BnB: You Always Hurt the One You Love

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If you: repeatedly work to end a woman’s marriage, facilitate her rape after calling her a whore, leave her fragile Alzheimer’s afflicted mother alone to drown, facilitate having her children  to grow up without a stable family, behave in such a heinous way that her brother flips out trying to stop you and ends up eventually taking his life once his switch has been flipped, repeatedly try to take custody of her children for your own personal gain, and attempt to murder her on more than one occasion – alternating murder attempts with bouts of public humiliation… well!  Don’t lose hope!  There IS a way to make it up to her in one magical truly painless (for you, that is)  moment:

Even for daytime, this was one weak response to Brooke finding out that the woman she believed had finally come to love and respect her had instead intentionally inflicted harm yet again.  If I had a nickel for every time the writers have had Brooke fall for that lie, I’d own controlling interest in Microsoft!  Granny Stephanie talked idiotic  Thomas into lying and allowing his father to believe that he slept with his stepmother and that she was covering up the ‘dirty deed’.  Brooke raised Thomas for part of his young life – when he was still a decent and loving human being.  She supported him when he  had no support from the rest of his family.  In the end, Stephanie was able to convince him to turn on his stepmother with very  little persuasion needed.

Given the level of betrayal and inflicted damage, it’s disturbing that the writers have chosen to resolve the storyline this way. It feeds the stereotype about the lack of seriousness in daytime writing and production and helps any newbie who attempts to watch the genre understand why so many actors divorce themselves from their daytime past once they make it beyond the fuzzy daytime curtain.  The title of the song could have just an easily applied to the impact of the writing on daytime fans, or would if anyone actually believed that daytime writers even LIKED, much less loved or respected their fans.   On one hand, I’m sympathetic to the need to end a stinker of a storyline (like the trudge reunion) as quickly as possible.  I have to wonder if BnB writers needed to hurriedly wrap the non-reunion storyline to make Steph and Brooke allies in the fight against Taylor, Bill, and Steffy.  The problem is that I (and I’m betting most soap fans) don’t need Stephanie to be Brooke’s ally. I would have loved for the writers to have cast Elizabeth Hubbard (ATWT’s Lucinda Walsh) or Melody Thomas Scott (Ex-/Maybe Current Nikki, YnR) as Beth’s wealthy sister who has been estranged from the family since Beth married Stephen Logan — the man she loved first.  Aunt Patience Logan could have suffered a recent loss — her own husband dying tragically.   With her adult children living their own lives, the loss leads her to realize how alone she is, and how ashamed she feels that she never made peace with her sister, Beth, before she died. It would motivate her make peace with her newfound family, learn the lay of the land, and then go all kick ass on Steph and her trashy crew, knocking them all on their butts.  Aunt Patience would help empower her nieces as they’ve never been empowered before. I’d love her to have a vast fortune, big enough to make the Spencer fortune look like spending change and to use it to bring the pain!  The BnB doesn’t often promote strong female leads and when it does, they often become psychotic, whether they’re recognized as such (Sheila Carter) or not (Stephanie Douglas Forrester).  Aunt Patience would hopefully avoid becoming such a caricature.

Double my pleasure!  Make Aunt Patience’s first-born son, a cousin the Logans have never met,  a dead ringer for Stormy Logan, assuming it’s even possible for  DeVry to return given his busy filming and taping schedule … Is he Stephen’s son or is the resemblance due to their shared maternal lineage?    New Storm (Thunder/Rain Cloud/Lightening) could end up falling for Felicia, complicating his mother’s plans to ruin the Forresters once and for all — but  make that complicate, not end or deter.  I would DELIGHT in watching Aunt Patience, sitting back in the FC CEO’s chair, forcing Stephanie to drop to her knees and beg for the life of her family’s company.  I would REVEL in watching Aunt Patience turn over half of FC stock (maybe 60%)  to Hope because she has never been involved with a Forrester and would be less least likely to sign over the shares at some point.  She could then allow the Forrester family split the remaining stock.  Brooke would, of course, manage her daughter’s interests.

If the writers aren’t invested in bringing in new characters, how about forcing Stephanie to sign her 25 percent over to Brooke?  Brooke and Ridge would then, as a couple, effectively run FC again. 

How about having Brooke and Steph rehash the forgotten forged letter that ended Brooke’s marriage to Eric, only to have Eric overhear it and dump Steph once and for all?  (No, REALLY, no going back!)   It’s time to bring a woman into Eric’s life that makes him a romantic lead again, instead of having him live out his days as Stephanie’s sock puppet.  As a parting shot, Eric could inform Stephanie that she’s been blinded all these years about who the viper in her bosom actually is and then tell her about Taylor sending him to end things with her  for good  to prove that he wanted to be with her and only her.  Stephanie would wake up too late to the realization that Brooke has never been out to destroy her and in trying to destroy Brooke (Hope, and RJ – Bridget and Rick before them) she’s lost the family she claimed to love.   Jackie and Eric, Part 2?   Wouldn’t that leave Owen free to go back to Bridget and his son?  I could stomach that at this point — especially if Bridget and Owen then found out that Nick was the child’s father and had to figure out how to make their relationship work in light of the news.

