The modern Stone Age family

by Mike
For the Week of February 27, 2012
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The modern Stone Age family
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Fred and Wilma and Betty and Barney sat around talking about Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, with Dino and Schleprock joining in. The Flintstones? No, B&B! Have a yabba-dabba-doo time with Two Scoops' Mike!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you double date with the devil? Did you give mouth-to-mouth to a relationship that flatlined years ago? Did you decide you had to add your two cents to a topic that made no sense? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!

Once upon a time, there was a CBS soap opera called The Bold and the Beautiful. It ran from 1987 until about 2011. They had a canvas full of interesting characters in multiple storylines. Then, suddenly, that show disappeared and was replaced by The Hope/Liam/Steffy Show. Or, if you will, Two Girls and a Guy. Give this trio their own spin-off already, so the rest of us can watch what used to be B&B!

Does Brad Bell pay no attention to fans' opinions? I mean, I get that someone in the creative arts can't just kowtow to everyone else's desires. Believe me, I've been there. But when the general consensus says, "This storyline sucks!", that's the time to quietly wrap it up and move on, not ramp it up even more. So many of us are sick of this story. There was an interesting New York Times article on the state of soaps where Bell was quoted as saying, "The old theory says: Keep things moving slowly, because if people are only watching two or three times a week, they need to know what's happening. Our new theory is: Something has to happen every day, and it's more important to feel as though you've missed something by not watching."

That may explain the still overly fast pace. But "something has to happen every day"? What exactly are we missing? These people do nothing but talk about the same thing every episode! "We're no longer the schmaltzy, fluffy romance of the '80s," Bell went on to say. "Women are more independent and edgier. The dialogue is clever and witty." Really? Katie's so edgy that she lovingly arranged a double date with a man she walked out on after he locked her in a tower! You call that independent? Codependent is more like it.

Oh, I was horrified. Never mind that the double date was obviously contrived so four grown adults could talk about nothing but the Leffy/Lope romance. Never mind that Ridge was actually funny trying to get out of the dinner, or that at least some of Bill's own edge came back during it. What the hell were they doing there? Katie left Bill! He imprisoned her to keep her from telling Liam the truth about the doctored MRI! They never resolved that! What crappy storytelling. And how can Katie sit there giggling over wine with Ridge when what she's really sitting on is the fact that her husband made Ridge think his daughter was dying? I want repercussions! Why is Bill being given a free pass on this?

He was given free booze, too, because he was toasted by the time he barged into Liam's. Okay, it was kind of interesting that he was even more out of control than usual. But he ruined his brief moment of trying to smooth things over with Liam when he typically reverted to badgering the kid about Steffy. And now he's elevated it to the level of encouraging him to sex Steffy because they're still married! He spoke of cavemen -- well, Bill sure acted like one. I'll concede his point that ultimately Hope may not live up to expectations in bed, but he practically told Liam to grab Steffy by the hair and drag her to his cave. Wishful thinking much, Bill?

And yes, I know your jaws were on the floor along with mine with what else Bill was thinking about -- Brooke's boobs. What's going on there? Was it just to illustrate Bill's point about everyone having fantasies? Or is that noise the construction crew outside paving the way for a new story? At least it was different. There are rumors flying that "Caroline 2.0" is going to hook up with Ridge -- hope it's not true, but it would leave Brooke available for Bill. Lord, are we actually talking about the grownups?

The most grown-up of grownups on B&B is Stephanie, and, while I was glad to see her, I was really disappointed that even La Forrester got dragged into weighing in about Leffy/Lope. I can see how Stephanie might favor Steffy and feel disdain toward Hope, the result of Brooke and Deacon's affair. But Stephanie did help deliver Hope, so you'd think there'd be a special affection. And why would Queen Stephanie, of all people, deride Hope for having morals? How many billions of times has Stephanie railed at Brooke for not having any? You'd think she'd applaud Hope for not wanting to be like Brooke and question why Steffy is doing such a good imitation. But no...and it was completely out of character.

The one thing Stephanie did right during that conversation was remind everyone what a rat Rick is. Or, was. It wasn't so much that Rick factored into Phoebe's death (the way Taylor factored into Darla's, and everybody forgave her, thank you very much) -- it was the crap Rick pulled after that, manipulating Steffy to get back at Ridge. But why does Stephanie now feel she has to step in and keep Rick from going after Steffy again? I seriously think the entire adult cast of B&B needs to stage an intervention on Brad Bell, because all they get to do is talk about Steffy, Hope, and Liam. It's ridiculous!

Also ridiculous is this latest thing of Rick trying to seduce Steffy into signing the annulment papers. Rick has no business in this storyline. We already went there in 2009, and it was horrible. Like too many other attempted pairings on B&B, Rick and Steffy are related by marriage. Does this show always have to go the pseudo-incestuous route? Talk about a bad reputation to earn. The only thing I liked was that Steffy didn't fall for it. Her signing "Loser" was a nice touch. And how dumb was it of Rick to not check the papers before he left?

Which brings up some other important points. First, where did Rick get a second set of annulment papers -- free at 7-Eleven with the purchase of a Slurpee? Not to mention, divorce papers have already been filed -- would annulment papers actually cancel those out? And let's talk about this divorce. Everyone is harping on the fact that it won't go through for six months. Really? I seem to recall Donna and Eric didn't have to wait that long. How about when Whip and Taylor got divorced? Or, most infamously, when Brooke signed divorce papers and Ridge was set to marry Taylor the next day? Now the Kiddie Patrol has to wait six months? Something's really inconsistent in the state of L.A.

So, the whole bit of Ridge trying to edge Eric, the most senior member of Forrester, out as a designer was merely to fix it so Rick could work on Steffy's Intimates line. Or, more accurately, so Rick could work on Steffy. Why would he think Steffy would give him the time of day after the way he screwed her over? How I wish the show would play up the fact that Steffy didn't start acting like a vixen until Rick did her wrong. I also don't think the scenario works with a different actor. I know a lot of you don't like Jacob Young in the role -- I do, but he's being wasted, and it's just too weird that Steffy's ex has a different face. This Rick's history is with Amber, and that's where it should stay. And what happened to Rick's interest in Amber? Now his con job is evolving into an actual interest in Steffy?

Thankfully, we're mostly seeing a stronger Steffy, and she's laughing off Rick's overbearing and completely obvious overtures. But how about her claim, "I know what love is"? Seriously? She fell in love with Liam instantly because he saved her from drowning in a bath she was taking to comfort herself because Bill rejected her an hour before! "I never thought I wanted to be a Spencer," she told Rick tearfully. Uh huh. Then what do you call eighteen months of chasing after Bill? Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

And, of course, Liam and Hope show up at the same eatery where Rick and Steffy are. How weird was it that the foursome crossed over to each other's tables to have separate arguments? Brad Bell calls his dialogue "clever and witty," but I call it repetitious and going around in circles. The only thing worthwhile that came out of the Bikini scenes was Hope recounting Phoebe's death and Rick's involvement in it. Liam wouldn't have known that history if Steffy never opened up about it. Although, as Hope hadn't been aged yet, she would have been "little" when all that went down. Still, it gave an interesting perspective: "Steffy makes some weird choices sometimes," Hope offered. Amen, sister.

Not that Hope wasn't making weird choices of her own. First she raged that she couldn't wait six months because she wanted to be there for Liam in every way right now, damn it! Then she seemed to accept it when she told Liam that they'd be going home together sometime soon. Later, having scoffed at all of Steffy's manipulations time and again, Hope begged Rick to "come through for her," manipulating Steffy into the annulment. "I'll love you forever," she gushed, as if Rick were scoring Madonna tickets for her or something.

Then, she wavered on her abstinence stance and almost went home with Liam, only to pull back again, citing her own values but making sure to add she was "trying to do something significant at Forrester." "It matters because our customers matter!" she insisted. That's hardly a reason to keep one's virginity intact. So we've got Hope keeping the lock on the candy shop, Liam thinking about Steffy's, and Brooke inexplicably going from supporting Hope's position to telling her she better get with it and give it up to Liam before she loses him! We're right back where we started last fall -- which wasn't a good place to begin with. And if Liam has taken Bill's advice and gone over to play caveman with Steffy, then he really will be nothing more than a hormone with legs. Sad.

