February 9, 1010By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Feb 9, 2010
You know what frequently drives me crazy on soaps? The concept of what defines a "real" parent. Often, daytime television tells us that only DNA matters. Just look at GH's Sonny, who thinks that learning Dante is his biological son automatically means they have a bond and a relationship...despite the fact that he pumped a bullet in him because he was an undercover cop. The audacity of him stammering "Tell my son I love him," as the police dragged him away was pretty astounding. Hours before, you hated him for betraying you and were willing to turn him into worm food. Now, you love him? Because you found out you were a glorified sperm donor? I don't get it!
Soaps are so WEIRD about this! And not even consistent. Because Sonny's second son, Michael, is biologically AJ's, but the show has worked overtime over the past decade to tell us AJ's genes don't matter, the Quartermaines aren't Michael's family, etc. How does Sonny have a right to be Dante's father when AJ was denied that same right?
At least on Y&R, Neil is emphatically Lily's father and Malcolm is the uncle. Whose sperm fertilized Drucilla's egg is irrelevant beyond the Who's the Daddy drama it created and the secret that was kept for most of Lily's life. When it comes to day-to-day fatherly operations, no one ever tries to deny that Neil is Lily's dad and, so far, I don't see Malcolm trying to usurp Neil's place in Lily's life just because he has the stronger biological link.
But then over on OLTL, the DNA issue again gets bizarre. Rex, who'd never before questioned his genetic makeup impacting him or his children, suddenly began wondering if having Mitch for a bio dad would warp him and his son, Shane. Dude, your mother is Roxy. If you haven't worried about turning into an alcoholic flake with a creative vocabulary, I don't think being the son of a psycho will be an issue. Though, hey, maybe Shane should start worrying if blinding stupidity is a hereditary trait?
AMC's Skye, who was raised a Chandler, almost instantly gave up thinking of Adam as her dad when the GH writers penned Alan Quartermaine as her potential pop. Amazing how 30+ years can just be shrugged away, huh? More recently, DAYS' Carly seems to think that Melanie being her long-lost daughter means she has a free pass to turn into her stalker. And, yet, this is the same show that told us that Shawn Brady was definitively Bo and Max's beloved Pop and that Victor and Trent provided the genetic material is pretty much a moot point.
Why is that sometimes it's who raised you that matters and, then, in other cases, it's who got busy in the backseat of a '67 Chevy? It's just such a mixed message!