Sunday, February 3, 2013

It Was the Best of Days, It Was the Worst of Days

So what took me so long to post my half of the best and worst of 2012?  One of the reasons for the delay is that it’s tough as steel balls to be bothered to write about a show that doesn’t seem to want to bother itself with you.  And, well, when you start to see a pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel, it can be tough to tug your angry panties back up from around your ankles.  I went from one to the other, which caused double the delay.  Can you double a delay?  Nevermind.  Stupid question.

In case you missed the first half of the list (written by stellar guest-blogger Dido), check it out here.

Because I'm going to be trying to write up something after tomorrow's big episode (don't even pretend you don't know what I'm talking about), I thought I should get this thing up tonight.  Aaaand off we go!



Leave it to TPTB at Days to agree to get rid of our beloved big bad Stefano DiMera and replace him with a complete unknown whose biggest crime up until the time of Stefano’s three hundredth death was spiking a guy’s protein shakes.  While I adore Stefano, he’s been rather toothless these past few years, so to try to switch him out for a villain (or is “prankster” more accurate?) of such epically lame proportions couldn’t have been a bigger mistake.

No contest

It was the latest in an ever-growing line of evidence that Days no longer gave a shit how their treatment the genre’s vets impacted the viewers or the show as a whole.  Who brings John and Marlena back then goes ahead and approves the death of their greatest nemesis?  The same crack team that dug up Alamania after having fired any and every Alamain on the canvas, that’s who.

The treatment of Ian’s character was not dissimilar to the treatment Daniel has received from Team Days since he first came to town.  Ian arrived in Salem and within weeks he had Stefano’s wife, a business empire handed to him on a silver platter thanks to the severe case of stupid Victor caught a couple of years ago that still flares up occasionally, and two legacy characters who could potentially be his children.  Lucas mentioned in passing that he vaguely remembered Ian once teaching him to ski as a child, which got some viewers wondering if his Horton membership card was soon going to have to be revoked, while EJ’s paternity was up in the air for the longest time.  There’s very little doubt in my mind that Ian was going to turn out to be EJ’s true pater, even if only temporarily.

In short, Ian didn’t have to work for a damn thing he got, including his reputation.  Everything came to him packed in a box as though he’d ordered it from Amazon.  Worse yet, he was locked in a storyline vacuum with Brady and Madison, so it’s not even like his speed-laced milkshakes were bringing all the boys to his yard.  What the hell kind of big, bad guy is that?  Such a waste of Ian Buchanan's talent.

Many people were wondering about one little detail that was spoiled but was rumoured to have been cut, and it was one whopper of a little detail with a helluva lot of weight to it.  Ian’s walking stick, which he carried around more like a sceptre, was supposed to bear the mark of the Phoenix on the handle, suggesting that Ian was either a member of the DiMera family, or was working for the DiMera family.  The former was probably more likely than the latter, as I can’t imagine Stefano handing out phoenix-emblazoned walking sticks along with the yearly bonuses.  Removing the shot of the walking stick raises quite a few questions I wasn’t really interested in the answers to.  Questions I’m still not interested in finding out the answers to.  Still, a clumsily dropped storyline is a clumsily dropped storyline, even if I hated it, and there were far too many of those in 2012.


It’s commonly understood now that babies are shark-jumpers when it comes to television shows.  Roseanne did it (three times), Friends did it, Family Ties did it, Growing Pains did it, Sex & the City did it…The list goes on and on.  It usually happens when a show is out of ideas, particularly sitcoms.  Who wouldn’t want to watch weeks upon weeks of men tip-toeing around expectant mothers, afraid their heads will be bitten off if they look at them the wrong way.  Jokes about farting, Lamaze, cravings, the frantic rush to the hospital, the screaming in the delivery room, faulty birth control, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…

Obviously it’s different in soaps.  It’s much harder to jump a shark in soaps because a lot of stories are, by nature, shark jump after shark jump.  That’s why it’s amazing that Days managed to jump sharks jumping other sharks again and again over the past couple of years.  That made much more sense in my head, but bear with me.  For almost three years we watched the Sydney/Grace story arc play out.  You’d think TPTB would have thought we might be babied out after a miscarriage, a baby-switch, a baby-napping, a baby death, another baby-napping, et cetera, but that wasn’t the case.  

Instead, in rapid-fire succession, we had Chloe and the Parker paternity debacle, we had Melanie’s miscarriage, we had Sami thinking she was pregnant (only to discover it was just a group of very cleverly-disguised cysts), we had Carrie’s cock-blocking pregnancy, and we had Nicole’s stillbirth.  Now we have Gabi’s pregnancy, and Chloe and Parker are back for another round.  Baby-centred storylines happen on Days with the same frequency weddings have been happening on Y&R.  The madness must end.  After this last baby claws its way out of Rosemary, I’m hoping someone will open up a damn pharmacy or set up contraception kiosk in the square.


What can I even say about the exploding safehouse?

