You can live well, even if you’re just ‘trash from the valley’

The Logan girls:  Valley Trash Inspiration?

Anyone watching The Bold and The Beautiful for longer than a week has heard Stephanie refer to the Logan women as ‘trash from the valley’, a phrase she less-than-creatively alternates with ‘sluts from the valley’.  The Logan women were, according to Stephanie’s fantasies, poor, tasteless, money-hungry golddiggers who couldn’t wait to get their hands on the Forrester fortune… Except, Brooke chose the working son, not the established moneyed father.  Donna never went near the Forresters, she was attracted to other “poor trash from the valley”, like Rocco Carner), and Katie rarely ever dated.  Stephanie couldn’t forgive the Logan girls because her ‘trash from the hills’ husband chased ‘trash from the valley’ Beth Logan.  Eric then kicked her ‘trash from the east coast’ backside to the curb to rebuild happiness with Beth!

Why does any of this old business matter?  Because as the old adage says, ‘everything old is new again’.  Katie took Bill Spencer home this past week to show him the neighborhood she grew up in and whaddya’ know?    The Logan girls were middle class like much of the show’s viewing audience.  They grew up in a loving home.  They were close and cared for one another and were open and loving to all  – so much so that Caroline Spencer didn’t want to leave the loving Logan home while recovering from rape.  (Day One fans will realize that the new ‘old Logan home’ is significantly larger than the former ‘old Logan home’, but hey, that’s all about creative license).  What’s clear is that the writers have put Stephanie’s tiresome screed in perspective.

Stephanie’s lack of perspective, and lack of humanity, is what has driven the conflict with the Logan family.  There has been no ‘war’ between the Logans and the Forresters.  There never was.  There was Stephanie Douglas  and her handmaiden, Taylor Hayes, on one side;  the Logans and the Forresters  have been on the other side.  While I still couldn’t give a crap about Katie and Bill as a couple (and care even less for the idea of  Steffy ‘trash from the  Hills’  Forrester coming between them), the one benefit of this couple has been watching the writers use them to show the side of the Logan clan so many fans have always loved about them.

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The rebuilding of the Logan clan has been slow going, but is paying off for the show!  Donna returned, but as a tool to sell the writers’ vision of Bridge love vs. brICK lust.  Donna began with focusing on the epic love between Brooke and Ridge and hoping to help Brooke realize that there was something wrong with her relationship with Nick.  In the end, Donna was right.  It was a marriage that lasted 10 weeks, but had done grave damage to Brooke’s relationship with Bridget in the process, and damage to the viewers’ relationship with Brooke, as well.  Before Brooke ended her disastrous relationship with nick, Donna decided to move in on Ridge (near-fatal mistake number 1).  RealDonna Logan gave up a man she loved for her sister, Katie, when they were younger.  She would never have become involved with her sister’s one true love).   When Ridge ended up dumping Donna, Nick then became Donna’s champion.  Donna believed that Nick was the ‘better man’ and tried to sell Brooke on her new philosophy (near-fatal mistake number 2).  Donna was willing to try to sell her sister on a man she (Brooke) didn’t love to soothe her own sense of rejection and betrayal.

It made Donna instantly unlikable to a significant portion of the viewing audience.   Her behavior was untrue to her Logan heritage. It was as untrue to the legacy of these women as Katie’s betrayal of Bridget, by sleeping with Nick (near fatal mistake number 3).  The Logan girls sacrificed for one another their entire lives.  They were willing to give up people they loved, rather than hurt one another.  Donna, the real Donna, would never have pushed Brooke in the direction of a man like Nick, one who’d betrayed Brooke (her sister) and Bridget (her niece).   Neither would Katie.   That’s all done now, and the Logan girls are back, their bond is stronger than ever, and Stephanie’s ridiculously hateful tirades have been put in perspective.  These girls from the valley aren’t ‘trash’, nor are they ‘sluts’, or any other foul thing that Stephanie’s small mind can conjure to call them.  They are the Logan girls, the Logan women, and they always will be.

Speaking of the Logan Bond

Let’s hope that now that the pseudo-incest storylines are over and the Logan women are no longer fighting for the lust of the same men, now that all are happy and in love with the men they were meant to be with (for now, on Katie and Donna’s parts) that all three remember the younger member of their clan who’ll need their support.  Bridget has just embarked on a journey toward reclaiming motherhood that will be a rougher ride that even she imagined.  She’s going to need the support of her tough as nails mother and aunts.  Much like the insta-romance that takes place on this show, so goes the insta-surrogate storylines.

