You Might Be a Salemite If…

Posted January 14, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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Remember in the 90s when Jeff Foxworthy made a weird, brief cultural phenomenon of that whole “You Might Be a Redneck If…” thing? Well… how about “You might be a redneck if your accidental prostitute ex-wife offers to carry a child for your former porn star, convicted kidnapper fiancée”?

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Daniel Jonas, you are a redneck!

BTW, do you love how they did Chloe’s hair like that in the newly shot flashbacks, so she’d look ten months younger than the present-day scenes? You can’t fool us into thinking those scenes really took place in the fall of 2015, Days! We all know Nicole’s hair looked like hot flaming shit back then!

Speaking of Chloe’s styling…

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I know she’s supposed to look tired and, well, like someone who gave birth and had a stroke and went into a coma and just woke up and escaped from the hospital, but oh my god, is it refreshing to see her with a relatively plain face. Nadia Bjorlin is stunning. Does Chloe always need to be buried under a metric ton of makeup and eyelashes just to grab coffee with a frenemy?

Sofa King Stupid

Posted January 13, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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Welp, looks like the Horton Town Square finally got a Restoration Hardware!

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I can’t blame Maggie for wanting new furniture that literally everyone in Salem hasn’t had sex on, but can she perhaps donate the old one to Jennifer so that she can finally toss out the sofa Ciara was raped on? With our luck, though, the former Kiriakis couch will probably be tossed into the visual dumpster fire that is Club TBD.

I’ve made my feelings on Deimos as a character and on his relationship with Nicole well known (short version: HATE), so I can only pray that this engagement is setting up a wedding that will get blown to hell. No one is ever this happy in Salem without it blowing up in their faces! And look — Brady’s having chest pains. Presumably the ghost of Daniel is not pleased over this engagement, in case anyone forgot that Brady has Daniel’s heart. Leave it to Days to make me annoyed about actual continuity!

Subtle Prague-ress

Posted January 12, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

Tags: ,

If you travel to downtown Europe and don’t run into another (former) Salemite within the first 24 hours, did you really travel to downtown Europe at all?

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How nice to see LeAnn Hunley and Anna again! And while I love them both, I have to say that her acting seems a bit, er, rusty. Not that I blame her — this shooting schedule must be more like doing theatre than television, really — but I do hope she settles in, because it’s distracting. I’ve also seen people commenting that they don’t like that Anna is being played as “wacky” or out of her gourd, but honestly, Anna’s sort of always been that kind of heightened character. Her grief over Tony, and her blame toward Stefano, is legitimate, and I much prefer her coming in with some real energy over all the bland “Hi, I’m going to ring your doorbell in the opening act and waltz into your home and just kind of be around for two days.”

And then Carrie! And the Austin who’s even less believable as a forensic accountant than the last one!

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Would you believe this is the first time Christie Clark’s Carrie has been onscreen with Anna since her first month — as a child — in 1986?! Aside from that, they’ve never been on the show at the same time. I loved that they actually backfilled their entire mother/daughter relationship for us through dialogue, with Carrie being frustrated that she’s always had to take the parental role with her own mother. Also surprisingly great: Austin rolling his eyes when Carrie mentioned Rafe’s name.

I’m finding this Prague stuff fun, and of course inserting familiar but surprising faces adds a layer of interest to it, a la Hattie turning up in prison with Hope. But I’m thinking about what it would take for this entire thing to really pop. Some of it is that this is obligatory — we’re long past the point at which Stefano turning up alive would ever be a shocker, as are the characters — but I think part of it is also that this is just plot. I’m no expert on the Stockholm story of the 80s, for example, but I believe it was actually about a hell of a lot more than Orpheus’s revenge and Britta’s tattoo or whatever. Those things were all vessels for the real character stories to play out: Kayla seeing another side of Steve, Steve allowing himself to trust Kayla, Bo processing what it meant to be a Kiriakis, etc. (I could be 100% wrong on those specific dynamics, but you know what I mean.) I wish they’d loaded some more character stuff into this arc. Like what if they’d made more of Paul’s reluctance to be with Sonny because of Will, but Marlena had caught them in a close moment right before the group left for Prague, so it was tense between them, and this whole thing was the vehicle for both Paul and Marlena to accept that Will is gone and Paul staying away from Sonny won’t bring him back. That kind of thing.

