I thought today's episode (Mon., 2/1) was wonderful! I have cringed through the new writing regime . . . when I heard Dena f'ing Higley was invited back to pen the show's 50th anniversary, I shook my head in disbelief and I wasn't proven wrong, to me, that it was a disaster. Despite the downward plummet TomSell took, I knew the show's day-to-day quality would suffer when they left, which it did IMO . . . and I had little positive to say about Higley & Griffin's "Days," but today felt like Broderick's influence or a great script writer like Salmons was present . . . the dialogue was character and history-rich and a hilarious joke from Higley 1.0 with Belle's DOTW panties was used to great effect. Even Hope/Rafe/Ciara/Chase worked for me. Everything felt organic and not too cheesy which has been rare since the end of the summer. Is Beth here yet? LOL. The only cringeworthy part was Maggie mourning Daniel.
Additionally, as relieved as I am that Daniel is FINALLY gone, his funeral was well done . . . it's just embittering that Will and Bo's wasn't handled with equal care. And the real surprise of that episode for me was Eric/Jennifer. During the 50th celebration, I thought that kiss was played just for laughs, but the other day made me realize that they could be a great couple and what those characters need to be refocused. It's amazing to think that it wasn't long ago that Jennifer was positioned as the tentpole character of this show, and now she's so aimless. As a diehard Jack & Jennifer fan, I HATED Dannifer, but I didn't hate Jennifer's prominence . . . and I dare to say that Higley's Hope and Griffin's Kayla aren't any better than TomSell's Jenn, all things considered. And speaking of legacy heroines, where is Adrienne?!? LOL
I love this kind of stuff! My two favorite age groupings were Richard Allen & Anne Schoettle's Brian/Melissa/Jack/Jenn/Frankie/Eve and Tom Langan's Lucas/Nicole/Brandon/Sami/Austin/Greta/Eric. Interestingly, Langan played with Jack & Jennifer's ages in 2001 by de-aging Abby with Megan Corletto and having them mix it up with Greta and Brandon . . . then Brash & Cwikly blended all of them with Colin/Nicole and Sami. Reilly Round II was clearly age segregated, too.
I do think it's interesting how TPTB choose to age some kids and not others . . . like how Will is in an entirely different age group than Philip & Belle and characters like Abby and Brady have changed ages and age groups . . . and then you have JJ in college and Theo, Claire, and Ciara still children lol.
I think Abby was supposed to be 16 after the survivors of Melaswen returned--she was being raised and taught how to drive by Julie! She then turned 17 in the spring of '05 when the Patrick/Jennifer pairing was non-commitally (I know, made up word) in full swing . . . she and Chelsea were wild children, later re-imagined with Abby being the better to Chelsea's worse girl. Hogan Sheffer, in interview, had big plans for Max & Abby after Farah Fath exited, but Ashley Benson wanted to move on, and Sony foolishly let her go and didn't recast. When Higley reintroduced Abby, she really f'd with the age group. That's what I think the big offense is. Abby and Nick were supposed to be Chelsea, Max, Stephanie, Nathan, Melanie, Jeremy, and Jett's contemporaries. Instead, Abby, Nick, and Melanie were really de-aged . . . and changed their places in the show forever. Chad and Will were poorly recast with actors way older than they should have been and there's a real disconnect with how old everyone was supposed to be in the new younger sets. Melanie was "Days'" "it girl" and her link to Brady was through her bff, Arianna . . . and her being linked to a de-aged Abby and younger Chad makes that link, quite frankly, weird. Esp. with Eric Martsolf as Brady. You can subtly change a character's age to enter a new age group to great effect (de-aging Mike with RC with Carrie/Austin/Sami and aging EM's Brady with Nicole/EJ/Sami) and you can cluster f these two younger sets by making everyone from Philip to Will age-related by making characters like Melanie and Abby so flexibly interchangeable from age group to age group
I've been around for Dena's two "Days" stints and her OLTL. This woman is the worst. Once upon a time during her first go as DOOL's hw, I defended what I believed to be her good intentions, albeit awful execution (despite she f'd my fav.'s, Jack & Jennifer). But OLTL proved how inept, deluded, and, quite frankly, vindictive she was. Dena 2.0 at "Days" was equally shitty, but someone obviously helped her significantly in 2009, which I'll admit was well-plotted. But her vision for everyone, save for (mostly) Nicole, is just em effin' wrong. MarDar felt like Corday proteges to me in the sense that they repeated so many failed stories and couldn't string a story together to save their lives. And Higley and MarDar both missed every beat possible, and the interactions MarDar featured (save for Will/Sami/Marlena/Carrie) were random and revisionist (Sami, Carrie, Lexie, and Jenn lunching anyone?!?). TomSell f'd me over as a viewer in terms of callously discarding Jack, Carrie, and Billie, but I'll defend them like I'll defend Sheffer & Kelly--they usually play all the right beats and have restored such heart to the show, even if they get a lot of stuff wrong. And honestly, TomSell's biggest problem is the Jonas', who Dena equally loved and prioritized. There were things I enjoyed during Dena 2.0, but it was mostly for the sake of parody like the happy accident that was Chloe/Nicole and finally making the Chloe/Daniel story work with the baby story with Carly/Nate/Mel/Phil/Steph/Kayla. I will admit that "Days"needed to pass the torch from B&H, J&J, and J&M, which Higley finally succeeded doing with Rafe/Sami/EJ/Nicole/Brady (however bad this group could be at times). But TomSell restored such quality to this show (along with Broderick), even if they were boring. Episodes like Christmas 2013 make me devestated that they won't be writing the 50th.
