2021 was the year of the comeback parents. Deacon, Sheila, and Taylor all returned to salvage their relationships with their children and maybe get a little love on the side. This year, we learned what best friends will do for love when Vinny made the ultimate sacrifice for Thomas' love life and Shauna covered for Quinn as Carter's mistress. Speaking of sacrifices, Donna's sexy breakthrough with Eric cost her everything, and a bizarre twist in the Quarter affair took Carter from hero to sex doll in a matter of episodes.
It was a year of forgiveness for the unforgiving. Even though Hope and Finn forgave Liam and Steffy for their one-night stand, Liam and Steffy refused to extend forgiveness to Deacon and Sheila. It seems that when it comes to parents, only Bill and Taylor get a free pass to break the law and hug the grandkids. Ridge doesn't want Brooke's ex around her but expects Brooke to welcome Taylor, who still has images of Ridge, her, and frosting dancing in her head.
Friends betrayed friends and went after each other's lovers with abandon. Zoe went after Zende. Carter dove for Quinn. Thomas made a move on Paris, who fantasized about seducing Finn. Deacon threw pickup lines at Brooke, and Taylor "Hi, Ridge"-ed at her ex.
As the year draws to a close, Mike and I will give you the two scoops on what we loved and hated in 2021. Let's scoop!
I'm a sucker for mysteries. I worked the hit-and-run storyline like a million-piece jigsaw puzzle. None of my theories amounted to the innovative twist the writers delivered in the end. Was it unthinkable that Vinny would commit the ultimate sacrifice so that Thomas might have a chance to win the girl? You better believe it, but with a cast so small, the "And then there were none" approach to the suspects was one of the main reasons I deem this the best storyline of 2021.
Vinny was a likable character with plenty of street smarts, no matter what Bill says. At one point in time, Vinny had strived to counsel Thomas away from his love for Hope, but when Liam slept with Steffy, all that changed. Vinny suddenly believed that Thomas was indeed the man more worthy to have Hope, and Vinny martyred himself for love.
Another appeal of this storyline was that it was character motivated. In fact, Bill and Vinny had more in common than Bill would admit. Vinny killed himself out of love for Thomas and a desire to give Thomas the future Vinny thought Thomas deserved. To protect Liam's future, Bill covered up a supposed crime and was willing to singularly take the fall. Then, there was Hope, who readily threw Bill beneath the prison bus to try to save her family's future. As for Liam -- well, Liam was the usual Waffle in Chief, vacillating between telling the truth and keeping silent.
It led to a true test of character and loyalty when Thomas decided that he had to reveal evidence to free Liam even though it meant losing Hope. On the other hand, Justin failed his loyalty test when he chose to bury that evidence in the bowels of Spencer in a hostile takeover bid.
The "Who framed Liam" storyline gets my vote for best storyline of the year for its ability to push the characters involved to the utmost edges of their morality. Not only was the suicide-frameup an unexpected twist, but it opened the door to the heart-wrenching dissolution of the longest-running friendship on The Bold and the Beautiful, the end of Bill and Justin, a.k.a. Bustin.
The hardest part of writing the year-end review column for 2021 for me is summoning up the strength to talk about this ED storyline once more. I don't think there's a scooper reading this column who doesn't know how I feel about this storyline, but the reason I rank it the worst is because, for all the infighting, cheating, cuckolding, honey-licking madness, there was no resolution, and an innocent bystander was crucified for having the answer to Eric's problem.
The storyline had no payoff. If you love Quinn, you didn't get to see her surmount the ED problem. If you love Eric, you missed out on him finally making love after endless months. If you love Donna, you feel absolutely deflated that she lost her job over her uncontrollable ability to turn Eric on when Quinn can't. If you love Carter, well, at least you got to see him shirtless, but I'm questioning who he even is after he lowered himself to the level of a sex toy for Quinn.
Sure, Eric and Quinn went off into the "It had to be you" sunset, but I'm wondering why it had to be them. Why did it have to be Quinn if Donna could turn Eric on? Why did it have to be Eric if Quinn's sex life is so important to her? Why was sex with Carter the only answer?
Eric and Quinn never tried anything else to cure the ED or improve their sex life. Additionally, Carter and Quinn showed no respect for Eric during the divorce phase, and yet they were rewarded with more sex. The "cheaters always win" aspect of the plot gave me ED.
