Tick, tock
by Mike
For the Week of June 4, 2012
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Bill sprung Deacon from his cage and Danielle made an impression in L.A., but then the time left on Liam's divorce slowed to a snail's pace. Count it down with Two Scoops' Mike!
Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you get out of jail free? Did you learn the definition of "butt-dialing"? Did everyone around you count down like it was Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!

You know what I've been doing lately? Updating the character profiles here at soapcentral.com. Summarizing 25 years of history can be a daunting task! But it's making me both extra appreciative of the show, and extra frustrated. It seems to me B&B started falling off around 2008, when the kiddies were aged and allowed to run amok. Come on -- one storyline (Leffy/Lope) dominates this soap, and that was never the case before. Look over the archived recaps this site provides if you don't believe me. I have never known the TPTB to so adamantly push a storyline that fans are so sick of seeing.

Granted, that's only my take. Two Scoops reader George says: "I do not know who this Mike guy is, but is it possible to find someone who actually enjoys [B&B] to write an opinion column? I am not always in love with the show myself, but...just hating on [B&B] does not help things. It might be more productive to spend more time praising what is good, and giving less time to complaints. I just want to watch my favorite character (Steffy) no matter the [dopey] storyline she is stuck in..."

That's a valid point. And I apologize if sometimes my columns come off too negative. But here's the thing: it bothers me when a show simply phones it in week after week. B&B is absolutely capable of the rich, history-laden, character-driven stories they used to do. They're simply choosing not to deliver them. To me, being a fan of a soap doesn't mean blindly going along with whatever they turn out. Especially when you know they can do better. If I really hated B&B, I wouldn't care. Now, let's step off the soapbox and pick up the Scoop, because as it turns out, this week there were quite a few good things to praise!

First up: Bill and Deacon. I could watch these two powerhouses go up against each other all day! Wasn't that a strong set of scenes? It had a real prime-time look to it, too. And Sean Kanan still has a handle on Deacon's vulnerability. You could see that he regretted not being there for Hope and that he didn't want to hurt her. Best of all, no matter how wonky Bill's motivations were, his visit to Deacon finally gave the grown-ups some equal time. Who can't wait to see Deacon unleashed on the Forresters and for Bill's plan to blow up in his face? Me!

Next up: Brooke and Hope. The mother-daughter duo came from some unusually strong places as they argued about Deacon. Even though Hope never made mention of wanting her biological father at her previous two wedding attempts, it made sense that she'd finally see that his absence (and contribution to her creation!) would be the root of many of her problems. But Brooke fought Hope every step of the way. She seems more afraid for herself. Does Brooke think she might fall for Deacon's charms again? No matter, because the scene added a lot of depth to the often wispy interaction between Brooke and Hope.

And by the way -- killer flashbacks of Brooke and Deacon! They really fleshed out the past while bringing things around to the present, especially when it came to being reminded how and why Deacon became an absentee father to Hope. I'd forgotten Deacon's drinking problem and the way Brooke kicked Deacon out of Hope's life. Talk about packing a punch! Much better than Hope and Steffy's constant recollections of Liam or the umpteenth sappy montage set to "Arms."

Speaking of Hope and Steffy, can you believe it? Someone replaced their catty, whiny selves with mature, sensible clones. And I love it! "Are you avoiding me?" Steffy asked Hope, saying Hope didn't need to. "Was Mom up here again? I'm so sorry," Hope offered. Wow. These girls finally being civil to each other almost makes their endless triangle with Liam more interesting. I said "almost." And it almost makes you want to see Steffy and Hope as friends. I'd love to see them go shopping for shoes after pushing Liam into the Italian sea!

The easy familial bond between Marcus and Hope is always a pleasure to watch, but B&B really came on strong as Marcus went toe-to-toe with another family member: Papa Justin. The way Marcus overheard Justin' convo with Bill was perfectly plausible (over a "butt-dialed" cell phone call, rather than lurking outside someone's door like usual). And Marcus really cornered Justin about Bill's plan to hurt Hope, too. But for such a crackerjack lawyer, Justin totally gave himself away! I guess Marcus will have to relay this information to Hope by the time they reach Italy.

