Young & the Restless / Bold & the Beautiful – Crazy Is…

YnR Nikki Summer Ian

The Young and the Restless: Crazy Like a Fox

Crazy is as crazy does, or so they say.  Here’s what I see.  Ian’s days are, for sure, numbered.  Will he end up  dead?  Who knows? If he lives, it is not clear to me that his days will be worth living.  He is one part cocky and two parts crazy!  Than never bodes well for a villainous soap character.

Nikki’s unequivocal F-U to Ian and her glaring declaration that she is not afraid of him is the best thing that could have happened for viewers!  Strength and courage, forget cowering and waiting for the big bad Newman men to save the day!  Oh sure, it was a HUGE thrill to have Dylan and Nick show up at the door at the end – Ian’s facial expression was priceless.  It was more of a thrill to know that Nikki didn’t need them.

Before their arrival, she charged into Ian’s office like she owned it.  She batted his lies like flies.  Someone should have warned Ian that Nikki has been married to Victor Newman, off and on, for more than 30 years soap time.  She has already survived one big bad controlling and scary man (a man who leaves me alternating between hating and loving to hate him).  Sir. Ian is a rank amateur by comparison — no matter how beautifully seamless Ray Wise’s Ian is as a villain.  Someone should tell Ian to stick to mind-blanking young and vulnerable people  who are “confused and searching” as he helps “put them on their paths”.

YnR Dylan Threatens IanSomeone should also tell him to avoid messing with the Newman clan. These people have killed before and they will kill again I’m sure.  There is always the option of leaving him imprisoned in a basement cell where no one will find him!  (What I wouldn’t give for Victor to build a cell for Ian!)  I fully expected this storyline to continue on and on with Nikki being afraid for herself, or Dylan.  Thank you writers, for letting Nikki be proactive in protecting Summer and the rest of her family.

Also, how good is it to see Paul, Lauren and Michael together?  I won’t lie.  There is a part of me that so fondly remembers Paul and Lauren as a couple (as well as Paul and Nikki) that having them find their way back to each other would feel like old home week for me. There are times when I, for a moment, wish for a Lauren and Paul reunion.  I never thought that I could grow to love Lauren after her treatment of Tracy Abbott, but Paul was the beginning of her redemption.  Lauren learned to become human, with Paul.  It helped that Lauren was fed back some of the crap she dealt out to Tracy, in the form of Mary Williams (the working woman version of BnB’s Stephanie Forrester).  Now when I see Lauren, I don’t see the mean spirited young adult who was filled with anger and ill will.  I see the woman who became a wife and mother, who apologized to Tracy for having victimized her for many years, and I love the growth that YnR characters have made Lauren in particular.  I have tried to avoid being dragged back into daytime, but the BnB and the YnR are making it tough for me to stay away.

The Bold and The Beautiful: The Douglas Problem

I’m not sure if it is intentional, but whatever the case, it is certainly interesting that there is a strong connective history when looking at the Douglas bloodline.  Stephanie Forrester’s father was a cruel and nasty S.O.D. who abused and humiliated his eldest daughter for reasons that are still not clear (realistically so.  Many survivors of abuse are left trying to make sense of their abusers’ cruelty – forced to try to give meaning to something so illogical and so vile).  John Douglas was clearly a man who refused to control his impulses – giving way to his anger at his daughter for daring to have her own opinions and  ideas.  It is a tragic behavior pattern that Stephanie followed in her own later life.  The revelation of Ally’s continued difficulties ties so neatly into the troubled Douglas history. Stephanie’s mother was as troubled as John and as troubled as Stephanie and Pam became over time.  Not only did Mother Ann refuse to protect Stephanie, she accepted a lonely Ann’s devotion and watched as Ann gave up all dreams of a family and children to care for her mother.

BnB Douglas WomenAt the time of the confrontation between mother and daughter,  it seemed that Mother Douglas’ only goal was to protect herself and the memory of a perfect marriage and perfect family life.  I now have to wonder if the writers want us to rethink the entire Douglas lineage!   That Ally’s psychological issues are being addressed (and that Ally flips out in the presence of not just Wyatt, but the Stephanie Douglas Forrester jewelry collection was BRILLIANT!)  It makes sense  that a child who lost her mother at such a young age is so badly hurt by that loss and that the pain doesn’t simply dissipate.

Are Ally’s psychological problems the real reason she didn’t continue on to Law school and came home to join the family business?  Had she had a break just before coming home?  This kid has had so much to deal with in such a short life.  Ally’s pain was compounded by the fact that the first woman she allowed to become her new mother was a woman who deceived her, only to try to replace the mother she was still grieving. Ally must have surely felt betrayed by the ease with which her father forgave the woman who left her mother dying on the highway.

Is that why Ally clings to Hope?  An innocent Hope was the only person Ally could rely on and trust in, at that time. Everyone else behaved as if it was normal for your father to marry the woman who killed your mother.   Hope told Ally the truth no one else would tell.  Is Hope’s perfect life one Ally has imagined  having for herself  instead of the crap storm Taylor’s actions and her father’s thoughtlessness left her?  Is she living vicariously through Hope to the point of imagining a happy Hope and Liam living the life that would have made her happy, too?  From Vicious John Douglas, to Mother Ann Douglas to the psychotically violent Stephanie, the murderous Pam, and now the unhinged Ally Forrester. WOW!

I’d jokingly said before that if Ally starts wearing pantsuits and a brooch, I’m  going to cry, and then fear for Hope’s safety.  I now see that I will have to fear for Wyatt’s safety.  I’m not sure what Wyatt triggers in Ally ( his deceit = taylor’s deceit?).  Does watching Hope forgive Wyatt anger her because, as she lives vicariously through Hope, and it reminds her that she accepted Taylor’s lie?  Whatever is it, the writers will let us know soon enough, but I have to say that it is beginning to become deliciously uncomfortable.

