Daytime’s Parenting Sweepstakes (Updated)

Bold and Beautiful.  Who’s the bigger loser in the deal, Marcus or Donna?  My money is on Marcus.  WOOHOO, you find your biological mother and she’s a former model, rich as creases, and now in charge of a multimillion dollar conglomerate.  What’s not to love?  Oh, just the fact that she’s nutty as a fruitcake (see Forrester Creations ‘takeover attempt’).  Not enough?  Add that she’s dumb as a stone!  How is it that young Marcus knows enough to be suspicious of Owen and Donna is falling for his act hook, line, and sinker?

If Donna loved her ‘honeybear’ as much as she claims, or her son for that matter, Owen would have been out the door.

All My Children – JR and Adam.  Adam is on the losing side, in this case.  Just how many times can JR turn his back on his father and try to make Adam ‘pay’ for (insert incident)?  His attempts to take over Adam’s company and/or fortune are becoming as commonplace as his change in hairstyles. 

He can forgive Babe for every mean and nasty thing she’s done to him, including having one night stands just weeks after they were married, and running off with his child AND his brother, but Adam is the devil incarnate?  What AMC needs is MORE Adam, and even an Adam clone or two (hint there, JR).  Given what’s transpired on this show the past couple of years, Adam is the least threatening person in Pine Valley… so far…but give him time.

One LIfe To Live – Starr and Todd.  It’s a draw!  The mini-me Starr has become is absolutely intolerable to me.  She’s demanding, obnoxious and completely out of control.  I hate it women, in general, are blamed for their children’s behavior, but I think it works in Starr’s specific case.  Blair shares some of the blame.  Carrying Todd Manning’s genes set Starr up for a very difficult life, to begin with – but there was a least some chance of escaping her destiny to make life miserable for as many people as possible.  Blair hasn’t done Starr any favors by having little-to-no guidelines for developing a sense of self control. 

While Todd moves to one extreme, appointing himself Starr’s Lord and Master, Blair moves too far in the other extreme – wanting to be Starr’s best friend.  Hey, Blair, Starr has enough ‘friends’ – they helped get her in the situation she’s in now.  She could use a parent.  She’s sorely lacking one.  While Starr is working hard trying to place her child for adoption, she should be looking for a placement of her own.  Make sure to take Jack and Sam with you, kid!

As The World Turns – Puberty (Parker and Liberty).  Isn’t it grand that their parents have FINALLY figured out that these kids need supervision, AFTER they were caught in bed together?  Before that?  The only parent who made time for either of them, and tried to keep them in line was Liberty’s father, Brad.   Brad is a lone salmon swimming upstream, when it comes to parenting.  He actually focuses on his daughter more than his own sex life.  Imagine that! 

Oh that Carly and Holden, and Jack and Janet.  Theirs are the ‘F’ bombs that just keep giving and taking.  They get their freak on and their 16 year olds get their freak on in response!  Ain’t that grand?  Summer love never seemed so  backwards.  Well, we know the outcome for OLTL’s  Starr and Cole – a child she wants to give up for adoption, one he wants to keep and raise.  The problem is that the OLTL storyline is weak, and without much merit as an example of the difficulty of teen pregnancy ( read more in the blog below “Jumping the Shark”).  All of the issues that make the OLTL storyline a weak one are issues that make a strong case for a teen pregnancy storyline for ATWT’s lusting cousins, ‘Puberty’.   

Both kids are from families that are hardworking, middle class (lower middle, or upper lower for Liberty and her mother, Janet).  Raising a child WOULD be a struggle for Puberty, neither of which has a trust fund, slew of servants, or enormous mansions to raise their child in.  Both are teens who rushed into sex, even while using birth control that neither probably knew how to use adequately or responsibly enough to be protected. 

There was no emotional commitment between Parker and Liberty prior to having sex.  Would they want to raise a child together?   This pair would give a more realistic look at the emotional angst of having made a decision they weren’t ready for and the angst of dealing with loivng a child enough to give it a great home with parents who were ready to love and care for it.  I’d hate for a Puberty pregnancy storyline (if there was one) to become as sensationalized as Gwen’s pregnancy storyline.  I’d love to see daytime portray teen pregnancy realistically and with great deference to the hardships of real life teen parents.  Since this is daytime, and almost no storyline is offered without controversy, let me offer the following:

Parker could turn to cousin Luke to help him.  He’s not ready to be a father, and yet he’s not ready to see his child placed with strangers. At LEAST two options are now available.

