Days of Our Lives Review: No Sense of Priorities

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Soap operas are known for over-the-top, unrealistic situations that sound ridiculous but are actually compelling drama.

Viewers tune in day after day to escape from reality into a world of heightened emotions and implausible situations.

Unfortunately, this island story on Days of Our Lives completely misses the mark and is as unbelievable as it sounds on paper.

Stranded on a Desert Island - Days of Our Lives

It's a shame, because this could have been a great story. Putting a bunch of people who hate each other into a life-and-death situation where they have to get along in order to have any hope of making it home is a soap opera staple.

But apparently that's not what the writers of this story had in mind. The point seems to be to remind viewers every few seconds of how great Gabi is, since nothing she does is at all inspiring or even interesting.

Gabi and Chad spent a lot of time bickering about whether the plane crash and resulting emergency situation was the result of a cursed amulet, then ended up kissing.

Between that and Gabi continuing to whine intermittently that they were all going to die on this island, I began to wonder what viewers had done to deserve this curse and how to lift it.

Paul: So I found an inlet with plenty of clear water, where I might be able to catch us some fish.
[Sonny doesn't look up from phone]
Paul: Oh, there was an awesome barbecue place there too. Pulled pork was... WHEW... phenomenal.
Sonny: Why are you talking about pulled pork?
Paul: Why are you staring at your phone? There's no signal for hundreds of miles.
Sonny: Just looking at a list I made in Salem. It's all the goals I have for Titan Industries.

JJ appeared to be the only one at all concerned with survival and rescue, and that was mostly off-screen. He told Lani and the audience about the giant SOS sign he made out of wood and disappeared off-screen when he saw a goat on the island, presumably to try to kill it.

It's not surprising that this pro-active behavior was all done out of viewers' sight. The characters trying to save their own lives isn't a priority for these writers, and anything that disrupts the false narrative that JJ is a serial cheater who deserves audience hatred certainly is low on their list.

Instead, the on-screen portion of the island story featured Lani pressuring JJ to have sex instead of trying to get help, the two of them finding a skull that Lani could not recognize as human, Chad and Gabi flirting a lot, Gabi whining about having to eat fish, and Sonny looking at his phone a lot.

The writers doubled down on making women weak and stupid in this storyline.

Gabi is a prime example of that. She hasn't done anything but complain and/or freak out since the story began, unless you count being conflicted about her feelings for Chad, something else that should not be the top priority while stranded on a desert island with no food or means of communicating with the outside world.

Lani was just as bad. Apparently raping JJ wasn't enough and she had to continually pressure him to have sex, as if anyone would want to do that under these circumstances.

And then her response to seeing a human skull was to misidentify it, then freak out about it. 

Lani is supposed to be a seasoned cop who is related to Abe Carver, one of the smartest and most moral characters on the show. Instead she's an idiot who gets away with sexually harassing all of her male co-workers and gets to date the one she finally managed to bed against his will.

And then there were Sonny and Paul.

Sonny is yet another person unconcerned with survival. His problem is that he didn't get to unseat Deimos in person and that he's not running Titan yet because he's on a desert island.

Paul has been the voice of reason, trying to turn Sonny back into the character viewers once knew and loved instead of this semi-mobster doppleganger. Unfortunately, Paul got bitten by a mosquito and became extremely ill.

It's not like Paul wasn't kidnapped and injected with a virus about a year ago. Is it really necessary to have another Paul as victim of a bizarre illness story? And can the stereotyping of Asians stop while we're at it?

The Yo Ling stuff was offensive enough. Now in this new story, Paul knew that he could use lemons to marinate the fish he caught because of his Asian heritage.

Christopher Sean is one of the best actors on the show and deserves better than having to play to stereotypes of his culture. And even if he wasn't as talented as he was, nobody should have to put up with this kind of thing. This is not 1950 or earlier; it's 2017, and most viewers don't want to see racist stereotypes and helpless women.

Hope: Let me guess. The file on the Halo case? Anything new?
Rafe: Just another report for the file.
Hope: The B&E at the liquor store?
Rafe: Mmm hmm. Hooker came in there high as a kite. Third report like that this week.
Hope: Yeah, and still looks like one guy's in charge of the distribution, huh?
Rafe: Candy Man.
Hope: Yeah, the Candy Man.

Back in Salem, Hope and Rafe investigated the Halo distribution problem, happily oblivious to the fact that two of their co-workers and several of their family members were stranded on a desert island.

When they found out, they were concerned about Gabi's well-being, but nobody else's.

This Hernandez obsession is not doing the show any favors whatsoever.

 JJ is the son of Hope's cousin and best friend for life Jennifer and she's an honorary Kiriakis because of Bo, so she should also be concerned about Sonny, yet her entire role in this thing was to disbelieve that the plane went down and comfort Rafe about Gabi.

That makes Hope seem callous and uncaring and if written correctly, Jennifer would tear her a new one for not being concerned enough about her son.

Plus, last week Hope took credit for JJ's hard work and now it appears she and Rafe are going to get to take over his case because he's stuck on the island with the world's most whiny so-called heroine.

Considering JJ's history with drugs, having him investigate drug use at the high school and connect with some troubled kids would be a compelling storyline demonstrating how he has come full circle from those days.

Having him do all the work to get these people off the island while still being treated with disdain by characters and viewers alike is yet another wasted opportunity. 

