Look at these Turkeys

How fitting that, during such a dark time, and on a day meant for giving thanks, the Salemites were once again graced with the presence of the saintly Belle Black Brady — or, as I often call her, “the Daniel of the 2000s.”

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By the time she and Shawn left in 2008, the sight of Belle was almost enough to make me break out in hives. She was just the worst. She vacillated limply between Shawn and Philip for years. She was incapable of being alone. Nothing was ever her fault. Everyone spent truly mind-blowing amounts of time talking about how wonderful she was and wringing their hands over how she would react to things — even things that had nothing to do with her, like Alice Horton’s “death” in 2004! On top of that, “Shelle” never particularly worked for me as a couple, because they were never fully developed as individuals, and I never understood why I should want these two people to be together — or why they wanted to be together — aside from the fact that they were the children of two big supercouples.

That said, we’ve had a long break from her, and I understand that Belle is a vital character in terms of her place on the show. She’s a natural choice for an additional woman in the 30-something age range, and as much as this would’ve been a good time to reset Belle with a recast, I’ve always thought Martha Madison was very capable, and I get that the familiarity makes sense. I’m optimistic that they’re bringing Belle and Shawn back in the midst of a marital crisis because they’re putting an end to “Shelle” and moving them into separate stories. If they eventually find their way back together, fine, but I need to see them fall in love, not just have it be a foregone conclusion. I’m not here for another round of Carrie & Austin: 2012 Edition.

With that out of the way, I have to say that I already like their offspring.

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The actress playing Claire already felt very natural in those big family scenes, and I like that they’re playing her slightly younger than the other teens. (She’s actually supposed to be older than Ciara, but I can go along with the reversal in this case.) As long as they don’t position her as Belle 2.0, with all the boys chasing after her for no comprehensible reason, I could be onboard with this. And yeah, it’s weird to see Belle and Shawn with a teenager, but Claire should be 10 this year, and her parents were college-aged when they had her, so making her 15 isn’t too wild a leap. It is a little weird to see Hope with a granddaughter this age, but Ciara’s presence also establishes that Shawn had a child when his mom was still of child-bearing age (okay, who am I kidding, she’ll allegedly be of child-bearing age for the next 15 years), I’ll go with it.

There was some other fun stuff going on on Thanksgiving — chiefly, that we got to see other people besides Hope, Kayla, Steve, Caroline, Victor, and Maggie! I appreciated that they managed to get most of the cast into the episode, even though it was clear that a) they had to split them off into separate, somewhat illogical gatherings for production purposes, and b) certain cast members might’ve been appearing on a special no-dialogue basis (which I’m sure meant they didn’t have to be paid their full rate).

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The montage of toasts around town, concluding with Caroline’s about Bo, was touching. I don’t know that there’s a lot of ‘there’ there, but because we see them so seldom, the Eve/Justin pairing feels fresh, so their scenes held my attention — as did Eduardo’s offer to her and Eve’s completely in-character reaction. I was rolling my eyes at the convenient intel that he’s the one with a connection to Winterthorne (what, was Daniel too fancy to go there?), but the Hernandez family stuff worked well for me, for what it is, and that Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless is one of the smarter uses of the Town Square they’ve done.

All in all: I enjoyed a lot about Thanksgiving, please don’t let Belle eat the show again, and I’m not even going to talk about how idiotic it was to have Sami’s quest against the DiMeras seemingly end with a text message to Marlena, because I’m in a good mood and I don’t want to ruin that.

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14 Comments on “Look at these Turkeys”

  1. VKing Says:

    Spot on again! I agree the actress playing Claire fit in rather seamlessly. I also like Eve paired with Justin–they seem to have a natural rapport between them. Why on earth is DOOL letting go of Kassie D? She is a top notch actress!

  2. onemothing2 Says:

    I found it odd that everyone is celebrating Thanksgiving while Bo is still laying in the morgue at University Hospital! Are we supposed to assume that a few days or a week passed between episodes? The bicentennial had a specific date which they showed us multiple times and then the very next day is Thanksgiving? Who had time to get together a turkey dinner?

    I am not feeling Claire just yet. How does she not already know Joey? Or at least know who he is? I’m fine with assuming that people related to each other in Salem just know each other through osmosis even if we have never seen them onscreen together. Like I assume that Joey and Andrew Donavan are Facebook friends even though we have no clue where Andrew is?! Make sense?

