The BnB: Is it possible to fall in love with a single moment?

BnB_Wyatt Hope Liam HOTT peppersIf it’s possible to fall in love with a single moment, I’ve done it.  I thought I would lose my mind when Wyatt and Liam began arguing – I am raising far less aggressive (pre-teen) brothers who love a good argument, so watching the adult version gave me chills and sent me searching for aspirin. Typically, when I look at Wyatt, I see a man fighting for Hope’s love.  When I look at Liam, I see a man fighting not to avoid losing  to Wyatt.  Friday, I saw two men who despise each other so much that there was no room for Hope in either of their lives at that point in time.  She had been temporarily replaced by their intense dislike for one another – and it becomes increasingly disconcerting every time it happens.  That argument, however, was not the moment I loved – it was Hope (Kim Matula) and her perfect nonverbal reaction to the brothers’ angry dance.  Everything in her face expressed my own feelings at that moment – “What fresh hell is this?”  Leaving in Liam’s car, which was completely unexpected, and  forcing Wyatt and Liam to be alone on the long trip back to L.A was a brilliant touch.  As disappointed as I was that the trip was over, I loved that power move on Hope’s part.

Don’t believe the HYPE

The #HOTT trip taught me two things:

— If this show promises you a romantic getaway, lures you in with images of lush scenery and young love, hashtags its way into your consciousness – don’t believe it.  You may as well get more excited by the box of ice cream you left sitting on the kitchen counter, it will last longer!  No one has better hype men outside of rap than the BnB – just don’t believe the hype and you’ll be ok!  

— I’ve also learned that the writers are not done backing up the bus they hit Quinn with in the first place. She is [list on] immoral, crazy, calculating, untrustworthy, underhanded, a user, …[/list off]  In a matter of weeks she transitioned from respected jeweler  & strong single mom to sociopath on low simmer.  I guess I have to give up my Quinn-the-hero love and just be prepared to love-hate  her for the dysfunction she will bring to the show.  Note, that if her name was Steffy Forrester or Bill Spencer, trapping Liam in an elevator would have been a sign of determination, not psychiatry worthy scariness.

BnB Quinn and WyattWhat happens now?  I don’t see how Quinn (and Wyatt) can continue working for Forrester.  Her business practices have been exposed as shady.  Her character has been assassinated.  Wyatt has been treated as if he is one step away from his own straight jacket, and Liam’s constant warnings are designed to keep the audience on full alert that Wyatt and Quinn are not done pulling the wool over innocent Hope’s eyes.

I’m going to have to call BULL on this one, but keep in mind that I don’t get to write the show.  Liam is badly damaged after the repeated dalliances with Steffy, I get it, but this triangle can’t be evened out by destroying Wyatt to make Liam more viable. I would rather see Liam bottom out, emotionally, destroyed by his losses and bad choices.  He is plunged into a redemption storyline, one that begins to rebuild his character and reminds the audience why he was once a likable guy.  Raise Liam’s profile, rather than tank Wyatt’s.  If this trend continues, I cannot imagine fans tuning in for this triangle for much longer. If Quinn and Wyatt become the people Liam claims they are, then the storyline diminishes Hope as well  She will soon be seen as too foolish to know how to protect her heart (and fortune?) from this duo.

This storyline is quickly becoming a three-for-one take down:  Quinn, both romantic male leads, and the romantic heroine.

Penny Bill and his 99 Problems

I can’t say that I’ve fallen in love with it, but my second favorite moment was the big reveal about Ridge’s mysterious past.  Why?  It shows what a Neanderthal Bill Spencer is.  Only Bill could take an image of Ridge, obviously supporting a friend’s struggle for equality and turn that into a dark “dirty” secret being kept from Brooke.  Only Bill could believe that compassion for and friendship with another person is the same as a secret love affair that Ridge as too ashamed to mention.  THIS is the guy who successfully ran a major corporation with Justin standing at his side?  Well obviously Bill and Justin are secretly married and have their children together stashed away somewhere!  See how that works?  Oh Bill and Justin, why? WHY?  Pardon my Duke of Hazzard reference, here, but if brains were dynamite, between the two of them, they couldn’t blow the fuzz off of a peach!

BnB Bill iin BlackRight!  Bill is in love with Brooke  and was in hurry to let her  know that she was (in danger?) around Ridge.  Ridge isn’t who he seems to be.  It’s the LOVE, the LOVE Bill feels that made his foolish choice to run to Brooke with those pictures seem like a good idea.   I have to wonder if Bill’s love for Brooke isn’t lodged somewhere between his broken zipper and the reflection of himself he sees in her eyes when they stand close together.

