Rant and Rave

Well, some angry Steve and Kayla fans have hijacked the TWoP Forum (temporarily I hope) for a bitchfest. Steve is ruined because he’s abusive. Kayla is ruined because she’s a dishrag. Anyone not familiar with Steve and Kayla in the past would hate them now. Hogan Sheffer is an evil hack.

I don’t mind people complaining. I’m not one of those anti-negativity people (if I were, I couldn’t go to message boards at all). But I do like criticism to be thoughtful and well-founded (or snarky and funny). And on a single-thread forum like TWoP, you might ask yourself before you post if the point you’re making has already been made multiple times by others (and often, by yourself in an earlier post), and if so, what are you really adding to the discussion?

So, because I’m feeling contrary after reading all those angry posts, I’m going to devote this blog to discussing what’s going right on the show, right now.

I love Steve and Kayla’s storyline overall, but here are some specifics: it makes me so happy to see Kayla be strong again (and for MBE to have something to sink her teeth into). I love hearing Steve’s cynical laugh again. I love the idea that these two will have to work their way back to each other.

Billie has a work-related, rather than a triangle-related, storyline. I’m intrigued by how EJ is going to use her security system in his plans.

Chick, of course. The two actors play off each other so well, both the fun banter and the angstful stuff.

Shawn and Belle. I got nothin’.

Sami has beautiful hair. And I like Billie’s new hairstyle too.

Lucas is being softer and less judgmental, at least talking the right talk. He apologized for turning on Sami in the past. While still suspecting that she’s hiding something, I don’t get the impression (as I did earlier) that he’s ready to turn on her if he finds out it’s true.

Sami and Celeste. Celeste understood and sympathized with Sami about the rape, and even sympathized with her desire to hide the truth. And in the preview: more of the two of them tomorrow!

There’s an interesting echo of EJ’s “good friend” advice last summer—“Tell the truth to Austin!”—in his current “ha ha, I know you’ll never tell the truth.”

I’ve expressed my frustration with Sami’s storyline here in earlier posts, and I’ve come to a decision about it. I’ve decided to stop wishing it were different (though I’ll still hang on to that kernel of hope)—that is, Sami growing up and Lucas standing by her. I’m just going to watch it play out. But I can’t count that as a “positive.” What I will say, however, is that the story seems to be picking up momentum. This week there’s been a new energy to all their scenes: Sami/EJ, Sami/Lucas, even Kate/EJ.

And I’ll say one more thing about the Sami storyline. One thing the angry Steve and Kayla fans keep saying is that when Steve did something wrong back in the 80s, we always understood why he did it (I might quibble with this on many levels, but that’s what they’re saying). I think most people do understand Sami’s motivations and reasoning here. So does it help, as the S&K fans were claiming? Heh, I’m not sure.

Moving on. Phillip and Willow. Willow spying on Bo and Hope, and in the preview: meeting with EJ! Have we finally found someone James Scott won’t tower over?

Also, I have a glimmer of hope that the wonderful crisscrossing of storylines is going to start again. People have started to talk again about what’s going on in each other lives. Billie, Bo, Nick, Chelsea, Sami, and Roman all mentioned Shawn and Belle this week.. Bo mentioned Steve to Billie today. Just this week there’s been a slight uptick in atypical interactions: Willow and Hope. Sami and Celeste. Willow and EJ.

And looking to the future: EJ wants to kill Shawn. Bo wants to rescue Shawn. Phillip wants to know where Shawn is so he can get Claire back. Could all of this stories come together somehow? Even the boring storylines are more interesting when the stories intersect with each other, and it ups the anticipation factor tenfold.

Thank you. I feel better.

22 thoughts on “Rant and Rave

  1. Well, I’m probably guilty as charged for posting too much on the same topic over there this week b/c I was so frustrated at the conversation. I just get so mad when people say things have happened that haven’t, or say the writers have failed to show something when, in fact, the writers have. Failed to show Steve and Kayla’s connection? Please. GMAB. (Sorry, there I go again.) It just kills me that people think Steve being an angry, murderous lunatic is such a character stretch.

