Remember a few days ago when I told you I was hearingNoel Maxam would be named executive producer of Days of Our Lives? Well it looks like I was only half right. Ken Corday has named Maxam and Greg Meng as co-executive producers of the sudser, stating the two will work as a team.
I have to say, for the first time in a long time I am (cautiously) optimistic about the future creative viability of DAYS. I know, I know, call me crazy, but I've heard nothing but good things about Maxam (one being he pays attention to overall fan sentiment). Meng, meanwhile has been the brains behind many of DAYS savvy 45th anniversary projects, including the breathtaking Days of our Lives 45 Years: A Celebration in Photos and former head writer Sheri Anderson's steamy, delcious DAYS-themed novels.
While I think Gary Tomlin and Chris Whitesell should be commended for the work they accomplished at DAYS—in spite of Dena Higley—the sudser morphed into Passions-lite. Here's hoping Maxam, Meng and the new head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas can make the show we love not merely watchable again, but immensely enjoyable. Now of course you know I wouldn't be my backseat-driving self if I didn't offer up a few suggestions as to how to go about this transformation! Here goes five:
1.) Make Sami a bitch again. Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney) has basically existed as two, very unique, but only slightly interconnected characters during her time in Salem (Post-SORASing that is, because little girl Sami was simply a slew of adorable, blonde moppets!). For the first decade or so, Sami was the love-to-hate villainess, who talked to herself in living rooms and terrorized her half sister Carrie (Christie Clark), all while drugging and/or lying to Kate's (Lauren Koslow) dimwitted sons. Good stuff!
Around the time Sami found herself on death row, DAYS realized Alison Sweeney could give good heroine and while Sami managed to keep her spunky, snarly streak for a few more years, from the moment then-head writer Hogan Sheffer promised to "grow Sami up" in a 2006 TV Guide interview, the character became a nonstop emotional wreck. I'm sorry, but if Sami being a grown up means constantly being victimized or crying over dead, blind and/or missing children, I'd rather she go all Freaky Friday and revert back to her teen years.
I'm not saying I want Sami to start switching DNA results again, but it would really be nice to see the best soap villain of the 90's calling the shots in Salem again. EJ (James Scott) and Sami working together on a dastardly con would be so much hotter than him forever pulling one on her. Maybe they could unite to vanquish Nicole (Arianne Zucker)? One thing I would definitely do, is give Sami a job. Why not have Brady (Eric Martsolf) hire Sami and Nicole as co-CEO's at Titan? I'm sure that would go over really well with Victor (John Aniston)!
2.) Let's Chill. It's cool that DAYS is bringing on one of Justin and Adrienne's (Wally Kurth and Judi Evans) sons as a potential love interest for Will (Chandler Massey), but the fans are already clamoring for a Will and Chad (Casey Deidrick) hook up! Hello, DAYS brass, have you seen the electric chemistry between those two?
I would love for the new gay Kiriakis heir to serve as a human catalyst to make Chad crazy with jealously when he sees him with Will. There's so much more drama to be found in a gay Romeo and Julio story between a Brady and a DiMera than Will hooking up with a new character, even one with a legacy.
Remember when soaps rewrote stories to capitalize on actors chemistry, not pull away from it? I don't recall reading about how Gloria Monty was so inspired by Tony Geary's chemistry with Genie Francis that she went out and cast another white dude with a blonde 'fro on General Hospital to put with Laura. Give the fans what we want, give us Chill!
3.) Bring back JT Reiber; SORAS Ciara. With Bo and Hope (Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso) back together, it's time to give them something new and of merit to fight for and about, as opposed to simply another romantic rival for either to contend with. I think this could be accomplished by first SORAS'ing Ciara to a 15-year-old pretty, little lying hellcat.
The very first episode of DAYS back in 1965 centered on a teenage Julie Olsen shoplifting to get attention from her neglectful parents. Twenty years later it was Julie's (Susan Seaforth Hayes) stepdaughter/half-sister Hope who was causing her parents and grandparents hair to go gray. If the new regime really wants to restart DAYS off proper like, then age Ciara and have her be every bit the troublemaker as her mother and step-grandmother before her!
