How Craig Montgomery almost won me over

Regression toward the mean? I don’t think so. ATWT’s Parker just keeps sinking lower. There’s no point at which this kid hits higher ground, nor has he hit the bottom it seems. His mother has struggled for his sake. She’s given up a hell of a lot for his sake. She’s eaten more crap that kid has shoveled out than any SANE person would. And it’s still never enough. He just keeps doling out more. No matter what vile thing anyone else as has done, Parker takes such delight in making his mother feel like garbage. Carly was so excited when she thought Parker wanted to speak to her and let her be a part of solving his latest fiasco. The look on her face, the sadness, when she realized that he only wanted Craig’s attention. Geez, it left me feeling kicked in the gut along with Carly.

So imagine my surprise when Craig refused to indulge Parker’s adolescent tendencies to berate his mother and then refused to talk to him if she wasn’t included in the conversation.. I actually cheered the guy on! That’s a new feeling for me. While I once loved Craig, warts and all, his warts have only grown bigger and are now covered with hair (disgusting, I know). Craig hasn’t been a character I’ve cared much about for quite some time, until now. I’m starting to see what makes C&C work as a couple. What Craig and Carly have in common is the slow destruction of their characters, done to allow other characters their moments in the limelight. Carly has become the Oakdale sinner to Janet’s saint, harlot to Janet the reclaimed virgin. Craig has become the fun-bad-guy turned deeply disturbed and murderous, no matter who his rival is.

I’ve been hard on ATWT’s writers for having transformed Carly from a classic and beloved bad girl, into a romantic heroine, and again into a punching bag for the pathetic men in her family and the objects of their obsessions: mother-daughter pair Janet and Liberty Ciccone. As much of an ass that Parker has been, he’s only repeating the crude comments uttered by his father: that Carly is jealous and hellbent on destroying HIS (Jack’s) happiness, she’s selfish for not readily agreeing to let him take out a second mortgage on the ONLY home she owns – so that he can build a home for Janet. Is there any wonder that Parker views calling his mother pathological perfectly acceptable?

Had it been Jack standing there with Carly? He would have either said to Carly 1- that she needed to let HIM handle it (being Parker’s only decent parent and all that jazz), or 2 – to not blow things out of porportion! He would have asked her what she expected given her own behavior! Jack would have excused Parker by blaming Carly. Jack has hardly been Carly’s partner in reigning Parker in under control since her return. Jack was content to allow him to say and do anything, as long as he relied on his 15 year old son to tell him what a prince among men he was, how much he should be proud of himself from moving on from Carly, and how worthless, petty, and jealous Carly was. Now that Parker has become unbearable, the writers should have Jack reflect on his behavior and how much he contributed to Parker’s obnoxious and over-the-top attitude.

As for Craig? I am still not completely sold on him as a partner for Carly, after all the man IS responsible for the injuries that caused her sister to lapse into a comma. That said, I’m a darned sight closer to accepting Carly and Craig as a couple than I ever have been before. Ultimately, I would love it if Carly was permitted to deal with Parker on her own, and only rely on Craig as emotional support, not as her ‘savior’ or the individual she ‘needs’ help from in turning her son around. Imagine that? A woman in control of her own destiny and in control of her own children!

It’s weird how daytime now makes viewers wish for the things most of us experience in our every day lives.

So much for ‘fantasy’ and ‘escapism’.

Hot Topic Alert!

Soap Opera Network: “Most Ruined Characters”

Which characters do you think have been ruined, and why! My response:

Adding my voice to the entire cast of ‘GH’ as most ruined. The writers are so ‘hopped up’ (LOL) on the mob stuff that now GHers are working together to take down the ‘evil’ FBI. What happened to Robert Scorpio, Anna Devane, Sean Donnelly, Frisco Jones, Luke and Laura? The WSB has apparently knuckled under to the great mob gods – who do a much better job of keeping the world safe, when they’re not killing people off.

Adding on: I find it interesting that the writers haven’t realized that the glory days of GH were linked to when the good guys (and even anti-heroes like Luke Spencer) did GREAT things. Now the bad guys do a lot of evil bullshit, combined with some occasionally decent thing, and they’re credited as heroes.

GH women throw their underwear at the mob boys like they’re at a Tom Jones concert. There’s only so much GH fans can take, and the writers have pushed them beyond that point. A show that was usually third from the top of the ratings list (bested only by the YnR and GH) is now third from the bottom (besting only ATWT and GL).

And so it begins: Otalia/Nuke

Sit down. I have to tell you something and it may be shocking to some of you… most especially those of you who are new to daytime. You’re probably not aware of this, ATWT’s Luke Snyder is gay. GAY, I tell you! NO SERIOUSLY! I’m not making this stuff up! Don’t feel foolish if you don’t already know. It’s been hard to figure out because the writers so rarely allow anyone on screen to mention it. It’s one of the show’s best kept secrets. I mean, they only bring the issue up… pretty much EVERY FREAKIN TIME the guy is on screen. Apparently, the fact that he’s in love with another man and that they’ve had a long term relationship is NOT enough of a clue. I’m starting to think that the writers believe we’re a maze-dull lot, not capable of thinking our way out of a paper bag. That could be true, or they could be projecting. Ouch?

