Hey, not bad

I wanted to do a post on today’s show because I thought it was actually decent.

Aideninterrogation

I’ve been rolling my eyes for weeks at Hope’s willingness to get back together with Aiden when HIS SON RAPED HER DAUGHTER, but today was a decent payoff for that frustration. My frustration was partly with the show, and not just with Hope. I thought they were genuinely trying to sell us Haiden, round 2. An idea I find so nauseating it is making Rope look good — seriously.

(And all this happening while Rafe lay tied up with the timer ticking down was fairly suspenseful, though I think they could have stretched it out even more. Like Hope goes to his house to cry on his shoulder, but his mother tells her triumphantly that Rafe is done with her and is with Blanca. So Hope goes home, discouraged … as the clock ticks down.)

I liked that Aiden’s fudging on when he was actually replaced with the double came back to bite him. It was such a weaselly lie — he already spilled he was working for the Dimeras and was hired to kill her, but he couldn’t resist holding back that one extra fact.

But why was Roman so eager to excuse Hope for giving Aiden another chance? Why was everyone? One of my pet peeves with modern Days is how other characters on the show are so willing to excuse a supposed “good” character’s actions. You know, people don’t have to agree on things.

But I should be careful what I wish for, because when Days does disagreement it sometimes turns out like Chad and Jennifer today.

ChadJennifer

I thought the scenes themselves were great, honestly. Billy Flynn and Missy Reeves did really well and had a really nice rhythm going. Their recriminations they were hurling at each other were nicely specific — I liked that Jen said she was wary of him from the beginning, because she was, though saying Ben only went crazy because of Chad was stretching things a bit far. And I liked how he brought up her pill popping and said she was just doing this because she was going crazy about her daughter.

But. It all came out of freaking nowhere. We needed to see Jennifer seeing something specific to set her off, to make the danger to Thomas seem urgent. And we needed a longer buildup of simmering frustration, more distrust between the two of them, before this final crack up.

Well, one takes what one can get, these days.

 

Failing up

Well, most of you have probably heard the latest news. Josh Griffith has left the show. Dena Higley will stay on, and breakdown and dialogue writer Ryan Quan will join her as co-headwriter. It’s not clear whether Josh left voluntarily or not. My suspicion is that this is due to a combination of the recent renewal (which probably involved budget cuts) and a power play between Dena and Josh.

I’m sick about this. I like Josh Griffith. I really do not like Dena Higley. Even when she has a decent idea the execution is always terrible. What does she have on Ken Corday, so that he keeps hiring her and supporting her?

On Daytime Royalty they are talking about organizing a fan campaign to get rid of her. Apparently this worked once before, in 2011. I’ll keep you all posted about that, if anyone is interested in participating.

As for today’s show, I thought it was quite good. Vivian Jovanni did well, better than I thought she would. And Joey and Theo were so sweet. Chase’s text “R U Okay?” was creepy, in a (sort of) good way. It shows he is going to convince himself it wasn’t rape and he’s not a bad guy. To say I’m not on board with this story is an understatement, but I’ll give it a chance if it’s executed well.

I thought the Eric/Jennifer scenes were great. When he said “I wish it was me too” – sob. Truly heartbreaking. Jen’s pill addiction happened way too fast, but I like that Eric called her out on it. Another great line: “What do you grab hold of when there’s nothing left to hold on to?” And then the kiss, which didn’t bother me. The show is obviously not going for Ericole, so let’s get Eric some action while he’s still in town. If they give me more scenes like today, I’ll take it.

My favorite part of the episode was (surprisingly) the Andre/Hope/Rafe scenes.

RafeHopeAndre

I am so angry with Rafe and Hope, and their smugness, right now. I’m not sure if that’s what the show intends for me to feel, but it made me appreciate Andre’s jabs, and Lani’s suspicious looks, and Roman’s doubts. I’m actually invested in this story for the first time, because I want them to be caught. In addition to Lani’s suspicions (and clear dislike of Hope), I have a feeling that Chad is going to believe in Andre’s innocence. This might get interesting.

Sigh. Still depressed.

Pain management

Well, it looks like Jen got hooked on painkillers in, what, a day?

Jenpills

This reminds of when my dad fell and cracked a rib, and after taking one Vicodin the first day, demurred taking another. “You know, they’re habit forming,” he said. I told him he wasn’t going to get addicted after one pill, but now, clearly, I’ll have to tell him I was wrong.

I wish it had taken a bit longer for Andre to figure out where Stefano’s body was. As it is, it makes Rafe (with his supposedly super crime scene cleanup skills) look like an inept moron. Why, oh why, is he driving past the warehouse and slowing down? Twice?

