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Variety: Sudser with a social conscience
Topic Started: Jan 10 2013, 10:08 AM (2,846 Views)
Ellie


http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118064207/

Sudser with a social conscience

'Days of Our Lives' 12,000th Episode
By Michael Maloney


"Days of Our Lives" hopes to stay on air until 2015 to reach its 50th anniversary.

So how many grains of sand are there in an hourglass? Lots.

Especially if there's one to represent each episode of "Days of Our Lives," the venerable NBC soap opera that celebrates its 12,000th episode today.

Co-created by the late Ted Corday and Irna Phillips, "Days" debuted on Nov. 8, 1965. The show's success has come from telling dramatic stories with relatable characters who are searching for love and fulfilment.

While some social issues have yet to be broached, "Days" broke ground with an interracial love story in the mid-1970s. The couple even got engaged but the union didn't last. Today, "Days" is telling not only an interracial love story with the characters of Abby and Cameron (with nary a raised eyebrow), but also a gay love story.

"These are controversial and slippery slopes," says "Days" exec producer Ken Corday, son of the late Ted and Betty Corday. "We probably would not have ventured into this ground four years ago, but with the support of the network we are."

"We're in 2013," says Bruce Evans, senior VP of current series at NBC. "Our society has evolved tremendously and 'Days' has done a nice job of evolving with it. We have 'The New Normal' and other shows that confront social issues in primetime. There's no reason we shouldn't in daytime, too."

While race is an issue between characters Abby, played by Kate Mansi, and Cameron (Schuyler Yancey), Mansi says: "It's been more subtly referenced. You see Jen (Abby's mother) is concerned for other reasons. We're telling stories with modern dynamics."

"Days" continues to showcase veteran characters, including Suzanne Rogers, an Emmy winner for her role as Maggie. Also, the show recently addressed the issue of dealing with Alzheimer's disease with matriarch Caroline Brady, played by Peggy McCay.

"Viewers see themselves in what characters go through," Evans says. "Even our villain, Stefano DiMera, values family."

Last month, "Days" treated viewers to the annual episode in which Horton family members hang ornaments on the Christmas tree.

"People look forward to that wonderful tradition," Rogers says. "No matter what goes on in the world people find something in 'Days' that makes them feel better."

The return of Eileen Davidson as foil Kristen DiMera has given the show a strong boost in terms of storyline.

"I'm feeling really good and we've got some great stuff coming forward," Evans says. "I'm hoping that will give us a bit more ratings-wise. Creatively, we're very strong."

"Days" is hoping to inspire and connect with its viewers in a new way with the upcoming book "Days of Our Lives Better Living: Cast Secrets for a Healthier, Balanced Life" by Corday Prods. senior VP Greg Meng and Eddie Campbell.

"It may have life past a coffee table or informational book as a (Web) series dealing with different cast members on a weekly basis," Corday says.

"The book gives us a chance to say, 'This is what we believe in,' " Mansi says. "It'll be a great way for us to connect with our fans."

Renewed through September 2014, "Days'" next goal is to celebrate its golden anniversary in 2015. But nothing is certain for soap operas these days, and the cast and crew are hoping "Days" can remain a vital element of the daypart for NBC.

"We are all hoping and crossing our fingers that we make that milestone," Evans says.

"In these times, we take it year to year," says Corday, adding that he hopes that soaps can still fill a void for viewers who have so many more options now than when the genre was thriving in the 1970s and '80s.

"You always have to find ways of re-inventing the wheel, but people watch the show for romance, to get that emotional satisfaction from watching two people fall in love," he says. "That's our bread and butter."
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Vicky4Mimi


I think that at one time all that was true..but now..not so much. The whole Ej with Sami thing loses everything the show use to stand for. Putting her with him after the past (and present) they have it so NOT the message they need to be sending out! I wonder if the author of this article is aware of this huge mistake DAYS is playing with right now?
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camera shy


Honestly, Ken Corday talks out of both sides of his mouth. Two people fall in love is their bread and butter? He just gave an interview when he talked about how popular triangles were. Please go back to your bread and butter and you might be able to save this show.
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AFaithL


Oh great. I guess that means Chad and Abby are through. Boo.
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SocRMum1
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Much prefers sweevil, snarky EJ over Father Figure Fucktard Eejiot.

Vicky4Mimi
Jan 10 2013, 10:16 AM
I think that at one time all that was true..but now..not so much. The whole Ej with Sami thing loses everything the show use to stand for. Putting her with him after the past (and present) they have it so NOT the message they need to be sending out! I wonder if the author of this article is aware of this huge mistake DAYS is playing with right now?
I'd say it's just as likely the author of this article wouldn't perceive it to be a mistake, at all.

