Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem Season 1 Round Table: Did The Switcheroo Surprise You?Jack Ori at . Updated at .
Classic characters. A madcap adventure. Road trips that led to so much more.
Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem Season 1 offered viewers a throwback to the past... in the form of five digital episodes on Peacock TV.
Our TV Fanatics Jack and Christine are joined by Christine's daughter, Kate, as well as Tony from My Hourglass: A Days of Our Lives Fan Forum to discuss the Shane/Drew switcheroo, the series' campiness, and whether we would watch a second season. Read on for our thoughts!
Were you surprised that Drew turned to be posing as Shane to steal back all the jewels, or did you predict this twist?
Kate: Well, as I am new to Days in general, I didn't really know the character Shane or Drew; therefore, I was indeed pretty surprised.
Though if I had known about the Shane-Drew situation, I might have had a suspicion, but I don't think I would have put it all together before the show explained!
Christine: I had completely forgotten about Drew, probably because I never enjoyed that storyline, so I was surprised when Drew turned up.
In the end, I was happy it was Drew and not Kristen in another one of her masks.
Tony: Very! I didn't even begin to suspect something until he so easily dismissed Ben's role in Paige's death during "Endgame."
But I'm so happy that Drew was brought back with his original, evil characterization!
Jack: I didn't guess this either. I feel like I should have known, given head writer Ron Carlivati's penchant for doppelganger stories.
Once it was revealed that Drew had switched places with Shane, it all made sense. I liked this twist because it was a great nod to history.
And as Tony says above, it fixed Drew's character. I wasn't a fan last time around when he was turned into a loveable goofball.
How did you feel about Billie's new love interest turning out to be a bad guy who she ended up having to help bring down?
Kate: I thought the Billie Reed and Graham thing was moving a little too quickly as I had just met the character, Billie Reed.
She looked more like the type of person to not fall for someone easily, so that happening so fast was a bit unsettling.
Okay, I'm kind of happy that Graham was a bad guy. He seemed pretty suspicious anyway, though I didn't suspect much since fast-moving relationships didn't seem like something Days wouldn't do.
Christine: Eh. To be honest, I haven't been a big fan of Billie's in years, so I can't say I paid a lot of attention to her and Graham.
But their instant connection and quick progression from colleagues to romance was a bit of a tip-off that things could end badly.
Tony: At the beginning, I was rooting for Billie and Graham/Dimitri to get together!
I do love the twist, even though it saddens me that we have yet another evil ISA agent.
Still, I thought it was well done.
Jack: I predicted that Billie and Graham would fall for each other by the series' end, so, in that sense, Graham turning out to be an evil double agent was a brilliant move.
However, I enjoyed their romance (although it might have led to a lot of stupid Billy Graham jokes, and that nonsense with Calista Lockhart on the regular show was bad enough.)
I was disappointed. I liked the idea of Shane matchmaking two of his agents and was thrilled when Billie and Graham kissed.
But at least Billie had a spark of hope when she met Sebastian Alamain... although getting involved with an Alamain is especially risky for her given Kate and Vivian's long-standing rivalry.
At the same time as the characters on Beyond Salem were out of town, Days of Our Lives had several of them back in Salem, supposedly after returning from their trip. Do you think the two series should have been more connected, or did it not matter to you?
Kate: For Mom and me, especially towards the beginning, it was very confusing.
I feel like they either shouldn't have had those characters or had a little notice at the beginning, simply saying it was after the trip shown in Beyond Salem.
Christine: Days of Our Lives did have some characters mention they'd just gotten back from their weekend trip, but it was still a bit confusing.
I think it would have been better to concentrate on characters who weren't on Beyond Salem this week. Trying to make sense of both storylines at once was a bit disconcerting.
Tony: I feel that, if Beyond Salem were to really count, the characters involved in it should have remained offscreen on Days of Our Lives for the whole week.
There was even a special prequel episode for it last week!
Okay, it didn't take me out of either show, but it did annoy me a bit.
Jack: I didn't like that. As everyone else has said, it was confusing to keep track of two separate storylines for the same characters. Also, it made Beyond Salem feel disconnected from the main series as if it took place in an alternate universe.
Days of Our Lives inserted the prequel episode at the last minute.
I wish they had also been able to insert a week's worth of new material so that the characters coming back from their trip would have taken place after Beyond Salem instead of during it.
Ben and Ciara's storyline involved more than lying in bed endlessly! Did their involvement in this story make them a more compelling couple to you?
Kate: Not really, overall.
The only thing that really intrigued me was the whole Shane and Paige Neck-tie-killer thing. I thought that was interesting because, aside from certain people saying he couldn't have changed, we don't hear a lot about it anymore.
Ben: Before you go, sir, I just want to say... I'm sorry about what I did to Paige.
Shane: I don't have time to go into that right now. Not when innocent lives are at stake. Innocent, like my granddaughter was when you stole her life from her.
So it was interesting to see a calm and cool character like Shane be emotional over a storyline we don't really talk much about anymore.
Christine: I wasn't a big fan of their swingers party storyline, but at least it gave them something to do.
Ben did look great in a tux. When he kept his shirt on, that is. And Ciara's black gown was a significant improvement over that red dress she wore earlier, which looked as though it had been shrunk in the dryer before she put it on.
Oh, and I have to say that Ciara has the perfect hair for a tiara. It looked silly on Billie but completely appropriate on Ciara at the party.
Tony: Not necessarily more compelling, but it was good to see them do more than have a never-ending sexathon.
Jack: I'm not a huge fan of this couple because they seem to either be having endless sex or fighting some bad guy who kidnapped one of them because of Ben's past.
