First Impressions

Well, we’ve had three days, what does everyone think?

On the “anyone is better than Dena” front, I was happy. The episodes zipped along, I wasn’t constantly checking my watch. The dialogue was definitely improved, which has always made a big difference to me. There was comedy, there was suspense, there was a couple of heart-to-hearts, characters felt a little more rounded, more real.

Based on this week, it’s not going to as dramatic a switchover as I’ve seen with other headwriters. This is good and bad. It’s good for continuity, but it’s bad for those of us who are just sick of everything Dena and want a clean slate. I think I’m somewhere in the middle. I’m all for continuity because it helps with character believability — something these characters are sorely in need of. But, this week at least, despite my resolve to give everyone a clean slate, I struggled with the fact that I’ve grown to dislike a lot of these characters. They need to be repaired, not just given new stories, and that’s going to take time.

Some highlights:

It was just a small thing, but I really, really liked the Claire/Theo conversation where they talked about whether they could be friends. One thing I’ve been struck by on my 1983 DVDs is how well the teens were written, they seemed like teens but also like people. On Dena’s Days, the whole teen set has made me cringe, because they were all so obviously a middle aged woman’s idea of what “the kids” are like these days, all sex tapes and social media. The conversation with Claire and Theo on Friday, in contrast, felt very real and heartfelt, two people who cared for each other struggling to understand the end of their relationship and how to relate going forward.

And then this was just a lovely family moment:

More of this, please.

As for Chabby, I have mixed feelings.

I can feel Ron taking the right soapy steps to raise the stakes in their story — turning Dario into a villain and a blackmailer is a great idea — but I’m also realizing there was serious damage done to their relationship that will take time to fix. I do like Marci as Abby (though I agree with her critics that she could up the energy levels a bit) and I’ll tentatively say that I like the chemistry she has with Billy and the way they play off of each other. He definitely brings out the best in her.

So what’s the problem? Well, when I liked Chabby, what I really liked about them is Chad’s laser-focused intensity and loyalty in his love for Abigail, and all this stuff with Gabi has damaged that. We might have to throw some stuff down the memory hole, but I think with time and with Billy Flynn once again playing that laser-beam intensity, I’ll be able to believe in that love again.

Based on his Twitter feed,Ron is obviously most interested in promoting his Anjelica/Hattie/Bonnie story. Days has always made room for these kinds of characters, so I’m inclined to be indulgent, for now. If everyone and everything turns into this level of camp — which is something I’m afraid of — that will be a different story.

I also feel a pang for the character of Anjelica, as played by Jane Elliott. Anjelica was not originally conceived as a mindless schemer, and it’s sad to see her reduced to being Kristen-lite. Well, I’ll just quote myself:

What set Anjelica apart, at least at first, was that she didn’t seem to believe that Justin really loved her, or that he would surely turn to her if only Adrienne were out of the picture. She didn’t even seem to be particularly in love with him herself. Justin the playboy pursued her relentlessly when he first came to town, and she enjoyed being in the position of being sought after. Even after they slept together, she mostly treated him as a disposable boy toy. But when he met Adrienne and broke off their affair, Anjelica resented being dethroned—and for such a nonentity as Adrienne Johnson! She seemed to feel she should just be able to squash Adrienne like a bug, and when she couldn’t, rather than walking away, she just kept trying harder and harder. (There was also possibly a sense of an extraordinarily capable woman having too few outlets for her energies, and messing with Adrienne was a source of diversion and amusement.)

(Here’s the original post)

However, Ron has definitely given Anjelica some good lines, and the interplay between her and Hattie has been more enjoyable than anything else Anjelica has done this time around (which, under Dena, was mostly unwatchable). Dee is obviously having a ball with the dialogue (“You have some kind of bisexual disorder”), and Lord knows this show is sorely in need of some fun. I also laughed at Anjelica and Hattie making fun of Marlena’s wardrobe while Anjelica is wearing this little number:

My eyes, my eyes!

