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DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Melissa Reeves Shines In Jennifer-Centric Episode On Addiction!

Courtesy/NBC

Days of our Lives veteran and enduring cast member, Melissa Reeves (Jennifer) may have just locked up her second Daytime Emmy nomination for a performance that aired today on NBC’s Days of our Lives.

This May Sweeps has been filled with a few other character-centric episodes from GH’s Jason to DAYS Aiden, and now you can add Tuesday’s episode of DAYS to that mix as well.  In it, Jennifer fights her urge to take painkillers, but all the signs are right in front of her that she has indeed become a pill-popping addict.  It is clearly something the once high and mighty Jennifer is not proud of at all, or equipped to handle on her own.

In the episode, Jennifer cries out for help to Lucas (Bryan Dattilo), who shows up at the Horton home to stay with her as long as it takes to help get her through this bumpy night.  Being an addict himself, he understands what Jennifer is going through.  When Lucas arrives he notices the Horton living room completely trashed, and as was revealed in a flashback, Jennifer went off the deep end while looking for her stash.  She flashes to ripping apart the living room and pulling her hair out.  Jennifer tells Lucas that she threw the pills down the toilet, but says she’s still in pain and wonders if she just needs to be better at controlling how much medication she takes.

Lucas says they can attend an AA meeting with Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) at 6AM, and they only need to make it for another four hours.  Jenn falls asleep on the couch where she then has nightmares.  First, she is woken up by Abigail (Kate Mansi), who is furious at her mother that her baby son Thomas was found wandering in the driveway when she was supposed to be watching him.  Next, Jenn plays a scenario in her head where she visits JJ (Casey Moss) in jail where he has been locked-up for drug use.  When a bottle of pills sits on the table in front of them, JJ wants his mom to share some with him, but when a guard grabs her, JJ is suddenly gone.  Now it’s Jennifer’s beloved late husband, Jack (Matthew Ashford) who is revealed to be before her as the prison guard!

This sets the stage for the highly-anticipated scenes between Matthew Ashford and Melissa Reeves, who for years played one of the all-time classic soap couples.  It was in these scenes that Reeves shined, and we all were reminded just how great this duo is together via flashbacks.  Jack asks Jennifer, “When was the last time you laughed?”  And after they relive some of their past, she responds with tears in her eyes that when he died he took that part of her with him.  Jennifer opens up about her loneliness and isolation since … Jack has died, her kids have grown up, and the expectations of her living as the granddaughter of Tom and Alice Horton, and in their home.  She says she is so tired, but then grabs some pills on the table, and takes one as Jack says they will just wear her out.

When Jennifer awakes from her nightmare, Doug (Bill Hayes) and Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) are there to assist Lucas and offer support.   When Jennifer heads up to her room, Julie goes with her as much as Jennifer protests.  After Julie finally leaves, Jennifer gets out of bed and beside herself, and when she drops her phone she finds a pill bottle under the bed.  Julie happens upon the scene, and Jennifer says she needs just one pill.   Julie won’t let that happen and Jennifer slaps her!  Jennifer realizes what she has done and they hug.

Finally, in the last minutes of the episode, Jennifer, accompanied by Lucas, make it to the early hospital AA meeting where Brady (Eric Martsolf) and Maggie are also attending.  When it is finally Jennifer’s first time to speak to the group, she admits she’s an addict, as an approving and supportive Jack watches from the window looking after her.

What did you think of the performance of Melissa Reeves in the standalone episode?  Did you enjoy walking down memory lane with Jack and Jennifer, and seeing Matt Ashford again on DAYS?  What did you think of the arc of the story told in the episode about addiction?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Amazing episode..

I am stunned and awed by this episode for SO many reasons!!! I don’t even know where to begin!! So I will start by saying And the 2017 Emmy goes to Melissa Reeves!!! Missy has been a daytime sweetheart for 32 years since she hit the airwaves on Santa Barbara. She has always been a reliable, solid performer, and even underrated, but she has never really been given a real breakout story. So to have this kind of a star turn at this point in her career must be very thrilling for her, as it certainly is for us fans!! Bravo!!

