Archive for April 2011

The Lord Giveth, and the Lord Maketh Very Uncomfortable

April 27, 2011

Hallelujah! Praise the heavens! Salvation is finally ours!

Can you guys read that? Natalia Livingston is gone. Done. Off the show. I don’t even care if Tamara Braun played another character only three years ago, or if she’s too old for the role. She seemingly knows how to breathe like a human being, and she doesn’t always have an expression on her face like she desperately needs to poop. Upgrade!

Now if the writing for Taylor could only improve, we’ll really be getting places. I hope this much-bandied-about “new direction” actually comes to pass, because I can assure you with great certainty that I am not going to become an EJ/Taylor fan anytime soon. (And by “soon,” I mean “ever.”) We did get some amusing lines from Stefano and EJ while they discussed her, though.

Stefano: (upon learning that EJ plans to divorce Nicole) You’ve only been married three months!
EJ: At least I didn’t get a tattoo!

Stefano: This is about that bookkeeper who won’t DO YOU as long as you’re married to her sister!

Never in my life did I think I’d  hear Stefano DiMera use the verb “do” in reference to sex.

Meanwhile, across town, a grown man planned to molest his much younger sister.

I’m sorry. I can’t get onboard with a full-on Brady/Melanie pairing. It’s gross. I think it’s a combination of the fact that they cast Brady older than they actually meant for him to be (Eric Martsolf is almost 40! He looks great, but he’s almost 40, while Molly Burnett is, what, 23?) and the brother-sister vibe they’ve built between the two of them. Plus, can we have one male/female friendship that doesn’t take on a sexual or romantic component? Please?

I did, however, greatly enjoy those scenes of Melanie arguing with Maggie over Chloe.

I love that they’ve kept Melanie a little bratty and that they continue to play the bond between these two. More of this and less of… that thing happening up there with Brady, okay?

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If Only He Had Succeeded

April 22, 2011

Confession: I missed Tuesday’s episode. However, based upon this image from the opening of Wednesday, I’m pretty sure I can figure out what I missed.

Clearly, the limo driver overheard five seconds of EJ and Taylor’s conversation and felt he had no choice but to drive straight into a tree.

Meanwhile, Jennifer and Daniel bumped into each other — literally — two more times. These people are clumsy as hell! Why is Daniel being allowed to operate on anyone when he can’t even walk across the damn hospital without ramming into someone?

I’d suggest that perhaps he should check Jennifer for some neurological disorder that causes her to fall and walk into people constantly, but treating her for another condition would probably just turn him on, so…

Also, it was Jay Kenneth Johnson’s last day as Philip, and given this show’s spotty record with exits of legacy characters (Stephanie vanishing into the ether), it was not too bad. Frightened of subjecting Parker to Chloe’s instability, Philip arranged for him and the baby to move to Chicago and away from Chloe. Granted, he did this during a commercial break, but he got to say goodbye to both his parents, they tied it in to his regrets over Pocket (that name, good grief), he already had a goodbye with Melanie… all in all, not too terrible.

But the highlight was that speech they had him give to Chloe.

Philip: You go from one guy to another, looking for someone to make you feel the way you wanna feel. And when that doesn’t work out, and it never does, you hit bottom, and you can’t be counted on.
Chloe: No! I’m doing better.
Philip: That’s what you always say. You were “doing better” when you left my brother for Daniel. And then you started feeling insecure, and… one drunken, stupid night, just like this night, you blew all that sky-high.
Chloe: With your help.
Philip: That’s right. And now you and I have a beautiful son together. Which means we have to change our ways. And I just realized: I don’t think that’s possible for you.

I’m glad they’re bringing all of that onstage, and I hope they’ll use it to build the next part of Chloe’s story arc now. But honestly, I felt like Victor was a little mean to her. I get that it’s in character, and this woman has hurt a lot of the young men in Victor’s life, but c’mon, old man. She’s going through a tough time. She hasn’t had sex in, like, two months!

And then Kate shed a tear over how, with her last child leaving Salem, she’s left with no one at all whose life she can meddle in!

Will had better hurry up and get a juicy story, stat! Do it for your grandma, William.

Coming Soon: The First Character With Three Arms!

April 20, 2011

I could spend my free time reading about politics or doing volunteer work or acquiring a new hobby, but instead, I zone out and think about Days. Ignoring the sad, troubling implications that might have for my future, I feel compelled to share something with you guys.

In 2010, Melanie and Max discovered that they were not biological half-siblings, as they thought, because Melanie had been adopted by their father, Trent Robbins. However, it turns out they are still related by adoption — in two ways. See if you can follow this ridiculousness:

Max is the biological son of Trent Robbins.

