Days of Our Lives: Is the re-launch working for you?

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  • robbalto
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    #1202061485

    Days seems to be on a slight uptick as of late.

    I am enjoying the chemistry between Eli and Gabi. Lamon Archey is great! I think eventually Chad and Gabi will become a memory. I enjoy pretty much any scene with Camila Banus; she works well with so many of the other actors and has become one of my favorites. And the DiMera mansion has such a “Dark Shadows” vibe, which Billy Flynn and Marci Miller play off very well.

    Loved the scene on Friday with Suzanne Rogers and Vincent Irizarry. Maggie is the most formidable lecturer since Kim Hughes on ATWT.

    The teen scene is still pretty much a bust, but I find myself not minding it quite as much. I’m waiting for a truly explosive confrontation between Claire and Ciara; their brewing conflicts remind me of childhood versions of Blanche and Baby Jane Hudson.

    Even though I have complained about Nicole’s story, I am enjoying her scenes with Brady at the cabin. Eric Martsolf and Arianne Zucker are selling it like nobody’s business, and Robb Derringer is suitably creepy as the neighbor. I’m enjoying Jennifer Landon as well.

    The story that I most dislike is the one surrounding the arrival of Tripp. The story is stupid to the point of being very annoying. However, Lucas Adams is doing a great job with bad material and I hope that they will soon move him past this horrid storyline.

    Xander is due back by the end of the month!

    Say what you will about Days, but they are not afraid to move forward. The characters of Deimos and Eduardo have run their course, and Days was not afraid to let go of A Martinez and Vincent Irizarry, both highly-talented actors.

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    EmmyLoser
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    #1202068685

    I noticed recently that Sheri Anderson is already being credited along with the writing team, and I think some positive effects are starting to show. Most things seem slightly better than they had been before, and the show seems to be flowing a little better. Eduardo is already gone, and his departure has been used to fuel some other tensions on the canvas. Deimos is already fading in terms of screen time, and I’m interested to see how he gets written out.

    I agree with a lot of what you said above, robbalto.

    A lot of these actors are doing good things with what they’re given, even though some of it is not great.

    What is really bugging me about the story with Tripp is that Patch (and Kayla and Joey, though for them it makes more sense) has been refusing to say a single kind, understanding, or sympathetic thing about Ava. It’s crazy. Tripp tells them how Ava seemed loving and sane on the DVDs he watched, and instead of saying anything reasonable (“That was 20-something years ago, and she’d changed” “She wasn’t always a terrible person” “Losing you and what her father did to her sent her over the edge”), they just continued to insist she was a manipulative liar. Can Steve not at least own up to the fact that he was in a relationship with her and he did leave her when they were supposed to get married, which made her more unhinged than she’s already prone to being? They just seem to be very stupidly handling things in the worst possible way.

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    EmmyLoser
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    #1202069826

    Yesterday’s episode was pretty great overall, the first one in a while that I’m planning to save to watch again later. The Chad/Abigail scenes were really well played, and it felt like something that’s been coming for a while but also that I wasn’t expecting. (I kind of thought as robbalto said above that Chad/Gabi would eventually fade, but it seems not any time soon.) But the scenes had pretty good depth to them, outside of the repeated use of the high school/baseball stuff, dealing with Chad’s continued resentment of Abigail faking her death, her continued insecurity about his feelings for her, etc.

    But the real highlight of the episode was Kate and Andre arguing over whether Chad should be with ‘Gabriela’ or Abigail. Andre’s summation of Gabi was hilarious and not wrong. I thought the dialogue between them and in the Chloe/Eric scenes was really good, more sharp and engaging than it’s been generally. It was also pretty satisfying to see Chloe, who has been relentlessly unsympathetic, realize she has no real options for finding Nicole and Holly now that Eduardo is in the pokey.

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    EmmyLoser
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    #1202082498

    Now that the Emmys are over, I guess we can go back to business as usual.

    I’ve felt a definite change in the show over the last few weeks, and for the most part, I like it. One of the better things is that they’ve realized it’s easier to build interest in storylines when they’re a little more consistent about how they run them. While I have missed seeing more of characters like Hope, Jennifer and Eric, who have shown up very minimally over the last few weeks, I think it’s good that we have stories being told in a more fluid manner rather than a dozen stories just randomly popping in and out day after day. The dialogue has also been sharper and more funny.

    I’m surprised how much I’ve enjoyed the Nicole and Brady scenes lately. Once they got rid of the Scooter and Hillary stuff (what a great turnaround, transforming a gross story about a sex addict blackmailing Nicole because of her porno past into a lovely tale of a married couple reconnecting and discovering their love all over again), all of the stuff with them settling in to a happy family life were really nice. That worked well with the contrasting feeling of impending doom, as clearly Deimos was closing in on them and something bad was soon to happen. And it’s been great seeing Paul Telfer as Xander again. He is so bad but so enjoyable and oh so sexy. I wonder if there’d be any potential to soften him and keep him around on a more regular basis? I like that Sonny and Paul are now involved in the story, too, and I’m really looking forward to Deimos’s deception being uncovered.

