What has happened to controversy in daytime?

I began thinking, about whether there are any truly unique storylines in daytime.  Every storyline billed as “Never Before Done” has been a bitter disappointment. They were either storylines in which writers ripped off their own work – playing out earlier told storylines with different characters,  storylines that truly were unique but never have been attempted (all of #Passions, or #GL’s Clone Reva), or storylines that offered some other thinly veiled variation on a theme.

The only storyline I could think of that is unique (and not one that I’m applauding) is the storyline involving the #boldandbeautiful’s Brooke.  She has had affairs with two sons-in-law and a brother-in-law, having children with all three men: with Son-in-law Nick there was a child inadvertently carried by Taylor Hayes – who was married to Nick and accidentally artificially inseminated using Brooke’s egg; an egg that was supposed to be donated to science.  The son-in-law Deacon affair produced Hope Logan, while Deacon was still married to Brooke’s rarely mentioned daughter, Bridget.  The affair with brother-in-law ¢Bill Spencer – who was married to her sister, Katie, resulted in a pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage.   The writers appear to be gearing up for a storyline in which Brooke’s former son-in-law, Deacon Sharpe, finds himself competing against her former brother-in-law, ¢Bill Spencer, for her affections. The only truly original plot in daytime  is also one of its seediest… pun intended.

I prefer to think of it as the lust triangle from soap hell. Thanks to the ever wonderful Katie Logan (portrayed by Heather Tom) and Ridge Forrester (now played by Thorsten Kaye) working together to expose  the perennially sleazy ¢Bill Spencer for the lying fraud he is, I realize how much I miss REAL controversy in daytime.   Whatever happened to the days when scandalous storylines weren’t always about sexual impropriety?  I’ve had enough of #BoldandBeautiful’s Brooke and her various in-law affairs.  I was never able to tolerate #Days Sami cheating with Ej – the man the writers admitted was her rapist.  Their relationship is a sadly outmoded “victim-perp” romance and #Days writers should have none better.   As brilliant as #GH’s Maura West is in the role of Ava, I am exhausted by storylines about women who are unsure of the paternity of  their children, most especially when those men are related.  I have had it with men like #GH’s Sonny, or now defunct #SunsetBeach’s Cole who have slept with and/or impregnated mothers and daughters, as well as half the town around them.

Do you know what kinds of controversial and awe producing storylines I miss?

  • Realistic and useful return from dead plots – #AllMyChildren’s Nina Cortlandt was led to believe her mother  died in childbirth.  Yet, years later, Daisy Cortlandt shows up, reclaims her family, and becomes a pillar of the community despite her reportedly scandalous past.  What a joy it was to watch Daisy operate in stealth mode, trying to figure out if she was friend or foe, as she reconnected with Nina while avoiding the watchful Sauronesque angry eye of Palmer Cortlandt, Nina’s father.
  • Shady corporate take overs were some of my favorites (and not those that are resolved with fashion show takedowns, #BoldandBeautiful).  Remember when Lucinda welcomed Connor and Evan into the fold, not knowing who they really were, at first, and having no clue that they were back to reclaim the Walsh family fortune?  HA!  What about Lucy “helping” Barbara Ryan by buying the “Simply Barbara” clothing line, to have money for Paul as Babs went on trial for the murder (HA!) of James Stenbeck?  Barbara is cleared, later, and has to start a new fashion label when her “friend” Lucinda refuses to sell back the company.  No annual competing fashion shows.
  • Remember #AnotherWorld’s Mac Cory fighting for his corporate life, only to find out that the mastermind behind the attempted takeover of his empire was his own daughter, Iris?  Heartbreak as it was the end of her relationship with her father.  Mac Cory, due to Douglass Watson’s death, was soon gone on screen as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLNnnCgPhm0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UkgaeETUPs

  • If you’ve forgotten that #AsTheWorldTurns’ Kim Hughes was once terrorized by an unknown stalker, how can you call yourself a soap fan?  The greatest twist ever?  The stalker was seemingly innocent, highly successful and beloved  Douglas Cummings, fiance of her stepdaughter, Frannie Hughes.  Even now, when I hear “Someone to Watch Over Me”, a part of me begins thinking about this storyline.
  • #GuidingLight’s Sonni/Solita/Sonni storyline.  Sonni Carrera, a brilliant psychiatrist meets and falls in love with Josh Lewis (and who didn’t fall for Josh?).  Sadly, it was a ruse.  She and lover Will Jeffries were plotting to steal the Lewis fortune.  The twist?  Sonni was not Sonni, but her “evil”, wild child twin sister, Solita.   Solita was Will’s mistress and muse.  Solita had long been buried when Solita stole her identity.  Double twist?  Solita wasn’t Solita after all. She was the real Sonni Carrera, who had a psychotic break after her sister’s death and created a Solita persona.  I could have died for soap joy.