    The show’s not perfect right now, not by a long shot, but I’m not sure any head writer could satisfy certain unhappy fans and write, you know, actual drama.

  2. oh, if you think TWoP bitchfest is bad, don’t go to the Sony boards. I’m so over obsessed shipping fans who feel their couple is getting a raw deal and that Hogan hates them. I truly admit I’m certainly fanatical about S/K and now especially Chick, but I think that the writing for them is pretty original compared to your typical DOOL triangle and am willing to give it a chance.

    And the only thing that truly irritates me is the Sami storyline but I think I’m on your wavelength as I’m just going to see how it goes. If my worst fears get realized, well, then it’s not like it’s nothing I haven’t seen before.

    I do have to make one confession on a point that I think is really serious that we do disagree on. I do not like Billie’s hair. It distracts me in scenes. It looks like a wig to me. There, I said it.🙂

    Did you hear that SheetGate (J/M’s comforter) has gotten mention in both SOD and SOW?

  3. I’m guilty of beating the dead horse as well, but I don’t understand how somebody can watch the S&K scenes lately and say that Hogan doesn’t get the characters or that Hogan has ruined the characters. WTF? Hogan certainly gets them a lot better than whoever was writing in most of 1990 and certainly gets Kayla better than the hacks writing the character in 1991-1992.

    I think the other thing that bothers me is that people are so busy bitching about plot points they don’t like that they are missing SN and MBE’s amazing performances in these scenes. Sometimes I want to scream — forget about the dang kidney, watch the characters. Storylines will always have eye-rolling worthy plot points, but if the actors can sell it, it doesn’t really matter — and SN and MBE can sell just about anything.

    The only conclusion I can come to is that those that are claiming the characters are ruined and that Hogan is an evil hack don’t really want to watch a compelling story, they want to watch the reunion scenes over and over again. I just don’t know how you could grow up on S&K and not love the angsty stuff that SN and MBE do so well.

    Thanks for letting me vent too.

  4. Great points, all of you. And for the record, I wasn’t talking about you when I mentioned people making the same points over and over. The TWoP discussion seemed to go back and forth for awhile (I chimed in too), then the ranters just kept going after everyone else had dropped out, basically high-fiving each other. That’s what “rant” threads are for on other boards.

    What kills me is all this altruistic concern on behalf of newer viewers, the feeling that there’s no way they could possibly like Steve and Kayla with what they’ve seen. I’m sorry, that’s just not so. From what I see, just like with all the characters and stories on the show, some people like them, some don’t, some like Steve but not Kayla, some think SN is a hammy overactor, some have just started to like them with this storyline, some like them in spite of this storyline, etc.

    And not everyone liked them back in the 80’s, either. I vividly remember reading a letter to SOD in 1987 that Days was being irresponsible putting this couple on the screen, because it would encourage victims of domestic violence to stay with their abusers.

    Okay, now I’m starting to rant a little.

    Tripp, I did not hear that about SheetGate! That’s hilarious.

  5. yes, the SheetGate is funny except it’s mention in published soap propaganda has resurrected the conversation over at Sony and now we have to hear the conspiracy that J&M are being sidelined to only give airtime to S&K. Sorry to rant about Sony here, I know you don’t go there but I have to get their crazed postings off my chest.

    I think ESP makes a great point that the characters are still spot on compared to how they were written in the 90s.

  6. I’m a newer fan who loves S/K more than many of the other characters/couples. Even though I’m one of those who complains a lot about plot holes and inconsistencies, I think that the material they’re getting now is the best they’ve had since their return, for all the reason you guys posted. I do understand why newer fans might not be that into them – up until recently I wasn’t sure if I liked them just because of all the old clips I’ve seen. I almost wish I hadn’t seen them so my view of S/K wouldn’t be so…tainted? (I can’t think of the word I want to use here.)

    As for the older fans being unhappy with the current stuff, I’m seeing the same thing now that I saw during the Billie situation. They want S/K together and happy, period, and we got the rushed reunion as a result. Not that I think a triangle involving Billie was a good idea, but the fans got too impatient. If the current “Steve’s being mean to Kayla and pushing her away” stuff goes on for months, then I would understand the frustration, but it just started and we are getting amazing performances and great angst out of this.

