BnB: Voted Most Likely To…

Two months into the new year and I am already thinking about how  the current #boldandbeautiful plots will end.  In the past, that statement would have been an expression of my exasperation and desperation to see this show move forward.  Currently?  I can’t wait to find out which couples survive, and which plots turn into something bigger, something scarier,  or even something more tender!  The Bold and the Beautiful is, hands down, the best in daytime right now.  I am completely obsessed with this show (and the Walking Dead – so make of that what you will)!

By the end of the year, I expect to see the BnB yearbook for 2014 to read as follows:

Voted: Most Likely to Become a Misogynist – Liam Spencer

I’m confused by Liam’s dismay at Katie’s attraction to Ridge.  Neither of them is tied to other people.  Katie’s separation is legal (although it’s not clear to me how she holds Spencer stock since the writers continue to tell us that she is still married to Bill and that the stock offer was supposed to be part of a divorce settlement – part of a future plot twist or just a loose tie?).  Liam not only seemed to cheer on his father’s happiness, but chastised his brother, Wyatt, for daring to be outraged that their father finally had the chance to raise a child, as he was never around to raise them, and that Bill threw that chance away and traded his infant son’s happiness, feelings of safety and well-being, for the sake of another woman.

Liam, more than any of the males on this show, has viewed women as the playthings of the men they are intended to serve.  He is surprisingly sexist for such a young man.  A woman who serves him or his father can do no wrong.  A woman who fails to serve him or his father is evil, bad, deserves shaming.  Both women can engage in the exact same behavior for the same reasons – and it wouldn’t matter to this guy.  Liam’s actions make me think of the conversation he and Bill had about how doing something “nice” blew up in his face and Bill’s immediate reaction was “What have I told you about that?”.  It speaks to the shape of Liam’s character that his father is anyone he should want to emulate or seek advice from.  Bill Spencer is an old school bully and misogynist.  Liam is learning from a master.

No surprise, I imagine Liam to also be voted Most Likely to Rebound – no explanation necessary.

Voted: Most Likely to Succeed – Quinn Fuller

Taylor was such an abject failure as a psychiatrist.  All of the big moments seemed to escape her, but not others.  I’ve often wondered why Quinn wasn’t cast as a psychiatrist with a jewelry making son!  The writing for Quinn is so much better and psychologically nuanced, at times.  Pam only figured out what Quinn was up to, once Charlie spilled the truth about Wyatt and the Hope Diamond, but before that?  She had Pam eating out of the palm of her hand.  I’m assuming it was the left hand, because she already had Eric eating out of her right hand.

Quinn knows how to keep Donna at bay without firing a shot (as Stephanie would have, and I mean that literally – that battle ax was out on the edge).

Quinn knows that Liam is only as faithful as his options (to borrow the old Chris Rock line), so she gave him another option.

Quinn knows that Ally has a raging crush on Liam  while everyone else still sees Ally as a fresh faced girl still trying to figure out how to physically make her way to the elevator leading to Eric’s office, from the mail room downstairs.  Quinn can see Ally’s ambitions at work and at play.

I can’t wait to see more  from Quinn, I think.

Voted: Most Likely to Break Your Heart – Katie Logan and Ridge Forrester

I just know that this one is going to be a toughie!  They are going to fight their passion to the bitter end.  They are going to be called hypocrites from the very people , Brooke and Bill, who self-servingly won’t realize that their actions  ( sleeping around behind Katie’s back while she believed herself to be a happily married woman who boldly turned back a dark time in her marriage) are not the same as Ridge and Katie’s.  KaRi is uncommitted to anyone but the children they are loving and raising.  KaRi are not making promises to others minutes before running off to meet for sleazy sex.

I hope the writers don’t take KaRi down BRill’s dark path.  They deserve better, and so does the audience.  I’m hoping that if there is heartbreak, it’s not that the couple has been trashed to try to make BRill less offensive.  The only thing the writers will be left with are two equally offensive pairings.  I’m hoping that if there is heartbreak, it’s because KaRi separates to avoid hurting others, and we watch them painstakingly work their way back to each other.

