Matt's Musings on Days
of our Lives, 2008
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December 19, 2008
to say that I've genuinely enjoyed 'Days' lately. I'm not entirely sure why.
Let's review what happened this week to see if there is a hint anywhere. The
entire week was made up of relationships that mirror previous ones. Everything
that happened seems to have an echo in what happened before, only some of the
characters have been exchanged and none of the characters who had the experience
previously, seem aware that they had it at all. One of the curious things is
that, increasingly, all of these plots seem to happen in little worlds which
scarcely intersect. Even when they overlap, they seem sealed from each other.
Philip had a little tiff over the fact that they've both dated Chloe, something
which they've largely forgotten about. To his credit, Philip never tried to
marry her. Philip then spent the week leaping between the two women in his life:
Melanie and Stephanie. Melanie, who is channelling early Chelsea, hit the
jackpot this week when Nick handed all rights over his project to her. That
means she can earn millions. She hung this over Philip's head. Melanie sneered
and Philip barked, eventually firing Mel. She went straight to Victor, who seems
to exist solely to berate his son, which he did, yet again. Philip quit and,
five minutes later, asked for his job back. Meanwhile, Stephanie went to Max to
remind him that they were broken up and she was interested in Philip. He already
knew, but got angry anyway. Then Chelsea came, she teased him, they flirted, he
gave the toy dog that Trent left him in his will to Theo. Is that an ominous
sign? It seems obvious that Max and Chelsea are going to get back together, and
not just because she's the reformed version of his sister (which is a little
creepy). The fact that they are being placed in 'adult' situations, ie. with
Theo, suggests that it will be a very different coupling from the last time
around. So Uncle Max hooks up with another 'niece'. It would be nice if Chelsea
met a guy who hasn't slept with most of her friends or family.
been going to Dr. Charlotte for therapy. He's been lazily re-enacting his early
relationship with Marlena, which has also been slightly re-enacted with Marlena
every time he gets a new personality. Charlotte wants to reunite the broken
couple; that's her mission, which sound like the opposite of what she was saying
a week and a half ago. They both seem happy, but confused by this. I can't
figure out if this is the only purpose of the new character or what. Marlena was
strangely curt to her and the black hole the character crawled out of could
either mean that she has some dark secret to be revealed or she is just really
badly written. Most of the time, I can't tell. She isn't supposed to stick
around for long though, which is too bad, because I like her. Besides, Salem
won't have a shrink when she's gone and it needs one.
his head and now is having visions. He's been hearing a screaming child and
envisioning disaster. I think I'm glad that they might be bringing back more
supernatural elements, but it's too early to tell.
Sami managed to be less annoying this week. He was stabbed so he could take off
his shirt more than usual. Now that the killer knows who he is, he keeps
flirting with leaving but can't seem to tear himself away. She managed to pout
less and then slipped and fell. Meanwhile, Nicole dumped Daniel as her doctor
(she likely knew he'd try to feel her up and discover her secret) and ran to Dr.
Baker to ask him to fake being her obstetrician. He was reluctant but agreed to
do it for $750,000. Now she needs to figure out how to get it. To complicate
things, Elvis is getting randy and keeps flashing his chest and pointing his
flower at her.
If you look
at the plots, they aren't any better than usual, but something has definitely
changed with the show. There's a steadiness which has suddenly returned and
there's a new level of comfort in the scenes which was missing for a long time.
The characters even seem fresher, better articulated. That's all a bit
impressionistic, but that's how it feels. Daniel continues to unravel exactly
the way I always thought he would. Since day one, I had him pegged for a pervy
doctor and he just keeps fuelling the fire with his lust for Chloe. She's
clearly uncomfortable that he wants more than her bone marrow, but I think we
all know where this is going. Meanwhile, his godfather, Victor, showed up, which
is always welcome. He did the only thing they let him do anymore -- make Philip
feel like an idiot because his libido gets in the way of business. He should
probably tell Stephanie to stop her cleavage from getting in the way of business
too. Like I've said of Philip before, Melanie seems to be acting on a different
show than most of the other characters. Usually, that doesn't work, but at this
point, she manages to be more entertaining than not. I thought she was laying it
on thick to start with, but Molly Burnett has really hit her stride lately and
they are loading her up with all of the good lines... I just wonder how long
they can keep that up.
on to what happens next week. If you don't want to see anything even approaching
a spoiler, please look away and have a happy holiday. Otherwise, Melanie will be
enlisting Max to smuggle her into the Brady Christmas. Will the spirit of the
season enter her soulless body, or will she be able to Scrooge the holiday for
everyone? Luckily for Alice, she'll be skipping the festivities this year; Mel
might have given her a heart attack. Doug and Julie will be around for the
holidays, however, and will be reading the Christmas story at the hospital.
Meanwhile, Chloe breaks an ornament Maggie gives her. Given the bizarre sense of
causality on 'Days', who knows what might result from this? In another bit of
holiday largesse, Victor will be giving the boot to Philip and Brady. And the
killer isn't taking a break for the holidays. Now that he's given Rafe a taste
of his talents, he's ready to spread the joy a little thicker and give Sami a
bullet for Christmas.
holidays to everyone!
the season, bitch!
EJ) You can't come in here looking like a chiseled God and expect me to fall at
your feet. Especially when I'm not sure you have my best interests at heart. You
don't trust me with seed money for our child's future.
when you get out of here do you want to hang out? Maybe take in a movie? Thumb
It's about the baby. It is driving me crazy and that's why I'm acting
Pretty soon, Stephanie, you will be the ghost of Christmas past.
Look at the way you dress. I think you should apply for a job at Hooters.
(to Melanie) How dare you talk to me like that! You were the one who was talking
about having sex with Philip!
Philip: Yeah, but that never happened. I'd rather stick my hand in a garbage
December 5, 2008
Nicole has been doing her best to hide the fact that
she lost the baby from EJ. Elvis realized something must be wrong and dragged
her to the clinic to find out what it could be. Nicole promptly blackmailed the
doctor and offered to pay off his debts if he would keep the truth from EJ. She
went home with her fake belly on, worrying that Elvis will stop loving her.
Things got even more complicated for her when Stefano decided he would fly in a
specialist to look her over. Nicole was outraged. Elvis and Stefano interpreted
this as meaning she was some sort of feminist (I guess, in a Camille Paglia sort
of way, she is).
dragged Rafe to the convent and they talked about nuns. She wanted to go to
confessional but he forbade her and dragged her back to the safe house so he
could subject her to some gratuitous shirtless time and Hilda with a Christmas
tree. He left little blond alone with big blond once again so that he could
dress up in a cable uniform and snoop around the DiMera mansion. Sami outcried
Nicole this week.
a lot this week as well, but considerably less than most of the other women on
the show. Daniel tested her family and dug through the hospital databanks for
someone who could donate their bone marrow to her. The procedure Daniel plans to
use would be, of course, extra risky and cutting edge. Chloe turns up to be the
only match. Kate forbids her to donate right after Lucas forbids her to tell his
mother that they are engaged.
finally met a doctor who he didn't freak out at. Marlena set him up with her old
mentor, Dr. Taylor. She had no idea that he was actually dead and his daughter
had taken over his practice. When John met Dr. Charlotte Taylor, he was
impressed that she didn't want him to change. He smiled a lot, introduced the
women and joyed in teasing Marlena, who was instantly jealous and annoyed. Not
only is the new blond shrink looking after John, she thinks Marlena is a bad
influence and she is moving her practice in right next door to hers.
sounds very dramatic... well, amusing anyway. Somehow, most of it doesn't feel
that way when I'm watching it. There has been some nice soap opera acting in the
past two weeks. Kate, Melanie and Nicole have all cried with wonderful agility.
Melanie's misery intrigues me the most, not because I enjoy the character (since
I don't), but because it's more complicated and slightly less conventional.
Terminal diseases and dead fetuses are sad things for sure, but that also makes
them easy. Meanwhile, Sami's pointless whining is just a litmus test for the
painful. If it weren't for the fact that the people she is interacting with are
so deadpan, it would be unforgivable.
Stephanie both spent much of the week trying to impress Philip. I keep having
the feeling that Philip seems to be acting on a different TV show. Sometimes it
even feels like I would much rather be watching whatever that other show is.
He's not alone either. I could say the same for John, or Stefano, when they
aren't shamefully wasting him, or even Daniel for that matter. One of the things
about "Days" that strikes me is the remarkable discontinuity between the actors,
not only because they are hedged into the same sets and repetitive plots, but
into styles that don't seem to fit with each other. It's sort of like interior
design in England, where everything seems to have been decorated by some monster
with eyes on every side of its head but none of them are communicating the same
information to the brain. Sometimes it just seems like the show's writers are
each locked in different parts of the studio and forbidden to communicate. I
don't think that's the case though, for if it were, it would likely be better,
just be accident. The other day, Chrissi (the editor for Soaps.com) and I were
forced to admit that one of the only interesting characters on the show right
now is Daniel. He's interesting because he's such an enigma. We can't decide if
the gravelly voiced doctor is just a terribly written character, or a terribly
perverse one. The other characters seem imprisoned in some terribly repetitive
routine, but he's strangely relaxed back about the whole thing.
forgive my rambling... what follows is spoiler type information, so, if you do
not wish to be spoiled, please avert your gaze. Next week, Stefano will be
pushing EJ to make things official with Nicole. Whether this means marriage or a
strictly legal arrangement, we'll have to wait and see. She will be making some
arrangements of her own. She'll even be forced to drug Brady to take care of
them. Melanie and Stephanie continue to vie for Philip's attentions, which could
get dangerous for everyone involved. And, taking a break from Sami stabbing him
in the back, Rafe gets stabbed in the literal sense.
Sami: All of a sudden you're being human and I don't want to think of you like
that! You have to keep acting like a jerk so I won't concentrate on Christmas.
thought caring for your unborn child would trump your hysterical feminism.
have a mind like a steel trap.
EJ: To talk
technical: I am a guy. Father is a guy. We saw a problem and decided to fix it.
When it comes to something like this guys are basically clueless.
it's not Dr. Good-News-Bad-News Jonas.
That's kind of hideous.
