days of our lives vivian dead commentary fake
Credit: Image: XJ Johnson/JPI

You can only play that card so many times!

At the end of the July 17 episode of Days of our Lives, viewers learned that Vivian had passed away. We were meant to gasp in shock. Presumably, anyway. Instead, we mostly rolled our eyes.

It’s not that we don’t absolutely adore the over-the-top villainess that Louise Sorel has played off and on since 1992 — we do. So much so that we had… um… let’s say we had a difficult time with it when Robin Strasser (formerly Dorian on One Life to Live) subbed in the role in 2019. But none of us — and that’s more likely an understatement than an exaggeration! — think that the character is really, much less sincerely, dead. Come on!

“Demises” that have to be put in air quotes are part and parcel of daytime dramas and long have been. However, Days of our Lives has gone back to that storyline well so many times that, emotionally speaking, it’s run dry.

Think about it: At this point, it’s become easier to find a Salem resident who hasn’t risen from the grave than one who actually has any use for their tombstone. (Halloween decoration maybe?) Hope and Jack, Roman and Marlena, John, Steve, EJ, Nicole, Will, Stefano, Stefano, Stefano, Stefano, Stefano… they’ve all been pronounced goners but not for good. Heck, for that matter, so has Vivian, just a couple of years ago, when she lost a fight with Kate over a gun. And we all know how that worked out!

It isn’t that we don’t want these characters back. Of course we do. The thing is, all these deaths that aren’t really deaths steal from the show its chance to make us invest when someone is in actual danger. We were meant to panic every time Gabi hit Julie with her heart-attack app. Yet we sorta yawned. It was a wild and nutty plot, yeah. But the stakes were so low, they scraped the sidewalk. Even if Gabi killed Julie, we had no doubt that she’d be back again, right as rain, ticker tick-tocking away, before the next ratings sweeps period.

So we beseech you, Days of our Lives, allow characters to leave Salem. Allow them to vanish. Allow them to exit the canvas in ways that don’t require a casket in which they’ll spend less time than some of us do the bathroom. In return, we’ll care more. We’ll worry more. We’ll — and we can’t stress this enough — thank you for your inventiveness. (And seriously, even if you’re faking us out, or trying to, informing us via a phone call that Vivian was no longer among the living? You can do better.)

What do you think? Wouldn’t you prefer that Days of our Lives “rub out” fewer characters, only to rub them back in a while later? Sound off in the comments below. And while you’re here, by all means, relive the life — er, lives — and times of the soon-to-depart Kristian Alfonso’s Hope in the photo gallery below.