Young & the Restless / Bold & the Beautiful – Crazy Is…

YnR Nikki Summer Ian

The Young and the Restless: Crazy Like a Fox

Crazy is as crazy does, or so they say.  Here’s what I see.  Ian’s days are, for sure, numbered.  Will he end up  dead?  Who knows? If he lives, it is not clear to me that his days will be worth living.  He is one part cocky and two parts crazy!  Than never bodes well for a villainous soap character.

Nikki’s unequivocal F-U to Ian and her glaring declaration that she is not afraid of him is the best thing that could have happened for viewers!  Strength and courage, forget cowering and waiting for the big bad Newman men to save the day!  Oh sure, it was a HUGE thrill to have Dylan and Nick show up at the door at the end – Ian’s facial expression was priceless.  It was more of a thrill to know that Nikki didn’t need them.

Before their arrival, she charged into Ian’s office like she owned it.  She batted his lies like flies.  Someone should have warned Ian that Nikki has been married to Victor Newman, off and on, for more than 30 years soap time.  She has already survived one big bad controlling and scary man (a man who leaves me alternating between hating and loving to hate him).  Sir. Ian is a rank amateur by comparison — no matter how beautifully seamless Ray Wise’s Ian is as a villain.  Someone should tell Ian to stick to mind-blanking young and vulnerable people  who are “confused and searching” as he helps “put them on their paths”.

YnR Dylan Threatens IanSomeone should also tell him to avoid messing with the Newman clan. These people have killed before and they will kill again I’m sure.  There is always the option of leaving him imprisoned in a basement cell where no one will find him!  (What I wouldn’t give for Victor to build a cell for Ian!)  I fully expected this storyline to continue on and on with Nikki being afraid for herself, or Dylan.  Thank you writers, for letting Nikki be proactive in protecting Summer and the rest of her family.

Also, how good is it to see Paul, Lauren and Michael together?  I won’t lie.  There is a part of me that so fondly remembers Paul and Lauren as a couple (as well as Paul and Nikki) that having them find their way back to each other would feel like old home week for me. There are times when I, for a moment, wish for a Lauren and Paul reunion.  I never thought that I could grow to love Lauren after her treatment of Tracy Abbott, but Paul was the beginning of her redemption.  Lauren learned to become human, with Paul.  It helped that Lauren was fed back some of the crap she dealt out to Tracy, in the form of Mary Williams (the working woman version of BnB’s Stephanie Forrester).  Now when I see Lauren, I don’t see the mean spirited young adult who was filled with anger and ill will.  I see the woman who became a wife and mother, who apologized to Tracy for having victimized her for many years, and I love the growth that YnR characters have made Lauren in particular.  I have tried to avoid being dragged back into daytime, but the BnB and the YnR are making it tough for me to stay away.

The Bold and The Beautiful: The Douglas Problem

I’m not sure if it is intentional, but whatever the case, it is certainly interesting that there is a strong connective history when looking at the Douglas bloodline.  Stephanie Forrester’s father was a cruel and nasty S.O.D. who abused and humiliated his eldest daughter for reasons that are still not clear (realistically so.  Many survivors of abuse are left trying to make sense of their abusers’ cruelty – forced to try to give meaning to something so illogical and so vile).  John Douglas was clearly a man who refused to control his impulses – giving way to his anger at his daughter for daring to have her own opinions and  ideas.  It is a tragic behavior pattern that Stephanie followed in her own later life.  The revelation of Ally’s continued difficulties ties so neatly into the troubled Douglas history. Stephanie’s mother was as troubled as John and as troubled as Stephanie and Pam became over time.  Not only did Mother Ann refuse to protect Stephanie, she accepted a lonely Ann’s devotion and watched as Ann gave up all dreams of a family and children to care for her mother.

BnB Douglas WomenAt the time of the confrontation between mother and daughter,  it seemed that Mother Douglas’ only goal was to protect herself and the memory of a perfect marriage and perfect family life.  I now have to wonder if the writers want us to rethink the entire Douglas lineage!   That Ally’s psychological issues are being addressed (and that Ally flips out in the presence of not just Wyatt, but the Stephanie Douglas Forrester jewelry collection was BRILLIANT!)  It makes sense  that a child who lost her mother at such a young age is so badly hurt by that loss and that the pain doesn’t simply dissipate.

Are Ally’s psychological problems the real reason she didn’t continue on to Law school and came home to join the family business?  Had she had a break just before coming home?  This kid has had so much to deal with in such a short life.  Ally’s pain was compounded by the fact that the first woman she allowed to become her new mother was a woman who deceived her, only to try to replace the mother she was still grieving. Ally must have surely felt betrayed by the ease with which her father forgave the woman who left her mother dying on the highway.

Is that why Ally clings to Hope?  An innocent Hope was the only person Ally could rely on and trust in, at that time. Everyone else behaved as if it was normal for your father to marry the woman who killed your mother.   Hope told Ally the truth no one else would tell.  Is Hope’s perfect life one Ally has imagined  having for herself  instead of the crap storm Taylor’s actions and her father’s thoughtlessness left her?  Is she living vicariously through Hope to the point of imagining a happy Hope and Liam living the life that would have made her happy, too?  From Vicious John Douglas, to Mother Ann Douglas to the psychotically violent Stephanie, the murderous Pam, and now the unhinged Ally Forrester. WOW!

I’d jokingly said before that if Ally starts wearing pantsuits and a brooch, I’m  going to cry, and then fear for Hope’s safety.  I now see that I will have to fear for Wyatt’s safety.  I’m not sure what Wyatt triggers in Ally ( his deceit = taylor’s deceit?).  Does watching Hope forgive Wyatt anger her because, as she lives vicariously through Hope, and it reminds her that she accepted Taylor’s lie?  Whatever is it, the writers will let us know soon enough, but I have to say that it is beginning to become deliciously uncomfortable.