Voted: Most Likely to End Up On Pay=Per-View: Hope Logan and Quinn Fuller

Yeezus!  All things Kanye West, I can’t BREATHE with these two!  Many actors have commented that filming sex scenes are no fun because they are too technical (lighting, direction on movement, etc).  If Kim Matula (Hope) and Wyatt (Darin Brooks) aren’t enjoying their passionate scenes, I think they both deserve Emmys for those performances – now, please, no need to wait for a ceremony!

Am I alone in thinking that the employee absenteeism rate is close to zero (or even negative) on the days these two film their scenes?  Negative?  I’m guessing that crew members who aren’t scheduled for work show up on that day!  These two are taking their portmanteau: HOTT seriously!  Again, I’m starting to become a little embarrassed watching those scenes . It feels like I am  the dirty snoopy neighbor peering into the bedroom windows of the cute little couple next door.

Clothes on, standing up, HOTT is adorable and just make me smile.  Clothes off?  They make me blush.  I don’t know what’s coming with this lover from Wyatt’s past, but she has big shoes to fill if the writers are going to convince us that she has a snowball’s chance of breaking this couple up.  I have a feeling she’ll have to settle for a slightly WELL used Wyatt sibling.  Poor Ally.

Voted: Most Likely to Have a Professional License Revoked

In honor of Taylor’s brief return, l’m hoping that two things happen – the first being that she sees Katie and Ridge in action and just blows her unprofessional lid.  It should dawn on Taylor that her very public interference in Katie’s life, all to ruin Brooke, ultimately brought about the relationship between Katie and Ridge.  An affair that was kept under wraps became a public spectacle and utterly devastated Katie.  There is NO WAY Taylor did it for Katie’s sake, even knowing that Katie deserved the truth.  If it was for Katie’s sake, it wouldn’t have happened in front of everyone Katie loved, adding to her hurt and humiliation.  Taylor joined Brooke and Bill in destroying Katie and paved the way for Ridge to help her heal.  Symmetry!

As a result of publicly humiliating her client, in addition to sleeping with her clients (Ridge, Nick, attempt with Eric), trying to manipulate Liam into staying with Steffy, and betraying a host of other trusts- it’s time that the show’s writers and producers address Taylor’s lack of professionalism and stops pretending that the woman is anything other than the person she’s been (initially while hiding in the shadows): manipulative and MEAN!  If she hasn’t had to surrender her license, let’s hope she’s just decided to choose a new field to save others from her malevolent form of “help’

What are your 2014 BnB Yearbook picks?

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B&B: The heart, mind, and soul of a woman – Part 2

Heather Thom (Katie Logan Spencer)

Give a mouse a cookie, and it will ask you for a glass of milk. Give Heather Thom a reasonably good line or two and she’ll spin that stuff into PURE GOLD! HTom made sure that Katie got her BEYONCE on! Partial lyrics to the song, “Irreplaceable”

You must not know ’bout me
You must not know ’bout me
I can have another you by tomorrow
So don’t you ever for a second get to thinkin’
You’re irreplaceable?

So go ahead and get gone
Call up that chick, and see if shes home
Oops I bet you thought, that I didn’t know
What did you think
I was putting you out for?
Because you was untrue
Rolling her around in the car that I bought you
Baby, drop them keys
Hurry up, before your taxi leaves

I would have paid cash to have Katie break out in song when telling ¢Bill that he was free to “get gone”. So much of Katie’s dialogue spoke to the things women believe they’d say to a cheating partner in her shoes. While these are not exact quotes, the sentiment is the same: “How long have you been kissing her with the mouth you use to kiss me?” “Who are you lying to, me or her, because this is not an open marriage?” “You have dated, slept with, and dumped dozens of Steffys, they’re all the same. You married me because I challenge you and you challenge me. Is the dime a dozen type what you really want to go back to?” “Beg me to take you back, and if you come back, things WILL be different in this marriage. I’m taking control.”   Masterful. Those were Bold AND Beautiful.

