Posted tagged ‘Salem Style’

Thirsty Thursday

July 28, 2017

Finally, a Salem style trend I can get behind.

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If we needed any more proof that Ron Carlivati was officially in control, these scenes — plus Chad keeping his shirt off to argue with Gabi the other day — are it. I really have no idea why all these guys have been fully clothed all the time. Did anyone even take off their shirts on that damn island?!

This entire Tripp/Kayla revenge plot is probably the biggest snooze on the show, partly because it’s happening in such a vacuum. I know lots of people loathe the continued mentions of Ava, but that part, I don’t mind; she sucked, but using her specter as a villain is fine by me, especially since it motivates Tripp in a fairly believable way. I just wish there were… more to this. I want to know more about what medicine means to Kayla and what losing her career would mean. I wish they’d shown us this “Nurse Shelly” a few times earlier in the story so that we’d seen some of these red herrings planted and might actually care if she goes down for framing Kayla. Imagine if Hope really had suffered some adverse effects from Tripp manipulating the charts, and there were an actual board hearing where she had to testify against Kayla. And I get what they’re going for with Steve being Kayla’s hero, but can she be a little proactive in wanting to salvage her career and reputation? She’s just kind of going along with this. Give me some meat here!

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I get that they’re basically just re-establishing everything and clarifying motivations and stakes before what I assume is a big blowup coming soon, but… meh. For what this story could be, it’s so limp. I did think the anniversary celebration between Steve and Kayla was well done (and a nice love letter to their longtime fans), but that more or less existed outside this story completely.

Gabi looks cute, though!

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With the lipsticks and the mascara brushes, this dress could be corny, and it would be a bit silly on a woman in her 40s or 50s, but I think it works here. Plus it isn’t another skintight, midriff-baring number, so… things are looking up until the next time Nicole befouls our screens!


Quad Goals

July 26, 2017

A week into Ron Carlivati’s tenure as head writer, the big, noisy headline is obviously the tale of Anjelica and the Doppelgängers. And while I’ve expressed, er, reservations about that story potentially not making a lick of sense — Anjelica had three decades and this is the clearest plot she could conjure up?! — it’s definitely bold and injecting a fresh energy into the episodes. But there were other stories already more solidly in motion before Carlivati’s arrival, and I’m genuinely impressed with what he’s doing with two of them. It just so happens that those are two quadrangles: Jennifer/Eric/Nicole/Brady and Dario/Abigail/Chad/Gabi.

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First of all, how charming were Eric and Jen together? Even if you think Jennifer should only ever be with Jack or Eric needs to wind up with Nicole or just that it’s a mismatch in terms of life experience, it’s tough to deny that there was real chemistry there. I was so delighted by them that I almost managed not to lose my shit at how Victor’s old sofa is now in the Martin mansion; meanwhile, I’m pretty sure the black leather couch at Club TBD is from Daniel’s old apartment. Can we not sell this shit on Craigslist to fund an IKEA run? It’s beyond distracting.

Anyway, I thought it was wonderful how they let Eric and Jen crackle together, but their conversation also pushed her to confront Brady over what she viewed as manipulating her in order to keep Nicole for himself. And while she wasn’t totally in the wrong, she was then slapped in the face with the news that Eric and Nicole kissed. It was a very smart way to break down those scenes and keep twists coming via characters receiving information that would mean something to them. If this is the sort of storytelling structure that Ron is going to bring, great. It actually felt like someone was taking care with how information came out and what it would mean in the context of those scenes.

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I was also prepared to praise the show and Nicole for having her come back from playing in the garden with Tate looking like she does above, because that’s how normal people dress while at home playing with their (lover’s neglected) children, but then she went upstairs to get ready for “work” and came down looking like this:

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Where is she doing community service again? The Hoochie Center? I have no interest in shaming anyone for being “sexy” or being confident in her body, but everything about “body-hugging, purple, off-the-shoulder dress” sounds 1000% inappropriate for community service, especially in a location that works with the underprivileged.