You’d think that given their past losses, that Bridget and Nick would want to take more time to get to know their chosen surrogate.  How about spending a month or tow observing her habits?  How about double and triple checking her references?  Hiring several PIs to investigate her past, hoping one would find information the others haven’t?  This woman will carry the most precious part of the both of them, a child they’ve wanted and into whom they will pour every bit of love they have – along with the love they’re pouring into Nick’s son Jack.  So what’s the rush!?!?!

Taking a little more time, they would have learned that Carly Corinthos’ Sandy Sommers’  has such a jones for snack foods that even when pregnant it’s her preferred form of  ‘nutrition’.  They might learn that Carly Sandy, is a bit of a schemer and feels that others have far too much of what she wants – that she deserves more.  They’d learn that her change in hair color is probably an indication of bad  things to come – that’s one hand I wouldn’t want rocking my child’s cradle!  They’d probably learn that the ‘minor deceits’ she’s capable of now are indications of ‘major deceits’ to come later.

It’s hard to believe that anyone who has a much money as the Logan/ Forrester-Marone clan is supposed to have would be a little more jaded.  Nick was suspicious of Owen, to the point of trying to destroy him, but almost completely trusts a woman he doesn’t know to carry his seed?  Doesn’t Sandy give off the scary ‘Deacon Sharpe’ vibe to anyone else?  She’s almost immediately ingratiated herself into Bridget’s life, befriending her and wanting her trust.  In return?  Nick and Bridget are giving her their child to carry.  Only one word can truly express my feelings about this storyline and that word is UGH!!!!!!!!!  (ok, no so much a ‘word’, but an expression!)  It’s hard to believe how quickly this storyline has moved.

The writers have done a great job showing us that Bridget and Nick live in their own world, that they aren’t tied to his past indiscretions, his slimeball move of sleeping with her mother and her aunt.  I get it.  I  just think that it’s now time to show that Bridget and Nick can live in the same world with Katie and Brooke, with no problem.  Let the Logan women pull together and figure out Sandy’s game plan… and then let them beat her at it.  It wouldn’t be a bad idea for Sandy to have an unexpected ally, someone who might be motivated to keep “Nicket” busy while she makes moves toward stealing back custody of Jack… TAYLOR!  Taylor and Sandy could form a destructive bond, much like the bond Taylor has with Steffy.

There’s something about the two women that suggests that they could be good friends and partners in hell-raising.    Taylor, who has lost Phoebe in this past year, watched Steffy become a scheming man-eater (after having been pulled into taylor’s earlier plans to scheme to get Ridge back), Tommy became a car bomber, and Ridge made it clear that Brooke is and always has been the love of his life.  Why wouldn’t she want Jack back?  Why wouldn’t she be fed up with watching everyone else be happy, and not her? Why wouldn’t she engage in the twisted logic she’s known for and think that it’s unfair that Bridget and  Nick would get to keep ‘her’ child and have their own?  Taylor could secretly help Sandy push Bridget over the edge, petition for and be granted custody of, Jack –  as Sandy makes a move on Nick.  Both would fail in the end, but it could be fun watching them try to ruin the lives of other and watch the Logans band together to stop them.

There will still be room left for Sandy after that!  There’s always Brooke’s golden boy, Rick.  Rick (like his niece Steffy) has a knack for becoming involved with the one person who’ll bring the most discord into his family’s life.  Sandy fits the bill pretty nicely.

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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.

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!

4 words: Monkeys. Typewriters. Locked Rooms

You know the old writers’ insult, “Monkeys banging on typewriters could do a better job!” Imagine if you not only handed a room full of monkeys a set of typewriters (uh, keyboards), but you then locked them in. Well… that’s ONE way to force them to concentrate on completing your scripts, but watch out! Locking them in a room might add insult to injury and monkeys are pretty vengeful. They also have a pretty wicked sense of humor. Make sure you READ the scripts before you film and then air them for long suffering fans.

One Life to Live

Bitchy Marty, Bitchy Tea, Bitchy TeBessica… ‘effin.love.them.all.

