Unsuper Couples

Justin and Adrienne, Roman and Diana, Glenn and Jennifer, Frankie and Jennifer, Pete and Melissa, Mike and Robin, Mike and April, Nick and Eve, Frankie and Eve. These are all popular (and not-so-popular) couples from the supercouple era of Days that never quite reached the level of “super.” They got the same basic treatment: initial attraction, slow falling in love, obstacles to overcome, etc. They just didn’t have that “it” factor that creates a phenomenon like Bo and Hope or Steve and Kayla.

But, because they were given a good story and good writing, they were still an important part of the canvas. In a way, these second tier couples were the bread and butter of the show. The show could churn through them, break them up and pair them with others. There isn’t the supercouple problem of what to do with them after they’ve gotten together and fallen in love, gotten married and had a kid, because you can break them up permanently.

Melissa and Pete are a good example, comparable to Lumi. Good chemistry, quite popular, created by the Master herself, Sheri Anderson. But they had their falling in love story, and then they were done. There was nowhere to go, so the Master destroyed them (shafting poor Pete in the process). And it wasn’t in favor of a better coupling—Melissa and Lars, anyone?—it was just realizing they were played out.

These secondary couples provide the foundation for the major couples and the bits of romance and drama to fill in and balance out whatever might be going on with the supercouple of the day. It also just helps to maintain interest. Hmm, will I like Roman and Diana? There’s an inherent interest level, just from novelty, to see these short term and potential pairings be played around with. There were also couplings that served a short-term plot purpose and gave characters something to do. Melissa and Jack are a good example of this (poor Melissa!). Her crush on him made her a secondary player in the Steve/Kayla/Jack triangle. She served as Jack’s sounding board and ego stroker at a time when he desperately needed it, then kicked him farther down the path toward redemption when she finally woke up and left him at the altar.

Nowadays, except for the teen set, we know who everyone is fated to be with. I think TPTB’s commitment to Lumi and Shelle has seriously damaged the show. Lumi are a popular couple, but in my opinion don’t have the “it” factor that means they can sustain story after story indefinitely (that’s hard enough for the couples who do have it). Shelle are a teen romance who should have been over long ago.

Stephanie and Max are the only new couple on the show, and I am starting to like them a little. I thought their scenes today (1/15) were fun. And Chick—who I recently saw called “the skinniest couple in daytime,” hee!—I love of course. I love Jay Kenneth Johnson. James Scott is fabulous too. I like Morgan. I like Chloe, at least from a chemistry-with-her-costars standpoint. I’d love to get excited about new possibilities and new pairings. But instead Chloe is rapidly being sucked into the Shellip nightmare for Quad of Doom, part five million. I haven’t seen Morgan for weeks. And James Scott is still stuck with Lumi.

There have been rumblings lately that the show is gearing up for Phelle as endgame (and sorry, I can’t root for that, even to get rid of Shelle!), and *casting spoiler alert* with Bryan Datillo going off the canvas for a few months, there is some speculation that the show is going to pursue EJami too.

I’ll believe it when I see it.

15 thoughts on “Unsuper Couples

  1. You’re so right, maryp. They don’t really do those secondary couples any more.

    I always thought that maybe Pete and Melissa were intended to be a super-couple, but the actor who played Pete wasn’t strong enough to evolve the character.

    And I personally loved Roman and Diana – I think Drake stepped up working with Genie – so I was kind of disappointed when she left.

    I guess Justin and Adrienne got their happy ending, technically being still married and all, but both actors went on to do far more interesting things.

    And Frankie and Jenn just bored me to tears. In every incarnation.

  2. This is why the “the next supercouple” comments give me hives. The show desperately needs to do the legwork on these second tier couples, and the supercouple thing will just happen naturally for some of them.

    And I miss the quirkier couples that they used to make, knowing that not every couple needed to be capable of sweeping romance. Eugene and Calliope, Jack and Eve as a pair of schemers, even Vivian and Ivan after a fashion. Couples that didn’t seem like the end result of a focus group.

    It is kind of funny, though, going back to watch old S&K storylines and watching Mike and RoJohn cycle through a half-dozen soulmates in the space of four or five years.

  3. The secondary couple you mentioned, while I wasn’t as invested in them as I was with Steve and Kayla, I still watched them and never FF through their scenes. I just had to know and see what was going on with them.

    Nowadays,if Steve and Kayla aren’t on, I see no reason why I have to stop whatever I am doing just to watch Days.

    And zarathelawyer, I agree with you. Frankie and Jennifer, blech!

  4. I just thought of Melissa in the Steve/Kayla/Jack triangle and thought how pathetic she appeared in it.

    In regards to the current couples on teh show, you are right, Lumi, Shelle and (in my opinion because I’m hoping for a Phillip/Stephanie thing) Stax are not supercouples. Of course, what I term a supercouple and non supercouple comes down to…are they really going to make it long term? I used to think Lumi had a shot ut not anymore. Shelle was over two recasts ago and Stax can have some charming moments at times, I totally see this as a temporary stop for them to grow as characters and then move on.

    Oh, and I want to go on record I hated Frankie and Jennifer. Now Jennifer and Emilio…

  5. Jennifer and Emilio?! Shudder the thought.

    Chelsea and Nick are the only two that I can see as having potential as a super couple if they would give them the screen time and a s/l. I also thought that Max and Morgan had a lot of potential.

