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Aug 30 2008, 08:28 PM
There's a way to do this kind of story on Days, and a way not to do this kind of story on Days. If Theo's autism fit under a bigger umbrella, I think it would work better. But as it stands, it's so isolated, and so "not-really-a-story", it doesn't work. You can't just say "Theo's autistic" and call it a story. You need the set-up, the reveal, the fall-out, and then the explosive finale that moves you into the next storyline. But this isn't really a storyline - it's just a PSA. A sentence, really. Theo has autism. And that's it.

By the way, I am IN NO WAY diminishing anyone who has autistic children out there (or anyone who is autistic themselves). I'm just saying that the way the story's been presented to us this summer... well, it just isn't a story, never mind a story Days fans are accustomed to.

When it starts having a ripple effect on those around them - like, say, something happens between Theo and Ciara while they're playing, and Bo and Hope don't want Theo around their daughter anymore, and Abe/Lexie start to think they have a bias against Theo, and it drives a wedge between the friends, blah, blah, blah... you get my meaning... THEN it starts to become a "story". It's just right now, it only seems like "And now we cut to the black people for our Public Service Announcement"...
I agree. They need to show us more of the impact to get people to care.

For example, having watched Tuesday's show already, I was into the autism story because of Abe and Lexie. The scenes were well-done and the focus on how it's a test of their marriage and as parents was interesting. However, while I think the focus on the tension between Abe and Lexie has been there, they aren't focusing enough on Theo. We just see him and hear about the struggles. We don't really see them. We see a little Tuesday but it's always little tidbits. Lexie mentions on Tuesday a situation where Theo had a fit and she couldn't take it and just left the rook while he was still pounding on the walls. I would've liked to see that scene. That could've been powerful stuff.

On top of that, as others suggested, do more with the impact of those around them. We had a minor incident with Ciara/Theo that happened offscreen but was handled in two seconds. Why not have Theo become violent or maybe have him do something that puts Lexie and Abe in an uncomfortable situation? We had some good scenes with Marlena and them early on and some good scenes with Hope a few weeks ago but, other then that, it's been completely isolated.

This story can still be salvaged but more focus needs to be on Theo. We need to see more of the struggles then little bits here and there. The focus on Abe and Lexie's marriage is great but we need more then that. It can't be so isolated.

I still maintain this was not Dena's idea. I don't care how big of a hack she is or how bad she is, a story that personally touches her is not one I see turning out this way if she was truly on board with it. She seemed rather uncomfortable with it from the get go in her blogs and she didn't really do much speaking on the Today show either. She didn't seem as interested as one personally affected by something like that would be. I think Corday, NBC, Scott, or someone pushed this, knowing Dena's history and thinking it could be a good idea and Dena had to go along. It explains why some of the more personal scenes (Abe and Lexie finding out Theo is autistic, the scene I mentioned above where Lexie mentions getting so frustrated with Theo that she walks out of his room) aren't shown. Maybe she can't bring herself to write them or maybe she just doesn't want too much of her life or experience getting out there. Who knows. I can certainly understand why she would be uncomfortable.

I do hope this story gets better. Watching Tuesday's already, I found myself interested in it so that's something.
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