Hogan Sheffer, you're my hero
For the Week of October 23, 2006
Wow! What an amazing two weeks it has been since Hogan Sheffer fully took over the reins at Days of our Lives!
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Wow! What an amazing two weeks it has been since Hogan Sheffer fully took over the reins at Days of our Lives! I hardly recognize it any more! LOL. And that's a great thing. I was confident that Sheffer would not disappoint and I am excited to see my faith being rewarded. In the past 2 weeks, Hogan has given us interesting dialogue that is smart and engaging and that doesn't turn the characters in to mumblings dolts who can't see the nose on their own face. He's given us warm and poignant family scenes long since missing from Days but so essential to the fans who connect so deeply with the characters. While it's a bit early to judge whether his storylines are going in the right direction; at least we can say that they are moving along at a great pace. Of course there are a few things that have been irritating but on the whole I am reveling in the "new" Days. Thank you Hogan! You have begun the process of restoring our much-loved show and I for one find myself almost slavishly thankful. I am looking forward to seeing what you have up your sleeve for the residents of Salem and I am confident that you will not disappoint.
As mentioned, the storylines are moving along at a very quick pace. For the first time in quite a number of years - we are back to the "blink and you miss it" type of story telling that resonates so positively with the soap viewing audience (we have short attention spans after all ;) Look at all that's happened since I last wrote the column (2 weeks ago):
- Steve remembered holding Stephanie as a baby in some extremely powerful scenes…but, unfortunately, he has not remembered Kayla yet. Though that was too bad, it was expected. We all know that it's going to take a bit longer for Steve to remember his "sweetness" and I fully expect those to be some very heart wrenching scenes. Still, I really enjoyed the scenes when Patch remembered Stephanie, (Stephen Nichols rocked) and I also enjoyed the new father-daughter interaction between the two. If only I didn't have to see Billie trailing along behind Steve everywhere he went like the proverbial little lamb. I say this all the time because it's true - I like Billie - I just never like the storylines that she's involved in. Anyway, I hope to see more movement in the story of Steve's memory loss soon, namely because I'm eager to see the 'old' Patch Johnson again but also because of that short attention span that I mentioned earlier…I'm getting a bit bored and I don't want to see the much-hoped-for-but-never-thought-possible return of Patch and Kayla wasted on filler stuff like the Billie connection.
- John found Marlena, who had been kidnapped once again but we don't know yet by whom or why she was taken. They returned home to Salem and finally, finally got back together again, happily ensconced in the Penthouse. Marlena is back to being the Marlena we all know and love and has resumed her role as mother to her children. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed her conversation about Shawn with Belle. It truly warmed my heart to witness a little bonding between mother and daughter.
- Kate and Victor's knowledge about Claire's paternity was revealed, leading to some excellent scenes where Philip confronted Kate in the restaurant. I wish I could see Kate getting yelled at like that every day. In another "it's about time" moment, Philip realized the truth about who his wife really loves and decided to hop the first plane out of town. Never fear though; he will return. Some other actor will be playing the role - but he will return. I wonder whether he will fight to regain Belle and Claire or whether he will simply move on with his life?
- When Shawn realized that Victor had kept the truth of Claire's paternity a secret, he reacted by driving his car through Victor's living room wall. A dumb-ass move for sure, one in a series if many it would seem. He's lucky that Victor decided not to press charges. Shawn then decided to sleep with resident new girl and former prostitute; Willow. That might not have been so bad if he hadn't decided to tell Belle that Willow meant nothing to him. Belle is right; that is not typical behavior from Shawn. I have to admit that now that all is said and done between Mimi and Shawn and Belle and Philip; I am warming up to the idea of Shawn and Belle as a couple. Bite my tongue because I never thought I'd say that but, there it is.
- Mimi got a job at Chez Rouge and ended up being trained by new employee and former prostitute Willow (riddle me this Batman; Willow had only been there a day herself right? Surely another - more experienced - waitress would be in charge of training?). Willow invited Mimi to hang out and they ended up at Shawn's boat where fireworks exploded between the three. Mimi left the new lovers and attempted to tell Bo that Shawn had taken the boat out but he was too busy with Miss Chelsea - I wanna be a hooker - Brady and her almost-arrest. Mimi then succeeded in landing herself in my bad books forever by deciding to call Hope and ratting Bo out for not listening to her warnings about Shawn. Mimi has fallen so low in my esteem that I just can't wait to see her leave Salem for good (and she can take her slimy brother with her!).
- Chelsea briefly took a walk on the wild side in an effort to draw her parents back together. Unfortunately for her, she considers Kate to be her mentor, which is unfortunate for me because I have to watch the scenes of the two of them patting themselves on the back for being so devious and evil. I personally don't mind Chelsea that much…most of the time…but only because the actress (Rachel Melvin) does a really fantastic at playing the little brat. I recognize that every great soap has to have one scheming little vixen, and I am happy to let that be Chelsea if it means that Sami gets to grow up a bit. I just wish she would find someone else's life to ruin and leave Bo and Hope alone for once.
- Hope turned on Bo once again because of her perception that he chose Chelsea over her and Shawn yet another time. I don't necessarily agree with her, especially given that Shawn is an adult and should have known better than to take the boat out at night and then not be aware of where he was going. It's a boat for gosh sakes…pay attention! Anyway, the fall-out was that Hope agreed to go to Chicago with Patrick though she claimed not to fully trust him yet. I can't tell you how much this storyline gets under my skin. Patrick's evil smirk when he hugged her drove me nuts. I can't wait until the truth about his baby-stealing ways comes out because I just want him gone now that it's confirmed that he really is a 'bad dude' and not the father of Hope's baby (hallelujah! And yes Melissa…I'll buy that 'Bo's magic sperm' theory for a 100 dollars :D ).
