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.