Ok, I'm in line at my local grocery store checkout trying to keep my 4 year old from emptying all the M&M's into our cart when a magazine cover catches my darting eyes. When I realized what it was that I saw, I risked a severe case of whiplash turning my head back around in surprise. It was the latest issue of Soap Opera Weekly, the ink still slightly damp and freshly displayed in the top rack. On the cover...Taylor and Ridge in a desperate embrace. I heard the rumor (along with many others) but I just couldn't believe my eyes. The checker was yelling for me to put my food on the little belt to ring it up and then proceeded to ask me if I was alright. I told her 'Yes' and that I had just seen a ghost. Well, it was true, wasn't it?
For about a week I had been lurking on all the message boards that I usually deem reliable wondering who could be the mysterious stalker and what the storyline might be. I had read it ALL...Morgan stalking after some quickie plastic surgery to look like Taylor, Oscar back from Denmark mad that Bridget would put out for him but was now marrying his cousin, Sheila coming back to either exact revenge on the Forresters or parade Mojo's love child Diana around town and last but not least, there was this crazy rumor that Hunter Tylo was spotted coming in and out of the B&B studios over the last few weeks. Or at least someone who LOOKED a lot like Hunter Tylo. I thought to myself, how can that be? Even in 'crazy soap land', it would be too much of a stretch. After all, we all saw Taylor lying in a casket over the course of a few days during the funeral! She died in Ridge's arms and faded into B&B history (again), much to the dismay of many die-hard viewers. I was never a HUGE fan but I will say that she seemed classy and always a great counter to Brooke's character. She is beautiful and honestly, a really good actress. So after seeing the magazine cover, I began to wonder, what are the good and bad to this surprise move on Bell's part? Let's ponder that one, shall we?
For much of the Nineties, Taylor Hayes Forrester was a staple in Ridge's life. He married her and had three children with her. They weathered their share of heartache, infidelity, and their very own WTD storyline involving poor Thorne. She was the shrink to the fashion world though we never really saw her actually 'counseling' anyone. More than that, however, what I seem to remember most are the classic battles with Brooke and the constant insecurity she could arouse in Brooke's behavior. Brooke could never REALLY compete with her and it took her demise for Ridge to finally give a life with Brooke a chance. Face it folks, there would have never been a Bridge if Taylor have lived.
So she is back from the Great Beyond. What makes this a GOOD move for B&B? Well, that seems obvious to me. RATINGS, RATINGS, RATINGS. No one can deny that things have been a little dicey at best these last few months and I even seem to remember a week or two that B&B slipped to #3 behind GH (I think). To have such a popular and storied character back in the fold can only raise the numbers. In fact, it would not surprise me too much if her first couple of onscreen weeks don't garner a shocking leapfrog of Y&R...at least for one week? Wouldn't that be something? B&B has always been a bridesmaid to Y&R's bride in the ratings for as long as I can remember. Taylor's return also re-energizes the show and provides many different storyline ideas for the wayward writing corps. I am hoping that the stale and redundant stories of the last couple of years will truly be a thing of the past and now more than ever the producers finally KEEP a pivotal character around for more than 5 minutes. If Tylo is only back for a month or so, it just might be the final nail in MY coffin!
On the flip side, what are the 'negatives' about Taylor's return from the dead? Well, I suppose the legions of Brooke and Ridge fans may be put off a little as Taylor seemed nothing more than a cheap Brooke wanna-be in their opinion. Taylor could also, as feared above, be another victim of the B&B Revolving Door that sucks in quality actors only to have their contracts cut short and their stories axed in favor of more nauseating Ridge-Brooke bedroom soft porn. Some may also feel that HOW she is returning is ridiculous and forced on the part of the writers and that we as viewers are just being 'dumbed down' to believe the return could be credible. Taylor also poses a problem for the marriage between Ridge and Brooke. Does he stay with Brooke now that another marriage is likely not valid or does he stick it out with Logan and tell Taylor ' Day late and a dollar short'?
My money is on the positive side of the analysis. Here is what I would love to see now that Taylor is back...Ridge decides to bring Taylor back into the family home and tells Brooke he's sorry but he can't exactly send her to the curb when the kids need her so much. Taylor will try to be friendly with Brooke as she did make it clear at the end of her previous life that she seemed ok with the idea of Brooke in Ridge's life. Brooke will be alone again, though, and will make a play for Nick knowing that he likely has a soft spot for her as she does for him (especially after that little 'Going Back Again' flashback we saw last week). Bridget's heart will be broken but Oscar will come back from Europe in time to save her and she will finally hook up with a man that HASN'T slept with her mother. Thomas will do some fast talking to explain his sick romp with Mrs. Amber Robinson and have his mother encourage his romance with Caitlin. Speaking of Amber, she would be wise in my little scenario NEVER to come around Taylor anytime soon. Her calm, cool demeanor will go right out the window when she finds out who deflowered her first-born son. In short, there are endless possibilities for Taylor's return. I just love the fact that her return actually gives me something to look forward to every day. I did miss her and know that this will certainly invigorate the B&B community on both sides of the fan base. I liked her and felt Ridge was much more tolerable when married to her than when he was knee-deep in co-dependent Brooke-chasing. In the last few days, I have noticed more entries on the Boards than I have in years and that just can't be a bad thing. Welcome back Taylor!
Now, about the circumstances surrounding the 'resurrection'...ok, well it does seem like the writers are reaching a little. Apparently, after another blow on the head, Ridge sees Taylor and after enlisting the help of Nick and Thorne, digs up the empty grave of Taylor only to find...Prince Omar standing over him! It's speculated that he will reveal some wild and crazy story about keeping Taylor alive and stealing her away to his tent in the desert. It is even rumored that she comes back with a child in tow. Could she have been pregnant when she was shot by Sheila? But wouldn't the hospital have known that? Who knows? In this show, ANYTHING is possible. But it will be very interesting viewing in these next few weeks. I have changed my lunch hour so that my VCR doesn't get to see all this before me! For those wondering when my cheery and positive attitude would return to the page of Two Scoops, hang in there 'cuz here it comes!!
On the lighter side, Bridget and Nick are at the altar ready to become husband and wife. He has pledged to everyone that will listen that Bridget is all he needs and loves her separate from any feelings he has ever had for her mother. Ok, but are we really buying it? Why did we get the flashback out of Brooke last week during her chat with nosey Jackie? If SHE is truly over him, why think back to anything? I still say something is there and we are being greased up like the Thanksgiving turkey. Taylor's return would make this possible and no one who has read this column over the last few years would be surprised to know that I would love to see Brooke and Nick together. With Ridge settled down a bit with Taylor as head of the household again and Brooke laughing and enjoying a healthy relationship with Gilligan, other characters can get some much needed screen time and development. Call me crazy but there are more characters on B&B than Brooke and Ridge and the sooner we get a fresh infusion of variety, the better.
A big THANK YOU to all that emailed over the last week expressing your support of my twisted little efforts here at the Scoop. It helped remind me how many great readers I have and how nice it is to know that I can bring some laughter to folks every Monday. And I must say it was nice to receive some emails from readers who really don't agree with my opinions of the show yet were very respectful and considerate in their point of view. The basic idea being that even though there are differing points of view, no one should get personal and that a couple of pro-Brooke/Ridge fans are NOT the whole bunch. I never meant to paint with such a broad stroke and I am sorry for that. I refuse to let the bad apples spoil the bunch and look forward to many spirited exchanges in the future (especially with all the excitement going on now!).
The responses to last week's question were a bit mixed. Most said they felt the best thing about the show was Taylor coming back. Many commented that the constant focus and Ridge and Brooke were keeping them from watching at all. I hate hearing that but can't help but admit I have felt the same way for the last few months. Let's hope that better and more exciting days are to come...even though we have to 'jump the shark' to get there!
This week's question will seem obvious (imagine that, coming from me!) but I want to know how everyone feels about Taylor's return. Give it to me...the good, the bad, and the ugly. Is this all too crazy? Are we reaching too much? Let me hear from you!
I am sorry the column has posted so late but I had some 'soap drama' of my own while on a trip to Pittsburgh this weekend and did not get back until late last night. I'll be back on track and may even post this week's column on Friday night if the action is particularly juicy all week! Hey, isn't it great to have a little suspense to look forward to everyday at 1:30? Who's on the Soapbox?
Dave writes... '...the bottom line here is Ridge & Brooke...they are still being written as if they were in their early 20's, Brooke is still pouting and crying, Ridge is still lashing out every which way and never examining his own behavior. When will these two going to GROW UP?'
Sherry writes... ...so far this week was absolutely refreshing...to actually see Bridget and Nick together was a breath of fresh air...as for Brooke and Ridge, well boring, but what do you expect from a soap couple who is seen everyday?'
Until next week, stay in touch with your thoughts...it's the best part of my week when I hear from everybody!