BnB: The measure of a woman. The mismeasure of a girl.

Done, Finito, KAPUT!  I’m done trying to find a reason to like the BnB’s Steffy Forrester, DONE!  I usually love bad girls/bad boys in daytime;  although I almost always root against them.  I enjoy watching them unleash fresh hell on others, and later themselves as their plans backfire.  It’s the best of both worlds.  Truly great bad girl/guy characters feed your light and dark sides.  Most daytime writers have a tried and true formula and “get” what makes bad girl/boy characters so much fun.  They’re equal parts exhilaration and exasperation and just when you think you can’t love-to- hate them any more than you already do, the writers pull a twist.  The character you thought you knew, the character whose all-knowing smirks drove you to the brink of distraction suddenly has a vulnerable side.   You find yourself almostliking them!  When daytime writers want you to fall for a character, they know what it takes to make you fall hard:

  • AMC’s writers pulled the ’empathy card’ on Janet-from-another-planet Green when they revealed that she wasn’t simply pathologically jealous of her beautiful sister, Natalie Marlowe, but that she’d been the target of unrelenting taunting and teasing, merciless emotional abuse, all without remorse by a mother who felt justified in the emotional torture of her daughter.  Natalie was her blessing, Janet was her curse. Wilma Marlowe couldn’t wait to remind Janet, every day of her life, that she was the daughter she would have done without and when given the choice, that choice would always be the beloved Natalie.  Janet’s hope was to, just once, be chosen first.  The desire to be someone’s first choice – even Trevor Dillon’s, drove much of Janet’s continued march toward madness. 
  • ATWT’s  writers pulled the ’empathy card’ with Emily Stewart, who spent years dealing with her mother Susan’s substance abuse and emotional distancing.  Emily’s victimization at her mother’s hands turned into a worldview in which she was always the victim of the those around her – even as she drew first blood.  By soapgod, she was going to make the world PAY!    ATWT pulled the double whammy with heartless schemer, Angel Lange, who was the victim of longterm sexual abuse at the hands of her wealthy powerful father.  Angel’s scheming was directed at helping her secure her freedom from a powerful father who seemed unstoppable.   To that end she forced Holden Snyder into marriage, schemed to keep him, and with her brother, stole millions from their father’s company.
  • GH’s Stefan Cassadine’s ’empathy card’ came in the form of dysfunctional parenting as well.  He and brother Stavros were presented as the “Heir and a Spare”. While his parents groomed his brother for greatness (and you can read that as great darkness), he was expected to bask in the shaded glory of the pathological Stavros, accept the cast off crumbs of his parents’ affections.  It was a wonder that they allowed him to keep the Cassadine name.  Stavros was dangerous, but even Stavros was a kitten compared to their parents.   

Stefan never stood a chance growing up.  If it’s possible to assign behavior to soap characters, you could imagine that had Stefan’s parents paid more attention to him in his youth, there would be no need to discuss adult Stefan.  He’d have never nade it to adulthood.  

  • Long before Stefan, there was Bobbie Spencer, who curiously enough became Stefan’s wife.  In her youth,  Bobbie hadn’t met a man she didn’t want to control, nor a woman she didn’t want to destroy to have him.   We later learned that Nurse Bobbie’s early  trauma occurred when she was led into prostitution as a young teen by her Aunt Ruby, not long  after her parents died.  She was just another of the working girls  in Aunt Ruby’s house.   Bobbie’s “protector” was her older brother, Luke, who protected her by making sure she was ‘safe’ on her ‘dates’ with older men.  Bobbie was reminded of her sex worker past, frequently, even as she transitioned from good-girl-gone-bad to bad-girl-turned-real-woman.  The most lasting reminder of Bobbie’s difficult time was the arrival of the daughter she conceived while working for Aunt Ruby.    Unfortuntately for Bobbie, daughter Carly came with an eye on vengence.
  • OLTL’s Todd Manning, in his youth, was anger on a stick and a threat to the safety of women everywhere.   The writers should have taken advantage of the fact that in a field of characters with unusual names (Storm, Ridge, Thorne, Destiny) naming this guy “Trouble” instead of Todd would have been more honest.  If there was a thing that Todd didn’t hate, it was only because it hadn’t been invented yet.  It’s hard to feel sorry for a unrepentent rapist and the writers knew it.  Without the need to try to ‘redeem’ him, the writers allowed the audience catch a glimpse of what was left of the humanity of the character.  The idea seemed to be to provide the audience some hope that whatever was left of his humanity was enought to stop him from victimizing others and to begin dealing  with his own pain.  Todd’s pain resulted from frequent beatings by an uncaring father who despised him.  Todd’s father, Peter Manning, was his maternal uncle and adoptive father.  He was forced to raise the child as his own.   We later found out that Todd was also sexually abused in his youth.
  • BnB’s Stephanie Douglas Forrester (who moved from my love-to-hate column to fully despise) was the product of a vicious wealthy father who presented the image of a perfect family to his business colleagues and friends (including fellow industry titan, YnR’s Katherine Chancellor).  What his friends and and colleagues didn’t know is that Mr. Douglas beat his daughter “Stevie” with reckless abandon behind closed doors.   Stephanie’s cruel childhood treatment was reportedly the cause of the cruelty she expressed in adulthood.  It is something that others around her struggle with until this day — clearly Stepahnie doesn’t struggle with her inhumanity toward others.  She revels in it.

