2022: A New Hope

For the Week of January 3, 2022
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It's time to happy dance into 2022 with Two Scoopers Laurisa and Tony as they team up to dream big! Will their hopes for the new year come true? Will Chelsea return!? Will Paulina make another power play!? Is Salem ready for a new Hope!? As Dusty Springfield sang, let's get to "wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin'" in this week's fingers-crossed DAYS Two Scoops!

Happy 2022, friends and fellow DAYS fans! Or Merry 2023 if you're living in Salem, USA, proper. Either way, we feel like we've time-jumped again, as last year flew by so quickly. Oh, and did we have fun! In fact, when celebrating all things DAYS during The 15th Annual Golden Donut Awards a few weeks back, our brains got to storming...

In the intro, we discussed that it felt like Team DAYS granted wishes we didn't even know we wanted, as 2021 was stuffed with so many spectacular surprises. We even wondered what Ron Carlivati and his talented team has in store for us this year. Well, we're already on the edge of our seats to find out, but, in the meantime, we've decided to get a little greedy and put 22 of our hopes and dreams right out there, and, maybe, these asked-for wishes will be granted, too!

Keep all the "Shelle" Coming
One of the absolute highlights of last year was spending so much time with Belle and Shawn! We'd love it if the show kept that party bus rolling. Not only are Martha Madison and Brandon Beemer totally talented and magical together, but "Shelle" are also Salem royalty. It feels natural to have them lead the charge for their generation. Weaving them into the fabric so strongly and doing so with the mature versions of the characters as they did last year was fantastic. Again, we want more, please! Perhaps like...

Jan is pregnant...and baby CIN is safe
Shawn and Belle are horrified to learn that Jan is pregnant. Due to her high-risk pregnancy (over 40 and thrice in a coma), she stays in the hospital rather than heading right to prison. During the pregnancy, Belle and Shawn grapple with the idea of raising Jan's child. Belle leans on Hope for advice. Just before the baby is born, everyone learns that the devil wants Jan's baby, leaving baby Cin alone. Shawn and Belle travel to see Eric to find out how to exorcise the devil from a newborn.

Doug and Julie: Cruise Control
Cruises are SUCH a Doug and Julie thing. We'd love a one-off episode or a Peacock movie of them sharing some of their high-sea adventures. We know they weren't all calm casino nights, karaoke, and buffets. It's Julie. There must have been drama involved! As they narrate (and toss in a song or two), the cast could recreate the tales much like what DAYS did with the "flashbacks" of Laura, Jennifer, and Tiffany. Those were a hoot!

More Streaming Specials, Please!
From "Chabby in Paris" to "The Last Blast Reunion" and last year's gems, Beyond Salem and A Very Salem Christmas, we love what Ron and company have done with the streaming specials! We. Want. More. Additional DAYS content is always appreciated, and it shows that the network has faith in the series. Also, they're just fun, and, like more DAYS, we can always use more fun! We won't bog this selection down with too many requests, but more Kristen, Li Shin, Tony and Anna, Billie, Austin and Carrie, and Shane would be awesome, please and thank you.

A "Wilson" Homecoming
We know Sonny is doing amazing work in Arizona and that they seem happy there, but Salem is home, and Will can write from anywhere. We want them back, especially as we love our new Sonny, Zach Tinker! He and Chandler Massey have great chemistry, and we'd like to see more shenanigans between Wilson and their bestie, Chad. Oh, and we'd like to see Abigail's reactions to said "more shenanigans!" It also wouldn't hurt to have Ari Grace home, and Wilson's good influence on Gabi is never a bad thing. Lucas and Justin could certainly use their sons right now. Combine all that with Will and Julie finally having a long overdue heart-to-heart, and we're already planning this welcome home party!

Getting to Know Sonja Hawk
Benji's bride is basically a blank slate. We'd like to know more about this DiMera widow, and we suggest that Melissa Archer bring her back onto the canvas. It's been years since she played Serena Mason, so that's a non-issue because, one, Melissa is marvelous. We need to see her talented self on-screen again. And two, who's to say Serena didn't have a twin sister? We never learned much about Ms. Mason (other than the elephant statue thingy), and "Mason" could very well be Sonja's maiden name, too.

Additionally, Sonja has connections to Steve and Kayla as well as the entire DiMera family due to her marriage and son, Steven. Xander and Eric would certainly do a double take. Did they know her, too? It also would give someone like, say, Brady or Rafe a new potential pairing. We'd even like to think Sonja and Belle could become buddies while lawyer 'Tink navigated her through the creation of the Benji Hawk Foundation. And maybe Sonja has some major stress in her life due to her son...

Next Gen Drama
Perhaps Steven Hawk and Tyler Wilkens (Kiriakis) met at boarding school, became besties bonding over their brooding ways (maybe even became lovers), and teamed up in some Leopold and Loeb-type fashion to exact the perfect crime. Or in this case, the perfect revenge to raze both of their families. We could believe Steven had a chip on his shoulder that his family let Uncle Andre skate for killing his dad. We'd totally buy Tyler resenting the Titans who gave him away. Together, we bet these two next gens would have more than a few chips on their shoulders, and this could be a wild way to introduce them to Salem, as nobody would see the outcasts coming.