The other mess of a storyline that has quickly taken on an actual shape is, as I mentioned above, the Gabi/Chad/Abigail/Dario quad. The big problem with this story hasn’t been that “Chabby” can NEVER be apart — it’s that the focus was all over the place. Chad and Gabi suddenly had this retconned history that made them seem “meant-to-be” even though there was real, substantial onscreen stuff that they could’ve worked through. We watched Chad and Abigail get the supercouple build for a year, only to have Abby come back and seem like the interloper in a new relationship. She should’ve felt that way, but we shouldn’t have. I’ve been more of a defender of Higley than most (especially in 2009-11), but one thing she always struggled with was the “math” of soap writing. She would create a couple, tell one story with them, and then completely shift to another pairing when that secondary coupling should’ve been an obstacle in the larger story. I thought it was interesting when she went for Lucas/Chloe, but as soon as they got together, they changed the root-for couple to Chloe/Daniel, and then not long after they settled in, Chloe had an affair and we were moving on to Daniel/Jennifer. It’s a really strange way to tell soap stories, and I don’t think it works. It felt like that was what was happening here. Over the past week, it’s become very clear that Gabi is the “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with” chick, and Dario is now clearly an obstacle to Abigail/Chad, and one that’s going to force Abigail to make some tough decisions and face her feelings for Chad. That’s much more streamlined storytelling.

And on top of all that, I watched Tuesday’s episode at 11 pm and managed to stay awake until it was over! Things are definitely looking up.

Frightful Friday

July 15, 2017

This isn’t even what this post was supposed to be about, but something happened when I went back to get my screenshots, and we can’t move forward until it’s addressed.

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Jennifer Rose! What in the name of Alice Horton is going on here?! I was actually going to make a little side comment about how cute she looked, based upon my occasional glances at the TV while folding laundry, but then I was trying to get a shot of her with Brady and was subjected to this full-body horror. She’s like… Summer 2017 on top, Victorian-era Scotland on the bottom. This whole thing has a very puzzling, distressing tent-like effect on her that I cannot comprehend. And in July, no less? The only good thing I can say is that I was originally terrified those were extremely wide-legged pants, but no, they’re just a plain old ridiculous skirt. But still. Put that top with some skinny white jeans and stop being your own worst enemy!

Whew. Okay, now that we have that out of the way, we can talk about Brady.

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Who, by the way, is like, “Jen, I’m dating perennial Worst Dressed Salemite winner Nicole Walker, and I still can’t get over that skirt you put on.”

After Thursday’s episode, I was all set to talk about how refreshing it was to enjoy Brady in a more supporting role — being a friend to Jennifer, showing concern for Abigail, getting in Dario’s face. It’s the same way I felt after Theresa exited last year, and they had him being a friend to both Nicole and Chloe, before they went full-steam ahead with that idiotic Canada excursion. But then they had to go and blow all that goodwill on Friday, with him pounding his chest and huffing and puffing at Nicole and Eric. Maybe it’s because there’s so much unfinished business between “Ericole,” but I keep forgetting that Brady and Nicole are even supposed to be a couple. This latest Great Love just is not taking. At all. There have been plenty of times in the past when I’ve rooted for them to get together, or at least thought it’d be a nice option, but this version just ain’t working.

Oh, and how dim is Brady? “How could you and Eric kissing possibly be about Daniel?” Well, EVERYTHING FUCKIN’ ELSE has been since about 2012, so why not?!

Meanwhile, Friday was apparently White Jade’s last day.

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Meh. The most interesting thing I have to say about this is that, in trying to get a usable screencap of her, I realized that she spends 80% of her scenes with her eyes closed and/or head down. Now go forth and never be mentioned again!

I’m Blue (Da Ba Dee, Deimos Died)

July 3, 2017

I always get a real kick out of Marlena hypnotizing people. Tell me this isn’t ominous.

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“Yes, little boy, relax and let this woman who was once possessed by Satan pry into your subconscious…”

I did enjoy how they had them in matching outfits. You know, because hypnosis always works better when you color-coordinate. And while JJ was in that Tiger Woods for TJ Maxx polo…

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(Let’s pause a moment for that tricep.)

…Gabi was very subtly working the same color story whilst talking about how Halo made her think she might still be in love with him.

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Subtlety, thy name is not, and never will be, Days of Our Lives. But also, let’s look at this thing from the back.

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Honey, this is a complicated dress for the day after you got drugged at a party and had to deal with a murder and all this other shit. Have you ever heard of jeans? Or sweats? I would even turn a blind eye to a velour tracksuit under the circumstances.

Cheers ‘n’ Jeers

June 27, 2017

Can I just say how delighted I am by this welcome home party/Horton Center fundraiser/festival of narcotics going on at the Martin House this week? I don’t necessarily mean “delighted” in a positive way, but at least I’m giggling a lot. I mean, there are actual extras, which always thrills me, and you had that amazing fake-out cliffhanger of Hope screaming, “You can’t drink that!” in the middle of Eric’s speech, only to return from commercial and learn that she didn’t want him to toast with water because it’s bad luck, plus Deimos dressed up as Colonel Sanders/Drew Donovan and not being recognized by people who were six feet away from him.

