Archive for September 2015

Stop the Insanity

September 30, 2015

I always feel like I need to begin one of these posts by clarifying that I think Arianne Zucker, the actress who plays Nicole, is beautiful. More importantly, from the interactions I’ve had with her, she seems to be funny, sharp, and a completely engaged and loving parent. I say this upfront to make it clear that I am not ragging on the woman’s actual looks — she could be running around in a sweatshirt and jeans with no makeup and look terrific. Which makes it all the more mystifying that Nicole always looks like flaming hot garbage these days.

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NO.

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NO.

Ol’ Tennis Ball Head is literally dressed like an 80s businesswoman here. I think someone actually purchased this skirt suit from a studio sale of old crap left over from Working Girl. I could almost see the blazer and blouse working with a pair of skinny black pants, but as a Pepto Bismol-colored suit, it’s so on-the-nose. I half-expected her to sit down in the living room and swap out her white Reebok sneakers for a pair of heels, or to start shouting about a run in her stockings. Meanwhile, she borrowed the worst possible version of one of Madonna’s haircuts from the early 90s. Or from the precocious child in a 70s sitcom.

I really do not get what’s going on here. I have a lot of good things to say about the show lately, but “self-aware costuming” ain’t one of them. If this were a movie, I could see them dressing a character like Nicole this way to emphasize her trashy roots — where “sexy” equals the tightest, shortest, most boob-alicious dress, and “professional” means the most outdated, atrocious suit you can find. But this is painful to watch every day. Can we please have a scene where Hope takes Nicole shopping and teaches her the value of a cute jacket and a pair of skinny jeans? Is that too much to ask?

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EJ DiMera Lives!

September 28, 2015

Okay, not really. Well, probably really, but not yet, at least not on the actual show. Friend of the blog Aaron alerted me to this segment from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, in which — in the course of discussing the refugee situation in Europe — he wound up on the topic of Days. Per We Love Soaps:

Oliver had a wonderful surprise for 16-year old refugee Nageen Mustafa, who traveled from her home in the war-torn Syrian town of Kobani to the Serbian border with Hungary. Bound to a wheel chair, the obstacles she has faced are unimaginable, and yet she is endlessly optimistic. Mustafa said in a recent interview that she taught herself English by watching American soap opera Days of our Lives, but was sad that the character of EJ DiMera (James Scott) had been killed off the show because EJ and Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney) were her favorite couple.

To brighten Mustafa’s day, in some small way, Oliver reunited EJ and Sami in a special scene created just for the show.

It’s a sweet surprise, and it was kind of Oliver, Sweeney, and Scott to do it. Totally cornball, but I’m sure plenty of EJami fans will be thrilled for the chance to see their couple onscreen together one more time. It’s remarkable how well Scott slips back into being EJ, whom he hasn’t played for like a year and a half, and also that EJ put on a damn suit to escape captivity and rush back to his beloved.

You can watch the segment (all of which is pretty compelling) below. The Days-related material begins right around the 13:00 mark.

What Happened in Salem: Week of Sept. 21st

September 26, 2015

There was a whole lot of plot and (luckily?) no shortage of ridiculousness…

Ben was furious when he found Abigail with Chad yet again, and he told her the engagement was off. She pleaded for his forgiveness and insisted that she wants to be with him, not Chad, and Ben agreed to take her back on one condition: that they leave Salem together. Abigail told Jennifer about her plans, and Jen — fresh off a creepy run-in with a suspiciously out-of-breath Clyde while wandering the park at night, as one does — thought it might be for the best, to keep Abigail and the baby away from Clyde. Meanwhile, Marlena placed Chad under hypnosis again, but he had blurry memories of a struggle, so of course Marlena cut the session short. When Chad left her office, the killer — who had apparently just been lurking out in the hallway with a ski mask and gloves on, to the alarm of no one — busted in and attacked Marlena.

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

Marlena Evans, She Not Through!

September 26, 2015

No, that isn’t a typo in the title of this post. It’s an homage to one of the greatest literary works of our time.

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The killer’s attack on Marlena was brutal and visceral, which was somewhat needed in this storyline since we just saw Serena and Paige’s dead bodies and not their actual deaths. It adds a certain amount of scare factor to the proceedings. I loved the sense of cause-and-effect in those scenes, too: Chad leaves because he’s frustrated, then comes back when he remembers the struggle with the hobo, only to be the one Marlena sees when she awakens and make things worse for himself. There was a real sense of momentum to this storyline this week, which I loved. I also got a great chuckle out of Daniel’s questioning of Marlena when she came to later: “Who’s the president?” “Barack Obama.” “How old are you?” [bitchy Marlena side-eye] “Nice try.” And what was with that shot of Marlena opening her eyes to find Daniel hovering over her? It was so shadowy and dark that it felt like it was supposed to be ominous, but then again, maybe someone just forgot to turn the damn lights on. In all seriousness: I greatly appreciate the elevated sense of mood, but the lighting needs some fine-tuning. A good 30% of scenes are so dimly lit that I can barely tell what’s even going on.

Speaking of which: so Ben is the killer, or at least that’s how it currently seems. It’s far from a shocking reveal, but the show didn’t drag this out for six months and then expect us to be wowed by some huge twist, so I can’t be mad at that. It makes sense. It fits. And it was presented in such a way that there could be more layers to it. Did Ben kill the two girls, but someone else (Clyde?) attacked Marlena to keep her quiet? Could Daniel have been the one to kill Serena, and when Paige found out he was the killer, he took her out to shut her up — only to have Ben or Clyde attack Marlena in order to frame Chad? I won’t be surprised if it’s Ben and that’s that, but the door is definitely cracked for another twist or two with this whole thing.

