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.

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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.

Bold and Beautiful: The Lost Generation

A discussion began on a Bold and Beautiful board about Phoebe’s death, questioning why the writers decided to kill the character off.  Many of us have been asking the same question.  In the long run, there doesn’t seem to have been any real benefit to having the character destroyed.  There also doesn’t seem to be a formula for determining which characters are killed off in daytime and which live,  is there ever an objective assessment of what the long term impact is of killing off characters?

The ever stellar Lesli Kay’s Felicia was saved after ‘dying’ from stage 4 colon cancer.  Despite the improbable odds that Felicia could be saved and make a full recovery.  LK brought so much to the role of Felicia that her resurrection made sense.  It would have continued to make sense had  the writers then used the character or something other than window dressing for the rest of the  time she was onscreen.

Given the choice, I would have selected at least three or four other characters whose deaths would have better served the show than Phoebe’s death.  The only seeming long term effect of her death seems to have been the long term damage to a generation of  Logan-Forrester  legacy characters. The short term  fall out from the character’s death was marvelous!  Ridge tapped into emotions that even he didn’t know he had.   Brooke and Ridge were tested in a way that seemed to make it clear that they had whatever it took to survive any storm, even one as big as this – Rick is her son, but also Ridge’s his brother/nemeis and Phoebe is his daughter, Brooke’s beloved stepdaughter.  The writers then blew the BRidge relationship to soaphell (later recovering nicely).

The other short term event that played out nicely?  Rick had to face the fact that his hatred and spiteful behavior, contributed to Pheebs’ death. Even if he didn’t cause the accident he was responsible for the pain and anger she was feeling before she died.  It was tragic and poetic, but it went no where fast!  Rick became even more malevolent.  He became angrier and even more controlling and no one connected to feelings of guilt or anxiety linked to his role in Phoebe’s death.  Instead, Rick became a malignant narcissist and taunted his brother Ridge for his pain, he slept with Phoebe’s twin, informed Ridge that twin Steffy’s  ass was ‘his’, he stole from his family, and even told Ridge to say goodbye to his ‘other daughter’.  It would have been  a typical villain’ s act,  had the writers wanted us to view Rick as a villain.  BnB writers have a magnificent penchant for turning characters who would be villains in any other format into simply ‘misunderstood’ people (see Stephanie Forrester, who’s only counterpart is Hels Cassadine, GH).  Only, I consider it confusing and not so maginificent.

It would have been great for this to have been bratty Rick’s transformational moment and for him to have become a better person. I would have liked to have seen a complex, layered Rick struggle with wanting to support his mother, fight for HER happiness instead of her fighting for his – even with a man he couldn’t stand, and feeling troubled by the fact that supporting Brooke could hurt taylor and her brood. He could have been overwhelmed by the guilt of not wanting to cause them any more unhappiness. The guilt could have caused Rick psychological distress and he could have had some sort of genuine breakdown (a soapy approach to DID = multiple personality disorder? Depression and suicidal behavior? or A psychotic break?)

The storyline could have led to some sort of growth for taylor.  Instead of using Pheebs death to try to get back into Ridge’s bed, she could have had a crisis of faith. She could have become openly angry and vengeful and gas-lighted a psychologically frail Rick (rather than the passive manipulator she has always been). Who could blame her for hating him AND herself for letting Rick into their lives? It would make sense of her lie that Rick ‘took advantage’ of her. That lie would have become part of the game. She could have gone so dark that even satan’s handmaiden would have become afraid of her and the twist would have been watching Stephanie protecting Rick from taylor, for BOTH of their sakes.

Imagine, instead of Brooke and Ridge fighting over her protecting Rick, that they fought over Brooke trying to protect Rick from taylor!  Ridge would be too consumed with guilt to worry about whether taylor was actually setting Rick up to become even more divorced from reality and possibly setting Rick up to either hurt himself or at least institutionalized for the rest of his life. Even if he knew she was, his love for Broke would be in conflict for his desire to see revenge and he might let taylor continue on (not caring that she was being destroyed in the process). He wouldn’t help her, he just wouldn’t stop her.

