Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Madison James: Independent of Independence

"You're siding with Madison! She's new in town, and Brady
definitely needs a fresh start. A smart, sharp woman, Madison
can keep up with Brady in business AND romance."

It’s no secret that it took forever for me to be won over by the reset after my initial excitement over the promo.  Things started disappointing me right and left.  Boom.  John and Marlena playing I-Love-You-No-I-Love-You-More.  Boom.  Austin moving into the Smugnest with Rafe, Sami, and her fifty kids.  Boom.  Nicole and EJ yet again. Boom.  A tedious triangle with Daniel, Jennifer, and Jack.  Boom.  Pacing slower than me on ether after a milkshake and an episode of Mad Men.
One pretty bloody big boom was Madison.

No, really.

While the stellar dialogue is now being paired with much better pacing, a far more intriguing mystery out of Alice’s box (behave now), the surprise grief sex, Sami versus Marlena, Matt Ashford kicking ass with Jack’s PTSD, and so many nods to history that I need a massage to ease the tension out of my neck and shoulders, one thing still bugs me, and that’s Madison.

"I can't believe you'd betray me this way after I spent a whole twenty
minutes hanging up pictures of your missing son, you ungrateful bitch."

I’m over the fact that Madison is being paired with Brady because it’s clear that, much to my chagrin, Nicole is locked in a quad along with Sami, Rafe and EJ, and Bradison is the new…something.  We’re stuck with them for now.  Obviously, I had my prejudices the second I heard that the new character was going to be brought on the show and, within minutes, become Brady’s new lady-love.  It was like EJaylor all over again.  It didn’t help that Madison was immediately being sold as a sort of anti-Nicole, similar to how Taylor had been first presented to us.  Madison is a strong, independent, self-made business woman.  She’s sassy, tough-as-nails, but still feminine.  She’s Carrie Bradshaw.  She’s a modern-day Mary Tyler Moore.  She’s ready to take on the evil Kate DiMera.

The romance here must be hiding under all that yogurt.

Obviously the first problem here is that I hate being told who I’m going to love, who has romantic chemistry, and which pairing I’m supposed to be rooting for, but I won’t prattle on about that.  There’s no turning back time.
The second problem is that Madison is none of the things listed above.  Self-made business women don’t glaze their bosses like hams and rub up on them with cucumbers, or wake up hungover, naked, and clueless as to whether or not their employer did some rubbing up on her with his own cucumber.  Strong, sassy women don’t have hissy-fits then throw in the towel after finding out that one small, start-up business run by a former pimp isn’t carrying her guy-liner and nipple-lube.  “Feminine” doesn’t mean I need to see the blue bra you’re wearing under your see-through, short-hemmed, office-inappropriate dress.  And, for me, “tough-as-nails” doesn’t translate into noisily tearing your employee a new one in a public place (why the hell was Madison at the spa again anyways?), humiliating her in front of her husband. 

I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me.

Finally, for a woman who’s supposed to be so independent, she sure is depending rather heavily on Brady’s pep talks and bags of potato chips a lot these days.  I wouldn’t find this tedious if it wasn’t for the fact that I never got to see Madison as the strong, female powerhouse she was supposed to be, so these peeks into what are supposed to be rare moments of vulnerability aren’t really peeks, and they aren’t all that rare, either.  But because I’d been told what to expect, and that it was going to be nothing short of fabulous, there was no way I was going to be anything but underwhelmed.  It was impossible.
Because I had always thought it was weird that Brady went from being a drunk who locks old ladies up in sarcophaguses to running Titan, I wouldn’t have minded if Madison was the one giving Brady the pep talks.  Brady questioning his ability to be able to run a company, for me, would have been far more believable than him being a smarmy Harrison Ford to Madison’s Melanie Griffith.  I’m supposed to believe that Madison built this amazing cosmetics company on the pretty pitiful foundation of a woman who throws a hissy-fit after her first real run-in with another business woman?  Not a chance.

One solo run-in with Mrs. DiMera nearly sent
Madison literally running for the border.

