I spent my first few Thanksgivings in New York, freezing my tuchus off near Macy's. I didn't mind, though. While growing up, the parade being on as the house filled with delicious holiday aromas was a tradition in my family and, although I felt a bit touristy, it gave me the warm-fuzzies to finally make it there in person.
Coincidentally, DAYS also fills me with warm-fuzzy memories, and, unlike being at the parade, I don't have to stand out in the cold to watch a good show. Nope, not once did Jack Frost nip at my nose as I watched those wacky Salemites parade across my screen last week. In fact, I took a little nip of Jack as I sat back to enjoy a five-episode super Sweeps-worthy marathon. Let's discuss!
HOPE and COMPANY
You know those "warm fuzzy" DAYS memories I just mentioned? Well, if you need an example, here's one. Hope and Jennifer plus the same scene equals fan-freaking-tastic! What a happy throwback and an indicator of more good times to come.
In general, for a storyline with somewhat odd origins, Hope's incarceration has been Must-See-TV. The acting has been strong. The writers are continuing to focus on Hope's recovery as well as the toll it's taken on her loved ones. The warden and Lee's secrets are still compelling. Of course, Jennifer being back on the scene and Carly's involvement has me very optimistic.
And I'm also glad to see the writers are taking a mature approach to what could have been a maddening Hope/Bo/Carly triangle. No one's snuggling with an unconscious Bo in a gas-filled pit, no one's lying, and there's no manipulation -- they're just three adults in an awkward situation, trying hard to figure out what to do next while trying to keep Ciara from utterly falling apart. It's all-out refreshing, and I say, "More, please!"
JENNIFER and COMPANY
And while on the subject of "More, please!" can we all just have a group hug and a gushy "Aw-fest" over how loveable Melissa Reeves is? I believe the actors' and characters' reactions upon seeing Melissa/Jennifer are genuine. I can't imagine anyone who's not excited to see her back home where she belongs. The big question is, what's next on her a-Jen-da? And I do apologize for that.
For starters, she's in Salem to settle Alice's estate. I hope this means we get to see Jen move into the Horton house and a slew of vintage flashbacks. Aside from Maggie, who already has a cozy spot of her own (her home, not the sarcophagus), I can't think of a better fit to fill Alice's home. And no offense to Bo and Hope's living room, but seeing the Christmas bulbs hung in Tom and Alice's living room once again would be a nice way to end the year (and an optimistic start to the next).
Her second agenda is Hope. More so, getting Hope back to being Hope again. As previously stated, I'm all for this. Jen normally brings out the best in people, so if she can use her Alice-esque lovability to get through to Hope, bring it on!
Then there's Jack. He's on a "walkabout," which I'm convinced is just a newfangled way to say "midlife crisis." Jack's also a jerk. And so is Bo at times, admitted Jennifer. I mean, really, even when she slams someone, she's still likeable. How does that happen? I digress…
It's obvious Jen's not over jerky Jack, but she is a semi-free agent. Enter Dr. Ben! They had a classic soap meeting. Boy meets girl. Smiles are exchanged. Boy and girl fight. One tries to apologize to the other but is distracted. And more hijinks are bound to ensue.
With a slow brew, this could be fun to watch, provided we get to know Ben a little more. I mean, after the slimy (but scrumptious) Peter Blake debacle, and without Alice around to warn her of possible dangers, Jen needs to be a little cautious about jumping back into the dating pool. On the other hand, she should probably be more worried that Jack will come back just as she finally finds happiness with another man.
E.J. and SAMI
I had to participate in employee training last week. One thing we learned was about the "Me Monster," i.e., stop thinking of our personal needs and talking about what we want and start focusing on the needs of the clients. I'm probably messing that up a bit. I seem to remember daydreaming about a coffee break around that time. Anyway…
As an example, we were shown a clip of a comic who, in his routine, talked about "that guy" at a dinner party. You all probably know the type -- the kind that goes on and on about how important his accomplishments are, but doesn't really listen to anyone else because what he has gone through is all that counts. "That guy" is also typically known as the guy who makes you thankful for wine with your meal.
The comic then made references to another dinner guest -- an astronaut who's walked on the moon. He gave a diatribe poking fun of "that guy" talking about this accomplishment and the next, while the astronaut casually sat by eating his dinner. When "that guy" was done, the astronaut nonchalantly said, "Well, you know, that reminds me of the time I walked on the moon."
I think the writers must have had the same training because E.J. "moon walked" all over Sami last week. She tearfully listed everything he has done to her. There were some excellent points made, no doubt. But when she was done, he simply reiterated that she had shot him in the head. "Shot in the head" -- yep, that seems like a trump card to me. Well played, writers.
I've come to realize over the years that the best way to understand E.J. and Sami is not to try to figure out who is right and who is wrong. Nope, the correct way to approach them is to decide who is less wrong at a given moment. In the latest round, E.J. walked away with the prize. The "prize," of course, is Johnny and Sydney, otherwise known as cutest pawns in daytime since John Black.
STEPHANIE, CAROLINE, and COMPANY
Let me see if I can get through this without cracking up. Stephanie told Caroline she wanted to tell the truth, starting with Nathan. Caroline warned her she might lose Nathan in the process. Stephanie said she was "not that desperate," she wouldn't lie to a man to hold onto him, because she had "too much self-respect." Was that before she destroyed Melanie's pre-wedding love letter to Nathan or after she tried to get herself pregnant? Just curious.
