Just the Basics
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.
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.”
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.
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.
I don’t even know what to say about this lime taffeta (?!) nightmare that Kayla is wearing. She has an unfortunate habit of winding up looking like Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus, and this is up there with some of her most hideous hits. I know she said she was going to get ready in 15 minutes, but really? This was what she had waiting in the closet?
That aside, I loved Ava’s entrance with Fynn, and that awkward conversation between them and Kayla and Joey, and how John and Marlena both registered Ava’s presence. And they remembered Nicole and Ava’s friendship! Also, what I wouldn’t give for Ava to at least be like, “Hey, Nicole — how’s that sister of yours?”
And Joey’s jealousy over Ava feels so fun and oddly fresh. I should not be this engaged with this story, but something about it is clicking for me. James Lastovic also seems to be settling in; his acting during Wednesday’s episode felt genuine and not stiff at all. The way they’re putting him in scenes with the heavy hitters, instead of islanding him with a bunch of newbies, seems to be helping.
I love, love, love these kinds of soapy parties where everyone is floating around and interacting. Things still feel uneven, but at least there are more people on besides Hope, Rafe, Kayla, Steve, Abigail, and Chad, and there are some different dynamics at play now. Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come in 2016.