Do You Take This Man?

For a show that is often about a bunch of adults who function at a 9th-grade level and abandon their illegitimate children to wander around the bio-dome/mall all day long, Days occasionally manages to pull out some real heart and class.

Episode # 12309

Just like Alice Horton’s funeral and the opening of the Horton Town Square, Will and Sonny’s wedding felt like a love letter to the fans and a declaration of what Days of Our Lives wants to be. Given the (weirdly) conservative nature of daytime over the last decade or two, plus what I’d heard/inferred about Ken Corday’s politics, I truly didn’t think I would ever see a major gay character on the show… let alone a love story between two men… and never mind a same-sex wedding that was treated with all the reverence and ceremony of a major supercouple wedding.

I’m just gonna come out and say it: I loved this. I loved Victor telling off the bigoted businessman; I loved everyone getting ready and this really feeling like an event and not some half-assed get-together in a living room; I loved Caroline’s beautiful speech about the two men who used to come into the Pub and how society has, thankfully, changed. It was all so lovely and loving that I was willing to tolerate that interminable “quirky adventure” of EJ having to go to the New Age-y church guy, and the fact that half the women decided to wear sequins just because it was a gay wedding (seriously, I went to a drag show last weekend, and the garb was more understated there).

What was truly fantastic to me was how subversive this wedding managed to be in its utter normality. I’ve seen a lot of comments from people who are upset that Will and Sonny are “boring” or “too perfect” or that there’s “no story” to this wedding. But the point was that this wasn’t a “Oh shit, Kristen’s gonna get busted” type of wedding. To me, this was played like the earned, “real,” payoff wedding for a supercouple. Have Will and Sonny “earned” the kind of magical first wedding that Bo & Hope or Jack & Jennifer got? Probably not. But they are important for what they represent in Salem: the embracing of same-sex relationships as valid and “normal” (a problematic word, I admit, but I think it is appropriate here). This entire week has been a statement — come on, having one of the most recognizable characters and actresses in daytime history officiate wasn’t an accident.

Let’s be real: Sonny and Will are probably going to be divorced in a year. I want them to have stories, and this is a soap opera. But the point is that they did this. It wasn’t played as a joke or a scandal; it was the sort of magical, romantic payoff that this show is supposed to be all about. Days just made a powerful statement that it considers Will & Sonny to be just the same as Brady & Chloe or Belle & Shawn (blech) or any other young couple in love that has had a love story culminate in this way. I never thought I’d get to see such a thing on “my” show, and I can’t imagine it being done with more love or respect.

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9 Comments on “Do You Take This Man?”

  1. Dylan Says:

    The wedding was really sweet! I agree, I do hope that they have some drama, Will & Sonny’s storyline has revolved around Nick & Gabi for over a year and a half now, it’s time for a new storyline!

    • mykleraus Says:

      I’m definitely ready for them to get a new/separate story, but I think it’ll come naturally with some of the exits coming up soon. I do hope they don’t keep them in the happily married/neutered role for too long, though.

  2. Dan Says:

    I’m still behind a week. The show has been very rough this month.

    When it comes to Sonny / Will, I always come back to Greg Meng’s quote from the last “Plan to Save DAYS –> Rebooting the Reboot” where he stated, “The gay story is well liked, but it isn’t what women 18-34 are tuning in to see.” If Tomsell didn’t push for the Sonny / Will relationship, I suspect Sonny would have been given a backburner romance with some recurring under five and Will would have continued to be involved in non-sexual relationships with men like E.J. Dimera. So, in a sense, I’m grateful for what we got.

    On the other hand, I think soap executives have really missed the boat when it came to a slow burning gay romance. If you let the story play out over time, so that the audience could adjust and accept the story, I think it would have been more acceptable. For story purposes, Sonny and Will needed to be a couple by January 2013 for the wedding from hell to have some additional oomph, but there was no reason Sonny and Will needed to reunite two seconds later. That was foolish. They should have been apart at least a couple of months before reuniting them. To keep things evenly placed, I would have reunited them during the Smith Island adventure and then allowed Gabi and Nick to break up just as they did. I think the contrast would have played nicely.

    I’ve come to resent Sonny and Will a bit because I’m finding they are a step backwards. They are a DAYS “supercouple” in the traditional sense that they are not allowed a third party to intervene, the more rabid members of their fan base go insane every time its hinted Sonny and Will might be apart. I feel like they represent so much of what Higley and Tomlin worked to eliminate.

    In regards to Nick and Gabi, I think they’ve kept Sonny and Will viable. I do find the Nick / Will rivalry potent, especially with Guy Wilson in the role. Placing dramatic weight on the Sonny / Gabi relationship has been an interesting choice. For me, Nick’s murder was a turning point that made almost everyone in the quartet look bad. Nick was now an attempted rapist, Sonny succumbed to Adrienne’s fears and lost his moral compass, Will remained unaffected by the fact his baby’s mother and boyfriend were keeping quiet about a murder, and Gabi continued to make poor decisions.

    Given what’s coming down the pipeline in terms of casting, I would love it for Nick to pay someone to seduce Sonny in order to ruin Sonny and Will’s marriage. Whiny Will continues to go on and on about how Nick stole his baby and how Nick was homophobic. Boy needs to have a seat. He quickly forgave Tad who did worse (he punched Sonny out), and Nick initially did him a solid agreeing to raise the child. I find the Nick / Will rivalry fascinating because it is Will who is threatened by Nick’s relationship with Gabi and not the other way around.

    • mykleraus Says:

      The whole show has felt really weird and uneven since about the time of Nick’s return. The “murder” story didn’t bother me nearly as much as it did you, but what bugs me is that it basically could’ve been lifted out without much ripple effect. Sami and Kate have quickly moved back to their separate stories, Nick and Gabi are basically acting exactly as they were before… I guess it created the EJ/Abigail story, but there’s been a surprising lack of follow-up or importance. I thought we’d at least see Nick emerge as a real villain hell-bent on revenge, but he mostly just seems to want Gabi back. I love your idea of him working to break up Sonny and Will — it’s right there, and I do think a villainous third wheel would be an easier buy for the WilSon fans than a legit triangle at this point.

      • Dan Says:

        Just finished the wedding… it was incredibly well done. Probably the best actual wedding the show has done in years. The one thing about Higley was she didn’t do big endgame weddings. This was a really well done event.

        Karmel was a bit much. His backstory was hysterical, but I cannot figure out when Karmel, in his previous life, had dated Sami?

        Caroline’s speech was wonderful.

        I even enjoyed the much hated bachelor party.

        I thought Kate / Will’s moment alone after the ceremony was really well done.

      • mykleraus Says:

        I’m glad you enjoyed it. I thought it was excellent. We haven’t had a ‘payoff wedding’ like this in a long time — and you’re right, for all the good things about Higley 2.0, there really weren’t any weddings like that that I can remember.

        I just thought it all had such a lovely vibe.

  3. […] all the praise I had for Will and Sonny’s wedding, I also have a serious bone to […]

  4. Joanna Says:

    The wedding was gorge. The honeymoon, though, has been extremely tame. Eric and Nicole got more heat when agreeing to a potential wedding. Champagne and arguing about Gabi/Nick does not a proper honeymoon make.

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