DAYS: Mickey Horton/EJ DiMera, emphasis on DiMera

Before discussing the EJ issue, I’d like to them to say:

Good bye, Mickey Horton

(and I hope John Clarke is happy with Mickey’s send off).

Suzanne Rogers, you help to give the show it’s heart.  I hope you’ll stay with us for whatever time is left for the daytime serial.

Thank you, Days writers, for the decades of love and compassion you allowed Mickey and Maggie to bring to screen and share with the rest of us.

Click HERE for a link to a Mickey Horton Tribute site.

On to EJ DiMera, Emphasis on DiMera

Anyone reading this blog for longer than a week knows that I pretty much despise EJ DiMera.  He’s among the lowest form of soap life around, in my book.  Having said that, I LOVE the twist in the kidnapping story.  So EJ was Anna’s accomplice?  It just make sense, even if I didn’t see it coming!  Very clever DAYS writers.  So many writers claim they’re writing mysteries that will shock and amaze fans.   You actually pulled it off.   There’s a lot of good potentially coming out of this storyline.  There are also some problems with EJ’s actions beyond the fact that he’s a kidnapper.  Let me  start with the things that concern me before I tell you what I love about this plot.

The big concerns (EJ/Ejami fans, you may want to skip this):

EJ  threatened poor Faye Walker (Nicole’s mother).

He manhandled Ari Hernandez (Rafe’s sister).  He far to abusive with women.  Only a coward behaves with women the way he does.

He’s fought with Rafe.

He accused Sami of being a bad mother.

He framed Kate and his father for kidnapping.

He had Nicole physically harmed and then jailed for something she didn’t do.

He raised hell with the Salem PD and anyone else who would listen.

All of the above would be classic deflection and brilliant scheming AND make me  fall completely in love with the villain responsible for such evil machinations if it weren’t for one small factor.  EJ was merely victimizing Sami all over again!  How many times  does this man get to victimize her before the writers have her finally cut ties with him?  Isn’t it time to conduct new DNA tests and sever the blood ties Sami’s children currently have with EJ?  Shouldn’t Johnny be Lucas’ child?  The writers could certainly find a way to make Sydney ANYONE but EJ’s kid.  Geez, folks!  Nothing good comes from keeping Sami in the same room with EJ for longer than a minute.  She’s trapped by circumstance.  She shares children with a loon who manipulates her and hurts her repeatedly, for his own amusement.  EJ is sadly sadistic.

So what’s the outcome?  He forces Sami to marry him (or rather has Anna do it) before Sydney can be returned?   He gets her into bed, again?  Has he ever been able to do that without a weapon or without manipulating her?  Is he going to torment Sami until she snaps and then he takes custody of all of her children?  He sets Rafe up to be murdered when Rafe tries to recover Sydney? EJ swoops in to save Sydney in order to impress Sami?  It’s possible that his series of actions are all about undermining Rafe as a partner, as much as they are about punishing Sami, or manipulating her into relying on him.

I don’t want to see them together as a couple – she’s still the woman he raped.  The fact that the writers tried to bury her rape and have her ‘get over it’ to try to force the audience into buying this lackluster couple bears no weight with me.   In fact, the kidnapping storyline strengthens my resolve that Sami should NEVER be with him – their relationship has never been based on anything other than her victimization.  Ej enjoys Sami’s pain far  too much.  It’s too late to undo the damage done in forcing Sami and EJ together.

What I like

This storyline is a shot in the arm to the long drawn out kidnapping fiasco.  Without Ari Zuker’s (Nicole’s) participation in this storyline, it had become little more than an expensively produced sleeping pill… until now!

I’m actually curious about what happens next. It would be great if the writers allowed Sami to be the person to put the pieces of Sydney’s kidnapping together.   I’d love for her to get Sydney back and recognize the scent of EJ’s cologne on the child’s toys and clothing.  Maybe she remembers the sound of a toy in the background during a call from EJ.   She could then set a trap for him, one that leads to his arrest and punishment (whatever that means on this show).  Let it be the beginning of Sami cleansing herself of the hell EJ’s brought into her life.   For all of EJ’s anger at Nicole, his  actions are far worse than hers in my book.  Nicole gave him the chance to know the child Sami planned to give away (still wrong).  EJ has taken a child Sami held in her arms, one she loves, just to torment her.  He is one heartless bastard (which in daytime can be a good thing;  where good = interesting).

