The Halfies: A Midyear Review of DAYS 2024

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From the fabulous to the faulty, 2024 is half over, and your faithful Two Scoopers are teamed up and ready to both cheer and jeer. We kick things off with the Alex North "Mini Me" Memorial Awards and end up on the sunnier side of Salem, celebrating the Golden Donut Hole Awards. So, grab something summery and sparkly to sip on during this week's Non-Radioactive Midyear Review edition of DAYS Two Scoops!

The infamous "they" say time flies when you're having fun, but was DAYS all fun and games so far this year? We're going to explore that in this very special edition of Two Scoops. In what's become a newer tradition, we're here to celebrate "The Halfies:" A midyear review of DAYS.

In fact, "The Halfies" couldn't have come at a better time. 2024 is like a tale of two Salems. From January until the end of May, the Fi-Core writers' material aired. Ron Carlivati and his dream team were back behind the wheel with the material that began airing on May 31. So, this is like a midyear review reviewing the non-WGA scribes. Don't worry. We'll be back to cover everything at the end of the year during the 18th Annual Golden Donut and Alex North Memorial Awards!

And just like the year so far, this is a column of two sides. In the beginning, we'll honor a sampling of things in Salem that certainly didn't shine. While there was a lot to tackle, from Paulina problems to Alex and all his Alex-ness, we chose a few that definitely deserved an Alex North "Mini Me" Memorial Award and left space for the rest at the end of the year.

On the flip side, a lot of Salemites shined so far this year! This winner will receive a Golden Donut Hole Award for being the best of the best (so far). So, let's get a summery, sparkly beverage and celebrate the good, the bad, and the radioactive!

2024 Alex North "Mini Me" Memorial Awards:

SWING-AND-A-MISS AWARD: The writers kept trying but kept striking out!

You're (not) the pawn that I want
We were all thrilled when DAYS opted to use John Aniston's real-life death to spawn a fantastic tale of deception for our beloved Victor's exit. So, we loved that Victor's last act on earth was to reveal a secret. We loved that Justin and Maggie were at the forefront of the will drama.

But what we didn't love was Konstantin. His Konnie con man nonsense made about as much sense as that accent. Or, more specifically, made about as much sense as Maggie playing the absolute fool and scolding people who were genuinely trying to help her...or at least, you know, not want to see her commit a crime!

Then, it took a detour into Pawn land where Konnie just happened to run into John and was "shocked" that the Pawn was living in Salem -- something he would have known, as the Pawn was international news. But it didn't matter, since John was the Pawn only momentarily, since Mar fixed him off-screen so he could fake the whole thing.

By the end of something that started so positively for Maggie and Justin, we're left with Konnie running amok and Maggie looking a fool. We're looking at a climax that's more relief and less celebratory.

(Note - Alex is part of this whole mess, too, but he doesn't qualify for swing-and-a-miss, since Alex is 100% completely foul.)

MOST MISUSED: Too much or too little of anything is a bad thing.

Kate Roberts-Brady
Unless the divine la Lady Koslow wanted to take a step back, which we would absolutely respect, we're not sure why Kate's biggest moments the past six months have seemed like glorified cameos. While we loved each and every Kate and Lucas scene with a side of Roman in the monastery, it's painful to watch Kate pop up for a brief warning to Harris or Ava and not have any follow-through. This is Kate Roberts. She's a category five diva and schemer. Watching her be anything less is disappointing.

THE ROMAN BRADY "WHAT DA HELL!?" MOMENT

Radioactive Paulina
One could never say that Paulina doesn't love hard, but her hard head gave us one of the stupidest moments so far this year. After not one but two miracle bouncebacks from the brink of death with a bonus of Abe getting his memory back, she decided to risk her life and the lives of those around her to save Chanel. We get it. Not only was she a mama bear on a quest to save her cub, but we've met the fabulous Chanel. We'd do nearly anything to save her, too.

Nevertheless, Paulina spit in the face of miracles and medical advice to do something others were already doing -- looking for Chanel. Even Johnny* later admitted he was nearly there when the Incredible Paulina swooped in to save-ish the day. Instead, she risked several lives, including that of her unborn grandchild. There's risk and reward that's rewarding, but her radioactive risk-taking was just ridiculous.

*Johnny, who's unemployed and therefore well rested for tasks like saving his wife, stepping in to help at Sweet Bits or the pub, and finally posting his résumé online.

WORST STORYLINE DIRECTION: Wait...what did this storyline just do?!

Everett, Bobby, and the DIDaster
Since the beginning of the year, this storyline has had one thing going for it: fantastic acting! Blake Berris, Elia Cantu, Abigail Klein, Billy Flynn, Galen Gering, and Dierdre Hall...everyone has been beyond brilliant.

Sadly, the same can't be said for the storyline direction, or in this case, lack thereof. We feel this SL has DID itself. It's lost. It hasn't known where it was going since the beginning. It's never even felt like the twists and turns were intentional. They felt jarring, as if the writers were making things up as they go and ignoring where they've gone.

