Nerves grated like cheese
For the Week of November 28, 2011
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B&B Two Scoops: Nerves grated like cheese
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Ridge keeps telling Hope to respect Liam and Steffy's marriage, but did he respect Brooke's marriage to Eric when he broke up that family? Sounds like a double standard.

Thanksgiving with the Forresters was far from a jolly affair. Let's think about all the wonderful things to be thankful for...and sorry, too.

There was Ridge pressuring Hope to do the right thing. Okay, give me a break. When did Ridge become the arbiter of what's right and wrong? He criticized Brooke for sticking her nose in Liam and Hope's relationship, but then decided to do it himself. What was he thinking by coercing Hope into a symbolic toast of approval for Liam and Steffy's marriage? Was that fair to Hope? I know he thinks he's being a wise parent, but he's playing favorites. He's siding with Steffy against Hope.

Don't tell me that Steffy and Liam are married and therefore that relationship is sacred, because marriage is not treated that way in the Forrester clan. Did Ridge respect Brooke's marriage to Eric when he broke up that family? And yet now, because it's Steffy, he's telling Hope to respect that marriage? Sounds like a double standard to me. And by the way, if my stepfather ever used the kind of arm-twisting on me that Ridge applied to Hope, I'd walk out of the family gathering! Hope threatened to do that, but ultimately didn't...proving once again what a good girl she is.

Should we be thankful that for Thanksgiving Stephanie deigned to let her husband kiss her for longer than 20 seconds without running from the room to wipe his kiss off her lips? Yes, she actually let him touch her. But I was cringing when Eric actually thanked Ridge for steering him in the right direction, i.e. settling for Stephanie's scraps! Come on; has it really come to this? Eric has to be portrayed as an unworthy husband because he wanted his wife to respond to his affection...and when she didn't he cried on the shoulder of an old friend. There was nothing wrong with him spending time with Jackie. And if Stephanie had any understanding, she would have used that righteous anger of hers to tell Eric she wants to work on their marriage instead of taking shots at Jackie.

Where does Stephanie get off going after Jackie like that? Jackie hadn't done anything wrong. (Don't you love the way Lesley Anne Down says the word "anything"? It's very unique). Jackie had no reason to check with Stephanie before listening to Eric. The man was upset and needed a friend. If Stephanie had confidence in her marriage, she shouldn't have cared if Jackie and Eric talked. The fact that Stephanie was compelled to threaten Jackie makes me think that Stephanie knows in her heart of hearts that she's in the wrong. She's been worried that she's pushing Eric away, but instead of reaching out to Eric, she's chosen to alienate Jackie -- blaming Jackie for the problems in Stephanie's relationship with Eric.

I'm really disappointed that Brad Bell has apparently buried the intimacy issues between Eric and Stephanie. He cared enough to bring up the issue, but now that storyline seems to be heading to the backburner with a pat solution. Ridge yells at Eric, and Eric discovers that his need for love was just a passing desire. He goes back to accepting Stephanie as she is, offering whatever bits of affection she chooses to dole out. That's pretty poor writing if you ask me. Brad had the chance to tell a really interesting, mature love story. Instead, he copped out and gave Ridge another moment of victory. Make that a faux moment of victory because there was nothing authentic about that scene between Ridge and Eric at Thanksgiving.

Maybe we should be grateful that Bell's taking some strange turns with Nick and Pam. I have to admit it; I never saw this storyline coming. It's very strange and yet strangely appealing. Could Pam really intrigue Nick in a sexual way? Could this romance go anywhere...or is he really just having fun with her to get those stolen Forrester designs? It's great to see two very good actors, Jack Wagner and Alley Mills, go at it. It's a completely atypical soap story, too, which may be why I'm kind of charmed by it. Pam doesn't have to be off her rocker, does she? Maybe there's a real woman there after all?

Of course, why is it always impossible for Jackie M -- formerly Spectra -- to find a talented designer? This obsession with stealing the Forrester designs is a tired and obvious plot contrivance. It can't go anywhere. It's just a gimmick. I know I've said this before, but in this era of Project Runway, where viewers can watch interesting designers compete for the chance to have their own line, why doesn't Brad Bell steal the idea and have Spencer Publications create a show like Project Runway to find Jackie M's next great designer? That would open the door for a great plot involving Bill and Liam and Katie, as well as new characters who'd compete for the job, and probably some crazy fashion ideas, too.

Instead of that, we have Pam ripping off Forrester designs as a way of getting back at Stephanie. This only makes sense because Pam has been presented as a bat-crazy character, and in her mangled mind, Stephanie is the reason Stephen left Pam. It's more likely that he fears diabetes from the overdose of lemon bars. In truth, Patrick Duffy took off to make Dallas for TNT, playing Bobby Ewing again. Perhaps if Dallas doesn't fly, Patrick will be back some time in the future as Stephen again...but I wouldn't count on it.

