I'm conducting a little survey this week by asking people to send me their "reasons to watch" Days. I've received so much mail in the last two weeks from people expressing their happiness with the recent Days storylines that I thought it would a good idea to focus on some positive things instead of constantly nit-picking and being negative! I know that I am personally a lot more positive about Days of our Lives than I have been in well over a year. The writers are finally starting to focus their stories on the relationships between the characters and are getting back to reality concerning jobs, school and financial matters. We are getting some wonderful dialogue of late and plot points are no longer relying on far-fetched ideas (like the damn Island-kidnapping stuff) or convenient lapses in both memory AND hearing. Personally; one of my favorite reasons to watch is the Austin/Nicole/Sami/Lucas story. I love the fact that Austin is back. His return to the canvas has created a whole wealth of potential storylines, not to mention some truly great (and overdue) dialogue. I totally forgot how much I missed his character. The only thing that bothers me is the digression of Lucas and Austin's relationship. Lucas had worked through all that jealousy crap, so it's disappointing to see him going "there" again but at the same time - I'm sure that his true feelings for Sami are behind it all. He has now decided to "ruin" Austin and his fledgling company; which is immature and overused as a plot point but I'm willing to swallow it because I love seeing these four characters on screen. Anyway...as I was saying, send me your reasons to watch and I will make sure to post some.
Correction Boy was I wrong! Austin DID hire Sami. I don't know what I was watching, but I was sure that he said "no thanks" due to the recent mishaps she's gotten herself in to (her Stan disguise to name one). But as one helpful reader stated, he was just kidding when he turned her down. That just proves my point...Austin has a soft spot for Sami and despite the fact that she has no proven work experience - other than answering phones maybe - he was willing to give her a chance (which no one is willing to do). On top of which, he also hired Nicole! Although it was a questionable decision considering that Nicole and Sami can barely stand to be in the same room together; IF Austin can rein them in and push them to work together instead of against each other - their company could be very successful in a very short amount of time. I absolutely loved the scenes this week and I am thrilled with the twist that all three plan to live together cozily in Sami's apartment. Who cares that it's ridiculous and contrived and convenient, it's pure gold! A definite brain-flash of an idea on the part of the writers and one that will keep me tuning in regularly to see what happens next. I guess someone was listening to the fans that were saying they wanted to see more of Nicole and Sami together. Any scene with Nicole and Sami interacting has been hilarious. In my opinion, the dynamics of them being forced to work together for the sake of the success of the company as well as Austin's referring and not to mention Lucas's interference... screams "must see TV." I'm sure that - if TPTB play their cards right - this storyline should become the thing that draws the viewers back and boosts the sorely flagging ratings. I cannot rave about this story enough and I can't wait to see where it goes next!!
Before I move on to another story (the rest are all kind of "yawn") I have to say that Nicole delivered a heck of a low blow to Sami on Friday's episode. It's one thing for them to attack each other and belittle and backstab each other, but it's another thing to involve one's children. Nicole sent Sami an email and made it look like it was from Will. In it she said all kind of mean things like "I hate you mom; I never want to see you again." Yada yada. That was crossing a line. While I really enjoy their love/hate relationship (as I think I raved on and on about in the paragraph above) I do want to see them eventually work together and forge some kind of friendship. I've said it before and I'll say it again; if ever there were two women who needed a real friend, it is these two.
Okay last point before moving on (seriously!) How much did I love the scene with Lucas and Maggie? A lot! It was so great to see the often-underused Suzanne Rogers! And the best part is that it was a relevant and heartwarming scene. She met with Lucas for coffee on the morning of his first day on the job and gave him some heartfelt encouragement. I only hope we can see more of these types of scenes. I much prefer seeing the characters interact together and have meaningful conversations rather than watching them deal with weird illnesses or being kidnapped for the umpteenth time. I don't much like Lucas's treatment of Sami though. Yes I know she broke his heart but he's completely forgetting all of the awful things that he's said and done to her. Out of every guy that Sami has ever been with, Lucas was the one man that I was confident would see the real person behind all the stupid things she's done. I thought for sure that he loved her for her, despite the mistakes she has made (and continues to make). I'm disappointed in him. He told Maggie that he'd rather start drinking again than get back together with Sami because it would be a much more pleasurable way to kill himself (what's with all the death references on Days lately?). And no...Friday's red-herring does not make me think he's going to change his mind any time soon. [If you missed it - Lucas came upon Sami crying in the hall (after she got the email from Nicole pretending to be Will) and told her that he still loved her. We all KNOW that there will be a "BUT" in there somewhere).
