Each week I use this column as a vehicle to dissect and over analyze in my usual sarcastic fashion the events of the week. This week, though, a nagging question surfaced...what happened to Ridge? The shift has been so dramatic, so severe and likens a comparison to Jekyll and Hyde when you really think about it.
In the beginning, we were introduced to Ridge as the eldest son of the powerful fashion family with all the slick, oily charm of a used car salesman. He was young (though in real life almost 40 I think), chiseled, and as big a male slut as you can get. Sure, he was committed to the near-virginal Caroline Spencer, but as soon as Brooke Logan came out with her first tray of mini-quiches, the little head was ruling the big one. You knew even then that she would be the bane of the Forrester's existence. Still, Ridge was less confrontational and just showed a more quiet cool about him. Something sleazy lurked below the surface but it was still muted enough that we weren't throwing things at the TV quite yet.
With the advent of the Nineties came grunge, the Clintons, and the Joan of Arc of daytime TV that stole Ridge's heart...Taylor Hayes. She was dignified, smart, and not prone to the same X-Rated behavior that Brooke was when it came to Ridge. She seemed a cut above and eventually snagged Ridge while a distraught Brooke looked on from the back of the church. Ridge, however, seemed to make a nice transformation from playboy to doe-eyed hubby that wanted to be a god husband and family man. His actions at Forrester seemed tame and more business like. Few collisions and even fewer tantrums. Ok, was Taylor a little TOO perfect...yeah, I suppose so. She soon succumbed to the office nooners a la Brooke and was always trying to save everyone, most notably poor Amber. Was that her undoing? I disagree...she's not dead because of Amber, she's dead because she just couldn't stay out of everybody's business and was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Apparently, so was her satisfaction with Baby Bell. Bottom line...a kinder, gentler Ridge. Still annoying and gravel voiced but bearable.
As Taylor met her demise (again...) for the last time, Ridge became a shell of his former self. He was lost, sad and a little too horny. He started kissing on his former sister, Bridget and to listen to the Ridge fans we were supposed to just see this as desperate grieving on his part. Though it was discovered that they weren't related, it was still a character killer in the eyes of many fans. He cared about little else than adopting the bad 70's mullet and wearing more jewelry than Liberace. He became a caricature of his former self and a truly lost soul. His paternity revelation watered down his attitude to the point that we saw him whining and moping more than anything else. Even as Brooke moved in for the kill while Taylor's side of he bed was still warm, he still seemed off but at least much more humble.
So what was the x-factor that has transformed him into the jerk he is today? Some may say it's Brooke's influence, that somehow his knowing he finally has her in spite of Mommy's wishes. I don't think so. I think his character's dramatic shift has more to do with Nick than anything else. The one thing that is becoming evident in how the character is being written is that he can't stand competition. None. Not from other men when it came to women and not from anyone in his family. When Nick's paternity was revealed, Ridge became more indignant and paranoid. He hated working with him at Marone probably due to him knowing he was a fish out of water compared to Nick's experience in the field. Then add to that the attraction between Nick and Brooke (that was very apparent) while Ridge was trying to woo her back and you have the appearance of Hyde in all his glory. The WTD story festered for so long that it made Ridge look like an hysterical woman most of the time and for he first time he couldn't even live up to his horndog reputation while Brooke was pregnant. Gee, that was a shock, huh?
Now enter a new and improved Thorne. He's been pushed around, forgotten about, and finally has some cajones thanks to a woman that really supports him. Ridge has turned his back on the Marone family, thrown away the pimp ring, and bulldozes his way back to Forrester. He's become petulant, arrogant, and assuming. He could care less about anyone's feelings and barely even pays attention to his own hormonally challenged son while he's boinking Amber. He spews all kinds of insults to Thorne and most recently Felicia while they try their hand at doing their own thing in the fashion world. When did God die and leave Ridge in charge? Who is he anyway? Why are the powers-that-be skewering his character to this extent? Don't get me wrong...I have never liked his character much at all and I have been watching since the beginning. But unlike years ago, this is just awful to watch. My vote? Axe him. This show doesn't need him. His time as gone by and I think that it would be a breath of fresh air to have a new male as the focal point of the show. I'm sure you avid readers can guess who I think would fit that bill nicely. The bottom line...you can be strong and charasmatic without being a doormat or a jerk.
Last week...Deacon is making his move on a drugged Jackie, Amber and Thomas realize Daddy can't keep them apart, and Thorne is ready to move against the Forrester's the right way. All good, all much more engaging to watch. Go Thorne! It's great to see him standing up to Ridge and pointing out the obvious. Ridge can't stand not having anyone around to kiss his butt and there is definitely a shortage of willing lips at Forrester.
Who's on the Soapbox?
Abihim writes... "Where is Little D anyways? Who's taking care of him?" Good question. Maybe he is raising himself like the Stepford Twins and little Hopeless are. Maybe Kathrine is raising them in between classes. I still say Little D/E should be SORAS-ed and hook-up with one of the twins.
Paulette writes... "Amber....I like sex but she makes me want to be celibate." Who-hoo! Her soft porn scenes with Thomas are nauseating at best. I'm all for the daily escape from the real world but watching a 30-something woman having 'Graduate' sex is just too much. Maybe some feel that the relationship is sooo great and he's soooo wonderful...it leaves me being paranoid of any babysitter I may have for my son. Those video cameras are on order, by the way.
Until next week, stay in touch with your thoughts...it's the best part of my week when I hear from everybody!