So...yes, the title of my column this week is Weep Month. No, it is not a spelling error. For those of you who are unaware, Februaryis considered a Sweeps Month (the others are May, July and November). The ratings culled during Sweeps periods are used to set local advertising rates, so it's important to the networks -- and even more important to their affiliates -- to do well. This means that the networks will be showcasing stunt programming, blockbuster specials, outrageous reality TV and just about anything else they think will grab viewers' attention. Television shows of all genres will be putting forth their "best" episodes in an effort to boost ratings. You may have noticed that many of the show's tag lines this month have been "most exciting episode of the year" or "viewer discretion is advised." This would therefore lead one to believe that bottom-rated shows would or should be going that "extra mile" in an effort to boost their viewer ship. Considering this, I have to say that Days has failed miserably. This has been the poorest start to a sweeps period that Days has ever seen. So far - no big reveals, no long awaited plot conclusions, no outing of evil people/deeds. And we're not even excited to see whether the next few weeks will bring about any of the points I just mentioned. Last week, we saw nothing but repetitive conversations and exhaustive rehashing of the same plots points. Seriously folks, there were days that I stared at the wall instead of the TV because the scenes had become so repetitive. I keep wondering whether it's possible to have the same conversation over and over again without coming to some kind of resolution. (i.e. Shelle's exhaustive discussion about whom Belle really loves and when and how she would tell Philip).
So...the point of this narrative: Is this the best that Days of our Lives' can do to boost their ratings? Or are they even trying? The next few weeks had better move along at a quick pace and wrap-up the loose ends or else DOOL might be in danger of losing not only more viewers but advertising dollars as well.
Soooo, yup - This week was boring snoring (which is worse than plain old boring :-). Seriously, Thursday's episode was a complete waste of time. Nothing new happened. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at the writing meeting for that episode. I imagine it went something like this: Writers: "Uh, JER, we've had the characters saying the same dialogue for days now - can we give them some new material?" JER: "Nope sorry, I'm just not sure that we've gotten the point across. Let's have them repeat it again, only this time - let's see if we can come up with different words to say the exact same things" Writers: "Well...we're afraid that we'll just be beating a dead horse" JER: "Listen guys, I'll be honest...I have no other story ideas and we have to fill time before the all-important cliff-hanger Friday episode so...make it work." The above conversation was all in my head, but I'm sure it couldn't have been too far off. : :
Can you believe that it took Kate from Monday to Friday to get Lucas over to the hotel? Talk about draaaaagging it out! And - he's still not there, thanks to a conveniently timed speeding ticket on his way to the hotel! It took less time to build a house on Extreme Home Makeover (I love love love that show!). What does that say? Anyhow - all I'm going to say about this storyline is that it made me ill to see Kate laughing and clapping and celebrating the whole Sami set-up situation. I can only hope against all hope that Lucas does not catch Sami and Brandon in bed together and that Kate gets hers right between the eyes.
I am revising my previous statement about not being able to count on Hope to have a backbone. Did she ever prove me wrong this week! I admit that I don't like to see arguing or strife between my favorite soap couple but I sure do like it when Hope puts Bo in his place. Especially James Reilly's version of Bo Brady. Finally, the strong, independent, intelligent Hope is back! I have never been so happy to revise my opinion of one of the characters.
Which brings me to my rant on the character of Bo. Last time I posted, I discussed how Days has ruined the character of Sami. Well, surprise, surprise, they have now ruined Bo. He has become pig-headed, chauvinistic, uncommunicative, hypocritical, and so on. We, the long timers know darn well that this poor excuse for a Bo is not the Beauregard Brady that we all secretly consider to be the perfect man (or most of us do anyhow). When Hope was trying to talk some sense into Bo and he turned it around and said that she didn't want Georgia in his life, I had to yell at him through the TV. Too bad he couldn't hear me - or maybe it was a good thing! ;-). The Bo we all know would have listened to her and acknowledged her fears and would have done his best in both words and actions to reassure her. Now, having said that - we were treated to a bit or romance on Friday between these two, and Bo mentioned that he might hire a PI to find Georgia instead of going off on his own. That's all well and good but I doubt that it will last. Bo has developed a nasty habit lately of saying one thing and doing another. How can you depend on and trust your spouse if they don't do what they say they're going to?
Poor Mimi! The week ended with Mims in hospital with a septic infection contracted after the abortion. It seems impossible to me that any woman could have an infection that progressed to that point without her having known...but I digress. So, because of this situation, Rex is now poised to find out her secret. Anyone want to lay bets that when Mimi pulls through this infection, she won't be able to have children at all? Classic trick Reilly, I can see the writing on the wall.
So is John doing Heroin now? I admit my inexperience but, what other kind of street drug can you buy that is taken via syringe? Or can you buy prescription drugs on the street like that? And if you can - how would John know which dealer to approach? Presumably not every Tom, Dick & Harry carries illegal prescription drugs? Good thing Brady decided to take a walk along the docks - in the middle of the night - where drug dealers hang out - and just happened to find his Dad before he shot up.
