B&B: The heart, mind, and soul of a woman – Part 2

Heather Thom (Katie Logan Spencer)

Give a mouse a cookie, and it will ask you for a glass of milk. Give Heather Thom a reasonably good line or two and she’ll spin that stuff into PURE GOLD! HTom made sure that Katie got her BEYONCE on! Partial lyrics to the song, “Irreplaceable”

You must not know ’bout me
You must not know ’bout me
I can have another you by tomorrow
So don’t you ever for a second get to thinkin’
You’re irreplaceable?

So go ahead and get gone
Call up that chick, and see if shes home
Oops I bet you thought, that I didn’t know
What did you think
I was putting you out for?
Because you was untrue
Rolling her around in the car that I bought you
Baby, drop them keys
Hurry up, before your taxi leaves

I would have paid cash to have Katie break out in song when telling ¢Bill that he was free to “get gone”. So much of Katie’s dialogue spoke to the things women believe they’d say to a cheating partner in her shoes. While these are not exact quotes, the sentiment is the same: “How long have you been kissing her with the mouth you use to kiss me?” “Who are you lying to, me or her, because this is not an open marriage?” “You have dated, slept with, and dumped dozens of Steffys, they’re all the same. You married me because I challenge you and you challenge me. Is the dime a dozen type what you really want to go back to?” “Beg me to take you back, and if you come back, things WILL be different in this marriage. I’m taking control.”   Masterful. Those were Bold AND Beautiful.

As BnB fans, specifically, and soap fans in general, have become too used to the idea of women begging, pleading and crying. While our sisters in primetime asserted their strength and power, women in daytime were growing increasingly powerless. Women in daytime were getting dumber and weaker. The BnB writers have literally flipped the script , seemingly realizing that women want to see other women stand up for themselves to a cheating spouse who seems to think that even when he’s dirty with the stench of cheating, he irreplaceable.

Heather Thom and Katherine Kelly Lang’s elegant treatment of the dialogue can’t be overlooked. They breathed life into words on a page. In true symbiotic fashion, between writers and actors, the BnB writers have made their jobs easier with the change in the context of the material, showing a renewed respect for the genre and fans, a change that keeps me on the edge of my seat. I could always predict what BnB women were going to say or do (Brooke would cry and plead, Taylor would cry and plead in between moments of she and Stephanie referring to other women as whores and sluts despite their own shady histories and the shady histories of the men whose love they craved). Now? I have no idea what will happen and what will be said. I’ve fallen in love with this show, for now at least, all over again.

Before this, the writers offered “bitterness” as the definition for ‘strength’ on this show. Wrong writers.  Bitter bitches like Stephanie, Steffy, and Taylor, might be fun to laugh at, but for most of us, they don’t become our heroes. Women are too busy with our real lives to sit around pouting and bemoaning our fate. That Stephanie, Steffy, and Taylor have the time to sit and obsess about Ridge, Brooke, the Logans, hang nails, vanilla pudding, paper cups, or whatever else they’re spending their days whining about, makes them the daytime equivalent of drying paint. They’re easy to write for because they never change or offer any new insights into their personalities. They’re just not easy to watch.

Jennifer Gareis/Ashley Jones (Donna and Bridget)

There is still two huge absences from the Logan renaissance. Jennifer Gareis (Donna Logan Barber), recently back from maternity leave, has not had the same opportunity as her onscreen Logan sisters to light up her scenes. I suspect that her time is coming now that Amber Moore is the mother of her granddaughter and is now after her son. Donna is the more enigmatic of the Logan sisters. She’s soft and warm on one had, and a cutthroat street fighter on the other. While Brooke hoped for more than 30 years (soap time) that reason, patience, and love would transform Stephanie Douglas Forrester into a decent human being, Donna wasn’t concerned about saving Stephanie’s soul or saving Stephanie from herself. Donna believed in fighting back.  I miss that Donna and think she’s needed in the B.S. battle between the Forrester and the Logans (who are truly more family than foes).

Also needed is Ashley Jones – Bridget Forrester (a Logan woman). She needs to be returned to screen and help continue to make the Logan women the unforgettable force they are, always should have been, and will hopefully always be. There is too much unresolved business needing Bridget’s attention (I still choose to believe that Nick’s son is Bridget’s child, that she was the ‘B Marone’ listed on the donor egg dish. Bridget’s story isn’t done. It should be just beginning.)  With Bridget and Hope in the presence of their matriarchs, and finding themselves pushed out of a company their mother made incredibly wealthy beyond anyone’s dreams, it’s time for the younger Logan women to assert themselves and reclaim their right to be recognized as an integral part of the history of the family and the company. And, given Steffy’s new plans for vengeance, Hope will need her big sister, right about now.

So, dear readers and friends, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go check my driver’s license to make sure I’m still me, check the net for predictions of the next “doomsday” date, and find out if someone has been slipping me hallucinogenic drugs. I just can’t believe this is happening. I’m not only loving the BnB, I’m imagining how many more years of this show I’d love to see, given the current directions of storylines.

