Bird’s the Word

When I was a tutor in my college’s Writing Center, I remember my advisor telling us that there would be times when we finished reading through a paper with a student and would be gobsmacked by how bad it was, and we might need a moment to collect our thoughts, and if that happened, we could stall by saying something like, “Well… that was a paper.”

So, with regards to Monday’s episode: that was a show.

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I didn’t think it was uniformly horrible. Kudos to the production team for some outside-the-box work, and to the writers for the structure. I always appreciate when they play with the form a little; we get 250-ish episodes a year, and they don’t all need to look the same just because “that’s how it’s always been done.” These standalone-type episodes could be interesting once in a while if they can find the right amount of story to fill the 38 minutes of airtime. And credit goes to Daniel Cosgrove, who delivered some very strong work even without the benefit of actual scene partners.

What I don’t understand, of course, is why Daniel Cosgrove — who played, like, a third-tier character in Days history — received a standalone episode at all, or why this wackadoo retcon was deemed necessary in the first place. Aiden still almost went through with killing Hope. He lied to her, he changed her life insurance policy, and he put the pieces in place before backing out. That alone should make him a completely unviable romantic partner for her ever again, regardless of whether they’re legally married (which is only really a hurdle if Aiden gets manipulative with her, so maybe they’ll go there). On top of that, his son is in prison for raping Hope’s daughter. There is no world in which Hope is anything but a Marlena-level mother if she ever considers bringing Aiden anywhere near Ciara again.

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And then there are the actual issues in the writing. Another fucking doppelgänger? They had 38 minutes to explain how in the hell Aiden is alive, and while they took the time for scene upon scene of him in an empty corner of the soundstage talking to a dead bird (and I did think there was some interesting tension and cleverness in his escape, at least), they just glossed right over the fact that Andre enlisted someone to get reconstructive surgery and agree to commit murder as a back-up plan. Why wouldn’t he have just sent in the double in the first place? I mean, I know this is Andre, so every plan has to be 4,000 times more convoluted than it needs to be, but doesn’t this seem like a very intricate, expensive fallback? And they never, ever mention where the DiMeras get these doppelgängers. The only one I could remember that made any sense was when Stefano and EJ brought in the Fake Rafe, who had the backstory of having been an escaped sex offender who jumped at the idea of changing his face and identity to shack up with Sami rather than being on the run. And he wasn’t knowingly walking into his death! Who was this guy who basically marched into Hope’s house to kill her and then die? Who were all those people Andre planted in place of the not-dead Salemites who turned up alive on Melaswen? Are people answering Craigslist ads really that desperate?

I can keep going. Why was Aiden kept alive in the first place? Who was paying for that building and the guards and Aiden’s food, since the DiMeras went so broke that their mansion went into foreclosure shortly thereafter? If Aiden thought that Hope had been murdered, why did he go to her house? Why not go to the police station, where, yes, he’d have to defend himself, but presumably Roman and Rafe might understand, as they’re both cops who have themselves been replaced by DiMera doppelgängers? (I guess Hope is, too…) Why in the name of all that is holy does Hope — a police detective who has been repeatedly menaced by a parade of maniacs who have invaded her home and threatened the lives of both her and her daughter (but not her son, because everyone forgets they’re related) — keep a damn spare key on her porch?! And above all, why do I do this to myself?

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20 Comments on “Bird’s the Word”

  1. Shea Says:

    The retcon is pointless since they still let Aiden plan and prepare to kill Hope! If they really wanted to sell this and make Aiden a good guy then the doppelganger needed to take over for him BEFORE he changed her insurance and bought the necktie and mask. I honestly think this is the one point that I will just not be able to ignore. I know as a soap viewer I have to just accept these kind of changes but in this case it isn’t just the implausible nature of the changes, it is that the changes still don’t redeem the character!

    I was already sick of Hope and now this is one more reason to keep her front and center on the show for a while. I am not sure how much of it I can take.

    So they wasted an entire episode on this garbage then followed it up with yesterday’s episode that had too many characters and too many storylines going on at once. I thought this virus thing was going to be a big story point but now I am thinking it will be over in less than a week. I was hoping it would take out Dario but I don’t see that happening. Maybe it’s just me but once I realized Dario wasn’t going to be a love interest for Paul I decided he is just unnecessary.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Exactly! It doesn’t accomplish what I think they wanted it to accomplish. I can go with retcons if they don’t completely violate what we saw onscreen *and* the internal logic of the show. This does neither.

      I don’t MIND Dario, but I don’t really see the point of him. The very supporting role he’s playing with both Summer and Nicole could basically be anyone.

      • Dylan Says:

        Are we sure they won’t pair up Dario and Paul? That would be awesome. They haven’t bothered to develop Dario at all other than him being a con man so the opportunity is still there if the writers decide to bother. Gabi is friends with Paul so that would be a natural way for Paul and Dario to meet. But the writers seem to have no interest in Paul so I guess it’s not likely. I don’t really want them to put him with Nicole because that would just be.. boring. Plus Nicole is already busy with other things right now anyway.

