Archive for April 2016

Odd Ends

April 26, 2016

A few stray thoughts from the back half of last week…

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Stop this! You are crazy! Has this woman learned nothing? I mean, I don’t live in a town where there are various psychopathic men hanging out in mansions waiting to taunt me about my “banal dead husband” (credit: Stefano DiMera) but, like, this did not end well the first time, Hope. And I still, almost miraculously, don’t abhor her and Rafe together, but after weeks where it seemed like they were letting it settle, things have been ratcheted back up to “You Will LOVE This Hot New Couple!” levels. The selfie stick stuff was actually cute and refreshingly normal, but it was so tonally off given where Hope had just been. And I thought whoever did the dialogue for that Hope/Steve chat did a nice job of navigating the ham-handedness of Steve being all “Bo said you should be with Rafe! Be with Rafe!” nicely by having Hope clock that Steve was reacting to his own situation with Kayla. But just, like, chill out, show. You do not have to cram this pairing down our throats. No one has ever liked broccoli more because their mom shoved it in their face.

Speaking of crazy…

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Kate Mansi has put in some incredibly strong work the past few weeks. Abigail was almost feral in those scenes in the motel room. Thursday felt like her last episode, but I think she has some appearances remaining. At any rate, I think this makes sense for an exit story. I wouldn’t buy Abigail just leaving Chad and the baby to trot off to Europe, or a rushed break-up for the two of them. This keeps the story in play even with her exit. I’m really concerned that losing Abigail is going to be a much bigger blow than it seems like, which is a problem for an already-unmoored show. But we’ll see. I’m presuming there’s a recast already working who’s being kept under wraps, because otherwise, we’re not going to see Abigail again until like 2019.

Also speaking of crazy…

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This shot was sort of fun. Helena’s wig is not. I just find this entire setup so ridiculous, and no matter how hard they try, I don’t buy that Victor just never mentioned or showed any kind of reaction to Nicole resembling Helena so strongly. Arianne Zucker and Vincent Irizarry work well together, which is not really a surprise, but at least it makes the scenes tolerable. I cracked up when he accused her of only getting close to him for Victor’s sake and she was like, “A, I tried to kill Victor once, and B, does it really seem that weird that I’d want to know about a dead woman who was apparently my exact doppelgänger?!” Only in Salem.


What Happened in Salem: Week of April 18th

April 25, 2016

Abigail’s breakdown continued, Hope committed her monthly attempted murder, and more…

Marlena, a former serial killer and Satanic possession victim who is for some reason still paid to have an opinion on other people’s mental health, suggested to Chad that Abigail receive inpatient care for her recent bout of The Crazy. Abigail overheard, flipped out, and fled to a motel room with Thomas. Chad and JJ found them and brought them home, and with Jennifer’s help, they convinced Abigail that going away for treatment would be best for her and Thomas.

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

Internal Affairs

April 21, 2016

I am normally loath to type Lani’s name, for fear of lapsing into an immediate coma, but I have to ask: what was up with her earlier this week? This character, whose sole trait until now has been scowling at the many, many cases of police misconduct around her, is suddenly hounding Shawn to bang her in the “conference room” (P.S., guys, that’s actually just an office).

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Personality transplant much? Even Shawn, who spends 95% of his screen time being snipped at by Belle, was not having it. I actually thought Brandon Beemer injected some nice, humorous touches into those scenes, and Sal Stowers seemed to come alive when given a scene with some kind of discernible objective. Between how aggressive Lani was and the way she marched into the Pub later to square off with Belle, I can only imagine we’re in for a tale of her suddenly going bonkers over Shawn. Which… whatever. At least it might keep me awake and/or be funny.

I also thought it was bizarre how Belle just referred to her dismissively as “Lani” and not “Abe’s daughter” or anything — Abe was like an uncle to both Belle and Shawn growing up, and it should be noteworthy that a) he has a grown daughter and b) she’s getting involved with Shawn. You’d think Hope and Abe might even have a conversation about how two pairs of their kids are becoming romantically involved. But no, this is Salem 2016, where everything happens in its separate storyline bubbles. I’m still waiting for this Shawn to have a scene with his sister, Ciara, let alone weigh in on the fact that she was raped.