I’ve been longing for a storyline that involves my guy, Luke; a storyline that’s just about him – as a young man moving into the adult world, like Casey, and Allison, and pretty much anyone else before him. As things are shaping up it doesn’t seem to be the case that it’s ever going to happen. Each new storyline is a little bit like the last, with a slight twist.

I want MORE.

I want a storyline in which characters don’t even whisper Luke’s sexuality, or give knowing glances. Let me be clear, I make no pretenses of being an advocate of any sort for gays and lesbians. As a straight woman woman of color, I can only tell you what I prefer in storylines, not whether or not these are the storylines the LGBT community want to have told about Luke and Noah (or even GL’s Liv and Natalia – but more on that, later). I can only tell you that I would be loathe to tune into a daytime program that was still airing storylines about civil rights or if the character of color was still battling rampant racism and trying to adjust to life among those in ‘White America’ as the theme in each and every storyline.. We’re beyond that.

Are we beyond that point in relationship to stories about sexual orientation? Maybe the recent focus on gay and lesbian characters in daytime requires paying more attention to issues of coming out and discrimination of all sorts. I don’t know, but in light of shows like “L word”, “Queer as Folk”, and even “Degrassi: The Next Generation”, it would appear that stories that are multifaceted are equally likely to receive positive fan feedback than three or four years of ‘coming out’ storylines with the exact same characters.

Instead of feeding stereotypes, build a cultural context around them that makes stereotyping irrelevant and anachronistic. Leave stereotyping as a thing of the past, as it should be, and focus on those characters who have moved beyond them.

As a person of color, I understand the need for highlighting activism and focusing on the eternal struggle for human rights, but if that’s the route the writers want to take, then have Luke and Noah take on the marriage issue. It pisses me off, ROYALLY, that ATWT writers have no trouble with storylines about lust and sex and now a half-wit marriage for Liberty and Parker, but can’t figure out what to do with Noah and Luke… color me stunned.

What I see in Luke’s storyline (there’s so little focus on Noah on ATWT – I sometimes forget the poor dear is there) is some of what I see in GL’s Otalia, but to a lesser degree. I’m beginning to get the feeling that the writers on GL are starting to stall the storyline. For several reasons.

1. The most generous explanation is that Jessica Leccia (“Natalia”) is pregnant in real life. She and husband, Brian Malloy, are expecting their first child. The writers may want to wait until after the actress returns from maternity leave to delve more heavily into the Otalia romance.

I can envision a scenario in which, just before Leccia gives birth in real life, Natalia realizes that she has to tell Liv how she feels and then goes away for a while to ‘clear her head’ and come back ready for a relationship. (Or she goes away to clear her head, first, and comes back ready to take her relationship with Liv to the next level).

Given how many times writers have worked around real life pregnancies in other storylines, Leccia’s pregnancy shouldn’t be an issue. Maybe it’s not, I dunno.

2. I began to feel a bit queasy about the issue of Doris Wolfe. What the hell was the point in that? Doris has a ‘coming out’ of her own to deal with – out of the blue? Is there NO creativity in daytime? I can count on one hand how many characters have been openly gay from the start. Everyone else, regardless of age, or life experience, has been closeted. Fuel to the fire? Does every show have to create a closeted ‘anti-gay’ jerk and/or villan character? (Brian, ATWT; Daniel Coulson, self-hating closeted gay male on OLTL… <sigh>)

Now that Doris is one step closer to coming out, will there be a Doris/Liv/Natalia triangle? Will the deliciously ruthless side of Doris appeal to the deliciously ruthless side of Olivia Spencer? Will Doris plot and plan and ruin the Otalia relationship to give herself time to swoop in and claim Liv for herself while Nat ‘hems’ and ‘haws’ about whether or not she should be in love with another woman?

Geez, the more I think about it, the more I like it. Remember the ability Roger Thorpe had to corrupt good women and make them his wicked partner in crime? How about Alan Spaulding and Blake Mahler? Could we have Doris Wolfe and Olivia Spencer rocking Springfield while Natalia is the ‘angel sitting on Liv’s shoulder’, trying to woo her back from the dark side? OH, now THAT could be interesting.

OR

3. Is Doris’ coming out more significant than that? Is it a sign that, despite published reports elsewhere, the writers are reconsidering Otalia? As Josh and Liv flirted, throwing out sexual innuendo so hot my television screen fogged (uh, don’t know how that happened), I had to wonder why that scene was necessary, no matter how terribly sexually exciting! Haven’t we already seen Liv trying to prove her bonafides by hitting on a group of hot young studs, at the SAME BAR? That was only a few weeks back, maybe a month or so. What’s THIS about?

