Nobody Does It Better: Look and Learn

It’s not often that I actually praise a soap in its entirety.  OLTL is good, and I enjoy more of the show than I dislike of it… but it’s not GREAT.  Which soap is, in my opinion?  Hands down,  Days of Our Lives has to be the best overall soap in daytime!  It’s such a great soap that the things I hate about it are the things you’re SUPPOSED to hate about a soap or about the show’s characters.   What makes DAYS such a great soap?  Two words:  consistency and BALANCE!

What can drive you crazy about some soaps (YnR, BnB, and GH) is that they lack balance.  On the Bell soaps especially, the soap winds blow in only one direction.  Either most characters are happy, or they’re all miserable.  Bell soaps are tragic drama… minus the drama.  Can you think of a week in which BnB spoilers didn’t suggests that a ‘couple would be torn apart’?  Can you think of  a week, on the BnB especially, in which characters weren’t uttering dialogue that is deeply inconsistent from the week before?  How does Thorne Forrester shift from being tired of always being thought of as a last place loser in his family, to applauding having his ex-sister-in-law/former fiancee becoming a quarter owner in his FAMILY’S company?  The YnR?  Between the cancer storyline, the switched identities, Ashley having yet another breakdown, and the dead-for-live baby swap, watching the YnR could counteract the strongest prescribed anti-depressant.  GH?  There’s hope for the show… just very little of it.  GH may as well have been taped in a dark studio, with night vision cameras.   Given how heavy the show is, the change in lighting couldn’t possibly hurt.  For these three soaps, it’s the same stuff, different day.

One Life to Live,  All My Children and As The World Turns are shows that have balance, but lack consistency.  The storylines change too quickly and by the time you become use to the direction of a storyline, it changes gear – in some  cases that’s a good thing.  I don’t know how many more months of Dorian knuckling under to Mitch Lawrence’s demands I could stand.  Another week of JPL’s ‘Rex’ trying to emote as a ‘troubled and angry’ man and I really would have needed stitches from laughing.  What was the point of introducing Allison Perkins?  On ATWT, the ‘spare tissue’ pregnancy Janet suggested and was then shot down almost immediately?  EH!  (and who doesn’t already know that Janet will end up pregnant, anyway?)  There’s a lot going on with the three shows above, but it’s almost as if the writers are overwhelmed and aren’t keeping track of who said what, and when.

While DAYS held on far too long to the ‘Sydnapping’ storyline, overall, the fact that the show has been consistent and balanced allowed fans, like myself, who were tired of the storyline to focus on something else.  Knowing, last month, that the storyline would continue a while longer, I began tuning it out and focusing on other big onscreen news.  I don’t know what it is about ‘Daniel’ and ‘Melanie’, but I think it’s sheer genius to pair them together as father and daughter (and yes, I’ve been reminded that she once flirted with him when neither knew they were related).  Something about his presence in her life finishes Mel’s character profile out nicely.  She’s been two characters in one during her tenure at DAYS. There is the manipulating and selfish Mel, and then there is the vulnerable and melancholy Mel.  In some ways he softens Mel, but she does the same for him.  Shawn Christian (as Daniel) hit his stride perfectly in the hospital visitation  scenes, after finding out that Melanie was his child.  His eyes were soft and a bit weepy, his tone of voice was relaxed, and it was easy to believe that he was in awe of the young woman in front of him, one he’d only recently found carried his genes in her DNA.  That he was the doctor who operated on her and saved her life made the scene all the more meaningful.  Melanie  looked vulnerable and frail and in need of someone to protect her.  He looked ready for the job. Priceless.

And if it must be mentioned…

The kidnapping storyline is done, sorta’.  Anna will finally wise up and realize that EJ is capable of using and abusing anyone, until he no longer needs them, and she’s included in that number.  When he’s done with you, you’re on  your own.  Too bad for EJ  (but great for fans) that Anna isn’t a willing victim.  For those of you who don’t know (spoiler alert, stop reading here… I warned ya’!), it’s Anna who will make sure that Nicole is freed of all charges and allowed to resume her life in Salem.  Ej, you schmuck!  You had it coming.  So the question is, with Nicole’s return, how does EJ get busted for the kidnapping of his infant daughter?

1.  Rafe, hottie hot hot, to the rescue?  Rafe figures it all out and makes sure Sami knows what a low life EJ is?  Sami tends to forget that fact of life when she allows EJ to play on her desperation.

2.  Nicole is redeemed, to a degree, by joining forces with Brady and they bring the news to Sami and Rafe?  Sorry Arianne Hernandez, with Nicole’s return, I’m hoping your DAYS are numbered… Phillip will probably be free soon – give him a call.

3.  A dark horse candidate emerges.  Stefano learns from Anna – who is by now hiding out in a bunker and out of Dimera reach, about EJ’s dastardly plan.  He realizes that his son was willing to hurt him in among the worst ways possible and decides to deal with EJ his own way…by throwing him to the wolves!

I’m partial to the third option.  I’d love to see Stefano strip Ej of his money and power.  DAYS’ writers have been relatively creative in their storytelling.  What could they do with a powerless EJ, who no longer has the ability to manipulate and/or offend the women of Salem?  The writers could continue to move EJ on to the next storyline but in the end  what good would it do if Ej isn’t completely deconstructed and rebuilt?  He’s currently an (evil) freakshow!  What would life look like from the other side, a man without resources at the mercy of the power brokers?  Nothing could give him greater insight into what his negative influence has been over others  than having him fend for himself against the next ‘Ej Dimera’.  His deconstruction could also lead him to find real love for the first time, a woman he doesn’t have to force to have sex with him.

Other DAYS questions:

Can Chloe and Daniel survive his strong-willed adult daughter?  Chloe isn’t too much older than Melanie and she may not think his penchant for younger women is so cute now that she can’t date him (and excuse me… EWWWW!)   At some point, Melanie will most likely forgive Carly for allowing Lawrence to give her away and leave her at the mercy of her adoptive father.  When she does, will she want to see her parents together and fulfill a childhood fantasy of having a mother and father who love her and are part of a complete and  loving family?

Will the writers break up Phillip and Melanie for Nathan and Melanie, or will Melanie begin to realize that she does love Phillip.  I’m on Team Nathan, but I do think it would be a more interesting storyline to have Phillip be a ‘good guy’ who genuinely loves Mel and wants to save his marriage to her without resorting to going to his ‘dark place’ to make it happen.  The best triangles keep you rooting for everyone involved.

With Hope defending Bo and asserting that he is (professionally) an ethical man, will Bo begin to realize that he may be professionally ethical but that he’s lacking personally?  For most of their adult lives, Hope has been defending their marriage against each of Bo’s new ‘great loves’ and any children that are born or resurface as a result.    He has yet to have to do the same because she has centered her life around him.  Is there some point in his life when he realizes that he’s taken more from his marriage than he’s ever given to Hope?

I could do this all day with Days of Our Lives.  Each storyline offered is one that poetnitally generates an entirely new group of storylines.  Days writers thank you for the use of both veterans balanced against the introduction of newbies.  My only criticism… Abe… Lexie… MORE please!   DAYS is the only show consistently posting large gains in viewership over the year before.  Daytime writers… watch… learn… emulate!

