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As The World Turns Articles Pages

ATWT Opinion Article

Just Call Her Barbara
By Loretta Sorensen

Recently we saw As the World Turns' Barbara Ryan (portrayed by Colleen Zenk Pinter) made a free woman when her trial was declared a mistrial. Conspiring with her ex-husband, Barbara was responsible for the kidnapping of three women who were sent to a spa and used as human guinea pigs.

After her charges were dismissed, did Barbara display sympathy for her victims or friends and family who on the witness stand, were blamed for her criminal behavior? The only concern of Barbara's was getting her company BRO, back in shape.

Barbara did not always embrace her inner badness. Once she was pure sugar and spice and everything nice. In fact Barbara's sweetness caught the eye of dashing James Stenbeck, whom she married, but did not live happily ever after with. James was a fiercely jealous and possessive husband, who didn't think twice about his extra-marital affairs. Though saintly Barbara tried her best to save her marriage, she could not. When Barbara left James, he sought revenge on her by driving her crazy, committing her to a sanitarium and trying to kill her on several occasions.

Still abundantly supplied with toxic niceness, Barbara soon fell in love with Gunnar St Clair, but lost him when he succumbed to a terminal illness. Barbara's next love interest was Brian McColl, but eventually he dumped her for Shannon O'Hara. This slap in the face triggered Barbara to shed her Snow White image and seek revenge on Shannon. Transforming herself into a bad-itude babe, Barbara vowed to no longer be victimized by men or anyone else. Barbara even threw a party to celebrate the changing of her last name from Stenbeck to Ryan.

Barbara found her inner Bad Girl and used that to put her needs first. This straightforward and sarcastic soccer mom used her new power to seduce a drunken Tom Hughes to bed, carry on a sleazy affair with married Tonio Reyes, pretended to be stalked to keep Hal at her side and had Emily's job transfer her to Los Angeles (to keep Emily away from her son Paul).

After selfish Barbara was free from her disastrous marriage to Craig Montgomery, she was injured in an explosion. With multiple burns scarring her once beautiful face, Barbara became a recluse and descended into madness when her ex-husband James came calling.

In his twisted way, James offered to help Barbara. Soon she was under his spell. James convinced Barbara that in order for her to be happy, she must rid the three women who were ruining her life (Carly Tenney, Rose D'Angelo and Emily Stewart). Still carrying a torch for Barbara, James hoped this action would rekindle their romance, but Barbara quickly rejected him. Not one to take rejection easily, James sought revenge on Barbara by planting evidence that she was the culprit behind the kidnappings and she was forced to confess.

While waiting for her trial, James kidnapped Barbara and had her beautiful face restored. When James threatened to kill Barbara if she did not go along with his plans, she stabbed him and fled.

On her return to Oakdale, Barbara found herself to be despised by most of her friends and family, including her son Paul.

Now that Barbara is free from going to prison, will she be inspired to transform herself into the saintly soul she once was? Probably not. Since she now wears the title of "Most Hated Woman In Oakdale" and with James now lurking in Mexico; Barbara may find it crucial to keep her bad-itude intact.

So beware Oakdale residents, Bad Girl Barbara is back and still likes to play dirty.

The opinions in these articles are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The TV MegaSite or its other volunteers.

Page updated 11/19/10

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