Posted tagged ‘Salem Style’

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.

screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-11-21-44-am

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.

screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-11-18-28-am

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?

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-6-45-51-pm

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…

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.

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-2-26-30-pm

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

Just Play the Hits

January 28, 2017

It wouldn’t be an episode of Days of Our Lives in 2017 if we didn’t hear Daniel’s name at least 50 times, let alone see his mug.

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-8-30-00-am

I will say that his ghostly appearance Friday, as well as all the (endless) discussion of him, didn’t irritate me as much as your average psychiatric professional might have predicted. Yes, we all know how much he sucked, but people like Maggie, Victor, Nicole, and Brady for some reason enjoyed his presence, and it makes sense to reflect on his memory as the news comes out that he and Nicole share a daughter. Personally, I found it strange how Brady and Nicole were talking about how Daniel always gave them great advice, considering that most of what I remember was him telling Nicole what an untrustworthy harlot she was, and him mauling the ex-fiancée who broke Brady’s heart and drove him back to drugs, but hey, different strokes. I wouldn’t have minded if JJ — the one person who really did benefit from Daniel’s guidance — had been at the police station and weighed in with some references to things we actually saw Daniel do, but they seem to have forgotten that Daniel was ever important to that segment of the canvas.

In terms of this baby situation, I don’t know that I’ve ever watched a story in which just about everyone — regardless of what side of the debate they’re on — seems either batshit crazy or stupid to the point of being a danger to themselves. “Maggie, doesn’t it bother you that Deimos left you paralyzed?” “I’ve made my peace with him.” Well, sure, you can get past something like that and still not exalt the person or want to be around him. Meanwhile, they somehow even managed to make Chloe come off like an idiot — which, granted, isn’t usually that tough — when she admitted that Deimos might not harm Holly directly, but, you know, his influence wouldn’t be great and stuff. Compelling! I don’t see how a judge could rule against that!

Also, Maggie is really leaning into this Prince tribute thing, yeah?

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-8-39-15-am

I did appreciate that they actually showed her learning that Holly is her granddaughter and holding the child for the first time. This is the type of beat that they too often skip over, but it helps ground these ridiculous scenarios when we actually see people’s incredulous reactions play out.

Speaking of old Days favorites…

screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-7-05-22-am

It’s been a while since we’ve had a random dayplayer waltz up to some main characters and butt into their lives, totally uninvited! And this one seems to be a distant relation of Celeste, so there’s that, too. Per Salem tradition, this woman could not have given less of a shit about anybody else in that “Cafe Dvorak,” but of course she floats right up to Kayla and Steve to tell their fortunes, i.e., completely ruin their day by shrieking in their faces about doom and danger. I hope she wasn’t expecting a tip.

You Might Be a Salemite If…

January 14, 2017

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”?

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-10-44-02-am

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…

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-10-46-19-am

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

January 13, 2017

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

screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-8-41-38-am

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

January 12, 2017

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?

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-7-26-40-am

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!

screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-7-23-46-am

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.

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-7-25-45-am

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.