Archive for July 2015

Love Hurts

July 30, 2015

For as much bitching and moaning as I do about how stupid this show is and how we’re just treading water until the new writers’ material kicks in, I have to give credit where credit is due. And there are two setups, albeit slightly abrupt ones, that are really working for me.

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No, Nicole’s hair is not one of those things.

However, the current Eric/Nicole/Daniel dynamic absolutely is. I’ve seen an overwhelming amount of commentary about how people are dying to see Eric and Nicole together, how Daniel doesn’t deserve her, how the Nicole/Daniel coupling is bland at best and an absolute suckfest at worst, etc. But, from where I stand, the show is actually doing this correctly. For once, they’ve crafted a story in which they seem to get what viewers want, but instead of just giving it to us, they’re creating suspense by driving us crazy by almost giving it to us, then pulling back so that we want it more.

As much as I want Eric and Nicole together, I’m actually understanding why Nicole is with Daniel at the moment. She wants to be married. She wants a family. (It was incredibly wise to emphasize the Parker angle: marriage to Daniel promises not only a husband, but an insta-child.) And just when I was about to rant that they’d blown it by having Serena spill to Daniel way too soon instead of having it come out at the wedding, they actually did something even smarter and had Daniel confront her, had Nicole be honest, and then had Daniel accept that! Now Nicole will be more convinced than ever that she “should” be with Daniel, because he actually forgave her for something, whereas Eric judged and berated her for months on end about shredding those documents. Meanwhile, Eric’s heartbroken but trying to do the right thing, and Nicole is repressing her genuine passion for Eric in favor of a comfortable life with Daniel. And there’s a real karmic justice in Daniel winding up in, essentially, the same role poor Lucas played in the Daniel/Chloe/Lucas triangle.

Is it perfect? No way. All this would play a lot more smoothly for me if we hadn’t endured months of Daniel basically acting like Eric 2.0 toward Nicole over every little transgression; in some ways, this story might work better if she’d quickly gotten together with Rafe, a nice guy without that same baggage. And Daniel proposing to Nicole was insanely fast. I’ve found that in present-era Days, there’s often one huge leap I have to make in order to buy what turns out to be an eventually worthwhile story — like that insane engagement between Philip and Melanie, who up until that point were in no way “in love,” but it was the foundation for a lot of great stuff with them, Chloe, Carly, Daniel, Nathan, and Stephanie. I’m choosing to regard this version of the Nicole/Daniel coupling in the same way, because I think it’s absolutely worth the longing between Eric and Nicole, as well as the eventual payoff we’re going to get. This is how you sell a soap couple — not by having them spill coffee on each other, snark for two episodes, and then fall into bed together.

The other setup that is really working for me is that of the Chad/Abigail/Ben story. It looks as if someone finally realized that there’s zero rooting value for Abigail and Ben, a perfectly nice, perfectly uninteresting guy. This story has echoes of the Eric/Nicole/Daniel setup, in that Abigail is clinging to Ben because she’s terrified of being with Chad DiMera based on his family history and the ways that he has treated her — but there’s no denying that she wants Chad. Again, we’re getting the longing and the character-based separation, which is such a treat in comparison to Daniel and Jennifer constantly breaking up with one another because they couldn’t be bothered to have a five-minute conversation about how Chloe/JJ/Theresa/Anne were manipulating them and creating ridiculous misunderstandings. Clyde is 100% more interesting to me as Ben’s underhanded daddy, screwing with the paternity test, than when he’s talking vaguely about “moving product” and “the trucking business” and whatever else. And they’ve wisely brought Hope in on Abigail’s secret, which finally adds something concrete to her and Rafe’s nebulous suspicions about Clyde. There’s a real opportunity here to pay off a bunch of lingering threads and to propel Abigail/Chad forward, and even though it’s taking yet another pregnancy to do it, I’m willing to invest if the storytelling stays strong.

What Happened in Salem: Week of July 20th

July 27, 2015

If you’re into jarring transitions and repetitive conversations, have I got a show for you…

Abigail told Will that, if her baby turns out to be Chad’s, she will simply slip away from Salem until it is born and she can give it up for adoption, which means we’re probably in for months of her hiding out in “Ireland,” which looks exactly like the location of one of the benches in Salem except with paper shamrocks hanging from the fake trees. Stefano tried to convince Chad that he must reunite with Abigail, and he tried to sway him by relaying the story of how Chad’s half-brother found true love with his rape victim who later shot him in the head, and for some reason, this made sense to Chad — but, unfortunately, Abigail shot down his efforts at an apology for his earlier behavior.

