Everyone seems to have that one childhood memory of their first "ugly cry" over something they saw on the silver screen or television. Oh, I broke down with the boohoos over Bambi's mom with the best of them. Old Yeller was traumatizing to the max. For some reason, the series finale of the sitcom Alice sent me sobbing into a box of stuffed animals. Still, none of those cries could compare to the real media moment that broke a bite-sized me...
Picture it. A small town in Western Pennsylvania. May 24, 1982. I was a Tiny Almost Five-Year-Old Tony most likely clad in a Smurfs T-shirt, shorts, and my favorite little cap -- which was once shamelessly stolen by the evil Kenny the Kangaroo at an amusement park outside of Pittsburgh, but I digress. There's no doubt I was dragging around my beloved madras blanket (and sometimes superhero cape). Another certainty was that I was watching DAYS with my mom. It was our routine, after all, to watch "the stories" together while we ate lunch.
As usual, the episode was exciting. They all were. Salem was this magical world, and I was there with my pal, my mom. It was the best of times! My little legs dangling off the edge of the orange and brown '80s print sofa. My eyes were wide with wonderment. And right at the end of the show that day, my teeny, tiny Tony-sized heart was broken.
How!? How could this happen? Our favorite fair-haired psychiatrist in Salem, USA, was seemingly strangled by the town's notorious serial killer! I wept and wept over poor Marlena that day. This was my traumatizing television moment. The one that had mini me nearly inconsolable.
Okay. Looking back, it was more like, "Poor my mom." She put up with a lot that day. I'm sure it felt like an eternity until the next episode for her as she tried to assure young me that it was "just a show." "Everything will be okay." Sorry, lady, but Tiny Tony was not buying it. Not that day. Not ever. I would forever wear black, mourning Marlena. That's just how OshKosh B'gosh era me rolled. I'd enter kindergarten as a man who knew all about loss. Li'l me was sure of that.
I unknowingly shared that moment with the masses of fans who all had the same reaction -- sadness and horror! Our Marlena couldn't have died, right!? The next episode couldn't come quickly enough to answer that question. This was a time before spoilers. Oh! You think waiting a few for a text message reply is excruciating? Try waiting a day -- two days if it were a Friday cliffhanger -- to see if your TV bestie made it! Now that's excruciating.
Of course, Doc didn't die that day, but I did learn how powerful storytelling could be. That experience and the many more jaw-dropping, heartbreaking, and heartwarming moments I witnessed on DAYS inspired me to want to write. To be able to tell stories as epic as this magical show I began watching alongside my mother when I was probably too young to watch, well, that would be a dream come true. If I weren't already hooked on the continuing saga of Days of our Lives, I was firmly from that point on and would follow Deidre Hall anywhere.
That pledge to follow Deidre was made nearly, umm, the years ago don't matter because using soap math, we're all ageless and forever gorgeous, dammit. Needless to say, when the marvelous Ms. Hall announced that the show would be moving to Peacock and asked us to join, the answer was simple. It was "Yes!"
Like most, though, my initial reaction to learning about DAYS switching from NBC to Peacock was pure shock (and a bit of concern). I took to texting to share the news. I was having a particularly bad day that day, so it hit me hard. It seemed like doom and gloom, but I was wrong. Very wrong. The more time I spent with the decision, the easier it became to embrace.
I'm ecstatic that Team DAYS has embraced the future. That means they're up for the fight to ensure the show goes on and on. The show going on also means the continued employment for most (if not all) at Team DAYS. I'm tremendously thrilled that a cast and crew I deeply admire and care for will continue to work on a show they love in a media that's now dominating award shows and generally embraced.
Sure, it's a gamble, but so was soaps switching from radio to television. From antennas to cable, cable to digital, and so forth. Who knows what the next change will look like, but we change every day. From fine lines and wrinkles to hair growth (and loss), we change. Computers used to be fictitious things found on the deck of the Starship Enterprise, and now we have them in our pockets and purses. It's digital magic! It's change. And the good -- no, no great! -- thing is we're making the move together in an age during which we have instant communication with one another.
At the core, soap fans are a family. We argue. We laugh. We love. We simply "get it" -- soaps are amazing. They're magical. And as Maggie might add, "in success and disappointment," we stand by our show.
Really, though, soap fans are the toughest of all the fandoms. We're constantly defending our love of daytime from those uneducated people who think it's a "less than" form of entertainment. We know how wrong they are, and we'll never stop urging them to watch and learn. I feel like this is the point where I exclaim the soap version of "This is Sparta!" but I digress again.
