Too close for comfort

For the Week of June 20, 2016
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DAYS Two Scoops: Too close for comfort
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In a week where randomness seems to be the theme in Soap Land and beyond, it's time to grab some tissues, have a hearty belly laugh, and wade through this week's DAYS Two Scoops: Randomness Edition!

Last Monday, while still consumed with emotions over what happened in Orlando, I wished for an hour escape from the sorrow in the form of my favorite soap. Instead, without warning, DAYS took us through the nightmare of a deadly standoff. It was art imitating life in one of the worst cases of bad timing I've ever seen. It was hard to watch.

As such, I reached out to some friends for guidance. I mean, I really didn't know what to say. I was wishing for an inspirational seed that would be planted and bloom into something entertaining rather than depressing. And when I spoke to said friends -- even some wacky non-DAYS-watching ones -- about what happened on Monday's episode, their reactions were all the same. They cringed and let out an, "oooohhhhhh..." Yes, "oooohhhhhh..." about sums it up for now, but we'll speak of this again later.

In another example of art imitating life, Julie's words actually explain things in the real world rather appropriately. She said, "Tragedy. It's all around us. All the time." She's right, but she's also correct that facing hardships together is the only way we'll get through. And I still firmly believe the quote by the character Truvy from Steel Magnolias that I've shared with you before. She said, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion."

And I don't know about anyone else, but I need laughter right now. The more, the better. And since the world's a random place, with random things happening all the time, this week's column is going to be one huge "RANDOM THOUGHTS" section. I hope it provides a chuckle or two through tears as we keep those who are suffering close to our hearts.

RANDOM THOUGHTS
Holy cow. Holy chalupas. Holy, okay, holy everything that begins with the letter "C" and it's 25 other siblings. Jennifer and Julie actually brought up Tommy Horton and his time in Korea. I'm shocked. Utterly shocked. Will we get to follow up as to where Tommy ended up? Probably not, but wow. Just wow. What's next -- a Rex and Cassie mention? I can almost hear Balki Bartokomous tell me, "Well, of course not, don't be ridiculous."

Speaking of long lost Salemites, hey there and hello, Adrienne! Where you been? What chu been doin', girl?

Salem according to Mama H: Aiden is the "shady man who should be dead" and Hope is that "skinny detective." I'll admit it. I want to sit in Horton Square with her and see what she calls people as they pass.

Though, Adrianna isn't that far off in her assessment of Aiden. He did talk to Andre again this week, and that never ends well for Aiden. Still, I'll never not love an Andre scene.

Two other things I'll never not love: Marlena and Chad scenes, and Justin, Brady, and Victor scenes.

Can we just agree to hand Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans Emmys now and be done with it? They're all shades of fantastic.

Seriously, Ciara needs a hobby.

I simply adore the way John lights up every time he speaks to Paul. Drake Hogestyn does proud papa heart-meltingly well. Then again, I guess John has a lot of saved up pride he never got to use with Brady. I kid, I kid.

Justin and Summer the Bummer? Now there's a great idea. Ouch. Ouch! I think I hurt myself using so much sarcasm in one sentence.

Roman actually mentioned that there have been so many people who fall into the river. Here's an idea: put up some fencing. You're welcome, Salem.

And really, with Kate's track record of people she thought were dead when they went into the river, why is she so sure Deimos is donezo? I'll lay down my Nick Fallon trading card now, Ms. Roberts.

Steve told Dirk, "This thing got out of control, man." Understatement of the year, Patch Man.

In that closet, Dario was looking at Nicole the way I've been looking at Talenti raspberry cheesecake gelato lately. I get it, Dario. I get it.

Break out the rice! John and Mar Mar are getting married again. You know, again again again again. I'm glad, really. This version of "Jarlena" has been the best yet. Their mutual respect while staying true to themselves individually has won me over. Plus, a super sweet proposal over ice cream is never a bad thing.

Damn. I must really want ice cream.

