Born Days of our Lives Bad: Why The Gwen Rizczech Character Never Worked

Emily O’Brien was set up to fail as Gwen on DAYS.

gwen rizczech was the right character with the wrong stories on days of our lives.Gwen Rizczech didn't get her time to shine.

Days of our Lives viewers first met Gwen Rizczech as Claire’s mental hospital roommate. The snarky, sneaky, sexy newcomer proved popular enough that she soon developed a life outside of the hospital, and outside of Claire. Within weeks, she was on the front burner, with a connection to some major Salem players. That’s when things began to go awry.

Days of our Lives: Small Doses

New characters need to be introduced gradually on soaps for things to go well with the audience. Nobody likes a stranger thrust in their face five days a week. Gwen (Emily O’Brien) was fine when she was introduced as a friend to Claire (Olivia Rose Keegan). She gave her some advice and we were willing to listen — because we cared about Claire. Any friend of hers was a friend of ours.

DAYS: A Bad Love Story

Then, Gwen was given a connection to the daughter and granddaughter of some of Salem’s most beloved citizens. This was good, too. Next up, it was time to find her a love interest! We found out that Gwen was the ex-girlfriend of Jake (Brandon Barash). This was bad because Jake was relatively new, himself. He was, in fact, a last-minute replacement for his much more popular twin brother, Stefan. So, Gwen was a supporting character to a supporting character to a supporting character.

Since that wasn’t enough to tether Gwen to the canvas, she turned out to be the long-lost daughter of beloved stalwart Jack (Matthew Ashford). That could have been a good development if the relationship that produced her had ever been so much as referenced onscreen. And, if the story she got didn’t involve fighting with Jack’s daughter, Abigail (Marci Miller), for the love of Chad (Billy Flynn). They were a supercouple and Gwen was a lying, scheming, interloper. This is not how one becomes loved.

Days of our Lives: From Bad To Worse

Gwen’s subsequent relationship with Xander (Paul Telfer), another supporting character of a supporting character went just as weakly, and her final story was the worst. Gwen was in a triangle with her husband Dimitri (Peter Porte) and BFF Leo (Greg Rikaart). Three relative newcomers hardly anybody liked, and two couples even fewer people were invested in.

DAYS obviously thinks highly enough of O’Brien to offer her a second role on the show, as Theresa. This is why we wonder why they made it so impossible for her to succeed in her earlier role.

Days of our Lives airs weekdays on Peacock+ in the U.S. and The W Network or Global TV App in Canada. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.

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