I do feel bad for those who legitimately can't make the switch and urge fellow fans to help them out. Maybe folks can help disappointed fans by hosting a viewing party or two. A DAYS marathon with a few martinis and some other diehard fans? Yes, please! There are ways to get in contact, like the Soap Central message boards and social media. Again. We're soap fans. We've weathered worse. We've got this.
In fact, I've even grown excited about all the Peacock possibilities. I mean, have you seen the promo for the fall!? It's off the hook. Watch it by clicking here. I'll wait. Seriously. It's THAT good!
Now, I will forever cherish the memories I have of watching DAYS on NBC, but the show isn't over yet. We have many more DAYS ahead. There are more Two Scoops to share, too.
An era really hasn't ended; it's just evolved. Folks will remember DAYS not because it was on NBC but because it touched their hearts. We'll never hear the word "Fancy" without immediately word associating "Face" with it. We know that pirates aren't the only cool dudes who wear patches. We know that a Phoenix will rise from the ashes, and some opera and a bellowing laugh can send chills down our spines. We know despite the odds that -- although the baddies seem to have all the fun -- the good guys will win in the end, and "That's a fact."
The fact is also that things change. It can be scary, but embracing the excitement with such a large support group is a special thing. My life not only changed from watching DAYS, but also in 2007 when I began writing about it here. Oh, I was scared, but I quickly found comfort amongst fellow fans. So, not only is September the official start of the "Everything Pumpkin Spiced Flavor" season, but it also marks my anniversary as a Two Scooper, one who took a chance on change and put himself out there only to get a dream job and make many connections I hold near and dear.
Laurisa and I actually started at the very same time. I remember our first congratulatory emails to one another and extending the courtesy to reach out to the other should we need to. We were complete strangers yet shared this one special thing in common -- DAYS.
That was 15 years ago, and you know what? I count my blessings every day that I not only have found myself working opposite someone I respect and admire, but someone who is also a friend. DAYS made that bond. Yes. There surely is something special about Salem, and I hope everyone makes the switch to Peacock so we can continue to enjoy the show together for -- and all together now -- "all the days of our lives."
Congratulations to Xander and Sarah for finally tying the knot! Paul Telfer and Linsey Godfrey's chemistry was off-the-charts adorable. Paul makes it perfectly believable that every part of Xander's being drips with adoration for Sarah. I absolutely loved their vows, especially Sarah's "wonderful secret" of knowing the real Xander. It was all a little swoon-worthy wedding in her family home. Tom and Alice would have loved it!
I feel like Gwen's new lease on life is going to be more of a short-term sublet. She seems like she can only handle being a decent person for a few moments, if that. Is this her moment of change or simply a rest stop on her highway to hell?
I wonder what else was in the box Gwen had under the bed!? Something tells me it's more than a sentimental snapshot of her and Xander. Given her past with Dr. Rolf, I wonder if she has any more antidotes stowed away for safekeeping. Say, like, the one Doc, Kay, and Kate might need.
I get that Jack is between a rock and a hard place, and I feel for him to some degree. Though every time he lifts a hand to help Gwen, it's like a slap to Jennifer's face. Last week, she seemed to have had enough. Cady McClain perfectly executed Jennifer's balance of good grace, rage, grieving, and simply clinging to sanity. When that fragile balance falters to one side, this is going to get ugly.
Actually. It might get very ugly. Jennifer admitted to Maggie she's been struggling since Laura's death, and now, she's barely hanging on. She's contemplating pill use again, and we watched her pluck those suckers out of the trash can. Yep. RSVP now to the "Very Ugly" Tour. Though with the talented cast involved in this storyline, I can't wait to watch what happens next!
Though, riddle me this... if Maggie and Jennifer were going to a meeting at the hospital, why didn't they turn in the pills there? I'm sure they have a drug takeback program. Not only is it weird to have a trash can in the family room, but there are kids playing in the home. That could be a dangerous combo. Also, you know, Jenny Bear could just reach in and pluck them out. Oh, wait. She did.
Related: I'm going to put this out there again. This would be a splendid time for Crystal Chappell to return as Carly. Jen could use her original bestie right now, especially one who happens to know a thing or ten about substance abuse and hitting rock bottom. Salem University Hospital could also use another doctor, and let's be honest, Carly meeting Stefan needs to happen. That'll inspire Vivian to find a way out of Statesville super fast.