I can say that prior to Ally’s explosive rage, it was fun to watch a little innocent romance with #HOTT.  They started strong and ended strong, today.  I can’t wait for the next episode to see where this is headed.  Something tells me to not expect an apology from Ms. Ally.  Who stands with Wyatt if (when) the -ish hits the fan and the Forresters rally around Ally to protect her?  How? Most likely by firing Wyatt to help Ally heal, if the question of whether Wyatt should be fired, posed in the twitterverse to fans,  is any indication.  The only supporter he has ever had prior to meeting Hope?  His mother.  She’s ride or die for her son so I’m sure she’ll stand with him, should it happen. Would Hope stand with him or would her loyalties be divided?  Will his donor father come to his aid?  Given Bill’s consistent trashing of Wyatt, I wouldn’t count on it.  If it happens, I’m sure surprising battle lines will be drawn.

BnB Quinn and BillSoap crazy Part 2?  Bill Spencer.  Seriously, after today, this guy goes on my FastForward filter.  He is such an loser that it’s hard to fathom where the writers feel this character fits in a genre that is about romance, a bit of cheesecake, and the occasional bit of insanity.  How many times in one lifetime will a man get to say, “We’re not family, you’re just the mother of my child”?  It’s a grotesque thing for him to say to a woman with whom he has had no serious conflict and who saved. loved, and nurtured a child he claims to now love, as well.  Even referring to her as a very distant relative would have been better. (and yes, ship docked in the nearby harbor would have still worked).

Bill Spencer is exhausting.  He is a combination low-rent comedic version of J.R. Ewing (original Dallas) and womanizing Don  Draper of Mad Men.  He’s anachronistic!  Everyone else seems to be operating in the 21st century.  Bill is almost 19th century in this thoughts and actions.  I’m sick of his male equivalent “Forever 21″wardrobe, the ridiculously compulsive (and unnatural) grooming, and the  tired juvenile dialogue – what grown ass man has to tell a woman that she’d better not show up in a couple of months pregnant with his child? (If you can’t control it?  CAP IT!)  People, I just can’t with this guy. I.can.NOT!   (My comments are not about Don Diamont, who is a true hottie.  His own  look is so natural and gorgeous.  Google him.)  Bill Spencer  is too much of a put on.  It throws me every time I look at him.

Bill’s comment that Quinn was not his family  was almost as repulsive as his line that Quinn didn’t give him a chance to be a father.  As I recall, she did.  He told her to abort their child.  No matter how good looking he is with his shirt off, he is a little bit of a sidewinder, otherwise, and for a man who is such a misogynist to be treated as either a hero, or a man at all, runs counter to what a romantic lead is in daytime.  Who the hell wants to spend their days battling the Bill Spencers of the world, only to watch them celebrated?  Difficult men? Ok, outright misogynistic pigs?  Keep ’em, you can have ’em.  I have to paraphrase my new fave quote (THANKS @MrJeromeTrammel for articulating my thoughts better than I could have):  “There Is No Shortage Of Good Men, It’s Just That The Ignorance Of No-Good Men Is Promoted So Well.”

Quinn’s dialogue, returning fire for fire, was about the only useful thing to happen in the conversation between the two. I do believe she is right. Bill has never met a woman who is his match. Katie tried to humanize him, but was shut down. Brooke only gave in and gave him what he wanted – physical contact – no attempt to humanize him at all. Quinn is too good for Bill.  I hope the guy either grows up or goes.

Sorry, folks, but as I said above, Bill has hit my FastForward Filter.  He is too much of a bad thing.  I can’t be bothered to watch this guy any more.

If anyone wondered why Ashlyn Pearce was cast in the role of Alexandria Forrester, I’m guessing that’s now officially answered!  SO, in the event that you get out of line with comments or in email?  Remember this face:

BnB Angry Ally Forrester

Don’t make me send Ally after you!

GH: What reaction should Lucky have to the ultimate betrayal?

Do you know what I remember most about young Elizabeth Webber?  I remember two things.

1.  I remember what a hellion she was when she first arrived.  Like so many of daytime’s bad girls, Liz’s bark was far worse than her bite.  For her rough exterior, she was just one more sad and lonely kid who desperately wanted to fit in, but had no idea how to do it.   It’s what made her so likable and worth rooting for.   Despite her awful behavior – it was hard to avoid rooting for her happiness.  If anyone deserved happiness, she did.   Enter, Lucky Spencer.

Lucky was smitten with Liz’s sister, Sarah Webber, and didn’t know that Liz,  who was equally smitten with him, was alive.  He couldn’t see past Sarah’s bright and shiny  face.  Sarah was the image of perfection.  Elizabeth grew tired of being considered the Webber sister in need of perfecting.   It made sense that she would want Lucky, who was as sad and lonely and as imperfect as she was.

2.  I also remember Liz and Lucky after her rape.  I know that for some fans  the rape scene was Liz’s defining moment, but not for me.  Having never been a fan of storylines in which bad girls are raped and then ‘go good’,  I hated this one even more because clearly Rebecca Herbst had the range to transform Liz to an openly likable character without the manipulation of using  sexual violence against the character to bring fans to her side.  Liz and Lucky, after the rape, were about as endearing as any soap couple has ever been.  Lucky  was there to stand WITH (not just ‘by’) her as she figured out who she wanted to become, and what her life would mean to her after the assault.  They defied anyone who would try to tear them apart, and they stood against the world together.   It was one of the few teen storylines I’ve ever been able to watch or enjoy.

I remember Eilzabeth Webber as a far more complete character THEN, than the character she’s become now.   For whatever reason, almost from the day Liz found Jason bleeding in the boxcar (post his finding Sonny and his beloved Carly together), the writers have decided that Liz would become that self-destructive teen again.  This time they created a more subtle version of “teen Liz”, but this one is far more self-destructive and is taking everything and everyone around her down with her.  She has repeatedly turned her world upside down, trying to find happiness where there isn’t necessarily any happiness to be had.

The irony is that during Lucky’ s addiction storyline, we learned that Liz felt betrayed by his addiction to painkillers.  It felt, to her,  like a rejection of their lives and their love together.

The soap reality is that Liz has been nursing a looming addiction of her own, one that keeps tearing her family apart and hurting everyone who dares to love or trust her.  Elizabeth’s addiction is to impossible love affairs.  Zander Smith.  Ric Lansing.  Jason Morgan. And now her obsession turns to Prince Nikolas Cassadine – her fiance’s brother.  Why is she with Nik?  Because as much as she ‘loves’ Lucky, she believes that she’s ‘in love’ with Nik.   For now, given the fact that we get little more than ‘happy happy hump hump’ scenes from them, it feels more as if Liz is in LUST with Nik.  Short of him leaving money on the table for her, or her leaving money on the table for him, it’s hard to tell their relationship apart from any other ‘transaction’.  It’s just one more opportunity for Liz to hurt Lucky, and to remind him that he’ll never be enough for her.  No one will.

