The Night Before Matrimony

It’s good to see that old Days of Our Lives chestnut, “Big Event X is happening tomorrow even though it’s like 9 pm and we’ve all been running around yapping about it for the whole day and no one has mentioned until this very moment that it’s occurring in 24 hours,” is back! The event in question this time: Hope and Aiden’s wedding.

First up for the festivities: the return of Shawn Douglas Brady.

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I’m not gonna lie: I squealed when he walked in. I was so, so sick of Shawn and Belle — especially Belle, who was the Daniel of the 2000s in that she sucked and all anyone ever did was run around fretting about how Belle was doing and talking about how good and kind Belle was — by the time they departed in 2008, but Shawn is an important character, and Jason Cook slipped right back into the show with no indication that it had been nine years since he last played the role. I actually liked Adult Shawn #2, Brandon Beemer, also, but there’s something so familiar and comforting about seeing someone we watched grow from a teenager into a man, who has that long history with Kristian Alfonso (Hope) and the Hayeses (Doug and Julie).

What’s less wonderful is how they basically just gave him the dialogue of the actor who played Shawn before him — you know, the preteen who spent 90% of his screentime saying things like, “When are we going to be a family again?” We get it. You love your dad and want your parents to be together. You’re also a grown-ass man, and your father (seemingly) abandoned your mother and sister, and it isn’t like you dragged your lazy ass back to Salem any time in the last several years to help them get through that. So you can have every seat in the now-considerably-larger Brady Pub and zip it, Shawn.

I did appreciate how they built a mini-arc of him resisting Aiden, coming to understand his mom’s side of things (Kristian Alfonso really sold those scenes in the park), and then accepting the upcoming marriage. But it could’ve been done with a little more, or perhaps any, subtlety.

Then we had the bachelor and bachelorette parties.

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Hope’s bachelorette party was so much fun to watch. Having all those women together in one room — and seeing them get to enjoy themselves both as actors and characters — was a treat. This was almost like a scaled-back version of the Saylum Wimminz Buk Klub: Pot Donut Edition, with Julie having an appropriate venue for her wackiness (grinding on the stripper!) and Caroline getting in on the action. I was rolling my eyes a little at Caroline’s throwaway line about how “The therapy seems to be working!” while she’s bopping around the room like nothing was ever wrong with her to begin with, but I guess this is the neurological version of someone, like, falling off a roof and then walking around with a band-aid on his head 12 hours later. The bit with the stripper trying to steal Hope’s jewelry and the ensuing arrest was silly, but not in a way that I minded — I loved how, afterward, the ladies were like, “This makes such a good story!” That’s how normal people react to things like that! And Cameron Davis, late of Being Boring Except For the Time He Was a Stripper, got a shoutout (nice callback!), as did Caroline’s enthusiasm for the male strip revue they all randomly went to see. Fun!

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I also loved the little character bits of Jennifer worrying over the scandalous lingerie she’d bought Hope and then being a nerd, trying to get them all to play dopey bachelorette party games after the wild excitement of the stripper. It felt very Jennifer, in a good way. Also, how good does Melissa Reeves look? All it took was a decent hairstyle and some non-grandma clothes. This regime might not have much story for her, but at least she doesn’t have to be on national television looking like hot fried ass anymore.

And then things got serious. Hope spoke to Caroline about her “visions” of Bo, which clued Kayla in to Hope’s possible doubts about marrying Aiden — and across town (or, like, 27 feet away, based on the way everyone is always walking back and forth like it’s no big deal), Aiden’s bachelor party took a dark turn when he hit the bottle too hard and was haunted by images of killing Hope. His drunken blathering felt very realistic and tortured. It definitely appears as if they’re going for a grayer, more caught-in-the-middle Aiden now, which raises the question of why they couldn’t have this develop organically, either through his association with Clyde or his role as Chad’s attorney. The retcon that he was working for Stefano all along was lazy, doesn’t jive with what we saw onscreen, and took things too far, too fast — when we could have seen his torn allegiances develop until he wound up in an impossible, tragic situation.

I hope everyone gets some rest before “tomorrow,” because you know that’s going to be one marathon of a day.

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21 Comments on “The Night Before Matrimony”

  1. underyourwing Says:

    ah yes ol’ Caroline who was incapacitated and so fragile for so long is now reliving her old Chicago days at the Hi Jinx !! (great name for a club)….. love love love the falling off a roof/band-aid correlation….hilarious…..
    seems Caroline was quite the Klub Grrl back in the day………

  2. Dan Says:

    This show is simply bizarre.

