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I’m back from my Thanksgiving holiday and still without my laptop cord.  Hopefully that’ll be here on Tuesday and I can get back to my regular blogging schedule.  I hate using my desktop for the blog, don’t ask me why, no real reason, I just do.  So, anyway, lots of stuff on my mind and instead of doing about 5 or 6 little blogs, we’ll do one big one that encapsulates everything this time out.

Days of Our Lives

Last week on Days was filled with heartbreak and two of the best performances on this show in ages.  I attribute this to the actors themselves rather than the writing, which is still this side of atrocious.  Ari Zuker (Nicole) and Blake Berris (Nick) hit every emotional beat in some very hard scenes.  Nicole lost her baby and you actually felt like she really lost her child.  Her pain and overwhelming sadness was actually tangible to the viewer.

Blake Berris also had some stuff to do in the last couple of weeks, showing Nick’s descent from sweetness into craziness.  He lied and convinced Melanie that she killed her father, then she called him on it and the police closed in and he just became an utter shell of himself.  He appears to be a broken man and yet he’s still trying to look out for the girl he thinks he loves.  This viewer just wants to reach into the screen and give him a hug, he’s appearing so lost and alone.  Again, kudos.

I have to give him kudos now, because Days is stupidly letting go of one of their most talented young actors in January.  I hope he gets to leave as a recovered Nick with a bright future.  I have no faith in this, but it is my wish.  Meanwhile, Nicole, while awesome, will no doubt now result to baby lies and possible stealing, thus being ruined yet again.  She was the one character that Higley actually wrote decently but you can see the writing on the wall for her.  You know what I’d really like to see?  I would like to see the loss of the baby break her and drive her back to the bottle.  EJ could run across her drinking and tear into her, thinking she’s endangering their child.  She could either go two ways then, fake the loss after a drinking binge that she blames upon EJ for some reason or come clean about losing the kid and we see how EJ reacts.  I would far prefer either scenario to her ending up with Sami’s kid, which is clearly what is going to happen.  Higley claimed there would be twists and turns that we wouldn’t see coming, but if anybody is fooled they should be hired by the Days writing staff at this point.  A more heavy handed anvil I never did see.  Hate.

Twilight

A week and a half ago a friend of mine recommended that I read the Twilight series.  I had been mildly intrigued by the storyline so I figured why not?  I bought the first book on Saturday and read it in a day.  I bought the second and third books and read them on Sunday and Monday.  Over the holiday weekend I reread all 3 again and bits of them here and there as well.  I am officially obsessed with this story.  Edward and Bella feel like they’re a part of me, or I’m a part of them or some damn thing.   I am waiting for the 4th book, which I could not find at the stores, to be here on Wednesday and I’m feeling rather lost waiting for it.  I don’t know if it’s cause the books are written in the first person that you feel so involved, or if it’s how intriguing the idea of a vampire following in love with the one girl who he wants to bite more than anything or if it’s young obsessive love…I’m just hooked. 

So I saw the movie on Saturday with my mom (which took some doing as mom is not the type to enjoy vampires at all, haha).  It was just okay.  I did like the actor they hired for Edward, which is a big deal because he really is the character that most grabs me.  The actress for Bella was just okay, she didn’t do a great job of showing just how deeply in love with Edward she is.  The movie kind of glazed over the obsession aspect which I thought was a miss.  I also didn’t care for them having James and Victoria and Laurent hunting in the town and starting off investigations.  I like Bella’s dad remaining ignorant of the world she’s immersing herself in.  I thought Dr. Cullen’s makeup was a bit too much, he stood out like a sore thumb, but the rest of the vamps were good.  Robert Pattinson brought an otherworldly charm to Edward though, and that was enough to keep me absorbed in the story.  We’ll see how they swing the next one when he’s off for over half the time though, I don’t think she can carry half the next movie on her own.  Of course, they may make it different like they did this one, then we’ll see. 

In summation, I could not recommend the book series more, at least the first three.  I’ll let you know how I feel about number 4 this weekend I’m sure.  Any Twilight fans that happen across this, I’d love to chat with you more in depth about the books.  I have a few complaints but mostly I really want someone to share my new obsession with.  The movie is alright, if you like the books it’s worth a looksee.

Heroes

It was nice to see the Petrelli bros back to their bromance and bitching at one another again.  LOVED the Sylar/Elle kiss.  I still don’t know where they’re going with Elle, one minute she seems to be sweet and loving and the next she’s trying to reignite our favorite serial killer this side of Dexter, but that kiss was hot.  Sylar’s “I’ll do what I want” and then grabbing her and kissing her?  VERY HOT.  Not hot, HRG having a gun trained on them.  They need to live and have Selle sex followed by a Selle baby.  I will not be able to forgive the ever awesome HRG if he kills Elle. 

Too bad Claire won’t really die.  Sigh.  Love the Daphne twist, her being unable to walk without braces without her power.  That’s cool.  I do not remotely like Hiro’s storyline, but Seth Green being there this week will still please me.  Seth Green is magic.

