Shit my mom says

As I’ve mentioned before, I owe my Days watching to my mom. She started watching in 1969, when my oldest brother was born. As a young child, I watched Doug and Julie, David Banning and Trish, Maggie as an alcoholic. And my favorite — Marie Horton and Alex Marshall.

From the show’s point of view, my mom is a better fan than me. She doesn’t obsess about it like I do – she just keeps watching. During our weekly telephone call, we usually spend a few minutes talking about the goings-on in Salem. Even when I’m not watching, she’ll give me updates. I think that’s part of why it was so easy to get back into the show this time around.

She’s a huge Drake Hogestyn fan, so I thought she might want to watch some of the Stockholm storyline with me after I got my DVDs. When I asked her, though, she seemed genuinely mystified. “But I already know what’s going to happen,” she said. I think she thinks it’s a bit odd that I keep this blog, though she’s too polite to say so.

When she comes for a visit, of course, like now, we watch together. This is one of my favorite things to do. I feel like she gives me insight into what the vast majority of Days viewers — the ones who don’t go to message boards — are probably reacting to the show. She doesn’t hold grudges against characters. When they are acting smart and trying to do the right thing, she’s rooting for them. When they aren’t, she sympathizes with them, or rolls her eyes and waits until she can root for them again. She doesn’t say, “The writers have ruined x for me!” or “I will never accept y after what she did to z!”

That’s not to say she’s not a smart viewer. She doesn’t obsess and overanalyze like me, but she knows the score. Here are my mom’s comments on some of the recent storylines:

Daniel and Nicole: “That’s a wedding that will never happen.”

Abby and Ben: “Neither will that one.”

Eric: “He should become a priest again, and spare himself all this aggravation.”

Rafe and Hope: “He’s only interested in her because there aren’t enough women to go around.”

Paige: “She’s supposed to be so smart, why is she acting like a dingbat?”

Stefano and Clyde: “Oh, just kill them both and bury them in that land in Ireland.”

Theresa: (big sigh) “Honestly.”

But, there is one thing my mom and I have in common in our Days watching:  we both want to enjoy the show. Sometimes I need to take a break from message boards just because of the negativity. Not that the show hasn’t earned it. But I’d much rather talk about what I liked on the show each day, instead of dwelling on what I didn’t. My mom is the same, and that makes her a fun viewing partner.


21 thoughts on “Shit my mom says

  1. I thought I was the only to remember Marie and Alex. I loved them too. I love yor mom’s perspective on Paige and Theresa. Very on target. My mom got me hooked on soaps too. She had the same perspective as your mom. She’s gone now and I miss watching with her. Our favorite back in the day was Edge of Night. She was bummed when it was cancelled. Enjoy the time with your mom.

    • My mom watched some other soaps occasionally but Days is definitely her favorite. I watched Guiding Light for awhile, Santa Barbara, but it’s always been Days for me too.

      Marie and Alex were awesome! I remember how much I wanted them to hook up when they were stranded by the plane crash. Those scenes are burned in my brain.

  2. Say HI to your Mom from the obsessive viewer bunch! Kathy Edge of Night – I used to love that and watched it until the end of the show.

  3. and your Mom is right of course, just watch, enjoy and move on!
    I think about way back when, when I watched in High School and then College (which was the 80’s heyday) and we would watch, talk about it at school and then wait for the next day. Or get together in someone’s dorm room to see what would happen. We were constantly only talking about what happened on TODAY’s show and what would happen next. I don’t remember harping on what went wrong, was wrong or what was in the past. It was all about what was going to happen next.

    • That’s what my mom thinks about – what’s going to happen. Although when Maggie said Daniel was a “dog” when he first came to town, my mom said, “Finally, someone said it!” So I guess she does hold some grudges! Ha!

  4. My mother was not a soap viewer when I was young. My sister and I started watching soaps after my cousin babysat us in the summers and we started watching DOOL after one of my sister’s friends turned us on to the developing romance of Roman and Marlena. I managed to get my mother to start watching sometime in the mid 80s…well, me and Drake Hogestyn. I am not sure when she stopped watching. I told her a couple of weeks ago that she should try watching again but she said “no way”….even when I told her that her other favorite from back in the day was coming to DOOL….A Martinez. She used to love Cruz on Santa Barbara almost as much as she loved Drake Hogestyn.

