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 Two Scoops: March 14, 2011 columns
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Mark Hapka
A great escape
by Tony
For the Week of March 14, 2011
Last week wasn't a good one to be Nathan. The young, hot Horton doc just couldn't catch a break. Every time he swiped his love-life credit card, it kept coming back as denied, denied, denied.
It's with a heavy heart that I'm writing this week's Two Scoops. It's impossible not to be saddened by the utter devastation in Japan. As my thoughts and prayers go out to those affected, I also find it an appropriate time to reflect on the amazing things in my life that I'm thankful for.

In fact, it's easy to take people and things for granted, especially when engrossed in the daily hustle and bustle of life. Times such as these certainly make one stop and smell the roses. And when I took a moment, I realized just how lucky I am to have wonderful, loving, and supportive family and friends, my health, a roof over my head, jobs I love, and, last but not least, wonderful fellow DAYS fans -- friends -- who come back week after week to read my ramblings. For that, I sincerely thank all of you reading this now.

But when the world is a sad, scary place like it is at the moment, it's great to be able to escape for a moment or two. Of course it's absolutely impossible to forget what's going on in the real world, but it's also nice to tune in to the soap world where the greatest problems seem to be which hunk Sami will end up with. For that I thank DAYS for the distraction. So, let's take a break from the real world together and discuss just what made DAYS a great escape to Soap Land last week.


VICTOR and MAGGIE
If you want great, I think Victor and Maggie are just the characters to start with! It may be premature, but I'm permanently placing them on the list of great DAYS supercouples. And what makes them so great is John Aniston and Suzanne Rogers. They simply light up the screen together.

Last week, this magical duo had their first "real" fight, which lead to Maggie revealing how she really feels about him. *sigh* Even though he admitted she was a "ten" on his love scale, she didn't rank him, but she did confess she was worried she would break his heart or vice-versa. Victor's response? He kissed her and left her utterly speechless! *double sigh* Writers, you done good!


JUSTIN and ADRIENNE
It's official! Justin and Adrienne are going for marriage number three! Hell-to-the-yeah! This Scooper couldn't be happier. My only complaint is that we haven't seen enough of them lately. However, I will take their random, sparse scenes over the alternative (i.e., seeing them shipped to Rex and Cassie Land). So, please keep their sporadic scenes coming, dear writers. Thankyouverymuch.

Parting note: does anyone think they noticed Hope just kind of ditched them when Sami came into the pub?


SAMI
Let me start out by saying I actually feel a bit bad for Sami. Sure, sure. She's not an innocent party on the grand scheme of things. Come to think of it, she's never exactly paid for, you know, shooting E.J. -- in the head -- but Stefano's royally messing with her life, and that's not cool.

With that said, I will confess to totally cracking up when Fafe told Sami, "Wouldn't want you taking another crack at E.J., now, would we?" as they discussed gun safety. A joke in poor taste? Perhaps, but I think Sami should be grateful for the occasional pot-shot in lieu of prison since she, you know, shot E.J….in the head.

By and large, for what this storyline lacks in general appeal, there are parts I enjoy. That is, I love seeing Sami circulate around Salem, fishing for free advice. A Hope and Sami scene hasn't happened in a very long time, and that was a welcomed, albeit filler-filled, moment. I think Sami should take Hope's advice and phone her mom. After all, Mar Mar could write the book on being duped by an imposter husband. Then again, that would mean the writers had to acknowledge Marlena by name and, shh!, we're trying to forget she existed, right?


FAFE
As mentioned, this storyline is a bit whatever, but I'm enjoying Galen Gering's take on Fafe. You can tell he's having a blast, and that's enough for me at this point. Besides, it beats watching the real Rafe give Sami his standard huffy "But I don't trust E.J. The guy's a creep" response every time they have a discussion about, well, anything.

Furthermore, I could definitely handle a second helping of Fafe and Nicole. I might be in the minority, but I like the chemistry between Galen and Ari Zucker. They work well together, and I wouldn't object to seeing things explored between their characters. It can't be any worse than E.J. and Nicole. Whoops! I Scooped that last part out loud, didn't I?

