Home improvement: Tonight we're cleaning out DAYS' closet

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If DAYS were a closet, what items would you throw out? What ones would be put into regular rotation? In this edition of Two Scoops, let's clean up DAYS in preparation for Ron Carlivati coming to town.

Recently, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Okay, I listened to it in the car because I have a toddler and, thus, little free time to read things. Anyway, the essential point in the book is that you should only hold onto things that bring you joy.

I love this outlook. It's a lot easier than trying to decide what to throw out. Instead, you just keep the things you truly love and the rest, well, don't worry about it. I applied this tactic to my closet one day and got rid of (I kid you not) nearly $1200 worth of donations for Goodwill.

So, in the spirit of the book, and since Ron's writing next week, I applied that theory to DAYS. Were I tackling DAYS like I did my closet, here's what would end up in the joy pile:

1. Steve and Kayla -- They've long since felt like a bit of a supporting couple on the show -- supercouple, sure, but much more attention went to Jarlena or Bope. But darn it if they aren't taking their chance in the spotlight to shine. From their funny antics as P.I.s to their romantic support for each other, these two are a prime example of long-term love done right. They're solid proof that you don't need an interloper to keep a couple front and center. Stayla has their own main storyline with Tripp, and is offering a nice assist to the Anjelica storyline. (Which got a lot more interesting last week! I'm glad there's more to her return than just calling in the loan on the paper.)

2. Gabi* -- I love that she brought Arianna to see Sonny. I love that she's still worried about J.J. I even love that she can rock a completely uncomfortable bodycon dress and heels the entire day after tripping on Halo the night before. (Seriously, my hangover days used to involve oversized T-shirts and binges of Million Dollar Listing.) I think DAYS is trying a little too hard to whip up lingering feelings for J.J. It's much easier to believe that she's all about Chad, since she's carried a torch for him off and on since the Melanie days. But Gabi is a ray of sunshine, and I want her to stay around.

3. Chad* -- From drama to comedy to romance, Billy Flynn's my go-to guy on DAYS. I loved Chad's reaction to Theo saying, "You know, the sex tape" -- which is both too much and not enough information at the same time. He makes you root for Chad, which is saying a lot, considering his genealogy. This guy managed to get Kate and Jennifer on the same side -- his side -- which is saying a lot! I'm looking forward to more Chad/Theo scenes when Theo comes to work for DiMera. It's crucial to both characters to have a non-love life story right now.

4. Abigail* -- I adore Marci Miller's take on Abigail. Like Martha Madison did as the Belle recast, Marci's made Abigail grow up nicely. And yes, her marriage to Dario was a bonehead move on her part, but I do like this storyline giving her a chance to explore her Jack and Jen roots by doing some investigating. Though if she really wants to date someone who doesn't do illegal things, she might want to stop dating on a soap.

* Note: all three of the above characters are listed separately. With the exception of the classy friendship between Gabi and Abigail, none of the pairings really move my DAYS dial. Plus, if we're going to campaign to get Jen Lilly back -- a notion I fully support -- let's please finally try Theresa with Chad.

5. Paul -- Billy Flynn is the obvious heir apparent to the Drake Hogestyn/Peter Reckell/James Scott leading man role of DAYS. And for the reasons expressed above, I'm A-okay with that. But Christopher Sean has magic stuff that should not be ignored. The fact that Paul isn't the skankiest skank who ever skanked is pretty impressive. He was involved in the split of one of the most important couples in DAYS history by sleeping with both of them. Yet I find myself rooting for him to find happiness. He's a surprise legacy kid that managed to avoid the eye-rolling pitfalls of... say...Summer and Daniel the Wonder Egg. Christopher's excellent chemistry with both Drake Hogestyn and Eric Martsolf helped ease this transition immensely. The jungle madness storyline proves he can be more than just a hunk of soap man meat. Whenever he's on, I find myself thinking, "Oh, I forgot how good he is!"

6. Adrienne and Justin -- I'm listing them together just out of the hope that they'll be reunited. But even separately, I adore them. Justin might be the only officer of the court in Salem with a fully functioning brain. He basically said everything I was thinking during Deimos' murder investigation. We can never have enough Justin. Adrienne's cancer storyline was a good reminder of how lucky we are to have Judi Evans on our DAYS bench. Given deep material to play, Judi comes through with some extra sparkle.

7. Eric -- I love Greg Vaughaun's tortured performance as he deals with his guilt over Daniel's death. With the Brady family running low on representatives in Salem, I feel comfortable that Eric has a fighting chance at making it interesting. However, the character is screaming for a believable love interest. Eric's a bit like Hope in the sense that he's only had one real love interest his entire run. With Nicole leaving (and please, please don't let Ericole leave on bad terms), the door is open for a new lady.

