Wednesday, January 16, 2008


After spending time with his Samantha, EJ returns to his apartment and uneasily sits down on his couch, aware that along with several other things, it may not be his for very long.

Sinister Voice (darkly): “And here I thought complete lobotomies required some recovery time.”

Good EJ (wincing): “Dammit.”

Evil EJ appears from the shadows of his room and enters the living room, drink in hand.

Evil EJ (snidely): “Look at any good pop-up books lately?”

Good EJ and Evil EJ glare at each other.

Good EJ (already annoyed): “Don’t you start. I don’t want to hear it.”

Evil EJ (sitting down on the other end of the couch): “That’s unfortunate for you because you’re going to listen to every last word, sunshine.”

Good EJ (backing off): “It’s late. Everyone else is asleep. Can’t we discuss this in the morning? Please?”

Evil EJ (sipping his brandy): “Oh yes, let’s do this later, when we’re even more dim than we are now. Maybe after we’re unable to follow the plots on the Nick Jr. lineup. How does Dora manage to make it all the way to her abuela's casa with a map and her monkey friend, eh?”

Good EJ (apologizing and gesturing): “Okay. I get it, and I understand. I’m sorry we had to be so stupid today, Evil EJ. I’m sorry we had to believe that Stefano wasn’t capable of evil.”

Evil EJ (mocking): “Oh, really? Because we seemed rather happy about the realization to me.”

Good EJ (trying to be nice): “That wasn’t happy. That was our comprehension of our father’s unspeakable horrors.”

Evil EJ (leaning back): “You could have fooled me. I guess we’re already too dumb to tell the difference.”

Good EJ (irritated): “I don’t like this any more than you do.”

Evil EJ (pointing): “I doubt that. Very much. I think you enjoy every single second of this. You know why? Because this excuse, as puerile as it is, validates your entire worldview. TPTB are stating that we were always a good man, that we were so blinded by our love for our father that we were unknowingly corrupted. That we’re basically innocent in all this.”

Good EJ (begrudging): “You’re right, I do like that…a lot. Because it’s the truth.”

Evil EJ (seething): “I’ll mentally file that right next to unicorns and elves.”

Good EJ (continuing anyway): “But I agree with you, too. We don’t have to be this dumb for this part of the redemption to work.”

Evil EJ (finishing his drink): “No, we do. For us to admit that we were actually evil, well, that’s a road Days just doesn’t want to go down. A good person cannot willingly commit evil actions according to the morality rules of this show, much less relish the beauty of the experience as much as I do. So since they want us to be a good person now, that means we were never truly evil, just misguided.”

Good EJ (nodding his head): “I suppose you’re right.”

Good EJ (suddenly suspicious): “But if you’re telling me all this, does that mean you now accept this? You accept our redemption and me being in charge?”

Evil EJ (getting up): “Certainly not. But a leader has to know when to delegate. Why should I pretend to be a blubbering imbecile when you’re already one?”

Good EJ (hurt in his eyes as he pleads): “It doesn’t have to be like that, you know. You don’t have to keep undermining me in order to get control back. We could work together. We could come to an understanding.”

Evil EJ gets up off the couch, moves around it, and leans behind Good EJ.

Evil EJ (whispering menacingly): “If I were you, I’d understand that I should enjoy Samantha while it lasts, Boy Scout.”

Evil EJ pats Good EJ threateningly on the back before he leaves the room. Good EJ turns his head as he watches Evil EJ leave.

Good EJ (quietly to himself as he sighs): “Always.”

Monday, January 14th, 2008

“We’ve got some screentime to kill. So repeat the end of Friday’s show with slightly different lines and over the top emotion.”

“What? I can’t hear you over the string music.”

Worst video game ever.

“How dare you not come with us? It’s standard police procedure to bring unarmed civilian family members on raids!”

“Your father’s a monster. Let me say that a couple more times because I don’t think I’m twisting the knife enough.”

“I never imagined my father would be capable of such cruel and inhumane behavior. Which makes me a total moron, but whatever works for the redemption, eh?”

