Parental control

by Tony
For the Week of April 12, 2010
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DAYS Two Scoops: Parental control
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After a long lull in the passenger's seat, Stefano finally regained control of the wheel last week, just in time to breeze through the finish line at the Master Manipulator Grand Prix.

Sadly, my streak of Scooping returns appears to be over for now. However, there was a comeback last week, of sorts. You see, after what seemed to be a long lull of watching him sit in the passenger's seat, Stefano "The Phoenix" DiMera regained control of the wheel and easily breezed through the finish line at the Master Manipulator Grand Prix. A bittersweet victory, perhaps, however this Scooper loved it! But needless to say, last week wasn't all "thumbs up," so let's discuss the hots, nots, and everything in between.

DAYS turned up the heat and successfully served up one tasty dish. But I shouldn't be surprised, as the ingredients were nearly foolproof. The writers started off with the delicious combination of Joseph Mascolo and Leann Hunley. That provided a wonderfully well-acted, history-based base for things to come!

Then when that base was ready, a generous portion of James Scott was added. And that worked, big time! The Joseph and James combo added serious depth to the character stew - levels of love and hatred that were impossible not to ask for a second helping of. And bonus points -- the dish had a nice garnish of eye-candy in the form of Steve Bruns (Marco). Sure it was gluttony, but I couldn't get enough - it was like an amazing acting smorgasbord.

But that's not all. By the end of Friday's episode, we got a preview of the dessert assured to complement the main course - Alison Sweeney. Joseph, James, and Ali all together is pretty much a guaranteed winner. Yes, things are certainly heating up in the DAYS kitchen, and I'm eager to see what they serve up next for this crew.

Of course, in addition to the ah-mazing performances, perhaps the part that put the best taste in my mouth was seeing Stefano return to the badass we always knew he was. He reminded everyone that he might be an old dog, but his tricks are just as powerful as ever. He was able to find Anna when no one else could. He recorded her statement on one of those newfangled laptops to ensure his victory. And, of course, he batted E.J. around like a puppy does with a chew toy until finally chomping down in a death grip. When things exploded, I simply yelled, "Now, THAT's a reveal!" More, please!

Ironically, I've joked that Sami has been turning into Marlena 2.0, but Doc Evans' shoes were really on her feet when she got a blast of Will's Old-School-Sami-like temper. Of course, in real life, I'd be appalled by a kid talking to their mother that way. Luckily, DAYS is about as far from real life as Vivian is from sanity and, because of that, I enjoyed the battle.

And like any battle, both sides made valid and ridiculous points. I won't get into them all, but Will's "you're living in Grandma Marlena's house" line made me chuckle. True, but in Sami's defense, she's Mar Mar's daughter and most mothers wouldn't let their kids go homeless, so she has every right to be there. Besides, I don't think Will was minding the free ride up until that minute.

But on a whole, anything Will said to Sami was like a soft giggle compared to the ear-piercing screeches Sami herself used to give Marlena, Roman, and John. Will took his sister for a stroll - he didn't sell her on the Black Market. Ouch, but true.

Furthermore, anyone in Salem, at any given time, has a fifty/fifty chance of running into an enemy on the pier. You see, the pier and Java Café seem to be on the way to, well, everything in Salem. Just walking out the door with Nicole on the loose was stacking the deck against Will. But, yes, all things considered, it really wasn't one of his brightest moves. Point, Sami.

However, the point that impressed me was the acting! Of course we all know Alison is amazing - and she was as usual - but Chandler Massey really flexed his acting chops for the first time since joining the show, and I was impressed. However, before I gush too much, let's discuss the weaker side of the argument.

There's the fact that Will moved out - again. That outcome was about as shocking as getting heartburn after guzzling a gallon of hot sauce. The kid has a habit of leaving home when he's upset (SEE: running away to Chicago; Switzerland). Yet Will picking the DiMera Mansion made me stop and go, "Hmm."

