Days of Our Lives is still desperately in need of that creative overhaul. Thank goodness it’s only about three weeks away now. Pretty soon our screens will be filled with old lovable faces and hopefully some compelling stories in place of the non-stories we’ve had to watch for the last few months. Some soap Twitter users hilariously wondered if TomSell (Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell) were even working during their last month of writing for the long-running show; rampant with repetitive conversations, unwanted couples and downright unnecessary characters, one really has to wonder!
It took a while but I managed to find a highlight or two from this last week. The definite standout was the flawlessly angsty scenes with Chad and Abigail, miles ahead of anything else that aired alongside it. I just can’t stop gushing!
Marriage is a Quick Death
My problems with the character of Abigail Devereaux aside, her scenes with Chad Dimera at the end of the week were stunning! Not only did they pour on the angst and romance that we’ve all been craving on DAYS but the scenes themselves were visually gorgeous! From lighting to camera angles, I couldn’t help but mentally applaud these changes that must have been a part of the new head writers’ re-shoots. Everything was looking particularly lush! After years of bland color palettes, it was like a little feast for the eyes. If this is but a taste of what’s in store for us DAYS viewers in three weeks, I don’t know how I’ll be able to handle the full changeover.
No one has seemed to learn their lesson about Will Horton’s big mouth because this week, it seemed all of the younger Salemites were voicing their issues to him. On a matter I’ll speak about later, Will’s actually taken a bit of a turn for the better – just a bit – as he kept his friends’ secrets to himself instead of publishing them. Chad admitted to his longtime friend that he was still in love with Abigail and wanted his help with setting them up again. Obviously Will didn’t turn his friend down, especially not after seeing the Dimera heir’s softer side as he played the good uncle to Ariana Grace while lamenting over the loss of his own Grace. I was on a DAYS hiatus at the time the tragic story of Grace Brady was airing but I do know the story, and even with recasts in the current roles, Will and Chad’s pain over the past was poignant and real. Chad’s vulnerability was what ultimately got Will to plead to Abigail for his friend’s sake which delivered a soap meeting from the gods.
There’s screaming and shouting but its Chad’s sincerity that begins to win Abigail over. It was so much fun watching the wheels in Abigail’s head begin to spin, trying to think of how she could be happy with her true love without hurting Ben Weston – and the baby she’s carrying. There’s really nothing like a great push-and-pull romance and if someone had told me two years ago that Chad and Abigail would be that budding super couple in conflict, I would have laughed in their faces. The combination of Kate Mansi and Billy Flynn is a deadly one, there’s just so much chemistry. I honestly held my breath when they were about to kiss – just as Ben had tracked his girlfriend down to Will’s place using his stalker app. An utter mood killer!
I have nothing against Ben but this week proved he’ll be nothing more than just third wheel to all that is Chabby. He cemented that by taking his father’s poor advice and popping the question with a hand me down ring (and knowing Clyde Weston, the diamond’s either fake or one of Serena Mason’s blood diamonds). I’m not sure if the proposal was meant to be clunky and laughable but wow… It was a mess. Abigail barely knew how to respond (I don’t think she really responded) especially after she had her emotional world stirred by Chad’s confession. She’s a woman who needs to make a decision and soon with her baby’s paternity results arriving soon, but just who will she choose? A marriage to Ben is sure to be doomed, in real life Abigail would have abandoned him by now but conflicted women in soaps tend to settle for the baby’s sake. Now Clyde’s got his hands on the hospital’s lab staff so who knows if she’ll even receive real results. Speaking of Clyde, does anyone find it odd that this man is manipulating the situation to keep his son with Abigail instead of pushing him away from the “Dimera whore?” Maybe he’s privy on the information about her rich Irish land…
I have to give kudos to Days of Our Lives when it comes to their gay characters. Correct me if I’m wrong, but they’re one of the few shows who really made their gay characters just like every other straight character on canvas. Will Horton and Sonny Kiriakis had their marital issues, baby mama drama and everything else to be expected of hetero relationships. Save for a few hecklers early on in the relationship, Will and Sonny were widely accepted in Salem.
But in soap opera land, there needs to be conflict and for a while, the gays of DAYS had none outside of their own creations. Sonny echoed every viewers’ thoughts this last week by calling the four of them boring. Outside of work, bringing the baby to the sitters and tattling on one another, they never did much else. Thus a boys’ night was crafted up to go along with Will’s transparent, desperate plot to keep Sonny and Paul Narita from falling for each other. Derrick was added to the mix to keep Paul’s attention off of Will’s husband and with a bit of Will’s coaching, Derrick was ready to move in on the ex-baseball player. The four guys hit up Victor Kiriakis’ club (mistake number one: where are the gay bars?!) for a fun night out. But instead Derrick broke into talk about how hard it was coming out, how his family disowned him for it and totally set the wrong mood for the night. Mistake number two!
Later in the night, a gang of homophobes approached famous face Paul and started to tear into him, eventually dragging in his “girlfriend” Sonny and later Will and Derrick. At first, I found the scene a bit laughable considering they continued to hurl the so-called insult “fairy” at them. In my head, I reasoned that it was daytime TV and they had to tread around these issues softly – until the other f-word dropped and so did my jaw! What an awful word but in the scene it had great impact, becoming a catalyst for a brawl between the gay men and their harassers. And of course, little orphan Derrick had to be the first casualty! After Papa John stood up for his son, got the attackers out and the four men went their separate ways, Derrick won in the end with a squeal-worthy kiss from Paul in the park. Though I know we’ll probably lose Derrick when the new regime begins airing, I can’t help but want more of him with Paul. In a way, it’s a shame that Paul is going to take Derrick immediately to bed instead of truly connecting with him. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait for the impending topless scenes but I would have loved to see the two of them bond more over Derrick’s past abuse and Paul trying to come to terms with being different in society’s eyes. Paul first came to Salem as a big playboy but now he’s a bit of a big softie. I want to know more about how he’s adjusting to his new life. But did anyone else question the fact that Sonny was strolling through Murder Central Park (where he was stabbed!) with his daughter? I digress!
This last week with the four gay characters was more interesting than a lot of things they’ve done in weeks. From that brawl, a lot of interesting bits seemed to have branched off like John wondering if he turned his son gay (Rookie Dad of a Gay Son Mistake), Sonny’s obvious discomfort with Paul moving on and the fact that the entire night itself might have been set up by Will! Even the attack! He was over-exaggerating during the fight, making me question if it was just a ploy to get Derrick and Paul connecting emotionally. If so, I applaud him. Finally he’s making big Sami Brady moves!
This week, Chloe and Nicole are at each other’s necks, Theresa continues to scheme to be by Brady’s side and Serena gets ready to leave Salem! Check our Days of Our Lives Spoilers for more on what’s ahead.
Photos courtesy of NBC.