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Viewing Single Post From: Strange Days Vol. 4: My Say in Salem
IMissAremid
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After all... tomorrow is another day!

Sorry this is a day late.

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Survey Said: Family Feud Storyline a Mixed Bag

It sure is a strange time to be a “Days of our Lives” fan.

On the one hand, the performances and production values being served up on a daily basis by this soap, especially in its Brady-DiMera storyline, are some of the best I can remember in my 15 years of being a “Days” viewer.

On the other hand, some questionable and controversial writing decisions also seem to be keeping fans guessing on a daily basis – often guessing how exactly the man penning this show won his Emmys and guessing what exactly the show hopes to accomplish by provoking outrage from just about every single fan base this show has.

So much of it all – the good and bad – seems to be tied into this Brady-DiMera storyline.

I can’t tell you how excited I was at the start of the “big summer story.” I’ve never been that enamored of the hoity-toity Hortons as much as I do respect their history with the show so it was a thrill to learn my favorites would be featured in a storyline that had the potential for so much.

I was thrilled when I heard Lucas and Sami’s honeymoon would be spent at Maison Blanche, couldn’t wait to see Tony back again, I loved the intensity of Lexie’s return coming out of the tunnel, I squealed with delight when I heard Stefano say it was “good to be back” and it took me about one episode before I was head over heels in love with Anna DiMera.

Then somewhere along the way things went off-track. The holding pattern of non-fatal bombs and doofuses in distress needing rescuing just got to be too much. And the failure for the show to live up to the lofty expectations all fans had for this story (as well as some promises made by TPTB) doomed whatever momentum initially gained from the excitement over its beginning.

By the time “Days” got around to actually showing us Santo and Colleen, some people were already bored with them. Some weeks we had Santo and Colleen flashbacks, some we didn’t, so the whole thing seemed to drag on forever. While this storyline provided the hottest love scene I can ever remember on “Days” between Santo and Colleen, it also provided possibly the biggest disappointment I can remember on “Days” and a lot of it stems from my memory of Hogan telling us in an SOD interview back in May that this time the DiMeras wouldn’t be the bad guys, a murder would trigger the vendetta and there would be romance for Bo and Hope as well as John and Marlena.

Instead, the Bradys are even more white-hatted than they ever were with the DiMera causing the feud painted as a lying lothario whose seduction of a girl caused her to commit suicide and him to irrationally seek vengeance upon her family. Instead, Bo and Hope still haven’t been given a love scene since they got back together following Ciara’s birth and while John and Marlena got a chance to suck face in random places for a while their significance in the rest of the story was almost totally ignored.

Survey Said: X

Hogan’s decision to center the entire Brady-DiMera storyline around Sami and it being “costly” for her and nothing else left so much of the canvas bare and dull when this umbrella story could have been the vehicle for so much more for all the characters on the canvas.

The biggest missed opportunity for me was the failure to incorporate John and Marlena in this in any meaningful way when if Hogan wanted to get rid of this couple he could have given them some swan song of a story where John was revealed as the Santeen love child or he got a chance to battle the DiMeras and went out the hero he always was, tragically dying as he rescued someone from one of Stefano’s dastardly plots.

Sadly, however, that’s not the only missed opportunity.

If Hogan wanted to make this whole feud the result of a fatal tug-of-war between the Bradys and DiMeras over a blonde woman, why couldn’t they have brought Anna into this more and explored more of the Roman-Anna-Tony love triangle? Even if Tony isn’t a bad guy and isn’t a blood DiMera, it could still have been a great way to show non-violent conflict and competition between the two sides.

Also, where in the heck are Celeste and Lexie? Lexie was so protective of Benjy not that long ago yet no one has bothered to call her and tell her that her brother is dead? And Celeste played such a big role in the machinations of the DiMeras from January to May but we never get to see her any more. That’s disappointing to me. You’d think she would want to get revenge on Andre for locking up Lexie in that tunnel. Will we ever know what the voodoo paternity test in Maison Blanche was all about?

Survey Said: XX

I also think this storyline has given “Days” somewhat of an identity crisis. The complexity, intensity and history-intensiveness (both old and new) of this tale has taken “Days” to a very heavy, somewhat bleak and often unsoapy place.

Sometimes during this storyline it has seemed like we’re watching a soap try to be “The Godfather.” Other times, especially during the slew of non-fatal bombs from Andre, it felt more like a cartoon. And just the storyline as a whole has this feel of much more like some Shakespearean tragedy or period drama than simply a soap tale.

While I find a lot of this stuff entertaining, I do miss the romance, the light-hearted moments between family and friends and the feel of continuity that the show sometimes lacks when it intersperses this dark and deep story with more frivolous fare featuring the college kids.

It just seems like in the midst of all the hospital visits, threats, murder attempts and tragic deaths that this show would be more aptly titled “Days of our Deaths” rather than “Days of our Lives.”

Survey Said: XXX

Now let’s play fast money:

Name a person whom Andre stabbed.
Name a place where something exploded.
Name a person whom was taken to the hospital.
Name a supercouple whom read a Santeen letter.
Name a person whose return was touted with heavy fanfare but has appeared in less than 10 episodes.

-Mary

This week in Salem:

Performer of the week – Joseph Mascolo (Stefano) … Someone get this man a Best Supporting Actor Emmy nod, please. Stefano is a total sociopath and yet I feel sorry for him and root for him most of the time. Why? Joseph Mascolo gives Stefano amazing heart and vulnerability without taking anything away from his intensity, fire and fierceness.

Episode of the week – Thursday … EJ and Sami bickerflirting, Bope vs. Andre showdown, Steve vs. Stefano, Steve and Kayla reuniting, EJ and Stefano bonding, Sami and Roman bonding, Andre falling off a building and not dying AGAIN, the Cheatin Heart not being THAT distracting… this episode had it all.

Scene of the week – (Andre/Roman/Stefano/Steve/Bo/Hope - Wednesday) … The TV station confrontation was simply awesome. So complex the way that Bo tried to talk down the resident Brady crazy while Stefano worked on trying to reason with the resident DiMera crazy. Great performances all around.

Couple of the week – Bo and Hope … That scene with Bo and Hope on the rooftop made me fall in love with these two all over again. That kiss after Andre fell off the roof could have been cheesy or gross with a lesser couple, but have no fear because this supercouple made it HOT and SEXY. Get these two a love scene, STAT!

Salem stooge of the week – Kayla … What will it take for you Bradys to get it through your thick skulls that threatening DiMeras, especially Stefano, is not a good idea?

Scene-stealer of the week – Ed Scott … Just when I think I couldn’t love what this man has brought to “Days” any more he gave us that great location shot at the television station and all the little touches in the rooftop confrontation to make it come alive.

Line of the week – “You’d think we were married already – all these rules.” (EJ, Thursday)
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Strange Days Vol. 4: My Say in Salem · Y&R & B&B: News, Spoilers & Discussion