Archive for August 2017

My Hands Are Tied

August 31, 2017

The episodes this week have been kind of slow, but by the time they’re over, I always have a bunch of notes about things to mention and discuss. Which is definitely better than the not-long-ago Days when I’d wake up to the end of my DVR recording with drool on my face and no idea what I’d missed.

The whole Raines/Abe thing isn’t exactly popping for me. I don’t mind it, and it’s strategically smart writing because it’s repositioning a whole bunch of junk that Carlivati inherited, but, like… we know how this ends, and the journey there isn’t super-interesting. The Abe angle definitely helps, but all the angst over it is sort of blowing right by me because nothing that significant is happening and it’s all going to be washed away when the truth comes out in two weeks or whatever, anyway.

So I’ll just stare at this, instead:

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Casey Moss has definitely matured in the last six months or so — I buy him much more as a “grown-up” now — and that bit of facial hair is really working. I’m still a little thrown that a character who should be leading the show with Chad-level airtime and importance is playing cop beats and sharing a romance with an ill-defined C-list character, though. I don’t really mind Lani this time around, because she seems way more focused (remember all the absolutely random shit she was doing during her first run?!), and they’re “nice” together, but thinking that a couple might be cute and fun at a real-life dinner party isn’t the same as feeling compelled to watch them on TV. What’s really missing here is that we never had any kind of build or longing with these two; if they do want to invest in them, they need to undo them and then rebuild from the ground up to make it worthwhile.

Which is sort of what they’re doing with John and Marlena, in a sense.

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We’ve had them separated and then slapped back together for a few regimes in a row, but this time, it feels like the writing is trying to earn it a little more by showing what makes these two tick. I loved John coaching her on how to get out of the straightjacket, and I love that we’re actually getting to see Marlena upset about being locked in a damn mental institution with no way out, because THAT’S NOT A GREAT THING TO GO THROUGH. A lot of her recent crises have been played with a certain amount of huffing and puffing and then, like, she just sort of talks sternly and that’s that. And they also had her snap out of it when she was advising John about the specifics of the medication he’d been given. Very smart.

Also, back to Abe for a second: Salem journalism appears to be maintaining its usual standards of dignity and elegance.

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Is the Intruder a newspaper or a comic book?! Also, I’m taking that top bar as a shoutout to this blog.

Meanwhile, this idiot went jogging in the middle of summer in long sleeves.

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Way to ruin me actually being pleased that they had people dressed in something other than cocktail attire while hanging out at home!

It feels like the focus in their story has shifted to Nicole/Eric as the rooting couple, which I like in theory, except that we know Nicole is leaving, so it all feels pointless. And I don’t need Brady majorly thrown under the bus for this story, considering that he basically pulled a Deimos with that judge. Sigh.

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Look What You Made Me Do

August 29, 2017

I know Salem is basically located in an alternate universe anyway, but a same-sex couple reserving a Catholic church for their wedding? Ooooookay.

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Then again, people who have been divorced five times and convicted of murder and all other kinds of stuff have their weddings there, but really!

It says a lot about the current state of the Catholic Church — and I speak as someone who went to Catholic school for 13 years — that this gave me greater pause than the tale of two ex-cons who have taken over the lives of the women they conveniently resemble.

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I should probably be more put-off by Anjelica’s death being played for laughs, but… meh. This is fun and surprising, and Bryan Dattilo is getting stuff to do, and I like the surprising Lucas/Chloe bond going on here. It’s still weird that Alexander isn’t around for any of this and will never share a scene with his mother as an adult, but it could also be useful fuel for bringing him in later.

Also, anyone who’s aware of the new Taylor Swift song — i.e., everyone on Earth, because it is everywhere — should appreciate this shockingly clever tweet from the official Days account.

 

What Happened in Salem: Week of August 21st

August 28, 2017

More Halo-suppressed memories conveniently came to light…

The powers of the amulet compelled Nicole to remember what happened the night Deimos was killed: he admitted to her that he’d bribed the judge to put Holly into foster care and threatened to leave Salem with the baby, so Nicole stabbed him. Brady decided to keep the truth a secret, even though she might get lucky and score a judge who buys the defense, “Every time I’ve murdered a lover in the past, they’ve all turned up alive anyway!” Victor figured out, thanks to Brady’s complete lack of subtlety in any and all matters, that Nicole was the killer, and he urged Brady to hold onto the amulet as leverage, which actually makes no sense because it just makes Brady look like the one who killed Deimos — which, actually, might just be Victor’s sly way of getting this freeloading lunkhead and his parade of emotionally unstable love interests out of his house for good.

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

Drunk in Love

August 26, 2017

Well, Bonnie Lockhart has achieved the dubious distinction of being the first woman to nail both Mickey and Lucas Horton.

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So that’s a thing. I really wish this show would be better about sexual assault and consent issues, because this was a total violation — Lucas did not consent to have sex with Bonnie Lockhart, no matter how much she might look like Adrienne. That said, it’s pretty clear that Bonnie, Hattie, and Anjelica are the bad guys in this, so if they acknowledge that this was non-consensual once Lucas learns the truth, that’s at least something. Also, if you put me in a time machine back to 2004 and told me there’d be major cliffhangers in 2017 pertaining to Lucas and Bonnie sleeping together… I would probably ask you what strain of crack they were smoking in the writers’ room in the future.

