Children in Jeopardy

If last week was a fun revisit that made me a bit nostalgic for the current show, this week reminded me of all the reasons I quit watching.

Actually, that’s not quite fair. The show does feel more cohesive, less disjointed. Plot points seem to happen in ways that generally follow the logic of storytelling instead of lurching all over the place in the way I used to find so maddening. It feels like the show actually has a mapped out plan for what is going to happen (as a soap should), and is executing it.

That goes a long way with me. I can enjoy the most tired, cliched storyline if it is well executed. But, this week, Ciara’s kidnapping has been absolutely excruciating. I think a lot of it had to do with watching the little girl who plays her:


With a creepy guy occasionally fondling her bows.

Kristian Alphonso has done very well playing the strung out, terrified mother, and I give her props for that. But by putting a child in jeopardy and stringing it along all week and then ending with Bo’s vision of Ciara being shot, the show went for the cheapest, laziest way of jacking up the emotional stakes.

Speaking of children:


Why, oh, why, Days? I have no idea how old Molly Burnett is, but I know Melanie is 18 and looks and acts younger. (And terrible—why does she look so terrible?) When she and Phillip were in bed together it truly looked like Phillip was in bed with a child. When that inevitable Days sex sax music kicked in, it was like something out of “barely legal” porn. (Hm, I await the many blog hits I’m going to get with that phrase.) And the really creepy thing is that this was all presented as though Melanie could be a legitimate point on the triangle with Stephanie. Yes, I know she got smacked down by Phillip the next day, but the show never acknowledged how weird and wrong it all was. Obviously, they don’t think so, and that’s what creeps me out most of all.

I don’t like being all doom and gloom and negativity, though, so I will point out that it was wonderful to see Stephanie, and to see her be flirty and lighthearted with Nathan, and standing her ground with Phillip. I think Shelley is looking gorgeous:


So is Ari Zucker:


And I’ve been meaning to post this. I love Wally Kurth’s sleek new haircut, but let’s not forget his contribution to the Pantheon of Days Mullets:


Screencaps NBC


11 thoughts on “Children in Jeopardy

  1. I am not watching the show anymore but I think the whole Ciara kidnapping is sick. Just causing trouble for Bo and Hope. I read many are not happy with how she is treating Bo through this.

    Stephanie needs her parents. They are focusing on her character and she has no support/family sytem. But we get the “oh my mom sent a text or letter” mention here and there.

    I think Stephanie and Philip had potential but they don’t know how to build a good love story. People are thrown together and someone has to sleep with somebody to cheapen the whole thing. Where is the romance, devotion and the love when a couple are not together? The longing and angst? Your in love one minute and then the next not.

    Things are just about the plot and not the characters anymore.


  2. I’m still watching the show, although I’m not always sure why. But, it is true that the show as a whole is more cohesive and feels like they actually have plans for storylines and stick to them. I’ve long said that I’d rather a show stick with a bad storyline at least until they can end it in some kind of logical manner than have the show end things with no logical conclusion or fallout (see, BSC!Steve and Ava storylines). So, I feel like I can’t complain to loud when they stick with ideas that, to me, seem not to be working.

    It is also very true that the show has clearly given up on any kind of character driven stuff. Granted that’s been the case long before the current monkeys showed up, but I guess now it feels like they’ve given up any pretense of even trying to be character driven. I suppose there is something to be said for not pretending to care about character consistency or growth. It’s not anything good, necessarily, but it is honest, I suppose.

    So, why am I still watching. Because I like Stephanie no matter how badly the monkeys treat her. Because I live for the little moments like Melanie getting crushed like a bug (however temporarily). Because even though the Ciara storyline sucks, it has sparked the return of FancyJudgmentalFace and heck, that’s always a little entertaining. Because Arianna Zucker rocks her material, no matter how poorly written it is. And because as much as the thing has driven me batty, I want to know how the whole babyswitch thing finally resolves.

    Or maybe it’s none of those things and I’m just a huge glutton for punishment. Somedays it’s harder to tell than others.

