When I Watched… “The Bold and the Beautiful”

bold_and_beautifulIn 1987, I was a huge CBS Daytime fan.  As the World Turns was my favorite soap, and Guiding Light, while going through some ups and downs after Pam Long left as headwriter, was still very watchable.  As Capitol came to a close, CBS created an ad blitz for their new soap, The Bold and the Beautiful, created by William J. Bell, the creator and head writer of The Young and the Restless.  The ads made the show look lush and beautiful, yet glitzy and glamorous at the same time.  I decided I’d watch the show from the beginning and see how I liked it.

The Bold and the Beautiful started off very similar to its sister soap, The Young and the Restless.  Brooke Logan was the “Jill Foster” of the show; the wealthy Forrester family could easily cross paths with Y&R‘s Newmans or the long-lost Brooks family.  It was fairly slow paced, again not unlike Y&R, and mostly realistic.  Then, someone at the Bell offices must have accidentally tuned into Santa Barbara and got an idea that the show needed to add some camp into the mix.  Enter Sally Spectra. And B&B would never be the same.  Stories that dragged began zipping by at a faster pace, and a strong dose of humor was added.  The changes worked for the show, and B&B‘s ratings were on the rise.  In 1992, B&B struck ratings gold when they transplanted Y&R‘s evil Sheila Carter from Genoa City to B&B‘s Los Angeles.  Additional cross-overs from Sheila’s Y&R arch-enemy Lauren Fenmore helped the show rise to number two in the ratings, behind only Y&R itself. It’s held that position ever since.

While I was never a die-hard B&B fan, and never really watched every day unless it was a Sheila/Lauren ratings sweeps stunt, I enjoyed the show and watched often enough to know what was going on.  However, by the late 90’s, something had changed.  The Forresters stayed front and center, but the supporting cast seemed to change every six months. Characters would be introduced, play out a short story arc, then vanish. Meanwhile, Brooke/Ridge/Eric/Stephanie would play out the same stories that had been going on since the show began.  The Forrester children (and grandchildren) aged rapidly. It became very confusing as to who was related to who, and oddly enough, they began dating each other due to most of them being related by marriage only. Call me a prude, but if you grow up in the same household as someone and share a last name, keep out of their bed.  I became bored, somewhat grossed out, and stopped watching.

On December 15, I’ll check out The Bold and the Beautiful all over again for one week.  Will Brooke Logan seduce me into watching every day again? Time will tell.

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One Response to “When I Watched… “The Bold and the Beautiful””

  1. RIP Sally Spectra

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