1 – Luke decides to adopt his cousin’s child.  He talks it over with Noah, and Noah agrees to give him whatever help he can.  It leads to them spending more time together and getting even closer – even if they’re not ready to be a full-fledged family.  Can they survive Luke becoming a single father and splitting his time between their relationship and his son?

2 – Luke and Noah decide that they’re ready for a long term commitment and raise the child together, as a family.  They agree to adopt the Puberty baby together.  This storyline, by the way, pulls Luke and Noah out of the ‘late teen’ trap the writers have been keeping them in to avoid their emotional and physical connection – which now makes even less sense given the explicit and graphic Puberty romp. 

In either case, Luke/or Luke and Noah adopt the child, agree to help raise him, and end up fighting Janet  and Brad on the adoption.  Janet opposes for religious reasons.  Brad opposes because he wants custody of the child and plans to raise it with Katie.  Both Liberty and Janet thinks it’s too much to have the child raised as Liberty’s sibling and fight Brad.

What’s that, you ask?  Haven’t NUKE been through enough?  I get the point, and understand why it would be hard to watch another ‘anti’ storyline when it comes to these two, but I think a storyline about adoption could be a great way to address the issue of whether cultural ideas about adoption involving GLBT parents is more myth than reality.   This would be an opportunity for the writers to debunk myths and to open the discussion about the more than a half million children in this country who need homes, and are barred from living in the context of a family with same sex parents because of unfounded fears.

I think the writers have exhausted the focus on Luke and Noah as ‘good guys’ with hearts of gold.  I think they’ve done enough to show us the stereotypes about gay males are just stereotypes.  It’s time to move them into family mode.  It’s time to fully integrate these characters and give them a meaty storyline that isn’t just about ‘coming out’ and dealing with ‘being out’.  They’re out.  It’s time for them to become as real as any other character on canvas.

Update:  I’ve just been informed that Noah is roughly 20, Luke 19.  It wouldn’t make much of a difference to have Nuke become parents at such a young age instead of Puberty.  Too bad the writers haven’t SORASed them as they have so many others.  Nuke, mid 20s?  They’d make great parents.  It’s just a few short years away.

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Rooting for the Anti-Hero

There are so few TRUE villains left in daytime any more.  DOOL’s still has Stefano.  I’m sure the Cassadines are lurking the shadows of Port Chuckles, but TPTB of GH seem to have no use for them right now.  The same GH writers refuse to label Jason and Sonny “bad guys” and have instead treated them as ‘anti-heroes’.  Anti-heroes aren’t exactly ‘heroes’.  They’re often dark characters who fall just shy of this side of morality or legality, and often lack remorse.  Sometimes, during their dark times, they just happen to do something good, engage in an action that helps someone else.  Don’t thank them, or even acknowledge that they’ve done something decent or human.  You’ll only anger them.  

Today’s anti-heroes don’t have the same level of emotional depth or sheer intellect of yesterday’s soap villains, but they’re still FUN, when they’re not completely slimy.  The two anti-hero/bad boys who’ve left me totally captivated are

1.  The BnB’s Owen

2.  GL’s Billy Lewis

Owen… Who wouldn’t root for a character played by the uber delicious Brandon Beemer?  The man is seven kinds of sexy on his worst days, and he holds nothing back when onscreen and in character.  What makes Owen an anti-hero (at least so far) is that his seemingly self-serving actions actually seem to be benefiting  poor ridiculous Donna.  Her husband is in a coma.  She’s just ousted her stepchildren (one of whom in an ex-boyfriend, another an ex-fiance) from the family company.  Her sister has walked out on her and won’t help her run the company she’s taken over.  The fashion world thinks she’s a tart.  She’s a failed model with a reputation for being more of the ‘pole dancer’ than ‘private dancer’ type… well, you get the picture.

Owen has managed to make Donna feel good about herself.  Sure, Eric does too, but his praise for Donna stems from her complete adoration of him.  She makes HIM feel good.  She makes HIM happy.  She makes HIM feel young. She gives HIM all the sex he wants — hence the viagra-coma.  Eric rarely has anything to say to Donna that isn’t indirectly about him.  Owen, so she believes, sees her and believes in her ability to do anything  – accentuating the  point of how wonderful he thinks she is with a big sloppy kiss (take that  viagra-swilling, wife-dumping, comatose husband!).  Awww… very ‘Bridget Jones’.

