50th Anniversary

You’ve probably all heard the news by now that Stephen will be joining Mary Beth on the show for the 50th anniversary coming up, along with a SORASed Joey.  Part of me is excited and hoping against hope for a real, angsty reunion story — and part of me is expecting a tired triangle with — I don’t know, Eve? Ugh. Likely the reality will be somewhere between the two.

In any case, I’ll definitely be tuning in! So this has inspired me to try to shake the dust off this blog. I’m not ready to jump back into the current show — I’ll do it when we get closer to the anniversary — but this is a perfect opportunity to check back in with the past, in preparation for the future. But can I just be posting about Jack and Jennifer and Shayla with S&K coming back? No! So I’m going to break out of my current timeline for a bit and go way back, back to the beginning ….

Stalking scenes

I have to say, my favorite way to watch these scenes is to think about them from a storytelling perspective, how carefully this was planned. It’s important to remember they had already started adding depth and layers to bad-guy Patch at this point in the story: we saw he genuinely loved Britta, we saw him starting to help Bo. Hope already likes him. However, he is still mostly a bad guy, and it would have been perfectly plausible for Steve to work for Emma simply because he was a thug-for-hire. It adds a little something to his character that he initially refuses her offer (and calls her “the wicked witch of the west” — love it!) and says he is “selective” in who he works for. But his anger at Bo over Britta gives him a personal, more understandable motive to scare Bo’s sister.

At the same time, though, the show isn’t pulling its punches — let’s face it, it’s not really that great of a reason to stalk and scare someone. And it shouldn’t be. If this is a true redemption story, and it is, we need to see that Steve has something to be redeemed from. Steve’s line to Bo and Hope above frames the issue perfectly: “Don’t give me this ‘Steven’ crap. I’m Patch — that’s all I’ll ever be.”

Here’s another awesome thing, again from a storytelling perspective: we aren’t told who Kayla is. We see Steve react to the name on the piece of paper, but we never see the name ourselves. And through all of the scenes in Cleveland, Kayla is never identified. It is not until it is all over and Kayla receives Kim’s call, asking her to come home and help Bo, that we realize who she is. It’s a great way to introduce a new recast, essentially a new character. All through these scenes, we wonder who she is. Why does he say it will be “fun” to scare her? Does he know her? Is it someone from Steve’s past? An alert viewer might remember that Kayla is a nurse, that she moved to Cleveland, but I bet most people didn’t figure it out (ah, the days before spoilers!). It creates interest in a new character from the beginning.

And now for the stalking itself. I am amazed at how scary Steve is, amazed that the show decided to make him that scary (and seeing a yellow rose used this way makes me want to cry). Personally, I don’t see anything in these scenes that hint at the planned love story. This wouldn’t have been inconceivable. We could have seen Steve regret what he was doing, have second thoughts, hesitate. We could have seen him overcome with self-loathing afterwards. We see his attraction to her, sure, but given the context it comes across as, frankly, creepy. But I love that they do it. I think it demonstrates the confidence of a show at the top of its game. They knew they had the patience, the writing ability, and the chops of two amazing actors, to come back from this.

(I am going to try, try, try my very hardest not to let weeks pass between posts as I go through this. I want to spend some time in detail with very early Steve and Kayla, since I feel this time period gets a bit neglected. I’ll also keep posting about Jack and Jennifer and Shayla as I continue to watch those stories. This is going to be fun!)


14 thoughts on “50th Anniversary

  1. Hmm, ain’t nothing fun about Shayla, except maybe bashing it to no end!
    I thought the early S&K (stalking stuff) was pretty well and thoroughly blogged by you already, but anything you write is welcome. You’re good at it. Do you plan to cover the post-wedding stuff, or God possibly forbid, the ’06-’09 story? I’ve not seen all of it but most of it. It left such an ugly taste in everyone’s mouth and I heard that SN said he’d never come back to the show EVER.

    But I half way always expected for some kind of return. S&K really do need a proper send off. Plus have you seen the dreadfully boring role SN played on Y&R? I checked out a little of it, and if I hear the phrase ‘Beauty of Nature” ever again, I’ll scream. What a bore-fest that was, so I’m happy to see him taking a break from his supposed new directing career and returning to DOOL as his most defining role.

  2. Glad to have you back and I look forward to reading your blog entries. Very well thought out and written and spot on with the characters. I wonder what they will do with S&K when Steve returns. I may just have to start watching Days again to see this story. I only watched Steve’s return via YouTube and not when it was on. Not to get off topic but I have seen some posts on twitter to “bringbackjack”. Again via youtube I watched his returns after his original departure in 1993. Seems like they botched his story so many times how could they resurrect him (literally ha ha) ? Was wondering your thoughts…………….

    • Well, I for one would love it if Jack came back! To have Jack back along with Steve, especially, so we could see the brothers interacting again. One thing I remember enjoying during the too-brief time when both S&K and Jack and Jennifer were on the show together in 2006.

