Talk It Out
You guys know the Bechdel test? It measures whether a film or television show features a conversation between two female characters about anything other than a man. And it’s alarming how many shows and movies fail this simple-sounding test. As I watched Monday’s episode of Days, it occurred to me that maybe we need a Bechdel-ish test for this show, too.
I noticed that we went from a scene in which Rafe, Eduardo, and Justin argued over the merits and drawbacks of offering a reward for Chad’s capture to a scene in which Kayla, Roman, and Victor debated whether it’s smart or safe to try an experimental therapy on Caroline. And I was transfixed by the episode. It was really solid, engaging material — and people were having real discussions about real things, not just carrying on about True Love and various schemes to break it apart. Which is not to say that romance doesn’t have a place here; it’s a staple of the genre, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s so nice to have people discussing interesting issues instead of just racing from one bed-hopping plot twist to the next.
For the first time in forever, I’d even give Josh Taylor as Roman a “pretty good” for his performance. It’s become a joke how irrelevant Roman is, but I loved using him as a strong voice in the debate over Caroline’s care. Who would’ve guessed? And Kayla’s mini-arc, from being completely opposed to the drug to coming around after that heartbreaking scene in which Caroline again didn’t recognize her, was very well defined. I love that this is all tying in with Steve’s search for Bo, too. Everything just feels so much less hollow, and it’s such a change from six months ago that I can hardly believe it. Despite some jarring shifts — the incredibly reduced airtime for Daniel and Will, the fast removal of several characters, the sudden frontburner-ing of Kayla and Steve — it actually doesn’t feel like a different show to me so much as the same show, now utilizing its strengths in much smarter and more interesting ways.
By the way, that was totally a chemistry test between JJ and Gabi, right? I didn’t hate it, and I definitely don’t hate the idea of shifting JJ up into the young adult storylines.
I promise to bitch about and/or make fun of something very soon. In the meantime, though, it’s a nice change to want to praise “my” show.
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