Ok, BnBers/OLTLers, what the hell?

One Life To Live:  Marty Saybrooke?  I don’t know if it’s possible, but I would love for the writers to use the time they have left to redeem this character.  She was the wild child gone good, who made a wonderful life for herself , survived the death of her soul mate, and raised a child.  First in attempt to prop Todd and whitewash the ‘twice raped’ dynamic between them, then to prop John McBain, and later the John -Natalie relationship, the writers deconstructed Marty into an unrecognizable and unlikable character.  It will be painful watching the show end, having eternally ruined a great character.

I’m not a movie buff who watches only feel-ggod films or only movies with fully resolved endings.  I’ll admit that I have been a soap viewer who loved soaps most when they left the audience with the feeling that all is well in the alternate universe our soap faves live in at the close of their run.  GL’s ending was perfect.  It lovely to think of Josh and Reva (and son) on a trip around the world, the four musketeers filling their days with dinners together and discussing their families, Alex and Fletcher enjoying a life they’d never imaged they could have, Remy and Tina deeply in love, Bill and Lizzie and making things work with Jon and all are peacefully coparenting… you get the picture. 

I hope for something similar for OLTL.  Fans deserve nothing less than a happy Victoria Lord, peace between Vicki and Dorian, Clint gaining back his humanity and reuniting with his family,Marty – whose life has been so violent and tragic finally at peace, and I’ll let you imagine the rest from there.

The Bold and the Beautiful:  In the age of waning budgets for new hires and an attempt to tell complete storylines with as few cast members as possible, I am – to some degree, sympathetic to the limitations of meeting a such a tough balancing act.  I am, however, still stunned by what I saw yesterday (day before?).  The writers REALLY have to think about what they’re doing that makes taylor look either completely unethical moron, and the rest of the citizens of Bell’s fictionalized L.A. look completely unhinged!

Why would Katie agree to therapy with taylor, not only the world’s worst and most idiotic psychiatrist, but a woman who has repeatedly attacked, and supported the attack of, her sister – sisters if you add Donna? I could only love that ridiculous plot if the writers were smart enough to make Katie devious in using taylor, knowing that she and Stephanie would declare war on Bill if he didn’t stay away from steffy.   Sadly, Katie begged Bill not to leave her at the end of the therapy session. I wish the writers had left that part alone, but they just can’t help themselves.  A misogynistic fool being begged by his once strong wife not to leave her.  It wouldn’t have hurt to have allowed Katie was allowed to maintain her standards, writers. 

As for Steffy, the other thorn in the side of the Logan-Spencer marriage, she is either delusional or a pathological liar, given the way the writers are penning her dialogue. She’s better than the Logan’s because she’d never go after a married man? She’d never make a move on him? Wha’????? Bill won’t have her, that’s the only thing that stops her from moving forward. Steffy has put every move she’s known on Bill and he’s rejected her.  Steffy and Stephanie are so one note in their attacks on the Logans. They can’t stand faulting the men in their lives for chasing after Logan women – so they whitewash Forrester male actions to fault Logan women.

That’s the defnition of a weak woman. Steffy was aptly named.

Since I’m catching about one show a month – where is Bridget, readers? Bill telling Katie she should have stayed with Marone if she wanted ‘normal’ was laughable. The man who dumped on her niece for her and for Brooke? I could have sworn Bill made comments that made it clear that he knew that history. That ain’t normal, not even by soap standards — and it’s not like Katie really had a choice to be with Nick. He knew he wanted Bridget – who forgave him for his repeated betrayals. Katie knew it was a matter of time. Who knew that Nick wouldn’t forgive Bridget for her ONE betrayal?

She’s free and he’s headed back to Katie-land?  Far too predictable.

As for the Brooke and Thomas teaser?  Words fail me.  Since I have nothing good to say, I’ll say nothing at all.

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It happens in the best of (soap) families…

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

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

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

1.  a cougar and

2 – a woman from Abe’s past.

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

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

Speaking of  Soap Families

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

The Philanderer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Self-Pitying Liar

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

The Take-by-Force loser

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

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

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

The first thing we do? OLTL?

