Ick, awe, and boohoo

by Tony
For the Week of February 25, 2008
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DAYS Two Scoops: Ick, awe, and boohoo
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Just before the curtain was about to be brought down, the proverbial fat lady returned for an encore and belted out a love song for Shawn and Belle.

Like Lucas did in his messages to Ali a few weeks ago, I wish I could read this introduction to you in front of a crackling fireplace as it would add so much more ... I don't know ... ambiance. Yes, that's it! Ambiance!

I'd like to use this cyber fireside chat to dispel everyone's feelings who were disappointed that Valentine's Day came and went in Salem and there wasn't any romance. I feel they spoke too soon. Romance is definitely not dead on Days. You see, you just have to get the idea of a beds covered in rose petals out of your heads. Extinguish thoughts of candles and incense. Put a lid on the strawberries and whip cream because all it takes for real romance to rear its passionate head is a major disaster and a crash landing in Greenland. Yes, Greenland.

I mean, really, what could be more arousing than a crash site? Aside from the risk of hypothermia, ignoring the fact that several of the characters' injured relatives were in close proximity and disregarding the small detail that there were three dead bodies also within close range, I really think it was good timing for all of these couples to consummate. Right.

Ok, apologies all around, I intended to talk about the fallout from Shawn Sr.'s death first, but my "Ick Alarm" was blaring too loudly and I couldn't concentrate on anything else. Laurisa and I were actually discussing this factor over some email exchanges this week and she reminded me that Days has a bad habit of ignoring dead bodies when it comes to love scenes.

Here's an example or two. While Ford was decomposing in the basement, Nick and Chelsea fooled around and Morgan tried to seduce Max into a bubble bath. Whether the characters knew about the body at that point is irrelevant, it's just ewe, majorly ewe, on the writers' part! Even the age old, overused, "let's get naked to stay warm" trick didn't soften the blow this time.

Foremost, I realize it's a soap and, I agree, love scenes are important. I also understand that the characters were just happy to be alive and expressing their love to one another and, I'm far from a prude, but doing the deed in the freezing cold while surrounded by the dead and wounded just doesn't scream "appropriate time and place!" Call me crazy. To me, those scenes had the same grotesque factor as watching the evening news and finding out the chicken served at my favorite neighborhood restaurant isn't chicken.

Moving on ... ok, one last dry heave ... now, I'm moving on. So, if you can believe it after that long rant, I actually enjoyed Days this week! Sure it was incredibly sad (with a peppering of utterly hysterical moments), but it was well acted and the momentum seemed to pick back up after last week's prolonged doomed flight scenes. I mean, heck, they crashed, were rescued and by the next evening John finally got his Happy Hour at the DiMera Mansion! With that said, let's talk about Days.

Claireapalooza (Claire and John)

To rebound from the "Ick Factor," let's first turn our attention to the "Awe Aspect." Now for a headcount - how many times did everyone say, "awe" while Claire and John were bonding? To quote one of those little sugary hearts you get around Valentines Day, "too cute!" Between his Arnold Schwarzenegger meets Will & Grace's drunken Karen Walker one liners and her cute comebacks, I couldn't help but crack up. Even Belle pulled a zinger when she sarcastically quipped, "for some reason she likes to hang out with you."

I give Days some major props for including Claire in this part of the storyline. Whereas they could have easily sent her back to Salem earlier, made her an "invisible child" by saying she is elsewhere or carrying around a bundled up doll, they tossed her right in there with the adults and she definitely held her own. It was kind of cool to see the disaster through the innocence of a child's eyes. She's probably too young to grasp the severity of the situation and, since John is basically void of human emotions, it was fun to see these two pal around with their biggest concerns being "juice" and setting off flairs. It definitely added some much needed levity to the week.

Lost, Brady Style (The Survivors)

Then there was the heavier side of the crash. Steve had some broken ribs and a punctured lung (ouch) and Marlena had a dislocated shoulder (double ouch). Kayla also had some pregnancy concerns, but Bo's condition was the big issue. I agree with Laurisa's statements last week - I'm glad this cat is out of the bag and they can focus on discovering what's going on with him. Kristian Alfonso delivered some powerful scenes while trying to keep Bo alive as well as worrying about the rest of family and friends.

Of course the other main focus was mourning Shawn Sr. Kayla, Bo and Shawn Douglas each had some seriously sad breakdowns. Poor Bo actually had to hear the news twice and took it just as hard both times! They were great performances all around, especially Mary Beth Evans who just tore my heart up. She reminds me a bit of Sally Field as she has that sweet, sincere nature about her and, like when Sally does a dramatic scene, she just sucks you into them and you cry along with her. Between this week and my hunches that the next is going to be just as sad, I seriously need to balance out my Days watching with some reruns of I Love Lucy.

