Chick Letter

Note: This is a portion of a letter I’m sending to Hogan Sheffer and Meg Kelly. None of this is groundbreaking, but I thought they needed to hear it. I must credit my fellow Chick fan Tripp for some of the suggestions below.

Chelsea has been one of my favorite characters since last summer soon after James E. Reilly left the show, and I was ecstatic when Nick was brought on to be paired with her. I loved Nick right away, how he was smart and funny and not your typical bland hunk. The banter in their first scenes was wonderfully written: “That’s not porn, you jackass. Those are my parents.” “She has a record? That’s hot.” I loved that he called her on her BS, like the day at Chez Rouge when he said she should be thinking about college or a job instead of obsessing about getting her parents back together.

If you want to look at a perfect example of what makes Chick great, go back to the mini-storyline where they brought Shawn and Belle the money in Toronto, where they bickered, bantered, bonded, and outsmarted Phillip on the way. Nick’s calm intelligence and Chelsea’s snarky street smarts were a perfect complement to each other. Their conversation on the plane over the magazine was a delight, and so was Nick’s plan to slip a knife into Phillip’s suitcase.

Rachel Melvin and Blake Berris are two of the best actors in the younger set. They can do it all—tenderness, angst, and fun banter. The Lonely Splicer reveal scene was also wonderfully written and acted. But I’m concerned that their storylines recently have not played to what makes this couple great.

One of the things I loved about Nick from the beginning was how smart he was. He was perfect as a moral compass for Chelsea, who often flounders when making decisions. Nick screwing up three times—pretending to be LonelySplicer, sleeping with Billie, being blackmailed by Willow—is two times too many.

I thought each storyline (LonelySplicer, Billie, Willow) was perfectly fine in execution—especially the Billie storyline—but taken all together it is just too much, too many obstacles too fast. They barely have time to absorb and react to one crisis before the story is hurling them into another.

The Willow storyline especially threw almost everything that was special about this couple out the window. Nick was a spineless idiot to let first Chelsea talk him into stealing the hairbrush even though he knew it was wrong (so much for being a moral compass), then a spineless idiot a second time to let Willow outsmart him. It was in character to have Nick try to help Willow—he has a bit of a white knight complex—but not to be blackmailed, and not at the cost of lying to Chelsea once again. Nick’s insecurity is part of him, but the way he is acting now it is the only part of him, and his grave compassion and quick-thinking intelligence haven’t made an appearance for months.

Similarly, Chelsea remains snarky and a blunt-truth teller, but her conversation with Nick at the police station (week of 6/12) was jaw-droppingly out-of-character. She went from, one week, pushing Nick to get an apartment so they could sleep together, to accusing him of forcing her to “put out” the next. If I never have to hear someone use the phrase “put out” on Days again I will be a happy woman. When we’re rooting for a couple to have sex, we delight in them longing for each other, not accusing each other of being only out for sex (this goes for Belle, too, a hundredfold).

Had I been writing this story I would have had Nick be smitten at first, then put off by her attitude. Chelsea would come to realize he gives good advice and grudgingly start to seek it out. This would have given Nick the opportunity to gradually see Chelsea’s soft side. Another opportunity to pause in their developing relationship was after the LonelySplicer reveal when Chelsea got a job at the lab. I would have loved to see them attempt to work together when they were on the outs. It would have also given Chelsea a chance to see Nick in a new light, where he is a respected professional.

I am fine with obstacles, and angst, and characters being flawed and making mistakes. But it is very satisfying to occasionally watch characters be smart, and outwit the bad guys, and do the right thing against the odds. Let this couple shine the way I’ve seen they can.


9 thoughts on “Chick Letter

  1. Oh, great letter Mary! I love it. I wasn’t happy about the Billie thing but could see it’s point but now it was time to move past it and let Chelsea be the one to make a mistake. I especially think the Willow storyline was just too much and made Nick out to be weak. The other day’s scene with Nick getting drunk was heartbreaking at the pub, but it occurs to me it was written to make him look really bad at the Brady house (and to make Jett look good) in Chelsea’s eyes. He is drunk, stupidly fights with Jett, vomits over everything and then whines that she won’t sleep with him; what woman wants that? This is an about face from the Nick they introduced us to in November.

    And this comes at a great time when TPTB need to hear it. Not going to share spoilers with you but their weird inconsistency on the writing isn’t stopping for this week past. (I hope I didn’t say too much, still love me?)

  2. I still love you. 🙂

    I agree about the getting drunk at the pub thing. It was a great scene, actually. (Most of Chick’s scenes/stories have been fairly well executed.) I could deal with it if it were an isolated dip in the storyline—and it might have been cute to play drunk!Nick for laughs—but it isn’t. We’ve seen Nick screw up again and again. When he first came to town he was the guy with a real job, geeky yes, but together and more “adult.” We haven’t seen him act that way for months.

  3. Great letter marypickford! I love Nick and Chelsea and agree that Nick is not being written very well right now, nor is Chelsea. It’s like they are trying to make Chelsea into the moral one and that just doesn’t work. Nick can and should, have his flaws but his core is his intelligence and good sense. I hope TPTB realize this before they really screw up his character.

  4. Great letter! You’ve touched on everything tptb have done wrong with Chick, especially

    “This would have given Nick the opportunity to gradually see Chelsea’s soft side.”

    Days can’t seem to do gradual. Everything is either so rushed that there’s never an opportunity for anticipation, or they’re stalled without anything happening. Days struck gold with RM and BB – it’s a shame to waste them.

  5. I forgot to add that one of the things I was most looking forward to with Chick was the bad girl/good boy dynamic, and they’ve pretty much put an end to that. Nick keeps messing up and Chelsea is becoming too much of a good girl.

  6. I too was looking forward to the bad girl/Good boy dynamic. It’s so rarely done on soaps and what got me excited about this pairing BEFORE we actually met Nick.

    The drunk at the pub scenes worked because Blake can really bring this side and maybe that’s why they are featuring it so much. But we do know he can stand tough and be logical in other things.

    I seriously have to say Chick is my favorite cuople after Steve and Kayla but that’s in spite of some of the recent writing for them. Now RM and BB can make stuff work, even bad lame stuff. I just hope they writers listen to you, me and others when we write in. They did when we wrote in for more balance to the show. LOL, maybe we should do a Chick campaign! (We could send in chicklet’s gum).

  7. I agree, Tripp, RM and BB are making their stories work—and as I said above each little story by itself is relatively well-done. It’s only when I stop and look at their stories as a whole that I realize how much better things could have been handled.

    And lascuba I agree about not letting stuff happen gradually. Along with the cartoonishness (which is getting a bit better) and good guys being passive (also improving slightly), that’s my biggest beef with the show right now. I think sometimes that chaos behind the scenes is interfering with continuity, where we can get wonderfully layered, well-written individual scenes, but we can’t carry it over into the next week. It’s strange because they will correctly reference things from years ago but flatly contradict something that happened last week!

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