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« A Family Affair | Main | www.ThisShowIsSoScrewed.com »

February 03, 2008

Days of Our Lives Week in Review

Bad news for Salem, readers -- apparently Days has fired Head Writer Hogan Sheffer and most of his staff (more info here; thanks to longtime reader esp13 for the info).  I'm genuinely sad about this.  The show hasn't been perfect under Sheffer but it was absolutely leaps and bounds above where it was before him.  And I really, sincerely hope that the show doesn't plan on keeping whoever's (whomever's?  who/whom is my grammar kryptonite) doing the writing during the strike, because the dialogue has been godawful and the cast balance -- one of the things I think Sheffer did pretty well most of the time -- is all out of whack. 

The bright side to all of this, is that the show is bound to suck, like, a lot, and it will be much easier to mock it!  Please think of your Serial Drama bloggers and try to smile through the pain, everyone!  That should carry you through until cancellation.


So, the big reveal this week was of course that Colleen is ALIVE! and STEFANO'S NEMESIS! and ANGRY! and a KIDNAPPER! and THE WORST-COIFFED AND -DRESSED FASHION DESIGNER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD!


I mean really.  I think the last time I saw that hairstyle was in a portrait of Mary Todd Lincoln.  Colleen is only supposed to be in her late 70s, right?

I am underwhelmed by the story of Colleen in Cardboard Ireland, so far.  That is probably due to Thursday's episode, which was comprised almost entirely of "It's you!" and "It can't be her!"  Way to drain a moment of all its drama, dipshits.

Anyway, I am unspoiled so I could be way off base, but . . . Colleen has got to be John's mother, right?


It makes perfect sense.  You know, in the way that all of John Black's 29 backstories have made "perfect sense," ever since Wayne Northrup got a bug up his butt about coming back to Days for seven minutes 15 years ago.

Setting aside John's mission and Colleen's awful hair, I would still be annoyed by this storyline because it continues to cause me to OD on Marlena.  Is there any soap character who should be front-and-center five days a week?











Now, granted, I think Bo and Hope may have been on every day, but 1) neither of them is batshit crazy (and I mean batshit crazy in a non-entertaining way, which I really didn't think was possible, so thanks Days for teaching me something new), 2) even combined they didn't get as much airtime as Marlena, 3)  I actually like Bo and Hope, and what I like is what should determine everything, and 4) [related to #3], they are adorable:



Plus they have lots of flashbacks, to something other than the day before!


Check out that mullet!  Peter Reckell has actually gotten better looking with age, and I don't mean that in the condescending and insincere way most people do when they're talking about a 95-year-old actress with painted-on eyebrows in one of those Lifetime Achievement Award retrospectives.


Was this from the Cruise of Deception?  Dude, I LOVED the Cruise of Deception!  Even if I hadn't loved Jennifer and Jack's romance and Isabella being held captive and Julie running around an island in evening wear and all the shirtless and be-mulleted men, I would love it just for the title! 


Where did they find that much makeup in a pre-Sephora era?  Ah, the 80s.  Thank god I have the excuse of having been really young.

Oh, and I am not going to slam the Bo or Hope Has a Soapy [Non]Fatal Illness storyline until I see more of it.  But it's making my bitchy typing finger itch already. 


I know that in real life it wouldn't be up to Mr. Decker to decide whether Chelsea and her sorority crew were prosecuted, but other than that basic flaw with the premise of this story, the rest of it continues to be kind of well-done, right?



Any storyline that's made me change my mind on uncle-niece dating must be fairly persuasive.


Didn't you love the "private jet" that all those unnecessary characters took to Cardboard Ireland?


It's, like, a 747.  It's bigger than Air Force One!  But the inside shots looked like a typical little corporate Lear jet.  I heart attention to detail!

And then once they all got there, Claire was rescued, I guess, from an old woman who I think is going to turn out to be her great-grandmother. 


So she can go back to the parents who threw her off a cruise ship into the shark-infested ocean.  Yay?



I sincerely hope he's calling Cher Horowitz to inquire about the wisdom of chin pubes.