  5. I got hooked on GH by my grandmother who used to babysit us – she loved Audrey and Steve. I was in high school when the LnL story evolved and got totally OBSESSED! From there to Santa Barbara (Cruz and Eden and Mason and Julia) and Days (Steve and Kayla). I am so excited about A Martinez coming to Days. He is just an overwhelmingly great actor. I’m excited to see who they decide to pair him with. He always delivers. My friends think I’m hilarious about how obsessed I get with my “stories,” but I just tell them you can’t knock it until you try it. There’s nothing like a great romantic story, and on soaps, unlike nighttime TV, you don’t have to wait a week, or for next season, it’s on every day! It’s my one (or two) hours of total enjoyment (mostly).

    I think the advent of “spoilers” has kind of ruined the fun for a lot of people – which is why I’m trying to stay spoiler free. It’s more exciting when you don’t know what’s going to happen next. I’m hoping I can stay strong, even when I get so frustrated I want to tear my hair out LOL.

    • It really does help my enjoyment of the show to be spoiler free. It makes the mediocre stories more interesting because at least you have the suspense factor. And it makes the bad stuff better because you don’t have all the dread and railing against the show beforehand – just afterwards. Lol. And the good stuff comes as a pleasant surprise.

      I think you’re right that the 5 day a week format gets you more invested in the characters and the couples. I just love it as a form of storytelling, and I hope it’s around for a long time yet.

  6. Haha! Your mom’s comments are on the money. My kids and I are spending a month with my parents right now, and Mom and I love to watch stuff together. We’re mostly doing nighttime drama, but she’s been watching Y&R pretty much from its beginning. I never could catch the vision with Y&R, but I watch some with her, and we make fun of things and laugh. She only dabbles in DAYS. She was dabbling in Santa Barbara when I was a pretty small kid, and my siblings and I got into Cruz and Eden. I was also a Mason/Julia fan, even though I was watching after their heyday when Lane Davies played Mason. Then we all got into Another World. My best friend’s grandma was a loyal DAYS viewer though, so my friend got into it. She told me I’d love this couple on DAYS (yes, it was Jack and Jennifer), so I checked it out, she was right, and DAYS became my soap of choice.

    Normal DAYS viewers sometimes baffle me, but I’m sure they’re much more healthy about it. 🙂

    • Hee! They probably are more healthy. But, I figure everyone has to have a hobby, and this is mine.

      Thank goodness for your friend. 🙂 I’m forever grateful to my mom falling in love with Drake because that’s what got me back into Days again just in time for Steve and Kayla. 🙂

  7. I seem to remember my mother liked Mike Horton quite a bit too…so maybe it was the chest hair. She didn’t like “Patch” and couldnt even say his name without turning up her nose…lol.

  8. I enjoyed hearing your moms comments. They were funny and true (Eric!) I think she’s probably more representative of the average viewer who just takes each day as it comes but has opinions like the one about Theresa (big sigh “Honestly) lol!

    I’m back to Days and GH after about a decade away from GH and over 20 from Days. I never thought I’d get back into soaps but I have the time now. Hubby had the day off today and watched Days with me. It was funny…he got a kick out of Xander with his shirt off. I’m like what can I say? It’s hot working outside in Salem. He said he was surprised he didn’t take his pants off too. 😆 it’s fun to hear what non viewers think. He was a bit interested in what was going on with Aiden and Clyde.

  9. Thanks for sharing this! I always think it’s fascinating to see how ‘offline’ viewers watch the show. My grandma watched both Days and Passions all through the 2000s, before her eyesight got too bad to make out the closed captions (her hearing went when I was younger), and I always LOVED being able to sit down and watch with her. It was a lot more in-the-moment than the way I watch, just like with your mom and you, and it did make me understand why they sometimes write the show the way they do — that is, not just casually referencing all this long-lost history (even though I think it can be done artfully and enhance the current stories without stopping them in their tracks).

