Soul Mates…BnB/ATWT/AMC/YnR

Bold and Beautiful

From the current SOW:

Weekly: So is this Brooke and Ridge’s big reunion, forever and ever?

Bell: It appears as if this is the great reunion. There are always people who may want to get in their way. Stephanie is certainly one. Nick Marone may factor into it. But we’re getting incredibly close. We’re at a point where we just can’t imagine they’ve reached this level. They’ve been through so much. How can this not be forever?

Weekly: In your mind, are they each other’s soul mates?

Bell: So much of this series is about Brooke and Ridge, from early on until now. It’s amazing that we still have Ron and Kelly, that they look so beautiful, that their chemistry has not waned at all. This is an incredible climax to this whole saga.

Well now… from EARLY ON it’s been about Brooke and Ridge?  From EARLY ON!?!?!?  Ah… BINGO!  Anyone who’s watched this show from the day it aired has known that.  It was ‘the look’ that launched Bridge, and ‘the look’ between these characters that has kept so many fans hooked on this show.

The war on love between Brooke and Ridge has left behind a string of casualties, on and off the screen.  On screen we have Eric, Thorne, Grant, Taylor, Ashley, James, and a host of others who came close, but never really close enough to keeping Brooke and Ridge apart.  Off screen?  The fans – those who are still watching, those who gave up on the writers long ago, who are victims of the BRidge tease.   I still have my frustrations with the couple, namely Brooke – she drives me nuts and annoys the unholy hell out of me most of the time, and yet there’s a part of me that can’t get past what Brooke and Ridge are when they’re TOGETHER.

They have been the couple to ‘keep apart’ for over 21 years soap time.  Taylor has manipulated and elbowed her way between them, Stephanie practically sits outside their bedroom door waiting for the chance to run in and steal Ridge away, Nick just sits by – waiting for a moment of vulnerability in order to slime his way in, Eric is always desperate and hopeful and inappropriate in his feelings for Brooke… the list goes on.  In the end, they’ve only ever stood on the outside looking in and the writers have made it clear, far too many times, that the story was about BRidge love and the lengths all others would go to in order to keep them apart.

The big question is, are there enough fans still watching to trust that BRidge really can and will be happy this time?  It’s hard to trust the BnB writers.  Case in point?  The 20th anniversary show.  I’d recount what happened for those of you who missed it, but I don’t want to be responsible for making adults cry (a nod ando condolences to those of you who  did watch it).

ALL My Children

There’s a great deal of maturity in the AMC writing for Reese and Bianca.  I can remember Erica’s one time utter revulsion at the thought that her little Binks was a lesbian.  She was so sickened at the thought that another woman would touch her daughter that it pushed her to the brink of madness.  Now?  Reese, the love of Bianca’s life, is going to get the ‘Kane treatment’.  Oh yes, Reese, someone should have warned you about Erica’s rocky relationships with her childrens’ spouses.
The minute I heard Erica say that Bianca needed help and that she felt Reese was taking advantage of Bianca’s good nature, I knew there was trouble brewing.    At some point, there will be scenes of Zach and Reese sharing a beer, wondering what awful thing they did in their past lives that brought them to the point of finding love and ending up with Erica as a mother-in-law.  Maybe they’ll flip a coin to figure out which of them will get to be the hero(ine), taping Erica’s mouth shut and shoving her in a dark, locked room.

Oh! I do feel a little guilty for saying that.  Erica scored huge mommy points for bringing not one but TWO nannies to help take care of the kiddos.  Freakin’ awesome.  What mother DOESN’T dream about an on-call staff of nannies?

About the show’s other soul mates, I’m still hanging on for the Jesse/Angie arc.  I wish the writers would hurry up and end the Greenlee/Aidan/Annie/Ryan storyline to make more time for Jessie and Angie.  My only remorse about the end of the quad storyline is that there weren’t MORE shirtless Aidan scene.  Oh what a happy girl I would have been had that happened.

As The World Turns

Jack and Janet as soul mates?  Eh!  If by ‘soul mates’ that means that they’re both so vapid and empty that it takes the TWO of them to create something resembling one complete ‘soul’?  Oh, sure.

How about Dusty and nu-sorta-Jen-but-let’s-call-her-Josie-for-now?  Nah, not yet!  Give them time and they will be, I’m sure.

