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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Wally Kurth Delivers ‘The Power Performance of the Week’

Mark our words! Next year, Days of our Lives Wally Kurth (Justin Kiriakis) will once again be nominated for a Daytime Emmy for this week’s emotional and deeply-touching work on key episodes of the NBC daytime drama series.

As viewers saw, this was to be the happy nuptials of Justin and Kayla (Mary Beth Evans), who found love again after losing the previous loves of their lives.  They were dear friends to begin with, who through a set of horrific circumstances, found comfort with one another which eventually turned to love.

Photo: JPi

Problem was; Justin overheard Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) and Hope (Kristian Alfonso) before the ceremony discussing Steve’s (Stephen Nichols) feelings for Kayla and that he wants her back; something Kayla is unaware of.  So what will he do?  The noble thing and tell her the truth, or keep it to himself and marry her anyway?

As the Intel of what he learned weighed heavier and heavier on Justin, in the most dramatic of moments (when he was to say his “I do’s”), Justin stopped the ceremony and bared all to Kayla: that Steve wants her back and how Steve saw him propose to her and that is why he backed off.  Armed with the knowledge and that her friends and family kept it from her, Kayla does not know what to do.  Justin helps made it easy and clear for her when he questions her … if they would be standing here getting married, if Steve had told her his true feelings before Justin proposed to her?

Justin goes on to say to Kayla that maybe she has been avoiding her true feelings for Steve, because she did not want to hurt him.  Then Justin tells Kayla that he visited his late wife Adrienne’s (Judi Evans) grave, and told her that if things were different, and if she was alive they would still be married, and Kayla would be their dear, dear friend.

Photo: JPI

With seeing the look on Kayla’s eyes, Justin knows she loves Steve.  Heartbroken, but caught in an untenable situation, Justin tells Kayla he is happy for her.  Kayla wraps her arms around Justin as they both cry.  Kayla says she never wanted to hurt him, and when Wally as Justin says, “I know, honey,” it was one of the most honest and ten-hankie moments of the entire scenario.   Justin kisses her, tells the guests there will be no wedding today, and exits the Kiriakis mansion.

The emotional drama continues in the aftermath as Justin is at Kayla’s apartment boxing up all of his belongings and tears up recalling their nights together listening to jazz and cooking dinner.  Sonny (Freddie Smith) finds his dad, and tells him he did the noble thing and that time will heal all wounds, but after Sonny leaves, Justin breaks down a bit further before exiting Kayla’s for good.

And if that was not enough, Justin goes back to Adrienne’s gravesite to update her on the wedding that did not happen.   He talks to her that he understands Kayla and Steve’s deep and enduring love, which was just like theirs was.  Next, Justin thinks he is seeing Adrienne, when none other than Bonnie Lockhart (Judi Evans) reveals she is back in Salem – talk about kicking a guy when he is down!

Photo: JPI

Throughout this entire saga, moment to moment, Kurth delivered raw, genuine, adult emotions, in a very complex adult story and relationship.   In fact, the cast and crew thought so, too!  When Wally as Justin told Kayla that he can’t marry her and the speech that followed and his exit from the mansion that followed, all those on set applauded for him.  His work was that moving.   Wally was ably assisted throughout by the outstanding work of Mary Beth Evans in these scenes.

2020, while a difficult year for everyone thus far, has been a particular great year for Kurth on Days; as over the last six months he has really had a chance to shine in this story.  So for all of these reasons and more, Michael Fairman TV gives the “Power Performance of the Week” kudos to Wally Kurth.

Did you love Wally’s performance this week on Days? Did you reach for the hankies? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

 

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News

Soap Smarts: How Daytime Dramas Are Using Ingenuity To Get Back Into Production During COVID-19

Daytime dramas seldom get the credit they deserve, and now they should be getting further credit for being the first back into production as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on, and trying to implement new ways to keep their trademarks love scenes, intimate moments and two-person scenes somehow looking in tact; even though it will be far from how it was done in the past.

In the story from the Associated Press The Bold and the Beautiful EP, and head writer, Brad Bell – who’s soap was the first one back into the studio – commented on how the show is utilizing mannequins, or real-life significant others to help pull off close contact love scenes and how it is rather groundbreaking. “We feel almost like television pioneers all these years later because we’re the first ones out, blazing new ways of producing the shows with the current safety standards, and we’re getting the job done. It’s very exciting.”

When B&B scripts written pre-coronavirus were reviewed in preparation for shooting during the pandemic now, originally all the cinches and smooches were cut. But Bell found a solution whereby a remote actor recites lines as their on-camera scene partner responds in a “low, intimate voice” and engages in “beautiful, yearning eye contact” with an off-camera doll.

As far as the soapy embrace or lip-lock, B&B cast member Katrina Bowden (Flo) has had her husband and musician Ben Jorgensen stand in for her on-screen love interest, Darin Brooks (Wyatt) since returning to taping new episodes.

Photo: JPI

Days of our Lives EP Ken Corday noted to AP:  The “learning curve” is steep. Before the pandemic, “we were producing eight, one-hour episodes a week. That’s basically 40 or 50 scenes a day.  That’s going to be basically impossible to reopen, so to speak, at that pace. We’re going to have to be more careful. So will there be five shows a week, or more? Yet to be determined.  It will certainly cost more.”

B&B and now Y&R which heads back into production next week, and the others soaps, will be using the company called Reel Health, which launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to serve the entertainment industry, and hires medically trained workers to monitor sets and enforce protocols developed by a company epidemiologist and in accordance with industry and government standards,

Alicia Rodis, a veteran intimacy coordinator who helped the actors guild develop guidelines for taping scenes of romance and simulated sex. shared: “Finding ways to put romance on the screen is inevitable and necessary.  At the end of the day, intimacy isn’t going anywhere. Physical intimacy is a part of the human experience. And we’re going to have to find a way to be able to continue to tell these stories, even in extraordinary circumstances.”

So, what do you think of how soaps are tackling taping episodes in the new normal to give their fans a sense of all that they love from their favorite daytime dramas during COVID-19? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

General Hospital Shifts Production Restart Date

On Friday, ABC’s daytime drama, General Hospital has now determined to push back their production restart date given the escalating number of cases of the coronavirus as the pandemic has worsened in Los Angles County.

According to Deadline: “GH is now targeting the week of July 20 to resume taping. The situation remains fluid as new infections have been soaring in Los Angeles.”

General Hospital was previously eyeing a return to production this coming Monday on July 13th, before the COVID-19 outbreak saw a spike in numbers.

While GH is pushing itself back another week, The Young and the Restless is at this moment preparing to start taping new episodes beginning on Tuesday, July 14th.

B&B is already back in production and Days of our Lives is now targeting a September 1st restart.

So, glad that GH is holding off a little bit longer to ensure safety first for all involved from cast, and crew? Comment below.

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Video du Jour

B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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Power Performance

Steve Burton as Jason & Maurice Benard as Sonny

General Hospital

Airdate: 5-19/20-2020

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