On 20th July, South Africans will see the last of Salem and the “sands through the hour glass” as the iconic soapie, Days of Our Lives, will immediately stop airing thereafter.
The SABC has decided to axe the US show in line with its transformation drive to see more local content being promoted across its TV stations, starting with SABC 3, which airs the most international shows.
The decision initially came as a surprise to South Africans, who were introduced to the soapie in 1996, according to Wikipedia, which basically became a TV staple across age, gender, race and culture.
According to ratings, the soapie was SABC 3’s third most watched show, apart from a special cricket series broadcast, last month.
Many may have stopped watching it years ago, but “Days” as it’s known, will always be a part of South African TV culture and long-forgotten nostalgic memories for a lot of us.
Here’s a walk down memory lane to remember some of the most insane plots that had us glued to our screens for years:
When Marlena Evans Black was possessed by a demon
Who remembers how scary it was when Marlena (played by Diedre Hall) was possessed by a demon circa 1998-9 (South Africa has aired Days episodes three years behind schedule since its debut here)? Her husband, John Black who was a priest at the time, had to keep her locked in their penthouse while her prayed, struggled and perform exorcisms on her to get the demon out.
Marlena’s voice was tuned to sound much deeper and her eyes turned completely grey, making the plot seem as real as possible (some of us still get chills thinking about it).
“The greatest part about being possessed was I could do anything, and I’d played Marlena for so many years as this sweet, understanding, compassionate woman, and then to start killing people was so much fun! That was the best part,” Hall said in a recent interview with Glamour magazine.
The countless times Stefano DiMera has died and come back
There’s a reason why the Phoenix is the family crest of Days’ most famous and diabolical villain, Stefano DiMera.
According to Greek mythology, Phoenixes rise from the literally ashes of its predecessor.
And, so was the case with DiMera, who has, in the past, been shot, poisoned, drowned, buried under rubble and died of natural causes, only to dramatically reappear a few years later, to exact revenge (mostly on John Black, his arch nemesis) and reclaim his status as Salem’s most feared man.
According to Wikipedia, DiMera died a whopping 13 times since 1983.
Believe it or not, DiMera was finally killed off Days for the very last time this year, due to the declining health of 87-year-old Joseph Mascolo, who played the character from 1982.
Check out Stefano’s long list of marriages, kids, crimes and affairs, here.
Alien twins from outer space
You may not believe in aliens, but Days definitely does.
In 2002, the soapie introduced two attractive twins, Rex and Cassie, who literally dropped from the sky as aliens in a spaceship right in the middle of Salem, half naked at that.
Rex and Cassie quickly adapted to human life, getting some clothes, learning English and even falling in love with a Mimi Lockheart and Lucas Roberts respectively.
It was then revealed that they were Roman Brady and Kate Roberts’ kids, who’d been together at some and conceived the two but, in a way even we can’t explain, were stolen by Stefano DiMera and sent somewhere or some kind of loony explanation like that.
Mind you, having fallen in love with Lucas, Cassie almost bedded her own half brother before finding out the truth.
Go to hell, literally
“Adam and Eve are in hell. They defeat Satan and then come back.”
No, this isn’t a pitch for an un-produced Ed Wood movie, it’s the story line for Austin Reed and Greta Von Amburg who found themselves naked and trapped in a virtual Garden of Eden that turned into hell. The pair then went through many challenges and fought various enemies, including the devil, after which they returned back to reality/earth.
The aim? To retrieve Greta’s European princess crown lost to her many years ago which again, Stefano DiMera had a lot to do with.
You must have been a real fan to continue watching past this ridiculousness.
Unfortunately, this is the only clip available online and the script is in a foreign language.
John Black having his entire memory stored on a CD by Stefano DiMera
DiMera always had a sick obsession with turning John Black into a pawn he could use to do his evil bidding and he succeeded in doing so many times over the years.
One particular storyline involving the two was in the early 2000s when John Black had been brainwashed by DiMera, with his entire memory wiped and then stored on a CD (how few memories did Black have if they were stored on a CD of all things?).
DiMera used this as a hold over Black, even going as far as destroying the CD, but luckily for Black, there was a back up and he eventually got his memory back.
By the way, isn’t the photo hilarious? Black is of course famous for that eyebrow he always lifts when he thinks really hard or stares intensely at someone.
Of course, we couldn’t possibly fit all of the crazy story lines featured over the years, otherwise we’d have to write a book, but these are just some that fans instantly remember when one mentions Days of Our Lives.
Did we miss any? Are there any other insane plots you remember from this show? Will you be watching the “last” episode on SABC 3? Let us know in the comments below.[Main image – NBC Days Twitter]