I think one ought to be a bit more concerned about grody facial hair, particularly when one's competition is this



You just saw "aaawww!" outloud, didn't you?  (Oh, and in addition to everything else, I am delighted to note that James Scott also possesses the power to rapidly age infants.)

So Lucas was talking to Sami from jail, while she was in the "safe" house.  I'm very confused about this place.  It's a safe house with unobstructed windows, a phone number that everyone apparently has access to, and EJ and Sami can come and go as they please, as evidenced by EJ's trip to see Stefano in the hospital.


Isn't that less of a safe house and more of a vacation rental?  And what exactly was the point of this whole story, since it apparently didn't give these two any time alone together, and is over before it began since Stefano is in his coma[ish thing] now?  It's like the writers started down a path and got disoriented and just decided to give up.  Very disappointing.


This hair, man.


I wonder whether he prefers "Theodore" or "Beaver," and if he knows that the mischievous Eddie Haskell could really get him in some hot water, gee willakers!


I liked that the writers remembered all the DiMera kids, and had them berate Stefano in the hospital. 




I must admit thought that I am COMPLETELY freaked out by the notion of being totally aware of everything that's going on but trapped inside a body that to all onlookers is barely functioning.  I read those articles about people on whom anesthesia doesn't work properly so they're aware of every bit of pain during surgery but can't say anything to alert anyone, and I do a full-body shudder.  But I do, most of the time, understand the difference between fiction and reality, so for the sake of you guys I am trying to keep sane and just enjoy some DiMera family interaction.


For real you guys, what is up with Abe and the crazy eyes?  They're terrifying!






I'm very concerned.  James Reynolds either needs to have his thyroid checked, or return that copy of Ocular Acting for Dummies.


So, Adrienne left down.


I am really bummed that they couldn't make room for her on the canvas, but I hope she and Invisible Justin and their invisible children have lots of fun in Dubai.  Because that's where you have to go to get a job when you're the nephew of an impossibly rich Greek tycoon, apparently.






I love that she just up and dumped him for being an ass, and I'm really looking forward to this competing ad executives thing.  I love that in soap world Tony just up and bought an ad agency that he's going to run, and that Anna made a phone call and got an interview to be an advertising...person-thingie at another firm.  It's like when people finish med school in six episodes, or become police officers with a rap sheet with more entries than John Black's backstory.  Long live the suspension of disbelief.


Lexie is back, and she's now Chief of Staff of University Hospital?!


In related news, Tom Cruise has been named President of the Society for Totally Sane People Who Aren't in Cults, Donald Trump is the new CEO of The Subtlety and Non-Self-Promotion Institute, Lynne Spears received Parenting magazine's Role-Model of the Year award, and Grey's Anatomy's George and Izzie were deemed the decade's most scorchingly hot TV couple.

I might have been able to get past her complete ineptitude as a physician, her misuse of her position to convince Carrie that she was infertile (because, you know . . . it's Carrie -- yawn), but for god's sake, just a few months ago she had her medical license revoked because she was a crazy feral hissing human-cat hybrid living in a tunnel underneath an 80s nightclub!  There's only so far I can go, show.

Screencaps courtesy of Days of Our Lives 2.


Oh, Becca. Don't you just love Salem? It's a town where somebody who had her medical license revoked can be reinstated, become Chief of Staff, and violate every rule about doctor/patient confidentiality in the same week. Fantastic.

I do agree that the Dead!Ford storyline has been pretty good from start to finish. I loved the confrontation in the cop shop with Stephanie telling Crawford he better be ready for his son to be painted as a serial rapist. And, I really loved that the girls were still sticking together even though Chelsea kind of threw them under the bus.

The Colleen reveal was just . . . bad. I feel sorry for poor Shirley Jones being stuck in that island of suck. I also can't figure out how a villian as awesome as Stefano couldn't find a 90 year old woman when half of Salem could find her in about 5 minutes.

Sigh. I'll miss Hogan and, even more, his dialogue writers. But, on the upside, I can look forward to Days returning to a prominent position in the "Days most awesomely bad dialogue" category and maybe it can even match GH in the number of times it makes you or Mallory want to throw something at the TV. Good times are coming.

