Wishing all of you a warm and happy Holiday Season with your family and friends! I hope you eat, drink and be Merry!
The traditional Horton tree ornament hanging was the highlight of the week for me. We so rarely get to see the family come together for something other than a funeral or a wedding. Doug and Julie looked as great as ever, not to mention the grand dame matriarch herself; Alice Horton. Even though Mickey is the wrong Mickey - I like him from when he played Edward Quartermaine on GH so I enjoy seeing him on Days in whatever role they want to give him. It's too bad that Lucas and Will didn't show up to hang their ornaments and why did Hope and Bo leave before Jennifer and Abby hung their ornaments? Strange. Anyhow, I hope we will get to see some family dinners being shared over the next few days. That's one of the things I enjoy about As the World Turns - they consistently show families gathering for Holiday meals. It's a nice touch for the viewers. Seeing the characters interact in loving and warm scenes also helps to make them seem more real. That's important when building a steady following of fans; people have to buy in to the lives of these fictional people - or else why would we continue to watch day in, day out? If Days can't give us the storylines that we viewers are asking for, surely they could give us a few extra warm and fuzzy moments?
Unfortunately, Christmas isn't going to be so Merry for all the residents of Salem. Jennifer is struggling with her loss of Jack, Belle and Philip are struggling with the possibility of losing their daughter (who now requires a transplant) and John is struggling to regain Marlena. Is there anyone enjoying the Holidays?
Bo and Hope tried to stir up some Christmas Spirit and do some typical Holiday family things; like take Zach to see Santa Claus. But something by the name of "Chelsea" continued to stick a knife in the spokes. As anticipated, she didn't die in the car crash. She didn't suffer much more than a few bumps and bruises. Though she did make an attempt to smile sweetly to Bo and Hope, her true colors came out when Bo gently refused to help her out of her latest mishap. She lost the car, her license and has to do community service. Chelsea is one unhappy girl. It's funny because, though I don't like the rude things she says and does to Bo (and Hope for that matter); I do like the character of Chelsea. I think it has something to do with the actress who portrays her, she's a compelling young woman and she does a good job at portraying a lost and lonely girl who acts out in an awful way. I felt the same about Cassie when she was first introduced as one half of the Gemini Twins. She was not the nicest of people, but I liked her character; she was interesting. Anyway, here's hoping that we get to see more of Max in the coming year; and that he'll end up being a good influence on Chelsea.
I guess Will isn't having much of a Christmas either; both his parents were in L.A. until the day of Christmas Eve and the first place they went when they returned home, was the Hospital to hang out with other people. Hmmm. It was so dumb that Sami and Lucas kept running in to each other in L.A. but Austin and Carrie didn't come face to face once. Anyhow, Friday's show ended with both partners exactly where they should be. Lucas and Sami kissing (by accident but I'm not picky) and Carrie and Austin together on the ever popular terrace. More than anything I want Sami to forget this baloney with Austin and go back to Lucas. I'm so tired of listening to Sami fight with Lucas. They have more spark than any other couple on the show and it's time to let them be happy together. If TPTB played their cards right, Lumi could be "the" new Supercouple and provide a desperately needed boost in the ratings. But first they need to get back together! Sami and Lucas should concentrate on each other; let Nicole and Carrie battle it out for Austin.
I would guess that Frankie is pretty bummed too...turfed out on Christmas Eve by a grieving Jennifer. Was Hope right? Is Jennifer pushing Frankie away because she has feelings for him? I'm sure we all see what's coming. We all know that Frankie will be back; Jennifer will realize her mistake and ask him to come back. She will end up leaning on him a little bit and maybe her old feelings for him will come rushing back. I'm surprised to realize this but; I'd like to see Frankie and Jennifer get together for a while. I think Jack and Jennifer belong together in the long run, but I'm kinda fed up by the whole recycled story and I'm ready for something different for a while.
