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.

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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.

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.