Copyright ABC (2008)

Let’s rid ourselves of all of the bad editors!  (if you don’t mind the turn of phrase).Most of what took place on OLTL this past week pleasantly surprised me.   Even my well worn remote would like to take this moment to thank the writers for relief.  It pretty much had the week off with One Life, since I don’t remember hitting FF once this week.  The only big shocker for me this past week  were several pretty lousy editing choices, one in particular.  I’ll get to that in a moment.

Soap-heaven help me, I still like John and Marty.  The only thing that’s harder to take than a dark and brooding John McBain is John McBain in love.  ‘Happy’ John and ‘Brooding’ John are pretty much one in the same.  It’s just at times tough to watch a man who SHOULD be filled with joy behave like a man whose problems could all be solved with the help of  a good laxative.  Wardrobe, could you PLEASE at least put on a brightly colored shirt under his dark suit jacket and dark coat, to go along with his dark pants and dark shoes so that we know the difference between Brooding John and Joyous John?  Thanks!

John’s reaction to Marty as she flashed back on her the manipulated-rape sex with Todd was a reminder that there are soap writers who still realize that it’s so much easier for fans to root for good men – we get so few of them in daytime.  Many of us still love men who are sensitive to the needs of others, rather than focus on themselves  and their own pain.  LOVED that moment when John reminded Marty that he was always willing to wait for her – she’s worth it.  LOVED that the writers didn’t follow that scene up with John immediately running to someone else to flirt with or have sex with while Marty was working on her recovery.

Copyright ABC (2009)

The only thing that made the scene even remotely awkward was watching Blair seduce Todd at the same time Marty had difficulty being touched by John because of Todd’s assault of her.  If the writers wanted to make some of us squeamish about Todd and Blair, job well done.  Otherwise?  Bad editing job on this one.  It made Todd and Blair seem completely disconnected from the world around them, belligerently insular.  They seemed to not care about how much damage had been done to others in their time apart.

Blair, who was disgusted by Todd’s treatment of Marty, seems to have absolutely no qualms about his actions, now.  She was disgusted enough before to want to keep his children from him.  Now?  She can’t keep her hands off of him.

I would much rather have had long soulful talks between the two rather than strip scenes and “shame-filled” sex. The problem with the writing for the once magnificent Todd and Blair is that that the writers don’t seem invested in having them break the inch deep-mile wide pattern they’ve established as part of their courtship.   OLTL writers have seem to always bank on the hard work of Kassie DePaiva and Trevor St. John in winning back fans to the ‘Todd and Blair corner to bring romance back to the show.  I think they’ll have to reconsider, this time.  Too much damage has been done and an instant reunion most likely won’t give them the bump they’re looking for.  How instant is instant in their case?  Todd/Blair reunions can be summarized by the following dialogue:

“You hurt me” (Todd to Blair, Blair to Todd, it doesn’t matter).

“I’m sorry” (Todd to Blair, Blair to Todd, it doesn’t matter)

“Stay away from me” (Todd to Blair, Blair to Todd, it doesn’t matter)

“You don’t mean that” (Todd to Blair, Blair to Todd, it doesn’t matter)

They have sex… AND SCENE!

Where is the discussion about what they want and why they want it?  What about some insight into why they dragged Marty and John into their psychodrama?  How about some part humorous/part dramatic couples counseling for them?   What about real consideration about Tea’s feelings?  It’s bad enough that Todd cheated on Tea after she put everything on the line for him, her life included, but he then lied and said that it meant nothing that he’d had sex with Blair.  If it wasn’t a lie that having sex with Blair meant nothing to him?  It makes his actions even worse.  The writers rubbed salt in fans’ wounds by having Todd coldly state to Blair that he was leaving her to go after Tea ‘because she’s worth it’.

