It’s the Ron of a New Era

New head writer Ron Carlivati’s name started appearing in the credits this past Wednesday, but I decided I would try and reserve judgment until his first (partial) week played out. As anyone I’ve ever dated will tell you, this is not one of my strong suits, but… I made it!

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 12.12.56 PM

“So, Doc, whaddaya think?”

I’ve read a lot of comments online from people who are disappointed that it wasn’t instantly a brand-new show. Is that a realistic expectation? I don’t think so. I get why people were hoping for it, given how lifeless and un-engaging Days has been for months, but he still inherited Dena Higley’s canvas, with the characters she chose to write for and the stories she had in motion. Given that, I’m encouraged by what I saw this week. There was definitely a new energy, a zip, to the breakdowns — look at the way that the Hattie reveal played out. They led us on for a good half-episode that it was Marlena conspiring with Anjelica before flipping the script and showing that it was actually Hattie. That felt playful and actually dramatic. And there were sharp shifts in a bunch of other dynamics: Abigail suddenly grew a backbone with Dario; Gabi definitely feels like the third wheel in her triangle; Dario is unequivocally a baddie now.

That said, it ain’t perfect (and I wasn’t expecting it to be). Like, uh…

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 12.16.04 PM

What in the hell kind of plan is this that Anjelica has cooked up? Let me walk through this: she’s still in love with Justin, a man with whom she had a child three decades ago, and for some reason, she’s just getting around to going after him now. So she enlists Hattie, a woman with a striking resemblance to Marlena, to recruit Bonnie Lockhart, a woman with a striking resemblance to Adrienne, the love of Justin’s life. Presumably Anjelica plans to use Bonnie to take over Adrienne’s life and push Justin away. Thing is, Adrienne is engaged to another man, so in theory, she isn’t an obstacle at all. They tried to skate over this in the dialogue by having Anjelica tell Hattie that Justin and Adrienne will always be connected, but this is more convoluted and nonsensical than me trying to get a straight answer out of Anthem Blue Cross on the phone. Meanwhile, Hattie is participating in all this because she desperately wants to be with Roman Brady — who, by the way, is often the target of these plots (like that socialite who needed to be set up with him at Hope and Aiden’s Broom Closet Gala) and perhaps has some really active offscreen sex life — and, in order to land Roman, she needs to… impersonate Marlena, dump John, then get with Roman, which will involve pretending to be Marlena for the rest of her life even though she hates doing so. Maybe it would be easier to just be herself and go after Roman? My head hurts.

This doppelgänger thing could get old really fast, and I hope it’s just a “fun” fix for whatever dull-ass Anjelica/Adrienne story that Higley was in the midst of telling. But I’m optimistic based on some of the changes that we’ve seen so far. My biggest complaint over the past year hasn’t so much been the stories they were attempting to tell so much as the boring, illogical ways in which they were telling them. Like, there’s a world in which an Abigail/Chad/Gabi triangle totally would’ve worked after Abigail faked her death, but they’ve mostly ignored the compelling issues there and instead leaned on some fake history between Chad and Gabi. The show isn’t suddenly going to have the production value of Game of Thrones, and there’s going to be some necessary re-establishing of things that feel played out to us (Marlena/John conflict over ISA missions, Adrienne and Justin’s continued bond despite her engagement) in order to set foundations for Ron’s stories, so I can deal with all that. But I have my fingers crossed that things will be interesting and surprising, and that maybe I’ll have reason to root for some of these people instead of wanting to see them all set on fire.

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37 Comments on “It’s the Ron of a New Era”

  1. Daisy Says:

    I am starting to love Anjelica. I am looking forward to seeing her plot develop. Lots of questions – is she going to stash the real Adrienne and Marlena in the Dimera tunnels? I would love to see Bonnie and Maggie meet up at some point.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Her plan is pretty ridiculous, but she was kind of funny this week. I’m trying to reserve judgment until I see where the hell this is headed, but it’s strange right now.

