BnB: Why the Bold (and daytime) needs Hope and Wyatt

BnB Hott2Before the deluge of smack down emails begin, just let me tell you what the title of this blog entry is NOT suggesting:   I am not suggesting that Hope and Wyatt will save daytime, the BnB, Kittens stuck in trees, shoes tossed carelessly over electrical wires or the sun from burning out in another 6 billion years.

There. Done. Said it.

Then why is HOTT so important?  Here goes.  This couple adds balance and daytime, in general, has lost the art of telling a balanced story.  In a panicked and desperate ploy to win new fans, soaps became wilder than necessary and sadly disjointed: multiple returns from the dead in new faces and old faces, supernatural storylines, unaborted children, crossovers that didn’t work, dumping damn near a full cast to replace them with characters long term fans didn’t know or care about.

In that manic phase, more soaps were lost.   The shows no longer with us were those, in my opinion, that strayed too far from the long term soap audience. They were unrecognizable.  Of those that have survived, only the Bold and the Beautiful seems to have decided to build a new supercouple from the ground up.  It’s not that fans really want something new.  Fans seem to want what they once had,  just told  in a new way.  I see that in Hope and Wyatt.

Balance: Hope and Wyatt start with a clean slate

Unlike Hope and Liam, Hope and Wyatt have no notable old lovers, broken hearts, or hurt feelings based on infidelity (or near infidelity) to rip them apart.  In a prior blog I wrote and stand by the statement that:

Hope, for the first time in a long time laughed, she did it without looking over her shoulder, or out of the corner of her eyes for the shadow that was always hovering around her.  She smiled, without a hit of irony or using her smile as a means of putting on a brave face.  She embraced a man without checking for the scent of another woman,  or hairs there weren’t his.  She looked into his eyes and didn’t see the reflection of someone else.

When Wyatt looks at Hope, he sees HOPE, he loves HOPE, his desire is for HOPE.  Not having sex with Hope doesn’t make her a child in his eyes.  Not having sex with her doesn’t make other women more desirable to him.  He has a passion for Hope that I find to be kind, gentle and refreshing.

With all of the meet-cute and play-cute scenes they’ve pulled off, who knew that they could also pull off a smoking #HOTT love scene? I don’t know about you, but I blushed a little.  It was nice watching that scene, knowing that the moment we witnessed was about Hope and Wyatt, and no on else. This couple will have other challenges – the Hope Diamond issue, for example, for now at least.

Balance: Hope and Wyatt don’t have to hurt each other or betray others to be together

It’s nice to have a couple that doesn’t have to sneak around, or worry about facing the partner they’re betraying just to be together. Unlike Liam, Hope broke things off, first, before moving on.  As much as I despise Brooke and Bill together, what made them an even worse (er, sleazier) choice of couple is that they had to  hide out at home to avoid the negative press. Hope and Wyatt remind me of the old Brooke and Ridge, who stood in front of cameras together and were celebrated for the love they shared.

This relationship is a step up for Hope, who felt she had to sacrifice her principles (and virginity) to keep Liam interested in her.  Hope had publicly proclaimed her desire to maintain her virginity until marriage.  Rather than applaud it and support her, she was taunted by Steffy, dismissed by Bill, and treated as if she offered Liam nothing but regret and frustration. No hiding in the shadows for Hope and Wyatt.

Sex is the icing on the cake.  The cake is the friendship they established before sex.  Wyatt, as written, loved her without ever touching her.   I may sound like my own grandmother (God love her) but how often are daytime shows giving us romance with clothes on these days?

Balance:  Long chases, Longer embraces

As Katie and Brooke battle it out regarding Brooke’s ability to easily fall in and out of love, watching Wyatt and Hope, I realize how much I have missed the chase in a romantic storyline.  If feels as if Wyatt and Hope have known each other forever, and that the relationship between them has grown organically.

I have missed the passion that grows and grows until the time is right for BOTH partners.

I have missed the definition of romance that has nothing to do with what a woman gives, what she wears, what tricks she’ll perform (Steffy) to make a man happy.

I have missed the definition of romance in daytime that includes allowing both partners to be accomplished and have an equal voice, not a romance that feeds the ego of her partner and requires her to excuse his actions, even if those actions include him inflicting immeasurable pain on those she loves (Brooke and Bill).

I have missed the definition of romance that allows the female romantic lead to just be a happy person. She embraces her life and is not a femme fatale on a mission to destroy the woman involved with the man she’s obsessed with (Caroline and Rick!  Sorry, but I have yet to let go of the comments Caroline made to Maya.  I was never a Rick-Maya fan, but Caroline hit below the belt, raised it and hit some more).

I didn’t know just how much I missed those things until HOTT came along.  I don’t think it’s true that a happy couple is a boring one.  Good writers make happy couples interesting in ways that have nothing to do with infidelity.  Given the course of this  couple has taken, starting out, I hope they’re among that group of supercouples who bring love and adventure to a show. I hope the writers will leave the circus worthy romances to the rest of BnB’s partner swappers!

What about you?

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Pork chop side burns and the Bold and the Beautiful

Damn!  I was FREE!  I was completely FREE of daytime… and then came Hope and Wyatt.  Now I’m back and bummed.  I started watching the BnB again (as well as other daytime) and I haven’t  been able to free myself.  To be clear, I give the BnB this much credit: at least enough of the show is silly enough that there are days when I can fast forward a good deal of it and watch the entire show in under 1o minutes!  I also thank DAYS for being largely unwatchable!

The Good

Wyatt and Hope (shhhhh… no responses, please.  I love them and refuse to hear a negative word about them).   When Wyatt isn’t begging, but simply connecting with Hope?  Good stuff!  Is there no place in Paris for Liam?  Really?

