February Sweeps under the rug

For the Week of February 21, 2022
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February used to be the pinnacle of soapiness for soaps, but with 2022, its second month has been more valleys than peaks. Brooke made another "mistake," Steffy and Thomas regressed to preteen brats, and Ridge once again decided to trade one wife in for another. Bust the dust with Two Scoops' Mike!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Was the only red you had for Valentine's Day dripping from your nose? Did you act like such a kindergartener that you needed a blankie? Did you and everyone around you succumb to the kind of amnesia where one only remembers the present moment? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan clan this week!

This year, Cupid was a lousy shot, Scoopers! The only hearts that went pitter-patter were Ridge's and Deacon's as they exerted the energy to beat the crap out of each other. Steffy became even more unwatchable, Thomas pulled on Ridge what Justin pulled on him, Brooke keeps wondering why she drank but never looks into it, and Ridge made Liam look like a stable husband! Is it too late to exchange 2022 for another year? Let's Scoop about it!

Do you guys remember February Sweeps? It's a period involving Nielsen ratings and advertisers, but, like its May and November counterparts, sweeps always meant the culmination of stories that had been building for months and explosive drama on our screens. I honestly thought sweeps weren't a thing anymore. They are; it's just that, to watch B&B this February, you'd think it was any other time.

Even more disillusioning, we are past Valentine's Day and still talking about what happened over New Year's Eve. It might be forgivable that we're in such seen-it-all-before territory with Ridge and Brooke, but everyone is acting like the last several years didn't happen. The only character with any healthy perspective is Hope! And when you break it all down...this episode-dominating story is just falling flat.

I know B&B can do better. What I don't understand is...why aren't they? Why do they keep going to the well to pull up stories that were old 30 years ago when it would be so easy to brainstorm some fresh ideas and give their excruciatingly talented cast new material to work with? Watching right now is like being able to do a paint-by-numbers painting with your eyes closed. I'm so frustrated. Just so frustrated.

WIPE THE FLOOR WITH YOU

Brooke relayed to Taylor that she had been about to tell Ridge about her drunken kiss with Deacon, except first Taylor had made a few gallons of tea for the express purpose of spilling it. Brooke thought that Taylor should have come to her before running to Ridge. Now, it may be Krista Allen standing in Taylor's heels now, but it was definitely Taylor standing in the room.

Taylor opined that Brooke had gotten drunk on purpose so Brooke would have an excuse to cheat on Ridge! Now, stay with me here, but since when is one kiss cheating? I mean, it's still wrong, but Taylor and the Taytots are all acting like Brooke had a full-blown affair. All this hoopla over one stinking kiss is really just trying to make drama where there's very little.

At some points, Taylor did seem to understand alcoholism. But she never once acknowledged that she has that understanding because she is an alcoholic herself. In fact, Taylor battled the bottle far longer than Brooke ever did, and someone even died because of Taylor's drinking. There's occasional compassion toward Brooke in Taylor's voice, but Taylor touching on their mutual disease would be helpful.

Meanwhile, at Il Giardino, Ridge accused Deacon of violating his wife. Here we go again with Ridge throwing around the word "violated." Insisting that Steffy had been violated by Bill was what drove Taylor to shoot Bill in the back! Ridge had every right to be pissed about Deacon and Brooke kissing, but, as usual, Ridge only deals in absolutes. He even thought that Deacon had spiked Brooke's drink!

Deacon kept insisting that he and Brooke had only shared one kiss, but Ridge kept acting like they'd had sex in every room in the house and livestreamed it on Pornhub. Ridge does not listen well; maybe your hearing craps out when you plunge into the ocean from a helicopter. Deacon listened as long as he could but eventually told Ridge that he was about done holding back from kicking Ridge's ass.

With that, Ridge rushed Deacon, and the fisticuffs began. Interestingly, the last time Ridge gave Deacon a knuckle sandwich was in 2017, to stop Deacon from killing Quinn. At least then, it was noble. This time around, exciting as the staged fight was, it was basically two 50+ guys behaving like they were on a middle school playground. I hope Deacon won't be held accountable for the damage to the supply room.

I seem to recall that Deacon flattened Ridge in 2002 or thereabouts with a roundhouse kick. Ridge seemed to have better luck holding his own this time, especially when Brooke's voice wafted in and Deacon decided to let Ridge beat him up. Deacon's ploy worked -- Brooke rushed in and saw what looked like Ridge knocking a helpless Deacon into next week.

When Brooke broke up the fight, Ridge pouted and accused Brooke of defending Deacon. Did Ridge not listen? Brooke clearly said she just didn't want the men fighting. But Ridge stuck to the narrative, telling Brooke he loved her but couldn't be with her anymore. Sure, okay, Ridge. We know how this goes. Ridge will be back with Brooke before the Cadbury Creme Eggs are sold out at Easter.

And why isn't Brooke reminding Ridge that she only did exactly what Ridge had once done himself? Drunk out of his mind, he let Shauna kiss him and put him to bed. Brooke certainly didn't fly Deacon to a Vegas chapel and marry him the way the tanked Ridge did with Shauna. Yet no one is bringing this up. Plus, when Brooke actually had sex with Oliver, thinking he was Ridge, all Ridge had to say was, "Oh, Logan." But one kiss is a deal-breaker.