You get the common thread, yes?  Years of emotional, physical, verbal, and sexual abuse.  Whether it happens because of a cowardly parent or a craven lover, there is typically a foundation for the abusive, shallow behavior we witness in our fave bad girls and boys.  Use that as a backdrop to try to understand the BnB’s Steffy Forrester.  She’s the heir to a massive fortune, her mother  came BACK from the dead and re-established the family Steffy always wanted. Her mother also gave her 25% of the family company – trusting her to “take care” of her older brother.  Steffywas raised by a father she adores.  She’s never had to go to college and yet was handed cushy executive level positions in the company after spending only a few months in the mailroom.  AND she had a stepmother who raised her and loved her while her mother was believed to have been in the grave (the same stepmother she still adored just a few years, ago, and with whom she’s had no significant conflict).   She’s traveled the world and has reportedly been loved and in love.

To hear this wanker of a character whine day in and day out about how sad she is, how much she needs a man (any man dating or married to a Logan woman), how hard her life is, how she’s been abandoned, maltreated, unloved… it’s all just too much.  Rather than creating feelings that run from exhilaration to exasperation, my feelings for Steffy run from damned bored to seriously annoyed.  Her rapid shifting from begging her daddy (Ridge) to staywith the family and continue to raise her, to begging her ‘big daddy’ (Bill Spencer) to stay with her for the night and make love to her is pathetic, but mostly jarring.  Is she a needy child or a sexually provocative woman?  She can’t be both, or use both “needs” as the foundation for her aggression toward the Logan family.  Her need to destroy the Logan family because her father loves Brooke, is petty.  It’s surreal at best when you consider how much she loved Brooke as a stepmother, until her nological mother’s return.  It’s absurd when you consider the fact that Brooke is the mother of her youngest brother. 

Steffy doesn’t work as a bad girl because there is no “empathy card” to be played for this character.  The character is made up of all hard angles.  It’s even hard to believe that she’s invested in the people she claims to be invested in. She’s now twice turned on her mother for love of  two different men (Rick Forrester and Bill Spencer).  She’s never bothered to share the stock in the family company with her brother.  She doesn’t care if her YOUNGEST brother (still in late childhood) grows up without a father – as long as their father is in the home she no longer lives in as an adult.  She’s been working to destroy her brother’s family since he was a toddler.  She fell to her knees over twin sister Phoebe’s death, but almost immediately fell into bed with the man her family blamed for her sister’s death.  She defended him even after he used her and used her sister’s death to taunt her father… the same father she can’t live without. 

 The fact that anyone (onscreen) finds her intriguing leaves one feeling dumbfounded.  Steffy Marone-Forrester is a character filled with contradictions, and none of them good. 

She is not likable.

She is not rootworthy.

She is not interesting.

My time is quickly becoming wasted by this character.  My sincere hope is that the writers are planning to give the character depth or to send her packing.  I will accept either, but what I can’t accept is Steffy in her current incarnation.   At some point the writers will  become bored with this character as she is.  I’m looking forward to THAT day.

Advertisements

Why ATWT’s Parker scares me…

This is NOT, repeat…NOT, a spoiler. It’s not even speculation based on spoilers. It’s one writer’s comment about where a storyline could potentially go, and what it would mean if it happened. As far as fans are concerned, ATWT’s writers might be penning a storyline about an angry, know-it-all, teenaged boy. OR they could be writing a storyline about a young man who is on the verge of becoming violent to the women in his life. I couldn’t watch ATWT after Parker’s display the other day. I found them disturbing. His verbal attacks on Liberty and his mother, his controlling actions toward Liberty, his lack of concern about humiliating her in front of ‘another man’… it all adds up to a potential abuse storyline, in my book. I could be overly sensitive, given the current media focus on the Rhianna-Chris Brown matter, I admit that.

Whether or not the writers are headed in that direction is unclear, but it’s the impression they leave on this viewer. If Parker ever smiled, I can’t remember it. The idea that he was once a happy child is lost on me, given his behavior of the last year or so. I don’t know if his current sour demeanor is a choice made by the actor, the writers, or the director – but it has become off-putting. I keep waiting for him to take a swing at either Carly, or his ‘wife’ in one of his fits of rage. Has no one notice his penchant for nonverbally referring to his mother as a ‘whore’, and even tacitly implying it with his dialogue? The look he shot Carly when she opened the hotel door and saw a disheveled Craig in the background made me want to shake that kid out of his shoes! The one person who has always been on his side, who has fought for him every step of the way, and he treated her as if she was renting that room by the hour. It hardly bothers Parker that his father is off with a new woman every other year. It’s that his mother isn’t sitting in a nunnery, waiting for his father’s rare returns to the family, that seems to disturb him.