Next week, we’ll see what Ron does with the characters I actually already love … eek!

Screencaps Joanie

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15 thoughts on “First Impressions

  1. Welcome back Mary ! Hope all is going well with your promotion. Since S & K were not on those 3 days, I will have to wait & see about Ron. I get a little nervous at all these over-the-top tweets from DOOL actors talking about scripts being on fire, on the edge of your seat stuff etc…..let’s wait & see. I sure hope this idiotic Tripp story line is wrapped up quickly. I would love for Tripp to go bye-bye, but I know it will not happen; as you said, it will all be blamed on Jade. BTW, side note, was I the only one irked that Steve was glad Tripp was his son–I’m like “What?”. I adored the episode with S & K in Angelica’s hotel room–the scene at the end was so cute. I love when Kayla keeps touching Steve during their scenes….his shirt, collar, cuffs—I just love that !

    • Thanks, LJ! Those scenes with S&K in Anjelica’s room were awesome! I hope we can get more scenes like that.

      I just can’t get behind Tripp. They haven’t shown a sufficient motivation for him to be so enamored of his dead mother and so stupid to believe Jade and dismiss everyone else. I like the basic soapiness of him thinking Kayla killed Ava when it was Joey, but it hasn’t been executed properly. It was such a mistake too to have Joey kill Ava the way he did. I hate to say this about Steve and Kayla’s kid, but the character hasn’t recovered from that. The writing has been a mess, and James L seems to have just checked out.

      The guy who plays Tripp is a better actor, but at the moment I pretty much hate his guts. I’m not sure what Ron can do at this point to save him or save the story, but if they are going to keep him around, they can’t just sweep this under the rug.

      • I have to agree Mary, having Joey become a murderer was a HUGE mistake and completely unnecessary. To take the son of one of the most popular couples in their history and do that was just wrong —thanks Dena ! Even though I HATED Ava and wanted her gone, the execution was an epic fail ! The character of Joey has been a huge missed opportunity. I can only hope that this Angelo character may turn out to be the murderer—–I never watched the actual scene, but I am assuming there was time between Joey leaving & Steve coming in to Ava’s hospital room where something could have happened.
        As for Tripp—-I go back to Jack raping Kayla—-I could never like Jack after that, no matter what the writers tried, but others do like him–so, if he can be redeemed in some people’s eyes, so can Tripp. I still don’t like the character—-I am not as forgiving as Kayla–who the hell needs a reminder of psycho Ava around ? Again, why was Steve happy to be his dad ? 😮

  2. As another Steve & Kayla fan, I’m still waiting on what I really think of Ron. Angelica, Hattie, and Bonnie ?!?! I know this is going to be over-the-top and I’m hoping that the payoff will be worth everything. I missed the Bonnie storyline, but it was never mentioned that she looked like Adrienne, right? I miss Jane Elliot as Angelica, but Morgan Fairchild seems to putting her own mark on the character. I just hope she can show Angelica’s vulnerability from the 1980’s.A comment I saw mentioned the fact that her Angelica always calls Steve “Patch” while Jane Elliot’s Angelica called him “Mr. Johnson.” I can just hear that tone of voice as I type this. That is one thing that I caught and it sort of bothers me as well. It does seem like Deidre Hall enjoys playing Hattie, so that is always fun to see. Tripp… I’m SO READY for this storyline to be over. I like Lucas Adams, but this storyline is so horrible. Like you and LJ both mentioned, I really enjoyed the Steve & Kayla scenes in Angelica’s room. I miss having some humor, just little moments make me keep the show on the DVR. It’s just enjoyable seeing SN & MBE seeming have so much fun with their characters.

    • No, it was never mentioned that she looked like Adrienne, so this is a rewrite. Though I saw on a message board that there was a wink wink reference to it once when Jen said Bonnie reminded her of her sister in law.

      I thought I remembered Anjelica calling Steve “Patch” sometimes back in the 80’s. I’m not sure about that, but I thought so. But yes, I remember her calling him “Mr. Johnson” too — with an ironic tone, of course.