Reunited and it Feels So Good (Belle and Shawn)

In other crash related news ... just before the curtain was about to be brought down, the proverbial fat lady returned for an encore and belted out a love song for Shawn and Belle. "Shelle" fans all over are probably celebrating after this week as it looks like these two will be riding off into the sunset together when they exit Salem in March. Ironically, we always seem to get our happy endings just as characters are leaving! What's up with that?

What Happens in Greenland, Stays in Greenland (Philip and Chloe)

Like Phil, I'm sort of a "laugh through a serious situation" kind of guy, so I thought it was hysterical that he found the humor in his trapped leg predicament. To be honest, I sort dusted off my old "I heart Philip" baseball cap this week. I can't pinpoint my newfound adoration for him, but it crept up to me and latched on. One part I found refreshing was seeing Philip simply being a nice guy without ulterior motives. Trust me, I fancy his bad guy with a heart of gold angle too, but, like his father, it's nice to see the softer side emerge now and then. I also think the crash made him more dimensional or perhaps just reminded me he's not just this harsh businessman who was out for Belle, he's a good friend, a war hero and actually a pretty funny guy.

In general, I was kind of digging both Philip and Chloe this week. Despite the circumstances, they had some enjoyable scenes together. I am glad "Phloe" didn't give into their libidos and make love. They do have some red hot chemistry together, but I think it's in good taste that they chose to remain friends - for now anyway.

And Baby Makes Four (Steve and Kayla)

So Steve (and eventually Stephanie) found out about Baby Johnson this week, but, despite their happiness, Sweetness is a little worried as she experienced some difficulties. I'm keeping it in mind that this is a soap and drama is the key factor, but once in a while a normal, healthy pregnancy would be a treat. If it's not a "who's your daddy?" or "baby swap" storyline, the woman has some sort of major complication. Those things do happen, and it's horribly sad when they do, but ... and this is just a wild rumor I heard somewhere ...there are millions of women who have healthy pregnancies all the time. I even heard some expectant mothers' live full lives, including work, while waiting for their bundles of joy to arrive. So, based on those wild, crazy rumors, maybe the writers could give Kayla both a baby AND a meaty storyline that doesn't necessarily, 100% focus on the baby. Just a thought.

Say a Little Prayer (Salemites)

Meanwhile back in Salem ... everyone was frantic about the crash. From their time at the police station to when everyone took Caroline's advice and headed to St. Luke's for a little rap session with God, there were some great scenes. I enjoyed Max and Lexie's little altercation and later apology and bonding over having vicious biological fathers. I liked how Victor and Kate teamed up to comfort Chelsea (and, as always, Rachel Melvin gave a great performance). However, more than anything, I loved the fact Big Red showed up! Maggie is always a pleasant surprise even in a grime situation.

A Hometown Hero (Shawn, Sr.)

We discussed the "Ick" and "Awe" so now let's talk about the "Boohoo." That is, of course, Salem's reaction to Shawn Sr.'s death. All of these scenes were so superbly portrayed. You could tell that the actors are also mourning Frank Parker's exit. After twenty-five years of working together, you could bet their emotions were running high and that definitely played out on screen.

First lets talk about poor Caroline. Worse than simply hearing about it right off the bat, everyone kept rushing over to her with regards, then realized she didn't know and tried to act inconspicuous. Right. That doesn't work folks and, here's a little secret, it only makes matters worse. It was a devastating moment when she finally realized what happened. John's kind words later on didn't help keep the Kleenex stay dry either! Peggy McCay did an amazing job and I hope the writers follow through with this storyline and let us watch Caroline as she picks up the pieces and tries to move on with her life. Just a reminder to the writers, as an audience we are interested in the veteran characters too! Thanks and smooches!

Two last things. One, I thought Josh Taylor's reaction to the news was perhaps his best performance to date. It was very understated and totally honest. Nothing is more gut wrenching than seeing a "tough guy" breakdown.

Second, I'm crossing my fingers that the writers come up with a very, very ... dare say ... very good reason why Frankie (probably) won't be at the funeral. Whereas Billy Warlock is now the Young and the Restless and can't return, the character better either phone home or the writers need to pull a "Mickey" and have him off getting tissues in the other room the entire time. Not a great solution, but better than nothing.