I have to wonder if the writers are telling us that this action was not about love for Brooke but instead due to Bill’s hatred for Ridge – which confirms that Liam came by it honestly, as is said in my neck of the woods. Bill might have taken the time to at least track down more information to make sure those pictures told the story of a true love affair, if he weren’t hoping to be back in Brooke’s bed the moment she sat the pictures down and then dragged him home with her.

There HAS to be a scene of Ridge telling Bill off  his incredibly stupid and offensive “reveal”.  The man has an openly out sister, who is in a loving relationship, does he really believe that being in the presence of someone LGBT makes you LGBT?  We should avoid our LGBT brothers and sisters because one hug or hand on the shoulder could be easily mistaken for more?   I.Just.Can’t. with this guy!  Bill was a big joke, before.  He’s a COLOSSAL joke, now.

  • He alternated between insulting and then flirting with all three Logan women prior to marrying Katie (remember his heavy pursuit of Donna and the kisses?).
  • He destroyed his marriage to Katie and blew his family to pieces, by sleeping with her sister.
  • He has three children he’ll never raise from infancy because of his persistent lusting for other women.
  • Katie and Karen took control of Spencer without breaking a sweat.
  • 20-something Steffy tricked him out of controlling interests in FC, using his lust against him.  Double ICK that her family was ok with it.
  • Brooke duped him out of the paperwork giving him controlling interests in his own company – again, lust related.
  • He continued to lust after the two women who used his feelings for them to betray him, but the one woman who never used him gets dumped.
  • His plan to make Hope irrelevant in Liam’s life backfired – dashing his hopes to keep his mistress-in-waiting in the family.
  • Deacon bested him after he jailbreaks Deacon.
  • Quinn puts a smack down on Bill that left him shaking (deservedly so).
  • He’s the mastermind behind “Parisian Rainbow-gate”.
  • He continues chasing after Brooke who repeatedly rejects him and is telling him how much she’s in love with, and has always wanted to be with, Ridge.

Other than the fact that he buys his children requisite “I’m sorry I wasn’t around to raise you” multi-million dollar beach houses, I just don’t know what is supposed to be appealing about the guy.

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BnB: The Bold and the Bare-chested!

BnB_Bill and Katie#boldandbeautiful.  I keep waiting for the magical moment when Bill Spencer is bowed and broken, dogged by the realization that his treatment of poor Katie was deplorable –  so much so that this new awakening crushes his spirit.  In my imagination, it’s the beginning of his redemption.  He learns that he is not infallible and that his abusive treatment of those around him, women in particular, can only be described as dehumanizing during his best behaved moments. Penny Bill begins cops to his 99 problems and learns how to be  a human, again – assuming he was ever human in the first place.  Before he can find someone to love, he is determined to learn how to become worthy of that love.

Are you laughing yet? You should be. Arrogant men don’t pay for their horrid actions on the BnB – they become pseudo heroes, so I am going to have to  find consolation where I can. The powers that be gave that to me today, in the form of a SHIRTLESS Bill Spencer!  It’s superficial, yes, and I feel no shame about developing a burning desire to wipe the man’s sweat away.  Don’t get any ideas, PTB, keeping him shirtless will only make the audience immune to that bangin’ body.  Don Diamont is a SEXY BEAST! Bill Spencer is a putz!

Even still, is it wrong that I want to set up picture-in-picture so that there is always an image of shirtless  DD. on screen?  It’s not like I don’t have other options, I just don’t think my family would appreciate images of a shirtless unfamiliar man being wallpapered on our breakfast room walls. Thank goodness I failed to hit the fast forward button on the Brooke and Bill scenes, as I typically do and will continue to do in the future.

Quinn/Rena and Wyatt/Darin

EUREKA!  I couldn’t figure out what was gnawing at me about the casting for Quinn (Rena Sofer) and Wyatt (Darin Brooks).  I’ve finally put my finger watching the Murder Mystery Club at work, today, busting Wyatt for his heinous crimes.  But Wyatt didn’t commit murder, you say?  We’ll get to that later.  Liam, Pam, and Charlie described a very different Wyatt and Quinn than the mother and son I thought I was watching.  Their descriptions of them were  so very different that as I started thinking about the duo and whether the actors were giving off clues that I was  foolishly missing.  While I’m grateful for it, I’ve never understood the casting choices for this pair.  Sofer looks much too young to be Wyatt’s mother and they are so different in their looks as family members (yeah, yeah, I get it, they’re not really related).  It’s just that casting for families is usually based on physical similarities in some way — Brooke and her children, for example.