End note: Fafe is on notice -- if he continues to mess with Johnny, he'll have the full force of DAYS Two Scoops on his back. Besides, have you seen Sami slug Nicole? I think she's the better choice to teach her son how to fight. Not that physical violence is ever the right choice, of course. Cue "The More You Know" PSA logo and fade to black.


NICOLE
It pains me to see Nicole so clueless. I get that she wants to feel all safe and secure. I get that she wants to believe in her sisterly bond with Taylor. I get that she wants to believe E.J. is re-warming up to her. But I can't believe she's not even a bit more in-tune to a situation that Lexie and about twenty other wedding guests have picked up on.

I'll do the math for my favorite clueless schemer. Ready: Taylor talking about a handsome mystery man + E.J. a handsome mysterious man + awkward doe-eyed looks exchanged between them equals…equals…Oh, come on, Nicole! Put down Sydney and the beer and focus!


TAYLOR
I'm still not overly crazy about E.J. and Taylor, but my frigid heart is starting to thaw a bit towards the young, bubbly Ms. Walker. The main reason for that is that Taylor finally displayed something last week that I love to see in my soap ladies. That is to say, she tapped into her inner Walker strength and showed she has a backbone.

Taylor took the job with Brady and basically told E.J. to shove his opinion about it. Good for her! His arrogance to forbid her to work for Brady was a four-alarm "Oh, no, he didn't!"

Taylor also stated she's not going to compromise her morals for her new job. Methinks she'll eventually compromise them with E.J. based on her soft spot for his, um, scarf. But considering last week was the first one when I didn't want to send her back to Care Bear Land makes me believe things are looking up a bit.


FAY
Tick tock, tick tock, dear, Fay. I'm calling it now -- she's a goner. She has a weak heart. It's been told that she can drop at any minute. And she's entering the house of madness where people screaming at each other is as common as happy hour beginning at eight in the morning.

Here's my very own Celeste Perrault prediction: Fay will stumble upon a secret or witness something shocking (E.J. and Taylor hitting the sheets, anyone? Or perhaps, she sees TWO Rafes) and she will keel over. The former scenario leaves Taylor with a boatload of guilt, a real reason for her to keep E.J. at bay, and add more fuel to her constant edginess around Nicole. I do hope I'm wrong, because I'd like to see Fay stick around Salem and make some new friends *cough ROMAN!* but I'm not holding my breath.


NATHAN and MELANIE
Funny I just mentioned Roman, and now I'm moving on to Salem's second biggest loser in love. You see, last week wasn't a good one to be Nathan. The young hot Horton doc just couldn't catch a break. Every time he swiped his love-life credit card, it kept coming back as denied, denied, denied.

First Dr. Dad nixed Nathan's plea for Melanie's hand in marriage. I can't blame Dr. Dan. He was looking out for his daughter and Nathan was coming across a bit -- you know, just a teeny-tiny bit -- strong. I'll give Nathan the same advice I'd give most Guidos at a nightclub about their cologne: too much, way too much.

But he decided to ignore Dr. Dan's disapproval. Not a smart move because then came the big bomb dropped on Nathan's heart. He overzealously buried Mel with an avalanche of affection and a proposal. Spoiler alert: Mel said no, no, and, um, no.

As a fan that rooted for Nathan and Melanie over the years, I have to admit I didn't even blink an eye at her rejection. In fact, I think it was for the best, and I give Melanie credit for knowing when enough is enough. Their would-be coupling was a potentially good idea thwarted by way too many close calls and stall tactics. The writers dangled the carrot for far too long so that, like Melanie, I wasn't even hungry for it by the time we got a chance to eat it.

Combine the above with the highly publicized departure of Mark Hapka, and I knew when to raise the white flag and claim defeat. In my soap world, Nathan and Melanie are being placed on the depressing shelf dedicated to potentially great couples that never got a chance. They'll actually have the highly coveted position right between Philip and Morgan Hollingsworth and Dr. Dan and Chelsea. Ah, well, at least the writers have continued to prove they can write damn good breakup scenes. Melanie's rejection wasn't as gut-wrenching as the "Barly" one, but it ranks up there.