I know you guys have your own opinions. So don't hide 'em! Click the link and tell me what you think. Your thoughts:

    • I have been a fan of B&B for years. I am now ready to walk away from the show...young women and men should be proud to make great life choices not belittled because of their choices to do the right thing. Shame on you Bold and the Beautiful." -- Linda

    • "...This thing with Liam, Hope, and Steffy [has] got me to the point where I don't care to watch anymore!" -- Sue

    • "KUDOS for again telling Brad Bell to please stop the kiddie half-hour and bring the grownups on...all the fans I've spoken not want a repeat [of Brooke/Ridge/Taylor]..." -- Nonniepat

    • "Can't Liam get a quickie divorce in another country? Then he does not have to wait 6 months..." -- Nancy

    • "Hope should [have] told those girls who looked up to her that Liam is married and yet her fiancé...good luck Steffy keep fighting for your husband!" -- Delma

    • "The show should not be written around [these] three characters anymore, enough already!" -- Elaine

    • "This is another soap I am about to quit taping...boring. Sick of Hope and her controlling mother. Ridge needs to stand up and be strong. Love Eric, Stephanie, Nick and his mom. Where is Thorne?" -- Kathleen

    • "Getting soooooooo bored with The Bold and the Beautiful. I mean come on writers move on to something else. So sick and tired of this Steffy and Hope drama." -- Jewel

    • "I am also a former viewer of OLTL who turned to B&B...I am enjoying the show, but one thing that I find a bit annoying is that everyone repeats the same thing over and over again. Hope and Steffy have the same argument about Liam [on Monday]. You can be sure they will say the same things on Wednesday's show..." -- Carin

    • "MAKE IT STOP! OMG, if I have to watch one more scene of Liam and Hope, or everyone else talking about Liam and Hope I am going to lose my freakin' mind." -- Mary

Yeah, I knew it wasn't just me. Let's finish 'er up with some Points to Ponder:

Guess you can't have champagne on-set without the microphones picking up the bubbles. Stephanie and Steffy sounded like they were standing in a glass of Alka-Seltzer. And Steffy can just drink at the office? Just how much did she guzzle during this soap day, anyway? Most of said bottle, more drinks at Bikini, more drinks at home, then putting out more champagne for Liam? And here only Bill was toasted... Is Bill really carrying Liam's necklace around, hoping he'll wear it again? And why did he change his shirt before going out to Bikini? No one else in the unlikely quartet changed.

Loved Ridge and Brooke recalling that she was "the caterer's daughter" -- especially nice with the 25th coming up... Steffy refers to the loft as "where I used to live." What, for two weeks? And I still say Liam never officially took the name "Spencer," so her annulment papers and credit card should say "Stephanie Forrester-Cooper"... "Rick is a terrific guy," Hope told Liam. Really? Maybe ten years ago under Justin Torkildsen, but not since Kyle Lowder took Rick to the Dark Side... Strange that Hope would say Phoebe got behind the wheel because she was "upset about something" -- she knows everything else that happened but not that Phoebe was pissed about Rick seeing Taylor?

Great lines: "I'm afraid your ego won't fit in my office," Steffy sassed to Rick... "As if," Brooke said, letting her Valley-speak show through while discussing whether a real romance would develop between Rick and Steffy... "Come on, Brooke, you didn't wait?" Bill snarked while on the subject of virginity... "I just wish everyone would stay out of it," Liam lamented regarding his relationships with Hope and Steffy. Me, too, buddy!

The Hope/Liam/Steffy Show sadly doesn't show any signs of letting up. But I hear Amber is going to get into the mix, and will be none too happy to see Rick busting a move on Steffy. Not that the tentative Rick/Amber reunion isn't underdeveloped to all hell, but considering Steffy saved Amber's life last year (pity B&B ignored the opportunity to make them besties), it might get interesting. Hey, Amber's roots are trailer trash, plus she took on Sheila more than once -- maybe we might finally get a real catfight!

They say nothing lasts forever, so surely one fine day we won't have to watch the Kiddie Patrol anymore. I'm hoping the arrival of "Caroline 2.0" will shake things up a bit. And I can't help finding myself looking forward to the big 25th anniversary episode March 23. So all is not lost. 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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