Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Back to the Business of Daze

Alright, alright.  I'm back from Ejamiland. I've unpacked, I've displayed all the souvenirs on the mantle and I've hung all the posters up on my walls.  Now I'm ready to get back to Days business. Or Daze business, as the case may be.

There's been a shift behind the scenes, and it's like the clouds have parted and we're finally seeing some sunshine.  What a difference a few weeks makes, huh?  The show is far from perfect, but it's been fun to watch again, on purpose, and that's been a long time coming.  

A lot of stuff's been working for me, but some stuff hasn't.  So what's what?  Here we go.


Arianne Zucker and Greg Vaughan have been making magic out of a storyline that had much potential to go stale before it even came out of the oven.  The whole forbidden love between a priest and a social pariah thing is about as done as teachers sleeping with their students (so nineties). But with two great actors, a bucketful of sexual chemistry, and a good script, it's like slapping a new coat of paint on an old set of garage doors.

I was a fan of Ericole 1.0, but sometimes Nicole's overt sexuality and cynicism (with years of abuse at the hands of her father to back it up) crushed Eric's wide-eyed puppy love like a bug.  It was sweet and romantic on the short-term, but it was doomed to fail because, as far as life experience goes, Eric couldn't even meet Nicole halfway.  Of course this is exactly why Ericole 2.0 is working.  Eric still maintains that adorable flicker of faith in humanity, but now with fifty percent less naivete.  When it comes to Nicole, he's no longer looking at her with rose-coloured glasses, and he's cautious about giving her the benefit of the doubt.  Eric isn't being led around by his penis right now.  I'm sure he'll give it a turn at the wheel eventually, but he seems to have his head screwed on a helluva lot tighter than Brady does these days.  Mr. Black could certainly learn a thing or to from his half-brother.  


Nick has improved by leaps and bounds, and all it really took was a heart-shaped pillow, Blake Berris' bare ass, and a pro bono shift at the Brady Pub so Caroline could sit down and share some bittersweet memories with Victor.  It was nice being reminded that Nick does actually have a heart.  It's just been buried under layer upon layer of several months' worth of one-dimensional writing.  Showing a little of his fun side (pun intended) really makes a difference, especially since he's carrying quite a lot on his shoulders as the show's only real villainous threat right now (more on that later).  If we can't even remotely understand his motivations now, there's no hope for redeeming the character later, and I want to keep Nick for as long as possible.  Blake Berris is an excellent actor, and I loved Nick once.  I could probably fall in love with him all over again if given the opportunity.


Speaking of falling in love all over again, I'm starting to fall back into deep smit with Chad. Not with the mooning-over-Abby nonsense, or how he's still inexplicably ingratiating himself to Cameron, but with the going-all-DiMera-on-Gabi's-wedding stuff, his friendship with Sonny, and his budding relationship with big sister Kristen.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the writers have in store for him once Stefano returns.  I hate the idea of him being stuck waiting in the wings until Gabi's big secret comes to light.  I loved his all-too-brief scene with Sonny on Valentine's Day.  When Brian came in to see him, Chad didn't throw any shade his way for not being Will.  Such a small thing, but such an important thing.


Please don't let Brendan Coughlin slip through your fingers, Days.  I find him incredibly charming, even when he's being an ass (which is most of the time).  His awkward conversation with Sonny and a pregnant Gabi had me in stitches.  His foot just kept leaping into his mouth and he kept spitting it out and trying to make another go of it.  I have my fingers crossed that he'll pop up again soon now that he's supposedly the only other person who knows Will shot EJ so many moons ago.   Like Eric Brady, my hopes are high, but my expectations are low.  Give this guy a Jessie Spano who will call him out on his occasional bullshit so I can at least see him on double-dates with couples that desperately need some livening up if Days is going to insist on keeping them around.  Couples like...oh...let's say... 


Could two people be more attractive?  Could two people be more vapid?  You'd think Abby was trying to keep Cameron from finding out she was once a white supremacist.  Nope.  She's a virgin.  If Abby was, say, sixteen, and this was 1985 and the role was being played by Anthony Michael Hall, I might find this endearing.  I don't, though.  This is not a storyline befitting the Abigail who tried to destroy Carrie and Austin's marriage, and took on Nicole.  I feel like we're just twiddling our thumbs with these two until Gabi's big secret comes out.  Abigail is Jack Deveraux's daughter, for chrissakes.  Instead of wagging a disapproving finger at Chad, she should be trying to sniff out what he and Sonny seem to keep hinting at but not telling her.  She knows the wedding fiasco was a means of getting back at Gabi, but she seems perfectly content not knowing what triggered such an extreme reaction from Chad.  Come on, Abigail.  Back when Gabi was being "stalked", you were the only person in the state of Denmark who could smell the rot coming out of her mouth.   

Cameron, Cameron, Cameron.

