Why Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem Is Beyond Genius
Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem is beyond anything we expected when we heard that NBC was going to give its only remaining soap a chance to shine in the spotlight on its streaming channel, Peacock. Since DAYS did try the standalone miniseries format for its app a few years ago with Chad and Abby In Paris, we expected more of the same, but it was not what we got at all.
Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem: Soap Opera Goodness Starring Deidre Hall And Friends
First things first, NBC and Corday Productions gave Deidre Hall what she deserved with her voice over the hourglass in the opener. Yes, on the traditional show DAYS still honors MacDonald Carey as it should, but Deidre Hall has been this soap’s star since the 1970s and is still front and center as Marlena. If anyone deserved the hourglass honor for this Peacock series, it was Hall.
But the soap took it beyond the hourglass for a classy opening reminiscent of old-time primetime soaps and even daytime soaps of the 1980s. That was a welcome blast from the past, as was a cast full of old favorites and new. We got John Black (Drake Hogestyn), Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall), Shane Donovan (Charles Shaughnessy), Tony DiMera (Thaao Penghlis), Anna DiMera (Leann Hunley), Austin Reed (Austin Peck), and Carrie Brady Reed (Christie Clark) to bring us back to the 1980s and 1990s, along with Billie Reed with an appearance by Lisa Rinna.
And we also saw new favorites too like Ben (Robert Scott Wilson) and Ciara (Victoria Konefal), Lani (Sal Stowers) and Eli (Lamon Archey), and Abe (James Reynolds) and Paulina (Jackee Harry) — although Abe is an old fave still doing his thing with newer characters. What could be better than a lineup like this?
Soap Opera Goodness To The Tee
The production values also brought back memories of the 1980s with Paulina’s lavish home and the many establishing shots that brought you right into the scene. Even elements of the story had little nuggets for longtime fans.
Ben and Ciara want to visit the mansion where Bo and Hope first made love while they are also searching for a jewel, as Bo (Peter Reckell) and Hope (Kristian Alfonso) were searching for stolen prisms during that time. And that storyline is the one that introduced us to Shane Donovan, who sent John and Marlena on their Zurich mission. Thank you, Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem, for taking us back to yesteryear, which it will be doing on Peacock for the rest of this week.