Quinn.  If the writers turn her into the new Sheila/Stephanie, they’ve missed the point and have thrown away one of the best characters to come around in a long time.   Quinn is a self-made woman.  She is fearless, and she doesn’t cower when the men speak – I give Rena Sofer credit for making Quinn a stronger woman than the writers intended to write.  Excuse me, but what the HELL, writers?  We need strong women in daytime.  Stop equating strong (if you’re female) with bat crap out of your mind.  I would rather find out that Quinn’s secret is that she has a document pennyBill wrote, on a napkin, when they were young, promising her half his wealth when he finally made it on his own.  To be sure, it was something he wrote as a joke, or to seduce her into believing he saw her as a life partner.  Maybe he thought he’d collected it when he knocked her up and then told her to abort his kid.  Sorry if that seems indelicate on my part, it’s indelicate on the part of the character and the writers treat it as a mere past act rather than an act connected to his current character flaws.

It would be too late for her to grab Spencer Publications, but she would surely have claim to much of his current bank account.  If she  had his half of his current holdings/income (including shares in FC) and her current success, she would be a force to be reckoned with – but no… she’s crazy, and overly involved in the love life of her adult son.

Too bad.

Katie and Ridge.  Thorsten Kaye is one of the greatest miscasts in daytime history (gorgeous accent, it’s just out of place for a man born and raised in So. Cal.). While I am repulsed at the idea of sister swapping with recent lovers, there is an undeniable chemistry between HThom’s Katie and TK’s NuRidge.  It’s a more powerful chemistry than should be.  It appears, to me at least, that the writers are investing in making the celebrated Heather Thom the show’s new leading lady.  Katie’s dialogue is so crisp and heroic that I feel that I’ve been temporarily transported to a different show.  She’s strong, she’s smart, and she sees through both Bill and her sister.  Katie’s words speak to women who are tired of seeing men treat women like garbage and then swagger their way through life.   Her words are the words of women who feel empowered and whose emotional lives aren’t centered around being a fantasy for a man with small dreams.

Right now, despite often enjoying Wyatt and Hope, only Katie gives me hope that the show’s writers may one day learn to write for different kinds of women and characters.   My only fear is that once they’ve allowed her to be strong, they’ll take her the Quinn route.

If Katie and Ridge are to be together, it can’t be about Bill, Brooke, or past betrayals that will drive Katie insane.  It has to be about two those two people.

The Bad

Brooke.  Yes, it breaks my heart, but my once beloved Brooke leads “the bad”.    I must have been watching one day while cleaning and as I was cleaning, I must have hit my head and lost consciousness.  Did Brooke chide Katie for having pride and not taking Bill off her hands (he’s in the way of her achieving her dreams of a happy ending with NuRidge, dontcha’ know)?  Did she tell Katie to accept Bill back in her life and let him make her happy?  You mean, as happy as she was when he impregnated her sister behind her back? (see: repeated character flaws of Bill Spencer Jr!)  As happy as he made her the last time she put her pride aside and let him into her life?  When she did that he bedded her and the next morning ran back to Brooke with paperwork stealing everything Katie cared for.  That’s what Brooke wants for her sister, to have to wake up every morning wondering if that was the morning Bill was back in her sister’s bed?

It’s time for the writers to stop ignoring the deep, unfilled, void left  with Susan Flannery’s retirement.  To do so is a sign that their vision for the future is short-sighted.  Brooke doesn’t have to be angry, crazy, criminally violent and just plain evil, but she can be a healing force in her family rather than the person who continues to tear it apart.  While I would love for KKL’s Brooke to fill void, it doesn’t look like that will be the case.  If HTom’s Katie is set free of Brooke and Bill, it would seem to me that she’s it, she’s the  new martriarch/leading lady.  She will be the new heart of the Logan family – she will be the person who brings them all together.

Storm gave his heart to save Katie.  Brooke couldn’t give up a night in the arms of a walking outdated stereotype.  The writers don’t seem to be interested in Brooke beyond the ability to use her to write destructive sexual entanglements.  Three decades and this is all they have to offer the show’s fans?  Shame, shame BnB writers!

The Ugly

I don’t find men who think a woman should be used in bed to be particularly hero worthy. If Bill truly loved Brooke, you would think he that he was grateful that Ridge wasn’t rushing into bed with Brooke.  WHY would he taunt Ridge about NOT having sex with Brooke? Does he want to go to Brooke’s house one day and see a rumpled bed? Brooke is just for sexing under any circumstances? Brooke has been telling anyone who will listen that Ridge is her happy ending in life, what does that make Bill?

Bill seems to be incapable of real emotion. The writers are too stuck on some 70s version of a tough guy – it’s just old, silly, contrived and the opposite of tough – as far as I’m concerned.  I’ll admit it, I get the giggles when Bill is on screen.  Is he supposed to be funny? His scenes seem to be consistently about making empty threats to anyone who is too dumb to listen.   Bill is a pair of pork chop sideburns away from completing the cosmic joke the writers have turned him into.  PLEASE, PLEASE let Bill start twirling his mustache every time he makes a threat. That would make his scenes even funnier.

The last Ridge-Bill interaction taught me one thing. Ridge’s connection is about emotions and sex with Brooke is based on their emotional connection. Bill’s is about his floppy Bill and any open and available opportunity.  When I’m not laughing at Bill, I’m actually feeling a little queasy.

Is it just me or does anyone else think that the writers have made Bill an even bigger idiot when he’s in lust?  How the hell can I buy him as a successful mogul when his former thrill thing, Steffy, was able to cheat him into selling FC back to her family and then Brooke was able to swap papers giving him control of everything he ever wanted?  Bill clearly thinks with his zipper.

BnB: The measure of a woman. The mismeasure of a girl.

