Katherine Kelly Lang
The times, they are a-changin'
For the Week of January 23, 2006
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The writers are conveniently crafting a history that makes Taylor the scapegoat for everything that has gone wrong in Brooke's life.

I am much more calm this week and happy that I think BIG changes are afoot for our favorite soap (I hope it's someone's favorite...it's been a rough several months). I am hopeful and I am very happy about one particular revelation we all witnessed...the real Taylor. Welcome and I hope you stick around for a very long time.

Now before I state my reasons for feeling this way, I will say that I know that whatever I may say in a positive manner about Taylor will garner little more than sneers and curses from the legions of Brooke fans out there. And while I understand that the writers are conveniently crafting a history that makes Taylor the scapegoat for all that has gone wrong in Brooke's life, I believe differently. Taylor's perception of Brooke should have nothing to do with how Brooke executed the choices in her life. Good, bad, or indifferent, Brooke made all those decisions of her own volition. Did Taylor willingly join Stephanie's Greek Chorus in railing on her verbally...yes. However, looking back at the history between them, it has occurred to me that the one to really blame for Brooke and Taylor being such bitter rivals is Ridge.

Had Ridge not been waffling back and forth CONSTANTLY between these two women for more years than we can count, perhaps both women would have had more self-esteem and self-assurance to NOT be so catty and judgmental with each other. Ridge fueled it at every turn and even the most recent example after he found out what Stephanie did at her 'deathbed', he remained with Taylor out of his 'vows' they took. Ok, tell me another one. He took 'vows' with Brooke too while Taylor was in the imaginary hereafter and those vows didn't mean squat. But this is all about his colossal ego and not about the happiness of these women or his kids. I hate hearing all that too...the kids, the kids. BS! He hasn't had any contact with RJ and Hope and he's rarely there for the older kids either. All nonsense. Ridge should have picked on or the other a LONG time ago and stuck with it. Both women would have been better off.

About Taylor...I was the most impressed with how she has handled the aftermath (or what I call the Emancipation from Ridge). I didn't like the hysterical crying last week but she handled herself at the cabin with as much dignity as she could and stood strong for the kids. Her exchange with Brooke, though, was the icing on the cake in my opinion. I loved the things she had to say...not because it would be perceived as hurtful to Brooke (or painfully true in some cases) but because it showed a Taylor that is more down to earth and showed a reaction that was anything BUT saintly. This glossy and plastic veneer had to wear off at some point. I was growing a bit tired of all the 'saint' titles assigned to her. NO ONE in the soap-world is a saint. That's the whole point...everyone is flawed beyond belief and if they weren't, we likely wouldn't watch. Her dialogue is not unlike what any one of us may have said if given the exact same set of circumstances. She knew she had lost Ridge and knew that Brooke would be his next stop. Her life must start over now as a mere mortal like the rest of us and I for one will be happy to watch every glorious minute of it. For those that she was too judgmental in her stinging speech at the cabin, remember that judgment can work both ways. I can judge you for being 'too good' as you could judge me for being 'too bad'. She was hurt and Brooke was probably the last person she thought she would see. I personally thought Brooke should have steered clear as her real reason for being there would not be immediately clear to Taylor. Anyway, great exchange and a nice preamble to Taylor's reinvention.

As for Brooke, she'll be fine. I don't think she has ever really cared what Taylor thought of her anyway. Stephanie has said much worse. I have to say that I cheered out loud when I realized she was not going to give in to Ridge. I have waited for this day for YEARS when we may actually see Brooke use her backbone and tell that slime to take a hike. For all those who think this couple is the end all-be all in soaps, NOT ANYMORE. I never really thought they were at all since he always chose others over Brooke. But I digress. Brooke looked and sounded stronger than I have ever heard her and even though she her heart is still with Nick, maybe she can find some happiness with someone else if Nick will never be available. She could use some alone time now anyway. Be Mom, be a busy executive, and be the kind of woman that can stand toe-to-toe with Stephanie with her head held high. Will that happen? No, not if Brad Bell has anything to say about it. He likes her crying, begging, and vulnerable. Yuck.

It was nice to see that the collective IQ at the beach house hasn't changed in the last few weeks. Bridget is still an idiot and Nick is still playing pretend husband. I don't know about you but I squirm just a little watching Brooke, Bridget, and Nick sitting down to a cozy little cup of hot tea and gossiping about Ridge and Taylor's marriage. How blind do you have to be NOT to see Nick's reaction when Brooke mentioned Ridge thinking he could have her back. HELLO~!! Earth to Bridget-come in!!! I am starting to believe that Nick needs to stay away from her if he won't do the RIGHT thing and be honest with the child bride. This cake-eating behavior is gonna end up bad, just bad. As Ridge continues to woo Brooke, Nick's feelings will surface over and over again. Bridget better have a huge set of blinders to put on because she will start noticing at some point. Nobody can be that blissfully unaware forever, can they?

It was nice to see Jackie back in the mix. I'm glad the show found a way to keep her. Dynamic (if not slightly meddlesome) older women are just as valuable to the cast as the young characters. Actually, when you really think about it, there aren't very many if any hot young actresses on the show now. They need to stock up a little and stop trying to force-feed more bland teen queens. Speaking of hot young things, my eyes were also happy to see Dante get some screen time again. Just think...he could be keeping Brooke's feet warm, he may hit it with Jackie (no, please no!) or even keeping time with Taylor. He has so many options but we all know he really has his sights set on Bridget. It's a shame...why waste your time with a pathetic little spoiled princess when you can have a REAL woman? I think Hector will have something to say about him sniffing around the mansion, though, as I think Taylor is better suited to be with him. Both perennial do-gooders and they already have some established chemistry that I think is coming along nicely. Besides, if Lorenzo Lamas doesn't get a decent story soon, he may be the next one cleaning out his dressing room.

Just imagine...we could see Brooke and Taylor being, dare I say, friends in the future?? I think the universe would implode if that happened but I happen to be of the belief that with a little creativity, anything is possible. Maybe fans of both women would enjoy seeing a completely new dynamic between these two as they embark on a Ridge-free journey in their lives.

Back to the Question of the Week: Of all the characters on B&B, which one would you like to meet? If they were real-life people, who would intrigue you the most to sit down and say, have dinner with? I will answer by saying that I would love to meet Nick (I know, imagine that!). I would ask him how he likes being a babysitter. I would also tell him to grow the beard back while I give him a cigar to go home and smoke in front of his wife.

Shameless plug here...GO STEELERS!!! Week #3 and still going! They are my real-life Energizer Bunnies!!!! Have a great week everyone!

Kristine Cain
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