The Alex North Memorial awards

For the Week of January 7, 2008
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DAYS Two Scoops: The Alex North Memorial awards
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Part two of a two-part look back at the events of the past year in Salem. This week, our columnists talk about the worst that Days of our Lives had to offer in 2007.

As my boss would say, "This isn't a bad review. This is an opportunity for improvement. I'd like to challenge you to take these critiques, turn them into lessons, and make yourself better because of them!" Good thing my boss isn't here. Prepare for the gloves to come off, Days fans, because today is the day where Tony and I are contractually obligated to complain about Days. I know, I know, it seems like such a stretch. We'll do our best.

First some ground rules. All decisions are final. If any recipient is unwilling to fulfill his or her duties -- tough. We already picked you. Titles are held for one full year- regardless of recast or rewrite. After the reveal, characters' names will be added to the plaque in the soon as we have a plaque.... and a lobby.

Next, we need a title for the awards. Thanks to some not-so-stellar writing of one past head writer (who shall remain nameless), Days fans had an all too familiar taste of "What in the world?" and "Are you kidding me?" storylines. But even in light of all the debacles that were "The Days of Our Past Lives", none sticks out more than the Alex North storyline (insert collective groan here). So, to pay proper homage to the Granddaddy of all horribly storylines, Tony and I proudly present the "Alex North Memorial Awards."

Worst New Character
Tony: Colleen Brady. Sorry folks, she just didn't do it for me. I understood her plight, yet still didn't feel as bad for her as I should have. But, what made things worse is that she showed up as a ghost/Sami's subconscious manifestation and told her to help the man that raped her! For being a "great"-aunt, I found her pretty mediocre.
Laurisa: Jeremy Horton. How in the name of all that's good, did Mike Horton's son turn into such a twit? From attempting to drown Stephanie to blaming his family for being too busy helping the less fortunate to pay attention to him, I seriously couldn't wait for Jeremy to leave.

Worst Veteran Character
Tony: Shawn Brady, Sr. "Pops" is normally great, but, as patriarch of the Brady clan, he royally let me down. He knew all along why his family was being targeted by the DiMeras, but he flat out refused to help. I get that he was tormented by the demons of ole, yet when your son gets stabbed and others have been killed you suck it up and deal with it, even if it's not the most welcomed task on your "to-do" list!
Laurisa: Hope Brady. I'm not talking about the loving wife/best friend/ex-cop Hope Brady. I'm talking about the Hope Brady who can't keep her mouth shut about her grown son's love live to anyone. Yes, I know she's trying to protect her son. But spreading the news to everyone but Shawn and constantly lecturing Belle and Philip (again, two grown people) just makes me mad. Hope has this horrible self-righteous streak that, when it rears its ugly head, is an ugly blemish on an otherwise wonderful, charming, and fan-favortie character.

Worst Couple
Tony: Chelsea and Jett. I know they weren't "technically" a couple, but, wow, even the idea of them was lame and the writers tried WAY too hard to cram them down our throats. I liked Jett, more so Marcus Patrick, but when it comes to chemistry with Chelsea they should leave that to the man who knows all about science - Nick.
Laurisa: Max and Stephanie. What's that? There're not blood relatives? Oh, then I guess its ok for the girl who grew up thinking of a boy as her uncle to start making out with him. Before you say it, this is not Chelsea and Stephanie, people. The big difference here is that Stephanie has ALWAYS known Max to be her uncle. Kayla thinks of Max as her brother. Caroline and Shawn think of Max as their son. Stephanie should think of Max as her uncle. I love their interaction as uncle and niece- when Max protects Stephanie and gives her advice about guys. But, I just get a gross feeling when he tries to use visual aids.

Worst Return
Tony: Lexie Carver. I LOVE Renee Jones, but they totally screwed up her return by tossing her very quickly to the sidelines and then right back out the door. She's a good actress and an essential part of two predominate families in Salem, yet they didn't have anything for her to do? Rrriiiggghhhttt.
Laurisa: Lexie Carver. She had that one great speech where she told off Stefano. But, except for that moment, she's been virtually MIA. Why bring a formerly major character back just to have her do nothing. This summer was the unveiling of the Brady/DiMera feud and Stefano's daughter was no where to be found??? You'd think that Lexie would want to know more than anyone why her father keeps attacking her friends, not to mention she has a son with that bloodline too.

Worst Recast
Tony: Stephanie Johnson. I really like Shelley Henning. Not only is she stunning, but her acting just keeps getting better and better. With that said, the character of Stephanie was poorly revamped. They took a sweet, yet ambitious "tomboy" with a budding career in racing ... now, not that I'm a racing fan, but how coolly "girl power" is that!? Awesome! And such a good role model for young girls who might be hesitant to get into a (typically) male dominated field. BUT then she left and, practically overnight, came back as an air-headed, self-conscious, whiney Playboy Bunny. Steve and Kayla's daughter should be a lot of things, but dumb and trashy shouldn't be two of them.
Laurisa: Mickey Horton. After John Ingle left the show last year I wasn't sure if the TPTB could find a suitable replacement. Turns out, they decided to replace Ingle with a vampire who can't come out in daylight or in sight of other people. Don't worry though. At least the characters still talk about Mickey like he's still on the show!

