Young & the Restless / Bold & the Beautiful – Crazy Is…

YnR Nikki Summer Ian

The Young and the Restless: Crazy Like a Fox

Crazy is as crazy does, or so they say.  Here’s what I see.  Ian’s days are, for sure, numbered.  Will he end up  dead?  Who knows? If he lives, it is not clear to me that his days will be worth living.  He is one part cocky and two parts crazy!  Than never bodes well for a villainous soap character.

Nikki’s unequivocal F-U to Ian and her glaring declaration that she is not afraid of him is the best thing that could have happened for viewers!  Strength and courage, forget cowering and waiting for the big bad Newman men to save the day!  Oh sure, it was a HUGE thrill to have Dylan and Nick show up at the door at the end – Ian’s facial expression was priceless.  It was more of a thrill to know that Nikki didn’t need them.

Before their arrival, she charged into Ian’s office like she owned it.  She batted his lies like flies.  Someone should have warned Ian that Nikki has been married to Victor Newman, off and on, for more than 30 years soap time.  She has already survived one big bad controlling and scary man (a man who leaves me alternating between hating and loving to hate him).  Sir. Ian is a rank amateur by comparison — no matter how beautifully seamless Ray Wise’s Ian is as a villain.  Someone should tell Ian to stick to mind-blanking young and vulnerable people  who are “confused and searching” as he helps “put them on their paths”.

YnR Dylan Threatens IanSomeone should also tell him to avoid messing with the Newman clan. These people have killed before and they will kill again I’m sure.  There is always the option of leaving him imprisoned in a basement cell where no one will find him!  (What I wouldn’t give for Victor to build a cell for Ian!)  I fully expected this storyline to continue on and on with Nikki being afraid for herself, or Dylan.  Thank you writers, for letting Nikki be proactive in protecting Summer and the rest of her family.

Also, how good is it to see Paul, Lauren and Michael together?  I won’t lie.  There is a part of me that so fondly remembers Paul and Lauren as a couple (as well as Paul and Nikki) that having them find their way back to each other would feel like old home week for me. There are times when I, for a moment, wish for a Lauren and Paul reunion.  I never thought that I could grow to love Lauren after her treatment of Tracy Abbott, but Paul was the beginning of her redemption.  Lauren learned to become human, with Paul.  It helped that Lauren was fed back some of the crap she dealt out to Tracy, in the form of Mary Williams (the working woman version of BnB’s Stephanie Forrester).  Now when I see Lauren, I don’t see the mean spirited young adult who was filled with anger and ill will.  I see the woman who became a wife and mother, who apologized to Tracy for having victimized her for many years, and I love the growth that YnR characters have made Lauren in particular.  I have tried to avoid being dragged back into daytime, but the BnB and the YnR are making it tough for me to stay away.

The Bold and The Beautiful: The Douglas Problem

I’m not sure if it is intentional, but whatever the case, it is certainly interesting that there is a strong connective history when looking at the Douglas bloodline.  Stephanie Forrester’s father was a cruel and nasty S.O.D. who abused and humiliated his eldest daughter for reasons that are still not clear (realistically so.  Many survivors of abuse are left trying to make sense of their abusers’ cruelty – forced to try to give meaning to something so illogical and so vile).  John Douglas was clearly a man who refused to control his impulses – giving way to his anger at his daughter for daring to have her own opinions and  ideas.  It is a tragic behavior pattern that Stephanie followed in her own later life.  The revelation of Ally’s continued difficulties ties so neatly into the troubled Douglas history. Stephanie’s mother was as troubled as John and as troubled as Stephanie and Pam became over time.  Not only did Mother Ann refuse to protect Stephanie, she accepted a lonely Ann’s devotion and watched as Ann gave up all dreams of a family and children to care for her mother.

BnB Douglas WomenAt the time of the confrontation between mother and daughter,  it seemed that Mother Douglas’ only goal was to protect herself and the memory of a perfect marriage and perfect family life.  I now have to wonder if the writers want us to rethink the entire Douglas lineage!   That Ally’s psychological issues are being addressed (and that Ally flips out in the presence of not just Wyatt, but the Stephanie Douglas Forrester jewelry collection was BRILLIANT!)  It makes sense  that a child who lost her mother at such a young age is so badly hurt by that loss and that the pain doesn’t simply dissipate.