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B&B: The heart, mind, and soul of a woman – Part 1

You won’t believe this, but I am here to SING the praises of BnB writers!  I know, right?!!?!  How often has that happened?  I’ve been convinced, for EONS, that BnB writers fall into one of three categories:  1 – men who’ve never been in a relationship with a woman.  2 – men who have been in relationships with women, and hate them.  3 – women who haven’t had the heart to tell their coworkers that they’re putting utter bullshit to screen.  Yes, harsh, I know, but as a fan who’s watched the show from the day it aired, I’ve been one bitterly disappointed fan for roughly the last decade (though don’t ask me to explain why I continued to watch).  The tipping point?  I stopped watching after  Brooke “accidentally” had sex with her youngest daughter’s boyfriend, after all of her earlier trouble.  She had no idea that the person she had sex with wasn’t her husband – a man she’d been having sex with since her early 20s.  There is suspension of disbelief, and then there is flirtation with insanity.  There have been far too many times when BnB writers have asked viewers for the latter instead of the former.

So how did the same writing team move from the “mistaken stand up sex with a 20-year-old” to the Katie-Bill phenomenon?  It beats the hell out of me because like my continued fascination with this show, I can’t explain that either.  For the past two years, the BnB has won Emmys for “Best Writing” in storylines featuring the Logan family, in part or whole.  I can only believe that the writers are ready to explore the Logan women with greater depth and insight are and are beginning to play off of the strengths of the Logan leads (Katherine Kelly Lang, Heather Thom, Jennifer Gareis).   Between Brooke giving Ridge and Taylor the blues over their nitwit overly self-involved daughter, to Katie reading $Bill the riot act and busting him down to ¢Bill, this show is ROCKING!  The writers are finally writing as if they understand the hearts, minds, and souls of women.  I’ve finally watched a series of episodes that I could recommend to ANYONE I know, even friends who aren’t soap fans, and not be embarrassed to admit that I watch daytime television.   If it’s possible for the soap genre to be redefined at this late stage, as soaps lay dying, The Bold and The Beautiful has done it!

Katherine Kelly Lang – Brooke Logan

KKL’s strength has always been treating Brooke as a character with a heart and a soul, although her job was made a bit tougher during some of Brooke’s worst moments (sleeping with daughter Bridget’s husbands – Deacon and Nick, thinking of her daughter’s believed abortion to be a ‘moment’ in history for her to move on with Bridget’s beloved, accidentally sleeping with teen daughter Hope’s boyfriend).  If you erase those three horrific moments, Brooke has been the emotional heart of the show.  She brings love and forgiveness.  She brings insight and wisdom.  Unlike most BnB soap characters, Brooke admits her faults and lays herself emotionally bare to be judged by others.  She suffers humiliation and maltreatment and continues to move forward.  What she’s rarely been allowed to be, however, is the matriarch she is, a woman with a voice.  This new Brooke would have made Beth Logan proud!

Brooke telling the parents of a snake like Steffy that she SHOULD have her heart-broken if she thinks that it’s ok to interfere in someone else’s marriage  was positively inspired!   While Brooke has been reamed as a hypocrite in some quarters, I see her as a woman who is sadly speaking from experience.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t view Steffy and Brooke as the same, at all. The difference is that  Brooke had always been fighting to reclaim the love that was lost as Stephanie and Taylor fought to keep her and Ridge apart.  Steffy developed a crush on an older man and decided that he belonged to her – his wife be damned.  Steffy barely knew Bill.  There was no history, there was no backstory, there was only a pathetic attempt by a little girl to use a man to hurt a woman she’s hated without reason or limit.  Brooke nailed Taylor right between the eyes by reminding her that any other woman in her daughter’s shoes would have been deemed a home wrecker or worse (remember Taylor referring to Brooke as winning one for the ‘whores of the world’, when Ridge left her for Brooke, even though Brooke didn’t want him? 

I don’t know if the writers remember that it was their decision to transform Taylor from sympathetic oncologist, to husband envying psychiatrist, in love with her dying patients’ grieving spouse.   Either way, they’ve continued to write Brooke as the woman with insight, who has been consistently able to call other characters out on their behaviors, motivations, and intentions.  Taylor is stuck defending  or minimizing the behaviors her daughter displays when she learns the Brooke despises those very behaviors, even when she herself initially disagrees with Steffy’s actions.  It’s Taylor who has missed the boat on some of the biggest behavior indicators of problems in the Forresters’ lives (like Amber’s skittishness when bringing faux Little Eric home, and Morgan Dewitt’s psychological instability, or children’s growing pathological behaviors which includes a car bombing and stalking).

I am so greatly enjoying Brooke finding her voice and defending her family that I can scarcely wait for the next scene!

