke singing the same song on GH's Christmas episode -- oh, did I mention that Luke is comatose and is coma-dreaming that he's in hell, where he apparently becomes a lounge singer?  Yeah, in case you don't watch, GH really does suck that much.)

* Max dressing as Santa, and Nick as his elf -- and Max doing the annual reading of the Christmas story to the pediatric ward.  (Another great contrast to GH, which did away with the pesky tradition of Christmas-story-reading in favor of more mob crap, possibly because they had killed off the veteran actor who played the chief of staff who would normally have read the thing.  Mothereffers.)

* Kids from the pediatric ward bringing up their various non-Christian faiths, which I like to think was a bit of an eff-you to Days' heavy-handed Christianity stuff in the past .

* Belle's public, bitchy rebuke of Phillip, which will hopefully launch Evil and Routinely Shirtless Phillip, whom I love already.

* The birth of what seems like a couple of good mystery plotlines -- who is Stefano's secret patient, now on the loose, and what happened to Brady?  Was he smothered by Chloe's cleavage?  These things happen!

* EJ's "prayer"


and James Scott's progressive inability to say "Samantha," which this week was so obvious that I had to rewind an episode a bit because I'd gotten distracted imagining EJ rapping:  "Samanthurrr, it's get-tin' hot in hurrrr...."


There were some low points this week, however:

* John had better be dead.  Really, truly dead.  I don't want him and his 29 backstories back.  I don't want a revival of the John and Marlena Horndog Routine.  If they insist on brining Drake Hogestyn back, it had better be as another character.

* The return of extended flashbacks from just a couple of episodes prior.  I may not have the short-term memory I once did, but I am reasonably sober most of the time so you don't have to tell me what happened yesterday.  If you're going to insult my intelligence, at least have the decency to regularly flashback to scenes involving EJ or Phillip taking a committed stand against shirts.

* Ashlee, the "winner" of the latest season of I Wanna Be a Soap Star, debuted.


I was never that impressed by her -- er, I mean I wouldn't have been, if I had watched that show.  If I had watched, I would still be convinced that Travis should have won and been cast as the new Eric (he even resembles Ali Sweeney a bit!), or Brady.  Aaanyway, if I had watched the competition then I wouldn't have been surprised by her rather unconvincing performance as a psychic.

* What the hell is going on with Sami/Lucas/EJ and the effing vendetta?  I can't follow along with when Sami is being genuine and when she's not, when she's messing with Lucas' head or EJ's, why she can now just leave a marriage that supposedly was the only way she could satisfy that stupid vendetta, why I am supposed to care about Lucas leaving town, whether Europe has made Will any less annoying, and so forth.  I feel so clueless, but I'm too embarrassed to admit that I can't follow a show that is watched and comprehended even by elementary-schoolers.  Is this what it's like to be Paris Hilton?


Since I apparently haven't done a Days post since Bill Clinton was president, I have a bunch of stored-up randomness.  I had more, but I can't decipher my own notes.  ("KR always skates but KJK so hot doesn't matter"  WTF?)  So anyway, in no order and with no guarantees of coherence or entertainment quality:

* The use of Colleen and Santos' twee Irish music soundtrack for Sami and EJ's story:romantic or creepy?I vote creepy.

* Lucas:  The vendetta again, right?  I don't want to hear that word ever again.  Get in line, buddy.

* I actually said "NO!" out loud when Tony and Anna announced their "extended stay" abroad.  Say it ain't so!

* I worry that Bryan Dattilo's brow is going to permanently furrow.





* I was not looking forward to her return, but it turns out that Chloe and her cleavage are bitchy goodness!  I'm thoroughly enjoying her messing with Belle, throwing herself at Phillip, getting bossed around by Marlena, and giving utterly unconvincing stories about the whereabouts of her missing husband.  Welcome back, Chloe and your cleavage!



