Miss Horton no more

Previous Jack and Jennifer post: On Trial

I’ve said many times, the bumbling, comedic version of Jack is my least favorite version. So, imagine my dismay that as soon as Lawrence’s trial wraps up — and I mean in the same episode — the show switches to all out comedy in the runup to Jack and Jennifer’s wedding, as Jack loses his voice with hysterical laryngitis. This is because he is so terrified, supposedly, at the idea of getting married. In hindsight, it is even more depressing, knowing that the downward slide will continue for many, many years.

But oh, there is so much to love here too. One running joke I really enjoy is that all the men in town keeping groaning at the idea of hanging out with Jack and giving him a bachelor party. Sometimes the show papers over all the conflicts for the sake of the Big Supercouple Day, and I thought this was a nice twist. And I really love that Jack asks Marcus to be his best man, as a tribute to Steve.

At the wedding itself, I don’t enjoy all the faux drama of Jack being trapped at a Wild West show, still mute and unable to escape, and then his dramatic entrance falling into a pool yelling and shrieking — though the “let’s get hitched” and kiss is very cute. But I really like the scene where Jack goes to talk to Jennifer before the ceremony (starts at 2:30):

This is comedic too, but it works — it’s more realistic and grounded in real emotion. Jack’s awkwardness is endearing and sweet. When Jo tells him (inaccurately) that Jennifer is “frightened,” and he needs to reassure her, I love his doubt at the idea of being the reassuring one. Then he tells Jennifer awkwardly that the wedding will go ahead, that there’s no stopping it, even if they both wanted to: “you got me?” When Jennifer says yes, he says “that’s your cross to bear.” Ha! And I love his final, vulnerable look at 4:29, like he’s realizing this is really happening.

UPDATE: here are the J&J wedding videos, now on Google+. They are private, I’ll have to add you to my circle so you can view them. Also, I can’t seem to embed the videos if they aren’t public — at least I haven’t figured out how yet!

Jack and Jennifer’s wedding

Jack gives Jen a letter

One thing I think they got right with this wedding is how they handled the vows, that Jack is not the type to spill his guts in front of a crowd. When Jen quotes her poem, he just says “that goes double for me.” That’s a very Jack-like moment, like his “ditto” earlier when she said she loved him. I also love when during the vows he calls her “Miss…” and then corrects himself and says “Jennifer.” I love her smile. Such a perfect moment.

Then, afterwards, there is a really touching and beautiful scene when they are alone, and Jack gives Jennifer a letter he wrote to her. It all fits them perfectly, since Jack is a writer and naturally feels more comfortable expressing himself in print. I like that the letter refers obliquely to his bad Jack days, that before he met her he was stranded in a “gray and soulless city,” and how meeting her was the key out of that city. Then she teases him about actually admitting to being happy, and something about his laugh in response makes my heart melt — it’s so sweet and boyish. And then what a perfect time for him to be able to finally say the words: “I love you so much.” After two and a half years and many trials and tribulations. Now that’s how you do it, Days!

The other thing that makes this so fun to watch is that EVERYONE IS THERE. Jo, Neil, Julie, Alice, Tom, Mickey, Kayla, Kim, Shane, Carly, Marcus, Roman, Isabella, Eve, Frankie … I love it. It’s also pretty amazing how Jennifer’s father Bill shows up, played by the original actor. What a treat for longtime viewers! Ah, for the days of big budgets and better stories!

Aaaaaand I have to post this little gem, from the reception:

Shane Donovan can vogue!

12 thoughts on “Miss Horton no more

  1. I loved the wedding as it was wonderful for all the reasons you mention However, it was bittersweet as immediately after, they fundamentally change Jack and J&J as a couple which I truly prefer not to think on. Jack’s character never recovered really which is such a shame because from 1988 through this wedding in July 1991, that character arc and Matt’s portrayal were SO GOOD!

    After the wedding and they go back to the penthouse, there is nothing mentioned that this will be the first time they make love since the rape and that it’s their first time in almost nine months. It just seems that it’s a moment totally separated from all that went on before.

