Archive for February 2015

Love, Salem Style

February 28, 2015

In the grand tradition of all Salem couples who have gone on exactly one date, Brady and Melanie apparently had the time to fit in a portrait sitting.

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I can’t even imagine what that plot point was all about, but I’m sure the answer is “something stupid,” so whatever.

Meanwhile, Jennifer is pissed that Eve seems to be interfering in the love lives of their children, so she’s going to deal with it by… interfering in the love lives of their children!

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At least she remembered to do her part in using up this week’s allotment of leather (look at those shoulders).

Seriously, this entire story is maddeningly dumb — and the two mothers seem to be competing in some kind of Terrible Parenting Championships — but there are a few touches I’ve appreciated:

  • Paige’s observation that she can’t stop obsessing over JJ and she’s turning into her mother was great. I’m actually not hating Paige when she gets all bitter and bitches about “JJ and that slut.”
  • Eve’s appeal to Paige that it was exactly eight years ago when Paige tried to pull Eve out of her depression and get her back on her feet — that was so fucked-up and interesting. Paige was like 10 years old then! Eve, you’re a mess.
  • I like this Roxanne girl. I’m not understanding why we shouldn’t want JJ to forget Paige and date her instead.

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So there are some decent things going on here, intriguing little insights and character touches floating just below the surface of the dreadful execution. I still can’t wait for this to be over, though. Eve is so clearly jealous of JJ being with Roxanne, and she’s acting like a complete raving lunatic/bitch as a result; Jennifer’s obsession is exhausting; and I just want Paige to tell everyone to F off and head to Stanford, never to be seen again.


Konnichi-what the Hell is Going On?

February 25, 2015

I was all set to bitch and moan and laugh about Paul’s mother coming to #bless us with her monotone “acting” and the hilariously robotic way she flung that mug to the floor when she spotted Marlena–

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–but then she had to go and become my hero by insinuating that Daniel’s ineptitude contributed to Paul’s bad prognosis and that there are better doctors elsewhere in the world. So: go, Tori! Sit down and stay a while! Just keep your hands off the good china.

It was actually a banner day for throwing shade. Kate gleefully screwed with Chad and Jordan just for the hell of it, and then she made a crack to Marlena about how she cheated on Roman with John. Never change, you green-haired lunatic.

What Happened in Salem: Week of February 16th

February 22, 2015

While Aiden and Will’s secrets came spilling out…

Distressed once again — about Paige, about school, about Beck winning that Grammy over Beyoncé, doesn’t matter — JJ went right to Eve, and they once again had angry sex… Victor ordered a confused Rafe to play nice with Clyde from now on… Theresa and Clint got into a fight and broke up. Theresa, please take some advice, in the form of these paraphrased TLC lyrics: “A scrub is a guy who can’t get no love from me, hangin’ out the passenger side of his best friend’s ride, trying to holla at me, and who also won’t tell me his last name or anything about himself”… Melanie asked Nicole for help investigating the mysterious Dr. Mandrake.

Read the full recap to find out What Happened in Salem this week!

Cats, You May Exit Your Bags Now

February 21, 2015

It’s February sweeps, and Days has actually shown up by having not one, but two big revelations come out this past week.

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Sonny read Will’s article on Paul and remembered what Derrick had told him (the names and Social Security numbers of everyone who has stayed in the hotel recently; what Serena orders for breakfast from room service; that Paul and Will had an affair). I loved the slow trickle of information coming out — they actually took the time to play these beats, and it was all the more delicious for it. Sonny accused Paul of having purposely slept with his husband; Paul was shocked and hunted down Marlena and spilled the whole sordid mess to her. Special shout-out to Deidre Hall for that amazing reaction when Paul revealed he’d slept with Will.

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Short of exclaiming, “Oh my!” and/or gasping loudly, it was the perfect Marlena moment. No screenshot can do justice to her hilarious double-take (believe me, I spent roughly 30 minutes attempting to capture it). Never change, Dee.

And as Marlena explained to Paul that she can no longer see him due to a personal conflict-of-interest, Sonny let Will have it. Will, as big an idiot as his mother Sami, attempted to justify his affair with the counterargument, “You’ve been with other guys, too!” Yes, before he married you. Not that it should be surprising that the specifics of marriage perplex Will, given his lineage, but really! Freddie Smith (Sonny) and Christopher Sean (Paul) were excellent in these scenes, and Guy Wilson (Will) was… also a person present in several of them.

Meanwhile, Aiden finally confessed to Hope what really happened the night his wife, Meredith, died: she caught a four-year-old Chase playing with her gun and drunkenly attempted to stop him, only to have the gun go off and kill her; Aiden, wanting to protect Chase (who does not remember the incident), covered it up to look like a suicide. Kristian Alfonso and Daniel Cosgrove were excellent in these scenes. But now that the truth is (seemingly) out, I’ve gotta say: this thing might have more holes in it than a dress Jordan would wear to work.


