Saying Goodbye to the First WilSon Incarnation with a Bit of Snark

(Jan. 7, 2014) — Chandler Massey walked along a fake riverbank with Freddie Smith a few months ago and then was “handed his cards,” as they used to say in vaudeville, before being shown the door at the venerable NBC soap Days of our Lives.

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Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith, right) will have to start rubbing noses with a different Will Horton when Guy Wilson takes over the plum role from Chandler Massey (left).

Tomorrow, the angsty blonde half of DAYS’ preeminent (and only) same-sex couple will come back from their journey to that fake riverbank looking a bit different than when he left. That’s because Guy Wilson debuts in the role that won Massey two consecutive Daytime Emmy Awards: Will Horton.

It could be a painful transition, except that, thanks to The Backlot’s pop culture maven, known only as “snicks,” we have “Will & Sonny: A Love Story in Pictures, Part Two” to bring Wilson up to speed on WilSon. Make sure to click on Part I and Will’s California Adventure, too.

This is just about the best way to watch, I think!

Will and Sonny Scare the Mormons

Days of our Lives - Season 46

Days of our Lives’ ongoing front-burner gay storyline featuring Will and Sonny (Chandler Massey and Freddie Smith, far right couple) is the reason that some have alleged that KSL-TV in Utah has moved the program to an overnight timeslot.

from Huffington Post Gay Voices

“Days Of Our Lives” fans in the Salt Lake City area won’t be able to watch their daytime soap during the day anymore. KSL, NBC’s Salt Lake City affiliate, has announced it will move the long-running soap from 2 p.m. to 1:05 a.m.

According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, KSL won’t say why it’s moved “Days” to late night — or why it airs “Dr. Phil” twice — but it could be because of the show’s ongoing gay storyline.

KSL is owned by the Mormon Church. In the past, they’ve refused to air many network shows.

Will and Sonny: A Love Story In Pictures (with Funny Captions)

Will & Sonny: A Love Story In Pictures – thebacklot.com.

You just have to click around on this if you are a WilSon fan. Not only is it well put together, but the snark is off-the-charts — and dead on it to boot. I’ve certainly said several of these things or thought several of these thoughts!

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“I understand now, Will, and I accept the fact that … it’s not about me. Oh, and that you’re gay. That, too. But mostly the me thing.”
— “Sami,” on The Backlot’s slide deck featuring images and hilarious commentary on the WilSon storyline on “Days of our Lives.” Chandler Massey, the two-time Emmy winner, was dismissed on Aug. 23.

Recent DAYS news and other posts

DAYS Shocker — Massey Abruptly Fired from Top Role in Drama

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Chandler Massey as Will Horton. The two-time Emmy winner was let go last week.

Well, this is interesting. Not good interesting, but interesting nonetheless. This is why I hate the networks….

Two-time Emmy winner Chandler Massey filmed his final scenes as Days of Our Lives’ gay heartthrob Will Horton on Friday, Aug. 23 — only he didn’t know they were his last until he was summoned at the end of his work day to the office of Greg Meng, the soap’s co-executive producer. During this meeting, Meng informed Massey, who had been planning to depart the NBC soap when his contract expired in December, that he would have to leave immediately because a replacement had already been hired. Massey exited the studio sans fanfare — no farewell party, no goodbyes, no nothing — and sources close to the young actor say he was devastated and in tears. His last episode will air on or around Dec. 31. Days has yet to announce the name of Massey’s replacement, who won’t begin work until after the soap returns from a two-week production hiatus in September.

via TV Guide

Recent Post: Massey Leaves Iconic Role as Will Horton

Massey Leaves Iconic Gay Role as Will Horton

Outlets covering gay entertainment news and those covering soap operas had plenty to write about Fri., Aug. 23, when, in a surprise move, two-time Emmy winner Chandler Massey announced that he had filmed his last scenes as Will Horton on the venerable NBC sudser Days of our Lives.

The story of Will Horton (Emmy winner Chandler Massey, left) discovering himself and his love story with Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith) has been achingly slow, but powerful performances by the duo have overshadowed the typically tepid plotting.

AFTERGLOW. Sonny Kiriakis (Emmy nominee Freddie Smith, right) will find a strange new bedfellow in the new year when an as yet unannounced new actor takes over the role of partner Will Horton (double Emmy winner Chandler Massey, left) on the NBC daytime drama Days of Our Lives.

The 22-year-old Massey had announced his intentions to leave the role earlier this year when he won his second consecutive Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Younger Actor. He has said that he intends to finish college, which was interrupted during his freshman year when he won the role of Will Horton on DOOL.

“I’m done. It’s bittersweet, Massey is quoted as saying on The Backlot. “These four years have been so amazing I’ve built a family here. I’m so grateful to NBC and everyone for these amazing four years. It’s been my privilege and honor to work there.”

