Happy New Year, friends and fellow DAYS fans! We hope that everyone has had their fill of all things merry and bright because you're about to enter the seedy underbelly of Salem superlatives. The nice list? That was so last week. Now your faithful two Two Scoopers get to put on our black leather jackets like Sandy at the end of Grease and be the sassier versions of ourselves as we tell you about the duds. So, rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong and...
Welcome to the Sixteenth Annual Alex North Memorial Awards: The Worst of DAYS 2022!
That's right. Our little rambunctious review turned sweet sixteen this year. Well. Bittersweet, perhaps. That also means the ANMAs can officially drive, you know, hopefully better than Ava and Jennifer. Eek.
Before we go on, it's essential to note that we absolutely adore everyone at Team DAYS and admire the staggering amount of hard work and dedication they do to keep us entertained on a weekdaily basis. The show is truly magical. Plus, all the extras they put out, like the streaming specials and vignettes like the "Days of Christmas" countdowns and the tributes to John Aniston (to name a few), are deeply appreciated and amazing. And we also love -- right! We're Bad Sandy-ing now. We digress.
Even tunes we love in Salem can hit a sour note or two. Sometimes, disliking a character actually means the actor is doing a phenomenal job. And, sadly, sometimes a storyline just doesn't stick the landing, and we must be the parent who asks, "Oh. THAT'S what you're wearing to get froyo at Horton Square?"
Yes. Like disapproving parents and the Chloemeister, we're simply dishing out some tough love to those we hold near and dear. We want Salemites and storylines to be the best versions of themselves, and sometimes Chloe can't explain it all. That's where we come in. We must take some of that burden off the fabulous Ms. Lane's shoulders. Plus! With our tough love, characters get gold-foil wrapped, possibly expired, hollow chocolate cyber statuette busts of Alex North and leftover Champagne from the Golden Donut Awards. That's, well, something!
Lastly, like last week's Golden Donut Awards, we don't usually double up on winners --Sorry. Winners!? -- of these awards. Like the loving-love, we like to spread the tough love around, too.
Without further ado, welcome again to the Alex North Memorial Awards! We suggest a stiff drink to complement your twisted Two Scooping excursion. Navigating through the subpar in Salem can get a little sketchy, and you'll want some liquid courage as we conjure up some shady memories of the dirtiest of the dozen months gone by.
Laurisa: Sloan Peterson
I'm all for her being Alex's carnal compadre. Have your fun, lady! But get your feet off Maggie's coffee table. Linking her early with Leo wasn't an accident, as those two are two sides of the same coin. She even admitted to taking his case because of the potential publicity. But when that didn't pan out, she went after him for money. This hiss and repeat continued until we found out that she's part Gwen 2.0 -- the wronged girl who wanted revenge on the person she believed ruined her life. The other part was Nicole Light. If Eric can't be with the real Nicole, he's going with her photocopy. Grand.
Tony: Alex Kiriakis
I love that DAYS loves Robert Scott Wilson as much as we fans, and this tremendously talented thespian got to stay on board the show once "CIN" sailed off into the sunset. The quick character change didn't even bother me. It's DAYS. We've seen more bizarre things.
I also had no beef with Alex being a casual sexer as the women he slept with were consenting adults and on the same informal page. It was refreshing to call casual sex "casual sex" and not play it up as something sentimental when it's not. That often happens on soaps. DAYS broke that mold. Cool.
The same with the threesome. Again, consenting adults. Again, cool. Have fun. Be safe.
I enjoyed brother Alex, son Alex, and grandnephew Alex. Friend Alex to Chanel and Allie was fun, too. I loved that they called him out on his agitating Alex-ness, and he embraced their friendship. He was a hero who helped them, too. Thrice I say, "Cool."
My utmost annoyance with Alex has been his inability to not understand the word "No." For someone who is all about consent and being on the same page as his partners, his literal and figurative fall for Stephanie sent him spiraling into an HR nightmare. His repetitive plan of attack seemed like it was more compliance by badgery than respecting her wishes. It was not charming. At. All. It felt super shady and cringy at times. Like, a lot of the times. And by the time Stephanie started to see the softer side of Alex, it felt like too little, too late. Horny, heckling heir Alex got what he wanted, after all. Not cool.
