Fire the Xerox machine

For the Week of August 22, 2005
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B&B Two Scoops: Fire the Xerox machine
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Throughout The Bold and the Beautiful's 18-year run, there have been killer snakes, rainforest kidnappings, people rising from the dead, and more unplanned pregnancies than you could shake a stick at.

B&B has had more than its fair share of bizarre and crazy-even-for-soaps stories throughout its 18-year run. There have been killer snakes, rainforest kidnappings, people rising from the dead, and more unplanned pregnancies than you could shake a stick at. While I realize that there is a lot of creative license taken with the kinds of stories that we see in daytime, I think I have finally seen some of the worst storytelling this show has ever produced. And trust me, I am overlooking a lot to make that statement. After realizing by the end of the week that we were going to be tortured with yet another pregnancy designed to manipulate a character into being a schmuck, I began to wonder what a day in the life of a B&B writer must be like....

7:00 a.m.: Rise and shine, you creative devil! Joe, our fictitious writer for B&B, gets up and heads down the busy traffic-clogged highway to work.

10:00 a.m.: Have first meeting with Brad. Joe is asked how we can screw Brooke this week and make her look even more vulnerable and needy. Joe finds all kinds of new ways to keep Ridge on the canvas, ignore all the other characters, and still have time to add a sick and demented element to a whole new triangle of Brooke/Nick/Bridget.

11:00 a.m.: Joe fires up the Xerox machine in his corner office and sweet-talks it a bit, telling it will be doing lots of work later in the day. After all, he has to make sure there are no truly original stories on this show, or he might be out of a job. What's the Xerox's pet name? Déjà vu.

1:00 p.m.: Joe comes back from lunch and is tasked with fleshing out the evil twist that will have "everyone talking." He decides to make sure Brooke and Bridget are pregnant with Nick's babies, and he has to decide which of the Tearful Twins he will stay with. After all, he says, we can never have enough love triangles, right? He is convinced that all the fans loved the nearly two-year debacle of Nick/Brooke/Ridge and that we are all just begging for more. He writes a few token scenes with Taylor squawking about how Ridge really loves Brooke and sends her rolling down the codependent highway. The Twins get a little dialogue, and Thomas has a few scenes playing tongue hockey with Gaby. Light stuff. His best work is yet to come.

3:00 p.m.: Joe has poor Nick completely emasculated and acting just as confused as Ridge has been these days. Bridget manipulates him, all the while claiming she never wants to be like her mother, yet she starts to do all the same things Brooke did in the early years. Nick stays with her, and Brooke tells him she knows she can't have him and destroy her daughter again. He runs back to Budge with his tail (and other things) between his legs, swearing eternal love only to Bridget. But wait...there's a knock on the door, and it's Felicia! She's cancer-free and carrying Nicky Jr. in her arms! Nick has the hat trick as only a true Marone can do it! Populating the land and looking good doing it!

5:00 p.m.: Joe has completely wrecked Nick's character. Brooke has another baby out of wedlock and is considering changing her name to Carol Brady. Brooke's Bunch. Has a catchy ring, he thinks. Joe walks over to the Xerox machine and lets it work its magic, churning out the same story over and over again 'til we all get fed up with even turning on the tube. As the copies keep flowing, Joe just smiles and revels in just how easy his job really is. All he has to do is go into the script vault and copy all the good work that was done over the years and add a sick twist to it. Why use all his characters? Why have Brooke be anything but the "Tramp from the Valley"? Why have Ridge be a decent father and husband? Why have Nick be the strong silent type like he was when he showed up on the scene? Why let Stephanie enjoy a few minutes of sanity? Why have any character use birth control? How boring! After all, the fans are pretty stupid, right? They aren't smart enough to see past the weak writing, Joe thinks to himself. I can keep messing with the same characters every week and no one will care. Isn't life great?

5:30 p.m.: Joe gets in his car and drives home, all the while thinking "Maybe tomorrow Phoebe will make a pass at Nick when he is drowning his sorrows and get pregnant. Wouldn't that be something?"

Now was this little daydream far-fetched? Not really. Nothing would surprise me. I sat in amazement last week watching the hysterically crying Bridget running all over Los Angeles, trying to dodge the truth. All tears, all week. ENOUGH ALREADY!!! Nick and Brooke are once again painted out to be the bad guys, and this while Bridget conveniently forgets her spit-swapping with Dante just a week or two before. And I love the "Don't begrudge me a friend" nonsense she went on with last week. At least Nick and Brooke did not kiss. She and Dante have had a few choice encounters, and she has never let it out of the bag of course...hmmmm.

Of course, don't get me started on the outrageous overacting by Ashley Jones. Nick spent the whole week saying all the wrong things that only made Bridget's rage worse and, on a dime, out of nowhere, we have Dante to the rescue! What?? Is he this story's Whip Jones? A stand-in that will be part of some cover-up to manipulate like he did with Deacon? Oh, good Lord. Between all that and psycho Stephanie showing up packing heat, I did not know if I should laugh or cry. Cry because I think the show is beginning to really tank and laugh because it's not a good year on B&B if Stephanie doesn't try to "off" Brooke at least once. It's entertaining to watch those two go at it, and it's about the only decent acting left on B&B anymore.