At this point, as storyline with an abusive Parker would make perfect sense – as sad as that is. The question is, who would be is target? Liberty, Carly, or both? If Parker did become abusive, how would it not only impact the women he hurt, but those around him? Would it impact his father at all? Parker grew up in a home with a father who was at times loving, and at other times angry and verbally abusive to his mother. Parker, himself, became the target of his father’s rage when he married Liberty. Jack threw Parker out of a home he no longer lives in.

What impact would Parker’s abuse have on Jack? Would it lead him to reflect on the abuse he’s leveled at Carly in the presence of their children?

Would it cause him to reflect on how many times he’s referred to Carly as irresponsible, selfish, or deserving of his (and their) scorn in front of his children?

Would he reflect on how many times he sat silent while Parker berated his mother?

Would Carly FINALLY learn to stand up for herself and stop talking garbage from Jack, who has only ever been able to love her as long as he found himself able to ‘approve’ of the person she was? Would she realize that allowing Jack to verbally abuse her created an environment in which her son was put at risk?

Would Jack take some responsibility for Parker’s anger, or would he revert back to type and simply fault Carly for Parker’s actions?

Watching Liberty and Carly struggle to forgive Parker, while still loving him and wanting the best for him could be instructive and informative, no matter how sad. Parker’s behavior is every bit as angry and controlling as his father’s, except in Parker’s case, it’s far worse.

***********

Speaking of things that scare me… Z and Z?  How much MORE are fans expected to take?  I’ve had more than enough of these two and trying to figure out what purpose they serve is beginning to give me an ulcer!  I have been able to find the one silver lining in the dark ZandZ cloud: we know that Nuke’s love is solid!  They’ve avoided any sort of temptation, so far, at least.  That ‘Z” or “Z” could appeal to Luke OR Noah seems like an impossibility.  There’s nothing likable about the characters.

What also scares me is that I’m enjoying the prospect of Damian and Lily crossing the line.  I KNOW!  How many more affairs could Holden and Lily have in the course of one lifetime, but c’mon…he’s DAMIAN (Damiangodofallmen) and he’s been shirtless.  I’m weak… so so weak when it comes to Damian.  I can understand Lily being weak for him as well.

Having Damian back reminds me of a time when I utterly enjoyed ATWT.

My Rachel Maddow Moment: ATWT

It’s rare when when reel and real collide.  I hate when it happens, but not this time.  This time, I’m grateful for the reel and the real.  They inform one another at times, and in the most interesting ways, putting feelings and thoughts in perspective.  The last Brian Wheatley scene I watched made me so incredibly sad, and a little frightened of the character – Lau is the master!  Any actor with that angelic of a face who can create such apprehension and fear with a  single look knows his craft.  He’s one of the few actors who knows how to express more dialogue with a look than most actors can do as part of an ensemble team.  Despite my decades long love of Lau and his work on AMC, ATWT, OLTL, and other projects, I’m not yet a Brian Wheatley fan.  I don’t hate Brian, but I hate what he potentially represents.

My African-American family lived in the pre-civil rights American south.  The legacy of the pre-civil rights south is a living one for me because it lives in the memories of my mother, my father, my uncles, and my grandparents.  I’ve long considered myself Southern bred and Northern born.  I get stereotyping.  I get anger.  I get fear of the ‘other’, the ‘different’.  I get it, and I reject ALL OF IT.

I’ve said in prior blogs that the problem for daytime is that it’s a genre that is stuck between time periods.  It’s trying to move into a modern age but can’t.  It’s dragging along outdated thoughts about certain groups of people and outdated storylines.  Those outdates storylines are  weighing the genre down like an anchor.   The only way daytime execs can seem to ‘identify’ with the modern age and attempt to move soaps forward is to take old plots and up the ‘raunch’ factor on them.  In the last blog, I lamented that Lily Snyder could revenge hump any man she wanted (and the her husband Holden could, too).  In other blogs I noted that Alison is a porn star turned nurse extraordinaire (notice that on their honeymoon, Aaron had to be ‘surprised’ at the tricks she knew in bed – completing the sanitizing of the character).  Emily is a former prostitute dating the younger son of the man she seduced and with whom she had a child.  Leo’s plotting date rape,  Brad nearly killing Leo, the subsequent cover up…the Snyder men sharing enough of the same women between them to produce an Army of pointy headed babies – are, folks, all on the SHORT list of seriously shady behavior). 