Worst Send Off
Tony: Benjy Hawk. We were treated to seeing "Benjamonkey" for the first time in years, enjoyed tearful reunions, but then he was attacked and while on the mend - bam! He was killed off. The scenes when they discovered his body were amazingly well acted, horribly sad, and despite talks of a "proper burial," that's where it left off - in September.
Laurisa: Benji DiMera. Andre killed Benji, but we don't know how or where. Then, we never got to see a funeral- which we were promised! Benji could have been a great character. The fact that the viewers were robbed of the family that Benji had just started and the connection he'd just re-established with Steve and Kayla was bad enough. But, the fact that we never got to say good-bye.....for shame, Hogan!

Most Regressed Character
Tony: Victor Kiriakis. Once upon a time, Victor started off as a ruthless mob boss and over the years started to mellow into more of a semi-ruthless, semi-legitimate business man. Yet, he's always put his family first and even gave the Bradys a few breaks because of his love and respect for their matriarch. Therefore it was a little bit of a letdown that he turned his back on all of his recent bonding with Caroline and helped to practically destroy her grandson's life - wait! Shawn D is HIS grandson too! Not cool Vic. Not cool.
Laurisa: Nick Fallon. I absolutely love Nick but this year he switched from a courageous brainiac into an all-out door mat for the ladies of Salem. How many women can take advantage of Nick? Kate blackmails him, Chelsea manipulates him, Willow blackmails him more, and China Lee drops two kids on him. It's ridiculous. Bring back regular Nick! You know, that goofy guy whose naiveté came across as courage. And for God's sake, please make him stop behaving like a begging dog in heat every time Chelsea is around.

Swing-and-miss Character
Tony: Max Brady. He is sweet to his mother, has a playful grin that can melt butter, and he's always helpful in pinch, but if Darren Brooks wasn't so lovable I'd root for Max to be struck out. First he's an egotistical racing superstar/playboy swinger, then a garage owner/investor in a horrible scheme, and now a good ole hometown bartender/hero to the rescue. Then there's his love life! First he chases skirts, then he falls for all the wrong girls (nieces and his nephew's wife included) and then he lets a perfectly good woman go because he can't relate to her "uptown girl" world. Umm, wasn't he rich and famous? I like that he's not such a celebrity creep anymore and more of a down to earth Brady, but the writers need to hit a consistency homerun and let him round the bases before throwing another pitch.
Laurisa: Stephanie Johnson. They tried. Those writers really had a good thought with Stephanie Johnson, the daughter of the sweet Kayla and strong Steve. But alas, Stephanie Johnson needs an extreme character make-over. While I have liked both actresses individually, I don't feel that either of the castings was good for Stephanie Johnson. Our little Patch-let has been nothing but a display of blind deportation since her Salem debut.

Broken Record Award
Tony: Sami and Lucas. Yes, we know Sami was doing it to protect her family. Yes, we know Lucas doesn't like it. Yes, we know.
Laurisa: Lucas Roberts Horton. "Mom, you're out of my life. I don't want to see you anymore. You're no longer my mother." Raise your hand if you think that Lucas means it this time. Me either.

Thick as a Brick Award
Tony: Mimi Lockhart. This girl never seemed to learn from her mistakes! An example, she listened to her mother time and time again! Of all the people in Salem, Bonnie was the least likely to dish out good advice - and she knew that, yet stepped aboard the stupidity train more times then Stefano has risen from the ashes.
Laurisa: Sami Brady. You all know that I love Sami, and I love her even more for putting her own feelings second- for once. But, does she really, honestly, think that marrying EJ will end the vendetta? There's no way. I do think that if Sami becomes a slave to EJ the vendetta will be "paused." That is, until Stephano gets mad at EJ and disowns EJ again. If EJ doesn't remain in favor with Stephano then it really doesn't matter what Sami does.

Worst Dressed
Tony: Nick Fallon. I'm a jeans and t-shirt kinda guy, but as a young professional Nick needs to spruce up his wardrobe a bit. I mean, it's good he relates to his students, yet he shouldn't dress like one, especially after loosing his first job out of college for inappropriate behavior. Even if he isn't going to act the part, he should at least try to look it.
Laurisa: Kayla Johnson. This one hurts. I love me some Kayla, but I often feel like her wardrobe was something right out of the stage production of "Wicked". For Pete's sake (or at least Steve's) stop it with the high fluffy collars and purple jackets.

Most Underutilized Character
Tony: Anna DiMera. This was by far the hardest category as there are so many of them! Billie was a serious contender, but we're used to her hanging around the backburners. Anna, on the other hand, just returned. She's such a great character with a lot of rich history to re-explore and new paths to pave. Wake up writers!
Laurisa: Billie Reed, Private Investigator. I mean it writers! Give Billie Reed her own storyline. The past year she's managed to track down Philip's kid, sell a legitimate security device to two major corporations, and, on multiple occasions, tell off Kate and mean it! (something that none of the other Kate-offspring have ever been able to do.) Sure, she's had a hard luck time in the love department. But, I really think that she has grown as a character. Her identity no longer depends on Bo. Plus, the great acting talent of Julie Pinson-Warlock (I just love that Julie married Billy Warlock!) is sitting there virtually untapped! Get this lady a storyline!