4:42 into the video

Continues 3:27 in

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More here:

3:56 in, here

Guiding Light writers were chock full of twist heavy, jaw dropping, edge of your seat storylines – ones that weren’t purely about sexual scandal: — Annie, in her desperation to hang on to husband Josh Lewis, carried a dead fetus, until she could set Reva Shayne Lewis up for pushing her down the stairs “killing” their baby. — Beth revealing she had been the victim of sexual abuse by Bradley Raines and her fight to become strong enough to turn him in and reclaim her sense of safety. You’re beginning to get my point, right?  Someone (or a group of people) in daytime have decided that not only does “sex sells” but that sexual impropriety is all daytime has to offer, any more. I want more.  I want those cleverly drawn, nearly impossible to think of on you own, scandals that daytime once offered.  I want family betrayals that take place with clothes on, both feet on the floor – no bumping uglies, folks. I want to look at new characters and wonder if they are friend or foe, and if my fave characters have something to worry about. I want daytime writers to give me romance and intrigue, and stop making sex feel like a weapon. I miss daytime for what it was.  I’m not willing to accept it for the limited thing is has become.

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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.

Are The Bold and The Beautiful’s DAYS numbered?

I expect the prior week’s ratings to be TOUGH for the BnB when they’re released on Thursday/Friday of this week.  DAYS  has just ended a year long arc with Sami Brady finding out that Nicole Walker stole her child (Sydney) and replaced her with a child who ended up dying only months later (Grace).  I fully expect DAYS to kick Bold’s fanny in the next set of ratings.  If it doesn’t, shame on the viewers for missing one of daytime’s truly great moments!  Sami put the smackdown on Nicole, literally and figuratively, after finding out that Nicole stole her child – and Nicole turned it around and made herself a sympathetic character, in the end.

4:35 into this clip (also posted below)  shows you what DAYS has going on that Bold can’t touch, right now… but the whole clip is worth the watch!  *Thanks MrBreaksoap for posting this vid… check out MrBreaksoap’s channel on Youtube

DAYS is amazing and Arianne Zuker is hitting it out the ballpark.   I don’t know who to credit for the success of this storyline.  Is it the writers who seemed to know how they wanted to tell this story from beginning to end?  There were no weak moments (other than the uninteresting teens – and even then the writers seemed to know not to give them too big a role in this storyline).  Does the credit go to Ari Z, whose every inflection, facial expression, and gesture seemed perfect?   Is it a strong  partnership between the two, one not working without the other?

The Bold and the Beautiful (only .2 of a ratings point ahead of DAYS)  hasn’t offered a storyline that comes even close to anything as exciting as the Sami and Nicole exchange.   While the BnB feels like the show you watch just before you go to sleep at night,  DAYS is the show you rush home to watch because missing a single day means you’ll miss something good!  If DAYS isn’t theEmmy winner for ‘Best Drama’ next year, I’ll be shocked.  The carefully choreographed dance between the writers at DAYS, and Ari Z is the perfect example of what writers can do with a show when writers write to the strength of their actors, instead of faulting good actors for bad storylines and awful direction (see: Kyle Lowder).

What the BnB lacks in terms of the  disciplined continuity shown by DAYS writers, it makes up for in sheer number of storylines directed at the audience.  Stephanie’s childhood abuse storyline ended as quickly as it began and then morphed into a storyline about her facilitating the rape of Brooke Logan.  Eric woke up out of his coma to find his wife in the arms of another man and all was forgiven mere weeks later.   Owen was a schemer (or appeared to be) when he first arrived on canvas – only to be transformed into a ‘hero’ just months later and transformed again as a toyboy-to-true love shortly after.  Brooke’s rape became a storyline about reclaiming the love of her life, only to have her nearly throw him away again with the birth of a child she never planned for (more on that later).   BnB storylines are  like the weather pattern in most places, wait ten minutes and they’ll change.  The Bold and The Beautiful needs a storyline arc that draws fans in and one that  lasts longer than a couple of months.  The ‘baby drama’ centered on Nick, Bridget, and Sandy/Agnes is the perfect opportunity for the writers to tell a cohesive storyline.  Right now the storyline is hit and run.  Pieces of it show up, when the writers aren’t busy shoving less interesting storylines (like Steffy going psycho stalker and creating an affair from a weak kiss – all in her head).

