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 Two Scoops: April 5, 2010 columns
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Jay Kenneth Johnson
Cold cuts and bruises
For the Week of April 5, 2010
Philip should be cool and ruthless, but right now he's just insecure and pouty. He's one step away from peeing in a circle around Melanie so that Nathan will stay away from her.
It's the first week in April and Daniel slipped on a patch of ice. I don't know about you, but there were a couple days this week where it was 70 degrees at my house. It's this kind of stunt that makes me chuckle a bit at the lengths DAYS writers will go to for a plot point. Let it never be said that they don't put in the effort. For the most part, I appreciate it. I'll send them a basket of Easter candy after I'm done picking out the fun-size Snickers and pink jelly beans. (It takes a lot for me to part with my favorite sweets.)


MELANIE and CARLY
Listening to kids complain about their crappy parents is almost always annoying. (Are you listening, Will?) But, Melanie has a pretty good case. In fact, I've had it up to "here" with people telling Melanie that she needs to give Carly a chance.

According to Carly herself, Lawrence hand-picked Trent to raise Melanie. And knowing everything she knew about Lawrence, Carly still let Melanie go anyway. As a result, Melanie was raised by a man who PIMPED HER OUT TO PAY OFF HIS GAMBLING DEBTS.

Yes, yes, I know. Carly didn't "mean" for it to happen. Sorry, Carly. If that excuse worked, I wouldn't have gotten in trouble as a kid because I didn't "mean" for my sister to get hurt when I put her in my Cabbage Patch Kids stroller. I thought I was helping because she couldn't walk yet!

But before any of my fellow Carly fans send me hate mail, pay very close attention to this next sentence: Melanie (and maybe Daniel) are the only ones in Salem who are allowed to use that excuse. Chloe, Hope, Philip, etc., have to look at the whole picture because they weren't directly affected by Carly's decision. For any of them to condemn Carly without considering the threat that the name "Alamain" carries is unfair and a little silly.

Bottom line: I don't think Carly is a monster, but I can understand (and support!) why Melanie is a little bent at the broad. Furthermore, any reunion that these two have should come on Melanie's terms and not just because Carly is always up in Melanie's business with a shattered puppy-dog look.


DANIEL and CHLOE
Daniel bumped his head and went to the hospital. He's seeing double. I know I should be sad, but I really think Daniel is going to be fine. The whole point was for Melanie to call him "Dad," which I guess was cute, but it was a tad forced. And, of course, it gave Chloe a chance to pout because she saw Daniel and Carly holding hands.

Oh jeeze. I've never wanted to walk up to my television and flick a character right between the eyes so much. Daniel isn't interested in Carly any more than I am in adding another 30 minutes of abs to my already dreaded workout schedule. Thus, watching Chloe fret over this is infuriating.

Plus, even if Daniel did feel something for Carly, I still wouldn't have any sympathy for Chloe. Call me crazy, but Chloe should know that Daniel doesn't really have a lot of experience with appropriate relationship behavior. Remember how Chloe and Daniel got together?


HOPE, JUSTIN, and ADRIENNE
After the hack job that they did on her during the fallout of Ciara's kidnapping, the writers are FINALLY getting their act together when it comes to Hope. I'm starting to see glimpses of the real Hope Williams Brady: Soap Opera Good Girl. And I like it.

While I totally understand that both Justin and Adrienne are reeling from punches to their respective egos, they're both totally out of line when they throw anger at Hope. She was honestly trying to help because she knows first-hand what running away from your marriage can do. (Note - it doesn't work!)

I know she didn't come right out and say this, but I am taking her actions to mean that she's learned what a bonehead she's been over the last few months. I am doing so because I need to get back to my happy place where Hope Brady is one of the very few characters who's good and strong. All will be right with the world then.


E.J. and SAMI
Every soap opera villain must possesses a scorching fire somewhere in his or her belly - for something. No one doubts that Vivian loves Lawrence or that Stefano loves revenge. It isn't normal love because...well...because they exist on a soap opera. But it's a huge pile of emotions that nevertheless must resonate just beneath their designer duds.

When E.J. growled that he loves Sami, James Scott put such grit and conviction into it that I understood the swelling combination of emotions. The realization was an intriguing combination of disgust, disbelief, and finite clarity. It was pretty villainous, and all together interesting. So interesting that I hope they stretch it out a little more. E.J. should struggle with his need for revenge vs. his need for Sami.


NICOLE, BRADY, and ARIANNA
I know that I shouldn't root for Nicole, but I can't help it. Personally, I blame Arianne Zucker. Dang her and her good acting! She's so refreshingly awesome that I can't wait to see who Nicole will take advantage of next.

And after their scene on the airplane, I doubt it's going to be Arianna. I saw a side of Ari that I absolutely adore. Her spat with Nicole was witty, classy, and oddly charming. The more of this pair, the better.

But unfortunately, that means that Brady is first in line to be Nicole's next victim. Despite the obvious chemistry between the actors, I don't want to see Brady with Nicole. At all. To quote Hall & Oates, "Watch out boy, she'll chew you up!" Brady has zero backbone when it comes to Nicole, and that's not an appealing quality in any character. Nicole knows that and will use that to her advantage, which, to be honest, is a little JV for Nicole. This woman has bested Victor Kiriakis and E.J. DiMera.