As BnB fans, specifically, and soap fans in general, have become too used to the idea of women begging, pleading and crying. While our sisters in primetime asserted their strength and power, women in daytime were growing increasingly powerless. Women in daytime were getting dumber and weaker. The BnB writers have literally flipped the script , seemingly realizing that women want to see other women stand up for themselves to a cheating spouse who seems to think that even when he’s dirty with the stench of cheating, he irreplaceable.

Heather Thom and Katherine Kelly Lang’s elegant treatment of the dialogue can’t be overlooked. They breathed life into words on a page. In true symbiotic fashion, between writers and actors, the BnB writers have made their jobs easier with the change in the context of the material, showing a renewed respect for the genre and fans, a change that keeps me on the edge of my seat. I could always predict what BnB women were going to say or do (Brooke would cry and plead, Taylor would cry and plead in between moments of she and Stephanie referring to other women as whores and sluts despite their own shady histories and the shady histories of the men whose love they craved). Now? I have no idea what will happen and what will be said. I’ve fallen in love with this show, for now at least, all over again.

Before this, the writers offered “bitterness” as the definition for ‘strength’ on this show. Wrong writers.  Bitter bitches like Stephanie, Steffy, and Taylor, might be fun to laugh at, but for most of us, they don’t become our heroes. Women are too busy with our real lives to sit around pouting and bemoaning our fate. That Stephanie, Steffy, and Taylor have the time to sit and obsess about Ridge, Brooke, the Logans, hang nails, vanilla pudding, paper cups, or whatever else they’re spending their days whining about, makes them the daytime equivalent of drying paint. They’re easy to write for because they never change or offer any new insights into their personalities. They’re just not easy to watch.

Jennifer Gareis/Ashley Jones (Donna and Bridget)

There is still two huge absences from the Logan renaissance. Jennifer Gareis (Donna Logan Barber), recently back from maternity leave, has not had the same opportunity as her onscreen Logan sisters to light up her scenes. I suspect that her time is coming now that Amber Moore is the mother of her granddaughter and is now after her son. Donna is the more enigmatic of the Logan sisters. She’s soft and warm on one had, and a cutthroat street fighter on the other. While Brooke hoped for more than 30 years (soap time) that reason, patience, and love would transform Stephanie Douglas Forrester into a decent human being, Donna wasn’t concerned about saving Stephanie’s soul or saving Stephanie from herself. Donna believed in fighting back.  I miss that Donna and think she’s needed in the B.S. battle between the Forrester and the Logans (who are truly more family than foes).

Also needed is Ashley Jones – Bridget Forrester (a Logan woman). She needs to be returned to screen and help continue to make the Logan women the unforgettable force they are, always should have been, and will hopefully always be. There is too much unresolved business needing Bridget’s attention (I still choose to believe that Nick’s son is Bridget’s child, that she was the ‘B Marone’ listed on the donor egg dish. Bridget’s story isn’t done. It should be just beginning.)  With Bridget and Hope in the presence of their matriarchs, and finding themselves pushed out of a company their mother made incredibly wealthy beyond anyone’s dreams, it’s time for the younger Logan women to assert themselves and reclaim their right to be recognized as an integral part of the history of the family and the company. And, given Steffy’s new plans for vengeance, Hope will need her big sister, right about now.

So, dear readers and friends, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go check my driver’s license to make sure I’m still me, check the net for predictions of the next “doomsday” date, and find out if someone has been slipping me hallucinogenic drugs. I just can’t believe this is happening. I’m not only loving the BnB, I’m imagining how many more years of this show I’d love to see, given the current directions of storylines.

B&B: The heart, mind, and soul of a woman – Part 1

You won’t believe this, but I am here to SING the praises of BnB writers!  I know, right?!!?!  How often has that happened?  I’ve been convinced, for EONS, that BnB writers fall into one of three categories:  1 – men who’ve never been in a relationship with a woman.  2 – men who have been in relationships with women, and hate them.  3 – women who haven’t had the heart to tell their coworkers that they’re putting utter bullshit to screen.  Yes, harsh, I know, but as a fan who’s watched the show from the day it aired, I’ve been one bitterly disappointed fan for roughly the last decade (though don’t ask me to explain why I continued to watch).  The tipping point?  I stopped watching after  Brooke “accidentally” had sex with her youngest daughter’s boyfriend, after all of her earlier trouble.  She had no idea that the person she had sex with wasn’t her husband – a man she’d been having sex with since her early 20s.  There is suspension of disbelief, and then there is flirtation with insanity.  There have been far too many times when BnB writers have asked viewers for the latter instead of the former.

