B&B: The heart, mind, and soul of a woman – Part 2

Heather Thom (Katie Logan Spencer)

Give a mouse a cookie, and it will ask you for a glass of milk. Give Heather Thom a reasonably good line or two and she’ll spin that stuff into PURE GOLD! HTom made sure that Katie got her BEYONCE on! Partial lyrics to the song, “Irreplaceable”

You must not know ’bout me
You must not know ’bout me
I can have another you by tomorrow
So don’t you ever for a second get to thinkin’
You’re irreplaceable?

So go ahead and get gone
Call up that chick, and see if shes home
Oops I bet you thought, that I didn’t know
What did you think
I was putting you out for?
Because you was untrue
Rolling her around in the car that I bought you
Baby, drop them keys
Hurry up, before your taxi leaves

I would have paid cash to have Katie break out in song when telling ¢Bill that he was free to “get gone”. So much of Katie’s dialogue spoke to the things women believe they’d say to a cheating partner in her shoes. While these are not exact quotes, the sentiment is the same: “How long have you been kissing her with the mouth you use to kiss me?” “Who are you lying to, me or her, because this is not an open marriage?” “You have dated, slept with, and dumped dozens of Steffys, they’re all the same. You married me because I challenge you and you challenge me. Is the dime a dozen type what you really want to go back to?” “Beg me to take you back, and if you come back, things WILL be different in this marriage. I’m taking control.”   Masterful. Those were Bold AND Beautiful.

As BnB fans, specifically, and soap fans in general, have become too used to the idea of women begging, pleading and crying. While our sisters in primetime asserted their strength and power, women in daytime were growing increasingly powerless. Women in daytime were getting dumber and weaker. The BnB writers have literally flipped the script , seemingly realizing that women want to see other women stand up for themselves to a cheating spouse who seems to think that even when he’s dirty with the stench of cheating, he irreplaceable.

Heather Thom and Katherine Kelly Lang’s elegant treatment of the dialogue can’t be overlooked. They breathed life into words on a page. In true symbiotic fashion, between writers and actors, the BnB writers have made their jobs easier with the change in the context of the material, showing a renewed respect for the genre and fans, a change that keeps me on the edge of my seat. I could always predict what BnB women were going to say or do (Brooke would cry and plead, Taylor would cry and plead in between moments of she and Stephanie referring to other women as whores and sluts despite their own shady histories and the shady histories of the men whose love they craved). Now? I have no idea what will happen and what will be said. I’ve fallen in love with this show, for now at least, all over again.

Before this, the writers offered “bitterness” as the definition for ‘strength’ on this show. Wrong writers.  Bitter bitches like Stephanie, Steffy, and Taylor, might be fun to laugh at, but for most of us, they don’t become our heroes. Women are too busy with our real lives to sit around pouting and bemoaning our fate. That Stephanie, Steffy, and Taylor have the time to sit and obsess about Ridge, Brooke, the Logans, hang nails, vanilla pudding, paper cups, or whatever else they’re spending their days whining about, makes them the daytime equivalent of drying paint. They’re easy to write for because they never change or offer any new insights into their personalities. They’re just not easy to watch.

Jennifer Gareis/Ashley Jones (Donna and Bridget)

There is still two huge absences from the Logan renaissance. Jennifer Gareis (Donna Logan Barber), recently back from maternity leave, has not had the same opportunity as her onscreen Logan sisters to light up her scenes. I suspect that her time is coming now that Amber Moore is the mother of her granddaughter and is now after her son. Donna is the more enigmatic of the Logan sisters. She’s soft and warm on one had, and a cutthroat street fighter on the other. While Brooke hoped for more than 30 years (soap time) that reason, patience, and love would transform Stephanie Douglas Forrester into a decent human being, Donna wasn’t concerned about saving Stephanie’s soul or saving Stephanie from herself. Donna believed in fighting back.  I miss that Donna and think she’s needed in the B.S. battle between the Forrester and the Logans (who are truly more family than foes).

Also needed is Ashley Jones – Bridget Forrester (a Logan woman). She needs to be returned to screen and help continue to make the Logan women the unforgettable force they are, always should have been, and will hopefully always be. There is too much unresolved business needing Bridget’s attention (I still choose to believe that Nick’s son is Bridget’s child, that she was the ‘B Marone’ listed on the donor egg dish. Bridget’s story isn’t done. It should be just beginning.)  With Bridget and Hope in the presence of their matriarchs, and finding themselves pushed out of a company their mother made incredibly wealthy beyond anyone’s dreams, it’s time for the younger Logan women to assert themselves and reclaim their right to be recognized as an integral part of the history of the family and the company. And, given Steffy’s new plans for vengeance, Hope will need her big sister, right about now.

