Sunday, July 15, 2012

50 Greatest Soap Couples: #40 Jack & Jennifer From DAYS OF OUR LIVES

COUPLE: Jack Deveraux & Jennifer Horton
RANK: 40
Jack: Matthew Ashford, Mark Valley, Steve Wilder
Jennifer: Melissa Reevees, Stephanie Cameron
YEARS: 1989-present (with breaks on screen when the actors were off the show)

After Jack abandoned his political ambitions, he became controlling owner of The Spectator, Salem's local newspaper.  This was where he first became involved with college intern Jennifer.  Jennifer was involved with Emilio Ramirez (Billy Hufsey), but the more she demanded the truth from Jack and called him on the wrongs he committed, the more he secretly fall for her.

When Jennifer wanted to help a jail-bound woman named Sally, whose baby daughter was going to go into foster care.  Jack concocted the idea of a fake marriage so they could take care of the baby.  It didn't work out as planned but Jennifer ended up taking care of the baby for a while, and Jack's interactions with her endeared him to Jennifer and they ultimately fell in love.  Many other complications ensued, including the return of Emilio, but Jack and Jennifer finally married.  The story after the first five years or so became more inconsistent as the roles were recast (Ashford & Reeves being the actors who defined the roles), and the writing regimes changed with some in charge not favoring the couple (or the character of Jack).  But those early years, and the still-to-this-day chemistry between Reeves and Ashford earned Jack and Jennifer their spot on this list.

DAYS OF OUR LIVES worked the supercouple formula for all it was worth in the 1980s with Jack and Jennifer considered by some to be the last true successful "supercouple" from the show.   Their story was unique in the sense that there was a tragic but comedic element at the forefront.  Jack was tormented by his past (the rape of Kayla and learning he was really Billy Johnson) but wanted to be a better man thanks to Jennifer.  We watched them match wits, and it was fun.

The couple won Soap Opera Digest Awards as Favorite Supercouple in 1991, and then Best Wedding and Best Love Story in 1992.

When DAYS OF OUR LIVES "re-booted" the show in 2011, they brought Matthew Ashford on to the canvas once again to play out Jack's story with Jennifer.  The fact that the show has continued to bring Ashford back (despite always firing him later) is a testament to the power and impact of the original Jack and Jennifer love story.

- Jack and Jennifer meet at The Spectator for the first time
- Jack kidnaps Jennifer from her wedding to Emilio
- Jack & Jennifer's weddings

Share your thoughts on Jack and Jennifer in our Comments section below or on our message board.

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  1. Loved Jack & Jennifer back in the day! 8)

  2. Having worked with a verrry green young actor named Matt Ashford in the mid 1980s (on SEARCH FOR TOMORROW), it has always been his earnest & clean cut good nature off screen that somehow seems to endear him to his leading ladies, colleagues and fans on screen! It always shines through. A good guy, a family man and always good to watch on the tube. (Hmmmm....I placed "Suzy & Cagney" from SFT on my list...will they make the cut??)

  3. I'm glad Jack and Jennifer were recognized as being among the top 50 soap couples. They certainly deserve it. I'm hoping that all the Days supercouples (John and Marlena, Bo and Hope, Steve and Kayla, Kim and Shane) get recognized in this list somewhere.

  4. I've always loved Jack and Jennifer. I wish they would stop killing Jack/firing Matt!

  5. JnJ one of my All time favorite soap couples EVER!

    Really thought they would have rated much better than a 40 on this list :(

    Neverless...Happy to see they are represented :)

    Matt & Missy's chemistry was "OFF THE CHARTS" in those early days. They had me hooked from their very FIRST scene together :) And in subsequent returns as well, even though the writing "certainly lacked" on so many occasions they always seemed to "grab a little magic" out of the air and continue to make nothing into something so extra "special" :):)

    Just wish DOOL actually "cared enough" about this couple NOW to give them the "respect" they so richly deserve in creating one of the most UNIGUE and fasinating supercouples in Daytime History.

    They BOTH deserve at least that as well as their long "suffering" fans do.

    *Long live Jack & Jennifer Deveraux*

    RE: Nelson Aspen - How very fortunate for you to have been able to work with Matt so very early on in his career. I'm sure you saw that "amazing talent" he possess rather quickly :) I barely remember SFT, guess it is time to hit YouTube - LOL :)

  6. I remember watching Matt Ashford in his first role on television, Drew Ralston on One Life to Live. It was fun to watch Matt grow as an actor in his role as Cagney on SFT.

    I did not start watching days until around 1985 when it was all the rage in the college dorms to watch Days and GH. I liked the writing of Days back in the late 80s and early 1990s and was glad to see some good storytelling that encompassed the entire cast. I liked Jack Deveraux when Matt took over the role from the previous actors because of the different layers he brought to the character. In many ways Jack and Jennifer seem more real than some couples. They seem to click with their audience.

    @Nelson, I remember watching you on SFT. I am also hoping Suzi and Cagney along with Liza and Travis make the cut. I also think it was fortunate you got to work with the amazing Mary Stuart.

  7. I agree. I thought they would've been higher than 40, too. This was the couple that originally hooked me on Days back in the 90s. But I do think that weak writing after their original run hurt them considerably. It was almost like the writers never quite knew what to do with Jack once he finally got the girl.

  8. Jack and Jennifer are my personal #1, though I understand objectively that they couldn't make #1 on this list. But 40 is far too low a ranking. I'm looking at some listed above them so far, and I'm thinking of some I expect to still be listed, and Jack and Jennifer should be higher. I agree that post 1991 writers seemed to have it in for Ashford's Jack, and the writing for Jack and Jennifer suffered after their first run, but over twenty years Jack and Jennifer did manage to keep kicking and keep pulling good things out of often awful writing. But mainly, their original and very unique and popular love story alone should earn them a far higher ranking than this.

  9. JnJ are one of Days most popular supercouples. They should have been ranked in top 20. But it is still nice to see them acknowledged.