I agree with you Becca, Bope everyday trumps Marlena everyday by miles and miles. Once this storyline plays out Jarlena better go back to backburner status...it is ridiculous that Higley slammed Stefano in a coma and has Jarlena sucking the life out of scenes with Shirley Jones. Stefano, EJ & Sami are the ones that should be involved in this storyline...how cool would it be for Colleen to see the two of them that are the exact visions of her Santo? Ugh...I hate what the new writers are doing and like esp said, at least we can look forward to more snark from you. It'll be like child's play probably, but I'll still enjoy it!

I love your recaps!

James Scott and babies! *Swoon* Other than chocolate, I'm not sure if there's anything better.
As for the new writers, if we continue to get lines like the cringe-worthy "crawling up your jockstrap" one, I think you'll be getting plenty of material for your Days reviews.

Hee, great points to you. And the Jarlena overload is getting ridiculous. How about Marlean's gaspiness when Claire was "found" even though she hasn't bothered to even mention her granddaughter since she's been missing.

You forgot to mention how Belle told Shawn he's her soulmate and he's the only man she's ever loved. What I would give for Phillip to pull a recorder and replay the conversation she had with him a couple of months ago where she told him she loved two men but never mind. He's going to "step back now".

I can't believe they have wasted Shirley Jones six days to be in scenes with Jarlena, repeating the same dialogue and leaving Stefano in a coma a half a world away. Oh, and she's his big nemesis? An old woman sitting in a rocking chair knitting? Are you serious?

At least I have enjoyed the sorority storyline (who would have thought I'd say that at the beginning of it?)

That screencap of Bo and Hope skinny-dipping is from 1996, post-Aremid -- which happens to be diMera spelled backwards. Clever, huh?

My favorite part of the week was most definitely the parade of the General Mills cereal mascots. Between Stefano channeling Count Chocula in his coma-y voiceovers and the Lucky Charms Leprechaun known as Great Aunt Collen...I didn't know if I was watching DAYS or the commercials.

Well, the awesome snarkiness was back with a vengeance - guess this is just further evidence that Days is back to sucking big time!! The line that had me spitting out water laughing though was: "I sincerely hope he's calling Cher Horowitz to inquire about the wisdom of chin pubes." OMG - yes!! He needs to get that off his face ASAP!!!

I found you said pretty much everything I've been thinking while watching this week of boredom of our lives!

I love EJ and Sami and I completely agree what was the point of this useless safehouse story if they weren't going to have them spend sometime alone together. I mean other than EJ looking completely fantastic in that blue rugby shirt and those tight jeans and being completely adorable with the babies - why bother?

And yes, please lets have less of the Jarlena show and put Bo and Hope front and centre where they belong!! Their car ride in Ireland was probably the best scene of the week!

I also loved that Tony and Anna were back and it looks like they're getting a storyline!! Yay!!! Followed up with Victor's return - I see some positives on the pipeline. That is of course until the show forgets about all the great possibilities and decides to suck some more.

Ah well, at least I can read your blog and laugh at the suckiness of it all!

Damn! Even though I just knew Sheffer's firing was coming, it's still disappointing. Ken Corday must be from the same school of Evil as Brian Frons (Frons has more Evil points only because he's in charge of three shows, not just one).

"For real you guys, what is up with Abe and the crazy eyes? They're terrifying!"

Here's what I don't understand. James Reynolds was on an ep of Soap Star (NOT THAT I WATCH SOAP STAR, you understand), playing a dying man saying goodbye to his child. And he was good! He was sincere, he actually tugged at my (non-existent) heart-strings. But on Days, he's all crazy-eyes. ???

Also more evidence that Lucas is sooo completely outmatched by EJ...James Scott could still be hot while wearing the totally fake Santo pornstache and Bryan Datillo looks just like a 70s porn star (not even an A-list one!!) in that horrible, disgusting mustache and teeny bit of beard that's supposed to make it a goatee.

That last pic of Abe had me laughing for a full minute. I think James Reynolds is just trying not to lose his mind while working with that horrible script.

