Soaps

‘Days of our Lives’ Week In Review: Strive For Balance

Sonny tries to get through to Paul. © jpistudios.com

Days of Our Lives did its best to balance out the island silliness with actual humor and family drama. I think they were mostly successful this week, giving a solid week of shows that didn’t feel completely stagnant or stale. My biggest take away this week was how great it was seeing families interact again. Excuse the corny joke but no longer is everyone stranded on their own little island, but sisters and brothers are lending helping hands, cousins supporting cousins and grandparents – uh, grandparenting. That family element is the true base of this show. I hope that direction continues as we move toward the head writer shift next month.

Let’s check out some of my picks and pans from this last week on Days of Our Lives!

Picks of the Week

Love and Marriage

A serial killer and a serial – well, every other kind of crime doer – really do make a good match. Kate Roberts became Kate Dimera again this week, marrying her ex-husband’s former nephew turned son Andre Dimera. Was it for love? Not at all! These two play off of each other like vintage comedy duos with their friendly but still hateful interactions and yet… I find it charming?
Kate and Andre are already living together, so this last week they decide they should conquer the business world together too. Dimera Enterprises is in yet another bit of turmoil with Chad Dimera missing, so the two realize they have to act fast. Or lose the company to greedy snakes waiting in the wings. I wish this show could give us more business scenes instead of interspersing all this drama into dialogue. When Theresa Donovan had jumped into fashion with Kate and Nicole Walker last year, some of their business scenes were really well done. It was a nice change of pace to actually see them in a workroom or an office discussing their work, meeting with investors or designers to build their brand. The bit about the Dimera Enterprises shakeup was my least favorite of their scenes because of that. Chad’s only been gone for what, a few days now and the company’s already splintering?

But other than that? Comedy gold. It’s hilarious seeing that not only do they not want to be together (literally vowing that they’d be sexing other people up) but everyone around them doesn’t either. There was this air of just distaste as Kate and Andre announced their marriage, first to a nonplussed Harold then to the cautious judge. She even called Kate out for marrying her ex-husband’s son! I love awareness of overarching absurdity in soap operas!

Thaao Penglis and Lauren Koslow banter like pros, you can tell the two actors have a great friendship because it truly shines in their scenes. They enjoy working with each other. I wonder how much of it is improvised though? It seems like the two of them can bounce things off of each other and just keep chatting. One of my favorite lines came from Andre comparing the number of Stefano Dimera’s marriages to the number of his deaths. Great dark humor and kudos to whoever wrote that bit!

Take Care

The DAYS Twitter universe was shaken to the core this last week. Why, you ask? The answer is a simple one – Claire and Hope Brady actually acknowledged not just one another, but also their familial connection to one another. More than once, out loud and in front of other characters too! It’s incredible to think that it’s taken nearly two years for the show to truly play out this relationship but thankfully it was at the right time, right place and it just felt natural.

Hope and Abe make a shocking discovery.
© jpistudios.com

Hope is best when she’s there for her family – or not destroying other families by shooting ailing geriatrics point blank and getting away with it thanks to her creepy boyfriend. After losing Ciara to Hong Kong just like her parents, Claire also lost someone to confide in. Thankfully her Gran was able to make some time for her to hear her out. Their scenes were some of the most realistically charming scenes that I’ve seen on DAYS in a long while. Having come from a quiet home town myself to moving to The Big Apple, visiting home makes me anxious too; the slow pace digs into your brain and makes you crazy. I completely understand why Claire feels stagnant and out of place in Salem when she’s used to a bigger world.

Hope was there to remind her that it’s okay to take it slow, especially when it came to fame and fortune. Thanks to her Gran, Claire’s focus on instant fame switched to focusing on her music again and letting it all happen naturally. But because of one creepy girl, Claire was nearly on the fast track to instant infamy.

Now I refuse to believe that any teen in 2017 doesn’t know how to completely delete a file. Claire has been painted as tech savvy and obsessed for a long time now, she should have known that just dragging a file to the recycling bin wouldn’t delete it completely. But because of that misstep, Abe Carver and Hope had to watch their son and granddaughter do the nasty. I didn’t like that Theo drew the conclusion that it had to be Claire behind the recording because she had a desire to be famous. Fans have called Claire a Sami-Lite for some time now but she’s never done anything like her aunt, so I know it must have hurt for her to hear he thought that. Anything “bad” Claire did was always to stick up for her friends and family. Remember when she spear headed the plan to take down Chase for raping Ciara?

Hope has her back though which is cool. She’s playing somewhere between a mother and a friend to Claire, and I wonder if that was a conscious decision on the writers’ parts because Claire has neither of those in town. Especially not after she tore Jade down for the disgusting thing she did. How could that girl think invading privacy like that was no big deal? Claire has every right to feel upset and violated and disappointed. I’m glad she walked away from Theo this week. But how stupid is that Joey Johnson for going after the girl who sexually violated his family member and friend?

Jungle Fever

Half of the jungle crew are really selling me this storyline – and I’m ready to buy. Sure, it’s nice to see Paul Narita and JJ Deveraux with their arms out all sweaty or Eli Grant’s facial hair filling in oh so handsomely, but also nice to see their actors commit to the material. It’s probably because they got the best material out of the whole set.

I finally bought Jack Jr. as a hero this last week, watching him really be the only one on the island thinking of ways to survive. Not only were they lost but there’s bugs with infectious viruses buzzing around and crazed man armed with a knife ready to take them out. JJ was realistic, knowing that if they had to do so to protect everyone else, they’d have to eliminate Paul. Telling your cousin you might have to kill his boyfriend is never fun, but Casey Moss delivered the material with this stern authority that didn’t feel wooden or corny. He actually felt like a leader. God knows these people need some kind of leader to follow on this damn island.

Lamon Archey’s Eli was great as always, but I feel bad that he just keeps finishing in last place. After giving Lani Price some advice on her slow relationship with JJ, the viewers were lead to believe she’d choose Eli in the end. Instead she talked things over with JJ and they reconnected. The latter mentioned pulling away emotionally and I wonder why that could be? There seems to be even more of an understated emotional depth to JJ, more than before but I can’t see what could be the cause of it. Well, other than Lani taking advantage of him when he was drunk and no one taking that seriously. I doubt DAYS would explore that angle as they don’t seem to think men can be raped, but it’d be interesting if they do even just a facet of that. JJ wants to be the hero but no one truly sees him as dependable just yet, wounding his self-confidence. Or something.

This reconciliation probably won’t last long though. Eli seems to understand Lani a lot and I hope the show gives us more of their conversations, because their talks show their personalities. Lani didn’t come onto our screens with one so it seems like the writers are using Eli to help build her character up. I don’t mind though! They’re pretty together, have chemistry and Eli would definitely take Lani downtown if she pulled another stunt like with JJ. And taking downtown is not a sex metaphor here. I’m referring to jail!

And Christopher Sean, thank you for committing 1000% to this jungle madness silliness. I also thank you for endangering Sonny Kiriakis’ life not once, but twice. It’s a shame you couldn’t finish the job!

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!