Why these two actors, together?

Here goes:  Rena Sofer and Darin Brooks were cast, I think, because of one trait they share in common, both are capable of giving “great face”!  It is what makes them quite similar as mother and son.  With both actors, the same face that expresses warmth, love and care can also express the potential for bedevilment, anger, and some other undefinable quality with  a moment’s transition.  I still get chills when I think of Sofer’s Quinn drawing blood  from B.S. without so much as breaking a sweat.  It’s subtle, it’s amazing, and it means that both can play any type of character the writers want them to play.  I think that despite the dialogue and current plot, it’s that intangible quality that allows the audience to read into the characters whatever it is they see in them.  Both are capable of doing more with a facial expression and silence than most other actors (in any genre) are capable of doing with full Greek chorus standing behind them announcing each scene. True or not, I’m pretty convinced that Sofer can stop time with a single look!

BnB_Bill and DeaconThe vibe I get from Quinn and Wyatt is one of fierce determinism.  Without support from Bill, Quinn raised a son, built a business and kept moving through the hard times.   It’s a trait that she seems to have passed on to Wyatt and I hope the writers allow him to show his kinder, gentler “Quinn side” in fighting back and reclaiming his love – should this revelation break apart Hope and Wyatt.

Wyatt, Hope, Liam, Quinn, Charlie, Pam

Can someone explain to me what Wyatt has done that warrants the take down planned by Liam, Pam and Charlie?

  • Did he have a black market buyer set up for the Hope Diamond?  Was he planning to sell it and skip the country?
  • Were he and Quinn planning to crack that rock and turn it into a matching necklace, earring and headband set for Hope?
  • Are Wyatt and Quinn secretly funding their struggling drug cartel’s business expenses with chips they’ve been stealthily taking from the diamond?
  • No? None of that?

So what is this “scandal” about?  I could understand the concern that Wyatt didn’t clue Hope in on the publicity stunt, and I’m sure she would have stopped him, but the (lack of) drama surrounding this is almost making Liam and the group look petty.  It’s just not a scandal worthy of rocking a young couple’s burgeoning love and it’s a real waste of an opportunity to jump into Wyatt’s backstory – because surely there are more challenges waiting there.

As written, Liam is presenting the news as if he’s uncovered the six love children and five women left raising them, that Wyatt deserted up and down the coast.  Liam is breaking in on the camping trip as if he has photo evidence of Wyatt involved in  illicit affairs with Hope’s mother, sister, and aunts.  The heightened emotion around this storyline feels off base.  This is the evidence that Wyatt and Quinn are criminal masterminds and uber sociopaths?  Unless this is the beginning of finding out that every precious stone they’ve touched has come up missing, this is pretty much a dud of a storyline.  It becomes more comical than dramatic.  Liam, Charlie and Pam overplayed their hand, and I hope the results from the great reveal reflect that.

Pam? That poor woman tied Donna Logan to a chair at Big Bear cabin, covered her with honey, and set a bear loose on her.  She nearly killed Eric with poisoned lemon bars, and then continued to torment Donna like that woman stole money from her. Pam received treatment after nearly killing both Donna and Eric, but the constant attacks on Donna took place post treatment.  While I am glad that Pam was too smart to fall for Quinn’s attempt to buy her friendship, I am disappointed that her “second chances” speech was a lie.  The woman still serves lemon bars, for pity sake. She was healed, was forgiven, and moved on to a happy life, one she now shares with Charlie.

As for Liam, I want to like the guy.  I’m REALLY trying, but I shouldn’t have to try this hard.  Scott Clifton is a fabulous actor and I followed him from GH, to OLTL, and now the BnB.   There is something about Liam that Clifton can’t cure. It’s the writing for the character.  It’s hard to take Liam seriously, the man who repeatedly broke Hope’s heart to take up with his father’s discarded mistress-in-waiting.  Liam defends his ex-wife and father, who have done far worse than anything Wyatt or Quinn have ever considered doing.  Unless Deacon was brought to justice during a time when I wasn’t watching this show, there is a fugitive from the law still on the loose, thanks to Bill.  Maybe Liam, Pam and Charlie can track him down with their newly found super sleuthing skills and cart him back to wherever he belongs!

