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.

BnB: Taylor Hayes Jones – Desperately Seeking Vengeance

Why does the BnB’s taylor hayes jones  have to be the dumbest woman alive — every single episode?  No reprieve from her stupidity for fans, writers?  Ever?  How many more times can she be ignorant of how desperate and trashy Steffy  is? At some point, when you’re proven wrong often enough, you just have to stop claiming you know ‘the truth’. The writers have taylor brag about her ‘skills’ as a psychiatrist, but she misses every big event to happen:

  • Phoebe’s impending disgust with her relationship with Rick
  • Tommy the car bomber, pump your son up with the false idea that you’ve been a victim and something bad had to happen.
  • Steffy the psycho – which Brooke warned her about
  • Steffy’s involvement in setting up Hope’s humiliation during her first big press conference
  • Amber’s lie about the ABCD baby – which Brooke warned her about
  • Ridge and Morgan and their unfinished business – which Brooke warned her about
  • Stephanie’s psychotic tendencies – which she knew about and used to her own advantage
  • that Ridge didn’t love her fully
  • that Nick didn’t love her fully
  • that Stephanie wouldn’t let go of Eric while she was sneaking around with him, etc, etc, etc).  taylor smiled in Steph’s face, and then had to send Eric to break Stephanie’s heart.

No matter how many times she’s been proven wrong, taylor continues to deny the seriousness of  daughter Steffy’s psychological problems.  What fully functioning rational adult woman makes it her mission in life to compete with her barely legal stepsister?  This is the same girl Steffy loved, until a few months ago.  I’m sure some enterprising youtube surfer could find the video of  Steffy, Phoebe, and Thomas crying and hugging their younger siblings as they had to say good bye to them (you know, during one of those times when Ridge was duped into marrying taylor and Ridge left his family with Brooke to be with the trudge family, despite Steffy’s false claims of having been abandoned by her father).

taylor is coming across as a VERY weak woman who is vicariously seeking vengeance via her emotionally disturbed daughter.  She seems to find great delight in continuing to argue with Brooke as she calls herself ‘defending’ her daughter.  She sits back, smirking and waiting to yell at Brooke for being ‘unfair’ to Steffy, all the while  Steffy’s descent into madness makes not one bit of difference to taylor — only getting revenge on Brooke does.  Anything that makes Brooke’s life miserable, even if it includes hurting a young woman like Hope and sacrificing Steffy to do it,  appears to be her chief motivator.

I watch so little of the Bold and the Beautiful these days, and I’m never disappointed when I do… because I never expect more than the writers give me.  Brooke seeks peace, taylor continues to cheer Steffy on in her insanity.  I have wondered, is taylor hoping to rewrite history?

The Hope/Oliver/Steffy triangle seems to be a clear replay of the Brooke/Ridge/taylor triangle.  Brooke and Ridge were young, in love, and Ridge was Brooke’s first sexual experience.  No matter how clear it was that they wanted to be together, Stephanie and taylor plotted to keep them apart – once Stephanie realized that she had more to gain by siding with taylor than by hating her.  Both women were sure that Ridge would ‘come around’ if they pressed hard enough – just as Steffy seems to believe the same will happen with Oliver.  Ridge would  learn to love taylor as much as he did Brooke, they believed, and in time he would forget her.  The only problem was that Ridge could never forget Brooke and she would never stop loving Ridge.

Both Stephanie and taylor  are back.  This time they’re sitting on the sidelines and indulging Steffy’s fantasies of being loved by a man who doesn’t want her.  They refuse to ask her to remember her mother’s lifestory and to learn from it.  Oliver, Steffy wants to believe, will forget about Hope in time.  Good luck with that.  Neither her mother nor her grandmothers listens listens to her words, or reads her body language, or even keeps track of the lies she’s been caught telling.   The only thing that would make this storyline interesting, rather than pathetic, is for Stephanie to wake up and realize that they’re using Steffy, and taking everything they claim they hold dear and trashing it in order to get back at ‘the Logan women’.  They’re destroying Steffy, 18 year old Hope, and everything in between.  Stephanie finally sees taylor for who she is when taylor not only refuses to acknowledge what they’re doing, but she refuses to stop

Two sides?  Make it four:

1.  The Logans vs. the EX/NON Forrester women

2.  Stephanie vs. Taylor

3.  Oliver and Hope vs. Steffy (as he tries to get her to stop chasing him and she refuses).

4.  BnB writers vs. mediocrity.  Everything they’re offering now is a storyline they’ve offered a zillion times before.  Switch it up, writers.  Give fans a real reason to come back for more — and sexually outlandish twists aren’t the way to go.  We can get that on cable — and shows airing on cable do it better.

