One In, One Out

Some big Monday morning casting news. Because when you don’t have stories to tell, just fill the show with people arriving and leaving (probably by dying)…

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Matthew Ashford (Jack Deveraux) is returning for a limited stint! According to Soap Opera Digest:

He will this start filming his 5 episode-run this week. Look for him to air in the spring.

I had a feeling this was coming at some point, given the current regime’s nostalgia fetish — which isn’t to say it’s a bad thing. Considering that it’s only five episodes, I expect Jack will appear as some sort of vision to Jennifer, JJ, Abigail, and/or Steve. That works for me. I’d love if they could find a way to write for Jack as a full character and not just The Screw-Up Jennifer Loves, but if they can’t (or won’t), don’t resurrect him. His death has actually had an impact upon his family, and I’m tired of death meaning nothing on this show. But if they wanted to finally do that Peter-Blake-returns-with-Jack’s-face storyline…

Meanwhile, there’s news of a not-very-surprising exit, as well.

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Greg Vaughan is out as Eric Brady, per Serial Scoop:

Vaughan revealed in August that he had renewed his contract with Days. It turns out it was just a short-term extension to wrap up the character’s story.

I’m just gonna say it: this is dumb. D-U-M-B. Good, handsome actor playing a connected, interesting character. Who would want to write for that?! Ugh. It’s been pretty apparent onscreen that the new regime hasn’t had much interest in writing for Eric, but they only appear interested in centering story on about six people, so I thought maybe things would pick up. But his tendency to be openly critical of TPTB, like in the recent Daytime Royalty interview from Day of Days, made me extra-nervous.

The buildup to a true Eric/Nicole pairing and then absolute lack of payoff will go down as one of the biggest mistakes in Days history, if you ask me. I have a horrible feeling that this is going to end with Eric’s drinking leads to Daniel’s death, thus sending Eric to prison. These writers seem to be doing lots of writing people in and out of the show, but they don’t seem to know what to do with anyone currently in Salem who isn’t on his or her way out. If Eric’s story serves the greater good, fine, but if this is to pave the way for a Nicole/Fynn pairing that’ll be on once every two weeks… bleh.

Update: Serial Scoop has just published Vaughan’s rather illuminating exit interview. He last filmed in mid-November, so he’ll be on-air into the spring.

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18 Comments on “One In, One Out”

  1. marypickford Says:

    As an Eric and Ericole fan, I’m very, very depressed about this. I agree that it’s dumb. He’s a legacy character and a strong actor, he has a fanbase and he’s been part of a popular pairing. Plus he’s incredibly handsome! So let’s get rid of him!

    You make an interesting point that they are doing a lot of writing people in and out of the show. I expected the casting news to stop or slow down after all the 50th returns were announced, but that hasn’t really happened.

    Well, if Clyde, Aiden, and Ben are any indication, Eric will get his best material leading up to his exit.

    I’m not encouraged by the coupling choices this team has made. Chabby are great, but they go with Thrady and not Ericole. So weird!!

    • mykleraus Says:

      I have two theories with Ericole and the abrupt turn in story: 1) TPTB were pissed off at the way he’s spoken out in interviews and decided to cut him out of spite; 2) Arianne Zucker insisted on working with Shawn Christian. If it’s #2, though, wouldn’t it make sense to preserve Eric for Nicole after Daniel goes?

      I have a feeling he WILL get an interesting exit story, but I can’t really see the wisdom in this decision.

  2. Shea Says:

    I’m not an Ericole fan but it has nothing to do with Eric…I can’t manage to make myself like Nicole. I had only been an occasional viewer for the last 20 years so most of what I had seen from Nicole was horrible and I really disliked her. I only returned to full time viewing right around the time of Furnace of Love and I was looking for a reason to like the Ericole pairing that so many fans seem to love. Of course the current show has given me NOTHING to help with that. I tried to go back and watch a little stuff on YouTube and I will say that I have only slightly softened toward her but it isn’t enough to make me want to see her with a nice guy like Eric.

    I remember seeing back in October that General Hospital had a casting call out for a bona fide leading man in his late 30s and I immediately thought of GV. I know technically he is in his early 40s but he did play Lucky on GH for several years. At that point it was already looking like Days was wasting him so I thought it might be a good gig for him.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I love Nicole, but she’s a tricky character to write. She’s managed to be both hilariously bitchy and heartwrenching at different times, and her throughline has been one of such a loser that I find it hard not to root for her. The stuff with them back in the rectory in 2012-13 was so, so strong. I will never understand why they torpedoed it, though I think they didn’t realize how obnoxious they were making Eric until it was too late.

