It occurred to me watching the last half of hour of Young and The Restless last week that they seem to have found something that B&B has been missing for a LONG time. Real passion. Tear your clothes off, steamy glances from across the room passion. It's all encompassing and forbidden but nevertheless undeniably great soap entertainment. You don't want to pull yourself away from the screen and you don't want those scenes to end. That's the paydirt that Y&R has struck with the Nick and Phyllis storyline. I love it. It may not be appealing to those who see his wife Sharon as a sad victim of infidelity and I am sure there are many viewers that think they are both nuts to be fooling around at all. However, it works and people are tuning in. By contrast, B&B has a unique opportunity to have the same dynamic among two of their focal characters. Brooke and Nick have a very different history than Nick and Phyllis but one thing seems, to me anyway, to be the same...real spark. Why should we cheer on this couple? Here's why...
In these last few weeks, it appeared that we Brooke/Nick fans were destined to be disappointed as the fates were making the return of the Wooden One a certainty. Now that Bridget's baby has gone on to the Great Beyond, the strain on their marriage is becoming evident and though she may be trying her best to deny what kept them together in the first place, the Malibu Princess seems to be seeing the handwriting on the wall. Let's face it everyone...if it weren't for the abortion lie, much of what the Brooke/Nick detractors have been complaining about wouldn't even exist. That brief moment allowed both characters to face their feelings and feel as though they could finally have a future. It was desperate and passionate and ill-timed but it worked. It was great acting and I really felt the sense of longing that I haven't seen around here in...forever! Instead, Brooke insists he go back to Bridget in some strange act of sacrifice. They felt they were doing the right thing and they did. Bridget was reassured and all was right in the world. But I am a big believer that this tragedy will lead to something wonderful...people telling the truth for once.
Brooke and Nick should be able to tell the truth about what they feel for each other and Bridget should admit that the baby's timing helped her hang on to him longer than she should have. But beyond all that, Brooke and Nick have had enough crap come their way to last a lifetime. Brooke has spent the better part of 18 years being second best to woman after woman in Ridge's life. He has swindled her, lied to her, and reveled in her being alone so that no other man could ever have her. There are so many examples of this that it boggles the mind that she would even consider being with him even if it weren't for some half-lame excuse like being there for RJ. Hell, he's never there for his OTHER kids, so what's the difference? Now I'm not giving Brooke a free pass, by any means. She has done her fair share of lying, scheming and sleeping around to get what she wants to last a lifetime. It's an extensive resume, that's for sure. But I believe, as I have said in many previous columns for those that still bang the tired drum of 'She hates Brooke!', that it would be nice to see her in a healthy relationship with a man that loves her and her alone. A man that accepts her in spite of her flaws and frailties. Ridge has never loved her that way and never will. She is like a second home to him...he doesn't have to live there permanently but visits when he needs a break from his real life. She is good for the good times and expendable for 'real life'. Taylor and Caroline got all that. Nick is truly in love with her. She deserves that. She can have the last laugh over all the female characters in this show...I just believe it will take a solid and wildly passionate romance with a non-Forrester male to make that happen. Nick is that man.
Nick came on the scene a very different man than we see now. He was dashing, unapologetic, and truly a man of conviction. But I think a combination of competing with Ridge early on and becoming involved with Bridget has made his character soft and waffling in recent months. I know there are many viewers that see him as a cad for loving Brooke while shacked up with the Princess but think about this...would you still think that same way about him if he went against Brooke's wishes and charged ahead with the truth about his feelings so that all would be out in the open? Isn't that what a person of integrity would do? Isn't the truth, no matter how hard to take, the best thing for everyone? No wonder he became a complete mess! Having to live a lie would do that to anyone and on top of that knowing that your child bride was capable of such a disgusting lie as telling you she 'got rid' of your child just to test you? I couldn't look at her after that if I were him! So let's tally all this misfortune up, shall we? He fell for Brooke and got his heart stepped on when it was revealed that DJ was really RJ. His wedding was crashed by a bogus charge from the FEDS. He rebounded with Bridget and tried 3 times to marry her before finally getting to the altar only because the woman he was in love with made him do it. Ugh. What a crappy life. Now did he get more than his fair share of mattress dancing out of his child bride? Yep and I hated watching it. How sad to be boinking one woman and thinking about another! Pathetic. But I think there is a light at the end of the tunnel for his character, too. Though he has to go through more lost children to get to her, I am confident that Nick will finally get his woman, once and for all. I know...nothing is ever certain in the soap world but I can be an optimist, can't I?