At the same time, Luke and Noah can never consummate their love.  They can’t live together.  They don’t spend much time with other couples – except with Luke’s freakin’ grandmother and her date – and I love La Walsh, but not as a dinner companion and best buddy for Luke.  Why is Nuke still marginalized?  Who knows?  But I find it stunning.  I watched television some of “DeGrassi: The Next Generation” when my teen nieces visited this summer.  These are the sort of scenes teen kids watch regularly:

They’re not ‘freaked out’ by stories that embrace all people.  They don’t understand dramas and other forms of entertainment that don’t.  Apparently, the writers at ATWT thinks that the daytime audience is far less adaptable than the DeGrassi crowd.  They’re selling us short and I resent it.

Reading about the big Nuke-Lucinda camping trip made me think about that last scene, the look on Brian’s face.  Was he in that tent because he wanted to show respect to Lucinda, or at least con her into thinking he was respecting her?  Were his interests prurient ( was he curious about Nuke, a bit of a peeping tom)?  Was he there to keep them apart for his own selfish reasons – a crush on Luke, or a crush on Noah? Was he there for another selfish reason- to stop the boys from ‘sinnin’?  I thought about that earlier look on Brian’s face when I read the camping summary.  I’d thought about it just a few days earlier when I ran across this clip on YouTube again (oh, fast forward to 3:50 minutes into the clip if political coverage makes you squeamish). 

If you opted to skip it,  Maddow recalled being 19 when she heard Buchanan’s speech about the raging culture wars and thought about just how much people she didn’t even know hated her, didn’t think there was room for her, how it led her to embrace the Democratic Party because she knew it didn’t want her to disappear (not an exact quote).  Maddow’s comments helped me further realize why Brian’s ‘look’ made me feel so queasy.

The shock (and disgust) in his face when Nuke touched one another was palatable and made me shudder.  It reminded me of so many events in my own life – the number of times racial epitaphs were used.  The extended hand that was met with a cold and/or  mortified expression. Our stories are different on the surface (reel Nuke’s, real Rachel’s) but they’re the same in other ways.  Death to the -isms! 

My hope is that while Noah is in ‘Rome’, the writers are thinking of what they need to do to rewrite the Wheatley character.  My hope is that they’ve decided to not take Brian down  that dark and ugly road.  I believe that the writers meant well when they began the Nuke storyline.  I believe they still mean well, but I also believe that the longer they marginalize Luke and Noah, the more they run the risk of giving an implicit nod to the ‘raging culture wars’.  I don’t think that’s where they want to take this storyline, either.

Luke made a mistake?  Brian wasn’t really trying to shove him back in the closet?  OK, I’m willing buy it.  So take it one step further, writers.  Do something proactive.  Have Brian use his considerable skills to help  Luke and Noah become an advocates and defenders of human rights.  Let Luke use some of that money to set up a shelter for kids who need a safe space when home is no longer safe for them after coming out.  Steal a page or two from ‘DeGrassi’.  I won’t tell.

Why writers? WHY!?!?! GH – ATWT

General Hospital

For a number of reasons, I haven’t been watching much GH (yeah, even if you set aside the writers destroying Carly and Jax, the continued obsession with Sonny and Jason, the putridness of Jason and Liz – I just haven’t had as much interest in GH. Now… if only I could break the habit of watching even occasionally! ) I’m still wondering how the show managed to trick me into actually liking Robin – a character I’ve disliked for so long!  I’m also trying to figure out why Spinelli drives me “less crazy” and why I’m rooting for Spinelli and Maxie.  I love them.

I’ve tuned in enough to wonder what General Hospital writers plans are for Laura’s eventual disappearance.  It seems too easy to simply send her back into a comatose state.  It also seems a bit cruel to do that to fans who love Laura and don’t want to see her go back to that state.  I’ve tried to buy into Laura’s desire to not see her sons because she doesn’t want them to get their hopes up that this time she’s ‘cured’ and that she’ll be home for good. Something just feels false about it. Why wouldn’t Laura want Lulu to have her brothers to comfort and support her if/when she (Laura) goes back under?  Given Lulu’s own fragile mental health, why would she want her to be alone if things go bad, again?

Does anyone else wonder if Laura being awake is a figment of Lulu’s imagination? Considering the fact that the hospital staff is on Nikolas’ payroll, why wouldn’t anyone contact him to let him know that Laura is awake?  Wouldn’t obsessed Scotty make sure the staff notified him of any change?  Do the members of the hospital staff actually ‘see’ Laura or pretend to do so, for Lulu’s sake?  Is that why Laura conveniently disappears whenever someone the family knows shows up (Nikolas, Tracy Q, etc)?   Imaginary Laura would mean that once Lulu is completely well, it won’t be so cruel for her to lose her mother, because she was never truly back.  It was the spirit of Laura Spencer that showed up to support Lulu, and that’s something Lulu could handle.

