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Just wishin' and hopin' and thinkin'
by Laurisa and Tony
For the Week of August 13, 2012
While the London Olympics preempted DAYS, Two Scoopers Laurisa and Tony got together to brainstorm. Join the fun as they share their visions of what they'd like to see happen once the show returns! Do you agree with their picks -- and what would you like to see happen post-Olympics? It's time to find out in the Two Scoops column.
If tapping your toe in anticipation were an Olympic event, we would be gold medal winners. We've been enjoying the summer games, but we're more than ready to get back to life in Salem, especially since that humdinger of a cliffhanger. But whereas we don't know what's ahead for our fair soap, we do have our own ideas of what we would like to see happen, and we teamed up to tell you all about them! So, grab a fruity, sparkly summer drink and let's discuss!


CHARACTERS WE'D LIKE TO SEE RETURN

Laurisa: Chelsea Brady. Some fans liked her. Some fans hated her. But, barely anyone was neutral on her and that makes her a great character. She brought a sass and spunk to the show that made viewers sit up and take notice. Portrayed, of course, by the fabulous Rachel Melvin, I found Chelsea to be perfect. That is, the perfect blend of stubborn Victor, compassionate Bo, sassy Billie, and scheming Kate. What's not to love?

For those of you who were deprived of Chelsea, she left Salem to go take care of her mother, Billie, after Billie was in a terrible accident. Well, last I checked, Billie is up and running just fine these days. So Chelsea can come back. Her original bestie, AbigialAbigail, is back in town. She needs to hang with cousins Sonny and Will. (I dare someone to say something derogatory to them with Chelsea around.) Oh, and I heard a little rumor that her ex is coming back to Salem soon.

Finally, if Bo really is leaving town (Yup, denial. I'm a fan of it.), Hope is going to need a storyline. The twisted relationship between step-mom and step-daughter, that which included Zach's death, Hope's infidelity, and Bo's life-saving operation, contained, hands-down, Kristian Alfonso's best work over the past decade. The fact that these two characters ended in such a beautiful and loving place is a testament to these talented ladies and the rich storyline potential between the two of them.

Tony: Jeannie Donovan. Technically, Jeannie has been played by five different actresses. Granted, all of the actresses were under three years old and Jeannie hasn't been seen since 1992, but I'll consider this a return anyway and we'll move on.

At this point, Jeannie is a fresh slate. We know nothing about her. Is she a therapist like Kimberly? Did she get the James Bond gene form from Shane? Is she forging her own path? Is she a little mentally shaky like Kimberly was? Does she resent Shane for being gone so much? Has she been in L.A. all this time? Did she spend any time in Shane's native England where, perhaps, she crossed paths with E.J., or her Brady cousins? I'd love to know more about her.

If she did follow in Kimberly's footsteps and become a therapist, she could easily find a mentor in Marlena. And she could easily find something (and someone) to do at the hospital. Or, if she's an ISA Agentagent-in-training, she could mix it up with the Salem P.D., John, Billie, or the swoon-worthy Agent Spencer. Hmm, Spence and Jeannie could be an interesting May/December romance in the making. So many possibilities!

And with Jeannie in Salem, perhaps Kimberly and Shane will visit more often. There would be absolutely nothing wrong with that! Kimberly is one of my all-time favorites.

Finally, with Stephanie, Carrie, and Cassie all gone, Salem needs a new Brady gal. Sami can't hold down the fort on her own. And the soap gods know that I don't want Stephanie back unless she's had a total lobotomy. So, why not give Jeannie a shot?

However, if the writers decide to bring back Stephanie, since Kayla is in town and, well, Steph sort of just vanished without a trace, I think DAYS should consider aging the character and giving Alexa Havins a call. Actually, they should give her a call and then send her an Edible Arrangement and a DAYS swag bag . She would be an amazing addition to the cast. They need to woo her. And with an aged Stephanie, she could mix it up with Lucas, perhaps, because he certainly needs something to do!

Laurisa: Ava Vitali. Right off the bat, someone needs to make it up to Tamara Braun for saddling her with terrible Taylor. I mean, that's a no-brainer. So, what better way than to bring her back in her Emmy Emmy-winning role as the tortured bad girl, with a soft spot for hairy-chested fellas? Allow me to point out the elements of awesome with this move.

