Despite Most of Salem’s Best Efforts, the Devil Won’t Be Ignored on Days of Our Lives — Plus, What We’re Begging the Soap To Do In 2022
December 27 - 31
As 2021 comes to an end, I want to thank you all for following along with me here every week to dissect Days of Our Lives. Here’s to another year of dishing our grievances and raving about the characters we love — and sometimes hate. I hope 2022 is good to you all! Now, let’s get to it…
Nothing To See Here
Eric made a very brief return to exorcise his mother’s demon and then immediately left town. Lucas didn’t even ask Sami about the exorcism the next time he saw her. Sami got back into her EJ drama with a quickness, and Shawn and Belle, well we don’t know since we haven’t seen their reaction to any of it. At least Ben and Ciara decided to keep a low profile and John hovered over his beloved. I don’t know how I’d react to witnessing an exorcism or being targeted by the devil, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be out making New Year’s Eve plans or just casually updating those who offhandedly inquire that the devil is no longer possessing my mother as if she just had surgery or went on vacation.
More: From kidnapped babies to devil’s baby fever, Days 2021
And well, now it’s Johnny’s turn. I was ready for the devil storyline to be over, but I can’t lie that I’m not a little intrigued by Johnny wreaking havoc. Will Johnny as the devil send Chanel into Allie’s arms? Will he still want a “Cin” baby? Will he target someone else’s? Gabi did make a point to not drink before her meeting with Shin. Was there something more to it than just professionalism? Whatever happens, hopefully, his reign of terror will have actual consequences.
No Turning Back
On the one hand, I like that Chad is fighting dirty regarding EJ. On the other, I’m not sure I believe he’d let Lucas get away with kidnapping Sami and then set up EJ for it, just so he can be the sole CEO at DiMera. At least they wrote Chad smart enough to see through Lucas’ bumbling attempts at setting EJ up all by himself because let’s face it, Lucas should really never be able to pull the wool over Chad’s eyes.
Like with Chad, watching Lucas scheme and plot is fun, but I don’t buy he’d actually allow “the woman he loves” to be locked away for three months. And then be happy Sami chose him as a consolation prize. This storyline makes both men look bad, and they’re gonna lose huge when the truth comes out. Just like Philip will when the truth comes out that he faked his death, and Gwen when she’s exposed for allowing Sarah to remain banished on a deserted island.
Go the Way of Duke
Rafe staying with Ava doesn’t make any sense. He might be fond of her, but he clearly isn’t in love with her. Duke as collateral damage is a major bonus, but otherwise, there is very little investment in this story. Get Ava away from Rafe and have her back scheming with Gwen or a man who appreciates her bad girl side. Also, shouldn’t she know Tripp was turned into Jan? Every time it’s mentioned he’s her son, I’m like, oh, right. Forgot about that.
Li Shin returned and, after two years, felt formidable for the first time. While I’m not opposed to minor characters breezing in and out of Salem, it is high time Li put down some roots. Let’s get to know him better in 2022. Maybe, the further Jake is drawn back into DiMera, the closer Gabi and Li could get. Or, when Abby finds out what Chad did to EJ, Li could be there to pick up the pieces.
This leads me to what else I’d like to see in 2022:
• No more impersonations.
• Better pacing.
• Real stories for Chabby, Elani and Shelle as couples.
• To meet Paulina’s evil ex and dig into that side of Lani’s family.
• Will and Sonny to come home.
• Gabi to forget about Titan and DiMera, and maybe even Jake, and form her own empire. Maybe with Sami. The two proved once again this week that they need to pal around more.
• More Peacock streaming movies or another mini-series. Days is the only soap thinking beyond the standard format and it’s exciting to see.
• Above all else, and for the millionth time — Days to stop writing rape stories.
That’s all I got this time around. As always these are just my thoughts on the week in Salem. Tell us yours below, along with what you want to see happen in 2022. Then, look through our photo gallery of the best and worst in soaps for 2021. And most of all, have a Happy New Year!
