Based on the way the powers that be introduced the new Caroline Spencer, you might think that this is a soap opera in desperate need of a shot in the arm. Well, since it's won three Emmys in a row as Outstanding Daytime Drama, they should be more confident. But that didn't seem to be the case, as Ms. Caroline was given the kind of royal treatment that Bette Davis used to get in the golden age of Hollywood, when her first appearance in a film warranted a regal entrance. That's precisely was Caroline got, an introduction worthy of Hollywood royalty.
I couldn't help but wonder why, unless Bradley Bell has been reading the fan mail and learned that the Liam-Steffy-Hope triangle has lulled the viewers into a coma and he decided the show needed a jolt. The idea is that Caroline is just the hot young New York designer with roots in Los Angeles that will shake up the storylines. Well, we can hope, right?
Still, while that's all well and good, could the director have staged a more contrived entrance? The limousine pulled up to Forrester Creations just as Rick, Thomas, Marcus, Amber, Brooke, and Ridge all loitered outside the building to watch her emerge like some kind of goddess. Rick dropped his pen, Thomas' eyes widened with wonder, everyone's attention was drawn to the beautiful blonde as she climbed out of the car in slow motion. It was as if she were Aphrodite rising out of the waters, ready to bestow her gifts on the mortals below. It was laughably silly and over the top.
Not only was it stagy to have them all out of the office at exactly the moment she arrived, but as attractive as she is, the fuss they made over her was ludicrous. Thomas, Rick, and Marcus all work in the fashion business; they're surrounded by gorgeous models each and every day. And they live in Southern California, one of the most superficial places in the world, where most everyone is nipping and tucking and primping to look their best all the time. And yet these guys acted like they'd never seen a pretty face or that they've been working on an all-male military base!
Did any of you notice that the actress playing Caroline looked a bit like a blonde Steffy? Also, as someone pointed out on the boards, did we really need another blonde on the show? A redhead might have been a nice contrast; you know, kind of an Emma Stone type. Still, I liked the way they've written to new Caroline. In the scene on the plane with Karen, she was spunky and smart and not impressed with moving to L.A. In fact, it was great that she pointed out to her mother that she had been in New York -- the center of the fashion world -- and yet here she was flying to L.A. for a job at Forrester Creations!
That's always been one of my bugaboos about the show. It's set in the fashion business, but not in New York. Of course in Caroline's storyline, she does have an "in" with Forrester Creations, not to mention a powerful uncle in Bill Spencer. So it makes sense that she'd get a good foot in the door in California.
Of course, it sure seemed like Uncle Bill was not interested in helping his niece in any way, shape, or form. Could you believe how selfish he was when Karen called to say they were on their way and she wanted to see him? You would have thought she was asking Bill to donate a kidney! I realize that Bill's supposed to be a shallow, selfish man, but really, can't he be a little nice once in a while?
The way Brooke welcomed Caroline and Karen at Forrester Creations, you'd think that they were the ones who were related! Brooke couldn't have been kinder to the girl, even getting Ridge to offer her a position on the spot. It's funny, too, because the original Caroline was Brooke's nemesis. Brooke consistently lost out to Caroline when Ridge was forced to choose.
Don't you love how all it takes is one sketch for someone to be deemed a brilliant designer on this show? Caroline's one drawing of a dress was hailed by Ridge and everyone else who took a glimpse of it as the next big thing. So that's all you need to get a chance to be a professional designer these days, hmm?
Of course we're supposed to believe that Brooke has an ulterior motive in hiring Caroline. She's playing matchmaker for Rick and has picked Caroline as the perfect girl to get him to settle down...or at least wrest him away from Amber. It's hard to argue with Brooke's logic. Amber has been a nightmare for Rick, even if they are currently simpatico while working on his "line." Amber is determined to hang on to Rick and remain involved at Forrester, but Brooke and Ridge are just as determined to throw her out on her Furnace Creek butt!
The Amber-Brooke battle is meant to replicate one we've been watching for years on the show -- Stephanie wanting Brooke out of Ridge's life and choosing another woman, Taylor, for him instead. To some extent, it works, and as the old saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." So I guess we can expect Brooke to pull all kinds of antics to keep Amber and Rick from getting together.