Are Ally’s psychological problems the real reason she didn’t continue on to Law school and came home to join the family business?  Had she had a break just before coming home?  This kid has had so much to deal with in such a short life.  Ally’s pain was compounded by the fact that the first woman she allowed to become her new mother was a woman who deceived her, only to try to replace the mother she was still grieving. Ally must have surely felt betrayed by the ease with which her father forgave the woman who left her mother dying on the highway.

Is that why Ally clings to Hope?  An innocent Hope was the only person Ally could rely on and trust in, at that time. Everyone else behaved as if it was normal for your father to marry the woman who killed your mother.   Hope told Ally the truth no one else would tell.  Is Hope’s perfect life one Ally has imagined  having for herself  instead of the crap storm Taylor’s actions and her father’s thoughtlessness left her?  Is she living vicariously through Hope to the point of imagining a happy Hope and Liam living the life that would have made her happy, too?  From Vicious John Douglas, to Mother Ann Douglas to the psychotically violent Stephanie, the murderous Pam, and now the unhinged Ally Forrester. WOW!

I’d jokingly said before that if Ally starts wearing pantsuits and a brooch, I’m  going to cry, and then fear for Hope’s safety.  I now see that I will have to fear for Wyatt’s safety.  I’m not sure what Wyatt triggers in Ally ( his deceit = taylor’s deceit?).  Does watching Hope forgive Wyatt anger her because, as she lives vicariously through Hope, and it reminds her that she accepted Taylor’s lie?  Whatever is it, the writers will let us know soon enough, but I have to say that it is beginning to become deliciously uncomfortable.

I can say that prior to Ally’s explosive rage, it was fun to watch a little innocent romance with #HOTT.  They started strong and ended strong, today.  I can’t wait for the next episode to see where this is headed.  Something tells me to not expect an apology from Ms. Ally.  Who stands with Wyatt if (when) the -ish hits the fan and the Forresters rally around Ally to protect her?  How? Most likely by firing Wyatt to help Ally heal, if the question of whether Wyatt should be fired, posed in the twitterverse to fans,  is any indication.  The only supporter he has ever had prior to meeting Hope?  His mother.  She’s ride or die for her son so I’m sure she’ll stand with him, should it happen. Would Hope stand with him or would her loyalties be divided?  Will his donor father come to his aid?  Given Bill’s consistent trashing of Wyatt, I wouldn’t count on it.  If it happens, I’m sure surprising battle lines will be drawn.

BnB Quinn and BillSoap crazy Part 2?  Bill Spencer.  Seriously, after today, this guy goes on my FastForward filter.  He is such an loser that it’s hard to fathom where the writers feel this character fits in a genre that is about romance, a bit of cheesecake, and the occasional bit of insanity.  How many times in one lifetime will a man get to say, “We’re not family, you’re just the mother of my child”?  It’s a grotesque thing for him to say to a woman with whom he has had no serious conflict and who saved. loved, and nurtured a child he claims to now love, as well.  Even referring to her as a very distant relative would have been better. (and yes, ship docked in the nearby harbor would have still worked).

Bill Spencer is exhausting.  He is a combination low-rent comedic version of J.R. Ewing (original Dallas) and womanizing Don  Draper of Mad Men.  He’s anachronistic!  Everyone else seems to be operating in the 21st century.  Bill is almost 19th century in this thoughts and actions.  I’m sick of his male equivalent “Forever 21″wardrobe, the ridiculously compulsive (and unnatural) grooming, and the  tired juvenile dialogue – what grown ass man has to tell a woman that she’d better not show up in a couple of months pregnant with his child? (If you can’t control it?  CAP IT!)  People, I just can’t with this guy. I.can.NOT!   (My comments are not about Don Diamont, who is a true hottie.  His own  look is so natural and gorgeous.  Google him.)  Bill Spencer  is too much of a put on.  It throws me every time I look at him.