So, dear readers and friends, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go check my driver’s license to make sure I’m still me, check the net for predictions of the next “doomsday” date, and find out if someone has been slipping me hallucinogenic drugs. I just can’t believe this is happening. I’m not only loving the BnB, I’m imagining how many more years of this show I’d love to see, given the current directions of storylines.

B&B: The heart, mind, and soul of a woman – Part 1

You won’t believe this, but I am here to SING the praises of BnB writers!  I know, right?!!?!  How often has that happened?  I’ve been convinced, for EONS, that BnB writers fall into one of three categories:  1 – men who’ve never been in a relationship with a woman.  2 – men who have been in relationships with women, and hate them.  3 – women who haven’t had the heart to tell their coworkers that they’re putting utter bullshit to screen.  Yes, harsh, I know, but as a fan who’s watched the show from the day it aired, I’ve been one bitterly disappointed fan for roughly the last decade (though don’t ask me to explain why I continued to watch).  The tipping point?  I stopped watching after  Brooke “accidentally” had sex with her youngest daughter’s boyfriend, after all of her earlier trouble.  She had no idea that the person she had sex with wasn’t her husband – a man she’d been having sex with since her early 20s.  There is suspension of disbelief, and then there is flirtation with insanity.  There have been far too many times when BnB writers have asked viewers for the latter instead of the former.

So how did the same writing team move from the “mistaken stand up sex with a 20-year-old” to the Katie-Bill phenomenon?  It beats the hell out of me because like my continued fascination with this show, I can’t explain that either.  For the past two years, the BnB has won Emmys for “Best Writing” in storylines featuring the Logan family, in part or whole.  I can only believe that the writers are ready to explore the Logan women with greater depth and insight are and are beginning to play off of the strengths of the Logan leads (Katherine Kelly Lang, Heather Thom, Jennifer Gareis).   Between Brooke giving Ridge and Taylor the blues over their nitwit overly self-involved daughter, to Katie reading $Bill the riot act and busting him down to ¢Bill, this show is ROCKING!  The writers are finally writing as if they understand the hearts, minds, and souls of women.  I’ve finally watched a series of episodes that I could recommend to ANYONE I know, even friends who aren’t soap fans, and not be embarrassed to admit that I watch daytime television.   If it’s possible for the soap genre to be redefined at this late stage, as soaps lay dying, The Bold and The Beautiful has done it!

Katherine Kelly Lang – Brooke Logan

KKL’s strength has always been treating Brooke as a character with a heart and a soul, although her job was made a bit tougher during some of Brooke’s worst moments (sleeping with daughter Bridget’s husbands – Deacon and Nick, thinking of her daughter’s believed abortion to be a ‘moment’ in history for her to move on with Bridget’s beloved, accidentally sleeping with teen daughter Hope’s boyfriend).  If you erase those three horrific moments, Brooke has been the emotional heart of the show.  She brings love and forgiveness.  She brings insight and wisdom.  Unlike most BnB soap characters, Brooke admits her faults and lays herself emotionally bare to be judged by others.  She suffers humiliation and maltreatment and continues to move forward.  What she’s rarely been allowed to be, however, is the matriarch she is, a woman with a voice.  This new Brooke would have made Beth Logan proud!

Brooke telling the parents of a snake like Steffy that she SHOULD have her heart-broken if she thinks that it’s ok to interfere in someone else’s marriage  was positively inspired!   While Brooke has been reamed as a hypocrite in some quarters, I see her as a woman who is sadly speaking from experience.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t view Steffy and Brooke as the same, at all. The difference is that  Brooke had always been fighting to reclaim the love that was lost as Stephanie and Taylor fought to keep her and Ridge apart.  Steffy developed a crush on an older man and decided that he belonged to her – his wife be damned.  Steffy barely knew Bill.  There was no history, there was no backstory, there was only a pathetic attempt by a little girl to use a man to hurt a woman she’s hated without reason or limit.  Brooke nailed Taylor right between the eyes by reminding her that any other woman in her daughter’s shoes would have been deemed a home wrecker or worse (remember Taylor referring to Brooke as winning one for the ‘whores of the world’, when Ridge left her for Brooke, even though Brooke didn’t want him? 