First, DAYS is a total sausage-fest right now, and not in the fun Oktoberfest kind of way. We've got Nicole and Sami juggling Lucas, Rafe, E.J., Daniel, and soon Brady and Eric . As much as I love both of those gals, they're going to need some help; or at least the opportunity to take a shower and grab a glass of green tea. Ava is the right age, not related to any of them, and feisty enough to handle each of them.

Second, remember when Nicole had a friend that wasn't a dude she wanted to sleep with? Yeah, that was Ava. And unlike the strange forced friendship being of Nicole and Chloe, Nicole and Ava actually bonded over things they had in common -- like the desire to go after the things they wanted in life, even if those things were DiMera men.

Finally, Ms. Vitali has her own money. She's heir to a mob fortune. So, there's no need to wonder why she had tons of designer clothes, yet no job. And, really, isn't that the requirement of all good soap characters?

Tony: Marie Horton. Given the fact that Tommy Horton, Jr. is MIA and Bill is bouncing around Africa, I would love to see Marie return to Salem and become Le Grande Horton. We need another Horton figurehead. And I can't think of a better one!

Sure, sure. We have Maggie, but she's a Kiriakis now. We also have Julie, but she's on so infrequently. And Hope and Jennifer are still too young to provide Alice-like wisdom. We need a steady hand to guide the younger Hortons. We need Marie.

Truth be told, I have always had a soft spot for Maree Cheatham's Marie. Like the character, I'm the youngest of five children and was a former nun. Well, I can't back up the last part, but I digress. I especially loved her first storyline. She was a part of a love triangle of sorts between Tony and Craig Merritt, a father and son.

As time went on, Marie was involved in many more twisted tales (she fell in love with her amnesic brother who'd received plastic surgery, for goodness sakes), but the one that still has an effect on Salem is her relationship with Alex Marshall, villain extraordinaire. I loved to hate that scoundrel. From Marie and Alex's rocky romance, Jessica Blake was born. And Jessica would later give birth to a son, Nick Fallon.

Considering Nick is heading back to Salem, I'd love to see Marie's interactions with her grandson. Marie hasn't always been the most stable gal on the block (and neither was Jessica, for that matter), but Marie's grown into a respectable woman. As we know, Nick took a trip to Crazy Town and stayed there for a while. Marie could definitely help him face any lingering demons as well as provide him with insight on any bad boy DNA inherited to him from his Grandpa Alex. Oh, the joy just to hear about Alex Marshall again, especially from Marie!

Ultimately, Marie could easily be integrated into Nick's storyline as well as the ones involving her family and close friends. She could be the go-to advice matriarch and, as a nurse, a valued member of University Hospital. Marie and Maxine sharing scenes? Yes, please!

Plus, Alex Marshall had dealings with every villain in Salem, including Stefano. Did Alex share a secret or two about the Phoenix with Marie? Does she know who E.J.'s real parents are? Did Marie ever know Victor before he became Mr. Maggie? Hmm! Could Marie explain what happened to Tommy, Jr.? See, we need Marie. We need her pronto!


CHARACTERS WE'D LIKE TO SEE CAST

Laurisa: Nathan Horton's Father. I know that you're all thinking that it's Pete Jannings. However, the only thing that we know for sure is that Melissa was pregnant with Nathan at the time of Tom's funeral. We all assumed that meant Pete was dad, but, we don't really know for sure. Furthermore, Nathan never mentioned anything positive or negative about his father. That leaves this slate wide open. Here's what I'm thinking.

Ever notice that all the rich men in Salem are either shady or have a shady past? Even Brady and John's money has some Kiriakis and DiMera on it. So, DAYS desperately needs some sort of wealthy white knight character to balance out all of these well-off devils. Think Tony DiMera, only with less DiMera and, um, less dead. That's always a quality I look for in men!

Anyway, being that Nathan is a pretty stand-up guy; his father has to be a good egg as well. So, let's say that this 50-something gentlemen is a high-powered, wealthy, angel investor from Palo Alto, California. His incredible tech background makes him sort of a super geek, in the coolest possible way. It also explains why Nathan had such an incredible leg- up in the gene pool. (Remember, Nathan's not a DNA Horton.)

