In the world of soap opera, you must have villainy. Good cannot thrive unless it has to face evil, and in the case of The Bold and the Beautiful, good girl Hope Logan has become the target of one extremely evil man, Bill Spencer. Despite the fact that Bill's one and only son Liam is madly in love with Hope, Bill has decided that Hope is going to be the ruination of his child and, therefore, Bill must destroy Hope.
Okay, we've seen this story before, only the parent who was out of control was Stephanie and the object of her hatred was Brooke. How many years did Stephanie plot to push Brooke out of Ridge's bed and back to the Valley? Stephanie still barely tolerates Brooke, and is still convinced that Ridge would be better off with Taylor. It doesn't matter that Ridge chose Brooke as his lifetime partner; Stephanie still thinks she's right.
And so does Bill. He is bound and determined to do serious harm to Hope. There's something seriously out of whack about this entire storyline. The passion Bill is showing to drive Hope into a psychiatric hospital has come out of the blue. It's not like the situation with Amber, when she tried to entrap Liam by making him think she was having his baby. Bill's madness at that time, which nearly turned homicidal, was at least based on his feelings of protectiveness for Liam. Bill knew that Amber was a grifter and that Liam was her victim.
That's not the case with Hope. She's basically an innocent kid. She's like Little Red Riding Hood, and Bill is the big, bad wolf. Why on earth does he want to be so cruel to this girl who's only sin is that she loves Bill's son and wants to make Liam happy? All right, I understand that Bill thinks Steffy is a better choice for Liam's future, but doesn't Liam have some say in what he wants for himself?
Bill really ticked me off last week, but he wasn't the only B&B character that had me up in arms. What about Taylor; or should I say Dr. Taylor Hayes? As a psychiatrist, how could she stand in Bill's office and let him go off on Hope the way he did about her mental issues. Bill characterized Hope's seeing a psychiatrist as a bad thing. Furthermore, he claimed that her using antianxiety medication was proof that she was an unstable and weak woman. Whatever's happening to Hope is out of her control. It's an illness. If she had cancer or some other ailment, would Bill hate her the same way?
But where was Taylor to defend her profession? What psychiatrist would allow an ignorant tirade like that to go unchallenged? Taylor made a tepid response because her loyalties are split and she wants Liam to return to Steffy, but that did not justify her letting Bill denigrate Hope for seeking help to deal with her anxiety issues.
Taylor should have been irate after listening to Bill's foolish, ill-informed rant. What does Bill know about Hope's condition that he could be so dismissive and cruel? If Liam were in need of a psychiatrist to deal with the stress of being in love with two women at the same time? Would Bill call him a weakling? What if a doctor prescribed medication for Liam to cope with his problems? Would Bill call his son a pill-popping loser? Bill's attitude about mental illness is insulting. This is the 21st century, yet he was talking like an unenlightened bully from 1912 instead of 2012!
Instead of showing some spunk and letting Bill have it, Taylor let Bill prattle on like an overblown windbag. I would have had more respect for her if she'd walked out of his office and told him that he was a jerk and she didn't want to waste another minute of her time with him.
Taylor certainly had the wherewithal to stand up to Bill; he's not in a position to hurt her and holds nothing over her head. The same cannot be said of Bill's Spencer Publishing flunkies, Oliver and Ramona. These two "journalists," and I use that term loosely, are just stooges who clearly have no scruples. When Bill says jump, they respond, "how high?"
But I seriously have to question this storyline on ethical grounds. After all, they both know what they're doing is wrong. They're not treating Hope with any respect or an ounce of concern for her feelings or safety. Remember how the press was responsible for Princess Diana's death? Is that what Bill wants to happen to Hope, to see the pack of paparazzi chase Hope all over Aspen until something horrible happens? Suppose she'd been run over by a car while evading the media? She might have died.