Hells bells, people, you know that despite Tea’s fault, I’m a fan of the goddess of grand bitchery but for TODD to state who is ‘worthy’ and who isn’t?  Well that just burns my grits.  I would have loved watching Blair  get up off the chaise lounge and slap Todd back to his infancy (which would finally allow his external state match his internal state)!   Marty, Tea, Blair, his sister Viki, and even his own daughter, Starr… just how many women in Llanview are going to end up emotionally scarred thanks to this guy?  Taking Todd down the dark road for the sake of pimping “Starr and Cole” is a decision that still haunts this show.  The writers haven’t been able to find their ‘Todd mojo’ and get anything right with this character since then.

Despite the detour and bad editing, I enjoy Marty and John.

What else was there to love?

Copyright ABC (2009)
Copyright ABC (2009)

1.  Greg turned out to not be a big a jerk as he originally seemed.  I liked that he experienced pangs of guilt about running out on Destiny and realizing that he’d hurt her with his actions.  I still don’t like the guy enough to have Rachel walk away from Shaun and fall into Dr. Dork’s waiting arms.  I just like the idea of Shawn and Greg working out their differences for their sister’s sake.

Lovin’ the OLTL writers for giving us this little family.  It’s so unconventional and I can’t wait to see where they go next.  Don’t make me eat those words, writers.

2.  I uh… liked Destiny last week.  If you’re shocked, imagine how I feel.   I’m starting to see what the casting directors saw in this kid when they cast her.   She’s growing in the role and learning to convey a vulnerability that’s refreshing in a teen character, given the rash of adult-themed storylines daytime writers have been pushing for young characters, lately.   It will be interesting to see where the friendship between Destiny and Matthew goes.

3.  I uh… liked Starr last week.    Still in shock here!  The discussion between Starr, Cole, and Jessica was so rational and thoughtful, I have to classify it as the high point of my soap watching week!  Alderson held her own in scenes with Buddy and Williamson.   Scene chewing is not her thing so this emotionally low-key scene felt genuine and believable.  I have to admit that the discussion between Jess and Cole sparked my interest most.  Er, NO, I don’t want to see them as a couple.  I’m giving kudos to the writers for creating such a layered scene.  Both made the connection that they were both ‘in recovery’ and made poor choices because of an inordinate amount of pain, but that they both needed to take responsibility for their own actions.  Both Jess and Cole realized that they had to forgive others as they needed to be forgiven.  For a brief and shining moment, I felt that I could honestly tell my friends who don’t know that I watch soaps about the show … well done, writers, well done!  It was good enough for prime time… 😉  Ouch?

4.  Wish I could give a crap about the Stacy storyline, but I don’t.  I don’t even care who Rex’s father is any more… just.not.interested!

While Starr moved one step closer to being a ‘real mom’, Gigi took a step back for me.  (Wait, I’m getting to it… there’s something I like about this storyline, hang on)… It was odd to watch her encourage Shane’s hatred of  Aunt Stacy no matter how much of a low life Stacy has been.

I had to wonder if there wasn’t a unconscious attempt to warn fans about the perils of being a young mother – since it appears that they’re avoiding that ‘lesson’  of young parenthood with Starr and Cole.   Gigi applauding Shane’s comic book character (skanky Stacy?  Sleazy Stacy?)  REEKED of an immature mother dragging her child into her baby’s daddy drama.  A mature mother would have told Shane that his feelings of anger are appropriate, but that it’s also appropriate to feel sorry for Stacy for what she’s become and to hold out hope for her.   The Gigi-Shane scenes skeeved me out a bit, I gotta’ admit.

SO, here’s what I loved

A –  That the ‘secret’ is finally out in the open.  I was tired of this storyline about a month before it began (damn you spoilers!)

B – That there’s a possibility of a Schuyler-Gigi pairing – the actors have an amazing onscreen chemistry.  Rex and Gigi have been terminally cute.  Schuyler and Gigi have the potential to be hot!.  Having Rex sleep with Stacy and lie about it after treating Gigi like such dirt for so long makes Rex and Gigi a dead pairing for me, for now.  No matter how many things didn’t add up, Rex refused to believe the truth and painted the Scarlett ‘A’ on Gigi’s chest – clearly tempted to use her own blood to do so.  Let Big Rex, and little Rex, sit on the sidelines and watch Gigi happy with someone else for a while.

