Days mashup with Sloan, EJ, Xander, Gabi, Stefan, Sarah
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (2), Peacock screenshot (4)

Days of Our Lives fans had plenty to celebrate when we got the news that the show had been renewed for two more years, taking it to the show’s 60th anniversary. And this is, without a doubt, great news, especially with all the uncertainty we faced after the surprise move from NBC to streaming on Peacock.

But that also means it’s time to lock in viewers and keep them hooked so that in the next two years the show makes it crystal clear why it deserves to stick around until its 70th anniversary… and beyond. That may seem like a tall order, but it’s really pretty simple. It’s time to give viewers what they’ve been clamoring for for ages. And that’s real romance.

DAYS OF OUR LIVES -- Pictured: (l-r) Deidre Hall as Marlena Evans, Drake Hogestyn as John Black, Eileen Davidson as Kristen Blake (Photo by NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Those were the romantic Days (of Our Lives).

Credit: NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Viewers want love. Viewers tune in for love. Yes, adventure, corporate intrigue and villains all have their place in daytime too, but that can and should all be tied into, you guessed it, love. And we don’t just mean flash-in-the-pan affairs or blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pairings.

Think back to the last few years and ask yourself: What couples have come out of them? We don’t mean the vets who’ve settled down, secure in relationships that will only be threatened by outside forces like John and Marlena or Steve and Kayla.

Why can’t this show commit to couples? Yeah, the nature of daytime is to constantly threaten pairings, split couples up and give them the room to come back together again, but we all still root for them and have faith they’ll end up together in the end. Are there any couples like that out there in Salem anymore? Have there been for some time?

Stefan and Gabi could have been one. We just got a fairly sweet Stefan proposal to Gabi declaring how wrong he was to have ever told her she should play the long con with Li for his shares. They love each other, they should be together and after so much delay, from brainwashing to marriage contracts, they’re finally together.

Stefan and Gabi passionately kiss at the hospital.

Too little, definitely too late.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

But that came too little too late, because Camila Banus’ announcement that she’s leaving Days of Our Lives and has already filmed her final scene beat it to the punch. While her leaving isn’t the fault of the writing, the fact that we couldn’t even enjoy their engagement because it didn’t come until we learned Gabi was on the way out is because of all the bizarre turns their reborn romance took.

Chloe and Xander are falling for each other, but he and Sarah were built up like the couple to root for, only for them to split after a stunningly short marriage. After her, Xander and Gwen started getting close again, but they were ripped apart before it could even settle. And now here we are. To be fair, it feels like quite a few viewers are surprised at how enjoyable “Xoe” are together, but should we bother getting invested? History says no, and the fact that Sarah’s out there with Xander’s baby, just about screams “No!” But is “Xarah” even worth

How about Eric and Sloan and EJ and Nicole? Does anyone have a hope for either couple with Nicole and Eric mooning over each other? Does anyone think those two have a prayer with their history? Ali and Chanel (we’re not even getting into the nightmare happening right now with Talia), Johnny and Wendy — the list can go on.

At the Brady Pub, Eric frowns and leans his hands on the bar. Nicole gapes at him from across the bar.

These two may go down in history as the most botched “should have been great” couple ever.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Part of it might be just how far in advance the show shoots. Maybe it is great from a budget perspective and that’s what’s needed to keep the show running — but that also means it can’t course correct. It can’t react to fans in real time, it can’t react to surprisingly popular pairings or unpopular breakups. So many breakups…

It’s not that the show should just blow wherever fan sentiment leads, but if only it could adjust now and then without being locked into story for six months at a time. Short of that, though, maybe we could just start small, and the show could try committing to a couple for six months or so, long enough to catch up to viewer sentiment. Because this isn’t an impossible situation and fans can be given what they want — so why aren’t they?

What are your thoughts? Are there any couples out there you have any hope for on Days of Our Lives? Are there any you really want to see work?

Check out our couples photo gallery to try to keep track of all the constantly shifting pairings on Days of Our Lives