Laurisa: The Devil
The 2021 Devil Tour was great. It had a surprising and delightful engagement with Doug and then found its full performance with Marlena. Then, literally when the clock struck 2022, we started the detour of Johnny, Belle, Allie, and Tripp. It dragged on and on. Worst of all, both Johnny and Allie behave a little like spoiled brats on a regular occasion, so this new change only emphasized their most annoying habits.
Tony: Harris Michaels
Larry Welch. Jude St. Claire. Patrick Lockhart. Aiden Shaw. There are four contenders off the top of my Two Scooping head who would have made much more sense in the "Bope" Interloper role than Harris Michaels. Unlike those four not-so-gentlemanly gentlemen, Old Harry doesn't have a past with Bo or Hope. Still, I held out hope that we'd get a nifty, nostalgic payoff at the end.
Yep. With all of Dr. Rolf's terrifying talents and tricks, I was just waiting for Harris to pull off his Jason Morgan mask and reveal himself as one of the aforementioned "Bope" baddies from DAYS gone by. That would have been epic! As it turns out, nope. Not so much. Eve Donovan's teenage ex was merely hired by Megan Hathaway to "Aiden Shaw" Hope and get back a prism. It definitely wasn't dismal, just a dash disappointing.
Laurisa: Kristen DiMera
When Dr. Rolf tells you that you're being unreasonable, you have issues. Sure, Kristen is a long-established villain. But she's reached mustache-twirling cartoon levels with no depth. She is such an entitled monster now; she doesn't even have to earn any advantage. She gets out of jail by lucking into someone else's blackmail. Because of that, her crimes were somehow not admissible in family court. She emotionally abuses her daughter, who she claims to love, by making Rachel a pawn in her own game. She's extremely flippant with her own family -- bouncing between whatever sibling can help her at the time. There's no true north to her anymore -- only south. Everything has gone south.
Tony: Jack Deveraux
Jack. Good sir. It's beautiful to be a father who wants to believe in their child's reform from being a horribly horrible and horrendous human, but this is your Bart Simpson moment. We need you to go to the chalkboard and write "Gwen is not going to change. Ever!" until we tell you to stop. As an actual reformed Salem sinner, it hurts our hearts to hear you brag about your daughter's blossom-hood into non-terribleness when she's, in fact, still terrible. You know better than this. Keep her in your life, but just don't be a chump about it. So. Here's some chalk and bring a few baggies full of snacks. This might take a while based on repeat bad-idea-believing behavior. And go!
Laurisa: Ben Weston
Call Ben what you want, he's usually not an airhead. And over the years -- be it through tracking devices or regular old investigations -- he always gathers data to inform his next move. So, what explains his sudden trust in Clyde? Really, Ben? Ben wants to believe Clyde changed, and this stance is another example of the importance of Ben's own therapy. But, where does Ben see any evidence of Clyde putting in any ounce of work, let alone proof that it's cool for Clyde to move in with Ben, his wife, and his infant son? Come on, man.
Tony: Sonny Kiriakis
This Care Bear's big heart is one of his best attributes, but he needs to get his head out of his, um, heart. For starters, Sonny was woe-some when Will had to work over the holidays, and that kept him in La La Land. Sir. You were sitting around the Kiriakis mansion. Go to him! More so, the dude worked last Christmas, too. Like, that was the point of an entire streaming special! Will working? Not a surprise party, especially when you signed off on it. Disappointing? Sure. Shocking? No.
Second, yes, Will does have a say if Leo stays in a house where Will's daughter -- the little gal Sonny loves like his own -- lives. It's one thing to Venmo sketchy Stark a few bucks so he can extended stay at the Salem Inn, but to invite him into the family home is a bit much. Sonny's stubborn stance on the entire matter? A lot much.
Sonny just doesn't seem to understand how relationships work anymore. This also hurts our hearts. Again, we love his compassion, but it shouldn't have come with a Leo lobotomy. Venmo the vixen next time, Sir Sons-A-Lot. And as Victor might snark, "For God's sake, was there a sale on bad ideas you just couldn't resist? Smarten up!"
