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 Two Scoops: January 16, 2006 columns
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Kristian Alfonso
Break my heart
For the Week of January 16, 2006
Zack's death has stirred up a lot of emotions, thanks in no small part to Kristian Alfonso's amazing performance as Hope Brady.


First of all...obviously I wasn't paying close attention when I watched the Dec 30th show because I COMPLETELY missed seeing Chelsea hit a "bump" (Zach). Duh...anyhow; Thanks to every one who wrote in and kindly pointed out what I had missed. I am still stunned that I didn't see it coming...anyhow...

...Judging by my bag of mail and the Internet board chatter; Zach's death has stirred up a lot of emotions with the fans. It looks like the majority of people are falling on one side or the other; either they hate the story and think it has been a terrible idea; or they love it and maintain that it is good drama. Personally, though I've found the IDEA of killing off Zach to be appalling, I do think the story was a step in the right direction for DOOL. Though the past two weeks have been tough to watch; I much prefer seeing a story based on some semblance of reality than the farfetched crap we've had to deal with for the past few years. What has happened to Zach and the Brady family could happen to anyone and that is the heartbreaking reality. I admit there are a few things that are bothering me about the writing - but for once, I am engaged in the story and willing to overlook the glitches. So far the writing has been compelling; the dialogue heart-wrenching; and the performances mesmerizing. Though I cry every time I think of going through the same situation in my own life; for the first time in a while, I am once again eagerly watching my tapes every night to see what will happen next.

It has definitely been Kristian Alfonso's amazing performance as Hope Brady that has drawn me in to the story so tightly. Whew! She has been fantastic. What's a better word than fantastic? How about, phenomenal? Yeah, that works. Her reaction when Lexie came out of Zach's surgery just about broke my heart. Her scream sent the kind of shivers down my spine that I have never experienced before. The 'real' pain in that scream raised the hairs at the back of my neck and I hope to god that I never have to hear anything like that in real life. I have been sobbing along with Hope for the past two weeks as I watched her deal with the trauma to and death of her baby; as she (and Bo) made the painful decision to donate Zach's organs; as she verbally attacked the rookie police officers; as she said good-bye to Zach (I'm crying right now as I remember that scene...): and as she reacted to the news that it was Bo's truck that ran down Zach. PHEW! It was a tear-soaked week for me! I'm talking about the gut-heaving - can't catch my breath - kind of sobs. I can't even remember how long it's been since a story on Days has made me cry like that. Though I'm sure that my emotional reaction is mostly due to the thought of losing my own son; Kristian's performance has really been the catalyst. If she doesn't receive an Emmy nod for her performance - I will eat my hat. (Of course that's an exaggeration; I don't even own a hat!). I think that all the actors in Zach's storyline have been doing a fantastic job; even Lexie - who normally couldn't squeeze an ounce of emotion out of me - moved me to tears as she attempted to deal with her emotions and do her job at the same time. Let me just throw that one thought out to the people who are refusing to watch these scenes: You're missing out on some of the best acting I've ever seen on Days. Period.

So what has bothered me? Initially, I was very happy to see the majority of the Brady/Horton clan arrive at the hospital. At first I thought that we had finally received our wish to see the fringe members of Salem brought in to a storyline with some substance. Unfortunately, they were quickly dropped like hot potatoes. Doug, Julie, Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Caroline and Sean Sr. disappeared. One minute they were there and then *poof* - Gone! It would have been wonderful to see each one of those characters help Bo and Hope deal with the death of their baby. And surely they should have been given a chance to say their good-byes to Zach? Where 'da heck was Roman? Surely he would have heard about the accident through the Salem PD grapevine? Where was Abby? Did she stay home with Jack Jr? It's always irritating when vital members of a family are missing from the scene during crises. Other than that, the other thing that bothered me was the two rookie cops. They really got under my skin - especially the one guy who was acting like some kind of tough-guy cop. He ordered Bo around and spoke to him like he was a dangerous criminal or something; rather than the seasoned detective he is. I don't know for sure, but I would presume that anytime there is an officer-involved crime, Internal Affairs would be called in. Why didn't either of those rookies call their commanding officer for instructions on how to proceed next? And for that matter, would the PD really have assigned TWO rookie cops to investigate a crime involving a child all on their own? Anyway, the scenes were dumb, badly written and completely detracted from the drama that was occurring. And lastly...WHY did TPTB choose to drag out the Lois storyline all week long too?? It was so irritating to go from watching an emotion-soaked scene such as Hope saying good-bye to Zach to watching crazy-Lois the stalker, skulking around Marlena's office with her ever-present hypodermic needle. If I hadn't had the ability to Fast Forward through that story, I would have pulled my hair out.

