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Arianne Zucker
Orange crush
by Tony
For the Week of March 15, 2010
Nicole seems edgier than before. Much edgier, actually, and downright mean. She's over prison, she's over E.J., she's over Sami, and she's over being pushed around by guards.
Sure, this week might be about celebrating all things green because of Saint Patrick's Day. There will be green beer, green soda bread, and even green rivers. However, I'm more concerned about last week's signature color -- orange.


Now, I'm not talking any old orange. Nope, I'm talking about the bright, blazing, traffic-cone orange of a certain Ms. Thang's jumpsuit. In other words, Arianne Zucker is back as Nicole, Ms. Walker DiMera is bitchier than ever, and this Scooper couldn't be happier! Let's discuss.


NICOLE
You know that refreshed "ahh!" feeling you get when you take the first sip of a cool drink on a hot day? That's how I felt about seeing Arianne Zucker again. It was simply, "Ahh!" She was a sight for bored eyes. Whoops, I meant sore eyes.

Anyway, Nicole's reintroduction was great. A cat fight in jail!? Brilliant! As an old-school Nicole fan, that gave me hope that the watered-down, clingy, needy, pathetic Nicole who lost her self-respect and followed E.J. around like a tool for over a year is buried in the same deep, dark grave as that black wig and Alex North. Yes, I'm daring to dream.

But I don't think I have to hold my breath, as Nicole seemed edgier than before. Much edgier, actually, and downright mean. She's over prison. She's over E.J. She's over Sami. And she's over being pushed around by guards. She's simply over it. She's mad. She's dangerous. And that's when Nicole is at her best (and worst for everyone involved).

However, the only thing it doesn't seem she's over is using the DiMera name to her advantage, Sydney, and Brady, and I'm all for that. Heck, if I wasn't afraid of Stefano's punishment for posing, I'd start using the DiMera name because of the perks. Her lingering love for Sydney was a given. And as for Brady -- who wouldn't be still crushing on the hunk who was the only person on your side!? I say go get 'em, Nikki!


BRADY and ARIANNA
As for said hunk, Brady popped the question to Ari. She said no. She wasn't ready. She needed time to "grow up." The next day, she asked him to ask her again, and she said yes. Ironically, the time it took her to mentally grow up was about as long as it took E.J. and Philip to physically grow up, thanks to SORAS. If we believe they're actually adults then, by proxy, I guess Ari is ready to get married.

Although I like Brady and Ari as a couple well enough, I found them a little boring and a tad anticlimactic last week. It could have been the lame stall tactic of her saying no then yes the next day that ended up being more eye-rolling than worrisome, but I'm not sure. Either way, I feel cheated out of not seeing this "growing-up" process Ari was talking about.

Coincidentally, I think saying no when you're not ready to get married was a good "grown-up" start. Unfortunately, that start stopped the next day. Ah, I guess you win some and lose some.


SYDNEY and COMPANY
Speaking of, E.J. is certainly winning ground with Sami. He seems to have her where we wants her. Where exactly he wants her is anyone's guess. He's claiming revenge while everyone from Anna to Lexie suspects he's in love with her, but is in major denial. I tend to agree with the latter.


And then there's Sami. Ugh. The girl is driving me nuts, and not in a good way. I was so happy for a brief moment when she started to question E.J., but then -- d'oh -- she stopped short of putting two and two together. Dear Sami, please stop getting sidetracked by dim objects.

On the subjects of dim objects, Rafe is working his hardest to find out who kidnapped Syd. He's also working with a certain Agent Clark, whom I'd love for him to take off his blinders and notice. Unfortunately, his focus remains on the case and Sami. And that forces me to do something that tastes a little bitter -- give him credit for not breaking up then storming off like he normally would when he found out Sami was lying.

However, on a whole, I'm trying. I'm really trying. I want to be in love with this storyline again. I want to celebrate Sydney's homecoming, but I'm still finding things well acted, but rather dull. My hope is that with Nicole back, this storyline will get back to being interesting. Stay tuned!


