Ay-carumba: What was that ATV madness in Mexico?

For the Week of January 9, 2012
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B&B Two Scoops: Ay-carumba: Mexican ATV madness
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A vacation in Cabo featured rolling surf, young people basking in the sun, and a tumble from an all-terrain vehicle. Do viewers want to see tropical frolicking, or drama that hits (and takes place) a little closer to home? We'll start the discussion in this week's Two Scoops.

South of the border, down Mexico way... What fun our young folk had basking in the Cabo San Lucas sun! Playing in the surf! Drinking fruity booze! Hiding from each other! Tumbling off motorized ATVs! You call that a holiday?

Still, you knew that Steffy wasn't going to die from her fall for one very salient reason: cosmetics. Did you notice that her eye makeup was up to Kardashian standards? No way a girl with that kind of magazine-ready eyeliner and lip gloss was going to meet her maker. No, Steffy was beautiful and comatose...like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. In fact, I'm surprised we didn't see Liam give her the kiss of life. Instead he gave her the hand-squeeze of life. With the flutter of her heavily mascara-ed eyelashes, Steffy was back. No aftereffects, no drool on her chin, no sign that she'd suffered more than a bump on the head. All better.

Leave it to Bill, though, to turn this potentially serious situation into an opportunity to manipulate his son. Does Bill's desire to pull Liam's strings come from his feeling that he missed out on Liam's childhood -- or is he just power-hungry? He's really the worst kind of parent. Poor Liam; he's only known his father for a little over a year, and now the man is dominating his life. What would Bill do if Liam really told him to back off -- and meant it! But Liam continues to be a Caspar Milquetoast, unable or unwilling to stand up and be a man.

Liam nearly found his spine (and his "family jewels") while waiting in the hospital. And no, his spine was not in the orthopedic wing! No, when Liam confessed to Hope that he loved her and always would, I believed -- as I'm sure you might have, too -- that he would back up that declaration with some action. But you know that's not going to happen now because of Bill's machinations in the x-ray room.

Seriously, what physician is going to accept a bribe like the one Bill was offering? And what does it say about the show that they besmirched Mexican hospitals in general by suggesting that a doctor would accept a million-dollar payoff to falsify Steffy's x-rays? If the doctor had any gumption, he would have torn up the check and told Bill to go back north of the border because that kind of dirty business doesn't fly in his hospital! But no; Dollar Bill throws his money around and evil things happen.

So instead of Liam believing that Steffy was well enough to accept that he cannot go on with a marriage built on a lie, Liam's going to be indebted to staying with Steffy because any shock to her system might cause a brain tumor. Bill will lay on the guilt, and Ridge will add his two cents; Liam will fall apart like a house of cards and remain Mr. Steffy Forrester. This is an ancient soap opera trope; I think I remember seeing it on Love of Life...and All My Children...and Ryan's Hope...and every other soap I can recall since childhood! Well, you can't accuse Bradley Bell of not being a student of soap history.

Before everyone wound up in the hospital, the Cabo San Lucas remote was fun. It looks like a gorgeous place to hang out, especially if you look as good in a bikini as Hope and Steffy do. And how great was it that there wasn't a gondola in sight! There was unrelenting mariachi music, yes, but no gondolas from hell. Still, I didn't really buy Hope going on the trip with Thomas in the first place. And her sucking down the umbrella drinks -- "They're free, they're free!" -- didn't ring true. Hope's not that kind of girl. For her to suddenly get wasted and dangerously silly with Thomas was out of character for her. Hope doesn't lose control.

But then if Hope hadn't gotten drunk, we wouldn't have had the attack of the ATV's. Oy, what a contrived scene that was! First of all, wouldn't the hotel require some kind of protection for riding those things, like helmets or safety jackets? The four of them were in swimsuits, completely vulnerable. And they'd been drinking. You know, there's a known history of people being killed on ATVs when they flip over. I don't know; maybe that's how it's done in Cabo, but it would seem to be a dangerous policy. And now what's to stop Steffy from suing the hotel for renting her the ATV that nearly killed her? She could end up owning that resort!

But maybe I'm being too technical; the point wasn't liability, it was the chase. It made no sense for Thomas and Hope to race off with Liam following them and Steffy following all of them. If Liam had just stayed put, Thomas and Hope would have eventually returned to the hotel. Liam could have sat in the lobby and waited for Hope. But no; he chased after her. Once again, I have to wonder where Liam's brain is? This man is always the victim of circumstances. He doesn't use an ounce of critical reasoning. He just goes off and does things...like putting Hope's ring on Steffy's finger without considering the consequences. What kind of an adult man is he supposed to be? He's a patsy for Steffy and Bill over and over again, and his own worst enemy!

