- Elite Member
- August 8, 2008
You make good points, DesignatedShelley, and you too, annie.
- Jul 20 2013, 03:38 PM
- Jul 20 2013, 03:00 PM
I also had a problem with Jennifer's friendship with Carly. Why would she overlook Carly's marriage to Lawrence, the man who raped Jen?
Carly knew about what Lawrence did, yet she disregarded it once she fell in love with him. If he'd shown any kind of believable remorse for his actions, (like Jack did for his) I might've understood it better, but Lawrence's supposed remorse was far from convincing.
I feel like the writers were handcuffed in a few ways w.r.t. that. First of all I think MS and CC leaving the show was sudden and they had to arrange a quick exit for them, and it ended up being very sloppy. They were written off together romantically because the actors were leaving at the same time, so it was a neat and convenient way to free up Bo and tie up all the Lawrence stuff. Secondly I think they felt it would just be too contradictory if Jennifer lectured Carly about Lawrence raping her, given that she got together with Jack who did the same thing to Kayla. Yes Jack's storyline was handled much much better than Lawrence's, but even then, there is probably no ideal way to handle a "redeemed rapist" storyline. At the end of the day, you can't tell a rape victim that, Hey at least he's changed so forgive him, okay? A rape victim never ever has to do that, and the fact that Kayla did, I mean, it speaks to her incredible goodness, IMO, but I would never ever be able to say that she has
to do it. So let's say Carly said to Jennifer "How can you lecture me about Lawrence when you did the same with Kayla's rapist?", what would Jennifer possibly be able to say? "Jack changed and repented and Kayla forgave him so it's okay"? There's no really good way to handle a "redeemed rapist" storyline, and I guess it was just symptomatic of soap operas in the 1980s that they used rape so much as a plot device, so we have to live with it the best we can and salvage the best we can out of the mess, but I can see why the writers let sleeping dogs lie. They brought up the irony/hypocrisy between Lawrence and Jack during the rape trial but I feel like after they did that they wanted to forget about Jack's past. I don't necessarily agree with it, especially as long as Kayla was on the canvas, but for a while they were banking on Jack and Jennifer to be the It Couple so they had to really sell them hard (that mentality ended very quickly once Gene Palumbo became HW in 1991, but.).
Also, I mean, Jennifer and Kayla weren't really friends before they became sisters-in-law, Kayla was older and much more tight with Hope than Jennifer, who was having teen storylines while Kayla was involved in the big adult ones. Given that Carly and Jennifer had a past, I can see that compensating for the problem in ways that Jennifer and Kayla's relationship couldn't. OTOH, Kayla probably did not expect much loyalty (or whatever you'd call it) from Jennifer the way Jennifer and Carly could from each other so maybe it would be easier for Kayla to understand Jennifer than for Jennifer to understand Carly. Anyway the "problem" was that Jennifer and Carly's deep friendship appeared out of nowhere one day; audiences will have a much easier time caring about relationships they see develop instead of ones they're merely told of. That's why, even though Jennifer grew up with Carly, in the long run people like Jennifer & Hope together more, they like seeing Hope and Kayla have adventures, etc. I think the amount of shit Jennifer went through to help Carly never really caught on with audiences because Carly just came out of nowhere as someone we're supposed to care about, and that feeling kind of lasted throughout their friendship. If the audience were more invested in the friendship they might have wanted to see them overcome the obstacle that Lawrence represented, but I think nobody really cared.
But at least Carly's family never tried to gaslight her mother and make everyone think she's crazy, or keep Jack in jail or even kill him, etc etc. Even if Jennifer wanted to believe Kristen had changed, like, she's still to this day so resentful towards what Kate did to "damage" her family that I would think she'd have at least as much trouble with the Dimeras. I STG if anyone did that to my mom I'd never get over it. Peter was much more at fault than Kristen, obviously, but she had her own drastically awful deeds like locking Marlena up in a basement FFS. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Kristen's character and am glad she's back, even though I wish the writing were a bit better, but I feel like they should've at the very least had Kristen have to earn Jennifer's trust back. They should've broached the topics of Peter and Laura, I mean Jennifer still can't totally forgive Kate to this day because of her hurt feelings on her mother's behalf. And I think what the Dimeras did to Laura was way worse than what Kate did.
It's a bit different with Carly and Jennifer, as we were immediately told what great friends they were. I didn't mind that at first, though I didn't feel a connection to that friendship. I just watched it. But as time went on, what I saw was that Jennifer was Carly's friend. She risked everything for her.
But I didn't see the same level of devotion to that friendship from Carly, and it wasn't long before I went from mere curiosity about the new character that Carly was to resentment of her for what I viewed as less than real caring on her part. Jen was the true friend. Carly was a friend when it was convenient for her most of the time. And regardless of the reason for the rushed exit, I felt that the character of Jennifer was not served well. Her BEST friend married her rapist. Her BEST friend. Show me a friend who would do that to me, and she would no longer BE my friend at all.
And yes, Carly COULD ask Jennifer how she could be angry with her for marrying Jen's rapist when Jen married Kayla's.
But I still say that it was different because Jack was remorseful. He was nothing if not sorry for what he did to Kayla, and furthermore, he worked to help Steve and Kayla reconcile when Marina came to town, and to find Stephanie when she was kidnapped. He worked to get Kayla cleared when Victor framed her for Marina's murder. He saved Steve's life, too. Once Kayla forgave him, well...then I could too. And when she did, I was ready for it, though I'd been suspicious of him and his motives just like Steve and Kayla were.
Lawrence wasn't remorseful. He maintained his arrogance throughout. Carly knew what kind of man he was, always. She was the first one to suspect his involvement in what happened to Steve. She was not unaware. She couldn't have been all that surprised that he was a bad guy, because he was ALWAYS a bad guy. She just turned away from it when she fell for him...and I always think she betrayed both Jennifer and Kayla in marrying him, because I never felt any kind of remorse from him. He just did whatever he wanted, regardless of who he hurt. That was just who Lawrence was.
So, uh...I was never happy when Carly came back, cuz I despised her then. I don't think much more of her now, either. But she's gone, so okay.
Jennifer I'm hot and cold on. Sometimes she comes across beautifully. At others, I feel like I don't know her at all. I do like seeing a friendship featured. We've had precious little of female friendships featured for quite awhile...it's all man-woman friendships, not female ones. I think the show suffers for not featuring them more, and the fact that they pick Kristen and Jennifer is strange. Not because it's not appealing...it is. But the unacknowledged history there that should point to anything other than friendship makes it strange. If they acknowledged what Kristen did to Laura...if Kristen and Jennifer had to work through it...if it was an issue between them, then I could eventually buy the warmth of the friendship that I see...but as it stands, as much as I actually like the scenes themselves, I find myself shaking my head.