Speaking of Rafe, can someone tell me why Ciara, after losing a stepfather and father in quick succession, is so eager to throw Hope into Rafe’s arms? There were a few signs around the bicentennial that Ciara had a crush on Rafe, and I think that would have been a better plot.

To me, the most intriguing part of the show was Chad. At this point, just about the only thing that could pull Chad back into the Dimera orbit is Stefano’s illness or death. And they’ve done the “Stefano collapses and the children rally to his side” plot a few too many times. This is more interesting. I really liked how Chad dismissed Andre’s theories, but still went over to see Hope. He probably told himself it was just to warn Hope, which he did, but there was real concern there too. And this seems perfectly crafted to put Chad and Abby on opposite sides: Abby defending Hope’s actions, and Chad loving his father in spite of it all.

Just an FYI: Mama and Papa Pickford are coming to town for a few days, so I’ll catch up with you all probably on Tuesday. Have a great weekend!

Shellipalooza

I’ve been struggling to come up with something to say about the show these last two episodes.

Not that there haven’t been things to enjoy. I really liked Rafe and Eduardo’s conversation yesterday. But even with that, I have to ask, where did it come from? Rafe has been freezing Eddy out for months, and now suddenly he says, “Oh, I guess Gabi thinks you’re all right,” and sits down and has a heart to heart. I thought it was interesting that Eddy didn’t offer the “I had to leave to protect you” excuse, and instead said that he was caught up in living up to some masculine code. That was refreshing, actually. And I thought Galen did well showing Rafe’s vulnerability and hurt.

RafewithEddy

I wasn’t so crazy about the Rope almost-kiss that preceded it. I can’t get over the fact that her attraction to him seems to have kicked off once he helped her hide a body. Apparently that is the the way to Hope’s heart, who knew?

Chad and Abby were adorable in their scenes with Jennifer, but tonally it felt completely off. “My mom is in terrible pain, but it makes her like Chad more, so hurray!”

JenChadAbby

Now here is my biggest complaint. Ever since I found out Brandon Beemer is coming back to the show, I have dreaded the return of the Shawn/Phillip/Belle triangle. I grew especially to hate Brandon Beemer’s Shawn, so much so that I kind of forgot how good looking the guy is:

ShawnClaire

His re-introduction is doing nothing to soothe my worries about Shellip, round two. What I hated about that triangle is that both Shawn and Phillip were gaga over Belle, without seeing any reason why they would be so into her. She treated them both horribly, wavering limply back and forth, back and forth, while they both eagerly lapped up any affection she threw their way. Shawn suddenly being willing to “fight” for Belle, after sending her divorce papers like three days ago, makes no sense at all. What changed?

I love that Belle has a spine now, is a little bit bitchy. Martha plays that aspect really well. And I can accept Phillip being willing to let bygones be bygones (though I wish they would explain that too), but Shawn? There is no reason he should be eager to fight for the woman who cheated on him twice and now looks to be cheating on him again. Aaargh!

And Belle? When your husband calls when you are postcoital with another man, you let it go to voicemail.

 

 

Bad Boys

A Kiriakis so loathsome that even Victor disowned him thirty years ago? Bring it on.

DeimosPhillip

Glad to see Vincent hasn’t lost any of his charisma. I rarely watched any other soaps, but I loved bad boy Lujack and Beth (played by Vincent and Judi Evans) so much that in sixth grade I switched to recording Guiding Light, instead of Days, during the school year.

Irizarry-Evans-CBS-L

I hope we’ll see Judi and Vincent sharing scenes!

I thought the reveal at the end, showing Phillip has already been colluding with Deimos, was a great twist. I think that Deimos must be the one chasing this miracle drug, and hence is responsible for Bo’s imprisonment and torture. I assume Phillip was unaware of that, but I like that he’s flirting with the dark side. We’ll see how this all falls out for him.

They might finally be giving Lani something interesting to do:

Lanisuspicious

She’s obviously interested in Rafe, and that has fueled a suspicion about Hope and the lengths that he will go to for her. I like that we’ve seen this unfold gradually. Lani also served as a (slight) counterbalance to the rest of the police force, who were all falling over themselves to excuse Hope. I did like the final exchange between Roman and Justin, showing they hadn’t bought her lame story, but overall I feel this should have been a lot more dramatic and suspenseful.

Belle isn’t going to be winning any mother of the year awards, is she? I wish they would give us an explanation for her willingness to be wooed by Phillip (and Chad). I’m willing to fanwank to a certain point, but I’d like to see what the show has in mind with this. Claire’s phone call is making me dread the return of Shawn (in the form of Brandon Beemer) and the return of the love triangle that ate the show in the 2000’s.

Oh, and a child scheming to get her parents back together? Wow, I’ve never seen that plot before!