    The other pair I’m loving seeing lately is Gabi and Eli, who are a lot of fun together and have nice chemistry. I’m glad the story has progressed enough that it’s no longer just a tug of war between Abigail and Gabi for Chad. They’re giving the characters more depth, too, especially Abigail. I don’t really love what she’s doing, but I get it and why it makes sense for her. I think it’s cool they gave JJ and Lani a police story that isn’t just about the crimes the other characters are committing, but I don’t love this whole disappearing prostitutes/dangerous pimp thing.

    The Johnson family drama is less great, and watching Sad Joey and Jade is pretty dull for the most part. The writing is better than it was, though, and some things are working okay. Steve constantly trying to convince Tripp of what a good guy/father he could be just feels a little silly and a little annoying in these circumstances. But I love the scenes between Tripp and Kayla. Seems like they might be better off just bypassing Steve and drafting Tripp into the Brady family.

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    Daytimeemmyfan
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    #1202082922

    Only DH has ever made Bricole a “supercouple”. I still remember reading recaps from 2011, when the new writers came in they quickly broke them up. I am hoping RC reignites Broe, but I don’t think Eric Martsolf would make that pairing work. But knowing Corday, he only fired DH to save the show. I don’t think RC is a long-term fixture, just around long enough to turn the show around before going back to his favorite writers. He’s brough DH back twice now(or three?) and has brought back Tomlin/Whitesell before.

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    EmmyLoser
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    #1202083396

    Yeah, Brady and Nicole have never really seemed meant to be but more like two people continually falling back into a bad habit. But between the way they’ve been written lately and the fact that neither of them has any better options, I’m finding it works. I was, at one point, pulling for Nicole and Eric, but that’s been kind of destroyed. I loved Brady and Kristen, but that’s not happening. But Brady/Nicole is way better than Nicole/Daniel, Nicole/Deimos, Brady/Theresa, Brady/Madison. Nicole was great with EJ, but EJ’s gone and even if he wasn’t, the problem was that EJ always belonged to Sami. I can’t imagine Eric Martsolf’s Brady romantically involved with Chloe, though I wouldn’t blame Martsolf. He’s done a great job of making Brady quite convincingly in love with all of his love interests.

    Rehiring Dena Higley does seem to be Ken Corday’s favorite hobby. If that WGA strike hadn’t been averted, she’d probably have been back in the writers room within the week. But after this last/current stint, it feels like maybe it’s time for everyone to move on from her. I know Ron Carlivati was hired as part of an effort to keep the show afloat, but maybe he’ll do great things and they can keep him around for a while. It’s hard to overstate the harm this show has done to itself by failing to keep a consistent headwriter over the last few years.

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    EmmyLoser
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    #1202088142

    It’s been fun having Xander back and interacting with Nicole, and talking smack about people like Brady, Theresa and Eric. It’s funny how much contempt both Xander and Deimos have for Brady. Deimos is so confident, but I’m enjoying speculating on all the ways his plan could go wrong, aside from the fact that Nicole is almost definitely not going to just fall in love with him because he rescues her from Xander. With Chad going to Greece, Eric on Xander’s trail, and Sonny and Paul determined to prove Deimos was behind all of this to begin with, it feels like things can’t possibly go his way.

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    robbalto
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    #1202090312

    I am enjoying Xander’s return. It’s too bad they wrote him into a corner. Overall, I like the show most of the time; it’s entertaining, but not in a way that is eliciting a big reaction from me.

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    EmmyLoser
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    #1202094106

    I have to say, over the course of the last several months, the show has gradually and kind of sneakily improved vastly over its former self, and the casting news makes me really excited for what’s on the horizon. At this point, I’m finding some enjoyment and value in every story as its being told. Things are lighter and brighter, funner and funnier, but not without heart and heartache. I think they’re on a good track.

    This whole thing with so many characters taking their various subplots to Greece has me rather intrigued as to who will encounter whom and how. I keep thinking that Deimos isn’t going to make it back to Salem. There are so many people in Greece or headed there that hate him — Chad, Nicole, Sonny, Gabi, Hope, Andre, JJ, and that’s without anyone knowing yet that he’s behind Xander’s return and Brady getting shot. Even if this has nothing to do with all these storylines intersecting to get rid of Deimos, things have already been enjoyable. Xander and Nicole, Hope with Chad and Andre.

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    EmmyLoser
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    #1202102415

    I’ve been meaning to post in here for quite a few days, but keep getting distracted or waylaid. A few points I wanted to make:

    I am loving the way this adventure in Greece is coming to a crescendo. The Tuesday and Wednesday episodes with the cops and Paul and Sonny on Deimos’s trail and Nicole and Eric making their move were very entertaining and really enjoyable for me. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

    There have been quite a few strong performances over the last week and a half. Everyone has done a really nice job surrounding Brady’s storyline, and even Drake Hogestyn has been pretty moving.