I am so sick of Dr. Alex North. This story is getting crazy! I can't stand the fact that Marlena seems to be snapping out of it one second and then drawn back in the next. It's frustrating and not in a good way. I've said it often enough but - let's get on with it! While I'm happy that she is slowly starting to break free of Alex's control, the story is moving way too slowly for me. One minute Marlena is trying to kick John out of her life and the next she wants to spend time with him. A thought just occurred to me...on the subject of the timing of the alleged relationship between Alex and Marlena...what if they never actually had a relationship? What if he's making it up because he's being paid to? From what the rumor mill is churning out - he could be working on behalf of someone to break up Marlena and John. Hmmm....interesting. The latest rumor suggests that Kristen DiMera is the person behind Alex's machinations with Marlena. Yet another one says that it is Isabella that is pushing Alex to break up them up so that she can have John back. Given the writing that we have seen so far, Alex seems far more personally involved than he should be if he is simply being paid to brainwash Marlena. So...I wouldn't be happy to see that resolution to the story. But speaking of the two rumors specifically; I'd buy a return of Kristen (though it'll be hard to see another actress in the role that Eileen Davidson made famous) but I could not buy a return of Isabella. Not only is Isabella dead, Brady has seen his dead mother as a ghost more than a few times. He's even communicated with her. How in the world would TPTB explain that one? That, instead of ghostly communications, it was a psychic one? I don't think so. And what about Brady? There is NO way I'd buy a return of Isabella without Brady. He hasn't seen his mother since he was 3 years old - there's no way I'd believe for a second that he wouldn't drop everything and come rushing back to Salem to see her. Nope...there would be too many loose ends for that story to work. Yet the rumors persist that Stacey Greason (the actress who plays Isabella) has filmed scenes - and not as a ghost. On the other hand...Kristen DiMera being behind Alex IS possible. Of course that means that once again; the DiMeras are behind every bad deed but at least it wouldn't be completely unbelievable.
Jack has decided to commit suicide and save his family the pain of seeing him die eh? Well...there are many things to say about this storyline...for one - it is completely ridiculous. Suicide is a serious issue and I totally believe that it should not be taken lightly or used as a plot device in a soap opera (although I do not want to get in to a philosophical discussion about it because it is a very touchy subject and one that has touched many people's lives personally). Jack is a selfish coward to even think about removing himself from his family prematurely. Besides...why is he bothering? According to what he's been telling people, he only has a few months to live IF that long. So why would he even think about shortening that time by committing suicide? And if his reasoning is truly that he wants to spare his family the pain of watching him suffer; why doesn't he wait until he is actually suffering? He's walking around looking completely healthy to me. He's not in an inordinate amount of pain, nor is he bedridden or any of the things he was saying to Billie as his reasons for wanting to end his life. Gawd, I just HATE it when JER makes up these stupid things, especially when it concerns Jack and Jennifer. He has never known what to do with this couple and always ends up giving them crappy or recycled stories. Enough all ready!
It's interesting how many people despise the character of Chelsea. Not a day goes by without my receiving an email from someone stating how much they hate her. I, personally, am on the fence about her and most times I lean towards the "kinda liking her" side. I say kinda because I can't stand her whenever she starts bashing Hope. I also don't like how she consciously manipulates Bo. It's not like she really needs the money she wheedles out of him, nor does she even attempt to tell him the truth about where she spends the money. I'm not sure I understand why she's using Bo the way she is - what does she have against him? He's a nice guy and has treated her very fairly since they found out that they were father and daughter. I don't understand why she has to lie and manipulate him. Not only that, she also uses his dislike of Patrick to grease the wheels of the money train (she told Bo that Patrick gives her money which is baloney) and that really irritates me! Yes indeed, this little girl has her Daddy wrapped right around her little finger (as predicted!). He's even keeping secrets on her behalf from Billie; and he should definitely know better than that. The surprising part of this story is that Billie WANTS to instill some sort of values in her long-lost daughter. She has a desire to do things right. As she said, her refusal to spoil Chelsea (which I'm sure she's itching to do...who wouldn't want to spoil a daughter that they thought was dead for 18 years?) is what is prompting Chelsea to lie and manipulate and just be plain ole rotten to Billie. Also, I have to admit that I am enjoying the Hope/Billie tag-team where Chelsea's upbringing is concerned. It's nice to see these two getting along for once and agreeing on something! Question though...where is Bo getting the money from anyhow? Hello? Hope doesn't work and with a mortgage, a boat and two children to support, Bo cannot afford to hand over $250 to Chelsea every time she bats her eyelashes. Sheesh!
