Posted tagged ‘Salem Style’

Plum’s the Word

March 25, 2017

It’s nice to see that, even in the thick of such drama as readjusting to civilian life after being imprisoned, aiding a fugitive on the run with an infant, and holding vigil over one’s recently poisoned daughter, the good people of Salem still make the effort to obey some kind of town-wide ordinance that everyone must wear purple.

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I actually looked up when Anti-Bullying Day is, because I remembered the cast taking backstage photos in purple clothes for that one year, but nope, it’s May 4. So who knows what the hell was going on here? Even Nicole’s incredibly nosy and irritating neighbor, Hillary, got in on the action!

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What a nightmare of a human being. Aside from pulling out a damn pistol in the home of someone she just met, she seems to be fully aware that she’s a tertiary character in the world of Days of Our Lives and thus has no function other than to interfere in the lives of the main characters. You know what’s a great way to make your neighbors hate you? Grilling them on the minutiae of their own lives! Take your banana bread and go watch some Netflix, lady.

Kate also made sure to adhere to the new wardrobe edict while consoling the cancer patient whom she once punched in the face.

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I continue to enjoy them using Lauren Koslow in this way, and Judi Evans again knocked it out of the park as Adrienne fell apart over her looming double mastectomy, but it kind of just feels like they’re playing this same beat over and over again. Everyone’s more or less acting like a decent human being, but that doesn’t make for the most exciting soap opera, y’know? It’s like they just decided to lean on the novelty of these two characters, played by very strong actresses, actually getting along, in lieu of writing a story.

You’d think Adrienne’s brother would also want to be there for this, but nah, he had to travel to Arizona to blow through a month’s worth of story in one episode with his heretofore-unknown son.

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I have no idea why they didn’t build out some serious mystery before Steve and Kayla actually found Tripp and revealed themselves to him, but that seems to be the order of the day lately. First impressions: Lucas Adams can actually act and reminds me a bit of young Stephen Nichols; holy hell, is he hot. Not a bad way to get me invested in a new character, honestly.

Horton Hears a WTF

March 16, 2017

What could possibly be more comforting than a crew of recently discovered relatives taking you to the biodome named after your collective family to ply you with baked goods and regale you with stories of said family’s criminal endeavors and incestuous near-misses?

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It looks like Eli’s going to fit in just fine with the Horton clan. Because any sane person would’ve been like, “Uh, what do you mean, Aunt Marie dated her own brother??” and bolted for the hills. But nah, he was just like, “LOL, gimme another donut.” And he made that observation about Julie being both Hope’s (step)mother and (half-)sister way too calmly.

Which isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy these scenes. I could’ve done with actual flashbacks, but I loved getting all the Hortons in one place. The way the characters and actors clearly relished telling all those old stories was delightful. Having Lucas talk about his own experience coming into the family as an illegitimate relation was great. Jennifer’s strange attempt to match Julie and Doug’s color scheme while also evoking Valentine’s-themed menswear kept my mind racing the entire time. But it was all a little… easy, no? There’s obviously (deserved) tension from Eli and Julie toward Valerie for having kept this secret so long that Eli will never get to know David, but where’s the rest of the conflict? This is like Eli’s fourth episode, and the secret is already out and he’s assimilating into the family just fine. This isn’t a story so much as “clearly batshit young man finds kindred souls in family completely undisturbed by incredibly fucked-up situations.”

Contrivance is a Dancer

March 11, 2017

I was all set to applaud the show for having Abigail dressed the way a normal person would be on the way to a workout class (because, for some reason, this is so rare that it’s actually worth noting and celebrating)…

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…but then she and Gabi inexplicably came home from their belly-dancing class in full regalia. And this happened.

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I– I just… what?! It seems like the writers got the note that everything was rather dull and boring, so instead of revamping the stories themselves, they just started injecting these random moments of insanity into episodes. Think about the fact that Abigail and Gabi went to one belly-dancing class at the Y dressed like this and inexplicably ready to perform a full routine. I did love Gabi’s remark about the instructor: “What does she know? She teaches belly-dancing at the Y!” — which was immediately undercut by every single thing about the circumstances.

You could also see them trying to figure out how to play out this scenario in 2017 on a show that’s largely geared toward a female audience. “Well… it should be the women’s decision to perform the dance, not the men forcing them… and the dealer should be respectful of the dancing, so let’s say that his dead wife was a belly dancer…”

It was all almost as ridiculous as Hal screaming, “NOOOOOO!!!” so loudly that it echoed throughout the entire hospital. Or thinking that Kayla tried to kill him by tricking him into having a liver transplant.

But then you see stuff like this, and it’s no wonder they’re trying to pump things up a little.

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They had Eli crash David’s funeral, force Valerie to tell him the truth about his paternity, and privately visit David’s casket so that Lani could see him. Naturally the next step is to… drop this storyline entirely for a week and a half, then have Eli and Valerie tell Julie the truth the next time we see them. WTF? They were pretty good scenes, despite taking place in the middle of the Pub with no buildup at all, but think about how it would’ve been if Lani had told JJ what she saw, and JJ mentioned it to Julie, who thought it was weird, and Valerie tried to cover, etc. But why bother with suspense when you can get the story beats out of the way as quickly as possible and then have Doug show up dressed as a circus clown or something?

Hair-Brained Schemes

March 8, 2017

If you needed any further evidence that the one-two punch of Daniel and Deimos managed to strip Nicole of her intelligence, I give you Exhibit Z.