What if Stephanie really WAS ostracized this time?  Why not begin to build a brand new storyline around her?  Get Stephanie out of the fashion industry and doing something with her life that benefits others.  The current storyline has trivialized her work with the homeless, which was apparently a hobby in between her moments of obsession with Brooke and Brooke’s marriage to Ridge.  Rather than another physical illness, which leaves most fans with little sympathy for her) why not have Stephanie go back to her abuse storyline and have her work with a competent psychiatrist to break her bad habits to manipulating, betraying, and controlling?  Maybe Dayzee has an abusive ex-boyfriend  who shows up and jump starts the storyline.  What if Stephanie accidentally kills him during an altercation and tries to hide the evidence of her crime in a real ‘whodunit?’.  What if the writers have his father/brother/sister come looking for him, slowly putting the pieces together, and who begins tormenting Stephanie until the truth is revealed.   Anything that keeps her from meddling in her adult children’s lives works for me.

Brooke forgave the rape Stephanie facilitated.  She forgave Steph for the fake heart attack she used to break up her family.  She forgave Stephanie leaving her agitated mother to drown.  She forgave Stephanie’s torment of her brother and her siblings. She forgave Stephanie’s various attempts to destroy her children’s happiness.  All the while she was maltreated by Stephanie, she’s has repeatedly fought for Steph’s health, her life, and has done everything she could to become ‘true family’ with  her.   After more than 20 years of torment, closer to 30 years onscreen, at what point does Brooke get to kick Stephanie’s butt, figuratively or literally?

The above  “forgiveness scene”  was the equivalent of ordering a cup of tea, savoring every bit until the end, where the last taste is bitter.  What a pity. I don’t want Brooke to become the vicious and angry pantload Stephanie has always been.  I just want a feeling of ‘satisfaction’ when one of the BnB’s “big” storylines is resolved.  The level of betrayal Brooke experiences at Stephanie’s hands, the sheer number of TEARS that woman cries, suggests that a much stronger response is needed.  Double dating with the man who left you last week, and his parents, on the eve of his would- be wedding, while his psychotic mother warbles out a classic just doesn’t do it for me.

National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.  Watching soaps today, alone,  would make you question, 1 –  whether writers were aware of the  significance of this month, 2 – if they would care if they were aware of it.  According to RAINN, every 2 minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.   Click the RAINN symbol to learn more about SAAP month, and to find events taking place in your local area. Today, on almost every soap left on air, a woman was nearly sexually assaulted, emotionally assaulted, or physically assaulted – almost none for the sake of furthering a discussion about sexual and other violent assaults.  Almost all for the sake of ‘entertainment’.  Check the ratings, writers, we – your primarily female audience, are not amused or entertained by such storylines.

1.  Days of Our lives. I’ve thought of EJ as a coward for quite a long time.  Today’s episode just made things a heck of a lot worse.  If your father is a murderous psychopath and you’re quickly following in his footsteps, then it makes sense that you don’t care to protect your partner in crime from your father’s tyrannical wrath.   It makes you appear to be less human, as well.   Too busy trying to cover his own arse, EJ has made no moves to stop others from thinking of Anna as a vile kidnapper who tormented a  young infant girl for months after she’d already lost the only mother she’d ever known.    If you were watching today’s episode, you witnessed Stefano Dimera, EJ’s father, physically assault his former daughter-in-law, his deceased son’s wife.  Tony might have killed Stefano for slapping his wife.

The excuse is supposed to be, I’m sure, that Stefano had no idea that Anna wasn’t alone in kidnapping his granddaughter when he slapped her.   My response?  WHO CARES!?!?!  She as alone, half dressed and defenseless against him and the goons he brought with him.  That scene was heartbreaking from beginning to end.   It was in fact EJ, the child’s father, who concocted the scheme and convinced Anna to become his partner in crime.  It was his son EJ, who got the ‘bright’ idea to cover the child’s clothing in blood and make everyone think the infant had been murdered.  Will Stefano slap him across the face?  Will he have his son dragged off with threats of death?  Is that behavior reserved only for women ‘who have it coming’?