Just as Donna heated up the storyline, she was dispensed with along with everyone else's interest in Eric's problem. Ridge stopped raging. Brooke stopped harping, and Katie dropped it. We never did find out why everyone suddenly decided to mind their own business. The problem is, I actually would have liked Eric to talk more about it, namely to Ridge, and let his son know that it might happen to him someday, too. The PSA part of the storyline for men was lacking.
I didn't write about this too much, but many viewers were turned off by the racial undertones of the storyline. Eric, a white man in a position of power, instructs his employee, who happens to be Black, to please his wife. Some didn't like how Eric bossed Carter about taking down and hanging the portrait, either, as if Carter was his slave.
Lastly, the reason it was the worst storyline of the year for me is because the real problem in Eric and Quinn's marriage was never solved. It wasn't the cheating. It wasn't the ED. Those were just symptoms. Queric's marriage suffered because Eric can't deal with the real and the flawed Quinn. He got ED because she hadn't lived up to the changes she swore she'd make. As for Quinn's issue, she couldn't deal with Eric always putting the Logans and his family first.
None of that has changed. Eric might have yelled at Ridge and Brooke, but it's Donna, who was keeping her distance, anyway, that he banished. And Quinn hasn't changed if she's ramming chairs at Donna's knees. Quinn admitted her responsibility for the ED, but her answer was to make the same old promises she made when she and Eric first met. For me, there was no growth, and I predict Eric and Quinn will be at odds again soon if they don't die of a boring, sexless marriage first.
This year, Donna Logan wins my character of the year award. It's not because she did anything great -- unless you count what she did for the ungrateful coward, Eric. She gets the award because, out of everyone this year, she got the shaft for just being a loving aunt who was minding her own business until she became too honey-licious for the jealous Quinn.
Donna isn't a complainer. She gets by working at half a desk, sucking a honey drop here and there, and lunching at Il Giardino when the mood strikes her. She graciously babysat her great-nieces and nephews, and she even started looking after Kelly. Can you believe Steffy has no problem griping about how bad the Logans are as she dumps her daughter off on one?
Donna was content to scrapbook for Eric, straighten his tie before his flight, and even give the critter in his pants a little unexpected pick-me-up from time to time. Thanks to her bigmouth, but well-meaning, sisters, Donna got her hopes up that, by raising Eric's sensual spirits, she'd finally have her honey bear back in her arms. Instead, Donna got fired, or rather, she quit first to spare Eric the pain of having to do it himself. That's the loving Donna for you.
So, here's to you, Donna Logan, the sexiest woman in L.A., drowning in diapers without a date to speak of. It's not what you saw for yourself when you vowed to make it big someday, huh?
When I think of who the worst person of the year is, I think of Ridge, the Grinch who griped all the way through 2021. I got some hot coal for his itchy stocking. Ridge was mad about a lot of things. His daughter had to have yet another paternity test, and it didn't turn out as she'd wanted. His son was in the hospital, recovering from romancing a mannequin. To top it off, he walked in on his BFF's fiancée hitting on his nephew. And that was just the first half of the year.
I can't say Zende and Zoe didn't deserve someone to roar some thunder up their butts, but if Ridge had put half the energy he put into being angry with Zoe into ripping Liam a new one for using Ridge's daughter, Steffy might not have needed that 2021 paternity test.
Next, Ridge and the gang worried Eric into ED hell about his marriage. Once it came out that Eric was self-cuckolding, using Ridge's best friend, Ridge became an out-of-line tyrant, ordering his father to throw Quinn out of the house. Again, not saying Ridge was wrong about Quinn, but the problem is Ridge has a butthole way of doing things that makes him wrong even when he's right. Plus, he needs to learn he can't throw people out of houses he does not own.
Ridge didn't learn that lesson because, next, he tried to throw Deacon out of Brooke's house and Hope off Brooke's property. Note that throwing Hope out means throwing his grandson out, too, but that didn't stop Ridge. He thinks no one is listening to him, but I hear him loud and clear. Douglas needs to tell his grandpa that they can hear him at the space station, too. So, Ridge, on behalf of my last nerve and eardrums and satellites everywhere, Shut up!
I never saw it coming. Bill didn't see it, either, as he paced around his jail cell, wondering why he couldn't get bail. And who would ever have thought Justin didn't enjoy being Bill's henchman? Not me. Didn't we see Justin smiling when he dumped Ridge from that chopper?