Confused, frightened, and alone, Donna has no one to turn to but our Owen Knight – and he’s played a role in making sure of that!  Clearly the man has his own agenda.  Is his agenda  an anti-hero agenda in sticking it to what he sees as pampered and angry Forrester sibs who seem to want more than he thinks they’re entitled to?   OR is it an villain’s agenda, one that begins with convincing Donna that she deserves to run the company and ends with Owen either owning FC, or emptying Donna’s bank accounts.  While I SHOULD feel sorry for Donna, if I happens, I won’t.  

Anti-hero or villain, I’m anxiously awaiting Owen’s next move.

Bill Lewis.  Yes, Yes, he’s stolen a mansion and small fortune from Alan Spaulding, but let’s face it, Alan isn’t such a nice guy either.  It’s a classic anti-hero move.  The bad guy makes the even WORSE guy finally pay up for causing others misery.  I cheered on Lizzie (Alan’s granddaughter) and Bill as a couple.  Bill wasn’t trying to make Alan’s life even more miserable.  I cheered them on because it’s been a long time since GL has had a couple with the same cosmic chemistry as Reva and Jeffrey, Reva and Josh, Gus and Harley, Beth and Phillip, you name it.  Bill and Lizzie had it all, and then Bill threw it all away. 

Political ambition got the best of him and anti-heroine Ava gave him the opportunity to pimp a ‘ready made family’ as the picture perfect way to start his political career.  That Ava lied and told him the child she was carrying his, and neglected to tell him she’d visited a clinic to be inseminated?  Eh, minor detail.  That she was wrong, the insemination didn’t work and she was pregnant by a man with whom she’s had a continuing close “friendship”?  Ok, major detail, but not insurmountable.  So what?  It’s ‘HIS’ family, now.  That the child’s father is African-American and Bill is not?   Ok. NOW someone’s got some explainin’ to do!

If you’ve been watching GL this past week, you know that Bill still thinks of Remy’s son, Max, as ‘his’, and is unwilling to give him up to his biological father.  Besides, the governor is ok with it… and isn’t that all that matters?  Nothing will deter Bill from his run for office!  But here’s the problem.  Bill has decided that he and Ava should tell everyone that they couldn’t have  child on their own.  They used a clinic.  There was an ‘error’ at the clinic.  The clinic made a ‘mistake’.  That would explain the fact that the child is African-American/Biracial.  

I could believe that Bill really does love that child if the writers hadn’t chosen that language: “mistake”, “error” and adding that the govenor is “ok” with it.  MAN UP, you wanker!  If the writers want to continue to portray Bill as the ‘anti-hero’, slipping toward ‘decent man’, let him love Max and want him for the right reasons.  The writers have to realize that right now, he’s reading poorly with that incredibly insensitive dialogue.  It has the potential to move him into the ‘villain’ column pretty damned quickly.  To further move him to the ‘hero’/”good man” column, have him tell the truth.  There’s a novel idea!c Have him admit that he knew his wife was pregnant with a child that wasn’t his before they married and it didn’t matter.  He could then lie and claim that he married her out of love.  Can you imagine the press conference if he keeps up the clinic lie?

Reporters: 

  • Mr. Lewis, you say that you and your wife wanted a child and that you couldn’t have one on your own so you sought artificial insemination.  Yet, your wife was inseminated before you were engaged.  Had you decided to wait until it was clear she could carry a child before you decided to marry her?
  • Mr. Lewis, you were dating Lizzie Spaulding at the time your now-wife was being inseminated.  Why were you dating while creating a family with another woman? 
  • Are you still denying that the recently published photos of you and Lizzie Spaulding are innocent?
  • Which are we to believe, Mr. Lewis? 
  • Were you toying with Ms. Spaulding as part of your vendetta against her grandfather?
  • Which of your various stories do you want the voting public to believe, sir?
  • If you’re not honest about something like this, Mr. Lewis, how can the public trust you?

Let’s hope the writers pen such a conference for Bill Lewis.  I’d love to see Remy reunited with his son, and Ava (should the actress ever return- or if the character is recast!).  Little Max shouldn’t end up with someone who is content to tell the world he is a ‘mistake’ or ‘error’.  Max deserves better.