Archive for December 2015

Bottoms Up

December 31, 2015

Here’s a selfie I took while watching the Basic Black fashion show.

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After the year we’ve had, it’s sort of fitting that that’s the last shot of Days of Our Lives for 2015, no?

Obviously there’s a lot to come, and I like that they’re going into 2016 with some compelling stuff (at least in the short term), but boy, was that driving montage at the end contrived. Where was Jennifer driving at 1 a.m.? Did Brady really have to turn back to pick up that nameplate instead of just texting Theresa to grab it? Why in the hell would Daniel send Nicole a video message when he saw her 20 minutes ago and would be seeing her soon? Generally minor quibbles, and I appreciate that they built up a little suspense, but it was all cracking me up.

And then there was this:

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It’s blatantly obvious where Eric’s drinking is headed, given the ending of Thursday’s show, but the whole thing is falling pretty flat for me. It’s rough to see him in this shape, but so little attention has been paid to him or to his drinking that it doesn’t even seem real. Aside from Thanksgiving, when he was basically just standing around in the background (and where we didn’t see him drinking to excess), his only other appearances have been when he was fucked up at the bicentennial and then two scenes where he was absolutely sloshed at the Basic Black party. We have no real idea why he’s drinking: is it because of the loss of his faith? His lack of direction after leaving the priesthood and not becoming BB’s photographer? The way things turned out with Serena? Despondence over Nicole marrying Daniel? We can guess until Marlena’s cow-print blazer comes home, but they haven’t brought any of it onscreen — he didn’t even have a single scene with his family members at the party that might’ve illuminated this descent! Didn’t Marlena or Belle notice that he barely left the bar and was barely able to stand up? For a legacy character who was one of the male leads during the spring and summer, it’s a jarring shift, and I think it undermines what could’ve been a powerful tale.

Not to mention that it’s sort of a cartoonish version of a drunk-driving/alcoholism story. Alcoholics don’t (necessarily) ruin their lives because they get behind the wheel and cause a devastating accident; it’s a disease that chips away at someone’s life — through making the person irresponsible, unreliable, volatile — until he or she hits rock bottom, and we haven’t seen Eric blow any professional opportunities or personal relationships because of his drinking. And it’s borderline-irresponsible to imply that drunk-driving accidents only happen because someone gets absolutely obliterated and then gets behind the wheel. Yeah, that happens, and it’s horrifying, but I would imagine it’s even more common for someone to have a drink or two too many, drink some water or coffee, think they’re okay, and then cause an accident because their reaction time is too slow or they misjudge a move on the road. Having Eric unable to stand up, let alone keep his eyes open, while he’s blasting cheesy license-free rock music and sticking his head out the window was sort of ridiculous.

Okay, off my soapbox now. We’ll see how this all shakes out, but my general guess would be “not very well.” Whether that pertains solely to the characters’ lives or also to our viewing experiences remains to be seen.

Just the Basics

December 31, 2015

Since most of Salem is spending New Year’s Eve at a fashion show, it only seems appropriate to spend some time on a sartorial critique of our own.

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I was going to begin by asking what in gay gladiator hell Nicole is wearing, but honestly, it’s one of her least tacky looks of the year, and her hair finally looks nice, so I’m gonna let this one slide.

It’s good to see that Kate, the ostensible head of a fashion house, opted for that classic look: “Abominable Snowman Going to a Dinner Party at Liberace’s.”

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It was nearly impossible to get a good shot of the full thing, but that white fur is spilling out from under her blazer, too. It’s insane.

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I’ve seen a lot of people ragging on the set for this event, but I actually like it. The lighting is interesting, and the space feels full. Yeah, the runway is a little tight, but honestly, this is what a lot of the smaller shows at the various Fashion Weeks wind up being. They’re trying some different production techniques — camera moves, angles, etc. — that I appreciate, and this at least looks like an actual event, as opposed to the time Hope and Aiden fundraised for a “gala” that took place offscreen while they hung out in the broom closet. It seems smart to use the soundstage the way they have been, because it’s a larger, open space and gives us something to look at besides the damn Town Square and Club TBD.

I’m also enjoying seeing people doing work and being invested in it, even if the execution is a little wonky. Theresa is supposed to be this underdog, and Kate is the Big Bad Bitch who’s trying to screw her over, but everything is a little too black-and-white — and yet muddled. Spoiler-Free Days has a great post articulating some of what’s off here: Theresa is supposed to be this scrappy aspiring designer, but she went home to watch a movie with Brady, while other people fought her battles for her. Kate wasn’t wrong about the technical construction aspects, as evidenced by how Nicole had to bring in other seamstresses to get things in shape, but I would’ve loved to see Theresa take that criticism to heart, bust her ass all night fixing things, and then sabotage or connive her way into getting her designs on that runway. Instead, we sort of got Nicole, Brady, and Anne pulling strings for her, and then she showed up and had to deal with some catty models, and then the show happened and that was that. It all feels too flat and easy. Also, God bless Lauren Koslow for getting through that painful phone conversation with “Donatella.” I was embarrassed for her, but she was, as always, a trooper and sold it as best she could. And yes, everything in that fashion show looked like it came from Zara, but then again, that’s probably Basic Black’s actual market.

