2020 was short on time this year, but The Bold and the Beautiful was still long on the drama. Unlike the previous year, 2020 displayed a variety of plots from fake weddings to fake illnesses, to an actual life-threatening condition. New love blossomed, and old loves reunited. And you guessed it: some wound up right back in the Hope Obsession cul-de-sac and others on the worn, dead-end street called Steam Lane.
Everyone was hooking up this year, especially for the wrong reasons. Wyatt let Sally live with him so that she could "die" in bliss. Thomas thought wooing Zoe was the way to Hope's heart. Brooke and Bill "kissed" their relationships goodbye, launching Ridge on a drunken binge that ended with Shauna convincing him that he'd taken a Vegas bride.
After the filming hiatus, we had even more hookups. In Finn, Steffy finally found a man to sleep with other than Liam, but apparently, Liam will still do in a pinch. The brain-damaged Thomas was mortified that he'd kissed the Hope mannequin, and Liam, who couldn't tell his wife from a hunk of wig-wearing plastic, hooked up with Steffy. Carter took things to a new level with Zoe, but she needs to level with him about her feelings for Zende.
It was also a year of secrets, chicanery, serious medical conditions, redemption, and forgiveness. Sally faked a deathly illness for the love of Wyatt. Thomas' dark entanglement with a mannequin set him firmly on the path to forgiveness. Shauna helped Quinn talk herself back into Eric's heart after they got caught manipulating Ridge out of one marriage and into another.
Pain from a motorcycle accident sent Steffy spiraling into mental and physical addiction. The most disappointing part of the year had to be Steffy's rehab and relapse into her old patterns with Liam. No one was surprised that the waffle wanted to wallow in Steffy's syrup, but many expected Steffy's addiction storyline to not only cure her of her addiction to pills but also of her addiction to Liam.
Christmas is around the corner, and I want nothing more than to sit by Eric's piano, get delirious off eggnog, and laugh my butt off at Quinn's reaction to whatever it is Brooke has lined up for the big day. It will be entertaining to watch Liam and Steffy hide their cheating shame beneath the yule log and to see Zoe scowl if Paris catches Zende beneath the mistletoe.
In this and the next column, Mike and I will serve up the two scoops about the things we loved and hated, or that vexed us in 2020. As a bonus, we'll see what became of some of this year's MIA characters on B&B.
Best plot of 2020: Thomas versus Manne-Hope
At first, I thought Sally's dying storyline would be the best story of the year, but as it turned out, she wasn't really dying. Next, I assumed that the story that would carry away the title would be Steffy's addiction storyline; however, the addiction plot unexpectedly accelerated to its end, short-cutting most of the rehab process and ignoring the underlying issues causing Steffy's addiction.
The mannequin storyline crept in under the radar and won the entire year for its creativity and intensity. It took a gothic trip into the obscure mind of Thomas Forrester. A peculiar storyline to begin with, another actor might not have pulled it off with the teary-faced delirium Matthew Atkinson brought to the forefront. He was bolstered by Annika Noelle, who took a walk on Hope's evil side by becoming the mannequin incarnate.
The best part of the story to me was that Thomas had worked very hard to redeem himself in the eyes of others, but the mannequin challenged the validity of his resolve. Even though the hematoma hurdled Thomas deeper into madness, he clung to the one thing he knew to be true -- he was not that person anymore. He refused to do those bad things again. With a harrowing transformation like that, we had better not see Thomas obsessing about Hope again.
The mannequin storyline is the best story of the year for its rich acting, unnerving twists, and roller-coaster ride to redemption that managed to make Liam, not Thomas, look like the crazy one for not realizing that it was a mannequin. The storyline reset relationships and opened the door for new storylines like Liam and Steffy's secret and a new outlook on Thomas and Hope.
Worst plot of 2020: Ridge, the alcoholic bigamist
When Ridge wound up flat on his back at Eric's house after Brooke had sent the pilot to retrieve her runaway husband, I wished that Ridge's umpteenth midlife crisis would come to an end there. Quinn and Shauna had other things in mind. They scammed Ridge out of his marriage to Brooke and into one with Shauna.
The worst part of this storyline wasn't that Ridge wasn't even interested in Shauna. It wasn't that he was using her to make himself feel better after seeing Brooke kiss his enemy. It wasn't even that Ridge was too much of a coward to confront Brooke and Bill in her living room when he heard her say she'd always love Bill. It was that Ridge went through it all like a piece of meat on a conveyor belt in the checkout line. For Shauna, marrying Ridge was as easy as scanning him, bagging him, and taking him home.