The bottom line is Justin didn't enjoy it, and Justin thought he ought to get a piece of that Spencer fortune; however, Bill's bratty sons climbed out of the woodwork, ensuring that Justin would always be the right-hand man but never the heir. Why did Justin think he should get any of the Spencer fortune? Probably inhaled too many smoke fumes when he set Spectra on fire.
Bill and Justin had the best bromance since Guiding Light's Phillip Spaulding and Rick Bauer, and I felt Bill's pain as he stammered, ingesting the bitter pill that Justin, whom he'd loved like a brother, would have let him rot in jail to steal his company. Even more humiliating, Justin doubled down and became the henchman of the dressmaker. Wow. Katie thinks she has betrayal issues with Brooke, but can Bill and Justin ever come back from this?
Carter risked it all for love when he asked Quinn to forget the Forrester power, portraits, and paydays to run away with him. They could start over anywhere, and nothing else mattered but them and their love for each other. "I can't. I'm a married woman," Quinn responded.
Oh. Oh, I see. Quinn chooses to remember that now, six months in, after she's already gotten all the booty one can shake a stick at. Quinn has an affair, professes love for Carter, refuses to end her affair in the face of a divorce, and snaps up the chance to continue the romance with Eric's approval; however, once Carter asks her to leave the Forrester life, she feels some type of allegiance to her marriage?
Oh, well. Eric told Carter not to catch feelings for her. Quinn wins the award for the most devastating twist of the year for the way she turned Carter out and left him crying.
Deacon is Brooke's weakness -- and mine. I love bad boys, especially when they try to be good. That's why I'm always down when Sean Kanan returns to revive the role of Deacon Sharpe, even if I have to jump one or two rewrite hurdles. It's true, folks. Been there/done that with Hope and Deacon, but hell, Deacon's grin sparks to mind that Staples song, "Let's Do it Again..."
Deacon might be tactless and sleazy, but he comes by it honestly. He doesn't pretend to be something he's not, and for some reason, I root for him -- even when he shot at Quinn. His returns and storylines usually change the landscape of the show, and because Sean Kanan always finds something redeemable in Deacon, Kanan's acting leaves us wanting more.
Deacon is back for Hope -- and for Brooke. He's willing to prove himself, even if it means mopping floors and sleeping in a closet at Il Giardino. Because of the type of guy he is, one thing quickly leads to another, and he's in an entanglement with the likes of Sheila Carter, forming a romantic comedy duo I could get behind. In fact, I prefer it over any fling with Brooke and him. Let's face it, Deacon -- Ridge and Brooke are one Bridge you're never gonna burn, so stop saving yourself for Brooke and take a bite of the witch's apple.
I'm proud of Deacon. He hasn't asked for a handout, and he genuinely wants to earn his place in Hope's life. Nothing could make the statement more evident than the scene in which he enters the supply closet with the dirty mop and bucket and settles down for a night's rest on a cot. That's what I call characterization. Deacon oozes with it, and that's why his storyline works.
And even if you might not want him with Brooke, can you really look at that charming smile and deny him? Thanks, Bold, for inviting Sean Kanan back as Deacon Sharpe. You made my year.
But Taylor does know that she's been in love with Ridge for the last decade, even though he hasn't given her one romantic thought ever since Thorsten Kaye embodied the role of the arrogant Forrester. 2021 brought a fresh actress to the role of Taylor Hayes, but some viewers can't enjoy her because Taylor's return is writhing with so many rewrites that she might as well be a brand-new character. That wig isn't helping matters, either.
Taylor's return ranks at worst for me because it lacks continuity with the show's history. Additionally, Taylor hasn't been home one day, and already she seeks to undo all the progress her children and Ridge have made with their blended families. It's so bad that she asked a man who isn't related to his own father, "Where's the biology?" Really, Taylor? Where is it, indeed, when you call yourself Hayes, but you were born Hamilton?
I should have known the rewrites were coming because the writers were brazen enough to change Taylor's maiden name from Hamilton into her first married name, Hayes. I wonder how Jack and Zach Hamilton feel about becoming Hayes family members. I could look beyond the name flub if there wasn't the flub about why Douglas is living with his adoptive mom, if there weren't the flubbed reasons Taylor went to Paris or to Africa, or if there wasn't the age flub, making Taylor a decade younger than Brooke. Taylor dated Storm, a high-school classmate, but at this DeSORASed rate, he was probably actually her babysitter.
