Archive for May 2016

Actor… In?

May 31, 2016

This is a strange one, and I’m not even sure I understand what’s going on, but here goes…

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What Happened in Salem: Week of May 23rd

May 30, 2016

Jennifer’s addiction got actual screentime, Joey remained a moron, and…

After one drunken romp, Shawn was eager to get back together with Belle, a woman who’s cheated on him repeatedly and recently divorced him. Belle was reluctant but agreed to have dinner with him, while Philip wandered around town semi-pouting over Belle not wanting him anymore, which is sort of like being upset that it’s Christmas morning. Shawn came clean with Lani about his situation with Belle, and she managed not to show a glimmer of personality even while being dumped.

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

A Boatload of Casting News

May 29, 2016

There have been rumors flying all week long, but now it all comes together with news of one exit and some returns…

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I Took a Pill in Salem

May 26, 2016

Am I hopped up on painkillers, or was Jennifer hitting rockbottom a pretty good episode, even in spite of most of the “story” having taken place offscreen?

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Melissa Reeves definitely showed up to work, and there was something incredibly visceral about Jennifer’s simple need to make it to 6 a.m. without taking another pill. The use of Lucas and Julie added some real heft to the episode. (And I guess Doug was there, too, though he didn’t do much of substance.) This felt like a Horton family crisis, though Hope’s absence was glaring. I guess she has her own illogical love triangle and troubled, robotic daughter to deal with, but it’s still damn strange to me that she lived with Jennifer for weeks and hasn’t had anything to say about this apparently dire pill-popping.

But what really made it work was this.

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It says a lot that the actor and character who was most necessary to shore up this whole thing was Matthew Ashford’s Jack. He remains Reeves’s best scene partner, and reflecting on her history with Jack and what the loss of him meant went a long way toward finally giving Jennifer’s overnight addiction some context. It definitely felt like a retro-fitted explanation — frankly, for the past few months, I don’t think the writers gave much thought to what was going on in Jennifer’s head or whether she was actually in pain or why she kept taking the pills — but it set a lot right for me.

And look at how young and handsome Jack was back in the day!

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I thought Ashford looked better on Tuesday than he did during his last contract run, actually. He seems to have aged into his looks or something. It was just such a pleasure to have him onscreen, especially without any of the forced hijinks they’ve made Jack’s trademark during his last few returns. And how blessed are we that they went with Jack and not Daniel for this role?

Special shoutout to whichever writer had Jennifer finally remember that she was on the other side of this exact same situation with Carly not five years ago, and to whomever picked out that cute dress she wore to her first AA meeting. It even looked relatively comfortable and almost managed to banish my usual thought of “Don’t any of these people own sweatshirts?!” And all that dialogue about writing and the Spectator!

I’m not entirely sure where this goes next — I’m really burnt-out on watching recovering addicts struggle with their demons on this show — but this episode laid out a potentially interesting new path for Jennifer, as she navigates who she is at this new juncture in her life. Let’s see if they actually bother to put any of it onscreen.

What Happened in Salem: Week of May 16th

May 22, 2016

Spoiler alert: Ciara’s acting did not improve. Meanwhile…

A serum miraculously cured everyone’s virus, mostly offscreen. In the aftermath, Adriana was offered a job as a nurse at University Hospital. JJ, who smoked weed and was rude to people in high school (okay, and slept with his girlfriend’s mother) had to prove to Adriana that he is worthy of dating Gabi, a woman who had her friend kidnapped and then killed JJ’s cousin. Adriana was upset when a bouquet of black roses were delivered to Rafe’s house, and Eduardo admitted that they were meant to remind him of someone he killed years earlier. Rafe was pissed at the danger and the reminder of Eduardo’s past as an assassin, all the while longing to be with his current girlfriend, whom he recently assisted in covering up a murder.

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

Checking In

May 21, 2016

If only the rest of Salem had the sense of Julie Williams.

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I realize that might sound like a crazy thing to say, considering the woman is bonkers (Exhibit A: the fact that her B&B hosts “high tea” at a single table in the foyer), but her reaction to Aiden was perfect. I realize these people encounter a lot of murderers and psychopaths and what-have-you, but they’re all so casual about it. I mean, Kate is practically begging a self-professed maniac to marry her after having known him for two months and knowing that he’s obsessed with another woman.

And don’t get me started on how Aiden was all, “I have to stay here! The Salem Inn is full!” You mean there’s not any other hotel in this city that boasts an international airport and various multinational conglomerates?

Other things not to get me started on:

  • Belle: She “broke up” with Philip about fifteen minutes ago and divorced Shawn like a week ago, and her daughter whom she’s neglected is giving her trouble, so obviously the solution is to go out, get drunk, and throw herself at her barely-ex-husband. She’s wretched.
  • Ciara and Chad: Good grief! You could see Billy Flynn working overtime to try and spark chemistry in their scenes on Friday, but he might as well have been acting opposite one of Stefano’s chess pieces. I’m hoping that the point of all this is simply that Ciara gets fixated on Chad because of all she’s been through, and Chad is appalled and has to push her away (shades of Abigail/Austin), because if he reciprocates in any way… yuck. She’s the barely-legal cousin of his recently institutionalized wife, and his nephew is in love with her, and she was raped not too long ago. And she might be a robot.

Nothing Makes Sense

May 17, 2016

JJ over here seems to be thinking exactly what I am.

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The virus storyline has produced some decent scenes — actual screentime for JJ and Gabi as a couple, fleshing-out of Adriana, that great Kayla/JJ moment, some good John/Paul stuff — but, like… what’s the point? Is this fundamentally going to change anything at all? A storyline like this is supposed to shake up dynamics, act as a turning point for relationships, that kind of thing. It’s basically just people worrying about people they already like, and quarantined patients freely wandering the hospital and intermingling with people who should be trying not to get sick, and Fynn flatly reading medical jargon off a Teleprompter. I guess they’re going to have Fynn be by Kayla’s side while Steve is searching for Joey, thus bringing them close together, which works (even though no one on Earth thinks this is anything more than a temporary obstacle for Steve and Kayla), but I feel like the writers maybe missed the part where a story is supposed to accomplish something aside from filling airtime.

Speaking of hospitalization: I think Chad might need to check in to Shady Acres or whatever it’s called, if this is how he imagines his wife coming home to him.

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Yikes. Is Abigail now splitting a wardrobe with this random P.I. Steve went to see?

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And apropos of nothing but kind of everything — who in the hell would keep the invitation from the wedding where the groom TRIED TO KILL YOU in an easily accessible living room drawer?

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