Jessica apologizing and groveling at Natalie’s feet? No thanks. I felt sympathy for Nat “the outsider” for about 10 minutes. I’m over it. She’s still sleeping with the man who cost her sister’s husband his life. An accident? Sure… after months of deceiving him and destroying everything he’d built for his family. I’m hoping Tess and Bess have teamed up to finish taking Nat and Jared down – without plotting anyone’s death, by the way. Abject misery is enough for me, thanks. Tea taking guff from Blair? I don’t think so. Tea and Blair live different realities. Tea is a badass by nature. She’s shown tremendous growth and change and I love how spunky she is. Blair? Badass, on occasion, doormat more often than not. The woman slept with Spencer Truman just after Todd, the ‘great love’ of her life, was sentenced to execution. Despite every reasonable warning to the contrary, she made Truman a part of her children’s lives. My money is on Tea. Marty Saybrooke being left alone with Janet Ketring/Lee Halpern? Seriously, were the monkeys also STONED when they banged out that moment? Writers, keep an eye on the script monkeys, they’re making you look bad!

It’s annoying enough that Bo and Nora’s situational ethics drag every other living Llanview resident through the muck, but Bo and Tahlia leaving JK/LH alone with an angry and self-destructive Marty? The woman tried to force Todd to commit suicide for what he did to her (with JK/LH’s help). So they let her confront JK/LH, alone, wearing a coat which could very well have contained a weapon, and carrying an uzi sized purse? They actually LEFT the motel? I have to say, violence isn’t my thing, but I got a chuckle out of JK/LH cracking a vase over Talia’s head and taking off. Too bad Bo didn’t get one of those, as well! You’d think JK/LH was a witness for the defense  for as careless as they’ve been about her safety.  It must be nice to be pals with people like Bo and Nora. They use their offices to go after people you don’t like if you’re a friend, no matter how flimsy the evidence, nor the cost to the good folks of Llanview.

Oh, and locked-away-typewriter-banging monkeys? Less smug from Antonio and Nora, please. They’re on the side of RIGHT, and they leave me wanting to see Tea wipe the smug off of their faces – unless that’s what you wanted and then I feel played (well done). If I’m wrongfully faulting you and it’s the choices made by the actors, please speak to the director and ask him to handle it.

The Bold and The Beautiful

Bridget is a designer now? You magnificent vengeful monkeys, you! You really did get the last laugh, didn’t you? I wish I could laugh with you, but I can’t. It hurts. Did you have to pay the writers back at the viewers’ expense? An accelerated undergrad preMed program, supposed ‘years’ of study in medical school. Internships, Residency, saving lives, bringing babies into the world, bringing her aunt Katie back from the dead, saving her brother from jail following Phoebe’s death… and Bridget wants to give it all up to start designing for the company that just ripped off her father’s and brother’s newest collection. Bridget… giving up medicine for THAT!

She’s doodled haute couture  gowns for years and was just too afraid to tell anyone?  Her work is even better than life-long designer Clarke Garrison… stuff she sketched when not practicing medicine 23/6 and no one knew?  Uh, because despite the fact that EVERY one of her adult sibs, her nieces and nephew, and BOTH of her parents work in the fashion industry, she was too afraid to tell them she has a passion for fashion? Ok, works in your universe, but typewriter-banging-monkeys, if the writers don’t feed you, refuse to type out scripts on an empty stomach. It makes you a little loopy.

This wouldn’t hurt so bad if it weren’t a follow up to the “fabulous Paminis”… Pam Douglas, insta-designer with a CROCHET technique so secret that only Pam can churn out the one of a kind hot yarn bikinis… So what is Bridget’s Auntie Pam kicking out? 20 a day in the Forrester sweatshop? Monkeys, explain yourselves! Is there something in the air at FC that makes anyone who passes through the hallowed halls a genius in the design world (all except Clarke it seems)?

Guiding Light

Alan wanting revenge against a cheating Beth? I get that. For once in his life, Alan is as devoted as he’s ever has been to a woman, maybe the most faithful he’s ever been. (Beth hasn’t been faithful to anyone since she was a teen) She  gives birth to his child, while still raising his grandchildren and making him part of their lives.  Then she cheats on him. He now knows that he’s met his match in Beth.  No one loves Alan as much as he loves himself.  Ditto on Beth. He’s sleeping with his mirror image and it’s driving him mad, life is a cruel mistress, Alan.

I WANT Alan to make Beth miserable, and not for his sake, but because Beth is supremely selfish and sucks as a person. BUT…Alan grabbing the letter opener, TWICE (something TPTB aired when the scenes picked up with a third and fourth time during the next day’s episode, too)? Good mercy. Giving the audience the impression that he would just as soon plunge the opener into her heart because his heart was broken? YIKES!

