Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you check your former rival while checking on her? Was your A.A. meeting missing an A? Did you hit the brotherlode? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer clan this week!
Ish got so real on The Bold and the Beautiful this week, it's gonna take more than just Two Scoops to hold it all. I remember the March Madness cliffhanger of 1995 -- it appeared Sheila had drowned Lauren in a hot tub, and waiting 'til Monday to see how it played out was a kind of exquisite torture. It took twenty years, but that caliber of cliffhanger is upon us again. When I heard about it, I just about pooped my Pull-Ups! We're gonna explore whether it can possibly work -- and, in the words of Fat Albert, "if you're not careful, you may learn something before it's done." Hey hey hey -- it's an historic Two Scoops!
First, a little "previously, on Drunk Brooke." You know I have been on my continuity soapbox a lot, reminding everyone that Deacon is an alcoholic, so I was amazed and relieved that he finally addressed it by way of confessing to Quinn. He decided, out of a desire to go into marriage, clean and sober, to return to Alcoholics Anonymous. Longtime fans may recall Deacon went into the program in 2003, where he met Macy before she twelve-stepped with a chandelier. But that's another story.
I suppose Deacon could, in fact, be living as a "functional alcoholic," the term for a drinker who seems able to get by in everyday life without consequence. So far, so good -- Deacon has pretty well had a drink in his hand ever since he came back to L.A. last June. Perhaps seeing a taste of his own future in Brooke's rapid descent into the bottle gave him a reality check. But then, at Deacon's first meeting, not only did the leader interrupt it to acknowledge Deacon's entrance (which would never happen), but Deacon ran into Brooke, who sought help after nearly cracking her head open, falling on a table.
Do you know how many A.A. meetings there are in Los Angeles, even in a ten-mile radius? Hundreds -- I checked! Plus, Deacon and Brooke don't even live near each other. They're really going to end up at the same meeting? It would have made so much more sense had Deacon simply brought Brooke to a meeting instead.
Katherine Kelly Lang recently went on record, saying she'd still "like to see Brooke become strong and take charge...she used to do a lot of things, like when she created BeLieF, and she was a chemist...There is no reason she can't do something...maybe, she even starts her own company...'Strong Brooke' would be a fun side to play!" I couldn't agree more, as the current story tells me I'm supposed to feel sorry for Brooke because she doesn't have a man, and I just can't muster up that pity.
Brooke insisted to Deacon, "I'm not an alcoholic." Normally, you'd chalk that up to good old-fashioned denial. But I'm not sure Brooke is wrong. She's only gotten toasted a few times; the show should have tied this to Brooke drinking in front of Stephanie's picture last summer, and/or hinted that Brooke was knocking 'em back in Milan. The only concession I'll make is that Brooke's definitely boozing for the wrong reasons. Blocking out pain is most assuredly part of the "ism" associated with alcoholism.
Across town, instead of actually making jewelry so she can support herself (and apparently, Deacon), Quinn flipped through bridal magazines, her reverie dashed by wet blanket Wyatt, who should know better than to fan his mother's flames. I grant you, Quinn is being unusually understanding about Deacon running off to help another member of the program and the anonymity involved with that, but Wyatt's new hobby must be gardening, because he was only there to plant seeds of doubt in Quinn's head.
It could be Wyatt's just being a sourpuss because he's actually divorcing Hope. Can't believe he took that initiative himself; I was sure Hope's upcoming appearance had to do with her serving papers herself. Wyatt smelled a rat in Deacon's do-goodery; maybe Wyatt picked up on the scent of Deacon hightailing it to the Logan manse, where Deacon pleaded with Brooke not to take a drink then trashed her stash to eliminate temptation.
Something feels off about that to me. I've had some exposure to twelve-step groups; Deacon is acting more like Brooke's sponsor, unusual because he just got back into the program himself, and you can't sponsor anyone unless you've been sober a year. Deacon told Brooke that instead of swigging down more vodka, "what you need is to not feel alone," but it's not that simple. Brooke certainly needed an ear, though, after the way Katie waltzed in and flaunted Bill in her face under the guise of a friendly visit!
