Archive for the ‘Television’ category

Mad Men

December 16, 2017

How strange that Steve’s primary character trait has become “covers up crimes to keep family members out of prison.” I know Carlivati inherited a pretty sloppy story about Tripp trying to frame Kayla, but it floors me that they’re basically rehashing the Joey situation right away.

That said, I did enjoy how Steve set up Kate to expose her own misdeeds to Chad.

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Although it might not be that great an achievement to outsmart a woman who demands to know, “How did you get in here?!” when the front door is fifteen feet away. Kate, you were literally looking out at the foyer. This is a bizarre affliction that appears to strike all mansion-dwellers in Salem, actually. How do these people never hear the front door open or their butlers greeting guests (intruders) or anything?!

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Casey Moss continues to do an excellent job with JJ’s grief and guilt over shooting Theo, but I’m still a little confused as to what we’re supposed to be getting out of this. It’s insane that Abe is coming off as unsympathetic when he’s the one whose son is lying in the hospital clinging to life! And it’s like… even if JJ doesn’t lose his career over this, that isn’t going to fix what happened. I hope Internal Affairs at least discussed the fact that Theo was clearly holding what appeared to be a gun, but considering that this is the Internal Affairs department of the Salem PD we’re talking about, JJ will probably be lucky if they even bothered to read an article in the Spectator about the shooting.

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There She Goes

December 13, 2017

Is it possible to praise and criticize something in the same breath?

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They’ve done a lot right with Sami’s current run. She’s gotten to interact with a lot of important people: Marlena, Lucas, Eric, Rafe, even John (that little moment where he pulled her to him was wonderful!). She’s been a presence in a story that would’ve felt bizarre without her. Her goodbyes have been touching. And they built a whole arc for her and Will, as opposed to just having her exist around the story.

But that’s also my criticism. They knew they only had her for a limited period of time. Did they really have to have her break a serial killer out of a mental hospital to force her son to reenact his own murder? The rate at which they had to have Will forgive Sami to facilitate this exit has been as insane as, well, her entire plan to jog his memory. What, was having her light him on fire too difficult to produce?

I get what they were going for, and the general shape of all this worked. But it’s silly to swing for the fences when you know you’re only going to have time to get to second base.  The way that she wound up being Lucas’s savior solely by shrieking at him for 20 minutes was a bit too neat, too. They spent weeks playing up the “Hurricane Sami” aspect of her personality, and then they had to double back in four days before she left town again. Plus, they arguably made Sami the focal character in this whole thing — which I didn’t mind as an isolated idea, but they plugged her right into that 40-ish lead female role that Nicole abandoned (they overlapped by, what, two episodes?), and now two months later, Sami’s going to be gone and there will literally be no one set up to take the reins.

So, as much as I’ve enjoyed Sami’s stint and a lot of Will’s resurrection, this is kind of my face this week.

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I don’t want to be left with a show led by Eve and Gabi talking about a bunch of imaginary businesses. What are these stupid corporations attempting to buy when they make these bids for “Gabi Chic,” which appears to be little more than an impractically dressed single mother who once delivered an assortment of shirts to a man she was sleeping with? If I hadn’t been so bored, I would’ve been cracking up when Eve was going on and on about Gabi’s “talent.” Talent at what? Going to H&M and not being colorblind?

What Happened in Salem: Week of December 4th

December 11, 2017

Not to shock anyone, but Sami was on a lot!

Sami and Rafe’s mutual pity party turned into sex, after which they engaged in the common post-coital ritual of her encouraging him to marry her aunt. Hope, doing more thorough investigative work than she ever bothered to do for the Salem PD, turned up at Sami’s hotel room in search of Rafe. Sami managed to get rid of her before she caught Rafe there, and when Rafe and Hope finally talked later, Hope proposed that they get married after all. After taking a break for her lighthearted romp with Rafe, Sami went back to spinning out over Will, including getting into an argument with Belle. Eric consoled her and then went to speak with Will, explaining to him that Sami saw something upsetting 25 years ago and thus cannot be held accountable for anything she has done since.

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

Purple Reign

December 7, 2017

Welp, guess it’s that time of the year when you can expect at least one Salem woman at any given time to be doing Prince cosplay.

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Loving the ponytail on Kate, though!

I’m in a weird state with this show right now where, even if something isn’t totally working, I’m kind of enjoying it just for the effort or the logic behind it. Like roping Steve, Kayla, and Tripp into the Theo story — the entire bit about Kate finding out the real reason behind Tripp’s donation and blackmailing him was incredibly forced, but I can enjoy the individual interactions, and I like the concept of weaving the Johnsons into this other story rather than roping them off into their own thing. A good umbrella story should have a bunch of tentacles. Which I guess makes it an octopus story? Anyway, I like the idea, even if the actual thing is a little blah, and I’m going along for the ride because of that. Giving a bunch of characters their own, individual angles in a larger story is a smart way to utilize a large cast.

It’s also lovely to see this.

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By “this,” I obviously mean the gay characters getting a, um, meaty storyline again.

But for real: if I’d been brainwashed into thinking I was in the closet and had never been with a guy, and then I found out I’d slept with that, you can damn well bet I’d be trying to talk Paul into a repeat. I loved the way Chandler Massey played Will as a bit of a horny little devil there. He and Christopher Sean seemed to have some real chemistry, far more than I’ve seen between Will and Sonny this go-round. I suppose Sonny is being a good person by coming clean with Paul about his feelings for Will and his inability to commit to another relationship, but, uh, Sonny? You’re going to wind up the odd man out here.

