This is What It’s Come To

Posted April 28, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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Well, it’s been a week since Nicole managed to ward off Scooter’s predatory advances, so we’re overdue for a story in which a woman is degraded and assaulted!

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I actually don’t mind this as a setup for some JJ/Lani story — and I like that they’re using their work to drive it — but I am so, so tired of rape and sexual assault and whatnot on this show. They’ve gone out of their way to state that Lani wasn’t actually assaulted, but there’s something icky about continually putting the female characters in this sort of position. Interestingly, though, Sal Stowers seems to be coming alive in playing this — maybe because Lani has some actual drive and agency here — but the only other time I’ve seen a spark from her was during her sex-trafficking storyline on the online version of All My Children, so I wonder if they decided to write into that a bit?

I have very little else to say, other than that I came home yesterday and the TV was on, and I thought Roman was choking instead of having an allergic reaction, and I burst out laughing. Also, it appears Kate’s grief over Eduardo going to prison has caused her to start lending Dario her blouses.

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Yikes. Kind of makes you long for the days of the ubiquitous Club TBD burgundy, huh?

Outstanding Drama Submission Episodes Revealed

Posted April 26, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

Tags: ,

The 44th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards are being presented this Sunday, April 30th, most likely in the mother-in-law suite at Ken Corday’s home (and broadcast via a series of courtroom sketches placed in front of someone’s webcam they installed to watch the dog while they’re at work), and SoapCentral has the breakdown of which episodes every series submitted for consideration in the Outstanding Daytime Drama Series category.

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For Days, the two submitted episodes are as follows:

Episodes #12807 and #12811
Air Dates: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 and Monday, March 28, 2016

Episode 1 Synopsis: Rafe and Steve are determined to rescue John. Marlena unexpectedly joins them. Paul continues to be brainwashed. When it looks like Yo Ling is about to be captured, he bites down on his ring and ingests a lethal poison.

Episode 2 Synopsis: On a dark and stormy night, Abigail believes she sees Ben staring in the window at her. J.J. and Chad assure her that Ben is nowhere near the house. J.J. comforts Abigail with a story from their childhood…then reassures her that they will catch Ben. Just as Abigail starts to relax, one of the guards reports something on the perimeter, and J.J. rushes out. Alone, Abigail sees a dark figure darting into the tunnels and sends Chad after him. She then returns to the living room, finds Thomas gone from his carrier…and turns and sees Ben holding her son.

As a viewer who has seen 99% of the episodes that aired during the eligibility period, I would say these are… interesting choices. From the perspective of a producer looking to win an Emmy, or a voter basing my decision on the two episodes submitted for viewing, I’d have to call these tactical, even smart, picks. Do they represent what Days of Our Lives looked and felt like on a daily basis during the period being considered? Not really, except that they’re both dark as hell (literally and figuratively). Do they look as if Days were taking risks within the medium, attempting to innovate and do some interesting things? Absolutely.

Back when that first episode aired, I found it narratively unsatisfying as the “final” big reveal of John Black’s origins — but it was also cinematic and engaging as a standalone piece. Tobin Bell (who’s nominated as Guest Star for his turn as Yo Ling) was a great bit of casting and also scary as hell. I could completely see this working as Emmy bait, and it’s cool that it features vets like John, Marlena, Steve, and, uh, Rafe.

As for the second submission, it was a little more traditional soap, although they really went above and beyond in creating a creepy ambiance that we don’t get to see much these Days. The centerpiece of the entire thing, aside from the mood, was Kate Mansi’s itchy, unraveling Abigail, and it was some of the best work she did during her five-year run. I get why they went with the standalone episode set at the mansion, but I felt then, and still feel now — just as with a lot of those singularly focused experimental episodes they tried in 2015-16 — that they were struggling to fill the hour with content. I kind of wish they’d gone with a subsequent episode in which Abigail tied Ben to the bed and lit him on fire, but maybe they felt that was too dark for a heroine (although Mansi was electric then), or maybe there were other storylines going on in the same episode that they felt dragged down the pace — think about being an Emmy voter, being caught up in the fascinating Abigail/Ben stuff, and then having to cut to Summer’s useless ass or Ciara trying to speak Human.

All things considered, these are, on their own, fairly strong submissions, and they show Days making a real play for the prize instead of just going with some ho-hum, middle-of-the-road stuff. It’ll be interesting to see how voters respond.

