Batman has Robin. Holmes has Watson. Scooby has Shaggy. And since October 2007, I've been lucky enough to call Laurisa my partner. I'll raise one of Brady and Nicole's pineapple juice Mimosas to that!
Funny enough, when we started Scooping, it was supposed to be a "He Said/She Said" type scenario. You know, witty "battle of the sexes" banter with opposing viewpoints. Well, we haven't really opposed that much! In fact, we've pretty much been on a constant DAYS wavelength for the past three years, and that certainly applies to something Laurisa said in last week's column regarding the E.J./Sami storyline.
"Honestly, I think the place to start would be to see less of this storyline. It's not that it's poorly acted. It just involves too few characters at this point to warrant the amount of screen time it gets."
After reading that, I paused and thought, "Yep, she's right!" You certainly can't get more talented than James, Ali, and company, but even too many pineapple juice Mimosas can be a bad thing. Therefore I was glad to get a little reprieve last week. Two days of that crew was perfect. And it made what was shown all the more interesting.
On the grand scale, Laurisa's "less is more" theory got me thinking. I believe it applies to the entire show right now. Some storyline seem like a Costco run -- we've been handed them in bulk. On the flipside, some seem to be only sold at exclusive boutiques, making them hard to come by. With that, let's take a look at which storylines deserve a little more screen time, which ones deserve a little less, and which ones were right on the money.
HOPE, KAYLA, and COMPANY
Thank you, dear writers! A few weeks ago, I made a wish that I would get to see Hope/Kayla scenes after Kayla mentioned she planned to visit Hope. In case you don't remember, she made the claim while slamming Stephanie. Sorry, had to throw that in -- I'm still giddy over seeing Steph squirm. Nevertheless, I got the scenes I'd wished for!
My only problem with said scenes is that they were WAY too short. In a show that can spend weeks on near-confessions and overused flashbacks, I was disappointed we didn't get to see besties Hope and Kayla spend more time together. I'm grateful for those tidbits, but I like my visiting vets to have just a smidge more screen time with costars of old.
While on the subject of old faces (albeit two new ones to Salem), two soap vets emerged last week to hopefully make Hope's stint in the slammer a bit more exciting. Gina Gallego took over the role of the prison warden. And -- thank you, soap gods -- daytime legend Robin Mattson premiered as prisoner Lee. Welcome, ladies! I can't wait to see what those knowing glances the warden and Lee exchanged are all about! I just hope I don't have to wait too long. In other words -- more, please!
JUSTIN and ADRIENNE
If Justin and Adrienne are on the road to reconciliation, I'm all for it! I squealed like a schoolgirl seeing the Biebs in concert when Justin told Adrienne he wished she was at Victor and Vivian's wedding, as she would have appreciated the hilarity of it all. Aw, he was thinking of her! And it appears she thinks about him, too. I repeat, "Aw!"
Although I should point out their scenes were another example of "I want more!" Aside from a few hiccups, I think DAYS has been getting stronger lately. But I think a key to making it even stronger is balance. I get frustrated after watching some of my favorite recurring vets share a few great scenes only to have them disappear after a commercial break for a week or two.
KAYLA, STEPHANIE, and ADRIENNE
I continue to think the writers actually read Two Scoops! Why do I think that, you wonder? Because for the longest time, Laurisa and I have been asking Stephanie the same questions Kayla did last week. Of course, she didn't listen to us -- and I'm not entirely sure she listened to Kayla, either -- but I was thrilled that little Sunroof Stephanie continued to be called out on her behavior.
However, my next statement is a hard pill to swallow. I can see why Steph was upset with Adrienne. I don't approve of the way she spoke to her aunt, and I agree with Mel that Steph's a bitch, but I've been ratted out to my mom by a relative before, and I know it sucks. Granted, mine was because I skipped a few classes during my freshman year of college and not because I tried to trap a lover into staying with me, but I digress. I get why Steph was miffed.