Daniel: I know. It's garish and commercial. I'm going to get you in the
November 21, 2008
It was an eventful week on "Days of Our Lives," both
onscreen and off. After last week's scandalous rumor that Jay Kenneth Johnson
was being let go as Philip proved to be no more than a 'misunderstanding', we
are still left with the disturbing news that John and Marlena will be leaving
the cast. Although some have already suggested that this may just be a crude
ploy to get some publicity for the show, we'll have to wait and see. So far it
has managed to generate a great deal of negative press. It's debatable whether
even bad press is good press in this instance.
things were dramatic too. The Trent murder plot reached its peak. Nick went
berserk, took Melanie away with him and tried to convince her that they needed
to get married to protect each other. Everyone he knew was searching town to
rescue him from Melanie's infernal clutches. Bo and Hope finally pieced together
that Nick was actually the dangerous one and managed to track him down. As the
cops broke down Nick's door, Mel leaped off the balcony, only to be saved by Bo
and Philip. Steph stood by and watched, not terribly impressed. Nick was
promptly arrested and confessed. Kudos to Blake Berris for how he played his
scenes. He managed to stay in character even when his character no longer was.
His scenes with Maggie were sad and genuine. Too bad everything around them was
something else altogether. Everyone blamed themselves for what Nick did. He was
a nice boy, corrupted by the evil of Salemites. That's actually one of the more
interesting things about the story. Usually, evil comes to town and is
orchestrated by some foreign force; this time the town turned someone evil.
one of Salem's other 'romances' has been flailing around almost as sadly as Nick
and Melanie's. Nicole and EJ have already succeeded in becoming as boring as he
was when he was 'with' Sami. That's what happens when he stops being sexually
frustrated. I can forgive that, but what they've done to Nicole is appalling.
She's become a simpering, neurotic mess, but there's reason to suspect that she
will return to her darker side in the coming months... In the meantime, Elvis
suddenly agreed to take over the reigns of the DiMera empire from his father.
Will this really happen, and, better still, how will Tony feel about it? He
might make a show of not caring, but it wasn't that long ago that he and EJ were
banding together to try and steal the company. Now that Brady is in town, and
part DiMera, will he want a piece of the pie like his father did? This fact
hasn't really come up yet, so who knows, but it's an intriguing possibility. So
far, Brady and Nicole have drifted around, being awkward with each other. Sexual
tension is inevitable. Sami will be gone for awhile and EJ can't exist without
being part of a triangle. Brady's been around for more than a week and I still
don't know what to make of him. There's a certain blankness to the character
right now. The first thing I noticed about him was the way he would sit there
and do mocking imitations of people when they weren't around. He's done this a
few times so far. I'm guessing this is supposed to signal some sort of sardonic
depth to come out in the character, but it's just odd right now. A few other
observations for the week: EJ has been blinking less and Melanie has been
blinking more; apparently Kate finds David Bowie soothing (I guess she was
listening to "Low"); Lucas was giddy and Sami continued to reduce her emotional
complexity to alternating between whining and whining loudly.
chemo is actually going well, or maybe not. Daniel is somewhat contradictory
about it. Maybe that's because, unconsciously, since he desires Kate, he wants
her to be sick, though, as a doctor, he can't acknowledge that. The more I see
of the character, the stranger I find him. I don't know if that's because he's
just a strange and complex character, or if it's because he's badly written.
Daniel's scene with Chloe this week made little sense. She already knows that he
gets over-involved with his patients and she knows that he's involved with Kate.
He had an almost identical conversation with Nicole before she and EJ got
serious, as well as with Chelsea earlier than that, and with Kate even earlier
on. The only thing their heart-to-heart revealed was how pathological the guy.
Chloe's also in a bizarre position right now. She has feelings for Philip but is
with Lucas. She obviously has something, at least hinted at, with Daniel as
well. More worrying was that Lucas excitedly asked her to move in with him this
week... in a huge new house he plans to buy. Less than a few months ago he was
broke and fresh from prison. After only a few months, he's already sure that
Chloe makes a great mother to his children. I suppose after watching Sami
attempt to be a mother that might seem true, but what is wrong with this guy?
Did those head injuries he received in prison do severe damage that we don't
know about? There's no reason behind any of this; their relationship isn't even
a sketch at this point, it's a doodle. I want it to end. Not because I want to
see either of them with anyone else; I just can't stand to see them together.
to the spoilers. If you don't wish to be spoiled, avert your gaze. John will be
defending Marlena against Sami's stalker. Sami will be getting more airtime.
Unable to bear being trapped with Rafe, she runs off to hide out in a convent. I
guess if Sami could be a boy, she could be a nun too. It's already being
speculated that she'll give the baby up to the sisters. Meanwhile, Nicole will
be having baby trouble of her own when her stomach pains get worse. All the
while EJ will be off with his father conducting business. Will Brady come to
Nicole's rescue, or will he be too busy making eyes at his ex-wife Chloe and
making Lucas jealous? Although Lucas has always excelled at displaying his
jealous and his joy of ranting, he'll be getting some stiff competition when
Chelsea and Melanie battle it out to see which of them can actually get a new
Bo: Did you
hear what you just said? You just threw her under the bus.
caused one person to die for Chelsea and now another one for you, Melanie.
Whenever I try to do good people end up dead.
I've always lacked humility but I need to learn I'm not a God.
many friends do you have?
John: Real or imaginary?
In order to deal with her you need mace and a net. Wherever they are, I'm sure
Nick is in trouble.
November 7, 2008
Abe was elected mayor of Salem, thanks in part to
the fact that he was running against a corpse who had never played any role in
the city's activities until a little over a month ago, not that such facts are
ever guarantees of political victory. He and Lexi worried that they could be in
the crosshairs of the Marino murder investigation since she sort of, but not
exactly, asked her father to get rid of him. Roman and Abe got a
quasi-confession out of Stefano to this effect and promptly agreed to forget it
since it might incriminate them. Abe instantly chose yet another Brady to be
police commissioner. Bo's first order of business, beyond complaining about his
tie, was to remind Abe that they have murders to solve. Will Bo change much in
the job? He and Hope have become cold and, frankly, have seemed like jerks for
the past couple of weeks. Is that just because they've actually been working,
however unsuccessfully, instead of hanging around in the pub and eating donuts?
arrested for Trent's murder and locked up. EJ has been slightly unhelpful since
he has the nagging suspicion that she's guilty. Since she hates her jail cell,
she complained her way into the medical ward where she was nearly pummelled by a
woman named Candi. EJ rescued her at the last minute and took her back to her
cell where he continued to suspect her and she began to be sure he just wanted
to take their baby. Across town, Kate started getting chemo and Chelsea tried to
reconcile... again. Philip got angry at Daniel, then supported him, then got
angry, then supported him, then got angry again. Daniel, who seems to be the
surgeon-general of nonchalant flirtations, made some more loving statements to
Kate before leaving her alone for her excruciating therapy. He went over to the
gym to work out and began flirting with Chloe, feeling up her muscles and
telling her that he's 'developing a taste for her'. I know he flirts with
everyone, sometimes he even seems to flirt with Philip (it's the artificial
leg), but it wasn't until he found out that Chloe almost died from leukemia that
he really seemed to get hot for her. Is this a coincidence? Either Daniel has a
thing for lusting after Philip's family members and lovers, or he really has
this fetish for morbidity. He's Daytime's first surfer-goth.
up with Philip? He 'sees himself' in Melanie, he says, and he has naughty
daydreams about her, all the while he acts jealous about Chloe and claimed, only
a few weeks ago, that he had deep feelings for her. Then he lent his shoulder to
Stephanie to cry on and was his usual flirty, and slightly snide, self with her.
I know he's supposed to be a player, but it's just weird to have peg-leg run all
over town to make passes at different women. Capping it, however, was when they
had the most bizarre shot of him graphically biting an apple that spontaneously
appeared in front of Melanie's face.
been somewhat more incoherent than usual (example: Max maniacally defending his
sister and then, spontaneously turning around and saying she's really no good,
not to mention what's happened to Nicole over the past few weeks and what's
happened to Nick), which has never bothered me, but it's rarely been as
incoherent as it's been lately. Or, I guess I should say, it's never been
incoherent in quite the same way. Usually, the plots are full of holes and the
characters jump through them. Now, the characters are full of holes and the
plots disappear in them. I know I'm not alone when I say that frequently, over
the past few weeks, the characters seem almost unrecognizable as their former
selves and their relationship make even less sense than ever. It's normal for
past events to be treated as irrelevant or, at best, mythical. In a recent
interview I read with James Scott, he said that the people at the show actually
recommended he remain ignorant of character and show history as a matter of
practice. This would seem to hold across the board. A certain degree of amnesia
is necessary. I can accept constantly re-writing a character. EJ can be nine or
twenty nine or fifty nine years old, he can have nine wives or have raped Sami
nine times or never, because character history really doesn't matter. There are
no facts on "Days of Our Lives" and characters don't do anything out of
experience, they do it out of personae which are created in a vacuum and then
dropped onto the set. That's why some people think soaps are badly written, but
I don't, I find it charming. The thing that bothers me about what's been going
on lately is that it's all plot and almost no personae.
all bad of course. I've been pleasantly surprised by Galen Gering's performance
as Rafe. You really have to see an actor in more than one role to appreciate
whether or not they can actually act. Unfortunately all he's done is play
blinking contests with Sami (I guess she couldn't really play with EJ). I'm
looking forward to him interacting with someone other than Sami. Despite some
superficial resemblance, there's little of the lumbering and, let's face it,
quite dumb detective he played on "Passions." It just makes me that more excited
to see what Eric Martsolf will do with Brady. By the way, spoilers from here
on... Brady will be returning next Thursday. It will be just as John actually
returns to get involved in the storylines again. He'll be searching around for
the man who took a shot at Sami. Does he want to give him pointers, or is he
trying to capture him to impress Marlena? Across town, Lucas and Philip aren't
thrilled with how Kate's chemo is going and have their doubts about Daniel
renewed. Lexi continues to renew her doubts about her maternal capacities when
she finds that Theo seems to prefer Chelsea's company. Meanwhile, Nick will try
to go on the run and will ask Melanie to go with him. Their plan hits a dead end
when he vanishes. Perhaps not coincidentally, Bo and Hope will be arresting
their latest suspect in Trent's murder.
Mel: I have
plenty of friends.
Philip: Aside from Nick, who are they? The mail man?
