What has happened to controversy in daytime?

I began thinking, about whether there are any truly unique storylines in daytime.  Every storyline billed as “Never Before Done” has been a bitter disappointment. They were either storylines in which writers ripped off their own work – playing out earlier told storylines with different characters,  storylines that truly were unique but never have been attempted (all of #Passions, or #GL’s Clone Reva), or storylines that offered some other thinly veiled variation on a theme.

The only storyline I could think of that is unique (and not one that I’m applauding) is the storyline involving the #boldandbeautiful’s Brooke.  She has had affairs with two sons-in-law and a brother-in-law, having children with all three men: with Son-in-law Nick there was a child inadvertently carried by Taylor Hayes – who was married to Nick and accidentally artificially inseminated using Brooke’s egg; an egg that was supposed to be donated to science.  The son-in-law Deacon affair produced Hope Logan, while Deacon was still married to Brooke’s rarely mentioned daughter, Bridget.  The affair with brother-in-law ¢Bill Spencer – who was married to her sister, Katie, resulted in a pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage.   The writers appear to be gearing up for a storyline in which Brooke’s former son-in-law, Deacon Sharpe, finds himself competing against her former brother-in-law, ¢Bill Spencer, for her affections. The only truly original plot in daytime  is also one of its seediest… pun intended.

I prefer to think of it as the lust triangle from soap hell. Thanks to the ever wonderful Katie Logan (portrayed by Heather Tom) and Ridge Forrester (now played by Thorsten Kaye) working together to expose  the perennially sleazy ¢Bill Spencer for the lying fraud he is, I realize how much I miss REAL controversy in daytime.   Whatever happened to the days when scandalous storylines weren’t always about sexual impropriety?  I’ve had enough of #BoldandBeautiful’s Brooke and her various in-law affairs.  I was never able to tolerate #Days Sami cheating with Ej – the man the writers admitted was her rapist.  Their relationship is a sadly outmoded “victim-perp” romance and #Days writers should have none better.   As brilliant as #GH’s Maura West is in the role of Ava, I am exhausted by storylines about women who are unsure of the paternity of  their children, most especially when those men are related.  I have had it with men like #GH’s Sonny, or now defunct #SunsetBeach’s Cole who have slept with and/or impregnated mothers and daughters, as well as half the town around them.

Do you know what kinds of controversial and awe producing storylines I miss?

  • Realistic and useful return from dead plots – #AllMyChildren’s Nina Cortlandt was led to believe her mother  died in childbirth.  Yet, years later, Daisy Cortlandt shows up, reclaims her family, and becomes a pillar of the community despite her reportedly scandalous past.  What a joy it was to watch Daisy operate in stealth mode, trying to figure out if she was friend or foe, as she reconnected with Nina while avoiding the watchful Sauronesque angry eye of Palmer Cortlandt, Nina’s father.
  • Shady corporate take overs were some of my favorites (and not those that are resolved with fashion show takedowns, #BoldandBeautiful).  Remember when Lucinda welcomed Connor and Evan into the fold, not knowing who they really were, at first, and having no clue that they were back to reclaim the Walsh family fortune?  HA!  What about Lucy “helping” Barbara Ryan by buying the “Simply Barbara” clothing line, to have money for Paul as Babs went on trial for the murder (HA!) of James Stenbeck?  Barbara is cleared, later, and has to start a new fashion label when her “friend” Lucinda refuses to sell back the company.  No annual competing fashion shows.
  • Remember #AnotherWorld’s Mac Cory fighting for his corporate life, only to find out that the mastermind behind the attempted takeover of his empire was his own daughter, Iris?  Heartbreak as it was the end of her relationship with her father.  Mac Cory, due to Douglass Watson’s death, was soon gone on screen as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLNnnCgPhm0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UkgaeETUPs

  • If you’ve forgotten that #AsTheWorldTurns’ Kim Hughes was once terrorized by an unknown stalker, how can you call yourself a soap fan?  The greatest twist ever?  The stalker was seemingly innocent, highly successful and beloved  Douglas Cummings, fiance of her stepdaughter, Frannie Hughes.  Even now, when I hear “Someone to Watch Over Me”, a part of me begins thinking about this storyline.
  • #GuidingLight’s Sonni/Solita/Sonni storyline.  Sonni Carrera, a brilliant psychiatrist meets and falls in love with Josh Lewis (and who didn’t fall for Josh?).  Sadly, it was a ruse.  She and lover Will Jeffries were plotting to steal the Lewis fortune.  The twist?  Sonni was not Sonni, but her “evil”, wild child twin sister, Solita.   Solita was Will’s mistress and muse.  Solita had long been buried when Solita stole her identity.  Double twist?  Solita wasn’t Solita after all. She was the real Sonni Carrera, who had a psychotic break after her sister’s death and created a Solita persona.  I could have died for soap joy.

