You might have noticed that this past Wednesday, September 26th, marked the one-year anniversary of the Horton Town Square opening.
Of course, it also marked the official debut of the writing and producing regime that would “save Days,” “bring it back to its roots,” etc. I remember how excited I was for the Reign Of Higley to be over and how delighted I was by the big party that week. The show had become fixated on random new characters, forced relationships, and terrible, character-ruining plots (see: EJ/Taylor, Quinn, Chloe the prostitute). A change was necessary. But how funny that, a year later, we’re just finishing up un-doing the results of that big “reboot.”
I truly believe that “MarDar” love this show. But they also seemed incapable, from Day One, of plotting an actual story or using history in effective ways. That Town Square party was a microcosm of what the next ten months would be: people milling around referencing historical events, familiar faces popping back into Salem with zero purpose or drive, and “stories” that ultimately went nowhere. Sure, there was some really good stuff. Their version of Days produced some great dialogue; it dug Sami out of the weeping heroine role she’d been crammed into; much of Will’s coming-out was excellently done; and they accomplished the miracle of making Marlena not only tolerable, but likable again.
But I can’t say I was sad to hear they were let go or that Tomlin & Whitesell would be back. The show we’ve seen since the Days-aster is so much more palatable to me, in terms of wanting to watch it from one day to the next. I wish MarDar’s material had worked — and I think, on paper, it probably did, like “Kate and Sami face off in a corporate rivalry,” “EJ runs against Abe for mayor, and Salem has to take sides,” “Will turns against Sami and aligns with the DiMeras.” But I can confidently say that I prefer the Days on my screen today, and it’s hard to believe that it’s only been a year since all of that went down.