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Great idea: when you go on the run with a kidnapped baby, “disguise” yourself as… the way you looked the last time you kidnapped an infant. This couldn’t possibly go wrong! She must’ve been banking on the description Chloe gave the police being nothing more than “short, terrible hair.” Actually, come to think of it, they’ve never explicitly stated that this is a wig… Normally I’d expect a wig-related disguise on this show to be, like, a very conspicuous black bob. So maybe it’s just supposed to be another awful iteration of that mess Nicole calls hair.

All that aside, is her brain leaking out of her ears, or what? She should be embarrassed at herself for falling for that grifter’s hideously un-subtle manipulations. That was like the worst possible version of a sequence from Gone Girl that actually worked very effectively. And who in the hell decides to relax by taking a bubble bath… by leaving a sleeping baby in a carseat on the bed… and closing the bathroom door? I have a dog, and I leave the bathroom door open when I shower just because. And I don’t even know what to do with the fact that in the time it took Nicole to take a bath, dry off, and get dressed, those criminals only made it as far as The Alley. Were they just moving super-slowly for fun?

And please don’t get me started on the absolute idiocy of Nicole sobbing to herself that Chloe wouldn’t let such a thing happen to poor Holly. Chloe, who approximately 12 hours ago left her hotel room door ajar before phoning room service so that she could be chloroformed and her baby could be kidnapped. Chloe.

Come on, Nicole. Get it together.

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Meanwhile, with Nicole on the run, Joey realized one of her prior dreadful hairstyles was up for grabs, and he pounced on it. It’s also possibly the same hair that Adrienne is sporting in the midst of her chemo anguish. Is this some passive-aggressive way of trying to turn off White Jade? Because if anything might do the trick, this could be it.

Take It Off

March 1, 2017

You know what I’m always dying to throw on right after I’ve been released from the hospital after a near-death ordeal? A tight, hot pink, lacy, two-piece sheath dress with exposed midriff. In the Midwest. In February.

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I mean, Gabi Hernandez is lucky enough to have Camila Banus’s body, so she’d look good in almost anything, but this is pushing it. What about “I was held captive for days and nearly froze to death” makes one want to dress like a Pussycat Doll attending the VMAs in 2006?

Speaking of “if you’ve got it, flaunt it…”

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Good grief. Looks like prison treated him a whole lot better than it did Hope. And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but those scenes between him and Jennifer were kind of… smoldering? Her coaxing him back into the land of the living is definitely shades of early Jennifer/Jack, but I’m not mad at it. It’s a powerful dynamic, and it’s amazing how much energy scenes can have when you bother to create believable character-based obstacles. I could get into this.

In conclusion, can someone explain to me why White Jade is still on this show?

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And who in the world thought I’d be interested in a story about her and her confusingly black father? Oh god, this liver thing is going to be a way to establish that he isn’t actually her father, isn’t it? That isn’t a spoiler — I just guessed it while writing the beginning of this paragraph. This girl seems capable of standing upright and speaking simultaneously, so couldn’t they just have made her Ciara or, like, anyone who I cared to see on my screen?

The Son Also Rises

February 25, 2017

I don’t know what’s more surprising: that David Banning, a character who hasn’t been onscreen since 1983, got an actual funeral, or that Maggie remembered her connection to the Hortons and not only showed up, but lent Julie one of her outfits to deliver her eulogy.

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Tell me that thing isn’t straight out of the Prince Memorial Line by Basic Black.

All in all, the funeral was pretty well done. There were actual people in attendance — it’s asinine that Hope wasn’t there (Did Rafe poison her with that picnic? Is this the start of some Munchausen-by-proxy storyline?), but Ciara and Claire stepping up to support Julie was nice. And I thought the writing did a nice job over these two episodes of filling in the story of Julie and David’s relationship, which until the past few months has literally not been referenced for decades.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a modern-day Days gathering if there weren’t an exchange like the following:

Valerie: And I’m so sorry about your son.
Maggie: He was a good man!

Yes, WE FUCKING GET IT. It isn’t even that I mind Daniel being referenced, really — it was polite of Valerie to offer her condolences, considering this was the funeral of Julie’s son and Maggie lost hers and Valerie has probably heard about him at the hospital (all over the damn hospital, all the damn time, if I had to guess). But this show’s fixation on mourning him is absolutely deranged. Valerie didn’t offer Hope her condolences on Bo. She didn’t even tell Maggie she was sorry to hear about the loss of Mickey, Maggie’s husband of four decades whom Valerie actually knew. Nope, all about Daniel!

And it also wouldn’t be a Salem event without a random long-lost relative waltzing in.

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So far, I’m digging Eli. The actor did well on his first day with tough material, and as dubious as I was of the whole “I just happened to take an ancestry test right before David Banning’s funeral” thing, they did a decent job of using his FBI background to motivate it. Anything that anchors Valerie to Salem and beefs up the Horton clan is fine by me, too. And I have to say, it was really nice to see so many black faces when the camera panned around that funeral. This is the first time in a long while that it’s felt like there was an actual black presence in Salem, which is beyond overdue.

Look at me, being all optimistic! It’s like I’ve never seen this show before.

Things That Go Bump in the Night

February 7, 2017

What in the name of Laura Petrie is happening on top of Nicole’s head?

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Yeah, you’re right to be concerned, lady!

I guess this could be some tit-for-tat thing. Chloe stole her baby, so she stole Chloe’s precious Bump-it? I mean, if she really wanted to hit Ghoul Girl where it hurts, she could’ve made off with her stash of bronzer and fake lashes, but I suppose she didn’t have a semi truck at her immediate disposal…