Adam Gregory
Rescued from the backburner
by Mike
For the Week of January 31, 2011
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The week of January 31, 2011
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It's about time that Brooke took a hard line with Thomas. He keeps spinning excuses, but she's not buying them. How interesting that she's coming to think that Taylor may be on to something with the whole Oedipus thing.
Has your week been bold and beautiful? Was your response to an addiction "no cigar"? Did you plan a shotgun wedding without the shotgun? Were you crazy about your man or just plain crazy? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!

In my last column, I did say I thought B&B should shake things up. Well, someone over at CBS Studios was listening! Was the result different, or just more of the same with different faces? Let's dig in, Scoopers!

It seems The Thomas/Brooke Affair is quickly heading for a much-welcomed end. Brooke is absolutely right -- she should tell Ridge about the kiss, because she didn't do anything wrong. And it's about time Brooke took a hard line with Thomas -- he keeps spinning excuses, but she's not buying them. How interesting that she's coming to think Taylor may be on to something with the whole Oedipus thing. But if Thomas doesn't want to jeopardize the Taboo line, why did he risk doing exactly that by busting a move on a sleeping Brooke? Now that other stories are being featured, this one seems even more out of place. If I'm reading the signs correctly, it should be over in weeks. Hallelujah!

Besides, who really cares that Madison and Summer have gone all meow mix over Thomas? I still think Thorne had it right when he said Thomas was gay, because I'm not believing any of this. And how is it that Katherine Kelly Lang really giving a solid performance in these scenes makes Adam Gregory's that much more unremarkable?

Back in the trailer park where Amber and Tawny are staying (are they in L.A. or Furnace Creek?), it's more of "Gee you really should tell Liam he's the father" and "No Mom I don't want to." If nothing else, at least things are finally starting to move by introducing Carl Ferrett into this storyline. To refresh your memories, Carl was inadvertently responsible for the big Brooke/Taylor egg mix-up in 2007 that produced little Jack Marone. Then, last year, Taylor encountered him again through an online personals ad. At least it's good continuity that Tawny met Carl online as well. And somehow, I do believe if anyone could rig a DNA test, it would be Carl. But doesn't it seem that the usually geeky lab assistant has turned to the dark side? Maybe his experience with the Forresters soured him -- interesting that little tidbit didn't come up in Tawny's research.

So now Amber's let her arm be twisted into telling Liam he's going to be a father. Let her arm be twisted, mind you. Yet Hope's flashback showed Amber as the schemer she was in the earlier part of this storyline -- and it really showed up the inconsistency. It doesn't really make sense for Amber to be rejecting a ploy she herself put into play by crawling into bed with Liam in the first place. And why exactly was Amber ever trying to compete with Hope for Liam? Hate to be blunt, but Amber is almost twice Hope's age. Isn't it time B&B (and Y&R!) write adult storylines for her?

Another thing -- how does Amber know how "meticulous" Bill Spencer is or isn't? She's had little-to-no exposure to him. But it ought to be interesting when she goes up against Dollar Bill for real, because you know he ain't gonna be havin' it. Amber will not be living the high life as a Spencer the way she did as a Forrester. Cool as it was for there to be flashbacks of Amber's marriage to Rick, they were unsatisfying because Rick wasn't in them -- he couldn't be, since Justin Torkildsen played Rick at the time. Speaking of history, what exactly is the wisdom of putting Amber in yet another baby switcheroo story?

In previous weeks, those two stories dominated airtime, but this week we got a whole slew of characters marching in from the backburner. Nick finally has a story that doesn't have to do with romancing B&B's entire female cast, and it's an interesting correlation to give him a spot on his lung and have Stephanie there beside him, especially with her battling her own cancer. But, is it just me, or does the whole thing play like a big public service announcement? "Don't smoke, it's bad for you". Well, yes, it is. But Stephanie sounded like a brochure from the American Lung Association -- even Nick told Stephanie to stop preaching.

While it's nice to see the friendship continuing between Stephanie and Nick (considering a few short years ago she tried to frame him for killing Shane!), Nick's addiction to cigars seems sudden. Yes, he puffed on them when he was with Katie, and there have been references to them all along. But now they're making it seem like he's surgically attached to them -- even Owen commented that Nick doesn't smoke that much. Are we right to infer from Jackie that he started smoking more once he and Bridget divorced? And if Stephanie wants Nick to quit so much, why remind him of the temptations when she could getting him to focus on something else?