BTW, Genie Francis, no matter how brief her return, makes it evident that GH can never be the same without her.  Why TPTB are so content to keep letting her go is a mystery to me.  Laura anchors the old GH, the GH fans loved heart and soul, to the new GH.  I’d love for the writers to use the option of having Laura decide to go off on her own adventures for a while, maybe with a plan to track down a permanent cure for her illness – with her family’s blessing and her mother at her side.  They’d stay in touch with her, monitoring her progress and talking with her daily-  in case she needs help.   It’s not ideal, I know, but it’s a darned bit better than letting Luke travel the world and finding love again, while Laura remains tied to a chair, staring off into space for years at a time.  The thought of Laura ‘out there’, happy, living life, serving some greater purpose is far more meaningful to, and respectful of, the love fans have for maintained for the character and Laura’s portrayer, Genie Francis.  When Lulu loses Laura again it will feel as if we’re all losing her.

ATWT

You REALLY don’t have to work that hard to get the audience to dislike certain characters, daytime writers.  Some of you take the line and push it as far as you can take it!  You don’t have to do anything at all to get me to dislike ATWT’s Lily Walsh.  I haven’t liked her since she was a teenaged girl, with few exceptions.

Heather Rattray wasn’t the most popular recast for the character, but I loved her.  Lily had been a whining, sniveling, mewling character before Heather came along – Martha Byrne played her as the spoiled heiress she was.  Heather gave adult Lily an edge.  She was an unapologetic bitch goddess who REFUSED to feel bad for taking what she wanted.  HR gave her the ‘Walsh’ edge.  It was the one and only time I could believe that a whiner like Lily was raised by a cutthroat businessperson like Lucy Walsh.  Sadly, it didn’t last long after the actress left the role.  The writers preferred the ‘spoiled heiress’ approach (and even I missed seeing MB’s face in the role even if I didn’t care for her version of Lily!)

The only other time Lily was even slightly interesting to me was when she married Damian Godofallmen Grimaldi.  True to form, the writers ruined that too.  Lily cheated on Damian with Holden… cheated in the belltower of a CHURCH, no less.  Damian forgave her and Lily and Damian went on to create some of the hottest scenes in ATWT history – during the period of Damian’s recovery.  Sex scenes?  No, Lily and Damian never needed them.  They had a smoldering passion that would have made a sex scene anti-climactic, literally and figuratively.  Slight touches and shared glances were enough to communicate more about the passion they felt, than all of the Holden/Lily sex scenes, combined.

So, what have the writers done to reaffirm anti-Lily fans’ beliefs that the character is more often a waste of space than not? They shove Lily back into ‘revenge sex’ mode.  That woman has had more ‘revenge sex’ than any other daytime (or prime time) character I know.  It’s how she lost her virginity for crying out loud!  She slept with Dusty to teach Holden a lesson.

Imagine that.  Lily has revenge sex for decades, her son can’t get laid by the man he loves.  What a wacked out set of priorities ATWT’s writers have when it comes to telling love stories (Nuke) and lust stories (Holden/Lily/any third partner). 

As much as the character has always annoyed me, it annoys me MORE that viewers are put in the position of faulting Lily for being a careless mother in order to have revenge sex with Mike, after believing that Holden was about to get close with Carly, again.  Seriously, writers?  Incredibly rich women like Lily would  have a staff of nannies on call 24/7.  She wouldn’t have to run off to meet her lover ‘assuming’ someone would show up to take care of them. 

She was so eager to have sex that she was willing to leave a child she nearly lost in the care of a child who’s had a history of emotional difficulties, without knowing that an adult was supervising them until their father arrived?  BULL!  Ethan falling down a hole is just punishment for Lily’s actions?  BULLCRAP! You’re also asking the audience to accept Ethan’s pain as part of Lily’s consequences.

Children are plot devices to YOU, writers, not to the audience – fictional or not.  Yes, yes, Lily’s at fault, and this storyline is awful no matter what the outcome is supposed to be.  Possible outcomes:  A Lilden reunion?  Holden fighting for custody?  Jack, done with Janet AND Carly, running to Lily’s rescue?  Faith going off the deep end?  Lucinda fighting her daughter for custody?  Mike, leaving town out of a sense of guilt?  Whatever the outcome, it wasn’t worth the tactic taken to advance the storyline.  Shame on you, writers.. SHAME!

The other character making the top of my ‘most annoying list’?  Jack Snyder! The devolution of my feelings for Jack moved from: loving the guy, to feeling sorry for him for always throwing love away to save his pride, to becoming tired of his self-righteous prig attitude, and now I’m at the point of simply despising the man most days.  Jack, for all of his talk of honesty and loyalty, has YET to be faithful to any woman he’s loved.  He’s cheated on every woman he’s dated or married.  With Julia1 it was Carly.  With Carly it was Julia2, until he ‘betrayed’ Julia2 and went back to Carly.  With Katie it was Carly.  With Janet, it’s Carly again.  Jack kissing Carly, behind Janet’s back?  No skin off my nose, but there he is sandwiched between Janet and Carly, telling Carly that she was right about him all along.