    The bachelorette party had some very nice moments from what I saw. I liked the Abigail / Maggie conversation about CLyde and Maggie apologizing for overstepping. I thought that was a very moment that didn’t need to be played. I thought Kayla and Hope’s banter post-bachelorette was also nicely written with Kayla neither coming on too strong or too passively. It was played right in the middle and I could see how these two women have been sisters-in-law for the past three decades.

    The Caroline stuff is maddening, and, a bit in poor taste. Not only is there no miracle cure for Alzheimer’s disease, Caroline went to the strip club with her Alzheimer’s support group. I felt the beats they did play in the Alzheimer’s arc were poignant and this made it almost feel trite, but I still have some open wounds.

    Aiden’s breakdown is well done, but I still don’t see why we are doing this. I get why “classic fans” are praising this as its so run of the mill, but I’m tired of run of the mill. I want something to get excited about, and this show doesn’t have that element anymore.

    I have no use for the parade of relatives coming in to Salem to tell Aiden off. Again, it develops this unnecessary us vs. them mentally that is toxic to the show. I also have to wonder if its the script writers giving the shading to the story because they know it won’t spoil the outcome.

    Amazing how neither Justin nor Adrienne were at the respective parties. Aiden was J.J.’s lawyer because Justin knew and respected him. Adrienne was a bit more understandable, but I feel like we saw her more off contract than we see her now on contract.

    • mykleraus Says:

      The Caroline thing bothers me. It feels like a cartoon, the way this treatment has “cured” her, and it feels insensitive, especially after they did such a good job of portraying Alzheimer’s for three years. I understand what they’re going for, and I think more specificity could have made it work. Say Caroline suffered some sudden, strange symptom, and Kayla couldn’t figure it out. Victor and Salinas swoop in and claim it’s proof that Caroline suffers from Burke’s Disease (I dunno, I just made up a name), a rare disorder that Salinas has been studying. One of the symptoms is memory loss, and while they can’t curb that, they can stop the other symptoms so that she degenerates less quickly. It’s still a made-up medical scenario, but it feels less like broad sci-fi. I do appreciate the attempt to tie Bo’s absence to his original reason for leaving town, but this was missing a lot. (For as much as I resent the instant rewrite of Aiden’s intentions, I do think it’s smart to explain Bo’s absence with something like this. There was no way that the Bo we’d known for 30 years would have just been like, “See ya later!” to Hope and Ciara, especially after losing all those years with Chelsea AND having lost Zack. He either had to be a DiMera/Alamain/whoever captive or have gotten himself in too deep with something ISA-related. So the root of this works for me.)

      I actually haven’t seen too many people praising the actual Bo/Hope/Aiden story. People seem into seeing Bo again, and having Steve involved, and in the Steve/Kayla stuff — which is being written a little too much like fanservice for my tastes — but I haven’t seen many, if any, people say that they’re glad Aiden is being rewritten and wiped away this fast. As I’ve said before, more than anything, it just feels like a waste of story to me. I do hear you on the “us vs. them” thing. I would’ve preferred Shawn to just be less willing to accept Aiden — more of a subtle, “I don’t want to bond with you, so stop trying” attitude than the way he came at him on Monday. That just felt like he a) was 15 years old and b) doesn’t respect Hope or consider her capable of making life decisions.

      Justin and Adrienne’s absence from the parties jumped out at me, too. I think what’s happening is that they were basically given contracts equivalent to how often they were already being used — mostly because, back when they put them on contract, it looked like GH was trying to steal Wally Kurth, and this was the way to make him obligated to appear on Days. So they started writing a Justin/Adrienne C-story, and now, instead of appearing through the Sonny and Jennifer and whoever else stories, they show up two days a week in their own bubble.

      Marlena not being at Hope’s party jumped out at me, too, but I’m sure Hope didn’t need to see her standing there in a blazer clapping her hands and moaning, “Oh my!” while she watched the stripper, sooooo…

  3. Mo Says:

    I don’t want to spoil the party but are these festivities taking place the day of (or the day after?) Will’s funeral?! I get the “Will would have wanted it this way” bits but really? Time for Great-Grandma to drop a C-Note in a strippers g-string? With only a one or two day gap between the wedding and funeral how was Will’s grave marked October 2015 when it’s been beat into our head for months that Hope and Aidan’s wedding is taking place during the November Bicentennial?