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dc cubs
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There is a difference between telling a story and telling it well. Days has never been known for doing social issue stories well.
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LonePirate
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camera shy
Jan 10 2013, 10:22 AM
Honestly, Ken Corday talks out of both sides of his mouth. Two people fall in love is their bread and butter? He just gave an interview when he talked about how popular triangles were. Please go back to your bread and butter and you might be able to save this show.
I think this may be a case of not seeing the forest for the trees. There are several instances of two characters falling in love right now: Daniel and Jennifer, Brady and Kristen (even if it is slowly happening for her), Nick and Gabi, Will and Sonny and probably Eric and Nicole as well. Then there is Sami, falling in love with two men n the show's only current triangle. I'd say there are plenty of examples of the show currently writing its bread and butter.
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LonePirate
Jan 10 2013, 10:34 AM
camera shy
Jan 10 2013, 10:22 AM
Honestly, Ken Corday talks out of both sides of his mouth. Two people fall in love is their bread and butter? He just gave an interview when he talked about how popular triangles were. Please go back to your bread and butter and you might be able to save this show.
I think this may be a case of not seeing the forest for the trees. There are several instances of two characters falling in love right now: Daniel and Jennifer, Brady and Kristen (even if it is slowly happening for her), Nick and Gabi, Will and Sonny and probably Eric and Nicole as well. Then there is Sami, falling in love with two men n the show's only current triangle. I'd say there are plenty of examples of the show currently writing its bread and butter.
And my guess is that all of the couple you named will sooner or later will be pushed into a triangle. Dannifer just came out of two with Jack and Nicole and now entering into their third one with Chloe. THe only one who might escape being in a triangle is Wilson because they're the new Abe and Lexie, and like Days wasn't about to bring in too many black people to give Abe or Lexie any other options and didn't want to pair them up with white parnters,there won't be too many gay people in Salem to rock Wilson's boat. Their only option will be each other.
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Sariah
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I just find it hard to fathom that they actually believe they're doing well creatively. That they really and truly think the show is the best it's ever been, and that it's full of romance and people falling in love and that they're giving the viewers exactly what they want.

Putting aside my own favorites, I see a show full of people who couldn't commit to a dinner reservation, let alone another person. There's no romance. People jump into bed and change the loves of their lives every other week. Characters and their motivations are changed on a daily basis. Heroes aren't especially heroic and villains aren't especially villainous or menacing. History is totally disregarded. There are no rootable characters or couples, because they're all so fickle and selfish and egotistical and vain. Production values are awful. Continuity is practically nonexistent. The pacing is horrendous - they either tell a story too quickly, missing all the emotional beats, or they take waaaayyyy too long, making reveals anti-climactic. Nothing about their storytelling is intense or entertaining or the sort of thing that grabs you by the throat and forces you to watch, making you tune in the next day because you have to FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. The show is overrun by Mary Sues, or characters that suddenly make up the majority of the screen time and the entire show seems to revolve around them, despite a negative audience reaction. And because of their taping schedule, the show can't fix any of the crap that's wrong.

I don't know if a low IQ is a requirement in order to be a network executive, but I can't figure out what the hell else it could be considering how monumentally stupid they all are.
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james0479
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Thanks for posting this article. While reading it, several things came to mind. It does seem NBC is supportive of this show and wants it to work and last but they also want that ratings bump (obviously, who wouldn't?)... But it's interesting how its mentioned. Corday speaking out both sides of his mouth should come to no surprise.....he's done that the entire 23 years I've been watching this show. His quote regarding renewals, "These days we go year to year" hit me. I remember in my lifetime going to my grandmothers house on any random day and there would be soaps on every channel all day long. I'm amazed Days is still on. It seems like they are reaching for the big 50 as if that's a way to say "we made it! Good bye". If you fix the trouble spots that do exist on the show today, why not make it to 80? Lol ya know. Regardless, I'm happy for the renewal and the press it's getting.
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ideal_rain
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So is Suzanne Rogers the only Emmy winner on the show right now? Then why does the show refers to that and then not give her a real storyline? I don't understand.