Done, Finito, KAPUT!  I’m done trying to find a reason to like the BnB’s Steffy Forrester, DONE!  I usually love bad girls/bad boys in daytime;  although I almost always root against them.  I enjoy watching them unleash fresh hell on others, and later themselves as their plans backfire.  It’s the best of both worlds.  Truly great bad girl/guy characters feed your light and dark sides.  Most daytime writers have a tried and true formula and “get” what makes bad girl/boy characters so much fun.  They’re equal parts exhilaration and exasperation and just when you think you can’t love-to- hate them any more than you already do, the writers pull a twist.  The character you thought you knew, the character whose all-knowing smirks drove you to the brink of distraction suddenly has a vulnerable side.   You find yourself almostliking them!  When daytime writers want you to fall for a character, they know what it takes to make you fall hard:

  • AMC’s writers pulled the ’empathy card’ on Janet-from-another-planet Green when they revealed that she wasn’t simply pathologically jealous of her beautiful sister, Natalie Marlowe, but that she’d been the target of unrelenting taunting and teasing, merciless emotional abuse, all without remorse by a mother who felt justified in the emotional torture of her daughter.  Natalie was her blessing, Janet was her curse. Wilma Marlowe couldn’t wait to remind Janet, every day of her life, that she was the daughter she would have done without and when given the choice, that choice would always be the beloved Natalie.  Janet’s hope was to, just once, be chosen first.  The desire to be someone’s first choice – even Trevor Dillon’s, drove much of Janet’s continued march toward madness. 
  • ATWT’s  writers pulled the ’empathy card’ with Emily Stewart, who spent years dealing with her mother Susan’s substance abuse and emotional distancing.  Emily’s victimization at her mother’s hands turned into a worldview in which she was always the victim of the those around her – even as she drew first blood.  By soapgod, she was going to make the world PAY!    ATWT pulled the double whammy with heartless schemer, Angel Lange, who was the victim of longterm sexual abuse at the hands of her wealthy powerful father.  Angel’s scheming was directed at helping her secure her freedom from a powerful father who seemed unstoppable.   To that end she forced Holden Snyder into marriage, schemed to keep him, and with her brother, stole millions from their father’s company.
  • GH’s Stefan Cassadine’s ’empathy card’ came in the form of dysfunctional parenting as well.  He and brother Stavros were presented as the “Heir and a Spare”. While his parents groomed his brother for greatness (and you can read that as great darkness), he was expected to bask in the shaded glory of the pathological Stavros, accept the cast off crumbs of his parents’ affections.  It was a wonder that they allowed him to keep the Cassadine name.  Stavros was dangerous, but even Stavros was a kitten compared to their parents.   

Stefan never stood a chance growing up.  If it’s possible to assign behavior to soap characters, you could imagine that had Stefan’s parents paid more attention to him in his youth, there would be no need to discuss adult Stefan.  He’d have never nade it to adulthood.  

  • Long before Stefan, there was Bobbie Spencer, who curiously enough became Stefan’s wife.  In her youth,  Bobbie hadn’t met a man she didn’t want to control, nor a woman she didn’t want to destroy to have him.   We later learned that Nurse Bobbie’s early  trauma occurred when she was led into prostitution as a young teen by her Aunt Ruby, not long  after her parents died.  She was just another of the working girls  in Aunt Ruby’s house.   Bobbie’s “protector” was her older brother, Luke, who protected her by making sure she was ‘safe’ on her ‘dates’ with older men.  Bobbie was reminded of her sex worker past, frequently, even as she transitioned from good-girl-gone-bad to bad-girl-turned-real-woman.  The most lasting reminder of Bobbie’s difficult time was the arrival of the daughter she conceived while working for Aunt Ruby.    Unfortuntately for Bobbie, daughter Carly came with an eye on vengence.
  • OLTL’s Todd Manning, in his youth, was anger on a stick and a threat to the safety of women everywhere.   The writers should have taken advantage of the fact that in a field of characters with unusual names (Storm, Ridge, Thorne, Destiny) naming this guy “Trouble” instead of Todd would have been more honest.  If there was a thing that Todd didn’t hate, it was only because it hadn’t been invented yet.  It’s hard to feel sorry for a unrepentent rapist and the writers knew it.  Without the need to try to ‘redeem’ him, the writers allowed the audience catch a glimpse of what was left of the humanity of the character.  The idea seemed to be to provide the audience some hope that whatever was left of his humanity was enought to stop him from victimizing others and to begin dealing  with his own pain.  Todd’s pain resulted from frequent beatings by an uncaring father who despised him.  Todd’s father, Peter Manning, was his maternal uncle and adoptive father.  He was forced to raise the child as his own.   We later found out that Todd was also sexually abused in his youth.
  • BnB’s Stephanie Douglas Forrester (who moved from my love-to-hate column to fully despise) was the product of a vicious wealthy father who presented the image of a perfect family to his business colleagues and friends (including fellow industry titan, YnR’s Katherine Chancellor).  What his friends and and colleagues didn’t know is that Mr. Douglas beat his daughter “Stevie” with reckless abandon behind closed doors.   Stephanie’s cruel childhood treatment was reportedly the cause of the cruelty she expressed in adulthood.  It is something that others around her struggle with until this day — clearly Stepahnie doesn’t struggle with her inhumanity toward others.  She revels in it.

You get the common thread, yes?  Years of emotional, physical, verbal, and sexual abuse.  Whether it happens because of a cowardly parent or a craven lover, there is typically a foundation for the abusive, shallow behavior we witness in our fave bad girls and boys.  Use that as a backdrop to try to understand the BnB’s Steffy Forrester.  She’s the heir to a massive fortune, her mother  came BACK from the dead and re-established the family Steffy always wanted. Her mother also gave her 25% of the family company – trusting her to “take care” of her older brother.  Steffywas raised by a father she adores.  She’s never had to go to college and yet was handed cushy executive level positions in the company after spending only a few months in the mailroom.  AND she had a stepmother who raised her and loved her while her mother was believed to have been in the grave (the same stepmother she still adored just a few years, ago, and with whom she’s had no significant conflict).   She’s traveled the world and has reportedly been loved and in love.

