Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Redux on Days of our Lives -- would a real Nick Fallon fall for bad girls?


A few months ago, Days of our Lives (NBC, Corday Productions, 1 PM EDT) introduced the geek character Nick Fallon (Blake Berris) -- first with a bar physics trick. He certainly is most appealing and charismatic (and not exactly a 98 lb weakling), and it's hard to believe that such a person would risk is own job, even jail, for the attention of bad girls like Chelsea and Willow Stark.

In this week's episodes, both Willow (Annie Burgstede) and Chelsea (Rachel Melvin) manipulate him in ways that border on offensiveness -- as when Chelsea lectures him on what she demands of him in order that she feel "protected" and "wanted". (Okay, Nick deflowered himself with Billie, Chelsea's mom, a woman 25 years older than him.) Yet, all the characters in DOOL behave as if the only important value in life was to get and keep one's spouse and family at all costs. Without one's family, one is nothing -- a state of affairs that sets the characters up for all kinds of exploitations.

We've seen this idea before. Remember when Jan (now departed) kept Shawn (then Jason Cook, replaced suddenly by Brandon Beemer) in a cage for all summer of 2004? Remember Nicole? She disappeared, too. And of course, Sami (Alison Sweeney) is always the first to be set up. "All I wanted was to be happy and have a family," she says. Mrs. H is right in saying that Sami's troubles are just beginning (she will give birth to a variation of "Rosemary's Baby" -- just so that Elvis can harvest the stem cells to save the archangel Stefano).

This is the side of the "family values" debate that no one has a good grip on. That is, you are nobody until you prove you can take responsibility for others besides yourself, and you must create your own family to prove that. So Willow and Chelsea are both determined to make Nick prove he is a "man" and can take care of them, no matter how desperate their needs. (After all, Willow is with child, right?)

Of course, Shawn and Belle are the soap opera world s idea of "Romeo and Juliet" -- they got separated by a little white lie Belle told police a few years ago to "protect" her mother, pyschiatrist Marlena (Dedrei Hall), who had been set up as the "Salem stalker." That phrase "God punishes sinners" (for GPS - global positioning satellite) is a great bit of steganography.

All of this said, Nick Fallon would be a more convincing character if he were gay. But then how could he fit into the plot? Maybe he is in the wrong soap opera.

Update: What, Nickie actually uses physical force against Willow to take the hairbrush away, and she winds up dead. Squeaky innocent Nickie won't be able to stay out of the penitentiary. What happens there will become the butt of comedy club jokes. Oops-- on June 7, Roman let Nick and Chelsea off the hook, although there will still be a coroner's inquest!

See Alison Sweeney's (Sami) blog.

Update: Tuesday, June 26. Now Kate is trying to blackmail Nick into falsifying the amnio results on Sami's twins. Kate denies his morality, claiming that Chelsea proved that for him, "the end justifies the means", just as it does for all ordinary people (sic). But remember that Roman is taking bribes now from Stefano, and may have let Nick out of a Hollywood Homicide investigation (actually, an Ohio homicide) so that he could be manipulated again later. Here we go, with crime families controlling the whole of Salem.

Passions actually does have some gay characters, who seem a bit tangential.

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