Making the grade: B&B's half-year in review:
Can 2015 really be half over already? That's what the calendar says, but with the beaming sun of summer, it's easy to forget what we learned about ... Read the column now...
Katie wanted her marriage back, and Steffy came blazing in for hers. But even the most dramatic turn on B&B pales next to the loss of soapcentral.com's Allison J. Waldman, who succumbed to cancer this week. Take a moment to remember Allison with us as you get caught up on B&B with Two Scoops' Mike.
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It's rare that I will incorporate real-life events into these chronicles of B&B's reel life. But in this case, I feel it's not only appropriate, but necessary. On April 15, our very own Allison J. Waldman, who wrote Two Scoops along with me every other week, passed away after a very long battle with cancer.
I'm not going to lie -- I didn't know Allison very well. I'd never actually met her or spoken with her. But in the few emails we exchanged, usually about who was going to cover for who if one of us needed a week off, she was friendly and fun, and her warmth always showed through. As did her love for the soaps. That was evident not only in our communications, but in her soapcentral.com columns that readers could count on every week. If she wasn't Scooping for B&B, she was Scooping for Y&R.
One thing you may not have known about Allison is that she had quite a long list of credentials in journalism. She was also a huge Barbra Streisand fan. She even published a book about Barbra and had the chance to meet the superstar just last fall. Not many of us get to meet our idols! But what many of us also weren't aware of was Allison's quiet fight against cancer. She rarely talked about it; I get the sense that she was a show-must-go-on kind of gal.
And so, that is what must happen this week. I will be doing the Scooping for you for the next while. In the meantime, our commander-in-chief, Dan J Kroll, has put together a wonderful tribute to Allison that I think any Two Scoops reader owes it to themselves to check out. The video is embedded in this column. Allison also had a blog called the Nothing's Impossible Project -- it contained tons of Barbra tidbits, but also an opportunity to make donations towards Allison's mounting medical bills relating to her cancer treatments. I'm sure any donations made now would go toward the same thing, and it would be a wonderful way to show your appreciation and pay tribute to Allison in the wake of her "storyline-dictated exit." Donations may also be sent to:
Shelley Tunis (Allison's sister)
c/o soapcentral.com Po Box 516
Philadelphia, PA 19105-0516
Thank you, Allison, for all you gave to soap fans everywhere. I hope whatever "soap" you're on now, they've put you on contract.
Now, that's probably more gush than Allison would have wanted -- I'm sure she'd want me to wrap it up and get to Scooping about B&B. And that's exactly what we're going to do. The show offered us a better week than last, but it started with Brooke and Bill's endless exposition about their affair, telling us (and the audience) things they already knew. Did we really need a recap and multiple flashbacks? We know they did the deed. I think B&B just wanted to show them in bed again, honestly.
The one potentially inflammatory thing I will say is that Brooke genuinely seemed to feel guilty about sleeping with her sister's husband. "Maybe her heart failed because we broke it," she cried. Now, that's not to condone what Brooke did. No matter how wanted Bill made Brooke feel in the absence of Ridge, no matter what Katie's contribution to pushing Brooke and Bill together, they were so very, very wrong pursuing it. I'm just saying that Brooke looked like she honestly regretted it to me.
Not so much with Bill, apparently. Does this man work anymore? He's always flitting around Brooke these days. Horny as Bill gets in the presence of Miss Logan, there's something emasculating about how he's been reduced to love triangle status when he should be running roughshod over people at Spencer. The former business barracuda no longer has any bite. And he sure seems to have washed his hands of Katie, hasn't he? What a shame for him, then, that Katie woke up.
And a shame for us. Given the circumstances that led up to Katie's nine millionth heart attack (you gave Katie some shoddy goods there, Storm!), I expected that when she came to and saw Bill and Brooke standing there, she'd offer up some choice four-letter words. Oh, she offered up a four-letter word, all right: "ring." Can you believe that? Katie should have kicked Brooke and Bill out of the room and raised holy hell! Instead, she cried and asked forgiveness! Just how much blood did this woman lose?
Oh, man, what a letdown. Is Katie really giving Bill yet another free pass? The only way I could buy this is if Katie was just putting on an act to lull Bill and Brooke into a false sense of security to set them up for revenge. But I think all we're going to get is Katie obliviously thinking she has a happy marriage while Bill and Brooke pine for each other. Complete with the arrival of baby Will, who made everything better. Just like last time, when Donna showed up with the tyke. "Sally says recycle!"
Katie pretty much lost all my respect this week. But Donna continued to amaze me as she once again dug her Prada heels in with Taylor, who came sniffing around for more ammo against Brooke. "I'm surprised you have so much time and energy to devote to my sister's personal life," Donna observed. "Shouldn't you be home nesting with Eric?" Bazzinga! And a nice reference to Donna's disappointment that she didn't get her Honey Bear back. I think I'm liking the idea of a Donna/Taylor rivalry!