  7. lascuba — you’re completely right about some fans only wanting S&K happy and together, period. The obvious problem is that it doesn’t make for very good daytime drama. The happy and together periods are supposed to be the payoff, not the storyline itself. I love S&K as much as anybody, but I don’t think I would last very long if all we ever saw was them being schmoopy all the time. Not that SN and MBE can’t pull of schmoopy, but there needs to be more to the story.

  8. I feel bad because during the Billie triangle I was one of the biggest complainers. But my real issue with that was we were getting no Kayla time. It was so frustrating to watch scene after scene of Steve & Billie while Kayla was totally MIA. Even the quaratine storyline was “about her” but with an inactive part. If you tuned into the show for the first time during this storyline you would have thought Steve & Billie were the story and Kayla was the obstacle.

    Now things are being written more fairly and I think Hogan is nailing Kayla’s character. That being said I’m thrilled. Again, Steve isn’t anywhere near as bad as the horrific Marina storyline and he was tortured and brainwashed so I’m giving any of the hateful things he says a break.

    And if you imagine the same storyline with Shelle or J&M instead, OMG, can you imagine the horrific, cheesy acting? *shudders*

  9. The Billie triangle is a good parallel, because people are complaining now, as they did then, but with far less reason. At the time, I kept saying re: Billie, let’s just see where this is going. Now that it’s over, I feel confident saying it was a badly done triangle, for reasons I’m sure you’re all aware of, but mainly not enough Kayla POV (what Tripp said), and not enough buildup toward a reunion (what lascuba said).

    There’s a tendency on the part of some S&K fans to attribute anything good about their storyline to the actors, and give zero credit to the writing. And yes, soap actors can (and SN and MBE both do) rise above mediocre material. But not even SN and MBE could save the Billie triangle, the writing simply wasn’t there. Now I believe the writing IS there, not perfect of course (IMO Kayla was waaay too easy to convince to take out John’s kidney), but I agree with lascuba: this storyline is giving them a chance, pretty much for the first time since they’ve been back, to layer in lots of interesting subtleties.

    Just as a side note, I doubt many S&K fans were quite so sanguine as they imply about, for instance, Steve giving up Kayla for Jack back in the 80’s. I know it killed me at the time. His motivation was plausible, sortof, but weak. And, I’m sorry, repeatedly breaking your true love’s heart out of the hope that she MIGHT marry your brother and MAYBE give him a reason to live … that’s way worse, in my mind, than what Steve did last week. But the Jack triangle, in retrospect, is one of my favorite storylines of all time, despite its flaws.

  10. marypickford — You highlight one of the problems with bringing back a classic couple like S&K. When we look back on their first run and remember the Jack storyline, what most people really remember is the reveal and reunion portions. To the extent they remember the “shore leave” speech, or the myriad of other times he was mean and cruel, it’s all glossed over with time and “but he really did love her” schmoopiness (yes, I love that word).

    Well, I can clearly remember that, at the time, it was not glossed over for me. I was mad, mad, mad, at good ol’ Stevie and half (only half) hoping that Kayla might just be happy with Jack (especially after they replaced the wooden guy with MA). I wanted to smack Steve upside the head more times than I could count because he kept being a jerk, or even worse, being nice and giving the poor girl hope — then being a jerk again.

    I think all of that is why my all-time favorite Kayla scene is after she first wakes after the rescue and basically tells Steve she can’t trust him anymore. I think it may have been the first time Steve had to deal with the fact that he may have actually lost Kayla completely (okay, so it didn’t happen, but still . . .)

    All of which is a really long way of saying that time has a way of glossing over the bad stuff. Which is why I’m sure that a few years from now, this storyline will be all about how much Steve and Kayla loved eachother and nobody will bat an eye at the “dead to me” conversation.

  11. I’m glad you brought this up b/c I missed large portions of S and K’s original run, mostly due to my parents living in the 19th century (no VCR), college (still no VCR) but also b/c when I tuned in in 1987, Kayla was married to–wait for it–Jack?! And then the next time I tuned in, she had been raped.

