Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Mother, May I?

February 18, 2017

Here’s a screenshot I snagged of Friday’s dramatic twist, in which Julie choked on a large piece of the Horton Town Square set.

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Oh, wait, this was right after she received a phone call that her only child, David, was killed in a motorcycle accident. I truly do live for any time they let Susan Seaforth Hayes go to town with the Vaudeville-style dramatics — see also: “OH MY GOD, NICK! YOU’VE BEEN SHOT!!!!!” — and even though it was so over-the-top that it looped back around and came out on the bottom (no, I don’t even know what that means), it did feel like exactly the way Julie would react to this news.

And luckily Doug took Julie home right away, so that Hope could slip off to dance with Rafe instead of being there for her family.

Does it suck that they killed a legacy Horton offscreen? Of course. Do I think this is some crime against the fans or irrefutable proof of ineptitude? No way. David hasn’t been seen onscreen since 1983. Yes, he absolutely could’ve been brought in and used in story, but frankly, he and Mike Horton would serve most of the same purposes at this point. The characters in that rough age range who need love interests are Hope and Jennifer, neither of whom could be paired with David. And I strongly believe that a huge part of the reason that Julie’s branch of the family has been neglected for so long is because of all the SORASing confusion that took place in the 70s and 80s: David, born in 1968, was an adult by 1976, and his son, Scotty, was born in 1978 and an adult by 1989. I think subsequent writers have shied away from dealing with the absolute confusion of Julie having a grandson who should be around Jennifer’s age right now — or how the hell old David would have to be in order for that to work. If anything, this strikes me not as killing off a long-unseen character just to clean up a loose end, but a move intended to generate story.

I’ll put the rest of this behind a cut because it’s getting into spoiler territory, but they’re also the kinds of spoilers that anyone who thinks about this stuff has probably figured out, so… proceed with moderate caution.

(more…)

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson

February 18, 2017

Sure, they might’ve had to forego the elegant boat setting for a restaurant decorated by a blind person, but Steve and Kayla are finally husband and wife again.

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And I know my standards for entertainment are probably as low as Statesville’s standards for security, but there was lots to enjoy here. The vows were heartfelt. Kayla looked fantastic. Numerous people attended, and there was an actual reception instead of everyone immediately rushing off to participate in other storylines. Lots of cute little moments, too: Carrie dancing with Roman, Stephanie checking in with her Aunt Adrienne, Doug bemoaning how everyone was staring at their phones, Mary Beth Evans somehow getting away with (kind of) singing “Single Ladies” for the bouquet toss…

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And it’s nice to see that, despite how long it’s been since they were together, Steph and Joey still bother to get the same haircut. Their scene together was really cute — presumably, when Stephanie says that she’s proud of Joey, it’s because she isn’t aware that he murdered a woman in cold blood — and James Lastovic seemed less stiff than usual with Shelley Hennig. It’s strange: for a character who didn’t make much impact on me during her actual run, Hennig’s Stephanie was such a breath of fresh air during her visit. I’m pretty sure she and Carrie have never shared scenes (Christie Clark overlapped with Shayna Rose’s Stephanie for a little in 2006, and both Clark and Hennig were on for Alice’s funeral in 2010, but I don’t remember them interacting at all), so that was one of those nice touches that Days manages to remember to hit even though half the stories have holes the size of Daniel’s ego in them.

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Also loved: Kayla’s fib over the phone to Caroline (Peggy McCay really must not be well, huh? I don’t want to think about it) that of course they were having a Mass for the wedding, followed by her telling Marlena, “I’m going to Hell.” That felt so real that I was sure it had to be an ad-lib.

What a lovely palate-cleanser following that whole demented mess in Prague. Not that I’m thrilled about how that entire thing, after all the hoops they jumped through to establish that Stefano could be alive (and the fact that I went along with it!), wound up just dumping more shit on Steve and Shane, who apparently believe Hope to be so noble that they’d rather carry the guilt of this entire scheme for the remainder of their lives than let Hope rightfully believe that she shot a man dead. Do we think Hope will ever wonder whose body she and Rafe dumped in a random warehouse? (No.) But they planted that little nugget of possibility that Stefano really one-upped everyone again and that he’s still out there somewhere, which I guess is supposed to make us so confused that we just stop asking questions and bask in the glory of everyone bending over backwards to welcome Hope home, but… ugh.

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!

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.

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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.

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”:

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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…)

Save the Drama for Your Mama

January 25, 2017

It’s oddly fitting that, the very day after I found out Dena Higley was fired (again), I teared up at an episode featuring the payoff of what is probably the main narrative of Dena’s entire time at Days: Nicole learning that she finally, after all these years and all these disappointments, has a biological child.