I really do believe Katie cares about her older sister and that she's genuinely concerned about the booze Brooke is putting away. But after Katie outright admitted to Ridge that she chose Aspen as a honeymoon spot because she wanted to "reclaim" it (her word!), I couldn't help feeling that Katie brought Bill by more to show Brooke she was reclaiming him as well. Katie knew it wasn't easy for Brooke to stand up for her at her wedding; if Katie was so worried about Brooke, why didn't she have Donna tag along, or just check in on Brooke alone? Katie sure brought some of that cold back with her from Aspen.
It took Ridge to ask all the right questions. Why was Katie suddenly visiting him? What did Donna have to say about Brooke's behavior? Why did Katie pick Aspen, of all places? And was it a good idea to bring Bill over to Brooke's? Wow, that loft is doing a lot for Ridge's common sense. Ridge even seemed surprised that Caroline would have to endure a six-month waiting period to finalize her divorce from Rick. Given Ridge has had a few overnight divorces (like when he thought Brooke berry-banged Thomas), his surprise wasn't a surprise.
But I don't get it. Caroline signed divorce papers in late January, just after Rick shot at her! So there should only be four months left -- and you'd think the gunplay would be grounds for speeding things up. California law does indicate that a six-month waiting period is mandatory, but B&B's certainly played fast and loose with those periods before. No matter; Katie also decided to pay an unprecedented visit to the soon-to-be-divorced Rick, to whom she imparted wisdom she must have picked up from Ridge. "When was the last time you stopped in to see Brooke?" Katie wanted to know. Indeed!
Rick mumbled some B.S. about giving Brooke a cooling-off period after she demanded Rick return to Caroline, and then the subject turned to Maya. Rick insisted to Katie, as he has to everyone else, that he loves Maya for her honesty, honesty, honesty. Since when is Rick a proponent of that particular virtue? Given the character's full history, heir apparent Rick is generally a good guy; I think the show needs to address that all of Rick's wrongdoing can be attributed to his slipping into fugue states, like when he shot Grant as a pre-teen. The history is there -- using it would track better than having Rick fully aware of his behavior now.
One thing Rick wasn't fully aware of was the freeze Maya put on her face when Nicole showed up to her photo shoot. Maya couldn't have been more obvious, and, for someone who came to L.A. to be an actress, she doesn't know much about "the show must go on." Taskmaster Rick actually closed up shop, after which Maya and Nicole added an accessory to Maya's bangin' dress -- claws. Nicole is a great foil for Maya, who has gotten away with everything since embarking on her power trip. Go, sistah!
Nicole proved that she knew about email, snail mail -- and blackmail. "If you can model, so can I," Nicole said, trying to extract a plum gig from Maya, and baby sis called that one. If Maya didn't let Nicole live the life of Forrester, Nicole would make sure Rick discovered Maya's secret. Nicole even visited Rick solo, seemingly ready to spill before Maya intercepted her. Not knowing why Nicole was trippin' (and I can't say I fully know, either), Maya put Carter on the J-O-B, begging him for a background check on her sis.
Hold it. When Nicole first popped into Forrester, Rick wanted Pam to do the same investigation. Pam refused, but surely Rick didn't let it go at that. I still think he knows something, because he's overly friendly to Nicole, a stranger, while overriding Maya's objections to her presence. As for Pam, she decided to do some snooping of her own when she overheard the sisters Avant sniping at each other; she then reported back to Rick about the altercation. Can't quite make up your mind, can you, Pammie?
But Carter got the goods on Nicole, discovering that the computer science student was no longer at UCLA. Maya ran straight to the Forrester mansion, pulling the plug on Nicole's iPod-ing and demanding the 411 on the dropout's agenda. "You wanna talk about an agenda?" Nicole asked. "Look where we are!" Maya maintained that she hadn't been on the lookout for money and that Rick had hidden his affluent identity when they first met. Pay attention to that one.
Nicole suddenly dropped her animosity, assuring Maya she wasn't the enemy. She just wanted to understand why Maya was persona non grata with their parents. Nicole tearfully admitted that Maya had dismissed her the way their parents had dismissed Maya. Nicole thought she finally understood why. Nicole had done the research: the reason Nicole hadn't seen Maya since Maya left home was because Maya wasn't Maya at all. Maya blanched as Nicole declared, "You're my brother, Myron!"
