Welcome back, soap fans! We hope that you had a fabulous Christmas and are feasting on leftover ham, cookies, and your celebratory beverage of choice. We had so much fun praising DAYS in the Golden Donuts, but since Tony and I were both starting to twitch a bit from all the sugar, we had to come back and dish a little something sour. Not all was merry and bright with DAYS this year, and it must be pointed out!
Trust us, we hate doing this. But we must. Oh, and just in case you have any questions -- like why Tony and I never pick the same winner for the awards -- check out all the rules and regulations (it's very official!) of the award season here. For now, let's all hold hands and take a look back at the worst of DAYS, the 2012 Alex North Memorial Awards.
Tony: Ian McAllister
I had such high hopes when I learned Ian Buchannan was joining DAYS. He's a great actor, and I thought, "Oh, yes! This is going to be good." I was wrong. Very wrong. Now I just feel bad that Ian got tricked into playing McAllister somehow. The worst part is that McAllister had a lot of potential that was essentially unexplored. Instead, he was given a convoluted DiMera revenge storyline and orbited Planet Madison, which is the most boring one in the galaxy.
Tony: Officer Martine Kent
Officer Kent isn't receiving this award because she was truly a bad recurring character. In fact, it's quite the opposite. The idea of Officer Kent was awesome. She was an impartial watchdog sent to look over Roman's shoulder as he was investigating a case that, by all rights, he probably shouldn't have been on, considering that several of his loved ones were suspects and the murder victim was his archenemy. That part was a realistic surprise that made me give kudos to the writers. However, they ultimately missed their mark with Officer Kent. Sure, she served her purpose and exited quietly, but she should have stuck around and made some waves. She was smart, career-oriented, and beautiful. DAYS needs more gals like her! Among other things, Lucas could have certainly used a new leading lady in his life -- even Rafe has proved to be better when not with Sami. But alas, she came and went, and that was the worst!
Tony: Father Eric Brady
It should be noted that I don't have a problem with priests. Perhaps that's because I made it through being an altar boy unscathed. But I digress. I'm simply praying for a fast end to Father Eric. DAYS needed Eric back, no doubt, but making him a priest only sets up a predictable soul-searching priesthood or love of a woman storyline. I feel like that's been done a million times, and then once more for good measure. So, dear writers, let's get this white collar off Eric pronto and put him in either a Salem Police Department uniform or send him to medical school to become a shrink like Mar Mar. Among other things, it will also make Greg Vaughan's shirtless scenes a lot less uncomfortable.
Tony: Jennifer Horton-Deveraux
Oh, Ms. Jen was a hot honey of a sticky mess in 2012! Since she was an investigative reporter once upon a time ago, I can almost forgive the grating way she stuck her nose into everyone's business. It was her job at one point to dig for facts like a badger on a mission, and perhaps old habits die hard. But technically she worked for a political campaign and then the hospital, so your guess is as good as mine as to why she constantly played her busybody card. Nevertheless, Jennifer made bigger mistakes in 2012.
Let's face it. Jack's latest death was a joke. It didn't seem like the brass could get him out the door fast enough. With that, they also expedited Jennifer's grief, which pretty much made her look like an uncaring bitch. Granted, Jennifer is experienced in grieving for Jack, as he's died so many times, but a few more tears and meaningful talks with loved ones would have rescued Jennifer from the disgust of so many fans. In fact, it was downright insulting to Jennifer fans, as well as Jack and Jennifer fans, that she was
not barely shown grieving for her thrice-dead hubby, and instead shown playing footsy with Dr. Dreamy immediately after Jack was buried (off-screen, no less). Her lack of grief especially looked worse when compared to the beautifully crafted storyline the show did for Abe as he dealt with Lexie's passing. At this point, I'd say give Jennifer's coworker Anne a call and let her really rip into the Lady Horton again to act as the voice of irritated fans everywhere. Maybe once Jennifer hits bottom, she can work her way back into our hearts. Maybe.
Laurisa: Daniel Jonas and Rafe Hernandez
All Nicole "I already stole two kids that weren't mine" Walker had to do was spout off some hypocritical hoo-hah about how E.J. would take her child away, and then Daniel and Rafe risked their careers for her. Really, fellas?
