One of the most annoying things that can happen on soaps is to have the writers either forget about history or intentionally thumb their nose at history and rewrite it. Okay, that's two things. I think more of that as correcting myself than, you know, thumbing my nose at the first sentence of my column.
I make that previous statement based on extensive research. Owning and operating a soap opera web site for three decades has taught my quite a few things. Most of those things are pretty much useless in the real world. Others ≠ like tilting your glass when pouring soda ≠ have actually helped. I learned that from All My Children back in the 1990s.
The issue with these history flubs is that there really is no way to know which of the two scenarios the writers fall into. Occasionally, a writer will give an interview and admit that they have opted to retcon things. Retcon is defined as "a piece of new information that imposes a different interpretation on previously described events, typically used to facilitate a dramatic plot shift or account for an inconsistency."
If you look at social media or the comments section on this or other web sites, you'll more than likely see fans lobbing all sorts of names at writers who they have decided don't know the show's history. And it's not always distant history. Sometimes writers are accused of forgetting things that they'd written just a few weeks earlier.
Soap fans rarely ≠ if ever ≠ forget anything. Don't let a character say that they were wearing a red shirt in 1971 because soap fans will swarm and declare that said shirt was red. Why am I saying all of this? Because I think that an upcoming plot "twist" is something that has already been telegraphed.
I am terrible with quotes, adages, and pretty much any other sort of pearls of wisdom. And, of course, there's a quote I really want to use in this column and I cannot for the life of me remember what it is or who said it. So, I'll do the next best thing: paraphrase and reconfigure it into something useable. Someone once said that you don't put a tea kettle in a scene unless there's a purpose for said tea kettle. Now, whoever the person was didn't say tea kettle, but you get the idea.
In B&B's case, it's you don't have a kid mention an app on his phone that can replicate anyone's voice unless there's a purpose for that voice-altering app. Remember back on September 7, when Douglas used the app to trick Eric into believing that Donna was talking to him? I suspect that app was also used to make "Brooke's" call to Child Protective Services.
I'll admit, this is the kind of app that probably doesn't need to exist in the world, fictional or otherwise. I can only think of bad things that could be done with the app. This is the thing of my nightmares: having a holographic me or a voice-sampled me doing something that gets me in trouble. But it's not just the imposter thing that irks me, it's that it could conceivably fool a loved one into believing the worst. I'm looking at you, Ridge!
This is where I question whether Ridge is really Brooke's loved one. How can I question that? While the voice on the CPS call sounded like Brooke, Ridge should have been able to tell that the cadence of the speech was different than Brooke's. The inflection was different. Ridge should have said, "That sounds like Brooke, but that isn't Brooke." Then again, Brooke couldn't differentiate between Oliver and Ridge's lovemaking techniques and penises (peni?). If everything is bigger in Texas, maybe everything is generically bland in Los Angeles.
I also have to wonder if Brooke would really have given her name instead of saying, "I'm a concerned neighbor/citizen/human being." At the very least I would think Brooke would have "ummed" or paused. But no. Robo-Brooke monotonously shared her name without any hesitation.
Speaking of speaking without hesitation, there's Steffy, a woman who uses nearly every waking hour trying to get her mom and dad back together. I said it in my last column and I am saying it again: I do not get it. Steffy is focused so much on the way that Brooke has hurt Ridge, but she hasn't stopped once to think of how Ridge has hurt Taylor. Sure, Ridge and Taylor were married, but they broke up, divorced, and had a marriage annulled. If Ridge and Taylor didn't stick the landing before, why does Steffy (and Thomas, really) think this time will be any different?
It's fascinating to see Taylor, a world-famous psychiatrist, deal with her own mental health crises. It's clear that Taylor is in love with Ridge, but it's also clear that Taylor doesn't want to resort to questionable behavior to get Ridge back. Taylor scolds Steffy for meddling in her love life, but Taylor doesn't seem to mind too much squirting paint all over Brooke.