I think that BOLD’s Ashley Jones’ appeal is severely underestimated – mainly by the BOLD writers since prime time writers, directors, and casting agents ‘get it’, given Ms. Jones’ string of successes in prime time appearances.  Between Ashley Jones and Sarah Brown, the baby surrogacy storyline, added to the Logan/Forrester takeover,  has the potential to give fans a reason to become excited about the show.  SB’s Sandy  is clearly playing the Nicole Walker role, but are her intentions are as pure as Nicole’s?  It’s doubtful given Sandy’s fixation on the happy couple, the fact that they have everything, according to her, and that she has nothing.   Could she have been targeting Nick and Bridget all along?  Maybe it wasn’t her plan to become a surrogate, but that she’d planned to take advantage of Nick’s reputation as an unfaithful man.  The guy slept with Bridget’s mother and her dying aunt, after all.  How hard could it be to have him fall into bed with her?  That the happy couple needed a surrogate might have been a happy coincidence for her.  It would give her a chance to get closer to Nick, without Bridget needing to be around, and it set the stage for her making Bridget feel inadequate – or to at least try to.

Bridget has already suffered untold grief and misery and would be easily blindsided by someone like Sandy – but it shouldn’t take her long to see through Sandy and figure out what’s going on.  It would require a paradigm shift from the writers who would have to let go of bad habits.  By the time your husband humps your mother just months after your child dies, and jumps your dying aunt – being written as ‘naive’ only makes a character look stupid.   I’d rather not see that happen this time.  Why not have a cat and mouse storyline with the two women?  Why not add a new angle?  Sandy only THINKS she’s the cat.  It turns out that she’s the mouse and that Bridget relies on Sandy’s knowledge of ‘poor, pitiful, naive, betrayed, Bridget’ and plays to it… while working with her mother and mother-in-law, to make sure that Sandy doesn’t get her child – even if she takes her husband.   Maybe Bridget will prevail and win them both!  Is it even possible for the writers to have Nick keep his pants up when presented with the opportunity to cheat?  Let’s hope.

If you’re a BOLD viewer, I know what you’re most likely thinking?  The last BnB ‘baby drama’ story  (Brooke/Taylor surrogacy) didn’t work.  Fans were bored silly and the ratings dropped.  Why torture fans with another ‘baby drama’ storyline?  Why pick up with another ‘two mommies’ storyline?  The problem, in my opinion, wasn’t the type of storyline, but the players invovled!

The Brooke and taylor angle was wretched, because:

1 – taylor is a dud of a character and it would be easier cheering on a root canal than anything to do with her.  There are times when the writers need to realize that some characters really are damaged beyond repair, and cut bait.

2 – of fan fatigue with the rivalry.  It was tiresome watching Brooke dragged down into a storyline with taylor and Nick all over again.  Taylor has been at Brooke’s throat for over two decades, soap time.  They’ve battled over Ridge.  Both have loved Eric.  Both have bedded Thorne.  Each has referred to herself as the mother of the other’s children.  Both had bedded Nick and placed Bridget in the most uncomfortable of situations watching them move on with him while she still loved him.  By the time ‘Jack’ came along, the only fan response left was  ‘who cares?’

3 – the Brooke/nick link was DISGUSTING.  Given the death of Bridget’s child with Nick and the writers added insult to injury by having Bridget implant  Brooke’s fertilized egg into Taylor’s womb.   That’s a move that sounds good in the echo chamber of the writers’ room, but EGADS, wasn’t there a focus group to float that one by?  I can’t imagine anyone who wasn’t intimately connected with the show who loved it.

Moral of the story?  KISS!  (Keep it simple, silly!)  The DAYS baby swap/two mommies  storyline worked because it was interesting and  because it wasn’t clogged with too many agendas.  You didn’t get the feeling that the baby swap was just a prelude to something bigger, something worse – that the writers were committed to the storyline.  The BnB storyline, by comparison, was a fiasco.  The storyline appeared to be one more back door attempt to try to force fans to root for a Nick and Brooke pairing, a pairing that failed four times before.

In the appropriate writers’ hands, the Nicket storyline could help awaken this show.  Speaking for viewers like myself:  NO ONE gives a crap about taylor’s blind date. We’re SICK of Steffy’s desperation – and she is as equally damaged as Rick.  The Douglas “drama” puts me to sleep.   Give us more Nicket intrigue with Sandy and let us watch the Forresters fight their way back to the top, kicking Dollar Bill’s butt along the way! Let Ridge, Brooke, and Thorne take the lead on the big return.  Explain Felicia’s absence as having her tracing back  DB’s steps and digging up dirt on the guy.  After helping her family successfully reclaim the company, she and Dominic/Dino can visit Dante in Europe (until LK finishes her stint on ATWT).

