My kingdom for one happy soap fan!

Are there ANY happy soap fans out there?  I’ve yet to hear from one.  If your soap is doing something right, I’d love to have you drop me a line at Norrthpier@aol.com  I’d be more than interested in finding out where things are going right in daytime.  Don’t get me wrong, friends, I’m with you.

I’m not exactly a happy camper these days… really, just how MANY women will die/be shot/hurt for loving GH’s Sonny Corinthos.  How many idiotic women like Elizabeth Webber will put their children at risk to be a mob moll to a member of the lollipop gangster group?  How many times can daytime writers return to couples that float their fancies, but make the rest of the soap audience ill?  I dunno, but I don’t know if I’m in the mood to find out.

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Why soaps are already dead!

If a poster is bodacious enough to use the word ‘sage’ as part of his screen name, BELIEVE HIM!  I was reading the Official GL board when I read a post by ‘SuperSage’.  If you’ve read SS’s posts before, you know the inclusion of the word ‘Sage’ is an understatement.  He has a tendency to knock it out the park when discussing what’s wrong with soaps, in general, and the Guiding Light, in particular.  With his permission, I’m reposting his comments about ‘Why Soaps Are Already Dead’ below.  If you want to read more of SuperSage or join the GL posters who’ve come together to discuss the show, click the link to the side marked “ATWT/GL (Telenext)’ at the side.

From Sage:

It isn’t because my favorite couple isn’t on all the time. It isn’t because the show is in “reality” mode. And it isn’t even because of the wardrobe or hair is a mess. Soaps are already in the grave because of one thing, and one thing only: The powers that be are ignoring their viewers.

Oh, you say that the viewers shouldn’t dictate story? I totally agree! Can you imagine how confused we would all be if they listened to us about Reva, Josh and Jeffrey? They might as well move to Utah because this would be a polygamist marriage! AND Reva wouldn’t know who the triplets’ father would be. AND they would have to move into the Beacon because there isn’t room enough for all of them at Cross Creek (by all of them, I mean Shayne, Marah, Hawk, Billy, Bill, Jonathan, Lizzie, dead Tammy’s rotting corpse and the ghost of H.B. and Sarah).

What I mean is, the powers that be have, for too long, been consulting with focus groups that if you added up their ages, you wouldn’t get over 100 on any given day. The focus groups have told them they want to see scenes that ARE real, not just “look” real. They want to see “real” human experiences. And they don’t want to wait long for them. Problem is, the younger demographics are still a fickle little bunch and don’t stay around long enough for the common daytime soap opera. I kind of see where Chris Goutman (EP of ATWT) gets his notion that “we” don’t want to watch soaps five days a week.

The demographic the powers that be should be going after are the older viewers (35 and up). Is there any of us that didn’t get introduced to soap operas by an older family member or friend? The older viewer (yes, I am one of them… I would call us “veteran” viewers, but that sounds “old” to me, too ) has more disposable income (well, not anymore, but you see where I’m going with this) and we have more influence over the younger viewers. How do I know they aren’t going after this “older” demo? I’ll answer myself with a question: “Where are the characters that have been on the show for more than five years?”

To be GL specific, I’m talking about Alan, Rick, Olivia, Reva, Josh, Vanessa, Hawk, Billy, Alexandra, Blake, Lillian, Buzz, Frank, et al. They should be front and center EACH and EVERY day. I can still hear Wheeler saying, “They can’t be… our budget won’t allow it.” Therein lies part of the problem. They won’t invest in characters we “know.” Make it cheap and make us money. That’s the American motto, isn’t it?

Quality of the writing helps. I’d rather see a well written show than eating, and I’m a big eater. But quality doesn’t translate into ratings. What translates into higher ratings? Seeing characters we already know living their lives in our little make believe world. When viewers continue seeing these characters every day, not just once or twice a week, the ratings go up. We saw this short burst of increases in July with Josh and Reva centered primely in story. And then in August, ratings decreased once again.