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Maybe that’s not fitting. Ironic? (A little too ironic.) (And yeah, I really do think.) (It’s like raaaaa-eeee-aaaaiiiiiin…)

ANYWAY. Arianne Zucker — and the script — sold the hell out of that moment, in my opinion. I certainly wouldn’t have minded it happening in a setting with a bigger feeling, like a wedding or a party (literally everything climactic on soaps could happen at a wedding or party and I’d be good), but the emotion was spot-on, and it isn’t like this was a situation with no stakes. Nicole was being detained for attempted murder, and Brady forced Chloe to tell the truth. And the way it dawned on her — the way she didn’t understand what she was being told at first, because it’s bonkers — and then reflected on the losses she’s suffered and finally realized that a child that is genetically hers was in the same room as her… that was really good stuff that proves you don’t need a giant budget to do great drama, if you take the time to build the emotional investment and make it all about the characters.

(By the way, boy, did Chloe come off like a total loon as she tried to justify this whole thing, even though I hate Deimos enough that it makes sense to me.)

At any rate, it is fitting that this arc got to be completed, or at least come to this moment, under Higley’s pen, because this is by far the most emotional and engaging character tale she’s developed throughout her runs. She didn’t write the original “Nicole can’t conceive because she got SHOT IN THE UTERUS” story, but she did take her out of the Victor marriage and the Colin affair/murder and into the relationship with Brady, which is still important today. She wrote Nicole’s affair with EJ that led to a pregnancy and marriage, followed by the miscarriage, the friendship with Eric Martsolf’s Brady, and the entire theft of Sydney. And it strikes me as very wise to complicate this entire reveal by having Nicole in legal trouble for stabbing the guy whom she knows — but no one else does — was sent to kill Deimos. On one hand, she used a butter knife, so it’s possible Justin could argue that she wanted to, I dunno, slather the guy with cream cheese, but on the other hand… he was an unarmed man whom she’s alleging was going to try and kill a man in broad daylight in the middle of a busy shopping mall/biodome. So perhaps a defense will be hard to mount. Also, this is the second allegation of (attempted) murder against her in a year’s time, but I guess everyone is just pretending that Kate never pushed Deimos into that river.

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I love how they brought Belle in as Chloe’s lawyer. I love how they played the Brady/Belle angle of the custody fight. Lots of this is working. I am, however, eager to see either party explain this shitshow to a judge. I imagine it’ll go something like this:

Chloe: She isn’t fit to be Holly’s mother! She once snuck into an operating room to put flesh-eating bacteria on my face!
Judge: Then why would you agree to carry a child for her and your own ex-husband?
Chloe: I was once tricked into being a hooker.
Judge: …oh.

Head Writer Switcheroo AGAIN

January 23, 2017

Breaking news! Dena Higley is out — though her Co-Head Writer, Ryan Quan, remains in a Creative Consultant post — and former One Life to Live/General Hospital Head Writer, Ron Carlivati, is coming to Days!

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From Soap Opera Digest:

The show has replaced Co-Head Writer Dena Higley with Emmy-winning scribe Ron Carlivati, who toiled at both GENERAL HOSPITAL and ONE LIFE TO LIVE, effective immediately. His title will be Head Writer. Higley’s Co-Head Writer, Ryan Quan, will remain with the new title of Creative Consultant. Daytime Emmy-winner Sheri Anderson Thomas, who has served on DAYS’s writing team in various capacities, including head writer and co-head writer in the ’80s and ’90s, will also hold the Creative Consultant title.

I’m actually way less shocked by this than I maybe should be. Carlivati has been a free agent for a while, and his brand of heightened storyline has been talked about a lot online as a possible fit for Days. And former Head Writer Sheri Anderson, who has long, long been buzzed about as being the needed fix for what ails the show, will be consulting!

I definitely agree that Salem could use a shot in the arm. As I’ve said recently, I like a lot of what Higley and Quan have set up, but I don’t necessarily think it’s playing out with as much energy as it needs to have. Carlivati’s initial time as HW of OLTL was very, very strong, with interweaving, character-driven storylines, and he brought a lot of that to GH at first, though that show seemed to get away from him for whatever reason. At any rate, I’m excited (interested?) to see what the hell happens next.

One thing Carlivati did at both those shows was establish a gay presence, so I would not be surprised to see Sonny/Paul become more prominent, or to see Will’s murder reversed. He also definitely loves vets and history — though sometimes applies established canon, er, liberally — so we should be up for some unexpected stuff in the coming months, or at least when his material begins airing in the 22nd century.

Of course, the real question is: when do we get our next The Plan to Save Days interview?!