Weddings used to be the most exciting, romantic part of Days of Our Lives.
Remember when Kayla got her voice back just in time to say her vows to Steve or when Jack dressed as a fireman to literally sweep Jennifer off her feet and take her to her wedding?
Bo and Hope had a destination wedding and almost the whole town celebrated Will and Sonny's, which also happened to be the first male-male wedding on daytime.
But if the lead-up to Lucas and Adrienne's wedding is the new standard, big soap weddings are a thing of the past along with supercouples and real romance. After a ho-hum lead-in to the world's smallest wedding, so far the most exciting thing was Joey deciding this was the right time to inform his father that his girlfriend is pregnant.
It might have helped if any of Lucas and Adrienne's romance was on-screen. Instead, viewers saw them get thrown together over a year ago, were treated to a few scenes of Adrienne questioning whether Lucas was too young for her, and then...
...they disappeared and Justin hung around being an obnoxious DA and softening when Adrienne found out she had the breast cancer gene.
Then they disappeared again until recently when it was revealed they were going to get married.
This is not exactly the romance of the century. If it feels like a whirlwind romance, it's because after months of no story for these two, the writers are rushing to get them to the altar.
November is a sweeps month, so usually there's something very exciting going on. But a wedding between two characters who viewers haven't seen enough to invest in the relationship doesn't quite fit the bill.
Kate: Well honey, for a man who's about to marry the man of his dreams, you don't look very happy. Don't tell me there's trouble in Paradise.
Lucas: No, no. Everything's fine. Sorry to disappoint you.
Hours before the wedding, Lucas was not lamenting not being able to spend the night with Adrienne. He was not looking impatiently at his watch to see how much longer it was before his wedding. He was not getting nervous about whether his tux was good enough.
He was walking calmly through the Square as if it were an ordinary day, quite unconcerned that his half-sister who is a recovering pill addict and alcoholic gave him a flimsy, non-specific excuse for skipping the nuptials and finding time to exchange barbs with his mom about the upcoming affair. He reassured Kate that Adrienne will never choose Justin over him, making sure that viewers are aware that this will soon become an issue, and walked on.
Meanwhile, Adrienne refused to go with tradition despite wearing a traditional wedding dress and rejected Kayla's offer of something borrowed. Steve slipped in a line about how their mother couldn't come. Apparently she is struggling off-screen with cancer, something which her family is not at all concerned about since she doesn't live in Salem anymore.
Steve playing the blues on his harmonica was cute and Adrienne's dress was beautiful, but these scenes didn't up the excitement at all. The most interesting wedding scene was Adrienne's flashback of Justin's proposal, probably because these are characters who viewers know well and can actually root for.
The smallness of the wedding meant most characters were left out and there was no opportunity for drama between guests who hate each other. Julie is apparently not invited, so there's no resident busybody to stir up trouble.
Luckily, Joey came running in at the last minute with the brilliant idea that the wedding is a good venue for telling his dad that he's going to be a grandfather.
Joey is a stereotypical teenager that lacks any sense whatsoever, but making this announcement when he's one of about four guests at a wedding was kind of silly. If Joey were panicking, it would be one thing, but he seemed as calm as ever, which made him seem rather self-centered.
Meanwhile, JJ apparently had to work, which was bizarre since he just got out of the hospital after being shot.
Too bad DAYS didn't go the realistic route here and have JJ be required to see the department shrink in order to get his gun back. That would have led to some fantastic drama. Instead, he skipped the wedding in order to work, yet wasn't in the squad room when Sonny came to see him. This made no sense as well as making it clear that Sonny was really there to try to convince Justin that he was still in love with Adrienne.
Honey. Abs liked it that way.JJ
Jennifer's emergency was most likely that she had to find a hiding spot for newly-resurrected daughter Abigail. Abby returned home, made her mother faint, and then begged her not to tell anyone she's alive because then Chad might want her back.
Newcomer Marci Miller is doing an excellent job as Abigail, but this is silly.
Unless Andre brainwashed Abby, there's no reason for her to associate with him or be glad that he's helping to hide her. Furthermore, this is more out of character nonsense for Jennifer. Jennifer's loyalty to her family always takes first place, so it's conceivable she would hide Abigail from Chad, though even this is doubtful. But unless Jennifer believed that her son's life would be threatened if he knew his sister was alive, there is no way she would keep this kind of secret from him, especially when Abigail's supposed death threw JJ into a tailspin.
JJ came home, causing Abigail to hide behind an easy chair, and Jennifer, who generally assumes that people are being honest with her because she rarely lies, didn't blink before telling her son that Abigail's teacup was her own.
