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 Two Scoops: March 28, 2005 columns
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Peter Reckell
Tinkerings and turnarounds
For the Week of March 28, 2005
It would seem that Reilly is tinkering with the characters again. It isn't clear if he's bored, trying to appease the fans or simply throwing logic and consistency to the wind.
It would seem that Reilly is tinkering with the characters again. I don't know if he's bored, trying to appease the fans or simply throwing logic and consistency to the wind so that he can write the characters in a way that will suit whatever story he's presently telling. The character that jumps to mind immediately is Kate. I was shocked and amazed to see Kate thinking about whether she should give John his drugs back. She actually seemed to weigh his addiction against her desire to find Philip. For a woman who is hell bent on destroying anyone who threatens her children's unrestricted right to happiness, it was completely out of character for her to give a rat's behind whether John started doing drugs again. The version of Kate Roberts that we have come to know under Reilly's reign as head writer would have relented, reasoning that she could help John kick his habit again, once Philip was found and returned home safe. The inconsistency is annoying but I find the timing of Kate's sudden shift to be interesting given that the Internet is rife with angry postings that the character of Kate has been completely ruined and can never be redeemed. Some people have even started a "Kill off Kate Roberts" petition. Kate's recent 180 seems like more than just coincidence. The most surprising part was watching Kate reflecting on the situation and wondering whether Philip's capture and John's relapse were her punishment for setting up Sami. Has Kate Roberts grown a conscience? She must have used SuperGrow fertilizer for that conscience because it literally popped out of the ground from nowhere.

The other character who is bothering me beyond belief is Beauregard Brady. I cannot believe how dense and unfeeling he's been behaving towards Hope and their boys. With the constant arguing between Bo and Hope and Bo's frequent support of Billie - I think most of us would be happy to see Hope give Bo the "boot." It's strange that only a year ago, fans were threatening to quit watching the show for good if Bo/Hope were separated. But now - after a good deal of tinkering on Reilly's part - soapdom's most favorite couple Bo and Hope Brady, are quickly losing their loyal support base.

Billie has finally admitted that she does indeed want Bo back (she said as much to Patrick on the pier one endless Salem night). I don't think anyone was very surprised by that revelation, but at least she finally admitted it to herself. They say that's half the battle. I don't know about the rest of you guys out there in cyber-land but Billie strikes me a stalker that needs some intensive therapy. Her marriage/relationship with Bo was over eons ago - especially if you consider that Georgia has been rapid-aged to 14/15. That would mean that Billie and Bo have been over for at least 12 years (I'm being generous here). If, after that many years, you are still carrying around a bright torch for a person who doesn't love or want to be with you - have yourself committed...you need help. Okay, I'm being facetious but seriously, it's not normal that she hasn't moved on in all this time.

I'm so mad about Jack being re-captured; I don't even want to talk about it. We were teased so cruelly with a fake reunion; which on top of everything else, was very poorly written. There were so many holes in the scenes! For someone as smart as Jack (he escaped the DiMera castle for crying out loud AND made it all the way back to Salem on his own) he made a series of remarkably dumb moves in attempting to free himself. He managed to escape the house at one point (trying to catch Real Jen before she left) and then simply walked back in to the house and was re-captured by Fake Jen. Most people would have kept on running until they found the police. And now that he's been dragged back to the dreaded castle, I'm sure we'll have to sit through another couple of months of Jack's various attempts to escape again. Although I love watching Matthew Ashford (and he is at his best with this type of material) I am upset that there seems to be no end to this storyline. And here I am talking about it when I said that I wasn't going to...

I just want to reiterate my admiration for Dan Wells - what a great addition to Days he's been. The problem is that though I love watching any scene he is in; I'm not enjoying the content of those scenes. Stami tormented Billie with a silly talking Georgia doll, tortured Mimi with the knowledge of her abortion and a threat to tell Rex the truth and is now poised to help Chelsea seduce Patrick? Not only was it far-fetched but this all happened in one night - busy little beaver our Stami is.

Because of the volume of emails that I have received wondering why in the world the producers of Days haven't replaced Reilly - I offer my thoughts from a recent discussion Sari and I had concerning why NBC seems to like JER penned fair [NBC is broadcasting two daytime soaps at the moment; Days of our Lives and Passions - both of which are written by James. E. Reilly]. We agreed that it seems as though TPTB are making some strange business decisions. I said that, in my opinion, NBC should dump DOOL & Passions and start again. Both shows have sunk so low that they have now become the punch line of many jokes. I was reading the ATWT Two Scoops column a couple of weeks ago and the author, in complaining about a story on ATWT referenced Days as being an example of bad writing. Her comment was "...the story is just ridiculous. It seems more fitting for "Days of our Lives" or "Passions."
Soooo, it would seem that Days has sunk so low, that it is now being held up as the barometer for bad writing. Let me just say that, having no affiliation with the show, I don't know the reason why the Corday's [The producers of DOOL] haven't changed head writers, but my personal suspicion is that they're stuck with him. When Paula Cwikly & Peter Brash were replaced as co-head writers (approx. 3 years ago) I wondered what in the world the Corday's were thinking as P&P had done a FAB job at pulling up the ratings and returning the show to some semblance of its' former self. My understanding at the time of Reilly's re-hire, was that NBC had a hand in making the determination. From what I understand, NBC would not renew DOOL unless they made some head-writer changes. Whether that's true or not, I think Reilly must have received a handsome contract in order to return as head writer for Days. One which included some kind of executive producing credits (according to what I'm reading at the end of the show) and because of that, they're stuck with him. Maybe it's too expensive to buy him out of his contract or maybe there's no clause to buy him out at all - who knows? That's my opinion; does anybody else have a thought? Let me know and I'll post it in my next column.