I can say that prior to Ally’s explosive rage, it was fun to watch a little innocent romance with #HOTT.  They started strong and ended strong, today.  I can’t wait for the next episode to see where this is headed.  Something tells me to not expect an apology from Ms. Ally.  Who stands with Wyatt if (when) the -ish hits the fan and the Forresters rally around Ally to protect her?  How? Most likely by firing Wyatt to help Ally heal, if the question of whether Wyatt should be fired, posed in the twitterverse to fans,  is any indication.  The only supporter he has ever had prior to meeting Hope?  His mother.  She’s ride or die for her son so I’m sure she’ll stand with him, should it happen. Would Hope stand with him or would her loyalties be divided?  Will his donor father come to his aid?  Given Bill’s consistent trashing of Wyatt, I wouldn’t count on it.  If it happens, I’m sure surprising battle lines will be drawn.

BnB Quinn and BillSoap crazy Part 2?  Bill Spencer.  Seriously, after today, this guy goes on my FastForward filter.  He is such an loser that it’s hard to fathom where the writers feel this character fits in a genre that is about romance, a bit of cheesecake, and the occasional bit of insanity.  How many times in one lifetime will a man get to say, “We’re not family, you’re just the mother of my child”?  It’s a grotesque thing for him to say to a woman with whom he has had no serious conflict and who saved. loved, and nurtured a child he claims to now love, as well.  Even referring to her as a very distant relative would have been better. (and yes, ship docked in the nearby harbor would have still worked).

Bill Spencer is exhausting.  He is a combination low-rent comedic version of J.R. Ewing (original Dallas) and womanizing Don  Draper of Mad Men.  He’s anachronistic!  Everyone else seems to be operating in the 21st century.  Bill is almost 19th century in this thoughts and actions.  I’m sick of his male equivalent “Forever 21″wardrobe, the ridiculously compulsive (and unnatural) grooming, and the  tired juvenile dialogue – what grown ass man has to tell a woman that she’d better not show up in a couple of months pregnant with his child? (If you can’t control it?  CAP IT!)  People, I just can’t with this guy. I.can.NOT!   (My comments are not about Don Diamont, who is a true hottie.  His own  look is so natural and gorgeous.  Google him.)  Bill Spencer  is too much of a put on.  It throws me every time I look at him.

Bill’s comment that Quinn was not his family  was almost as repulsive as his line that Quinn didn’t give him a chance to be a father.  As I recall, she did.  He told her to abort their child.  No matter how good looking he is with his shirt off, he is a little bit of a sidewinder, otherwise, and for a man who is such a misogynist to be treated as either a hero, or a man at all, runs counter to what a romantic lead is in daytime.  Who the hell wants to spend their days battling the Bill Spencers of the world, only to watch them celebrated?  Difficult men? Ok, outright misogynistic pigs?  Keep ’em, you can have ’em.  I have to paraphrase my new fave quote (THANKS @MrJeromeTrammel for articulating my thoughts better than I could have):  “There Is No Shortage Of Good Men, It’s Just That The Ignorance Of No-Good Men Is Promoted So Well.”

Quinn’s dialogue, returning fire for fire, was about the only useful thing to happen in the conversation between the two. I do believe she is right. Bill has never met a woman who is his match. Katie tried to humanize him, but was shut down. Brooke only gave in and gave him what he wanted – physical contact – no attempt to humanize him at all. Quinn is too good for Bill.  I hope the guy either grows up or goes.

Sorry, folks, but as I said above, Bill has hit my FastForward Filter.  He is too much of a bad thing.  I can’t be bothered to watch this guy any more.

If anyone wondered why Ashlyn Pearce was cast in the role of Alexandria Forrester, I’m guessing that’s now officially answered!  SO, in the event that you get out of line with comments or in email?  Remember this face:

BnB Angry Ally Forrester

Don’t make me send Ally after you!

Bold and Beautiful – Why I turned in my Brooke Fan card (for now)

BnB BBlogo1I was a Brooke fan from the day the show aired in 1987!  Before the explosion of the internet and social media, many of us met on whatever internet/AOL space we could find to discuss the show and to flash our newly minted “Brookie Cards”.  I found the group of BnB/Brooke fans to be fun, lively, and people whose passion for the wild half hour ride of this groundbreaking soap was, at times, even more enjoyable than the show.  Brooke was a rare soap heroine, in my book.   In some ways she was unique and incomparable.  In other ways she was a combination of two of my favorite daytime heroines.

Rachel Davis Cory (Another World)

Soap writers have loved the working woman’s daughter who clawed her way to fame and fortune, often through manipulated marriages to the town’s wealthy and eligible (more often ineligible) scions.  Was Another World’s Rachel Davis Cory a soap heroine?  Yes. Eventually.  Fans of the show may remember that Rachel was the hairdresser/cook/working woman Ada Davis’ daughter.  She was a poor girl who dreamed of being rich, not so much of marrying her true love.  To that end she pursued the very married Steven Frame and tormented his wife, Alice, with her pregnancy, given Alice’s difficulty having children of her own.  It was bold and vicious, and behavior that led to Rachel learning quite a few life lessons before becoming part of one of soaps’ greatest love stories: Rachel and Mac Cory.

Reva Shayne Lewis (The Guiding Light)

Who could forget the self-proclaimed  “slut of Springfield”  Reva Shayne?

Reva was no slut. The purpose of that proclamation was to alert the world, most especially the ever-judgmental, equally loving, Josh Lewis that she knew just how the world saw her – when the world looked through her, not at her.  Reva loved hard, played hard, and made a lot of mistakes. She alternated between being a bad girl and a good woman and I don’t think the audience could have loved her more – at least not those of us who loved her as she was.  By the time she’d finally married her Joshua, and in the moments they were happy, Reva’s life was good.  She never wanted his money or power.  Those things were always substitutes for the man himself during the times when Joshua set her aside for a new love, or when she set him aside out of petty jealousy or anger.