Deimos: How's Brady?
Victor: His immune system has finally stopped rejecting his donor heart. His prognosis is good, no thanks to you.
Deimos: How many times do I have to tell you, I had nothing to do with him getting shot?
Victor: Just save it! This is me you're talking to and my eyes are finally open. You put Xander into play. He put Brady at death's door. So you did this. Only reason I had you over here is so I could find out what else you did behind my back.

Deimos ran around town gloating that he had got out on bail, until Victor finally put him in his place.

I don't know why anyone gave him the time of day in the first place.

Of course, I also don't know when Abe stopped being mayor and returned to full-time police work. He said he was an officer of the court, which the mayor certainly is not, and seemed interested in investigating Deimos, which is a police thing. I love Abe in police mode but I would have appreciated seeing him change jobs!

Also, if he had to put up with Deimos' smug speech, I'd have loved for him to point out that "innocent until proven guilty" doesn't necessarily mean that everyone is given bail or that they are able to pay it.

It drives me nuts when the writers get basic details of how the legal system works wrong, especially when there are so many people serving long jail sentences before their trials because they can't afford bail.

In any event, the scenes between Victor and Deimos were long overdue. I wondered where Victor had been! His support of Deimos as he messed with Bo, Philip, Maggie, and Brady in the past made no sense because Victor has always been about protecting his family.

Finally that wrong has been righted!

Daniel's Ghost - Days of Our Lives

Elsewhere in Salem, Brady seemed headed for a reunion with his mother in heaven until Eric and Jennifer helped sneak Nicole into his hospital room with baby Holly.

Nicole tearfully put the baby on Brady's chest and his heart began beating again.

She said that it was because Daniel's heart connected with his child. If it makes Nicole feel better to believe that, I guess she can but that makes no sense.

The heart is now Brady's and the last thing Brady said before he lost consciousness was he loved Nicole and wanted to be a family with her, Tate, and Holly. So if it was an actual miracle and not a coincidence, it's clearly because he was reunited with his lover and his little stepdaughter-to-be.

Eric and Nicole Are Trapped - Days of Our Lives

Throughout these scenes, I couldn't help wondering where Eric and Nicole's relationship stood. I haven't been a fan of this pairing in a long time. First Eric was horribly verbally abusive to Nicole and then recently, Nicole returned the favor.

But with them being trapped together and seemingly each other's first priority, it seemed like they should be moving back towards each other despite them both being committed to other people. Yet there was no indication whatsoever that this was happening.

Meanwhile, Chloe called Rafe to come arrest Nicole and seemed shocked that no one approved of her decision.

She claimed she was the only one thinking of the baby's welfare, which made even less sense than everything else she's been saying, and was forced to stand on the edge of things frowning because no one wanted to include her in anything.

Marlena and Eric both told Chloe the truth that she continually refuses to hear, and that was great. But I wish Marlena had realized that Chloe is having another nervous breakdown like she had when she kidnapped Parker and try to get her some help.

Jade Manipulates Tripp - Days of Our Lives

Jade slipped further into delusional fantasy when she decided that she would secretly make a sex tape of Claire and Theo that Claire had emphatically denied wanting to make.

At least it's clear that Jade is the villain in this, but with Days of Our Lives' poor track record when it comes to issues of sexual abuse recently, I don't have high hopes for this storyline.

In the past few months, JJ has been shamed endlessly for having been raped and his rapist is currently pressuring him for sex on a desert island.

Meanwhile, Nicole's past sexual abuse was used in an attempt to rape her and her rapist was depicted as an ordinary guy who was acting out because he was not getting enough sexual attention from his wife.

And Ciara's rape was glossed over (except for when a guy lying to her about liking the same pizza toppings was equated to that incident).

Even without these horrible failures at being sensitive to issues of sexual abuse and assault, Jade's latest fantasy would really concern me. After she secretly planted a camera in Claire and Theo's hotel room, she imagined the two of them being thrilled to find out she had done this and becoming her best friends.

I get the feeling that's the writers' fantasy, since sexual abuse is so often glossed over and treated as a plot point on this show. 

In this situation, both Claire and Theo are victims, but the odds are that Theo will break up with Claire and/or his family will assume she wanted this and shun her, and no one will ever correct that impression.

I'm also worried that the whole thing will be framed as Claire taking advantage of Theo's autism even though he is not written as autistic unless the plot requires it.

At least Kayla got to take a break from the ridiculous Tripp drama to give Adrienne some support as she attempted to resume being intimate with Lucas. This is a much better use of Kayla and if the Tripp storyline were to mysteriously disappear I wouldn't object at all.

The Adrienne scenes were realistic and emotional, which is what I want to see on a soap. They stood in sharp contrast to the rest of the nonsense, to the point that I wondered if they were written by the same writer.

Of course, Adrienne is also being harassed by the anonymous owner of "Snow Globe Inc" who wants his money back for his investment in the Spectator and is willing to take the paper if he doesn't get it.

This made no sense whatsoever. How can Adrienne possibly pay someone who she doesn't know the name of or how to get in touch with him? How can he sue her for the funds in court without revealing his legal name?

The whole thing was so silly that I thought maybe Adrienne had made it up so she could get rid of her brother and have a girl talk with Kayla.

What did you think of this week's Days of Our Lives? Is the island story as aggravating for you as it is for me? Do you think Snow Globe Inc is a real thing?

Weigh in below and don't forget to check back on Sunday for the Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion!


Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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Days of Our Lives Quotes

You're a monster just like your father. I wish you'd never come into our lives.


Well, darling, if I've learned anything in this life, it's that you cannot force someone to be in love with you. You just have to let it go.