Archive for the ‘Television’ category

Thirsty Thursday

February 17, 2017

I suppose it’s fitting that Anna got to face down Andre, the man who stole the face of her beloved dead Tony and somehow gets to walk around alive and well despite having been a serial killer on two separate occasions —


— but given her observation about how much Andre loves martinis, maybe she should be careful where she sets down that shaker full of Tony’s ashes?

Meanwhile, I thought Jennifer, Adrienne, and Drew might be in a competition to see who could say the word “cola” the most times before the opening credits rolled.


I can’t decide whether to applaud or throw tomatoes at the person who came up with the fake product name Flazzle, but I really wish they’d been able to line up an awkward Shasta product placement spot or something. “This refreshing RC Cola has given me just the boost of energy I need to stay in this hotel room for another 52 scenes yammering about the Orwell!”

And I’ll probably never understand why they couldn’t call it soda or pop like normal people… but this is Salem, so I guess I just answered my own question.

Kasting News

February 15, 2017

And yes, that “K” is a hint…


What Happened in Salem: Week of February 6th

February 13, 2017

The search for Stefano took some major twists and turns. Meanwhile…

Hope, who is officially incapable of acting in her best interests in any way whatsoever, snuck out of Eric’s place again — right after recovering from the bubonic plague or typhoid fever or something — and went right to the hospital room where Hattie was being held after being attacked in prison. Hope showed her a photo of Andre and confirmed that he was the man who framed Hattie and got her tossed in Statesville. Raines showed up to question Hattie, and instead of quietly leaving the room like any sane person with a background in undercover work, Hope stood there awkwardly with her back turned for many minutes. When she did slip out, Raines realized it was her and gave chase. He fired his gun, but Hope (a petite woman who was at death’s door 12 hours earlier) managed to outrun him and made it back to Eric’s, where he had just gotten rid of the police.

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

The Phoenix Always Rises

February 10, 2017

In January 1982, when Joseph Mascolo arrived in Salem as crime boss Stefano DiMera, no one could have predicted the hell the man would raise, the chaos he would cause, the deaths he would fake, and the excitement he would bring viewers for years to come. Today, over 35 years later, we all say goodbye to Joe and to Stefano for the final time.


Stefano was apprehended long enough to have his DNA and fingerprints taken — presumably exonerating Hope for his “murder” — and to allow three of his enemies (more on that in a sec) to confront him. And then, because Salemites have never learned the lesson that gloating just makes things blow up in your face, they discovered his cell empty, the Phoenix having apparently slipped out of their clutches one more time.

I read that the set photos of Mascolo were marked April 2016, while the ones from the others visiting him in prison were from August 2016. This implies that they filmed Stefano’s footage back around the time they shot the Orpheus, Clyde, and Xander material in jail (all of which aired last fall), and then shot the other characters’ sides of these scenes later on. You could tell in the editing today, because he was never in the same shot as anyone else, and I wondered a few times if they were reusing shots as he reacted silently to Anna, Marlena, and Rafe. I’m thrilled that we had the opportunity not only to wrap up Stefano’s story onscreen — as much as you can wrap up the tale of such a larger-than-life character — and to see him once more. But it was also tough to watch him in these scenes. I don’t know if the decision to keep Stefano silent was because they banked footage before they knew what the story was going to be, and they wanted to be able to fit his appearance into whatever wound up playing out, but it’s tough not to think that Joe’s Alzheimer’s also played a big role in that. I felt worried that he wasn’t able to speak by this point (or at least to recite dialogue), and at times, there was a distant look in his eyes. Yet at others, he laughed, he smirked, he expressed irritation, and he even teared up.


I don’t know if that tear was supposed to be Stefano reacting to his apparent defeat or Joe’s own emotion coming through, but it broke me a little. How classy of him to shoot footage beyond when it was easy or comfortable for him, and how decent of the show to accommodate him in this way. Yeah, in a perfect world, Stefano would’ve been a greater onscreen presence through this final arc, and his last showdowns with his enemies would have been the verbal chess matches we knew he relished, but the show worked within the limitations it had, and I find it hard to complain about that.


Marlena’s final “Checkmate” to him, as she set down the queen, was pretty damn perfect. I cannot figure out the decision-making process behind doing that mid-episode and then having Stefano’s final onscreen encounter be with Rafe Hernandez, of all people, especially when you had Deidre Hall’s Marlena right there. Ridiculous. I would’ve been fine if they’d devoted a major chunk of the episode to flashbacks as the folks gathered in Prague recalled everything Stefano has pulled on them over the years; they could’ve even cut to Andre in Salem, talking with Kate, and Chad locked up, recounting stories to Gabi. As it was, the tone of the episode was all over the place, with more of the Nicole/Chloe baby histrionics going on, and of course Deimos stinking up the joint.

This entire Prague thing has been all over the place, though. It seems like they sent a group of characters off on an “adventure” and then had to figure out exactly what would be going on during said adventure. Anna, Carrie, and Austin popping up — fun as it’s been — was supremely weird, and otherwise, this has been a lot of people chit-chatting in the hotel lobby and the one outdoor cafe in all of Prague. And then there was that masquerade ball.