When she saw Stefan, Ava stated, "You're not real. You're not Jake." She's half right, though I wish she'd stuck around the crypt for a Q and A, as her sanity would have gained the upper hand again. Given her history, I get why Ava's worried. She spent most of her life drugged up by her father and doesn't want to go back there. Granted, I know she's wrong to fake her DiMera widow status, but Ava versus E.J. has been dynamite. She fits right in that House of Madness with the fellow freaks and felons.
It can't be said that Johnny isn't passionate about the women he takes a shine to, but part of me almost wonders if he's playing Ava and working with E.J. Things seem a bit too easy to explain. Am I wrong to think there is a darker motive at play? Hmm.
In any event, Dan Feuerriegel and Carson Boatman have great father-son chemistry, and both gel with the ever-talented Tamara Braun. Win meet win. Meets win again.
I love that Tony and Anna are all about the Champagne and snacks. Yes, please. More so, Anna reminding the family more than once they were at the crypt to pay their respects to Jake was hilarious. Though dismissing Jake and infighting is sort of on brand. The ultimate tribute, perhaps.
Kristen is annoyed that Rolf ruined things for both her and Li. She needs to take it down a notch. Just because she wants her golden ticket right now doesn't mean Dr. Rolf can magically make that melding happen at a moment's notice. It takes time to make gold -- or brain condition a dude who's been dead-ish for four years. Calm down, Special K. Enjoy some Champagne and snacks. Whoops. She wasn't invited. Wonder why.
Laurisa texted me a great point! Would Dr. Rolf stand for Orpheus harming Kate!? She is a twice DiMera widow, as she was married to both Stefano and Andre. I'll go one further -- would he stand for Orphie poisoning Mar Mar, as well!? She was Stefano's "Queen of the Night" Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah! Then again, like Leo, he's a coward. I doubt he'd take too much of a stand.
Jada's "Scolding Tour" was weird. It's not that she didn't make some valid points, but she's not exactly talking to some schmucks who watched a few episodes of a cop show and decided to track down bad guys while filming things on their camera phones. Steve, John, and Roman are three trained professionals, two of whom are actively operating a Private Investigation firm and have ties with the ISA. I admire that she's "by the book," as Salem needs all the white hat-wearing warriors it can get, and she was also looking out for their safety, but, like Kristen, taking things down a notch would probably produce better results.
"Oh, Nicole!" is basically the only thing I can write about Mrs. Walker-Hernandez these days. I get it, girl. Eric's a dream dipped in perfection, but still, "Oh, Nicole!"
Yes, please! The idea of Paulina running for governor is a much better fit. Don't get me wrong. I think "Carver Can!" and could -- if that's what Abe really wanted. It just never appeared that way. This seemed much more like Paulina's passion from the very beginning. As always, I'll stand by Abe, and his wish is for his wife to become the next governor. So, get out those "Carver-Price Can!" signs and vote Paulina!
Alex's exasperated tone while stating, "I know. Boundaries," kind of sums up my issues with him. He's aware he's being a creeper. He just doesn't seem to care but thinks if he says he does, he's not as creepy as he's coming across. I don't think that's how that works, pal.
Every time Alex invites Stephanie into a hot tub, I just think of that horrible scene between her and Jeremy Horton back in the day. He held her head underwater, and she stayed with him. I hope Stephanie's grown enough to not let that history repeat itself. I'm rooting for you, Sunroof Steph!
Li proposed to Gabi! She realized she has room in her heart for Li and would be honored to be his wife. The closer a couple gets to happiness, the closer we get to a wedding that's bound to explode. Oh, let's chill the Champagne and prepare the snacks now!
Sonny will be okay. I repeat, "Sonny will be okay." I felt horrible for Will, Chad, and the Kiriakis family. When Care Bear Sonny takes a hit, it hits a little harder. Luckily, Nurse Leona seems to be on his side? I think that's lucky. At the very least, Leo is worried about saving his behind, and that, in turn, might help clue Sonny in to the real culprit.
Speaking of the murderer, could Chad's stepfather, former D.A. Charles Woods, be Abby's killer and Sonny's would-be slayer!? It hit me. Chuckie was horrible. Leo's father was horrible. Could they be one and the same? Sure, Leo's father was named, but when has that stopped DAYS before? Maybe Charles is the one framing Leo. It would be kind of killing two birds with one stone -- destroying Chad and Leo's lives.
I'm glad that "Operation Spoil Marlena" was a success! John and Marlena are a constant reminder that a classic love story will never be over. AmIright, Doug and Julie!?
