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HOLLENBECK: Demise of favorite soap leaves void in daily TV life

August 8, 2011

Since “As the World Turns” concluded its daily rotations last fall, I’ve been off the soap opera circuit.
Can’t say I like it that way. I didn’t usually see the show live, but taped it for later viewing — after I had finally collapsed from that day’s fun and frivolity.
I miss that part of “life” as the soap moguls portrayed it. Although the plots had gotten really far out at times, it still had some elements of the ordinary life-death-and-everything-in-between struggles of the Hughes-Stewart clans that started the world turning a long time ago.
When I was a regular viewer, that soap plus “Guiding Light” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” all were taped in one setting. I didn’t watch all of them every day, and sometimes not at all, but I got enough out of them to know who the players were and what their characters were like.
All of this came to me recently when I happened to be home during a broadcast of “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
I hadn’t seen it in a long time, but nothing much had changed. Brooke, the blond femme fatale, who’s epitomized the closest thing around to legal incest, was still plotting over some “love” issue.
I use the word “love” gingerly because I honestly don’t think one woman could be in love with that many men in one family.
I don’t know how many Forresters would be in her full name if someone tried to write them all in one setting. She’s been married to Son No. 1, Son No. 2, the father of the two sons (though not actually for one as one segment revealed, but father for all legal purposes), and then she’s divorced all of the above and married most of them again — in Son No. 1’s case, several times.
She also had a fling, which resulted in a child, with her daughter’s fiance. That union may not have made it to the altar. I can’t recall that bit of information.
And she had a tryst with her favorite husband’s son, but never married him. Of course, she didn’t mean to do it (??!??), if I recall what was going on at the time.
Favorite husband for Brooke is Ridge Forrester, the one she’s married repeatedly. The younger brother’s name is Thorn.
With all of those names — Brooke, Ridge and Thorn — my spouse decided there was a theme going on and renamed himself so he would fit in better.
He called me at the office one day to explain his position.
“From now on, you can call me Edge,” Ed said. “If they can be Ridge and Thorn, I can be Edge.”
From that point forward, for a long time, I’d answer a call and hear this sentence: “Hello. Edge here.”
He was just so proud of himself that I had to go along with it, though I never addressed him by that moniker.
As for the general run of the show, I have to say that because I was tuned in, I was a witness to some of the best female fights I’ve ever seen, particularly between Brooke and her mother-in-law — at least most of the time — Stephanie. Sometimes she’s been her love rival, but that’s just so hard to explain if you’ve never seen the show.
I think it’s a situation where she could be called “mother-in-law several times removed” or maybe just “mother-in-law over and over” or “mother-in-law one more time.”
Brooke and Taylor, the other woman that Ridge marries every so often, also have taken to the mat with each other. Brooke is the scrapper of the two, however; Taylor usually comes off looking like the classy character she portrays, even when she sweats.
I can honestly say that I grew up without ever seeing two women really exchange blows. Words, yes, but never the physical stuff.
It probably would be a fun scene to play, as long as both were truly acting. This wouldn’t be a situation where you’d favor heavy doses of realism.
Brooke is definitely the better grunter and really seems to enjoy it.
She’s a big crier, too, though not quite on the level of Victoria Principal in “Dallas.”
But that’s a whole other story. Maybe another time ...

Lynda Hollenbeck is associate editor of The Saline Courier.
lyndahol@yahoo.com

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