Put a ring on it

by Mike

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did your show stop the showstopper? Does your mom always carry a spare...negligée? Did everyone say your love life was your business but talked about it anyway? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!

It's getting to be a thing -- come back to B&B two weeks later and it's an entirely different show. When I last left you, Steffy was boo-hooing about Bill, and now she's leering after Liam. And while I don't expect Hope is listening to any more Daddy Yankee after last year's graduation party, she's definitely got Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" repeating on her iPod -- as does Brad Bell, because suddenly Hope's virginity has taken over the show, and everyone's got something to say about it!

Let's start with the fashion show. What used to make them cool was the build-up. You'd spend a month or two watching characters' stories intertwine with them, and when the models hit the runway, you'd be all excited. Now it's just like, "Oh, here's a fashion show." Does B&B have to rush through absolutely everything? And I don't know if Liam had permission to interrupt the fashion show with his proposal, but somehow I think it was totally against protocol! Okay, enough of that...

So a flustered Hope yanked Liam off the runway, leaving everyone, even poor Stephanie, to speculate about whether Hope would accept. Is this a fashion show or a sewing circle? On the roof (complete with L.A. sirens -- very accurate!), Hope just wanted the moment to be private and became Liam's fiancée amid the stars (not accurate -- only bright stars are visible in L.A. because of the light diffusion!). Hope and Liam really seem to love each other, and they've been together for almost a year -- which is like seven in soap years. Plus we haven't had a decent wedding in forever! So far, so good.

But the story went off the tracks a bit when Hope suddenly decided after months of insisting she'd wait for her wedding night to move her deflowering up to the engagement night instead. A giddy Brooke ran upstairs and retrieved a selection of lingerie and other goodies from the Brooke's Bedroom line for Hope to doll up in. It's great continuity to reference the line (which I thought Steffy took over last year -- what happened to that?), but I'm not sure how I feel about Brooke's investment in the proceedings. On the one hand, Brooke is a mother, and wants her adult daughter to have a special first experience. On the other...well, with Brooke's history, it did feel just a bit inappropriate.

She saved it by telling Hope "it doesn't matter what you wear," although by then it came off as a mixed message. Makes you wonder why Brooke's so involved in it -- I mean, what was her first time like? Was it awful or traumatic, and that's why she wanted it to be right for Hope? A little exploration of that might have grounded the moment -- and maybe given us insight into why Brooke is the way she is.

At any rate, Hope hightailed it to Liam's, and, through a rather protracted scene, we saw her get gussied up à la Brooke's Bedroom. It was a little different for the show, but I thought it went on too long. Liam, of course, loved the result. Now, do you think Ridge was right to question why Liam picked this moment to propose? I don't think Liam proposed just so he could get some, but there's just enough of that there to make you doubt, isn't there?

Not that it mattered, because just as the, um, candles were burning, Hope put the brakes on and reverted to her "let's wait for the wedding night" stance. What followed was a sweet conversation between Hope and Liam, albeit with a lot of repeated information: the lingerie wasn't her, marriage makes it more special, etc. Liam was very understanding, although when he suggested running to Vegas to get married, you did have to wonder if it was his libido talking! Hey -- at least "a month or two" is longer than we usually get for weddings anymore, the way Donna/Justin and Taylor/Whip got married instantly.

But Holy Rewritten History, Batman! Hope dug a little deeper and confided to Liam that it was Brooke's sexual escapades that made her freeze up. "All the men we had coming in and out of our home growing up," she lamented, "I didn't know all of them." HELLO?! When, since Hope was born, has Brooke not either been with Nick or Ridge? When was she single longer than five minutes? Surely Hope could not be talking about Andy, who raped Brooke?

Yes, Brooke has "been through" the Forrester men. Yes, she pursued Nick when he wasn't available. Yes, there was the mask-boink -- although Brooke thought Oliver was Ridge. And of course there was Deacon. By Brooke's own admission this week, she wasn't the best role model (she finally owned it!). But what the hell is up with strangers suddenly having put notches on Brooke's bedpost? Now, a similar claim was made that Taylor also had an off-screen promiscuous spree. I'm not sure I buy that either, but Taylor was single and drinking heavily, so it's a little more likely. But Hope declaring strange men were parading through Brooke's house? That is taking 24 years of B&B history and stomping on it! I thought the whole mess with the berries was supposed to clean up Brooke's character?

At least one thing's consistent -- Brooke does have a problem with boundaries. Could you blame Hope when she suggested they write a press release about her virginity after Brooke gave Ridge an update about it right in front of her? Ridge was of the opinion that the whole thing is no one's business but Hope's and Liam's. And he's so right -- even if he still discussed the matter with Taylor.

Taylor, Taylor, Taylor. Did anything that came out of her mouth this week sound remotely sane? She knows damn well Hope and Liam have been together a while -- and that Bill was even willing to kill Amber to preserve that relationship. But now, because Liam saved Steffy's life, they "share a special bond," and Taylor is making a case for pairing them up! Please! Steffy saved Amber's life -- but they haven't even had a scene together since. You'd think they'd be besties, picking out Prada purses together, by Taylor's definition, anyway. And Steffy's. I don't know who needs help more, Taylor or Steffy, but maybe they can get group rates.

And isn't that the thing? Even Brooke pointed out Steffy was just in love with Bill five minutes ago. But all Taylor can yammer about is the "connection" between Steffy and Liam. Taylor should be saying she can see Steffy is seriously on the rebound and that the girl is completely losing touch with reality. But no -- instead she says Steffy finally understands what real love is! I hate when they write Taylor this way! Because she sounds as nutty as Steffy does. And that's not Taylor at all.

You know, I'd almost bought Steffy's feelings for Bill. They'd sparked last year, and I actually accepted that she and Bill could have bonded over rescuing Brooke and Thomas. I figured Bill would go back to Katie, leaving Steffy in the cold, but the dramatic punch it packed when it happened was not lost on me. So for Steffy to switch gears and decide that Liam is the one after a few B&B days simply because he saved her from drowning in a bathtub...well, now she looks like she never cared for Bill at all -- effectively diluting her devotion to him as if it was a capful of bubble bath in said tub.

I don't know what planet Steffy is on, but apparently it ain't this one. I get that she feels her father abandoned her (hooey, honey!) and that she got hurt after making herself vulnerable to Bill. I can almost see where she'd latch on to someone else in an effort to not feel that hurt. But Liam? So soon after declaring her undying love for his father? I'm sorry, but it's so implausible, I can barely watch it. At least Steffy is being a lot more human and isn't just vamping her way through scenes these days. But the whole thing is making Steffy look like a desperate, world-class idiot.

Even Brooke asked whether Steffy's feelings were exaggerated. That was an interesting conversation, wasn't it? I fully expected Steffy to be her usual snippity self with Brooke, but she actually kept it real for the most part. Admitting that she regretted pursuing Bill and that she'd probably be friends with Hope were it not for their mothers' animosity are not things I thought I'd ever hear Steffy say. I wanted to believe she was being sincere, but I just can't co-sign it yet. Though I agreed that she and Brooke shouldn't be discussing Hope's burgeoning sex life.

Not that it stopped Steffy from discussing Hope with Oliver. Oh, my God, is Oliver still mooning over Hope? I thought he had gotten a clue after Amber announced Liam wasn't the father of her baby. How did Oliver ever think he still had a chance? I did like how Steffy teased him about having a "creepy closet" filled with Hope's pictures, and how Oliver joked back that he had them above his bed. Did anybody else notice the palpable chemistry between Steffy and Oliver? Oliver says they're just friends, and made an accurate observation when he told her "you forgot about me as soon as Hope dumped me," but there was something very intriguing about them this week. Who knew?

There was also an interesting tension between Oliver and Thomas at the fashion show. Was it intentional? A certain awkwardness in their conversation, a certain way they were with each other...maybe I was imagining it. But since Uncle Thorne thought Thomas might be gay, I've had to wonder...and all Oliver has done since he arrived is obsess over Hope. The boys are young...maybe they haven't figured themselves out yet. I, for one, would support a Thomas/Oliver pairing! Much more so than I would Oliver and some blonde bimbette day player who Oliver didn't even seem into anyway!

The few characters who actually didn't discuss Hope's virginity were Marcus, Dayzee, and Amber. This story has possibilities, but also suffers from being rushed into. When did Amber develop feelings for Marcus? For that matter, just a couple of months ago Dayzee had feelings for Thomas, but now has promoted Marcus to "boyfriend status." I like Dayzee -- and I liked her balance between "I get that you guys have a baby" and "stay away from my man" -- but it doesn't feel like B&B knows what to do with her. Marcus praised her for running the coffee shop and the shelter -- oh, does she still do that? And what does Marcus do? Dayzee felt Eric was so impressed with Marcus' handling of the press that he'd be made vice president. Yeah, I'd like to see Thorne put up with that!

Finally, if we're at the Bikini Bar, it must be summer. Liam went there to cool his heels (and other parts) after his night of not-passion with Hope, and immediately ran into Steffy, who wanted details. "How is this anybody else's business?" he asked. Amen, brother. (Double amen for telling Steffy, "You're crazy!") Of course, that didn't stop him from ultimately spilling the beans. Steffy opined that sex was a celebration, fireworks -- so she's Dr. Ruth now? She's only ever been with Rick! At least she only enticed Liam into a dance so far, although her "you saved my life, now let me save yours" assertion was the stuff of really bad Harlequin romance novels. As was the nauseating montage we were left with -- the second such montage in a week. Which tells me things are a little slow in the story department on B&B!

So, will Liam save himself for Hope, or do more than the tango with Steffy? Because if he goes for Steffy, his character will be destroyed, as will be his relationship with Hope, and likely Hope will end up back with Oliver. Boring!

Speaking of "doing it," what's doing it and not doing it for you guys right now? Send me your comments -- click here to fire up our email machine -- and they might end up here. Like these!

    • "Really? Steffy going after Hope's man AGAIN? First Oliver, then Liam, then the married Bill, then back to Liam, enough! It's almost as if since she can't have her Dad, she'll take some other Logans man (ew). And you know that once Steffy wins Liam she will totally lose interest..." -- Ellen

    • "Please, someone report Taylor to the AMA...she's got to be the worst example of a doctor that I've ever seen. I'll bet every psychiatrist who ever watched this show cringes when she's on screen." -- Sydney

    • "Steffy is a whack-a-doodle and impossible to relate to...I could almost get behind the Steffy/Bill relationship because I thought he might get her to grow up but I see we're in for more of her prancing around and announcing her intentions to anyone who will listen." -- K

    • "I only began watching B&B in 2002, but I was very intrigued by the show. Wonderful drama, characters I cared about, and overall good storytelling. I barely watch anymore because there's nothing like that in today's show. What we've got is recycled, plot-driven writing, characters who have been reduced to caricatures, out-of-control SORASing, musical couples, among other things..." -- Galit

    • "I grow so tired of Brooke's selective [air] of judgment and no major consequences for her actions. Even though Steffy is wrong in her actions, Brooke needs to take the fifth!" -- Bertrice

    • "Is it just me or is Steffy turning into the one person she dislikes more than anything. She's always talking about Brooke and her dealings with men. What in the hell is she doing? Wow save my life and I am in love with you...so stupid..." -- Dana

    • "This show gives [its couples] such odd treatment. Justin and Donna marry. A hot attractive couple who have not had a love scene. Are Pam and Stephen ever getting married. Bill cheats on an almost perfect wife because Steffy won't walk out on him if he kills someone. Dayzee loves Marcus, then Thomas, now Marcus. Which couple should I root for?" -- MM

    • "I have been a fan of the show for 13 years...I'm just really saddened at what I see these days. Where is the emotion, the reality? Make it more modern, add some fights...and dialogue that doesn't resemble Shakespearean times. Please write some good material before B&B is cancelled like all the other soaps..." -- Life

    • "Hope getting sex tips from Brooke. Priceless!" -- Ron

I'm with Galit and Life -- I was just thinking that B&B started to fall off in about 2002. But it could still be awesome again if they would just listen to us and get with it! In the meantime, here's some Points to Ponder:

Hope agreed she'd marry Liam Spencer -- when did he take his father's name? Isn't he still Liam Cooper?... Why would Steffy think Liam was going to break up with Hope? Although it was amazing that she admitted that her feelings weren't anywhere close to Oliver's... Why did Hope walk in and tell Brooke "Liam proposed" -- Brooke saw it for herself at the fashion show, and could have read about it online if she hadn't... Did anyone else get the sense that the torch had been passed when Ridge gave Liam his blessing? It felt like Ridge was now in Eric's old shoes...and does Hope's frigidity storyline remind anyone of Victoria's 1991 story on Y&R?

"It's not every day a girl gets proposed to on the runway," Ridge told Taylor. Shame they missed mentioning that Ridge himself proposed to Taylor on the runway in '96... Alert the media: Pam was onscreen and not a single mention of a lemon bar!... Of course Amber brought up that she and Dayzee were raised without fathers as a way to manipulate her about Marcus, but there was definitely childhood pain there... If Hope is going to go on about how much Brooke's checkered past is checkering her present, it's a shame Rick and Bridget aren't around for her to commiserate with -- Brooke's actions affected them as much as they affected Hope...

Speaking of Rick, you may know that Jacob Young, the original Rick, is on his way back to B&B! Sorry to see Kyle Lowder go...but maybe now we'll get the real Rick instead of the Snidely Whiplash version we were subjected to. Anything besides putting him back with Steffy works for me! Also, if the Two Scoops spoilers are any indication, Taylor is about to get a man...and I hear Thorne is about to get his own storyline! Anything could happen, so keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!

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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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