Guest of Honor

Posted October 4, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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Another Salem wedding has come and gone, and things look like they usually do: one couple is (I guess?) married and hanging out alone, abandoned by family, friends, and other residents of The Town Where Wedding Receptions Go to Die; the other couple is chasing one another around the police station and the mall, wondering whether they can and should try to get married again. Job well done, everyone!

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I would definitely call this the best Days wedding since the Brady/Kristen disaster of 2013, also held at St. Luke’s. Not that there are that many contenders. Sami and EJ’s backyard debacle was fun but not epic; Hope and Aiden got married in the middle of a Pleasantville cosplay event; Lucas and Adrienne’s had some interesting emotional action, but it was a ghost town and then devolved into an entire love triangle locking itself in a hotel room over the Thanksgiving holiday; Steve and Kayla managed to eke out a surprisingly decent ceremony in the middle of a shift change at a poorly decorated Starbucks. So, yeah, the bar is low. But this one was genuinely good!

They filled up the church! They created suspense about who the mystery person was and actually built to a Friday cliffhanger! They took the time to have lots and lots of people reacting! Sure, there were some goofy elements, like everyone just standing around letting Ben rant and rave as various civilians came up and took their turns telling him off, or Gabi and Ari being regulated to those seats that looked like old-timey electric chairs, only to have Ari randomly vanish from the church in the middle of Ben’s tirade. I also thought it was a strange choice to have Sonny’s memories of Will intercut with Abigail’s vows to Chad. I mean, it was effective and moving in the moment, but for all the investment in “Chabby,” it’s odd to use what’s supposed to be their big, romantic culmination as a vehicle for a completely separate couple’s story. That said, Freddie Smith has definitely been more ‘on’ as Sonny than he’s been in a long while.

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I know that his blowup at Ben was supposed to fuel Paul’s insecurities about Will possibly being alive, but did it not occur to Sonny to choose his words a little more carefully in the midst of what was supposed to be his wedding to a non-Will person?

Two and a half years ago, I would have insisted that you toss me into Bayview for saying this, but I really love Ben now.

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What Happened in Salem: Week of September 25th

Posted October 2, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

In grand Salem tradition, the double wedding hit a bit of a snag…

After some strange panic about not having an officiant even though their close friend, Mayor Abe Carver (who performed Abby’s last wedding two months ago), was on the guest list, the day was saved when Justin stepped up to officiate. But, as the couples were reciting their vows, a mysterious figure burst into the church, shocking everyone.

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

Marriage Material

Posted September 30, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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I suppose it wouldn’t be a wedding in Salem if there weren’t people making inappropriate, demented sartorial choices. But really, Gabi…

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You look beautiful, as always, but I’m not sure this homage to Britney’s iconic “Toxic” bodysuit was really the right choice for your ex’s re-marriage to the woman he briefly left for you.

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I almost went with a figure skating joke there, but I had to save that one for Bonnie.

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Illusion netting is always a weird choice if you aren’t performing your free dance at Nationals, but it’s even weirder to go for it and then have it fit this poorly. This is the dress that Justin suggested she wear? And the real Adrienne had this in her closet?! Yikes. Meanwhile, after all that uproar about how “Adrienne” shouldn’t wear white to someone else’s wedding…

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The Last Hurrah

Posted September 28, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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I have to say, I’ve never been wild about the concept of bachelor and bachelorette parties. I mean, sure, setting aside some time with your close friends before your marriage is a lovely idea, but most of the traditions and the general attitude are kind of nuts. What kind of marriages are people entering that they need “a final night of freedom” so badly? Get drunk with your spouse — it’s great bonding! Go to a strip club every now and then if you’re so inclined. And if you need that party as an occasion to cheat one last time, then maybe don’t go through with the wedding, y’know?

Anyway, in Salem, these parties have another purpose: reminding you that you need to get married or you’ll have absolutely no one to hang out with.

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What a turnout! Abigail had her brother’s girlfriend, an underage cousin with whom she’s never shared a scene, her aunt-by-marriage, and a first-cousin-once-removed. Sucks that her one actual friend her age was recently involved with the groom-to-be, huh? Even Jennifer, who is possibly the lamest of all, was like, “I, uh, I’ve got to work on a story! See you at the wedding!” (That, or the writers are still unclear on the fact that a newspaper’s editor is not actually a beat reporter.) And what was with the way Abby shrieked and retreated from the stripper? She dated a stripper! Yeah, Cameron was so boring that I nearly forgot about him, too, but you’d think the girl herself might remember. This is a woman who had sex with EJ DiMera in the gym shower. What, did she re-join the Golden Circle Club, or whatever that was?

Speaking of that stripper: I never knew that I needed to see Steve Johnson stuffing cash into a male stripper’s underpants, but it turns out I did. Who knew?

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And while it’s of course progressive that the show is having a same-sex wedding at all, and treating it with the exact same level of romance and investment as a straight wedding (including, er, pretending that the Catholic Church is cool with it?!), it felt even more telling that they had several straight men — romantic leads, and also Roman — sitting there while a male stripper performed for Paul.