Under the title of "amazing career transformations" Max has become a mechanic and Frankie has become a lawyer. I feel the need to point out that just because Max can race cars, does not mean he's a mechanic! And - maybe I missed something here but - when did Frankie become a lawyer? I thought he worked for the ISA? Oh man...the blurred careers//skills/abilities of the Salemmites really have me scratching my head some days. Oh well, at least we are getting back to reality as this past week was chock full of school, work and financial conversations. Mimi is going back to school but first she needs to get a second job to pay for it; Shawn is not going back to school but tool a job at Max's new garage to make ends meet; Hope and Bo discussed their finances (with them mentioning that they are blue-collar cops - since when did Hope work?); Nicole/Austin and Sami discuss their new company's finances and the fact that they will not be paid much at first (realistic but...how is Nicole able to wear such great clothes/accessories/makeup if she is broke?)
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 Ken Alverson:"On the subject of Alex North...In addition to erasing memories of John&Roman shouldn't he also erase memories of Don Craig..I mean after all if we are to believe he was in love with her some years ago then it would have to be before she married Don who was her first husband which would be the man she left him for not Roman...And here's another theory on Alex that no one thought of...What if he's....ORPHEUS....remember him??He was an old enemy of Roman's AND he did face off against John when John was thought to be Roman AND he did kidnap Marlena from Roman/John..SO if Stefan can come back from the dead why can't Orpheus...."
From SteelerFanMary:"I wouldn't say you're in the minority with Mimi/Shawn/Belle. Shimi is garnering more and more fans. Quite impressive because they've only been hinted out for a couple of months whereas Shelle have had five years to get a fanbase. Not only do I hope that Claire really is Philip's, I hope we find out that the barnsex was just a hallucination. Jason & Farah have tremendous amounts of chemistry where Jason & Martha just don't. I also think that Belle does love Philip but she's clinging to Shawn because he represents her carefree past."
From Tracy:"Pamela, I look forward to Two Scoops each week. This week I so agree with you on many points, but one I have to say no way. I don't believe, for a NY minute, that Martha Madison did a fabulous job with the story thus far. And I don't have any idea why you would think that you are "one of the few in the minority since the change in actresses and I no longer see any of the spark that made Shelle such an exciting and promising couple." There are MANY, MANY more who completely agree with you. We just get slammed for every time it's said so many cut back. As for Belle's PPD, I don't believe this show is doing it justice at all. It's all lip service (symptoms inserted in the right spots when they feel they fit the story) masquerading for her sulking depression over Shawn moving on. I was at the doctors' office and a PPD situation was on the screen. One of the MAIN things said was women who have had ANY form of depression prior to PPD CAN recognize the signs of the depression coming on - women who have NOT experienced any depression will not - Belle has NOT been happy since Martha Madison took over. She's been depressed, sulky, bitchy, and downright snobby since than. And now she has no clue why she's like this? She was always so happy and loved life? THAT was KS's Belle, not MM's Belle. It's all about Shawn. Why people expect Shawn to sit around and twiddle his thumbs I'll never know and why people accuse him of deserting her is beyond me. I truly hope they write this character off. And yes, I agree KS would've been outstanding. The chemistry and the body language between her and JC was amazing. Too bad the show took advantage of her youth for too long. Anyone remember JT? That was serious, outstanding material that KS and JC played to rave reviews. Regarding Lucas, I have a bone to pick. Where does he get off hurling all of these awful diatribes at Sami, who definitely did something horrible, but Lucas is no saint. And I don't mean working for DiMera. He needs to take a look in the mirror at all the horrible things he's done before he goes throwing stones at Sami. I hope Austin can help Sami grow up, as long as there is no romance issue. Yuck to that. I'm so over Alex and Marlena, I'd rather watch Chelsea. I'm loving Mimi and Shawn. This is a bonafide REAL threat to Shawn and Belle and when people have to start pulling out the low blows of Mimi being a trash Lockhart than you know they are working! Mimi has never been treated like this until she was made a real threat to Belle's happiness. Everything going on with Shimi is REALISTIC. And it's wonderful to see the ACTORS themselves happy and excited for a change."