To hear this wanker of a character whine day in and day out about how sad she is, how much she needs a man (any man dating or married to a Logan woman), how hard her life is, how she’s been abandoned, maltreated, unloved… it’s all just too much.  Rather than creating feelings that run from exhilaration to exasperation, my feelings for Steffy run from damned bored to seriously annoyed.  Her rapid shifting from begging her daddy (Ridge) to staywith the family and continue to raise her, to begging her ‘big daddy’ (Bill Spencer) to stay with her for the night and make love to her is pathetic, but mostly jarring.  Is she a needy child or a sexually provocative woman?  She can’t be both, or use both “needs” as the foundation for her aggression toward the Logan family.  Her need to destroy the Logan family because her father loves Brooke, is petty.  It’s surreal at best when you consider how much she loved Brooke as a stepmother, until her nological mother’s return.  It’s absurd when you consider the fact that Brooke is the mother of her youngest brother. 

Steffy doesn’t work as a bad girl because there is no “empathy card” to be played for this character.  The character is made up of all hard angles.  It’s even hard to believe that she’s invested in the people she claims to be invested in. She’s now twice turned on her mother for love of  two different men (Rick Forrester and Bill Spencer).  She’s never bothered to share the stock in the family company with her brother.  She doesn’t care if her YOUNGEST brother (still in late childhood) grows up without a father – as long as their father is in the home she no longer lives in as an adult.  She’s been working to destroy her brother’s family since he was a toddler.  She fell to her knees over twin sister Phoebe’s death, but almost immediately fell into bed with the man her family blamed for her sister’s death.  She defended him even after he used her and used her sister’s death to taunt her father… the same father she can’t live without. 

 The fact that anyone (onscreen) finds her intriguing leaves one feeling dumbfounded.  Steffy Marone-Forrester is a character filled with contradictions, and none of them good. 

She is not likable.

She is not rootworthy.

She is not interesting.

My time is quickly becoming wasted by this character.  My sincere hope is that the writers are planning to give the character depth or to send her packing.  I will accept either, but what I can’t accept is Steffy in her current incarnation.   At some point the writers will  become bored with this character as she is.  I’m looking forward to THAT day.

BnB: You Always Hurt the One You Love

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If you: repeatedly work to end a woman’s marriage, facilitate her rape after calling her a whore, leave her fragile Alzheimer’s afflicted mother alone to drown, facilitate having her children  to grow up without a stable family, behave in such a heinous way that her brother flips out trying to stop you and ends up eventually taking his life once his switch has been flipped, repeatedly try to take custody of her children for your own personal gain, and attempt to murder her on more than one occasion – alternating murder attempts with bouts of public humiliation… well!  Don’t lose hope!  There IS a way to make it up to her in one magical truly painless (for you, that is)  moment:

Even for daytime, this was one weak response to Brooke finding out that the woman she believed had finally come to love and respect her had instead intentionally inflicted harm yet again.  If I had a nickel for every time the writers have had Brooke fall for that lie, I’d own controlling interest in Microsoft!  Granny Stephanie talked idiotic  Thomas into lying and allowing his father to believe that he slept with his stepmother and that she was covering up the ‘dirty deed’.  Brooke raised Thomas for part of his young life – when he was still a decent and loving human being.  She supported him when he  had no support from the rest of his family.  In the end, Stephanie was able to convince him to turn on his stepmother with very  little persuasion needed.

Given the level of betrayal and inflicted damage, it’s disturbing that the writers have chosen to resolve the storyline this way. It feeds the stereotype about the lack of seriousness in daytime writing and production and helps any newbie who attempts to watch the genre understand why so many actors divorce themselves from their daytime past once they make it beyond the fuzzy daytime curtain.  The title of the song could have just an easily applied to the impact of the writing on daytime fans, or would if anyone actually believed that daytime writers even LIKED, much less loved or respected their fans.   On one hand, I’m sympathetic to the need to end a stinker of a storyline (like the trudge reunion) as quickly as possible.  I have to wonder if BnB writers needed to hurriedly wrap the non-reunion storyline to make Steph and Brooke allies in the fight against Taylor, Bill, and Steffy.  The problem is that I (and I’m betting most soap fans) don’t need Stephanie to be Brooke’s ally. I would have loved for the writers to have cast Elizabeth Hubbard (ATWT’s Lucinda Walsh) or Melody Thomas Scott (Ex-/Maybe Current Nikki, YnR) as Beth’s wealthy sister who has been estranged from the family since Beth married Stephen Logan — the man she loved first.  Aunt Patience Logan could have suffered a recent loss — her own husband dying tragically.   With her adult children living their own lives, the loss leads her to realize how alone she is, and how ashamed she feels that she never made peace with her sister, Beth, before she died. It would motivate her make peace with her newfound family, learn the lay of the land, and then go all kick ass on Steph and her trashy crew, knocking them all on their butts.  Aunt Patience would help empower her nieces as they’ve never been empowered before. I’d love her to have a vast fortune, big enough to make the Spencer fortune look like spending change and to use it to bring the pain!  The BnB doesn’t often promote strong female leads and when it does, they often become psychotic, whether they’re recognized as such (Sheila Carter) or not (Stephanie Douglas Forrester).  Aunt Patience would hopefully avoid becoming such a caricature.

Double my pleasure!  Make Aunt Patience’s first-born son, a cousin the Logans have never met,  a dead ringer for Stormy Logan, assuming it’s even possible for  DeVry to return given his busy filming and taping schedule … Is he Stephen’s son or is the resemblance due to their shared maternal lineage?    New Storm (Thunder/Rain Cloud/Lightening) could end up falling for Felicia, complicating his mother’s plans to ruin the Forresters once and for all — but  make that complicate, not end or deter.  I would DELIGHT in watching Aunt Patience, sitting back in the FC CEO’s chair, forcing Stephanie to drop to her knees and beg for the life of her family’s company.  I would REVEL in watching Aunt Patience turn over half of FC stock (maybe 60%)  to Hope because she has never been involved with a Forrester and would be less least likely to sign over the shares at some point.  She could then allow the Forrester family split the remaining stock.  Brooke would, of course, manage her daughter’s interests.

