In case you've never watched TV before, I'd like to remind you that February (read = February Sweeps) is just a few short weeks away. That means that if you tuned into NBC at all last week, you saw a show that looked and felt like DAYS, but something was slightly missing. That "something" was actual storyline progression. In its place, our favorite Salemites rushed around like mad to get ready for Sweeps.
Thus, I had ample opportunity to pick a team. And, right now I've put my lawn chair out to watch the villains' parade. I like the "bad guys" in almost every storyline- a stance that probably means that I won't enjoy the final Sweeps outcome, but it does ensure that I'll enjoy the ride.
SAMI, EJ, RAFE, and ANNA
I know I should feel bad for Sami. But, I really don't. Sorry. Part of being a Sami fan (which I totally am) is accepting that a good chunk of her character depends on her paying for her actions. So, I'm not totally outraged that she's being kept from her daughter. At least, not the way I would be if she hadn't pulled the same stunt.
I feel worse for her that she's stuck with Rafe. He actually rolled his eyes at her when she said that Sydney could be killed. I have yet to figure out how putting Sydney's life above Rafe's ego is a character flaw on Sami's part. But I'm sure that Rafe would explain it to me through an intricate display of sighs, annoyed looks, and defeated shrugs- that is, should I ever develop the capacity to deal with his particular brand of attitude.
Instead, I think I'll focus my attention on E.J. (I mean, more so that usual) because he's thoroughly entertaining me. James Scott is good. I keep watching for a point where I can say, "There it is! That's where Sami should have known!" But all I see is an impressive mastermind at work.
Plus, I do think Stefano, Nicole, Sami, and Rafe deserve a taste of their own medicine. Sami and Rafe- especially- need to learn to put down their own Kool-Aid every once in a while. And, anything that keeps my glorious Anna on screen makes me a happy scooper.
Yes, yes, I know that this whole revenge thing is unfair to Sydney. She does need a family unit. And, it makes me mad when I think that Will, Ali, and Johnny are missing out on times with their little sister. But as long as Sydney is back within a reasonable time, I'm surprisingly okay with what E.J. is doing.
I do have to wonder how it will end. More specifically, will Sami's present suffering appease E.J.'s desire for revenge or will he want to top it off with the news that he made it all happen?
Funny thing- I realized that as long as Philip and Melanie don't share that many scenes together, I am totally in favor of a Philip and Melanie pairing! The plot point is fantastic!
When Vivian and Mel bonded over wedding dresses and shared a hug, the storyline junkie in me went berserk. Oh, the possibilities!! Since Mel is Carly's daughter AND Philip's fiancée, Vivian will have to choose between avenging Lawrence's death and bonding with Philip. Basically, does Vivian love Philip more than she hates Carly?
I like how much attention the writers are giving Nathan after Mickey's death. Maggie was an obvious choice to get the heavy drama, but Nathan is a surprising bonus.
I didn't buy the whole "I can never live up to Tom Horton's reputation" thing when Nathan first came back to town. I actually thought it made Nathan seem like a predictable weenie. But, after getting to see Nathan in more situations- mainly the fact that he's having a hard time fighting for the gal that he really wants- I can see how Nathan has a hard time dealing with pressure, expectations, and conflict.
If he can just make up his mind before Stephanie makes it up for him, he'll be set. Because I'm darn sure that Stephanie isn't going to let a little thing like the fact that Nathan doesn't like her "like that" get in her way.
BO, HOPE, JUSTIN, and CARLY
Much like Sami and her storyline, I'm having a hard time feeling sorry for Hope- despite how much I know I should. Yes, Bo should have been honest with Hope and filed for separation before moving on with Carly. Still, I can't bring myself to feel too sorry for Hope when the marriage that she walked out on fell apart.
And Hope's retrospective rationalization of her own actions doesn't thrill me either. No Hope, you can't play the "Maybe there was never a marriage to save anyway" card. There was a marriage there. I watched it for the better part of the last two decades.
What Hope can, and SHOULD, do is listen to Maggie and Julie. They were smart enough to immediately doubt the idea that Bo has really loved Carly all these years. Julie even went a step further to remind Hope that Bo is not someone to turn his back on a friend in need. If Hope's fancy face comes with a set of fancy ears, I suggest she access them immediately and put them to use.
Bo's always been a little too much of a hero for his own good. Hope's problem is that she's not the victim this time. Carly is.
If those deliciously over-the-top flashbacks were any indication of what Carly's life has been like over the last 19 years, Carly's had a tough time. Lawrence was a monster. And as bad as Hope's drama over Ciara being kidnapped and held hostage was, it seemed like small potatoes compared to what the writers gave Carly.