“Actually Evil EJ has several secret accounts in the Caymans, South America, and Switzerland….but the plot says I can’t touch any of it.” Photobucket

The Verdict:

Not bad. Honestly, besides the “MY DAD IS EVIL? WTF BBQ SAUCE!!” moment Photobucketand the fact that I’m really supposed to buy that Evil EJ didn’t have any hidden assets Photobucket, everything else was pretty decent. I will say that while EJ engaged me this episode, I felt that Sami was too neutral here. Sure the “it makes you a better man” comment was nice, but a hint of a smile somewhere in those scenes would have been better. EJ A, Sami B-.

Friday, January 11th, 2008

“Thank goodness I waited to have this brilliant idea until I got to the front door. It wouldn’t have been nearly as dramatic otherwise.”

“First it’s Wells, then it’s DiMera, now it might be Wells again…Lucas and I certainly are playing surname musical chairs on this show.”

“Samantha, I decided to change for no reason because Marlena and Bope can’t see me in casual clothes. Anyway, I’m going for a 1986 cruise ship captain here-what do you think?”

“I love it, EJ. I’ve put up my hair like pseudo-punk phase Cyndi Lauper to match.”

“Even though I willingly made a deal with you, I won’t make the mistake of trusting you again. I save those mistakes for Lucas.”

“Just the obsessed sociopathic rapist DiMera we were looking for.”

“I’ve always believed in you, EJ. All those times I said you were a monster? That’s just my cute nickname for you, like how John calls me Doc.”

“We wouldn’t normally do this, but TPTB say that you get a chance to be part of our Brady/Horton cult. So for your initiation, you have to cut all ties to Stefano, be nice to all of us, and become a good person, by which we mean a self-righteous, sanctimonious hypocrite. Then we’ll let you have Sami.”

“I come up with an insightfully perfect morally gray solution to the conflict with my father, but now I have to give in for Samantha and become the white knight. Damn you, Days, and your rigid morality rules.”

The Verdict:

Days has officially kicked it up a few notches, and we’re now going at ludicrous speed. The lack of setups, dropped transitions, missing scenes, dialogue that’s cut off in the middle, etc. all point to “MUST GO FASTER TO AVOID CANCELLATION! LOLOLOL!” While I like a lot of the moments here, the show as a whole couldn’t be more incoherent than if someone doped it up with Haldol.

So, split decision. Carpe the viewer who loves her EJ, Sami, Ejami, and Days gives it an A. Carpe the critic who demands tight, inventive writing in her television gives it a F.

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

“Let’s pretend it’s Summer 2006 where I talk about my problems and you listen and give me advice even though this was given no set up and is thematically inappropriate. We can even mimic the camera angles.”

“Although it’s totally weird, I should definitely try talking to Will, that little accessory to my shooting. I want my PlayStation 3 back.”

“Technically, signing over my assets to my father in order to hide them from seizure would be fraud, but let’s give the show some credit for at least trying to come up with an excuse, eh?”

“Lucas, that $50 calligraphy set I gave you for your birthday was just a waste of money, wasn’t it?”

“I’m the head of an international crime syndicate, and in order to demonstrate my power, I try to repossess your furniture. And don’t try to tell me that you questioning how silly that was makes up for it somehow. I tell you, Elvis, the abject idiocy of this part of the plot could drive a man to drink.”
“You and me both, Father.”

“Typical. Nothing is ever Lucas’ fault, and I’m the one who always has to pay for his stupidity.”

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

James, Joe, and Ali were great, and the setup was fine, but the execution was off.

Oh, thank goodness. I was worried there for a moment. After all, EJ doesn’t have enough pointless scenes arguing with Dr. Rolf

Remember how back in June/July there was the whole Ejami adventure to meet Stefano in the ambulance because breaking into the mansion was much too dangerous? Yet now EJ’s able to break in with just a credit card, and there’s no killer laser beams or anything to avoid. Days, where the plot drives reality instead of reality driving the plot. And if only the show had shown me what credit card he used so I could open my own account

Apparently Stefano is going for a pseudo-hip 2002 Vegas hotel/B-level Bond villain motif here.

