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.