WTF Wednesday: Ericole

February 18, 2015

I’ve had scraps of this post saved in my drafts for quite a while, but WHIS reader Dylan‘s comment on yesterday’s The Hit List post inspired me to dig it up and finish it for publication. The comment reads:

I LOVED Eric’s original story with Nicole – with her working with him in the church, and her blossoming feelings for him.. That was really cool. And tying in Kristen and Brady made that storyline very compelling. But then the drugging/rape thing happened and I would not have minded, except that was dragged on for months (Eric flashing back, not really remembering, soap staring constantly), and then we had him accusing Nicole of the rape which was horrifying but brought out some great acting.. But then we had Taniel and Nicole hunting down Chyka, and then her hiding the evidence which totally trashed the story in my opinion. I guess it would have been OK if it didn’t end with Eric yelling at Nicole all the time and saying how he hated her.. It just didn’t work. There was nowhere to go.

(Thanks, Dylan!)

Episode # 12282

The build to Eric and Nicole getting together was terrific. Yes, they’d technically been together years ago, but so much had changed: Nicole had become a serious vixen and been through the ringer; Eric had joined the priesthood; a decade and a half had passed; and there was a new actor in the role of Eric. It really felt like a reboot on a pairing that had some history to play on. And it was one of the best romantic builds this show has done in years. There was no rush to have them decide they were in love just to plow ahead with outside obstacles (see: Brady/Melanie).

It still blows my mind that the show effed that up so badly. And that’s where the WTF of this post comes in for me: what was the plan here? What was anyone thinking? The story worked until a very specific point, and then it went completely off-the-rails. As much as I thought Kristen raping Eric was insane and kind of contrived, I felt it was worth it for the fallout. They handled Eric leaving the priesthood really well, and it didn’t feel perfunctory or obvious. Even Nicole destroying the evidence could’ve worked, if they had made it a minor obstacle overall. At that point, it still seemed like this was an Eric-and-Nicole story. But then it just devolved into months of him screaming at her, insisting he couldn’t forgive her, saying he hated her, etc. They not only trashed an incredibly promising couple, but they rendered a really likable recast horribly unpleasant.

I still do not understand how they had Kristen leave after having sex with TWO male leads and didn’t have her return pregnant or with a baby (especially if they were going to do this wacko sci-fi embryo-stealing story months later, anyway!). There was obviously potential in the baby being Brady’s, but there was SO MUCH in it being a Kristen/Eric baby, too. Marlena would have been the grandmother of Kristen’s son or daughter. That alone is story for years. Add in the fact that the baby was the product of rape. Have Eric be torn because, as much as he hates how the child was conceived, it also is his kid, and he can’t very well have it raised as a DiMera. Make Nicole work — perhaps using her journalism tools, I dunno — to get Kristen declared an unfit mother. This redeems her from destroying the evidence, and Eric forgives her. They get back together. Nicole immediately bonds with the baby, which allows the show to pick back up the thread of Nicole’s need to be a mother, but as much as Eric wants to be a happy family, he cannot stop resenting this child for how s/he came to be — to the point that even being around the baby reminds him vividly of his rape. Nicole tries to make him see the bright side: if Kristen hadn’t done something so vile, he wouldn’t have found this new family unit. And even though Eric wants to see it that way, it’s difficult. The tensions continue to grow, and it seems that Nicole might have to choose being a mother to this child over being with Eric.

Days of our Lives - Season 48

There. A story! A story that plays on their histories, contains conflict, tests their loyalties, and yet doesn’t require Eric acting like an asshole or Nicole being absurdly self-destructive or involve Daniel and Serena in any way. Actually, this wouldn’t have been a bad juncture to bring in a Serena-type character, a lover from Eric’s past who could represent a new beginning, free of the Kristen/rape baggage. And Nicole wouldn’t have to spend all her screentime apologizing to everyone!

So what the hell happened? Why did this incredibly promising love story get blown to smithereens? Was Serena the plan all along, or was this some kind of ‘save’ after they realized that they’d bungled the Eric/Nicole pairing and needed to redirect? I doubt we’ll ever have answers, but I need to know.

The Hit List

February 17, 2015

For better or worse, another head writing regime — and, with it, probably a change in direction for the show — is inbound. When Higley and Tomlin left in mid-2011, we saw quick exits for a whole crew of characters: Carly, Vivian, Quinn, Taylor, and Chloe. They were replaced by John, Marlena, Carrie, Austin, Jack, and Madison. Then, when “MarDar” were out the following summer, we swiftly lost Carrie, Austin, Jack, Madison, and Ian, plus Melanie and Bo, whose actors chose to exit. And then Kristen and Nick joined the show as Tomlin and Whitesell set up their material. Point being, there tends to be cast turnover at a juncture like this, and since new/old writer Dena Higley has history with the show, why not speculate about what that might look like?

Putting this behind a cut for the (moderate casting) spoiler-averse…


What Happened in Salem: Week of February 9th

February 16, 2015

“I’m so surprised Clyde isn’t dead!” said no one ever, except Victor, who must be hiring his hitmen from the same inept staffing agency the DiMeras use. Meanwhile…

Hope, a brilliant detective who has gotten herself kidnapped roughly one million times, suspected she’d struck gold again when, while stranded at Aiden’s beach house due to the bridge outage, she received a visit from Bree, who was certain that the late Meredith had left a message about Aiden somewhere in the house. Hope located a tablet (which Aiden, the realtor, and the new buyers had somehow managed to miss) containing a video in which Meredith claimed Aiden had tried to poison her. Hope found a bottle of antifreeze and feared the worst.

Check out the full recap to see What Happened in Salem last week!