Archive for the ‘Days of Our Lives’ category

Game, Set, Match

June 8, 2018

Short week because of the French Open airing on NBC yesterday and today, but never fear: the “good” people of Salem still managed to serve a whole lotta bullshit in three days.

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Kate, who desperately wants to avoid being connected to Leo and his false sexual harassment suit against Sonny, has recruited lawyer Ted to represent Leo, and of course the safest place for them to meet is in a damn public park. And even that barely edges out the stupidity of Ted and Leo taking a meeting with Justin and Sonny in the middle of the Town Square. Was the Blue Room booked?

Ciara flipped out after catching her niece and her “ex-boyfriend” (read: guy she had one date — in their shared apartment — with) in a compromising position.

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I was prepared to be annoyed by everyone in this, but I thought it played better than it could have. Tripp was freshly dumped and hurting, and he still put on the brakes before having sex with Claire. (Ya hear that, Rafe?!) Claire was being her usual obnoxious self, but she had that pained moment of realization that Ciara dumping Tripp wasn’t about Ciara being a brat — it was about the rape. And while Ciara is justified in being irked at them, they’re also writing her as acting irrationally because of the memory of the rape, which is effective.

And then she went and crashed her motorcycle and has to hang out with a serial killer, all because you two dopes don’t know how to use a bedroom, so good going. I will say that, as absurd as it continues to be that Ben is being released (and, as he said, with no plan, no home, no money — great plan for avoiding repeat offenses there, medical staff and justice system!), I think it’ll be dramatically worthwhile if they keep playing this “Is Ben on the level or not?” thing. Infusing him into Ciara’s story adds a freshness that both the young adult story and the canvas as a whole could really use.

Also refreshing:

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(Sorry for catching JJ with that “der” face, but the camera was moving, and I really wanted a shot of the two of them together.)

I always thought JJ and Theresa had chemistry back in the day as two massive screw-ups, so bringing it full-circle to their arguably more mature — or at least older and less devious — selves is an interesting note, and oh my god am I already more interested in JJ being involved with this than I am in any follow-up regarding him and Lani. Meanwhile, Brady has chosen the new “love of his life,” Eve, over Victor, which I imagine will last roughly as long as, well, the incarceration of a murderer in Salem. He’s gonna be back in that mansion and “running Titan” in like two months, isn’t he? In the meantime, they could at least have him and Tate go stay somewhere besides the Salem Inn… you know, like if he had a father and stepmother with a home right there in town…

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Actress Returns This Fall

June 6, 2018

This is one I can get excited about — with a few caveats.

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Pedal on the Pier Recap

June 5, 2018

This has only the most tangential connection to Days, so feel free to keep scrolling, but I thought an update on my Pedal on the Pier charity bike ride was in order. HUGE, ENORMOUS THANK YOU to everyone who donated an amount of whatever size to my team’s ride. It was greatly appreciated not only by me, but by the Harold Robinson Foundation and the children who will benefit from the over $1 million we raised for summer camps and leadership programs for students at underserved L.A.-area schools.

While we were doing this goofy dance warmup before the ride, I looked up onstage, and one of the people leading the warmup was… none other than our very own Gabi Hernandez, Camila Banus. She was riding at the same time as me, and I never got a chance to go over and say hi, but I can report that her hair is incredible and she seemed genuinely excited to be there.

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(Also those Rise Buddy chips were in our swag bags, and they’re made of brown rice and are gluten-free and somehow completely reminded me of actual pita chips. EAT THEM. And no, no one paid me to say that. I wish.)

Okay, that’s all. I shall now return to rubbing aloe on this comically awful sunburn I got. Thank you again!

The Crying Game

June 4, 2018

You would think I’d feel a little bad for a woman who was forced to leave her fiancé and young son to go live with a Mexican drug lord for a year and a half, and yet… here we are.

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I don’t know if it’s because of the time limitations of Jen Lilley’s return, but this entire storyline feels like it’s playing at hyper-speed. It’s one of those things where if you only pay surface-level attention, it works in a technical sense, but there are so many confusing holes that I’m having trouble even remotely caring. Brady and Eve’s love? Barely seen any evidence of it. Whatever Theresa went through in Mexico? They’re being so vague that it’s hard to know how to feel. Mateo told Chloe he wouldn’t force her to have sex with him, but they haven’t clarified whether that’s something Theresa had to endure, and it’s distracting not to know when we’re supposed to be sympathetic toward her experience. And the whole Chloe thing is — I’m so torn. Theresa didn’t have an option other than to go with Xander and leave Chloe there, and as much as I keep thinking that she should’ve called her father and the ISA the minute she made it back to Salem (and fully apprise them of Mateo’s threat), they also didn’t do jack shit to get her out of there in the first place. It doesn’t help that John and Paul were basically headed to save Chloe from the second Theresa made it back to Salem… so why didn’t she just cover her ass and tell Brady where Chloe was, since he wouldn’t have taken any action beyond what was already going on, anyway?

