First let me apologize for the late Scoops...the family and I were nearly snowbound in a very early storm that hit the East Coast. After spending over 4 hours getting home, I was headed straight for bed but never fear...Santa left me a rather LARGE bag of coal to hand out for the truly WORST B&B offered us in 2004. See, I thought analyzing the bad news first would be a better way to go with Christmas almost upon us.
2004 brought us a wide variety of new characters and strange twists and turns to certain stories. We saw some disappear from the canvass and others come back only to leave again. In the soap world there are always deaths, resurrections, births, and even the occasional ill-fated replacement actor horror that goes bad from the word 'Go'. I think the one thing that struck me as particularly bad this year was the sheer amount of loose ends that never got tied up. Ok, wait...let me get a handful of coal before I get started!
Lump of coal for the introduction of Hector and Samantha. Ok, it's not that the characters are necessarily a problem but we had all this build up to only be left hanging for months as to how they will end up. We saw her wicked Mom try to keep them apart and Sam's eventual reunion with her daughter Caitlin, but then it just STOPPED. Nothing. The writers threw us a little bone recently with the whole 'clash of social values' thing but it seemed like filler until the next Ridge-infested scene. I wouldn't be surprised if both characters and actors are gone this year for lack of a good story.
My second lump of coal goes to the Nick-Mass FBI sting that interrupted the wedding. Nick and Brooke were finally going somewhere and here comes Tonto dragging poor Maya into the mansion with the FBI in tow. They are put on ice for 24 hours (just long enough to have Ridge mess with Brooke's head again) and then they are released. That's it. Nothing more about it. What was the whole story behind the charges? Are they still being investigated? What a cheap way to turn the story around to placate the Ridge/Brooke fans. Ok, maybe a double lump for this one.
My third lump of coal goes to the Felicia return and abrupt departure. I was happy to see a Forrester sister resurface and even though I think I favor Kristen a little more, I was still looking forward to a spicy story. Nope. I should have known better. While I realize it must have been hard for the actress to continue the bi-coastal commute, at least Felicia could have been recast. Instead we have a brief bout with cancer (just enough tragedy to get some pity sex out of Nick so we can all forget how much he loves Brooke) and a few dress designs, then POW! She's gone to the B&B version of the Black Hole, otherwise known as 'The International Office'. Now Spectra Couture has one too! Why bring her back? I guess we will never see any Forrester females on the scene except for Stephanie.
Let me roll a boulder of coal over here for the Tween stories we endured this year. Caitlin was introduced as the fresh-faced ingénue that got Thomas' boxers in a bunch. Then the unthinkable happens. We have Amber and Rick gathering dust and doing a lot of nothing so, hey...I have a great idea! Let's get them hooked up with some hot young jailbait and make the viewers think we have lost our minds! Yay. The Rick-Caitlin story resulted in yet another Daddy-Gone-Postal vehicular manslaughter scene, and then it just fizzled out when Rick suddenly realized the age difference was too much. But the Amber-Thomas story was even more repulsive and seemed to raise the ire of many fans. I suspect that may be why Thomas was suddenly aged to 18 to justify their relationship and keep Amber out of jail. Weak and again, seemed like filler more than anything.
Last week I asked you, the readers, to let me now what you felt were the worst stories of the year and here are some of your thoughts...the one that came in fifth in overall voting was the Deacon-Jackie pairing. I agree as this seemed too unbelievable even for B&B. Hot younger man gets it on with much older rich woman recently spurned by her old man. Now we are supposed to believe he really loves her when he has slept with every female except for Sally and Stephanie? Whatever...I'm not buying it and based on the emails I have seen lately, no one else is either.
Fourth place with a lump of coal goes to the blessed (or cursed) nuptials of Brooke and Ridge. It seems many among you are just plain tired of seeing these two sharing space on the screen and were not happy they finally tied the knot. Now, you know they always keep saying lately that NOTHING can tear them apart but we all know better. Their relationship is ALWAYS on shaky ground and to know this all you have to do is look at their past. It won't last...something will happen. I have to admit, I turned off the TV when they 're-tied' the knot...I just couldn't stomach it.
The third reader lump of coal goes to the ill-fated Bridget replacement. You have to feel a little sorry for that poor actress that replaced Jennifer Finnigan. I don't even remember her name as a matter of fact. She did not have the right chemistry with other characters and just did not have the same talent as the original. Square peg in a round hole is what comes to mind. The jury is still out on this new Bridget though I know she is a good performer from her short stint on Y&R. Hopefully there won't be a lump of coal for her next year...
Second place is represented well by the nasty fashion espionage twist that accompanied Thorne's exit from Forrester. It seems that many viewers did not like that shift in Thorne's 'good guy' image and felt it cheapened the new direction he was trying to take, in essence making him no better than Sally. I can see why that might be the perception and apparently the writers see it too since there have been many pieces of dialogue from Thorne to show he regrets that tactics. I think it was nice, though, to see such a bold wake-up call come from a previously wimpy character. I am glad that he has found legitimate success and hope there is no more funny business (but with Sally you never know...spoilers say she will be up to her old tricks again soon!).
DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!! The winner of the biggest and baddest wrecking ball sized lump of coal is...the Who's The Daddy story!!!!!!!!!!!!! After all the months of extra crispy furnace deaths, kidnappings, Jack Wagner love songs, boat rides, and near miss wedding vows, we couldn't have a truly happy ending? Doesn't it say something when Brooke is begging for Nick to stay in her life after she just married Rigid? Are all the Brooke-Nick fans engaging in wishful thinking or could it be that we were right all along...that there is chemistry between the characters that casts a huge shadow over all the petting and pawing that Mr. & Mrs. Ridge Forrester do on a daily basis? What a huge let down and I believe a big sellout on the part of the writers to appease the Ridge-Brooke fans who are so devoted they send wedding gifts and baby gifts to make believe characters. I love soaps but come on! Are the writers that easily swayed? What would have been the harm in exploring the potential between Nick and Brooke? Or would it have been so good that it would have rendered Ridge's very existence useless and outdated? Hmmm...maybe we will never know but that story took too long and really seemed to leave behind many disillusioned viewers who have grown weary of recycled stories. Until recently, Brooke had even become a Stepford Wife that some say looked more like Taylor than the old Brooke we have all come to watch over the years. That marriage is just toxic from the start and I hope all this 'we will always be together' talk is simply a foreshadowing of things to come.
Ok, now next week will shine a spotlight on all that went well in 2004. Feel free to email all the suggestions for the Best of 2004 and what you would like to see happen in 2005. Be creative and even though there seemed to be a lot of 'worst' this year, I know there are just as many good things to highlight.
So, until next week, for all that celebrate Christmas and look forward to Santa making all your holiday wishes come true, have a safe and wonderful holiday! A special 'Thank You' to all the readers who have emailed this year and to my wonderful husband who supports everything I do, thank you for making my Christmas' everything I had always dreamed of.
Who's on the Soapbox? Patsy writes...i> 'These people really need to look up the definition of 'family'...what the heck is so special about the Forresters that people would literally kill to be a part of them?'.
Marie writes... 'I have a confession to make about Ridge: its not the character that bothers me but the actor and that is rare for me.' Amen Sister!
Until next week, stay in touch with your thoughts...it's the best part of my week when I hear from everybody!