Throwback Thursday: SOD Flash-Forward
In September 1996, Soap Opera Digest published a semi-tongue-in-cheek spread predicting where Salemites would be in 20 years. As it turns out, we’re coming up on that very date… so I thought it’d be fun to check in and take stock of how accurate their guesses were.
(All credit for this post goes to Jason47, whose website and its Facebook page are incredible resources for all things Days-related. He posted these scans a few years ago and just reposted them to mark the 20-year anniversary of these predictions. I’m only including his scans here so that people have context for the analysis that follows, but they’re totally his.)
Part 2 behind the cut…
First of all, this is so clearly a relic of the JER era. Of course no one could’ve predicted the advent of Nicole or Chloe or the Hernandezes or DANIEL (ugh), so it’s interesting to see people like Peter, Celeste, Jonah, and Wendy regarded as important to the fabric of Days when, in fact, they’d be all but forgotten within a few years’ time.
What they got right:
- Shawn Douglas does work in law enforcement! He’s also weirdly irrelevant at the moment, having a weird harassment/romance situation with Lani and talking about his divorce with Belle. That character really should be the next-generation hero. It makes me sad to read this and then think about how he’s just regarded as The Other Guy in Belle’s tepid story with Philip.
- Stefano’s currently dead again. Which isn’t so much a prediction as an ability to read the pattern that he gets a “death” every four or so years. This time, we know that Joseph Mascolo is apparently retired, and yet I still wouldn’t be shocked to have some future writing regime at least drop in the suggestion that Stefano is really out there somewhere, having once again evaded death.
- Philip and Belle are involved! Although this piece seems to presume they’d be college-aged in 2016 rather than insufferable 35-year-olds already divorced from one another. Belle and Abigail also did (briefly — like, for three episodes) spar over a man this year. I thought it was interesting that they tossed Nikki Alamain, who was Shawn D’s contemporary, in with this group (all of whom were still very, very young in 1996), while Shawn D was said to have been paired with Jamie, Sami’s friend who ceased to exist after she married Robert Kelker-Kelly.
- John and Marlena are back together, which isn’t really a surprise, though the idea of them “teaching sex and marriage counseling seminars” makes me want to set myself on fire. I don’t need to see those two chomping on strawberries and each other’s faces in public.
- Abe and Lexie do, in fact, have a “fair-skinned teenage son,” though his name is Theo and not Joseph, and also I find it really, really weird that SOD found the need to point out that their kid would be “fair-skinned.” Since I doubt this is some cutting commentary on daytime’s aversion to diversity, I’m going to assume it’s just their way of saying, “Don’t worry, it won’t get TOO BLACK!” Ugh. Speaking of which, it’s funny to imagine a world in which Jonah and Wendy had any kind of shelf life on Days. And in keeping with the above point, of course Wendy’s son died in a drive-by. Good grief.
- Will was revealed to be Lucas’s son, as the article predicts (though pretty much anyone could’ve seen that coming), and Lucas and Sami did become “sometimes lovers.” I like the idea of them getting into corporate espionage, even though that phrase evokes my PTSD of the Madison/Mad World era.
What they got wrong:
- Well, Jennifer divorced Peter, but instead of being a “successful TV anchor and interview hostess” who is “regularly courted by heads of state and royalty,” she’s… a depressed hausfrau who frets over her children and pops pills. Also glamorous, I suppose.
- Jack and Laura married? WHAT?! It’s actually interesting that they swung for the fences on this one, though I guess they were dealing with Mark Valley’s Jack and Stephanie Cameron’s Jennifer, who were about as exciting and dynamic together as Belle and Shawn, soooooo…
- This was written before Kristen went insane-insane, so it’s funny to think of her still being a more-or-less functional member of Salem society. But I weep for a world that never knew Susan Banks!
- “Society matron Kate Kiriakis.” I guess this pre-dates her hopping aboard any and every criminal and lunatic to cross Salem’s city limits.
- I love the idea of Bo running the Pub. One of Caroline’s kids should have taken that place over by now, yeah? And not Kayla (that was so weird). I really liked how they had Max helping her run it. I always thought that would be a normal thing for Sami to do, too… though I guess she doesn’t really excel at customer relations.
Also, I get what they were going for with the photos, but in what universe would 40-year-old Sami and Lucas have looked like senior citizens by 2016? I mean, I know they actually are grandparents in 2016, but really. I wonder what they would’ve made Marlena look like!
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