      I want the Tripp story to be over too — it’s been so bad from beginning to end — but as I said above, I’m torn because I need there to be some fallout. Having Steve on the trail has been satisfying, to see Tripp squirm a little. We’ll just have to see how it goes. I’m not super hopeful, but maybe Ron will surprise me.

  3. Hi Mary and welcome back!
    In the last 3 days, it is already better than GH. It won’t surprise me if it surpasses it in ratings in the next 6 months if the show stays in this trajectory and gets better after resets have had time to kick in. Fingers crossed, I like what I see so far.

    I liked the scenes between Abby and Chad with Kate, Andre and JJ. The sparring between Kate and Andre has been fun. I never liked Kate because the writers always seem to write her so hateful. It made no sense to me why they did this. Andre was practically twirling a mustache when he first came back so I like seeing him have what seems to be a legit caring side. Seeing them work with Abby to protect Chad (and the company & money lol) is working for me. Like u said, I also wish Marci Miller would up her energy but overall I’m happy with her scenes with Chad. I feel the chemistry. I also enjoyed Chads scenes with Dario and JJ. I liked how he and JJ shook hands after their conversation about not hurting Abby or Gabi. It was civil but the rivalry was evident. And Dario being a villain is good too. I’m just loving Billy Flynn. He is hands down my favorite person on the show.

    I hope the Hattie/Angelica and Bonnie bit doesn’t get too campy. On GH, Ron had Maura West wear a disguise, long story…a wig and she had a strong NY accent at the end of his road at GH. I FF through all of it. I’m interested in seeing Adrienne as Bonnie as I’ve not seen her in such a wacky role.

    This week we get to see how Ron writes Steve and Kayla. 🙏🏻🤞

    • I would love for Days to pass GH in the ratings! I’m sure Ron would like that too, to pass his former soap.

      Chad is one of the characters who I think will recover quickly (in my eyes, anyway) — I also enjoyed the scenes you mentioned. It was fun seeing him go toe to toe with Dario. What needs time to fix is showing his devotion to Abby, which was one of the best things about the character. Even if it’s a bit of a retcon, I need them to explain why he turned to Gabi that’s more than what we’ve seen so far. I’m prepared to be generous, but they need to try.

      For me, I have been having a hard time accepting that Andre is supposedly such a good guy now. They seem to have just turned him into Tony without explaining it, and I need a little more in order to accept it. It doesn’t look like Ron is going to address it either, though, so I might have to just get over it, lol.

      Excited and nervous about next week!

    • On GH, Ron had Maura West wear a disguise…

      UGH…Denise was horrible. He also did the “FLUKE” storyline. These things are cliche but they are also staples of daytime television. I think his time on GH was heavy on daytime cliches but you can still make some of them work if you write them well.

  4. I’m beyond excited to see your back Mary. I looked forward to reading your thoughts on Days!! Your post was “spot on” in my opinion the show has a different feel to already. I read that the actress playing Kate said the entire cast is excited about the shows new direction! Dena’s Days ruined my favorite show & characters that I loved it was painful to watch. For me as a huge Chad and Abby fan losing Kate M. was painful but hey that wasn’t on the writers. But what was written during the period Abby was off our screens and Chads relationship with Gabi was on her. To me Chad has been destroyed I’m curious to see how Ron will write the reunion for me to believe Chad is back in love with Abby when on the screen he’s been wushu washy. What happened to my fierce and loyal Chad. The writers dropped the ball when recasting Abby. Instead of addressing her mental issues & the impact of her leaving on Chad Dena created a triangle. This made the transition for a new actress in the role very disruptive and choppy. I don’t think Marci Miller has low energy so I guess I’m in the miniority. I’ve actually grown to love the actress & think she works well with Billy Flynn. I agree Billy will pull off his love for Abby (only) but I can’t forget all of this Gabi stuff either. The return of Angelica and Hattie I’m not sure on and I loved your thoughts on Tripp. So far I like what I’m seeing.