LOOSE ENDS
It's a little odd to see Bo and Hope a little uncomfortable with each other, but I like it. I think the writers are doing a good job with the pacing of their storyline. Anything aside from a day-by-day approach would seem too fast and contrived.

I also appreciate Hope and Carly's scene. Say what you will about her, but Doc Manning is certainly a class act. I'm not sure if she and Hope will ever be friends, but I dig that they're approaching an awkward situation with such maturity. Maybe Sami and Nicole will pick up a few cues from them. Ah, probably not.

I want to give a big hug to Carly and Melanie's scenes. It turned my frown upside down to see them re-bonding, especially since it was believable. Crystal and Molly both rocked and rolled!

I hate seeing Jennifer sad! It's like watching a puppy's gloomy, whimpering reaction when you walk away from it. Melissa Reeves definitely nailed her scenes, but Jack is officially in the number one spot on my Jerk List. In related news, Stephanie now has the number two spot.

My verdict is still out on Abigail, but, so far, she's displaying some very familiar traits obviously inherited from both sides of her gene pool. She has the Johnson Family foot-in-mouth disease, which her cousin, Stephanie, has drastically succumbed to, and the Horton Family self-righteous streak. Oh, goody!

I enjoyed Philip and Chloe's scenes, and that makes me even sadder that Jay Ken is leaving. I'll miss his special brand of on-screen friendship with Nadia. To think Chloe will be the sole survivor of the original "Last Blast" teen scene speaks volumes. Way to hang in there, Ghoul Girl!

Poor Vivian has been circling the airport so long while waiting for a storyline that she's going to have jet lag when she finally lands. Let's get this ball rolling, writers. Vivian fans are waiting with bated breath to see what she'll do next!

Rafe was probed and prodded, and the doctors still couldn't find signs of intelligence. You know, because his mind was erased. Yeah, that's what I meant.

Well, well, well, look what we have here -- a super hunky earring snatcher. For those of you who don't read casting spoilers, I won't spoil this mystery man's identity, but I think you'll be shocked to find out he's not such a stranger to Gabi, which kind of makes his crime a bit more perplexing. Also shocking and perplexing -- Kinsey seems to shop at the Salem Pawn Shop!

P.S. if you really want to know who this new smooth criminal is, click here!

EXTRA SCOOPS

HOT:
Victor…Maggie…kiss…kissing…they kissed!!! Aw, I love those two. They rank right up there with Justin and Adrienne, who got engaged! Did I mention that like twenty times yet? Someone pinch me -- I think I might be dreaming because the writers hit a home run for two of my favorite couples in one week. More, please!

NOT:
Can someone just choke me with E.J.'s scarf and get it over with. I mean, really, where's the Salem Strangler when you need him?


LINE OF THE WEEK:
Victor (to Brady): "Oh, I don't think it's possible to underestimate you, Brady."


RANDOMNESS…
As a person who grew up working in my family's restaurant, I appreciate when characters like Hope and Will pitch in to help.

Maxine mentioned her oldest son a few weeks back. That implies she has more than one son. When do we get to meet them? If they're even half as fabulous as their mother, we should be in good shape.

Welcome back, T!

I wonder if Bad Boy Brady will ever turn to Uncle Stefano for advice. Hmm!

I don't know why, but it was odd to see Stefano actually holding a gun given he usually has his goons do his dirty work.

Um, where does Chad live?

Riddle me this: Nicole hides out with Fay in Cleveland. When Taylor returned, she said she was visiting Fay in Chicago. Now Fay is moving to Salem from Cleveland. Either the writers made a whoopsie, or Fay knows someone who works at U-Haul pretty well, if you know what I mean.

As always, Valerie Wildman looks amazing!

Kate quoted Johnny. Awesome!

Was I the only one who laughed when Gabi said Rafe used to do the crossword puzzle in ink?

Oh, Stefano! When cornered between Sami and Kate, it's best not to have both of them pissed at you.


PARTING THOUGHTS…
So, friends and DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of March 14th. Laurisa will be back next week to cover Salem's St. Patrick's Day festivities. However, I'll warn the writers now, if my better Scooping half doesn't see a shamrock or green beer at the Brady Pub, I'd run and hide, as next week's Scoop won't be pretty. 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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