Have Gun, Will Shoot

So apparently Plaxico Burress of the NY Giants managed to shoot himself in the thigh this weekend at a club.  I know I don’t feel complete unless I’m packing when I hit the dance floor, so this is clearly an understandable offense.  A mistake.  An accident.  Mere semantics.  Or…maybe not.  Maybe it’s just another example of such utter stupidity and recklessness that far too many athletes embody these days.  What happened to the days of posses of 10 or 15 dudes?  Let them carry the weaponry while you have a good time.  What’s the point of having loads of money if you have to defend yourself?  You pay people and let them take care of your issues.  Morons.  Apparently Antonio Pearce took the gun and did something with it too, so he could be in trouble as well.  Plax didn’t bother to get a permit for the gun so he’s charged with felony gun possession.  I’m sure Antonio will get hit with an accessory charge.  I just…there’s really nothing to say about how fucking stupid some people are.  You have everything, why waste it?

I don’t see the Giants letting Plaxico come back to the team next year.  He’s had several disciplinary incidents this year and frankly, they play just fine without him.  Another case of a player thinking he’s the be all and end all of the world and hopefully finding out that is not the case.

College Football

Thanks for showing up yesterday, Noles.  Really, that was quite a show you put together against Florida.  Why is it, we have a much better team, yet we get thrashed by 30 this year?  We were at least with a TD or two the last two years.  Sigh.  Ponder is just not ready for a big game like that the defense seemed unable to tackle Tebow.  I stopped watching in the third quarter…if my team can’t make an effort out there, I’m sure as shit not going to give them my time.

Farewell Charlie Weis.  35-3 against USC with less than 100 yards total offense.  That’s lovely.  That’s the kind of thing you can put on a resume.  I loathe USC but I probably loathe ND more so it was kinda funny to me.

My opinion?  Texas beat Oklahoma, therefore they should be ranked ahead of them.  I hate that damn BCS though and hope that the bitching reaches all time high levels.  The BCS getting to decide the Big 12 championship is just friggin laughable.  Until there is a viable playoff I’m going to make up some random name for the champion.  The Computer Champion That Might Have Been The Real Champion, But Who Can Say???  That’ll be their title.  I loathe the BCS.

UF is going to annihilate Alabama this weekend.  Period.  Bama is nowhere near as good as the Gators.  Damned if I know who could beat them in the championship game, OK might stand a chance but I’m not too confident of that.  I loathe Florida, people, so you know I am loathe to admit it but they are damn good.  I’m still glad we hurt Harvin though.

Well I think that’s enough rambling for now, I’ll hopefully be up and running again on Tuesday so we’ll chat about Heroes sometime then.  Back at ya soon!

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Before I get to the spoilers, I must begin with the breaking (heartbreaking!) news that Jay Kenneth Johnson has officially exited the show.  We don’t know yet if they will recast Philip or not, but I imagine they will due to his character involved in some major story lines, some of which we will discuss below.  I am sorry to see one Day’s top two hot guys exit the stage and now have to sweat out James Scott’s contract negotiations in a couple months.  Losing both talented, gorgeous men would be more than I can tolerate.  Anyway, if you want more info on JKJ’s exit, hit Tripp’s blog on the subject.

As to what we have to look forward to in the next few weeks on our beloved (or not) soap?  Well my title might give you a little hint.  Probably not much of one if you’re unspoiled, but if you are and you’re reading this, then welcome to the pain!  Sami apparently gets out of her stellar protective custody and ends up at a convent, where she introduces herself as Colleen.  Why?  I have no idea.  Some nun takes her in.  Rafe must track her down or she returns on her own.  Rafe finds a medal from the convent and Sami begs him to take her back there, which for some unknown reason he does.  Turns out that Rafe has some kind of ties to that convent and some homeless guy comes in and he freaks and takes Sami back away.  Sami keeps Sister Theresa’s number, which I assume she’ll use when she gets a hold of his phone again.  Why she’s so anxious to be at the convent is beyond me.  Does she actually want to give up her baby?  I do not see Sami Brady ever doing that.  Rafe gets Hilda to bring an Xmas tree and new photos of Sami’s kids to her, which makes her happy.  I thought she couldn’t have any photos from her “past life”?  Does this show even pay attention to what they say a few weeks before?  Why am I asking something so stupid?

If you’ve been knocked unconscious recently, you might have missed the anvils that something is going to go very wrong with Nicole’s pregnancy.  She has cramps and Brady takes her to the hospital and she loses the kid.  Nicole, of course, does not tell EJ that she lost the baby and puts on a fake pregnancy pad.  EJ is apparently suspicious, trying to get the doctor to tell him what’s up but he won’t do it.  Stefano starts demanding that Nicole see his personal physician (is that Rolf? Where is he anyway?)  Rafe apparently spies Nicole adjusting her baby pad when he’s spying in DiFamily, presumably to see if Sami is telling the truth about the DiMera’s being evil incarnate.

In other news, Kate gets released from the hospital and the family throws a party for her.  Daniel informs her that her cancer has spread to her lymph nodes and bone marrow and she needs a transplant.  The family get tested and Chloe turns out to be a match.  Chloe and Lucas have just gotten engaged and Chloe doesn’t want to let Kate know that when things are looking so bad for her, Kate is happy though and refuses to let Chloe be her donor as it could harm her.  I’m sure Daniel the Great will get it all done though.

Melanie starts working at Titan, which angers new employee Stephanie.  Philip tells her that he feels bad for the kid and Stephanie apparently finds that sweet and gives him a kiss.  Melanie also tries to hug Philip but he isn’t impressed.  And the triangle begins!  YAY!  Not.  Anyhow, it sounds like Melanie might still be staying with Maggie and Mickey because Maggie notices that Mel is pissy and she tells Maggie she’s going to prove to be a great asset at Titan.  Since she’s all of 18 and likely never worked a day in her life, I’m sure this is true.