If the writers aren’t invested in bringing in new characters, how about forcing Stephanie to sign her 25 percent over to Brooke?  Brooke and Ridge would then, as a couple, effectively run FC again. 

How about having Brooke and Steph rehash the forgotten forged letter that ended Brooke’s marriage to Eric, only to have Eric overhear it and dump Steph once and for all?  (No, REALLY, no going back!)   It’s time to bring a woman into Eric’s life that makes him a romantic lead again, instead of having him live out his days as Stephanie’s sock puppet.  As a parting shot, Eric could inform Stephanie that she’s been blinded all these years about who the viper in her bosom actually is and then tell her about Taylor sending him to end things with her  for good  to prove that he wanted to be with her and only her.  Stephanie would wake up too late to the realization that Brooke has never been out to destroy her and in trying to destroy Brooke (Hope, and RJ – Bridget and Rick before them) she’s lost the family she claimed to love.   Jackie and Eric, Part 2?   Wouldn’t that leave Owen free to go back to Bridget and his son?  I could stomach that at this point — especially if Bridget and Owen then found out that Nick was the child’s father and had to figure out how to make their relationship work in light of the news.

What if Stephanie really WAS ostracized this time?  Why not begin to build a brand new storyline around her?  Get Stephanie out of the fashion industry and doing something with her life that benefits others.  The current storyline has trivialized her work with the homeless, which was apparently a hobby in between her moments of obsession with Brooke and Brooke’s marriage to Ridge.  Rather than another physical illness, which leaves most fans with little sympathy for her) why not have Stephanie go back to her abuse storyline and have her work with a competent psychiatrist to break her bad habits to manipulating, betraying, and controlling?  Maybe Dayzee has an abusive ex-boyfriend  who shows up and jump starts the storyline.  What if Stephanie accidentally kills him during an altercation and tries to hide the evidence of her crime in a real ‘whodunit?’.  What if the writers have his father/brother/sister come looking for him, slowly putting the pieces together, and who begins tormenting Stephanie until the truth is revealed.   Anything that keeps her from meddling in her adult children’s lives works for me.

Brooke forgave the rape Stephanie facilitated.  She forgave Steph for the fake heart attack she used to break up her family.  She forgave Stephanie leaving her agitated mother to drown.  She forgave Stephanie’s torment of her brother and her siblings. She forgave Stephanie’s various attempts to destroy her children’s happiness.  All the while she was maltreated by Stephanie, she’s has repeatedly fought for Steph’s health, her life, and has done everything she could to become ‘true family’ with  her.   After more than 20 years of torment, closer to 30 years onscreen, at what point does Brooke get to kick Stephanie’s butt, figuratively or literally?

The above  “forgiveness scene”  was the equivalent of ordering a cup of tea, savoring every bit until the end, where the last taste is bitter.  What a pity. I don’t want Brooke to become the vicious and angry pantload Stephanie has always been.  I just want a feeling of ‘satisfaction’ when one of the BnB’s “big” storylines is resolved.  The level of betrayal Brooke experiences at Stephanie’s hands, the sheer number of TEARS that woman cries, suggests that a much stronger response is needed.  Double dating with the man who left you last week, and his parents, on the eve of his would- be wedding, while his psychotic mother warbles out a classic just doesn’t do it for me.

BnB: “Bitch, Please” and “the Bearded one”!

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Sadly, a good Brooke and Ridge (BRidge) reunion has always piqued my interest enough that I’d tune in and follow what’s going on.   Not so much this go round, but I have kept up enough to know two things:  1 -The writers have tacitly confirmed that taylor “mail order psychiatry degree” hayes Jones is nothing more than a crackpot, and 2 – The writers view Ridge as nothing more than a cluesless lamb to the slaughter in the BRidge meltdowns.  It’s time for the writers to let Ridge grow a pair, and KEEP THEM!  This BRidge break up was the most pathetic yet (Ridge planned to rebound with a marriage to his ex before his son even knew that he’d divorced his mother and left the family) The second point first.  Ridge:

Colore me stunned to see Ronn Moss’ (Ridge’s) heavy growth of facial hair.  WHAAAA’?  Has it dawned on anyone else that the last time we saw such heavy growth, not just the occasional 5 o’clock shadow we’ve seen,  it coincided with another ‘big loss’ storyline on screen?  Shortly after Ridge lost Caroline, he grew a beard that would make a dense patch of forest sick with envy!  The mail order psychiatrist, hoping that she’d broken through to Ridge in order to get him to take his attention off of his grief for his dead wife and turn his attention to her, tried to get him to shave it.  His response?  NO!  Brooke – the other woman he loved as much as Caroline, told him, as he sat at her bedside attending to her every need while she was in labor with his father’s child, that his beard was itchy.  To taylor’s shock and chagrin, Ridge ran to shave it to make Brooke more comfortable.

That the timing of this storyline is coincidental with RM’s decision to grow facial hair shouldn’t be considered immaterial. How nice it would have been for the writers to have thought about those earlier scenes and then use them for this show.  Imagine Taylor remembering that time and finally putting  together the facial hair and the look of being lead to the gallows emanating from Ridge’s dead eyes whenever they’re together.  Imagine a horrified Taylor realizing on her own that Ridge was grieving for Brooke as he grieved for Caroline, and that she truly was back on the sidelines, hoping that for once she wasn’t the rebound betty she’d been for Ridge from the day they met.  She could have at least gone out with a little dignity.  Maybe then she would have seemed slightly human had she crumbled under the weight of the realization that she’d emasculated her husband by laughing at her inability to remember his name in bed, calling out Ridge’s instead.  She could have broken down in utter disgust that she’d tossed Whip aside, treating him as if his absolute devotion to her made her skin crawl.  Nah… that’s too much like right for the broken down half-wit psychiatrist.  The writers didn’t have it in them to have her think about what she’d done.  She was too busy falling back on her uusal refrain, “… but what about ME?”  In her rush to proclaim herself the victim, taylor’s statements about the tragedy of her non-wedding to Ridge made her seem callous, dumber than usual, and absolutely insane… all I can say is:

Bitch, PLEASE!