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BnB: Why the Bold (and daytime) needs Hope and Wyatt

BnB Hott2Before the deluge of smack down emails begin, just let me tell you what the title of this blog entry is NOT suggesting:   I am not suggesting that Hope and Wyatt will save daytime, the BnB, Kittens stuck in trees, shoes tossed carelessly over electrical wires or the sun from burning out in another 6 billion years.

There. Done. Said it.

Then why is HOTT so important?  Here goes.  This couple adds balance and daytime, in general, has lost the art of telling a balanced story.  In a panicked and desperate ploy to win new fans, soaps became wilder than necessary and sadly disjointed: multiple returns from the dead in new faces and old faces, supernatural storylines, unaborted children, crossovers that didn’t work, dumping damn near a full cast to replace them with characters long term fans didn’t know or care about.

In that manic phase, more soaps were lost.   The shows no longer with us were those, in my opinion, that strayed too far from the long term soap audience. They were unrecognizable.  Of those that have survived, only the Bold and the Beautiful seems to have decided to build a new supercouple from the ground up.  It’s not that fans really want something new.  Fans seem to want what they once had,  just told  in a new way.  I see that in Hope and Wyatt.

Balance: Hope and Wyatt start with a clean slate

Unlike Hope and Liam, Hope and Wyatt have no notable old lovers, broken hearts, or hurt feelings based on infidelity (or near infidelity) to rip them apart.  In a prior blog I wrote and stand by the statement that:

Hope, for the first time in a long time laughed, she did it without looking over her shoulder, or out of the corner of her eyes for the shadow that was always hovering around her.  She smiled, without a hit of irony or using her smile as a means of putting on a brave face.  She embraced a man without checking for the scent of another woman,  or hairs there weren’t his.  She looked into his eyes and didn’t see the reflection of someone else.

When Wyatt looks at Hope, he sees HOPE, he loves HOPE, his desire is for HOPE.  Not having sex with Hope doesn’t make her a child in his eyes.  Not having sex with her doesn’t make other women more desirable to him.  He has a passion for Hope that I find to be kind, gentle and refreshing.

With all of the meet-cute and play-cute scenes they’ve pulled off, who knew that they could also pull off a smoking #HOTT love scene? I don’t know about you, but I blushed a little.  It was nice watching that scene, knowing that the moment we witnessed was about Hope and Wyatt, and no on else. This couple will have other challenges – the Hope Diamond issue, for example, for now at least.

Balance: Hope and Wyatt don’t have to hurt each other or betray others to be together

It’s nice to have a couple that doesn’t have to sneak around, or worry about facing the partner they’re betraying just to be together. Unlike Liam, Hope broke things off, first, before moving on.  As much as I despise Brooke and Bill together, what made them an even worse (er, sleazier) choice of couple is that they had to  hide out at home to avoid the negative press. Hope and Wyatt remind me of the old Brooke and Ridge, who stood in front of cameras together and were celebrated for the love they shared.

This relationship is a step up for Hope, who felt she had to sacrifice her principles (and virginity) to keep Liam interested in her.  Hope had publicly proclaimed her desire to maintain her virginity until marriage.  Rather than applaud it and support her, she was taunted by Steffy, dismissed by Bill, and treated as if she offered Liam nothing but regret and frustration. No hiding in the shadows for Hope and Wyatt.

Sex is the icing on the cake.  The cake is the friendship they established before sex.  Wyatt, as written, loved her without ever touching her.   I may sound like my own grandmother (God love her) but how often are daytime shows giving us romance with clothes on these days?

Balance:  Long chases, Longer embraces

As Katie and Brooke battle it out regarding Brooke’s ability to easily fall in and out of love, watching Wyatt and Hope, I realize how much I have missed the chase in a romantic storyline.  If feels as if Wyatt and Hope have known each other forever, and that the relationship between them has grown organically.

I have missed the passion that grows and grows until the time is right for BOTH partners.

I have missed the definition of romance that has nothing to do with what a woman gives, what she wears, what tricks she’ll perform (Steffy) to make a man happy.

I have missed the definition of romance in daytime that includes allowing both partners to be accomplished and have an equal voice, not a romance that feeds the ego of her partner and requires her to excuse his actions, even if those actions include him inflicting immeasurable pain on those she loves (Brooke and Bill).

I have missed the definition of romance that allows the female romantic lead to just be a happy person. She embraces her life and is not a femme fatale on a mission to destroy the woman involved with the man she’s obsessed with (Caroline and Rick!  Sorry, but I have yet to let go of the comments Caroline made to Maya.  I was never a Rick-Maya fan, but Caroline hit below the belt, raised it and hit some more).