Luke and Noah?  BINGO!  I think that the student election storyline is probably one of the most insipid, yawn inducing storyline the writers could have imagined for these two.  The aftermath?  BRILLIANT.  Noah turns Luke in?  They fight over Noah’s cut-and-run behavior?  They make up and Luke realizes that he needs Noah and tells him so?  Begs him not to leave?  Is their relationships stagnant?  SURE.  It is, I don’t think anyone would deny that Luke and Noah are the show’s longest running “relationship virgins” – kissing cousins Parker and Liberty had sex faster than these two.

So what’s so brilliant about Nuke (Noah and Luke)?   Their scenes are so sweet and tender that they can sometimes make you forget that the couple hasn’t been intimate.  The actors deserve recognition for creating an intimacy that doesn’t require sexual contact between characters to be real.  The strength of the Nuke relationship, and the audience’s overwhelmingly positive reaction to the couple, rests squarely on the shoulders of the remarkable Van Hansis (Luke) and Jake Sillbermann (Noah).  It sure as hell ain’t the writing that keeps fans tuning in.  Van and Jake are able to transform writing best left to an elementary school play and turn it into broadway worthy material.  The writers owe these kids, BIG!  Now… give them more screen time, thank you very much.

The Young and the Restless

Victor and Ashley?  Folks, I’m a Vic-Ashley fan from Waaaaay back.  I hated Nikki for teaching Victoria to call Ashley the ‘wicked witch of the west’.  I despised her even more when she deceived Ashley, making Ash believe that she was dying, leading Ash to abort Victor’s child.  Ashley thought she was giving Nikki the will to live, or at least the opportunity to die in peace, with her family.  Am I happy to see Victor and Ash back together?  YES!  All is right in my YnR world.

Do I think it will last?  No.  Even I know that Victor and Nikki are the show’s star-crossed lovers no matter who else they love or how many children Victor keeps having with other women.  I know it will end, but I will enjoy Victor and Ashley for as long as they are around.

I don’t want to see Ash or Victor stick it to Nikki – it would mean their relationship isn’t real, it’s more about making HER miserable  than the two of them being together, and that would be far too sad for me.  Oh sure, Ashley deserves to have a little fun… but not too much.  I also don’t want to see Victor treat Ash the way he’s treated Nikki – he can be a cruel S.O.B.  I just want a little romance from SOMEONE on this show – a romance worth watching, that is.

I wonder how the mini-mustaches are going to take it when Victor returns with Ashley?  Nick won’t have the room to be too critical of Victor.  Adam would have no room to talk, at all.  Victoria?  After her speech of always feeling loved by her mother, but no so much by her father, I have a feeling that Ashley had better hang on to Victor with both hands.  If she’s written true to form, I have no doubt that Victoria will try to pry Ashley and her father apart.  Let the games begin!

Hookers, Porn Queens, and Chippies, oh my!

Dear As The World Turns writers.

You don’t know me, but I’ve been a soap fan for nearly four decades.  I was a fan during the  glory days of daytime and I’m still around for what have turned out to be the dark ages of daytime.  I keep waiting for a period of enlightenment, but I’ve quickly come to the conclusion that it just ain’t gonna happen.  Any hope I had of a daytime finally getting things right (at least in your part of the soap universe) pretty much died with the current Alison Stewart storyline.

Happy Halloween!  A group of thuggish pinheads dressed in ridiculous Halloween costumes kidnap Alison, strip her down to her bra and panties, begin playing one of the porn films she made a lifetime ago, and then threaten to force her to act out her ‘greatest hits’ from her days as a porn star.  Great.  She gets to be humiliated with standing in a room full of pervs who taunt her while her porn film plays in the background.  All of this for a college student union election?  REALLY?  You REALLY thought this storyline was worth it? Which was this storyline the ‘trick’ or the ‘treat’?

You’ve officially fallen into GH-Bobbie Spencer territory.  Whenever GH needed a way to drum up a little “excitement” for the character, someone had to remind Bobbie that she was once a hooker.  Because, you know, Bobbie might have forgotten that she was just a teenager (15?) when she was hooking for her Aunt Ruby, while her brother was the ‘bodyguard’ making sure she wasn’t beaten up by a john.  Yes, she needed the reminder and so did the audience, right?  Bobbie had to be dragged through the mud for the sake of another character getting through an occasional cheap shot.

What you’ve done to Alison falls far BELOW the Bobbie Spencer threshold.  You presented an image of a young woman who was sexually intimidated and physically harassed and threatened.  Oh that’s right, because of her involvement in a school election calls for it.  Nothing’s too extreme a response for this storyline.  Brilliant! … only not anything close to brilliant.

