READ: Last week's Two Scoops, The Golden Donuts, looked at the Best of 2011
Happy New Year, DAYS fans! Right off the bat, you might be wondering about the horrible stench filling cyberspace. No, Baby New Year didn't drop a deuce in his diaper. So, that could only mean one other thing in Two Scoops Land. That overpowering odor is the winners of the Fifth Annual Alex North Memorial Awards!
Welcome, welcome one and all to the festivities! You can pick up clothespins for your noses at any of the strategically placed bars around our cyber auditorium. Lines form at the Nicole Walker stand-ups.
Now, the traditional gift for a fifth anniversary is wood. That's relevant to us because it felt like DAYS bashed us with a board several times throughout 2011, and the writers can't even blame Gus for that. I mean, let's face it, any year that began with true love via a scarf and ended with a crush via a stretched-out blue hat was sure to have some hitches. And hitches it had!
But one of the biggest hitches in DAYS history is the gentleman these awards are named after -- Dr. Alex North! Anyone who survived his storyline knows exactly why Laurisa and I have named our "Worst Of" column in honor of him. For those of you who were lucky enough to escape the clutches of the dreaded Dr. North, we're jealous.
Unfortunately, though, horrendous storylines and ridiculous characters didn't fall off the cliff with the Old Alex when he "died" in 2006. Nope, we're still stuck with them, and 2011 gave us more than a few reasons to lend some, um, "constructive criticism" to our favorite soap. So, let's begin the onslaught by handing out the first award!
WORST NEW CHARACTER
Laurisa: Sophia (Rafe's former FBI partner)
Hey, I've got an idea! Let's see what happens when Sami finds out that Rafe had an important woman in his past, whom he kept a secret from Sami for no good reason! That would be sooooo new and not like anything we've ever seen before. For sure, let's all watch other characters laugh over Sami's silly reaction to something so tiny and insignificant like her husband keeping a major detail about his life from her. Won't that be fun? Wahoo!
Tony: Madison James
My disappointment with Madison has nothing to do with the über-talents of Sarah Brown, who does her best with the material provided. The situation is actually much like when my lady-love Tamara Braun was recast as Taylor. Not even the best actress can save a lame-duck character. Madison isn't lame-lame (especially when compared to Taylor, bah-dah!), but she's done nothing to really wow me, either. Her romance with Brady existed in a contrived vacuum. Her rivalry with Kate yielded some fun, catty exchanges, but lacked substance. And her constant claims of professionalism seemed to collapse every time she slathered her shirtless boss with lotion or shaved him at his desk. Madison has potential, but her arrival in Salem should have been delayed until better storyline tracks were laid.
WORST "SPECIAL GUEST STAR/CHARACTER"
Laurisa: Brynn Thayer as Susan Banks
Really? That was it? We got a new story about how EJ's mother -- you know, the parent who isn't Stefano -- still has ties with Marlena and Alice, yet we only see the back of Susan's head for one episode. I get that Eileen Davidson's iconic performances as the 5,493 DAYS characters that she played at the same time would be hard to match, but the character of Susan could stand on her own. Considering that we've somewhat kept up with Susan over the years, I would have liked to see Brynn Thayer given a little more of a shot. Oh, and by the way, there was an extra "mean" in Susan's classic description of Stefano. It may be little, but it's like calling Rice-A-Roni, "The San Francisco, California, Treat." People (like me) will notice.
Tony: Frances Fisher as Gladys (Sami's Neighbor)
Riddle me this! Someone negotiated a guest stint for Rose's mother from Titanic, and all that she did was chitchat with Sami for a few scenes that had basically no real impact on the Fafe storyline. Uh-huh. DAYS can cast great guest spots (hello, Sydney Penny, Ross the Intern, and Nate Berkus!), so I'm not sure why this one sank so hard.
Laurisa: Jack Deveraux
Matt Ashford is a gifted thespian, and I'm very glad to have him back on my screen. But Jack's return made me crazy. To me, the trauma that he caused Jennifer and the trauma that the prison guards caused him were two totally independent storylines. I despised the people who tortured Jack. But, that doesn't negate the fact that he lied to Jennifer about where he was going, what he was doing, and how to get in contact with him.