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Good Times, Happy Times…

From The Bold and The Beautiful:

What makes JOWEN work? Daytime has finally gotten it right.  While older men have been seducing and romancing younger women for decades, soaps have treated older women involved with younger men as desperate and emotionally weak women who cling to men who could never really love them.  Older women have served as bedmates and bank accounts to their younger lovers and little else (AMC’s Marian and Tad, ATWT’s Lucinda and Craig, for example).  Jackie Marone is a woman who is vivacious, seductive, and powerful.  She’s also in charge of her emotions and her bank account.  Owen is with her because he loves her, not because she pays for him.  I was most proud of the moment when Jackie realized that not even for Owen was she willing to attempt to become a mother again.  She was well on her way to becoming a grandmother and expected Owen to be the man he said he was when he married her – not someone who’d suddenly developed a passion for parenting.  She held firm to her desire to enjoy life and be the woman she’d always wanted to be and Owen realized that loving her was his only real passion.

What does JOWEN helps me forget? Pretty much all of the rest of the BnB – emasculated Forrester males genuflecting before their bitter ex-wives, the  Forrester family penchant for pimping their young (my 20 something kid can’t come home with spare change in his pocket without explaining where it came from – Steffy brings home a multimillioin dollar company that no one else could win back and everyone celebrates?).  Jowen helps me forget the inconsistency in writing – Stephanie Forrester is now a ‘heroine’ for ‘saving’ the company she gleefully helped Bill Spencer destroy?  JOWEN helps me forget the new lie that the Logans have ‘ruined’ FC when even Steffy bragged about how the company made money hand over fist thanks to the ‘Royalty’ collection beating out the JM’s ‘Indulge’ line.  JOWEN even helps me forget that the writers have been trying to find a place to force Sarah Brown’s “Sandy/Aggie” (Saggie) to fit and are undoing months/years of great work in the process.  In the end, even if Nick doesn’t end up with Sags – everything will have been undone for no reason at all.

From General Hopsital:

What makes Mac and Alexis work? Despite Alexis’ lapse of sanity leading her to sleep with Sonny Corinthos, both Mac and Alexis have both maintained their integrity in the long term.  There’s something so likable about both characters that the combined effect of their presence pushes my happy meter off the charts!  The writers have picked up on whatever the genuine quality is that John J. York and Nancy Lee Grahn lend to their lovelorn, law and order loving characters.  Scenes with Mac and Alexis tend to be a mixture of being sweet and funny.  While the couple doesn’t get nearly the screen time they deserve, they make you grateful for the screen time they’ve been given.  If the writers ever figure out that we need less of the doom and gloom, and more of the ‘heeeeyyyyyy’, this show could be on to something HUGE.  I’m most looking forward to the possiblity of Mac and Alexis bringing their families together -and opening the Scorpio home once again. Kristina and Molly would have a father/stepfather they could respect.  Kristina, especially, shows promise of joining Robin in being the future of soap heroines on a show that desperately needs them.  To have the Scorpio-Drake-Davis clans coming together could just give us the ‘balance’ this show has been lacking.

What does the Mac and Alexis pairing make me forget? Other than Scrubs, Maxelli, and the powerhouse acting of JJ’s Lucky and RH’s Liz… pretty much everything else… the soapgods have been good to me.

From the Days of Our Lives:

What makes Rafe and Sami work? What DOESN’T work about this couple?  I’ve been cautiously optimistic about Rafe and Sami.  I’m an old Lumi fan.  No one knows like a Lumi fan how Sami is capable of throwing real love away for the horror of a relationship with a man like EJ.   Rafe is one of the few men in Sami’s life (Lucas included) who actually loves her and wants nothing in return.  The writers have sold me on the idea that Rafe is the man who would love Sami even if she didn’t love him in return, and would never stop fighting for what’s in her best interest. With a man like EJ, loving her if she didn’t love him in return would mean forcing himself on her.  With a man like Rafe?  It means loving her from afar, protecting her at all costs, and laying his life on the line because the thought of a world without her in it is something he just couldn’t bear. I’m SOLD!  Count me in as a ‘SAFE’ fan!

AS IF that’s all DAYS had to offer:

What makes the Phillip/Melanie/Nathan triangle work? Each potential pairing impacts me as a viewer in different ways.  Why does Phillip even deserve a second chance?  If you made it to 7:40 into the video, you’d hear Phillip say, as part of his vows, that if she’d said that he was going to marry her about a year ago, he would have told her she was crazy… BINGO!  That’s the Phillip I’ve hated while Mel loved him.  That’s the man who always thought he was too good for her and that she was nothing more than a consolation prize whenever he lost ‘the good girl’ (Stephanie).  Mel, in return, admits to loving him from the beginning.  Despite the lopsided relationship they share, this is a couple with HEAT!  They are moths to a flame, and it’s hard not to watch when they’re together.  Mel and Nathan on the other hand?  What a delicious redux of Mel and Nicky.  This time, the smart and ‘geeky’ guy should win.  Melanie and Nathan remind me a great deal of Sami and Rafe.  Nathan is a man who knows Melanie at her core, and loves who she is – warts and all.  This triangle works because it seems possible for Melanie to be happy with either.  In the end, I have to give the edge to Nathan.   I tend to root for the good guy, and heaven knows that in soapdom, the good guy is always the underdog.

What do  Sami and Rafe as well as this triangle help me forget? Bo and Carly.  Carly’s incessant whining.  Hope being destroyed to try to force Bo and Carly. Carly and Daniel (See where this is going?)  That’s about it, though… everything else about DAYS simply ROCKS!

One Life to Live

While I’m generally not a fan of rap, something about Snoop is AMAZING and I love to see most of the cast together enjoying themselves and allowing us to enjoy them, the show, and this performance.

We are family… I got all my sisters with me…

only, in daytime, if you have all of your sisters with you it could get pretty crowded since daytime males procreate at the same rate that the national debt grows.  It could also get crowded if you had to accommodate your sister’s dual relationship to you:  sister-stepmother, sister-cousin, sister – biological mother, sister – aunt, sister -husband’s ex-wife, sister – father’s ex-wife.  OY!  In spite of twisted, tangled and mangled family trees, and mixed up family relationships, there  has been quite a dramatic change in the focus of daytime writers across the board.  Writers are now telling the story of families, not just individual characters. The Bold and the Beautiful, General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, and One Life to Live have been leading the way.  All I can say is ‘more please’.

General Hospital

Soapgod bless Lulu Spencer.  First she rips  Liz a new one to defend Lucky,  and then rips into Sonny for shooting Dominic/Dante in the same ONE WEEK time frame!  What the hell?  Don’t you people know Christmas is over?  Nevermind.  Keep writing the show like you’ve just seen your first snow of the season.  It’s working for you.