Throwback Thursday: SOD Flash-Forward

April 21, 2016

In September 1996, Soap Opera Digest published a semi-tongue-in-cheek spread predicting where Salemites would be in 20 years. As it turns out, we’re coming up on that very date… so I thought it’d be fun to check in and take stock of how accurate their guesses were.

(All credit for this post goes to Jason47, whose website and its Facebook page are incredible resources for all things Days-related. He posted these scans a few years ago and just reposted them to mark the 20-year anniversary of these predictions. I’m only including his scans here so that people have context for the analysis that follows, but they’re totally his.)


Part 2 behind the cut…


What Happened in Salem: Week of April 11th

April 18, 2016

Literally every storyline was about murder or attempted murder.

With Ben tied to the bed, Abigail lit him on fire. Chad made it home in time to put out the fire before Ben died, and he told the police that Ben had been burned when Abigail dropped a kerosene lamp. JJ was more than willing to go along with that story, which earned a classic Lani Price Police Corruption Side-eye. Abigail lashed out at Chad for having ruined her chance to eliminate Ben forever, but later she seemed to have blocked out the entire thing and continued to be generally crackers. Ben was arrested and hospitalized, and JJ — finally recalling that Ben had not only terrorized Abigail, but also murdered JJ’s own first love and cousin, as well as a random elephant-obsessed woman — vowed to make him pay.

If you dare, read the full recap to catch up on What Happened in Salem last week!

Judgment Day

April 18, 2016

Who knew? People do occasionally have to pay for their crimes in Salem!

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I haven’t been a huge fan of the direction these writers have chosen to take Eric — away from the Nicole relationship, into this not-that-well-developed alcoholism — but this final part of his arc was pretty well done. It felt gritty and ugly and complicated. I’m still scratching my head over the choice to go through with writing him out even in the face of this surprisingly effective pairing with Jennifer, but I also feel it’s important that they not let someone off the hook for a drunk-driving death. Those scenes of him and Jen waking up in the hotel room felt the way those kinds of mornings feel, and as crazy as it was of Marlena to rip into Jennifer the way she did, I totally understand why Marlena did it. I’m not entirely sure how she knows about Jen’s pill-popping, but it was pretty delicious how she went in on her. (Also, lady, come on. You raised two kids who have been incarcerated for murder and also BELLE, so maybe you’re part of the problem.)

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That weird “location shoot” (right outside the soundstage, I presume) of Eric being loaded onto the prison bus and driven away kind of broke my heart. It was just so sad and dark. I really can’t believe that the kindhearted, faith-filled man who returned to Salem in 2012 turned into this guy, but in a way, it makes sense. There’s an opportunity for a fantastic redemption story down the road, and I’ll be disappointed if they never pick up that thread.

Speaking of things that need to be redeemed:

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I was howling during those Victor/Helena flashbacks. I guess it was almost a decade ago that we had to suffer through Colleen and Santo, but it still feels too soon, and this just seems uproariously goofy to me. I’m still shocked, however, that they didn’t slap a mustache on Eric Martsolf and have him play young Victor…

It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay

April 14, 2016

“Hello, everyone! I’m just sitting here dressed like a Funfetti cake whilst clutching my Bible and thinking about one of my several grandsons who recently killed someone!”

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We’re really leaning into this whole “Murder is kind of okay” thing, huh? Here’s some loosely paraphrased dialogue from the past few Days:

Hope: Andre didn’t kill Stefano. I did.
Caroline: Well, he deserved it!
Hope: But what if he wasn’t even responsible for Bo’s death?
Caroline: Meh. I would’ve done it myself sooner or later anyway!

Jade: It’s so cool that you murdered someone! Also, I’m very rude!

Marlena: Eric, you have nothing to apologize for!*

JJ: Chad, let’s make sure we cover our tracks so that I can file an official police report and cover up the fact that Abigail tried to kill Ben! He deserved it!**