Then the follow up with Doris, in which Liv suddenly starts questioning whether or not she could love a woman, because she STILL loves the power she has over men and the attraction to them. More running away? At this stage of the game?

Maybe it’s nothing, and maybe it’s everything. If the writers think that throwing Otalia to the wolves (get it?) will go unnoticed, they’re wrong. If they think Doris’ offscreen adventures will matter enough for fans and that the ‘closeted adventures of Doris Wolfe’ will replace the Otalia connection, they’re wrong. If they think throwing a Doris/Olivia/Natalia storyline together will get the attention of fans, they’re… ok, they’re not wrong about that as far as I’m concerned. I’d watch, and cheer Nat on all the way!

Again, if those two plot points mean nothing, no biggie. My only point is that I won’t accept a cheap imitation. Ok, and I have a second point: I’m watching you, GL writers, with both eyes!

Ah! Fan wisdom…

Marceline, at the Soap Opera Network messageboards writes:

… Every week I look in the ratings thread and see posts from people who want all soaps to go up regardless of quality for the “good of the genre” and I cringe. How is embracing mediocrity in the best interest of the genre? How is it for the greater good for the audience to say “It’s okay. I have no standards just don’t leave me!” That’s not loyalty, it’s Battered Viewers Syndrome.

I know there are plenty of people enjoying their respective shows right now. Goodness knows every week there’s another show “on fire right now!!” But I think even satisfied viewers can agree that all the recycling, whether actors, writers or producers, is detrimental overall. It’s like making a Xerox copy of a copy of a copy, eventually it becomes so degraded you can’t tell what it was to begin with.

I hold out a tiny glimmer of hope that maybe the stars will line up and a new soap can somehow be born, whether it’s network, cable or the internet. There’s a lot of lapsed viewers like myself out there: people who want to find a show to love, but we aren’t coming back to the same thing we left.

Thank you Marceline!

Daytime Execs have taken for granted that fans will continue to support the genre no matter what they throw our way. Falling ratings haven’t convinced them. Posts to the contrary on messageboards don’t convince them that we don’t want daytime in its current form. Angry letters to the networks haven’t convinced them. They continue to spend money on new characters we don’t care about, pop culture icons who show up and perform – collecting a paycheck but are unable to draw in new viewers, and throwing storylines at us that worked 20 years ago, but leave us fatigued today.

Fewer and fewer fans are willing to accept mediocrity as ‘entertainment’. Sooner or later, the execs will have to listen, or hope they’ll be able to find jobs elsewhere, once they’re done killing daytime.

(OLTL) Shut your pie hole!

While all of daytime has me rolling my eyes lately, OLTL – in particular wins the ‘shut your pie hole’ awards.

Jared wants to tell the truth because it’s the right thing to do?  While I can appreciate the fact that even JARED sees the irony in his statement about what’s morally appropriate, it still galls me that he’s shown little concern for how the news of the real Chloe’s death will impact Jessica.   Nat wants to protect  Jess and now feels sorry for her?   Both of you,  SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!  This whole mess got started because Nat wanted to stick it Jess and Jared wanted to help her.  I’m sickened at the thought that Jess will lose Chloe after losing Nash  – both lost because of Jared and Natalie. IF ONLY there was some way to make that child hers.  If not? It’s time to bring Tess back and let her finish what she started!  It’s time for Jared and Natalie to go.

As if causing Jess even MORE grief wasn’t bad enough, what about the pain Jared and Natalie are causing ME!??!  I’ve struggled hard to accept the new ‘grown up’ role for Starr Manning – I have.  The problem is that it’s just not working for me.  I don’t know how you feel, OLTL fans, but this new set of storylines does NOT play to Kristen Anderson’s strengths.  I think the writers moved Starr into pseudo-adulthood too soon.  The emotional scenes appear forced and far too artificial for me to connect to.  Starr’s scenes with ‘Chloe’ make me cringe.  The thought of more scenes of “Starr” and whining Marcee McBain locked in a custody battle over Hope (we’ve lost Hope, we need Hope, our Hope is gone – UGH)  makes me want to set my television on fire.   Damn you, Jared and Natalie, damn you!

Nora vowing to take down Cole?   I’ve officially had my fill of Nora “the ethically flexible D.A.”  The truth is that I was done with her years ago, during the fights with Lindsey and the affair with Sam when she passed ‘Sam’s child’ off as Bo’s.  (Apparently no one knows how to perform in vitro in Llanview.  They’re GREAT at trauma medicine since it’s the only thing docs in Llanview ever practice.)   Had it been someone else’s child, Nora would have most likely been fighting to get Cole into drug and alcohol treatment, family counseling to reunite him with his mother,  and had him doing community service by  talking to high school kids about drug use.  She’d have railed at the system for letting a villain like Todd go free while a young man who made a horrible mistake is being severely punished.  She MIGHT have even quit her job in protest and defended Cole, herself, if the D.A.’s office chose to press charges. 

