Things That Are Not Okay in Salem (Hint: "Everything")
Mallory and I have an ongoing email conversation about which is worse, General Hospital or Days of Our Lives. (And I mean "ongoing" in the broadest sense of the word, since this particular debate has been going strong since 2005 or so.) Over the years, GH has generally taken the crown, since we were almost always able to say something along the lines of "Sure, Days is incredibly [boring/nonsensical/ridiculous], but GH [killed 17 people yesterday/fed a Quartermaine to lions/had Sonny and Carly have disgusting sex in a limo]." Lately, though -- and it's entirely possible this is due to GH's high concentration of attractive people because please remember we are shallow first and foremost -- Days has been taking the title. It is unbelievably boring and poorly written, and the boring and poorly written lines are said by characters that you either don't give a crap about or that weren't even on the canvas two years ago. I don't know what's going on with the ratings, which I heard are actually up (?!?!?), because I almost have to be forced under threat of violence (and/or cranky blog comments) to watch it.
Anyway, as is probably obvious by this point, there isn't a whole lot in Salem that's setting my world on fire in any kind of good way these days, so I am compelled to focus only on the negative (much to my obvious and heartfelt dismay, obvi). Let's take a closer look at the many things that are, using one of my favorite super-sophisticated analytic phrases, very much not okay, shall we?
Not okay: Chloe as devoutly religious.
I'm sorry, this was hilarious. Something about Nadia Bjorlin's way of just rolling her eyes toward the ceiling sent me over the edge into outright giggling, which is
probably not exactly what the writers were going for. (Not to imply
that they are going for anything in particular, because I've seen no
evidence of that.)
I cannot stop laughing. For real. I've looked at those screencaps
at least a dozen times, and I laugh every single time. I am easily
entertained. Which makes this show's inability to do so all that much
While we're talking about Chloe, I must discuss another thing that is not okay, specifically her hair (spoiler: bad hair is going to be a theme today!).
I have owned three SUVs in my life and all had lower clearance than that.
On the topic of hair, I think we need to assess just how sorry the
state of Salem affairs is when James Scott, former (and possibly
future) sex god, has worse hair than Steve Burton. It is not okay to lose a follicular contest to a man who has provided the spot-on description of his hairline as a cross between a Monchichi and Curious George.
A couple of years ago, Mallory suggested that James Scott should get disfiguring plastic surgery so that Mal could stop being so fond of the devious EJ.* So I choose to believe that this hair-don't is a personal favor to her, and not an increasingly long-term demonstration of poor judgment.
* This reminds me of time when EJ had at least a couple layers and
did not have nonsensical personality shifts on a near-daily basis with
the only consistent being weekly rageaholic rants. Ah, memories.
Not helping matters is the fact that EJ is hanging out with Nicole, who occasionally truly astounds me with her not okay styling choices.
We're doing the mini-claw-clip look again? Why didn't anyone tell
me?! Since it's 1999 all over again, I am going to be able to fit into
my size 2 Lucky jeans and enjoy the whole Monica-Chandler reveal on Friends anew.
Right? I am totally perplexed too.
It is absolutely not okay that the show's only remaining 80s supercouple went through a 15-minute "separation" based on an argument over the male half of the couple's effing psychic visions. I thought we got rid of crap like that with Reilly.
I feel like this writing team should just admit they have no clue how to write for couples, let alone those with lengthy histories on the show, and just have Bo and Hope sit in the Brady pub while clips from the 80s and 90s play on a TV in the background. That would be ten times as watchable.
It is not okay that on a show targeted to women, this is being passed off as romantic dialogue from a leading man:
It is not okay that there are no hot young couples.
Jay Kenneth Johnson and Shelley Hennig are gorgeous . . .
(well, everything other than his hair is gorgeous)
. . . but Phillip and Stephanie are not a hot couple. They've had no conflict, no drama, no heat, no . . . anything of interest.
I know of no other hot young couple contenders. And with Rachel Melvin leaving (another thing that is not okay!), one half of at least a couple future possibilities will be gone.
I've enjoyed the Chelsea/Stephanie friendship, possibly because it appears to be the only female one left on the show, and I thought Melvin did a great job rehabilitating a previously horrible character into one I really liked.
Her highlights, however
are still not okay.* Maybe she can leave them for the hair and makeup department as a going-away gift. Because whoever did that to her definitely deserves a gift along the lines of a big ol' bag of hair.
* I will dearly miss that bitchface.
These "special" effects?
Much like General Hospital's, they are not okay. (I do like that Chloe appears to be attempting to escape the explosion by doing a cartwheel. Very superhero-y!)
It is very much not okay that the show is focusing on totally random characters while jettisoning the interesting ones like luggage off the Titanic. However, if they are going to insist on Days of Our Randoms, might I suggest we learn a little more about the hot bartender?
I think I would even be fine if he got the usual treatment of falling in love every 90 seconds and going months on end without having a new conversation. Because, you know . . . hot.
Melanie is not okay.
Molly Burnett seems like a talented young actress, and with better writing (coupled with about 60% less screentime) I might find Melanie to be the delightfully bitchy vixen I think I am supposed to view her as, instead of the fingernail-on-chalkboard-esque OTT "I'm a BAD girl, BAD I tell you, and did you hear I'm BAD" troublemaker she currently is. The writing is definitely part of the problem, but, how do I put this diplomatically . . . I think it's possible that on occasion, to a small extent, in certain circumstances, Ms. Burnett might play things a tad too dramatically.
She could turn it down a smidgen. A wee bit.
But hers is not the least convincing performance on this show, of course. I don't want to name names, but
That was not okay. Tragic (and rapid, totally out-of-the-blue) alcoholic downward spirals are not supposed to induce guffaws.
Finally (I mean, there is a lot more that isn't okay, but I can only type for so long, so "finally" for this post), it is seriously not okay when your show is so boring and your "plots" so uneventful that your Friday "cliffhanger" is a recast teenager showing up to see his parents who always bicker bickering. I'm not even sure you can call yourself an actual soap opera anymore.
It is also of course TOTALLY NOT OKAY that Steve and Kayla got absolutely no farewell after all that Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans have done for this show, but I need some more time to process that (translation: find 80s clips on YouTube) and will therefore be back soon with a post dedicated just to them. It's the least they are entitled to. Well, that's not quite right, as what they got on the show was less than a post on a little random soap blog, but I feel really magnanimous when I say things like "oh, it's the least I could do," and I need some self-esteem help lately.
Screencaps courtesy of Sheryl's Days of Our Lives Screencaps.