Sonny, we hardly knew ye

Freddie Smith, who plays Sonny, is leaving the show. We are watching his exit this week.


I can’t offer much comment on Sonny and Will’s falling in love story, which was apparently quite awesome. Instead, I can only talk about the sorry downslide of the last few months.

The pieces were there for a decent story, honestly. Will did marry his first boyfriend, fairly soon after coming out. He did suddenly find himself settled down with a family at a very young age. It makes sense, in the abstract, for Will to suddenly find himself insecure and jealous when Sonny’s ex-boyfriend, a hot baseball player, suddenly shows up in town. I even like the idea of Will interviewing said baseball player, realizing as they are talking that Paul is Sonny’s ex, and seducing him in response. (UPDATE: too bad it didn’t happen that way! Commenter Erica has informed that Will didn’t find out until later about Paul and Sonny’s past. That means he cheated on Sonny … just because, I guess. Sigh.)

I think that the story was hurt by a combination of factors. One is the complete lack of chemistry between Freddie and Guy Wilson. I heard that Chandler Massey, who previously played Will, was fired for shooting his mouth off about his plans to leave Days at the end of his contract. Days decided to do a pre-emptive strike and fired him first. If that’s true, the joke’s on Days, because I think Guy Wilson is really kind of terrible.

The other problem with the story is that it was entirely about Will. Sonny is supposed to be the one in the middle, right? But he didn’t seem torn at all, didn’t seem to have feelings for Paul at all. It all seemed to be in Will’s head, which made his desperation and jealousy seem stupid. Sonny also seemed extremely passive. Will cheated on him, lied to him, bribed their marriage counselor, threw jealous fits, and indulged in schemes to get Paul away from Salem and away from Sonny. And Sonny just put up with it.

Until yesterday (8/17), when we finally got to see Sonny get angry. It was too little, too late, but it was cathartic. Then, in the scene in the park with Paul, and that final intense closeup, I thought, whoa … chemistry. This is what the story should have been highlighting all along. It would have made Will’s actions more understandable, if no less idiotic. And it would have given given Sonny, and Freddie Smith, something interesting to work with — the good man torn between his marriage, which is in trouble, and his first love.

15 thoughts on “Sonny, we hardly knew ye

  1. I have to say that I have never been a Sami fan. To me a little Sami goes a long way and she is probably the reason I never got back into the show even though I would watch sporadically the last decade or so. It has always felt like she schemes and schemes but she always feels like she is a victim and somehow convinces others that she is a victim. Guy Wilson’s version of Will is just like that. He schemes and lies and then he whines about how other people treat him or whatever. He seems so immature and there is no chemistry with Sonny at all. I would prefer it if Sonny were staying and Will were going but I know that isn’t happening. Will needs to be recast if he is staying in Salem.

  2. I agree. I think he’s okay when he is playing it sweet, but I don’t buy the scheming at all! I loved Sami, and even I got tired of all her schemes (I hate when characters never learn from their mistakes!). Trying to turn Will into little-Sami isn’t working for me. There was a good story, and built in conflict, without the scheming. Wasn’t it enough that he was jealous and insecure? That he got married young, and maybe had some regrets about settling down too soon? Sorry to see Sonny go, but this storyline is falling flat for me.

    • My problem is that it felt like Sami took over the show. I assume the writers just loved writing for her but it felt like she got too much of the attention. She never lacked for storylines or love interests and too many other characters became her supporting cast.

      • You are completely right about that. Too much of a good thing is still too much. I’m sure the writers did love writing for her. Bad guys, complicated characters and emotional messes are probably much more fun to write for. The problem is you can burn out the audience. That’s why balance is so important on soaps. You have to have several different interesting stories and character arcs. You can’t fall in love with one character or story to the detriment of everything else. When you have to fill an hour a day, you better have more than one good story or character under your hat.

        That’s kind of why binge watching past eras on youtube is so fun. You can watch only the stuff you like, and skip over what you know is going to irritate you.