When the Bold and the Beautiful is on, it’s ON.  When it’s not, it’s the most confusing show on daytime.  The inconsistency and character/plot shifting isn’t serving the show well.  I’m hoping there’s a time when the show will play to the strength of it’s  actors and rich history,  and do so consistently.  If DAYS does surpass the BnB in the ratings, who knows it will last?  DAYS has also had problems with past writing teams being inconsistent and confusing.  It’s hard to know who will ultimately prevail in this battle,  but given the richness of the BnB, it seems that the BnB has the edge. The writers just need to wake up and wake the rest of us up as well.

As an aside… DAYS writers?

When will you have Nicole wise up to the fact that the only real difference between EJ Dimera and Paul Walker  is that one is the devil with whom she shares DNA, and the other is the devil with whom she was willing to share her life?  Outside of that, the differences between the two men are minor.

If it don’t dangle in daytime, we don’t need it.

By ‘we’, I mean TPTB in charge of daytime. Some time ago I was convinced that strong women were making a comeback in daytime. What a fool I was. If the above subject header isn’t a strong enough descriptive slogan for daytime writers, execs, and others, try this one on:

“We hate children and the women who carry them!”

General Hospital

The only woman with balls on this show is the uber-psychotic Helena Cassadine , and she’s carrying the biggest shiniest brass set around! Oh yes, I used the term ‘balls’. Without ‘balls’ you may as well not exist in daytime. Apparently having ovaries makes you weak… and stupid.

Jason/Carly/Jax: I only thought The Bold and The Beautiful was awful when it comes to the treatment of women and children, but more on that later. If you’re associated with the BnB, GH gives you cause for celebration. I’m still processing the idea that Carly would rather share the moment that she finds out she’s pregnant with Jason instead of her HUSBAND. If you’re keeping track? The Mob boys are now practicing midwifery and other forms of OB/GYN arts… Apparently killing the ‘bad’ mob boys is a sideline profession for the ‘good’ mob boys. They’re now jack(asses) of all trades!

Would it have been too much to ask for Jax to know about his wife’s condition BEFORE Carly’s mob pals? Jason even got to read the pregnancy stick???? Good soapgod! How much effort would it have been for the writers to have Carly turn to Bobbie, you know her mother and an expert NURSE!?!?! She could have talked with Bobbie about her fears of losing this baby, received sage medical advice, and bonded more deeply with her mother in the process. Oh wait, I forgot… “Pre-head injury Jason” was pre-med before he got into the ‘kill’ game… that trumps Bobbie’s thirty plus years of nursing. It’s making sense to me, now. Jason’s dangle vs. Bobbie’s experience. No contest. Jason wins.

Jax was always concerned that Carly would never truly put him first in their marriage… She did the best she could to make him feel that he mattered, but when it mattered most? Carly turned to Jason. cShould we bet whether the writers have her name the kid ‘J’ – that’s it, just an initial. She’ll tell Jax it’s to ‘honor’ him, but secretly she’ll know the kid is named after ‘uncle’ Jason, too. Should we bet Vegas odds on whether the kid even makes it through the full nine months? If it makes it nine months, should we bet on how long it takes the writers to make it someone else’s or kill the child off?

If you’re not a daytime viewer, those questions probably seemed cruel. If you ARE a daytime viewer, you probably wish there was no basis for asking such questions. Given how frequently both events happen (child death or misattributed paternity), soap fans are holding their collective breath, waiting to see which of the two events happens. Live births are so rare in daytime, by comparison.

Sonny and Claudia: I’m still counting on the writers to reveal that the hitman who shot Michael was in fact hired by someone else, someone Sonny can kill without having to debate just how or when. That Claudia thinks that being pregnant with Sonny’s child will save her is almost funny. Well, it would be funny if it weren’t so tragic and misguided a belief.

Someone should inform Claudia that Sonny put a bullet in the head of his LAST wife while she was giving birth to his child. Yes, yes… accident! He thought she was in trouble and thought he was firing at Alcazar. The trouble is that he fired off a round in a home where he KNEW his pregnant wife was being held and that she was close to her due date. Obviously, the thought of ‘Sonny the hero’ mattered more than ‘Sonny the father of a live child and husband to a living wife’. Considering how many wives, children, and lovers he’d lost to death before that, you can see how, just maybe, his perspective is a little skewed.