Let us mourn

Let the Daniel Jonas hour of mourning commence.

KaylaRoman

Losing my nephew and my brother was bad enough, but it is nothing compared to losing my … colleague! Sob!

As I said on Twitter, I would never, ever bring my child to the Daniel Jonas pediatric wing. Never.

So, the good. Chabby were really sweet and fun to watch.

Chabbybed

I loved the conflict at the beginning with JJ and Jennifer. JJ’s reference to Jack’s advice was funny and appropriate — not to lend someone a thousand dollars right off the bat, but give them five to start and see if you get it back. Jack probably never actually said that, but it sounds like something he would say, and that’s all that matters.

If she turns down Chad’s proposal, this will be why.

But I do have to register one complaint. Abby seems completely unconcerned about her mother. Her focus when JJ and Jennifer came in was all on how they reacted to Chad, not on whether her mother was all right.

Also — as a new mom, you get pretty comfortable with being covered in spit-up, but I would never smear it on myself voluntarily. Gross.

I have to say, the worst part of the episode was Rafe and Hope. I loved the cliffhanger on Friday, but to follow it up with this quite a letdown. My heart sank as soon as Hope said, “Did I do that?” It’s not as bad as “the pills made me do it,” but it’s obviously a way to let Hope off the hook and justify Rafe’s actions. And Rafe immediately leaping to “Let’s cover this up!” felt rushed. It’s not that I think Rafe would never do something like this, but I didn’t think it was well-motivated.

As for Ericole, I thought the scene was fine. In an abstract way, it feels like payback for Nicole to be screaming at Eric about “what he did” after the months upon months Eric blamed Nicole for “what you did” after the document shredding (I got really sick of that phrase). But here’s my problem with it. It felt like what Nicole would say to anyone who caused the accident. There was nothing specific to Eric and Nicole, except the one line “you were a priest.”

That single tear:

Erictear

They clearly seem to be setting up Eric doing something desperate, or going into a medical crisis because he’s lost the will to live (that soap staple). We’ll see.

 

Here comes the sun

I enjoyed today’s episode a lot — more than any other day this week. It was very choppy, though, with people running all over town, so quickly it was like they were teleporting themselves. I still can’t believe they just kept going with the same night and went into morning. I can understand our hospital folks staying up all night. But someone like Rafe? Why would he meet his sister at 2 am, run over to see Hope, go to the Dimera mansion to question Andre (at 4 am? 5?), and then go to work. THIS IS CRAZY, PEOPLE.

But of course we must talk about Mr. Wonderful, giver of shoulder rubs and provider of muffins. (Actually we never saw what was in the bag, but I like muffins so let’s go with that.)

SteveKaylashoulderrub

I love the zombie look on Kayla’s face. That’s how I would feel too, after the night she just had!

And, hallelujah, Steve did not keep the baby photos a secret. It would have been easy for him to justify doing so, in his Steve-like way. She’s had such a hard night, I can’t burden her with this … I’ll investigate on my own and then tell her when I know more. We’ve seen it all a thousand times! So it’s nice to see our boy learning from his mistakes — finally.

I was disappointed at how gullible Steve was today, looking at Ava so sympathetically while she coughed, and then picking up the photos just like she wanted. But, so far I’m feeling okay about how this storyline is playing out. It’s almost TOO good. Who is writing this, and why aren’t they writing the rest of the show?

I am cautiously, very cautiously, preparing to eat my words about the brainwashing. It was dumb, nothing can change that, but I can see potential now in the fallout from it. If Chad can fool Andre and Stefano with fake reports, pal around with Belle and get her in on it, and have this create some real (not stupidly contrived) tension with Abby, I can see it working well. Besides, Chad was such a joy today, so pleased with himself for putting one over on the Dimeras.

Chadgleeful2

“It felt kind of cool, to play them like they’ve been playing me. I guess I’m more Dimera than I thought.” Love it!

I still can’t get over how much I am enjoying Rafe. I loved him in the scenes with Hope, even though RevengeHope has worn out her welcome with me. I do actually see a lot of chemistry between them. I’m not sure it’s romantic chemistry, but they have something.

RafeAndre

But the best Rafe scenes were the ones with Andre. I love that we can see Rafe’s wheels turning about why the Dimeras might be after the drug that Caroline took. And they were delightful snarking at each other about the serial killer investigation (which was great continuity — especially since no one else is talking about it anymore!).  The best line was after Rafe was disclaiming any vendetta against the Dimeras, and Andre said so sorrowfully “It must be incompetence, then.”

Andre hasn’t had enough to do. Let’s hope all these events today are the start of a good old-fashioned Brady-Dimera war!

Screenshots Forever Safe