Scoopers, I'm gonna lay it on the line. I have been watching soaps since 1988, and I can see a plot twist coming a mile away. Make that two miles. This one...no words...there are no words! It may just be the greatest plot twist in the entire 28-year history of The Bold and the Beautiful. What a way to celebrate their birthday on Monday!
But, once that oh-no-they-didn't euphoria started wearing off, I found myself asking the same questions I know many of you are asking. How the hell can Maya be Myron when the first line Maya uttered on the show was, "Where's my baby?" For sure, we were being punked. It had to be a ploy to keep us engaged through March Madness, with a great big "Psyche!" coming on Monday. But then, the Brad Bell/Karla Mosley interviews started coming. USA Today. Entertainment Tonight. Us Weekly. No, it couldn't be a punk. B&B is really doing a transgender story with Maya!
Like Chanel last week, I thought for sure the secret was that Maya was Nicole's mother, not her sister. That would have been twisty enough, but admittedly, there would have been a "so what?" quality to it, because we barely know Nicole. The Maya/Myron reveal, however, has touched off a firestorm that is still blazing. Fortunately, Karla Mosley took to Twitter to assure us that "we haven't rewritten history...[Maya] will speak about [her baby] on Monday." Whether you read this before Monday or after, it's still worth a refresher course on one Maya Avant. Observe:
When Maya first arrived in L.A., she made a beeline for Dayzee (remember Dayzee?), demanding to know the whereabouts of the baby she had to give up before serving ten years in prison for a crime she didn't commit. Dayzee had helped place the baby with a family then discovered that Maya's daughter had died; Maya visited with surviving relatives of her child's adoptive family, albeit off-screen, to confirm this.
A few months later, Maya ran into her babydaddy, Jesse Graves. Maya was legally bound to stay 500 feet away from him; Bill orchestrated the meeting on Caroline's behalf to entrap Miss Avant and blackmail her with potential jail time. Maya and Jesse had a brief discussion about the death of their daughter then Jessie disappeared, never to return, and Maya hasn't mentioned her baby since.
"It can't work!" I told myself. How could Maya have had a baby if she was born Myron? But nowhere in our recaps, nor in Maya's introductory scenes, which I have peeped online, is it said that Maya actually gave birth to the child herself. That seems to be something we all assumed. And there's your loophole.
You guys know I tear B&B continuity apart all the time, but, if done right, a transgender Maya could work. Maybe Maya and Jesse adopted a baby or had one by surrogate! Scooper Lori suggested to me that maybe Myron fathered a child pre-surgery; perhaps Jesse only euphemistically considered the girl his own. We don't know when Myron became Maya, after all. At least not yet.
That's a timeline I am having fun wrestling with. Maya had to have transitioned before prison, because she had just gotten out when we first saw her, and a sex change (or, to be more PC, gender reassignment surgery) is a lengthy, multiple-procedure process. A ten-year prison term ending in 2013, assuming Maya wasn't released early, means she had to have become Maya by 2003 at the latest. This seems to gibe with Dayzee having known Maya before prison and also Nicole's recollection -- Nicole is eighteen and apparently only recalls seeing Maya when she was little, not Myron.
I'm guessing Myron left home while Nicole was too young to remember having a brother and that Myron identifying as female so strongly that he opted for surgery is what drove him away. Perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Avant even paid for the procedure on the condition that Myron/Maya never show him/herself again. Because, let's face it, a male-to-female sex change (sorry; it's faster to type than "gender reassignment surgery"), according to surgeryencyclopedia.com, runs anywhere from $7,000 to $24,000. Young adults striking out on their own, especially those breaking away from disapproving parents, generally don't have that kind of money lying around.
There are other questions. Did Dayzee know Maya was transgender? If Maya transitioned before prison, how did she survive in there? And remember when Bill tried to get rid of Maya so Caroline could have Rick? Bill had Maya investigated -- how is it he didn't discover this major piece of information? And has Rick really not noticed any, um, differences where Maya is concerned? She must have had a very skilled surgeon.
