Poor Justin doesn't have a chance. (Soaps.com)

These are the “Days” of my week for January 18-22:

What a week. Overall things have become a bit contrived, and there were too many flashbacks for my taste, but it had some fun moments and some eye openers. I’ve enjoyed the pairing of certain characters who are thrown together to provide optimum amusement. This week I spoke with Taylor Sprietler, who plays Mia, and she joins me in giving some insight into what Mia’s feeling right now. Let’s delve in and discuss.

My interest wanes when things become too manufactured. For the past week, I’ve been a little annoyed by this. There were far too many flashbacks of Carly giving birth to Melanie in one single episode that made it appear a little over the top. In fact, the drama between Melanie and Carly is way over the top. The storyline, much like the breakup of Bope, has no rhyme or reason to it. There are holes in each storyline and no way to fill them. The secret’s about to come out, as we can see, knowing the women of Salem can’t keep a secret. Carly’s run in with Vivian and Melanie at Java allowed Vivi to figure out quite quickly that Mia’s likely not her gal, thus rushing the storyline at warp speed. In one episode there were about a hundred and fifty flashbacks of Carly giving birth to Melanie. Overkill. Though I felt for Carly, after watching what Lawrence did to her at the hospital while she gave birth, I couldn’t help but find fault in the storyline. What doctor or nurse would have allowed Lawrence to force Carly into giving birth without drugs? Why didn’t Carly demand them from the doctor and give the child to the nurse to hold? So many questions I need in order to care more about Carly and invest in this storyline. It’s as though the writers simply chose this storyline so Carly could be thrown into Bope’s marriage as a catalyst to their marital demise. Otherwise, I’m not sure where this is going. Neither is poor Justin, who is in love with Hope. How sad is that? I really felt for him this week. His sensitivity to her pain really made him come off as a man tortured in love. Well done. What isn’t well done is how Hope is written as completely thick. Lucky for her, Julie, her step-mother/half-sister has a crumb of sense and told her to fight for her man. But alas, Hope still hasn’t clued in that Bo is as good as men get in Salem. Hope says he was her hero who fell from grace. Maybe Hope should grow up and stop putting men on pedestals, because this practice only results in heartache. And furthermore, didn’t he fall off that pedestal when he got into bed with Billie? Bo’s no saint and in reality, relationships take work. I thought Hope already knew that but the writers have changed her character so drastically, I guess I wouldn’t be surprised if she fell to the all time low of believing in horoscopes or fortune cookies.

Melanie went back to her bratty roots this week and treated Carly and Bo Tuesday with the utmost disrespect. They did nothing about it. The animosity Melanie feels for Carly has been blown out of proportion and Melanie’s not a little girl, so why write her as such? It makes no sense why she’d care about who Bo does in his spare time. Mel doesn’t even know Bo or Hope that well and she keeps insisting how she detests Carly, so what gives? Why tell Carly, a virtual stranger that she hates, all about her father pimping her out, unless she felt some connection to Carly? And isn’t showing a sudden connection forced? Melanie, as she pointed out to Philly, doesn’t discuss her personal issues with just anybody. The story’s moving so fast it’s missing vital information. The only good part about this entire storyline is that the acting is good. Though, somebody please give Carly some decent dialogue. When Melanie asks why she’s staring at her, couldn’t she at least throw her a “You remind me of someone.” Or perhaps… “I wasn’t staring at you, I was thinking about something else.” Or even… “I’m sorry. I was thinking and just staring into space. I do that.” Anything, please. The staring with that glazed look – lack of expression all the time, doesn’t make for a good scene.

On the other hand, I did enjoy the last scenes Friday, watching Carly rant to Bo about Vivian and seeing Melanie fume to Philly about Carly, though I’m enjoying Mel and Vivi’s scenes far more, even knowing evil Vivian will likely attempt to off Mel once she learns what she suspects is true, that Mel’s Carly’s daughter, not our sweet mopey Mia. It would be fun if Vivian and Victor did go with Mel and Philly on their honeymoon on the yacht. It could be fun to have Vivi trying in vain to kill Mel, and Carly sneaking on the yacht to stop her. Anything would be more fun than watching poor Stephanie Johnson, a smart, pretty girl from a decent family go after a man who ‘just isn’t that into her’. At least she’s not whining anymore but surely there are other men out there other than Dr. Horton. Well, maybe not. I’ve only seen Philly and Nate. But Max is returning… never mind. We don’t want to go there again. What about Nathan and how he feels about all of this? He knows he is into Mel so he shouldn’t be stringing Steph along.