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 Two Scoops: January 17, 2011 columns
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Mark Hapka
Lady sings the blues
by Tony
For the Week of January 17, 2011
Sure, Nathan found out about Stephanie's deception a little late in the game, but he knew everything when he confronted her. That was a good move that really made the scenes work.
I normally watch CNN in the mornings while getting ready for work. It's my attempt to stay tuned in to what's going on in the world. The other day, I paused from ironing my shirt to watch a story about "Blue Monday." Off-topic, my work-prep detour did not -- I repeat, did not -- make me late for work that day, in case you're reading this, dear boss. But I digress.

As it was reported, the third Monday of January is statistically the most depressing day of the year. Researchers attribute this to the holidays being over, New Year's resolutions already being broken by that point, winter colds and flus, and all those holiday credit card bills starting to pile in. I attribute my winter depression to Christmas cookie withdrawal, but, again, I digress.

Like the rest of the world, Salem doesn't seem to be immune to the blues either. Granted, last week was the second week of the month, but the "January Blahs" ran rampant, especially for the women of Salem. Stephanie broke down over her breakup with Nathan. Kooky Chloe commiserated with anyone who would listen over losing Dr. Dan. Melanie pondered the results of her positive pregnancy test. Sami lamented over Johnny's latest diagnosis. Hope freaked out over the warden Bo-napping her hubby. And Vivian wasn't too pleased to be Gilligan-ed with Gus. Will the women of Salem ever smile again? Let's discuss!


STEPHANIE
Stephanie did one thing right last week. She took off that horrible necklace. And, well, that's about it. But whereas what she did to hold onto Nathan was completely wrong, I want to play devil's advocate for a second because there was a part of me that felt a tad annoyed that it took Nathan so long to figure things out.

Now, I don't blame Nathan. Unfortunately, he simply fell into the trap so many soap men have fallen into before. The unsuspecting boyfriend/husband is penned as an unknowing man-prize until all the pieces of the puzzle happen to fall into their laps to reveal a picture that shows, "Man, you've been played for a fool." But, again, that scenario is typically the name of the game for our daytime dudes, so I wasn't all that surprised that Nathan was its latest victim. That unavoidable setup aside, I thought it was a great reveal.

For starters, Shelley Hennig and Mark Hapka did an amazing job with the material! I also enjoyed that Nathan came prepared. Sure, he found out a little late in the game, but Nathan knew everything when he confronted Stephanie. That was a good move that really made the scenes work.

And please note, I'm not going to revel in the fact that Stephanie ended up with egg on her face. It would be in bad taste to find joy in her sorrow. Nope, I'm not going to do it. Huh? What was that popping sound? That was just a champagne bottle opening, you know, because I'm celebrating…um, ah…Monday morning. Yep, that's it -- I'm celebrating Monday morning!


CHLOE
Mrs. Lane-Jonas is a hot mess. Despite everyone telling her Dr. Dan is gone for good, she's not overly convinced. I think the fact that he kicked her out and sent movers to take her belongs to her new apartment is a pretty telling sign that he doesn't want her around, but I could be wrong. I'm not good at picking up subtle hints like that either, Chloemeister.

With that said, I think Nadia Bjorlin is doing everything right. I almost -- almost -- feel bad for Chloe because Nadia is doing such a fantastic job of conveying her character's utter despair and devastation. Nadia always seems strongest when she really gets to dive into Chloe's warped world, and I'm interested to see just how crazed Chloe will get, especially since it looks like Kate and Victor will be messing with her mind.

Carly, on the other hand, is done -- D-O-N-E -- with being part of Chloe's train-wreck of a life. To spread some more praise, Nadia and Crystal Chappell completely rocked those scenes! I was totally wrapped up in them. Carly's last line to Chloe was, "From now on, you and I live in the real world." Ouch, but poignant. You go, Dr. Manning!


MELANIE
Let's move on from "You go!" to "Please, don't go there!" I mean, oh, boy! Or, girl. Melanie's pregnant. Here we go again. Am I the only one who needs of a little baby break? There's no doubt a pregnancy storyline is going to be filled with tons of juicy drama, but there's also the downside -- they last at least nine months and then comes the child tug-of-war. Sorry, but I won't be there with bells on for this one.

Of course, there are some scenarios that could play out. Melanie could lose the baby. Say she falls (or is accidentally pushed by her archenemy). That's a plausible outcome.

Another is the dreaded controversial "planned parenthood" route. Characters never seem to fare well from that decision. Please reference Mimi Lockhart, who became barren after her abortion. As much as I'm tired of baby drama at the moment, I'm completely over characters who "can't have babies" having miracle ones. After the tenth one that supposedly "will never conceive or carry a baby to term" does, it becomes a little less miraculous.

Then again, Melanie could end up having the baby. This is perhaps the scariest scenario. The Chloe/Philip/Parker/Daniel saga and EJami dueling over Johnny and Sydney extravaganza have burnt me out of babies being caught in the middle for a while. I need a break. I'm just crossing my fingers it was a false positive because, right now, I'm having a negative reaction to this storyline.


SAMI
Let's start this section with a head count. Now, raise your hand if you bawled like a baby at any of the following:

  • Johnny's "love list."
  • Allie telling Johnny, "I'll see for you."
  • Johnny feeling Sami and E.J.'s faces then saying he was "remembering them, just in case."
  • When Sami lost it as they rolled Johnny off to surgery.
  • All of the above and/or those scenes not listed.