    I actually enjoy the new writers a lot of the time. The quieter more character driven moments. Some of the acting is still over-the-top (Perpetually pissed off Justin, the inexplicable force of nature that has always been Thaao Penghlis) while others like Aidan and Ben have both found themselves as conflicted nutcases. It’s like they were great actors hiding in plain sight all this time.The over-arching plot has been a mess though!

    • mykleraus Says:

      I forgot to mention that, but yes, it’s driving me nuts. Would it kill them just to pretend “a few days” have passed? It’s at least the day after Will’s funeral, because Sonny didn’t leave town right afterward — I feel like there was a new morning midweek last week. Then again, it was probably a new morning at the Town Square and 4 pm the same day at the hospital, the way things are going lately.

      But these people never throw more parties than they do while there’s a murder spree going on. And they spend 50% of said parties rationalizing why it’s acceptable to be decorating and getting drunk right after tossing their loved ones six feet under. “Will would have wanted it!” “We can’t mourn forever!” Yes, Will would’ve probably thrown himself on the stripper, and no, you can’t mourn forever, but you could maybe chill for 48 hours?

  4. Shea Says:

    I feel like we (the entire show) fast forwarded a week or two right after Will’s funeral. The pacing and the timing on this show is so damn confusing. I just keep trying to let it go but then they throw out a time reference like “our wedding is tomorrow” and I just get more irritated. I keep hoping that things will flow at a more natural pace once we get past the bicentennial/wedding/Hopefest stuff.

    I like a show that has movement where you feel like things are happening almost daily but I like that movement to be under the bigger arc of a slower building storyline. That is why the Days of the 1980s will always be my favorite. Back then if you missed more than a couple of episodes you felt like you actually missed something. These last few years I could tune in once or twice a month and follow most of what was going on so I am glad to feel like that has changed.

    The writing is so much better than it was just a couple of months ago but the things they are missing seem like rookie mistakes. How they let Steve return to Salem and now make two trips to Mexico without once having a Steve/Adrienne scene/phone call/or even just a mention of either having happened off screen is just maddening. Having Steve rescue Bo and not even mention that “by the way….the drug you were being tortured about seems to have worked for your mother.” There are countless other examples but these are the two I find more irritating at this moment. I keep thinking this could improve with a better breakdown writer if my understanding of how the writing responsibilities are divided is correct.

    I would have preferred they not go there with this Caroline/Bo storyline and just let the woman have Alzheimer’s. Andre could have had Bo locked up somewhere and could have been the one who hired Aiden to seduce Hope and it would have been fine. Days has so many wonderful older cast members that they could have done a beautiful storyline about Alzheimer’s/dementia that a lot of viewers could have related to. I think it was a mistake to change that.

    • mykleraus Says:

      The pacing is driving me nuts. There are too many references to “yesterday” and “tomorrow” for me to believe that there have been conscious jumps of several days or a week, though I think the writers are trying to be vague and hoping that suffices.

      My biggest overall issue is how segmented everything is. There’s very clearly a Hope/Bo/Steve/Kayla story, a Chad/Abigail/Ben story, and… uh… I guess the Adrienne stuff. Everyone else is kind of floating around and gets their periodic check-ins, but there are a lot of people not DOING a ton. John, Theresa, Nicole, Eric, Eve, JJ, and others have “situations” that don’t seem to have a lot of narrative shape at this point. It isn’t a structure for a show that I really enjoy.

      The other way to go with Caroline would be to say that Bo took off (maybe with Victor’s backing) in pursuit of some miracle therapy, which DID turn out to be a dud, and in the process, Bo got himself captured. It’d be interesting seeing him accept that he can’t always be the hero.

      • Mo Says:

        I was trying to pretend there was a gap too but I know Roman threw in some kind of line during Aidan’s bachelor party about Tony showing up at Will’s wake yesterday. Ugh!

      • mykleraus Says:

        It’s like, they could make this easier on all of us if they didn’t have to rub our faces in it!

  5. underyourwing Says:

    o lost my secret decoder ring so i can’t add much to what all you guys have already said……the writers need a good beating tho.

  6. underyourwing Says:

    ok…it’s been two days since ‘tomorrow’ and if there was a dredding i sure missed it……….kidding. SoapOperaTime Sucks.

