Abe Carver has long been an essential part of the fictional town of Salem.
He's been best friends with Roman and John forever, has had to balance his commitment to integrity with the fact that wife Lexie's family was full of the not-so-moral Dimeras, and has had to learn how to support a child with high-functioning Autism on his own after Lexie's death.
James Reynolds won an Emmy for his portrayal of Abe's anguish and anger after JJ shot Theo in late 2017. So why, exactly, is Days of Our Lives misusing this legacy character in 2018?
As of Fall 2018, Abe is used mostly for comic relief.
He has been sparring with ex-con Sheila over her parking in his space and later hired her, only to have her accidentally puke on his shoes.
Note to whoever thought this was a great idea: it's not. It just makes Abe look petty and ridiculous and is a complete waste of a talented actor.
Abe didn't get to be a popular character by being obnoxious, and this misuse of his character needs to stop.
In part, this is a symptom of a larger problem. DAYS tends to use legacy characters as comic relief in campy storylines instead of giving them realistic stories that might capture the audience's hearts.
John's grief about Marlena's serious health problems was quickly spun off into a nonsensical story in which John switched Marlena with Hattie.
Justin and Adrienne have had little to do outside of deal with Bonnie pretending to be Adrienne.
Steve and Kayla's story about Steve's deteriorating vision soon turned into Stefan blackmailing Kayla over a bionic eye and Steve going to jail after that eye downloaded sensitive info. Plus Steve's poor vision was caused by his best pal and business partner poisoning him!
The writers seem to think that this kind of silliness is what viewers want, especially that key 18-49 year old demographic, and the nonsense with Abe reflects that belief as much as all these other stories do.
It's sad because many of these stories are close to being the kind of super-emotional drama that attracts viewers to soap operas, but they always veer off into the land of the ridiculous just as they're getting good.
And in Abe's case, it's doubly sad because Abe's character keeps getting ruined in the process.
It doesn't help that most of Abe's family is off-screen.
Theo is in South Africa recovering from injuries related to his gunshot wound, Lexie is dead, and Abe's other son Brandon is in parts unknown. The only family Abe has in town is Lani, and that isn't getting utilized to its dramatic potential.
When Lani first showed up, Abe accepted her without as much as asking for a DNA test. Ever since he's acted like Lani can do no wrong, even when she's entirely in the wrong.
I enjoy Lani encouraging Abe to make the right decisions, but their relationship shouldn't come at the expense of Abe's character!
I find it hard to believe that uber-moral Abe didn't have a problem with Lani lying for months about who the father of her baby was, nor would he allow Valerie to suggest that Lani's behavior was less than appropriate.
It's a shame because there could be so much drama in an Abe/Lani conflict -- everything from Abe blaming himself for Lani's tendency to be less than honest because he didn't get to raise her to Lani being desperate for the approval of the father she never knew.
It would make both characters more vibrant and more engaging as well as give Abe a meaty storyline worthy of one of Salem's most notable residents.
Instead, the writers have gone down the road of believing that Lani is a heroine just because she's related to Abe and that all that's needed to make viewers love her is for everyone in town to agree with her point of view.
It insults viewers' intelligence and twists Abe all out of shape. He is a man known for his morality, yet he's written as being more than okay with lying and cheating as long as it's his daughter doing those things.
Abe is supposed to be the Mayor of Salem, and until this rewrite of his character, he was ideally suited for it. He was an ex-cop who was above corruption and wanted to make Salem a better place.
With Hope and Rafe doing questionable things at the police station, there's a lot for a man like Abe to do, if only the writers would preserve his original character and stop making him petty.
That was underscored when Vanessa Williams (Valerie) left the cast. Abe and Valerie could easily have had a real story in which Abe struggled with his feelings while helping Valerie apply for her dream job in DC, then got crushed when she got the job.
Instead, Valerie was mostly absent while Abe got involved in this silly story with Sheila.
Valerie's job offer came out of the blue and cheated the audience out of a real story for Abe, but that's not the first time that's happened, and it seems like the writers are reluctant to write a real love story for him now that Lexie is gone.
Valerie and Abe's story fizzled out to nothing, and then they had a conflict that got resolved in the space of an hour, which is slightly better than what happened when Abe got paired with Maxine.
A promising story about two widowed people struggling to love again was cut short when they randomly decided to be only friends and then Maxine disappeared from the canvas without explanation.
No one else can be Lexie, but following through on a love interest for Abe instead of putting it on the backburner in favor of campy nonsense would be a far better use of his character than all this nonsense.
What do you think, DAYS fanatics? Why is Days of Our Lives misusing Abe Carver, and what would you like to see for him instead?
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.