That sound you hear is a collective groan from fans of Days of Our Lives' Will Horton. As part of the soap's most recent reboot, the out gay coed will have sex with a woman next week — his diabolical, ex-girlfriend Gabi (Camila Banus)!
Poor Chandler Massey, who recently won a Daytime Emmy for his work in Will's gay storyline, tried to make sense of the boneheaded plot twist in this week's Soap Opera Digest. Said Massey:
"Will is battling self-esteem issues," Massey shares. "So when you get two people who have some sort of romantic history in a room together, and both are feeling insecure about themselves, they seek any comfort they can find."
I really don't want to start hammering Gary Tomlin and Chris Whitesell right off the bat, but seriously? Your first story for Will, post-taking over the writers' room, is to have him bang a girl? Has gay soap opera storytelling really stayed on pause since flip-flopping Steven Carrington on Dynasty 30 years ago?
Okay, so Will is gonna be feeling a little low next week, after "T" comes home and starts gay bashing everyone. Then Lucas (Bryan Dattilo) dumps all over him for helping EJ (James Scott), which can't be fun. I get how all of that would make the kid a little unsure of himself, but it certainly would not inspire a sudden craving for vagina in a gay man! So is Will bisexual now? Does he get turned on by anyone who hires stalkers — regardless of equipment?
I don't see clearly-established heterosexual Bo (Peter Reckell) deciding to go snog Abe's (James Reynolds) log when he's feeling a bit blue. So why is it that gay soap characters always want some hetero lovin' when they break a nail?
Chuck Pratt reportedly wanted to do similar madness to iconic lesbian character Bianca Montgomery on All My Children. Pratt wanted Binks to sleep with Ryan (Cameron Mathison), but Eden Riegel reportedly refused to do that to her gay fans. I say good for her!
That being said, DAYS has always been more concerned with campy shock than social relevance. Plus, it is a soap opera, and no one is supposed to make the right choices, gay or straight, all of the time.
Heck, even primetime potboiler Revenge is introducing a female love interest for previously homo Nolan (Gabriel Mann). Maybe I'm overreacting? Sigh. I really hope Tomlin and Whitesell know what they're doing with this one...
For more of what Massey had to say on Will's hetero happenings, pick up the August 27 issue of Soap Opera Digest!