Still, I'll give B&B credit for trying to be creative. The chase scene in Aspen, to the tune of The Monkees' song "The Last Train to Clarksville" was played for laughs. It was filmed in a wacky way, in rhythm to the music and with Hope pretending to be part of a couple having a drink, for instance, to show that it was all light-hearted and sweet. But the truth is that it's really not a comical thing to be surrounded by cameramen and reporters who treat you like a thing and not a person.
Bill has malevolent motives. He's using the press to attack Hope. It's not about testing her mettle to see if she's a strong woman. This is about breaking her down so that she's forced to pop a pill.
Liam remains a spineless jellyfish. I know I've said this before, but really, don't you agree? The week before, he let Steffy kiss him at the Bikini Bar. That was out of line. He should have pushed Steffy away and said in no uncertain terms, "Don't ever do that again! I'm with Hope now, and I don't want you to kiss me that way." Instead, he let Steffy call the shots and dominate him with her cloying affection.
It's understandable that she loves him. It's perfectly clear that's what she wants, and if he's not going to tell her to back off, she's going to continue being aggressive. The way I see it, Liam can't "have his cake and eat it, too." He made his choice, and if he really loves Hope, he should do everything in his power to make her his only priority, and that includes telling Steffy to stop pursuing him. Is it really that hard to just say the words and mean them? That's what a smart man would do -- take control of the situation.
While we're on the subject of smart moves, it's time for Rick to get a clue. You know, when Kyle Lowder played Rick, he wasn't this dumb. Jacob Young must bring out the stupid side of Brad Bell because Rick has turned into an airhead. He's completely in the dark about Amber, even though they have a long history in which she's lied to him. Rick's too much like the other men on this show who seem to think that it's perfectly all right to use women for fun. There's something vaguely misogynistic about the tone of the show.
Rick is openly chasing Caroline while letting Amber think he cares for her. Is that kosher? Not to me! If Rick's only interested in having a friendship with Amber, he shouldn't lead her on. It's just like Ridge keeping Taylor on the side while he was living with Brooke.
There weren't a lot of substantive scenes beside the Aspen storyline. It did seem laughable to me that Liam was supposedly working at the event. What work is that? If he was going to report about the fashion shows, shouldn't he have spent a bit more time talking to the designers and hanging out with the principals? By the time Liam showed up for the Aspen showcase, the show was already underway. Excuse me, but when you're "working" an event, you actually need to be there on time, with tape recorder in hand and questions on your mind. But then, this is the soap version of what a publishing company is, and that's pure fantasy.
One inconsequential scene between Liam and Hope did make me laugh, however. It was when Liam and Hope were in the hot tub, and he extolled the virtues of The Road to Morocco, a classic Bob Hope-Bing Crosby movie from the 1940s. I strongly urge any of you who don't know who Hope and Crosby were to do a Google search, watch some clips on YouTube, and rent the movie! For once, Liam had it right; those guys were hilarious and super-talented.
The week ahead should be good, as all this Aspen business will be coming to a head. Hope popped another pill, and Steffy is concerned about the media hounding her stepsister. Liam will eventually go home to check on Hope, and what will he find?
Meanwhile, back in Los Angeles, Bill will continue to issue orders without regard for the consequences! Someone wrote a letter to Soap Central, suggesting that Bill's trying to be like Michael Corleone in The Godfather, but that's the wrong character to me. He's not a Mafia kingpin; Bill is a Nazi commandant! Either characterization is despicable nonetheless, and I'm wondering how Brad Bell plans to redeem Bill one more time.
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!
• Bill Spencer crossed the line when he set Hope's face afire on his iPad. Note to Brad Bell: considering the amount of pharmaceutical ads populating your show's commercial space, having a character (Bill) attack mental illness with such ridiculous vitriol is probably not your best move. B&B has always been campy and fun, but now it just seems to be over the top, and not fun at all. I'm sticking through may to catch Jon Hensley and Crystal Chappell, but if this absurd love triangle is forced down my throat much longer, I've got to be done with this show for my own sanity and peace of mind. - Gerry.
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