October 24, 2008
As usual, Sami spent most of the week weeping.
Crying about whether she should shield her children from the DiMeras; wailing
about not being understood; tearfully refusing to go into the witness protection
program because she couldn't bring her children; and whimpering about being
alone and in danger. She also scowled and screamed for good measure to the point
that she resembled a demoniacally possessed jack o'lantern. Where did this
week's horror's start? Salem's mayor was shot dead on Stefano's doorstep and
Sami just happened to be nearby, witnessing the slightly less horrific sight of
Elvis and knocked-up Nicole canoodling on the sofa at the time. She came face to
face with the shooter and now the shooter wants her dead. She ran indoors and
interrupted the intimate moment between EJ and Nicole to tell them about it.
Nicole thought she was full of blarney... until she tripped over the corpse in
the doorway. It's nice to know that 'Days' hasn't lost its dark sense of humor.
The show really was funny this week, if not entirely fun.
I know John
is strange, but this week he was actually bizarre. It's like he's turning into a
very eccentric child before our eyes. Watching him react to Nicole's abdominal
pains like she was going into labor was almost sweet. He spent the rest of the
week either threatening Stefano or acting like a naughty boy who was sucking up
to his mother to get a puppy. Marlena wasn't entirely convinced by the wide
unblinking eyes routine and is still filing for divorce.
else's hair was standing on end as well this week. Daniel spent most of his
appearance on Wednesday with his hair frazzled up in a bizarre display. Unlike
his mother, Philip wasn't impressed to see the doctor wandering around his
backyard soaking and shirtless. After punching him in the jaw and ranting at him
with the film noire attitude he had left over from Nicole's fantasy scene, he
finally agreed to back off and stay out of his mother's love life. Daniel seemed
to be showing his true colors though. He really has a thing for dying women. I
don't want to analyze it, it's sort of obvious, but I think Chelsea had a lucky
escape getting away from someone that pathological. Kate later showed up at the
hospital with the trunks Daniel left behind at the pool (yeah, I really want
someone who can't remember to take their clothes when they leave to perform
surgery on me). Chelsea came to try and apologize but, seeing them together,
reneged and wished she'd never have to see Kate again. Daniel then told them the
latest results: Kate has metastatic carcinoma.
his part, seems to be getting involved with someone who may actually be the most
pathological person in Salem: Melanie. Since he's already rich and she has no
money, she tried to bed him to get him not to go to the cops with what he knows.
They undid some buttons but Philip couldn't go any further than that. Lusting
after brain dead zombie women is one thing, but he draws the line when it comes
to killers. He went to Bo with what he knew. Bo was not happy that he waited so
long to tell him. For his part, Bo spent most of the week looking at people like
they were morons. Which segues into the next topic.
and Max broke up. I'm sure some people out there care but I'm not one of them.
Max is just plain disturbing lately and Stephanie needs some time alone to
regroup and get her feistiness back. I guess that's what happens when you stop
being a redhead. For a guy who is supposed to be a genius, Max is acting
incredibly stupid. That other genius, Nick, seems to have become equally stupid
recently. Rumors are that he's the one that offed Trent while hopped up on pain
killers. Poor Trent, or I should say, poor Roscoe Born. Just like when he was
murdered on "Y&R", he gets dragged back as a hallucination. Although I normally
hate this sort of thing, I'll forgive them since it's nearly Halloween and since
watching him bad mouth Melanie is always somewhat entertaining. I'm sorry to her
fans, if she has any, but the girl is just a brat. I'll give her credit though,
Salem has plenty of brats and she can already stand apart. There's a greater
desperation to her, a refined brattiness, a sort of brat chic. There was another
curious moment between a father and daughter this week as well. Lexi attempted
to confront Stefano about Marino's murder. He was offended by the suggestion
that he was involved and then acted very sweet and gentle. It was an unusually
you don't wish to be spoiled, avert your gaze now. Next week, after offers of
sex and her lack of cash fail to convince Philip that she's not the bad seed,
Melanie decides it would be a merry idea to skip town before she gets arrested.
Nick seems happy to go along. Maybe a little too happy... they may breathe a
sigh of relief by the end of the week when Nicole gets arrested for Trent's
murder. Even if this clears Caroline, this won't keep all the pressure off of
Max. He and Steph will continue to gloomily grumble about their failed
relationship. To compound things, Trent's will is read to Max and Mel. Did they
inherit his debts, a fortune, a gloomy house in New Orleans, the newest solar
car, his talent for dispensing insults, the porn home movies he made with
Nicole, or something unexpected? Meanwhile, Sami will be stuck in the witness
protection program while the shooter looms large. Who will protect the
protectors from Sami though? It appears as though that's what agent Rafael (aka
Galen Gering) may be doing. Back in town, Kate will tell her children about her
cancer and Daniel will try and tempt Chelsea to forgive them.
I'm not dying, I want you. If I am dying, I want you. I want to make love to
I'm not going to cry.
Max: What is there to cry about?
Bo: Let me see... maybe that she's in love with an idiot?
if you came back with a baby? What are you going to tell people? "Look what I
found at a yard sale!"
What? If sex doesn't work, you segue to tears?
There's stupid and then there's Chelsea stupid.
ctober 10, 2008
The week went by quick. Or maybe it just felt that
was because I drowsed through a lot of it. It was another week where little
really happened. Unlike most of the weeks when nothing much happens, it wasn't
bogged down with a lot of flashbacks. Instead, it was mostly fresh not-happening
happening. But even with all that not-happening, a few things went on. Caroline
is out of jail and back working at the pub. Max's room was searched, his bloody
shirt was found and he was taken in for questioning. He hoped that he would be
arrested and get his mom off the hook, but his hopes were dashed when the DA
actually bought his story. Other suspects continue to be mentioned. Even Melanie
tried expanding Bo's list. She seemed to have more ideas about this than he
does. Bo and Roman paced around wondering how they could get their mom off and
refused to seriously consider any of their family members suspects. They may go
through the motions to indicate otherwise, but it's pretty clear that they are
going about the whole thing with bias. So why was the mayor so impressed with
the Brady way of handling things? Because trying to look like they are doing the
right things has them exactly where he wants them and he's ready to pop up at
any moment and mirror their hypocrisy.
Abe and Lexi brought Theo to the park. They left him with the babysitter so they
could go and talk about his mayoral campaign. Mayor Marino popped up again, this
time to threaten to expose the skeletons in their closet. Lexi gave him the
voodoo stare (where's her mother anyway?). They returned to the park right after
Theo had run off. They freaked out and expected the worst. It turned out more
monstrous than they could imagine: Little Theo ran off to the arms of Chelsea.
But really, they should worry. There's another killer on the loose in Salem and
he'll start popping up soon. Of course, this person may have offed Trent, rather
arbitrarily or deliberately, and will begin offing more people as time plods on.
Murders on Days are always a tricky thing since people so often return from the
dead, but what's interesting to watch about them is the way they often cast an
unflattering eye on so many of the characters.
which, it was nice to see Trent in a flashback berating his little witch of a
daughter. She brandished a knife a lot and then, after snapping out of her
flashback, tried hiding her departed father's wallet in arch-enemy Stephanie's
purse. She even roped Philip over to her cause, imploring him to help her and
batting her eyelashes with frivolity. Since Philip seems sexually frustrated at
the moment, he's trying to act gallant, unlike when he has regular sex and acts
nonchalant. He offered to dig around for her and she spilled her purse on him so
now he knows that she had her father's wallet. Mel is sort of settling into the
grooves of Salem pretty well. Although she seems to be lingering on jumping into
a rehash of one previous plot or another, maybe she'll leap into something new.
Maybe she and Philip can hook up. Poor Philip, but he and Melanie do share a
similar twinkle in their eyes and smirk with equal bravado. Philly seems
slightly interested and then there could a strange romantic polygon:
Chloe-Philip-Melanie-Nick, and maybe a few other people thrown in. I'm guessing
it will be square though.
a spazz at EJ. She needed a big commitment from him and tried to forbid him to
see Sami. Even she realized this was quite a leap, after all, he and Nicole have
never even had a real date, just talked about having them. Both characters were
written strangely this week. He seemed cold and distant, highly distracted by
something which seemed totally unrelated to what was happening. She was needy
and corny, sort of like Sami, but Sami is rarely corny. She's usually too highly
strung and Nicole is usually too drunk. Unlike most soap characters, they
actually become less maudlin under those conditions. Whether this strange way of
writing them makes them complex or incoherent is anyone's guess. Maybe it's all
hormones (but what's EJ's excuse?). Sami discovered that Nicole is having EJ's
baby. Like EJ, she had to wait and hear her blurt it out to him after telling
half the cast. All of the puking that Nicole and Sami did around pub apparently
didn't tip her off. Why hasn't Sami been sick before by the way? Didn't she get
knocked up first. Nicole's been leaving puddles all around the pub for weeks.
still wants to go through with the divorce since 'real' John is still nowhere to
be found. I guess she'll never get the disc back. Part of me imagines they're
using the information on it to write the scripts for the show. Oh, and Nick got
berated for drunk driving and Daniel was frustrated by Kate because she didn't
want to die in a hospital bed. I guess he won't let her foil his plan that
easily because next week he's going to take her to bed and check out more than
just her vitals. Will the good doctor be both kinky and health conscious and ask
her to wear an oxygen mask while they do the deed? Meanwhile, Nick and Melanie
will be sharing a kiss. Does she actually have feelings for him or is this some
extraordinarily complex plan she's launching? John finally signs the divorce
papers but this more than likely is far from the finish line. Other couples in
town will prove equally problematic. Nicole and EJ aren't being brought together
exactly as she had hoped. He accuses her of exploiting her pregnancy for gain.
Out in the land without indoor plumbing, Sami will be leaping into Lucas digs.
How will Chloe feel about sharing the love shack? And the aforementioned
murderer will be poking around and making his presence felt.
Sami): Take a load off and I do mean a load. Are you gaining weight or just
(after being sick): What happened to you?
Sami (after also being sick): Your perfume made me nauseous.
need a friend. Do I seem like a person who isn't capable of normal emotion?
September 26, 2008
This week, Nicole reminded us that Salem smells like dead fish and garbage.