8. Tripp and Claire -- Claire clearly can't live with Theo anymore due to his busy schedule of being a drama queen. Besides, if Theo needs to talk to her, he'll just interrupt her at work like usual. Tripp has a free room now that Jade is moving out. Do I need to draw DAYS a map?

9. Kate -- She's a survivor. She always has been. The warnings she's received about Andre are well founded. But I'm assuming that Andre's friends are giving him the same talk about Kate. Well, if Andre has any friends, that is.

Surprisingly not on the list:

1. Rope -- A lot of fans are adamantly against this pairing. I'm not one of them. I appreciate that Hope managed to contain pretty much all of Rafe's insufferable patronizing side. However, I don't get excited for Rope scenes. Maybe it's because the writers seem to go out of their way to mention Bo a lot in Rope's relationship, it seems like this pair doesn't truly stand on their own. I'm not campaigning for them to split, but I can't say I'd pitch a fit if the show were to explore other partners for both.

2. Andre -- Thaao Phenglis is a delight. But this iteration of Andre is off. Either he's pulling a super long con again and pretending to be a nice guy, or he's actually been Tony this whole time. Either way, Andre needs some character development. Ron's lucky he's got an actor with the chops to play it out. All he needs to do is write it.

I might have thought Jen was a bit too experienced for Eric, but she's way too young to be all "I've had a full life." Give yourself some credit, Jenny Bear! Ask Maggie and Marlena what it's like to find love the second (or third!) time around!

The hospital suspended Kayla. I would think they would be looking into why their records are not coordinating with the medical findings of an autopsy, but okay, let's go with Kayla being a bad doc. Sure.

Joey's starting to get jealous of Tripp, since Tripp can breathe with his mouth closed and all. That checks out.

Lani found a key registered to "Sam Reynolds" in room 204. That led the crew to the Salem Inn Dumpster and eventually Xander...or not. I have a sinking feeling Deimos' murder investigation is going to end up like Tate's kidnapping -- with a far-fetched ending stuck in there for storyline convenience. I would love to be wrong.

Oh, good! Another relationship where Nicole cries and apologizes. I'm so excited.

Shush, Jennifer! The dude landed her Hamilton tickets! Go pout about this marriage somewhere else for a minute so Abs can catch that show! Besides, if you really want to control Abigail, you call Granny Laura. Have you not been paying attention?

Bye, Jade. Peace out. Need help with your bags? I don't even care that Jade did a warp-speed about-face on her feelings toward both Joey and Kayla. This wrinkle in common sense needed to be corrected. This "Tripp changes the records" storyline needs to fade into the fog. The only thing that makes me mad is that we just learned Jade's had a grandmother this whole time...one that she loved and looked up to...who owned her own home. It makes me scratch my head to remember why Jade even needed to stay in Salem.

One of the most annoying things about Dario (and I know that list is long!) is how the show refuses to use his history when informing his current storylines. He and Brady have a legitimate rocky past. Brady literally ran Dario out of the country because of Melanie. Dario should have at least some insider knowledge of Titan since he was a pretty high-ranking manager in their Argentina office. Watching them just bump into each other in the square, look up from their respective phones long enough to sneer, and then move along their merry ways was extremely unsatisfying.

Justin (to Sonny, with the spot-on amount of exasperation): "Okay, you obeyed your conscience. Satisfied?"
Look, they're all nice, lovely people. But seriously, these Deveraux/Johnson kids are really, really stupid. I truly hope a Nigerian prince never emails Abigail, J.J., or Sonny because those knuckleheads will grab their banner of valor and march forward into bankruptcy in the name of "doing the right thing."

I love Stayla, but they gave a 20-something guy a study guide as a present. I have a feeling they hand out toothbrushes on Halloween.

Drats! Yet another time for Derek the bellman to be on the show, and we didn't see him.

Can that spiral staircase in the kids' apartment really hold the weight of an adult human?

Sassy Anne is kinda perfect as a hard-nosed newspaper gal.

The Salem P.D. is crazy efficient. It's not even 48 hours since Deimos' murder, and they've already turned the crime scene back into a working business!

Greg Vaughan is slowly shedding the grizzly mountain man look. Thank. The. Soap. Gods.

A wasted Kate's made everyone go around the table and say the worst thing happening to them. Remind me to not let Kate plan my next networking event. Oh, Katie. You so crazy.

I love how Steve -- a guy with an eyepatch -- puts on a jumpsuit with a name badge and thinks, "Yup. I'm totally in disguise. Nailed it."

I'm hoping Fran (Claire's boss) turns out to be a little more Nurse Maxine and a lot less Anne 1.0.

By my count, Marlena's been married nine times. Sami has been married six. Both of them married the same man multiple times (John and E.J., respectively) But big mama is a few ahead of junior. Better turn that shade tree around, Mar.

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