When I started writing this column so many years ago, I was pretty excited about getting my turn to give my two cents about a show that I have watched from the very beginning. I had never written anything on a regular basis -- ever -- and for every week during the year (save one or two where I took a break here and there) I took great delight in penning the most irreverent and thought-provoking column I could for B&B viewers. Now, while I'm sure that some of the thoughts that were provoked were slightly homicidal from time to time, for the most part I felt like the readers enjoyed my musings and if nothing else, got a laugh from them. I have entertained, enraged, and even enlightened some to come around to my warped way of thinking. I had so many readers over the years keep in touch faithfully and had a few that served as my alter ego and counterpoint on more than one occasion to keep me honest. Linda from Jersey was among the most vocal and fair critics of my column (she'd kick my butt, actually!).
In case the tone of this column so far is not evident, I am stepping down as the Two Scoops columnist. Why? Well, as my family demands more of my time and as I try to pursue some new avenues in my writing, it's getting harder and harder to not only watch the show as regularly as I would need to, but also to spend the time each Sunday to craft it. Before the last few months when the site split to two columnists, I was doing this every week and for all that have kids out there, weekends are precious time. With Nick turning 8 last spring, he is becoming more active in things outside the house and I need to be a part of all of it. I love B&B but I love my family more. It's also been tough since the passing of my mother-in-law last Spring...she was my B&B cohort, watching the show with me each afternoon and doing her best in life to channel Stephanie Forrester (she would have the same facial expressions sometimes...it was a hoot!). With her gone, I fear I have lost a little of the edge I had writing each week.
So on to the Top Ten things I enjoyed about being the Scoops columnist for B&B (and some may surprise you!)
10. There is room for two Alpha Males on B&B. For years I thought Ridge would be the only male that could set the tone for this show (a la Alan Spaulding for GL, Tom Hughes for ATWT or Victor Newman for Y&R) but I was proved wrong when Nick Marone pulled into port. He has been the most engaging character brought on this show since the beginning and it was has been great to not only write about all the good, the bad and the ugly with him but interesting to see how he has polarized fans one way or the other. I know I infuriated the Ridge-obsessed fans but I think if nothing else I stated my case well that he was the right character at the right time for this show.
9. Brooke will never change. And you know, I am starting to believe that it's a good rather than bad thing for her to stay exactly as she has always been...a hopelessly sex-obsessed fashion siren who cannot be without romance in her life. Is this all bad? No, not for soap fans. She is everything we all secretly wish we could be in our daily lives but can't. She still looks great, she gets any man she wants, and she's uber-rich. What's not to like, huh? For years I have had readers skewer me for being too hard on her and the choices she has made over the years but ultimately the writers need to keep her just like she has always been or there may be a revolt of epic proportions among them. I guess I was never looking for her to become Sister Brooke of the Immaculate Chastity but maybe just a little more grounded. Nah! Brooke needs to stay the same teddy-wearing, one-tear producing, rarely aging character the fans need her to be. That's what keeps them coming back, right?
8. All the readers from around the world. I always found it amazing to open up my email and see comments from readers all over the world. In combat zones, in countries a half a world away, and just around the corner not far from my own home. I would brag to my friends and family that people would take the time away from their busy lives to either compliment my views or to blast me for being too negative about their favorite couple. Either way, some took the time to write me and for that I will be forever grateful. I had a reader in Hawaii write saying that her and her co-workers would huddle around the only computer in the office that had the Internet each Monday morning just to read what I wrote for that week. It was their weekly ritual. I had a servicewoman stationed in Iraq that would read the column to catch up on the show since she could not watch it each day. She would write me during her time off when she got to return to base every couple of weeks and she could get on the Internet. In a place in the world that is so dangerous, this reader took the time to escape a little through my column. Now THAT'S reader loyalty and something I will never forget. There were many a spirited exchange sometimes between me and my more vocal readers where I felt compelled to defend myself and my opinions and those I won't miss. Some got personal and some just couldn't understand that the Scoops column would not be much of a column by definition if all I did was write that everything was great all the time. It never works that way but I chalked it up to folks never wanting to see their show may be flawed as all TV shows are.
7. Taylor and Ridge are meant to be together. Ah...my last parting shot on these two. Watching last week made it evident that these two have always been my favorite couple from the beginning. Yes, I have been critical of how Ridge treated her and how Taylor was always in the role of doormat to Brooke but as the years have gone on and this latest wrinkle has shown, these two are the true 'super couple' (if there is such a thing) of B&B. I know some arguments can be made for Brooke and Ridge to fill that spot but it's just never been solid like him and Taylor. The chemistry is still there and it shows.
