Jacqueline MacInnes Wood
The bold and the just plain silly
by Mike
For the Week of October 11, 2010
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Steffy has officially bypassed silly and settled into completely pathetic. Even Bill knows that she concocted the Eye on Fashion interview just to put the moves on Liam. Marcus sees it, and so does Hope.
Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you decide to get your money's worth out of your lingerie? Did your baby put you on the unemployment line? Did a scarf give you a major blast from the past? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!

Well, Scoopers, La Forrester is in the eye of a dramatic hurricane while mucho silliness swirls around her. Let's dig right in, shall we?

First is the snoozefest known as Steffy/Liam/Hope/Oliver. Not only is this storyline going where every soap has gone before, but it's going where this has gone before. Steffy parading around in slinky lingerie, trying to entice Hope's boyfriend? That is so six months ago! Oliver didn't fall for it then, and Liam isn't falling for it now. Is this all she does? Y'all know I'm no fan of Steffy's, but she's officially bypassed silly and settled into completely pathetic. Even Bill knows she concocted the Eye on Fashion interview just to put the moves on Liam. Marcus sees it, and so does Hope. "You don't know when to quit, do you?" she asked. Amen, sister.

At least there was the irony of Oliver going to Steffy for help with Hope. And who thought that Steffy would be the one to advise Oliver to let Hope go, even if it was to further her own agenda? But Oliver should have gotten a clue along with his new haircut. Hope told Oliver she's moved on with Liam (as she did a few weeks ago -- why are we rehashing this?), so Oliver needs to spare himself (and us) this pain and accept the consequences of his mask-boink actions. Instead, now Oliver wants Steffy to steal Liam! Didn't Oliver tell Steffy she was above that sort of thing when it was him she was trying to steal? This double standard may well be what puts the final nail in this character's coffin.

The only way to make this interesting at this point would be if Steffy and Oliver actually ended up together themselves as a result of their scheming. Especially since Steffy could totally have him now. But no, The Powers That Bell insist on having Steffy constantly throw herself at unavailable men. It's getting so bad that I would fast-forward through all her scenes if I wasn't honor-bound to Scoop for y'all! I hope you guys appreciate the sacrifice! (Insert "LOL" here.)

The silliness continued over at Jackie M, with Rick proposing to the Divine Miss Cougar. Strangely, the whole thing would actually have been pretty romantic if it wasn't completely implausible! I already said that Rick's interest in Jackie came out of nowhere, but the progression of it isn't giving this story legs. The "family" of Jackie, Owen, and Bridget was complicated enough without throwing Rick's sudden puppy love into the mix. But I'll tell you what intrigued me about it -- Rick's admission that he wanted to break free from his public image, that he was just going through the motions at work, and that he felt a desire to do something wild.

You know, that almost makes sense. Hearing what Rick's motivation is did give him a little substance in this case, especially after his 2009 turn as Evil Rick. It was as if he was saying he'd gotten better, but had since fallen into a rut and needed to shake things up. His fear that he's the next "Logan" to be booted from Forrester (even though he's a blood Forrester) is totally logical. And admittedly, the idea of Rick and Jackie starting up their own fashion house is an intriguing one. But it all would sit a whole lot better if some time had been taken for Rick to develop his "Jackie M addiction" first. As it stands, it's just not believable. Besides, Jackie is clearly not tempted by Rick's declarations, and she told Owen about them right away! That should settle it, don't you think?

Where else can this story go? Unless Owen really does leave Jackie for Bridget, which doesn't look like it's going to happen any time soon, the answer is nowhere. It really feels written into a corner. Bridget admitted to aunts Donna and Katie that she's in love with her babydaddy, but Owen doesn't seem to return that feeling, even in subtext. Even if Owen were to go to Bridget, are we really to believe Jackie would take Rick up on his offers after all? Would it make for a more exciting storyline if she did? Probably not. I don't find this quartet annoying like I do Steffy and the gang, but I unfortunately find myself just as bored by them.

Meanwhile, Nick has been watching that old movie Network, because he's mad as hell and he isn't going to take it anymore. Apparently the scandal of baby Logan's parentage has been so bad that Jackie M's sales are plummeting. That seems far-fetched to me, but for the sake of the mild drama we got out of it, I'll go with it. Nick tested his mother to see if she'd dump her "bizarre" living arrangement with Owen and Bridget, and when she didn't, he booted her from the company that bears her name -- and installed Amber as head designer! Of course, Bridget and Owen were pink-slipped, too. Wow! Looks like he's Massimo's son after all!

But didn't it seem just a bit vindictive to you guys? Even if the scandal was damaging the company and the option was for the unconventional trio to step down like Brooke did at Forrester, Nick was ice cold about it. If he hadn't cried once he was alone, he would have come across as completely heartless. But what was up with Jackie saying, "You're asking me to leave my family?" Isn't Nick family? Her only biological family? What a slap in the face. Having Nick mellow about Bridget and reminiscing about her fashion début as "Madame X" was a nice touch, but isn't he throwing the baby out with the bath water by ejecting Jackie and promoting Amber? Guess Bridget and Amber's tentative friendship is out the window now, too!

