If you leave

by Mike
For the Week of May 20, 2013
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B&B Two Scoops: If you leave
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Maya ran smack dab into Jesse! Brooke recast her babydaddy! Poor Steffy recalled her miscarriage! But that all looked tame compared to the real-life May Sweeps surrounding Jacqueline MacInnes Wood and Hunter Tylo's are-they-or-aren't-they departures! Get an eyeful in a Taylor-made column by Two Scoops' Mike!

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Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you "Whip" up some old memories? Did you remember something you really wanted to forget? Did you and the rest of the soap world go nuts at the prospect of two major departures? These and more situations faced the Forresters -- and us -- this week!

Wow! The real-life back-and-forth dramas over the possible/probable exits of Jacqueline MacInnes Wood and Hunter Tylo easily upstaged any reel-life drama happening on B&B this week! Let's grab our Scoop and just dig right in!

You may have heard me pop off about this on the latest installment of Soap Central Live. (If you didn't, the show has been archived, so click here to hear!) At this writing, it sounds as if Jacqueline MacInnes Wood's departure is only temporary (much like when she took off during 2010-2011 to pursue other projects). Hunter Tylo, it's harder to tell, because the actress made a statement on her own web site that sounded pretty permanent, while soap publications cast doubt on the whole thing. You thought B&B was hard to follow!

I said it Friday night on SCL, and I'll say it again here: I wouldn't blame either lady for exiting the canvas. Why? Because Leffy/Lope's prominence on the screen -- and its inane writing -- doesn't exactly give an actor much to work with. It was the reason that Susan Flannery, Ronn Moss, and Jack Wagner split the soap, and Sean Kanan was aware enough of it that he chose GH over a continuing return as Deacon. That triangle is single-handedly destroying the show, and it needs to die. Now.

"But Mike," you say, "Taylor has gotten so much more airtime since Ridge left and Stephanie died!" Doing what? Interfering in everyone else's lives, especially Brooke's? "But Mike," you add, "What about Taylor's romance with Eric?" Romance? Taylor kissed Eric once for making Thomas vice president at Forrester. They had one mini-date, fell into bed, and the next morning, Eric moved Taylor in and declared her the new Forrester matriarch. Their "romance" is as underdeveloped as an old roll of Kodak film!

In light of that, it's no wonder if Hunter Tylo wants to move on to somewhere where the acting opportunities are meatier. Same goes for Jacqueline MacInnes Wood. Yes, she rocked it as Steffy this week, but how many times can an actor play the same triangle over and over and keep it interesting for herself? You know it's run out of steam when one of its principal figures wants to explore greener pastures!

Frankly, Leffy/Lope doesn't have a leg to stand on anymore. Aside from viewers being constantly hit over the head with it, Liam has waffled back and forth so many times, so quickly, and with so little provocation, the triangle has zero rooting value now. How can the audience invest in either coupling? My guess is that Jacqueline MacInnes Wood is tired of playing it, and I think she'd have every right to be. Both actresses deserve better material. And I truly, truly wish them well.

"But Mike," many of you will say, "with Taylor and Steffy gone, B&B is going to be 'The Logan Show!'" I can't deny that Brooke probably gets more than her fair share of airtime, and in questionable stories that we'll get to later. I can see how fans might feel that the scale is being unfairly tipped. But it doesn't have to be that way.

If Brad Bell does this right, he can easily bring some balance back to the show. How about finally giving Thorne a storyline? SORAS Aly and give single dad Thorne a handful to deal with. Maybe he could secretly be keeping Macy alive, just as Stephanie kept his sister Angela alive in the '80s! What about giving Felicia something to do? B&B could use some more Forresters -- and Spectras! Why not bring C.J. back? And where's Clarke, in the broom closet of the never-mentioned Jackie M? There are lots of ways to ensure that B&B doesn't become "The Logan Show." Lots.

But is Mr. Bell capable of such diversity anymore? I think the man is in a serious rut, and has been for years. Somebody's got to say this: it's time for Bell to step down as head writer. I don't care how many Emmy nominations B&B got this year. Historically, when any other show falls into the creative doldrums like this, what do they do? They bring in new writers. I know B&B is a Bell family business. Yeah, well, so is Y&R, and even they realized they had to change things up by hiring outside scribes.

It's not like I want to do anybody out of a job. Keep Brad Bell on as executive producer; he's a good one! But soon I'm going to have to fry me up some eggs to go with all the rehash we're getting. Steffy was pregnant, so of course she had to have a miscarriage. The only original part was the motorcycle. Brooke sleeps with a relative's husband, gets pregnant, and someone other than the father is going to take responsibility for it? That's a double rehash. What's next, Katie finds out over a baby monitor?