While EJ sat home, basking in the glow of being complimented for being a ‘great dad’, Anna was being slapped around, manhandled by Stefano’s goons, and had to plead for her life, as Stefano promised her that she would not be alive  much longer.  DAYS has done a lot of things right, but  this was dead wrong and made it clear how parasitic the Dimera men’s relationships with women are.  EJ professes love, two children later, to the woman he raped at gunpoint, and while he sat with her  trying to convince her he was a new man, Anna faced violence and certain death.

2.  The Bold and the Beautiful. I watched the last 10 minutes of the show, today – apparently ten minutes too many!  It was a continuation of Donna Logan Forrester being treated as if she was disposable by her husband, Eric Forrester.  This follows an earlier discussion in which he screamed at her in front of his ex wife and his former sister-in-law (both of whom have attacked Donna physically and verbally).  Earlier he’d faulted Donna for never being on his side – a full-throated lie.  He’s clearly ‘finished’ with Donna and finds excuses to scream and yell at her, including faulting Donna  for her brother-in-law’s partnership with his WILLING ex-wife, who helped weaken his company before Bill Spencer bought it out from from under him.  Eric accepts no responsibility for being a lousy businessperson.  He also gives Donna ZERO credit for being willing to deceive her own sister to help him get his company back.  He screams at her, demeans her, and then she returns home to beg for his forgiveness for not being tolerant enough of his needs.  If she was a friend of mine in a marriage like that, I would be advising her on thinking about how to get out of it, or at least  how to protect herself from a man like Eric Forrester.

3.  One Life to Live. Schuyler Joplin has been just about as perfect a man as one can be in daytime.  He’s thoughtful, loving, kind, and patient… which means that when he had to be torn down to prop the show’s resident snooze producing couple – the writers took the lowest possible  route to try to make him unlikable to fans.  His soap day started with him being  a loving father who only wanted the best for his child.  He finds out the child he’s been loving isn’t his and just a few hours later he’s holding Gigi Morasco hostage at gunpoint, trying to force her to undress so  they can have sex and he could prove to her that they still have a special relationship.  He doesn’t want to be alone.

Pretty.Damned.Pathetic.

Soaps use to write rape storylines to  sway fans’ sympathy in the direction of ‘bad girls who needed redeeming’.  Now they use rape as a way of trying to sway fans’ ire at male characters they want to get rid of — most of the time.  Sometimes they decide that the rapist isn’t all that bad and try to redeem him or try to get the audience to accept his attempt to get his victim to fall in love with him.  It’s that sort of  clumsy and careless storytelling that makes soap fans ashamed of the genre.

4.  General Hospital. Kristina, after ignoring Ethan’s pleas to not allow the entire town, most especially her murderous mob father, believe that he’d beaten her up- as he was innocent – was beaten again today by her boyfriend, Kiefer.  I’d watched DAYS’ Anna being slapped around, DAYS’ Sami talking about her lovelife with her rapist,  OLTL’s Gigi held at gunpoint and potentially raped, BnB’s Donna beg forgiveness for being treated poorly, and then Kristina.  I am emotionally drained and most especially because it’s clear that daytime writers still don’t get it.

As usual, the storyline hasn’t been about this poor teenage girl who is being harmed, it’s about the adults around her – her mother who took the time to run down her attacker with her car while on the way to the hospital to get help for Kristina, her angry mob boss father, Ethan -the wrongfully accused… but very little about the survivor.

I’m hoping we’ll see more of Kristina, in therapy to learn that it’s not her fault she’s been attacked, or that we’ll get to see her confront Kiefer and make him realize how badly he’s hurt her.  As I’ve written about before, it would be best to see HIM in therapy – helping him figure out why he’s so violent towards  women.

Soaps do a lot with the ‘assault’ part, nothing much with the  ‘prevention’.   Were women victims of assault and violence on the other two soaps?  Probably, I’m just glad I missed it – I’ve had more than my fill in just a single day.  It’s depressing.

It happens in the best of (soap) families…

First the good stuff. I don’t know why it’s never dawned on me before, but why or WHY hasn’t DAYS – which  happens to be in striking distance of the BnB in the ratings, taken advantage of the colossal blunder  made by the BnB’s sister soap, the YnR?  Why hasn’t DAYS hired Victoria Rowell as a new character?  YnR’s  PLTB (Powerless That Be) are  determined to not bring Rowell back to daytime in a role she made iconic.  Why not hire Ms. Rowell for DAYS and tie her to honest Abe Carver.  His image has been a little ‘too clean’ for a soap character.  I don’t want him to become a bad guy, or learn that he was ever a ‘bad’ man.  It might be worthwhile to find out that Abe was once a conflicted man. He was in love with a woman with a shady past and did things he’d never expected to do.   Maybe Abe demands perfection in Lexie because he’s loved a woman who’s driven him down the wrong path before and is afraid to go there again.