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I only took the above screenshot because I thought it was amusing that someone in the Props department got to create a “Christmas devil” ornament. But it’s been great to see Eric this week. He and Alison Sweeney have fantastic sibling chemistry, and I’m eager to see what the dynamic between him and Will is.

I presume Christmas Devil will also be Ciara’s attire for the Horton ornament hanging. I know I was optimistic that she’d be toned down soon enough, but… is it “soon enough” yet? There’s having some attitude, and then there’s ATTITUDE!!! I’m dying to see this girl have a pleasant/normal interaction with anyone, because the actress seems solid so far, but I can only take so much of her acting like Claire is Stefano DiMera.

Truth Hurts

December 5, 2017

I have a lot of questions about Tuesday’s episode — like, why did Hope march over to Sami’s hotel room to badger her about Rafe instead of calling or texting like a normal person would? — but the most pressing issue is this: how in the world did Sami and Rafe manage to switch sides of the bed during the night?!

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I’ve had my fair share of overnight guests (Don’t judge! I’m friendly!), but I’m pretty sure this has never happened.

Meanwhile, I did like that disagreement between Sami and Rafe about whether he should come clean with Hope. That perfectly exemplified their characters (she’s an unrepentant liar, he’s a sanctimonious idiot), and I found it to be sharp writing for a situation like this. But then you have Rafe being all, “My relationship with Hope is based on trust, truth, and honesty!” Excuse me? I mean, I guess Hope was honest with him about shooting Stefano, and she did trust him to help her dispose of the corpse in a  condemned warehouse like it was a bag of trash, but hey, I’m just over here on the outside looking in.

My reaction was a little like the face Marlena is making here.

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Which, incidentally, was also my reaction when Belle told Will about how she babysat him when he was four years old. No wonder he was flinging pancakes at her! He had a six-year-old telling him she was in charge of his well-being!

I liked how they had Belle spill the truth about Will’s affair with Paul — no, it wasn’t smart or particularly nice of her, but it seemed human, and Marlena calling her out was good drama — and juxtaposed that with Paul’s talk with John, and also with Paul in a towel, because… yeah. But, uh, where the hell is Sonny? Can you imagine if, back when Hope turned up alive at Maison Blanche, “Gina” had just had scene after scene with Julie and Alice and Bo had been offscreen for weeks? They aren’t exactly selling this meant-to-be thing.

While we’re loosely on the subject of Salem’s youth and how they’re cared for, I shouted at my laptop when Maggie told Tate that “Cook” had just made breakfast or whatever. Another generation of Salemites is being brought up to believe that domestic employees are just inhuman trash? I mean, I guess it’s how most of these people treat their actual family members, too, but still.

Apropos of nothing, this came up during an ad break.

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I guess when you have the town drunk teaching kids about the value or reading (or whatever — I wasn’t paying attention), having them refer to household workers by their job functions rather than their actual names is pretty low on the list of concerns.

Safe, Then Sorry

December 5, 2017

I can’t see how this could possibly turn out badly!

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Sleeping with your ex-wife — who happens to be your maybe-fiancée’s niece (sort of) — while you and said fiancée tentatively called things off mere hours ago? Yeah, this is definitely going to blow up in Rafe’s face. I imagine this is also the setup for him to run around town shouting, “We were on a break!” a la Ross from Friends. That said, I liked how they played the fling between him and Sami. It was nice to see sex regarded as something perfectly healthy without it needing to be “making love” — which is fine if you’re in love, but it’s also possible for two consenting adults to enjoy sex just for the hell of it. Even if it was a little tonally screwy how Sami was like, “Go and get Hope! But also spend the night!”, Rafe was technically single when this happened… not that I think Hope will view it that way. I also, uh, hope that someone brings up how he did this exact same thing with Kate when he and Jordan were briefly on the outs.

Things I was less enthused by: everyone yapping about how Rafe has been “the only father figure Ciara has had” since Bo died. Excuse me? What about Roman? Steve? Shawn? Doug? This girl has a lot of male family members who can and have filled that role aside from the boyfriend who helped her mother dump a dead body.

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Not hating the new Ciara, though. They really hit her New Attitude hard, between the sniping at Claire, the motorcycle, and all that, but new characters and recasts tend to come in much more extreme than they wind up being. I liked that bit of vulnerability she showed at the end of Monday’s episode with Hope, which seemed like it was attempting to tie her rape, Bo’s death, and everything else that happened to Vivian Jovanni’s Ciara into some kind of coherent package. And, bonus: she seems like she can act!

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It’s also nice to see Belle and Shawn. For as much as I loathed Belle for most of her 2015-16 stint, I’m now delighted by the sight of her and welcome these visits. Please just don’t have her waffle between Shawn and another man anymore. Let these two be a source of support and sanity for their daughter, parents, and siblings, and I promise I won’t be screaming for Belle to fall into a nuclear reactor.

What Happened in Salem: Week of November 27th

December 4, 2017

An engagement hit the skids, and another of Sami’s plans blew up in her face…

Theo’s coma continued, which is actually fortunate for him because it means he (unlike the rest of us) can sleep through all the loud, emotional conversations being had right by his bedside. Valerie confessed to Abe that she feels guilty for how things went in Theo’s surgery, but he assured her that she’s at least an upgrade from Lexie, who would’ve just pronounced Theo dead without even bothering to operate. Still reeling from the shooting, JJ ended things with Lani and received support from Gabi.

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