Monday, February 14, 2011

The Case for Chloe

There was a time when I really loved Chloe.  And I still love her, I guess, despite the huge rift between us right now.

Like just about every character currently on this show, I'm chalking up her extremely out of character behaviour to something or someone poisoning Salem's water supply - a twist that will be revealed some time within the next three years, or when Dena Higley is asked to pack up her little laptop with "Hard as Hell" and "I am woman - hear me bore" decals on the lid.

If you're reading this, O Powers That Be, take note.  This can all be fixed with someone waking up and proclaiming that the past few months were "all just a nightmare" or "someone has been tainting the town's booze supply".  I know it's sort of the same thing that would happen in a story written by a twelve-year-old once the twelve-year-old lost interest in it and just wanted to hand the stupid thing in, but really - is the current situation at Days so different?

Chloe was once the girl we rooted for.  She was smart but shy, beautiful but modest - and by modest I don't just mean that her boobs stayed obediently in her top.  Chloe was the relatable one.  When the velvet ghoul girl cloak fell from her shoulders, we cheered (even if it took ten bloody minutes of Philip complaining about her choice in outerwear while Chloe asked him about a dozen times to just take the damn thing off of her).

Our little Chloepillar was turning into a beautiful butterfly, and we ooed and ahhed over her as she dazzled us over and over again - like when she blew everyone's eyebrows off their faces singing at Shawn's sixteenth birthday party, or whenever she told stuck-up, frizzy-haired Jan and her useless boyfriend (whose name I can't be bothered to remember) to shut their pie-holes.  Okay, she didn't say "pie-hole", but that's because Chloe was also a lady.  These were the Days of Yore, when an acid-tongued retort from Chloe would entail more than just the words "you bitch" and would have us triumphantly snapping our fingers in all sorts of geometric shapes.

How did we get from Chloe baring her soul through song to Chloe baring her booty to...well...everyone?

Much in the way that I dismissed Nicolas Cage after Moonstruck - choosing to believe that he retired to some far off land to raise emus and make ceramic mosaics, leaving behind his own Efar in his place - I choose to pretend that this Chloe we're seeing is a different Chloe.  An entirely different character who just happens to have the same name.  If my Chloe had been betrayed the way she believed Daniel and Carly had betrayed her, she would have confronted the two of them with white knuckles sharpened into shivs and fire in her eyes.  My Chloe isn't dumb enough to be sucked into one of Vivian's ridiculous plans.  And my Chloe would know better than to leave a baby alone in a house with the oven on.

When I read KC's interview in which he said that Chloe would be suffering from postpartum depression, and that the show would finally be able to showcase Nadia Bjorlin's acting chops since before DH's evil reign began, I was a little excited.  Again - I never learn.

Cordiglay's idea of postpartum depression is truly mind-boggling.  I'm almost certain that the term "postpartum depression" was only tossed in there for us "housewives" to sink our teeth into.  Oooh...lookit Days!  So modern!  So in touch with issues affecting women today!  Ripping storylines straight from the headlines!

I've said it before and I'll say it again - Postpartum depression and "my husband dumped me for willy-wonking my step-son-in-law" depression are two very different things.  There were instances where I was thinking, "Okay.  This might be able to work if they stay on track".  I make jokes about it, but when Chloe told Maggie that she was starting to feel like she didn't exist, I thought they were onto something.  Seeing Chloe sitting at Maggie's kitchen table zonked out while Parker cried in the background?  I can see that.  The writers, rather than focus on the main issue, which was supposed to be Chloe adjusting to life as a single mother and trying to emotionally bond with her new son, focused on her bellowing about Daniel leaving her.  But then Days decided to get all dramatic on our asses, and when that happens, nine out of ten times the consequences are disastrous.  Not the kind of disastrous that makes for good television.

So we get Chloe rambling on about how good mothers make cookies while a loony tune plays in the background.  We get Chloe making the decision to leave Parker in the house alone with the oven on while she rushes off to get his prescription.  I just couldn't buy it.  I could buy Maggie making cookies to cheer Chloe up, then maybe having to rush out for something (magical fairy dust for the cookies) and asking Chloe to keep an eye on the oven.  Maybe Chloe falls asleep and can't wake up.  She's been exhausted lately.  Perhaps she takes more pills than she can handle and falls asleep, leaving her dead to the world around her.  Parker is screaming, the oven is smoking, Maggie's cookies are ruined...This is drama I can buy into. 