TPTB won’t hire her because of money?  I know, I know… but I could name a number of characters – starting with the teens, the show could “clear house”  with in order to afford bringing Rowell on board.  It just  might surprise you to know that James Scott’s Ej Dimera is not on the list!  We’ll need him around for at least a while longer.

Imagine that Brandon returns and wants his father to meet a woman he’s fallen in love with – a woman he wants to marry.  It turns out that she’s

1.  a cougar and

2 – a woman from Abe’s past.

She knew Abe when he wasn’t so sainted- chasing down crooked cops and busting drug rings!  She’s someone who knows where Abe buried the bodies  (so to speak)  and is someone against whom Abe’s defenses are weak.  His attraction to her is chemical, undeniable, and a threat to his marriage and to his standing in the community.  Let’s not mention the fact that a relationship with this woman would be toxic to the relationship Abe shares with his son, Brandon.  It took a lot for Abe to get beyond Lexie’s affair with Brandon, could Abe make the mistake of falling into bed, again, with this woman?  The woman his son loves?  Lexie has spent most of their marriage cheating on Abe and awaiting his forgiveness – now she’ll have to worry about whether Abe will be the one to next break their marriage vows and if she would be able to forgive him.  Ultimately he would remain faithful, though we would find out that he has a lot more to  lose than his marriage by having this woman present.

Not being able to destroy the Carver marriage, being dumped by Brandon – who moves on with Arianna Hernandez, VR’s character would of course form an alliance with DAYS other uber-evil villain, EJ Dimera.  Both characters are matched as  equally deadly manipulators.  EJ relies on her expertise but always makes sure she knows that their partnership is predicated on her commitment to stay away from Abe, Lexie, and Theo… but can she do it?  EJ, torn between his friendship with, love for, and growing reliance on this woman and his love for his  family.  The town of Salem would never be the same again!

Speaking of  Soap Families

Parasites come in all shapes, sizes, and genders.   The three major categories of dysfunctional soap family members  include the non-criminal philanderer, the non criminal self-pitying liar, and the criminal take-by-force loser.

The Philanderer

Every (soap) family has that one philandering dolt who makes you feel dirty just by shaking his hand – which is a bad move since you never know where that hand has been.  You just know that it’s been a lot of places you’d never go.  On the BnB?  That would be Eric “naked on the ledge” Forrester.  Eric’s treatment of women is, and always has been, rather shabby.  He’s been cheered on as a romantic hero, but he’s neither romantic, nor a hero as far as I’m concerned.  I think fans are finally beginning to see Eric as the lowly worm he truly is.  Is he only more clearly viewed as  a Lothario because he has yet to change his behaviors?  A man his age, who still can’t be faithful to a faithful wife is far from appealing.   His actions include:

1.  Declaring his love for his son’s former fiancee moments after leaving his wife of decades.  Let’s face facts, lesser men would have left Stephanie about an hour after she gave birth – after finding out that the kid she gave birth to was healthy.  It would have been hard to blame him for wanting to be a single dad rather than chain himself to a hate-filled harpy like Stephanie.   She’s not exactly ‘lovable’, except in rare occasions and for Eric that has typically meant whenever someone younger and warmer was available.  The problem is that he DID chain himself to her.  So his inability to live  up to his commitment leaves you weary.  The man comes and goes like a rock star on tour – and Stephanie Douglas is his most fervent groupie.

2.  When Brooke dumped him for Ridge, Eric moved on to psychotic Sheila Carter, and after a while on to taylor – who was dumped by the same son who left Brooke earlier, and any other half-wit who would have him.  Each time Stephanie grabbed on to his coattails and begged for crumbs… and he gave them to her.

3.  He returned to Stephanie only to end up cheating on her just before their wedding. He cheated with a woman who was like a daughter to her, Lauren Fenmore.

4.  He tried returning to Brooke.  Later returning to Stephanie when that fell through.

5.   He later married Brooke’s sister, Donna Logan, but only after cheating on Stephanie (who was in hiding after facilitating Brooke’s sexual assault).  What lousy circumstances under which Eric took Donna Logan to bed.  It was mere weeks after finding that that Donna was sleeping with his youngest son in order to use him to tear the Forrester family apart.  A heart-broken Thorne dumped Donna at the altar – Eric slept with her.

6.  After all of the above, I never grew to like Donna and Eric, but it was clear that she really did love the artful dodger.  It was Donna who fought the Forresters to keep Eric on life support when they were ready to pull the plug.  It was  Stephanie who gave Eric a knee to the groin in front of their adult children.  It was  Donna who went along with a plan to regain the company for Eric even if it meant betraying the trust of baby sister Katie… It was Stephanie who was at fault for helping the Forresters lose the company in the first place.  Eric is returning to Stephanie… a woman who tried to destroy his life’s work and tried to turn his children against him.