Kayla basically told Steve she can't quit him. "I'm shocked!" said no one.

Was Theresa's nearly episode-long nightmare really necessary? We kind of got that Theresa is (somewhat justifiably) insecure about her relationship with Brady and hates Summer about five months ago or so. Sans the great fashion, it was sort of a time-suck. Let's say, "Bye, Felicia!" to this storyline pronto and get Theresa into something juicier as Jen Lilley's talents are far too great to waste on the current lame duck swan song.

Re: Swan Songs, Abigail's exit storyline is heating up. Okay, I couldn't resist. My b...

Basically, you know that scene where Abigail sees Ben, states she's not crazy, Chad is a basket case, Abs says she wants to leave the hospital, etc.? Yeah, that happened again last week, this time with a fire and a Phantom of the Opera-type gauze mask. I'm not heartless. This storyline is tragic, and the acting has been phenomenal, but poor Kate Mansi's legs must be exhausted from all the victory laps she's been running. I'd rather see Kate go out on an acting high note rather than a rehash of months of the same scenes. She deserves that after her wowing performances.

Lani can keep her stanky side-eye glare because I think Shawn and Belle are one of the best things going for DAYS right now. Brandon Beemer and Martha Madison continue to enchant with their charming chemistry. We have butterflies again, too, Shelle!

Dirk Dillard? My first thought was, "Isn't that the guy from Boogie Nights?"

I was literally waiting for Caroline to pop out of the bushes with a Polaroid when Shawn and Belle were in the park.

Wow! Nightmare Anne's bridesmaid dress wasn't a wrap one. Yep, that was definitely a dream.

I'm curious as to what this "Brady Pub Tasting" consists of. I'm guessing it's chowder, whiskey, one of the billion cookies Caroline and Li'l Invisible Joey baked up when they were always in the kitchen together, and, well, more chowder and whiskey.

Speaking of drinking, I want to have a beer with Rafe and Nicole. I'm sorry she's suffering, but I'm glad their friendship has been remembered.

I'm not convinced that Hope is really that into Aiden this round. Something tells me she's playing along. Hmm...

In more cheery news from Salem, there was an accident on the freeway. My first thought, where is Eric!?

A note I actually wrote down: "Hey! It's Abe!!!" I'm creating a Kickstarter page to fund a storyline for this guy.

I loved Nicole telling Dario, "I may have to blackmail my way out of this." That's our gal! Someone get this lady a martini.

Maybe Julie has Tommy Horton in that steamer trunk. That was a pretty big "temporary" move-in. If I were Jennifer, I'd want a timeline of just how long she's planning to stay. Though it's really sweet of Julie and Doug to be there for Jennifer. Those scenes were meaningful, especially when talking about how the Hortons triumph over tragedy.

Actually, Jennifer should have spoken to Rafe about letting people stay at one's home. His full house is getting a bit fuller now that Blanca has arrived. Though if he needs to toss someone out, I don't think it will be bombshell Blanca at this point. Let's just say I saw Rafe at Redbox, renting Throw Mama From the Train.

Philip and Phil's Hair to Victor, "Don't brood too hard." Well played, Philly.

Yeah, I'm not convinced that Lani isn't going to go a little cray cray on the Shelle front. I've seen that look before. It's Kristen DiMera 101.

Summer to Maggie: "I felt like such an idiot."
Tony to his TV: "Just this time, Summie?"

Hmm, I wonder what Abigail will look like after her face heals. *insert exaggerated stage wink*

Maybe Philip should hook up with Lani. He'd never have to question her loyalty as lady gets crazy eyes for guys she likes. I just hope he never calls her Belle. Eek!

Ah, Caroline! She's always there with tender advice for her kin. Like the loving suggestion she gave to Shawn about Belle. She said, "Don't be a jerk!" Okay, that was hilarious.

Shawn and Belle's in unison "Not now, Nicole!" was rather hilarious, too.