Brooke Logan Forrester

I have always seen Brooke as a remarkable combination of these two women.  She was no slut, not even the “slut from the valley” that Stephanie labeled her to be.  That was the jaundiced view of her from a woman (Stephanie) whose unseemly rage had decades of back story and tragedy we would learn of, decades later. Stephanie looked through Brooke, never at her, in those early years. Brooke was the working class dreamer, who fell in love with the idea of Stephanie’s son, Ridge, and then later fell for the man himself.  Brooke was no power/money hungry girl who dreamed of fame and fortune at any cost – a la Rachel Davis Cory.

The irony is that as Stephanie sat around in leisure – dreaming up conspiracies designed  to rob her family of its wealth, Brooke paid her own way.  She continued her education as a chemist.  She worked, rather than let Ridge buy her a car or pay her tuition.  She was her own woman.  She was the working woman’s daughter who never made apologies for having dirt under her nails from hard work.  She was PROUD of who her people were and the life her family created.  Her mother ran her own catering business and her father-figure brother helped support the family as an attorney.

Brooke had Rachel’s drive to be something better, without taking Rachel’s dark road.  She had Reva’s ability to make the world take notice, without the anger and bitterness of being “the help’s daughter” that at times swallowed Reva whole, making her want to prove to everyone that she was better than they’d given her credit for and smarter than any of them ever were.

Where did it all go wrong?

BreaconWhere I get off the Brookie path is with the transition of Brooke for strong woman with a fragile heart underneath to a nearly erotomanic moppet! Brooke’s love for Ridge was something I understood.  Reciprocating when Eric reached out to her was something I understood.  She was young, alone, and being tormented by a woman whose hatred for Brooke and her mother, Beth (who was coincidentally Eric’s former fiancee), became stronger than the love Stephanie had for any other person, Eric included.  Stephanie’s irrational hatred of Brooke was intensely epic.

By the time Brooke got together with Thorne, I became a bit weary, but held on for dear life.  One innocent kiss from Thorne became an explosive awakening of hurt feelings and the possibility of healing them through Thorne’s kind embraces.  I couldn’t believe I’d found myself in the position of doing so, but I was cheering on Brooke and Thorne’s happiness – feeling alternately sorry for and angry at Macy for faulting Brooke, alone, when Thorne left her.  It didn’t matter, right?  Brooke and Thorne would prove everyone wrong and be together for years. YEARS, I tell ya;!  The soapgods have a sense of humor, I see.

Then came Deacon and I still held on.  I held to my Brooke love, but let go of the show, waiting for the hot messiness of “Breacon” to be over.   Sitting by the fire place, imbibing a glass of cognac, bourbon, Colt 45, or Schlitz Malt Liquor, I can’t remember, and it was done.  Brooke was in love.  I remember thinking that one glass of liquor and a kiss from her reprobate son-in-law shouldn’t have made it possible for Brooke to betray the daughter to whom she’d given birth and lovingly nurtured.   Had it been one event, or it had even taken place prior to Deacon meeting Bridget, I could almost understand it as typical soap camp. This was something more.  It was dark.  The tragedy played out all over again with Nick Marone – equally pathetic reprobate son-in-law who traded Bridget’s love for lust with her mother.

I know, yes, soap daughters have betrayed their mothers (and soap sons have betrayed their fathers) – typically out of anger (see GL’s Blake Thorpe Marler. for example).  Rarely will soaps have mothers cross that line and hurt their daughters or fathers their sons.  That level of betrayal ends with serious consequences for many a parent dearest (DAYS – Addie Horton, who intentionally betrayed daughter Julie by stealing away and marrying  Julie’s true love [and part-con man] Doug Williams.  Doug and Julie were supposed to run away together for a Portofino honeymoon, but mama Addie ended up on the honeymoon, instead -having intentionally placed her happiness over her daughter’s.  Addie and Doug become pregnant with Hope Williams Brady – a character created by the great man William J. Bell.  How does it end?  Surviving cancer during her pregnancy, Addie is killed in an accident shortly after Hope’s birth).

The worst sin a soap character can commit, for me as a viewer, is not and act of sin but the act of lacking depth in character.  We see that in a parent’s betrayal of a child.  What would make a parent do something so vile, other than sheer depravity?  What would cause a parent to betray a child?  Brooke repeatedly betrayed Bridget before, and all the way through, her pregnancy with BnB’s Hope – all while wringing her hands and claiming that the affair was based on true love  with con-man Deacon Sharpe.  It happened again with Bridget and Nick.  There was the “accidental” betrayal of Hope with the “sex up a wall” with Brooke and Oliver.  Now?  Brooke and her psychologically weak brother-in-law call themselves in love after a balloon ride.  No depth, no understanding, nothing left but the plot device – and to me, that is truly disappointing.  Brooke has been playing out the Addie/Doug/Julie storyline over and over again, as if at some point the writers think that viewers will either become immune to the betrayal and deal with it, or as if the superficial betrayal will somehow become something magical.  Currently, in place of Bridget, we have Katie – the sister Brooke raised as if Katie were her own.  It is sadly no better.

Brooke not only betrayed Katie, but refused to take responsibility for it, or to have Bill take responsibility and faulted Katie for their actions.  Note that neither Brooke nor Bill were so confident that what they’d done was right that they celebrated and told her about it.  They continued to hide their actions – suggesting that something was truly heinous about their affair.  They didn’t openly fight to be together.  They hid and lied.  When history repeats itself as often as it does here, viewers have to wonder if a character, as envisioned by the writers, is capable of growth.

BnB KaRi Valentine3

That is sadly the place I find myself.  I could never hate Brooke for who she was.  I just don’t love Brooke for who she is, now.

