Soaps

‘Days of Our Lives’ Week In Review: Just Alright, Still

#AuntieStealYourMan

Claire lashes out at Ciara and later makes a devious move.

In the brainstorming process, I could see how romantic conflict between same aged aunt and niece Claire and Ciara Brady would sound amazing. There’s a huge precedent in the soap world of family members fighting over the same love but often times you’d see gaps in the ages (Addie and Julie, anyone?), this time we have two very similarly eternally exasperated teen girls with master handles on vocal fries. Had these characters been fleshed out, allowed to grow up and experience life on screen with us watching then maybe their love triangle would be more compelling. But to most DAYS viewers it’s literally just unwanted fluff.

I don’t care what anyone says, I enjoy the character of Claire Brady. Out of the entire teen scene, I think she’s the only one being written as an authentic teenager. Sure, she’s a bit grating with her constant references to social media platforms but that is this generation. While she may be written as a person her age probably should be, this isn’t the Claire we were first introduced to. I miss when she was a little more soft spoken and awkward; over the last year and a half she unexplainably became a budding hellcat. Olivia Rose Keegan plays the part convincingly but it doesn’t feel like the Claire we were re-introduced to, and we have no reason as to why she’s become what she is now.

All of that aside, I was completely on her side this last week when Auntie Ciara thought it was okay to blurt out her feelings for Theo Carver. Yes, Ciara’s feelings do matter but who is she to try and police someone else’s relationship? The way she asked Claire to tone down the PDA was – well, like an aunt talking to her niece but thanks to SORASing and Hope Brady’s ever active oven, the auntie is the same age as the niece therefore not the best authority figure. In my opinion, Ciara needs to get over it and go crash on her mom’s couch for a few days. Claire flipped out to Grandma Marlena later on though and like a responsible authority figure, Dr. Evans told her granddaughter she seriously needed to chill. I love when she called Claire out on her nasty tone of voice which made the teen get herself together again. I’d love to see more of this relationship develop, especially with both of Claire’s parents having vanished out of Salem once again. God knows Grandma Hope doesn’t care about her, treating her more like Ciara’s roommate than a granddaughter.

I think Marlena had a little flashback to wild child Sami Brady’s teenage years (and Belle Black’s less dramatic but still sassy teens) when Claire stormed out of the pub. Maybe Deidre Hall was flexing those perfected soap chops by adding more than there really is to the story, staring Claire down like that or maybe Marlena will step in to guide another one of her grandkids.
Let’s just play for Theo who got a shock when Claire told him she was ready for sex. Sadly, it’s just a ploy to bring him closer to her just to rub in Ciara’s face and not so much for the romance. This feels a lot like a final desperate attempt for Claire, meaning I don’t think she’ll be able to hold this relationship up just as a means of making Ciara uncomfortable. The bad news is that Theo will then drift to Ciara again and Vivian Jovanni’s Ciara is no Lauren Boles. There’s no spunk behind the character or spark with Ciara and any other character on canvas, so that romance too is destined to be a flop. Also, how has this constant turmoil not affected Theo with his condition? Dating Claire alone is sensory overload but he’s been written more dead to the world than anything. Theo should be noticing a lot more than he does because of his autism.

#Unapologetic

Eric pushes Jennifer away.

Eric Brady finally made his way back to Salem but not after making a move often reserved for female Salemites – taking an apology tour. While technically it’s not a tour as he hasn’t made full rounds through Salem to say sorry, he has written an entire book worth of apologies to Nicole Walker for killing “the love of her life”. Honestly, this is the time to be unapologetic Eric. You did the town of Salem as well as all of DAYS’ viewers an immense favor by running over Daniel Jonas. While mentions of him happen at least once an episode, they finally feel fewer and further in between. So stop apologizing for performing a public service and move on!

Put Greg Vaughn in an empty room and he will probably make viewers moan, weep and moan again. The writing for Eric Brady may not be top notch right now, but he’s acting the hell out of it and making it sure seem like it is. That level of commitment even to the silliest of stories is what every actor on DAYS should be reaching for and all they’d have to do is watch Vaughn’s scenes.

This last week, Eric made the decision to finally return to Salem. He’d holed himself up after getting out of prison, keeping away from those who cared about him afraid of hurting those who cared for Daniel. The amount of consideration these characters take for Daniel even in death is insane, so many stories and decisions still revolve around this human natural disaster while classic characters like Bo Brady never even get a whisper. I love that it’s Jennifer Horton that was the sort of impetus to get him back on his feet to live life once again. The two of them shared something powerful last year, not just after being in the accident together but battling their addictions as well. They’d seen each other in the worst of times and never judged and I’m so happy the writers are doing something right by giving them another chance. Their romance was cut too short last year with Eric getting carted off to prison.

While I think it silly that instead of getting Eric working again as a photographer at the Salem Spectator, giving the viewers some potential steamy office romance, they’re having him become a peer counselor at the Horton Center. A little unsexy if you ask me, especially for a couple that was just oozing sexiness this last week. I mentioned it on Twitter too and I will reiterate my happiness with Jennifer Rose as of late. I think she might have become one of my favorites again as she’s probably one of the few characters being written true to form, or as close as possible with Higley at the helm. Jennifer is spunky again, opinionated but not naggy and best of all? She’s happy! It’s amazing how all it took was to get her out of the Horton living room biting her lip in worry to make her a watchable character again.

Add that new lease on life to her romance with Eric and Jennifer is on fire! I love the scene right before Eric laid a big wet kiss on her where she basically talked him up, reminding him of what a great person he is outside of whatever may have happened in his past. It was such an empowering scene and so honest too that I was actually shocked. It’s been so long since characters on DAYS have actually complimented one another or had a completely friendly exchange meant to support. There’s a lot of tearing down of others on this show on top of the incessant kidnappings and murder, that’s why I really appreciated those emotional scenes filled with actual positivity. Jennifer is in such a good place now so I cannot wait to see her help elevate Eric up to the same level, it’ll be tough but she seems up for the task.

As usual, if I missed something you really wanted to talk about or something you felt was important, let’s start a discussion! Comment below, tweet me and let’s chat!

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!

  • Kate D

    Absolutely on point. The only thing I’d add is that it’s beyond irritating that Sonny and Paul are being wasted on this baby mob boss wannabe mess. Where’s the chemistry? The heat? It’s like the writers are throwing up their hands and saying, “we let them kiss, a couple times, like grandpas, what more do you want?” Any other new/reunited couple would be hitting the sheets yesterday. The double standard is infuriating.

  • Noelle

    This review was completely on point. All of the weaknesses of the current writing regime were correctly identified. It’s a real chore to watch the show right now. Thank you for correctly pinpointing the reasons why.