Tony: Austin Reed
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Yeah, Austin never got that memo, or even bothered to read the billboard-sized writing on the wall that read, "Your wife's just not that into you...again!" It was actually painful at times to watch exuberant Austin fawn all over Carrie and know that if he was on fire, she wouldn't even bother to fetch a pail of water to save him. He deserved more than a wife who continually treated him as a backup plan if her other affairs didn't work out. Then again, I'm not sure if he was bright enough to realize that!
Tony: Madison James
Ninety percent of the time, Madison looked like a streetwalker circa the early '90s. The other ten percent of the time, she looked even more tragic. In fact, she dressed in more hooker chic than Chloe did when the Chlomiester was an actual prostitute. It's too bad Madison didn't learn a thing or two about fashion from Kate, who's mastered a funky, yet stylish and professional look (not that anyone could pull off Kate's fashion like the divine Lauren Koslow, of course). Moral of the story: Madison looked skanky, and the Wardrobe Department really needs to stop picking through Law & Order: SVU's dumpster the day after they air dead prostitute episodes.
Laurisa: E.J. DiMera
E.J. wins this award for two reasons. First, it was really cute that Roman put together that Pinterest board of suspects. But the Salem P.D. wanted E.J. to be guilty so badly that they hardly batted an eye when evidence against a DiMera was practically handed to them on a silver platter. Second, everyone hated E.J. so much that there wasn't one single person to question that Nicole was somehow the moral authority on who makes a good parent. It's a good thing that Kristen came to town to start taking some of this heat off her baby brother!
Tony: Sami "Blame Me" Brady
Sorry, Sami Gene, but you're getting this dubious award yet again. And I'll even make the same general disclaimer as I did in past years when handing her this cyber-statuette -- Sami does bad things. She's not that innocent, but she's not always wrong, either. However, if you ask anyone, she's just that -- guilty every time. Need some examples? I'll help! One, Madison decided to put Sami in the middle of her plan to take down Kate by sending her into Countess Wilhelmina as a mole, but when poor little Maddie didn't want to play anymore, she pretty much threw Sami under the bus and blamed her. Two, Rafe might have lamely accepted a smidgen of the blame for his marriage to Sami falling apart once, but he led the roaring chant that it was all Sami's fault for quite a while. Three, shrink mom Mar Mar blamed Sami for causing all of her own problems, which is partially true, perhaps, but while Marlena was doing that, she was encouraging Sami's sister, Carrie, to go after Sami's husband, Rafe, you know, because that wouldn't sting Sami at all. After that, why would anyone blame Sami for being a little miffed!?
Another example? Sure! How about all the blame Will dumped on Sami for everything from global warming to not cutting the crust off his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when he was a kid. Sure, she may have deserved some of his lashings, but most of the time, they were pretty unfair. Oh, and Adrienne, too, blamed Sami for being a bad mother! Hell, Kate stepped up to defend Sami on that one. Yes, Kate! And that means things were pretty bleak if Ms. Roberts defended Ms. Brady. Just saying.
Laurisa: Sonny Kiriakis
I think it's wonderful that the show brought on an out-and-proud character from a core Salem family. But that novelty wore off months ago. And, I felt nothing from this vanilla character all year. The trouble was that Sonny became "the other gay" that the show trotted out every couple of months to play some PSA storyline or date Will. He's got to be worked into the storyline canvas to legitimately be a part of Salem. His friendship with Chad is a great place to start. The repercussions of a DiMera and a Kiriakis having a genuine friendship are fraught with possibilities. But I need more from him than just a stern look and revoking Gabi's free coffee card.
Tony: Rafe Hernandez
Hold onto your seats, DAYS friends! I'm going to compliment Rafe for a second. No, really, I am. Well, I'm only doing so to prop him up really high so that the fall from the pedestal when I knock him off has a bigger chance of knocking sense into him. Anyway! I enjoyed Rafe and Carrie's storyline and never expected to at all. They fit perfectly together and brought out the best in one another. I also enjoyed Rafe's friendship with Nicole and the way he showered her with compassion and understanding, which are typically not traits Rafe is accustomed to. And I simply adore the sibling relationship Rafe has with Gabi. So, how the holy heck do the writers manage to turn him into the most annoying, condescending, smug, hypocritical a-hole when it comes to Sami? He treats her like either she's a child or an idiot, and sometimes both. More so, Rafe and Sami just bring out the worst in one another. And that's too bad, as it's been shown that he can be pretty tolerable when romantically paired with someone else (SEE: Carrie and Rafe). Maybe the writers should focus on more of that instead of playing it safe.