MELANIE and STEPHANIE
Mel spoke volumes when she said, "I'm kind of maxed out on the being hurt thing." I agree. The gal's gone from an annoying Smurfette hovering around a Willow Stark level of likeability to a beloved, celebrated ingénue in a little over a year. That's exhausting!

And like any good ingénue, Mel's life has been turned not only upside down, but every which way since the transformation. She's been kidnapped, involved in a love triangle quad, been accused of murder, and was made part of one core family, only for that to be revoked and to become part of another. I repeat, it's exhausting, and I totally agree with the little redheaded spitfire -- I'm kind of maxed out on seeing Mel hurt for a while, too.

Yet that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy Melanie vs. Stephanie. I did. In fact, I wouldn't mind seeing them go a few more rounds now that the cat's out of the bag, the claws are out, and no one's pretending to be nice. And although I'm a huge Mel fan, I have to admit, it was her archenemy that held my interest…

You see, I was simultaneously astonished and intrigued by Stephanie Johnson, Mega-Bitch. First, let me share the astonished part. Stephanie's "all about me" attitude hit a new high, and by "high," I mean low. She actually said she wanted to share her news about her getaway with Caroline sooner but was upstaged by little Sydney. Please stand by while I break out a big, old rolling, "riiight."


I'm not convinced she was joking. Actually, I'm fairly certain she was legitimately annoyed. Which, I mean, I can't blame her. If my infant cousin who'd been kidnapped over three months ago and was believed to have been murdered showed up while I tried to tell my grandma about a ski trip I took with someone who thinks of me as a consolation prize and I basically had to trick into going with me, I'd be upset, too. Just saying.

All in all, her warped, watered-down version of what happened was fun to watch. It was great to see Saint Stephanie squirm and try to justify her actions while on Caroline's hot seat. More so, it was simply nice to see Peggy McCay!

I also thought it was brilliant on the writers' part to pen the Stephanie/Lexie scenes. At first their chat was a little "Huh?" as I've never noticed them talking before. Then I got it! Just like Abe expertly dished out marriage advice to Hope a few weeks ago, Lexie is an expert on good girls gone bad and back again.

However, when it came down to Steph vs. Mel, I have to admit, Stephanie actually made a few valid points in a very twisted way. First, she's right -- that love quad was out of control and a downright bore. She tried to put it out of its misery. So, um, thanks, Steph.

And Stephanie's also right about Mel's feelings. Even without knowing how Nathan felt, Mel knew how she felt. If Mel was still that conflicted on the day of her wedding, maybe she should have hit the pause button until she cleared things up. Not many could argue with that. In fact, I think even Mel realized Ms. Bitchy Pants had a point.

Finally, I think Steph was semi-right in pointing out that Mel loved the attention of two men fighting over her. Yes, she did -- just like Steph did when they pined after her. But there's a difference. Stephanie seemed to love all the drama, whereas Mel seemed to outgrow the novelty of it. Granted, she still married one without resolving her feelings for the other, but at least she knew it wasn't a game -- one which Stephanie still seems to be playing.

But that's what soaps are all about -- mind games! And I'm finally glad I bought a ticket to this somewhat maddening love quad. Simply hearing Melanie bark, "How do you think I'm doing, bitch?" was worth the price of admission. Now let's get ready for round two!


DR. DAN
It's no secret that I haven't liked Dr. Dan since his Pre-Granny Gate "Dansea" days. However, after the past few weeks, I've started to re-warm to the guy. I'm still not ready to put him back on the holiday card list, but I'm giving things an incubation period -- kind of like the incubation period it takes one of Dr. STDan's infections to reach their full effect.

Sorry! Old habits die hard. It might take a while to fully accept him as an interesting character with a valid reason to be on the show, but I think we're headed in a better direction, kind of like him and Mel.