If she was really looking for love, she’d look for someone whose life wouldn’t put her and her children’s lives at risk.  (Isn’t ti time to cue Helena Cassadine?)  She wouldn’t keep falling for men who encourage her penchant for infidelity and who treat her as if she’s only as good as the sex she gives them.   They’d respect her and her conflicted feelings more than that.  If she truly loved Lucky, she wouldn’t ask him to continue to sit back and watch her self-destruct when she clearly has no intention of changing her behavior.    Liz’s idea of love is the equivalent of an extended hand over an open flame – unlike teen Liz, adult Liz keeps asking Lucky to put his hand in the flame with hers.

Many fans, myself included, want to see Lucky confront Liz, and tell her where to stick her ‘love’.   Each new self-destructive relationship steals away more and more of what was once likable about this character – in part because she continues to steal a bit of Lucky’s soul along the way.  ALL characters enter into relationships that exist on borrowed time.  She’s hardly new at it.  Liz just happens to be among the worst of GH characters who not only makes the jump  to ‘new love’ more frequently than others, but she just can’t seem to end her former relationship before starting a new one.  She’s one of the few GH characters who drags the victim of the former relationship (typically Lucky Spencer) kicking and screaming into the new one.

This time, Lucky was willing to walk away and leave her to find her ‘happiness’.  Liz wouldn’t let him.  She decided that she had to propose and lead him to believe that she wanted to share the rest of her life with him.  For fans like me?  We’ve had it to HERE with her constant justifications and rationalizations for her behavior.   Is Liz worse than any other woman (or man)  on this show?  YES!  Not because of her actions – because her actions are somewhat the same as others.  What makes her worse is her inability to enage in serial monogamy and because of the lies she tells to cover her behavior.

There was a ‘good enough’ lie for each of her paternity ‘mishaps’.

There was a ‘good enough’ lie for her affair with Zander.

There was a ‘good enough’ lie for the first affair with Jason.

There is now a ‘good enough’ lie for sleeping around with Nik.

She’s doing this FOR Lucky, don’t you know?

She owes him!  (Apparenly she owes him everything but the truth about not loving him.)

She wants to give him the family he never had.  (Not realizing that she’s treating him as bad as his father has treated both him and his mother over the last several years).  I’ve made that point earlier HERE.

She wants to make him happy.  (Sleeping with your fiance’s brother brings him all kinds of kicks and giggles.  She’s so right).

I remember the Elizabeth Spencer who couldn’t stop herself from telling Carly Corinthos what a bad mother she was to date a man who could put her children in danger, as well as telling Carly what a horrible human being she is.   Liz is quickly headed into Carly Corinthos Jacks territory… and at this rate, the writers may end up offereing us Carly 2.0 mothering  a teenaged Cam or Jake rebelling against the latest family upheaval, the newest stepdad, and the mom whose love life wrecks every bit of stability they’ve ever known.  Liz is starting to make Carly, and every other woman she’s ever condemned,  look a hell of a lot better.

Points to ponder – All Soaps

*YnR’s NuMalcolm?  Not workin’.  I’m trying, folks, I really am, but as good as it is to see Darius McCrary on screen again, this was just the wrong role to cast him in. Though… given the choice between keeping him as Malcolm and keeping KC’s Lily, he wins hands down!  Malcolm Winters was an iconic character and unfortunately, McCrary’s interpretation falls flat.  I’ve seen McCrary’s work in other projects (including CBS’s Cold Case) and he’s been very good.  Something about this role just doesn’t seem to translate well for the actor.

* If GH’s “Franco” came to town because he’s totally obsessed with Jason:

1.  Why was it necessary to have Maxie pimped out and risk her relationship with Spinelli?  His focus has been Jason the entire time.  The side story involving Maxie just doesn’t make sense and seems to be an awful waste of a couple (Maxelli) and a character (Franco).  It served no purpose.

2.  How can Jason be considered a ‘good guy’ when his actions capture  the imagination of a ‘psychotic’ killer?  Jason’s murderous exploits have made him an international icon for blood thirsty criminals?  Some hero!

3.  Why didn’t TPTB just name him Franco Guza?  It would make sense of Franco’s obsession with Jason and the Suckpranos.  It would have felt more honest.  It’s art, seemingly, imitating life.

* Why aren’t the BnB”s Logan women allowed to confront sister Katie with her penchant for betraying her family for the love of  her latest squeeze?  Katie is 2 for 2, right now, and I’m getting tired of her whining and moaning about how SHE’S been betrayed.  Put that attitude away Katie, and if you need help figuring out where to put it, just ask!

*  Does anyone else think that ATWT’s Simon and Henry would make a far hotter couple than Luke and Noah?   I’m so tired of the on-again-off-again nature of the Nuke relationship that I’m ready to see ATWT’s PTB replace them, NOW.  Pay attention ATWT’s writers.  OLTL’s writers are separating the men from the boys and writing a real relationship between two characters – who just happen to be gay. Watch and learn… Speaking of OLTL:

* Why the hell did OLTL’s Bo hand Dorian back the only piece of evidence that could convict his niece of stabbing Mitch Laurence?  Was that supposed to be a sign of his honesty and integrity?  It felt more like evidence of his sheer stupidity,  especially since it’s becoming painfully clear to others that Dorian is Mitch’s puppet.

As for Dorian Lord, she is nothing if not devious.  I’m not too thrilled with the image of a helpless Dorian Lord constantly caving in to Mitch’s demands.  At what point does she put her years of mischief-making to use and takes Mitch down?  I’m shocked by the fact that I like seeing Dorian on top, Mayor and chief power broker in Llanview, but I do.  Why have that ruined by having her behave like a skittish child, jumping at the sight of her own shadow?  MORE kick-ass Dorian, LESS kiss-ass Dorian, please.

