Rush, Rush, Rush

What do you all think of Salem’s Supernanny?


The whitewashing of EJ is driving me crazy. I love the actor and the character and would love to forgive him and root for him. But, instead of exploring a perfect, ready-made story—the fact that EJ was born to be a pawn, raised to be a soldier, to never question his father’s will—they are just whitewashing his whole history. James Scott is always great to look at, and I love to see the DiMeras as a family, but other than that I am getting nothing from these scenes.

What a waste. James Scott could absolutely rock a scene where he talks openly about the crimes he committed in the name of his father and how he never once questioned the rightness of his actions. Now when he looks at his son and sees the innocence there, he never wants his son to fear him the way he feared his father. He wants his son to know love and compassion and freedom—things EJ never knew. Are they afraid that if they mention EJ’s crimes, it will just make the viewers remember them and hate him more? The truth is that not mentioning them is far more damaging to the character’s ultimate redemption and acceptance.

Rewinding a bit, Steve’s redemption story in the 80’s was very well done soap. The show took its time, and redeemed him not just through him changing his behavior, but exploring why he behaved that way in the first place, and making him pay for past mistakes. (Paying, that is, in soapy ways, like being unfairly suspected of Britta’s murder—not by serving jail time.)

The key is that the show had to make Steve earn the right in the viewers’ eyes, not just in Kayla’s eyes, to be worthy of her love and trust. Now the writers don’t seem to have much empathy for what the audience might be feeling. EJ has done precious little to earn the right to be with Sami (nor, for that matter, has Lucas, but that’s a different botched redemption). We can all say that Sami might be more willing to forgive because of her past, and her knowledge of the importance of second chances. But the show needs to let us feel it too. Since I am not Marlena, just having EJ instrumental in the recovery of John is not enough to make me feel “unspeakably grateful” (quite the opposite, actually).

The ironic thing is that if they had rushed Steve into hero mode, rushed Steve and Kayla into couplehood, what then? Now you’ve got the established-couple problem, what to do with them when they’re in love and happy. That’s what bugs me about all this rushing—rushed redemptions, rushed love stories, and rushed reunions. What’s the hurry? What do you put on next week?

In fact, you’ve created two problems. You have also created a bunch of dissatisfied fans who are ticked about the rapid redemption or lack of payoff. Why should we invest in the next storyline or the next character, if that’s all we are going to get?


9 thoughts on “Rush, Rush, Rush

  1. For no reason other than my need to always be optimistic, I’m still hoping that when they get out of the safehouse and back to Salem, that we might get some of what has been missing. Hopefully EJ will have something to do besides babysitting where he can be sweevil again. And, as EJ and Sami figure out the co-parenting thing with Lucas in jail, maybe we’ll get that conversation.

    I realize how ridiculously naive that hope sounds given what we know about the show. But, I simply can’t help it.

  2. The truth is that not mentioning them is far more damaging to the character’s ultimate redemption and acceptance.

    Here, here. And I love what you said about rushing them into couplehood (or S/K I mean) and where to go from there.

    I don’t think the show has the patience to do anything right now. I get so tired of having to fanwank everything, of having to pretend there was a love scene for my couple or how a wonderful opportunity for character development was presented and they ignored it.


  3. Like esp, I continue to hope that we’ll get more depth to EJ’s story. I think some of it has been implied — he said something fairly explicit about not wanting his son to be afraid of him — but they certainly have not been playing out the beats, especially with regard to EJ’s actual misdeeds. But it’s not too late for that to happen, as Sami’s hardly putty in his hands yet, and a “bad man” can still be loving with the babies. He has a way to go.