So let's talk about the other major factor in this storyline; Chelsea. Hold on to your hats guys cuz, I don't hate her. I know that a lot of the viewers hated the character of Chelsea before the accident and they certainly have even more reason to hate her now; but I'm not one of them. I just feel really badly for her. Even though Chelsea was crazily careless; it WAS an accident. She feels terrible about it and from what I've seen; the guilt is eating away at her. Many people have written to me and vented about how selfish and self-absorbed Chelsea is. Which is definitely true...but I don't hate her for it. In my experience, most 18 year olds are fairly self-absorbed. Not that most 18 year olds go around running people over, but in Chelsea's case, I think it's a case of 'wrong place, wrong time'. Besides, it's not like she doesn't care that Zach is dead - THAT would be the type of selfishness that would cause me to dislike her. She does feel remorse and that's good enough for me. I have to confess though...the real reason why I don't hate Chelsea is because I heard a rumor that made me feel much better about the story. Spoiler Alert...Spoiler Alert...skip to the next paragraph if you don't want to know... According to sources; it was not Chelsea who ran down Zach. Apparently it will come out that Nicole, in a drunken stupor, ran down Zach and kept going. The rumor seems credible because I've heard it from a variety of sources now. And given the fact that Arianne Zucker will be leaving the show soon (Buh-Bye Austin/Nicole coupling) her imminent departure would provide a convenient scapegoat. I highly doubt that Days will recast the part of Nicole, especially since there isn't much for her to do now that Carrie has returned. Plus, if TPTB want the character of Chelsea Benson-Brady to be a long-term part; they need a way to exonerate her eventually. Sooo...knowing all that, it makes it easier for me not to hate Chelsea right now.

I guess my biggest complaint is that Zach's death is being used as a means to an end. And by that I am referring to the much ballyhooed "end" of Bo and Hope (both Peter and Kristian confirmed this in SOD). To kill a child is one thing; to use it to drive apart a much loved couple is another. Seriously...I have to wonder where Reilly is going with this. Does he think that breaking up Bo and Hope will bring more viewers in? Judging by what I'm seeing in the reader feedback, I think it might do the exact opposite. Many of you have written in and expressed your anger over the fact that Bo and Hope will split up and I am definitely in agreement on this one. Now that Billie is set to return to Salem just in time to step up and claim the blame for driving the truck, this can only mean that Bo and Hope's separation is imminent. The fact that the most loved couple on Daytime television (they have won that award for many years running) is about to be broken up because Billie and Bo are afraid to let Chelsea face up to her actions is a sad turn of events. But given that this couple has been written as indestructible, it would take something as awful as one of their children killing another of their children to make me believe that they could ever separate. I have my fingers crossed that Bo won't turn to Billie for solace; that would be like pouring salt on an open wound and I, for one, would not enjoy that at all.

I hate to say it but, I'm really not that worked up over the Claire drama. I'm not sure exactly why. When I relate the situation to real life; I can totally sympathize with anyone who is living through such a situation. However, when I watch Belle and Philip in their scenes...I feel nothing. Nothing except annoyance. It's funny because, in contrast, I feel so much when I watch Zach's storyline. I can only imagine that it comes down to the differences in acting and dialogue. The acting by the parties involved in Claire's story - for whatever reason - has simply not connected with me. Maybe it's because the story itself has been overshadowed by the paternity question hanging in the background. I don't know. But strangely - and bite off my tongue for saying it - I finally saw some chemistry between Belle and Shawn. When Shawn went in to Claire's room to comfort Belle and convince her to accept the gift of Zach's liver, I found myself rooting for them for the teeniest of seconds. Poor Mimi, she totally looked lost as she watched them from the distance. Something tells me that once Bonnie accepts the truth of Claire's paternity, she will push Mimi to keep it from Shawn. Sounds like a disaster in the making for the fledgling couple. Though I still prefer Shawn and Mimi together, the mere fact that Mimi is 'thisclose' to putting it all together definitely spells the end for them.

