I sat here last week wondering during the commercial break 'How many viewers are really IN TO the show these days?' How many people are sitting here, like me, on the edge of their seats with anticipation for the next scene? I have to say that between the inconsistent writing and the complete character assassination that Brooke, Nick, Bridget, and Taylor have gone through in these recent weeks, I am beginning to question my own sanity sitting in front of B&B.
All week long I have lurked some of the more trafficked message boards on the Net looking for signs of life. The die-hards must have more faith than I do these days. I looked and looked and looked. Instead of finding all kinds of enthusiasm for the current stories, I read posts from legions of viewers that have started to pack it in for one reason or another. Negativity abounds and yet I wonder if the show's producer had any clue what his viewers think at all. I have taken the time...shouldn't he? Or maybe he HAS and he is getting truckloads of enjoyment out of the discontent he is reading about. I don't know which is true but I'd like to think someone at that studio has their finger on the pulse of viewer opinions. After all, plenty of 'carrots' have been dangled and then yanked back for all who watch this everyday. All viewers had something to be happy about lately but then....
Carrot #1: Brooke's Independence Day. Her die-hard fans and even those like me that were ready to get behind her character's transformation had the carrot yanked from us in a very subtle way. First, she sends Ridge packing for the first time since the show aired and declares that she does not need a man to define her. Ok, that's a great start. We look forward to loads of empowerment and family focus from our busy heroine. The yank, however, came this week when we saw her epiphany that she has always loved Nick and wants to be with him and only him. She was bed-hopping with all the wrong men all these years and now she is ready to be in a real live romance. What happened to standing on her own? See, it's subtle because the writers know there is a large majority of fans that always wanted these two together. We could have it now but that means no independent life for Brooke. Slick, very slick.
Carrot #2: Taylor and Ridge Reunion. Taylor fans that made the journey back after she was 'killed' the last time rejoiced that she would be back and claim her castle and her man, Ridge. Another ruse...she's back and Ridge did renew his vows with her but we all know now that it was under duress and he's waffling again. Taylor is becoming a miserable wretch and shell of her former strong self. She's whining and starting to show some wear from all the frustration she is going through. Ridge has become (if it's possible) more pompous as the days go on and the kiddies are starting to figure out that there is something wrong. The 'Tridge' reunion is yanked in place of a sad journey down Taylor's Highway to Hell. Sad and I, for one, hate how this story had waffled back and forth. Taylor fans are now calling for HER to be alone rather than deal with the Rigid One. I'll second that.
Carrot #3: The Great Bridget & Nick Romance. Huge yank here as this couple had developed quite a following. Many thought this was the 'courtship' that Nick never had with Brooke and that these two might be the real thing. It was a build-up filled with serenades and romantic location shoots that showed both of them getting closer and closer. Frigid Bridget even warmed up enough to sleep with Nick! Before you know it, though, Nick and Brooke began to give in to their deep, deep, deep rooted feeling for each other and Bridget morphed into an insecure mess. Little Hopeless almost drowns and in the blink of an eye, 'Nicket' is in serious trouble. Now any coupling these two will be doing will be out of obligation only and little if any romantic feelings. Nick will be babysitter to his baby and his baby's mother.
Carrot #4: The One We Have All Been Waiting For...Brooke and Nick. Well, for a few scenes at least. Due to Bridget's sick and I mean SICK test of telling Nick she aborted the child, he and Brooke had their join revelation that they have always loved each other but never had the guts to admit it or change their situations because of it. Now all of us 'Bricky' fans had something to cheer about after the Brooke-Ridge marriage and farce of a relationship they had. There was a light at the end of the tunnel, something to look forward to. Ridge was finally history and Bridget had taken a hateful turn around the bend, so what's to stop them now? Ratings would likely rise and fans would be looking at a real barnburner of a relationship. But WAIT! Childish little Bridget lied and now Nick is stuck. I knew better than to think they would really have a shot at being a viable couple. Brad and his writers obviously hate Brooke's character enough that they would never have her in a healthy relationship we could all enjoy watching. No way, not a chance. Goodbye big fat carrot.