I’m even going to forgive you for being silly enough to think that having women call one another whores takes the sting out of the fact that you’re still writing those lines.  For now.  I get it… it’s not as bad as having the men do it?  Wrong, but we’ll save that for another time.  For the record, I remember Lulu’s flaws.  I remember that she’s made a mess of her own life, and Georgie’s in the past, but what sister – no matter her mistakes, wouldn’t be as angry at Liz and Nikolas as she was?  It’s only too bad that Lulu spared Nikolas as much as she has.

Lulu said pretty much what I wanted her to say to Elizabeth, however.  Saint Elizabeth, the preachy, has betrayed her fiance (the man who has loved her with his whole heart from the time they were teens) and the family they created -with the children he’s loved as his own.  For what?  A man who thinks she’s so dirty that he’ll sleep with her any where, any time, but won’t respect her or his own brother enough to wait for her to walk away freely and cleanly?  S-T-U-P-I-D.  Nikolas treats her like he paid for her (er, and not in that ‘off the corner’ kinda’ way… more in the ‘off the shelf – she’s nothing but a toy’ kinda’ way).

The only sympathy I’ve had for Liz is in hearing Carly try to convince Saint Jaysus that Jake now belongs with him.   Jaysus kills people whose loved ones come gunning for him – or gunning for those he loves.  Liz lies and sleeps around, and destroys the only real family the boys have known.  Yeah, that sucks, but with Liz the kids will stay alive. Are we to believe that Carly TRULY believes that Liz is an unfit mother or does misery just loves company?   The writers should explore whether or not Carly finally realizes that she would feel less guilty if other women were in her shoes, putting their children’s lives at risk by handing them over on a silver platter to the mob boys.  It’s the only thing that makes sense of her dialogue.

BRAVA/O to the writers for giving Kristina  enough intellect for herself and for big brother Michael – she is definitely her mother’s daughter.  The writers are overdoing it on the ‘brain injury’ excuse with the Jr. Suckprano.  Yes, Michael is impulsive and has an explosive anger, but STUPID!?!?  He thinks his father was justified in shooting  a police officer for investigating his illegal behavior?  Only Sonny’s children who’ve spent less time with him have seen the light?  They see their father for the criminal he is?  Why won’t the writers allow the rest of the town to open their eyes – Steven Webber who should have slapped Sonny when he threatened his life if Steven didn’t repair the gaping hole Sonny shot into Dom’s chest, or Olivia and Robin who agreed that it wouldn’t have happened had Olivia told him all along that Dominic was his — you know, because then he wouldn’t have shot Dom at close range and would only have tried to kill someone else’s child, not his own.

How about the sympathy everyone is feeling for Sonny?  If Dominic/Dante wakes up forgiving Sonny and hating his mother, or forgiving Sonny and forgiving his mother – as if she needs it, or forgiving Sonny and wanting his parents together, I’m officially DONE and no amount of SCRUBS love or Mac and Alexis will bring me back, folks.  I’ll become a strictly ‘read and shrug’ GHer.

The Bold and The Beautiful

I’m typically never happy when writers SORAS child characters.  It’s almost always for a pointless storyline that would have been better served with a new, adult, character in a separate role.  I’m still bummed about GL replacing the beloved Rachel Miner with Rebecca Budig’s “Michelle Bauer”.  Michelle was transformed from a sweet and adorable child to a teen who couldn’t wait to lose her virginity.  Michelle’s catchphrase became ‘make love to me <insert the name of the new male lead>”  I can’t say that the same is true for the BnB’s Hope Logan. The transition from child to teen character has been flawless.   The writers are milking this one for what it’s worth and working as many angles on it as they can.

Long term viewers will remember that when taylor returned from the dead… AGAIN… Thomas, Phoebe and Steffy were torn. They loved their stepmother, Brooke, and their younger siblings Hope and RJ.  While all three were saddened at losing their family, Thomas in particular vowed to remain a good big brother.  Ridge, devastated by his choice to give up his family  daydreamed of Hope and RJ calling out for their ‘daddy’ in the home they shared.  Hope, who is Ridge’s daughter by choice and love, though not by blood, has added an interesting dynamic.

Ridge is the only father Hope has ever known. Other than ONCE  (and only ONCE) calling ‘Uncle Nick’ daddy, that name has been almost exclusively reserved for Ridge.  Unfortunately for Hope, she’s also been calling Stephanie ‘Grandma’ since she was a toddler.  Hope has never known her biological father, Deacon Sharpe.   So what does it mean, for Hope, when her daddy is torn between his two daughters?  What does it mean when he doesn’t want to take sides, despite the fact that his daughter Steffy is clearly out of control?

The writers were initially all over the place with this storyline – as if they hadn’t made up their mind about which choices Ridge would make.  While Hope was still calling him ‘daddy’, he’d at one point  referred to her as ‘Brooke’s daughter’ – an awful betrayal of fans who’d watched Ridge embrace Hope as his child and even watched him fight for custody of her when he felt that she was at risk living in Brooke’s home.  We watched Ridge put his mother in her place when she tried to use his children with Brooke to destroy her.  He made sure Brooke could see the children as often as she liked.

Betrayal over (for now, anyway).  All that crap about Hope being Brooke’s daughter is gone.  We see Ridge fight for his girl, work hard to protect her, and remind the world that his family is off limits.  Any attack on them is an attack on him.  The scene of Brooke and Ridge each on cell phones calling all of Hope’s friends while looking for her painted the picture of a mother and father who knows their daughter well, and is close enough with her to know how to track her down if they need her.  I did choke a little when Brooke credited Nick for saving Hope (again).  Doesn’t she remember that Hope nearly died, TWICE thanks to Nick’s neglect?  Don’t worry, writers, we’ll remember for you.  You can’t give a man credit for saving the girl when she nearly drowned because he turned his back on her to fight with another man over Bridget.

Also, bonus points for allowing Steffy to semi- escape the poisoned well her mother created, pitting her at odds with the younger sister she’s always known and loved.  Steffy is  still a loser, having her loserdom encoded in her mitochondrial DNA no less, but she’s learning. I do think it’s odd that the soap fashion press would glom on to Hope’s history and her paternal DNA (despite the fact that it’s been no real secret since she was a child.  Ridge was going to take Deacon’s document signing away his paternity rights to court with him some years ago).

Teen Hope matters that much, but the soap fashion press ignores Steffy dating the man who was her uncle most of her life, after he dated her now  deceased sister and after he bedded her mother who was engaged to him?  Those Hayes women have no luck at all.  Nothing they do, no matter how salacious, gets them any attention.  The story of their lives.  Will steffy and taylor ever have scenes that show them bonding over something other than their obsession with the Logans?????

Days of Our Lives

In no particular order:

EJ sucks for continuing to let little Syd cry in agony, without her mother’s touch.  I can’t believe the writers are dragging this kidnapping (called the ‘Sydnapping’ storyline by fans)  go on for so long.  Each day makes EJ seem move inhuman.

Bo sucks for never being able to move on as a SINGLE man not just a separated man.  What is it about divorce ink that Bo is so deathly afraid of?  Would it really hurt the guy to not have a wife and a girlfriend at the same time?

Lucas always rocks – on screen, off screen, in Salem, far away… it sucks that the writers are taking him from us.

