This isn't really a Sage Uncensored, although it would probably be considered censorable material in a lot of sectors. I thought a lot about whether or not to reveal this tidbit about myself, but in the interest of full disclosure, the time has definitely come. This is going to come to quite a shock to some of you who never imagined Sage was in the closet about ANYthing, but as you can see, there's still a frustrated little skeleton hanging out in my closet (and isn't that a fine graphic I did?), pouting to get out, so I'm just going to go for it and let the chips fall.
As a precursor to the big announcement, I have to submit the following disclaimer: The following comments are my feelings and impressions. I do not expect or demand that they be YOUR feelings or impressions. They are in no way a threat to your feelings or impressions. This is not an invitation to anyone to get all evangelical on me and try to convert me over to their hater religion, so please, curb your very natural impulse to pound out an e-mail to me, trompling all over my feelings and my thoughts. I'm just sharing them with you here, not inviting a bashing. I'm secure in my position, be secure in yours and let's shake hands, bow in mutual respect and part friends. I've already seen tons of opposite opinions on our own message boards, so here's my side.
Hello. My name is Sage and I like Courtney. I've tried to swing both ways and look for all of the things that people are bashing her about and all that comes through for me is the full bag of stuff that I like about her.
As I've said many times in my regular column, I'm not fanatical about any one particular character, actor, couple or storyline. I've been watching these soaps for long enough to understand that if soaps are anything, it's ever-evolving and getting attached into a pigeon-hole where one factor holds the reins on the whole show is a very dangerous place to be. The show will always go through a succession of writers, producers, daytime presidents, etc. The shows ebb and tide and will always be cyclic. The characters will do the same and new hands hold their futures and ignore their pasts.
I was never one to go with the crowd. I didn't smoke cigarettes or do drugs to be with the in crowd (I didn't say I didn't do it, just that I didn't do it for that reason). I never tried to dress with current fashion trends or watch a show on TV just because everyone else did. I also do not base my interest in the shows, characters or actors on what anyone else thinks. It always makes me laugh when I read about "Sage's agenda" and how I am out to promote certain situations. My column is about what I do and don't like and if that's an agenda, I guess I'm guilty, but I'm not trying to assemble the masses to march on GH or anything. People can definitely coexist with opposing thoughts and mine fly in the face of most of the GH fans.
I wasn't quite sure what to think about Courtney when she first came on the show and I think that was reflective of the writers' confusion over what exactly to do with her. She came on the scene dressed out of the boys' wear department at Sears, grimacing like a madball and screaming in Sonny's face, Janine's face, Mike's face and generally being a nuisance. I started to appreciate how resistant she was to Sonny's machinations when everyone else seemed to bend around him like little pipe cleaner people. Badly written, she had gumption and Alicia Leigh Willis gave it her all. When she first started connecting with AJ, I didn't care for the direction the storyline was taking of AJ deceiving her, but I loved the way it was unfolding to show AJ truly falling in love for the first time with a very worthy and mutually loving person. I thought they were really going somewhere with it and was deeply disappointed when the stupid stalker story revealed AJ had paid Coleman to scare Courtney into his arms. That took out two of my favorite character, Coleman and AJ, very nearly dissolving any hope of redemption for either one. It was a dumb story and accomplished nothing except to break up AJ and Courtney and demonstrate Head Writers campaign to assure us of the truth behind the words embroidered on the pillow where he lays his pointed little head each night, "AJ is a bad, bad man." It's always important for us to remember that AJ=Bad and Jason=Good, so that is continually shown to us in a variety of ways. Megan McTavish, wrecker of soaps and destructor of all things positive did one incredible thing during her tour of duty as Head Writer of GH: she put AJ and Courtney together and gave Billy Warlock the honor of FINALLY having an opportunity to portray AJ in love. Of course, when Guza comes onto the scene, his first call to action is to destroy anything a previous writer has done in order to build his own GuzaWorld, so that was the end of that. Drag up a horrible stalker story and we don't get to see any more of the good stuff. We get to see Courtney crawling to Sonny and Carly chanting, "You were right, you were right" and before you know it, Coleman's drawing hieroglyphics on a GH wall with his own blood, Jason is training Rosie to do whatever Rosie does and we're seeing one very hot Journey kiss in the parking lot. Yeah, that's right. I thought that first kiss was really hot. It's going to take a lot more than some hot tar, feathers and an imposing gallows to scare me off of admitting that. You know what else??? I ALSO thought the dream kiss between Alexis and Sonny was really, really hot. She came down the stares. He was sleeping all sprawled out on the couch, looking hot and manly, some chest exposed. She was drawn to him. He got up, pulled her to him and planted one on her. She woke up and sat bolt upright in bed with a WTF look on her face. Love it.
