Role Playing, Passion and a Very Busy Devil Won the Week on Days of Our Lives — Now, Where Are Those Missing Characters?
January 10 - 14
It was another entertaining week in Salem. While romance and drama are soaps’ bread and butter, I want to have fun watching. Despite a few quibbles, Days of Our Lives has been pretty consistently delivering on that. Surprisingly, the continued devil story, that just two weeks ago felt ready to wrap up, is largely to thank for that. Let’s get to it…
Move Over MarDevil
JoDevil again dominated the canvas this week, but that is not a complaint. Even though we’ve had months of MarDevil, this feels almost like a whole new story. As I said last week, there are higher stakes, because JoDevil feels like an actual villain, whereas MarDevil was played mostly for camp and nostalgia. I mean, it’s barely been a week and he already sent Chanel into the arms of another, conned EJ out of his DiMera shares, and choked out Chad — and then kissed his wife. That would have taken MarDevil months.
Tying it into the DiMera of it all was a great move. Not only is it keeping Stefano’s spirit alive, but it’s bringing in new characters for the devil to play with. While this week was heavy on JoDevil targeting EJ (dare we hope he is the one to figure out his son is possessed?) next week, Gabi and Jake get pulled into his orbit, seemingly hot for his DiMera shares. Which is a good thing, since I almost forgot about them. While I have no problem with JoDevil dominating, once again, Days’ pacing remains a huge issue. I mean, Philip’s practically a cold case by now. And have Belle and Shawn been on together since Jan impersonated her to rape him? And should we even get our hopes up that Sarah will be discovered by summer?
Odds and Ends
• I would love more scenes like John and Abe playing poker. Good friends, tons of history, relaxed dialogue. Casual scenes like these are often the best stuff.
• Ben and Ciara talked about painting the nursery, but will it be their studio apartment’s closet or their bathroom? Also, why do they need to constantly drip off each other? It’s as if they literally breathe for each other. I like them as a couple, but they are so claustrophobic to watch.
• I don’t know when this happened, but I have become a fan of Susan’s over-the-top ridiculousness and childlike innocence. Now that Satan has sent her away, I’m going to miss her.
• It’s been a while since I’ve been a twenty-something, but do they actually say “make love.” I’ve never been a fan of the term, but it feels even more cringey when hot young couples use it onscreen. The act can just be called “sex” all while it still being meaningful… or not. That said, I applaud Days actually showing Chanel and Allie getting passionate in bed, instead of just sharing a few chaste kisses, which is usually the case with same-sex relationships on soaps. Now, let’s work on updating that terminology.
• Watching Abigail actually work and investigate a story is something I didn’t know was so needed. It’s great to watch her in a story independent of Chad, while still playing their connection as a couple. Let’s just hope he doesn’t go off the rails upon seeing “EJ” kissing her and she understands when she eventually learns he tried to set up his brother.
• Despite Kayla abandoning her duties at the hospital, her teaming up with Steve to go undercover is great fun. I love seeing the sparkle in their eyes as they flirt and plot. While Kristen on the run has become a tiresome habit of hers, I hope Steve and Kayla will be on the road investigating a bit longer.
• The SPD gets a bad rap, so I was happy that Rafe actually connected some dots where Ava, Duke, and his bogus accusers were concerned.
• From his line delivery to his humor to his chemistry with just about everyone, I don’t know why Paul Telfer’s Xander isn’t a bigger player on the Days canvas. Hopefully, Sarah’s impending return will land him at least two episodes a week, instead of just one.
• It’s probably a scheduling thing, because Alison Sweeney is a busy lady, but who actually believes Lucas could convince Samantha Gene Brady to stay away from EJ’s trial for kidnapping her?
That’s all I got this time around. As always these are just my thoughts on the week in Salem. What are yours? Tell us below and then look through our photo gallery of 16 soap stars who left their popular roles — and why.