Maggie and Melanie rock and I’m almost saddened by the news that Carly is Mel’s mom.  I’d hate to see the writers push Maggie into the shadows to develop the Mel-Carly relationship.  The only thing I am enjoying about the story, rightnow, is how quickly Viv caught on to the fact that Carly had a secret child and that Viv is such a schemer.    I have to wonder if it’s not Vivian who has something to worry, not Melanie.  I think she may be expecting a kinder-gentler version of Carly in Melanie.  That would be a mistake.  BTW, is it me or is it just a little scary that Viv smiles so gleefully when she remember burying Carly and thinks of it as just reliving  ‘good times’?  Egads.

Daniel and Carly or Daniel and Chloe?   Chloe/Daniel/Carly?  If he ends up with Carly, she’d better watch out, I could see the writers having Daniel repeat the Kate-Chloe fiasco – of sorts and Daniel could end up with Melanie, next.  I can’t imagine which scenario Victor would hate worse.  On second thought?  Bring it on!

One Life to Live

Two words:  JUST WATCH.  There’s not one family angle OLTL doesn’t cover.

Couples in love.  Couples in lust.  Couples in trouble.

Brothers fighting over the same woman.  One of them turning to a woman who is surely bad news – just to ease his pain.

Sisters fighting over the same man. One sister lying about the paternity of her unborn child to hang on to that man.

Sisters united by the father they despise who wants to control them.

A long lost (of sorts) brother and sister united by the unstable, psychologically deranged father who wants to own them.

Husbands and wives separated by addiction.

This show is everything a soap was meant to be in the best soap tradition.  Even when OLTL walks up to the edge and risks going too far, it’s the one soap in daytime that knows how to talk itself back down.

It’s the show with something for everyone.

Daytime’s worst psychiatrist: Or why the BnB is a little like watching porn

You’re probably thinking of DAYS’ Marlena Evans.  In her defense we should remember that when Marlena was a venom-spewing cold-hearted, mean- spirited psych0, she was possessed by the devil.   The ‘Worst Psychiatrist’ award goes to someone who is supposed to be ‘healthy’, and has yet to show a reasonable example of good mental health.  For my money, The BnB’s Taylor Hayes tops the list of daytime’s professional mental health  malcontents.   While daytime demeans the work of almost all individuals in all professions, you’d think that daytime writers would be more careful about the portrayals of those in the helping professions.

Instead, police officers are ‘stupid’ and never catch real criminals – unless the guilty are  recurring characters or day players.   Nurses are typically women who are looking to move up the social ladder by latching on to a hot eligible physician, or his married  successful ‘businessman’ brother/father – all of whom are  usually womanizers (how very 1960s).  Mental Health professionals typically need more help than they’re capable of dispensing.

Which brings us back to Taylor Hayes.

It makes sense to me that the writers have penned the new Forrester Creations campaign ‘Hope for the Future’.   Near death experiences, actual death, Alzheimer’s, sexual assault, physical attack, lost love, miscarriages,  public humiliation, you name it and the Logans have experienced it.  Those experiences have made them stronger,and  they push forward after their greatest calamities, continuing to love life and rebuild from what’s left – seeking happiness along the way.  It’s why they resonate with fans in a way the writers haven’t been able to understand as they’ve tried to push them to the margins as the show’s bad girls, but not being able to take the audience along for the ride.  We see them for who they are and the term  ‘bad girls’ doesn’t describe them adequately.  It doesn’t describe them at all.

The Logan women are a lot like many of the viewers who’ve been knocked for a loop on occasion and have had to fight their way back up.  Many soap fans have had to bootstrap after losing someone they love, a home they cared for, children who weren’t theirs by blood- but by deed.  In real life, you do it without complaining about how horrible life is, or moaning that you’re a victim.  So, we have very little patience for people who do pretty stupid things and then whine that they were the victims of others.  We don’t like those who can’t take responsibility for their bullspittle, especially when they keep piling it higher and deeper – or when they fling it at others .

While the writers reveled in the ‘mean girls’ storyline this past year with Stephanie and Taylor plotting to destroy Brooke and Ridge’s happiness, viewers most likely remembered the ‘mean girls’ in their own lives who spent more time tearing others down rather than building themselves up.   These mean girls aren’t ‘pretty’ women frustrated by boredome.  They’re not ‘smart’.  They’re not even likable.  They’re just mean.   Every time Stephanie ‘mean girl’ Douglas, Taylor ‘mean girl’ Hayes, and now Steffy ‘mean girl’ Forrester-Marone starts attacking the Logans as ‘whores and sluts’ with no redeeming value, they remind us of who they are at their core.

The writers can try to tell us that they are women of good character, but the picture they paint through the characters’ actions tell a different story.  I find myself doing one of two things when they’re on, lately – turning the channel or muting the sound.  What can they say that tthey haven’t already said a million times before?  The writers aren’t even creative at coming up with new ways for this legion of doom and gloom to refer to the Logans as ‘cheap’.

Taylor is the worst of the ‘mean girls’ legion for the obvious reason.  She’s supposed to know better!  As a psychiatrist, she’s supposed to be the one who helps her children realize that their irrational fears  are no threat to them.  Her job as a mother, if nothing else, is to help  them become better  and happier people.  For Taylor to encourage Steffy’s asinine sniveling over the ‘Forresters vs. the Logans’ is a true travesty.   At one time, she considered herself  ‘another mother’ to Brooke’s children, and taunted Brooke with that view.  After having taken a huge  Oedipal leap into Rick’s arms, and into his bed, taylor has decided that Brooke’s children are ‘the enemy’ and that Brooke’s children are replacing her children at Forrester Creations and in Ridge’s heart.  She’s decided that it’s ok for her to encourage discord in the Logan-Forrester household by supporting Steffy’s delusions of entitlement and calls to hatred.  She’s doing exactly what Brooke’s accused her of doing, helping to spread poison to the next generation.  Stephanie Douglas couldn’t do it with her own children – who had no quarrel with the Logans, so she created a ‘proxy’ in taylor who helped pick up the call to arms.

If your son is a car bomber, your daughter slept with her ‘uncle’ and is now foolish enough to think that her ‘sweet sweet lovin’ will make a billionaire give back the family company he stole – if she could only get him away from his wife – you might not want to encourage  volatile levels of uncontrollable rage in your children.  You might remind them that while they’re screaming about being ‘outnumbered’, there are actually more Forresters than Logans and even then it doesn’t matter.  You might want to remind them that the children they’re railing against are as much part of the ‘Forrester clan’ as they are – given the fact that their biological father is not a biological Forrester – but  a biological Marone.  Ridge is a Forrester out of love, as are Brooke’s children.  You might want to remind your children that if they pull together as a family – they’re stronger, and more likely to kick Bill Spencer’s butt out of the company.  Rather than helping her children step outside of their self-pity and other- loathing, Taylor would rather encourage them to despise their own siblings.