Laurisa: Leo Stark
My kids are at that stage where they think putting ketchup on anything will make it taste better. They are constantly dunking things in it without thinking first. Leo is Salem's ketchup. He's Craig's fiancé. He's Gwen's bestie. He has past daddy issues. He's Sloan's client. He's Sonny's new soul to save. He's Paulina's assistant. He's supposedly changed, yet he's double-crossed every single person we've ever seen him interact with. Leo's whole pity party about how he has no friends -- much less gay ones -- was laughable. Try being nice, Leo. To anyone. Greg Rikaart is a phenomenal actor and can manufacture chemistry with every scene partner. However, Leo is spread across so many storylines that the character hasn't been able to find any real foundation other than loud prints and one-liners.
Tony: Lucas Horton
While Bryan Dattilo brightly shined in some of his best performances ever (seriously, let's give this man another round of applause!), Lucas' lame lying abilities made this storyline stagger across the finish line. Lucas is just a bad liar. How Sami didn't smell the lies is beyond me, especially when others were warning her over and over, but that's on her. Lucas. Lie better, bro.
In addition to his bad lying abilities, Lucas can't scheme worth a damn. We should remind everyone: he is the divine Ms. Kate Roberts' son. That's inexcusable, as he's not only watched the pro for his entire life (minus those coma years), but he was also married to another master schemer, Sami! And Nicole, for that scheming matter. Oof. Oh! He was Victor's stepson and had a front row to that spectacular-spectacular scheming show. Again, "oof!"
Instead of a spectacular schemer, Lucas was a schmuck who basically whoopsie daisied the entire Saminapping. He grabbed her yet had no plan. He was going to keep her hostage until...??? Nope. He had no plan. At least have an endgame, my dude.
Alas, his lackluster lying and sad scheming abilities made him seem like the town's version of "Florida Man." Um, Salem Man! You just knew he was going to doof his way into something, well, doofy and dumb. And he did. He really did.
Laurisa: Johnny DiMera
If I have to listen to this privileged kid talk any more about how bad his dad is, I'll scream. E.J. isn't a good dude, but there's been no evidence of him being a bad dad to Johnny, unless you count the time he insisted Johnny not be seduced by Ava Vitali (who ended up murdering Susan) or the time he tried to hand Johnny a silver platter job. Yup, those are all real great reasons to watch this supposed grown man throw the longest teenage temper tantrum I've ever seen.
Tony: Biology Blabbering
"But Eric's always wanted to be a father." Shut it down. Eric was a father to Holly. I don't remember Eric ever really being bothered by the fact that he doesn't have biological children, but the general bio blabbering this year was rather badly executed. On a show where blended families are celebrated -- on a show where Abe and Lani live and have one of the most beautiful father-daughter relationships in all of Soapdom -- we're really going with this old chant that DNA equals family? Please send all responses to Abe and super dad Sonny at email@example.com.
Laurisa: Nicole Walker
She started the year having an affair with her best friend's man. Then, when Ava found out about it and dared to feel she was owed some retribution, Nicole displayed a level of indignation that was hard to handle.
Then, once she got Rafe, she rushed into her 15 minutes of wedded bliss in an attempt to deny her feelings for Eric. It's not her feelings for Eric that I have issues with. It was this utter ridiculata nonsense where Nicole spent months not knowing which man she wanted. Nicole's a lot of things. Flaky and indecisive aren't any of them.
During that time, she was also a terrible friend to Chloe! Kristen was blowing up Chloe's life. Chloe surely could have used the backup of a seasoned schemer! If only Nicole wasn't so busy monopolizing every conversation with Chloe to blabber on and on about her own love life.
The crap cherry on this trash sundae was Nicole constantly bullying Jada. All this poor woman did was date Eric. Nicole's weakness turned her into a stalker -- interjecting her opinions everywhere Jada didn't ask for them. Nicole justifying it under the veil of "speaking the uncomfortable truth" proved that she didn't grow at all this year. The Nicole who started the year feeling no remorse telling Ava she should just get over it was the exact same woman who gave Jada completely biased and self-serving input on everything up to and including Jada's pregnancy.
Also, if I never see Duke the Bear again, it will be too soon.
Tony: Allie Horton
I really, really, really want to like Allie all the time. Heck. Even most of the time would be neat-o. As it is, settling for "occasionally" seems to be as good as it's going to get. While I support Allie on her journey of self-discovery, her other Allie adventures came up awfully short this year; focus on the "awful" part.