    I’m not as easily pushed away from stories now that I’m older and wiser (comparatively, anyway). But I can’t even imagine what the boards would have been like if they existed back then.

  12. *filling up last hour of work*

    All of you have great points, especially on the Steve pushes Kayla away so she would give Billy Jack a reason to live. I hated that she married him. I hated the way the show teased us that Steve might change his mind. And honestly I now realize that the Steve hate I should have had was instead directed at his mother Jo who seemed to put Jack’s feelings above her son’s. That was climaxed after she was told Jack had raped Kayla, she still pushed Steve into giving up his kidney for her. I realize Jack was her son she gave up long ago, but since he did wind up getting adopted I always wondered why Jo managed to always place more sympathy with him over Steve. Used to irk me to know end.

    Um, what were talking about? Oh, right. I didn’t care for the 1987 year as a whole. Some moments stood out and I did love the OTR storyline but everything else makes me realize how much Steve (or the writers) would screw up.

    Oh, and don’t forget Steve being “conflicted” during the rape storyline. That infuriates me to do this day.

  13. Before I went back and did my massive clip-watching last summer, I thought Steve was partly pushing Kayla away because he thought he wasn’t good enough for her, that she’d be “better off” with Jack. But the show makes it quite clear that he knows perfectly well that isn’t true. And the truth is he consistently picks Jack over Kayla from the time he finds out he is his brother, until (too long after) the rape.

    At the time I didn’t think about writers, but like Tripp I displaced a lot of my anger at what Steve was doing onto Jo, and also onto Jack (and that horrible actor who played him then!). And I have to agree that the show was very cruel with how they teased us, making us think Steve was going to relent. I imagine, had message boards existed then, there would have been a lot of anger directed at the writers, a lot of people saying Steve and Kayla were dead to them: Steve for being cruel, Kayla for being stupid.

    Kayla was in for a lot of victimization during that time, first getting her heart broken, then being poisoned, then raped, then attacked by Harper and stricken deaf, then attacked by Harper again and almost killed. I didn’t think about it then, but I can imagine the talk on the boards now about that. And how the blame for some of it, mainly the rape, can be partially laid at Steve’s door.

    One more thing: I notice some people talking about the desire to see Steve “grovel” (with the current storyline) and I can’t remember a time ever in their history where Kayla made Steve grovel.

  14. Well, I have to confess I’m one of those that has commented on seeing Steve “grovel” a little after all of this is over. But, part of my reasoning is exactly because he never had to grovel before.

    He tells Kayla that Jack is Billy — they hash it out and BOOM, all is forgiven. Not that I didn’t love it at the time (and still do), but a little part of me always wished he’d had to work a little harder to get her back.

    I willingly accept that part of the history of the characters is that Kayla will pretty much forgive Steve for anything. And, I fully expect that when all is said and done here, she’ll do the same. And, given all that he’s been through, she has better reason to simply forgive than she has in the past.

    All that said, I still wouldn’t mind seeing him have to at least woo her a little. I don’t really want to see him actually grovel, but some acknowledgment of the hell she went through would make me happy.

  15. Oh, I’m not against some groveling, just pointing out that Kayla has never made him do it.

    Remember when, on New Year’s Eve, Kayla finally found out he’d stalked her? And she confronted him about it, and first he said, “I didn’t know you then,” then he retreated behind his “tough guy” act: “I guess your heart played a nasty trick on you,” I remember he said. Then she threw him out. The next day, Kayla found him again (he didn’t go to her) and asked him why he couldn’t have just taken her in his arms and said he was sorry. And he still wouldn’t do it!

    So not only did he not grovel, he didn’t even apologize. And I don’t think they ever talked about it again. I was pathetically in love with Steve then, but even I thought that was inadequate.

  16. I like groveling and believe it’s way over time. I loved the reunion at Christmas initially because it was more of a relief that the Billie mess was over and my long suffering Kayla was finally going to end her 15 year long era of abstinence. Looking at it now, I am irritated at how easily Steve was able to convince Kayla he was really back . (LOL; what was said at TWoP? They ran laps in the parking lot?)

