Thanks to the NCAA Tournament, we only had three days of B&B and three days too much of the Ridge amnesia story. Really, not much else happened. Brooke felt bad all week that she couldn't find her beloved and Nick seethed at his absence for Hope's recital. Morgan has Ridge in her clutches and her Mom checking out his boo-boo but gets the bad news that his memory could come back at any time. And as if Sally hasn't had enough looney tunes on her payroll, she now wants to hire Morgan as a designer to replace the recently booted Amber. That's it. That's the whole three days. And people wonder why there is a weekly droop in the ratings.
I put the question out there last week as to whether this show could survive without Ridge and what would happen if he weren't cannibalizing the storyline week after week. I'll get into the answers in a minute but found it strangely curious that of all the responses, not ONE said the show could not survive without him. I never even heard from my legions of Scoops-bashers that think I am evil for ever saying anything bad about Ridge. I guess they don't read the column anymore. But not one Ridge supporter...speaks volumes, doesn't it?
Out of 34 emails I received last week, all 34 said the show would be better off without Ridge. However, it wasn't a huge bash-fest as many would assume. It seemed that common thread throughout all the responses was that the producer and writes have made him such a focal point of the show that many other good characters and storylines get overshadowed or many times just plain axed to give his character more screen time. Think about all the good actors and actresses that have come and gone...and Ridge/Ronn Moss is still here? I'm sorry but I just don't get it either. I have watched soaps for most of my life and while I understand the one or two time-tested characters that anchor the show can be beneficial, why the obsession with THIS particular character? Y&R would suffer, in my opinion, without Victor Newman and ATWT wouldn't be the same without Lisa or Bob Hughes. I truly believe B&B could find a newfound excitement and viewer-ship without Ridge on the payroll.
I will even go out on a limb and say that the show would suffer more if Brooke left than Ridge. Really. I said it. I have seen, in the last 2 years especially, more positive dimensions to her character than I have in years prior. Of course, that was when she was hanging out with Nick, but still! Brooke is tied to so many characters and in the eyes of her devoted fans, she is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks that has 'made good'. Ridge, by contrast, has been a spoiled and self-righteous pig from day one. A user and lousy husband, as well as ungrateful son who would stop at nothing to pump up his own ego. Really...where are his endearing qualities? What good thing has he ever done JUST for the good of it? I can't come up with much. The closest thing I think of is (and this is a stretch) when he was willing to take the fall for Grant's murder so that young Rick wouldn't be sent to the Big House.
Thorne could become the lead male on the show with Nick not far behind. Sam could stick around and either make things work with Hector or have another male actor come on to sweep her off her feet and allow her talents to flourish. Brooke could find a real relationship and comfortably settle into her role as Stephanie's successor. Maybe Ridge's absence could allow the Logan's to come back into the fold and round out the family structure on the show the way it was in the beginning. Oz could come back and get the Marone's off life-support. Taylor's children could be the new generation of young characters and help attract a new audience to sustain the ratings for the future. What's the bottom line, you ask, I don't know. I am not a Hollywood writer and have never professed to be one, but I have to believe that for those of us who have watched from the beginning, there has to be better days at SOME point. I love spending my lunch hour watching the last half-hour of Y&R and B&B, but I have to admit, I have thought of taking my lunch earlier to catch ALL of Y&R instead. There are so many different directions that could be taken to make this show engaging but having a character like Ridge squeeze the life out of every story is getting old. Brad, if you read this column (probably not), please consider putting Ridge on the backburner for a while...you may be surprised at what happens to your ratings. I think there are more of us who are sick of him than there are those who feel the show would fold without him.
This week's question...what male character should assume the mantle of 'lead' male? Should it be an established character or someone new?
As I close my condensed Scoops for the week, I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter and may all your baskets be overflowing with dyed eggs and hollow bunnies...have a safe holiday everyone!
Who's on the Soapbox?
Leanne writes... '...I don't know how the show would be without Ridge, but I o know that I would start watching it again if he AND Brooke were gone.'
Talia writes... ...(Morgan's mom) maybe I should make an appointment with her first so she can tell my why I still watch the show sometimes...still fast forwarding here in Brooklyn.'
Until next week, stay in touch with your thoughts...it's the best part of my week when I hear from everybody!