I don’t know if the writers remember that it was their decision to transform Taylor from sympathetic oncologist, to husband envying psychiatrist, in love with her dying patients’ grieving spouse.   Either way, they’ve continued to write Brooke as the woman with insight, who has been consistently able to call other characters out on their behaviors, motivations, and intentions.  Taylor is stuck defending  or minimizing the behaviors her daughter displays when she learns the Brooke despises those very behaviors, even when she herself initially disagrees with Steffy’s actions.  It’s Taylor who has missed the boat on some of the biggest behavior indicators of problems in the Forresters’ lives (like Amber’s skittishness when bringing faux Little Eric home, and Morgan Dewitt’s psychological instability, or children’s growing pathological behaviors which includes a car bombing and stalking).

I am so greatly enjoying Brooke finding her voice and defending her family that I can scarcely wait for the next scene!

Daytime: Killing Me Softly With It’s Song…

This blog entry is alternately titled, “Killing Soaps Softly… from The Inside” or “Good bye Cruel Soap World”.  If you’re not a soap fan – when you read the title  you were probably thinking something like this:
The above is the Fugees remake of the Roberta Flack original.
If you’re a soap fan, you were probably thinking this:
Or possibly  this:
Thank YOU to the soapoperanetwork.com posters who found and posted the vids.  No thanks to the responsible network execs. The network exec/s who came up with that brilliant idea, and approved the above ad (or even that prior Emmy performance) should be GONE from daytime… not just fired, but permanently banned from the entertainment field.  Daytime isn’t just dying because of the OJ trial, cable television,syndication,  the Internet, etc… it’s being slowly killed from the inside.  Add to the above cases the case of The Bold and The Beautiful.  You’ve heard me refer to it as my favorite soap in the past.  You’ll never hear that comment from me again, I’m sure.  Add me as another “Day One” viewer who is finally fed up enough with this show to take if off the ‘occasional view’ list and dump it.
As I’ve stated before, many fans work full time (at home and outside the home) and often want to spend time with entertainment that is ‘relaxing’.  We don’t mind entertainment that challenges us and keeps us working when its smart and edgy.  LOST was a huge hit because it kept fans guessing and looking toward the future. Entertainment that causes you to work but gives you nothing in return is not worth watching.  Fans figured out long ago that Brooke was worth more than a good sex scene and subsequent sex ‘scandals’. It seems clear that the writers haven’t figured that out. There is no future to look toward with this show. We know what the future is… it’s been the same storyline for Brooke for nearly a decade, with an occasional diversion thrown in.   She’s twice betrayed her oldest daughter by having  slept with not ONE, but TWO of Bridget’s husbands.  She has a child with each form son-in-law, one of whom is being raised by Bridget.
The first child Brooke had with a son-in-law is in love with a young man fans once found adorable, Oliver Jones – as played by the adorable Zack Conroy (ex-James Spaulding, The Guiding Light).   Anti-Brooke fans joked, when Hope was born, that it would only be a matter of time before Brooke slept with Hope’s lovers, too.  That seemed like the most improbable of storylines given the fact that each time the writers had Brooke sleep with one of Bridget’s husbands, the ratings tanked. After the third dalliance (once with SIL Deacon Sharpe, twice with Nick Marone) the writers seemed to finally get it.  Brooke + Daughter’s lovers = Disaster.   They went through the trouble of having her declared a ‘new woman’, a woman who would never again betray her children. Now this.
Fans, the writers seem to believe, are supposed to forgive Brooke for sleeping with Oliver because despite the fact that his 20 year old body is no where nearly as developed as that of her 50 year old husbands’ body.  She couldn’t tell the difference when she had sex with him up a wall, just outside of a room full of teens.  He apparently didn’t feel shorter, thinner, or sound different during the tryst.
The room was dark.  They were wearing masks.  Brooke and Oliver  were overcome with passion – Oliver, believing he was having sex with a virginal Hope – who must have at some point told him that she didn’t want her first time to be special, any place and any time would do.  She must have also told him she as practicing her moves in the mirror because Oliver didn’t seem to notice that Hope didn’t move like an inexperienced woman.  He too, was unable to tell that his partner was older, taller, and didn’t feel the same as the numerous times before when he kissed her.  Even if the writers managed to undo this horror of a storyline, they can’t undo their tacit acknowledgement that there is no future for Brooke, and most characters on this show, that doesn’t involve sex with the wrong person, for whatever reason, at any place and time.
Peace to  Ms. Katherine Kelly Lang, portrayer of long suffering heroine Brooke Logan, because she (Ronn Moss, Susan Flannery, John McCook, Ashley Jones, and much of the cast) have made this show worth watching during some of its darkest times, but there are limits.  I’m not writing, or calling, or begging or pleading.   I’m  not enraged by the storyline itself, but what it represents.  I am also not engaged by thei storyline, I’m just done with the BnB.  This show is not my second job.  I shouldn’t have to put any effort into enjoying what was once great entertainment.
While the writers, producers, directors, and network executives work hard to make daytime into the huge joke those outside the genre think it is, it’s time for this soap fan to move on.  Two of the six soaps (BnB and DAYS) are unwatchable because of the outrageous storylines they tell.  The other four are occaasionally passable.  Syndication isn’t the problem for daytime, it’s the solution. Fans prefer to watch shows that provide some payoff — and we’re  getting less and less of that in daytime.