I’ve preached for quality and emotion and romance, and all of this is important, but what that doesn’t include is seeing characters we know and love. Y&R and B&B knows this practice to be true. How many years have we had Victor, Nikki, Jack, Ridge, Brooke (oh gawd…) and Stephanie on our screens? The familiarity needs to be there.

The common soap opera might as well be dead if the powers that be aren’t willing to give viewers who they want.

Checking for I.D. How old are you, again?

I’m sorry, BnB fans, but I’m pretty disgusted with the thought of daytime’s oldest swinging singles tease. I don’t give a fat rat’s happy backside about the tease with trudge (Taylor and Ridge…zzzzzzzzz)  and brICK (Brooke and nick… zzzzzzzzzz!)

The writers created several ‘test’ scenes with Ashley Jones’ Bridget and Brandon Beemer’s Owen last week and they were AMAZING.  Owen was fun and flirty FINALLY. He was with a woman who wouldn’t let him stick his tongue down her throat hours after meeting him.   His relationship with Donna has been tiring to watch  because it’s been a primarily physical relationship with so little emotional connection.  It’s what made Eric and Donna such a bore, as well.  Bridget was light, carefree, and gutsy during her lunch with Owen. She was relaxed for the first time in a long time.  There was an edge to both characters that left me wanting to see more.  So what have the writers offered, instead?

Midlife crises playing out all over screen. Hell, writers, I’m past all that!  Given the age of daytime’s audience, MOST of us have been through our own midlife crises.  We don’t want to see daytime characters, approaching fifty who don’t know that ‘Wife Swap’ is a television show, NOT a suggestion.  Bridget and Owen were remarkably fun and cute and yet the only thing heading toward the small screen is teasing for the sort of stuff that sent fans packing in the first place.

Can’t we have one couple that hasn’t slept with everyone in sight, without all the emotional baggage, and without half a dozen babies, or half a dozen misattributed babies, between them?

  • I’m not listening to Pat Benatar on cassette.
  • I’m no longer stunned at the sight of a DeLorean (well, yeah, I am, but because I can’t believe it’s possible for the car to still be around).
  • My hair has grown out.
  • No Michael Jackson videos.
  • Flashdance is just a bad memory
  • ‘Whatchoo talkin’ about, Willis’ no longer makes me laugh

So why do I feel like I’m being dragged back into the 80s – early 90s with each ‘new’ BnB storyline?  Brooke and prick, Ridge and Taylor?  No to Brooke and Nick you say?  I’m there with you, and don’t see it happening, especially not if Katherine Kelly Lang’s last interview with TV & Satellite Week is any indication:

Do you think this might lead Brooke back into Nick’s world romantically?

I think that seems to be where the writers are headed. They share a child and that is a very strong bond. Since, Brooke is mothering Jack, she is spending a lot of time with Nick and one thing could lead to another.

How do you feel about the fact that Brooke might get close to Nick who has just betrayed her daughter, Bridget?

See that’s the thing I want for Brooke. I want her to put her children first, much like Taylor does. I cannot imagine a woman even sharing the same room with a man who has cheated on her daughter but Brooke thinks with her heart and sometimes makes unwise choices because she leaps before she looks. The fact that there is a child involved now (Jack), does change things a lot too.

If you were to pick a man for Brooke to settle down with, whom would you pick?

Brooke has spent most of her life being in love with Ridge. I do not see any man replacing him in her heart. So, I would say Ridge but God only knows who she will be calling her destiny tomorrow.

If there is a storyline that you want to enact as Brooke, what would it be?

There’s so much that Brooke can do besides jumping from one relationship to another. Unfortunately, that is all she has been doing for years now and I am tiring of it. I mean she is nearing 50, has four beautiful children and is with the man she has wanted to be with all her life; so you would think she would settle down already. There are days when I read the script and groan because Brooke is supposed to be saying the exact opposite of what she just uttered a week back. There is no consistency at all. I would like some of that. A 180 change on a daily basis just leaves the character with no credibility.

It would be harder to watch Brooke return to Nick after he’s betrayed Bridget yet AGAIN.  This time around, he got her dying ‘best friend’/Aunt pregnant.  The guy didn’t let Bridget’s side of the bed get cold before he was back into it with her Aunt.   Bridget was smart to get out when she could.

