Memory is a wonderful thing, isn't it? It serves as the framework of our thoughts and experiences and can teach us many things. Some people have long and detailed memories that allow them to catalogue a lifetime of events and feelings. Others, though, have somewhat failing memories and in certain cases, memories they could not possibly have at all. These same memory-impaired people can simply have selective memories that focus on what they WANT to remember. Hmmm...now isn't that an interesting concept? Who could have such a terrible affliction?
In the spirit of revisionist history and 're-writing' the past to suit their own twisted means, Ridge has mysteriously chosen only one or two memories from his past to use as battering rams on his favorite half-brother Nick. As we were given our quickie amnesia lesson from Bridget last week, we learned that when the memories come flooding back, every memory can seem to the brain that it JUST happened. This apparently has caused Ridge to focus on the one event in B&B history that I believe has polarized the Pro-Nick and Pro-Ridge camps forever...the infamous Furnace Boink (as it's know on the Boards). Come with me as we step back in time and see how reality was presented (or not) to us then.
After Brooke realized that she had lost Ridge forever in the fiery Third World country steel furnace, she fell on bended knee and began to sob uncontrollably. Desperate and feeling that life was not worth living, she moved towards the fires of woe as if to sacrifice herself to join the Wooden One in the hereafter. Alas! Here comes our beleaguered sea captain to save her from certain doom and to remind her she must go on living. In a moment of weakness and desperation on BOTH their parts, they kiss and as the camera cuts away, we are given the IMPRESSION that they had sex. Now, we never saw how it got to that point or what the reactions were of EITHER party to actually doing the deed. We just know they did it. That's all.
When we saw them (Brooke and Nick) afterwards conversing in the hotel room, Brooke showed no signs of bruising or psychological trauma at he very sight of Nick and certainly had NO problem talking with him and establishing a skeletal framework of a relationship in the following months when she thought she was carrying his baby. So, facts are facts and I never saw Brooke act or even allude to their sex act as anything but two consenting adults doing it. The word 'rape' was never used and she was never fearful of him at ANY point. I mean, come on people...she was only minutes from marrying him. Brooke might be many things, but I have never pegged her as being that stupid to marry someone she thought had 'raped' her. She was pregnant with Deacon's child as a once willing participant in LOTS of sex with him and never even seriously considered marrying him! Think about it.
Now, we have Ridge confronting Nick with his shopping cart of 'fresh' memories and the one he is most fixated on is the Furnace Boink HE NEVER SAW~HE WAS 'DEAD'!!!!!! How could he have had those cheesy flashbacks to incense him so much? For that matter, NONE of us saw it, either! In the few years since that happened and the WTD story to follow, Brooke never made anyone believe she was violated. Even last week, I was so proud of her that even SHE thought Ridge was nuts. I was waiting eagerly to see her reaction and was glad to see she did not engage in any amnesia of her own. She knows she did it and no one held a gun to her head. Ridge is truly delusional. Honestly, both of them screwed up. How sad to have sex with someone who is mourning the fresh loss of someone that was their whole life's obsession? Nick couldn't possibly have thought that she was picturing HIM while they were doing it? She was probably thinking of Ridge...so in my opinion (which isn't worth squat to the pro-Bridge set) they were both wrong. But it happened and instead of blaming Nick, how about we just put the blame where it belongs? Brad Bell.
So, let me get this straight...now Nick is a rapist that should be kept away from he Forrester's at all costs? The same Nick Payne-Marone that saved Bridget? The same Nick Payne-Marone that graciously stepped aside when he realized RJ wasn't his and did not do the standard 'soap opera alpha male' nonsense to keep a hold on Brooke? That Nick? Yep, that's him. I have a question....at what point exactly did his character become the scapegoat for all that is not right in Ridge's world? The writers are setting Nick up as the villain in nearly every storyline and no matter what he does, he pays consequences that Ridge has never paid since day one. Let's be candid folks, Ridge's resume is a lengthy one filled with deceptions, infidelity, and arrogance aimed at everyone that has every crossed his path. Has everyone forgotten the Morgan-engineered email boink that Taylor had to deal with? If Nick intended to 'rape' Brooke at the foundry, then maybe Ridge intended to sleep with Morgan all along and used the lame email scenario as the excuse? See how ridiculous these things can get?
Nick is a great character (oh my, did I just say a 'positive' thing?) and I believe the show is better for him being involved with the stories. But if his whole existence on the show is to do nothing more than make Ridge's character seem better in the eyes of the pro-Bridge masses, then I say start looking for a new show Jack! It's a real shame that when a relatively new show gets a chance to revitalize the stories with fresh and talented actors, the powers that be become intent on placating the wishes of one segment of fans whose desire to see one couple together no matter what cost to the overall quality of the show. I don't agree with the foundry shenanigans and I hated the WTD storyline and yes, I am unapologetically a fan of the obvious chemistry between Brooke and Nick. However, to constantly do an about-face every time there is the impression that Ridge has some character flaws or that his behavior may be suspect and crucifying Nick each time is getting old.
