I scrolled through social media for about two hours late Monday night, reading the outpourings of affection for John Aniston and watching clips of the carnage Victor left behind with his snarky one-liners and zingers. I cried. I laughed. I cried and laughed some more. And them some more.
Like most, I woke up that morning to the heartbreaking news of John's passing. It didn't seem real, or perhaps I didn't want it to be. I had a very long workday that day, and, throughout it, I misted up a few times. I tried to think of a Twitter post and what I'd say in my Two Scoops column to adequately express my adoration for Mr. Aniston. His characters have been a part of my TV-watching life ever since I can remember, and his legendary take on the one and only Victor Kiriakis cemented a place in my heart for him.
Without question, DAYS struck casting gold when hiring John to portray Victor. I can only imagine the writing team's excitement to put words in the character's mouth, knowing the perfection John would deliver them with. Who hasn't wanted to channel their inner Victor when confronted by a pesky person and deliver a sly, witty retort sure to leave them squashed!? I remember around 2010 when NBC's DAYS webpage created a special section called "Stuff Victor Says" to showcase his spectacular snark and sass. It was amazing. John crafted that amazement.
Victor really was -- and will always be -- one of the most epic Salemites. What a captivating character. He's been a big bad, then almost a hero, and ended up being a beloved patriarch, or "Pop-Pop" as Claire Bear would put it. He even got a "Magical" second chance at love later in life with one of the town's most respected and cherished citizens. Yes. Victor's an exception to every soap rule there is, and he wouldn't have it any other way.
So, there I was, very late Monday night, scrolling through social media, reading and watching tributes, crying and laughing. Reflecting on a treasured, talented man's legacy. Embracing gratitude for the time we had with him. Wishing peace and comfort for his loved ones. And trying to come up with the perfect words to patch up broken hearts a bit.
Well. Those "perfect words" escaped me. I could really only join the group hug of loved ones and fans mourning and celebrating such a rich, wonderful life, but one thing did dawn on me. While it seems John himself would have been a comforting rock for those he loved during a hard time, his DAYS alter ego might have approached things a smidge differently.
I thought to myself, "What would Victor say?" and this is what popped into my head: "Quit your sniveling. You have a damn column to write, and I pay you by the hour. Now get to work, or I'll find some other longwinded nitwit to take your place. I hear Kristen isn't doing much these days." Oh, Vic. You will be missed.
Here's a line I don't write often: "Listen to Brady!" He's totally the voice of reason regarding the entire Nicole, Eric, and Jada pregnancy extravaganza. He said, "This is the twenty-first century. People co-parent all the time, and they're not couples." Yes, Brady. Yes! This can really start and end my entire thoughts on the things to come between Eric, Nicole, and Jada.
I also loved Jada shutting things down for the moment. She said, "I'm not going to come up with any answers tonight. I'm exhausted. I need to close my eyes and regroup, so please listen to me when I say, I need you to go." Later, she schooled Eric by stating, "Don't discuss my body with my boss." Yes! All the "Yeses" go to you, Jada.
Conversely, Eric does get points for presenting his feelings, yet respecting Jada's overall choice as to what to do with her body. Jada gets more points for realizing, "I chose to be in denial about it." "It" being the obvious feelings between him and Nicole. They realized together they never really defined their relationship or got as serious as braiding friendship bracelets for each other. Maturity is winning! So far. I like this. It's refreshing.
Though, gee. I wonder what or who might add some immature antics to this storyline and make it insufferable. Oh. Hi, Nicole! Didn't see you there. But I digress.
Oh, goodie. We get to discuss Rafe and Nicole. Color me shocked. The cheater and liar cheated and lied to a cheater and liar. I think there's a word for that. Karma? I think that's it. Right, Ava? Poor dear never had to get her hands dirty. She just had to pop some corn and watch the show to see them inevitably implode. Ah, former mafia princesses. Once they get revenge on their minds, it's hard to slow their roll. Right, Eej?
To be fair, E.J.'s roll isn't slowing, either, and he has the combined awesomeness of Tony and Anna to act as moral speedbumps. I love them being there for E.J. and acting like his Jiminy Cricket, but given Ava has "Dead Charlie" chirping crazy in her ears, Eej bantering with "Apparition Andre" would have been a win, too.
