That's Italian

by Mike
For the Week of June 18, 2012
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B&B Two Scoops: That's Italian
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B&B finally went on an old school remote, revisiting their popular destination of Italy. But did the storyline match the scenery? Say buongiorno with Mike in this special Italian edition of Two Scoops!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you trade your cell for a cell with a view? Did you spout fake Italian over a gelato? Did you say those three two little words: "Olive you?" These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!

So, The Bold and the Beautiful is in Italy, and I can sum it all up for you in just a few words: Liam and Hope gushed about their wedding, Steffy sulked, and Bill threatened Deacon a lot. That's pretty well it! Well, there was one other thing. But we'll get to that in a moment. First, let's Scoop it Italian style!

I have to say, it's wonderful to see B&B on a real remote again. Yes, I know Aspen and Cabo San Lucas were remotes. But they felt like cheats, you know? Hanging out near the Bell vacation home in Aspen, and then frolicking on the beach at Cabo...both places are "only" a thousand or so miles from Los Angeles, so I guess I just wasn't all that impressed. But Italy? Now that's kickin' it old school. I know B&B has been to Italy before (1997, 1999, and 2002 if I remember correctly), but it just felt refreshing, and like the way B&B is supposed to be.

Not that the whole remote has been a holiday so far. I realize that foreign locales are hard to explain to the average viewer, but I have yet to see any soap do so in a way that doesn't sound like the characters are reading out of a brochure. I have a hard time believing, in the middle of running a business and preparing for a wedding, that Ridge, Brooke, and Liam would have had so much time to read up on Puglia. Couldn't we have a tour guide describe the place instead? Yeah, Ridge, Puglia has a zillion olive trees. We got it!

As for the story...well, this is the fourth remote in a year that was designed to propel Leffy/Lope. Scott Clifton, Kimberly Matula, and Jacqueline MacInnes Wood must have frequent flier miles deluxe by now. But, if we were to ignore the ten months that came before it and just focus on the story in front of us on the Italian countryside, it really wasn't all that bad. My issue with it was, it didn't seem to go anywhere. I got bored after the third episode because of all the repetition and the fact that nothing was actually moving!

First off: Sulking Steffy. It's better than Whiny Steffy, but what happened to that girl from two years ago who took no prisoners? I actually kind of miss her. That Steffy never would have stood there staring at Liam and Hope kissing every chance she got. What did she think she was going to see on this trip? I like the idea of Hope and Steffy mellowing toward each other -- their truce continues! -- but too much has happened for them to be one big happy family just yet. Even Steffy admitted it. Really, the strongest thing Steffy did was to declare she was high-tailing it out of there!

But ah, Dollar Bill had other ideas. Certainly, we're used to seeing him control everyone in sight. But this week there was definitely a paradigm shift: he is now controlling Steffy. Grabbing Steffy's arm and telling her she wasn't going anywhere? I never thought I'd see the day. Steffy is the one person I figured could tell Bill to take a flying leap and get away with it!

And for someone who claims Liam will never know about his scheme, Bill wasn't very subtle trying to persuade Steffy to stay. Bill has pulled enough crap that Steffy should be able to see those gears turning a mile away. "What's going on, seriously?" Steffy wanted to know. Indeed! What exactly does Bill have against Hope? Yeah, Hope's got issues, and there was the whole pill-popping thing (although you'd think Bill would approve of how fast Hope got over it!). But Hope's essentially a good girl. Nothing Bill is ranting about really feels justified to me.

Is Bill trying to prevent Liam from repeating a bad relationship experience Bill had? Did Bill Spencer, Sr. try to control Dollar Bill's love life, and now Bill's handing it down to his own son? Could that be why Senior and Junior had a falling out? See, if we could delve into exactly what's driving Bill to go to this extreme, it would flesh out the story so much better. As the saying goes, "No root, no fruit!"

