Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous | Next

I have a completely inexplicable love of various television shows. Some are good shows, some are bad shows. Some manage to transcend the concept of both good and bad by being spectacularly, frighteningly unique. Well, one of them does. Yes, I have found some old Days Of Our Lives episodes lurking in the VHS collection. And yes, you do want to hear all about them. No, really, you do. Everybody should experience Days Of Our Lives at least once. It's like a television rite of passage. Okay, no it isn't. I fully admit it's... not exactly brilliant. It has John Black in it, though. Seriously, what else do you need from your television?

Now, just to bring you up to speed on a few minor plot points first...

Deep breath.

In 1984 Marlena falls in love with Roman...



In 1985, however, Roman falls into a bitter dispute with the scriptwriters a charming but evil megalomaniac named Stefano DiMera...

Stefano DiMera.

This results in Roman being shot, hit with a helicopter, and knocked off a cliff, all of which proves that it's never a very good idea to annoy a writer. Roman is thus dead (very). His body, however, soon disappears.

Then, in 1986, along comes a wandering amnesiac, who takes the name of John Black from a war memorial, and promptly falls in love with Marlena...

John Black.

Marlena, in one of the odder leaps of logic ever experienced by mankind, then decides that John is Roman, with amnesia and a hell of a plastic surgery job. Since it gets him a name, a home, a family and a Marlena, John isn't inclined to argue; and one has to congratulate Marlena, I suppose, on having found an impressively novel way to pick up a date.

John then spends the next five years thinking that he's Roman - doing his job, raising his children, etc and so forth - before, in 1991, the real Roman comes back, having presumably failed to find any good roles elsewhere. John consequently has to give up being a husband, son and father, as well as the best cop on the force, and go back to being some unknown bloke with a name nicked off a war memorial. This is a little distressing for him, although it must be said that in the process he gains the world's best backstory. So he should shut up his complaining, and enjoy himself.



John? Roman? Roman? John? Oh the confusion!

Meanwhile, Marlena decides that she probably ought to abandon the new improved model husband, and go back to the old one, since it's The Right Thing To Do - and, she hopes, might also go some way to making up for the hilariously suspect fashion by which she replaced him. She therefore attempts to be a good wife to the real Roman, whilst John also makes a good stab at not being in love with her. To the surprise of absolutely no one this soon fails - in spectacular fashion and on multiple occasions, generally in hilariously dramatic circumstances. Cue a wholly predictable pregnancy, and a "Who Is The Father?!" storyline that seems to go on forever. (And then the baby was sixteen within six years. It's a weird life in a soap). Anyway. Divorce, soul-searching, dungeons, Roman's dead again, demonic possession, murder whodunnit, Roman's alive again - Roman's dying! Oh no! - jungle adventures, a secret world under the streets of Paris, psycho-princess-on-a-rampage, and John and Marlena live happily ever after - intermittently, between crises and kidnappings. Meanwhile Roman's got a different head, in the hope that a new version won't argue with the writers quite so often, thereby removing the need for him to be killed off every six months.

New Roman. The fact that he used to be in the show a few years earlier, playing somebody called Chris, is in no way confusing to anybody.

Meanwhile, Stefano's as awesome as ever. Hurrah!

Stefano. Awesome. Now with beard and amusing comedy sidekick.

Doctor Rolf. (Amusing comedy sidekick).

Stefano's main goal in life is to win control of John, who belongs to him. Literally, apparently. Stefano is therefore going to spend the next twenty-plus years trying to regain his favourite possession, through a fun succession of chains, leather straps, more chains, candles and a distinct lack of clothing.

Many of the above.

Yeah. Salem is a strange, strange town, and that's a fact.

Thanks to some tampering on an industrial scale from Stefano, in 1999 John's brain begins to fragment, and he takes to turning back into Stefano's pet soldier at entertainingly awkward moments - and at the same time, by the process of copious flashbacks, learns that the name he stole off the war memorial was in fact his own. Which has to be the world's best coincidence, and has no bearing at all on how much easier it makes life for the writers. At the same time, John's eight year old son (who's turned eighteen over the summer, for reasons that nobody's entirely sure of) falls foul both of Roman, and of Marlena's evil alien twin.

Brady. The world's tallest eight year old.

Marlena's evil alien twin.

Oh yes. Forgot to mention. Marlena's been replaced at some undisclosed point by an evil alien twin. Either that or she's annoyed the writers as well.

Marlena and Roman decide that Brady is a psychopath trying to murder his younger sister, and attempt to either arrest or shoot him, whichever proves most fun. Eventually they settle on both. But that's in the months to come. Of particular relevance to us is Hallowe'en in 2000, when the above potted history all comes to a head one evening in a restaurant. Sparked into life by Brady's Zorro costume, Evil Alien Marlena's self defence mechanism kicks in, triggering Roman's protective instincts. As he closes in for the kill, John's poor, fragmenting brain switches to Stefano Mode, everybody's latent resentments spark each other off in glorious succession... and we have the two episodes that I have on tape.

Here. Have a fight sequence. Say what you like about Days Of Our Lives - and a lot of people have said a lot of things over the last fifty years - but one thing they always do well is a fight scene. Especially when the fight involves Drake Hogestyn. Take it away, John:

It's okay. I'll stop bothering you now. Or at least I will until I find another tape.


( 4 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Apr. 1st, 2012 03:23 pm (UTC)

....that guy seems to have died more times that Rory. Probably a good job I have never watched this.
Apr. 1st, 2012 06:25 pm (UTC)
I think Roman has only died about four times. That's not really so unrealistic, is it?! ;)
Apr. 1st, 2012 03:40 pm (UTC)
Apr. 1st, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC)
It is. I can't quite explain why. It just is.

And this is all practically last century, but I just watched Friday's episode, and it was still all about Stefano doing weird things to John in a dungeon. Really they should get some kind of award.
( 4 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

Latest Month

November 2017


Powered by LiveJournal.com