Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Define "Reset"

So who’s excited?
I have to admit, I’m kind of swinging back and forth between being really excited and being somewhat skeptical.  Now granted, there are new writers and a new executive producer to take the place of the unholy trinity that was Dena Higley, Chris Whitesell and Gary Tomlin, and I take into account the fact that it just isn’t possible that the show could get any worse than it is right now.

A slew of legacy characters have been ushered in to help draw viewers back in (including the invincible Matt Ashford).  We have no idea how long their stints in Salem are going to be, but I’ll be happy to see them none the less.  I’m not a huge John and Marlena fan – truth be told, I’m somewhat indifferent to them – but I appreciate and recognize their place in Days (and general soap) history, so I’m feeling fans’ excitement, and it’s positively infectious.  The same goes for Carrie and Austin.  There’s going to be a new set – Horton Square – which will be dedicated to the memory of Tom and Alice, and hopefully there will be more new sets and less questionable style choices to come.  If we’re lucky, we’ll no longer have to worry about seeing Maggie baking cookies while dressed like a sailboat, or Nicole wearing a giant, blue, chenille poncho over a giant, blue, chenille sweater.
The word “contemporary” is being thrown around a lot.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that “contemporary” means no more swamp people, exorcisms, or muggings committed by bee-hived, lipstick-eating pill-poppers.  I’m totally okay with that.
My skepticism lies mostly with Ken Corday.  When it comes right down to it, he’s still the captain of the ship who’s been wearing one too many eye patches for a number of years now while still stubbornly keeping both hands on the wheel.  Is he going to step back and say “Okay – I’ll let you guys have at it. Here are my credit cards”? 
He admitted to making mistakes, has begged us to watch the show through the summer despite the disaster it’s become (budget hasn’t permitted that he pay us to watch, and I don’t know him or like him enough right now to do it pro bono), and has promised that Days will be returning to its former sudsy age of romance, intrigue, yadda-yadda-yadda – things he’s promised so many times now that the words have lost all meaning.  One thing he didn’t say, though, was that he’d be stepping back and letting the cast and crew do their jobs, which is what I was waiting to hear the most.  He volunteered that he has no one to blame for the wreck the show has become but himself, and frankly, I have trust issues now.
Okay, okay.  I’m still going to be there on the special day.  And I’m going to try my damndest not to be the moody goth reading Howl at the prom.  
According to the new writers, September 23rd will be a stand-alone episode, followed by a “reset” of the show on the 26th.  The word “reset” is being thrown around a lot, but no one wants to elaborate beyond the usual “we’re going back to a time of intrigue, romance, and family values” spiel we always get.

I’m not asking for much from the new writers.  I just want the show to be fun again.  Not the kind of fun I’ve been having with it over the past few months.  You know what kind of fun I’m talking about.  Cruise of Deception kind of fun.  Shawn laughing at Belle’s “day of the week” panties kind of fun.  A bug-eyed Abe throwing a half-naked Tek across a room while Lexie uselessly screams her head off in the corner kind of fun.  Kate making snarky remarks about Sami being the man-hungry Miss Hannigan to her rag-tag brood of fatherless children until she can sink her claws into the next Daddy Warbucks who strolls in off the street kind of fun.  
Okay, I made that last one up.
Various actors on set last week had been tweeting photos of each other dressed to the nines (with the exception of Matthew Ashford who appeared to be sporting one helluva Dusty Hill), offering up the smallest hints as to what’s going to be served up on the 23rd, until they were cock-blocked by Corday Productions.  We’ve been seeing words like “masquerade”, “bomb” (a literal one this time), and “massacre” in online discussions and on blogs belonging to writers way more on the ball than I am.  A video showing a close-up of a script that seems to suggest that EJ is running for mayor popped up on YouTube a couple of days ago, and shortly before that, a picture that showed Drake Hogestyn sitting in what looked to be a wheelchair was removed from Deidre Hall’s personal blog.

So my question to you, after seeing all the stuff that’s been leaked on the ol’ interwebz, is: What the hell does "reset" mean?  Feel free to rant or rave below about whether or not your hopes for a particular sort of reset line up with the kind of reset you think the new writers will actually roll out for us.