Child or no, I can’t imagine the writers having Sonny kill off Claudia. As much as I try to fight it, Maurice Bernard and Sarah Brown have amazing onscreen chemistry and no amount of time apart has been able to diminish that fact. Personally, I think Claudia is too good for Sonny, but that’s me. If the writers are going to clear Claudia of Michael’s accidental shooting, I hope they do it SOON. There’s nothing ‘sexy’ or ‘romantic’ or ‘thrilling’ about watching a pregnant woman try to figure out how to stay alive after giving birth to the newest heir to the mob kingdom.

By the way, just how when and WHY did the writers decide to make the shift from having every child conceived by Sonny die early in the mother’s pregnancy, to having him populate half of the town’s children? Unless Port Chuckles decides to toss aside the laws against unlawful unions between sibs, SOMEONE else in that town had better start having children and FAST! Ric thinks the child is his? I’m pretty much hoping he’s right though it really doesn’t solve that many problems. He and Sonny share DNA. To my knowledge, this is the first daytime pregnancy created to protect the mother from potentially being killed at the hands of the father/or uncle, whichever Sonny turns out to me. You won’t find THAT in a Harlequin novel! Amateurs!

Robin, Patrick, Emma: First, let me get the chick stuff out of the way right now… O-M-G!!!!!!!! The baby playing Emma is SO CUTE! I’d take that baby in a heartbeat, she’s such a doll! What a sweetie pie! Great casting for a Scrubs baby.

Second? Lucky freakin’ baby – sitting on Patrick’s lap and all. Move over kid!

Third? Oh.HELL.NO…In the neverending quest to turn GH into the barely-modern version of Father Knows Best, who didn’t know that Robin would keep beating back EVERY advancement made in the PPD storyline? Who didn’t know she’d throw out her meds? Who didn’t know that she’d backslide on therapy? What was the point of her lying to Patrick about keeping her appointments? Who DIDN’T know that Robin would make some sort of tragic mistake with Emma? Robin has ovaries, after all.

I’ve hit a new frustration level with the treatment of the Scrubs family. I miss the ABC Daytime that had a longstanding tradition of treating real life social issues with sensitivity, accuracy, and great care. I’d hoped that would happen with the PPD storyline and that it would be treated as both informative and as a showcase for KM’s talent. I thought that much of what we would see is a depressed Robin unable to hold her child, drifting from her family, possibly walking away and deserting her child and husband. I thought we’d have Patrick unable to function, supported by both sets of parents and Mac. I thought we would get to watch Robin’s mother and father begin to help her by admitting their own failures as parents and begging her to break the cycle and fight to be there for Emma. I kept my fingers crossed… but I should have known better.

Writers/EPs/execs who seemingly hate daytime children and the women who carry them couldn’t possibly conceive of a storyline that didn’t include potential harm to a child! Isn’t it bad enough that GH fans began referring to baby Scrubs as ‘the Keebler Emma’ after Robin left her in a tree, this past winter? (Is it a mere coincidence that ABC was also the home of the serial ‘Men in Trees’? Men… Babies.. the viewer’s nerves! All up in trees these days.) Honest to goodness, can you even tell anyone who isn’t a soap fan about that scene? Geez. If it happened on the prime time show Scrubs, it would have been played for laughs and the writers would have made it perfectly clear that they were going for camp.

What’s next? GH fans refer to poor Emma as “Rock-a-bye Emma”? Come on, writers. There’s nothing exciting about watching an infant flipping down the stairs in a stroller because her mom hasn’t taken her anti-depressants and is too busy fighting about NOT being treated for PPD. It’s so horrifying to me that I turned the channel, and I can’t see myself tuning in Monday to find out what happens next. You, dear readers, will have to tell ME. Whatever it is, it most likely includes Patrick leaving Robin and another woman helping him ‘mend’ his broken heart- until the new love’s ovaries cause her to become unworthy of love in some way, too.

