Days of Our LivesSoapbox

Soapbox

A Very Salem Christmas Manages to (Mostly) Walk the Line Between Feel-Good Holiday Fare and Over-the-Top Soap Drama

Alison Sweeney, Evelyn Stephenson, Dan Feuerriegel, Arianne ZukerDays of our Lives: A Very Salem ChristmasNBC StudiosBurbank11/01/21© XJJohnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # P002-001U.S.Airdate

Jill Johnson/JPI

With today’s release of Peacock’s Days of Our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas, we thought we’d do a special soapbox just for the film. It’s framed as a movie that Will (with a little help from Sonny) is writing about a fictionalized version of their beloved Salem at Christmastime where everyone but them are “What if?” versions of their characters. At first, I rolled my eyes at the notion of the show telling a fictional story written by a fictional character — but it works. It lets them have some fun and freedom with relationships and mix Hallmark sweetness with over-the-top drama. Read on for more, but if you haven’t seen it and want to be surprised, beware of spoilers galore! If, however, you want to get a taste of the movie that’s spoiler-free, check out our interviews with Deidre Hall (Marlena), Eileen Davidson (Kristen) and Chandler Massey (Will) and Zach Tinker (Sonny)

Genre-Bender

Jackee HarryDays of our Lives: A Very Salem ChristmasNBC StudiosBurbank11/05/21© XJJohnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # P002-001U.S.Airdate

First off, I’ll admit it was interesting to see the different balances between Christmas fare and soap drama that various storylines got. Gabi tripping over herself for Brady only to discover bestie Nick was her true love was a Hallmarky plotline that felt done in a soapy way. But Sami slapping the hell out of Nicole after learning Sydney was actually her daughter was pure soap. And then there were the over-the-top moments like Paulina — who was trying to shut everyone’s businesses down to take over Salem because why not? — going full Cruella de Vil and uttering, “My plans foiled by a drag show, of all things!” Girl.

More: Zach Tinker chows down with his utterly adorable companion

Marlena and John’s storyline was, I have to say, delightful. Watching the two of them exchange longing glances and act almost shy and uncertain around each other was a wonderful change I didn’t even know I needed. It was like watching them fall in love for the first time all over again. It all made their reunion by the fire at the end feel like something fresh and beautiful just about to bloom.

Drake Hogestyn, Deidre HallDays of our Lives: A Very Salem ChristmasNBC StudiosBurbank11/01/21© XJJohnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # P002-001U.S.Airdate

More: Watch Brandon Barash fake out his love with a surprise proposal

Less beautiful, though, was that partner swapping between Chanel, Allie, Tripp and Johnny. Yes, we know, Chanel and Tripp were clearly wrong for each other, but to just decide to trade off for another model felt kind of icky. Still, it gave them a happy ending, I guess, and that’s what Will gave everyone — even the villains.

Cheating Kristen — who was working with Paulina the whole time! — happily traded John for Brady. Chanel forgave Paulina for trying to destroy the whole town. And hateful mom Nicole realized the error of her ways only to run into (surprise!) Eric. He beat the real one to Salem! Personally, I would’ve put some more repercussions in place, but it’s Christmas, and Will has a kinder heart than I.

Eric Martsolf, Eileen DavidsonDays of our Lives: A Very Salem ChristmasNBC StudiosBurbank11/01/21© XJJohnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # P002-001U.S.Airdate

More: What Thaao Penghlis swears he did on a big night

Random Thoughts

  • Thank God for Sonny asking the tough questions like, “Why would you include Nick and Leo??” Because let’s face it, we were all thinking that when we saw the trailer.
  • Sydney turned on Nicole fast after learning Sami was really her mom. She apparently had zero feelings for the woman who raised her for… how many years? Eight? Nine? How bad a mom was Nicole?
  • The framing story mostly worked, but Will’s “Oh shoot, I forgot I was supposed to write a movie by midnight tonight for this network, let me bang one out” was a stretch for what was supposed to be the “realistic” part of the movie. From one writer to another… no.
  • Can I just say that I like this Sami more than current Sami? This one shared a reunion with EJ that was sweet and felt earned. Regular-show Sami is stalking EJ, declaring she won’t ever let him go. Yikes.
  • Paulina refusing to learn a new assistant’s name and calling Leo “Mary” the whole movie could have been cringeworthy, but I couldn’t help but laugh because it was clear everyone was in on the joke.
  • That drag show/strip show was a blast. My first thought on realizing they were putting the boys in drag again was apprehension that they were just throwing the gays in the same situation as before. (Mind you, I do love my drag shows.) But you could tell they worked hard on the production, and everyone, including the cast in the audience, genuinely seemed to be having fun with it.

So what were your thoughts on A Very Salem Christmas? Did you love it or hate it? Let us know below, then as you bask in the glow of a kinder, Satan-free Marlena, keep those good feelings going as you take a look back at a gallery going through the life and loves of “Doc.”

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