  1. I seriously hope the writers read your blog. You have the uncanny ability to put how I'm feeling into words. I'm getting tired of fast forwarding through what use to be my favorite show. We've been promised so much. I just hope this time they deliver.
    Jennifer Steir

  2. It's the "Right Time Of The Night" for the SEXY Dr. Baker to RETURN to Salem where he rightfully BELONGS!!!!!! =) ♥♥♥♥♥♥ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tc7Z4J9kOdI !!!!!! =) ♥♥♥♥♥♥

  3. As always, love the snark.

    Quite honestly, I'm not going to get excited about anything until I see what comes on the screen in September. Mr. Corday used up all of his cred with me long ago and he always seems to make fantastic promises that he never delivers on. At other times, he makes promises that he should never deliver on (the reunion of Safe by Labour Day last year is one that immediately comes to mind).

    KC has a history of failing to read their audience correctly and shoving their own preferences onto viewers. I hate to tell him, but it doesn't work like that. Here's how it really works: If I don't like the crap that Days is peddling, I can turn it off and peruse the offerings on hundreds of other channels.

    If the "reset" amounts to more broken promises and wasted acting talent in crap storylines, I'll turn Days off for good and I'll never come back. Days will become like a bad memory and it will just fade away with time.

    Now, if the new writers and EPs manage to pull something worth watching out of their asses in September, it will be different story. However, the list of repairs to Days and its characters is extensive and I'm not even sure that there is enough time to recover from the festering, rancid mess that remains of this show before cancellation looms.

    I don't necessarily have an opinion on how the writers should 'reset' the show, all I know is that it needs to be done, and quickly, before more viewers bleed away . . . as they are now during the summer of suck.

  4. I don't want any gimmicks like fast forwarding or rewinding. I'd like to see these new writers move out of this hole by simply starting to write stories that make some sense (I know it's a soap, but seriously---the characters are just not doing things that I can understand them doing). I really hope the new writers research the characters. I also hope they check out some of the message boards and also listen to the actors, who do know their characters and their characters' histories and when they thought their characters weren't written as they should have been. We need to recognize the characters again. Jennifer shouldn't be sleeping with Dr. Rebound after a couple of dates. EJ shouldn't be experiencing instalove or throwing Rafe clones in Sami's bed. That kinda thing is just dumb. But I hope these new writers get into characters' heads more. I hope we can once again understand our characters' motivations. There will be some work involved in looking at possible reasons for the odd actions of some of the characters, and shoot, maybe some things will just sort of have to be ignored as we move on.

    And me, truth is I am just so darn excited to see Matthew Ashford as Jack again. If they give me back my clever, snarky Jack and put some edge on him, if they give Jack and Jennifer a good story, I'll love them. I worry about their plans for Jack because I seem to hear less about Matthew Ashford's return than anyone else's, and he's the one that interests me. But I really think if the writers are willing to knock Jennifer off that pedestal (because girl's got issues, puppydogging after Dr. Daniel), there is potential for a really great story for my favorite soap couple.

    P.S. I' glad to see my favorite Dr. Baker lover still giving him the shout out.

  5. This was very well written!!! I agree with everyone's comments as well!! I have watched Days since '72! The yr I was born and grew up w/ it! I remember loving Days SOOO much I would record it on my little recorder, or take pics w/ my camera. Pre VHS tapes of course! What I remember the most??? The bad boys! Bo, Jack, Pete, Emelio! I have always rooted for the underdog! That being said, that is why I root for EJ! BUT... They have taken him to some horrible places!!! I still want his redemption! The fact that his true love is Taylor?? Really?? NO!! His true love is Sami! They cheapened EJ just a little more! One thing I will admit that they did right... They gave Brady an edge! But to use against his gpa? Whom he admired?? The only real family left in Salem?? Can't buy that one either!
    This is where I applaud @diggy for saying they need to research these characters! Give us something we believe! I find myself saying to every storyline, that would never happen!!
    I also wish they would bring on a few more African Americans! Poor Lexie is bored to tears in her life!! So is Abe!! I am bored for them!
    ANDdddd KUDOs for the wardrobe being brought up!!!!! They never should have gotten rid of the Bloom guy! I get SOOO tired of seeing everyone in the same stuff! Everyone in blue, everyone in leather! Jennifer dressed like gma!

  6. I don't know what reset means, I don't care if they rewind, because I don't see how you can write thru nonsense, EJ putting a criminal in the home with Johnny & Sydney, sleeping with Sami and laughing about it? Sami shooting EJ, leaving him to die and get her groove on? Not seeing a darn thing wrong with letting her son risk his future by covering it up? How do you possibly write thru that?