Honestly, it never really occurred to me how much Salem must stink. Between the
fishing, the dead bodies, the almost non-existent street maintenance, and the
green beer vomit that comes from the Brady pub, it's got to be unpleasant. With
ambiance like that, no wonder she keeps vomiting in bushes all over town. Is she
just sick at the thought of losing all that money? Bo and Hope finally pushed
her secret out and exposed her marriage with Trent to Victor. He found it
extraordinarily funny. It's been a long time since he was grinning that smugly.
I like Nicole, but it was still nice to see. Although she keeps blaming
Caroline's chowder on her condition, everyone watching assumes by now that she
is pregnant. Even she seems to assume it, despite the fact that she can't get
pregnant. But after last week's decision to have a day long fantasy flashback,
any decision TPTB make can only look reasonable in comparison. On the whole, it
was not a terribly eventful week. Instead, it was a week about preparing for
something to happen.
hallucinating while Anna talked to him. He had a seizure and was taken to the
hospital. Marlena and Kayla stared at x-rays of his brain and didn't know what
to think. Rolf broke the news to Stefano that John will soon die, or his brain
will explode, or something along those lines. Stefano doesn't seem to care much
about John anymore. I don't know if I should be optimistic about this change.
I'll try. But my guess is that we are going to get a replay of the pawn plot
with someone else. Maybe with Brady when he comes back, but more on that later.
up her job as Chief of Staff so she could spend more time with Theo and then
went to see her father and gave the typical DiMera child rant that they've been
giving since the 80's. Stefano seemed a bit bored. She went home and discovered
that Abe has finally perked up his backbone and quit his job so that he can go
after Stefano beyond the confines of the law. I guess that's why he may be
running for Mayor in the next election. Much of the rest of the week involved
people trying to avoid getting Abe's job. Fearing the devious Mayor would put a
DiMera crony in his old seat, Abe tried to convince Roman. He didn't want it.
Then he tried to convince Bo. He didn't want it. Then they tried to convince
Hope. She didn't want it. Then they tried to convince Bo again. Why didn't they
want it? Because they were afraid of paperwork, afraid they'd actually have to
obey the law and Hope was afraid she wouldn't be able to spend time with the
daughter who she never spends time with in the first place.
week concluded on a more somber note. The death of Trent, which has been hinted
at for weeks, finally came. Now don't get me wrong, Trent was a nasty bastard,
but that's what I liked about him. And he wasn't nasty in a convoluted DiMera
sort of way, but in the more down-to-earth way that only a sleazy physicist is
allowed to be. I don't particularly care who killed him, though the show has
gone to great lengths to spread the pool of possible killers as widely as
possible. They've also gone out of their way to make him unlikable, throwing
away any credibility the story originally had. There was more complexity to the
character originally, and hints that they could have actually ingrained him into
people's lives more, maybe even made him slightly pitiable. That would have been
at least marginally daring. But the cheap exposure of him as an abuser, when
Nicole seemed to hint at so much more, was pathetic and exploitational. If
you're going to do sleaze, go all the way. And if you're going to have
flashbacks, why couldn't they have flashed back to Trent and Nicole's seedy life
together. I do care, however, that Trent is dead. For one thing, he is yet
another in a long line of dead end plots which have been shabbily built up and
abruptly dropped. For another, and more importantly, I actually enjoyed the
character. That was mostly due to Roscoe Born, one of the most hard working and
talented actors to ever grace Daytime. Every sentence he spit out was coaxed
full of acerbic venom and a wonderfully raw, anguished undertone which few
actors in the genre ever successfully muster. Like most good soap villains, and
even when they are being written at their most cartoonish, he can fill up a
single scene with more depth than most 'heroic' characters do in a whole career.
To top it off, the people he was battling, namely his 'reject', 'loser',
offspring, are genuinely boring characters. Every character the guy sneered at
was less intriguing than his grimace. Just watching him tear into Max and giggle
when he threatened him was a joy.
the whole whodunit plot will get under way. Caroline is locked up looking
guilty, Max and Melanie bumble around looking guilty, and everyone else runs
around looking guilty since they usually are guilty of something. Morgan is
continuing on her long goodbye. She'll catch Philip with his lips on Chloe. Is
the diva missing the lips of young Kiriakis, or just weighing her options now
that she knows being a mommy isn't for her? Meanwhile, Nicole has spit up enough
that she realizes she must be with child and Kate spits up more blood.
exciting news, the official word came down today that Galen Gering and Eric
Martsolf, best known as Luis and Ethan from Passions, will be coming to Salem.
Gering will be an FBI agent and Eric will be Brady Black. More than a few
already suspect that Brady will be returning to become Stefano's new pawn. This
could be good, or it could just feel like retreading, we'll see. At any rate, he
already has plenty of experience playing a mindless man who is endlessly bossed
around. I'll admit that I'm thrilled to see them both coming back to Daytime,
this may even slightly ease the pain I still feel from Passions withdrawal, but
I worry that this could be another sign of the erratic plotting the show has
been suffering from. One after another, they just drop characters and subplots
in and let them quickly evaporate, re-tooling things as they go without any
sense of direction. There's something very random about the way the show has
been working. Maybe it's always been that way but the distractions now are fewer
and the seams show more. At least Martsolf's role will already be ingrained in
the show's history so that could anchor things. Now, if only they could bring
Ben Masters in...
are coughing up blood, which is the sign of a serious illness!
was two people reaching out for a little warmth.
Chelsea: It sounds really touching.
Don't worry. The board knows Eleanor is just a constipated busybody with too
much time on her hands.
How could my children be so stupid?
Trent's lines! Particularly when he told Max that he could drink all of the
green beer in the world and still wouldn't be a Brady.
September 12, 2008
felt bad for EJ this week. 'Bad' isn't the word, I felt his pain, I guess would
be more accurate. And what is his pain: Only the most excruciating thing in
Salem -- Sami. EJ and the two blonde women in his life kicked each other around
for a good part of Wednesday's show. It was entertaining. His eyes almost burst
out of his head because he is so fed up with it. Nicole painted him as a drama
queen and Sami annoyed him so much he seemed ready to burst into tears. He even
started calling himself Allie's daddy; even Sami started saying that she was
'our' baby, but she quickly stopped that when he refused to fix her problems for
her. After the cursory pouting, Sami decided to ignore a court order and ran off
to the wilderness, well, the Horton cabin, to give a teddy bear to her daughter.
She was shocked to find Allie alone (Chloe had slipped a few feet away to wash
her hair) and started to go into panic mode. EJ tracked her down and tried to
calm her but Lucas and Chloe caught her there and so did the police. After Sami
ran out of Salem, Nicole had called them to suggest that someone was kidnapping
baby Allie. Nicole (a.k.a Misty Circle, and what kind of porn name is 'Misty
Circle' anyway? It sounds like a Celtic girl band) spent the rest of the week
being unusually perky for her sober self, dispensing insults and talking about
her renewed self-respect.
back in Salem, where people usually shower in the co-ed locker room at the
hospital, Lucas' brother Philip was trying to get things back on track with
Morgan since her father came back and then promptly left for prison. They shared
a sweet kiss but, I fear, it will all be for naught now that Kristen Renton will
be departing from her role. I didn't care for Morgan at first, but she grew on
me a bit. For months, however, the writers seemed confused about how to use her
and they wasted her with some bland pouting and completely asinine fantasy
sequences about Philip. I mean, really, that frequently repeated dance sequence?
I know nuns who are more naughty and still manage to remain chaste. She probably
still plays with her My Little Ponies. Does this departure mean that Philip will
be putting all of his energy back into the business? Perhaps that's what
Victor's little business talk with him this week was in preparation for. Or
perhaps he will take Tony and EJ's offer to join them in an all out war on John.
Once they take him out, Stefano will be next. At least, that's the 'plan'. But
Tony really doesn't have much of a plan. He just keeps changing his suits and
bumbling around the mansion with Anna, chewing on his words. Perhaps, in moving
the brothers in with their father, they are slowly transforming the boys into
the adolescents that we never got to see them as.
And how is
the war going? EJ says, "It's not a bloody laugh riot!" But it sort of is. While
eavesdropping on his father, and this seems to be the extent of Tony and EJ's
ability to be underhanded these days, Tony heard Stefano propose marriage to
Kate. Of course, if Kate married Stefano, that would make her EJ's new mother-in
law. How would he feel about having his former conference table romance as his
mom? Better yet, how would Sami feel having Kate at the mansion. They seem to
have taken a page out of the Bold and the Beautiful's playbook. I don't know if
this should be exciting or just, I don't know, kind of gross. Mind you, I like
Kate and she's in an awkward position right now. She's at loose ends. After the
horribly handled Daniel affair, she seems to be coming down with some sort of
disease, which is not new territory for her and which is why this is so
disappointing. Other people have been feeling sick as well. Nicole was ill, some
may suggest pregnant as was Chloe, though she put her nausea down to traveling
by boat. I'm trying not to think about this. The last thing this show needs
right now is more children.
France, we finally learned some more about Melanie and her father. Trent, who we
know is a gambling addict (yes, heavy irony: Trent the math whiz can't work the
numbers), asked his daughter, who is practically bankrupting him to pay for
booze and clothes, to have a drink with a man in exchange for erasing his debt.
She wasn't pleased. It wasn't a drink that was expected of course. Melanie
seemed more insulted by the fact that she was doing this to pay off his debts
(which are, in fact, largely hers) than anything else. Dispensing her
'attentions' on men is essentially how she's been paying most of her bills
lately. Max didn't see it that way, of course, even though everyone else figured
it out. Max the math genius tallied up the situation and decided that the only
way to solve his problems was to kill his father. Anyway, back to the 'plot'. He
ran off to rescue his sister (how he found her was not explained) and Nick was
shot in the fracas. She went to the hospital and pouted at him before offering
him a kiss. Chelsea stood around being green eyed. Melanie suddenly decided she
would go back to Salem after all. Back home, a jealous John punched out Trent in
the pub while he was on a dysfunctional date with Marlena. John's really lost it
over the past few weeks and, frankly, it's making less sense now than anything
they've ever done with the character. John is just becoming a sort of Bermuda
triangle where storylines float to and vanish: Paul, Ava and now Trent.
things get nastier for Trent and his brood in preparation what has been hyped as
the big fall whodunit. Theo continues to melt down and so does his father. Abe
throws a fit and chucks his badge away. This could have something to do with the
Mayor sticking his head into police business. Marlena tells Sami to grow up. She
eats mushrooms to make her grow. No, I'm kidding, Sami wouldn't do anything that
EJ: I was not put on this planet to fix your problems, Samantha. Nor you,
Nicole, so just leave me out of it. I've got my own problems to deal with!
you like the idea of 'us'?