So, yeah, Brooke messed up, but Ridge has done the same and worse. So why is what Brooke did so horrible and awful? Sidebar: Brooke, it's time to stop wondering why you drank and start looking into it. Maybe the tampered-with bottle is still in the recycling bin. Brooke is usually way more plucky, and I don't know how much longer I can watch Sheila being all cocky. She needs to get caught already.

BRUSHING IT OFF

As it was, Sheila couldn't wait to swoop into Taylor's office and gloat about Brooke's downfall. Taylor didn't want to engage in trash-talking with Sheila, who upped the ante and made the case that Taylor now had a chance to reunite with Ridge. After all, Ridge should have stayed with Taylor all along! Well, gee, Sheila, Ridge would have if you hadn't run into Eric's house with a loaded gun for Taylor to get shot by and "die"!

I don't understand how Taylor can even look at Sheila. B&B should be exploring the dynamic between these women; Taylor should be far more traumatized by what happened, and Sheila, if she really wanted to change, should be trying to find ways to make things up to Taylor. Maybe have that be Sheila's reasoning for sabotaging Brooke instead of getting revenge over one single comment.

I also am not about Sheila still running around smug over Brooke after all these weeks. When Sheila spiked Macy's drink in 1993 and sent Macy on a true drinking binge, did Sheila sit around gloating about it? No, she moved on to trying to keep her marriage to Eric together and antagonizing Stephanie. I never thought I would see Sheila so sedentary. But hey, Lauren Fenmore doesn't even know Sheila is alive after five years. So, why should I expect a proactive Sheila?

Sheila then found the bloodied Deacon and sniffed that he wasn't the alpha dog because he didn't beat Ridge unconscious...right before telling Deacon that his having a fistfight would be a red flag to Brooke! Deacon took up the huh baton from Sheila and bragged that Brooke had defended him to Ridge. Do all these people have wax in their ears? Brooke only said she wanted to stop the fighting! Lawd.

When Deacon reiterated how Ridge had suspected him of spiking Brooke's non-alcoholic bubbly, Sheila replied, "Brooke would taste the difference in her drink if you did that." Exactly! Why did Brooke not realize her champagne was the real deal from the first sip? If this story had any more holes in it, the Swiss would claim it as a piece of their cheese. But wait, kiddies...it gets better...so much better.

WHITEWASHING THE FINDINGS

Steffy was such a bitch to Hope. So much for that blended family. Ridge at least had that right: Taylor came home, and it brought up all kinds of feelings for Steffy and Thomas. More like, whenever Taylor is around, Steffy and Thomas go nuts. Steffy also waved the "Brooke cheated" banner and declared Taylor a reliable force in Ridge's life!

Does no one remember that Taylor became mentally ill and put a bullet in Bill's back? Taylor brought Bill up to Brooke without the slightest hint of irony. And Steffy calls her mom reliable? How I do wish B&B would have dug further into Taylor having recovered from her psychotic episode. I can deal with Taylor being "normal" now, but it doesn't wash away the lunacy she displayed in 2018 and 2019.

Hope was the only voice of reason this week, reminding Steffy that not only had Taylor hurt Ridge, as well, but Steffy herself had done her own ish that she regretted. Seriously. How is Brooke kissing Deacon once worse than Steffy thinking she'd gotten pregnant by Bill when she was married to Liam, then by Liam when he was already with Hope? Steffy, go to Dodger Stadium and take all 56,000 seats.

Hope also dared to ask Steffy, "Do you ever hold Ridge accountable?" Indeed, Steffy didn't have a mostly absentee dad because Brooke had him chained to her bed. Ridge did his own damage by bouncing between Brooke and Taylor. Steffy would not hear reason. She knew Ridge would go back to her mother. How, exactly? Ridge leaving Brooke does not instantly mean he would reunite with Taylor.

But if Steffy was bitchy with Hope, she was downright insufferable with Ridge. She badgered Ridge so much about leaving Brooke that even Taylor had to tell her daughter to back off. Not that the command worked. Doesn't Steffy have other things to do, like running a company or legalizing her marriage to Finn, since that's still not valid after over six months?

Nope. For Steffy, it's like the last twelve years never happened. All she cares about is putting Ridge and Taylor back together and sticking it to the Logans. You know, in 2010, when Steffy finagled Forrester back from Bill, she split its stock four ways between Ridge, Eric, Stephanie, and Taylor, calling it "REST." I have four other letters for Steffy: STFU. Honestly, I just can't listen to her anymore. What a child.

And Thomas...where to even start with you? You joined your sister in bashing Brooke, the same woman you lied about having sex with to gain Stephanie's stock. Like Steffy, Thomas thought Ridge should come home to Taylor, who had never let Ridge down. Never mind that Ridge left Taylor in 2006 because she had her own sober New Year's kiss with Hector and then 'fessed up that she had slept with James years before that!