Donna listened as Taylor expressed her concern for her "friend" Katie (a total crock; psychiatrists can't counsel friends anyway!) But Donna wasn't having any. "I heard you the first six times," Donna said as she frowned, calling Taylor "completely unethical" and promising to have Katie fire her. Wow! Suddenly Donna seems like someone I'd like to have in my corner. Except for her contention that "when it comes to family, Brooke always does what's right." Sure, Donna, I might ask Bridget and Hope about that.
Meanwhile, Katie had Bill put her wedding rings back on her finger, somehow not noticing Bill and Brooke's repeated stolen glances. I can't believe Katie was heading back to apologize to them in the moments before her attack. Imagine what she would have walked in on! And another thing: if Katie was in the car, how could she collapse? Wouldn't she have crashed her car if she lost consciousness while driving? I guess only Bill does that. Just another of Bill and Brooke's secrets you know will come out.
So, Brooke sadly told Bill they couldn't be. "Love came into my life only to leave again so quickly," she lamented. If Brooke did anything right this week, it was in pushing Bill back toward Katie and Will. Yet Bill and Brooke stared at each other as if they had lost some great shot at romance. Are we really supposed to feel sorry for them? Because I don't, no matter how the scene was set up to manipulate me. I feel sorry for viewers, who were cheated out of a chance to watch Katie open up a can of Whoop-Ass!
Caroline tried to open one after Rick told her that he'd hired Maya to rep the Hope for the Future line. "How could she possibly clear the criminal background check?" Caroline sneered. (Good point, sister!) Then, as Caroline did her bitchy best to make Maya feel insecure about her new position, Caroline ran smack-dab into the clothes rack left by the hopelessly underused Jake. Except we didn't actually get to see Caroline fall! What a cop-out, B&B!
I'm starting to see a central problem in the Caroline/Rick/Maya triangle, and, surprisingly, it's not Caroline. How is it that Maya doesn't seem to have a problem with flirting with someone else's boyfriend, much less kissing him? And if Rick is so into Maya, why is he hanging on to Caroline? Something in the water does not compute. I could see it if Caroline was holding something over Rick to get him to stay with her. But, this way, Rick looks like a cheater and Maya looks like an interloper! Dump Caroline, Rick, and really piss her off!
Not that I think Caroline would even notice, given her recent obsession with abs. So Pam Googled Caroline, and the first thing that came up was the picture with Herc? All of Caroline's connections, and she expected Pam to "fix the Internet"? I'm honestly surprised that Pam, who is perpetually stuck in the '60s, even knows how to maintain the Forrester web page. Hey, more power to her; it's just weird, especially when Forrester has an IT department. Oh, well. At least Pam didn't mention lemon bars. For once.
So, how is this Herc picture going to factor into Caroline's story? Do you get the feeling her predilections are going to come back and bite her in the ass, considering how much she was drooling over Carter? It's kind of bizarre. But no more bizarre than Carter just happening to be able to perform marriages in the second Liam and Steffy were looking for a minister. Now, call me crazy, but I saw sparks between Steffy and Carter. Didn't you?
There was much more airtime devoted to Leffy's wedding this week than I expected, though it came with some really nice moments, particularly between Steffy and Taylor. Having Taylor give Steffy the very necklace Stephanie gave Taylor when she first married Ridge was a nice touch. Bill even surprised me, telling Liam, "I imagine your mother's been on your mind, as well." We haven't heard boo about Kelly since Liam's paternity was confirmed, and coming from Bill, her mention was strangely powerful.
Of course, Liam somehow felt it necessary to go and see Hope, striking fear in viewers everywhere when his conflicted look returned. Seriously, B&B, this triangle is dead and has been for a long time. And how heartless of Liam was it to go in there and give Hope, um, hope again? Let the girl move on! Strangely enough, Oliver's starting to look really good now, and hey, the mask-boink was nothing compared to the turmoil Liam's put Hope through. Maybe it's time for her to jones for some Jones!
The wedding itself was a refreshing change of pace, and not because of Steffy's black dress and the formerly indoor Forrester courtyard. It's that it gave us a chance to see some other characters, some of whom intermingled in interesting ways. Carter got to meet Marcus' bio-dad, Justin. Thomas joked that he "escaped unscathed" from Caroline, who actually showed a moment of vulnerability (and a bit of the old Caroline) when she admitted to Steffy that she didn't have any friends. What surprising depth!
