Thinking Fans Comment Update July 19: Purple Haze questions Bridget’s sanity … Levi says the whole story is unrealistic … renee has a new definition of B&B … and more. See Comments below.
By Marlena De Lacroix
In college or on DVD, did you seen the cult movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)? There’s a sweet. funny character called The Black Knight (played by John Cleese), whose simple duty it is to guard a bridge in Medieval times. In a battle one day, his right arm is cut off. Then later, he is shorn of his left arm. He says happily, “It’s only a flesh wound.” In another skirmish, he loses a leg and, still cheerful, hops around on one leg. And then on another day, the Knight loses his left leg, but not his optimism. His torso is seen hopping wildly across the landscape, as he whistles happily.
That to me is the character of Bridget Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful. Even in a medium where it’s an expected practice to cause heroines heartbreak, the degradation of Dr. Bridget is reaching the outer limits of human torture — and viewer tolerance.
Bridget (Ashley Jones) has already lost her husband Nick (Jack Wagner) once to the erotic and martial charms of her own mother, the mighty man-stealer Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang). Bridget had just miscarried her child with Nick, a fetus named Nicole, whose name she repeated over and over again in the endless scenes in which she mourned the child and her marriage. Time passed. Then earlier this year, Bridget got back with Nick. What woman on the Planet Earth would go back to a man who left her for her mother? Perhaps like the Black Knight, Bridget considered losing him to her mother “just a flesh wound.”
Because, that’s exactly the kind of woman Bridget is! And here’s the rub: This perhaps has been the excuse to set up the rest of the pathetic Katie story that is to come. Maybe what happens to Bridget hurts me and the rest of the audience so much because she’s always been the purest of the pure heroine, with a Mary Pickford-esque goodness and innocence. Plus, she never, ever fights back, unlike her mother the Mighty Brooke. Incredibly, she’s a professional woman, a doctor no less! She is the Perfect Victim.
Consider what happened to her next: A courageous doctor, she encouraged her aunt, the young Katie Logan (Heather Tom) to get the heart transplant she needed, and then when Katie’s body was about to reject the heart, Bridget spent all night on the Internet, coming up with a successful cure (oh puleeze). Meanwhile, Katie and Bridget became close platonic friends — so close that her aunt Katie went behind her back and fell in love with Bridget’s new fiancé Nick.
Nick took Katie, with Bridget’s permission, on a fake date to a prom the night Katie was expected to die, where they smooched and showed their illicit love. Then, in the most manipulative moment I have seen on a soap, Katie, who isn’t a minister, was chosen at the last minute to officiate at the Nick and Bridget wedding. Never saw that on a soap before!
Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! How much more pain can B&B inflict on poor Bridget? And on us, the audience? I know a soap has to exaggerate a bit these days to vamp audiences. But please, viewers like me know when the characters they follow are being humiliated. At the same time, we the viewers are being humiliated!
“They’ve always enjoyed being cruel (in their storytelling)” says a colleague who covered the two Bell soaps, B&B and The Young and the Restless, for soap magazines for years.
Macy and Taylor are two heroines out of B&B history who have been humiliatingly pulverized over the years. Macy’s dead now, and Taylor has been the victim of the Mighty Brooke more times than I can count. But no one in B&B history has been as tortured as poor Bridget. Is it because she never fights back? I literally get the shakes now anticipating how long it will be until Katie runs off with Bridget’s new bridegroom, Nick. Nonsensically Nick, normally a very smart guy, has been rendered totally oblivious to the wrong of hurting Bridget again with Katie. I’ve written before that Nick is the only man in B&B history to have balls; now, I wonder where they’ve gone.
Mr. Bell, I don’t watch soap operas because I enjoy being a voyeur at the games of the Marquis De Sade.