The funny thing about memory is that it can often be selective.
We reflect longingly on the good ol' days when, in actuality, those days might not have been as good when we were living them. We recall the sunsets being more vivid, the scent of a favorite rose as more fragrant. Those memories are often skewed when viewed through the lens of the present day.
30 years ago, soaps seemed invincible. Then there was O.J., reality television, changing demographics, budget restraints, and not to mention COVID-19. What we wouldn't give to go back to October 2019, a simpler time that now seems like a lifetime ago.
Over the summer, while soaps were forced to halt production, viewers had the chance to watch classic episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful -- episodes that hadn't aired in quite some time. Seeing those throwback episodes had many fans taking to social media or the Soap Central message boards to proclaim how much they missed "the old" B&B stories and characters. Some newer fans also took to the same platforms to share that the low-resolution classic episodes were no match for what the show has been doing in 2020.
I've stepped in this week to cover for Mike and Chanel as they each mark some important milestones in their non-soap lives. Since I don't get to write a Two Scoops column regularly, I've expanded the scope of this week's column to share my thoughts on more than just last week's action.
I don't recall Zende being as cocky as he is now. Full of swagger? Yes. Full-on cocky? No. Perhaps the new attitude is due to the success that Zende found as a designer while living in Paris. Maybe the writers seized the opportunity to take the character in a new direction now that the role has been recast. The thing about cockiness is that there is a fine line between the confidence being sexy and it being a huge turnoff.
Zoe clearly finds it hot. I'm... not so sure. It seems that every time that Zende says something that exudes machismo, he follows it up with another cocky comment that pushes it over the edge for me. I reserve judgment for now because I assume Zende's attitude might make more sense once we learn why he and Nicole are no longer together.
So why aren't Zende and Nicole together? Zende doesn't want to talk about it, but everyone else in town does. Heck, I wanna talk about it, too! Based on what little Zende has said, I am going to assume that Nicole is the one who ended things.
It seems like only a matter of time before Nicole resurfaces in Los Angeles. It also seems that when she does pop up again, it will be with a new actress in the role. That's a shame because I really enjoyed Reign Edwards as Nicole.
I have spent a lot of time -- perhaps too much time -- trying to figure out when Nicole should return. Returning soonish seems the most logical. Fans are going to want to hear what happened between the two no-longer-lovebirds. Then I think about what good it would do. Nicole swoops in, we learn the reason for the split, and then... what? Does she show up just as Zende has moved on romantically? Does she become part of a love quadrilateral with Zende, Zoe, and Carter? Could there be a fifth side when Zoe's sister arrives? Have we ever seen a love pentagon? Do viewers really want more sibling rivalry over a man? Are we really sure that Zoe's sister is going to be Zoe's sister and not some sort of red herring for a recast Nicole?
So. Many. Questions.
There was really only one question that I had regarding Ridge and Shauna's "marriage." Why did no one attempt to get video footage from the wedding venue? I would assume that all Vegas-area wedding venues have cameras -- first for security and secondly for just such I-was-so-drunk-I-don't-remember-getting-married scenarios. Whew. That's a lot of hyphens.
I suppose that Shauna or Quinn could have intercepted the request and asked that the officiant claim the footage was "accidentally" lost or say that the cameras weren't working at the time. Of course, the request for video footage might have succeeded, and maybe the footage could have been played while Ridge and Shauna were standing at the altar, er, fireplace.
As a quick rewind, I was left less than satisfied by Ridge and Shauna's Facetime breakup. I guess I am a bit old-fashioned. I like my soap opera breakups to be done publicly, preferably at the altar or in front of everyone in town. In the real world, people announce divorce plans via text message, so I will admit that a video chat split is probably the most 2020 thing a soap has ever done.
If you've read any of the Two Scoops columns that I've written for any of the soaps over the past 25 years you'll know that I don't hang my hat on any particular couple. Are there couples that I like? Yup. Have I ever been one of those fans that threatens to stop watching a show if a couple breaks up? Nope.
That said, am I happy that Brooke and Ridge are back together? Sure, why not. Would I be devastated if they didn't get back together? Probably not. Here's the problem that I have with Brooke and Ridge as a couple: the constant break-up to make-up. After telling Shauna to hit the road, Ridge pulled out the rose petals to let Brooke know that he had never stopped loving her. He was home. Great. True love does overcome all obstacles (or at least that's what we've been told). But I cannot get behind couples that declare that they are each other's one true love, only to have them break up over and over. You are either in it "for good times and bad," or you're not.
After everything that has happened over the past year, Brooke and Ridge need to stay together until death they do part. They don't get to divorce or annul their marriage over some burnt toast or because someone forgot to pick up the dry cleaning. And if, heaven forbid, one of them were to no longer be with us, I don't want the still-living half of the partnership to be in bed with someone new within a week of their spouse's death.