Are The Bold and The Beautiful’s DAYS numbered?

I expect the prior week’s ratings to be TOUGH for the BnB when they’re released on Thursday/Friday of this week.  DAYS  has just ended a year long arc with Sami Brady finding out that Nicole Walker stole her child (Sydney) and replaced her with a child who ended up dying only months later (Grace).  I fully expect DAYS to kick Bold’s fanny in the next set of ratings.  If it doesn’t, shame on the viewers for missing one of daytime’s truly great moments!  Sami put the smackdown on Nicole, literally and figuratively, after finding out that Nicole stole her child – and Nicole turned it around and made herself a sympathetic character, in the end.

4:35 into this clip (also posted below)  shows you what DAYS has going on that Bold can’t touch, right now… but the whole clip is worth the watch!  *Thanks MrBreaksoap for posting this vid… check out MrBreaksoap’s channel on Youtube

DAYS is amazing and Arianne Zuker is hitting it out the ballpark.   I don’t know who to credit for the success of this storyline.  Is it the writers who seemed to know how they wanted to tell this story from beginning to end?  There were no weak moments (other than the uninteresting teens – and even then the writers seemed to know not to give them too big a role in this storyline).  Does the credit go to Ari Z, whose every inflection, facial expression, and gesture seemed perfect?   Is it a strong  partnership between the two, one not working without the other?

The Bold and the Beautiful (only .2 of a ratings point ahead of DAYS)  hasn’t offered a storyline that comes even close to anything as exciting as the Sami and Nicole exchange.   While the BnB feels like the show you watch just before you go to sleep at night,  DAYS is the show you rush home to watch because missing a single day means you’ll miss something good!  If DAYS isn’t theEmmy winner for ‘Best Drama’ next year, I’ll be shocked.  The carefully choreographed dance between the writers at DAYS, and Ari Z is the perfect example of what writers can do with a show when writers write to the strength of their actors, instead of faulting good actors for bad storylines and awful direction (see: Kyle Lowder).

What the BnB lacks in terms of the  disciplined continuity shown by DAYS writers, it makes up for in sheer number of storylines directed at the audience.  Stephanie’s childhood abuse storyline ended as quickly as it began and then morphed into a storyline about her facilitating the rape of Brooke Logan.  Eric woke up out of his coma to find his wife in the arms of another man and all was forgiven mere weeks later.   Owen was a schemer (or appeared to be) when he first arrived on canvas – only to be transformed into a ‘hero’ just months later and transformed again as a toyboy-to-true love shortly after.  Brooke’s rape became a storyline about reclaiming the love of her life, only to have her nearly throw him away again with the birth of a child she never planned for (more on that later).   BnB storylines are  like the weather pattern in most places, wait ten minutes and they’ll change.  The Bold and The Beautiful needs a storyline arc that draws fans in and one that  lasts longer than a couple of months.  The ‘baby drama’ centered on Nick, Bridget, and Sandy/Agnes is the perfect opportunity for the writers to tell a cohesive storyline.  Right now the storyline is hit and run.  Pieces of it show up, when the writers aren’t busy shoving less interesting storylines (like Steffy going psycho stalker and creating an affair from a weak kiss – all in her head).