JJ,took one sip and noted that the tea was made with honey, which was Abigail's preferred sweetener. He then told Jennifer how Chad won't help him with the Gabi situation so that Abigail could be sure to find out about it before going to take a shower.
Abigail came out of hiding as soon as JJ was gone and Jennifer suggested she live in the attic. The only question here is how soon Abigail will be discovered, and how contrived the reason will be that someone goes up there and finds her.
You had blackout sex!Gabi
The JJ/Gabi storyline continued to be offensive this week, as the writers continued to spin a non-consensual sexual encounter into JJ cheating. Gabi sounded ridiculous accusing him of having "blackout sex." By definition, that is rape. Does Gabi even hear the words coming out of her mouth?
Gabi broke up with JJ, then told anyone who would listen a sob story about how JJ cheated on her.
Somehow it went from him being blacked out drunk to him wrapping his arms around another woman, as if he had had a months-long affair that she had recently discovered. Dario threatened to beat him up more than once and the only reason Gabi didn't go along with it is because assaulting a cop would get Dario in bigger trouble than if he assaulted a private citizen.
Blanca won my respect by breaking up with Dario over his ridiculously violent threats. Too bad she didn't hear the whole story so that she could explain to both of these idiots that JJ is the victim here.
Meanwhile, JJ lamented that Gabi is the best thing that ever happened to him.
This is so far from the truth that it's almost laughable.
So far, Gabi has made excuse after excuse for ditching him to be with Chad and the only reason she and Chad haven't had sex yet is he keeps doing things like reminding her that her boyfriend is in a coma.
Gabi also has had no empathy for JJ since the Abigail situation happened; her only concern has been that searching for his presumed-dead sister and then chasing after three violent fugitives interfered with the amount of attention he is able to give her.
Gabi is selfish, doesn't care that her boyfriend's sister -- who is supposed to be her best friend -- is supposedly dead, and treats JJ like an annoyance except for when he comes on to her sexually. She is the worst relationship partner he's had since he neutralized Theresa's attempt to blackmail him back into the drug life.
Paige was the best thing that ever happened to JJ, and Gabi does not even compare. Even at her angriest, Paige was far less cruel -- her idea of revenge was to date a bad guy so that JJ could see how much he hurt her, for goodness sake! While JJ's heart may be broken now, Gabi did him a favor by freeing him from her.
Unfortunately, JJ went to Chad to ask for help getting Gabi back.
It looks like now JJ is going to be the male version of Nicole, endlessly chasing an ex-partner who is abusive towards him and not realizing that he deserves far better. It also was bizarre that Chad, who was accused of murder while blacked out drunk, had zero empathy for JJ and simply assumed that he willingly had sex with whoever it was who wrote that note.
The scene was also a total rerun of when JJ asked Daniel to help him get Paige back, except for that there was way more heart in the JJ/Daniel scene.
Kim: It's seems like yesterday I was braiding Jeannie's hair and I was cutting off the crusts of her egg salad sandwiches and then our sweet little girl turned 13.
Shane: And she hated the both of us. I wondered where my sweet, winsome little girl had gone.
Finally, Theresa completed her plan to convince Brady she had never changed so that she could return to her abusive ex.
The best thing about this storyline is that it's over. Theresa deserved a better exit than this. Pretending to be a callous drug user so that her fiance wouldn't find out that she was being coerced into returning to Mexico with a violent ex did not make her a heroine. It made no sense that she would do this and even less that her parents would enable the abuse by going along with this plan.
Shane and Kim had a touching conversation about how they didn't know where they'd gone wrong with their little girl. Too bad we didn't see that on-screen when Theresa started acting out instead of now, at the tail end of her storyline.
Besides the terrible message that women should just go along with being abused, this storyline is rather short-sighted.
Theresa supposedly is going to expose Mateo, then return to Brady and explain the truth. However, Brady is gullible enough to believe that Theresa never loved him and will probably move on within five minutes, because that's how Brady is. After NIcole talked to him and played with Tate, she's the most likely candidate for Brady's next fiancee. So if Theresa does come back, there's no real future for her and Brady, and she'll have lost custody of Tate by virtue of her behavior.
What exactly was the point here? That people can't escape their pasts? That former addicts don't deserve happiness?
Wouldn't it have been better for Theresa to have to make a difficult decision because of some amazing job opportunity elsewhere or something? That way she didn't have to be unredeemed at the last possible second.
What did you think of this week's Days of Our Lives? What was your favorite and least favorite storyline this week? Do you find Adrienne and Lucas at all rootable?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for our Days of Our Live's Round Table discussion!
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.