The Great Salem Un-SORASing Project, Part 3

Posted February 5, 2016 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

Tags: , ,

Here comes the latest edition of my caffeine- and lunacy-fueled Days history project, in which I go year-by-year through the show’s stories and, while doing my best to preserve the tentpoles (castings, couplings, story turns), rewrite things to eliminate Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome (SORASing). This means that certain characters wind up being far too young to have the stories they had onscreen, and they therefore have to be replaced by characters from the show’s history who would be the appropriate age for those stories.

Part 1 covers 1965-1979, and Part 2 spans 1980-89. In Part 3, I’m taking on the first half of the 90s, because things are complicated now. As with the last edition, I’ll start with a summary of what actually happened in a given year, followed by my thoughts on what SORASing issues exist and how I think we can solve them, and finally, I’ll include a revised version of that year’s summary with SORAS-related changes made in italics.

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You Snooze or You Lose

Posted February 4, 2016 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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Here’s a selfie I took while trying to get through Tuesday and Wednesday’s episodes.

clockwork-orange-eyes

So much of what’s going on is either unbearably dull, or stupidly flat, or some hellish combination of the two. The dynamics with Jennifer, Eric, and Lucas are interesting, but it struck me as completely moronic that Lucas drew all that attention to Eric the minute the meeting began. Way to earn his trust and let him ease into things! I almost vomited at the advent of DJ Wear, a new line of cheaply made t-shirts bearing Daniel’s likeness (or whatever bollocks this is going to be). Eve’s exit was lazy and terrible — she’s just going to take Claire to New York and never come back? — especially because she didn’t get a goodbye with Theresa and because it was apparent in that final scene between her and Eduardo that they’re tossing away the chance to pursue a really interesting, organic coupling. And Belle, as always, sucks.

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Claire is basically me every time Belle shows up onscreen. Everything she says and does is odious. I did get a brief moment of pleasure out of Philip reminding her that not everything is about her.

I never thought I would say this, but the one consistent bright spot for me is Ava. She’s delightfully deranged, in a way that reminds me of Kristen’s 2012-13 run. I wish the story felt a little… bigger somehow (it’s really isolated to her, Steve, Kayla, and Joey), but I’m enjoying the twists and turns, and in addition to Ava’s lunacy (which Tamara Braun is clearly relishing), it’s been a fun showcase for some character-based material for Steve and Kayla that hasn’t required either to be a total dum-dum.

So there’s that. Hope remains a terrible mother. Ciara remains a not-very-good actress. The reveal of Chase bullying Theo made for approximately two good scenes as they raced to wrap it up. I did appreciate when Chad said to Harold, “[Andre]’s crazy. You know that?” and Harold just nodded and went, “Yes, sir.” Why in the world is this poor guy still hanging around that house of horrors in a suit and tie if they don’t even have the money to pay him? Get out before you get shot, man! Just don’t go spend your free time in the park.

Two Weirdo Casting Additions

Posted February 2, 2016 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

Tags: , ,

No, seriously. Click behind the cut if you have that little regard for your sanity…

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What Happened in Salem: Week of January 25th

Posted January 31, 2016 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

As Daniel was finally (finally!) laid to rest…

Ciara badgered Hope and Rafe until Rafe agreed to join them on their trip to Smith Island. Hope and Rafe enjoyed some breezy banter about fishing and his upbringing, which made flirting a lot easier than frantically talking about a murder cover-up. Chase got skunked, and while Ciara was going through his bag to get him fresh clothes, she found a cell phone with something on it that shocked her (with any luck, it’s a coupon with a really great discount on acting lessons). Andre broke into Hope’s house to gather evidence that she killed Stefano and narrowly avoided being caught by Shawn, who instead of calling ahead just shows up at people’s houses and wanders around screaming their names until he gets tired and leaves.

Read the full recap to catch up on What Happened in Salem this week!

Jonas of Nazareth

Posted January 29, 2016 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

As I began Thursday’s episode, I was all set to rage about all the over-the-top caterwauling at Daniel’s funeral. For someone who hated Daniel and loves to snark on Days, it should’ve been my Christmas! But I have something to admit: I… thought it was pretty well done.

I know, I know! Hold your tomatoes, though. I still think Daniel generally sucked, and I resent how much airtime was given to him (and spent talking about his awesomeness), and I still abhor the way he was crammed into Maggie’s family tree, and I still hate that they sacrificed the compelling, organic Nicole/Eric pairing for this alleged “great love” between Daniel and Nicole. But, in terms of the relationships Daniel was given and the onscreen history he had, I felt like the show did a very nice job of playing the proper beats. I know there’s been a lot of discussion about how Will and Bo got short shrift, but I truly disagree. The grieving for Will was intense and well done (unfortunately, Sami and Sonny were only visiting, and the death itself didn’t have any real story fallout), and Bo basically got memorialized for a week before he even died. So, in a world in which Daniel is a thing that we’ve had to deal with and these people, for some reason, liked him, I thought this worked decently as a tribute episode.

