Pork chop side burns and the Bold and the Beautiful

Damn!  I was FREE!  I was completely FREE of daytime… and then came Hope and Wyatt.  Now I’m back and bummed.  I started watching the BnB again (as well as other daytime) and I haven’t  been able to free myself.  To be clear, I give the BnB this much credit: at least enough of the show is silly enough that there are days when I can fast forward a good deal of it and watch the entire show in under 1o minutes!  I also thank DAYS for being largely unwatchable!

The Good

Wyatt and Hope (shhhhh… no responses, please.  I love them and refuse to hear a negative word about them).   When Wyatt isn’t begging, but simply connecting with Hope?  Good stuff!  Is there no place in Paris for Liam?  Really?

Quinn.  If the writers turn her into the new Sheila/Stephanie, they’ve missed the point and have thrown away one of the best characters to come around in a long time.   Quinn is a self-made woman.  She is fearless, and she doesn’t cower when the men speak – I give Rena Sofer credit for making Quinn a stronger woman than the writers intended to write.  Excuse me, but what the HELL, writers?  We need strong women in daytime.  Stop equating strong (if you’re female) with bat crap out of your mind.  I would rather find out that Quinn’s secret is that she has a document pennyBill wrote, on a napkin, when they were young, promising her half his wealth when he finally made it on his own.  To be sure, it was something he wrote as a joke, or to seduce her into believing he saw her as a life partner.  Maybe he thought he’d collected it when he knocked her up and then told her to abort his kid.  Sorry if that seems indelicate on my part, it’s indelicate on the part of the character and the writers treat it as a mere past act rather than an act connected to his current character flaws.

It would be too late for her to grab Spencer Publications, but she would surely have claim to much of his current bank account.  If she  had his half of his current holdings/income (including shares in FC) and her current success, she would be a force to be reckoned with – but no… she’s crazy, and overly involved in the love life of her adult son.

Too bad.

Katie and Ridge.  Thorsten Kaye is one of the greatest miscasts in daytime history (gorgeous accent, it’s just out of place for a man born and raised in So. Cal.). While I am repulsed at the idea of sister swapping with recent lovers, there is an undeniable chemistry between HThom’s Katie and TK’s NuRidge.  It’s a more powerful chemistry than should be.  It appears, to me at least, that the writers are investing in making the celebrated Heather Thom the show’s new leading lady.  Katie’s dialogue is so crisp and heroic that I feel that I’ve been temporarily transported to a different show.  She’s strong, she’s smart, and she sees through both Bill and her sister.  Katie’s words speak to women who are tired of seeing men treat women like garbage and then swagger their way through life.   Her words are the words of women who feel empowered and whose emotional lives aren’t centered around being a fantasy for a man with small dreams.

Right now, despite often enjoying Wyatt and Hope, only Katie gives me hope that the show’s writers may one day learn to write for different kinds of women and characters.   My only fear is that once they’ve allowed her to be strong, they’ll take her the Quinn route.

If Katie and Ridge are to be together, it can’t be about Bill, Brooke, or past betrayals that will drive Katie insane.  It has to be about two those two people.

The Bad

Brooke.  Yes, it breaks my heart, but my once beloved Brooke leads “the bad”.    I must have been watching one day while cleaning and as I was cleaning, I must have hit my head and lost consciousness.  Did Brooke chide Katie for having pride and not taking Bill off her hands (he’s in the way of her achieving her dreams of a happy ending with NuRidge, dontcha’ know)?  Did she tell Katie to accept Bill back in her life and let him make her happy?  You mean, as happy as she was when he impregnated her sister behind her back? (see: repeated character flaws of Bill Spencer Jr!)  As happy as he made her the last time she put her pride aside and let him into her life?  When she did that he bedded her and the next morning ran back to Brooke with paperwork stealing everything Katie cared for.  That’s what Brooke wants for her sister, to have to wake up every morning wondering if that was the morning Bill was back in her sister’s bed?

It’s time for the writers to stop ignoring the deep, unfilled, void left  with Susan Flannery’s retirement.  To do so is a sign that their vision for the future is short-sighted.  Brooke doesn’t have to be angry, crazy, criminally violent and just plain evil, but she can be a healing force in her family rather than the person who continues to tear it apart.  While I would love for KKL’s Brooke to fill void, it doesn’t look like that will be the case.  If HTom’s Katie is set free of Brooke and Bill, it would seem to me that she’s it, she’s the  new martriarch/leading lady.  She will be the new heart of the Logan family – she will be the person who brings them all together.