I may, one day, become a Brooke fan, again.  I do know that it won’t happen because of a pairing for the character with a hot male lead.  Those parings are often too messy, too sloppy, and they have turned Brooke from the wide-eyed innocent girl who fell in love with a dream, to a woman who has her eyes wide-shut so that she can avoid looking at the destruction in her path, destruction of the women who have loved her and trusted her most.  I don’t care about the conflict she’s had with Macy, Taylor, or anyone else.  That’s just the path soap romances take – the battle for love.  There is a line to avoid crossing, and I see BnB writers as having crossed it one too many times..  Katherine Kelly Lang is a remarkable actress who breathes life into Brooke with as much vigor as is possible for an actress to give.  What she can’t do is give Brooke a “soul”.  That trick is left to the writers and as I view it, BnB writers are determined to deny Brooke that.  I am determined to not cheer on her continued destruction.

If Brooke becomes the loving matriarch of the Logan-Forrester clans she was meant to become – battling back threats while keeping her family in tact, I’m with her.  If her only contribution is one more messy affair, and one more after that?  Been there, done that, burned the t-shirt.  I will mourn this once great character and find interest in whatever else the BnB has to offer.

The Walking Dead: Claimed

Whether it is intentional or a matter of oversight, I wish the producers would change the opening sequence.  The opener makes me long not for the “claimed” but for things I wish the survivors could re-claim – Sophia, Hershel, Dale, Otis and his family, the Farm, the feeling of peace and solitude they felt while there.  I know that won’t happen, but there are some things I just miss and the opener is a constant reminder.  The reclaimed thing that I was most happy to see?  Carl’s smile.  Like Rick, I was grateful for his laughter. It felt good to know that Carl is able to talk, happily, about memories he had before the plague. Instead of a man-child, Carl was just a child, this week.  I am glad “mother” Michonne was able to make it safe for him to have and share those memories.

Michonne, the cheese thing? Not funny.  My heart dropped at the thought of Michonne becoming a growling, flesh ripping zombie, and hoped the canned cheese dripping and the snarling weren’t an indication of things to come. The silver lining is how that scene was used to help Carl and Michionne on their road to emotionally healing one another.   Even if it’s all in my head, I prefer to see the family with Rick, Carl, and Michionne forming.  It’s the closest to normal this show has been in a long time and I think we could all use a little happiness.  As it is, there are times when Rick needs saving, from himself and others.

Rick and the scavengers?  What in the name of Karma keeps drawing the worst of the worst to Rick?  How is it that the others are found by good people, and he appears to draw the attention of the likes of Shane, the Governor, and whoever else is one step away of insanity?

Abraham Ford? THANK YOU! Last week I questioned if Rick could be viewed as a failed leader.  This week I marvel at how great a leader he was given what he had to work with, folks.  Glenn went from being a true hero to a true asshole in a matter of a week.  Yeah, I get it, he loves Maggie, in his heart knows she’s alive, he wants to be reunited with her, he would never desert her.  Keep the following in mind: walkers roaming free, people at risk, chance for survival of entire the race.  Had he chosen to simply keep moving?  No problem.  That he chose to start a fight with the man who saved him instead of leaving him on the road passed out?  IDIOT!  Like Rick, Ranger Ford has his own issues, including a tomb raider clad second in command (no one believes in walker-proof clothing?) and the “scientist” who shot up the truck missing almost every walker in his path.

It can’t be easy to try to save people who are barely capable of saving themselves.

House of Cards / Scandal VS. Helix / The Walking Dead

I am EXHAUSTED, in large part thanks to the BET Network, Shonda Rhimes and her merry band of preternatural writers, who seem to believe that the cliffhanger shouldn’t be reserved for the end of the show, but for every commercial break until the end of the episode.  They dare you to look away, and I took them up on that dare.  I lost.  My children were fed this weekend, I just don’t remember how it happened – but I suspect it took place between commercial breaks (#leftoversrock). BET aired a monster marathon this past weekend, to help fans catch up before the new season starts.  I am both thankful, and trying to figure out how to get up for work on Monday morning.

The exhaustion I feel is not physical, but psychological.  It’s so clear to me that #Scandal writers are determined to not give way to one good clear moment for the audience to catch its collective breath before they throw another twist or turn our way.  They give you moments that you know have to be significant (such as Olivia repeatedly playing back the morning her mother disappeared, while rocking herself in an upright fetal position) but they refuse to let you in, until it’s time for you to figure it out.  Paraphrasing Papa Pope in his speech to ( President) Fitz, “You are on a need to know, and this goes way above your pay grade” dear viewers.

As I watched the madness that is Huck, I found myself wondering if he was playing Quinn in the hopes of drawing out the people who were blackmailing her – understanding that she was probably under surveillance.  Maybe he knew she’d been set up and couldn’t tell her that he was on her side, there to protect her.  I held on to that hope until the second he pulled the first tooth and told her that he was going to make sure she felt pain.  Papa Pope is a hero?  Mama Maya is a terrorist?  He loves and is protecting his daughter, her cherished mother would slit her throat and not look back?  I am in a tailspin.  Cyrus set his own husband up to be used and James is now learning how to play the game?  Innocence lost.  Veep Sally has killed her husband and is only reprimanded for making the first phone call to the wrong person?  Crazy on Steroids! Where do you go with that?  How can any of these people be saved, pulled back from the legend?  I am driven to distraction waiting for the season premier to see if the writers will give us a clue.

Between Scandal and House of Cards, I don’t know that the difference in carnage is all that disparate from Helix and The Walking Dead (evisceration, endless violence, without ever being able to fill hunger or meet needs).  If there is one lesson both of the above political dramas teaches us, is that we don’t need the monsters of Helix and The Walking Dead to make us  afraid.  Dehumanization doesn’t have to take place at the hands of the scariest (and most soulless) monsters science fiction has to offer, it can sometimes take place at hands of people who appear, on the surface, at least, to be just like the rest of us. The Vectors of Helix, the Walkers of The Walking Dead are easy for us to identify.  We know them when we see them.  We cannot tell who the monsters are when watching House of Cards or Scandal and if we lived in those worlds, we wouldn’t know how to defend ourselves.  On the positive side, our political dramas do us a favor by allowing us to go into denial about the state of the political world crafted by gifted writers.  We can pretend that the world could never be that corrupt.  The monsters of Scandal and House of Cards are small “m” and not capital “M”.  We are safe without worrying who is crawling in the vent, or making inhuman noises behind us, maybe.