Are we given that little credit by the so-called writers for having so little brainpower that we are to believe that Bridget's personality has taken a 180-degree turn into Unstableland? One minute she's a responsible and caring voice of reason in the Forrester fold, and the next she becomes a Glenn Close Fatal Attraction clone that hurls bottles at Mommy in disgust. Did she really think that being involved with Nick would be so cut and dried? What fantasyland is she living in? Here are my thoughts...those two never should have had to beat around the bush.

Nick and Brooke were forced to shelve feelings due in large part to R.J.'s paternity and Ridge's pushing all the right buttons to invoke Brooke's codependent insecurities. Bridget was a rebound, plain and simple. Brooke should have talked her daughter out of dining on her leftovers, and Bridget should have had the good sense to stay away from Mommy's castoffs. Plenty of blame all the way around. This whole thing is a disaster. These writers could have brought anyone into Bridget's life but Mommy's former lovers to get involved with, but no...that would provide variety, and we can't have that.

So next week, we have Brooke confessing her love for Nick during an emotional breakdown, with Nick believing Bridget aborted the kid. Ah, shades of the Foundry Boink if you ask me. Hot, steamy moments on the heels of perceived tragedy. Surprise! Bridget lied to test him, and he goes back to her out of obligation. Wow, now that's empowering storytelling. If I were Katherine Kelly Lang, I would be disgusted that my character will be running off after Nick so close to N alleged tragedy with her daughter! If I were Jack Wagner, I would hold out like NFL players do when they want a better contract, only this would be for better writing.

How can anyone on that cast take this crap even remotely serious? A pure disgrace. I'm sure that ultimately all this has been done to stir the pot amongst viewers à la the "Who's the Daddy" story from last year. Bridget fans feel she is the victim of slutty Mommy who can't keep her legs closed. Brooke fans feel Bridget is a whiny little princess that intentionally competes with Mommy at every turn. Nick haters think he is a pig who two-times his women, and his fans think he just needs to dump Bridget like a hot potato. Around and around, Brad has stirred the pot. Funny...I don't see it doing anything for the all-important ratings, though. I can say it is certainly not doing anything for this viewer. My dog could write better dramatic tales than this. Sorry to be blunt, but this is my forum, and that's how I feel.

Since we got some scenes with other characters, I thought I would also comment on this Taylor-Ridge thing that is going on. I say "thing" because this is the story that has no direction or purpose. Is she going to give him the boot, knowing he still loves Brooke? Will he just stay with her out of obligation (didn't I just say that above? Exactly)? What the hell is going on? Then we get a nanosecond of Horndog Thomas trying to get busy with his illegal alien wife. Ugh. This story is just sad. Sad that it seems to unfairly stereotype Hispanic characters in soaps. Why did she have to be an illegal alien anyway? Would it have been so bad for her to just be a college student like Thomas. Sad and lazy character creation. And his character is going right into the toilet, too. I thought he was going to be a more caring and decent boyfriend who actually courted women, not molested them. Oh well. Par for the course. He'll be no better than his Daddy.

Here I am, doing little other than ranting and raving about all that bothers me about this show and the lack of fresh direction it has. I sound so negative, don't I? Believe it or not, I would love to do more raving than ranting. I did love the scenes with Nick and Brooke. I liked the acting between SF and KKL...always top-shelf. Loved any amount of time Dante graced the screen. But that's about it. I swear, if it kills me, I'll get my ticket to Hollywood to infuse this show with the hook it needs to make it a can't-miss soap every day. I'm available, I'm full of ideas, and I'm already packed!

A happy back-to-school to everyone getting ready to send the kiddies off to class. My little guy starts kindergarten tomorrow, and I'll be a blubbering mess but very proud nonetheless! Geez, where does the time go? Have a great week!

Ooops! I forgot the results for the question of the week!! On the question of whether or not Brooke and Nick should ride off into the sunset together, it was about a 70/30 split in favor of their coupling. But those that did not like them together made valid points that the way they would be brought together would taint their union and make both seem much less appealing. Hurting Bridget should not be the byproduct of their rediscovery of love or whatever the writers are painting it as this week. Good point, and I'm sure many more see it that way.

This week's question...if you could be writer for a day, what would you do to really spice up the viewing experience for B&B?

Who's on the Soapbox?

Tara writes... "...thank you for your rant! I am sick of Brooke's character at the moment too...she acts as if she's the victim 'I thought Bridget was over my affair with Deacon'...ugh!"

Ellen writes... " come Nick is getting off so easy?...and Brooke? Twenty-four hours after Brooke's dead grandbaby they are ready to screw and tell Bridget they think they re to ROOT FOR? I think I'll skip your column." Funny, I never referenced any of that last week...but hey, I can't please everyone all the time.

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

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