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  1. I muted the television during Brady and Kristen's scene and provided my own dialogue. It was so much better.
  2. I question how evil they're going to make Philip since Chloe is on the way and I'm sure they're going to try to reunite them. Besides, we just had Brady trying to destroy the company. Phillip's going to do the same thing?
  3. I'll see you one screaming at Baby Jesus and raise you a fighting with a trash can at the park! 😂 Yes, there has been some stupid campy stuff, no question. Thankfully, I think now Staci has had more camp and crapola to play than Eileen did. I don't quite know how to judge Kristen based on her actions, because they were so incredibly entertaining and also, Salem is a world where pretty much everyone is a murderer or rapist or both. I will say that John secretly loving Marlena, refusing to confess this to Kristen and work through it and break up with her was a big part of why she did everything she could to hold onto him. Yes, it was all illegal...but the story was all about the experience of trying to hold onto someone you love desperately and fighting as hard as you possibly can no matter the obstacles. I mean at one point, Kristen used a hypnotizing mirror to get John into bed with her so she could get pregnant again after losing their child, and even though he called her Marlena in bed while under the trance, she continued to have sex with him. That's campy (and rapey)...but also really heartbreaking. She already knew he preferred someone else, but she couldn't bear to lose him. Makes me sad. Also, I liked John with Kristen. Not only were they an attractive couple, I felt they were refreshing and very 90s and I didn't really ever feel like Marlena and John were as interesting as a couple. The show made its choice, and the audience made theirs as well, and Kristen became the loser in the situation...but I definitely think John should have shown her some sympathy or empathy. If he really loved her and then realized she had done all these terrible things just to try to hold onto him, he'd seriously just grab Marlena, get engaged at the restaurant where he was supposed to celebrate Kristen's birthday and then try to get married three days later? That is cooooold, man. He was almost gleeful to be rid of her, instead of conflicted about everything she had done in the name of her love for him. And this was especially weird because the show made it seem as if John had absolutely no suspicions that Kristen was doing evil things during those two years. So if he's suddenly found out she had been doing all this bad stuff, wouldn't you think he'd be even more confused and therefore take a longer time to process it? The story was slanted to make Kristen the villain and Marlena and John the triumphant couple, but I definitely felt there could have been a mourning period where John would try to wrap his head around just how broken Kristen had become. Instead, after Roman came back and Kristen lied about her and John already being married to give Roman the hope that he and Marlena could be happy again, John basically encouraged her to go kill herself. On Christmas. YIKES. When her body was found in the pool, John finally started to show some remorse and guilt for the way he'd treated her. As much as we all poke fun of Drake and his acting choices, I thought he did a really good job of selling the moment in the Secret Room in 2013 when he revealed to Kristen that he had "doubled down" on her in the aftermath of learning about her schemes and admitted that "it wasn't fair" to do that to her. John could have easily said that back in the 90s. That he felt sorry for Kristen and wanted to see her get some help even though they weren't going to be together anymore. Instead, he was just kind of (understandably) repulsed by her, but it came off as cruel. No matter how many terrible things someone you love has done, they're still someone you love, right? John dumped Kristen hard and never looked back, as if all his prior devotion was an act. A little compassion goes a very long way. Kristen was obviously around the bend and obsessed with him by the time all of her secrets came out, but if John had spent just a little bit of time trying to understand her point of view and have a less traumatic breakup, she might have not have turned into the mega villainess she is now. I'm not trying to blame him, because of course he is the victim and so is Marlena, but Marlena definitely goaded Kristen, and then John dumped her so abruptly that it's easy to see why Kristen would hate them both. That the writers took the time in 2013 to acknowledge how that little piece of consideration that was never expressed or given by John to Kristen as part of her motivation for constantly seeking revenge against him and Marlena was very moving, I found. The show doesn't often have that kind of nuance but I thought they were completely on the money with showing John acknowledging his complete and total rejection of her as being somewhat unfair given all Kristen had been through. Yes, in that scene he was also telling her what she wanted to hear because he wanted to seduce her away from Brady, but I think Drake played it beautifully... suggesting that he was both putting on an act for her benefit and possibly confessing something that was in fact true of their relationship and how it had originally ended. But....um...back to spoilers! Oh I'm with you. Completely. But I wonder what kind of storyline this leaves for Xander. I feel like we've barely seen him working at Titan, and yet that was his goal for years. Now that he's out again is he just going to be Sarah's sex toy? Is he going to plan to murder Phillip? I hope he doesn't get stuck in lame Jan's orbit. But...but... just being within proximity of the Necktie Killer's charismatic glow is enough of an honor!