As to the Nick story, no news whatsoever.  He’ll get arrested next week after he and Melanie are found in a hotel room getting ready to head to Vegas.  Nick wants them to get married so they can’t testify against one another I guess.  Mel gets more memory back and realizes that Nick killed her dad and tries to get away from him.  Bo & Hope burst into the room during their struggle and Mel pitches over the hotel balcony.  Philip, with his one leg, climbs up and saves her.  In Days world, this is a scary sign of twu wuv.  At least JKJ won’t have to play that.  After Nick is arrested, Melanie assumes everyone will love her but they don’t, they all blame her for Nick’s condition.  The rest remains to be seen.

That’s the main stuff that is coming up in early December.  Are you riveted?  Can you not wait to tune in?  Are you hanging on my every word?  Are you writing I love Dena Higley all over your notebook?  Me neither.  I can only hope the new year brings something better, or Days 18 month renewal won’t run out soon enough for this viewer.

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Mental Days

Dan, Dan the pervy man; photo from NBC.com

Dan, Dan the pervy man; photo from NBC.com

With the onset of this Nick becoming a pill popping murderer and stalking Melanie all over town, I decided it was time to do a blog on all the mental issues running rampant in Salem these days.  Not everybody is going quite to the extreme that Nick is, of course, but we’re seeing lots of signs of either insanity or stupidity or at the very least mental deficiency.

I begin, of course, with Nick, for he is the one who is openly displaying issues.  One minute he’s sweetly slobbering all over Melanie and the next he is writing her a note telling her he knows what she did to her father.  One minute he’s bringing a little too clingy but still sweet, bringing her cookies and milk, the next he is sitting freakishly watching her sleep.  The show has set up the idea that Nick is getting addicted to pills (you know, but showing us him take them exactly twice, but he did dry swallow, so that’s proof!!!) but many of us are hoping that this might be a multiple personality type storyline.  I think it’s clear that Nick killed Trent to protect Melanie and since then he’s not been the same.  I could see old Nick killing someone to protect someone else, but I could never see him gas lighting the person he was trying to protect, and now claims to love.  I don’t see how pills could make Nick actually go after a person he claims to love to scare her, so it’d be cool if he has his mother’s mental illness and the pills brought out another side of him, a devious and manipulative side.  Blake is really rocking the scenes and it is one of the few things I’m enjoying on the show today, so kudos.  I hope they plan on really exploring Nick’s issues and giving him a chance to shine.

My next mentally deficient Salemite is my own beloved EJ.  Yes, I can criticize my pretty boy when it is warranted.  Firstly of course we’ve had the waffling between Sami and Nicole, to the point that I don’t think he knows what he wants (or in reality, what the writers want, cause they blow).  One day he’ll be totally cold to Nicole and the next he’ll be warm and loving.  The next minute he will hear Sami’s name and withdraw from Nicole either physically or mentally.  I’ve hashed all that out before and that’s not really the thing that stood out, because it’s been rather consistent for awhile now anyway.  No, the other day my EJ was horrified at the very idea that Nicole could have killed someone.  Now, you know I love EJ.  Good and bad, I really don’t care, though I prefer the bad to the good.  As long as he’s pretty, and yes he needs a haircut right now, I’m content.  But come on!  EJ either killed or had Eve Michaels killed.  He tortured Steve, stole John’s kidney, threatened Sami from her hospital bed, wanted to run down Belle (his worst crime, not killing her), beatdown Patrick…the list goes on and on.  I know Dena the Great didn’t write it but don’t pretend it didn’t happen!  It makes EJ looks stupid and that’s one of the few things he’s not.  Morons.

From one pretty boy to another, next we have Philip.  Phil’s always been a sharp guy with questionable relationship choices, but right now?  He’s having some issues.  There’s no way he’s not having issues if he’s flirting with Melanie.  Having a sexy (albeit brief) dream about Melanie.  Telling Melanie that he gets her and he’s the type of guy who could handle her.  ICK.  Philip is in his late 20’s or early 30’s.  Melanie is 17.  17!!!  That makes Philip a perv at least a pedophile at worst.  I wouldn’t use pedophile at this point because she’s about to turn 18, but it’s still pretty ridiculous for a corporate executive to be cavorting with a child, even if it’s under the guise of helping his niece and Nick.  He actually let her kiss him and get him into bed a bit before he pushed her away and let her know he was just testing to see how far she’d go.  It’s ridiculous to have Philip hanging with these younguns and he seems to be setting his sights younger and younger.  Belle/Chloe to Morgan (college) to Melanie (17!!!).  It’s stupid and it’s killing Paxton, so it really needs to stop.  Philip needs to act like the grown up he is and not be intrigued by teenagers.  Period.

