Soaps

‘Days of Our Lives’ Week In Review: Not Without My Daughter

Teen Dream

Belle returns to visit Claire. (Courtesy JPI)

Salem teens are living the dream! Living away from home with significant others in a rent free loft? If only it were so easy! Wrangling up all of Salem’s teenagers and sticking them into a house on their own is probably the best idea the show runners have had in a while. In real life a situation like that could prove to be problematic, but in soap operas it’ll be all that and more but hopefully entertaining too! There are still many DAYS fans that have not warmed up to the SORASed teen set. For me, Kyler Pettis’ Theo Carver and Olivia Rose Keegan’s Claire Brady (even though the writers can’t seem to decide what to do with her) are clear standouts in the group. Everyone else can kick rocks. But since that won’t happen any time soon, the best possible scenario is making sure they mainly interact with one another instead of jumping into storylines of older characters. At the start, the green teens mingled with vets in a sort of crash course test but that was only detrimental to the teens’ characters. They got to play in big storylines but never got to build on who these teens are, I think over a year later we’ll finally get to understand their personalities by seeing them interact as roommates.

Again, there really was not much that happened this week with anyone but the teens were like a blip on the radar. I know of a lot of people that were happy about that but personally, I wanted to see more of their interactions in their new place. Moving into the new teen loft showed some of the most genuine interactions I’ve ever seen with these characters. It was like a writer finally realized that the teens were introduced to the show so unceremoniously and have had little development since that introduction – and now they’re getting their own mini reboot!

The dynamics between the five teens are actually pretty varied with lots of possibility. Ciara and Claire Brady against Jade Michaels while feuding over Theo, Joey Johnson caught in between and Theo just happy to be given the chance to break out on his own. Talk about a dysfunctional family unit. This arrangement is exactly what these characters needed and the show as well. Watching them be dropped into adult storylines so early on just felt wrong, their dialogue and actions felt so unnatural compared to how modern teens really are; there was just this huge, glaring disconnect that can hopefully get repaired in their time co-habitating. I’m excited to see how it all plays out.

Chloe convinces Belle to represent her. (Courtesy JPI)

Ciara and Claire’s relationship is easily the most interesting part of the scenario. Ciara is an absolute bore and Claire’s changed from the odd girl to the social media obsessed shallow girl but there’s potential in their little feud as well as their friendship. I wish they would acknowledge the fact that Ciara is Claire’s aunt, that the former would try to use that against the latter as she continues on her thinly veiled campaign to come between Claire and Theo. There was a hint of that when Belle and Shawn Brady and Abe Carver came to help the teens settle in. Ciara went to unpack with Belle and wound up unloading all of the frustrations she had with Claire onto her mother. Since the two girls are technically now in the same age group, I can see how it can feel like a violation and a total snitch move but Ciara’s also on this different level where in a sense, she should have some authority over Claire. Not that Claire would ever let her peer walk all over her. It reminds me a bit of Hope Williams and Julie Olson’s relationship, sisters and step-mother and daughter who are sometimes buddies and sometimes at odds but with this mutual respect. Only in soap opera land could relationships like this be considered normal – and even appear more than once in the same family.

Belle, Abe and Shawn commiserating over having to let their young adults fly the nest was so heart warming to see. I’m sure there were parents watching who could relate to those same feelings, hoping and praying their kids don’t screw up while trying to not tell them to not screw up to keep from pushing them away. The family element was strong in these scenes. The Brady, Black and Carver clan has been closely intertwined for years. If I remember, Belle used to call Abe “uncle” back in the day (and Shawn even referred to Ciara as his sister for once!). These scenes with the parents of the teens just prove that these characters need to be on our screens more than they are now. Belle and Shawn are legacy characters and are treated like afterthoughts in comparison to retconned inventions like Deimos or Daniel. Martha Madison and Brandon Beemer always get the short end of their respective sticks on this show. The actors have grown into the roles, taken the characters and put their stamps on them all while having naturally hot chemistry on screen. These are the characters that should be at the forefront!

But I digress for now. I’m going to take what I can get when it comes to Belle and Shawn for the time being. It’s clear that Dena Higley never cared much for the characters so with her gone, maybe the tides will finally change six months down the line. I’d love to finally see Shawn, Belle and Claire as a happy family unit after years of turmoil.

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 TVSource Magazine as a staff writer in October 2014. Prior to TVSource Magazine, he's written for and moderated Asian entertainment blogs and forums. On top of writing duties, Coryon is also a panelist for the TVSource Podcast and Soap Countdown Podcast.