Not to be forgotten is the awesomeness of Karen and Katie. I'm still pissed at Katie for letting Bill off the hook ("I think the edges are here to stay, but we try to love him anyway" -- oh, please), but the warmth between Katie and Karen as they discussed Katie's pregnancy was palpable, and refreshing to see. How I'd like to watch Karen help Katie take half of Spencer Publications when Katie finds out about everything Bill is doing to Hope and kicks his goateed butt to the curb! (That's what should happen, anyway.)

Finally, what an unexpected treat watching Danielle in a job interview with Bill. I'd been afraid that once Karen and Danielle came out to Thomas we'd only see them at Thanksgiving if we were lucky. But it appears they'll be sticking around, and the stage is being set for Bill to find out that his sister plays for the other team. In the meantime, only Bill would be arrogant enough to think Danielle was hitting on him! He can't be that blind -- he even questioned Danielle's writing adventure pieces for men's magazines! He can't not know. And if anything, he was checking her out!

Tuesday's episode was the best I'd seen in a long time. And Wednesday's was a strong second. But I'm sorry, George...as soon as Liam walked into the room, everything went downhill. He's such a twit now that it's like the quality of the whole show goes down whenever he's around. It's not Scott Clifton's fault. It's Liam's complete lack of a spine, and his lightning-fast switches between Hope and Steffy that make Liam hard to watch.

Yes, I know Ridge is King Waffler of All- Time -- by his own admission this week -- but at least we had years to watch him bounce back and forth between Brooke and Taylor, so we could buy that he'd fallen in love with both women. Not so with Liam. Hope dumped her engagement ring on his mantlemantel, and instead of calling to find out what was wrong, Liam proposed to Steffy instead. He spent their whole marriage yearning for Hope, then instead of standing by Hope through her "addiction,", he started longing for Steffy. That's bad storytelling, and I just don't buy it.

I've gone over a lot of B&B history this week, updating those profiles. You know what I think happened? Liam had two concussions within a few months, and I think they addled his brain. What else could explain his brainless, callous behavior? And, while I'm liking Steffy a lot more right now, she also hit her head twice in a short amount of time. I'd love to find out that all this happened because of their head injuries. It sure would make more sense out of their actions, wouldn't it? And Brad Bell, seriously, if I have to hear "cha cha cha" one more time...I beg you...KNOCK IT OFF! (And yes, that's in caps.)

I know that all the counting down to Liam's divorce from Steffy was supposed to generate suspense. And it even did to a point. But suddenly, two episodes became about nothing but that, and it really blunted the nice momentum we had going on with Deacon, and Marcus' discovery of Bill's plan. "Is it just me, or this night just dragging on!" Hope told Eric. You said it, sister.

I appreciated Ridge, of all people, telling Liam to get a backbone. I just had trouble with everything being set up as if Liam had some big decision to make. He already made it -- he decided to marry Hope. Now because he ripped up the annulment papers, everyone, including Liam, is acting like Liam can't choose between Hope and Steffy. Well, except Hope, of course, who is still in the dark.

You know what needs to happen? Liam needs to get with and stay with one of these women, and then spend a year on the backburner. Because I gotta tell ya, I am sick of looking at his face. Liam loves Hope and Steffy loves Bill, and Liam and Steffy happened to rebound together. That's what happened, plain and simple.

What I didn't appreciate was the way B&B dragged things out to make it look like Liam chose Steffy. That's not suspense; that's just annoying. For a show that often gives viewers whiplash with their breakneck pace, they took way too much time on these proceedings. Besides, does anyone even care anymore? I sure don't. Liam and Steffy have been in the process of a divorce longer than they were married! Steffy says she's reformed. I believe her. Now B&B needs to do the same. Wrap it up, and let's move on!

There, that's a better mix of positive and negative -- fortunately, B&B made that easy for me this time. Though most of you have a different ratio lately when it comes to our soap. Let's turn the spotlight on you for a moment, and keep those comments coming. They may end up right here. Like these!