    I remember the NY’s party (in many ways I wish it would take as many months for Chelsea to find out about Nick and Billie, especially in a moment right before her and Nick are about to consummate for the first time.) I also think Kayla forgave him way too fast for that plus I also wish it did come out later after they slept together (granted who knew it would take 6 more months for that to happen?)

    LOL; course reading what I write it’s like I’m never happy with the way anything turned out, huh?

  17. Well, he didn’t ever apologize, but since he did go to jail while trying to help out her sister I suppose that counts for the narrative suffering…

    I do think it’s going to take more than a few laps around the parking lot to coax K back into bed with him this time, though.

  18. You’re right, julianscat, Steve often showed his love for Kayla by what he was willing to do, not what he was willing to say.

    I’m going to make one more comment about the angry S&K fans. I know it isn’t nice to make fun of one poster. But somebody said that Steve was more sympathetic than he’s being now, because we knew his motivation, when he was tormenting Hope with the pan of acid and threatening to rape her! Putting aside the fact that we actually knew nothing of his past with Bo then (just that they had one), that has got to be the most extreme case of nostalgic rereading of history I’ve ever seen.

  19. marypickford,

    I think a lot of people have forgotten about Steve that it’s what he does, not what he says, that’s crucial about his character, and has been from the very beginning (which, in fact, takes us back to the pan of acid and tormenting Hope.) In fact, it was true of Nick Stockton when he came back–he said he was going to ask Kayla for a divorce, but he never did. He said he was going to break things off with her, but in the end it was Kayla who had to say the words. (And of course, he said he was committed to finding out the truth, and he wasn’t, but now I think we’re starting to understand that maybe his subconscious was protecting him on that score).

    And back to the Hope torment–the fake acid scene had loads of layers from SN, but a scene preceding it, where he attacks Hope in an abandoned warehouse, is just pretty gruesome to watch. There are all sorts of threats there, and not much in the way of vulnerability. And since it’s obvious to this viewer that he’s out of his freaking mind at the moment, it’s unclear to me, having started there, how the character is “ruined.”

  20. The “Steve is ruined” crowd are definitely the ones that drive me the craziest.

    Yes, we often knew his motivations in the past but that didn’t make things any easier to take. And, I think part of the drama in this storyline is that we don’t know exactly what is going on with Steve. We know parts of it, but we certainly don’t know the whole story. That’s what makes it good drama.

  21. Okay I know I am days behind on this conversation but I want to comment anyway…I just found this site…and I like it..

    So… as regards Steve’s character being “ruined”..I don’t think so..To me he is more Steve than he has been since he returned to the show. I remember the original Steve and I loved him..bad boy that he was..

    I think Steve’s behavior to Kayla was much worse in the past when he pushed her to Jack. I also felt that he was somewhat responsible for her being raped by Jack. He kept pushing her to stay with him when she told him she did not want to go back to Jack.

    I also was angry at Jo. I don’t know if I would call it displaced anger, because I was angry at both of them. I never understood why Jo seemed to choose Jack/Billy over Steve. It really irritated me back then and it still does when I watch the clips now.

    I think Hogan Sheffer understands the characters of Steve and Kayla and I think he has researched their history. They are acting within character and I believe they would make the choices they are making. I am an S & K fan who does not want them to be always happy and together. I always want them interacting, but I love the angst just as much (well maybe not), as the love. Hmmm…I think the love wins. But I still like angst..because that leads up to some good lovin’

  22. lv2lf, thank you for stopping by and for commenting (it’s never too late to jump into a conversation about S&K!).

    I think you’re right that part of the responsibility for the rape lies with Steve. Now, Kayla did not have to listen to Steve and go back to Jack. But she was trying to be so considerate of his desire not to hurt his newfound brother—and she’s the one who paid the price. And then when he compounded the problem by having divided loyalties after the rape, well, that was even worse.

    I always thought Jo treated Steve as sortof an honorary partner (since her own husband was so bad), instead of a son. She always went to him for help for Jack or Adrienne, wanting him to help Jack with the kidney, and then later to alter the adoption records in LA—that was so crazy! She wanted Steve to be happy but she didn’t do motherly, meddlesome things (that all soap moms seem to do) to bring it about like she did with her other children.

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