Next, and always, we have Sami.  I won’t go into all her other stuff, I want this blog to end at a reasonable length, but right now she is in witness protection after having seen the mayor murdered.  Fine and dandy, she wasn’t thrilled about going but then when she realized she could hide her pregnancy from EJ she went along willingly.  But now that she’s there, suddenly she’s shocked beyond belief that she can’t sashay down to the mall to do some shopping.  And she’s mad because her first guard had the audacity to be a vegetarian.  She treated him like shit, then he got mad and left and she got stuck with Hilda.  Hilda was a mannish woman who seemed like one of those German nannies that kids are petrified of.  Alrighty, she could be effective, but Sami doesn’t like her and doesn’t want to hear her talk any longer so she drugs her tea.  Then of course she hears someone at the door and freaks out about the fact that Hilda can’t protect her.  Ugh.  Sami is many, many things.  So many things that I cannot start to list them, but she’s never been so damn stupid.  She did stupid things but she always had reasons behind them.  There is NO reason behind her fighting her guards.  Now Rafe the helmet head is on to guard her and she’s trying to sneak out and steal his phone.  It’s ridiculous.  If they wanted to make her act this irrational and stupid, they should have had something be wrong with one her kids, something we could understand and thus sympathize with her behavior.  Right now there’s nothing to identify with and she just looks like a moronic shrew.

Next we have Daniel, whom I think I have blogged about more than all my other Days characters at this point, which is just wrong for somebody I loathed and now am just tolerating, but there you go.  Daniel has hooked back up with Kate, which I wholeheartedly support, and she’s undergoing chemo for lung cancer treatment.  Then last week he’s chatting with Chloe about it and she informs him that she had to undergo treatment for leukemia when she was younger.  And damned if you didn’t actually see a flip switch on Daniel’s face.  It was like he went from having a conversation with some girl he vaguely knows to the hero of his youth or something.  He was enthralled all of a sudden.  It’s quite clear that he’s some freak who is into sick women; his wife, Chelsea, Kate and now Chloe because she was once sick.  It’s the weirdest damn thing I’ve ever seen.  Yesterday he had some inappropriate flirting with her at the gym.  It was rather pervilly done and just weird as hell.  Gross.

Though we haven’t seen him in awhile, John is obviously going through some mental issues, what with Stefano messing his head up and him suddenly loving Marlena again.  I can understand the first but not the second.  I liked that John was more than ready to dump St. Marlena on her ass when she was haranguing him when he first came back but all of a sudden he loves her again.  Argh.  He was having some headaches but we haven’t seen him in weeks (YAY!) so I’m not sure how he’s doing now.

Max continues to have some kind of anger issues/mood swings things going on.  Just a week ago he was defending Melanie to Stephanie and breaking up with her for ratting her out to Bope and then today he gets all over Nick for wanting to make sure Melanie got a cut of his prototype money.  He’s all over about her using him and manipulating him yet he won’t admit that she did that to him as well and he broke up with his girlfriend over it (another YAY).

Bo and Hope have to be included, because they’ve raised smugness to a new level never yet seen on this show.  Their trapping of Melanie and the way they’ve treated any suspect that wasn’t the sainted Caroline (who they still have more evidence on than Nicole) and Max (ditto) has made them insufferable and intolerable.  I have loved Bo and Hope most of my life but they’re acting like asses and I do not approve.

Lexie is also an emotional basket case these days, over Theo and the possibility that her complaining to Stefano got him to kill the mayor.  This stuff is understandable but the thing that I am truly hating?  She’s actually acting embarrassed about Theo.  I hate watching her squirm when he does something that she doesn’t view as “normal”, which, since he’s 5, he’s not really acting that abnormal.  He didn’t want to shake a reporters hand, so what?  Most kids wouldn’t.  I find her attitude very off putting.

Lastly we have Theo himself.  I bet you think he’s here for his autism, but no, that’s not the case.  I wouldn’t poke fun or disapprove of that.  He’s here because he loves Chelsea above all others!  How could that be?  I get preferring her to his parents, cause they are snoozes, but come on!  Credit must be given to Tripp on this one, she gave me the idea to include Theo and I thought it was funny.

That’s all I’ll address for now, I’m sure I could find others but I’m mentally drained from this exercise!  Talk to you soon!

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Simon, Julia, Tripp, Leticia, Karen, Nick, Lisa, Brian, Patrick & Jeremy, DSM Cast courtesty of Duckydoestv.com

From Front: Simon Elder, Juliet, Tripp, Letitia, Karen, Nick George, Lisa George, Brian, Patrick & Jeremy, DSM Cast courtesty of Duckydoestv.com

While watching one of my guilty pleasures, Dirty Sexy Money, I started fervently wishing that Days would rip that off, you know, instead of Higley ripping her own stuff from OLTL off instead?  Since it’s quite clear that Dena couldn’t write a romance unless she’s possessed by one of the Bronte sisters, why not scrap the idea of romance and go the DSM route?

Dirty Sexy Money revolves around the filthy rich Darling family, headed by the formidable patriarch, Tripp (not to be mistaken for my friend, Tripp).  Tripp Darling is one of those meddling fathers, who thinks he knows what’s best for his children and will go to any length to ensure that they get what they want, or what he thinks they should want.  This week, his eldest son, Patrick, was ready to admit to the world that he is in love with a transgendered woman, Carmelita.  He was going to do this on the night of his election to the Senate.  Needless to say, Daddy didn’t think this would be a good idea and he told Carmelita the truth behind the death of Patrick’s wife, Ellen.  She slipped while attacking Patrick for cheating on her with Carmelita and instead of calling the cops, the family worried that it would come off like Patrick killed her, so they took her body to their summer house in the Hamptons and set it on fire.  Carmelita was not pleased that her beloved would do something like cover up his wife’s death, so she dumped him.  Problem solved, Patrick won.  Tripp had a heart attack while arguing with Patrick, but he appears to be alright.