Looking the way I feel

A DiMera goon misunderstands Stefano’s instructions and traps Bo, Hope, Rafe, Carrie, Marlena, and John in a cabin with a bomb that looks an awful lot like a run-of-the-mill stopwatch.  Whoops!  Shit happens, the bomb goes off, and suddenly there’s smoking debris, SPD badges, and bits of Kristian Alfonso’s jewelry line everywhere.  Oh, no wait.  That’s not what happened.  What happened is that, incredibly, someone managed to locate a trap door in the floor, and all six people dropped through it and wandered off to safety in literally seconds.  When do we find this out?  The beginning of the next episode.  If you think it can’t get more ridiculous, you’re Roman-in-a-broadway-show wrong.

Calling his agent?

We find out that the safehouse dwellers survived, as if there was ever any doubt.  Roman and Shane (Damn you, Days, for dragging Charles Shaughnessy into this) inform them that, for their own protection, they must play dead.  So the Brady Bunch, and whatever Hortons they could scrape together, get together at the pub for a memorial service, after which a whack of attendees are transported to the second safehouse where they’re reunited with their loved ones.  WHAT.

Sami, the only person in the room who sees
how stupid this all is, has a Mugatu moment.

Did I mention the bit about John threatening Stefano while playing Crazy Eights with Marlena and eating a whole wheat sandwich?

Sami, as expected, is hella mad over being put through such unnecessary emotional agony.  So am I.



With the exception of a few minor details (like the fact that Austin woke up from his drunken stupor still wearing his pants), I loved the Abby/Austin storyline and hated that it was cut short.  Kate Mansi was killing it, and who didn’t love dopey Austin once again falling victim to a younger female admirer?  I guess you might have, but not me.  I loved Abby and those crazy eyes of hers.  

I'm crazy for you, Abby.

When Abby and Austin’s storyline ended, and the Gabi/Chad/Melanie story started up, one couldn’t help but compare the two. But, really, there was just no comparison.  Abby kicked Gabi’s ass, something I hope will happen again soon.  And if Abby managed to lay just one good slap on the girl like the one in the clip below, I’ll be a happy little blogger.



Okay, okay.  The whole priest thing has been done, and done, and done.  But, you know what?  I sat through about five hundred baby stories, so I’m all for everything old being new again.  Alright, yes – I wish they had tied Marlena, John, the Devil, Kristen and Brady in there a little tighter, with maybe a little Aunt Colleen for good measure.  I found Eric’s nightmares and that little PTSD side story of his (which I kind of hope is over) to be a silly move on the writers’ part, given Jack’s award-winning PTSD storyline unfolding less than a year earlier (Babies, babies, babies).  But Greg Vaughan and that beautiful, bare torso of his sitting bolt-upright in bed quickly soothed my savage breast, so all is forgiven. 

Now let me soothe your savage breast, Eric.

Bringing Eric back was a good move, in my opinion. A better move was using Eric to bridge the sibling gap between Sami and Brady.  Over the past couple of years, I’ve had to be reminded that those two are related.  Their relationship has been solely plot-driven for so long, they’re at odds or supporting each other depending on what the storyline requires with no lines to connect the dots.  Eric is the perfect line to connect those two wayward dots.

Another wayward dot that desperately needed a line to anchor her to something was Nicole.  Having Nicole and Brady interacting again is a pleasure, I’m enjoying her chemistry with Eric, and Kristen was Nicole before Nicole was Nicole.  Come on - an addict, a priest, a recovering shyster, and the Devil’s handmaid?  That’s one helluva quad.

Eric is kind of a breath a fresh air.  So far he’s being written pretty much in character, which could turn on a dime, of course, but I’m going to try to stay positive.  Not blind, just positive.  Eric is a good, relatively unbiased barometer for what’s going on.  He’s not prone to fits of anger the way Sami and Brady are. 


During the summer hiatus, Days was doing their damndest to keep us from forgetting to tune back in once the Olympic flame had been put out.  Their Facebook page suddenly sprang to life with daily updates, and the Days of Our Lives Twitter account was interacting with fans.  Get Glue was a busy little beehive, buzzing with cast and crew chats, and stickers (I’m a sucker for stickers).  Shockingly, the Sony Pictures account got in on the action, interacting with fans daily via Days trivia questions, retweeting viewer feedback, et cetera.  It was such a wonderful change of pace.  For the first time in a long time, we felt wanted and needed, and Days became fun again.

After the Daysaster aftermath played out, things slowed down a bit, but someone behind the scenes must have finally clued into the benefit of pushing an online presence and making continued use of social media.  The actors are no longer alone on the front lines. The NBC Days account is finally interacting with viewers, the Facebook page has gone back to being updated regularly, and they’ve become active on both Tumblr and Pinterest.  The strides they’ve made are pretty dang magnificent.


  1. Two thumbs up Diggy!

  2. You brought back a bunch of dreadfully dull moments that I'd totally forgotten.

    I'm not sure whether to thank-you or cry.

    There really was A LOT of dreck last year, wasn't there.

    Thankfully, it was saved by the Cliff Hanger and then dashed when Rafe teleported to the DiSafehouse.

    Thanks for taking one for the team.