  4. In fairness, she slapped him first...but yes, I hate the trope of the soap guy grabbing the girl by the elbow. Makes me very angry. I've never ever done that to a woman and if I did, I'd probably get slapped to kingdom come, and rightfully so. It's extremely threatening... but in Salem women seem forced to overlook it. Lani is horrid. Girl, your friends don't get to get away with stabbing people. WTH kind of person are you, much less a cop?! And if Kristen is your only friend, you're as pathetic as Brady. Leave your father alone, you creepo. I'd forgotten all about Tripp framing Ben. I cared that much about it. Him working again at the hospital and Kayla excusing him for screwing around with patients' lives is....um...nope. Sorry man. No go. Still like him though. I was Drake would play John as less alert. His outbursts would seem more believable if he was foggy a bit. A brain aneurysm can leave people with amnesia and language problems. He's playing it almost more like Tourette's syndrome. Isn't there a director on this show, to help shape and calibrate the performances?
  5. Eileen, pre-Susan Banks, played Kristen with a lot of nuance. I wouldn't have called her campy. She was a leading lady. I loved what else we got to see her do once Susan was integrated, mind you, but it seemed to eclipse all the more subtle work she's done. She was great when John apologized/seduced her in the Secret Room in spring 2013. All torn up by the memory of who she'd been and the reality of what she'd become...finally hearing John take responsibility for hurting her... questioning (silently) what to do about Brady's honest devotion to her...Eileen brought it. It wasn't a flashy, Ron-style confrontation with sex or slapping, but it was a rollercoaster watching all her conflicting emotions bubble up. I'd love to see her on stage...don't think she does theatre work though. Camila has been regularly OTT for like two years now, so I get it....but she's quite good when the writing isn't pushing her to go big. I like her as BFFs with Will and Sonny, as a femme fatale, as a sister with Rafe, I've liked her with Eli, Chad and JJ... messing with Abigail. She pulls it all off. Very sorry about the tea, though. 😄
  6. Oh I'm definitely not saying Paul Telfer is an amazing actor. There are limitations to his acting. The guy can't seem to cry or do breakdown scenes very well. He's pretty laughable at those. But his confident, sexy, villain swagger game is always on point and the show has made good use of him in that capacity. He fits the character he was given to play and I think he has a natural likeability to him. If he was simply supposed to be playing a good guy through and through, I would say he's maybe miscast. Perhaps Robert Scott Wilson, as I suggested, would be better playing a regular waiter at Julie's restaurant or a delivery boy at the pub. Some normal guy. I still don't think he'd be a good actor, but at least he wouldn't be saddled with this Herculean challenge of trying to make a serial killer seem sympathetic and sexy and fun and rootable. He's failing and the Show refuses to acknowledge this. I totally disagree with the idea that good actors move on from working in soaps. I think Mary Beth is phenomenal, Stephen Nichols as well. The aforementioned Eileen Davidson and the late Joe Mascolo were also terrific. I think Lauren Koslow is a gem, and Camila Banus has done great work as has Arianna Zucker. And I thought some of the actors on Another World were fantastic. I just don't think that the business is set up the way it used to be for them to move on to other forms of entertainment. Because there are only four soaps left, and they all have minimal budgets from the looks of things, soaps are thought of as the dregs of the entertainment business, I imagine. It's such a shame. We've seen what great work these actors can do when there is a budget supporting them and their work environment.