Before I discuss the rest of the family, the main player is Nick George, the family lawyer.  Nick was your average do-gooder type of lawyer, wanting to help the environment and the world in general.  His father was the Darling family counselor and upon his untimely death (we’ll discuss that more shortly), Tripp approached him to take over as the private Darling family lawyer.  Nick grew up with the Darlings and wanted no part of their circus life, but the amount of money they threw at him for charitable givings made him decide to take the offer.  Over the year or so that he’s been involved with the Darlings, Nick has gone from white hat to a grayer hat, doing things he would no doubt have refused to do months ago (including standing aside during the Ellen cover up).  Tripp considers Nick as good as a son and recently named him Vice President, if anything happens to him, Nick will actually take over the family business.  Being at the Darling’s beck and call is doing a number on Nick’s life and his marriage.

Letitia Darling, wife of Tripp, mother of Patrick, Brian, Karen, Jeremy and Juliet.  Letitia is currently on trial for the murder of Nick’s father, her long time lover and father of her son, Brian as well.  She’s indulgent with her children and also loves Nick like a son, in part due to her relationship with his Dad.  Nick is defending her for the murder of his own father, who died in an airplane crash that was tampered with.  He’s certain of her innocence and the Darling’s want her to be represented to him because what jury would convict a woman of killing a guy when his own son is defending her?  Good question, that.

Patrick Darling, NY state senator, father of 2, in love with a transgendered woman.  Patrick is the eldest child, I believe, and the most moldable.  He always ends up bending to his father’s will, be it in running for the Senate or in giving in when it comes to his wife’s death.  He attempts to get out from under his father’s thumb but ends up right back under it.

Brian Darling, son of Letitia and Nick’s father, whose first name escapes me.  Brian started off as some kind of pastor, married to a formidable Mei Ling, with 2 daughters by her.  He also has a son, Brian Jr., from an affair with one of his churchgoers.  Hilariously, his girlfriend dumped Brian Jr. on him and he tried to pass him off as a Swedish orphan, Gunther, who could speak no English.  Mei Ling guilted Brian Jr. into admitting he was not a Swedish orphan and that Brian was his father.  She took the girls and left, Brian gave up the church and is now working for Darling Industries.  He found out last season that Tripp is not his father, as did Tripp, who did not know about Letitia’s long affair with the family lawyer.  Nick and Brian do not get along too well, but they’re an interesting pair to watch interact.

Karen Darling, professional divorcee.  She’s been married 4 times and just got engaged to #5 last night.  She was Nick’s childhood sweetheart and she still wants him.  He’s still attracted to her as well.  She’s supposedly a lot smarter than a ditzy rich chick but she acts the part more times than not.  Her best moment might have been right after wedding #4, when she turned to Nick a minute after saying her vows and asked him to get her a divorce!  Her new fiancee, Simon Elder, is her father’s top competitor and he wants to marry her to get his hands on the company.  Nick warned her of this but she took it as jealousy and him not wanting her to be happy and off we go.  Looks like next week Nick tells Tripp to cut her out of the business before Simon can get his hands on it.  It doesn’t get much soapier than that does it?

Jeremy Darling, twin of Juliet, youngest of the Darlings.  Family playboy.  Just kind of sleeps his way through life, partying and bedding women.  He’s got a crush on Nick’s wife, Lisa, and they’ve had a couple of kisses.  Nick knows and doesn’t appreciate it, of course.  Currently he’s sleeping with the DA, Nola Lyons, who is trying his mother for murder.  Again, is that not good soap?  They’ve kept their relationship quiet but Nick borrowed his phone and figured out who he was involved with.  Should make for some interesting times in front of the judge, right?

Juliet Darling, Jeremy’s twin.  She’s your useless Paris Hilton type, although a virgin, and mostly off the show.  She’s off with some guy right now and I think has only one or two appearances this year due to the actress’ real life troubles.  That’s okay, she was the least interesting of the Darling sibs.

Those are the main players, with Nick’s wife, Lisa and Karen’s fiancee, Simon, also along for the ride.  Just from my descriptions of the characters, does the show not sound soapy and about 1000 times more interesting than Days?  I picture bulking up the DiMera family a bit and having them be a Darling type of family.  Stefano is great as an interfering father, it’s what he already does.  I see EJ in the Patrick type role, the modable son who rebels when it comes to the woman he loves.  Lexie could not pull of Karen, but we could easily have another DiDaughter appear on the scene.  Actually Kristen would be great in that type of role.  I’d bring her and Peter back to bulk up the family.  Then have an outsider, like maybe our own Nick, get sucked into the family and deal with all their scandals and issues.  Have a real challenger, like say, Philip Kiriakis, romancing the Kristen/Karen type of character and spying on DiFamily.

You don’t have to have all these “twu wuv” stories like Days attempts to have, or all these random chem tests.  Business and family dynamics can be just as, if not more, compelling.  Desires, affairs, scandal, bribery, etc.  It’s not that hard, Dena, tune into ABC on Wednesday nights and start taking some notes.  It couldn’t hurt, right?

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NFL Picks Week 8

Well on weeks that I don’t watch much football, I apparently pull a 7-7 record.  That is not acceptable.  I’d like to thank Baltimore and Indy for continuing to confound me weekly.  You have earned my wrath, boys, so watch it.  Baltimore is getting my reverse voodoo and Indy may not be far behind.  On to the picks:

Tampa Bay over Dallas: I am so scared making this pick.  On paper, the Bucs should win this game handily.  Dallas is ravaged by injuries and Brad Johnson will be starting at QB.  Dallas just got bitchslapped by the Rams, so the Bucs should be able to replicate that and then some.  I just fear Dallas will get it’s crap together this week and go back to their winning ways.  Sigh.  I’ll go with my heart on this one, but I am not happy with it.