    I loved Joey and Kayla matching though! Did you catch that?

    • mykleraus Says:

      No, the timing is just completely screwy. Steve got drunk the night Bo died, and he woke up hungover on Thanksgiving. So it’s two days after the bicentennial. I just wish they’d be a bit more vague or imply that some time had passed. And I know who put together dinner — Caroline! She was back at work the same night she escaped from the hospital. (That would’ve been a good opportunity for some ridiculous product placement, come to think of it…)

      The Claire/Joey thing was a little weird. “This is your cousin, Joey.” “Oh.” Then Joey said, “See ya around,” and walked three feet away. I know what you mean about all the legacy characters just knowing each other, though. Joey and Andrew are first cousins, so I would HOPE they know each other! Speaking of, it would be good to see Joey run into Theresa.

      I was dying at Kayla and Joey’s matching leather shoulders.

  3. ADW Says:

    OMG Kayla and Joey’s gray matching outfits with the PATCH of leather were hideous yet, hilarious. 😄
    I have opinions about all the other teens (with Theo the strongest in my opinion) jury is still out on Claire bc scenes were brief. She’s cute and looks like Belle’s mini me. It’s so funny to think Joey was originally born in May 2008, a couple months after Shawn D/Belle/Claire left town.
    I could already sense some tension w/ Shelle. I’m interested to know what (or who) she did to screw up their marriage. I’m sure Victor will have something snarky to say, I’m waiting.

  4. Shea Says:

    LOL…” please don’t let Belle eat the show again”…you’re feelings about Belle are like my feelings about Sami! I actually think the reason we got all of the Belle propping back then was because the writers were trying to really contrast her to Sami. They wanted us know that Belle is such a sweet girl even if her actions weren’t always sweet.

    Sami had already turned me into an occasional viewer when Belle really hit the scene. When i tried to tune back in full time for the Steve and Kayla return in 2006, I didn’t make it very long before I abandoned my attempt because I found the younger cast had taken over and they annoyed the crap out of me. Belle, Mimi, Willow, Chelsea, even Stephanie and Abby….they all drove me nuts.

    I’m trying to keep an open mind.

    • mykleraus Says:

      They sort of plugged Belle into the Carrie role in the mid-2000s, yeah. There was a lot of, “Boy, isn’t Sami a raving bitch?!?!” (which she is) while Belle just strung along two guys and had no agency, like those were admirable things.

      I REALLY liked Chelsea by the time she left, but she was such a moron a lot of the time. Willow was horrid!

      • ADW Says:

        Oh yes, stringing two guys along and cheating on someone you are supposed to be in a committed relationship sounds an awful lot like Abbie Whoreton too and they certainly “pimped” that character; almost everyone still thinks Abbie is still a perfect angel.
        I really hope the other man is not Phillip (agian) but, I wouldn’t rule that out. Phillip (recasted, boooo) is on his way back very soon and everyone seems to have a reason visit Chicago which is where Phillip supposedly was living since he left Salem the last time.
        I completely agree with the comments regarding Daniel. I’m so glad he’s taken a backseat and he’s leaving soon.

      • mykleraus Says:

        Honestly, I hadn’t connected Belle and Abigail, but you have a point. They haven’t made Abby nearly as unbearable to me, though her behavior is still hypocritical — I think because SOMEONE was at least allowed to call her out and humiliate her for the EJ affair, and Chad was pissed at her, etc.

        I just don’t get what they would gain from having a Belle/Philip redux happen offscreen, but who the hell knows?

  5. Farah Says:

    The difference between Belle and Daniel is Belle is the daughter of a super couple. She’s a legacy character. It makes sense for to have all these close relationships with people in Salem.

    All Daniel have is a series of retcons and instafamilies. That’s why he’s far worse IMO.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Totally. That’s why I’m willing to give Belle a shot — all the relationships are in place, and the actress is capable, so all they need to do is give her some decent writing and a well-formed character!

  6. marypickford Says:

    I am optimistic about Claire too. So far I’ve been impressed with the casting department regarding the teens. I really like Joey. He was funny with his stone faced “See you around.” Such a teenage boy!

    And you know I totally agree about Belle. “Limp” is an accurate word for what her character was like last time. I hope they give her some backbone this time.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I’m liking Joey. He’s still a bit stiff, but it sort of fits, and I see him growing as they give him more material. The staging of that intro between him and Claire was hilarious — he literally just walked away from her!

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