I didn't follow Deacon's escapades on Y&R, so for me, seeing Mr. Sharpe again is like Old Home Week. But the poor guy isn't being given anything to do. He was released from a Genoa City jail cell only to basically be held prisoner in that farmhouse in Puglia. All right, so he chose to sell out his daughter to get out of the clink -- and clearly, he regrets it. But how about Bill finally telling Deacon what he's there to do? Deacon asked several times, and all Bill could say was "I'll tell you when it's necessary." That's not suspense -- that' s just boring!

Whatever Deacon's interference is supposed to be here, it's the main source of drama for this Puglia remote. So dragging it out this way really nullifies any drama we're supposed to be getting. Let's get to it already! And seriously -- Bill leaving Alison to watch over Deacon? Yeah, the assistant did her best to play bad cop, but are you telling me Deacon couldn't subdue this teeny chick and make a break for it?

Well, whatever Bill has planned, it's somehow supposed to stop Hope and Liam's wedding and push Liam back into Steffy's arms. For my money, I hope it backfires, and that it leads to Bill's downfall. Let Liam and Hope get married already, and let's end Leffy/Lope once and for all. And hey -- if Katie finally smartened up and gave Bill the boot, well, Steffy could use more than a shoulder to cry on. Did any of you guys still see the potential in "Still?" Because I certainly did!

As for the happy couple...I want to buy it, I really do. But Liam's devotion and claim that he'd throw himself into the Adriatic for Hope just rang hollow. I'm sorry, but just two weeks ago, Liam had that mopey look as his divorce from Steffy became final. And even now, when Steffy had supposedly left Italy, Liam got all boo-hoo. This romantic Italian adventure should be just that -- romantic -- but knowing that Liam could change his mind again in five seconds really puts a damper on Lope's rooting value.

So...somehow Hope deciding to change the location of the wedding is going to factor into everything. Hey, if Brooke could throw together Hope's first wedding attempt in less than 24 hours, moving an entire ceremony should be a piece of wedding cake. But the real story on B&B this week was none other than Brooke and Ridge. All the Leffy/Lope kids could take a lesson from these two!

Yes, I know...Brooke and Ridge's decades-long ride on the marry-go-round is dizzying at best. And then their last marriage got torpedoed by the berries. It felt like B&B wanted us to forget that, but we didn't. And finally, that important plot point was addressed by who else but Stephanie! "Honey, who can keep track of all that?" she mugged to Eric, speaking of "Bridge" and their myriad marriages. "I think she really loves him," Stephanie conceded seriously. We fans can accuse Brooke of many things, but not loving Ridge would never be one of them!

And yes...I know many of you would rather see Ridge with Taylor. I've never been particularly invested in the Bridge/Tridge triangle, though I admit there was a time Taylor was the clear choice as far as I was concerned. But by now? Ridge is with Brooke, and let's just keep 'em together and leave 'em alone. No more marry-go-rounds -- of course there has to be conflict, but let it be something else besides interlopers and disagreeing about their kids.

Indeed, how refreshing was it to see Brooke and Ridge in their own story again for the first time in almost a year! All right, I admit the whole "giant olive search" was silly, mostly because their persistent prattling about olives was overkill after the first two references (did the olive industry of Puglia pay B&B to mention them so many times?). It went on too long, and the hide-and-seek to "Mambo Italiano" only briefly livened things up. But when we finally got down to it, Ridge's proposal was actually very sweet, and very satisfying.

"You wanna marry me one more time? Think we can handle it?" Ridge winked. "It's kinda like a habit for us," Brooke smiled in return. At least the show acknowledged this supercouple's very crazy history. Although I have a little trouble with Brooke's claim, "I forgot we weren't married!" Brooke forgot they weren't married? This from the woman who has spent the better part of 25 years either marrying Ridge or trying to get him down the aisle? Uh huh...

Anyway, my very favorite part of the show this week was when Brooke sat down in her hotel room, stared at her ring, and BAM! There we were in 1989, when Ridge proposed to Brooke the very first time. Now THAT'S a flashback! And I'm being this emphatic about it because, for all of Leffy/Lope's bazillion flashbacks, none of them ring true because we've either seen them all before, or the history is just too darn recent to care. But digging into the vault and pulling out a gem that perfectly bookends Ridge's current proposal? Classic. You don't have enough bandwidth for me to tell you how much I loved it!