    I’m glad the story with Ciara, Wyatt and Theo finally came to a head. I thought the actors playing Theo, Ciara, Wyatt and Claire all did a nice job over those few episodes, and I found Kyler Pettis especially sympathetic. The relationship between Ciara and Theo is something that well predates these actors and the mostly unimpressive storylines they were thrown into when the characters were SORASed. I still think back to the two of them running away and hiding out on the back of that truck when they were kids, so I really do care about the fate of their friendship.

    Given where things are now and the impending arrival of RC and his work, I think it’s going to be a fun summer!

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    robbalto
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    #1202104723

    The Greece adventure was entertaining. Some of the dialogue was weak, but the acting company sold it.

    And now we have the gang trapped on a remote island. Gabi with her two ex-boyfriends, potential new boyfriend, and her (sorta) baby’s daddy. LOL. Where is this leading?

    The storyline with Ciara and the teen crew ended on a reasonably satisfying note. The actors all did a nice job. In general, I think the teen scene could have been more successful if the writing had been better over the last two years.

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    FreemanGriffin
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    #1202106882

    I haven’t’ been enjoying the show very much, albeit I loved Suzanne Rogers’ performance as Maggie confronted Deimos. I am simply not enjoying these stories. Actors are the only reason I watch at all right now. I have high hopes for Ron Carlivati’s writing and returns of Sami and Will to restore this show to its former glory, but I have not shared in the enjoyment of the show lately.

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    robbalto
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    #1202107365

    Freeman, I agree that the stories are not great. But the actors are having so much fun and doing such a great job selling it. That is where I am finding my enjoyment. And while the writing is not strong, it is much improved over what it was earlier this year. Loved the scene with Suzanne Rogers and Vincent Irizarry!

    Evidently, Kassie DePaiva is returning this fall, although I do not know if it is long-term. Along with Morgan Fairchild, Chandler Massey, and Alison Sweeney! If only it were sooner.

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    FreemanGriffin
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    #1202108113

    A few more months to go before some necessary changes…

    I love Ari Zucker/Nicole so much, I do wish her exit story was better (sigh)

    Glad to hear Eve is coming back! (: I wish they would bring Billy Warlock back too, that would be interesting! (:

    Days is currently my least favorite of the four shows remaining. Y&R is first, B&B is 2nd, and GH is 3rd… at least right now, and with soaps subject to change in a hurry!

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    EmmyLoser
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    #1202111656

    The writing on the show has definitely been sloppier, that’s for sure. There are routinely lines that are just factually incorrect in ways that are odd and unnecessary, like last week when Marlena said to Victor that Eric and Brady are half-brothers, when in fact they have been step-brothers, but share no blood relationship, which is why both Brady and his sister Belle can have romantic entanglements with members of the Brady clan. Otherwise, though, I don’t have much complaint about the writing. Things are rarely stellar, but I don’t find myself generally bothered by it either.

    And there are stories that were something of a slog a couple of months ago but have me really invested now. For one thing, I have become a total sap for Nicole and Brady. The almost obligatory cheesiness and predictability of Brady dying only to make a miraculous recovery after a visit from Nicole and Holly was still pretty moving to me because it was played with the right amount of sincerity and also because it felt like a real moment of change for Nicole, who was willing to go to jail and who knows how long for a few precious moments with Brady. I’m not sure how things will play out, but since Nicole will still be on screen until probably December, I wouldn’t call this her exit story. I would expect Ron will be doing something entirely his own with her when he shows up.

    I’m excited for Kassie DePaiva’s return. I don’t know what she’ll be doing, and I didn’t think RC really used KDP all that well when he was writing OLTL, but this could be different.

    And I agree that Suzanne Rogers was just fantastic in those scenes where Maggie confronted Deimos. The best thing about Deimos’s continued existence is watching him be told off by basically everyone in Salem (or Greece, depending) over the course of the last month or so. Now, hilariously and predictably, he’s also the big bad behind the new drug craze, because why not? I wonder how many other things will be retroactively blamed on him before his departure? Maybe he helped all those prisoners escape last fall. Maybe he drove Ben crazy and made him murder all those people in 2015. He might have even given Adrienne breast cancer! The sky’s the limit.

    For me the weakest part of the show continues to be anything dealing with Jade. Throwing a new actress into a storyline where a character who wasn’t well liked to begin with is behaving reprehensibly was not the smartest move. Her delusions that getting Kayla sent to jail will make Joey love her or that posting a sex tape of Claire and Theo online will make Claire want to be her best friend are sad and could be somewhat sympathetic if the character weren’t so annoying. It doesn’t help storyline matters that Joey and Tripp are in a neck-and-neck race for town dunce.

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