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 Two Scoops: June 6, 2011 columns
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Tamara Braun
One way or another
by Tony
For the Week of June 6, 2011
Is it possible for Taylor to go far, far away, but for Tamara Braun to stay? Nicole isn't a saint, but Taylor doesn't get to play the victim just because she threatens to run away every five minutes.
I'm in a mood, DAYS fans. I'm just not sure if it's a good one or bad one. Ever get like that? Perhaps it's a Sweeps hangover. Or perhaps I'm not entirely sure if I want to scream with delight that several big names are returning to DAYS or scream with frustration that several big names are being shown the door. Then there's the on-screen craziness. Some of it was great and deserves a celebratory cheer, while other aspects deserve many, many jeers. Yep, I'm in a mood all right, and if you are, too, after last week, let's dive into all the DAYS drama and try to figure out just what we're all feeling.


CASTING NEWS
When I said we had a lot of off-screen stuff to discuss a few weeks ago, I never imagined we'd have even more major casting news to diss on so soon. And I'm talking huge, wild news. Therefore, skip ahead to the "JUSTIN and ADRIENNE" section if you don't wish to be spoiled. I'll hum the DAYS theme as you scroll down. And go!

Okay, now that you've been warned, let's discuss the revolving doors at NBC. As you know, the Higs is out as head writer, Jack is coming back, and a new young stud is headed to Salem this summer, rumored to be one of Justin and Adrienne's sons. Now we've learned of two amazing returns and two amazingly disappointing departures.

Let's start with the good news: Drake Hogestyn and Deidre Hall are returning to DAYS! That's right, John and Marlena are ditching Switzerland for Salem this summer. I'm curious to see what the characters have been up to. It's been way too long since we've had an update. I especially wonder how John's recovery went/is going? I wonder if Mar Mar will cry over something within the first five minutes? I also wonder what will finally bring them back to town. There're a lot of questions to be answered, but in the meantime, I'll just start by ordering the "Welcome Home" banner and balloons!

I'm also thrilled about the potential their returns will mean for DAYS. Many fans tuned out when they left, so I hope that means they'll tune back in when they resurface. All soaps need as many fans as they can get these days, so let's hope that Corday's plans to perk things up one way or another works!

On the flipside, I'm not sure even Drake and Dee's returns are enough to turn my frown upside down as I am totally bummed that Crystal Chappell and Louise Sorel are being let go. I can't say that I'm shocked. Both of their storylines have been suspect the past several months. Both the characters and actresses have been grossly underused. Nope. I'm not shocked, but I am disappointed nevertheless.

Mostly, I'm stumped. I can't fathom why the writers -- even bad ones -- couldn't come up with juicy material for two daytime superstars like Crystal and Louise. Perhaps their lack of good material is an aspect just as frustrating as the news of their departures.

Now, I love Crystal and I think her work is amazing. Crystal does the absolute best with any material she's provided. And I will miss her and hope for her speedy return to Salem. But it is Louise's exit that really stings for me.

Vivian has always been on my top ten "Favorite DAYS Characters Ever" list. I was over-the-moon when she returned a few years ago because I never even anticipated I would be able to Scoop for her during my tenure. Talk about awesome! I'm trying to be grateful for the time I got to, not only watch one of my favs, but ramble on about her in public. However, I'm going to be nursing this soap-induced broken heart for a while, especially when her departure was preceded by a lot of bad writing for the character. Simply put, the writers just did her wrong.

But Aunt Viv wouldn't want me to mope. She would want me to celebrate the time we had together. Well, that and lock some of her adversaries up in a crypt. So, on that vein, I'm going to grab a handful of Carly's happy pills and get back to our regularly scheduled Scoop!


JUSTIN and ADRIENNE
I can't think of a better duo to start with if I need a little pick-me-up. Justin and Adrienne simply rock. I enjoyed their support of Chloe and Dario. Next time I have a problem with child visitations or have mixed feelings for someone, I know where I'm going.

I'm also curious to see if their boy "Sonny" will pop up in Salem this summer. I'm guessing "Sonny" is a nickname for their son, Jackson, but I've been known to be wrong many times before. In any event, if their son does return, that means Justin and Adrienne are sure to have more screen time, and that, my friends, is never a bad thing!


CHLOE
Score one for the Chlomeister! She got to spend time with Parker. Nadia Bjorlin is at her best when she gets to play Chloe as a hot mess, but I was glad to see Chloe get a little happy time, too. Quinn is a sleazeball, but he's right about Chloe's smile -- it does light up the room. Too bad that smile probably won't last too long, especially if Chloe tunes in to what he's been watching on his phone.