      I wouldn’t be shocked at ALL to see GV pop back up on GH as Lucky, especially now that Genie Francis is back there as Laura.

  3. Dan Says:

    Neither are shocking. We were promised months of returns. I’m surprised Jack will be back for five episodes. They’ve brought back Patsy Pease for shorter runs and Kim is still among the living.

    Your comment about the lack of story is why I’m watching less and less. I will say I’ve been harsh on the show. I hated the idea that Hope was going to run off to punish Bo’s captors, but I do like that Hope chose her child over the insanity that could have happened.

    Eric’s departure is not a shock. As someone who loved the angst, I was also aware of the lack of longterm potential in the couple. Where was there to go once Eric and Nicole reunited? We could have played on their contrasting natures (Nicole naturally manipulative while Eric naturally caring and concerning).

    With that said, I would have had Sami entrusted Sydney with Nicole as she knew that Nicole would never let the Dimeras have an influence over that little girl. When Sami returned, I would have had Sydney determined to stay with Nicole, causing Nicole / Eric tension. Overall, Nicole works better with a morally questionable man who she can go toe to toe with. That said, Fynn is not the answer.

    Is there anything people are looking forward to now that Bo has died and the story has reverted to status quo?

    • mykleraus Says:

      I haven’t disliked what I’ve been watching (despite the funkiness of the timelines and the general sense of gloom), but I’ve had this creeping sense that they don’t have actual stories to tell beyond things involving entrances and exits. The only story that ISN’T about those things right now is Chad/Abigail/Ben, though it actually is, since Ben is a damn serial killer and has to be on his way out eventually (plus it’s predicated on the various Necktie murders).

      I think you could do a lot with Eric/Nicole as pertains to children or to Nicole’s ambition to get ahead. They could’ve devised a conflict with regards to Basic Black — her wanting to play dirty, screw over Brady, John, or Theresa in the deal, etc. The trick would be to write Eric as more than just a hen-pecker, but there’s inherent conflict between them. And almost anything with a child (Sydney, Kristen’s RapeBaby, etc.) could’ve generated story.

      A show cannot subsist on the momentum of entrances and exits. I’m concerned about what the hell we’re going to be left with in March.

      • Dan Says:

        I just don’t see anything long term worth sticking around for.

        I caught more of today’s episode than most episodes in recent weeks, but it still wasn’t a full episode. Kayla and Steve in the closet was bad. Tonally, it was a nice change of pace from the typical Kayla the shrew scenes, but Kayla’s brother and Steve’s life partner just died. Could we acknowledge that we haven’t even buried Bo yet?

        When and where are Fynn and Daniel suppose to have met? It’s nice to see people back in scrubs at the hospital, but I just don’t think this story works. Poor Nicole.

        The Kate / Nicole scenes were nice, but pairing all of Will Horton’s ex-lovers as the faces of Basic Black is bizarre.

        I love how we get the typical post 2010 young love romantic build. Gabi and J.J. bonding over obscure bands.

        The Theresa/Brady stuff is the strongest. I love how Anne is always written as a scorn lover. It’s just a greater layer to the Anne /Theresa dynamic. I laugh that they are giving Theresa a townhouse set, based on previews, but they still haven’t thrown Kate / Nicole / Theresa in an office set. Typical DAYS.

        I wish Victor’s animosity towards Theresa was grounded more in his history with Kim and even Caroline. Honestly, this would make great conflict for Maggie / Victor / Caroline. That said, I enjoyed Victor’s quips about Brady’s taste in women.

      • mykleraus Says:

        I have the same concern about the long-term. I don’t feel like much is being set up.

        I haaaaaate the Brady/Theresa stuff. It just feels like it’s going in circles. I feel like they’ve been stuck in more or less the same place since Tate was brought home, aside from Theresa having become less of a schemer almost overnight. This story needs an injection of something — and you’re right, it’s weird that the Caroline/Theresa connection isn’t being played at all with regards to Victor.

