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 Two Scoops: February 28, 2011 columns
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Lauren Koslow
Parting gifts
by Tony
For the Week of February 28, 2011
Watching Kate conspire against Chloe is sort of like watching a Celebrity Jeopardy battle between Dopey the dwarf and Einstein. It's not hard to predict who will win.
And that's a wrap! February Sweeps is over, fellow DAYS' fans, but you won't be going away empty-handed. Since E.J. and Nicole had so many people leave their wedding before it was over, the new-part-two Mr. and Mrs. DiMera donated their spare gift baskets to Two Scoops to use as swag for all the fans who watched faithfully last month, but walked away feeling a little underwhelmed.

If you're curious about your parting gifts, I'll give you a breakdown. Inside you'll find tiny bottles of bubbles labeled "E.J. and Nicole: Together Again." Under said labels are the words "For now" scribbled in penmanship that looks suspiciously like Kate's.

Also in the baskets are remnants of burnt cookies, a gelatinous combination of mushy postpartum pills and drain sludge wrapped in lovely Romanian gypsy lace, and small slices of partially stale cake leftover from Johnny and Sydney's party and the wedding. While supplies last, a lucky few of you will even get a Dixie cup of champagne divided from the glasses Lexie and Chad didn't drink from. Nope, no expenses were spared this Sweeps season.

Unfortunately, we weren't spared from some icky Sweeps moments. I guess that's why they offered us goodies on our way out, perhaps. If any of you remember the scene from the movie Big when Tom Hank's character gags after trying caviar for the first time then spits it out and hastily tries to wipe the traces from his tongue, well, that's how I felt about the bombardment of E.J. and Taylor flashbacks. I counted seven last week, but I may be off by a dozen.

In any event, FebruarySweeps is over, and the writers have all of March and April to bulk up for the next round in May. Will they start working out, or are we in store for more haphazard storylines? But before we try to track down Celeste to predict what might happen, let's discuss what did happen last week!


E.J. and NICOLE: THE WEDDING, PART 2
As dysfunctional as they are, I loved the DiMeras' bizarre brand of bonding last week! Those types of tender (and humorous) family moments are usually reserved for Brady picnics or Horton holiday celebrations. Therefore, it was a pleasant surprise to see the Addams DiMera Family act like, well, a family.

I always adore E.J. and Lexie scenes, but those were just the tip of the iceberg. Theo and Johnny bonding with "Uncle Chad" was all shades of cute. I loved Stefano's "proud papa" stance. And Abe's involvement as the son/brother-in-law was spot on. Not only did Abe make me chuckle with his wisecracks, but he handed out some wise advice to newbie DiMera, Chad. All in all, the majority of scenes just had a genuine feeling about them that I liked and would love to see more of.

The wedding itself was lovely. Now, I'm talking about the physical aspects, not what went down at it. The sets looked great, and the hair, makeup, and wardrobe departments pulled out the big guns. And, as the lovely Lexie wisely pointed out, the DiMera men looked handsome and, if I may add, the women all looked beautiful. Aesthetically, everything was great.

The events of the wedding, well, they weren't so great. I don't think anyone needed to break out the Magic 8-Ball to foretell what was going to happen. Nicole told Taylor she's in love with E.J. again. I'd like to give Taylor a high-five for calling Nicole a nimrod. But I'll spare you all from my lengthy "Why Nicole falling in love with E.J. again is idiotic and an example of lazy writing" spiel.

The other effortless prediction, you got it, E.J. and Taylor had an awkward, doe-eyed surprise reunion, complete with the previously mentioned nauseating flashbacks. Seriously, are we done with their storyline yet? Even if I bought E.J. and Taylor's connection, I don't buy Nicole being naïve enough to fall for E.J. again. As a result, I don't see what the big hurdles are for E.J. and Taylor. This will either end with Nicole hating Taylor again or Nicole being reduced to her 2008 version, which was an insecure, clingy, pitiful black hole of neediness that follows E.J. around like a lonely puppy. Let's just say, neither scenario has me doing the happy dance.

To end on a good note, I totally loved that the writers penned the following. E.J. told Chad, "Don't worry. It's a DiMera wedding. Something always gets screwed up." Truer words were never spoken.