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What Happened in Salem: Week of December 21st

December 28, 2015

The Hortons gathered for an emotional Christmas Eve celebration. Elsewhere…

Chad spent Christmas Eve with Belle, the lawyer who might or might not have accepted his case, and if you didn’t believe that his brainwashing worked, well — that’s about what it would take to get me to voluntarily spend time with Belle, too. Abigail saw them together and, in a noxious fit of PTSD and rage, hurled a mug through the window of a storefront in the Town Square (a seemingly genetic predisposition that she might want to have Thomas tested for).

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

Ghosts of Christmas Past

December 26, 2015

Another year, another Christmas Eve at the Horton house, another embarrassing display of tears on my part when they pan to Tom and Alice’s ornaments.

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Doug’s speech got me going, too. Bill Hayes delivered it with such passion and feeling that he somehow brought alive 50 years of history in relatively few words. I thought it was really lovely and fitting that, at the Christmas following such a milestone anniversary, Days of Our Lives pay tribute to both its past and its future.

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They hit a lot of the right notes, with giving proper focus to the loss of Will and to Lucas’s grief in particular. Maggie’s bond with Lucas has sort of been overshadowed by her (similar, addiction-driven) bond with Brady, so I was glad to see it get some attention. (It did seem a little weird that Gabi wasn’t there with Arianna — although she did kill Nick, another Horton, so maybe she wanted to avoid that awkwardness, but Lucas could’ve brought his granddaughter.) Giving Lucas that private moment outside the house, when he received Sami’s text with Allie’s drawing, was wise and touching. I’m still dying to get Lucas’s POV on this whole thing, though. Sami went on the run with his daughter? Does he just not get to see Allie anymore? Maybe he’ll run into Belle at the Town Square next month and get three lines about it.

The editing during the ornament-hanging was all over the place, because Jennifer and her family’s ornaments were hanging on the part of the tree that faced the camera several scenes before we actually saw them hang them. A little sloppy, but not the biggest sin in the world. It did strike me as weird that they chose to linger on two ornaments in particular.

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Sleigh That Look, Honey

December 24, 2015

Welp. Didn’t take long for the wardrobe people to find a new target.

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Ciara is dressed like Justin Bieber performing a Christmas concert where he had to get ready in the dark.

And has anyone else noticed that Caroline seems to have hired Kate as her stylist lately?

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She’s been looking good, but I’m a little worried that the weight of all that hardware around her neck is going to knock her over.

Mrs. Claus is looking pretty sexy, though.

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When you’re only allowed out of the house once a month, you’ve gotta make the most of it! I wonder if she remembers the time she ran a Christmas tree lot and there was a serial killer running around…

Walking on Broken Glass

December 22, 2015

Well, grandmotherhood certainly suits someone.

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This is the best Jennifer has looked in years, right? Melissa Reeves must have finally made amends with whomever she offended in the hair, make-up, and wardrobe departments.

However, now that she’s got her look “on fleek,” as they say, perhaps she could devote her energy to making sure that baby never gets anywhere near a storefront.

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Is there such a thing as a genetic predisposition to hurling things through windows? And how come JJ got arrested when he broke the bookstore’s window, but Abigail was able to look around shiftily and flee without anyone being around to notice her?

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Oops.

A Clockwork Bore-ange

December 19, 2015

You guys. I consider myself a fairly articulate person, but I do not think I have the words to articulate the mind-blowing fuckery that was that brainwashing montage on Thursday.

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I do, however, have questions. A whole slew of questions. Like: wouldn’t it have been easier to brainwash Belle and get her to spill on Sami? Did Andre pull those images himself? Where did he get those images of Abigail and Belle, considering he was not present for either? And what was with the cats?

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This whole thing is beyond bizarre. You know you’ve really lost the plot when even Stefano, the man who never met a scheme too convoluted to pursue, is like, “The fuck are you doing, Andre?!”

That said, I don’t mind the underpinnings of this plot. It’s very supercouple to throw another obstacle at Chad and Abigail as soon as they settle into something resembling happiness, and I think it works better that this happened quickly in terms of Abigail’s faith in Chad being rocked. Now that the crisis is over and he no longer “needs” her, she’ll have to question whether his feelings were genuine at all. It would be much harder to pull this off after they’d been together for a while, but right now, it could look to Abigail as if Chad is just reverting to who he was when he returned to Salem last year.

Also, I was cracking the hell up at Marlena.

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Marlena was attacked, so it must be a day of the week that ends in -y. Seriously, girl, lock your damn door! She might have better luck with an office in the middle of Murder Park, considering the security in this damn hospital. And then she was revived, went off to have coffee with her daughter, and in the middle of the conversation, she was like, “Oh BTW, I was chloroformed this morning! Annoying, huh?” It was almost as bizarre as Hope leaving Ciara to her own devices post-kidnapping and then Ciara casually telling Chase about it like she’d gotten into a fender bender.

A couple of things that have been working for me, though:

  • Kayla not buying Ava’s schtick. It made sense both as a medical professional and as a person who’s been victimized by this nutjob in the past.
  • John and Eduardo’s conversation about Winterthorne and their pasts (minus the fact that they seemed to be in a competition to be America’s Next Zoolander Impersonator) was actually very interesting. I love the idea that they were both chosen because they were orphans, and that it informs Eduardo’s backstories with both of the families he abandoned.
  • JJ and Gabi continue to be engaging, even without much/any story backing up the coupling. I’ll be interested to see what they do with them going forward.

Please notice that I did not mention Ciara or Lani’s acting skillz in that list.