Jack’s life is so charmed.  Even when he makes mistakes, good things happen to him.  I could only take his position, sitting between the two women, as evidence that soon Carly and Janet would end up in some deathmatch cage – beating the unholy hell out of one another with each believing that SHE was the better woman for Jack.  Jack would sit back, smiling on the inside/feigning outrage on the outside – and telling the world that he was ‘torn’ between the two women.  He always is.  Whenever he cheats, it’s noble.  He’s torn between two women he “loves”.  Any woman who cheats on him?  She’s just loose and/or cheap.  It must be nice to be Jack Snyder.

Even still, it’s time for the writers to beat back Jack’s cartoonish nature and make him a real man, again.  I can only imagine what a relief it would be to see Jack behave like a romantic lead, once more.  If I never hear Jack screaming at a woman, see him scowling at her, watch him tear a woman down into nothingness… it will be too soon.

Daytime’s Parenting Sweepstakes (Updated)

Bold and Beautiful.  Who’s the bigger loser in the deal, Marcus or Donna?  My money is on Marcus.  WOOHOO, you find your biological mother and she’s a former model, rich as creases, and now in charge of a multimillion dollar conglomerate.  What’s not to love?  Oh, just the fact that she’s nutty as a fruitcake (see Forrester Creations ‘takeover attempt’).  Not enough?  Add that she’s dumb as a stone!  How is it that young Marcus knows enough to be suspicious of Owen and Donna is falling for his act hook, line, and sinker?

If Donna loved her ‘honeybear’ as much as she claims, or her son for that matter, Owen would have been out the door.

All My Children – JR and Adam.  Adam is on the losing side, in this case.  Just how many times can JR turn his back on his father and try to make Adam ‘pay’ for (insert incident)?  His attempts to take over Adam’s company and/or fortune are becoming as commonplace as his change in hairstyles. 

He can forgive Babe for every mean and nasty thing she’s done to him, including having one night stands just weeks after they were married, and running off with his child AND his brother, but Adam is the devil incarnate?  What AMC needs is MORE Adam, and even an Adam clone or two (hint there, JR).  Given what’s transpired on this show the past couple of years, Adam is the least threatening person in Pine Valley… so far…but give him time.

One LIfe To Live – Starr and Todd.  It’s a draw!  The mini-me Starr has become is absolutely intolerable to me.  She’s demanding, obnoxious and completely out of control.  I hate it women, in general, are blamed for their children’s behavior, but I think it works in Starr’s specific case.  Blair shares some of the blame.  Carrying Todd Manning’s genes set Starr up for a very difficult life, to begin with – but there was a least some chance of escaping her destiny to make life miserable for as many people as possible.  Blair hasn’t done Starr any favors by having little-to-no guidelines for developing a sense of self control. 

While Todd moves to one extreme, appointing himself Starr’s Lord and Master, Blair moves too far in the other extreme – wanting to be Starr’s best friend.  Hey, Blair, Starr has enough ‘friends’ – they helped get her in the situation she’s in now.  She could use a parent.  She’s sorely lacking one.  While Starr is working hard trying to place her child for adoption, she should be looking for a placement of her own.  Make sure to take Jack and Sam with you, kid!

As The World Turns – Puberty (Parker and Liberty).  Isn’t it grand that their parents have FINALLY figured out that these kids need supervision, AFTER they were caught in bed together?  Before that?  The only parent who made time for either of them, and tried to keep them in line was Liberty’s father, Brad.   Brad is a lone salmon swimming upstream, when it comes to parenting.  He actually focuses on his daughter more than his own sex life.  Imagine that! 

Oh that Carly and Holden, and Jack and Janet.  Theirs are the ‘F’ bombs that just keep giving and taking.  They get their freak on and their 16 year olds get their freak on in response!  Ain’t that grand?  Summer love never seemed so  backwards.  Well, we know the outcome for OLTL’s  Starr and Cole – a child she wants to give up for adoption, one he wants to keep and raise.  The problem is that the OLTL storyline is weak, and without much merit as an example of the difficulty of teen pregnancy ( read more in the blog below “Jumping the Shark”).  All of the issues that make the OLTL storyline a weak one are issues that make a strong case for a teen pregnancy storyline for ATWT’s lusting cousins, ‘Puberty’.   

Both kids are from families that are hardworking, middle class (lower middle, or upper lower for Liberty and her mother, Janet).  Raising a child WOULD be a struggle for Puberty, neither of which has a trust fund, slew of servants, or enormous mansions to raise their child in.  Both are teens who rushed into sex, even while using birth control that neither probably knew how to use adequately or responsibly enough to be protected. 

