EDITOR'S NOTE: This column was written and posted before the episodes for the week of February 18 were broadcast. Due to that, some of the commentary included does not reflect the show's most recent story developments.
Well, it may not be the traditional Valentine's Day gift of flowers and candy, but I'm pretty ecstatic over what NBC handed over to us in a heart-shaped box. That is, DAYS has been renewed for a 51st season! Get Brady and Theresa over here and tell him to grab his hipster uke because we need song and merriment. Okay. Right. We'll sing in a bit. There's more Two Scooping to do...
To kick things off -- whew! That was a close one. For those of you not following the renewal drama, it got pretty tricky there for a moment or two. Sure, I tried to look at the glass as half full, but I was certainly eyeing up the Scotch in it in case of an emergency. I'm just glad it can be gulped down in celebration instead of sorrow. So, hooray! I'm thrilled (and relieved) that DAYS will continue to air.
Let's also all take a cyber moment or two to congratulate everyone involved with the show (send out those sweet tweets to the cast and crew, fellow DAYS fans)! I feel that they're always Matrix moving to avoid the ax. The entire cast and crew put their blood, sweat, and tears into bringing Salem alive for us each and every weekday. I'm glad their hard work, dedication, and love for their show is being recognized with a well-deserved renewal.
In addition to a plethora of congratulations, I'd also like to humbly thank the people behind the scenes and the cast who go graciously above and beyond the call of duty. The fan events, book signings, and simply interacting with fans on social media is Łber classy. The cast and crew of DAYS go far beyond what most celebrities do for their fans, and it's sincerely appreciated.
So, now that we know DAYS is renewed, let's talk about some other aspects of it. One unconfirmed rumor is that, as part of the renewal agreement, DAYS might be moving back to a more traditional daytime taping schedule. That is, the show may no longer tape nearly a half year in advance and may go back to one or two months ahead like the other soaps. Again, this is unconfirmed at the time, but if it turns out to be true, I'll be raising another glass of bubbly. Actually, just the potential being there makes me want to reach for another Champagne...
As great as DAYS typically is, I've always felt taping so far in advance has been a detriment to the show. For one, a stinker of a storyline is going to play out for nearly six months before a better course of action can be taken. I shudder to think what the writers could have done with, say, Will and Sonny's relationship if they had time to hit the brakes, check their map, and reroute themselves into a better direction. Taping only a few months in advance will give them much more time to right wrongs, and I'm more than okay with that.
Also, things will be less spoiled! I brought this up in my first column of the year, but, for example, knowing that Shawn Christian was leaving DAYS in a disastrous way nearly six months beforehand kind of took some of the oomph out of Dr. Dan's death. Though, generally speaking, the same can be said for other character deaths (and returns). So unless you're entirely spoiler free -- which seems difficult unless you're social media free, too -- it's hard for DAYS to pull a fast one on us, but I love it when they can. Those fun, exciting "OMG! Did you see what just happened!?" moments are reasons to watch. I want more of them and less of six months of "I wonder how so-and-so will be written out, or return."
Side note, I actually give DAYS mad props and want to know how they kept Hope freaking killing Stefano a secret! That was amazing. And that's the kind of "OMG!" moments I want more of, and we are more likely to get with a shorter taping turnaround.
Additionally, I think a more traditional taping schedule will allow DAYS to tell stories more casually while still keeping the grand picture in mind. Things like chemistry-testing characters together to see who could become Salem's Next Top Supercouple will be much easier based on feedback (or backlash). That way, if a couple doesn't work, it's a simple fix rather than a half-year long nightmare *cough Dancole*
That can also be said for storylines and characters, too. What I wouldn't give to have those bloody blood diamonds wrapped up a few months sooner, or characters with potential like Serena and Xander saved if they had time to tweak and change things instead of a hasty, "Well, that doesn't work. Let's kill her and send him to jail" at the end of a six-month arch. A shorter turnaround will surely give the show more wiggle room to make changes instead of the abrupt halts and toss 'em to the curb scenarios we've grown exasperatingly used to.
Plus, it could also save existing characters from whiplash, too. Theresa comes to mind immediately. Instead of nearly everyone quickly jumping on the bandwagon that she's a reformed gal when the new writers came in, we could have seen it play out instead of everyone just telling us about it. That would have made for juicier subplots than Anne and Theresa fighting over her suddenly changed personality.
