Deep Soap: Are You My Mother?

Molly Burnett as Melanie on Days of Our Lives (NBC)

Molly Burnett as Melanie on Days of Our Lives (NBC)

Who’s The Daughter?

Kudos to ‘Days of Our Lives’ and NBC for airing a new episode of the soap on Black Friday.  What better way to keep the show’s momentum going and possibly lure viewers of other soaps who were sick of football.   I wish the show were not being so obvious about the potential identities of Carly’s daughter.  We know the long lost daughter is living with Maggie.  So that narrows it down to either Mia or Melanie, unless the show is heading for a ‘Crying Game’ style shocker with Nathan.  I was hoping for a more complicated, less linear plot.  Mia comes closer to fitting the timeline, though both seem awfully old to be Carly’s daughter, especially given when she left the show to live happily ever after with Lawrence.   I am inclined to believe that Melanie is the long lost daughter for the following reasons:

1) Carly’s heart to heart chats with Mia about the pain of giving up a child are so on the nose that they have to be a Days style red herring.  Given that Dena Higley is not a subtle writer, I imagine her thinking “Everyone will expect it to be Mia because they are spending so much time together, then they will be truly, utterly shocked when I reveal that the long lost daughter is in fact Melanie — even though it was clearly established as a story possibility all along.”

2) According to Carly, Lawrence made me take my baby and put it that in man’s arms, and he smiled.”  We do not know who “that man” is.  He could be an Alamain henchman, the man Carly cheated on Lawrence with, or Mia’s father.  But she spoke of him with contempt.  That could point to Melanie’s dead, evil physicist father Trent.  I have no idea why he would want to adopt a kid, but it’s a pretty easy retcon.  Heck since this is DOOL, Trent’s PhD in physics may have qualified him to attend the medical convention where Carly’s fling occurred. (Please don’t let actual medical doctor Dan be the father.)  Since his character is dead and Roscoe Born is busy digging up graves on ‘One Life To Live,’ whatever happened can be summed up in a couple of lines.

3) Carly flashed back to Lawrence taunting her with a photo of her now grown daughter,  “She has your eyes. Lying eyes. Slut eyes.”   I know Lawrence was crazy and illogical, but what on earth are slut eyes?  Do they wantonly switch between glasses and contact lenses?  In any case, that description seems to fit accidental amateur pornstar, former fixture of the European club scene, schemer Melanie better than Mia, the innocent girl who got pregnant the first and only time she had sex with her boyfriend.

4) There are a lot more potential story opportunities if Carly is Melanie’s mother.  Melanie’s pursuit of Phillip will put her in the crosshairs of Carly’s nemesis Vivian.  After all, Vivian thinks of Phillip as a son.  Carly taking on Vivian and Victor on behalf of her newly found daughter could be quite an entertaining battle.  If Carly is Mia’s mother, than so what?  Mia’s baby is dead, so Carly would have no stake in the baby switch. Everyone in town already likes Mia, so she does not really need a mother figure to stand up for her.

So,  ‘The Bold & The Beautiful’s’ Taylor has decided to try her hand at internet dating.   Here we go again.  Every time soaps try to portray anything internet related the results are laughable.  (I’m looking at you, ‘General Hospital’s’ Spinelli with your awe inspiring command of… search engines.  Is the rest of the Port Charles mob so functionally illiterate that it can’t Google?)  Soaps are also typically bad at playing realistic relationships. Couples that go on actual dates and slowly get to know each other are rare.  Tackling internet dating is a recipe for daytime disaster.  I will assume that the B&B writers are all too happily married to have ever actually have attempted on-line romance, because nothing about the scenario made sense.   Taylor’s daughter Steffi made her a profile, and did not include a photo.  Somehow, she got a response.  A woman who looks like Hunter Tylo would be deluged with messages.  A woman without a photo would get little attention, and any man who did respond would immediately ask to see a photo.  Instead, this mystery suitor instant messaged her, seemed convinced that the site deeming them 90% compatible meant something significant, asked her absolutely no questions about herself, then wanted to meet immediately.  Taylor was similarly non-inquisitive and agreed to immediately head to the coffeehouse without seeing his photo.  I do not know why anyone would ever agree to do this. The mystery man did tell her he would be wearing a leisure suit.  A leisure suit?  In 2009?  Can they even be purchased outside of thrift stores?  That should have given Taylor, the ex-wife of a fashion designer, major pause.  At the very least, she should have assumed he was joking. Either her mystery date was going to be a man who was stuck in a time warp or an ironic hipster.  Yet, off she went.  Presumably, this is going to be a wacky comic subplot, with Taylor ending up on a bad date with someone she already knows (James?) before once again realizing she can only be happy with Ridge.  Just as ‘The Young & The Restless’s‘ Lily’s attempts to find love on-line led her to a statutory rapist with chlamydia (who would go on to become a popular character), it’s almost a guarantee that Taylor will not meet anyone normal on-line.  Just once I would like to see a soap take on the challenge of portraying the on-line world accurately.  I would be even more impressed if a soap could actually find the drama in a realistic romance.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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