By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman
The Bold and the Beautiful: I’m not going to apologize or use nice words. My favorite character on B&B is “Dollar” Bill Spencer because he has balls, something almost all the men on this show in its 25-year history have lacked. Unlike the romantic ping pong balls that have been Ridge and Bill’s son Liam (the biggest wuss of all) Bill has strength and is aggressive. He’s a manipulator. Lately, he’s been taking his poor excuse for a son (who spends all his time on earth bouncing between Steffy and Hope) and trying to make him into a man. Sure, it’s been weird — he’s forced Liam eat steak and smoke cigars. But at least someone’s been trying to make Liam strong enough to choose between his two young women and determine his own fate. Will Bill succeed? In real life he probably would, but since the ratings are so high for the interminable young triangle, Bill will probably be force-feeding spinach to Liam in perpetuity.
With his silver jewelry, sexual swagger and often bared chest, you’d think Bill was a soap joke. But Don Diamont, who started soap life as Liz’s (Glorina Loring) boytoy on Days of Our Lives three decades ago, makes Bill’s ever-aggressive nervous energy seem quite real. Let’s face it — soaps are still a women’s medium, (go ahead and write me) and uber strong masculine men are few and far between. Think usually liberated Marlena is being a bit backward here? No — forceful people (men and women) make the world go round. And the soap world too!
The last man of this strength on B&B was Bill’s father, Bill Spencer Sr., as played by James Storm at the beginning of the show. He was the only figure in the show’s history to match la Stephanie in the cojones department. (They were friends.) It puzzles me, however, how Katie, one of the most intelligent women in soaps, stays married to Bill, mucho macho manipulator. This week Bill’s strength is tested as pregnant Katie has gone into labor, endangered by the fact that she has a transplanted heart. She also just found out via Deacon about Bill’s shenanigans in Italy. Can Bill’s iron will be enough to pull her through? I have a feeling Bill has already stashed away a miniature silver bracelet for his newborn.
The Young and the Restless: So this week, Victor is coming back from the dead. What a shock! He’s done it before and of course coming back from the dead is the hoariest of all soap clichés. But what makes this resurrection interesting is that he’s coming back in time for his own funeral (done on soaps before — does anyone remember who or when?) This is all being done to celebrate Y&R’s 10,000th episode. Am I mad, or is coming back from the dead supposed to be the ultimate soap surprise? Instead, Victor’s resurrection has been heralded by soap magazine covers and press releases in advance. And they ask why soaps are having trouble …
General Hospital: Condolences to his family on the death of John Ingle, 84, a great actor and a great man. The late David Lewis’ Edward was wonderful in his own way — irascible, stubborn and often hilarious. But Ingle made the role his own by adding doses of humanity and heart to the character. Before becoming a full-time actor, Ingle was a drama teacher at Hollywood and Beverly Hills Highs with famous alumnae like Albert Brooks and Nicholas Cage. (See this superbly researched report for a more complete list.) Teachers are blessed as the legacy of their labors can and does last forever!