Furthermore, he went to Afghanistan to track down drug dealers! It's not like he was covering the State Fair in Sedalia, Missouri. Yet, the show seemed to try to play a bait-and-switch with Jack's return like we were all supposed to forget what happened to everyone in Salem not named Jack before he came back. I just couldn't buy it, especially when Mr. Ashford is capable of much more.
Tony: Taylor Walker
How do I put this atrocious return into PG-rated words that are publishable? Excuse me while I count to ten for a second... Okay! This entire cyber-ceremony could have been dedicated to the absurdity of Taylor's return, and the excruciating misuse of two Emmy winners. To preserve time, I will pick merely one of Taylor's many offenses. From the start, Taylor should have been steadfast in Nicole's corner. By all rights, she knew that Nicole was not a saint, but Taylor also knew what E.J. had put her sister through. But, nope, Ms. High-and-Mighty returned to Salem, magically fell in
lust love with E.J. via a winter accessory, and then pooh-poohed all over her sister while claiming to be a moral-filled good girl tortured by her feelings of true love and sisterly devotion. Um, right, Tay-Tay. As my gal Maxine might say, "The girl's a ho."
Bonus Rant! I'm still unsure of how an educated gal like Taylor didn't have the sense to Google E.J. when Nicole first mentioned him. A former international racing superstar/current lawyer, and John-John Kennedy-esque heir to a powerful empire might have a photo or two online. But I'll be fair; I'll give Nicole a slap on the wrist for not sharing images of E.J., because if most of us nabbed a handsome fellow like Elvis J, we'd put up billboards with his picture and text underneath exclaiming, "He's mine! Jealous!?"
WORST VETERAN CHARACTER
Laurisa: Marlena Evans
Yes, I know that Marlena is back. Wahoo, celebrate, yada, yada, yada. But all she's done since she's been back is treat Sami like a moldy piece of cheese discovered in the back of the fridge. When we've had a year where we saw Maggie and Carly finally get to reunite with long-lost children, it seems out of place that Marlena was so unsupportive of her daughter. For proof, look no further than when Marlena didn't bother to help look for Johnny, the missing-six year-old, and instead went to make sure that John, who was sitting in the middle of Roman's office at the police station, was safe and okay. Oh, well, I guess it proves that Marlena really does love John with all of her heart. There's none left for anyone else.
Tony: Vivian Alamain
Anyone who's read Two Scoops knows that I am an unapologetic Vivian fan. I don't care that she's wrong most of the time. She's a hoot. Usually, that is! The writers wronged her character in 2011. They turned Vivian from a vicious villainess into a wimp who wanted nothing more than her son's approval while she haphazardly sought revenge against Carly with little of her normal revenge-filled flair. Sadly, I didn't recognize the woman who left Salem with Ivan. Madame had her own money and power -- she owned several oil fields for pity's sake -- but for some reason she seemed to slink away with a yearning for approval and fame. So sad, because I already approved and thought she was legendary!
THICK AS A BRICK AWARD
Typically smart characters acting, well, stupid!
Laurisa: Sami Brady-Hernandez
I don't know which was harder to believe: the fact that "Scami" Brady didn't know that she was being had, or the fact that she didn't know that the man she was sleeping with for months wasn't her husband. Never mind. I know exactly which one is harder to believe.
Truth be told, Kinsey was probably never on the fast track to become a Jeopardy champion. But she hit an all-time stupidity low when she decided to pinch-hit as a hooker last summer. What part of becoming a call girl sounded like a good idea to Kinsey I'll never know, but, lucky for her, Chloe reclaimed the whore-reins in the eleventh hour and, um, took care of business. I hope that Kinsey's making better choices in Chicago, but, after that shining show of stupidity, I won't hold my breath.
Laurisa: Roman Brady
Tweed jackets have gotten to the point where they're only trending if the wearer is doing it ironically. The frumpty dumpty dressing is certainly not helping his case in the love department, especially considering that he could suit up in a killer Police Commissioner ensemble for important events like the mayor's speeches. And, who doesn't love a guy in uniform?
