Doctor Feelgood is on the case
For the Week of March 19, 2012
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In a shortened week, Steffy decided that she had to leave town to get away from the reality of Hope and Liam being lovers. Unfortunately for Hope, making love wasn't what she expected and her therapist has given her drugs to alter her anxiety. Is this any way for a love affair to progress? And why doesn't Liam seem to notice that Hope's not 'feeling' it?
Now that Hope's virginity is off the table, so to speak, we are currently embroiled in the mental anguish of Brooke's daughter. This poor young lady should be blissfully happy about finally having consummated her relationship with her fiancÚ, but instead, she's seized with thoughts of infidelity, immorality, and sin. None of this makes a bit of sense, however, because Hope was not raised in a home where sex was ever considered a sin. She didn't have missionary parents or even church-going kin. In fact, as Brooke's daughter, Hope should have received the message that there's nothing more beautiful than the love between a man and a woman who share the same passion for one another.

And yet Hope is a basket case of anguished emotions. She loves Liam, but hates being intimate with him because she hears Steffy's voice in her head, telling Hope that she'd committing adultery. Come on; is this a Lana Turner movie from the mid-1950s? Is Hope the "other woman" who has broken up a happy home? Is her affair with Liam a backstreet secret? Heck no! The adultery angle is so trivial that it's laughable to think that a woman in 2012 would be hung up on the fact that her fiancÚ is technically still married while waiting for the divorce to be finalized.

What's also laughable about this entire storyline is how much importance has been placed on a few sheets of paper! We're supposed to think that if Hope had seen Steffy sign the annulment papers, then she wouldn't have had any troubles in bed with Liam? Is a legal document really the difference between being a good person or a bad one? Hope could only feel okay about sleeping with Liam if he was unmarried? What about that night of the bachelor party? If Liam and Hope had made love the night of the bachelor party -- as she'd planned -- would it all have been all right because he was legally free? What about the pre-marital sex thing?

Based on what Hope told Dr. Stacy, her conflicting feelings about having sex with Liam -- a man she sincerely loves -- go beyond legalities. Hope's hang-ups have a lot to do with how Brooke raised her and probably the criticism Hope heard all her life from Taylor and Stephanie about what kind of woman Hope's mother really was. You think kids don't hear those things? Hope was brainwashed into believing that her mother used sex to win love.

Stephanie, who has been like a grandmother to Hope, made no secret of her disapproval of Brooke. She's called Brooke the slut of the Valley. How did little Hope feel when Stephanie said those things? How did little Hope feel when Stephanie took her away from Brooke after her mother had been raped? Stephanie waged a campaign to belittle and demean Brooke, determined to get Ridge out of Brooke's clutches. How could Hope have not been scarred by those memories? Even if you agree with Taylor and Stephanie about Brooke's moral character, was it right for them to share those feelings with Brooke's child?

With Dr. Stacy, Hope also remembered that Brooke had been raped, and also that the same fate nearly happened to Hope, too. In Hope's mind, sex is mixed with violence against women. No matter how much she loves Liam, the physical act of intimacy has to be skewed in her head with being hit, hurt, and abused. She can't just relax and enjoy the feelings because she's anticipating pain and hurt. You can see how in her mind, the sexual act may be a very scary thing. Nearly being raped traumatized Hope, although she seemingly suppressed those feelings.

Regarding Hope's visit to Dr. Stacy, a couple of things bothered me and maybe bothered you, too. First, there is no way on this earth that Brooke should have been allowed to sit in on the session. Therapy is private. Hope is not a minor child who needs to have her mommy hold her hand to get through the experience. Dr. Stacy should have told Brooke to go into the waiting room and allow her and Hope to begin the therapy process. It was completely unrealistic to have Brooke sitting there, interjecting her thoughts and trying to answer questions for Hope.

Then there was the issue of the antianxiety medication. While I suspect that there are Dr. Feelgoods out there who dole out pills that alter brain chemistry like they're jellybeans, I thought this smacked of bad writing. Dr. Stacy didn't ask any questions about Hope's medical history -- allergies, current prescriptions, etc. -- before just handing her psychotropic drugs. Even in California, that can't be how it's done! What if Hope is taking medication for something else -- her skin, cramps, trouble sleeping -- and it doesn't mix with Xanax? Also, how many doctors do you know who have pills in their office, ready to dispense as if they were running a pharmacy? Wouldn't it have been more realistic if she wrote a prescription for Hope?

Okay, so they were just eliminating the middle step where Hope goes to Walgreen's, but by doing it the way they did, my impression of Dr. Stacy dropped like an anvil. She suddenly seemed like a quack. Good doctors shouldn't do that. However, now that I think about it, didn't Dr. Taylor Hayes give Ridge antianxiety medication without a prescription? Didn't he have a bad reaction to the pills? Maybe the state of California needs to slap Brad Bell with a warning to stop misrepresenting the state's psychiatric community!