Some of her, uh, highlights included: Her mouth-gaping, hem hawing as Tripp broke up with himself on her behalf (more on that later). She was kind of a jerky daughter and granddaughter. Her immature attitude as Chanel chose between her and Johnny was cringy at best. Her general hostility toward her twinsy was twisted, and trust us -- Johnny's no daydream, but when he was homeless, she made fun of him, and the way she quickly kicked him out of her home was way harsh. Oh, hell! She didn't even know her twin was possessed by the devil while he tried to use his twin telepathy to save her. Her distrust of Chanel around others was also worrisome.
Ugh. Just ugh. It's one thing to be confused about life, but many of her actions absolutely made her look like a giant hourglass-hole. Let's hope on her next journey, she rediscovers her tucked-away Old Allie awesomeness.
Laurisa: "Sarah Horton"
Between Gwen, Ava, and Kristen, the Sarah mask got more mileage than an Amazon truck after Cyber Monday. Linsey Godfrey threw her all at this role and had an absolute ball. However, even her phenomenal performances couldn't keep my eyes from rolling so hard they nearly fell out of my head each time one of the wonder triplets suited up in that Sarah mask uhhh-gain.
Tony: Salem's Selective Deaths and "Deaths"
*Whispers* Resurrection by Wilhelm is a great gift to DAYS fans -- who get to see their favorite actors and characters once again -- when it's used sparingly. That's the key. A little dead-not-really-dead goes a long way. When there are no ultimate stakes in a storyline due to a syringe full of alive-again juice, why should we get invested? Who doesn't believe when needed that Jake, Susan, or Abigail won't bounce back from the great soap beyond?
More so, seeing Stefan in all his Tony Stark Arc Reactor and wired up, blinking vintage swim cap glory kind of took the shine off the mysteries of Dr. Rolf's miracle resurrection elixir. Next time, we'd rather stick with grand reentrances at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve rather than watching the slow, painful, and unintentionally hilarious process. Sometimes, less really is more.
Laurisa: Belle Blames Shawn for How He Handled Being Raped
Every time Belle explained, "I don't blame you for what happened. I blame you for not telling me," what she was really saying was, "I'm not mad at you for getting yourself raped. But, the way you chose to process your rape really embarrassed me. Could you have possibly dealt with your trauma in a way that was more convenient for me?!" I don't care that Jan got one over on Belle. I don't care that Belle felt silly. Shawn was the victim of a crime. Shawn has trauma he's probably still trying to work out. Would it have been great if Shawn felt comfortable enough to tell Belle the intimate details of his rape? Sure. But that's not Belle's action to dictate. But, boy, did she...over and over again, looking immature and insensitive each time.
Tony: Alex and Bonnie's Cringy Welcome Home Exchange
I honestly felt like I needed a shower when Alex and Bonnie met. By "shower," I mean doused with bleach until the icky was washed off. The way reformed former schemer and nonapologetic Lucas-rapist Bonnie acted when welcoming her stepson home was grounds for divorce in my mind. We get it. Alex looks like a shirtless Robert Scott Wilson. Still, that's your stepson, Lady McSkeevy. Her basically pawing him and making lusty, cringy comments was, well, skeevy. He didn't make it any better, and I want better for Justin all around. I was worried this was going to become a My Stepson, My Lover-type storyline. That movie. If you know, you know. Thankfully, Bonnie got clown-napped and Alex, uh, he remained a bit sketchy for a while longer but not around his stepmom. So, yay for progress?
Laurisa: Chanel Dupree
Free this fabulous woman from the vortex of suck that is the Allie/Johnny twindom. Neither of those nitwits is worthy of the divine Ms. Dupree.
Tony: Sami Brady-DiMera
The show effectively ended the long "Lumi" vs. "EJami" debate by basically blowing up both fanbases. Lucas snatched Sami, and E.J. bedded Belle. Both dodgy deeds Sami rendered unforgivable. Yep. She lost two "loves of her life."
Still, unlike Ms. Scami Gene's past maneuvers when mad, she didn't seek revenge. She simply scathed, "You're not worth the effort it would take to blow you up," before mic dropping and heading out of Salem as a single but fabulous scorned lady, ready to move on from both men who have consumed her adulthood. Yep. It sucks to not reunite with either loves of your life, but something tells us that despite the sucky now, love will strike Sami once again...someday.