I also loved Chloe. Lord how I loved Chloe. She danced onto the screen from Milan like a breath of fresh air. She was an original character who was inherently good and never hurt anyone the whole time she was on the show. She and Jax were the most Caucasian, Barbie and Ken perfect couple ever. I loved the slow, easy build to their romance and how pretty it all was. I loved the mixed marrieds, loved the whole Aunt Gertrude thing and I cried my heart out for her when she pushed Jax out of the stables and crumpled to the floor in tears, knowing she couldn't compete with The Ghost of Brenda and having the balls to call him on it and send him packing on his way. I cheered for her when he came back and year later, empty handed, and she slapped the shit out of him. You GO girl! I loved watching her steal Stefan's heart with a few soft Tai Chi movements and I enjoyed seeing how a woman who was so soft and fruity and romantic could turn to stone when crossed. She didn't have more than the most reserved and cursory polite words for him once she found out that he had kidnapped himself so that he could kidnap her as well and use her psychic connection to Helena (which was another story that could have been really cool and turned out to be nothing!) to his own advantage. Poor Stefan (not really appropriate to say "Poor Stefan" in this situation, but hey, poor Stefan) set the template for AJ to later lose Courtney when he fell in love with the very woman he was trying to scam and use to his own advantage. Guza doesn't tend to stray far from the beaten path and most of those paths are now well paved soap highways.
Moving back to Courtney, I can't fully explain why I enjoy her character so much. It's poorly written and badly thought out (if at all). Part of my enthusiasm is for the actress. I met Tava Smiley twice and I have to say that she is one of the sweetest people I've ever encountered. She makes Chloe look brass, cruel and tacky. I've never met Alicia Willis, but it seems to me as though she has been a trouper since she first came on the show, putting her heart into about anything the writers hand to her. She had some truly embarrassing scenes when Courtney was stripping and she just went for it, showing us that not only was Courtney a horrible stripper, but also that there was a pretty good chance that some part of her liked dancing naked for guys. ;) She was dedicated to a fault, standing by AJ and defending him into the ground until it became obvious that he was screwing her around (OK, there was that one kiss in the rain, but lord almighty, I'd have to love someone a LOT to not kiss Jason if he was standing in the rain looking at me with those baby blues, so I can forgive her), whereupon she kicked his ass to the curb. The character has energy and spirit and I love watching her. I'm not much into Journey because I really don't have the impression that the actors have that much spark between them, but Courtney, I do like. I enjoy watching her encounters with other women. I like her friendship with Carly, her antagonism with Liz and her fights with Faith. I loved seeing her with her mother and with the Quartermaines when she was married to AJ. I even thought she was great with Ric waving around his solid steel extension when he was kidnapping her.
Yeah, like everyone else, I got fed up with the Fab Four show when it was All Corinthos, All The Time, but now that things are slowing down in that respect, I am finding that my appreciation for Courtney is definitely back in full swing. Why should I have to cringe when I say I like a character, waiting for the tomatoes and rotted fruit to hit? I don't have a clue.
Why am I drawn to this character and another unpopular character, Chloe? Is it the Underdog Syndrome? Nope. I didn't care for Hannah or Angel at all and they were definitely underdogs. Is it a blonde thang? Nope. I love Marcie on OLTL and can't stand Jen. I love Cassie Callison and she's not blonde. I used to really enjoy Nora on OLTL, also not a blonde. Maybe I love good girls? Nope. Love Liz and she's from big time bad girl roots. Dorian Lord Hayes? Bring me more of that very, very bad girl.
I love strong women who aren't afraid to speak their minds and be heard. I love women who love and live passionately and bedamned the fall out. I like girls who can kick ass and put some attitude into their mix. Women who fade into the woodwork need not apply...
Unless zey vant me to bring zem out of zeir lovely shell and turn zem into a passionate, intelligent woman of dynamic personality and that certain... verve... that makes people pay attention. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who can light up a room with personality and presence rather than compensating with volume and antagonism on an ongoing basis.
For me, consider Sage to be standing tall and saying, "Dammit, I dig Courtney!!" She can turn a turd of an apartment into a Better Homes and Garden piece of glory, cleans up real good when she gets money to buy designer duds, wears Mob Ho clothes well, makes an awesome Cinderella, has a mean side kick, kissed a woman on the mouth, trains a dog to stay alive with little or no attention and got Jason to take his shirt off more than once. That's my kind of woman!