Initially, I was totally, "Writerssaywaht!?" And I immediately thought of a list of more suitable places. Off the top of my head came Roman's house, above the pub with Caroline, the Horton home with Alice, or even a dumpster behind Salem Place. If you take a gander at Will's profile, he's somehow related to nearly everyone in Salem, and surely someone who's less the root of his problems would be happy-ish to place him and his little 'tude.

Then I thought about it a little more and grew to like the idea. One of my problems with Will - in addition the teenage angst thingy - has been that he doesn't possess any real chutzpah and, sorry, but Sami and Lucas' kid should be anything by bland. At times, he is, when Will should really be the Luke Skywalker of DAYS - mostly strong with the Brady/Horton goody two-shoes force, but also intrigued by the dark Roberts side. If having him live with Grammy Kate and Pappy Stefano molds him into a mini-meanie with a heart of gold, it could make his character a bit more interesting. We'll see.

I'll be honest, as much as I enjoyed Dr. Mom and Dad's operation with would-be Nurse Mel on the sidelines cheering them on, I think this storyline is moving a bit too quickly, and that's something I don't say very often. The upside is it's not postponing the inevitable. That being Mel and Carly working things out in a big old "aw, shucks" hug fest. They're not there yet, but I don't need the Magic 8-Ball to tell me that's where things are headed.

The downside to warp-speed is the dumb-ing down of the characters involved. Carly is like a drooling zombie whose main purpose is to get Mel to accept her. The Chloemeister is only worried about keeping Carly away from her man. Oh, and her "full-time job" of being Dr. Dan's soon-to-be-wife. Huh? Exactly. Then there's Mel, who's basically a spastic bag of giggles and groans. Daddy - good! Mommy - boo! I completely understand why Philip constantly looks confused.

Surprisingly, Dr. Dan is the only one who seems to get the oddity of it all, and his surfer dude attitude is just what this storyline needs right now - to lay back and "go with the flow." Soap fans are dedicated - we're not going anywhere. And I for one would rather watch a multilayered storyline unfold naturally over time rather than the outline of a hasty plot which is wasting a lot of talented actors' talents.

Bo and Carly's excitement about their "date night" was swell, but, on the whole, I'm not overly excited about them just yet. Honestly, it has absolutely nothing to do with being a "Bope" fan and everything to do with finding them awkward together, which is odd because I do find that Peter and Crystal have chemistry. Maybe it was just switched off the day they taped those scenes, but I thought the first part of their date was painfully uncomfortable.

Okay, now, I know it was supposed to be, but it transcended "cute-uncomfortable" and went directly to "ugh-uncomfortable." Ironically, the second part was pretty much a big game of "I wonder what would have happened if..." That all makes me wonder - if they're off in the present and the past has long since been buried and resurrected and buried again, what's the draw in investing in their future?

Sure, I could have slapped this under the "Loose Ends" section, but part of me just wanted to write a section entitled "Kimberly" as I never thought I'd have the chance! With that said, my beloved Brady sister has leukemia. Now, as much as I feel cheated about not being able to see Patsy Pease play out such a powerful storyline, I'll give the writers a pass because, let's face it, for Bo to leave, it had to be a big deal, and saving his big sis is the perfect excuse.

Furthermore, I have to give huge props to the writers - I was thoroughly impressed that they had Bo speak to Dr. Dan about his prior pancreas problem and the potential obstacles that could cause for him to donate bone marrow to Kimberly. I thought that part of Bo's past was going to be Cassie-Bradied. So, kudos writing team! Plus, touches like explaining Caroline's absence and Father Matt honoring Kim with a mass are great. Yep, this is quickly turning out to be one of the best little sub-storylines we'll never see.

So, Judge Madeline Petersen-Woods is now presiding. I'll bite - I'm intrigued. First off, Jessica Tuck seems like she's going to be a fun actress to watch. Second, I like the direction the character is taking. Madeline possesses a stern, perfectionist façade reminiscent of Desperate Housewives' Bree Van de Camp. And just like Bree, you know there's going to be a huge 'ole mess under the polished décor. Finally, I'm extremely curious to find what connection she has with Kate, which I suspect will be part of the aforementioned mess! Yes, I'm definitely intrigued!