She’s always been ‘flexible’ when it comes to helping her pals and granting them the grace and mercy of the courts.  Intimidating a teenage boy and making him feel as if he should be buried UNDER the prison for his actions?  Bite me.  Does Cole deserve jail time?  Sure.  He chose to take drugs and get behind the wheel of a car disregarding the possible harm to others.  Does he deserve Nora’s disdain?  Sure!  But just ONCE I’d like to see the self-righteous Nora Buchanan choose to exercise discretion and say nothing.  Nora?  SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!

BTW, SoapNet is linking to this appearance by Kristen Alderson and Brandon  Buddy on the Tyra Banks show.  The OLTL  actors demonstrate different aspects of teen dating violence:

Ray Montez now faults Todd because Tea didn’t work fast enough to get him out of prison… REALLY?  REALLY?  Buddy, SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!   Is there some right of passage for Llanview residents that states that they MUST have conflict with Todd, of any sort regardless of how ridiculous it is, before the other Llanview citizens will play nice with them?  Ray could have hired another attorney.  He could be angry at Tea, alone. OR he could have realized that Tea wasn’t capable of moving any faster because his daughter didn’t know her well enough to open up to her.  The idea that Ray now hates Todd inspires me… to YAWN.  There’s far too much for this guy to do onscreen instead of going after Todd Manning over something so trivial.

Stacy Morasco, a potentially fabulous character and a throwback to what a TRUE bad girl should be… so I guess it makes sense that the writers made her a cartoon villain in record time.  WHO takes a completely fabulous gift like Crystal Hunt, sees the awesome mess she’s able create onscreen through Stacy, and turns her into one of the most unlikable characters in daytime? 

Stacy tells Gigi that she deserves to have Rex because she’s a million times hotter/way hotter?  Juvenile, but HILARIOUS that it’s her meter for determing what ‘love’ is.  God bless gorgeous Farah Fath for not slapping the writers when she read that script.  If the writer who added that line isn’t on crack,  I don’t know how else to explain that comment.  With true ABC sensitivity to women, I thought the line might be followed up with “and I’m the REAL Gigi”.   It was an awful thing to do to Fath. 

As for Stacy, there’s no ‘love to hate’ left for a character who tells her grieving sister that she either has to give up the man she loves, the father of  her child, or watch her child succumb to leukemia… SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE, Stacy, you whack job.  What could have beeen ‘love to hate’ has just turned into utter disgust.  What were the writers THINKING?  If Crystal Hunt can pull the writers’ fat out of the fire after this blackmail plot, it will be a miracle.  The whole scene was ugly from start to finish!

General Hospital – Sudden Death

Carly and Jax – Sudden Death

I’m not at all a sports fan, but I do understand the sports concept of ‘sudden death’ – I think! As I understand it, ‘sudden death’ refers to the end of a game when teams are tied in score. It’s a sort of ‘overtime’ that ends when the first team posts a score – breaking the tie. Game over! I had that feeling the other day watching Carly and Jax gush over their endless love. They were sure that they’d gotten it right, this time, that nothing would come between them. I cringed. It’s almost always the first sign that trouble is on the horizon. I hope that’s not the case. I like them together. I think they’re one of the best things to happen to GH in a long time and GH desperately needs them if TPTB are going to screw around with SCRUBS love. There’ll be no romance left if SCRUBS loses out and GH_CarJax goes (not to be confused with ATWT_CarJax and the plummeting ratings that happened when they were once again trashed).

Carly has FINALLY found love with someone who doesn’t expect her to be a ‘good girl’ and hide in the shadows while he does business. Carly doesn’t have to leave the room when Jax is on the phone for fear of being legally incriminated. Jax’s business associates have probably never done time – unless it is some wacky white collar crime that lands them in some posh ‘Club Fed’ for a year or two. Jax respects her, and she tries her damnedest to respect him, too. It’s been a long time since Carly has had a relationship with a man who considers her his equal. All the happy-happy-joy-joy she spreads, now, is so much better than the angry posturing she did while with Sonny. She seems happier. She looks happier. She can no longer be compared to an angry pitbull, biting before thinking. HELL, I’M happier just watching the love Carly and Jax share.

SO! If there’s going to be a ‘sudden death’ for Jax and Carly, let it be this: let the writers realize that Jax and Carly are pretty much tied with Carly and Sonny in terms of the lifetime of crazy drama each couple has suffered. Let the writers realize that J&C have probably hit restart on their relationship as often as C&S have. At this point, Carly and Jax have broken the tie… they’ve managed to stay together and work harder on their relationship than Carly and Sonny have ever dreamed of doing. Sudden death in favor of GH_ CARJAX! It’s time to set aside the epic that was Carly and Sonny and focus on the JC relationship. Sonny and Carly are the past, as they should be.

