I know I’m supposed to pray along with the Pine Valley (and message board) collective, on the altar of Bianca Montgomery. But I don’t worship Satan.
It’s strange how on soaps (I guess IRL, too) the good girls have the worst reputation with me – and a handful of other cynical fans who’d rather see the good in action, instead of hear about it repeatedly from other characters.
The second the Greek chorus hits the third or fourth refrain of, “She is the only decent person in this town,” I dismiss the saint as a villainess. I’m of the belief that no human being is a saint anyway; that just sets them up to fail, pride goeth before a fall, off a pedestal, quite a deep pitch.
A true good girl is one who is shown struggling with complex emotions and seen choosing the path of good through understanding and true empathy, like OLTL’s Adriana – without gratuitous sacrifices of ego on the parts of the sinners. It helps if she’s interesting, has her own personality and can hold a conversation with all kinds of people, not just those who agree with her or genuflect her way.
And if she can cop to a few flaws of her own with an unprompted apology or two, I’m hers for life (see Laura Spencer, GH).
I don’t see a good girl in AMC’s Bianca, OLTL’s Jessica or GH’s Emily (formerly, Elizabeth in the late ‘90s). I just see a bunch of easily led idiots who mistake pretty, slim and talks a good game for good, while they hypocritically throw stones at the true heroines trying hard to do right and constantly being mistakenly accused of evil.
It’s never so apparent as on AMC, currently celebrating its 35th anniversary of existence by making it all about the Christ child, Bianca and her recovery.
For two weeks leading up to the miraculous event – Bianca waking up from a coma to be reunited with her baby daughter Miranda – I had to sit there and endure the hordes of idiots traipsing in and out of her hospital room, camping just outside, blaspheming the name of God in the hospital chapel, family, friends and, as Kendall never failed to mention, practically the entire town of complete strangers came to sit vigil on the only living saint this side of the Mississippi.
I know Bianca set a fire out of spite against her mother and her half-sister. I know Bianca never gave either her mother or her half-sister a break until they proverbially ripped their egos in half at her feet, pounding their chests, throwing ash on their faces and repeating, “We’re not worthy.” I know Bianca did nothing for her friends but lecture them about the hazards of living an unethical (according to her) life and/or daring them to challenge her by-the-book law on total acceptance of homosexuality.
I also know that the Bianca who ripped shamelessly, gleefully and evilly into Babe – with barely a glance or a notice of the miracle of her firstborn and probably only baby girl only three feet away – in that Florida hotel room wasn’t the Bianca these idiotic people of Pine Valley were holding vigil at the hospital for.
The way they were going on about Bianca, you’d think the saint would forgive Babe, grab her daughter Miranda, and hightail it out of there with relief…but giving herself plenty of alone time with her baby to think about forgiveness, to beg God Almighty for the strength and understanding of every truly good girl to forgive.
No, THAT Bianca would rather have indulged in a little eye for an eye, total, complete annihilation of the best friend she nearly excised her own sister over without a second thought.
The list of why I dislike Bianca and find her anything but a good girl, much less a saint the entire town finds worthy of worship would fill several encyclopedias. Suffice it to say, I dislike her, I found the mass tribute nauseating, bizarre and false to the extreme (nearly costing several adoring characters their acceptability with me), and I wished head writer Megan McTavish would exercise a little restraint in her Binks idolatry and generosity for the non-Binks characters languishing in the backburner for the OVERKILL of the Bianca hour.
If there was ever a doubt about the mass tribute—undeserved – the conversations between Kendall and whomever erased it. I honestly think McTavish MEANT for the following exchange to hammer home the point that Bianca is a saint among sinners:
Kendall to Reggie, 12/20/04: “I realized how many people love my sister, not just us, but everyone, people who don’t even know her, people who feel like they know her, like they’re connected.”
… She sees us for who we really are, she loves us anyway. If she doesn’t wake up, how can we be anything but lost?”
Yet, I don’t think McTavish realized just how absurd raising up the flawed, snotty, judgmental, impatient, conditional, ugly on the inside Bianca of all people to such heavenly heights (with nary a proof) was, to people like me.
IRL, I’ve encountered and dealt with my share of Biancas. They get away with murder, smiling in your face, stabbing you in the back, yet they’re revered by 99.9 percent of the majority. Watch some of ‘em on the 10 o’clock news after a SURPRISING mass murder. GEE, SHE WAS ALWAYS SUCH A NICE GIRL, WENT TO CHURCH, SAID HELLO, FRIENDLY AS ALL GET-OUT, DONATED TO CHARITIES… If anybody on that show deserves the good girl moniker, it’s Simone. But we know what they think of her (cough:: slut, joke, background cough:: ).
Part of the problem is what “Still Speaking My Mind’s” Mimi Torchin (SPW, Jan. 4, 2005) brought up in her column, “One Is The Loneliest Number” in SOAP OPERA WEEKLY… the tendency for a lot of the ABC Daytime writers, especially on AMC, to focus primarily on one or two major stories, leaving fans with little relief elsewhere.
Conversely, on CBS’s #1-rated Y&R, there are at least nine stories rotating around on any given week. If I hate the teen stuff, I’ve thankfully got Phyllis and Drucilla.
Not AMC, which, for some inexplicable reason, has chosen to anoint Bianca as the human plot device around which other lesser-respected characters react, are inspired by and lash out at. Torchin argued that in general, choosing to focus so much on one story bores the audience to death, forces the writers to drag out the story to ridiculous lengths and rarely sustains any genuine mystery throughout.
I contend also that the obsessive focus on Bianca as a saint (while inexplicably ignoring her lesser qualities, lesser qualities that drove her baser instincts in the confrontation with Babe—her one chance to prove the moniker) does a great disservice to the character developments of the other, more complex and sympathically relatable characters… dumbed down as mere slaves to the icon, there merely to serve as sacrificial lambs to perpetuate what is basically a lie.
I know I’m in the minority. I don’t care.
McTavish’s slavish devotion to Bianca of all phonies has actually managed to do more to put me on the side of Babe than any proposed humanizing plot device (including a rape) or any interviews of Babe’s portrayer, begging fans for some mercy.
Mercy is the last thing on Bianca’s mind, or that of her devotees.
Don’t you know that by now?