Ok, there were probably more bad than good this year, but I believe the 'good' was GREAT! I have been accused over the last year of being overly negative and finding little to be happy about during our favorite half hour of escapism each day. However, when I sat down to analyze the last year's goings-on, I found that there were some well written and enjoyable things about B&B and here is what I came up with...
Hands down, it has to be the Thorne transformation! I have watched patiently over the years for this character to get a backbone and some confidence to take on the grossly overpowering shadow of his older brother. I have watched him trail around behind Ridge getting little other than his sloppy seconds and castoff women like Caroline and (briefly) Taylor. I have seen him ride for years on the Co-Dependent Express with Macy and spend too much time singing instead of helping carry on a fashion tradition. I have even watched him marry Brooke (the ultimate Ridge castoff) only to see his dignity pounded in the dirt by her admission that she will never get over Ridge. Instead of rising to the occasion, getting really mad and becoming more formidable, he drank some liquid courage and watched everything with Macy backfire after he knocked up Darla after a one-nighter. Now I am glad to say that watching him is a delight and I commend the writers for FINALLY doing something with his character instead of him being the perpetual doormat. Bravo and please keep it up!
The other storylines I felt were strong and engaging were the WTD conclusion and the most recently the Massimo stroke story. Ok, let me explain the former...I will always be the first one to say the WHOLE WTD story was completely ridiculous and a blatant rehashing of previous stories we have seen before. I did, however, like the conclusion in that it showcased Nick's real love of Brooke and in turn her feelings for him. I love the acting we saw out of Jack Wagner and as a rather unapologetic Brooke/Nick fan, I loved that after she married Ridge Brooke came to Nick practically begging for him to stay in her life. Why did she do that? Why bother...unless she still has unresolved feelings for him? I believe she does and if any other good thing came out of that nearly year-long story, it's proof that Brooke can have chemistry with someone OTHER than Ridge. I think the writers could do a lot worse than exploring the possibilities that lay within those two and perhaps Bridget's angst-filled return to the scene will show her how shaky her marriage to Rigid really is. Talk about a fun couple to watch everyday...Nick and Brooke would also bring up the ratings and finally threaten the top spot that seems always occupied by Y&R. Call me crazy but I can dream, can't I?
The Massimo stroke storyline has done a great job of showing exactly why we all liked Deacon when he first came on the scene. He's a scoundrel at heart and though he is a favorite piece of eye-candy for many, his latest obsession with Jackie has shown that all the sweet and straight arrow crap he went on with Macy was just that. Massimo also needed a meatier story than what he has been given. Face it, all he did was sit in the office and perfect the 'I love both my sons' speech. Ok, but he is a good actor and his talent was showcased well as a stroke victim. I thought the inner dialogue was a little hokey, but necessary to see how his need for revenge would be constructed. I particularly liked the scenes where Stephanie visited him...she probably should have hooked up with him when she had the chance. Jackie's true colors also came shining through. I never bought this 'I was suffocated' line she kept feeding everyone. Ok, you are married to the man you have loved forever and you are living the life of a queen...what was there to complain about? She is the one that lied about the baby's paternity...Mass did not force her to do that. Loads of money and queen of the manor...sign me up! Instead she sulks away from her misdeeds and falls into bed with Deacon, the town man-slut. I know, she though her marriage was over and was lonely, but when your husband wants you back and is trying hard to make life better for you (a la JackieM), you still think that the gigolo is a better bet long term? With his track record? Oh geez. Glad to see Mass back on his feet (through top secret miraculous medical procedures?) and I can't wait to see if Deacon makes it through his 'tests'. My bet is no.
BEST NEW CHARACTER:
Well, the only one that really comes to mind is Samantha. I would have said Hector but I honestly feel his character is totally out of place in B&B. A fireman? Ok, so? Sam had some great scenes with her Mom and I think there is a lot of potential with her character that is not being explored. I thought we might have had a little hook-up with Eric as the 'controversial storyline' we were promised, but to no avail. She is a strong female character and these days there is a shortage of that. All we see is Brooke and Stephanie. I don't like Amber very much but we don't even see her much (which may be a good thing!). With Felicia gone, their needs to be another dynamic female lead to step up and shake things up a bit. Sam could drop Hector and make a move on Eric or Ridge...wouldn't anyone want a front row seat for that?
BEST CHARACTER TAKE DOWN:
Ridge. He needed to be reminded that he is not the end-all be-all of the B&B universe and I am so glad Thorne was the one to help show him that. Ridge has become an egomaniacal and completely self-absorbed character that seems to be polarizing the fanbase more than any other character in recent memory. Brooke used to do that in the past but even both sides of that debate are finding a good middle ground with how she has stood up for herself and let Ridge know that she does have a brain and is not a mindless fembot like many believe Taylor became over many years as Mrs. Ridge Forrester. Now he 'is trying to find his place' amongst the two families. Yeah, whatever Ridge. Maybe the take down will not last long but it was fun to watch nonetheless. Welcome to the Earth, Ridge, where all of us mortal beings live. Hope you enjoy your stay.
Well, unless you have not read my column before, it should not surprise anyone that I would pick Nick and Brooke for the best and hottest romance of the year. I was on the edge of my seat when she begged Nick to 'fly her away' in the company jet. I LOVED THAT! No petting the hair, no gravel-voiced 'Logan' references...just two people that looked like they belonged together. Brooke smiled and laughed more with him that she ever has with the Wooden One. Hot, hot, hot.
BEST MINOR CHARACTER EMERGENCE:
This would have to go to Darla for finally coming into her own as a smarter than average character. She was always the ditsy secretary at Spectra and one that I always thought was a throwaway character to play off Sally and Clarke until her marriage to Thorne. They believe in each other and while some may think she is the root cause of the Thorne-Ridge wars, I don't. She has supported him in ways Macy always seemed reluctant to. Maybe she was so busy trying to kiss up to the Forresters that she ignored how Thorne was being treated. She's ok in my book and I look forward to more scenes with her holding her own with Ridge and Brooke. Stick to your guns, Sister!
That's about all I could come up with as my 'best' moments. I am hoping, like many of you, that 2005 brings better and more original stories with new characters and fresh pairings. I keep reading other sites and even the latest SOD at the grocery store for any hints as to what the new year holds in store but everything is still too vague. Maybe Deacon will become a stand-up guy? Maybe Bridget will reveal her feelings for Ridge and maybe it will interfere with him and Brooke? Maybe, maybe maybe...one thing is for sure, I will be here to look at it all with my special twisted sense of humor. Please feel free to email this week and tell me what you would like to see for 2005. Be candid and creative...I'd like to use reader feedback to craft next week's Scoops. Until then, have a happy and safe New Year's and have a drink of champagne on me!
Who's on the Soapbox? Jessica writes... 'I'd like to see something rock Thorne and Darla as their perfection is grating on my nerves...Eric needs a woman to stir up trouble for Stephanie...Amber needs another story other than resident molester.'
Rhonda writes... 'What I'd like to see next year...Ridge admit and deal with what 'Ridget' was all about...Ridge coming on to Paige...finding out that Bridget or Ridge had a part in faking RJ's paternity!'
Until next week, stay in touch with your thoughts...it's the best part of my week when I hear from everybody!