DAYS is not in a good spot right now. I 100% agree with my brilliant partner, Tony's, column last week. I appreciate well-acted filler just as much as the next guy, but this is getting out of hand. I'm wondering how the DAYS writers suddenly forgot that it is February. I don't know about you, but the month itself takes up a whole page in my wall calendar -- TWO pages if you count the one with the picture of a Cavalier puppy on it.
A few weeks ago I was anxiously waiting for the action to start. I'm still waiting. And, I'm growing impatient. I would have packed snacks and a flask if I knew that I was going to have this much down time. Sheesh! DAYS has all the talent in the world to pull off a great Sweeps month! Let's get to it!
MELANIE, CARLY, VIVIAN, and Co.
As Philip and Melanie's blessed union approaches , all of Salem is abuzz with excitement. Carly is trying to contain her joy that Melanie is playing nice with her. Vivian is ordering poisoned picks and covering them with pearls and diamonds (genius!) And, poor Philip is enduring every groom's worst nightmare -- reception seating charts.
The pace of this storyline has been atrocious and all that bogus arguing between Melanie and Carly was a waste of our time. Molly Burnett and Crystal Chappell (shocker!) have a perfect chemistry together. The show should have started them having an instant connection and let Carly try to reel that in, rather than the stupid, "OMG! You spilt coffee on my Pretty Pretty Princess Dress" schtick that we had to sit through for weeks.
Vivian is having a hard time with something that resembles a conscience, but considering this is Viv we're talking about here, I don't think it actually IS a conscience. But, it's interesting to see her struggle. Here I thought that the obstacle was going to be Philip's feelings. I was shocked and kinda pumped that the struggle may be -- gulp -- Vivian's feelings!
PHILIP, MELANIE, NATHAN, and STEPHANIE
I'm cautiously getting interested in this storyline. Nathan's throwing himself into a relationship with someone who looks great on paper, even though he knows that his heart isn't in it. We've seen gals do that time and again (hi Belle!) but it could be interesting to see how the guys handle it. Right now, the solution is beer.
I hope that we get more of drunk Nathan next week. He's a hoot. And take note: it takes exactly three beers from Petey-Pete the bartender to arrive at the conclusion that Melanie shouldn't marry Philip. I'm sending a case to the writers' room, just to be safe.
What's more surprising is that I actually find myself liking Stephanie these days because she isn't blaming Melanie. I think she'll probably do what she can to capitalize on Nathan's self-delusion and try to land herself a doctor.
I could go without the writers insisting that Melanie and Stephanie are friends. They aren't. That's not to say that they should be fighting; but the writers must stop assuming that just because they're around the same age, they should be buddies. Melanie should have asked Mia to be a bridesmaid -- not Steph. No one buys it.
Finally, did we really need the mention of Stephanie and Philip again? I loved them when they were together, but even I know that train ain't comin' back around right now.
Between watching Bo and Carly cyber snuggle to cutting up Carly's clothes, the kid is going to need so much therapy. So, I'm going to take Caroline's advice (and really, who shouldn't?) and focus this section on Ciara.
First, it makes no difference where she lives. Crazy Dean shot Justin in the middle of Bo and Hope's living room. Owen kidnapped Stephanie right off the back patio of the Kiriakis Mansion. I'm sure both Bo and Victor would swear to you that they can protect their respective homes, but we all know that's not something they can guarantee.
Second, Carly, Victor, and Vivian are all murderers. Is there anyone out there who actually thinks that any of them is going to hurt Ciara? Nope. Good. We can check that one off the list.
Third, remember back when Ciara was just having nightmares? Well, now she's running with scissors and CUTTING THINGS! Bo and Hope are both good, attentive parents; yet, they've BOTH somehow missed that Ciara is getting worse -- not better -- since Hope moved out. Maybe it's an indication that the initial decision did not have the intended outcome and, therefore, a new plan should be put in place. Removing Bo from Ciara's life is NOT a new plan. It is a continuation of the old plan, which we've just established was a colossal failure.
As for both "new" couples, if they existed in a vacuum, I could get behind both Bo/Carly and Justin/Hope. All four are great characters, played by wonderful actors, with good chemistry together.
However, both relationships exist in that secret world where there are no demands or real-life pressures. Bo is definitely in the lead on this one, but both Bo and Hope are guilty of escaping into the comfort of these faux relationships to escape their real problems. Bo and Hope need to snap out of it. Ciara is having real problems right now and she doesn't need either parent having recess in a pretend world.
My partner Tony emailed me a great idea: Roman has no storyline right now. Perhaps Carly could go live with him? He is absolutely trustworthy. He's trained to protect and defend. He's got experience with long-lost kids. And he's Salem's resident expert and parenting high-spirited daughters.
SAMI, E.J., RAFE, and ANNA
I'm between a rock and a hard place with this storyline. Nothing has happened for weeks and this column, if nothing else, is documented proof that I despise slow-moving storylines.
But, the only place for this storyline logically to go is for E.J. to get caught, which means that Anna has to leave town, Sami goes back to being completely dependent on Rafe, Stefano acts all indignant about being wronged by his own flesh and blood, and Rafe gets to do the "I told you so" dance. I'm not looking forward to any of those things.
