Posted tagged ‘Salem Style’

Violet is Never the Answer

July 20, 2018

A bunch of important happenings took place in Thursday’s episode, perhaps none more vital than the realization that people in Salem really love to wear purple.

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Is business at the Pub so bad that they’re renting it out for Barney conventions? Why did they all feel compelled to coordinate outfits just to see Tate and Theresa out of Salem? Will Kate be joining them? (Apologies for the TV-14 block in the screenshot, but the only good shot of the four of them came right after a commercial, and I couldn’t get rid of it.)

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Now that that’s outta the way: I enjoyed Thursday’s episode and Theresa’s exit much more than I expected I might. This custody case, which feels like it’s been the only thing happening on Days for weeks now, has been all over the place in terms of rootability, basic logic, and various other things — but they really pulled together some great character moments on Thursday. I wish that episode’s material had been spread over a week or two, because coming right on the heels of the judge’s ruling and all crammed into one episode, it not only felt like a giant rush to put a bow on things, but also like the actual custody case was irrelevant. Brady was out of his son’s life for, what, 12 hours? What was the point of all that if he was just going to be cool with Theresa taking Tate to be with Kim anyway?

But this is a much better exit than they gave Theresa the last time around, and it leaves far fewer dangling threads. Except for the fact that they actually managed to establish a compelling pairing for JJ and then shipped that potential down to California, but hey, at least we don’t have to stress out about yet another woman being a sex slave or a toddler being left unattended for weeks while his relatives all try to kill one another.

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Wild Thoughts

July 11, 2018

I’m having a terrible day, but my desktop is littered with a bunch of screenshots of this show that I need to use up, so here goes nothing!

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I wonder if this cabin is going to get fixed up again and then left unattended for various serial killers and idiots to waltz into. Someone teach these people about AirBnB and/or a damn lockbox!

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That’s basically my expression every time I have to listen to Hope and/or Rafe ranting and raving. Ugh. Otherwise, they’re hitting a lot of great beats with Ciara and Ben, even if it’s moving too fast for me to be confident that it won’t all go to hell. All the stuff with Ciara defending him and sneaking out to go down to the police station played very well, even if it’s still as bonkers as, well, Ben himself that he’s not locked up for life.

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And if I weren’t already irked beyond belief with Rafe for being his usual sanctimonious self and denying Ben his medication just to be an asshole, this goofy new hairdo might do the trick. Is he moonlighting as an Elvis impersonator down at Doug’s Place?

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Someone whose hair is working, however, is Jennifer. The darker color, as opposed to that white-blonde they’ve had on her forever, does wonders to soften her look. She looks great! It’s also so much better wavy than when it’s stick-straight. Just because she is technically a grandmother doesn’t mean they need to go out of their way to age her up to look like one. And I don’t even hate the blouse.

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In conclusion, I own this shirt JJ is wearing, and it’s from Topshop, and he looks way better in it than I do but it was still a fun sighting.

‘Til Death Do Us Part

July 4, 2018

How bizarre that, in 2018, the most universal character trait in Salem is “has murdered someone or participated in the cover-up of a murder.”

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I’m sure little Arianna Grace is only about three years away from her first fatal shooting. And if Alice Horton were still running around town, I have no doubt that she’d wind up braining Stefan with her donut maker and then forcing Jennifer to lug the body outside in a garbage bag or something.

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Yes, Will, this is an unnecessary and ridiculous plan. But I guess that’s how it goes when you personally know numerous folks who have received the death penalty.

Them conspiring to dump Leo’s body is still only half as absurd as this, though.

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Marlena, it is summer. Enough with the Technicolor Leather Jackets zipped up to your eyeballs. I would’ve almost preferred to see her show up dressed like the Statue of Liberty, a la her 1986 wedding to John/Roman:

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I actually loved the callbacks to that wedding and the decision to use the August 22nd date for their upcoming wedding as a nod to history. Very cute. I wonder if Maggie will be in the wedding this time?! 😉

Hairy Styles

July 3, 2018

If there’s any situation that sums up my character perfectly, it’s that while my friends were out drinking Sunday, I decided to go home early, ate an entire pizza, and went down a YouTube hole of old Days clips. There were some good ones, and some stupid ones, but mostly what I kept focusing on was the hair.