While there's an abundance of supply in the juniors department, there aren't that many places for Kate, Hope, Jennifer, Kayla, and Billie to shop. It looks like Kayla may be headed in the Abe direction, but that leaves a lot of ladies waiting for a dance with somebody; and, Roman hasn't laced up his dancing shoes since the Bush's first term in office. I'm not even kidding. This bloke could be the answer.

Tony: Chad's Aunt. In a blink-and-you-missed-it scene way back when Chad was still a Petersen-Woods, he once stated he was going to leave Salem and stay with an aunt down south (in one of the Carolinas, I believe). Or, perhaps Charles threatened to send him there. It's a bit foggy, so forgive me for the lack of details, but he obviously didn't go. Yet I remember that reference to some degree, and would like to meet this aunt.

For starters, with good good-natured Lexie gone, Chad could use a stable relative in town, and why not represent his Petersen side of the family? This aunt could also have unattended unattended-to business in Salem. Perhaps she knew of Madeline's call-girl past and wants a little revenge on Kate and/or Stefano (if he returns from the dead, of course). Was she on the Titan board and wants Ian's job? Possibly she once had a tryst with Roman, and wants a little repeat, giving him a much much-needed gal and storyline. Or maybe she's in the legal field like Madeline and could become the new D.A., replacing Charles and totally irking him. Endless possibilities there!

Most of all, I want her to be Madeline's older sister and be played by Linda Dano. Why? Because that would just be fabulous!

Laurisa: One of Stefano's Siblings. One of the biggest mistakes that DAYS is making right now is that Salem doesn't have a string of villains to bring in for a short amount of time, wreak havoc, and then leave to come back from the dead/mental hospital/hiding every once in a while and do it again. Nope, instead it's always Stefano's fault...well, except when it's E.J.'s fault, but you get the idea. So, with the refrain of "damn those DiMeras" apparently unquenchable in Salem, it's time to introduce some more dastardly D's who have the money, power, and crazy to do some damage on their own.

We all know that Stefano is the seventh son of seven sons. We know that John is one of them. We know that Andre had to come from somewhere. But, we have yet to meet any of the other DiMera kids. So, consider the possibilities.

What if Stefano has a sister? I'm thinking a crazy pants, yet high class, Alexis Carrington meets Helena Cassadine hybrid with a vendetta against those who she believes have wronged her beloved son, Andre. (And we all know what a peach he was.) That's a long list. So, I suggest she start soon.

Tony: Autumn, Lucas's Ex-Fiancée. First and foremost, Lucas needs his own storyline. I mean his own storyline, not one starring Sami as his on-again/off-again lover whom he cooks for or scolds, or one in which he disowns Kate for overstepping. "Been there" meet "done that."

Having Autumn come to Salem would be a great start, but bear with me as I have an idea! Let's get in our time machine and go back to 1998. That's the year Lucas killed Franco Kelly. Okay, fast fast-forward to the now again. I'll wait while you get "…Baby One More Time" out of your head.

Now, what if Autumn's real name is Allegra Kelly, Franco's sister? What if Autumn/Allegra was luring Lucas into some elaborate revenge plot by pretending to fall for him? What if Lucas ruined her scheme (inadvertently saving himself from certain death) by returning to Salem? And what if Autumn/Allegra couldn't go to Salem at first because she has a former flame in town who knows her real identity? Say, perhaps, she had a tryst with a cocky former FBI agent or patient patient-loving doctor?

There're a lot of possible scenarios that could work to give some lackluster characters new life and storylines while still acknowledging the past. The addition of Autumn/Allegra would also create a much much-needed non-DiMera villain. Kate would have a new sparring partner. And perhaps Officer Martine Kent (the cutie who followed Roman around for a few weeks) could help save the day, and Lucas could ask her out in appreciation (and not cook for her or scold her)!


STORYLINES WE'D LIKE TO SEE

Laurisa: A Romance for Roman. Or, as my mom says, something other for Roman to do other than just show up every few weeks and scold Sami. I couldn't agree more. Roman is a tenured character on the show, but you certainly wouldn't know it by watching him today.

Yet, believe it or not, Roman actually was more than a one-note character, and it sounded pretty good. I don't care if he stays on as the Police police Commissioner commissioner to mentor Rafe, or if he retires and takes over the pub for Caroline. Roman needs some way to be involved with Salem that allows him to be the straight man to the other crazies around him. I think that's when Roman is at his best.

