I once had a boss who was obsessed with list-making. In fact, we often had meetings where we did nothing but make lists of things - "To-Do" lists; lists of past, present, and proposed projects; lists of people to contact; and so on and so forth. Said boss would dictate legal pads full of them. Because of his slight fixation, my coworkers and I had a shared folder in one of our uprights that read "List of Lists." It was pretty intense.
Although I'm not as excited by lists as my former boss, I do make them. I'm a little, let's say, "overly organized," and so they come along with the territory. They help me sort out what needs to be done or even sometimes make a decision. Mine are usually either "To-Do" lists or "Songs to Download," but occasionally another type falls into play. That type would be of the "Pro and Con" variety, and it's that type of list that helped me get through DAYS last week.
You see, I made one mostly because I'm still not sure if I enjoyed DAYS last week or not. There were some fantastic spots, but there were also some spots that left me seeing red even though I was blue because of Mickey's sudden death. So let's stroll through that list and see if we end up more organized or just as confused.
Mickey's memorial was much like Mickey the man - classy and warm but filled with a lot of drama. And although some level of drama was expected, some of it seemed out of place in a very harsh, grating way. That's what kept me from totally enjoying everything about his farewell. But let's start out with a positive aspect.
PRO. Acting! Suzanne Rogers was the best pace car you could have had. Her performances were simply flawless and set the bar high for the rest of the cast. And no one disappointed! From Kristian to Bryan to Bill and Susan to Taylor and Molly, everyone shined. The love for Mickey and Maggie was felt, just as it should have been.
CON. Whereas the performances were strong, many of the events felt way too rushed. Unfortunately, a lot of us probably know from experience just how quickly a funeral can come together. Therefore, the turnaround didn't bother me as much as the skipping over of certain parts - namely Mickey's actual funeral. But that's where things get tricky...
On one hand, I understand the writers not penning a scene set at St. Luke's. The logistics of that would have been a nightmare. I mean, seriously, half of the people "there" would have been invisible. How can you shoot a scene like that!? And I don't think any viewer would buy that Sarah, Alice, Bill, AND Marie were all in a confessional booth at the same time or stuck in traffic. Nor would fans like to see conveniently placed floral arrangements that just so happen to block the faces of our M.I.A. family members. So, I can give the writers a pass...I think...
Because, on the other hand, I feel a little jilted not seeing a church full of family, friends, and obligatory extras who "must have known Mickey so well." I understand that reassembling sets costs money and that Maggie's living room was already there, but part of what makes DAYS a great show are the traditions, and big events at St. Luke's are one of the traditions. Considering Mickey was there on day one, that tradition should have been kept.
PRO. The short but sweet memorial service afterwards mostly made up for the lack of a "proper" funeral. The sentimental fool in me loved the vintage flashbacks and hearing the warm, fuzzy tributes to Mickey by his loved ones. And I'll be honest, Doug's "To Mickey" cracked me up as it sounded like he'd already had a few before he bellowed that out.
MINI-PRO. During the memorial service and at SOME points during this storyline, I've caught a glimpse or two of "Old Hope." Fancy Face fans might remember her as the more likeable version of the current incarnation. I have a large fishing net and an exorcist on standby should "Old Hope" re-emerge again.
CON. I'm not entirely sure why Lucas didn't share some memories. I thought that was in poor taste considering there are only a handful of Hortons left...who aren't invisible, that is. And, sadly, that number is dwindling. Mickey is gone, and we'll soon be minus another one. Therefore, I felt a little cheated, especially because I have a bad feeling the soon-to-exit-Horton will simply vanish like Steve and Kayla, never to be heard from again. I hope my hunch is wrong.
PRO. While on the subject of M.I.A. Hortons, I was thrilled that Lisa Trusel returned for a guest stint as Melissa. That is perhaps one of the biggest "Pros" for me. I used to really like Melissa, and the dorky DAYS-o-holic in me was just as excited as Maggie when that door opened and she was on the other side.
It was also great to see Nathan interact with his mom... despite that somewhat eye-rolling "You must be Melanie" mix-up. Nathan grew up without his father, so Melissa was it. I thought Lisa and Mark formed a quick but convincible bond that showcased that relationship. I think the writers should have her pay visits a little more often. Yes, Higs, that was a hint.
Mostly, the character HAD to be there. She was Mickey's daughter. I think fans have had to grin and bear a lot of "he's [or she's] in the other room," but Melissa and Sarah both being elsewhere wouldn't have been cool...at all. So, all-around thumbs-up to her return!
CON. Only ONE measly return for Mickey's funeral!? Mickey - a character who's been on DAYS since day one only had one - ONE - person return for his funeral (that was actually seen on-screen)? 44 years of storytelling for Mickey, and that's all we were treated to? That disappointed me.
Again, I know the logistics of a big gathering and guest stints are expensive for the studio and an all-around pain in the hourglass, but the diehard fan in me would have loved to actually see Bill and Marie. Or perhaps Laura, Mike, Jennifer, or Jeremy. Okay, I'm kidding about Jeremy, but the others would have been a nice treat.
