Katherine Kelly Lang
Heroine or harlot?
For the Week of August 8, 2005
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Brooke's willingness to finally tell Ridge to go to hell, and her announcement that she wants a do-over in her life, was long overdue.

Before I launch into my analysis of Brooke Logan, let me apologize to the Scoops faithful for the late posting of this column. I was out of town hanging out with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Training Camp and just got back in this morning (I know, tough life, right?). But I'm back in the saddle, so here we go...

When I sat here staring at my laptop, I began thinking of what kind of column I may write for this week and instead I had quite the epiphany! With all the attention being paid now to Brooke and her plight following the great Forrester confession Stephanie made, it seemed only appropriate to really delve deep into why there is such a love-hate relationship with her. One thing is for sure... she is going through A LOT of change these days.

Back in the stone age when B&B first began, I can remember the scene when Brooke and Ridge met at the Forrester party that her mom Beth was catering. Brooke was wearing her little waiter-like uniform and Ridge couldn't stop drooling. Poor Caroline never saw the train coming, that's for sure. And through the years we have seen her obsess over Ridge, marry his brother, marry his father, have four kids by three different fathers, almost marry Grant, have an affair with her daughter's husband, have grief sex with Ridge's half-brother and even marry Whip to fool everyone about Hope's paternity. Wow. That's quite a list. A list that, on the surface, makes her look a little, well, trampy. Now, this is all well covered territory for certain. All the Boards are filled with fans that are quick to criticize her for all these poor decisions and gross miscalculations in judgment. However, I have been wondering what exactly draws a fan to cheer FOR her and see her as the misunderstood heroine of B&B, not the 'tramp from the Valley' title that Stephanie has branded her with. Fair is fair and I am a big enough person to see things from all angles...even Brooke.

You have to give her credit, either as a fan or a detractor, that she has finally made strides to shed the Forrester oppression and be happy with who she is. She is not a bad person (Sheila is a bad person and Morgan was a bad person). I don't remember her kidnapping anyone and chaining them to a fireplace out of revenge. I can't seem to recall her shooting people and engaging in loads corporate espionage to destroy a competing fashion house. She never beat her kids or tried to whore them out to other Forresters (the name Mary sound familiar?). I seem to recall that she was smart enough to come up with BeLief through her chemistry background and helped bring Forrester back from the brink. Her Brooke's Bedroom line (albeit a little risqué) did made huge profits for Forrester. Through all the mess with Nick and Ridge over the past few years, she has bounced back and forth and been made to shed more tears for the Wooden One than anyone should EVER be asked to. She has never burned any bridges throughout all her failed marriages/relationships and still talks fondly with everyone from her past. She should get an award for that alone in my book. How Thorne can still be in the same room with her amazes me to this day. Anyway, my point is that with all the harsh brushstrokes Brad Bell has painted Brooke with all these years, she is still a character that can garner much sympathy from fans and characters alike.

This latest foray into independence has really made me feel differently about Brooke. Her willingness to finally tell Ridge to go to Hell and announcing that she wants a 'do over' in her life was long overdue. The whole Bridge thing was so done and so tired that I am amazed to know that there are still fans of this union left out there. When she was trying to find love outside of Ridge through Nick, I felt like she was getting a second chance at a normal relationship...that is until the writers felt the need to stir the pot a little. This could have been her solid non-Forrester relationship and they blew it. Think about it folks...how could Brad want Brooke to be happy? Ridge has always been a sick obsession. Thorne was nothing more than a stand-in for Ridge. Deacon was just sex. Her marriage to Eric was little more than being able to maintain face time in the family to make Ridge jealous. She was ready to marry Nick because she thought RJ was his son. Then we were led to believe she never really loved Nick and that was all just a clever ruse from B&B's creator. Why? Why paint this character so far in a corner that the only way out is to have her alone with no prospect of a great love unless his name is Ridge? How are we supposed to watch this nasty and stilted writing for her character? My hope is that there will be a fresh and engaging story in her future that does NOT involve Ridge. No unplanned pregnancies, no behind the back betrayals, no more Ridge substitutes. Just a normal courtship, normal and appropriate sexual encounters, and normal laughter instead of tears. Is that too much to ask? Give us someone we can ALL cheer for, Brad and you might find the ratings rebounding quite nicely.