Washington over Detroit: Washington failed to impress me against the Browns last week.  They were not too good on offense but their defense played a decent game.  Still, they’re playing Detroit, captained by the infamous Dan Orlovsky (who really should have been my Douchetard a couple weeks ago when he ran out of the back of his own endzone, but I took pity on him).  Washington should win this one easily, though I said the same thing when they faced the Rams and look where that got me?

Buffalo over Miami: Miami came back to earth last week against Baltimore (thanks guys) and defensive coordinators have had a few weeks to figure out how to stop their high school playbook.  Buffalo continues to look strong, I thought they’d have a come down against San Diego but as usual, the Chargers continue to confound me and they handled them easily.  Buff is the pick here.

New England over St. Louis: Rams, are you finally going to stop overachieving and move back to your destiny of 3-13?  NE finally looked good on Monday night, thanks to a whole lot of turnovers.  More injuries have hit them but they should handle the Rams.

New Orleans over San Diego: Honestly, I have no idea how this game will go.  It’s in London and I don’t get to see it (thanks league rules saying I can’t see a game opposite my Bucs!).  I guess I trust Brees more than I do Rivers right now.  Bush is out, so that might factor in.  The fact is, neither of these teams is doing what they should be doing, they are wasting talented offensive players and underachieving big time.  Pick em, I’ll take the Aint’s.

NY Jets over KC: This is going to be a very boring game I think.  Larry Johnson is on the bench for being a jerk.  Favre hasn’t lit up the AFC East like we were led to believe.  The Chiefs are terrible and yet they continue to employ Herm and Carl.  It might be the best job in the world to work for KC or Detroit, look at how long these guys got to suck?  Lucky they aren’t owned by Al Davis I guess!  Anyway, Favre should be able to take KC at least.

Philly over Atlanta: Matt Ryan has been a revelation thus far, but he has yet to beat a team with a decent defense on the road.  Philly has not lived up to expectations this season either, but I have to believe they know they need to make a move here.  With Dallas stinking, the Skins back to earth and the Giants looking less awesome, they still have a chance to make some moves within the division.

Baltimore over Oakland: I will be picking Baltimore every week, since they insist on doing the opposite of what I say they’re going to do, so their choice will be either to do what I say or drop every game.  Suck on it Ravens.  In reality, they should take this one anyway, Oakland may have gotten their OT win against the Jets last week but the Jets don’t have Balt’s (slightly overrated but still good) defense.

Carolina over Arizona: I nearly picked AZ in this game, but I just don’t trust them on the road, not after that Jets performance a couple weeks ago.  Carolina looked dominant last week against the Saints, so we’ll see if they can ride the momentum this week.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Zona took it though.

Jacksonville over Cleveland: Oh Browns, you are such a sad little team on offense.  Throw in the Winslow drama and that doesn’t make me feel they could pull off the upset in Jax this weekend.  Weighing in on that, by the way, Winslow whining over not getting coddled enough by the team while he was in the hospital is to be expected.  He’s always been a bitchy diva, nothing new there.  I agree that the Browns need to do something about the staph infection stuff, but the GM does not have to call him when the coach and the rest of the team have.  And you don’t take that shit public.  Kellen, you’re an idiot.

Houston over Cincy: Cincy could get their first win this week, but I’m not betting on it.  Palmer’s still out, Ocho Cinco is still MIA, their defense sucks…nope, not this week.

Giants over Pittsburgh: Great game!  Could go either way, yet again.  Pitt is still pretty beat up, so I’m going with the Giants, though if they play the way they did the last couple of weeks they’ll be in trouble.  I get to watch this one, which is fun, I like seeing good matchups.

San Fran over Seattle: Oooh another Suck Bowl!  This is a toss up game as well, not sure which way to go, but it’s at SF so why not pick them?  They’ve actually been somewhat competitive in recent weeks while Seattle has not.  Maybe they could ask Jerry Rice to return and suit up for them for a week?  Very sad ending for Holmgren this year.

Tennessee over Indy: In Manning I no longer trust.  What was that last weekend?  What is going on with Indy?  Injured yes, old possibly?  I don’t get it.  You watch, Peyton will throw for 400 yards now.  Sigh.  I’m going with the team that can play D right now.

I didn’t do a wrap up this week due to my trip, but I do still have a Douchetard of the Week to share with you.  That illustrious award goes to the Vikings punt team, that gave up 2 TD to the Bears in a 1 TD loss.  For snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, the Vikings punt team is our Douchetard of the Week.

Last Week:  7-7

Season Record:  57-44

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Daniel, excited to see a real woman.  Picture from NBC.com

Daniel, excited to see a real woman. Picture from NBC.com

Today was finally the big day!  We got to see Daniel and Kate have sex, on our screens instead of just in our heads!   Well, it was still mostly in our heads, thanks to us only seeing the prelude and the afterglow, but it was better than them just talking about the sex they had and leaving everything to our imaginations.  Tripp and I did a blog cataloging our thoughts on the whole show today, but I wanted to expand upon the situation.  It’s time we took a look at the evolution of Dr. Dan, from douche to real man!

