Will your week be bold and beautiful? Will you ditch one fiancé and dive right in with another? Will you tell your father's blessing where it can go? Will you hope you can get a refund on your wedding's uneaten catering? These and more situations will face the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Avant clan this week!
Let's get ready for romance, Scoopers! While B&B is back in production after hitting a slight speed bump over a glitch in on-set COVID-19 testing, we still have at least another month of encore performances to look forward to. This week, we are revisiting four weddings and a pregnancy from the past six years, from Hope's 2014 husband switcheroo in Monte Carlo to her announcement of being pregnant with Beth two summers ago.
Just like you can't control the chemistry between yourself and a potential or secured romantic partner, you also can't control what you consider romantic in the fictional world. We all find ourselves swooning over different things. Personally, I have to do romance extra vicariously on our show because we've never had two guys discovering love on it. I content myself with the thought of Thorsten Kaye putting an engagement ring in my Pepsi.
Do I sound like a sourpuss? Maybe it's because I've got a layer of cynical bastard covering an ultra-mushy core. Or maybe it's because I like my soap romances the way I would love to have a real one -- cooked up with a healthy measurement of substance, an extra cup of connection, and a good sprinkling of true affection. That's not to say these ingredients don't exist in this week's recipes, but...
...I just have found myself going back over B&B's history and recalling other moments that do it for me more, that set my heart fluttering even more than what we're about to see. Again, it's all subjective. But hey, this is my column, so I get to set the romantic rules. So, break out the rose petals and the "mannequins" that will fill in for lovers going forward (where do I get one? I'll take a Thorsten or a Scott if they're in stock) and let's Scoop about it!
On Monday, we'll sail back to 2014, when Hope decided to marry Wyatt seconds after thinking Liam had jilted her at the altar (thanks to Quinn and her in-Seine plan). I never bought Hope and Wyatt as a couple because there was always the feeling Hope would rather be with Liam. Now, Katie and Wyatt were hotter than Hott, but moving on with your ex-husband's son (and your own son's half-brother) ...do I hafta tell ya?
It seems strange now, given all we know about the infidelities and sheer cruelty that took place after it, but Katie and Bill's 2009 wedding, which was rebroadcast in early May, wins Katie's romance game hands freaking down. After her teenaged incarnation's no-go crush with Rocco and her bizarre post-heart transplant off-screen knock-up romp with Nick, Katie still really hadn't found real love of her own.
Enter...Dollar Bill? Now, keep in mind, when he and Katie exchanged vows, Bill had only been on the show six months. We already knew he was a cad, but that was exactly why the unlucky-in-love Valley Girl breaking through Bill's rock hard exterior (and I don't mean his chest) was the stuff of romantic legend. Katie had managed to find a soft spot in the barracuda, and he had allowed her to access it.
Bill really let himself receive and give love there. And hello, getting married in front of the house where Katie had grown up in insecurity and loneliness? Romantic as hell! When Bill stood with Katie and the minister and told Katie she made him a better man, we believed it. Of course, by now, he's also said that to Brooke and Steffy, and probably Justin. But in 2009, those words weren't hollow.
It's too bad Batie imploded almost immediately in their Dumpster fire of a marriage that Bill kept throwing gasoline and hormones on. The (admittedly unconsummated) affair with Steffy, plotting to murder Amber and his unborn grandchild along with her, locking his heart recipient wife in a tower...and that was just Batie's first go-round. I look forward to seeing Katie finally getting with a decent man she truly deserves!
Rick and Maya will walk down the aisle again on Tuesday, and I can't think of a more important time to re-highlight this history-making ceremony, with the flames of hyper-divisiveness being fanned on a far too regular basis these days. Maya's was the first soap wedding involving a transgender character -- that alone warrants an encore presentation. But did Maya, as a person, truly deserve it?
No matter how you identify, there are good and bad people within the circle with which you identify. And everyone deserves love. However, what Maya deserved first was comeuppance. She and Rick had been horrible people. Their relationship grew out of betrayal, infidelity, and cruelty. Raya reveled in that. (Just ask Aly.) They both needed a Stephanie-style double bitch slap from Karma herself.
Instead, they got rewarded for their heinousness with a lavish wedding where everyone embraced them except Julius, a guy you can't help wishing would get hit by a lightning bolt on the golf course like something out of Caddyshack. (Hmm, maybe that's who Maya got her mean streak from.) Did Maya finally get payback from Rick divorcing her because...well, we still don't know why?