PHILIP
I like my Philip totally cool and ruthless, with a side of vulnerability. I do not like Philip insecure and pouty, which is exactly what he is right now. He flies off the handle at Carly and Victor. And he's one step away from peeing in a circle around Melanie so that Nathan will stay away from her.

Thank goodness for Chloe! (I know, I'm shocked too.) In scenes with her, we see glimpses of the confident Philip who's calm under pressure and looks after the people he cares about. Honestly, I say Chloe should cancel her appointment with the therapist and just hang out with Philip some more.


VICTOR, VIVIAN, KATE, and MAGGIE!!
Anything that gets them on the screen is a good thing. I'll even look past this bogus notion that Victor freaking Kiriakis has "no choice" but to marry Vivian. Because while the premise for this storyline is a little wobbly, the talent and potential it presents is a righteous pile of awesome.

On one hand, Kate is threatening to throw water on Vivian to make her go away (read = melt). Kate vs. Vivian is a believable feud. And you know it's only going to be a matter of time before Kate enlists some DiMera resources (or perhaps the Phoenix himself) to help out her cause.

On the other hand, there's my beloved Maggie. I don't think the writers were chemistry testing Victor and Maggie. Any evidence to suggest they were is the sheer product of the fact that neither John Aniston nor Suzanne Rogers can be anything but charming.

Throwing Maggie into this world is a big risk. I certainly noticed the irony in her scene with Victor. Victor is on his umpteenth marriage for convenience/blackmail and Maggie had one of the longest and best love affairs in Salem's history. We've got two different worlds here and while they both exist on every soap, rarely do they interact. But if any set of actors can pull it off, it's this group.


LOOSE ENDS:
Stephanie gave Adrienne the "I feel guilty, but I had to do it" sob story. Consequently, I still don't find her or it entertaining. But, I do like that the writers are getting further and further away from pretending Stephanie and Melanie are actually friends. And I really like Stephanie having scenes with her Aunt Adrienne.

Sami and Rafe break up and get back together at least twice a week. So, listening to Sami whine about how she doesn't know if they'll ever reunite is almost as annoying as Sami begging for another chance with yet another man who constantly professes that he can't trust her. At least DAYS is sticking to the whole "Go Green" campaign. They don't have to print new scripts for Alison Sweeney. She can just use the same dialogue she memorized for Sami's scenes with Austin and then with Lucas.

I love the abundance of scenes between Lexie and E.J. In fact, I secretly hope that she stands by E.J. when she finds out that he was behind the whole "kidnapping." She's no stranger to custodial interference herself.

Adrienne warned Carly not to get too comfortable with Bo while Hope is still around. Bitter, party of one!

Stefano tracked down Anna and will make her pay for hurting his "family." Rafe tracked down Bernie and basically told him the same thing. I have a hard time rooting for any of them because I don't think E.J. was wrong to want to get revenge.


Extra Scoops:

RANDOM
Thank you, Shawn Christian, for taking those stank N'SYNC highlights out of your hair. You look so much better now. Love, Laurisa and Tony.

So much for those guards that Rafe put on Sami and Sydney to make sure that Nicole stays away from them.

Remember the days when Mike Horton had to be the miracle doctor of everything? They're long gone. Even with Daniel hurt, Salem still boasts Carly, Nathan, Lexie, and the kinda delicious Dr. Williams. Apparently no one told Salem that we're in a recession.

Kinsey is funny in small doses. But does a job at a pub for a teen who just got a DUI really sound like a good idea?

Maybe it's just me, but when I am trying to escape a hurricane, I don't really want to distract the pilot by having a friendly chat with him.

I know Ari is sad that she didn't get her island wedding. But on the bright side, she won't have pictures reminding her of that awful dress. Another bonus: she's all set for Salem's next toga party.


HOT
Let this week be a lesson that the loony Salemites should ALWAYS respect their elders. Roman and Julie had brief scenes, but were awesome in their succinct brilliance. See the following examples:

Roman (to Rafe's rant about Sami): "Personally, I think you owe Sami an apology. She was going through a terrible time and she made an emotional decision. Then you come along and kick her when she's down."

Julie (to Hope after hearing Hope complain about losing Bo): Have you flat-out told him that you want him back?
THUD! That sound was common sense bonking both Rafe and Hope on the head.

NOT
Wow. That fight between Sami and Nicole was one syndication contract away from being on the Jerry Springer Show. I know that I picked their previous slap as the best brawl of '09. But whereas that fight was timely and totally fit into the storyline, this confrontation was trashy and tasteless. Boo. But maybe I shouldn't expect much from a former porn star and an unemployed mother of four.

LINE OF THE WEEK Vivian: "Being engaged, I just feel like a girl again!"
Victor: "You look like a very old 12."



That's all for now! Tony will be back next week to sit by Daniel's side and make sure he doesn't color his hair again makes a full recovery. He's got it covered, but if you'd like to do your civic duty to Salem, cast some votes for our team in the All Soaps Dankies.

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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