I don’t remember Alan being violent with women, especially not to the point of contemplating a brutal death for one. He likes owning and controlling women, but he likes owning and controlling everyone. He usually shows more finesse. The old Alan would have had Coop arrested on some trumped up charge, claimed ‘Company’ for himself – leaving Buzz penniless, and set Beth up to think she was going crazy again just to get custody of Peyton. He would have done it all before lunch!  He actually would have kept Buzz on at the restaurant he stole from him and had Buzz SERVE him lunch. Alan is psychotic, but he’s no thug.

Monkeys, you owe the GL writers an apology for what you’ve done to their beloved Alan Spaulding. Shame on you.

All My Children

Zach. Killing Josh. Fathering Gabrielle. Eye-boinking with Reese. Expecting Kendall to understand. Vicious little typewriter-banging-monkeys… You’ve outdone yourselves. I actually like the potential fallout from this one. No criticism, here. This is all soapy goodness. AMC was lucky to have you on staff when you wrote that part of the plot. Kendall, forgive Binks, Reese, and Zach. PRICELESS!

While you’re at it, write that script where David Hayward is loving and unselfish, Adam Chandler has sworn off manipulating the people he loves, Erica Kane gives up designer clothes and all other perks of fine living, and JR Chandler stays sober! See how silly it all seems that anyone would expect forgiveness from Kendall? Whatever she does to them, they’ve got it coming. Maybe Zach should keep a picture of his happy parts in a safe location. The doctors will need it when they’re working on the reattachment and reconstruction!

I can’t give you a pass on Amanda’s pregnancy, however. Does anyone remember the last daytime pregnancy where the mother knew who her child’s father was (Binks excluded, of course) and there was no scandal around the pregnancy? (Whoops, Binks back in!) Why another contested paternity? It’s not like there’s been a shortage of them.

Then again, you’ve been writing for Annie and she’s freakin’ wonderful, so it all evens out in the wash!

Create Your Own Soap

A lovely poster on the SoapOperaNetwork’s message boards posted a ‘create your own soap’ thread. The only instruction? You’re not limited by the format/structure daytime uses now. WOWZA! Great idea. So many of us are unhappy with the current storylines offered in daytime (and repeatedly offered) that we want something different. Daytime is clinging to a dead model, in my opinion and has focused on all the wrong changes to bring fans back/or keep them around (GL’s disastrous Peapack shoot, for example).
Below is my attempt at setting up a new soap, storylines we don’t (or won’t get) in daytime:
Setting: Colorado! Why? Big cities that feel like small towns, 4 seasons (and I think there’s something romantic about the rockies as a backdrop). The mountains work as an additional character the same way NYC became a fifth character in Sex and the City. States like Colorado allow you any sort of lifestyle you’d want: urban and chic, rural and hearty, ranch/farm style living.

Multicultural/multi-ethnic cast. One Life to Live comes closest to a truly multicultural cast and achieving the ‘feel’ I’d like in a soap.

There should be varying levels of income (I think what sucks about daytime is that everyone has to be ‘rich’ and that those how aren’t eventually become rich or scheme to become rich, or spend a LOT of time hanging out with the fabulously wealthy as if that could happen – because there’s nothing rich folk like more than hanging out with people who don’t have money. Don’t you read ‘People’?).

No more treating race, orientation, religion, etc like ‘novelty’ storylines. The cast would be fully integrated in that sense. I think the ‘old’ model of ‘easing in’ populations is killing daytime and fails to appeal to larger audiences who are far more sophisticated than daytime EPs/execs believe.

Cast/plots would include:

The darker characters/storylines

— an educated self-made CEO who is a ‘pariah’ in her family (an outsider to her family not because she’s educated but because she’s ashamed of her working class roots and unable to admit it to herself). The storyline is centered around a 21st century ‘passing’ when she reinvents herself and brings with her into her new life the one person who could/would blow her new life out of the water – someone she brings with her not by her own choice. Hey, I didn’t say NO rich characters, just that they can’t all be rich.

— a young man (late 20s/early 30s) on the edge who has been hidng a secret that’s been tearing him apart. He not only witnessed his father’s death, he knows who did it and helped cover up the accidental death – obviously for someone he loves. The details of his father’s unsolved murder make it unlikely that anyone would believe it was an accident. He’s in his first potentially serious relationship and his deal with the devil comes back to haunt him.

