Bill the bully or the sensitive hubby?

For the Week of May 28, 2012
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B&B Two Scoops: Bill the bully or the sensitive hubby?
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Who is this guy Bill Spencer? Is he the husband who's so afraid that his fragile, pregnant wife might die trying to give birth that he's demanding she have an abortion? Or is he the evil, satanic puppet master who is getting Hope's biological father -- the convicted felon -- out of prison to drive a wedge between Liam and Hope? It's time to do a little character profiling in this week's Two Scoops.

Who is this guy Bill Spencer? I ask because I'm thoroughly confused by the way Brad Bell is writing the character. On one hand, he was a blubbering Bill when faced with the prospect of his fragile wife Katie trying to have a baby, which might kill her. But just a short time later, he was Beelzebub Bill, the satanic manipulator who was so intent on keeping Liam from marrying Hope that he was bribing a warden (threatening to ruin his marriage!) to get Hope's convicted felon biological father out of prison in order to screw up her life. Who's the real Bill Spencer?

I think I've figured out why Don Diamont has taken this role on the soap. Brad told him that Bill Spencer was going to become the next Victor Newman. As many of you know, on The Young and the Restless, Victor has the very same dichotomy. He can be incredibly good and generous, then turn around and do the most hateful things imaginable. And thus we see that same storyline in Bill Spencer. He's accepted and fallen in love with his son Liam to the point of dominating Liam's life and using all his wiles to make certain that Liam becomes his puppet.

But Bill was also ready to kill Amber at the cliff house just to keep her from mucking up Liam's life, and now is obsessed with destroying Hope. Considering the lengths he's going to with Deacon, why doesn't Bill do something more direct. He could hire someone to stalk Hope and scare her back into taking antianxiety medication. Why not run her car off the road and hope she doesn't survive? Clearly, Bill has no regard for Hope's welfare, or he wouldn't be asking Deacon to go to Los Angeles and disrupt her life.

Playing this out a bit, just what does Bill expect to happen? If Deacon appears on the doorstep of Ridge and Brooke's home, is Hope going to be so thrown that she cancels the wedding in Italy? Well, no. Just this week, Hope was saying that she wants to invite Deacon to the wedding. Has Bill even figured out how Deacon's return is going to ensure that Steffy and Liam remain together, because I don't see it.

By the way, while we're talking about the Spencers, a flashback to last week, if you don't mind. Has there ever been a more awkward moment on The Bold and the Beautiful than Thomas learning that Caroline's parents are two women? As the scene unfolded, it occurred to me that I'd seen this kind of clichéd acting and writing before... Remember all those after-school TV specials and ABC movies of the week that dealt with controversial social subjects? That's what this was like. Only it's 2012, and we're far more aware of unusual family situations, especially on television.

Aren't we all well-versed in Will & Grace? Haven't we seen a star-cast movie like The Kids Are All Right with two women -- openly lesbian -- raising their children together? Remember the TV movie What Makes A Family? Brooke Shields fighting to keep her kids when her straight ex-husband objects to her coming out of the closet?

In other words, Brad Bell, your story about Karen and Dani was not shocking or revolutionary or anything out of the ordinary...except for the small percentage of the audience that live in a cave and have never watched Glee. There was no reason for Thomas to appear so flabbergasted and Jarrett to look concerned. The moment Karen told the truth that she and Dani are life partners who'd been in love for years, you knew that Thomas was going to be accepting of the relationship. To play the scene as they did, implying that Thomas was unsure of his reaction, was disingenuous and misleading.

And getting back to Bill, it's completely nuts to think that Dollar Bill believes that Dani is just Karen's best friend and roommate. Come on, two grown women who've traveled together, shared homes together, and have just moved cross-country to stay together...that's just friendship? Don't insult the viewers, Brad. We've figured it out, and so should Bill.

A guy like Bill, so worldly and sharp, would have figured out that his sister is gay. Bill is in the fashion business. There are gay people all around. He cannot think that just because Karen was once married and has dated men in the past, that she must be straight. It's just obvious that she prefers Dani's company to any guy who might come along.

Also, when Bill stopped by the beach house, he saw clues all over the place. The vacation picture of the women in Hawaii was a dead giveaway. And an even more pronounced tip-off -- one that I thought was lame -- was how they made Crystal Chappell's Dani look. Perhaps that was the actress' choice; maybe it was the producers and costume and makeup people. To me, it was too severe. Dani looked like every hackneyed image of a lesbian. Instead of emphasizing her femininity, they made her look hard and "butch."

But however she looked, what irritated me more was that here's this great actress, and she was given maybe three lines of dialogue! What was that all about? That's a waste of talent. And it added to the awkwardness of the scene, because as a soap fan, I want to hear Crystal Chappell talk! Brad Bell should go back and watch her as Olivia on Guiding Light. Maybe they're purposely trying to make her a different kind of lesbian on B&B, but so far, Dani is unimpressive. I guess time will tell. Hmm...what if Dani meets Dr. Barton and is attracted to her. Couldn't you see two Emmy-award winning actresses like Hillary Smith and Crystal Chappell tearing it up dramatically?

