Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did one more person go through your revolving door? Did you psychoanalyze everyone but yourself? Did you try to put the "French" in "French kiss"? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!
Well, we're halfway into January, and so far, for the most part, 2011 has begun like 2010 ended. But at least now we're getting some interesting layers. Let's Scoop about it!
Jackie and Owen have been missing in action for three months, and Bridget -- the third part of that particular triad -- is off somewhere in Hawaii with baby Logan. So wasn't it kind of a strange time for Jackie and Owen to renew their wedding vows? It was nice to hear the marrieds address their history from today's perspective, and not only was Nick a sailor again for an eyeblink, but he admitted his hypocrisy in passing judgment on Owen's infidelity. (If only Bridget had been there to hear that!) It just seemed like the whole scenario was thrown together simply because these characters needed something to do. And while "Naggy Aggie" didn't utter a line, don't you know she had to be gettin' some ideas.
Meanwhile, Amber's plot definitely thickened. Does anyone else find it interesting that Amber was all slinky and sexy until mama Tawny showed up? Now Amber wants to do the right thing. I'm glad she's at least more a human being instead of the blow-up doll she was turning into, but wasn't it her idea to bag Liam in the first place? It makes her sudden resistance to Tawny's scheming ring somewhat hollow. Of course, Amber's always been more bark than bite -- she's basically a good girl who does bad things. And most of us behave differently with our parents around -- funny how Amber goes all meek when Tawny proves herself the real manipulator!
And how about Hope fending both of them off? Amber surprisingly withered while Tawny kept stirring the pot. I recall I rather liked Tawny's trashy character back in '99, but this time I'm finding her unnecessarily nasty. No wonder Hope, Oliver, and finally Amber told her to shut the hell up! How does Tawny expect to alter a DNA test when she keeps talking about how broke she is? And while Amber having "Liam's" bun in her oven may well clear the way for Oliver, his continual pining for Hope has officially bypassed pathetic. Even Marcus finally told him to give it up.
Speaking of Marcus giving it up, hold the phone! Marcus and Amber?! Whoo doggies! Who saw that one coming? Not me, and I can usually see plot twists coming a mile away without spoilers. It's nice to know B&B can still shock us. But I fear we might be in for a retread of one of Amber's '90s stories, when she slept with white Rick and black Raymond and didn't know who she was pregnant by. Amber swears it can't be Marcus', but she and Oliver apparently used protection, also, and look what happened. Now we find out she really did have sex with Liam? (How is that possible when he had a concussion?) This whole "spin the bottle" aspect is getting a little skanky, although I like Marcus' friendships with Amber and Oliver -- he's turning in the best scenes I've seen him in since he arrived.
Of course, the bulk of this week's story lies in "The Thomas Brooke Affair", which has gone on in earnest for two months now. Will it ever end? The only saving grace is at least the focus seems to be shifting from Brooke (and her supposedly uncontrollable sex drive) to Thomas and his feelings and motivations. Even Taylor now worries it will be Thomas that crosses the line. But what's up with this Oedipus thing she keeps babbling about? I'm glad they're exploring the possible effects of the period when Taylor was "dead" and Brooke was raising Thomas and the twins, but Taylor is really grasping at straws now.
It finally dawned on me why Taylor has been going off her nut with all this. She said she wanted to take responsibility for the fact that she was "gone" all those years. Ah ha! She feels guilty because she missed out on a chunk of her children's lives! Now, it's hardly her fault -- shot after struggling with Sheila over a gun, Taylor "died" in the hospital, and then Prince Omar swooped in and took her back to Morocco. So of course she couldn't be there for the kids. But I think Taylor's completely green with envy because Brooke got to spend those years with them instead, and that's what's driving Taylor batty. It's the only thing that makes sense.
I mean, you know it's bad when even Stephanie is telling Taylor to get a grip! La Forrester was right that Whip's picture only made things worse. How Taylor can insist "[Whip] didn't do it to me" just shows how far gone she is. And, as Stephanie said, Taylor can't grasp the idea that Thomas is grown up. Whatever version of the Oedipus complex there is where a mother is totally fixated on her son, Taylor has it. (And Stephanie should be able to recognize that, too, ahem ahem...)
However, I absolutely loved the confab between the Forrester men. How awesome to see Ridge, Eric, and Thorne together in a scene again. And discussing their mutual histories. Losing a son to Brooke? Ridiculous, Ridge scoffed. "That's what I thought," Eric retorted. What great continuity. But I could hardly believe it when Thorne wondered if Thomas might be gay! Wouldn't that be a killer twist? Here we have a show set in the fashion industry and the only gay character we've ever had was Lauren's flamboyant stylist Sergei back in the '90s. Making Thomas gay would be a brilliant development. Just brilliant. And completely reasonable.
There were certainly lots of hints. All the talk of Thomas not having much experience with women? Thomas telling Brooke she'd be surprised what gets his juices flowing -- "I know I am." Maybe Thomas is going gaga over Brooke (and her sassy new haircut!) as a last-ditch attempt to deny his true orientation. You know what the best part of that would be? The "will Brooke sleep with Thomas?" storyline would be finished, closed, and eighty-sixed, forever and ever, amen. Interesting layers this week or not, the story cheapens the show, and I know B&B can do better. Now that Thomas laid his lips on the sleeping Brooke, maybe she can tell him to knock it off, and we can just move on already!
When I was putting together my Best and Worst column, I couldn't help brainstorming a bit on how B&B could improve in 2011. I'd like to briefly share my thoughts with you -- although admittedly, this week's developments have upended my plans just a little bit!