I do love how this mess has given Lucas so much fun material, though. I gasped when he told Eric, “I’m not gonna drive. I’m taking a cab, idiot. Who do you think I am? You?” That was exactly the kind of nasty thing a destructive drunk would say, so I liked that they let him go there. And that argument with Kate was so overdue. She’s always so quick to jump in there with an “I told you so,” like what’s important is that she was right, not that her son was hurt. And they’re threading in dialogue about how he didn’t fall off the wagon when Will died, but now he feels like he’s officially lost everything, so there’s nothing to hold on for.

And as much as I could do without this convoluted doppelgänger silliness, I’m finding something else about it that I love: the plotting is quick and twisty and surprising. The wheels have been coming off since almost the beginning, and Anjelica realizing that she was losing control of these two idiots was satisfying largely because that’s exactly what should have happened. Too often, the overly complicated, evil plots on this show wind up hinging on all these convenient happenings that work to the advantage of the people plotting, which is, frankly, not that interesting to watch and tough to swallow. So to see those issues actually complicate and mess up the plan is delicious. And then — then! — just as things are reaching a fever pitch, Anjelica apparently suffers a heart attack and drops dead. The concept of the story might be beyond goofy, but this construction is proving to be fun, and after the year of anemic storytelling we just sat through, something this full of twists and turns is very welcome.

 

I Believe the Children Are Our Future

August 23, 2017

Kayla must be really upset about Joey heading off to the slammer. She’s stooped to dressing herself out of Anjelica’s closet!

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I didn’t realize “dressing like a bedspread” was the trend for summer 2017, but okay. And that sweater (?) doesn’t even match the pink dress!

I got a little choked-up during that final montage of Joey saying goodbye to Tripp and leaving the apartment with his parents, intercut with Steve and Kayla stopping by the hospital to talk about when Joey was a baby (…nine years ago). I mean, it’s pretty weird to hold a family gathering to see your son/nephew/cousin off to prison, but the sentiment was nice, even though Eric, who just went through a similar experience, was a glaring omission. Although I still hate that Joey got saddled with this story, there’s the hope that time offscreen will ‘reset’ him and leave the show with a viable character related to a bunch of people. (BTW, I’m still bitter we didn’t get more JJ/Joey cousin time. I feel like those two would’ve had a lot to share.)

Boy, though, it’s not even two full years after this teen scene debuted, and, uh…

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…they’ve really dropped like flies, huh? It’s absolutely insane. Chase came with so much built-in backstory and drama (and the added benefit of not being incestuously related to anyone!), so of course they made him a rapist. Ciara lost her father, was kidnapped, was raped, became infatuated with her cousin’s husband, got duped by another boyfriend… and none of it seemed to stick. Theo’s autism was barely used, and they made him the center of a tepid triangle that went nowhere. Claire was suddenly turned into an insufferable brat. Joey became a murderer and then had a relationship no one cared about with Jade, who had the potential to become a Jan Spears-type catalyst for this group but instead just kind of lingered around way after her expiration date and was written as a weirdo unfamiliar with normal human interactions. Just such a waste all around. It’s like nothing was planned, and they just kept having things happen because there was screentime to fill. There was such potential in launching a full-scale teen scene this way, in a way they hadn’t since the Last Blast crew (the 2004 and 2009 ones trickled in much more gradually), and they blew it all. And this failure to build up new generations has hurt the show so much. The current 20s/30s set is a clear reflection of this: it’s this cobbled-together group of people who have either had something work almost by accident, or they’re just random people who happen to be around and got plugged into that crew.

Given the spoiler-y news in the previous post (don’t click if you don’t want to know about an upcoming exit and a recast!), it looks like we’re in for what’s essentially a reboot of this whole college generation. Let’s see if Carlivati & Co. have managed to pull together something a little more substantial than what we’ve gotten with this crew of kids.

Actor Posts Spoiler-Heavy Video

August 22, 2017

Welp, this came out of nowhere. Earlier today, Kyler Pettis (Theo) posted a video to his Vimeo channel and then promptly deleted it — but not before the internet noticed and preserved it. The scenes he posted, which based on taping information are probably intended to air near the end of this year or the beginning of next, seem to reveal an exit, a recast, and a pregnancy. Go behind the cut for details…

(more…)

What Happened in Salem: Week of August 14th

August 21, 2017

As everyone continued to have convenient memories of the night Deimos was killed…

Like a raccoon-eyed angel sent from the heavens or the Betty Ford Clinic, Chloe swooped in to stop Lucas from drinking and consoled him over “Adrienne” ending their relationship. Lucas tried to be strong, but after he ran into Bonnie-posing-as-Adrienne again and she reiterated that she wants to be with Justin, he fell right back off the wagon. In Statesville, Adrienne pleaded with a guard to believe that she isn’t Bonnie Lockhart, but her hysterics got her threatened with solitary confinement — which, considering this is a place where inmates are generally allowed to run rampant and constantly attack one another, is probably safer than playing cards or using the computer like Hope did. Elsewhere in the City of a Thousand Middle-Aged Doppelgängers, Marlena managed to place a call to John begging to get her out of Bayview, but the combination of poor reception and her ridiculously long-winded chatter made it impossible for John to understand what was going on.

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