Whatever unfortunate thing happens to him is all he deserves and more.  By the way, it’s pretty awful when clips for your show fits the theme song to a slapstick comedy.  BRAVO to the genius backstage who put this together!  (At least you have a sense of humor about the show you’re producing):

OLTL writers must look at the BnB’s Eric with a sense of awe.  The Power(less) That Be  must love the guy, because it’s the road I see John McBain taking for as long as the show is on the air.  Loving that man is a no-win proposition for any OLTL woman.  Johnny McBain loves no woman as much as he loves the idea of living in misery… the women he ‘loves’ just end up along for the ride.

Both men should make room for the YnR’s Victor, who treats women as useless if they’re not grabbing pom poms and cheering on his self-indulgent tendencies.  They may as well be packaged in tissues boxes.  Victor uses one, and tosses her aside as he grabs the next.

All three aregoing to find themselves  riding in a crowded car if they have to make room for GH’s loathsome Sonny Corinthos and Sonny’s enormous ego.  I hope that car has a big trunk!  It will have to carry the emotionally and spiritual dead bodies of the women Sonny has loved, maltreated, discarded, disrupted, and left as empty hollow shells.

The Self-Pitying Liar

The BnB leads the way again.  Two words: taylor hayes… ok, two more: Stephanie Forrester… WAIT, two more:  Steffy Forrester (Marone) – That’s three, right?  Steffy has proven herself as taylor’s daughter, Stephanie’s granddaughter.  I’ve never seen writers utterly destroy three female characters by writing them as utterly obsessed with another character – one Brooke Logan.  I could show you a million clips of these women plotting (taylor and stephanie before steffy came along) and if you watched the show’s factual history, you would be shocked to hear them constantly whining about the ‘pain’ Brooke has cost them.  Before Stephanie facilitated the rape of Brooke Logan, she tried to convince Brooke to take her life, and even gave her the gun to do it with… oh yes, that’s right… Brooke is the threat to the Forresters.  Does Steffy has any idea how awful her mother and grandmother are?  Does she care?  She’s lied more since she became daytime’s lead self-pitying liar than any other character has in a decade!

The Take-by-Force loser

Oh come on, DAYS FANS, you knew it was coming!  The scurge that is EJ so perfectly fits this category.  I love that Will has no use for the man who violated his mother.  Sami’s oldest child so clearly understands what kind of man EJ is and wants him GONE. Good boy, Will.  It would be a HUGE mistake, for a show that’s doing so well, to try to sell the audience on the notion that Will wants to eventually become buds with the man who raped his mother and produced one child – and manipulated and violated his mother to produce another.  I know that Sami feels ‘trapped’ in some way because she’s had two children with EJ , but she really needs to let them visit with him at his place.  EJ’s presence is a constant reminder of what he’s done to young Will’s mother and I can’t believe any caring parent would let that happen.

Sorry PLTB, YOU wrote the story.  YOU have to live with it.

Given Will’s obvious (and rightful) dislike of EJ, I wonder what role he will play in this storyline. If the man who raped your mother keeps trying to insinuate himself into her life and won’t stay away… what would you do?  Hopefully Will might have some role in exposing EJ’s lies. It would give him some feeling of being able to avenge his mother’s rape and keeping his siblings safe from their vile father.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BnB’s ‘Little Stevie: Her father’s daughter”

I don’t know if I respect any actor, in any genre, as much as I respect The Bold and The Beautiful’s Susan Flannery.  It’s not just because she’s an immensely talented, untouchable, actor.  It’s not just because she’s made Stephanie such an iconic character.  It’s in large part because I can’t remember a daytime actor who continued to land each and every performance no matter how repetitive the plot has been for the character she plays.  Flannery NEVER phones in her performances when so many other actors (again, across genres) have.  How she avoids phoning it in makes her worthy of teaching master classes.  Day after day, year after year, Stephanie Forrester utters the harshest and ugliest anti-Logan language possible – at least the harshest language possible without the FCC leveling a big ass fine at CBS.   Referring to Logan women as ‘bitches in heat’ was just par for the course for Stephanie Forrester.  How unfortunate.

Stephanie could potentially be a vibrant and incredible woman.  Why won’t the writers let her be truly happy for once in her life?  The closest she’s ever come to happiness was when she’d lost her memory (after attending Eric and Brooke’s wedding ceremony) and ended up wandering the streets.  For several weeks, Stephanie lived as a homelsess woman with a group of others who’d lived on the streets for months and years before her.  Without the Forrester name, money, or lifestyle she felt true peace.  She met a man named ‘Adam’ , who, for all intents and purposes became a love interest for her.  Adam cared for Stephanie and she legitimately cared for him.  Since that time, she’s had relationships with Jack Hamilton and James Warrick… and something approximately a relationship with Bill Spencer and Massimo Marone.  All of them were short-lived and all of them ended so that Stephanie could continue to pursue a relationship with Eric.

