I began thinking, about whether there are any truly unique storylines in daytime. Every storyline billed as “Never Before Done” has been a bitter disappointment. They were either storylines in which writers ripped off their own work – playing out earlier told storylines with different characters, storylines that truly were unique but never have been attempted (all of #Passions, or #GL’s Clone Reva), or storylines that offered some other thinly veiled variation on a theme.
The only storyline I could think of that is unique (and not one that I’m applauding) is the storyline involving the #boldandbeautiful’s Brooke. She has had affairs with two sons-in-law and a brother-in-law, having children with all three men: with Son-in-law Nick there was a child inadvertently carried by Taylor Hayes – who was married to Nick and accidentally artificially inseminated using Brooke’s egg; an egg that was supposed to be donated to science. The son-in-law Deacon affair produced Hope Logan, while Deacon was still married to Brooke’s rarely mentioned daughter, Bridget. The affair with brother-in-law ¢Bill Spencer – who was married to her sister, Katie, resulted in a pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage. The writers appear to be gearing up for a storyline in which Brooke’s former son-in-law, Deacon Sharpe, finds himself competing against her former brother-in-law, ¢Bill Spencer, for her affections. The only truly original plot in daytime is also one of its seediest… pun intended.
I prefer to think of it as the lust triangle from soap hell. Thanks to the ever wonderful Katie Logan (portrayed by Heather Tom) and Ridge Forrester (now played by Thorsten Kaye) working together to expose the perennially sleazy ¢Bill Spencer for the lying fraud he is, I realize how much I miss REAL controversy in daytime. Whatever happened to the days when scandalous storylines weren’t always about sexual impropriety? I’ve had enough of #BoldandBeautiful’s Brooke and her various in-law affairs. I was never able to tolerate #Days Sami cheating with Ej – the man the writers admitted was her rapist. Their relationship is a sadly outmoded “victim-perp” romance and #Days writers should have none better. As brilliant as #GH’s Maura West is in the role of Ava, I am exhausted by storylines about women who are unsure of the paternity of their children, most especially when those men are related. I have had it with men like #GH’s Sonny, or now defunct #SunsetBeach’s Cole who have slept with and/or impregnated mothers and daughters, as well as half the town around them.
Do you know what kinds of controversial and awe producing storylines I miss?
- Realistic and useful return from dead plots – #AllMyChildren’s Nina Cortlandt was led to believe her mother died in childbirth. Yet, years later, Daisy Cortlandt shows up, reclaims her family, and becomes a pillar of the community despite her reportedly scandalous past. What a joy it was to watch Daisy operate in stealth mode, trying to figure out if she was friend or foe, as she reconnected with Nina while avoiding the watchful Sauronesque angry eye of Palmer Cortlandt, Nina’s father.
- Shady corporate take overs were some of my favorites (and not those that are resolved with fashion show takedowns, #BoldandBeautiful). Remember when Lucinda welcomed Connor and Evan into the fold, not knowing who they really were, at first, and having no clue that they were back to reclaim the Walsh family fortune? HA! What about Lucy “helping” Barbara Ryan by buying the “Simply Barbara” clothing line, to have money for Paul as Babs went on trial for the murder (HA!) of James Stenbeck? Barbara is cleared, later, and has to start a new fashion label when her “friend” Lucinda refuses to sell back the company. No annual competing fashion shows.
- Remember #AnotherWorld’s Mac Cory fighting for his corporate life, only to find out that the mastermind behind the attempted takeover of his empire was his own daughter, Iris? Heartbreak as it was the end of her relationship with her father. Mac Cory, due to Douglass Watson’s death, was soon gone on screen as well.
- If you’ve forgotten that #AsTheWorldTurns’ Kim Hughes was once terrorized by an unknown stalker, how can you call yourself a soap fan? The greatest twist ever? The stalker was seemingly innocent, highly successful and beloved Douglas Cummings, fiance of her stepdaughter, Frannie Hughes. Even now, when I hear “Someone to Watch Over Me”, a part of me begins thinking about this storyline.
- #GuidingLight’s Sonni/Solita/Sonni storyline. Sonni Carrera, a brilliant psychiatrist meets and falls in love with Josh Lewis (and who didn’t fall for Josh?). Sadly, it was a ruse. She and lover Will Jeffries were plotting to steal the Lewis fortune. The twist? Sonni was not Sonni, but her “evil”, wild child twin sister, Solita. Solita was Will’s mistress and muse. Solita had long been buried when Solita stole her identity. Double twist? Solita wasn’t Solita after all. She was the real Sonni Carrera, who had a psychotic break after her sister’s death and created a Solita persona. I could have died for soap joy.
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Guiding Light writers were chock full of twist heavy, jaw dropping, edge of your seat storylines – ones that weren’t purely about sexual scandal: — Annie, in her desperation to hang on to husband Josh Lewis, carried a dead fetus, until she could set Reva Shayne Lewis up for pushing her down the stairs “killing” their baby. — Beth revealing she had been the victim of sexual abuse by Bradley Raines and her fight to become strong enough to turn him in and reclaim her sense of safety. You’re beginning to get my point, right? Someone (or a group of people) in daytime have decided that not only does “sex sells” but that sexual impropriety is all daytime has to offer, any more. I want more. I want those cleverly drawn, nearly impossible to think of on you own, scandals that daytime once offered. I want family betrayals that take place with clothes on, both feet on the floor – no bumping uglies, folks. I want to look at new characters and wonder if they are friend or foe, and if my fave characters have something to worry about. I want daytime writers to give me romance and intrigue, and stop making sex feel like a weapon. I miss daytime for what it was. I’m not willing to accept it for the limited thing is has become.