From Caitlin:"what is with everyone wanting Belle and Shawn to get back together! I do not want that Philip is SO HOT and he Belle are so cute together. And the whole Claire is Shawn's Belle and Shawn never hooked up, Belle never lost cloths unless it was the emasculate conception it didn't happen. I want Belle to be as happy as Philip is to be with her. Philip loves that baby so much i would be so bad to take her away from him. I don't like Shawn and never have and really hoped when Jan took him he would never come back. Mimi is so sweet and cute and if she cant be with Rex it would be ok for her to be with Shawn."
From TJ:"I hate John, Kate, and Philip. They should all be written off of the show. Sami needs to find out that she's pregnant, tell Lucas, Lucas yell at her, cause her to be greatly upset and almost lose the baby. Then Lucas realizes how much he loves Sami and supports her while she strives to save the child. It would be nice this time to see Lucas fight for Sami. I hear that Carrie is returning. I love Carrie with Mike, but if Mike is not returning then put her with Austin. An interesting couple would be Frankie and Nicole."
From Kristy:"HI, this is the first time I have written you. I always like reading other people's comments about DOOL, so thank you for what you do. Now to my comments. I totally agree with you about Mimi and Shawn. They are great together. This is the only thing I think the writers have right, right now. I am so sick about everyone talking about Belle and Shawn. I am not a Belle fan, have never been a Belle fan, and I think she has finally been put in her place. She gets everything. She has money, she is beautiful, she has a good job at Basic Black and look who she ended up with as in-laws, people who is just as rich as she is. She is never going to want for a thing for the rest of her life...except Shawn. I realize that Jan was the cause of the break-up, but she did not waste anytime hooking up with Philip. If my boyfriend was missing, the last thing I would be doing is eating strawberries with his best friend at Basic Black. She is no better than Mimi. People think Mimi is such a bad person because of the abortion, but look at Belle. She has lied to everyone about the love she feels for her husband. Because of her mistake, she wants to take happiness away from two people who desperately need it, Shawn and Mimi. I hope they are the next Bo and Hope. I hope that Belle and Philip turn evil. Philip like Victor, scary and powerful and Belle like Sami, scheming at every turn. That would be great to watch. I am tired of Sami being Sami. The writers need to have her be more mature, and have Belle act a little more like her. Wouldn't that be fun to watch? Well the rest of the show is in need of serious help. I think every story that is going on besides of the Shawn and Mimi story is so unoriginal and boring. If I have to watch Jack die one more time, I will scream!!!!!! Get a clue writers. The ratings are the worst they have ever been, and it is not because of the acting. Thanks for letting me share. Kristy" Hi Kristy - I just want to comment that in my opinion, people don't think Mimi is a bad person because she had an abortion (I don't anyhow) but because she lied to Rex about it. It was a dumb story though, to be sure! Thanks for writing! ~P
From Annmarie:"I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who can not stand hearing Sami whining about her parents getting back together. Enough already!! She acts like she's 12! She's so horrible to John and I'm sick of her blaming him for everything! However, I do like Sami. She can be really amusing sometimes. Nicole is useless, but funny when she's with Sami. And what's with Belle?? She told Shawn they will never be together and now goes into a depression. She's really annoying and I wish she'd leave town! I really do love Shawn and Mimi. I think Mimi is a great character and deserves to be happy. I wish they would stay together but I'm sure somewhere up the road, Shawn and Belle will reunite when they discover the baby is Shawn's. And last, could Days find a more pathetic role for Wayne Northrup (Dr. North)????? It's really annoying and I hope it's not dragged on for months. They all are aware of what he's doing, but yet they let Marlena be alone with him! What a sorry group they all are!!! Thanks for listening!"