  7. When an actor plays the villain so well that I love to hate them, I can acknowledge that the actor is so good at what they're playing and so right for the part that I enjoy it even if I actually hate the villain. I don't automatically like characters who do "nice" things and dislike the ones who do "bad" things. That's why characters like Jennifer and Abigail frustrate the hell out of me, because they often seem insincere or holier-than-thou or pompous and other characters prop them up and say how perfect and wonderful they are, but I rarely feel that when I'm watching scenes with them. Ben is getting the Royal Treatment right now and any time I see a character take over a show to the point where logic is thrown out the window and the red carpet is rolled out, that makes it harder for me to like the character. Now, in the case of Eileen Davidson who got to play five different characters during her stint in the 90s and whose arc as Kristen very much did take over the show in a lot of respects, I think she proved she deserved that much spotlight. Her characterizations were funny, nuanced and varied, the writing had twists and turns that weren't completely ridiculous but were still campy and fun and had heavy emotional stakes. Ben is eating the show but he doesn't bring any of that variety. If I've seen one scene of him talking sweetly to Ciara, or apologizing and saying he's not worthy, I've seen them all. He feels one-dimensional and flat. I don't believe a word that comes out of his mouth, and most the time I see the actor kind of mentally patting himself on the back for doing a good job and hoping that his earnestness is enough to keep him on the show. But the standards have fallen so far that even an actor as bad as Robert Scott Wilson can be put on contract, and his character given the rehabilitation treatment and all the propping, just to appease I don't know... the people who think he looks good without his shirt on? It's bizarre. There were actors as talented and good-looking as him on older soaps like Another World who would be brought in and promptly ushered off the shows in a matter of weeks because they were nowhere near as skilled as the rest of the ensemble members. That Ben has had as long a stretch as he has...well it's just another indicator of what has happened to Days of Our Lives. It has fallen pretty damn far. If they let go of him after the serial killer storyline, I would have kind of forgiven the whole thing. Or if they allowed the other characters to have normal reactions to his return and for him to be ostracized and have to actually deal with the consequences of what he's done oh, that would be something else. Or Heck if they never even made him into a serial killer in the first place and just kept him as a side character and waiter who makes friendly banter and never gets a front-burner storyline. That could have worked too. But instead, they bring him back, play on his history of murdering women as if it's some kind of sexy kink or fetish that we should enjoy seeing possibly factor into his new relationship with Bo and Hope's daughter, have people in town cheer him on or make out-of-character mistakes that somehow make them "as bad as he is" and think having him say he's sorry somehow makes me blind to the manipulated narrative and RSW's inadequacies as an entertainer. Nope, sorry, my eyes and ears are still functional. I can only imagine how many actors living in Los Angeles right now would tune into 5 Seconds of his screen time and want to rip their hair out. Why is he getting all of this attention and all of these chances? Because Deidre Hall likes him? Who cares. Seriously. I wish the guy no ill-will and I'm sure if I'd never seen him in this role I might enjoy him in some other capacity on another show, but he is completely out of his depths. Even a veteran actor with lots of skills and charisma would struggle to make this character appealing given who he's been. I like James Scott a hell of a lot more as an actor, but I still couldn't enjoy EJ all that much because he was written as slime. I enjoyed him sometimes though. I never enjoyed Ben. Better example - the character of Clyde Weston is revolting and he makes my skin crawl every time he's on screen. That being said I think the actor is terrific and I find myself looking forward to his scenes even if I end up squirming in my seat.
  8. It's not irrational at at all. It's based on the actor's energy and of course the writing. Ben is not a good actor. He pulls the same two facial expressions at all times and you can tell he's a former model who hasn't much natural ability. He is stiff. Xander actually owns the role he plays and is able to show different shades of his character. It's hard to imagine someone else being that character. Pretty much any guy on the street could play Ben and be just as compelling. As for his past crimes, he was involved in the diamond smuggling storyline, he locked Eric and Nicole in the furnace and tried to roast them, he was the one to shoot Marlena at her wedding which put her in a coma, he shot Brady which nearly killed him because it took place in the aftermath of his transplant, he kidnapped Nicole and brought her to Greece at Deimos' behest, he locked her in a cage and then later forced her into marriage when she was hiding with Holly in Memphis at Sarah's old apartment..oh and he kidnapped Joey and Claire during the Seige and held them at gunpoint...I think he may have even been on TV threatening them as hostsges. And yet, I like him. I liked Vincent too. Maybe they've taken acting classes, LOL. RSW needs something less challenging to play than Ben.
  9. Hmmm...good point. Yay! Maybe now I didn't have to worry about this theory any more! The show does, thankfully, seem to avoid incest....mostly. EDIT: Wait....I misremembered! The rumor was that she'd be XANDER'S sister... Wow my memory is not as sharp as I'd like. Well they haven't shared any scenes yet, but I don't see how it would help the narrative revealing they're related.
  10. Quite true. So...about Gwen...I remember a rumor from way back around the start of the year that they were looking to cast a British actress to play EJ's sister. We ended up getting Gwen and she was promptly tied into the Stefan story, and now they've pivoted away from Chad drugging Abigail to Gwen drugging Abigail even though it contradicts established continuity, and with them keeping the secret of her reasons under wraps...I can't help but think they're going to go back and say that she is really EJ's sister. I wouldn't be surprised if they go and recast EJ and bring him on for next year and Sami's extended stay. It's always been Sami's excuse that she has to go back "to take care of EJ", and he's been in recovery now for several years. If she comes back to Salem for 12 months, it'll be kind of impossible to stretch believability that she's completely abandoned her beloved husband for all that time. They should let him die...but they won't. There's been too much effort put into keeping him alive - from Kristen injecting his body in the morgue, to the stand-in at the factory - for them to throw in the towel, admit defeat and erase him....even though I don't think there's much fan support anymore for Sami and EJ as a couple, since everyone knows James Scott is not returning. But if there's a sister...? Well then, suddenly you have another section of the DiMera family tree. I really hope I'm wrong, and I really hope there's some other reason why Gwen is pissed off with Abigail. Even if she is EJ's sister, what would be her excuse for poisoning Abigail? The fact that Abigail had an affair with EJ? Who the hell cares! It's not like anything major happened during that affair that derailed EJ's life in a lasting way. He was shot by Clyde and his thugs for reasons having nothing to do with cheating on Sami. But Ron likes to mine history and Ron likes to bring characters back from the dead and Ron likes to introduce new siblings and children, so I could see this being his ultimate plan. Tell me I'm wrong though.