Tony: Doug's Place Back In Business. Doug and Julie need to reopen his nightclub, Doug's Place! How fun would that be? Not only would it get them on-screen more often, but current characters/actors could share their singing voices, including them, of course. They could also book celebrity guest performers (hello, ratings!). Heck, former characters like Chloe or Liz Chandler could guest star, too!

Plus, since Nick Fallon will be out of the clink and most likely have a hard time finding work with his record, he could snag a bartending job to tide him over. Other Salemites could pitch in from time to time. Good music and work for the Fallonator is what I consider a win/win!

Laurisa: Justin Kiriakis, Attorney at Law. For as many crimes that as are committed in Salem, you'd think that someone would have ended up in a court room. But, nooooooo. Salem is too good for all of that! Instead, we got John, Carrie, and Marlena sitting in Lexie's old office with some lady who says she's a judge listening to their arguments. Excuse me while I catch my breath from all the excitement. I guess someone else had the back room at Common Grounds reserved for this very important scene. Grr...

As I've said before, Justin needs a storyline, and none would be more exciting than seeing him defend Salem's finest in a courtroom battle with turbo-jerk, D.A. Charles Woods. Or, heck, kill two birds with one stone and move Roman over to the D.A.'s office and let Roman and Justin have friendly battles in the courtroom. Just picture the possibilities of Salem's finest residence residents called to the witness stand! Consider the awesomeness of characters like Maxine and Nick the bartender on jury duty! And, we'd actually get closure on some storylines rather than just another person arrested for the crime.

Tony: Shenanigans at Salem University Hospital. With Lexie gone *moment of silence, please* the hospital needs a new Chief chief of Staffstaff. This would be a great time for a Horton to return and reintegrate the family into the hospital Tom and Alice loved so much. Paging Marie, Sandy, or Mike! However, although the returned Horton would think they are a shoo-in, the board steps in with their own replacement -- Dr. Neil Curtis!

For those of you who never met Neil, he was an interesting character. He was a doctor. He was a compulsive gambler. And he was a womanizer. Wow, sans the gambling, he sort of sounds like Dr. Dan. But I digress.

Bringing Neil back would not only be a great nod to longtime fans, especially those who were left wondering what the heck happened to him as he simply disappeared one day, but it would also create drama. He was the man Maggie once had an affair with, for starters. He's actually Sarah Horton's biological father! How would she react to seeing an old flame, especially since her relationship with Victor seems to go from good to rocky every five minutes?

And since leopards have a hard time changing their spots, perhaps Neil returns with financial troubles due to new gambling debts and tries to swindle from the hospital to repay his loan sharks. The missing funds would raise flags, and everyone would get involved. Perhaps Neil could even pin it on Dr. Dan, who would already be leery of his mom's former fling. Maggie is known to be loyal, but would old feelings keep her blind to the truth?

Employees like Kayla (when she remembers she's a doctor), Nurse Maxine, and Cameron could get involved to solve the caper. By proxy, Abigail would be involved, too, especially since she's an investigative reporter-in-training and Cameron's squeeze. I'm sure Jennifer would pitch in with the sleuthing, too. Detective Fancy Face could officially investigate. And Nick could put a large piece of the puzzle together by recognizing an ex-cellmate/current bookie working with Neil, but be reluctant to turn him in because he has the hots for Neil's daughter, Noelle. Yep, this could be a drama-filled Horton family affair as they team up to save the hospital from financial ruin.


STORYLINES THAT NEED NOT BE REVISITED/REBOOTED

Laurisa: The Hernandez Family . Have I mentioned how upset I am that we've lost Arianna and Dario but are stuck with Rafe and Gabi? Well, I am. On one hand, we have an ex-con turned informant and a corporate junior executive. On the other hand, we have a cocky cop and a pathetic schemer. Yet, we're stuck with the latter. So, the best I can do is hope that this family gets put on the backburner for a while.

It's not that Rafe is completely out of place in Salem. We need a younger generation crime buster. But, he's darn near everywhere, and it's ridiculous. Even Daniel didn't save the day that many times when he was at his Super Dan peak. Let him build some believable friendships in Salem that aren't with pregnant women and develop his character a bit more.

