I have watched this show since the beginning and have enjoyed so many different characters and stories throughout the years. Hot romance, business intrigue, and family betrayals really make a good and long-lasting soap. But it's the characters that really drive the ratings (I believe) and command years and years of viewer loyalty. As I was thinking of what to rant about this week, I began to wonder what has happened to all the strong-willed and intelligent women that used to occupy the canvas of B&B. There used to be a day when I think it would have been fair to say that the guys AND girls were evenly matched but I think the pendulum has swung the other way. Ahh, desperate and no self-esteem…just the way Brad likes them!
It only seems fitting that I start with Brooke (imagine that). Ok, she finally gets to confess her love for the man of her dreams only to have the man of her nightmares sexually assault only to then forgive him his trespasses and sweep it under the rug. It makes no sense to me and quite honestly the old Brooke would likely not have been so quick to forgive in my opinion. She may have slept around but she never struck me as the type to just turn a blind eye to what happened. So now she has the Forrester ownership and even the dreaded 2% to tip the scales in her favor but does she play it smart and keep tight-lipped about it to see how Stephanie treats her in the short term? No, she shows her hand and now she'll never know what may have happened. When did Brooke become so slow anyway? When did she become so gullible when it comes to Stephanie? It's like her crap-detector was unplugged or something during all the sappy 'I want you to be a part of the family' speeches that Stephanie rattled off. And how big are the blinders she has on when it comes to Ridge and his obvious manipulations when it comes to all this 'You are my muuuuse' nonsense he goes on with claiming he can't draw dresses without her? He sleazes around her talking about their 'chemistry' and looking at her with all the love of a serial killer. He is just plain creepy these days!!! She can't see ANYTHING that man is doing. She sure saw Stephen's motives sure enough while booting him out the door on Friday! But that is about the only glimmer of sense and conviction I have seen in a while. She is even vacillating about Ridge a little too much for my taste. Oh, she 'says' Nick should not be worried about her working with Ridge, but with the soon-to-be infamous runway kiss on the horizon and her allegedly doing little about it, it kinds leaves everyone scratching their heads a little. I know I am.
Stephanie has lost her marbles, period. Just a few months ago she was dancing a jig down Rodeo Drive at the thought of having the company all to herself and never dealing with Brooke again. Now she signed half the company over FOR WHAT? Because Sonny-Boy was having heart trouble? The old Stephanie would never have done that. She would have raced her son to the Pearly Gates before she gave Brooke a thing. She has all but forgotten her daughter whom she brought back from the clutches of death and ignores everyone else in her family except Ridge. Not like that is SO different from the past but now it's gone so far overboard that it's laughable. She hangs on to Eric for God-know-what reason. She knew he proposed to Jackie yet she ignores that and keeps him around anyway. The old Stephanie may well have told him to 'beat it' by now. She used to be my favorite character to watch back in the day but now it seems that she has become so unpredictable and out of touch that I wonder how much longer an actress of her caliber will want to play her. You can keep all the insulin-spiking sweetness she went on with and give me more of the letter-opener throwing Forrester matriarch! Now THAT was Stephanie!!! Maybe we will see more of that in the weeks to come.
I was also a fan of Taylor's for years as well. I liked that she was so full of integrity and honesty (yes, I know…it was all a cleverly disguised ruse and she is just as flawed as everyone else on this show). She seemed to be such a good fit with Ridge and they were a much more likeable couple to me than Ridge and Brooke. Taylor was a good mom and seemed to be more in tune with them than her idiot husband was. She kept coming back from the dead and something HAS to be said for that, right? There was just something cool about her being a constant foil for Brooke. Great soap catfights are worth their weight in gold, I say. But after these last few months I have begun to think she has also slipped into the mire of desperate and unbalance women that have invaded our beloved show. Let's see…we have seen her drink and drive, we have seen her be a willing participant in Ridge's One Night Wife Tryouts, and most recently have 'what the hell?' sex with Stephen Logan of all people. Now if all that doesn't qualify for Brad's Most Screwed Up Woman award, I don't know who does. Blubbering on and on about Stephanie's treatment of her and the humiliation of the 2% crumbs she received may have been great examples of good acting on Hunter Tylo's part but again, the old Taylor may have been a little less hysterical about it and more calculating and cold in her approach to it all. I'm glad she said the things Stephanie needed to hear and I believe coming from Taylor it resonated more in her mind but it just doesn't erase the fact that her character has become nearly unrecognizable. Maybe some viewers are happy about this change and think she is more plausible now but the jury is still out over here.