<p><em>General Hospital</em> broke our hearts right along with Valentin’s when he realized that Brook Lynn had been lying to him and baby Bailey was no more his than… well, than she was hers.</p>
<p><em>The Bold and the Beautiful</em> did such a bang-up job of turning the Logan sisters into the planet’s cattiest judge and jury that we too often found ourselves rooting against rather than for them. Take it down a notch, ladies.</p>
<p>We were psyched to begin with when <em>Days of Our Lives</em> announced that Jackée Harry was joining the cast. But then we met the glamtastic Paulina, she started letting drop her truth bombs, and we couldn’t have agreed more with her assessment of Salem: “This town <em>needs</em> me.”</p>
<p><em>The Young and the Restless</em> has needed a shot in the arm as much as any of us before we were vaccinated — and the Locke Ness Monster beautifully fit the bill. Now if only the show would let us <em>see</em> just how bad Richard Burgi’s Big Bad is instead of merely telling us over and over again that he’s powerful and scary.</p>
<p>Fans of <em>The Bold and the Beautiful</em> seemed to agree that the daring new direction of the show’s wardrobe was bold, alright. But from what they dubbed Hope’s “Little Bo Beep” dress on, they weren’t at all sure about beautiful. (<a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/the-bold-and-the-beautiful/news/599163/bold-beautiful-fashions-ugly-stylish-best-worst-dressed/" target="_blank">See more of the avant-garde fashions here</a>.)</p>
<p>Never in a million <em>years</em> did it occur to us that <em>General Hospital</em> would pair up Scotty and Obrecht. But when the show did, we were like, “Why didn’t <em>we</em> think of that?!?” The schemers are a match made in… well, we’re not sure where, actually. Heaven <em>and</em> hell? Regardless, wherever Franco is, we suspect that he approves.</p>
<p>Enough with the masks already, <em>Days of Our Lives</em>! It’s a great enough stretch of the imagination to expect viewers to believe that they can alter characters’ height and voice as well as their face, but to have Kristen coming up with new ones as easily as we do excuses to drink that fourth glass of wine? No, <em>Days</em>. No.</p>
<p>From the moment we met Amanda’s estranged family on<em> The Young and the Restless</em>, we wanted more, more, more. But rather than give us strained relations and awkward dinners, the show thrust Amanda and her newfound kin into a story we don’t care about centered on the death of a character we never met. D’oh!</p>
<p>Sure, as <em>The Bold and the Beautiful</em> is wont to do, it put together a love-starved Quinn and Carter <em>way</em> too fast. But since their night of passion was so! Freakin’! Sexy! we can’t blame the show for being in a hurry to get to it. Just glance at that photo; no one looks <em>that</em> guilty if they haven’t done something fantabulously scandalous.</p>
<p>We know we’ll take heat for saying it, but “Sam who?” Britt and Jason’s tryst on <em>General Hospital</em> was so steamy, it took us all the way back to when he was having no-strings-attached sex with Carly in the ’90s.</p>
<p>We didn’t count, but if we had, we’d be willing to bet that the half-heart necklaces over which <em>General Hospital</em> had Nina obsess got more mentions — not to mention more screen time — than Mac and Felicia. Combined.</p>
<p>If we live to be a hundred, die and come back from the dead, we <em>still</em> won’t get why <em>Days of Our Lives</em> decided to write off Linsey Godfrey, thereby breaking up what was arguably its cutest (and certainly its most fun) couple, Sarah and Xander — “Xarah” to their friends.</p>
<p>Love Mark Grossman. Love his work as <em>The Young and the Restless</em>’ tortured Adam Newman. <em>Don’t</em> love the way the soap makes the character borderline psychotic one day, an unlikable ass the next, a romantic hero the day after that, and by the time you read this, probably a Martian from outer space. Time — make that <em>past</em> time — to decide who Adam is and let him evolve in a way that springs from character, not plot necessity.</p>