Didn't Chandler Massey win an Emmy?
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JessicaLeigh
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Abe and Kayla interracial love story > Abby and Cameron interracial love story

Tell this story and tell it meaningfully, DAYS! Kayla brings it in all of her scenes, and they regularly don't give her much to work with.
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AFaithL


I'd rather Cameron be written as the villain for Chad/Abigail. I just adore Kate and Casey together.
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JessicaLeigh
Jan 10 2013, 12:47 PM
Abe and Kayla interracial love story > Abby and Cameron interracial love story

Tell this story and tell it meaningfully, DAYS! Kayla brings it in all of her scenes, and they regularly don't give her much to work with.
Aren't Nick and Gabi and Sami and Rafe interacial? Or is it only considered interacial when it's black and white and then it becomes a issue? Ive' never once seen the matter of race brought up with Nabi or Safe.
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px780
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Streetcorner Philosopher

camera shy
Jan 10 2013, 01:09 PM
JessicaLeigh
Jan 10 2013, 12:47 PM
Abe and Kayla interracial love story > Abby and Cameron interracial love story

Tell this story and tell it meaningfully, DAYS! Kayla brings it in all of her scenes, and they regularly don't give her much to work with.
Aren't Nick and Gabi and Sami and Rafe interacial? Or is it only considered interacial when it's black and white and then it becomes a issue? Ive' never once seen the matter of race brought up with Nabi or Safe.
Y'know what...good point. They're actually better examples, imho, because I don't really consider Cameron/Abby a story of any consequence.

I might just be in a foul mood, but parts of this article really annoy me.

I don't think Days has any kind of social conscience. I think they'll throw on an episode or two about an Issue if they think it will get mainstream press attention (PTSD, bullying, Alzheimers). It's exploitation, which is kind of the opposite of conscience, imho.

I don't think it's particularly modern or evolved, either, especially when it comes to its depiction of women. And while I understand that this article isn't a critical analysis, there's something a bit antiquated about trying to sell me on the idea that Days is hep by highlighting an interracial relationship (which is apparently still groundbreaking...as it was in the 70s) and a couple of adorable gay dudes.

Just...so much bs all in one little piece. I wish they would have celebrated something else about the show for its special day.
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JessicaLeigh
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camera shy
Jan 10 2013, 01:09 PM
JessicaLeigh
Jan 10 2013, 12:47 PM
Abe and Kayla interracial love story > Abby and Cameron interracial love story

Tell this story and tell it meaningfully, DAYS! Kayla brings it in all of her scenes, and they regularly don't give her much to work with.
Aren't Nick and Gabi and Sami and Rafe interacial? Or is it only considered interacial when it's black and white and then it becomes a issue? Ive' never once seen the matter of race brought up with Nabi or Safe.
Fair point. Though from an anthropological perspective, the concept of race is rather cloudy anyway. Many Latinos consider themselves caucasian. Many do not. I don't want to nerd out on you, and this probably isn't the place to discuss/debate this, so I won't but I understand where you're coming from. Though I don't think it was ever legally prohibited for non-Hispanic whites and Hispanic/Latino people people to marry, and it was for white and black people in some states until the mid-20th century, so that's probably why it's considered a marker of social progress to see black-white relationships portrayed with no controversy today. There is still a dearth of black-white relationships on TV today IMO. White-Latino relationships might be more common. The first one that immediately comes to mind is Jay and Gloria on Modern Family - but I don't know what the actual breakdown is in numbers.
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px780
Jan 10 2013, 01:34 PM
camera shy
Jan 10 2013, 01:09 PM
JessicaLeigh
Jan 10 2013, 12:47 PM
Abe and Kayla interracial love story > Abby and Cameron interracial love story

Tell this story and tell it meaningfully, DAYS! Kayla brings it in all of her scenes, and they regularly don't give her much to work with.
Aren't Nick and Gabi and Sami and Rafe interacial? Or is it only considered interacial when it's black and white and then it becomes a issue? Ive' never once seen the matter of race brought up with Nabi or Safe.
Y'know what...good point. They're actually better examples, imho, because I don't really consider Cameron/Abby a story of any consequence.

I might just be in a foul mood, but parts of this article really annoy me.

I don't think Days has any kind of social conscience. I think they'll throw on an episode or two about an Issue if they think it will get mainstream press attention (PTSD, bullying, Alzheimers). It's exploitation, which is kind of the opposite of conscience, imho.

I don't think it's particularly modern or evolved, either, especially when it comes to its depiction of women. And while I understand that this article isn't a critical analysis, there's something a bit antiquated about trying to sell me on the idea that Days is hep by highlighting an interracial relationship (which is apparently still groundbreaking...as it was in the 70s) and a couple of adorable gay dudes.

