Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you replace your Thanksgiving stuffing with an olive branch? Did you try to redefine the term "kissing cousins"? Did your all-inclusive holiday dinner include some things but not others? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Avant clan this week!
Bonjour, Scoopers! Yes, I'm still a bit in Lumière mode, having just finished up a seven-show run of Beauty and the Beast. So, while I'm glad I can readjust to columnizing with a three-episode week, I think I might have some of Lumière's wax in my ears, because there are things I couldn't have heard right. Thorne out of the credits? Thomas still trying to push up on Ivy? And someone needs to tell B&B that rebroadcasting an installment from last year is not a "classic episode." But there were some neat surprises this short week, too, so let's Scoop about 'em!
So, it's been four weeks since my last column, and Zende and Nicole remain on their "do you still want me"/"of course I still want you" merry-go-round. Granted, the stakes are a little higher now, since Nicole is actually pregnant. That didn't take long! Of course, if it had, it wouldn't be much of a story, watching Nicole go through the fertilization process over and over.
And Zende was shockingly inconsistent. He already told Nicole weeks ago he was on board with her surrogacy decision, despite his misgivings about it. Now he says, "I still support you; that hasn't changed" in one breath and "I wanted you all to myself" in the next. Zende may need a blow-up doll to get him through the next eight or nine months (or, given soap pregnancies, four months). That said, these kids still show more relationship maturity than their older counterparts. And the B&B site finally gave them a hashtag: #Zencole! That settles that! (And it sounds better than #Nende, anyway.)
Now, someone answer me this: what the hell is going on with Thomas? Pierson Fodé is not only super cute, but he's a capable actor -- sort of like if predecessors Drew Tyler Bell and Adam Gregory had a baby. But surely B&B didn't bring Thomas back just to turn the character into a himbo! I mean, Ridge at his worst wasn't such a manslut. I'm betting Thomas is simply acting out because he can't have Caroline, but wouldn't it be great for him to admit he's really extra lustful with the ladies because he can't process that he's gay? It's time for some TEAM THOLIVER, BABY!
A guy can dream. It distracts me from the show trying to play off Thomas and Ivy both having the last name Forrester by reinforcing that they're not actually related. Okay, they're not -- Ivy is pure-bred Forrester, and Thomas is technically a Marone. It just seems, ever since B&B pulled that retcon in 2001, it's merely been an excuse to pair up couples that couldn't otherwise get together, starting with Ridge and Bridget. It reminds me of the old Jeff Foxworthy joke, "if you go to the family reunion to meet women, you might be a redneck!"
Thomas may be an insult to rednecks! Pseudo-incestuous implications aside, why would he even want Ivy? Just months ago, she tried to blackmail him into making her the new Face of Forrester! Maybe in that family, that's a turn-on. How else to explain Thomas trying to bed Ivy since Halloween, even betting Steffy he could take Ivy from Wyatt? Eww! Who's the most ruined character on the show, Thomas or Ivy? It's neck-and-neck, appropriate because they've been doing a lot of inappropriate necking.
"Last night was really unlike me," Ivy insisted, recapping how she rolled around on a bed with Thomas but didn't actually sleep with him. Um, Ivy, I'd have bought that line of jive back when you were with Liam, but ever since he dumped your ass at Aly's memorial, you've been boomeranging through all sorts of uncharacteristic behavior -- though I suppose getting dumped at a memorial can do that. "I have a boyfriend," Ivy swooned just seconds before going for another Thomas liplock. She's hardly the lady Thomas keeps telling her she is, not anymore.
Perhaps it could be said that Thomas picked up his "there's no ring so there's no commitment" stance while exposed to the less puritanical mores of Paris, but watching him encourage Ivy to deceive Wyatt on that basis is skeevy times ten. I actually feel bad for Wyatt. He already had to endure Hope ping-ponging between him and Liam, this before not having a chance with Steffy because of Liam. We finally get Wivy past that whole dumb thing with "the video," and now Wyatt's about to get tossed aside for Thomas. Oh, well. At least it's not for Liam this time!
Ivy might have redeemed herself a little had she followed through on her resolve to tell Wyatt she had kissed Thomas. Instead, Ivy not only clammed up about the subject but ditched the special night Wyatt had planned for her to run to Thomas! Yeah, so Ivy could tell Thomas, "This is done," but I don't believe her. This Thomas/Ivy arc is icky and will only be worth it if Quinn gives Ivy the Sheila-style beatdown she deserves. Quinn's being too good lately, and I can't see her tolerating Ivy's betrayal of her precious son, can you?