So how did the same writing team move from the “mistaken stand up sex with a 20-year-old” to the Katie-Bill phenomenon?  It beats the hell out of me because like my continued fascination with this show, I can’t explain that either.  For the past two years, the BnB has won Emmys for “Best Writing” in storylines featuring the Logan family, in part or whole.  I can only believe that the writers are ready to explore the Logan women with greater depth and insight are and are beginning to play off of the strengths of the Logan leads (Katherine Kelly Lang, Heather Thom, Jennifer Gareis).   Between Brooke giving Ridge and Taylor the blues over their nitwit overly self-involved daughter, to Katie reading $Bill the riot act and busting him down to ¢Bill, this show is ROCKING!  The writers are finally writing as if they understand the hearts, minds, and souls of women.  I’ve finally watched a series of episodes that I could recommend to ANYONE I know, even friends who aren’t soap fans, and not be embarrassed to admit that I watch daytime television.   If it’s possible for the soap genre to be redefined at this late stage, as soaps lay dying, The Bold and The Beautiful has done it!

Katherine Kelly Lang – Brooke Logan

KKL’s strength has always been treating Brooke as a character with a heart and a soul, although her job was made a bit tougher during some of Brooke’s worst moments (sleeping with daughter Bridget’s husbands – Deacon and Nick, thinking of her daughter’s believed abortion to be a ‘moment’ in history for her to move on with Bridget’s beloved, accidentally sleeping with teen daughter Hope’s boyfriend).  If you erase those three horrific moments, Brooke has been the emotional heart of the show.  She brings love and forgiveness.  She brings insight and wisdom.  Unlike most BnB soap characters, Brooke admits her faults and lays herself emotionally bare to be judged by others.  She suffers humiliation and maltreatment and continues to move forward.  What she’s rarely been allowed to be, however, is the matriarch she is, a woman with a voice.  This new Brooke would have made Beth Logan proud!

Brooke telling the parents of a snake like Steffy that she SHOULD have her heart-broken if she thinks that it’s ok to interfere in someone else’s marriage  was positively inspired!   While Brooke has been reamed as a hypocrite in some quarters, I see her as a woman who is sadly speaking from experience.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t view Steffy and Brooke as the same, at all. The difference is that  Brooke had always been fighting to reclaim the love that was lost as Stephanie and Taylor fought to keep her and Ridge apart.  Steffy developed a crush on an older man and decided that he belonged to her – his wife be damned.  Steffy barely knew Bill.  There was no history, there was no backstory, there was only a pathetic attempt by a little girl to use a man to hurt a woman she’s hated without reason or limit.  Brooke nailed Taylor right between the eyes by reminding her that any other woman in her daughter’s shoes would have been deemed a home wrecker or worse (remember Taylor referring to Brooke as winning one for the ‘whores of the world’, when Ridge left her for Brooke, even though Brooke didn’t want him? 

I don’t know if the writers remember that it was their decision to transform Taylor from sympathetic oncologist, to husband envying psychiatrist, in love with her dying patients’ grieving spouse.   Either way, they’ve continued to write Brooke as the woman with insight, who has been consistently able to call other characters out on their behaviors, motivations, and intentions.  Taylor is stuck defending  or minimizing the behaviors her daughter displays when she learns the Brooke despises those very behaviors, even when she herself initially disagrees with Steffy’s actions.  It’s Taylor who has missed the boat on some of the biggest behavior indicators of problems in the Forresters’ lives (like Amber’s skittishness when bringing faux Little Eric home, and Morgan Dewitt’s psychological instability, or children’s growing pathological behaviors which includes a car bombing and stalking).

I am so greatly enjoying Brooke finding her voice and defending her family that I can scarcely wait for the next scene!