It was a simple question asked by the increasingly captivating Dr. Dan to his flighty fiancée. Yet, he might as well have turned right to the camera and asked it of the DAYS audience. Aside from my personal fantasy that Shawn Christian is speaking directly to me, the sentiment is right on.
We all grieved for Frances Reid and her family when we learned of her death. The woman has been nothing but spectacular to DAYS fans on and off screen. So, we knew that Alice's death was going to be something special. As with Frances herself, the memorial should be a celebration of life -- and one damn well lived.
It started when The Jennifer Rose Horton (Brady-for-a-split-second) Deveraux showed her glorious face in Maggie's kitchen. Melissa Reeves never ages, nor does the appeal of her character. I love that Jennifer was nice to Carly, Bo, and Hope despite the humdinger of a mess all three are involved in. Way to handle it with class, Jen. We need more gals like you!
Marie came next for her spot at Maggie's round table and I can't wait to hear what she's been up to since she left Salem. Specifically, if she's kept in contact with her troubled grandson, Nick, whose 18-month prison sentence is so due to be over.
There will be more returns to follow, more flashbacks that make us smile (hello, mullet Bo!), more mentions of characters who I swore the writers had forgotten (Shawn D! Jack!), and more reminders that Salem started with the Hortons.
But I think that the most meaningful tribute is to keep the show going with strong storylines. I don't envy the writers and actors who have to deliver material opposite the Horton memorial, but they have stepped up and are making sure DAYS is still a well-rounded, entertaining soap. I can't think of a better way to honor Francis Reid.
STEFANO, KATE, MADELINE, WILL, and CHAD
Any storyline that involves Stefano and Kate has my attention. But, the possibility of Kate going undercover for Stefano is even more enticing. I don't know what the big secret is that the three of them share, but it's got to be good, since Madeline is willing to go down with the ship if it means ruining Kate and Stefano. And because of the excellent acting and characters, I'm willing to deal with the snail's pace storytelling…for now.
The other aspect of this storyline that is surprisingly interesting is the chemistry between Chad and Will. I'm not sure what kind of chemistry it is, but I like these two together, however the writers want to write it. Chad's a bad boy with good roots and Will is the exact opposite. There's a lot of storyline potential with those types of characters and having them team up is a great idea. (I'd also like more T whenever possible. Dude cracks me up.)
E.J. and SAMI
The star-crossed lovers continue to share stolen kisses and send Ejami fans into a frenzy. James Scott and Alison Sweeney have chemistry to spare, so I'd sign up to watch them perform pantomime grass growing. But this calm before the storm gives us a chance to reaffirm the two main reasons that the writers should always keep E.J. and Sami together.
1. James and Ali can act the crap out of cheesy filler. During one scene, E.J. told Sami to close her eyes and go to her happy place. James made is sound 100% cooler than I did when I typed that sentence.
2. The Ejami relationship has evolved so much that anyone who still wants to water it down to a single winter night, is doing a disservice to a great storyline. These two have been through hell and back, mostly at the hands of each other. At the end, they have a fairly functional blended family to show for it. And most importantly, this has given my gal Sami a progression suitable for her history with the show.
The secret is going to blow up in E.J.'s face. But finally Sami has the chance to move to the other side of the scheme. I can't wait to see how she reacts.
STEPHANIE, NATHAN, and MELANIE
Can someone please vote Stephanie off the island? She's becoming an inexcusable idiot. She actually believes that she came clean with Nathan. She didn't. I watched her lie to Nathan and say that she "lost" her pills when the truth was that she threw them away on purpose.
As much as I hated the idea of Stephanie getting pregnant to keep Nathan around, at least the scheme gave her character some sort of direction. This turnabout just reaffirms that the writers don't really know what to do with Stephanie. Rather than turning her bad, they're just making her delusional. Nathan is too nice of a guy to be stuck with Stephanie.
A bit too late (which seems to be a theme for them), Melanie told Nathan that Stephanie wasn't taking her birth control pills. Having your ex butt into your love life isn't something that anyone wants, and Nathan made sure Melanie was crystal clear on that point. Still, I can't think of anyone better than Melanie to speak on the topic of unplanned pregnancies, considering she's currently dealing with the fact that she's the product of one.
