Seems like our long awaited heroes' and heroines' return from NewSalem island isn't quite the joyful reunion faithful viewers had hoped for.
With half the fearless crew still unaccounted for, the survivors arrived back in Salem to little fanfare, simply wandering lazily back into their lives. But of course, time waits for no man (or woman), and not everyone left behind greeted their loved ones with pure joy. There just might be a little 'splaining to do before Bo, Hope, John, Abe, Maggie, Jen, and Patrick, pick up where they left off.
Abe's return was beautifully done, and it was clear that Lexie rejoiced in having her husband and son's father back home. Even if she did still kind of wonder what her future might have held with Tek. And having Brandon arrive in time for the whole family to celebrate Lexie's birthday - well, it should have been a little jewel of a moment, and a memory to hold on to when the inevitable guilt over her attraction to Lek kicks back in. But noooooo - just as Abe commented on how wonderful it was to see Lexie's beautiful face, his vision began to blur and slowly fade out completely. Abe's having a 'good news, bad news' kind of day all right! They just couldn't let us have even one purely sweet reunion.
Kate, alerted by Celeste that she should go to the hospital to see the person she would spend her life with, found herself confronted with a bed-ridden John instead of new husband Roman. From the look on her face, she didn't really mind. You could almost see her weighing up the options: "Roman, John, Roman, John... hmm... well John's already IN the bed ...." Kind of took away from the concept of eternal love we expect from John and Marlena as well. (I think we'll find out that John's in real medical trouble - could he have broken his back during that storm? Marlena acted like a very concerned physician when she attached him to that raft. But I digress...) It rather strikes me that Sami and Kate share a common problem - they both love men, sex, and being hooked up with a hunk. Whoever today's hunk may be. Then they can moan about the fellow they are not with. And so on, and so on.
Bo and Hope had a sweet reunion with their sons, for about five seconds. Then the problems with Shawn kicked in, when they met their new daughter in law to be, Jan. Wouldn't that just make your day? Funnily enough, they had very little to say about Shawn's long absence, fixated as they were on asking about Belle, Shawn's head trauma, and the sex obsessed Jan hovering nearby. Well, they never expected to have an 'Ozzie and Harriet' kind of life!
Jen and Patrick, with Jen's new baby boy, came home to a suddenly aged and pouting Abby. Now that Abby's a teenager, she's full of angst ridden attitude. It's been rumored that her new friend, Chelsea, has secret ties to someone in the town. Now, I know I saw Billie bury her little girl baby, Georgia, years ago. But when has that stopped anyone from rewriting history? And what's the deal on this miracle baby? For months we heard nothing but moaning about how Jen's baby would miscarry, or be born with some terrible problems. Now - nothing. Just another baby. Open another can of dropped storylines!
But the piece de resistance, the most hurtful, wounding and unbelievable reunion, had to be Maggie's return. As a sort of Gilligan's island 'boomp de boomp' music played under the scene - which should have been a clue right there to the depth this writing would sink - Maggie wandered through her very changed home, calling for Mickey. Julie arrived, all a'fluster from trying to stop Mickey's marriage to Bonnie, only to find Doug standing beside her desk. Another non-comical moment ensued when she first asked him for a pen before realizing her lover was 'back from the dead'. And promptly fainted. Well, at least that works for me. I could have done with a lot more Julie and Doug, but we were being rushed to the inevitable "Maggie discovers Mickey has married Bonnie" moment.
Am I the only one who's guessing that John Clarke, the previous portrayer of the dignified Mickey, must be thanking his lucky stars that he left the show before this debacle happened? I can only presume the actor currently playing Mickey has been told to portray Mickey as a slightly senile old fa*t. That's the only explanation for Mickey's completely uncharacteristic and ungentlemanly reactions to the sight of his presumed dead 'love of his life'. How rude to barely acknowledge Maggie's presence, cling to floozy Bonnie, and let his family babble away while he stood there blushing and confused! The real, original Mickey would have run to Maggie, hold her like he'd never let her go, and immediately inform Bonnie that with Maggie back, the marriage was null and void. Instead, we have to see Maggie confront a man who seems in the middle stages of Alzheimer's Disease. This was probably the nastiest blow of all.
My take on this whole week's mess? Somebody wasn't pleased to be told to bring back the dead characters and change where the original storyline was headed. And if James Reilly isn't happy, nobody else can be either. 'Here's your dead ones back. Now choke on it!'
At least that's how I felt about the writing this week.
So - last week I asked everyone to let me know if they thought that soaps have outlasted their potential - as in - is there hope for renewed life in the soap arena? Here's what some of you had to say:
I loved "Days" when Brash & Cwickly (sp?) were doing the writing and it was relationship oriented. I dislike it intensely now. It was a glimmer of hope to read that you felt TPTB recognized they had made a BIG miscalculation in viewer's tolerance. I have broken the viewing habit, and I can go on without "Days", but it sure was hard. Thanks to you & Sari who hang in there and pass on info to the rest of us. - Gwen "
"How dare they kill off Caroline, Jack and Victor again. Now I am really going to stop watching Days of our Lives for good. - Jonathan W"
"With the world that we are living in today do they really think that we want to turn on our favorite soap and see people being blown up by volcanoes, and hear people talk about revenge and world domination? No we want to see romance and love, things that we can daydream about, not thing that will give us nightmares! I also think that it is high time TPTB pay a little more attention to their veteran actor and not give so much air time to the teen scene! We want to see our couples that have a history together, not the teens who just jump each other's bones all the time. If TPTB listened a little bit more to what the loyal viewers want then they might gain viewers instead of lose them! - Tammy S."
I rest my case!