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It may be the start of a new year, but there's no better time to reflect on the last year in soaps. Instead of writing a normal Blissful to Busted column, Lesleyann Medeiros takes a look back over the past year in daytime drama. Following is a list of her picks for the most blissful and definitely the most busted, storylines, characters, actors and events of 2002 for each soap. We'll do this network by network, and this week’s it’s CBS Daytime’s turn.
AS THE WORLD TURNS:
Blissful Maternity Leave Plot Device: Spa Story
What’s a head writer to do when, not one but two, front burner actresses become pregnant in real life at the same time, necessitating their characters be written off for maternity leave? If you’re Hogan Sheffer, you come up with an original idea which allows the actresses to appear on screen in the months leading up to their exit, in big, fluffy bath robes at the spa from hell. Throw in fan favorite, Martha Byrne (Rose/Lily), and you’ve got the makings of an interesting tale.
Though the sci-fi twist the story took as the women rapidly aged might have put some viewers off, the twists and turns were worth it in the end to see Jack (Michael Park at his heroic best) reunited with Carly, Emily with Hal, and Rose with Paul.
Ironically enough, Martha Byrne became pregnant in real life as well, during her time at the “spa.” Must have been something in the water.
Busted Love Story: Lucy and Aaron
Even though Lucy (Peyton List) and Aaron (Agim Kaba) are related to core characters (she’s Craig and Sierra’s daughter and he’s Holden’s son), I still don’t care about them. Their love story has been silly and insipid at best, and boring and condescending at worst.
Lucy started out hating Aaron because she thought he was cheating on his girlfriend Abigail by flirting with her. When she learned Abigail was really Aaron’s sister, she instantly fell in love with him. What looked like a decent teen triangle of Aaron caught between good girl Lucy and misunderstood bad girl Allison (the spunky Jessica Dunphy), disappeared as Aaron instantly took to Lucy and rejected Allison. From this point on, there wasn’t anywhere else to go. The story became just plain boring. Frankly, I don’t care if their parents don’t want them to be together, because I don’t either. Now, all three teens are on the run, and hopefully Allison will have enough sense to leave the dopey lovebirds behind and return to Oakdale without any baggage.
THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL:
Blissful Confrontations: Stephanie/Brooke and Bridget/Brooke
THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL:
When Stephanie discovered Deacon and Brooke kissing in Brooke’s office, inadvertently stumbling onto Brooke’s secret that her son-in-law Deacon was the father of her child, the look on Stephanie’s face said it all.
Susan Flannery (Stephanie) delivered another tour de force performance as she stared at Brooke first in horror, then in disgust and finally anger. Flannery never uttered a word as each emotion passed across her face loud and clear. It was truly an unforgettable moment.
Weeks later when Bridget invariably learned that her husband sired a baby with her mother, and went to the cabin to confront Brooke, the stage was set. Brooke at first was calm and tried to act normal, until Bridget let loose that she knew the truth. Jennifer Finnigan (Bridget) gave her finest performance to date as she stayed strong throughout her character’s monologue, never succumbing to the easy choice of hysteria and tears. Her subtle approach to Bridget’s heartbreak broke viewer’s hearts. It was an Emmy-worthy performance.
And Katherine Kelly Lang managed to do the impossible, in Brooke’s utter defeat and eventual labor, as she made us feel sorry for her.
Each of these women on her own can carry a scene, but together the three were dynamite as they delivered Brooke’s daughter, and in the process treated viewers to some of the most memorable scenes in B&B’s history.
Busted Send Off: Taylor
When Bradley Bell made the controversial decision to kill off beloved fan fave Dr. Taylor Hayes Forrester (the popular Hunter Tylo) it was not the final indignity for fans or the actress.
As if having her character shot through the heart wasn’t bad enough, Tylo had to endure the humiliation of Taylor’s open casket funeral, complete with a disturbing serenade by what sounded like possessed cherubic chipmunks (really Taylor’s twin daughters). What a nightmare! If hell had a soundtrack, that would be it. I’m still traumatized.
