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INs AND OUTs
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 Two Scoops: May 22, 2006 columns
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Peter Reckell
Wake me up when something happens
For the Week of May 22, 2006
This sweeps period can be summed up in one word: MIND-NUMBING. Where is the excitement? The drama? The pay-offs? The resolutions?


I've been writing this column on and off for a number of years now and I've used the "wake me up when something happens" title at least 4 separate times in the last year. What does that tell us? Either that I am not very original (not likely - wink, wink, nudge, nudge ;) or that the show is not very original. My vote is for the latter. Honestly, it wasn't until Thursday that I actually tuned in. Oh, I watched Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday's shows but I was so bored to tears that I sat there blankly; watching the show without absorbing anything. What does that say? Well…it tells me that I should be using my time more wisely; but it also tells me that the show is really circling the drain. This is a SWEEPS month for heaven's sake and it is still boring me to tears. Here's the summation of the Sweeps months thus far. Plot lines resolved: 0. Interesting developments in the storylines: 0 New storylines introduced: 0. Old/New Characters brought to the canvas: 0. Exciting, dramatic scenes: 0 Shocking revelations: 0 Identical conversations repeated: 962. Recycled stories/plots: 877. Ridiculous and unbelievable developments in stories/plots: 548. Frustrating/convenient/lazy writing ideas: 1299. And I don't think I'm exaggerating. Maybe it's just me (although the email I receive says otherwise) but this sweeps period can be summed up on one word: MIND-NUMBING (Does a hyphenated word count as 1 or 2? Does it matter?). Okay, okay - maybe I am being too harsh…I mean…after all…John did manage to inject Marlena with the 'antidote' (big sigh) which resulted in her remembering that she loved John. Yessiree; 8 or more months of the Marlena-amnesiac stuff and John fixes everything in a few minutes with one simple injection. How nice. I don't feel like this whole storyline was one big waste of time at all. No indeed-de-do!

So; what's going on here? All of the items I listed are things that we would expect to see during a Sweeps Month. Where is the excitement? The drama? They pay-offs? The resolutions? There has been a HECK of a lot of speculative chatter on the message boards that NBC is trying to kill the show on purpose. The theory is that the broadcasting behemoth is keen to get out of the soap opera game (they currently broadcast two: Days and Passions). Though I don't know for sure, I find this theory hard to believe. If NBC was really so hot to trot to get out of the Soaps market (which is highly lucrative so it doesn't make sense from a business perspective) then they could simply cancel and/or sell the show to another network. Couldn't they? I don't understand the conspiracy theory. NBC wouldn't need to come up with secret backroom plot to ruin the show on purpose so that they could then justify a cancellation. No…I'm sure that Corday et al (a.k.a. The Powers That Be) believe wholeheartedly that James E. Reilly can pull them out of the dumpsters that DOOL has resided in for the past few years. They are wrong of course - that goes without saying - but I do believe their intentions are good. I think that, as with any good business plan, TPTB are attempting to give their Head Writer some time to see his story ideas come to fruition. Any good businessman knows that you must wait out the initial start-up period and cross your fingers that the public will respond to your idea/product. I just wonder how long they've given him. It's all ready been two years. Personally; I think the problem is that JER has stretched himself too thin. I don't think it's possible to be the Head Writer on TWO Soap Operas and remain original; especially when one of those Soaps is firmly rooted in some kind of bizarre alternate reality that includes witches and the like. (Passions). Okay, Okay…weekly ramblings over…time to get back to the reason why we are here; discussions of the past week's events. I scratch my head about TPTB and their business decisions but we will never really know so…on with the show:

Lordy how I despise the writing in Bo and Hope's story. Never mind the sad turn of events in their relationship, but the dialogue infuriates me. Bo claimed that he'd been searching high and low for Hope. Searching High and Low? Searching high and low! Hello? Hello? McFly? Are you in there? What a liar! Or, as I prefer to think of him; "liar, liar pants on fire" (I just love the imagery of Bo running around with his pants on fire). Here's your reality check Bo: you haven't searched AT ALL. You've been too busy indulging in your own self-pity and hanging around with Billie to look for anyone. Hypocrite!! Where did he get off asking Hope if she was sleeping with Patrick when he knew darn well that he had just done the deed with Billie? Why didn't Hope mention that she left town because she saw Bo and Billie together at the motel? Hope's dialogue is no better. How can she say that there's nothing in Salem for her? What about Shawn? Alice? Doug and Julie? Ridiculous! Speaking of Doug and Julie - why haven't we seen them? I would think that they'd be very upset by Hope and Bo's decision to divorce over email. If anyone can get Bo and Hope to sit down and have an actual discussion; it would be Doug and Julie! Conveniently…they have disappeared in to the nebulous land of 'I'm-not-sure-what-to-do-with-this-character-so-we'll-pretend-he/she-doesn't-exist'. Geesha! Julie, come back and talk some sense in to these two lunkheads!

So; just when you think you can't turn on Bo any more than you have…he makes the dumb-ass decision not to call Hope and let her know that the court case had been moved up. I nearly fell off my chair when I heard Bo say that and, for a second, I seriously thought I was watching a different show with the same character names. Frankie told Bo that it would only make his situation with Hope worse but Bo clearly did not care. He declared that Chelsea was his concern; not Hope. As usual; he has proven that his priority is indeed Chelsea. Die Bo Brady - you have clearly been replaced by an imposter - a Bo-clone if you will - and now you must die. Now that I think about it, I may just start calling him Bo-Clone. This is not the dashingly romantic Beauregard Aurelius Brady character that most female fans have swooned over for the past 20 years. Not. At. All. Smarten up TPTB and start writing this character to act like himself and not a poor, washed out version of Bo Brady. I am still irritated beyond belief with this nonsense about the court case/date of Chelsea's. For one - nobody needs to inform Hope that the court date had been moved up; the DA or the prosecuting attorney would do that all on their own. She is a material witness and would be informed of any changes in court dates. Even if the date had not changed, I'm sure that the prosecutors are in touch with Hope to inform her as to the progress of the case. At the very least - she would be contacting them to keep updated. The other thing that is annoying me beyond belief is the fact that Days is trying to paint the scenario that, the only way Chelsea will see the inside of a jail cell, is if Hope testifies. Or to be more specific - everyone has said that IF Hope does testify; Chelsea will go to jail for sure. Baloney. Regardless of whether or not Hope testifies; Chelsea still ran down and killed a child. Like it or not - she will have to pay for that. The judgment handed down by the jury would be the same regardless of who testified. It's not like Hope has a key piece of evidence that would ensure a conviction. The facts are the facts. The sentence doled out by the judge might be harsher as a result of Hope's testimony - but come on! Chelsea is not going to avoid jail time simply because Hope wasn't present at her hearing. Chelsea did what she did and Hope's presence or not - she should still pay for her crime. Yeah…I can hear your laughter as I type this…okay…why do I expect a modicum of the real world to be reflected on Days? I don't know…I just don't know.

The demon seed is at it again. She overheard Mimi mumbling to herself about "past sins" and she's all ready busy working on a way to use that to her advantage but first…she has resolved to find out exactly what Mimi's sins are. Oh brother…do I smell a little blackmail coming down the road? Let's not forget that Kate actually knows what Mimi's sins are…and is involved in that little shenanigan as well. Oh and, in the very same day, little Miss Astute picked up on the fact that Victor was hiding something about baby Claire. Luckily for this 18-year old young woman, she's much smarter than your average Salem resident. She very quickly picked up on two people's not-so-very-subtle attempts to hide their skeletons in the closet. And I can't think of a more wonderful person than Chelsea to know everyone's deep dark secrets. (The preceding was loaded with sarcasm…in case anyone missed that ;))

Hallelujah, praise the lord. John's super-ISA-powers have finally come through for him. He was able to trace a flippin phone call and find out where Alex and Marlena were. Question; why hasn't the super-sleuth, master spy guy tried taping his conversations with Alex before this point? Just one more unanswered question in this totally useless storyline. I apologize to anyone who is actually enjoying this thread; I for one can barely stand to watch what Reilly and crew have done to my beloved Marlena Evans Black. After almost a year has passed of Marlena acting like a brain-transplant victim along comes John with the "antidote" to her amnesia. Oh yes folks, one little injection in the waist (the waist? The waist???) and it was "John, I love you. I remember". How freakin anticlimactic! And where did John get this antidote and why didn't he inject Marlena with this miracle cure a few months ago? He has suspected that Alex was drugging her for a while. And just what is this supposed antidote? How did he find out what Alex was injecting Marlena with? Wouldn't you need to know that in order to know what antidote to use? Sigh….I give up. I really do. Too many loose threads and no time to care all that much about what the answers are.