Lucas and Sami were hot this week! Even though the whole story was cheesy - complete with Sami sleepwalking all the way to Lucas's apartment - I'll take what I can get. And what we got was a juicy scene of them in bed together. Of course it was just a "fantasy", but it was a nice change from their constant sniping.

The story that stuck in my mind the least and that has made the worst impression is of course the Lois-is-a-crazy-stalker-that-has-resurfaced-after-40-years-and-Alex-is-actually-the-good-guy story. YEE-AWNN. BO-RRRING! Hate the story. It's dumb. Badly acted. Doesn't make sense. Feels so fake and wrong. Need I go on? No matter WHAT the writers try with Alex North; I will never buy in to his good-guy story. Never. TPTB might as well stop wasting their time. In fact, I hit the FF button on every single scene that involved him and crazy-Lois. They wrecked the character...there is no redeeming him now. Or so I say. I could be wrong. Happens all the time ;-)

Reader Feedback: Thanks to everyone who wrote in and provided their feedback on Best/Worst for 2005 as well as their wishes for 2006! I noticed that there were quite a few first-time posters; Welcome! I also want to take a minute to thank all of you for visiting this site and reading my column week in, week out. I truly look forward to hearing your feedback, so keep it coming!

From Donna Stinson:"I can only assume your statement about Chelsea being "harmless" was before she killed her brother! This is without a doubt the worst of the worst, killing a child that we have watched grow, for one currently played by a fisher price doll. This is only the latest in the long death march scripted by the worst writer in the history of soaps."

From Ryan:"ok worst of the year, I know you're a Shimi fan and all but Shawn asking Mimi to marry him before either of them have even mentioned the word "love" to each other, how is that a good idea? like c'mon now, seriously."

From Jeannie:"Okay so you want to know what we think are the best and worst of days for the past year? Well here's mine: The best was seeing Sami and Lucas together. They are awesome together. They have chemistry, and Sami doesn't act nearly so rash when she has Lucas to balance her out. So of course, the worst would be that they didn't make it to the altar, and now Sami is a raving lunatic again. So what's worse than the worst? I think we all know. Sami, Lucas, Austin and Carrie. All I can say about that is NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! The thought of seeing the exact same storyline that I watched in high school makes shudder with disgust. I can't even bring myself to watch when they are on screen. Nobody wants to see it, so what are they doing? Sami belongs with Lucas, and Austin and Carrie can take a hike for all I care. Even worse than that is that all the growing Sami has done lately has just been written off, and they are making her out to be a ditzy fifteen-year old again. ICK! I do like Shawn and Mimi together, so that could be a best, but I don't think it will last, so it will probably end up being a worst for 2006. Another worst? Phil and Belle. I was so over that S/L in about January. Originally I would have liked to see Belle and Shawn together, but now I think she is just a selfish brat, so I don't care what happens to her. They could have done some good things with Phil's amputated leg, but that kind of went by the wayside, and also with Belle's PPD, but she just ended up sounding like a whiner. I know people who have had PPD and they literally cannot function. They don't just whine about their problems all the time. It would be nice to make it more realistic. As for 2006, I would obviously like to see Sami and Lucas together. I would like to see Bo and Hope back to the strong loving couple they once were. I don't like to see Hope so wimpy. It would be fun to see Roman in a new relationship (not with the shrew, Kate). It would be nice to see the characters be developed more in depth. It would be nice to see the characters show their feelings while talking to other characters, developing relationships. I guess that's it. Of course, all this won't matter if the show gets cancelled, but here's to hoping that they can fix it and it can live on a little longer!"

From Kelley:" I love your comments about the show. I think the show needs more drama. Sami has gone soft! She isn't doing anything right now but the same storyline that they did years ago with Austin. I think Days needs a new character that is more devious, someone who sleeps around and tries to break the couples up. It seems like everyone is stuck in a rut and running out of ideas. Also Belle is very annoying. She just needs to be with Shawn and not be so wishy-washy. I want the old "Belle" back".

