Why ATWT’s Parker scares me…

This is NOT, repeat…NOT, a spoiler. It’s not even speculation based on spoilers. It’s one writer’s comment about where a storyline could potentially go, and what it would mean if it happened. As far as fans are concerned, ATWT’s writers might be penning a storyline about an angry, know-it-all, teenaged boy. OR they could be writing a storyline about a young man who is on the verge of becoming violent to the women in his life. I couldn’t watch ATWT after Parker’s display the other day. I found them disturbing. His verbal attacks on Liberty and his mother, his controlling actions toward Liberty, his lack of concern about humiliating her in front of ‘another man’… it all adds up to a potential abuse storyline, in my book. I could be overly sensitive, given the current media focus on the Rhianna-Chris Brown matter, I admit that.

Whether or not the writers are headed in that direction is unclear, but it’s the impression they leave on this viewer. If Parker ever smiled, I can’t remember it. The idea that he was once a happy child is lost on me, given his behavior of the last year or so. I don’t know if his current sour demeanor is a choice made by the actor, the writers, or the director – but it has become off-putting. I keep waiting for him to take a swing at either Carly, or his ‘wife’ in one of his fits of rage. Has no one notice his penchant for nonverbally referring to his mother as a ‘whore’, and even tacitly implying it with his dialogue? The look he shot Carly when she opened the hotel door and saw a disheveled Craig in the background made me want to shake that kid out of his shoes! The one person who has always been on his side, who has fought for him every step of the way, and he treated her as if she was renting that room by the hour. It hardly bothers Parker that his father is off with a new woman every other year. It’s that his mother isn’t sitting in a nunnery, waiting for his father’s rare returns to the family, that seems to disturb him.

At this point, as storyline with an abusive Parker would make perfect sense – as sad as that is. The question is, who would be is target? Liberty, Carly, or both? If Parker did become abusive, how would it not only impact the women he hurt, but those around him? Would it impact his father at all? Parker grew up in a home with a father who was at times loving, and at other times angry and verbally abusive to his mother. Parker, himself, became the target of his father’s rage when he married Liberty. Jack threw Parker out of a home he no longer lives in.

What impact would Parker’s abuse have on Jack? Would it lead him to reflect on the abuse he’s leveled at Carly in the presence of their children?

Would it cause him to reflect on how many times he’s referred to Carly as irresponsible, selfish, or deserving of his (and their) scorn in front of his children?

Would he reflect on how many times he sat silent while Parker berated his mother?

Would Carly FINALLY learn to stand up for herself and stop talking garbage from Jack, who has only ever been able to love her as long as he found himself able to ‘approve’ of the person she was? Would she realize that allowing Jack to verbally abuse her created an environment in which her son was put at risk?

Would Jack take some responsibility for Parker’s anger, or would he revert back to type and simply fault Carly for Parker’s actions?

Watching Liberty and Carly struggle to forgive Parker, while still loving him and wanting the best for him could be instructive and informative, no matter how sad. Parker’s behavior is every bit as angry and controlling as his father’s, except in Parker’s case, it’s far worse.

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Speaking of things that scare me… Z and Z?  How much MORE are fans expected to take?  I’ve had more than enough of these two and trying to figure out what purpose they serve is beginning to give me an ulcer!  I have been able to find the one silver lining in the dark ZandZ cloud: we know that Nuke’s love is solid!  They’ve avoided any sort of temptation, so far, at least.  That ‘Z” or “Z” could appeal to Luke OR Noah seems like an impossibility.  There’s nothing likable about the characters.

What also scares me is that I’m enjoying the prospect of Damian and Lily crossing the line.  I KNOW!  How many more affairs could Holden and Lily have in the course of one lifetime, but c’mon…he’s DAMIAN (Damiangodofallmen) and he’s been shirtless.  I’m weak… so so weak when it comes to Damian.  I can understand Lily being weak for him as well.

Having Damian back reminds me of a time when I utterly enjoyed ATWT.

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How Craig Montgomery almost won me over

Regression toward the mean? I don’t think so. ATWT’s Parker just keeps sinking lower. There’s no point at which this kid hits higher ground, nor has he hit the bottom it seems. His mother has struggled for his sake. She’s given up a hell of a lot for his sake. She’s eaten more crap that kid has shoveled out than any SANE person would. And it’s still never enough. He just keeps doling out more. No matter what vile thing anyone else as has done, Parker takes such delight in making his mother feel like garbage. Carly was so excited when she thought Parker wanted to speak to her and let her be a part of solving his latest fiasco. The look on her face, the sadness, when she realized that he only wanted Craig’s attention. Geez, it left me feeling kicked in the gut along with Carly.

