Josh Griffith, the newly established co-head writer of Days of Our Lives, revealed in a recent issue of Soap Opera Digest that he wants Days to be the “Hitchcock” of daytime television. If that’s the case, then Griffith (and collaborator Dena Higley) must be thinking Frenzy, Hitchcock’s latter day horror effort, which featured a lovely lady victim (or two) being tightly squeezed about their throats. Their first big plotline, effectively erasing some of the previous regime’s newer characters, is a serial killer adventure featuring a creepy strangler known as The Necktie Killer.
First to go was Serena Mason, a diamond smuggling hottie who had demolished the heart of Eric, the local ex-priest. Played by the popular Melissa Archer, known to many as One Life to Live’s Natalie, this character spent many months chasing after a ceramic elephant, which contained the hot jewels. Of course, the viewing audience didn’t know why Serena was chasing after the object, thus one of the more ridiculous (and longwinded) plots in daytime television was born. “I swear I saw two elephants!!”
Archer, of course, committed to the work with skilled passion and truly seemed to be catching her stride as the albatross of her story was slowly being worn away. When Eric was in danger, in a recent plot twist, her horrified concern was palpable, giving audiences a true taste of her talent and making her misuse, by the previous writers, all the more apparent. But her early exit was probably inevitable, from the get go. Instead of a slow build, which all soap fans know is necessary for a new character, within weeks Serena was going head to head with the show’s main vixen, Nicole, a sure death knoll for any foundling mistress of destruction. Archer deserved much better, although she did look glorious in all her final red necked glory!
Sadly, the next victim was sweet Paige Larson, enacted by the gorgeous True O’Brien, who was growing stronger as a performer, every day. Part of the show’s (sort of) innocent teen romance, Paige had witnessed (the prime suspect) Chad DiMera’s last wrangle with Serena and, as this (slightly less than) proper young gent is being framed for the crimes, she was the next to go.
This gave the divine Kassie DePaiva (Evil Dead II’s sassy Bobby Joe), who plays Paige’s deceitfully stunning mother, Eve; room to truly indulge in her multiple talents. Her anguish over her estranged daughter’s death was full of heart wrenching emotion, but done to subtle effect by the well toned DePaiva, who also spent years as one of One Life to Live’s most popular anti-heroine’s Blair. As Paige’s long lost father, played by another daytime dynamo, A Martinez (Curse of Chucky, Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid, Not of this World), has arrived on the scene, DePaiva has compelled even further. The stunning weariness she is bringing to Eve is a master class in economy and it is a shame, especially now that Martinez’s character is being tied into one of the show’s core families, that the powers-that-be have let her go. This is truly an unfortunate mistake on their part.
Of course, they know better than to play such games with Deidre Hall, who plays the show’s iconic leading lady, Dr. Marlena Evans. Hall was nearly killed off, in a similar storyline decades ago, and the fans took to the streets in protest. So, the attack on her this week by the killer, found this record breaking psychiatrist, breathlessly, surviving her rose hued asphyxiation…after a week of hypnotization attempts on the increasing frantic Chad, who now has reason to believe that he is being set up, but doesn’t have the proof.
Hunky Ben does, though. …and Chad will probably live to regret his eternal love for Ben’s fiancée, Abigail. Thursday’s episode revealed the troubled Ben to be the man behind the recent slayings, an almost unsurprising denouement. Although, red herrings do still abound…the respectable Dr. Dan as a Scream style co-conspirator, anyone?…and the weeks to come are sure to be filled with more suffocating mysteries and muffled mayhem…so, stay tuned!
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!