John's not a happy fellow either; especially now that this Becky woman has resurfaced from Marlena's past and related some scary tales about Dr. North. She claimed to know both Marlena and Alex in College and that, after obsessively pursuing Marlena, he married her and turned quickly turned abusive. Apparently Marlena suffered emotional, physical and verbal abuse at the hands of Alex (aha - an explanation for the mysterious 'choking' memory?). Becky has agreed to testify in court (where the heck has this woman been for the last couple of months? Surely the ISA would have found her before now?) and a furious John has galloped off to rescue Marlena from the nefarious Dr. North's clutches. So what is really going on here? Have TPTB decided to ditch the Dr. North storyline, turn him in to a freak and write him off? Or is Becky lying for some reason? Do I care? Maybe...if it sees John and Marlena reuniting soon. Not that I don't love Wayne Northrup...I do, I do...I just don't love his character what so ever.
That's all I've got ladies and gents; once again, have a safe and happy Holidays and all the best to you in 2006. Next week I'll be posting a Best of 2005/Worst of 2005 and Looking Ahead to 2006 column. Feel free to email me with any thoughts you have in whichever of the three categories.
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 Rob:Hey there! Just read your column and couldn't agree more. My wife and I Tivo Days and FF through the same spots you do. It really has become very painful to watch, even for a somewhat casual viewer like me. But here is the question I pose to you and your viewers: if this show is canceled, what soap or soaps are you most likely to turn to? When I was younger, much younger, I used to watch Guiding Light on occasion (was totally in love with Roxie). What is your recommendation on which show should be added to my Tivo list?" I enjoy both As the World Turns and General Hospital. What about you guys out there? ~P
From CanadianRose:"I really enjoy you column and am grateful for a place to vent. "Sigh." That is about all I can do when I think of Days nowadays. I had been away from the show for awhile and started watching again after the new Belle was on the scene. I was right back into it, the Sami/Lucas romance, the budding romance between Mimi and Shawn, etc. I would get home and head for the TV to catch up with the characters. But now the soap world has begun to crash and burn. Now...I tune in for short snippets between commercials of other soaps. I cannot stand the way they ruined Sami and Lucas, how Kate ALWAYS comes out on top, the new Belle is irritating and if I knew her in real life I would slap her for her constant indecision. Now Mimi and Shawn are heading for a break-up. Don't deny it, they will stay around long enough for some people to care and then the paternity thing will come out and Shawn and wishy-washy Belle will "find their way back to each other." I just have one question...are the execs of Days at all surprised that they might not be renewed when they do not listen to their fan base? I, for one, will not invest any more of my time in any of these characters if they are going to be ruined and wasted. There are other soaps who at least give you something to believe in, characters to invest in. Regrettably, another potential loyal fan will be walking away, unless something drastic happens very soon and I'm sure I am not the only one. Again, thank you for the time to vent, who knows, maybe it will do some good :-)"
From Tina:"I really enjoy your comments. I have been watching Days on and off for 30 years now. I love your humor...the sheesh comments are exactly what pops into my head when TPTB make stupid mistakes. A good example is the Marlena Alex storyline. Did TPTB forget she was also married to Don Craig and she lost a child to SIDs? So, now they are going to add yet another child in her life after she has had so many with so many different men? And two of her children died? Sheesh is right. On another note, there are so few characters now with any sense of right and wrong and morality. I'm with you...ambivalent about the cancellation!."
From Judi:"Might Days and Passions be cancelled? If they are it will just be because of the writing and predictable storylines. There are only triangles. With all of the other human relationships available to people, triangles get 99% of the attention. Children/siblings just drop in and out of people's lives with no attention. There could be a wealth of emotion between Chelsea and Sean or Chelsea and Victor, not just Chelsea causing problems in Bo's marriage because it adds to the hope of another stupid triangle. Cassie was a wonderful opportunity for all sorts of great scenes and interactions, but she didn't fit into a triangle so forget it. If the writers can only think in triangles and repeating the same triangles over and over again, the show deserves to be cancelled. Same thing with Passions - nothing but stupid triangles. Julian was going to have a real relationship with Endora. Yeah, we've seen a lot of that happening. And the whole Sheridan/Chris thing is just gross!"