Why is Bell being so lazy? How about if Steffy's baby had survived the crash, but a few months from now Steffy delivers prematurely, and Brooke sacrifices her unborn baby to donate something that will save Steffy's? There -- I interwove those stories and came up with something different in the time it took for you to read this. If I can do it, why can't Bell? I'm sorry to say he's gone stale, and he needs to let someone else take the creative reins. If he really wants what's best for the show, that's what he'll do.

The only somewhat fresh story this week was the arrival of Maya's ex, Jesse Graves (subtle last name there, B&B), but even that felt a bit warmed over, with Bill working his diabolical magic to cause major havoc, all in the name of "family." Gee, didn't we see this at this time last year with Liam? Caroline and Bill's connection played quite nicely, but I can't buy it because just a few months ago, Bill threatened Caroline (again for the sake of "family") to the point she tumbled over a balcony!

And, dude: sending Maya back to prison just to keep her away from Rick is pretty harsh, even for Bill. Yet Alison quietly went along with it, accepting cash, taking pictures, and handling Jesse, all in her smooth British accent. When you think about it, she's more ruthless than Bill! And if I didn't know better, I'd say Alison has a thing for her boss, wouldn't you? Katie and Brooke better watch out!

I really liked seeing GL's Gus Aitoro, I mean Y&R's Gary, I mean Ricky Paull Goldin on my screen again. He's still hotter than hell, and he effortlessly sits on the border of nice and nasty. But didn't Jesse accept money from a complete stranger rather easily? And when he took it, how could Alison be sure he'd show up at the club?

The club was sure hoppin', and I don't mean the really good set design and the pumpin' music. The lines drawn between Rick, Maya, and Caroline were very blurry. Even Othello was confused. "I'm here with my honey tonight," Maya cooed to Rick. Really? Because Caroline was making the exact same statement. I admit Rick tried to break up with Caroline, but at this point, it's silly for Caroline to keep creating diversions and for Rick to not be "blunt," as he said he would be...but wasn't.

So, for some reason that's not completely clear to me, Maya can't come within 500 feet of Jesse, or she goes back to jail. Shouldn't that restraining order work the other way around? Jesse committed the crime, whatever it is. I felt a bit bad for him, though, having to hear for the first time that the daughter he assumed for years was alive had tragically died. That's a bit of Ricky Paull Goldin's talent kicking in: I wasn't sure if I was supposed to like Jesse or be wary of him.

The only thing I'm really curious to see here is, what exactly is on Maya's rap sheet that has nothing to do with Jesse? Is Caroline right in saying there's a side of Maya no one knows about? After all, Maya first arrived as a borderline psycho then turned all sweetness and light. Maybe Maya is dangerous, after all. Or maybe she just switched personalities with Caroline!

Meanwhile, Donna, apparently not satisfied last week when Brooke wouldn't tell her what she was going to do about being pregnant with Bill's baby, repeated her question again. (And even Donna acknowledged the connection between Brooke and Steffy.) I'm very surprised -- and yet not -- that Brooke feels she needs to keep this baby. If Brooke really wanted to make sure Katie never found out, why not just abort? But no, I guess B&B is afraid to go the abortion route for one reason or another.

Instead of going with one and taking Brooke's predictable tale in an unpredictable direction, Brooke took a page out of her own book and tried to get Eric to play papa. Now, to be accurate, when Brooke was pregnant with Deacon's child, it was Whip who came up with the idea to be the fake father, not Brooke's. But this twist that's supposed to be shocking isn't, because we already saw it eleven years ago.

"Taylor was right," gasped the usually unflappable Eric. And it looks like Taylor's last story is going to be a Taylor/Eric/Brooke triangle. Do I think there's the potential for an epic showdown between the matriarch-elects? Oh, yeah. But how can this paternity lie even work? Eric had a vasectomy in 1994! I don't know if anyone else knew about it besides Eric and Stephanie (and Sheila, who had been trying to trap Eric with a baby), but Eric took the bullets out of the gun 20 years ago, Brooke! Maybe you need to rethink this.

Finally, Liam and Steffy were in the hospital, working on their Emmy reels -- I mean, trying to deal with Steffy losing their baby after her motorcycle accident. I think it was a nice touch that Steffy's memory was impaired, causing her to forget she was pregnant; it's a shame it didn't go on a little longer. Thank goodness we had a little continuity about this not being Steffy's first concussion. And who should know better than Liam, who himself had two concussions within three months?