<p>As <em>Bold & Beautiful</em> launched Fartgate, we couldn’t help but feel bad for Delon de Metz and Diamont White, who were stuck playing out a scenario in which Paris’ date with Zende was ruined by Zoe-induced indigestion. It was supposed to be funny (we think), but it turned out to be anything but a — sorry, Paris — gas.</p>
<p>Not only did <em>General Hospital</em> kill off Roger Howarth’s Franco, it did so on a freakin’ Tuesday! <em>That</em>, folks, is how you make sure viewers know that they can’t afford to miss a single episode.</p>
<p>Even after Eileen Davidson reprised her former role of <em>Days of Our Lives</em>’ Kristen for <em>Beyond Salem</em>, we couldn’t in a million years have predicted that the devil would transform into that version of the character in hopes of seducing John. In a turtleneck. Which will never <em>not</em> seem like it was an odd choice to try to make the former priest hot under the collar.</p>
<p>Having <em>Days of Our Lives</em>’ Ben psychically begin “hearing” Ciara — literally <em>yelling</em> at him through the cosmos — might have been quicker and easier than having him and Shawn actually track down the kidnapped bride. But it made us embarrassed for all concerned; they — <em>and</em> viewers — deserved better.</p>
<p>Maybe it wasn’t the best idea <em>The Bold and the Beautiful</em> ever had to let Thomas and Finn’s confrontation with paternity-test tamperer Vinny get physical in the age of social distancing. What resulted was less tense than intensely funny.</p>
<p><em>General Hospital</em> pushed Peter down a staircase, shoved him in a freezer, threw him off a cliff and put him in a coma. The one thing they didn’t do, despite literal begging on behalf of the audience, was kill the bad guy who long ago wore out his welcome. </p>
<p>When we saw the sparks fly between <em>Young & Restless</em>’ Nick and Phyllis’ nemesis Sally, all we could think was, “Oh, honey, pass the popcorn! We are <em>here</em> for it!” But to this day, the question remains whether the show will capitalize on the sizzling chemistry between Joshua Morrow and Courtney Hope… especially now that her alter ego is eyeing his brother/enemy, Adam!</p>
<p>“If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times” isn’t just a saying on <em>The Bold and the Beautiful</em>, it’s the truth. Not since <em>Passions</em> has a show played its dialogue on as exhaustive a loop as this. (And you know how that worked out for <em>Passions</em> in the end… )</p>
<p>We’re not sure if <em>Days of Our Lives</em>’ newly-created 1990s flashbacks (with Jennifer playing Laura and Abigail playing Jennifer) were supposed to be hilarious. But they were — right down to that unexpected cameo by <em>Seinfeld</em>’s legendary puffy shirt.</p>
<p>We’re still not entirely convinced ex-lover Ryan was the one who sent <em>General Hospital</em>‘s Ava that well-preserved cockroach. We are, however, sure that the blonde bombshell will, once the truth comes out, crush them beneath heel in much the same way she did their unwanted gift.</p>
<p>After severing Lola’s ties to Kyle and sending would-be beau Theo off the canvas, <em>Young & Restless </em>inexplicably relegated Sasha Calle to the literal backburner as her alter ego was rarely seen outside the Society kitchen. Only after the actress scored the role of Supergirl in the upcoming <em>Flash </em>film did the soap briefly throw Lola back into the action just long enough to make sure we’d miss her all the more when the character returned to Miami. </p>
<p>We all knew that<em> Days of Our Lives</em>’ Gwen was going to turn out to be Jack’s daughter. The writing was not only on the wall, it was in a huge-ass font. But that did nothing diminish the impact of Emily O’Brien’s beautiful performance in the scenes in which she called out Daddy Dearest for, as she put it, knocking up her mum and waltzing away.</p>
<p><em>Bold & Beautiful</em> dragged out the moment that Finn learned that his adoptive father was also his biological father for so long, it made the doctor look like a total dim bulb. And his fascination with Mommie Dearest Sheila had already done a pretty good job of <em>that</em>.</p>