<p>With <em>Young & Restless</em> leading lady Amelia Heinle, the soap-hopper had created that rarest of rarities — a bonafide soap supercouple in “Ashtoria.” But just after New Year 2022, the news broke that he had been let go. WTH happened? “I naively and inadvertently <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/the-young-and-the-restless/news/620149/young-restless-why-was-richard-burgi-fired-reason-covid-protocols/" target="_blank">violated the show’s COVID policy</a>,” he explained. “I felt terrible about it. I still do. It bothers me mightily, but it is what it is.” Nevertheless, the class act expressed his well wishes for both the show and his successor, <em>Guiding Light</em> vet Robert Newman (Josh).</p>
<p>From 1964-75, the leading lady and frontburner mainstay amassed a large fan following as beleaguered <em>Another World</em> heroine Alice Frame. Unfortunately, the NBC soap’s headwriter was <em>not</em> among her admirers. In his memoir <em>Eight Years in Another World</em>, the late, great Harding Lemay recalled being particularly horrified that she’d once “turned what was written as muted, catatonic grief into a histrionic display more fitting to a 19th-century madhouse.” Finally, she was fired and replaced with, in the scribe’s estimation, “a far better actress.”</p>
<p>Never let it be said that the eight-time Emmy winner didn’t know when to say when. In 2015, the <em>General Hospital</em> legend decided to pack it in after 44 years off and on as Luke Spencer (and lookalike cousin Bill Eckert). “I’m just weary of the grind and have been for 20 years,” he told <a href="https://tvline.com/2015/05/08/general-hospital-anthony-geary-leaving-luke/" target="_blank">TV Insider</a> at the time. “I really don’t want to die, collapsing in a heap, on that <em>General Hospital</em> set one day. That wouldn’t be too poetic.” True — although it would’ve made for one hell of a memorable exit.</p>
<p>After 13 years as <em>The Young and the Restless</em>’ Victoria Newman, the then-two-time Emmy winner walked in 2003 over “creative differences” with then-executive producer David Shaughnessy, <a href="https://www.soapcentral.com/young-and-restless/news/2003/0929-tom.php" target="_blank">SoapCentral</a> reported. Even before she had last aired on the CBS soap, she’d already made her debut as <em>One Life to Live</em>’s new Kelly Cramer. Now, of course, Tom is back on the West Coast and back on CBS, playing Katie Logan on <em>Young & Restless</em>’ sister soap, <em>The Bold and the Beautiful.</em></p>
<p>The Emmy winner didn’t mince words when explaining why he’d quit <em>Days of our Lives</em> in 2020 after nearly a decade as Eric Brady. Storylines that were promised him, he told <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/days-of-our-lives/news/574649/greg-vaughan-why-quit-days-of-our-lives-extra/" target="_blank"><em>Soap Opera Digest</em></a>, “never came to fruition. I didn’t feel like all of the things that were being told to me were being delivered.” As a result, he wound up feeling “like a glorified extra in everybody else’s storyline.”</p>
<p>Unhappy with her work environment and the storyline that was being written for <em>Guiding Light</em>’s Alexandra Spaulding, the daytime legend took her annual eight-week vacation in 1992 — and never returned, thanks to an out in her contract. In an interview with <em>TV Guide</em>, she recalled that “somebody said, ‘Maybe Beverlee’s not familiar with the contract.’ Well, of course she was — she wrote it, you bozos!”</p>
<p>The Emmy winner loved his time at <em>The Young and the Restless</em> as Malcolm Winters; it began his acting career, for Pete’s sake! But in a <a href="https://www.soapcentral.com/yr/news/2001/1231-moore.php" target="_blank">SoapCentral</a> interview in 2000, he admitted that “I’ve done a lot of soul-searching. I really had to look at my career and my future.” Finally, he took his agents’ advice and took a leap of faith that has paid off handsomely: Since leaving Genoa City, Moore has become a primetime mainstay; he currently headlines his own series, CBS’ reboot of <em>S.W.A.T.</em></p>
<p>Five years after the debut of <em>Santa Barbara</em> — and the introduction of sterling-silver-tongued devil Mason Capwell — his fan-favorite portrayer called it a day. “I felt like the show deteriorated after [its creators] left,” he told <a href="http://santabarbara-online.com/InterviewLDavies2.htm" target="_blank"><em>Santa Barbara</em> Online</a> in 2009. In his estimation, the daytime drama had lost not only its sense of humor but its heart.</p>
