Days of Our Lives has taken my advice and really kept the solid drama going for another week. Thanksgiving came a little late to Salem but even so, it was nice to actually see it happen. The new writers seem to be making a push to bring holidays and family time back to the show that had been lacking it off and on for too long. I can appreciate the effort, especially when it brought together so many of our favorite faces. Still, the holiday was a bit of a blip on the radar as other storylines happened around or outside of it. Some of my favorite moments this week really had nothing to do with Thanksgiving at all and I’m so thankful that. I’m still full from last Thursday! Let’s get into some highlights from last week in Salem, USA!
Days of our Lives Week In Review for the episodes that aired November 28th-December 2nd.
Like a Big Boy
Isn’t it about time Joey Johnson begin behaving like someone his age? On the one hand, having male characters express emotion when the going gets rough is commendable. Far too often our favorite soap opera men are super spy or ruthless CEO machines, so a little vulnerability is appreciated by soap fans. But Joey Johnson’s situation is a very special one. I’ve never seen a teen boy on TV so over emotional, so coddled and fragile that his parents have literally become his shadow. Joey’s surprise pregnancy story with Jade played out this week to very little fanfare especially when he whined his way through it all.
Their story kicked off on the Thanksgiving holiday when a few of Salem’s closest families came together to celebrate at the Brady Pub, What’sl eft of the Bradys, Johnson and Carvers were set to celebrate when Jade Michaels showed up ready to crash. To anyone who has read any of my columns, you all understand that I have major love for Claire Brady. Like a total boss, she came to check Jade immediately for her intrusion on what was supposed to be a family day. She also had no clue her cousin Joey had gotten back together with Jade because of this pregnancy, so she tore into Jade about the breakup too. Her character may be hilariously messy, but I was rooting for Claire to throttle Jade – at least metaphorically since she does seem to actually be with child. The Johnsons had planned to keep the unwanted pregnancy quiet, in the immediate family but backing Jade into a corner only ever means she’ll snap back in the worst way. She went ahead to tell the entire room she and Joey were happily expecting. Claire and Kayla Brady were ready to slap her lights out then.
There’s absolutely nothing subtle about Jade’s approach to finding a new place to live. She’s always been a wild child but her father recently reached his breaking point with her and kicked her out. Then suddenly she’s pregnant, couch surfing and dropping loud hints about missing a family environment. I love that Kayla is suspicious of this girl, she’s given Joey’s mother no reason to want to believe and support her. Jade had practically sold her son into a cult for a few weeks, she should be questioning this girl’s every move. Then we have Steve Johnson who’s just supporting all of this. Now is totally not the right time to play the cool dad, Steve. The two of them together are so “Team Joey” that it’s getting creepy. Support your son but don’t baby him, not when he just might be having a baby on the way!
Killing Ava Vitali seems to be when the character of Joey really took a turn. He committed a huge crime, the fact that his personality changed and his emotions became all the more fragile in the face of that make a lot of real life sense. But he served no jail time for the teen, no punishment (was Joey even grounded?) or repercussions because his parents cradled him the entire way. Much like they’re doing with the pregnancy now. This is no way to parent a child, especially when he seems to make mistake after mistake. He needs to be taught some serious lessons. I’d love to see Grandma Caroline Brady return and be the one to whip him into shape in the end since his parents aren’t doing it.
And speaking of Joey’s parents, I would have enjoyed their angst filled fighting to have been on the subject of their parenting. Kayla complaining about Steve’s constant need for adventure when she took part in a good number of them was so silly, so contrived. She wasn’t a middle-aged housewife her entire life! The two of them clashing on the fact that Steve is too soft on their son while Kayla might be too harsh would be a realistic cause of tension. I don’t think Kayla wants to just let any of this slide like Steve is, that’s why she’s doing everything she can to stop Jade in her tracks. It’s clear she can see the girl is making moves – to move into their home and reap the benefits of their family’s hard work. Make that into the couple’s conflict and that might make this story not only more realistic, but relevant in 2016 where teenage pregnancy no longer carried the huge stigma it once did. Sometimes DAYS forgets we’re in a whole new millennium and all.