Chelsea returns to Salem to run Titan
Victor is thrilled when Chelsea returns to Salem and agrees to assume the position of interim CEO at Titan while her little sister, Ciara, finishes up her CEO training in hopes of taking over the role in a few years. Max returns with Chelsea to Salem, but their relationship is on the rocks. While helping out Roman at the pub, Max meets Gabi and immediately finds her exhausting...for now.

Powerhouse Paulina in action
Speaking of strong women who rule the world (girls!), Ms. Price had a problematic 2021. Her personal life sort of blew up. By "sort of," we mean it did. Big time. While we'd like to see her continue to rebuild bridges, if possible, we'd also like to see this empire builder's swagger in action again.

Paulina knows properties, and Horton Town Square can't be the only prime real estate in Salem. We'd like her to set her eyes on the waterfront after taking a stroll on the old pier sets and seeing its promise. Then go head to head with Titan and DiMera Enterprises for the land! Or perhaps Paulina and one (or both) of Salem's big businesses could form an uneasy alliance. After all, Price Towns need products shipped, and Titan and DiMera Enterprises both do that. Greedily, we'd also love to watch Paulina and Victor sling zingers at one another.

Additionally, there are SO many Salemites living in temporary housing like the Inn and above the Brady Pub. We've seen Auntie P's place on Star Island. We know she knows her job well and makes bank. Perhaps she could be an agent for a few citizens and help them find forever homes. Or set them up in a bidding war to amuse herself and make the most money. And if she needs an assistant, we could pass along Mary's -- sorry! -- Leo's résumé.

How To Get Away With Murder Burying Someone Alive: The Vivian Almain Story
Early last year, Auntie Viv mentioned writing a memoir. This. Needs. To. Happen! It would be great woven into our daily dose of DAYS. Maybe Madam could blackmail Titan Publishing into promoting her venture. Or Vivian recounting her twisted tales (some of which we haven't heard yet) could make an interesting streaming special, to say the least. Perhaps start out with Vivian speaking to her cellmate, Jan Spears, in Statesville as actors create the events. End with Carly Manning reading Viv's book on a bench in Alamainia...then tossing it into a nearby bin.

Paging Doctor...
On the topic of Doc Manning, maybe Ron Carlivati could use his magic dust to coax Crystal Chappell back to DAYS! Lady Chappell is such a powerhouse performer, and we'd love to see her breathe new life into Carly in a Bope-less Salem. After all, Doc Manning deserves a reprieve. The last two times she left were dreary. The first time, she sailed off into the, um, whatever the opposite of the sunset is with creepster extraordinaire, Lawrence, and the second exit was to enter rehab. We'd like to catch up with a healthier Carly. And, you know, watch how the drama of being back in Salem takes its toll on her once again.

Bonus points if Frankie, Nicholas, and Mel return for visits!

Hospital hijinks
Remember when Craig and Nancy caused all sorts of commotion at Salem University Hospital? We'd like to see them versus Kayla and company (maybe Carly!). She needs a solid storyline, and we like when Doctor Sweetness gets spunky.

If Joey returned to Salem with his new girlfriend, Joy, we wouldn't hate that, either.

Sonny's nonprofit secures huge grant, research headed up by a returning Mike Horton

This could work in Salem or on Peacock, but it could reunite some previous doctors and hospital staff, including Mike Horton -- who was always passionate about his career and patients. Of course, Mike would need someone to assist him, and we can't think of anyone better than Nurse Maxine. Did we say assist? We mean run it with an iron fist while he does his research thingy.

More Mysteries!
Be it Black Patch, another Billie Reed around the globe caper, celebrated investigative journalists Jack and Jennifer digging deep for a story, or all the above and more, we'd like to see more mysteries explored this year. Jack and Jennifer, especially, could use a storyline to get them back to their reporter roots (and out of the Horton living room). Abigail could tag along, too! Maybe they could set out to discover Ernesto Toscano's fate -- did he die in that acid vat or live like Hope!? Perhaps they could track down Peter Blake! They could possibly even do a deep dive into Paulina's past and expose another bombshell. There's so much potential, given Salem's rich history and forgotten storylines.

Plus, we love that Ron loves digging in the DAYS history books and encourage him to do so more throughout 2022!

Exploring Salem's Family Trees
Maybe as part of that "More Mysteries!" wish, Abigail could start tracing family trees for a story or one of her kids' schoolwork leading to scandalous revelations. After all, Abigail has Horton, Spencer, Johnson, and Deveraux roots, and she's married into the DiMeras' twisted tree. There's got to be a lot more stories there than what we already know. She could even get an assist from Ciara, who's growing family could prompt her to want to know more, too. At the very least, we'd like to find out what happened to Tommy Horton Jr. or why nobody keeps in touch with Marie!