I’m not giving up. I'm letting you go.
EJ: I can't
help but be attracted to you. It's a matter of biology.
(watching EJami): I want to change the channel.
Why can't things just be simple and good?
Trent) If you need money talk to the shrink inside. Maybe she'll pay you to be a
you need help, just scream.
August 29, 2008
Strangely enough, with the Olympics over and last week's hallucinations
now a thing of the past, getting back to Days regular storylines was somehow
unrefreshing. Maybe that's because the almost pointless, though pleasurable,
meandering of last week had fewer flashbacks and likely will rarely be flashed
back to in the future. One of the things that made Nicole's film noir fantasy
sweet was that we would never have to go through it again... and again. It's not
as "green" as the current Bo plot, which is so filled with recycled flashbacks,
he must have shaved in a bid to further clarify what was past and what present.
With the concentration on the hospital set over, the plot lines are now spread
all over the globe and just as discontinuous as before. Suddenly, it appears as
though Bo's tabloid outing was practically planned. He didn't actually destroy
evidence, only a copy of the evidence to flush John out. Paul conveniently
escaped from John's dungeon and is running around in the shadows. Roman, once
again agrees to do what the Salem PD does best - bend the rules. Proving once
again that even the mob have higher ethical standards than the cops.
And speaking of questionable
ethics.... Chelsea and Daniel were delayed from consummating their relationship
at an "inopportune" time, although it gave them enough time for a gratuitous
shirtless scene from the good doctor. Now, thanks to a thoughtless text message
from Kate, the truth about them is out. The expected Chelsea eruption followed,
although with less of the customary flailing; I suppose she's matured. He and
Kate apologized profusely. Chelsea whimpered; everyone is miserable. After what
happened between Nick and Billie, I feel bad for Chelsea; the poor girl must be
getting a complex. Please let her go crazy and start abducting things... there's
nothing else Days does so well. Meanwhile, Daniel has grown on me... a bit, but
more in the way a room deodorizer or elevator music does than an interesting
character. Maybe it was all that talk of surfing, or the slight gravel in his
voice, but when he's on screen I feel like I'm listening to one of those white
noise/sound of the sea tapes. Things were played a little thick when he was
introduced, but he's settled more now and would look good in a relationship with
Lexi, or even Kate for that matter. But this relationship mess wasn't the only
one dwelt upon this week.
"Oh my Gosh... that's not what
I want," Marlena said after 'android' John professed that he may have feelings
for her... if he can only figure out what the feelings are. It may have just
been me, but for some reason, I laughed aloud when Marlena uttered that
rejection. After their entire Frankenstein love story, you would think that
attempting to abort its future would at least merit a little blasphemy. Instead,
she made gestures to getting back with Roman. He almost blushed and brought up
their past romance, which was nice since it was as much of a part of her as John
has been. John kept trying to take her home. She backed him off. He went away to
sulk and then came searching the next day, tearing around town to find her. She
showed up at work, which is unusual, and John tracked her down. They had sex in
the office, one of the perks of being your own boss. But I find this new shift
in John's character completely unbelievable and really, sort of depressing. He
claims the gas did something to his brain, or whatever is left of one.
Meanwhile, across the ocean...
the France story is slowly winding down. I have mixed feelings about this. I
enjoy it when Days goes on the road. Contact with real places clarifies a lot
about what "reality" Salem is part of. Melanie is growing on me a bit (so long
as she isn't turned into another Chelsea), and certainly more than her brother
and his female companion. Somehow Max and Stephanie seem to have gotten more tan
while sitting in their jail cell. He's also managed to acquire more chemistry
with any woman who walks by than he has with Steph. Seeing spoiled little rich
girl Tiffany plant one on him bordered on the cute. Anyway, Max and Steph got
out thanks to a little help from Nick who prodded Melanie to get them released.
She obviously has a thing for his wallet, though Nick's fortune is still largely
theoretical at the moment. But what was intriguing in this plot this week, was
when we saw Trent actually bickering with someone on the phone about keeping his
children apart. It's unclear why he wants this, and even less clear why anyone
else should care, but Trent seems desperate, otherwise he wouldn't have roped
Steve Johnson PI into this.
The DiMeras are finally moving
back into a potentially interesting plot. With Tony preparing to battle John
and, perhaps his father, I have a feeling of optimism. Everyone is moving back
into the mansion, slowly but surely. Maybe that's why Lucas is so eager to leave
with Allie. Even Mickey thinks he might have a shot. Sami might not have his
criminal record, but its hard to imagine you could even convince a jury in Salem
that she is a fit mother.
Next week we can look forward
to Tony trying to move the family in a new direction; Victor and Stefano going
in an old direction; City Hall proving to be as corrupt as Salem PD; Abe telling
Daniel to stay away from Lexi and Nicole and John teaming up to go after Trent
when he starts to make a play for Marlena.
Lines of the Week:
John: If it's the cigars, I'll
go outside to smoke.
John: Thoughts in your
brain... bold new concept.
John: I've been doing some
thinking myself and, when the gas hit, I realized I care about you.
August 15, 2008
To start with: Days was fun this week. I haven't said that for awhile,
but the show was actually consistently enjoyable. Most of the credit for this
belongs to the DiMeras - all four of them. Virtually the entire week has been
concentrated in the hospital. Surprisingly, the show is usually its most
effective when it is at its most reductive; when it limits the sights and cast.
It wasn't always like that and it's hardly a healthy situation for a series with
a broad ensemble, but for the past year or so, less tends to be more.
There was a good reason for
things to be so concentrated this time. Everyone was locked on the unlucky
seventh floor of the hospital. While they began to freak out, things were
complicated by the mysterious, hallucinogenic vapors Stefano released. He
stalked around the halls gloating and threatening revenge. I know, it's all
cheesy and ludicrously over the top. Even the writers seem to know it; After
all, isn't that why they have characters saying they feel like they are in some
cheap slasher film? However, I prefer this cheesiness to last week's wedding.
Mind you, the flashback to Bo's mullet were probably more frightening that this
week really was, but I digress... It's DOOL. If I didn't think everyone involved
knows how silly it is, I don't think I could laugh without feeling mean.
It's nice to have Stefano
back. I can already take issue with certain details, but I'm going to reserve
judgment and just enjoy him, hoping that he isn't turned into a caricature of
his former self (which is what they did the last time they brought him back).
Already, since he's woken up, the dialog has become quicker and more amusing and
I'm optimistic this will continue. His repartee with his family members was
enjoyable all around. I'd like to see his relationship with Tony and their past
fleshed out a great deal more. I felt a bit cheated last time around. But I'm
really looking forward to he and John battling it out, because it shouldn't be
like any of the previous times this has happened.
Ejami fans may have gotten a
boost when Sami admitted she has more than the occasional carnal itch for EJ. He
kept probing until, finally, her admission about her admission was more telling
than what she admitted: "You were on the floor and I thought I had killed you
and a lot of things came into play. Anything is possible. I'm sorry I can't
promise you more than that." Is that complicated? or idiotic and meaningless?
With Sami and EJ, it's always hard to tell and the whole thing may have just
been the byproduct of the gas they were huffing. But, as I've argued in the past
and as Tony explained months ago, EJ's feelings for Sami are predicated on his
love for his father and she is merely a vessel for this expression. Stefano
fleshed this out a bit this week when he, or Sami's hallucination of him, began
gushing about breeding the future of the family. Sami is ideal for this of
course, because she is Marlena's daughter and EJ's pursuit of Sami is only a
continuation of Stefano's pursuit of Marlena. What does Stefano's return mean
for them, just as they were falling apart? I don't know, but watching Sami and
EJ's relationship continue is a greater torture than anything else Stefano could
come up with. Poor Nicole. No wonder she has to run off to a completely random
and convoluted fantasy sequence next week.
The other thing the week
brought out once again was the fact that Marlena is, in many respects, a double
to her enemy. Not only is John basically a pawn to both of them and who both of
them have used and manipulated for decades, but they are moral equivalents,
something which they point to with endless irony. They are also doubled in their
children and their children mirror one another. That's where whatever attraction
exists among any of them has come from. Attraction via narcissism when manic;
repulsion stemming from self-hatred when depressive. They each re-double their
vows to put each other through Hell, or profess their other feelings, which are
essentially euphemisms for the same thing. I can't help but not feel sorry for
any of them. None of them are victims and none of them have any redeeming
qualities -- some of them just have more class than others.
Next week, we can look forward
to a much-hyped black and white fantasy from Nicole, in which she and the other
young Salemites will couple and uncouple in some vintage clothing while looking
smashing in some high contrast photography. But there will also be some plot
movement: Nicole will be pushing EJ about his feelings for her and she'll be
getting far more active in her pursuit of the blinking lawyer. We'll get to
watch her team up with Chloe to make Sami's life a living hell, which, in DOOL
logic, must mean they really like her. Marlena's dead twin returns to give her
sister some advice. Since the living people in her life have such a shoddy
relationship with reality, this might not actually be a bad thing. And the
battle among the DiMeras will go into full force while each of them takes a side
- and even two sides at once - in a bid to outdo each other.
Lines of the Week:
Philip (to Nicole): If EJ can accept Sami, you shouldn't have a problem.
Stefano (to John): I can
reboot you and your metamorphosis will be complete.
John: Are you functional?
John: I was Stefano's personal
Sami: As soon as they find out
what Stefano did to my mother, I hope John kills him.
August 1, 2008
Philip was shot. He tossed himself in front of Morgan when one of Ava's
goons tried to level a shot at her. I guess this proves he's noble, or perhaps
just that he has a talent for being shot or mangled by weaponry. If much more of
the poor guy's flesh gets shot away, he will be on the road to becoming a bionic
man. Maybe he can hire Rolf to help him out with that... That would likely be
more entertaining than watching Morgan's perpetual weeping. I know she misses
her father and loves Philip, but it's reached the point that it has just become
maudlin. I had some hopes for the Philip-Morgan pairing. They're both cute and
there's something tender between them, certainly something more sincere than in
their relationships with anyone else. This is boring though and as far as
passion goes, her expressions of affection are more reminiscent of a little girl
longing for her missing My Little Pony than an adult romance.
