Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you learn a new word -- and use it a lot? Were you served with something stronger than a margarita? Were you the last one to find out when you were getting married? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!
Okay, Brad Bell, obviously you're not getting the message, so let me spell it out for you -- enough of the Kiddie Patrol! You've been running Hope/Liam/Steffy into the ground for six months. They are not the new Brooke/Ridge/Taylor, no matter how hard you try. I get the need to pander to a younger demographic, but Ridge, Taylor, Brooke, and now Rick have nothing to do anymore unless they're yapping about these kids! B&B, you do have viewers -- and actors -- over 25, you know. Write for them! TEAM GROWNUPS!
>Sorry, had to get that out of my system. Now, do any of you remember that '80s song, "Never-Ending Story"? We've got one of those to Scoop about (there I go again), so let's get to it.
So, Hope and Liam reunited, the cliffs of Malibu behind them. Quelle romantique. But did we really need a super extreme closeup of their lips? It's HD -- you could practically see their tonsils! "This feels right," Liam sighed. Well, yes, it does. I've always thought that Steffy's Liam luv was pure rebound (more like rebounding off the side of that tub after Bill!), and Liam was hurting from Hope's breakup when he proposed to Steffy. So "Leffy" always felt forced. Even Steffy has gotten wise to that.
I want to feel happy for "Lope", but it's not coming, because every time they've been together for two seconds this past year and a half, they've gotten pulled apart over something stupid. Who are they, Sheridan and Luis from Passions? There's no sense that any reunion will last, and it blunts their rooting value. Even Hope wondered, "Is this real?" This week, maybe. And Liam is still married. Shouldn't they wait to suck face until he's free? I'm just sayin'.
As I pointed out, Hope/Liam/Steffy are being groomed to be the Brooke/Ridge/Taylor of the next generation. You know why Bridge/Tridge worked? Brooke and Ridge made eye contact the very first episode. They had an on-again-off-again relationship until Taylor showed up three years later. By then, Brooke was married to Eric; we then saw Ridge and Taylor's relationship develop slowly. So by the time we hit triangle territory, it was only natural that Ridge loved both women. Leffy/Lope doesn't work because Liam clearly loves Hope, but married Steffy on the rebound due to hormones, and Steffy and Bill's manipulation. So the triangle feels flat and one-sided. Having it shoved down our throats day after day for months doesn't make it any more substantial.
Steffy, who by her own admission had been desperate and clingy, took a step toward being the "Steffy 2.0" she told Ridge she wanted to be. There was real wisdom in her wanting to let Liam be with Hope. At least if his relationship imploded and he came back to Steffy, he would truly be free. Steffy's right -- Liam and Hope did have problems before, and unless they work them out first, nothing's going to be different for them. But then Steffy sent a mixed message by declaring that she'd wait for Liam. So much for wisdom! Even Taylor looked at Steffy as if to say, "Girl, you crazy!"
Taylor likewise did the flip-flop mambo this week. First she bitched about Liam not honoring his commitment. Shrink Taylor should have been the first person to remind Steffy of the double rebound! She redeemed herself a bit by delving into history, telling Steffy to be prepared if Liam didn't come back. "I know what it's like to wait around for the man you love," she gently warned. Was that shades of the old sagelike Taylor? Yes! Well, it was...until she barged into Liam's office and reamed him for wanting an annulment! Guess we can't blame Steffy; in a family of wafflers, the syrup doesn't drip far from the bottle.
Ridge was part of that complete breakfast when he sighed to Brooke that Liam didn't "do the right thing" when he left Steffy. I understand Ridge and Taylor don't want their daughter hurt, but why would they want her married to a man that loves someone else? Then, Ridge switched it up in a couple of nice conversations with Steffy, telling her there are other swordfish in the sea. (Necklace joke. He shoulda said it!) He owned that he was largely responsible for her abandonment issues. Amazingly, Steffy, who not long ago would have thrown that zinger at him herself, took her own responsibility instead of blaming him! "Don't start talkin' smack about my Dad," she smiled. It was a great moment.
Also nice was Ridge's confrontation with Liam. I fully expected the chiseled designer to come down on Liam for the two-millionth time. So who expected Ridge's soft side to peek out? "I see something in you that's far too familiar," he confessed, acknowledging the ping-ponging that's kept him busy the past two decades. The warmth was palpable...even warmer than Ridge's scarf. Yes, I know a lot of you hated it. At least this time it wasn't purple!