* Doesn’t anyone else  ever get tired of hearing the BnB’s taylor whine about how Brooke stole her life, and made her miserable?  Even I can agree with her that that situation with Jack was traumatic.  I sure as hell wouldn’t have wanted to give birth to the biological child of a woman I hated.    Taylor didn’t sign on to be a surrogate.  She had in vitro in order to have a family with Nick.  The child she carried was supposed to be HER child.  I get it, but the problem with her whining is that Brooke didn’t cause taylor to ‘lose’ her son.  Taylor chose to give him away.  She also chose to continue to try to compete with Brooke for Ridge – even when Ridge  made it CLEAR that it was Brooke he loved.  You can’t ask the woman to stay out of your life, and then constantly throw yourself in the middle of her life and call yourself a victim.

* Why do DAYS writers continue to make my skin crawl by having EJ touch Sami?  Yes, yes… he was only comforting her after she received a call from Sydney’s kidnapper…. it’s just that every time he goes near her, I see him holding her at gunpoint.   I hear him  telling her that the only way to save  Lucas is to let him violate her.  Every touch makes my skin crawl.  Has Sami forgotten how she ended up pregnant with  EJ’s spawn (cutie that she is) and the one before her?  C’mon writers,  give Sami her dignity back and have her tell EJ to keep his gun-toting rapist paws off of her.  Her confused ‘feelings’ are degrading and humiliating to watch, speaking as a woman.

Hey, if the actor involved can admit it was rape (comment below from a James Scott interview),

I would be lying if I said I didn’t worry about my future on the soap. I don’t think they handled the rape very well, and I’ll tell you why. EJ raped Sami, and then afterwards, he’s hanging out in her house — alone with her. It’s irresponsible on so many levels. However, had it been handled well, I think it would have been an interesting story choice. Now the story focus has shifted to her pregnancy and the classic soap story of paternity. Having said that, I chose to believe that EJ is in love with Samantha — he just can’t communicate it.

and TPTB can admit it was rape, it was RAPE.  He forced her to have sex with him to save the life of the man she loved. You can read a decidedly pro EJami Wikipedia entry with Scott’s comments HERE (that is until someone decides to try to delete the comment).

As for DAYS increasingly dwindling ratings fortunes, is it any wonder that the new  focus on Sami and EJ is linked to a rather rapid ratings slide for the show? Good luck selling Ej and Sami as anything other than what they really are:  a victim and her obsessive, stalking, rapist.

* For most of the year (plus), All My Children has been largely unwatchable.   Color me surprised when I got gooey and nostalgic for Hayley and Mateo’s return (more Hayley than Mateo).  Watching Adam soften while talking with Hayley and joke about knowing something about raising  ‘difficult children’ was the most priceless moment of that episode for me – Hayley of the dyed dark punk rock hair, now a mother with a wild child of her own.  I thought about Brian Bodine,  Uncle Pork Chop (Trevor), Natalie down the well, Janet from another Planet, Adam’s dark dark days (which really were different from just his ‘dark’ days), Stuart and Cindy, scheming Arlene Vaughn, the Santos family – even preachy mom and dad, Edmund and Maria, Erica and Dimitri, Bad girl Kendall and sweetheart Del Cooney, The Martin clan, Jeremy, Laurel and her brother Michael, Cliff and Nina,  Palmer and Daisy, The Montgomery Brothers and their feud, Brooke English, Phoebe and  Langley, Chuck and Tara,  Beloved Mona and Myrtle, Ellen and Devon, Mark Dalton, Tom and Sean Cudahy, and so much more… sheesh).  I know that not all of the above mentioned characters were on screen at the same time but just those few moments with Adam and Hayley opened a stream of AMC consciousness  and I felt warm all over.   I miss All my Children – the real All my Children.

* At some point, BnB’s Brooke Logan’s children are going to have to acknowledge (or learn) that there was NO WAR between their mother and Stephanie Douglas.  Stephanie has been on the attack against Brooke almost from the moment she met her.  Brooke has tried in vain to make peace and keep peace.  Brooke does not seek Stephanie out to hurt her or make her miserable as Stephanie has done with her.  Brooke hasn’t made a point of trying t0  publicly expose Stephanie for whatever her wrongdoings are – and there are many.  Brooke hasn’t tried to turn Stephanie’s children against her, as Stephanie has tried to do with Brooke’s children.

To allow Brooke’s children to continue to think of Stephanie as ‘human’ feels like one of the daytime’s biggest lies.  Theirs has been daytime’s biggest farce of a rivalry.  A rivalry would require TWO participants.  It would require balance.  It has neither.  In any other galaxy, Stephanie would be acknowledged as the psychotic villainess -bully she’s always been.  Calling Stephanie a victim of Brooke’s would be the same as calling GH’s Helena Cassadine a victim of Alexis Davis… Hels only slit Alexis’ mother’s throat in front of her when she was a child and threatened her life every single day from that moment on.  The warm and toasty moments between Brooke’s children and the dragon lady leaves me switching channels.  When a crazed bee-yotch hands your mother an unregisted gun, while wearing white gloves, and tries to get her to take her life, she’s not your friend.  She’s not like a mother to you, she’s not human.  When that same woman facilitates your mother’s rape, you’re not suposed to ask her to be a part of your children’s lives.  Come on BnB writers, get a grip.

Whores of the world, UNITE! Women in Daytime, Vol. 2

Women in daytime = whores.  At least, I think they’re the same.  I dunno.  It’s hard for me to figure it all out since I’m just a woman.    Either I’ve been watching too much daytime or it’s the peyote… (just kidding on the last part, though given what some shows are doing to daytime women and viewers as a consequence, a little peyote might make daytime shows go down a little easier).

General Hospital

I’m all about the ‘I told you so’ lately and I want to hand one out to the writers of GH.  I’ve never been impressed with the casting of James Franco in the role of ‘Franco’  and have been horrified by the drooling and self-congratulating  linked to the casting of JF in the role.  The fact that the character was named  Franco was enough to tell me about the lack of creativity  attached his development.  It seemed to be all about stunt casting and the hope that a primetime/big screen actor could save GH from falling ratings.

It feels as if  GH’s PTB were so convinced that negative stereotypes about daytime viewers were real, the stereotype that we’re just a bunch of sex-starved panty-clinching rubes, who lick our screens whenever a hot male actor is featured, that casting JF as ‘Franco’ made sense!  As if we don’t already have enough testosterone filled doom and gloom on screen! (As for that screen licking part, I freely admit that I do think about licking the screen when Jason Thompson’s Patrick is on, but hell, who doesn’t?) The idea that “Franco” would cause us to swoon was as big a fallacy as almost everything else the GH writers have offered us by way of propping the Suckpranos storyline.   I don’t want to see one more character, stunt casting or otherwise, sacrificed on the altar of the mob boys.