I think the writers have forgotten that it isn't always about the event itself - It's about how the characters/actors/writers handle said event.  Chloe, who doesn't look so hot after the paternity thing as it is, is shamed into a suicide attempt rather than coming to the decision to take her own life through the natural progression of her improperly treated depression - which would have been able to hold its own drama-wise if it was backed up by good storytelling and great dialogue (Days is incapable of manufacturing both right now).  Sure - Chloe taking too many pills and falling asleep doesn't sound exciting as I'm typing it, but that's what writers and  talented actors like Nadia Bjorlin are for. 

If Days had bothered to do any research on the subject, or had even just read a Wikipedia entry or glanced at a pamphlet on postpartum depression, writers could have crafted an amazing story for Nadia that could actually end up empowering and redeeming Chloe in the end (something the character has really needed and deserved desperately for some time now).  A potentially good story has been spectacularly derailed due to what I can only hope is laziness and not incompetency (it's the lesser of the two evils, I think).  The rush job the writers did on this made Chloe's afterschool special of a house fire look downright negligent without the strong foundation it required to establish that the character is suffering from a very real mental illness and isn't just an imbecilic bimbo.

You can't have it both ways, Dena.  You can't take a sensitive, controversial subject like postpartum depression and lather it up into schlocky soap drama the same way you could...say...strand someone on an island.


  1. Yeah, I would buy Chloe having PPD if she was showing signs before the big reveal-- but she wasn't, she was extremely happy. Her depression is b/c of losing Daniel and feeling like she doesn't have anyone. I just feel bad b/c she wanted a baby so bad and it just didn't work out as picture-perfect as she thought it would.

  2. I love reading your blog diggy. I agree, i've said as much to friends as well, that this depression came after she lost Daniel rather than after she had Parker. Days really doesn't have a clue how to write relevant or romance.

  3. Diggy, you are so right. Someone at Days (probably DH) 1. doesn't know how to write women and 2. doesn't know how to write accurate and believable drama. Practically every female character (in fact, every character has been altered, but that's for another time) on this show has been mutated into a weak, dependent woman, incapable of handling life's difficulties. Don't forget the bitch and slut dynamic that runs rampant in Salem. I loved Chloe, but they have turned her into a vapid, spineless shadow of her former self. I'm not buying post-partum depression. It just doesn't work here. I'd call it post-paternity reveal depression myself and I know that the real Chloe (not written by DH) would never let herself fall into this situation at the expense of her child.
    Even a basic wiki article could have given them the info Days needed to craft a believable post-partum depression storyline but, as usual, Days disappoints in so many ways.
    I'm really hoping that someone will wake up from the nightmare that this show has become soon. The subservience of my beloved characters to plot-point writing just doesn't work and leaves me tuning out or using the fast-forward button for 80% of the episode (the watchable 20% is all James Scott and even that's hard to swallow storyline-wise of late).
    As usual, thanks for your insightful blog diggy! You are the Queen of Snark and Days analysis!

  4. What Days doesn't know how to handle sensitive subjects like post postpartum depression and autism?? Color me surprised.

    Thanks for the blog.

  5. Thank you so much for writing this! I miss the REAL Chloe Lane. You said it all. I have been so down to the point of tears of how Chloe has been treated by Dena Higley. It is ridiculous. But Melanie has no right to the baby and she's evil herself. But no, the fans see that Chloe is horrible. That is stupid. Anyway, yeah, I miss my good hearted feisty Chloe. She is missed and I wish there was something we as a fan base can do together to send the message that we want our girl back and shut those haters up with crap like "She has no history in Salem" "Get rid of her" "She has no fans" Let's show them. Please Chloe fans, let's do something about this before it's too late!

  6. I have but three words - plot point writing.

  7. Diggy, Thank you so much!!!!! Round of applause for your snark as well as the accurate analysis of what they are doing to the characters on the show.

    I have been recording Y&R and B&B and watching Days live when I can; however, I watched the scene where Chloe decided to leave Parker, and the next time I saw them (interrupted by other things in life) I see Chloe and Philip all fine and dandy eating homemade cookies and NOTHING said about the smoke or what the heck happened. When I have the strength, I will read a recap of it but right now the biggest attraction for those scenes for me other than how cute Parker is -- is that I can't stop looking at Philip's new haircut and why in the heck did they wait so fricking long to give him one? Granted a bit on the short side but so positive and clean looking compared to the old style. I just don't get these people behind the scenes at all -- other than cubbiegirl's comment which does explain it all -- plot point writing-- and then the earlier how not just the events being important but how the character(s) handle/react to them. THAT is what I miss so much on this show!