  10. Another example of her different reaction from online fans, at least online J&M fans: she thinks it’s “sweet” that Paul is John’s son and loves their scenes.

    “In the moment” is a good way to describe it, though she knows the history and has a good memory for it. She likes to try to reconstruct old storylines, like last night she asked me, whatever happened to Phillip and Mimi’s baby? And we reconstructed the whole embryo switch and Mimi’s surrogate and Steve and Kayla trying to adopt Pocket. Then she said they should bring him back as a teen now that Phillip is coming back.

    She had some good reactions last night. She called Theresa “simple” and said, during the Rafe/Kate scenes, “They need to stop putting him with these elderly women.” Hee!

  11. I absolutely agree that about watching for the things you like and not getting bogged down in the things you don’t. I’ve been trying to approach the show that way for awhile. The problem was, until recently, I had a hard time finding the things I liked. Luckily with Ericole and Chabby, I now have two things I like and it makes it so much easier to either ignore or just tolerate the stuff I don’t. I’m excited for the new stuff coming, but I’m doing my best to keep an even keel. I know I’m not going to suddenly love everything and there will still be times when I get frustrated, but I’m going to concentrate on what is good (or at least decent) and try to let the other stuff go. I WANT to enjoy the show and it’s easier to do that when I avoid the nitpicking and negativity.

    • Totally on the same page. 🙂 Setting myself up to think everything will be 100% awesome this fall is a recipe for disappointment. I am already anticipating the message board backlash – “THIS is what everyone said was going to be so great? This sucks!” – and I’m determined not to get sucked into that.

      I’m also going to try to cultivate my mom’s attitude toward the characters, where she’s open to enjoying anyone, no matter what they’ve done in the past.

      • I agree about not getting sucked into the negativity. Although I’m such a total contrarian that the more negative people get, the more I’m generally willing to defend something – until it gets to the point of being indefensible (as the show was for awhile). So that doesn’t tend to wear me down so much.

        And I think I got your mom’s attitude about characters somewhere in the last few years. I mean, I despise Theresa right now but I won’t even pretend that a good story/writing wouldn’t totally change my opinion. I’m not sure Daniel can ever be fixed in the eyes of most fans, but I honestly have never hated him the way so many seem to. I don’t love him the way the show seems to want me to, but I’ve always just kind of been okay with the character most of the time. Sometimes he does things I hate, sometimes he actually does things I like. I’m not hoping he gets killed off, but I’m also not going to be that sad if he left the show.

        Honestly, there are only a couple of characters that they could probably even come close to “ruining” for me and the reality is that they probably can’t even do that because I’m kind of a sap. 🙂 My problem with the show hasn’t really been the ruining of characters as much as it has been focusing on characters that I just flat don’t care for (and not doing anything to make me actually care for them). The change in focus that has been promised is the part I’m looking forward to the most.

  12. We’re really lucky to have found this blog MP! Thank you. Staying away from all the internet negativity DOES help enjoy the show much more. it’s fun to have a place to come and talk about what’s going on, but the endless hating on a lot of the boards is very wearying. Why watch the show if you hate it so much LOL. I’m trying to pledge positivity, or at least a healthy sense of humor, when it comes to the things I don’t like so much. Right now I’m enjoying a lot of the show, and I think that’s because, having recently returned, I haven’t even visited one board. I’m going to try and make up my own mind :). Thanks for hosting this blog – it’s a great place to come and share thoughts with some thoughtful fans! Even when we don’t agree, everyone treats each other with respect, and that is saying a lot!

    • Yes, my commenters are all awesome. 🙂

      The thing that gets me about the negativity on message boards is when it just gets repetitive. We get it, you hate Theresa, or Daniel, or whoever. Is it necessary to make the same comment over and over again? I get having to vent but it’s not very interesting to read.

      Erica, I’m a sap too! And I think that’s a good thing. The show lets me down a lot but I always give it this: my willingness to be entertained and engaged. And that includes being able to let the bad writing in the past go, instead of insisting that x character, couple, or storyline is ruined forever.

      I agree about the focus thing too. Starting next week I’m pledging not to FF at all, give everyone a fresh start. But it’s going to be hard with Will and Paige. 🙂

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