Basically, these people are all idiots.

I don’t envy any writer inheriting that messy exit story for Theresa, and I understand that the point of all this was to clean up this distracting, dangling thread in Brady’s life in order to move him forward. But it’s all playing as so fast and perfunctory that I’m just kind of sitting here going, “Is this woman done crying yet?”

Meanwhile, yet another serial killer has been set free to roam the streets of Salem.

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The fact that Ben wasn’t convicted of any of those murders thanks to a temporary insanity plea is– well, let’s just say it’s impressive that Gabi has managed to be convicted of two murders in this town. I feel like I could walk into the Town Square and shoot someone at point-blank range and not have to do any time.

I’m nervous about a “rehabilitated” Ben, both because none of these people should want to be anywhere near him and because the character was offensively boring until he became a serial killer, but I’m willing to go along for the ride because I’ve enjoyed him since that turn and understand the need for some catalyst characters. At least I won’t have to give up all my go-to serial killer jokes just because Andre is finally gone!

This is Mental

May 31, 2018

I’m with ya, Gabi.

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How strange that an episode that focused so much on talk about “mental illness” had the primary effect of making me wonder if I were “mentally ill,” simply because everything I was taking in was so wacko that there was no way it could be real.

Except it was!

BTW, I’m putting “mental illness” in quotes up there because I’m not talking about actual mental illness, which is a complex, often chemically driven state that requires long-term treatment, but rather Salem Mental Illness, where you get to do insane things and then have them excused via a medical diagnosis and flimsy treatment at the hands of another Mentally Ill person.

See?

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It’s always nice to see Laura, who was kind enough to wear a jaunty pair of red glasses we’ve never seen her in before solely to reinforce the plot point about Abigail’s “Dr. Laura” alter being obsessed with spectacles. I did like the talk among Laura, Jennifer, and Abigail about their family’s history of mental illness, although I screamed when they started in with the whole “If ‘Gabby’ had feelings for Stefan, could Abigail have them, too?!” bullshit. Yes, probably! That doesn’t mean he didn’t rape her. It felt like the start of the inevitable whitewash. And God bless Kate Roberts (how rare is that statement these days?!) for getting in that crack about what a bang-up job Laura did with Abigail’s care last time she broke down. You’d think Abigail’s mother and husband might be concerned enough to find her a psychiatrist who hasn’t spent decades in an institution herself or suffered Satanic possession, but nope, those are the options! This should go well.

Elsewhere in Salem, we had Marlena automatically jumping down Hope’s throat about the prospect of Ben Weston receiving parole (HOW??) and deserving a second chance due to whatever “mental illness” he’s got. Girl, he still killed your grandson and three other people. And attacked you! It doesn’t really matter that Will survived — Ben’s goal was to murder him. It just so happened that Dr. Rolf got involved. I thought it was smart to play the beat about Marlena viewing Ben through a psychiatrist’s lens, whereas Hope was looking at the situation as a cop, but for that to be the very first reaction from Doc was bonkers. I mean, yes, she similarly had to get herself cleared of serial-killing charges once, but really. She was basically like, “Oh well, I’m sure he’ll be fine!” within ten seconds of receiving the news.

I’m also a little unclear on why Kayla is so determined to get this bionic eye for Steve. I mean, he’s getting around town fine, he seems able to place phone calls without a problem… Blindness doesn’t seem that bad!

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Oh wait, is he the one who picked out this blouse for her? I take it all back.

This is an interesting dilemma for Kayla, who rarely gets put in these morally complicated places these days. At first, I thought it was a little weird that she offered up Abigail’s forgiveness to Stefan, but then I reconsidered. It wasn’t like she promised to deliver Abigail to him. She offered the prospect of Abigail seeing Stefan differently — much like Kayla herself eventually came to see Jack in a different light, without ever forgetting her own rape. I wish that had been in the dialogue, because it would’ve been a powerful layer instead of a “WTF?!” moment. As for needing to help him bring down Kate: do us all a favor and help him out regardless of whether you get the eye, Kayla! It’s time someone did it.