I wonder if it's possible to show the characters actually dressing for winter? Every time they show someone outside or on the roof, they are wearing a negligee or a little sleeveless top - where are the jackets, hats, mitts? GMAB!!! Can you believe that one light switch turns off the lights for the entire Airport? Not to mention that it is accessible to anyone who happens to stroll by? AS IF Philip's marine buddies would beat up Shawn. What an insult to marines and service men everywhere - I'm sure they have more integrity than to beat up some complete stranger simply because another complete stranger tells them some fabricated story. I feel bad for the Salem PD. With Bo gallivanting around chasing one wild goose after another, Roman "dead" and Abe blind - who is running the show at the precinct??? Chloe and Brady had YET another near miss this week. YAWN. Nothing new here. One would think that Sweeps would be a perfect time to have Chloe and Brady finally connect. Give me more of Tony and Bart. They are so much fun to watch. I can't get enough of Bart; he puts a smile on my face whenever I see him on the screen. Now if only TPTB would give them both a good story - one that makes some logical sense. I don't want to see any more of Tony's maniacal super villain stuff.
Reader Feedback: It seems that I am not alone in my thoughts about Days and many of you have written in to express the same frustrations and anger that I voiced in my last column. The most frequently asked question has been "what can we, as fans, do to get rid of Reilly?" My answer is "I wish I knew!" All I can do is give you DOOL's address and tell you to write to them and let them know of your complaints. That's what I've done.
Days of our Lives
3000 Alameda Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91523
Since I didn't have much to say this week - I thought I would post as many emails as I could - without getting overly repetitive. What surprises me the most is that I have not received one email from anyone claiming to like the show in its current state. Which makes me wonder whether the people who are watching, are only tuning in out of loyalty??? If you love love love the show - please email and let me know, I'm curious what it is that you love about it. Thanks!!
From Lauren: "I agree that Days has become quite unbearable these days. I think I know what the problem is. Reilly has his storytelling strategy backwards. He reveals everything to the audience and then makes his characters look like idiots because we already know what's going on and they don't.... for weeks on end. That's what makes it so boring and such a waste of time. One more random thought...In Days time, Philip and Belle got married yesterday, meaning John was on the drugs for 1 day. I doubt someone would be having night sweats and rages after quitting within one day of starting. I'm only 23, but I've been watching with my mom since I was a little girl. It's gone way downhill. Reilly needs to be fired (again)!" I think Lauren hit the nail on the head - that is definitely a major reason why Reilly sucks. And, fantastic point about John's drug addiction! I had to laugh out loud when I read that comment.
From Ryan: "I read character profiles and only wish I had been around to watch back in the early 90's n stuff u know, sounds like some good watching to me!! Hahaha." Exactly Ryan - the old stuff was so good that you literally couldn't wait to sit down and watch it. I'm afraid those days are gone...
From Sue: "I am one of the fans from day one and i think it is a shame how the writers have just thrown days to the dogs. I f it wasn't for Bo and hope and Marlena and john there would not be a show and as much has i have always enjoyed watching days i am about ready to call it quits." I guess I'm not the only one - thanks Sue!
From Sally: "The flashbacks are insane! I have to tape the show, so I can get through it. I am really upset with how long ALL of the storylines are taking. In the month of January there were 2 days!." I hear you Sally - and during those 2 Salem days, the characters had the same conversations over and over again. What was the point of dragging those two days out over the course of a "real" month's time?
From Jean Burton: "I really agree with you about Reilly....I truly do believe I could do just as good a job at writing as him. I knew exactly what was going to happen when Belle opened her mouth to tell Philip about her and Shawn. The whole SL is so BORING and PREDICTABLE! PASSIONS is also BORING and each SL is sooooooooo drawn out for sooooooo long I could scream. PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! wind up this story with Shawn/Belle/Philip and the other Salem before we all just simply DIE OF BOREDOM!." You said it Jean! We can only hope that TPTB are listening!
From Venissa Villafuerte: "I absolutely feel the same way the you do about the show. This used to be one of the best shows on daytime. I initially started watching this show at 13. Between the Marlena and John love affair, the Kate and Vivian fighting for Victor's love, and the whole Sami, Austin, Carrie, and Lucus twisted relationships, this was the best show ever. Then it went absolutely down hill. The show is so tacky and cheesy now. I definitely thought that after the whole Marlena possesion, which was one of the most horrible storylines ever, that the show would get back on pace. It is now sad to know the show never did. I just want Days to be ressurected. I hope that the writers remember what it was like to have won an Emmy and hopefully they put Days back to what it used to be. Thanks for letting me vent." Thanks for sharing Venissa
Take care Scoopers! See you soon!