Looking past all of that -- and the wig -- there's still the problem of continuity of history. The writers have Taylor stuck back in 2005 as if she just came out of the grave and went to Paris. However, she didn't. She had many boyfriends and relationships. Heck, she was even married to Whip and Nick, had Brooke's baby with Nick, and carried on with Thorne in Paris. The last time she was here, she was dating Reese Buckingham.
Writers, it's okay if Taylor had a life outside of Ridge. Ridge had one. He hasn't wanted her back in a decade. Instead, he pursued Katie, Caroline, Brooke, Quinn, and Shauna. In 2019, he rejected Taylor's kiss. At this point, I'd prefer Taylor to feel some type of way about that and make Ridge work for it. Sadly, Ridge can have Taylor, as Brooke would say, "Just like that."
There is a plethora of reasons I detest this return, but lastly and chief among them are the de-flawing of Taylor and the reversion of her children to toddlers who want their parents back together. The NuTaylor is written as if she isn't a fugitive from justice. Taylor is playing with fire to think she can go after Brooke's husband after begging Brooke not to turn her in to the police. Plus, Thomas and Steffy wanting to reunite their parents at this late age is so "man and horse" ago. Let it go already.
There are other disturbing rewrites. First, Taylor thinks she was alive when everyone discovered that Brooke had had an affair with Deacon. In truth, Taylor learned about it after she'd returned from the grave. Taylor has forgotten that she suggested Thomas enlist Hope to be Douglas' mommy. Taylor forgot that Douglas is a Spencer and lives with his Spencer cousin and godfather, Liam. Taylor forgot that Thomas let Hope have permanent guardianship of Douglas as his adoptive mother.
As I said before, Taylor's return threatens to undo the big, happy family Hope and Steffy strived to create. Steffy said she didn't want her and Hope to be like their moms. Ridge and Brooke said they didn't want to fight over their kids. Thanks to Taylor (and Deacon), that's exactly where this is headed. Poor Douglas is about to have his whole new family upended -- even though he, Thomas, Liam, and Hope are all happy about their arrangement.
The saddest part is that with all the rewrites, Taylor hasn't changed. She's back to screwing with the mind of a child grieving a dead mother. Someone hand Douglas some scissors, so he can cut up Taylor's next wedding dress for her next wedding to his grandpa.
As you know, I gave Vinny's suicide/murder frame-up the best plot of the year. It came with some of the best twists of the year, and one of those twists was who Vinny's actual killer was. It wasn't that Liam hit Vinny on purpose due to the paternity test tampering. It wasn't that Liam slammed into Vinny because he'd been a distracted driver. It was because Vinny, with the help of some GPS voodoo, timed it perfectly so that his torso would become a punching bag for Liam's grill.
If you gotta go, you gotta go. Vinny died, taking himself out on his own terms. Some think those are some idiotic terms, and they would be correct. It's too bad, though, because I thought Vinny had potential. Can't you just see him now as Sheila's love slave and henchman?
I know I just said that when you gotta go, you gotta go, but come on, Zoe. Do you have to leave so many loose ends? Zoe left Paris in an apartment lurch with too expensive rent and no roommate. Zoe left HFTF without a spokesperson and model, and Zoe left me without any retribution for what Quinn and Carter had done to her!
It was bad enough that Zoe missed the big reveal at the vow renewal. On top of that, she didn't even have time to be mad that her engagement world had just fallen apart. Zoe had just learned that her new work buddy had been sleeping with her man -- the same man Quinn was helping her reconcile with. Ain't that a B? But Zoe had no time for confrontations, not if she expected to make it through those brutal airport check-ins.
This just isn't the type of thing you confront someone about over the phone -- not on a soap. But, unfortunately, that's exactly what happened, off-screen. We viewers didn't even get a one-sided phone call in which we heard Carter or Quinn's side of the conversation. No, we didn't get to hear what a lousy witch Zoe thought Quinn was for stealing her man and for ratting her out for spiking her sister's drink. We didn't get to hear Zoe blast Carter for the hypocrite he is for dumping her over flirting with Zende and then sleeping with the boss's wife!
Zoe Buckingham's exit was the worst of the year because, just like the major storyline it spun from, it left us with no retribution, and the cheaters didn't have to pay, as usual.
B&B's 2021 was a year of only a handful of evolving plots and a mosaic of memorable scenes. I can't talk about them all but below is a quick list of the year's outstanding moments:
Hope knocks Flo off her Logan horse. The Logan sisters presented a warm front when they welcomed Flo into the family, but a cold front blew in when Flo approached Hope for forgiveness.