D'oh! I hate to admit this, but Summer the Bummer actually made some valid points concerning Brady "Will You Marry Me?" Black. I guess, I mean, guess if someone flew across the country because I was magically in their soul because of a heart transplant, saved my life, reunited me with my long lost family, and saved my scheming butt from a thug, I might develop a crush, too, especially if they look like Thor and Captain America's lovechild.

Victor and Kate's greetings to each other were great. They do snark well. Their idea to team up? I'm not opposed, but I think there's a line of Salemites who will be.

Though, I'm a little peeved at Victor for selling Nicole down the river, as it were. Not surprised, just peeved. On second thought, angry Nicole and Victor scenes are always filled with hysterical lines. So, there's that nugget.

I bow down to the talents of the beautiful Suzanne Rogers! She's making delicious lemon bars out of this bitter Summer the Bummer storyline...and doing so while in a Professor X-esque Hoveround. But if I ever find myself heartbroken, I want Maggie to be the one to give me a love pep talk. Her chat with the Bummer was amazing.

Whoa, Saucy Marlena! When John asked her how she's been, she simply replied, "I'll tell you later," then took the wine into the bedroom. Though John's expression was pretty on-point, too. Have fun, kids. Be safe!

In other cute but saucy moments, Dario's proud "I'm good" after kissing Nicole was charming. And for Dario and I to be at "charming" is a big step. Confession: it was a hot kiss. I don't hate the idea of Nicole moving on with him.

Yep. It's much better to have Summer the Bummer circling around Justin like a shark. That entire Justin and Eve pairing was so boring. Ugh. I can't. It's like every time the writers are handed a good idea, they drop it to go with something not kid-tested or mother-approved. #bringbackEve

I liked Lisa. She was pretty up-front with what she wanted. Philip may want to reach out to Lucas about being rejected and/or a second choice. His big bro has a master's degree in that.

I might be crazy, but does Ximena Duque (Blanca) throw off a Christie Clark (Carrie) vibe? I think it's in her facial expressions. Either way, she's definitely stunning!

Some things never change. Chloe's still making good choices when it comes to men. Even after Robert, err, Deimos told her he'd been using her since they met, she let him stay. Though I'm not entirely upset by this. Their connection is one of the more believable things about this storyline. It explains how he got some intel as well as reassures us that Chloe and Philip are still good friends. That's a good thing. And at least Chloe is singing again and not a hooker. That's also a good thing.

Hold up. I can believe a lot about Chloe, but not for a second do I believe she's a "live in the middle of nowhere" kinda girl. Chloe would not wear hip waders to slosh through a flooded driveway. They would not go with any of her outfits.

I can't say I'm overly invested in Eduardo and Adriana, but they're nonthreatening in small doses. Her entire "you're not the first or the last; you're the only man I've loved" speech was rather sweet. Okay. Sweet and a little sad.

I'm torn. I hope DAYS doesn't turn Rory into a villain, but more Rory time is always appreciated. Maybe he'll have to hide out from the drug thugs that want to harm him, thus creating an Odd Couple-like scenario. He can do that at Roman's house. No one knows where he lives. He'd be safe there.

I'm on Team Philip/Justin/Brady when it comes to Victor. His stubbornness and willingness to disown family members is out of control. It really rings hollow when he spouts anything positive about family. Hey Vic, where's Xander and Tyler? Exactly. You can pick what you want on your sandwich at Subway, but sorry, Scrooge McVic, you can't choose your family.

I wanted to give Maggie a Two Scoops-sized hug when she stuck up for Summer, more so, herself. Not that I'm a Summer the Bummer fan, but Big Red had every right to tell Vic to shove it where the hourglass doesn't shine when he attacked her child. She's right. She doesn't treat his children with contempt. He needs to turn off that noise. Plus, he can always save face with Maggie by texting Laurisa and me what he'd like to say about Summer, and we'll do it. We're always up to snark on her.

