Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Melanie Jonas: Age Restricted

In my last entry I talked about (bemoaned) how characters seemed to be multiplying at the rate of rabbits on Days, yet we still seem to be seeing the same dozen week after week. I believe the problem has less to do with the writers playing favourites and more to do with the fact that the pacing is so slow. I have to believe this is the problem because if it isn’t, Days won’t be long for my DVR. I’m about at my wits’ end.

I can’t think of a character on the show right now that I really hate.
No, honestly. I can’t.

Okay, wait.  Madison.  Almost forgot about that one.
There are several characters I wouldn’t mind seeing off the road for a short while. I also wouldn’t mind if, while in the pits, these characters were given a new set of tires and a little bit of a tune-up.
Number one on my list? Melanie.
Little Red is sort of the J.J. Evans of Days. Just as Good Times eventually turned into The J.J. Show without the name change, Days seems to have very quickly turned into The Melanie Show. Okay, that’s not fair. The Melanie and Marlena Show.
Since September I’ve had to watch Melanie moping over her romantic woes to anyone who is still dumb enough to ask her what seems to be bothering her when they see those tell-tale, heavy-lidded eyes, and her bottom lip puffed out far enough to stack books on. Episode after episode I had to hear one person after another tell Melanie that her soul mate is out there somewhere. Not in prison. Not in Baltimore. Not in Chicago. Not in Argentina. Somewhere.
As we all know, “somewhere” turned out to be Salem, and the soul mate (one hopes it’ll stick this time) turned out to be Chad.
I’m all for a slow build-up when it comes to couples getting together, but what’s happening here with the Chad/Melanie thing is that we know they’re in wuv. They know they’re in wuv. Everyone in Salem knows they’re in wuv. The whole self-realization thing, watching a person either embrace or continue to fight their feelings for someone, praying that someone feels the same way, etc. – that’s the compelling stuff that’s fun to watch. So why hasn’t this been fun to watch? Where do I start?


The Abigail/Chad/Melanie triangle is the first romantic scalene triangle I may have ever seen. Chad and Abigail were supporting players in this entanglement for the longest time. The story seemed to focus mainly on Melanie and how she was feeling. Melanie realizing she’s in love with Chad. Melanie fighting her feelings for Chad. Melanie keeping her feelings for Chad under wraps for the sake of her friendship with Abigail. Up until she and Chad ended up being held hostage by Bert and Ernie (or whatever their names were), Chad was only making the occasional guest appearance in this storyline. This would be fine if we were watching, say, My So-Called Life. We’re seeing things from Angela’s point of view, so we have no idea what’s going on in poor, dumb Jordan Catalano’s big head. But this is a soap. We should be privy to the thoughts and processes of all three players in this romantic triangle.
My second issue here is that there’s no real angst. Abigail isn’t speaking to (she’s mostly just yelling at) Melanie, her best friend for all of three months, and only because it’s required for the plot to work (it still doesn’t). Chad got over his feelings of guilt faster than…um...Did Chad actually ever have any feelings of guilt? Oh, wait. If he did, we didn’t see them because we were too busy watching Melanie giving both Daniel and Maggie a turn to be dragged into her downward spiral of self-pity at the Brady pub day after day. Abigail was already interested in trying to slip Austin her digits via a copy of Nabokov’s Lolita, so I’m not really feeling the betrayal aspect.
So why aren’t Chad and Melanie together? I’m hoping it’s not just because it isn’t Valentine’s Day yet, but I have a feeling that’s exactly why they aren’t together right now. There’s no drama here. There’s no sexual tension. The only thing keeping Chad and Melanie apart is Melanie. Why? Essentially because she just doesn’t want a fair-weather friend to be mad at her.
How old is this woman supposed to be? She was married to a millionaire business man in his thirties. She dated a doctor. She’s supposed to be a nurse and just took on a second job as a botox injector. I shouldn’t have to watch this girl snivelling, throwing a temper tantrum, and crying emotional neglect when her father decides to go on a vacation. The Little Red of three years ago wouldn’t be cocooning herself in wool sweaters and scrunching her miserable little face into her handbag after another woman called her a bitch.

