When I began Two Scooping in 2007, there were several things I never thought I'd get the chance to scoop. I never expected to write about Bill, Laura, and Kate. I didn't think I'd get to geek-out about my love for Adrienne, Jennifer, or Melissa. I thought Shane Donovan -- one of the coolest dudes in Salem back in the '80s -- was a goner. Anna went M.I.A. in '86, and I thought she was a goner, too. And, of course, Ms. Nicole Walker waltzed out of Salem in 2006. Nope, when I started, I never thought I'd get to Scoop about any of those characters, and you know what? I was wrong! I got to Scoop about all of them -- in one week!
Of course, Nicole has been a fixture for a while now, Anna and Adrienne are on recurring status, and Shane and Jennifer's guest stints started a few weeks ago, but, combined with the returns (and recast) last week, I'm on a DAYS all-star high. I'm not even going to be greedy and wish "so and so" would return, too, because, you know what, more of my favorites are returning this week! Sans Kristen DiMera and a handful of others, nearly all of my "I Wish They'd Return" checklist is crossed off.
Sadly, my enjoyment is entirely too bittersweet. We know why those guest returns are happening -- Alice is dying. I'm still in denial about that. But I'm pretty sure denial is one of the stages of grief, so we're good. However, I'd like to take this time to fully agree with Julie, who said to Doug, "I'm not ready to say goodbye." You said it, sister.
ALICE and COMPANY
I'd have to check, but I think I'm down a half of a box of tissues since this storyline started. Okay, I'll confess -- it's nearly an entire box. Another confession? Even NBC's "Special June Preview" trailer had me misty-eyed, and now with all the flashbacks and tributes, I'm a mess.
However, even though I don't like being so emotional, I do like this storyline. It's being treated with TLC. In fact, it's being treated with love and respect, just the way Alice would've treated it. Although I don't think she'd want everyone fussing over her. She was modest like that. But as a lifelong DAYS fan, I'm enjoying the fussing.
First, I fully agree with Laurisa's praise of Melissa Reeves! Having Jen back is wonderful. And Melissa is a class act. In fact, she brings the same charm and calming effect to Jen as Frances Reid brought to the role of Alice. When they tell you it's going to be all right, you believe it.
Of course, I was just as excited as Jen was when her parents came home! It was great to see Jamie Lyn Bauer again, and even John Martin's premiere as Bill was a bit of a reunion for me as I watched his entire stint on Sunset Beach. It was great to see him in Salem, and my first impression is that he makes a mighty fine Bill.
It's also great to see that some things never change -- namely, Laura and Kate's animosity. That was such an ongoing plot point, and I'm glad it wasn't glossed over. Yes, dear writers, continuity is a very good thing -- way to go!
Now, I have a long way to go before I'm BFF's with Stephanie again, but having Kayla back helps. I hope -- really, really hope -- Sweetness gets the lowdown from Aunt Adrienne and stops Stephanie's insanity. Either that or she shoots her with a dart gun and drags her back to the third-world clinic she's running. Regardless, Mary Beth looks amazing and was a sight for sore eyes.
Finally, Melissa is home! I've always enjoyed both the character and its portrayer, Lisa Trusel. Seeing her twice in one year has only caused me to hope for a third time -- perhaps on a more recurring basis (hint, hint).
All in all, as sad as it is, everything is falling into place for a beautiful memorial for the beautiful and talented Frances Reid and our Alice. The returns and the flashbacks have been great so far! No doubt, this week will certainly be a rough one for longtime DAYS fans, but with a few tissues and a doughnut or two, I'm sure we'll make it through.
In much happier Horton news, Maggie's MG has gone into remission! I'm glad for Big Red, but I'm a little disappointed there wasn't more to this storyline -- more of Maggie's plight for Suzanne Rogers to sink her Emmy-winning acting chops into, that is. As it turned out, her illness was a sidebar. Oh, well, at least Maggie remained front and center in other storylines, and, really, that's all that counts.
JULIE and SAMI
I loved Julie and Sami's conversation! Loved. It. Julie is like the poster child for "bad girls gone good," and I'm glad Sami realizes that she, too, can escape the dark side by following in Julie's footsteps.
More so, I like Julie's brand of tough love. Unlike Marlena, who would have shaken her head and uttered a disappointed "Oh, Sami," Julie knows what Sami's going through. She's been there. Julie didn't try to shame her into being a better person. She simply let her know she can be if she tries hard enough. That sounds logical to me.
RAFE and SHANE
Wow, Stefano really needs to hire some new assassins. I think Meredith Hudson fared better with her brick. At least she knocked Rafe out and managed to get him off-screen for a few weeks. On a happier note, Shane -- oh, yeah, and Rafe -- escaped!
She's alive! I did my happy dance when I saw Leann Hunley, as I was a little worried Anna was going to fade away into the Land of Lost Characters. Thankfully, I was wrong!
Now I'm just curious to see what happened to Anna. Who took her!? Was it Stefano's men? Was it a man from her past? Is Tony back from the dead? Or Andre!? Hurry, writers, inquiring minds want to know!