    I could have gone for the EJami pairing but it has been so poorly written that I just don’t care anymore.

    Seemed like in the 80s the couples had to have chemistry first (partly due to good casting) and then a very good s/l.

    I agree that the secondary characters were key to proping up the “super couples” and creating interesting s/ls. I always loved Eugene and Calliope. Humorous couples are necessary, something the soaps don’t seem to get much lately.

    Not every couple has to be a super couple. Can we please just put Shellip out of their (our) misery?

    Okay, I’m done now. Sorry if I offended anyone but some things just had to be said.

  6. Hee, I didn’t think Frankie and Jennifer were so bad. Glenn, though, I grew to hate.

    I use the term myself all the time, but sometimes I wish the word “supercouple” had never been connected with Days. Because I think in the end it just turned into a PR word. These couples are super! You love them, and will love watching them go around in endless triangles!

  7. I like Nick, he is a good guy (you know I hate the word “geek” even although the, eh, geeks themselves use it, because I always think the original meaning of the word) but can he and Chelsea make a supercouple? I mean really make a that popular pairing? P.S. The original meaning of the “geek?” Well, lets just say it was not an enthusiastic movie fan…

  8. Christine,

    I understand your hesitation regarding Nick and Chelsea as a supercouple. I’m basing my assertions on the fact that there are no younger couples that, IMHO, come close to being interesting. Although I do believe that Max and Morgan have potential. (Sorry, I just cannot get on the Max and Steph bandwagon.) Personally, I don’t think any couple comes close to the level that Steve & Kayla or Bo & Hope were at in the 80s or today.

  9. I think Nick and Chelsea could make it as a supercouple *eg* They have the chemistry for sure and one thing that helps them is their similarities and contrasts can help make them stronger or push them apart, depending on how the writers want to write it.

    Christine, I am a self-called geek. It is true the original definition has changed over the years. I’m going to presume you are referring to “geek” as a carnival performer who commits bizarre acts. The term geek goes back further than that and was originally used in the sense as another word for a “fool”. But just like many other words in the English vocabulary, the meanings change over time and like the word “awful” (which originally meant full of awe), can evolve to take on the complete opposite meaning.

  10. We really do need secondary couples, but the show is determined to slap the supercouple label on any pairing that gains any popularity. I find myself getting bored with a new couple before they really get off the ground, because I know that the “meant to be” talk is going to start soon, and I hate being told these things rather than shown.

    I love Nick and Chelsea but I think they lost their chance of being a “supercouple.” Their beginning was so poorly done–yes, there were some great moments, but overall it was poorly planned and executed. And now that they’re together, as enjoyable as they are to watch, that’s it. I think the supercouple title is earned during the falling in love stage, and a couple only gets one chance at that. I think Nick and Chelsea can stay popular, and I could actually see them together long term if they weren’t so young. But I’m afraid if they do stay together for years, they’ll turn into Lumi.

  11. well, my knowledge of English is admittedly limited, trip3235. (I am Finnish!). Good comments – I have heard “enchantress” meant “witch” in the days of witch-hunting! Anyway, I like Nick, a nice geeky guy!

  12. whether they’re considered potentially super or not, nick and chelsea are my favorite couple. they have the chops and the chemistry and they have survived some truly awful storylines. they rock my socks.
    where the heck is morgan? i really miss her. if stax just has to happen right now (and they’re fine but they don’t blow my mind) then couldn’t we test drive morgan and phillip, as one TWOP member suggested a while back? they would be so blonde and pretty together.

  13. Well, they tried Ejami. I dont criticise the fans of that couple – this a soap!- but it reminds OLTL. In One life to live, “handsome” Todd Manning is very popular, albeit he is quite scummy character: a bully, a rapist, a killer, etc. Filthy, non-fat piece of scum Todd won lot of sympathy, because he was “hot”, when “fat dwarf” Marcie fought with him about custody of Tommy. I am not saying that all Todd fans are superficial I-want-send-a-letter-to-a-serial-killer-perverts and many Ej fans have denied that too. Just my thoughts of Ej/Todd similarities.

  14. It’s definitely too late for Nick and Chelsea to get that slow-burn, supercouple style love story that I wanted for them, but they could still have some great internal angst stories. The issues are there, and RM and BB could make the most of it, I think. I wouldn’t say I’m confident that they’ll get a story like that, but I’m hopeful.

    Christine, your example of Todd Manning is a good one. This is why soaps should make villains in the suave, older man mode, like Victor. Then you don’t have this problem.

    I didn’t know you were Finnish! My mother’s family is Finnish and she went to visit some of her relatives there awhile back. I didn’t get to go but I saw the pictures. Looks like a beautiful country.

  15. Small world! Course Mary if your mom was like my Dad and you told her about Christine, she would ask you to ask her if she knew her family. (Seriously my Dad asked our Scottish receptionist if she knew any of his grandmother’s family which, incidentally, we’ve never met.).

    I too think Chick could still be a supercouple. The show did miss a slow burn, but I fell in love with Steve/Kayla w/o seeing their falling in love story and to me, a real super couple is two people with the excellent chemistry and the acting talents to keep viewers firmly behind rooting for them.

    God, but thinking on how badly the show screwed up what could have been an EXCELLENT love story where Chelsea could have been in the center of a triangle, with the virtual Nick online and the real Nick in person.

    Stupid show!

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