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Dec 21 2008, 08:34 PM
Dec 21 2008, 08:10 PM
The problem with couples like Bo and Hope, John and Marlena, and Steve and Kayla, is that they have been written to be "soulmates," and how nothing can ever come between their special love. And that is fine for a movie like Titanic. There is a beginning and an end. But unless you are sold on one of those particular couples, there is absolutely no suspense or enjoyment for those of us who know they are going to be eventually reunited. Why bother watching if I know the ending? The writing for the John and Marlena story has been awful. I don't blame their fans for being upset about it. I don't think John should have ever come back. But since he did come back, it would have been interesting to think that maybe John and Marlena would NOT have gotten back together. John would forever be changed, and Marlena would have to accept that the man she loved was gone. They could have been paired with new people; had viable romances. You better believe that as soon as it appeared as though John and Marlena were NOT getting back together, that is when the most people would want them to reunite. Hell, if it really looked like that John had fallen in love with someone else, and that Marlena had truly moved on and found someone new, that is the moment when I would have remembered how special they were together and possibly rooted for their reunion.
I don't need that or want that. I still don't understand why couples must all break up and be with others to have a story. There are other ways to go. Or they are kept apart in different ways. This year, John was a different person. Maybe Marlena would have to go a little darker, something would happen, and she would need to make certain choices. Maybe they needed to work together to bring Stefano down, she would have conflict with that. It would affect her family. Maybe J&M would pretend to divorce but the audience knew they were working together. There are so many different things they could do. I don't think a third party is always needed. Who says adventures have to end? Life is different every day. Suspense to me is not about will this person love this person or not. The suspense is in, can they overcome this obstacle....the conflict is in the story. We will have to agree to disagree, lol. I just don't enjoy couples always moving on. It bores me. I like to be emotionally involved. I don't need to see them fall in love with anyone else.

If there had to be some kind of third party, for John and Marlena at this point and with the story as it had been set up, or could have been set up....after John had 'died', Marlena could have been the one to marry Stefano (no sex) to save her family. John comes back, and she has to protect him and maybe he still has amnesia, and Stefano prevents her from telling him who she is, but they spend time together and fall in love. Maybe John really is Roman and this 'Roman' in Salem right now, was a 'pawn'. There are so many ways they could have gone. There was story there. I know so many people who had some great ideas last January of where this story could have gone. But for some reason, TPTB (whoever) just didn't want to go there.
I just want to acknowledge one point you made because we can agree to disagree on the rest LOL.

That point is the suspense being in the conflict. Well, how can there be suspense when you know the couple will end up together? Conflict can't be suspenseful if you know the end result. That is why it doesn't work for these couples. There is no realistic threat because we know who they will end up with in the end as opposed to in the 80's or 90's when the unpredictability was there. The chance was that that Bo/Billie could win out or Marlena/Roman or whomever. The outcome was not known, especially with JER who was a risk taker. Sure, you knew who the rooting couple was but that didn't mean they would end up together. Now, you can't do that because the show is too scared to ever break the couples up and many fans won't embrace anything like that. The show could never stick with John/Isabella as long as they did back then in today's climate. They could never stick with Bo/Billie as long as they did today like they did then. That is what I'm talking about.

I'm not saying you need a third party but Days is a soap and it can't even realistically break up any of it's established couples to create stories for the characters. This show has sacrificed the characters for the sake of couples for too long. In the 80's and 90's you had the couples but there was more flexibility. The stories were driven by characters. not couples. Now people want romance and romantic adventures but what about character stories that perhaps will add conflict? How about Bo and Hope having work-related conflict? How about Marlena getting involved in a patient's issues and that causing conflict for her? Why bring back John and sacrifice Marlena as a character again when you could've played out her dealing with life after John and taking on Stefano alone? One story that was proposed was Marlena marrying Stefano so Sami didn't have to stay married to EJ. That could've been gold but they just had to bring John back.

It's the same pattern over and over and it's old and tired and unless you are a die-hard couple fan, you can't enjoy it. There is no suspense and, personally, I can't even see how a couple fan finds suspense when you know where they are going with the story. That is the issue. That won't bring ratings up. Who wants to watch stories where the outcome is obvious? That is why it doesn't work anymore and why a fresh canvas is needed to tell stories.
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