I still think Maya-as-transgender can work, and, if it's done right, it may well be the greatest story B&B has ever told. Head writer and executive producer Brad Bell has officially said that this is a love story for Maya and Rick -- which gives me the impression that Rick will ultimately understand. Of course, you also have to wonder how Oliver will feel about having kissed a transgender woman, to say nothing of Carter, who, like Rick, also had an intimate relationship with her. Ooh, this would be the perfect time to bring Jesse back to shed some light on things! Get Ricky Paull Goldin, stat!
Now, you'll notice I didn't ask how Oliver, Carter, and Rick would react to having been with a man. Since this transgender twist broke, I have seen what I consider an unusual amount of misconceptions popping up all over the Internet: Maya is a man, and Rick is gay for sleeping with her. Or, Myron was gay. No, he's a transvestite. He's a hermaphrodite! All of these assumptions are wrong, and here's why I'm going to take a break from my usual soapy snarkiness to try to clear things up for you.
When you're gay, you feel an emotional and sexual attraction to people of the same gender, the way straight folks feel for members of the opposite gender. While a gay man or woman might emulate styles or characteristics of the opposite gender, there isn't much of a desire to physically become that gender. (And, as a gay man, I feel qualified to say that.)
A transvestite is a person who dresses and/or behaves as someone of the opposite gender but also doesn't necessarily feel a need to become that gender -- or does, but opts not to be surgically altered. There's a bit of a blurred line regarding drag queens, who are men that dress as women more for entertainment or self-expression. And a hermaphrodite is someone who was born with reproductive organs of both genders. Maya is none of these. She is transgender, which means, when she was Myron, she felt the only way to be true to herself was to make the transition from male to female via a combination of hormones and surgery. This is the story that B&B has decided to tell.
As Soap Central has pointed out, B&B is not the first soap to feature a transgender character; this was already being done 20 years ago. But for B&B, which has always played it rather safe in terms of diversity, it's pretty renegade. Now, tackling social issues hasn't always been the show's strong suit (Hope's pill addiction, Marcus' texting, Karen coming out then going missing, and now Brooke's alcoholism), but they've got a chance to do it right here. Brad Bell wants this story to teach love and tolerance. And I really want him to succeed.
One last note in what's turned into a super deluxe column -- Reign Edwards is a freakin' revelation. Usually, when teenagers are cast on soaps, they don't quite pop; there's too often a sense they're acting out a high school play instead of a daytime drama. But that all-important reveal scene where Nicole laid bare her feelings of rejection and abandonment...that's the first Emmy-worthy performance I have seen all year. Maybe all decade. Simply put, Reign reigns!
Well, you've all got thoughts on this Maya/Myron hydroplane. So you know what to do: hit the Comments section below, speak your mind on the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback. Your comments could wind up in a future column -- like these!
• "'Alcoholic Brooke'...is the most disrespectful [story] I have seen on this show, and that includes the CEO shooting a gun off with no repercussions!... [Brooke] is NOT an alcoholic...she handled being cheated on, losing a child, losing her grandchild, her husband leaving her and losing her fiancÚ to her sister. Now because she's single the woman is suddenly a wreck? She has been single before...!" -- Denise [AUTHOR'S NOTE: Brooke also handled her mother's drowning, her brother's suicide, and being viciously raped, all without alcohol.]I had Points to Ponder (Aly smiling about Maya's photo shoot, Katie rock climbing after fearing for Bill's life when he did it -- in the town where she dumped him!), but Maya being outed as transgender trumps them all. In addition to the plot hole filling Karla Mosley promised would happen Monday, the biggest question is, how will Rick react? Remember, he hid his own identity from Maya at first. Will he have room to talk?
• "[Maya's reveal] is the best storyline in a long time. I'm sick of Maya and Rick's attitude, thinking they rule the world. I can't wait until Monday to see what happens next. Little Sis [Nicole] can demand anything behind this revelation. Oh so good." -- Deborah
• "I can't with that reveal. Wrong on so many levels. How will Maya's baby be explained? And it plays to a major stereotype of trans women -- fooling straight men. My BFF Rita Hester was a trans female and I couldn't help but think of her today and that's why I don't like this twist. Ivy should've been revealed as trans since there's no backstory on her." -- Kathy
Chanel will forage through the fallout with you next week. I will be right behind her April 7 (and if you like the way I cover B&B, check out how I cover Bewitched). Now more than ever, keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!
What are your thoughts on The Bold and the Beautiful? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.