PRO. On the flip, I was glad names such as Bill and Marie were even brought up. Bill especially because of the history he shared with his brother. Oh, and Sarah! I'll tell you what - I had an itchy typing finger ready to name Sarah being excluded as my "NOT" of the week, but DAYS sank that shot right at the buzzer. They mentioned Sarah several times - score!
CON. Why stop at Bill, Marie, and Sarah being "in the other room?" I understand that excuse is tired and frustrating, but Mickey did have another brother, Tommy. He wasn't mentioned at all. Nor were folks like Laura, Mike, Jennifer, or even his lifelong friend Marlena. Nope, nada.
PRO. Non-Horton attendance. Laurisa got her wish - E.J. showed up! And it was a nice touch (and probably the only enjoyable things he did last week, but more on that later). In fact, I'm convinced E.J. should get a job giving speeches and toasts at funerals. Thinking back, his Irish toast to Shawn Sr. was a hit at that wake, and his speech about Mickey was just as nice. I'll drink to that.
CON. Non-Horton non-attendance. Given that there are only a few visible Hortons left, I was surprised we didn't see more non-related familiar faces. Where was Sami? Abe and Lexie? How about Caroline? Longtime friend and neighbor Roman? Heck, even Chloe was missing...and given that she and Maggie are pals now, I was surprised she wasn't there. More so, a Chloe/Doug duet would have been an extra-cheesy nice touch. Boo!
PRO. Thumbs-up to Philip for not only postponing the wedding, but also making sure Melissa and Sarah got home. I just hope Stephanie and others who peg Dimples a "just another shady Kiriakis" make note of his generosity. But they probably won't.
PRO. I was into Mel and Nathan's kiss! Even though I still think Philip and Mel seem like a Lifetime made-for-TV movie based on the life of Jerry Lee Lewis and his 13-year-old bride, I won't deny that Jay Ken and Molly have chemistry. However, I saw a spark between Mark and Molly that I hadn't noticed in a while. It was one of the first times I actually thought of Nathan as a real contender who could take on Philip, and that's making things more interesting. It might have been Nathan's home-court advantage, but I'll take it.
PRO. Details! I enjoyed the touches such as Hope leaving to tell Alice, Julie telling Nathan, Maggie worrying about the people at Mickey's firm, and even Mel and Mia donating the flowers to the hospital. Those realistic factors really drive home the sadness of the situation.
PRO. Maggie's red shoes - aw!
EVALUATION: As far as celebrating Mickey and Maggie's relationship, honoring Mickey, and characters supporting Maggie, the show did an excellent job! There were some loose ends and disappointing factors, but all in all, those were the three major points and they were covered nicely. The PROs win this round!
VET LOVE QUAD AND VIVIAN'S REVENGE
True, this section could have been lumped together with the one above. However I decided not to do what the writers did. I didn't want to muck up a conversation about Mickey and Maggie with all the Bo, Hope, and Carly nonsense.
CON. Hope and Carly are normally classy women, but I think the two of them acted about as classy as the
white orange trash on Jersey Shore by fighting in Maggie's house DURING Mickey's wake. Because of their bickering, they sent a woman - whose husband had JUST died - running into another room with tears streaming down her face. Poor Maggie almost tripped over Invisible Sarah's invisible purse when she went rushing in. Oh, no, no, no, gals! You don't do that to Big Red. I mean, really!
All in all, it was a cheap move on the writers' part to create drama. Here's a tip - the funeral of a vet who's been on the show for 44 years should be enough drama for one episode. Had that fight not been so horribly timed, I wouldn't have minded. But because of the timing, I just didn't care - I thought both characters acted like completely selfish, unlikable *please feel free to fill this in with your favorite expletive*!
PRO. Doug standing tall and readying himself to protect his "little girl" was great. He's still the man!
PRO. Aside from the timing, both Hope and Carly made valid points to one another. Neither Hope nor Carly are entirely right or wrong. Most importantly, Carly called Hope out on her B.S., and Hope called Carly out on hers.
CON. Whereas the points they made to each other weren't entirely wrong, both Hope and Carly are idiots for fighting at Maggie's in the first place. Sure, Hope was wrong for starting it in the first place, but Carly was also wrong for going along with it. Ironically, Carly always says, "I'm leaving," but she never seems to follow through by actually walking out the door. All things considered, I kind of lost sympathy and a little respect for both of them. Further disappointment was that Tad wasn't there to tell them to shut up.
CON. Right now, I'm neither a "Bope" fan nor a "Carbo" fan. All of the characters in this equation are a little exhausting at the moment. Make that "a lot" exhausting.
NEUTRAL. Bo and Carly "did it." Was I supposed to be shocked by this? I really wasn't...at all. I think that writing has been on the wall since Billie -- whoops! -- CARLY returned. Kind of a yawn.