The less said about Ridge, Brooke, and Taylor going at it about their daughters again, the better. Do these people have nothing better to do in a place of business than sit around like biddies in a coffee klatch gossiping about their kids' love lives? "Liam loved Hope first," Brooke insisted. "Oh, you mean like when Ridge almost married me?" Taylor snapped back, obviously forgetting that, like Liam, Ridge did love Brooke first! But then Taylor noted how their daughters' battle over Liam paralleled theirs over Ridge. "It's like a big cosmic joke," she said. "Where nobody gets the last laugh," Brooke replied. Nice. They almost bonded. Every once in a while, it feels like these women could be great friends.
Then, Rick, taking a break from his own retread story (Thorne must be pacing the basement mumbling, "Not again"), put in his two cents about Hope. "You're probably wondering why I'm here," he told Liam. Actually, yeah. I like that he's being a big brother to Hope, but doesn't it also feel weird, like he should have done that more with Bridget? And B&B dropped the ball when Rick mentioned Steffy: "She's a gorgeous, talented woman," he said. A simple "I should know" would have added a layer about his past relationship with her, and given him something in common with Liam. Instead, we got Liam telling Rick, "I know you've had your issues with me in the past." Issues? They've never even had a scene together! Rick took Hope to Aspen, but he stayed on the plane! Bad continuity, bad!
Then there's dear Hope. Many of you don't like her. I do. But she was too sugary sweet this week. And she seems to do a lot of things without waiting for permission. Like telling Brooke she wanted the wedding at her house. Great, but wouldn't Brooke need to okay it with Ridge, especially under the circumstances? "I've scheduled a press conference to announce the marriage!" she exclaimed. You have, Hope? Can you? If you're involving Forrester, it also has to go through Ridge first. Never mind that she'd just told Liam there'd be no more tying their relationship into her campaign. Instead, she invites the media -- without even mentioning it to Liam in passing!
I realize that if the Forrester-Logans existed in our world, they'd be celebrities of a sort, and their every move would be on TMZ and Perez Hilton. But for Hope to announce her engagement to a still-married Liam in a press conference...it was so wrong. And ambushing him with a next-day wedding in front of reporters was just disrespectful. I never believed Hope was all into her own press before, but now I'm starting to wonder. At least Liam held his own with the press instead of staying silent. Unlike poor Jake, who was front-burner in the early '90s! "Glad to help," he got to say. "Yeah, good luck to you and Liam." Under-fives get more to do! How about bumping Todd McKee up to contract and putting Jake with Felicia or Katie? Give us old-timers over 25 a shot!
Finally, B&B gave us another sudden wedding. They're just romance in name-only anymore. I actually had to agree with Steffy about getting a divorce -- at least we might have gotten 90 days to really build up to a "Lope" wedding, and the characters might have gotten a chance to actually look before they leap. But I guess only instant relationships will do on this show. Steffy was adamant that an annulment (this week's "gondola") would brand her marriage to Liam a fraud. Wasn't it? She said she knew Liam loved Hope all along and that's why she pulled all her stunts. Make up your mind, Steffy!
When Brooke found out Steffy wouldn't sign the annulment papers, there was something new and hard-ass about her barking to Liam "Get those papers signed!" and barging into Steffy's office. The confrontation started out typical and ho-hum. But the strong Steffy we used to know kicked back in, and suddenly she and Brooke crackled and sparked. It was an unexpectedly strong scene. God knows, I hated bitchy Steffy, but I'd rather have that than wimpy Steffy any day. Except, what was up with Steffy playing the "Hope is boring but I'll sex you right" card with Liam again? What is this, last September?
Now, let me get this straight. We went to the next soap day, and nobody bothered to tell Hope that Steffy was stalling on green-lighting the annulment? How realistic is that? On a scale of one to ten, -250! Seriously, who puts together a whole wedding without telling the bride that she might not be able to actually get married? Dumb, dumb, dumb. And please don't tell me that now Liam is going to pine for Steffy while he's with Hope. Make...it...stop!
The other story this week -- oh, wait, there wasn't one. What do you guys have to say about that? Make a comment and make yourself heard. Your words may end up in a future column. Like these!