In one of those rare confluences of excellence, the writing was ample back up!! When I see these kinds of episodes, I always wonder why…if soaps CAN tell this kind of riveting, dynamic, family oriented, veteran heavy drama, why DON’T they?? The writing was sophisticated, mature, and just spot on!! The last few regimes have NOT gotten the character of Jen at all!! However, in one episode, all those mistakes were explained and erased, and offered renewed hope for Jen in the future.

Jack came back, and it wasn’t slapstick as he tended to be in life…that would have diminished the impact of the episode. Another good thing was that it wasn’t sappy or wishy washy…because Jack and Jen were not like that. We learned how deep seated Jen’s hurt was at being abandoned by Jack so often. We saw what his real, final death did to her…it broke her!! When Jack told her to start her story anew, that she was a blank page…I felt that was also for the show writers…who now have the freedom to take the character in ANY direction, but hopefully one with some light, happiness, and some of the spunk that she used to have!!

The past few regimes have also done no favours for Julie…writing her often as an annoying buttinsky, but Susan Seaforth Hayes shone here! She was right there for her cousin Jen when the going got tough. It is always a treat to see Doug and Julie on their limited appearances. I also do not understand why the show keeps hiring new leading men every year or so, when they have Bryan Dattilo! His acting improves with each passing year, and when he is given the material, he can knock it right out of the park!! Lucas has grown into a kind, caring, mature man. He is a Horton! He is a viable leading man! Give him a story worthy of his talents!!

I am also floored by Kate Mansi. She had a very brief part in this episode, but it was crucial! Abigail has been through the wringer this last year, and Kate absolutely owned it! She was robbed this year by not even getting an Emmy nomination, so hopefully even though she has left the show, her work will be remembered next year. Her descent into madness has been chilling, heartbreaking, and realistic given both family history of mental illness AND the hell she has gone through due to Ben. The show has some very big shoes to fill both talent wise, and someone who will have the kind of special connection that Abigail and Jennifer share.

Also, some people complain about these stand alone episodes, but I personally LOVE them!! The late great Santa Barbara probably did them the best, but I feel almost every show has had success with them when done right! Another World used to be great at them too, although theirs were generally more light hearted and campy told in conjunction with a love story. While it was jarring and unnerving to see our beloved Jennifer Rose tearing her house apart, and screaming while looking for her pills, it was emotionally affecting!! As a long time vet, Missy deserved this kind of an episode. You can bring on all the Summer’s, and Madison’s, and Serena’s you want…played by big name talent from other (mainly cancelled) shows…but what the heck for when you have this kind of legacy talent just waiting to be explored?!

Daytime soaps have largely become plot driven, and just full of constant sturm und drang, and never ending misery. Just one story point after catastrophe after calamity, and it’s draining to watch. Give me an episode like the infamous Book Club one from a couple years ago where JJ accidentally fed marijuana laced brownies to the ladies of Salem. It was hilarious, and it was clear that those actresses relished the opportunity to play something like that! No real plot was advanced, but it was so nice just to be able to hang out with these characters in a surprising and light hearted way.

Daytime used to have scenes, or whole episodes, where we just got to know the people. That’s why they feel like family now. Of all the soaps currently on the air, DAYS does family best. All the other shows have abandoned the long successful format of the core family. GH killed off most of their families, and the Corinthos’ do NOT count as a core family, because they are a bunch of mobsters and criminals, and they have no roots on the show prior to 1996. Bold and Beautiful kind of has the Forrester’s and Logan’s, but they are so fractured, and so many of them are gone or missing. They have also been damaged by the never ending go-round of near incest between family members. Young and Restless has the Abbott’s, kind of, but they are making a HUGE mistake in having Billy and Phyllis cross the line and having sex. DAYS has the longest running family in television history…the Horton’s, and they are still driving the story!!

