This is part two of a special two-part year-end Two Scoops showcasing the best and worst of The Bold and the Beautiful in 2009. This week, Allison is here with her thoughts in the past twelve months. To read Tamilu's commentary from last week, offering up her thoughts on B&B's hits and misses, click here.
We've put together a special year-end list of the top ten most-read Two Scoops columns over the past 12 months. To check out the list and see what came out on top, please click here.
Looking back at the year that was, there were a lot of good things about B&B. The canvas has been broadened. New characters have been introduced - in fact, an entire family is being created around Whip Jones, which is a great move...especially with two Emmy winners in Rick Hearst and Sarah Brown at the center of the Jones family story. But before we get to them, let's take a look around at all the best and worst of B&B from 2009.
The best character #1. It's been such good a year that there's more than one superb characters to be recognized. There are some fans, I know, that will disagree with me about Katie Logan, but I think she's emerged as one of B&B's best characters. Thank goodness they've taken the talent of Heather Tom and put her to work. She didn't fit the mold as Nick's stay-at-home nanny to Jack with no life of her own. It was too much of a stretch to buy her as a loser with no spunk. And it didn't work to have her "steal" Nick from Bridget. It's much better to see her as the Logan sister with ambition. Her relationship with Bill has liberated the character and, whether or not you agree with Ridge and Eric that she doesn't belong in the CEO's chair, Katie is a fascinating fulcrum between Bill and the Forresters/Logans. I'm curious to see how Katie matures in 2010.
The best character #2. Stephanie always seems to deserve this award, but 2009 was filled with substantive change for the matriarch of the clan. More than ever before, Steph emerged as a Woman of Independence. She's finally stiffened her spine and accepted that Eric's late-life love story with Donna was not going away. Stephanie overcame the ill-conceived alliance with Bill to find a home with Jackie M. If anything, the home with Nick and company has proved to be a perfect landing for the lady. She's not only needed there, she's appreciated. That's a powerful elixir, and Stephanie's managed to shake off the effects of a minor stroke thanks to the Jackie M family support. Stephanie's only misfire in 2009 was pushing Ridge into reconciliation with Taylor. Steph's gotta stay out of Ridge's pants in 2010 - let him choose his own sex/love partner. My wish for 2010 is for Stephanie to find a partner, someone to take a trip with and kiss before going to sleep at night.
The worst character. It was a close call, but Ridge ran away with this prize when all was said and done. How could he not? All that back and forth with Rick was abominable. He was overcome by Phoebe's death, that was understandable. However, blaming it on Rick then flipping out when Steffy and Rick had an improbable - and inappropriate - romance, was ridiculous. Ridge is a grown man, but he acted like a petulant child. And he did it over and over and over again. He broke up with Brooke because of Rick. He took unprescribed medication and slept with Taylor, then used her in a cockeyed attempt to rebuild his family. He was the worst role model ever for Steffy and Thomas, and gave them the wrong idea about how to handle problems. And now his latest scheme to save Forrester is STUPID! That's right, it's dumb and transparent and will blow up in his face. Ridge's sense of entitlement is as big as his ego. He may be talented, but he's also an arrogant jerk. In 2010, I'd love to see him forced to work for Jackie M or JCPenney.
The best new character. How can you not like the inclusion of Dollar Bill Spencer? I don't say you have to like him, but the character is making things happen on B&B. I'm also still not sure if I trust him, but that's okay. He's still fun to watch.
The worst reworking of a character. What have they done to Steffy? When Thomas turned lethal bomber and arsonist in reaction to Rick and Steffy's romance, it was a dramatic, bizarre turn of character. Down-to-earth Steffy chastised her brother for his extremism and emerged as a smart girl, wise beyond her years. Well, how wrong were we? Ever since being handed a great opportunity to prove herself as the head of P.R., she's turned into a lying, scheming viper. Who is this person? By attacking Katie, she's doing what Thomas did, albeit without a bomb or charcoal fluid. Still, what has happened to this character just doesn't ring true.
Best love story. I was wrong about Nick and Bridget. I thought their reuniting was a mistake, you know, "been there, done that." But the more I see of Nick and Bridget, the more I'm seeing that they are about as normal and real as a soap couple can get. They love each other. They work well together. They have a good attitude about where they've been and where they're going. Watching them together has been joyful.
Worse excuse for a love story. Donna and Eric. The model and the honey bear. The greybeard and the young dodo bird. I don't buy anything about Eric and Donna except for the fact that with the help of Viagra, they have a hot time in bed. They have nothing in common. They don't spend time together. Eric doesn't support Donna's career aspirations. Donna placates his wounded ego instead of talking to him like a wife should. Even the revelation about Marcus's father failed to generate any drama for Donna and Eric. They are barely a couple and their love story is a dud.
Best spoiled family of brats. The Forresters win this with ease. They act like they're royalty. They don't want to face the reality of the deal they made with Bill, even though it saved their butts. Forrester Creations was headed to bankruptcy. Welcome to America! A lot of companies have struggled and closed shop. Why do the Forresters think they are above having to work for someone else? Considering how spoiled and selfish they've been sounding lately, it would serve them right to be fired and for new creative directors to be brought in. Just because you've been at the top doesn't mean you're on top forever. I have hated the Forrester fashion dynasty this past year and I'm not rooting for their mutiny to succeed. They should be grateful they have a place to work!
Worst faux fashion development #1. I can believe that Bridget was interested in fashion. I can't believe she ditched a medical career to work at Jackie M. That was a strange twist - a little too twisted. Sure, it was a great way to get Nick and Bridget together, but come on...
Worst faux fashion development #2. Cougar town in Jackie M. No, no, no... this is a storyline that is a work of pure fiction. Jackie M's success this past year has supposedly been all about the appeal of Jackie M as exciting and bold, and what women want. But fashion is generally obsessed with youth. Jackie Marone is beautiful and lovely, but 25-year-old women are not emulating a 50+-year-old diva.
Most promising storyline. Sandy and Whip and the Jones family. I don't know where they're going, but it's a great option. We've had too much Logans and Forresters, and the Hayeses have gone nowhere. Keepin' up with the Joneses is a promising look toward the future. Sandy is definitely a troubled person, but I don't think she's bad. Whip has ambitions, but he could be a real find for Taylor.
Best use of a guest star. Betty White's return as Stephanie and Pam's mother was excellent. Her decision to die with dignity was an important story to tell, whether you agreed with it or not. Death in a family is never easy, but the way they dealt with Ann's choice and how it played out was responsibly done.
Here at Soap Central, we have been thrilled with your input all year long, and in 2010, I expect even more.
Until next time, please be sure to check out the other year-end Two Scoops columns for other soaps. Over the past two weeks, all of the columnists have been reflecting on the best and worst of 2009. It's definitely a fun read -- even if you aren't familiar with all of the soaps!
Plus, feel free to head over to the Soap Central message boards and join in the discussion about the highs and lows of the year gone by. And, if you're feeling prolific, start your own blog and offer your own take on the Two Scoops' best and worst edition. If we like what you write, you might just see your comments posted here!