Make it make sense.
In the realm of daytime soap operas, not much makes sense. Granted, that also applies to real life these days but reel should have no reason to be so devoid of logic when it’s intentionally scripted. For The Bold and the Beautiful, the greater offense is not living up to its name. It’s no longer bold but rather boring.
As I write this, Steffy is currently delivering her baby. Myself and other viewers may as well be in labor too, enduring the Liam Spencer hour. Every show, script, character and story revolves around him. The thought of it makes me want to scream, have someone take my hand and wipe the beads of sweat from around my forehead. Steffy will be holding baby Kelly in her arms next week but what about this Stephanie? I shouldn’t have to be in pain watching one of my favorite shows circle the drain because Brad Bell and creative only want to xerox dialogue.
The truth may hurt for those at CBS reading this but this is a safe place.
Let’s talk through this. If I didn’t care and know Bold could do better, I’d just wait for CBS to put the serial in the endangered species listing. I don’t want to speak of Brooke Logan in the past tense. I want to still be able to trash my favorite love to hate slut from the valley but we’ve got to be honest about where the show is now.
William J. Bell and Lee Phillp Bell’s creation premiered in 1987. Naturally, it will show its age but the cast includes Heather Tom, Don Diamont, Scott Clifton, Rena Sofer, Karla Mosley, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood and original cast members Katherine Kelly Lang and John McCook who anchor this ensemble about fashion and drama. So many heavy hitters and the material just isn’t there but yet every few months, a big name is added. Ingo Rademacher was hired as a recast Thorne and I still don’t know why. Yes, the Forrester spare has spent many years in the basement but surely not enough time to develop an Australian accent. Kimberlin Brown’s bungled return to her old stomping grounds is such a sin. Sheila Carter has been reduced to serving coffee!
Hunter Tylo made her long awaited return as Taylor Hayes Forrester and instead of letting Sheila know she’s got a bullet for her too, it’s all about Liam. Taylor should’ve been the first to tell Steffy that no man is worth the stress and sanity but old habits die hard. She’s still competing with Brooke, but this time over whose daughter gets to be the leader of Liam’s harem.
For a show that is set against the backdrop of California and the shenanigans in fashion, it’s so regressive. It may as well be the era of the 1950’s where people are stigmatized for having kids out of wedlock and just freely enjoying sex without condemnation. The traditional family structure is important but it’s not the only one that deserves recognition and women will not herd cats if there’s not a man around. Steffy’s character has become such a cliché, obsessing over a man who proposed to another the second he divorced her. She is named after Stephanie Forrester dammit! Steffy should’ve put his shit in a box to the left because that is who she is, not defined on anyone else’s terms but her own.
Instead, Steffy cries in every episode over Liam and behaves like a victim of her consequences. She and her father in law had sex. Regrettable but not rape. It also doesn’t make her the town punching bag and Brooke’s virtue signaling is so out of character. She’s been married to all the men in the family and should be jealous and proud that a new generation has learned from her. Even when Brooke wasn’t a vixen stealing any man she so desired, she was a force to be reckoned with as a chemist and businesswoman.
Hope should be Brooke’s prized pupil. The lovechild of Brooke and Deacon showed no growth after living in Europe. She just had to have Liam back. Let that hurt go. There’s nothing wrong with being single or just living up to her heritage. Hope could’ve assumed the mantle of “slut”, sleeping with whomever she chooses because she can. Or she could be invested in her career. Instead, she came to town humming George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You”. It’s a catchy classic but “None of Your Business” by Salt N Pepa knocks too.
Sadly, we can’t have nice things. Everyone’s got to be married on this show and marching down the aisle. The cast can do so much more than be gloried extras in a David Bridal infomercial. The endless weddings on this show have to be sponsored.
Bold is only a half hour show and there’s but so much time to go around. Just make it count. Amber and Rick’s romance with some Usher thrown in there took place during the Brooke/Ridge/Taylor heyday. Macy and Throne’s relationship, Sally Spectra scheming to take down Forrester and Maya’s transgender reveal were stories that got rotation without sacrificing the ensemble.
Stephanie Forrester, portrayed by powerhouse Susan Flannery, certainly polarized the canvas during her reign. She used to be the standard, driver of stories and also supported. The writers knew how to weave her larger than life presence without bludgeoning the audience. Stephanie infuriated, could read with the life force of Whitney Houston’s best shade moments and crossed the line many times. So many times but we were ride or die for her. I loved that woman. I still do. So much strength infused her bones and it was every scene. Susan always clocked in for work. That’s not an opinion either. She’s got those four Emmys on her mantle as proof.
There’s such a void that’s been left since Stephanie’s character was killed off in November 2012 due to Flannery retiring. For me, it’ll never be filled but Bold still doesn’t have to feel so empty.