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.