Before we get into the public service announcements on Thursday and Friday, with Stephanie and Brooke donning the hairnets to scoop rice and egg rolls at the homeless shelter -- and we will get to that -- my main target of the week is Dr. Taylor Hayes Jones. Has this woman lost her mind or is she simply in desperate need of extensive therapy? How else can you explain her overreaction to Brooke and Thomas working together? Clearly, she's projecting. Just because Taylor couldn't stop herself from having an affair with Brooke's son, Rick, she assumes that Brooke will bed her son, Thomas, in the same way. That's madness, of course, especially in light of Brooke's recent debacle with Oliver, but Taylor won't let up on the theme even after Ridge asked Taylor and Brooke to give peace a chance.
Not only does Taylor fail to recognize that her fears are irrational, but she's also displaying the world's worst parenting skills. Thomas has told her more than once that he is extremely upset about her decision to give Steffy the 25 percent of Forrester Creations that Taylor had owned. Taylor must not be hearing Thomas because she has done nothing to ameliorate the situation. You mean to tell me that Taylor can't undo what she's done? You mean to tell me that she has no influence with Steffy to ask her to give half the shares to her brother? If Steffy refused to cooperate, I would think that would be an indictment of Stephanie, Jr., don't you? She wouldn't have a leg to stand on if she chose to keep the shares and disrespect Thomas.
It still makes no sense that Taylor did that in the first place. And it also made no sense that when Steffy pulled off her fake "trust" deal -- remember R.E.S.T. (Ridge, Eric, Steffy, Taylor) -- that she even included her mother. What did Taylor have to do with a fashion house? It was a bizarre maneuver and, obviously, meant little to Taylor. She didn't think twice about giving Steffy the shares. Hmm...perhaps Steffy suspected that her mother would eventually back out of Forrester and Steffy would be the beneficiary. If so, that makes her even more diabolical than I thought.
So I was reading that some fans are not thrilled with the new Thomas. I'm willing to give him some time, and I like the idea that he's working on the Men's Line. There is something weird, however, about the way Forrester and Jackie M operate. Instead of hiring designers who have gone to school or worked their way up in the business, these fashion houses look for family members. That's why Thomas suddenly being a designer was so surprising, as was Bridget's decision to abandon medicine to make dresses. Have these folks never seen Project Runway? There are a lot of designers in this world. Amber's not a wise choice.
Yes, I said it. Nick has shown why a sailor should not be running a fashion house. And Aggie has even less experience than Nick. Since firing Jackie, Owen, and Bridget, Nick has asserted his manhood, but at what cost? The business is not going to improve with Amber as head designer, even with the stolen designs from Forrester. By the way, after the way Rick sabotaged Forrester by emailing the designs to Jackie M a year or so ago, why is there no security for Forrester designs? Didn't they learn anything from that experience? Why would Oliver be trusted with the "Hope for the Future" designs anyway? And, forgive me if I missed it, but didn't Oliver volunteer to quit when Brooke was forced out of Forrester? Who let Ollie back into the building?
I'm really confused by what they're doing with Amber. Is Brad Bell hoping she'll become the second coming of Sally Spectra? Not likely if you ask me. Her attack on Oliver with the tequila bottle was just evil. Really. I'm serious. If that situation was reversed, what would you think of a man doing that to a woman? I'm not surprised that Oliver is as dumb as a stone, but did he really doubt that Hope had his best interests at heart when she warned him to watch out for Amber? Oliver's one of those characters who could use some worldly wisdom. Right now, he's just a dolt...with good hair.
Does it seem to you that Bill and Katie are treading water? There's no storyline for them. Planning family vacations and musing about Liam's macho man qualities doesn't qualify as a storyline. It's time for Dollar Bill to make another move on Forrester, although with Jackie M in the toilet, maybe he should buy it up and inject some new intelligence in the operation of the business?
Finally, let's talk about Stephanie. It was laudable that the show devoted two docu-drama episodes to the plight of the homeless. It was heartbreaking to hear the real-life stories of people and families who have lost everything but their will to survive and endure. However, in the context of a half-hour soap opera, I would have preferred a more integrated storyline. Stephanie seemed more like a reporter on the scene than a woman who wanted to get involved by helping. Yes, yes, it was great that she and Brooke rolled up their sleeves and did some work, but it had all the emotion of a music video. The song, by the way, was "Lean on Me."
But here's what bothered me most about Stephanie's desire to do something to help the homeless before her time is up. By making the homeless story so important, Brad Bell has made the cancer story very unimportant. It's unrealistic for Stephanie to be out of the hospital following surgery and out in the streets like nothing happened to her. I realize that this is a soap opera and they don't want to dwell on the tough part of Stephanie's diagnosis, but a little reality would be appreciated.
Stephanie should be weak. She might have a drain from surgery. She might need to have post-op treatment to prepare for chemo or radiation or something to get to the tumors in her brain. At the very least, Stephanie is risking infection by being around people after surgery. That would be true if she went to Rodeo Drive instead of Skid Row. Why doesn't Brad tell us that story as well as the homeless story? That would be more responsible.
The next few weeks should be interesting. There's some suggestion that Stephanie might actually die, leaving a huge hole in the show. I don't buy that, but we'll have to see, won't we?
There were some great letters in the e-mailbox this week. You can read them below and feel free to write us with your thoughts at Soap Central...
• Thanks for the 10/29/10 episode. It was powerful and reality about a segment of our country that people don't address in television other than the news. I am a pastor of a church and it inspired me to do more to help in my community and to realize there are a lot of people out there that are down but not out and want to make it. Thanks for the touching inspirational program. It is needed! -- George
• BLECH! Don't know how much longer I can hang on to this show! The "homeless" storyline with it's PSA is almost the last straw! Even though Susan Flannery did a superb job on her interviewing the homeless, I thought that it needed something more. Maybe had Stephanie actually had some time home recuperating instead of going out the very day she got home from the hospital it may have had more impact. You would have to live in another world not to know about the homeless in America, it is shown in the news all the time. (Not to mention the hours shown when Katrina hit.) If Brad Bell thought he did something extraordinary, he better think twice! I, for one, was not impressed! The whole hype for the storyline was overrated! I love Susan Flannery, and I watch mostly for Susan Flannery and I think she meant well by agreeing to this storyline, but it just didn't cut it in my opinion. -- Diane
• One point of clarification; I do seem to recall at one point when Thomas was dating Gaby, I believe, that he left Forrester to design over at Spectra, causing a major uproar. Also, re the "Brooke will molest my son" scenario, it sure takes a lot of nerve for Taylor to bring that up considering she slept with, lived with and became engaged to Brooke's SIGNIFICANTLY younger son, Rick. As far as Brooke and Thomas getting together? I'm with you, ain't gonna happen. -- Ellen
Thanks for reading! Till next time, see you on the soaps!