So imagine my surprise when Craig refused to indulge Parker’s adolescent tendencies to berate his mother and then refused to talk to him if she wasn’t included in the conversation.. I actually cheered the guy on! That’s a new feeling for me. While I once loved Craig, warts and all, his warts have only grown bigger and are now covered with hair (disgusting, I know). Craig hasn’t been a character I’ve cared much about for quite some time, until now. I’m starting to see what makes C&C work as a couple. What Craig and Carly have in common is the slow destruction of their characters, done to allow other characters their moments in the limelight. Carly has become the Oakdale sinner to Janet’s saint, harlot to Janet the reclaimed virgin. Craig has become the fun-bad-guy turned deeply disturbed and murderous, no matter who his rival is.

I’ve been hard on ATWT’s writers for having transformed Carly from a classic and beloved bad girl, into a romantic heroine, and again into a punching bag for the pathetic men in her family and the objects of their obsessions: mother-daughter pair Janet and Liberty Ciccone. As much of an ass that Parker has been, he’s only repeating the crude comments uttered by his father: that Carly is jealous and hellbent on destroying HIS (Jack’s) happiness, she’s selfish for not readily agreeing to let him take out a second mortgage on the ONLY home she owns – so that he can build a home for Janet. Is there any wonder that Parker views calling his mother pathological perfectly acceptable?

Had it been Jack standing there with Carly? He would have either said to Carly 1- that she needed to let HIM handle it (being Parker’s only decent parent and all that jazz), or 2 – to not blow things out of porportion! He would have asked her what she expected given her own behavior! Jack would have excused Parker by blaming Carly. Jack has hardly been Carly’s partner in reigning Parker in under control since her return. Jack was content to allow him to say and do anything, as long as he relied on his 15 year old son to tell him what a prince among men he was, how much he should be proud of himself from moving on from Carly, and how worthless, petty, and jealous Carly was. Now that Parker has become unbearable, the writers should have Jack reflect on his behavior and how much he contributed to Parker’s obnoxious and over-the-top attitude.

As for Craig? I am still not completely sold on him as a partner for Carly, after all the man IS responsible for the injuries that caused her sister to lapse into a comma. That said, I’m a darned sight closer to accepting Carly and Craig as a couple than I ever have been before. Ultimately, I would love it if Carly was permitted to deal with Parker on her own, and only rely on Craig as emotional support, not as her ‘savior’ or the individual she ‘needs’ help from in turning her son around. Imagine that? A woman in control of her own destiny and in control of her own children!

It’s weird how daytime now makes viewers wish for the things most of us experience in our every day lives.

So much for ‘fantasy’ and ‘escapism’.

What, are you NEW?

The Bold and the Beautiful

Clearly there are new writers on board.  There HAVE to be! How else can you explain the highly emotional grief scenes following Phoebe’s death!?!?  It’ s been a long time since I’ve cried over BnB scenes because they were so highly emotional.  Usually if I’m crying over a BnB scene, it’s because of the self-pity I feel knowing I haven’t been able to break my BnB viewing habit.

Jacqueline MacInnes Wood was pitch perfect and completely sold me as the soul shattered twin sister unable to fathom living the rest of her life without her other half.  Together with Ronn Moss  ‘Steffy’ and ‘Ridge’ broke my heart opening the bag containing Phoebe’s personal effects and gingerly removing each time… a shoe, a bag, a hair clip, on their own -each with seeming no real value, now invaluable because of the fact that Phoebe wore them in her last moments.

I shuddered when I saw the door to the hospital morgue.  I waited for the gratuitous and exploitive “bloodied and battered” Phoebe  images.  I was wrong. The writers handled those scenes with a sensitivity rarely seen on this show. They’ve done us proud.  For the record, if there is a new team at bat, HIRE THEM… they’re good. If it really is the same writing team, what the hell? Why aren’t we getting this level of writing more often? I don’t even need it daily, just more frequently than we’ve been treated to the past… say… 6 or 7 years!

Young and the Restless

I’m sorry.  I think I’m losing my hearing.   I thought I heard Lauren express shock at Gloria’s self-centered behavior and her willingness to allow an innocent party to be blamed for something they hadn’t done.  I was shocked that SHE was shocked. Two words:  Ashley Abbott… Two more: Face Cream.

Are the writers confused?  Is there another character named Gloria living in fictional Genoa City?  There has to be, because otherwise the writers could never have written those lines.  Instead, they would have had Lauren tell Gloria that it’s time she STOPPED allowing others to pay for her lies and her selfishness.

Apparently Kay Chancellor isn’t the only GC resident with a look-a-like, and not the only one suffering from memory loss.

BTW, Phyllis, seriously?  It’s not like this is the FIRST marriage you’ve broken up, what’s up with that plan to split Jack and Sharon? What would make her think that Sharon would immediately run to Brad?  If Sharon is getting close with Nick, again, and she becomes a free woman, wouldn’t it make sense that she’d have to keep an eye on her wandering, philandering husband?  Great going there, big red.  Phyllis is just a little rusty at manipulating others.