Liz and… Patrick? Sudden Death

With future spoilers suggesting Liz’s ever growing presence in the lives of Robin and Patrick, I’d be willing to venture a guess that putting Liz and Patrick together would be a different sort o f ‘sudden death’ for Elizabeth Webber. She’ll have tied any record of insane moves for a GH character and BROKEN it. I think it would be the end of her character, as we know it, and that fans will finally have run out patience with the character.

Her relationship with Zander (Cam’s father) left me with blurred vision. How the hell did THAT happen? Lucky, no Jason, no Lucky, no Zander, no Lucky, no Jason… possibly Patrick!?!?! If Liz’ presence in SCRUBS’ life is to provide support to Robin, and to continue to be there as a FRIEND to both of them, I’m all for it. Otherwise? thanks but no. It’s time to have not-Emily-but-Rebecca and Elizabeth Webber climb the Cassadine tower-of-death that so many GH characters seem to keep leaping from, never to be seen or heard of again!

Ethan, Sudden Death

I’d actually have to not have a pulse to care less about Ethan. I’m still trying to figure out what purpose he serves? My preference would be for him to be a relative of Holly’s, a nephew perhaps, to scam Luke and make off with the last of Luke’s cash. I’d hoped in the past that Ethan was around to help Luke realize what a colossal ass he’s been and to turn his life around. He’s spent almost no time caring for or helping to raise his children. He’s left them to their own devices (not exactly a tribute to his love for Laura), so I would be completely without sympathy for the man if Ethan is pulling one of the greatest cons in GH history: conning the con! Ethan hitting Lucky? Not cool, not cool at all.

After that, Ethan can go wherever in the world he wants, as long as he goes. He can climb the Cassadine tower WITH not-Emily-but-Rebecca and Elizabeth Spencer. GH’s canvas is already littered with great characters who never see the light of day. Give me a three-fer, Christmas in March – if you will.

In this case, sudden death isn’t a sports reference, it’s a suggestion. Get rid of these three. They serve no purpose other than to stick a thumb in the eye of GH fans who deserve better. The most interesting thing I could say about the loss of Elizabeth, is that there could be a great custody battle for young Cam and Jake, if anything happened to her. Count me in as part of “Team Lucky”!

All I’m saying is THIS (GH Scrubs Spoiler)

If the spoilers are correct, and Robin is suffering from something OTHER than PPD, it’s possible that my days as a deeply disappointed, incredibly bitter occasional GH viewer are OVAH! GH will be off the viewing list for GOOD for me (or at least until TPTB rebuild Scrubs and LL2). The question is, what is the ‘something other’?

Is it possible that the writers are venturing into a potential ‘DID’ storyline? One Life to Live has successfully carried out the multiple personality storylines with Erika Slezak’s ‘Viki Buchanan Lord’ for decades. They’ve had some success with Bree Williamson in a similar storyline. Could GH writers be looking to reproduce that success with Robin Scorpio Drake?

For pity’s sake! Robin has survived more tragedy than most characters in daytime. If the writers are adding DID on top of her HIV, PPD, and general life dissatisfaction, I think I’m truly done with this show.

How much darker can GH get? The phrase once used was ‘would the last viewer out please shut off the lights?’… I think it’s time for the last GH viewer out to turn the LIGHTS ON.

GH – Practicing the Dark Arts

I’m trying to get a handle on what’s going on with General Hospital. There are things I like about the show (though nothing I love, right now).

  • I’m THRILLED that Kate is moving on with her life. Her role as Sonny’s avenger was wearing thin. She’s bright, wealthy, beautiful and successful… why would she want to carry water for Sonny? He’s treated her so shabbily since he married Claudia – a woman he couldn’t stand, initially. I like the idea of having a successful woman on the show who worries about her career, and isn’t wasted worrying about dating a man who’ll never be faithful to her. Sonny has the attention span the length of the lifespan of a fruit fly.
  • I thought I wanted Lucky and Liz together, but given her treatment of him in favor of Jason, I don’t think it should happen right away (if it ever happens at all given every onscreen indication that Liz will become involved with Patrick). I’m not crazy about Rebecca and would love to see her GO… away, FAR FAR away… but if that won’t happen, she’s not so bad with Lucky, for now.
  • It’s great seeing Carly and Jax work out their marriage. It’s time for a adult up move between two married people on this show. It’s far too easy to split a couple up to create a new set of pairings. I think it takes more talent to put a couple together and make them interesting from inside the relationship.
  • Agent Rayner makes me want to chew glass, at times. The writers are too heavy handed in making him the chief foe of the Port Chuckles mob kingpins. I think we’re supposed to hate him and root for the mob-boys… NOT SO! I can multi-task, no problem. I am annoyed by BOTH of them, less so with Rayner. That said, I like the thought of an Alexis/Rayner pairing, though who knows how he’d react to having to deal with Sonny should he become Christina’s new step-pappa.  Would he want to jeopardize his career by sharing a child with a mob boss?  Could he handle having Sonny THAT involved in his life?
  • It’s wrong, it’s SO WRONG, but I like Sonny and Claudia. I learned to like Sonny and Carly eventually (when Sarah Brown was in the role) though it broke my heart for Carly to hurt Jason. I wanted Jason and Carly more than anything. There must be some carryover from the Sonny-SB/Carly days. I don’t care what it is, I like them. They’re dark, mean, and clearly pretty good at gaming one another. Sonny has met his psychotic soul mate. What more could you ask for?