As anybody who has read just one of my Days blogs knows, I have a virulent and very real hatred for the Chan pairing.  I wasn’t overjoyed by the idea of it before he came on screen; then when he did and I got a look at him, I thought it was ridiculous to even think of pairing him romantically with Chelsea.  While I wasn’t enamored with the age difference, it was really the difference in maturity level that bothered me.   Chelsea is an immature college student, thoroughly concerned with only herself; while Daniel is a world renowned surgeon and world traveler.  Throw in the fact that he looked like her father when standing next to her and I was not on board.

Days tried to make it palatable by making him talk like a moronic surfer kid, but that didn’t fly with me or many other viewers.  They tried to pretend that Chelsea was more mature than she really was, but that didn’t fly either.  It also didn’t help that Daniel’s portrayer, Shawn Christian, seemed to spark more with every other woman on screen than he did his child-like paramour.  A couple of months ago, the writers saw the light and spoilers came out that Daniel had slept with Kate prior to his hooking up with Chelsea.  Anti-Chan fans around the world shrieked with joy.  Sure, it’s uncomfortable in the fact that Kate is Chelsea’s grandmother, but breaking up Chan was for the greater good, so I can’t get too worked up about it.

Fortunately, Daniel and Chelsea never slept together.  When Daniel was off in the bathroom preparing for their first time (hilariously, Chelsea was in this black negligee that made her look like a child playing dress-up), he got a text message from Kate about their big secret.  Chelsea deduced what that was and told both of them to go to hell.  Understandable, of course, it would be a shock finding out your grandmother had gotten with your would-be boyfriend, even though they had far more in common and were closer in age than the two of you were.  She ran off to France in an attempt to make herself feel better by having her ex welcome her back with open arms, but she was shot down there too.

Kate, meanwhile, started coughing non stop and Daniel reached out to her to try fo find out what was wrong.  Angry at him and at herself for hurting Chelsea, she tried to push him away and didn’t want to get tested, particularly by him.  Daniel kept pushing and reached out to her son, Philip, to get help on bullying her into treatment.  During that time, she and Daniel have been growing closer, albeit reluctantly.  When Chelsea returned to town and refused to forgive both of them, they both reached out to one another a little more.  When Kate when in for her cat scan, she and Daniel locked hands in a moment that was far sexier than any of the umpteen Chan makeout scenes innocent viewers were forced to endure.

Today was the culmination of all those little moments…Kate was at the Kiriakis pool and Daniel was swimming laps.  He got out and they discussed Kate’s health and even Chelsea a little bit.  Kate laid a beautiful smackdown on Chelsea the day before.  Chelsea accused Kate of her and Daniel setting it up so they’d talk when he told her how concerned he was for Kate’s health.  Kate finally had enough of her granddaughter acting like a 5 year old and told her that she was sick of begging for her forgiveness.  Chelsea has been forgiven for numerous crimes, including killing her little brother for crying out loud, and it’s time she learned how to give what she so easily takes.

Anyway, Kate asked Daniel about her test results and he admitted that he was checking on them hourly, which seems a bit above and beyond what your average doctor does.  While he was headed off to get them some wine, his cell rang and he practically dove toward it, he was so anxious to hear about how she was doing.  Turned out that there was no malignancy on the test, which means more testing needs to be done, Kate’s not in the clear.  She was so hopeful for a moment, but she knew that things were far from over, healthwise.  Daniel started to walk away to get them that wine and she reached out and stopped him.  They stood very closely together as Kate talked to him about seizing the day and how tired she was of not taking what she wanted.  Daniel started to get excited in his surfshorts.  They started kissing and the next thing we knew they were cuddled naked on a patio chair.  They looked comfortable and right together! They were toying with one another hands in a move that was almost sexual.  Daniel looked at Kate and told her he’d be there for her.  It was hot.  They started kissing again and round two likely went underway.

It’s amazing how much more tolerable Daniel is in scenes with Kate.  The actor seems like he’s into the story, he seems like he’s into her in a way that he hasn’t been in to his scenes before.  It’s also very nice to have a relationship develop between two older characters on Days.  All the older couples are in “twu wuv” pairings and not to be tinkered with and the younger ones are just chaotic as hell, so it’s really refreshing to see two people come together who make sense and have chemistry.  Kudos to the writers for actually seeing one of their mistakes and working to rectify it a way that worked with what we’ve seen onscreen.  I think they’ve saved the character of Daniel Jonas with this move and they’ve made Kate more human as well.  I hated Kate for many years when she existed just to interfere with her kids’ lives; now that she’s actually focusing on herself and her needs I can understand appreciate her.  Ultimately it may save the character of Chelsea as well, she was becoming downright intolerable in the Chan pairing and she’s been pretty hard to take since the break up.  If they have her begin to handle things in a more mature manner, or at the very least stay away from Kate and Daniel and stop accusing them of plotting when they’re not, she may be salvageable as well.  I could not be more surprised that I’m actually like Dan these days, he’s come a long way from my calling him Dr. Douchiel.  He may become Dan the Man yet.  Not Manwhore, just man.  We’ll see.  As long as he stays excited in his pants for a woman who is more his speed, I’ll be happy.

Date's first onscreen kiss; photo from NBC.com

Date's first kiss; photo from NBC.com

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Daze Of Our Lives

I try to do a Days of Our Lives post weekly, it’s the show I watch 5 days a week after all and there’s generally plenty to say about it.  This week, though, I’m having issues finding something to talk about.  There’s just nothing going on that has me excited, angry, interested, anticipatory…etc.  There are some spoilers coming up that I have a flare of interest in, but force of habit has me imagining that they won’t be interesting when they appear on screen.