It's also nice to see that Stephanie is still friends with Jackie (though I suspect Jackie won't be going near the stairs in the Forrester mansion any time soon!). But aren't the mothers pushing too hard? Should Stephanie have blabbed to Jackie about Nick's health at all? I'm not sure - although when Stephanie wanted Brooke to keep quiet about her own health, Brooke did end up spilling to Taylor. I had to love it when Nick popped off to Stephanie that "guilt might motivate your kids, but all it does is piss me off!" That's calling Stephanie on her own hypocrisy!

Apparently this intervention story will continue in the coming weeks. The thing is, trying to get someone to stop smoking is a rather unusual soap story. It's certainly something that many people deal with in their own lives, and therefore they can relate. And it is different. But where's the real drama? What are the stakes? Unless Nick actually gets cancer himself (and I hope he doesn't), it just seems like some kind of protracted warning. Don't get me wrong - cancer caused by smoking has touched my own family. They all smoke, but I've always been against it and I've never even tried it. I just don't know how I feel about it as a story arc. But could the kid playing little Jack be any cuter? He's a good little actor. And Jack must be happy to be off the backburner as well!

Also coming to the fore is Marcus. I always thought he was a rather bland character, but lately...I don't know if it's that he's getting better material, or if Texas Battle is turning in better performances, but Marcus is suddenly watchable. Now, I'm all for more diversity, and overall I think his pairing with Dayzee has real potential. But there are things about it that bother me. For one thing, it's happening way too fast. And, all right, Marcus has mentioned there are other girls. But the fact that he slept with Amberafter showing an interest in Dayzee spoils the burgeoning romance for me somewhat. And what if Amber's baby turns out to be Marcus'? Because that could still happen.

Meanwhile, Marcus' biological parents have, in the course of a week, found their way to each other and are planning their wedding. What's the hurry, guys? Whatever happened to courtship on this show? Donna and Justin ran into each other once in December, attended a birthday party "last night," and now they're picking out china. It's nice to see Donna in a storyline again, but we've had no chance to get invested in this reunion -- we're just being told we like it.

I get that Donna regrets giving Marcus up for adoption and keeping Justin in the dark, but does she have to apologize for it in every scene? Didn't we already cover that ground when Justin first showed up? And of course, all this highlights Marcus' rather wonky family tree. He has three fathers -- Justin, the man who adopted him, and Eric, who also adopted him. Marcus was adopted twice! It's so confusing. The only aspect that makes this rushed romance work is Justin -- it's perfectly conceivable he's carried a torch for Donna the last 20 years, and it was satisfying somehow to hear him tell how he became smitten with her in high school.

But not long ago, Donna was pining for Eric. Now she's in love. And her sisters and father couldn't be happier for her. But hold the phone! Was it not Justin who forced Liam to hand over the footage from Hope's graduation party and used it to expose Brooke's sexcapade with Oliver? Justin very purposefully hurt Brooke just so he could weaken Forrester and make it ripe for Bill to take control again. AND EVERYONE'S OKAY WITH THIS? That's the thing with these characters - don't make them do diabolical things and then have others pretend nothing happened.

At least history is being remembered in the case of Miss Pamela Douglas soon-to-be Logan! It was only a matter of time before Stephen proposed to the Lady of the Catwalk. But again, what happened to courtship? Wouldn't it have been nice to occasionally see the development of this romance over the seven months since it started? "I've changed," Pam insisted to Donna. Maybe if we could have seen some of it -- instead, everything happened off-screen, and now we're being rushed into their story, great as it is to see Stephen and Pam return from exile. "I think at the very least you should slow this down," Brooke cautioned. Tell it like it is, Brooke.

Donna was right to remind Pam of all the things she'd done. But why do I still get the impression these misdeeds are viewed as mere pranks by B&B? Scar tissue affecting Pam or not, we might be able to laugh off stained teeth or green hair, but Donna could have been seriously burned in that tanning bed, and there's no laughing off tying Donna up and siccing a bear on her. I do believe that Pam has changed. I do. But, as I mentioned before, there's no going back once you make a character do things that crazy.

That's why Kyle Lowder will be leaving our screens. B&B says they can't generate story for Rick, but what I think happened is they turned Rick undesirable when they made him evil two years ago. It's wrong writing a character into a corner to produce a few weeks or months of shock value -- and too much of that has happened on this show in recent years. Whip is next if the Powers That Bell aren't careful.

But all is not lost. Much was said about bringing the long-held Forrester/Logan feud to an end. Stephen made an impassioned speech about the good the combined clans could do if they pulled together. Pretty amazing considering the last time they were all in a room together, Stephanie was threatening to jail Stephen after she shot him! And glory be, we finally got more Stephanie and Brooke. More, please -- more! Thank the soap gods their truce is holding.