The question was rhetorical, I can tell you what more to ask for:

Writers, LEAVE SCRUBS ALONE! For as much as I like the thought of keeping Sonny and Carly Claudia together, it dawns on me that the writers are treating them as the ‘Dark Arts’ version of Scrubs. They’re playful and passionate, and fun to watch when you allow yourself to forget that these are two people who’d just as soon put a bullet in you, as love you.

They are clearly NOT a good trade for the real Scrubs.

I was admittedly excited about the PPD storyline when it was announced. Robin’s history has been that she’s needed to have a sense of control over every aspect of her life. She’d learned to become cautious, possibly overly cautious, after her contracting HIV. She’d lost so much before: Stone, her mother, her father, Jason… order gave Robin a sense of security.

So it makes sense that with her hormones out of wack, a child she wasn’t sure she could care for, and no clear certainty about her future in a career she’d worked so hard to obtain would all lead her to a dark place.

The dark place I thought Robin might go to was leaving home and possibly contemplating divorce, or seeking out support from a psychiatrist and refusing to comply with treatment, or sitting alone in a dark room and refusing to talk with anyone – develping a catatonic state not unlike Laura Spencer’s.  At most I thought that Robin might start drinking or taking drugs. The writers are setting us up for FAR WORSE. Robin sitting alone, drinking in a bar, making up a new identity? Checking into a hotel room all alone? How much longer before she’s sharing that room with another man, who knows her by another name and a different identity?

What next, GH writers? Will this man ‘make a video’? Will he blackmail Robin once he realizes who she is (with or without video)? Will she carry on a longterm affair? Will she leave her family because she’s in love with him?

What the hell is wrong with daytime writers? Why can’t they leave what WORKS alone? Is there an allergy to success in daytime?  I’ve speculated about that before.  I’m sure that there must be, now.  When you have a winning formula, the thing to do is DOUBLE DOWN! Use it to create MORE of the what the audience wants. Don’t destroy one of the best things you have going. Destroying Maximista and Spinelli wasn’t enough (making him her confessor as she talks about her bad behavior with another man)?

The time for experimentation to bring in new viewers was LONG ago in daytime.  Now? The name of the game is survival. Keep the audience you still have left by not insulting us with storylines that we can never, and will never accept.

Much like Carly and Jax, fans can appreciate a couple willing to work out their issues and stay together. Real couples do it every day. There are ways of introducing new couples and new pairings and drawing fans in. Breaking up Scrubs (and that’s where it feels like we’re headed in confirmation of the spoilers out there suggesting it will happen) is the equivalent of playing Russian roulette with the ratings.  You not only can’t tolerate success, you want to beat it into the ground and make sure it never comes near you again!

For pete’s sake – SET BRIDGE FREE!

Bold and Beautiful fans have waited… and waited… and waited… and waited… and waited <sigh> for the union of the show’s signature couple: Brooke Logan Forrester and Ridge Forester. Every soap has one: YnR’s Victor and Ashley… HA! Just kidding: Victor and Nikki, GH’s Luke and Laura, DAYS’ Bo and Hope, OLTL’s Viki and Clint… you get the picture. BnB fans haven’t just been waiting for Brooke and Ridge to get together, they’ve done that about once a year; fans have been waiting for them to get together and to get it RIGHT.

Brooke and Ridge have loved one another from the moment of the infamous ‘look’ , a look shared when she worked as a waitress for her mother’s catering firm- meeting Ridge for the first time on the night of his engagement party with the beautiful Caroline Spencer. Given the fact that their beginning was marred by bad timing, it’s no surprise that their relationship would be tumultuous at best. It’s a classic formula in daytime. Girl meets boy, boy is a pinhead, girl loves him anyway and they spend decades trying to make the relationship work.

We, the audience, buy it hook line and sinker! We watch as each partner inevitably makes one bad decision after another: Brooke refuses to leave Eric even though she loves Ridge and he threatens to move on with Taylor if she doesn’t. After finally getting together Ridge later rebounds with Taylor- proposes to her to ‘save’ his father’s marriage to Brooke after he see how lost Eric is without Brooke. Brooke becomes ‘friendly’ with Grant Chambers after Ridge fights tooth and nail to be with her – rejecting Taylor’s AND Lauren Fenmore’s affections for him, but again rebounding with Taylor when he mistakenly believed that Brooke was unfaithful with Grant (oh the irony).