The problem is, I am no longer invested in anything happening on this show anymore.  Or, more accurately, the only things I’m invested in are things I 100% do not want to happen, like Chan to reunite or Phelanie to occur.  Those are the only things that get me fired up these days and it saddens me.  Let’s look at what’s happening on Days now and try to figure out what I’m disinterested:

Trent’s Murder

This should be a good story.  We have a number of suspects:  Max, Melanie, Nicole, Nick, Caroline or the always exciting None Of The Above!  I would like to become invested in this storyline, I really like 3 of the characters involved (Melanie, Nicole and Nick), I like Bo and Hope, who are doing the investigating…so what’s the problem?  The problem is, because this is Days, we have 95% odds that None Of The Above is going to be our killer, portrayed by Random Day Player!  Trent has a gambling problem and owes money to the aptly named Claude and probably some other people.  Even though it makes no sense for a bookie to take out the guy who owes him money instead of taking out one of his loved ones to make him pay, you just know Days will go there.

Maybe they’ll surprise me and make it one of the other characters.  Mel killing her father for attempting to pimp her out to pay off her debts would be a good story.  Max killing his father to protect his sister would be a good story.  Nicole offing a man who killed her self esteem and cost her a fortune would be a good story.  The problem is, Melanie is looking like a good possibility through flashbacks, but I know it’s a red herring.  Max wouldn’t let his mother be charged with a crime he committed, so he’s out.  Nicole’s not even being investigated at this point, so she’s either out or the killer and the SPD is too stupid to figure it out.  I rule out both Nick and Caroline because it’s really not in character for either one to knife a guy.  The point is, I’m still paying attention to this storyline but I’m preparing for a letdown.

Babypalooza (tm GhostofMaxine on TWoP)

I think it’s quite apparent to anybody who has read my Days blogs that EJ Wells/DiMera is my favorite character.  He remains my favorite despite crappy writing, whitewashing of his past and turning him into a wishy washy fool.  So, any storyline involving him should still interest me.  He’s tall and brutally hot and has a British accent….I’m in!  But Nicole and Sami both being pregnant with his baby at the same time?  Doesn’t interest me at all.  In fact, I don’t have a heck of a lot to say about it, but I’ll try.  I am glad that the writers made both women pregnant instead of just one.  The playing field is leveled and they can’t resort to the “mother of my child” nonsense they’ve had EJ spout for months.  But, of course, they’re not going to have him choose are they?  They’re either going to have the women choose for him, or continue the triangle from hell until after babies are born.  At one time I really wanted EJami.  At another time I really wanted EJole.  Now I really just want the writers to pick one and go with it.  I don’t care who ends up with whom, I, and just about every other person that I’ve run across what watches Days, just want it over.  It’s truly sad when you can’t invest in a storyline involving your main character.

Kate’s Illness

Surprisingly, I am somewhat interested in this, only because it will be the death knell of Chan.  As I mentioned above, making sure Chan does not happen is the only thing really driving me, and spoilers indicate that Daniel and Kate are not only going to grow closer during her illness, but also hook back up.  The fact that this should end Chelsea/Daniel forever and ever amen pleases me.  Also, Lauren Koslow is doing a really good job and Shawn Christian actually seems invested in scenes for the first time ever, so that makes it more enjoyable.  Kate’s bonding with Philip and Lucas has been well done as well.  The estrangement between her and Chelsea is also a good obstacle; Chelsea wants to be there for her grandmother but she’s mad at her over Daniel.  It could be very compelling if done right.  This is definitely the best of the story lines for me right now, but it’s pretty much for a wrong reason!

Autism & The Mayor

I combine these two because they are the Abe/Lexie stories and they’re pretty entwined anyway.  I’m sorry but Abe and Lexie make me want to curl up and take a nap.  Abe running for mayor came out of the blue and is as unrealistic as anything else on this show.  Apparently we’re about a month from the election, hey, just like the presidential election!, and Abe’s throwing his hat in the ring.  I think you generally need more time than that, but whatever.  It’s not like Abe won’t win in a landslide anyway as everybody in town knows him the the only ones who won’t vote for him might be Stefano and John.  Riveting!!!

Also riveting is the Theo is autistic storyline.  Today he wandered away from his babysitter who was too busy gabbing on the phone to watch him play in his pile of leaves.  I wanted to like the autism storyline, it’s real life and the writer doing it has an autistic child, so it should be great.  But it’s not.  Abe and Lexie squabble now and then and have issues balancing work and Theo.  It’s not exciting or interesting television.  It doesn’t help that Night Shift is doing an autism storyline at the same time and doing it way better.  You actually learn about autism on that show.  It might have helped if this were Bo and Hope or someone I was more interested in than Abe & Lexie, but without better writing it probably wouldn’t have reached me the way NS did anyway.

That’s the four major story lines that I could think of on Days right now.  There’s little romances and chem tests and whatnot but those aren’t huge stories at this point.  I thought about including John and Stefano’s battle for the DiMera Empire, which should have been awesome, but since the battle includes nothing but the occasional argument between the two men, I don’t consider it a story at all.  It’s just filler.  And that’s sad.  I’m sad that really not much is going on with my favorite soap right now.  I hope next week gives me something more compelling to discuss.

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