Even if Ridge didn't feel he could return to Brooke, he had no motivation to remain "married" to Shauna, either. For all the gushing Shauna did, neither she nor Ridge seemed that into the marriage. Shauna didn't even work on her own wedding. We rarely, if ever, even saw Shauna and Ridge together. The lack of feelings between the newlyweds made it hard to root for them. Ridge didn't offer to make her a dress, and heck, he went to work on his wedding day. If that's not an unmotivated groom, I fear finding out what is.
But that wasn't even the worst part of the storyline. The worst part was watching Shauna and Quinn video chat and meet in person to talk ad nauseam about keeping their secret. Thank the soap gods for the eavesdropping Katie. She just so happened to be at the mansion in time to overhear the entire plot, expose it to Ridge, and put us all out of our holy unwedded distress.
Father of the year: Ridge holds it together for his children
Ridge checked out on Brooke when things got tough, but he has never checked out on his kids -- no matter how many revisionist statements Thomas or Steffy make about the past. After the year Ridge has had, I have to applaud him for the way he supported Steffy through her addiction and rehab and the way he stood vigil for Thomas during his brain trauma.
Thorsten Kaye does an excellent job of portraying Ridge as the misguided but deeply concerned father who supports his kids through hellish fire. A couple of times this year, Kaye's performance tugged at my heart. One was when he confronted the addicted, knife-wielding Steffy at Brooke's house and vowed to help Steffy, even if she hated him. The other was when Ridge recently confided in Brooke about his fears of losing another child and of Douglas losing his father. Thank you, Mr. Kaye. We adore your brash, sometimes rude, but forever loving version of Ridge Forrester.
Man of the Year: Carter Walton. The future's so bright, Zende's throwing shade
A lot of people deem 2020 as the worst year of their lives, but not Carter Walton. Carter got a promotion and a seat on the board. Carter got himself an artsy loft, too. After years of being single and marrying other couples, Carter finally got the girl. Well, almost. He's in the end zone, but his close friend Zende Forrester just might be about to intercept.
Carter Walton, Esquire, is not only a successful lawyer, but also the COO of an international fashion house. He's the type of guy Spencer features in their world's sexiest man columns or their version of Time's coveted Man of the Year cover. He's that type of guy every woman dreams of -- sexy, smart, considerate, devoted, and committed.
No, seriously, Carter is really all those things. It's not just résumé fluff. For as great as Carter's life is going, why do I have the plummeting feeling that his skyrocketing year is about to burn out of fuel and come crashing down on him?
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the lovelorn gazes between Zende and Zoe will remain just that -- expressions of curiosity and subtle intrigue. After all, "the network of fate" already intervened in Zende's attempt to lure Zoe away from Carter before things got serious. It's possible that, like Shauna, Zende would never go after his old friend's woman now that Zoe and Carter are engaged.
On the other hand, Zende has thrown plenty of eye-rolling shade the couple's way when they become a little too saccharine sweet. Technically, he can't steal the girl if she walks away on her own, either. Is our man of the year destined to always be a wedding officiant but never a groom?
Woman of the year: Zoe Buckingham. That girl is on fire
Paris Buckingham gushes nonstop about what a fashion phoenix her sister is, and she kind of has a point. Zoe rose from the ashes of her father's baby-napping scam and bound her way back onto the fashion scene. She didn't lock herself away in shame after the wedding fiasco Thomas put her through, either. Instead, she forged for herself a path of forgiveness, regained Hope's trust, and found love with the most eligible and faithful bachelor in Los Angeles (besides Wyatt, who'd refused Sally her dying wish because it meant cheating on his girlfriend).
Zoe is woman of the year because of her growth as a character and the strides she made to improve her life and her wardrobe. While I no longer question her taste in clothes, I am concerned about her taste in men. Carter and Zoe are my picks for man and woman of the year, but they fail to be the couple of the year because I'm just not sure how invested Zoe is in the pairing.
Zoe appears to be drawn to Zende. I'm gonna bookmark the Zoe/Carter relationship and monitor it. Maybe Zoe will prove me wrong. Maybe she'll bless Paris' bid for worldly-wise Zende. Zoe might invest more emotionally in Carter if she turns out to be pregnant. The statement is out of nowhere, but there was something about the way Carter said "tiny miracles" the other day that got me to wondering if he might learn he will become a father by the time 2020 is done.