What Happened in Salem: Week of April 17th

Posted April 24, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

Nicole resourcefully and neatly wrapped up her Scooter problem. Meanwhile…

Seeing that Gabi once signed Chad’s high school yearbook was the final straw for Abigail, who called off the vow renewal and her marriage due to this clear sign that Chad belongs with Gabi. Abigail was determined to stand on her own two feet, despite being jobless, homeless, and with a toddler to raise, while Chad was laser-focused on winning her back. Causing this triangle to fall even flatter, Gabi insisted she wouldn’t interfere and moved onto a way more interesting storyline after Julie saw her and Eli hanging out together.

Read the full recap for a refresher on What Happened in Salem last week!

Give Your Heart a Break

Posted April 23, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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I can hardly believe I’m saying this, but there was a bunch of stuff in the latter part of this week that I genuinely enjoyed. Julie versus Gabi is great — between Julie’s various zingers about Gabi shooting men and Gabi daring to invoke Alice Horton (I loved the way they did that shot over Julie’s shoulder) — this all feels really fresh and interesting. And Julie faking a heart attack is completely over-the-top and ridiculous, which is how I like my Julie Williams.

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It’s a little absurd that Eli, an FBI agent who’s meeting all these new people and hearing their insane stories, had to wait for Sonny to tell him the full Gabi/Nick tale instead of doing some damn research on his own, but in general, I like the energy of what’s going on here. Of course, it also makes the tepid Abigail/Chad/Gabi/Dario story seem even flatter, what with Gabi already off in a more appealing storyline with an emotional center that actually makes sense.

But, speaking of Abigail, I do appreciate the effort in the writing to portray her as strong and determined. Her scenes with Eric were unexpected and lovely, and though I know they aren’t going there, it was a glimpse into an alternate universe in which that was the pairing they went with, and I didn’t hate it.

Look at me! Being positive and not complaining! I’m sure that means this upcoming week will be nothing but Kate shoving Chad and Gabi together while Hillary shows up at everyone’s door with muffins and a printout of her husband’s browser history, but I’ll take what I can get lately.

Motel Room Lolita

Posted April 20, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anything on television as bizarre as the left turn that, in the course of one episode, took us from “porn-addicted sleaze tries to blackmail desperate mother into sex” to “kidnapper proves she has heart of gold by helping porn-addicted sleaze and nosy wife get into roleplaying.”

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I seriously couldn’t stop watching these scenes — which is a rarity with Days right now — as it occurred to me that this was all supposed to be heartwarming. Nicole didn’t have to have sex with Scooter or shoot him; instead, she set up his wife to dress up as a porn character played by a drugged, underage girl so that her husband would want her again! I can’t think of anything more romantic!

On the upside, I’m glad that this looks to be the end of Scooter and Hillary, and Brady’s deadpan reactions to Scooter were hilarious. So that’s something. And I can’t wait for Brady and Nicole to tell their children and grandchildren the tale of how they finally admitted their love.

Somehow, this all made way more sense than what was going on with Chad and Abigail’s failed vow renewal.

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Marci Miller is like, “What did I do to deserve this?” And the answer is, I suppose, something awful. I keep saying this, but the POV and the sequencing of this storyline is all off. So off that I can’t even understand why people are doing the things they’re doing. Abigail was fine after she caught Chad and Gabi near-naked in one another’s arms and hearing that they made out, but a yearbook signature causes her to tank the marriage in front of the four people who bothered to show up for their ceremony? I appreciate that they’re trying to write her as strong, but she kind of seems unreasonable and ridiculous given that Chad keeps insisting that he wants to be with her, and Gabi isn’t doing anything to interfere in the marriage, and… I dunno. This one is just not working at all, and every time someone makes a decision, it makes me have even less sympathy for him or her. What am I supposed to be rooting for here? A cable outage?

Actress Returns for Limited Run

Posted April 19, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

This one has me excited. I have a feeling you’re either gonna love it or hate it…

Read the rest of this post »

What Happened in Salem: Week of April 10th

Posted April 19, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

I’m just gonna be honest here: I went to Coachella and delayed watching these episodes for as long as possible, but here ya go.

Abigail abruptly stopped her and Chad’s vow renewal ceremony, which was being attended by four people sitting on the living room furniture, and declared that she can no longer be his wife because she saw that his high school friend, Gabi, once signed his yearbook. (Yes, that is a completely fact-based recounting of what actually happened.)

Check out the full thing, if you dare, to catch up on What Happened in Salem last week!