Touch This Guy

In these days of message boards, there often seems to be a race to see who can judge a storyline or new character first, usually from the opening day of scenes—and even before, for those who read spoilers. I generally like to keep an open mind, but I get caught up the madness too.

Such was the case for the Touch the Sky story. The story had many strikes against it from its inception. Two totally new characters (Jeremy, Jett), and a recent recast (Stephanie). Nearly everyone acting like either an asshole or an idiot. Max selling out his integrity for a couple of Linkin Park tickets. Stephanie bitching out her parents and endlessly acting like a sex kitten with smug fratboy Jeremy.**

The sight of Jett’s manly naked chest apparently rewired Chelsea’s brain, leading to an inexplicable series of choices that quickly derailed the best young couple on the show, Nick and Chelsea. Two new legacy characters were introduced (a Horton and a Carver) without giving either one any scenes with their respective families.

And the whole thing happened in complete isolation, and was given lots of airtime. Really, the whole thing unfolded like a textbook example of How to Alienate Viewers.

But though there were many, many ways the story could have been better introduced, the story itself is turning out much better than I expected. First of all, silly as they may be, I love the fact that these young people are actually employed.

And let me officially eat my words. I accused Trevor Donovan here of not having the sex appeal to play the charismatic jerk. It’s amazing what turning out to be an abuser and a smuggler—and probably worse—will do for a man’s appeal (what does that say about me?). Also, the writers have been giving Stephanie some good moments showing the extent of her denial about Jeremy and suggesting her confusion and vulnerability, and Shelley Hennig is making the most of it. She and Trevor were both incredible in the scene where he so casually held her head underwater in the hot tub and then told her he loved her. So, so creepy.

Above all, who would have thought I would enjoy Max so much in this story? It all goes back to the idea that all you have to do to make us admire someone is to show them doing something admirable. (I would like to think the show has figured this out across the board, but all I have to do is look at Shawn’s brilliant idea to go further into debt to buy Belle a huge ass ring to know that they’re still working it out.) Max’s determination to find out what Jeremy is up to, and to help Ilsa, is making me care about him for the first time since his trip to Italy with Kayla.

Last Friday (7/27), we got a nice cliffhanger when two thugs dragged Max away at gunpoint, and today he showed up at Nick’s hotel room beaten to a bloody pulp. (Surprisingly good job by the makeup department!) More Nick and Max, please.

Now—we have a possible DiMera connection, an undercover cop (no matter how inept), some mysterious cargo, and Ilsa the Enigma. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

I can’t say fairer than that, can I, Hogan? Now will you listen to me when I say you’re doing a terrible job with the Chick breakup?

** The raunchy dialogue for Jeremy and Stephanie did lead to an amusing series of alternate names on the TWoP boards for Touch the Sky airlines:

Touch the Skank
Touch my Ass
Touch my Thighs
Touch my Privates (that was my contribution)

before we settled on the elegant simplicity of the homophone Touch This Guy.

12 thoughts on “Touch This Guy

  1. I agree on all points. Who would have thought I would ever care about Max? I’m more interested in Jeremy everyday, and thanks to that haircut he got during his argument with Stephanie, I now officially think he’s hot. I’d care about Jett if he wasn’t the worst undercover agent ever and he hadn’t been plopped right in the middle of Chick’s relationship for no good reason, but I still see potential for the character.

  2. The story is a perfect example the good and bad of Days.

    Right now, I find the story very compelling. What’s Jeremy really up to? How is that going to affect Stephanie, Chelsea, and Max? Will Jett actually show us that he is not the worst undercover agent in the history of undercover agents? Will Steve blow the lid on Jeremy’s operation before or after he kills him for his treatment of Stephanie? Will Stephanie realize just how in over her head she really is? All sorts of good, soapy questions.

    I just can’t understand why they decided to introduce the story the way they did. By making Jeremy and Stephanie unlikeable, throwing Jett into the middle of Chick, and saddling them all with stupid and horndoggy dialogue, there was nothing interesting about the story. It didn’t even get remotely intriguing until EJ stepped onto the plane and we realized the side business was connected to the DiMeras. It didn’t help that Jeremy didn’t show one ounce of the charming schemer side until well into the story.

    Unfortunately, a lot of viewers have given up on the story at this point and can’t be dragged back in, even though it’s finally getting good.

  3. I agree too. I’m still not completely enamoured with this story, but it’s growing on me. Other than the Nick/Chelsea stuff which could be the heart of the whole thing but is rapidly becoming the least watachable part. I still can’t figure out how this Jeremy Horton is actually Jeremy Horton, but that aside it’s getting more interesting.

    I never particularly disliked Max, but I’m glad he’s got something to do now, even if it did take a triple twist with pike to get him there.

    I also like your comment about them all being employed. I hadn’t thought about that. Maybe Belle should apply for a job, we know no training is required.

  4. I loved the Nick/Max scenes. I’m surprised at how much airtime they have gotten recently and possibly as much progress will be made with Nick, Max and hopefully one more guy with one eye into Jeremy’s business which takes them further then the Dimera plot.

    The only weak point is Jett IMO. Yes, I’m probably saying that because his main presence has to been to derail Chick and that was so unneccessary. I simply find the actor unlikeable and last Thursday we didn’t have him on, the whole show was so much more enjoyable. I loved it actually. I’m not saying an actor should be fired but I’m having a hard time taking him seriously in scenes. For the first time ever, I might have to FF Chelsea tomorrow (I know it pains me to say that).

    Still, I can’t wait to see how far they take Jeremy, how deep will Stephanie get involved, and Nick and Max’s role in this.

  5. I’ve started being interested in Jeremy too. He got much better after he shoved Steph under the water.

    I am just not interested in an abuse storyline.