<p>Shortly after announcing that she had left <em>Days of our Lives</em>, where she’d played Hope Brady for nearly 40 years, the veteran actress revealed why: The powers that be wanted her to <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/days-of-our-lives/news/573671/kristian-alfonso-not-retiring-days-of-our-lives-hope/" target="_blank">sit out four or five months</a> before starting a new storyline in which Hope got involved with a Navy SEAL. The show’s top scribe, she suggested to <em>Access Hollywood</em>, “didn’t want to write it. I don’t know what his reasons are.”</p>
<p>When the original cast member of <em>The Bold and the Beautiful</em> revealed in 2012 that he’d donned his last Speedo as Ridge Forrester, viewers all had the same question: Why? Why? Why? (Yes, we always asked it three times.) Was it salary issues? “It had to do with everything involved with it,” he told <a href="https://ew.com/article/2012/08/23/ronn-moss-bold-and-the-beautiful-exit-interview/" target="_blank"><em>Entertainment Weekly</em></a>. “Everything combined.” Beyond that, he felt that he was owed “the chance to do all the creative things that I haven’t had a chance to do in 25 years” because of the job.</p>
<p><em>The Young and the Restless</em> actor, who’d played Cane Ashby for more than a decade, was as “shocked and gutted” as his fans to announce that he’d been let go in the fall of 2019. “But sadly, it seems that <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/the-young-and-the-restless/comings-and-goings/539026/daniel-goddard-leaving-yr/" target="_blank">without Neil and Lily</a>, there just is no Cane.” But wait, Lily’s back now… could that possibly mean what we hope that it does? Click here for the juicy details of <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/the-young-and-the-restless/news/574800/young-restless-cane-returning-keep-billy-lily-apart/" target="_blank">the story we have in mind</a>!</p>
<p>In the late 1990s, the Emmy winner (now <em>General Hospital</em> femme fatale Ava Jerome) was just beginning her daytime career — and wowing <em>As the World Turns</em>’ audience as Carly Tenney — when she decided to make her maternity leave a permanent leave. “I was told I would only get six weeks” with my firstborn, she explained to <a href="https://www.soapoperadigest.com/content/tbt-maura-west/" target="_blank"><em>Soap Opera Digest</em></a> in 1997. “I <em>made</em> this child. I had to do right by him.” Thankfully, she was ultimately enticed to return and become the daytime legend that she now is.</p>
<p><em>The Young and the Restless</em>’ original Jack Abbott made no bones about the fact that he walked in 1989 over his dissatisfaction with the amount of airtime being given to a green rookie: Lauralee Bell (Christine), who just happened to be the daughter of the show’s creators. She didn’t hold it against him, though. And, she told the <a href="https://www.welovesoaps.net/2009/06/flashback-bell-responds-to-lester-1989.html" target="_blank"><em>Daily News of Los Angeles</em></a>, “if he ever took it out on me, he was sorry.”</p>
<p>When the Daytime Emmy winner left his role of Dylan McAvoy on <em>The Young and the Restless</em> in 2016, he tweeted that “it feels right to move on to <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/the-young-and-the-restless/news/48809/steve-burton-announces-decision-to-leave-yr/" target="_blank">new adventures in my life</a>.” But just a year later, he leapt back into an <em>old</em> adventure, returning to <em>General Hospital</em> as Jason Morgan, the hitman he’d previously played for nearly 20 years.</p>
<p><em>Young & Restless</em> viewers couldn’t figure out why, after the show struck pay dirt with the pairing of Devon Hamilton and Hilary Curtis, it would let her portrayer Mishael Morgan leave. “They were <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/the-young-and-the-restless/news/51037/interview-mishael-morgans-yr-departure-explained-by-manager/" target="_blank">not prepared to give her a raise</a>,” her manager explained in 2018. “We felt that we were put in the position that we had no choice but to explore other options… It was sort of a ‘Take it or leave it’ scenario.” A year later, of course, a deal was struck that returned Morgan to the soap as Hilary’s surprise twin sister, Amanda Sinclair.</p>
<p>The Emmy winner had been winning raves for his work as <em>Days of Our Lives</em>’ Stefan DiMera when he was abruptly replaced in 2019 by Brandon Barash (now Jake). Being apart from his family in Indiana while he was working in L.A. weighed heavily on Christopher, he later explained to <em>Soaps in Depth</em>, adding, “Alcohol addiction is something I’ve battled since I was a teenager. I’ve had some amazing successes with it and some really awful failures. I needed to address those issues and figure out that part of my life.”</p>
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