      They HAVE to do a Bonnie/Maggie scene. It would be crazy not to!

      • Matthew Says:

        I agree with you. However, I can only think of two scenes in which Adrienne and Deimos (barely) interacted. Vincent and Judi were a bona fide 80’s soap super couple on Guiding Light!

        DAYS didn’t even bother with the wink wink inside jokes like, “I feel as if I’ve seen you somewhere before…” when Deimos and Adrienne met.

      • mykleraus Says:

        I think there were only two instances in which they interacted, yeah. I truly thought they’d get them onscreen together more.

  2. Doug Says:

    I’m totally shocked you did call out Steve’s “botox” line in his scene with Angelica. It happened before Wednesday – but was pretty genius. I’m wondering if this was a RC insert or an ad lib?

    So far, the dialogue has been a lot more witty and I actually laughed out loud a few times. The scene-chewing between Hattie and Angelica is fun and I look forward to their scenes with Bonnie.

    I’m also looking forward to a swift ending to the Dario, Deimos and Jade/Tripp storylines so we can move on to some new shenanigans… like the returns of Dr. Rolf, Will and Kristen!!!

    • Doug Says:

      I meant to say “didn’t call out”

    • mykleraus Says:

      That felt very RC, although maybe one of the scriptwriters just decided to have fun with it. I doubt SN would’ve ad-libbed something like that just because MF has, uh, clearly done some stuff, but maybe they felt like Steve could be the one to dish it out since that encounter started with Anjelica calling him “the one-eyed brother.”

      Hattie/Bonnie should be pretty funny. I’m a little confused as to how Hope never encountered Bonnie in prison, or maybe she did, although there did only seem to be one room in the entire place…

  3. UnderYourWing Says:

    i love the abigail being hip to dario thing…. who i am also glad to know will be leaving……i don’t get the chad and gabi thing really and think they should just go back to abi and chad…..who is dressing anjelica?? oh, we’ve been there…….they must be recycling old drapes and throws or something…..
    it is fun to see hattie looking probably more exactly the way ‘marlena’ looks in reality lately….. some of these women are putting spanx out of biz.
    and yes, i agree.
    my head also hurts.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I really liked the shift in Abigail this week. Dario had potential to be more than just a disposable baddie, but this story sucks and Abigail has been so limp and directionless for a while now, so anything that moves it along is fine by me.

  4. Dan Says:

    I think I might have enjoyed the Hattie/Anjelica material more if the end result wasn’t such a clusterf#ck. If Dena had penned this stuff, people would be calling for her head, but the overreliance on character tropes and lack of emotional depth proved to me this was pretty much Ron. If it wasn’t everything I feared it was going to be, I could be a little more open minded. Considering this is basically the first story he is introducing it sets the tone. The earliest material is always the best because its fresh and comes from someone who hasn’t been overworked from the daily grind of daily storytelling.

    The only thing I did believe about the Anjelica story was that Adrienne was an obstacle to Anjelica’s desire to reunite with Justin because Justin still loves Adrienne. This is true. Justin hasn’t been able to move on from Adrienne, however, I don’t buy that Anjelica is suddenly pining for Justin. I think there needed to be more exploration about that. Something needed to restart her love for Justin.

    On the otherhand, I know Ron was planning on writing the end of the show so I can understand not wanting to introduce too many new faces to the canvas. With that said, this wasn’t really a story that need redirection as much as it needed energy and stakes, which Ron did accomplish (more energy than legitimate stakes) but with a piss-poor story idea. Instead, I would have Anjelica get her hands more into the plot: claiming she was Deimos’ widow, aligning herself with Tripp to keep Steve off his game, bringing on Alex to play out the Anjelica/Alex feud only to reveal (early on) that they are faking their feud to get ahold of Titan, having Anjelica pin the murder of Deimos on Sonny so Alex can secure the company, have Alex work with Justin on helping getting Sonny off (so that Alex and Anjelica can pin more on them), bonding Alex and Adrienne, and eventually dovetailing into the Kayla/Tripp story more by bringing on Stephanie (who would align herself with Sonny in the Titan dealings).