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.

The BnB’s Celluloid Closet…

ROUND THREE, people, ROUND THREE! This will probably be my last blog on this topic for a while, since I’ve neglected my GH, DAYS, and OLTL duties and have yet to reflect on my new love-hate relationship with all three shows.

One of the benefits of posting on soap message boards and blogging is that posting gives you the opportunity to think fully about fans’ reactions to storylines you may think of as basic storylines. Apparently not! In the last BnB blog I posted, I wrote that I’ve been surprised by two concepts 1 – that Stephanie Forrester and Taylor Hamilton Hayes are ‘too moral’ to become involved in a lesbian storyline. 2 – That Taylor and Stephanie are highly moral, at all. The comments below work if you believe that it’s objectively true that Stephanie and Taylor are ‘moral’.

As the debate continues on the official Bold and Beautiful board regarding the speculated possibility of a ‘Staylor’ storyline, I realize just how brilliant the writing for ATWT and GL has been! Before you burn me in effigy, let me qualify that statement – because it clearly requires qualification. The writers of both shows have done something that would not dared have been dreamed of just a couple of decades ago. They’ve established their respective couples (Nuke and Otalia) with at least one partner in the couple serving as their respective shows’ moral centers.

Luke and Noah resisted the temptation to bed-hop as so many others around them had. Noah’s father was a horror of a freak show and Luke’s parents have likely spent as much time sleeping with other people as they have sleeping with one another. Nuke came together not because they were running from anything else, but because they were running TO each other. They took their time getting there (too much time for some fans’ tastes, but they were worth the wait). Nuke brought a patience, kindness, and caring back to the show that had been missing for some time. They also brought back a sense of old-fashioned romance.

The same could be said of Otalia.WOWZA! Their long-awaited admissions of love for one another was nothing short of ‘supernova’ brilliant! The tone was right, the location was right -oddly enough at Gus’ graveside, Liv’s inability to stop herself from saying the words she’s worked so hard to avoid was gut-wrenching… if I wasn’t already sold on them as a couple, I would have been sold at that moment. I haven’t been as pleased with what followed, but more on that at another time. What immediately struck me was Liv’s comment to Nat that she knew that the fact that she loved her was a ‘sin’ in Nat’s religion, but that she couldn’t stop from loving her. Nat treated Liv’s concern about her religious ideas for what it was, no obstacle. (Not everyone interprets religious scriptures the same way; and not everyone believes that love is a sin). Ok, so you’ve seen the follow up eps by now and know that religion will be an issue for the couple in the future. ARGH! I told you that would happen so I’m not surprised, but ARGH is still the best reaction I’m capable of giving at this time.

As for the original point, I think it’s fascinating that Natalia has become the ‘new Maureen Bauer’. She’s the show’s mother hen who makes easy work of finding the good in everyone, who keeps an open door and open heart to everyone around her, and is a friend to anyone in need. I can’t help but believe that the writers will address the ‘religiosity’ aspect of the Otalia storyline, soon, removing the notion of Natalia as a ‘damned soul’ because of her feelings for Olivia.

I think that the way the writing team from each soap handled the matter of establishing their respective couple as part of the show’s moral core (if such a thing exists on a daytime show) was so subtle that I hadn’t thought of it as an overarching theme for the introduction of gay/lesbian couples in the contemporary daytime setting. It could certainly be considered an extension of the introduction of AMC’s Bianca Montgomery who, at almost every age, has served as the keeper of Pine Valley’s collective moral conscience. She became ‘Grandma Mona’s’ spiritual heir.