B&B: Credit where It Is Due

To the wardrobe, hair and make up departments at the B&B – You have made my week, and I am not joking!  I watched the wedding prep show, I can barely tell you what was going on with the dialogue and the actors/characters. Why?  THE HAIR! (For starters) KKL’s Brooke and HTom’s Katie’s hairstyles were wondrous structural works of art.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of their HAIR.  KKL is a timeless beauty, but I have never seen her hair look better!  The sweep, the lush curls – all of it worked it in a way that made me feel shameful envy!  I’m assuming that the person who styled her always styles the fabulous LG’s Caroline.   HTom’s every move made me hear big band music playing as her personal soundtrack.  FANTASTIC.  The make up was on point and by the time wardrobe worked it’s magic, I was slayed!

The BnB wardrobe department is working hard to keep us guessing where this going!  They often give up clues about the direction of a storyline by setting the mood.   I noticed that the satin edging on Katie’s sheer shawl mimicked the satin lapels of TK’s Ridge’s tux.  CLUE!  (or so I thought, that this wedding would end with Ridge and Katie professing their love and away into the sunset they would ride… and then KKL’s Brooke hit the door in that gorgeously understated but beautiful gown.)  The soap wardrobe rule use to be, or so I thought, that an ugly bridal gown meant that no one was putting effort into a gown that was not supposed to be part of fans’ warm fuzzy memories of a fave couple’s special day – therefore, failed marriage.  Instead, KKL’s Brooke walks out in a stunner and I’m back to wondering if post Katie’s fainting spell, whether Ridge and Brooke complete the wedding and move into their new lives as husband and wife.

The writers, actors, and producers have all worked hard, but with this wedding, the crown goes to wardrobe, hair and make up.

BnB: What a woman wants, what a woman needs

BnB BBlogo2There is a reason I didn’t stop watching soaps after the 1970s.  That reason is that I expected my soaps, along with my life, to change and reflect my reality (to some degree. I can suspend disbelief on the rest of it).  I expected my soaps to show women who were more empowered, whose lives reflected the mass movement into the workforce, a move in which women became doctors, not just nurses, one where women became police officers, not just crossing guards and “meter maids”, one where courtroom sharks ripped competitors new wounds in the boardroom and ripped criminals new wounds in the courtroom and they did it in heels and with attitude.  By and large, that’s pretty much what happened.

I told you that to say this: I don’t hate Brooke Logan, the Golden One.  Anyone who has read this blog for some time knows that Brooke has always been a flawed but lovable character, in my book.  I’m just tired of what’s going on with her.  I can only suspend disbelief to the point that it doesn’t break my connection with reality – and cheering her on in this farce breaks my connection with reality.  Soaps can be fun, over-the-top camp, and can stretch credulity to the point of hilarity.  What soaps can’t do is ask me to set aside my core character to cheer on behavior that is so absurd or offensive that it makes me question my own reasons for having chosen daytime as my primary form of entertainment — although, seriously, Netflix is killing me. I may have to give it or daytime up, soon.  I’m torn between these two lovers.

Posted below are the things I hope the Bold and The Beautiful writers will convey soon.  Yes, the same writers who have fired on all cylinders with Hope and Wyatt (#HOTT) , who are pitch perfect with Katie and Ridge (#KaRi) and who almost make me believe that Bill can be tamed by Quinn (#QUILL).  Quinn may be the only woman who can get Bill to wear his pants on his hips instead of wearing them as he usually does – at his ankles, chasing whatever will let him catch it:

BnB Brooke and Katie1- Women don’t want to be perceived as “nags” and “bitter” for expecting their husbands to be men and put their families before their penchant for cheating (cheating death in daredevil events or cheating with women who are all too willing).

It’s so utterly ridiculous to hear the excuse that Katie knew who Bill was when she married him.  It’s also misogynistic.

Here’s a tip:  Bill also knew who Katie was when he married her, too.  Why is it her obligation to accept his cheating, drinking and driving, and other Peter Pan behavior?  Why is he not obligated to be a better man for his wife and child?  Why does he owe Katie nothing, especially after the risk to her health over his near affair with Steffy and giving birth to his child?  Why is she nothing more to him than the mother he never had?  The only women who would accept the garbage Bill spews are women without self-esteem.  Katie should not be punished for having dignity and strength and the courage of her convictions.

2 – It is NOT ok for a mistress to send an unwilling husband home to his wife.  It is even LESS ok for her to take him back.  Why should Katie thank her sister for trying to send Bill home?  Brooke has already done this with Deacon and Bridget and again with Nick and Bridget.  Look at how well that turned out!  Bill acts as if he’s the first child being told he has to leave a party.  He goes, but he pouts, cries about having to leave, and treats home like a busted old tent in someone else’s backyard.

How could Katie not want a piece of that, amIright?  That’s right, right? BULL.  She should be rejecting his sorry skin every time he comes to her.  Is she bitter?  Yes.  Should she be bitter? Yes, but not about losing PennyBill.  That was a gift from the gods.  She should be mad for allowing herself to be tied to that loser in the first place.  That aging lothario, groomed to within an inch of his bullying controlling ways, SHOULD be someone else’s problem.  Katie should re-examine what made her attracted to him, swear not to do it again, and choose the bright future ahead of her.

3 – All adults should know that they have passed the stage of egocentrism in early childhood.  Egocentrism is not being able to take another person’s perspective.  It’s not cute to watch Brooke bug Katie about her wedding or to ask Katie to be a part of her happiness. You don’t get to bed your sister’s husband, carry her husband’s child, tell the world that despite the pain you’ve caused her that you’re going to live with and marry that man.  You certainly don’t expect your sister to be happy for you, and for herself, when you dump her husband for the man you REALLY wanted.  Love and weddings brings families together and heals wounds?  Shouldn’t Katie’s wedding have done that too?  Shouldn’t it have made the sisters so close that a betrayal of that magnitude was unthinkable?  As sick as I am of Brooke apologizing, I’m even more sick of her solution to making things right include having Katie watch HER be happy.