— an unconventional HIV storyline. An older woman whose unfaithful husband contracts the disease. What would happen if this woman unknowingly ended up in a support group for women with AIDS/HIV with her husband’s mistress and neither knew who the other was, at first?

Daytime treats sex as romance, and often without consequence. The only consequence characters have faced is to either end up pregnant and not know which man fathered the child, or from the male perspective, to be named one of a couple/several possible fathers; or to end up pregnant.

It’s hard to imagine that in more than 20 years of public focus on AIDS/HIV that only two shows have dealt with issues of AIDS/HIV for longer than several weeks (General Hospital, which offered the Nurses Ball as an annual AIDS/HIV fundraiser, and All My Children) . ATWT’s Margo was sexually assaulted by a perp she as trying to arrest during a robbery and spent several weeks/months worrying that she’d contracted HIV from the assailant when he tested positive. She didn’t, of course.

I imagine the character in my soap battling with forgiving her husband; befriending, hating, and then working on forgiving the mistress who knew about her life with her family and slept with her husband anyway; dealing with HIV, and becoming an advocate for other women living with the condition. My soap would treat her condition as chronic, as General Hospital has done with Robin Scorpio, or with AMC’s Cindy Parker, wife of Stuart Chandler, before she died. (Trivia buffs, it might interest you to know that Cindy Parker was played by GL’s current EP, Ellen Wheeler!)

— a former (ad exec? autoworker? high school teacher?) who lost everything because of a drug addiction, lived on the streets for a while – gets clean – ends up working as live in help for a wealthy family. He’s dazzled by the big life and the big secrets of the glitterati, never becoming one of them. He knows more than he should because he sits in the shadows listening. He’s not ‘one of them’ so they’re not especially careful about what they say in his presence. He serves as a surrogate father to the family’s young heir when he realizes the kid is being physically abused by the father. No one believes either of them about the abuse. He can’t prove the abuse, but he can prove the father has engaged in other illegal activities. He blackmails him to get him to leave the child alone, keeping his job to stay close and keep an eye on the father. He keeps up his battle to keep the child safe, but the fear and anxiety cause him to battle relapsing in the process.

The lighter storylines:

— one ‘coming of age storyline’

— A little comedy (would love a David Vickers-esque character)

— A least one pair of star-crossed lovers

What I wouldn’t add:

— weak needy whining women. They need not apply. Men who cheat don’t get to be called ‘great husbands’ or ‘loving and caring’ later (see: BnB’s Nick Marone how bailed on his grieving wife for her mother a day after his child was buried… they both see what a ‘good man’ he is… bull)

— love triangles – done to death. When couples break up, let it be for real problems, not because of a third partner.

— Who’s the daddy? storylines, as pregnant women are fighting to keep others from learning the truth.

— Misattributed paternities (geez, how many times can soap characters raise children and later find out the children aren’t theirs?

— No pseudo-incest stuff – you don’t get to date your niece just because you find out there’s no bio link later in life.

Rules

— more drama, less camp. Daytime has become a bad parody of itself.

— more romance, less “hello, let’s have sex”. The Bold and the Beautiful is a classic example of wham-bam relationships! Rick fell for his niece, Steffy, days after her sister’s death – an accident he was involved in.

— I’d want more mystery and intrigue, less psychoses passing as real life.
When you think about it, what would would you change it? How would you write daytime differently?

Rick Forrester: Daytime’s Biggest Pervert?

Wait?  A pervy character in daytime?  I know, I know.  What’s the point of bringing up THAT issue since nearly all daytime characters behave in pervy ways at some point in their illustrious time on air?  Here’s what I think is different about Rick Forrester: he’s so self-centered and narcissistic that he doesn’t just date through entire families like most soap characters, he serially dates in his OWN FAMILY and doesn’t think twice about it.

For more than 20 (closer to thirty) of his soap years, he was believed to be the biological brother of Ridge Forrester.  He lived and behaved as Ridge’s  brother (even when his mother, Brooke, married Ridge).  He and his then wife, Amber, babysat for Ridge and Taylor to allow them to have alone time together.  Ridge’s children referred to Rick as their ‘uncle’ and to his sister Bridget as their ‘aunt’.  He thought of them as his nieces and nephew.  Most of the time, the brothers got along reasonably well.   Then, in a fit of rage, Rick decided that it was ok to no longer think of Ridge as his brother – hey, they didn’t ‘really’ have the same biological father, after all.  A man whose children he helped raise were now fair game for sexploitation.  Rick disregarded the family bond they shared just to (try to) have sex with Ridge’s daughters.

