Dena’s Major Plot: Autism

Lately we’ve seen quite a bit of promotion of Days in the press.  Dena Higley along with the involving actors  were on the Today show this week.  Additionally we’ve had an actual press release of the upcoming story and last week’s promo gave a small hint of what was to come.

Theo Carver has been diagnosed with Autism.  Many families have experienced this tragic scenario firsthand, including Dena herself.  The fact our illustrious head writer on the show has her own autistic child should mean this story is going to be treated with a combination of sensitivity, realism and quality.  I should be looking forward to this story so much, as it’s so different than the other plots of stolen disks, shipping wars and bad romances we’ve been forced to endure right?

Well I’m not.  First, the biggest issue is it’s Lexie and Abe. I’ve never cared about them as a couple and I certainly don’t root for them to stay together.  After Lexie’s many affairs, I don’t know why she and Abe are still together, especially since Dena decided it would be a good idea to write in marital difficulties before Theo was even mentioned. Why she chose to do that, instead of allowing friction to occur naturally because their son has been having behavioral problems at school and home is beyond me, as that could be somewhat sympathetic.  However, if Abe and Lexie can’t seem to find a middle ground with each other in their careers and marriage after all this time, how would they survive this challenge?  And more importantly do I want them to survive?

My next problem is, as usual, Dena decides to introduce a romance idea where one isn’t needed.  Lexie and Daniel have been having scenes lately and like the improper timing of Chan starting up during Bo’s pancreas story which distracted me from RM’s awesome performances, this is totally distracting me from whatever was going on with Theo.  However this time, I hope it’s not just an anti-shipping reaction I’m having here, but I do see sparks between RJ and SC and wouldn’t’ mind a chance for Lexie and Abe to fall apart naturally and let Lexie move on (properly this time) with a co-worker who she no doubt has a great deal in common with (if you take away his surfer talk).  And God knows Daniel needs to date a woman, not a girl, so I can take him seriously as a romantic lead.

But that isn’t what they are going for, I’m sure. Another issue I am having is that Theo, as Paxton pointed out on TWoP, is a soap child.  Mustering up any real concern for a soap child is difficult.  With the exception of Claire, we rarely get a young child with dedicated screentime or significant lines.  Their role is either to sit around looking cute or to be kidnapped by someone to draw the parents of the child closer. Soap children are never a bother as always a family member can always “watch” them so the parents of said child can go off gallivanting around to another country,  have sex with each other/someone else, or sit at the hospital to “be there” for a loved one.  Ciara and Joe are two children who come to mind that I do care for, but only because of my devotion to their parents while Johnny and Ali are two babies are REALLY don’t care for, simply cause two of the three parents are annoying me right now (usually).  Perhaps this means an equation should be made to measure likability of soap children:

Child Welfare's Importance  =   (Parent1's importance + Parent2's importance )/Current Likability

But wait!  I see Maxematician* is coming in telling me my formula is flawed, since Claire obviously outranked her onscreen parents in importance, likability and even acting.   Well the point is if we lined up all the soap children in order of my caring about them from front to back, Theo would be last, simply because I keep forgetting the Carvers have a child to begin with, and it’s difficult to get worked up about two characters who have never interested me in the past.

However, it seems that Dena is already dropping the ball and it’s only begun!  What would be the most important, I mean, PIVOTAL scene for this story?  The diagnosis scene of course!  That revelation moment where we get lots of soapy goodness of a random doctor to come in and tell Abe and Lexie what is the matter with their son!  That was offscreen.  Oh yes it was!  Also what bothers me is I checked out on Sony’s DOOL site to look for pics as I always do in their “week in review” section.  Abe and Lexie weren’t even included!  This is the story they have been propping in print and interviews for weeks now and they don’t even include it in the weekly pictoral recap.  Oh, I don’t have much faith in this.

*Thanks to Nolebucgrl for the nickname.  I also have to add in she has an awesome NICKname for Nick in his new role on the show as the Max Whisperer!


9 thoughts on “Dena’s Major Plot: Autism

  1. Aww you’re welcome. I’m happy to provide the denizens of Salem with their proper NICKnames (yours, awesome).

    I, too, have a hard time getting into the autism story for Abe/Lexie because they are such noncharacters. Really they’ve only been supporting for years and years (when Lexie wasn’t written off about 7 times). While I think it would have been unfair to inflict this storyline on Bope, considering their other child was killed by his half sister and their oldest child is a dumbass, I would have gotten more into it had it been them. S&K have enough problems with preemie Joe, so they’re out too. Johnny & Ali (who I still like, despite Sami/Lucas and probably because of EJ) are too young, so Theo is it I guess.

    I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when Abe took the proactive role to Lexie’s despairing one, I thought they would have him be in denial and act dickish like he did when he was impotent and blind. So at least that’s one step they seem to be getting right. I agree though, why we didn’t see them given the diagnosis is beyond me, it wouldn’t be hard to slam a dayplayer in a white coat.

    We’ll see…at least I don’t loathe this storyline like I do Chan, so that’s something!

  2. Actually I do think S/K could have done this story justice. First, premature babies are an important story to tell and one they rarely do on daytime. Second, MBE and Steve would be perfect given this was their last chance at having a baby. And third, it’s better than them sitting around NOT talking about the obvious elephant in the room.

    But what do I know?

  3. Well I mean they could have, but their kid is too young to be diagnosed with autism. If Dena could have waited a year (like she’ll have that long, ha) and SORASed, than yeah, S&K could have worked it and had me interested.

  4. Oh yea! I meant we should give them the focus of a “Let’s worry about the child!” plot by replacing autism with prematurity (hee, again, a Daniel and Chelsea joke popped in my head but I refrained) story.

  5. BWAH…ok I misunderstood you and you misunderstood me is all. 🙂 Go figure, we’re usually on the same page. I agree, this premature baby story could be getting a lot more attention, but it seems that Bope & S&K are only on to prop the younger couples. Such a great use of the vets. Oh well, at least it’s not GH, we’d never see them at all.

  6. You know what? I don’t actually mind the diagnosis occurring off screen. Ok, sure, maybe that’s because I don’t really need MORE of Abe and Lexie on my screen, but honestly, for me them finding out is not the interesting part of the story (assuming there is one). They already knew they had a developmental problem and I’m ok with the idea that this was one possiblity they had already discussed.

    My major problem is I just don’t care about soap children. Real children, yes, soap children, no. If I don’t care about Theo, cute though he is, why do I care how his parents feel?

  7. I’ll be honest, I ff through Abe and Lexie because it’s only a matter of time before Lexie hooks up with some guy in a hotel room and Abe goes nuts/Rene Jones gets fired again, so I don’t even bother. However, I thought I missed the diagnosis, but then when I never saw a flashback to what happened the previous day, I realized it never happened. But yes, I really think DH dropped the ball with this storyline which falls along the same lines as every other storyline that’s been introduced this quarter.

  8. Paxton, I can’t believe I’m admitting this but I did want to see the reveal, simply because I was curious to see how Dena would write such a scene. (Not because of my over interest in Abe or Lexie, there isn’t any). I also can’t stand soap children (and honestly I’m not always that fond of real children, hee).

    Brandi, can I hope the guy Lexie rende-vous with is Daniel?

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