1.  Taylor thought her son was  “molested” by Brooke?  (I can’t even deal with the writers’ trivialization of the word, right now).  Suffice it to say: BTICH, PLEASE!  This is the woman who called herself young Rick and Bridget’s “new mommy”, used a young Rick to keep the secret that she was dating his father behind good friend Stephanie’s back ,and then turned around and slept with Rick when he became an adult.  She loved throwing in it Brooke’s face that she’d intended to marry her son.    Yet she thought that Brooke “molested” her son when they were BOTH stoned on wild berries and neither had any real memory of what happened? 

Given Thomas’ historyof violence and aggression and his prior attempts to get romantically/sexually physical with his stepmother (for the sake of publicity), she would have made more sense worrying about Brooke than worrying about Thomas.

2 – She wondered if Stephanie and Thomas even knew who she was and what she was about when they played their hand?  BITCH, PLEASE!  Stephanie, the woman you ran to when you were afraid of losing Ridge?  The woman you thanked for keeping Ridge with you because the two of you would never made it without her?  The woman who watched you a) accept a wedding gown/ring/proposal meant for someone else?  b) accept her arm twisting of Ridge to keep him away from a child he thought was his child with Brooke for your sake?  c) accept her help in trying to give a child she thought was yours with Thorne to his brother to force Ridge to be with you to give his brother’s child a father? d) sneak into Brooke office and cackle like a mad hen over listening to Steph call Brooke names? e) try to profit from doping Ridge up and giving him alcohol and taking him to bed after that?  Honey, that’s your SHORT list.  How could any writer expect an audience to believe taylor’s innocence given her own history?

3.  She’s tried to live her life with integrity?  If the emphasis in on the word ‘tried’, she gets away with that statement, though I could argue that the writers didn’t have her try very hard.  If the emphasis is on the work “integrity”?  BITCH, PLEASE!  This is the woman who called Brooke a whore and who mocked her for marrying the Forrester men and yet has slept her way through TWO families (plus the men she didn’t know while drinking and trolling the wharf around Chuck’s bar).  Taylor lied about killing her sister-in-law, allowed the family to think that Darla had been left to die like an animal in the road, and then encouraged Darla’s child and husband grow close to her.  She hid her infidelity with James Warrick, at her husband’s family’s beloved Big Bear cabin, for YEARS while making her husband think she was as pure as the driven snow.  She’s slept with almost every male patient she’s ever had (onscreen), lied about her college relationship with Grant Chambers, committed bigamy, trashed her best friend’s marriage behind her back, betrayed her now deceased daughter, used her psychologically frail – physically violent husband to try to make a young Ridge jealous by sleeping with the ex-husband (license and ethics be damned) … and again, the short list.

That taylor didn’t have the decency to feel sorry for anyone other than herself means that if the writers didn’t intend for the character to seem shallow, vain, and pathetic someone should be playing the lottery because they hit on all three traits without breaking a sweat.

Daytime: Killing Me Softly With It’s Song…

This blog entry is alternately titled, “Killing Soaps Softly… from The Inside” or “Good bye Cruel Soap World”.  If you’re not a soap fan – when you read the title  you were probably thinking something like this:
The above is the Fugees remake of the Roberta Flack original.
If you’re a soap fan, you were probably thinking this:
Or possibly  this:
Thank YOU to the soapoperanetwork.com posters who found and posted the vids.  No thanks to the responsible network execs. The network exec/s who came up with that brilliant idea, and approved the above ad (or even that prior Emmy performance) should be GONE from daytime… not just fired, but permanently banned from the entertainment field.  Daytime isn’t just dying because of the OJ trial, cable television,syndication,  the Internet, etc… it’s being slowly killed from the inside.  Add to the above cases the case of The Bold and The Beautiful.  You’ve heard me refer to it as my favorite soap in the past.  You’ll never hear that comment from me again, I’m sure.  Add me as another “Day One” viewer who is finally fed up enough with this show to take if off the ‘occasional view’ list and dump it.
As I’ve stated before, many fans work full time (at home and outside the home) and often want to spend time with entertainment that is ‘relaxing’.  We don’t mind entertainment that challenges us and keeps us working when its smart and edgy.  LOST was a huge hit because it kept fans guessing and looking toward the future. Entertainment that causes you to work but gives you nothing in return is not worth watching.  Fans figured out long ago that Brooke was worth more than a good sex scene and subsequent sex ‘scandals’. It seems clear that the writers haven’t figured that out. There is no future to look toward with this show. We know what the future is… it’s been the same storyline for Brooke for nearly a decade, with an occasional diversion thrown in.   She’s twice betrayed her oldest daughter by having  slept with not ONE, but TWO of Bridget’s husbands.  She has a child with each form son-in-law, one of whom is being raised by Bridget.
The first child Brooke had with a son-in-law is in love with a young man fans once found adorable, Oliver Jones – as played by the adorable Zack Conroy (ex-James Spaulding, The Guiding Light).   Anti-Brooke fans joked, when Hope was born, that it would only be a matter of time before Brooke slept with Hope’s lovers, too.  That seemed like the most improbable of storylines given the fact that each time the writers had Brooke sleep with one of Bridget’s husbands, the ratings tanked. After the third dalliance (once with SIL Deacon Sharpe, twice with Nick Marone) the writers seemed to finally get it.  Brooke + Daughter’s lovers = Disaster.   They went through the trouble of having her declared a ‘new woman’, a woman who would never again betray her children. Now this.
Fans, the writers seem to believe, are supposed to forgive Brooke for sleeping with Oliver because despite the fact that his 20 year old body is no where nearly as developed as that of her 50 year old husbands’ body.  She couldn’t tell the difference when she had sex with him up a wall, just outside of a room full of teens.  He apparently didn’t feel shorter, thinner, or sound different during the tryst.
The room was dark.  They were wearing masks.  Brooke and Oliver  were overcome with passion – Oliver, believing he was having sex with a virginal Hope – who must have at some point told him that she didn’t want her first time to be special, any place and any time would do.  She must have also told him she as practicing her moves in the mirror because Oliver didn’t seem to notice that Hope didn’t move like an inexperienced woman.  He too, was unable to tell that his partner was older, taller, and didn’t feel the same as the numerous times before when he kissed her.  Even if the writers managed to undo this horror of a storyline, they can’t undo their tacit acknowledgement that there is no future for Brooke, and most characters on this show, that doesn’t involve sex with the wrong person, for whatever reason, at any place and time.
Peace to  Ms. Katherine Kelly Lang, portrayer of long suffering heroine Brooke Logan, because she (Ronn Moss, Susan Flannery, John McCook, Ashley Jones, and much of the cast) have made this show worth watching during some of its darkest times, but there are limits.  I’m not writing, or calling, or begging or pleading.   I’m  not enraged by the storyline itself, but what it represents.  I am also not engaged by thei storyline, I’m just done with the BnB.  This show is not my second job.  I shouldn’t have to put any effort into enjoying what was once great entertainment.
While the writers, producers, directors, and network executives work hard to make daytime into the huge joke those outside the genre think it is, it’s time for this soap fan to move on.  Two of the six soaps (BnB and DAYS) are unwatchable because of the outrageous storylines they tell.  The other four are occaasionally passable.  Syndication isn’t the problem for daytime, it’s the solution. Fans prefer to watch shows that provide some payoff — and we’re  getting less and less of that in daytime.