One Life to Live

Oh sure… kill off Nash, bring back Tess, add new alter for Jessica, and then hook her up with the ‘new Nash’.  In this case, I think the writers think WE’RE new.  Can Jessica please have a love life that doesn’t revolve around alternate personalities and psychiatric care? Please? I’ll admit, I love Jess/Tess/Bess and Brody, I just wish the writers hadn’t used the same plot line they used to pull Tessica  and Nash together.

I can only assume that it’s tacit admission that getting rid of Jess and Nash was a FOOLISH move, especially for  a storyline that had enormous potential  ending with a whimper and not a bang.  The revenge storyline became diluted and distracting when it got in the way of other, less compelling, storylines.  Natalie and Jared replacing Jessica and Nash as the show’s hot young couple felt like a pipe dream from the beginning.Nared-Jatalie (whatever couple name they’ve earned) are a chemistry challenged couple that makes ‘romance’ feel like a four letter word -and not fun dirty four letter words, either.

I don’t understand the writers’ fascination with Natalie and Jared as a couple and I also don’t understand the sudden forgiveness for their actions.   It was Jessica who was angry, and felt betrayed.  Jessica watched her husband die.  Jessica held him in his last moments.  Jessica had to tell him about a child he’d never get to hold.  I don’t want Jessica to hate her sister the rest of her life, but the idea that she’s now beyond what’s happened, and that it’s ok that Natalie and Jared are caring for her children just seems odd.  At the very least, what should make Jessica’s recovery so difficult is being conflicted, both feeling guilty that Tess took things so far -but still feeling betrayed and feeling angry about their role in Nash’s death, and their role in her family’s financial difficulties in losing BE.  To have Natalie and Jared back in good stead just feels hollow and rings false.

Thank goodness I have Gigi/Rex/Shane to take my mind off of the rest of it. I love that Shane still loves his hero father, Brody, while being willing to slowly get to know his biological father, Rex.  I think it’s realistic for Shane to be confused and still love the man he’s thought of as his father his entire life.  I love that he’s a sensitive and loving child.  I love that Rex is patient, and respects Shane’s feelings.   I’m actually looking forward to more of this little family.

Days of Our Lives

Oh, I should have known.  Nicole Walker Dimera (emphasis on Dimera)! What have you done?   WHY, writers, WHY?  She loves Brady so much, to think that she would try to send him back to his addiction to protect her pregnancy lie?  That’s far too vicious, even for Nicole.   How could I have fooled myself into thinking the writers would make the character capable of anything else?  Oh well… I’m in for the long and the short of it.  Nicole will have to face whatever she has coming.  It will be well deserved.   If she succeeds in the long run, move me to the ‘love to hate’ column for a while.   Eventually I’ll find a way to forgive N.W.D.  for her dastardly actions… I’m so weak.  The writers always get me when it comes to this character.

As The World Turns

Oh dear.  I’ll bet you thought that Carly would be vindicated! I’ll bet you thought that the magnificent Snarly had Janet and her demon seed dead to rights, right?  HA!  What are you, NEW?  This is As The World Turns. Everyone turns on Carly, including her own children.

Parker forged Carly’s  signature, Liberty encouraged it, and it was ‘all good’ because their criminal activity was only about making someone else happy, namely Janet.  Sure, Janet is more deserving than most people.  It’s ok for her to want a 5k wedding gown, marrying a man with three children, making a cop’s salary.   Seriously?  That she never looked at the price tag is no excuse, in some ways, it’s WORSE that she didn’t look.  Did she really believe that an upscale boutique would have cheap gowns?

Parker has to humiliate his mother in front of Janet and Liberty.  Great. He forged the signature on his trust fund check to make Liberty happy… and that’s Carly’s fault.  They were willing to continue lying about it until they were caught… and that’s Carly’s fault, too;  she’s just an evil angry jealous bitch out to stop their happiness (uh, huh, despite the fact that she AGREED to let her jackass ex- take out a second mortgage on their house to pay for his wedding to another woman).  This is the man who attacks Carly for the kind of mother she is, NEVER thanking her for raising a child HE brought into their marriage (JJ)  after initially abandoning her and their other children, for JJ and his mother, batshit crazy Julia2.

I’m ready to give up on As The World Turns.  It’s not JUST the Kick the Carly storylines that are doing it for me.  The KTC storylines are symptomatic of a larger problem- the overall lack of balance on this show.  I think I’ve had my fill.  Someone contact me when the ‘Kick the Jackass’ storylines start (Jack-Janet, take your pick!)

Just  a word of caution, writers… viewers who are raising, or have raised, children are NOT entertained by a smart-assed obnoxious kid like Parker. It’s tiring of having the  show held hostage by the writers’ interpretation of teenaged hormones gone awry.  Liberty-Parker sex scenes, groping, lusting, crying, conspiring, and now attacking Carly for having LEGITIMATE concerns.  Get a clue, folks.  Surely JJ is missing his brother, by now.  It’s time to send Parker and Liberty away to school.

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.