Not the only offender

GH isn’t alone in treating women and their children like spare parts; it’s just the worst offender in my book. How typical is it that two women end up pregnant by the same man? One, inevitably, has to lose her child – so that the other can plot to steal the living child and pass it off as her own (Days of Our Lives/Young and the Restless writers, if you’re feeling guilty right now? You SHOULD!). Don’t forget the plots in which women are duped into believing that their baby’s daddies have returned to their spouses and other children, so she has to abort, or attempt to abort, her child to protect HIS happiness (Young and the Restless, The Bold and The Beautiful)’

The Bold and the Beautiful deserves special mention. Anyone who knows me knows that Taylor Hamilton Hayes Forrester Marone is one of my LEAST favorite soap characters, but not even she deserved to be turned into a spare womb! Unable to conceive because her eggs were deemed inviable, Taylor and then husband Nick Marone chose to conceive using a donor egg. Of course, within hours after giving birth, Taylor found out that through a hospital mix-up she’d been impregnated with an egg from Brooke Logan Forrester – a woman she hated. Once she’d realized she couldn’t stay married to Nick, who began developing feelings for Brooke again, she decided to make a clean break from him and leave their marital home. Nick’s response? To call Brooke to come ‘home’ to him and ‘their’ son – before Taylor’s car was barely out of the driveway. He later decided to deny Taylor her parental rights, and Little Jack Marone has had TWO stepmothers since then. One womb is as good as another it seems.

Guiding Light? I can’t tell you how absurd it is that the writers had Reva Shayne Lewis TWICE undergo menopause, only to undergo chemo and radiation and still give birth to a healthy baby boy. Words fail me. A woman is only as good as her ovaries, I guess. <sigh>

As much as I’ve loved As The World Turns‘ Henry and Vienna, Katie and Brad, it was more than just a little uncomfortable watching the four friends share a hospital room as Vienna was undergoing an in vitro procedure to become a surrogate carrying what was supposed to be Katie and Brad’s child. Henry’s reaction was what you’d expect – excessive. Henry was so nervous and uncomfortable that he forced Brad to turn around so that he couldn’t ‘watch’. Henry also accidentally knocked Brad’s sperm sample to the ground. It was supposed to be funny. For me, it wasn’t. Sorry, but all I could think about, while Brad dragged Katie out to help him ‘make more’, was who’d have to clean it up (yeah yeah, no one it’s just a soap, but you know what I mean!) and if everyone was supposed to wait around until Brad and Katie returned.

One Life to Live... good times! Remember when Todd made Blair think their son was dead because he thought she’d cheated on him? Then he had her adopt the son he’d initially placed for adoption after he found out that Jack really was his? OLTL writers have topped themselves in the ‘ovaries leading to crazy grief’ storylines. Jessica now has to learn that the child she conceived with her now deceased husband has also died, and that one of her alters stole her cousin’s baby – born on the same night. Two pregnancies, one dead infant, more heartbreak to come. CAN’T WAIT!

What use to be a joyous occasion has become one of the most depressing events in daytime. The words ‘we’re pregnant’ are my two least favorite words in daytime, lately.

BnB history – circling the drain

Anyone else think it would have been a phenomenal  tip to BnB history to have Jake  McClain set the fire and plant the bomb in Rick’s car?  I’m typically not a fan of  ‘making crazy’ with typically sane characters and especially when they’re veteran characters.  What would motivate him to do it?  Jake was an actual incest victim.  His uncle sexually assaulted him when he was a child and let him believe that his father molested him.  He left home as a young man and didn’t see his parents again until adulthood – when he realized the truth about Uncle Charlie.  He lost more than a decade with his parents. 

Imagine that his parents have just died.  Imagine that he’s been experiencing depression – and being socially and emotionally isolated, he throws himself into his work .  Jake is always skulking around and must see more than he cares to (like Donna walking the halls of FC in lingerie during a work day).    One late night, he sees Rick and Steph fooling around in Rick’s office, or maybe the night of the fire, he went to deliver papers from FC to the beach house.  He gets there and realizes that Rick is deflowering Steffy.  Even though Rick and Steffy aren’t blood relatives, they’re close enough.  Rick’s  father is HER grandfather.  He believed he was her uncle as she was growing up.   Jake is aware of how close they were as a family.   Experiencing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder because of his own abuse, and his parents’ deaths, coupled with witnessing with Rick- and it would make sense that Jake set the fire that night, and plant the car bomb shortly after. 

His breakdown, of course, would lead to Margo’s return.  Her return paves the way for his recovery, but also for other storylines.

I’m thinking of a Margo/Nick/Felicia/Bill Spencer Jr. quadrangle (yeah yeah Margo  was married to Bill Spencer Sr!  This is the BnB, Rick is sleeping with the girl he use to babysit, for pity’s sake.  Margo is ‘normal’ by this show’s standards)… Clarke would have nothing  in common with Margo, any more and would end up dating Jackie who feels threatened by Margo’s presence. 