This storyline has shown us why taylor will never be anything more than window dressing.   She’s a club the writers pull out of the closet to hit the Logans over the head with, and then put away.  The writers don’t care to give her depth, and that’s the real tragedy of the Bold and the Beautiful wasting the fan’s time with a gravely unbalanced show.  Given the fact that the BnB is the second highest rated show in daytime and the most watched soap in the world, I would expect more from the writing.  For  whatever reason the BnB’s dialogue writers have remained the weakest in the field for my money.  I don’t know if their hands are routinely tied by the head writer or if they’ve figured out that the BnB has survived almost purely on the shock value of its plots, and that the dialogue may not matter.

Whatever the issue, watching the BnB is like eating empty calories.  Sure, it’s a thrill at the moment, but when it’s over, you’re still hungry and a little less healthy for the trouble.  I’ve always maintained that the BnB should be the most watched soap in the U.S., as well.  It has all the elements: great production values, iconic actors and characters,  fabulous costuming whenever wardrobe is prevented from going too wild, and a neverending supply of lust filled story arcs.  Lust filled?  WAIT!  Forget the ’empty calories’ analogy.  Watching The Bold and The Beautiful is more like watching soft core porn.

I don’t watch porn, but I understand what it is.  Lots of sex, weak plots, incomplete dialogue that does little more than lead the characters to the path of lots of sex?  Why is that NOT like the BnB?

Rather than make the Logans  passive (which the writers treat the same as passive),  and willing to take all the crap the mean girls throw at them, why not allow them, and those who love them,  to respond with a truth meant to break the mean girl delusions?

Examples?

Steffy:  The Logans are taking over this place!  There’s no room for REAL Forresters.

Rick:  You mean Forresters  like Bridget, Felicia, Thorne, Kristen, their children and Me? Since our father is Eric Forrester and YOUR father  is a Marone?  What else do you have to say about REAL Forresters, Steffy?

*****

Stephanie:  You stole my husband you BITCH!

Brooke:  Sure, because you were happily married before I came along… unless you’ve forgotten that Eric was engaged to my mother after he left you, he dated a slew of Forrester models, and didn’t tell me he loved me until AFTER he was done with you for good – you hateful spiteful miserable self-deluding liar.

I didn’t steal your husband, you pushed him away with your hatred and he did the rest by refusing to allow you to draw him back in.  You blame me for losing him, but you haven’t explained why he turned to every other woman in L.A. BUT you when we were no longer together.  It’s time you stopped blaming me and started looking at why Eric has chosen everyone but you!

and then she walks away!

*****

Taylor:  RIDGE!  our children feel unloved.  They feel replaced and you’re not doing anything to make them feel better.

Ridge:  No taylor, YOU’RE not doing anything to make them feel better.  My relationship with our children hasn’t changed.  Why would you encourage them to believe that they have to fight to be loved?  What’s in it for YOU?  When will you put our children first?

*****

Steffy to Thomas:  If only I could get Bill away from Katie.  I could get him to give the company back.

Hope (who overhears them):  That trust fund you freely spend?  My mother and father’s hard work put that money in your account.  My mother made this company the success it was when she ran it, one of the most successful fashion houses in the history of the business.   She’s forgotten more about this business than you’ll ever  know, Steffy.

The next time you even think of calling my mother a whore, think about the fact that the only contribution you have to offer the company requires you to get on your back to do it.

And SCENE!

Wouldn’ t it be grand to have the mean girl characters get back the hell they give back to others?  We instead get BnB porn:

Steffy to Brooke:  You’re a whore.

Ridge to Brooke:  She made you feel bad?  (Disrobes her) let me make you feel better.

Taylor to Rick:  I’ve lost my child.  I had to give him away.

Rick to Taylor (as he disrobes her):  Let me make it better.
See? No logical response.  No exchanged heated enough to burn the remote out of your hands making it impossible to change the channel.    Bad psychiatry and almost-porn.  If you like either, you’d LOVE the BnB.

DAYS, again: Suzanne Rogers is breaking my heart!

I am mesmerized by this storyline.  The death of Mickey Horton is one of the most well crafted storylines I’ve seen any soap offer in some time – at least as it relates to a character’s death.  Some death scenes are gimmicky (as with Ann Douglas dying on a bed on the beach with her daughters at her side, on the Bold and the Beautiful).  Some are not worth mentioning – but when you kill off major characters, they deserve to be remembered well, and you know who you are you guilty soapgods!!!!

Just when you think that Suzanne Rogers has touched on every form and level of grief possible, she amazes you and hits yet another pitch perfect note:

I’ve been drained watching DAYS this week (uh, these last few days – it hasn’t been a week yet).  I almost feel guilty, as if I’m peeking in, uninvited, on a family’s private moment of pain.   Ms.  Roger’s gives Mickey’s death such realism that I can hardly believe that it’s possible for her to lose an Emmy, in any category she chooses to be nominated in.   This last set of episodes are good enough for DAYS to be considered the coming year’s ‘Best Drama’, in my book.  Unfortunately, I don’t get to hand out the Emmys.  Damn!

Despite the brilliance of her work this moment has to be bittersweet for Ms. Rogers.  John Clarke was her acting partner for decades prior to his retirement in 2004.  While Mickey returned, as portrayed by several notable and laudable actors – including General Hospital’s John Ingle, it was never the same.  No one was ever  able to replace Mickey, as the fans knew and loved him.  It had to have been one hell of a task for  Ms.  Rogers to first have to say good bye to  her long time friend, on set, and to then have to voice Maggie saying  good bye to her long time love, on screen.  She’s risen to the challenge admirably!

Watching Maggie’s scenes with Lucas was especially heartbreaking since Bryan Dattilo will soon vacate the role of Lucas Roberts.  Lucas is a Horton, by birth, and given Mickey’s death and Alice’s absence, it  would be redemptive of the writers to allow DAYS fans to watch Maggie, Hope, and Lucas rebuild the Horton clan.  Lucas Roberts Horton.  It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  Without Lucas and the others, it feels like the death of an era.  Given the loss of two soaps in one year, I’d love for daytime’s  soapgods to give us MORE of our core families and core characters on the remaining daytime serials.  Soap fans, I think, need the consistency.  If the old adage is true, let’s hope that ‘every good-bye ain’t gone’, and that Lucas (portrayed by Dattilo) will return soon!  Aunt Maggie needs him!

DAYS: Mickey Horton/EJ DiMera, emphasis on DiMera

Before discussing the EJ issue, I’d like to them to say:

Good bye, Mickey Horton

(and I hope John Clarke is happy with Mickey’s send off).

Suzanne Rogers, you help to give the show it’s heart.  I hope you’ll stay with us for whatever time is left for the daytime serial.

Thank you, Days writers, for the decades of love and compassion you allowed Mickey and Maggie to bring to screen and share with the rest of us.

Click HERE for a link to a Mickey Horton Tribute site.

On to EJ DiMera, Emphasis on DiMera

Anyone reading this blog for longer than a week knows that I pretty much despise EJ DiMera.  He’s among the lowest form of soap life around, in my book.  Having said that, I LOVE the twist in the kidnapping story.  So EJ was Anna’s accomplice?  It just make sense, even if I didn’t see it coming!  Very clever DAYS writers.  So many writers claim they’re writing mysteries that will shock and amaze fans.   You actually pulled it off.   There’s a lot of good potentially coming out of this storyline.  There are also some problems with EJ’s actions beyond the fact that he’s a kidnapper.  Let me  start with the things that concern me before I tell you what I love about this plot.