One thing I do know the answer to is that Stephanie is a horrible liar. Just ask Dr. Dan. I think -- I mean, I think -- he caught on to the fact she's hiding something. If you ask me, Dr. Dan is starting to piece things together. Sure, he has on his "new dad goggles" a bit too tightly at the moment, but I believe it's only a matter of time before he realizes the something that's up. He's not a dumb man. Besides, this can't go on until February Sweeps, can it!?
MELANIE, NATHAN, and COMPANY
Darn you, Molly Burnett! I was ready to compare Nathan and Melanie being quarantined to Steve and Kayla's stint at the Hazmat Hotel, but Molly is just so dang endearing that I found myself totally invested in this latest medical mystery. I also felt bad for poor, handsome Javier. Ah, well, at least he didn't suffer from Jungle Madness, because I can't imagine Melanie going on a roid rage.
Now, is it a plot device to drive home the point that Melanie and Nathan still have the hots for one another? Sure! But I didn't mind. Actually, I loved the drama of it all. It really encompassed a large portion of the cast who got to really flex their acting chops, and that's never a bad thing.
Did anyone else miss the part where someone cleared Stephanie, Philip, and Maxine of having the Loma virus? I was a little concerned when they all showed up in Chloe's room and hung around preemie Parker.
For the record, that little blonde girl screaming at E.J. after he chloroformed Sami was Ali…*crickets chirping*…Ali Horton. Guys, come on! You remember Ali -- Sami's daughter with Lucas -- Johnny's twin sister -- the girl who suffers from I.C.S. (Invisible Child Syndrome). Ah, well, don't feel too bad, I had to ask around, too.
Although there's something questionable about Rafe yelling at Nicole for using Sami's recorded confession to her advantage when he used her love for Sydney to his advantage, I can't help but enjoy Arianne Zucker and Galen Gering's chemistry. They make good sparring partners.
Poor Maggie! It breaks my heart to see her in that coffin. It's sort of like seeing a Care Bare thrown into a blender. It's just not right. Hang in there, Big Red -- Sweeps is almost over!
In more hopeful news -- yeah, Victor! He didn't have to use a TI-85 or even an abacus to put the two and two together and figure out Vivian's paw prints are probably all over Maggie's disappearance. Start popping the corn, this should get pretty edge-of-your-seat worthy next week!
Oh, Brady! It's not that I don't love seeing the lovely Staci Greason as Isabella again, but, baby boy, you're a mess. If anyone needs to hightail it to Switzerland, it's Brady. He needs a few hours on Marlena's couch and a week or so of heroic eyebrow movement training with John.
Oh, sorry, writers -- I forgot! I'm not supposed to mention John and Marlena. My bad!
In addition to all of the other good DAYS news circulating lately, I was thrilled that last week DAYS seem to finally beat its streak of one good Sweeps week followed by a Sweeps snooze-fest the next. Three-for-three, not bad at all! Then again, Jennifer's back and that just makes everything seem a little rosier.
For the sake of not cyber-shouting, I've decided not to call this week's Not Section the "Not Section." Instead, let's call it, shall we say, an intervention for the writers. I'll give them a second to grab a notepad and get comfy while I work on my soothing "you've screwed up, but I still love you" voice. Now, with that said, dear, dear writers -- stop it with the "Sami has four kids to two different men" shtick! That argument is and always has been weak and only manages to dumb down the character making it. And add "not blaming one character for another character's alcohol and/or drug problem" to the list. Got it? Good.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Carly (to Hope): "As a woman who's been married to Victor Kiriakis and Lawrence Alamain, I feel totally comfortable talking about other peoples' marriages because, clearly, I'm an expert."
Honorable Mention: Bo (to Rafe, regarding Sami): "I've known her since before she knew how to lie."
I'm not sure what was a better surprise -- E.J. admitting he was a Star Wars fan or the fact that he mentioned -- although not by name -- his stepfather, Edmond!
Am I the only one who thinks Mark Hapka resembles CNN weatherman Rob Marciano? Trust me, do the research. Do the research! And consider this your official "You're welcome," for once you're done.
Speaking of resemblance, in an odd twist of fate, I kind of feel like our new Gabi, Camila Banus, resembles our old Arianna, Felisha Terrell.
Once in a while I'll randomly recall that Nicole slept with Roman. I hope the writers are waiting for just the right Sami vs. Nicole confrontation to pull that ace out of their sleeves. I'm also convinced there's a little RoCole (ROman + NiCOLE) child out there who's bound to grow up to be a witty, scheming lush who never gets the girl.
Have you checked out Part One and Part Two of "45 Reasons to Watch DAYS" yet? If you haven't, make sure to do so while listening to last week's Soap Central Live featuring Kristian Alfonso!
So, friends and DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of November 22nd. On behalf of DAYS Two Scoops, we wish everyone a happy, safe Turkey Day (or Happy Side Dish Day for all the vegetarians in the house)! Also remember to keep celebrating DAYS' terrific Sweeps month and renewal! Laurisa will be back next week to keep the party going 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