Laurisa: Nancy Wesley and Clyde Weston
Nancy was collateral damage in Craig's storyline, which was unfortunate, considering how brave his actions were. But why then is her consolation prize some ageist hate from Leo and a relationship with Clyde Weston? Good gravy, Nancy had an abusive childhood of her own. How horrible was it to see her drawn to another child molester?! Clyde made time out of his busy murdering schedule to steal Nancy a bracelet which was ni...nope. Never mind. I can't do this. Clyde and Nancy were the pits.
Tony: Nicole and Rafe Hernandez
Poor Ava! She never needed to lift a finger to flatten this dud of a couple, as they imploded pretty quickly on their own. Imploded or drowned in their own smugness? That's a ponder.
Still, the worst thing about the Commish's coupling with Nicole is that it destroyed their once-charming friendship. We've watched them for years be close comrades and even co-conspirators. Considering said charming camaraderie status, they should have been much, much, MUCH more, well, charming as a couple. Theywerenot.
They brought out the worst in each other. He was (rightfully) paranoid yet still judgy and hard to have an ounce of sympathy for. She lied. Badly. And she was wishy-washy. Those are so not typical Ms. Walker traits. As a couple they also weren't very versed in smelling their own hypocrisy and remained smug as two bugs in a rotting rug until nearly the end.
As I said in a column once, it was hardly shocking when the cheater cheated on the other cheater. My sympathy level was somewhere between "Zero" and "HA!" It was just all weird, wonky, and altogether not charming. Maybe someday they can look back at all this and laugh, but I'm guessing their once fun friendship isn't going to rebound like most dead Salemites anytime soon.
Laurisa: Stefan's Selective Brainwashing
Don't get me wrong. I love having Brandon Barash on my screen. And his chemistry with Camila Banus doesn't disappoint for a second. But why wasn't Stefan brought back totally brainwashed, just to find out what he was like before and be repulsed...or not?? This reset was a chance to give Stefan a chance to follow Andre Lane or cruse down Lexi Ave. Also, I have to say that with all the people who do know the truth (Wendy, Johnny, E.J., Kristen, and Rolf), at least two or three of them should be really disturbed that he's about to have a physical relationship with a woman he wouldn't be with if he was in his right mind. Strange...where have we heard that similar storyline before?
Tony: Beyond Salem 2's Trippy Triangle
Tripp is a very smart guy. Normally. So, it was really a wonder when he decided to enter another love triangle with Joey and Wendy while recovering from injuries he sustained from dying after his love triangle with Allie and Chanel went south. Like a few stories down south. That was a head-scratching move and made this dashing doc seem a little dimmer.
Laurisa: Tripp: The Biggest Loser
Granted, by the time the Devil exited Salem stage right, I was ready to stand up and cheer. But this epic storyline ended up with Tripp offering himself up to the devil, then throwing himself out a church window...all to save a woman who couldn't even be bothered to break up with him herself. He had to do that, too. At least baby Bo was safe! Though...
Tony: Craig and Nancy's Next Chapter
In the end, Craig and Nancy both went back to Manhattan a bit war torn from their time in Salem. They pledged to rebuild their platonic relationship. That's swell and all, especially as Nancy's new romance with Mike Horton seems to be going swimmingly, but -- and, yes, I know I'm going to be cyber-shouting, but -- I WANTED TO SEE THIS HAPPEN ON-SCREEN!
I adore both Craig and Nancy. I also love Chloe. Seeing this "Last Blast" family reestablish their relations and what their new family looks like would have been a treat. It would also lead to great storylines like watching Nancy genuinely get her groove back again and not wasting it on a creep like Clyde, and seeing what happens to a newly out, mature, single gay man in a small Midwest city (when it doesn't involve Leo). Those sound like they could have been interesting adventures. Nope. Instead, we got a quick farewell and some Big Apple updates.
Laurisa: The Devil wasn't after Jan's baby
Cin has a huge fanbase. I just didn't know the Devil considered themself part of it. How else can we explain why the Devil completely ignored the child of Jan and Evan/Christian? That kid is steeped in evil, no matter what side of the family tree you climb. Plus, by leaving this plot point on the table, we didn't get to see more than one fantasy scene of what it would have been like if someone was obsessed with Jan! The scene where Evan visited Jan in jail and looked toward their future together was hilarious and definitely worth more than one shot.