    To be fair, Ron may have curtailed the Alex story because there are so many ‘long lost’ children on the canvas, but I think it would have done wonders in the long run.

    With the Dario/Abigail/Chad/Gabi story, I think there were some better corrections made. The Chad / Lucas / Kate material was by no means A-material, but if that’s a grouping we could continue to build, I would appreciate it. I hate it that Chad and Kate have such a strong relationship and they never have Chad interact with Kate’s children. More Lucas involvement in the Gabi/Chad/Abigail drama would be more interesting. Also, it might be interesting if Lucas took Dario under his wing, one rogue to another, and tried to correct him and play the inherent conflict of Lucas/Dario vs. Kate/Chad. I also found Abigail engaging for the first time since Marci Miller has assumed the role. I don’t think Miller had the comfort level earlier to handle this kind of material, but I see the potential for her to blossom, or for this to quickly to become a Guy Wilson-esque scenario.

    What was done with Dario was disheartening, and I don’t even like JV’s version of Dario that much. I just hate that they are shoving him into the cookie cutter pattern of villainous third wheel against the main couple. I don’t see how someone could see that scene and think that Dario loved Abigail, which has been the story thread for the most part. Instead, it made it about Dario destroying Chad rather than trying to be a better man for Abigail, which would have been the better story. It also would have given Jennifer the chance to reflect on Jack in a meaningful way that would enhance the current story.

    With all that said, I’m going to try to be a bit more open minded, but I cannot say that I’ve really read anything that makes me think this isn’t going to be the type of emotional vacuum that DAYS was for most of the turn of the century.

    • Shea Says:

      You know when they first announced that JV had been cast to play Dario I had it in my head that he was going to be a love interest for Paul. Then he was introduced with a connection to Summer and it was downhill from there. The character has been all over the place and non of it has worked for me.

      • mykleraus Says:

        I remember that speculation, because there was that whole thing about Paul having had a friend/teammate whose dad went to Winterthorne, and then Eduardo turned out to be that contact, but they never introduced this apparent other kid he has…

        Dario felt so random even when they brought him on. Like I don’t know why he was cast if there wasn’t a story. It’s like someone just wanted to give Vilasuso a role. His stuff with Summer and Nicole was all over the place.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I share your concerns about this being the sort of material Ron will run with. Not that the doppelgängers and the wacky stuff can’t be fun, but it should at least make sense. I’m cutting them some slack on this because this was clearly a left turn in the story — though I really want to know what the original plan for Anjelica was. The Spectator stuff wrapped up so quickly that I suspect it was just going to be that and then some kind of attempt on Adrienne’s life. I see what you mean about Justin not having moved on from Adrienne, but the plan still feels so convoluted. Has Anjelica wanted Justin for three decades but she’s just now getting around to this? Why didn’t she swoop in during one of the times when things were way more fractured between J&A? I guess they’re going to have Bonnie-as-Adrienne act like a raging bitch so that Justin “gets over her,” but it does feel very contrived.

      I love your idea about Alex and Anjelica secretly working together. That’s great. There was a casting call for someone who seemed to be Alex a while back, but that never materialized, and I’m guessing it was lost in the shuffle of the writing changeover and switch in story direction.

      I always like when they bring Lucas back into Kate’s sphere. You’re right about Chad’s lack of interaction with Kate’s family; they should play that up once Will is back.

      I don’t see Miller as being bad at all, though I do think she’s still finding her footing. I find her way, way more watchable than I did Guy Wilson, but I do think they’re in trouble if she doesn’t really spark with someone soon. She and Chad are pleasant together but it doesn’t feel epic. I don’t think Dario has EVER loved Abigail; he barely knows her. So this whole forced marriage thing hasn’t worked for me at all. I can see him having feelings for her, but they bounced him from Summer to Nicole to Blanca to Abigail so quickly and flatly that it’s been hard for me to care about any of this. I’m fine with them cutting their losses on this character, though I wish they’d use him to generate more conflict between Rafe and Hope. That couple has NO internal conflict, so this could be useful, but I’m also fine with just moving on. This whole Gabi/Chad/Abigail/Dario quad is a big, fat turkey and I don’t think it can be salvaged, and I see the value in re-centering it as a Chad/Abigail reunion story, even if it means tossing out Dario.