I haven’t been big on the ‘school election’ storyline for Nuke.  It’s felt every bit as juvenile and yawn producing as anything I’ve seen in daytime.  I’ve waited for you, dear writers, to get a clue and make Nuke a front burner couple with a steaming hot romance.   You, instead, they’re getting less nooky than the 90120 crowd and you’ve decided to add the ‘adult’ content to the school election storyline in a way that bastardizes the notion of ‘adult’ content and horrifies viewers like me.  Alison’s assault and intimidation set to the porn film soundtrack?  Not cool.

Even more?  The focus of this storyline is more clearly centered around Alison and Casey and the Nuke storyline has become secondary to it.  I’m not upset to see Alison in another major storyline, the actress in the role deserves all the airtime you can give her.  I just hate that it’s one more distraction from the Nuke storyline and it’s one more storyline that makes a mockery of Alison.

Alison has been the butt of writers’ jokes (sometimes subtle jokes) for some time now (including her wedding night when Aaron was so ‘shocked’ that Alison was so experienced in bed).  Give it up, writers, give it up.
Here’s what I propose.  Grab a calender.  Check the date.  Watch something other than the show’s dailies.  Take a look at women in the news.  Take a lookat this election cycle for the past 2 years.  Figure out where women are in society and how they live and then STOP WRITING for viewers, most especially female viewers, as if we’re time has stood still.  Even General Hospital had to give up the tendency to drag out Bobbie Spencer’s past as a hooker whenever they were short on storylines.

If I want to see women treated in demeaning and misogynistic ways, I’ll tune in to Mad Men (a more wildly entertaining show, which somehow, while set in the early 60s, still manages to show women with more power and dignity than most women in daytime in 2008).  Shame on you!

Signed,

Viewer checking out the available cable options more and more these days.

The better angels of our natures…ATWT/BnB

Stop by and check out the new Sound and Fury Message Boards.  It’s a full service site: soaps, music, the arts, science, politics, you name it!  Simply click the SandF icon to the right:

If you haven’t read MarkH’s blog about applauding the experiments in daytime, you should!  It’s phenomenal and it truly makes me want to see soaps in the same light that he does.  I want to love most of what I’m watching.  As I’ve said before, like so many of you, I just feel burned out.  Every time I want to trust daytime writers, they do something so shockingly bad, that even when they are doing something right, I’m still recovering from the last crappy storyline.

It’s a nasty little carryover effect.
Case in point?  I WANTED to applaud the writers for giving Luke and Noah more airtime this week than they have in quite a while, even before Noah went to Rome.  It’s just that the writers spent so much time giving them a storyline they’ve already played out so many times before that it’s losing its effectiveness.  Luke has a loving, though highly dysfunctional family.  He has great friends.  He has more money than a freakin’ bank, and he’s still fighting the good fight over small (though not insignificant) issues.

Hey, even I thought of another storyline that had them facing a little bigotry, but one that I thought would tackle stereotypes about cultural notions of ‘family’.  My thought was that Puberty would probably end up parents.  (Puberty = Parker and Liberty, non WTers). I’m grateful to the writers that they didn’t go that route, but I thought it was the direction they were headed in, initially.   Cousin Luke and Noah could become parents/guardians/whatever, of the child, but not without Janet objecting for religious and personal reasons.   Janet would learn, over time, that she had little more than stereotypes about gay families and slowly come around.

Now?  Luke and Noah are stuck in ‘older teen hell’ in daytime.  Luke is running for class President (or some such) and the big issue is getting a film series going in what should be, or has traditionally been a safe environment for him. I realize that not all academic environments are open and accepting, but I wanted more for Luke .  I wish the writers had chosen a storyline that had a significant impact on social issues.  This kid is as rich as creases. He could fund his own gay film series and end up throwing enough cash around to have the university administration kissing his toes trying to get a small portion of his fortune.  Gimme more, writers, gimme more.

What would happen if Luke suddenly started behaving like the mogul he is?  What if his Lucinda gene (yeah, yeah, no biological tie) kicked in?  How would Noah react to the ‘new’ Luke?  What would happen if another young man from a powerful family came along and tried to woo Luke away from Noah?  Noah, the kind and loving, up against an rich and devious snot how has images of merged fortunes dancing in his head?  Ruh roh!

I WANT to applaud the Bold and The Beautiful for realizing that it’s the women of the show that really make the BnB world go round.  ARGH, the problem is that the writers are going back to the Brooke-Taylor, and Brooke vs the doubled headed hell hound Stephanie-Taylor.  We’ve been down that round a million times. It’s all the show had to offer for nearly 14 years.