Massey was let out of his contract several months early for a variety or reasons. While originally saying that they would not recast the role, producers have now indicated that storylines have dictated a recast.

While many current fans of the show have taken to social media decrying the decision to recast, Massey — the fifth actor to play the role — has been vocal in his support of a recast for some time.

“I think it’s a good move [to recast],” Massey said in The Backlot piece. “I’m biased because I fell in love with Will and Sonny and I want Will and Sonny to be together.”

I agree with him. I fell in love with them, too. But, recasts have always been a part of the life of a continuing drama. After all, excluding babies, 12 actors assayed the part of Tom Hughes on As The World Turns from 1960 until Scott Holmes became “lucky 13” in 1987, staying with the role until the series ended in 2010. There’s hardly a role on a soap that has not been played by another actor at one time or another.

There’s no doubt about it: I will miss Massey, but I do believe that it’s more important that DOOL continue to tell this story and I hope a recast indicates that they tend to do just that.

There are plenty of young people, struggling with their sexuality that need to see other young gay people in a committed relationship to show them that it can be done — insane gunmen, unintended pregnancies, annoying and sometime borderline psychotic parents, drug dealing cousins, perjury, hot architects and Stefano DiMera aside — and that you can come home each night to the loving embrace of Sonny Kiriakis and his fabulous hair.

Thanks, Mr. Massey, for sharing your gifts with us. Your impact on the landscape has been indelible.

Because of DAYS’ shooting schedule, Massey will likely be seen as Will through December.

Other Recent Posts:
More Sands Through the Gay Hourglass — Revisiting and Revising
Like Sands Through the Gay Hourglass: Ticked Off at American Dramas. Again.
Charm of DAYS’ Gay Supercouple “Cannot be Denied”
Chandler Massey Takes Home Second Emmy
Daytime Emmy Q and A: Freddie Smith

Charm of DAYS’ Gay Supercouple “Cannot be Denied”

Whether or not the sand runs out on Will and Sonny is up to the writers and others involved. There is word (though not officially confirmed by the actor) that Massey doesn’t plan on returning to Salem after his contract runs out this December. Still, fans can currently enjoy the ups-and-downs of one of (if not the biggest) daytime television power couple. Even if you are not a fan of Days of our Lives or soaps in general, the presence, power, and charm of the couple cannot be denied.

via Andrew Benkovic: The Daytime TV Power Couple That May (or May Not) Surprise You.

I agree. Benkovic’s piece on HuffPo is good, especially given that he’s very upfront about not being a longtime Days of Our Lives fan — or soap fan in general.

GAYTASTIC — Will Horton (Chandler Massey, left) and Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith, right) have emerged as one of the most popular couples on the NBC daytime serial “Days of Our Lives.” Powerful and immensely likable performers, Massey has received three Emmy nominations and Smith was nominated in 2013. Massey won in 2012 and 2013.

The latest machinations with Adrienne talking trash and Will doubting himself and doubting Sonny’s commitment to Will and the baby have served to derail the post-partem/post-gunshot euphoria the duo has been experiencing of late, but I think it’s a good little ripple — even though I want to backhand Will sometimes — and it serves to reinforce the idea that Will’s self-confidence is only about an inch deep. I mean, if Sami Brady was your mother, how confident would you be?

Lots of drama on the boards right now about Chandler Massey leaving after his contract expires. I’ll take that with a grain of salt right now. NBC and Ted Corday would be damn fools to let him walk away when he’s one of the most popular characters on the show right now and soaps are no longer a dime a dozen. Given taping schedules, we’re likely to see him full time until next March or April. Smart producers would throw money at him and work around his college schedule by back-burnering his story for six months at a time. Plus, you keep Freddie Smith in the forefront and, other than making ME happy, it reminds the audience of the importance of the couple to the Salem landscape. And besides, we’ve never had a long-term gay couple on soaps — and no, Noah and Luke don’t really count as long-term, as much as I loved them — and we need one.

Also, Freddie alluded to something in an interview a while back and I’m interested to see what transpires. Watch this space in October. We’ll see if I’m right!

(Click around here, if you’re interested in this; it’s been one of my favorite subjects of late.)

Chandler Massey Takes Home Second Emmy

Days of our Lives star Chandler Massey took home his second consecutive Emmy award for this portrayal of Will Horton, whose coming out storyline was one of the most talked about plots on daytime. Massey is one of several marvelous young actors plying their trade in fictional Salem these days, perhaps one of the reasons that the venerable NBC drama picked up only its second Outstanding Drama Series statue in its 45-year run on Sunday night.

In the clip below, Massey thanks his on-screen love interest and fellow nominee in the same category, Freddie Smith.

By all accounts, the awards show itself was a train wreck. No surprise. I mean, if you don’t have NPH, you don’t have an awards show!