Ridge's character has degenerated over the last few years since Taylor's death. That's a fact. It wasn't nearly this bad before but now we have what we have. I feel good about the changes in Brooke and her renewed focus on her kids and playing Mommy. She seems to going in the right direction and that's a very good thing for viewers. Some have said she is becoming Taybrooke as though she were mirroring Taylor's behaviors. Well, compared to the Brooke we have seen in years past, would that be such a bad thing? I know Taylor had her faults as well but was she really THAT bad? No, Brooke seems to be doing fine. Her husband is the one with the problems and it's NOT Nick's fault.
All this brings me to my next point. With the rearing of the ugly head of a Brooke-Ridge-Nick walk down memory lane (forgive the pun), I found a sprinkling of nasty emails pop up in my Inbox. After all this time I think I have figured out what the REAL problem is. It's not my 'negativity' about the show, as I have said MANY positive things about the show as well. I save all my columns, so don't tell me otherwise. What this really boils down to is this: if I am not FOR Brooke and Ridge, I'm 'opinionated, negative, and should stop writing the column' because they are the end-all be-all of B&B. That's it. If I wrote a pro-Bridge column every week singing Ridge's praises and claiming that Nick is a rapist and is to blame for all bad things going on in LA, then I would never have any hate-email. Now, as luck would have it, my detractors are in the minority and I DO have hundreds of great readers who compliment me when they think I deserve it and respectfully disagree when they feel I have missed the mark on something. But these folks do not get personal and they do not slam my right to an opinion. One email in particular suggested that I stop writing so someone else who loves the show (I suppose ALL the time) can write it. Funny, I wonder if anyone calls for Meg's head on a platter when she writes a negative piece on Ridge and his nonsense?
Bottom line...I feel good about the potential of some of the things the show has done lately. I agree Sam was underused and that the Amber-Thomas thing was perverse at best. It needed to stop. I like Thomas with Caitlin and the Gaby twist may help with the teen audience a bit with the summer coming. I LOVE Thorne and Darla and wished I saw more of them. I wish CJ would come back on to the canvas and think that the scenes with Stephanie and Brooke are some of the best on daytime tv. I could go on and on. So don't tell me that I never say anything nice about the show...but don't expect me to say anything nice about Ridge's character while he is being written this way. I don't like Brooke when she is WITH Ridge and wish she had a healthier relationship to be a part of that didn't result in her crying every week and feeling insecure. No one writing a column like this will like EVERYTHING about the show all the time. It's just not realistic. Now some may say 'don't let the few bad apples spoil it for the bunch', and believe me, if anything it has made me more determined to keep plugging away for as long as the Scoops faithful will have me. I have a fantastic group of core readers who I heard from since the beginning and I love the insight I receive from them that are sometimes better than my own. They are smart readers and always fair. They make the effort I put into this worth it every week and I thank them. To everyone else I say...can't we all just get along? After all, why be so negative?
Last week's deeply intellectual query centered around what the surprise may be waiting for Nick and Bridget before their certainly cursed nuptials. The emails were about 50-50 between Bridget hearing something that makes her believe Nick is still in love with Brooke and that a bombshell may be dropped about Bridget's paternity. If she is Ridge's daughter instead of Eric's, we have a serious 'ICK' factor as she would have been making out with her Daddy and screwing her uncle. YUCK!!!!! Too nasty to even have fleeting across my mind! So, maybe it will be something from Nick's past that haunts him at the altar instead? Some have speculated a pregnant and recast Felicia. I think it will just be another aborted ceremony due to her feeling that Nick loves Brooke (sounds familiar?). I'm telling you, if that's the case, then the Xerox machine in the writer's office should get on the payroll immediately! Brad, my email address is at the end of this column and I have never been to California.
This week's question is a simple one. What are the positive things about B&B? You tell me, readers. Whether your are a Bridgie or a Bricky, a Nicket or a Tharla, let me hear from you. Who's on the Soapbox?
Macarena writes... '...I liked the show when Brooke was trying to keep a Forrester man but even when she was with Deacon because he wasn't a Forrester.'
Jessica writes... ...since Bell likes to recycle the stories I am willing to bet my last $100 that Bridget is going to back out at the altar.'
Until next week, stay in touch with your thoughts...it's the best part of my week when I hear from everybody!