Tick-tock, tick-talk

by Tony
For the Week of July 19, 2010
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DAYS Two Scoops: Tick-tock, tick-talk
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The week of July 19, 2010
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The best part about Hope-Gate starting to unravel is the fact that the obvious isn't being overlooked any longer. Hope is not acting like Hope, and people are finally starting to notice.

Nat King Cole once sang of those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. I don't think he had Days of our Lives on his mind, but his lyrics sort of applied to life in Salem last week nonetheless. There was a lot of crazy, definitely some hazy, and a touch of lazy - lazy writing, that is.

In the interest of full disclosure, I think some of the writers got a little bit too much sun lately. A few of them seemed to forget to write new dialogue for certain storylines. But on the flipside, other plots made me stop to ponder what will happen next. So, let's grab some lemonade, put on our sunscreen, and jump onto the hammock to discuss the hot and sticky icky of last week.

If actions really do speak louder than words, no one told the writers that. This storyline had some interesting bits and pieces, but, on the whole, lacked a little something called progress. Not much changed between Monday and Friday. Nope, not at all. There were a lot of recycled conversations and silly stall tactics. For goodness' sakes, a stall tactic was interrupted by another stall tactic - a snow leopard giving birth at the zoo!? Yes, really - that happened.

But I'm a daytime fan. I'm a trouper. I'll stand by my soap like Tammy Wynette stands by her man. And besides, I expect a certain amount of looking at my watch while waiting for things to happen, knowing that the storyline ball won't really start rolling until a little time known as Sweeps.

In the meantime, we all have to wait. We wait while being teased by Sami's ping-ponging libido - will it be "EJami" or "Safe"? We wait while Nicole and E.J. decide how to handle each other. We wait for tiny little nuggets of storyline progress and great acting that make our hour a day in Soap Land worth the wait.

And while some of that waiting was too much for me to handle last week - for instance, all five days of Nicole and E.J. exchanging threats - there were enough aforementioned bits and pieces that made it worth it. I just hope the writers remember that the audience does have a memory. In fact, daytime fans have great memories. We'll recall last week's dialogue next week, should we hear it again.

That lack of progress thingy I just mentioned doesn't exactly pertain to this storyline. True, not a lot was made, but just like darkening, swirling skies before a storm, things are certainly brewing. Hope's odd behavior is finally on several Salemites' Doppler radars. And for this storyline, that's good news.

The best part about Hope-Gate starting to unravel is the fact that the obvious isn't being overlooked any longer. Hope is not acting like Hope. I'm glad someone got around to noticing. Thank you, Adrienne. Sure, Laurisa and I have been saying that since last year when she walked out on Bo, but I digress. Hope's loved ones are worried and, of course, they should be.

But while they talk about her mood swings and that she's a non-game player, other things are happening, too. For one, Justin and Adrienne are spending time together, and we're finally getting a little glimpse as to why they divorced. That had always puzzled me, as they were one of the great Salem supercouples. Then again, so were Bo and Hope...I'll move on - getting to watch them interact and seeing them fight is somewhat of a blank that's being filled in. Sure, I'm still rooting for their reconciliation, but a little storyline clarity is okay in my book.

As for Hope, she's far from okay. She's actually a ticking time bomb. Ironically, she doesn't know that she has nearly all of Salem in her corner. Bo's worried. Adrienne's concerned. And even Doc Baker is wringing his hands as to what will happen to her.

In the meantime, what she's planning to do to Bo is the real killer question! What exactly is on that shopping list? Meredith's Rafe-bashing brick? The knife Carly used to kill Lawrence? Carly's walkie-talkie-ready-coffin? Duct tape and feathers? More importantly, will Pill-popping Hope succeed, or will someone save her from herself - can Bo be her hero and her victim at the same time?

I feel bad for shady ladies in Salem. They always seem to die from a fall of some sort. Lauren Chaffee and Willow Stark are the first two fallen skanks that come to mind, but I'm sure there were more. Can we now add her honor, Appellate Court Judge Madeline "I Was Shafted Out of a Better Storyline" Petersen-Woods, Esquire, to that list? Stay tuned to find out!

What I can tell you is that I'm awfully disappointed in this storyline. It wasn't bad in an Alex North kind of way, but it wasn't outstanding either. And that's sad because it should have been. Actually, everything was in place to make it memorable. Let's look at the checklist:

  • Joseph Mascolo? Check!
  • Lauren Koslow? Check!
  • Emmy-Nominated Jessica Tuck? Check!
  • Chandler Massey and Casey Deidrick's interesting chemistry? Check and check!
  • Vets meet Teen Scene in an interesting way? Check!
  • Mysterious secret past connections? Check!

    Yep, that seemed like a great list, so what the check happened to this storyline? Well, that's a no-brainer - the big miss was the lack of screen-time. Once a week or so does not a storyline make. Not only did that cause things to be rushed and a bit predictable, but it also robbed viewers of the chance to get to know Madeline. And knowing her was a big key to this storyline's success.

