Has your year been bold and beautiful? Was your favorite breakfast the waffle? Did your personality change with the weather? Was sleeping with your brother-in-law the romance of the century? These and more situations faced the Forresters, Logans, and Spencers in 2013!
Well, if you like triangles, illicit romances, and not much else in your soaps, this was your year on The Bold and the Beautiful. While there were fine performances all around, there was a surprising dearth of substance in the material, given how much B&B packed into the calendar year. Maybe I'm just old school, but I like a little more variety and balance. Romance is great, but how about plunging characters into other situations for a change? That's how B&B used to kick it! And I miss it.
That said, when you take the year as a whole, there were some shining moments to liven things up. And are we not here to examine the last twelve months? You betcha, so grab yourself the refreshing beverage of your choice and your favorite snack, 'cuz the time has come again to Two Scoop it Best and Worst style!
Despite her inauspicious beginning (she's ready to cut Dayzee for giving away her daughter! Oop -- no, she's not), this singer/actress/model made the biggest splash in the newbie pool this year. Her unexpected pairing with Rick was sweet, and it turns out she's got some moxie, not only standing up to catty Caroline, but big bad Uncle Dollah! She told him to go to hell when he blackmailed her, and he respected her for it! Who else can you say that about? Maya lost points choosing Carter when she wanted Rick, but at least we know she has strength to fall back on when she's ready.
Lawrence Saint-Victor is a likeable enough guy, but his Carter being a jack of all trades was jacked up! Lawyer, actor, ordained minister -- not since Another World's Bobby Reno has one man had so many jobs. His unrequited love for Maya was harmless enough until he pulled a switcheroo there, too, asking her to sleep with him though she was involved with Rick! But mostly, he was just boring, which is a shame, considering Saint-Victor has charisma up the wazoo. Next time you need a sleep aid, forget the Ambien -- just take a dose of Carter Walton!
Liam had already broken records for being the most waffling soap character ever, and Steffy having his baby certainly wasn't a new twist. What made these nuptials pop was the sheer bravura of the ceremony. Sumptuously filmed in the formerly indoor Forrester courtyard, pregnant Steffy came charging up the aisle on a motorcycle, wearing a lacy black dress/pant hybrid, and the sheer joy of the bride and groom cemented them as a couple like never before. It was different and unique, and provided B&B with a much-needed infusion of romance. It even almost made us forget the horrid Leffy/Lope triangle! (Almost.)
It wasn't that the impromptu ceremony or that the soon-to-be-marrieds weren't gorgeous. What marred this marriage was the incomplete story that led up to it. After much interference from Caroline, Rick and Maya finally made a go of it then inexplicably broke up over a silly misunderstanding. Rick instantly reunited with Caroline, and Maya accepted Carter's proposal while pining for Rick. That's where we left things until suddenly Rick forgot he ever loved Maya, and Maya was perfectly fine with him declaring his love for her rival in public. Rick and Maya's unresolved relationship made this otherwise beautiful Thanksgiving wedding rather thankless.
Katie was on her way to becoming Doormat of the Year as she remained deep in denial about her husband's involvement with her sister. When she finally got wise and asked for 1% of Bill's company in their divorce, viewers wondered why Katie was settling. But add a little math and pow! Katie hit Bill where it hurt most by pulling his sacred seat out from under him! B&B wisely had her hang on to the position instead of caving in to Bill's charms, and who better to pull the corporate strings than his half-sister, Karen? It was the best part of an otherwise dubious storyline. Go, Katie!
Bill expected Maya to crumble under his demands the way everyone else had, so it was refreshing when she reported his blackmail to Rick and when Rick decided to teach Bill a lesson. But locking him in a fake jail cell for five minutes hardly qualified as getting even. Maya could easily have gotten wind of Bill's many illegal deeds and put him in the pokey for real! At the very least, Rick could have let Bill sweat it out on the San Quentin set overnight. Instead, Rick turned the key and locked away some real story potential, which is a crime.
After two years of juggling Hope and Steffy, Liam probably unconsciously thought he had the hook-up. Then half-brother Wyatt Fuller caught Hope's eye, and Liam finally got an idea of what he'd put his ladies through. Tired of Liam never fully committing to her, Hope encouraged Wyatt's attentions and felt herself pulled toward a guy who wasn't hung up on anyone else. Plus, Liam was no longer able to call all the shots. Hope's admittedly nearing hypocrisy at this point with her own waffling, but it's made Liam twist in the wind for a change, and, like the song says, "he had it comin'."