Ultimately, I think Adrienne was right to tell Kayla, and I have my flag firmly planted in Camp Adrienne. Had some of Sami's aunts noticed her unscrupulous behavior during her early/mid-twenties and reported it to Marlena, we might never have had "Stan" or "Austin and Sami/Sami vs. Carrie: Parts 2, 3, and 4." That is to say, I'm glad Adrienne nipped it in the bud. Her actions caused Kayla to visit and Stephanie to stress, and those are two of my favorite things.
MELANIE, NATHAN, CHLOE, and COMPANY
I couldn't begin this section without saying -- whoa-ho-ho! Talk about a slap! My ears are still ringing from Mel's slap, so I'm sure Chloe's are, too.
But to start from the beginning, let's talk about this reveal. Mel accidentally found out that Chloe had cheated on Dr. Dad. She overheard Nathan and Stephanie talking. For one night and one night only, she lost sleep over it. Then, bless her heart, she went to the source for some clarity.
I, for one, was glad this didn't go into Limbo Land for weeks on end (SEE: Chloe and Philip talking incessantly about their tryst). Way to take charge, Mel! I'm also glad characters talked about the absurdity of Chloe talking about her fling in public.
Now, some may think Mel's reactions were a bit strong. However, I respectfully disagree. Part of Melanie's behavior stems from a lifelong need to be part of a family. It wasn't conventional, but, earlier in the year, a little water was added to an instant-family powder and -- poof! -- the Jonas-Manning-Layton family was born.
At first, I was skeptical. I thought it was a convenient excuse to merge a lot of unrelated characters. But I was wrong. I've grown to enjoy them together. They're downright cute at times. Therefore, I get why Melanie is so upset that they might be torn apart by Chloe's latest infidelity (and points to each character who mentioned it wasn't her first time strolling down Adultery Alley).
I also get why Mel was mad at Nathan. And she even went prepared. She listed all of the things they've been through together and why he was a coward for not telling her sooner. I totally see her point. He not only knows how important her family is to her, but he's a Horton and, by default, they all know how important family is. That mantra's handed out along with their Christmas bulbs.
In the end, Mel's world was rocked again. Chloe told her Carly knew. Ruh-roh, Shaggy! I think I know what we'll be talking about next week. Stay tuned!
VIVIAN and GUS
Riddle me this -- why the holy heck didn't Vivian use that odd remote/communication device thingy a long time ago!? That made as much sense as carrying a closed umbrella in a rainstorm. But I digress, I'm glad the writers at least had her acknowledge it was getting a little rank in the old crypt. I've been on the subway in mid-July, and if that's anything like what Viv's experiencing, I actually think she's paid her dues.
In happier sarcophagus shenanigans news, Gus is back! Well, that's sort of happy news. I have to confess, his scenes were all shades of awkward. For starters, I thought he was…well…judging from Vivian's comments…let's just say I was surprised he had a gorgeous lady friend in his room.
Yet that's wasn't the awkward part. His shrine to Vivian was. Just when you think a sidekick stoolie has seen the light, the writers throw us a crazy curve ball. Then again, I guess that's why he and Vivian get along so swimmingly.
Perhaps, I should say, that's why they got along so swimmingly. It seems Gus thinks Viv is right where she should be. His change of heart was a little odd considering how oddly he's obsessed with his "Madame." I repeat: oddly obsessed. With that in mind, I suspect they'll meet again.
BRADY, NICOLE, and COMPANY
It should be awkward that Brady is Dr. Dan's best man considering the good doc's marrying his ex, but Brady and awkward just seem to go hand-in-hand these days. Not that I'm complaining. As awkward as his excuses were to Justin, I was thrilled they had scenes together! Yet another example of, show us more!
I'm also enjoying Nicole and Brady's scenes! At first, I had the same concerns as Laurisa. I didn't want to see Nicole be sainted in order to play off of Brady's new bad-boy routine. But it's beginning to look like they could be the new Bonnie and Clyde of Salem. She seems more worried about him getting into trouble than his actual actions. Yep, it could be good to watch those two be bad together.