For example, Stephanie, who's close enough to climb into her parents' bed for a mini banana muffin breakfast fest, never told them about Everett while she was dating him in Seattle because she didn't know where things were headed. Fair, but...she was so distraught by his disappearance that it affected her other relationships. Still, it wasn't that serious, but still again, he was buying her a ring. Maybe they weren't on the same page, but that's just one aspect of the storyline that didn't make a lick of sense.

Additionally, Rafe, Jada and Chad technically investigate things for a living. Yet, not a one of them even whispered the word "DID" until Marlena bravely made that proclamation in the police conference room about a man who had been going by two names, acting out of character, and assuming an identity that didn't match his fingerprints. Oh, those three were so lucky Marlena stepped in and solved this completely perplexing puzzle!

All in all, we have faith in the actors involved. They will continue to do their absolute best with the material. And now that the storyline steering wheel is back in the hands of Ron Carlivati and his team, we look forward to a course correction or a speedy full stop so this gang can refuel and move on to better routes.

2024 Golden Donut Hole Awards:

Best Brawl: Me-ouch! Be it catty comments or full-fledged fist fights, the best battle of 2024!

Nicole Walker vs. Holly Jonas
If you're looking for a hurtful, heartbreaking, soul-crushing verbal slugfest that had high emotional stakes and left you feeling gutted, look no further than this furious mother and daughter fight. While the youngster came out swinging with teen angst and not getting her way, Holly's hits were delivered in the cruelest way. Nicole retaliated with nothing but tough love, and in a moment that one would expect a hit, Nicole showed her that hands were for hugging instead. In lesser hands, this would have been another soap squabble, but the amazing Arianne Zucker and Ashley Puzemis brought down the mansion with their marvelous performances.

Best Surprise

A Love Letter to the Hortons
The fallout episode after the fire at the Horton home was brilliant. It wove the family's current struggles with those of Tom and Alice building their dream life in their dream home. It was a love letter that tugged at the heartstrings of each DAYS fan.

Zach Chyz and Sydney Kathrann Smith did a spectacular job at portraying a young Tom and Alice Horton. It was a respectful take on the characters that made Macdonald Carey, Frances Reid, and all DAYS fans proud and sentimental. Zach and Sydney managed to embrace the nuances of the characters yet introduce us to a younger version that we'd never met.

The entirety of the episode was filled with love and hope while also giving us time to reflect on those we've lost. The ending with the still photos of seldom seen since they've been gone Salemites was remarkably special to fans. If we take away only one thing from this period of DAYS, this gift of an episode should be it.

Best Legacy Character: Some love for the next generation who have to carry the banner!

Thomas DiMera
In a Salem world of creepy children such as RACH3L and blanket babies, Thomas is a breath of fresh air. Played to perfection by the charismatic Cary Christopher, Thomas has the weight of the town's heavy hitters' history on his shoulders, but the love and support he needs to navigate his own way in the crazy world of Salem, USA, as a mix of Horton, Deveraux, DiMera, and Peterson (and one should never forget that Grandma Madeline was a spitfire in her own right).

There's also something special about seeing Thomas sitting on a bench with Doug or at the table with his dad and Julie. His hankering to become a journalist like his mother and his protectiveness of Charlotte only endears him to us more. He's absolutely the next gen Salemite that gives us hope.

Best Veteran Character

Julie Williams
When the Horton home burned, each and every fan had strong feelings. Julie was the sherpa who guided us through the range of emotions, and Susan Seaforth Hayes was spectacular each step of the way. From being thankful that the family was safe to the sadness of losing such a Salem staple to the hope and strength it took as it was rebuilt, Julie led us with her special blend of grace and gumption.

Yet we also got to see Julie's vulnerable sides during this time. Her personal heartbreak. Her exhaustion. Her worries about Doug and the family. Her bolstering Chad when he needed a champion to ease his conscience. Being a bestie to Maggie when the two of them needed each other the most. Plus, her determination to discover the mystery of Tom and Alice's cryptic chimney box.

Yes, Julie did it all this year so far, and we loved it! We know the incomparable Mrs. Williams has more heartbreaking trials and tribulations ahead, but we will walk with this legend anywhere she wants to take us. During the very first episode, this deviant stole a mink stole, but now she's a diva who's only stealing our hearts. Viva la Julie!

PARTING THOUGHTS

So, friends and fellow fans, that's it for June 10. Let's all give a thunderous round of cyber applause for the cast and crew of DAYS. Hits and misses, they work hard each year to entertain us, and that they do! We couldn't be more grateful if we tried.

We hope that you enjoyed the small sampling of the worst and best of the year so far and would love to hear your selections in the comments or on the message boards. We also look forward to bringing you the full-fledged awards at the end of the year, but until then, Laurisa will be back next week with an all new Two Scoops! As always, thank you for reading, and "That's a fact."


Laurisa and Tony

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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