Admittedly, Steffy wasn't having a great day, between watching Liam and Hope slobber on each other, and then finding out Ridge was marrying Brooke again. So I liked Brooke's moment of compassion. "When you and Phoebe were little, we were very close," she pointed out. Yes! Another history lesson aced! And it was a nice touch for Brooke to admit "You have a don't need two moms," going on to offer Steffy her friendship. Hey, two years ago at this time, Steffy was blackmailing Brooke over the mask-boink. Stranger things have happened!

And lest we forget -- where is Marcus in all of this? He knows about Bill's scheme and could blow the whole thing right into the Adriatic: as you'll see in the following reminder sent to me by a Two Scoops reader. Your comments could end up here, too, so don't be afraid to let your fingers do the typing!

    • "Who in their right mind thinks attending their (very recently) ex's wedding is a good way to get over him? Who in their right mind would ask their fiancé's (very recent) ex to stand up for them? It's hard to feel sorry for poor Steffy when if she had just done the right thing (stayed away from her stepsister's fiancé) from the beginning, her poor little heart wouldn't have been broken. And pretty disappointed in Marcus -- thought something was finally gonna shake up after that pocket dial. No such luck. On the positive side, Italy looks beautiful." - K

    • "Yeah, Deacon should stop the wedding, but also tell everyone that Bill got him out of jail to do it. At least for once Hope would have someone that was really looking out for her and not someone who wants her to win some guy...Liam [needs to] stop being such a little wimp. Make a choice and be done with this. This storyline has gone on for too long." - Pamela

    • "Bill Spencer's plan should backfire on him, hook up Deacon with Steffy, and allow Deacon not to hurt Hope but reconcile [with her]. Bill is two-faced and should be brought down. Warden should get the goods on Bill and send him to jail." - Shelby

    • "It is about time that Liam the wimp grow up. He is far from worthy of all this attention. Bill needs to be taken care of; he needs a good spanking. To quote my daughter, 'This soap is so bad that you cannot help but watch it.'" -- Joy

Now, let's wrap up with a few quick Points to Ponder:

Loved the "daylight" in the plane, but did B&B have to have establishing shots of Puglia after every single commercial break?... "I might as well set up some PR," Steffy said of her plans in Italy. Oh, she still does that?... You'd think Hope would understand how difficult it is for Steffy to watch her marry Liam, since the shoe was on the other foot in the gondola last year.... Liam doesn't have much respect for the environment, does he? First he chucks ripped-up annulment papers in a river, now he throws a key into the ocean. Where's the Environmental Protection Agency when you need it?

Steffy flashed back to her lingerie-clad interview with Liam. Strange choice to highlight their relationship when, during that interview, Steffy was trying to seduce Liam away from Hope.... Bill saw Liam and Hope kissing from halfway across the village -- did he get a bionic eye installed while stopped off in Genoa City?... "I just can't stand another moment of 'The Hope & Liam Show,'" Steffy told Bill. Yeah, neither can we, sister....

Best lines... The Warden to Bill: "This isn't a public library; you can't just check a prisoner out!"... Deacon to Bill: "Are we finally gonna have some fun? Can we synchronize our watches? Please?"... Bill to Deacon: "I'll have you back in prison faster than you can say 'cavity search'..." Stephanie to Eric: "The moment Brooke and Ridge hit the shores of Italy, it's all nookie nookie nookie!"

Well, this coming week, it all goes down -- what will happen? Personally, I hope Hope tells Deacon about how Bill faked Steffy's MRI and that Deacon uses it to nail Bill to the wall! Let's enjoy the rest of this Italian remote while it lasts -- have some spaghetti, and maybe, if you're really good, we'll have a little look at the first half of 2012 in my next column. In the meantime, keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!

Mike (Adam-Michael James)
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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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