Overall, this could be an amazing thing for DAYS, but the most amazing thing? We still have DAYS regardless. Cheers to that!
Another Valentine's DAYS gave us was Friday's stand-alone show. It was a fun, random treat, for the most part, though a little heavy-handed at times. I was glad to see Doug and Julie's epic romance celebrated as the cornerstone of the episode. Doug really is the "Grand Master of Romance."
And if you believe it, I was also glad to see Dead Dr. Dan! Okay, I was happy to see him because he encouraged Nicole to move on and be her feisty, fab self again. That part, I can get behind. I'm also glad their dream sequence was up first and over with quickly. Bye, Dead Dr. Dan, don't forget to take your heart-talk with you. Peace.
Of all the dreams, Chad and Abigail's was probably the sweetest because Billy Flynn and Kate Mansi continued to effortlessly sell their chemistry, but Ciara's "saint/dark" fourth wall confessional was my favorite by far. It was a nice reintroduction to the character as well as very "Generation Z" while still remaining soapy. I also liked the directness, yet tongue-in-cheek aspect to it as she described her rapid onset of puberty, her crazy, confused hormones, and that she confessed that she's "kind of freaking out here." Ah, welcome to being a teen, Ciara. A little advice, I adore Chase, but pick the one with the heart-shaped pizza.
In any case, these dreams told short stories but also foreshadowed things to come, perhaps. I'm intrigued. And also a little shocked that the square didn't blow up as everyone walked through it! But let's wake up and quickly talk about the rest of the week...
On moving out of the mansion, Caroline said, "Maggie, aren't you going to be glad to see the back of me? Come on. Tell the truth." And winner of the Best Act of Restraint and Kindness in an Awkward Living Situation goes to...Maggie Kiriakis! Red's a classier act than I would have been. Wait. Not true. I would have helped Caroline bring her bags to the car. That's a nice act, no?
I love them. I do. Shawn-D and Claire are the most darling daddy/daughter duo to grace DAYS in a long time. Their entire "You're all that and a bag of chips" routine was adorbs. Plus, Brandon Beemer is really shining in a father role. The proud, twinkly-eyed way that Shawn looks at Claire is priceless.
Oh! Speaking of "twinkling" and "priceless," Belle bought herself some new bling to go along with her badass attitude. You know, I was a Belle/Shawn fan, and I'm not opposed to becoming one again, but I'm actually okay with their divorce, since Belle isn't the same gal who left Salem. That's not a complaint, per se. Her "Bellitude" is combining two of my favorite things -- a strong, sassy soap diva and Martha Madison. I'd say that's a win/win.
Though, for Belle to really win, she needs to ditch the high school crushes. It's time for her to move on. She's changed, be it for better or worse in some cases. And while I'm not feeling "Shelle" this time, I'm really, really not feeling "Phelle." And it would do the character of Shawn an eon's worth of favors to move on with someone else, too. As for Philip, well, he might want to consider finding Stephanie or Morgan. They were much more interesting than "Phelle Part 84."
Lani, you go, girl! I loved her sass when she shot Fynn down after he suggested they have a drink and talk about his case. Though, I'm surprised she said "no, thanks." I thought most girls would love to talk about the sex tapes (plural) that their date made with other women the first time they hang out socially. Hmm, I guess you learn something new every day.
Speaking of Fynn's, um, home videos, I wonder if he made one with someone already in Salem, or perhaps someone who used to live there. I'm still not sold that he's not the guy Belle cheated on Shawn-D with. Hmm...
I get Marlena's hesitations and concerns, but I'd love to see John take down this shady academy. John's a man of actions, not talking about them on the sofa. And that's part of the reason we love him, too, Doc. He may just want to call Eduardo and Paul for backup.
Yeah, Kayla, I wouldn't believe Steve, either. She's reading him like a large-print child's book. She knows he's hiding something. She can tell by his uneasiness and Joey's awkwardness. I kind of want this to be done, but I kind of don't want to see things get all messy for Sweetness. Her nickname is "Sweetness." It's hard to watch bad things happen to her.
