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Soap-opera green card marriages (and how they turned out)

Last week, on The Bold and the Beautiful, Liam married Ivy in order to get her a green card and keep herself from being deported back to the horrors of Australia.

Forget that Ivy’s father is American, and she should be a dual citizen. (The show attempted to tap-dance around that by saying her flake of a dad—he is played by Fred Willard, after all—failed to fill out the proper paperwork.)

Forget that Ivy is a cousin of the mega-rich Forrester family … and working for their company to boot, which means they should be able to get her an H-1B “Skills and Talent” visa by snapping their fingers—and throwing a bucket of money at the problem.

The important thing to focus on here is that Liam married Ivy, whom he’s been dating for months (see their romantic trip to Amsterdam)—only to suddenly decide that he’s still in love with his ex-wife, Steffy. The same Steffy who, a few weeks ago, Liam was swearing he had no feelings for.

Currently, Ivy is the one swearing to Liam that she understands their marriage is merely a business relationship and that nothing has to change between them, while Steffy is ranting that she will not be Liam’s second choice (again), and wants nothing to do with him.


We’re all experienced soap viewers here. How long do we really expect those respective stances to last?

We’ve all seen our share of “business arrangement” daytime-drama green-card marriages that turned into something else … both good and bad.

The most famous example is probably General Hospital‘s Robert and Holly. Back in the 1980s (when all soaps were better; let’s have no arguments on that point), Holly’s love, Luke, was presumed dead in an avalanche. (Luke’s love, Laura, had earlier been presumed dead after disappearing off a pier, but neither death stuck.) Holly was pregnant with Luke’s baby, and in danger of being deported back to England (a place obviously as horrible as Australia). Luke’s best friend, Robert, nobly stood up and married Holly in order to keep her in the country, much to the dismay of his girlfriend, Jackie (played by Demi Moore—and we all know what happens when Demi Moore gets dismayed).

Holly lost Luke’s baby, but fell in love with her husband (overall a fair trade), only for Luke to return, alive. Much angst ensued. But in the end, Holly chose Robert. For many years, they were the prototypical example of that rare species: a happily married soap couple that chased criminals together, he as the Port Charles Police Commissioner, she as his unofficial helper. They even left town together, presumably to live Happily Ever After. But we know how that goes on soaps. (And if you don’t, click here for the depressing answer.)

So that was a green-card marriage gone right. (Luke didn’t mourn Holly for long, as Laura returned soon after, and the reunited couple moved on to their own aborted Happily Ever After. And we all know what happened to Demi Moore. Her kid won Dancing with the Stars!)

There are many more examples of a green-card marriage gone wrong.

As the World Turns was perhaps the most egregious example. Ameera was an Iraqi refugee (finally, a country to which deportation really could mean a death sentence, rather than merely a first-world inconvenience). Chivalrous Noah married Ameera so she could remain in the United States. Noah’s boyfriend, Luke, wasn’t ecstatic about it, but he understood.

Ameera fell for Noah. Obviously, Ameera wasn’t too bright. (You could excuse her crush on Noah as the feelings of a desperate, shell-shocked girl, suffering from PTSD, and clinging to Noah as her sole safe harbor, even in the face of logic. That might actually have been moving. But that’s not how the story was written.) It didn’t end well. Gunfire was involved.

Other cases of green-card marriages that didn’t go exactly as planned include All My Children‘s An-Li. Brian married An-Li to keep her from being deported to China, but he was really in love with Hayley (as played by Kelly Ripa; everyone loves Kelly Ripa). An-Li tried everything she could to hang on to her husband, including that old soap-opera standby, the faked pregnancy. But nobody beats Kelly Ripa.

Finally, there’s Days of Our Lives‘ EJ. EJ, in theory, should also be an American citizen, as he was born in the United States, onscreen, presumed to be the son of Kristen and John. (But he was really the offspring of Susan and Stefano.) No matter. American mother, American birthplace … should equal American citizenship. Except that one fine day, it turned out EJ needed a visa to stay in the country.

EJ claimed he’d taken UK citizenship and forfeited his U.S. one. (Psst: Both America and England allow dual citizenship.)

So what was there left for a tall, dark, handsome, accented fellow to do except marry an American citizen? Remarry? Stay married? EJ and Sami were in the middle of a divorce when she changed her mind to keep him from being deported.

Of course, later it turned out that EJ had faked the whole thing, bribing an immigration official to manufacture the crises that would send Sami back into EJ’s arms. In this case, Sami wasn’t the very bright one.

So which way will the B&B Ivy/Liam/Steffy green-card marriage triangle go? Got a prediction? Tell us below!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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