“North Korea, it’s South Korea. You stay on your side and I’ll stay on mine.”
I think I love Melanie.
Melanie’s introduction has brought a welcome spice to the nonstop sugary sweetness that is Stax. After seeing Stephanie being Max’s endlessly supportive appendage, it’s nice to see some believable conflict being introduced. Stephanie, understandably, doesn’t trust Melanie’s motives and thinks she’ll just use Max and hurt him. And Max, understandably, has a vested interest in getting to know his sister and believing she has some redeeming qualities.
I love that they are playing all this with a light touch, with comedy and humor, so we can see how either Max or Stephanie (or both of them) could be right. And I think Molly Burnett is handling the comedy very well, surprisingly so for Days newcomer. She brings more to her lines than is on the page. I love how she is playing her reaction to having a brother. She’s seems to be seeing it as a little madcap adventure, and is obviously not taking it seriously. It’s a great contrast to how seriously Max is taking it. But that contrast is not coming across in an annoying, heavyhanded way, where she is Bad because she doesn’t immediately fall into fraternal love with her long, lost brother. (And having her do so, of course, would be Horrible Introduction Scenario #2.)
The light touch they are using here also shows how important the writing is, in introducing a “bad girl” character we can like. I think, for example, of how Shelley Hennig’s introduction as Stephanie was handled, how she was suddenly a wild child with a bad attitude with no explanation for why that was so. The show didn’t give us any reason to watch Stephanie, nothing to offset the hostility. Stephanie was introduced into a more serious storyline, so comedy wouldn’t have worked, but they needed to do something. We needed to see that her attitude and sex-kitten act with Jeremy was largely a defense mechanism. As it was, there was no reason to invest in the character, and I know lot of people were turned off.
But for Melanie, the comedy and the snark is working perfectly. I can’t wait to see her with Nick. I am very curious how Nick is going to handle his second bad girl. Will he be eager to play her knight in shining armor? Or will his experience with Chelsea make him distrustful and cautious?
I also look forward to seeing her interact with Chelsea. I have a scene in my mind where Melanie calls Chelsea out (in some snarky way, of course) on still being possessive of Nick even after she kicked him to the curb. That might be wishful thinking on my part. But even if it’s not about Nick, I think being around Melanie could bring Chelsea’s bitchy side out again, which would be a good thing.