Big big news

Dena Higley is OUT …

I’ve actually heard people many times toss around Ron Carlivati’s name as a possible Days headwriter. He wrote for both OLTL and for GH. He wrote the GH 50th and apparently is credited with saving the show. Apparently he has a campy style, which I don’t mind as long as it’s not over the top. Those of you who know him from GH or OLTL, please chime in in the comments!

What I’m more excited about is that Sheri Anderson is being brought on as a creative consultant. (Ryan Quan will also stay on, with the same title.) Sheri was headwriter or co-headwriter from 1982-1986. It’s truly mind-boggling the mark she left on the show in that time. She created the supercouple formula and the characters of Bo and Hope, Shane and Kim, Steve and (recast) Kayla, John Black as Roman Brady, Victor Kiriakis.  I mean, she wrote the Stockholm storyline — need I say more?

She also worked as a co-headwriter with John E. Reilly, famous for the devil possession storyline. I wasn’t watching then and have no desire to see it, really, but I have been assured by people whose opinion I respect that the stories were campy and over the top, but they were well structured and one flowed into another. That makes sense to me, because that’s one thing that Sheri was very, very good at in the 1980’s.

So, I know it will never be 1986 again. But I have hopes that the stories will be better structured, that character will count more, and we’ll be able to root for some romances.

I am guessing too that this change was forced by NBC, and that renewal was contingent upon it. By the same token, I think we’ll see that cast cuts will likely be coming. But for now … celebrate!


Andrew’s kidnapping

Andrew’s kidnapping is one of my favorite mini storylines. I love the densely interwoven plot, which has a geometric precision to it that I particularly admire. I wrote about this once before in a post on Sheri Anderson.

Right now I just want to marvel at how hostile Kayla is toward Steve through most of it. I really enjoy that the show did this. Here’s a taste:

Andrew’s kidnapping

What a slap!

(I also included the deliciously evil Emma in that clip. Jane Windsor and Stephen Nichols are obviously having a lot of fun as two bad guys, polar opposites in every way, trying to outsmart each other.)

I love that Steve’s first attempt to do something actively good backfires and blows up in his face so badly. I also love that Kayla is not wrong, exactly, in blaming him so severely. He did write the note, he doesn’t tell all he knows, he doesn’t rat out Emma.

What she is wrong about is his motives. Steve really does want to help Kayla — and it is about her, nobody else — he just doesn’t have it in him to cooperate with other people at this point. He’s too much of a lone wolf.

I said that the upshot of the patch removal scenes is that Kayla starts to trust Steve, a little. Now this arc is about whether Kayla can trust Steve. She seems to decide that she can’t:

Steve and Kayla after Andrew’s kidnapping

This scene is a simpler version of the confrontation they have when Kayla thinks Steve killed Britta. We see how important it is to Steve that she believe him, but ironically, the very intensity of that desire makes him more violent, more thuggish, more untrustworthy. I also think that Kayla’s own feelings of responsibility – her job with Dr. Dennison, fouling up the adoption transfer in the park, not noticing Andrew on the plane — make her blame Steve more than she otherwise would.

(And, I have to point out how Sheri Anderson was already weaving into the next story — actually, two stories from now — by having Britta witness this little scene. Great closing shot of the two women, Kayla in the foreground and Britta in the back.)

There are moments in the story that show Kayla isn’t able to completely dismiss him. First, the fact that she passes on his tip about Dr. Dennison, even though she thinks it is a sick joke. She tells Shane, after Steve is arrested, that she has doubts about his involvement. And in this scene, too, she says she was starting to believe he had some good in him – and though she puts it in past tense, it shows the seed was planted.

ETA: It’s interesting to watch this in light of the later reveal on New Year’s Eve, when Kayla finally finds out that it was Steve who scared her out of Cleveland, and that he was doing it working for Emma. There’s no doubt Steve believes in his own innocence here, but it’s also true that he did, in fact, help Emma kidnap Andrew — albeit unknowingly. It’s also interesting how shocked Kayla is on New Year’s Eve, given how certain she seems of his guilt in this scene.