Okay, so maybe "the changes" aren't the most exciting soap storyline. But when the woman is Brooke Logan, who's always been dependent on her youth and sexuality, the idea of watching her face this inevitable transformation was intriguing because it promised so many layers and possibilities. Unfortunately, B&B took what could have been a landmark story and made it a red herring for Brooke to get pregnant by an in-law, again; her only hot flashes were for Bill! If ever there was a B&B character who needed a "change," it's Brooke. Instead, we were shown that, while her body might mature, her behavior may never do so.
The Dollah won this title last year, too, but his 2012 misdeeds were still somehow bad-ass. This year, he plotted against everyone and anyone, especially those closest to him. He manipulated Liam into forgiveness by "stabbing" himself, spooked Caroline into falling over a balcony, and showed no remorse as he relentlessly pursued his sister-in-law. The topper? Tricking Katie with a fake reconciliation so he could seduce his company and son away from her. With Bill closer to being painted into a corner than ever, it may be time for him to turn over a new "leaf."
This B&B namesake started 2013 desiring truth, justice, and the American way, planning to tell Liam how Bill broke Deacon out of jail. But once "Myrna" showed up, Sweet Caroline was gone. Suddenly snarky and superficial, she failed to get her rival into porn but compensated by forcing her to play out softcore web scenes. And for all Caroline's trickery, she just wasn't very good at it. Then, she reformed, with no apparent reason as to why she ever turned to the Dark Side in the first place! Her balcony tumble would have explained it, but with no rationale, Caroline was a vixen we couldn't fall for.
Long before smartphones and stunning HD, Eric Forrester wooed and won Brooke Logan, but their marriage tanked because of Brooke's continuing love for Ridge. Flash-forward to today: ditched by Ridge, Brooke got pregnant by her sister's hubby and needed a cover. Who you gonna call? It wasn't Brooke putting the squeeze on Taylor's man that made this interesting. What accomplished that was the killer 1991 flashbacks seamlessly woven into Brooke's current mission, and the genuine feelings that still and have always existed between this remaining half of the Core Four. Eric didn't become Brooke's babydaddy, but for a moment there, history repeating itself would have been a blessed event.
The soap gods know Thorne needs a storyline, and Thomas has recently joined his uncle on the backburner. But their sudden crusade to remove Rick as president of the company just smelled of where-have-we-seen-this-before. Thomas hoping Rick's HFTF rebrand would fail certainly aligned with his sense of entitlement, but the usually mellow Thorne, who had long since decided he was happy in Shipping, became downright vicious vying for a title he may deserve, but couldn't lay claim to in this case. Worse, the duo already tried to snag this top spot in 2011! Every character does, eventually. All this for a better parking space?
Today's soap relationships tend to begin and end quickly with very few loose ends. So it was kind of refreshing when things got messy for Rick due to Caroline circumventing her inevitable status change. No matter how he tried to let her down gently, she wouldn't listen -- not because she didn't hear him, but because she did. Best of all, Caroline wasn't blocking Rick out of a desire to manipulate him -- that came later -- just out of a deep desire to keep from getting hurt. It went on for weeks, and Rick and Caroline's gray area was actually quite colorful.
These lovebirds from different sides of the tracks survived Rick's initial deception about his identity, Bill blackmailing Maya, and Caroline's Room 8 bait. So how did this couple collapse on itself? Rick's work made him miss Maya's web series premiere (boo hoo), so she kissed Carter, which got back to Rick, who got tanked up and boinked Caroline. That's it? Then, Rick let no grass grow under his feet in taking Caroline back, and Maya's supposed longing for Rick ended after she agreed to marry Carter. "Raya" was one of the most talked about couples of 2013, but they went out with a total whimper.
In our culture, if you're over 25, you'd better put the clothes on and get out the airbrush. So it was landmark of B&B to have Brooke reboot her Bedroom Line and model the lingerie herself. Sure, Taylor and Thomas gave voice to those who feel we should be "age appropriate," but Bill and Brooke rightly pointed out that if you've still got it, there's no reason not to flaunt it. Even Pam got in on the act by donning a teddy to prove we can be desirable at any age! Thanks to B&B for reminding us that youth isn't wasted on the young!