While Hope is resorting to pills to deal with her problems, Steffy has opted to run away. That's how I see this retreat to Aspen. Instead of staying in L.A. -- and on the job -- she's going back to Aspen, where she can wallow in self-pity. I know you Steffy-lovers think that I'm insensitive to her feelings, but that's not the case. I feel for Steffy. I sincerely believe that she believes that she and Liam are meant to be together forever.

But here's why I have my doubts about Steffy; when she and Liam were together, she was more interested in holding on to him than in really being a wife. Her entire focus was to please him and keep him from returning to Hope. Think about the vacation in Mexico. Instead of having fun with Liam, she was conspiring with Thomas to keep Hope far away from her husband. Wouldn't it have been smarter for Steffy to just rent a Jeep and go off with Liam on a romantic adventure away from the resort -- and Hope and Thomas?

At no point in Steffy and Liam's marriage did Steffy feel confident enough to be her authentic self. As anybody who's ever been in a marriage or long-term relationship knows, there has to be a time when the hearts and flowers fade away and you let your partner see you -- warts and all. Steffy never did that. She was still playing at being a honeymooner while with Liam. It was unrealistic of her to act that way. I think Liam would have appreciated Steffy more if she had asserted her strength. Even now, I still believe that if Steffy wants Liam back, she should sign the annulment papers and push him into Hope's arms. Liam might eventually realize that he'd rather be with Steffy.

It was curious to see Ridge's reaction to Steffy's decision to leave town. Suddenly, the father who had no time for his children, wanted to take Thomas and Steffy on a family vacation. How quaint! But where was Ridge when Steffy was crying for Ridge not to break up their family by returning to Brooke? That would have been the more appropriate time for Ridge to attend to his adult children. That was when they needed his reassuring presence. This past week's suggestion of a trip to the place where they made the great gelato just sounded foolish and juvenile.

It was also irresponsible for Ridge to let her make that decision without reminding her that she owed it to Forrester Creations to stay in L.A. Steffy is in charge of the Intimates line. She can't just fly to Aspen and run the business from there -- not that kind of business. She can't touch fabrics and sign off on designs and model samples if she's in the Colorado mountains. How come Ridge is a tough-talking CEO to Thorne and Rick and Eric, but when his daughter tells him that she's leaving without regard to the business, CEO Ridge doesn't tell her that he won't allow it? Come on; this is business. Ridge needs to act like it matters whether she's at her desk or not, and force Steffy to take a leave of absence if she can't separate her personal from her professional life. That would be how a real CEO would handle it, don't you think?

Of course, there's very little "real" stuff happening in these corporations. Spencer Publishing is apparently a two-man operation: Liam and Bill. They used to have a TV show, The Catwalk, but it's never mentioned anymore. Eye on Fashion only matters if there's a scandalous story about the Forresters to splash on the cover. Where's the old Bill that cared about corporate takeovers and dominating the market? The new Bill only cares about his son's sex life!

Seriously, the day after Liam and Hope made love for the first time, everyone was talking about it. Madison was telling Steffy about Liam going into the office, as though that were a sign that he hadn't had a sexual workout with Hope. Excuse me, but in the human resources packet at Forrester and Spencer,, do they allow for a sick day the morning after sex? Or would that be a personal day? When did a night of sex have to result in the need for a day off? Do the guys on the loading dock call in sick if they had a great night with the wife?

How I wish that Brad Bell would get away from this fixation on Hope and Liam's sex life and move on to more relevant and interesting storytelling! All the corporate dealing, the fighting over shares of stock, the financial haggling to get Forrester Creations back on top, is far more dynamic than whether Hope enjoys making love. Honestly, in the grand scheme of life, sex is not that important! It's wonderful for having babies and a spectacular thing with the right partner, but for Brad Bell to send a message that it's the be-all end-all of existence is just irresponsible.

You know, there were only three episodes of the show last week and every one of them was about the Liam-Hope-Steffy triangle. That's overkill. Brad. Listen, give us something else. Please. Remember, variety is the spice of life. B&B needs a lot more spice.

So, that's it for now. Please share your thoughts with me about what's going to happen in the weeks ahead... Your comments are always welcome at Soap Central, so stay in touch. And tell me which other characters you want to see fixed or changed, or return to the show. Contact us at Soap Central. And keep on reading Two Scoops every week!

Meanwhile, here are some letters from the readers!
    • If Hope has to pop pills just to be with Liam, he is not worth it. - Ron

    • Sick of Steffy, Hope, Liam, Bill. Plus Hope going the drug route? OLD, OLD, OLD. - Ellen

    • I tape everyday, but usually end up deleting and not watching. I'm so sick of Hope/Steffy/Liam. Why do they feel the need to tell everyone what's going on in their lives? It's nobody's business. And why doesn't Liam tell everybody to mind their own business? Nobody on this show has a backbone. I'm sick of it. -- Margaret

Allison J. Waldman
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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com 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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