Has a soap opera ever devoted so much time and attention to the entry into womanhood of a single character as The Bold and the Beautiful has with Hope Logan? In all my years of watching daytime dramas -- going back to the late 1960s! -- I cannot recall any soap obsessing about the sexual awakening of a young, unmarried lady as if it were the most important subject in everyone's life. This week alone we had Ridge and Brooke pondering Hope's plans; Bill counseling Liam -- again -- about why he doesn't want to commit to the virgin princess; and the family matriarch, Stephanie, sticking her two cents in as well! And by the end of the week, we had to watch Steffy telling Liam that he shouldn't dare have sex with a Logan woman. The only thing missing from all this jibber-jabber was Hope calling in to a sex advice talk show to ask questions about going all the way with Liam!
My jaw dropped while watching Stephanie with Liam. Can you imagine how he felt, trying to be respectful to Steffy's grandmother and yet wanting to wring her neck! Can you blame him for feeling that way? What business is it of Stephanie's to tell Liam whom to love and which woman would make him happy? Stephanie barely knows Liam. In fact, none of us really know much about Liam except that he's Bill's bastard son.
Sorry to be so blunt, but that's the truth. Not so long ago, he was the dorky IT guy who you called when the web connection went down in your office. Now, in a matter of months, he's a chip off the old block, a Spencer with the brilliance to run a magazine without ever having learned a flipping thing about the publishing business! Don't you love how soaps eliminate the need for education? With seemingly no ability to write a letter, Liam is now running a magazine and ordering people around. Maybe he watched old movies about how to be an editor to learn his job?
But back to the question of sex. It was wildly inappropriate for Stephanie to discuss the issue with Liam. He really needed to tell her leave the office and never bring up the subject again. However, Liam remains the most spineless man ever on a soap opera, so he stood there and listened and pretended to care about Stephanie's opinion. Just like he let Steffy cry to him about why he should not accept Hope's invitation to have sex when she finally agreed that she was ready to do the deed.
Let's talk about that for a minute... Hope had a good talk with Aunt Katie, and even though Katie said pretty much was Brooke had in previous weeks, Hope suddenly saw the light. She recognized that she'd allowed Steffy to manipulate her into a corner. Hope had the desire to be with Liam sexually, but was trying to live up to her morals by waiting until marriage. Her abstinence was a laudable goal, but Hope wanted to have sex. And after talking with Katie, Hope realized that she was getting hung up on a technicality. Hope had played into Steffy's hand, and Hope decided to seize control of the situation by arranging a romantic tryst with Liam wherein she'd lose her virginity.
That would have been all well and good, but Hope sabotaged herself by trying one last time to get Steffy to sign the annulment papers. Once again, instead of being definitive, Hope waffled. Maybe she and Liam are really made for each other, because they're both essentially weak-willed individuals, easy manipulated by others. He's a worm, and she's a waffle.
So what happens? Steffy hears about Hope's big plan and strategically counters by calling Hope an adulteress. She further equates Hope's plan to use her body to win Liam to Brooke's history of questionable conquests with Ridge and Eric and the other men she married. As every Forrester lady joyously declares, Brooke's actions were never about love -- she was simply the slut of the valley. Sure enough, as Steffy compared Hope to Brooke, you could see Hope's resolve crumbling. Just the idea that she might be having sex to get Liam was a big turn-off. Hope's emotional desire for Liam was flying right out the window, and even though she set the scene for lovemaking, you better believe she's going to have cold feet!
While Hope was standing in the living room, bathed in candlelight and wearing what looked like a traditional nightgown rather than something from the Intimates line or even a vintage Brooke's Bedroom baby doll, her rival was turning on the water works for Liam. Yep, Steffy resorted to the ultimate female weapon -- tears! She wept to Liam about the fact that if he had intercourse with Hope it would be a mistake. But what made the scene really, really outrageous was this: Steffy claimed that she was crying for Hope!! That's right, she was telling Liam that if he gave in and took Hope's virginity, he'd ultimately be hurting Hope! Steffy's concern wasn't for herself. No, she was still confident that Liam would return to her. Steffy instead played the "Hope will be devastated" card.
What was Liam's reaction? He bought it. Really; it looked like he was taking it all in and believing Steffy. For some reason, Liam is unable -- even after all this time -- to recognize that Steffy will do and say anything to get her way. She is a willful, determined woman. A lot of people, many viewers, admire her resolve. She's strong and determined and stands up for what she desires. However, Steffy is also selfish and vindictive.