Don't get me wrong, though...both of these characters have a lot or work to do but I just happen to be of the opinion that they can overcome all the nonsense they have had done to them or engaged in themselves. I see the chemistry when they are in the same scene. I see the longing and the ultra-cool sizzle that soap characters SHOULD have to keep us tuning in the same time everyday. Though I am sure Bridget will move on with Dante to raise Dante Jr. and finally cut Nick loose to live the life he was meant to live, it will not be viewed as so hot by others in the show or some in the viewing community. I fully expect to get railed upon for even suggesting that these two be together. Guess what? It's doesn't bother me and I challenge anyone to give me one clear example of Ridge and Brooke having any viable chemistry these days. Gee, maybe back in the 80's they did, but wake up and smell the latte people! That ship has sailed and there's no getting it back. How can anyone who has watched the last few scenes with them think they are still the Last Great Soap Romantic Couple? I see Nick looking at Brooke and I see passion with a capital P! That's why we tune in. We want an escape from our decidedly non-passionate daily lives. We want heat. We want almost a voyeuristic experience for 30 minutes everyday as though we are watching something we aren't supposed to. These two have the 'it' that keeps us hooked and I am hoping we get to see those two get married and have some damn happiness for a change.
There's another reason Brooke and Nick need to be together...it gives other characters a chance to have some screen time. It is becoming increasingly evident by checking the Boards that everyone is on Brooke/Ridge/Nick/Bridget burnout and I believe having some tiny bit of resolution will be the cure. I get frustrated every week knowing that it will be another 5 days of these four and the drama that follows them instead of seeing other stories get a chance to take off. Taylor and Hector, Thorne, Darla, and Sally, Eric, Stephanie, and Jackie, Massimo and...well, anyone. Bring back some old characters, something!!! Ridge needs to find someone new, too. Maybe a new character or perhaps one of Brooke's sister could come back and sweep him off his feet. He needs a change as much as anyone now. But it all comes back to Brooke and Nick needing to be together to be a catalyst for other directions this show sorely needs to take. They are the jumping off point for so much, so why look at it as anything but positive?
Some other things I love about these two...I love that Brooke smiles and laughs more with Nick than when she is with Ridge. She seems confident and self-assured with Nick. Not nearly as many tears with the Captain as with Woodzilla. Nick seems like he can be himself with Brooke whereas with Bridget he was walking on eggshells to please the moralistic and uptight child bride. I can't see Bridget stepping one more foot in Chucks Bar but I'll bet Brooke won't care. How about how deeply Nick cars for Hope and RJ? I see him around them more than Ridge has been lately. I just can't easily assign the word 'selfish' to Nick as much as I can Ridge. I know Nick should have not been trying to dictate anything to Brooke while he was playing house with the Princess Bride and it was definitely 'cake-eating' at it's worst. But nothing compares to the sick rhetoric Ridge has been going on with for the last week. I hate his character with every fiber of my being and his little hiatus can't come soon enough. And another thing...Brooke and Nick just seem better as characters together than they do apart. Am I the only on who see that?? They make a Hell of a team and like the Nick/Phyllis clandestine coupling on Y&R, it would keep me glued to my TV everyday at 1:30.
Wait!! I'm not ready to get off my soapbox yet!!! And what about the leaked photos showing Nick taking Brooke upstairs after her near-miss wedding to Ridge? That's romance! It's that take charge bravado that is missing from this soap. Don't want her marrying any one but you? Bust in to the ceremony, pick her up 'Tarzan' style, and take her back to the bedroom. Yeah...that's HOT!! Where has that been? This show needs some spice, some action, some whirlwind romance and Ridge and Brooke just don't fit the bill anymore.
While I'm at it, let me weigh in on a few other things. I am so tired of reading about how Nick 'raped' Brooke in the foundry after Ridge 'died'. Good Lord...how many months or years have to go by before people let this go and take Brooke's OWN WORDS at face value. She accepted her part in what happened and said quite clearly that he did not force her to do anything. Period. And all this dialogue about Nick being physically violent is comical as well. The writers have him acting out in frustration as many men would and personally I don't see anybody complaining. Actually I saw Brooke kissing him back with equal fervor when they were sucking face on the stairs at her house. What do I see? Desperation. Plain and simple. I personally would rather have a forceful man that wants me than some oily slug who pets me like Yellow Lab (guess who?). I'm tired of everyone giving Bridget and Ridge a free pass on their own inappropriate behavior...my God, I can't believe no one has told Taylor yet! I hate that everyone is so quick to criticize Nick but few will take Bridget to task on something that she consciously did in lying about aborting the child. I suppose what this all boils down to is the never-ending feud between those that want Brooke with Nick and those that want Brooke with Ridge. Will this turn of events coming make things any better? No...as a matter of fact it will be worse but this is what Brad is paid the big bucks for...fanning the flames of viewer discontent and stirring the pot week after week. You have done your job well, Mr. Bell. You've even got me stirred up for an entire column. Just let them be happy for a while and I promise I won't lose so much touch with reality that I send the actors a wedding gift to the studio.
Well, I hope I have laid out my case well (I feel like a lawyer) but even in the off-chance that I did not for some of you...I am still happy that I may be able to see Brooke and Nick together with little or no interruption. They deserve a happy ending and so do we.
Question of the Day: Which old character should be coming back, even as a recast (which is the current rumor)?