Take a look at Julie over here. This is from an episode in 1993, in which Julie went to Switzerland because she thought Doug had been in an accident, and they reunited. (I believe they got Bill Hayes to appear for one episode to write Susan Seaforth Hayes off the show.) Mostly I’m wondering how in the hell she boarded a plane with that coif.

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And speaking of large hair, this is Hope from Belle and Philip’s wedding in 2005:

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I know her idiot son is about to crash his motorcycle into the church in order to stop Belle from marrying Philip — obviously the only sensible course of action — so maybe she just wanted a helmet. But yikes.

Meanwhile, Jennifer was at the same wedding with the hair of a pop star from the early 2000s… and also the choker of a pop star from the early 2000s.

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I also watched a bunch of Hope’s memorial from 1990, which was very good, and no one had terribly stupid hair. Strongly recommend.

Thank you for joining me on this follicular journey.

If These Walls Could Talk

June 25, 2018

I’m going to start with the heavy stuff. Despite the fact that I have felt zero investment in this pregnancy or, really, what happens to the parents afterward, I was completely sucked in by the scenes after Lani learned that her baby didn’t make it.

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A lot of the underlying emotions are very universal, but I legitimately thought Sal Stowers did great in Friday and Monday’s episodes. I felt for Lani in a way that I never have, and everyone else — Lamon Archey, James Reynolds, Vanessa Williams — brought it, too. The touch of naming the baby David Abraham Grant was terrific, too. That makes three generations of Davids (Martin, Banning, Grant) and is such a nice way of tying this child in 2018 all the way back to the origins of the series.

Now, on to sillier things. Like the fact that they recreated Abigail’s disaster of a college bedroom in the Horton house!

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That bedspread against that wallpaper is nearly blinding me with rage, but look!

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Same wallpaper! Same confusingly matchy wall art! I love that this show can barely remember which characters have gone on serial killing sprees, but they nail the continuity on wallpaper.

Would someone mind telling me what’s happening with Theresa’s straps here?

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I guess it’s fashion and the fact that she has two random loose straps hanging off her back, waiting to smack her the minute she breaks into a jog, means she’s actually qualified to run a fashion magazine.

Perhaps they could offer the job to Kate instead. She’s already styled like she got lost on the way to an anime convention.

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And somehow stole a suit from Elton John in the process.

I don’t even know what to say about Kate these days. I love Lauren Koslow, but this character is crazy as shit and can’t even come up with a coherent scheme lately. And then that whole bit with her handing over Stefano’s ring to Chad and telling him to be a bad person — great. Doesn’t she have, like, six kids of her own she could do this to?!

This is Mental

May 31, 2018

I’m with ya, Gabi.

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How strange that an episode that focused so much on talk about “mental illness” had the primary effect of making me wonder if I were “mentally ill,” simply because everything I was taking in was so wacko that there was no way it could be real.

Except it was!

BTW, I’m putting “mental illness” in quotes up there because I’m not talking about actual mental illness, which is a complex, often chemically driven state that requires long-term treatment, but rather Salem Mental Illness, where you get to do insane things and then have them excused via a medical diagnosis and flimsy treatment at the hands of another Mentally Ill person.

See?

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It’s always nice to see Laura, who was kind enough to wear a jaunty pair of red glasses we’ve never seen her in before solely to reinforce the plot point about Abigail’s “Dr. Laura” alter being obsessed with spectacles. I did like the talk among Laura, Jennifer, and Abigail about their family’s history of mental illness, although I screamed when they started in with the whole “If ‘Gabby’ had feelings for Stefan, could Abigail have them, too?!” bullshit. Yes, probably! That doesn’t mean he didn’t rape her. It felt like the start of the inevitable whitewash. And God bless Kate Roberts (how rare is that statement these days?!) for getting in that crack about what a bang-up job Laura did with Abigail’s care last time she broke down. You’d think Abigail’s mother and husband might be concerned enough to find her a psychiatrist who hasn’t spent decades in an institution herself or suffered Satanic possession, but nope, those are the options! This should go well.

