Jack Wagner
Hot off the backburner
For the Week of January 24, 2011
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Nick should know something about the whole cougar fashion angle, because Taboo is just a younger version of Jackie and Owen's cabana boy routine. Younger man who's infatuated with sexy, older woman. Sound familiar?
Somebody must have elbowed Brad Bell and reminded him that he had a huge cast of actors who haven't been featured in any frontline stories for a while because suddenly we're seeing some familiar faces back in action. First and foremost is Nick. The week started off great, with Nick needling Ridge about the whole Taboo line. The way Nick calls him "Forrester" is perfect, too, because it's derogatory without being mean!

But Nick should know something about the whole cougar fashion angle because Taboo is just a younger version of Jackie and Owen's cabana boy routine, don't you think? Younger man who's infatuated with sexy, older woman. Sound familiar? The main difference is that Taboo is selling men's fashions and Jackie M was selling schmattas. Or were they mu-mus? I don't know, did any of it ever actually sell or was it just Whip's excuse to whip up PR campaigns involving Roman statues and chaise longues?

It looks like the Thomas and Brooke thing may be taking a backseat for a while, and that's fine with me. I wasn't happy with the whole Freudian analysis claptrap that Taylor was dishing out to explain her son's possible fascination with Brooke. If anything, Nick had it closer to the truth when he pointed out to Forrester that Ridge went after Brooke when Brooke was married to Eric, which mimics Thomas going after Brooke while she's married to Ridge. Of course, the difference is that long before Brooke and Eric were a pair, Brooke was in love with Ridge. Her detours to Eric, Nick, Thorne, Deacon, and Whip were always relationships that developed because Ridge was unavailable.

The more important storyline for Nick, however, was his cancer scare. It was a bit too much of a public service announcement at times, with Stephanie preaching about smoking causing lung cancer, secondhand smoke affecting Jack, and Nick ignoring the spot on his lungs. Brad's writing was kind of heavy-handed, but he was trying to make a valid point. To me, the best part was when Nick finally admitted to Stephanie that he is addicted to smoking and has unsuccessfully tried to quit. That was a revelation, and I've got to believe a lot of viewers could relate. Nick wasn't being obstinate about giving up his cigars; he couldn't do it.

I know I said that I like that B&B is handling the cancer storyline responsibly, but at some point I hope we can get back to Stephanie as a player. She hasn't been involved in Forrester for the longest time. It's almost as if she doesn't care about the company anymore. Now, naturally, after what she's been going through with her own illness and her focus on helping the homeless, she's been busy. But a big chunk of what makes B&B fascinating is what's happening in the boardrooms and on the fashion runways. Stephanie should have been furious about Whip sneaking backstage at the Taboo show and taking a picture of Thomas and Brooke. Her reaction barely registered.

By the way, wasn't it nice to see Jack Marone? I thought the kid actor was wonderful, and Jack Wagner was really good with him. But it got me thinking about Jack as a character. Where is his mother? Taylor is supposedly Jack's mom, but have we ever seen her spend time with him? Does she ignore him because his biological mom is Brooke? Is that fair to Jack? Right now, Aggie is filling in as mommy, but what if she and Nick don't stay together? Remember, Bridget was once Jack's mother figure, and so was Katie. For a little boy of four or five, Jack desperately needs one real mother in his life, and he needs her now! All you Taylor fans, explain how she can obsess about Thomas and give Jack such short shrift!

The relationship between mother and child is an important one, as Tawny and Amber are proving! Okay, I'm kidding, but you've got to admit that Amber's more interesting now that Tawny's giving her advice. It's terrible advice, but it's making the pregnancy storyline more substantive. It would only make sense for Amber to use the kid to get ahead. Although did you notice that there was a reference this past week to Little E, the kid that Amber actually left Daniel for back on The Young and the Restless. He was so important to Amber then, but now he's just a footnote in the script.

I loved Tawny's breakfast date with Amber, didn't you? Here they are, broke on their butts, and Tawny's ordering eggs benedict with no way to pay the bill! I was half-expecting them to wind up washing dishes when they couldn't scrape together $40 for the tab! Of course, Tawny should have taken Amber to Dayzee's with their pay-what-you-like policy. They could afford coffee and muffins there, don't you agree?