Tony: Melanie Jonas
They say love is blind. Spoiler alert: it's not! I adore Molly Burnett, and wish I could turn a blind eye to most of Melanie's outfits, but I can't. The majority of Mel's wardrobe seemed to be pulled from a hamper, and consisted of stretched-out, oversized shirts and leggings clinched together with a Rainbow Bright-esque accessory. Plus, Molly is too beautiful to hide her face, but, for some reason, the hairstylists decided that since floppy, moppy-banged Mia left for New York, Salem was missing a pretty gal with distracting hair.
MOST LIKELY SCAPEGOAT
The character who gets blamed for, well, everything!
Laurisa: Stefano DiMera
This is a tough one since I also selected Stefano for Best Villain for masterminding the Fafe scheme. But it certainly seems that Stefano is the "villain de jour" in Salem on every day and twice on Sundays. John Black was framed? Had to be Stefano! Johnny goes missing? It's because Stefano has many enemies! Chad sneezes too loud? Well, it's because Stefano is Chad's father! DAYS has to be willing to go the Mitch Lawrence/Franco route and bring in a dastardly guest star villain to assume some of the bad-guy duties. Otherwise, the following two things will get even more annoying than they already are: Bope's unbearable smugness when they question Stefano and the idea that Stefano can constantly get away with everything.
Tony: Sami Brady-Hernandez
Sami is far from a saint. Anyone who watches DAYS can tell you that. And she's actually done a lot of what she's been accused of in the past. They can tell you that, too. However, 2011 yielded a lot of "Sami-blaming" propaganda that was a bit unfair. Case in point, her family constantly blamed her for the tension between her and Marlena. It's never Marlena's fault. Nope, never! It's always Sami. Carrie especially needs to shut up and respect Sami's feelings. Sure, Sami has a hard time letting go of things, shocking, I know, but Marlena has provided Sami with some fresh scabs to pick at. I didn't blame Sami for being upset, but it seems that nearly everyone else did.
The writers keep trying, but keep striking out!
Laurisa: Gus Pascal
The South African manservant started out too one-note for me. But then, he suddenly became interesting to me when he stood up to Vivian when they were stranded on that island. For a few weeks, I hoped that he would retain his newfound spine and be a better screen partner for the saucy Ms. Alamain. But just as things were going swimmingly, he developed this strange Oedipus like condition and decided that cutting hookers would be a good way to win back Vivian's attention and perhaps her love. *shudders with disgust*
Tony: Roman Brady
I've had a soft spot for Roman since he swaggered into Salem. However, the writers kept missing opportunities for Roman to become a balanced character last year. Well, at least balanced on-screen. A lot of what was shown wasn't flattering. He came across as topnotch d-bag when he snagged the commissioner spot after Bo was fired. He reprimanded people left and right with a cocky, know-it-all grin as if he was enjoying it. Maybe it was supposed to be tough-love, or perhaps blind-justice, but it didn't come across that way. However, off-screen we learned he helped Marlena, babysat Johnny, and other random fun things that should have been shown to balance the character. Would it have killed him to show up at Sami and Rafe's to decorate the Christmas tree, or to their vow renewal? Given that he's the Brady family patriarch, and not just a stern, snappy Commish without ties in Salem, I expected more from Ro-Ro.
BROKEN RECORD AWARD
In case you didn't hear it the first five thousand times...
Laurisa: Abigail Deveraux
It seemed like anything Chad did was jaded by the fact that, all of about ten minutes earlier, he found out that Stefano was his biological father, instead of the man who had raised Chad for 18 years. Abigail could not get over that fact and constantly accused him of taking money from Stefano, berated him for reading books that Stefano had in his house, and pretty much daring to breathe the same air that Stefano once walked through. It didn't help that Jack came back and joined the party, making his own declarations that all DiMeras shed their skin and lay eggs. Keep in mind; this was coming from the offsprings of Duke Earl Johnson.