While Thomas' Meet the Parents moment was uncomfortable to watch, let's get back to Katie's happy announcement to Bill that she was pregnant. Bill's reaction was overemotional. I understand that Bill was upset and angry because he and Katie had agreed that it was too risky for Katie to have a baby. From her point of view, becoming pregnant was a miracle, and she wanted to celebrate with the man she loved. Instead of even a moment's thought that this was wonderful, Bill went over the top and declared in no uncertain terms that Katie was getting an abortion!

Since when is the "a" word bandied about so freely on soaps? Unless a character has been violently raped or something is seriously wrong with the fetus in utero, most soaps opt for keeping the baby. For Bill, there was no thought of how they might do that. He chose to destroy Katie's joy by announcing that they had to get the baby aborted! It was such a graceless response -- and so harsh -- that I was stunned. Even if you felt for him after the fact when he cried about his deep-seated fear of losing Katie, did that justify his being so abrupt and cruel?

Meanwhile, Brooke's la-di-da attitude about Hope's wedding in Italy is getting on my nerves. Does she really have so little concern for her daughter that she's just going forward, full steam ahead? She hasn't a care in the world, it seems. Talk about living in denial! She knows that Liam tore up the annulment papers, and she's decided to keep that information from Hope.

Does Brooke ever think before she acts? It's her responsibility as Hope's mother to be upfront and truthful? What if Hope learns about the annulment papers from someone else and further discovers that Brooke kept it from her? It's going to be a disaster. Brooke should have told Hope immediately and let Hope deal with the situation. Instead, Mama Brooke is now in collusion with Liam and hoping for the best about Liam's unresolved feelings for Steffy.

Liam, of course, remains an enigmatic worm. I'm sorry; he may be a nice fellow, but he's a weak man. I have no respect for this character. He doesn't speak up for himself; he just stares and simpers like a constipated dolt. It's not Scott Clifton's fault; he can only do what he can with the part as written. But Liam is allowing wedding plans to be made and Hope's hopes to be raised while he remains stuck on the fence. He's just as likely to stop the divorce and remain Mr. Steffy Forrester. Or let the divorce go through and then stop the wedding.

Ridge isn't much better than Liam. He showed some backbone by telling Logan that he couldn't make Hope's wedding gown for Italy because of his loyalty to Steffy. However, didn't Eric already design a wedding gown for Hope back before Steffy fell in love with Liam? Remember, before the bachelor party? What was wrong with that dress?

Too bad Ridge didn't inherit Stephanie's backbone. She's a no-nonsense woman who'll stick her nose in anyone's business. She had no qualms about putting the pressure on Liam to remain married to Steffy and dump Hope. What on earth must Liam think when confronted by this matriarch who's so forceful and powerful getting in his face about his love life?

Wouldn't you have loved it if Liam stood up to Stephanie and told her to "get the hell out of my office"? Imagine these words coming from his mouth just once, "It's my life, not yours, so butt out!" Instead, he simpered and vacillated as usual. After that interaction, Stephanie should have returned to Steffy and said to her granddaughter, "Listen, you can do better!"

Ironically, the week before, you did hear another female character with some grit stand up for herself -- Amber. I loved it when she told Rick he'd never find anyone better for him that she was. Of course it was a ludicrous claim, but at least she showed some gumption. Why are the men so mealy-mouthed on this show, unless they're evil bastards like Bill?

The question now is this: what's to become of Amber? She wasn't even on last week (neither was Rick). If she's not shipped back to Genoa City, could she hook up with Deacon? Don't they have a history? I'll have to check the Soap Central Who's Who section!

That's it for this past week, and while I was disappointed that the Karen-Dani storyline was not addressed, at least Bill and Katie moved their story along. What do you think of the direction of the show? Are you excited about a Liam-Hope wedding in Italy? What about the possibility that Bill gets Deacon to do something heinous to Hope? Will Liam ever make up his mind? If he's the cliffhanger week after week, I think I might lose it. Brad, please, spread the wealth around and concentrate on some other characters!

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!

    • Why has nobody got the guts to tell Hopeless about loser Liam tearing up the annulment papers and why isn't Steffy pregant? Is giggly Hopeless going to have her dream wedding? Gag. Great, now Dollar Bill is bringing Deacon home only to have that be what Hope wants. Don't bother with spoilers this show has lost whatever made it great. Maybe spineless Ridge will leave Brooke. - Keith

    • Brooke, you have got to start being a good mother and tell Hope the truth. Lies are what cause the most problems for everyone. If you truly love your daughter tell her the truth stop keeping secrets. Brooke, you and Hope have come along way; don't mess up with lies. What really disappoints me really badly is Steffy. She keeps telling anyone that will listen she won't do anything to mess with the situation with Liam, but she keeps on bringing up the past with him every change she gets. Steffy never stops. That is not being kind. Why can't people leave Liam and Hope alone? - Jae

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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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