I could write a novel based on the mistakes these two have made over the course of their lifetime of love. In fact, someone DID write a novel – ok a novel loosely based on the infamous BRidge relationship. It’s appropriately titled, Destiny’s Lady. Veteran BnB fans know that Ridge referred to Brooke as his ‘destiny’ in Lake Como, Italy. He commented that he could be with Taylor, and be happy with her, but that Brooke was the woman he belonged with, she was his destiny. That sentiment is echoed in a recent TV WEEK interview with Ronn Moss who says that Brooke and Ridge know that they belong together and they’re fighting to hang on to one another.

After more than 20 years real time, and more than thirty years soap time, it appears that BRidge is again being held hostage. They’re being used to help prop the flailing Steffy and Rick storyline, and it’s sinking the show and could sink BRidge in the process. What’s wrong with Steffy and Rick? If you’ve read this blog before you’ve read my take on the couple. It’s a pairing that NEVER had a chance at succeeding. I don’t fault the actors. They’ve given it their all. Kyle Lowder and Jacqueline McInnes Wood are STUNNING onscreen together and both do well portraying his borderline desperation to both love and use Steffy, and her immature attachment to Rick leading her to be completely blinded to his faults . If their characters were anything other than ‘family’ (biological or not) they most likely would have been a hightly successful pairing.

To some degree, I don’t fault the writers. The formula works (though not so much for this couple). Girl meets boy (not a major feat since they’re family). Girl falls for boy (after he’s involved in her twin sister’s death, and after he’s slept with and nearly married her mother). Boy is a pinhead (a little heavy on the pinhead behavior for this guy)… Assuming soaps have the time, I’m hoping the writers won’t spend decades trying to get us to buy into this couple. SICK, as fans have begun calling them, is an unrootable couple. There’s nothing even slightly engaging about them. They not only violate and pervert the notion of ‘family love’, they violate and do harm to everyone around them.

He betrayed the family business in order to be able to indulge his own desires.

She betrayed her dead sister and her parents’ grief.

He betrayed his mother’s trust and willingly hurts her if it achieves his agenda.

She betrayed the one man who loved her and treated her like a woman with a brain.

Both have been patently unlikable to the dismay of much of the BnB audience.

Rather than waste the historic, long-awaited, and finally solid BRidge union on trying to salvage Steffy and Rick, use BRidge to salvage this show! Brooke and Ridge have always been a youthful, vibrant, and passionate couple. For the show to appeal to viewers, they have to be that again. It’s taken more than 20 years to cause fans to lose hope that anything good will happen for the two of them. This period of time needs to be one of rebuilding them, taking what was magical about them (and is STILL magical) and letting them be that again. Have them step back and allow their adult children to live their own lives, while they move on to other things and focus on the care of their young children. The only deeply involved relationship I want either to have with any of their children over the age of 18 is for Brooke and Bridget to rebuild their relationship, as well.

— I’d rather see more of this couple in the boardroom, sometimes at odds with one another, sometimes standing together against others. Brooke and Ridge squaring off against Donna and Eric? Siblings Thorne and Felicia joining with their mother and aunt Pam to form yet a third FC faction? I don’t care what the corporate dispute is, I’d buy it… anything is better than having BRidge focus on the mess that Rick and Steffy have created.

But there’s still more the writers can do rebuild the BRidge:

— I’d rather see intrigue, maybe a return from Morgan DeWitt, whose obsession with Ridge is legendary but hardly spent. The last time we saw her, she was ‘thisclose’ to winning Ridge over… of course, he was amnesic and had no idea who she was, or where he was, but then again, who cares about the details in Morgan’s world? Morgan was a brilliant designer and has family money to boot. Why not have Morgan resurface with her OWN design firm to rival both Forrester Creations AND Jackie M?

Sadly, through Don Diamont’s most recent interview, Bill Spencer Jr. is being brought in to interact heavily with Donna Logan (makes me cry). What if Donna is a smokescreen? What if B.S jr is using her to keep the Forresters distracted while he brings Morgan back to town and helps her set up? He is supposed to be a diabolical and ruthless billionaire. We might find out that B.S.sr set the plan in motion, just before his death, and that BSjr feels that it’s important to follow through on his daddy’s dying wishes. Why? WHY would the Spencers still care?

1. Bill Spencer hated Ridge until the very end. He never forgave him for his treatment of Caroline, refusing to accept that Ridge was just a foolish young man at the time.

2. Bill Spencer (Sr.) is aware of Ridge’s dalliance with Mogan while married to Taylor – resulting in her pregnancy and leading BSsr. and Stephanie Forrester plotting to force Morgan to abort her child. Morgan would be the perfect pain in the ass for Ridge (and now for Brooke). She’d never come between them, but it wouldn’t stop her from trying.