The big concerns (EJ/Ejami fans, you may want to skip this):

EJ  threatened poor Faye Walker (Nicole’s mother).

He manhandled Ari Hernandez (Rafe’s sister).  He far to abusive with women.  Only a coward behaves with women the way he does.

He’s fought with Rafe.

He accused Sami of being a bad mother.

He framed Kate and his father for kidnapping.

He had Nicole physically harmed and then jailed for something she didn’t do.

He raised hell with the Salem PD and anyone else who would listen.

All of the above would be classic deflection and brilliant scheming AND make me  fall completely in love with the villain responsible for such evil machinations if it weren’t for one small factor.  EJ was merely victimizing Sami all over again!  How many times  does this man get to victimize her before the writers have her finally cut ties with him?  Isn’t it time to conduct new DNA tests and sever the blood ties Sami’s children currently have with EJ?  Shouldn’t Johnny be Lucas’ child?  The writers could certainly find a way to make Sydney ANYONE but EJ’s kid.  Geez, folks!  Nothing good comes from keeping Sami in the same room with EJ for longer than a minute.  She’s trapped by circumstance.  She shares children with a loon who manipulates her and hurts her repeatedly, for his own amusement.  EJ is sadly sadistic.

So what’s the outcome?  He forces Sami to marry him (or rather has Anna do it) before Sydney can be returned?   He gets her into bed, again?  Has he ever been able to do that without a weapon or without manipulating her?  Is he going to torment Sami until she snaps and then he takes custody of all of her children?  He sets Rafe up to be murdered when Rafe tries to recover Sydney? EJ swoops in to save Sydney in order to impress Sami?  It’s possible that his series of actions are all about undermining Rafe as a partner, as much as they are about punishing Sami, or manipulating her into relying on him.

I don’t want to see them together as a couple – she’s still the woman he raped.  The fact that the writers tried to bury her rape and have her ‘get over it’ to try to force the audience into buying this lackluster couple bears no weight with me.   In fact, the kidnapping storyline strengthens my resolve that Sami should NEVER be with him – their relationship has never been based on anything other than her victimization.  Ej enjoys Sami’s pain far  too much.  It’s too late to undo the damage done in forcing Sami and EJ together.

What I like

This storyline is a shot in the arm to the long drawn out kidnapping fiasco.  Without Ari Zuker’s (Nicole’s) participation in this storyline, it had become little more than an expensively produced sleeping pill… until now!

I’m actually curious about what happens next. It would be great if the writers allowed Sami to be the person to put the pieces of Sydney’s kidnapping together.   I’d love for her to get Sydney back and recognize the scent of EJ’s cologne on the child’s toys and clothing.  Maybe she remembers the sound of a toy in the background during a call from EJ.   She could then set a trap for him, one that leads to his arrest and punishment (whatever that means on this show).  Let it be the beginning of Sami cleansing herself of the hell EJ’s brought into her life.   For all of EJ’s anger at Nicole, his  actions are far worse than hers in my book.  Nicole gave him the chance to know the child Sami planned to give away (still wrong).  EJ has taken a child Sami held in her arms, one she loves, just to torment her.  He is one heartless bastard (which in daytime can be a good thing;  where good = interesting).

We know that most soap characters will never do jail time no matter how heinous the crime  unless the actors portraying them need release time or are leaving their shows for good.  I’m guessing that this storyline was designed to lead to a huge custody battle between Sami and EJ, rather than EJ wearing a matching orange jumper with Nicole.  His desperation to save his rights as a father could lead him to him rely on his father’s help, despite the fact that he may not want to. Will the reunited DiMera men lead a brand new reign of terror in Salem?  That leaves Kate in a pretty strange predicament.  Either Kate would join them – or she would at least allow them to believe she was joining them and secretly work against them if Phillip – through Stephanie, decided to help Sami.  In a war of any kind against the DiMeras,  I could see Victor supporting Phillip  and joining ‘Team Sami”.  He wouldn’t join them because he cares – that’s not who our Victor is.  He’d do it to help get the upper hand on the DiMeras in business by keeping them distracted in the courtroom.  The  Kiriakis-DiMera feud could continue for generations, but don’t worry soap fans.  DAYS will last long enough for you to watch it all unfold.  With  SORASing, great great grandchildren on both sides will be joining the Kiriakis and DiMera matriarchs and patriarchs, in heading into the fray by next Spring!

Too much?  You could be right, and if you are, the writers’ focus could (and should) just as easily be in reconstituting the Brady clan.  A custody battle would be a perfect opportunity to bring the Bradys back together and strengthen the family bond.   Sami has been too passive for far too long when it comes to EJ.  It’s time to unleash the real Sami Brady and watch her lead her family in protecting her children.  Watch out, EJ!  Sami shot the last man who violated her, right in his zipper.  You could be next, and you’re a repeat offender!

EJ vs. JS

While I have no love for EJ, James Scott is a powerful actor who brings so much to DAYS.  I wish the writers would hang up their ratings killing  ‘EJami’ obsession and let this character flourish without the baggage of that storyline.  They can never undo what’s happened between Sami and Ej, so why not let EJ feel true remorse and move on with his life?

His rivalry with Phillip was fun, before it became muderous.  Revive the rivalry.  Let these sons of privilege have a (somewhat) honest but brutal corporate battle.  Doesn’t Victor have a niece who wants to come to town and help run the family business?  EJ is too easily use to being around women he can dominate – he gets that from his father.  What happens if he meets a woman who isn’t afraid of him, who doesn’t think he’s ‘just dreamy’, and who’s capable of serving his backside on a silver platter?  When he’s truly realized the horrors of his past actions with women and is finally redeemed and ready to move forward,  he and Victor’s niece could be a part of a modern Romeo and Juliet storyline – minus the tragedy.  I’d like to see JS transform EJ into a truly viable romantic lead at some point in the future,  though  I’d love for EJ’s life to be about more than the women in it and what he does to them.  Scott  has the ability to play a far more complex character than he’s been allowed to play.  As a DAYS fan, I feel cheated that he’s limited to the role he’s currently playing.

Whores of the world, UNITE! Women in Daytime, Vol. 2

Women in daytime = whores.  At least, I think they’re the same.  I dunno.  It’s hard for me to figure it all out since I’m just a woman.    Either I’ve been watching too much daytime or it’s the peyote… (just kidding on the last part, though given what some shows are doing to daytime women and viewers as a consequence, a little peyote might make daytime shows go down a little easier).

General Hospital

I’m all about the ‘I told you so’ lately and I want to hand one out to the writers of GH.  I’ve never been impressed with the casting of James Franco in the role of ‘Franco’  and have been horrified by the drooling and self-congratulating  linked to the casting of JF in the role.  The fact that the character was named  Franco was enough to tell me about the lack of creativity  attached his development.  It seemed to be all about stunt casting and the hope that a primetime/big screen actor could save GH from falling ratings.