The most disturbing, non-violent, scene I’ve witnessed in daytime was Rick caressing his niece, Phoebe’s, hair and telling her that he remembers when they were all at the beach once.  Phoebe was wild and free and when her mother tried to make her sit still comb her beautiful but tangled curly hair, Phoebe fought her and ran off.  He remembers, lovingly, how wonderful and beautiful she was as a child.  Not an exact replay of the scene, but close.

Remember (and I’ve stated this several times in several blogs, not to drive you crazy, but in the hopes TPTB are reading and realize that WE, the audience, haven’t forgotten),  Rick was an ADULT when Phoebe and her twin, Steffy, were children.  He was married.  He very much believed that he was their biological uncle.  How that became a memory to be used for a hot and heavy make out session is a mystery to me.  It should have been a mystery to the writers, too, one they should have been unwilling to solve.  Even DAYS’ Max Brady doesn’t go as far as Rick. He has no ‘childhood memories’ of his nieces. He didn’t raise them.  They weren’t children while he was an adult.  Stephanie was never heard from until recently,  and Chelsea  was believed to be have been stillborn until a couple of years ago (only when talking about soaps can you use those words).

WAIT AGAIN, you add!  What about the ICK in the squickness of Ridge and Bridget’s flirtation?  He thought he was her father.  He changed her diapers.  First let me finish cleaning the mess my lunch has made of my keyboard now that the “Ridget”  issue has been raised.   The squickiness of Ridge and Bridget never got beyond a couple of freaky kisses -ever. Not one scene of near sex with those two.  They were both attracted to one another,  and at times repulsed by their mutual attraction.

Ridge and Bridget were certainly gross (most especially the kiss that rated as Fourth of July x’s 10, or 100, or some such nonsense).  We were ‘lucky’ in the sense that the writers took it slow the first time they broke out a  date-yer-kin storyline.  Ridge and Bridget shared a couple of kisses, but luckily never went beyond that.

Rick, on the other hand, was openly pushing Phoebe to have sex with him – getting her on the floor, on the floor in front of the fireplace, on beds, in closets,  etc… telling her it was time they had sex when she kept stressing she wasn’t ready. Now it’s her twin sister’s turn.  He’s willing to take the risk of destroying Steffy because of his anger at Ridge that Taylor dumped him.  He will pick up with Steffy where he left off with Phoebe (breaking only to sleep with their mother in between).   No matter how much the writers have tried to use Phoebe’s tragic death to create a ‘bond’ between Steffy and Uncle Rick, there is always the stench of Rick’s attempt at “revenge seduction” with two innocent sisters.

For as often as paternity tests are overturned in his fictional world, you’d think he’d have SOME hesitation before trying to ring the bell that can’t be unrung.  Not Slick  (or is that Sick?) Rick.

This is also the man who has had more control over his mother’s sex life than she has.  At some point Rick cried about the ‘parade of men’ his mother brought into his life during his formative years.  He cried about the lack of stability and how much easier his life would have been without the chaos.  At the same time, he encourages his mother to jump from bed to bed, using her body as his weapon against Ridge – just as he has with Phoebe and Steffy.  (This plot point has been discussed in an earlier blog as well).  The idea that he sees nothing wrong with sending his mother to be with a man who’d just recently been his sister’s husband, father of her deceased child, and who then slept with is mother and sister in the same 24 hour period is astounding, and seriously demented on the part of the BnB writers.

That’s just not even good campy fun, any more.  It’s a tragedy.  It’s only made worse by the fact that most of Rick’s actions would be considered villainous on any other show – prime time or daytime (betraying his father and secretly helping Nick Marone build a loyal team at Forrester Creations after Nick stole the family company, editing his mother’s podcast to try to ruin her engagement, pretending to be paralyzed to elicit sympathy and tp eventually be appointed his family company’s President – the same company he secretly betrayed years before).

And still, everyone around his sees Rick as a vibrant, wonderful, healthy young man who is just a little high-spirited.  If Salvador Dali had ever had the opportunity to for daytime before his death, he’d surely would have chosen to write for the BnB.

