The battle of the milk chocolate fountain

For the Week of February 20, 2012
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The battle of the milk chocolate fountain
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This was some kind of catfight: a bout where you don't eat dirt, but chocolate! Were you rooting for Steffy or Hope in the chocolate showdown? And what about Rick's sticking his nose in Steffy's annulment? Check out our columnist's thoughts on those subjects, as well as Ridge and Eric, and more in this week's Two Scoops.

Hmm...quite a week on The Bold and the Beautiful, don't you think? Let's start with the last moment of Friday's show, shall we? Do you really think Steffy is so gullible that she'd fall for Rick's hot kiss and just sign those annulment papers? Do you really think that she wasn't suspicious that he just happened to have a clean copy of the annulment papers right there? How insulting is that to the character of Steffy, to think that she's not clever and crafty and was taught at the knee of her namesake, Grandma Stephanie?

On Monday, you just know that once Rick, Hope, and Brooke stop congratulating each other about Rick's scheming ways, Steffy's going to walk into that office and laugh in their faces. She's going to tell them to check out the signature, because she probably signed with the name Betty Boop or maybe I'm-a No-Fool!

What makes Rick think that Steffy is still vulnerable to him? Does he really think that he's God's gift to women that any girl would fall for his intense gaze? He sure was acting like he could seduce Steffy to do anything he wanted her to do, even though he and Steffy haven't been hot and heavy in years. In fact, Steffy's been over Rick for a long time. Lately, she's been so crazy about the Spencer men that she hasn't even blinked in Rick's direction. And yet we're now supposed to think that Rick could get her to swoon for him with just a deep, soulful kiss and some flattery?

But let's look back at earlier in the week. What was that ridiculous wedding at Ridge and Brooke's all about? First of all, are we really supposed to think that Brooke stayed up all night and whipped up a perfectly lovely, albeit intimate, wedding for her daughter just like that? Did Brooke have magic elves in the basement to make it all happen? On Monday, Hope announced that she's getting married, and 24-hours later, Mommy has it all arranged. Yeah, right, in what world? Oh right: the soap world! How insultingly unrealistic! I think this might have been the dumbest instant wedding ever on the show, and they've had a few.

I did have a question or two about this instant wedding, however, like did Hope and Liam bother to get a marriage license? I know he didn't bother with one in Aspen, so clearly Liam has no idea of the legalities involved in getting married. You see, I seem to recall that when I was married -- 22 years ago this week, congratulations to me and my hubby, Leslie! -- we both had to go to the license bureau and prove that we were legally single. We had to sign a document stating that we had not been married or if we had been, prove that we'd gotten a divorce or annulment.

Well, we know that Liam hasn't divorced or annulled his marriage to Steffy, but I'm still wondering if that marriage in Aspen was even legal. Maybe that's what this divorce action will uncover, that Liam and Steffy were never really married.

Of course, they think they were, and while it's somewhat understandable why Steffy is hanging onto Liam -- she thinks she's madly in love with him -- where is her pride? She's acting like she'll take Liam back under any circumstances. It was a relief to hear Thomas and Rick point that out to Steffy that she deserves better. Why is Steffy so intent on clinging to the vestiges of her marriage to Liam for six months while wishing and hoping that Liam might change his mind and want her back?

If Ridge sees a lot of himself in Liam, why doesn't he advise his daughters to stay away from him? Seriously, Ridge is presumably pretty self-aware at this point in his life. He knows how badly he's hurt both Brooke and Taylor with his ping-ponging back and forth from one to the other. If Ridge suspects that Liam has the same kind of indecisive nature, if he truly thinks that Liam is in love with both Steffy and Hope, he should definitely want his daughters to stay away from Liam because he's going to break both their hearts. Liam is bad for Hope and Steffy if he's really another Ridge.

By the way, while it's sweet and quaint that Hope wants to wait until marriage to have sex with Liam, shouldn't an experienced woman like Brooke -- or Aunt Katie or Aunt Donna -- advise Hope about the wisdom of having pre-marital sex? Hear me out, folks. I'm not saying that it should be wanton sex. Hope believes that she and Liam will be married for life. But what if she waits until the wedding night, only to discover that she doesn't like sex with Liam? Granted, in the old days, a woman's virginity was a thing to be treasured, but a lot of that was based on the fear of pregnancy. Once the pill was discovered, women were free to experiment before marriage with a chosen sexual partner.

Don't get me wrong; the romantic fantasy they're selling us is that Hope will make sweet love to Liam and it'll be magnificent. Fireworks will go off, and Hope will emerge the morning after no longer a girl-child, but a full-fledged woman -- blissfully in love and satisfied sexually. However, reality is reality, and the fact is that not every first time is terrific. Sorry if I'm spoiling the soapy, sappy fantasy, but why not be honest? Liam knows that he and Steffy are sexually compatible, but as Steffy keeps implying, Liam and Hope may not be great in the sack! That would be a heck of a story; Liam and Hope finally do the deed and the next day they can't honestly look at each other because they both realize that they're incompatible between the sheets?

So, what's the deal with Ridge and Forrester Creations? This past week, he was suddenly trying to push Eric out of the couture line, and it made me wonder why... What is his motivation? Ridge is already the head man, he's the CEO, he's got all the power. Does he really think Eric isn't talented enough to keep up with him? What about the fact that everyone was hailing Eric's "stolen" line as the greatest work Eric produced? Was that all hogwash? If it was really brilliant, why not put Eric to work on a new line? Instead, suddenly, Ridge wants his father out of the business.