Speaking of Dayzee, I appreciated how she confronted Marcus this week, letting him know that she was not a "friend with benefits." It would have been nice if Marcus had been as upfront with Dayzee about his relations. I mean, he mentioned that he dates and that he liked Dayzee more than just as a friend, but will he ever tell Dayzee about his casual sex with Amber? I doubt Dayzee would approve of his catting around like that...

While we're on the subject of sleeping around... They seem intent of portraying Thomas as a young Ridge, with the libido to boot. His flirting with Madison in the bedroom was supposed to be about more than pot roast, but it sure seemed tame to me. Wouldn't it be daring and interesting and perhaps appropriate if it turned out that Thomas was gay? Thorne mentioned it, and Ridge laughed at the idea, but seriously, is everyone working at Forrester so aggressively heterosexual that a gay man couldn't find his way into the design team? Suppose Thomas' attraction to Brooke is a mask for his latent homosexuality? Wait, I'm starting to sound like Taylor the shrink. Stop me before I start quoting Kinsey!

The greatest leap in storyline this past week, however, was the super-speedy update on Justin and Donna. I thought I'd get whiplash for how quickly they went from getting reacquainted to planning a future together as a family. Granted, Justin and Donna have history. But it's been months and months since Brad addressed Donna's long-lost love for Justin. And Justin has been virtually hidden away in Spencer Publications with nary a plot to call his own. This week, sort of out of the blue, Donna talks to Katie, and the next thing you know, Justin and Donna are getting ready to pose for wedding pictures. You watch, it'll happen in just a week or so. It's like that old Saturday Night Live sketch, "Married In a Minute." Not very realistic, but it moves the chess pieces around on the chessboard!

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...

• Well, here is some food for thought. I love the idea about Ridge finally being a Forrester. How about I am sick and tired of everyone thinking that Brooke and Ridge belong together. Maybe she was the first to meet Ridge before he married Caroline, I don't know. I would love to see Ridge back with Taylor. Taylor hasn't been all together crazy with her Oedipus Complex storyline. I think people just do not want to admit that it does sometimes happens. Here is a few suggestions I would like to see: 1) Ridge and Taylor back together; 2) Bring back the feud between Stephanie and Brooke to an extent, Stephanie gets mad at Brooke for not being honest with Ridge about Thomas's kiss; 3) Brooke be accountable for her actions, as she is never is held responsible for anything. Let the secret that Thomas kiss her drive her to the brink of destruction with the ruining of her marriage because she should have told Ridge. Let her be an alcoholic get treatment and fall in love with Whip. 4) Let Steffy come back and stir up trouble for Katie and Bill. I would like to see Dollar Bill with Steffy they would make a formidable team. Let Katie feel what is like when she took Bridget's husband Nick and got pregnant. -- Mildred

• Allison great column!! I'll join the "bored with Amber" club. I'm not only bored with Amber but frustrated at what I see as a lame story just to go through the whole Hope's boyfriend cheated on her same song one more time. Why is it that every guy Hope dates (I know there's only been 2) cheats on her? First Ollie with Brooke and now Hope believes that Liam cheated with Amber; her I guess arch nemesis. Sorry yeah it's the "bored with Amber" club. And no I don't want her back on Y&R either. Just got rid of her there and now she's causing trouble and with Tawny now too on B&B. The Taylor Freudian analogy was too funny. First Taylor runs around for weeks screaming her head off that Brooke is going to corrupt her son and now she is giving it a rational explanation. Makes no sense to me. I just hope Mr. Bell isn't going to once again paint Brooke in this corner. I know it's fodder for the Brooke haters (and I don't hate either Brooke or Taylor) but the Brooke scandals have been done to death. I too like Nicky (as Jackie calls him) and the stand up thing he did for his mom by coming to preside in his dres whites. Naggy really got through to him. And no I think it'll take a long time if ever before Nick really accepts Owen but as long as Jackie is happy Nick will be happy for her. He told her in "his" speech before they renewed their vows that he was wrong and that was hard for him to admit and I doubt he'll ever say it again but it was nice to hear. Then at the end when he told his mother he'd walk through hell to protect her and Owen would too. That was a nice touch too. Naggy Aggy may be changing Nicky....just a little about his mother and her husband and dare we hope Jackie's extended family of which he is a part as her son. -- Pat

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Allison J. Waldman
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