The Unkindest Cut of All

Taylor, REALLY?  You’re going to blackmail Brooke, trade her your ex-husband for her son.  Rick Forrester is the only man who has ever loved Taylor and ONLY Taylor.  He’s the only man who has ever put her first and fought all others to defend her.  Rick is the only man who hasn’t treated Taylor like a stand by.  This is how she repays him?  She might remember that when she was drunk, destructive, and hopeless, Ridge told their son, Thomas, that Taylor’s problems weren’t any of his business any more.

Taylor nearly had a psychological breakdown trying to keep Ridge from Brooke when they were married.  Ridge left their marital bed to travel to find Brooke while she was in EUROPE, because he sensed that she needed him – and he shared no children with her at that time.  She wants to trade Rick for Ridge?  Will it happen?  it’s doubtful, but if it does, she’ll deserve every moment of unhappiness she gets.

By the way, writers, if you’re not going to use Rick, why not send him away and bring back Dante (recast if necessary) and give us Felicia and Dante, and a HAPPY Bridget and Owen?  Without them, I see myself fast forwarding the full half hour, or probably not bothering to tape the show. I love the BnB for caring for it’s vets and putting them onscreen.  Most shows’ writers and EPs seem to have forgotten that there were beloved characters rockin’ their respective shows before they even arrived.   Not the BnB!  Veterans reign supreme (for the most part).  Much of the time that’s a blessing.  There are times when it’s just a curse, and this is one of them.

Did you know…

that if you’re an adoptive mother, your child will never fully bond with you?  No siree, it’s not like you’re a REAL mom, or anything.  Just as the Bold and the Beautiful’s writers!  Taylor’s son, a child she had little problem bonding just weeks before has suddenly found her intolerable.  In fact, while she is his birth mother, it’s his biological mother with whom he laughs and smiles and whose eyes he gazes lovingly into.  Yup.  Eight months old and that kid is able to discern which woman carries his DNA.  RIGHT.  Great message there, writers.  So Taylor will now give up custody of her child, to a woman she hates – his bio mom, and just walk away.  She’s a psychiatrist for pity’s sake.  To have us believe that she’s attributing the child’s newly developed constant crying to his realization that she can’t be his ‘real’ mom just makes me queasy.

THIS from a show that makes it possible for a young woman to fall in love with her brother just days after finding out they don’t share DNA.

THIS from a show that had a mother sleep with BOTH of her daughter’s husbands and sends them home to ‘love’ her and ‘care’ for her daughter after she’s either slept with them or met with them in secret to profess her love.

I told you guys, when the BnB is naughty, it’s FANTASTIC.  When it’s bad… it’s REALLY bad -sucks the big one bad!

Thank goodness I have Bridget Forrester and Owen Knight to keep me distracted from the rest of the show.

Did you know… that if you’re a hiker and you use a GPS device, ATWT’s Holden Snyder has you beat!?!?!?  You’re a rank amatuer!  Yeah, because Holden Snyder has apparently had a GPS implanted in his penis – yes, a P-GPS!  How else do you explain his ability to track down vulnerable women and start seducing them?  I was HORRIFIED that the man tried to take Lily to bed, today.  They’ve been back together for what?  Five minutes?  Send the kids off to the park – including Ethan, fresh from his climb out of a deep hole where he was trapped for days, and get your freak on?  Holden is as deep as a puddle.
Too bad Meg is his sister.  Apparently Holden’s  P-GPS only works on women he wants to sleep with, so that rules poor vulnerable kidnapped Meg out (unless the BnB writers take over and have Holden find out that Meg isn’t his sister and then WATCH OUT James Stenbeck – you maginificent bastard).  Holden would be able to track down James and Meg down.  There would be no place for him to hide her.
Did you know that GL’s Olivia was a cheapskate?  I had no clue.  How BIZARRE that she knows that Natalia has not a cent to her name but would ‘hire’ a legal shark to represent Rafe.  The only thing is… Olivia didn’t ‘hire’ him, she merely sent him in Natalia’s direction and expected her to pay the attorney’s fees… um, DUH!  How was Natalia supposed to do that?  I hate this plot point because it takes the one truly generous thing Olivia’s done in quite some time and makes it pretty much worthless.