Speaking of adult men, what's the deal with Thomas? Is he still delusional from the tropical berries? Has he been stuck in the Forrester Creations basement too long? Why is he suddenly so gaga for Hope and only Hope? Yes, she's sweet and pretty, but so are Madison and Dayzee and the other girls he's dated. Surely he can't be head over heels for Hope just because Liam wants her.

The bottom line is that Hope is not just another girl; she's his stepsister-in-law. Hope considers Ridge to be her father, which means Thomas and Hope have the same man they call Dad. Thomas should not be attracted to Hope, and he sure shouldn't be offering her an engagement ring. With very little thought, Thomas allowed himself to become a part of Steffy and Bill's master plan to keep Liam and Hope apart.

It was ridiculous for Thomas to act like that, to be manipulated by Steffy. Even if he thinks he might be in love with Hope, is that reason for marriage? These characters are really young. Hope is just out of high school. Don't they want to live a little? Don't even get me started on the fact that Hope should be in college!

Taylor and Ridge were justifiably fearful that Steffy might die young, the way Phoebe had. I understood their angst. They had to have serious flashbacks from the time when Phoebe was killed in the car crash. However, Ridge and Taylor have done nothing to keep Steffy from being reckless. They talked about her need to seize life, to be daring, in part because of Phoebe's untimely death. But isn't it their responsibility as parents to teach Steffy and Thomas about boundaries? What about being safe and careful? What about respecting other people's lives? If Steffy hadn't been so intent on keeping Liam from seeing Hope, the ATV accident would never have happened. And if Thomas had been more mature, he wouldn't have been a pawn in Steffy's game playing.

Here's what I would have preferred to see happen in Cabo. When Steffy learned that Hope was there, she sat down and told Liam the truth and announced that she had booked them into a different resort so they could have avoided running into Hope and Thomas. That might not have been dramatic, but it would have been realistic. And mature. And responsible. Liam would have agreed with Steffy; after all, she was making a reasonable request. Instead of mature drama, we got a bad I Love Lucy episode! "WAH-WAH, I fell off the ATV. I'm sorry, Ricky." Puh-leeze. This was as bad as the Aspen gondola nonsense.

I'd love to tell you all about the other big stories from last week...but there weren't any. Forrester Creations is still in trouble because of the stolen designs. Jackie M is still intent on stealing more designs. Thorne is still stuck in the basement with no future. Is Oliver still on the show? What about Marcus? They only seem to appear for turkey dinners. There was nothing about Nick and Donna and Pam since the eggnog incident. Speaking of that...wouldn't it have been great if Donna recognized that her attacker -- Jerry, the mischievous elf -- because she smelled Pam's perfume and pulled off the disguise?

We did get some of the Logan sisters, with Brooke and Katie yapping about Steffy and Hope and Liam and Thomas and Bill. They talk and talk and talk, but Katie doesn't seem to be getting anywhere with Bill. He's still doing things behind her back and lying to her face. She's a smarter woman than that. Just wait until she learns about the x-ray switcheroo, and she will. Probably in about three months. By then, Steffy will have another medical situation that will ensure that Liam stay with her. She'll be pregnant with his baby. Just you watch!

Well, now that the holidays are over and the new year is upon us, what can we expect from The Bold and the Beautiful? Other than Steffy getting pregnant, I think Rick is going to be a bigger player. Jacob Young has been idling on the sidelines, but it's time for him to get a storyline. What do you think? Share your prognostications with me... Your comments are always welcome at Soap Central, so stay in touch. And tell me which other characters you want to see fixed or changed, or return to the show. Contact us at Soap Central. And keep on reading Two Scoops every week!

Meanwhile, here's some letters from the readers!

    • The reason we love this show is because it's so scandalous and preposterous. So why do I dread watching it instead of enjoy it? I've realized that it's the pacing. Being a 30 min show B&B has always been rapid fire. But the concentration of one theme at a time is really dragging the pacing and enjoyment of the show. Rather than moving stories on multiple fronts the show focuses on one theme at a time and then drops it and picks up another one. So that when they go back to it is seems disjointed. Case in point, Thorne and Taylor dating and possibly taking over Forrester Creations, Jackie M stealing Forrester designs, Amber and Rick's design collaboration. By the time they pick up these treads again we'll have lost out interest invested in the story. Plus we want to watch the developments progress naturally and not forced to believe it happened while we were watching the other themes. - Jay

    • The reason we love this show is because it's so scandalous and preposterous. So why do I dread watching it instead of enjoy it? I've realized I am so sick of Brook and Taylor ruminating endlessly about Liam and Steffy and Hope. I am also sick of hope and Liam "remembering" over and over and over! They need to resolve this and move on! I often wonder if the actors think this repeating of lines over and over is as disgusting as I do. As the little boy in the sock commercials says, "I'm sick of it!" -- Annie

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Allison J. Waldman
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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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