Speaking of friendships, Nick nailed it when he looked at Amber and Aggie and said, "Since when are you two gal-pals?" Since when, indeed! They slug back a few margaritas through exposition and suddenly they're BFFs? With Amber inexplicably sneaking peaks at Nick, this insta-friendship reeks of contrivance, and is obviously being set up just to create an Amber/Nick/Aggie triangle. This might be okay if Nick and Aggie's newfound relationship was anywhere close to interesting in the first place. And if Amber had any real reason for wanting to "pick up where she left off" with Rick. She returned from Y&R freshly divorced -- is she over Daniel already? Planting a kiss on Rick as soon as she came back never made sense, so there was never a real feeling that a reunion was even possible. If there was, Amber turning her eye toward Nick out of disappointment might have been reasonable. But once again, B&B is slapping together storyline so fast that it's not even realistic for the soap world!

And Brad Bell's recent interview with Michael Fairman seems to shed some light on the reason. "It's trying to find who can carry the show forward along with our main core characters," he said. Doesn't it seem, then, that he's experimenting? Maybe having the audience sit through experiments -- especially when they're not working -- isn't such a good idea. It's all been about plot, and very little about characters. On that subject, Mr. Bell continues, "There are too many characters and it is a juggling act right now. I do feel it is something we need to work on, and a character or two may end up dying this fall, or into next year." Ah, so he admits it! There are too many characters!

Seriously, have you counted how many faces show up in the full credit roll? I just did: there are twenty-two -- and those are just contract players. If you count Thorne (who is no longer in the credits!), Felicia, and Justin, it's twenty-five. Mr. Fairman suggests at the beginning of the interview that there's not enough airtime for everybody and asks "how we can see more of everyone on the canvas." For my money, it's not a matter of seeing everyone -- it's cutting characters, and I've been saying that all year. We could seriously do without Donna, Marcus, Oliver, Whip, Aggie, Owen, Katie, and Steffy, and Hope probably wouldn't be missed, either. Amber's a '90s character, but her current story is silly; the jury's still out on Liam (at least he's interesting!), and let's face it, Scoopers -- Taylor is pretty well pointless right now. Chuck Justin and bring back Thorne and Felicia. And it's not that characters need to be killed off -- just send 'em away!

What I really find annoying this week is that no less than five characters -- Rick, Steffy, Oliver, Bridget, and Amber -- are either pursuing or wishing they could pursue completely unavailable people. Hey, we've all done it -- find someone among us who hasn't. But is it really necessary to have this many characters doing it at once? And none of these unavailable people are even showing the slightest bit of interest in their pursuers! If you could see me through your monitors right now, you'd see me shaking my head.

But, back to business. Ridge is ready to bring Brooke back to Forrester, and Thomas has jumped on that bandwagon. If Ridge, as CEO, has the power to override the objections of the other stockholders, then why hasn't he used this power before? As for Thomas, well, I'm hearing the words, but I'm not making the connection. I realize even now it's still too early to really make a judgment call on Adam Gregory's performance, but he really isn't popping for me here. Kimberly Matula sparkled in her very first scene, to say nothing of Scott Clifton. Thomas, as a "Forrester" especially, needs to sparkle. I hope we see it soon. But I don't have a good feeling about it.

Now, you wanna talk about sparkling? Let's talk Stephanie and Brooke burnin' down the house and not only dominating, but saving what would otherwise have been a really stupid week on the B and the B. I'm even willing to speculate that maybe the ridiculous triangles and quadrangles were meant to counterbalance the drama of our Forrester matriarch battling Stage IV lung cancer. The scenes between Katherine Kelly Lang and Susan Flannery didn't disappoint -- they were electric, rife with history, and substantial drama drizzled with just the right touch of comedy. Why can't the show write like this all the time?

Two Scoops reader Joan B. reminds me, "B&B's first cancer storyline was actually with Caroline dying from leukemia, a cancer of the blood or bone marrow." Too true, Joan! I had incorrectly stated that only Macy and Felicia had been stricken with cancer, and forgotten that leukemia is a type of cancer as well. Thanks for the correction! And it was good of the show to bring up Felicia's cancer as well -- awesome continuity.

Wasn't it interesting that Stephanie was convinced Brooke hated her and wanted her to die? Sounds more like self-loathing on Stephanie's part, because, say what you want Brooke-haters, but Brooke has never hated Stephanie. If anything, Brooke always wanted Stephanie's approval. That was finally confirmed this week when Brooke told Stephanie she loved her and that "you've always been like a mother to me." "A very abusive mother," Stephanie admitted. And Stephanie even owned that she'd been a cantankerous wife and a controlling mother! As folks of my generation say, "Duuuuuuude!" These supposed rivals were layin' it bare, proving once and for all that they've always cared about each other -- which I've known since Brooke offered to take a bullet for Stephanie back when Sheila held everyone at gunpoint in 1995.

