16 August 2004 | kcla
This summer series from ABC focuses on the melodramas of the Day family. In Episode 1, the mother and daughter learn that they are both pregnant. Meanwhile, the dad quits his job as a corporate lawyer and the youngest son suffers from panic attacks. Sarcastic, observant middle son Cooper narrates his family's soap opera travails.
It is this wry observation that saves the show, often an incredibly trite scene is saved by a quick one-liner from the characters. These people may be stereotypical television characters (how many times have we seen a pregnant teenage girl on television? We get it- sex has consequences. Bizarrely, STDs which are actually on the rise among teenagers as opposed to pregnancy which is in decline among teenagers is rarely dealt with seriously on any network show.) but the writers are smart enough to know that and have the characters skewer their own archetypes. And as the series progresses, these characters become somewhat endearing and real.
Still, the show often fails to maintain the delicate balance between drama and comedy as well as the balance between family fare and edgy topical material. The parents were surprisingly accepting about Natalie's pregnancy, even seemed kind of glad about it, eventually- which in t.v. land means 2 episodes. In the most recent episode, daughter Natalie decides to get an abortion. She'll probably change her mind in the last minute as these writers or the network probably isn't brave enough to actually have a main character have an abortion. It may be a choice but not one that can depicted without being seen as shameful by many viewers, which is unfortunate since this is a real decision many people make.
The acting is mostly marginal, they actors mostly don't know how to infuse there characters with pathos and overplay the comedic scenes. Evan Peters is pretty good as middle son Cooper, but his voice is sometimes monotonous- whether he's trying to intentionally depict his character's weariness with conventional standards I'm not sure. The Days are witty enough to keep one entertained but despite the melodrama and middle son Cooper's belief that his family is crazy, they aren't that unique. Still, for a network summer series it's pretty good and the series gets better with each episode- there's a chance it could become truly compelling in the future, if only it would become more daring. Better than a lot of the junk on network TV but hasn't quite found its footing yet.