QUINN
Oh, snap! Quinn knows Vivian! This has me very curious. And to heighten my curiosity, their run-in came shortly after Quinn clammed up after Chloe brought up his parents. Hmm! Yep, my Spidey Senses are sure tingling, or it's just the effects of one of Carly's happy-pills kicking in. I'm not sure.

But here's a warning for the writers: if Vivian and Quinn end up being related somehow, I will need one hell of an explanation. Vivian is known to move heaven and earth for her relatives. Just ask Carly about Madame Alamain's revenge for killing Lawrence. So, for Auntie Viv to have a relative out there and for us to not know about them, well, let's just say this writing better be super-awesome. And, no, I won't hold my breath.


CARLY
I'm not too proud to admit I thought the Layton/Manning/Jonas lunch hour was totally cute. Those three have such a fun family chemistry. Therefore I'm not sure why the writers thought it was a good idea to muck it up with Carly's spontaneous feelings for Dr. Dad.

This "twist" is a cheap, easy out to Carly's addiction, and it's only going to ruin a bunch of good relationships. Heck, even Lexie didn't really seem to want to touch that topic. She looked thrilled that she got paged. I can't blame her; I'm just jealous I didn't have an escape and had to sit through Carly's pill-crazed, mushy fantasy of being with Dr. Dan. Like Carly should with drugs, the writers need to "Just say no!" to this Dr. Dan's her man idea.


DR. DAN
Okay, okay, I'm officially forgiving Dr. Dan for all of his past misdeeds. According to the pictures he and Victor were looking at, he once had a mullet. Victor even quipped, "I've always been fascinated by mullets. Business in the front. Party in the back." Knowing he once sported that look is punishment enough for me. It also didn't hurt that he confessed to going after Chloe while she was married. Self-awareness is always good.


JENNIFER
I'm sure Jennifer's storyline last week wasn't everyone's cup of tea mug of root beer float, but I found it as refreshing. Jennifer even balked that her mini-breakdown was "not age-appropriate." But I think it was wildly appropriate given her circumstances.

Not only did Jennifer feel rusty at the dating game, having been out of it for so long, but who hasn't had a moment of feeling unworthy when running into a current love's stunning ex? It's a cruel mind trick that makes you ask, "Why are you with me?" I get that. I've been there. And I think Melissa Reeves did an amazing job expressing Jennifer's mixed emotions. And in the end, she got to kiss her fella. All's good in Jennifer Land. Yeah!


RAFE
If things were sunny in Jennifer Land, the weather was awfully cloudy in Rafeville. The dude's not catching any breaks. But here's something you don't hear me say often. I actually felt kind of bad for the guy. Note the "kind of," please and thank you.

With that said, it must suck to have nearly everyone you love think you're an ass when you've spent the past several months being tortured. Not only that, the dude can't get any answers to help him figure out why everyone thinks he's an ass now. So, sure, I feel bad for him and can relate to his frustrations. Ultimately, though, I think Rafe being pooped on is some sort of karmic justice to fans who've been annoyed by Pre-Brain-Erase Rafe in the past. With retribution like that, perhaps we'll all end up getting along. Perhaps.


DARIO
The guy's a huffy, stubborn goofball who blows up too quickly, but he's kind of endearing at the same time. It's cute, yet painful, how timid he is to confess his feelings for Melanie. Then again, to be fair, she did shoot down all of his advances so far. So I get why he's a little hesitant. That doesn't mean I don't want Maggie to barge in and tell him to "Man up!" and go have some fun with Melanie.


MELANIE
So she's going to be a Nurse Practitioner. Good for her! She's a working girl. Come to think of it, Chloe's a working girl now, too. Maybe they need to team up and teach Sami about working for a living. Anyway!

Mel hung out with Brady, Abigail, and Chad. And cue Track 4, "One of These Things (Is Not Like The Others)." I have no problems with "big brother" or "bestie" Brady hanging out with Mel. I enjoy it, in fact. But I'm glad it was pointed out that he and Melanie were just friends. Otherwise, their scenes at the Cheatin' Heart would have been a little cringe-worthy, especially since he was drinking the hard stuff on the rocks, and they were sipping juice boxes.


BRADY
Kudos to Eric Martsolf! He nailed Brady's "I was the man who loved you" speech to Nicole. I mean, wow! Can't argue with Brady's logic, or help but swoon that he got a little misty-eyed, lamenting over his former love. I just wanted to flick Nicole between the eyes and chant "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!" until she really -- really -- realized letting him go was, well, stupid.


