How quickly we forget

by Mike
For the Week of October 25, 2010
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B&B Two Scoops: How quickly we forget
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The Amber of days gone by would have been burning the midnight oil to make her designs the best, not burning up like Amber 2010.

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you get a new position to go with your new face? Did you vamp it up in the name of "job security"? Did you give peace a chance -- for about the length of the Beatles song? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!

Were any of you as amazed by Monday and Tuesday's episodes -- and as appalled by Friday's -- as I was? Let's get to it and Scoop what there is to Scoop!

After languishing on the backburner in the months following her return from Y&R, "Hurricane Ambrosia" finally got something to do. Was it worth the wait? HAIL no! I guess, with Steffy mercifully shipped off to Forrester International (not permanently, unfortunately -- just until December when Jacqueline MacInnes Wood wraps up Final Destination 5), B&B needed someone to fill the role of resident seductress. Admittedly, Amber fills it much better. But this is so not consistent with the character.

For the majority of Adrienne Frantz's first run from 1997-2005, Amber was a screw-up loser who tried to do the right thing but always found herself in a big mess of her own making. She had even redeemed herself, to a point -- and only seemed like she'd gone back to the dark side because Sheila had set her up. Somehow, once Amber made the move to Genoa City, she became a scheming bedhopper -- who was again redeemed by her marriage to Daniel. Now in L.A., Amber's steaming in the steam room with Nick one minute and playing tonsil hockey with Oliver the next. What for? For the "job security" Nick talked about? The Amber of B&B Days Gone By would be burning the midnight oil to make her designs the best. Not burning up like Amber 2010.

And for that matter, how contrived was it for Oliver to have Forrester Creations design sketches displayed in public? Oh, he has them for "inspiration." Right. Like Forrester would let those sketches out of the building, let alone leave them with the dude who only puts music to their video presentations. That's almost dumber than Oliver discussing a fashion line with a rival designer! And all of it so Amber can, as spoilers said, pull a Sally Spectra and steal the designs. Amber is no Sally Spectra, and the comparison just makes me miss Mustang Sally that much more. And seriously, why was Amber made head designer when Clarke is still there with decades more experience?

Nice touch, though, putting Amber back at Insomnia. That's where she hung out with Rick in the early days (and where I did my scene with them as an extra). Shame she didn't have some sort of flashback to those days upon walking -- or tripping -- in. Oliver got to have a flashback! Posé posé!

I don't think Amber is after Nick or Oliver for any desire to actually be with them -- although she and Oliver had interesting chemistry, didn't they? Yet, either way, Aggie is -- and will be -- fit to be tied. Now, if Nick and Aggie had the "solid" relationship Aggie spoke of, instead of it being thrown together the way it was, Amber's interference might pack more of a punch. But Nick and Aggie are boring so far. If they need to throw Amber in there to spice things up, then maybe the problem is the couple, even if they did boof in the office twice in two days. Eww! Thanks for the visual!

The only intriguing aspect of it all is Aggie's sudden display of backbone while facing off with Amber. We haven't seen that fiery frown since her early days as Sandy, when she spoke against her rapist so vehemently I was sure she was going to go medieval on his buttocks when she found him. I mean, what do we really know about Aggie? "You'll see how tough I can be," she warned. Aggie has been all Nick-is-my-savior for so long now that she seems like a limp dishrag. Wouldn't it be awesome if Amber's "innocent" flirting brought out the real Agnes Jones?

Over at Forrester, Thomas has apparently put down his bomb-making materials and picked up a design pencil. "You kinda let that go for a long while," Ridge noted. Yeah, for like maybe forever! Since when does Thomas design? That said, it makes sense that he would. He's been exposed to the design world his whole life. It's not like he went to medical school and became a doctor and then decided to design -- oh, wait, that's Bridget! And the Men's Line would be the perfect choice -- I remember when it was created back in '93 and it's nice to see it back. Why shouldn't Thomas make his own mark? Especially since he's been consistently passed over, most recently due to Taylor's stock exchange.