Every time I see episodes like this, I am reminded of how good daytime CAN be!! I realize that producing the amount of material they do is a daunting and Herculean task, and the writing can’t always be top notch! But when it is…WOW!! Bursts of creativity like this, when the writing, acting, and directing all collide to achieve brilliance makes me happy to be a lifelong soap fan, rather than being embarrassed and wondering “why do I watch this crap”…which is the way soaps have made me feel too often in the last few years!

Even though it takes a village…and everyone in the episode was great, the weight of the episode fell on Missy’s shoulders, and it was some heavy lifting! She was mesmerizing, especially when she became that confused little girl who didn’t understand how this could have happened to her. I just wanted to give her a hug through the whole episode and tell her that everything would be okay!

I don’t know what the future holds for Miss Jen, but I will say what I HOPE it holds! First of all, I hope the show finds an awesome recast for Abigail, and gets her on the show soon, and mentally healthy. That will be a huge relief for Jen. Next, I hope she finds some romance in her life, but not an intense, dramatic one. Daniel drained the life and the fun right out of her. Well to be fai, the writers did that too. I would love to see a relationship with light hearted banter and really fun moments. It would be nice if it was with Jack, but the show has killed him off one too many times and to bring him back now, especially after this episode, would be a big cheat to the audience. His death was one of the contributing factors to why Jen was in this predicament.

DAYS has been very dark for the past 6 months, and though this episode featured a core character hitting rock bottom, it also featured hope for the future. It offered what daytime does best, and if there was a Check List, this episode would have all the boxes checked. Family, drama, character development, returning favourite, under utilized veterans….CHECK!!! I don’t know if this episode should be submitted for Best Drama at the Emmy’s, as the voters tend to go for the really flashy episodes, laden with production values, and a lot of scenes and actors. But this is DEFINITELY Missy’s Emmy reel. Like Mary Beth Evans, who finally got recognized for a 30+ year body of work at this year’s Emmy’s, I think the same will happen for Missy next year, and I couldn’t be happier!! I know the year is not even half done, but someone is going to have to do SOME kind of stellar work to top Missy!!

Amen to all of that!

You said it all, and much better than I could have. I would still like to see jackalive though.

What an amazing episode!!! Very POWERFUL. Missy Reeves did an incredible job. Did anyone else cry at the end?

I did!! Loved seeing Jenn and Jack together again!

This episode shoes the best of what daytime can offer. It utilized a core, legacy character, story history and great dialogue, all sold by excellent acting. A great hour!

Excellent episode, beautifully written, and wonderfully acted by everyone, especially Melissa Reeves. Matt Ashford, you are missed so very much! I can’t imagine it’s easy to come back to a show you haven’t been on in several years and pick up with MR right where you left off, but boy, did he ever, and so did MR. I had given up on DOOL but returned for Jack and Jenn today, and if DOOL decided to bring MA back, I’d be back fulltime. I also loved the flashbacks and the references to the fire truck and the boat from J&J’s past, and all the reporter references. Those were the days! When I can remember these moments almost 30 years later, DOOL did something right, and that’s what made me get teary-eyed today. I wish DOOL would find a consistent formula which would move me as much as today’s show did. But for now, I’ll just say it was a great episode and leave it at that.

Totally agree!

Me too!!!

she’s my all time fav. Wouldn’t this next one be her third? 1992, 2016 and next would #3.
M&m forever

I loved it, I had to laugh at ‘The Meeting’, is there anyone on this show who doesn’t have an addiction?

I loved this episode SO much, I did not want to laugh at “The Meeting”, but since you brought it up…I did chuckle a little. LOL . But while Jen’s addiction is sudden and new, the others have been developed and explored over years, and decades, so none of it felt forced or out of place. But come New Year’s Eve, Salem restaurants better stock up on sparkling cider, because no one is going to be drinking alcohol at this rate. Except for the one who should…Nicole! She is at her best with a martini in hand!