From Nat:"I have been watching Days for about 10 years now. I'm sooooo bored with the current storylines that I even find it hard to keep up over the internet (even though you do a great job). I'm really looking forward to Carrie coming back because that is when I was interested in the show, even though it could be slow at times, the storyline was original. It seems like they keep the same storyline moving with different people. I can't stand it. I used to be a huge Shelle fan, but now I don't even like seeing Belle on the show (if she is on I turn it off). I really wish Kirsten Storms was back, or they would get an actress that portrayed the character better. I think the same thing about Phil. I'd like watching Kyle on the REAL WORLD better. I think that the writers have changed everyone's character with no reason. It was like they just decided to get new characters so they stopped thinking of how they used to be, and created new ones with new actors. I'm fed up. I hope that Jack lives, because lets face it, he is one character that keeps the show going. Shawn and Mimi get together to show Belle that all actions have consequences, and Lucas and Sami get together FINALLY because everyone knows that they should be together. The only promising storyline that I have seen lately is Sami/Austin/Nicole. I hope that they don't drop this one. Thank you for putting your opinions out there. It is nice to know that there are others out there who know Days is a joke."
From Gina:"It's interesting you said Chelsea is like Kate. I read ahead and Chelsea is going to be a problem in Bo and Hopes relationship. I don't blame Chelsea for this I blame JER! He is determined to make sure every couple on the show has a major dilemma that prevents them from staying together. What married couple besides Doug and Julie, are being broken up. This is EXACTLY like Passions. No couple on that show has any sort of happiness, in fact all the married couple one person doesn't love them. JER is determine to slaughter all couples. I wish he can atleast leave BO and Hope together with no problems. I like their scenes where they in the bed talking about the kids and their family. Keep them doing that and do whatever to everyone else!!"
From Cindy Young-Johnson:"This is an answer for Denise Hairston from a Sami fan. I have watched Days for all but about two years in the beginning and a few years in between then and now. If you knew Sami's background you would understand why she is written as insecure and self-centered. She has been through more than any person ever could actually endure and she is just looking for true love, unconditional love. Her parents have been declared dead multiple times, she has been raped, she had an eating disorder, she was shipped off to live with her Grandparents, she has an older half-sister who is perfect, she got involved with a spoiled wealthy brat (Lucas) who used her and convinced her to do hateful things, she's lost every man she's ever loved. Granted she does stupid things and I believe the writers should make her grow up a bit. Her heart is actually full of love for her family, even though they bad mouth her, arrest her, watch her almost executed for something she didn't do, and never seem to be there when she needs them. To me the writers are delivering the message to everyone watching that if you are rich, like Kate, you can do whatever you want and not pay the price. If you are poor like Sami you pay over and over and over, especially at the hands of a rich, evil snob like Kate. Kate deserves so many bad things to happen to her. I know, bad things have happened to her in the past and there is the rub, Kate should have also learned some lessons and she is much OLDER than Sami. I am very critical of the writers, especially JER, but for once they have one thing right, Sami's dream of her parents getting back together. It isn't that I want them to do that, I love Marlena and John as a couple. But I know so many children of divorced couples who never give up that dream of their parents reuniting. Why would an emotional disaster like Sami be any different? She needs the love of a real man who won't run out on her every time he THINKS she makes a mistake. As much as I want her and Lucas together, or did want them together, I am wondering if the writers will ever allow him to be a real man. He sure isn't acting like one now. He seems to forget all the rotten things he and his mother did to Sami and that he has made plenty of mistakes too. Poor Will, he is more mature than both of his parents and his sick, twisted Grandmother, Kate."
From Nita:" My thoughts on the whole Alex/Marlena story is that Ales is really Roman and the Roman that has been in Salem is really Stefano in disguise. I have only been watching for a couple of years so I don't know if that timeline is possible. But, how devastating would that be to everyone knowing that Stefano has been in Salem the whole time!"