Laurisa: Will Horton
In case you missed it, Sami was all about herself. Just ask Will. I get that her myriad of bad decisions made for way too easy fodder -- especially when it came to working with E.J. (See: "You had two kids with E.J., so I think I can just fetch his coffee and find a way to live with myself. Can you?") But for the first six months of the year, Will was set on repeat for any and all things concerning Sami.
Tony: Gabi Hernandez
Gabi and I aren't exactly simpatico, but we really had our differences when she faked a stalker that she constantly whined about, and then remained hush-hush about Melanie's abduction. She incessantly tried to convince herself that she wasn't doing anything to actually harm her, um, friend, but let Melanie stay with a kidnapping psychopath nonetheless. Her overused mantra became she wasn't in control anymore -- Andrew van Hottie was now -- and, well, what could she do other than go along with things? How about stop making excuses, step up, and help free your friend, dear Gabs! Instead, she kept repeating herself and ringing her hands in the most irritating, repetitious way possible, all the while continuing to play the victim card. Sorry, Gabi, but the real victims ended up being the viewers who had to frequently listen to your dribble.
Tony: Melanie Jonas
The essence of Melanie's time in Salem was change. She went from a selfish cyber skank to a confident, giving young woman who'd seen the errors of her ways and changed her life for the better. Well, almost. Right before she left town, the writers threw us a huge curveball, and Melanie was ushered out broken and defeated, much like when she premiered. Sure, she'd gone through a major trauma, but the writers decided to convince us that Melanie was spontaneously scared of Nick and, maybe, just maybe, she hadn't forgiven him. Um, right. The reason Nick got such a light sentence in the first place is because Melanie forgave him and took the stand in his defense. I believe she was even inundated by Horton hugs for that at the time, which helped to send her on a path of improving herself. So, her fear of Nick didn't make sense, nor did the fact that Nick was used as a scapegoat when he wasn't even the last person to kidnap Melanie! Oh, how I wish she could have rolled out of town with her head held high, but nope. Not so much.
Tony: Billie Reed
Sure, sure. I was rough on Billie in 2012. I joked that she was the Where's Waldo of Salem as she randomly popped up from time to time. But in all sincerity, Billie was horribly misused by the writers, which was especially troubling given the hype of Lisa Rinna's return and the charming gusto in which Lisa reapproached the role. Billie came back as an ISA agent (very cool girl-power there) and, whereas there were a plethora of cases she could have been showcased in, she was treated like Beetlejuice. If you said her name three times, she appeared out of nowhere to spook you and then would vanish again.
So, ultimately, her return didn't have a point. The writers didn't utilize a character with so much history at all, and that's sad. She wasn't given a love interest when there were guys (hello, Roman!) that desperately need some lovin'. She wasn't given a substantial storyline of her own. She wasn't even a major supporting character in someone else's storylines. She just didn't have a valid point for being back in Salem other than to jump out of the shadows and annoy E.J. Oh, wait. There was her big breakout moment at the book club. Sorry, I forgot about that.
Tony: DEAD Stefano DiMera
This award is not being presented to Alive Stefano DiMera. Nope. Not at all. He's barely been seen since the summer. This one's for Alive Stefano's overused alter ego "Dead Stefano." You know him. We all do. He's had thirteen funerals to date. Heck, even NBC.com had to make a handy flowchart to keep track of the Phoenix's deaths. Maybe, just maybe, that indicates that they've used Dead Stefano one too many times. I mean, it became laughable after the first few faux-deaths, maybe, but less humorous once a dozen was broken. Heck, even Friday the 13th knew enough to call it quits after killing Jason Voorhees ten times. But DAYS... not so much, and Stefano's latest "death" during the summer was extreme overkill smothered in crappy storyline sauce. So, let's hope Dead Stefano can rest in peace while Alive Stefano makes a bigger resurrection in 2013!
Tony: Will and Gabi Have Consolation Sex (August 23, 2012)
Okay. I'm right-handed. Not even on my worst of worst days do I get so upset that I start writing with my left hand. It's unnatural. It's not going to happen. And why is this relevant? Because like I'm right-handed, Will is gay. He's attracted to men. So, I'm not sure what the writers were thinking when he dove headfirst into Gabi's bed. Having Will have a one-night stand with, say, a guy would have made sense since, again, he's gay (as in sexually attracted to men, not women). Hence Will sleeping with Gabi didn't make sense. At all. And, really, who didn't think she would end up pregnant the moment they decided to go for it? Anyone? Anyone? Nope. Didn't think so.