Bill's support of Liam was quite the contrast to Liam's last wedding at the mansion, where Bill railed at Liam for being a wuss. And, though Bill said all the right words to Steffy, I "Still" sense their attraction. "I know a good thing when I see it," he smiled. Yeah, I bet you do. But I couldn't help feeling kind of bad for Steffy, since Ridge "couldn't make it" to her wedding. B&B couldn't have brought Ronn Moss in for one episode? Even for some webcam footage? Ridge wouldn't miss his daughter's wedding. Imagine the tension if Ridge showed up now, with Brooke hiding her tryst with Bill. But alas.
Instead, Steffy pulled a Ridge and rode up the aisle on her motorcycle. ("My rambunctious little tomboy!" Taylor gushed. Since when? Last year?) And Carter makes an extremely amiable officiant. But Hope suddenly decided she wasn't going to stand by while Liam married Steffy, and demanded that Rick take her there (as if she couldn't drive herself). Really, Hope? We're doing this? It's less of a cliffhanger than it is a disappointing sign that Brad Bell seems determined to shove Leffy/Lope down our throats yet again. Is this all this man does -- triangles? Are we ever going to get to see different stories on this show?
Don't answer that. In the meantime, do you realize this is going to be Liam's sixth wedding in just over a year? Or seventh, if the Italy one counts as two ceremonies. That's got to be some sort of soap record. Even Erica Kane can't beat that!
Got something to add to the Scoop? Express yourself on the soapcentral.commessage boards, the comments you've left on this page, in the emails you sent us, and on the voicemails you've left for our 24/7 caller feedback line. So keep using those avenues to tell us what you think! Your comments could end up in a future column. Like these!
• "I liked your comment 'Caroline could pull a few strings and get Maya thrown back in the slammer.' You know she could even ask Uncle Bill for pointers!" -- Rambo
• "As a longtime Brooke fan, I hate that the writers have done this to [her], and I hate that Taylor, who is a hypocrite and a horrible doctor, [is] right about anything. I hate that Brooke was complicit in covering up drinking and driving, when Darla was killed in a drunk driving accident..." -- "LittleE"
• "Katie was more interesting when she had a spine. Now she is forever Bill's doormat. What a shame." -- Ron
• "Liam is a gutless moron...and can the writers get [Brooke] something constructive to do in the show instead of just bedhopping with anything in pants?" -- Trish
• "Thank you for writing what I've been saying...there is nothing character-driven about this show. Every person is a shell of their former self...the whole show is a mess because Brad Bell lacks either the intellect or concern to create a storyline that wasn't already done by his father ages ago." -- Gerry
Let's finish by exploring the highlights and headscratchers in Points to Ponder:
Jon Hensley deserves a chance to strut his stuff on B&B -- give Dr. Meade a story outside the hospital! But would he really be the one to call Liam when Katie came out of the coma?... Why did Donna feel the need to say "my sister" Brooke and "my sister" Katie? Taylor knows how those women relate to Donna!... "I didn't want to leave the rings at my house," Brooke explained. Terribly convenient excuse to have them available at the hospital, when ordinarily they wouldn't be...
"Katie doesn't need stress," Dr. Meade advised. So of course the first thing Bill and Brooke did was talk to Katie about the very subject that put her in the hospital in the first place... It was worlds collide when Steffy was the one to bring Katie her baby, and even more so when Katie and Brooke were cordial with Steffy... "He's sleeping after his unexpected visit with his mom," Bill said of Will. I would hope so, considering that visit took place the day before!
"I haven't seen her like this in years," Steffy gushed in regard to Taylor's relationship with Eric. Ouch, another slam against Thorne... Steffy gave Carter "all the designs for the Intimates line." What Intimates line? Didn't Brooke retake it as Brooke's Bedroom? Is Forrester now running two lingerie lines?... "If there even is a wedding," Caroline said of Liam's nuptials, adding, "You never know with this group." Amen, girl!
Hope lamented "all the things Steffy did practically from the moment we got together." Um, Hope, did you forget a little speed bump called Amber?... Taylor and her kids were happy, happy, happy. And things were going "great" for Thomas at Forrester. They are? Isn't Thomas still under Rick's thumb? (Though Thomas did look snazzy in his beard and bowtie...)
Was that Bill actually lint-rolling Liam's suit? The man can't use a paper clip without having an assistant pick it up for him!... Once again proving Caroline is a crappy schemer, she blabbed about paying off Mark the porn director in front of Pam. Plus, Caroline snarked about Hope being jilted by Liam "for the tenth or twelfth time" and said it was great that Steffy was getting what she wanted. This from the girl who went over a balcony defending Hope and Liam to Bill?
Well, this is the part where I usually tell you that Allison will be on deck next week. But since I can't...well, fire up your favorite Barbra Streisand song and take a moment to remember the woman who brought so much to us here at soapcentral.com. I never took the opportunity to tell you, Allison, but you were like buttah.
And I know she'd agree: keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold.
Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.
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