We know that most soap characters will never do jail time no matter how heinous the crime  unless the actors portraying them need release time or are leaving their shows for good.  I’m guessing that this storyline was designed to lead to a huge custody battle between Sami and EJ, rather than EJ wearing a matching orange jumper with Nicole.  His desperation to save his rights as a father could lead him to him rely on his father’s help, despite the fact that he may not want to. Will the reunited DiMera men lead a brand new reign of terror in Salem?  That leaves Kate in a pretty strange predicament.  Either Kate would join them – or she would at least allow them to believe she was joining them and secretly work against them if Phillip – through Stephanie, decided to help Sami.  In a war of any kind against the DiMeras,  I could see Victor supporting Phillip  and joining ‘Team Sami”.  He wouldn’t join them because he cares – that’s not who our Victor is.  He’d do it to help get the upper hand on the DiMeras in business by keeping them distracted in the courtroom.  The  Kiriakis-DiMera feud could continue for generations, but don’t worry soap fans.  DAYS will last long enough for you to watch it all unfold.  With  SORASing, great great grandchildren on both sides will be joining the Kiriakis and DiMera matriarchs and patriarchs, in heading into the fray by next Spring!

Too much?  You could be right, and if you are, the writers’ focus could (and should) just as easily be in reconstituting the Brady clan.  A custody battle would be a perfect opportunity to bring the Bradys back together and strengthen the family bond.   Sami has been too passive for far too long when it comes to EJ.  It’s time to unleash the real Sami Brady and watch her lead her family in protecting her children.  Watch out, EJ!  Sami shot the last man who violated her, right in his zipper.  You could be next, and you’re a repeat offender!

EJ vs. JS

While I have no love for EJ, James Scott is a powerful actor who brings so much to DAYS.  I wish the writers would hang up their ratings killing  ‘EJami’ obsession and let this character flourish without the baggage of that storyline.  They can never undo what’s happened between Sami and Ej, so why not let EJ feel true remorse and move on with his life?

His rivalry with Phillip was fun, before it became muderous.  Revive the rivalry.  Let these sons of privilege have a (somewhat) honest but brutal corporate battle.  Doesn’t Victor have a niece who wants to come to town and help run the family business?  EJ is too easily use to being around women he can dominate – he gets that from his father.  What happens if he meets a woman who isn’t afraid of him, who doesn’t think he’s ‘just dreamy’, and who’s capable of serving his backside on a silver platter?  When he’s truly realized the horrors of his past actions with women and is finally redeemed and ready to move forward,  he and Victor’s niece could be a part of a modern Romeo and Juliet storyline – minus the tragedy.  I’d like to see JS transform EJ into a truly viable romantic lead at some point in the future,  though  I’d love for EJ’s life to be about more than the women in it and what he does to them.  Scott  has the ability to play a far more complex character than he’s been allowed to play.  As a DAYS fan, I feel cheated that he’s limited to the role he’s currently playing.

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Are The Bold and The Beautiful’s DAYS numbered?

I expect the prior week’s ratings to be TOUGH for the BnB when they’re released on Thursday/Friday of this week.  DAYS  has just ended a year long arc with Sami Brady finding out that Nicole Walker stole her child (Sydney) and replaced her with a child who ended up dying only months later (Grace).  I fully expect DAYS to kick Bold’s fanny in the next set of ratings.  If it doesn’t, shame on the viewers for missing one of daytime’s truly great moments!  Sami put the smackdown on Nicole, literally and figuratively, after finding out that Nicole stole her child – and Nicole turned it around and made herself a sympathetic character, in the end.

4:35 into this clip (also posted below)  shows you what DAYS has going on that Bold can’t touch, right now… but the whole clip is worth the watch!  *Thanks MrBreaksoap for posting this vid… check out MrBreaksoap’s channel on Youtube

DAYS is amazing and Arianne Zuker is hitting it out the ballpark.   I don’t know who to credit for the success of this storyline.  Is it the writers who seemed to know how they wanted to tell this story from beginning to end?  There were no weak moments (other than the uninteresting teens – and even then the writers seemed to know not to give them too big a role in this storyline).  Does the credit go to Ari Z, whose every inflection, facial expression, and gesture seemed perfect?   Is it a strong  partnership between the two, one not working without the other?