  • Give Olivia her brain back.   She was such a strong vibrant character for so long and now she’s a walking-talking mess.   All the daydreaming about Sonny  makes me ill.  If I had to worry about Sonny putting a bullet in my kid’s head because my kid was a cop working to make the world safe?  I wouldn’t be able to daydream about having sex with the guy or daydream about him holding my hand. I wouldn’t even daydream about spitting on the guy if he was on fire!  What’s wrong with this woman?  What’s with her libido?  Sonny rocked her world over two decades ago, bedded and nearly wedded her cousin – swore his eternal love for Kate before the world while barely noticing or remembering Olivia, and she’s still lusting for him?  STOP! IT!
  • Quit making Carly an idiot who treats Jax’s child as Sonny’s future ‘kidnapped bait’ child.  It’s disgusting.  Notice that when Carly was listing off the children who were protected by Sonny’s grace, she included Josslyn, and not Molly?  STOP IT!
  • STOP making Lulu fall for the mob boys and/or supporting them to the point of even trying to convince the police that they really deserve to be set free instead of in prison where they belong.  Stop making her fall for anyone connected, even tangentially, to the mob boys.   Whatever those mob boys have going on below the belt must be some powerful mojo!  And it’s demeaning to us all.
  • Quit making me feel sorry for Rebecca “NotEmily” Shaw by having her actually be the voice of logic and reason before you ship her off.  I really resent you for this one, GH writers.  I’m an avowed ‘Remily’ hater and to leave me cheering for her is one of your worse offenses, yet.  Even still, I grew tired of the “Liz is a slut’ mantra she had going – not that I disagree with the sentiment, just the constant expression of it.  I did enjoy the fact that she continued to remind Liz that her house of cards would soon fold.  The sendoff for Rebecca, the Emily- clone was perfect, by having her make friends with a Zander clone… Chad Brannon was pretty darned delicious looking.  When his clone character drops  Rebecca off in Paris, have him come back!   Patrick’s stalker ex could use a good hook up – then again, so could Matt Drake, who spends far too much time trying to convince Robin that her marriage is in trouble!
  • Maxie, Maxie, Maxie… REALLY?  She’s gives herself to Franco for the sake of getting him to agree to help her out professionally?  Then she tries to pimp out Spinelli to make herself feel better?  She gives relationship advice to Max and Diane about ‘balanced cheating’?    Maxelli, Scrubs Love, and Jax and Carly were the only interesting things GH had going in its favor and the writers are slowly dismantling all three.  Speaking of…
  • For the love of all that’s soap-holy… give me a Scrubs storyline that has nothing to do with old girlfriends crawling out of the woodwork!  Yeah, yeah… Patrick puts it on ’em… they can’t get enough… once you go Patrick, you never go back… Even though I can believe that his arrogant aloof treatment of women made them want him more, I’m getting tired of women who are attracted to him on that basis.  The writers made the courageous decision to make him a happy family man, now I wish they’d make the courageous decision to create family driven storytelling around the Scorpio-Drake clan.  What makes Patrick attractive is that he’s a man who loves his wife and child.  Having him betray them would destroy that.  Leave something that’s still a little pure and  just for us.

I’d love it if the GH powers that be would stop treating women (onscreen) like a bunch of ‘spare parts’ waiting to be traded by GH males, as they’re needed.  Bringing on stellar actors like James Franco can’t  cover the holes in plots, the obsession with the dark  arts of the mob boys, or the weak female characters who aren’t just damaged- they’re damned deranged.  Treating your viewers like sex-starved fiends who’ll gladly buy what you’re selling won’t help either.  I know it’s not just my perspective that GH has lost what made it great… I’ve seen the ratings.  GH is hemorrhaging viewers and the great ‘Franco’ (onscreen Franco) doesn’t deliver a big enough draw to stop it:

Ratings for the week December 7-11, 2009 (when the character Franco’s arrival and work should have made a difference)
HH
1. Y&R 3.7/12 (+.2/same)
2. B&B 2.4/8 (+.1/-.4)
3. DAYS 2.2/7 (+.2/+.1)
4. AMC 2.0/6 (+.1/same)
5. ATWT 1.9/6 (+.1/-.1)
5. GH 1.9/6 (same/-.3)
7. OLTL 1.8/6 (same/ -.2)

Week of December 14 – 18th)

HH
1. Y&R 3.5/12 (-.2/-.3)
2. B&B 2.3/8 (-.1/-.4)
3. DAYS 2.1/7 (-.1/same)
4. AMC 2.0/7 (same/-.1)
5. GH 1.9/6 (same/-.3)
6. ATWT 1.8/6 (-.1/-.3)
6. OLTL 1.8/6 (same/-.3)

Week of December 21 – 25
HH
1. Y&R 3.5/11 (same/-.2)
2. B&B 2.3/7 (same/-.3)
3. DAYS 2.0/6 (-.1/-.1)
3. AMC 2.0/6 (same/same)
5. ATWT 1.8/5 (same/-.1)
5. GH 1.8/5 (-.1/-.4)
7. OLTL 1.7/5 (-.1/-.3) <—— ties low rating (Last time: August 31 – September 4, 2009)

Ratings courtesy of Soap Opera Network:  SON

So why am I still watching? I don’t think soap fans like me want too much.  We just want a balance.  How about  2  smart women for every woman who is lobotomized for the sake of the dark storylines?  I’m hoping Scrubs will survive and find a real storyline and that the writers will give us a storyline about them that will engage the audience without either of them cheating, I’ve FINALLY gotten the Mac and Alexis pairing I’ve been pimping for, through 2009  (don’t think I’m not grateful, just realize I’m not fully satisfied.  They’re off to a great start, and I need MORE).  Dare I hope that Mac/Alexis/Robert/Anna/Robin/Patrick  would be able to restore law and order to PC and that they turn the town around and take down the real bad guys?  I’m hoping that smart, funny, and strong-if-not-neurotic, women like Robin and Alexis (and yes, even Diane) will be allowed to lead the way.