In Taylor's latest request for Steffy to stop meddling in her love life, she said, "I've been in love with your father for over 30 years... So much has happened. I know I am on the wrong side of history on this one. Brooke is married to your father. I am not the homewrecker here. That is her karma. It is not mine."
As soon as I heard that, I knew something in that statement would be the title of my column. I had originally focused on the "homewrecker" part. Then I realized that everyone on B&B is a homewrecker. And while a whole lot of people are making decisions that are messing up people's lives, most of them own it. Who doesn't? Ridge. His uncertainty about what he wants has Brooke, Steffy, Taylor, Thomas, Douglas, Hope, Liam, and pretty much everyone else twisted in knots. But Ridge has never owned that. Instead, it's Brooke's lying. It's Hope's selfishness. It's Bill's hugging.
Deacon has been blaming Sheila for turning his world upside-down, but Deacon's doing a good job of that himself. He could have cut Sheila loose a long time ago and probably have saved himself a lot of heartache. The longer he plays hide and freak with "Lina," the worse it's going to be for him. He also has Nikki Newman haggling with him for dirt on Diane Jenkins. Did Deacon really think he could sneak over to B&B, er, Los Angeles, and escape the fallout from Diane being not-dead? Maybe he thought he could lay low at least until November Sweeps.
Jumping back to Thomas, he had to know that voice-altering app will come back to bite him it the butt. And if it does, he's going to dash any chance he has of getting primary custody of Douglas. Unless... what if Douglas made the call? I have been trying to figure out why Thomas would risk everything by calling CPS on himself. What if the officers had actually found something amiss and took Douglas out of the Forrester mansion? Not that Thomas actually strings together two consecutive thoughts.
Maybe Thomas has himself so convinced that everything will go his way that he didn't see how reckless his call could be. Thomas sure didn't have a problem negotiating with Sheila over the Champagne label debacle. That silence eventually led to Steffy being shot and Finn being murdered. Temporarily, anyway. Does someone have to die more permanently for Thomas to knock it off? With all this talk of flying to Aspen, what if Ridge heads to Aspen his plane goes down? Thomas seeing that his actions resulted in his dad's death? He'd definitely spiral out of control and that might make for some fascinating television.
But what if Thomas didn't call CPS? What if Douglas made the call... that would be a horse of a different color. Douglas has already shown he is super smart. It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that he knows about CPS, but he probably isn't mature enough to fully comprehend all of the possibly outcomes from making a call. The flaw in that theory is that I don't know if a preteen would have the wherewithal to know that framing Brooke was the best route to go.
I have never been able to decide if I think B&B's 30-minute format helps or hurts it. It's half of the time commitment than other soaps, but often that 17-minutes of actual program seems to hamstring story. Much of this past week of shows was repetitive. Some of the same things that were playing out on Wednesday had only inched ahead by Friday.
There is also no real B Story at the moment. The Douglas custody plot is sort of lumped in with the Brooke/Taylor/Ridge triangle now. And a lot of actors are sidelined at the moment or playing third fiddle in these two main plots. Bill and Katie are estranged and supposedly thinking about working things out. Zende sketches and Paris works on proposals. Sheila and Deacon have story, but it only pops up on-screen every so often. Not that every story needs to be seen every day. Still, I often feel like B&B could go warp speed with some of their stories, produce shocking cliffhangers every day, and rope in new viewers to a show that has a faster pace.
Random side note that just popped into my head: It's a shame the voice-cloning app didn't exist when Thomas had his mannequin fixation. Things really could have gotten kinky.
Those are my thoughts on what happened on B&B last week. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree with anything I said? Are there points that you disagree with? Head to the Comments section below this column and let me know. Part of the fun of guest-starring in a Two Scoops column is getting to interact even more with fans. And now, this week's column is part of history... and hopefully it's not on the wrong side of it.
It's an embarrassment of riches this week -- there is a second Two Scoops column. Click or tap here to read a special column from Adam-Michael James.
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