Some things are hard to admit. Too much chocolate does give you a stomachache. No matter how much you love your pajama pants, they're not appropriate attire for every situation (read: aside from bed and lounging around the house. Sorry, Walmart shoppers). And too much wine and/or Scotch can give you a headache. As much as we love our favorite soap, alas, DAYS can sometimes cause nausea, fashion faux pas, and hangover-like headaches that trash around your skull like an angry honey badger.
And since it's our duty to point out what was good, which we did with the Seventh Annual Golden Donut Awards, and what was, well, dooty, put on your hip waders and supportive gear because it's about to get real in here as we present the Seventh Annual Alex North Memorial Awards!
Laurisa: Marge Bernadri
Tony: Percy Ruggles/The Witness
Here's the thing. This regal gent spotted Kate, Sami, and Gabi in the woods. That's all fine and dandy, but I feel that another character would have been better suited for the role of the witness. Say, someone who's been on the canvas for a while, but not that predominate. An example? Sure! How about T! He's Sonny's employee and Will's BFF. He'd notice if Sonny was acting peculiar and would probably share his findings should he and Will have a tęte-ŕ-tęte about it, and maybe a light bulb would click on for sometimes dim Will. But no. We have an eccentric dude who wanders the woods at night looking for elusive owls. That's kind of for the birds.
Laurisa: Melinda Trask
More than anything, Brent just had horrible timing. When he came onto the scene Will and Sonny were already neck-deep in drama coming from all angles. They didn't need a third party distraction, especially one with previously unseen ties to the couple. Had someone like Brian "Hottie McBlue Eyes" come sniffing around again, that would have made more sense. And I really wouldn't have had anything personal against Brent, but then he went and turned Common Grounds into a hip nightclub. And by "hip," I mean a lame lounge that looks like a hotel lobby complete with horrible lighting. Yep, when I go out, I definitely want bright lights and kids sipping cocoa around. Thanks, B-Man!
Laurisa: Nancy Wesley
Tony: Theresa Donovan
First of all, it's Jeannie Donovan. You can't change a supercouple's child's name. I'm pretty sure that's a written rule. More so, Jeannie-Theresa just came off as a little been there, done that at first. Oh, there was also that entire pedophile vibe she gave off while flirting with an underage J.J. That was kind of (read: extremely) uncomfortable and creepy. Still, Jeannie-T has surely grown on me (and I've been a fan of Jen Lilley since day one), but I would have rather seen the character in Nick Fallon's orbit from the start. Yep, it should have been Nick at Night not Nick Jr. Just saying.
Laurisa: Adrienne Kiriakis
Tony: Jennifer Horton
Salem's sweetheart hit a sour note in 2013, and I don't even know what to do with that. No wonder Dr. Dan broke up with her 87 times. I wanted to do that every day of the year (and even on weekends when the show didn't air). Er, well, maybe she broke up with him. I can't say. I was too exasperated to follow all of her high school "we're together, we're not" drama. Ultimately, it's a shame that Jennifer's character was written so all over the place because not rooting for Jen is like not wanting a warm, gooey, fresh-from-the-oven brownie. It's unnatural.
Laurisa: Will Horton
Tony: Brady Black
Seriously, dude. It took a DVD of his gal bedding his brother the priest played in church during his wedding to said gal for him to get a clue that she was bad news. Sure. She did love him. Sure. He did love her. But surely his Shady O'Matic B.S. Meter must have blipped prior to that. You know, maybe when everyone from his family to friends to causal acquaintances to characters on other soaps warned him that she might be hiding something crucial that could affect the future of their relationship. Nah. She was a saint. Nevermind. Enjoy your nose candy, Brady Black, it will certainly help you in the smarts department and to make better decisions.
Laurisa: Eric Brady
Tony: Gabi Hernandez
Gal is gorgeous, but some of her looks were a little less than glam, especially those pants! I think you know which ones I'm talking about. Ugh. Those pants. If Chad wants to follow around someone with a video recorder again, he should try Gabs. Oh, and then send the recording to What Not To Wear.
Laurisa: Chad DiMera
Tony: Sami Brady
I feel repetitive giving Sami this award yet again this year, so I really wish Salem would find a new whipping girl in 2014. As normal, Sami got blamed for several things this year, but there is one that was the most infuriating. She is not -- repeat "Is not!" -- a wannabe baby killer. Despite everyone fawning all over Gabi, clutching their chests, and exclaiming Sami was trying to kill the baby by calling fragile Yo Gabba Gabi out on her crap, Sami did not -- and did not want to physically harm either mother or child. And she was not simply picking on Gabi because she was "being Sami." Nope. Sami had a valid reason for going after the knocked-up knucklehead. But, nope. Sami's a monster baby killer, and most wouldn't believe otherwise. For shame!