I think that BOLD’s Ashley Jones’ appeal is severely underestimated – mainly by the BOLD writers since prime time writers, directors, and casting agents ‘get it’, given Ms. Jones’ string of successes in prime time appearances.  Between Ashley Jones and Sarah Brown, the baby surrogacy storyline, added to the Logan/Forrester takeover,  has the potential to give fans a reason to become excited about the show.  SB’s Sandy  is clearly playing the Nicole Walker role, but are her intentions are as pure as Nicole’s?  It’s doubtful given Sandy’s fixation on the happy couple, the fact that they have everything, according to her, and that she has nothing.   Could she have been targeting Nick and Bridget all along?  Maybe it wasn’t her plan to become a surrogate, but that she’d planned to take advantage of Nick’s reputation as an unfaithful man.  The guy slept with Bridget’s mother and her dying aunt, after all.  How hard could it be to have him fall into bed with her?  That the happy couple needed a surrogate might have been a happy coincidence for her.  It would give her a chance to get closer to Nick, without Bridget needing to be around, and it set the stage for her making Bridget feel inadequate – or to at least try to.

Bridget has already suffered untold grief and misery and would be easily blindsided by someone like Sandy – but it shouldn’t take her long to see through Sandy and figure out what’s going on.  It would require a paradigm shift from the writers who would have to let go of bad habits.  By the time your husband humps your mother just months after your child dies, and jumps your dying aunt – being written as ‘naive’ only makes a character look stupid.   I’d rather not see that happen this time.  Why not have a cat and mouse storyline with the two women?  Why not add a new angle?  Sandy only THINKS she’s the cat.  It turns out that she’s the mouse and that Bridget relies on Sandy’s knowledge of ‘poor, pitiful, naive, betrayed, Bridget’ and plays to it… while working with her mother and mother-in-law, to make sure that Sandy doesn’t get her child – even if she takes her husband.   Maybe Bridget will prevail and win them both!  Is it even possible for the writers to have Nick keep his pants up when presented with the opportunity to cheat?  Let’s hope.

If you’re a BOLD viewer, I know what you’re most likely thinking?  The last BnB ‘baby drama’ story  (Brooke/Taylor surrogacy) didn’t work.  Fans were bored silly and the ratings dropped.  Why torture fans with another ‘baby drama’ storyline?  Why pick up with another ‘two mommies’ storyline?  The problem, in my opinion, wasn’t the type of storyline, but the players invovled!

The Brooke and taylor angle was wretched, because:

1 – taylor is a dud of a character and it would be easier cheering on a root canal than anything to do with her.  There are times when the writers need to realize that some characters really are damaged beyond repair, and cut bait.

2 – of fan fatigue with the rivalry.  It was tiresome watching Brooke dragged down into a storyline with taylor and Nick all over again.  Taylor has been at Brooke’s throat for over two decades, soap time.  They’ve battled over Ridge.  Both have loved Eric.  Both have bedded Thorne.  Each has referred to herself as the mother of the other’s children.  Both had bedded Nick and placed Bridget in the most uncomfortable of situations watching them move on with him while she still loved him.  By the time ‘Jack’ came along, the only fan response left was  ‘who cares?’

3 – the Brooke/nick link was DISGUSTING.  Given the death of Bridget’s child with Nick and the writers added insult to injury by having Bridget implant  Brooke’s fertilized egg into Taylor’s womb.   That’s a move that sounds good in the echo chamber of the writers’ room, but EGADS, wasn’t there a focus group to float that one by?  I can’t imagine anyone who wasn’t intimately connected with the show who loved it.

Moral of the story?  KISS!  (Keep it simple, silly!)  The DAYS baby swap/two mommies  storyline worked because it was interesting and  because it wasn’t clogged with too many agendas.  You didn’t get the feeling that the baby swap was just a prelude to something bigger, something worse – that the writers were committed to the storyline.  The BnB storyline, by comparison, was a fiasco.  The storyline appeared to be one more back door attempt to try to force fans to root for a Nick and Brooke pairing, a pairing that failed four times before.

In the appropriate writers’ hands, the Nicket storyline could help awaken this show.  Speaking for viewers like myself:  NO ONE gives a crap about taylor’s blind date. We’re SICK of Steffy’s desperation – and she is as equally damaged as Rick.  The Douglas “drama” puts me to sleep.   Give us more Nicket intrigue with Sandy and let us watch the Forresters fight their way back to the top, kicking Dollar Bill’s butt along the way! Let Ridge, Brooke, and Thorne take the lead on the big return.  Explain Felicia’s absence as having her tracing back  DB’s steps and digging up dirt on the guy.  After helping her family successfully reclaim the company, she and Dominic/Dino can visit Dante in Europe (until LK finishes her stint on ATWT).