I still do feel the miscarriage is so much rehash (and opens the door again for Hope, damn it), but Jacqueline MacInnes Wood and Scott Clifton turned in perhaps their finest performances on B&B so far. Steffy coming to the horrifying realization that her baby was dead was genuinely gut-punching, and Liam's anger was palpable and understandable, though his contention that Steffy took the baby from him was pretty rough. I'll let that one slide for now, since people do say things when they grieve.

And how about Don Diamont, bringing both the compassion and the tough love as Bill got Liam to vent his feelings about Steffy having ridden her motorcycle -- then telling Liam not to repeat them to her? It was a bit out of nowhere, and a bizarre contrast, considering Bill had just come from trying to put Maya in jail, but it was a great scene, and the performances were gripping.

I know that there are going to be a higher number of opinions this week with all the hoopla surrounding Steffy and Taylor's exits! Make sure you have your say on the Soap Central message boards, in the comments section, by e-mail, or by voicemail. Your comments could end up in a future column. Like these!

    • "I knew Taylor needed to be nervous when Brooke snapped her fingers! Brooke and Eric are going to reunite, if only to save Katie from learning the truth! I think this should have been Stephanie's dying wish...I also think Thomas and Oliver are gay -- not that there's anything wrong with that!" - Michael

    • "I can't get enough of Maya and Rick...I can't wait to see what unfolds with Maya, Jesse, and Rick. This triangle is going to be epic without a dull moment. Bring it!" - Sarah

    • "Do NOT like what they are doing to Steffy and Liam. Not watching the show anymore and I have watched for years..." - Martha

    • "I just want to say I'm done and [so are] my friends...[B&B is] not for real. There is no way Maya shouldn't be happy, why is it because she is black. Liam and [Steffy] should be happy. The Logans think they can win everything..." - Juanita

    • "Has anyone done the math on Brooke? She is in her 60s...Brooke was in her 20s when [she] had Bridget...[she was pregnant] by Deacon (Bridget's husband) in her 40s. Had Hope who is now in her early 20s so it works out [Brooke] is in her 60s. Why does the writer do this?" -- Jennifer (EDITOR'S NOTE: Ah, the wonders of Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome...)

The backstage drama this week was enough to age you! Let's reyouth with some Points to Ponder:

Caroline obviously didn't learn anything from the trouble Marcus' addiction to technology got him into last year... "Oliver and Thomas living together?" Brooke asked. "That should be interesting." Even Brooke knows it's all about Team Tholiver, baby!... All poor Dr. Meade gets to do is oversee Steffy's accidents. And maybe it was a mistake to show them all in succession via flashback, because it played up what a joke Steffy's accident-proneness is!

Steffy's car should still have been in Thomas' driveway -- why didn't he or Hope see it? And why were Hope and Thomas at the office so late? Rick said he'd pick Maya up at 10:00p.m., and it was way after that. For that matter, why wasn't Katie wondering why Bill was out so late?... When Steffy first woke up, Taylor and Liam were on either side of her hospital bed. But as the scene continued over the next episode, Taylor and Liam were standing over Steffy...

"Pam sends her love," Eric reported. She'd be more likely to send Taylor a poisoned lemon bar!... "You question what you could have done," Taylor said, counseling Steffy. Was Taylor referring to her own accident that killed Darla? And what happened to the driver of the car that hit Steffy? Doesn't he have a responsibility in this?... Hope slammed Steffy's pregnant belly into a desk a few months ago. Did that really not contribute to Steffy losing the baby?

Thomas' observation that Steffy lost a part of herself when Phoebe died was quite insightful... "Sometimes we think we understand our destiny," Brooke said to Hope, which was both a subtle reference to Brooke's attempt to move on without Ridge and a slight history rewrite at the same time... It wasn't clear how or why, but it was fairly amazing when Bill told Hope she should stay at the hospital!

Well, we'll have to wait and see how the unfolding situations with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood and Hunter Tylo play out this coming week. Or is that, we'll have to "Wyatt" and see. DAYS' alum Darin Brooks is making his way to B&B next month, and Wyatt may finally be what jolts Hope away from Liam! And if Steffy goes, then Liam is going to be alone. Will we then get a Wyatt/Hope/Liam triangle? Believe me, anything that brings Leffy/Lope to a final and decisive end works for me -- as long as we don't get two years of Hiam/Hyatt!

Coming up: Brooke gets some Bridget over troubled water, and we find out if Eric will add yet another stray to his brood. 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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