Thursday, March 13, 2008

Days may lose Bo and Shawn; filial blood loyalty to the limits


Well, “Days of our Lives” is carrying the melodrama of blood loyalty as far as it can go. Bo is dying of a mysterious shutdown of his pancreas (it’s not clear if he was poisoned) that is not cancer. He is going to get a partial pancreas transplant, an unusual procedure although available literature says it can be done. It looks like the donor is to be Shawn.

The show claims that the donor himself bear quite a lot of risk. Filial responsibility in this show’s family environment is so strong that other family members are expected to put their lives on the line for a relative. The characters overflow with gratuitous emotion. "Fancy Face" Hope challenges Bo to swallow "pride" and let younger relatives lay their own lives on the line for him. Is that what respect for life means? Stefano (no Marlon Brando, no godfather) was said "family conquers all." I love the way Marlena made Stefano a vegetable, but that's probably not forever. (Whatever became of Jan? She's a vegetable, too.) I love the way Marlena told robot John to "be more sensitive, please," when John insists "it's the truth." How psychologically feminine!

Here are a couple of medical references that mention partial pancreas transplant from a living blood relative. 1 2

It’s more common, in fact, to get a matched pancreas from someone just deceased, and it is more common to do a kidney and pancreas transplant at the same time, when the environment is juvenile diabetes. But here, Bo has some kind of unexplained pancreatitis without diabetes and without malignancy. The pancreas, unlike the liver, doesn't grow back, so the donor's health can be seriously compromised.

Supermarket tabloids gloat with rumors that both Bo and Shawn are being written out of the show. Shawn used to be played by Jason Cook, and Brandon Beemer has never quite seemed like or looked like “Shawn.”

The family loyalties and emotions in this show are so exaggerated that it is hard to imagine that a gay character could ever have been fit into the plot. Nick Fallon could have been convincing as a gay character, but then there would seem to be nothing for him to connect with the characters. (In fact, his "presence," just as in a military unit, would disrupt the emotional "cohesion" of the other characters, by making them look vulnerable.) The relationship with Chelsea has never been believable. Why wouldn’t a heterosexual Nick prefer another college graduate on his academic level?

What the writers have done with Nick’s character (played by Blake Berris) is interesting, though. Nick, believing himself to be virtuous (like his model from Fitzgerald’s novel) has been challenged, long before getting married and fathering a child himself, to look after other people when their needs are imposed on him. He even was tricked into “adopting” two boys for a couple months. I wonder where the writers’ muse came from for this character.

Actress Mary Beth Evans (Kayla Brady in Days) appeared on the Today show demonstrating her sudden success with her apple pie business, started in her own kitchen, which has gone commercial.

Tonight, CWTV's Smallville, pickup of new epsiodes to finish Season 7, called "Hero", showed the return of Pete Ross (Sam Jones III), still wanting to make himself more than he is with green kryptonite (the comic book world’s equivalent of steroids for ordinary people). Remember an episode in Season III “Velocity” where Pete raced a kryptonite-driven car and tried to match Clark’s powers, otherwise “live through you vicariously.” (Where did they get that idea of upward affiliation?) Clark rejects his apology in that episode in a leisurely scene on a hoops court. Tonight Pete learns his lesson, and actually shoots hoops pretty well.

Also, tonight (March 13), ABC Nightline interviewed novelist James Patterson, who runs a "factory" (a term invented for Andy Warhol); with 48 titles, he hand-writes outlines for his genre novels, which are then actually written by employees. Maybe I have a factory for blogging, but my novel will be absolutely my own. Nobody else could come up with it.

Update: March 14

OK, Shawn fooled us in the preview. It's not Shawn. Even in fiction, the hospital can't disclose the donor until he/she is notified. But today they "told." It's Chelsea. Of course, they try to call her while she's out getting soused, without Nick's supervision. I thought she was the illegitimate daughter of Bo, as I recall. Sounds like "spare parts." Days knows how to milk every little situation for melodrama. Who knows, maybe they'll find another, but less close, match (Shawn after all, or Max).

March 17, 2008

Dr. Jonas chastized Chelsea for getting drunk when she was "on call" to be a partial pancreas donor for her Dad. The confrontation was bizarre, but then he explained that the point was to get her heart rate up to get the alcohol out of her system faster.

On March 19, Jonas et al did the surgery, which was abbreviated in presentation. Nick said he wanted to be a "better boyfriend" to Chelsea. In his shoes, I could never "function" myself and deal with all of this effluent emotion ("my Dad", etc).

A subsequent episode demonstrated the scary possibility of attempted bribery of a Homeland Security official in inspecting incoming cargo (in the show, this must have been in Cleveland, on Lake Erie).

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