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.)

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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


Happy holiday

What do you want for Christmas, Mary Pickford? Oh, how about some fantastic Steve and Kayla scenes?



Oh, and could I also get a 1980’s Christmas flashback while you’re at it?


And finally, a shout-out to Patchy Claus?

Thanks, Santa!

These were some great scenes, so sweet and funny and sexy. I don’t know how they went over to non-shippers, but I loved them. Some of the lines were borderline cheesy, like Kayla saying having him back was all the gift she could have ever wanted. But, hey, give Stephen and Mary Beth some banter about elves and toy instructions and just let them do what they do best. Isn’t it what soaps are all about?

At the risk of repeating myself, it’s just so refreshing that Steve and Kayla’s scenes are about them, instead of Ava. Steve even said today, do you want to waste our Christmas Eve talking about Ava? THANK YOU STEVE.

On a side note, I was surprised to see Kayla doing so much Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve, because even I am not THAT much of a procrastinator. But then I realized (with some help from Erica) that it’s only been three days since Thanksgiving. Three days. And one of them was her brother’s funeral. She was also busy with some other not-insignificant events, like shagging Steve and inviting him to move back in. Soooo, not a lot of shopping time.

Okay, let’s say I’m a 16 year old boy, and I have a crush on a hot cougar. If I find out she slept with my dad, does that give me pause?



I suspect that Joey and Ava will not sleep together. But, that will not be from Joey’s choice, it will be because Ava has bigger fish to fry. She will keep playing on his emotions and leading him around by the, er, nose. Honestly, I think this is being handled in a realistic way — soap realistic, that is. The scene where he fastened her necklace, and she had to prompt him to look at it (and her cleavage), nicely showed her manipulation, and his innocence. Poor boy.

The Basic Black story had some moments today, notably Theresa’s crack about Kate dressing like David Bowie — but it all felt a little over the top, and too focused on Theresa. I do like that Theresa’s designs have problems, and Kate was right about that. They should have led with that and left out the new mommy vs. work commitment bs. That put Kate too much in the wrong, in my opinion. And I hope Nicole gets some more to do soon.

Also, we got to see more of Claire, and I think she’s going to be great! I enjoyed her singing, and she seemed very relaxed, with a natural screen presence. I would have enjoyed her scenes with Eve more if I didn’t know Kassie was leaving. Eve was obviously thinking of Paige when she looked at Claire – very bittersweet. But I did have to giggle at Eve bursting into song at the end of the episode. Hey, I’ll take a music montage any way I can get it. And it’s better than Clay Aiken, right? 🙂

Screencaps Forever Safe