Daytime Emmy Nominations Announced

Posted May 22, 2020 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Daytime Emmys, Daytime TV, Soap Opera, Television

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It’s once again that time of year… that time when we go, “Yay!” and also, “What in the hell were any of these people thinking?!” as we review the official nominations for the Daytime Emmy Awards. This year’s awards — the 47th annual celebration of soaps, talk shows, game shows, children’s programming, digital series, and whatever the hell else they don’t want to include in the Primetime Emmys — will be televised on a major network (CBS) for the first time in years, when a virtual ceremony is held on June 26.

Around these parts, what we’re mostly concerned about is who from Days of Our Lives did (or did not!) score a nomination. This year’s nods for the show are as follows:

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR
Thaao Penghlis (Tony DiMera)

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS
Arianne Zucker (Nicole Walker/Kristen DiMera)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR
Paul Telfer (Xander Cook Kiriakis)
Chandler Massey (Will Horton)
Wally Kurth (Justin Kiriakis)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie Williams)

OUTSTANDING YOUNGER PERFORMER
Thia Megia (Haley Chen)
Olivia Rose Keegan (Claire Brady)

OUTSTANDING GUEST PERFORMER
Chrishell Stause (Jordan Ridgeway)

In addition, Days picked up nomination in the following categories: Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing Team, Outstanding Directing Team, Outstanding Lighting Direction, Outstanding Technical Team, Outstanding Multiple Camera Editing, Outstanding Live and Direct-to-Tape Sound Mixing, Outstanding Hairstyling, Outstanding Make-up, Outstanding Art Direction/Set Direction/Scenic Design, and Outstanding Daytime Promotional Announcement (for the “Flash Forward” promo).

Whew! Lots to unpack here. Starting with…

I want whatever crazy-ass new psychedelic Dr. Rolf cooked up in that lab of his, because it’s gotta be the same thing these voters took before finalizing the nominations. I acknowledge that I’m beyond tired of Andre, Tony, and Thaao Penghlis’s social media presence in general, but I truly can’t think of anything that Penghlis did in the past year to warrant a Lead Actor nomination. Tony popped in for an arc, and his entire return was pretty low-key. I could maybe understand a Guest Performer nomination, and I know that it’s really just a matter of what episodes a performer includes in his or her reel, but this is hot nonsense.

Arianne Zucker’s nom, on the other hand, makes complete sense to me. Nicole has been very much a supporting character since her actual return from the “dead,” but Zucker played Kristen-as-Nicole in the first half of 2019, and she did some really impressive work there — including Holly’s “death,” before we knew she was actually Kristen. I’m not a fan of the way they’ve been utilizing Xander or some of the choices that Paul Telfer has made since becoming a regular, but he’s a likable guy and I have no doubt that he had sufficient material for a convincing reel. Chandler Massey is an Emmy darling playing a landmark character; even with the uneven story that Will has had of late, he did some strong work following the time jump and played Will’s near-fatal illness in the early part of the year, so I can’t be surprised by his nomination. Wally Kurth is always solid as Justin, so I can’t complain about that one, though I don’t know how much of his material felt “standout” this past year. And I’ll always be thrilled to see a vet, let alone a daytime legend like Susan Seaforth Hayes, be honored for her work. For the character of Julie Williams to still be in the mix like this 55 years after her debut is remarkable.

The Younger Actor and Younger Actress were combined into one category (Younger Performer), which… turned out to be all female nominees. I didn’t think Haley’s story worked very well at all, but I’m sure Thia Megia had seem strong stuff to submit. And Olivia Rose Keegan got last year’s “We didn’t know how to utilize you for the entirety of your contract run, but once we fired you, we found material that made you shine” treatment. I hope she wins — her work during Claire’s breakdown and exit were terrific. And I can’t quibble with Chrishell’s nomination. She’s kind of a “name,” she came in for a guest arc, and she had some interesting stuff now that Jordan wasn’t such a bland bore. (Also, I hope Emmy voters have to sit through those insane scenes with the cupcakes at David’s birthday party. That has nothing to do with Chrishell’s performance, but those episodes were nuts!)

