Posted tagged ‘Memories’

Reboot Recap: After — Sept. 23, 2011

March 14, 2018

In accordance with the threat promise I made last week about reviewing some of the 2011 eps being rerun on Bravo, let’s jump into the episode that first aired on Monday, September 23, 2011. This was the official start of the “MarDar” reboot and, as we’ll soon discover, a harbinger of some… notable things to come. Again, please pardon these cell phone photos I took of my TV screen, since there’s no good way to screenshot these online.

We start off in the foyer of the Horton house, where Hope is putting on her earrings in the mirror even though she does not live there. She gazes out the window at the lovely weather they’ll have for tonight’s big party. When the doorbell rings, Jennifer rushes in to answer it, and the world lets out a groan when they see Daniel standing there. But Julie and Doug are right behind him! They all grill Hope about what big surprises are in store, and in the first of roughly 14,000 mentions to come, she admits that she’s invited some special guests who meant a lot to Tom and Alice.

In a generic room that could be a bedroom in any of the mansions or the Martin House but is currently representing the Salem Inn, a bearded Jack Deveraux fixes his tie and gazes at a recent, printed-out photo of Jennifer and Kate Mansi’s Abigail which, if he’s actually been a captive, it makes no sense for him to have in his possession. Was Jen just mailing shit to al Qaeda headquarters hoping it might find him?

Back at the house, Jen realizes that Doug and Julie know about the secret and gets all uppity, but no one’s cracking. As they all head out, we pan to a tied bundle of notes on the floor, which apparently no one has noticed for at least a full day, since they fell at the end of an episode from the prior week that I just watched.


Now we go to the Kiriakis mansion, where Justin and Adrienne are all dressed up for the party and waiting with the younger crew of Sonny, Will, Gabi, Abigail, Chad, and Melanie. I had forgotten how… Jersey this incarnation of Abigail originally came off. Sonny also looks a lot younger and slimmer than in the present-day episodes, like jarringly so. Adrienne doesn’t remember there ever being a party in the Town Square, which is accurate since it wasn’t actually a place until like four episodes ago. Victor comes in wearing a tux. Gabi randomly asks Melanie if she’s ever ridden in a limo as a segue into asking if she’s doing okay since Dario left. Don’t worry, he’ll be back in four-and-a-half years having aged an entire decade! Maggie comes in, dressed up, and Victor says she takes his breath away. He’s worried about her health since her MG flare-up, but she insists she’s good to go. They head out to the limos. Mel stays behind for a second, a bit sad, before joining them. I had forgotten how abruptly they just tossed her into this age bracket during this writer switch, but I really liked it. She felt so much more natural hanging out with Sonny and Abigail than she did with Philip and Brady and Arianna 1.0.



Reboot Recap: Before — Sept. 18, 2011

March 7, 2018

Since Bravo is now airing classic episodes, starting with the fall of 2011, and I have some kind of death wish, I haven’t been able to resist checking out the older episodes and see how they stack up against current Days… and how they compare to my memories of this period. There’s no way in hell I’m going to be able to keep up with the two episodes a day Bravo is airing (they start at 6 a.m., BTW), but I fully intend to record one or two a week and check in as they go along. But they picked an interesting time to pick up, because the first week of episodes are the set-up for the big “MarDar” reboot, which featured the debut of the Horton Town Square and the returns of several characters. I thought it’d be fun to take a look at one of the episodes from right before this reboot, and I’ll follow it up soon with a recap of one of the official relaunch installments. So hop in Eugene Bradford’s time machine and travel back to September 18, 2011 with me, and please excuse the “screenshots” that are actually just iPhone photos I took of my TV…

We open with Sami and Rafe in their apartment, which based upon the front door and kitchen was definitely repurposed into the college kids’ loft of today.


They talk about how Quinn Hudson was arrested for beating up prostitutes (I believe we called that criminal “the Prostitute Pummeler” around these parts, thank you very much!).

In the Salem PD’s interrogation room — same set as the present-day — Bo and Hope are questioning Quinn, the Australian pimp who showed up in Salem and was revealed to be a son whom Vivian Alamain had for some reason never mentioned. He swears that he is innocent. He’s really a good-looking guy, and not an entirely terrible actor. Too bad he was saddled with such a ridiculous backstory.