    Your snark is what has helped me to not walk away completely from the show!!! (On days you don't have a recap I spent little time on the EJAMI board even so yeah I realize there is a big correlation for me. . . I'm tired of whining and pouting and complaining because well this may be the s/l till November -- it's already sucked for me big time for five months and I'm not giving them anymore of my time with so little payoff -- and their downright thumbing their noses at what I want to see - fun, romance and a little adventure -- which is missing on this show big time and the quality of the s/l writing are consistently atrocious and lame and disappointing.

    I kind of chuckled at the doppelganger thing because the new one is more interesting; however, I am not going to type the actor's initials or character's name to give him more buzz. . . and I was too distracted by the scenes of NL so I will have to wait till there are more on YT so I can actually maybe enjoy JS as EJ again. . . I feel torn when I watch him because I keep thinking WTH the entire time.

    Sorry this is such a long ramble. I've been kind of holding back for a few days. . . And on Chloe -- there are so many OOC for her and other characters in that story. She would at least be checked on by Maggie and she would let Maggie know that she was feeling overwhelmed. And all this time later and she hasn't gotten her nosy mom involved. Not that I want to see her parents anytime soon, but at least show her falling apart on the phone. And the scenario you shared about her falling asleep from exhaustion makes more sense -- her leaving as a conscious decision because he just fell asleep while oven baking was ALMOST as stupid to me as the crap back in early September. (ALMOST I say because I am trying to move away from the EJAMI griping I have going in my head!)

  8. Bravo, diggy! Bravo!

    Thank you for so eloquently and intelligently giving voice to the disgust and frustration so many of us feel with the way this storyline is playing out.
    What could have been a great opportunity for both Nadia and for the writing team to deliver a strong, truly emotional story of a new (and now single) mother battling with PPD has been watered down (and dumbed down) to another tabloid cartoon that passes for Days plotwriting under the Corday/Higley regime.

    Wow, I remember when watching soaps were about being whisked away from reality for a while by stories of intrigue and drama and love conquering all. Now it's been reduced to a dismal trainwreck of Jerry Springer meets Nickelodeon's 80's classic "Seventeen".

    "Comcast... take me away!!"

  9. Chloe showed sign of PPD before the reveal.Everytime the baby cried she handed him to Daniel,she was holding the baby distantly,...we saw signs of PPD before the reveal.Losing Daniel was just the trigger,but the gun was loaded since the Hysterical Pregnancy.Chloe is sick ever since and the great,genius, super hero Daniel failed to see it because he was too busy playing super hero for his ex and new found "daughter".But you have to wacth and pay attention to notice.

  10. Nathan :
    I understand you.I'm one of Chloe/NB's biggets fan.But we're not allowed to be vocals.Go on Days and Venice boards,try to post something postitive about Chloe/Lara or Nadia,try to be passionate in your defense and you get insulted,or banned.I and many others have been through that and are stil going through that.You knwo what I see?So much Jealousy around Nadia and it's taken on Chloe/Lara.And not only from posters on these boards but from the writers as well.Just how Many times did we hear a character mock Chloe's assets(Melanie,victor,Kate,Nicole,....,focusing on them?Which by thew ay are NB'S)
    It's sad.

  11. Diggy, I am so glad you reminded me of why I love Chloe! I wanted to highlight one thing that you said :

    I think the writers have forgotten that it isn't always about the event itself - It's about how the characters/actors/writers handle said event.

    That speaks volumes for me! It is what is wrong with the entire show. All shock and awe with no reason, consequences or closure!

    Great job!

  12. Dig, your matter of fact discussions of the true meanings and thought that could have gone into the Chloe story are refreshing, remind me again why you are not employed by these people? That's right, you have a brain capable of crafting a good, salable, story.

    You touch on so many truths when it comes to psychological ways her story could have been written. Really, it takes no more time to research the illness than it does to check email. The least the writers can do is treat their audience like we have minds, capable of grasping such ideas! I am so tired of being treated as unintelligent because they cannot write!

    You were right, Chloe was the one we rooted for. Hell even with her and Brady, I wanted the real Chloe back, a force to be dealt with. We fell in love with her, and then had to watch her transmorph into this creature? Yes, people grow and change, but not to that extreme!

    Every true Chloe fan needs to read this entry! BTW has Nadia seen that magazine cover? I think she'd really love to see that!