All or nothing

For the Week of October 17, 2011
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DAYS Two Scoops: All or nothing
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Jack has the exact appeal of a puppy. He's so playful and cute that it's drastically hard to stay mad at him, even though he may have just pooped all over your favorite thing.

Now that all of the decorations and fire-roasted pizzas have been packed up, it's time to see if this "reboot" takes. It's game time, fellas. These are the episodes that count. We all oohed and aahed over the Horton Square, and a good number of viewers tuned in to see the return of John's eyebrow. But now is when we need to see if the play was worth the price of admission.

The show is in the unique position of having to blend two audiences together. It does absolutely no good to bring back all of the vets if you lose your current audience in the process. Replacing viewers isn't the ultimate goal here. It's to gain more viewers. And because DAYS promoted the tar out of the returns, they've got a short window in which to deliver. We've all been ready for this since the summer.

I hope to Zeus that they do it, but if I'm being honest, the distribution of airtime is a problem. We saw Marlena and John have a completely pointless episode-long fight over getting divorced (as if anyone thought that was a real possibility) and Jack have the same scene with Adrienne, Jennifer, and Abigail where he starts off tough and then realizes that he may have to eat a little humble pie.

In doing so, we saw no Stefano, Roman, Sonny, Will, or Gabi; and very little Justin, Adrienne, Daniel, Melanie, Rafe, Sami, or Caroline. There are a lot of fans invested in those characters, and I want to make sure that she show does right by them, as Pa Ingles would say.

Jack walked the line between endearing goofball and condescending imbecile, depending on the minute. He won no points by forbidding Abigail to date Chad, nor pretending that Jennifer slept with Jack when Daniel showed up at the door. Note to Jack: we women rarely find it attractive when men make us out to look like sluts.

But just as I was about to slam the book on Jack, his heart would start to open up and he would start to realize what he did. I really believe that, at moments, Jack can be harder on himself than anyone can be on him. And that's saying a lot considering his own sister called him an ass.

Yes, Jack "Last Chance" Deveraux has the exact appeal of a puppy. He's so playful and cute that it's drastically hard to stay mad at him, even though he may have just pooped all over your favorite thing. Once you scold him, he'll look at you with those eyes and beg you to forgive him.

I don't know if I want Jennifer to take him back, but I wasn't mad at her for comforting him over the fight with Abigail. It was very Jennifer of her. She unselfishly sticks by the people who are important to her no matter what personal demons they expose Jennifer to (see: Manning, Carly). Jennifer's also remained steadfast in her support of Jack and Abigail's relationship. She's been careful not to jeopardize that no matter how mad she is at Jack. I like that.

My whole hang-up on forgiving Jack (and maybe that's the point) is that no matter what happened to Jack while he was gone, he still voluntarily lied to and left his family to go to a known dangerous place and chase down a story. Jennifer and Abigail have every right to be hurt by what Jack did. He made a selfish decision.

And while I suffer no misconceptions that Daniel is an angel, he's certainly been good to Jennifer and supported her through everything. Unfortunately, that isn't enough to convince Jennifer right now, and I highly doubt it will be down the road. In this particular situation, Daniel is the nice guy, and we all know where they finish. If he needs more information on these types of situation, Daniel could call Lucas.

In the midst of working on The Mysterious Alice Caper, Bo and Hope received a cease and desist order. I need to brush up on my law and order, but can someone be told to cease and desist doing something that isn't illegal? Aside from totally skirting their job responsibilities over at the Salem Police Departmnet, I can't really think of anything Bope was doing wrong. But this order was a surprise. That's when I became interested in this storyline.

It seems as though Alice has been working with another lawyer who handled "personal" matters. At this point, I can hear my mom scream from across state lines, "There's a secret Horton child out there!" I imagine that a lot of you think the same thing. I don't read spoilers, so don't tell me one way or the other. But, my mom's theory makes a lot of sense. The lawyer confidentially agreement could extend to the child, who is very much alive, making a lot more sense out of the secrecy that still surrounds these documents.