Finally, Days has a whole good episode…present that for emmy nomination next year and Days could take home the trophy as well as MR-gloved seeing Doug and Julie!!!!

loved not gloved-lol

I totally loved it!! I’m a diehard JnJ fan and have been waiting for Matt’s return!! I wish he was back for good!!!! Missy was fabulous as always but having Matt and Missy together again was over the top!!!! I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time and cried my eyes out too!!!

Can we all just admit that Matt Ashford should never, ever have been fired from DAYS any of the times that it happened? He can out-act nearly everyone currently on daytime, even in what amounted to an extended cameo. I haven’t necessarily been fond of some of the other character-centric episodes, but this one hit all the right notes.

I don’t know what DAYS has against Matt Ashford! He’s one of my all-time favorites, the only partner for Missy Reeves as far as I’m concerned, he has life, personality, humor .. I want to see him and Stephen Nichols light up the screen together again as the Johnson Brothers! DAYS could be so great again if they’d only get a clue ..

I wholeheartedly agree, maddie! It’s time for the Johnson family to take centerstage and that includes their sister, Adrienne!!!

I agree Maddie! Matt is one of those unique actors like Roger Howarth that has a great screen presence! His leaving was one of the reasons I quit watching Days the first time around. I had to pop in for yesterday’s show and Matt & Missy still have that IT factor! Missy was amazing yesterday and Seeing Matt put a big smile on my face.

I think the writers may have found him hard to write for because he has a quirky, nervous nature. But this episodes shows the guy has skills. The vets really hit it out of the park. This is what can be done when you play history.

Another amazing job by Melissa Reeves! She really gave it her all and was very believable as an addict.

It was okay. I thought it was well-acted and stuff, but not just loving the one-theme episodes. It was great to see Jack and Jennifer back together, but wish it wasn’t a dream.

Matthew Asford may be perfectly happy working on The Bay and be unwilling to return to DOL.

This is what I want from my daytime dramas. A human story that is very real. No, it may not be original, but Jennifer’s story played out honestly, and slowly, and made sense with the history of the character. And I loved the return of and use of Jack in her dream. And others in Salem were there at the AA meeting for her.

Other shows have tried this plot. I think of B&B’s Brooke Logan and her drinking which lasted about a minute. I hope DAYS does not just end the story and forget it. Sobriety is a constant struggle. We need to see that in Jennifer.

I’m stunned and in awe of how beautifully written this episode was.
Melissa Reeves, without a doubt, WILL get nominated for an Emmy for this one.
Seeing Jack looking on with a tear in his eye, as Jennifer admitted her addiction….the tears flowed.
And I loved that Jennifer made reference to Carly in this episode – and her own addiction issues.
Excellent all around – Melissa Reeves FOR THE WIN,

I can’t.

I watched this episode specifically for Jack. he and Jenn are my favourite supercouple. I stopped watching the show when he was fired in 2012. It was good to have him back where he belongs, although it ought to be permanent. Jack (and Matt) are badly needed on Days.

As for the story, I found it boring. Social issue stories always are. Days is the soap that gave us amazing stories like Marlena’s Possession and Buried Alive, so I have no interest in seeing a real-life story play out. I want entertaining stories first and foremost.

Marlena’s possession and Buried Alive have no basis in reality. They did those kinds of story lines on Passions which is no longer on air. Jennifer’s addiction to pain killers is very real.

I have no interest in seeing reality-bases stories on Days. I want more stories like the Possession. BTW, Passions was my favourite soap!

I like those type of stories too, but that’s what buried “Passions.”

I’m sure there’s room for the outlandish every once in a while!

That’s factually incorrrect. “Outlandish” stories were part of Passions’ DNA from the very beginning. The show aired for almost a decade, outlasting other new soaps such as Port Charles and Sunset Beach.

Awesome writing and acting.. I am really enjoying when GH an Day have been just taking the hour to concentrate on one storyline every so often.. great job Days..