One Life to Live

Nora Buchanan.   Nora is the woman who slept with her ex, Sam Rappaport, and passed his child off as her husband Bo’s child.  Even better is the fact that she did it for Bo– whose son was recently killed.  That was the rationalization she gave for betraying her husband, she most saintedly did it FOR his sake – all the while knowing that Sam was deeply in love with her and knowing what the emotionally fallout might be.   Fortunately (or unfortunately)  for all involved, after Bo and Sam’s deep pain, it turns out that Matthew was Bo’s son after all.  Now we have Nora, who’d been warned/pleaded with/begged not to marry Clint because she didn’t really love him, has now left Clint to be with Bo – during a dark time in Clint’s life.

Once again, another ABC male refers to the cheating lying woman who betrayed him as a whore – I can understand Clint’s rage and his willingness to throw Nora’s past in her face.. I just wish I hadn’t already been overwhelmed with the use of the word ‘whore’ from almost every other ABC male before that.  Nora’s reaction was still priceless.  She’s rude and judgmental and has made a habit of telling others why they’re so unworthy of being loved or trusted.   She was stunned that anyone would dare give her the same treatment.  I wasn’t crazy about Clint’s choice of words, but I’m glad that the writers finally allowed someone to point out to Nora what a hypocrite she is.

True to form, Nora didn’t let a little thing like the truth stop her from being who she is.  A full scene later, SHE referred to Kim as ‘that slut’, the ‘whore in her husband’s bed’, a ‘tramp’… uh huh… Sweet irony!  She was talking to Bo, Clint’s brother, the man she’d been having an emotional (almost sexual) relationship with and lying to Clint about it when she said it… YIKES!  Something about the way Bo and Nora are getting together and the pain it’s causing Clint that’s causing me to want to root for Clint and Kim (a couple I’d previously referred to as the reincarnation of Asa and Blair).

Somehow, the writers managed to give Clint and Kim depth.  Kim was fixated on her ‘plan’ to get Clint into bed to help him forget Nora.  She’d treated Clint like a feeble and emotionally dependent ‘old man’ who would be felled by a little bit of a wiggle and giggle.   Kim would have loved Asa – being felled by a wiggle and giggle was more his speed.  Clint had already had her investigated.  He knew about her stripper past, and didn’t care.  He also knew that she thought she was gaming him, and he didn’t care.  He knew that her plan to ‘drink him under the table’ was about taking advantage of him… and he didn’t care because he also knew three other things:

1 – He had the truth on his side and still had the upper hand.

2 – That being involved with the town’s  ‘sainted woman’  isn’t a guarantee that you’ll end up with an honest woman who’ll treat you well.

3 – That Kim isn’t all bad.   Her bark is worse than her bite.  Despite the fact that there is a risk of turning Kim into a ‘hooker with a heart of gold’ stereotype, the writers have so far avoided taking her quite that far.

The storyline seems to be shaping up into one in which the person in need of rescue may be KIM, not Clint.  He’s as intent on using her as she was on using him.   I hope that doesn’t happen, because despite my exhaustion with female-male May-December romances, there’s something about this pairing that I like. Nice touch, writers, on having Kim’s plan fail when she underestimated his ability to hold his liquor.  BRAVO for letting Clint walk away despite Kim’s offer to let him spend the night and having him warn her to quit while she was ahead.  I could root for them as a couple – with Melissa Archer’s Natalie fighting with Kim and making her work to prove her love for Clint.  I could <gulp> just as easily  root for them developing a strong father-daughter relationship (Oedipal, I know) or have them remain as good friends.  Either way, I’m hoping to see far more of Clint and Kim than Bo and Nora.  SON’s  CarlID offered this observation:

It’s interesting to see the fallout of the Bo and Nora reunion. They were a beloved couple many years ago but not only have times changed, many of the people who were in their lives at that time have changed. It’s like, what if you reunite a supercopule and no one cheered? I don’t mean the fans, I mean the characters in their lives. You don’t have a lot of people endlessly going, “You’re fated to be together,” as you do with many other couples on the show. I also think it would be an interesting writing choice if Matthew wasn’t thrilled they were back together and preferred them apart.

I’ll add one other observation about this storyline.  I found Nora’s reaction to seeing Clint with Kim unusual.  Kim was the whore in her husband’s bed?  Why did she care, she was dumping him!?!?! You’d think she’d want Clint to find someone, ANYONE to take the heat off of her betrayal of Clint.  Is it possible that Nora will wake up and realize that her rekindled love for Bo was based on their mutual concern for Matthew and his health issues?  Could Nora wake up and realize that she was happier with Clint than she imagined?  What happens then?  Where does she turn?  Does anyone care?

BTW, folks, is it just me, or did Jerry Ver Dorn make Clint his own with this bend in the storyline?  JVD’s left me breathless!

Tea Delgado/Blair Manning… not whores, they’re just written to allow Todd Manning to treat them as if they are.

Days of Our Lives

Two words:  Carly Manning.  Two more words:  EPIC FAIL.  There are some soap staples I can’t get enough of:  scheming liars who are eventually figuratively  beaten down and forced to eat their own misery.  Bad boys who are only clever by half and outwitted by their victims, victims they eventually fall in love with.  Anything to do with corporate intrigue.  Good old-fashioned romance.  Deep dark family secrets – that have nothing to do with long lost children.

The one plot I’m pretty freaking tired of is the damsel in distress who can’t get enough of the man she left behind and (oh gosh) if only he’d choose her over his wife and family.  He (being the real ‘whore’ in this scenario) decides that he can’t leave her to her own fate and risks losing his wife and child/children, while keeping secrets with the damsel in distress.  It’s not a stretch to believe that daytime writers typically set this storyline up to do one of two things:  try to make us root for our damsel in distress and if that fails, we’re to hate her as a home-wrecking ‘whore’ who broke up a perfectly happy and  loving family.

You’d think that watching her ‘get hers’ would be satisfying – assuming that the lunkhead goes back to his family and treats his wife as his equal partner, and not his potential mistress.   It’s not.   In reality, for fans like me, it only causes us to dislike BOTH partners – the cheating spouse and the idiotic woman who finds his willingness to betray his family a ‘thrill’ and further evidence that she is the object of his desire, not his wife and family. She’s only the next woman to be betrayed when his former victim/spouse becomes the damsel in distress. It’s all less satisfying because he’ll never ‘get his’.  He’ll just become the object of desire for two women – who’ll continue to fight over him until one of them is exhausted or dead.