Trent adopted a baby girl named Melanie.

Melanie is the biological daughter of Carly Manning, a.k.a. Katerina von Leuschner.

Carly/Katerina is the sister of Francois von Leuschner, who ran away to Salem and was known as Frankie.

Frankie was adopted by the Brady family… as was the young runaway he took under his wing, Max.

Therefore, Melanie and Max are related (by adoption) both through Trent and through the Carly/Frankie connection. And hey, doesn’t that sort of make Max her adoptive uncle? (Sort of?) Because you know what happens when you put Max Brady in the vicinity of a niece…

Seriously, every one of this dude’s love interests was his niece in some way.

Stephanie: Adoptive niece (her mother, Kayla, is Max’s adoptive sister).

Chelsea: Adoptive niece (her father, Bo, is Max’s adoptive brother).

Mimi: Was, at the time they dated, in the process of divorcing Shawn, who is Bo’s son and therefore Max’s nephew, making Mimi his… wait for it… niece-in-law.

Abby: The daughter of Jennifer, who married Frankie (though it was invalid, or they annulled it, or something), thus making Abby Max’s step-niece.

I guess there was Morgan, whom he dated for a minute, but a) no one remembers her, and b) if she’d hung around long enough, you know she would have turned out to be Kimberly Brady’s kid or something.

Awesome With an Asterisk

April 20, 2011

Maybe I’m still sentimental because of the All My Children and One Live to Live cancellations, but Monday’s Days really worked for me. Those endless scenes of Ciara and Theo robotically shouting their dialogue are pretty painful (and not that necessary–they ran away and managed to set up a tent in the middle of the park, we get it), but everything else surrounding this story has been, dare I say it, awesome.

Bo and Hope trying to work through this crisis as a team rather than jockeying for power? Awesome.

Stefano and Victor facing off, with Kate trying to mediate? Awesome. I especially loved her line, “They’re whipping them out to see who has the biggest phone.”

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Cameron Mathison IN as Jack Deveraux!

April 17, 2011

Kidding. Totally kidding. But I wanted to get your attention.

As the number of soaps on the air dwindles, the remaining shows have taken to hiring actors from the cancelled soaps. This isn’t always a bad thing – Guiding Light’s cancellation led to Crystal Chappell returning to Days as Carly, a character I thought we’d never see again. However, some of the cramming-in is getting a bit ridiculous, such as Daniel Cosgrove hopping from cancelled GL to ATWT, which was cancelled soon after, and then back to his old role on AMC, which just got canned. If Ken Corday makes an announcement about Cosgrove coming aboard as the new Eric Brady, I’m just going to start planning my Days finale party then and there.

Keep this man away from Salem!

So, while I don’t think Days is tasteless enough to attempt the nightmarish casting idea I used as this post’s subject (and that’s saying something, since this is the show that had Marlena “kill” Alice Horton by choking her with donuts), I think there is the possibility of other AMC and OLTL refugees turning up in the cast. The possibilities, some serious and some jokes – really, Ken, VERY BIG JOKES THAT ARE NOT AT ALL MEANT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY – are behind the cut.

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Out of Respect For Our Fallen Friends…

April 14, 2011

Earlier today came confirmation of the rumors that have been swirling for weeks that ABC was planning to cancel both All My Children and One Life to Live. Neither of those has ever been “my show” in the way that Days is — though, in college, my friend Mary Ann and I had Soap Time at 3 pm, when both Days and AMC aired, and would switch between channels at the commercials — but there’s no denying that this is a sad day for fans of any daytime soap. These make the fourth and fifth soaps to go down in the past three years, and it’s impossible to deny that this is a dying genre.

Days has been renewed by NBC through 2013, but I’ve been preparing myself for the end for years, probably since Jeff Zucker made that asshat comment (almost six years ago!) that “Days [was] unlikely to survive past 2009.” I’d like to believe that the somewhat-recent renewal guarantees that we’ll have Days through at least November 2013, and that canceling it would be too costly for NBC because of breaking contracts, and because NBC has bigger problems than its one remaining daytime soap, and because they have no idea what they’d replace it with. But I also know, with the logical part of my brain that I try to ignore a lot of the time, that I’m probably not going to have Days for years and years to come, and that makes me very, very upset. As much as I mock it (and I largely enjoy the mocking! Honestly!), and as much as it pisses me off at times, this show has been an enormous part of my life. It followed me through high school, to college in another state, to graduate school in yet another state; it outlasted friendships and relationships and hobbies; it gave me something comforting to come back to whenever I needed it. I’ve “known” Sami and Bo and Hope and Jennifer longer than just about any of my friends. I imagine that AMC and OLTL have played the same role in the lives of their fans, and I’m sorry for them to have to lose that source of comfort.