A new woman would be cast for Rick to date many months after Pheebs died, but he would still have a hard time getting close to her because he would believe that he was undeserving of happiness. He’d end up seeing Pheebs dying every time he tried to get close to her. She’s the one would figure out hat taylor was setting Rick up and stop her. Rick would eventually recover, unable to hate taylor because of Pheebs

taylor would end up in the position she wanted to put Rick in and is institutionalized for the next 30 years – where soap time = real time!  Brilliant!

That’s what would have played out for me over the next year, instead of the pimping of Phoebe’s ghost for sex, the fighting between BRidge, Steph setting up her vulnerable son, Tommy boy bombing cars on public lots, Rick and Steffy having sex, and pretty much everything else that played out after she died.  Of the current generation of Logan-Forrester kids, only Bridget is left with the potential to be a heroine and likable.

I’m both excited by AJ’s Bridget being in an upcoming frontburner storyline with Sarah Joy Brown’s Sandy Sommers, and concerned.  The only BnB characters who can remain likable for long periods of time are often those the writers haven’t concentrated on.  With the spotlight on ‘Budge’, I’m going to have to count on Ashley Jones to navigate the character through disjointed dialogue, inconsistent plots, and the most improbable of situations.  Her Bridget is the last of her kind, the last likable character of her generation on Bold.

BnB’s ‘Little Stevie: Her father’s daughter”

I don’t know if I respect any actor, in any genre, as much as I respect The Bold and The Beautiful’s Susan Flannery.  It’s not just because she’s an immensely talented, untouchable, actor.  It’s not just because she’s made Stephanie such an iconic character.  It’s in large part because I can’t remember a daytime actor who continued to land each and every performance no matter how repetitive the plot has been for the character she plays.  Flannery NEVER phones in her performances when so many other actors (again, across genres) have.  How she avoids phoning it in makes her worthy of teaching master classes.  Day after day, year after year, Stephanie Forrester utters the harshest and ugliest anti-Logan language possible – at least the harshest language possible without the FCC leveling a big ass fine at CBS.   Referring to Logan women as ‘bitches in heat’ was just par for the course for Stephanie Forrester.  How unfortunate.

Stephanie could potentially be a vibrant and incredible woman.  Why won’t the writers let her be truly happy for once in her life?  The closest she’s ever come to happiness was when she’d lost her memory (after attending Eric and Brooke’s wedding ceremony) and ended up wandering the streets.  For several weeks, Stephanie lived as a homelsess woman with a group of others who’d lived on the streets for months and years before her.  Without the Forrester name, money, or lifestyle she felt true peace.  She met a man named ‘Adam’ , who, for all intents and purposes became a love interest for her.  Adam cared for Stephanie and she legitimately cared for him.  Since that time, she’s had relationships with Jack Hamilton and James Warrick… and something approximately a relationship with Bill Spencer and Massimo Marone.  All of them were short-lived and all of them ended so that Stephanie could continue to pursue a relationship with Eric.

Stephanie and Eric’s relationships always end the way their ‘love’ began, with Eric loving and wanting someone else!  (Long term viewers may remember that Eric was engaged to Elizabeth “Liz” Logan when Steph met Eric.  She didn’t know him, but decided to take advantage of the fact that Beth Logan was away from the Christmas Holiday and slept with Eric while he was drunk at a college Christmas party)  Rather than accepting the fact that Eric is a weak man who’ll never be worthy of the love she wants to force on him, she becomes wildly violent and aggressive with any woman Eric has the most remote of interest in.  Woe to that same woman when Eric feels that he’s fallen deeply in love with her.  Stephanie’s ‘psycho’ nature hits some exponential factor not previously seen in the natural world.   She makes it her mission to destroy that woman and anything or anyone she loves.