    • Turning Will into a mini-Sami was a mistake, partly because it came out of nowhere. Up until recently, Will’s character was that of the stable son of two unstable parents. He saw firsthand how destructive his parents were to each other with all their scheming and manipulating (Lucas used to do his fair share too).

      Sami quit scheming as much after awhile but they didn’t really develop her character as much as I wanted. I always liked AS — I think she has her moments as an actress, and she easily generates chemistry with her co-stars. Sometimes in soaps that’s all you need! But I agree with Shea that sometimes it felt like Days was the Sami show.

  3. I hadn’t really gotten into this story until Will and Sonny really talked yesterday and then when Sonny and Paul met up…wow, that was great! I hadn’t realize all the dumb things Will had done until then. He is so paranoid and such a schemer. I’m sorry Sonny is leaving and wish it was Will instead with a recast coming back. Paul is my favorite of the three. I hope he doesn’t leave anytime soon.

    • Yes, that final scene of Paul and Sonny was great! Why haven’t they been using that all along?

      I think Paul is staying. I’m not sure about Guy Wilson. I’ve heard some rumblings that he might be gone, but it’s all rumor at this point.

  4. I agree that the story was way too much about Will. But, Will didn’t actually know that Paul was Sonny’s ex (or that Paul even knew Sonny) until after he slept with Paul. Neither Will nor Paul knew of the other’s connection to Sonny until after their affair.

    Although that lack of knowledge makes Will’s actions less intentionally cruel, it also made them completely random. There was really no motivation for the affair beyond Will apparently being attracted to a hot guy. That was the biggest hole in the story, IMO.

    I’ll miss Sonny since I liked him much more than Will and thought he and Paul had possibilities. Plus I wanted Jackson Steven Kiriakis to finally have some scenes with his uncle.

    • Darn it! I always try to research when I’m talking about stories I haven’t seen, but the who-knew-what-when is always the hardest thing to get right. You’re right, it makes Will’s actions completely random. I would at least understand him going after Paul (especially if Paul seemed interested already) if he knew that Paul was Sonny’s ex. I actually was giving the show a bit of credit for that part.

      Sigh, I’ll update the post.

      And I agree, I would have loved to see Sonny interacting with his uncle Steve!

      • I remember watching the first episode or two when Paul came to Salem and he was flirting with everything in town. He made out withe Teresa and was coming on to the PT Jordan. Was he that flirty with Will? I mean did he seduce Will?

  5. I just wanted to say that today’s episode was the first time I wish I recorded the show. I would love to see the Chad and Abbey scenes again!

  6. OMG, ditto on Guy Wilson. Chandler Massey regularly knocked it out of the park, and I was disappointed to see him go, but I tried to give GW a fair shot. His first few days were awful, but I figured he’d get less wooden and more charismatic as time wore on. But no. I started FFing through his scenes, which is saying something because I adore Freddie Smith.

    It makes sense that Will might be a little Sami, although Sami wasn’t really a cheater (grief sex with EJ aside) as much as a schemer. Will has always been kind of an inept schemer. You probably weren’t watching at the time, but there was a brief attempt to develop EJ into Will’s mentor-in-crime, which I thought was awesome. Chandler had amazing chemistry with James Scott, with a little crush element on Will’s side that EJ seemed to recognize and exploit. I would have loved to see that explored, but they dropped it. That’s what I saw, anyway. Other people’s MMV, of course.

    So, I’m so glad I missed what sounds like a very unsavory storyline. I’m back to watching this week, though. Days, I just can’t seem to quit you. And OMG, Steve and Kayla! I’m fangirling like a 13 year old, here!

    • I did see the episode where Will went to EJ and asked for a job. I agree James Scott and Chandler Massey had chemistry. Was this before Will came out? In that episode EJ was obviously getting a huge kick out of teasing and taunting Will.

      Next week we’ll see Steve on Friday, and hopefully more of Kayla the rest of the week, than we’ve seen so far. I’m excited too – finally here!

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