Tony: The College Crew (Formerly "The Teen Scene") with a side of Melanie Jonas
This a group award because each individual member contributed in part to driving me bonkers. You see, Will, Gabi, Chad, Abigail, and Melanie should have had oodles to talk about. Here are some topics at random they could have discussed: their own budding relationships, prom, high school graduation, college, nursing school, paint drying. But, no. No, no, no. They went on and on and, yes, on about their relatives' and/or parents' love lives. I heard Will and Gabi talk more about Sami and Rafe's relationship than their own. Chad and Abigail's conversations were filled with more daddy issues than even Marlena could diagnose. And, Abigail and Melanie picked up any slack dropped by Will and Gabi in regards to talking about their parents' love lives. Ugh.
MOST REGRESSED CHARACTER
Laurisa: Brady Black
I adored his Zoolander meets Jason Bourne villain of '10. But this year he's flirting with male bimbo status. First, we learned that he and John had an off-screen falling-out, as if their golden relationship could ever be tarnished. Then, there was the mid-day shaving session with Madison. Literally, their relationship could have come with the instructions, "Just add water." Bottom line, he's not around the people who made him interesting like Victor, Nicole, and Melanie anymore. It's starting to show.
Tony: Philip Kiriakis
It stings to give our handsome, dimple-laden Kiriakis prince a dubious Alex North Award, but Philip's about-transplanted-face towards Chloe stumped me. It almost appeared that he regressed into thinking his mother knew best when, in fact, he knew all of the things that Kate had done to Chloe in the past, including attempted murder. He also forgave Chloe for leaving Parker on a blustery pier while attempting suicide, and even helped her out afterwards. But then Philip turned his back on his lifelong friend when Chloe tried to defend herself against Kate. Huh? She basically mouthed off and lost Phil's allegiance. I repeat, "Huh?" I get that he needed to put Parker first, but part of Parker's best interest would have been a healthy relationship with his mother. Dimples eventually came around (off-screen!), but his initial reaction frustrated me, especially since Philip and Chloe were seemingly simpatico until then, and they were the two remaining pals of the "Last Blast" era. It was a sad way for that chapter to officially end.
MOST UNDERUTILIZED CHARACTER
Laurisa: Adrienne Johnson-Kiriakis
In a year that has been touted as a "return of the vets," where the heck has Adrienne been? If my memory is correct, she was on-screen before all of the vets returned. Yet, aside from a great job as Steph's pinch-hit parent, Adrienne was virtually unseen. Even Sonny's return only brought Adrienne out of mothballs for a few cameo appearances. But alas, the gleam from fair Adrienne was too much for viewers to take, so the thoughtful powers that be shuffled her off into the wings in order to save our retinas. How thoughtful!
Tony: Sonny Kiriakis
I like Young Kiriakis, but the writers don't seem to just yet because they basically gave him little to do. That was especially disappointing since his return to Salem was so heralded. According to his family's gushing, he was like the poster boy for perfection. But viewers never got to see him really shine aside from a few moments of defending himself against T's homophobic rants and a supporting role in the website drama. So, where was his storyline? What about his job with D.A. Woods? I would have been interested to see him on the job, or attempting to help Charles reconcile with his bestie Chad. What if D.A. Woods took an anti-gay stance and Sonny had to decide between personal convictions or his career. How about Sonny spending time with Brady learning the Kiriakis ropes? Nope! None of that happened. And that's a shame.
MOST OVER-UTILIZED CHARACTER
Laurisa: Jennifer Deveraux
At one point, she was simultaneously looking for Alice's secret, serving as Abe's campaign manager, trying to help Jack through his PTSD, giving Abigail advice about Chad, and dating both Daniel and Jack at the same time. It's not that I don't enjoy my Jennifer Rose. But, spreading her so thin proved difficult in preserving her character. Some found it hard to believe that she was really that concerned with Jack's health when half of her screen time was devoted to flirting with Daniel or strategizing with Abe. Others found it maddening that she had to fall back into Jack's orbit, considering how much she had going for her in other aspects of her life. Whatever side you fell on, we can all agree that Jennifer was everywhere, and not all of it was flattering.