I’m somewhat surprised by the lack of a nomination for Camila Banus (Gabi), who was definitely a lead through not only Gabi’s scheming but also Stefan’s death. There aren’t any other omissions that shock me, though I’m giggling a bit that Days didn’t get a nod for Wardrobe. At least we know the Emmy voters are keeping up with their optometrist visits!

One Misstep at a Time

Posted May 19, 2020 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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Going to start this post off with a Trigger Warning for discussion of suicide — and the fact that I have to do that sums up what a misguided move Days made this week.

Look, I had a root canal before watching Monday’s episode, and I’ll let you guess which experience was more unpleasant. It isn’t that the topic of suicide is something that necessarily should be off-limits for fiction, but it requires a deft hand that makes the exploration of the subject worthwhile. I had issues with JJ’s contemplation of suicide after he shot Theo — mostly because it felt like they tried to do a social-issue storyline with what was really a personal story, and the balance never felt right — but there was a gravity to that tale that this current Maggie one totally lacks.

For starters, did she mail a suicide note to Victor, then wait several days before the actual attempt?

Read the rest of this post »

Tonight on ABC…

Posted May 18, 2020 by mykleraus
Categories: Television

A little bit of self-promo… I co-wrote “Side Effects,” tonight’s episode of The Baker and the Beauty, airing at 10 p.m. on ABC.

As with all TV episodes, this one was a group effort — but I’m proud to have my name on this one, along with Christina Quintana (CQ), an incredibly talented writer and a dear friend. It’s been such a treat seeing people enjoy the show and to see a Latinx cast driving a primetime show this way!

It’ll also be available On Demand and on Hulu tomorrow!

Dress to Depress

Posted May 17, 2020 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

Tags: ,

Sure, Statesville might have atrocious security, what with the constant assaults and the prisoners checking themselves in and out like it’s a Holiday Inn, but at least they enforce a strict dress code for visitors!

Between Will’s work shirt and Sarah’s jumpsuit, it looked like Maggie’s visitors had gone flipping through the September issue of Fashion Behind Bars before they came to see her.

Given the commitment to theme here, I’m surprised Xander didn’t walk in there dressed like the damn Hamburglar.

On the plus side, the weirdly consistent sartorial choices offered some distraction from the frustrating content of basically every scene involving Maggie this week. Why is Will suddenly this big a part of her life? Why couldn’t Sarah be pissed at her for even one full episode? And whyyyyy is it going to turn out that Victor’s instincts were completely correct, based on that letter from Maggie that he received at the end of Friday’s episode? “Grown-ass woman so incapable of facing the consequences of her own actions that an entire town has to walk on eggshells or she’ll harm herself” does not, shockingly, make for enjoyable viewing! And, of course, none of it matters anyway, because Orpheus and Evan/Christian set up the entire thing and none of it will count in a week, anyway.

Injections and Injunctions

Posted May 15, 2020 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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Um, Gabi… are you sure that you don’t need this magical memory-restoring serum?

I’m gonna go out on a limb and venture that it’s not the wisest move to run around town planning to inject people with a drug of dubious origin when you’re currently being accused of drugging someone else. Add to that the fact that she needed Rolf to remind her of Salem’s myriad amnesiac returnees-from-the-dead — the father of Gabi’s own daughter among them — and the lack of logical steps such as, I dunno, asking Jake anything specific about his background, upbringing, or life in general. Did he know anyone prior to, like, the last year? Did he have a family or a job or a friend or a government-issued ID? I feel like there might be a move or two here before jabbing a needle into this man and assuming it’ll clear up the confusion ASAP.

I’m also wildly unclear on what “the serum” even does at this point. There was one that revived dead people, but it only worked if the person wasn’t really dead? And then there was one that restored memories, except it took multiple doses and a delay of several months to work on Will, and Jack got his memory back without it, and Eve maybe destroyed the formula… and also, Rolf is probably lying anyway, so that’s probably a syringe full of either Botox or whatever’s driving Abigail insane.

It all makes about as much sense as whatever’s going on with Rafe and the Orpheus family.