The Bold and the Beautiful (only .2 of a ratings point ahead of DAYS)  hasn’t offered a storyline that comes even close to anything as exciting as the Sami and Nicole exchange.   While the BnB feels like the show you watch just before you go to sleep at night,  DAYS is the show you rush home to watch because missing a single day means you’ll miss something good!  If DAYS isn’t theEmmy winner for ‘Best Drama’ next year, I’ll be shocked.  The carefully choreographed dance between the writers at DAYS, and Ari Z is the perfect example of what writers can do with a show when writers write to the strength of their actors, instead of faulting good actors for bad storylines and awful direction (see: Kyle Lowder).

What the BnB lacks in terms of the  disciplined continuity shown by DAYS writers, it makes up for in sheer number of storylines directed at the audience.  Stephanie’s childhood abuse storyline ended as quickly as it began and then morphed into a storyline about her facilitating the rape of Brooke Logan.  Eric woke up out of his coma to find his wife in the arms of another man and all was forgiven mere weeks later.   Owen was a schemer (or appeared to be) when he first arrived on canvas – only to be transformed into a ‘hero’ just months later and transformed again as a toyboy-to-true love shortly after.  Brooke’s rape became a storyline about reclaiming the love of her life, only to have her nearly throw him away again with the birth of a child she never planned for (more on that later).   BnB storylines are  like the weather pattern in most places, wait ten minutes and they’ll change.  The Bold and The Beautiful needs a storyline arc that draws fans in and one that  lasts longer than a couple of months.  The ‘baby drama’ centered on Nick, Bridget, and Sandy/Agnes is the perfect opportunity for the writers to tell a cohesive storyline.  Right now the storyline is hit and run.  Pieces of it show up, when the writers aren’t busy shoving less interesting storylines (like Steffy going psycho stalker and creating an affair from a weak kiss – all in her head).

I think that BOLD’s Ashley Jones’ appeal is severely underestimated – mainly by the BOLD writers since prime time writers, directors, and casting agents ‘get it’, given Ms. Jones’ string of successes in prime time appearances.  Between Ashley Jones and Sarah Brown, the baby surrogacy storyline, added to the Logan/Forrester takeover,  has the potential to give fans a reason to become excited about the show.  SB’s Sandy  is clearly playing the Nicole Walker role, but are her intentions are as pure as Nicole’s?  It’s doubtful given Sandy’s fixation on the happy couple, the fact that they have everything, according to her, and that she has nothing.   Could she have been targeting Nick and Bridget all along?  Maybe it wasn’t her plan to become a surrogate, but that she’d planned to take advantage of Nick’s reputation as an unfaithful man.  The guy slept with Bridget’s mother and her dying aunt, after all.  How hard could it be to have him fall into bed with her?  That the happy couple needed a surrogate might have been a happy coincidence for her.  It would give her a chance to get closer to Nick, without Bridget needing to be around, and it set the stage for her making Bridget feel inadequate – or to at least try to.

Bridget has already suffered untold grief and misery and would be easily blindsided by someone like Sandy – but it shouldn’t take her long to see through Sandy and figure out what’s going on.  It would require a paradigm shift from the writers who would have to let go of bad habits.  By the time your husband humps your mother just months after your child dies, and jumps your dying aunt – being written as ‘naive’ only makes a character look stupid.   I’d rather not see that happen this time.  Why not have a cat and mouse storyline with the two women?  Why not add a new angle?  Sandy only THINKS she’s the cat.  It turns out that she’s the mouse and that Bridget relies on Sandy’s knowledge of ‘poor, pitiful, naive, betrayed, Bridget’ and plays to it… while working with her mother and mother-in-law, to make sure that Sandy doesn’t get her child – even if she takes her husband.   Maybe Bridget will prevail and win them both!  Is it even possible for the writers to have Nick keep his pants up when presented with the opportunity to cheat?  Let’s hope.

If you’re a BOLD viewer, I know what you’re most likely thinking?  The last BnB ‘baby drama’ story  (Brooke/Taylor surrogacy) didn’t work.  Fans were bored silly and the ratings dropped.  Why torture fans with another ‘baby drama’ storyline?  Why pick up with another ‘two mommies’ storyline?  The problem, in my opinion, wasn’t the type of storyline, but the players invovled!

The Brooke and taylor angle was wretched, because:

1 – taylor is a dud of a character and it would be easier cheering on a root canal than anything to do with her.  There are times when the writers need to realize that some characters really are damaged beyond repair, and cut bait.