    • mykleraus Says:

      It’s finally “tomorrow” on today’s episode! And then it randomly becomes night like 55 minutes in.

      • Mo Says:

        Not to mention Ciara Brady grew 8 years older (at least) overnight! Aidan got drunk, never went to bed and spent the entirety of his wedding day working on Chad’s case? What in the world is actually happening here!?

        Watching todays show I felt like Caroline in that puffy 80’s gown at the end of the hour. Shocked horror as you watch a disaster unfold in front of you!

      • mykleraus Says:

        I screamed when Caroline walked out in that gown! It’s ridiculous — but at least it feels like high drama. That’s kind of how I feel about the entire show, actually…

  7. ADW Says:

    Ever since the new writing/producer regime took over in Aug it was Dick Trickle behind the wheel and then, in the past week or so, he slams on the brakes. Salem’s 3rd BiCentennial is Nov 9th which is the same day as Haiden’s wedding, the day before the wedding will drag on for 3 weeks? Steve evidently teleported to Mexico before and now it will take over a week to fly home.

    I got a good laugh out of Julie tweaking with the cute sticky fingered Fireman stripper and Caroline was hilarious too and refreshing (although unrealistic) that she regained her memory. Overall, I thought the stripper and cheesy bride games were more age appropriate for a teen or 20 something bride as opposed to a 50 year old on husband #3.

    Aiden’s surprise bachelor party seemed much more normal and age-appropriate, just a bunch of guys drinking at the pub and playing darts. I thought it was funny almost all the men in Salem were there minus Brady, Victor, and a few others because Aiden doesn’t really have any friends. How would Bo feel about his big brother, Roman being involved in throwing a party for Aiden the man who is about to marry his fancy face? I seriously thought he was going to s— the way he did in Van Wilder when he was kidnapped in the park!

    I don’t get why Justin wasn’t at Aiden’s party because they were the closet thing to friends. I don’t get why Eric was there (have he and Aiden said more than 5 words to each other) but, I suppose showing Eric’s rapidly escalating alcohol abuse is key. I don’t get why Adrienne wasn’t at Hope’s party because they are pals. It irked me that Adrienne wasn’t at Will’s funeral either at least for the pupose of comforting Sonny. I know the reasoning probably was Sami and Adrienne despise each other and it may have been double awkward because Adrienne broke off her affair with Lucas. Adrienne is just so immersed in that silly Bracca I gene filler story and occasionally bumping into Lucas. I’m glad that woman finally has a job for the first time in 25 years though.

    • mykleraus Says:

      The time is so wonky. And then we jumped to the evening of the wedding day in the final act of Friday’s episode!

      I’m LOLing at you bringing up Daniel Cosgrove in Van Wilder. That scene still kills me!

      And yeah, it was a little absurd that this group of women felt the need to throw Hope a bachelorette party. Abigail, I could see. But she’s had more weddings to Bo alone than she has children!

      • ADW Says:

        I still love Van Wilder. When Aiden became more of a grey character with ill intent, I kept picturing him wearing the Big Bad Wolf costume, gritting his teeth, and spewing insults out of medical terms. Daniel Costgrove is still cute and hasn’t aged much since Van Wilder but, I wish they wouldn’t put so much make up on him. After Aiden’s physical altercation with Clyde the make up artists made him look like a drag queen however Chad’s roughed up face and blood shot eyes looked natural–very well done.
        Prior to Hope’s muliple weddings to Bo she married that creep Larry Welsh, I almost forgot about him.

      • mykleraus Says:

        I LOVE that movie. It’s so absolutely ridiculous. And yeah — DC looks great (the flecks of grey in his hair give him a little gravitas, to offset the baby face), but I’ve noticed the makeup thing. I wonder if he has bad skin or something?

        Did Hope actually marry Larry? I remember (or have read about/seen clips of) the wedding where Bo “kidnapped” her from it and replaced her with Howie. But I can’t remember if they actually got married later.

      • ADW Says:

        Bo stashed Hope in barn after he rescued her from the church but, some henchmen working for Larry found Hope, kidnapped her, and forced her to marry Larry. Larry threatened to kill Bo and hurt members of her family if she didn’t go through with it. Hope divorced Larry and married Bo less than a year later after Larry was incarcerated.

      • mykleraus Says:

        Ah! Thanks. I was sure I’d heard about an actual marriage at some point.

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