If the first twenty minutes are any indication, DAYS has committed itself to focusing on beloved veterans. Doug, Julie, Bo, Hope, Victor, Maggie, Adrienne, Justin, Sami and Jennifer, as well as a special dedication to Tom and Alice Horton, were featured front and center (where were Abe and Lexie? We'll get to that in a moment). The unveiling of the new Horton town square was gorgeous, and special kudos go to the hardworking crew who labored day and night to create this stunning vision (on a limited budget). The writing was impeccable, with nods to the Horton legacy, while containing such snappy one liners such as "E.J. dates? I thought he only married women or held them prisoner."
Also, having Jack skulk around unrecognizable because of a beard seemed strange. Having Will & friends pal around in the corner (looking on the Internet or Grindr or whatever the hell they were doing) was boring. Interrupting the party with yet another Kate/Chloe confrontation was rhetorical.
Nevertheless, the show did a great job of re-establishing certain characters and building suspense. We know Victor is planning a surprise for Maggie, but we don't know what (okay, we know what, but Maggie doesn't). Will is still demonstrating ambivalence around Gabi as his girlfriend. Sami is still inclined to lie to Rafe about a mysterious job. These and other stories set the groundwork for fascinating and complex stories to come.
My advice for the DAYS of the future:
1. Build on existing tensions before creating new ones. There is a lot of bad baggage between Sami and Carrie that hasn't been discussed for awhile. Carrie and Lexie had a falling out prior to Carrie leaving town, resulting in Lexie almost losing her medical license. Sami and Nicole still have a love/hate relationship. John and E.J. have a complicated past as enemies and uncle/nephew. Start with these, branch forward.
2. Don't forget the Carvers! Renee Jones is far too talented and beautiful to wait 39 minutes for one line. It has been a very long time since we have known anything about Abe's personal life. Re-establish the Carvers as the central catalysts they can be.
3. Keep some of the bathwater! The DAYS folks have been very clear about "rebooting" the show. But don't forget the elements that have been working over the past few years. Maggie's central role has only enriched and deepened the textures of every story. Molly Burnett, as Melanie, has more than established herself as a strong heroine who can hold her own with anyone. There are elements of the Jenn/Daniel relationship that are enjoyable and fun. Don't just toss them out because of a resurgence of new creative energy.
4. Hold off on the spoilers. In my opinion, DAYS has been far too revealing of details and plot twists for the next week. Soaps gain more loyalty (and more ratings!) when viewers don't know every thing that is going to happen. If shows like MAD MEN and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES can prevent key plot points from being leaked, then DAYS can, too.
What do you think, DAYS fans? Does the reboot get an applause or a kick of the "boot"? Take our survey below. And read our live blog of today's reboot here!
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- Monday, September 26 LIVEBLOG: Watch DAYS "Reboot" With We Love Soaps Today!
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Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Therapist in New York City who specializes in treating depression, stress management, anger management, ageism, and grief/loss issues. He is also the author of the popular book "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve," currently available at Amazon.com. For more information about scheduling a Skype consultation or a speaking engagement, please email him at Shouldless@gmail.com.