Archive for January 2016

What Happened in Salem: Week of January 25th

January 31, 2016

As Daniel was finally (finally!) laid to rest…

Ciara badgered Hope and Rafe until Rafe agreed to join them on their trip to Smith Island. Hope and Rafe enjoyed some breezy banter about fishing and his upbringing, which made flirting a lot easier than frantically talking about a murder cover-up. Chase got skunked, and while Ciara was going through his bag to get him fresh clothes, she found a cell phone with something on it that shocked her (with any luck, it’s a coupon with a really great discount on acting lessons). Andre broke into Hope’s house to gather evidence that she killed Stefano and narrowly avoided being caught by Shawn, who instead of calling ahead just shows up at people’s houses and wanders around screaming their names until he gets tired and leaves.

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

Jonas of Nazareth

January 29, 2016

As I began Thursday’s episode, I was all set to rage about all the over-the-top caterwauling at Daniel’s funeral. For someone who hated Daniel and loves to snark on Days, it should’ve been my Christmas! But I have something to admit: I… thought it was pretty well done.

I know, I know! Hold your tomatoes, though. I still think Daniel generally sucked, and I resent how much airtime was given to him (and spent talking about his awesomeness), and I still abhor the way he was crammed into Maggie’s family tree, and I still hate that they sacrificed the compelling, organic Nicole/Eric pairing for this alleged “great love” between Daniel and Nicole. But, in terms of the relationships Daniel was given and the onscreen history he had, I felt like the show did a very nice job of playing the proper beats. I know there’s been a lot of discussion about how Will and Bo got short shrift, but I truly disagree. The grieving for Will was intense and well done (unfortunately, Sami and Sonny were only visiting, and the death itself didn’t have any real story fallout), and Bo basically got memorialized for a week before he even died. So, in a world in which Daniel is a thing that we’ve had to deal with and these people, for some reason, liked him, I thought this worked decently as a tribute episode.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 4.43.53 PM

This was the Melanie I loved, light on the spastic wigging-out (and thankfully free of that horrible wavy bob that looked like it had a Bump-It in it that she was sporting last year). Since I didn’t really give two hoots about Daniel, the one scene that almost got me to tear up was Melanie’s talk at the end with Maggie. That bond will always be moving to me. And they had Chloe behaving like a mature human being, too! I appreciate that they’ve taken the time to rehab Chloe and Nicole’s friendship.

I did almost lose it — in the laughing-hysterically sense — when this happened.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 4.44.28 PM

A shrine right in the Town Square, next to Tom and Alice’s plaque! Random extras espousing the greatness of St. Daniel! Ugh. But then they even had to go and (sort of) make this work by revealing that Eric was the one who’d started it.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 4.45.12 PM

I like how they’re navigating the reactions to Eric and what he did. People are being firm that his act was wrong but haven’t just decided that he’s The Evilest and should burn in Hell. That said, this still feels really flat to me. The individual scenes are good, but there’s sort of no there there. He drove drunk, and someone died. We haven’t seen one discussion in which Eric reveals why he was drinking so heavily, or in which other people wonder if this was an ongoing thing and how/why they didn’t notice. They might as well have just said he had one glass of wine too many and got behind the wheel, because this isn’t really about Eric or his drinking at all, and they don’t seem to be addressing any of the underlying reasons for the behavior we (briefly) saw in the lead-up to the accident.

Oh, and maybe someone should check on Maxine? I’m pretty sure that if she missed that sobfest over the great Daniel, she must have ended it all the minute she heard about his passing.

The Great Salem Un-SORASing Project, Part 2

January 29, 2016

And we’re back with the next installment of The Great Salem Un-SORASing Project, or as it’s sometimes known, “Michael Could Really Use a Full-Time Job.” The goal, for those who missed the beginning of the series, is to go back through Days history year-by-year and, while trying to preserve the tentpole story developments, couples, etc., revise the story so that no characters are rapidly aged — which requires subbing in age-appropriate characters for some major ones.

You can find Part 1 (1965-79) here. This time around, we’re tackling the 1980s.

I’m modifying the format a little bit to keep things as clear as possible. I’ll post a brief-as-I-could-possibly-manage summary of what happened onscreen during the year, followed by my notes on what changes un-SORASing will require. Then I’ll reprint the year’s summary, but with those changes made (and noted in italics).

(more…)

For Whom the Belle Tolls (All of Us!)

January 28, 2016

Because of the Broken TV Situation, I’m perpetually a day behind now, which upsets me until I start the previous day’s episode and have to deal with this.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 8.54.38 PM.png

She is truly just THE WORST. You would’ve thought nearly eight years off would’ve softened my hatred for Belle, but no — it’s back like I’m trapped in 2008 and I’ve been watching this character whine and flail limply for a decade straight. “Eric’s in jail? How terrible. I’ll do anything to help him — well, not visit him, but I’ll do some lawyering stuff, because I need some files so I look busy when Philip approaches me at the coffee house. Why is everybody blaming meeeeeeee for everything? How come my 15-year-old daughter is being such a brat just because, instead of supporting her dreams or even listening to her, I ran off to Vegas with my ex-husband? Why is everyone so mean to me?!” Shut up! I honestly thought she was going to smack Marlena — who for once was making a reasonable point — and snap at her, like, “Cram it, you hag! I got flirtin’ to do!”

I still don’t understand why either Philip or Shawn would want to be with her. And that conversation between the two of them was atrociously one-dimensional. This is the first time these two have seen one another in years. No discussion about Shawn’s father, who was also Philip’s brother and recently died? No mention of their mutual relative who just had a heart transplant? No, no, gotta thump our chests and bicker over Belle. Ugh. It’s really gross to me that Shawn’s been back in Salem for a day or three days or whatever, and we haven’t seen him with Hope or Ciara or Julie or Jennifer or anyone but the people directly involved in this forced, odious triangle.