We are family… I got all my sisters with me…

only, in daytime, if you have all of your sisters with you it could get pretty crowded since daytime males procreate at the same rate that the national debt grows.  It could also get crowded if you had to accommodate your sister’s dual relationship to you:  sister-stepmother, sister-cousin, sister – biological mother, sister – aunt, sister -husband’s ex-wife, sister – father’s ex-wife.  OY!  In spite of twisted, tangled and mangled family trees, and mixed up family relationships, there  has been quite a dramatic change in the focus of daytime writers across the board.  Writers are now telling the story of families, not just individual characters. The Bold and the Beautiful, General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, and One Life to Live have been leading the way.  All I can say is ‘more please’.

General Hospital

Soapgod bless Lulu Spencer.  First she rips  Liz a new one to defend Lucky,  and then rips into Sonny for shooting Dominic/Dante in the same ONE WEEK time frame!  What the hell?  Don’t you people know Christmas is over?  Nevermind.  Keep writing the show like you’ve just seen your first snow of the season.  It’s working for you.

I’m even going to forgive you for being silly enough to think that having women call one another whores takes the sting out of the fact that you’re still writing those lines.  For now.  I get it… it’s not as bad as having the men do it?  Wrong, but we’ll save that for another time.  For the record, I remember Lulu’s flaws.  I remember that she’s made a mess of her own life, and Georgie’s in the past, but what sister – no matter her mistakes, wouldn’t be as angry at Liz and Nikolas as she was?  It’s only too bad that Lulu spared Nikolas as much as she has.

Lulu said pretty much what I wanted her to say to Elizabeth, however.  Saint Elizabeth, the preachy, has betrayed her fiance (the man who has loved her with his whole heart from the time they were teens) and the family they created -with the children he’s loved as his own.  For what?  A man who thinks she’s so dirty that he’ll sleep with her any where, any time, but won’t respect her or his own brother enough to wait for her to walk away freely and cleanly?  S-T-U-P-I-D.  Nikolas treats her like he paid for her (er, and not in that ‘off the corner’ kinda’ way… more in the ‘off the shelf – she’s nothing but a toy’ kinda’ way).

The only sympathy I’ve had for Liz is in hearing Carly try to convince Saint Jaysus that Jake now belongs with him.   Jaysus kills people whose loved ones come gunning for him – or gunning for those he loves.  Liz lies and sleeps around, and destroys the only real family the boys have known.  Yeah, that sucks, but with Liz the kids will stay alive. Are we to believe that Carly TRULY believes that Liz is an unfit mother or does misery just loves company?   The writers should explore whether or not Carly finally realizes that she would feel less guilty if other women were in her shoes, putting their children’s lives at risk by handing them over on a silver platter to the mob boys.  It’s the only thing that makes sense of her dialogue.

BRAVA/O to the writers for giving Kristina  enough intellect for herself and for big brother Michael – she is definitely her mother’s daughter.  The writers are overdoing it on the ‘brain injury’ excuse with the Jr. Suckprano.  Yes, Michael is impulsive and has an explosive anger, but STUPID!?!?  He thinks his father was justified in shooting  a police officer for investigating his illegal behavior?  Only Sonny’s children who’ve spent less time with him have seen the light?  They see their father for the criminal he is?  Why won’t the writers allow the rest of the town to open their eyes – Steven Webber who should have slapped Sonny when he threatened his life if Steven didn’t repair the gaping hole Sonny shot into Dom’s chest, or Olivia and Robin who agreed that it wouldn’t have happened had Olivia told him all along that Dominic was his — you know, because then he wouldn’t have shot Dom at close range and would only have tried to kill someone else’s child, not his own.

How about the sympathy everyone is feeling for Sonny?  If Dominic/Dante wakes up forgiving Sonny and hating his mother, or forgiving Sonny and forgiving his mother – as if she needs it, or forgiving Sonny and wanting his parents together, I’m officially DONE and no amount of SCRUBS love or Mac and Alexis will bring me back, folks.  I’ll become a strictly ‘read and shrug’ GHer.

