Friday, February 20, 2009

Mr. Reilly the Genius, Part 2

This Diva is confused and thoroughly disgusted. Thaao Penghlis has been interviewed by Michael Fairman, talked about his experiences on the show and its current predicament, and given his honest opinion as to how it reached this sad, sorry state. And the sum total created a firestorm. Why you ask?

For daring to resurrect the specter of James E. Reilly and point the finger at the man Mr. Penghlis feels is partially responsible for the decline of Days of Our Lives.

This is apparently in bad taste because Mr. Reilly is dead. And yes, that is Diva’s poorly disguised, uncontrollable laughter you’re hearing.

Worse, this displays Thaao’s obvious bitterness (and, according to one poster jealousy) because Mr. Reilly pulled Days of Our Lives out of the muck of cancellation single-handedly, wrote brilliant stories and entertained a generation with the likes of devil possession and all the other wildly popular, cartoonish tales I waded through last week on the blog.

Oh, and last but not least, James E. Reilly was the kindest of men who never once said a foul word about another human being, even the actors who worked for him. Of course, he had the power to fire anyone’s ass he didn’t like; any actor who didn’t fit the Reilly mold, any actor who opened his mouth to offer suggestions or criticize, or stick up for the character that the actor, not Mr. Reilly helped to create. And fire actors Mr. Reilly did, repeatedly and with much relish.

There have been so many reasons bandied around lately as to why this show is once again teetering on the brink of cancellation, but one major reason is buried in this argument, and it’s one I’ve mentioned already in respect to Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans and the reason they were fired. Collaboration is not tolerated at Days any longer. In fact, an actor with the nerve to stick up for their character will instantly find himself on the unemployment line.

This show is creatively bankrupt and maybe he’s not the only one to blame but that doesn’t absolve James Reilly. I’m not speaking merely about gimmicky storytelling, either. This man demanded complete control over DOOL and he had it. No one interfered, was allowed to give input, could do so much as make suggestions. It was all Reilly’s show. He dominated it completely and creative input from those people who knew the characters like their second skin wasn’t only frowned upon, it was punished.

Actors on this show are treated like unskilled labor all the while they are expected to perform miracles with writing so shoddy, it’s a wonder they manage scenes that are remotely believable.

And for the record…just for all you Reilly lovers and apologists out there, Thaao is in good company. Get a load of Francis Reid’s take on Reilly’s possession storyline, "I was ashamed! It was embarrassing."

You can read the offending Thaao interview here.


  1. The Douchebag is complaining about this interview, too.

  2. To those gay men at DR and SON that keep talking about Thaao putting JER's writing down, you are just jealous because Thaao wouldn't give you the time of day. Start acting like men and quit wishing that you have a vagina.

  3. Thaao is a 25 + year veteran of Days, TV, movies. The man can act , has a huge following. Very well liked in the industry. Sure , everyone has their critics. JER started the ruination of DOOL with campy , frivolous, inane, pure crap his last years at the soap. JER should have hung up his pen. It was an embarrassment. JER had some good stories many years ago, but ran dry. What Thaao did was give an honest interview and his opinion about DOOL. Considering Thaao has been on the show many years, one cannot dismiss his opinion. Sure JER is gone, unfortunate not everyone liked all of his work. Even Shakespeare had critics. Goes with the territory. You write or a figure in entertainment, all is fair in love or war.

  4. Here's another Frances Reid quote about James E. Reilly from a 2005 issue of TV Guide:

    >> Only one cast member remains from when day one, 90 year old Frances Reid (Alice) When DAYS debuted, she and Macdonald Carey were it's front burner stars. " And we were playing grandparents then!" notes Reid with pride. "that would never happen today. Our new writer, Mr Jim Reilly, doesn't like the old characters and he's about 90 himself. He's a really old buzzard. " (For the record, Reilly is 57 but hey, close enough.) <<

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  6. The Douchebag bashed Thaao again? I guess he didn't ask Thaao the right questions. Fairman did a better interview than the Douchebag did, and he's jealous.

    I knew Frances bashed JER in 2005, but I couldn't remember the quote. Thanks!

  7. Thank you Diva for your article. The JERk fanboys tick me off. JERk treated actors, Matt and Thaao especially like dirt, because they tried to stay true to their characters and were not JERk (And his pal Tom Langan) underwear models with blank stares, but always shirtless. Thaao was more than diplomatic. JERk and the foolish NBC executives who wanted soaps like 90s and PASS hired JERk clones. JERk purposefully destroyed couples, women were all oversexed idiots who lost any sense of independence, once they worked and were professionals, with JERk they could only have sex and were man dependent, and usually too dumb to know that the man was a criminal. The agism with JERk started back in 93, and he got worse in 03.

    And Douchebag defending JER, what a surprise, getting to know the jerk it is obvious he like JERk (and Langan) care about hard bodied, under-30 models, than adult men who can act.

    I notice that many JER fans bash Dena -- and she should be bashed -- but the million dollar question is, were she to die tomorrow, would they cease and refrain from bashing her, or would continue bashing her and doing it in a far more vitriolic fashion than Thaao did.

  8. I wish JER, the man, to rest in peace.

    That said, I wish his style of writing, which is being continued by the writers, would end. Its ruined the characters and show.

    Thank you Thaao for daring to speak out. And a big thumbs up to Frances.

  9. I just added another blog about The Douchebag's comments on Thaao. JER, the Douchebag and their fans do not care about quality acting, all they care about is whether or not they want to have sex with that actor. Talk about shallow.

  10. Diva, you're my hero! JER was the ruination of DAYS. The one good storyline he wrote was not worth the years of crap that we've had to suffer through...and the style that his wannabes are trying to emulate to this day. Kudos to Thaao for telling it like it is. Thaao ROCKS!