Speaking of terrible:

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.11.51 PM

Poor Brady for having to see this in his sleep! Yikes. I was almost at the point of saying that I might be willing to trade Belle for Daniel, because at least he was nice to his kids, but then they had to go and dredge this up. Maybe we can just get a 2-for-1 deal at the crematorium instead?

The Great Salem Un-SORASing Project, Part 1

January 27, 2016

I don’t know if you guys are aware of this, but I have way too much time on my hands and a fairly reliable case of insomnia. I got this bug in my head a few weeks back and couldn’t shake it out, so during one of my too-awake nights, I opted not to wander through the Town Square or drop by a rival’s house to antagonize her, but instead to try and work out this little equation in my head.

A few years back, I came across a thread at Daytime Royalty, started by longtime poster Matt, entitled “Days of our Un-SORASed Lives.” Matt’s goal was to review the history of Days, year by year, and figure out when key events would have had to happen if no characters had been rapidly aged. For example, Hope (born in 1974) couldn’t have actually married Bo until the early 90s, not 1985 like happened on the show. Eventually, Matt realized that the various shifting continuities of the show made this nearly impossible — if Hope didn’t marry Bo until 1995, and Shawn D. wasn’t born until 1997, Shawn and Belle couldn’t have had Claire until the mid-2010s (but even that’s pushing it, because Belle was born in 1993 — see?!). What Matt wound up with, however, was a running history of Days, broken out into weekly summaries from the beginning through 1995. In the process, he also did a remarkable amount of legwork in sorting out birthdates and family trees.

What I’ve done here is revisit that project, but from a different angle. A lot of what has made Days what it is has been the timing of certain castings, couplings, and events, and if, for example, you shift the beginning of Bo and Hope’s romance to the early 1990s, you don’t have the magic of Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso playing a young love story that was distinctly of its original era. What I’ve tried to work out is how you could preserve a Days of Our Lives that tracks very similarly to the one we know — familiar actors, same big tentpole events and general stories — but by utilizing characters whose natural ages fit the given timelines. To stay with the Bo/Hope example, then, Kristian Alfonso couldn’t have been playing a teenaged Hope Williams in 1983, but she could have been brought on as a different character with connections to the same people, who eventually had a great love story with Bo. What follows is, in essence, a rewriting of the entire history of Days, with these changes made so that no SORASing is ever necessary.

A few notes:

I’m going to break this project up into several posts. Part 1 will take us through the first 15 years of the show, which are far simpler than what comes afterward. For the rest of the history, I’ll probably tackle it in decade-long chunks, though we’ll see how it all goes. At any rate, let’s get started…

(more…)

Nailed It

January 27, 2016

I guess it’s a good thing that they didn’t just have Andre pop up from that building explosion like Wile E. Coyote and go about his business, and they certainly got the brutality of his injuries right…

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.14.31 AM

But I would reeeeeally be fine never again seeing someone pull a nail out of his face. Ack. Can someone explain why he wouldn’t have gone to the hospital? Aside from a fear of being pronounced dead on the spot, of course. He wasn’t doing anything illegal (I mean, trespassing, sort of, but that’s small potatoes), and you know he loves any opportunity to force the “good” Salemites to pay attention to him. Yes, transporting himself home and then staggering around bleeding all over the house and howling seems like a much easier plan.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 10.14.22 AM

I’m not sure it’s going to help Chad’s case with Abigail if they go back to the mansion and there’s even more blood spattered around. I actually sort of love the idea of seeing the DiMera mansion get a bright makeover (and yes, I realize that this is probably an excuse to re-use the set), but how banal and hilarious is it that the house is being foreclosed on? Stefano had half a billion dollars sitting around for Sami to steal, but he didn’t pay his damn mortgage?!

I’d like to promise that I will stop harping on the timeline, but I can’t promise that, because it continues to confound me in new and ridiculous ways.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 9.40.09 AM

When Ava sent Joey on his way, she told him to go back to school. Steve came up to her immediately afterward. Sometime in the middle of their conversation, it turned from day to night. So were they talking for five hours? Because Joey went back to school, got a booze hook-up, got drunk, and made it to Ciara’s party all while that conversation was going on.

Fairly minor in the grand scheme of things, yeah. But still irritating! I will say this, though, and I’m as surprised as anyone: I’m liking this Ava story. It’s twisting and turning in ways I haven’t expected, but the pace doesn’t feel unnaturally fast, and best of all, it isn’t predicated on everyone being total morons (except Joey, but that’s kind of the point there). And Ava’s level of batshit crazy is honestly cracking me up. When she burst out with that deranged grin and shouted at Steve, “I brained her!!!”, I was dying.

Meanwhile, over at Ciara’s lame-ass party:

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 9.43.10 AM

Hope heard that Marlena’s cleavage brought Eric out of his coma, so she thought she’d slip on a black leather halter top and give it a shot. And goodness knows she’s gonna need luck, if her big plan to keep her family safe is to take them to a remote island that’s both very accessible from Salem and pretty much the first place anyone would think to look for Hortons outside Salem (well, there or downtown Africa).

What Happened in Salem: Week of January 18th

January 24, 2016

Another week of poorly conceived plans, instant addictions, and local shopping mall fashion from 1996…

Hope tried to protect herself from being caught for Stefano’s murder via that age-old method: confessing to a different murder. She told the police that she’d killed Dr. Malcolm in self-defense and blocked it out, and Justin was like, “Well, this gives me nothing to scream about, so I won’t pursue charges!” Andre, however, found the blood on the statue and marched down to the police station to accuse Rafe of having helped Hope harm Stefano, while Lani lurked in the background and listened.

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