BnB PreWedding PlanningIt’s shallow and beneath everyone involved in this storyline. Asking Katie to join her on her wedding day should have been accompanied with a speech that said, “I’ve blown your world to hell but I’ll help you by letting you sit back and see what it’s like to be in a happy marriage” (based on Brooke’s belief that her life with Ridge will be a good one, not necessarily based on the past).  It makes Brooke look as if she is incapable of caring for anyone other than herself.   In 70s pop self-help speak, it’s akin to saying, “If I’m ok, the world is ok, including you”.  Smarter and more compassionate people know better.  The writers should know that WE know better.  It was not a good step in repairing her relationship with her sister, if that’s what Brooke really wants.

At some point, I want self-realization from Brooke that she wants Bill back with Katie because it will ease her guilt, not because it would make her sister happy, or her sister’s life better in any real way.  That would be a good first step.  When has Brooke ever wanted a man who had to be forced to be with her?  Wasn’t that her rant against Taylor?  Taylor’s desire for a man was so strong that she didn’t care if he (Ridge) wanted to be with her or not – Taylor was willing to take Ridge any way she could have him and it never mattered to her what the circumstances and manipulations were. If it made Taylor a loser, why would Brooke want that for Katie?

Next step?  Brooke burns those papers with Katie present.  She has already allowed Katie to believe that she has destroyed them but her conversation with PennyBill makes it seem likely she’s holding on to them. Why?  In case she decides to betray her sister, again?  What earthly reason would Brooke have for not destroying those papers?  Holding on to them makes Brooke’s motives and claims of love for her sister a little suspect.  The speech that needs to go along with the paper burning session is that Brooke openly states, without pointing a finger at Katie, that she knows that she’s altered the fate of Katie’s life and that of Will’s with her actions – helping Bill destroy their family.  She won’t let anyone else destroy Katie and any happiness she is building toward in the future.

Last, Brooke needs to be ALONE for a fair amount of time.  She needs to grow up and figure out what she wants to be other than some man’s significant other.  What I want is for Brooke to become the matriarch that Stephanie never could have become because Stephanie was too filled with rage and hatred to be a true matriarch.  I want Brooke to be vibrant, in love the RIGHT way – one day in the future, and to be worthy of having her own picture posted above a mantel – without it being a joke.  Katherine Kelly Lang’s Brooke has been the emotional center of this show for so long that it pains me to see Brooke lose her way.  KKL has salvaged Brooke’s before, pulled her from the brink.  I have little hope she is able to do it, again.  I don’t need my soap characters to be perfectly moral, but there is a bright line they shouldn’t cross, if the writers’ intent is to get us to root for them and see them as heroines and heroes and not villains.

BnB Hott1This show is so pitch perfect in other ways.  #HOTT brings the young passion, #KaRi brings the promise of new love,  Eric, Hope, and Rick are moving toward creating a strong future for Forrester Creations, – so it is hard for me to understand the conflict including Brooke and Bill.  They are, as far as I’m concerned, the show’s achilles’ heel.  #Brill brings lust and vanity masquerading as love and nothing more.  The longer the audience is wrapped in this pathetic past, and the longer Katie is dragged down by it, the greater the potential for the pitch perfect nature of this show to become pitch black – as in audience done, tuned out, ratings dropped.

Please, put a 2014 spin on this show, let us just move forward!

P.S. If you’re looking for a place to play, the The G. GALLERY (companion message board for this blog) will be open, soon.  There is a HOTT Safe Haven, as well as a BRIDGE safe haven, and all daytime, primetime, British Soap fans, Sci Fi fans,… oh hell, ALL are welcome!

The Walking Dead – Rick the Failed Leader?

Alternate title?  I have missed Carol so much.

As I watch the prison survivors body count build, I am torn on who I think Rick Grimes is supposed to be.  Is he a failed leader, or is he a man who was a brilliant leader for his time, before time literally and figuratively passed him by?   Rick’s focus has remained consistent, he is intent on doing what made him a seemingly brilliant cop – keeping the community together.  The problem is that most others around him, outside of his tiny group, seems to be focused on individual survival.

Rick had moments when he had to make tough and ugly decisions (like killing Zombified Sophia, killing Shane, and leaving a hitchhiker stranded on the side of the road – only to pick up that same, now dead, hitchhiker’s bag on the way back to the prison in case it contained anything useful).  That was the episode that nearly caused me to hang up my viewer’s badge and find some other way to spend my Sunday evenings.  It was cruel, it was harsh, and Rick left a man alone on the road to die – using the safety of others as his excuse for leaving a survivor behind.  At the same time, he stopped from killing the Governor long before the fall of the prison when it was clear that the Governor was a sociopath who would not give up on trying to destroy the safe haven the prison had become for the survivors.

The group that depended on his guidance, his expertise as a person who saved lives daily before the fall of civilization, is now scattered in the wind.  They are alone and afraid, and waiting for their own ends to come, in whatever form it takes -though they are not giving up willingly.  These first two episodes, and Rick’s possibly failed leadership makes me wonder:

Is the grand lesson of this series that we are doomed and that what happens here is meant to be part of our evolution?  Are we so uniquely self-interested that even as we approach the end, we care more about ourselves than rebuilding a society and banding together against those things that would destroy us?  What would make survivors serve a man, such as the governor, who makes no bones about killing other humans instead bringing them in to kill off the zombie ranks?