Brooke hands Quinn her comeuppance. After Quinn outed Brooke's kiss with Bill during Bridge's reunion party, Brooke finally got to return the favor by busting Quinn, who'd had the gall to let her lover officiate her and her husband's vow renewal.
Finn, you are the father! In a Boom! Bam! Pow! Moment, Finn learns that he is Hayes's father, and he rushes off to propose to Steffy on a gloriously beautiful cliffside.
Too much "smog" in Paris. Zende's romantic evening with Paris is interrupted by an evil, premeditated onset of gastrointestinal issues.
Busted/not busted. Justin burst in and busted Quinn and Carter for having an affair. Ah, but it's not an affair if you have permission.
Sheila. Sheila? Sheila! The most awkward moment of the year had to be when Finn rushed into his wedding reception with all the glee of a six-year-old to show everyone who he'd found in the guesthouse, and the crowd shrank back as if he'd brought in a ticking time bomb.
Carter and Quinn can't hold back. It was wrong, but it was done just right. Carter threw Quinn against the wall and consumed her by the fire in one of the most combustible moments of 2021.
Paris slathers Finn in suntan lotion. It sure looked good going on. Paris was about to lose her job -- until she snapped out of it, realized she'd been fantasizing about seducing Finn, and promptly moved out of the cliff house before she blew her relationships with Finn and Steffy.
Eric and Donna have one honey of an O. Eric and Donna gave new meaning to Colonel Sanders' catchphrase when Eric experienced a visceral response to licking honey off her finger.
And an honorable mention goes to "Sexy time! Sexy time! Sexy time!" Liam Spencer for that quote alone, not to mention the many sensual Lope reunions of 2021.
Finn learns that his adoptive father is his biological father. Finn and Jack, wow. Whoever dreamed up this plot gets a standing ovation. I never thought Sheila would have conceived with a man more diabolical than she is. Jack is so diabolical that he turned his love child from a forbidden affair into his adoptive son! Nice move! The dumb move? Telling your wife and son about it. Take Michael Jackson's advice and "Keep it in the medical supply closet!"
Every year, B&B cruises through storylines. New characters sail in, and others float out along the way. Sometimes, the exits are planned, but sometimes, a character is seen on the horizon one day but disappears the next. I've compiled a missing persons report that I need Lieutenant Hot Dog to investigate at once. The major topic, where is Flyatt?
Flo Fulton -- Last scene July 26, 2021, delivering Eric's divorce papers. What in the world happened to Flo? She was set to have a banner year. The Logan sisters forgave her for everything she'd done to Hope. Welcoming Flo into the family, the sisters gave her the Logan name and convinced Ridge to hire her to work with Katie in public relations. Wyatt proposed to her and promised her the minivan future of her dreams. Shauna and Quinn were gleefully planning a wedding and grandkids.
And then nothing. No wedding, no kids, no plots. Just a cameo or two in Liam and Quinn's individual storylines. Huh. Maybe she got run over by a Forrester delivery truck. Who knows? I'm not in a hurry for Baker to find her, either.
Wyatt Spencer -- last scene September 13, 2021, prophesying about his mom's marriage. As with Flo, it was a slow year for Wyatt. He was instrumental in getting the Logans to accept Flo into the family fold and smart enough not to even approach Hope with it. Wyatt was there for his brother when Hope had shunned Liam for his one-night stand with Steffy. He was also Quinn's sounding board during her affair with Carter.
Wyatt hung on the periphery of Bill and Liam's murder mystery, disillusioned and often wondering what he was missing about his family's peculiar behavior. As clueless as they come, Wyatt had no idea that his dad's imprisonment put him in direct competition with Justin to run Spencer. Justin was actually succeeding in stealing Wyatt's legacy while Wyatt was more interested in going home and running baths for Flo.
Wyatt might have been dense about Bill, Liam, and Justin, but his intuition was spot-on about Eric and Quinn. In his last scene, he poignantly laid out for Liam exactly where the ED storyline was headed. Unless we see Wyatt again soon, I'm stamping his photo on an eggnog carton.
If you know of other characters who dropped off the face of Los Angeles in 2021, launch your own investigation by logging it in the comments section below. Until we scoop again, thank you for getting two scoops deep with me in 2021. Remember that part two of our special look back at 2021 featuring Mike's year-end review will be posted next week. Happy holidays! Be safe, be well, be bold and beautiful, baby!
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.