Daytime: Killing Me Softly With It’s Song…

This blog entry is alternately titled, “Killing Soaps Softly… from The Inside” or “Good bye Cruel Soap World”.  If you’re not a soap fan – when you read the title  you were probably thinking something like this:
The above is the Fugees remake of the Roberta Flack original.
If you’re a soap fan, you were probably thinking this:
Or possibly  this:
Thank YOU to the soapoperanetwork.com posters who found and posted the vids.  No thanks to the responsible network execs. The network exec/s who came up with that brilliant idea, and approved the above ad (or even that prior Emmy performance) should be GONE from daytime… not just fired, but permanently banned from the entertainment field.  Daytime isn’t just dying because of the OJ trial, cable television,syndication,  the Internet, etc… it’s being slowly killed from the inside.  Add to the above cases the case of The Bold and The Beautiful.  You’ve heard me refer to it as my favorite soap in the past.  You’ll never hear that comment from me again, I’m sure.  Add me as another “Day One” viewer who is finally fed up enough with this show to take if off the ‘occasional view’ list and dump it.
As I’ve stated before, many fans work full time (at home and outside the home) and often want to spend time with entertainment that is ‘relaxing’.  We don’t mind entertainment that challenges us and keeps us working when its smart and edgy.  LOST was a huge hit because it kept fans guessing and looking toward the future. Entertainment that causes you to work but gives you nothing in return is not worth watching.  Fans figured out long ago that Brooke was worth more than a good sex scene and subsequent sex ‘scandals’. It seems clear that the writers haven’t figured that out. There is no future to look toward with this show. We know what the future is… it’s been the same storyline for Brooke for nearly a decade, with an occasional diversion thrown in.   She’s twice betrayed her oldest daughter by having  slept with not ONE, but TWO of Bridget’s husbands.  She has a child with each form son-in-law, one of whom is being raised by Bridget.
The first child Brooke had with a son-in-law is in love with a young man fans once found adorable, Oliver Jones – as played by the adorable Zack Conroy (ex-James Spaulding, The Guiding Light).   Anti-Brooke fans joked, when Hope was born, that it would only be a matter of time before Brooke slept with Hope’s lovers, too.  That seemed like the most improbable of storylines given the fact that each time the writers had Brooke sleep with one of Bridget’s husbands, the ratings tanked. After the third dalliance (once with SIL Deacon Sharpe, twice with Nick Marone) the writers seemed to finally get it.  Brooke + Daughter’s lovers = Disaster.   They went through the trouble of having her declared a ‘new woman’, a woman who would never again betray her children. Now this.
Fans, the writers seem to believe, are supposed to forgive Brooke for sleeping with Oliver because despite the fact that his 20 year old body is no where nearly as developed as that of her 50 year old husbands’ body.  She couldn’t tell the difference when she had sex with him up a wall, just outside of a room full of teens.  He apparently didn’t feel shorter, thinner, or sound different during the tryst.
The room was dark.  They were wearing masks.  Brooke and Oliver  were overcome with passion – Oliver, believing he was having sex with a virginal Hope – who must have at some point told him that she didn’t want her first time to be special, any place and any time would do.  She must have also told him she as practicing her moves in the mirror because Oliver didn’t seem to notice that Hope didn’t move like an inexperienced woman.  He too, was unable to tell that his partner was older, taller, and didn’t feel the same as the numerous times before when he kissed her.  Even if the writers managed to undo this horror of a storyline, they can’t undo their tacit acknowledgement that there is no future for Brooke, and most characters on this show, that doesn’t involve sex with the wrong person, for whatever reason, at any place and time.
Peace to  Ms. Katherine Kelly Lang, portrayer of long suffering heroine Brooke Logan, because she (Ronn Moss, Susan Flannery, John McCook, Ashley Jones, and much of the cast) have made this show worth watching during some of its darkest times, but there are limits.  I’m not writing, or calling, or begging or pleading.   I’m  not enraged by the storyline itself, but what it represents.  I am also not engaged by thei storyline, I’m just done with the BnB.  This show is not my second job.  I shouldn’t have to put any effort into enjoying what was once great entertainment.
While the writers, producers, directors, and network executives work hard to make daytime into the huge joke those outside the genre think it is, it’s time for this soap fan to move on.  Two of the six soaps (BnB and DAYS) are unwatchable because of the outrageous storylines they tell.  The other four are occaasionally passable.  Syndication isn’t the problem for daytime, it’s the solution. Fans prefer to watch shows that provide some payoff — and we’re  getting less and less of that in daytime.

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

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

General Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Bold and The Beautiful

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Days of Our Lives

In no particular order:

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

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

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

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

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

One Life to Live

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

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

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

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

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

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

Husbands and wives separated by addiction.

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

It’s the show with something for everyone.

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

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

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

Which brings us back to Taylor Hayes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Examples?

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

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

*****

Stephanie:  You stole my husband you BITCH!

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

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

and then she walks away!

*****

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

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

*****

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

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

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

And SCENE!

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

Steffy to Brooke:  You’re a whore.

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

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

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

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.