By the way… have Lizzie, Beth, and Alex decided that Rafe isn’t part of the family now that Gus is dead?  What’s to stop them from pulling the powerful Spaulding strings and getting that kid released?  The Spauldings have escaped prosecution from every crime imaginable, and not one of those princesses has been to see Rafe in prison.  I’m guessing Rafe is in Peapack Prison and the rest of his family is still in Springfield.  Do they all exist on the same plane?  You wouldn’t know it from this show.

Now Daisy has to pimp herself out, again, and this time to save Rafe.  What’s the exchange rate for one top notch long loved character like Harley?  Harley leaves and 18 year old Daisy will become the newest sensation on the Springfield PD?  NOT-HARDLY, writers… Please, STOP!  We have Marina, who looks all of 16, pretty much running the police force, and now Daisy joins her?

I don’t think GL writers could destroy this show any more, if they tried.  In fact, I WISH they were trying… it could only be an improvement.

Did you know that GH’s Carly Corthinthos’ soul mate has NEVER been Jax or Sonny?  Indeed!  Her soul mate is Kate “Connie’ Howard’s cousin, Olivia.  I couldn’t get enough of watching Carly and Olivia bond over their snarky disdain for ‘Little Connie’.  What fresh hell has GH wrought on the good people of Port Chuckles, to have paired Carly and Olivia as fast friends?  Who do I send the thank you card to?   Does anyone doubt that they’ll be as bitter rivals as they are fast friends in no time at all?  As much as I like Sonny and Kate as a couple -yeah, I can’t explain it I just do, there’s something intriguing about the thought of these two women making their wedding day a complete and utter disaster that makes me want to tune in to see what will happen next!

The future of daytime…

According to ATWT Executive Producer, Chris Goutman, daytime fans have lost their appetite for daily serials and may prefer, instead, serials airing 3 days a week.  I don’t know about you, soap fans, but every time I hear a writer, executive producer, or some drone from the top floor of the executive offices speak, their solutions sound more like ‘bottomline’ solutions (what can THEY do to save money).  Rarely do I hear them talk about what fans want.  Even rarer is it that anyone talks about what difference is between daytime even a decade ago and daytime now.  Sure, the storylines are the same, but it’s in the execution of those storylines that daytime writers and producers let us down.

Daytime is no longer written as a long running drama with a rich history writers could continue to mine in order to create coherent cohesive future storylines.  Daytime serials are treated as variety shows.  Each storyline seems to be self contained and unrelated to the past, present, or future.  YnR’s Victor’s vasectomy and GL’s Reva going into early menopause years ago are prime examples!  The writers/EPs have hit ‘reset’ and offered storylines with both characters becoming parents again – leaving the writers to scramble find ways of explaining the huge gaffes in history once fans complained.

Clearly, strong storytelling, impeachable dialogue, well crafted sets, impeccable costuming, and skilled actors are all off the table.  What are we offered instead?  Three days a week of weak storytelling, incoherent dialogue, poorly designed sets, sorrowful costuming, and unskilled actors in the role of long loved favorites.  Sure, I’ll take three days a week of that, instead of five… but then, I’d take ZERO days, instead of five, as well.

Shortcuts are shorter, not better.  Exhibit A… (Thanks, Noel, from the GuidingLightTV board for the link)…

THIS (a clash of titans, powerful women who aren’t afraid of going toe-to-toe – fierce enough competitiors to make you fear them with a single look): 

Has become THIS (capable actresses reduced to scream queens fighting over petty jealousies – using sex rather than their minds and other considerable resources to compete for a man who was using them both): 

THIS (a vengeful, petulant child – who seduces her mother’s fiance in order to ‘make her pay’ and winds up sorry for her betraying her mother even if it’s with a man she loves)

becomes THIS: A mother who falls in-lust-calling-it-love with her daughter’s husbands.  Mom slept with both husbands and had a child with each… you read that right, it didn’t happen ONCE… it happened TWICE:

THIS (a dialogue between a man and the woman he raped, his wife when he raped her – ex wife after the rape) shows that he lives daily with regret for the pain he caused her. It’s a complex story with Roger and Holly remembering the great love they once had a great love that at times draws them together, physically, leaving Holly revulsed after the act.  At other times, the rape and post-rape keeps them apart all together:

Ultimately, Roger and Holly realized that they could never get past the rape.  In the end they separated, permanently.  All of which has been replaced by THIS:

Todd Manning, a man who is taking advantage of his rape victim’s memory loss to get her on his side regarding his daughter’s teen pregnancy (refusing to tell her that her son is the child’s father).  His assault of her was brutal and part of a gang rape HE initiated. Theirs was a VERY brief sexual relationship before she dumped him.  They barely knew one another.  Now he wants his chance to force her to forgive him and see what kind of man he is now… sweet irony:

Sure, chief… taking soaps down to three days a week will make all of the pain go away… that’s right… and I’ve got a bridge to nowhere to sell you, only, it ain’t gonna be cheap!

MAGIC! GL-GH-ATWT-DAYS- AMC

Gudiing Light

Crude?  Yes, and forgive me, but what the hell are the Foley boys packing in their pants? It must be magic! Cyrus supported freeing his pathologically criminal brother – Tammy’s murderer, and Cassie finds herself covering for Cyrus, knowing he’d stolen her neighbor’s stereo.  Oh, wait… ‘swoon’… he broke into her neighbor’s house for HER SAKE!  Yes, she was ‘grateful’/’impressed’ that he did it after she complained about the noise the neighbor made blasting the blessed thing all night long.  She even gives Cyrus a key to her home to come and go!  Her son RJDOES still live with her, right?  OY! There’s dumb, and then there’s Cassie. Another move made FAR too soon.  It’s tough enough to not lose lunch over the Cyrus/Cassie friendship, but that she’s not giving him a key to come and go from her home?  I don’t think so.

As The World Turns

Whatever the Foley boys are packing, the Snyder boys must have it too- only twice as much! For the first time in a LONG time, I didn’t feel sickened watching a Jack Snyder scene.  (The Snyder pants magic must be working on me, and I’ve never slept with a Snyder… oh yeah, they’re just THAT good!)  Jack was so sweet and so caring to Carly that I couldn’t believe it was the same man.  I’m chalking it up to Jack being down on his luck and feeling bad about his role in hiding evidence in Brad’s assault case.  The sure sign Jack is packing ‘magic’?  Carly tells Janet that she (Janet) is ‘good’ for Jack even if he doesn’t yet know it.  Sure, the first wife always happily passes her ex on to a woman whose behavior is equally outrageous and who doesn’t have to suffer the same verbal abuse she did.  Carly playing matchmaker to Jack and Janet?  Toothpicks in the eyes folks, toothpicks in the eyes!  Something I hope to never see again!

What I’d rather remember is that there was a brief and shining moment when I liked Jack – when he seemed human again.  Those moments never last long but they’re golden when they happen.

Days Of Our Lives

Bo-Hope fans have been debating about the promotion to top cop and asking why Hope hasn’t finally been advanced to top cop in the Salem PD.   Good question. For some, the answer is simple.  She doesn’t have the same work history.  I thought about how disturbing it is that the writers have been so inconsistent about Hope and her commitment to her job.  She’s been kidnapped, lost her memory, home raising children, home mourning lost children, you name it – it’s happened.  The oddity is that through most of that, Bo was at her side. He hasn’t exactly been on the job much more than Hope.  Putting my two cents in, I would have loved to have seen Hope rise in ranks.  Salem is going to need a tough top cop to deal with what’s coming…. tease tease tease…

Speaking of teasing… so, Days writers, What the hell?  The Nicole Film Noir episode was one of the BEST episodes of the last year (maybe two) in daytime.  It was funny, dramatic, sweet, and all around high brow storytelling… it was MAGIC (had to throw that in there).  I loved that fact that her Film Noir fantasy kept Philip Kiriakis captive.  He couldn’t tear himself away from her tale of lust, love, betrayal, and M-U-R-D-E-R – neither could I!  Nicole, casting herself in the role of loving and faithful wife, EJ as the smarmy cheating husband, Sami as the squeaking voiced addle-headed man stealer… WOW! 