2 – of fan fatigue with the rivalry.  It was tiresome watching Brooke dragged down into a storyline with taylor and Nick all over again.  Taylor has been at Brooke’s throat for over two decades, soap time.  They’ve battled over Ridge.  Both have loved Eric.  Both have bedded Thorne.  Each has referred to herself as the mother of the other’s children.  Both had bedded Nick and placed Bridget in the most uncomfortable of situations watching them move on with him while she still loved him.  By the time ‘Jack’ came along, the only fan response left was  ‘who cares?’

3 – the Brooke/nick link was DISGUSTING.  Given the death of Bridget’s child with Nick and the writers added insult to injury by having Bridget implant  Brooke’s fertilized egg into Taylor’s womb.   That’s a move that sounds good in the echo chamber of the writers’ room, but EGADS, wasn’t there a focus group to float that one by?  I can’t imagine anyone who wasn’t intimately connected with the show who loved it.

Moral of the story?  KISS!  (Keep it simple, silly!)  The DAYS baby swap/two mommies  storyline worked because it was interesting and  because it wasn’t clogged with too many agendas.  You didn’t get the feeling that the baby swap was just a prelude to something bigger, something worse – that the writers were committed to the storyline.  The BnB storyline, by comparison, was a fiasco.  The storyline appeared to be one more back door attempt to try to force fans to root for a Nick and Brooke pairing, a pairing that failed four times before.

In the appropriate writers’ hands, the Nicket storyline could help awaken this show.  Speaking for viewers like myself:  NO ONE gives a crap about taylor’s blind date. We’re SICK of Steffy’s desperation – and she is as equally damaged as Rick.  The Douglas “drama” puts me to sleep.   Give us more Nicket intrigue with Sandy and let us watch the Forresters fight their way back to the top, kicking Dollar Bill’s butt along the way! Let Ridge, Brooke, and Thorne take the lead on the big return.  Explain Felicia’s absence as having her tracing back  DB’s steps and digging up dirt on the guy.  After helping her family successfully reclaim the company, she and Dominic/Dino can visit Dante in Europe (until LK finishes her stint on ATWT).

When the Bold and the Beautiful is on, it’s ON.  When it’s not, it’s the most confusing show on daytime.  The inconsistency and character/plot shifting isn’t serving the show well.  I’m hoping there’s a time when the show will play to the strength of it’s  actors and rich history,  and do so consistently.  If DAYS does surpass the BnB in the ratings, who knows it will last?  DAYS has also had problems with past writing teams being inconsistent and confusing.  It’s hard to know who will ultimately prevail in this battle,  but given the richness of the BnB, it seems that the BnB has the edge. The writers just need to wake up and wake the rest of us up as well.

As an aside… DAYS writers?

When will you have Nicole wise up to the fact that the only real difference between EJ Dimera and Paul Walker  is that one is the devil with whom she shares DNA, and the other is the devil with whom she was willing to share her life?  Outside of that, the differences between the two men are minor.

All Soaps: Women in Daytime, Vol. 1

As the World Turns:  The mess that is Molly Conlan!

The biggest mistake the BnB writers made is under-utilizing the skills of Lesli Kay.  It’s almost as if the writers had forgotten why they risked  squandering the show’s credibility to bring ‘Felicia Forrester’ back from the brink of death – after she’d been diagnosed with a metastasized form of late stage colon cancer.  The character was worth saving because of the new life Kay breathed into the character – literally and figuratively.   Not only had Felicia made the most miraculous recovery known in soap history, but she was then ushered to the backburner almost as quickly as she healed.  I’d count the Felicia-Dante-Bridget triangle as a frontburner storyline if it hadn’t ended so aruptly.  Most of Felicia’s time, following that,  had been reduced to a limited string of appearances at Forrester Creations, her family’s company, whining and crying about her father’s marriage to Donna Logan and wanting her parents to get back together for the sake of the family.  Not exactly an appealing storyline for a woman heading into midlife.

Along comes ATWT to the rescue!  The writers there had big plans for LK.  Reprising her role as Molly Conlan would bring a bit of new blood through a familiar face to the show, and allow Molly to serve as the linchpin for bringing Jack Snyder and Carly Tenney Snyder back together.  Jack would find Molly in an awful mess of her own making, and have to call Carly to help her.  Our Molly was involved with a shifty politician who promised to leave his wife and children to be with her.  She finds out that he lied (shocking, a lying politician, I know!).  Instead, he plans to run for Governor for the state of New York, relying on his ‘valued family’ to help him get elected.  Like any person scorned, Molly has to decide whether to let go or get even… and because her name is Molly Conlan, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she decided to get even.