I sincerely hope that the writers have something grand planned that is going to avert any (or preferably all) of the above. My suggestion is to have Sami figure out the dang thing herself and decide where she wants to take it next. My fear is that the writers will bestow the crown of wisdom upon Rafe's undeserving head yet again.
I apologize to Rafe fans. I really hope that I can get through one column without having to bash Rafe. But when the writers are making such a glaring mistake with a character that should be likable, I can't help but speak up.
Rather than have Rafe actually going out and doing awesome FBI things, he just pompously struts around town and just interrogates everyone, proof or not. Problem is, Rafe lives on a soap -- where everyone is guilty of having some sort of secret at all times. So I'm not impressed when he assumes that someone is hiding something. That's like walking up to someone in a restaurant and accusing them of being hungry.
As for Anna, she actually is hiding something. But since Rafe's been suspicious of everyone from Brady to Faye, I can't give him credit for being right about Anna. Odds are he's going to be right eventually no matter what he does. How does that make Rafe smart?
Sidebar: I totally appreciate the irony in this whole kidnapping saga. All Sami ever wanted was for Sydney to be free from Stefano's influence. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that exactly what's happening right now?
I'm okay with the teens acting stupid because…well…they're kids. But, I don't like it when teens outsmart supposedly intelligent adults. D.A. Woods cancelled the trip to the Vancouver Olympics the second that Mia tricked him into thinking that Chad invited her to go along.
The only way for that to work is for the audience to believe that a publicly elected D.A. didn't bother to ask his teenage son which three of his little friends he invited, much less talk to the parents of the minors involved to make sure that they had parental permission to leave the country. Riiiiight.
I hope that this doesn't mean that Tad and surprisingly comical Kinsey will disappear into the background. I could use more of them considering that Mia is the new villain.
She's so blinded by jealousy and pain that she didn't even notice that she's now dating Michael Corinthos! (Holy look-a-likes! I'm all for giving NuWill, Chandler Massey, a fair chance. But it's going to take me a few days to stop thinking of powerhouse younger actor, Drew Garrett, who currently plays mob teen Michael Corinthos over on GH. The two of them strongly resemble each other!)
I don't care about Chloe's struggle with infertility. I don't care that she might be pregnant with a miracle baby. I don't care that she pretended that she's okay when she's not. It doesn't interest me. Sorry.
Arianna is not only a free woman, but she's getting a commendation from the Salem PD. It also seems like E.J. is going to leave her alone -- which hopefully means that we can drop this "E.J. is a drug lord" storyline. Not that it didn't have the potential in the beginning, but it's grown so very stale that I have a hard time caring anymore. Plus, Newsflash: The DiMeras are Bad People just isn't a fresh storyline idea. It hasn't been for about 30 years.
I giggled when Stefano accused E.J. of taking too much pleasure in watching other people suffer. Hello, pot. My name is kettle.
I don't know how much longer I can believe that Stefano doesn't know where Sydney is. Not only does he keep close tabs on E.J., but I would imagine that Anna -- and her access to a bunch of DiMera family secrets -- isn't too far off his radar either.
Can you file for sole custody of a child without even being legally separated, much less divorced from the other parent?
I loved Justin and Stephanie's scene together. It's so nice to see Stephanie as something other than an obstacle for Melanie, and Justin as something other than a backup for Hope. Plus, Justin's wonderful assertion that if a guy isn't into Steph, then he's obviously an idiot and thus she dodged a bullet reminded me how much I miss the family scenes.
Really? Philip asked Vivian to walk him down the aisle at his wedding? I know that she's been nice to Melanie, but Viv's been back in Philip's life for all of about five minutes and I haven't seen him enjoy any of it. That, maybe, gets her invited to his wedding. It doesn't guarantee her a role in his wedding. And it certainly doesn't justify throwing away one of the most potentially interesting storyline dynamics by having Philip just accept that now he has two mommies. We went from "You're nothing to me" to "You're going to walk me down the aisle when I get married" waaaayyyy too fast.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Vivian: I wonder what Philip and Victor will think when they hear that you stole this gift.
Kate: Frankly, I think they'll be absolutely unfazed considering you stole an embryo.
Speaking of family dynamics, the saddening news came that the most beloved matriarch in DAYS history passed away. Francis Reid played Alice Horton since the very first DAYS episode. She was on contract with the show until the day that she died.
There was always something fantastic about watching Alice/Gram/Mrs. H. guide her troubled brood through soap life. So, I think it's only appropriate that the outpouring of love and respect from DAYS greats like Deirdre Hall, Alison Sweeney, and Melissa Reeves shows that Alice Horton still has the power to bring Salem back together again.
On behalf of the Two Scoops Team, I'd like to send our deepest condolences to her families -- both on- and off-screen. She surely will be missed. For Tony and me, just two lowly soap fans, we feel nothing but intense gratitude towards Ms. Reid for her finely crafted talent and tireless support of Daytime drama -- the genre that we love so much.