The only thing I find interesting about Rick is his rivalry with Stephanie.  They are mirror images of one another.  His obsessive hatred for Ridge matches hers for Brooke.  His willingness to use Brooke’s sexuality as a weapon against Ridge matches her willingness to control Ridge’s sexuality as a way of hurting Brooke (and both actions are highly Oedipal in nature).  His lack of logic and escapism from reality is second only to hers.  Both use violence as a primary method of communication, and are both obsessed with ‘winning’ no matter how many other people they hurt in the process.

The only difference between Rick and Stephanie, besides gender, is that even with her fixation on Ridge, it’s hard to believe that Stephanie would become romantically involved with him if she ever found out he wasn’t her son.  The writers, I can only hope, have to know that it would be a storyline that would be impossible to sell.  Stephanie seems only to be captivated by controlling Ridge’s sexuality, not indulging it personally.  Rick on the other hand doesn’t seem to have many boundaries.  Whatever is feels good, as they say, is good by his standards.

For as many BnB women are stuck on backburner because there aren’t enough non-related males to go around, if Rick MUST stay, the writers need to bring in a non-related love interest for this character.  It’s vital.  The BnB pseudo-incest club is ever expanding and Rick has become its most prominient member, unfortunately for him, and for us.

Clearly, it’s the turkey talking…

I’m always giddy for about a week before the Thanksgiving holiday… mad with anticipation.  It happens every year and it’s the only thing I can think of that explains the fact that I loved daytime last week.  I can’t think of a thing I truly disliked.  I enjoyed most of what aired!  WOW!

The Young and the Restless – Poor deluded, insecure, Phyllis.  LOVED her reaction to Nick and Sharon’s closeness and that she made sure that everyone knew that she felt ‘thankful’ for a husband who made her feel “sexy”.  I LOVED that Sharon wasn’t at all affected by the possessive kiss Phyllis planted on Nick.  Loved  Nikki and Paul.   I get a little tingly watching them!  Daytime writers always receive huge kudos for remembering the show’s history and giving us a reason to cheer historic couple on.  Veteran viewers will remember the STD storyline  that ended the relationship between these characters when they were younger adults – opening the door to Victor and Nikki.  It’s an old storyline that still makes some cringe at the thought of the two of them getting together now.  I say, BIG DEAL.  Paul made mistakes when he was younger.  Look at the man he is now.  Victor never gave Nikki an STD, but he hasn’t given her much else, either.  Paul is so gentle, so sweet, and so caring.  It’s been a while since Nikki has had a man like Paul.  She’s so use to being treated like property that the tenderness she shares with Paul must be akin to a drowning woman being tossed a life raft.

Hey, it doesn’t hurt that Doug Davidson has grown sexier over time and brings a dignity and integrity to the character of Paul that makes me wonder what took writers so long to decide to make him a leading man, again. Better late than never, writers.  What a huge plus for veteran viewers like myself who aren’t as fond of new gang of unlikable leads – and you know who they are even if the writers don’t.  We get a character we’ve loved for a long time, in a surprising storyline that works.   Daytime writers are always patting themselves on the back for ‘taking chances’.  These are the sort of chances viewers want more of – playing with the show’s history and taking us somewhere we hadn’t expected to go.

One Life To Live – Erika Slezak has once again proven that she can take the very worst the writers throw at an audience and spin it into Emmy gold!  Breathing new life into Viki Lord Davidson, she almost, ALMOST, gave me a reason to feel sorry for Todd.  While that moment was fleeting, my complete and total awe of ES’s performance remains.  That Viki suggested that the only true escape from the Lord legacy was death made me gasp.  Viki’s expression of emotional and psychological exhaustion and devastation was probably the most amazing work anyone has done on this show in a while.  There are things best left forgotten, and there are those things too horrific to forget. The only option when you’re dealing with the latter is to do what you have to do to survive them.  To have the sexual assault of Viki revealed and brought to light again was painful for many viewers, I suspect.  As peeved as I still am at the writers for the Marty/Todd storyline, I have to admit that they’ve done a magnificent job laying out the case for viewing the Lord family in new perspective.  It doesn’t make me want to forgive Todd, but it does add a layer of tragedy to the storyline that I hadn’t considered before.