Delicious, right?  It would have been except the writers took the cheap route with this storyline.  Molly whined, and cried (poor LK!) and then decided to throw away a successful career as an evening anchor by outting the guy as a liar an cheat while on air.  It felt petty, and cheap, and that Molly hadn’t taken any responsiblity for the fact that of her own free will,  she’d become involved with a man who was cheating on his wife, and demeaning his relationship with his children.  It’s not that I wanted Molly to suck down her humiliation and move on with her life, the guy was a jackass and deserved to have his ass handed to him.  It would have been sweet, however, to watch an intelligent, calculating  Molly take him down instead of a vengeful, childlike Molly getting even in the worst way possible.    Why couldn’t she have called ‘Mr. Big’ back to her office to show him the videotape footage she has of the two of them together?  She could have warned him that the video would become public if he ever decided to seek office, anywhere, at any time.  She could have packed her bags and taken off to Oakdale to start her life over, wanting to get away from the stinkin’ memories she had of her life there.

Instead, the writers gave us an image of an ‘unsuspecting wife’ and blameless children, followed by Molly making them all victims of  their affair – out of anger and impulse.  Even worse, we’re to believe that Molly is so clueless that she doesn’t understand why she was losing her job, spewing allegations of an affair that her bosses hadn’t had time to substantiate.  I think we were supposed to view that as evidence that poor Molly was just a helpless woman living in a man’s world; she was betrayed by her married lover and then fired by a station manager when she was only ‘reporting the news’.  I gotta’ tell you, whining and crying Molly has me already longing for the return of whining and crying Felicia.  LK may get more airtime on ATWT, but her character on BnB was at least a little more complex.

I’m willing to give the ATWT writers time to prove me wrong… PLEASE!  LK is a spitfire and we need another smart, tough woman on the show.  Let NY Molly leave the weak  behavior behind.

Days of our Lives:  Team Nicole Reporting

Who didn’t know this moment had to happen?  Even as part of Team Nicole, it was clear to me that this day was coming and that it was only right that Sami found out that Sydney was her baby.  The only mystery left was whether EJ would stand by Nicole or turn on her for her duplicity.  When it comes to Ej, Nicole is like: a moth to a flame?  A fly clinging to poo? (my vote is the latter) WHAT does Nicole see in the guy?  She made HIM a better person.  He did nothing for her but make her feel inferior, as if she was only the understudy in a marital play he was producing.  He was only waiting for his ‘lead star’ to return.  Still, much of this storyline will be about Nicole begging Ej’s forgiveness.  You know… Ej.. the man who ordered a hit on Phillip Kiriakis , one that nearly cost Stephanie (Brady) Johnson her life.  Yes, Nicole has to hope and beg, and pray that the man will forgive her and still love her.  She has to worry whether Ej, the man who raped Sami the first time he got her pregnant, and then lied to get her into bed the second time he got her pregnant, would forgive HER for trying to keep his child from being raised by strangers.

I’ve always tried to figure out the logic behind that storyline.  It’s not like Sami doesn’t ALREADY share a child with Ej, one who spends time with him.  Why would she give up a second child with the man?   Sydney-Grace would be the ‘safe’ child, but their son would be the damaged one?  It’s ultimately this bizarre act that led Nicole to concoct the scheme to steal Sami’s (then unwanted child).  In the dark spaces that fill Nicole’s tragic mind, she believed that she could help Ej by making sure he got to raise a child he would otherwise have never known.  Nicole cried holding Ej’s baby, and vowed to love her as if she’d given birth to her, and she kept that promise.  She cried because she didn’t want EJ to know the heartbreak she’d felt by having him lose a second child.  Unfortunately for Nicole,  Sami later decided to keep ‘her’ child and the die was cast.  It was too late, she felt, to go back and admit what she’d done.  Grace’s death only made it even more impossible for Nicole to step up – when it should have in fact made it easier.

It’s at that point that Nicole’s behavior was no longer ambiguous.  It’s at that point that Nicole could have stopped worrying about Ej running off to try to be with  the woman he violated, and cared more about easing his pain over the thought of having lost a daughter he’d never had the chance to know.  it should have been the confession that would have freed her soul.  As twisted as Nicole’s actions were before, it was esaier to bleieve that she was protecting her husband and that her concers for saving her marriage was only secondary to her need to make Ej’s life easier, happier ,and filled with sunshine even as her own life crumbled.

In the end, losing Ej would be a blessing in disguse – I don’t think anyone expects Ej to stand by Nicole for long – if at all.  A complex character like Nicole Walker (soon to not be Dimera) makes you want to root for her in spite of yourself.   Losing Ej would mean that Nicole would be free to be with someone who would want to make HER life easier, happier, and filled with sunshine.   She could be with someone who would love her first, and not be willing to toss her aside for the fantasy of living a blissful married life with the object of his obsession.  I’m still part of team Nicole, and hope there’s a payoff for those of us who are tired of watching Nicole demean herself for men who were never worthy of her.

Motherhood makes me soft and gooey…

On the surface, DAYS’ Nicole Walker Dimera and GH’s Robin Scorpio Drake have nothing in common. Nicole is a lying deceiving backstabbing manipulator… soapgod love her. What would we do without her? Robin Scorpio Drake is an accomplished physician who has dedicated herself to saving lives.

Nicole? Insecure, distrustful, and femme fatale able to make grown men shake with fear in her presence.

Robin? Quiet, meek, disarming in other ways, but she’s no femme fatale. She’s more the romantic heroine type.

So what do they have in common beneath the surface? Something about both women makes fans weep puddles. Both are daytime mothers who have far more love and compassion than most characters are allowed to express, even when they are in their darkest moments.

Nicole Walker Dimera

There are times when I want the writers to ease up on the ‘femme fatale with a heart of gold’ twist on this character. It can wear on you. It’s almost impossible to believe that Nicole has so much anger and hatred for Sami Brady when they’re so alike in so many ways. You’d think they would be best friends, tearing Salem apart, instead of arch enemies. Then there are times when being a femme fatale, with or without a heart of gold, works for her.

The writers fooled me for just a brief while. I thought they’d skip having Nicole take Sami’s baby to replace her own deceased child. How many times have we seen that storyline play out in daytime? Faked pregnancy, stolen child, countdown to discovery. She already found a child to replace her own, after all, why would she need Sami’s. That she ended up in the same clinic at the same time that Sami was giving birth was a kick in the creative heart. Nicole did exactly what so many of you were sure she would do – set herself up to take Sami’s child.

If that’s all there was to this storyline, I’d already have pulled DAYS out of my recording line up. I haven’t because the writers have done something extraordinary. They’ve opened a vulnerable side to Nicole that will eventually make us feel all the sadder for her, and even more hatred for EJ, when her scheme is found out. She didn’t fake a high risk pregnancy after her miscarriage just to hang on to EJ. She did it to stop him from feeling the grief she felt when their baby died. She couldn’t stand the thought of him having to live with the intolerable pain she experienced.

Given the hatred she has for Sami, Nicole couldn’t bring herself to wish death on Sami and EJ’s daughter. She stood over her and prayed for her as the doctor worked to revive her just minutes after her birth. She couldn’t stand the thought of EJ losing that child, too. No one has loved that man, as much as Nicole has – not even his own father. That she puts his happiness ahead of her own is both an improvement, and a setback for Nicole. Other than her brother Brandon, Nicole has been written as a woman incapable of putting anyone else’s feelings first. It was just never in her nature. She’s fought to survive the hardships life has thrown at her (a psychopathic father who kept her drugged so that she would shoot porn videos, allowing HIM to profit). I’m waiting for her to be punished by being dumped by Ej, even though her actions were motived by her love for him. EJ is obsessed with Sami, the woman he raped and has now twice impregnated. He’ll see Nicole’s faked pregnancy as the big issue that has to be addressed, not the fact that Sami’s plan was to give the daughter he knew nothing about up for adoption.

Despite her harsh, brash exterior, Nicole is ultimately one of daytime’s most sympathetic heroines.

That’s what the two women have in common. Robin Scorpio Drake is also one of the most sympathetic heroines in daytime!

Robin Scorpio Drake

I was a fan of young Robin, the wonderfully adorable child who was full of smiles and sunshine. Anna, Robert, and Robin were the perfect daytime family. By the time her relationship with Jason Morgan was in full swing, she’d lost me. For me, the relationship with Jason was a abject rejection of who the character had been to that point in her life, and the writers’ rejection of her heritage as the daughter of daytime’s greatest super spies. (At this point you’re probably thinking about Anna and Duke, and Robert and Holly – but even those storylines were redemptive in nature and not about accepting the lifestyles of Duke and Holly).

