I’ve been trying for a week or so to find something to say about daytime that didn’t make me seem either unhappy about the state of the genre (which can alternately be translated as ‘brilliant and observant’) or… unhappy about the state of the genre. There’s no middle ground when it comes to daytime. If you’re not bored silly by what’s airing, tell me your secret! Only two scenes were able to get a rise from me and both were related to doom and gloom. It’s all daytime seems to have to offer. This week’s big scene on DAYS was the throw-down between violently psychotic father and son, Stefano and EJ Dimera. Stefano threatens to destroy EJ, EJ threatens to have Stefano committed to an asylum for the rest of his life. Let’s hope they BOTH succeed. I’ve had about as much of EJ’s smirking as I can take. I’ve wanted to keep him around for a while, to expand on other storylines. Now? I’m not really all that interested. After Stefano smacked Anna and had her marched off to die, the bloom was off his rose for me as well.
The other big scene involved the BnB’s Stephanie Forrester – who spent the past 20+ years proving that she is EXACTLY the woman she’s hated in Brooke Logan Forrester… the woman Brooke never was. Stephanie has projected her self-hatred on to Brooke for years and it’s finally reached a breaking point. Having confronted a very ill Beth Logan, and Beth’s family, Stephanie has decided that Beth’s presence disrupts her chance at getting close to Eric. She doesn’t want a little thing like ‘Beth’s Alzheimer’s’ and impending death to get in the way of her happiness. She also doesn’t wantEric inviting his wife’s ill mother into their marital home – the home Stephanie sold to them years earlier, a house whose address she should have forgotten long ago. If Donna, Brooke, Katie and their respective children wants to visit their ill and dying martriarch, they can do it elsewhere, according to the dragon lady. Remember folks, this woman respects marriage. She’s a pillar of the community. She is morally above reproach – in her mind.
I think it’s embarrassing that women Stephanie’s age (as well as her sister Pam/”Pammy”) are still spending their days thinking of how to “win back” a man from his wife. I think it’s pathetic they’re able to qualify their ‘concern’ for Beth… “I’m sorry she’s so ill… BUT… you were getting close to Eric, she shouldn’t be here.” or “It’s too bad that Beth has Alzheimer’s BUT she and her children don’t have to be around, you need to get close to Eric, you can win him back if they all just go away”. If you place a qualifier on an expression of sympathy, it’s not sympathy. To use ‘BUT’ in a situation like that makes you an ASS.
I get it… Stephanie is the most incredibly self-focused selfish person alive, but the writers are a little too heavy-handed. They seem to think that they need to reinforce the idea that Stephanie is evil. They’ve forgotten her rotten past deeds to sell her in each new storyline. We haven’t . We don’t need the reminder. It would be nice, on occasion, to have a break from ‘evil Stephanie’ storylines that go nowhere.. Poor goddess SF looks as if she’s given up on trying to convey any useful emotion in Stephanie. Her facial expressions are limited to ensuring that the audience realizes that Stephanie is emotionally dead. She’s amazed that as the Logan-Forrester/Logan-Spencer women are crying watching their mother tenderly lose her grasp that they can’t also see HER point of view. She only wants Donna out of the home she shares with her own husband. She only wants Eric to tell Donna that her mother has to die elsewhere, because she and “Pammy” have plans for him. GAH! What’s not to understand?!?!?
Where is the balance in the dialogue? Why does the BnB have the worst dialogue writers in daytime? Why hasn’t someone reminded Stephanie that she never worried about a parade of doctors, nurses, and others running through the Forrester Mansion when they were there to take care of Eric, and she thought it would lead to her getting back into that house as his wife?
Why doesn’t Donna get to tell Stephanie that just as SHE (Donna) took care of Eric and made sure he survived his stroke when her children voted to pull the plug, SHE (Donna) would take care of HER mother in HER home and that Stephanie was welcome to take her bitterness and choke on it?
Wny can’t one of the Logan women remind Stephanie that she was willing to move heaven and hell to save dying Felicia? They won’t be able to save their mother – they just want the chance to live her last moments on earth, in peace. To make Beth’s Alzheimer’s condition a matter of ‘inconvenience’ in her attempts to beg for Eric’s love, to make Beth’s condition a matter of ‘too much’ for poor Eric to have to handle, to have Stephanie lyinging claim that her concern is for Eric’s well-being, is low, trashy, and very Stephanie. That doesn’t make it fun to watch. Get real, it’s not like Eric will be physically taking care of Beth, himself.
Where is the soul who will remind Stephanie that as much as she hates to admit it, Beth was Eric’s first love many years ago and that he’s as invested in making sure she has a peaceful end as Donna is? Why can’t the hatemonger be forced to remember the pain she felt when her own mother died – and she had a horrible relationship with her mother up to the very day it ended. The Logans have had a loving relationship with their mother.
It’s a terrible move to put Stephanie and Pam Douglas in the same storyline as the show’s resident ‘teens -young adults’, Hope and Steffy Forrester. All Steffy needs is a bat shit crazy bitter sidekick , like Aunt Pam, to tell her that her ridiculous actions are ok, and the circle is complete!
The other difficulty with this storyline are the overwhelming misogynistic under- and overtones of Stephanie’s dialogue – even now. At what point does that loon STOP lying and claiming that the Logan women only have their sexuality to get them through!??!?! These are women who are no different from her and her children (other than the fact that they’re not psychotic, angry, and living to attack others as Stephanie so often is and does). They live such full and enriched lives, and the only thing Stephanie can ever comment on is the ‘sexuality’ of the Logans. I see adult daughters crying and grieving their lost mother. She’s sees them in lingerie, hanging from poles. I tend to believe that the audience is on the Logan family side. There are far too many families touched by Alzheimer’s to make it possible to salvage Stephanie after this. The writers seem to think that hitting ‘restart’ on a storyline for her is the same as salvaging. It’s NOT. She still hasn’t recovered as a character from having facilitated Brooke’s violent rape. Now THIS!?!?! Stealing away what’s left of a family’s precious moments????
Either the writers have to deal with Stephanie’s insane jealousy of these women, or her obsessive desire for them. I thought they’d reserve her passion for Taylor, but maybe Stephanie is back to obsessing over her first choice, a Logan, now that taylor is married again – and to someone she can’t control. The writers missed the boat on putting Stephanie and Taylor together. The sad focus on being loved by a man who LITERALLY keeps bringing other women into their marital bed is a far worse choice for Stephanie.
OLTL’s Viki Lord is caring for her grandchild and keeping her children’s lives together. ATWT’s Kim Hughes is running her media empire and holding her family in her loving grace. Her colleague, Lucinda Walsh, runs an international empire and has been alone more often than she’s been married. DAYS’ Maggie is mourning the loss of her soul mate, Mickey, and helping those she loves rebuidld their lives at the same time. GH? I forgot… they don’t ‘do’ chicks in later life on GH. The closest we get to a matriarch is Hels Cassadine, and she’s certifiable – like Stephanie, but even SHE has more of a life than Stephanie does. YnR’s Katherine Chancellor is defending her empire against the child she gave up for adoption decades ago. Stephanie can’t take the time to feel genuine sympathy for a former rival – a woman whose fiance she got drunk and took to bed, a woman whose fiance raised a child she claimed was his as the result of a lie? No. That’s too hard for her.
This does not bode well for what’s left of the BnB and daytime in general. They’re going to ride the ‘We Don’t Get It’s train right into the daytime grave. More is the pity.