Archive for January 2017

What Happened in Salem: Week of January 23rd

January 29, 2017

The truth about baby Holly was the big headline this week, but some other people did other stuff that might eventually add up to something…

Abigail and Gabi decided to team up to prevent the men they love from getting into a full-blown war over the microchips. Abigail planned to use her feminine wiles — which, to be fair, drove a man to fake a brain tumor, got her now-brother-in-law to cheat on the love of his life, and turned a third fellow into a serial killer — and a tepid Southern accent to pry information out of the tech, Myron. Dario interrupted the plan, and Chad figured out that the women were up to something. Later, Chad and Abigail left their child in the house with two known murderers so they could escape to the Salem Inn, where, for the first time since Abigail’s return, they enjoyed a sensual romp full of tastefully placed white sheets, exposed legs, and a bland ballad that you wouldn’t even remember if it smacked you in the face.

Read the full recap to find out What Happened in Salem this week!

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Just Play the Hits

January 28, 2017

It wouldn’t be an episode of Days of Our Lives in 2017 if we didn’t hear Daniel’s name at least 50 times, let alone see his mug.

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I will say that his ghostly appearance Friday, as well as all the (endless) discussion of him, didn’t irritate me as much as your average psychiatric professional might have predicted. Yes, we all know how much he sucked, but people like Maggie, Victor, Nicole, and Brady for some reason enjoyed his presence, and it makes sense to reflect on his memory as the news comes out that he and Nicole share a daughter. Personally, I found it strange how Brady and Nicole were talking about how Daniel always gave them great advice, considering that most of what I remember was him telling Nicole what an untrustworthy harlot she was, and him mauling the ex-fiancée who broke Brady’s heart and drove him back to drugs, but hey, different strokes. I wouldn’t have minded if JJ — the one person who really did benefit from Daniel’s guidance — had been at the police station and weighed in with some references to things we actually saw Daniel do, but they seem to have forgotten that Daniel was ever important to that segment of the canvas.

In terms of this baby situation, I don’t know that I’ve ever watched a story in which just about everyone — regardless of what side of the debate they’re on — seems either batshit crazy or stupid to the point of being a danger to themselves. “Maggie, doesn’t it bother you that Deimos left you paralyzed?” “I’ve made my peace with him.” Well, sure, you can get past something like that and still not exalt the person or want to be around him. Meanwhile, they somehow even managed to make Chloe come off like an idiot — which, granted, isn’t usually that tough — when she admitted that Deimos might not harm Holly directly, but, you know, his influence wouldn’t be great and stuff. Compelling! I don’t see how a judge could rule against that!

Also, Maggie is really leaning into this Prince tribute thing, yeah?

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I did appreciate that they actually showed her learning that Holly is her granddaughter and holding the child for the first time. This is the type of beat that they too often skip over, but it helps ground these ridiculous scenarios when we actually see people’s incredulous reactions play out.

Speaking of old Days favorites…

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It’s been a while since we’ve had a random dayplayer waltz up to some main characters and butt into their lives, totally uninvited! And this one seems to be a distant relation of Celeste, so there’s that, too. Per Salem tradition, this woman could not have given less of a shit about anybody else in that “Cafe Dvorak,” but of course she floats right up to Kayla and Steve to tell their fortunes, i.e., completely ruin their day by shrieking in their faces about doom and danger. I hope she wasn’t expecting a tip.

Save the Drama for Your Mama

January 25, 2017

It’s oddly fitting that, the very day after I found out Dena Higley was fired (again), I teared up at an episode featuring the payoff of what is probably the main narrative of Dena’s entire time at Days: Nicole learning that she finally, after all these years and all these disappointments, has a biological child.

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Maybe that’s not fitting. Ironic? (A little too ironic.) (And yeah, I really do think.) (It’s like raaaaa-eeee-aaaaiiiiiin…)

ANYWAY. Arianne Zucker — and the script — sold the hell out of that moment, in my opinion. I certainly wouldn’t have minded it happening in a setting with a bigger feeling, like a wedding or a party (literally everything climactic on soaps could happen at a wedding or party and I’d be good), but the emotion was spot-on, and it isn’t like this was a situation with no stakes. Nicole was being detained for attempted murder, and Brady forced Chloe to tell the truth. And the way it dawned on her — the way she didn’t understand what she was being told at first, because it’s bonkers — and then reflected on the losses she’s suffered and finally realized that a child that is genetically hers was in the same room as her… that was really good stuff that proves you don’t need a giant budget to do great drama, if you take the time to build the emotional investment and make it all about the characters.

(By the way, boy, did Chloe come off like a total loon as she tried to justify this whole thing, even though I hate Deimos enough that it makes sense to me.)

At any rate, it is fitting that this arc got to be completed, or at least come to this moment, under Higley’s pen, because this is by far the most emotional and engaging character tale she’s developed throughout her runs. She didn’t write the original “Nicole can’t conceive because she got SHOT IN THE UTERUS” story, but she did take her out of the Victor marriage and the Colin affair/murder and into the relationship with Brady, which is still important today. She wrote Nicole’s affair with EJ that led to a pregnancy and marriage, followed by the miscarriage, the friendship with Eric Martsolf’s Brady, and the entire theft of Sydney. And it strikes me as very wise to complicate this entire reveal by having Nicole in legal trouble for stabbing the guy whom she knows — but no one else does — was sent to kill Deimos. On one hand, she used a butter knife, so it’s possible Justin could argue that she wanted to, I dunno, slather the guy with cream cheese, but on the other hand… he was an unarmed man whom she’s alleging was going to try and kill a man in broad daylight in the middle of a busy shopping mall/biodome. So perhaps a defense will be hard to mount. Also, this is the second allegation of (attempted) murder against her in a year’s time, but I guess everyone is just pretending that Kate never pushed Deimos into that river.

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I love how they brought Belle in as Chloe’s lawyer. I love how they played the Brady/Belle angle of the custody fight. Lots of this is working. I am, however, eager to see either party explain this shitshow to a judge. I imagine it’ll go something like this:

Chloe: She isn’t fit to be Holly’s mother! She once snuck into an operating room to put flesh-eating bacteria on my face!
Judge: Then why would you agree to carry a child for her and your own ex-husband?
Chloe: I was once tricked into being a hooker.
Judge: …oh.

Head Writer Switcheroo AGAIN

January 23, 2017

Breaking news! Dena Higley is out — though her Co-Head Writer, Ryan Quan, remains in a Creative Consultant post — and former One Life to Live/General Hospital Head Writer, Ron Carlivati, is coming to Days!

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From Soap Opera Digest:

The show has replaced Co-Head Writer Dena Higley with Emmy-winning scribe Ron Carlivati, who toiled at both GENERAL HOSPITAL and ONE LIFE TO LIVE, effective immediately. His title will be Head Writer. Higley’s Co-Head Writer, Ryan Quan, will remain with the new title of Creative Consultant. Daytime Emmy-winner Sheri Anderson Thomas, who has served on DAYS’s writing team in various capacities, including head writer and co-head writer in the ’80s and ’90s, will also hold the Creative Consultant title.

I’m actually way less shocked by this than I maybe should be. Carlivati has been a free agent for a while, and his brand of heightened storyline has been talked about a lot online as a possible fit for Days. And former Head Writer Sheri Anderson, who has long, long been buzzed about as being the needed fix for what ails the show, will be consulting!

I definitely agree that Salem could use a shot in the arm. As I’ve said recently, I like a lot of what Higley and Quan have set up, but I don’t necessarily think it’s playing out with as much energy as it needs to have. Carlivati’s initial time as HW of OLTL was very, very strong, with interweaving, character-driven storylines, and he brought a lot of that to GH at first, though that show seemed to get away from him for whatever reason. At any rate, I’m excited (interested?) to see what the hell happens next.

One thing Carlivati did at both those shows was establish a gay presence, so I would not be surprised to see Sonny/Paul become more prominent, or to see Will’s murder reversed. He also definitely loves vets and history — though sometimes applies established canon, er, liberally — so we should be up for some unexpected stuff in the coming months, or at least when his material begins airing in the 22nd century.

Of course, the real question is: when do we get our next The Plan to Save Days interview?!

Cancelled Casting Tidbit

January 23, 2017

Thought this might be of interest to some of y’all…

According to Serial Scoop, there was a casting call out last spring for a “Dr. Caleb Cooper” last spring/summer:

The character was a described as a “Good-looking loner. He lives on a self-sustaining farm in middle America, completely off the grid.… He finds peace and joy in nature. He keeps his past as a doctor secret, hiding the truth about a traumatic tragedy from his past.”

DAYS was looking for a strong, established actor between the ages of 44-55 to fill the role.

Actor Michael Lowry, who did stints on All My Children and One Life to Live in the past, posted a video of an audition he did for the role:

Serial Scoop adds that the role has “been scrapped,” which, of course it has, since Eric has clearly taken on the “Caleb” role — which was supposed to be involved with Hope — in this story. If I had to guess, Caleb was initially going to look like a love interest for Hope, but then he’d become obsessed with her and wind up as a crazed obstacle for Hope/Rafe, because this is Days and that’s how things go.

What Happened in Salem: Week of January 16th

January 21, 2017

A familiar face came to Hope’s rescue. Meanwhile…

The Salem Chapter of Future Crime Bosses of America held a meeting with its charter members, Chad, Sonny, and Dario. They attempted to work things out with regards to the microchip technology but only succeeded in making things worse. Dario ordered a hit on Deimos but warned Nicole to steer clear, which of course tipped her off enough to try and get to Deimos in time.

Check out the full recap to see What Happened in Salem this week!

Latest on the Future of Days

January 21, 2017

During NBC’s presentation to the Television Critics Association this past week, some of the honchos had things to say about the pending renewal for Days. From Deadline Hollywood:

“We haven’t made decisions, but we like that show,” NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt told Deadline at TCA. “I think we will know more in couple of months. As they age, these shows diminish, there is a lot of delayed viewing and very little linear viewing anymore, you have to keep looking at that.”

Added NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke, “We hope that the show comes back.”

This leaves me cautiously optimistic about the show getting another renewal. We’re really coming down to the wire here, but these comments sound a little bit like a “Get your shit together” threat. I still don’t think they’re confident in the ability of any talk show — including and especially Megyn Kelly, whose “popularity” feels very tied to the now-finished election cycle — to carry that hour any more effectively than Days has done in recent years, but it also can’t keep sliding for the rest of eternity.