Isn’t it time for daytime writers to leave iconic couples alone and find new ways to make them relevant to the audience?  Haven’t we seen these storylines play out a million times before?  Viewers exiting daytime in droves isn’t enough evidence that we want something more?  When did daytime become a genre about deconstructing and destroying rather than building something new or building better and higher on the strong foundation already in place?  Where are the powerful female characters who leave us feeling unashamed of being daytime viewers?

If you’ve made it this fair, I’m sure you’re wondering why I’ve left poor embattled CBS off the list.  Am I sympathetic to the network that’s lost two soaps in two years?  Nope.  I just don’t have the room to continue with CBS’ list of maltreated women in daytime.  This blog would have to be at least three times as long as it is now.  I’m saving that one for a later date.

Suffice it to say, if daytime really is dead -running on fumes,  kicking the bucket, headed for the big one, living on borrowed time… I’d greatly enjoy being able to celebrate women in daytime before it goes.  What do daytime writers have to lose?

GH Characters and Couples I’m learning to love again!

Carly Corinthos Jacks.  The moment Sarah Joy Brown stepped foot on stage, I became a Caroline “Carly” Benson-Roberts (…Quartermaine Corinthos Jacks)”  fan.  Carly is a character who is so good, she practically writes herself – and by “good” I mean good at driving people crazy with her half-baked schemes. 

I absolutely adore Laura Wright in the role and not just because I would crawl into a deathmatch cage to have hair as gorgeous  as hers.  I’ve been madly impressed with her interpretation of Carly.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been as happy with the writers’ re-invention of the character since Wright took the role.  It started off well enough, but then the writers transformed a relatively self-reliant, strong, vibrant character and into a highly co-dependent, whining, meddling pain in the ass.  HEARTBREAK!  So what’s to like?

The writers are reinventing Carly once again – for the better.  She’s taken a huge step forward and has decided to put her marriage before the mob.  Jax’s quixotic attempts to rescue princesses who aren’t exactly looking to escape from the clapsed arms of Port Chuckles’ dark knights has been painful to watch. I’d given up hope that the man could ever find true love.   To have Carly choose him gave me  a glimpse of the old Carly.  It’s about time some woman realized that Jax was the much better alternative to a life of gunshots and death threats – hard to believe it’s taken so long. 

Choosing Jax hasn’t been her only shining moment.  To have her reach out to Robin shows both Carly’s depth and vulnerability, traits the writers have ignored for far too long.  Wright and McCullough were amazing, bringing great sensitivity and a delightful sense of history to their scenes, addressing Robin’s post partum depression.  (Click HERE and you’ll see why I think it makes perfect sense that these two women can now become friends).  Theirs will be an uneasy truce, if the writers bother to take them that far.  Can’t you see Carly and Robin as great ‘frenemies’?  Imagine them as daytime’s  answer to Ouiser and Clariee!

Jason Morgan.  I wouldn’t use the word ‘love’ to describe what I feel for him.  I do find Jason a TAD more watchable right now.  We’ve seen Jason sacrifice himself for the women he loves – but only when he’s personally involved and presumably getting something out of the deal.  His willingness to fight for Spinelli’s freedom is impressive.  The writers created a character so stoic and removed from any emotional response that he was transformed from the living-giving Jason Quartermaine, to the life-taking Jason M. 

What’s next?  Who the hell knows?  This is GH!  What I would like to see, besides getting Jason away from Liz and finding out that the Jake isn’t his, is to have Jason Q. return.  Jsaon Quartermaine, in the realm of daytime at least, could have a medical breakthrough.  He could wake up one day, reliving every kill Jason Morgan ever made.  Since Jason Quartermaine never indulged the same, weak, moral equivalencies that Jason Morgan does, he wouldn’t view JM’s kills as ‘righteous’.  After a brief psychological breakdown, Jason Quartermaine could walk back into his family’s home, pick up where he left off, and become a new man again. He could return to the hospital, post medical school, and join the medical staff at GH.  That would be a far better tribute to Alan than having his ghost show up every other month.  Another option is having him put his new business skills to use at thelegitimate though sometimes shady at ELQ.

By the way, I was wrong, I said that I couldn’t get worked up over yet another GH disaster storyline.  The commercials have me hooked.  Of course, it was disappointing to see Jason MORGAN there, calling shots and taking control yet again.  BASTA!  Enough already.  Let’s hope the doctors are the centerpiece heroes in this storyline about a MEDICAL crisis.

Johnny Zacchara.  For the son of a psychotic mob boss, and a man who was anxious to take the reigns of power from his father, Johnny is an OK guy!   I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Johnny/Lulu relationship – though I did enjoy the care he gave Lulu when they were on the run for Logan’s murder.  Brandon Barash (Johnny’s portrayer) has it all but the writers have made little use of it. 

Johnny has spent most of his tenure on GH playing a stoic, stale version of Jason Morgan.  He’s so much better than that!  Watching the guy remake himself has been provided fans with  a fascinating character study.  Johnny, as he’s written, has never had to think about what he would or could become.  There was never a choice.  Yet, he has become the hope of that  segment of the audience that has always wanted to see Sonny and Jason walk away from mob life for good and figure out what kind of people they are.  Johnny has shown a grit and the courage that the scary big bads haven’t shown so far.  He’d rather mop floors than run drugs?  He’d rather clean tables than prostitute women or kill rivals?  FINALLY!

If we’re lucky the writers are treating him as someone who wants this change for his own sake and not just for Lulu.  Johnny has to be the mob-boy-turned-human-being who makes it.  I’m rooting for him (and for the writers to continue to make him a unique character. 

Liz and Lucky

Fine, that’s not a picture of Liz and Lucky, it’s a gratuitious shot of Maxie and Spinelli (Maxelli).  GH has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to it’s younger couples. Couples at midlife? Not so lucky. In GH’s younger set there’s Robin and Patrick, Sonny and Claudia (for now), Jax and Carly (for now), Lulu and Johnny (for now), Jason longing for Liz and vice versa (for now), Lucky and Sam (for now), Maxie and Spinelli (sorta’).

