Shades of Shayla

A complaint that I had heard many times among Steve and Kayla fans is that Days was setting up a Shane and Kayla relationship even before Steve died. To be honest, I was bracing myself for something pretty bad. Shane casting soulful looks at Kayla across Steve’s deathbed … Shane holding Kayla in the hospital lounge as she worries about Steve. Things like that.

I have now watched up through a good chunk of Steve’s time in the hospital. And maybe it’s only because I was bracing myself for something much, much worse, but I haven’t seen a thing so far that seems inappropriate between the two characters. I think it’s knowing the future that makes all the difference. (This is why I try to stay as spoiler-free as possible—even with these 20-year old storylines! πŸ™‚ ) If you know what happens later, you can say the show is paving the way for Shayla beforehand. And honestly, they probably were. And I can definitely understand it being upsetting. But, for me personally, if Shane and Kayla aren’t acting out of character, it’s hard for me to get too upset about it. Here is an example of the kind of scene I think you can look back on and see shades of the future Shayla relationship:

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In retrospect, the emotional tenor of the conversation, their conflict over the way Shane treated Kim, and the way Shane confides in Kayla can all add up to a certain intimacy between them. But it’s also a powerful, realistic scene between the sister of the woman Shane hurt badly, and a man who doesn’t have anyone to confide in anymore.

What also gets lost in the focus on Shane and Kayla is that the show also seems to be paving the way for a possible Marcus/Kayla pairing. Check this out:

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This is actually far more overt than anything involving Shane and Kayla. If they had gotten together later, this scene would come across as “ew, he was macking on her before Steve even died!” And I know that Marcus does, in fact, develop feelings for Kayla later, so if you were so inclined, you could read this scene that way anyway. But, although this one skirts closer, this doesn’t cross the line for me either. Instead it seems to be mostly based on the envy we’ve seen all along that Marcus has had for Steve and Kayla’s relationship. But now, faced with the fact that Steve and Kayla are leaving, this adds a slightly different dimension. It’s like he’s realizing he doesn’t just want a deep and abiding relationship like Steve and Kayla have, maybe he wants someone who is well, a lot like Kayla.

There is also a scene where there seems to be some minor chem testing between Kayla and Brian Scofield, of all people. But unfortunately, my choice for post-Steve pairing for Kayla (after a suitably decent interval, of course) had left the show by this time: Michael T. Weiss’s Mike Horton. Here is a great little segment from 1988, when evil Jack sees Kayla and Mike innocently flirting and decides to try to cause some trouble:

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I think there is a nice bantery chemistry between Kayla and Mike. But what I love about this is how stupid Jack looks for thinking it would bother Steve. I think he is comparing his own relationship with Kayla to Steve’s relationship with her, and thinking how he would react. Actually, how he is reacting, because Jack clearly envies the easy give and take between Mike and Kayla, that is such a contrast to how she acts with him. And actually, Mike and Kayla really did have a short relationship (when they were played by two different actors!), so this is great use of history.


14 thoughts on “Shades of Shayla

  1. Another great post, mary pickford, :). I thought the interaction between Kayla and Shane quite interesting, didn’t see the foreshadowing of the upcoming pairing, just a brother in law and sisiter in law talking about difficulties in his marriage. I am a bit fuzzy aabout what had happened between Kayla and shane, i guess this is when he was presumed dead and she took up with cal Winters and once again, the paternity of a her child was in question. just like it was with andrew, when she thought that Victor was the father.
    I thought that the scene with Marcus was more overt, I think that he was telling her subtly that she was the one that she wanted.
    Just a quick question, when Kayla and Shane do become a “couple”, as could be evident at the wedding of Jack and Jennifer were they ever lovers?? Enquiring minds want to know.
    Still watching these old clip remeind me of the great writing and acting that once was a constant on days. it is spring break and i have been watching the present incarnation of Jennifer/Abby acting like pod people in their put-downs of their once beloved husband and father and another forced pairing for Jennifer with an uncharismatic male character.
    Sad to see days become a shadow of its one great self. :(.

  2. Thanks. πŸ™‚ Yes, what Kayla and Shane are talking about is when Shane was presumed dead, and Kim had a brief relationship with Cal Winters. Then Shane came back with amnesia and they had all the problems associated with that. Then Kim found out she was pregnant and (of course) Cal manipulated the tests somehow so it looked like he was the father. So we have a WTD, a back from the dead spouse, an amnesia story, and a crazy interloper all rolled into one. Poor Kim and Shane.

    Regarding the Kayla/Shane relationship, obviously I have not watched it yet. But I do know that yes, they were lovers.