Stephanie and Eric’s relationships always end the way their ‘love’ began, with Eric loving and wanting someone else!  (Long term viewers may remember that Eric was engaged to Elizabeth “Liz” Logan when Steph met Eric.  She didn’t know him, but decided to take advantage of the fact that Beth Logan was away from the Christmas Holiday and slept with Eric while he was drunk at a college Christmas party)  Rather than accepting the fact that Eric is a weak man who’ll never be worthy of the love she wants to force on him, she becomes wildly violent and aggressive with any woman Eric has the most remote of interest in.  Woe to that same woman when Eric feels that he’s fallen deeply in love with her.  Stephanie’s ‘psycho’ nature hits some exponential factor not previously seen in the natural world.   She makes it her mission to destroy that woman and anything or anyone she loves.

CLEARLY, ‘Stevie’ learned well from her abusive father. He taught her how to be physically abusive, psychologically abusive, and verbally abusive. WHAT can Grandma ‘Stevie’ say to Hope and RJ? What can she tell them about the way she attacks their mother, while claiming to love them? Will Hope, or RJ, come home and cry to Grandma ‘Stevie’ because the kids are making fun of them because of the things ‘grandma’ says in her Eye On Fashion Vlogs that are being discussed in the homes of the other children?

Will they know that she’s trying to take their father from them, but thought that her OTHER grandchildren deserved to have a father living in the home?

Does little Stevie even care about her grandchildren?

Has she EVER cared for them?

Can she TRULY love anyone who loves her as family as long as they also share Brooke’s DNA – even if they share her DNA, too (as in RJ’s case)?

Would a confrontation with her crying, pained, grandchildren FINALLY cause ‘LIttle Stevie’ to take stock in how much like her father she’s become?

Why didn’t Pam point that out instead of whining about there ‘not being enough FORRESTERS’… given the fact that she’s a DOUGLAS!?!?!? Why didn’t Pam point out how much Stevie’s vicious anger and cruel words remind her of their father? Why doesn’t PAM realize that their parents destroyed BOTH of them and help ‘Stevie’ figure that out, too?

There is so much more to Steph’s abuse storyline. Too bad she’ll never wake up and realize how those who are self-motivated and self-centered RELY on Steph reverting back to the abuse she learned FIRST HAND from her own father. The writers won’t let her.   If she had any REAL friends, or someone who TRULY cared for her as James Warrick once did, she might have someone in her corner who could tell her that indulging the ugly dark side of her soul is not in her best interest. The writers won’t give Stephanie a ‘reel’ friend to pull her back from the edge.  She’s surrounded by those who keep shoving her out just a little bit further, because being out there helps their cause too.

It’s a true sickness and I want to pity Steph, it’s just hard to pity someone who is so destructive and has caused so much pain (physical, emotional, psychological).  

The truth is that I want STEPHANIE back.  I want the real Stephanie, the woman who was complex, and interesting, and yes – at times a little angry.  I didn’t need her to love the characters I loved to enjoy her.  I liked watching a conflicted Stephanie try to decide between accepting Brooke Logan into her family and despising her.  I liked watching Stephanie painfully taking on Caroline Spencer, someone she loved like a daughter,  because the thought that Caroline hurting Thorne was too big a price for him to pay for loving Caroline. Her mother’s heart couldn’t bear Thorne’s pain.  As she became more psychotic, she contributed to Thorne’s pain to get what she wanted.  

I want to remember that woman who was vulnerable and nearly gave in to a passion that could have destroyed her relationship with her daughter since they both lusted for the same man.  I just want Stephanie to have some dignity, to put herself FIRST, and to be able to live without waiting for a worthless man to come back to her.  Psychogranny, Meanie ‘Little Stevie’, just isn’t my cup of tea.  

The writers have given us a backstory that explains Stephanie’s hateful actions.  They just haven’t taken her to the next stage.  Let her wake up to it and leave her father’s legacy of abuse behind.  It’s time for a new Stephanie Douglas – one who doesn’t care to use the name Forrester and then sheds the name and the baggage that comes along with it.

BnB’s Taylor is RIGHT! To a degree

Brooke chose her ADULT SON over her marriage! Despite the fact that the list of Rick’s enemies grew longer by the day, with former friends and close family members disgusted at the sight of him, Brooke chose to believe that the world had suddenly taken leave of its senses. She needed to believe that the son she fought to save from a psychotic break in his youth and not grown up only to become a malignant narcissist. She thought that loving him enough would heal his sick soul. She was wrong.