It was actually promising when it seemed Bill's drinking was going to get him into trouble. Would we finally get a glimpse of what fuels his generally abominable behavior? But when Bill finally crashed his car without a scratch on him, it was plain that his boozing was just an excuse to jumpstart his affair with Brooke. Not only did Bill and Brooke break the law by covering up his accident, but there were zero repercussions, and afterwards Bill reverted to only knocking back the occasional whisky. The storyline possibilities were so intoxicating, it was a shame when they dried out.
Katie, Hope, and Donna brought the streamers. And Taylor brought the fireworks! Having found out that Brooke attempted to steal Eric because she was carrying Bill's baby, Taylor ditched the gift cards and delivered a one-of-a-kind present: the exposure of Brill. Katie defended her sister and husband then came to the horrifying realization that Taylor's words were true, unleashing the wrath of hell in one of Katie's finest scenes yet. The fallout is still being felt today, and, while the guests didn't get any cake, the audience got a birthday it won't soon forget.
Wyatt going after what turned out to be his half-brother's girl was no-brainer Soap 101. But when Wyatt discovered he had Spencer blood, his inner Bill came leaping to the surface. Given a place at Spencer Publications, Wyatt went Machiavellian and decided he would have Liam's job and father as well. Then something strange happened: Wyatt and Bill had a fight, they made up, and suddenly Wyatt's only focus, again, was winning Hope. Wyatt systematically destroying the wussy Liam looked to be a tantalizing story, and no less than Liam deserved after his famous flip-flopping. Instead, its execution was a flop.
Ronn Moss owned the role of Ridge Forrester for a quarter century, so news of OLTL/PC/AMC vet Thorsten Kaye stepping into Ridge's designer shoes had fans split right down the middle. Could the more rugged, accented actor make Ridge his own? After only three appearances (as of this writing), the answer seems to be yes. Not only has Kaye added a bit of "international man of mystery" mojo to the former Speedo wearer, but B&B wisely had him come home with answers as to why he left Brooke (he needed to find himself after years in relationships) and why he missed his mother's death (Stephanie begged him to stay away). Best of all, in the guise of Kaye, Ridge already has chemistry with papa Eric and longtime love Brooke, and there are so many new directions he can be taken in. "NuRidge" will still take some getting used to, but we're off to a fashionably good start!
Take a wildly popular veteran of Y&R, GL, and AMC, and pit him against B&B's newest ingenue. Maya's babydaddy, Jesse, came on sexy and dangerous, poised to cause a world of hurt for Maya and Rick. Alison snapped one photo of Jesse talking to Maya...then nothing. RPG disappeared faster than you can say "a day player could have done this." Worse, he débuted in a flurry of publicity that ended up being a bunch of false advertising. Yes, vets command higher salaries, and soaps have innumerable budget limitations these days. But cutting Jesse off at the knees robbed us of a legitimate threat B&B really could have used.
Jacqueline MacInnes Wood's fans balked when she took off for greener pastures, but what a way to go. After it being a "nice day for a black wedding," Steffy swerved her motorcycle and lost Liam's baby, kicking off weeks of compelling drama, the kind we haven't seen on B&B for quite a while. The fluffy Leffy/Lope triangle finally had some real weight to it, and JMW's performances had viewers whispering "Emmy." Eventually, Steffy stonily sacrificed her marriage to Liam so he could be with a woman who could give him a child then left for Paris. Even her most ardent followers had to admit that Steffy's extended goodbye was très magnifique.
Despite a 23-year history with B&B, Hunter Tylo's here's-your-hat-what's-your-hurry sendoff was unworthy of the veteran actress. It started strongly: Taylor outed Brooke's affair with Bill at Brooke's birthday party. From there it was all downhill. Eric was rightly upset that Taylor had broken the law by snooping through Brooke's medical records -- something the forthright shrink would never do -- but after she walked out on her beau mid-argument, we just never saw her again. It was weeks before we were told Taylor went to Paris to see Steffy, with no mention of whether Doc even encountered her beloved Ridge. B&B didn't even try! The Huntress deserved better.
In a year when even AMC and OLTL found temporary resurrections online, it made sense that aspiring actress Maya would find work on a web series. "Terrestrial television," as it were, has a lot of competition with programming we can see on our monitors, so it was very timely of B&B to explore this trend that many say is the way of the future. The soap even took things one step further and created a real-life Room 8 consisting of the "reshoots" Maya and Carter had to do after Caroline's sexed-up rewrites ruined Rafael's original vision. B&B's plot wasn't exactly HD (high drama), but the device was divine.