Hospital-bedside-romance is an even more overused situation than
trapped-in-the-elevator-sex and nowhere near as fun.
The southern belle might be crying over something else soon however....
Want to read
more? Catch the rest of Matt's Musings at
SOF's new blog spot!
July 18, 2008
This week was a bit of a mixed bag. I actually have
to scratch my head a little to remember everything that happened. That may be
because I'm getting old, or maybe it's because there are always so many
flashbacks. While there is still no grand summer plot in sight, at least there
has been some movement in a possibly worthwhile direction. This week we saw the
glimmering return of the old EJ. Although he's always hovered somewhere beneath
the surface, he finally seems ready to come back as what he was to begin with: A
real DiMera. I hope that pie in the face finally settled things for him.
everyone seemed to acknowledge this week was the problem of Sami. After the
dysfunctional pair repeated their usual argument, EJ went a step further,
saying, "This environment is not conducive to the raising of a child. It's not
the life I want for my son." Sami's eyes boggled. She's already fought hard and
dirty to be a virtually absent mother of a dysfunctional child once, she can do
it again. EJ continued his analysis: "I know you love him as much as you hate
me. I think your hatred for me will eventually lead to resentment toward
Johnny." He was actually right: She is an unfit mother and shouldn't be allowed
anywhere near children or even the immature men in her life for that matter. And
then he repeated how irrational she is (and she is) and she repeated her threats
against him. Hopefully this will end it, but I don't have much hope. Anyway,
after leaving Sami, the pawn in his love affair with his father, behind, EJ
promptly ran to Uncle John so he can play son to him.
Marlena and Roman also mused on the problem of Sami. Roman, wisely, said she
would be better off without the two men in her life. Marlena, manically as
always, had other things on her mind. Perhaps she is still projecting her own
failed relationships with men on her daughter. She said as much herself, even
suggesting that Sami's problems were all her fault. So why can't she learn from
her own daughter's mistakes since she certainly never learns from her own. After
this moment of clarity, the doctor abruptly started travelling down the
Frankenstein route again and is recruiting, or blackmailing, poor Rolf back into
his old profession so she can John's brain back.
secret haunting Ms. Roberts came out this week: Kate and the doctor had a bit of
a fling, if it amounted to that much. They were "there" for each other, but
there wasn't much "there" anywhere to be seen. Why this wasn't actually given
the plot time it merited is beyond me. Seeing him and Kate is certainly less
boring that he and Chelsea. But it's a rather disappointing and humdrum. I know
Kate seems to sleep with everyone, but if they were going to do this, couldn't
they have put it in their distant pasts or even taken the sleazy route and had
the doctor two time Chelsea with her grandmother.
Max ran off
to France to search for his sister. Steph pouted, told her dad to stop being
over-protective, donned a beret and ran after him. Trent found out and is
miffed. On the train in France, a paparazzo cornered Max and snapped his shot.
Apparently, he's still a star over there... or maybe there's more to it than
that. The most exciting thing in this plot was the little map they keep showing
with Max traveling over it. That's cute. Why can't they do that all the time?
finally found out what Paul left behind: A package full of cash with a "generic"
letter. She and Philip waited in line at the post office for most of an episode
only to be greeted by a lazy postal work played by crazy Norma from "Passions".
She was reluctant, but searched around and got it for them. I'm hesitant to be
so descriptive about this, but this is about as much tension as they put into
the show these days. Before Philip and Morgan could open it, Bo and Abe caught
them and took the package to the station. They looked in and found the money,
only Bo had enough police skill to actually look through the entire package. He
soon discovered a tape recording of Philip threatening Paul. It wasn't long
before Victor and Kate found out about it. Victor guilted his son into giving it
up and now it's in Kate's possession.
Now we can
look forward to: Someone flatlining; Max being blackmailed; Lucas and Chloe
continuing to cuddle; Nicole revealing more than her body to EJ; and a bunch of
Ava: John and I kept things PG-13.
Nicole: What is the point of foreplay if you're not gonna play? I don't get it.
Remember, you're doing this for Allie.
Lucas: I just hope the next time she sees me it isn't at my funeral.
love each other and Stephanie just wants to be there with him on his journey.
It's not like they are going to Somalia or taking up cave diving, right?
EJ: So you
can start your life with Lucas?
Sami: He's the love of my life.
EJ: He's also in prison.
June 20, 2008
outsmarted Lucas this week. She figured out that he managed to sneak away
without anyone noticing. Lucas has been relatively quiet this week outside of
his newfound bond with the former opera singer. One would almost assume that
prison taught Lucas a few tricks about how to be conniving, if it wasn't for the
fact that Chloe is a step ahead of him. I suppose this proves that Sami is even
dumber than both of them. After all, she still has feelings for EJ, a man so
vapid he makes Nicole look deep. This is the secret of the Nicole and EJ
pairing, perhaps the most exciting pairing for EJ since he was bedding Kate.
When Nicole looks into EJ, she sees the void staring back at her and this allows
her a depth that she doesn't know with anyone else. As soon as she starts
looking into EJ's face, that darkness wells up. She's struggling with
drunkenness and a lascivious past; he struggles through the ambiance of idiocy
that he thrives in. It was a pleasant surprise to see her get his shirt off and
then send him packing, refusing to be a cheap distraction for him.
of EJ was finally unlocked this week by his brother. Tony proved himself to be
the cleverest shrink in Salem when he unpacked EJ's skull. The real reason that
Elvis is so obsessed with Samantha, he explained over a martini, is because of
his love for Stefano. It's a detail which has often been forgotten: The whole
Ejami thing is part of Stefano's last plot to destroy the Brady's and, far from
their relationship reconciling the two families, it ended up destroying them.
After all, the Brady's are more disparate, desperate and aimless now than
they've ever been. Nothing much is binding them together. What binds EJ to Sami
is his love of his father and his loathing of himself for being a failure to his
father. If Ejami is really a love story, it's the love story of EJ and Stefano
and the child they perversely created together. Sami is just a tool that
conjures EJ's nostalgic fantasy for a time with his father that he never really
knew. That's what the Santo-Colleen malarky was really about.
Marlena have decided to begin again...again. Watching the plots for these
characters is starting to feel like watching EJ talk, it's just twitches and
stuttering with an occasional quip to distract from the mess. It's not that
there's something incoherent about it, on the contrary, it's too coherent. It's
as coherent as a brick wall. But what really annoys me, more superficially
perhaps, is that this means the John-Ava story will go nowhere. It's a shame,
because they have more actual chemistry than he's had with Marlena in years.
There was a palpable pleasure in their scenes which had nothing to do with the
infusion of nostalgia or tragicomedy that fills his scenes with Marlena. He
reached out to Ava this week and she brought her mob knowledge and power to work
as they abducted and intimated Paul. They brought an enjoyable balance to the
scene, part malice, part charm. After all of the talk of beginning a new life,
we are quickly heading back to the old...again.
reveal of the week was Dean Robbins coming out and admitting that he was Max's
father. Although there are some very serious weaknesses in this plot, I'm just
happy to see Roscoe Born on the screen. He's long been one of my favorite soap
actors and I'm glad to see him do anything. It's unfortunate that he tends to be
typecast, but he's so very good at being nasty. To put the icing on the cake,
he's got a past with Nicole, a nasty past. Does she know anything about the lost
sister Max is looking for? Will she turn out to be his long lost sister or
mother? Are these two plots completely unrelated? The less intriguing aspect of
the story is actually Max and Stephanie. They've quickly come to suggest a
deranged version of an aging and miserable married couple. Is this because they
were both pushed into early retirement from their careers? For months Max has
been trying to be a little old man; perhaps Shawn's soul jumped into his body
and possessed him? He seems to be reacting to reuniting with his past much the
same way Shawn did when the Colleen-Santo thing was dug up. I guess they deserve
credit for pulling a radical SORAS without actually aging the actors, just their
less inspiring this week: Phillip and Chloe continue their "arrangement"
although she has feelings for him. He says he has feelings for her but obviously
has feelings for Morgan as well. Daniel finally asked Chelsea out. Kate is
appalled and refuses to let him operate on her. Is there something she knows
that no one's saying. Didn't she tell him that he would have to tell Chelsea the
truth about something?
Chelsea: Daniel is a gentleman, but a girl can dream.
(offering Marlena dinner) What would you like: French? Italian? Inuit?
EJ: I don't
know why I want to be around here anyway. She infuriates me. If she wasn't the
mother of my child I'd wring her bloody neck.
Lucas: Yeah, I know exactly how you feel.
know John is capable of bad decisions.
June 6, 2008
Most of this week seemed redundant. Even when trying
to collect my thoughts, they keep getting mixed up with past weeks or past
plots. Lucas is back, but now in an odd position as the odd man out, living down
the hall from Sami. Something is seriously missing though. He's as bitter,
paranoid and repetitive as ever, Sami is as whiny, needy and defensive, EJ is as
smarmy, obvious and manipulative - watching them interact, it's almost as if
these three characters actually know each other less well than they did
before. Maybe they do... maybe Sami's bouts of amnesia, Lucas' alcoholic
blackouts and EJ's recent drunken blackout don't have anything to do with booze
or mental instability but are merely essential parts of their characters that
allow them to tolerate themselves and others by never developing anything more
than the most superficial relationship with anything. I wasn't a fan of this
triangle the first time around. The only thing I enjoyed about it previously was
watching Kate cringe at her son's stupidity and Lucas' continual vows to change
his name. At least Kate stuck her head in this week, albeit briefly. Even for a
perpetual troublemaker, Kate seemed bored.
Nicole are getting closer, which is swell, because, unless he's drunk, he's a
lot less entertaining. "Lucas is a boy," says EJ, "He doesn't know how to look
after a woman. He put a bullet in my back like a coward. I haven't forgotten
about that. I told Sami I forgave him just to woo her." That's the old EJ, the
one who obviously went to school reading Jacobean tragedies and knows the value
of hypocrisy. This is the real EJ and love has nothing to do with his motives.