The exact opposite can be said for Nicole and Chloe's scenes. I sort of rolled my eyes when I watched them become BFFs again. That came right off the heels of Chloe making some valid points to distance herself from Nicole. Rebuilding bridges I can get behind. Accepting someone's self-invite to be part of a wedding party after nearly ruining the bride's shower (baby, not bridal) the day before was a little groan-worthy. Nice try writers, but the Magic 8-Ball says, "Ask again later."
Methinks Justin might protest too much. You see, he told Bo that Hope signed the divorce papers. He added all that he has to do is file them. Hmm! If I were a betting man, I'd say that process might be delayed.
DAYS was light on the EJami/Safe scenes last week. As mentioned, that was a good thing because I could get behind the ones we saw! I enjoyed E.J. and Roman's banter, didn't mind Rafe waving the "Team Sami" banner, and I loved watching Kate and Lexie chitchat. Throw in some more of Sami and Will bonding and getting a behind-the-scenes look at E.J. and Stefano plotting, and I think it was the perfect amount of that storyline for now.
I continue to think DAYS missed the mark with Lindsay Hartley. I love me some Nicole, but I think a Sami/E.J./Arianna storyline would have been a bit more interesting to watch. I say that mostly because we know the road to EJami Land is going to be a long one, but I'd at least like it to be a fun ride, not one that temporarily sucked the awesomeness out of three normally awesome characters. But alas, Lindsay's leaving. Aw, shucks!
Finally, Salem was abuzz with new faces last week, including Camila Banus as the new Gabi. Since she only had like three lines, I can only say she's pretty at this point. But alas, my heart still belongs to Gabriella Rodriguez. Sorry to put pressure on you, Banus, but you better bring it on! I kid, I kid.
I'd like to call Kayla and Melanie to the winner's circle to claim their trophies, sashes, bouquets, and 20-percent-off coupons to Bed Bath & Beyond! It shouldn't be surprising, but it is, when characters use common sense and solid facts to get their points across. More, please!
DAYS has had some awesome guest stars over the past few years. Sadly, their success rate at creating a valid reason to hire a "soap star" as opposed to a non-soap star to tackle short-term roles isn't as awesome. Take, for example, Ty Treadway. His appearances as Dr. Walters are about as random as seeing Sasquatch playing chess with Lady Gaga during the middle of Oktoberfest. Are the writers ever going to explain his presence, or will Ty loom on the Island of Misused Guest Stars?
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Stefano (on E.J.'s stall tactics while he figures out how to handle Sami): "How much time do you think you can buy? Your line of credit isn't very good, you know."
Honorable Mentions: Victor's hysterical response to Brady and Nicole's reunion: "Say what?"
Lexie (to Kate): "You've been married to my father long enough. Surely you know in this family, we're the women folk." Aw, Lexie - I'm glad you found your DiMera sarcasm!
Wow! It's been ages since anyone has mentioned the Green Mountain Lodge.
I'm pretty sure Judi Evans gets more beautiful each time she makes an entrance.
Did Nicole's outfit last Monday -- black pants/pink top with a wide-belt -- make anyone else think of the Pink Ladies from Grease 2?
Chloe had on jeans! But question -- do they actually make skinny maternity jeans?
Did anyone else catch Mary Beth Evans on Criminal Minds last Wednesday!? If you didn't, it was a short, but amazing performance. And the Emmy for Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series in an Unnamed Under-Five Role…that's all I'm saying!
So, friends and DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of October 11th. I hope everyone has a Happy Columbus Day! As Laurisa is setting sails to visit another one of Two Scoops' favorite Italians, Ava Vitali, I'll be back next week to see if Melanie needs help picking her jaw up from the floor, if Gus has a change of heart and rushes to Vivian's rescue, and if Sami and Arianna figure out E.J. is playing them both! And, "That's a fact."
Need more Two Scoops? Head over to read blogs by Laurisa or Tony for more ranting, raving, and all-out randomness