The Bold and The Beautiful: DELICIOUS!  I found myself wondering if the writers wanted us to view Eric as a man who is so pathetic that his children can’t help but play on his stupidity and his vanity.  It’s not just one son who is lying to and deceiving him, but TWO!  Rick has led him to believe that he was more seriously hurt than he actually was.  Thorne tricked him into believing that Donna was cheating on him.  I’m sure this storyline was supposed to be another ‘pity poor Donna’ attempt.  Sorry, writers, no dice.   That won’t happen.  Donna is irrelevant at this point.  So much of Eric’s life has been spent being pampered and catered to that his children knew exactly which buttons to push to make him dance to their tune.  How perfect is it that a man who has only been passingly acquainted with the term ‘fidelity’ demands and expects it from others?  My only real disappointment with this storyline is that Donna will probably end up crying on the ever willing Owen’s shoulder. Poor Budge will become Owen’s friend and confidante, when she should be the woman he falls in love with – but it would be too much to have the writers allow Bridget to be happy.

DAYS Of Our Lives – Nicole, Nicole, Nicole… Zuker was perfect, of course.  Just when you’re convinced that Nicole Walker is completely soulless, Zuker pulls out the most amazing performance and reminds you that Nicole’s rough and hard exterior only serves to protect her incredibly soft heart.  I just love this character.  I may not like what’s coming for our Nicole Walker Dimera, but Zuker makes me want to hang in there and watch just for the performances.  GO GET ‘EM, Nicole!

All My Children –  O… M… G!!!!  Annie?  YIKES!  I know it was Annie Lavery carrying that bloody knife and wedding bouquet, last week, but honest to goodness, I just kept seeing Richie’s face.  If only the residents of Pine Valley knew then what they know now.  I was sorry to see Annie sacrificed on the doomed altar of Ryan and the oft-fleeing Greenlee, but I’ll have to thank the writers for letting Annie go away with a bang, and not a whimper.  I had such a grand time watching Annie act out the last scenes of ‘Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?” that I almost didn’t care whose blood was on the knife.

General Hospital. I’ve long since lost my stomach for General Hospital, but I have to say that  I didn’t mind the show last week.  Sonny’s descent into madness… correction:  Sonny’s CURRENT/LATEST descent into madness has been oddly entertaining.  Like so many times before, Sonny has been loathed to take the counsel of anyone else, save Jason, and he’s even lost that.  Now his actions may cost Jason the one person he cares about above anyone else, his son.  I’ve been uber disgusted with Elizabeth’s character.  I’ve never been a Jason and Elizabeth fan and can’t imagine that I ever will be.  In part because being with Jason is such a betrayal of everything Elizabeth has been about in the past (not to mention that her lie of a relationship with Jason cost poor Lucky so much).  Liz was always quick to point out what a bad mother Carly was, that Carly kept putting her sons in danger by being with Sonny. Now?  She sees firsthand what a life with a mobster is worth.  Will the writers pull the wool back from Elizabeth’s eyes?  Will she stop pretending that when Jason kills it’s ‘holy’ and ‘noble’?  Will she wonder why she traded in a man who lives on the RIGHT side of the law for the man who clings to the wrong side of it?  NAH!  It wouldn’t be General Hospital if that happened, right?

BTW, if I didn’t love the Robin-Patrick pairing, I would be seriously considering rooting on an Elizabeth-Patrick pairing… er, how HAWT were they?

As The World Turns. Brian/Lucinda/Luke… Oh dear.  Luke, in the driver’s seat.  Watching Luke make Brian uncomfortable?  PRICELESS.  “Grabby Grandpa Bad Touch” will learn to keep his hand to himself.   As much as I hate the idea of Brian deceiving Lucinda, I love the idea of Luke making Brian sweat a little.  Brian lost any appeal as a sympathetic character (at least in the short term) the moment he tried to make Luke believe he was both drunk and delusional, that he (Luke) misinterpreted the kiss.  I have to say that I wasn’t too keen to watch this storyline play out.  I’m sitting on the edge of my seat now.  I still think the writers are going with a sexual harassment storyline with this one.  Brian, so deep in the closet that even HE doesn’t know where he is, sexually harasses young men – those who are often the least powerful.  When they call him on it, he faults them, tells them they’re imagining things, that he was only being a friend.  Oh Brian, you picked the wrong man, this time.  Luke (and Noah) willl probably be the people who expose his past.  This should be good.  Take him down, boys, make him sorry for being the sleaze he is… until Lawrence Lau eats the dialogue the writers hand him, does that thing he does oh so well, and makes us all fall in love with Brian and actually feel sorry for him…

What did YOU love about your favorite shows this past couple of weeks?