It's spite and loathing; everything else is just theatre. At least, for the
moment, the character is getting back to his old consistency. That's not exactly
true for Nicole unfortunately who, when she isn't pouting or making jokes about
alcohol, seems quite lost. I know that's part of her position right now,
allowing her the opportunity to jump into one of the several plots she's
peripherally involved in, I just wish she would get a little more focus. With
focus, she might actually be dangerous and that's what the show needs right now.
The lack of
real threats was obvious this week in the little Joe episode. Sick babies are
always an easy ploy, but this one vanished almost as soon as it came. This has
been a consistent problem with Kayla's character ever since she wanted to get
pregnant. There has been a desperate attempt to give her drama and despite
throwing a series of melodramatic standbys like abduction and a troubled,
premature labor at her, nothing seems to materialize. Plots just keep dying
around the woman.
And now to
another character whose plots quickly go nowhere: Chelsea seems to have realized
she's made a horrible mistake by dumping Nick for Daniel the non-committal
surfer. "I'm not discussing this with you. It just seems sneaky and weird not to
tell you," was what the doctor offered as his non-explanation in addition to
saying that he was seeing someone he couldn't see but isn't really seeing her...
at least not anymore, if he was in the first place. I might have missed a nuance
that would have made it all make sense; I was continually distracted by him
making bedroom eyes at Lexi. That's a pairing that I could stomach. Poor Lexi
has been in just as much of a black hole since they pulled her out of the
basement as she was when she was down there. At least an affair would be better
than her and Abe bickering about their Mohawked child. All of the actors have
been sleepwalking through this plot. It's like watching an episode of the
"Twilight Zone" where the "mentally ill" child turns out to be the sane one and
everyone else is really crazy.
closer to the end of his tether this week. He had a few outbursts, finally
violent ones towards the end, attacking his docks supervisor and nearly coming
to fisticuffs with John. The reasons for all of this will soon be apparent. He
revealed a few details this week, particularly when he was discussing his "Rain
Man" type skill with numbers. "Genetics and sweat" is what he kept repeating and
that's all I'm going to say.
usual lately, had the more interesting moments of the week. His conversation
with Ava, though somewhat labored, was enjoyable and they played off each other
well. His confrontations with Phillip are also a pleasure to watch. If they'd
only give Philly the kind of air time they give EJ, or to Bo talking about going
green, they could really develop him into a more complicated and mischievous
Victor: "The Salem cops were just here sniffing around about the cocaine on
I'm your lab rat?"
Chloe: "More like a guinea pig."
"Nice to see you too."
Victor: "You want nice – teach kindergarten."
know a fellow mental case when I see one."
John: "More or less"
married to the Jolly Green Giant."
May 23, 2008
"It's not the 80's anymore," Tony tells Anna as he proposes to her. Of course it's not, so why does it feel like show seems so confused about it? From the 80's and onward, soaps have essentially been slow paced ultra-softcore porn for housewives. And while, since the turn of the millennium the sex scenes on most series have dwindled and don't come anywhere near to the lengthy soft focus romps of yesteryear, many viewers watch daily in giddy anticipation that a little more flesh will once again
fill their screen. That's what most of this week was about, or what it danced around. There were more double-entendres and lewd suggestions this week than in most of the past month. A nice sleazy time all around.
The centerpiece of the week was the sex scene between EJ and Sami. It was graphic enough to give Ejami fans something to oooh about and Lumi fans something to ewww about and everyone else something to shrug about or a chance to see what was on the other channels. After the two rapists got
together in a little ab and cleavage fury, Lucas arrived and quickly blew his stack at them. I can't claim that I missed Lucas and I can't even claim that his surprise return was particularly surprising or exciting. It was more like a pilot for a TV sitcom that doesn't get picked up. At least John got a few laughs at everyone else's expense. The only surprising thing was that Lucas didn't react more. By Lucas standards, the shouting and stomping was pretty mild. After bedding Sami, EJ got the bright idea to sneak away and avoid another tongue lashing. He went out to find a dank bar to think about his feelings. Is this what the DiMeras have sunk to? How I miss Stefano... not that the other members of the family are fairing much better. For example: Poor Tony and Anna. It's not the 80's anymore, it's not even the 90's, so what are she and Tony doing? While I enjoy them, I'm bewildered as to what to do with them and I don't know how much longer they can keep using them as filler between other things.
Across town, a hospital locker room got it's fair share of traditional sexual farce. Chelsea continues to corner Daniel, left in nothing but a towel, ready to be exploited by the wandering hands and lips of whoever drifts into the steamy co-ed locker room. The doctor is intimidated by her "vitality" as he puts it. After they start kissing, he shoves her in a locker and leaves her there while a woman with the scintillating name of Amber Cress comes in to make some lascivious offers to him. I wonder what
her medical specialty is? The writers are obviously playing with the age thing, ratcheting it up ridiculously. Although some people are put off by the perversity of the whole thing, but it's hard to decide if Chelsea lusting after someone old enough to be her father is more disturbing than
Daniel's thing – lusting after someone because of her sickliness. The most perverse thing about it is still, of course, the surfer talk. I can't wait for Chelsea to get an Annette Funicello hairstyle and start dancing the Luau Cha-Cha-Chá.
The other big theme of the week was whether there is more to something than meets the eye. Lexi worries that there is more to Theo being un-talkative than meets the eye and wonders if, like she and Abe, the boy needs therapy. I guess the Travis Bickle haircut she gave him didn't really register. Apparently there is also more to Max than meets the eye. At least this is the conclusion we're supposed to reach after they played variations on that line nearly half a dozen times in the past week. It seems like Max is hiding his prodigious science talents so that he can stick around the pub and help Caroline, at least that's what his grave side conversations with his father would indicate, but there must be more
to this, though I shudder to imagine what it could be. Even in a different part of the city, Nicole was playing with the same line, suggesting she was just as shallow as everyone thinks she is. EJ insists that can't be the case. He should know, he's been flipping from depravity to saintliness ever since he came on. It's the fact that characters aren't what they seem
to be that makes them so easy to change. And that's the secret to soap opera writing: The more vacuous a character is, the more plot potential they have.
Lines of the Week:
Sami (after sex with EJ): "I can't believe we just did that... but Nicole upset me."
EJ (after sex with Sami): "Were you just marking your territory?"
Bo (on violence): "Killing a guy sticks with you. Even a dirt bag like him."
Tony (proposing to Anna): "We're not the same people we were when we were young. It's not the 80's anymore. We're mature now."
Daniel (to Lexi): "I bet Abe thinks you are all that and a bag of chips,
so just go see the psychiatrist."
Sami: "That slut!"
Lucas: "Are you talking about Nicole?"
Sami: "What gave it away? "The word 'slut'?"
Lucas: "You had sex didn't you?"
Sami: "Yes, but I didn't know you were coming home."
Chloe (to Philip about Morgan): "I'd like to get to know your little girlfriend. Oooohhhh... Look! She's a college girl. Have you been trolling the campus for freshman coeds?"
Marlena: "I'm going to go up and check on Sami."
John: "Knock first. She might be 'entertaining.'"
Philip: "Friends with benefits can be tough to pull off. I don't have time for drama. But what the hell – You can be just the medicine I need."
Chloe: "The best part is it goes down really easy.
Nicole (after hearing that Lucas caught Sami in bed with EJ): "Holy mackerel! That was some welcome home."
EJ: "Actually, it was a bit of a mess."
May 9, 2008
Mob boss and all around ubergoon Martino Vitali came to town and very soon he
will be gone. I'm unsure if this is a shame or not. With Stefano gone and Victor
back, a good feud among rival crime families would be welcome, especially when
you throw a loose cannon like John into the mix. But perhaps the writers quickly
realized that they've been down similar avenues before and the mob is best left
to "General Hospital", where there isn't much of anything else. In the process,
everything's changed for Ava pretty quickly. It's an easy trick to blame drugs
for everything and suddenly transform a character into someone else. So who is
Ava going to be now and will we get a chance to see much of her? I find it
terribly hard to dislike someone who would level a shot at Hope, so, hopefully,
there will be something else worthwhile for her to do.
As for the
other newer characters: We discovered Daniel's secret, which was that,
apparently, his wife was a terminally ill patient and she died. Not a terribly
impressive secret, so I hope there will be more to it. The fact that he took her
down to die by the waves makes a rather tidy excuse for his surferisms and
explains why he refuses to hook up with Chelsea... for now anyway. He'd be
better with Kate, I think. He would even be better with Lexi, and considering
how much trouble she thinks her marriage is in, she might be priming herself for
a fling. Meanwhile, Chelsea is going back to her old self, brutally dumping
Nick, who also seems to be getting screwed over by Max who is slowly acquiring a
new and strange personality. The irony of this is that Chelsea seems to once
again be chasing a phantom. Nick seduced Chelsea from afar by pretending to be a
handsome doctor. She discovered this lie and found the "real" doctor who turned
out to be a creep. Nick saved her from the doctor and she discovered that Nick
was who she really wanted. This fantasy now seems to have returned in the person
of Daniel, but it's far from clear who he will turn out to be.
news, EJ and Nicole are in cahoots after all. He's paid her to lie to
Immigration and it's unclear exactly what else they will get up to together.
It's very nice. Finally a little more of the evil EJ, even if it's evil of the
boring variety. Using Nicole to make Sami jealous is cringe-worthy on many
levels, but Nicole still makes the pair more amusing than they are on their own.
To be honest, I could care less what he does to Sami, as long as he does it in
an underhanded and evil way. Why can't he just get Rolf to reprogram her or
stick Kate's brain in her body? Instead, Sami continues to move toward a Lucas
level of blatant stupidity. If the flashbacks this week reminded us of anything
other than John and Marlena's old hairstyles, they should have reminded us of
what a devious and vindictive creature Sami is. What happened to the cruel and
scheming Sami of old? When they magically aged Will did they accidentally start
aging her backwards? Beneath her thin maternal veneer, she seems less mature now
than she did when she was teenager.
central scene of this week was when Sami, wearing a pair of large monkey
slippers, sat down to psychoanalyse both herself and John. I'm not sure if she
got her lessons from her mother or Dr. Nussbaum, I'm not even sure which would
be worse, but Sami passes the test as a daytime shrink, handing out the regular
advice and excuses; they even gave her glasses to do it with. But the whole
conversation between them was an important one, not just for John but for "DOOL"
itself. After all, if you keep bringing back the past in flashbacks, how do you
move on? Isn't it better to forget and abandon the past, something the show
always tries to do but never completely manages. Some soap operas don't require
a suspension of disbelief, they require recurring amnesia. That's the thing that
makes John's role so interesting now. Not only is he Mr. Amnesia, he also serves
to center everything around him. In spite of the fact that, as a person, he's
completely inconsistent, it's only his present which changes dramatically as he
re-imagines himself, whereas everyone's past continues to change. Up until now,
this has always made him easy to manipulate, whether by Stefano, Victor or
Marlena. Now he's become far more creative. Maybe Sami, also a remarkably
inconsistent character and frequent amnesiac, could learn a few things from
Nicole: "I don't know what I'll do if Pookie leaves me."
you will have me."
"Daniel told me he was going to marry her in the hospital. That night she took a
turn for the worse."
at this place. There is no sign of forced entry. Either a professional or a
freeloading relative robbed me."
Sami) "I can't just exchange Pookie like you do husbands."
(imitating Charlton Heston) "You can have it when you rip it from my cold, dead
April 25, 2008
The highlight of the week was Sami punching Nicole. Not
that Nicole isn't swell, but it's so nice to see Sami get aggressive. It was
also good to see the possibility of a Morgan/Philip pairing continue to blossom.
Philly needs some love, or, at the very least, some non-Chloe-related lust, and
it should be fascinating to watch him get involved with a woman who isn't a
flake or a bimbo for once. Two other romances continued to percolate at
different speeds. Stephanie is doing her best to get over her problems and move
on with Max. Nothing new was revealed about Max's recent odd behavior, but
Stephanie certainly seems sexually frustrated. What else could explain her
wearing those white socks with that all black outfit the other day? The
Chelsea/Dr. Jonas thing also moved on. I'm afraid it will develop into a story
instead of staying in Chelsea's drug induced haze where it belongs. The most
ominous sign of the week was seeing Rolf holding John's ID disc in his hands.
Why isn't he destroying that thing? Please Rolf, before it's too late!
started to get way out of hand with the "old" and the "new" this week. Perhaps a
third of the conversations in the past week revolved around whether the old you
was the real you and the new you was not, or whether the new you was the real
you and the old one was not... or something similar. It would have been more
amusing if the conversations had employed flashbacks to different actors who
have played the parts (for those to which that applies). They didn't really play
it that way, sadly. It will be interesting to see how far they can push this
angle without resorting to the use of doppelgangers and mysteriously appearing
twin--not that either of those things are objectionable. It seems to be a
dwindling possibility, however, as the Ava plot loses the steam it had left and
Marlena tries to embrace the new John.
in all of this is really a question of how to deal with redundancy and ambiguity
and go beyond them. John Black's mysterious identity was finally solved when he
discovered that he was a DiMera. Ironically, when he discovered this, he was no
longer who he had been for years. This same theme finds a variation in Steve,
who is also the product of other character's imaginations and machinations,
though largely a cypher himself. It's a plot device they've been pulling out for
years. Usually it keeps things fresh. If you can't integrate new characters,
which is notoriously difficult, the least you can do is reinvent the old ones,
even in a ludicrous manner because--as DOOL writers have always known--history
is contingent. What's worrying is that at the moment, the show seems more intent
on creating a semblance of coherency than it's ever really bothered with before.
There was a time when the holes in logic could easily swallow entire storylines;
now the sailing is a little too smooth. For instance, the incredibly bland
problem of Ava. Patch left her, she got depressed and wanted him back... more or
less. Apparently, she suffers from "brief psychotic disorder", which is
something the show could use more of.
Marlena (to John): "Married people don't date."
Nicole): "I lost my memory not my senses. You didn't think this tasteless dress
and the painfully embarrassing come-ons would be enough to make me reveal my
affairs, did you? Who are you working for, Victor or little Philip?"
(to Max): "It's about you and me. And me and you -- and how I feel about you."
"Nicole hydrates. She drinks two quarts of something a day."
"Juice without vodka is like a day without sunshine."
don't even know which brat I was holding. EJ's baby or Lucas' baby... Good thing
you didn't have triplets. Can't tell the fathers without a program."
April 11, 2008
Marlena is hell bent on getting the old John back. We
even got a glimmer that there might be something of the old John in the new
John. When he, rather gruffly and over-adamantly, asserted that he wasn't
remembering anything, something seemed to be returning... but maybe he was just
uncomfortable, which I guess anybody would be if they were under Marlena's
hypnotic control. I suspect the old John she seeks will return eventually, under
the hypnotic spell that Marlena's hair seems to cast on him, but it will be a
tragedy when that happens. What's really baffling about it all is that Marlena,
of all people, seems so convinced that there was some specific old John she
could call back up. John, if he's had any consistency over the decades, has
always been a cipher with no really stable identity, continually flirting with
new personalities. Maybe the new and wonderfully laconic John is just who John
has always been underneath it all and Marlena has become excessively superficial
and nostalgic for a past that was about as real as the erotic fantasises she
used to have about him when he was in a coma. It was rather striking that all of
the moments that she used to try to make him remember their past, were moments
when the old John was pretending to be someone he knew that he wasn't, simply in
order to please her. It was good to see that they didn't shy away from the irony
that Marlena is now taking on the role of Stefano, albeit Stefano light, and,
once again, John gets be someone's pet project.
EJ's "marriage" got a little more real thanks to Nicole waving cash in his face
to help him support his martini habit. It's hard to say if Sami is jealous or
just annoyed that Nicole seems so intent of getting into EJ's life. I just hope
she can get rid of reformed EJ and push him back into the realm of darkness. If
Chloe, Nicole and John are the most sinister people on the show right now,
something is seriously wrong...beyond the bizarre pacing. The show seems to have
returned to the John E. Reilly version of time. More time passed in the first
few minutes of Monday's show than the entire rest of the week. Not that I'm
complaining about that. I'm probably the only person in the world who would
prefer it if he was still writing the show. At least it was relatively
consistent, even when it was consistently bad, and it always seemed like
something could happen. Now it persistently seems like, whatever is going to
happen, is going to happen in some distant future and nothing much is pushing it
along. Couldn't we have gotten a few more details from Ava and her shrink this
week, or at least some ludicrously phoney TV psychiatrist talk. Ava should send
her doctor after Hope/Kayla and have her brainwashed using all the information
on her that she's culled from the internet. Then Hope could run around thinking
she was some strange version of Kayla, resulting in many uncomfortable moments
for both Bo and Steve. Or at least they could have Steve brainwashed again.
Isn't that what soap opera psychiatrists are there for? Kayla and Bo worrying in
bed is not interesting, or necessary, and the only thing exciting about
Stephanie and Max's scenes this week was that pie and cake were involved.
Sami): "I'd cry too, if you were my mother. You know... the twins having
different fathers is freakish. How does that work, anyway? You really must have
been slutting around."
Nicole): "I dislike tomatoes. I despise her."
the difference between being used by Marlena and Stefano): "He didn't look half
as good in a dress."
Nicole arriving at Chez Rouge): "Maybe I should tell Maggie to hide the
Sami): "You look... like you've just had twins."
"I'll lock you up."
Bo: "On what charge?"
Roman: "Reckless stupidity."
April 4, 2008 -
It's been bickering week on "Days". Well, that's not
entirely accurate. Bickering and inappropriate flirting seem to have been
the rule. Not that I'm complaining. While every woman in Chelsea's orbit noticed
her obvious crush on Dr. Daniel, none of them managed to stop themselves from
throwing a few double entendres his way. Kate probably has a shot with him...
Chelsea has yet to share a man with her grandmother. I
don't trust him at all, by the way. I think it's the surfer talk. I also found
it a little odd that, considering he's known Victor for most of his life and
their families are supposedly close, he suddenly needs Chelsea to explain
everything to him. Some people have suggested he may have something to do with
Ava, citing the mention that he was hired to help the troubled daughter of a
powerful Italian family. Maybe...but he also seems to be trying a little too
hard to be ignorant about fellow world-traveler Nicole.
finally gotten out of the hospital, for the most part, we have instead been
confined to a series of dining rooms. It's been wonderfully theatrical: just
when soaps seem to be moving away from their campy phoniness, "Days" maintains
the tradition. To accompany that, the chatter on the show has really been upped.
My hands hurt from typing, but little has actually happened this week. Whoever
is writing the dialog is really outdoing themselves. EJ somehow turned from
being Hugh Grant to Cary Grant while he and Sami tried to re-enact the first
half of "His Girl Friday" for the Immigration agent. The more successful humor
came from John and Rolf. I never thought Marlena, Salem's own Lady Satan, would
be put in the position of straight man to John, king of the monosyllabic
response. But, to me at least, this is the most fun they've ever been and
listening to anyone make sardonic remarks about Sami and EJ makes me smile.
continues to become more mysterious, which is a relief since I often wonder what
they'll do with poor Uncle Max. His efforts to keep Stephanie away from the
docks and his increasingly perplexing behavior towards Nick are giving him a
darker dimension. Though I doubt Max, however troubled, can make the leap into
villainy, this weird side of him is, at least, more interesting that he and
Steph making Little Orphan Annie eyes at each other. I suspect his working down
at the docks may be more than random considering the fact that John and the
Kiriakis' are currently dancing around going to war over them.
never realized Aunt Maggie was such a cutie until Tuesday. New, surprisingly
youthful, Mickey pops up and Maggie's hair truncates in size and she suddenly
becomes mischievous. Perhaps this means they'll finally get something to do,
though the cynic in me assumes they'll become props in the ongoing EJami Punch
N' Judy routine. This prospect is almost as exciting as Ava noticing how
unbelievable it was that Hope is pregnant. Of course, that didn't last. They
really have to hurry things along with this. I actually find Ava amusing, but
they have repeated the exact same flashback sequences with her repeatedly and
it's starting to seem like she's just a time filler to put between John's laconic
big excitement of the week was the return of Nicole. So far it's been fun... though I worry it will turn into another pointless parade of cleavage a la
This year's Matt's Musings on Days of
Matt's Musings on Days of Our
Lives from 2010
Matt's Musings on Days of our Lives from 2009.
All photographs are courtesy of Soapoperafan.com.