Aspen you shall receive
by Mike
For the Week of May 7, 2012
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If you were on The Bold and the Beautiful this week, you were either in Aspen or talking about other people being in Aspen. Was the location shoot a snow day or snow job? Schuss the soap slopes with Two Scoops' Mike!
Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you schuss like a klutz? Did you spend your business trip doing everything but business? Did you get your sprained knee examined by Holden Snyder? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!

Well, I hope you're a fan of Hope/Liam/Steffy, because that's all I got for ya this week. Does B&B actually listen to their fans? I'm beginning to think they don't, because the majority of the comments that are coming in indicate that folks are deathly tired of this storyline. Yet we keep being fed a steady diet of it. And that might be okay if the proceedings weren't getting more exasperating every week.

The idea to hook Hope on pills was a good one. Both Macy and Taylor struggled with alcohol, but B&B hadn't done an Erika Kane-style drug addiction before. I looked forward to it. But the execution has been sadly mishandled. Hope couldn't become addicted after just two pills, much less exhibit such a shift in her behavior. And what kind of an addiction is it when everyone knows about it? We should have seen Hope increasingly sneaking pills over the course of several weeks, buying her own online, with everyone oblivious to the reason for the change in her personality. That's how a soap addiction rolls.

Instead, Amber played supplier, then told Brooke that Hope might be addicted. Except Brooke was too busy being Rick's matchmaker to notice. Hope had barely taken any before she tearfully confessed to Liam, who blabbed to Bill, who blabbed to Steffy. Then Brooke told Rick and Stephanie about it. At this point, wouldn't Forresters and Logans alike be staging an intervention for Hope instead of letting her go on her merry way? That she almost drowned weeks ago should have gotten everyone's attention.

And someone really needs to talk to B&B's promotion department. Via photo previews and a slew of spoilers, we knew that Hope's addiction would mean danger on the slopes of Aspen. We saw the unconscious bodies in the snow. It was even proudly announced that ATWT alum Jon Hensley would play a doctor treating a "life-threatening accident." So when high-as-a-kite Hope whizzed down the mountain, I expected mayhem. And what happened? Hope and Steffy merely bumped into each other! No one unconscious! Hope scurried away, and Steffy got off with a sprained knee. Talk about misleading!

And what they did to Jon Hensley was a crime. This man was only playing Holden Snyder before B&B was even on the air. As half of one of the biggest supercouples of all time, he is soap freaking royalty. Yet he was on a mere 84 seconds over two episodes in a role any day player could have done! The establishing shots of Los Angeles and Aspen got more air time than that! It was so wrong. Number One Rule of promotion: if ya ain't got it, don't hype it. And lately B&B is sending out spoilers about things that don't even end up happening.

Taylor and Brooke were supposed to go head-to-head about their daughters. Instead, Taylor doled out one snarky comment. Ridge was supposed to be torn between the two ladies. Instead, he just looked constipated. And then, we were led to believe Bill would divulge some deep, dark motivation into why he's so hellbent on keeping Steffy with Liam. Would he admit he's still in love with Steffy and using Liam as a buffer? (FYI -- he totally is.) Would we get wind of some painful childhood experience he sees playing out in his son's marriage?

Nope. He just called Hope a nutcase for the thousandth time, this time comparing Brooke and Taylor to justify his vitriol. His confession of paternal feelings for Liam was genuine, but everything else that came out of his mouth was crap. "Liam and Hope have had their obstacles," secretary Alison admitted. "Caused by her!" Bill bellowed. Really? Last year, Liam's did-I-or-didn't-I dalliance with Amber was causing all the problems. And then it was Steffy's interference once Hope and Liam were engaged.

Bill's views on Brooke and Taylor were also heavily skewed. "Taylor has overcome tremendous adversity," he praised. "Brooke is a drama queen!" Now, Bill barely knows either lady, but I'd say both claims are true. I don't have to tell you Scoopers how many messes Brooke has gotten herself into, accented by one perfect trademark tear rolling down her face. And Taylor has been through a lot -- she lost a grown-up child, battled alcoholism, accidentally killed someone, and has been "dead" twice.

On the other hand, Brooke also survived a plane crash, was raped, briefly "lost her mind" when Stephanie tried to take her kids away, and lost her brother through suicide! Both women have been through the wringer! And just ask Thomas what a drama queen Taylor can be (especially when it comes to Brooke). So Bill's "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" argument doesn't hold water. And why did he make that argument twice in the same episode, practically word for word? We got it, B&B! Our attention spans aren't that short.