Tony: Caroline Brady
You might be wondering what I was huffing when I picked the seldom-seen Mama Brady for Most Over-Utilized Character, but I assure you, I have my reasons. You see, when 2011 began, Caroline was smack-dab in the middle of Parker's paternity bombshell. And, no, she wasn't over-utilized then. I can't even remember if she received a slap on the wrist or not. What I can remember is Caroline babysitting every freaking five minutes! That excuse was way overused to explain her lack of screen time. She was the busiest character never shown being busy. In fact, she was so busy that Kayla had to return home to help her at the pub. That would have held more validity if we got to watch Caroline struggle to balance her guilty conscious, rambunctious family, and the bustling pub, as we had to assume she did. Gee, I guess she was too busy to even show up on our screens!
WORST SHOCKING "WHAT THE &%$#?" MOMENT
Laurisa: A Secret in a Horton Christmas Ornament
My major problems with the whole "Alice kept secrets" garbage are well documented. But, even the biggest fan of these storylines had to let out an, "Oh, come on!" when Hope found an IOU from Stefano hidden in one of the sacred Horton Christmas ornaments. Seeing Alice's memory used in such a kitschy way was the confirmation of my suspicion that all of the "return to the vets" lip service would mean nothing if the powers that be couldn't deliver on the most vettiest vet of them all. All the returns in the world will amount to nothing if the gratuitous references to the Lady Horton do not shape up.
Tony: Justin and Adrienne Marry -- Off-Screen!
I warned everyone this would snag an Alex North Memorial Award pending any worse "What the &%$#?" moments, but, really, there was nothing more vexing for Justin and Adrienne fans in 2011 than missing out on their wedding and reception. We didn't get to witness one sappy vowel exchange, a vintage flashback from their first nuptials, a bouquet or garter toss, or even hear what her something old, new, borrowed, and blue was. Nope, nadda. To make matters worse, Laurisa and I thought we'd finally get to wear the dress duds we purchased for Tony and Anna's wedding that never materialized on-screen, but we had to repack them with mothballs. So, stop, writers! Just stop. We want weddings, be they small or grand. They're like a goal for a couple who's made it all the way down the field after narrowly avoiding being tackled. We want to see them score!
They either died, departed, or simply vanished, but their farewells were less than desirable
Laurisa: Vivian Alamain
Her worst send-off pretty much started when she appeared in Salem. The writers never knew what to do with her. So, rather than hide the elephant in the room, they rode in on it and sent Vivian away from Salem in the most ridiculous way possible. She moved to India to become a, hang on, give me a second to compose myself...a...Bollywood star. Uff-da. I guess no one could find Rex and Cassie's spaceship.
Tony: Stephanie Johnson
In the past, I've been hard on Steve and Kayla's little bundle of whore. And even though I'm not crying a river that Stephanie is gone, I think her absence certainly deserved an explanation. Stephanie was a key character in several major storylines throughout her tenure. Plus, Shelley Hennig did her best with a character that can be summed up as a cross between a Bratz Doll and Amy Fischer. Therefore, Shelley's fans and Stephanie's
fans fan were robbed of a chance to say goodbye (or good riddance), and that, my friends, was the worst.
WORST LOVE LIFE
Laurisa: Nathan Horton
You know, normally, you'd think that when your crush's husband has an affair resulting in a child, the coast would be clear for you to make your move. But, that was not the case for Nathan. Despite the fact that she wrote him a letter on her wedding day, saying that she'd choose him if he just raised his hand. Despite the fact that he told her that he would raise Philip's baby with her. Despite having his own pair of magic dimples. Melanie still turned Nathan down. Oh well, at least he got to show up at her door a hot sobbing mess before he moved halfway across the country. So, there's that.
Tony: Gabi Hernandez
Whereas Gabi's shattered love life is doing wonders for her character's development, it still sucked to be Gabi last year. Her love life basically went from starry-eyed teen romance to neglected housewife after one time in the sack with Will. Afterwards, he became more interested in tinkering with his website than with her. Granted, Will has issues, lots of issues, but he kept them from Gabi by feeding her one lame excuse after another until Gabs finally girl-powered up and said enough was enough. Perhaps Gabi's love life can be summed up perfectly by the classic SNL skit, "I Took a Gay Guy To Prom." Yep, Gabs, Will was a good listener. Sadly, she then set her sights for Salem's most ineligible bachelor, Chad. I think she's number 485 in line for his affection, somewhere between the DiMeras' maid, Mary, and Alice's lawyer, Erin Hewitt.
