Let's get ready to fumble

by Mike
For the Week of December 20, 2010
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B&B Two Scoops: Let's get ready to fumble
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For all of Bill's attempts to control his son's image and love life, his grand speech indoctrinating Liam as a Spencer was actually quite touching, and amazingly sincere!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you decide to Whip things up in your marriage? Did you declare that diamonds really are a girl's best friend? Was your dressing room not used for dressing? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!

I admit, I've been peeping spoilers since 1993. So when I heard what was coming this week, I was more than dubious. Strangely, I was left with a better impression of it all than I thought I'd be, even if it's incredibly wispy compared to where we were just a couple of months ago. What say we Scoop and get things figured out!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear? No, it ain't eight tiny reindeer -- it's Jack Marone! And he talks! He also writes letters to Santa on department store web sites, but we won't go there. You know, for as snoozeworthy as Nick and Aggie are, she's actually very good with Jack! He could use a mother with Taylor and Bridget gone. Do you think the tyke could tell Nick to wear something else besides light blue for a change?

And lo, Insomnia (the set I was on as an extra) is closing up shop. Who knew that Donna and Justin always run into each other there? On the surface, it shouldn't be strange that the high school sweethearts are looking to sing a chorus of "reunited and it feels so good." Except that it was Justin that edited the video that exposed Brooke's mask boink to the world! Shouldn't Donna be a little more upset with what he did to her sister and make him talk to the hand? So much for Logan loyalty...

Thankfully, we were treated to a whole episode that didn't involve the kiddies (except for Thomas). Then we got Oliver and Amber discussing Liam and Hope for three whole episodes! And it didn't seem that Amber could make up her mind between hitting on Oliver and drooling over Liam. That's gotta do wonders for Oliver's self-esteem. "Do I have 'I'm a puppet, walk all over me' written on my back?" he asked. Well, actually, Oliver...you do. Hope seems so solid with Liam -- especially this week -- that I can't see why Hope would want the wishy-washy Oliver back, even if Amber were to clear the way by bagging Liam. There's no there there, if you know what I mean. Not to put Zack Conroy out of a job, but Oliver is one character in need of a storyline-dictated exit.

And how about Amber declaring that the only way you get money is to be born into it or marry it? I know for most of you this is the dictionary definition of Ambrosia Moore. But to me it just seems out of character to keep casting her in this materialistic light. Sure, she glommed on to Rick when she first arrived as a way to advance her music career. It's my recollection, though, that she wanted to work. Which she did when she was designing for Forrester. It was good history to hear Amber's perspective on how doors opened up for her when she was married to Rick. But her attitude now about Liam...it's just not ringing true for me. She's better than that, even if she's not being written that way.

So, Amber managed to wangle an invitation to Liam's first society party. Although I kind of had to laugh as Amber explained how she knew Marcus (oh, he stops by sometimes when you're not home, Oliver!), at least Marcus knew he was being manipulated. And Hillary (who we finally got to see) must be one hell of an assistant, because she got the party together in something like a day. All those guests and sports announcer Michael Buffer can drop everything and make a party on one day's notice? Sure!

Bill's not being very subtle about his desire to drive Hope away from Liam, is he? Hope can see it, and certainly Katie can. You'd think Katie would be giving Bill an earful about laying off her niece. And didn't Bill recruit the supposedly unwilling Oliver to help make Liam a free man? Then why wasn't Oliver invited to this shindig? For all Bill's attempts to control his son's image and love life, though, his grand speech indoctrinating Liam as a Spencer was actually quite touching -- and amazingly sincere! Sure, Bill is a master at media manipulation, but he wasn't faking it this time. Looks like Katie was right that it's all more about what Liam has come to mean to his father. Who knew?

Still, some image consulting, making Liam look like a clone of Bill! Too funny -- especially because Liam knew it. Hey, at least we got a party with a surprising plethora of extras in these lean times. But I'm not sure how I feel about the presence of Michael Buffer (interesting to hear him speak/act, though), and I'll have to get back to you about the Spencerettes...

Meanwhile, over at Forrester, Thomas and Brooke were getting a dressing down for not being dressed. Isn't it interesting? We were nine months into 2010 before we ever got a fashion show; now we've had three. And two of them were only previews of the Men's Line. The clothes alternated between chic and way more casual than I thought the collection would be, considering Forrester deals in haute couture. Still, it was good to see a legitimate B&B fashion show, and the hustle and bustle of it did generate a fair share of excitement.

Wasn't it awesome to see Thorne backstage riding herd on the whole extravaganza? Look how in control he was -- is there any reason to believe this character doesn't deserve a story of his own? Speaking of underutilized characters, why on earth did B&B bring Jake back if all they planned to do was use him as a glorified extra? His abuse story in 1990 was huge. He has history, and how fresh it would be to put him into an actual storyline. Perhaps reigniting former flame Felicia?

Whip, however, has finally gotten something to do after being banished to the backburner on the heels of his quickie courtship and wedding to Taylor. While I'm glad of that, I'm not quite sure I'm following his logic -- or liking the diabolical direction he's going in. Rick Hearst proved on Y&R and GH that he can do evil -- but does that really work for Whipple Jones? He was brought on in 2001 essentially as comic relief, dressing up in lingerie and stepping up to keep Brooke's pregnancy by Deacon out of the spotlight. So why would Whip do something that would be so hurtful to Brooke now just to stick it to Ridge? Okay, his manhood is wounded since Taylor blurted out Ridge's name in bed, and here's yet another woman who can't stop thinking of the chiseled designer. But Whip is blowing things way out of proportion.

He keeps going on about how Ridge is interfering in his marriage. Reality check, Whip! Who keeps whining to Ridge about the "Taboo" line? Who clapped her hands with glee when Ridge implied he'd end his marriage to Brooke? Who called out Ridge's name in bed? Um, yeah, that would be Taylor. Of course Whip would be bruised to hear Ridge laughing about it, but who let that tidbit slip in the first place? No, while Ridge may not be helping matters, the responsibility for all this falls squarely on Taylor. Yet Whip is blaming Ridge for everything. Strange.

Even stranger is his rationale that posting a photo of Thomas and Brooke in their skivvies would make Taylor so disgusted that she'd stop leaning on Ridge. Aggie was absolutely right that this could backfire -- that Ridge could leave Brooke and allow Taylor to go running back to him. Where would Whip be then? For a smart PR man, this isn't one of his brighter stunts. Nor is wandering around backstage with a clearly labeled Forrester garment bag draped over his arm! Plenty of people backstage saw him! And how was the competition allowed backstage? I think Whip wants to be caught -- why else would he tip himself off to Aggie, no matter how much he denied it when she snagged him?

Despite the coincidences it took to get there, Whip's nasty had its desired effect -- to a point, anyway. Thomas fell into the trap and burst in on a half-naked Brooke. But why, when Jarrett caught them together, did Thomas jump in front of Brooke -- in that position? If he wanted to shield Brooke, you'd have thought he'd stand with his back to her, his arms blocking her, not stand facing her! Did anyone else find that contrived? Still, I didn't mind Thomas being in a mess, because I still find him pompous. Knock him down a few pegs and then we'll see.

On the other hand, how much guiltier could Thomas and Brooke have acted before the "skin and bare it" moment was exposed? I know they're both under fire for the runway kiss and racy photo shoots, but here they didn't do anything wrong, even if they felt everyone would think they did. That's the one bright spot of this rather insipid story -- there definitely seems to be a line, and so far it hasn't been crossed. It's still a letdown after the strength of Stephanie's cancer storyline, but it wasn't played as badly this week as I feared it would be.

Even Taylor, who I figured would use the reveal as another excuse for histrionics, was more even-tempered than I expected. Of course, contrary to Whip's prediction that Taylor would blame Ridge for it all, she pointed her manicured finger at Brooke. But she didn't go completely wild, even when Ridge finally settled on writing the photo experience off as good publicity. It seemed more like he was about to pull the plug on "Taboo" -- and his marriage to Brooke -- but then he did a one-eighty. Did anyone notice how Taylor was fishing to get Ridge to make good on his promise to ditch Brooke and come back to her? Whip has more to worry about than he thinks. Unfortunately, his suddenly vindictive behavior is only going to push Taylor further away. What a waste of an otherwise good coupling.

It's also out of character for Whip to call Brooke a loose cannon, no matter how many points he wanted to score with Taylor. And wasn't it a contradiction for Ridge to tell Brooke the picture wasn't her fault in one breath and "this can't happen again" in the next? Brooke didn't do anything! This time, anyway. Which brings us to the whole crux of this silly story -- why do they have Brooke modeling in a men's fashion show? They only ever had male models for the Men's Line before, and Brooke was only brought into it to help Thomas launch its reinvention in an administrative capacity. None of this would be happening if Brooke's contribution had stayed that way. Personally, I agreed with Brooke's offer to step off the runway. Then at least if scandal happened, Brooke wouldn't be involved!

All this hoopla over "Taboo" and Liam this week had the potential to be really campy and superficial, especially compared to where B&B was two months ago. But they did reign it in to a point, and there were many interesting comments and layers that kept it from getting out of hand, which we'll get to before we're done. I still say these stories need to be dropped, and now wouldn't be too soon. When I Scooped for you last, I asked how you would make B&B better. Here are some of your replies:

• "I am hoping that B&B does not continue with this path of incestual relationship they are carving out with Brooke and Thomas. If that was the reason why they changed Thomas' character then what a shame. Brooke is a scientist, maybe they can bring her back to the lab and maybe work with her daughter Bridget (the doctor) to do something meaningful. Don't destroy Brooke, she can contribute so much more. Where are baby Jack and RJ?" -- Maggie

• "Does anyone else find it unusual that Taylor would invite Ridge to talk about their son in her bedroom that she shares with her new husband? Why is B&B hinting at yet another Taylor/Brooke/Ridge triangle? The storylines were making such strides with Brooke and Stephanie's new relationship and yet before it even begins here we go again with the same old cycle. Get rid of Oliver, Amber, and Aggie. Give more air time to Bill and Katie who are far more interesting. Focus on more intrigue instead of Brooke causing these ridiculous scandals and Taylor making a fool of herself over Ridge...please NOT AGAIN!." -- W

• "I think B&B will be sorry if they irrevocably ruin Brooke's character for good. The storyline with Stephanie is too good to mess with..." -- JeffMeister

• "Kill the Hope/Liam/Oliver story -- makes no freaking sense. Kill the Ridge/Taylor story -- it doesn't hold water. Bring back the CJ/Amber storyline -- interesting. Bring back Deacon. Then B&B is on course. Separate Brooke and Ridge -- Ridge has to be lonely. Finally, fashion fashion fashion! Not scandals." -- Angel

• "It pains my heart to watch Brooke's final downfall, which is sure to tear Ridge and Brooke apart. I just can't watch anymore. Why is Brooke always written as the maneater? She genuinely loves Ridge, Ridge genuinely loves her. Don't mess with that again please. Surely the writers can find some more creative twists to keep viewers interested. Taylor is happily married to an amazing guy -- dwelling with infidel thoughts doesn't become her character. She did the same with Nick and lost him, now she is going to lose another fine man the same way! Maybe [they] should stop making Ridge the model benchmark for the rest of the guys in the show. Just a thought!" -- Martina

Let's finish up with those comments and layers I mentioned in Points to Ponder:

"I've been good this year!" Nick declared to his present Ms. Claus. I bet Bridget, Jackie, and Owen would like to take a vote on that...Why did Hope tell Liam she was at her mother's house? Does she not live at Brooke's? That means she was at her own house...Taylor should know how chaotic it can get backstage during a fashion show -- she was around for enough of them, even modeling a showstopper in 1996...It was a little high-tech, but all the talk about pixels and logos and copyrights when the scandalous photo was being examined was fascinating, accurate, and terribly au courant...

Liam told Hope "Your Mom would not cross that line again" -- how would he know? For that matter, how was he able to have Ridge put a rush on a dress that was only in the sketch stage for Hope to wear to his party? William Spencer III or not, Ridge was a little busy with the nakey picture...Wasn't it interesting that Hope assumed Bill had it taken -- and more so that Ridge asked Thorne if he took it?...Good use of history to have Whip bring up Aggie's life as Sandy Sommers...How trippy that alcoholic Taylor would mention it's strange to have all that booze in the cabinet -- could I be right that Taylor's drinking again, or at least that she may be soon?...Did you catch Whip's comment that "I couldn't get [Brooke's] clothes off when we were married"? Ouch! Hey, maybe his master plan isn't to keep Ridge away from Taylor, but to break up Ridge and Brooke so he can have Brooke for himself! I'm just sayin'...

I am luvin' all your thoughts on how to shake up the-B-and-the-B! We have plenty of our own ideas on that subject here on Soap Central, and boy will we be doling them out! First, on December 24, all of us columnists will have our say in a special edition of Soap Central Live, available for live streaming or download. Fellow B&B columnist Allison will share her year-end column here on December 26. And I will bring up the rear with my own Best & Worst of 2010 column, which will be on your screens January 2. You're not gonna want to miss a moment of the retrospective goodness!

In the meantime, the Soap Central message boards are open day and night so you can talk about who's been naughty and nice -- and some of your comments might end up here in our columns. This is my first and only chance to wish you all the happiest of holidays, so have a holly jolly, make merry, and whatever you do, 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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