Salem Shenanigans from July 13 – 17:

This is Matt, formerly of SOF’s “Matt’s Musings” filling in for Christine this week. Have no fear, she will return for the next installment of the blog. Many of the stories that dominated last week were pushed aside (until Friday). Not that I’m complaining about getting a bit of a break from Will, but, and I’m sorry to be a sourpuss, it felt like a filler week in many respects. There was a lot of a little happening slowly. The major plot development was Nicole packing up to move in with Daniel. And it felt a lot like watching someone pack. Rather than the flashbacks we’re usually treated to, we got a great deal of repetitive dialog.

Ending or going nowhere?
It must have been all that time Eric tried to remain placid as a priest, but now when the rage and frustration unfurl on his face, it’s like the earth splitting open. If Eric furrows his brow any more, it’s going to become identical to the waves of his sleek helmet head of hair. He and Nicole argued about his feelings all over town for several episodes. She tried to be blunt, which provided a nice contrast to the other repetitive argument she had all week…

Serena vs. Nicole.
While I generally have a soft spot for characters unleashing a few clever insults, this starts to wear down when – for days and days running – we’re given little else. I get that Nicole and Serena hate each other. Once and awhile it’s nice for a nasty quip. But whenever I see them, that’s all it is, stretched out for what feels like a long time. If people are going to spar verbally, it needs to ratchet up and have somewhere to go. But their fights don’t. They’re just blandly choreographed and repetitive. They even recycle each other’s insults (see below). Still, there were some nice bits. It’s good when someone calls Nicole out on being a lousy journalist. It’s even better when it’s someone who is as lousy at it as she is, like say Serena. Not content with just policing the world with her power as a tabloid reporter, Nicole proceeded to give Abe advice on how to do real police work. This was followed with some more irony as Serena proceeded to do what Nicole would do and attempted to record an incriminating conversation with Xander since the police can’t get any evidence. Now all they need to do is listen to an ethics lecture from Will and it will be perfect.

The otherworldly one.
Last week in Deconstructing DOOL, Christine joked about whether or not Ben was gaining physic abilities. There’s certainly something otherworldly about him. Why do I always feel like Ben is a contestant on a reality TV show like “The Bachelor” rather than a fully fledged fictional character?