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

Happy 212th Birthday, Salem!

July 24, 2015

Everyone caught this very subtle moment at the end of the other day’s episode, yeah?

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As astute friend-of-the-blog RealWillMoore pointed out, maybe someone should let Kayla know — before she gets too deep into her planning for this grand event — that Salem already celebrated this event… 12 years ago.

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Look at that sign in the background! “SALEM 200,” it says! And this was before that weird period where everyone in Salem was obsessed with race cars, so it actually does refer to a celebration of the town’s 200th birthday. Those blurry figures are Rex and Mimi, who got together in 2003, and this predates the Salem Serial Killer story, meaning that Dena Higley — the incoming co-head writer who is using this event as the centerpiece of the show’s 50th anniversary festivities — already wrote this event during her first tenure as head writer.

I’ll give Kayla a bit of a pass, since she wasn’t in Salem at the time, but you’d think Hope’s dumb ass would remember that she already attended this very event. Then again, she was very occupied at the time with selling her and her husband’s boat so they could buy an SUV and become bounty hunters, sooooo… maybe not.

All Up In Your Business

July 23, 2015

You know what always gets me in an amorous mood? Two senior citizens grilling my maybe-partner and me about the status of our relationship and then forcing us to kiss in a photograph!

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How fucked-up of Julie and Doug was that?! I expect it out of her, but then Doug just went along with it like this was perfectly normal behavior, and neither John nor Marlena flung their bowls of clam chowder at them and told them to cram it.

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“The rumors were flying!” “We were getting so many voicemails!” Who has even seen John and Marlena together long enough to figure out whether they’re officially reunited, let alone notify a pair of globetrotting loons like these two? I’m so sure that Maxine was like, “I’d better let Julie Williams know that John went an entire 43-second scene without telling Marlena she’d betrayed him!” I can’t make up my mind as to whether these were rewritten or newly inserted scenes. They definitely didn’t feel organic to any particular story — and neither did this pairing of couples — but it could’ve just been the outgoing regime’s way of plugging in some scenes to fill Hogestyn and Hall’s contract guarantees while making up for the way they’ve completely fumbled their reunion.

Speaking of fucked-up…

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You don’t even have to be as big a perv as me to have read those JJ/Kyle scenes in a, er, different way than I think the show intended. Kyle’s all, “Turn around,” and then gets to frisking JJ. Kyle sinks out of frame, we cut to another scene, and then we come back and JJ is all, “Satisfied? I do admire how thorough you are!” Not to be gross, but there’s a show I’d consider watching.

Dressed For Duress

July 23, 2015

I’ve come to the conclusion that I actually really like this print, and Lauren Koslow is rocking it…

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…but paired with that necklace made out of a bunch of decorative rocks I have in a bowl in my guest bedroom, it’s way too much. Is she trying to make sure Justin has a seizure so she can take back control of Mad World, or what?

At least, for once, she isn’t the one dressed as a Disney character.

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Though I don’t think Minnie Mouse has ever been one of Kate’s sartorial inspirations.

What TV Shows Do Salemites Watch?

July 22, 2015

I just contributed a piece to Soaphub.com on the very important issue of our modern era referenced in this post’s headline:

It isn’t too often that our favorite (or not-so-favorite) Salemites take a break from their busy schedules of bed-hopping, scheming, being presumed dead, and walking around the Town Square to kick back and relax — but if they did, what might their preferred forms of entertainment be? Here, we take a look at the television shows that some prominent Salem residents might enjoy watching… if any of their homes had televisions, that is.

For insights on Kate, Stefano, Nicole, and more, you can read the full article here!

What Happened in Salem: Week of July 13th

July 18, 2015

As Abigail received some troubling test results…

Stefano told Chad that the reason he’s so eager to see his son back with Abigail is because Abigail is about to inherit a very valuable piece of land in Ireland from her dying former nanny, which is one of two things: a cover story so stupid that Chad must have a brain tumor for real if he buys it; an actual story so stupid that the writers must have brain tumors if they expect the viewers to buy it.

Check out the entire recap to find out What Happened in Salem this week!