When the Bold and the Beautiful is on, it’s ON.  When it’s not, it’s the most confusing show on daytime.  The inconsistency and character/plot shifting isn’t serving the show well.  I’m hoping there’s a time when the show will play to the strength of it’s  actors and rich history,  and do so consistently.  If DAYS does surpass the BnB in the ratings, who knows it will last?  DAYS has also had problems with past writing teams being inconsistent and confusing.  It’s hard to know who will ultimately prevail in this battle,  but given the richness of the BnB, it seems that the BnB has the edge. The writers just need to wake up and wake the rest of us up as well.

As an aside… DAYS writers?

When will you have Nicole wise up to the fact that the only real difference between EJ Dimera and Paul Walker  is that one is the devil with whom she shares DNA, and the other is the devil with whom she was willing to share her life?  Outside of that, the differences between the two men are minor.

Bold and Beautiful: The Lost Generation

A discussion began on a Bold and Beautiful board about Phoebe’s death, questioning why the writers decided to kill the character off.  Many of us have been asking the same question.  In the long run, there doesn’t seem to have been any real benefit to having the character destroyed.  There also doesn’t seem to be a formula for determining which characters are killed off in daytime and which live,  is there ever an objective assessment of what the long term impact is of killing off characters?

The ever stellar Lesli Kay’s Felicia was saved after ‘dying’ from stage 4 colon cancer.  Despite the improbable odds that Felicia could be saved and make a full recovery.  LK brought so much to the role of Felicia that her resurrection made sense.  It would have continued to make sense had  the writers then used the character or something other than window dressing for the rest of the  time she was onscreen.

Given the choice, I would have selected at least three or four other characters whose deaths would have better served the show than Phoebe’s death.  The only seeming long term effect of her death seems to have been the long term damage to a generation of  Logan-Forrester  legacy characters. The short term  fall out from the character’s death was marvelous!  Ridge tapped into emotions that even he didn’t know he had.   Brooke and Ridge were tested in a way that seemed to make it clear that they had whatever it took to survive any storm, even one as big as this – Rick is her son, but also Ridge’s his brother/nemeis and Phoebe is his daughter, Brooke’s beloved stepdaughter.  The writers then blew the BRidge relationship to soaphell (later recovering nicely).

The other short term event that played out nicely?  Rick had to face the fact that his hatred and spiteful behavior, contributed to Pheebs’ death. Even if he didn’t cause the accident he was responsible for the pain and anger she was feeling before she died.  It was tragic and poetic, but it went no where fast!  Rick became even more malevolent.  He became angrier and even more controlling and no one connected to feelings of guilt or anxiety linked to his role in Phoebe’s death.  Instead, Rick became a malignant narcissist and taunted his brother Ridge for his pain, he slept with Phoebe’s twin, informed Ridge that twin Steffy’s  ass was ‘his’, he stole from his family, and even told Ridge to say goodbye to his ‘other daughter’.  It would have been  a typical villain’ s act,  had the writers wanted us to view Rick as a villain.  BnB writers have a magnificent penchant for turning characters who would be villains in any other format into simply ‘misunderstood’ people (see Stephanie Forrester, who’s only counterpart is Hels Cassadine, GH).  Only, I consider it confusing and not so maginificent.

It would have been great for this to have been bratty Rick’s transformational moment and for him to have become a better person. I would have liked to have seen a complex, layered Rick struggle with wanting to support his mother, fight for HER happiness instead of her fighting for his – even with a man he couldn’t stand, and feeling troubled by the fact that supporting Brooke could hurt taylor and her brood. He could have been overwhelmed by the guilt of not wanting to cause them any more unhappiness. The guilt could have caused Rick psychological distress and he could have had some sort of genuine breakdown (a soapy approach to DID = multiple personality disorder? Depression and suicidal behavior? or A psychotic break?)

The storyline could have led to some sort of growth for taylor.  Instead of using Pheebs death to try to get back into Ridge’s bed, she could have had a crisis of faith. She could have become openly angry and vengeful and gas-lighted a psychologically frail Rick (rather than the passive manipulator she has always been). Who could blame her for hating him AND herself for letting Rick into their lives? It would make sense of her lie that Rick ‘took advantage’ of her. That lie would have become part of the game. She could have gone so dark that even satan’s handmaiden would have become afraid of her and the twist would have been watching Stephanie protecting Rick from taylor, for BOTH of their sakes.

