Soaps

‘Days of Our Lives’ Week In Review: All That Glitters Isn’t Gold

Chad begs Gabi to wake up after being poisoned.
Chad begs Gabi to wake up after being poisoned.

Days of Our Lives may have had another rough, plot-driven week but there was also a heaping amount of good news too! It was announced this last week that the show was nominated for 22 Daytime Emmy awards! Congratulations are definitely due to the entire cast and crew, nominated or not! Whether or not viewers enjoy every story is not important, it’s impossible to please everyone but what is important is the amount of hard work these people put into this show. Their work deserves to be recognized and I am extremely proud of everyone who has been chosen and hope all the best for them. Well deserved!

This last week in Salem was rough to get through. There was finally some action, some suspense and drama but most of it reeked of pure plot. There are still so many beats being missed that it’s hard to care about the stories when they’re clearly vehicle’s for an exit storyline for the resident egomaniac or are just purely repetitive. Everything on the show just currently feels forced, there’s no natural sparkle to any of the stories. There was a great moment toward the end of the week but considering it was never given much time to develop nor were all the right players there to further it along, in the end it just wasn’t enough. But I must say, while the material may not be a crowd pleaser, most of the actors have refused to phone in their scenes and are actually working hard to sell the stories. I just don’t think I’ll be ready to buy until late July maybe early August.

Week in Review for Days of Our Lives episodes airing March 20th – 24th.

Bright Spot

More often than not, DAYS has felt like it’s been written by two different scribes who want to explore vastly different narratives. With the constant switch from plot-driven madness to heartfelt stories to more insanity then back to great dialogue, it’s really hard to keep up. Unfortunately those bright spots in the show have become fewer and further in between. After what felt like ages, Adrienne Johnson’s breast cancer plight was brought back to our screens and God, did we ever need to see this again. Smashed in between more kidnappings and idiocy than one could imagine, this real human story shined brighter than the rest.

It’s so sad that this storyline seems to inhabit a world of it’s own. Adrienne’s struggling through her illness should be touching the lives of so many more in Salem but instead it plays out just once every few weeks with a handful of characters. In a room at the Salem Inn. I want to see more of this story not to mention more to this story! Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that Adrienne was still working for the Salem Spectator even while sick? Her co-workers should have been there as a support as well, wishing her the best and a speedy recovery so she could get back to the beat. I really don’t even remember when or if the showed played her preparing for a mastectomy. Did I just miss that?

Adrienne’s loved ones gather to support her as she prepares to have her double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery.

Either way, that was Adrienne’s hurdle for the week and though she played it strong, she immediately broke down to Kate Roberts who has become her confidant. As of late, Kate has not been a big champion of women and although we know that she cannot stand a certain kind of woman and will always do her damnedest to undermine them, she’s also generally a staunch supporter of her fellow woman. Some of Lauren Koslow’s most powerful scenes in recent years were toward the end of Ali Sweeney’s run as Sami Brady, when the two former enemies came together as a team. Kate should admire women who pull themselves up from their boot straps to get to where they are today but instead she’s supporting Adrienne and the next day tearing down Chloe. I’d much rather have a little consistency. I think the Kate that reconciled with Sami just a few years back would not have inserted herself into Chloe’s drama, I mean it’s not like Chloe is dating one of her kids anymore anyway! It always feels like Kate makes these strides forward then falls back whenever the plot calls for a bitch. I want her to be much more than that, I want her to be a friend to others too. For me, that makes Kate’s support of Adrienne just feel a little – affected? I’m questioning whether or not she has a motive to securing a friendship with Adrienne now instead of really just being glad that she’s become a support system for another cancer fighter.

Even so, I am happy that Adrienne is happy to have Kate as it seems Justin and Lucas are still hung up on who she’ll choose out of the two of them. That was probably the biggest pitfall of this story. There was real heart ache in these scenes, Judi Evans was putting in work, giving viewers loads of palpable fear and worry as she prepared to go under the knife. This surgery would be a life-changing one and DAYS did a good job of setting it up to feel that way. But then in classic soap fashion, the realistic beat took a back seat and instead of just telling Adrienne’s story, we got a romantic cliffhanger of sorts. Apparently Adrienne told Kate to tell one of the men she loved them but passed out before giving up a name – and don’t get me wrong, I thought that was such a great twist! I enjoyed it and it seemed like other viewers did as well, but it just took away from the human drama of the story. I’d like just one storyline to take even a day’s break from inserting plot involving choosing men or looking for a bed mate and so on. This show has become far too focused on getting characters into bed or locked into relationships only to sacrifice the character drama.

With Adrienne’s brother Steve Johnson on canvas, her close sister-in-law Kayla Johnson and nephew Joey Johnson too, you’d think they would play a bigger role in this story – or at least show some concern every now and then. Put Adrienne’s recovery as the A story and make her choosing a life partner the B story. Surviving cancer should be most important to her and the viewers watching the story. When Adrienne’s cancer story first began, there were great scenes with Steve and Kayla fighting over the former’s constant denial of his sister’s condition. Give us more of that too! I thought that was such realistic conversation but also so true to the characters’ personalities but these days they’re not even involved in the story. Such a big miss!

About the author

Coryon Gray

Coryon Gray joined as Staff Writer for Soaps at TVSource Magazine in October 2014. Prior to TVSource Magazine, he's written for and moderated Asian entertainment blogs all while staying updated with his multiple "stories" like the elderly person in his soul. TV is a big part of his life, and it shows as he has been known to try to incorporate TV hijinks into his life with varying results. Follow him at @sourcecoryon for soapy soap reactions and more!