Personally my favorite part of this week is Colleen's obvious dislike for Bo. Was it just me or did she pick up on the fact that he is the dumbest cop to ever live really fast. He was being an ass and she totally stood up for herself, now we know who got all the brains in the Brady family.

On a sad note Claire was reunited with her parents, I see many runaway storylines in her future. (You know when the bring back Shelle and a teenage Claire in 6 months)

Tony and Anna totally rock my socks! I would probably watch more if it was just them and a little bit of Steve thrown in every now and then for laughs!

Yup, you said everything I was thinking!

I'm glad that I'm not the only one tired of the Marlena show. Could someone please run over John again and have her leave to mourn him off camera? Is that too much to ask?

And yes the dialogue is awful and the ending to the Santeen story line is a real let down. Sami, EJ and Stefano not being involved in this was just plain stupid.

Don't even get me started on Colleens wardrobe. I realize that times are tough in the soap world but do they have to get her wardrobe from the thrift store?

You hit the nail on the head. The only bright spot was watching EJ with the babies. But then James Scott could make reading the phone book sexy.

I think Shirley Jones has done an absolutely amazing job with the role. Today's scenes were touching. She was superb!

I used to watch Days years ago. Currently, I catch bits and pieces on Soapnet after watching GH. I was watching years ago when they first revealed who John Black really was. I know I haven't been watching it steadily since they now say that Colleen is John's mother and I know that Stefeno is always up to know good and twists things around. However, I did some checking on the web and found this on Wikipedia and a few other sites regarding John Black's roots-

"After Tony DiMera revealed himself to be alive and returned to Salem, John found a letter from Daphne DiMera that referred to John as Tony's half-brother. DNA testing and research through the international intelligence community ultimately revealed that Daphne was John's biological mother. Unbeknownst to the Salemites, Philomena Alamain was Daphne's sister, and John had been legally adopted by his maternal aunt to be raised as Forrest Alamain so that Stefano would not discover that Daphne had been unfaithful to him; the identity of John's biological father is unknown. The primitive genetic tests a decade earlier had been unable to show that Lawrence was really John's cousin instead of his brother."

Have they explain this or did they just rewrite soap history again? As I said before, I haven't watched Days on regular basis in years but I did watch when he was told he was an Alamain. Sorry for the long post but I was
just curious.

I think Sheffer definitely rescued and redefined the show from the endless quadrangle snail's pace mess it was when he took over.

He did a great job of that. But as for following through with stories with a good payoff and giving us the characters we wanted to see he was all over the map and more promise than payoff.

He did his job in getting the show out of the rut but the new writers seem to know the characters better and have a little more respect for the history and the emotional investment the fans have in them.

As for Jarlena - the new John ads a great edge to the dynamic (as does - surprisingly - the new Chloe... I couldn't stand her before) and I don't think I'm actually in too much of a (silent) minority when I honestly say I think Marlena SHOULD be in every episode. Love her, hate her, or love to hate her - there's no one who's ambivalent to Marlena and she has pretty much carried all of the show's best and/or most popular storylines ever since she came back 15+ years ago (and how fun was it to see John knock her head against the door this week!).

Kudo's to Ed Scott for finding a way to work the budget to have the best characters on all the time and still have the production values improved etc.

Also I thought the Coleen reveal with the great acting by Shirley Jones and every one else who rose to the occasion was a more than decent way to acknowledge and salvage our long hot summer of 2007 spent reading letters over coffee from being a total waste of time and a cool way to reboot some of the other stories/couples as well.

I for one am anjoying the show more than ever since the days of JER's first tenure - back when he had some fresh ideas he hadn't repeated a zillion times.

Keep this writing staff! They're on f'ing fire!

I was very disappointed that EJ & Sami weren't involved in the Colleen Brady storyline, even though the actors were involved as the younger "Santeen" lovers. It would have been lovely if Colleen had met her look-a-like Sami and youthful Santo's double in EJ, and so romantic for Colleen to have see them together before she died,

I am sick and tired of them dragging this New John tyhing!! I want the old John back!!!!

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