  11. So I watched Friday's episode finally and I had to chuckle at Rolfe's calling Rafe Gabi's "doomkomf brother" (sp?). His partnership with Gwen still makes no sense timeline wise, and I have a terrible theory about why she's out to get Abigail. See the speculation thread for that... It's so interesting to me the way the actors who were kids in the 90s still gel and play off each other. Just those little moments between Lucas, Sami and Nicole as Allie moved in and named her son really made the show feel alive again. Even when they're handed dull material, they bring so much to their scenes. I feel like somewhere along the line, maybe in the mid-2000s, the actors stopped relating to one another as much. I like the energy that Freddie, Chandler and Camilla have with one another...but those are the only three I can think of from a later generation post-90s to have chemistry as a group. Perhaps the rushed shooting schedule and weaker storytelling kept the young actors of late from gelling. Which brings me to Tripp. I really hope he gets to make some friends because I think he could be a pillar within the cast at a time when the show could really use a new leading man. Unfortunately, it's clear they're already going to have him involved with Allie and possibly also with Ben and I don't think that's going to make his second stint any better than the first was. He could be such a draw for the show, but they're just going to waste him. Am I to assume that these references to Hope leaving town are KA's exit story? I wonder if they cut out any scenes of already shot things possibly because her last scenes didn't offer much of a conclusion to her narrative...? They're back on stage shooting now, right? If Eric wanted to spend an entire day having fun with Nicole and Holly, why is Nicole wearing the same outfit as she was when Eric said goodbye? And Sami too? It makes it seem like Eric lied about wanting to spend the day with them and just took off to the airport seconds after kissing Nicole on the couch. Is this supposed to be the next day? Then why are so many characters looking exactly the same? When Abigail left, wasn't she working as the head of publicity for DiMera? She's barely worked at all these last six years or so....so you can't blame me for not being able to keep it all straight. She's done press for DiMera while she had multiple personality disorder, and before that she worked briefly at the police station while trying to give Gabi and Chad the space to work out their relationship, while she went and married Dario. I can't remember if she ever even worked at the newspaper before, but there she is, talking about it like it's her default job. I really hate the idea of her replacing Will, someone who actually worked hard at being a writer for several years. Even though we barely saw that. My loyalty goes to Will. And my eyes nearly rolled out of my head when Gwen told the good doctor how Abigail is completely nuts "but otherwise perfect". Hell no. And then HE said she had "always been a thorne in Stefano's side!" No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, Show. Shut up. Not buying it. Not true. Never was. Stop trying to make Abifail into more than she was. We watch this show, we remember her relationship with the great Stefano DiMera. We remember that she was barely a blip on his radar. He was happy for Chad that he had a girl he liked, and that was it. He could not have cared less about her, and neither could we. ...Marci certainly seems to be having fun, though. I think Billy is also really happy to see her. All of their physical affection seems very jovial and natural.
  12. It warms my heart to see you guys appreciating Judi's work. I haven't enjoyed anything she's done more than what she did on Another World, but I still love seeing her on my TV and I hate what she's been through these last few months. I hope she keeps her distance from the show once they start shooting again for the sake of her health...and I'd like to see Bonnie go out on a high note and maybe donate a good chunk of change to Sonny's project in Adrienne's name. I can't imagine how they would possibly justify Bonnie really being Adrienne with amnesia, but since nothing else about the car accident story made any sense either I guess I wouldn't put it past them? I would just like for people to stay dead on this show sometimes. Honestly I really wanted to see Justin and Eve as a couple, but that's obviously not going to happen now. So maybe leaving Justin single for a while is not a bad way to go? It's unfortunate that both of Gwen's plotlines - having been in the mental institution and now drugging Abigail - aren't making any sense. Both are just like...huh?
  13. Okay, that Mansi/Marci photo hallucination moment was so weird, so meta and probably one of my favorite moments of the year 😵
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