Alyshia Ochse stepped into the role of Zoey this week, because the original actress, Kelly Thiebaud, booked a primetime role. I was liking Theibaud in the part as much as I could enjoy anyone in this string of loosely related events that’s masquerading as a story, but I’m perfectly open to seeing how Ochse does. First impression: I thought it was Melissa Archer, a.k.a. Serena the Elephant Statue Fanatic, marching into frame at first. Other than that? Evan, whose name is Christian, was sentenced offscreen to 20 years in prison, and Orpheus apparently had something to do with Maggie’s accident, and I don’t really care whether Rafe gets to raise this kid — are they just writing scenes at random and distributing them throughout episodes?

Mama Said

Posted May 13, 2020 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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It is once again Mother’s Day, which — as we know from January’s week of flashbacks to the year we skipped with the time jump — is a holiday that everyone in Salem becomes absolutely crazed about celebrating.

For example, Father of the Year Brady Black marked the occasion by turning yet another one of his children loose in the world so that he doesn’t have to do any actual parenting.

I don’t hate this as an exit for Kristen herself. There’s something poetic about her finally getting the child she’s always wanted, but she has to live life on the run and give up the man she loves. Interesting and dramatic! I do, however, question the decision-making of everyone else involved in this. Brady being cool with sending his child off for a life as a fugitive is nuts. And yes, Sarah did the right thing by returning Mackenzie Rachel to her biological mother… but perhaps it would’ve been wise for them to go back to Salem and prepare a transition plan, rather than handing off an infant who just completed cancer treatment to a total stranger in the middle of a foreign train station without any medication, supplies, or regard for the child’s well-being.

Then again, it’s tough to expect much of Sarah’s parenting when all her choices of late have been so wackadoo. I’ve found her breakdown and desperation a lot more interesting than all her preening and grinning and whatever else she’s been doing this year, and of course I derived some satisfaction from watching Rex get knocked out, but she’s clearly come unglued. Not as badly as that cartoonishly nosy neighbor who forced her way into the apartment and yet has such poor vision (?!?!) that she couldn’t tell Rex was tied up against his will from like three feet away, but still.

Back at home, Ciara is also commemorating Mother’s Day…

…by spending no time with the mother she just got back and instead eating Chinese food in the park with her boyfriend and giggling about how her family “gave him such a hard time.” How silly of them not to want her with a serial killer! It isn’t like they disapproved of Ben having tattoos, Ciara. The man killed four people. But sure, let’s have a wedding!

What was with that dialogue about how Ciara actually still has her job at Titan, only she hasn’t gone to work, hasn’t collected a paycheck, and has royally pissed off the family members in charge of the company? I… am not sure this young lady knows how jobs work.

Perhaps she could take a lesson from Kate, who has had as many jobs in the past two years as she does necklaces.

I’m surprised she didn’t tip over in the middle of the Square from the sheer weight of them! Great dress, though.

Oh, The Things You’ll See!

Posted May 7, 2020 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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You guys, I’m worried about Hope. And not because of a microchip.

I know Steve is the one who got his eye stabbed out, but are we sure Hope’s not gone blind, too? She looks like she let Rachel Isabella dress her!

That room she’s entering is quickly shaping up to be the new Blue Room, by the way. You might remember it from such recent roles as “Rafe’s living room.” Let’s see if it has the range of its predecessor!

After I saw that’s what they were using for Hope’s house, you can imagine my shock when we got a shot of her and Steve walking out a front door, then them moving through an alleyway, and then a driveway set with a garage door and fence.

Even Steve is like, “How many weddings are we going to have to hold in this driveway to pay it off?!”

We also got a set for Jake’s apartment above the garage in Thursday’s episode.

I’m sure this is a reconfiguration of something we’ve seen before, but I can’t pinpoint what. Even without the fresh set, though, the Jake story feels like an infusion of new energy. It’s also really smart to start out him and Gabi the way that they are, utilizing their antagonistic chemistry instead of slipping right into some weepy amnesia story. Dare I say that I’m enjoying this, or is that just tempting fate?