Words of Warning

Posted May 23, 2018 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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This is going to be one of those posts with very little wiggle room for smartass commentary, due to the subject matter, so let’s just take a moment first and giggle at Tripp’s apron.

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That was an inspired touch. How adorable does he look? Actually, the scenes between him and Kayla were so great that they made me angry all over again at how silly it was to gloss over what went down between them last summer. These actors could’ve pulled off a much more complex redemption arc than the smattering of scenes we got.

I know the big, dramatic centerpiece of Tuesday’s episode was supposed to be the Theresa/Brady/Eve mess, but for me, Tripp and Ciara’s storyline stole the show. It’s high time that they addressed Ciara’s rape in a meaningful way for the character; as unnecessary and poorly done as it was, it’s part of her history, and now there’s a stronger actress in the role who seems capable of taking on the challenge of this weightier material. Contrasting Kayla’s vague warnings to Tripp about Ciara with Julie’s much more explicit advice to Ciara wasn’t big or showy, but it was strong, engaging drama.

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It’s a little crazy to me that Julie hasn’t ever revealed her own rape to Ciara in the two years since Ciara was assaulted, but I was willing to overlook that because it was an effective, surprising use of history. I don’t think Julie’s rape, let alone the name Larry Atwood, has been referenced on this show in close to 40 years — and not only did they bring it up for the sake of Ciara’s storyline, but they also bothered to give Julie her own scene unpacking the complexity of it all with Doug.

I could really do with 400% fewer storylines about women being violated or sexually assaulted (currently, we have Abigail, Theresa, Chloe, and Ciara all actively dealing with this issue), but I won’t complain about actual sensitive handling of the subject that gives us interesting multigenerational scenes.

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Reunited, and It Feels So… So…

Posted May 22, 2018 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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“Hey, wait…”

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“Who’s this strange lady sobbing in the living room, wearing some kind of confusing satin garment that looks like an evening gown but is actually pants?”

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Jen Lilley did her damnedest, but the kid playing Tate looked like he’d rather be anywhere — getting cookies from “Cook,” shipped off to boarding school, any of the usual places Salem kids hang out — than in Theresa’s arms. I get that child actors can be tough and unpredictable, but the fact that he was visibly squirming to escape her didn’t do a to to sell the whole “Tate has cried over his mommy every night and really misses her” thing.

Friday’s ending, with Brady seeing Theresa, pulled me in, and then Monday’s episode quickly reminded me that this couple leaves me totally cold. There’s just no there there. I liked messy Theresa back in the day, and Brady can be fine, but their alleged love story had zero foundation beyond “New writers came in, and they’re going to try to make this a rooting couple.” Sure, I feel bad for what Theresa had to endure in Mexico, and I’m sure Brady will, too, but this isn’t exactly John seeing Marlena on the docks in that pink sweatsuit after she returned from the dead. And while I appreciate that they’re going to the trouble of fixing Theresa’s sloppy exit story and tying up those loose ends (you could power this show for years simply with short-term arcs intended to fix the mistakes of past regimes), the glaring holes in it aren’t helping now. Why didn’t she let Brady in on what was going on? Why couldn’t Shane Donovan or Victor Kiriakis, both of whom knew the truth, do something to keep this woman out of what was essentially sex slavery?

Also, if Theresa is such a changed person and all that, perhaps she should mention to someone that Chloe is still trapped down in Mexico. Yeah, threats against Brady and Tate, whatever — you’ve got access to the ISA and the Kiriakis clan. I know she left her a note that was roughly the same as what you’d write in the yearbook of someone who talked to in third period a few times, but really.

Meanwhile, in a separate but thematically similar tale of a different woman being violated by a deranged man (ugh):

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Abigail finally showed some real fire in her confrontation with Stefan, so that was good. I already knew they’d never have him suffer legal repercussions for what he did, and thus I can’t even be bothered by that, but I’m really having trouble scaring up much sympathy for this dude. Yes, Chad keeps punching him in the face (and he just kind of takes it), but he knew what he was doing with “Gabby” — who is not real — and did it anyway. Sorry, bud. Try at least being funny like Xander if you want to parade around town being a psycho.

