Archive for the ‘Days of Our Lives’ category

Pump the Brakes

September 7, 2018

Yo, Adrienne!

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Butt your nosy ass out of this! No wonder Sonny has been such a pushy jackass with Will. He was raised by you!

I thought Brady was kind of a jerk to Will on Thursday, basically steamrolling right over the “You got your memory back?!” and straight to “How dare you want to be with Sonny instead of Paul?” But apparently that was necessary, because both Will and Sonny are ready to drop the truth on Paul the second he opens his eyes. I appreciated how they tried to finesse things by having Lucas tell Will that he wouldn’t have wanted Adrienne to stay with him out of pity, but there’s a big gap between “I will marry someone I don’t want to marry just to avoid hurting his feelings” and “I’ll wait three days, until this person is out of critical condition, before dumping him.”

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I have whiplash from the way I went from tearing up at Will telling Lucas he remembers to wanting to throttle Will as he sat at Paul’s bedside, practically foaming at the mouth to spill the beans. Have some self-control, kid. As Belle pointed out, “Paul nearly died saving Hitler!”

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Oh, wait. She said, “Paul nearly died saving Sami!” But you wouldn’t have known the difference from the inflection in her voice. Jeez. I get that Sami sold you on the black market once, but really. If we can all be cool with serial killers, I think you can go a little easier on your sis.

But how nice that they allowed Bonnie to bring a change of clothes with her while she hangs out at the police station being harangued by a parade of her enemies.

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I don’t for a second buy her story about being the mother of Lucas’s child — considering that she has a son around Lucas’s age, although this is a show that exists outside the space/time continuum and also Marlena got pregnant at roughly 112 years old in 2005 –but it should be entertaining watching her try to pull this off, and anything that gives Lucas a little bit of story is fine by me.

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Splat

September 6, 2018

Wednesday’s show was kind of back to business as usual, and though there were some high points, a lot of it flew (well, trudged) by for me in a snoozy blur. One thing did jump out at me, though:

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Especially in light of the fact that her pregnancy has been SORASed to the end of the second trimester, someone should really advise Abigail to stop going paintballing!

This whole story with her baby is like damp firewood. No matter what lighter they hold up to it — Gabi’s revenge scheme, for example — it just isn’t catching. Stefan was moderately more watchable in his scenes, but that was mostly because Kristen was the one driving them, and there was something inherently intriguing about how the siblings would meet and interact. Same goes for Lani and Eli. The scenes themselves (Lani/Val and Eli/Julie, followed by Lani/Eli together) weren’t bad, but the story kinda feels like a big ball of nothing. Ten months ago, the black characters were mired in complicated, frontburner drama, and now it feels like they’ve been relegated to C-story again. I’d love to see something dynamic light them up.

On the other hand, John giving Marlena a cleaned-up version of what had gone down, followed by Brady having to tell John about Paul’s accident, was all excellent. It almost felt like I was watching parts of two different shows spliced together. Whatever happened to make the wedding story and all its associated drama come together: can we slip some of that to Abigail, Lani, and everyone around them? Please?

From Such Great Heights

September 5, 2018

One of my most reliable means of mocking Days used to be that old James E. Reilly favorite, the “monthday,” in which the same Salem day went on and on and on with everyone in the same clothes while weeks went by for us in the real world. And yet… I’m kind of loving this one.

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There’s such an elevated sense of excitement now that it’s nighttime, and everyone is still running around in a frenzy due to the events that took place at the wedding. It needs to be nighttime in Salem more often; it instantly makes things feel more dramatic. And I love that Sami has been back for two weeks and is still a mess, not having taken a comb to her hair or applied a stitch of makeup to her face. (I guess Marlena used it all before she went into surgery.)

I was grossed out by the prospect of another “Have sex with me or your loved one dies” plot, but Kristen is being depicted as such a deranged villain that it didn’t really bother me. Brady wisely tried to maneuver his way out of it instead of just shrugging his shoulders and giving in, Kristen showed flashes of the woman who returned in 2012 when she talked about the life they could’ve had together (I do think having Eileen Davidson in the role would’ve helped sell that a bit more, but Stacy Haiduk did what she could), and that whole insane mob scene as everyone burst into the hotel room was a lot of fun. There’s really nothing more Sami Brady than marching up to a lunatic with a gun and calling her a crazy bitch. Plus, we’ve learned that the bench area right off the Town Square is also directly beneath the -11 stack of rooms at the Salem Inn!

