So when I ‘m wrong, I’m wrong

BnB KaRi Valentine4#boldandbeautiful writers have been throwing curve balls, daily, and I am loving it!  For the first time in many years, I just don’t have anything bad to say about the show.  Not only that?  I can’t wait for each new episode.  Yes, yes, I was wrong.  Not only did Liam NOT try to shame Katie, he stood by her and encouraged her to find her happiness wherever she could.  He reminded her that her behavior with Ridge is no way similar to that of Brooke and his father, Bill.

Several blogs ago I lamented the lack of insight soap characters have regarding their own behavior.  Katie has to be the most introspective character the show has offered in ages!  She realizes that it’s possible that her feelings for Ridge, and his for her, are built on a fear of being alone, wishing to be with someone you can trust, and that crossing the line based on the fantasy of having a happy life isn’t worth the pain and misery she could potentially subject others to.  Say what, now?  Imagine that!  Rather than an instant love story, we have a woman who is making GOOD choices for herself and others.  There is Liam, standing at her side trying to make sure that his former stepmother/friend doesn’t allow herself to lose out on life.  When I’m wrong, I’m wrong!  Liam does have a soul.

Bravo, Liam and Bravo Katie!  If/When Ridge and Katie are finally together, and I believe they will be, it will not be because they cared only for themselves – everyone else be damned.  They will go into a relationship with clean hands!

Carter / Maya / Oliver

My guess is that if you took a black light to the Forrester Steam room, you wouldn’t even touch the handle!  The only safe spaces are the spaces OUTSIDE that spa.  That  steam room is busier than a brothel during convention season!  What was once the workplace playground for Brooke and Ridge, is now used by almost every FC employee and their mother… literally!  Is the steam room used on a schedule?  Can you bolt it from the inside to keep others out?  How do FC employees stop from running into each other?  How is it possible that there has not been a storyline about some random FC employee secretly taping and selling at least one workplace romp as a sex tape? I am amazed.

BnB LiamThat said, the closest Carter and Maya have come to being a real couple was in the steam room!  I’m already feeling sorry for Carter.  He has always seemed like the “Rick Rebound” to me, even more so after Maya made plans to tell Rick how she felt about him – until she found out he proposed to Caroline.  Now she’s daydreaming about Oliver.  WHAT & THE?  What does a good man have to do to get a little respect? Carter has been an absolute gentleman in his treatment of Maya.  Has she not been paying attention to the sordid affairs of those around her?  She has landed one damned fine man and unless the writers have a few more curve balls to throw, she’s going to lose him.  I don’t understand how Maya could find herself torn between Carter and Oliver.  They have been friends, yes, worked in the studio together, yes, but Oliver and Maya have lived lives so separate that I’m surprised they even consider themselves workplace friends.

Ah, but the heart wants what it wants.  Both Carter and Oliver are good men, so Maya is potentially on the winning side no matter which she chooses, I guess.

I’m a “wait and see” on this one.  Maybe KM’s Maya can convince me that she and ZC’s Oliver are star-crossed lovers who have been hiding in plain sight from one another until now, but how sad will that be?  Carter will have given his all and only to be dumped by a woman he was prepared to worship.

Life in the BnB Big City is hard!

May-December

I’m telling you, dear readers, I smell a May-December romance brewing.  I think it could be any of the following:

Liam and Quinn

Liam and Katie (once Katie is happy with Ridge)

Eric and Quinn (and I see this as the least likely)

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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.

Leave the Light On!

Love. Drama. Trauma. Marriage. Domestic Violence. Divorce. Death. Birth. Coming of age. Coming Out. Adultery. Commitment. Deception. Lies. Truth. Alcoholism. Drug Use. Mental Illness. Recovery. Religion. Acceptance. Forgiveness. Compassion. Passion.