It's weird to see Rafe and Austin talking. Like, really weird. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of Carrie and Sami's husbands as friends, but I can't stop thinking about all of the things that Sami did to Austin that the writers are sweeping under the rug. It would have even been better to throw in that Austin and Rafe had worked on a case together before or at least have mutual friends at the FBI, just to give this new relationship a little more substance.

There's something that I have to get off my chest right now. As someone who's spent years in college, learning, and now years working in the advertising and PR biz, I'm pretty insulted that the writers chose to make Nicole a PR person in the bat of an eye. Furthermore, name three people in Salem who would willingly listen to anything that Nicole had to say. Go ahead. I'll wait. The whole thing is a major stretch just to get E.J. and Nicole back together, and I'm just not willing to suspend that much disbelief for a couple that has never once succeeded in staying together, nor entertaining me.

Luckily, the debate did entertain me, or rather distracted me enough to amuse myself with the idea of what would happen if our presidential candidates were forced to sit down at a patio table with Simon Cowell's ex-girlfriend and talk about their rich friends. Would they defend them like Abe? Would they take the people's side like E.J.? Would their wives stand off to the side of the camera and root for them like soccer moms? I'm not sure of the answers, but I'd like to find out. Can someone give me Anderson Cooper's number so I can see about getting that set up? They can even use my yard and patio table. I'll move the Halloween decorations around so there's room for everyone.

Anyway, it was no surprise that Nicole, by the powers vested in her by the twitter-verse, declared E.J. the winner of the debate. Don't get me wrong, I think Abe is a straight shooter. But, if people want to burn John at the stake, it was only a matter of time before they turned on Abe for giving John their money.

The shock of the entire reboot for this scooper has been how much I am loving me some Carrie Brady. I never liked her before. Even glancing at her name fast, it looks like "Care Bear," and I always like the stronger ladies. But, being back as John's defense attorney is a great change of pace, and great for the show.

Carrie is not blood-related to Marlena and only recently distantly blood-related to John (he's a Brady now, remember?), yet there she is, digging in and protecting her "family" with all the force of Maggie and Victor combined. I just adore it.

I also like how Carrie is not entirely trusting of Sami yet. Sure, Carrie's trying to play nice with her sister, but it's not all rainbows and sparkles yet. Carrie politely told Sami not to say anything stupid to the media, and Carrie is the reigning expert on stupid things that Sami does.

It's going to be interesting to see how Carrie goes about defending John without a P.I. Someone is going to have to find out why/how/if that photo of John in Paris is a fake. Maybe Abe's nephew and ex-ISA agent, Jett, can return to town to help his uncle. It seems as though the only way for Abe to win the election is if Carrie proves that someone else embezzled all the money.

I'm really rooting for this storyline because it contains so many elements that I've been hoping would come to light for Sami. She got a job, has more scenes with Brady (read: not Rafe), and finally gets a real friend. I also like how this battle is over a cosmetic firm. Not only are there trips to Japan on the horizon, but there's the real potential for glamorous photo shoots and fashion shows, all of which are very soapy glam. Add in the fact that Mr. Nate Berkus showed up for a well-acted and extremely organic guest spot as Madison's designer, and this storyline is off to a near perfect start!

The only downside is this Madison/Brady mess. Sorry, I'm just not buying into them, and it's 100% the writers fault. The CEO of a company does not take off his shirt in the middle of a construction zone to help move furniture. I didn't like this or the "oops I fell and you caught me" crap. Let the audience decide if we want a couple together. Don't treat us like we're so dumb that we need these obvious signs that the writers want us to root for this pair. Give couples a little bit of time to grow together before just assuming that's what the audience wants, especially with a couple like Madison and Brady, who (I'm assuming) are supposed to be attracted to each other because of their respective business savvy and power.

Lest Madison and Brady should start to develop any chemistry, they'd still be second to the amazing enemy chemistry between Madison and Kate. It's eternally refreshing to see two women compete at this high-powered corporate level over billions of dollars in business, rather than women get into catfights over a guy. I loved seeing Madison outmaneuver Kate to land the best distribution deal. I can't wait to see what happens when Kate finds out. Nor can I wait to see their new showrooms and offices!