(And again, IF ONLY Bridget had received a tenth of the support Rick has received. Nick would have been castrated for his treatment of Bridget and there would NEVER have been the disastrous returns to a Brooke-Nick relationship).

That’s as much credit as I can give Taylor without wondering where the HELL the writers are going with this character. For me, she’s always been a bit of manipulator, and highly unrealistic, but this time she takes the cake! It’s bad enough that she’s failed to take her own advice: Get over a man who doesn’t want you and has never been faithful to you. Ridge was never sexually unfaithful, but he was emotionally unfaithful almost every day of their marriage. NOW she chides Brooke on

1 – Coddling her mentally ill son (uh, hello! THOMAS) and

2 – Putting an adult son FIRST in a relationship. (uh, hello! STEPHANIE)

WHY was the ok with Taylor when it was STEPHANIE choosing what she wanted for Ridge – instead of what was best for him, focusing her time on RIDGE and RIDGE’S life instead of focusing on her own marriage to Eric?

WHY didn’t Taylor tell Stephanie to leave her marriage to Ridge alone, let HER handle Brooke so that Steph could focus on Eric and their lives together?

Why was Taylor always THANKING Steph for her interference, telling her that she and Ridge would NEVER have made it without Stephanie (which means she KNEW Ridge was with her because of his mother’s interference)?

Taylor was right in saying to Ridge that Brooke chose Rick first EVERY time. Foolishly, she did and that’s about to all change. It’s just too bad that it’s one more sign of Taylor’s love for hypocrisy that she didn’t recognize that she’d already used a ‘mother choosing her adult son’ schtick to go after Brooke’s happiness BEFORE.

The BnB’s Celluloid Closet…

ROUND THREE, people, ROUND THREE! This will probably be my last blog on this topic for a while, since I’ve neglected my GH, DAYS, and OLTL duties and have yet to reflect on my new love-hate relationship with all three shows.

One of the benefits of posting on soap message boards and blogging is that posting gives you the opportunity to think fully about fans’ reactions to storylines you may think of as basic storylines. Apparently not! In the last BnB blog I posted, I wrote that I’ve been surprised by two concepts 1 – that Stephanie Forrester and Taylor Hamilton Hayes are ‘too moral’ to become involved in a lesbian storyline. 2 – That Taylor and Stephanie are highly moral, at all. The comments below work if you believe that it’s objectively true that Stephanie and Taylor are ‘moral’.

As the debate continues on the official Bold and Beautiful board regarding the speculated possibility of a ‘Staylor’ storyline, I realize just how brilliant the writing for ATWT and GL has been! Before you burn me in effigy, let me qualify that statement – because it clearly requires qualification. The writers of both shows have done something that would not dared have been dreamed of just a couple of decades ago. They’ve established their respective couples (Nuke and Otalia) with at least one partner in the couple serving as their respective shows’ moral centers.

Luke and Noah resisted the temptation to bed-hop as so many others around them had. Noah’s father was a horror of a freak show and Luke’s parents have likely spent as much time sleeping with other people as they have sleeping with one another. Nuke came together not because they were running from anything else, but because they were running TO each other. They took their time getting there (too much time for some fans’ tastes, but they were worth the wait). Nuke brought a patience, kindness, and caring back to the show that had been missing for some time. They also brought back a sense of old-fashioned romance.

The same could be said of Otalia.WOWZA! Their long-awaited admissions of love for one another was nothing short of ‘supernova’ brilliant! The tone was right, the location was right -oddly enough at Gus’ graveside, Liv’s inability to stop herself from saying the words she’s worked so hard to avoid was gut-wrenching… if I wasn’t already sold on them as a couple, I would have been sold at that moment. I haven’t been as pleased with what followed, but more on that at another time. What immediately struck me was Liv’s comment to Nat that she knew that the fact that she loved her was a ‘sin’ in Nat’s religion, but that she couldn’t stop from loving her. Nat treated Liv’s concern about her religious ideas for what it was, no obstacle. (Not everyone interprets religious scriptures the same way; and not everyone believes that love is a sin). Ok, so you’ve seen the follow up eps by now and know that religion will be an issue for the couple in the future. ARGH! I told you that would happen so I’m not surprised, but ARGH is still the best reaction I’m capable of giving at this time.

As for the original point, I think it’s fascinating that Natalia has become the ‘new Maureen Bauer’. She’s the show’s mother hen who makes easy work of finding the good in everyone, who keeps an open door and open heart to everyone around her, and is a friend to anyone in need. I can’t help but believe that the writers will address the ‘religiosity’ aspect of the Otalia storyline, soon, removing the notion of Natalia as a ‘damned soul’ because of her feelings for Olivia.