    Granted, we know Chad (to some degree), and his mother's accident will certainly put him through the ringer, but I want to feel bad for her as well. Not only did Madeline have connection to two pretty awesome vets, but she had potential longevity if the cards would have been played right. A Bree van de Camp-esque judge with a shady past and connections to long-standing citizens like Kate and Stefano should have been enough to keep her busy for years. I bet she and Victor even crossed paths at some point, too. But nope, the writers were lazy and phoned in the default "she was a hooker" secret past, and that's that. Boo! Kimberly Brady called. She wants her storyline back.

    Of course every cloud has its silver lining - even former prostitute clouds. In addition to some great performances, this storyline has created some interesting set-ups. Just what is Madeline's other, non-whorey secret? Will this non-whorey secret tear Kate and Stefano apart since she was privy to it? Just how close will new friends Chad and Will get? What will Charles do when he finds out Madeline's secrets? Will he blame Chad for Madeline's fall? I bet so, but what will Chad do about it? And is Charles REALLY Chad's father!? If these questions are answered and not lazily scribbled down, the next chapter of this saga should be a bit less frustrating.

    Speaking of frustrating, I'd been wondering what happened to Philip's prosthetic leg, but it's clear that it's been replaced by a bionic one straight out of a Sci-Fi movie. Think Luke Skywalker's hand circa The Empire Strikes Back. Not only has he dashed up stairs and run on treadmills in the past, but last week he performed moves right out the Matrix. I mean, really, the man can dodge a question like a pro.

    Then again, Philip's deceptive skills don't surprise me considering his parents are Victor and Kate. Plus he also spent nine months in Vivian's personal spa and incubation center and probably absorbed a devious gene or two. But whereas Philip can dodge what's being hurled at him, I can't. And I'm not entirely sure I'm happy about that right now.

    On the whole, this storyline is what it's supposed to be - a secret-laden rollercoaster ride with unsuspecting victims, guilt-ridden wrong-doers with sultry secrets, and a "Who's the Daddy?" twist. But it's not twisting and turning. It's stalled. It's like we were clinking and clanking our way up the big hill - ready for the big thrill - and the cart stopped. And it stayed stopped.

    Now, the acting has been great, and something's working on some level because I actually like Dr. Dan these days, but the good doctor said it best when he mentioned that Philip sure has a lot of extra time on his hands and seems to do nothing more than hang out with Chloe. Yep, I'm pretty sure Dr. Dan reads Two Scoops because Laurisa and I have both made that complaint before.

    With that said, this storyline's "big picture" scares me a bit. Whereas Dr. Dan and Chloe have become a bit more likeable, it hasn't been doing any favors for Philip, Melanie, Stephanie, Nathan, or even Carly. They're all in this "rinse and repeat" limbo that's also making them all seem a bit dumber than they should be.

    Take Melanie. She might have seen the light thanks to Maggie, but look at Julie, for example. Ms. Williams is a former schemer who's turned over a new leaf, but she's still able to sniff out a scheme like a bloodhound. Therefore Melanie's newfound naivety has me worried. Do the writers really want us to believe she can't sense something's off with Philip since he's a blatant ball of spasticness who's jumpier than the former hooker near a staircase? Even Stephanie's picked that up.

    My advice is simple - this storyline needs to have more going for it! We need subplots and parallel storylines to distract us. Trust us, we know Chloe's not sure who the baby's father is. We've seen the flashback. We've seen it. Now we need to see more - more of Philip doing something other than pouting, more of Melanie acting like the smart tough cookie she used to be, and more of Carly actually working on something other than her Girl Scout Guilt Badge. More action, less repeat - got it writers? Good!


    Don't look now, but I think the smart, sassy Sami finally made a Salem cameo. She added E.J.'s one to Nicole's one and came up with those two are trouble. Amen! Granted, she still has a way to go before she'll resemble the Sami we once knew, but the past few weeks have been a great start at upping her I.Q. again. More, please!

    Really, I mean, really! Why the holy heck are Brady and Arianna STILL having a breakup conversation!? Can someone please explain to me why a couple who have done little more than breakup and have make-up sex for over a year are still chatting and getting copious amounts of screen-time while potentially juicy storylines like Stefano, Kate, and Madeline's secret past had to feed on five-minute here-and-there scraps?

    Victor (to Brady, regarding his heartache): "You're like your mother. You feel things. I don't know what that's like, but I'm sure it's not much fun."

    Wow! Philip brought up Belle. That's been a while. Then again, he also called his son Pocket, which makes me think giving him up was in Tyler's best interest.

    Hearing Victor say "Bite me" and "super jerk" totally turned my frown upside down.

    Every time that Nicole and Sami talk, I have one thought - she slept with your dad!

    Hmm, I wonder if Abe will start putting on red lipstick and hanging out with Dr. Baker?

    So, friends and DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of July 19th. Hopefully, temperatures outside will cool off, and the ones on-screen will heat up again soon. We need more hot and sticky and less hot-mess and icky. Daysologist Laurisa will be back next week with the latest forecast! 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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