Sunday Reflections 11: Mucho Macho Man on Bold and Beautiful … Victor Lives Again on Young and Restless … Mourning a Great Actor from General Hospital

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.

Don Diamont

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 …

John Ingle

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!

Comments

  1. Chris says:

    As a young guy watching a mostly women’s medium like daytime soaps, I love Bill “Dollar Bill” Spencer on B&B too! Before Bill got Katie pregnant and the Hope/Liam/Steffy love traingle started, Bill was having an affair with Steffy who the latter was seducing and matching wits with while they both instantly fell for each other! I miss the Bill/Steffy pairing, since Steffy is the female version of Bill, and the chemistry between Don Diamont and Jacqueline McInnes Woods was incredible! Too bad B&B head writer Brad Bell ended the Katie/Bill/Steffy triangle and went with the tiresome Hope/Liam/Steffy triangle that’s eating up the show instead!

    Marlena says: Yeah Steffy and Bill were very sexy together. Only on daytime does a man pass his girlfriend down to his son.

  2. Patrick Erwin says:

    I am slowly starting to watch GH again – something I haven’t done with any regularity since the Labine/Riche years – but I was very sad to hear of John Ingle’s passing. And it’s very nice that he’s had universal praise from costars and students across the Internet – a sign of what a fine gentleman and actor he was.

    Couldn’t agree more on Y&R. It’s been noted on various message boards that he even seems to be wearing the same black t-shirts that he did when he was last assumed dead. I understand that it might be interesting to take Victor out of the loop every once in a while for the sake of story, but surely “dying” 3 times had to seem ridiculous to someone at Y&R/Sony/CBS? Any more and he turns into a Stefano DiMera/James Stenbeck, dangerously close to self-parody. Couldn’t The Great Victor Newman be caught in a foreign jail? I would totally buy some Occupy Wall Street types hiding him away, etc.

    Marlena says: Patrick darling, you are so right on the money about Victor’s recent resurrection seeming like self-parody. A full review of the 10,000 episode of Y&R will appear in next week’s column. Love your suggestion about Operation Wall Street types hiding Victor away–LOL!

  3. Kevin says:

    I remember Carly attending/crashing her own funeral on “General Hospital” in the summer of 2002 (it was the first time Tamara Braun was given the material to make us ask, “Sarah who?”) but that can’t be the only time it’s happened. What are the other instances you were referring to, Marlena?

    Marlena says: Thanks so much Kevin! I don’t know the other instances because after watching soaps for forty years, Marlena’s memory does get fuzzy. If any one else has any other examples of characters showing up at their own funerals do write in!

Speak Your Mind