For most of our marriage, my husband, Roger, wasn’t home most evenings and weekends, due to one of his two part-time jobs. In March 2020, as a result of the pandemic, he lost that job. So, we’ve gone from hardly ever being together to being together every evening and weekend for nearly a year.
As you can imagine, that’s been quite the adjustment — especially for me. And in no way has that adjustment been bigger than in my TV viewing, as Roger has taken complete control of the remote.
For me, that has meant a lot less “Friends” and a lot more “Seinfeld,” of which I have never really been a fan. I make sure he’s nowhere near the TV during “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” — a lesson I learned when the show’s most romantic moment ever was interrupted by him walking in and declaring, “This show isn’t annoying or anything.”
But there is one show on which we can both agree. The show I have been watching for more than 36 years: “Days of Our Lives.”
As the pandemic began to take hold and things got more stressful, I promised myself that I would use one hour every evening to decompress and escape reality by watching my DVR recording of “Days.” So, I took control of the remote each night and watched the show whether Roger wanted to or not. And then, a funny thing happened. He started watching it with me.
Roger had tuned in to “Days” off and on for years, mostly to provide hilarious commentary about what was happening, so he knew a lot of the characters. But it’s been so much fun to catch him up on some of the storylines he missed — even though sometimes I sound like a crazy person explaining them. What Roger has discovered watching the show for the past 10 months is that soap operas do have outstanding actors. He’s particularly a fan of Billy Flynn (Chad) and Wally Kurth (Justin), who give Emmy-worthy performances every time they appear on screen. He’s realized that soaps do have good, clever writing, as “Days” head writer Ron Carlivati is one of the best writers on TV of any genre. And, maybe, most importantly, he’s learned that soaps may not be groundbreaking, life-changing TV, but they are very entertaining. No, they’re not reality, but they make an excellent escape from it at a time when we desperately need it.
As of this writing, NBC has not made any comment as to whether it plans to renew “Days” beyond September of this year. The show has done very well lately in the ratings, however, the production shutdown was expensive. And I know it’s more than a little tempting for NBC to move the show to its Peacock streaming service to help boost subscriptions. But I choose to stay optimistic that “Days” will remain on NBC where it belongs for another year. There are just too many of us counting on it. And I really don’t want to have to learn to love “Seinfeld.”
“Days of Our Lives” airs at 1 p.m. weekdays on NBC.
Angela Henderson-Bentley writes about television for HD Media. Contact her at email@example.com.