Ironically, Madeline's entrance was a result of what the not-so-intriguing Rafe may or may not have done to her husband. To backtrack, Charles is a real s-of-a-b, huh!? Chad isn't an angel - we knew that - but it's pretty despicable how Charles treated him. In fact, I sort of gained sympathy for Chad and became more invested in what happens to him. And in the interest of full disclosure, I like Chad and Gabi together, so I think I'm going to like where things are headed.

However, to take the good, you have to take the bad, and that bad fact of life is Rafe. His attitude last week is exactly why I can't stand the character. Hope - who's only been nice to him and even rallied for him to get a job with the Salem P.D. - tried to help him. And of course Rafe was totally appreciative and tried to cooperate as much as possible. And by that I mean he was a total arrogant douchebag towards her. Guilty or not, I wouldn't mind seeing Rafe head up the river, with or without a nock to his noggin with a brick first.

To end this section on a better note, I'm glad the writers didn't pull a "Mel and Steph" with Chad and Will. When asked, Chad basically told his mother he knew Will, but they weren't friends. Sure, a small victory, but I'll take it.

Nicole cracks me up! The gal is out of jail for a week - after stealing Brady's niece - then asks him for a job. HA! Who does that? Well, Nicole, obviously, and Ari obviously wasn't having it. They're proving to be entertaining sparring partners. And I fully agree with Laurisa, "The more of this pair, the better."

One of my favorite sitcoms is Strangers with Candy. In an episode entitled, "The Blank Stare," the main character is recruited into a cult because - how do I put this delicately? - well, because she's sort of a weak-minded nitwit. Let's just say on DAYS it appears that Vivian is going to play the part of the cult while Chloe stars as the nitwit...a role that will be a HUGE stretch for her. Odd, but interesting - I'm in.

"Dear Viewers, by the way, Lucas is in China! XOXO, the writers." Gee, thanks for the Post-It explanation, guys. Glad that one's cleared up.


The Anna/Stefano and Stefano/E.J. scenes are a given, already raved about "Hot," so I'm going with the surprising "Hot" - seeing Abe go ballistic on D.A. Woods! THAT was impressive, especially since Abe has been so cautious about rocking the political boat (even at the expense of his longtime friends). For him to stand up to Woods made me stand up and give Mayor Carver three "hip-hip-hurrahs!"

The week progressed along quite nicely until Stephanie and Nathan popped up at the Cheatin' Heart and turned my smile upside down. Ugh, they're like the poster children for settling. But I'm not sure which one is worse - Nathan who blatantly wants Mel and is settling for Steph or Steph who accepts that. Worse, there was that brief moment in which Steph was smart enough to say Nate's not the only man in the world, only to be followed by her saying what the heck and sucking face with him. I repeat, "Ugh."

Chloe (responding to Nicole's claim that she needs to get Carly out of Daniel's life): "How? Wait! Do you have any leftover flesh-eating bacteria?"

Brady: "What's the big deal about honeymoons? You didn't go on a honeymoon."
Melanie: "Yeah, but I was shot."

I believe DAYS writers read Two Scoops because each week Hope is thankfully getting more old-school Hope-ier. Thanks, pals!

E.J. referring to Kate as his ex-girlfriend was hysterical!

I heard the term "Titan TV" more than once last week. Hmm, is that a subplot I smell brewing?

I think Mel "Premiere Party Girl" Kiriakis does actually have a little on-camera experience.

Is Madeline sure Rafe's an FBI agent with "an amazing record"? Didn't he get, last year?

Also, Maddie, if I may, how is Gabi "too young" for Chad? Aren't they in the same grade or, at least, both high school students? I'd say Mama Woods needs to have a chat with Philip regarding what's too young and what's not.

So, friends and DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of April 12. If you haven't yet, make sure to rock the All-Soaps Dankie vote! The polls are open until Sunday, April 25. Laurisa will be back next week with an all new Scoops, and, "That's a fact."

Need more Two Scoops? Head over to read blogs by Laurisa or Tony for more ranting, raving, and all-out randomness

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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