Outside the Brady Pub, Vivian comes bustling up to meet with Gus, a.k.a. Replacement Ivan. This character was so absolutely random. Vivian is in a tizzy. Her son needs help! Maybe someone should show her a copy of this episode so that she remembers that Quinn, not Stefan, was once her focus — or at least mentions him. Does Stefan even know that he has a brother on that side?

When they hurry off to the police station, Nicole comes through, sporting long and not-hideous hair. When did her fashion go so terribly wrong? When she started working in the rectory? Anyway, she quickly finds EJ and says that she needs his help. EJ: “Why? What have you done?” Ha! But no, it’s Taylor who actually needs him. Even hearing that name has caused my blood pressure to spike.

In a hospital room (you know the one), Brady sits at the bedside of a comatose Chloe. A photo of an infant who is allegedly Parker rests nearby, and some music that I think is supposed to be opera plays. It actually sounds like if you mixed opera with that moaning porn music they used to use for Eve, if you can imagine such a thing. Chloe begins to wake up and mutters Brady’s name…

Cue the familiar opening titles.

When we return, Sami is telling Rafe, whose hair suggests that he is headed out to a Big Time Rush audition, about her job hunt.


WTF Wednesday: The Many, Many, Many Children of Stefano DiMera

January 10, 2018

We’ve long known Stefano DiMera to be the man with the most potent sperm and the most active offscreen sex life (as well as the greatest resistance to death) ever to enter the Salem city limits. The recent arrival of Stefan O. DiMera brings the total number of Stefano’s progeny to eleven — nine biological, two adopted, almost all of them retconned into existence, with their arrivals spanning 37 years. Here, in the order in which they were revealed to be DiMeras, are all of Stefano’s children.


First Appeared: 1981
Most Recent Appearance: 2009
Mother: Daphne DiMera
Major Love Interests: Liz Chandler, Renee DuMonde, Anna Brady DiMera
Current Status: Deceased
Story Highlights: Came to Salem to find his estranged wife, Liz. Fell in love with Renée, only to learn they were half-siblings — until Daphne revealed that Tony wasn’t really Stefano’s biological son, but the product of her affair with a gardener. Following Renée’s murder, Tony married Anna, but he mysteriously disappeared in 1986. Though Tony apparently returned in the 1990s and the 2000s, it was later revealed that André DiMera (a cousin who’d had plastic surgery to resemble Tony) had been impersonating him during both stints. In 2007, Tony was found on a tropical island, where he’d spent over two decades. He returned to Salem and reunited with Anna, only to be impaled and die in the midst of a corporate war between the DiMera and Kiriakis families.
Trivia: Was the first DiMera to appear on Days (even before Stefano himself). Was introduced as a biological child of Stefano’s, though that was later said not to be true. Reversals of his paternity have been hinted at so many times that it’s now unclear whether or not Tony is a biological DiMera or not. And no, I don’t have any idea where he got that “Count” title from.
Chances of Rising From the Ashes: phoenix4 (out of five possible DiMera Phoenixes) Sure, he died onscreen, but his portrayer, Thaao Penghlis, is currently on the show as André, who also died onscreen, soooooo…


Philece Sampler as Renée and Thaao Penghlis as Tony


First Appeared: 1981
Most Recent Appearance: 1983
Mother: Lee DuMonde
Major Love Interests: Tony DiMera, David Banning, Alex Marshall
Current Status: Deceased
Story Highlights: Discovered that her older sister, Lee, was actually her mother and that Stefano was her father, meaning that her great love, Tony, was her half-brother (except maybe he wasn’t). Was murdered by André during his reign of terror as the Salem Slasher.
Trivia: Was married to Julie’s son, David, and miscarried his baby after a horseback-riding accident.
Chances of Rising From the Ashes: phoenix3 A year or two ago, she would’ve gotten one Phoenix; Renée has been gone a long, long time. But reviving a character like this is very on-brand for current head writer Ron Carlivati, and it’s precisely the sort of role he would cast with a big-name refugee from another soap. Plus, she has connections to André, Julie, Marlena, Chad, Stefan…


