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Edward Skylover

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I think 92/93 is considered a time when DAYS was really good with JER at the helm (Anderson was also writing the show at the time I believe?) before he started taking DAYS into a totally different direction unfamiliar to fans (MarDevil, Kirsten/Susan/Etc. )

Re: JER

Underneath all the bizarre b.s.(and there was many, JER did not hold back) I really liked that he managed to stick to some common soap themes such as class warfare(wealthy Crane family vs. the blue collar Bennetts/Lopez-Fitzgerald families, and wealthy DiMeras/Kiriakis families vs the blue collar Bradys) and your typical vixen raised by usually a religious or conservative blue collar family with dreams of obtaining a better life no matter what the cost. Sort of reminded me of the some of the archetypes Marland and Nixon would use for their soaps and what made me appreciate JER's writing. 

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10 hours ago, Failsafe said:

JER's DAYS I remember watching as a youngin thanks to the babysitter, a lot of his stories REALLY pushed the line of what was acceptable for Daytime (Possession being the biggest offender). As @Khan said above, as a television serial, those in charge REALLY need to be mindful about what they bring into people's homes. Some lines are better left not crossed and Possession was one of them. A lot of that was particularly strong imagery (the church burning). Devil Marlena provided many nightmares for a young Failsafe, but I couldn't stop watching. 

 

I won't lie: to this day, I have trouble watching any scene with Marlena without feeling a tremendous amount of anxiety.  Like I said before, I stopped watching DAYS once the story kicked into gear, and I didn't resume watching until I knew the story was over.  Nevertheless, I had seen enough of the beginning -- and in the years since, I've come across enough screen caps of it in magazines and online -- to know I'll never be able to shake the sight of Marlena levitating from her bed, for example.  And as someone who ADORED Marlena BITD, that's hard to take.

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As someone who is a fan of 90s DAYS, it's kinda annoying how the Possession, a seven months story, overshadows everything else. There were so much good stuff that always gets ignored.

 

And personally, I think people who stopped watching the show because of the Possession and their religious views are just as pathetic as those that stop watching soaps because of gay couples.

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1 hour ago, Edward Skylover said:

I have to admit, I find the possession quite entertaining in a weird way.

I do too.

7 hours ago, Edward Skylover said:

What are people's views on early 90s, 1992/1993? It was that era that got me to start liking Days with Sami and Lucas as youngsters.

I find 1989-1992 to be weaker compared to the years before and the years after. Although 1990 was prety good.

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10 minutes ago, Sindacco said:

I find 1989-1992 to be weaker compared to the years before and the years after. Although 1990 was prety good.

 

I guess 93 will always be nostalgic for me being the season that I first discovered Days.

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Lucas's scenes were very riveting. The very fake looking leaves were rather distracting. I can't remember if Paul and Chloe ever shared any scenes together. I do like their friendship chemistry. The Brady/Nicole/Eric triangle is so boring and played out. Funny how it was only raining and thundering during Nicole and Brady's scenes.

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I always wanted Days to bring back some of the past Hortons to contract roles. Sandy and Jessica would have been good to tell story during the 90’s and 2000s. I would have love to even seen Bill, Marie Steve Olson, David, and Melissa back at some point. 

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JER's Days was just...too out there, for me. I'll concede his wacky ideas brought eyeballs to the screen, but I think the long-term effects of his quirkiness hurt the show. As someone said, the '80s were also sort of "out there", but I think that was still at its core more rooted in "heart and home" and a sense of relatability that the '90s version lacked.

 

Reilly's stuff was like the ol' car wreck effect. It's awful, but I can't look away. (And the guy was...ODD. He just was. I recall some interview where he talked about using Barbies and action figures to help detail his arcs. Then there was some strange thing about how Bo cannot ever go back to Hope and had to stay with Billie. Because Bo took vows in front of God. Well, what the hell did Bo/Hope do at THEIR wedding(s)? I think he was actually a bit resentful of those signature couples at the expense of his. And he turned Days campy and took away the heart at its core for the sake of shock value. IMO only.)

 

As for early '90s Days, I thought the Cruise of Deception was good, what with Hope's "death" and Isabella discovering Victor was her biological father and how Ernesto actually hated her, etc. Then there was her romance with RoJohn. And I think her death - which managed to stick - was one of the last "beautiful" deaths the show has done. Hard to believe it was 25 years ago this month that Isabella died and Abby was born. (1992) Brady was born the same year as Abby, so the huge difference in their ages now is just weird.

Edited by Wendy

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13 hours ago, MichaelGL said:

Underneath all the bizarre b.s.(and there was many, JER did not hold back) I really liked that he managed to stick to some common soap themes

That, to me, is what's so fascinating about Reilly. I always felt like he respected the idea if not the execution of soap operas. It would have been interesting to see him as an elder statesman, even though I feel he greatly aided in severing the genre's ties to the past. It'd be like, in 1984, watching Geary go from General Hospital to any of the P&G shows.

 

18 minutes ago, Wendy said:

Hard to believe it was 25 years ago this month that Isabella died and Abby was born. (1992) Brady was born the same year as Abby, so the huge difference in their ages now is just weird.

October 1992 was an exciting month. You had Kimberly's multiple personalities, Isabella's last days, Jennifer giving birth to Abby, the Bo/Carly/Lawrence triangle, Nicholas accidentally killing Lisanne, Vivian's heart attack and Stella's insane jealousy of Marlena.

Edited by Franko

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The stupid crazy non sensical SORASing on DAYS will always annoy me.  EJ in particular really grates me. He was born after all of the 20 somethings, and is somehow older than all of them.

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44 minutes ago, Antoyne said:

The stupid crazy non sensical SORASing on DAYS will always annoy me.  EJ in particular really grates me. He was born after all of the 20 somethings, and is somehow older than all of them.

