Days recasts youth explosion

Image: Howard Wise/JPI

That rumbling you hear may not just be your tummy!

With so many longtime favorites exiting Days of our Lives in the coming weeks and months, it should be a lot easier to get a table at Julie’s Place… or any other restaurant in Salem! From the on-screen mother/daughter duo of Kristian Alfonso (Hope) and Victoria Konefal (Ciara) to Greg Vaughan’s newly-married Eric, the local travel agent seems to be running a special on one-way tickets out of town!

Fortunately for us, soap characters are like gardens: It’s good to occasionally rotate the crops. So while we’ve lately been focused on what we’re on the verge of losing, it might be time to fast-forward through our stages of grief. We’ll zip past anger (“I’m never watching again!”) and bargaining (“If Days of our Lives keeps Claire on the canvas, I’ll stop calling her cray-cray!”) in favor of acceptance and Hope. Well, hope.

And what says “hope” more than young people who can breathe new life into the show? Don’t worry, we’re not advocating benching vets — we’d never suggest that! Instead, we’re looking to keep the canvas multigenerational, a trait it could lose with so many popular younger players exiting. Fortunately, there’s a virtual herd of baby-faced characters just off screen, waiting to be roped into service!

For example, now that Allie is about to give birth, it would make perfect sense for grandma Sami to move back to town, bringing with her EJ and their kids, Johnny and Sydney. Given that Allie and Johnny are twins, it’s safe to assume that he, too, has been SORAS’d into his early 20s, which would make Sydney a year or two younger. (This particular suggestion comes with the added benefit of having Sami and EJ, two of the most popular characters in recent daytime history, back on the canvas full time, which is where they really need to be! Heck, they both made our list of soaps’ most crushing exits ever!)

And who better for Sami’s brood to become entangled with than Justin’s adopted twins, Victor Jr. and Joseph? Would the young man named after the curmudgeonly Kiriakis patriarch share his grandfather’s attraction to the dark side… or prove to be be more his mother’s soft-hearted son? One thing’s for sure: With two sets of twins running around mixing and matching, Salem University could be the hottest spot since Sweet Valley High!

Were the show to decide it wanted to skew a bit older with its post-tween crowd, some quick recasting could easily accommodate that: Hunky half brothers Joey and Tripp could be brought home by a crisis with dad Steve. Throw a beautiful woman into the mix (Claire, is that you?), and you’ve got a classic soap triangle!

Speaking of recasts, why not have Theo come home to help pop/mayor Abe get the youth vote on his side as election season approaches (while also hanging out with a new, less-morose JJ)? And  hey, what ever happened to Abe’s sexy brother, Jonah? By now, he could easily have sired an off-canvas child or two, ready to be aged up and thrust into the action!

While we’d normally expect such a hormonal explosion to take place during the summer — when soaps attempt to court home-from-school viewers — Days of our Lives’ advance production schedule made that impossible this year. But with the show set to resume taping in September, there’s still plenty of time to create and cast characters who could be scaring up trouble by Halloween!

Which members of the younger generation would you like to see brought on to heat things up this fall? Hit the comments with your thoughts, then remind yourself of why the new blood is needed by perusing the below gallery of all the Salemites who’ll soon be leaving town!