As for Gabi, well, she needs a good long time out, and, with all due respect to Camila Banus, a possible recast. Sometimes characters get to a point where they're so ruined that new writing isn't going to be enough to erase the bad memory of a character. A literal change of face is in order. Then again, there's always Stefano's brainwashing chamber.

Tony: Salem's Shady Ladies Ladies' Sordid Pasts!. This isn't so much a storyline as it is a recurring aggravation that desperately needs to stop. You see, some of Salem's leading ladies have naughty skeletons in their closets, and those bones seem to always be hurled as cheap insults. It's exasperating.

Let's see, Kate was a prostitute. Nicole was a porn star. And Sami's biggest sin seems to be she had children with more than one man. Good grief! Haven't we moved on from this already? The answer seems to be no. A big, fat no.

My biggest irritation from bringing up those past misdeeds is that they don't make sense anymore. Corporate diva Kate has long since distanced herself from her call-girl days. Nicole was never into porn because she wanted to be; her father forced her. And Sami only has children to with two different men, both of whom she's been married to.

More so, Kate, Nicole, and Sami continue to make mistakes. In fact, they still make big mistakes, but none of them were proud of their pasts, and all three have tried to move on. The writers constantly having characters calling Kate, Nicole, and Sami sluts is just adolescent, especially when male characters use those easy insults (Sorry, Victor).

But the men aren't the only culprits. As Ms. Norbury said in Mean Girls, "There's been some girl-on-girl crime here." Kate, Nicole, and Sami are actually the ones who seem to hurl these insults at each other the most. I'm not saying that they need to play nice, but they should try some more educated, topical insults. They're all bright and snarky. They can come up with better material.

By and large, it's when people throw Nicole's past in her face that makes me see red the most. She was a victim of child abuse. Her father forced her into porn at a young age. That is hella traumatic and shouldn't be used by the writers as an insult. So, stop it, writers. Just stop it!

Laurisa: The Pawn and Princess Gina . We know that Hope will be needing a storyline soon. If it involves Princess Gina and her whack accent, I will flip my Scooper's lid. That storyline is painful and does zero to further Hope's character. If they must investigate something from that era, have a teenage J.T. show up at Salem high and start sniffing around Gabi and looking to Hope for life advice.

As for John the Pawn, he's just more complications on John's already complicated past. I really like the twist that John is a DiMera, and I would like to see the writers focus on that for a while. Besides, John has enough reason to hate Stefano without adding brainwashing to the list.

Tony: Dr. Dan Beds A a Patient. I'd be lying if I said I didn't like Dr. Dan and Chelsea's romance. I did. I liked it a lot, in fact. But that's where my enjoyment of Dr. Dan's love life ended. Chelsea included, the only pickup joint he ever frequents is a hospital room, and that scene is getting very old.

Dr. STDan's list of lovers and female patients overlaps perfectly. There was the original recipe, Rebecca, followed by Chelsea, Kate, Chloe, Jennifer, and, now, Nicole. That's kind of skeezy. The only gal we've known him to bed that wasn't a patient is Carly, and he did that off-camera years before he was even a little glimmering manwhore in our eyes.

The worst part of it all is that Dr. Dan is a catch! He's a surfing doctor who's handsome and wise. He's a good dresser. He knows how to romance a lady once he gets her off the operating room table. He has an awesome mom and stepfather/godfather. And he can kick bad guy butt if he has to. So, why, oh, why can't we watch him romance a lady who isn't hooked up to an I.V.? Er, one that's not named Billie Reed. That's even grosser than his normal M.O.


WHAT'S NEW IN TWO SCOOPS LAND

It should come to as a shock to no one that we're kinda lame, so it's taken us a while to enter the Twitterverse. But, rest assured, we're now on Twitter @LaurisaDays and @Tony_S_DAYS. Not only will we be tweeting about the current storylines, but you'll also get to read things like our fashion reviews, Line of the Week nominees, news about DAYS alums, and other obsessive Salem dish.

One rule though -- we make it a point to stay spoiler free. So, don't be tweeting us spoilers unless you want us to come to your house and unwrap all your Christmas presents and then tell you about them, or blab to your mom about the awesome birthday present that you got her. Seriously, we're jerks and we'll do stuff like that.


PARTING THOUGHTS:
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of August 13! We're back to business as normal next week when Laurisa returns with the first post-Olympic Scoops! And, "That's a fact!"

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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