Still, Tripp is free, and we can all, especially Steve, Kayla, Ava, and apparently Anna, breathe a sigh of relief. Though Charlie wants Susan's head on a platter, so E.J. might not be granted the same relieved sigh. Will Ava actually kill Susie Q., or will Elvis' Number One be spared!? Her death wouldn't leave a huge hole on the greater canvas, but the hole in E.J.'s heart would possibly leave him spiraling out of control with limited moral compasses.
Susan and Bonnie's brain reading bit was a, well, bit hilarious. It was so bonkers, it worked well. Stacy Haiduk and Judi Evans absolutely nailed the laughs! Though the question was posed: Why didn't she read Mr. Clown's noggin!? My best guess is that Xander's mind is a bit complex, while Bonnie's brain is more "pamphlet" than "novel."
I'm not entirely sure if Gwen has an ulterior motive yet ("She does!" screams everyone), but her "honor amongst thieves" support of Xanimal tracks either way.
Ah! A tale as old as time. Schoolgirl meets professor. She's smitten. He's a charming creeper. They strike up a relationship. His wife finds out, tricks said schoolgirl onto a roof, and accidentally plummets during the confrontation. All that's missing is an animated teacup singing "Up the Ladder to the Roof." I kid. I kid.
It seems like Chanel clearly isn't to blame-blame for Mrs. Bedford's death, though I get Sloan's rage to a point (in the soap world, that is). She can't really take it out on her dead dad, so she's turning it all toward the Price women. Not fair, of course, but revenge doesn't always stem from a stable mind.
I also admired Allie's stance: This grown man -- a teacher -- took advantage of a young woman in his tutelage. Not cool, Dr. Nathan "Weinstein" Bedford. Not cool at all.
This storyline is intriguing. I'm eager to see what happens next, as there's certainly more to the story! I also feel like there are enough former Salemites in the UK to make this one full of surprise cameos and connections. In fact, until I found out he was dead, I almost thought Stephanie's mysterious ex could be Nathan Bedford.
Speaking of, Steph's spooky specter ex got me thinking. Did he really dismiss her, or was he abducted? With all the kidnappings and such lately, I wondered if maybe he's not the terrible, no good, dooder-head ghoster he's thought to be. Hmm.
Also, could a SORAS-ed Tyler Kiriakis be a contender for said Ghost-Maybe-Not-Ghost ex? There would be something very soapy about her dating the artist formerly known as "Pocket." Again, "Hmm!"
I enjoy Wendy and Johnny's budding whatever it is. She has the right amount of sass to combat his Johnny-ness. He has the right amount of patience to make her feel comfortable. So far, they're working.
Also, how mad do you think E.J. will be when he learns his mad scientist syringed his son!? I'm shocked that Rolf lifted a needle toward Johnny. Then again, he scrambled Stefan's mind, so there's some wiggle room when it comes to DiMera loyalty.
We got to watch one of the greats weekdays for decades. That'll never be enough, of course, but, oh, what a gift these years have been. Thank you, Mr. Aniston!
This is more of a preemptive "NOT." The buck needs to stop at a Leo and Sonny friendship. I can begrudgingly accept that. After all, if Nicole, the Chloemeister, and a Petri dish of flesh-eating bacteria can bury the hatchet, any friendship is possible, but I'll pass hard on Sonny developing any feelings for Leo beyond that. Leo needs the male version of Paulina to date -- someone strong and sassy, who can check him when needed.
LINE(S) OF THE WEEK
Paulina (to Sloan): "Sorry I never met your folks. Sounds like a fun couple."
Tony (on one of Anna's reasons why Tripp's kidnapping was upsetting): "What does sexy have to do with anything?"
Wendy (to Johnny): "You don't have to start sentences 'As a filmmaker...'"
Kayla lowered the boom by stating, "It's okay, Ava. I'm not threatened." Yep. Boom. Lowered. Well snarked, Sweetness.
As soon as "alleged crime in the UK" and "Scotland Yard" were uttered, I immediately wanted Chelsea to return as the constable or detective in charge of the case. Bo was a cop. Billie left to run Titan security in the UK then joined the ISA. It's not too much of a stretch to think Chelsea followed in their footsteps.
I almost forgot that Anna and Stephanie shared a past! Steph, Anna, and Paulina need to have cocktails once Governor-elect Auntie P's personal drama subsides. Well. Maybe they should just squeeze it in. Lady's never lacking the dramas.