Best couple of the year: Wyatt and Flo put the "C" in commitment
I don't like Flo. I don't like how Wyatt treated Sally in order to be with Flo. That said, I have to admit that, when searching for candidates for couple of the year, I couldn't find a more loyal couple. Flatt took down enemies and kicked doors in like a boss to the rescue to save each other from Sally's manipulations.
Though Flatt is still in the honeymoon phase, Wyatt and Flo consider each other and respect each other instead of hurting each other. Best of all, they're faithful. It's been a long time since I have seen a man turn down boots-knocking with an attractive woman. It's also been a long time since I heard a woman express confidence in her man's fidelity -- and be proven right about it!
Flo and Wyatt are living the life. They often frolic on the beach. They don't have dependents to worry about -- unless their renegade parents count. They enjoy each other's company, but more importantly, they get the loving in. It's a proven fact that if you and your mate commune, other people can't make them swoon.
Flatt works well together outside the bedroom, too, forming a formidable team against Tweedle Dee and Tweedle "Dying." Sally and Penny were no match for Flatt, who tag-teams Quinn and Shauna with ease, as well. As much as I hate to say it, Flatt's got it. They showed that being committed is so easy, even a Spencer can do it. Now they need to teach it to the lousy couples around them.
It's really simple to learn. Step one, be able to tell your mate from a mannequin. Step two, trust your mate farther than you can see them. Step three, honor the commitment you made, even when it seems like your mate has slipped up. Step four, communicate. And lastly, spend more time with your mate than your ex. That last step is key, and failing to complete it is the very reason Liam and Hope get the worst couple of the year award.
Worst couple of the year: Lope. Liam can't tell his wife from a doll
There's a reason Hope was once deeply in love with Wyatt, and there is a reason Thomas might be an intriguing prospect for Hope. In each of their pursuits of Hope, Wyatt and Thomas were one-woman men to a fault. Unfortunately, Liam has split himself right down the middle between Hope and Steffy. Liam has divided loyalties, a divided heart, and two families. You know what they say -- when you devote yourself to too many things, nothing gets your full attention.
I could probably write volumes about the problems with Hope and Liam's relationship, but I can probably also sum it up in just one word -- Liam. Liam has been the major problem in Hope and Liam's relationship ever since Steffy gave him the cha-cha-chas many years back. Ever since then, Liam and Hope usually spend the majority of their year finding their way back to each other after some bonehead thing he did under the influence of Steffy or his insecurities, and Lope spends precious little time in a blissful relationship, doing all the things that make Wyatt and Flo so successful as a couple.
This year was no different. It started out with Liam begging Hope to come back after he'd let Steffy kiss him, and it culminated with Liam trying to keep it a secret that he slept with Steffy because he doesn't know his wife from a mannequin. Liam is a hypocritical liar who should have never committed to Hope and the kids if he couldn't keep his hands off Steffy.
Hope wasn't perfect this year herself, even if Thomas calls her an angel. Hope let Thomas be up in her face way too much, and she should have communicated more with Liam and given Liam more time to accept Thomas' changing role at work and with Douglas. She also should have demanded that Thomas take the mannequin back to work, and maybe we could have avoided all of this kiss fallout.
Oh, who am I kidding? Steffy and Liam are always going to find an excuse to hook up, even if they have to trip and fall on each other by "accident." The writers' overuse of sex and physical gratification with Steam has turned them into a complete joke.
What most makes Hope and Liam the worst couple of the year, though, is that Hope was a fool to believe that Liam really was ever innocently at Steffy's house for Kelly's sake or that he'd never cheat on her with Steffy again. If Hope only knew that she walks through life on a high wire, one mere mistake away from Liam jumping Steffy's bones again.
Best villain of the year: Quinn Forrester, don't go changing to try to please Eric
Eric was disillusioned this year because he learned what we already knew -- Quinn hadn't changed. He really thought the love of a good man would tame the duplicitous devil inside her, and maybe it did for a time. Quinn's true nature rested at half-mast for a long time -- until Brooke meddled in Quinn's marriage. Never mind the fact that Quinn and Shauna had meddled in Brooke's marriage first. As they say, she who meddles last meddles the best, and Quinn set off a series of explosions in Brooke's life that left Bridge charred for months.
Quinn Forrester is 2020's villain of the year for three reasons. First, Quinn turns her victims into their own worst enemies by exploiting their weaknesses. She merely set events into motion, and her targets knocked themselves down like dominoes. Second, she got away with it. No one even knows she spiked Brooke's juice. Only boss villains get away unscathed, and as a bonus, she slaps well, too.
Yes, Eric was upset for a bit about what she'd done, but he couldn't be mad at his doll-eyed wife for long. Neither could many viewers. After all, the only real crime Quinn committed this year was a crime against fashion with that paisley outfit she wore before Christmas.
The third reason Quinn gets the title is she's efficient. She disrupted three relationships in one vendetta. Katie and Bill are still on the skids after Quinn arranged for Katie to publicly see Bill kissing Brooke, and what a Memorex moment that was. The friendship Shauna and Ridge had formed was shattered when Ridge learned the truth about his Vegas wedding. Quinn almost demolished Bridge with the drunken wedding scam, and she would have succeeded if it hadn't been for our resident eavesdropper, Katie.
Quinn and Eric reunited, and Quinn swears she's learned her lesson. This scooper hopes that's not true. Quinn doesn't need to go changing to try to please Eric. Her fans love her just as conniving as she is.
Worst villains of 2020: Tweedle Dee and Tweedle "Dying"
When looking for the worst villain of the year, I wasn't sure we had any real villains besides Quinn. Shauna could be considered a villain, but she was more Quinn's stooge than anything else. Vinny was also in the running because he'd turned into an off-screen special-delivery villain. I didn't think I could get a more weak-sauce villain than that -- until I remembered Penny and Sally's inane plan to convince everyone that Sally was dying so that Penny could trade her medical degree for a sketch pad and so that Sally could get the guy and then suddenly no longer be dying.
We can't blame a girl for trying. Sally had lost Thomas to a woman who'd faked a terminal illness. If it worked for Caroline, why couldn't it work for Sally? Well, for one, Flo wasn't dumb enough to let Sally just walk away with Wyatt without doing a little bit of investigating. For another thing, Sally didn't have Bill on her side, making sure the illness was good and faked. Instead, she had her doctor friend, Penny, who was probably a jittery altar girl in another life. Between Penny begging Sally to come clean and Flo snooping around at the hospital, the ill-thought-out plan had been doomed to fail.
The only thing Sally got right in her ridiculous plan was to enlist Katie and turn her into an unwitting megaphone for poor Sally's plight, thus enabling Sally to play sick without having to conjure up a medical foundation for her lies. The plan was so bad that Sally's disease didn't even have a name. It was "dying syndrome," for all we knew.
Flo checked the hospital files behind Penny's back and cracked the scam wide open. In return, Penny cracked Flo on the head. Just like that, Sally and Penny became felony kidnappers. Sally and Penny weren't the brightest villains, but they were entertaining once we got past the endless tell/don't tell conversations. In the end, Flo and Wyatt let bygones be bygones as long as Sally and Penny promised to be gone from Wyatt and Flo's lives.
Best moment of the year: Finn walks into Steffy's life
For me, the high point of the year was learning that Tanner Novlan had taken on the role of Dr. John Finnegan, Steffy's new love interest. I hoped that Steffy would finally get her own man who would be faithful and committed to her, who wouldn't have a divided heart, try to maintain two families, or be an unofficial husband to his ex. So far, Finn has been wonderful. No kids, no exes, no competition. We don't know much about him, but he seems like he's of Carter's ilk, kind to a fault.
For years, many fans had looked forward to an untainted romance for Steffy, and for a fleeting moment, I thought we were getting it. Skeptical fans warned that the romance between Steffy and Finn would be fleeting. They might be right.
To my chagrin, Steffy tainted the relationship by once again hoping at the first sign that Liam might, while in yet another drunken stupor, offer her more than a physical romp on the couch to avoid his own cowardice and pain. She was wrong again, but this time, she has something to lose in her failed gamble: Finn.
Finn is Mr. Wonderful. After a day of emergency surgery, he cleaned up toys and lent Steffy an attentive ear for her troubles. He's a far cry from Liam, who couldn't stop talking about himself, even as Steffy's brother underwent surgery. Steffy gambled with gold in a crapshoot with Liam and might lose it all if Finn doesn't feel like getting used to her inappropriate relationship with Kelly's father.
Most awkward moment of 2020: Steam relapse
Last year, Steffy and Liam won the most awkward moment when they awakened from a drug- and alcohol-induced sex session the previous night. Incredibly, the tequila struck twice. Instead of margaritas, it was shots. Steffy and Liam slept together -- again, and this time, they didn't even need drugs to do it.