I didn’t know just how much I missed those things until HOTT came along.  I don’t think it’s true that a happy couple is a boring one.  Good writers make happy couples interesting in ways that have nothing to do with infidelity.  Given the course of this  couple has taken, starting out, I hope they’re among that group of supercouples who bring love and adventure to a show. I hope the writers will leave the circus worthy romances to the rest of BnB’s partner swappers!

What about you?

As always, rights of all images are retained by their original owners.

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.

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!

BnB: The measure of a woman. The mismeasure of a girl.

Done, Finito, KAPUT!  I’m done trying to find a reason to like the BnB’s Steffy Forrester, DONE!  I usually love bad girls/bad boys in daytime;  although I almost always root against them.  I enjoy watching them unleash fresh hell on others, and later themselves as their plans backfire.  It’s the best of both worlds.  Truly great bad girl/guy characters feed your light and dark sides.  Most daytime writers have a tried and true formula and “get” what makes bad girl/boy characters so much fun.  They’re equal parts exhilaration and exasperation and just when you think you can’t love-to- hate them any more than you already do, the writers pull a twist.  The character you thought you knew, the character whose all-knowing smirks drove you to the brink of distraction suddenly has a vulnerable side.   You find yourself almostliking them!  When daytime writers want you to fall for a character, they know what it takes to make you fall hard:

  • AMC’s writers pulled the ’empathy card’ on Janet-from-another-planet Green when they revealed that she wasn’t simply pathologically jealous of her beautiful sister, Natalie Marlowe, but that she’d been the target of unrelenting taunting and teasing, merciless emotional abuse, all without remorse by a mother who felt justified in the emotional torture of her daughter.  Natalie was her blessing, Janet was her curse. Wilma Marlowe couldn’t wait to remind Janet, every day of her life, that she was the daughter she would have done without and when given the choice, that choice would always be the beloved Natalie.  Janet’s hope was to, just once, be chosen first.  The desire to be someone’s first choice – even Trevor Dillon’s, drove much of Janet’s continued march toward madness. 
  • ATWT’s  writers pulled the ’empathy card’ with Emily Stewart, who spent years dealing with her mother Susan’s substance abuse and emotional distancing.  Emily’s victimization at her mother’s hands turned into a worldview in which she was always the victim of the those around her – even as she drew first blood.  By soapgod, she was going to make the world PAY!    ATWT pulled the double whammy with heartless schemer, Angel Lange, who was the victim of longterm sexual abuse at the hands of her wealthy powerful father.  Angel’s scheming was directed at helping her secure her freedom from a powerful father who seemed unstoppable.   To that end she forced Holden Snyder into marriage, schemed to keep him, and with her brother, stole millions from their father’s company.
  • GH’s Stefan Cassadine’s ’empathy card’ came in the form of dysfunctional parenting as well.  He and brother Stavros were presented as the “Heir and a Spare”. While his parents groomed his brother for greatness (and you can read that as great darkness), he was expected to bask in the shaded glory of the pathological Stavros, accept the cast off crumbs of his parents’ affections.  It was a wonder that they allowed him to keep the Cassadine name.  Stavros was dangerous, but even Stavros was a kitten compared to their parents.   

Stefan never stood a chance growing up.  If it’s possible to assign behavior to soap characters, you could imagine that had Stefan’s parents paid more attention to him in his youth, there would be no need to discuss adult Stefan.  He’d have never nade it to adulthood.  