Fan tribute featuring critical scenes:

Direct link for those who can’t play the above video.  Click HERE

Well done.  Was there anyone who doubted that Sami would come to a tragic end in Nicole’s story?  Loved it.  I wish more daytime writers gave their actors a chance to stretch – step out of their traditional roles. If any soap could earn a “Best Drama” Emmy from so few scenes, Days of Our Lives is the odds on favorite!

What does DAYS have going for it these days? Nicole ‘Snarky’ Walker.  Hers are the only scenes you’ll kick yourself for Fast-Forwarding!  Here is a collection of scenes (past and present).  Zuker’s return has brought with it a strong fresh wind!  Whatever TPTB have paid her?  It’s just not enough.

General Hospital

How cute were Dr. Drake and Dr. Scorpio in their discussion about naming baby Drake-Scorpio/ Scorpio-Drake?  If nothing else on GH works, Robin and Patrick always will (though, I probably shouldn’t have written it down).  I have the worst timing and I usually end up on the wrong side of soap history.  The minute I love it, the writers have grown tired of it and kill what I love.  This time, however, I have to believe that the writers aren’t going to shake apart this family tree.  They’ve done enough by destroying CarJax.  They wouldn’t dare touch Patrick and Robin, and baby Scorpio-Drake, would they?  Oy.

I’m tempted to give up on my theory that Laura is a figment of Lulu’s imagination, especially after yesterday’s meeting between Laura and Lulu, and the doctor.  Something was just a little sketchy there, folks.  I guess we’ll find out what that is later.   Ok, even I can admit that it’s FAR less likely to be the case, now.

All My Children

Bianca returns AND she’s bringing back a girlfriend (No, not Maggie).  For those who haven’t heard, Bianca comes back with friend/love interest ‘Reese’, as played by Tamara Braun (GH, ex-Carly Corinthos #2).  Tamara Freakin’ BRAUN?  What, is it my birthday?  Ms Braun was completely and utterly wasted on Days of Our Lives.  The storyline never fit the character.  Ava’s storyline started out pretty bad, and quickly went downhill from there.

Bianca is always a welcome sight for the sore eyes of AMC fans, who love and miss their faves as much as any other fanbase.  I’m most curious about how the fans will receive Ms. Braun, especially given  her ties to Bianca.  Both women, Eden Riegel and T. Braun, are fearless actresses.  Now what they need are fearless writers to give them a storyline bold enough to pull AMC out of the ratings lower deck… hell, ALL AMC characters need a fearless team of writers to return the show to its former glory… DOUBLE HELL, all of DAYTIME needs fearless writers to get the genre out of the ratings basement.

My Rachel Maddow Moment: ATWT

It’s rare when when reel and real collide.  I hate when it happens, but not this time.  This time, I’m grateful for the reel and the real.  They inform one another at times, and in the most interesting ways, putting feelings and thoughts in perspective.  The last Brian Wheatley scene I watched made me so incredibly sad, and a little frightened of the character – Lau is the master!  Any actor with that angelic of a face who can create such apprehension and fear with a  single look knows his craft.  He’s one of the few actors who knows how to express more dialogue with a look than most actors can do as part of an ensemble team.  Despite my decades long love of Lau and his work on AMC, ATWT, OLTL, and other projects, I’m not yet a Brian Wheatley fan.  I don’t hate Brian, but I hate what he potentially represents.

My African-American family lived in the pre-civil rights American south.  The legacy of the pre-civil rights south is a living one for me because it lives in the memories of my mother, my father, my uncles, and my grandparents.  I’ve long considered myself Southern bred and Northern born.  I get stereotyping.  I get anger.  I get fear of the ‘other’, the ‘different’.  I get it, and I reject ALL OF IT.

