The ninth wonder of the world is that someone out there still
thinks Days could use more Rafe
thinks Days could use more Rafe
I'm warning you in advance that this entry may be a tedious read because I'll be typing stuff as it's popping into my head, which is never a good thing. Still, so much has happened since my last update that I felt like I needed to write something. Explosions, death, destruction, groping, wormholes that have Salemites defying the laws of both time and space, elevator rescue foul-ups, resurrections, floral-print jeans, Gabi…
Where the hell was I? I’ll tell ya where I was – drinking tea with my ass firmly glued to my seat. I remained engrossed by it all; the good, the not-so-good, the awesome, and the infuriating. And then the Daysaster and its aftermath came to a close. And now we’re left with an altogether new kind of disaster. But let’s talk about that later. First…
I’ll be honest with you – I kept my expectations for the Daysaster nice and low, just in case the best thing about it ended up being Marlena hitting herself in the face with that little dessert plate. As you may remember, I found the Who Killed Stefano nonsense somewhat underwhelming. By “somewhat”, of course, I mean “hella”, and by “underwhelming” I mean “bullshizz”. The big event before that was the safe house explosion, and the less said about that, the better. So expecting the Daysaster to be just that isn’t all that crazy an assumption.
Everything looked pretty damn good, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise as it would have less than two years ago. The show’s production values have improved, for the most part, and I’ve yet to see them fall back on their asses where that’s concerned. The music is still pretty bloody terrible and dated. Someone behind the scenes either thinks they’re Thomas Newman, doesn’t realize how important music actually is to creating a mood, thinks I won’t notice it’s 2012 outside, or just doesn’t give a shit because they’re getting paid peanuts.
JACK AND ABIGAIL
Matthew Ashford and Kate Mansi were wonderful, weren’t they? They didn’t share nearly as many scenes as I’d wanted them to throughout his all-too-brief tenure on the show (though Matthew Ashford didn’t share nearly as many scenes with anyone as I’d wanted him to), but he and Kate Mansi (who rocked that blue romper) nailed those elevator scenes. Thanks to her, I did far more crying than screaming. I did bark a little bit when Jennifer complained to Cameron that charging into the elevator to save his daughter from plummeting to her death was “classic Jack”. Evidently, standing around with your thumb up your ass while your daughter’s boyfriend has to take time out of his rescue efforts to give you a pep talk is “classic Jen”. Also, Jack isn’t an idiot, despite what the writers for the past decade and a half would have us believe. He would not be jumping up and down in an elevator, especially while his daughter is cowering in the corner begging him to stop. What the hell was he going to do once he grabbed hold of that grate? If he had to jump to grab the grate, how did he expect to climb out? Okay, okay. I’m being nit-picky.
Did you cry when Jack said, “This is not how your story ends”? I cried. I cried like a motherbugger.
I could go on and on about how much I hated Jack’s death and the circumstances surrounding it (like the fact that no one helped Jack hold the elevator doors open so he could get out once Abigail was through them), but that would have to be its own blog entry. A very long, angry blog entry.
I will say this – the wrong Deveraux died.
Jack and Abigail had far more story in them than Jennifer and Abigail ever will. For so many years, Jack’s storylines had revolved around trying to win Jennifer back. He never had any other love interests. What would happen to Jack in a world without Jennifer? Would he run for mayor? Would he start running the Salem Spectator again? Would he be able to fall in love again, and what kind of woman would he fall for? Jennifer has been the one constant in Abigail’s life as well, what with Jack being “classic Jack” all the time. How would their relationship evolve? I’d like to think she’d turn to Adrienne as a kind of surrogate mother, which would mean more Adrienne, of course. While Jennifer has dated, slept with, and married other men, Abigail has never known her father to love anyone but Jennifer. How would she react to Jack dating? Then my mind starts heading down all these different paths, like Jack dating Nicole (who’d clash spectacularly with Abigail for instance). Oh, the storyline possibilities.
I still harbour hope that he’ll come back, because that’s just soap law – there is no “never” or “ever” in daytime drama. And, hell - if Jarlena can climb through a trapdoor seconds before a bomb explodes, and a pregnant woman suffering early labour pains can shuck off a massive pile of rubble and show up wandering through Horton Town Square in a daze, Jack can escape a silly ol’ elevator collapse. He’s survived far worse.
Okay, I went on a ramble there. Sorry.
NICOLE, DANIEL AND JENNIFER
I’d been enjoying Nicole’s budding relationship with Daniel because it was bringing so many of the character’s facets right back out where I could see them. She was funny and snarky, brutally honest, tugging at my heartstrings at times, and conniving in her efforts to keep EJ away from the baby. I was digging all that. It was doing wonders for Florence Nightingmale, too. When she called him out on his reputation for sleeping with his patients, I mentally chest-bumped her.