Laurisa: E.J. DiMera and Taylor Walker
James Scott manages to have chemistry with seemingly every actor, yet neither of the two Emmy-winning GH darlings could do squat with him (nor he with them, in the interest of fairness). However, I don't blame the three of them at all. I blame the premise of this storyline. One, we had to believe that Taylor couldn't recognize E.J. when she saw his face. There's no way that Taylor hadn't seen a picture of her sister's ex-husband. Nicole has Facebook. Two, we had to swallow the fact that E.J. was becoming a "better man" by committing adultery. I guess he could polish off his résumé for sainthood by robbing an orphanage. Third, we had to buy the fact that the E.J. and Nicole had no reason to split other than to throw a new woman into the mix. Because it's not like he got her mother killed or anything. Finally, we had to watch never-ending flashbacks of the two of them meeting over a scarf. I saw that scarf, and it wasn't all that. There wasn't a sequin or feather anywhere on it.
Tony: Brady Black and Melanie Jonas
I don't mind May/December romances. And I have no problems with best friends exploring possible romantic feelings for one another. But -- big but -- the writers toying with a Brady/Mel pairing was sloppy. They basically looked around Salem and said, "Huh? Those two aren't related. Hmm. They're both single. Oh, and they know each other. Okay. Why not?" No, not okay. This potential pairing was uncomfortable, and not in a good way. Brady had always acted like Mel's big brother. I think she even affectionately called him that from time to time. Plus, it was extremely ill-timed for her to jump into something, being that she was a 20-year-old divorcee who had just suffered a miscarriage and a painful divorce from a husband who cheated on her with her stepmother. What's worse, since their near-tryst fizzled, their friendship has fallen completely to the wayside, and that was the one thing I loved about Brady and Mel. Boo, writers, just boo!
I DIDN'T GET IT AWARD
Umm, right. What just happened, and where did it come from!? We're not sure.
Laurisa: T the Homophobe
Really? The kid who has been as fun-loving as a flip-flop at a keg party turns into a mean-spirited twit? I realize that someone had to draw the short straw for the sake of drama; but, as much as T would try to buffer Kinsey when she started being a jerk to people, it made no sense that T would be so mean to Sonny. He even took it further by lashing out at Will, Chad, Gabi, and pretty much anyone else who dared to bring up the fact that Sonny was a human being. Since I'd never even seen a glimpse of hate from T before, and to my knowledge Stefano didn't produce a T-clone, I found myself asking, "What just happened here?"
Tony: Quinn Hudson, Vivian's Long-lost Son!?
Just so we're all on the same page, Vivian has plotted against Carly for decades because she hated Carly and didn't want Carly in her nephew's life. Key word: nephew. Okay, so, Vivian was that
mama-bear auntie-bear about Lawrence, again, her nephew, but she never mentioned having a son until he popped up in Salem like a vision of Aussie perfection!? That deserves a big, rolling, riiight! I like Quinn, but his mere existence didn't make sense to me. Viv plotted murder if she suspected someone gave Lawrence a bad haircut and was determined to make Philip her little embryo-boy again in the creepiest ways possible, so I'm not sure how a woman that, um, devoted wouldn't have moved heaven and earth to regain her biological son's affections until last summer. I didn't get it. At all.
WORST STORYLINE RESOLUTION
Laurisa: Arianna's Death is Solved?
I can believe that Troy killed Arianna when her cover was blown. That kind of stuff happens all the time in Al Pachino movies. But, I can't believe that this whole story resolved itself without 1) E.J. paying for being a drug lord, or 2) Rafe and Sami getting some sort of comeuppance for tripping over themselves to tamper with every bit of evidence and provide false testimony surrounding Arianna's case. Instead, E.J. went on to run for mayor of Salem and the latter duo just ran around with their perfectly polished halos. Events as big and all-encompassing as Arianna's death (she showed up as a ghost for crying out loud!) should be given a little more attention in the wrap-up department.
