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Deconstructing DOOL: Over-the-Top-Recasts & Recycled Plots

September 2 – 6

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Image: Jill Johnson/JPI

I don’t want to minimize how difficult it must be to write a soap opera but as a viewer, it’s impossible not to see the sloppy mistakes and keep quiet about them. More than ever, Doug Marland’s rules keep popping into my head as they still apply today.

Sing it from the hilltops, slap it on a billboard

Last week in Deconstructing DOOL I complimented Sarah’s strength in ending her relationship with Eric on her terms. This week she droned on and on to Xander and Kayla about Eric’s search for Nicole and then it was revealed that she’s pregnant with either Rex, Xander or Eric’s kid. I’m banking on it being Xander’s.

Will Eeyore be a thing of the past?

Finally, Eeyore and Nicole have reunited which was touching I guess. I’m glad that Eric quickly revealed that he boned someone else while Nicole was thought to be dead. Poor Nicole – cringey that it was Sarah, too. If Eric is the father of Sarah’s baby I really don’t think it needs to be that big of a deal but since this is Days of our Lives, we might expect the reactions to be more old school.

I love Meryl Streep but don’t want her as a Days recast

Days of our Lives hasn’t had the best track record with recasts under this writing regime. Often those hired to replace another actress don’t fit the role or seem to be directed to overact, which screams ‘stunt casting’ especially since they’re hiring only popular actresses. Think Morgan Fairchild as Anjelica Deveraux, Judith Chapman as Diana Colville, Stacy Haiduk as Susan Banks and Kristen DiMera and now Robin Strasser as Vivian Alamain. With each recast, writing and performances have become even more over-the-top than before and made each character unrecognizable. Louise Sorel’s Vivian was all elegance and class while Strasser’s version has a Bronx accent, is given a load of junk costume jewelry and a tacky wig to wear. It doesn’t fit the role. Mostly all I see is my Dorian Lord from One Life to Live. Can’t the show have the talent emulate their predecessor to make the change seamless for the audience? The soap fans should come first instead of the writers writing what amuses themselves.

Terrymck78  says, “I finally figured out what it is about Stacy Haiduk’s version of Kristen that puts me off. She lacks the class that Eileen Davidson gave Kristen. I find this version to be crass and definitely low-class. There are none of the subtle nuances that Eileen brought to the character. It’s just cartoonish and over the top 100% of the time.”

Recycled garbage

As everyone knows by now I love me some original Vivian and some Kate. I wasn’t upset when Kate shot and killed my Vivian nor am I angry that nu-and-not-improved-Vivian shot my Kate and buried her alive. This story has been recycled a few times now from past head-writers and shouldn’t have been retold the first time. It’s lost a lot of impact along the way and is worse this time around considering Rolf can bring Kate back if she dies.

More: Chabby in Paris season finale shocking reveal

Is Gabi innocent or guilty or somewhere in between?

Julie’s grudge against Gabi stems from Gabs murdering Nick Fallon back in 2012. Julie can’t seem to help herself from treating Gabi like trash repeatedly though she didn’t mind that Nick was homophobic and a rapist. Heck, Ben Weston gets more respect than Gabi! Last April Julie feigned a heart attack to blame Gabi and get Eli away from her so it’s easy to see why Gabi’s first assessment of Julie’s heart attack was that she was faking again. I don’t think Gabi would deliberately let someone die and I don’t really ‘blame her’ but I wish she would have called 911 since it went on for so long and there was no reason for Julie to fake it this time. Of course Ben Weston saved Julie. He’s painted as the hero of the week, saving people everywhere from Chicago to Salem! I found it funny yet ludicrous that Vivian would give Ben the time of day let alone praise him on making things “fun” in Salem by murdering people. It doesn’t feel like something Vivian would say.


More: Deconstructing Chabby in Paris – pointless until the big reveal

So sudden…so…out of character

It’s been decades since Victor has done anything villain-like and without any build-up, yet we’re to get on board with him suddenly snapping and deciding to kill Ben Weston? The writers once again jumped to the middle of a story instead of building it up so that we might be interested in it. Vic should have agonized over what happened to Sonny, Claire, Brady, and Ciara for months before this scene happened. Then it would have made bloody sense and had an impact. While the strangulation was going on in Maggie’s living room where she or conjoined twins Will and Sonny could have walked in at any point, Brady offered Ciara a job at Titan and she bizarrely worried that he was trying to take her away from Ben. Um he gave her no reason to believe a job offer was about her boyfriend. And when she told Brady that Ben was her only social life some thought Brady should have called her out on her co-dependence. But that’d be like the pot calling the kettle black.

There you have it – my opinion – feel free to give your own in the comment section.

Best lines:

Gabi, (on the Vivian recast), “Excuse me if I doubt that she’s the new version of her nasty witch self.”

Victor to Sarah, “You look a little green around the gills.”

Victor, “The Weston tree is full of rot as are the apples that fall from it.”

Kate to Vivian, “Don’t bury me alive.”
Vivian, “Who said anything about alive?”

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