      And he’s come back from the dead so many times, what’s one more …

  3. Welcome back. I was wondering if you were going to do a post on Stephen’s (and Peter’s) return. I might have to start tuning in to DOOL again. I had gotten past Steve’s death and the beginning of Shayla on my DVD’s but decided to go back and watch Steve and Kayla from the beginning. Right now I’m up to the first time Steve and Kayla made love and trying to get myself geared up for the break up and marriage to Jack. I tried the 2006 – 2009 story and watched it until October 2007 when I went on vacation and never had time to watch it and just gave up. I’m hoping for a decent story or if Stephen is just staying for a short time, give a chance for Steve and Kayla to leave town together and be happy. In my opinion DOOL is wasting MBE’s talent and honestly I would rather see her leave the show than be so underused. But I’m looking forward to see a grown up Joey and what they are going to do with him.

    • Thanks! I still follow some Days blogs and the consensus is that it is pretty bad right now. I think that Dena Higley’s stuff hasn’t started yet? I can’t believe that I’m going to start to watch again just as the person who drove me away from Days becomes headwriter again. But, I’m trying to stifle my doubts and just hope for the best.

      I am still watching the Shayla and JnJ stuff with my friend Erica, and I’m going to keep documenting that here along with my revisit of the Steve and Kayla story. So feel free to go back to Shayla if you want to follow along.🙂

  4. I saw your upload on youtube and was glad to find this post! I’ve been keeping up with MBE on Days but not a lot else, so looking forward to catching up with your blog. I’m right on board with this–

    > Part of me is excited and hoping against hope for a real, angsty reunion story — and part of me is expecting a tired triangle with — I don’t know, Eve? Ugh. Likely the reality will be somewhere between the two.

    –and looking forward to seeing how it all comes together. Even if it’s a hot mess, it’ll feel like old times now, lol.

    • Hee! I agree that if it’s a hot mess, we’ll be used to it! It kills me to remember how hopeful and optimistic I was in 2006 about what kind of story they were going to get. I won’t be so naive this time.

  5. I remember seeing the stalking again a few years ago and being kind of shocked at how bad it really was. It may not cross any unredeemable lines, but it’s pretty intense. And except for one tiny moment in the closet and when she’s asleep, Steve doesn’t seem reluctant at all, in fact he enjoys it. It’s a credit to the writing and acting that when the truth finally comes out, I actually feel bad for Steve.

    All in all, it’s a pretty intense start to their story and one of the more memorable ones that I can think of.

    • I don’t think this kind of beginning would fly anymore for a love story. There’s so much more awareness now of the problems of stalking and sexual harassment. Even a well executed story that started like this would be controversial. And on Days today, what are the chances it would be well executed?

      Sometimes I wonder why they didn’t use the stalking more than they did – show more fallout. As far as I can tell Kayla doesn’t even mention it to anyone in Salem. When we next see her in Cleveland her apartment is all cleaned up, no spray paint on the walls or anything, and she doesn’t seem worried about going back to Cleveland at all.

      Plus it just seems that Kayla might make a connection between the guy who harassed her in Cleveland, and Steve in Salem … there’s a similarity there. Especially when Steve shows up in Cleveland the second time. Oh, well. Maybe it’s best not to think about it too hard!

  6. So glad you are back. I agree that I am hoping for the best and prepared for the worst for the new SK storyline. Frankly, I am just looking forward to seeing MBE and SN working together again in my favorite incarnations. Especially, since I never really believed it was going to happen.

    The early stalking scenes are some of my favorites. The writers did an superb job of taking the character of Steve, who was starting to change, and bringing him back to square one. I’ve also really liked how they effectively tied in old Kayla and new Kayla. Her hesitation with Chris due to the old relationship, her role as family peacemaker, to even though she was young the hospital board agreed to hire her because she was so well thought of by Dr. Horton and others.

    I look forward to reading your new insights.

    • Totally agree about Kayla’s introduction. I’m watching these scenes now. Love how we get to know her (again) in her own right — the connection to Chris, her desire to help her family, her professionalism, her dilemma over whether to take the job of running the EC. So great.

      I think, with this return, that if we at least get some good scenes that give them a chance to act together, even if the overall story isn’t great, that’s the best we can hope for. That’s kind of my mindset going in.

  7. So what’s this I hear that SN and MBE have already started taping – for shows that won’t air till November 2015? That seems awfully unusual for a soap. Thought soaps generally shot for only a few weeks in advance since production happens so fast. Has MBE been on lately? Looking forward to seeing how they start showing whatever leads up to SN’s return.

    • Days started this taping schedule a few years ago as a cost saving measure. They shoot about 4 months out instead of the more typical 4-6 weeks. So SN and MBE started taping last month, and I believe we’re looking at August for that stuff to air. I think I’ll start watching at the beginning of August and just keep reading recaps before then. I don’t think MBE has been on lately, but I’ll keep my eyes open and watch anything of hers that airs between now and then. It’s definitely hard to wait!

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