While Brooke is focusing on Rick, she's completely ignoring that Hope is in big trouble. Suddenly Hope Logan has gone from the daughter of the valley girl to the girl who's reenacting Valley of the Dolls? Her freak-out scene with Dr. Barton was scary. In just two weeks, Hope has become addicted to antianxiety medication!
While the storyline has been accelerated, at least it's realistic. People do get hooked on those drugs. But what about how she's being hounded by the paparazzi over her decision to abandon her abstinence vow? You know, in this world of Kardashians and Lohans, are we really supposed to believe that a tabloid magazine or TV show would give a hoot about Hope's virginity? And that line that she'll be called a home wrecker when Steffy and Liam are divorced -- are you kidding me? Home wrecker? What home did she wreck?
Steffy and Liam were married for about two minutes. They were not featured in magazines as Hollywood's hot young love story. They never even sent out wedding announcements. Perhaps if Brad had spent more time on developing Liam and Steffy's relationship, more screen time once they were together, I'd feel more invested in their love story. To me -- and I know many of you disagree -- Steffy and Liam were a whirlwind, rebound romance. Liam and Hope had been percolating for well over a year and presented as a real love story.
But if Ridge is right about Liam being in love with Steffy and Hope, then the next few years will be seeing a reconciliation of Steffy and Liam, followed by Hope and Liam reuniting, and back and forth again and again. That's how these triangles play out. So don't get mad at me for thinking Liam and Hope belong together, because the story has been written to divide us into vying camps. There are just as many Steffy-Liam fans as there are Hope-Liam fans.
Early last week, there was Eric and Stephanie's anniversary party that was sweet, although I questioned all that positivity for Stephanie. Considering some of the horrible things she's done over the years, can we really just embrace her as this wonderful matriarch? Is it really just water under the bridge?
I did adore John McCook singing "The Folks Who Live on the Hill." It was lovely, and I teared up a bit. The words were just so appropriate for Eric and Stephanie. Here are the lyrics, in case you liked them as much as I did:
Someday we'll build a home on a hilltop high You and I, shiny and new Cottage that two can fill And we'll be pleased to be called The folks who live on the hill Someday we may be adding a wing or two A thing or two We will make changes, as any family will But we will always be called The folks who live on the hill Our veranda will command a view of meadows green The sort of view that seems to want to be seen And when our kids grow up and leave us We sit and look at that same old view Just we two, Darby and Joan Who used to be Jack and Jill The folks who like to be called What they have always been called The folks who live on the hill
FYI, that's a Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein song from a lesser-known musical called High, Wide and Handsome. They really knew how to write songs back then, you know?
In addition to the song, I loved the use of flashbacks. That one of Eric and Stephanie from the first season of the show was marvelous. That's one advantage of having the same actors over the years, getting to see them the way they were in old clips. There were two other instances of flashbacks I enjoyed, too -- Ridge with Logan, when he first met her at a party where she was working on the catering staff, and the other showing Ridge and Caroline's romance. I'd love to see them use even more old clips.
Finally, the party included reconciliation between Stephanie and Pam. Presumably, Pam has learned her lesson and will never steal designs from Forrester Creations again. But did you realize (as I did) that Pam never got that soft landing with the Marones she'd expected in exchange for her espionage? I guess that's what happens when Brad Bell writes Nick, Jackie, and Owen off the show... Pam's future got lost in the shuffle. Now she'll be back baking lemon bars for the Forrester crowd.
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!
• B&B had an opportunity to backburner Liam/Hope/Steffy for the 'six-month waiting period' and focus on other characters like Jackie, Nick, Bridget, etc. We hardly EVER get to see these characters anymore, and that's why B&B is losing talented actors like Lesley-Anne Down and Jack Wagner! B&B needs to end the "Kiddie-Patrol" and focus their attention on writing new, fresh, and exciting stories for their veteran actors, because soon enough, all of the vets will be gone. They need to backburner Liam and Hope for a while (send them to Aspen or Cabo or something!) and put Thorne, Felicia, Jackie, Nick, Owen, and Bridget back on contract status. I really miss seeing these characters, and I'm tired of all the 20-somethings taking over the show. Honestly, Brad Bell, enough is enough already! - Jimmy