Bridget has gone from naïve and good-hearted to this crazy man-stealing latter day incarnation of her Mother seemingly over night. To be fair, Brooke has been focusing lately on one man and that shows a maturing of her character and I do like her more now than I did in years past. But the fact remains that her daughter has developed the nasty 'chase the ones that love someone else' syndrome. Deacon married her but fell for her Mom (ok, this one is not her fault)…Nick was in love with her Mom FIRST and then she thought she could make him forget about her and hang on to him with a baby (not cool and really desperate)…and now she FINALLY gets around to seeing that poor pretty Dante loves only her and she's too late as he has bagged Felicia (or was it the other way around?). Bridget will now puppy-dog around after him knowing the he is engaged to her sister. So if you don't count the mess with Deacon, you have a woman who has lied about an abortion to hang on to a man, used the real existence of said child to keep a man, and now is openly going to steal a man. Hmmmm. Will someone please tell me what should make me cheer for this character??? You can't even say she's that intelligent anymore because look at all the clues she missed along the way with Nick and Dante. She's not even a good doctor…she has only now just started showing up around the hospital! She's whiny, overly dependent, and just plain immature. Another character that I started out liking a lot and now just let's me know when it's time to take a bathroom break.
Jackie Payne Marone. Great actress and wonderful addition to the cast. However, she has also been bitten by the Desperate Ex-Wives Bug. She has gone from strong career woman to a middle-age crazy woman sniffing around every man she gets next to. I hated her hanging on to Eric when it was obvious he could not give her a commitment. I originally thought it would be the perfect union until his spineless side gave way yet again. I kept banging my head against the wall watching her sleaze around her boy-toy Deacon. I thought her relationship with Mojo was ok in the beginning and thought that would be a marriage that would last longer than it did. And now she is taking another woman's sloppy seconds in Stephen Logan. I was hoping in the beginning that they would hook up and be this scorching couple that would heat up the screen. Nope. All smoke and no fire for me. Having Jackie be the next stop on the Sex-with-Stephen-Go-Round left me kinda sick. Eww. I never saw that coming and now Jackie will probably be throwing herself at him again even though she knows the truth. He whored himself for stock and that would be enough for any self-respecting woman to tell him to hit the bricks. But Brad can't have a female on this show tell a man off really. Jackie would be the strongest female on this show if only Brad would let her.
Felicia was a character that I liked in the past and liked even more now in Lesli Kay's current portrayal. Smart, sarcastic, and wild…she was the complete opposite of her other Forrester siblings. We cheered for her during her valiant fight with colon cancer, wept as she said goodbye to her child, and felt inspired when she cut off her hair to face her 'speed chemo' to insure a quick recovery. Some of even were hoping for a little hot romance between Dr. Dimples the Miracle Worker and her. That's right…that would have been too good to watch. Instead let's have her break form completely and become some insane poster child for marrying the baby's Daddy at all costs. I'm all for traditional families now, don't get me wrong. But it would seem that in keeping with Felicia's 'out of the box' life philosophy, this would be a little weird. Bucking convention was her unique style and it would have made more sense for her to chase the cute doc knowing that her sister was adored by Dante. She would have been happy raising the child (notice I REFUSE to write his current silly nickname…therefore he will be referred to as the 'child') in a joint custody arrangement with Dante likes thousands of families do everyday. She did not and DOES not love him now. There's no way. She is trying to take a man that before now she had no romantic feelings for and who happens to be in love with her sister. Not what I wanted to see her character doing. She could be such a cool female to watch and now I am left wondering how they fix the mess they have made of her.
Darla and Sally may as well just pack up their dressing rooms and call it a day. They are now just window dressing and though I hate to say that, it's another example of Brad putting all his eggs in the Brooke Basket.
The guys are a whole different story and it's getting too late in the evening for me to lay down my theories on them. Let's just say that they have all changed too but not as much as the ladies. The worst among them I have already barbequed a thousand times…you know who.
Speaking of 'you-know-who', rumors abound that Ronn Moss may be out this Fall. Um…how do I say this diplomatically? It certainly won't make me STOP watching the show. In all fairness to the actor who has said publically that he is sick of the storylines he is a part of, I really think his is the one character that has dragged down the quality of the show. If someone asked me whether or not the show could survive without Brooke, I would say no. If someone asked me the same question with regards to Ridge's absence, I would say 'Hallelujah!!!' I believe I am as tired as the actor is of watching his selfish and crude behavior. I think he needs to go run the International Office and FAST!!
I had a fantastic response to my Roll Call for readers throughout the land! I heard from some folks in all new corners of the Earth like Morocco, New Zealand, Egypt, and Alaska. I am always humbled when I read through my emails and realize how many kind folks take the time to read through my warped thoughts each week or just like to catch up when they can't (or won't) watch the show. Some are running months behind and use my column as a way to peek into the future. No matter what the reason for reading each week, I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart.
Question of the week: Who do you think the best MALE actor is on the show?
Have a great week and sorry for the late posting…kids are little germ magnets and I got to spend my Sunday dealing with mine! He's better and I finally grabbed a few moments to myself this evening to jump on my soapbox!