They even had Emily yell this during one of the Lila memorial episodes to shut up the fighting in the Q family room, which, at the time, I and many others found . . . well, unnerving (to put it politely). In retrospect, I actually think it was perfect.
I actually don't mind the reduced DiMera and Kiriakis manison sets since we have more sets now . . . it really helps that Eric, Serena, and Paul have living spaces and Nicole and others have offices again. Tomlin was making the park his '09-'11 pier for a while there. But the DiMera set is a bummer--I've always admired that set. However, I do not mourn that Kiriakis living room. That got hideously shrunk and redecorated during Tomlin's stint as EP when Higley was writing.
I hear what you're saying. Marlena's a problematic character because she's being utilized like pre-Aiden Hope--she really only functions as a talk-to character or a logistical plot pusher at the hospital. If she's going to be relegated to supporting status to only fulfill Dee's contract obligations, she may as well be used in Will's story rather than window dressing at the hospital. Or in that non-story with John (??). (She had nice scenes with Eric recently, even if they were heavy-handed.)
I was LOL flashing back to Bo/Billie and Philip/Belle during those scenes with Kate and Will.
But I do think the interaction is fine. There are serious problem areas like Aiden/Hope and I think it's weird that Jenn, in Tomlin's effort to make her the lead legacy heroine, interacts way more with Brady, Nicole, and Eric than Hope (and her other family/friends) . . . but there is a lot of sensible and surprising interaction. This show, most likely due to Broderick, rarely misses a beat. Even last week being JJ/Paige-heavy was fine to me because of how everything came around from Eve, Jenn, Rory, Bev, Daniel, Daphne, Theresa, and Cole. It may be an overall weak story, but that's tight daily writing. And even if it's only in the dialogue, there are wonderful moments like Jenn asking Daniel to talk to JJ because Justin's out of town. While I'd obviously prefer to see JJ and Justin interact on-screen, I immensely appreciate mentions like that after the Higley and MarDar eras where stuff like this rarely ever occurred to them. And Broderick themes the episodes with scenes juxtaposing each other, adding to a connective feel.
I agree the show is dull and in a rut, but someone is still hitting the right day-to-day notes for me.
The Horton home on "Days," hands down. From that show, I also loved the Sami/Austin/Carrie/Lucas apartments (God, the new set designers butchered it with the remodel a couple years ago once it was Daniel's, post-Danloe) and Bo & Hope's house (esp. when it was Jenn's when we saw more of it). Hope/Kayla/Jenn/John/Brady/Belle's loft was great, too (but f that awful yellow paint in its final years!).
On AMC, my fav. (and one of the only good ones, IMO) was Erica's house others have noted circa late 90's/early 00's.
GH in the 90's had great sets--Bobbie's Brownstone, Mac's house, and the lighthouse were lovely. The twin penthouses were even great. All the sets got really retooled and downscaled with JFP.
However, I think OLTL had the best sets! Home-wise, my favorites were Llanfair, La Boule (sp.?), Viki's cabin, Cristian and Rex's lofts . . . and, my very favorite, Llanfair's carriage house!!!
I guess so. I was going to even comment on Mel, who was moved from the Phil/Steph/Nate story to Chad . . . that really changed her role, IMO. However, Abby going from Chelsea/Steph's set, to Will's made her appear much younger to me.
I don't understand why Ashley Benson's Abby has been seemingly erased from the timeline. It seemed like Hogan Sheffer had big plans for Max & Abby, but stalled it till Farah Fath exited, but by that point AB was ready to move on and TPTB accommodated her. JER didn't do much with her, but Abby, even as a child, was 100% aligned with Jack . . . even to the point of irrationally resenting Jennifer for, like, everything. That's why this version of Abby has always felt so bs to me. That and the fact that she was significantly de-aged . . . when everyone returned from "Melaswen" in 2004, Abby was sixteen (and hilariously giving Julie, her guardian, hell) and Chelsea's link to the canvas pre-Georgia reveal. While I appreciate her being on the show and have grown quite fond of KM, this character got a 100% do-over.
There were scenes with Mike, Jenn, and Lucas (and Bill?) after the reveal . . . Mike and Jenn would try to include him in stuff, but he always felt like the black sheep of the family (which you could kinda tell they felt, too; the awkwardness between Mike/Jenn and Lucas really added a great layer to their characters and the Horton family). Mike and Lucas wound up interacting more when Mike & Carrie got legs.
However, once Jenn returned in '00, they rarely interacted. When BD was let go in '01 and Lucas was badly burned in the K manse fire, Jenn went to the hospital and confessed to Austin that she hadn't even seen Lucas in the few months she'd been back and felt sick about it (this was the first Austin/Jenn scene since her return, too). But when PB & PC were writing, they had a handful of scenes where it was clear that Lucas wanted to be closer to her and she was distant, and that's when she had all these secret issues with Bill that DH dropped. Then when DH came on, ya, she had Lucas be Jack's best man at the J&J '03 wedding, which was a joke. The rationale was that since Jack's brother, Steve, couldn't be there, he wanted Lucas, Jenn's brother, to stand up for him. It should have been Vern, Bo, or Harold. Once Reilly returned, I don't think they ever interacted, even though they'd always be at the same family functions. But like someone said, they talked about each other and stuff. The other thing that was dropped was that Jenn and Sami didn't like each other during basically all of Missy's 00's stint. And as someone else mentioned, Lucas and Maggie were very, very close (they had the relationship she has with Brady now). And as of '04, Sami started being dubbed "the new Julie" and Lumi and D&J had many scenes together until DH came aboard again.
While I'm not thrilled about Lucas and Jenn being close now (because I think there's so much to mine about the previous distance and awkwardness between them), I appreciate how GT & CW have made "Days" maybe the most connected canvas in daytime right now.