Steffy has forgotten how she became Mrs. Liam Spencer in the first place. She used her wiles to get Liam frustrated with Hope before their wedding, remember? Steffy appeared at his bachelor party and flung herself at Liam. He was in the car with Steffy, letting her spew in his ear that Hope didn't deserve him, and he fell for it all -- hook, line, and sinker.
He listened to Steffy and believed that Hope had done him wrong; she was punishing him. She was destroying his manhood. Hope was evil, while available Steffy was the good one. When Liam kissed Steffy, he betrayed the woman to whom he was engaged. Steffy was not thinking then about Hope being hurt, was she? Steffy was only thinking of herself and what she wanted -- Liam.
You know what happened then -- Liam and Hope's instant breakup followed by his flash rebound with Steffy. The subsequent wedding on the mountain -- which we've yet to confirm was legal! - has resulted in some alternate perception of history. Steffy has deemed that her union with Liam was legit while Hope's engagement was a fraud.
It's enough already! Seriously, there should be other, more important things going on in the lives of these people. Like how about getting back to business? We actually did get some grown-up romance this past week thanks to Jackie, Owen, and Bridget. It was like a gust for fresh, clean air blew into the show and everything made realistic sense for a change.
Bridget and Owen met with Brooke and Eric to explain that their union was ending because Owen had never gotten over his love for Jackie. It was a mature decision based on true emotion. Bridget isn't in love with Owen. Owen isn't in love with Bridget. They love their son, Logan, but a "marriage of convenience" didn't satisfy either of them. Both Owen and Bridget recognized that they deserved real love -- with other people!
There's nothing wrong with that storyline. In fact, there's everything right about it. Jackie and Owen reunited because they never stopped being in love. Owen's wanting to be a good dad to Logan was sincere, as was Jackie's unselfishness in sending Owen away to move in with Bridget. Jackie was willing to sacrifice her happiness for Logan's welfare, which was very commendable. Believe me, B&B needs more acts or selflessness like that.
For instance, imagine how Liam might feel about Steffy if she simply signed the annulment papers? Don't you think Liam would be grateful that she was putting his feelings before hers? Wouldn't he feel that Steffy had acted in a mature and reasonable way, displaying the kind of attributes that would make him love her even more (in the long run)?
Instead, Steffy's been obsessed with holding on to Liam by a legality. She's being a clinger, a cloying woman who will keep her hooks in him for as long as the state of California allows. She can say all she wants to about honoring her marriage vows, but the reality is that Liam has made a choice, and Steffy refuses to accept it. Steffy doesn't want to acknowledge or respect Liam's love for Hope. It's insulting to Liam when you think about it. What does he have to do to prove what he's been saying to Steffy about his feelings for Hope? Does he have to be mean and tell Steffy that she's second best to Hope?
Listen, if Steffy is right about Liam being her soul mate, that they are the right pair, Liam will go back to her in time. And if she was a confident and secure woman, she would know that -- clichéd though it sounds -- if you love someone, set them free!
I know what some of you are thinking; you believe that Liam is deceiving himself. You think the pairing of Steffy and Liam is the real thing and Hope and Liam are just an infatuation. Well, I guess we'll find out once this never-ending story reaches some kind of resolution... Please, please, let it be next week!
It would be great to report about other stories on the show this past week, but there weren't any. Where's Pam? What happened to Donna since dumping Nick? Have the Forresters created a new line in the months since Jackie M stole Eric's designs? Are Nick and Jackie rolling in money thanks to the knock-off fashions?
Oh, wait, there was one other tale in the week gone by. Amber drooled all about her love for Rick to Marcus only to then discover that Rick's stalking Steffy! How ridiculous was it when Amber confronted Steffy and told her to leave Rick alone? I think Steffy thought she'd stumbled into the wrong storyline!
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. Contact us at Soap Central. And keep on reading Two Scoops every week!
Meanwhile, here are some letters from the readers!
• How can Hope be so self-righteous, when the last time I checked messing with a married man is a sin. On top of that Steffy is her step-sister. I think Steffy and Hope should move on. Liam is weak little boy, pretending to be a man. I am quite sure they both can do better. - Mary
• Enough of Hopeless and spineless Liam already. Is Rick a joke or what? The only good part so far, is Owen and Jackie back together. Good going, Brooke, now your daughter is your twin. Maybe by the time Liam is totally disgusted it will be too late, either Steffy or Brooke will be with Bill and loser Kate is gone. -- Elaine
What are your thoughts on The Bold and the Beautiful? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.