Like Laurisa, I'm enjoying the interaction between Shawn and Molly. They have a natural ease with each other that's making unbelievable situations easier to swallow. Shawn's laid-back, surfer-dude approach seems like a great balance to Molly's exuberance. I'm fully invested to watch more of these two interacting, with each other and with Ms. Soap Star Extraordinaire Chappell.

Above all, I'm interested in watching Dr. Dan do something other than a patient or doctoring. We've only seen him do one, the other, or, ickily enough, both at the same time. We get it -- he's comfortable in the O.R. and the boudoir. But now I think we're finally -- and I do mean finally -- going to get a glimpse at the man behind the smooth sleazy operator. And it's about time!


LOOSE ENDS
I love the fact that Stefano went shopping with Kate! That is one trip to Salem Place that I would have loved to see. Can you imagine the pressure they'd put on a sales clerk!? And for some reason, the image of Gomez and Morticia Addams shopping at some upscale, cheery boutique popped into my head.

Poor Will. He gave Mia a St. Christopher's medal as well as his heart -- exclusively. Nope, I don't have to shake the Magic 8-Ball to know where this is headed. I think the most interesting aspect will be seeing how he reacts to heartbreak -- will he sulk like his daddy or go a bit crazy like his mom used to do?

It's ironic that when Philip was in his late teens/early twenties, he had a wife, a kid, and his own apartment. Now he's in his late twenties/early thirties he's married to a teen and living with daddy. Granted, he mentioned to Mel that he's house hunting and -- sorry, that cracks me up! I'll believe that one when I see it.

Ah, Maggie! She makes everything better -- even Dr. Dan. I enjoyed their scenes and can't wait to see how this plays out. But -- a warning to the writers -- Maggie plus Dr. Dan plus a hospital gown does not equal "boom chicka wah wah." Got it? Good!

EXTRA SCOOPS
HOT
Picking Nicole's return for this week's "Hot" would be a little redundant. So, I'm going with the other character that made my five-hour-long DAYS-o-thon worthwhile -- Victor! When he showed up on Friday's episode, I cheered. I loved every no-holds-barred moment of his snarky comments. They were like a well-deserved treat after an average-ish week. More so, John Aniston is simply the best. Each time he's on, I love Victor a little more. In fact, I want a big foam hand with his image on it, a Kiriakis pennant to wave, and I want to have "V.K. # 1" painted on my face while watching DAYS. Well, maybe not, but cheers to Victor!

NOT
I love me some Alison Sweeney and Crystal Chappell, but I'm tired of hearing Sami and Carly apologize around the clock. Psych 101 teaches us that obsessively chanting, "I'm sorry," is a sign of weakness, but aren't these supposed to be strong, "mama bear" type women? Yes, they're supposed to be! Or so we're told. However, I haven't really seen either of them act like it lately. Man up, ladies, and show us those family jewels we all know you have!


LINE(S) OF THE WEEK:

Victor (reacting to Dr. Dan's daddy news): "Good God! Are you out of your mind? Tell me that you sold sperm to pay your way through medical school. Tell me that it somehow found its way into Carly Manning's turkey baster. Make an old man happy. Tell me at least you didn't sleep with that female puff adder."

Stephanie (warning Mel after she called her a bitch): "Okay, let's think about this. I could blow your marriage out of the water, so you might want to think about what you say to me because I'm the last person you want on your bad side." Ouch! Spoken like a 100% certified soap opera bitchy bad girl -- welcome to the club, Steph.


RANDOMNESS…

More Agent Clark? Yes, please!

Could Johnny, Allie, and Sydney be any cuter!?

I've noticed that Will and Caroline have the "his and her" version of the same hairstyle.

PARTING THOUGHTS…

So, friends and DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of March 15th. Beware of the "Ides of March," but be sure to celebrate on Saint Patrick's Day! Laurisa will be back next week to see if the Bradys celebrated with a green beer or if she'll have another "Not" on her hands like last year. And, "That's a fact!"


Need more Two Scoops? Head over to read blogs by Laurisa or Tony for more ranting, raving and all-out randomness

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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