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 Two Scoops: February 21, 2011 columns
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Kristian Alfonso
Rocky strong
For the Week of February 21, 2011
It was refreshing to see Bo and Hope acknowledge that their relationship had problems that they had never confronted, and that repeating the same destructive behavior might not be the best idea.
I'm one of those crazies who brave the stores on Black Friday. My mom and I hunt through the sale bills after Thanksgiving dinner and form a battle plan that we will execute to perfection, in order to attain the most coveted of retail victories. Why? Because it's one of the few times in life when the payoff will last for months. My Grandma still talks about the year she waited outside Best Buy for hours to get a computer for $80. They even threw in a printer.

Much like my own preparation for day-after-Thanksgiving shopping, the writers should be preparing for February Sweeps like there's a limit of ten per store and a free printer is at stake. There are months' worth of expectations on the line.

So, I hereby volunteer to send my mother into the writers' rooms to whip them into shape. The actors are ready. The fans are ready. The amazing wardrobe department who gave Lauren Koslow that awesome necklace is ready. All we're missing in a new storyline direction. Other than that, DAYS is poised to claim the early bird sale.


BO and HOPE
Of all the couples who rushed into romance, it was refreshing to see Bo and Hope acknowledge that their relationship had problems that they didn't properly deal with; thus, jumping at the chance to repeat the same destructive behavior might not be the best idea. Who says soaps don't teach real-life lessons?

I really, really, really want Hope to own her part in those problems. After Zach died, she ran off to Patrick Island. After Ciara was kidnapped, Hope ran to the Kiriakis mansion. Hope runs away way too much for a gal that's so strong in other aspects of her life. I appreciate that she didn't hop back into bed with Bo, but I don't think Bo should be the one doing all the groveling here.


RAFE
Bad news. The ESP that Sami and Rafe apparently have is on the fritz. So, Rafe switches his plan to send Sami a top-secret dessert signal. Sami doesn't know that she's living with another man, yet Rafe thinks that she'll notice that a missing cookie ingredient is a sign that her husband is being held captive in the DiMera basement. Perhaps Rafe should have married Lassie.


FAFE and SAMI
I could have gone without Fafe beating up Rafe. It seemed odd for a DiMera soldier to take that much initiative. Plus, this guy has to be around five children (including Gabi) and I don't like the idea of a rage-a-holic being around kids that much.

And, of course, people need to keep interrupting Sami and Fafe by any means necessary. Watching him treat Sami like she's his favorite blow-up doll is not romantic, appropriate, or good TV. DAYS is coming thisclose to making a joke out of Sami's history as a rape victim, and I don't appreciate it.

Pause…10, 9, 8…

Okay, I'm better. I wouldn't be a good little scooper if I didn't point out that in the midst of the putrid storyline, there's one actor and character that is a pleasant surprise. Galen Gering is avoiding comparisons to Thaao Phenglis by making Fafe be a campy villain, and in doing so, completely entertaining me. I haven't been this excited about watching Galen since Sheridan Crane needed a bodyguard.

I've heard these rumors about how funny Galen is, but I never saw it, since Rafe went to the same Party School of Personality as John McBain, Finn Hudson, and Eeyore. But Galen is hilarious as an overzealous DiMera flunky.

I'm not ashamed to say that Fafe taunting Allie was totally comical. It was so ridiculous that it passed mean and went right into campy. I also loved E.J. berating Fafe for being a moron. Mobsters having simple-minded companions is nothing new. Since Bart died and Dr. Rolf disappeared, I miss seeing E.J. and Stefano struggle to convey their "brilliance" to some putz. Bottom line, this storyline gets an "F" for premise, but an "A" for performance.


BRADY and VICTOR
It's clear that Brady has lost his marbles. The guy isn't even making sense anymore, not that most madmen do. My jaw hit the floor when Brady said that Victor doesn't let Brady make his own mistakes. I'm fairly sure that there's a set of divorce papers and a rehab facility in Europe that would pretty much prove that ol' Brady has had epic failures in his life.

But this storyline intrigues me, and I like how it revolves around Victor and Brady's relationship. They're never going to have the tenderness of Maggie and Melanie. But Brady and Victor have their moments.


NICOLE
I was almost willing to give Ejole 2.0 a shot until I heard Nicole say, "I make no demands." Exsqueeze me? Nicole is one of the few strong female characters on the show who does make demands. I give her a pass since it was Valentine's Day and E.J. showered her with jewelry, which would make most women lose their wits. But Nicole needs to snap out of it soon.


MELANIE, KATE, and PHILIP
For reasons still unclear to me, Melanie thinks Kate is able to deliver Parker on a silver platter and is willing to let Mama Roberts dictate every aspect of her life in the process, including, but not limited to, whom Melanie shares her bed with. This reminds me way too much of when Kate pressured Belle into staying with Philip. And, I don't want the writers to turn Melanie into Belle. Is that too much to ask?

Kate has a history of manipulating the women in her sons' lives and, despite the best efforts of Belle, Chloe, Nicole, and Carrie (just to name a few), Kate always wins. Even though Sami got her digs in, she always went up against Kate so much that it was hard to separate Sami vs. Kate from the Lumi relationship.

For once, I'd like to see someone use Kate at the pawn. I think Melanie could do that because she holds all the cards here! Not only is Melanie carrying Philip's child, but everyone and their embryo mom knows that Philip was the one who screwed up.