Do any of these people ever learn anything? Can we get some character development once in a while? Can these guys not be all indignant about one person doing something, and then doing the same things themselves? Remember last year when Justin bogarted Thomas' phone so Thomas couldn't go to the cops with Vinny's confessional snuff video? Thomas wasn't happy about that, was he?

So, what does this fool do? Thomas pockets Ridge's phone so he can't take any calls from Brooke! Again, without the slightest irony. Worse, this is the kind of juvenile prank Thomas pulled in 2009, when he and Steffy were trying to keep Brooke from stopping Ridge's out-of-nowhere wedding to Taylor. Steffy and Thomas were barely legal then, so it was at least somewhat understandable. But they're in their 30s now.

Another thing I wondered was, why was Ridge's ringer off? He's only the co-CEO of a major design house; he could get a call from a buyer or a distributor or a reporter at any moment. Maybe he has a different work phone? But lo, when Thomas was outside with Brooke, playing gatekeeper, Ridge's phone rang! Did Thomas end up butt-dialing the ringer into coming back on?

I couldn't help hoping that Brooke would push Thomas off the cliff again -- which is why it made me laugh when Thomas asked Brooke if she were going to do just that to get to Ridge! See how much better that scene was for being true to continuity? Thomas managed to chase Brooke away, and Steffy deemed his work "nicely done." Taylor needs to put these kids in the corner and send them to bed without supper.

Ridge had his own moment of good continuity, when he actually told Taylor that what they'd had was amazing "until Sheila." Finally, someone remembers that it wasn't Brooke that separated Tridge; it was Sheila's bullet. But then Ridge dumbed himself down by asking Taylor for her honest opinion about his situation with Brooke. Why ask the question when you already know what the answer is going to be?

Did Ridge really think Taylor was going to do anything but say Brooke wasn't worthy of him, which is precisely what Taylor did? Ridge took this in and said with the straightest of faces that Taylor had never betrayed him. Ridge remembers Sheila but not Hector/James. And then, less than an hour after walking out on Brooke, Ridge asked Taylor to take him back!

Whaaaaaat? Taylor had a moment of clarity when she ducked Ridge's initial kiss, declaring, "I can't go through this again." But in the same breath, she grabbed Ridge's head and...went through "this" again. Excuse me, but Tridge hasn't had any sort of romantic relationship for 16 years...in real time. And B&B wants me to believe that they can just fall back into one? Does the word "rebound" mean nothing to this bunch, especially Taylor?

What a better story it would have been if we'd teased a Tridge reunion only for Taylor to firmly hold her ground and turn Ridge down. So, now we've compounded one silly story arc with another. I can't believe how mind-numbing B&B is right now. We have Sheila and Deacon back at the same time, a brand-new Taylor...and this is the best we can do? Oy. Silver linings -- at least we didn't have to watch Carter and Paris moon over each other this week.

How do you grade all of this, Scoopers? Am I being too harsh on the show, or do you share my frustration? Are you happy with the direction things are going, or do you have your own ideas about what would make for better viewing? And what do you think B&B's "big twist" will be? Sweep into the Comments section below or the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback. Your comments could be in a future column! Like these!

"Yes, Thomas and Steffy are being juvenile, but it's fun to watch. BTW, why didn't Taylor show Ridge the video instead of just telling him. That would have been more practical, oops, sorry, we're talking B&B, where one conversation lasts two, three days." -- Rhonda

"I'd like to get my hopes up about something shocking happening on B&B, but I just can't. What I would like to happen is 1) Taylor turns the tables on Sheila by getting Sheila to admit what she had done to Brooke, 2) Taylor calls a family meeting and exposes Sheila's role in Brooke's 'downfall' and tells Brooke that she believes that nothing other than a kiss happened between Brooke and Deacon, and 3) Taylor tells her kids to grow up, get a life and stop playing matchmaker, because as much as Taylor loves Ridge, she realizes that Ridge will always love Brooke and that Taylor deserves more than to be someone's #2. I know, wishful thinking, but hey, one can dream, right?" -- "thomascd"

"Put Nu-Tay with Jack!" -- Jane

Yeah, where is Jack, anyway? He got outed as Finn's biodad three months ago, and we haven't seen him since. A Wyatt return got some publicity this week, but he'll probably just weigh in on the Bridge/Tridge saga. The guy only got engaged to Flo a year ago, not that any of us really want to see her. We really could use a canvas-wide shake-up, the likes of which B&B is teasing.

The latest is that this upcoming plot twist will be bigger than Sheila's initial return in 2017! I hope so, because, like I said, Sheila's biggest nemesis doesn't even know that she's alive, which should have been the first story aspect to be tackled. What could qualify as a change-B&B-forever shift? Characters grow and learn from their mistakes? Major details (like Steffy and Finn not actually being married) get addressed? People find themselves in new, intriguing situations and not scenarios that were stale when Clinton was in his first term?

I am hard on B&B because I actually love the show and want it to be better. And if you're like me, hope never dies, so let's keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold. And for soap's sake, get vaccinated! Because protecting yourselves and others from a virus and its variants is always beautiful.
AMJ

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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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