Tony: Anne Milbauer
I enjoy Meredith Lynn Scott! She's hysterical and delivers bitchy lines like Brady does, well, lines. But I have to ask the question lingering in the minds of every DAYS fan since Anne made her first snarky crack at Jennifer. That is, "Anne, why do you hate Jennifer so much?" The writers pen Anne as a meany out for Horton blood but without any real reason. Sorry, "She doesn't work hard for her money" doesn't count in Soapville. So the writers may have Anne swinging nasty barbs at Jennifer and coming up with plots to take her down, but Anne's lack of a reason really had her striking out in the developed character department.
Laurisa: Anne Milbauer
Tony: Manic Dr. Dan Coverage
This is sort of a shared award for several Salemites obsessed with all things Dr. Dan in 2013. They either called him a saint or a sinner, but they couldn't stop gabbing about this top doc who, sure, may have made some questionable judgment calls with the ladies but is generally a good dude. Of course, Pre-Horton Square Beatdown J.J. was the worst offender in the beginning, but he wasn't the only one. So here are the things Salemites need to shut up about regarding Dr. Dan. Maggie, stop doting. J.J., stop hating. Anne, stop bitching. Theresa, stop obsessing. Abigail, stop defending a smidge. Maxine, stop propping. Jennifer, just stop -- for the love of all things soaps, please just stop, Jennifer.
Laurisa: Nick Fallon
Tony: John Black
The dude literally fought the devil for the woman he loved, but he didn't give said woman a little "heads-up, I'm playing Kristen -- it's all an act" in order to save his marriage. What was that, John Black?! Instead, he came across as Salem's biggest d-bag, enraging nearly all of his loved ones and John fans alike. Here's a fact, John, you kinda sucked in 20-13.
Laurisa: Abe Carver
Tony: Chad DiMera
Let's start simple. We didn't even know where the flip he lived for part of the year. That right there indicates that Chad was underutilized, which completely blows my mind. With Lexie gone, Chad was supposed to be the "good" DiMera. An ambassador to the DiMera haters to prove they're not all evil incarnate. Chad was supposed to wrestle with good vs. evil under the regrouping of the DiMera Famiglia. Chad was supposed to be the Generation Y representative ushering in a new hipster vibe to the DiMera Mansion. Instead, Chad got mixed up in one of the slowest, dullest, and most time-wasting love triangles on DAYS and was only trotted out when the writers felt fans might be wondering what the heck happened to him. Yes, what the heck happened to him, indeed!
Laurisa: Gabi Hernandez
Tony: Jack Deveraux
Since Rafe's peen isn't actually its own character, I went with the elder Deveraux. And you know how picking a scab makes it worse? I'm pretty convinced the writers don't, or else they would have let Jack rest in peace. Instead, they used Jack's memory like a sharp stick poking the already angry bears known as Jack fans. It seemed like Jack was front and center this year without him making a single appearance. And that probably wasn't for the best.
Laurisa: Kate tells Rafe that he gave her back her soul (May 20, 2013)
Tony: Joe Bernardi's On-Screen Memorial (July 2, 2013)
Joe Flippin' "I Was a DiMera Henchman on the Show Three Times Before I Was Killed Off" Bernardi had an on-screen farewell, but Jack did not. Seriously, writers!? I get that his family, friends, and coworkers remembering him while Sami went through the motions in court was great juxtaposition. And it was all shot nicely -- very cinematic, even. But we knew too much about Joe to make it moving. We knew he was a dirty cop. But Jack? Well, we simply knew him, and maybe I'm a little pouty pissy-pants, but Joe's send-off made me even more upset that we never got a moving on-screen see-ya-later, Jack. Oh, but we did get Jennifer, Abigail, and J.J. standing in front of a "Memorial Ceremony" sign a year later. A ceremony we didn't get to see, either. There's that. Yep. Bitter party of one, my table is ready.
Laurisa: John Black
Laurisa: Nicole Walker
Okay, this hottie ex-con was sprung from the clink but probably had a better love life on the inside. His first attempt to dip back into the dating pool ended abruptly when the gal he was in bed with called out a priest's name (see: Laurisa's pick above). Then he managed to snag a date with Theresa. It started out like any good date -- a lot of cocaine and drinking. But then she ended up flirting with another man while on their date, which enraged Vargas so much he got into a fight, was rearrested, and was sent back to prison. Oh, and while that happened to him, Theresa stole all his money. Yep, better luck on the inside, brother.