We could have scenes of Pam bonding with Jake (who she treats as her own child) over the fact that they’ve both had troubled histories related to mental health.  Pam’s watched her sister’s years of abuse by their father.  Jake could open up to Pam about his own abuse.  Some of their bonding moments would be tender, some comedic as they delight in the reaction of others around them and ‘tweek’ FC employees how are afraid of them.  What would happen if DONNA fell for Jake after a period of time?  How could his surrogate mother handle that?

So many lost opportunities with this storyline!   I starting thinking about  what I would do differently after one little line, believe it or not.  It began with Jake’s phone call to Rick, telling him to have a good time with Steffy at the beach house… W.T.H!?!?!?  That one line left me speechless. 

I thought it was odd that JAKE, of all people, was supporting Rick and Steffy. It’s hard to believe the writers remember this guy’s history and still had him supporting the gruesome twosome.  At least they gave us scenes of Steph handling Rick HER way.  That almost made up for it.

The pain begins 2:50 minutes in:

Rick Forrester: Daytime’s Biggest Pervert?

Wait?  A pervy character in daytime?  I know, I know.  What’s the point of bringing up THAT issue since nearly all daytime characters behave in pervy ways at some point in their illustrious time on air?  Here’s what I think is different about Rick Forrester: he’s so self-centered and narcissistic that he doesn’t just date through entire families like most soap characters, he serially dates in his OWN FAMILY and doesn’t think twice about it.

For more than 20 (closer to thirty) of his soap years, he was believed to be the biological brother of Ridge Forrester.  He lived and behaved as Ridge’s  brother (even when his mother, Brooke, married Ridge).  He and his then wife, Amber, babysat for Ridge and Taylor to allow them to have alone time together.  Ridge’s children referred to Rick as their ‘uncle’ and to his sister Bridget as their ‘aunt’.  He thought of them as his nieces and nephew.  Most of the time, the brothers got along reasonably well.   Then, in a fit of rage, Rick decided that it was ok to no longer think of Ridge as his brother – hey, they didn’t ‘really’ have the same biological father, after all.  A man whose children he helped raise were now fair game for sexploitation.  Rick disregarded the family bond they shared just to (try to) have sex with Ridge’s daughters.

The most disturbing, non-violent, scene I’ve witnessed in daytime was Rick caressing his niece, Phoebe’s, hair and telling her that he remembers when they were all at the beach once.  Phoebe was wild and free and when her mother tried to make her sit still comb her beautiful but tangled curly hair, Phoebe fought her and ran off.  He remembers, lovingly, how wonderful and beautiful she was as a child.  Not an exact replay of the scene, but close.

Remember (and I’ve stated this several times in several blogs, not to drive you crazy, but in the hopes TPTB are reading and realize that WE, the audience, haven’t forgotten),  Rick was an ADULT when Phoebe and her twin, Steffy, were children.  He was married.  He very much believed that he was their biological uncle.  How that became a memory to be used for a hot and heavy make out session is a mystery to me.  It should have been a mystery to the writers, too, one they should have been unwilling to solve.  Even DAYS’ Max Brady doesn’t go as far as Rick. He has no ‘childhood memories’ of his nieces. He didn’t raise them.  They weren’t children while he was an adult.  Stephanie was never heard from until recently,  and Chelsea  was believed to be have been stillborn until a couple of years ago (only when talking about soaps can you use those words).

WAIT AGAIN, you add!  What about the ICK in the squickness of Ridge and Bridget’s flirtation?  He thought he was her father.  He changed her diapers.  First let me finish cleaning the mess my lunch has made of my keyboard now that the “Ridget”  issue has been raised.   The squickiness of Ridge and Bridget never got beyond a couple of freaky kisses -ever. Not one scene of near sex with those two.  They were both attracted to one another,  and at times repulsed by their mutual attraction.

Ridge and Bridget were certainly gross (most especially the kiss that rated as Fourth of July x’s 10, or 100, or some such nonsense).  We were ‘lucky’ in the sense that the writers took it slow the first time they broke out a  date-yer-kin storyline.  Ridge and Bridget shared a couple of kisses, but luckily never went beyond that.

Rick, on the other hand, was openly pushing Phoebe to have sex with him – getting her on the floor, on the floor in front of the fireplace, on beds, in closets,  etc… telling her it was time they had sex when she kept stressing she wasn’t ready. Now it’s her twin sister’s turn.  He’s willing to take the risk of destroying Steffy because of his anger at Ridge that Taylor dumped him.  He will pick up with Steffy where he left off with Phoebe (breaking only to sleep with their mother in between).   No matter how much the writers have tried to use Phoebe’s tragic death to create a ‘bond’ between Steffy and Uncle Rick, there is always the stench of Rick’s attempt at “revenge seduction” with two innocent sisters.