• "Just shut off B&B today for the last time. Sick of Liam, Steffy, Hope. Liam is a dolt with no backbone. They should both get rid of him and move on. Aren't there any other men in LA? Also there are very few morals on this show. They dwell on nothing but sex -- no good storylines." -- Elizabeth
• "...Why is it never stressed that Steffy kept undermining Hope when Liam and Hope were together, and the fact that Steffy tricked Liam into marrying her on the ski slope...why would [Hope] want a mate who jumped into an engagement with someone else so soon!!" -- Agnes
• "I believe that Liam & Steffy are not legally married. I do not recall seeing them get a marriage license. Is it not true that both partners must be present to apply for a marriage license? Just a thought..." -- Joni
• "...Liam and Hope getting back together...has sent a great message to everyone that you can't lie and cheat and get away with it. Good job writers." -- Pat
• "I sent some emails to B&B to tell Mr. Bell to fire his writers because they are so bad and hire you instead because at this point, to my point of view, the show is dead! Who wants to see the same SL with the new generation? It's boring to death!" -- Miss K
• "I thought the sex therapist mentioned some time ago in spoilers was coming to aid Stephanie's issues with Eric! I mean, B&B can't continue [Hope/Liam/Steffy] forever, can they?" -- Rita
"I have everything I've ever wanted," Hope beamed. At 19 or 20, isn't it odd she'd even know what she wanted? Much less what an annulment was... Liam had Justin draw up the annulment papers? Given Justin's loyalty to Bill, that was a bad choice. And why is Bill conspicuously absent from all this hoopla, anyway?... Nice touch, showing Steffy's photo while Brooke and Hope discussed the reunion. Speaking of pictures, who took the one of Liam and Steffy's wedding in Aspen? On closer inspection, would we see the gondola in the background, with Hope inside?
Why did Hope think back to the reunion with Liam she'd just had? Flashing back to the previous episode on a daytime soap is not a flashback. And shouldn't Justin have had Hope leave the room before serving annulment papers to Steffy? Sure, it led to an interesting conversation, but it wasn't Hope's business to be there... So Thomas covered for Steffy at the office only while she was confined to bed? She hadn't been in that office for months before that. And why did she pick the day after getting dumped to come back to work?... "I thought I was alone," Liam mused. Dude, you're only in the CEO office of a major fashion house. Why would you be alone? And he should have insisted he and Hope talk before the press conference. This is the kind of thing that gets him in trouble every time...
Jarrett wanted to know if Ridge or Eric designed Hope's wedding dress. You mean they had time to whip up a new dress on the fly? Or did they have Hope's other, never-used dress in storage... "You don't think she's lost enough?" Taylor spat to Rick. Nice reference, had they more directly referred to how much crap Rick put Steffy through when they were together... Katie wore a red dress to a wedding? Really?... "My husband will not disappoint us," Brooke insisted to Liam. Yeah, except you and Ridge aren't married! Unless the divorce you gave Ridge when he was going to marry Taylor after the supposed berry boink didn't go through...
So, Jack Wagner is the latest to be taken off contract. I wish I could say I was sorry. But I'm not. Don't get me wrong -- I like him, and the quirkiness he brings to Nick. But Nick is played out. He's been with every woman on the show except for Stephanie, Steffy, and Hope. There's nowhere else for this man to go! I just hope they give him -- and Jackie M -- a proper wrap-up. Sailor Nick had no business in the fashion industry to begin with. Unlike Clarke and C.J. Wish they could return and carry on the Spectra legacy! In the meantime, I wish Mr. Wagner well. Maybe GH could use some Frisco?
As for the Never-Ending Sto-reee (ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah), here's what needs to happen. Leaving it so we didn't know whether Steffy signed the papers was a good cliffhanger, and a good way to get one more jolt out of this story. But it needs to be over. Let Hope and Liam get married and have their February sweeps devirginizing, then put them and Steffy on the backburner for a while! And let's not forget, Ridge and Taylor still don't know that Bill faked Steffy's MRI. That's a powder keg waiting to explode! Play it! Someone could blackmail Bill, or blab, and Spencer could go down in flames. Maybe that's why Karen comes back in March?
Of course, by now you've heard that Karen's coming back with heretofore unheard-of daughter Caroline. (Hey, we never knew Karen had a half-brother in Bill...guess it runs in the Spencer family.) At least Caroline's not related to anyone...put her with Thomas; at least he wouldn't be chasing a relative for a change. And, glory be, she couldn't be the latest to compete for Liam, since they're related. I hope Karen sticks around for a while. We need her! I'm tellin' ya. Or, at least, Thorne does!
Well, with Jackie, Owen, Oliver, and now Nick gone, the face of B&B is changing. Will it be for the better? And will the grownups ever get any stories? Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!