But -- and there's no easy way to say this -- I miss Drew Tyler Bell. One B&B fan on Facebook said, in not so many words, that Adam Gregory isn't cutting it...and now, having given him a chance, I have to agree. As Thomas, he's got no pep! No zing! Nay, no personality. All right, maybe it's somewhat appropriate for Thomas to be wooden because many say papa Ridge comes off as wooden. But at least Ridge has always had a personality in that woodenness. Mr. Gregory sounds like he's reciting his lines. We should feel the crackle when he's enthusiastically pitching the Men's Line, but it's not there to feel. He may look a lot more like Ronn Moss, but I now find myself wondering what the Emmy-winning Drew could have done with this.

Of course, there's one more aspect to Thomas' story, but, like all good cliffhangers, you'll just have to wait for it!

Because the big doings were happening over at the Stephanie Forrester Wing. After weeks of refusals, Stephanie finally decided to have the life-saving surgery after her encounter with Dayzee. Considering how much Stephanie credited Dayzee with that decision, I felt bad for Brooke -- Brooke certainly went out of her way to get Stephanie into that hospital! Fortunately, Stephanie acknowledged Brooke's efforts in what may have been the most effective scene on B&B in all its 23 years. "After all the things I've done to you," Stephanie marveled. And so did I. Really powerful stuff. And who'd've thunk her saying "You're still a slut from the Valley" and Brooke's response "Music to my ears" could be so poignant?

The real suspense, though, was not in whether Stephanie survived the first surgery to remove the cancer in her lung, but in what the cancer spreading to her brain means for her future on B&B. Because the jury's still out on whether Susan Flannery will choose to continue. Of course the show wouldn't be the same without La Forrester, but this would be one helluva swan song for her. Where can Stephanie really go after this? At least for now we have her determination to help the homeless. She had that when she first came back from the streets in 1991, but, by her own admission, she "deliberately put it aside". I really hope Stephanie's attitude adjustment sticks this time.

Going back to her demanding, control freak self after this would ruin the character completely. As it would if Stephanie went back to hating Brooke. How wonderful a layer is it that B&B has brought Brooke into the homeless storyline this time? Last time, Brooke was with Eric, and of the opinion "Stephanie will come back if she wants to" -- of course, not knowing about the stroke. Now we have something that could unify Stephanie and Brooke for all time, if the show follows through on it. Only the coming weeks will determine whether it's all talk and no action.

I wasn't sure what to make of Dayzee at first, but I'm really coming to like her. At times she's a little too "Val" for my taste ("Valley Girl," as in the way she speaks), but she's got a real down-to-earth quality and she's very compelling on-screen. The last thing the show needed was another character, but at least this one has some substance. And I hear tell she may be paired up with someone who's been on the backburner for quite some time. If it happens, it will be good to see. And wouldn't it be great if Dayzee were somehow connected to Ruthanne, who helped Stephanie on the streets long ago?

Yet, there's something missing from the whole homeless aspect of the storyline. Was having Brooke and Stephanie on the streets for a couple of episodes effective enough? Granted, months couldn't be spent like last time. What really would punch it up is if we had more Stephanie flashbacks. I was thrilled when Stephanie finally told Dayzee that she was once homeless, too (especially because no one else in the family seemed to remember that fact when they heard the word "homeless"), but more delving into Stephanie's experience would deepen our understanding of her renewed determination. Don't get me wrong -- this is the best storyline they've done in ages. It could only be made better by just a little more highlighting.

At least it brought Felicia home! How long will she be back? "You never know with me," she joked -- which sounded more like a comment on her continuing recurring status to me! I also would have thought she'd have remarked on her own cancer while at Stephanie's bedside -- "you got me through mine; now I'll get you through yours," or something like that. Still, wasn't it great to see Felicia and Thorne back in the family where they belong? More, please.

I just couldn't quite figure out why they bothered with Steffy's "insert pre-taped scene here" phone call. Steffy was very caring, but it seemed so forced. And if they were going to do that, why not bring in Kristen for a phone call instead of just mentioning her off-screen? But again, wasn't it great to see Felicia and Thorne back in the family where they belong? More...oh. I already said that. But it's certainly worth repeating.

