...Brooke. Yes, my question last week garnered a rather healthy number of responses and it would seem that everyone's favorite beleaguered heroine is the oil that makes the machinery of B&B move smoothly. I have to say I wasn't altogether surprised, as I know that Brooke has a very devoted fan-base. However, the most interesting thing about the question was who WASN'T named by any readers as crucial to the show...
I would have bet my car that Ridge would have enough fans left out there that would have named him as a character this show needs for it's very existence but no one did. Is it that his character has taken such insane 180-degree turns in these last few years that he has become less important somehow? After all, he has been on the show since Day 1 and you would think that he would have achieved a status that would have rendered him truly indispensable. I personally don't see it. I could definitely do without seeing him onscreen and having to suffer through his silly dialogue. His character has become something hard to watch as of late and I think the icing on the cake for me was the sexual assault on Brooke. I personally don't care how some among us sugarcoat what happened...that was too much for me. He instantly became a very distasteful and sick person to watch. Shame on you Brad for doing your signature hatchet job on another character. Believe it or not, there was a time when I did not mind his scenes and thought he was an'ok' guy. I liked him in the years before Taylor's last death; really liked the hospital scenes with her when she was dying of TB...scenes like that gave me hope. Not anymore. Nothing in these last few years were even remotely palatable for me. Come to think of it, I think it may have started earlier. A couple of smooches with Bridget were just creepy enough that I was never quite able to watch those two in a scene again. I don't know...I just know B&B wouldn't fold without him.
Now Taylor did get a few votes...5 to be exact. With the steady stream of Tay-haters out there, I didn't think I would see any support for her character as an anchor to the show's success. She has been around for a long time and personally I think just the mere fact that she keeps coming back to life is testimony enough to how solid her place is in the show. I like her and have made no secret of that but that having been said, I would not place her in the role of show savior. If she left again the show would not tank and viewers would not stage a mass exodus. The show would go on.
The character that came in second in the voting was actually the character that I would have voted for...Stephanie. Before I get a 'hit' put out on me, hear me out. She, too, has been around since day one and really without all her shenanigans and constant warring with Brooke, I think this show would have gone the way of 'Capitol' before it. Maybe 4 years, maybe. And that's being damn generous. She is that perennial bitchy Mommy Dearest that stirs the pot, controls everyone's lives, and takes the moral high ground even when she can't really justify it. She is the more mature actress that the cast members probably look to as a 'mom' figure anyway and I think that comes through onscreen. It's like Kay Chancellor on Y&R or Kim Hughes on ATWT...I believe when the day comes that Susan Flannery hangs up the lilac pantsuit, B&B will really suffer greatly without her. She is a fine actress but brings a steady (and sometimes psychotic) presence to the show that would not be able to be duplicated. She is a class act and one of a kind in my book.
Brooke, Brooke, Brooke...the majority has spoken! The readers have said that without you, there is no B&B. She has been there from the start and for years has amazed us with her business acumen, her over the top sexual appetite, and her reproductive prowess. Without Brooke, Stephanie has no one to square off against and virtually no reason to live. Ridge can't seem to live without torturing her either and overall the readers felt she truly is the glue that holds the whole mess together. When things are starting to make us all into narcoleptics and snoozing at every turn, Brooke always find some crazy situation to get into. Whether it's marrying a Forrester or sleeping with another son-in-law, she never ceases to keep us riveted to the TV. My readers cited the excitement factor with Brooke and that she has been so closely linked to so many other characters as the primary reasons for feeling like B&B would be crap without her. I can see that. She has the potential to step into the same long-term role that I described above when talking about Stephanie. There are strong female parallels in other daytime soaps like Reva on GL or Barbara on ATWT. Brooke has pushed the envelope, that's for sure but in all the ways that we want a soap character to push them.
My head-scratchers for the week: What's up with Hector anyway? This story is getting way too insane for me. One week he is saving the world and the next he is a crazed co-conspirator to Taylor's vehicular misfortune. WHAT? Is this the best we can come up with for Lorenzo Lamas to keep him interested in staying on the cast? The trip to the prison was a joke. This whole mess needs to just come to an end because if I have to watch another crying near-confession between Taylor and Thorne, I'll drive off a cliff myself! And did anyone else out there notice something strange? Stephanie made a comment to Phoebe a week or so ago saying that 'your mother's secret is safe with me'. Or at least it was something along those lines. Then we have Stephanie becoming crazed at the notion that Taylor would have done something so terrible when insinuated by the detective. Amnesiac writing or a clever acting job by Stephanie? Who knows? I don't think Brad knows how he wants to end this thing...that's why it's like the Energizer Bunny and keeps going and going and going...
So Felicia and Dante temporarily lose the Flintstone Baby and they suddenly realize they love each other? Whatever. Dante needs a cold shower. He's got the sex drive of a sailor who has been out to sea for a year. Pick someone already and move on!! This is another story that has lost its 'zing'. Bridget will mope around LA til she hooks up with some random temporary cast member until he is axed and we have to watch her pine away for Nick some more. So predictable. I'll tell you what...save the salary you are paying the writers Brad and just hire me cheap to hit the 'Copy' button on the Xerox.
I loved the scenes with Nick and Brooke towards the end of the week. Getting a little tired of the songs though. They are staring to sound the same. Maybe Brooke should sing him a song! Now that would be different!
My question actually has little do to with the show and more to do with the column. I have not done the Soapbox lately and wanted to know if you would want to see a few emails from folks like yourselves each week. I do get some 'doozies' that make me laugh out loud so let me know if you would like them to return each week.
Have a great week (I know I will...the new house in NC is finally finished and we have moved in. Boy, unpacking is a beast! I think I'll have what Taylor is drinking these days! HAHAHAHA!)