Tell Me Everything

Posted May 18, 2018 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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How rude of Gabi to drop the bomb on Abigail that the Brady Pub is out of chowder!

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Just kidding. This was her face after learning that Stefan raped her while one of her alternate personalities was in control. I know she’s had a lot to process lately, but, uh, someone maybe check her motherboard.

(And yes, I made a similar joke about Chloe earlier in the week, but both of their “Oh. Huh” reactions to their very terrible no-good circumstances had me dying.)

I’m still a bit perplexed as to how Abigail, who has confessed to one murder and is known to have attempted another three, is just waltzing around town freely. Shouldn’t she be in police custody, or at least in the hospital being monitored? But no, no, I don’t see any wigs or glasses around, everything should be fine, nothing to see here.

Then we’ve got Sonny and his new friend, Man-bun Jones.

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Is this character’s name Jeff? That sounds right, but I am too lazy to look it up, nor does it matter because, in the grand tradition of Salem dayplayers, his absolute only concern is the love life of a contract character. Unless this dude is secretly conspiring with Leo, those scenes were completely wacko. Sure, Leo’s a good-looking guy — from the handful of photos that Man-bun saw weeks ago — but the best advice he has for Sonny is, “Meh, get involved with your employee. It’s fine”? What is Roman doing to this poor guy that he thinks that’s okay?!

In any other reality, Man-bun would’ve said to Sonny, “Wow, that sucks. How about I join you for a drink?” or, more realistically, “I have a break in 15 minutes. Let’s bone.” But no, this dude knows his place in the pecking order. We all saw what happened to Maxine and Anne Milbauer when they stepped out of line and tried to get love interests of their own!

Casting News and Chatter

Posted May 17, 2018 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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We are officially in one of those periods where I wake up every day and wonder, “What backstage news is there from Days?!” before thinking, “What’s going to happen onscreen on Days today?” Bits and pieces behind the cut…

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To Mexico and Beyond

Posted May 15, 2018 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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Guys! Chloe is in serious need of rescuing.

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This lunatic has condemned her to a lifetime of wearing ugly-ass dresses!

That whole bit with her and El Fideo was creepy as hell, though it also feels flat because we know nothing about this guy or why he’s obsessed with her. It seemed as if Nadia Bjorlin injected something into the writing that wasn’t there — that Chloe is even more horrified by the prospect of having to sleep with this guy because of her past being forced into prostitution — but this entire thing is pretty one-dimensional. At least they’re showing Lucas’s concern, but shouldn’t Parker (or Nancy and Craig) be seriously involved in this? Half the time, Chloe is acting like they just told her they’re out of almond milk instead of that she’s now the sex slave of a madman.

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Xander is always a welcome sight, especially in a tight t-shirt, and he’s injected a fun element into this Mexico thing. Didn’t he get shipped back to prison in Greece, last we knew? Or was there some report that he’d gotten away? That place sounds about as secure as — well, as Statesville. I don’t know why Gabi has been so stressed about being sent back. Just call Sami or Victor, and you’ll be able to come and go as you please!

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Someone tell John that it’s a little creepy to ask your son, “What kind of dream?!?!” when he says he dreamt about his ex, but then again, he probably doesn’t even remember that he and Brady are related, given how seldom they see one another. Those scenes were sweet, though I continue to marvel at how anyone can keep a straight face while talking about Brady being “in love.” This man has more fiancées than Xander has furloughs from prison!

Despite that insanity, I enjoyed John welcoming Eve to the family, and having her cross paths with JJ was a nice touch.

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It remains crazy that everyone is suddenly yammering about Theresa this much — like, to the point that it harkens back to Billie’s hilariously unsubtle 2004 reintroduction — but I had forgotten that unexpected JJ/Theresa beat they played right before her exit, and the flashback was a great move. Fingers crossed that they put them in one another’s orbits whenever Theresa shows up in Salem. That sounds 1,000 times more interesting for JJ than any further interaction with Lani.