CLEARLY, ‘Stevie’ learned well from her abusive father. He taught her how to be physically abusive, psychologically abusive, and verbally abusive. WHAT can Grandma ‘Stevie’ say to Hope and RJ? What can she tell them about the way she attacks their mother, while claiming to love them? Will Hope, or RJ, come home and cry to Grandma ‘Stevie’ because the kids are making fun of them because of the things ‘grandma’ says in her Eye On Fashion Vlogs that are being discussed in the homes of the other children?

Will they know that she’s trying to take their father from them, but thought that her OTHER grandchildren deserved to have a father living in the home?

Does little Stevie even care about her grandchildren?

Has she EVER cared for them?

Can she TRULY love anyone who loves her as family as long as they also share Brooke’s DNA – even if they share her DNA, too (as in RJ’s case)?

Would a confrontation with her crying, pained, grandchildren FINALLY cause ‘LIttle Stevie’ to take stock in how much like her father she’s become?

Why didn’t Pam point that out instead of whining about there ‘not being enough FORRESTERS’… given the fact that she’s a DOUGLAS!?!?!? Why didn’t Pam point out how much Stevie’s vicious anger and cruel words remind her of their father? Why doesn’t PAM realize that their parents destroyed BOTH of them and help ‘Stevie’ figure that out, too?

There is so much more to Steph’s abuse storyline. Too bad she’ll never wake up and realize how those who are self-motivated and self-centered RELY on Steph reverting back to the abuse she learned FIRST HAND from her own father. The writers won’t let her.   If she had any REAL friends, or someone who TRULY cared for her as James Warrick once did, she might have someone in her corner who could tell her that indulging the ugly dark side of her soul is not in her best interest. The writers won’t give Stephanie a ‘reel’ friend to pull her back from the edge.  She’s surrounded by those who keep shoving her out just a little bit further, because being out there helps their cause too.

It’s a true sickness and I want to pity Steph, it’s just hard to pity someone who is so destructive and has caused so much pain (physical, emotional, psychological).  

The truth is that I want STEPHANIE back.  I want the real Stephanie, the woman who was complex, and interesting, and yes – at times a little angry.  I didn’t need her to love the characters I loved to enjoy her.  I liked watching a conflicted Stephanie try to decide between accepting Brooke Logan into her family and despising her.  I liked watching Stephanie painfully taking on Caroline Spencer, someone she loved like a daughter,  because the thought that Caroline hurting Thorne was too big a price for him to pay for loving Caroline. Her mother’s heart couldn’t bear Thorne’s pain.  As she became more psychotic, she contributed to Thorne’s pain to get what she wanted.  

I want to remember that woman who was vulnerable and nearly gave in to a passion that could have destroyed her relationship with her daughter since they both lusted for the same man.  I just want Stephanie to have some dignity, to put herself FIRST, and to be able to live without waiting for a worthless man to come back to her.  Psychogranny, Meanie ‘Little Stevie’, just isn’t my cup of tea.  

The writers have given us a backstory that explains Stephanie’s hateful actions.  They just haven’t taken her to the next stage.  Let her wake up to it and leave her father’s legacy of abuse behind.  It’s time for a new Stephanie Douglas – one who doesn’t care to use the name Forrester and then sheds the name and the baggage that comes along with it.

For pete’s sake – SET BRIDGE FREE!

Bold and Beautiful fans have waited… and waited… and waited… and waited… and waited <sigh> for the union of the show’s signature couple: Brooke Logan Forrester and Ridge Forester. Every soap has one: YnR’s Victor and Ashley… HA! Just kidding: Victor and Nikki, GH’s Luke and Laura, DAYS’ Bo and Hope, OLTL’s Viki and Clint… you get the picture. BnB fans haven’t just been waiting for Brooke and Ridge to get together, they’ve done that about once a year; fans have been waiting for them to get together and to get it RIGHT.

Brooke and Ridge have loved one another from the moment of the infamous ‘look’ , a look shared when she worked as a waitress for her mother’s catering firm- meeting Ridge for the first time on the night of his engagement party with the beautiful Caroline Spencer. Given the fact that their beginning was marred by bad timing, it’s no surprise that their relationship would be tumultuous at best. It’s a classic formula in daytime. Girl meets boy, boy is a pinhead, girl loves him anyway and they spend decades trying to make the relationship work.