And if Ridge is making a power move, why doesn't he just confront Eric? Why is he going behind his back? Would Ridge appreciate it if Eric did something like that to him? It doesn't really add up, although there has been a vibe of discord between father and son for some time now. When Ridge was poised to marry Taylor last time -- that was after Brooke and Thomas had the LSD berries on the island -- Eric was Ridge's choice as best man. Eric took the opportunity to blast Ridge for having destroyed Eric's marriage to Brooke.

Then there was Eric's innocent liaison with Jackie. It was innocent because all that passed between them was a kiss. And yet Ridge went into emotional overdrive and threatened Eric, telling him that if he cheated on Stephanie, Ridge was going to ex-communicate Eric from the family! It was so out of whack and over the top that I wondered then where that reaction had come from.

Brad Bell provided some backstory scenes that suggested that Eric had been a serial cheater who'd abandoned Stephanie throughout Ridge's childhood. That might have been a great storyline if Ridge as a man had rebelled against Eric to become an ultra-conservative monogamist. However, Ridge is as much a scoundrel as Eric ever was. His going after Eric for seeking comfort from Jackie was like the pot calling the kettle black! Who was Ridge to be the moral authority over his father?

So, it seems to me there's more than a little bad blood between Ridge and Eric. This latest attempt by Ridge to throw his weight around at the office was slimy at best. Another thing about his maneuver that struck me odd was Ridge choosing to go to Rick. Since Ridge considers himself Eric's son, why would he ask Rick to "speak to your father" as though Rick were more a son than Ridge? Was this just an excuse to give Jacob Young a scene with Ronn Moss?

There was a different scene last week that made me cringe: Hope meeting with the young girls inspired by Hope for the Future. Seriously, has Brad Bell recently met any 16-year-old girls? My niece is 16 and pretty typical, I think. The notion that a kid like her would be wearing only Hope for the Future fashions and following the tenets of Hope Forrester is laughable. It's like Brad is living in a vacuum.

Hope is nobody's idea of a role model because she's nothing but a beautiful, privileged child of Hollywood. Even if you want to buy the tale that she's a pseudo celebrity because she's done some press conferences and appeared on the runway, do you think she has the cultural influence of a Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian? Um, no! She's not even Snooki! There's no way Hope is "powerful." And remember, she's only a couple of years older than those girls. She had a graduation party not that long ago.

Oh, and while we're talking family, what has happened to R.J.? Did they send him to military school? Maybe he's at ice hockey camp (oh, wait, that's Kyle on The Young and the Restless!)... Perhaps now that Bill's niece Caroline, Karen's daughter, is coming on the show, they're going to be SORAS'ing R.J. so he'll have a blonde dream girl to fall in love with?

Speaking of characters who we've not seen in a while... Why did Thorne send chocolate to Taylor for Valentine's Day, but not himself? Where was he? That seemed bizarre to me. Most guys want to be kissed and thanked for coming up with the romantic candy hearts and flowers. Also, while the chocolate fountain was impressive, haven't we seen the two girls having a chocolate food fight before? Remember last year on The Young and the Restless...Sharon and Phyllis and the party at Gloworm? I think it was even Valentine's Day!

I can imagine exactly how this happened: Brad Bell walked into the prop department and saw the fountain. He snapped his fingers and said, "Yes, we'll use the chocolate fountain bit again! Get our money's worth from that purchase. ...Nobody will remember that we did it on Y&R!"

You know, you can't get enough of girl-on-girl catfight in milk chocolate! How yummy! I did appreciate that after the encounter, Steffy was joking about using cream rinse to get the liquid chocolate out of her hair! Of course, wouldn't it have been even better if the teenagers who were idolizing Hope for being a role model asked her about the telltale signs of chocolate in her hair? "What do you mean you lost it with your ex-step-sister and fought with her using liquified chocolate from a fountain? Is that the right way to handle a dispute, Hope? Is that what you're telling us young, impressionable girls?"

So, that's it for now. Please share your thoughts with me about what's going to happen in the weeks ahead... 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. Drop me a note -- and keep on reading Two Scoops every week!

Meanwhile, here are some letters from the readers!

    • I just started watching B&B after AMC/OLTL went off the air. The storylines don't drag out like ABC, but clearly they need better writers. So far, I like Liam with Steffy! Most of the characters are a little stiff. And whoever does make-up and hair for the older cast members needs to just walk off the job. -- AJ

    • Normally I just like to watch the show day to day to see what's going to happen next; but this thing with Liam, Hope and Steffy has got me to the point where I don't care to watch anymore! Liam was supposed to marry Hope in the first place; I can't stand Steffy any more because of her manipulation. I know this is a soap and this is what happens, but it's telling young girls that watch the show they are going to lose the man they love if they don't give it up. And I'm tired of Brooke being picked on, too. And also I think Ridge has really failed Hope; the only father figure she has! Hope should not want to be with Liam anyway. He has feelings for Steffy. Maybe Oliver would be a better man for her! -- Sue

    • Brad Bell needs to go ahead and let Liam and Hope have a beautiful wedding and honeymoon. He can let them go into the background for a while and return with a whirlwind marriage with regular problems that has nothing to do with sex. Brooke and all her men have given me enough of that. I would like to see a Bill and Steffy romance that would be more exciting and would definitely of interest to us in the older generation. Katie is no saint when it comes to taking a man that's not hers, so I don't care if she and Bill get back together or not. -- Ruth

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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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