    • Thanks. 🙂 I like what I am seeing also!

      I was really impressed with Marci Miller this week. She was excellent in her scenes with Dario when he was blackmailing her and those scenes with Chad on Friday were sooooo good. In some ways she feels more authentic than Kate Mansi in what it seems like Jack and Jennifer’s daughter would be, if that makes sense. Anyway, I got a very strong supercouple vibe in their Friday scenes and I’m looking forward to the ride.

      I’m also not sure about Bonnie and Hattie but so far, so good. I would not want stories like that to take over the show but I can enjoy it in small doses.

  5. The thing that bugs me about the Anjelica story is the strange focus on Justin of all people. Angie baby never loved Justin. She loved her stepson Jack & her son Alexander and she HATED Kayla and Steve. That’s where her focus should be, not the former boy toy who blew her off 30 years ago.

    I like the new writers, and loved the acknowledgement of S&K’s yacht wedding today. Now if we can only see them back in their house and even better – their bedroom ❤️.

    • I know what you mean about Anjelica and Justin, though I think as the writing went on she became more flat and more of just a jealous interloper for Justin and Adrienne. But it still doesn’t ring true for me that she would still be obsessed with him 30 years later. They need to show a better motivation than that. I don’t have extremely high hopes that Ron will come up with something believable (her scheme is waaaaay too elaborate to make much sense no matter how they explain it) but maybe he’ll surprise me.

      We need more house sets in the worst way!

  6. Welcome back, MP! I have missed your insightful blogs. I waited a week to comment so I could get more of a feel for the new writing. My 1st impression overall is that Days is already MUCH better. Even the actors seem to have a new pep in their step. While I’m still not thrilled with some of the storylines, there seems to be more of an attempt to make family connections. For example, faux Roman’s chat with Joey and Claire’s chat with Steve reminds us these people are family. I also think the show is flowing better and the tone is more positive. Heavens, I’ve even enjoyed some of Andre and Kate’s sparring! Who would have thought? Although I am not digging MF as Angelica or that whole storyline, but we will see where it goes. AND there was a for real cliffhanger today which makes me actually watch on Monday! Go, Ron!

    • I totally agree! 🙂 Getting people out of their bubbles helps SO much. Even when I’m not crazy about the storylines, I love seeing friends and family interact, talking about each other and what’s going on. Just like a real town!

      I like Roman being the Brady pub guy, I can squint my eyes and pretend he’s Chris Kositchek, lol.

      My favorite atypical interaction was last week: Claire with Marlena when she confided in her about Theo. I liked Claire with Steve and Tripp on Friday too. Now that she’s not being written as a bratty tween, I think I’m going to enjoy Claire a lot. And Theo has always been the best of the teens, so I really like that they seem to be using him a lot. I think it’s smart that the teens are being spread around and interacting with their parents or other older characters, rather than being isolated on their own.

  7. Claire man….someone give that kid a cheeseburger.

    Interesting that you mention Kositchek. I can never get used to an actor returning as a different character. Didn’t Judy Evans do that on DOOL once too? I was not watching at the time. Any time Chris and Steve are talking and getting along like brother in laws should, I always remember Chris telling Steve to leave Kayla alone (”’alone….alone…ALONE!”) Remember that? One of my favorite SN moments was at Shenanigans when Chris and he spoke and Steve said something like “her friends shouldn’t be running around behind her back trying to run her life”.

    Anyway, that was off topic. I guess I’m one of the few rather enjoying the Tripp story at the moment. I just look forward to him being found out. Some good acting. I especially think the nurse they were blaming last week was terrific. Great job with her character, she really came prepared to deliver.

    With the way dead characters can come back, I wouldn’t be surprised if they find a way that Ava lived through her pillow smothering. I mean, she faked so much other stuff, maybe…I don’t know, it will be hokey no matter what, but with every fan hating that teenager Joey is a murderer for life, they may try to redeem it by having her somehow alive. MAYbe, I say.

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