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So when everyone meets there, they’re usually standing underneath an awning? Okay, sure. I would’ve been a lot more irritated by this if the story weren’t compelling — especially Brady remembering that he’s John’s son, something he has only vaguely recalled from time to time in the last few years. I was starting to think this character needed to go, but it turns out all he needs is some reframing as a member of the Black/Evans clan and we’re good to go.

Will and Sonny deciding in the span of a few hours that they need to be together and have resolved all their old issues worked a little less well for me, but in terms of soap mechanics, I think we can all see where this is headed in light of Paul’s accident. Maybe the longing aspect of being separated will dredge up some chemistry where there’s mostly just nostalgia.

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“What’s that, Roman? My husband left the show without telling me?”

If Kayla’s scenes on Monday played weird, that’s because they were. For those who don’t read spoilers or casting news: Stephen Nichols abruptly left the show in the midst of contract negotiations, necessitating a quick rewrite that had Steve being arrested offscreen for espionage. The story seems to be that his contract was up for renewal, and the show made him an offer, and things went down to the wire. Nichols balked at their offer at the last minute (I would guess thinking that they’d be desperate and meet his conditions) and thus wasn’t under contract to work anymore, so his scenes in Friday’s episode were the last thing he filmed. From what he’s said on Twitter and in the media, he later came back and decided to take their offer after all, but since they’d had to frantically rewrite a bunch of story in the meantime, they didn’t take him up on it. Now he seems to be on a Twitter campaign to come back, while also vaguely referencing “petty issues” keeping him from doing so. If I had to guess, I’d say those petty issues were the writers and producers being annoyed that he left them in the lurch. I’m sure he’ll show up again at some point, but he still isn’t filming, so at the least, there will be a huge lag before we see Steve again.

WTF Wednesday: This Week

August 29, 2018

I’m absolutely loving the show this week — as in, scrambling to watch the episodes as soon as I can, leaving my phone on the coffee table for the entire hour, loving it — but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some questions.

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There’s an APB out for Kristen, and allegedly a (wo)manhunt in progress, and yet no one thought to look, even by accident, at Doug’s Place? If the wedding reception was supposed to be there, you’d think someone might’ve stumbled over there, or that there were people booked to work said reception. And how’d she make her way from Doug’s Place to the Salem Inn (and book a room?!) without being detected?

Is it accepted procedure to leave a patient desperately in need of life-saving surgery in the lobby for half-an-hour so everyone can come by and chat with her?

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That isn’t to say Will and Marlena’s talk (or Will’s reunion with Sami, actually) didn’t get my emotions going, but can we just try and fake some urgency here? Then again, if I were Marlena, I’d be like, “Sure, leave me wherever. Can’t be worse than letting those two butcher me!”

Why is Rafe such an obnoxious idiot that he has to stand there badgering Sami about going down to the station while she’s weeping over her dying mother? I’m sure that can’t possibly add to Marlena’s level of stress and panic.

Did Belle take a refresher course in being a sanctimonious cow while she was in Hong Kong? Her absolute certainty that Sami meant to shoot Marlena is driving me nuts. I’m wondering, however, if they originally intended for that role to be filled by Carrie. Christie Clark tweeted that Days asked her back for the wedding but that she was already traveling the world with her family, and I could much more readily buy this animosity between Carrie and Sami. Plus, I’ve really grown to enjoy Martha Madison, but I don’t think this high-horse thing brings out the best in her.

At least Sami finally brought up the fact that everything was fine until Eric “bodyslammed” her (I laughed) and that maybe the gun was rigged. Looks like someone got her hands on the Salem Brain!

Finally: why has no one between 2006 and now thought to make the Evans/Black clan a centerpiece of the show?

There Goes the Bride

August 28, 2018

Oh. Oh dear. This went about as well as… well, as anyone who’s ever attended a wedding in Salem might’ve guessed.

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Poor Marlena. All she wanted to do was marry the love of her life for the umpteenth time and then retire to a generic bedroom to share strawberries and whipped cream while they devoured one another’s faces, and instead she’s been shot by her own child(ren) and left in the hands of two “brilliant surgeons” whose medical training appears to have stopped at “get a cocktail napkin and hold it near the wound.”

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I bet even Daniel’s dumb ass would’ve had the sense to rip off Kayla’s frumpy jacket and use that to stop the bleeding!

That said, Monday was a pretty exciting follow-up to Friday’s standoff at the wedding. I always love the fallout episodes where you get to watch everyone waiting and reacting and being tense as hell.

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Even if Belle had to pull her standard “I’ll make you regret wishing I was around more by acting exactly like the self-righteous bitch I’ve actually been since at least 2004” routine. I get that she’s worried about Marlena and shaken by Claire’s seven-minute kidnapping, but it seemed pretty clear that Sami didn’t intend to shoot Marlena. And why is no one bringing up the fact that the gun only went off once Eric lunged at her?! The staging of that and the dialogue following it aren’t totally adding up.

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Aisle Be Watching You

August 27, 2018

This rarely, rarely happens, but I’ve now watched Friday’s episode three times.

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Yeah, yeah, judge away. But it was that fun. I have a friend staying with me for the summer, and he kept passing through the living room and asking things like, “Who’s that lady in the goofy disguise? Whose wedding is it? Why does that woman have sticks in her hair?” You know it’s a good episode when a non-viewer begins to get sucked in.

I mean, yeah, it’s ridiculous that Kristen was fully dressed and had her hair done underneath the Susan get-up (BTW, I’m assuming she switched places with her at Doug’s Place between Wednesday and Thursday’s episodes?), but it was a nice touch having her in the same red dress that Eileen Davidson’s Kristen was wearing when we saw her in that brief scene last fall.

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Stacy Haiduk continues to impress me. She’ll never be Eileen — she’ll never have her face, unless she’s secretly an actual DiMera, and she’ll never have the history with the other performers — but aside from that impossibility, I don’t think they could have done a better job recasting. I’m now firmly on Team This Was Worth It For The Story. And all the callbacks — the teeth flying and landing in Marlena’s bouquet, the references to everyone’s tangled histories with Kristen, and tying in that loose end about whether EJ is alive — felt so electric to me.

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I know Sami isn’t in her right mind right now, and also she’s Sami so she never is, but my one issue with the episode was that once Kristen tossed her the gun, she really did not need to shoot John. Shoot Kristen non-fatally and then make her spill the beans about EJ as part of a plea deal. Sami’s a lot of things, and stupid is one of them, but she’s always known how to manipulate a situation.

Then again, she also does go around shooting people willy-nilly, so maybe it isn’t that unbelievable.

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I was shocked that they reshot Will and Sonny’s wedding, though it made the return of Will’s memory much more powerful. I’m also still trying to figure out if they also reshot Sami’s part of that flashback, with her 2014 hair, or if they somehow CGI’d Chandler Massey into the old clip. Regardless, that was a pleasant surprise in an episode full of them, and I love the feeling of not being able to contain my excitement about Monday’s episode.

Goin’ to the Town Square and We’re…

August 24, 2018

…gonna hopefully get married but probably something insane will happen first?

This basically feels like a different show than the one we were watching last week, though.

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It’s amazing what an injection of energy you can get from some fresh camera angles, like this:

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We haven’t seen the Square from this perspective for years. I know there are major day-to-day production constraints (and that calling them “production constraints” is akin to calling the Ebola virus “just a little bug”), but it really does so much good to move the cameras around. It brings the entire show alive.

And that’s without even getting into the storytelling this week. Everyone has felt so interwoven and normal (well, as normal as these people get), and we’ve had actual moments of lightness amidst all the suspense over the wedding. Paul’s face when Susan started babbling pretty much made the episode for me:

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Side note: I know the styling is ridiculous, because it’s Susan, but did anyone else wonder if she’d swiped that dress out of Abigail’s closet?

And the ceremony itself was lovely! Even if there were a few strange quirks.

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