Why can’t Stephanie lighten up?  Why can’t she smarten up?  I’d have love for the writers to follow the storyline that was rumored to take place.  Brooke and Ridge would start their own company.  Imagine Stephanie taking over FC (as she should have LONG ago rather than leaving it to Eric and cheesy Donna).  Imagine Stephanie talking herself into believing that if she ruined Ridge and Brooke’s company, it would bring her baby boy home to her –There’s a word for that!  You might have been thinking DELUSIONAL, and you’d be right.  I, however, was thinking about the word  ‘OEDIPAL” in explaining Stephanie’s constant need to dig her claws into Ridge, dragging him back home to her.

Imagine Stephanie and Brooke ripping  one another’s companies apart, leaving almost nothing standing when they’re done, and forced to join forces against an outside enemy — Jackie M’s!  While they were hell bent on one another’s destruction, Jackie Marone was hell bent on destroying them both to become the top of the fashion heap.

Instead, the writers give us the same old, same old.

I’m going to follow MarkH’s advice and try to appreciate what the writers are doing right.  At the same time, I hope the writers will begin to appreciate those of us who’ve hung in there, continuing to support daytime with our hearts when our heads tell us to RUN!  It’s ok if they want to repeat some of the storylines of the past, but repetitive storylines are always less noticable when the writers give us something else to go along with it.

She’s baaaaaack! ATWT-OLTL-BnB- YnR

Where to start, where to start!  OH!  I know!  I have news, folks!  You may miss the old boards from the now defunct, but much beloved, Total TV Online!  There is still a companion site (message board)  for the “Sound and Fury” blog.  You can access that site by clicking HERE.

As The World Turns

Carly is BACK, the Carly that so many fans have grown to love.  Carly is a cross between one of daytime’s greatest romantic heroines, and a walking disaster.  Today, we got to see a little of both, more of the former than the latter.  I believe that Carly has been sincere in her odd couple friendship with Janet.  There’s no malice between the two women and Carly wants to see Jack happy with Janet, for his sake, and that of their children.

The trouble is that despite her best efforts to do the ‘right’ thing, she finds herself in trouble every time.  I groaned a bit when she found herself getting hot and heavy with Jack.  Other than the family they share together (and yes, I’m including Parker and JJ as ‘theirs’), nothing good has come of Jack and Carly being together.  Each of those brief periods of time when they shared love and happiness were quickly replaced with some wild attack on Carly’s character, by Jack.  A little crying, a lot of clinging, and too much verbal abuse.

Even still, watching Jack and Carly fall back into bed wasn’t as shocking as I thought it would be.  They’re much too addicted to the self-inflicted pain not to keep going back for more.  It’s Carly’s guilt that was shocking.  That she pushed Jack to be upfront and let Janet know he was in the bedroom before he could stay her was brilliant.  That’s the girl, Carly.  Don’t let Jack pull his standard hit-and-run routine.  I’ll give the guy credit, he did score points by admitting that he’s been a judgmental jerk all these years, but he lost those points FAST by trying to sleep with Carly knowing he still had feelings for Janet.

To see him working on Carly, playing on the emotion she still had for him, and to then have him run back to Janet?  What a putz! Carly is much better off without the guy.  Jack thinks of himself, first.  He always has. If only the writers would hire an actor to play a credible love interest against MW’s Carly.   Brian, perhaps? I’m just not yet ‘digging’ this guy with Lucinda.  I think I’d rather seen John Dixon back, and paired with ‘Lucy Walsh’.  I miss John and Lucinda and their passion.  I have na ulterior motive for suggesting a Carly-Brian pairing.

Maybe Carly can distract Brian so that he STOPS telling Luke to avoid being ‘political’.  I find it hard to believe that Luke standing up for himself and supporting the Gay Film Festival would have a negative impact on his foundation.  (Uh, when did Oakadle U become ultra conservative?)  Brian needs a life… FAST!  Rather than telling Brian that she and Luke need him, it’s time for Lucy Walsh, cutthroat businesswoman that she is, to come back.  I miss her.  It’s time for the REAL Lucy Wlalsh to tell Brian to hit the bricks.   1 –  Lucinda has always had such a deep love for her grandson.  It’s hard for me to believe that she can’t see what’s going on with Brian, and what the potential impact is on Luke.  I just can’t see the writers as being true to her character if they continue to allow her to want Brian, in light of his treatment of Luke and Noah.  2 – Lawrence Lau is HOT, and I’d love to see his character out of such a creepy storyline where he’s trying to suppress Luke’s self-exploration.   Luke is finding his voice.  Brian is becoming increasingly less attractive trying to suppress it.

