Is it just me or has B&B lost a lot of its UMPHF...that intangible thing that made us all tune in day after day and scour the Boards to express our glee or displeasure. It's not there, not there at all. I have been writing this column now for nearly two years and this is the first week I have had little enthusiasm to fire up the laptop. What is it? Why is the show desperately in need of Dr. Mark's lifesaving techniques? Maybe two days of US Open pre-emption wasn't such a bad thing, huh?
First, our beleaguered heroine Brooke has taken a back burner role that offers no excitement, no intrigue, and let's be honest here...no hot romance. I'm sorry but the forced soft porn scenes between her and Redwood Ridge are just OLD. We have been there and done that. She's not involved in any business dealings and she's not even raising her kids. Brooke was never meant to be a domestic goddess or for that matter, a trophy wife. I have taken issue with plenty that her character has done over the years but I think I would rather have her back true to form than as the Ridge Forrester robot she is now.
SORAS has also made the show tiresome. Now EVERYONE is aging rapidly so we can fill holes in the cast and storylines. It's a pretty weak tool that I believe is costing viewers more than it's attracting them. First Thomas was 16, now this week he turned 18? Caitlin...same thing. One minute the virginal 16 year old and now on the brink of adulthood all in the span of a few weeks. What gives it all way of ludicrous is that none of the other characters are aging nor are the other kids. Little E/D should be 15 now as should the Twins. Hope than would be about 10 and Alexandria would be clocking in at around 3 or so. When you have to use this cheap trick to save the tempo of the show, maybe it's time to get a new writing staff.
Felicia's back and has cancer. Now magically she is in remission and may be off the show (or recast). Ok. First we bring on Oz to woo Bridget and start a love triangle with Deacon....then that is cut short. Oz gone, Bridget gone. The Nick-Brooke-Ridge story came to an end but it seemed unnatural and forced, like no one quite knew what to do next. This teen romance saga has been rushed with respect to Rick and Caitlin...now everything is ok with Daddy and they can date with no sex. Ok. Sam and Hector's interesting storyline was rolling well but then stopped and found an 'add water, instant resolution' ending. If the writers aren't careful, they could be guilty of turning us all into manic-depressives. Too many loose ends and not enough meaty stories.
Another cheap trick to shackle the viewers a little longer than they should be to a story is using all these sleazy Jerry Springer slants. First we have Ridge kissing Bridget. Then more Brooke babies...one with her son-in-law and then one where she again isn't sure who the father is. Now Deacon is making time with a much older married woman (out of nowhere). In the show's efforts to attract the summer out-of-school teen audience, we now have two teenage characters involved with adults in relationships that just don't seem too healthy. I can just say this...I watch the last half hour of Y&R everyday before B&B and I have never felt they brought their level of storytelling down to the same level as I see on B&B. There's controversy but it just seems easier to watch and more believable.
The Milk Carton Gang is another thing I don't understand. All the missing characters that we may see literally once in a blue moon. Mark, CJ, Clarke, Sally (though we will be seeing her more now I hope!), Kristen, Little E/D, etc. I realize it's only a half hour show, but let's have some variety. There are so many characters that would liven up the canvas but yet seem destined to be stuck in a soap black hole.
I know it seems like nothing about this show makes me happy but that's not necessarily true. I like Nick and his character and it's good to have Felicia back to remind Stephanie what a rotten mother she's been. I really like the Thorne/Darla pairing (though I did not like it before) and think this latest brother vs. brother war will be a much needed spark. But beyond that, I guess I don't see much else to be that pumped up about. Please, please, please writers...make us WANT to set our VCR's everyday!!! Mine is gathering dust and I'm forgetting how to use it altogether.
I have even noticed something else in recent weeks...the number of messages posted on the message boards is crawling at a snails pace. I've lurked the Brick board, the Bridge board and the so-called neutral boards and I am shocked at the lack of postings. No postings mean NO INTEREST. There's nothing to fight about, nothing to cause us all to put our flea collars on and fight it out on the Net. Even my inbox has been eerily quiet with only about half the emails I usually get. My message to my readers is to let me know what you think. What is happening to this show? Am I wrong? Let me know your thoughts!
Who's On the Soapbox
Suzanne writes... "You have this thing going on about Rick and Caitlin being ok but Amber and Thomas not being ok is driving me nuts...." Well, as I have said before, I just see the much older Amber sleeping with Thomas as disgusting and sadly true to form with her past behavior. It seems a desperate attempt to get more viewers and as far as Rick and Caitlin, I think they are closer in age and therefore not AS weird as the other two. But I do agree with you on this, neither coupling is very good at all.
Marie writes... ""Wouldn't it be a hoot if Thorne is the biological father of Hope?" I agree, that would be a HUGE twist that no one would expect and would cause all kinds of problems for everyone. It would touch Darla, all the Forresters, Deacon, Nick, etc. and would be a great way to get some viewer interest back. Great thought, Marie!
Until next week, stay in touch with your thoughts...it's the best part of my week when I hear from everybody!