It feels as if  GH’s PTB were so convinced that negative stereotypes about daytime viewers were real, the stereotype that we’re just a bunch of sex-starved panty-clinching rubes, who lick our screens whenever a hot male actor is featured, that casting JF as ‘Franco’ made sense!  As if we don’t already have enough testosterone filled doom and gloom on screen! (As for that screen licking part, I freely admit that I do think about licking the screen when Jason Thompson’s Patrick is on, but hell, who doesn’t?) The idea that “Franco” would cause us to swoon was as big a fallacy as almost everything else the GH writers have offered us by way of propping the Suckpranos storyline.   I don’t want to see one more character, stunt casting or otherwise, sacrificed on the altar of the mob boys.

  • Give Olivia her brain back.   She was such a strong vibrant character for so long and now she’s a walking-talking mess.   All the daydreaming about Sonny  makes me ill.  If I had to worry about Sonny putting a bullet in my kid’s head because my kid was a cop working to make the world safe?  I wouldn’t be able to daydream about having sex with the guy or daydream about him holding my hand. I wouldn’t even daydream about spitting on the guy if he was on fire!  What’s wrong with this woman?  What’s with her libido?  Sonny rocked her world over two decades ago, bedded and nearly wedded her cousin – swore his eternal love for Kate before the world while barely noticing or remembering Olivia, and she’s still lusting for him?  STOP! IT!
  • Quit making Carly an idiot who treats Jax’s child as Sonny’s future ‘kidnapped bait’ child.  It’s disgusting.  Notice that when Carly was listing off the children who were protected by Sonny’s grace, she included Josslyn, and not Molly?  STOP IT!
  • STOP making Lulu fall for the mob boys and/or supporting them to the point of even trying to convince the police that they really deserve to be set free instead of in prison where they belong.  Stop making her fall for anyone connected, even tangentially, to the mob boys.   Whatever those mob boys have going on below the belt must be some powerful mojo!  And it’s demeaning to us all.
  • Quit making me feel sorry for Rebecca “NotEmily” Shaw by having her actually be the voice of logic and reason before you ship her off.  I really resent you for this one, GH writers.  I’m an avowed ‘Remily’ hater and to leave me cheering for her is one of your worse offenses, yet.  Even still, I grew tired of the “Liz is a slut’ mantra she had going – not that I disagree with the sentiment, just the constant expression of it.  I did enjoy the fact that she continued to remind Liz that her house of cards would soon fold.  The sendoff for Rebecca, the Emily- clone was perfect, by having her make friends with a Zander clone… Chad Brannon was pretty darned delicious looking.  When his clone character drops  Rebecca off in Paris, have him come back!   Patrick’s stalker ex could use a good hook up – then again, so could Matt Drake, who spends far too much time trying to convince Robin that her marriage is in trouble!
  • Maxie, Maxie, Maxie… REALLY?  She’s gives herself to Franco for the sake of getting him to agree to help her out professionally?  Then she tries to pimp out Spinelli to make herself feel better?  She gives relationship advice to Max and Diane about ‘balanced cheating’?    Maxelli, Scrubs Love, and Jax and Carly were the only interesting things GH had going in its favor and the writers are slowly dismantling all three.  Speaking of…
  • For the love of all that’s soap-holy… give me a Scrubs storyline that has nothing to do with old girlfriends crawling out of the woodwork!  Yeah, yeah… Patrick puts it on ’em… they can’t get enough… once you go Patrick, you never go back… Even though I can believe that his arrogant aloof treatment of women made them want him more, I’m getting tired of women who are attracted to him on that basis.  The writers made the courageous decision to make him a happy family man, now I wish they’d make the courageous decision to create family driven storytelling around the Scorpio-Drake clan.  What makes Patrick attractive is that he’s a man who loves his wife and child.  Having him betray them would destroy that.  Leave something that’s still a little pure and  just for us.

I’d love it if the GH powers that be would stop treating women (onscreen) like a bunch of ‘spare parts’ waiting to be traded by GH males, as they’re needed.  Bringing on stellar actors like James Franco can’t  cover the holes in plots, the obsession with the dark  arts of the mob boys, or the weak female characters who aren’t just damaged- they’re damned deranged.  Treating your viewers like sex-starved fiends who’ll gladly buy what you’re selling won’t help either.  I know it’s not just my perspective that GH has lost what made it great… I’ve seen the ratings.  GH is hemorrhaging viewers and the great ‘Franco’ (onscreen Franco) doesn’t deliver a big enough draw to stop it:

Ratings for the week December 7-11, 2009 (when the character Franco’s arrival and work should have made a difference)
HH
1. Y&R 3.7/12 (+.2/same)
2. B&B 2.4/8 (+.1/-.4)
3. DAYS 2.2/7 (+.2/+.1)
4. AMC 2.0/6 (+.1/same)
5. ATWT 1.9/6 (+.1/-.1)
5. GH 1.9/6 (same/-.3)
7. OLTL 1.8/6 (same/ -.2)

Week of December 14 – 18th)

HH
1. Y&R 3.5/12 (-.2/-.3)
2. B&B 2.3/8 (-.1/-.4)
3. DAYS 2.1/7 (-.1/same)
4. AMC 2.0/7 (same/-.1)
5. GH 1.9/6 (same/-.3)
6. ATWT 1.8/6 (-.1/-.3)
6. OLTL 1.8/6 (same/-.3)

Week of December 21 – 25
HH
1. Y&R 3.5/11 (same/-.2)
2. B&B 2.3/7 (same/-.3)
3. DAYS 2.0/6 (-.1/-.1)
3. AMC 2.0/6 (same/same)
5. ATWT 1.8/5 (same/-.1)
5. GH 1.8/5 (-.1/-.4)
7. OLTL 1.7/5 (-.1/-.3) <—— ties low rating (Last time: August 31 – September 4, 2009)

Ratings courtesy of Soap Opera Network:  SON

So why am I still watching? I don’t think soap fans like me want too much.  We just want a balance.  How about  2  smart women for every woman who is lobotomized for the sake of the dark storylines?  I’m hoping Scrubs will survive and find a real storyline and that the writers will give us a storyline about them that will engage the audience without either of them cheating, I’ve FINALLY gotten the Mac and Alexis pairing I’ve been pimping for, through 2009  (don’t think I’m not grateful, just realize I’m not fully satisfied.  They’re off to a great start, and I need MORE).  Dare I hope that Mac/Alexis/Robert/Anna/Robin/Patrick  would be able to restore law and order to PC and that they turn the town around and take down the real bad guys?  I’m hoping that smart, funny, and strong-if-not-neurotic, women like Robin and Alexis (and yes, even Diane) will be allowed to lead the way.

