Let the damage control begin. Ken Corday told Soap Opera Digest today six characters will be leaving Salem, with five to six returning and/or coming to town on Days of Our Lives. Okay...Kenny. I so want to believe all your promises this time, but DAYS fans are starting to feel like that dude in Groundhog's Day.
When Corday re-hired Crystal Chappell the logic he spouted was that she was insanely popular, not just from her initial stint on DAYS, but from her turns on other soaps, namely Guiding Light. He also talked about how she came at a much cheaper rate than stars like Deidre Hall.
As furious as fans had been over the ousters of Hall, Drake Hogestyn, Stephen Nichols, Mary Beth Evans and Thaao Penghlis, the return of Chappell, as well as the addition of popular Passions leading lady Lindsay Hartley, had us enthusiastic, for a time at least, and it reflected strongly in the ratings.
Flash forward to now and Hartley's character Ari is long dead in Salem—despite the killer chemistry the actress shared with James Scott's EJ—and now Chappell, one of daytime's most popular stars, whose beloved character, Dr. Carly Manning/Katerina Von Leuschner Alamain, Corday allowed Dena Higley to wreck, has been given the boot. Meanwhile, DAYS is once again mounting an effort to "save the show."
I've said this before, but it is worth repeating, DAYS wouldn't need so many "plots to save it" if Corday would figure out if he wants to run a soap opera or not. According to numerous sources, Corday is either plugged in at DAYS, or he isn't. He allegedly checks out for good stretches of time, then pops back in and rearranges the chairs on the Titanic. I'm sure Corday would strongly deny these claims, but the proof is on our screens.
Soaps need a consistent, slow, steady, calculating hand to guide them away from uncertain iceburgs and certain cancellations right about now. Writing a nice, weepy book about the soap your parents created—and you now reluctantly sit in stewardship of—all the while mastering the art of sound bites to the only magazine you let interview you, is one thing, but when are you gonna start living up to your promises, Mr. C?
Today to Digest Corday vowed this:
"This is not a time where I'm going to be penny-wise and pound-foolish. I'm going to throw everything but the kitchen sink on-screen, but it's not going to be spread among 30 cast members. It's going to be centered on 15, and 15 who are loved and are dear to the audience."
Well isn't thatjust special? A few years back Corday arrogantly told the same publication fans heartbroken over the firings of their beloved vets could just go "see them at fan events," so why should we listen to the Boy Who Cried Soap Opera this time around?
Why should I or any DAYS fan get excited about these returns, when next year Corday could decide to fire them all again, or someone else we love like Kristian Alfonso or Alison Sweeney? If Deidre Hall wasn't popular enough to be safe from Corday's erratic, panicked show ruining, er running, no one is.
Over the years I've been enraged at watching my fave soap be dismantled before my eyes. Now I'm at the point where I'm just "magenta" about it all, as Blanche Deveraux would say. I'm no longer angry about the destruction of DAYS or any other daytime soap for that matter. If anything, I'm resolved and ambivalent, the latter not to be confused with Ambien, which made Fancy Face go on a man-hating, mugging spree.
Ken Corday: We're getting back to stories of multigenerational...core...family...traditional...wa wonk, wa wonk...traditional...wonk, wonk...
I sincerly hope these new writers will give us a show we can love again and that the behind-the-scenes state of DAYS stops being as chaotic as what goes on in Lindsay Lohan's brain, because seriously, this deja screwed stuff is getting really old.