3. Did I mention that BSsr has always hated Ridge?

I could see Brooke and Ridge taking on Morgan and Jr. to not only keep FC, but to hurt both of them – taking over Morgan’s design firm, making it their own. The writers could make it a ‘smart’ fight. Brooke and Ridge allow their antagonists to believe that they’re on the outs, staging public fights, Brooke throwing Ridge out of their home, but secretly they meet to develop a strategy for stopping the duo’s destructive plans for the Forresters. BSjr, happy at the thought that he has a shot with Brooke, believing she’s forgiven him for having used and dumped Donna, becomes vulnerable to her – just before she and Ridge lower the boom and take it all away from him, and his co-conspirator. As they move in and take over Morgan’s company, Thorne would finally have control of FC opening a friendly rivalry between FC and BRidge Designs. Felicia could go to work as the lead designer at BD.

It wouldn’t be the end of Morgan, or Bill Jr. She could move on to Jackie M’s… he could move on with Felicia. Oh those family dinners would be worth watching! Felicia trying to keep her love and brother from killing one another! The snarking, the snarking!

— OR Why not have Ridge and Brooke travel back to Portofino? It was the most beautiful location shoot EVER for this couple. While they’re there, Brooke and Ridge decide to trace his family origins. He barely had the opportunity to get to know Massimo. He knows nothing of the family Massimo left behind in Italy. Ridge becomes acquainted with his Marone kin.

While they’re there, it’s clear Brooke and Ridge are being watched and followed. It’s MASSIMO! He’s been in hiding, which is why no one has heard from him and why there has been no word of him taking back control of his company. Why is he in hiding? Is he in danger? Is someone trying to kill him? Are the old FBI charges being reinstated? Was he accused of a murder he didn’t commit? Whatever it is, Brooke and Ridge help Massimo. Bridget, who happens to be in Italy selling her designs for Jackie M to an overseas market, is there with Owen and Jackie, and they join BRidge in helping save Massimo’s hide… BRidge reconnects, the mother-daughter bond grows stronger, as well. Massimo and Jackie reunite. See? NO Rick and Steffy!

Whatever you do, writers, SET BRIDGE FREE. Give us a storyline that is solely about BRidge, not about their children, not about the people who want to break them up, not about the mistakes they made in not putting each other first. We’ve been there. We’ve done that. We have the lower ratings to prove it.

Non Dimenticar, BRidge fans! If you watched the Portofino shoot, you know why that song has special meaning!

BnB history – circling the drain

Anyone else think it would have been a phenomenal  tip to BnB history to have Jake  McClain set the fire and plant the bomb in Rick’s car?  I’m typically not a fan of  ‘making crazy’ with typically sane characters and especially when they’re veteran characters.  What would motivate him to do it?  Jake was an actual incest victim.  His uncle sexually assaulted him when he was a child and let him believe that his father molested him.  He left home as a young man and didn’t see his parents again until adulthood – when he realized the truth about Uncle Charlie.  He lost more than a decade with his parents. 

Imagine that his parents have just died.  Imagine that he’s been experiencing depression – and being socially and emotionally isolated, he throws himself into his work .  Jake is always skulking around and must see more than he cares to (like Donna walking the halls of FC in lingerie during a work day).    One late night, he sees Rick and Steph fooling around in Rick’s office, or maybe the night of the fire, he went to deliver papers from FC to the beach house.  He gets there and realizes that Rick is deflowering Steffy.  Even though Rick and Steffy aren’t blood relatives, they’re close enough.  Rick’s  father is HER grandfather.  He believed he was her uncle as she was growing up.   Jake is aware of how close they were as a family.   Experiencing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder because of his own abuse, and his parents’ deaths, coupled with witnessing with Rick- and it would make sense that Jake set the fire that night, and plant the car bomb shortly after. 

His breakdown, of course, would lead to Margo’s return.  Her return paves the way for his recovery, but also for other storylines.

I’m thinking of a Margo/Nick/Felicia/Bill Spencer Jr. quadrangle (yeah yeah Margo  was married to Bill Spencer Sr!  This is the BnB, Rick is sleeping with the girl he use to babysit, for pity’s sake.  Margo is ‘normal’ by this show’s standards)… Clarke would have nothing  in common with Margo, any more and would end up dating Jackie who feels threatened by Margo’s presence. 

We could have scenes of Pam bonding with Jake (who she treats as her own child) over the fact that they’ve both had troubled histories related to mental health.  Pam’s watched her sister’s years of abuse by their father.  Jake could open up to Pam about his own abuse.  Some of their bonding moments would be tender, some comedic as they delight in the reaction of others around them and ‘tweek’ FC employees how are afraid of them.  What would happen if DONNA fell for Jake after a period of time?  How could his surrogate mother handle that?

So many lost opportunities with this storyline!   I starting thinking about  what I would do differently after one little line, believe it or not.  It began with Jake’s phone call to Rick, telling him to have a good time with Steffy at the beach house… W.T.H!?!?!?  That one line left me speechless. 

I thought it was odd that JAKE, of all people, was supporting Rick and Steffy. It’s hard to believe the writers remember this guy’s history and still had him supporting the gruesome twosome.  At least they gave us scenes of Steph handling Rick HER way.  That almost made up for it.

The pain begins 2:50 minutes in: