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Soap Auditions: Part One

by Miss Alli December 5, 2007 3:05 pm
days.jpgToday is the first official day of my project in which I decide whether I want to pick up a soap again. I haven't watched one since...er...I was in college? Probably? I watched General Hospital during the Frisco years and Days Of Our Lives during the Patch/Kayla years, mostly. So basically, the youngsters on these shows now are often the children of the characters I grew up watching, although I have been utterly shocked at the number of people who were still supposed to be important who were important when I was watching last time. So, somewhere between fifteen and twenty years after the last time I watched regularly, just in time to be tormented by the interruption/scabbing issues of the writers' strike, I have decided to experiment. I will not use cheat sheets; I will simply try to figure out what the hell is going on and whether I want to try one again. First up: I try to revisit Days Of Our Lives.


Aw, look. It's good old Thaao Penghlis, who has been playing Tony DiMera since 1983. So I recognize him from...ummm...wasn't he involved with what's-her-brows, who used to be on The Young & The Restless? Is her name Eileen Davidson? Was she involved with him on this show, or on The Young And The Restless, which I never watched but knew about because I *gulp* read the relevant magazines at the time? I honestly cannot remember. Okay. Tony is talking to Young Dude In Wheelchair, who is apparently a relative. Penghlis...I don't know that he shouldn't have had work done; I'm saying maybe he should have had different work done. Soaps are a tough business.

OH MY GOD, it's Stefano. Speaking of people who have been here since I was born. Wasn't he old when I was in high school? He must have the best hair-dyeing program in the business. And he is talking to a guy in bloody surgical scrubs. That is intense. Or are they...covered with motor oil? Apparently, Stefano has a son who has a baby with Sami Brady. I wonder if that's Wheelchair Dude. AND HIS NAME IS ELVIS? Is this real? Awesomest line of the scene: "I should have gotten rrrrrid of my nemesis when last I had the chance!" Heeee hee hee. Oh, I missed this scenery-chewer. He goes back to 1983, too. Damn. That's 25 years, you guys.

And now, Sami is pressuring an unwilling Lucas into sex. "Go to hell!" "Come with me!" Awesome. Dude, since they were teenagers, these two. I still remember when he wanted Dumb Carrie. IMDB tells me this actor only showed up in 1993, so since I remember that, I apparently watched longer than I thought. Oh, wait! I watched during some of the Lisa Rinna part, and she was around the same time. Apparently, I must have had a relapse during law school.

Wait, is this person it sounds like they're calling "Brady" really dead? I assume Brady is related to a Brady, but I forget which one. Is he Bo and Hope's? Is his name Brady Brady? I bet it's not. Who are all these twittering girls?

HOURGLASS! MIDDLE OF SHOW!

Okay. Stefano is telling Wheelchair Guy that Stefano only loves himself. Wheelchair Guy gave Stefano a grandson. Another clue! I wonder if this is Elvis. I just heard the name "Benji" go by. I remember a Benji. Man, Penghlis has been hitting the self-tanner like a heavy bag. Tony is also claiming that he's rejected the life of "brutality, hatred, and death." I wonder, then, what would be the point. "Little brother." Okay. So indeed, this is Tony's brother, [Blank]. Elvis? Maybe. Don't tell me! I'll figure it out.

Wow, Sami and Lucas are done already. Wait, she has a little towel on to imply that she has no panties on. That's...interesting. Okay, so she's referring to "EJ." Is that...Elvis? Is that Wheelchair Guy? The fact that she's talking about having pretended to like EJ so he'd live suggests that something terrible recently happened to him, which might explain the wheelchair. She swears she'll fight for Lucas forever. Got it.

Okay, it's "Decker" who's lying on the floor, apparently dead. Not "Brady." I was delusional. Like a soap opera character! Okay, so now the twittering girls are saying they killed "Ford." So he's maybe either Decker Ford or Ford Decker. And they're arguing about how to stay out of jail. "They'll find us guilty of manslaughter! Or negligent homicide!" Whoa! Apparently, he was an attempted rapist. "Murder can mean the death penalty!" The one with the drawl is a really bad actress.