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This was the Melanie I loved, light on the spastic wigging-out (and thankfully free of that horrible wavy bob that looked like it had a Bump-It in it that she was sporting last year). Since I didn’t really give two hoots about Daniel, the one scene that almost got me to tear up was Melanie’s talk at the end with Maggie. That bond will always be moving to me. And they had Chloe behaving like a mature human being, too! I appreciate that they’ve taken the time to rehab Chloe and Nicole’s friendship.

I did almost lose it — in the laughing-hysterically sense — when this happened.

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A shrine right in the Town Square, next to Tom and Alice’s plaque! Random extras espousing the greatness of St. Daniel! Ugh. But then they even had to go and (sort of) make this work by revealing that Eric was the one who’d started it.

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I like how they’re navigating the reactions to Eric and what he did. People are being firm that his act was wrong but haven’t just decided that he’s The Evilest and should burn in Hell. That said, this still feels really flat to me. The individual scenes are good, but there’s sort of no there there. He drove drunk, and someone died. We haven’t seen one discussion in which Eric reveals why he was drinking so heavily, or in which other people wonder if this was an ongoing thing and how/why they didn’t notice. They might as well have just said he had one glass of wine too many and got behind the wheel, because this isn’t really about Eric or his drinking at all, and they don’t seem to be addressing any of the underlying reasons for the behavior we (briefly) saw in the lead-up to the accident.

Oh, and maybe someone should check on Maxine? I’m pretty sure that if she missed that sobfest over the great Daniel, she must have ended it all the minute she heard about his passing.

The Great Salem Un-SORASing Project, Part 2

Posted January 29, 2016 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

Tags: , ,

And we’re back with the next installment of The Great Salem Un-SORASing Project, or as it’s sometimes known, “Michael Could Really Use a Full-Time Job.” The goal, for those who missed the beginning of the series, is to go back through Days history year-by-year and, while trying to preserve the tentpole story developments, couples, etc., revise the story so that no characters are rapidly aged — which requires subbing in age-appropriate characters for some major ones.

You can find Part 1 (1965-79) here. This time around, we’re tackling the 1980s.

I’m modifying the format a little bit to keep things as clear as possible. I’ll post a brief-as-I-could-possibly-manage summary of what happened onscreen during the year, followed by my notes on what changes un-SORASing will require. Then I’ll reprint the year’s summary, but with those changes made (and noted in italics).

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For Whom the Belle Tolls (All of Us!)

Posted January 28, 2016 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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Because of the Broken TV Situation, I’m perpetually a day behind now, which upsets me until I start the previous day’s episode and have to deal with this.

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She is truly just THE WORST. You would’ve thought nearly eight years off would’ve softened my hatred for Belle, but no — it’s back like I’m trapped in 2008 and I’ve been watching this character whine and flail limply for a decade straight. “Eric’s in jail? How terrible. I’ll do anything to help him — well, not visit him, but I’ll do some lawyering stuff, because I need some files so I look busy when Philip approaches me at the coffee house. Why is everybody blaming meeeeeeee for everything? How come my 15-year-old daughter is being such a brat just because, instead of supporting her dreams or even listening to her, I ran off to Vegas with my ex-husband? Why is everyone so mean to me?!” Shut up! I honestly thought she was going to smack Marlena — who for once was making a reasonable point — and snap at her, like, “Cram it, you hag! I got flirtin’ to do!”

I still don’t understand why either Philip or Shawn would want to be with her. And that conversation between the two of them was atrociously one-dimensional. This is the first time these two have seen one another in years. No discussion about Shawn’s father, who was also Philip’s brother and recently died? No mention of their mutual relative who just had a heart transplant? No, no, gotta thump our chests and bicker over Belle. Ugh. It’s really gross to me that Shawn’s been back in Salem for a day or three days or whatever, and we haven’t seen him with Hope or Ciara or Julie or Jennifer or anyone but the people directly involved in this forced, odious triangle.

Speaking of terrible:

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Poor Brady for having to see this in his sleep! Yikes. I was almost at the point of saying that I might be willing to trade Belle for Daniel, because at least he was nice to his kids, but then they had to go and dredge this up. Maybe we can just get a 2-for-1 deal at the crematorium instead?


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