      I do hope that Ron’s Days is more like the first few years of his OLTL tenure than the latter part of his GH, though. Stunts are fun and interesting and work just fine *if* they’re grounded in real motivations and emotions, but that’s a big if.

  5. Mo Says:

    Anjelica/Hattie was cute for the first 3 scenes but then it became repetitive. Hattie cutting down Anjelica’s “dumb plan” for two days right after she’d lost her bid for the paper just made Anj look even more pathetic as a DAYS villain. Of course it is a dumb plan but they really hammered it home. Kate, Kristin or Vivian would eat Anjelica for breakfast. I like that it is a lighter storyline though and Morgan Fairchild is doing better at it. I know it wasn’t a long-term contract for her so I’m going to just try not to take it too seriously. Diedre Hall making fun of Marlena is always somewhat amusing too.

    I devour spoilers but they really do “spoil” the show at times. I wasn’t invested in Daimos knowing he was leaving and feel the same way about Dario. He’s just another detour in the pretty boring Chad/Abigail pairing. Having Super-hero good guy Rafe have an evil brother could have been interesting. Dario could have gone after Hope and created a little heat there but no. All three Hernandez siblings have terrible luck with the Dimera’s. You’d think they would eventually learn to stay away.

    Speaking of Chad and Abby do something memorable with those two! Still feels like a romance for the ages but needs more OOMPH.

    I’m hoping the pacing is straightened out a bit. DAYS has a deep bench of outstanding supporting players who need to be better utilized by the new writers. Victor/Maggie/Julie/Roman/Abe but also characters like Chloe? Where did she go? Nadia Bjorlin might hold the record for leaving the show and coming back out of nowhere.

    • Dylan Says:

      Nadia’s on maternity leave for a while, don’t know when she’ll be back as Chloe.

      • mykleraus Says:

        I read that she reappears in August, so I think this stuff is before her maternity leave. I’m wondering if they just wanted to save up some appearances for her, so they sent her away while they didn’t have much for her to do and then she comes back with a story? And then I guess she disappears again for maternity leave…

    • mykleraus Says:

      I don’t really look at spoilers aside from casting stuff, but yeah, it does make it tough to invest when you know someone is leaving. On the other hand, it helps me make sense of what’s happening onscreen sometimes; I can’t imagine how jarring some of this crap must be if you *don’t* know someone is exiting.

      The story distribution is weird, you’re right. Maggie is appearing so little these days. I get it with Victor, since John Aniston’s health is clearly not what it once was, but Maggie is almost a non-entity of late. I’m really unclear on Chloe’s status. She’s been listed with the contract cast, but she was on very little during the Holly-kidnapping story, and now she’s gone but apparently reappears in August (and I don’t THINK this was her maternity leave, only because it was filmed way back in like January-February and I’m pretty sure she hasn’t had the second kid yet).

  6. Marla Says:

    I’m curious as to who might be Dario’s “silent partner.” Not sure what character currently on the scene would want to align with him. In one phone call conversation Dario says “a silent partner can’t keep calling if they are silent” which leads me to believe that they are more equals. Then another conversation has Dario asking for help, which could mean the partner is the stronger of the two. At this point, my only guess would be Andre because he is smart enough to manipulate Dario into thinking he has the upper hand until Andre finds his opportunity to turn on Dario.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Yeah, that intrigued me, too. Andre would make sense as far as the way this show operates, though I’m not sure it makes actual sense. But who the hell knows? Could it be Anjelica? Her stealing from Titan would track, I suppose, but I can’t imagine what her angle with the DiMeras would be.