        Speaking of the Hernandez’s, what is with this lackluster way of slapping together Gabi and JJ? In principle there’s nothing wrong with them (the actors have chemistry), but they haven’t played out any drama at all, and they’re treated like filler characters. Weird considering that JJ was pretty front and centre during most of 2015. Not that they have much time for anything to play out, because there are like 1,000 other storylines going on right now.

      • mykleraus Says:

        I would be into a Paul/Dario pairing. I thought they were heading that way when Paul implied Eduardo had a kid who was his connection to Winterthorne, but I guess not. I’d actually be interested if they tried a Paul/Dario/Nicole triangle — but whatever they’re doing with Nicole and Dario seems SO secondary to her stuff with Deimos right now.

        I find the backburnering of JJ/Gabi so weird. I commented this over on Spoiler Free Days this morning, but it’s nuts to me how they’ve swept so much natural drama (the fact that he’s still college-aged and she has a kid; the fact that she killed his cousin) under the rug.

  2. UnderYourWing Says:

    Reading this was almost as painful as mostly ignoring most of that dimwitted show……..tho i agree with a lot of your points…..it’s the only ‘there must be a pony in here somewhere’ trope. xo

  3. Bull mom Says:

    Thought the entire episode was a waste of time and he escapes the cage and magically has a razor and hair cut – wow – don’t run like crazy take your time to look good – and he looked mighty healthy for being in a cage and talking to a dead bird for months. His journal looked like he was related to Norman Bates but wow he just snapped right out of it. Really DOOL has become really boring and bizarre. A singer prodigy who can’t sing and Ciara who talks in a monotone through gritted teach – ugh

    • mykleraus Says:

      I thought it was weird that he cleaned himself up. I guess he went to a gas station or something? Where’d he get money? And wouldn’t it have helped his case to look like a bum, as far as the police believing him?

    • Dylan Says:

      Yeah, I agree. What a sad combination – boring and bizarre. If the show continues like this, I’m out. There aren’t even many amusing things to make fun of anymore. I remember when people walked around wearing hideous outfits (like the gay pimp from New Orleans coat) and had more character-driven interactions. Those do happen nowadays (rarely) but everything seems disjointed. I’m honestly just waiting now for the new writers to take over (and I still don’t even know when that will be). It definitely feels like a lot of scenes have been cut and so nothing that happens really makes any sense. Also, I hope that Aiden isn’t sticking around for long – this story is garbage.

      • Shea Says:

        The Higley/Quan material should start airing in September.

        I admit that I enjoyed today’s show. It wasn’t as frantic as yesterday and they made it clear Aiden lied to Hope about when he was kidnapped so I guess this isn’t a true redemption of the character.

        The Higley/Quan material starts sometime in September.

      • mykleraus Says:

        The lie Aiden told intrigues me, as far as their intentions for him.

      • mykleraus Says:

        Yeah, I’m mostly just making fun of the illogical writing now. I miss the TomSell STYLE, even if the stories were boring or pedestrian. It’s galling to me how little Jennifer and Hope have interacted, or that Jennifer hasn’t weighed in on Ciara’s rape (which took place in her home!) — stuff like that.

  4. Michelle Says:

    I totally agree the TomSell style was better. It felt as if everything flowed better and felt more connected, even if half of it sucked story wise. I also preferred their tone, right now everything is so depressing, at least there used to be some lightheartedness and fun.

    • Shea Says:

      I am not a huge fan of any of the storylines right now but the virus story is working for me because it is giving me a lot of character interactions. Even with weak storylines if they could just get characters out of their bubbles and then give me some follow up and let me see how people react to things that happen then I think I could actually enjoy a fair amount of the show.

      Aside from all the holes in the Aiden story there were a few more questions I had this week….why were they acting like Ciara and Theo had just kissed for the first time? Didn’t that happen like a month ago? And Adriana is now a nurse? Didn’t Eduardo makes some reference to her only having an 8th grade education earlier when he was talking to Rafe about how they met?

      • mykleraus Says:

        I’m a few days behind now, but I like the sound of that — I *want* to see those reaction and recap scenes. It feels like nothing on this show has room to breathe these days.

        The Adriana thing is weird. Eduardo told Rafe (right?) about Adriana’s lack of education only a few months ago. It’s not like that was a morsel dropped under other writers.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Exactly. Their show felt like “small-town soap” in a lot of ways. This is some attempt at being edgy and primetime that I don’t think is working.

  5. wd Says:

    Stupidest Episode ever…..stupidest idea ever. I liked Aiden originally but I hate his return. Complete idiocy.

  6. James Says:

    The only thing I like about this episode is them shooting outside their Burbank studio for once and not having to see those same sets over and over again.

    Everything else looks green though (as oposed to Higley’s last writing stint when everything looked a little too purple, heh).

    • mykleraus Says:

      It was SO nice to see that outdoor grassy area again. I don’t think we’ve seen it since… John’s “fatal” car accident in 2007?


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