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This reminded me of when Jack showed up to the Horton Town Square opening with a beard and stood within earshot of Jennifer and Maggie, neither of whom recognized him because, you know, facial hair. I also can’t really handle/comprehend the insanity of Deimos taking the time to whip up a totally new formula for Halo — a formula that has completely different effects than the old one. That one made people black out and feel wretched, whereas this one… makes you horny and goofy, which just seems like a completely different drug to me, but hey, what do I know? I’m no CEO or drug kingpin!

I did legitimately enjoy the younger characters babbling all drunkenly at the end of the episode, though. Can we have more of that? It gave me shades of the Great Pot Brownie Book Club Incident.

A lot of things Abigail does these days confound me, but showing up to this party dressed like some sort of Elizabethan-era hussy (you know, exposed shoulders) is really up there.

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This is actually a way more flattering photo of the dress than anything that appeared in motion in Tuesday’s episode. She had more ruffles going on than Maggie Kiriakis dressed up to sob over Daniel in her living room.

Jade was also working a similar silhouette earlier in the week, but with fewer ruffles and 100% more bra strap.

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I don’t really know that White Jade (as opposed to the original Jade) seems batshit crazy so much as deeply, troublingly stupid, in that she doesn’t seem to have any sense of normal human behavior or consequences, but I sort of enjoyed her interactions with Eric on Monday’s episode. Any time they put two unlikely characters in a scene together, I at least wind up paying attention, and Greg Vaughan was definitely playing the subtext — since it wasn’t actually in the dialogue — of how Eric had a “sex” (rape) tape made of himself that destroyed his life. I’d have liked for a little more of that to be actual text, but it was an interesting tie. Jade could still fall into the river and I’d never ask where she went, but at least I felt like focusing enough to find out what was going on in these scenes!

Once You Go Black…

June 25, 2017

I know I’ve been ragging a lot on how retirement-age John Black seems to be the only agent the ISA wants for anything, but let’s just take a moment to reflect on how great his hair looks now that he’s stopped coloring it.

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I love John the most when he’s, like, being a dad and talking about the Cubs and “That’s a fact”-ing, so this going gray really works for him. It’s almost enough for me not to be irritated about these endless scenes of him leaving on another damn mission and promising Marlena he’ll be back soon and blah blah. Hasn’t this been going for like four hundred years?!


Always Be My Baby

June 22, 2017

After this entire months-long baby Holly debacle, Days managed to “redeem” Chloe in the span of an episode, which was actually pretty impressive.

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“No, Nicole, your hair, uh, it looks great. It’s beautiful,” she lied, as only a true friend would.

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Oh, wait. No, it wasn’t that. That’s dialogue that not even Dame Judi Dench could’ve gotten through without bursting into laughter.

But that emotional exchange between Chloe and Nicole worked really, really well, I thought. Chloe’s talk about the voice in her head that kept telling her it was wrong to keep Holly from Nicole added some much-needed depth to this whole thing, and the mere act of doing the right thing and leaving Holly with Nicole actually worked for me in terms of wiping away months of ickiness between the two women. I might be in the minority, though, in that I didn’t think Chloe needed a ton of “redeeming” here. The setup was contrived as hell, but she carried that baby and then genuinely feared leaving her in Deimos’s care. She told Nicole repeatedly that all she had to do was end things with Deimos — a man exhibiting signs of being a controlling, callous psycho at every turn — in order to have the child, and Nicole refused. When Nicole finally broke up with Deimos, right before the actual custody hearing, there was evidence that Deimos had tried to bribe the judge. Why should Chloe have believed Nicole then? And don’t get me started on Chloe apologizing for Brady being shot. She didn’t force Nicole to kidnap that baby, or Brady to go along with her, or Deimos to hire Xander, or Xander to pull that trigger… That’s like blaming Trader Joe’s for the pizza binge I went on last weekend, because they were low on thin-sliced chicken breasts when I went shopping earlier in the week, so by Sunday, I had nothing left to make for dinner and obviously my only remaining choice was to order Domino’s and shame-eat the entire thing. Uh, yeah. Let’s blame Trader Joe’s. And Chloe.

Anyway, this entire thing was sloppily written at best, so much so that it’s tough to dissect anyone’s motivations or actions in a clear way because there were ample amounts of contradictory evidence right there onscreen. But at least it’s over, and Nicole has her baby, which is something most of us have been rooting for since 2009 even though she is really trying my damn patience these days, and Chloe can head off to New York for a bit and then come back and be treated like an actual human being by other Salemites.