Okay, let's face it.  The character is a dud.  Nathan Owens is extremely handsome and, while he's inexperienced as an actor, he's doing the best he can with what he's being given, which isn't much.  If he had come to the show playing an entirely new character, I'd probably be loving him right now.  As it is, though, he's like a pitcher of refreshing cold water poured into a dirty glass.  I'm thirsty, but I don't want to drink it.  This golden circle thing is doing the man absolutely no favours.  I'm supposed to believe a guy who brings a big ol' pink box full of peach cobbler to a girl's house is going to lose his shit when he finds out she's a virgin?  Please.  


Is it just me, or does Kristen's diabolical plan suck?  She's spent the past couple of weeks badgering Brady into agreeing to marry her so she can leave him at the altar.  Why?  Wouldn't that be giving John and Marlena exactly what they want?  John gets a Kristen-free Brady back.  Marlena gets to go back to her favourite pastime - telling people she was right.  Eric and Sami's brother is free now to completely lose himself in some other woman's vagina.  Everyone's happy.  Brady is miserable, but when he isn't waist-deep in bedsheets and women, he tends to be anyways.

I also don't understand why Stefano is so down on Kristen's relationship with Brady.  He should be loving this.  John's son being caught under Kristen's thumb after Kristen spent so much time under John's is revenge at its sweetest.  I love Kristen, and that's why I sincerely hope leaving Brady at an altar he was dragged to in the first place isn't the only thing the woman's got up her sleeve, because that's some pretty weak sauce.  Speaking of sleeves, I'm sure a glamour puss like Kristen travels with more than one coat in her bag.  She'd rock a teal bow-neck swing coat like nobody's business.


I'm sure "adorable" isn't what the writers were going for here, but too bad. John visiting Stefano in Europe was adorable.  This is what's been missing since John and Marlena returned to Salem - John's personality.  Here he was looking as though he was actually enjoying himself.  I don't just mean the character.  Drake H. just came alive in these scenes.  I felt like I was watching a completely different person from the guy who was playing bridge and dusting the tuna sandwich crumbs off his black turtleneck last year.  Joe and Drake looked as though they were as happy to see each other as I was to see them together.  There was a very cool Sherlock/Moriarty vibe (finally) about them that I really dug. I'm a little afraid Marlena is going to ruin that dynamic when Stefano's back in town.  She practically throws herself around John's ankles the moment he even thinks about talking to his favourite half-brother, and if she starts doing that again, it'll totally kill my buzz.


Wasn't Peggy McKay just wonderful in these scenes?  I got all misty-eyed watching Caroline reminiscing with Victor, and it got me to thinking how badly I want to see her get her own love interest.  If we're only going to get to see her on holidays, I want to know that the rest of the year she's got someone to go home to after ladling out bowl after bowl of chowder all day.  I mean someone Sami hasn't given birth to.  


Would they, could they, on a train?  
Would they, could they, in the rain?  
Would they, could they, in the dark?  
Would they, could they, in a park?
They could do it here or there.
They could do it anywhere.

And I'll just stare, and stare, and stare, 
And share, whether or not you give a care.


The reason I didn't bother putting up a picture of any of the four characters mentioned above is because right now I intensely dislike all of them.  The only person I'm finding even remotely watchable or rootable in this whole mess is Anne.  Anne is the woman stuck watching everyone kiss Jen's highly under-qualified ass as she waltzes in and out of the hospital according to her "I need to know where and what Daniel's up to every waking moment of the day" schedule.  I'm Team Anne.  My t-shirt and button are in the mail.

Jennifer continues to be positively insufferable.  Just when I was thinking she couldn't look like any more of an asshole if she tried, she doesn't try and still manages to become even more of an asshole after essentially telling Nicole that the real reason she reunited with Jack wasn't because she loved him, but because she took pity on him after all he'd been through, and wanted to keep the family together for the sake of the kids.  Really, Jen?  You, my dear, are an ungrateful, soulless, selfish, chicken-eating piece of crushed velvet-wearing trash. No amount of Nicole, Maggie, or Victor is ever going to sell me on you.  The only person who still had a chance of managing that magnificent feat plummeted to his death last summer.

I don't recognize Chloe at all anymore.  Like Nathan Owens, Nadia Bjorlin is doing what she can with what she's been given, as she always does, but this just ain't Chloe.  I can't see Nancy's return miraculously changing her back into the beautiful, opera-singing ingenue she once was, either.  I'm all for a character growing up, but I have no idea how the apple seed grew into an orange tree.

Why does Parker cry like a newborn and look like a three-year-old Philip Kiriakis?

Why are all these women throwing themselves at Daniel?  Smell-O-Vision never caught on after Scent of Mystery.  Is there a pheremone thing happening that has yet to be scientifically explained in an upcoming Days storyline?  Seriously, what is it about this bowling pin that gets these women all in a tizzy?