I would have liked to have seen Brady be the one plagued with feelings of self-doubt – a man trying to prove that he’s running the company not because he’s the grandson of the grand poobah, but because he’s a more than capable successor to the great Victor Kiriakis, blood or no blood.  Madison could have waltzed in and shown him how it was done.  She could have been the one helping to bolster Business Brady’s confidence, instead of us having to watch the tired old formula of Brady swinging in on a vine to rescue Jane as he did Nicole, Arianna, Melanie, and Chloe.  Watching Madison be the strong one would have made the glimpses of the scared little girl she’s supposedly sheltering inside herself more poignant, and it would make her father’s (we suspect), arrival in February a much soapier occasion.  This man, played by the mighty Ian Buchanan, is going to be Madison’s big, bad wolf.  This is going to be the man who, for better or for worse, shaped the woman we see today.
Instead we have this woman stomping through Salem throwing temper tantrums, with any glimpses of vulnerability revealing a little girl more like Veruca Salt than Anne Shirley.  How worthy an opponent is Madison going to be in the face of adversity if Brady is already the guy who has to peel her off the floor whenever she momentarily loses her footing in barely the shadow of it?


  1. Different strokes for different folks..Loved the blue dress, the lace in the back was a nice surprise!! I think Madison rocks and I am happy she is showing some venerability..sick of the cookie cutter women that are either hard and bitchy or soft and passive... IMO Brady and Madison have been hot and fun to watch.

  2. Agree. Madison is no better than most of the other new characters introduced the past few years (I'm looking at you, Daniel and Melanie, thou blessed NuHortons)---shallow, forced, and overly adored by all the Salemites (barring Kate; thank you, Kate)lucky enough to come into their presence, which seems to me a ramrod of an attempt to get me to agree with all of Salem's assessment. Nope. Doesn't work. Makes me even more annoyed that these characters are on the show. They brought Madison in with such a heavy hand---she's gorgeous, smart, funny, sexy, speaks all manner of different languages---come on! I really hate that type of ever-so-great character. And then they rushed this Brady/Madison romance so fast (that's Days' other favorite trick---see Dan/Jen, EJaylor) that I have no investment. I don't care if they sleep together. There was no build.

    The only character introduced within the past few years that I'm enjoying much is Sonny, and we never see him. Does Abby count as new? Because she's hit and miss, but at least sometimes she's hit.

    Oh well. At least Matthew Ashford is back as Jack---but would it kill them to give him more than two days a week and to treat the PTSD story properly by giving it more screen time? And I'm liking Will these days.

  3. Thank you Dig! Just thank you, I am going to put my disdain for SJB and others aside for a moment. Madison, from what I hear, is just as much a laughing stock as I knew she would be. I will be honest I have not even sat through one of her conniption fits. From the glowing reviews, I did not want to. Why should I sit through yet another of the "epic romances" that will enthrall us. Like you said, I don't like being told who I will like, why can't I make up my own mind? Is she supposed to be confident? Because it seems all she does is lean on Brady, get him horny, and send him away. What woman does that? Are we supposed to feel sorry for her, and feel she is a sad woman, and not just a tease... prolonged for a plot line to bloaster more support?

    Let's face facts, like you said, she has the storyline Nicole and Brady should have had. I am completely fine in saying I am biased to Bricole. They are a force to be dealt with, but then to have Nicole pimping Madison out to be with Brady is just insulting. The REAL Nicole would never do that!! The REAL Nicole would have shoved her aside in a hot buffet table to get Brady, but this Nicole is so in love with EJ again after proclaiming her independence! Did these writers not ever watch a Nicole scene from the past 13 years!!!! Change does not mean a lobotomy.

    All that being said, I cannot see why some pudding brains even like this woman. It is clear she is a ploy to drum up ratings, a garnished pig drummed out for slaughter to see what will fly. Well, this pig ain't flying, she crashed. Not only are we giving no choice, but we are generally FORCED to like her. Like taking cough syrup when we don't want it. The vapo rub on my chest. It stinks, it smells, and burns.

    I did not like her, and I will not like her, in protest. But also because she is the anti-independent woman. She is the soft core porn version of a business woman. All she needs now are some S&M chains in the office to complete the bad tasting "romance." It's one of those rare moments I am glad to be in agreement with Broes.

  4. thanks again for saying what I was thinking.

    I'm not a fan of Madison. I haven't seen why I'm supposed to be, either.

    And the cherry on top, the writers telling me that I'm to love Bradison, and then trying to make me.

    That's not the way it works. Introduce, get to know, chem test her with everyone (I actually thought she did better with Roman) and then let me decide.

  5. Oh, diggy! I agree with all that you wrote but I think the thing that bugs me the mos is if she is such an independent business woman then WTF is her own office??? It's been long enought already!

  6. Diggy, I just started watching Days in November because of the EJami promo, so I was a bit out of the loop on things. I do love Sarah Brown, but I really do not care for Madison. I would rather SB play her with more of an edge -- the kind SB excels in portraying. A woman who can kick ass and be a bit frightening lol. I can't make out what Madison is right now and I also don't see much chemistry with Brady. I'm trying to give them a chance, but so far, I'm bored.