For as often as paternity tests are overturned in his fictional world, you’d think he’d have SOME hesitation before trying to ring the bell that can’t be unrung.  Not Slick  (or is that Sick?) Rick.

This is also the man who has had more control over his mother’s sex life than she has.  At some point Rick cried about the ‘parade of men’ his mother brought into his life during his formative years.  He cried about the lack of stability and how much easier his life would have been without the chaos.  At the same time, he encourages his mother to jump from bed to bed, using her body as his weapon against Ridge – just as he has with Phoebe and Steffy.  (This plot point has been discussed in an earlier blog as well).  The idea that he sees nothing wrong with sending his mother to be with a man who’d just recently been his sister’s husband, father of her deceased child, and who then slept with is mother and sister in the same 24 hour period is astounding, and seriously demented on the part of the BnB writers.

That’s just not even good campy fun, any more.  It’s a tragedy.  It’s only made worse by the fact that most of Rick’s actions would be considered villainous on any other show – prime time or daytime (betraying his father and secretly helping Nick Marone build a loyal team at Forrester Creations after Nick stole the family company, editing his mother’s podcast to try to ruin her engagement, pretending to be paralyzed to elicit sympathy and tp eventually be appointed his family company’s President – the same company he secretly betrayed years before).

And still, everyone around his sees Rick as a vibrant, wonderful, healthy young man who is just a little high-spirited.  If Salvador Dali had ever had the opportunity to for daytime before his death, he’d surely would have chosen to write for the BnB.

The only thing I find interesting about Rick is his rivalry with Stephanie.  They are mirror images of one another.  His obsessive hatred for Ridge matches hers for Brooke.  His willingness to use Brooke’s sexuality as a weapon against Ridge matches her willingness to control Ridge’s sexuality as a way of hurting Brooke (and both actions are highly Oedipal in nature).  His lack of logic and escapism from reality is second only to hers.  Both use violence as a primary method of communication, and are both obsessed with ‘winning’ no matter how many other people they hurt in the process.

The only difference between Rick and Stephanie, besides gender, is that even with her fixation on Ridge, it’s hard to believe that Stephanie would become romantically involved with him if she ever found out he wasn’t her son.  The writers, I can only hope, have to know that it would be a storyline that would be impossible to sell.  Stephanie seems only to be captivated by controlling Ridge’s sexuality, not indulging it personally.  Rick on the other hand doesn’t seem to have many boundaries.  Whatever is feels good, as they say, is good by his standards.

For as many BnB women are stuck on backburner because there aren’t enough non-related males to go around, if Rick MUST stay, the writers need to bring in a non-related love interest for this character.  It’s vital.  The BnB pseudo-incest club is ever expanding and Rick has become its most prominient member, unfortunately for him, and for us.

Quick YnR/BnB comments

Cane vs. Ab…bott?  Oh dear, Billy Abbott, what have you DONE?   Well played, writers, well played.  The looks on Cane and Jill’s faces when Bill announced that he is part of the takeover of Jabot, and will help return the company to his family?  OUCH!  The YnR writers have earned a holiday bonus this year!  I can’t wait to tune in to tomorrow’s episode.  I love the consistency and complexity of the YnR’s current storylines.  If this show isn’t in the lead for ‘Best Drama’ this Emmy season, I’ll be shocked and saddened.

BnB writers?  WHOA!  You’re firing on all cylinders!  The fact that her mother took her ‘sacrifice’ and then threw away Phoebe’s Uncle-boyfriend Rick?  So classic, so selfish, so Taylor.   Taylor won’t be any better able to ‘make it up’ to Phoebe than Brooke was able to make it up to her daughter when she did the same.  Oddly enough, both women dumped their daughter’s ‘first loves’ , who were nothing more than temporary fixes in their lives, for Ridge.

Now if only the writers would grant Rick a bit of humility after the upcoming incident with Phoebe.  We know that the writers have given the character anger and arrogance in abundance.  I’m ready to see Kyle Lowder’s Rick deliver on something more – like humility, shame, and sorrow.

Speaking of, what a tragic sense of irony.  Phoebe wants to sing at Ridge and Brooke’s rehearsal dinner.  She and Uncle-boyfriend Rick sang together for Brooke and Ridge, before.  Was it at their last engagement party?  Spooky.