Something in her relationship with Jason made her too motherly for such a young character. She was too busy defending and protecting him. There was no character development for Robin and the character fell apart. The cute kid with the big smile became a lightening rod for fans, seemingly turning off as many fans as she delighted. She’d become clingy, needy, and self-righteous. She’d lived her life in a bubble and that bubble was shrinking, having only enough room for her, and Jason.

The writers seemed to realize the problem. Robin hadn’t changed when she returned to help Jason, by saving Sam. Newbie Patrick Drake voiced the criticisms of the fans – Robin’s shrill meddling and discounting the lives of the ‘imperfect’ (read as ‘anyone who is not Robin Scorpio) drove commitment phobe Patrick mad. Patrick taught Robin that love didn’t mean controlling everyone, and everything around her. He taught her that love and desperation to hold on to a partner were mutually exclusive. Robin’s relationship with Patrick was true love, and the most meaningful relationship she’d had in her young life.

I’ve wondered if the positive feelings I have about Robin were more about her relationship with Patrick, if she could stand up in a storyline about just her and not about Scrubs. The postpartum depression storyline has answered that question for me, with a resounding YES!

This storyline was MADE for Kim McCullough’s Robin. It plays to all of her strengths. The excessive desperation Robin felt when trying to hold on to Jason during the ‘Carly-Michael’ period was uncomfortable to watch. The quiet desperation Robin feels when dealing with Emma is painful, too, but for different reasons. Robin loves Emma more than she loves her own life. She dreamed of being the perfect mother to her – even when she contemplated being a single parent. She wants nothing more than that child’s happiness and now can’t bring herself to believe that she can make Emma happy in any way.

What amazes me most is how much more subtle Kim McCullough is as an actress. Gone are Robin’s exasperated sighs and eye rolls. In their place is just the right look, or a tensing of her body to display her fear and anxiety. Her reliance on nonverbal communication is the hallmark of all great actors. I love actors who can communicate with an audience without saying a word. The audience could hear Emma crying through the monitor Robin left on top of the table. Robin looked at the monitor with terror in her eyes – it was heartbreaking. You could almost hear her wondering what she would do to ‘fail’ Emma, this time. You could feel the misery that made her reluctant to answer Emma’s call.

Not only did I want to hug the poor child, I couldn’t believe that the writers haven’t thought to have Anna and Robert around to try to help her. I want to see the heartbreak in their eyes, knowing neither of them was around long enough help her gain the confidence she needs to help herself and Emma. Neither has raised a child from infancy to adulthood. I want that Scorpio family moment I wrote about earlier where their past comes back to haunt them. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Maxie and Robin bond as cousins (especially as a counter to the Lulu-Carly relationship), but there’s something missing without Anna and Robert. Even still, KM carries this story beautifully. This is the year that I think viewers can drop the phrase ‘former child actor’ in association with her name. There’s nothing childlike about her performances. It’s some of her best work, yet!

The Scorpio clan pic was found at the Faces of GH website.

MAGIC! GL-GH-ATWT-DAYS- AMC

Gudiing Light

Crude?  Yes, and forgive me, but what the hell are the Foley boys packing in their pants? It must be magic! Cyrus supported freeing his pathologically criminal brother – Tammy’s murderer, and Cassie finds herself covering for Cyrus, knowing he’d stolen her neighbor’s stereo.  Oh, wait… ‘swoon’… he broke into her neighbor’s house for HER SAKE!  Yes, she was ‘grateful’/’impressed’ that he did it after she complained about the noise the neighbor made blasting the blessed thing all night long.  She even gives Cyrus a key to her home to come and go!  Her son RJDOES still live with her, right?  OY! There’s dumb, and then there’s Cassie. Another move made FAR too soon.  It’s tough enough to not lose lunch over the Cyrus/Cassie friendship, but that she’s not giving him a key to come and go from her home?  I don’t think so.

As The World Turns

Whatever the Foley boys are packing, the Snyder boys must have it too- only twice as much! For the first time in a LONG time, I didn’t feel sickened watching a Jack Snyder scene.  (The Snyder pants magic must be working on me, and I’ve never slept with a Snyder… oh yeah, they’re just THAT good!)  Jack was so sweet and so caring to Carly that I couldn’t believe it was the same man.  I’m chalking it up to Jack being down on his luck and feeling bad about his role in hiding evidence in Brad’s assault case.  The sure sign Jack is packing ‘magic’?  Carly tells Janet that she (Janet) is ‘good’ for Jack even if he doesn’t yet know it.  Sure, the first wife always happily passes her ex on to a woman whose behavior is equally outrageous and who doesn’t have to suffer the same verbal abuse she did.  Carly playing matchmaker to Jack and Janet?  Toothpicks in the eyes folks, toothpicks in the eyes!  Something I hope to never see again!