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Meanwhile, Jennifer’s scenes with Thomas were absolutely pointless and plot-free, but in the absolute best way. They could seriously spend one episode a week having her or Hope or Julie tell old Horton stories, and I’d watch without blinking the entire hour. Even at its worst, Days has maintained that core and that sense of its roots better than most of the major soaps, and I think that’s how it’s managed to stick around for so damn long. There’s always that center to go back to. Also, props to Melissa Reeves for managing to look amazing in spite of that confusing mesh vest with sweatshirt sleeves and Puritan blouse getup. She’s a beautiful woman who tends to be very susceptible to whatever fuckery the wardrobe, hair, and makeup departments inflict upon her, but this time, she managed to maintain her sense from the neck up, so much so that I didn’t notice her horrible outfit until halfway through the episode.

But let’s talk about how Jennifer told Thomas that Hope is “going through a bit of a rough time right now.” Is that what we’re calling being imprisoned for murder? Sign this kid up for therapy right now — and not with his batshit crazy great-grandmother Laura! — because if that’s how this family tiptoes around serious issues, he’s gonna need it.

What Happened in Salem: Week of January 2nd

Posted January 8, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

While everyone ran around clucking about Stefano being alive…

After Kayla, Steve, Joey, and Jade spent days on end crowing about how happy they were and how well everything was working out, Salem Karma struck in the form of a miscarriage for Jade. Joey was bereft and wondered if it was cosmic punishment for having murdered Ava, and he even considered turning himself in. Steve and Kayla tried to dissuade him by pointing to his aunt Hope, and they made him consider whether he really wants to be stuck in prison being terrorized by “This Is How We Do It” singer Montell Jordan and that dude who got plastic surgery to impersonate Rafe.

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

New Year, New You

Posted January 6, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

It’s a brand-new year, so the people of Salem have resolved to– Nevermind. Everyone’s still being their dopey-ass selves!

Here’s a roughly paraphrased exchange between that incredibly subtle pair, Nicole and Nancy:

Nicole: Can I hold baby Holly?
Nancy: NICOLE, YOU MAY NOT TOUCH THIS BABY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
Nicole: But I feel so connected to her! IT’S AS IF SHE SPRANG FROM MY OWN LOINS!!!

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Everyone calm down! I get that Nicole feels so drawn to baby Holly because that’s her child, but good grief. Even if Nancy didn’t know the truth, I wouldn’t blame her for wanting to keep a known babynapper who was acting this obsessive away from the kid.

I did like that they gave Nancy that emotional moment of hearing Nicole talking to Holly, and it was enough to push her into telling the truth until Deimos (ugh) interrupted. Nancy missed the first 16 years of her own daughter’s life — she should be seriously conflicted over this. That was a nice touch and nod to the character’s history.

Meanwhile, Hope’s storyline is… also a thing that’s onscreen. I’ve said before that I don’t envy these writers having to dig their way out of this mess, but this prison stuff is beyond stupid. Hope, if you’re in danger because the other inmates perceive  you to be a cop who committed murder and yet continues to get perks they don’t, maybe stop doing things like having special meetings with your boyfriend outside visiting hours? Or at least cool it with roaming the damn prison at all hours after an inmate has been killed and others have been attacked? I mean, this isn’t exactly a safe place to begin with. There’s minimum security, and then there’s “one guard shows up every other week to let an inmate use her phone to FaceTime her boyfriend.”

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Especially since, as we know, T-Boz is prone to creeping. (I will say that she’s doing a pretty good job with a very silly role!)

Also silly: Marlena insisting on being a part of this mission to Prague to track down Stefano. Yeah, because that always turns out well. What’s the over-under on her being locked in a trunk by next Tuesday? (BTW, did everyone catch that throwaway reference to John being in Louisiana because his biological mother passed away? As dumb as that whole reveal about his lineage was, at least they utilized it to explain why John is offscreen and tied up a dangling thread in the process. And on the same note, Brady telling Deimos that Eve left Salem because she couldn’t bear to be in a house with Deimos. I would’ve loved to see an Eve/Deimos confrontation, but I get that they had to do a quick rewrite to explain why she’s gone again because of Kassie DePaiva’s diagnosis. Get well soon and come kick Deimos’s ass, please!)

