Days of Our Lives Has the Opportunity to Tackle One of the Most Difficult Topics of Our Time — But Will They Take It?
This is the show’s chance to get back to daytime’s roots.
It’s probably safe to say that virtually no one watching Days of Our Lives was surprised to learn that Jada was pregnant with Eric’s baby. While it was nice to add some extra stakes to the Eric/Nicole drama, it is, as we all know, one of the oldest soap tricks in the book.
Jada’s response to the news, though, wasn’t devastation at the horrible timing, nor elation in suddenly seeing a way to hold onto Eric. Instead, she was understandably angry, hurt and frustrated.
As Eric tried being there for her, Jada told him to leave her alone because she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do yet. And can we blame her? She just learned she’s pregnant with the child of a man who’s about to leave her.
Even if Eric does help, unless he suddenly decides to marry Jada (which would be a horrible idea and only lead to more heartache as Nicole and Rafe both know), they’d likely end up sharing custody. It would tie Jada forever to a man she may just want to forget. Plus, she’d have to deal with being a single, working mom, and a cop on top of that. You might think being a police officer in a small town isn’t a big deal, but in Salem, danger lurks around practically every corner.
So what if this story that we all saw coming a mile away isn’t the same tired soap trope we were expecting, but a much more nuanced, complicated and heartbreaking one? Once upon a time, soap operas tackled social issues with stories that got viewers talking about things not everyone was comfortable discussing.
With Roe v. Wade overturned and abortion falling to each individual state to decide, this would be the perfect time for Days of Our Lives to tell a story around the difficult topic. Days of Our Lives, of course, would have to handle it carefully and sensitively, but could they have two better characters to embody its sides?
We could see Jada being hurt and feeling alone and unprepared to raise a child as she’s still establishing herself and her career in a new town. Eric, on the other hand, we all know as a man with strong religious convictions who’s no longer a priest solely because his vocation threw him out for trying to save his mother’s soul.
It would make sense for him to want Jada to keep the baby, while she would want an abortion. And that would allow the soap to embody the high emotions of the issue in a compassionate way. It wouldn’t be two sides screaming at each other. It would be two people who cared for each other wanting very different things for perhaps very different reasons.
And then there’s Nicole. The show’s winter teaser makes it clear she is not intending to stay out of this pregnancy — and it looks like that might earn her the ire of both Jada and Eric! No matter what, it’s hard to ignore the fact that this story would also make incredibly compelling television.
We know, folks on neither side of this issue really want to listen to the other right now, but maybe that’s exactly why we need this story. Because like it or not, just because a topic isn’t easy to handle, that doesn’t mean it’s going to stop existing.
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As Jada, Eric and Nicole are about to embark on this perilous next step in their relationships, catch up with where all of Salem’s couples are with our updated Days of Our Lives relationship photo gallery.