Archive for the ‘Soap Opera’ category

Under Pressure

February 23, 2018

Hey! High-ranking ISA official Pamela wants Steve dead because his wife dared to steal her haircut!

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I kid, I kid. I was pleasantly surprised that my guess — that the ISA wanted Steve dead because Joey’s confession blew their cover story and made them look like idiots — was more or less correct, but I still wish that they’d set it up better. Like, couldn’t we have heard that Joey had been attacked in prison, or seen someone tailing Steve and Kayla, or… I don’t know. I get that they wanted to play the mystery of “Has John gone bad and does he really want to hurt Steve?”, but it didn’t sustain a full story so much as a mini-arc. It was fun, but it went by quickly, and there was so much potential given how many characters they managed to rope in. Also, what an incredibly strange choice to have the big final showdown take place at… the mall. I guess it was supposed to be late, but that was an awfully conspicuous place for Pamela to conduct a hostage situation — especially one that she was (idiotically) hoping would end with her getting off scot-free.

Also, apologies for this post being a complete grab-bag of thoughts, but I’ve been in a Winter Olympics haze and watched all four of this week’s episodes so far in a single sitting today. Please feel free to send wine and painkillers to my home.

While we’re (loosely) on the subject of hairstyles, isn’t it amazing that this show managed to pull off a totally unforeseen twist? I’m talking, of course, about the fact that Will Horton and Eve Donovan somehow have the same hairdo now.

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And, yeah, that’s weird, but don’t even get me started on Eve’s horrible dress up there. I know it’s a good thing to maintain character continuity over recasts, but “This character was a prostitute in 1988, so we’re going to dress a different actress in 2018 in exactly that costume” is a bit much.

As awful as that dress is, some of the stuff involving Eve this week has been interesting. Victor’s constant misogyny has become absurd, but they do still give him some hilarious lines, like “Eve trots out that poor dead daughter of hers every time she thinks it’ll get her somewhere!” And it’s about time — beyond time — that Eve and Brady crossed paths with Jennifer and Eric. In general, they’ve hit a bunch of overdue beats this week, like Lucas and Will sharing scenes, and Billie getting scenes with Lucas, and a whole slew of other random stuff. The contract guarantees continue to be an issue, because we’ll get a few characters very heavily for a week or two, and then they vanish. Almost everyone on the show feels recurring in a strange way right now. Except for one crew, I guess…

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I’m still terrified about where this “Gabigail” thing is going to go, but Monday was at least campy and entertaining. Marci Miller played that alter as a distinctive personality, even if it wasn’t anything close to how the real Gabi comes across. I guess it could be read as Abigail’s deep-down perception of how Gabi is, but… well, I’m still in the camp of “This opens up story, and it could be interesting, so please don’t turn into a horrorshow.” Having Stefan sleep with Abigail while an alter is in control would be about the equivalent of EJ coercing Sami into sex while holding a gun on her, so I’m really hoping they don’t go there unless their absolute intention is to make him an unredeemable villain. For now, though, we merely have to contend with the person who wrote the line, “Looks like we have a Mexican standoff… and only one of us is Mexican.” Yikes.

And, to bring this post full-circle, can we talk about this future star of the Salem PD?

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Ciara quietly discovered that “a crazy woman” was in her home, holding Tripp at gunpoint, and had the sense to call her mother — the police commissioner — and ask her to come help. And then, before Hope had the chance to show up, Ciara thought the best course of action would be to creep out of a bedroom in full sight of a woman holding a gun, wielding only a baseball bat. Great plan! You’ll be a detective by fall!


DiMera Has Two Faces

February 17, 2018

A lot of us saw this coming, and it wouldn’t be the internet if we didn’t wind ourselves up in knots speculating and ruining every little bit of surprise, but that was a pretty solid Friday cliffhanger Days pulled off. Imagine having no idea that was coming (yes, I realize this would probably mean that you’d had your brain turned off for the past 2-3 weeks) and then… bam!

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I love the pacing of that final sequence, with Abigail waking up from her nightmare, Eli discovering Gabi was gone, “Gabby” walking up the stairs of the mansion (okay, where has she been storing all this shit?!), and then the one-two punch of Gabi returning to Eli’s room and Stefan finding Abigail in the wig. I knew it was coming, and I still gasped. Kudos on a great Friday ending! We need more of those.

This could all go to hell very quickly — I’m nervous about how they’re going to explain the trauma that caused Abigail to develop an alter — but it was a very fun reveal, and it sets up a ton of potential story avenues. And, of course, they’ll have to answer the true burning question: has anyone noticed that one of the wigs is missing from the Gabi Chic shelf?!

Gabi Bleak

February 16, 2018

So, like, it’s funny that the head writer knows this is as goofy as it comes off…

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…but doesn’t he know, I dunno, have the power to make it less stupid? Or something?

Then again, it’s just kind of the way things are in Salem. You’ve got Gabi, freshly released from jail, foregoing a night with her child to step out to the club of a woman whom she knows loves to rag on her for being a murderer.

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You’ve got a D.A. marching around town discussing an ongoing case with as many involved parties as will give her the time of day. (By the way, where was Melinda Trask when Justin and Aiden were playing musical D.A.s back in 2016? Just standing outside the office waiting to take her job back when it was no longer needed for story purposes?)

You’ve got Jennifer borrowing an old hairstyle from the artist formerly known as Ke$ha while Eric rants and raves about donuts.

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Thursday’s ending with them at the Pub was very cute, and I continue to enjoy their chemistry, but Greg Vaughan looked like he could barely hold it together during the Great Donut Declaration of 2018. At least Henry had the good sense to GTFO before he turns into a complete imbecile.

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I did love Doug’s inclusion in the JJ storyline, and Sal Stowers did a great job showing a complicated set of emotions during JJ’s proposal. But I’d love to go back and see how many times some elder Horton has given away this or that piece of Alice’s jewelry for a proposal or wedding that wound up falling apart months later. Dresser drawers around town must be littered with this stuff, at this point!

These Lips Were Made For Spyin’

February 14, 2018

Few people can confidently say that surprising their mother in a mausoleum is actually less weird than the last time they popped into town for a visit.

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Bonus: she was actually in that mausoleum for reasons pertaining to her job!

I’ll never entirely buy Billie Reed as an ISA agent, especially Lisa Rinna’s version — Julie Pinson came closest to making it plausible — but I do like how they’ve woven her into the John/Steve story. It sounded to me like Billie is on John’s side in all this, and they’ve stashed Will and Paul somewhere for, uh, safekeeping, but who knows? Just hoping we get an explanation about what in the hell is going on pretty soon. It’s always nice to have a visit from a former Salemite, and Rinna fits in surprisingly well considering that this is essentially a celebrity stunt casting at this point. She and Lauren Koslow didn’t miss a beat with the mother/daughter stuff, even if they look like sisters. So I’ll just try and suspend my disbelief over what appears to be an aborted SNL skit in which a Real Housewife accidentally gets drafted into the CIA.

And while Billie’s still sporting her signature Rod Stewart hairdo, Kate’s is looking pretty fantastic.

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But the real MVPs of recent episodes are, without a doubt, the breakdown and script writers who have had to spend roughly 40% of every scene justifying why characters are appearing at and hanging out at this mausoleum. You get your money’s worth out of those sets, guys! Can’t wait until Hope tells Rafe they got a great deal on an intimate wedding venue…

Friday Foibles

February 9, 2018

I’ve been a semi-frequent defender of the boho-leaning garb they’ve had Marci Miller’s Abigail dressed in, but the buck stops here.

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She’s cosplaying as Maggie having a busy day where she has to hit both the Ren Faire and the Lilith Fair. Gotta get one of those turkey legs before Tori Amos’s set!

I’m still intrigued by this whole John/Steve thing, though it doesn’t entirely make sense yet. If this dude is ISA, then my only guess is that the ISA feels Steve compromised them by exposing their cover story about having him kill Ava (because Joey confessed and invalidated it) and now they want Steve dead?

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Luckily for Paul, this guy was about as tough to disarm as an alleged spy who uses the phrase “muckety-muck” typically would be.

Meanwhile, I was all set to call Marlena “Colonel Mustard” while watching this episode.

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But when I went to screenshot it, it’s really more of a chartreuse. Still, did she buy this damn jacket in every single color of the rainbow? Was this some sartorially misguided show of support for Will’s sexuality?

True Colors

February 8, 2018

Valerie was way overdue for something fun, and exposing Lani’s lying ass is a perfect use of her.

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I have some fundamental issues with this baby storyline — mostly that this quadrangle is underdeveloped on all sides and that it’s insane to hang an entire story on Sal Stowers (who has improved but is still uneven) and Lani (who is a cipher of a human being) — but one band-aid for that is keeping us on our toes by making sure that the damn thing moves briskly. I actually really enjoyed the little arc they gave Valerie here, from overzealous mama bear to having some sympathy for Lani, and yet holding firm by giving her a deadline to come clean. Still not sure I need to watch seven more months of Lani sobbing, but at least they’re going to give us a daily reminder of how far along she is and how much longer we have to endure this!

But despite her paternity lie, Valerie breathing down her neck, and the fact that her barely-not-suicidal boyfriend is going to drown her in tricycles and other crap by the time this kid gets here, Lani is not the person in this storyline having the worst week ever.

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Nope, that “honor” goes to convicted murderer Gabi, who is now the prime suspect in another homicide after her stunt double was caught on the security camera going in and out of Andre’s office in a cheap wig, her coat, and some stripper shoes. I’m sorry, but not one of these brilliant (LOL) detectives (LOL) is like, “Hey, that doesn’t so much look like Gabi as a linebacker who put on her smock”?!

At least there was a point to dressing her in something so garish and distinctive, I guess. I’m unclear what the excuse is for the other 45 days Salem saw in the past year, though.

The rest of this post is pure speculation about the Andre murder mystery, but it contains references to some casting-related spoilers, so consider yourself warned before you click…


When the Mourning Comes

February 3, 2018

“I’m Hattie Adams, and I’m here to dance on his grave!”

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I had no idea who might be drunkenly lurching toward that mausoleum (that’s how the camerawork made it look, no?), but right before I started Friday’s episode, I remembered reading some speculation that Deidre Hall had filmed some more Hattie material. And wow, did that surprise arrival turn an incredibly stupid burial into something worthwhile. I mean, yeah, it’s absurd that inmates can basically just get day passes to pop out of Statesville at this point — how in the hell did Adrienne wind up in there for months if everyone else can just come and go as they please?! — but given that stomach-churning display on Thursday, with the DiMera crew sobbing and carrying on about how misunderstood two-time serial killer Andre was, I was thrilled to see the whole thing turn into a farce. If you’d asked me what I wanted to see out of a funeral for Andre DiMera, the only things I would’ve specified would probably have been a) an indisputably dead body and b) Vivian shrieking “What is with me and caskets?!” and “I was assaulted by a corpse!”

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Of course, this all made the legitimate sadness over Andre even stupider. As far as Kate goes, we already know she’s an idiot for whom lunatic tendencies are an aphrodisiac, so whatever. But Abigail sounded absolutely ridiculous shouting at Hattie, “You didn’t know the real Andre!” Sister, the real Andre was a psychotic criminal with the blood of several of his own siblings on his hands and a propensity for excessively inefficient criminal plots (Melaswen, anyone?). Think about how you felt when your mom donated your dad’s organs after Andre had him fake-murdered and get back to me.