    Great blog as usual. I always enjoy reading your thoughts.

  7. I am not really getting Madison or Bradison either. Like you, I find the fact that we viewers are supposed to believe she is some tough business woman, but at the same time she teases Brady like some 17 year old virgin on a first date. I think she is a hot mess and Bradison are really contrived.

  8. Oh, Diggy, you did it again! You nailed the incongruities known as Madison. You know, I looked forward to her. SJB did some good work on GH, and I read all the promo articles that told me how savvy a business woman Madison would be, and how much chemistry she had with Brady, and how SJB had had such a hand in creating the character and her wardrobe. I couldn't wait. Boy, have I been disappointed. I've come to the conclusion that the Hollywood's world of business must not resemble anything the rest of us are familiar with. How else do we explain a Madison who dresses in club attire or who's a prick tease with Brady?

    The whole character is a giant miss for me. She's irritating. Whadja say we pair her up with Rafe and ship them both to the Grand Ole Country Opera. That seems to be their element.

  9. You hit the nail right on the head: the writing for Madison tells us one thing but shows us the exact opposite. I've always liked Sarah Joy Brown from her days on General Hospital so the acting here is really not the problem: it's the writing that is so eager to display every facet of the character right away to make the audience accept the character and the pairing she's in. It would help if we could see Madison in scenes other than with Brady, Kate or Sami. It seems like the writers these days just don't know how to properly introduce and integrate characters on the canvas.

  10. Diggy, you've pinned down the unpinnable yet again. There are so many reasons that the Madison character has missed with me, but one of them is that before she even stepped foot in Salem I was told that I was going to love her as a smart, saavy, independent businesswoman. Despite the persona of the independent woman, I was also told that she and Brady had great chemistry - that, in fact, they "sparked" and that they were going to be drifting togehter right off the bat. So much for the independent businesswoman. Nor did I see any sparks between she and Brady.

    All I've seen is a bunch of scenes with Brady that, quite frankly, don't do anything for me. On top of that, Madison behaves like a teenage girl hanging out with her clique of friends using lame, ageist insults and ganging up against her business opponent, Kate, instead of any business smarts. Let's not even get into her inappropriate wardrobe. Can you do feminine and sexy at the office? Yes. However, there are limitations if you're the boss and you want to be taken seriously. First of all, the hemlines need to come down - no one should be subjected to the potential for a beaver shot at the office. Second, you need to look like you're going to work, not a casual get together from her girlfriend. Mad could certainly use a few tips from Kate, who is both stylish and professional.

    I love SJB from her previous work on GH and I still believe that she is a stellar actress. It's just that Madison as a character is all over the place and the writing for her just hasn't worked. I think that TPTB are so desperate to get us to like Madison that they're literally throwing everything at us at once, rather than building her character slowly. It doesn't help that she was instantly thrown into a pairing with Brady. I'm not sure if they can salvage this character for me or not. I suspect not because first impressions are difficult to reverse once formed.

  11. I cannot believe that you just let the giant silver zippers slide!!! What no snark about wardrobe having to make her dresses from scratch to accomodate both the humpy shoulders and the giant rack? Don't worry, I got your back... They lost me for good when she got Brady all lathered and then sent him off to find a bottle of jergens and a box of tissues...
    Poor Brady.
    I enjoyed her comment today, "No woman in her right mind would throw you out of her bed."
    Zackly right, Madison, zackly right...

  12. Oh P.S. I splurged my coffee when I saw your comment " I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me" Coincidentally I was also trapped in our offices with my boss during a blizzard. During the 12 hours we were trapped he did confess his love for me. Apparently he's been cleverly hiding it for 12 years. What a revelation. I can't wait for us to meet in Horton square so I can impress him with my lost child poster hanging skills!

  13. Riririri

    Now I have a sore neck from all the nodding :D I cannot see any reason for Madison and Bradison is the new Etaylor. TPTB need to shake her fast and count their losses.

  14. Oh I laughed and laughed..I tend to agree with every comment..especially how they throw couples together..Gee I can give them a line a boy used on me in class when I was thirteeen (he took my ruler and wrote Elvis Costello and his name on it and gave it back..(I had such a crush that I tried so hard not to show it) so my response was Oh I will rub it off, His response was OH NO you won't and smiled..from that day I loved to hate him..Love because he was gorgeous and looked like Zac Efron and Hate because How dare he be so full of himself..The moral of this story common lets have a cat and mouse game before foreplay..if there is to be any..

  15. I'm pretty sure we're about due for a new edition.

    ***taps foot while waiting no so patiently.