Teen drama is the stuff soap operas are made of. Rebellious behavior, bullying, being betrayed by your best friend... these are all typical days in the life of a teen.
When soaps get it right, we end up with engaging storylines that draw in both older and younger viewers as teens and their parents both struggle to come to terms with their new realities.
Unfortunately on this week's Days of Our Lives, we didn't get that. Instead, the lamest prom ever resulted in the off-screen arrest of all the teens except Theo (and Chase, who was already in jail for more serious reasons.)
It's really a shame, because the prom storyline was so close to being compelling, yet fell totally flat. The main problem with it was that it was rushed.
Last Friday, viewers were introduced to the scheming, obnoxious, sleazy Mark and by the end of this week, all the teen characters but him were in jail after an off-screen retaliation for him bullying Ciara and Theo.
This would have been a much more powerful storyline if the vandalism was the end result of months of Ciara and her friends trying to resolve the Mark problem in a more mature manner, only for their complaints to fall on deaf ears.
It's hard to feel any compassion for any of the kids when Mark was bothering them for a total of two episodes. And we didn't even get to see what they did to get in trouble!
They're sending me to live with my uncle in the middle of nowhere. Florida. His wife left him and he needs help on the farm. They think it'll be like boot camp, you know, I'll spend my time picking fruit and paying them back and never do anything bad again, and you'll be out of my life.Jade
Jade surprisingly turned to be the most interesting of all these kids. Her parents aren't even on screen and I felt sorry for her when they kicked her out. I have no interest in a Jade/Joey story, but Jade's parents neglecting her, then shipping her off to be some other relative's problem was intriguing.
Did anyone else feel like Jade was insinuating that the uncle intended to sexually abuse her when she mentioned him needing help on his farm after the loss of his wife?
Dad, you're wrong, so wrong! I'm gonna be with Ciara and you can't stop me!Theo
In other news, Abe was surprised that even autistic teens act like teens when they're ordered to do something that makes no sense to them.
No one can fault Abe for being concerned that his vulnerable son may get hurt because of Ciara's problems. But after having been there to support Roman, Hope, Kayla and Jen through their kids' rocky teen years, Abe ought to know that barking orders isn't going to end well.
It's a shame that JJ wasn't working during this mess. He might be able to tell Abe a thing or two about how to approach this issue, since it wasn't that long ago that JJ and Jennifer were having the same kinds of arguments about who's in control of his life.
He also might have been able to give the other teens advice that actually rings true, since he also vandalized cars and did other stupid things that left him with a criminal record and a ton of regrets.
What Mark did to you makes me angrier than I can say, but vandalizing his father's car... what did that accomplish?Hope
Hope's behavior was impressive during this crisis. She has always been one to look the other way when Ciara was misbehaving, blaming it on Bo's absence instead of nipping it in the bud. It's about time she stepped up and insisted Ciara take responsibility for her actions.
You're not gonna stop me from quitting school and moving out. That's happening with or without your help.Ciara
Of course, Ciara wasn't in the mood to listen and came up with an even more self-destructive plan. Thankfully, Chad was able to talk some sense into her for the moment.
Hopefully Chad will be a mentor to Ciara like Daniel was to JJ rather than, as some viewers have suggested, there being some ridiculous affair story going on while Abigail is in the hospital.
You don't want to get married because you're suddenly convinced that you want to spend the rest of our lives together. You want to get married so you don't have to think about how much you miss Shawn.Philip
I was also proud of Philip for seeing through Belle's nonsense, even if it did make little sense for him to rush away from Victor's bedside to go have sex with her. Shawn and Belle seem headed for a reconciliation now that Philip has decided to be the adult in his relationship with Belle. It'll be interesting to see where this goes from here.
I know you suffer from derangement syndrome when it comes to Nicole. Hop into bed with her if it makes you feel better.Victor
This Nicole/Deimos storyline is ridiculous. Brady is right – this is a horrible plan – and hopefully he'll ignore Victor's wishes and tell Nicole what he and Justin are really up to.
Nicole's conversation with Dario is either really heavy foreshadowing of what's going to happen or Dario's clumsy way of saying he likes Nicole and doesn't want to lose her to the competition.
I hope it's the latter. Nicole's transformation over the last couple of years to solid citizen with a sneaky side has been too enjoyable for her to backslide into chasing money, power and unspeakable abuse now.
Finally, Abigail's stay at the mental hospital is already all sorts of creepy. It's already reminiscent of the sanitorium that Laura had to team up with Vivian Alamain to break out of years ago.
Too bad JJ is a cop instead of an investigative reporter like his father. Otherwise he might be in a good position to expose this hospital for what it is.
Creepiness factor aside, it makes little sense that Marlena didn't come to the hospital to help her patient settle in. Surely having someone she trusts there would help Abigail be less paranoid and more willing to sign the commitment papers.
Chad's distress over having to leave her there was easily the highlight of the week, but it could have been handled a bit more realistically.
Which Teen is Most Out of Control?
So what did you think? Which prom-going teen is the most out of control, how likely is Nicole to fall in love with Deimos and how lame was that prom?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for the Round Table discussion!
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.