DiMera Family Drama

Sometimes all that rich history we keep talking about can detract—slightly—from an otherwise wonderful family scene. There’s a little conundrum here: soaps are about family and togetherness, but they are also about crazy drama and suffering. When Kayla thanked Hope and told her, “You’ve made my brother so happy all these years,” it made me snicker a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, I think Bo and Hope are great and I believe they love each other and all that, but their marriage hasn’t exactly been a smooth progression of happy, uneventful years.

This is not really a problem, though, just an observation. The core families, the Bradys and the Hortons, really do feel like families that love and support each other (the Hortons less so, just because they’ve become so scattered over the years). But then, we have the other families on the show. These, being of a more recent vintage (and thus prey to JER’s love for baby mixups and parentage surprises), are a much less cohesive group than the Bradys. These are families that didn’t grow up together, where siblings were born twenty years apart but then SORASed into being peers, with multiple fathers and multiple mothers.

The Robertses are a good example. Kate has six different children (Lucas, Austin, Billie, Phillip, Rex, and Cassie) by four different fathers (Bill, Curtis Reed, Victor, and Roman). In addition, Lucas has another brother and a sister through Bill (Mike and Jen), and Phillip, through Victor, has another brother (Bo) and had another sister (Isabella). Rex and Cassie also have Sami, Carrie, and Eric (which means that Lucas and Austin both share siblings with their love interests, Sami and Carrie. Ew!) But, other than Austin, Billie, and maybe Lucas, you can’t really say that any of these people have much of a sibling relationship. The history has simply been too mixed up.

However, the plus side, this means that relationships can be developed among these, that never existed before. Conflicts, competitions, divided loyalties, unlikely bonding … I have been very excited to see a relationship begin to develop between Bo and Phillip, and even more excited to see that it feels unforced. (This isn’t an insta-bond of “Hey, we’re brothers!”) Bo has never been much of a Kiriakis, but as Hope has pointed out, his recent actions might indicate otherwise.

The DiMera family group is one even more ripe for interesting conflicts. When Stefano came back last time around, I was very intrigued by the potential for sibling relationships among the DiMera children, informed by their relationship to the patriarch himself. There was EJ the Chosen, Tony/Andre who wanted to out-Stefano Stefano, Lexie the Reformed (and alienated), and Benjy (sob) the Good, possibly a wild card. The dynamics have changed now, but the potential for drama remains. Only Lexie remains in essentially the same position she was before. We’ve already got EJ and Tony talking about how they have tried to move beyond the long, long shadow of their father, and worrying about how that will change now that he’s back.

I love these guys. They may not have grown up together, but they were both molded by the same man.

There’s little Johnny, DiMera scion. There’s Anna—I loved when she came in to Stefano’s hospital room with an actual cross and talked about stabbing him through his black, black heart. Ha! And John, the long lost brother who was brainwashed by Stefano, who has taken over Stefano’s empire, who EJ is working for, and who doesn’t intend to give up all he has gained.

So let’s hope this second chance doesn’t go to waste. And based on what I’ve seen so far, I am hopeful. That’s a word I’ve been using it more and more, haven’t I?

Screencap NBC

8 thoughts on “DiMera Family Drama

  1. Yes, hopeful is a good word for how I feel about the show lately too. Who’d have thought it.

    I’ll be honest, the DiMera’s are absolutely my favorite family on the show. They have such an interesting dynamic and all three of DiMen play well off one another. Lexie has been on the outside but hopefully that will change a little. Watching Stefano play his children like puppets and them react and either go along or rebel just delights me. And when he slaps one of them, even my beloved EJ, well I feel nothing but joy. They’re fascinating!

    So I could not be more delighted with the return of Stefano. I shall enjoy watching him butt heads with John and watching Tony and EJ navigate between their father and uncle.

    I almost forgot, Anna was hilarious in that scene as was Tony trying desperately to shut her up since he knew Father was awake. Long live the DiMera’s and all their shades from white to gray to black!

  2. Stefano isn’t even out of his bed yet and he is already in total control. I am so loving it. He will get his rrrrevenge on everyone and it is going to be so fun to watch.

  3. I love it when Stefano slaps his children, too! Joe M. has such a great presence that I can totally see people knuckling under to him, and it being a difficult process to shake off his influence.

    I am glad to see that Marlena’s actions against Stefano aren’t just being glossed over, though I imagine everyone else on the show will happily forgive her. I had to laugh at her telling the assassin that she “knows how to stab” or whatever the line was. Indeed you do, Marlena.

  4. Very insighful post, MP! What I think is interesting about this is that when a group of children have the same mother, the show runs into the issues you mention, like SORAS-ing and the need to put the characters into age group “clumps”. Otherwise, it makes no sense that characters with such a wide age range would have the same mother.

    However, in the case of Stefano, his children can (legitimately) be a wide range of ages and have the same father. Thus, we have Tony and EJ as brothers, with Lexie as the ‘middle aged’ sister. There’s no need at all by the writers to clump these characters into age groups; rather, the writers (wisely) use the age disparity to their advantage in constructing the storyline.

    When on soaps we (unfortunately) see so many women sleep around and have children throughout the years, it’s almost refreshing to have a ‘patrilineal’ storyline for the writers and actors to sink their teeth into.

  5. Yeah, Kate’s kids are ridiculous for how they were born. They’re so spread out, for one thing, like you say. Then she gave birth to only three out of the six, with Marlena carrying Rex and Cassie and Vivian carrying Phillip. I remember when my mom was trying to explain all this to me, how confused I got! Too crazy.

  6. I was behind on this, but wanted to chime in that I too have been greatly enjoying the DiMeras since Stefano came back, not least because they’ve been putting them all in the same room to play off each other. And the progression of the Bo-Phillip relationship has been good too.

    Hopefully the show will be able to sustain for a while ahead keeping both Victor and Stefano on screen at the same time, driving all these things.

  7. Zara, I think you’re absolutely right that the big difference is actually putting them in the same room and letting them interact. I remember right after EJ shot John, there was all that brouhaha about Lexie giving Tek’s evidence. And there was exactly one mention of EJ and Lexie being brother and sister.

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