  3. esp13: I concur with many of your comments. While I don’t watch regularly anymore, I do keep up with the plots and sometimes try to catch scenes with characters I like, such as Stephanie. Perhaps it is because she’s Steve and Kayla’s kid (and Shelley Hennig has grown a lot as a performer). It is a shame TPTB can’t be true to her character by having her parents around. I thought the Steph/Philip pairing had potential, but it has been mangled with the type of character inconsistencies you mention.

    That said, to me, Melanie has improved a lot as a character. While her inexplicable crush on Philip is a weak point, it HAS shown some consistency by the writers in that she has continued to be hung up on the guy practically from the moment she set foot in Salem (fitting for a girl who is still a teenager). Perhaps the inevitable squashing that’s coming will end that obsession once and for all. That Phil would finally sleep with Mel should make Steph dump him for good!

    I also like Ari Zucker. I was on a break from Days during Nicole’s first run, but I find the character interesting. Ari has really sold the convoluted baby-switch material. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out, given how many characters are involved. In the pantheon of convoluted Days plots, it is nowhere near the nuttiest (the Princess Gina storyline gets my vote).

    Finally, MP: Thanks SO much for the Justin mullet photo. Oh, those crazy 80s!

  4. I am still watching, although not on a daily basis. I have to agree that I want to see how this whole baby switch storyline will end or at least come to a head.

    I mainly watch for Philip and Stephanie though. I really think that TPTB could have something great here, but that will remain to be seen. I like them together. I think Shelley and Molly have both grown as actresses since they first came to Days.

    I so wish that Steve and Kayla were back on Days to be involved with the Stephanie storylines, but that seems like a dream and won’t happen. They would be a great contribution to her storylines since their departure in February.

    And I have to agree, that pic of Justin is great!

  5. I really like Stephanie as well, and not just because she’s Steve and Kayla’s daughter. I think Shelley has grown a lot too as a performer. I think her part, the nonneurotic girl who the boys like, is harder than playing the insecure schemer. It’s easier to root for the underdog.

    I agree that Ari has been wonderful with this baby switch story, and I admit to a bit of curiosity about how it’s going to turn out!

  6. I haven’t watched in months but I do like to keep up with what’s going on. I too enjoyed watching Stephanie and Philip but never fully understood their character dynamic. Now that I understand the show is no longer character driven I get it!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Someone jog my memory, did Days ever do these child in danger stories before. I can’t remember. Teenagers, I think so but not young children. This is just too creepy.

    Ahhh, Justin, it just makes me long for the 80s. And let’s be honest, he and Steve rocked the mullet look. Emilio, on the other hand, well, enough said.

  7. The only children in peril stories I really recall involved accidents (ex. Shaun-D getting stuck in a well) or Stefano kidnapping Roman and Marlena’s children. I think he kidnapped Sami and Eric as babies and then he held Carrie for awhile during the Benji storyline. From what I recall, however, those weren’t creepfests like what’s going on with Ciara now.

    I recall a quote somewhere that after the strong reaction to the death of DJ (Don and Marlena’s son) in 1980, Ken Corday vowed NEVER to kill off a kid. Obviously, after Zach and Grace, he’s changed his tune and kids are fair game. Poor Ciara!

  8. I think kidnappings were pretty common—actually very common. But like you say, Melaraus, we didn’t see the kids tied up that much. I remember it being babies mostly.

    I think it was after Zach that Ken Corday said that about never killing off kids (though it’s possible one of his parents said the same after baby DJ’s death!). Someone mentioned elsewhere that Ken Corday was asked about that comment, and he had some lame response about how he didn’t mean never.

  9. Hmmm . . . I guess for Ken “never” not really meaning “never” explains why death is so rarely permanent on Days. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Former Days Cast Alert!

    Thanks to my preschooler, I just caught Shayna Rose (ex-Stephanie) on her new show, Nick. Jr.s “The Fresh Beat Band.” Her perky personality is put to much better use in this venue, which focuses on teaching singing and dancing skills to little ones. Her character is named “Marina.” For some reason I find that ironic.

  11. Ha! Well, I actually glimpsed her in a Nick Jr. commercial so I knew she was on a show there somewhere. But I had no idea that her name was “Marina.” I too somehow find that deeply, deeply ironic.

    I agree that her perky personality is perfect for a children’s show. And she can use her singing voice, which they never did on Days.

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