GH has been good also..

Melissa Reeves acting at its finest!!! Loved her throughout this whole episode. Felt so bad about her whole situation and I just bawled like a baby. This is an example of a winner for next year’s best actress Daytime Emmy!!

Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives New Gabi, Cherie Jimenez, Debut Date Revealed; Shares She First Auditioned for Role 15 Years Ago

In a not-then-but-now real-life story, Days of our Lives incoming Gabi Hernandez, actress Cherie Jimenez took to Instagram on Friday after it was revealed by Deadline, that her first airdate as the recast Gabi is next week on June 27th!

Jimenez has replaced longtime DAYS star, Camila Banus in the role. Previously, Banus made the decision to step away from the part after taking on the role in 2010. Camila was with the series on and off through 2023. To facilitate her exit, Gabi was sent to prison for the murder of Li Shin, only she didn’t commit the crime.

Cherie shared her emotions on finally being able to talk about being the new Gabi Hernandez DiMera. She expressed, “WOW ✨🎬 My heart is filled with immense gratitude over the opportunity of a lifetime. I am GABI HERNANDEZ DIMERA on the iconic DAYS OF OUR LIVES ⏳❤️‍🔥 It has been an absolute dream working on DAYS.”

Photo: JPI

As for her time so far at DAYS, Jimenez added,”These past 7 months I have worked harder than I ever have and now I get to share it with the world. Everyday I walk onto set I am in awe that I’ve been given the opportunity to live my dream. I get to work with the most phenomenal & hardworking cast and crew I’ve ever had the honor to work alongside.”

Photo: JPI

Jimenez, thanked among others the series producer, director and writers for trusting in her including: Janet Drucker, Noel Maxam, Ron Carlivati and Ken Corday, and her agents for helping her along the way in her show business journey.

She concluded with the most ironic twist of all, Cherie recalled, “At 22 years old an audition for the role of Gabi on Days of our Lives came into my life. It was not meant for me then. Now 15 years later at 36 years old the universe told me I was now ready to step into this role…Thank you ✨ …I am just beginning ✨”

So, are you looking forward to the debut of Cherie as the new Gabriella Hernandez DiMera? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Arianne Zucker Reflects Back on the ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape with Donald Trump, and Speaks to Her Exit from Days of our Lives

It’s been eight years, but somehow seems like ages ago, that Arianne Zucker was thrust into the mainstream public limelight, unfortunately not for her work as Nicole on Days of our Lives, but for the Access Hollywood taped that surfaced when former president Donald Trump  and current Republican nominee, visited the set of the (then) NBC soap opera, and met Zucker.

The tape captured a hot mic moment between Trump and then ‘Access’ host Billy Bush inside of their bus which featured lewd remarks about Zucker between the two men.

Speaking on the moment, Zucker opened about it on Rachel Uchitel’s Miss Understood podcast, where the video version of the interview is now on Uchitel’s You Tube Channel. Back in 2005, Arianne was the scene partner with Trump in his Apprentice/Days of our Lives crossover appearance, because her character of Nicole was at the time a gold-digger.

Photo: JPI

Zucker shared of her on set experience with Trump from 2005, “I had a great experience. He was lovely, and I had no idea anything behind the scenes was happening. So, it never affected me.” Next in October 2016, Arianne says she it got a call from her manager at the time when the Access Hollywood tapes came to light and that is when she first heard about the situation.

The actress and life coach reflected back, “Everybody has spoken poorly about somebody in their lifetime. I don’t care who you are, everybody has, it’s just people get caught on camera doing it. Unfortunately, that happens all the time. And if you’ve ever gone to a fraternity party, these things happen. So (when she later read the taped comments) I’m going, ‘sounds like something my fraternity guys I know would say.’ But I just didn’t see it in the way that people were seeing it.’”