I figured TPTB were going to give Dannifer another shot, but I didn’t think that it would start happening literally the day Tomsell’s scripts kicked in. In our time, Jack’s been dead for a couple of weeks. It’s been less than that in Days time. This period of mourning is supposed to be for the viewers, not just for Jennifer. As far as Gary Tomlin and Chris Whitesell are concerned, the Dannifer reunion can’t happen fast enough, but it’s far too soon for me (to be fair, “never” would be far too soon for me, but I digress). It makes Jennifer look like one cold-hearted broad, which would be fine if she was Nicole, but she ain’t Nicole.
You're holding the pillow over the wrong face, girl.
I’m supposed to expect better from Jennifer. I don’t, but I’m supposed to. Instead, I’m sympathizing with Nicole – the woman Daniel got to open up and trust him, the woman who made sure he took care of himself while he was freaking out over his daughter’s disappearance. The man who was pissed off when Nicole tried to hide their burdgeoning relationship from Rafe. The man who, after all of that, suddenly doesn’t want to have anything to do with her. The whole thing gave me whiplash, and I was half-expecting it. I can’t imagine how confused the GA must be. It doesn’t paint Daniel in a very flattering light. Tomsell might want us to see Nicole as an evil interloper in the Dannifer relationship, but all they’re managing to do is make Jennifer look like a bitch and Daniel like a guy who used an emotionally-vulnerable pregnant woman for sex, undoing any growth Daniel achieved in the past couple of months via his time with Nicole. Kayla and Maggie are already pushing for a Dannifer reunion, and I can’t even begin to tell you how angry that makes me. I’m sure you can guess.
Okay, does Josh Taylor ever improvise his lines? Because it’s the only thing that could explain some of the nonsense that comes out of his mouth (not all of it, but some of it). When Abigail told Roman that Jack had gotten trapped in the elevator trying to get her out, and he replied, “But he got you out, right?” I swear I rolled my eyes so hard I thought they’d stick.
MELANIE AND CHAD
Chad is the best example of a character I really loved once and can’t stand now. With Eileen Davidson coming back as Kristen, and Stefano returning, I’m hoping he’ll start DiMera bootcamp soon, but as it stands, if he left with Melanie tomorrow, I wouldn’t miss him.
So Chad finds out that Gabi is behind Melanie’s kidnapping, but still somehow doesn’t make the connection that the whole mess set off a chain of events that killed a few people, injured a few more, and destroyed a perfectly wonderful ballroom. Or worse - he did make the connection, and doesn’t give a shit about anything outside of Melanie which, now that I think about it, sounds more like Chad. He doesn’t care that Abigail lost her father. He doesn’t care that Brady lost his fiancée (I don’t either, but I didn’t help Chad rescue his dumb girlfriend, so he owes me nothing). He doesn’t care that Gabi is “the most selfish, deluded, dangerous person he’s ever met”. He has decided to keep this Gabi stuff under wraps so he can blackmail her into staying away from his girlfriend. Something that a little jail time could easily take care of.
So far the only punishment she’s been dealt, care of Chad, is not being allowed to hang out with Melanie anymore, which is laughable because – really – who wants to hang out with Melanie these days?
I was sick of Melanie-as-Distressed-Damsel ages ago, and I’m still sick of it. I did like a couple of her scenes with Andrew, though, when she finally managed to rub two brain cells together long enough to notice Andrew had a crush on her, and tried to use it to her advantage. I couldn’t figure out why Andrew was so besotted with her, but I went with it. Why?
I think it’s a crime against soaps that Andrew is dead while Gabi continues to live. I was getting all emotionally invested in him, thanks to Caleb Hunt - the man behind the mental - which is more than I can say about anyone else in this storyline, and they were all characters who have been on the canvas for a couple of years. And it’s not just because I knew this was hiding under that pink shirt he was always wearing.
Damn you to hell, Days.
John is on my last nerve. You want to stand around being a dick instead of seeking medical attention for your son’s fiancée, fine. Whatever. But manhandling Kate?
Here's a fact: You'd better shrug down into one of those black turtlenecks of yours and run on home to Doc, cause I ain’t havin’ it. You're going to be on my shit list for a while for that one, old man.
KATE AND IAN
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I loved Kate and Ian having it out like Jim and Pam Morrison. If one of them had pushed the other into a closet and lit it on fire, or fell out a window, I wouldn’t have been surprised. Of course I didn’t buy the whole “I did all this for Madison” bullshit Ian was shovelling, but TomSell seemed to need to get Ian and Madison the hell out of town as soon as possible, so…
EJ AND SAMI
I could fangirl for hours, but I won't. Let me keep it brief and somewhat to the point.
EJ and Sami playing “Nick and Nora” continues to be fun to watch. The only thing better than watching EJ and Sami bantering, eye-sexing, or nipping at each other is…well…Okay, nothing can beat that, but watching Sami and Will reconciling over their mutual desire to keep EJ out of prison, which was then followed by EJ and Sami running away together, and more bantering, eye-sexing and nipping is pretty damn close.
Have I told you that my EJami dream is to have the two of them form a perfect hybrid of The Riches, and The Addams Family?
Of course that may never happen. Why? Enter the biggest romantic interloper/cock-blocker of all-time.