    • I totally agree about 88-91 Jack. One of the best most complex characters you could ask for. Sigh.

      Good point that they never mentioned their wedding night was their first time after so long. That’s kind of why I wish they hadn’t turned the waiting into “Jen wants to wait until they’re married before they do it again.” It ended up making it more about that and less about her recovery from the rape. Of course they still could have talked about it.

      It bothers me how much the tone shifted from the rape trial wrapping up, to out and out comedy. Really abrupt and jarring.

      But if there’s one thing modern Days has taught me, it’s to enjoy what works while it’s working, and this wedding is really really great.

  2. I remember being disappointed with the OTT comedy before the wedding back then. Jack and Jenn is when I started watching and I had no clue what I had missed before that…Steve and Kayla that is… until YouTube and your blog. So thank u Mary. I’m sorry your YT videos were taken down. That sucks. 😟 I think they shoot themselves in the foot doing that. Every now and then I check the bradyfanclan channel and sadly it’s not what is was. If anyone knows where a good place to find them please. I’ve been wanting to watch the scene where Steve throws the flower down at the beginning of the episode and picks it up at the end. if they only wrote like that now.

    Did you all see that tweet by Dena Higley that her and Ryan Quans writing starts Sep 9? I’m gonna give it another go and start watching every day then. I’m spoiler free and show free lately but wondering if things have been in transition or if it will be transitioning starting then. I’m looking forward to Ryan Quan, hopefully new, different, better.
    I apologize going off topic!

    • Hi, I don’t usually post here but I’ve been enjoying reading for awhile now since I’ve rediscovered Steve and Kayla.
      I know a lot of folks are disappointed that so many Days videos were recently taken down from YT. One of my favorites was True Xena who had each in every Steve/Kayla scene from 86-87, 06-09 put together in 1 hour episodes. She was in the process of putting up 88 when her channel was deleted a couple of weeks ago. Just wanted to let anyone know who is interested in watching S/K’s love story all over again that she’s moved on over to Google +. Just search ‘True Xena’ and you should find her. If you have trouble finding her let me know.

  3. This is really interesting insight! I never got to see this stuff the first time around, so I always wondered when and how that tonal shift with Jack and J&J happened…

    • It was pretty much right after the wedding — or right before, if you count the silliness of him losing his voice being trapped in a Wild West show. They definitely did comedy before then, too, but it was balanced out by Jack’s redemption story and the inherent seriousness of that. It’s such a shame they never really got that balance right again.

    • So I just realized my new account (where I only had one video posted) was suspended at the same time as my old one. I think I’m going to look into options outside of YouTube … gah.

      I’ll let everyone know when I figure it out!😦

  4. i have to agree that after the wedding something was fundamentally changed with the characters and they never truly recovered. There were many glimpses of recovery (when Matt and Stephen returned together I thought Matt’s Jack was particularly good), but it was never really the same. it’s like they couldn’t figure out how to write for them.

    I had always sort of pictured a Nick and Nora Charles type married couple – not sentimental, working at the paper, maybe helping to solve crimes, with some moments of passion/sentiment. But oh well…

    The best part of the wedding for me was “the letter.” Beautifully done, both writing and performing.

    MP – do you have any clips of Jack’s original therapy sessions? I’m particularly interested in the one where Matt plays both Jack and therapist, jumping from chair to chair – do you know which one I mean? I always loved that scene and couldn’t find it again!

    • Nick and Nora or His Girl Friday would have both been great models for Jack and Jennifer post-wedding. I also would have liked to see Jack’s demons still come up occasionally.

      I also really liked when Matt and Stephen came back together in 2006. They did some good stuff with Jack and Jen then too to reunite them, but then sent them off together to London.

      Do you mean his therapy sessions from ~1990? I can’t remember the scene you mean, but you could look at Devoted to Deveraux — they have great summaries of their clips.

      • All I remember was that he had a puppet! And it was a really well done scene LOL. I’ll try Devoted to Deveraux, though I know I will get caught up in the great clips instead of doing laundry!

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