As for things that actually felt fresh and interesting:

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Valerie and Jennifer’s brief conversation was terrific. I love that they not only name-dropped David, but discussed why that relationship failed and how the world has changed (though, sadly, I don’t think it’s changed as much as they wanted to believe). And Valerie talking about having read Jack’s book and what a wonderful writer he was — this was such pleasant, normal material. More of this in 2017, please!

Megyn Kelly: The New Stefano DiMera?

Posted January 5, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television, Uncategorized

Tags:

Over the years, we’ve seen some serious threats to Salem, and even some pretty dangerous cancellation rumors, but when word broke on Tuesday that NBC would be stealing Megyn Kelly away from Fox News, it seemed to signal near-certain doom for Days of Our Lives. 

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From Forbes:

Megyn Kelly, one of Fox News’ biggest stars, is heading for rival NBC News when her contract is up later this year, according to a spokesperson for NBC News. She will host a daytime news and talk show, anchor a Sunday night news show and work on special programming.

Here’s the thing about that “daytime news and talk show”: NBC actually has very few daytime hours to fill. Over the years, they’ve given more and more hours over to the affiliates to fill with whatever (presumably syndicated) programming they choose. There are only three current hours of actual daytime programming controlled by NBC itself: the third hour of Today; the fourth hour of Today (otherwise known as “The Kathie Lee & Hoda Shitshow”); and Days. And if something were to be cut from that slate…

I was reluctant even to write about this, because I didn’t want to put bad thoughts out into the universe. Days is only guaranteed to be on-air through this coming fall, and frankly, the ratings continue to slide and it isn’t exactly hitting creative peaks — though it has improved significantly from last year’s various nightmares. The whole thing made me very nervous. Makes me very nervous, I should say. And given the current Days production schedule, they’re already shooting into June and July right now, which means that if the show were to go off the air in September, they’d only have a few weeks to re-jigger plans and write the scripts for those final weeks.

But today there was this, from a variety of news sources:

Megyn Kelly’s new daytime show on NBC is expected to replace Today’s 9 a.m. hour, sources said Wednesday.

NBC News declined to comment. A network source said that timing on everything involving Kelly is still up in the air, including when she will join NBC News and when her new shows will debut.

That third hour (as the article linked above goes on to discuss) is sort of a mess right now. It’s a pale imitation of the first two hours, only without any actual news and a lot more emphasis on pop culture and light human interest. Most recently, they brought in Billy Bush to be a part of it, only to lose him after the scandal of the leaked Donald Trump tape (involving Days‘ Arianne Zucker) this past fall. It doesn’t sound like that hour would be a huge loss, since they’re struggling to fill it as-is.

So we’ll see what happens. I suspect we’ll know either way very soon. My fingers are crossed for word of a renewal right around the airing of the 13,000th episode of Days and that the sands will keep running through this particular hourglass for many years to come.

2016 Year-End Episode Rankings

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

Tags: ,

As he does every year (and has done for pretty much every year of the show’s history, amazingly), Jason47 has just released his year-end rankings for 2016, showing how many episodes each character and actor appeared in. I don’t want to repost the info here because it’s his hard work and he deserves the clicks, but I always find this stuff fascinating and thought some of you might want to check it out, too. As seems to be the norm with Days, these lists — especially the year-end counts — give a good indication of how chaotic the show was over the course of the past year. A lot of the contract cast arrivals from 2016 are also listed under contract cast departures, and a bunch of the departures have either already returned or are about to.

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A few interesting tidbits from the year-end list, though:

  • Rafe was the most-appearing character, and Galen Gering the most-appearing actor, with 122 out of 244 episodes. I guess it does say something that the most-seen character was still only in 50% of episodes, but good grief. What did he even do this year besides tail Hope around or mope over her?
  • The top ten, aside from Rafe in the #1 spot, indicates a pretty decent 2016 version of Days of Our Lives. Hope, Nicole, Kayla, Steve, Victor, even Brady — these are all characters who should be at the core of the show and on a lot.
  • Ciara was only in 91 episodes? It felt like 500!
  • Deimos was on way too damn much.
  • Susan Seaforth Hayes getting 32 episodes in her sixth decade on the show! Love it.

If you’re as big a nerd as me and interested in checking this out, I’d love to hear your thoughts.