It’s been a very tumultuous 24 hours here in Rogue HQ. As many of you know by now, Soap Opera Digest put out a blurb on Twitter stating that a source had informed them that James Scott would be leaving Days of our Lives once his contract had expired. Predictably, this led to a vocal outcry on Twitter as well as on various fan boards. There was shock, sadness, outrage that Days could actually contemplate not renewing James’ contract, and an overall feeling of loss at what could have been with the as-yet-untold story of EJami.
Thankfully, a mere 20 minutes or so later, SOD put out another tweet stating that contract talks were actually still ongoing, and even better, a statement from James himself was released indicating his desire to stay on the show and work things out with his contract negotiations. A huge sigh of relief was uttered by all 7 of us, even though we can’t fully relax until news of James signing his contract is officially announced. Nonetheless, our Thursday evening ended on a much more positive note than our Thursday afternoon started off on.
All of this confusion and worry has forced me to contemplate how truly heartbroken I would be should James or Ali leave the show and our favorite duo never gets their shot at the epic love story they deserve. I’ve actually had to face that fear in a very real way instead of the hypothetical sense I’ve imagined in my mind over the years. When you see a tweet from an established spoiler and news site such as SOD saying a particular actor is leaving, you tend to believe it’s gospel unless the actor says otherwise, and even then actors have been known to be in the wrong when it comes to their contract status.
Whatever the reasons are behind the premature announcement of James’ departure, I think we should all take this opportunity to reestablish why we’re all here fighting the good fight for EJami. It has been an extremely tough year for our favorite couple, with destructive writing for both characters individually as well as their interaction, limited as it was, with each other. The desire to let TPTB know what we want may seem as though it’s fallen on deaf ears time and time again, and it can be frustrating to see our beloved characters continuing to make poor choices and regress to a point where it’s difficult to recognize them and what we once loved about them.
The good thing is that for the most part, a lot of those upsetting things I mentioned happened to occur during the duration of the previous writing regime. That kind of storytelling was what every character, not just EJ & Sami, had to endure. Remember Caroline and her switching Parker’s paternity results? That’s exactly the kind of nonsensical writing that we hope is a thing of the past under the era of Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas. So far these new writers have expressed a desire to return to classic soap storylines with a modern twist. Romance, intrigue, character-driven, interwoven, etc. These are a few of the words we’ve heard these writers mention and I can’t help but feel that EJami fits this criteria to a T. If anything, I’m grateful for the fact these new writers are giving Sami a job. Something so simple and obvious that for whatever reason has not been deemed of enough importance, yet it makes such a difference in the kinds of storylines that can be told with Sami now.
We need to let our voices be heard, now more than ever. We need to support Ali, James, and EJami in thoughtful and constructive ways while also expressing support for the show as a whole. This is a new day at Days, ideas from the fans will probably have more weight now than at any other time in recent memory. These new writers want the show to succeed. We firmly believe that in order to succeed, the relationship between Sami and EJ must be repaired and rebuilt in a realistic and satisfying way. It’s going to take time and time is something a lot of us don’t want to give any more of, but when faced with the choice between giving these writers the chance to fix the many mistakes of the past, or having James or Ali leave and being stuck with no chance of EJami whatsoever, I have to admit that giving the writers the time they need while politely encouraging what direction I’d like them to take is by far the more appealing choice.
I encourage you all to give this new Days a shot and support it in whatever way you can. It’s not perfect, but expecting perfection right out of the gate isn’t fair to anyone considering the amount of work that’s needed to repair this show and bring it back up to snuff. Watch it live if you can. If you record it on your DVR, keep in mind that your viewership doesn’t count unless you actually watch the commercials instead of fast forwarding them. Feel free to drop a line to either of the head writers or the Days PR people on Twitter, write a letter, call the comment line, tell your friends that the show is attempting to revitalize itself. We need as many viewers as we can get if we want to have any hope of getting our EJami love story.
Right now our soap is still on the air, we have the actors in Ali and James that are necessary for EJami, and we have a new pair of writers who are eager to prove themselves as Days fights to avoid cancellation. The show has the building blocks required, now we need to do our part and be the audience that helps keep this whole shebang afloat. I hope you will all consider tuning in and supporting a show that needs all the support it can get during this time of uncertainty for the entire soap genre.