Plus, if Melanie assumes the reigns in her own scheme, it will help me deal with her scenes with Philip. I got very uncomfortable watching their Valentine's Day celebration. I assumed that I was done watching Melanie being guilted into making calls to men that she doesn't want to see.


CHAD
Thanks to the amazing talents of one Renee Jones, I've warmed up to this storyline. Chad brought up a great point that he's justifiably hesitant to be involved with another father who will love him one minute and leave him the next. And, E.J. finally made the connection between his own son's tragedy and welcoming Chad to the family. E.J. asked Chad to be his best man, which Chad should totally do if for no other reason than it gives Casey Deidrick another chance to rock that tuxedo t-shirt.


JENNIFER
I don't see the romantic chemistry between Carly and Daniel, but I love that Jennifer tried to play cupid. She did it out of the kindness of her recently re-transplanted heart, without any agenda at all. She's a genuine good character who did an unselfish thing. I don't know how she got past Salem security, but I'm glad she did!

Now, I want the writers to end the "Jack is on a walk-about" stuff and just let Jennifer make the decision about her marriage. For once, Jennifer should be the one to walk away and figure out what to do with her fabulous self. She's beautiful, smart, funny, and has a ton of support.

Why not make her the Head of Marketing at Titan and let her attend all those board meetings at the hospital? That way she can interact with the Kiriakis clan and the hospital regulars, which should keep a nice quota of good-looking guys around her at all times.


LOOSE ENDS
Kayla left Salem because her clinic is up for review (I think), but before she left, she made sure that Stephanie was going to be okay. Stephanie assured Kayla that the Steph of the past few months was not the real Stephanie and it was all just a bad dream. Finally, Steph and I agree on something.

Frances Fisher made her debut as Sally's Sami's neighbor last week. DAYS has a habit of casting big stars to play a short, but awesomely juicy parts for sweeps. I hope Frances follows the same pattern of Shirley Jones and Joe Penny and delivers a great twist to the Fafe storyline!

Chloe's world is upside-down. She's baking, her hair is up, and she's wearing pants. Luckily, Philip showed up to help Chloe bake cookies, put Parker down for a nap, and promise her that he'll protect her from Kate. That's what baby daddies are for, after all.

Nathan pulled Melanie in for a passionate kiss. She kissed him back for a few second and then ran out of the room, flustered. I'm sure that by next episode, she'll come back to him and they'll finally…wait…what's that? They've been repeating this exact same thing for nearly a year now? Huh. Okay moving on…


IN THE NEWS:
Taylor is staying in Salem, but Natalia Livingston is not. Obviously, the producers realize that Taylor needs a character makeover, and sometimes the easiest way to do that is to recast the part. But this is not record speed for DAYS. Ex-Belle and trivia answer, Charity Rahmer, was let go before her episodes even aired. At least Natalia's performance made it to the public.

There were changes behind the scenes too. Co-head writer, Christopher Whitesell, left the show. Since DAYS tapes so far ahead of time, we'll have to wait until April or May to see how this exit will affect the show. Stay tuned…

Finally, an actor decided to tweet about turning down a test for DAYS. I have a not-so-nice response posted on my blog if any of you are into that sort of thing. No one shuns my show!


HOT:
Last week, this couple gave us a truly tender reconnection. This week, they were in their over-the-top glory when Stefano gave Kate a red Ferrari for Valentine's Day. I don't know what I love more, the fact that Kate is the type of gal that drools over sports cars, or the fact that Stefano knows that and surprised her with it at the restaurant.

NOT:
I'm not buying E.J. and Taylor's McRomance with extra cheese. AT ALL! The ad nauseum flashbacks of their meeting certainly didn't help my mood either. But, there's no way that Taylor doesn't know what E.J. looks like. He's an international businessman/crime lord/world famous racecar driver, and I bet one of those things has gotten him on a few newspapers. Furthermore, he married Nicole once before! There's probably still a picture of him on Nicole's Facebook. If not, Brandon and Faye had to have a picture of the "happy" DiMera family, since Taylor mentioned that she recognized Sydney from pictures. Please put Taylor with anyone else, and I'll pretend that this whole scarf-on-the-pier thing never happened.


LINE OF THE WEEK:
Philip (to Chloe, who is waiving a towel and standing in a room filled with smoke): "Is something burning?" Ahh, brains and dimples! Be still my heart!


RANDOM THOUGHTS:
I like that Taylor calls Nicole, "Nikki."

Um, Kate Middelton is going to be ticked when she finds out that Nicole has her ring! And no remark from E.J. about wanting to compete with the royal wedding? Really?

Who else wanted Chad to join Will and whatshername for Valentine's Day?

William, I see you've learned well from your Uncle Bo about sporting the military jacket. Good form, young sir!

I wonder how Kate will feel about Stefano using Allie as insurance, unless Allie ends up with Lucas. You all remember Lucas, right? He's the guy who actually is Allie and Will's father.

There's a contestant on American Idol named "Stefano" who insists on pronouncing his name stuh-FAH-no, and it throws me off each time I hear it.

That's all for this scoop. I'm off to find out where Sami gets those trendy laundry baskets. Tony will be back next week to cover all the on- and off-screen drama. In the meantime, let me know how you feel about Galen's performance. Did you cast your vote for the 2011 Dankies? Do you join me in my excitement that the show is recasting Eric Brady/Nicholas Alamain/Alexander Kiriakis? (That's just a little internal wish-list that I have going in my head. Feel free to add you own!) And, most importantly, who else shops Black Friday?


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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