Who is Lani's Father!?
We've discussed this in several past Two Scoops, but we're eager to discover Dangerous Ray's real identity! Sure, he could be just a man named Ray. Sure. Still, we believe we've met him before and would gladly join the Detective Grant-Prices as they get to the rotten root of this Dangerous Ray mystery.

Chad's Rotten Roots
Remember when Chad was "Chad Peterson-Woods?" We'd like that revisited. Did he ever get full closure with his dastardly stepdad, former D.A. Woods? What if they came face to face once again as adversaries? We could totally see slimy Charles suing DiMera Enterprises for something or working with a competing company as their attorney. Thankfully, Chad would have lawyer Belle and general badass ally Kate at his side! This deep dive into Chad's dark past with his stepfather could certainly give the ever-brilliant Billy Flynn meaty material to work with.

Marlena Makes Amends
Given that the devil made her do it -- literally -- we know Marlena herself meant no malice, but we also know she's bound to feel guilty. We'd love to see the shrink become the patient. Between two possessions, decades as Stefano's "Queen of the Night" target, and all the other dramas she's endured while being Salem's rock, Mar Mar deserves some downtime on the couch to sort out her thoughts. Maybe one of Bayview's finest could treat Doc. They do have a high success rate!

Prison Break III: Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves
The past few prison breaks have been trios of dudes doing their baddie things. So, how about a prison break featuring Vivian and Jan along with someone like Dr. Charlotte Taylor!? It could be a Halloween special or one-off streaming thingy, but either way, a lot of fun!

Trio of Terror
While discussing terrifying trios, we'd be open to seeing more of the team-up between Kristen, Ava, and Gwen. Sure. It was more of Kristen blackmailing them, but who's to say they wouldn't bond over all the bad they've done while plotting more villainous acts to come.

Ava reopens Chez Rouge...or does she?
Frustrated by Rafe and Nicole's betrayal, Ava sets out for revenge. She partners with Victor to reopen Chez Rouge in honor of Maggie. Ava revamps the menu to feature delicacies from all over Europe. The restaurant also doubles as the perfect cover for Ava and Victor to dip their toes back into the mob world.

Gwen dates Peter Blake's son
Gwen goes to work for Ava at Chez Rouge as a hostess. There, she meets an interesting supplier who delivers linen weekly to the restaurant. They begin a friendship and bond when this man reveals that he grew up not knowing his father. A master of covert research, Gwen helps him uncover the truth -- his father was Peter Blake.*

*While we'd love to see Jason Brooks return to the role he originated, DAYS has been on fire with their recasts the last few years. So, if Jason can't return, we implore the casting department to see what Trevor St. John is up to! Something tells us he'd be a wonderfully wicked Peter.

LOOSE ENDS

Since it's technically 2023 in Salem, USA, here's a bonus wish. A hope, even, for, well, a new Hope! We will forever adore Kristian Alfonso and would roll out ALL the red carpets if she wishes to return to DAYS. However, as much as we would celebrate her return, we respect her as much as we adore her. At this time, Kristian has moved on, and we continue to wish her the best.

Still, there are times when Salem really needs some Hope, especially with a CIN-a-bun in the oven and expected this year. As stated earlier, DAYS was on fire last year with its recasts. The legendary Linda Dano was fantastic when taking over the vivacious role of Vivian, and the ever-talented Cady McClain won a Daytime Emmy for her work as Jennifer. So, are we ready for a new Hope!?

While we always want more Fancy Face, we'd welcome seeing Hope sprint in and out of town, not unlike Tony and Anna, or Kristen. We're sure she has a life in Joburg she'd be eager to get back to. Maybe even a new man (Brandon Walker, perhaps)? We can't confirm that rumor we just started, but we're sure she's busy, nonetheless.

So, even short stints in Salem would be super. In addition to Hope being there for the birth of little CIN-a-bun, perhaps she could partner up with old pals Patch and John to solve a caper or two. Maybe even team up with best friend and 'cuz, Jennifer, to finally solve the mystery of Alice's African bank account. A hesitant team-up, buddy cop Peacock movie with Billie!? She is Detective Fancy Face, after all.

Just who should play a new Hope is literally anyone's guess and wish. When brainstorming names, we swung big. Maybe even too big. We know that. We're talking wishes, after all. They're supposed to be grand. We also figured a recurring or guest-star Hope had to be a home run! So, in no particular order, here are a few talented thespians we believe could tackle the role tremendously: Paget Brewster, Bellamy Young, Daphne Zuniga, Liza Huber, Alyssa Milano, Nancy McKeon, Valerie Bertinelli, or Brooke Shields. DAYS fan Julie Roberts, anyone!? Oh! Or Angie Harmon. We surely think Father Eric would bless that last suggestion *wink*

PARTING THOUGHTS
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for January 3. We hope that everyone had a fun, safe start to a bright new year! We know we have a lot of catching up to do, and Laurisa is back next week with the first traditional Two Scoops of 2022! Until then, be sure to grant your wishes and share your hopes in the comment section below, on the Soap Central DAYS message board, and on Twitter. As always, thank you for reading, and "That's a fact."

Cheers,
Laurisa and 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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