First, no more scandals for Brooke! Stop this Thomas thing and keep Ridge and Brooke together. Give them a challenge that doesn't involve a triangle for a change. Maybe Brooke could work on a follow-up to BeLieF and then have an accident in the lab that disfigures her? Something that would make it so she can't rely on her beauty? Of course she'd get her looks back eventually, but in the meantime it would take her and Ridge on an emotional journey that would deepen their connection and show it isn't just about physical attraction. And Stephanie could be right there helping Brooke the way Brooke helped her.
B&B is just overloaded with characters, and they need to cut several of them loose. Let Donna reunite with Justin, and they can return to San Francisco with son Marcus in tow. While we're at it, we'll nullify that silly adoption by Eric.
How long has it been since Eric had his own storyline? Now that he's no longer CEO of Forrester, he could decide to finally pursue his singing. He becomes a sensation and has to go on tour, which puts him in conflict with Stephanie, who of course wants him to stay home and help her help the homeless.
Either send Stephen and Pam on their merry way with a nice, long, extended trip, or take us on a trip by really exploring Pam's bipolar disorder. Her illness has been mostly used for cheap rationale and camp -- let's dig deep and show some real drama as Pam struggles, with Stephen right by her side. Then they'll have earned that long trip and can go out with a bang.
Bring Steffy back just long enough to get involved with Oliver, then let Oliver get a DJ gig that takes him on a long tour. Before they leave L.A., however, expose the fact that Steffy used her body and blackmailed Bill to get Forrester back. And make sure Katie finds out this time -- for reasons I'll get into.
Rick hasn't been redeemed since his diabolical turn in 2009 -- so put him in the homeless storyline! And it turns out Amber was a very busy girl -- her baby isn't Oliver's, Liam's, or Marcus' -- it's actually Rick's! This brings Rick and Amber back together, with Amber seeing that Rick isn't the goody-goody he was when they were married. In fact, as Amber's pregnancy progresses, they realize that his nastiness two years ago was caused by the same kind of fugue state that had him shoot Grant as a teen. There are numerous challenges they could face as he phases in and out of fugues before finally being cured.
Thorne desperately needs his own storyline. Perhaps he could do some singing of his own -- maybe with Amber! Or, he could do karaoke nights at Dayzee's and fall for its proprietor. Talk about a one-of-a-kind romance -- and Aly would have a mother again. Oh, while we're at it, bring Connor Davis back and put him in a lasting relationship with Felicia. Or let Felicia and Jake find their way back to each other -- complete with flashbacks.
Finally, I'm building up to something, so stay with me. Despite their recent vow renewal, Jackie's still has doubts about Owen and ends up falling for Clarke! Owen moves to Hawaii to be with Bridget and baby Logan, while Clarke and Jackie start designing together. Meanwhile, Nick decides to set sail with Aggie and Jack for ports unknown -- but not before a dying Massimo returns to reveal that the whole thing about being Ridge's father was just a ruse to win Stephanie -- Ridge really is a Forrester after all!
Bill, still looking for a way to stick it to Forrester, buys the struggling Jackie M from Nick. The new lines from Clarke and Jackie give Forrester a serious run for its money. Katie is made CEO, while Whip maintains his position in PR...
Taylor and Whip stay together, and Taylor finally realizes she needs help of her own to become sensible again -- so she enlists the help of James, who returns for an extended stay. Of course, given their own history, James' feelings for Taylor resurface, confusing her. Whip, on the other hand, is still smarting from Taylor's obsession with Ridge and takes an interest in Katie, who hasn't forgiven Bill for the way he lost Forrester to Steffy. And that would give us something I'm not sure B&B has ever had before -- a quintangle: James/Taylor/Whip/Katie/Bill. If that isn't fresh, I don't know what is!
A friend of mine in Austria -- a B&B fan from way back -- stopped watching because he feels the stories are "same old, same old." I couldn't agree more. Give us something new while acknowledging history. Give us story with some meat on the bone! B&B is certainly capable of it -- and you've just read my ideas of how they can do it. I hope you enjoyed my little flight of fancy!
Now, let's return to the B&B that exists in this universe for some Points to Ponder:
How did Taylor think she could demand the Forrester jet to be turned around? It's business, and one she's no longer part of. And what did she expect Stephanie to do -- fly to Paris herself?...It was interesting -- and accurate -- that the European press would be more mellow about Taboo and what it implies...Was Thomas trying to get Brooke drunk on the plane with that spicy Bloody Mary? What was in it that Brooke would knock out after one drink? And what was the point of stunt casting The Bachelor's Jake Pavelka when he was on for ten seconds?
Brooke said her first international press junket was during Brooke's Bedroom. What -- nothing during BeLieF?...How is it Nick and Taylor are on such good terms? The way their marriage imploded, you'd think they wouldn't even be on speaking terms...Gee, nice of B&B to peripherally mention that Stephanie still has cancer...Marcus reminded Oliver that Amber stole "your designs" -- so now Oliver designed them?...Given Amber's history, it's amazing she didn't mention how she used to hang out at Dayzee's when it was Insomnia, or that she wants this baby because she lost two others...So, even poor Dayzee is having to deal with Pam's lemon bars...Finally, wasn't it heartwarming to hear Stephanie say she thinks Brooke's goodness makes Brooke attractive? Nice to see the truce is holding, even without active scenes.
Hey! One more bit of brainstorming for you -- how about Forrester and Jackie M have a joint fashion show, and a fire breaks out that endangers the entire cast? B&B needs a good disaster story. But that's just my opinion -- why not share yours on the Soap Central message boards? Allison and I love hearing from you, and your comments may end up in an upcoming column. In the meantime, we've got another Y&R/B&B crossover in the works, and Nick is about to find himself in Stephanie's orbit once again, so keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!