From Jake:"Right on! You're either very perceptive, or else we ALL feel the same! =). I've watched the darn show from its inception, and can't believe what they're doing to it! My thoughts: Do ANY of these people WORK?? I'd hate to be a citizen of Salem, and need police protection!! =) LEAVE JACK AND JENNIFER ALONE!!! Jack has 'died' once too often! (Heck--FAR too often!!) Probably my favorite character(s) on the show, I want him BACK for good, and he and Jennifer left alone!! Same with Abe, darn it! Give him back his eyesight and let him get on with life! Quality actors and 'good folks' are DIRELY needed to revive the ratings! Like MICKEY (our REAL Mickey) & Maggie, Jack & Jennifer, Sean & Carolyn, Bo & Hope, Alice, of course, when she can. I would have, at one time, included Marlena & John, but honestly, I'm so SICK of that whole mess, I'd just as soon see THEM go!! For what it's worth....Thanks for the chance to vent!"

From Rachel:"So I guess TPTB have decided that Zack has no more emotional potential because everyone is over the baby switch so he is expendable. I'm guessing that Zack will end up being Claire's Donor and that will lead to more suspicions and eventual reveal of her paternity. Blach. I'm totally bored by the Carrie/Austin/Sami/Lucas thing. Oh wait, I was bored with it 10 years ago, and now I'm taking a trip down uninterested lane. I now only read the scoops pages and the two scoops colums. It is less time consuming and less annoying than actually watching it."

From Lamar Gautreaux:"I have been watching the soap for 46 years and to have them cancel the show, would be like I am loosing my best friends. I surely hope that they can find a way to keep them on. Changing the storylines would help, I hate the way, its Christmas and they is never a happy time. Every year someone dies or is critical ill. For once lets all be happy."

From Pamela Sellarole:"You wanted our New Year's wishes for DAYS? Here are mine.
6. Sami to catch a break and find true love and lasting (? I remember this is a soap.) happiness, also more positive attention from her family.
5. Jack to have a year when he's NOT dying, and for him and Jennifer to play up the comic side of their relationship.
4. The return of Greta Von Amberg, and a romance between her and Frankie.
3. The return of Brady and Chloe and the Wesley family, also Bill, Laura, and Mike Horton, for many reasons.
a. The hospital needs more doctors than Lexie Carver and Karen Bader.
b. Marlena needs a REAL shrink to help her recover her memory and get on with her life.
c. I love Brady and Chloe's duets, and want more of them.
2. a Marlena/Roman reunion, and for John and Kate to be together. These couples sizzle more than John/Marlena and Roman/Kate ever did; And above all,
1. MORE DOUG AND JULIE!!!!!
DAYS is all about romance, and these two personify the word, and have from Day One. Did you see them holding hands like two teenagers after they hung their ornaments on Alice's tree? That scene melted my heart like butter."

From Donna Evans:"I wish for DOOL in 2006: Sami to grow up and act like an adult instead of a baby. John to ACT-really ACT in one scene where he does not have to have something to drink in hid hands. Marlena to get her gumption along with her memory back. Good storylines with the older stars such as Maggie, Victor, Kate and Julie and Doug. Lexie and Abe to establish a good relationship again. The head writer to be fired and a good writer hired to bring back glamour and content to the DOOL show."

From Mary J:I love your Two Scoops commentary and agree with you most of the time. I was never a Shawn and Belle fan and after the horrible way Belle treated Shawn, I can never accept them as this couple that is destined to be together because they are "soulmates." A soulmate doesn't have sex with another man (and not just any man, but her soulmate's best friend and uncle) after a few weeks to try to get over her "soulmate." A soulmate doesn't keep choosing a man she is not in love with over her soulmate over and over again. Belle is disgusting and I'm tired of every wrong she has willingly done being blamed on this person or that person. Belle is grown and part of being an adult is being held accountable for decisions you make. I hope Belle and Shawn never ever get back together. Reilly can bring the dead back to life but once a couple like Shawn and Belle have been destroyed, the damage can't be undone even if the relationship is revived. I don't care how touching or sweet the scenes appeared to be between Shawn and Belle at the hospital, these two will never be a supercouple or whatever passes for a supercouple today. Romeo & Juliet they are not. Al & Peg Bundy, definitely and I apologize if I have offended any Al & Peg Bundy fans by comparing Shawn and Belle to them."

From Kat: This Zach accident is sickening. Someone doesn't have to die for the baby to have a liver transplant. Don't the writers know that the liver is one of the few organs that a "LIVING" Donor can donate that does regenerate itself somewhat. This leaves another opportunity to play hero. With the current writing cancellation may be possible."

Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.
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