All it took was a cowardly misunderstanding by Liam, who can't tell his wife from an inanimate object. Liam called it his and Steffy's last night together ever, but it seems like it's becoming a yearly thing for them. With all the romantic missteps that lead nowhere, they have boiled themselves down to a Brittany Spears song. To save my breath on a rant about the cheating hypocrite Liam, I'll let Spears sum up Liam's post-sex decision with, "Oops, I did it again. I made you believe we're more than just friends... I played with your heart, got lost in the game...Oops, you think I'm in love, that I'm sent from above. I'm not that innocent!"
What made the act cringe-worthy was that Steffy and Liam seemed proud of their infidelity. They laughed and fondly recalled it as if they were sick perverts that Finn and Hope will simply have to put up with. Liam chose Hope, but he'll keep the sex memory in his back pocket for whenever he needs to get his rocks off. As usual, Steffy claims she'll be fine, but wasn't she the one addicted to pills and having a mental breakdown at Brooke's, screaming about Hope stealing Liam from her? There is rehab for opioids, but what's the cure for Steffy's addiction to Liam?
Missing in Action in 2020
Every year, The Bold and the Beautiful cruises through storylines. New characters climb aboard, and other characters disembark along the way. Some characters get written out, but some are here one day and missing the next. Here are some missing person cases I'd like to file with Detective Sanchez for 2020.
Pamela Douglas -- Last scene December 2019, taking Douglas to lunch
In November 2019, Alley Mills (Pam Douglas) was taken off contract with the show. Under the impression that Mills was on recurring status, I left Pam off last year's MIA list. As it turns out, in 2020, we heard a lot about Pam, but we never saw her. Often, various Forrester employees or guests remarked that Pam wasn't at her desk or that Pam was looking for something or someone. Well, now we're looking for Pam.
The holidays and weddings haven't been the same without her. For all Pam has given the Forresters, they could at least throw her a retirement party and write her off into the sunset on a perpetual vacation like they did for the immortal Sally Spectra Senior.
Sally Spectra -- Last scene August 2020, getting reamed out by Katie
Speaking of Spectras, Sally Spectra Jr. also disappeared from Los Angeles. She probably slunk out of town before anyone else could persecute her for the lies she'd told about dying. Her disappearance robbed Ridge of the opportunity to berate her for manipulating him into believing she was sick, so he'd use her horrible designs. Ridge really hated those designs.
Sanchez doesn't have to work hard on Sally's missing person's case. We already located her in Genoa City, letting her ambition soar at Fenmore's. I wonder what she told Lauren to get the job and who from Forrester would give Sally a good reference. I wouldn't be surprised if Sally had given Penny's number to Lauren as a reference, and Penny pretended to be Steffy, Sally's former boss.
Vinny Walker -- Last scene March 2020, attending Thomas' failed wedding
Vinny Walker was Thomas' friend and confidant. He even tried to instill Thomas with a conscience, but Thomas never had hardware compatible with that. Vinny showed up at Thomas' wedding solo, even though he'd been staying with his girlfriend for quite some time by then. Although Vinny disappeared from the scene, he became a focal point in Steffy's addiction storyline when he sent her pills in a gift box with a bear for Kelly.
Vinny has not been heard from since. No one ever learned that he'd been the one supplying Steffy, either. I guess she is keeping that memory in her back pocket along with her affair with Liam. What's significant about Vinny's disappearance is that he was a caring friend to Thomas, and it's kind of strange that he wasn't there for Thomas during his breakdown. Vinny better not decide to make up for his absence with a package of pills for Thomas.
Katie Logan and Bill Spencer -- Last scene October 2020
I'm not certain if Katie and Bill are MIA or just lying low. I put them in this section together because that's where they belong -- together. Katie was last seen at Forrester, revealing to Ridge that his marriage to Shauna was a sham. Bill was last seen at Spencer, trying to warn Liam about minding Steffy's romantic business. I won't turn Katie or Bill's case over to Sanchez just yet because I suspect the two will soon be back on the scene.
If you know of other characters who just dropped off the face of Los Angeles in 2020, launch your own investigation by logging it in the comments section below. We are interested in hearing your picks for the best and worst stories and characters, too.
That concludes part one of our year-end review. It's been a surreal year, and let's all thank the cast and crew for their resolve that the show must go on. It's because of them that our beloved soap survived 2020. Until we scoop again, thank you for getting two scoops deep with us in 2020. Be on the lookout for Mike's year-end review next week. Merry Christmas and happy New Year. Be safe, be well, be bold and beautiful, baby!
What are your thoughts on The Bold and the Beautiful? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.