Is it just me, or does it seem like a lot of the stories on B&B seem to have reached a hurried resolution or a lack of focus when the show returned from its COVID-19 shutdown. Sally faked an illness for months, and then, when the show returned, she was outed and kicked outta town within a week or two.
I need to take a random side trip before continuing with my train of thought. I am glad that Courtney Hope will continue to play Sally Spectra over on The Young and the Restless. If I wasn't already watching Y&R, I'd probably tune in for at least a few episodes to see how the character meshes on a new soap. Will Sally be written the same way? Will Y&R consult with B&B to ensure continuity? Will any Y&R characters pop up on B&B to "research" Sally's past?
Okay, where was I? Right. Not being able to focus on one thing. In addition to Sally's ouster seeming to come out of nowhere, Ridge and Brooke's reunion seemed speedier than what would have taken place a year or two ago, and then there is Steffy's addiction. I understand that not everything in soapland can take place in real world time. A few years back, I tracked "soap opera days" versus "real world days" and found that by the time February rolled around in the real world, only three or four days had taken place in soap world.
That said, I would have liked to see Steffy's addiction take place over a slightly longer period of time. I am also fully aware that that kind of timing might have made the storyline "boring" in the eyes of viewers. However, from the moment Steffy was given pain medication in the hospital, there were folks on Twitter who telegraphed the impending addiction storyline. I am also hoping that Steffy's recovery isn't just her miraculous two-week vacation at a treatment center.
Obviously, I do not wish for anyone -- real or fictional -- to have an addiction disorder. But I also cringe when any television program portrays an unrealistic outcome -- like the brain surgery patient who didn't need to have their head shaved. Someone at home should never think, "Wow. Steffy is 'cured' and beat her addiction in two weeks, and I've been (or my loved one has) struggling for three months." Or three years." Again, not that there are necessarily viewers at home thinking that, but there could be, and if a show is serious about its messaging then they need it to be consistent from start to finish.
No matter how accelerated the storyline might be, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood's work as Steffy has been stellar over the past month. I mentioned on Twitter that I think Wood has turned in the performance of her career, and based on the response, many B&B viewers felt the same way.
.@JacquelineMWood turned in what I think is the performance of her career on today's @BandB_CBS. She's been stellar all week, but "Steffy" just ripped my heart out today. So much applause for JMW. #BoldandBeautiful pic.twitter.com/oKI1g1kPWl— Dan J Kroll (@DanJKroll) September 25, 2020
That leads me to another somewhat sensitive subject. I appreciate that The Bold and the Beautiful has taken steps to diversify the canvas and storytelling. All four soaps now have Black characters that are front and center. It's a start. I'm sure that Asian and Latino viewers would love to see more characters who look like them. But simply having a canvas of diverse characters is not enough.
I am hoping that B&B carries through with its promise to be inclusive. The show, at times, has toed the pandering line. Remember when B&B celebrated being the first American daytime drama to simulcast in Spanish? The show introduced a handful of Latino characters -- and after a few months, the characters disappeared, and the focus returned to more Forrester love triangles. The same can be said of Maya Avant and her groundbreaking story. The reveal that Maya was a transgender woman was the surprise of the decade, but eventually, Maya, too, saw her story dry up, and the character disappeared. Just last week, actress Karla Mosley revealed that her time on B&B had come to an end -- even though Maya has not been on-screen in over a year.
Lawrence Saint-Victor's Carter has been on the B&B canvas since 2013 -- around the same time that Mosley's Maya showed up -- and hasn't had a whole lot of story in those seven years. For the past three years, he's been trotted out for weddings and the occasional legal eagling. Aaron D. Spears was signed to a contract in 2017, and the show even brought in Justin's niece, Emma. That really didn't change the frequency with which we saw Justin. And Emma? We hardly got a chance to know her before her car plunged into a ravine. Sasha, Dayzee, Marcus, Beverly, Hector... all characters with promise that were unceremoniously ditched.
Change takes time. There are also some challenges right now with safety protocols and COVID-19 restrictions. Does B&B want to have body doubles and mannequins? Do they want to have all of the characters scattered across a set and be forced to have most frames be filmed with just a single actor in them? Of course not.
That's why I can sit back and let things play out. That's what the Two Scoops column is all about -- no matter who is writing it or which soap it's about. [NOTE: You can check out the Two Scoops columns for The Young and the Restless, General Hospital, Days of our Lives, and past soaps here.] It's a weekly love letter that sometimes can be a tough love letter. We want The Bold and the Beautiful to be the best it can be -- or at least as good as we remember it being. But, you know, the funny thing about memory is that it can often be selective.
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.