- Bo is not handling the whole Patrick situation very well and ended up giving him a few good punches to the face in front of a crowd of people in a restaurant. That suited Patrick just fine and Bo ended up being arrested by his big brother (aren't there rules about that sort of thing?). Both Roman and Abe were pissed about Bo's hotheaded behavior and since Bo couldn't seem to restrain himself, Abe revoked Bo's badge. Something doesn't seem right here…it doesn't make sense to me that Abe and Roman would treat Bo this way; that they don't trust his instincts as a cop. I wonder if this is all a set up to flush Patrick out? I hope so. Either way, I am hoping that with the November Sweeps period coming up, the truth about Patrick and the baby will come out and we will see the back end of the always mysterious Mr. Lockhart.
- Lucas and Sami almost found their way back together again (triple sighs when Lucas told Sami that he had never stopped loving her) but they were foiled by the glove and the note it slipped under the door revealing Sami's blackmail of Lexie. I could go on about how Sami never came up with the story of birth defects but since she copped to the fact while coming clean to Will; I guess I'll just have to let that little nit-picky piece go. The end result was that Lucas and Will know the truth about Sami's latest scheming and have decided that enough is enough - they want out. They packed their bags and are moving in with Mommie-Dearest (evil herself; Kate). Who, of course, just happened to show up at the lowest moment for Sami and proceeded to gloat and rub salt in her wounds. Sami ignored Kate and humbled herself in front of Lucas and Will and begged them to stay, promising them anything if they would not leave. As a pure testament to Alison Sweeney's acting talents, Sami had me in tears as she exposed her most vulnerable side to Lucas, but was soundly rejected. Though I don't blame him…I sort of do. Sigh…these two drive me nuts…I only hope that Sami is offered situations down the road where she is able to prove to Lucas and their son that she has changed. I am really rooting for this little family to be happy (and maybe then someone will cut Will's his hair) .
- The reveal of the truth about Sami's little trick to keep Carrie and Austin apart resulted in a wicked catfight between Carrie and Sami. Carrie attacked Sami and they soon ended up rolling around on the floor, until Will's cake landed on top of them, which they then proceeded to throw at each other's faces. Carrie was M.A.D. Mad, boys and girls. Mad. I don't blame her…though she isn't taking as much responsibility for the situation as she should…she does have a right to be super-pissed. And that she is. Her confrontation with Lexie was fantastic. The dialogue was excellent and I thought Christie Clark was at her absolute best as she ripped in to Lexie. I also appreciated the touches of realism; Carrie consumed with anger and feelings of betrayal decided that she wanted revenge and threatened Lexie with not only telling Abe what she did but also with reporting her to the medical board. I thought "right on" - I'm sure that most people would want to report the doctor to some sort of authorities. I wonder whether Abe will forgive her again? Maybe Tek will end up getting that positive answer to his proposal after all?
- Well, I guess there's really no doubt about it now - EJ truly is a 'bad guy'. He is sleeping with Kate while attempting to seduce Sami, plotting with Kate to keep Lucas and Sami apart, he's obviously in cahoots with Patrick about something (EJ showed up on the docks to meet with Patrick at the end of Friday's show) and lord knows what else he's up to. Next week's previews show EJ threatening Patrick with revealing the truth about the paternity of Hope's baby - so obviously; he's involved with that little scheme as well. I don't think there can be much doubt that he and Patrick are behind the gloves' shadowy activities. 'Why' is the question…but it does seem obvious now that EJ is a DiMera. Why he's in Salem and what his ultimate plans are, is anyone's guess but I know that I'll be sitting here watching every minute of it unfold on my television screen.
Rumors are that Sheffer will be launching a "tragic love story" for Chelsea in November: She'll catch the eye of a new guy in town named Nick Fallon, a handsome but geeky geneticist who's socially inept and a self-confessed virgin. Sheffer says, "Nick has never met anyone as obnoxious and insulting as Chelsea, and he just can't get enough of her. He'll try to make an honest woman of her but, ultimately, she'll drag him into the mire." He's slated to being airing on Nov. 7. HS also said that Marlena's going back to being a heroine and J/M are going back to the adventurous couple they once were. He is going to start moving Bo/Hope back together to get over the marriage crisis and the baby will be central to their storyline. Steve and Kayla will be really central to everything that happens in the next few months as well. These are the couples along with Sami and Lucas that Hogan will be concentrating on. He explained that he is leaving the younger set alone for a while due to Jason Cook, Farah Fath and Kyle Brandt all quitting the show. Sheffer has promised that the action will pick up and that the stories will make more sense. "For me it's about telling the story in a logical way where a lot of things happen, the story moves fast and the characters remain who they are and don't arbitrarily start acting in some other way just to justify a plot move. I also want to reinvest in the families and the romances and remind people why they're so important to us." Sounds promising to me!
Well Folks…that's all I got this week. I know it's not my usual 64 pages long commentary…but it's been an insanely busy 2 weeks and I am pooped. Besides, with the new rapid pace of the show; a lot of things that I had wanted to comment on became obsolete by the time it came to post the column. I'm not complaining - it just means that I have fewer things to say. That may be a good thing, depending on who you talk to! Ha Ha!
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 Maine:" Spoiler Alert!! I can't remember where exactly, but I read that not only is EJ a DiMera, but that is possibly the son of Susan (kristen), who is name Elvis. I'm sure you can find out more about this, but if it is true, along with the rumors that Stefano is returning things could get interesting. Personally I think EJ was interesting for all of 5 minutes, and now he has gotten boring. For some reason his chemistry with Sami has fizzled. Honestly if he has his shirt on, I don't really want to see him".
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