Also, kudos to Eve for pointing out to JJ that, yes, it sucks that Lani duped him, but this was not his only chance to be a father. Just go have sex with someone inappropriate and you’ll have her knocked up in no time! Seems to work for everyone else in this town. Hell, Nicole got shot in the uterus, and she still managed to conceive twice!

Meanwhile, if anyone finds some spare common sense lying around, would you go give it to Kate?

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She and Victor are always entertaining together, but why in the hell would she bother picking up the loose threads of Vivian’s (stupid) plan? This woman is truly immune to learning a lesson. I mean, I guess it’s tough when you never actually suffer consequences for anything, but still!

Lease on Life

Posted May 12, 2018 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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Turns out that getting sprung from “Dr. Laura”‘s secret bunker didn’t buy Vivian too much extra time.

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However, getting injected with some unknown drug by a mysterious figure in the morgue just might.

When I happened to see a spoiler saying that Vivian was going to die, I was pretty upset. She hasn’t logged that much time on the show in the grand scheme of things (under a decade cumulatively, I believe), but killing her off — especially in service of something like Abigail’s DID or Stefan’s idiocy — struck me as all wrong. But the way they went about it kinda worked for me. The struggle between her and Kate was interesting, and I absolutely loved the character beats they gave Vivian before the shooting. That little speech about how she does deserve love, how she’s tried so hard to have it, was the kind of thing that gets skipped over too often with villains these days. It actually reminded me of Nick’s breakthrough right before Gabi shot him. And as the episode played out, I realized they were running the tale of Vivian’s death side-by-side with Will and Paul looking for details on Dr. Rolf’s magic drug that can allegedly resurrect people. Nothing about that episode read to me as “Vivian Alamain is dead and gone forever” — even more so being aware that this is being written by Ron Carlivati, who adores this kind of character and the idea of a pop-in villain.

One thing, though: if the deal with Will was that Rolf found him still clinging to life but gave him a shot so that he’d appear dead (and could later be revived)… what does that have to do with bringing someone back from the dead? Isn’t that just the old Romeo & Juliet?

In Mexico, we had another catfight, though one with less deadly repercussions.

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It was amusing how quickly Chloe and Theresa (who, again, I’m pretty sure hadn’t actually interacted before) snapped into fake-bitchy mode, slinging insults at one another. And then that moment with Xander, of all people, walking in on Theresa at the end. I can’t quite piece together what he would have to do with all this or what he’d want with Chloe… I just hope that the writers have.

Awfully convenient how Victor is now obsessed with Theresa, though, ain’t it? Oh, soaps.

Wigging Out

Posted May 10, 2018 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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I cannot be the only one who lost it when Hope burst into the interrogation room and exclaimed, “The evidence is gone!”

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Gee, what did you think would happen when you left it sitting out in plain view for days while allowing a murder suspect to cavort around town on a Greatest Hits Tour?

I know they paid lip service to the fact that there was a squad car tailing Abigail and Chad, but it only got sillier the more they talked about it — especially when it became fodder for Rafe and Hope to have one of their “Don’t they just have sooooo much chemistry?” quarrels. (Spoiler alert: they do not!) I wish they’d just plopped Eli or Hope into those scenes or had them lingering on the outskirts of the various locations.

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I’ve quite enjoyed the Abigail/Chad stuff this week, though. Abigail reemerging and coming back to Chad at the PD, and them being together as she remembered Andre’s death, helped to sell this version of the pairing in a way that hasn’t really been bothered with since Marci Miller assumed the role. I really felt the connection between the characters and could buy that this was the same couple who got tied to a bed and lit on fire by Ben Weston. It’s still goofy as hell that this all went down because Andre was sitting in his office monologuing (I know it was to “Tony,” but come on) and Abigail managed to overhear him through a closed door. Hmm, seems like there’s a lesson to be learned by the villainous people of Salem here…

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“Sooooo… you’re telling me this wig magically has never fallen off before, in various physical struggles and what we’re told was passionate sex, and yet the minute the alter ‘dies,’ it comes tumbling off her head?”

JJ getting the lowdown on Abigail’s DID is all of us. I liked that we finally got to see him with Jennifer processing all of this, though it just highlighted for me how lightweight this Lani story is for him. Someone focus on building longterm story for him, please!