Just...so much bs all in one little piece. I wish they would have celebrated something else about the show for its special day.
You know it's waaaaay too late for Days to devlope a social conscience considering the the way they have treated rape. You don't have any kind of relationship with a person who has raped you, not even if a child was the result of it.
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JessicaLeigh
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JessicaLeigh
Jan 10 2013, 01:39 PM
camera shy
Jan 10 2013, 01:09 PM
JessicaLeigh
Jan 10 2013, 12:47 PM
Abe and Kayla interracial love story > Abby and Cameron interracial love story

Tell this story and tell it meaningfully, DAYS! Kayla brings it in all of her scenes, and they regularly don't give her much to work with.
Aren't Nick and Gabi and Sami and Rafe interacial? Or is it only considered interacial when it's black and white and then it becomes a issue? Ive' never once seen the matter of race brought up with Nabi or Safe.
Fair point. Though from an anthropological perspective, the concept of race is rather cloudy anyway. Many Latinos consider themselves caucasian. Many do not. I don't want to nerd out on you, and this probably isn't the place to discuss/debate this, so I won't but I understand where you're coming from. Though I don't think it was ever legally prohibited for non-Hispanic whites and Hispanic/Latino people people to marry, and it was for white and black people in some states until the mid-20th century, so that's probably why it's considered a marker of social progress to see black-white relationships portrayed with no controversy today. There is still a dearth of black-white relationships on TV today IMO. White-Latino relationships might be more common. The first one that immediately comes to mind is Jay and Gloria on Modern Family - but I don't know what the actual breakdown is in numbers.
Another thing that comes to mind with this is that I'm not sure Galen Gering identifies himself as Hispanic even though he portrays a Hispanic character on TV. I don't know enough about him but his heritage is Russian Jewish and Basque. Part of the Basque country is in Spain but I don't know if that would cause GG to consider himself Hispanic. Has he ever talked about it anywhere?
Edited by JessicaLeigh, Jan 10 2013, 01:44 PM.
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JessicaLeigh
Jan 10 2013, 01:39 PM
camera shy
Jan 10 2013, 01:09 PM
JessicaLeigh
Jan 10 2013, 12:47 PM
Abe and Kayla interracial love story > Abby and Cameron interracial love story

Tell this story and tell it meaningfully, DAYS! Kayla brings it in all of her scenes, and they regularly don't give her much to work with.
Aren't Nick and Gabi and Sami and Rafe interacial? Or is it only considered interacial when it's black and white and then it becomes a issue? Ive' never once seen the matter of race brought up with Nabi or Safe.
Fair point. Though from an anthropological perspective, the concept of race is rather cloudy anyway. Many Latinos consider themselves caucasian. Many do not. I don't want to nerd out on you, and this probably isn't the place to discuss/debate this, so I won't but I understand where you're coming from. Though I don't think it was ever legally prohibited for non-Hispanic whites and Hispanic/Latino people people to marry, and it was for white and black people in some states until the mid-20th century, so that's probably why it's considered a marker of social progress to see black-white relationships portrayed with no controversy today. There is still a dearth of black-white relationships on TV today IMO. White-Latino relationships might be more common. The first one that immediately comes to mind is Jay and Gloria on Modern Family - but I don't know what the actual breakdown is in numbers.
Yes, I understand that a great many Hispanics think of themselves as white, but Rafe and Gabi are suppose to be Mexican American and aren't they considered part of the brown race? And whats more, because of Mexico had a rule against returning slaves, a great many slaves fled to Mexico where they spent the rest of their entire lives there and as a result, many Mexican have African ancestry. And in the past, I don't believe Mexican Americans shared the same rights as white Americans.
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JessicaLeigh
Jan 10 2013, 01:43 PM
JessicaLeigh
Jan 10 2013, 01:39 PM
camera shy
Jan 10 2013, 01:09 PM
JessicaLeigh
Jan 10 2013, 12:47 PM
Abe and Kayla interracial love story > Abby and Cameron interracial love story

Tell this story and tell it meaningfully, DAYS! Kayla brings it in all of her scenes, and they regularly don't give her much to work with.
Aren't Nick and Gabi and Sami and Rafe interacial? Or is it only considered interacial when it's black and white and then it becomes a issue? Ive' never once seen the matter of race brought up with Nabi or Safe.
Fair point. Though from an anthropological perspective, the concept of race is rather cloudy anyway. Many Latinos consider themselves caucasian. Many do not. I don't want to nerd out on you, and this probably isn't the place to discuss/debate this, so I won't but I understand where you're coming from. Though I don't think it was ever legally prohibited for non-Hispanic whites and Hispanic/Latino people people to marry, and it was for white and black people in some states until the mid-20th century, so that's probably why it's considered a marker of social progress to see black-white relationships portrayed with no controversy today. There is still a dearth of black-white relationships on TV today IMO. White-Latino relationships might be more common. The first one that immediately comes to mind is Jay and Gloria on Modern Family - but I don't know what the actual breakdown is in numbers.
Another thing that comes to mind with this is that I'm not sure Galen Gering identifies himself as Hispanic even though he portrays a Hispanic character on TV. I don't know enough about him but his heritage is Russian Jewish and Basque. Part of the Basque country is in Spain but I don't know if that would cause GG to consider himself Hispanic. Has he ever talked about it anywhere?
I know Lindsay Hartley known for playing Mexican Americans is really Greek and Italian.
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