Now I'm not looking for a saint mind you as they are not that fun in the long run as Brooke so eloquently stated to Taylor. Taylor provides that balance anyway quite nicely. But to have a strong and yet still fun and freewheeling Brooke would provide good balance in this show that is entirely too top-heavy on crying scenes and tragedy. Let Brooke have some fun and be unpredictable without compromising her morals. Let her laugh a little and be strong enough to stand toe-to-toe with Stephanie. Let her continue to rebuff the sick advances of her ex's, including Eric who I have lost the absolute last remaining ounce of respect for in the last week. No woman deserves to be used like that and then talked to like the family pass around whore. He needs to find someone else and QUICK. Or maybe he should just lay off the Viagra for a day or two. Either way, Brooke can do better than ANY Forrester.

Does all this mean I am getting 'soft'. No. But I think as a long-time viewer I am ready for a new Brooke Logan that I can cheer for and that will help me choose B&B over cleaning my bathroom floors everyday at 1:30. Let's face it...everyone on this show has skeletons in their closets and Brooke is no exception. That's what makes the soaps so addicting. These characters can do all the crazy nonsense in their world that we all KNOW we couldn't get away with in ours. That's why it's called entertainment. So I'm open and ready for the new and improved Brooke Logan! Bring her on (with or without Nick ).

All that having been said, I am left wondering who her new soul mate will be. The rumor mill reports it won't be Ridge, so who? Nick...maybe but too obvious for me. Hector...not sure here either. There has not been enough interplay between them to get a read on their chemistry, if it even exists. Dante...nah. He's too caught up in trying to boink Bridget and honestly, if Brad goes down the mother-daughter stud swap again, I just may have to pack it in for good. Eric...well, she already nipped that one before it got started. I guess that's it. No more men for the time being. Hector and Nick are all the non-Forrester men that are ripe for the picking. My vote and fervent wish is still Nick (big surprise, right).

I just couldn't resist this next topic...the abbreviated names that everyone has come up with to describe couples past and present on the show. I get the biggest kick out of seeing them on the Boards and just has to share the better ones.... Brooke-inspired couplings: Bridge Bricky Brector/Hooke Breacon Throoke (good Lord!) Beric Brant All the rest: Tridge Tharla Tabby Ramber Thamber Catrick Thacy Nidget Stic Tristen Flick (my personal favorite) Could happen: Brante Jeric Stojo Tector

Ah, just a little silliness so late at night, huh? So the question of the week is....do you think Dante is a long-haul character or a soon-to-be casualty of the B&B Revolving Door? I'm not shy...I say he will be axed and cast off into the Land of the Recurring Characters. I hate to say that but most of the high-profile actors that have graced the screens around here have not lasted too long. I hope to be proven wrong, however, as I think his acting style and character are a breath of fresh air. Besides, I haven't seen a chest like that on B&B in a LONG time!

My biggest rant for the week...why would you have a child SWIMMING IN THE HOT TUB???? HELLO??? ANYONE IN THERE? Doesn't Brooke have a real pool right in front of the spa?? And on top of that brain cramp, we TURN THE SPA ON???? It's a PSA waiting to happen! Oh yeah, that's right...we get one of those now don't we?' Hey parents, I'm LA's only fireman Hector...don't throw the kiddies in the hot tub with water wings, hair that's too long and a vacuum pump that could suck the spots of a cheetah, ok?' Who came up with this plot device, Elmo? Come on, there has to be a better way to illustrate the closeness between Brooke and Nick than having a poolside tragedy that paints the adults out to be morons.

Who's on the Soapbox?

gramofsix6 writes... '...the little girl that plays Hope is both talented, sensitive, and beautiful...she doesn't need the terrible label Hopeless...I hope that you will apologize to her in your column.' For the record, I used the name 'Hopeless' entirely due to the fact that her character had been shuttled between three different men she called Daddy, not due to her acting ability. Reading my column closely will prove that and while she is cute, I am sure she doesn't read my column (I hope at 4 or 5 years old, she has much better things to do!).

Sharon B. writes... '...so, now that the Taylor bomb dropped, B&B is down to just TWO stable married couples...Thorne.Darla and Thomas/Gabby!'

Until next week, stay in touch with your thoughts...it's the best part of my week when I hear from everybody!

Kristine Cain
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