STEFANO, KATE, and MADELINE
It's ironic that Stefano and Kate have the healthiest relationship on the show right now. Sure, they argue, but they also make up because they -- and take note younger, struggling couples -- communicate. That seems to be the key.
Speaking of keys, Kate donned a wig and stole the contents of Madeline's safety deposit box. Hmm! I'm curious to see what's in it, but I have to warn the writers -- after the "Madeline was a ho" non-surprising twist, this better be good. I don't mind the slow pace, as long as viewers win in the end.
BRADY and COMPANY
Only in Salem would crime lords Stefano and Victor roam free because of a perpetual "lack of evidence," but Brady's arrested for public intoxication. Yikes! I'd hate to jaywalk in S-Town -- I'm sure I'd get the gas chamber.
But Brady had bigger problems -- Dr. Dick Baker pushed him off the wagon, but everyone thinks he jumped. This was actually handled well. I especially loved how Maggie rode to the rescue. She shushed Victor and supported Brady. You go, Big Red!
I also give Nicole props for putting her love where her mouth is. Now, I'm not saying she's in the least bit right in the grand scheme of things. However, she often claims to love Brady, but that claim is usually made while she's simultaneously ruining his life. Sure, she's still playing games, but at least her actions backed up her words -- she was scared, she was mad, and she let Baker know that. Will Brady's brush with drunken death cause her to turn over a new leaf? Probably not, but at least we got some validity to her claims.
CHLOE, DR. DAN, and COMPANY
This storyline has been circling the airport for a while now with no word on when it will land. Yet I haven't been entirely bored or even that annoyed. The reason for that is simple -- I enjoy watching Chloe, who is one piping-hot mess.
Witnessing the Chlomeister try to explain her way out of things is a tad painful, but kind of amusing at the same time. The poor girl's ability to lie seems about as bad as her ability to say "no" to studly men. But Nadia Bjorlin continues to make it work, and that works for me, for the time being at least. Once all of the returns have gone and Alice is properly laid to rest, I might have to revisit my generosity and call this one out for the snail's pace. Stay tuned!
Caroline continues to have a very strong opinion on Victor's marriage. I love the way she handles the big tycoon, but I'm also interested to see how she handles that little green-eyed monster lurking in her feisty self. She certainly didn't miss Maggie and Victor's close encounter. Hmm -- this could get interesting!
The Teen Scene sort of regrouped last week in a rather lame, awkward way. Mia tried to make amends with Gabi and Chad. Was it just me, or did anyone else smell hasty storyline wrap-up? I have a feeling poor little Mia is going to have a mark on her backside from where the door hit her on the way out.
Doug and Julie need to reopen Doug's Place. Both he and Chloe could sing there. And Sami could be hired as a something-or-other, thus creating an excuse for more Sami/Julie talks! Not to mention that would mean Sami would be employed -- and that's something that should happen one of these days. Dear writers, make that happen -- thanks!
I mean, really, was there anything hotter than all the returns last week!? It's an easy, effortless "Hot" pick, but it fully applies. Bill, Laura, Melissa, Kayla, Anna, and Nurse Maxine were all on-screen last week, in addition to the already awesome cast and Jennifer, who returned the week before. Yep, I'd say pretty hot!
This isn't a "Super Not." It's more of a "Nitpick Not." But all in all, I have to admit I don't care as much about Brady and Arianna breaking up as I'd like to. I think -- I mean, I think -- it could have something to do with the twenty times they've already broken up and reconciled. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's it.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Nicole (to Vivian): "Nice talking to you. Love to Victor. [short pause] Not." Snaps for rocking the old-school "not," Nikki.
Honorable Mention: Dr. Baker (to Nicole, who was concerned about E.J. discovering their plan): "The guy's a real genius. He didn't even know his own wife was padding herself to look pregnant for six months. Trust me, we're golden."
Hey, Lexie was working. Awesome.
I don't know where she's been, but I'm glad my gal Maxine is back!
Seeing the Horton House -- as green as it's become -- is such a heartwarming blast from the past.
Suzanne Rogers + purple shirt and sweater = flawless.
Judi Evan's new hairstyle is -- to quote most '90s-era drag queens -- fierce.
It's hysterical how the writers avoid having a returning character give an update on what's been going on in their lives by dodging the question with another question.
Hold on -- did anyone else think Lauren Koslow/Kate looked like Chynna Phillips in that blonde wig?
Sunday the 27th is the big night -- Emmy night, that is! The ceremony will air live on CBS at 9:00 p.m. So, be sure to tune in and cheer on the nominees (and DAYS alumns)! Good luck James, Crystal, Arianne, Julie, Dylan, Shelley, and Molly, as well as the behind-the-scenes gang nominated for Casting, Hairstyling, Original Song, and Technical Directing -- we're rooting for all of you!
And, if you're interested in seeing who I think will take home an Emmy this year, click here to check out my picks. I'm part of this year's Soap Central Emmy prediction panel again this year because last year I picked the most winners!
So, friends and DAYS fans, that's it for the week of June 21st. As Laurisa's still fighting her way out of a third-world prison, I'll be back next week to cover more of the returns and the final days of our beloved Alice Horton. And, sadly, "That's a fact."
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.