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I actually felt that way about Philip's "love" for Belle--it arose whole cloth just to add a complication to the Shawn/Belle relationship. I didn't find it necessarily out of character for Philip--he was the rich kid used to getting what he wanted, and he wanted Belle--but for most of the time they were involved, the relationship was manipulative and one-sided. She never really loved him as anything more than someone who salved her wounds after Shawn disappeared and her mother "died." She had to be manipulated into staying with him after he lost his leg, and then because she thought he was Claire's father. It was never a strong, believable relationship.

The closest I came to actually buying them as a couple was when they had the brief affair right before Belle and Shawn married, and that had to be manipulated by the writers by completely rewriting the actual history of the end of their marriage.

I don't disagree that the writers have not adequately explained why Stephanie and Philip are together. But that's true of almost every relationship currently on the show, so it's hardly specific to Stephanie and Philip. I think I can even explain why that's so, based on my own recent experience with a book I was working on. I had the plot worked out and was writing to the outline. Laying all the clues in the suspense plot, giving the characters chances to interact romantically, but by the time I got to page 200 (about 2/3 of the way through the book), I realized my hero and heroine were nowhere near in love. So I had to go back and figure out what had gone wrong.

I found a scene quite early in the book where I had the hero and heroine eating dinner alone unexpectedly. All they did during that dinner was discuss the mystery they were trying to solve. Not once had I given them a chance to relate and bond during that rare opportunity they had to be alone. So I rewrote the scene, weaving in some personal material with the plot elements. And immediately, without touching any other part of the book, the romance came to life.

I had been writing the relationship as if they were already falling in love--without writing that crucial early scene that showed why they would even consider each other as potential romantic partners. And that's exactly what the Days writers seem to be doing with all the relationships.

I know I've heard lots of complaints about instalove. That's because the writers just throw the characters into relationships without giving them any build-up at all, as individuals or as a couple. I'm not saying that you couldn't have characters heading straight to the elevator for some nookie moments after meeting---it happens. But there should be a HUGE step-back after that, not an eager continuation of the relationship as if that one sexual encounter is the basis for a lifetime of love. (I'm looking at you, Lucas and Chloe). The EJ/Nicole relationship was a lot more realistic where that was concerned. Sex in the elevator didn't lead immediately to wedded bliss. There were complications, and that was as it should be. (Until the baby mess, which just screwed everything up, IMO).

Stephanie and Philip went from casual friends to dating far too quickly. Stephanie's character has no reason for being outside Philip, either--no job worth noting, only a sporadically shown friendship with Chelsea that's now off the table. No relating with her parents (grrr). Nothing to make her unique, interesting or worth knowing. That's the biggest problem with the Philip/Stephanie relationship. Philip's dating a cardboard cutout of Miss Teen America.

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DAYS:Promo for wk of May 25th · DAYS: News, Spoilers & Discussion