      • Denise Says:

        I’ve tried to like Thrady, but I’m just not there. I like them both individually, but together not so much. I was sure they were going to bring in a third party (I was hoping for a bad boy that Theresa was attracted to despite herself), but it doesn’t seem they are going in that direction. I kind of think the new regime is clearing the field and want to start almost from scratch. At least it feels that way. There are rumors of a disaster in the new year, so there may be more exits coming. They truly need some more doctors at the hospital (hate Finn). Why not recast Mike Horton? I think we’re going to see a totally new playing field come the new year. They seem to be centering around the established supercouples, Steve and Kayla and John and Marlena. Obviously they are hoping for a supercouple part deux with Hope and Rafe. The younger coupling of Chad/Abby has been a success (so far). They need to start building some more interesting romantic couples. We’ll see that their plans for Vincent I and the new Dario are…

      • mykleraus Says:

        It’s weird, because I think the actors in the “Thrady” pairing work well together, and when they give them lighter moments, they play them well. But I don’t really get what the overall narrative is supposed to be. If Brady thinks Theresa has changed and wants to be with her, be with her. They haven’t articulated the conflict very well, and I don’t think them sharing a child is helping.

        I agree that they need to start building new stuff, not just coasting off what’s existed in the past. I think JJ/Gabi have potential, but I’m not sure I see them as an anchor couple.

  4. kathy Says:

    I wish that Eric remained a priest, a good person trying to deal with all the sin in Salem. I am not interested in Marlena and her daughters. In fact, I wish they were leaving rather than Eric. The only thing that is holding my interest now is the return of Philip Kiriakis and the other K male who is rumored to be joining. Hopefully, we will see Victor, Maggie and Brady battling a threat to the Titan empire.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I really liked how they played Eric as a priest. The rape was icky, but they got him out of the priesthood in a reasonably interesting way, and I thought he was well positioned as a character who held those values but also had to find a way to exist within the fabric of Salem. I just feel like so many stories write themselves there.

      I’m interested to see what they do with the various arrivals and exits (and how they position Philip on the canvas), but I’m at a loss as to what the actual STORIES will be…

  5. Dylan Says:

    Wow, that’s terrible about Eric! I really enjoyed his character for a long time (2012-2014), but it seemed like they just stopped knowing how to write for him. Once the whole Serena thing started he just became a prop for her character (somehow) and they’ve somehow been unable to bring back the “heart” of this character which they’ve lost after ages of him being really judgmental and angry towards Nicole. There were so many stories to write for him, but they did nothing! Big fail. He will be missed.

    • mykleraus Says:

      They really lost their way with the Serena story. I think it probably sounded good to them in concept, but Eric was so passive in it, and most of it was about Serena’s huffing and puffing and then Nicole trying to get one over on her. I really think they had every intention of going back to Eric/Nicole until recently.

      • Shea Says:

        At what point in Eric’s storyline was did the writing transition occur? I started watching before the switch so I am a bit confused. I think the transition was after Serena told Daniel about the Furnace of Love but was it? I am just trying to figure out where these writers picked up the story because it looks like Eric and Nicole immediately disappeared as soon as the new regime took over.

        I am actually intrigued by the idea that the character of Eric is losing his way (and his faith) so like everything else on the show I am trying to keep an open mind. I do think that there are times when characters need to rest and leave the canvas but I am not sure I see that with Eric. Maybe with GV’s divorce this past year he has had some difficulties that spilled over but who really knows. Obviously he has made some less than complimentary comments about the current writing regime and if we learned anything from Joey on Friends it is that you do not disrespect the writers at Days of our Lives! LOL

      • mykleraus Says:

        It was right around that time, yeah. The Eric/Nicole/Daniel triangle was front-burner, and it seemed like the clear subtext was that Nicole was marrying Daniel because he was the “safe choice” but really longed for Eric, and then all of a sudden, that stuff got dropped.

        I don’t think Eric as a character needs a rest (I could think of about 10 others who could benefit from that before him) so much as he needs momentum. But I do think that this all sounds compelling and will make for good viewing. I just feel like it’s also short-sighted.

      • Denise Says:

        I think there were a million things they could have done with Eric. Even a stand-alone story about him losing his faith in god would have been interesting to me. What happens when someone puts all their faith into god (or whatever) and still loses everything important to them? I agree that this is short-sighted. My only selfish hope is that GH picks him up, because he was my favorite Lucky recast and that character would fit right into the canvas at GH right now. It would be perfect. I’m almost expecting GH to announce this. Crossing my fingers they are smart enough to do it!

      • mykleraus Says:

        Agreed. There was lots of story to tell there, even aside from his involvement with Nicole.


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