Both Justin and Alison warned Bill that he'd lose Liam when the truth of this latest manipulation came out. I hope Bill's feet are held to that particular fire. Bad enough he only got a slap on the hand for making Steffy's parents think she was dying. As Two Scoops reader Anita reminded us last week, Hope still knows about the faked MRI and could use it against Bill. I hope she does! Bill only keeps playing God because he never suffers any real consequences for doing it. I want the Forresters to unleash the wrath of hell on him, for Liam to disown him, and for Katie to divorce him, taking half of Spencer Publications with her! That, kiddies, would make for some real drama.

Instead, this week's in-name-only drama came from Liam and his always-divided loyalties. Liam is outwaffling Ridge -- who knew that was even possible? The kid doesn't know who the hell he loves! When he's with Hope, he longs for Steffy, and when he's with Steffy, he longs for Hope. That's not a triangle; that's just flaky. It would be awesome if Hope and Steffy sat Liam down, told him they were through with his BS, and went off to buy Prada bags together, leaving Liam in the dust! Scott Clifton is doing the best he can with the material, but Liam is being written as a total twit.

It's understandable that he wouldn't want to leave Steffy alone on the slopes or in the hospital. I get that he'd be pissed at Hope for taking pills again, and that Steffy was injured as a result. But he was a little hard on Hope, wasn't he? "I walked away from my marriage because of lies," he yelped. Whoa, don't mount that high horse, Liam! You let Steffy nibble your ears and lips, but we didn't see you going to Hope about it.

I did, however, like Liam's recollection of his dying mother not wanting to be numbed out by pills in her final days, and the parallel he made to Hope's dependency. If B&B would use all its 19 minutes and 50 seconds on that kind of substance instead of giving us repetitive dialogue, filler, and look-we're-in-HD establishing shots, how very kick-ass this show would be!

And we did get some interesting moments of clarity this week. After championing Steffy all this time, Stephanie admitted that both Steffy and Hope have too much going for them to be chasing Liam or any other man. And Hope decided she should move out of Liam's until they're married rather than further compromise her principles. Though I'd argue that the source of Hope's problems are not her values, but her not dealing with what formed her values: a desperate fear of turning out like Brooke, and a desperate fear of inheriting Deacon's traits. Everything else is just symptoms. Even Stephanie hinted at it. Hopefully, when Deacon returns, we can get down to the real nitty-gritty.

Leave it to Steffy, of all people, to offer up the most clarity. She figured out that Bill had sicced the press on Hope. She mused that the competition with Hope had hurt her own relationship. And she signed those "infamous annulment papers." I still say the divorce is already in progress and can't be trumped by an annulment, but Steffy's epiphany showed some real growth. She and Hope were both "whack jobs," she said with a smile. She counted off the physical injuries the triangle had caused, saying: "Who does this, seriously? Enough of the madcap adventures." I couldn't agree more. Seriously.

But just when sense once again prevailed...B&B blew it. Hope was apparently so out of touch that she'd never heard of legendary comedian Bob Hope. (There's only an airport in Burbank named after him. Duh!) But Steffy knew all about him, which led to an embarrassing duet of "Thanks For The Memories" with Liam. Jacqueline MacInnes Wood and Scott Clifton sang well, though the arrangement was surprisingly off-key. But it was all a contrived attempt to give Liam and Steffy more common ground. Please. Bob Hope needs to come back and pull a Carrie on whoever came up with that one.

Finally, there was the rip heard 'round the world, according to the SoapCentral boards, anyway. It's implausible enough that Hope would ditch Aspen without telling Liam, or that Liam would bring Steffy "home" without checking with Hope, just so Liam could be alone with Steffy and the annulment papers. That had better have been a fantasy sequence, because if Liam really did rip up the papers and stick his tongue down Steffy's throat moments after telling Hope he loved her and would stick by her, then the character of Liam will be officially ruined. More than he's already been! And that's saying something.

This just scratches the surface of what I'd like to say this week! I'd better quit while I'm ahead, because I know you guys had plenty to say yourselves. We always want to hear your opinions here at Two Scoops, so let your fingers fly over those keys. Your comments may end up right here. Like these!

