Wow, is it nice to be back! Thank you to everyone who checked in on me in the last several weeks and wished me well. For those who don't know, I spent some time in the hospital, but I'm doing better now and ready to again tackle the wacky world of Salem!
But first, I have a bit of a confession to make: I have become something of a defector. During my time off from writing the Scoops, DAYS was frustrating and boring me... so I changed to another channel (I still had SoapNet to keep me up to date, though). What I found on that channel were soaps that played what I really want to see: family, relationships, plots that revolved around the characters and how their flaws and decisions made conflict (which made story-and good story at that!). I'm not totally abandoning DAYS (I'm still writing this column, after all), but lets just say that until Reilly gets the hint that it takes more than supernatural doings to make an interesting plot, I'll be watching one channel and taping DAYS from another.
Imagine my surprise when I began watching again and saw the new Belle! I knew Kirsten Storms was leaving (good luck to her and her new show, by the way), but I had no idea it was so soon. I'm not sure what to think of this Belle, the shock needs to wear off and I have to stop comparing her to Kirsten, but it's not going to matter much anyway since there is yet another new Belle waiting for us just around the corner (in fact, I believe she debuts on Tuesday). Yes, after an "extensive search" that apparently wasn't extensive enough, recast-Belle is being recast herself... I suddenly feel as though I'm speaking in riddles. In all seriousness though, this Belle seems to be missing the sweetness and sunshine that makes Belle who she is. I also think she moves with too much sexiness and awareness for her to seem like the Belle we know. But like I said before, it's not like it really matters now, and hopefully new nu-Belle will be a better fit.
So not too much other new stuff is happening since last I watched: Kate is still obsessing over Lucas and Philip's love lives (get a life-or better yet, start bonding with your "new" son, Rex!); Julie and Bonnie are still at war (Julie thinks Patrick is responsible for Hope and Jen's deaths and Bonnie still wants Julie out of the way so she can get at Moneybags, I mean Mickey) while Mickey continues to be played for a fool by Bonnie (has anyone thought to have his head checked out-he WAS hit pretty hard when he and Maggie were attacked by the Stalker); Jack and Jen are still stuck in that ravine with her feeling labor pains every two minutes, though now they have Hope and Patrick to help them in scenes over that cheesy CGI river; John and Brady are still arguing over Brady's involvement with Nicole; the inhabitants are still on the island; and Shawn is still trapped in that stupid storyline... I mean cage. Sigh. I feel like I'm in a loop of tape that just keeps being played over and over again-kind of like the end of "Speed" where Keanu Reeves gets the idea to loop a piece of tape continuously to trick their captor, Dennis Hopper (hmmm, maybe the island inhabitants can learn something from this movie)!
Seriously, the only story with any really significant movement has been the "Lumi" romance. After one pretty pathetic proposal, and a second that still lacked something, Lucas finally got Sami to say yes to a third one. And what a proposal that was: Sami wanted romantic and she got it! After channeling Doug (with some help from Julie), Lucas asked all of the Penthouse Grill to join in an "incredible moment" with them. He made a little speech about the crazy way they fell in love, then began to sing "When a Man Loves a Woman" (what fitting lyrics!) as we viewers were treated to flashbacks, before bringing out two dozen roses and getting down on one knee. Knowing Sami it will only be a matter of time before she starts trying to undo her own happiness (as usual), but hopefully the romance will last. After all, Ali Sweeney IS pregnant in real life (congratulations!), and how great would it be if they writers worked it into the story?
I guess the other stories have made some progress, but it's been so little in the last several weeks, it seems barely worth mentioning. What happened to the days of quick-moving summer stories to get the teens and teachers off for the summer hooked on DAYS? I first started watching because I was captivated by Carrie and Austin's failed wedding (when Sami interrupted to announce her pregnancy) and the "Is she Hope or Gina?" mystery. I didn't know who Lucas and Sami were, but I knew enough that they were up to something and didn't deserve the love of those they were after! Why should new viewers care why these people are all on some island that looks like their town? Or why this strapping guy can't escape some whacko chick's cage? Don't get me wrong-the Island/ "killer" mystery happens to be one of my favorite stories on the show. But that's because I know these characters and care about what happens to them and what's happening in their absence in the real Salem. I have an investment in them; new viewers don't. Is there ANY storyline that going on that can keep new people glued to their seats?
I suppose that Jan sending Shawn's purity ring back to Belle will lead to movement on the Belle and Phil romance. I can't believe Shawn is falling for Jan's obvious manipulations. After all, what is Belle supposed to think happened when Shawn left all huffy, puffy, high and mighty, not to be heard from again except a brief message and his purity ring? And of course Jan is only going to send Shawn scenes on her little transmitters that support her story! I thought he was too smart to fall for her lies. And could Belle BE any denser about what Philip is trying to tell her? "I haven't told you how I feel yet"-gee, wonder what he's talking about?? Idiot.
And on the island, it's about time some of the inhabitants took matters into their own hands and did something to try to get out of there; their SOS signal (or whatever Roman changed it to) was even picked up in Salem! Luckily Bo got the pattern on tape before Tony "accidentally" fell on the machine and broke it. This doesn't bode well for Tony's alleged innocence. It seems he may definitely be up to something...
RANDOM THOUGHTS Watching Kate and Sami do their version of getting along was hilarious, and I hope it continues... I wonder if Bonnie isn't actually beginning to really, truly fall for Mickey (for something other than his money, that is). But that dress she wore to the Grill was beyond garish and gaudy... I really liked the scenes where John and Tek talked about John's problem with Tek and Lexie's budding relationship: it only makes sense that John would be wary of someone making the moves oh his best friend's wife... Welcome back, Cassie!... How clever of Sami to use covering up in front of Belle about Marlena's missing body to her advantage by having John say he'd agree to pay for her wedding and honeymoon... It was so great to see Sami turning TO John for once, instead of away from him. That smile on John's face, even after he realized he was duped into paying for Sami's wedding expenses, really was that of a grateful father's... I felt so bad for the island inmates when they were forced to watch their loved ones "moving on" without them-especially Maggie when she saw Mickey and Bonnie kiss. I really hope they're not working to a Roman/Marlena/John/Kate quadrangle though. There will be enough triangles set up without those two couples involved! And isn't it interesting that the Host's transmissions were timed almost exactly with Jan's?... I know a lot of people probably had a problem with Patrick punching Hope out to stop her from going after Jen, but I didn't and here's why: I don't see him punching her as violence towards women. He did it not to keep her as a female from doing something, but her as a person. He would have done it if Hope were a man. And if she had punched him out, no one would have a problem with it. Plus, Hope is not a "damsel in distress": she is a trained police officer who is capable of handling herself. Just because she is a woman does not mean that punch counted as violence against women.
So I guess I won't be seeing you all again until after the Olympics. To our athletes I say, "Let's go, Team USA!" To our readers, I say if you have SoapNet to check it out at 7 p.m. during the Olympics: actors from DAYS will be airing their personal favorite episodes during that time slot. Remember to look out for the newest Belle, a trip from Chloe and a cliffhanger about the birth of Jen's baby, and I look forward to writing again soon!
See you soon,
What are your thoughts on Days of our Lives? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.