What I’d rather remember is that there was a brief and shining moment when I liked Jack – when he seemed human again.  Those moments never last long but they’re golden when they happen.

Days Of Our Lives

Bo-Hope fans have been debating about the promotion to top cop and asking why Hope hasn’t finally been advanced to top cop in the Salem PD.   Good question. For some, the answer is simple.  She doesn’t have the same work history.  I thought about how disturbing it is that the writers have been so inconsistent about Hope and her commitment to her job.  She’s been kidnapped, lost her memory, home raising children, home mourning lost children, you name it – it’s happened.  The oddity is that through most of that, Bo was at her side. He hasn’t exactly been on the job much more than Hope.  Putting my two cents in, I would have loved to have seen Hope rise in ranks.  Salem is going to need a tough top cop to deal with what’s coming…. tease tease tease…

Speaking of teasing… so, Days writers, What the hell?  The Nicole Film Noir episode was one of the BEST episodes of the last year (maybe two) in daytime.  It was funny, dramatic, sweet, and all around high brow storytelling… it was MAGIC (had to throw that in there).  I loved that fact that her Film Noir fantasy kept Philip Kiriakis captive.  He couldn’t tear himself away from her tale of lust, love, betrayal, and M-U-R-D-E-R – neither could I!  Nicole, casting herself in the role of loving and faithful wife, EJ as the smarmy cheating husband, Sami as the squeaking voiced addle-headed man stealer… WOW! 

Fan tribute featuring critical scenes:

Direct link for those who can’t play the above video.  Click HERE

Well done.  Was there anyone who doubted that Sami would come to a tragic end in Nicole’s story?  Loved it.  I wish more daytime writers gave their actors a chance to stretch – step out of their traditional roles. If any soap could earn a “Best Drama” Emmy from so few scenes, Days of Our Lives is the odds on favorite!

What does DAYS have going for it these days? Nicole ‘Snarky’ Walker.  Hers are the only scenes you’ll kick yourself for Fast-Forwarding!  Here is a collection of scenes (past and present).  Zuker’s return has brought with it a strong fresh wind!  Whatever TPTB have paid her?  It’s just not enough.

General Hospital

How cute were Dr. Drake and Dr. Scorpio in their discussion about naming baby Drake-Scorpio/ Scorpio-Drake?  If nothing else on GH works, Robin and Patrick always will (though, I probably shouldn’t have written it down).  I have the worst timing and I usually end up on the wrong side of soap history.  The minute I love it, the writers have grown tired of it and kill what I love.  This time, however, I have to believe that the writers aren’t going to shake apart this family tree.  They’ve done enough by destroying CarJax.  They wouldn’t dare touch Patrick and Robin, and baby Scorpio-Drake, would they?  Oy.

I’m tempted to give up on my theory that Laura is a figment of Lulu’s imagination, especially after yesterday’s meeting between Laura and Lulu, and the doctor.  Something was just a little sketchy there, folks.  I guess we’ll find out what that is later.   Ok, even I can admit that it’s FAR less likely to be the case, now.

All My Children

Bianca returns AND she’s bringing back a girlfriend (No, not Maggie).  For those who haven’t heard, Bianca comes back with friend/love interest ‘Reese’, as played by Tamara Braun (GH, ex-Carly Corinthos #2).  Tamara Freakin’ BRAUN?  What, is it my birthday?  Ms Braun was completely and utterly wasted on Days of Our Lives.  The storyline never fit the character.  Ava’s storyline started out pretty bad, and quickly went downhill from there.

Bianca is always a welcome sight for the sore eyes of AMC fans, who love and miss their faves as much as any other fanbase.  I’m most curious about how the fans will receive Ms. Braun, especially given  her ties to Bianca.  Both women, Eden Riegel and T. Braun, are fearless actresses.  Now what they need are fearless writers to give them a storyline bold enough to pull AMC out of the ratings lower deck… hell, ALL AMC characters need a fearless team of writers to return the show to its former glory… DOUBLE HELL, all of DAYTIME needs fearless writers to get the genre out of the ratings basement.