Whatever the answers, I realize know that I missed Carol, terribly. She understood that sometimes, as uncomfortable as it is, changes have to happen.  Towards the end, Carol became a unique mix of compassion and realism.  She became the realist Rick seemed to refuse to become.  While Rick periodically retreated into dream worlds that allowed him to avoid the difficulty of his new life, Carol embraced it and made no apologies for it.  We saw that with Michionne as well.  She also understood the need for a cross between compassion and realism, and the uselessness of  looking back.  Both women know that this mix of tough and caring are the only things that will save them all in this new world.

Is Rick a failed leader?  I don’t think so.  I think he’s a great leader, but one meant for a different place and time.  Watching the prison survivors move on without him, I can’t imagine that he could become a leader again.  They no longer need him, and sadly learned that the hard way.  Rick could eventually become the new New Dale, New Hershel, New… but then again, being the moral center of the survivor family hasn’t worked out well for anyone, has it?

Abraham? WELCOME! You’re sorely needed.

Ellen Page – Courage and Compassion

I woke up to the news that Ellen “Tiny Canadian” Page came out during an HRC conference (@HRC) .  She did so in a way that I can only describe as compelling, breathtakingly beautiful and inspiring.  Given the rates of assault against LGBT Youth, the rates of suicide and addiction fueled by the soul crushing homophobia still facing all too many people, youth  in particular need to know that there is a safety net out there.  There is a network of people who care, and who will be there for them if they need support.  They need to know that the world is a changing place and those dark messages of the past are fading.  Ms. Page was a powerful reminder:

If you think the fight to save LGBT Youth isn’t your fight, I beg to differ with you.  We are  in this together.  LGBT Youth belong to all of us, as do youth of color, impoverished youth,  all youth.   The phrase, “Maybe the next generation will get it right” leaves me chilled  It reminds me to work harder to fight for all youth, knowing that some of us have already given up on fulfilling our obligations to them.  We have to stop asking young people to save the world and cure the social ills we leave behind.  It’s our job to give them a better world to live in.  Kill the -isms (Racism, Orientationism/Heterosexism, Sexism, etc) before they undo us all.

So when I ‘m wrong, I’m wrong

BnB KaRi Valentine4#boldandbeautiful writers have been throwing curve balls, daily, and I am loving it!  For the first time in many years, I just don’t have anything bad to say about the show.  Not only that?  I can’t wait for each new episode.  Yes, yes, I was wrong.  Not only did Liam NOT try to shame Katie, he stood by her and encouraged her to find her happiness wherever she could.  He reminded her that her behavior with Ridge is no way similar to that of Brooke and his father, Bill.

Several blogs ago I lamented the lack of insight soap characters have regarding their own behavior.  Katie has to be the most introspective character the show has offered in ages!  She realizes that it’s possible that her feelings for Ridge, and his for her, are built on a fear of being alone, wishing to be with someone you can trust, and that crossing the line based on the fantasy of having a happy life isn’t worth the pain and misery she could potentially subject others to.  Say what, now?  Imagine that!  Rather than an instant love story, we have a woman who is making GOOD choices for herself and others.  There is Liam, standing at her side trying to make sure that his former stepmother/friend doesn’t allow herself to lose out on life.  When I’m wrong, I’m wrong!  Liam does have a soul.

Bravo, Liam and Bravo Katie!  If/When Ridge and Katie are finally together, and I believe they will be, it will not be because they cared only for themselves – everyone else be damned.  They will go into a relationship with clean hands!

Carter / Maya / Oliver

My guess is that if you took a black light to the Forrester Steam room, you wouldn’t even touch the handle!  The only safe spaces are the spaces OUTSIDE that spa.  That  steam room is busier than a brothel during convention season!  What was once the workplace playground for Brooke and Ridge, is now used by almost every FC employee and their mother… literally!  Is the steam room used on a schedule?  Can you bolt it from the inside to keep others out?  How do FC employees stop from running into each other?  How is it possible that there has not been a storyline about some random FC employee secretly taping and selling at least one workplace romp as a sex tape? I am amazed.

BnB LiamThat said, the closest Carter and Maya have come to being a real couple was in the steam room!  I’m already feeling sorry for Carter.  He has always seemed like the “Rick Rebound” to me, even more so after Maya made plans to tell Rick how she felt about him – until she found out he proposed to Caroline.  Now she’s daydreaming about Oliver.  WHAT & THE?  What does a good man have to do to get a little respect? Carter has been an absolute gentleman in his treatment of Maya.  Has she not been paying attention to the sordid affairs of those around her?  She has landed one damned fine man and unless the writers have a few more curve balls to throw, she’s going to lose him.  I don’t understand how Maya could find herself torn between Carter and Oliver.  They have been friends, yes, worked in the studio together, yes, but Oliver and Maya have lived lives so separate that I’m surprised they even consider themselves workplace friends.

Ah, but the heart wants what it wants.  Both Carter and Oliver are good men, so Maya is potentially on the winning side no matter which she chooses, I guess.

I’m a “wait and see” on this one.  Maybe KM’s Maya can convince me that she and ZC’s Oliver are star-crossed lovers who have been hiding in plain sight from one another until now, but how sad will that be?  Carter will have given his all and only to be dumped by a woman he was prepared to worship.

Life in the BnB Big City is hard!

May-December

I’m telling you, dear readers, I smell a May-December romance brewing.  I think it could be any of the following:

Liam and Quinn

Liam and Katie (once Katie is happy with Ridge)

Eric and Quinn (and I see this as the least likely)

BnB: The possibility of Bill and Quinn?

BnB QuillThere are about half a million things I would have expected to happen before seeing Bill and Quinn together.  Before believing this pairing was even possible?  I would have quit my job and bought a beach house in Malibu – all on the promise of soon purchasing my winning super lottery ticket.  My first thought, as a Quinn fan, is sheer revulsion!  Why?  Quinn, as written, could do so much better than Bill on her worst days… SO much better.  Bill is tainted by his callous disregard for other people.  He seems so  uncaring and one dimensional that it literally pains me to watch him onscreen -not figuratively, I mean literally.  Friends, like love, your soaps aren’t supposed to hurt!  He meets the very definition of the stereotypical powerful man who is unethical and filled avarice, to the point of being able to sell his mother (or child’s happiness) for a buck.