Because I'm tired (and it's 6 a.m.) I'm signing off, but I'll be back tomorrow to blog about Sonny, Will, Brian, shower and confessional fantasies, Rafe and Kate, Gabi and my wanting to use her face as a foot rest, Lucas becoming the town busybody, et cetera.  I hope you'll join me.  If not, I'm so sorry I ended this blog entry with Daniel, Jennifer and Chloe.  God, am I ever sorry.


  1. I love you,Diggy. My tee-shirt and button are in the mail.

    You are da bomb!

    Your pal,

  2. Bravo Diggy! Insightful and spot-on, as always!

    As you say, it's clear that some sort of significant shift has occurred behind the scenes. I can trace it back to the week of the wedding fiasco in January when so many stories suddenly picked up a little steam and the writing seemed to sharpen up overall.

    This is evidenced by the "flashback quotient" (the number of flashbacks per episode), which had been at a ridiculous and irritating high prior to Gabi's failed wedding, decreasing markedly since then. There's still an awful lot of flashbacks used to tell me about things that occurred five minutes previously, but the frequency and amount is starting to shift down toward the levels seen on other soaps.

    Of course, this doesn't mean that the show still doesn't have some remarkable duds in the storyline department. The Daniel/Jennifer/Chloe mess continues to chug away, throwing anyone and everyone (even the dead) under the bus to sell Dannifer as a pairing. I sure hope that someone behind the scenes wakes up soon with regards to that mess and ends it, especially because the show tapes so far ahead and it will take months to show up onscreen. No wonder Nadia didn't want to stick around past her short-term stint on Days. Don't blame her a bit. Also, as much as I enjoy Kristen and I love her chemistry with Brady, her plan not only doesn't make any sense, but it sucks. As you say, leaving Brady at the altar doesn't really seem to be much in the way of revenge. With hardly any imagination, Kristen could come up with far better and more intelligent ways to stick it to Marlena and John. I sure hope that this story has some twist to it, but I'm not hopeful. There's a number of other nitpicky things here and there that annoy me, but the show is entertaining enough on a daily basis that I'm able to ignore them. . . well, most of the time.

    As for the awesome stuff, there's no question for me, especially because of my love of EJ and Sami, that Ejami coming together has been the highlight for me. I've been living on cloud 9 for the past few weeks, watching their incredible chemistry and complicated love story finally begin to come to some sort of fruition while the fangirl in me squees with every scene. James and Ali are doing a beautiful job with a surprisingly and consistently great string of scripts. For once, I can't wait to see more and that shoe I've always had to fear dropping with regards to Ejami has finally receded into the distance.

    Just one last note: I'm so happy that you pointed out the awesomeness of the John/Stefano scenes. They were made of almost everything I've wanted to see in the relationship between these two, but which Days has squandered by ignoring their familial connection.

  3. Awesome Post Diggy..Always love reading your blog...I same as you I think there's a shift in S/L starting of January.I am so loving Ejami right now..that sometimes I still can't believe it.

  4. Nice commentary.

    Yes, what's been done to Jack (dressed in cheesy sweaters and then literally shafted) and Jennifer (I never would have believed Jennifer Rose Horton could become this shallow, bland, and frankly, cruel) is maybe the worst thing I've seen on DAYS (competition being bringing a couple of blond chests in to fill in for the real Jack, who can only be played by Matt Ashford). Anyway, to see the show spitting upon the history of one of the show's few bona fide supercouples for the benefit of lackluster Dannifer. . . oh my. And, yeah, though I've never been attached to her, I don't think it's right that Chloe's being written as a scheming, desperate interloper for Dannifer's benefit. I. Don't. Get. It.

    With so much happening right at DAYS, how much longer will they push this pile of stinking offal (Dannifer) before they realize it sucks? The writing is so heavy handed, it's sickening. Really, I can't even enjoy the good stuff with this huge mote in my eye.

  5. I love reading your overall look at Days...Always so right on the mark. <3

  6. Right on Diggy!!! I'm so with you on Nick. I felt the exact same way about those two scenes. As for Daniel, he's annoying as hell. He's back to being smarmy sincere, and I can't stand it. His edgy pairing with Nicole was first rate.

    Great blog!!!!!!!

  7. Loved the Dr. Seuss rhyme for EJami...to funny. Spot on as always Diggy.


  8. Love, love your posts, Diggy. So glad they are back...although I hope we all stay in Ejamiland for quite sometime...

  9. I love all your blogs but I really need to say thank-you for including a section for John and Stefano! You nailed it! I just couldn't believe how great the scene was. It was classic and exactly what I have wanted. It was exactly how Stefano and John should interact." Joe and Drake looked as though they were as happy to see each other as I was to see them together." That is so true! I really hope we get a few more John/Stefano scenes before John turns into a branch stuck to Marlena's side again...