"They've just taken our cue," Brooke observed of Pam and Stephen, emphasizing that the families' hostilities should end once and for all.

Except, is there still a feud to be ended? Stephanie and Brooke -- the main contenders in that fight -- have packed up the gloves and left the ring. Who's still feuding? Taylor -- maybe. You may recall I found the renewed feud contrived, and there's got to be a better way to create conflict on B&B than repeating watered-down history. But doesn't it make you wonder -- what's Steffy going to come home to next month? I absolutely have not missed her, but that feud was her whole reason for being in 2010. I must admit, I can't wait to see her face when she returns and finds everyone in a big Forrester/Logan lovefest!

In my previous column, I explored some ways to reinvent B&B. The Two Scoops electronic mail bag had some things to say about that -- and other topics!

• "LOVE your idea on the quintangle. I hope it goes from your column to Bell's script." -- Stephanie

• "I totally agree that the plotlines are so recycled, it makes it hard to be a B&B fan these days. When Sally said RECYCLE, I don't think this is what she meant! The last thing I want to see is Amber try to pin this baby on Liam. It just isn't a viable storyline. And Taylor's carrying on about Thomas and Brooke...crazy business. Brooke needs to learn from her mistakes and tell Ridge that his son kissed her. It's not a big deal when you 'fess up -- it becomes a big deal when you keep it a secret. The only thing I would like to see again is Taylor hitting the bottle -- that would explain her paranoia. Someone send the good doc to rehab so we can get a rational character back!" -- Karen

• "What happened to Little D, the reason Amber went back out to L.A.?" -- Jeanette

• "As usual, I loved this week's column! From your keyboard to the writers, would I love to have your storyline ideas come to life. They would bring me back to watching. As a day one viewer, I have stopped about a month ago. Enough is enough! Please continue with yours and Allison's columns. At least, I won't be giving these up!" -- Rambo

• "I feel that it is ironic that not long after finding [a] spot on my lung [they] have an episode with the same findings...please tell Nick he needs to QUIT SMOKING, it's not worth it...[I beat] cervical cancer 11 years ago [and] I am praying that this is not the beginning stages of lung cancer. I just had to comment because I am really living is not a soap opera it is truly the scariest thing I have ever heard in my life next to the fact that I had cervical cancer...Nick needs to take care of himself." -- Donna

• "Good job, maybe the B&B execs will hire you as their new head writer. I liked most of your ideas to get that soap moving again! Thank you." -- Elizabeth

• "You're beginning to bore me with [your] write-up. Your idea for B&B (2011) is whacked and totally out of place. Thank God you're not the writer. You got me so shocked while reading those crazy ideas of yours. Arrrrgghhhhh!!!!" -- Angel

Well, you can please some of the people some of the time, or however that goes. And let's all send out some good healing thoughts to Donna -- health scares in reel life are one thing, but in real life, they're quite another.

As it turns out, Rick won't be getting my story or anyone else's. Wonder if B&B would be interested in retro-casting with Justin Torkildsen? And here are some other Points to Ponder:

Amber's resistance to Tawny would make more sense if she came out and said they'd already pulled this stunt with Rick and Raymond (and Becky!)...Interesting to hear Brooke admit that Taboo "plays on my history"...Speaking of which, how funny was it when Brooke said she once proposed to Ridge, and Donna asked "was that your third or fourth engagement?"...Also hilarious that Nick had to say he was chewing "the gum" (what, no product placement? Macy's got some) -- just how many pieces did he pop during that brief lunch with Stephanie? And how about his insisting "I care for Jack! I care for Jack more than anything" -- and no mention of Aggie. Very telling...

Why does everyone think Stephen and Pam are rushing things, but no one thinks Donna and Justin are?...Marcus said Donna had been alone "a long, long time" -- eight or nine months is that long? And Stephen's ready to "move on" in that same amount of time after a 30-year marriage. Feel that slap in the face, Beth?...Bill's friendship with Justin has taken on a mellow warmth. So has the interaction between the Logan sisters -- not easy to pull that off with two recasts!...Justin certainly plunked down the Benjamins for Donna's engagement ring, but how did he know her size? And what's the point of an engagement ring if you're getting married "tomorrow?"

Episode #6000 is on tap next week, as is the arrival of A Martinez and Y&R's Olivia, who needed rescuing from her own backburner. What do you think of all these characters returning from storyline limbo? Rap about it on the Soap Central message boards! Positive or negative, your comments count. February sweeps is upon us, 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 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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