Meanwhile, look who’s back.

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“André?” Stefano reads from the cue cards with all the surprise of learning that Harold ran out of arugula and will instead be using romaine for tonight’s salad. So yeah, André DiMera is alive, and he’s back in Salem, and he’s also Stefano’s biological son, which I have a sneaking suspicion they won’t even bother to explain even though it’s a pretty big fucking deal. I do see why they wanted this character in place, a truly bad DiMera to play as a counterpoint to Chad (whereas the last incarnation of Tony was sort of the same type of conflicted DiMera), and they’re also probably setting André up to take up Stefano’s mantle in the future. Seriously, Joe Mascolo is a treasure, and I’ll be delighted to see him onscreen for as long as we can possibly have him, but it’s becoming apparent that he can only film in limited capacities, and the reading-off-cue-cards is getting very distracting. But it’s going to drive me absolutely insane if we don’t get some real explanation of this latest turn in the unbelievably convoluted Tony/André saga.

Oh, and we had one more arrival on Friday.

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Lani Price arrived at the police station, introduced herself to Rafe as the new officer transferring from Florida, gazed suspiciously at a photo of Abe on the wall, and searched for stories about Abe on her tablet. Case closed: she’s his long-lost daughter. I’m not against the idea of giving Abe something more to do, and I could buy that he got someone pregnant pre-Lexie who kept the child from him, but these scenes were played with all the excitement of… well, of Stefano greeting André. I half-expected Sal Stowers (Lani) and Galen Gering to fall asleep during that dull-ass exchange at the station. But I’m willing to see where this goes, since most of the seeds this regime has planted thus far have proven to be worthwhile.

Put on Your Bad Idea Dress

September 24, 2015

What kind of moron is dying to go into the fashion business with someone dressed like a Trapper Keeper?

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Oh, I know. The same kind of sick individual who takes a look at a new guy in town and thinks, “A surly stranger who drinks at midday and has abandoned two separate families? And I’ve already done his son? Bingo!”

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(I know Kate doesn’t technically know yet that Eduardo is Papa Hernandez, but come on: she saw him and Rafe having a heated conversation, and half the people she’s tripped over in the past 20 years have turned out to be her own kids. Do the math!)

The Salem Couples That Time Forgot

September 24, 2015

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Earlier this week, I contributed a feature to SoapHub about some of the, uh, less-remembered pairings in Days history. For example:

Way back in 1999, Lucas was battling Sami for custody of young Will, and Nicole was a (relatively) innocent young model in love with virtuous photographer Eric. That is, until Lucas’s meddling mama, Kate, paid Nicole $5 million to marry him, thus ensuring that he would be granted custody over Sami. There were hints of real feelings between the newlyweds, but Nicole remained drawn to Eric, and when Lucas found out the truth, he was devastated.

Hop on over to read the full article and take a stroll down some weird, boring, and/or icky Memory Lanes!

Daddy’s Home!

September 23, 2015

Maybe it was the trio of margaritas I had at Taco Tuesday, but when I came home last night and turned on Days — which, I’m just recording the POP evening re-airings at this point, because at least this way I can watch the damn show instead of finding half of it missing due to some idiotic “news” interruption every other day — I was so into it that I put down my phone, closed my laptop, and just watched. For the entire hour.

How did it take us so long to get Eve and Kate together?

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What fabulous scenes those were. Eve’s grief is so raw, and both the writing and the performance have her a hair away from snapping at any second. I loved that look she got in her eye when Kate mentioned knowing Eve had been a prostitute, the way she was ready to jump across the table and rip that green streak right out of Kate’s head, and then how Eve’s whole demeanor transformed when Kate revealed that she, too, was in “the life.” (Do actual prostitutes call it that? It sounds like the way that everyone in Salem is always going about about “making love,” a phrase that zero percent of actual real people use.) And it was a pleasure to see Kate genuinely connect with another woman, which happens so rarely; we got to see some real depth there. As much as I love her marching around like a badass bitch, it’s necessary to see these vulnerabilities. Just really, really impressive scenes — and they weren’t even concerned with pushing any particular story points!

I must question the way sound travels in Salem, though. Kate and Eve could hear each other muttering from across the club, but later on, they couldn’t hear a single word Rafe and Eduardo were barking at one another?!

Which brings us to Eduardo.

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I’ve never felt like the show suffered because of any “Hernandez invasion,” but I can see why people became annoyed at their presence. That said, I’m 100% sold on this addition. In his two days onscreen so far, A Martinez has blown me away. Eduardo is scum, but there’s this air of… I don’t know, regret around him that kind of makes you see how he could have possibly justified walking out on two families. He’s bringing out fantastic stuff in his scene partners, too, which is as much a credit to the actor as it is to the writing. Monday’s scenes between Eduardo and Eve felt like we were watching two very flawed people discuss actual long-ago onscreen history, not a total newbie and a recast of a long-gone character present information for the first time. And making Paige his daughter is a really smart tie. I love the potential in all this.

Though, it must be said: if Rafe wants to rail at one of his parents, maybe he shouldn’t focus on the guy who abandoned them for decades, but rather on the mother who’s been too busy for six years to visit for her son’s wedding, her daughter’s death, the birth of her granddaughter, her other daughter’s imprisonment for murder, etc.? Lady, I know you “fell hanging the drapes” sometime in 2011, but that excuse has worn more than a little thin!