Two admirers battling for their beloved is simply a soap necessity. But B&B has forgotten that a couple can also find conflict from within. Every single relationship this year was threatened by an interloper, the exception being Pam and Charlie (so far). Either one lover waffled between two others, or another hopeful attempted to insert themselves into an otherwise happy twosome. What about pasts, mysteries, health issues, personality conflicts? The list goes on; there's still plenty of drama in a couple endangering itself. B&B really needs to learn some balance, because three has most definitely become a crowd.
When Brooke tried to cast Eric as her babydaddy, who knew one of Brooke's older babies would fly back to the nest? After "giving" Owen back to Jackie in 2011, Bridget simply disappeared -- until Brooke brought the doctor and sometime designer home for dinner! Rick was thrilled to see "Budge," and watching this quadrant of the Forrester-Logan family together gave hints of what might have been. Best of all, Bridget revealed that she, Owen, and Jackie had revived their original Three's Company living situation in New York with baby Logan! Still no word on where ex-hubby Nick sailed off to, but Bridget's brief blank-filling appearance felt like safe harbor.
Pairing a fashion house with a jewelry design company was a very natural fit. But the glowing, blue diamond with supposed magical powers quickly became as fake as if it were a zircon. Usually accompanied by a bell-tree music cue, people randomly handled the rare gem without gloves and displayed it to the public unprotected. Wyatt repeatedly draped it around Hope's neck, then "stole" it to impress her, oblivious to the fact that security cameras must have captured him planting it on actual foiled jewel thieves! By the time Ricardo finally took the diamond back, the luster had gone out of this poorly written prop.
Brooke had decided that Bill was her new "destiny," defending him to Katie and even accusing her sis of abusing the Stallion when Katie snagged his Spencer CEO seat! But when Bill dumped Brooke for Katie, only to trick Katie into signing company control back to him, Brooke finally took action. She corralled the bragging Bill by refusing him further access to her saddle, then horsed around with his precious contract by replacing it with the leaves she brought back from Aspen! It was the first time Brooke had done right by Katie all year, and the surprising screw-over gave Bill a rare taste of his own medicine.
When Steffy lost Liam's baby and found out she couldn't have another, the only person privy to this delicate information was former rival Katie, setting up a juicy unholy alliance between the two. After Steffy took off to Paris without telling Liam about her infertility, months of hiding, near-reveals, and confusion should have followed, with Katie in the hot seat. Instead, Steffy's inadvertent confidant immediately blabbed to Brooke, and, within a month, Liam flew to France and got the truth out of Steffy with no fight. This secret had the potential to give birth to scads of rich drama, but instead, it came up sterile.
La Forrester's death left a huge, unfillable hole in B&B's canvas after Susan Flannery's departure a year ago. So it's nice to see that her loved ones haven't forgotten her as they've tried to move on. Stephanie's portrait falls off the wall every time Eric kisses another woman, and his frequent remembrances of the woman he loved and fought with were warm and tender, especially at Thanksgiving. Would it have been great to see Ghost Stephanie scold Brooke from the grave for breaking her promise to be good by carrying on with Bill? Oh, yeah. But at least the Forrester matriarch still casts a long shadow in her mansion -- and beyond.
After years of tacitly forgiving Bill's multiple misdeeds, Katie caught Bill with Brooke, had a heart attack, then asked for her ring back as if she'd made the mistake. But since Taylor shone a spotlight on Brill's affair, the youngest Logan sister has been a force to be reckoned with. Blasting from both barrels, she schemed with Karen to become CEO of Bill's company, spied on him with cameras, and refused to let him get out of taking responsibility for their broken marriage, allowing Heather Tom to give one fierce performance after another. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Hallelujah!
Who are these people? More than ever, characters became mere props on B&B this year. Caroline went from demure to wicked to somewhere in between. Maya was a loose cannon who became sugary sweet. Wyatt shucked his integrity to become a schemer; milquetoast Quinn passed calculating and is heading straight for psycho. And these are just a few examples. Stories may move faster now, but when they're this plot-driven, characters lose their humanity and become mere puppets. Note for 2014: clearly define the Forrester-Logan-Spencers and let them act from their core. Because how can we root for these folks if they constantly change for no plausible reason?
After no winners in this category for 2011 or 2012, the trophy looked to end up unclaimed for 2013 as well until Thanksgiving, when something happened in the Forrester kitchen. Diamond-guarding Charlie worked the woo on lonely lemon bar lady Pam, and suddenly these comic relief characters were cookin'. Sure, we don't know much about Charlie, and he and the brain tumor survivor went from flirting to dating in less time than it takes to bake, but in one scene they were more romantic than all their youthful counterparts combined! Let the kiddies take heed: nothing beats some old-fashioned sweet heat.