Bill’s comment that Quinn was not his family  was almost as repulsive as his line that Quinn didn’t give him a chance to be a father.  As I recall, she did.  He told her to abort their child.  No matter how good looking he is with his shirt off, he is a little bit of a sidewinder, otherwise, and for a man who is such a misogynist to be treated as either a hero, or a man at all, runs counter to what a romantic lead is in daytime.  Who the hell wants to spend their days battling the Bill Spencers of the world, only to watch them celebrated?  Difficult men? Ok, outright misogynistic pigs?  Keep ’em, you can have ’em.  I have to paraphrase my new fave quote (THANKS @MrJeromeTrammel for articulating my thoughts better than I could have):  “There Is No Shortage Of Good Men, It’s Just That The Ignorance Of No-Good Men Is Promoted So Well.”

Quinn’s dialogue, returning fire for fire, was about the only useful thing to happen in the conversation between the two. I do believe she is right. Bill has never met a woman who is his match. Katie tried to humanize him, but was shut down. Brooke only gave in and gave him what he wanted – physical contact – no attempt to humanize him at all. Quinn is too good for Bill.  I hope the guy either grows up or goes.

Sorry, folks, but as I said above, Bill has hit my FastForward Filter.  He is too much of a bad thing.  I can’t be bothered to watch this guy any more.

If anyone wondered why Ashlyn Pearce was cast in the role of Alexandria Forrester, I’m guessing that’s now officially answered!  SO, in the event that you get out of line with comments or in email?  Remember this face:

BnB Angry Ally Forrester

Don’t make me send Ally after you!

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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.

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!

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.

Imagine, if you would

This one may be hard to read, folks.  It deals with the issue of violence against women in daytime.  It is relatively graphic though not explicit.  You may want to come back for the next entry, if the topic is more than you want to handle right now:

Imagine

Imagine being in the safest place you could possibly be in – your own home.  It’s the place you go  to shed the weight of the world.    You may have fallen in love while living there. You may have raised your children there.  Your summer meals are eaten on your back patio – allowing you to enjoy and cherish each cool breeze.  When it rains or storms and the winds are blowing, you watch from the comfort of your window with a cup of strong hot  tea.  Some nights you pop  popcorn, throw on a movie, and just unwind.  Home is good.

Imagine every wonderful experience you’ve ever had in your home and as you’re sitting there thinking about it, you look up.  There’s a stranger standing in front of  you. It’s confusing because it’s your living room, and you know he shouldn’t be there.  How and when did he get in?  You know from his expression that his presence isn’t accidental.  You know, as he moves toward you, that his intent is to do you harm, or worse.  The anger in his eyes makes you fearful won’t survive what is about to happen.  You wish you’d called your mother and your children that morning when you had the time, but didn’t because you thought you’d have time to do it later.  In the dark place you don’t want to go, you pray that they aren’t the ones to find you.

When he first hits or grabs you, you stop breathing.  You pray that it’s a nightmare, and start to convince yourself that it can’t be real.  Your cup of tea is still sitting there, warm.  The television is still on – and the characters on your favorite program are laughing and joking.  How can you still hear the sound of laughter while feeling such pain and fear?  It doesn’t make sense.

The sound of your own crying and the sting of your own tears makes you hate yourself. You feel betrayed.  The tears  make you feel weak and you’d always  thought that you would be stronger -fight back, if it ever happened to you.  It all makes him seem even more powerful in that moment.   There’s that little voice inside of you tells you to listen, and look, and remember everything you can.  It will all  help you help the authorities catch him, if you live.  Maybe you should scratch him, or grab something of his that will leave a trace to prove he was there.  The sight, and the sound, and the smell of him makes you ill and you can’t do it.  The survivor’s voice tells you to get through it, whatever it takes.  The survivor’s voice tells you that it will be over soon so you start to think about something or somewhere else… this is not happening.

When it’s over, you’re supposed to be grateful for having survived it. You’re supposed to be glad that he’s gone, whoever he was.  You pray that you never see him again, but your pain is so great that you almost begin to pray for your own death – anything that makes it all go away.  You’re not sure if you want to survive.  “You’ll be ok”, they tell you. “It may not seem like it, but you’ll be stronger when this is over”.  No matter what they tell you, you know what you feel.