Who else laughed at "our marriage was not a farce?!" I totally lost it.
E.J. not wearing a suit is like seeing a teacher out of school.
On the topic of suits, I guess I'll be putting the tux on for New Year's Eve, as Li and Gabi are getting married that night! That gives me a little over a month to plot something. Wait. Did I say "plot"? I meant plan something to, um, wear.
The Seattle bar reminded me a bit of the Cheatin' Heart, and that reminded me of Adrienne. Aww! Methinks resurrecting the Heart is another reason Adrienne needs to come home.
Johnny really should revisit his wanting to be an FBI agent roots. Rafe's at his best when he's a father figure, and Jo-Ro has a long line of popo on Sami's side. Plus, Eej would LOVE this.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Alex was only obnoxious when he and Steph first met. Yeah. That's it.
Peacock plugs are starting to become the new "Take a shot when you hear..." game while watching DAYS. That's not a complaint. I actually do love the service!
Credit where credit is due, Gwen isn't such a bad researcher. Maybe journalism is an inherited trait. Integrity, not so much, it seems.
Ugh. Salemites! Stop saying Mimi's name. She's like Beetlejuice. She'll show up if it's said three times. Either that, or if there's a sale on "Dumb Decisions." She'd wait in line for a shopping cart full of those. Oh, Meems.
On the topic of "She Who Shall Not Be Named Thrice," I feel like a horrible soap uncle. I totally forgot about Emily. Whoops!
Anna fangirling out over Tripp was hilarious! We totally get it. The timing even worked, too. Now about that memoir, when do we get to read it!?
Little Henry is adorable.
Wendy making fun of Johnny's chest will never not be funny. His comeback was also smooth, as it were.
Leading with a cake in a mug is a good step forward in redeeming Leo. Maybe he can get a gig at Sweet Bits next. They might need an unhandcuffed hand or two.
Steve and Kayla not telling Steph and Joey something seems to be a trend. The kids are not okay with this, Patch and Sweetness. Not. Okay.
I laughed out loud when E.J. said to Anna, "That's what you heard?"
I hope Claire, Ciara, and Chelsea return to Salem to celebrate Victor's life.
Rando goon bartender stated that the Vitali family has run Philly since the Prohibition days. Yeppers. They've certainly earned their spot at the table. Now we need to see Ava regain her seat at the top of it. Sorry, Cousin Angelo and his new mafia princess wife, but we need Ava to stick around.
Okay. This may or may not have been discussed somewhere earlier, but do the tools hanging in the gardening shed spell something!? They look like they should. I keep trying to make out a word or figure out if it's an "Easter egg." Or they might be just random tools hanging in the background. Sometimes I overthink things.
I can't say I have much -- I can't say I have any sympathy for Rafe, but I totally paused when he said, "Oh, come on. As if." It appealed to my Clueless-loving heart. We can build on that, Rafe-A-Roni. Fries at the Pub? Your treat, of course.
Then again, if we're talking about '90s movies and Rafe, he totally fumbled by setting the ring down in the waiting room and walking out. One, it's either going to be stolen or linger in some lost and found bin. Two, he's totally just as bad as the main villain in Titanic! Like wicked "Old Rose" tossing a priceless necklace in the ocean, Rafe could have sold the bling and made money off the ring. At the very least, donate the money to a West Salem outreach program or buy a fancy coffee bar for the break room at the Salem PD. So, Rafe, great going. Every time one of your fellow officers has subpar coffee, blame yourself, Commish.
Um, Gwen got to sit at the pub and day drink while working! Isn't it her first week on the job!? The Spectator has some pretty lax rules. I obtained a copy of their employee handbook, and I'll read it right after I finish this splash of Scotch.
So, friends and fellow fans, that's it for November 21. What has been your favorite part of Sweeps so far? Did you go to "Day of DAYS"!? More so, do you have a favorite Victor moment or line!? Let's raise a glass of ouzo in honor of John and his legendary character and keep the celebration of his life going in the Comments section.
Also, if you're still on the fence about Peacock, normally DAYS is preempted on Thanksgiving due to NBC's coverage of a dog show, but this year, we get five new episodes! Laurisa will be back next week to talk turkey on all the shenanigans that took place during Thanksgiving week in Salem! To everyone in the US, have a safe, fun holiday, and for everyone else, be safe and have fun, as well! As always, thank you for reading, and "That's a fact."
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