One Life to Live

Nora Buchanan.   Nora is the woman who slept with her ex, Sam Rappaport, and passed his child off as her husband Bo’s child.  Even better is the fact that she did it for Bo– whose son was recently killed.  That was the rationalization she gave for betraying her husband, she most saintedly did it FOR his sake – all the while knowing that Sam was deeply in love with her and knowing what the emotionally fallout might be.   Fortunately (or unfortunately)  for all involved, after Bo and Sam’s deep pain, it turns out that Matthew was Bo’s son after all.  Now we have Nora, who’d been warned/pleaded with/begged not to marry Clint because she didn’t really love him, has now left Clint to be with Bo – during a dark time in Clint’s life.

Once again, another ABC male refers to the cheating lying woman who betrayed him as a whore – I can understand Clint’s rage and his willingness to throw Nora’s past in her face.. I just wish I hadn’t already been overwhelmed with the use of the word ‘whore’ from almost every other ABC male before that.  Nora’s reaction was still priceless.  She’s rude and judgmental and has made a habit of telling others why they’re so unworthy of being loved or trusted.   She was stunned that anyone would dare give her the same treatment.  I wasn’t crazy about Clint’s choice of words, but I’m glad that the writers finally allowed someone to point out to Nora what a hypocrite she is.

True to form, Nora didn’t let a little thing like the truth stop her from being who she is.  A full scene later, SHE referred to Kim as ‘that slut’, the ‘whore in her husband’s bed’, a ‘tramp’… uh huh… Sweet irony!  She was talking to Bo, Clint’s brother, the man she’d been having an emotional (almost sexual) relationship with and lying to Clint about it when she said it… YIKES!  Something about the way Bo and Nora are getting together and the pain it’s causing Clint that’s causing me to want to root for Clint and Kim (a couple I’d previously referred to as the reincarnation of Asa and Blair).

Somehow, the writers managed to give Clint and Kim depth.  Kim was fixated on her ‘plan’ to get Clint into bed to help him forget Nora.  She’d treated Clint like a feeble and emotionally dependent ‘old man’ who would be felled by a little bit of a wiggle and giggle.   Kim would have loved Asa – being felled by a wiggle and giggle was more his speed.  Clint had already had her investigated.  He knew about her stripper past, and didn’t care.  He also knew that she thought she was gaming him, and he didn’t care.  He knew that her plan to ‘drink him under the table’ was about taking advantage of him… and he didn’t care because he also knew three other things:

1 – He had the truth on his side and still had the upper hand.

2 – That being involved with the town’s  ‘sainted woman’  isn’t a guarantee that you’ll end up with an honest woman who’ll treat you well.

3 – That Kim isn’t all bad.   Her bark is worse than her bite.  Despite the fact that there is a risk of turning Kim into a ‘hooker with a heart of gold’ stereotype, the writers have so far avoided taking her quite that far.

The storyline seems to be shaping up into one in which the person in need of rescue may be KIM, not Clint.  He’s as intent on using her as she was on using him.   I hope that doesn’t happen, because despite my exhaustion with female-male May-December romances, there’s something about this pairing that I like. Nice touch, writers, on having Kim’s plan fail when she underestimated his ability to hold his liquor.  BRAVO for letting Clint walk away despite Kim’s offer to let him spend the night and having him warn her to quit while she was ahead.  I could root for them as a couple – with Melissa Archer’s Natalie fighting with Kim and making her work to prove her love for Clint.  I could <gulp> just as easily  root for them developing a strong father-daughter relationship (Oedipal, I know) or have them remain as good friends.  Either way, I’m hoping to see far more of Clint and Kim than Bo and Nora.  SON’s  CarlID offered this observation:

It’s interesting to see the fallout of the Bo and Nora reunion. They were a beloved couple many years ago but not only have times changed, many of the people who were in their lives at that time have changed. It’s like, what if you reunite a supercopule and no one cheered? I don’t mean the fans, I mean the characters in their lives. You don’t have a lot of people endlessly going, “You’re fated to be together,” as you do with many other couples on the show. I also think it would be an interesting writing choice if Matthew wasn’t thrilled they were back together and preferred them apart.

I’ll add one other observation about this storyline.  I found Nora’s reaction to seeing Clint with Kim unusual.  Kim was the whore in her husband’s bed?  Why did she care, she was dumping him!?!?! You’d think she’d want Clint to find someone, ANYONE to take the heat off of her betrayal of Clint.  Is it possible that Nora will wake up and realize that her rekindled love for Bo was based on their mutual concern for Matthew and his health issues?  Could Nora wake up and realize that she was happier with Clint than she imagined?  What happens then?  Where does she turn?  Does anyone care?

BTW, folks, is it just me, or did Jerry Ver Dorn make Clint his own with this bend in the storyline?  JVD’s left me breathless!

Tea Delgado/Blair Manning… not whores, they’re just written to allow Todd Manning to treat them as if they are.

Days of Our Lives

Two words:  Carly Manning.  Two more words:  EPIC FAIL.  There are some soap staples I can’t get enough of:  scheming liars who are eventually figuratively  beaten down and forced to eat their own misery.  Bad boys who are only clever by half and outwitted by their victims, victims they eventually fall in love with.  Anything to do with corporate intrigue.  Good old-fashioned romance.  Deep dark family secrets – that have nothing to do with long lost children.

The one plot I’m pretty freaking tired of is the damsel in distress who can’t get enough of the man she left behind and (oh gosh) if only he’d choose her over his wife and family.  He (being the real ‘whore’ in this scenario) decides that he can’t leave her to her own fate and risks losing his wife and child/children, while keeping secrets with the damsel in distress.  It’s not a stretch to believe that daytime writers typically set this storyline up to do one of two things:  try to make us root for our damsel in distress and if that fails, we’re to hate her as a home-wrecking ‘whore’ who broke up a perfectly happy and  loving family.

You’d think that watching her ‘get hers’ would be satisfying – assuming that the lunkhead goes back to his family and treats his wife as his equal partner, and not his potential mistress.   It’s not.   In reality, for fans like me, it only causes us to dislike BOTH partners – the cheating spouse and the idiotic woman who finds his willingness to betray his family a ‘thrill’ and further evidence that she is the object of his desire, not his wife and family. She’s only the next woman to be betrayed when his former victim/spouse becomes the damsel in distress. It’s all less satisfying because he’ll never ‘get his’.  He’ll just become the object of desire for two women – who’ll continue to fight over him until one of them is exhausted or dead.

Isn’t it time for daytime writers to leave iconic couples alone and find new ways to make them relevant to the audience?  Haven’t we seen these storylines play out a million times before?  Viewers exiting daytime in droves isn’t enough evidence that we want something more?  When did daytime become a genre about deconstructing and destroying rather than building something new or building better and higher on the strong foundation already in place?  Where are the powerful female characters who leave us feeling unashamed of being daytime viewers?

If you’ve made it this fair, I’m sure you’re wondering why I’ve left poor embattled CBS off the list.  Am I sympathetic to the network that’s lost two soaps in two years?  Nope.  I just don’t have the room to continue with CBS’ list of maltreated women in daytime.  This blog would have to be at least three times as long as it is now.  I’m saving that one for a later date.

Suffice it to say, if daytime really is dead -running on fumes,  kicking the bucket, headed for the big one, living on borrowed time… I’d greatly enjoy being able to celebrate women in daytime before it goes.  What do daytime writers have to lose?