If ever there was a B&B couple who deserved to rise from the romantic ashes, it was Grant Chambers and Macy Alexander. I know -- anyone who got on board the B&B train after 1998 is going to have to Google these guys. Macy, you probably know. She had split with hubby Thorne over his attention to Claudia, a woman who was in the US illegally, then watched him go ga-ga over Ridge's main squeeze, Taylor.
As for Grant, he came on in 1996 as sort of a Zen cowboyish type who quickly morphed into a corporate raider that rained hell on Forrester Creations. But you see, Grant did get his comeuppance. Irony of ironies here, he took a bullet from a fugued-out Rick (oops). And the woman he loved, Brooke, had only married him because Ridge hadn't gotten to her wedding in time to stop it. Grant paid his dues.
So, the idea of putting these sad sack characters together was not only genius, but full-on romantic. They didn't need to burn the bedsheets; what they had was as warm and comforting as a crackling fireplace on a snowy night. Grant ditched designing to run the Insomnia coffeehouse, where he promptly installed Macy as its singer. Free from the Forresters, Gracy (Mant?) couldn't have been happier.
But then, being happy on a soap is just asking for trouble. Unsuccessful at making a baby, Grant had his fertility checked, only to find out he really had testicular cancer. Ouch. A couple of months later, Macy was a widow. Why B&B traded in pure soap gold for other gold-plated pairings, I still don't know. Maybe Macy picked up her ill-fated love story with Grant after she got clocked by a chandelier?
Ah, Ridge Forrester. This man had romance (or is that seduction?) in his genes from the very first episode. You'd have thought he inherited that from Eric, who actually bested Ridge by taking his bride on a balloon ride to a luxurious desert oasis. We know Stephanie wasn't big on passionate productions, so I guess we have to assume Massimo Marone knew his way to a lady's heart?
Coming Wednesday, CaRidge will get their time in the sun once again, literally, as they steal away and marry themselves in private. Now, I won't lie -- I was ride-or-die CaRidge. They weren't just hot, they were sweet. Like a fresh Krispy Kreme. Only problem was, they started out when Caroline was still married to Rick. And Rick wasn't even being a supreme douchebag yet.
Ridge had already cornered the market on amorous gestures before the '80s were over. So, each consecutive one had gotten just a little bit watered down. That's why the biggest surprise, even to me, is that I consider Ridge's proposal to Brooke in Puglia, Italy, his most romantic moment. I know, right? Bridge was sort of an afterthought compared to all the drama of Lope almost not marrying and then marrying.
Sure, the show wrote in Puglia's famous olive trees as part of their educational brochure of a remote. Sure, we'd seen Ridge hide engagement rings in things before -- most notably in 1989, when he used a ring in place of a strawberry in Brooke's Champagne. Ridge stashing one in a fake olive was not what made the moment stand out so much. It was the discussion that came after.
By 2012, Ridge and Brooke had been married six times -- though most of those nuptials were declared invalid by clerical boo-boos or Taylor rising from the grave. And, strolling through those Italian olive groves, Bridge knew it. They not only commented on their dizzying marry-go-rounds, they lampooned them. They wondered if they could actually get marriage right, and Brooke actually recalled her 1989 proposal.
I deem the Puglia pronouncement the most romantic of Ridge's betrothals because it was rooted in history and incredibly self-aware, considering that, generally, olive trees grow more than most of our characters do. This olive garden also had an endgame quality to it. Sucks that Ridge dumped Brooke by text message soon after, simply because she texted Deacon. Yet mask-boinking Oliver had been okay?
Can you believe that, at this point, Eric and Quinn hold the record for most enduring marriage on the show? Thursday will see a replaying of their 2016 wedding -- the one where only Ivy (of all people) showed up. Was it sad? Yes. But I only felt bad for Eric -- sort of. Didn't he learn from his 1993-1995 marriage to Sheila that psychos, like tigers, never change their prison stripes?
As if Eric's willingness to wed another wacko wasn't bad enough, we had Quinn gushing about how the love of a good man had saved her. However, the man who really saved Quinn was Liam, who kept Quinn out of jail for kidnapping him while he was amnesiac, because Quinn's lawyer insisted Liam didn't have a case. And who could forget that Quinn got off scot-free for trying to run Liam through with a sword?
Eric, I know it's harder for older folks to find love, but there's no need to browse through the bananas bargain bin. One would have to argue that the greatest love of Eric Forrester's life was none other than Queen Stephanie. And that's a hard argument to make, when you think of how she emasculated him from the very start -- quite literally when she introduced his family jewels to her knee in 2005.
And yet, through all his other relationships and dalliances with Beth, Brooke, Sheila, Taylor, Lauren, Donna, and Jackie, Eric always came back to Stephanie somehow. I'm not sure why, as Steric was as ill-fitting in their latter days as a Forrester original not treated with BeLieF. That's what made a group of Steric scenes from 2011 their most romantic -- and most poignant.