The only thing that this storyline needs is someone on Kate's side. She's got Chris (who I love!) but she needs another employee. This would have been the correct situation to serve as Nicole's instant career. Not only would Kate and Nicole work well together, as they both have a strange respect for DiMera men, but Nicole used to be a model. Wasn't Kate just saying that she was looking for a new face/spokeswomen for Countess Willemena? It doesn't matter if people in Salem don't like Nicole. Her face needs to push lipstick in Germany and Japan. Surely only a few people hate Nicole over there.


Austin working for the prosecution is terrible. I can look past a lot of conflict of interest stuff, but this is redonklous. I just don't believe that the SEC would reassign Austin to the case, knowing that Carrie is the defense attorney. The only redeeming moment was when Austin pointed out that they would have no money if he turned down this job. Hooray for a soap character that doesn't own a money tree!

John's embezzlement trial might be the second biggest worry right now. He's been having strange flashbacks of working and staring at spreadsheets. Either John was brainwashed to embezzle the money, or the memories of the person who took the money have been put into John's head. Both of which are very real possibilities -- especially if Stefano turns out to be involved.

Rafe is doing his part to help Sami out with the kids now that she's working. Good for him! He also won major points with me when he mentioned the star player for my St. Louis Cardinals, Albert Pujols.

Maggie and Victor's wedding planning has begun! And, if I do say so myself, this process was easily the most adorable of the entire week. I'm a total sucker for Melanie/Maggie bonding, and I loved that they addressed Melanie's failed marriage without making the week totally about Melanie. And, really, how could they when Victor was texting his private shopper to send over the bridesmaid dresses that M&M picked out as they looked at them! Victor is officially the best fairy godmother ever.

I don't want to hear John whine about not being able to bed his wife anymore, ever, or in the first place. It's an element to this story that we entirely don't need. No one thinks of John and Marlena as a romantically challenged couple. Why try to pretend that it would ever make a difference to them?

Sami (to Kate): "Shouldn't you be out bossing monkeys around or something?"

I adored Maggie's black and silver necklace. I want one.

The best part of this reboot is that a lot of Salemites are getting back to work. That means a major upgrade in the wardrobe department. Who didn't love Sami's blue dress, Nicole's blazer, or Kate's statement necklace?

Thank you, Jennifer, for bringing up two very good points: 1) Lexie is the reason why the whole "all DiMeras are sick and twisted" argument needs to stop, and 2) Jack has no businesses condemning anyone for who their father is.

There are tons of extras with the new set. I repeat, where do Tony and I sign up? We'll carry coffee cups and watch E.J. and Abe debate!

He's "Agent" Austin Reed now? Cool!

Henderson! Hey there, ol' buddy!

Chad's gift basket -- popcorn, cherry soda, mint chocolate chip ice cream, a copy of The Goonies, and a back rub coupon -- might be the best gift in the history of men.

E.J. brought up that Abe's last opponent was killed. Yes, let's talk more about how that happened.

HA! Adrienne said that by the time she got to their third wedding, the planning was much easier. Practice does make perfect!

Poor Terri Seymour obviously lost her voice prior to taping. At least, I hope she did, otherwise she really has to go through life sounding like that.

Are any of you watching Dirty Soap? I have to admit that its one of my newest guilty pleasures!

You know those World Cup fans? The lengths that they go to in support of their team is truly a sight to see! And perhaps the only fans on earth that can compete with such a showcase are fans of one Jack Deveraux. Just check out the message boards. I'm truly amazed by them. I wish I loved anything as much as Jack fans love Jack. So if you are one of those super fans, I tip my hat to you. Go on and support your guy. You're what make soap fans great.

And with that, I'll turn it over to my partner, Tony. He's been busy selecting the perfect brandy for Madison's mini-bar and making plans for Victor's bachelor party. In the meantime, let's all help with the wedding plans! What colors should Maggie use? Any choices for their first dance song? Do you hope Melissa and Sarah are there to give Maggie away? And who should be Victor's best man? Bo? Brady? Daniel? Or how about a surprise pick like Hope?

I'd love to hear what you think so click here to share your thoughts with me!

Thanks for reading,

Need more Two Scoops? Head over to read blogs by Laurisa or Tony for more ranting, raving, and all-out randomness

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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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