* I was 1) totally not expecting that EJ had been faking his paralysis, and 2) oddly delighted when Sami flipped him out of his wheelchair


I was seriously surprised to see EJ walking.  I totally didn't see that coming (despite having seen soaps before).  At least not for another few months into the paralysis storyline.  I am totally in love with the slow pan they did down his legs the first time we as viewers say EJ walking, BTW -- in case you weren't bright enough to pick up on the lack of a wheelchair, they wanted to make sure you were aware:  Hot Man Walking!

P.S. James Scott, seated or standing, is still almost illegally gorgeous



* I'm over being grossed out by the fact that Max and Stephanie are sort of related.  The actors have good chemistry and both characters have taken great turns toward likability, so I'm totally fine with this pairing.


Which probably means it won't happen.

* I believe Leann Hunley's eyebrows, like Kristian Alfonso's, might have magical powers.


* I am LOVING the sorority storyline, which I started out hating.  Fortunately, I have been able to start liking it without having to give up my longstanding hatred of all things Greek-system related.  Isn't it great when you don't have to let go of irrational negativity?  I think that's one of the many joys of the holiday season.




That rug was awesome.  I thought the sorority letters girls wear on sweats across their asses were stupid, but having a custom rug made with your letters is even worse.  And worst in this context of course means "more awesome," because it led to this deliciously unsubtle shot of a very dead Ford sprawled out across the letters of the girls who made him dead.

* Are they planning Roman and Marlena, version 6.0?


Because...do not want.  That would be the anti-sexy.  I just don't want to see this version of Roman in a romantic pairing.  Didn't we learn anything when he left Anna in a hotel room to go get his car washed?!


Seriously, the man ain't right.

* Speaking of anti-sexy, do Phillip's fantasies of Belle take the prize for this year's anti-sexiest?



or does that dubious distinction belong to Belle and Shawn's attempt at role-playing?


My vote is actually for Sami and Lucas' angry sex on the couch to take the title, because at least in the former examples there was some amount of unintentional comedy to dull the pain.



I am scarred for life.

* Did Lauren Koslow do whatever she's done to her hair on a dare, and is there anyway we can satisfy her debt to her dare-ee in some other way? 


Because this isn't fair to us as viewers, to Clairol or whatever other company might inadvertently be associated with it, or to hair in general.  With Britney's exploits, Renee Zellweger's latest cut [do not let Clooney's hotness distract you -- that cut is awful], and Rumer Willis, hair has had a tough year and I don't think it deserves this kind of treatment.

* I don't know who Stefano's mystery stalker is, but I love her already.


She's not only getting under his skin, she got Stefano to angrily utter "she-devil!"  Love.

* I loved Lucas saying he wanted Ali to be like Billie, and him asking Billie to be Ali's godmother.  Why don't they use Julie Pinson more?


* Dear stylist who did this to Kristian Alfonso's hair: 


I'm not saying you're a bad person, but you did a very bad thing.  If you ask for forgiveness and promise never to do it again, I think we can move past this without any additional punishment. 

Sincerely in pursuit of good hair,


Screencaps courtesy of Days of Our Lives 2.


I don't watch Days, but it makes me so happy that James Scott is finally on a show that actually uses and appreciates him. The way AMC wasted him was criminal.

Does that note say the Stork is coming for you, to Stefano? Or are my eyes just really bad?

I have a wild theory that, since they've been mentioning Renee again for the first time in about fifteen years and doing quite a bit with Stefano's dysfunctional relationships with all his kids (the ones that aren't dead, anyway), the Stalker *is* Renee. A daughter out to murder her own father would be exactly what I'd want out of a DiMera storyline, anyway, and it would be a perfect shout-out to those fans crazy enough to scour YouTube and fan sites to beef up our obscure continuity knowledge (not that I'm one of them...).

And I do hope that Stefano's "houseguest" turns out to be Brady, Andre, Benji, Bart, whoever...anyone but John. The man's had more deaths than John Travolta's career.

Chloe looks like an oompa loompa.

I LOVE the Renee idea. Sadly, I think it'll turn out to be Colleen and they'll make her John's mother and Santo his father.

