In my opinion, Days of our Lives never recovered from Jim Reilly leaving in 1997 to create Passions and try to fix Sunset Beach. Sally Sussman held it together, but Tom Langan totally shot it all to hell by writing 'Reilly stories' without the Reilly panache. Then, every writer post Tom Langan was left trying to recreate a moment that had long passed. So they brought Jim Reilly back. Henry Slesar and Bill Bell could write two half hour shows in the 70s, but Jim Reilly couldn't write two hour long programs in the 00s, not because he wasn't talented, but because it was just too much work. Even though I will go to my grave saying that the Salem Serial Killer was pure genius up until they all came back alive.
Days of our Lives has had three distinct periods, The Bell Era, The Super-couple Era, and The Reilly Era. Everything before, after and in between those periods was just meh.
What stands out about those three eras was that Days had a clearly defined identity and purpose. A clear vision. Bill Bell's Days was messy and psychological and engaging. Even though the super-couple era was complete ripoff of GH, Days shamelessly took the format and ran with it and never apologized for doing so and in many ways bested GH at its own game. The Reilly Era was classic soap opera for a new generation. Pure soap opera bones filled with, Harlequin romance, over the top insanity, Gothic characters, and the supernatural Even people who hated Jim Reilly had to see what he was going to do next.
Days is currently stuck and has been for 16 years. The same way that it was stuck in that period between Bill Bell and the super-couples. The same way it was stuck in that period between the super-couples and Jim Reilly.
The way to fix Days is to simply do what Bell in the 60s, those poached GH writers in the 80s, and Jim Reilly in the 90s did. Blow it up and reimagine. Take the show into a whole new world and do something different, while at the same time keeping it a soap opera. I'm not saying throw away characters and history, but I am saying get rid of dead weight, tighten the show, and refocus. You're gonna piss off fanbases and like good plastic surgery, the show is gonna be bloody and swollen and bruised for a while, but the end result will be worth it. The show can be saved, if someone really wants to save it. and it is not going to happen under Gary Tomlin and Chris Whitesell, (the Nina Laemmle and Gene Palumbo of 2013