  • Long before Stefan, there was Bobbie Spencer, who curiously enough became Stefan’s wife.  In her youth,  Bobbie hadn’t met a man she didn’t want to control, nor a woman she didn’t want to destroy to have him.   We later learned that Nurse Bobbie’s early  trauma occurred when she was led into prostitution as a young teen by her Aunt Ruby, not long  after her parents died.  She was just another of the working girls  in Aunt Ruby’s house.   Bobbie’s “protector” was her older brother, Luke, who protected her by making sure she was ‘safe’ on her ‘dates’ with older men.  Bobbie was reminded of her sex worker past, frequently, even as she transitioned from good-girl-gone-bad to bad-girl-turned-real-woman.  The most lasting reminder of Bobbie’s difficult time was the arrival of the daughter she conceived while working for Aunt Ruby.    Unfortuntately for Bobbie, daughter Carly came with an eye on vengence.
  • OLTL’s Todd Manning, in his youth, was anger on a stick and a threat to the safety of women everywhere.   The writers should have taken advantage of the fact that in a field of characters with unusual names (Storm, Ridge, Thorne, Destiny) naming this guy “Trouble” instead of Todd would have been more honest.  If there was a thing that Todd didn’t hate, it was only because it hadn’t been invented yet.  It’s hard to feel sorry for a unrepentent rapist and the writers knew it.  Without the need to try to ‘redeem’ him, the writers allowed the audience catch a glimpse of what was left of the humanity of the character.  The idea seemed to be to provide the audience some hope that whatever was left of his humanity was enought to stop him from victimizing others and to begin dealing  with his own pain.  Todd’s pain resulted from frequent beatings by an uncaring father who despised him.  Todd’s father, Peter Manning, was his maternal uncle and adoptive father.  He was forced to raise the child as his own.   We later found out that Todd was also sexually abused in his youth.
  • BnB’s Stephanie Douglas Forrester (who moved from my love-to-hate column to fully despise) was the product of a vicious wealthy father who presented the image of a perfect family to his business colleagues and friends (including fellow industry titan, YnR’s Katherine Chancellor).  What his friends and and colleagues didn’t know is that Mr. Douglas beat his daughter “Stevie” with reckless abandon behind closed doors.   Stephanie’s cruel childhood treatment was reportedly the cause of the cruelty she expressed in adulthood.  It is something that others around her struggle with until this day — clearly Stepahnie doesn’t struggle with her inhumanity toward others.  She revels in it.

You get the common thread, yes?  Years of emotional, physical, verbal, and sexual abuse.  Whether it happens because of a cowardly parent or a craven lover, there is typically a foundation for the abusive, shallow behavior we witness in our fave bad girls and boys.  Use that as a backdrop to try to understand the BnB’s Steffy Forrester.  She’s the heir to a massive fortune, her mother  came BACK from the dead and re-established the family Steffy always wanted. Her mother also gave her 25% of the family company – trusting her to “take care” of her older brother.  Steffywas raised by a father she adores.  She’s never had to go to college and yet was handed cushy executive level positions in the company after spending only a few months in the mailroom.  AND she had a stepmother who raised her and loved her while her mother was believed to have been in the grave (the same stepmother she still adored just a few years, ago, and with whom she’s had no significant conflict).   She’s traveled the world and has reportedly been loved and in love.

To hear this wanker of a character whine day in and day out about how sad she is, how much she needs a man (any man dating or married to a Logan woman), how hard her life is, how she’s been abandoned, maltreated, unloved… it’s all just too much.  Rather than creating feelings that run from exhilaration to exasperation, my feelings for Steffy run from damned bored to seriously annoyed.  Her rapid shifting from begging her daddy (Ridge) to staywith the family and continue to raise her, to begging her ‘big daddy’ (Bill Spencer) to stay with her for the night and make love to her is pathetic, but mostly jarring.  Is she a needy child or a sexually provocative woman?  She can’t be both, or use both “needs” as the foundation for her aggression toward the Logan family.  Her need to destroy the Logan family because her father loves Brooke, is petty.  It’s surreal at best when you consider how much she loved Brooke as a stepmother, until her nological mother’s return.  It’s absurd when you consider the fact that Brooke is the mother of her youngest brother. 

Steffy doesn’t work as a bad girl because there is no “empathy card” to be played for this character.  The character is made up of all hard angles.  It’s even hard to believe that she’s invested in the people she claims to be invested in. She’s now twice turned on her mother for love of  two different men (Rick Forrester and Bill Spencer).  She’s never bothered to share the stock in the family company with her brother.  She doesn’t care if her YOUNGEST brother (still in late childhood) grows up without a father – as long as their father is in the home she no longer lives in as an adult.  She’s been working to destroy her brother’s family since he was a toddler.  She fell to her knees over twin sister Phoebe’s death, but almost immediately fell into bed with the man her family blamed for her sister’s death.  She defended him even after he used her and used her sister’s death to taunt her father… the same father she can’t live without. 

 The fact that anyone (onscreen) finds her intriguing leaves one feeling dumbfounded.  Steffy Marone-Forrester is a character filled with contradictions, and none of them good. 

She is not likable.

She is not rootworthy.

She is not interesting.

My time is quickly becoming wasted by this character.  My sincere hope is that the writers are planning to give the character depth or to send her packing.  I will accept either, but what I can’t accept is Steffy in her current incarnation.   At some point the writers will  become bored with this character as she is.  I’m looking forward to THAT day.