Thank you, Deidre, for my first TV heartbreak and to the entire cast and crew for the magic you've made over the first 50-plus years. We're lucky as fans to have such a gracious team who love their job and will navigate us through this change. So, once again, thank you for the memories, Team DAYS, and I look forward to making even more in the years to come! Viva la DAYS!
This week's "NOT" will be preempted to continue to celebrate all things DAYS!
There's a reason I've thought Wally Kurth has been the bees' knees since the '80s, and last week was another amazing reminder. Justin's "You were always a good sleeper" monologue was remarkably moving and perfectly performed. The chef's kiss was Justin singing the song Adrienne used to sing to Sonny as a child. Gulp! I totally misted up. Well done, Wally!
LINE(S) OF THE WEEK
Chloe (to Kristen): "Oh, that's funny. I was just talking about psychopaths on the loose."
E.J. (to Gabi): "You've just hired a mafia princess who is in the process of losing her mind. What could possibly go wrong?"
And Johnny for the win! I loved his reminder that most DiMeras have cheated death a time or two. Or ten. Or more. Well played, Young Jo-Ro.
Given "the switch," Chad and Will's conversation about not sweating the small stuff was perfectly timed.
I want gallons of very dry martinis with Tony and Anna! How much fun would that be!?
Ha! The DiMeras forgot to invite Kristen to Jake's memorial. That's never not going to be funny.
Like folks yelled "Norm!" when he walked into Cheers, I totally screamed "Chandler!" when Will walked into the hospital. I miss that guy.
I'll never tire of Jack and Xander's friendship. It's unexpected but works. Let's toast to best mates!
I hope Maggie and Jennifer were served sparkling cider at the wedding!
Kristen accused Chloe of flirting with "Randy the Intern." Because that's worse than threating someone with a letter opener in the middle of the conference room. Oh, right. In Kristen World, that does make sense.
I loved Abe's endorsement of Paulina for governor. He's such a sweet guy. We all need more Abe in our lives.
Li said to Gabi, "You seem to be in a bit of a mood." Oh, guys. No. Don't do that.
Ava's dress was very Married to the Mob. That's not a complaint.
I have a feeling that we're watching Cady McClain earn her next Emmy.
Kate's done some downright turrible things in the past, but ruining an entire delicious-looking cake is nearly unforgivable.
Of course, Paulina owns a coffee brand and farm! I love it. I wonder if she supplied the beans to the Java Café!? One thing is for sure: she might want to attempt to get the hospital's business, as everyone has complaints about their coffee.
The warm "Magic!" moment between Victor and Maggie was great. His response of, "You seem to have that effect on people," reminds us that the Tin Man has a heart underneath all that gruff and snark.
I love Tony. When Li assured him and Anna that he and Gabi were truly in love, Tony's response of, "Of course, you are," cracked me up. There were a lot of ways that could have been taken, but something tells me the sarcastic route wouldn't be wrong.
Stefan deducted he has a twin. I can tell he's still sharp.
I lost it over Leo's impression of Alex.
Anna called out Johnny's crush on Ava. Seriously, Salem. When are we going to give Anna and Chloe their own talk show to solve the town's problems!?
Kristen said that she set Stefan up in Jake's favorite suit. Laurisa pointed out that at the memorial, most of the men were wearing blue. I think that's a nice tribute to Jake!
Rafe insisting, "I'll drive!" is a valid reason why he might rub some people the wrong way. The fact that he took Sloan's car and left her at the hotel is another reason. Those were several asshat moves, Commish.
While being a passenger in her own car, I hope Sloan took the time not focused on driving to explain "toxic masculinity" to Rafe.
I forget sometimes that Chad and Will have been besties since high school.
On the subject of Chad and Will in high school, I wonder if floppy-banged Mia McCormick will ever return to Salem.
I'm not down with all the latest wedding trends, but I like the addition of "in success and disappointment" to the vows. It seems like it should have always been there. Well played, Maggie!
I didn't want to spoil much in the body of the column, but that preview has me happy dancing! In addition to the jaw-dropping drama, the returns of Wendy, Tripp, and Mike Horton have me counting down the days.
An "Army of Marlena Clones" was brought up again last week. Something tells me this wasn't a coincidence. Is Doc the real Doc, or are we heading for a psych-out?
Every time Maggie brings up Summer the Bummer, DAYS fans should be sent one of her lemon bars as compensation.
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for September 12. While DAYS has moved from NBC to Peacock, you're still stuck with me and Laurisa for all your Two Scooping needs. Well. Stuck with me! We're lucky to have Laurisa. With that, thank you for all the support over the years, and I'll be seeing you in Streaming Land. And "That's a fact."
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