Back at the ranch, it was Beric! More and more, I am grooving on the idea of a Brooke/Eric reunion. They have such an easy rapport, and yes, there's the appeal of Katherine Kelly Lang and John McCook being the only original actors left on the show. And, you know, despite Brooke living up to Stephanie's "slut from the Valley" sobriquet for far too long, "the legend and the myth," as Ivy put it, has been single a whole year and hasn't gotten anywhere near a scandal in that time. I am seriously shipping some Team Beric over here!
Not to be outdone, we got a dose of dynamics from another older couple: #Julienne! (Isn't that the perfect combined name for Maya's parents?) Usually Julius pops off and Vivienne reins him in, so it was nice to see them joking around about Julius' competition before their marriage and just being jovial in general. We even found out Vivienne has a sister Carleen, and there's an Aunt Shirl, though it wasn't clear if she's Vivienne's aunt or Maya's.
The prodigal daughter made some headway toward redeeming her frightful behavior of a year ago by visiting Mama and Papa Avant in their hotel and slipping some cash into Vivienne's purse, which Julius saw. Isn't that a cool bookend to the revelation that Nicole had done the same for Maya, albeit electronically, when Maya was in jail? Maya and Julius even found some common ground when Julius pointed out, "I always want to make things better; aren't you the same way?" Did you evah?
Maya offered a backhanded response, reminding Julius how he'd hurt her as a child, but saved it by inviting the displaced Avants to the Forrester Thanksgiving table. And so began our holiday episode, with Eric providing yet another backhanded comment. He and Brooke sweetly reminisced about Stephanie and marked the three years since her passing -- Rick even offered to put La Forrester's portrait back up, if just for the day. Then Eric said the likeness kept him from remembering Stephanie's other looks and remarked that there were Thanksgivings when they didn't even speak. True, maybe, but kind of an odd time for that particular recollection.
The show balanced things out by not only displaying a photo of Eric and Stephanie the way we remember them from the late '80s but a snap of a young Susan Flannery to put a face to Stephanie's greener years. That pretty well describes what Thanksgiving with the Forresters was like this year -- really cool on the one hand, but questionable on the other.
Thankfully, references to current storylines were kept to a minimum, with Eric briefly asking Ridge if he was ready for fatherhood and Caroline reminding her hubby to stop scowling because Thomas was in the room. Ridge must have gotten past it long enough to side with Thomas in what may have been the very first Forrester-Spencer football game, played in and out of the house. Gave me too many P.E. class flashbacks for my taste, but a nice touch.
Eric reigned over the festivities, as is right. I absolutely loved that. But then, as Brooke lamented the absences of Hope and Bridget, Eric announced that all should concentrate on who was in attendance: the Forresters, Spencers, and Avants. Even the biggest detractors of Brooke, Katie, and Donna must have scratched their heads at the exclusion of the Logans. It was like a parallel B&B universe, especially with Katie and Brooke sitting right there.
While on the subject of the Logans, where was Donna? She's been AWOL for months. As for the Forresters, there was mention of Kristen and Tony, but not a peep about Felicia. And I know Winsor Harmon got pulled off the credits now that he's recurring, but damn, Thorne lost his only daughter this year and must be completely alone in Paris. Why wasn't he home for Thanksgiving? And why did no one raise a glass to Aly's memory? She was one of the only true Forresters in that dynasty, and she's dead. And you thought Rodney Dangerfield got no respect!
Plus, there were faces at the table that didn't seem to belong. Why were Quinn and Deacon there? And don't Bill and Katie have a three-year-old son who deserves to spend Turkey Day with his mommy and daddy? Maybe poor Will's already been stashed in boarding school along with R.J. Finally, Eric was fittingly seated at the head of the table, but it was Maya, not Brooke, who occupied the other end. Didn't that seem wrong to you?
Anyway, Eric reminded the crowd that, a few years ago, Hope started a tradition of sharing appreciation for the person seated to their right. "Well, Hope's not here," Bill smirked, "so it's a perfect time to end it." I'm on the fence about whether or not I agree with him. In real life, there's far too little gratitude for what we have and for the people around us as it is, so a televised reminder is never a bad idea, even if the execution is a little corny.
I think, however, there was a real lost opportunity in this chain of cheeriness. Eric said that Brooke put a lot of thought into the seating chart, but mostly, only characters that are already in each others' orbit every day got a chance to pile on the praise, which I found boring. Why not mix it up a little? It's not every day you have the whole freaking cast in one room like that. Cool example: the way Katie shared with Vivienne and Nicole spoke of Charlie. Even Pam talking to Deacon showed how little variation there was -- and what could have been.