Storm gave his heart to save Katie.  Brooke couldn’t give up a night in the arms of a walking outdated stereotype.  The writers don’t seem to be interested in Brooke beyond the ability to use her to write destructive sexual entanglements.  Three decades and this is all they have to offer the show’s fans?  Shame, shame BnB writers!

The Ugly

I don’t find men who think a woman should be used in bed to be particularly hero worthy. If Bill truly loved Brooke, you would think he that he was grateful that Ridge wasn’t rushing into bed with Brooke.  WHY would he taunt Ridge about NOT having sex with Brooke? Does he want to go to Brooke’s house one day and see a rumpled bed? Brooke is just for sexing under any circumstances? Brooke has been telling anyone who will listen that Ridge is her happy ending in life, what does that make Bill?

Bill seems to be incapable of real emotion. The writers are too stuck on some 70s version of a tough guy – it’s just old, silly, contrived and the opposite of tough – as far as I’m concerned.  I’ll admit it, I get the giggles when Bill is on screen.  Is he supposed to be funny? His scenes seem to be consistently about making empty threats to anyone who is too dumb to listen.   Bill is a pair of pork chop sideburns away from completing the cosmic joke the writers have turned him into.  PLEASE, PLEASE let Bill start twirling his mustache every time he makes a threat. That would make his scenes even funnier.

The last Ridge-Bill interaction taught me one thing. Ridge’s connection is about emotions and sex with Brooke is based on their emotional connection. Bill’s is about his floppy Bill and any open and available opportunity.  When I’m not laughing at Bill, I’m actually feeling a little queasy.

Is it just me or does anyone else think that the writers have made Bill an even bigger idiot when he’s in lust?  How the hell can I buy him as a successful mogul when his former thrill thing, Steffy, was able to cheat him into selling FC back to her family and then Brooke was able to swap papers giving him control of everything he ever wanted?  Bill clearly thinks with his zipper.

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It ain’t easy being sleazy… The Bill Spencer Edition

Pretty soon daytime writers are going to have to figure out that they ALIENATE female viewers with this crap. Bill Spencer Jr. has tried to force himself on Donna. He tried to solicit sex from her by offering Eric ‘safety’ from a corporate takeover if she had sex with him (yes, a 100 million dollar company for ‘one night’ of hot sex).  He violated her with physical intimidation – standing too close, touching her against her will, you name it.

Bill Spencer has a history of sexual conquest that is FAR WORSE than anything ANY BnB character has experienced, from what we’ve learned.  He’s even proud to be a ‘chip off the old perverted block’.  Yet he attacks Brooke Logan?  Really?

F-U Bill Spencer Jr. (and I guess to the writers too for thinking it was ok to have Bill say something so low).
F-U Katie for betraying your sisters for another low life male (again,  I guess I have to give the big F-U to the writers as well).

Neither Ridge NOR Eric has asked the Logan sisters to choose them or little sister Katie.  In fact, Ridge was upset about the fact that despite the Forrester’s constant talk of  ‘family first’, they were putting the Logan family at risk and could potentially damage the sister’s relationship.

What does that say about the crap-bag Katie is married to!?!?!?!  Why do the writers continue to make the fatal error of thinking that viewers enjoy watching women being degraded and humiliated by ‘powerful men’?   Just a hint, your ‘powerful men’ don’t look so powerful when they demean women and belittle them.  They look weak, and pathetic, hardly the sort of males daytime viewers want to waste time watching.  Whatever accolades the writers receive from very few fans  for the ridiculous and mind-numbing attacks on women, it hardly makes up for the fans they lose when they pull this stunt.

How many script pages do you think daytime would lose if writers discarded  every reference to women as ‘cheap’, ‘slutty’,  and other similar sentiments?  We could probably reduce the six remaining soaps down to a one hour program…  Sad, huh?

For pete’s sake – SET BRIDGE FREE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She betrayed her dead sister and her parents’ grief.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BnB history – circling the drain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The pain begins 2:50 minutes in: