Party like it's 1999

by Mike
For the Week of November 8, 2010
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B&B Two Scoops: Party like it's 1999
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Kudos for livening Oliver up a little last week, even if he had to get drunk in order to be livened. It was nice of the Forresters to not fire him for inadvertently leaking the designs to Amber, but really, it was his own damn fault.

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you get fired because of your bad communication skills? Did you pout because the press was pooped? Did you give your competition publicity advice? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!

Did any one else find it kind of a yawner week -- especially considering it was the first week of November sweeps? Sweeps used to be crash-bang! I know we skipped an episode because of the President's pre-emption, and it's not that the show didn't try, but somehow it all came off just as dull and drab as the colors of the "Hope For The Future" line. Let's Scoop, shall we?

Well, scratch what I said a couple of weeks ago about B&B not spending enough time with the homeless in Stephanie's storyline. The show is certainly to be commended for stepping outside the soap box and going for reality to make a statement. But somehow, seeing Stephanie live on the streets for months was much more satisfying. This current arc is supposed to be a continuation of Stephanie's homeless experience, yet it's hardly mentioned. Eric seemed awfully insensitive to Stephanie spending time at Skid Row -- and yet came over to her side lightning fast. It might've been more effective if he remembered she had lived on the streets herself before he suddenly decided to join the cause, nice save as it was.

It's a good thing I already know Stephanie's involvement with the homeless will continue through the holidays, because if I didn't, I'd swear it had been dropped from the canvas completely. One rehash of Stephanie's turn as Oprah via an out-of-nowhere conversation with Nick, and that's all we got. But wasn't the warmth nice as Nick and Stephanie remembered her time at Jackie M? It's also good to know Brooke plans to continue helping Stephanie in her quest.

Now, what do y'all think about Marcus -- who we haven't seen in ages -- showing up and making eyes at Dayzee? I'm not sure, but I think I like it. I don't say that because she's the only African-American girl on the show they can hook him up with -- he could certainly take an interest in a girl who's Asian or Caucasian or any other race. But he did seem to light up a bit in Dayzee's presence. Could she be what it takes to make this otherwise milquetoast character come alive?

I remember, arou, 1999, I used to refer to B&B as The Amber Show, because Amber was on Every. Single. Day. It's no secret Adrienne Frantz is to Brad Bell what all those icy blonde '60s actresses used to be to director Alfred Hitchcock. Mr. Bell likes to feature her -- which would be all right if it wasn't in a lackluster, done-to-death storyline. Seriously -- all he brought her back for was to hit on Rick, Nick, and Oliver, steal some designs, and get fired? Where can she really go from here?

Maybe it's the L.A. smog, because something's seriously affecting the brain functions of both Amber and Oliver. How could she think Nick intended for her to steal Forrester designs simply because he used words like "hot"? Come to think of it, it was a stretch for him to finally clarify that when he said "ripping them off," he meant ripping paper off a sketch pad. Was Amber really dumb enough to believe she could make Oliver forget about his catching her with his iPad by promising a striptease? And how dumb was Oliver to actually forget? "How did I not see this?" Oliver lamented when Hope informed him he'd been played. Uh, yeah, Ollie. And that was before you had any booze.

Once he got drunk in record time, we were treated to his imitation of the Naked Cowboy. (For those non-US readers, the Naked Cowboy is a fellow who runs around in New York singing songs wearing nothing but underwear and a cowboy hat.) Kudos to the show, I suppose, for livening Oliver up a little, even if they had to get him drunk to be livened. It was nice of the Forresters to not fire Mr. Jones for inadvertently leaking the designs to Amber -- but really, it was his own damn fault. He should have been fired for splaying them around the beach pad once he got Amber there. Then he leaves his iPad on? The only time I felt sorry for him was when he nuzzled Amber, saying "I love you, Hope." That was effective.

And Amber's whole rationale for doing this is because her own designs aren't acceptable to Jackie M? I find this rather hard to believe. During her first run on B&B, Amber was established as an artist from her first days in Furnace Creek with Sheila. Then Forrester took a chance on Amber's first designs and her line was very successful. You mean to tell me Amber's work was Forrester quality then, but now it can't cut the fashion mustard? All right, so she hasn't designed a line in several years, but she shouldn't have to stoop to stealing the "Hope For The Future" line when she actually has talent of her own.

As for Hope, Liam should be worried, because not only does he suddenly have very little to do except run around Forrester, where he doesn't even work (how would he have the authority to call security on Amber?), but Hope simply won't shut up about Oliver. Yes, her intuition about Amber was right. But why exactly was it? "I could tell you so many stories," Hope griped to Liam. What stories could she tell? From what personal experience?

Most of Amber's previous B&B stunts happened before Hope was born or when she was a very small child. Hope doesn't know Amber from a hole in the wall! The only thing they have in common -- and I wish the show would explore it -- is their connection to Deacon. Other than that, Amber's a virtual stranger to Hope. And if Hope knows all these things about Amber due to Amber's reputation, surely Oliver would have heard about that rep, too.

The only thing I found amusing about Amber's mission to steal the designs was her trying to unearth Oliver's iPad password. And B&B so missed a golden self-referential opportunity! Oliver reported his birthdate as June 29, 1987. Wouldn't it have been cool if he'd said it was March 23, 1987 -- considering that's the day B&B premiered? But ask yourself this -- if you were trying to pry something out of someone's computer, would you talk to yourself doing it? Plus, the screen clearly only allowed four characters for a password -- pretty much everything Amber entered had more characters. And even if Amber got in, how could she e-mail herself the designs unless she used web-based e-mail? Never mind his browser history would have that page in it unless she thought to delete it. But now perhaps I'm getting too high-tech for this column!

So, you gotta love it -- Amber's at Oliver's late at night, e-mails herself the sketches, has to copy each one of them by hand to pass them off as her own. She couldn't have given Nick "her" work 'til the next morning, assuming Amber stayed up all night. Yet Jackie M took those sketches, bought the fabrics, cut out the designs and had sewn them together into finished outfits the same day? That's almost as bad as Forrester bumping up a rehearsal to a full-blown fashion show in a few hours' time, but at least they already had their line in place. Who knew Hope had enough business acumen to get the fashion show moved up so Amber wouldn't be able to show the stolen designs? And hey, at least this time no letters burned out -- sorry, Steffy, no HO Logan for you this time. I can't say I'm missing Steffy at all!

But I can say it was sure nice to see a Forrester fashion show again. It was quite scaled down from the extravaganzas we used to see in the '80s and '90s, but they did try. Only thing is, what was so special about "Hope For The Future"? Everything was done up in dreary beiges and grays. Doesn't inspire me to feel hope for any future. I expected more from a line that's been in the works the last ten months! Not like Thomas, of course, who managed to bring his Men's Line from suggestion to fruition in two weeks. But we'll get to him in a moment.

So Amber got snagged and Nick fired her. I almost agreed when Hope suggested she leave town, because I'm not sure what storyline she could have now that she's alienated both Forrester and Jackie M. In other words, not back four months and she's been written into a corner. The thing is, Amber actually can be quite likeable. We just haven't seen much of that this time around.

I felt for her when she made her "not all of us can have it handed to us" speech to Hope, but this character's been through too much to really make that claim anymore. Amber's actions have been cartoonish, and maybe if they were based in some real emotion (and out of her 13-year history), I wouldn't mind having her take over my TV again. "Hot designs," Sally's voice called. "You made a royal mess of things." Sally always did tell it like it was.

Not to be forgotten is Bridget, whose portrayer, Ashley Jones, has just been bumped to recurring. Isn't that odd, considering she just came off a front-burner storyline? Maybe Miss Jones has some prime-time fish to fry. Yet Bridget shows up at Forrester at the very moment Ridge and Brooke are talking about her! If she'd had that kind of instinct before, Nick never would have found out about Owen. I thought the spoilers had said Ridge was going to make Bridget an interesting offer, but I didn't see it happen. Bridget's certainly proven herself -- why couldn't she design at Forrester? By the way, did anyone wonder when Nick told Amber she'd better come up with sketches or else if Nick had ever put that kind of pressure on Bridget to produce?

It's official -- I feel B&B has made a mistake by casting Adam Gregory as Thomas. The character's in a (somewhat) front-burner storyline for the first time in ages, and all I can think is "yawn." It's raining, it's pouring, nuThomas is boring me to tears! And the way Thomas is being written isn't helping, either. Snapping his fingers at the hired help? Pouting because he feels pushed out of the spotlight for the fashion line he's only been working on for five minutes? Grow up, kid. Stuff happens in business and you just have to roll with it. I'm not sure a more capable actor could make this material pop off the page, but it would have been nice to see one try. Adam Gregory just isn't the right fit, no matter how much he may look like Ronn Moss.

Lots of questions here -- why did Whip suddenly arrive right before Thomas' showing? Oh, of course -- to give him some sage PR advice: ya gotta get a gimmick. But, even if the boy is his wife's son, why would he give the designer of a rival fashion house any kind of PR advice at all? The only interesting thing that might come out of it is, once that advice backfires, it will create some conflict between Whip and Taylor, because they've had nothing to do since their insta-marriage seven months ago.

Of course, because of this week's elections and President Obama's speech, what would have been our Friday cliffhanger got pushed off 'til Monday. I already know what happens, but I don't like to give too much away for those of you who kick it spoiler-free. All I'll say is, Thomas gets Brooke involved in another scandal as a way of getting people to talk about his Men's Line. Which is stupid enough by itself, because anything scandalous would take the attention away from his designs, not call attention to them.

And why involve Brooke -- let alone the company -- in any kind of scandal? People are just starting to forget about Brooke's mask-boink scandal! It's a dunderheaded move. They're only involving Brooke in this to cater to those fans who think Thomas and Brooke are going to sleep together. Come to think of it, Brooke is being a bit of a dunderhead going along with any stunt Thomas is cooking up, even if she doesn't know what it is, given what usually happens when she's in a stunt on that runway!

Here's a few quick bits from the Two Scoops emailbag:

• One point of clarification: I do seem to recall when Thomas was dating Gaby that he left Forrester to design over at Spectra, causing major uproar. Also, re: the "Brooke will molest my son" scenario, it sure takes a lot of nerve for Taylor to bring that up considering she slept with, lived with and became engaged to Brooke's significantly younger son. As far as Brooke and Thomas getting together? I'm with you, ain't gonna happen. -- Ellen

• Just had to let you know that was an excellent post. I was kinda worried to read that Brooke was going to be involved in another scandal involving Thomas. I don't want Brooke and Stephanie to go backwards. I would enjoy the continuing story with Brooke and Stephanie, and Taylor getting jealous of their friendship. Please B&B, don't ruin the best storyline you've had in years. -- Judy

• Blech...don't know how much longer I can hang on to this show! The 'homeless' storyline with its PSA is almost the last straw! Even though Susan Flannery did a superb job on her interviewing the homeless, I thought that it needed something more. Maybe had Stephanie actually had some time home recuperating instead of going out the very day she got home from the hospital it may have had more impact to the storyline. You would have to live in another world not to know about the homeless in America. The whole hype for the storyline was overrated! -- Diane

• Adored the 'truce' between Stephanie and Brooke, and Brooke and Taylor. I too was disgusted with what Taylor did to Brooke. Has everyone forgotten that Taylor was not only sleeping with Brooke's son, but her own daughter's boyfriend? -- Lori

Speaking of Rick, what was up with his attitude during the fashion show? Rolling his eyes, snarking at Thomas, gulping down champagne? Is this not his company, too? Or is he just mad he isn't getting any airtime since there's no Jackie to flirt with right now?...Was anyone else pained when Pam brought up her fifteen seconds of Catwalk fame to the uninterested models? Great to see Pam helping out, but it's a piece of Forrester history best forgotten...Another misstep mentioned: Eric's adoption of Marcus. With Eric and Donna divorced, this plot point seems even more ridiculous than when Marcus calls Eric "Dad"...Why was Ridge so quick to suspect Nick in the theft of the designs? And why did Nick return the animosity? It seemed unfounded, since everything they fought over was years ago now.

That's all my Scoop will hold for the week. But why should I be the only one with opinions? Express yours on the Soap Central message boards 24/7 -- and you can always comment about these columns! Maybe your thoughts will be included here, too. In the meantime, Brooke's about to be at the center of another hurricane, 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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