So I was thrilled that they had something else to do. It didn't turn them into the new Bo and Hope (nothing will, and I wish Days of Our Lives would stop trying to force it!), but it was more interesting.
I liked Shane's reaction to Ben having killed Paige, too, though I hate that Days of Our Lives only ever brings Paige up to remind viewers that Ben killed her.
There was so much more to her than the unnecessary and violent end to her life, and I wish Days of Our Lives would acknowledge that more.
Rate the miniseries' camp level from 1 (this was stupid and unfunny and ruined the show) to 10 (I loved it and was extremely entertained.)
Kate: 9.5. Sorry, I don't know if halves are allowed, but I loved it!
It was so different, and having characters like Shane, Billie Reed, and Leo was so fun! As well as giving more storylines to couples like Anna and Tony and more! Seeing Chad hang out with Will, Sonny, and Leo was hilarious!
I really hope they do this again!
Christine: I'm giving it a 9.
Certain portions didn't quite hit the mark for me, but overall, this was a whole lot of fun. Will and Sonny got their spark back, and Leo's shenanigan's energized Chad in a way that I haven't seen in years.
Even the silly Alamanian Peacock story worked as the MacGuffin of the story, and having Leo inadvertently save the world made me laugh.
Tony: 9. It was just campy enough while also being serious enough. I'd rate it 10, but I don't think it's completely perfect.
Jack: I'd give it a 9 as well.
Some situations bordered on sexual harassment or assault, and that bothered me.
I didn't like Sophie practically forcing herself on Ben or Leo pretending he slept with an unconscious Chad. I was relieved to learn Leo was lying about that!
But for the most part, I enjoyed the series, and the silly situations were more fun than irritating. I was able to put the unrealistic nature of some of this out of my head, which is a testament to how good it was!
Was there anything you would have changed if you could? If so, what?
Kate: Um…. What was really the point in the whole Michelle storyline with Paulina? I don't think there was one!
I get Paulina is a new character in both Days and Beyond Salem, but I felt like that character gets a lot of screen time that isn't necessary to the other storylines.
Christine: Austin thinking that buying his wife an expensive necklace would save their marriage was dumb. I know Carrie and Austin are fan favorites for some, but Austin bores me to tears, so I probably wouldn't have him back.
And the Miami storyline felt like it dragged on a bit too long, but overall, there wasn't a lot to complain about on Beyond Salem.
Tony: I would have made it so Kristen was the one who put the ruby and citrine in Austin's bag so we could keep Graham as a love interest for Billie.
Jack: I agree with you, Christine -- it was ridiculous that Austin thought buying Carrie a necklace would solve their problems.
I kept thinking about one Christmas where Maggie and Victor were on the outs, and she told him that a new pair of earrings wouldn't fix it.
Also, little Noah has never had ANY screen time, and it's become a joke at this point. I was looking for the excuse they were going to use for him to not be on air now, and of course, there was one.
There wasn't much else I would change (maybe cut back on some of the toeing-the-line sexual harassment jokes), though I wish that Andrew Donovan had been around too.
Andrew has been MIA as an adult, and I like to imagine him working with Shane and inspiring Theresa's jealousy because he's close to her father and she's not. Either way, I thought Beyond Salem would have been a great time to introduce him to the audience.
Would you watch a second season if there was one? Why or why not?
Kate: Yes! I loved seeing all these new characters I've never seen but heard so much about! It also gave Chad a great funny side that I loved!
Christine: Absolutely! This was a great way to energize Days' base while hopefully pulling in both new and former fans. I would definitely watch a second season.
Tony: I would most definitely watch a second season! This was fantastic!
Jack: I loved this so much and already miss it! I hope there is a second season and would definitely watch it.
What was your favorite quote, scene, or storyline from Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem?
Kate: I loved Chad and the rest of the guys (including Leo) hanging out, and it was just a really lighthearted, funny thing that still incorporated the show's overall storyline.
I also loved seeing more of Anna and Tony, they are one of my favorite couples, and it was nice to see them having more screen time. I also loved when John and Marlena were hanging out with Anna and Tony!
Christine: There was so much to love on Beyond Salem.
The humor was spot on as it didn't take itself too seriously.
The back and forth between Chad and Leo walked a line, but most of it was over the top enough to be really funny.
Ben and Ciara mentioning that the church blew up, so they couldn't have their wedding reception, and Billie quipping that not much has changed in Salem was great.
Anna stealing John's paddle at the auction made me laugh too.
And I loved John coming to hang out with Carrie and calling her Pumpkin. I remember watching those two when she was just a kid, and I always liked their rapport.
And I know some fans weren't happy about it, but I liked Deidre Hall doing the opening for Beyond Salem. This isn't Days, but a new spinoff and hearing Marlena give the intro felt completely appropriate to me.
Tony: There is so much to love about this series that I just can't decide on one. My top three are the return of Drew, Tony's quips about how Austin should have bought something less expensive for Carrie, and the showdown in Alamainia.
Jack: I also had a hard time choosing just one. I thought the Shane/Drew twist was brilliant.
Thaao Penghliss always adds a ton to every scene he's in, so I was also thrilled to get so much Tony and Anna. I was surprised Andre didn't make an appearance somewhere along the line too!
The gay club/drag show was hilarious and was one of my favorite parts of the series. DAYS has done over-the-top things like this before (remember that strip show in 2015?), and I liked that they were including a segment of the LGBT community in the fun.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics!
Hit that big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your answers to these questions... and anything else on your mind about Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem.
Looking to chat about Days of Our Lives' main series? Check out our latest Days of Our Lives reviews and Days of Our Lives Round Table discussions.
Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem Season 1 is available via Peacock TV.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.