<p>In the wake of Sonny’s supposed death, <em>General Hospital </em>gave Maurice Benard the opportunity to play a completely new character… and boy, did he run with it. “Mike” was so charming we were sorry to see him go when inevitably Sonny’s memories returned… and happy that parts of Mike still linger in his host.</p>
<p>This is <em>not</em> a diss of Linda Dano, who is both a brilliant actress and a beloved soap icon. This is simply an acknowledgement that if Louise Sorel is not available to reprise her <em>Days of Our Lives</em> role of Vivian, the character should not appear on the show. (See also: the estimable Robin Strasser before Dano.)</p>
<p>For months, we were told that <em>Bold & Beautiful</em>‘s Bill wants to reunite with Katie. Unfortunately, we’ve barely seen the two of them together, let alone any efforts on the publisher’s part to prove himself worthy of her forgiveness. Which, by the way, he isn’t. #SorryNotSorry</p>
<p><em>Days of Our Lives </em>took full advantage of the fact that half of Salem had threatened to kill Charlie by telling a well-paced tale which kept us guessing. Better still, the unmasking of Jan as the bad boy’s killer (mostly) made sense even as it kicked off the next arc of the story. </p>
<p>With Sonny “dead” and Jason out of commission, it looked as if <em>General Hospital</em>’s Cyrus might worm his way into the five families. Until, that is, Carly strutted in lookin’ like a million bucks and making it clear that there was a new (lady) boss in town!</p>
<p>Overnight, <em>Bold & Beautiful</em>‘s Quinn and Zoe went from people who occasionally crossed paths at the office to secret-sharing gal pals. The instafriendship made absolutely no sense whatsoever… but it did serve its purpose by putting Quinn and Carter on a collision course. A sexy, sexy collision course. </p>
<p>It seemed like the formula for soapy success: <em>Young & Restless</em>‘ Devon loved Elena but was drawn to Amanda, who was dating Nate but spending a lot of time with her dead twin’s widow, causing Elena’s jealousy to flare up and result in a one-night stand with Nate. Yet somehow, this swirling quagmire of uncontrolled emotions and loosened libidos generated about as much actual drama as a menu change at Society. </p>
<p>Chanel planting a kiss on Allie was a <em>Days of Our Lives </em>twist we never saw coming… mainly because soaps have done a uniformly awful job when it comes to playing sexual fluidity. As Chanel continues to let her heart — not societal norms — dictate her decisions, we can’t wait to see how things play out between the now sisters-in-law.</p>
<p>We love wood paneling as much as anyone, but <em>Days of Our Lives </em>gave the DiMera home a makeover which proved dark plots can be cooked up in a light-filled environment. Meanwhile, we’d love to get the number of their contractor, given that the massive renovation took place practically overnight! </p>
<p>We suspect that all work and no play makes <em>Bold & Beautiful</em>‘s Thomas the borderline-unstable person that he is. Instead of constantly saying how proud they are of him for moving past Hope, maybe the onetime mannequin aficionado’s family should encourage him to meet someone new… who isn’t already dating his cousin. </p>
<p>Half the audience of <em>General Hospital</em> loathes Nina for taking advantage of an amnesiac Sonny. The other half, perhaps tired of going ’round and ’round with CarSon, loves the sparks that fly between “Mike” and his lady love. (Our numbers may be off; you know we suck at math.) But one thing everyone agrees on is that, for better or worse, this pairing generates capital-F Feelings.</p>
<p>How is it that <em>Young & Restless</em>‘ Nikki has nothing to do but take the occasional meeting with (or criticize the love life of) daughter Victoria? Nikki is far too vibrant a character — and Melody Thomas Scott too compelling a performer — to be relegated to little more than a talk-to. </p>
<p>It was not for nothing that <em>Bold & Beautiful</em> fans renamed Finn “Dr. Dumb” after he refused to read the room at his own wedding to Steffy in order to support <span style="text-decoration: line-through">his biomom</span> the total stranger who was described to him as a cross between Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees.</p>