Steve and Ava's baby is dead. That was the payoff? Though Tamara Braun deserves gold for her performances, I'm a little let down that neither Steve nor Ava interrogated the guy further. For a would-be private eye and a psycho-psycho crazy-pants they believed that story rather quickly. Part of me thinks that might be for the better, but another part of me also thinks baby maybe-Stava might be "dead" in the Salem sense.
Oh, on the topic of "dead," Philip is nearly that in Victor's eyes. Deimos dropped the bomb that Philip was helping him destroy Victor. Deimos doesn't even really seem to care about the drug. He cared that Philip was helping him betray Victor. Oh. Snap! I kind of love this. Victor is pissed off. Deimos has proclaimed, "And so it begins." And Philip has some humble pie on his thrice-new face. I am eager to see more of this storyline. How will Victor retaliate? Who will run Titan? What is Deimos' endgame? Which side (if any) will Kate turn to? I don't know but want to.
Of payback, Andre is revving up his revenge engine, and I couldn't love this more. Thaao Penghlis' Andre has moved up my "Scariest Dudes Ever" chart next to Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter. The way that Andre is psychologically batting around Chase is art. Demented, devious art, but art nonetheless. Of course I feel bad for Chase, but, damn it, if Andre's not smooth as butter. There's a lot of potential there for horrific fun to be had. Just tread lightly, writers.
Of course, Andre was just on fire last week. I mean, not the fire he started, but he was heating things up for his enemies. Some of his tops hits included telling Rafe, "You don't have the guts, unlike Hope...," saying Hope's husbands (plural...and ouch), and giving his audio commentary to Rafe and Hope talking. Ha!
Yes! I totally loved the dream scenes that created a Theresa/Brady/Nicole love triangle. Just kidding. I'm annoyed. Though maybe a hasty dream will be as far as this one will go and we'll be spared the nightmare. Here's to hoping!
LINE OF THE WEEK
Victor (Responding to a remorseful Philip's pledge of love): "Good for you. Get out."
TRUE 'DAT LINE OF THE WEEK
Theresa: "It's your heart now, Brady, we have to start thinking about it like that."
Amen and get this girl a cookie!
I loved that in Ciara's dream she stated, "Overnight, puberty happened. And I mean it. Over. Night." Yeah, we noticed that, too, Little One.
Group hug for Claire! She didn't make into Julliard. Okay, hug her even tighter. Her mom is Belle. Eek.
Chad tells the best bedtime stories ever. Ever.
Confession -- I love all things Hope and Jennifer and want them to be roomies for a while longer. Hearing them call each other "cuz" warms my DAYS-loving heart.
Did you all see Roman's Valentine dream sequence? Oh, it played while you blinked. If you hit pause at the right moment after the opening credits, you just see Roman sitting alone crying and eating clam chowder for a brief second while looking out the pub window at John and Marlena.
When did Shawn-D and Fynn become friendly?
I laughed when Joey said, "I'm gonna get a sandwich," to get himself out of the awkward Steve/Kayla situation.
Buzzed-on-wine Eddie and painkiller-popping Jenny should meet.
Geez, Harold's just clinging onto those last few hours of employment, isn't he? The money's gone, Harry. Let it go.
Salem's interior decorators must love Hope! Every few months, she needs her living room redone.
Have there been a lot of long flashbacks lately, or is it just me?
Hmm, if Shawn would date Lani and Ciara date Theo, that would make Bope's kids and Abe's kids connected. Maybe Chelsea and Brandon can return...and date. Okay, I'm only a little kidding about that. #comehomeSwampBaby
I guess we can't be mad at Claire for ditching Eve in New York, since the writers ditched writing meaty material for Eve long ago.
Why on earth would Doug and Julie have a framed picture of Brady and Theresa? That's more of a stretch than half the coming back from the deads.
Popcorn and a John Hughes marathon? Be right there, Hope!
You'd think since Dario left Salem for a great opportunity in Argentina at least one person would know why he mysteriously resigned. If not his family, maybe Brady, who gave him the job. I wish I could help. I have no idea where he's been. Nope. None. In unrelated news, I have to check on something in the secret, err, wine cellar. Secret wine cellar. You know, where I keep my best bottles that I don't want discovered, um, stolen. Okay, gotta go.
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of February 15. How are you going to celebrate the big renewal news!? Tweet and tell us. And, "That's a fact!"
As always, thanks for reading!
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