The Bold and The Beautiful

I’m typically never happy when writers SORAS child characters.  It’s almost always for a pointless storyline that would have been better served with a new, adult, character in a separate role.  I’m still bummed about GL replacing the beloved Rachel Miner with Rebecca Budig’s “Michelle Bauer”.  Michelle was transformed from a sweet and adorable child to a teen who couldn’t wait to lose her virginity.  Michelle’s catchphrase became ‘make love to me <insert the name of the new male lead>”  I can’t say that the same is true for the BnB’s Hope Logan. The transition from child to teen character has been flawless.   The writers are milking this one for what it’s worth and working as many angles on it as they can.

Long term viewers will remember that when taylor returned from the dead… AGAIN… Thomas, Phoebe and Steffy were torn. They loved their stepmother, Brooke, and their younger siblings Hope and RJ.  While all three were saddened at losing their family, Thomas in particular vowed to remain a good big brother.  Ridge, devastated by his choice to give up his family  daydreamed of Hope and RJ calling out for their ‘daddy’ in the home they shared.  Hope, who is Ridge’s daughter by choice and love, though not by blood, has added an interesting dynamic.

Ridge is the only father Hope has ever known. Other than ONCE  (and only ONCE) calling ‘Uncle Nick’ daddy, that name has been almost exclusively reserved for Ridge.  Unfortunately for Hope, she’s also been calling Stephanie ‘Grandma’ since she was a toddler.  Hope has never known her biological father, Deacon Sharpe.   So what does it mean, for Hope, when her daddy is torn between his two daughters?  What does it mean when he doesn’t want to take sides, despite the fact that his daughter Steffy is clearly out of control?

The writers were initially all over the place with this storyline – as if they hadn’t made up their mind about which choices Ridge would make.  While Hope was still calling him ‘daddy’, he’d at one point  referred to her as ‘Brooke’s daughter’ – an awful betrayal of fans who’d watched Ridge embrace Hope as his child and even watched him fight for custody of her when he felt that she was at risk living in Brooke’s home.  We watched Ridge put his mother in her place when she tried to use his children with Brooke to destroy her.  He made sure Brooke could see the children as often as she liked.

Betrayal over (for now, anyway).  All that crap about Hope being Brooke’s daughter is gone.  We see Ridge fight for his girl, work hard to protect her, and remind the world that his family is off limits.  Any attack on them is an attack on him.  The scene of Brooke and Ridge each on cell phones calling all of Hope’s friends while looking for her painted the picture of a mother and father who knows their daughter well, and is close enough with her to know how to track her down if they need her.  I did choke a little when Brooke credited Nick for saving Hope (again).  Doesn’t she remember that Hope nearly died, TWICE thanks to Nick’s neglect?  Don’t worry, writers, we’ll remember for you.  You can’t give a man credit for saving the girl when she nearly drowned because he turned his back on her to fight with another man over Bridget.

Also, bonus points for allowing Steffy to semi- escape the poisoned well her mother created, pitting her at odds with the younger sister she’s always known and loved.  Steffy is  still a loser, having her loserdom encoded in her mitochondrial DNA no less, but she’s learning. I do think it’s odd that the soap fashion press would glom on to Hope’s history and her paternal DNA (despite the fact that it’s been no real secret since she was a child.  Ridge was going to take Deacon’s document signing away his paternity rights to court with him some years ago).

Teen Hope matters that much, but the soap fashion press ignores Steffy dating the man who was her uncle most of her life, after he dated her now  deceased sister and after he bedded her mother who was engaged to him?  Those Hayes women have no luck at all.  Nothing they do, no matter how salacious, gets them any attention.  The story of their lives.  Will steffy and taylor ever have scenes that show them bonding over something other than their obsession with the Logans?????

Days of Our Lives

In no particular order:

EJ sucks for continuing to let little Syd cry in agony, without her mother’s touch.  I can’t believe the writers are dragging this kidnapping (called the ‘Sydnapping’ storyline by fans)  go on for so long.  Each day makes EJ seem move inhuman.

Bo sucks for never being able to move on as a SINGLE man not just a separated man.  What is it about divorce ink that Bo is so deathly afraid of?  Would it really hurt the guy to not have a wife and a girlfriend at the same time?

Lucas always rocks – on screen, off screen, in Salem, far away… it sucks that the writers are taking him from us.

Maggie and Melanie rock and I’m almost saddened by the news that Carly is Mel’s mom.  I’d hate to see the writers push Maggie into the shadows to develop the Mel-Carly relationship.  The only thing I am enjoying about the story, rightnow, is how quickly Viv caught on to the fact that Carly had a secret child and that Viv is such a schemer.    I have to wonder if it’s not Vivian who has something to worry, not Melanie.  I think she may be expecting a kinder-gentler version of Carly in Melanie.  That would be a mistake.  BTW, is it me or is it just a little scary that Viv smiles so gleefully when she remember burying Carly and thinks of it as just reliving  ‘good times’?  Egads.

Daniel and Carly or Daniel and Chloe?   Chloe/Daniel/Carly?  If he ends up with Carly, she’d better watch out, I could see the writers having Daniel repeat the Kate-Chloe fiasco – of sorts and Daniel could end up with Melanie, next.  I can’t imagine which scenario Victor would hate worse.  On second thought?  Bring it on!

One Life to Live

Two words:  JUST WATCH.  There’s not one family angle OLTL doesn’t cover.

Couples in love.  Couples in lust.  Couples in trouble.

Brothers fighting over the same woman.  One of them turning to a woman who is surely bad news – just to ease his pain.

Sisters fighting over the same man. One sister lying about the paternity of her unborn child to hang on to that man.

Sisters united by the father they despise who wants to control them.

A long lost (of sorts) brother and sister united by the unstable, psychologically deranged father who wants to own them.

Husbands and wives separated by addiction.

This show is everything a soap was meant to be in the best soap tradition.  Even when OLTL walks up to the edge and risks going too far, it’s the one soap in daytime that knows how to talk itself back down.

It’s the show with something for everyone.