Tony: An Alamainian-Sized Overlook
There were a lot of terrific things on the table that should have been utilized to make Jake and/or Stefan's storylines much more satisfying. We had the ever-talented Brandon Barash right there in both roles. Right. There. Vivian (last portrayed to perfection by Dame Linda Dano) was in Statesville Prison right there. Right. There. Her Sith Lord powers could have turned Jake to the dark side easily. Then, the first Beyond Salem established more about Alamainia AND introduced a new member of the royal family. Both were right there! Auntie Viv's other son, Quinn, is out there in the DAYSverse with Nicole's sister, Taylor, plus there are Alamain connections to Carly, Nicholas, and Melanie, and even dead Scary Larry ghost could return to haunt us once more. They're all right out there. It was an Alamainian exploration ripe for the picking.
Instead, Jake died (until he's undeaded). We got Stefan back (oh, joy). And prior to Jake's death and since Stefan's resurrection, both could have used and could use a more sensational storyline. Say, like, exploring their Alamainian roots. Sorry. ROYAL Alamainian roots. Either one of these fellas could have taken a break from the dysfunction at DiMera, where, at best, they're treated like interlopers, and, at worst, they're not-as-exciting copies of pop-up siblings gone by. When you have Brandon Barash helming a role -- TWO roles -- that are half DiMera and half Alamain, the ride should never be anything less than bonkers in the best way possible. Besides, there's no DiMeramania, but there is an Alamainia. Just saying.
Laurisa: Orpheus Orchid
I'm sure it was real swell for Marlena to have both Kate and Kayla join her on her yearly brush with death. But for the rest of us...meh. No, thanks. Orpheus' stale motive has been the same for decades, despite actual growth. He's got grandkids now. One was born on-screen this year. Yet, he's still after Roman. How could it get worse?
Well, it allowed Kristen to get another unearned win and introduced a blackmail we saw coming from ten thousand miles away. The payoff is another repeat story where Kristen schemes to get Brady back. I guess this time, she wants to spike the football and make Chloe pay, too. So...yeah? That's different? When we're down to Father Eric being the mastermind of your scheme, this storyline has problems.
Tony: Holy Lingering Lucifer, Salem-Man!
The Cranberries sang, "Do you have to, do you have to, do you have to let it linger? Oh, I thought the world of you. I thought nothing could go wrong. But I was wrong, I was wrong." Yep. That. Beelzebub became the Kato Kaelin of Salem, overstaying his welcome in the guest house. Well. In the DiMera crypt and within several Salemites, in this case. It was a crafty way to showcase the amazing abilities of the cast members who got to don Diablo's glowing eyes, and it must have been a hoot for them to play outside their normal roles, but Satan sticking around as long as it did simply got stale, which caused this once sizzling storyline to fizzle at the end. We hope to see you in another 25 years, Satan, but not until then, heaven help us.
So, friends and fellow fans, those are your winning losers for 2022! Again, we applaud the entirety of Team DAYS and adore them all. This is just our little venting session. An accumulated "NOT" section, if you will. We're sure they don't enjoy all of our columns, either. Say, like this one! But it's all in good fun. We know how hard everyone works to bring the show together, and, flaws and all, we'll never stop championing the best soap out there. Viva la DAYS!
If you need a positive palate cleanser, be sure to check out the Golden Donut Awards: The Best of DAYS 2022. It's a much sweeter sixteenth celebration!
With all of our joint cheers and jeers out of the way, Laurisa will return next week with the first official Two Scoops of 2023. We're eager to catch back up with life in Salem and share our thoughts with you. We know it's been a super crazy few weeks since our last regularly scheduled column.
As always, thank you for joining us each and every week. We look at these columns as a big chat with our friends over coffee or maybe a glass of wine or two. They've been a bright spot in our lives over the years, and we can't express our gratitude enough. So, cheers to you -- our friends -- may the New Year bring health, happiness, and everything your hearts desire! And "That's a fact."
Laurisa and Tony
What are your thoughts on Days of our Lives? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.