During the overlaying montage, I found myself wanting to enjoy Taylor’s best moments with Ridge but the singing demon children ruined the moment. Instead of crying, I found myself cringing, and I know I’m not alone in this. It just added insult to the injury of Tylo’s departure.
Blissful Psycho: Charissa Charmaro as Tory Grainger
When GL first had Ross fall for his student Tory, it looked like it was going to be your typical mid life crisis storyline for the professor. What Ross didn’t bank on, however, was that Tory was unstable. A Fatal Attraction relationship was born.
Tory tormented Ross and his wife Blake, and finally was able to kidnap Blake and hold her captive. It was a nice twist to have Blake turn the tables on Tory by managing to escape, and lock the loony coed in her own cell, in the process.
Throughout all the outlandish high jinks, Charmaro made viewers feel for Tory. She was a wounded bird lashing out and hurting others as she’d been so hurt herself. Tory easily could have been a one note over-the-top caricature if played by a less talented actress, but not in Charmaro’s capable hands.
Tory was one psycho I was sorry to see go, and here’s hoping another show soon snatches up the talented Charmaro.
Busted Death: Reva Pulls the Plug on Richard
Reva killing her brother-in-law Richard by turning off his life support, at his urging, was supposed to be a shocking plot twist. Instead, it turned into yet another Reva mess for Guiding Light. After all Reva’s story misses in recent years (the cloning story and last year’s time traveling story come to mind), you’d think they’d give poor Kim Zimmer something realistic to do.
It seemed out of left field that Reva, as spontaneous as she is, would so callously make this decision on her own, without discussing it with Richard’s wife, her own beloved sister Cassie. The move was so completely out of character, it was almost as if Reva had taken momentary leave of her senses. That’s saying a lot considering this is a woman who jumped through a painting not all that long ago.
Since Reva was never in danger of spending any time in jail (that would require Kim Zimmer’s absence from the show), her actions never had serious repercussions. The entire story felt like just an attention getting way to send Richard’s portrayer, Bradley Cole, off the show.
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS:
Blissful Wedding: Nikki and Victor
Y&R threw caution to the wind regarding the old soap adage, “a happily married couple is a boring couple,” when they finally remarried Nikki and Victor, 18 years after their first marriage.
Even though their first marriage ended in divorce in 1988, there is great hope for this one. Any faithful viewer of Y&R through the years has always known that these two were meant for each other. Through many marriages to other people, they always seemed to find their way back to each other.
To be rewarded with a grand wedding after all of these years, was a special gift for the fans, especially since the same actors are still playing Nikki and Victor.
And if any two characters will make married life exciting to watch, it’s these two. If their wedding was any indication, their life together will be filled with plenty of drama for years to come.
Busted Love Scenes: Sharon and Nick and Christine and Paul
There has been a disturbing trend developing on Y&R recently. The show seems fascinated with forceful, violent love scenes that are devoid of love.
First there was Sharon and Nick. When she found out he’d slept with Grace in retaliation for her one night with Diego, she was understandably upset. As the argument escalated, Nick and Sharon approached each other, all the while yelling and hurling insults. At one point Nick even said to his wife, “There are names for women like you.” Not exactly great foreplay.
The next thing you know, he was shaking her by the shoulders and then he kissed her. He aggressively shoved her down on the bed and they made love.
As for the much discussed “love scene” of Christine and Paul, the fact that he grabbed her and kissed her forcefully, and then she kissed him back, doesn’t negate what happened next. He seemed to push her onto the bed, pinning her arms over her head. The rape question aside, this is not how a man who supposedly is still in love with his ex-wife behaves.
My gripe with these scenes is that both Nick and Paul love the women they were with, and would never dream of hurting them physically. Neither man has ever been violent with a woman before. They’ve been aggressive with other men whom they perceive as rivals, but never with women.
If Y&R is saying that it is okay to be physically and emotionally abusive to the woman you love, that is a scary and dangerous message to perpetuate.
- Busted to Blissful ~ 2002 Wrap Up ~ ABC Daytime
- Busted to Blissful ~ 2002 Wrap Up ~ NBC Daytime
- Meet the Author! Busted to Blissful with Lesleyann Coker
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