Together Apart Together Apart

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Make Up to Break Up!

Hi Suds Buds:

How many times do we see soap couples coming together, only to be torn apart by some outside force?  A previous love.  A family debacle.  A one-night stand that turns to an unwanted pregnancy?  Just as two soap characters find each other and fall in love, something pulls them apart.  They then end up longing unrequitedly for what they can no longer have. 

Until, suddenly, they have it again. Circumstances push them together and all of a sudden, they reunite, rekindle their love, rebuild hurt feelings and start over.  Until – some force breaks them apart.  Again.

I call it TATA.  Together apart, together apart.   It not only happens to love-struck singles, but to married couples as well.  Take Todd and Blair (One Life to Live) for example. How many times have those two been together and then, been apart -- only to come together again?  Too many to count.  Now, a marriage between them is again in the works. 

How about on All My Children?  The characters of Erica and Jackson share a tumultuous relationship.  Once deeply in love, they never quite get to the point of saying I do. But last week, they again expressed their feelings for each other.  Speaking of Erica, she married Adam twice, and she married Dimitri twice (the second time after having stabbed him.)   The characters of Tad and Dixie married three times! 

On Bold and the Beautiful how many times has the character of Brooke gotten involved with a Forrester?  Ridge specifically, but Thorne, too. Too many times.  And now, as Ridge mourns Taylor’s death, Brooke has again become his shoulder to cry on and his current love of the moment.  Will it last this time for Brooke and Ridge, or should the two of them simply pack it in and get new love interests? 

The recycling of love entanglements seems to be a mainstay of soapdom.  But I am not so sure I like or agree with it.  Can’t Blair and Todd recognize that 1) either they are the best thing for each other and nothing better will ever come their way, or 2) give it up already and start anew with someone new? 

The rationale of the writers is probably that when you keep characters together and they are happy together, they become boring as characters.  To spice things up, it’s best to put challenges in front of them. Obstacles they must overcome.  This is what keeps characters interesting.  Okay. I get that.  Totally.  But why have them come back together again and again, after they’ve been broken apart?  That too becomes boring. 

Yes, no? What do you think?  Let us know on the Criticize the Critic message board.

Now, I have some good news to share.  I was recently interviewed at (  The interview is all about, soap fans and the soap industry in general.  Check it out!

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Til the top of next week,

Linda Marshall-Smith
CEO, Soapdom, Inc.

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