The Teddy Bear and the Tyrant (Victor)

It's great having Victor back in Salem! John Aniston brings such a gothic, powerful feel to the screen every time he's on. There's also a deep complexity to his character and you can almost see the angel and devil sitting on his shoulder.

His angelic side definitely shined this week. First he supported Chelsea and Caroline then he turned his attention toward Bo. I love the fact that Days is revisiting all of this history. Not only with Bo's paternity, but they also brought up Isabella's illness a few times and Victor certainly isn't forgetting his grandson either - which leads me to talk about the devil on his other shoulder.

I think Chloe was seriously wishing she was back in Greenland when Victor laid into her about Brady's whereabouts. She still claims she's innocent and even obtained an ally in Philip. Victor looked a little disappointed in his son's support, but it's safe to assume that won't stop him from grilling her again.

Come to Mommy (Kate)

Speaking of looks, did anyone notice the one on Kate's face when Phil invited Chloe to stay with him? She's back! It looks like Kate's retirement from getting involved in her children's love lives is officially over. I actually feel bad for Philip because now that Billie, Austin and Lucas are out of town Mommy Dearest has all the time in the world to dote on him. He's so lucky!

R-E-S-P-E-C-T (Tony and Anna)

Leann Hunley and Thaao Penghlis are absolutely brilliant! They can go from sidesplitting to serious and make it all believable. I like the angle they're playing with these two because it really establishes Anna as a strong, independent woman. She's not about to chase him around like a puppy, as she said, and that is a great treat compared to the female characters who are either victims or psychos who make their entire existence about the men in their lives. I can't wait for them to start squaring off in the boardroom!

Million Dollar Baby (John)

So when John got back to Salem he finally said hello to the rest of his "new" family, then, much to everyone's surprise, he eagerly embraced the DiMera fortune. Like Anna, I was glad Marlena chose to do what was best for her and got of there, yet I'm kind of enjoying all of this. Granted, it's not something the "Old John" would do, but I don't think his memory is going to return anytime soon so at least it's an interesting approach to the situation. Besides, as much as we'd like him to engross himself in the Brady way of life, he's justified in wanted to learn about his origins and, heck, why not reap some financial rewards in the process?

Witchy Woman (Ava)

So we caught more than a glimpse of Ava this week and so far she's still shrouded in mystery. One thing is clear, however, she definitely has it out for Steve and doesn't seem to be too happy that Kayla is pregnant. She even sent him a card reading, "That bitch will never have your baby!" Really, balloons or a teddy bear would have been much more appropriate. Maybe she just has a real problem with baby shower games and doesn't want to have to play them. Or maybe she's just an obsessive psycho, who am I to judge?

Yet, while her intentions are still a little vague, Steve seems to know exactly what she wants and that has him freaking out. He's even speculating she was the one behind the plane crash. I'm not sure, however, she seems like too convenient of a scapegoat. Considering we don't know too much about her yet, I'm not placing all of my eggs in the Ava being responsible for the crash basket.

Extra Scoops

Hot and Not

Hot: I loved the scenes between John, Anna and Sami at the DiMera Mansion! Who know that together these three could be just as funny as the Stooges? Anna might be standing her own with Tony, but that didn't get in the way of her ears perking up with ideas of a little gold digging. And Sami stepping on her foot - hysterical!

Not: Well, after pondering this for a millisecond, I'd have to go with the ill-timed love scenes. Sorry to be redundant!

Line(s) of the Week:

Sorry, like potato chips, I had a problem picking just one this week!

"It's just funny. If one of my legs was going to get crushed it might as well be my fake one, right?" Philip to Chloe while pinned by the wreckage.

"That's a fact," Claire's response to John mentioning she really must love orange juice.

"She cuts right to the chase. Maybe she is my granddaughter," John on Claire's directness.

The Milk Carton:

Rex and Cassie may have landed in Salem in a spaceship, but they've now turned into the Incredible Missing Twins. Seriously, even Kate forgot about them when she was listing her children this week! Considering Shawn's death, let's hope Roman hasn't forgotten them either.

Parting Thoughts ...

Blogmania has officially inflicted Laurisa and I the past few weeks so make sure to check out our new SoapCentral.com Blogs! In addition to our weekly Two Scoops, we have some major plans to (hopefully) keep everyone entertained between columns! Yet, it's not only fun for us as every Days-a-holic is welcomed to set up their own accounts to complain, compliment or conspire!

So friends and Days fans, that's "Two Scoops" for the week of February 18th, and, as Claire would say, "That's a fact."

As always, thanks for reading!

Tony S
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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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