Imagine, if you will, that when he’s caught, you find out that the person you’ve loved, or tried to love but has only ever despised you and faulted you for her own life failings, is the reason you looked up to find a stranger in your living room.  She’s the reason he was there to violate you.  She didn’t tell him to do it, she only told him that he should pursue you, you’re ‘that kinda’ girl.  She tells him how to gain access to your home. The ultimate betrayal.

All for display – Epic FAIL

That, dear readers, is daytime in a nutshell.  Writers at all ages/decades of entertainment write based on what they understand the ‘truth’ to be at the time they create their works.  The truth they seem to keep ignoring, as I see it, is that women are tired of violence against women.  PERIOD.  It’s not entertaining to us, even when it’s supposed to be educational, because we’ve lived it all too often.  If it hasn’t happened to us, it’s happened to our friends, our sisters, our mothers, our aunts, and sometimes our grandmothers.  We’re tired of watching daytime writers craft  ‘rape’ storylines and then treat them as if they have no meaning – that rape survivors move on and live their lives without the context regarding their assault:

DAYS – Sami not only had children with her rapist, she’s now defending him as a ‘changed man’ despite the fact that he’s violated her since the rape.  The writers apparently decided that they liked the ‘chemistry’ between the victim and her rapist and have decided to downplay the fact that he held her at gunpoint and then threatened the life of her fiance to force her into having sex with him.   I’ve written enough about this travesty, I don’t think I could stand to address it again.

GH – Elizabeth Webber, who’d worked so hard to rebuild her young life only to continue to throw it away on illicit affair after illicit affair and is now the mother of three children with three separate fathers, none of them involved in the lives of their children – so far.  This storyline could have been tied back to Elizabeth’s rape, that she never fully adjusted and that no one noticed her still fresh scars, but no.  The idea is that Liz is just willfully self-destructive  without cause. Her life is just charmed, but her morals are weak.  What a waste of a character and a storyline.   The most I/we can hope for is that Lucky becomes the father of two of her children (forgeddabout Jason) and that Liz is allowed to deal with her assault and refocus her life on herself, not the men in her life who treat her like something they own and then discard at will.

BnB – Brooke Logan Forrester.  While the BnB is not alone in writing follow up storylines for rape victims that are disheartening and improbable, the BnB is the worst.  Stephanie Douglas (Forrester) has demeaned Brooke in a manner far worse than any man ever could.  She’s called her ‘whore’ so often that it’s shocking to me that the writers haven’t changed Brooke’s name to reflect Stephanie’s constant name calling.  Stephanie is the woman who facilitated Brooke’s rape by sending Andy Johnson after her.  Afterward, Stephanie admitted that Brooke wasn’t a ‘whore’, that she never was, and that she didn’t deserve to be raped by Andy, or treated poorly by her.  That lasted a few months, maybe a year.

Brooke had to ‘trade’ her evidence that Stephanie facilitated the rape by using the letter with Stephanie’s admission of guilt for her brother’s freedom.  Storm shot Stephanie to protect his sister Donna (a sad, stupid, and sick move on his part).  Being a “free” woman she was free to return to being violently misogynistic toward the Logan sisters.  She was free to pimp her own son, using his drugged and alcohol fueled condition to force him into bed with Brooke’s rival.  She is FREE, period, when she should be in jail many times over for her acts of violence and attempts at murder.

Her freedom has led to one more tragedy.  She’s facilitated Beth Logan’s death.  The Logan sisters are now motherless.  Storm is dead, their mother is dead, Brooke still lives in the home where she was raped – she still bears the scars, and Stephanie will continue on.  It’s hard to believe that the writers can allow one woman to cause so much human misery and not understand that for some of us, when we look at this character, we still see the woman who lacks remorse for the sexual assault of another woman and who keeps inflicting pain on her.

For all daytime writers, these are words on paper.The characters aren’t real so the actions aren’t that serious.   For many women and some men, these are scenes linked to painful very real episodes in their lives.  In the end it is ‘just a soap’.  We get that, but why take the most painful and hurtful things that  could happen to a person (murder and rape) and treat them as mindless entertainment?  You can’t ‘undo’ the ill treatment of serious issues by adding a PSA at the end of an episode.  You can’t continue to heap insult upon injury and expect the rest of us to keep watching.

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.  Click the RAINN logo above for more informatin.  Help be a part of the solution!

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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