This brings me to my next point about Bridget and this little game she had played. I personally am disgusted that the termination of a pregnancy was used as a curve ball in this story. It's sick. Some say that "Brooke sleeping with her son-in-law was sick, too and Brooke deserves it blah-blah-blah." BULL! That was a long time ago and those that keep running down memory lane must have a lapse where Bridget is concerned. Hey, I thought Bridget declaring her 'feelings' for Ridge on his wedding day to Brooke was revenge enough? Have we all forgotten that? Sucking face with Ridge knowing he is marrying your mother...so that should have made it even,right? But no...we are still going to pound on Brooke even though, until the kiss on the boat, she did not do anything with Nick of a physical nature or even verbal for that matter until the last few scenes. I have never been a card carrying Brooke fan all these 18 years but I have eyes and I can't see what she did so wrong (or Nick for that matter) to have Bridget flake out like this in the most cruel way. You know what I saw? I saw Nick spending a lot of time trying to convince a neurotic Bridget that he loved her. She should have known better to begin with.
I still would love to see Nick and Brooke together but now that a kid is involved, I fear that it may never happen. They could have been, if written right, the next super-couple on daytime TV. They have a great on-screen chemistry and they are so easy to watch. Now it will be the same old rehash of previous stories. Nick will likely stay with Bridget out of obligation and yet still love Brooke. Brooke will sacrifice her happiness for her daughter of out a never-ending obligation from the Deacon debacle and in the end, the kid becomes the loser. Having two parents raise you that are not in love with each other makes for a tense household, even in soap-land. And Ladies, tell me who amongst you would even want a man to marry you when they have admitted love for another????? Count me out. I said the same about Taylor and I'll say it again...I wouldn't want to be the consolation prize. I don't want any man if they want someone else. Have some pride, some self-respect! It's sick and a sad example for women everywhere. I'd rather be alone for the right reasons than have a man for the wrong ones.
Bridget better watch out around staircases, though...karma has a funny way of rearing its ugly head and causing a miscarriage. Maybe she will see a stolen moment between Brooke and Nick to cause it. Of course that would just keep fueling the flames of the Nick Haters Bandwagon but I think it would be justice if she lost it. She obviously is not mature enough to be pregnant or she would not have used the baby as tool for manipulation. Girl, find a man that loves YOU, not your mother's leftovers! You are a med student, right? Maybe you should be an eye doctor...you could use a little better focus right about now!
Meanwhile at the Forrester Immigrant Boarding House, Gaby and Thomas are treading into the forest of heavy petting as they are continuing the charade of being a married couple. Who's got money on Gaby giving ol' Rigid his first grandbaby? That boy is just itching to get stung sexually and he's damn lucky Amber did not get knocked up when he was 'learning her tricks of the trade'. Somebody please tell me what the point of this story REALLY is? Now I hear through the Rumor Mill that she will be at odds with Taylor? Oh no! She better not go there! That little girl is outmatched in every way.
You know what I am wondering? Why is Dante around? The writers have him there professing his love for Bridget and now he is just going to do what? Sit on the sidelines of this sham of a relationship between Nick and Bridget? Another talented actor that comes on the show amidst much fanfare only to have less and less screen time. He could be a focal character with a few creative pen strokes. He could fight for Bridget's affections. He could make a real move on Taylor now that she sees her marriage is a joke. But what I DO NOT want to see is him hooking up with Brooke. There has been too much of that nonsense already and I don't know how the viewers could stomach another mother-daughter stud swap. Please Brad, if you read this column at all, please don't keep going back to that well. That may just prove to be my last straw.
Speaking of Taylor, I was happy she finally put the screws to Ridge once and for all. Send him to the curb! His back and forth about whether or not he can 'forget the unforgettable' was enough to make me reach for the TUMS. Taylor has done nothing wrong since her return in my opinion and deserves better than him and his 'I just don't know' speeches and anguished facial expressions. His sarcasm and superiority complex are too nauseating to watch...I end of listening more than watching these days. There always something I have to do around the house when Ridge is on the screen. Taylor has a chance to rewrite HER history now as well and could open herself up to some great romance that shows a good example to her girls as well as Thomas. But maybe he is too far gone...that boy is a walking, talking hormone. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree, now does it? Let's be honest here...the only thing Brooke was around for to Ridge was sex, plain and simple. Now Thomas seems to be constructing a life built around the same thing.
The question of the week...what should happen to Dante? Write him off or hook him up? Let me know...after all, he's so fine to look at that I wouldn't care if he were picking up trash all day as long as we can still see him often.
Who's on the Soapbox?
Rachel writes... '...if I were a writer for a day, I would have Ridge shoot Stephanie...but I know the current writers would bring her back the next day.'
Ryan writes... '...having a gay couple would give the writers some new material to wreck.'
Until next week, stay in touch with your thoughts...it's the best part of my week when I hear from everybody!