Another thing worth repeating was the warmth between Brooke and Taylor this week. Very short, very subtle -- but very wow. From the simple "I'm glad you called" to Taylor assuring Brooke she did everything she could to get Stephanie into the hospital, it was just one more reminder to rise above petty squabbles and come together in the face of adversity...

Until B&B absolutely ruined it in one nonsensical, shrewish outburst. Ridge summed it up best:

"I don't understand this. I thought you two were getting along well. You've been working so well with her, handling this situation with my mother's cancer. What happened?"

What happened, indeed! Taylor bonds with Brooke at the hospital, and then the very next day she goes off the deep end upon learning Thomas wants to work with Brooke on the Men's Line, calling Brooke a "walking disaster" and a "predator"? HUH? Did these scenes get inserted from a different week? At this point even Stephanie would tell Taylor to knock it off! Taylor yammered on about her history with Brooke -- why the hell does that history even matter right now? In the context of the episodes that immediately preceded it, this made zero sense, not to mention it was the biggest example of character assassination I've ever seen. I'm surprised Hunter Tylo agreed to play it. I'm ragingly angry, but more bitterly disappointed.

How could Brad Bell do the incredible work he's done with Stephanie's storyline and then undercut it in one fell swoop with this ridiculousness? And for what? To imply that Brooke will sleep with Thomas? I know a lot of fans are sure that will happen, but I can tell you why it won't: first off, the very fact that they're mentioning it already means it's too telegraphed and there would be no shock if it did happen. Furthermore, Brooke was just involved with the mask-boink five months ago, so nothing like that is going to happen again so soon. Besides, if I must spoil it for you, Thomas is going to be making moves on Hope very soon, not Brooke, no matter how much they're suddenly playing up a weird attraction between Thomas and Brooke.

And even if this possibility were going to be explored, this wasn't the week to do it -- not right after Taylor put aside her grievances with Brooke in the hospital. I know the soaps typically try to balance gravely serious storylines with some kind of silliness -- and we had enough of that this week with Amber. But I can barely begin to express my disgust at Taylor's behavior -- mostly because I can't use that kind of language in Two Scoops. I'm so upset with Taylor that I honestly don't care if I ever see her again after this episode, and Brad Bell needs to be slapped for tainting what otherwise would have been a mostly glorious week. For shame, Brad Bell! For shame!

Does the Two Scoops mailbag contain any comments as strong as that?

• Guys, gimme a break! What's this Nick/Amber/Aggie thing? So annoying! And if I hated Brooke, how I hate Aggie the more. She's very annoying. I can't stand her. Their storyline should be scrapped! -- Angel

• The role of Thomas Forrester is awful and the person who portrays this role is way too fake. I hardly ever fast-forward through the show, but I absolutely can't stand his part in the show. -- Kim

• You forgot another great line Steph popped up this week. When arriving at the Pier, a girl asked her if she had 10 dollars, to which she replied 'for your education'. That was hilarious. I am not a Steph fan, but no one can tell it like it is the way she does. -- Sophie

• I love, love, love the Brooke/Stephanie storyline! These two women have so much chemistry together, it's wonderful to see the humor and emotion of their characters. To watch their developing closeness will make it all worth the 'roller coaster' ride of the past 23 years these two have been at each other! -- Wanda

A few points to ponder: Wasn't it a little strange to have Dayzee telling her tale to Liam and Hope? They're barely on the periphery of this storyline -- why not tell it to Eric and the rest of the Forresters?...Who is Aggie to judge the quality of Amber's designs -- or anyone else's? She has no fashion industry experience! For that matter, who is Nick to judge it? He's a sailor-turned-magnate who fell into fashion by accident!... Does every fashion house have a steam room? Someone should poll Versace and Tom Ford and Dolce and Gabbana to find out!

That's my opinion for the week -- but the Soap Central message boards are available for you to post yours 24/7 -- and you can also post opinions about these here opinions! In the meantime, Stephanie's saga continues, 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 Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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