Did you get these pictures done on the Walgreen's website like Nick and Chelsea?

HAHAH Love the Walgreens photo comment!! I forgot about that - I rolled over laughing at that scene...classic!

All I can say, is PLEASE do not let the mystery houseguest be John. Marlena has been so much more fabulous without him. I loved his character, but enough is enough.

THANKS for the recap - it was superb as ALWAYS!

I openly fear the return of John..you just know he is the Frankenguest at DiMansion. I'm hoping it's Brady but all the John anvils that have been falling on our heads and Marlena's sudden ability to "feel her love" (hurl) make me hide under the covers in terror.

Other than the return of John, Days has been awesome lately and I must concur that we need more shirtless EJ and Philip if we're going to be presented with endless flashbacks. I'm attributing those to the writer's strike though, I think Ed Scott is trying to make use of Hogan's material as long as he can, so I'm overlooking it thus far.

And because it can NOT be said enough, fix Kate's hair and do NOT do that to Hope's hair again. At least it looked cute at the party again, but Kate is a travesty. Isn't her real life husband a makeup artist or something? Why would he let her appear that way? I just don't understand. I hate Kate enough, I don't need to hate her hair too.

Wonderful recap, Becca. But, I have to ask, how did you miss Hope interrupting Steve and Kayla in the midst of Car!Sex? Seriously, KA's expressions deserve a place in the Expressions HoF and Steve's "work with me" line in the car was enough to make windows steam up for miles around.

In all seriousness, I'm glad to see another Days recap, I was beginning to think you'd stopped watching and I was bummed because it is getting very, very good these days.

If Days were like GH, the Christmas montage would have included Hope finding Alice beaten to death under the tree.

I used to be a Days fan in high school (the Steve and Kayla hayday). Maybe I should switch back. If Days hires Lindze Letherman as has been rumored, that might be what does it.

Am I the only ancient person around? I remember the extensive use of flashbacks from the last writers' strike. It got so they flashed back to things that happened at the beginning of the episode.

I don't want John to come back. I don't miss him. I'm actually starting to like Marlena, which I never thought was possible. As it turns out, John was bringing her down. I would like her back with Roman. Poor Roman never gets the girl(unless it's evil Kate, and no one but Victor deserves her).

Kat, That was so funny! Unfortunately, you are right. And then the bloody body of Alice would be left under the tree while the police and the rest of the family talked about the crime for the rest of the episode. She would then be hauled off in a body bag, but not before you saw her now blood-stained white hair as she was zipped into the bag. Happy Holidays, everyone.

You're right the Christmas episodes were fantastic! And I really needed the greatness after watching that disaster GH called a holiday episode!

I completely agree with you on the flashbacks of shirtless Philip and EJ - of course this might require more scenes of them shirtless - works for me!!!

But did you have to bring up Sami & Lucas' scarring romp on the couch - along with pictures too - my vision was just starting to return!

I completely concur - I could have happily lived the rest of my life without the visual of Sami and Lucas zipping up after 'angry' sex going through my mind. Blech!

More shirtless EJ. More shirtless Phillip. A little less of Chloe's 'girls'...and no resurrected John or Lumi lovin'...those are my wishes for 2008!

I love, love, love the annual Horton Christmas party. It was so much better than anything General Hospital did for Christmas mostly because no one was killed.

Happy New Year!

I esp. liked the comment that was made about Jeremy's ornament and how it was "broken"... and Alice was just like place it back in the box, we'll get it fixed for next year.

Dear Serial Drama,

This article is hysterical - and I couldn't agree more with virtually all of it.

Hip-hip hooray for Phillip (what a BABE) I'm also in love (actually in lust) with EJ - he is "drop dead" but You've got a point - I mean if he's THAT much in love with Sami (and who isn't - she's totally cool) - you think he'd get her name right! Oh well - one day, maybe.
As for Anna's magical eyebrows - right again!! Though I absolutely believe John Black needs to be thrown into that category as well...


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