I admit, they rehashed their "I don't want a doctor/You can beat this" conversation too many times over just a few episodes. And it was a little silly how Brooke ended up on the roller coaster. I hate roller coasters even more than Brooke says she does (and have said "We're gonna die!" from them on more than one occasion), but even I have to admit they overdid it with Brooke's screaming! Yet those are the only blots on a storyline that has so far delivered what it promised.

Last week, Allison shared that she didn't think Stephanie would just lie down and accept cancer without a fight. I agree that it may not send the best message, but I myself have a relative who just went through operations and extensive chemo in his own battle with cancer, and he said that if he ever had a recurrence, he wouldn't submit to the treatments again. So, while I also would like to see Stephanie fight -- and eventually, she probably will -- I can understand why she'd choose to eschew a cure that is often as bad as the disease itself. As for Stephanie's bucket list, maybe we should all make bucket lists -- and be sure to check off the items before ever being diagnosed with a terminal illness. I'm just sayin'.

What great lines Stephanie popped off this week, too. From the very serious "Do you think I'll make it to heaven?" to the who-knew-she'd-ever-say "Are you a killjoy like this with Ridge, too?" You'd have expected there to be an explosion when Brooke admitted she'd returned to Forrester, but Stephanie didn't even care! "This is living, kid," Stephanie told Brooke as she munched down her cotton candy. This is the carefree Stephanie we'd seen during her tenure at Jackie M -- I knew she still had it in her, even though it's a shame it took facing mortality to bring it out of her again.

Now, in case you newer viewers are wondering what the deal is with the sudden insertion of homeless people into the amusement park scenes, I can help: in 1991, Stephanie had a stroke on the heels of losing Eric. She also lost her memory, and ended up wandering into skanky downtown L.A. where she spent months living on the street as a homeless person. I had never seen the whole thing until last year on YouTube, and it was probably the most incredible storyline I've ever seen Stephanie in. So I was super-jazzed to find out that Stephanie's cancer was going to dovetail into revisiting that period in her life. How it's going to work out, I don't know, but the unintentional re-gifting of Ann's scarf has kicked it off, and I loved the flashback to illustrate it. I hope we see more!

The Two Scoops electronic mailbag is almost all about Stephanie this week:

• I too will really miss Stephanie, but if she wants to retire it's up to her. Let Steffy fill her grandma's shoes and don't let Stephanie die -- just let her retire and tell the kids and company she's depending on Steffy to fill her shoes. Thanks." -- Willidean

• I hope [this storyline] will finally bring [Stephanie and Brooke] together as friends. We've seen them as mortal enemies for so long and I think it would be refreshing to see them kinda getting along. I'm glad it will be Brooke that finds out instead of Taylor. Susan Flannery and Hunter Tylo don't have the chemistry that she and Katherine Kelly Lang have. I also think these two wonderful actresses will put in Emmy-winning performances in their new storyline, especially SF. I can't remember if KKL has ever won a daytime Emmy and if she hasn't then I for one think that she's way overdue. I know I'll be watching whatever the writers have in store for these two great ladies." -- Judy

• I don't understand why people are saying that they will quit watching if Susan leaves. She's in her 70s and she's been on the show for 23 years and she has already had a long career before that. I don't think Ms. Flannery would want B&B fans to quit watching because she chose to leave. If Stephanie dies it's not like SF is being forced out, it's because she's chosen to leave because she wants to pursue other things. Thanks for a great column." -- Merima

• Mike, you are seldom wrong but this time you are. Ronn Moss did sing on the show once -- about 3 years ago. He was always making cracks about Jack Wagner in interviews and Jack's singing. So I guess Bell decided to let Ronn do a song. I don't know the name of it, as it was not my style of singing, but he did sing once. Keep up the good work. Look forward to your column every other week." -- Bev

Thank you, Bev! I guess I missed that episode; you'd think they would have had the current and former Player singing from the get-go! Merima also adds "Ridge sang to Brooke at The Bikini Bar in the mid '90s" -- so, I'm not clear on the chronology, but definitely Ronn Moss did sing at some point, so I sit corrected!

I'll leave you with a few points to ponder: Why did Steffy coo to Bill, "You're really going to like my designs?" Steffy doesn't design! Not unless that job description has surreptitiously been added to her already dubious résumé...Forrester has new lines? Since when? And wasn't the Hope for the Future line dropped some months ago?...Didn't Oliver offer to leave Forrester as a show of solidarity when Brooke was forced out? So why is he there in the photo studio? Especially when he was hired to set music to videos?...Did any of you notice that the only time Marcus comes alive is when he's rapping with "kinfolk" Hope?...Does anyone besides me miss Stephanie's original maid, Maria? Or remember that the Santa Monica Pier is where Mike imprisoned Maggie back in 1996?

The Soap Central message boards are just waiting for you to put fingers to keyboard, and you can always post comments about this column right here. Next week, Brooke teams up with Taylor, and you're not going to want to miss that, so keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!

Mike (Adam-Michael James)
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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.

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