Most Over Utilized Character
Tony: Sami Brady-Roberts-Etc. If Days was a Chinese Horoscope this would have been the "Year of the Sami." I've praised Alison Sweeney, and totally meant what I've said (I really do love her), but there can be too much of a good thing. Another cliché: absence makes the heart grow fonder. The writers need to give poor Alison a vacation (and the audience too).
Laurisa: Kate Roberts. It's like the writers can't come up with an actual, bonafide storyline for Kate so they keep seasoning all the other storylines with her. What? She's not involved in the Brady/DiMera fued? I know, let's use her for bait to trap Roman and then let her sleep with Stefano so that she'll be indebted to the family. What? She's not a student at Salem U? I know, let's have her blackmail Nick and then cover for him giving money to Chelsea. Every time she comes on the screen I say, "What the heck does she have to do with this?" I have yet to be able to answer myself.

Most Likely to Date a Relative
Tony: Max Brady. First Chelsea, then Steph, pretty soon he's going to be giving Caroline longing glances because, hey, they're not related by blood either so it's ok! Oh, it's so not ok, Maxie. So. Not. Ok.
Laurisa: Max Brady. On the show, Max has been through two nieces, one ex-niece-in-law, and one ex-step-niece. In real life, Darrin Brooks has some great acting talent and it's thus far been wasted on half-baked attempts at bedding one of his relatives. This guy has leading man written all over him. Please, please, please give him a real shot at being part of a couple that fans can get behind.

Worst Shocking "What the &%$#?" Moment
Tony: John's death. Despite reading spoilers, despite witnessing it, despite the death scenes and flashbacks and montages, I still can't believe it happened! I mean, it's "That's a fact," eyebrow raising John Black. He can't die!
Laurisa: The reinvention of Phelle. So, let me get this straight. First, Philip lets his father use Claire, the "daughter" he claims to love, as a tool to set up Belle to appear as an unfit mother. Then, Philip pays Willow to lie in family court to hurt Belle's custody case. Then, he plots to take Claire out of the country. Then, he chases Belle half way around the world, getting her boyfriend shot, in attempt to get Claire back. Then, he gets the four of them caught in a hurricane!! And THAT'S what Belle wants? Huh?

Worst storyline Resolution
Tony: Claire Custody Suit/On the Run/Tinda Lau, or, as I would say, Tinda-Lousy. The storyline was alright, albeit a little dragged out, but after months of rooting for the underdogs, hoping a beloved couple are finally going to get back together, and cheering for them as they elude the "bad guy," how is it resolved? Belle sleeps with the bad guy! Why did they even bother?
Laurisa: John Black's death. There I was, all ready for a huge "whodunit". But, alas we're left with a footnote ending as to what happened to John Black (who should NOT be gone to begin with, thankyouverymuch). Some crap about Andre's former cell mate getting an order for the hit from Andre (who was on his own death bed at the time). Puuuhhleeeease.

Worst Waste of a Storyl Line
Tony: The Wonder Boys, Artemis and Demarquette. I loved the kids, but the writers could have done so much more with this and it definitely didn't deserve the speedy wrap up it got. So many more Salemites could have gotten involved, a shocking revelation of who their biological parents were could have rocked the town, and, Nick could have been made into a dorky "Indiana Jones" type out to solve the mystery, protect his "family," and score with the girl in the end because of his heroic actions. Ah, one out of three isn't bad.
Laurisa: Tyler Kiriakis. Philip finally has a chance to be a father, groom a Kiriakis heir, and have something in his life that didn't rhyme with Schmelle or Schmlaire and he just throws it away. Plus, I can't remember when Days had a good single father storyline. I think that Jay Kenneth Johnson could pull it off remarkably well.

Worst storyline
Tony: Touch the Sky ... need I say more? Ok, really, this just really skidded off the runway from the beginning. It involved too many new characters, too many established characters acting like idiots, and it dropped so many potential tie-ins with the veterans because the writers were too focused on hot tub frolics and babes with guns. Boo!
Laurisa: Touch the Sky. Let me count the things that were wrong with this storyline. 1. It surrounded around two characters (Jett and Jeremy) that were written off the show within weeks of the storyline ending. 2. It showcased the way-too-prevalent display of party-girl Stephanie Johnson. 3. It featured the start of an incest storyline- Max and Stephanie. 4. It screwed with one couple that everyone seemed to like- Chelsea and Nick. 5. The blink-or-you-missed-it storyline involving Artemis and Demarquette. I want my money back, and I want my time back.

Well, that about covers it. We 'd like to apoloigize to any character who did not make it on the list and encourage them to follow the teaching of the school of Alex North and strive to be as confusing, disapointing, and bewildering as the school's namesake. Remember, there's always next year.

In all seriousness, we hope that you all had a happy and healthy New Year. Tony will be back next week with a regular Two-Scoops column and we'll dive right back into the happenings of Salem.

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.

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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