I Don’t

April 6, 2017

I’m kind of at a loss for interesting things to say about the current air shows, so I thought it might be fun to take a stroll down Memory Lane, which in Salem is probably a ten-foot-long dirt path in the middle of Murder Park. Anyway…

We all know that the endgame for romances on this show tends to be marriage. Regardless of whether the couple has only actually been on three dates or have each been married 10 times before, marriage is almost always the point of “true love” for Salemites, logic and history be damned. Yet there are some couples — big couples, in the grand scheme of the show’s history — who actually never made it to the altar, let alone married. For the purposes of this exercise, I’m not including couples whose marriages turned out to be invalid (like, say, Victor/Kate on account of Vivian, or Roman/Marlena thanks to that horrible Alex North retcon) or who were engaged but didn’t actually get through a wedding ceremony (like Brady and basically every woman he’s been paired with post-Chloe). And away we go:


Carrie and Mike: This was a surprisingly big love story at the tail end of the 90s. James E. Reilly spent years upon years building up Carrie and Austin as a huge couple, with Sami and Lucas as their major spoilers. But in the lead-up to what would become the Carrie/Austin wedding, Reilly threw an unexpected wrench into the works: Mike Horton. Despite some SORASing weirdness that meant Mike was a married man at the time Carrie was born (offscreen), they appeared to be within a decade of one another’s ages in the late 90s, and Mike developed feelings for Carrie while she was still set firmly upon Austin. Then JER left the show (who knows what his original plan was?), and the subsequent regime ran with the electric chemistry between Carrie and Mike — which was, honestly, a stark contrast to Carrie and Austin, who came across mostly as the secondary players in Sami’s story. After an affair, Carrie actually divorced Austin and left town with Mike — on a white horse, literally. It was implied shortly thereafter that they might have married, thanks to a throwaway moment in which Carrie had an ornament on the Horton Christmas tree, but when Carrie returned in 2005 (and when she and Mike met again onscreen in 2010), there was zero mention of a marriage.


Osh Kosh OMFGosh

February 1, 2017

For everyone shocked by Eric’s new, hardened look since getting out of prison, please take in this screenshot [note: it is impossible to get good, clear screenshots of pre-HD episodes] of him attending a barbecue sometime in 1998 casually wearing overalls.


And no one even commented on it or made fun of him! Oh, innocence.

Throwback Thursday: SOD Flash-Forward

April 21, 2016

In September 1996, Soap Opera Digest published a semi-tongue-in-cheek spread predicting where Salemites would be in 20 years. As it turns out, we’re coming up on that very date… so I thought it’d be fun to check in and take stock of how accurate their guesses were.

(All credit for this post goes to Jason47, whose website and its Facebook page are incredible resources for all things Days-related. He posted these scans a few years ago and just reposted them to mark the 20-year anniversary of these predictions. I’m only including his scans here so that people have context for the analysis that follows, but they’re totally his.)


Part 2 behind the cut…


The Great Salem Un-SORASing Project, Part 4

February 23, 2016

Annnnnnd we’re back. This time around, in our quest to rewrite the 50-year history of Days of Our Lives with age-appropriate characters substituted for any who have been victims of SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome), we’re tackling 1995-99. Previous installments of this headache-inducing endeavor can be found at the following links: Part 1 (1965-79); Part 2 (1980-89); Part 3 (1990-94).

I always knew that the decision to reposition Christie Clark (Carrie) and Alison Sweeney (Sami) as cousins Hope Williams and Jennifer Horton would cause trouble — primarily because the real storylines had a lot to do with the Brady girls’ involvement with two Horton men, Lucas and Mike — but I pressed ahead because it made the most sense to me to hand off such heavy story to a pair of Hortons who were the right age for young-adult storylines at that time. But as viable as I think that would’ve been in a perfect world, it’s also been causing me major stress, because we’re at the point now when one thread pulls another, and that pulls another. Since my goal with this was to stick as closely as possible to having the actors who actually appeared on the show acting out storylines similar to the ones that aired, I’m having to do some serious gymnastics to make some elements work. But I dug my own grave, and I have to lie in it while Vivian Alamain taunts me via walkie-talkie, so here goes.