NEUTRAL. I feel really dumb now - why didn't I figure out Mel was Carly's daughter a lot sooner!? Oh, wait! I think most of us guessed that right about the time Melanie began irrationally hating Carly. Therefore I was a little underwhelmed by the sneaky way they tried to work that in. It was still a twist, but I haven't figured out yet if I like it or not. Right now my feeling about the situation is simply a shrug.
PRO. Wow! We FINALLY learned what happened to Mel's "mother." Trent told Mel she died when Mel was a child. And that mystery is solved (albeit two years later).
PRO. John Aniston and Louise Sorel are always a trip! No matter how silly the situation is on-screen, these actors make the best out of it. Plus, their hilarious takes brought some chuckles to a rather depressing week.
CON. This isn't so much of a "Con" as it is a warning - the writers need to figure out a direction and follow it. I'm having a hard time believing Vivian Alamain doesn't have a foolproof plan in progress by now. She seems to be meandering through the revenge process like an amateur. Note to the writers - that doesn't work for fans who remember Auntie Viv because one thing she's not is indecisive. She sets a goal and she goes for it, but right now she seems stuck in revenge limbo, and we're right there with her scratching our heads.
POSSIBLY-PRO. There's an interesting seed planted in Vivian's revenge garden, and I hope the writers let it grow. That would be the potential span of this storyline. There're already many characters involved, but should she target Mia, that draws in Maggie, Chad, and Will...and if Will's in, so is Sami! See, there's potential!
EVALUATION: These storylines need some work, pronto! But that assessment is hardly shocking.
THE TEEN SCENE
PRO. Will and Mia broke up. Will and Mia got back together. Even while broken up, Will and Mia acted more maturely towards each other than Hope and Carly.
PRO. Who knew Chad was so handy? He fixed the ice machine, which patched things up between him and Gabi. Then he invited her to his parents' condo in Vancouver to watch the snowboarding finals at the Olympics. Sure, it's shameless NBC self-promotion, but it beats free coffee at the Java Café! All in all, I like this. I like them. They're fun to watch. More, please!
PRO. Tad/T is a hoot! The kid simply cracks me up. I just hope the writers keep working him into the storylines.
(BEGRUDGING) PRO. I hate to admit this, but Kinsey kind of made me laugh last week. Sure she's incredibly insensitive. Sure she's mostly annoying. Sure I wouldn't be sad if she went up to the attack and never came back down. But she did amuse me a little, so I'll give her a shout-out for that.
EVALUATION: All things considered, this batch of teens is entertaining in moderation.
THE KIDNAPPING CREW
E.J. and Anna are still in cahoots. Sami is still keeping kidnapping 411 from Rafe. Let's break this down.
PRO. Leann is still on our screens! THAT alone is enough to celebrate this storyline. However...
NEUTRAL. I'll be blunt - hardly any of this storyline captured my attention last week. Granted, the show was justifiably Mickey and Maggie focused, but we received only one nugget of insight into the "kidnapping" - E.J. enjoys making Sami miserable. That's all. Mostly we watched Anna stress, E.J. twist his proverbial evildoer's mustache, Sydney look adorable, Rafe scratch his chin and ponder things, and Sami carrying on. Again, that's all.
SEMI-CON. I know I'm nitpicking and I do appreciate that Bo and Rafe are actually working, but the "we have a possible lead" shtick is getting a little crusty.
POSSIBLE CON. Is it just me or does anyone else smell a stall tactic being used to stretch things out until February Sweeps?
EVALUATION: While watching this storyline, I felt as if I dozed off and woke up hours later, but it was still the same scene. I'd say things need to start shaking and baking again. Luckily, with Rafe happening upon Sami and E.J., that just might happen!
LORD OF THE DRUGS
Here's a shocker - Brady and Ari got back together. They decided the tenth time has to be the charm. Also, Troy hired the most inept assassin ever to kill Ari.
PRO. I always enjoy Ari and Mel scenes. Sure, their get-togethers are somewhat of a giggle-fest. But they work.
SURPRISING PRO. I actually thought the double date was kind of fun and refreshing. As soap fans, we always hear about the strong bonds of friendship characters share, but we don't often get to see characters just hang out like friends do. Of course, Dr. Dan and Chloe gossiped about Brady and Ari after they left and Ari walked in on them doing so. Whoops! But I don't think it's that off-base to say I could see that happening in real life, so props to the writers.
PRO. Brady saved the girl - the girl NOT named Nicole! I like this only because it gives Brady something to do. He's like a shark and needs to keep moving, or else he'll end up doing stupid things.
CON. Please don't take this as I wanted Ari to be shot, but it's sort of frustrating that the character of Troy went from mysterious drug dealer to bumbling chump (and, most likely, scapegoat).
AVOIDED CON: Because of a news bulletin, I missed a few minutes at the beginning of Friday's episode. So at first, I thought Gabi was left alone in the pub after it had been "robbed" and the "robber" got away.
EVALUATION: This entire group seems to be orbiting the rest of Salem in their own little mixed-up spaceship. However, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Things are simmering, as they have been for a while, but they're not burning, which is a good sign of juicy storyline stew to come.