On the Unsafe Side

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

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Is it safe to say that the Horton Town Square is the new Murder Park? First Theo gets shot there…

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…and then Lucas is somehow passed out on the bench in broad daylight clutching a bottle of booze, and no one notices. And then two masked men come running through, bop Lucas on the head, and kidnap Will, without any interruption whatsoever. I know the Salem PD is a disaster (BTW, I don’t think I’ve ever found Hope and Rafe this interesting as a couple, though I can’t tell how much of that is the content and how much is the fact that it appears to be breaking them up — but it’s a genuinely good use of everything that’s gone on between them), but things are that bad for mall security, too?

Maybe it’s a Salem-wide thing. Because the security in the prisons and the mental hospitals is also a total mess.

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I know Sami has “DiMera connections,” but what is this business with just being able to walk criminals in and out of custody? It was bad enough how Victor slipped Xander in and out of that Greek prison without anyone noticing, but you’d think the authorities would have Ben under serious lock and key after his most recent break-out. And I get Sami’s desperation to bring back Will’s memory, but did she really not see how this could go sideways? I know foresight has never really been her thing, but this was a new level of batshit. That isn’t to say I didn’t find the scenes riveting, but I’m not sure that forcing her amnesiac son to relive his own murder (at the hands of a lunatic whose objective was basically to murder him again) is going to win the woman any fans.

It’s also such a shame that that apartment is just sitting there unoccupied when so many Salemites have to conduct all their personal business at the Pub and in hotel rooms. Then again, there were clothes in that closet, so… did Sami borrow someone’s apartment for a few hours to re-enact a brutal murder? And if someone is still living there, is that flashing red-and-green light going to turn him or her into a deranged killer soon, too?

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What Happened in Salem: Week of November 20th

Posted November 27, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

It was a short week due to the holiday, but that didn’t stop the “good” people of Salem from packing in a whole lot…

John got Roger to admit that Susan was lying about Will being EJ, and if there’s one fact that really explains Days of Our Lives, it’s that the Elvis impersonator somehow turned out to be the voice of reason. Susan broke down and was hospitalized, and Roger called Sister Mary Moira to come care for her, which included delivering a random monologue about how terrible Kristen is… which happened just in time for Kristen, very much alive, to get herself all tarted up in order to visit Susan’s home and cackle to herself about how the real EJ might be alive after all.

Catch up with the full What Happened in Salem recap for last week!

Too Blessed to Be Stressed

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

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Will: I’m thankful that Roger ‘fessed up to Susan’s lies so that I could stop pretending not to notice boldfaced evidence that something about my life was very amiss.

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Marlena: I’m thankful that I got my townhouse back just in time to have a guest, because it would’ve been awkward to tell Will he’d have to sleep on a bench in the park.

Kristen: I’m thankful that Susan got tossed in the hospital so that I could walk into her home solely to caress some letters on the wall in order to illustrate a monologue intended solely for myself. And also to be alive, I guess.

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(I really have no idea why she was in this location, but it was a nice shock, and they threw in the heavy implication that EJ is actually alive, so… go November sweeps!)

Sister Mary Moira: I’m thankful that they remembered I exist!

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Arianna: I’m thankful that I’ve grown up in a town so messed-up that, even as a four-year-old, I could walk into a house and see the “dead” father I only know from photos and not find it traumatizing or even that weird.

Lucas: I’m thankful that my son is resting in peace and that no one has had a reason to inform me otherwise!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Let’s Get Physical

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

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Brady, I’m going to offer you some Thanksgiving advice: get a grip.

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I mean, technically, he did, but he came awfully close to crossing the line by striking Eve. Eric Martsolf did a great job of playing that moment as Brady losing it reflexively because Eve smacked him but then coming to his senses and overpowering the instinct. I saw a lot of appalled comments that Days would even air something like this, but it didn’t bother me in that regard; this was supposed to show Brady continuing to lose control as he spirals. They did a nice job of positioning his (somewhat irrational) rage toward Eve as the outgrowth of his anger with Kristen, Theresa, and Nicole, too.

