Bad Day

I should know better by now. Shipping a couple on Days today leads inevitably to frustration and heartbreak. And not the good kind of heartbreak, that feels painful but real, and stokes my anticipation of how it will all be resolved. It’s the kind of heartbreak that makes me think as I’m watching, another promising couple bites the dust.

From an EJ fan perspective, the EJami scenes yesterday were cathartic and wonderful. He said everything that we’ve wanted him to say to her for months. Every charge he leveled at her seemed right on the money—she was hysterical, irrational, blind, possessive, unfair, hypocritical, and incapable of taking responsibility for her own actions.

From an EJami fan perspective, however—or even just a fan of two sided arguments—the scenes were frustrating and disappointing. There was no attempt to soften Sami’s breathtakingly unfair treatment of EJ by presenting her point of view. Instead, we saw that Sami’s reaction to EJ sleeping with Nicole was to blame EJ, and her reaction to Lucas sleeping with Chloe was to … blame EJ. We saw that it is perfectly okay for Sami to take Johnny from EJ, but not the other way around. And on, and on, and on. I honestly don’t know how Sami truly feels. Was she covering up her feelings for EJ with that over-the-top anger? Or is she just pissed that he’s interfering with her happily-ever-after with Lucas? Sami keeps saying Lucas is the love of her life, and in the absence of evidence to the contrary I guess I have to believe her—though it seems to me that Sami is choosing Lucas because he is Not EJ, rather than for anything positive about Lucas himself.

I loved seeing youngSami taunting youngLucas. Ah, if only.

I do have to lay some of the blame at Ali Sweeney’s feet. James Scott’s magical ability to bring out layers and nuance in his costars was not in evidence yesterday. Some of EJ’s lines to Sami were nearly as hateful as hers to him, but he played the whole thing with sadness, resignation, and half-buried pain and love. Ali, on the other hand, took a page from Bryan Datillo’s acting handbook and went for over-the-top hysteria and judgment. I think Ali might be suffering from the show neglecting Sami’s point of view, and clearly not knowing which couples are the planned endgame. There were repeated references to Sami’s “feelings” for EJ, but those feelings were not shown in Ali’s performance. She did have a few nice moments, though, that showed when EJ hit a nerve.

With my other newly-shipping couple, Phorgan, things were no better. Morgan’s sudden and unstinting trust in Phillip was presented without any nuance or—and this is assuredly a theme—explanation of her point of view. It got to the point that my mom and I were saying her lines before she did: “Phillip, I can’t open it, will you do it for me?” And it was frustrating too, because it was all so unnecessary. Phillip could easily have come along with her to the post office after they ran into each other by accident. And the tension about Phillip seeing The Package would have been heightened, not lessened, if Morgan were more distrustful. We could have seen Phillip attempt to smooth talk her into it without trying to be too obvious. As it was, Morgan made it so easy for him it was pathetic.

Screencaps NBC

8 thoughts on “Bad Day

  1. EJ and Sami didn’t bother me that much simply because I jumped off that train until they start writing Sami consistently enough for me to believe she has any feelings for EJ at all. As it stands now, her reactions seemed perfectly in character for how she’s been written lately.

    But, I do totally agree on the Phorgan scenes. In the course of two days, the show managed to kill almost all of my love for this pairing. A weak, needy, wimpy Morgan does nothing for me.

  2. I thought James Scott played his scenes perfectly. I have never been an Ejami fan and really didn’t like EJ, but the writers have done a good job of redeeming him and James Scott is really doing his part to make it work.

  3. Yes, I was torn on the EJami thing. I loved EJ’s part of the conversation and thought JS knocked it out of the park. I liked that they managed to have a heat packed argument without screaming too, that was a nice change. My EJami love is on hold for the time being, until Sami turns back into a Sami I can love and enjoy again, I don’t want her with EJ. She dragged him down for months and I’m glad to see a glimmer of the RealEJ coming back.

    As for Phorgan, I am totally with you. She was just terrible yesterday, I could not get over what a weak, wimpy, whiny little girl she was. That was not the feisty Morgan I was enjoying up until recently. It seems like Higley can’t write any of the younger women as having spines and I can’t stand it.

  4. EJ mentioned his mother and Edmond too. Can I hope beyond all hope that Susan Banks will make a re-appearance in Salem to see her little Elvissssss.

  5. I haven’t liked EJami since the tango, so I’m hoping it’s a real goodbye, myself.

    The Morgan stuff didn’t bother me as much in execution as it did when I read the day ahead summary, but I still think they need to give her–and all the younger women, really–a life outside the men they’re interested in. Even Chelsea’s new job is wrapped up in her desire to be around Daniel.

  6. I was torn about the EJami scenes as well. I thought they were good, James Scott was good, but they were just so one-sided.

    I also just love that feeling you get when you’re shipping a couple that’s having a REAL problem, and they have a scene where they lay it all on the table. You can just feel all the love and pain as they lay their emotions on the table. There were flashes of that feeling for me in EJami, which is pretty much what led me to start shipping them. The rape talk, as well as the conversation where Sami admitted having feelings for EJ. (I loved when she said, “I think I’ve forgiven you for enough already,” or whatever the line was. So much said with that.)

    Anyway, I want to jump off the EJami love train, and it should be easy because I got on it so recently, but I’m finding it hard to let go. Sniff.

    And I totally agree about the young women, Paula, it’s really been sad how much they are defined around their men.

  7. Sami’s true feelings/point of view/state of mind seem to be the raging debate on many Days-related blogs and fan forums whenever her character is discusssed. The lack of any sort of reflection on Sami’s part or reveal of true feelings is almost maddening at this point, with the (to me) very noticeable exception of her impassioned admissioned of feelings for EJ just after she’d found out about all of his latest deceptive actions. That breathless “Oh, God, you know I do!” rang true to me. Problem is, in almost every interaction before and since this moment, Sami’s face has not really betrayed any sort of inner conflict–she seems to register only disgust, loathing. Add to this the fact that TPTB are not really giving any hints as to where the s/l is going, and I think it’s a recipe for further alienation of many viewers. I have to wonder where the fault lies here–do the scripts say something like, “Sami’s face registers only loathing towards EJ”, or are directors and EPs telling AS to do this, or is it simply AS making this decision artistically, and in a time of one-shot scenes, no retakes, that’s what we get? We as soap fans shouldn’t have to work so hard to dissect every scene to figure out where things are going. I think that it’s really hurting the quality of the show, and alienating fans, to have stories in which a general idea of where things are going isn’t apparent.

  8. I agree, Christi. I think there’s a shelf life to the length of time that a show can draw out a triangle, and EJamucas has gone way, way past that date.

    I too thought “you know I do” sounded very real and sincere, but since then there has been nothing. I think the writers honestly are refusing to commit to one or the other. And since the writers don’t know how Sami is supposed to feel (long term), I think Ali doesn’t know how to play it. Right now, from Ali’s body language, Sami doesn’t seem particularly drawn to either man.

    And yeah, I think you’re absolutely right, the show suffers. TPTB might think they’re being clever, keeping Ejami fans and Lumi fans both hanging on a string, but for the general fan it’s just a big turnoff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s