He was cute, too!

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Terrible dancer, but cute. He has a little bit of a Casey Moss (JJ) thing going on, no? And not a bad actor, either! It was pretty sleazy of him to proposition Paul the night before his wedding, but not unrealistic — especially for a gay guy in his 20s, and I say that as a gay guy who was recently in his 20s and still hangs out with plenty of them. It’s nice to know that Paul was dating offscreen during that year when he was modeling for Basic Black and barely on otherwise.

Normally I wouldn’t advise that anyone stay in the home of a serial killer rather than fleeing immediately, but seeing as how all these people have basically decided it’s okay to treat André like their dotty old neighbor, the way everyone cut and run from his party was pretty rude.

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Grab a decanter of booze off the bar, sit your asses down, and wait for the duck.

It was pretty hilarious what a disconnect there was between what the guests expected from a bachelor party and what André planned. I wish they’d get this specific with character attributes more often; everyone in Salem tends to be so generic in their interests and activities. And these idiots could’ve at least gotten some fun Instagram posts out of the festivities before they ran for the hills!

Missing Pieces

Posted September 26, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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For anyone who followed head writer Ron Carlivati’s work on One Life to Live and General Hospital, it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise when long-forgotten Bonnie Lockhart came honky-tonkin’ her way back into Salem recently. One signature of Carlivati’s writing at both his prior shows was digging deep into history for the sake of generating current-day plot. After Guiding Light‘s cancellation, he brought one of the stars of that show, Kim Zimmer, back to OLTL as a relatively minor character she’d played briefly decades earlier. On GH, he pounced on a throwaway line of dialogue from the ’70s that stated that Luke and Bobbie Spencer had an older sister, Patricia, and actually brought on that never-seen, never-mentioned character as part of Anthony Geary’s exit story. And then there was his, uh, enthusiasm for connecting newer characters to show history by rewriting parentage (sometimes over and over and over). Some of this stuff worked, some of it didn’t, but this is clearly a writer who enjoys finding loose ends in his shows’ histories and putting them to use.

With this in mind, I started thinking about some of the loose ends in Days‘ past, wondering which ones Carlivati might be most likely to toy around with. Here’s what I came up with…

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The Missing Men of Salem

Attorney Don Craig, portrayed by Jed Allan (above), was Marlena’s first husband (well, until that dumb Alex North retcon) and a big part of the original Bayview story, in which her twin, Samantha, locked her up and stole her identity. He showed up 1971 and also had relationships with Julie and Maggie before his 1985 exit… in which he said he was going to mail a letter and was never seen again. And then there’s Dr. Neil Curtis, the caddish doctor who was first seen in 1974. He was married to both Marie Horton and the recently deceased Anjelica Deveraux, and he’s the biological father of Maggie’s daughter, Sarah. In 1991, he had a chat with Carly about Victor’s health, then went off to do rounds, which apparently never ended.

Both of these non-exits are pretty fabled among Days fans for how ridiculous they were, especially for such long-standing members of the Salem community. I could absolutely see Ron addressing one or both of these characters, even if just in a winking cameo sort of way.

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What Happened in Salem: Week of September 18th

Posted September 23, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

Finally, we had a week without a single doppelgänger appearing… at least as far as we know.

Lucas hallucinated a conversation with his dead son, Will, and was so drunk that he forgot that Will looked like Guy Wilson and not Chandler Massey when he was killed. After Lucas was found passed out at St. Luke’s and treated for alcohol poisoning, he was visited in the hospital by the Ghosts of Nagging Past, Present, and Future (a.k.a. Maggie, Kate, and Jennifer), who all shrieked and yelled at him to go to rehab. Lucas said, “No, no, no,” and took off. Meanwhile, plans for the upcoming double wedding continued apace, though Abigail received word from Justin that there might be a snag with her annulment, which is why those bridal magazines are always advising you to space out your second and third weddings by at least six months.

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

The Rainbow Connection

Posted September 23, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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Did Andre and Kate reach some new terms in their sham of a marriage, or is he borrowing items from her closet without permission?

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Then again, Salem appears to be some kind of Gay Utopia, existing in a world in which a same-sex couple can not only get married in the Catholic Church, but must undergo pre-cana counseling (remember how many times we heard that in 2013?!) beforehand! Who is the archbishop overseeing this operation? Liberace?

Speaking of, it’s possible that this was the first time that three men have been shown in bed together on daytime TV.

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I mean, yeah, it was Sonny’s “nightmare” (more like a dream, AMIRITE??), but I loved the soapiness of opening the episode like this. It was an organic way of getting Will back onscreen and raising the specter of Will prior to the wedding. They’re playing lots of fun little pre-wedding beats — the dress shopping, the counseling, the bachelor and bachelorette parties — and the preview for this coming week makes it look as if the church is actually full for the ceremony. Half the drama and excitement of a soap wedding, or any event, should be the build-up and the teasing-out of the characters’ expectations versus what could actually go down.

Now let’s start taking bets on what kind of outfit Andre sashays into the church wearing.