From the safety and comfort of our homes, Daytime Television has been as instrumental in allowing viewers to explore the above topics, and many more, as any other genre. Sometimes with keen accuracy, other times with an eye on entertainment more than education. We’ve learned from, laughed at, and sometimes recoiled in horror because of, the actions of our favorite daytime characters. We’ve done so for 72 years with The Guiding Light, first on radio, and then for more than fifty years on television. Despite whatever it is CBS’ top brass thinks GL’s current ratings tell them about the show, I think they’re wrong. This is a show that’s finally hit its stride. It’s learned to connect with the audience in a way it hasn’t years. Now is not the time to walk away from this great and historic show.

This obviously isn’t another blog about HOW GL should end. This is a blog about WHY GL should be allowed to continue on and why CBS Daytime Execs should be fighting for this show. The writers have finally reached a winning formula:

1 – Reconnecting with romance. Sadly, daytime television worked a bit too hard at turning itself into a caricature; giving its critics too much of what they thought the genre was about in the first place- indiscriminate sex and hyped melodrama, and too little of what daytime really is (Click here to read more from Patrick Erwin’s blog for surprising reactions to GL’s cancellation). Just as long term fans are reconnecting with GL, the writers have had long term characters reconnect with one another. Longtime sweethearts, lovers, and friends, Phillip and Beth Spaulding are rebuilding their lives and their love one moment at a time. I loved Phillip asking Beth if she was always as funny as she is now. I loved Beth telling Phillip that Lillian (her mother) wasn’t the only one who still loved him, she did too. I love that they are as shy and cautious now as they were when they were teens falling in love for the first time.

The writers also gave us Reva in quite an unexpected predicament, protecting her newborn child from Edmund Winslow. She did exactly what long term fans would expect her to do, she turned to Josh for help. He has always been someone she could rely on — if you allow yourself to forget and forgive the dreaded Cassie years. Why is it all scenes between Reva and Josh creates warm fuzzies for me? Between Reva and Josh’s and Beth and Phillip’s reconnection, adding Remy and Christina, Olivia and Natalia, and Bill and Lizzie, what’s not to love about GL? Now all the writers need to do is need to do is rebuild the Bauer and Lewis clans as they’re begun doing with the Spaulding clan.

2 – The ultimate good guy returns. Otalia turned out to be an unexpectedly great storyline for Frank Dicopoulos! From the moment “Frank Cooper” gave his big speech to Buzz about how everyone gets to find happiness but him, to the moment he consoled Nat for leaving him at the altar, this guy has been on a ROLL and THE ROLE (the role of a lifetime). I think, and I’m not sure I’m ready to admit to this, that I teared up a bit as Frank gave his big speech:

Frank: What’s, what’s going on with you? You seem a little tense. Oh, my God! You lost the rings, didn’t you?

Buzz: No, Frank. It’s Natalia.

Frank: What about her?

Buzz: A tux? She’s a simple person. Simple tastes. A tux. She’d want a tux. You should know better.

Frank: Excuse me. If you have something to say, say it.

Buzz: Frank, how much do you love this woman?

Frank: What kind of question is that? I love her with all of my heart.

Buzz: Do you love her enough to let her go?

Frank: Are you serious? Why would I ever give up on Natalia?

Buzz: Frank, I think Natalia is fantastic. I think you’re a fantastic, believe me, a fantastic couple, but she is a woman that likes to please other people, do things for them. And I think maybe she wants to be the perfect woman for you, to be… have the perfect family that Rafe needs, you as a father…

Frank: Okay, okay, hold on one second. I want those things, too.

Buzz: I just… I think you’re rushing into this.

Frank: Why are you doing this? Don’t you think that this family is entitled to have something good happen to it for a change?

Buzz: Are you sure you’re marrying her… she’s marrying you for the right reasons, you know?

Frank: She loves me.

Buzz: Well, maybe she thinks it’s because she owes you, Frank.

Frank: What are you saying? That no woman could love me for me just being me? Is that what you’re saying?

Buzz: Oh, Frank, I never said that.

Frank: No, no. You don’t have to. You believed Coop could find love, didn’t you?

Buzz: That’s different.

Frank: And what about Harley? Harley, meeting a guy every few years, whatever, you danced at all of her weddings.

Buzz: Oh, come on, please.