Thus, in order to show my gratitude that Days gets to remain part of my life for a while longer, I’m going to do something crazy and say ONLY positive things about it in this post. This might prove more difficult than my Lenten resolution to give up Sour Patch Kids (seriously, I am dying), but I’m gonna do it if it kills me. Which it might.

With further ado, here is a completely positive review of recent events on Days of Our Lives:

  • Crystal Chappell is rocking this “Carly goes off the deep end” storyline. She’s jagged and nervy and up and down. It’s a great performance. Carly blowing up at Jennifer and Daniel on Wednesday was incredibly powerful — and even more so because of how she hurriedly tried to pull it together and convince them that everything is fine.
  • Even in death, Fay continues to bring the LOLs. Case in point:
  • Speaking of Fay and her passing, Arianne Zuker knocked it out of the park when Nicole learned of her mother’s death. She went over-the-top and ugly, and it was perfectly melodramatic and painful. She continues to impress me. And honestly, I’m pleased that they killed Fay at all. Not because I hated her, but because it actually adds some high stakes to this dopey story. Nicole has every reason to cling to Taylor now. She’ll be even more betrayed when the truth about her sister and her husband comes out.
  • Taylor didn’t stink up the scenes surrounding Fay’s death nearly as much as I expected! And Natalia Livingston will be off our screens in under two weeks! See, that’s two positive things in one bullet point!
  • Little Johnny staggering over to FakeRafe with that beer was hilarious. Look at this little bugger:
  • Sami has been 1,000 times more tolerable since this FakeRafe thing began. Instead of crying and boo-hooing all over the damn place, she’s actually asserting herself, taking action to keep her kids safe, and calling “Rafe” on his crap. I’m sure she’ll ruin it all by shooting him in the head soon, too, but this has been good lately! And I cannot reiterate how much I love tying Fay into all of this.
  • And then “Rafe” went ahead and did this… !!! This story is getting so twisty, and I’m genuinely surprised on a day-to-day basis.
  • Vivian had some amazingly hilarious (intentionally so, even!) lines on Monday. When Gus said that Kate was getting a facial: “That’s rather like sweeping the beach, isn’t it?” Upon hearing that the DiMeras have a jail cell in their basement: “Who doesn’t?!” Delightful! And she left the damn Java Café, so, bonus points.
  • I’m pleased that they are diving into who Chloe used to be and actually let her sing. This was such a vital part of the character at first, and it’s been lost in the shuffle of her being a minidress-wearing, makeup-encrusted serial divorcée. And I’m even more pleased that the scenes of her singing only lasted, like, 20 seconds apiece, because I always get serious secondhand embarrassment (even though Nadia Bjorlin has a lovely voice, it’s just like, NO):
Wow, that wasn’t even that hard! I must be overly sentimental today. Let’s hope this doesn’t become too regular a thing…

No, Seriously. Some Things Happened.

April 11, 2011

This week featured the following action-packed, wildly thrilling happenings:

  • Approximately 5,000 scenes of Fay shaking and crying all over her hospital bed, muttering vague things like, “I have to tell you something!!!” and then, when pressed, revealing nothing whatsoever.
  • Rafe doing some push-ups in his room at the asylum, and also reading The Art of War. I like imagining unaired scenes in which he got that book. Did he ask someone for it? Did he sneak it in? Did EJ bring it to him as a present? I am not sure that this is the type of reading material that mental institutions are providing for the patients…
  • The world’s stupidest fake-out, in which FakeRafe confessed all to Sami and then killed her, only to have it all be a fantasy sequence. It was 12 minutes into the episode before they told us this wasn’t real! I mean, it’s no “Shawn escapes from Jan’s cage and gets back to Salem and sees Belle and then wakes up and he’s still in the cage and it was a dream that lasted all episode,” but that’s pretty damn ridiculous.

In light of all this, I can see why you’d presume that absolutely nothing of any significance happened all week. However, buried amidst all the idiocy, there was actual, interesting movement on a few fronts. First up:

No, I’m not referring to the fact that Carly called Vivian out on always being at the Java Café, and Vivian explained it away by having recently developed a fondness for Chai lattés. Look, Viv, I hear ya, but I’m not stationing myself at Starbucks to guzzle the damn things 24/7. Although I guess she can’t spend all day hiding behind shrubs and chattering with Gus about pointless plans…

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