Who 'da man? Billy Fynn's 'da man. That's who. #we'renotworthy

Jennifer asked, "How did this become my life?" Oh, Jenny Bear, we know, girl. We know. Most of us have been wondering that since your string of lackluster storylines the past few years. Let's hope she keeps running with this "I used to be a successful investigative reporter" mantra and go back to that.

Mama H needs to sit down with Kate and have heart-to-heart about the success rate of interfering in one's grown children's love lives. And if that doesn't scare Mama H's meddling behind from letting it go, I'll be glad to drop the bomb that Kate has had, um, "heart-to-hearts" with both Eduardo and Rafe.

As concerned as I am about another Salem staple getting mixed up in the suspect Deimos drama, it might be kind of poetic to have Chloe team up with someone to bring down Kate. Chloe is kind of owed a little revenge.

I still agree with Laurisa that Jade is a walking, talking Bratz doll, but I enjoyed her scenes with Steve at the hospital. Steve's compassionate side was endearing, and Stephen Nichols was brilliant.

It was hard not to laugh when Nightmare Victor told Nightmare Theresa, "Maybe he'll give me an heir who's not named after a root vegetable." #TaterTot

Extra Scoops
HOT
I can't say all of the current storylines right now are stellar, but #DAYS has to have the most talented cast in Hollywood. Seriously, I can't think of one actor who didn't brightly shine last week while working with the material they were given. The writing might be all over the place, but the performances are spectacularly solid. Let's give a collective group hug to the entire cast for their impeccable work while navigating rough waters.

NOT
I'm starting this "NOT" with an item from the Melrose Place "Trivia" section on IMDb. It reads:

"The third season was originally going to end with Kimberly blowing up the apartment complex, but that was scrapped, since the Oklahoma City bombing occurred a month earlier. Not wanting to be insensitive to the national tragedy of the Oklahoma City bombing, the producers had the final shot of the season being Kimberly hitting the detonator, then showed the explosion in the season premiere in the fall of 1995."

I know DAYS had a MUCH quicker timeframe to contend with, but I'm disappointed l that "The Powers That Be" didn't put together -- at the very least -- a hasty warning for viewers, considering Monday's episode largely focused on a lone gunman with hostages not even 24 hours after such a national tragedy, which was a lone gunman with hostages. Even the standard text screen of "This show contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing" or "Viewer discretion advised" would have been a gracious gesture. Sadly, nothing like that appeared in my market or the markets of friends across the country that I reached out to. I found Monday's show hard to watch given the circumstances.

I'm not saying that DAYS did anything intentionally wrong. Airing Monday's episode was simply horrible timing met with poor reaction to real-world events.

LINE OF THE WEEK:
Jennifer (responding to Julie's offer of some relaxing tea): "My daughter's in a psychiatric ward. My son got beat up by a drug dealer, and he also risks his life everyday being a policeman, so unless there's something stronger in that, I don't want any."

EXCHANGE OF THE WEEK:
Victor (re: Nicole): "Do I need to remind you that she tried to kill me?"
Brady: "Can you really blame her?"
Justin: [an amazingly priceless amused look]
Victor: "You know I used to admire your intelligence, but since you've taken up with that tart your brain has turned to oatmeal."
Justin: "And we're the family members he likes."

PARTING THOUGHTS
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of June 20. I'd like to end this column by confessing I wish for lot of things. I wish I could find the proper words to express the deep sorrow I feel for the people of Florida (and everywhere) who were affected by last weekend's tragedy. I wish warm words could magically fill the hearts of conflicted individuals and encourage them to get help before they senselessly slaughter others. I wish people would think before they speak, especially in the face of tragedy. I wish that right wings and left wings could work in unison to soar to new heights with compassion and love guiding the way. Yes, I wish for a lot of things and always will. My spirit can be bent, but not broken, and I wish that for others as well. And, "That's a fact!"

As always, thanks for reading!
Tony

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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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