Click here to watch Tony's pick for WORST SHOCKING "WHAT THE &%$#?" MOMENT!
Laurisa: The old writers, Marlene McPherson and Darnell Thompson
If you've ever spent any time studying ancient or even medieval cultures, you'll notice this common pattern: to the victor went the spoils. The conquering party helped themselves to the town's women and resources, while any outgoing nobility (allowed to remain breathing) became slaves to the new king. Such is the case with the new writers on DAYS.
The old writers built the town square. The new ones blew it up.
The old writers wrote a great PTSD storyline for Jack. The news ones threw him down an elevator shaft.
The old writers had Alice keeping secrets. The new ones had Ian declare, "Psyche! It was me the whole time."
The old writers gave Rafe a chance to breathe outside of Sami. The new writers forced him right back into her web -- and used Rafe's only believable love interest/head-Sami-hater, Carrie, to do it!!
Up was down. Down was up. It was cats and dogs living together.
And while I try to remain faithful to DAYS, these last few months have been a bit rocky. The problem is that DAYS does these grand reboots where practically every storyline hits restart. That demands that we, as an audience, forget so much recent history that it's basically starting an entirely new soap again, but with characters that we already have opinions about. It's a tough sell and could have been handled with a bit more tenderness.
Tony: Carrie Brady-Reed
It happened! Carrie and I were finally -- and I do mean finally -- getting along when then the writers decided to eighty-six her character. Good grief, that hurt! And amazingly, not only did I begin to like Carrie, but I began to like Rafe, too. Well, that was only because when their annoying fronts collided, they somehow became an endearing storm of fun banter and cuteness, but I digress.
Carrie and Rafe worked on so many levels, yet the writers decided to ship a pregnant Carrie back to Switzerland with her dimwitted husband, whom she couldn't even convince herself that she still loved. And the final insult was Carrie putting on her Safe cheerleading outfit and telling Rafe that he still loves Sami, go for it, big guy! Not only was that a slap in the face to Carrie and Rafe fans, but it made Carrie look like a grade-A a-hole for all of the sudden worrying about Sami's best interest when she'd spent the past several months courting her sister's fella. Simply put, me no likey.
Tony: Lucas Horton
Remember the amazing swagger Lucas had when he came back to town all confident and drama-free? Yeah, that didn't last long. I mean, for a guy who's on-screen all of five minutes a month, 2012 was just downright cruel to Mr. Lucas. Let's see, his George Glass-like girlfriend, Autumn, dumped him over the phone, which, I guess is a step up from a text, Tweet, or Post-it. A hot second later, he decided to re-re-rekindle things with Sami, who was a mess because her marriage to Rafe had just blown up when her affair with Lucas' archenemy E.J. was exposed. Good timing, bud. But! But an optimistic Lucas started a little something-something with Sami nonetheless. That something-something lasted until, well, they never really broke up, per se, but the fact that Sami -- wait for it -- publicly stood in front of a gun pointed by her father to protect E.J., whom she had ditched Lucas and her family for to go on the run with, kind of screams "We're done!" to me. Ouch, simply ouch! But again, I guess that's better than a text, Tweet, or Post-it. Okay, not really, but I had to try. I mean, damn -- ouch!
Tony: Gabi Hernandez and Nick Fallon
Wowza! Talk about turning a cute, budding romance into crap monster in less than five minutes. Gabi and Nick started out as a sweet, although not that innocent, couple seeking solace in one other and bonding over being reformed baddies. That lasted five minutes because, the next thing you knew, they began pledging their love for one another. And not only did their "I love yous" happen way too soon, but their characters began deteriorating before our eyes. Gabi started to seem complacent that a guy was simply paying attention to her, and her amazing support of Will became rather suspect when she proclaimed love for a guy so fundamentally against her best friend's lifestyle. Oh, and that guy thought the gays were morally wrong because of the Bible, yet doesn't bat an eye at premarital sex. Uh-huh, right. Plus, Nick became all shades of cray-cray again in the most annoying, control freak, bully-ish way possible and began saying cringe-worthy things to Gabs like, "I wish I would have known you before [his stint in prison]." Um, Nick, sir, you're much older than Gabi and before you left for the clink, she would have been a tween. Ick! Simply a big pile of ick on an already icky mound of dog poo.
