Over a 12-month period, every soap opera will have a dip, a lull, a low – and Days of our Lives is no different. But why dwell on the occasional misfire, when you can accentuate the positives, and celebrate the very best of the best?
The Absolute Best Of Days of our Lives – 2021
Best Duck and Weave: Introducing DevilDoug
When word began to spread that Doug Williams (Bill Hayes) wasn’t quite himself and that he’d begun to grow forgetful, fans prepared themselves to bid a prolonged goodbye to a beloved character…but they needn’t have feared. It wasn’t dementia stealing away their precious Doug – it was the Prince of Darkness. Talk about a twist!
Best New Character: Paulina Price
Since her March 2021 debut, Jackée Harry’s Paulina Price has educated, sassed, and upended the lives of Lani Price Grant (Sal Stowers) [by revealing that she, and not Tamara Price, is Lani’s bio mom] and Abe Carver (James Reynolds) [with her never-ending stream of lies and half-truths], and very nearly bulldozing Salem’s most iconic landmark – Horton Square.
Though Paulina has her detractors, both onscreen and off, there’s one undeniable fact – since she came a-calling, there hasn’t been a dull moment in Salem.
Best Recast: Chanel Dupree
Taking over an already established role is never an easy feat – and having to begin your first scene on a crying jag over a betrayal your predecessor played out only compounds the issue. But actress Raven Bowens rose to the occasion, and she has undoubtedly made the character her own.
Though he’s yet to appear on DAYS properly, Zach Tinker has proven himself a worthy successor to Freddie Smith in several of the soap’s supplements. Here’s hoping Tinker will soon display his considerable acting chops – not to mention on-point chemistry with TV husband Chandler Massey – on the parent program.
Best Return: Sami Brady DiMera
The soap press, and her many fans, haven’t dubbed Alison Sweeney’s alter ego Hurricane Sami for nothing. Need a wedding crashed; have a caper that needs a stooge; in desperate want of a hellcat to wreck shop and upend the lives of friends and foes alike? Look no further than Mrs. DiMera.
Best Special Guest Star: Marla Gibbs
If you’re going to introduce a foil for the larger-than-life Paulina, then why wouldn’t you do so in the personage of Jackée Harry’s 227 sparring partner Marla Gibbs? It’s truly a match made in TV heaven – and a no-brainer.
Best Storyline: The Devil Went Down to Salem
In addition to serving as a showcase for the incomparable Deidre Hall, the (re)possession of Dr. Marlena Evans Black is an all-encompassing tale, a true umbrella storyline that has touched nearly every single character on the canvas – and the ones not directly or indirectly involved at least comment on the wild and wacky goings-on. Can any other soap in daytime claim that they have such a far-reaching tale? We think not.
Best Supercouple: Jarlena
As if a little thing like possession can come between Days of our Lives’ reigning love match. John Black (Drake Hogestyn) and Marlena have survived far worse in over 35 years, and lived to tell the tale…and if they can beat the Devil once, they can surely do so again.
Best Villain: Lucifer Morningstar
DAYS is chockablock with baddies – some recurring, some on contract. But none of them, not even the likes of Vivian Alamain nor Kristen DiMera can compete with Old Scratch himself…though something tells us that those women wouldn’t mind giving it the old college try.
Most Blasphemous Moment: Xander Who’s a Horton
Now Xander Cook (Paul Telfer) has done some questionable things in the past, but we’ve been able to look past all that. But to dare ask Julie, and with a straight face no less, “Who’s Alice Horton?” …why that’s just criminal!
Most Rejuvenated Character(s): The DAYS Vets
James Reynolds, Bill Hayes, and Susan Seaforth Hayes spent 2021 enmeshed in several front burner storylines ranging from poignant to camp. Inarguably, this is where the trio always belongs.
Most Surprising Use of History: DAYS Goes Out on A Limb
It’s been years, 16 to be exact since Philip Kiriakis (Jay Kenneth Johnson) lost his leg while serving as a Marine…and it’d be understandable if that fact escaped you. It’s been near that many years since a head writing regime remembered it themselves.
Honorable Mention: Earlier this year, when Jake DiMera (Brandon Barash) and Gabi DiMera (Camila Banus) schemed to overtake DiMera Enterprises, DAYS wisely recalled never seen, rarely mentioned DiMera kin including Peter Blake and Steven Hawk.
Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest that’s been posted on DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.