I think that the way the writing team from each soap handled the matter of establishing their respective couple as part of the show’s moral core (if such a thing exists on a daytime show) was so subtle that I hadn’t thought of it as an overarching theme for the introduction of gay/lesbian couples in the contemporary daytime setting. It could certainly be considered an extension of the introduction of AMC’s Bianca Montgomery who, at almost every age, has served as the keeper of Pine Valley’s collective moral conscience. She became ‘Grandma Mona’s’ spiritual heir.

The Bold and The Beautiful’s Celluloid Closet

If you’ve never seen the documentary ‘The Celluloid Closet’, it’s a MUST VIEW. The documentary is based on Vito Russo’s book of the same name. Clearly Hollywood did a poor job of supporting diversity of any kind in its early history, but like many others, my self-invested interests kept me focused on the nonexistent racial diversity and problematic portrayals of women. This documentary opened my eyes to discrimination across the board, and how easily societal attitudes about sexual minorities have been both shaped and reinforced by the superficial images presented on screen. When I see resistance to the notion of a ‘Staylor’ pairing, there’s a part of me that wonders if the implicit and explicit messages about the ‘morality’ and ‘sexuality’ as polar opposites taps some unexpectedly uncomfortable space when it comes to two characters who’ve presented themselves as the show’s moral standard bearers.

The questions for me is, given how well the formula has worked on other shows, why WOULDN”T Stephanie and Taylor serve as the most likely couple – should the writers decide to introduce sexual diversity to the BnB audience? Wouldn’t this be yet another variation on the theme?

Opening Segment of ‘The Celluloid Closet:

If the ever noble Luke and Noah, spiritual Bianca, and religious Natalia have led the way in asking fans to reconsider their ideas of sexual minorities as ‘immoral’ wherever those feelings exist, wouldn’t it make perfect sense for Stephanie and Taylor to provide the avenue to opening the discussion for viewers on The Bold and the Beautiful? I don’t know how anyone BUT the incredibly skilled Susan Flannery and John McCook could lead this storyline forward (yes, John McCook, not Hunter Tylo). I can see JM’s Eric reacting to his wife, in her ‘golden years’ – as Steph gingerly calls them, deciding not to spend her remaining time supporting him but deciding to live her life with dignity and integrity and being the person she was meant to be.

A tearful and genuine final goodbye to the drama and turmoil she’s lived with Eric? They part as friends, parents, and long ago partners in success before she moves on with her life? And then in walks Taylor. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me. As they stand now, their friendship doesn’t make sense in light of the Stephanie’s extreme attitudes and behaviors regarding Taylor. In the same documentary, author Susie Bright discusses clues that suggest the possible same sex attraction of Mrs Danvers to the character ‘Rebecca’, in the film of the same name. Her comments are in relationship to the clip from the film, featured below (beginning 5:30 in):

“Rebecca” and Mrs. Danvers:

I’ve been asked why I haven’t thought of Stephanie and Brooke as potential partners or supported that notion.  Easy.  It doesn’t make sense!  If we follow the analogy all the way through, then clearly Stephanie is operating in the role of ‘Mrs. Danvers’ to Taylor’s “Rebecca’, with Brooke serving as “the second Mrs. De Winters”. No no, Brooke is no innocent, as is Joan Fontaine’s “the second Mrs. De Winters”, but Brooke truly loves Ridge (who serves as ‘Maxim’ in this analogy). She continues loving him despite never being able to win over the support of the controlling and overly protective Stephanie/Mrs. Danvers. Because of the unspoken love, and unbroken bond, Stephanie’s Danvers shares with Taylor’s ‘Rebecca” – one that not even death breaks, Brooke will always be on the outside. She will never overcome Steph’s/Danvers’ desire to maintain the MYTH of Taylor’s (Rebecca’s) perfection. Brooke will continue to be psychologically tortured by a false image of the perfect woman that Stephanie/Danvers created out of her own unexpressed desires, an image Stephanie/Danvers uses as a weapon against Brooke/2ndDW, though she knows the truth.

Brooke’s 2ndDW will never benefit from having Steph’s Mrs. Danvers spin her misdeeds into something magical and perfectly acceptable in order to hide those sins from those around her as Stephanie/Danvers has done for Taylor/Rebecca. Note how, in both the film and on the BnB, it was most important to maintain the notion of purity for those who were in the dark about Taylor/Rebecca’s true nature, most especially Ridge/Maxim. Steph’s only loyalty is to Taylor. Her passion and compassion are saved for Taylor. Her forgiveness is saved for Taylor. Why is it so unlikely that her truest love is reserved for Taylor? For those who think of Steph and Taylor as mere friends, I just don’t see it. I think the BnB has been writing from it’s own celluloid closet for these two characters for some time, unintentionally or not.