RAFE, FAFE, and COMPANY
In darker DiMera news, Stefano and Fafe tried to kidnap Allie. I guess those weren't idle threats after all. Fortunately, Allie was spared by -- drum roll, please -- E.J.! He told Kate to call Lucas and demand some Allie time. Lucas listened, Allie was over Fafe and wanted to go, and, bam!, she avoided having her picture on the side of a milk carton.

There are two parts I enjoyed. One, E.J. actually felt bad for what Stefano was planning to do. My memory might be a little fuzzy at times, but I seem to recall a time when E.J. treated Allie like a daughter. In fact, I think he actually had a pretty close bond with her at one point. For that to be remembered is a good thing.

The second, the writers played their trump card. They brought up Lucas. I liked it! It would be nice to see a little Bryan Dattilo cameo, but I won't be greedy. The writers remembered Lucas, and that's a start.

Otherwise, the entire Rafe/Fafe stuff spun its wheels. There wasn't progress, only frustration. There was also a moment when Rafe proved that "beating some sense into someone" doesn't work. He's been the go-to punching bag the past month, but he wasn't sensible enough to simply ask the 9-1-1 operator for help when he got his hands on a phone. Instead, he asked to be transferred to Roman. I hope that he enjoyed the woodwind instrumental melody of Phil Collins tunes while he was on hold as the call was transferred in lieu of possibly being rescued by the operator. What a tool.


KATE and MELANIE
Let me start out by saying, I love Kate. She's sassy. She's sultry. And she's unscrupulous. She's everything a daytime evil-doing diva should be and more.

With that said, I'm having a hard time not wincing as Kate conspires against Chloe. It's an uneven match. It's sort of like a Celebrity Jeopardy battle between Dopey the dwarf and Einstein. It's not hard to predict who will win.

And that's why I never had a problem with Kate vs. Sami. They were formidable foes who could take punches as well as throw them. Chloe? Not so much, not even when she's not an emotional mess is she a match for Kate. I strongly feel that Kate's sinister scheming skills are being wasted on Chloe, especially since Kate's spent all of five minutes with Parker.

On the topic of wastes, I'm not happy with another one of my favorite Salem gals. I'm speaking of Melanie "I Want Your Baby" Layton-Kiriakis. I'm "this close" to purchasing a Ouija board in order to conjure up the spirit of Susan Powter so she can tell Mel to "Stop the insanity!"

The part that irks me the most is the fact that Melanie is a former outcast and current super nurse and, because of that, I have a hard time believing that she doesn't have even a tiny bit of compassion for Chloe. I get that she hates Chloe. The Chloemeister slept with her husband and cheated on her father…at the same time. With that double dose of adultery, I'd have a hard time turning the other cheek, too, but Mel's not acting Mel-like, and I don't feel we've been given a genuine reason for the shift in her character. After all, like Kate, she's spent, like, five minutes with Parker, but the majority of her time plotting to take him away from his mother.

Ultimately, Chloe's condition is out of her control. Chloe's roots in Crazy Town run so deep that she's been elected their new mayor. For Mel not to see that and still phone Kate to give her the latest gossip seems a little mean-spirited for a gal who's normally a squeaky, quirky Care Bar and MVP of über-sweet Maggie's Boot Camp for Second Chances.


CHLOE
First, the actresses who play Parker are absolutely adorable! They seem like the happiest babies ever. The "awe-factor" is off the charts with those little smiling bundles of cuteness. They even seem to respond accordingly to the actors they work with. Good casting choice, casting peeps!

With that said, Mama Bear Chloe needs a long hibernation. She's a mess. And Nadia Bjorlin is doing a fantastic job with the material! I -- one of Chloe's harshest critics -- have even started to feel bad for Chloe because Nadia is killing the material.

Of course, last week, Chloe tried to kill herself. I guess she took the expression "Go jump in a lake" er, river, to heart. I kid, I kid. This is a serious topic and one I'm hesitant to dive into. What I will say is the writers did an "okay" job with the material, but I think the build-up and execution could have been handled a little differently (and with more caution) to maximize impact and convey the seriousness of the matter. As it was, I could only think of how Kate and Melanie will use the situation to their advantage, and that's not what I should have on my mind when a young mother has a psychological break and tries to kill herself.

