Christmas with Clay

I don’t remember too many celebrity appearances on Days back when I was watching in the 80’s. In the past year I’ve seen the Rolling Stones, Donald Trump, Smokey Robinson, and Clay Aiken. Am I forgetting anyone?

Most of these must involve cross-promotion in some way–Donald Trump, certainly, was on an NBC show. (I always thought Days missed an opportunity to have Matt LeBlanc as the smell-the-fart acting protegee Dr. Drake Romoray, but perhaps Matt didn’t want to do it.) Smokey Robinson’s Kennedy Center award whatever whatever was mentioned heavy-handedly— incidentally I caught some of that show, and sharply regretted that Days didn’t get another Kennedy Center honoree, my fave Dolly Parton, instead. Now that would have been good TV. Can you imagine Dolly eying up Steve, or John, or Bo, or EJ? Ah, delicious. But whatever these guest stars are getting in the way of money would be better directed elsewhere. Locations, sets, and music could all benefit from an infusion of cash.

I was not familiar with Clay Aiken, except by reputation. I have to say the choice is an odd one, particularly for Steve and Kayla. The lyrics to “Everything I Have” were somewhat apropos, perhaps, but Steve seems far too bluesy and far too cool to be a fan of Mr. Sincerity. But there is an element of cheese to the Steve and Kayla saga, much as it pains me to admit it. It was never my favorite aspect, but I certainly had to listen to “If Your Heart Comes Out Tonight” often enough to be aware of the cheese factor.

The gritty realism (in soap terms) of their initial love story—the low-class thug who hustled pool for money, the middle class nurse who was afraid of him, who was attracted to him and wanted to help him against her better judgment—all got swept away by their popularity. Then it was nothing but high romance 24/7. So by their wedding day, we got Kayla getting her voice back just in time to say her vows, and Steve finding enough money from some mysterious source to fund a surprise dream wedding and an extravagant honeymoon to the Orient. I was always disappointed by that. How much sweeter it would have been, I thought, to have them get married simply, because they really didn’t have money, and be transcendently happy anyway? But perhaps the powers that be were afraid that wouldn’t be enough of a payoff for the long wait, not to mention attracting what I hear was the all-time high in Days ratings.

But I’m wandering off the topic. The Very Brady Christmas, nice as it was, was overshadowed by the novelty of seeing a Very Horton anything these days. It was nice to remember that Shawn and Claire are Hortons, through Hope. And Lucas, though I still resent the retconning of the affair Kate supposedly had with Bill Horton. Seeing Julie and Doug was a treat (and they look terrific, by the way). And I actually teared up when Hope put her arm around Chelsea and kissed her cheek.

Now the feel-good holidays are over—yes yes, thank you Hogan— and I’m ready for the adventure to heat up. Sami is helping to set up EJ, John is trying to do what he does best despite the whinings of his freakishly young-looking bride, Hope has been kidnapped by Patrick but is keeping her cool, Patrick is being a wonderful mixed-motives villian,  and Bo and Steve and John are EJ’s next targets! (Apparently he’s not a fan of supercouples.)  And the preview for tomorrow brings Benjy back!  I think January is going to be soapy heaven.

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