We, the audience, buy it hook line and sinker! We watch as each partner inevitably makes one bad decision after another: Brooke refuses to leave Eric even though she loves Ridge and he threatens to move on with Taylor if she doesn’t. After finally getting together Ridge later rebounds with Taylor- proposes to her to ‘save’ his father’s marriage to Brooke after he see how lost Eric is without Brooke. Brooke becomes ‘friendly’ with Grant Chambers after Ridge fights tooth and nail to be with her – rejecting Taylor’s AND Lauren Fenmore’s affections for him, but again rebounding with Taylor when he mistakenly believed that Brooke was unfaithful with Grant (oh the irony).

I could write a novel based on the mistakes these two have made over the course of their lifetime of love. In fact, someone DID write a novel – ok a novel loosely based on the infamous BRidge relationship. It’s appropriately titled, Destiny’s Lady. Veteran BnB fans know that Ridge referred to Brooke as his ‘destiny’ in Lake Como, Italy. He commented that he could be with Taylor, and be happy with her, but that Brooke was the woman he belonged with, she was his destiny. That sentiment is echoed in a recent TV WEEK interview with Ronn Moss who says that Brooke and Ridge know that they belong together and they’re fighting to hang on to one another.

After more than 20 years real time, and more than thirty years soap time, it appears that BRidge is again being held hostage. They’re being used to help prop the flailing Steffy and Rick storyline, and it’s sinking the show and could sink BRidge in the process. What’s wrong with Steffy and Rick? If you’ve read this blog before you’ve read my take on the couple. It’s a pairing that NEVER had a chance at succeeding. I don’t fault the actors. They’ve given it their all. Kyle Lowder and Jacqueline McInnes Wood are STUNNING onscreen together and both do well portraying his borderline desperation to both love and use Steffy, and her immature attachment to Rick leading her to be completely blinded to his faults . If their characters were anything other than ‘family’ (biological or not) they most likely would have been a hightly successful pairing.

To some degree, I don’t fault the writers. The formula works (though not so much for this couple). Girl meets boy (not a major feat since they’re family). Girl falls for boy (after he’s involved in her twin sister’s death, and after he’s slept with and nearly married her mother). Boy is a pinhead (a little heavy on the pinhead behavior for this guy)… Assuming soaps have the time, I’m hoping the writers won’t spend decades trying to get us to buy into this couple. SICK, as fans have begun calling them, is an unrootable couple. There’s nothing even slightly engaging about them. They not only violate and pervert the notion of ‘family love’, they violate and do harm to everyone around them.

He betrayed the family business in order to be able to indulge his own desires.

She betrayed her dead sister and her parents’ grief.

He betrayed his mother’s trust and willingly hurts her if it achieves his agenda.

She betrayed the one man who loved her and treated her like a woman with a brain.

Both have been patently unlikable to the dismay of much of the BnB audience.

Rather than waste the historic, long-awaited, and finally solid BRidge union on trying to salvage Steffy and Rick, use BRidge to salvage this show! Brooke and Ridge have always been a youthful, vibrant, and passionate couple. For the show to appeal to viewers, they have to be that again. It’s taken more than 20 years to cause fans to lose hope that anything good will happen for the two of them. This period of time needs to be one of rebuilding them, taking what was magical about them (and is STILL magical) and letting them be that again. Have them step back and allow their adult children to live their own lives, while they move on to other things and focus on the care of their young children. The only deeply involved relationship I want either to have with any of their children over the age of 18 is for Brooke and Bridget to rebuild their relationship, as well.

— I’d rather see more of this couple in the boardroom, sometimes at odds with one another, sometimes standing together against others. Brooke and Ridge squaring off against Donna and Eric? Siblings Thorne and Felicia joining with their mother and aunt Pam to form yet a third FC faction? I don’t care what the corporate dispute is, I’d buy it… anything is better than having BRidge focus on the mess that Rick and Steffy have created.

