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Passions Article

Shirley's Opinions

By Shirley

4/18 - 4/22/05

Well, it's happened again. I've hit bottom with this show. Actually, to put it more precisely, the show has hit bottom, and I've reached the end of my patience with it. I am simply tired beyond belief of never having anything good happen on this show, and of the same old things happening time and again. It's like trying to find your way to a really good party but never being able to find it. You follow the directions and think you're getting there, and then see the same tree you passed half an hour ago go by again. How many of you would just keep driving in circles like that without ever finding the party? Not me. I'd give up sooner or later, figuring it isn't worth the trouble, time, and gas it's taking to get there, wherever it is. We have just passed that same old tree again after our six year journey, and as far as I'm concerned it's time to give it up and drive away. Now, I have felt this way a few times before, even dropping the show for a few months once, but there always comes a time when it sounds like they are really going to get somewhere, some long held secret will be revealed, or a couple who should be together finally are going to make it, or the devious workings of a scoundrel are finally going to be exposed and I come right back, expecting to finally see something I've been waiting for since day one. All I can say here is, TC's shed. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about, but I'll explain further, just in case.

Remember when the show first started, and it was discovered that TC had this secret shed in the back yard that no one, not even his beloved wife Eve had ever see the inside of it? Remember, he would go out there whenever he was feeling upset or depressed and spend hours in there, doing whatever it was he did? Oh, there were guesses of all kinds as to what it could be: the mummified remains of his beloved father, whom he went out and talked to when he felt no one else could understand; a Santeria stand of candles and religious icons that he performed unseen rights over, trying to curse the Cranes out of existence; a drug den where he went to ease his pain, or any one of a number of other ideas. We worried about that shed for years, wondering what really was in there, what he did when he went in there and stayed, and why he wouldn't even let Eve see what it was. One...two...three years went by, and not a hint of what he was hiding. Four...five - and finally it became apparent that there was movement! It began to look like at long last the secret would come out, that we would finally see what was hidden in that damnable shed all those years, and the excitement was palpable. Oh, they teased us, having Liz find his keys and sneak in to see what it was, showing her properly shocked at the sight, and Sam followed him in when he was extremely upset and wanting to kill Julian. He, too, was shocked by what he saw, wondering at the reason TC would keep such a thing. Oh, this had to be good! This was going to be worth the wait, that five long years of wondering and guessing and waiting were finally going to be rewarded by the revelation of just what TC had in his shed. I, myself, was almost breathless with anticipation in the days leading up to the big reveal, giddy with the knowledge all would soon be made public knowledge.

So, the big day came, and the anticipation level had increased exponentially, to the point we were literally sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting to see "IT"! And then, finally, the big moment arrived, the cameras entered that shed, looked around, then swung to the spot the secret was situated in, and........a car. A wrecked, ugly, meaningless car. The car TC had been driving when the accident had happened that caused him to lose the ability to live his dreams of winning Wimbledon, and that he had blamed Julian for all those years. No candles and icons for casting evil drugs....just a beat up, useless old car. Now, that was the let down of all letdowns, up to that time, and I don't think I heard even one person who thought it was a great reveal. As a matter of a fact, it was just the opposite. "Is that all there is?" was the cry of the day, if I remember right. But, that's Passions for you. Just like an abysmally unskilled lover, they build you up to the moment of ecstasy they kept promising you would come, only to stop just short of the actual goal, leaving you feeling you'd been duped, and badly.

