The nation reacted in shock, anger and in some cases joy upon the news that long running American soapie Days of our Lives will be axed.

News sites reported that from 20 July the inhabitants of Salem and all their drama will no longer be on our TV screens.

Even though we often question the plot choices, we love soaps and continue to watch them with steadfast hearts. I guarantee that those of you who watch Days of Our Lives have had a “what the (insert colorful language)” reaction to what you see on screen, one time or another.

This is then followed by you asking yourself why you watch Days to begin with.

Yes, I’ve been there too.

Days of Our Lives is comprised of vaguely realistic storylines that make you laugh and/or roll your eyes. And I’m not even counting the “who’s your daddy” plots!

Here are the top 10 “WTF” moments on the show!

10. Love is Blind

Yep, I’m talking about the reality TV show that Mimi Lockheart, Belle Black, and Cassie Brady were finalists on. The DOOL version the reality show The Bachelor, complete with extra drama and cat fights, where the girls competed to win the affection of the “mystery man”. This “mystery man” wore a blindfold and bandanna to cover his face. Of course he turned out to be Philip Kiriakis, returning from his military duty. Anyone remember whom he gave the final rose to? No? That’s because there was no rose. It was a blindfold.

9. V is for Vendetta

Last year, we finally learned that the feud between the DiMeras and Brady’s started because of the forbidden love between Colleen Brady and Santo DiMera. Now, I didn’t choose this story for the plot, I thought it was a great to finally show why these families hated each other. Rather, I chose this story for the way it was executed, and only because my friend called to ask me why Sami was dressed like a nun, while EJ was a Super Mario brother! The fake accents, Santo’s huge mustache, Colleen’s stiff hair, and Colleen and Santo’s uncanny resemblance to Sami and EJ made it hard to take this plot seriously!

8. Sami the cross-dresser

Remember when Andre gave Sami all that magical makeup and voice changer and urged her to make herself into Stan? Sami wanted to prove to Lucas that Kate set her up after one of Kate’s attempts to break Sami and Lucas up, so she disguised herself as this pretty man. And then she went to Iraq to help save Philip when he was on duty! Yup, Sami traveled all the way to Iraq! Enough said. Kudos to Dan Wells, who played man-Sami, he definitely had Sami’s mannerisms!

7. Greta the swamp girl

Greta von Amberg was a disfigured, caveman looking girl who lived in a swamp in New Orleans until Bo and Billy found her. After she took a shower and got a haircut, as well as experimental laser surgery for her scars, she not only looked like a woman, but an attractive one! Much later, it was revealed that Greta was a princess, but in order to claim her throne, she and Austin Reed had to overcome a virtual Garden of Eden, where they faced enemies like Princess Gina, Witch Sami, and Satan. Don’t remember this? Maybe it’s something your brain decided to block out, out of sheer embarrassment for watching.

6. I’ve been buried alive!

Everyone who currently watches the show is familiar with this story. It was one of Vivian Alamain’s earlier and more memorable attempts at exacting revenge on Carly Manning. In this case, Vivian injected Carly with a drug that made it look like she died and Carly found herself awake in a grave, with Vivian taunting her through a radio transmitter. Needless to say, Vivian’s plan didn’t work, nor was this the last story where characters temporarily die. Over a decade later, Vivian is still trying to take Carly down, hopefully for Carly, not six feet under again!

5. John Black 4.0

John is one of the most memorable DOOL characters because he’s had more lives than a cat. Perhaps since he’s half-DiMera, he has the inner “phoenix” ability to rise from the ashes too. The last time John died and came back to life via Stefano, he was resurrected as a completely different person: a socially awkward, sarcastic, robot. Stefano extracted John’s memories and downloaded them all on a single CD. How maddening! I mean, how could all his memories be stored on just ONE disc? How many gigabytes were his memories, anyway?

4. Will the real Princess Gina please stand up?

This was one of Stefano’s greatest brainwashing successes! When everyone thought Hope was dead, it was revealed that she was alive as Princess Gina, the art thief. Even in the 90s, Stefano had the technology to implant a chip of Princess Gina’s memories in Hope’s brain. With the uncanny resemblance, we were able to differentiate between Hope and Gina, because as soon as Hope became Gina, she grew two blonde streaks in her hair that resembled my troll doll’s hair at the time.

Stefano then had Princess Hope – I mean, Gina – kidnap John Black to help him recover art treasures from Vivian Alamain. When they arrived in Maison Blanche, the real Princess Gina who was now old and crazy captured them, but they were soon rescued. Many speculate that Hope’s current double life may be linked to another Princess Gina fiasco! Keep watching to see if Stefano implanted another memory chip in her head!

3. Gemini Twins and E.T.

In 2002, Sexy Rexy and his twin sister Cassie landed in Salem during a meteor shower, in what appeared to be a spaceship. Okay so E.T. didn’t come back to earth with them, but they spoke no English, and landed half-naked, dressed in aluminum foil. Just as Cassie was seducing her half-brother, Lucas, everyone learned that they were Roman and Kate’s twins, and were pawns in another of Stefano DiMera’s plans. I still think they’re aliens. Hey, they did disappear with little explanation…perhaps they returned to the motherland?

2. Marlena’s exorcism

As a result of Stefano’s mind control, Marlena was possessed by Satan. Father John Black performed an exorcism to save her. The awesome – and I use that word loosely – special effects, like Marlena’s yellow eyes and eerie voice, still give me the shivers. Although this was one of those unforgettable storylines, it was also a top contender “WTF?!” moment in Days history.

1. Salem Stalker and “Melaswen” the island

My excitement that someone I know watches DOOL quickly fades when they chuckle, “That’s the one where all the characters die and come back to life, right?” This will always be my top “WTF?!” story on DOOL. It started out great, a classic whodunit, but turned into an eye-rolling cringe fest. How could it not be, with the weird deaths like Tony getting mauled to death by a tiger (did no one else giggle when they thought of a certain cereal?), and the stalker using donuts as the weapon of choice against Alice.

When they killed the first few characters off, the actors did a great job with their heartbreaking scenes. When we then learned that they were all alive on Melaswen Island (aka: new Salem, how creative), somewhere between being angry and relieved, we questioned why the writers put us through heartbreak! We learned that Tony brainwashed Marlena and she wasn’t evil after all. The island scenes were full of eye-rolling moments, the greatest one being John stopping an oncoming bullet with his fingers and then shooting it back with his fingers. After that, I was expecting Marlena to wake up like Sunset Beach’s Megan and end the soap all together…it was all a dream!

What moments made you cringe? We all know that despite our eye-rolling, our love for the goings on in Salem has always kept us watching anyway! Here’s hoping you DOOL addicts will find it on another channel soon enough.

Original article appeared in Soaps She Knows. Click here to read more.

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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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