  6. Jett is by far the weakest link. He’s clearly some kind of undercover operative, or at least that’s where they’re leading us, but if he is, he’s the Worst. Ever. Hapless, even. Of course, this is Salem. Look at the SPD.

    But worse than that, he has no chemistry with Rachel Melvin. None. And Rachel is a chemistry machine. How do you not have chemistry with her?

    Jett really has chemistry with no one on the show, that I can tell. If they’re trying to make me see him as a viable alternative to Nick, they are so not getting it done. Even with the Nick character assassination going on, he’s still clearly the better, more interesting man.

    Why does the show do stuff like that? Why? If you had to mess with a couple, why not Shelle? They need breaking up. Nick and Chelsea didn’t.


  7. Paula, that is what kills me about Nick and Chelsea’s breakup. They made it all. About. Jett. Because they certainly didn’t have any problems that could have led to a breakup before Jett came along [/sarcasm].

    It’s depressing because I really don’t think Jett is supposed to be a long-term threat. I think we’re supposed to be looking at a “Chelsea, upset about Nick, turns to Jett in her confusion” storyline. But the execution has been so poor.

    I’m reluctantly coming to the conclusion that Hogan can’t do a breakup story, not when the couple is supposed to get back together eventually. Bo and Hope, for instance. They were already broken up when he came aboard, but he had them getting closer and closer until Hope suddenly decided to start judging Bo again. And Bo basically just taking it.

    Steve and Kayla. Steve repeatedly being mean to Kayla. Kayla just taking it (though she had some great scenes at that time trying to get EJ). And now Chelsea and Nick.

    They need to show us why Bo, and Kayla, and Nick don’t give up. Or (my preference) show them giving up for awhile and letting the asshole partner realize what they gave up, and try to get the other one back. It’s a delicate balance, but it’s not rocket science, and it concerns me that Hogan can’t seem to get it right.

    More ranting, sorry.

    On a brighter note, I agree that Jeremy’s haircut makes him so much hotter.

  8. The Chick with Jett triangle is very much like the Steve/Kayla/Billie triange AND the Bo/Hope/Patrick triangle.

    With S&K, you didn’t need Billie at all and his sudden interest in her was so fast and inexlicable it gave us whiplash. Now could there have been moments where it’s reason to understand why he went after Billie? Yes. Billie wasn’t a real threat to his heart like Kayla. Billie was the easier choice (no pun intended) and she didn’t expect anything out of him. But Hogan never followed through with that and when the reunion happened it was put aside never to be discussed again. That’s how I feel with Chelsea into Jett. Again, I think he’s just a distraction and represents an easier choice but it will never be shown I’m sure.

    Meanwhile Bo/Hope/Patrick was all about the underlying problems of Zack being killed. So is Chick with the BAD SEX and especially Billie sex they won’t talk about. Also, Hope was being especially unfair to Bo and he chased after her like a lap dog. Sound familiar?

    I also agree Jeremy’s haircut makes him look hot too.

  9. I swear, I’d give about anything to have them go back to last fall and write in a few simple scenes where NicknotSteve is telling somebody (Hope, most likely) about how he feels a connection to Kayla but he can’t be the man she wants or needs and how Billie seems comfortable and accepting of who he is. That’s all it would have really taken to explain why he turned to Billie.

    Then, throw in a few scenes from Kayla’s POV (shocking thought, I know) where she is doing something other than crying. Show her making a commitment to move forward if that is what she has to do. Sigh. I don’t know why I do this to myself.

    Topic? I don’t hate Jett as much as some, but it might be because I didn’t/don’t love Chick as much as some (I like them, I think they are great together, I just don’t have the same emotional investment). But, I agree there isn’t any chemistry between Rachel and Marcus, so it makes the Chett stuff fall flat. I guess I just kind of overlook it because I don’t think they’re endgame, so I have no reason to care if they should be together or not.

  10. This is probably straying into a new topic (new blog post, perhaps?), but the problems with the Billie triangle, the Patrick triangle, and now the Jett triangle paralleling each other, I think we have to suspect something about Hogan’s ability to write a short-term “obstacle” triangle.

    The thing is he usually does show us some motivation for turning to the “other” AT FIRST. Chelsea was confused about how she could get over Billie!sex and Bad!sex and turned to the new hot guy who seemed interested. NickNotSteve was worried about living up to “Steve,” Hope was dealing with her feelings of betrayal regarding the circumstances around Zack’s death. All plausible. But he doesn’t follow through with these motives in a way that makes sense. He doesn’t revisit the motivation enough, for one thing. And more importantly, he doesn’t show them being drawn at all to their estranged partner. So we wonder why we should still be rooting for them to be together.

    Sigh. I don’t know why I do this to myself.

    Hee hee, I know, esp. I love message boards and doing this blog, but sometimes it makes me crazy to contemplate all the things the show should/could be doing to improve.

  11. Well, at the risk of continuing off topic, the part about not showing the alleged conflicted person being drawn at all to their estranged partner is the worst part of the bad triangle.

    I can (and did) fanwank that NicknotSteve really was drawn to Kayla and that, when he was reacting and not thinking, Steve was there talking to her, touching her, etc. But, honestly, I shouldn’t have to fanwank that stuff. And, as great as SN is, I shouldn’t have to rely on his physical movements to portray it. All it takes is a few lines of dialogue to solve that problem.

    It does make me crazy to contemplate all the ways the show could be better, but I have to admit, it’s also part of the fun. I love reading your (and others) ideas of how a storyline should go, or what could be done differently. And, I love the discussions that grow out of those ideas. Honestly, without TWoP and blogs like this one, I don’t think I’d be as invested in the show as I am. I want to watch every day so that I can participate in the discussions. So, the good definitely outweighs the bad.

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