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Guiding Light writers were chock full of twist heavy, jaw dropping, edge of your seat storylines – ones that weren’t purely about sexual scandal: — Annie, in her desperation to hang on to husband Josh Lewis, carried a dead fetus, until she could set Reva Shayne Lewis up for pushing her down the stairs “killing” their baby. — Beth revealing she had been the victim of sexual abuse by Bradley Raines and her fight to become strong enough to turn him in and reclaim her sense of safety. You’re beginning to get my point, right?  Someone (or a group of people) in daytime have decided that not only does “sex sells” but that sexual impropriety is all daytime has to offer, any more. I want more.  I want those cleverly drawn, nearly impossible to think of on you own, scandals that daytime once offered.  I want family betrayals that take place with clothes on, both feet on the floor – no bumping uglies, folks. I want to look at new characters and wonder if they are friend or foe, and if my fave characters have something to worry about. I want daytime writers to give me romance and intrigue, and stop making sex feel like a weapon. I miss daytime for what it was.  I’m not willing to accept it for the limited thing is has become.

Daytime’s greatest manwhores

From the title, you’ve probably realized that if you’re easily offended, this is not the “blog – column” entry for you. If you’ve chosen to keep reading, then also keep in mind that the title is misleading in two ways.

First, by adding ‘man’ to the title, it almost makes it seem as if the manwhore behavior is somehow different from their female colleagues who are beaten up mercilessly criticized for being a little free with the lovin’. It’s not; same behavior, different genders. The title ‘manwhore’ is just very ‘Deuce Bigalow’.

Second, when I use the word ‘daytime’, I’m obviously not including all of the great daytime manwhores through the ages. That would include the likes of The Frame brothers, of Another World Fame, and all their male kin. Putting the Frames on the list would leave little room for the rest of the contemporary ‘greats’ of daytime. For that reason I couldn’t including the Aldens (of Loving Fame), Jake McKinnon or Cass Winthrop (Another World), any many others.

Here’s my countdown of the current top ten daytime manwhores (your list may vary):

10. A tie! I couldn’t decide if the tenth spot should go to old school manwhore Bob Hughes or old school manwhore Johnny-Boy Dixon (As The World Turns). What makes Bob a bad boy? Well, Bob slept with sisters Kim and Jennifer and impregnated both women around the same time. Jennifer, as you may remember was the mother of Frannie Hughes, While Kim also gave birth to a baby girl, later named Sabrina.

Kim was lead to believe, by John Dixon, that her daughter had died. Instead, John gave Kim’s child up for adoption and Sabrina ended up being raised in England. It was during a trip to Europe when a young woman who could have passed for Frannie’s twin was encountered and the full story came to light. Oddly enough, by that time, Jennifer had passed away and Bob and Kim were married (though he’d been married to her best friend Lisa Hughes Grimaldi in between).

Not only did Bob and John get around, but their love lives were inextricably linked as they loved, and fought for, some of the same women. Bob made a habit of sleeping with the women his current wives called ‘friend’. John made a habit of getting almost every woman how loved him pregnant (including Kim). Friends, Enemies, Brothers in manwhoredom. If there’s a woman over fifty that either of these men has slept with or had a child with, it’s only because they’re related to her – by blood, otherwise? She’s fair game.

9. Stefano Dimera, Days of Our Lives. It’s no surprise that Joe Mascolo so easily alternated between his role on Days of Our Lives and shipping magnate Massimo Marone on The Bold and the Beautiful! Stefano’s left a woman with child in every port. I’ve lost track of Stefano’s children, there are so many of them. My guess is that there are two phrases Stefano isn’t use to hearing: “No” and “Birth Control”

8. Josh Lewis, Guiding Light.. If she’s a day away from a strait jacket, Josh has had sex with her (excluding my beloved diva, Reva, of course.). If she’s hours away from a strait jacket, he’s married her. To Josh’s credit, he’s not an indiscriminate manwhore. He tends to love every woman he’s with… and with… and with… until it’s time for her to be institutionalized, or jailed. Yeah, he’s that kind of manwhore. It’s probably a safe bet that Josh is on some prison pen pal list.