The stakes would only be heightened if Ciara fell head over heels for the moody, dark-haired new boy in town— JT Reiber. Bringing back the child Stefano (Joe Mascolo) switched at birth with Bo and Hope's late son Zack could be epic soap opera. Don't believe me? Turn to ABC Family and check out the ratings for Switched at Birth. I can't imagine Hope ever truly got over having to give JT up, and with all the turmoil she's been through in recent years, it would be easy to see why she'd want to latch back onto the troubled boy.
I've said this before, but I'd love to see As The World Turns' alums Jon and Kelley Menighan Hensley as Glen and Barb Reiber. Maybe Barb tried her best to love JT like her other kids with Glen, but couldn't quite cut it? Maybe JT has picked up on the different way his stepmom treats him and acts out because of it? Bo would no doubt be wary of JT, who could have a string of juvie offenses, coming anywhere near his wife and daugthter. This could cause Hope to wonder if Bo still resents JT because he once believed him to be Hope's son with John (soon-to-be returning Drake Hogestyn). Meanwhile, Bo accuses Hope of wanting JT back in their lives as a replacement for Zack. I wonder what Bo would use to lessen the sting after Hope slaps him across his fancy face?
Imagine Bo walking in on JT and Ciara about to make love, much like Doug (Bill Hayes) walked in on Bo and Hope almost 30 years ago. I think bringing back the Reibers could give Bope tons of character-driven, highly emotional story for years to come. No microchips or sleeping pills required.
4.) Pair Brady and Kate in a steamy, forbidden affair. Don't ask me where this came from, but I cannot help but believe a raunchy May/December tryst betweeen Brady Black and Kate Roberts (Lauren Koslow) would be insanely hot. Especially if it culminates in Stefano finding out and chaining a shirtless Brady to a wall in a dungeon...for weeks!
Maybe this could bring Jarlena home to find their missing kid? (I know, DC reader AlistairCrane, Brady is Isabella's son! :D) Martsolf has been wasted under Dena Higley and Koslow has proven time and time again she knows how to put the "grrr" in cougar. I would love to see the look on Sami's face when she learns her arch nemesis is banging her stepbrother.
5.) Explode Abe and Lexie's marriage. All My Children's Darnell Williams and Debbi Morgan recently joked on Oprah that the only couples who stay together on soaps are the black ones. Ain't it the truth! It's time for DAYS to rip Abe and Lexie's marriage apart at the seams. I'd start the story with Lexie (Renee Jones) wanting a distinguished medical fellowship. The problem is, so does a recently-returned Mike Horton ( Wishful Casting: Grant Aleksander), and considering the name of the fellowship is the Tom Horton, MD Memorial Fellowship and both Julie and Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) are on the fellowship's board, Mike seems to be a lock.
When Lexie claims bias after Mike is named the winner, it threatens her life-long friendship with the Hortons. Abe (James Reynolds) wants her to let it go. Not only does he hate the strain it puts on their relationships with Bo, Hope and Jennifer (Melissa Reeves), but he also sees this as a sign Lexie should be spending more time with Theo. Abe's caveman notion would no doubt enrage Alexandra!
Lexie would demand to know why a woman should be the one to stay at home with the child? Why can't Abe scale back his political ambitions (he's thinking of running for governor and is excited over the process of selecting maids) to spend more time with Theo? Matters become complicated when Lexie's mother Celeste (Tanya Boyd) returns and sides with Abe. DAYS has toyed around with the idea of a forbidden Abe/Celeste pairing before, well if there was ever a time for this show to go balls-to-the-walls, it's now. If done right, a Lexie/Abe/Celeste triangle could revisit one of DAYS most scandalous and popular triangles, Julie/Doug/Addie, where Julie's own mother stole the love of her life, married him and had his child, Hope!
Have Lexie hire Justin (Wally Kurth) as her divorce attorney and confidant (he could also be representing her in her lawsuit against the Hortons), much to Adrienne's (Judi Evans) chagrin, and we're off to the races!
What do you guys think? What kind of stories would you tell at DAYS? Sound off in the comments!