AS predicted by the Spoilers; Carrie is indeed pregnant. She thinks it is Lucas's child. Maybe it is. Excuse me while I stick my finger down my throat. The only thing saving me from permanently FF this story is the belief that the father of Carrie's baby is really Austin (well, that and my obligation to you the fans/admirers/followers of this column). Like every other storyline on Days lately; I find it painful to sit through their scenes and I seriously wish I could give all four of these characters a badly needed reality check. I see that Sami is being painted as the villain in this story - once again - and will be the one to go down in the end - once again. How original. Much as I love this character to death, I don't feel sorry for her one bit this time. Sami's just digging herself into the same hole she's already dug for herself a million times over. She NEVER learns her lesson and it is not only tiresome; it's beyond believable. I used to have a friend like this and now I don't. I don't think that person has many other friends anymore either. See what I mean? That's what happens in real life - people grow up and grow away from these types of immature game-playing individuals. But luckily for Sami…everyone has decided to give her a second chance. Did someone bean Austin over the head with a heavy frying pan? What is he thinking? Proposing to Sami? Is he crazy? What is with Carrie and Austin? They can't have each other so they both settle for the next best thing? How sad are they? It's all just so lame and desperate…I don't know what else to say.

Carrie I have no words for. Nothing can be said to justify her actions in the slightest. She thinks she can't have children with Austin so she decides to choose the next best thing. Nice. She even told Lexie that though she and Austin could adopt, she didn't want to take the chance of getting pregnant accidentally. I guess Carrie isn't aware that there are operations that can prevent that type of thing from happening? Funny how Lexie never mentioned that to her but at the same time - she professed that she wanted Carrie to know the truth. Suggesting a vasectomy for Austin could have been a great way to help Carrie and Austin be together without coming right out and admitting her blackmail-forced deception. I am still in shock that Carrie has not thought that maybe Austin should be told about all these tests Lexie is running - they affect his life too. But worst of all - WORST of all - she is going to sit back and let her sister marry Austin and possibly have his baby, BUT not tell her about the potential risks involved. So…Carrie doesn't want to risk the chance of having a baby with birth defects; but it's okay for Sami to take that risk. What a nice sister she is. And Lucas? Well…Lucas, like Sami, is also digging himself into a hole. He believes that Carrie loves him and will be happy with him instead of Austin. He believes that he is over Sami and ready to move on with Carrie. He is wrong. Oh well…at least he stood up to his evil monster of a mother when she started blathering on about not letting Sami back in to Austin's life. Or it was something like that. When Kate speaks, all I hear is that teacher's voice from Charlie Brown: "mwuh-mwuh-mwuh-muh-muh-mwhuh-mwuh"

See how things work in Salem? Make a decision to try in-vitro fertilization and the very next day you're in the hospital harvesting eggs! That's what I call the fast-track to baby-making! I think Mimi's been taking the hormones for all of 3 days now and presto-bango; she and Shawn are gazing in to the petrie dish and hoping for a baby. You and I both know why this is being fast-tracked - don't we scoopers? It wouldn't do to reveal the truth about Claire's paternity unless there was a whole lot at stake now would it? No indeed! Oh and did you know that Shawn was some kind of genius/engineer/master mechanic? Neither did I. I didn't even know that he knew much about the mechanics of cars…motorcycles maybe; but cars? He's only been working at the garage for a few months and all - tinkering here and there - but in that short time, he's invented some brand new thingamajiggy that will make cars go faster! Uh-huh! It's true. And Victor is going to back this fantastic invention that will no doubt bring him and Mimi loads of money. How I wish it were that easy in real life.