Clearly, the only confidence I have is in the Scrubs pairing. Sonny and Claudia’s marriage is running on borrowed time, as are Lulu and Johnny given his connection to Claudia’s soon to be ill fortune!  Rumors/Spoilers suggest that Kate Howard will get to have the last laugh and find one of Jerry Jax’s magical DVDs.  Once Claudia falls, Johnny can’t be far behind – hopefully this won’t be the end of the Zacharra sibs.  I have a feeling they’ll find out that their hired gun wasn’t responsible for Michael’s shooting after all, but that their father sent someone who was responsible.

Of the above mentioned couples, the couples that are seemingly headed for the land of ‘couple swapping’ is that of  Liason (Liz and Jason) and LuSam (Lucky and Sam).  They’re headed back to their original pairings as it SHOULD be.

Lucky and Liz  together bring out the best in each other, when they’re good. Jason and Liz together bring out the worst in one another.  They also bring out the worst in those around them. To make Jason and Liz work the people around them have to be trashed to hell.  It appears to be the writers’ only trick to make Liz sympathetic (instead of desperate, clingy, and careless with her children’s lives) or to make Jason seem a better man when with her – when in reality nothing ‘s changed about him..

–Carly had to betray Jason and sleep with Sonny – something she would NEVER have done, just to give Jason cause to turn to Liz.   Carly’s love (or obsession, you choose) for Jason was so great that she risked jail time and death just to be near him.  No matter how much she loved Sonny later, it was easy to see that Carly still regretted that the one thing she couldn’t give her son, Michael, was Jason’s DNA.  Her great regret was that his brother A.J. was his father.   Sex with Sonny?  Completely out of character for Carly.  It was, however, the beginning of his turning to Liz for help during his dark times.  It was also the beginning of the writers stealing back Lucky’s hard earned place as a true GH hero.

— Heroic Lucky had to become a drug user and cheat (discussed HERE). Out of character for Lucky who was one of the truest of true hearts this show’s ever produced.

— Sam developed a vicious form of babymania and had Liz’s child kidnapped just to hurt her.  Given the scenes of Sam with her own brother before he died, and her feelings about her own pregnancy, family was always her first priority.  It was simply by watching the ‘great love’ of  Jason and Liz that she quickly become capable of risking harm to a child.  Sure.  Anything to make Liason more sympathetic… only NOT.

When you have to work that hard to put a couple together:

1 – you’re tearing apart a great cast, dumping on your show’s history, and chasing off viewers.

2 – there’s nothing worth having with the couple you’re foisting on the audience. There’s a reason there was such a negative reaction to Jason and Liz.  There’s just far too much emotional manipulation of the audience rather than an emotional connection between the characters.  I will be more than happy to see Liason go.

I’d like the writers to restore the LnL2 history.  I’d like to see Liz try to figure out what her attraction to Jason has been when he’s so unlike anything she’s ever wanted for herself and her children – yes, despite the fact that both of her sons have biological fathers with criminal histories. 

I don’t want to see Lucky beg for her love or try to win her back.  If she can forgive Jason’s murderous tendencies, she owed Lucky more than walking away from their marriage when he was ill.  The writers need to take Liz on a journey of deep exploration, and let her try to win HIS love and trust back.  St. Liz passed another man’s child off as his when he was ill, she really doesn’t have a lot of room to judge the man for his past.

GH – Robin Scorpio, Welcome Home

What’s that, you say?  Robin has been home for years now?  No, dear readers, only Robin’s body has been showing up on screen every day.  The REAL Robin Scorprio is finally back home and she’s now part of ABC’s bid to become the Anti-SoapFather network.  OLTL’s Starr Manning has told her ‘baby’s daddy’ that he’s treating her fetus as if it’s HIS family.  Now GH’s Robin is actively fighting to take away Patrick’s right to see his child because he was unsure of being a father in the first place, something he told her he wasn’t ready for, long before she became pregnant.

The Robin who’s given Patrick hell over seeing his child?  THAT’S the real Robin, as far as I’m concerned.  Is Robin treating Patrick’s fears about becoming a father as a personal rejection?  Most likely.  It’s in Robin’s history, and her nature, to do so.  Robin has a sordid history when it comes to infants and their fathers.

Some of you may recall that Robin revealed the truth about Michael Corinthos’ paternity when he was just an infant.  Why?  According to Robin, it’s because she felt that AJ had the right to know that HE, not his brother Jason, was Michael’s biological father.  That would have made sense and not seemed so self-deluding if the scenes just before Robin’s ‘attack of conscience’ weren’t of her and Carly arguing about who should raise Michael.  Robin felt that she and Jason were best suited to care for him, since they were a couple and weren’t as ammoral as Carly – yes, despite Jason’s role as a mob hitman.

Carly, being Carly, scoffed at the idea and taunted Robin by telling her that Jason would also be bonded to the two of them (Carly and Michael) and that there was nothing she could do about it.   Carly was wrong, Robin’s next move was to call Aj.  She effectively made sure that Jason could not and would not be Michael’s father.  If she couldn’t have Jason and Michael to herself, there would be no need for Jason to raise that child.

That was the day I began to despise Robin and didn’t care if she ever graced the screen again, until Patrick!  For me, Robin hadn’t redeemed herself, Patrick made her tolerable.  That poor, dumb, hot-as-hell, bastard!  If only he’d known about Robin’s past – or at least known the full story.   I know that many GH fans have fond memories of Robin as a child, but she lost her ‘cute quotient’ for me shortly after she began dating Jason.  The shrill, self-righteous, moralizing woman some of you see now, as she attempts to cut Patrick out of his child’s life, is the Robin I’ve been annoyed by for years to come.

Believe it or not, I’m glad the issue was resolved without a court ruling,  and that Patrick and Robin found their way back to one another.  I like Patrick, and not just because he has abs you can eat off of, but because he’s honest -even if you don’t like hearing what he has to say.  What a rarity for daytime males.  I also like Patrick because he’s not afraid of saying to Robin what others have been either too afraid to say or too reverent and all-worshipping to say to her – she’s a pain in the ass who sits in judgment of others far too often!  I like Patrick because as much as I don’t want to, he gives me a reason to want to like Robin again.  Well done, Patrick, well done.