Tony: Gus Attacked a Bunch of Hookers
Okay, a lot of the hooker-bashing storyline didn't make sense, but the reveal of Gus as the culprit was sort of an out-of-leftfield letdown. Gus's motives were, at best, a head-scratching, quick, lazy wrap-up to usher him out of Salem. D.A. Charles Woods as the attacker would have made more sense. Why? His surliness notwithstanding, Chucky found out his wife was once a high-end call girl, and Chad was not his biological son because she slept with her pimp. His world was shattered. It would have made sense (in a psychopath kind of way) that he would attack hookers as some sort of vengeance. Plus, with Sonny working in the D.A.'s office, it would have brought in another set of underutilized characters such as Justin and Adrienne, and even Chad would have had more diverse screen time. In fact, Casey Deidrick was robbed of potentially great reveal scenes! Finally, Gus holding Nicole hostage spawned EJole: Part Three, and that was another crime. But perhaps Vivian summed it up best when she called Gus one little messed up manservant. Indeed he was, and in one little messed up storyline to boot.
WORST WASTE OF A STORYLINE
Laurisa: Nicole Walker, Independent Woman
Despite the spectacular failure that was Taylor Walker, at least Nicole got to show some sense of sisterly concern when Taylor left Salem. And, I thought that with her renewed sense of she-power, Nicole would finally realize that she's so spectacularly resourceful/beautiful/capable/insert-your-adjective-here that she didn't need to be someone's arm candy. Yet, within a few measly episodes, Nicole was back to being E.J.'s main accessory again, happily whistling along while he kept two major secrets from her. It makes my heart sad when I think about the delicious possibilities that could have been if Nicole would have become Madison's right-hand woman in the fight against Kate, leaving Nicole's nights free to sip Samantha Jones martinis and perhaps take companionship with either of Jennifer's leftovers.
Tony: SalemSportsFan.com's Illegal Gambling Ring
Two words: Nick Fallon! How great would it have been if Nick turned out to be the one who hacked Will, Sonny, and Chad's website in some elaborate scheme to get back at Salem University!? That reveal would have thrust another Horton onto screen, placed Nick back in Melanie's life, and given us a baddie with a twist of history. Granted, I thought this storyline ended well enough and I enjoyed the "bad guys," but I was still a tad disappointed at the missed potential.
Laurisa: Chloe the Prostitute
It's not just that we had to watch another weak soap woman take on the oldest profession in the book. It's that it was our beloved Chlomeister that had to do it. We all watched Chloe grow from ugly duckling to fairy princess. And while we can all acknowledge that Chloe was never the craftiest gal in the bunch, we never deemed her to be one with a total lack of self-respect and awareness. So, instead of embracing Chloe's plight, I was utterly repulsed by her decisions. It didn't help matters when 18-year-old Kinsey was thrown into the mix, and Chloe had to "save the day" by sleeping with the john as if Chloe was some vigilante madam. Chloe was better than this storyline.
Tony: E.J. and Taylor: Love at First
How did I hate this storyline? I would count the ways, but I don't have enough fingers and toes. Let's just say when E.J. admitted that he had no idea why he was with Taylor, I felt a little vindicated. Um, just a little. I'll still have to wash my brain out with Clorox if I want to cleanse it from the damn scarf flashbacks seared into my DAYS-loving mind. On the whole, though, this storyline was contrived, convoluted, and the attempt at chemistry failed miserably. It was also an utter waste and misuse of strong characters, actor talent, general airtime, and the accumulated Two Scoops column space that was used to properly kvetch about it over its duration. But if you're still wondering, nope, I didn't like this storyline.
Akin to the results of a successful colonic, we're officially purged of all the yuckiness that clogged up DAYS in 2011! Hopefully, characters and storylines in 2012 will be easier to digest, but, if they're not, don't worry. We'll be back next year at this time for a sixth stab at Salem's dastardly deviants.
In the meantime, we sincerely hope that everyone has a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year! We're both looking forward to a new year of Scoops, feedback, and cheering on our favorite soap as it proves exactly why DAYS is Must-See TV, despite a few little hitches here and there. Laurisa will be back next week to kick things off with an all-new, 2012-sized Two Scoops. And, 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.