By the way, isn't it ridiculous that none of the Logan ladies have commented on their father flying off without a word of goodbye to them? I know dear old dad is supposed to be a flake of a father -- he's abandoned the girls before -- but lately he's been a good guy. Perhaps Brad Bell will have Katie, Donna, and Brooke notice that dad left town when they get together for Christmas? I sure hope so.

Speaking of dumb, here's my bi-weekly take on Liam. He continues to prove that once an idiot, always an idiot. Sorry, but even if you are enjoying his marriage to Steffy, even if you're rooting for her to be Mrs. Liam Spencer, the happy homemaker, you can't believe that he's happy. He's not. He likes Steffy. He likes the sex. But he cannot get over Hope. And I don't buy the idea that he loves both women at the same time. That was Ridge's analysis, which is worthless because Ridge is nearly as rock-headed as Liam. Ridge is a designer. He's not an analytical thinker. If he had a bigger brain -- bigger than some other part of his anatomy -- he would never have bounced back and forth between Taylor and Brooke.

But I digress; back to Liam. He's only been married a month, and he's already feeling suffocated. All those scenes of him returning home to Steffy, but dreaming about Hope...spell disaster. It's not the recipe for a successful marriage. Liam is simply fooling himself into thinking that if he sticks with Steffy and commits to that mountaintop marriage -- no matter how rigged that was to entrap him -- he and Steffy will be happy. Well, think again. Steffy's smart; she's going to figure out that Liam is not there for her, body and soul.

Watch what happens, because I predict that Steffy is soon going to get desperate to keep Liam's love. In soap terms, that can mean only one thing: she's going to get pregnant. That will be the way Steffy ensures that Liam doesn't leave her for Hope. The way I imagine it, just at the point that Liam is ready to tell Steffy that their marriage is a mistake, that he has to end it so he can resume his relationship with Hope, Steffy will stop taking the pill or poke holes in a box of condoms or perhaps put herself on super-hormones to make sure she is a fertile Myrtle. Then she will tell Liam she's having his baby, and he'll be compelled to remain married to Steffy.

And all the while, Ken will be after Barbie -- oops, I mean Thomas and Hope. But they are quite the Toy Story romance, don't you think? I don't really like Thomas and Hope together because of their upbringing. They were stepsiblings for most of their lives. As I said last time, Hope and Thomas were raised like they were brother and sister. It's just not right that they would now be romantically attracted to each other. Sorry, but it smacks of incest. Why haven't Ridge, Brooke, and Taylor stepped in to dissuade Thomas from pursuing Hope? Are they toying with taboo again, and I don't mean the fashion line. This relationship is crossing the lines of propriety and I wish someone would stand up and say, "STOP IT RIGHT NOW!"

So, overall it was a nice Thanksgiving. There were no fisticuffs at the Forrester mansion. Thorne and Ridge didn't snark at each other too much, and Hope and Steffy made nice. Even Taylor and Brooke were pleasant with each other. Stephanie pretended to enjoy Eric kissing her, and about the only sour note was Pam leaving in a huff when her lemon bars were disrespected. Hopefully on Monday we'll see that she joined Nick and Jackie for some turkey tetrazzini or turkey à la king -- perhaps with a shot or two of wild turkey to wash it down!

As for you, dear readers, I hope you had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We are so grateful for our Soap Central family of soap fans, and hope you continue being involved and interested in everything we write about our favorite soaps. To share your thoughts, click the Feedback option at the top of the page, the email me link at the bottom, or click here. And keep on reading Two Scoops every week!

    • Let me see, do I have this straight; the only way Pam can get herself a man is if they first use her for some sort of personal gain against the Forresters? I love they showed the Sally Spectra recycling poster because that is all the writers do anymore, recycle bad stories. I am really hoping next week, Stephen (played by Patrick Duffy of course) wakes up to find this past year was all a bad dream. - Erica

    • I have been reading comments about "young Steffy" for the past few weeks. I cannot believe the HYPOCRISY. Let us start with dear "celibate" Hope. She has been having her way, in so many areas. However, let us stick with the problem at hand. Hope ended her engagement to Liam. Her choice. Liam was devastated and out of anger, or whatever, he proposed to Steffy and she accepted. It meant that both Steffy and Liam were free to marry. How is Steffy wrong to stop Hope from interfering in her marriage? It is all right for Hope to go to the resort to find Liam, after she ended their engagement, yet it is not all right for Steffy to fight for her marriage? Is that right? Hope wanted to be celibate until her marriage, for her own agenda. Did she discuss this and ask Liam how he felt about that, before she accepted his proposal? Why are readers trashing Steffy? What did she do that was wrong? I don't hear/read anyone telling Hope that she is wrong for chasing a married man. Hope berated Steffy for chasing the married Bill Spencer. Yet, Logan and her whole family seem to be pushing Hope to go after the married Liam. Where is the integrity? Where does the hypocrisy stop? Readers, if you don't like Steffy, for whatever reasons, that is fine, but be fair and be honest. I have no special love for Steffy. She has always lived her life on her own terms. She made no claim to be "perfect." However, she deserves to sort out her marriage with her husband, but it must be just the TWO OF THEM. -- Janet

Allison J. Waldman
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