The more I thought about the possibility, the more I almost like it. (As you read that, I hope you put the emphasis on almost because I don’t trust anything to do with Bill Spencer, yet.)  Given the fact that Bill and Quinn have a tendency to go to dark places, for different reasons, of course, a lot of interesting things could happen on this show.

What would make the difference in a Quill pairing that we didn’t see with Katie or Brooke?  Quinn is written as a woman strong enough to tame that beast.  Quinn doesn’t back down. She is never fearful.  She is Bill’s alter ego, his very scarily tough and much  smarter alter ego. If Bill yells, Quinn is the woman who will yell right back and back him into a corner.   I do believe that there are lines Quinn won’t cross – which is how she differs from Bill.  Even though I fully expected her to know a goon she could call on a moment’s notice to give Liam a good beat down, leaving him naked and amnesic on a beach somewhere, I was surprised that her seemingly menacing phone call was only a call to Ally to have her put on her Saturday Night best and go out to meet Liam for dinner.  Quinn is a study in contradictions and I appreciate the fact that the writers keep giving her layers and, consequently, depth.

I have been living to see Bill bend to the will of a strong woman, rather than choosing women who won’t fight back.  Katie stood up to him more than anyone, but even she relented and accepted that Bill “is who he is”. Not.Good.Enough.  Brooke pretty much gave Bill anything he wanted.  He calls those things love and it reads, to me at least, as love of self and one’s on selfish needs.  I would like to know what the writers would do differently with Bill in the presence of a woman who has as strong a personality as his own.  I don’t want the writers to break his spirit, just his massive ego and his inability to have a real connection to anyone.   It’s been easy for me to not cheer on Bill on with anyone because all of his pairings have left the women he’s been with as bit players in their own lives (Steffy included).

BnB Rick Sneers at WyattWhat if he does get back together with Quinn and she decides she wants controlling interest in FC so that she and Wyatt not only have their jewelry line, but a secure place in FC?  (For Wyatt – to keep him close to Hope because there is no way she is going to stop manipulating that poor kid’s life)  What if Bill agrees to help her, but not for Wyatt’s sake?  He’s still angry at Brooke for not loving him as he’d hoped ignoring his own role in losing his family.  His attack on FC is directed at Brooke for breaking his heart, and at Ridge for being the man Brooke has always loved more than any other.

To the rescue?  Rick! I’ll be honest, when Rick stared Wyatt down and threatened to destroy him over the PR stunt, I had to change my clothes. I won’t tell you why, because I’ve already shared too much.  Let’s just say that I don’t want to meet reel life Rick Forrester in a heavily produced  perfectly dimmed dark alley way!  No ma’am, no sir, that’s not for me, but that scene helped me remember just how vicious a guy Rick can be, when pushed (and makes me recall Jacob Young’s seamlessly perfect portrayal of cutthroat scheming mogul, JR Chandler,  on All My Children).  Rick has fought back challenges from Ridge in the past, and most recently from Thorne and Thomas.  It’s time for Forrester Creations to take on a real challenger, another cutthroat like Bill, without resolving things on the runway.  Imagine the tensions and tests of loyalty between Caroline and Rick, Hope and Wyatt, Katie and Ridge, Katie and Karen, Brooke and Ridge, Ally and Wyatt, Thorne and His family (if Quinn and Bill promise him a permanent role as FC President), so many opttions!

Soapgods, if you’re listening, Rick Forrester is all grown up now.  He’s ready for the role of a man casting his own shadow instead of living in the shadow of his father and brothers.  If Bill makes a move on FC, let Rick make a move on whatever wealth Bill has, and any remaining stock he has in Spencer.  Give us Dallas in the daytime!  It’s time for Rick to leave FC for Ridge and Thorne to fight over — if Thorne ever comes back from Paris.  On a side note, does anyone think that Winsor Harmon (Thorne) might be away promoting the incredible looking Cathedral Canyon?

Ridge and Katie
I am torn between thinking that Liam completely shamed Katie into walking away or that he reminded Katie of who she really is at heart.   Well, break my heart, why don’t you? I, for one, don’t expect the Brooke-Ridge marriage to happen.  Sooner or later Ridge will remember his feelings for Katie.  Katie will never forget her feelings for Ridge.  If it does happen, I don’t expect them to cheat while Ridge and Brooke are together – and it would be disappointing if they did.  If they cheat, I’ll be the hypocrite I hate being and forgive them, but I hope they wait because I don’t see Ridge and Brooke being long term and I think the two have already built something that can wait and could last long term.  I would love for Ridge to walk away from a possible marriage to Brooke if his heart isn’t in it and go back to Katie.

BnB Tormented KarRi

Admittedly there is a part of me that wanted Katie to avoid the hand wringing and tears. Without thought of revenge her sister or care for another person a small part of me – the part that has a hard time delaying gratification, wants the writers to skip the long and slow romance and have Katie throw caution to the wind and (in my best Bill Spencer voice) make Ridge her bitch!  Sure, true love and all that, but Katie needs to just be swept up in something wild and uncontrollable and FUN!  Katie has been hurting for SO long that I want to see her happy, now!  She risked her life to have a child, she battled mental illness,  she lost her husband to her sister, she was betrayed by the husband she was willing to forgive. Reel life has not been kind to Katie the last several years.

So what am I saying here?  Did I just confuse you?  This storyline has caught me off guard and left me confused as well.  In short, I don’t want Katie at odds with Brooke. I would love for the sisters to reunite and be stronger than ever.  That aside, I will take Ridge and Katie in whatever form I get them, and I will ignore that selfish part of me that wants them fast, wants them now, and I am willing to watch the romance unfold, if it’s in the cards for them!  Maybe this time, Broke will step aside, and allow her sister to have the happiness that has been denied to her for so very long.

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