Hey, at least it didn’t happen offscreen, and they did manage to dedicate a set and extras to it, even if that set was a redressed St. Luke’s/Kristen’s Italian villa from 2015. I don’t think I’ll ever understand what in the world the plan was — lure Stefano out of hiding by using Marlena as bait and then hope he didn’t question why she was there or recognize Steve, Kayla, or Rafe just standing around? — or why they had to spend an entire episode standing in side-by-side pairs, yammering into their mics in the absolute most conspicuous manner possible. Nor will we ever know why it was so difficult to procure tickets for this “gala” consisting of a dozen middle-aged extras moving woozily around a living room. There were a lot of opportunities to dig deeper with the writing, to craft something suspenseful and complex even without Stefano present for most of it, but what we got was a strange mix of tepid intrigue and comic relief.

Still, though, they did try, we got a very Stefano ending, and the show had the respect to include this at the end of the hour:


Thank you for the memories, Joe, and may we always imagine that the Phoenix is out there somewhere, ready to strike again when the quiet life grows tiresome to him.

Cast Tribute to Joseph Mascolo

February 8, 2017

NBC has posted a tribute video to the late Joseph Mascolo (Stefano) featuring commentary by other Days cast members. Strangely, it isn’t embeddable, but you can view it here.


It’s sort of interesting to see who’s included and who isn’t — no Deidre? no Drake? — but I wouldn’t be surprised if this were one of those last-minute things that was dependent on who happened to be on set that day. At any rate, I wish it were 90 minutes instead of 90 seconds, but it’s still lovely to see what affection and respect Joe’s coworkers had for him.

What Happened in Salem: Week of January 30th

February 4, 2017

Everyone and their mother/deranged uncle/flamboyant brother was after the Orwell device. Meanwhile…

In Prague, after much debate, the crew decided to use Marlena as bait to lure Stefano out of hiding at a masquerade ball, because what criminal can resist a calamity-prone 65-year-old when his entire evil plot is on the line? Elsewhere, someone delivered an invitation for the ball to the mysterious “Mr. Meradi.”

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

Seeing Double… Again

February 3, 2017

I knew this microchip thing had potential, but suddenly, we’re in the throes of a really strong umbrella storyline. The Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday episodes were exciting not just because of that escalating sense of tension and impending disaster, but also because every scene, every storyline featured, felt like spokes coming off the same hub of drama. Yeah, it’s still a bit thin — probably because not much of this is really rooted in the characters’ arcs, aside from the Chloe/Nicole/Deimos situation and elements of the Abigail/Chad/Gabi stuff (which they aren’t really playing up) — but it’s at least interesting and has momentum. It feels like all these separate threads are suddenly weaving together, tangling things up and driving tensions to their peaks. I might be crazy, but this at least feels like a decent attempt to emulate the adventures of olden Days.

Also, talk about past characters I never thought I’d see onscreen in “real time”:


I tend to forget that Shane ever had a twin, because Drew doesn’t seem to have been a very significant character at all, and his role in the narrative always seems confusing in recaps. But this is a fun use of random history, and it gives both Charles Shaughnessy and Melissa Reeves something playful and a little exciting to do, so… have at it.

But Drew showing up really made me think about how absurd it is that people in this town are constantly finding out that they have doppelgängers, twins, and what have you.

Here’s a list of people currently on the show who have or have had lookalikes:

  • Marlena Evans: Samantha Evans (identical twin)*, Hattie Adams (doppelgänger)*
  • Hope Brady: Princess Gina von Amberg (doppelgänger)
  • Shane Donovan: Drew Donovan (identical twin)
  • Nicole Walker: Helena Tasso (doppelgänger)
  • Andre DiMera: Tony DiMera (cousin/brother and doppelgänger after plastic surgery)
  • Doug Williams: Byron Carmichael (identical half-brother)
  • Rafe Hernandez: “Rafe #2” — Javier something? (doppelgänger after plastic surgery)

*Both roles were played by Deidre’s real-life twin, Andrea Hall, in their original runs, though Deidre later took over both for reprisals.

And then we have the following, all of whom have been (at least once) replaced by a doppelgänger somewhere in the process of being “murdered” or otherwise participating in mayhem:

  • Abe
  • Maggie
  • Caroline
  • Roman
  • Victor
  • Doug
  • Jennifer**

**There was a very short arc, a few days long, sometime in 2005-06, amidst the zillion times Jack was presumed dead, where he arrived home to reunite with Jen, only to realize that she was actually some woman named Madison wearing a Jennifer mask (as we know those are easy to come by). Melissa Reeves played the role of Madison until she was unmasked.

Meanwhile, the following people look exactly like former Salem residents, although no one notices it:

  • Roman (Josh Taylor previously played Chris Kositchek)
  • Adrienne (Judi Evans previously played Bonnie Lockhart)

And this is all with Sami, EJ, Aiden, Kristen, and god knows who else out of town! (Now tell me how many people I’ve missed…)