I did like Caroline's comment that "the traditional family is evolving" and that what constitutes a family is "love, loyalty, and how you face things together." Not only was it a nod to her whole Ridge/Thomas mess, but she rightly reminded us that she has two moms. (We miss you, Karen and Danielle!) And when Brooke correctly observed that they were all there because of Eric, my heart melted like a chunk of butter in a hill of warm mashed potatoes.
But Maya didn't use her knife for carving turkey. Julius made an effort to call Maya his daughter, include Rick in his acknowledgement, and said of Nicole's pregnancy, "I think you're crazy, but maybe we can all be crazy together." Instead of accepting that overture gracefully and moving on, Maya came back with, "I don't think I can ever forget some of the hurtful things you said in his house." It wasn't even Maya's turn to speak, yet she followed by chucking the rules and addressing the whole group. Wow. A lot of you say Maya makes everything about herself; I saw no evidence to the contrary here!
The tide turned for the positive, at least, when Eric concurred with Caroline that the definition of family is broadening and declared that "I can think of no better time to be alive." And, as if to show their own appreciation for us longtime viewers, B&B ended the episode with one of their original music cues from the '80s, the triumphant theme that used to accompany fashion shows and other monumental moments all those years ago. Nothing wrong with the music they use today, but reaching back into its aural origins was like tying a bow on a very special present.
What did you think of B&B's Thanksgiving episode? Was it a nice break from the current stories, or would you just as soon have continued on with them? Is Thomas sowing his wild oats or the seeds of irredeemability? What are you liking and disliking about B&B right now? Share your opinions in the Comments section below or on the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback. Your comments could wind up in a future column! Like these!
• "I see no reason that Brooke Logan Forrester can't have her own storyline...it is ridiculous that she is now a backburner character...that is NOT the B&B to me..." -- JoyceWell, Christine, if Nicole is going to have an immaculate conception, the Christmas season upon us is the right time to do it! And here's a cornucopia of other Points to Ponder for y'all:
• "I find Julius intolerable and abusive. It is a fine performance by the actor in that it is literally almost unwatchable. No matter what you think of the trans story line or Nicole carrying the baby (she looks 12 or 13 so I have a hard time with it), I could do without Julius, and anybody who cares about either Maya or Nicole would refuse to listen to anything coming out of his mouth." -- Sharon
• "After Nicole had the insemination procedure done, the doctor made a point about telling her not to be 'intimate' with anybody. Am I the only one who sees this as a sign that she will do the deed with Zende? She might just 'assume' that it took and she's already pregnant by Rick, and figure it is safe to do it with Zende before she gets too bloated with child. After all, why not lose her virginity before having a baby?" -- Christine
Though they didn't acknowledge it, Pam and Charlie have been together two years -- in fact, they became a couple on the 2013 Thanksgiving episode. So would Pam really glop mashed potatoes on Charlie's expensive tablet just to get him to focus? At least Vivienne got better treatment from Pam, and it's kind of cool that these two kittens of the kitchen ended up getting along...
Steffy and Liam celebrated their engagement at dinner, but was I the only one who didn't get warm and fuzzy? Couples come together and split up so quickly on soaps these days, especially this one, that it's harder to invest in them than it used to be... Thomas has gotten so blatant that he plopped his hand down on Ivy's knee with Wyatt just a few feet away. Is Thomas that selfish now that he doesn't care if he gets Ivy in trouble?
Steffy and Quinn gabbed casually about the gems Quinn scored for Forrester, and Wyatt even left them alone together. In what universe would this happen? Quinn was once a few seconds from killing Steffy's beloved Liam!... Rick added a surprising amount of dimension to Hope and Bridget's absence, noting how easy it was to put off coming home for holidays when he was working at Forrester International...
Why were Carter and Oliver left out of the Thanksgiving festivities? Carter's only family is Marcus, who has been in South Africa with Dayzee the last couple of years (presumably), and poor Oliver, who has to still be mourning Aly, is equally alone, since Whip and Aggie have been missing most of the decade. One can take comfort only in the thought that maybe Oliver flew to Paris to commiserate with the likewise bereaved Thorne... Eric laughed that the Forrester family motto is "It's Brooke's fault." That's both unfair and very fair at the same time! (Hopefully KKL's upcoming turn on Neighbours doesn't mean we're going to lose La Logan!)
Speaking of fair, Chanel covered for me while I was away burning the Disney candle at both ends, so I'll be back again next week, giving her a break and easing us into B&B's final month of 2015. Hope you all had a wonderful Turkey Day that was anything but jive, and, once more, let me express my gratitude to you guys for continuing to come back for my often unorthodox opinions about the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Avant clan. Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!
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