Laurisa: Stefano Tested Kate
It's probably not best for the big fella to test anyone who's on his side. But Kate was a real stumper. Say what you will about her, but she was down with Stefano. She loved him. She made sure that he was always taking care of himself after his diabetes diagnosis. She walked, no, strutted, around Salem as Mrs. DiMera, regardless of what anyone (including her own children) had to say about it. And she didn't care that he kept things from her from time to time. So I couldn't figure out why Stefano needed to test her loyalty by planting those surveillance pictures of Marlena and hopping the country. I wish Stefano and Kate were still family, scheming happily after ever.
Tony: Madison's Skepticism
Ms. Madison was an idiot on a good day, but she confused the holy soaps out of me when she treated Brady like he was bat-crap crazy for thinking Ian was drugging him. You remember Ian. He's the guy that Madison constantly warned Brady about for several months. She told him under many circumstances not to underestimate Ian and that he's one sinister mofo. So, why -- why, why, why -- did she think it was so out there to blame Ian for Brady's benders? Her character was never the most thought-out one to begin with, but her head-scratching actions made absolutely no sense. At all.
Tony: Ian's Reason for Revenge
How much time do you think the writers took coming up with this storyline's resolution? I'm going with under five minutes, and I'm totally betting they used Mad Libs. Then again, Mad Libs are generally entertaining, so perhaps not. Well, whichever way they decided on this storyline's fate, it was a bad one. Ian's tale was generally convoluted trash with the lamest reveal ever to match. Ever, I say! That was, Ian was sorta, but not really, a quasi DiMera because his housekeeper mother's aunt's pharmacist's cousin's dog-sitter's wife's elementary school best friend's veterinarian's third cousin's vegan pastry chef's domestic life partner's great uncle's gulf caddy's pedicurist may or may not have slept with town-whore Santo DiMera, and that somehow gave Ian a sense of entitlement and a need for revenge. Riiight. Truth be told, I was just happy it ended, even though we never really found out what happened to Alice's mysterious African bank account, if she really had secrets to begin with, and who the little blonde boy in the picture actually was. Oh, and let's not forget the hearty belly-laugh reveal that, whoops, E.J. really is Stefano's biological child, after all. That was special, too. Um, nice work, dear writers!
Tony: Bye-Bye, Bo Brady
To be fair, the writers were up against a monumental challenge with this one. That was, to pen an exit for the extremely talented and mega fan-favorite Peter Reckell as the equally legendary Bo Brady that would allow him to return, yet give Bo a valid reason to be off-screen. Whereas I appreciate what the writers were up against, it doesn't negate the fact that they failed. They failed miserably, in fact.
Sadly, the end of Bo Brady as we knew him was a slow, painful one that spanned nearly a year. It started in early 2012 when he was beaten into a coma, you know, after we all found out he wasn't legally married to Hope. That stung. Once he eventually awoke, Bo pretty much lingered in the background until Caroline's Alzheimer tale began. Sure, that storyline gave both Peter as an actor and Bo as a character time to brightly shine, but it was bittersweet, as the audience had known for months that he was leaving they show. During the entire ordeal, many of us just kept wondering, "How are they going to write him off?" And so the writers eventually gave us an answer -- they didn't write Bo off. He left town for a bit, but came back with Caroline and has been in the proverbial other room ever since.
To say that is a horrible strategy for Bo is an understatement. The entire "keep him on the show, but not really" shtick never works out well in the end. In fact, there are usually only two dreadful ways that tactic comes to a head. One, they eventually kill off the character (SEE: Mickey Horton). And two, the writers could totally destroy an awesome character with some lame story and turn him into a royal jerk (SEE: Steve Johnson, or Jack Deveraux's walkabout storyline prior to his return in 2011). Plus, there's always the possibility that the character of Hope will suffer and become collateral damage if whichever storyline they decide upon backfires, or places the blame on something she did. Nope, those are not good odds, my friends, and I remain worried that the Bo Brady we've known and loved since 1983 will gutted and stripped like a fancy car in skid row.
In case you need a dose of sugar, check out the Golden Donuts Awards to see the best of 2012. Or, impress your friends with some trivia about the best and worst from our blogs. Either way, have a very happy new year! We'll see you for Chloe's return, Nick/Gabi's wedding, and much more in 2013!
Click here to let us know what you found naughty or nice about DAYS in 2012!