7, 6, 5. If his name is Snyder, he’s a male whore! No one intermarries like the Snyder boys. Angel Lang dated and fell in love with Caleb (or Cable, if you prefer). Followed him to Oakdale where she met and ended up falling for Holden Snyder, though she eventually fell in love with and married senior brother Seth Snyder, finding something that resembles happiness with him. Holden fell for Lily first, though Lily later fell for Caleb. Even Sainted Seth fell for Sabrina and Frannie (yes, THAT Sabrina and Frannie) and slept with Betsy Stewart Montgomery – a close family friend).

Holden Snyder, however, tops the list on his own. He’s picked up where John Dixon left off. I was convinced that when John dated Holden’s mother Emma that there would be a revelation that John was Holden’s biological father. It would explain so much. If John was going to populate half the town, by soap god, Holden was going to do his best to populate the other half! Holden, besides the children he shares with is current wife (including the child they lost to miscarriage) has had children with his brother Caleb’s wife, Julie, and with Molly, the cousin of his current love interest – Carly Tenney Snyder. (She’s the ex of his cousin, Jack). Did you follow all of that? I think it’s fair to ask, “ Has Holden’s zipper EVER been in the upright position?”

No one drops trou in anger, like our farm boy, Holden Snyder.

By the way, Jack Snyder? Brad Snyder? Good job on catching up with your Snyder cousins in such a short period, and by ‘good’ I mean, W.T.F.?

4. Patrick Drake, General Hospital. If it had a pulse and was capable of smiling in his direction, Patrick was there! Not even his abs of steel could stop fans from wondering if Patrick prescribed his own penicillin, or was he just somehow lucky enough to have not contracted anything more serious than the common cold. Bravo to Robin for getting Patrick to realize that most men are capable of thinking more clearly with their pants on. Most men anyway, that brings us to:

3. Sonny Corinthos, General Hospital – What’s left to say? If she’s new in town she’ll either end up sleeping with Sonny, OR sleep with him AND carry his child (assuming she hasn’t at some point in her past). No woman escapes her GH destiny. It would be nice if Sonny’s winkie gave off a hum or a beep as warning – you know, like the caution beep you hear just before a truck backs over you and leaves you for dead. Same principle.

2. Nick Marone, The Bold and the Beautiful. A mother (while she’s depressed and suicidal), a daughter (who’s lonely), the mother – again, after the death of his child with the daughter, then the mother AND daughter in 24 hours. You can add two of their female relatives, and that he’s working on a third, even though he’s back with ‘the daughter’. GH’s Patrick Drake may want to consider writing a prescription for Nick Marone. We were introduced to Nick as, literally, a sailor with a woman in every port (hence the link to DOOL’s Stefano/BnB’s Massimo. You can take the sailor off the high seas, but you can’t make him stop humping everything that crosses his path. Oh well.

1. Top dog, Eric Forrester, The Bold and The Beautiful. A little old school manwhore, a little new school manwhore. Eric has not only slept with a mother and TWO of her daughters, he’s done it over two decades. Eric doesn’t have to jump quickly for fear of not finding a woman in a vulnerable enough place as Nick Marone does.

What makes Eric top of the list (and bottom of the barrel) is that he’s kept his wife on a string the entire time – loving her for her behavior when he’s not in lust with another woman, condemning his wife for the same behaviors when he’s in lust with someone else. He’s become so obsessed with the objects of his desire, that he’s lost his family’s security and futures by allowing his current love to take over his family’s company just to keep her close.

Age? Not an issue. Younger or older, Eric loves them all, as long as they’re not his wife of more than 40 years, Stephanie Forrester – but hells bells, he’ll love even her in the ‘down time’ between affairs.

What makes him the manwhore extraordinaire? You mean besides all of the above? Eric demands fidelity from his current wives that he’s not likely to give to any woman he claims to love. The guy has stones!

What have we learned? First, that most of the male whoredom takes place on CBS soaps. Second, that it must be ‘soap genetic’ since it’s a trait that tends to run in soap families. Third, that daytime women are out of their minds. Who’d want any of these men!?!?!

Special thanks to CBS and Soap Digest for the photos!