Caroline and Sean Sr. threw a birthday party for Victor (yeah; I was scratching my head too) and Jen proposed to Frankie. First: what happened to Victor's big rush to tell Philip and Shawn the truth? He has fallen off the map in the past few weeks and along with him, his desire to see the truth come out. How convenient! Question; Bo couldn't make it to his father's birthday party because of work? What is he working on? I haven't seen him do anything other than rant and rave about Patrick and Hope. As for the Jen/Frankie/Jack storyline - is anyone surprised? Nope, I can't imagine anyone is. Right as we finally see that Jack is alive and well; Jennifer decides that she wants to marry Frankie. Though I'm happy that Jack is alive [apparently he's been hanging out in some motel all this time] I have a feeling that he's going to get better and return in to Salem just in time to crash Jen and Frankie's wedding. How original.

Okay Bo and Hope fans…Have I got a treat for you! In my last column, I pondered 'where' the storylines could be if Days had a head writer with a little imagination. Well this week I am posting a link to a storyline idea for Bo and Hope that was created by a long-time Days fan with a lot of imagination. Her dialogue and ideas were a definite treat to read, and in my opinion, the story that she has crafted stands head and shoulders above what the current writers of Days have been pumping out on a daily basis. This person has taken the time - her own personal time - to write a way to fix the characters of Bo and Hope and at the same time; inject some drama and interest in to the storyline. Her ideas are fun, fresh and sure as heck more interesting that the actual show. The following link is posted with her permission (there are currently 8 Parts and more on the way hopefully). Enjoy!!!

Reader Feedback: Thanks to everyone who wrote in and provided their feedback! I truly look forward to reading your thoughts and opinions so keep them coming!

From Rachel:"I get that the writers have abandoned logic & character ages ago, but are they now ignoring basic facts now too? On a recent show Bell & Philip were talking about how if Mimi & Shawn had a boy, he & Claire could date. Then Mimi shouted "No!"- The implication being that it was because she believes they would be brother & sister. Um... Ok… even were Claire Philip's (a hope I refuse to give up despite the stupid blood types - have that abandonment of logic work for me for once), they'd still be RELATED. First cousins once removed (I looked it up) may not be brother/sister, but still - eewwwww. I know that there are few people on the show that aren't related to the Brady, Horton, or Kiriakis/Reed families - but good lord. Hopefully the writers could come up with someone else for the kids to date in the 8 years it will take them to be SORAS'd"

From Neva Potts:"I have been do disappointed and bored with Days lately after watching for 30 years. The new writer has ruined the show, and I understand he has been signed again. I'm ready to stop watching. there is nothing interesting on it any more. How do we email Corday to let him know how displeased we are? The story of Carrie, Austin. Lucas and Sami are awful. And I'm so disappointed to see Sami so bad. I thought she was shaping up. It's hard to believe Marlena and Roman are her parents. And what they've done to Marlena, Hall must be nauseous over her storyline. Hope the PTB read these things and take note."

From Regina:"all I have to say about Day's lately is Zzzzzzzzz! I can hardly stay awake for 15 min. cartoons have more of a storyline than Day's does lately. If this is May sweeps, sweep it up and throw it in the garbage."

From Kay:"I have written to Days many times, begging them to improve the storylines, even if it meant firing the writers, but to no avail. I have stopped watching it because it has become unbearable. I have watched it since it started in the 1960s, and it had always been my favorite soap...but no longer. I check websites occasionally to see if it is better. Sadly it is worse. Even Cindi Rinehart on Northwest Afternoon, who is known as SoapQueen, hates talking about Days on her daily program. Days might as well be cancelled permanently if they don't fix it."

From CrazyDazy: "I so enjoy reading "Two Scoops" and most of the time, agree with almost everything said! Also, why must Carrie and Austin be front and center? Lumi fans have waited much longer but anyway, why does Sami get the blame for everything all the time? Sure, I know our girl does stupid things that lands her in hot water a lot of times and make no excuses for it but everyone seems to want to count on Sami to take the fall for them when all is said and done. How much you willing to bet that Carrie and/or Lexie will never really pay for what they have done? Carrie is using Lucas like a sperm dispenser! Carrie is more the villainess here than Sami! Doesn't she have enough faith in her love for Austin to know that adoption is also an option? So she spends her life with Lucas (whom she is well aware that Lucas and Sami both still love each other) Poor guy! He is going to get so burned. I can't imagine why they would destroy a GREAT love like Lumi's for the Austin and Carrie story. What are they thinking? It's so stupid!"

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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