From Diane:" Thanks for writing your comments about Days every week, I really enjoy reading what you have written. I do hope the writers from Days read what you are saying. I totally and completely agree with your comments about not another Sami/Carrie/Austin storyline. It was good in the past, so let's just leave it there. Repeating and predictable storylines are so demeaning to the audience. I wish the writers would consider their audience. Maybe they should hire some of their loyal viewers to write. So Carrie/Austin/Sami: It would be a nice year for the actors involved, they wouldn't have to learn any new scripts!! Hey Days, why not just use the past tapes and play those instead. You could even save money."
From Mona:"Hi, fellow Days fans...I just wanted to say that Days is an amazing show! It's truly an interesting story about different characters, facing different problems in their lives. Whether it's being kidnapped, being dumped or being brain washed by evil, I always want to know what's happening next, and how each problem would eventually be solved. And for these reasons, and trust me there are many more, I think that these rumours being spread about Days being cancelled are really shocking! I mean, i couldn't imagine a day without "Like sands through the hour glass...." I think NBC would really be making a huge mistake if really, they were going to cancel this show! Its been on for more than forty years! Why end it now?! It makes no sense, especially to eager fans who follow the show day in, day out!!"
From Shannon:"Mimi has got to go. Her annoyance at Shawn's concern for baby Claire was sickening, and so was her choice to hide her ideas about the parentage of the baby. This character has been ruined for some time and it is past time for she and her idiotic mother to fly off on their broomsticks together. Kate used to be an interesting character with layers and emotions and conflicts that you could see and feel. Now she is just cartoon-ish in her hate and deceptions. I like her in scenes with Victor, but I can't believe he let her get away with changing hospital records. Sami apparently went to sleep and woke up back in 1993. We have all seen the lengths that she went to get Austin, and we don't want to no one wants to see this crap rehashed. Without Mike in the picture we know that Carrie loves Austin and he loves her. Time for fresh ideas with this story. Nicole/Carrie/Austin/Frankie would be a lot more fun and interesting. Let Lucas and Sami find their way back to each other because both characters lack humanity when they are apart. So we have known all along that Shawn still loves Belle. Anytime a guy is looking at a girl with stars in his eyes and telling her he would do anything for her, it is kind of a clue where his true feelings lie. At this point John/Marlena/Alex can go away and figure out this mess of a storyline off screen because I fast forward every time they appear. Resolve this mess and I might tune in to them again. I found myself strangely scanning my tapes for scenes with Max and Abby in them. I have a feeling about these two, and a little it of excitement over their possibilities once he is away from the horror show that is Chelsea. How many times is she going to be in an accident anyway? Kill her off already! I am probably the only one who feels this way, but at this point I would rather they just leave Jack dead. It is truly ridiculous how many times he has died and come back. I am done, and unless they give Jennifer something else to do besides whine all day, she can move to Africa for awhile with baby Jack and let's focus on Abby and her college years."
From Nour:"Hi!! I just LOVE Days...it can get really addictive! I never miss an episode, and I really enjoy knowing what others think of the show too. I, personally, think it's fun, dramatic, captivating, funny, and not to mention interesting! Now, to my main point here...I've been following this whole story for as long as I can remember, and i would pleeazze like to tell you that Shawn and belle were MEANT TO BE!!! I don't see Philip and Belle as, how should I put it, A perfect match. I see Belle as Shawn's soulmate! And i am SURE a lot of other Days fans think so too. So help all of us....(okay, maybe I'm sounding a little silly here..lol) By bringing SHAWN AND BELLE back together!!! :) And, last but not least, i truly enjoy coming on to your site every evening after a nice show, and reading what other viewers think about what has been going on, and how they feel about the different situations! Thanks...from a TRUUUE Days fan!"