Elsewhere in Salem, we had Marlena automatically jumping down Hope’s throat about the prospect of Ben Weston receiving parole (HOW??) and deserving a second chance due to whatever “mental illness” he’s got. Girl, he still killed your grandson and three other people. And attacked you! It doesn’t really matter that Will survived — Ben’s goal was to murder him. It just so happened that Dr. Rolf got involved. I thought it was smart to play the beat about Marlena viewing Ben through a psychiatrist’s lens, whereas Hope was looking at the situation as a cop, but for that to be the very first reaction from Doc was bonkers. I mean, yes, she similarly had to get herself cleared of serial-killing charges once, but really. She was basically like, “Oh well, I’m sure he’ll be fine!” within ten seconds of receiving the news.

I’m also a little unclear on why Kayla is so determined to get this bionic eye for Steve. I mean, he’s getting around town fine, he seems able to place phone calls without a problem… Blindness doesn’t seem that bad!

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Oh wait, is he the one who picked out this blouse for her? I take it all back.

This is an interesting dilemma for Kayla, who rarely gets put in these morally complicated places these days. At first, I thought it was a little weird that she offered up Abigail’s forgiveness to Stefan, but then I reconsidered. It wasn’t like she promised to deliver Abigail to him. She offered the prospect of Abigail seeing Stefan differently — much like Kayla herself eventually came to see Jack in a different light, without ever forgetting her own rape. I wish that had been in the dialogue, because it would’ve been a powerful layer instead of a “WTF?!” moment. As for needing to help him bring down Kate: do us all a favor and help him out regardless of whether you get the eye, Kayla! It’s time someone did it.

Reunited, and It Feels So… So…

May 22, 2018

“Hey, wait…”

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“Who’s this strange lady sobbing in the living room, wearing some kind of confusing satin garment that looks like an evening gown but is actually pants?”

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Jen Lilley did her damnedest, but the kid playing Tate looked like he’d rather be anywhere — getting cookies from “Cook,” shipped off to boarding school, any of the usual places Salem kids hang out — than in Theresa’s arms. I get that child actors can be tough and unpredictable, but the fact that he was visibly squirming to escape her didn’t do a to to sell the whole “Tate has cried over his mommy every night and really misses her” thing.

Friday’s ending, with Brady seeing Theresa, pulled me in, and then Monday’s episode quickly reminded me that this couple leaves me totally cold. There’s just no there there. I liked messy Theresa back in the day, and Brady can be fine, but their alleged love story had zero foundation beyond “New writers came in, and they’re going to try to make this a rooting couple.” Sure, I feel bad for what Theresa had to endure in Mexico, and I’m sure Brady will, too, but this isn’t exactly John seeing Marlena on the docks in that pink sweatsuit after she returned from the dead. And while I appreciate that they’re going to the trouble of fixing Theresa’s sloppy exit story and tying up those loose ends (you could power this show for years simply with short-term arcs intended to fix the mistakes of past regimes), the glaring holes in it aren’t helping now. Why didn’t she let Brady in on what was going on? Why couldn’t Shane Donovan or Victor Kiriakis, both of whom knew the truth, do something to keep this woman out of what was essentially sex slavery?

Also, if Theresa is such a changed person and all that, perhaps she should mention to someone that Chloe is still trapped down in Mexico. Yeah, threats against Brady and Tate, whatever — you’ve got access to the ISA and the Kiriakis clan. I know she left her a note that was roughly the same as what you’d write in the yearbook of someone who talked to in third period a few times, but really.

Meanwhile, in a separate but thematically similar tale of a different woman being violated by a deranged man (ugh):

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Abigail finally showed some real fire in her confrontation with Stefan, so that was good. I already knew they’d never have him suffer legal repercussions for what he did, and thus I can’t even be bothered by that, but I’m really having trouble scaring up much sympathy for this dude. Yes, Chad keeps punching him in the face (and he just kind of takes it), but he knew what he was doing with “Gabby” — who is not real — and did it anyway. Sorry, bud. Try at least being funny like Xander if you want to parade around town being a psycho.