6. Writing about all the craziness that goes on in LA! Think about it everyone...we have had two different snake attacks, people coming back from the dead (Taylor x2!), more unplanned babies than I can count, animal shenanigans of all types (bears attacking, dogs dying as part of storylines), kidnappings, misplaced eggs, car accidents and various forms of vehicular manslaughter and attempted manslaughter (Hector and Eric as crazed daddies running over the boyfriends), more botched weddings than I can count, a boat sinking, etc. And some things that don't necessarily fall under the category of 'crazy' but rather the times when B&B tackled an issue that needed to be addressed like rape, child abuse or AIDS. Some were handled well and some were not but as most successful daytime shows have figured out, viewers like having some social issues explored.
5. The feud between Brooke and Stephanie is as predictable as the sun rising in the East. It's just something you can count on no matter what. They have tried (and failed) more than any other two soap characters in history to get along but it never lasts. I have to say I have loved writing about them and their epic clashes. Just the acting alone between them is worth every minute!
4. Watching all the kiddies grow up. When I started this column, Rick was still a young guy trying to find his place in the Forrester dynasty and trying to shake off Amber like a bad habit. Bridget was going from starry eyed teen looking for romance to being de-flowered by ultimate bad boy Deacon Sharpe while her parents listened to it all on the phone. She is now the all-purpose doctor at University Hospital who can handle all forms of medicine at all times. Wow! Thorne and Felicia have had kids and even Kristen adopted a child from Africa with Tony (I still wish they would come back!). Ridge and Nick fought over who RJ's daddy was and Brooke's misplaced eggs have produced, so far, the only biological child for my favorite sailor. Hope, Brooke and Deacon's love child, has grown into a cute little girl. Thomas has gone from bratty little drunk raiding the parents liquor cabinet to young hottie also drinking from the same 'Amber well' that Rick drank from. Steffi and Phoebe have grown into, well, the kind of ladies we all thought they would be. One smart and the other talented (and not so smart). It's my hope as I keep following the show that the new generation of B&B kids gets rapidly aged soon so we can see how things will shape up in the future. I may sound like a broken record here but I think if they age Deacon's son and bring him back, he could really spice things up for the younger characters.
3. Crafting my Christmas columns. I have enjoyed coming up with funny and warped takes on old Christmas carols, etc. I think of all the column during the year, my readers seemed to enjoy that the most. No carols were safe and neither was B&B!
2. Writing about the cool villains of B&B. I miss Deacon, I'll just start with that. What a great character...he made every character squirm every week and enraged them at the same time. He was suave, cool, scheming and HOT! But then we had Sheila that I will always say has been the best villain to terrorize B&B. She's like a bad penny...just keeps coming back over and over. Her love child with Massimo should come back, too. You just know she would be every bit her mother's daughter. I loved writing about Crazy Aunt Pam lately as well. She was portrayed well by Alley Mills and that makes a big difference. But one of my favorites to write about was Morgan...could there be anything better than seeing Taylor chained to the fireplace and Ridge driving to save her and yelling 'I'm coming Doc!' She is so evil that all she had to do was fabricate an email and she got to sleep with Ridge. She had a boa try to kill Clarke and was the only villain in the last 10 years to give Sheila a run for her money.
1. My emails. I have had some wild and crazy emails from readers over the years. I have been cursed and praised, yelled at and told that I had written stuff that made people laugh so hard they almost peed their pants (true story). I had one reader say that her elderly mother loved my column so much that her daughter would read it to her since she could read it herself. I would hear every week from Carolyn in Mississippi and Linda from NJ to tell me I was crazy not to love the Ridge & Brooke super-couple of the ages. Though they were tough on me for not sharing their opinions, I always opened their emails first. They kept me real. I have kept in touch with some even after the emails stopped when the shift was made to a two columnist format. I had some readers email me during tough times in my life (losing my dog Maggie and my mother in law last Spring). I got some amazing words of encouragement that I will not soon forget. Again, no one had to take the time to write those things to a person they never saw or knew but they did anyway.
I wish everyone who has followed the column over the years all the best and I want to thank all of you for hanging in there with me all these years. I honestly did not think I would be writing it as long as I did and once I started to get the feedback that I did, I felt like as long as people wanted to read me I would stick with it. I hope I brought some people to Soapcentral.com that may not have visited it before and hope everyone continues to support the site and the Two Scoops column. I won't go away completely as I will still frequent the boards and my venture into blogging soon. Have a great holiday season everyone and thank you for 6 great years!