    I have heard about some of what is happening on Days with Jennifer. I don’t think I want to see that. 😦

  3. I really do think it is hindsight that makes the Shane/Kayla interactions rub people the wrong way and/or make them feel like Shane and Kayla hooked up before Steve’s body was even cold. It’s pretty clear that Shane is operating more in Steve and Kayla’s orbit than he has in the past in these scenes, but the interaction is very believable and hardly a portent for romance.

    And, like you, I think the Marcus/Kayla scene is more overt about signalling a possible future romance. I love the scene and I think it’s sweet that Marcus basically tells Kayla he’s in love with her without exactly telling her that. It’s really very sweet.

    I’m probably the only one who will ever say this, but I kind of wish there had been a little more Brian/Kayla chem testing down the line. Brian is such a goofy character, but he kind of reminds me of Mike and I think I might have liked to see if there was any kind of chemistry to build on.

  4. I can actually imagine Brian Scofield, esp, so you’re not the only one! I really like the idea that if Kayla was going to be with someone, that he be very different from Steve. Brian definitely fits that bill. I also like the idea of her being with someone who didn’t know Steve. But they’d have to build him to being a more major character, I think.

  5. Hi mary pickford,

    When do we get a new blog entry??? I have completely stopped watching the present incarnation of Days and cannot believe the charcter assasination of jack Deveraux and jennifer rose horton. I have to believe that jennifer is a like a pod Jennifer because, i can’t believe the words that are coming out of her with regards to the love of her life for most of her adult life. Please don’t get me started with the instant “relationship” with the the man who broke up her brother’s marriage and has been with many women of salem from old to young. Yuck :(. Sorry to say but the halo over jennifer’s head has slipped of and been badly tarnished.

    Truthfully, if soaps like All My children /One life to life can be cancelled then Ken Corday and the crew at Days should be wary as well.

  6. Hi, love the soaps, I’m sorry, I know it’s been way too long since I posted. Work and home have both been very busy and it’s been hard to find a minute. I’ll try to get something up by next week at the latest!

    I’m sorry about Jennifer’s return and how it’s turned out. I haven’t seen any of it but I’ve heard some fearful things.

    I was shocked by the OLTL/AMC announcement. I know there have been rumors about both of them, but it shocked me just the same. I think it was when I realized there will only be four soaps left. Honestly I think now it is only a matter of time before they are all gone …

  7. Thanks for the reply, Mary Pickford. I do enjoy your blog entries since they are well written and show insight into the glory days, not the dreck that is repeated ad nauseum. I agree that the writing is on the wall with regard to the future of soaps, most especially days currently dwelling in the basement in ratings.
    Happy easter

  8. I agree that there is a common misperception that the Shayla relationship was set up immediately (and have written about it at length). And ITA about the other chem-testing being overlooked. I know some people think Marcus would have worked, but I think it would have been just as bad. (FYI, The show also chem-tested Shane/Julie right around the time Kim left.)

    I won’t add any spoilers about Shayla, because I don’t know how far you’ve gotten into viewing that storyline, but this is not the only misconception about that storyline. I’m interested in seeing more of your thoughts.


  9. Hi Jess! Thanks for your comment. I’ve never seen any of this (didn’t find out that Shayla happened until 2005!).

    And I agree about Marcus. I think if that’s what had really happened, instead of as a hypothetical alternative to Shane, people would hate it just as much. Especially since the chem testing is fairly obvious between them. Another moment (from after Steve’s death) shows Kayla up on the roof of the loft. There’s a montage of her and Steve to “Goodbye my Friend” and then Marcus comes up and puts his arms around her and holds her and they both smile and seem comforted and happier. It’s a lovely moment, but if they had gotten together later I think people who look at it and say “Look, Steve’s not even cold!!”

    • Mary:

      I thought you might be interested in this little clip I uploaded. You mentioned the chem-testing of Kayla with other men, but I came across this Shane/Julie scene that aired a day or two before Kim left Salem (and just before the clips you’ve posted). This looks to me like the show chem-tested Shane/Julie even before Shane/Kayla.

      • Oh, that was so interesting, Jess. Thanks for posting. It’s funny to think about what the show considers and then doesn’t end up doing.

        And I thought they had some good chemistry. I always liked Julie. πŸ™‚

      • Mary:

        As Erica knows, I really like the Shane/Julie friendship. They didn’t have many scenes together, but I really enjoy the ones they did. I agree about their chemistry and think it would have been interesting to see what the writers came up with had they pursued that. When you consider that Julie was close to Eve at the time and had gotten close to Victor during Cruise of Deception just prior to this, there were a lot of storyline possibilities.

  10. The idea is definitely intriguing. Julie is so very different from Kim—older, very confident, rich in her own right. And I think the snarky banter would be fun. πŸ˜‰

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