As Remy and Christina on Guiding Light, Lawrence Saint-Victor and Karla Mosley set the screen on fire, so their reinvention as Carter and Maya should have been easy. Yet somehow even the talents of these very affable actors couldn't make this twosome pop. The Rick/Maya/Carter triangle was lopsided, since Carter never had a chance; even Caroline's steamy Room 8 scenes couldn't liven his interaction with Maya. They're together now, but only by default, so there's no stakes on top of no sizzle. What is about GL alumni showing up in boring B&B roles? Zack Conroy, anyone? Shame they couldn't have brought some of Springfield's sparkle with them!
In 1995, Eric and Taylor's flirtation was so hot, it was a shame they cooled it for Stephanie's sake. Eighteen years later, the coals were unfortunately stone cold. Eric had no business rebounding less than two months after his wife died, and Taylor seemed to only be cozying up to her former father-in-law to assure Thomas' place at Forrester. But what really killed this pairing was the pace. After making love once, Eric moved Taylor in and crowned her the new Forrester matriarch! Taylor deserves love, and Stephanie may even have approved of her finding it with Eric, but the result was unexpectedly soulless.
These women had an ugly history caused by Katie's husband having an emotional affair with the nubile Steffy. So Katie was the last person Steffy thought she'd receive support from when she fainted in the weeks following her miscarriage. Katie rushed Steffy to the hospital and listened as Dr. Caspary delivered the devastating news that Steffy could no longer conceive, and suddenly these battling babes were united as Katie agreed to keep Steffy's infertility a secret. It was a unique, satisfying twist, and the only thing wrong was that it only lasted a couple of weeks. This is the kind of intrigue B&B needs more of!
Last year, Katie/Bill/Brooke took Best Triangle, simply because of the potential in the usually close Logan sisters scrapping over the same man. But something went wrong as this trio got more airtime in 2013. Bill technically cheated on Katie and just came off as horny. Brooke threw her sister under the bus by constantly siding with Bill. And few wanted Katie back with Bill because of how he mistreated her before Brooke ever became an issue. Finally, Bill and Brooke's "love" was just tacky, despite being played as the romance of the year. Maybe if Bill and Katie had divorced, and Brooke slowly discovered a connection with her former brother-in-law...instead, Brooke went after a relative's man again, which brought Miss Logan thisclose to unredeemable. Even a remote to Monte Carlo couldn't elevate this story. which had no good guys beyond Jerry Springer territory. Ridge came back just in time!
A soap heroine losing a child is dramatic by its very nature, but when it happened to Steffy, B&B gave us drama that made the show seem like a soap again. Fueled by powerful performances, particularly by Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, the downward spiral began when Steffy felt sorry for Hope's unhappiness and hugged her into a touching truce. Then, accident-prone Steffy fell off her motorcycle and didn't even remember miscarrying, forcing Liam into the heartbreaking position of having to remind her. Steffy went through cycles of grief and rage instead of just getting over it (like Brooke), hanging on to the hope of conceiving again only to find out she couldn't. That prompted her to push Liam away for his own good before leaving for Paris in defeat. Was it hard to watch? You betcha. But it was a terrific reminder that B&B can still pack a punch when it wants to.
Covering a 2013 Best/Worst here on Soap Central would not be complete without taking a moment to remember our Allison J. Waldman, who passed away from cancer in April. It hasn't been the same around here without her B&B and Y&R musings!
To hear Tracy and I voice our Best and Worst picks with our actual voices, don't forget to check out SoapCentral Live's very special year-end broadcasts that aired on December 20 (Best of) and December 27 (Worst of). Stream the shows or download them as MP3s and listen to all of us telling it like it is in what has been a very busy and very different year for the soap opera genre!
Tracy has the honor of giving you our first column of 2014 on January 6. Me, I'll be back January 13 with what's become a bit of a yearly tradition: my "If I Wrote B&B" column. You're not going to want to miss it! If you missed last year's column to see what I wished for in 2013, you can check it out here.
Whatever holiday you celebrate, and in whatever fashion, celebrate it well, be grateful for all that was right in 2013, and write yourselves your very best "stories" for 2014. And now that Ridge is back...well, he may give B&B just the shake-up it needs. How are we going to know? Well, we'll just have to keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!
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.