But it also made me think about the “rules” of soapdom — and society, to a degree. Eve slapped Brady first. Yeah, he made a cruel remark to her, but she wasn’t in physical danger. There’s an understanding that, under no circumstances, should a man hit a woman. Presumably this has a lot to do with the generalization that men are larger and stronger than women, so it’s an “unfair fight,” and also with a more old-fashioned sense of chivalry. But there’s a double standard. If Eve had just slapped Brady, no one would be calling for her head. Sami and Susan hit one another very recently, and we’ve watched plenty of men have fistfights. I’ll admit that I even cheer when a female soap character gets in a slap sometimes. It isn’t something I’d encourage in real life, but it feels dramatically satisfying. Am I a hypocrite for that? Not that I’m advocating that Brady should have hit Eve or that it should be okay, but it’s an interesting double standard to note.

We’ll see where they go with this next — there was no follow-up on Wednesday’s episode — and I have a feeling it was meant to show their “passion” to set up an eventual transition into being lovers, which is all kinds of problematic. I think we can all agree that it was a bit shocking that Brady raised a hand to her and good that he stopped himself. But is the slap an outdated soap trope? Should it appall us when anyone at all does it? And what was in that pumpkin pie I ate that made me need to write a thinkpiece about this?

 

What Happened in Salem: Week of November 13th

Posted November 20, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

Things in Salem got dark, while the lunacy in Memphis continued…

Sami, Sonny, and the absolutely pointless addition of Rafe were stunned to realize that not only does Will have amnesia, but he believes himself to be Susan’s son: EJ DiMera! Sonny tried to appeal to him with a kiss, which went about as well as most times a frantic stranger walks into someone’s workplace and kisses him in-between shouting and yelling. Sami got herself tossed in jail for punching Susan, which unfortunately delayed her rescue mission but fortunately got her one punch closer to a round of free bail on her literal Get Out of Jail Free card. After Will started asking questions like “Why don’t we have the internet or newspapers?” and “Why did I get such a funny feeling when that man kissed me?”, Susan decided they should skip town, but Sami caught them at the house before they could split.

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

Another Actress Returns

Posted November 17, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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I think we all knew this was coming at one point or another. And here it is. Details behind the cut…

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Wake-up Call

Posted November 17, 2017 by mykleraus
Categories: Days of Our Lives, Soap Opera, Television

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“Chad, are you awake?”

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“Because I just realized I forgot to wash my face and still have on all the makeup I put on today to sit around the living room yakking about our relatives.”

At least now they have something new to talk about.

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I’m a little surprised that they had JJ remember actually seeing Theo’s face — because that means that he saw not just a young black man, but Theo Carver, someone he has known since birth (literally, since college-aged Theo was born over a year before adult man JJ). Getting into the racial politics here, or making the subtext the text, feels really questionable to me, not just because it’s an incredibly sensitive issue and this is Days of Our Lives in 2017, but because there are all these extra character layers that muddle things. JJ knows that Theo is autistic and not prone to violence (the scanner being mistaken for a gun helps somewhat on that front). Abe, who has shot and paralyzed two young men during his own police career, would have a different understanding of JJ’s side of things than a non-police black father whose son was shot by an officer. I don’t know, lots of the scenes are working on their own, but I remain wary that they’re wading into waters that are going to get very murky when the actual character drama might be enough to sustain this thing.

One thing I continue to enjoy: the way that we’re getting to see the ripple effects. Valerie’s scene with Kayla about whether she did enough in the operating room, and how this is different because of her emotional investment, was a great beat to play. The Kate vs. Tripp stuff was surprising and fun — Lucas Adams is so much better than most of what he has been given so far, and this makes me want to see him tangle with the big kids instead of sitting around that loft listening to Claire’s royalty-free ballads. And if we don’t get some Abigail/Chad drama out of this, it’ll be a real missed opportunity. That’s an organic chance to have them do something other than make kissy faces and put Gabi awkwardly on the spot, and it’s sorely needed.