    • "ENOUGH!!! Have watched this show since the beginning -- why is every show about Liam/Hope Steffy? It is getting so old!" -- Rose

    • "In today's world with all the problems kids are facing with bullying...I am so disappointed that [Bill] would bully and demean an innocent young woman like Hope...Brad Bell has ruined his father's show and most of the characters. I don't think the man has a clue about the real world let alone the world of daytime TV." -- Iris

    • "Bill is in need of some chill pills and counseling himself and it should be obvious to someone with the alleged skills of Dr. [Taylor] Hayes." -- Kate

    • "Can [we] please move on with the [Leffy/Lope] drama? This is reminding me of the [Bridge/Tridge] drama. This is getting boring." -- Vicky

    • "...I quit watching [B&B] about six weeks ago and I don't miss it one iota..." -- Bev

    • "[B&B's] plots are either half-baked (great potential but never get off the ground and then are promptly shelved) or done TO DEATH...I love the idea that Caroline has two moms, I love the idea of Deacon coming back to shake things up. I am worried that it will just be all flash and no substance -- wasted opportunities that just leave me scratching my head wondering 'why did they even bother?'" -- K

That's a cross section of comments from what turned out to be an unusually high number of them. Many of you are ready to stop watching if Leffy/Lope doesn't stop hogging all the airtime. And quite a few of you pointed out that it's irresponsible for B&B to have Bill bullying Hope when bullying has become such a serious issue. You'll get no argument from me there.

I am also looking forward to the reappearance of Deacon and the introduction of Crystal Chappell as Karen's same-sex spouse. But I also share "K's" concerns. If Jon Hensley's virtual non-appearance is any indication, will "Danielle" be brought on solely to drive Caroline's story for a few episodes and then be forgotten? I applaud B&B for finally even broaching gay characters (what took so long?), but the story won't be worth the paper it's written on if it's treated like an afterthought, as is every story that's not Leffy/Lope these days. You can hear me pop off about this and other B&B subjects on the most recent installment of Soap Central Live!

Now -- about those Points to Ponder:

>One thing about B&B showing up for Aspen's Fashion Week -- it was a good way to cheat actually having a fashion show! Liam went there to work, yet he ditched the runway to find Hope, then help Steffy and sing songs with her. Won't Bill be pissed when Liam comes home without an article?... Dr. Barton said the pills from the online pharmacy would have to be mixed with booze or other drugs to produce reckless behavior, yet Hope got high off a single pill. And why does Hope always take her pills dry, anyway?

"I want you to meet my mother-in-law," Brooke said, introducing Stephanie to Dr. Barton. Except since Brooke isn't actually married to Ridge, Stephanie isn't an in-law... Did anyone else love Hillary B. Smith and Susan Flannery sharing a scene together? I could watch these women read the phone book!... The annulment papers' signature line read "Stephanie Forrester Spencer, A/K/A Steffy." I hardly think nicknames would be included on legal documents... Did anybody notice that Steffy's hair looked completely different in the hospital than it did before and after when she was outside? "There are 76 trails [here]," Steffy mused, "and [Hope's] on mine." You said it, sister!

Hope got stoned off her pill right away, and was perfectly normal in therapy a few hours later. Do antianxiety meds take and lose effect that quickly?... Steffy again flashed back to "cha-cha-cha;" Liam repeated the phrase moments later. Note to B&B: Give. It. Up... What fantasy world was Liam living in where he thought Hope wouldn't be recognized in Aspen, or that the Spencer compound would be safe?... Not long after the place was swarming with reporters, Hope and Liam casually walked out the front door. What, there wouldn't be paparazzi in the bushes? And how stupid was it for Hope to tape a note to said door where any reporter could grab it before Liam got to it?

So, was the Aspen remote worth it? In my mind, no. Sure, it was beautiful, but aside from the fact that I'm dubious you could still ski there in May (their own web site says the season ends April 15), we were just there six months ago, and any remote has to have a strong enough story to justify it. I don't think anyone cares enough about Hope, Liam, or Steffy at this point that we need to see them on any more location shoots, although I know Italy is coming. How 'bout giving other characters a turn?

In the meantime, will Bill leak the photo of Hope's pill-popping, even though as far as the photog knows she could have been taking a Tic Tac? Was Liam's romantic reunion with Steffy real or just a fantasy? And does anyone care? When I next Scoop for you, I will cover the début of Danielle. Will hers truly be a groundbreaking story? Or will it be, as "K" fears, all flash and no substance? That, fellow soap fans, is the biggest sweeps cliffhanger we've got going this May. Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!

Mike (Adam-Michael James)
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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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