I remember reading a blind item a few months back that one soap’s writers had a pitch shot down which would have turned an entire season of the show into a dream. There is no doubt in my mind that those writers were Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell, who, once hired, set about dismantling everything MarDar had done.
Within a few short weeks, Rafe is back to being the big man on campus, Rafe’s useless sister is given another storyline bolstered by an Emmy-winning actor at the expense of an award-winning, mainstream-attention grabbing, gay storyline, Jack is dead, the world is revolving around Melanie, Carrie (Rafe’s only other love interest since coming on this infuriating show) was sent packing, and Jennifer and Daniel are already on the road to reuniting.
Rafe, of course, received a promotion for doing absolutely dick, has the town begging Sami to consider trading in all the progress she’s made over the past year for another round of mind-numbing Safe, and the lusting he did over Carrie, as well as his mishandling of Stefano’s murder case have been wiped clean from his record.
EJ is already out of a job, his bestie, Will, has been removed from his orbit, he's announced that he will not let his father pull his strings anymore, and he’s back in the dreaded pink shirt. The pink shirt usually means that EJ is starting to look forward to the rest of his life, and if there’s one thing Gary Tomlin won’t stand for, it’s EJ being happy for any length of time. Last time EJ was happy and all dressed up for the prom, he had one helluva bucket of pig’s blood dumped on him in the form of a gunshot wound to the head.
Some people have said this is “Safe closure”. Whether that be true or not, one thing remains clear – Closure at this point was unnecessary. Storylines have been dropped, never to be heard from again (Tony and the “B”, anyone?), so I don’t buy the whole “blah-blah-blah had to be addressed because blah-blah-blah” thing. Sami and Rafe’s breakup did not have to be addressed. He was looking for ice cubes down her sister’s blouse and Sami fucked EJ on the DiMansion couch. That case is about as closed as a case can get.
I’d imagine Gary Tomlin’s problem here is that Rafe’s white armour emerged from battle with a few scuffs on it, and Sami came out looking too much like she was still into EJ, even though she already had a big piece of sandwich-making man meat at home at the time. If what’s currently happening on screen is closure (I still have my doubts), I have a feeling it’s to establish that “Sami didn’t dump Rafe. Rafe dumped Sami”. Turning the story upside-down to give one or two people closure for a fictional relationship seems like insanity to me, but what do I know? I’m just the one who’s supposed to be enjoying all this.
NICK AND MELANIE. AND MELANIE. AND MELANIE.
I’m so happy to have Nick back, but did all that parole shit have to be so Melanie-centric? I already watched Melanie puffing her lips out and gnawing her fingernails down to her knuckles during the kidnapping storyline. Since I actually remember that Melanie testified on Nick’s behalf to get his sentence reduced before he was sent to the big house, my sympathy level was already at an all-time low for the girl. What about all the other people Nick’s actions affected? Someone could have pulled Caroline out from behind the bar long enough to have her testify at Nick’s hearing. Nicole probably should have played a role in that, too, as Trent’s ex-wife. Did it all have to be about Melanie? Oh, wait. Of course it did.
SONNY AND WILL
Something stinks here, and I think I know what it is. Spoilers say that Adrienne is going to have a problem with Sonny being interested in Will because of all his parental baggage. God help Days if they try to nail Will to a picket face and paint him white. I’ve been loving grey Will, but if he’s going to start pushing Sami to be with Rafe or nagging Granda Kate to behave simply to make himself look more socially-acceptable so he can get himself a little Sonny side up, I’m going to be furious. My knuckles are still aching from how hard I was clenching my fists when I first found out he was breaking up with EJ and having sex with Gabi, possibly fathering her demon spawn.
THE AFTERMATH OF THE AFTERMATH
I’ll be honest with you – this was a hard entry to write. I’m sure that if you’ve made it this far, you’ve been able to tell because it’s all the hell over the place. For me, the actors are carrying the bulk of the weight of this show on their shoulders. The mechanics of the show have improved, and continue to do so, however, I can’t hear its heart beating anymore. I can never trust TPTB enough to become emotionally invested in any of these characters or storylines because who knows how long before they’re dropped or thrown into a tailspin?
When I’m going into a movie like “When Harry Met Sally”, I don’t want to know exactly how I’m going to get from these two characters disliking each other to these two characters falling in love, but I like knowing that it’s going to happen eventually.
When I’m watching Days, I don’t know how the hell I’m going to get there, or where “there” is even going to turn out to be. It’s discombobulating, and not in a good way. For weeks I thought Sami and EJ were going to realize they were made for each other. I didn’t know how it was going to happen, but all signs were pointing to “FINALLY”. Then Rafe dropped down from the ceiling of the safe house the second Tomlin clocked in for his first on-screen turn as full-time head writer, and the story has all gone to hell.
Now I’m hog-tied and riding blindfolded in the back of Gary Tomlin’s van and I don’t give a shit if he’s driving me to Disney World. The ride has been spoiled and I don’t trust that he knows the Magic Kingdom from Jonestown.