 

Can't decide if the mega SORASing is worse or those that age then de-age (hello, Mike Horton; hi, Nicholas Alamain!).

 

Nicholas was aged WAY too much in the late '90s only to return MUCH younger later.

 

Then we have Mike Horton who got married to his first wife in the freaking 1970s, stayed in his 30s for over a decade, then became young enough to boink Carrie Brady. If Mike returns yet again, will he be starting high school while "younger" sister Jenn babysits him? He can be the new Doogie Howser, M.D., too.

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3 hours ago, Wendy said:

JER's Days was just...too out there, for me. I'll concede his wacky ideas brought eyeballs to the screen, but I think the long-term effects of his quirkiness hurt the show. As someone said, the '80s were also sort of "out there", but I think that was still at its core more rooted in "heart and home" and a sense of relatability that the '90s version lacked.

 

Reilly's stuff was like the ol' car wreck effect. It's awful, but I can't look away. (And the guy was...ODD. He just was. I recall some interview where he talked about using Barbies and action figures to help detail his arcs. Then there was some strange thing about how Bo cannot ever go back to Hope and had to stay with Billie. Because Bo took vows in front of God. Well, what the hell did Bo/Hope do at THEIR wedding(s)? I think he was actually a bit resentful of those signature couples at the expense of his. And he turned Days campy and took away the heart at its core for the sake of shock value. IMO only.)

 

As for early '90s Days, I thought the Cruise of Deception was good, what with Hope's "death" and Isabella discovering Victor was her biological father and how Ernesto actually hated her, etc. Then there was her romance with RoJohn. And I think her death - which managed to stick - was one of the last "beautiful" deaths the show has done. Hard to believe it was 25 years ago this month that Isabella died and Abby was born. (1992) Brady was born the same year as Abby, so the huge difference in their ages now is just weird.

 

When I went back and watched some Reilly it felt like he was much more committed to a traditional (and generally stronger and higher quality) soap structure in his 1993 and 1994 material. Then when the exorcism story took off in popularity he seemed to start going off the rails and the show starts to feel increasingly hollow. 

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Reilly was very much influenced by his devout faith and rigid Catholicism, which seemed vaguely Old Testament; he emphasized the undercurrent of faith on the show, but he was also often judgmental and misogynistic in how he handled stories of women and men in triangles, constantly bringing up Biblical scripture to explain why characters must do X or Y - Wendy mentioned this re: his uber-conservative take on the rehashed Billie/Bo/Hope triangle in the late '90s, which was so off-base and bizarre. (The original, with Hope/Gina and Lisa Rinna as Billie, was excellent to me as a kid and I adored Rinna's Billie.) Yet he also delighted in sexual kink and weird perversion. He wanted it both ways.

 

I think Reilly's best work in the 90s was propped up by a very, very good staff under him. But after a certain point - and it didn't take as long as people sometimes claim - he lost all interest in even remotely human dialogue and characterization. All dialogue became robotic, expository or cartoonish, no inbetween. This was even starting at DAYS during the Hope/Gina and possession storylines, when I first began watching (and which I loved). Everything slowly devolved into either camp or bland wallpaper.

 

This got worse at Passions, Reilly's own soap. From Day 1 it was nothing but shrill cartoons or incredibly robotic dialogue spouting bald-faced plot points and little else, or juvenile/sick jokes he found funny. He held total sway so it never changed. Talented performers, like Mary Elizabeth Winstead or Lindsay Hartley, struggled to put his ludicrous dialogue over. And the older he got the more his strange, repressed kinkster side came out, both at Passions and in his second stint at DAYS in the 2000s.

 

It cannot be denied that Reilly had a gift for capturing an audience with big, shocking ideas like Marlena's possession, or Hope/Gina, or Kristen and her three (four?) doppelgangers or whatever else. It also can't be denied that he had virtually no ability to construct realistic characters or dialogue after 1996 or so. He repeated his own phenomenon when he returned to DAYS in the 2000s, selling the network on a cost-cutting storyline in which the "Salem Stalker" would brutally murder half the cast, including many longtime veterans - Maggie, Roman, Victor, Abe, Jack, Doug and more, even Grandma Alice. This was a legitimate plan of action, not a hoax; the actors were fired after decades of service and took other jobs. Their deaths, such as Maggie Horton's, were broadcast to the horrified townsfolk as she was brutally bludgeoned to death with a liquor bottle. It was tasteless, perverse, and crass, and Reilly loved it. It also got eyes. And rehashing his own possession story, he revealed Marlena to be the killer, for no apparent reason.

 

But the fans eventually revolted, and the network and Ken Corday forced Reilly to reverse it all and hire the actors back, showing the 'dead' characters to be imprisoned on an island and revealing the plot to be yet another "DiMera scheme" (the DiMeras are always and only the only big bad guys on DAYS, there is no real variety). And after that the stories just got dumber and dumber by the year. I'm not even mentioning Reilly's penchant for having the bulk of crucial plot reveal episodes turn out to be one character's pointless fakeout dream or fantasy - like when John imagined Marlena was possessed by the Devil again in a pea-soup vomiting campfest for an hour - or how Passions eventually introduced a transgendered hermaphrodite serial rapist called "the He/She", who raped women and camped it up with goofy one liners, played for laughs for months.

 

James Reilly was a deeply disturbed man with a grain of talent he nurtured until his own limitations and demons caught up with him. He had a mind for concepts but no ear for dialogue and eventually, no interest in character. And his grand fantasies made DAYS what it is today, from the 90s onward. They have been chasing his glory days ever since, trying to repeat them. The problem is, even Reilly's best - and I loved many of those stories - was deeply flawed.

Edited by Vee

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