“Father bringing people back from the dead and ruining my chances with Samantha isn’t that surprising. But Father forcing me to see John without his shirt on, well, that I simply cannot forgive.”

“I mean…do…you…have…any…idea…of…what…you…have done?” EJ had thought his Shatner impression would lighten the mood, but Stefano wasn’t interested.

“I'm going to make sure that your purpose never sees the light of day.” You see, if EJ were still a villain, he’d never be stupid enough to warn Stefano of this ahead of time, much less stay in the mansion when making the actual phonecall. But since he’s a hero now, he has to go around warning the evildoers with inane platitudes and allow the villain to interrupt him foiling his plans

“Who are you? What have you done to my son?” Sigh. I miss Evil EJ too. If only you weren’t on Days, Stefano. If only you all were on some other show where you could be one big happy evil family.

“Apparently I am your conscience” and “What I saw downstairs in that lab -- you are not the man I thought you were.” Do you know just how stupid EJ sounds with these words coming out of his mouth? He sees Pawn John down in the basement, and he’s shocked and appalled even after he used the tarot card on Steve, after his father kidnapped Sami to take the twins’ stem cells, after Carmine was sent to kill Lucas, after everything that’s happened since last November? I know the show is operating at Defcon 4: Operation Whitewash and Ignore Evil EJ, but it would have been so much stronger for EJ to have acknowledged his father’s legacy of evil that he chose to uphold and then demonstrated to him that he has turned away from it. I understand that EJ is naïve and blind towards his Father, but the emotional impact of EJ’s epiphany moment for me was diluted instead of strengthened. EJ should have been resigned and saddened that his father wasn’t serious about ending the feud or supporting his wishes yet not surprised. Not at this point.

“But now I'm -- now I think he might be some kind of sociopath.” I laughed for hours about this line. There’s so many things wrong with it, including the 2 by 4 to the face of “LOL, EJ understands his dad is evil now, LOLOL!”, the disturbing fascination by the Days writers with the word sociopath, and the amusing irony of EJ labeling someone with the term that Kayla and the rest of town painted him with for months. At least Samantha called him on it, although her “EJ, I have known my entire life that Stefano doesn't care about anyone but himself, not even his own flesh and blood” was also silly for not pointing out that her situation was fundamentally different from his own. She was not raised by Stefano with no outside moral reference points.

“E.J., I have never seen you this shaken.” Show, show. Don’t tell. And if you have to tell, rephrase your dialog to be a bit less expositional. “EJ IS TRULY HORRIFIED BY STEFANO-HE HAD NO IDEA!!! OH NOES!” Spare me.

Apparently EJ and I need to flashback to events that happened earlier in the same episode since neither he nor I are smart enough to recall what happened a half an hour ago

The Verdict:

I love you, Days, I truly do. But at least pretend to try with your characterization and dialogue once in a while. There is something above “hilariously awful.”

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

“I have no job to go to, I’m estranged from Stefano, it’s difficult to for me to dress myself without pain, and I’m stuck using a cane that’s more than six inches too short, but they keep making me wear suits anyway. At least the blue tie is nice.”

“I didn’t know whether to dress for you or Lucas, so I did both.”

“Inhuman screaming…the pizza deliveryman forgot the breadsticks again, eh?”

“Father, how many times do I have to tell you that I have to be good for Samantha because we’re on Days? If this were General Hospital, I’d already be back to killing people-I mean, importing coffee.”

“I’ve done horrible things, which I’ll bring up to everyone but EJ.”

“So after you kidnap Belle, don’t sell her on the black market. I already tried that once.”

“Belle? Philip? Claire? Damn it, why does everyone always leave me? And EJ needs to stop showing up here whenever he feels like it.”

“So what are you in for? I’m in for murder. That’s right, murder. Well, attempted murder. Anyway, you don’t want to mess with me. I’ll shoot you in the back and temporarily make it inconvenient to for you to climb stairs.”

Grade: EJ A, EJ’s hair A+, Sami B, rest of the show B.