But there’s still more the writers can do rebuild the BRidge:

— I’d rather see intrigue, maybe a return from Morgan DeWitt, whose obsession with Ridge is legendary but hardly spent. The last time we saw her, she was ‘thisclose’ to winning Ridge over… of course, he was amnesic and had no idea who she was, or where he was, but then again, who cares about the details in Morgan’s world? Morgan was a brilliant designer and has family money to boot. Why not have Morgan resurface with her OWN design firm to rival both Forrester Creations AND Jackie M?

Sadly, through Don Diamont’s most recent interview, Bill Spencer Jr. is being brought in to interact heavily with Donna Logan (makes me cry). What if Donna is a smokescreen? What if B.S jr is using her to keep the Forresters distracted while he brings Morgan back to town and helps her set up? He is supposed to be a diabolical and ruthless billionaire. We might find out that B.S.sr set the plan in motion, just before his death, and that BSjr feels that it’s important to follow through on his daddy’s dying wishes. Why? WHY would the Spencers still care?

1. Bill Spencer hated Ridge until the very end. He never forgave him for his treatment of Caroline, refusing to accept that Ridge was just a foolish young man at the time.

2. Bill Spencer (Sr.) is aware of Ridge’s dalliance with Mogan while married to Taylor – resulting in her pregnancy and leading BSsr. and Stephanie Forrester plotting to force Morgan to abort her child. Morgan would be the perfect pain in the ass for Ridge (and now for Brooke). She’d never come between them, but it wouldn’t stop her from trying.

3. Did I mention that BSsr has always hated Ridge?

I could see Brooke and Ridge taking on Morgan and Jr. to not only keep FC, but to hurt both of them – taking over Morgan’s design firm, making it their own. The writers could make it a ‘smart’ fight. Brooke and Ridge allow their antagonists to believe that they’re on the outs, staging public fights, Brooke throwing Ridge out of their home, but secretly they meet to develop a strategy for stopping the duo’s destructive plans for the Forresters. BSjr, happy at the thought that he has a shot with Brooke, believing she’s forgiven him for having used and dumped Donna, becomes vulnerable to her – just before she and Ridge lower the boom and take it all away from him, and his co-conspirator. As they move in and take over Morgan’s company, Thorne would finally have control of FC opening a friendly rivalry between FC and BRidge Designs. Felicia could go to work as the lead designer at BD.

It wouldn’t be the end of Morgan, or Bill Jr. She could move on to Jackie M’s… he could move on with Felicia. Oh those family dinners would be worth watching! Felicia trying to keep her love and brother from killing one another! The snarking, the snarking!

— OR Why not have Ridge and Brooke travel back to Portofino? It was the most beautiful location shoot EVER for this couple. While they’re there, Brooke and Ridge decide to trace his family origins. He barely had the opportunity to get to know Massimo. He knows nothing of the family Massimo left behind in Italy. Ridge becomes acquainted with his Marone kin.

While they’re there, it’s clear Brooke and Ridge are being watched and followed. It’s MASSIMO! He’s been in hiding, which is why no one has heard from him and why there has been no word of him taking back control of his company. Why is he in hiding? Is he in danger? Is someone trying to kill him? Are the old FBI charges being reinstated? Was he accused of a murder he didn’t commit? Whatever it is, Brooke and Ridge help Massimo. Bridget, who happens to be in Italy selling her designs for Jackie M to an overseas market, is there with Owen and Jackie, and they join BRidge in helping save Massimo’s hide… BRidge reconnects, the mother-daughter bond grows stronger, as well. Massimo and Jackie reunite. See? NO Rick and Steffy!

Whatever you do, writers, SET BRIDGE FREE. Give us a storyline that is solely about BRidge, not about their children, not about the people who want to break them up, not about the mistakes they made in not putting each other first. We’ve been there. We’ve done that. We have the lower ratings to prove it.

Non Dimenticar, BRidge fans! If you watched the Portofino shoot, you know why that song has special meaning!