AND, since we’ve seen more of Kim this month than in the last several months (or so it seems), please make sure when you bring her back more frequently, writers, that you bring back the brilliant woman we’ve all loved for so long.  Kim was the victim of a mad stalker (Oh how I miss the days of the Douglas Cummings storyline). Hopefully she recognizes the signs soon, and works to help Katie with the Spencer incident.  Kim’s been there, done that.  I’d love to have her realize sooner, rather than later, that Katie has every right to be concerned.

Young and the Restless

Sharon, Sharon, Sharon, my friend.  You can’t make a good husband out of a man-whore.  Remember those words of advice.  I only regret that I forgot to include Nick Newman on my man-whore list, when I included his father.  (Read that HERE)  Nick hasn’t met a woman, throwing herself at him, that he doesn’t like.  Having said that?  I can’t help loving Nick and Sharon, despite the fact that he’s an unfaithful pig.  Nick and Sharon are their generation’s Nikki and Victor (er, without the pathology that has begun to pervade the Nikktor relationship).

Short of Nick’s cheating with slimey Grace Turner, and Phyllis (serving as Sharon’s ‘placeholder’), there was a genuine love and a sense of family that Nick and Sharon shared that neither has really had with their respective new spouses. For me, Phyllis will always be the woman who went to bed with a man while his wife was still grieving their dead daughter.  Nick and Phyllis’ relationship is at romantic as a zombie orgy (sorry, it’s close to Halloween and the commercials for haunted houses are getting to me).

What happens in Paris stays in Paris?  OH, let’s hope not.  Let’s hope that Nick does penance for being a complete idiot and cheating on Sharon, realizes what a horrible mistake he made, and goes home to his real family.   He needs to be with his true wife, Sharon.

Besides, the only time Phyllis was remotely interesting was when she was a freakin’ bad girl, and during her marriage to Jack.  Outside of that?  She hasn’t had much to offer.

One Life to Live

It’s been so good seeing Viki, so good in fact that I feel guilty having this small complaint:  Are fans to believe, that in a house the supposed size of Viki’s mansion, she wouldn’t notice that her basement had suddenly become MUCH smaller?  If there was enough space behind the sliding wall to build a ginormous room, complete with on suite bath, you’d think she’d notice SOMETHING was wrong.  EH! I don’t care, I’m just glad to have Viki back.  Now it’s time to reunite Viki and Clint… We’ve been so patient.

Viki must love the relationship between her sister, Tina, and “Jessica”/Tess getting along.  Oh, if only she knew! The most enjoyable part of One Life To Live (and dare I say the only watchable part of the show?) has been watching Tina and Jessica go at one another.  The only person tough enough, and devious enough, to handle Tess is Tina, and heaven help the show if/when Tina or Tess goes.

While Grand Dame Titans Tina and Tess are tearing each other apart, maybe the writers will let Viki serve up a little cold hard justice to brother, Todd.  You’d think that Todd would have learned his lesson from letting Blair think their son Jack was dead.  Now he’s planning to do the same to Starr, in order to take her child and raise it.  I get the saying that history repeats itself… I just don’t know why it’s always the LOUSY history that repeats itself in daytime.  Oh Viki, between Todd, Tina, and Tess, you have your work cut out for you.

Bold and Beautiful

Er, what? Taylor’s back to her lying, sneaky, and underhanded ways?  WELL!  No shock THERE folks!  I seem to remember THIS Taylor, the one scheming and plotting to get what she wants, and putting a ‘concerned’ face on it.  Let’s see, she advised Brooke to stay with Eric, for the children’s sake, even though Brooke was unhappily married to the man.  Then she (Taylor) pursued Ridge, the man Brooke loved – knowing Ridge loved Brooke and was waiting for her to leave Eric.
Taylor advised Eric to tell Stephanie their marriage was over and there was NO chance of him returning to her.. after she listened  to her ‘best friend’ cry about Eric not loving her… and then Taylor moved on Eric, herself.  Now she’s telling Ridge that the fates were probably keeping him and Brooke apart because they probably weren’t meant to be together.  Taylor, would those be the same fates that caused Ridge to walk out on YOU and not look back?  Funny how those fates only work against others, never against her.  Ah, hypocrisy.  The REAL Taylor is back… the “me first, me last, me always” Taylor.

My Rachel Maddow Moment: ATWT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daytime’s Parenting Sweepstakes (Updated)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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