 The face of a woman with demons.
Most of them appear to be nesting in her hair.

Some people might say that by putting her (currently non-existent) friendship with Abigail before her feelings for Chad, she’s actually showing that she’s matured over the years. I don’t see it that way at all. It’s mostly just making her look like a pathetic wretch. A mature woman would have realized at this point that Abigail is a spoiled brat whose thoughts on this whole matter are wholly irrational. A mature woman would have folded and moved on to another table with whatever chips (or men) she had left in her hand. And, finally, a mature woman wouldn’t have been blowing her nose and sobbing in the front lobby of a health spa in the middle of a shift, fer chrissakes.
Molly Burnett is a talented actress, and I’ve seen her convey a pretty full spectrum of emotions. Lately, though, all I’ve been seeing is a redheaded, pouting, pigeon-toed, sweater-wearing, emotional wreck day after day. Remember how exhausting it was watching Sami sob her way through half of 2010 and most of 2011? Yeah. I need a break, and I think Little Red needs one, too. If MarDar can do such a spectacular job breathing life back into Sami, I’m sure they’re more than capable of doing the same to Melanie once she’s finds her way out of this double-edition Sweet Valley High novel she's been written into.


  1. I wouldn´t worry about Chad/Mel much. They just used Abby to keep them apart long enough for Gabby to fall for Chad and be their new obstacle.

    I think the show did a huge mistake when they decided to turn Mel into a heroine. She was the perfect underdog, smart devious girl with a good heart and a lot of baggage and her chemistry with Maggie is the best gradma/granddaughter relationship I saw on this show since Jen/Alice. Nobody cared if they are related or not, it felt right to see Mel have her heart to heart with Maggie even in the middle of the chaos she started. She really could be this generation Sami. Instead, they decided to throw under bus all the rightfull heroine candidates (Steph, Abby, even Chelsea) and went with this crazy idea that Mel is the most cute, desirable, sensitive, smart and sexy girl who ever walked the streets of Salem.

  2. I guess the memory banks of the seasoned Days watcher are selective. You have reminded me of the glorious grey-ness of the Phelanie marriage. I loved that pairing. When I see Chelanie together, I feel like a little bit of a creeper, because all I am thinking about is "is that how they kiss in real life?" I'm more of a do-er than a voyeur. Yep, little Red needs a bad-boy and for a Dimera, Chad is sadly deficient in that department.

  3. I come back to this over and over, MelaMe is wasted on me. She had true potential when she first came on then somewhere she transformed to a holier than thou, hypocrite. Not only does she put others down for the bad things they do, but she in turn does even worse things, but those are ok. Right there with Madison, Melanie is one I would pick to fall off a cliff. Not to say I hate Molly, I don't she's nice..too nice in fact to tell these idiots they have murdered any character development she ever had. They basically smashed Nicole's old char with Sami's and added Carrie in there, and viola Melanie.

    She seems to be suffering from that identity crisis, because no one seems to get that women 20-30 yrs old do not act like high school kids! Either u are stuck in the superficial worm hole of adolescence, slutdome, or old granny. Look how long it took for them to even glimmer that Nicole "grew" up, then once she did it was overnight and she was as dull as dish water. Where is the slow ease of progression, the char development. They just write for time to fill up, between commercials. Women still are viewed in boxes on the show, whiny kideens, sluts, or wives. Where does it say things have to be so black and white? There's Grey!!!

    So MelaMe is the perfect example of an actor who has talent that is only used to be a time filler because no one can write a simple script for her without it being a superficial piece of garbage. Is she supposed to be Sami and Carrie's love child? Is she supposed to be Nicole's sad sack alter ego? Is she supposed to be bitching at someone non-coherently one day, then crying the next? Does she have Multiple personalities? Where, what and how does she fit in? She just drifts around like an old tuna sandwich no one wants... time to clean out the fridge.