Lucas still makes that same Angry Face. It was petulant fifteen years ago; now it's, like, weirdly jaw-heavy. Was his face always this much of an isosceles triangle with the point at the top? Just when it looks like he and Sami are going to Do It some more, it's...EJ! Wheelchair Guy! I was right. Awesome. I think it's all coming together for me.

Stefano burns a document! There's a moment that seems familiar.

Twittering girls discuss whether Dead Guy is human if he was a rapist. You can sort of tell they're going to the Bury Him In The Garden place. "I'm just glad he can't rape or drug any more women!" That's a little on the nose, I think. "Ford Decker" is his name! ! I was totally betting on "Decker Ford," which sounds like way more of a soap opera name. They agree not to call the police. So: body. BURY HIM! IN THE GARDEN! Hee hee, instead, they're going to take him and put him in the basement. And one of these girls is named "Sloan," and one "Chelsea," and one "Steph." I have no idea which ones among them are important.

Okay, I just cheated by mentioning the name "Chelsea" to Joe R here in the bullpen, and he tells me that Chelsea is Billie and Bo's daughter. So this is Billie's house. "Chelsea's mom"...I got it. Now I just have to figure out which one is Chelsea.

Holy crap! Tony's still on, but I didn't realize Anna was also still on. Oh, Ta-MAH-ra! I thought she'd moved on to prime-time guesting. I didn't realize she was once again doing...this. Speaking of "work done." Gadzooks. Actually, I'm going to amend that statement -- I'm not sure she's had work done, so much as she's wearing goofy makeup that is unsuccessfully trying to mask every line that's appeared on her face in her lifetime. Anyway, she and Tony are paying Stefano a visit. Okay, "Elvis" and "EJ" are totally the same person. I am settled. That's some big fur coat Anna has on. You don't see too much of that anymore, unless it's splashed with red paint. Tony says Stefano underestimates "Elvis." Do that at your own peril, I always say. (In Memphis, anyway.) In other news, I think people on soaps are the only people who drink little glasses of sherry during the day anymore.

EJ and shirtless Lucas have a showdown. Lucas has really pec'd the shit out of himself since I was younger. EJ wants to give them back whichever twin I guess he got in the property division. EJ wants the twins to have a "quiet environment." I think that will not happen. So he's out of there. Well done, Elvis...I guess? Or not? Maybe he's being evil. I wouldn't know.

Rapist! Nobody knows what to do with his body. But we are flashing back with...somebody (Chelsea?) to the part where she got raped by this dude. I'm not sure this can be Chelsea. She's a little southern to be raised by Bo and Billie. And now the drugs are getting to her (in the flashbacks). And then something...wow, horrible happened. You know, I hate how often soaps do rape stories, and I always, always have. It's their favorite way to get women into situations where someone can get vengeance for them, and where they can be tortured, and where they can have their defenses up and then let them down with a new boyfriend, and it's usually cheap as hell. Boo, rape stories.  But anyway...oh, I see. They're all having flashbacks of being tormented by him. I think I can safely say that the Asian one is not Chelsea. Damn, some of these flashbacks are really troubling. Is this still watched by middle-schoolers who tape it, like it was when I was...a middle-schooler who taped it? I am an old lady, because...yick.

Sami and Lucas coo over the baby EJ surrendered to them. Wait, is he EJ's, biologically, or Lucas's? I guess he's EJ's. I can tell this scene, in which Sami decides to stay around, is supposed to be warm and moving, but I'm really confused. Hey, I've learned a lot in this one day; I'm not complaining.

More Tony and Stefano drama. (And I do mean "drama," because of how much Stefano rolls his Rs.)

And now, it's time to dump the rapist in the basement. The girls swear each other to secrecy. I can't believe there's really a girl who responds to "get this over with" with "Over with? It's just beginning!" And then they drag the guy off the sorority logo! HA! They have really, really not improved soap writing since my youth. (Disclaimer: Still deserve a fair deal! Even for bad writing!) I mean, since I used to watch these shows, we've gone from Atari to Wii, and this field has made no progress. How depressing.

You know, it's just like me to get hooked when they're about to run out of episodes.

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