November 23, 2008

last days of our lives?

Admit it, if you are a girl or a guy with any sort of appreciation for drama, you spent at least a year of your life dedicated to Days of Our Lives. Whether it was rushing home from high school to catch it, scheduling time between college classes, or in my case, watching with my grandfather when I was 6 years old, you've gone through a Days Faze. I read last week that NBC renewed the Days contract for an additional 18 months. In regular TV time, this might sound like a lot, but in soap speak it's not. Their last contract was for 5 years, and even that was considered short. Is it possible that daytime soaps have finally become outdated? I mean, Days is the sole surviving NBC soap. ABC still has a couple of long-running classics like General Hospital (personal favorite) and One Life to Live. If you think about it, the shelf life of daytime soaps is pretty incredible. Days has been in since 1965. That's more than 40 years.

Then, I found out that the Days producers have reacted to the abbreviated contract renewal with some major changes. They fired John and Marlena. Can you believe this? Days without John and Marlena? They are the center of the universe that is Days of Our Lives. They are an institution. I haven't watched the show in 10 years, and I know this is still the case. Those two have seen it all...death, rebirth, evil twins, kidnappings, marriage, divorce, priesthood, infidelity, satan, possession, plane crashes, 80s hair. Deidre Hall (Marlena) has been on the show since 1976, and Drake Hogestyn (John) has been on since 1986. (Incidentally, Deidre and Drake are much cooler soap names than John and Marlena).

Apparently, they're using these 18 months to try to update the show and appeal to a new generation - perhaps younger characters and more relevant Marlena's daughter's Facebook page will be possessed by the devil rather than her actual body (much scarier).

Truth be told, I'll never be an avid Days viewer again, but it's sort of comforting knowing it's there. Like, if I'm ever home sick, and I flip on the TV at 1:00, there's John and Marlena. And it takes about 15 minutes to be caught up on the entire plot. It's just nice to know it's there. I have a feeling this is the beginning of the end for Days. After all, like sand through the hour glass...


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