I am now the proud owner of Steve and Kayla DVDs from June 1986 to December 1987.
I’m just beginning to dip into them, mostly watching the Johnson family storyline from February 1987, which is where I am in my S&K analysis. But I watched bits and pieces of the others, mostly to check on the quality, and the person who did them was very generous about including key scenes from other storylines (I consider it generous, that is, and not as stealing valuable DVD space from my couple!!!!), that directly or indirectly affected the Steve and Kayla storyline. For example, I got to see Shane see the picture of little Teddy and recognize him as Andrew. And sometimes too, though it isn’t included on purpose, the recording runs on a little too long into the following scene.
Anyway, I’m getting a huge kick out of being reminded of minor plots and characters who I haven’t thought about in years. I should probably wait until I’ve watched more, since I will undoubtedly discover more tidbits, but I just had to share some random thoughts.
Marlena was kidnapped by Orpheus and held in a beautiful flower garden, complete with a flower tucked picturesquely behind her ear. As kidnappings go, it didn’t look half bad. And two angelic children for her to pass the time with. WTF?
Apparently the show decided that Kim hadn’t suffered enough, with her son kidnapped and being in prison for a crime she didn’t commit, and decided to introduce a new character in prison to torment her. This crazy lady with even crazier hair took an instant dislike to Kim, and used her position of petty authority to make her life miserable.
Speaking of Kim, she’s the type of heroine who is the most difficult to play, the good girl who suffers a lot. It’s very easy for these characters to come across as spineless and pathetic. But with Kim we’re given a scene like the one where she visits Emma Marshall in the mental hospital. (I can’t remember exactly what Emma was doing there, but it had something to do with getting off a criminal charge by pleading insanity.) Kim, with tears seeping down her cheeks, nonetheless generates a chilling intensity as she says, “I want you to remember this. What goes around, comes around.”
I’ve come clean here before about my Britta-love, for which I must now hang my head even further in shame. As I said, my DVDs are generous with the extra scenes, so I’m able to see for the first time in 21 years scenes of Lars and Britta by themselves. I think Stephen Nichols raised everyone’s game, because Britta and even Lars aren’t half bad with him, but alone together they’re a study in bad, bad soap acting. Not to mention the icky incestuous vibe to their scenes! Shirtless Lars weeps copiously while Britta caresses his shoulders and breathes like a porn actress, “I’m soooo proud of you because you’re the best dancer in the wooooorld.”
When Justin first came to town he set out to meet and seduce Melissa, because she was a beautiful!famous!dancer! And speaking of Melissa, I forgot about the friendship/cousinship between Melissa and Hope. I didn’t hate Melissa, as I now know many did. With Pete (at least later), with Lars, yeah. But she’s very appealing in her scenes with Hope and with her parents.
I forgot how incredibly beautiful Kristian Alphonso was back then. Seeing her with a crystal clear picture on my television (instead of my computer) makes me remember why I had a girl-crush on her. Actually, seeing all the Salem ladies from back then is a treat. Mary Beth Evans’s big blue eyes and perfect complexion. And before she got a generic 80’s ‘do, Melissa’s long thick red hair was the envy of my teenage self.
Not to mention how yummy Stephen Nichols is. Those jeans! But I must say that on the big(ger) screen his mullets are terrifying. I love the longer hair and thought I was used to the mullet, but around the time of the Adrienne storyline Steve started wearing his front hair swept back from his face, and it just kept climbing higher and higher. If he could get that hairstyle back today, he would have no trouble being on a level with James Scott.
But decidedly the best thing about owning these DVDs is getting to see the subtleties of the acting back then. Watching the play of emotions across their faces, the nuances of their body language. Online clips are great, but I’m amazed at what a difference it makes.