Laurisa: Nick Fallon and Gabi Hernandez
Tony: Rafe Hernandez and Sami Brady
Wow. The writers almost went there again. And I'm not really giving "Safe" this dubious honor because I'm an EJami fan. Nope. I'm giving them this award because I'm a common sense fan. Rafe brought out the worst in Sami's character time and time again with his holier-than-thou attitude. She felt unworthy. He felt entitled. Most fans felt nauseated. So, since it didn't work between them the first eighty times, I think the writers just need to shut it down once and for all. I think they have, but here's to hoping anyway. Salud!
Laurisa: Mama Bear Maggie
Laurisa: Nick is homophobic because he was raped
Tony: Chloe's Breakdown Turned Dannifer Cheerleader
Because if Salem was missing something, it was another person pushing Dannifer together. The Chlomeister had a nice stint as a badass and a good old mental breakdown afterwards. So, what's a girl to do while on the mend? Oh, put on her Dannifer foam finger and urge the guy she'd schemed to land to get together with the woman she tried to take down. I'm all for seeing the error of your ways and making amends, but ultimately, this was a waste of a good storyline that showcased Chloe's talents as a vengeful vamp instead of a doormat tramp.
Laurisa: Rogue Roman
Hope did some impressive things on her own this year, and she's certainly a formidable woman who doesn't need a man to be amazing. However, it's hard not to wonder whatever happened to that man in her life. What was his name? Ben? Brad? Oh! Bo Brady. Yes, legendary Bo Brady. Methinks the writers missed their mark by dragging out his flimsy-excused absence. Hope deserves more. Ciara deserves more. And, of course, fans deserve more. We want to know what happened to Bo. We want to see Hope go all tough Jane Bond on an international stage to look for her man. We want, hell, a simple explanation and a front-burner storyline for luminous Kristian Alfonso would suffice. So, please, dear writers, we want Hope-freaking-Brady on the main stage in 2014! Is that too much to ask for? Kindly note, I said "please."
Laurisa: Chad, Abigail, Cameron, and Abigail's virginity
Second, the character of Cameron never quite found his footing in Salem, mainly because his tickets to fit in -- Celeste and Lexie -- disappeared about five minutes after he got to town. Nice enough, this character never really had legs, so it was hard to care about "big mean" Chad lying to him.
Third, there was Chad and his "big" lie. Not only was he completely honest with Abigail. But he didn't even come up with the lie in the first place. He took advantage of Cameron's misdiagnosis to get Cameron out of the way, which still didn't guarantee that Abigail would end up with Chad. She chose him on her own.
Finally, Abigail -- who not so long ago lied to Austin about sleeping together -- dumped Chad for not being the stand-up guy she thought he was. For the record, he was lying in a hospital, recovering from the bullets he took for his brother while she told him this.
Tony: Dannifer Parts 3 to 10,038
Anne might be a bitch, but damn, girlfriend isn't afraid to call foul. So I think she'd agree (and has) that nothing was fouler than the never-ending storyline between Dr. Dan and Jennifer. They transcend "Worst Couple" as they devoured billions of hours of screen time with the same scene played over and over again. And be it characters or fans, the writers didn't even seem to care about who got hurt in the process of trying to make this couple work, or, well, liked.
Actually, as a lifelong DAYS fan, I was also dumbfounded that I was siding against Jennifer. But I did. If the writers were trying to achieve full-on character assassination, they did a bang-up job with Jennifer this year (a year that felt much, much...much longer than twelve months due to Dannifer).
Making matters worse, Dannifer's contrived drama sucked almost everyone into their black hole of stank. They nearly destroyed Maggie's awesome Maggieness. They brought down stock in Dannifer cheerleaders like Maxine and Abigail (Kayla seemed to narrowly avoid the same fate). And they even managed to ruin Chloe's triumphant return by giving her a set of pompoms in the end. Ugh. Just ugh.
Ultimately, this storyline didn't work on any level and, let's be frank, probably looked ten times worse due to the other awesome storytelling DAYS did last year. The best advice I can give the writers regarding Dannifer in 2014 is simply to let it go. Let. It. Go.
Whoomp, there it is! There are your 2013 recipients of the Alex North Memorial Awards. Thank you for joining us (and not throwing rotten cyber tomatoes our way). Laurisa will be back next week with a jam-packed post-holiday Two Scoops, and that's a fact!
Happy New Year!
As always, thanks for reading!
Tony and Laurisa