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Higley Discusses Baby Switch Storyline

In a no holds barred interview, Stephanie Sloane (writer, Soap Opera Digest) asked longtime Days writer, Dena Higley, about DiMera baby switch storyline. Fans will recall the recycled storyline in which Nicole DiMera (Ari Zucker) was devastated over her miscarriage and in a desperate attempt to hand onto her husband, E.J., bought a baby and swapped the newborn with Sami Brady’s newborn baby, who coincidentally, was also fathered by E.J. DiMera. Although, I must interject that we weren’t initially sure if E.J. or Lucas was the father of Sami’s baby. Sami quickly confirmed that E.J. was in fact the father of her baby and Nicole reasoned that she would be doing E.J. a favor by having is his flesh and blood live under the same roof. Stefano found out about the ol’ switcheroo and actually helped Nicole carry out her plans, because after all, this child was a DiMera heir. Meanwhile, the other baby died – leaving Sami and E.J., grieving for a child that was not theirs.

Higley insists that the storyline would be different from others.

If there’s one thing [the late] Jim Reilly taught me, it’s that every story is new because every character is in a different situation and the stakes are always different .… if you do it right, it will always feel and taste different.

So, let us have a brief look at another baby switch storyline on Days of Our Lives to see how it is different – or not. From 1999 through 2001, the pre-packaged storyline involved the babies belonging to Lexie Carver and Hope Brady, masterminded by Stefano. Stefano thought there was a good chance that Hope’s baby was actually his, so what better way to have his flesh and blood still in the family folds than to have his daughter, Lexie, raise the DiMera heir. The story was heavy on the other overused storyline, “Who’s the Daddy?”

The original baby belonged to Dr. Rolf’s niece, Marlo. Marlo was an alcoholic who had a fling with a guy named Glen Reiber. Marlo’s newborn was switched with Hope’s baby. Hope thought that John Black fathered her baby while she was in her alternate personality, Princess Gina. Hope’s baby was then given to Lexie and Abe to adopt until the real father, Glen, found out. After the babies were returned to their rightful parents, we were allowed to briefly savor the fact that Bo was the father of Hope’s baby. Under normal circumstances, the family should have been allowed to live happily ever after, but the baby died when he was run over by his older sister, Chelsea.

So now, what was different about the storylines? Nothing. Both involved Stefano’s desire to have his family under his control at all costs. Both storylines involved three couples and two babies. In my opinion, the feel and the taste were the same. What do you think about the baby switch storyline? What could Dena Higley have done to really make the storyline taste and feel differently than past baby switch storylines?

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