    But I also recognize the possible hopelessness of this hope because of the habitual rushing you observe 🙂 One of the many, many missed opportunities was with Lexie and EJ. She went through a long struggle between good and evil to become a “good” DiMera, accepted by the community. She also is a fairly judgmental person who would, I think, have a hard time being ok with EJ after all he’d done: She certainly isn’t OK with her father. But somehow, she went from appropriately distant and suspicious with this unknown half-brother who seemed to be a replica of their awful father, to an affectionate, intimate, chatty sibling almost literally overnight. Why couldn’t we see that relationship develop? Why couldn’t we see EJ have to win Lexie over and gain her trust? The show could have developed the theme of EJ wanting a “real family” not just through Sami and the twins, but through his sister as well. Why couldn’t we see EJ try to defend Stefano to Lexie and gradually realize that she was right about Stefano and by extension about EJ? Lexie would be more convincing than the Bradys regarding Stefano’s evil nature. Anyway — they just skip over this kind of potential all the time. At least they let EJ and Tony develop together a *little* bit before they were all BFF (and Tony does better than Lexie at still including a little wariness in their interactions).

  4. Totally agree about the whitewashing of EJ. The fact that I can’t enjoy JS in a scene is a crime.

    The rushing baffles me. These people have to churn out a script five days a week and constantly come up with new stories. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to slow things down and stretch out a story (in a good way, by showing various characters’ reactions and exploring all the emotional beats, etc.)? That way they’d have more time to come up with new stories.

  5. I’m frustrated too. Days is now suffering from what I think is GH’s biggest problem in recent years. No, not too many guns, but rather the Bullet Story and subsequent waste of potential. We all see the potential of the story, in almost every story, but then they both stuff it up and rush it and there’s nothing but frustration all around.


  6. Yes, it is a shame when I’m not interested in what EJ’s doing, but I’m not. James Scott is doing the best he can with what he’s got, but I seriously squirmed last Friday at his sugary speech to Sami (um, sorry for all the “s” alliteration there). Gah! I couldn’t agree more that the whitewashing simply reminds the viewer of the crimes, instead of making them forget–when they did the same thing with Lucas, believe me, I didn’t forget his crappy behavior. Why would I forget EJ’s? Now, I hate virtually everything that Hogan Sheffer had EJ do, but the way to deal with the mess he made (IMO) is not to imagine the memory-wiping flashy-thingys from “Men in Black” actually exist and can be used on their audience. Maybe they could try writing a story that addresses the past bad acts, takes a stab at explaining why they were done, and let the other characters on the show come to terms with the alleged character change. I mean, not everybody’s going to be as grateful to EJ for admitting he knew John was alive as Marlena was. I certainly am having a hard time forgiving him for that, as well as for not running down Belle.

  7. I think isolating him with Sami is another problem. Sure, maybe she can’t cast any stones his way, but she’s not the only person in Salem that he’s hurt. I wish he was forced to put up with, say, Steve and Kayla, or maybe John or Bo, for a while, forced to work side by side but feel the full antagonism they’d feel toward him and know that he deserved every bit of it. He not only doesn’t have to pay for his crimes; he’s protected from even having to feel remorse for them. That is so not the way to redeem a character of his ilk.

  8. I would love to see EJ forced to work with Steve especially, because of their past. I think SN and JS could rock the antagonism and tension. But Steve is probably the last person they want EJ to share screen time with.

    And I do love the DiMeras as a family, but I agree with Beatrice: why not show Lexie and EJ connecting? I remember how annoyed I was when, before Renee Jones left last time, Lexie referred to EJ as her brother exactly once. Now they’re all buddy-buddy? Doesn’t make sense.

    It just kills me that the writers are hurting themselves too with all this rushing! Just like you say, lascuba, why are they depriving themselves of material?

    I’ll be watching very closely when EJ gets back to Salem to see if there is any return of the sweevil. I hope so.

  9. Stefano made me do it? Perhaps we would have too much programmed people in the show, but some REASON to all this whitewashing would be better than lets-forget-he-tortured-and-murdered-people. Patrick was sent to jail, but EJ – the main culprit – walks free. What da hell, like Roman would say.

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