At that time, Stephanie was battling cancer. Between her advancing age and advancing illness, the last thing she was thinking about was making mooky. Conversely, Eric was becoming increasingly frustrated by Stephanie constantly pushing him away. He did pay visits to Jackie, some of which resulted in kisses -- but Eric really wanted things to work with his wife.
Eric and Stephanie finally had to sit down and talk about the wall building between them. Stephanie understood his needs but didn't have it in her to tend to them. Eric wanted to be respectful of where she was in her journey, but her rejections were affecting him less physically than emotionally. Stephanie reiterated that her lack of desire for him didn't mean she loved him any less, and Eric agreed to be patient.
Now, how awesome was that? And how relatable! I know I have traveled the road of unequal desire in relationships. Plus, I have always said that, even though interlopers are part of what makes a soap couple soapy, it's far more realistic to have their relationship problems be internal. Who's actually had more problems with a partner from an interfering third party than from differing opinions and needs? Yeah, I thought so.
Finally, that whole arc with Steric was a wonderful, generational, As the World Turns type story. People don't suddenly lose their lust for life -- and other things -- just because they reach a certain age. Hell, I'll be 51 next week -- my love life is dead, but I ain't! I've always been glad Eric moved on after Stephanie's death (except, Quinn? Really?)...but nothing beats that Steric moment for sheer history and heartwarming.
The week concludes with Hope telling Liam she's pregnant with baby Beth in 2018 amongst an array of green-screened fireworks. As you can tell, this revisit only does so much for me. Though it's almost been a year now since it wrapped, I'm still exhausted from the Phoebeth saga, and, soap gods love him, Liam commits to Hope or Steffy depending on what color underwear he happens to be wearing that day. Seen it.
Liam and Hope's relationship was much sweeter in the beginning. They managed to survive Oliver's pining and Steffy's attempts at seduction, despite Lope breaking up and making up with dizzying irregularity throughout. Liam even waited on doing the horizontal tango with Hope, quite willingly, when she wanted to hold off until her wedding night.
Then Liam had to ruin it by letting his libido do the talking. Instead of running home and taking care of business, he let himself get all hot and bothered by Steffy parading around in lingerie. And the rest is history. I've never recovered from all the Leffy/Lope whiplash. If you really want to talk virgins...or almost virgins...we need look no further than a couple who actually outranks Eric and Quinn for sheer longevity.
That's right -- it's Pam and Charlie! These confectionary companions first got together in 2013, y'all. That's like...45 years ago in soap years. And though Charlie was still a fairly new character then, Pam wasn't. You have to think about her origin story to really appreciate just how epic this coupling is, and why it's not just one moment that makes them the most romantic -- it's their entire romance.
When we first met Pam in Chicago, she had devoted her entire adult life to taking care of mama Ann. Pam had the pearls then already, but she never had anyone to show them to, because she never left the house. Suffice it to say, she had The 40-Year-Old Virgin beat by at least a decade. And Pam would have lived out her life that way had rageaholic Stephanie not paid a visit to confront their father's abuse.
Pam was kind of like a cat after it first creeps out of its carrier. (Fitting, since Pam later created the hilarious/cringeworthy "cat dance.") She tiptoed out from her confines and sniffed around carefully. Pam crushed on Eric for a while, then decided Stephanie was best for him -- which led to Pam trying to feed Eric's crush Donna to a bear. Hey, it happens.
Pam finally got a little love in the form of Stephen Logan. But a relationship never starts out well when your bae screws with your bipolar meds to get you to shoot your sister. Then, Pam had a brief flirtation with...Nick Marone?? All looked lost until quirky, boastful security guard Charlie Webber showed up in Pam's life. Once they discovered they had baking and Medieval Times in common, it was full speed ahead!
Pharlie (Cham?) rarely shows up unless someone needs a cake or a lemon bar, which is a shame, and of course points at daytime's historic ageism. Despite often being played for comedy, Pam and Charlie are perfect for each other, and they can handle weightier moments, too, like when Charlie had to nurse Pam through a shortage of her medication.
Pam's lemon bars are one of the most overused gimmicks on the show, but Charlie proposed by burying an engagement ring in a batch, which, for my money, was one of the show's most romantic scenes. I defy you to say otherwise. Hopefully when new episodes air again, these two will get more screen time, an actual story, and the wedding they so have coming to them. Bake that, Quinn!
What scenes and/or couples count as B&B's most romantic to you? Wax poetic in the Comments section below or the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback. Your comments could wind up in a future column!
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