Expressing why she never made an official comment when the press were asking for one, Arianne revealed, “I didn’t make a comment though, because I was in fear of losing my job. So I didn’t say anything.”  She added, “I felt attacked by the media because I knew all they wanted. I mean, the biggest thing was to get Trump off the ballot. I was like, that is not my job.”

Later, Arianne explained she felt she received no protection from the situation. “I got no apology from my place of employment. I really got no apology from NBC. I felt I had no protection. ”

Photo: JPI

DAYS fans are counting down and not happily that about six weeks from now, on July 29th, when Zucker makes her on-screen exit from Days of our Lives. After being fired for standing up to Corday Productions for on set sexual harassment and discrimination charges, the actress formally filed a lawsuit she has brought against her former employer which includes charges of wrongful termination.

Zucker said on her upcoming departure from DAYS, “I will not say how I leave the show. I do respect that we don’t want to share that. We want the fans to be excited and enticed.” However, Arianne confirmed that the character of Nicole is not ‘killed-off”.

So, what do you think of Arianne’s comments reflecting back on the Access Hollywood tapes media frenzy with Donald Trump, and her upcoming exit from DAYS? Weigh-in. But first, check out Ari on Rachel’s podcast below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Dan Feuerriegel on EJ Keeping Eric From His Child, “He’s in the Deep End … There’s No Coming Back for Him Now”

On Days of our Lives, Nicole (Arianne Zucker) has been reunited with her biological son, baby Jude. Her husband, EJ (Dan Feuerriegel), is now keeping a major secret, and in order to keep it from coming out he had to get Sloan (Jessica Serfaty) out of Salem, and keep both Melinda Trask (Tina Huang) and Leo Stark (Greg Rikaart) quiet and at bay.

However, as in any good soap opera, time is running out for EJ. What will happen when Nicole and Eric (Greg Vaughan) find out that EJ is not the little one’s biological father, but Eric is? And, what will happen when they realize EJ knew the truth and hid it from them?

This is just one item in a laundry list of skullduggery committed by EJ since he has been in Salem. With Arianne Zucker set to exit on-screen on July 29th, it looks like we are heading into the home stretch of the baby switch storyline.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Dan Feuerriegel to get his take on the situation and what it has been like working with Greg and Ari in the story.

Dan shared on EJ’s despicable decision to pretend he is Jude’s bio-dad, “I know I’m a terrible human being, but I love playing a terrible human being.” Feurriegel added, “Oh, he’s in the deep end. Like, there is no coming back for him now.”

The DAYS star also noted if EJ had done anything more nefarious to Sloan, his character might not ever be able to come back from that. “There’s only so much hatred EJ can get from the viewers that it probably would’ve been a bridge too far for me to just make her (Sloan) disappear,” clarified Dan.

Photo: JPI

As to his time working with Arianne Zucker as his on-screen wife, Dan had noting but praise for her. Feuerriegel expressed, “I loved working with her. She’s so good. She’s an amazing actress. She’s fantastic. Every scene that I did with her, I didn’t have to do anything because I just rode on the coattails of what she did. It was an absolute pleasure to work with her.”

Photo: JPI

Dan also had high marks for his on-screen nemesis, Greg Vaughan, “Greg is fantastic, like everybody in the storyline was amazing. Greg’s amazing … Ari’s amazing … Jessica was fantastic and that’s what made it work. I’m very grateful to have worked with every single one of them.”

Photo: JPI

On soap operas and especially on Days of our Lives, when someone exits, or ‘dies’ on-screen that doesn’t mean goodbye forever, and Dan knows this too. In regards to anyone who leaves Salem, the actor joked, “I’m not going to say the doors closed, because you never say never, especially in Hollywood or on a soap. I mean, I’ve come back and I was like two inches shorter and (with) a completely different face.”

So, how do you think Eric will find out that Jude is really his son, and that EJ has been lying to keep Nicole? Let us know in the comment section, but first Check out our conversation with Dan from the red carpet at the recent 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards below.

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