Head writer and executive producer Brad Bell has decided to turn the soap opera genre upside down and inside-out with The Bold and the Beautiful! Instead of the classic storyline in which the good girl remains good and the bad girl uses sex to get her way, Brad's retelling the story so that the good girl is a manipulative witch who's actually being cruel to her beloved by refusing to have pre-marital sex with him!
Say what? Is this really the message the son of William and Lee Philip Bell wants to impart: that unless you're willing to have sex with your fiancÚ, you're using sex as a weapon? Doesn't that fly in the face of everything we were ever taught as teenagers? Am I such an old fuddy-duddy that the new morality makes my head spin? Seriously, if you're a girl and you haven't given up your virginity via sex with a boyfriend in high school and college, there's something wrong with you?
I'll tell you what I think: I think Hope deserves a medal -- or a Girl Scout pin -- for holding out for the wedding night! You stick by your morals and remain a virgin until you're ready to give it up, Hope, especially if that's what your gut is telling you. Steffy's gut, on the other hand, seems to think that all men are entitled to be boffing their way through girlfriends as some kind of biological imperative. It's their right to screw around, is that it? In Steffy's demented dome, just because Liam's a good guy and really loves Hope and gave her an engagement ring, his "needs" are more important than Hope's ethics. And when Brooke asked Steffy and Taylor to respect the fact that Liam and Hope were choosing to wait, meaning that Steffy should stop trying to entice Liam to stray, Dr. Hayes was actually on Steffy's side. Taylor seemed to think that Steffy was well within her rights to tease Liam all she wanted to, since Hope had decided not to consummate her relationship with Liam before the wedding.
And what's really funny is that nobody is on Hope's side except her parents! Frankly, why should anybody even know about whether Hope and Liam have done the deed? Was it really necessary for Liam to parade his long face at the Bikini Bar after Hope asked him to respect her decision to abstain until the wedding? Here's what I think...if Liam is really so hard up, he should turn on Cinemax After Dark and indulge in some fantasies while having Woody Allen's favorite form of sex. Liam should try to be like Woody, who once said, "I'm a good lover because I practice a lot on my own." No, seriously, Liam's been in town for a long time without benefit of a girlfriend. Now, suddenly, he can't think straight without having sex. Liam is an idiot and needs to get over it. Go to the gym. Learn a little restraint. And stop watching Steffy's Intimates video.
Speaking about that video, a couple of observations. First, when they play the same song about 75 times a week, over and over and over again, it gets in your head. That's how I feel about the Steffy song. I can't get it out of my head -- ARGH! I want it out of my head. Second, why was that shot in video instead of film? It looks really cheesy, and the video lighting just makes it worse. It's like a really bad soft-core porno flick (although I've never watched any!). If Forrester Creations is selling lingerie, how come it looks like it's Steffy selling herself? Maybe I need a marketing expert to explain it to me...although there are no marketing experts in Forrester Creations. Everybody just learns on the job, right?
Because the Intimates commercial looks like soft-core porn, why are Eric and Ridge watching it? I was creeped out by that. Ridge should not be ogling his daughter in lingerie, and neither should Uncle Thorne or Thomas or Grandpa Eric. Maybe the fashion biz is too incestuous for me. Someone should have objected to the graphic nature of the ad...which, by the way, made Brooke's Bedroom seem tame!
When Steffy began her crusade to get Liam laid (say that three times fast!), only Brooke seemed to recognize that Ridge's daughter was lashing out at the Logans -- again. Ridge was completely blind to daughter Steffy's inappropriate behavior, choosing to believe that Liam could not be seduced by Steffy because Liam loved Hope. Boy, has he forgotten what young guys are like! But think about it, how can Ridge be happy with Steffy's sexual aggressiveness? He freaked out when she was in a relationship with Rick, remember? And what about Taylor? She thinks this is nice behavior by Steffy, going after Liam when he's engaged to Hope? They're basically rubber-stamping her actions; if the situation was reversed, they'd be flipping out. Didn't they ever teach her to be the pursued rather than the pursuer? The way Steffy acts, she needs sexual fulfillment on a daily basis. Give me a break.
But, as I said before, why did Brooke even bother talking with Taylor and Steffy? If she wants to stop Liam from straying, she should put the fear of God in him. Steffy interpreted Brooke's warning -- "Stay away from Liam!" -- as a challenge, and Taylor just refuses to see that her children are troublemakers. Thomas stirred it up before, and now Steffy's itching for a fight, too.
From the other point of view, is it possible that Hope is frigid? Is she afraid of intimacy? It would be a bizarre reaction to her having had Brooke as a mother, but if that's what Brad had in mind, he should have played it differently. Hope is not repressed. She doesn't act like a girl who's afraid of boys or unsure of how to be alone with a man. She's out there and always has been.
The sweet side of Hope's engagement, of course, is Eric designing a gorgeous gown for her. But would she really want to be married in the Forrester mansion? Isn't that the site of the graduation party, where Mommy and Oliver got carried away by the music and the masks and the bumping and grinding and had sex against the wall? Hope might be better off at the Beverly Hills Hotel or the Kodak Theater or some other California landmark! Hey, how about the water feature where Brooke and Ridge have been hanging out lately on their grounds?
Another strange interaction to me was Bill and Liam discussing Steffy. Should father and son be musing about the same woman -- Steffy? Again, the ick factor. Where are the lines of propriety? Bill shouldn't be looking at the Intimates video after he nearly ended his marriage for Steffy. And has he really gotten over his infatuation with Steffy in just a few weeks? That was fast. Apparently, Steffy's over Bill, because she's obsessed with Liam now. Kind of makes you wonder about all that love talk from Bill and Steffy. They really moved on like it didn't matter much.
I think what I'm really missing from the Hope-Liam relationship is some honesty. Hope told Liam about her feelings during the night of seduction, but he was not forthcoming about his true reaction. If he really disagrees with her about waiting for the wedding night, why dance around that fact? Hope did all the talking and controlled the situation...that makes Liam look like a really lame character. The guy has a mouth and a mind; use them! Speak up and assert your feelings. Not the fact that you love Hope, but that you don't believe in abstinence.
So, this coming week, what can we look forward to? I think Liam will get his answer, and Amber will get her claws out for Dayzee, and Nick will do more slow burns about Jackie and Owen. It's time to shake it up, I think. Where are Pam and the poison lemon bars?
Here are some letters from readers. Click the Feedback option at the top of the page, the email me link at the bottom, or click here.
• So very glad you said what I was screaming at the TV about -- all Brooke's men during Hope's childhood! Taylor is driving me crazy with the way she treats her children! It's okay to chase a man because he isn't married yet? Come on, Taylor, if it was Brooke's daughter doing the same thing your head would be spinning around! If I have to hear one more time about how Brooke is such a slut I might throw something. Let's count Brooke's men -- Ridge, Eric, Thorne, Connor, Deacon, Nick and Oliver. Now let's count for Taylor. She slept with Ridge, Nic, Thorne (after killing his wife), Rick, James, Whip and, oh yes, Brooke's dad. The only person she didn't sleep with was Eric, but they almost did! So Taylor actually slept with the same amount of Forrester men as Brooke. The way Steffy jumped from Bill to Liam in the course of a day is bad storytelling. I love this show here are some story ideas that I would love to see. I would like Ally to come and throw Steffy out of the building for not being a true Forrester! And then send Jack and RJ to boarding school to be aged. Then come home and fall for the same girl and Brooke be caught in the middle between her two battling sons. - Johanna