<p><em>Young & Restless</em> had in Tara a newbie with the potential to be a supervixen on par with old-school Jill or Lauren. But instead of capitalize on that potential, the show wrote her with all the flair of a limp dishrag, rendering her about as interesting as a paperweight (and as likely to scheme her way out of a tight spot). When finally, she was written out, no one even cared enough to cheer.</p>
<p>The summertime announcement that NBC’s Peacock streaming service was launching a limited-series spinoff of <em>Days of Our Lives</em> called <em>Beyond Salem</em> was beyond thrilling. The offshoot, which brought back to the fold a host of former faves, marked the first time in a long time that we’d seen a network recognize (and shrewdly attempt to cash in on) the inherent value of a daytime drama. Better still, they followed this up with a stand-alone holiday movie titled <em>Days of Our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas. </em></p>
<p>That’s right, Gladys, you can have all the bubbly you want, what with being not only a breath of fresh air on <em>General Hospital</em> but in daytime in general, too. Bonnie Burroughs on the regular serves us fantastic old-school soap in the form of Brando’s mother, a seen-it-all dame who’s equal parts conniver and survivor. And we are here. For. It.</p>
<p>We don’t get it and never will. <em>The Young and the Restless</em> had in Kyle and Summer a couple in whom viewers remained invested no matter how nonsensically they were written. Yet the show dispatched both Michael Mealor and Emmy winner Hunter King, in the process removing from the canvas two pivotal and well-liked legacy characters. Worse, they then had the couple get married off-screen… and return a few days later to tell us about it! </p>
<p>As <em>Bold & Beautiful</em> had Brooke recall her checkered past with Deacon, the vintage scenes that accompanied her stroll down Memory Lane left our jaws on the floor. We’d recalled the illicit lovers being hot together but had totally forgotten how intensely tender they were with one another.</p>
<p>Even if <em>General Hospital</em> used mind control to make Drew forget how to put on a shirt, we didn’t want the show to go down that road again. Did <em>you</em>?</p>
<p>“This is not gonna work,” Phyllis cried on <em>The Young and the Restless</em> in the fall of 2021. “It’s over. It’s done.” She could no longer play second fiddle to Nick’s family, and he could no longer turn a blind eye to her reawakened feelings for his former stepfather, Jack. We hated to see their epic relationship end, but c’mon, what a way to go!</p>
<p>When the Internet began buzzing with talk that <em>Ryan’s Hope</em> lothario Michael Corbett would be raising from the grave his ill-fated character to stir the pot on <em>General Hospital</em>, we were elated. Until, that is, he revealed in an exclusive interview <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/news/606664/general-hospital-michael-corbett-truth-about-rumors-joining-cast/" target="_blank">whether the chatter was idle</a>. (Nevertheless, we’ll never, ever give up on the notion of ABC resurrecting <em>Ryan’s Hope</em>, one of the smartest soaps ever to work us into a lather.)</p>
<p>To cover up Krista Allen’s short blonde hair when she took over as Taylor, <em>Bold & Beautiful</em> threw on her head… well, what was probably the year’s most talked-about accessory. “Someday, <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/the-bold-and-the-beautiful/news/617981/bold-beautiful-krista-allen-taylor-terrible-wig-real-hair/" target="_blank">this will be funny</a>,” said Allen. Isn’t it already, kinda? Not sure why Taylor couldn’t have just changed up her look in all the time she away.</p>
<p>Nothing against Precious Way, who went on to slay on primetime’s <em>Queens</em>, but <em>Days of Our Lives</em>’ subsequent Chanel, the vivacious Raven Bowens, really put the “success” in “successor.” Well done, casting department. And <em>exceedingly</em> well done, Bowens. On a related note…</p>
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Next in SoapboxJohnny's Reign as the Devil on Days of Our Lives Already Feels Higher Stakes — Plus, Calling Out Clueless Exes and Marlena's Insensitive Children