The Bold and The Beautiful’s Celluloid Closet

If you’ve never seen the documentary ‘The Celluloid Closet’, it’s a MUST VIEW. The documentary is based on Vito Russo’s book of the same name. Clearly Hollywood did a poor job of supporting diversity of any kind in its early history, but like many others, my self-invested interests kept me focused on the nonexistent racial diversity and problematic portrayals of women. This documentary opened my eyes to discrimination across the board, and how easily societal attitudes about sexual minorities have been both shaped and reinforced by the superficial images presented on screen. When I see resistance to the notion of a ‘Staylor’ pairing, there’s a part of me that wonders if the implicit and explicit messages about the ‘morality’ and ‘sexuality’ as polar opposites taps some unexpectedly uncomfortable space when it comes to two characters who’ve presented themselves as the show’s moral standard bearers.

The questions for me is, given how well the formula has worked on other shows, why WOULDN”T Stephanie and Taylor serve as the most likely couple – should the writers decide to introduce sexual diversity to the BnB audience? Wouldn’t this be yet another variation on the theme?

Opening Segment of ‘The Celluloid Closet:

If the ever noble Luke and Noah, spiritual Bianca, and religious Natalia have led the way in asking fans to reconsider their ideas of sexual minorities as ‘immoral’ wherever those feelings exist, wouldn’t it make perfect sense for Stephanie and Taylor to provide the avenue to opening the discussion for viewers on The Bold and the Beautiful? I don’t know how anyone BUT the incredibly skilled Susan Flannery and John McCook could lead this storyline forward (yes, John McCook, not Hunter Tylo). I can see JM’s Eric reacting to his wife, in her ‘golden years’ – as Steph gingerly calls them, deciding not to spend her remaining time supporting him but deciding to live her life with dignity and integrity and being the person she was meant to be.

A tearful and genuine final goodbye to the drama and turmoil she’s lived with Eric? They part as friends, parents, and long ago partners in success before she moves on with her life? And then in walks Taylor. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me. As they stand now, their friendship doesn’t make sense in light of the Stephanie’s extreme attitudes and behaviors regarding Taylor. In the same documentary, author Susie Bright discusses clues that suggest the possible same sex attraction of Mrs Danvers to the character ‘Rebecca’, in the film of the same name. Her comments are in relationship to the clip from the film, featured below (beginning 5:30 in):

“Rebecca” and Mrs. Danvers:

I’ve been asked why I haven’t thought of Stephanie and Brooke as potential partners or supported that notion.  Easy.  It doesn’t make sense!  If we follow the analogy all the way through, then clearly Stephanie is operating in the role of ‘Mrs. Danvers’ to Taylor’s “Rebecca’, with Brooke serving as “the second Mrs. De Winters”. No no, Brooke is no innocent, as is Joan Fontaine’s “the second Mrs. De Winters”, but Brooke truly loves Ridge (who serves as ‘Maxim’ in this analogy). She continues loving him despite never being able to win over the support of the controlling and overly protective Stephanie/Mrs. Danvers. Because of the unspoken love, and unbroken bond, Stephanie’s Danvers shares with Taylor’s ‘Rebecca” – one that not even death breaks, Brooke will always be on the outside. She will never overcome Steph’s/Danvers’ desire to maintain the MYTH of Taylor’s (Rebecca’s) perfection. Brooke will continue to be psychologically tortured by a false image of the perfect woman that Stephanie/Danvers created out of her own unexpressed desires, an image Stephanie/Danvers uses as a weapon against Brooke/2ndDW, though she knows the truth.

Brooke’s 2ndDW will never benefit from having Steph’s Mrs. Danvers spin her misdeeds into something magical and perfectly acceptable in order to hide those sins from those around her as Stephanie/Danvers has done for Taylor/Rebecca. Note how, in both the film and on the BnB, it was most important to maintain the notion of purity for those who were in the dark about Taylor/Rebecca’s true nature, most especially Ridge/Maxim. Steph’s only loyalty is to Taylor. Her passion and compassion are saved for Taylor. Her forgiveness is saved for Taylor. Why is it so unlikely that her truest love is reserved for Taylor? For those who think of Steph and Taylor as mere friends, I just don’t see it. I think the BnB has been writing from it’s own celluloid closet for these two characters for some time, unintentionally or not.