And while the writers were handing out sympathy, they gave a big scoop to Justin. I am really starting to feel bad for the guy. He confessed his genuine feelings for Hope in probably the most honest and non-threatening way I've ever seen. Now that Hope knows how Justin feels, she needs to be a bit more selective about where she goes for sympathy kisses.
I'm not against a Bope reunion. But, the storylines have played out in such a way that I will be super pissed if Carly and Justin end up getting dragged through the mud and left in it.
P.S.- Justin still has no other reason, outside of Hope, for being in Salem. Writers, please get on that ASAP. Thanks.
WILL, MIA, CHAD, GABI, T, and KINSEY
It's not hard to see why Mia fell for Chad. The guy is super smooth. Asking a girl to go to the Olympics is probably the best second date idea ever. And because she's no dummy, Gabi agreed.
So, Chad, Gabi, T, Kinsey, and her six suitcases of shoes are off to Vancouver. I really hope NBC does some awesome double promotion shoot with the kids at the Olympics-- or, at least how the Olympics would look if Vancouver was played by an LA soundstage.
However, Mia and Will are going to stay behind in Salem and sulk. And, I am going to pray that Mia and Will start getting interesting again soon.
I appreciate that Mia is still so new to SoapVille that she doesn't know that all the really cool girls date one guy while denying their feelings for another until both guys destroy each other while she looks over the damage and cries. But I'm not sure where this storyline has to go.
Roman told Ari that the "higher-ups" are pulling the plug on her undercover operation, which means that Ari will go back to prison. That is, unless she can convince some dude named Caesar not to give up on her. Good luck to her. From what I hear, guys named Caesar are always known for their mercy.
In other tough luck news, Troy's learned a very important lesson: Do not hire a hit man off Craigslist. We should all remember this. When we want a soap character dead, we just have to do it ourselves. There's no use in outsourcing.
And Troy Allen Winston (congrats on the full name, Troy!) would have gotten away with it, too, had E.J. not been outside Arianna's door at the exact minute Arianna was gasping for life. Oh my golly gosh, how super, awesomely lucky was that?!?! Whew! If I didn't know better, I would swear that the writers just needed a way to make sure E.J. was at the police station when Troy figured out that Arianna is a narc! But, no really, E.J. just happened to be there- taking a leisurely stroll through the second floor of Caroline's private residence. Thank God!
Chloe tried to convince Brady to call Nicole. Surprisingly, Brady said no. Well, I guess I shouldn't be that surprised. Brady's never had a problem doing whatever Nicole wanted before.
Vivian and Victor are planning on going along with Philip and Melanie on their honeymoon. Not just travel to the same place and visit some of the same areas. Nope, these two are planning on getting on the private yacht with Phil and Mel. Yah, that doesn't scream AKWARD and INAPPROPRIATE at all. Parents join their kids on their honeymoons all the time.
The artist formerly known as Grace Rafaela Brady and Grace DiMera, is now officially Grace McKormick Woods, according to her third headstone. No word on whether she ever used the alias, Grace McKormick Petersen-Woods.
Bo enlisted Daniel's help in protecting Carly from Vivian. Something tells me that Daniel may have a bit more to do with the storyline than play the role of glorified bodyguard/ wedding dress crisis manager.
Only one of the six teens has a regularly visible parent in Salem. I don't see what could possibly go wrong there.
I love it when characters leave voicemails telling other people off. I don't know about you, but my phone has this little button I can push that deletes the messages. Oh that, and if I get an angry message I can choose not to call the person back.
Philip's sudden showering of love for Melanie smells a bit like Phelle, circa 2005. All that's missing is a cage for Nathan. (No Steph, don't get any ideas!)
Dirty little secret- I didn't like Melanie's wedding dress.
If the writers want Mel to seem older, she should spend more time with Mia. Having Mel constantly be the youngest person in every single one of her scenes isn't the best way to make me believe that she's "of age." Yet, when she shares scenes with the actual teens, Melanie seems too old to hang out with them.
Stephanie borrowed that sweater from Ciara's closet, right?
Maggie vs. Kate was awesome. Correction: Maggie was awesome. The way she defended Melanie and chastised Kate for trying to use Mickey's death to Kate's advantage was incredibly impressive. It's good practice for Maggie too. Because once Maggie finds out what Vivian has planned for Melanie, Kate will seem like a small nuisance.
Carly and Melanie. I love both actors and I really like the idea of the storyline. But, the writing and pacing is pretty tough to take. It started way back when Mel flipped out over spilt coffee. It's obvious that the writers need to create some angst between Carly and Melanie, yet don't have any believable idea on how to do that, so they just decided to have Melanie yell a lot. I might join her soon.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Carly: Vivian Alamain is sadistic, cruel, merciless, a card-carrying sociopath...
Vivian (interrupting): Oh my goodness! What ever happened to, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all?"
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