End note: I think -- just think- - it might be time to lure Kevin Spirtas and Patrika Darbo as Craig and Nancy for a visit. They need to 9-1-1 it to Salem and support Chloe. Oh, and meet their new grandson. I'm not buying Nancy has a nasty stomach flu as a reason this time, writers.


LOOSE ENDS
The good news is that Bo and Hope finally puckered up. Aw! The bad news? Hope is permanently kicked off the police force. Gee, you attempt to murder your husband twice and mug several people while under the influence of mind-altering drugs and "the man" is all "no you can't be a cop and carry a gun again."

I like Dr. Dan and Jen's budding friendship/whateverhsip. They're cute, they have chemistry, and they both could use a friend to lean on. My only hesitance, aside from Carly, is the Jack factor. I loved Jack and Jen back in the day, but am I the only one who wants Jack just to be gone for a while? After the Frankie fiasco, I'm not that eager to invest in Jen with another man unless we have some security that it may last a reasonable amount of time for a soap and that Jack isn't the reason it ends. Too much to ask? Perhaps.

Brady and Vivian? Yes, please! Eric Martsolf and Louis Sorel are hysterical together. I can't imagine Brady and Vivian working well together, but I can imagine they'd be a hoot to watch.


EXTRA SCOOPS

HOT:
Three cheers for Philip! Not only did he stick up for his father by berating Brady, but he saved Chloe, manned-up with Parker, and schooled Kate and Melanie for being idiots. I hope he doesn't let up and we see this brave Marine side of Philip shine more often.

NOT:
This isn't the "Nottiest" of "Nots," especially after last week. But it dawned on me while watching Friday's episode that Hope and Jennifer have yet to see each other since Hope's been sprung from the slammer. I feel robbed, as I love me some Hope and Jennifer scenes. Either Hope doesn't feel THAT bad about Jennifer having her heart surgically removed by a psychopath in a nasty prison infirmary while trying to help her, or she's just been really busy at church sales.


LINE OF THE WEEK:
Abe (to Lexie): "I think Theo and Johnny are the most mature people in the room." Ah, dear Mayor, we've been saying that for a while now!


RANDOMNESS…
Want to know the biggest difference between "Barly" and "Bope"? Carly would hand Bo a bottle of beer and enjoy one herself, but Hope pours one for Bo in a frosted mug and doesn't partake.

It was odd, but cool, to see Kate babysitting Allie. Unless Kate's using her as leverage against Sami, I forget she's Allie's grandma sometimes.

The Wardrobe Department has been on fire lately. Sami's jacket alone makes me tip my hat to them. Great job, ladies and gents!

Taylor's Dumb Moment of the Day -- choosing to work in a hospital gift shop after being offered a cushy job in her field the week before. Points for her high morals, but I'll gladly look the other way while some unemployed businessperson with an MBA kicks her butt for turning it down. Have fun with those balloons, Taylor!

Wait! Don't orderlies and/or volunteers normally deliver things to patients?

Hey, Roman! I'll loan you five bucks if you want to buy a clue.

Oh, Rafe! You threatened to kill Stefano. Here's a tip -- the Phoenix's deaths never stick.

Every time Nicole mentioned "Yvonne," her wedding planner, all that I could think was "Ivan" of "Vivian and Ivan" fame. I wonder where he is these days. I hope he's not with Pookie.

Um, sure Chad turned down champagne. He's underage, after all.

If parents were happy to see Hope when she dropped Ciara off at school, doesn't that imply it's a school day? I guess Theo, Johnny, and Allie are all little Ferris Buellers in training.

I'm surprised "Go Green" Maggie has bottled water in her fridge.

DiMera thug Ted sort of reminded me of ex-Philip Kyle Brandy.

Attagirl, Kate! Way to drink through the entire wedding.

Poor maid Mary! She always gets shafted and never gets invited to DiMera shindigs. I'm organizing a girl's night at the Cheatin' Heart for her and Maxine, the hardest-working women in Salem.


PARTING THOUGHTS…
So, friends and DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of February 28th. Laurisa will be back next week to see if March madness engulfs Salem! Will it roar in like a lion or bah like a lamb? In the meantime, I'm off try out a new anti-stress remedy I just read about. You drink one glass of champagne for every E.J. and Taylor flashback. First, I just have to figure out how many glasses are in a bottle, as I might need to buy more than one…case. And, "That's a fact!"

As always, thanks for reading!
Tony


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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