Frank: And Marina, Marina, my God, my own daughter, she dated her way right through the most-wanted list until she met Mallet. And you. You found Lillian, and then you screwed that up. But I guess– no, no, no I guess you guys can have all of that, right?

Buzz: Frank, you’re twisting my words now.

Frank: No, I’m not twisting your words. Frank Cooper, I guess Frank Cooper is just going to be a cop who is never going to have a partner for the rest of his life, is he? He’s the guy who is a third wheel at a couples’ table. Right? A guy who’s never busy on Valentine’s Day.

Buzz: Frank.

Frank: He’s that guy, isn’t he, Pop?

Buzz: Frank, Frank, I want you to have the love you deserve.

Frank: Well, I found it, Pop! And I love her. And guess what I’m going to do? I’m going to go to the church, and I’m going to put on this tuxedo right here, and I’m going to get my shot, my shot at true love.

Buzz: Frank, wait.

Frank: That’s what I’m going to do.

Buzz: Frank, wait. Wait. Frank, wait. Look! All right? What kind of woman doesn’t want to see her wedding rings? She didn’t want to see the wedding rings.

Frank: You just couldn’t be happy for me?

I wish the writers hadn’t let it go as far as they did, but reflecting on Frank’s scenes from this past week it may be the case that the storyline had to play out the way it has. Frank stood clueless before Natalia and Olivia and my heart broke for him! He wanted nothing more than to reassure Natalia that he was there for her, to help her get through whatever help she needed. Clearly he had no idea that he didn’t really stand a chance in working things out with her.

The best triangles are those where there are NO bad guys – and this one is it! Buzz warned Frankie that Natalia was a woman with a huge heart who spent her time trying to please other people. That’s what we’ve seen from her since she arrived in Springfield – that though it hurt her to be with Gus, especially since he was married and continued walking away from her after their trysts, she gave herself to him any way. She did it because it made HIM happy, but it left her feeling ashamed and alone after. Rather than defining herself based on the men in her life, Natalia is learning who SHE is, what SHE wants. Though I believe she loves Frank, in a strictly platonic way, and that she wants to see him happy – Natalia can’t marry Frank. She loves someone else. She can’t help that.

Triangles in the past have been obvious and predictable. Not so with the Frank/Otalia storyline. Job well done, writers!

3. A greater appreciation for the importance of good casting! This is no small task folks. The casting director who landed Zack Conroy for the role of James Spaulding deserves an extra paycheck! He’s so perfect for this role that I’d forgotten that he was cast as the drug-dropping Leo on As The World Turns. For such a young actor, Conroy does a great job of doing what it takes to fill the screen and make his character an already larger-than-life soul. Conroy gives James a gritty realness. I easily buy him as the pampered scion of a billionaire family.

His morals are as free and easy as that of ‘granddad’ Alan, but he has Phillip’s wit and Beth’s compassion. Brilliant, just brilliant. The writers have struck the perfect tone with the character, and Conroy has done a surprisingly masterful job with the rest of it.

A return to romance, a new focus on long loved core families, great casting, and wonderfully consistent storylines. It just doesn’t feel possible, to me, that this show is over. I was reading comments posted at the NYTimes Arts blog regarding GL’s ‘demise’ when this letter caught and held my attention:

I have the wooden-case radio that sat atop the refrigerator in my grandmother’s kitchen, where I listened with her to “The Guiding Light,” “Stella Dallas,” and many more. When I was older I’d watch with my mom in the summer, when school was out. Another generational link is going.

It may sound silly that anyone cares about a daytime show going off the air, but it’s more than the show. It’s the show, our memories, another lost (generational link) and cultural tie, It’s yet another piece of original American history that’s been commodified, sold off, and left to become part of our ‘past’. Well, not if this soap fan can help it! I’d like to see the Guiding Light continue on. If reports of GL potentially finding a home with the Lifetime Network are true, YES! I’m thrilled beyond measure. If not, please help use the links below and join GL fans in working to get CBS Network Execs to ‘Leave the Light On’: Save the Guiding Light

Keep our Light On