I wanted to add my two cents about the rumored Austin Peck return. If he's coming back for Nicole; I'm definitely all for it. I always thought Austin and Nicole had good potential. And that would hopefully push the Brady/Chloe story along because we all know it's languishing badly. If he's returning to set Kate straight about her meddling or to help his sister Billie find her daughter; I'm all for that too. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that, I'm looking forward to Austin's return - mostly because I'm hoping that we'll soon see some progress in the various storylines.

Random:

  • Roman and Marlena are literally boring me to tears. What a waste to have them simply sitting in the castle constantly moaning and whining. And right when they find a map that could potentially give them a storyline involving trying to escape; Tony arrives to snatch it away from them. Sorry - I know I should feel sympathy for two people being held prisoner but Reilly has dragged this out for so long now, that I'm totally bored and could care less whether they ever make it back to Salem.
  • Patrick has made my "hate" list of characters. I don't care what the DiMeras have over him, he intercepted Jennifer from finding Jack and that is unforgivable to me
  • John and Kate's make out scene was not fun to watch. John belongs with Marlena and Kate belongs with Roman. No other combination works for me.


Reader Feedback: Thanks to everyone who wrote in! I love reading your comments and feedback about the show and this column; so keep them coming!

From Sheryl:"Thank you so much for your insights and for taking the time to delve into our woes about Days. I have to wonder about a soap that actually makes me angry. Much like you, I watch soaps to take me away from the realities of my life. You watch these characters as if they were family. It breaks my heart to see the state of the show these days. Where is the happiness? Where is the comic relief? Oh, a little of Vivian and Ivan or Susan Banks would go a long way right about now, wouldn't it? I'm so TIRED of it all. I'm tired of everything being something other than what you think it is. I'm TIRED of Kate being turned into a character that is basically unredeemable. I'm TIRED of Tony DiMera's plans.... I'm TIRED of the unfinished storylines. I'm TIRED of every single couple being split apart. I never thought I'd say this but Reilly needs to be kicked to the curb before we lose this show, as we did Another World. If he wanted to make a far-fetched fantasy, he got the opportunity with Passions. But that had no history. That had no beloved characters. I miss the show. I truly do. It's as if someone passed away. I keep looking for it but it's just not there. It's enough to make a grown woman weep. Thanks for listening." No worries Sheryl, that's what we're hear for. To listen and commiserate. I don't think you'd find anyone who would disagree with you at this point.~P

From Megan:"Isn't there anything we can do about the Days, the show I ONCE loved. I couldn't wait to see Shawn and Belle, John and Marlena, Brady and Chloe, Jack and Jennifer, Mickey and Maggie, and all of the other truly happy couples. I like Philip and all but he doesn't belong with Belle, Shawn does....when is everyone going to be happy again...cause frankly I can't handle anymore tragedy. Reilly uses storylines too death, there is enough tragedy in the world as it is.....it is too the point you can predict everything that will happen, therefore you don't even have to watch it. i could complain about this show for hours....but I'm asking isn't there anything we can do to get Reilly fired or something, or at least get him to see he is losing viewers with these ridiculous storylines????" Yes, there is something we can do Megan - we can put a pen to paper and send our complaints to NBC. That's what I've done - feel free! ~P
Days of Our Lives, C/O NBC Studios. 3000 Alameda Blvd. Burbank, CA 91523

From Tiffani:" I don't watch Days anymore but I do occasionally read your column to keep up on things (and because I pretty much agree with what you say). I quit watching back when JER first started writing for the show again. I stopped because I knew what was coming and I just couldn't go through that with another soap (I also used to watch Passions). JER does seem to have a talent for coming up with an interesting idea - I'll give him that much - but he just doesn't know how to WRITE. I remember taking writing (English) classes in high school where we learned about the beginning, middle, and end of a story. JER just doesn't understand that concept. I honestly think that's why he drags storylines out so long that no one cares about them anymore - because he doesn't know how to end them. That's why I eventually had to quit watching Passions. After investing almost 5 years in that show, those stories, those characters there was no payoff - nothing fundamentally changed on the show! Every single couple on the show is in the same triangle where nobody ever 'wins'. None of the murders or mysteries has ever been solved. And only a handful of the 'secrets' have ever been revealed and even when they are it doesn't change anything. The day I came home and realized that not only was I fast forwarding almost every minute of the show but I was almost dreading watching it, was the day I realized I had to stop. And the thing that makes me really mad about JER is when I read an article about Deidre Hall and they quoted her as saying that fans shouldn't write in and complain to JER about the stories if they want him to read the fan mail, they should tell him about the things they like. That's not an exact quote of what she said but it's the gist. What that tells me is that JER doesn't care whether or not the fans like the show - and if you don't like it, he doesn't want to hear it. I have switched over to As The World Turns and after watching Passions and JER's version of Days I am constantly amazed at what a wonderful show ATWT is. I have to agree with you Tiffani - on everything you've said. From JER's writing ability (he can definitely come up with a creative idea, but flounders when it comes to fleshing out the story) to how sucky Passions is and how wonderful ATWT is in contrast. I also watch ATWT, as well as GH, and am constantly amazed by the sharp contrast in writing between these two soaps and Days. I have been watching all three soap operas for the same amount of time and until two years ago - DOOL had always been my sentimental fave. Not anymore. I can't go a day without knowing what's happening on ATWT and GH but unfortunately, I no longer feel the same about Days. As to your last comment that JER doesn't want to know if the fans are unhappy...are we surprised? Seeing what state the show is in - it's quite obvious that Reilly doesn't give much thought to the fans opinions. Sad indeed!~P

Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.
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