Now, as bad as that was, for sheer number of times we've been duped, nothing tops Luis and Sheridan's love life. How many times have they looked like things were going their way, only to have one of them die, get kidnapped, get waylaid, or some other thing happen to stop them in their tracks. Their first wedding was stopped due to Ivy not wanting Ethan to marry Theresa and it was a double wedding, so Luis and Sheridan couldn't marry, either. Then Sheridan gets blown up in a boat explosion caused by her dad and Julian, presumed dead, and then pulled out of the sea by a gorgeous hunk who turned out to be Luis' own brother. She had amnesia, of course, remembering she loved someone but not his name, so she promptly fell in love with Antonio, her rescuer, and they planned to marry. He decided to take her back to Harmony to meet the family he hadn't bothered to contact in years, ever since he snuck out of town for a reason we still don't know, and she gets her memory back, realizing it's Luis she loves and planning on letting Antonio know. However, he and Luis lock horns first, and Antonio ends up in a coma due to head trauma received some time earlier, and Pilar forces her to marry him so he will have a reason to live. Well, that gets cleared up, but she still can't find the right time or words to tell her husband she really loves his brother, so they still can't be together. You all know all the other things that have happened to these two - her kidnapping by Beth, her death and resurrection, etc - and here we are, six years later, still hoping that some day, some way they will manage to finally get married and live happily ever after.

One other thing about this couple is the fact that when Beth kidnapped Sheridan, she stole her baby as soon as he was born and has been raising him as her own ever since, even tho Sheridan knows he is hers. Finally, at long last, Luis backs her up in getting a DNA test done, and it looks like the family is finally going to be reunited, but no. The results show that Beth is the real mother, even tho we all know she isn't. And that is the last straw for me. I am tired of playing this game, of never getting the payoff all good soaps give their viewers. It's simply not fair, and we really need to make our feelings known. I have written to NBC in an e-mail stating my disapproval of their actions, something I have done numerous times over the years, and I would like to start a boycott of the show, having a week's moratorium where no one watches it. Just flat out turn it off, no taping or anything else. Maybe if they see the drop in numbers and realize how many of us are tired of their constant deceptions and stabs in the back they will get the idea that we want some good writing for a change, and some happy endings, at least for a while. We want Ivy, Beth, Rebecca, Gwen, Alistair, and yes, even Tabitha, to be shown for the liars, cheats, and schemers they are, letting everyone know that the problems they have had are all directly linked to these people in one way or another. OK, let Tabitha and Alistair work their way out of it somehow, but tame Alistair down on the hidden camera spying and such. I mean, just how gross is it that he watches his daughter making love in her bedroom all the time? And cameras in jungles and the heck is that even possible? It isn't.

I know, I am complaining a lot today, but come on, you have to admit having the DNA test come out in Beth's favor is beyond upsetting. I mean, real life is depressing enough most of the time, so why are they making our means of escape for an hour or two a day even more depressing than that? Why can't we have a romantic escape, a happy one, a joyous one, even, at least for a while? Why can't Luis and Sheridan marry and get Marty back? There are a lot of rocks that can be thrown into their path, a lot of upheaval and strife, but at least give them each other to lean on. Why can't Ethan choose the woman he really truly loves and end all the hostility once and for all? I mean, you know he's not going to stick with Gwen for long, he will be back giving Theresa hope for a future together, no matter what they do for a month or two. Fox was right when he said Ethan wants to keep Gwen because she is the only thing of his old life as a Crane that he has left, but that his heart really belongs to Theresa, who he loves with all his heart and soul. Fox is a smart guy, for the most part, so why doesn't Ethan listen to him? Because the writers are under the mistaken impression that what we want is pain and destruction from our soap characters. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There are a lot more examples of the "Merry-go-round" storytelling on this show that drives me crazy, but time and space don't allow mentioning them all. Needless to say, there is not one good thing that happens on this show, ever, that isn't sandblasted out of existence within one or two shows, and I simply don't have access to anti-depressants in quantity enough to keep me from wanting to do myself in while watching it. Passions has always been a painful experience, with sprigs of happiness tossed in occasionally, but those sprigs are quickly ground to dust under the ever-present weight of angst, sorrow, and despair dished out so liberally, and I simply don't have the stomach for it any longer. If you agree, please let us know so we can get a movement started to boycott the show for a week. I think we may be too late to make it sweeps week, but we could still make a clear statement if we work together. Sign on to every soap forum you know and let people know what we are thinking and let's see if we can't get something going by, say, the second week in May.

Okay, that's it for this week, but I will be back next week to (probably) complain some more, since I can't see anything that looks like it will change anything happening before then. And don't forget to spread the word. We need to show them they are on the wrong path with our show, and apparently the plummeting ratings haven't made an impression.

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