5 –  I’ve never been much of a Bo and Nora fan… but they’re reeling me in.  Poor Clint… Sorry guy, I think I want to see a Bo and Nora reunion.  Clint and Nora seem to have been killing time for a while now.  Send Clint home to Viki (sorry Charlie!)

He said what? The Brass Cojones Awards

If there was a Brass Cojones award for daytime males, I’d have to nominate the following four characters:

3 – The YnR’s Victor Newman. Victor recently referred to rival Jack Abbott as an arrogant S.O.B. As soon as I regained consciousness from laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe (hence the passing out), I realized that Victor has a brass pair so big that the man must wear TWO pairs of pants to contain them.

This is the man who told the love of his life, mother of most of his children, that she would still be a stripper in the dive bar he found her in if it weren’t for him (a bitterly cruel thing to say to a woman at midlife, dontcha’ think?). Apparently, he helped her grow a brain, get a little ambition, and become a person of virtue.   ::swoon::   Sure, if it weren’t for him, she’d still be sliding that pole, not a thought in her head, gigglin’ and jigglin’. Victor just wanted her to know that.  And they say romance is dead!  Victor should be happy that he married Nikki and not a woman who would have taken half of everything in a divorce, including half the brass.

2 – OLTL’s Jared Banks. Jared recently offered to help Clint Buchanan keep hot-stuff David Vickers from finding out that he was the rightful heir to Buchanan Enterprises. He wants to make sure the company stays in the hands of the ‘original family’.  Oh yeah, people, he used THOSE words.

In the process of agreeing to help Clint, Jared- the soulless recast his own attempt to defraud the Buchanans, by pretending to be the rightful heir to Asa’s fortune, as an act of ‘protection’.   He and Natalie were only ‘protecting’ the Buchanans from David’s evil greedy dirty deed doing self. The problem is that Jared stole David’s share of BE from the ‘original family’ before finding out who the real heir was. He did it out of greed – and revenge against Tess. It’s an act that cost the family its company and allowed Dorian Lord to take over.  It was also an act that resulted in Nash Brennan losing his life.

Will someone let me know when Jared is gone? For good, that is.

Tied for second is the dark shadow, prince of pain, the man who works at trying to make morose look hot:  Johnny Boy McBain.  Does it astound anyone else that John is self-righteous about Marty drinking and sexing her anger away?  Does it strike anyone else as odd that it’s how McBain was introduced, and how he’s lived as a character the entire time he’s been around?

Does McBain care because he wants what’s best for Marty?  Does he care because he’s jealous?  Is it just the case that it’s hard to look at the female version of himself (down to the black clothing)?

I keep waiting for someone to ask John why it’s ok for him to turn blue skies gray and grunt his way through relationships that end up leaving the women who love him shattered and feeling used.   I was hoping it would be Marty who took him on.

3 – ATWT’s Jack Snyder. It takes a lot of nerve for a man to bring second mortgage papers for his ex-wife to sign for the home she still lives in with their children. It takes even more nerve to ask her to let you take out a second mortgage to allow you to buy your new wife and her kid a home. You’d think that would be enough, right? You don’t know Jack, then.

Jack earns the ‘Brass Cojones’ award for telling his ex-wife, as the second mortgage papers are sitting on her desk, to not accept a loan from the town’s mustache twirling villain: Craig Montgomery(pictured right).  Craig, it appears, is so evil that  Carly’s utter devastation and loss of all of she has left, professionally, is better than accepting his money.  Sure… It’s much better that Carly be unemployed and in debt from a bad business venture.  It’s much better that she spend her days hoping Jack and Janet take a break from sniffing the fantasy laced room full of flowers and sunshine in the new home built from her children’s financial security long enough to pay back the second mortgage so that she doesn’t lose her home, too.

If you’re keeping count, Jack wears FOUR pairs of pants to hold his brass in and even then there’s a little spillage.  It’s not pretty.