    Get those hands up. Don't be shy. We're all friends here.

    Ironically, as sad as it is, Johnny's latest cancer diagnosis isn't as aggravating as the first. I say that because the writers seem to remember this storyline is about Johnny, not E.J. and Sami's battle. Sure they go hand in hand, but I cheered when Sami said she was sick of fighting with E.J. A-to-the-men, sista! Me, too! I'm not holding my breath that their truce will last, but I'm going to enjoy the five minutes it does.


    HOPE
    I'll admit it. I giggled when Bo called Hope "Fancy Face." Those two teaming up -- on a boat, to boot -- made me happy. Unfortunately, Hope was anything but happy because the commish was Bo-napped. What a twist! Usually Hope is the damsel in abducted distress. I could get into Hope riding to his rescue for a change, especially if she grabs Jennifer and Carly as her cavalry.

    The other big twist -- Warden Jane and Ben's big boss is none other than Stefano! Sure, he's normally the default, go-to kingpin, but this is one reveal I'm okay with. The writers did a good job of using Stefano's history to back up his actions. If you need convincing, just ask John Black. He's down a kidney because of the Phoenix. And if you're still not sure about it, just remember how Rex and Cassie came to Salem. That usually makes any other storyline suddenly seem more sensible.


    VIVIAN
    There's not much to report here other than to gush about how much I love Louise Sorel. She can make a ridiculous storyline work like nobody else. Add in the fact that Gus is growing a backbone, and I'll gladly watch these two clowning around. Besides, their misadventures are a great break from all the serious drama going on. More, please!


    LOOSE ENDS
    Wow, Salem must have one heck of a rehab program because Caroline certainly seems to be bouncing back from her stroke. That's the good news. The bad news? She's going to be living with Stephanie. You know, because there aren't any rooms above the pub. Yep, that sounds like a great plan to me. Please be sure to read next week's Two Scoops entitled, "Bat Crap Crazy And Loving It: The Story of Stephanie and Caroline, Roomies at Large."

    Although, I will confess, seeing Caroline, Sami, and Stephanie in the same room was a nice treat. I love when the Brady gals get together. Perhaps the next time that happens, the three of them could bake a few cakes with files in them, as any one of them could be sent to the slammer at any moment.

    In case you blinked and missed it, the case against Carly was officially dropped. She's in the clear and back in her scrubs. Although I enjoyed the performances, the wrap-up was a bit rushed. It was also odd that not one Kiriakis was present to put up a fuss considering that Victor and Philip always seem to be at hospital board meetings.

    Remember that storyline where Chad turned out to be Stefano's son? You do!? Good, because the writers finally did too! This one's a slow burn, but I'm ready for more.

    Stefano and Kate had a little chitchat on the pier and went home together! *Squeal!* I love it that these two baddies are working their way back towards each other.

    And we end with Dr. Ben "I'm Doing It for My Patients" Walters. Did anyone buy his reasoning? Anyone…anyone…anyone? Nope, me either. He's just kind of gross.

    EXTRA SCOOPS

    HOT:
    Sometimes it's hard to remember that the reason we hate or love-to-hate a character is because the actor is doing such a great job portraying them that way. I can't stand Stephanie, but Shelley Hennig's performance last week was simply outstanding! She (and Mark Hapka) really nailed the reveal scenes. Something tells me that she is going to go from "Emmy-nominated Shelley Hennig" to "Emmy-winning Shelley Hennig" very soon. Bravo, Shelley!

    NOT:
    I know I just picked Kayla for "Best Veteran Character" during the Fourth Annual Golden Doughnut Awards, but, holy cheese and crackers, she's starting to annoy me with her crusade against Carly. Her arguments are sounding about as logical as those who blame Chloe for Brady's drug addiction or Sami for Lucas' alcoholism. Sweetie, it just doesn't work that way.


    LINE OF THE WEEK:
    Johnny (to Nicole): "Even though I don't want you to marry my daddy doesn't mean I don't like you."


    RANDOMNESS…
    I wonder if Bo got his hacking skills from Caroline.

    Wowsa! Kate admitted she hates Chloe more than Sami. That was a pretty powerful statement.

    Something tells me the set design crew found a very good deal on blue paint.

    Hey Will! If things don't work out with Gabi, Chad's still single.

    Each time I see Renée Jones after Lexie hasn't been on for a few days I think, "She's gorgeous!"

    You'd think E.J. "I Do EVERYTHING For My Son" DiMera would be a bit more sympathetic to Stefano's desire to welcome his son, Chad, into the family.

    Johnny wanted to watch Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Good kid!

    Allie takes skating and piano lessons. So THAT explains why we don't see her as often as Sami's other kids.

    Hmm, Vivian had a steamy daydream about Brady! Random? Yes! But, hey, we've all seen him shirtless, so, really, can anyone blame her?


    PARTING THOUGHTS…
    So, friends and DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of January 17th. I'm off to stock up on Kleenex and Prozac, but Laurisa will be back next week to chase our blues away with the news that Stephanie spontaneously combusted. I kid, I kid. They'll save that storyline for February Sweeps. And, "That's a fact!"

    As always, thanks for reading!
    Tony


    Need more Two Scoops? Head over to read blogs by Laurisa or Tony for more ranting, raving, and all-out randomness
  • 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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