The Dog Days Are Over

May 30, 2018

New rule: every post begins with a goofy photo of Will.

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The scenes with him, Ari, Lucas, and Sonny were adorable. Obviously there was story content to play — mostly giving Sonny a reason to tell Will about his mishap with Leo, and also for Will to hilariously take Paul’s phone call right in front of Sonny — but it felt like work actually went into making those feel like family scenes, with the animal face-paint and all. I even got a hint of real chemistry between Will and Sonny, which I’ve seldom seen since Will’s return. Even if that isn’t the couple I’m pulling for, they do need to revisit if (likely when Will’s memory returns) for the sake of completeness with this triangle, so it was nice to see signs of life there. As for the real shocker: was anyone else stunned that they were able to both show and say “Candy Land” instead of some Salem knock-off like “Sweetsville”?

Meanwhile, our grand adventure in two rooms of a Mexican villa has come to an end.

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I loved that they let Chloe have an active role in her own rescue. And I couldn’t stop giggling when Mateo was telling John, “You’re protecting this young man. He must be more than an ISA agent… like a relative… like a son!” It was such an absurd leap to make, though I get why they went there, dramatically speaking.

I’m a bit surprised this is all going to blow up in Theresa’s face so quickly (presumably). I have no idea how long Jen Lilley is actually around, but it feels like this story is being told at warp speed. In retrospect, she really should’ve come home and confided in Shane — her father who is a top ISA agent; it isn’t like he’s some Joe Schmoe! — about the Chloe aspect of things, even if she couldn’t immediately tell Chloe’s loved ones. Also, lady, maybe you’d be crying less if you had chosen a more sensible outfit than a mini-dress and heels to take your kid “to see the ducks”?

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I actually gasped when Victor made that comment to Sonny about “everything that’s been in the news lately.” Obviously my brain went to the #MeToo movement, but considering how far ahead they film, he was probably referencing the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal. Of course, ten minutes later, he made a crack to Theresa about how Chloe is a whore and deserves sex slavery. I know one situation affects his company and one concerns a woman he loathes, but it was a little jarring to refer to this big, sweeping social issue that’s been hanging over virtually every story for months, and then undercut it with a cheap, heartless jab mere scenes later.

Zoinks

May 25, 2018

This is the same face I made after the reveal that Kate intentionally shot Vivian:

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Wow, groundbreaking. Yet another major character who’s guilty of murder but will wriggle free of any lasting repercussions. It isn’t as if we’ve been through this in recent years with Gabi, Andre, Hope, Joey, Nicole, Abigail… I’m sure I’ve forgotten at least ten others. I get that it was supposed to be “edgy” and “daring” that Kate shot Vivian point-blank, but it’s about as routine in Salem as getting the mail or going to the fully stocked bar in someone else’s living room and pouring yourself a drink at high noon. (What I mean is, it’s very routine.)

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I suppose the fact that they simultaneously showed up that Vivian is alive is supposed to offset what Kate did, but it isn’t like they’re revealing that Vivian tricked her. Kate shot her, Vivian went to the hospital, Vivian died, some random person went into the morgue and injected her with what is presumably Rolf’s drug, and Vivian was revived. None of that invalidates the part about Kate shooting her! Otherwise, this was a fun surprise (or it would’ve been, except someone spoiled it for me ahead of time — frownface), since I assumed the injection was just the show leaving the door open to bring Vivian back later. But now we know that she is alive and someone has her. Who do we think came through that door at the end? Kristen? EJ? Carly? Do we think the show actually knows yet?

Back to Will up there: having him and Tripp mix it up was fun. I adore those random interactions between people who aren’t in the same storyline, and I wish they’d do more of them. It opens up the stories so much without any fanfare or expensive production.

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This conflict over Ciara’s rape and its repercussions is a million times more appealing — and compelling — for her and Tripp than her and Claire being catty, and it’s giving Victoria Konefal a real chance to own the character. But did it strike anyone else as weird how both Ciara and Hope basically just blamed Julie for “reminding” Ciara about the rape? Uh, I don’t think that’s the kind of thing you just happily forget, especially two years later when you haven’t dealt with it in any meaningful way.

Okay, time for a palate cleanser.

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Pretty much everything Xander is doing is ridiculous, but he brings a fresh energy to the proceedings and gets some different things out of very familiar people (Eric, Jennifer, and Justin have all been very entertaining with him), so I’ll overlook things like “How did he get out of prison?” and “Did he just keep extra board shorts at Victor’s mansion in case?”