Imagine, instead of Brooke and Ridge fighting over her protecting Rick, that they fought over Brooke trying to protect Rick from taylor!  Ridge would be too consumed with guilt to worry about whether taylor was actually setting Rick up to become even more divorced from reality and possibly setting Rick up to either hurt himself or at least institutionalized for the rest of his life. Even if he knew she was, his love for Broke would be in conflict for his desire to see revenge and he might let taylor continue on (not caring that she was being destroyed in the process). He wouldn’t help her, he just wouldn’t stop her.

A new woman would be cast for Rick to date many months after Pheebs died, but he would still have a hard time getting close to her because he would believe that he was undeserving of happiness. He’d end up seeing Pheebs dying every time he tried to get close to her. She’s the one would figure out hat taylor was setting Rick up and stop her. Rick would eventually recover, unable to hate taylor because of Pheebs

taylor would end up in the position she wanted to put Rick in and is institutionalized for the next 30 years – where soap time = real time!  Brilliant!

That’s what would have played out for me over the next year, instead of the pimping of Phoebe’s ghost for sex, the fighting between BRidge, Steph setting up her vulnerable son, Tommy boy bombing cars on public lots, Rick and Steffy having sex, and pretty much everything else that played out after she died.  Of the current generation of Logan-Forrester kids, only Bridget is left with the potential to be a heroine and likable.

I’m both excited by AJ’s Bridget being in an upcoming frontburner storyline with Sarah Joy Brown’s Sandy Sommers, and concerned.  The only BnB characters who can remain likable for long periods of time are often those the writers haven’t concentrated on.  With the spotlight on ‘Budge’, I’m going to have to count on Ashley Jones to navigate the character through disjointed dialogue, inconsistent plots, and the most improbable of situations.  Her Bridget is the last of her kind, the last likable character of her generation on Bold.

On the Move in Daytime – Comings and Goings

  • Sarah Joy Brown is on the move and I can’t friggin’ wait, though I wouldn’t mind seeing SB play something other than batshit crazy in daytime:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sarah Brown will be checking out of ABC’s “General Hospital” and into CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and she won’t get a moment’s rest in between.

The actress’s last appearance on the ABC daytime soap as Claudia Zacchara, the sexy daughter of a mobster, is set for Nov. 5. The next day, she’s to be introduced as goodhearted newcomer Sandy Sommers on “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

Read the rest HERE

  • GH is really shaking things up.  Greg Vaughn is leaving (no comment on what his next move is).  Jonathan Jackson returns in the role of Lucky Spencer.  Let the flaming begin, but this one worries me.  I loved JJ as teen Lucky, and for my money, he still looks too much like” teen Lucky”.   I have to wonder if it’s not a signal from TPTB.  A signal for?  I dunno.  If JJ’s Lucky continues to read as Nik’s baby brother, I see Nik and Liz long term.  If they’re trying to play off of the amazingchemistry  young Liz and young Lucky shared, Nik is probably a goner.  Either way, I’m loking forward to seeing JJ and AG’s “Luke” onscreen  together again.  They were often the best part of GH for me for quite a long time.  Hopefully the era of wunderkinder Ethan is over.  The writers never committed to Luke and the ‘cowboy’ with Vaughn in the role.  Maybe they’ll fnally remember that Lucky is Luke’s son… or at least change his damned name.  It’s cruel to keep referring to that guy as ‘Lucky’.
  • The Bold and the Beautiful’s Ashley Jones will appear in an upcoming episode of ‘The Mentalist’.  Details to follow (Thanks for the tip, Ann!)  As for her BnB character “Bridget Forrester Marone “…. our Budge is on a crash course with Sarah Brown’s upcoming character, Sandra… BRING IT, Baby!  Bridget has had to fight for love her entire life, Sandra the psychotic might just be in for a shock!  Might we eventually see a Sandra /Whip (Rick Hearst) pairing?
  • I still can’t speak on the YnR’ s hardball tactics with Eric Braeden.  Who’s going to fill his awfully big shoes if they can’t lure EB back and bring Victor back to screen?  LILY?  Amber?  Kevin?  Jack?  Pffft.    I will not speack of EB’s departure.  Can’t.  Too stunned/disgusted/shocked/ready to move on from the YnR.

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!