There was no emotional commitment between Parker and Liberty prior to having sex.  Would they want to raise a child together?   This pair would give a more realistic look at the emotional angst of having made a decision they weren’t ready for and the angst of dealing with loivng a child enough to give it a great home with parents who were ready to love and care for it.  I’d hate for a Puberty pregnancy storyline (if there was one) to become as sensationalized as Gwen’s pregnancy storyline.  I’d love to see daytime portray teen pregnancy realistically and with great deference to the hardships of real life teen parents.  Since this is daytime, and almost no storyline is offered without controversy, let me offer the following:

Parker could turn to cousin Luke to help him.  He’s not ready to be a father, and yet he’s not ready to see his child placed with strangers. At LEAST two options are now available.

1 – Luke decides to adopt his cousin’s child.  He talks it over with Noah, and Noah agrees to give him whatever help he can.  It leads to them spending more time together and getting even closer – even if they’re not ready to be a full-fledged family.  Can they survive Luke becoming a single father and splitting his time between their relationship and his son?

2 – Luke and Noah decide that they’re ready for a long term commitment and raise the child together, as a family.  They agree to adopt the Puberty baby together.  This storyline, by the way, pulls Luke and Noah out of the ‘late teen’ trap the writers have been keeping them in to avoid their emotional and physical connection – which now makes even less sense given the explicit and graphic Puberty romp. 

In either case, Luke/or Luke and Noah adopt the child, agree to help raise him, and end up fighting Janet  and Brad on the adoption.  Janet opposes for religious reasons.  Brad opposes because he wants custody of the child and plans to raise it with Katie.  Both Liberty and Janet thinks it’s too much to have the child raised as Liberty’s sibling and fight Brad.

What’s that, you ask?  Haven’t NUKE been through enough?  I get the point, and understand why it would be hard to watch another ‘anti’ storyline when it comes to these two, but I think a storyline about adoption could be a great way to address the issue of whether cultural ideas about adoption involving GLBT parents is more myth than reality.   This would be an opportunity for the writers to debunk myths and to open the discussion about the more than a half million children in this country who need homes, and are barred from living in the context of a family with same sex parents because of unfounded fears.

I think the writers have exhausted the focus on Luke and Noah as ‘good guys’ with hearts of gold.  I think they’ve done enough to show us the stereotypes about gay males are just stereotypes.  It’s time to move them into family mode.  It’s time to fully integrate these characters and give them a meaty storyline that isn’t just about ‘coming out’ and dealing with ‘being out’.  They’re out.  It’s time for them to become as real as any other character on canvas.

Update:  I’ve just been informed that Noah is roughly 20, Luke 19.  It wouldn’t make much of a difference to have Nuke become parents at such a young age instead of Puberty.  Too bad the writers haven’t SORASed them as they have so many others.  Nuke, mid 20s?  They’d make great parents.  It’s just a few short years away.

Daytime’s greatest manwhores

From the title, you’ve probably realized that if you’re easily offended, this is not the “blog – column” entry for you. If you’ve chosen to keep reading, then also keep in mind that the title is misleading in two ways.


First, by adding ‘man’ to the title, it almost makes it seem as if the manwhore behavior is somehow different from their female colleagues who are beaten up mercilessly criticized for being a little free with the lovin’. It’s not; same behavior, different genders. The title ‘manwhore’ is just very ‘Deuce Bigalow’.


Second, when I use the word ‘daytime’, I’m obviously not including all of the great daytime manwhores through the ages. That would include the likes of The Frame brothers, of Another World Fame, and all their male kin. Putting the Frames on the list would leave little room for the rest of the contemporary ‘greats’ of daytime. For that reason I couldn’t including the Aldens (of Loving Fame), Jake McKinnon or Cass Winthrop (Another World), any many others.


Here’s my countdown of the current top ten daytime manwhores (your list may vary):


10. A tie! I couldn’t decide if the tenth spot should go to old school manwhore Bob Hughes or old school manwhore Johnny-Boy Dixon (As The World Turns). What makes Bob a bad boy? Well, Bob slept with sisters Kim and Jennifer and impregnated both women around the same time. Jennifer, as you may remember was the mother of Frannie Hughes, While Kim also gave birth to a baby girl, later named Sabrina.


Kim was lead to believe, by John Dixon, that her daughter had died. Instead, John gave Kim’s child up for adoption and Sabrina ended up being raised in England. It was during a trip to Europe when a young woman who could have passed for Frannie’s twin was encountered and the full story came to light. Oddly enough, by that time, Jennifer had passed away and Bob and Kim were married (though he’d been married to her best friend Lisa Hughes Grimaldi in between).


Not only did Bob and John get around, but their love lives were inextricably linked as they loved, and fought for, some of the same women. Bob made a habit of sleeping with the women his current wives called ‘friend’. John made a habit of getting almost every woman how loved him pregnant (including Kim). Friends, Enemies, Brothers in manwhoredom. If there’s a woman over fifty that either of these men has slept with or had a child with, it’s only because they’re related to her – by blood, otherwise? She’s fair game.