ARIANNA, BRADY, E.J., and NICOLE
Nicole is good. I mean scary good. She ruined Arianna's case by making sure that D.A. Woods overheard her suggesting that Brady fabricate evidence to further solidify Ari's alibi. We all know that E.J. can still use the alibi in court, as I'm fairly certain that no D.A., not even one in soapland, can hand-pick what information the defense presents. But, the move was all sorts of brilliant on Nicole's part.
And while Brady may not be able to see through Nicole, E.J.'s not going to play the fool again. He's so ticked at the little minx that he's sure Nicole is behind the muggings and is going to send her to prison. The irony is that Nicole's actually innocent here, but something tells me that E.J. has some wounds that weren't healed by Nicole's two-month prison sentence.
I haven't been on Hope's side at all during the Bope split. And while I certainly felt bad for her when she saw those divorce papers, I'm still a little ticked at Fancy Face. She's being one of those girly girls who gets on my nerves by expecting Bo to know what she wants despite the fact that she tells him the exact opposite. Eventually Hope needs to take responsibility for her own happiness. Remembering that she's Hope freakin' Brady would be a good place to start.
Victor reminded Brady that the Kiriakis family sticks together no matter whose fiancé is accused of a crime spree. Family slogan, anyone?
Since Chloe can't go to the church, Daniel is bringing the church to her. Father Matt is on his way to Salem U Hospital to marry the lovebirds. Carly needs to speak up right away, if not sooner, especially since Melanie is asking questions about Chloe.
Hearing Jen say, "This is where I belong" just sends my excitement into overdrive. And now that Missy's real-life stud-o-licious husband, Scott Reeves, is working full-time over at General Hospital, there's never been a better time for her to relocate her fabulous butt back to L.A. I'm just putting that out there.
Vivian needs a better interview process for her hit men. I'm no expert, but isn't the point of a hit to have the person end up dead?
I don't know how she does it, but Susan Seaforth Hayes looks more beautiful now than she did when she was younger.
I'm a little surprised that Kiriakis men don't have carbon copies of their checks.
You go on, Alison Sweeney, with your awesome tights!
I'm thinking that Brady needs to get a summer job as a lifeguard… or a swimming instructor…or a hula dancer. I don't care. Something that requires swim trunks.
James Scott, while completely delicious, is starting to flirt once again with the "Constant Craving" era k.d. lang haircut. Tony called James out last year. He'll do it again if he has to.
I want one of those casserole holders that Maggie has.
Shawn Christian is playing Daniel with such devotion and passion that Daniel escaped the dumb guy pothole that claimed E.J., Lucas, and Philip in the past. Daniel is so determined to make Chloe feel secure after her hysterical pregnancy that he has a justifiable reason to stop her from apologizing and finish her sentences for her.
If that wasn't enough on its own, he's also beautifully handling Daniel's new relationship with Melanie and his fragile relationship with Carly. He loves three women in three different ways, and all three relationships are believable. To think just a few months ago I wanted Dr. Dan to surf out of town. Silly me.
Rafe's brilliant plan to see where the prison exits were was to get in so much trouble that he and Shane were taken to a secret part of a foreign country's prison where they each were beaten to a pulp. Sure, it was a risky plan, but as the writers remind us, Rafe can do no wrong and all other characters -- including but not limited to fan favorites like Anna, Caliope, and Shane -- are really just there to be supporting characters on Rafes of Our Lives. It would be even more awesome if Rafe kills Shane so that Rafe can sneak out of the prison in Shane's coffin. We don't need Shane. We have Rafe. And, Rafe is the greatest thinker who ever thought. *wink*
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Flashback Alice (to Flashback Julie): "Darling, we all make mistakes. It's what we do after we make the mistake that's important. It's how we begin again, when we're given the chance, that counts."
And with that we all reach for our tissues and prepare for more Alice flashbacks. I've got mine handy, since I cried twice last week. Tony will be your guide/grief counselor for the next three weeks. Let's all grab a doughnut and get comfy. It's going to be a wonderfully bittersweet ride.