I’ve said in prior blogs that the problem for daytime is that it’s a genre that is stuck between time periods.  It’s trying to move into a modern age but can’t.  It’s dragging along outdated thoughts about certain groups of people and outdated storylines.  Those outdates storylines are  weighing the genre down like an anchor.   The only way daytime execs can seem to ‘identify’ with the modern age and attempt to move soaps forward is to take old plots and up the ‘raunch’ factor on them.  In the last blog, I lamented that Lily Snyder could revenge hump any man she wanted (and the her husband Holden could, too).  In other blogs I noted that Alison is a porn star turned nurse extraordinaire (notice that on their honeymoon, Aaron had to be ‘surprised’ at the tricks she knew in bed – completing the sanitizing of the character).  Emily is a former prostitute dating the younger son of the man she seduced and with whom she had a child.  Leo’s plotting date rape,  Brad nearly killing Leo, the subsequent cover up…the Snyder men sharing enough of the same women between them to produce an Army of pointy headed babies – are, folks, all on the SHORT list of seriously shady behavior). 

At the same time, Luke and Noah can never consummate their love.  They can’t live together.  They don’t spend much time with other couples – except with Luke’s freakin’ grandmother and her date – and I love La Walsh, but not as a dinner companion and best buddy for Luke.  Why is Nuke still marginalized?  Who knows?  But I find it stunning.  I watched television some of “DeGrassi: The Next Generation” when my teen nieces visited this summer.  These are the sort of scenes teen kids watch regularly:

They’re not ‘freaked out’ by stories that embrace all people.  They don’t understand dramas and other forms of entertainment that don’t.  Apparently, the writers at ATWT thinks that the daytime audience is far less adaptable than the DeGrassi crowd.  They’re selling us short and I resent it.

Reading about the big Nuke-Lucinda camping trip made me think about that last scene, the look on Brian’s face.  Was he in that tent because he wanted to show respect to Lucinda, or at least con her into thinking he was respecting her?  Were his interests prurient ( was he curious about Nuke, a bit of a peeping tom)?  Was he there to keep them apart for his own selfish reasons – a crush on Luke, or a crush on Noah? Was he there for another selfish reason- to stop the boys from ‘sinnin’?  I thought about that earlier look on Brian’s face when I read the camping summary.  I’d thought about it just a few days earlier when I ran across this clip on YouTube again (oh, fast forward to 3:50 minutes into the clip if political coverage makes you squeamish). 

If you opted to skip it,  Maddow recalled being 19 when she heard Buchanan’s speech about the raging culture wars and thought about just how much people she didn’t even know hated her, didn’t think there was room for her, how it led her to embrace the Democratic Party because she knew it didn’t want her to disappear (not an exact quote).  Maddow’s comments helped me further realize why Brian’s ‘look’ made me feel so queasy.

The shock (and disgust) in his face when Nuke touched one another was palatable and made me shudder.  It reminded me of so many events in my own life – the number of times racial epitaphs were used.  The extended hand that was met with a cold and/or  mortified expression. Our stories are different on the surface (reel Nuke’s, real Rachel’s) but they’re the same in other ways.  Death to the -isms! 

My hope is that while Noah is in ‘Rome’, the writers are thinking of what they need to do to rewrite the Wheatley character.  My hope is that they’ve decided to not take Brian down  that dark and ugly road.  I believe that the writers meant well when they began the Nuke storyline.  I believe they still mean well, but I also believe that the longer they marginalize Luke and Noah, the more they run the risk of giving an implicit nod to the ‘raging culture wars’.  I don’t think that’s where they want to take this storyline, either.

Luke made a mistake?  Brian wasn’t really trying to shove him back in the closet?  OK, I’m willing buy it.  So take it one step further, writers.  Do something proactive.  Have Brian use his considerable skills to help  Luke and Noah become an advocates and defenders of human rights.  Let Luke use some of that money to set up a shelter for kids who need a safe space when home is no longer safe for them after coming out.  Steal a page or two from ‘DeGrassi’.  I won’t tell.