NICOLE
It's not easy to be a Nicole fan. She constantly sets herself up for failure. But I'm a true-blue Nicole fan nonetheless. Even when I know she's wrong, I'm still going to root for her. And she's wrong now. She should just try to strike a deal with E.J. for visitation rights with the kids and let it go. Or perhaps team up with Rafe and Sami to take down the DiMeras together. She won't. But I'll love her anyway.


TAYLOR
Okay, I'm playing my sympathy card. One of my favorite DAYS' characters and actresses was let go last week, so I get to be mean without repercussions for this entire section. Well, I'd like to think so, anyway.

So gloves off, I'll just come out and say it -- Taylor is simply an annoying idiot. Is it possible for her to go far, far away, but for Tamara Braun stay? Nicole is not a saint, but, just because Taylor threatens to run away every five minutes, doesn't mean she's the victim. Good grief!

It further irritates me when she says things like she loves the man E.J. is becoming. Not only is that saying, "You're great! Now change this, this, and this, and then we'll talk," but it's also like proclaiming, "This is the best cake I have ever eaten!" while it's still in the oven. Trust me, it can still burn. Ultimately, Lexie was right when she guessed things are not going to end well with this crew. Lexie, dear, things might not end well, but they haven't been well all along.


E.J.
I'm enjoying James Scott's performance right now. That's something positive I can stay about this storyline. E.J.'s actions, on the other hand, leave a lot to be desired. He's simply acting a fool, especially when he claims his children are his priority. Is that why he set off to kill a man they believe is their stepfather? Oh, but wait! He was sidetracked from that task by his sister-in-law, whom he slept with. Yep, he's right. He's definitely prioritizing for the kids.


STEFANO
I love the big, bad meanie, but Stefano is the biggest enabler in the world. I get that he doesn't want E.J. to go to jail for killing "Fafe," but, come on, Phoenix, you -- not E.J. -- put the wheels in motion to replace Rafe with a double. It was basically the pacifier he used to shove into E.J.'s mouth to shut him up about Rafe. So, now he thinks E.J. should clean up his own mess. Sure, E.J. should, being that he's a grown man, but I don't think that buck can be passed solely to him in this case. Then again, E.J. technically should be fourteen, so maybe Stefano's coddling is warranted, after all. Moral of the story: use a hitman if you have one.


LOOSE ENDS
I'm crossing my fingers. I really, really want to see Lexie and Brady play Stefano and Victor off each other for the benefit of the hospital. That is some filler I could completely get behind.

Lexie puzzles me. How does she go from making amazing points when battling Stefano and schooling E.J., yet can be a total idiot when it comes to advice for Taylor? I don't get it.

Okay, so Gabi fainted. She was taken to the hospital. And then my Maxine told Rafe she was just fine. I'm all for a speedy storyline, but I think I might have missed the actual story here, like, what was wrong with her?


EXTRA SCOOPS

HOT:
The buck stopped at Hope and Jennifer's scenes last week! I love their relationship. I loved that they were in Alice's house, and, sorry, it will always be Tom and Alice's house. And I loved that Hope tapped into her inner-Alice and helped Jennifer through her crisis. Yep, it's always a good week when the Horton cousins get together.

NOT:
I absolutely hate that Vivian's storylines consist of her talking to Gus about second-rate schemes or kicking up outdated dust with former advisories. I hope that her mysterious relationship with Quinn will thrust her into the kind of storyline Vivian (and Louise) fans have been aching to see. Well, you know, at least one last, worthy hurrah for us. Boo!

LINE OF THE WEEK:
Stefano (to E.J.): "I'm telling you, the criminal class today, all they want to think about is money -- nothing about the craft."

Honorable Mentions:
Hope (to Jennifer, regarding her new vampy wardrobe): "Are you auditioning for the Real Housewives of Salem?"
Stefano (to Nicole): "You know, Nicole, you talking about the truth is like Mel Gibson talking about restraint."

RANDOMNESS…
Rafe and Fafe were on-screen at the same time. Fancy! You go, DAYS tech crew!

So, Quinn likes Neil Young. Quinn is sleazy, but he has good taste in music.

Where has Ciara been lately? Hopefully therapy.

No, really, where is Stephanie?

Wow! Mia is a name I hadn't heard in a while. I wonder if Lil' Floppy Bangs is enjoying New York?

Crystal Chappell looked stunning last week!

Um, when did Jennifer and Brady become besties?

Kristian Alfonso looked all shades of rock star in her jeans, vest, and accessories. Yep, she's officially the coolest kid at the table.


PARTING THOUGHTS…
So, friends and DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of June 6th. I'm heading to the Cheatin' Heart with Maxine to drown my sorrows. Unless our contracts aren't renewed, Laurisa will be back next week with a new Scoop and, possibly, more casting shakeups! 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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