9. Stefano Dimera, Days of Our Lives. It’s no surprise that Joe Mascolo so easily alternated between his role on Days of Our Lives and shipping magnate Massimo Marone on The Bold and the Beautiful! Stefano’s left a woman with child in every port. I’ve lost track of Stefano’s children, there are so many of them. My guess is that there are two phrases Stefano isn’t use to hearing: “No” and “Birth Control”

8. Josh Lewis, Guiding Light.. If she’s a day away from a strait jacket, Josh has had sex with her (excluding my beloved diva, Reva, of course.). If she’s hours away from a strait jacket, he’s married her. To Josh’s credit, he’s not an indiscriminate manwhore. He tends to love every woman he’s with… and with… and with… until it’s time for her to be institutionalized, or jailed. Yeah, he’s that kind of manwhore. It’s probably a safe bet that Josh is on some prison pen pal list.

7, 6, 5. If his name is Snyder, he’s a male whore! No one intermarries like the Snyder boys. Angel Lang dated and fell in love with Caleb (or Cable, if you prefer). Followed him to Oakdale where she met and ended up falling for Holden Snyder, though she eventually fell in love with and married senior brother Seth Snyder, finding something that resembles happiness with him. Holden fell for Lily first, though Lily later fell for Caleb. Even Sainted Seth fell for Sabrina and Frannie (yes, THAT Sabrina and Frannie) and slept with Betsy Stewart Montgomery – a close family friend).


Holden Snyder, however, tops the list on his own. He’s picked up where John Dixon left off. I was convinced that when John dated Holden’s mother Emma that there would be a revelation that John was Holden’s biological father. It would explain so much. If John was going to populate half the town, by soap god, Holden was going to do his best to populate the other half! Holden, besides the children he shares with is current wife (including the child they lost to miscarriage) has had children with his brother Caleb’s wife, Julie, and with Molly, the cousin of his current love interest – Carly Tenney Snyder. (She’s the ex of his cousin, Jack). Did you follow all of that? I think it’s fair to ask, “ Has Holden’s zipper EVER been in the upright position?”


No one drops trou in anger, like our farm boy, Holden Snyder.

By the way, Jack Snyder? Brad Snyder? Good job on catching up with your Snyder cousins in such a short period, and by ‘good’ I mean, W.T.F.?


4. Patrick Drake, General Hospital. If it had a pulse and was capable of smiling in his direction, Patrick was there! Not even his abs of steel could stop fans from wondering if Patrick prescribed his own penicillin, or was he just somehow lucky enough to have not contracted anything more serious than the common cold. Bravo to Robin for getting Patrick to realize that most men are capable of thinking more clearly with their pants on. Most men anyway, that brings us to:


3. Sonny Corinthos, General Hospital – What’s left to say? If she’s new in town she’ll either end up sleeping with Sonny, OR sleep with him AND carry his child (assuming she hasn’t at some point in her past). No woman escapes her GH destiny. It would be nice if Sonny’s winkie gave off a hum or a beep as warning – you know, like the caution beep you hear just before a truck backs over you and leaves you for dead. Same principle.


2. Nick Marone, The Bold and the Beautiful. A mother (while she’s depressed and suicidal), a daughter (who’s lonely), the mother – again, after the death of his child with the daughter, then the mother AND daughter in 24 hours. You can add two of their female relatives, and that he’s working on a third, even though he’s back with ‘the daughter’. GH’s Patrick Drake may want to consider writing a prescription for Nick Marone. We were introduced to Nick as, literally, a sailor with a woman in every port (hence the link to DOOL’s Stefano/BnB’s Massimo. You can take the sailor off the high seas, but you can’t make him stop humping everything that crosses his path. Oh well.


1. Top dog, Eric Forrester, The Bold and The Beautiful. A little old school manwhore, a little new school manwhore. Eric has not only slept with a mother and TWO of her daughters, he’s done it over two decades. Eric doesn’t have to jump quickly for fear of not finding a woman in a vulnerable enough place as Nick Marone does.

What makes Eric top of the list (and bottom of the barrel) is that he’s kept his wife on a string the entire time – loving her for her behavior when he’s not in lust with another woman, condemning his wife for the same behaviors when he’s in lust with someone else. He’s become so obsessed with the objects of his desire, that he’s lost his family’s security and futures by allowing his current love to take over his family’s company just to keep her close.


Age? Not an issue. Younger or older, Eric loves them all, as long as they’re not his wife of more than 40 years, Stephanie Forrester – but hells bells, he’ll love even her in the ‘down time’ between affairs.


What makes him the manwhore extraordinaire? You mean besides all of the above? Eric demands fidelity from his current wives that he’s not likely to give to any woman he claims to love. The guy has stones!


What have we learned? First, that most of the male whoredom takes place on CBS soaps. Second, that it must be ‘soap genetic’ since it’s a trait that tends to run in soap families. Third, that daytime women are out of their minds. Who’d want any of these men!?!?!


Special thanks to CBS and Soap Digest for the photos!