  7. JoBean Says:

    I might be in the minority here but I love any doppelganger story, mostly because it always looks like the actors are having real fun for once. It’s always nice to discover that they have talents beyond acting surprised, in love, or ugly crying during emotional speeches. So bring it on and make it messy, I don’t even care how convoluted it is (Susan/Kristen was my all time favorite story after all) just make it entertaining! While we’re at it, maybe we can give Paul a doppelganger story where he’s an underwear model who has short-term memory issues and he can never find the rest of his clothes… a girl can dream…

    • mykleraus Says:

      Hah. It’s shocking how little they show Paul off considering what incredible shape he’s in. I bet Ron will change that, though…

      And I agree about the doppelgängers, generally. You can tell when the actors are eating it up. I remember the FakeRafe story being enjoyable just because Galen was *clearly* relishing playing a jerk. Obviously it’s a well you can only go to so often, but as long as the story makes sense, I can get onboard. Now if Princess Gina also turns up in Statesville…

  8. Debby Parker Says:

    I am so sick of seeing duplicates of stupid characters, especially the current one. The Elvis /mother thing was was hard to take too. And the same scene sets all have the same wallpaper!#! Just Sayin . The story line has me fast forwarding through the Marlena/Adriane jailbirds. Been a big fan for many years until now. I am not the only one?

    • mykleraus Says:

      I’m going to get sick of it quickly if the whole show devolves into this. At least this story is using characters who were already established. I think we need a moratorium on ever again inventing lookalikes. Over half the town has had them!

  9. Damon L. Jacobs Says:

    I’m grateful for the new energy, loathsome of doppelganger tropes. But who knows — after seeing the Marlena/Adrienne vs. Hattie/Bonnie scenes juxtaposed today, maybe this means we’ll soon get Gina and Arthur conspiring against Hope and Rafe. For good measure maybe Chris Kositchek and Eric Richards will join in the fun too (look it up!).

    • mykleraus Says:

      You know what’s funny? I was trying to think of all the people on this show who’ve had two roles, and I thought that of ALL people, Ron would be the one to dig up a random doctor role that John Aniston played 45 years ago. If JA were in better health, I could see it happening.

  10. Mmg Says:

    Honestly, I do think it’s better. I still fast forward through some stuff but the dialogue has I improved, I think, since sheries been on board. The pacing seems faster and stories seem to be moving. Characters are saying and doing stuff that makes sense for a change. If you care what people are saying you don’t have time to notice the pattern of the wallpaper. Time will tell but so far so good.

    • Damon L. Jacobs Says:

      “If you care what people are saying you don’t have time to notice the pattern of the wallpaper” — I believe THIS is wallpapered in the Writer’s Room right now!

      • Matthew Says:

        Why do I get the feeling that room has the following look:

        – two doors (one of which leads to a small section of hallway)
        – flat light switches
        – one window near the door on the left
        – a desk on the right side (which may occasionally move to the left side depending on who is in the room at the time)
        – etc.

      • mykleraus Says:

        I LOL’d for real! And don’t forget: blue paint!

    • mykleraus Says:

      It’s definitely better from where I stand. The stories are still the Higley stories being wrapped up, but they’re at least on clear trajectories.

      “If you care what people are saying you don’t have time to notice the pattern of the wallpaper” — Totally. I always say that if the show is good enough, I’ll watch it be performed in a black box. There’s a reason good theatre works.

  11. Mmg Says:

    I do hate the Angelica wanting revenge on Adrienne and trying to win back Justin 30 years later angle. Really??? I’m going to need more to buy in to that story. Not to mention Jane Elliot is Angelica to me and Morgan Fairchild is not cutting it for me. It’s one I’ve been ff’wing through.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I’d be curious to see if Jane Elliot could’ve pulled this off. I’m dubious, just because the story has been very silly and shallow so far. Morgan Fairchild isn’t doing a lot for me, though.

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