    • "Liam is such a weenie. Get off the fence for once in your life..." -- Doris

    • "My favorite story [is] Katie being pregnant...hopefully a pregnant wife with a heart condition will get Bill out of the kiddie pool." -- Monique

    • "As a retired high school counselor, I am very distressed with the Hope story. Hope's downfall was her morals...give me a break...once more, the message is 'Get anything you want with sex...don't worry about WHO you are...just sleep with them.'" -- Jeanie

    • "Why has nobody got the guts to tell Hopeless about loser Liam tearing up the annulment papers?...B&B needs a major overhaul...something worth watching..." -- Elaine

    • "Come on, writers, how much longer are you going on with this storyline of Steffy, Liam, and Hope. Please please get it over with..." -- "janderson"

    • "I think it is so disgusting how everyone has forgotten Steffy was sleeping with [Liam's] father. No one brings that up at all. Who would want to marry someone who has slept with their dad..." -- Patti [AUTHOR'S NOTE: I agree, although Steffy stopped short of sleeping with Bill when Taylor interrupted them. Still, you make a very good point!]

    • "B&B keeps showing...flashbacks with Liam and Steffy that are supposed to be 'good times'...well, guess what? I was 'front row.' Liam was always thinking about Hope and Steffy was insecure and scheming half the time...viewers' memories are not that short." -- Susan

    • "I think the way Liam is being written is more irritating than fascinating. He is such a cowardly, wimpy young man now. He didn't start out that way..." -- Julie

Liam seems to be Public Enemy Number One with you guys. You may add me to that list. Julie is right: Liam didn't start out that way. He just became a victim of sloppy, plot-driven writing. Now, George also cautioned against too much bashing, saying "The next thing we know CBS will be cancelling [B&B] to put on another unwatchable talk show." That does seem to be a constant danger to us soap fans now. But it's all the more reason B&B should be the best it can be every day. Every. Single. Day. And if a story becomes unwatchable, like Leffy/Lope has, eighty-six it and replace it with something bolder and more beautiful. This week perfectly illustrates my point. We had solid, impactful moments, and we had maddening silliness. I put it to you, Scoopers -- which would you rather see?

I rest my case. But not before presenting the last of my evidence in Points to Ponder:

"Bill thought he got a 'get out of jail free' card," Katie said of Bill's impending fatherhood. An apt phrase, considering he just gave that card to Deacon... "Poor kid didn't stand a chance," Bill said, discussing Hope's parentage. Why, big heartless Bill almost sounded like he felt sorry for her... Note Brooke's one perfect tear as she implored Hope not to look for Deacon... Liked the new three-shot blocks of Liam, Hope, and Steffy at the end of Wednesday's episode. Very prime-time. But it didn't exactly make me care who Liam was going to end up with!

Does Steffy's phone really keep playing that wedding chime spontaneously, more often than on the hour?... Love how Eric and Ridge snapped up like guard dogs as soon as Brooke mentioned Deacon... How weird was it to hear Stephanie gleefully say, "Text me!"... "I'll be wearing an Eric Forrester original!" Hope beamed. It's not that special, sweetie -- all brides on this show do!... Shouldn't it have struck Hope as strange that she and Liam weren't sitting by a clock counting down to the divorce together? Funny time for Liam to go AWOL, Hope!

Katie told Karen that Bill must be stuck in traffic: "That's how we live our lives in L.A." Um, Karen lived in L.A. before; surely she knows that!... Danielle had to interview for a job at Spencer? Liam and Katie didn't have to, and certainly no one at Forrester ever does. And wasn't Danielle dressed awfully casually for a job interview?... Someone needs to fix B&B's opening credits. Owen, Nick, Jackie, Pam, and Oliver are all still featured when it was announced they were all taken off contract. Of course, Thorne is contract, and we barely see him, either...

Best Lines: Danielle telling Karen, "I don't think 'are you involved with my sister' is a standard interview question." And surprise! When the usually useless assistant Allison was asked about Bill's whereabouts, she popped off, "Where else? Making the world a better place...for Bill Spencer." Priceless!

Well, looks like Daddy Deacon is on the way. But I share Justin's question: how does Bill putting Deacon in Hope's face get her out of Liam's life? What, does Bill think that Hope will be so flustered that she'll pop pills again? Wait until Mr. Dolla finds out that Hope has been seeking Deacon out on her own! That oughta take the bullet outta his gun! I guess we'll see how it all plays out Italian style, so 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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