Hello, all those of the young and restless persuasion! I'm Mike, regular columnist for The Bold and the Beautiful here on Soap Central. Now, you may be wondering, who is this guy? Did he take a wrong turn at L.A. and accidentally end up in Wisconsin? No, but as a B&B character has found her way to Genoa City, I'm here to give you a bit of a primer into the redhead named Sally Spectra you met this week!
If you've watched The Young and the Restless for any length of time, you know that crossovers between Y&R and B&B are not unusual. To my knowledge, Sheila Carter started it in 1992 when she let everyone believe she'd died in the fire at her mother's farmhouse and hightailed it to Los Angeles. Others have crossed over since -- Jack and Victor guested separately on B&B, and B&B characters Amber and Deacon had longer stays in Genoa City.
Now, B&B fan fave Sally Spectra makes Wisconsin her home, and if you don't also watch that show, you might be confused over who this chick is, and you might wondering what's her deal. So, I'm here to give you a CliffsNotes version of Sally, which will help you get to know her and better appreciate the nuances of the character as she takes hold. Because if this week is any indication, Sally's gonna make some noise!
First, a little about me. I started watching all the CBS soaps in 1988, fresh out of high school. My mom had them on, and I was curious; plus, I had discovered soaps through Dynasty two years earlier, so I was easily swayed to the CBS schedule. I remember when Lisa had Brad locked in the cage! Then, I fell off a bit, watching inconsistently for the next while.
It wasn't until 1992 that I picked back up on both Y&R and B&B more voraciously. And wouldn't you know -- it was because of Sheila! And also, Michael Baldwin, when he was sexually harassing Christine. I stayed plugged into both soaps like they were an I.V. into the new millennium. So, I know a lot of the history. I think I stopped actively watching Y&R around 2002, but I kept up through the soap mags and sites.
Until this week, the last Y&R episode I saw was in 2017, when Eric Forrester made a crossover visit from B&B. So, as I came into things present day, there were several faces I didn't recognize, but I knew enough to get a feel for the world Sally Spectra was walking into. And if you didn't recognize Sally, here's the part where I tell you more about her.
You can get far more detail in Sally's B&B profile, but these are the basics. Sally is the grand-niece of B&B's infamous Sally Spectra (yes, same name), who ran L.A.'s Spectra Fashions. The O.G. Sally started out by regularly ripping off couture house Forrester Creations, but she eventually became a beloved part of that family.
The older Sally's portrayer, Darlene Conley, passed away in 2007, but B&B has since kept Sally alive by having her frolic in the tropics with scads of cabana boys. Then, in 2017, the Sally you saw this week -- who, mind you, had never been mentioned before -- arrived in the City of Angels under orders from her great-aunt to revive Spectra Fashions and restore it to its former glory.
Sally gave it her best shot. She did. Except that barracuda publishing magnate Bill Spencer wanted the land Spectra was situated on so he could build a skyscraper. Spectra Fashions finally, literally, crumbled to the ground when Bill had the building demolished -- not knowing Sally was inside, taking part in a sit-in. Whoops. Sally got out of that one, but, with her livelihood and heirloom business gone, she was up you-know-what creek.
Sally blamed Bill for the sorry state of her life, and one night trained a gun on his son, Wyatt. Well, it wasn't long before Sally and Wyatt got together, because don't all romances start out that way? Things went fine with "Wally" until Wyatt's high school sweetheart, Flo Fulton, came to town. Sally got dumped twice and responded by faking a fatal illness so she could win Wyatt back.
Sally's time in L.A. ended when she kidnapped Flo to keep her from ratting Sally out. Wyatt and Flo declined to press charges but suggested that Sally take some time to straighten her head out -- as far away from them as possible. Is 2,000 miles enough? I should point out that Sally didn't really get a proper exit scene, which was super disappointing.
That's what made the phoenix of Sally rising from the Los Angeles ashes all the more gratifying on Tuesday. I guess it wasn't unreasonable that Summer didn't know who Sally was. But Jack sure did! Hey, Jackie! Lookin' good, boy! Better than that, Sally had gotten lost in the Jabot monolith, looking for Lauren in all the wrong places! Lauren! Oh, YES, Lauren! (Sorry, just my Sheila coming out for a visit!)
Unless you watched B&B back in the day, you have no idea just how appropriate Lauren being Sally's contact person is. You see, Lauren made her own move to B&B from 1995 to 1998, during which time she found herself in the employ of...Sally Spectra. The original. And I about had a geekgasm when Lauren made reference to a picture in a Bible during Stephanie's wedding!
I don't expect a Y&R-er to get that, but what continuity! In 1997, Eric Forrester had dumped Lauren for his ex-wife, Stephanie Forrester -- so Sally snapped a video still from a sex tape Lauren had made with Eric and placed the photo in the minister's Bible during Eric and Stephanie's ceremony. That was 23 years ago...and if Y&R is already into that kind of consistency, I am all in for this!
The accurate references went on as Summer took Sally to Crimson Lights, where Sally got reacquainted with Theo, whom she had met in New York. Now, that's new info to us B&B-ers, but Sally did spend time in the Big Apple with ex-boyfriend Thomas Forrester, so it works. And Thomas did dump Sally before he went from totally adorable hunk to complete psychopath. The L.A. smog, I guess.
I don't know who this Theo dude is, but Sally's got good taste. (I hear his portrayer is exiting? Too bad!) Sally even called Theo "Bucko"! See, that's a B&B thing. The original Sally used to call her ex-husband, Clarke, "Bucky." So nuSally showed up using a derivative of that name for Thomas. Who knew she'd ever end up using that term for another man!
And soap gods be praised...Sally was even seen on the phone, talking to Coco! That's Sally's sister, who went AWOL on B&B after Spectra Fashions was destroyed. (Lots of B&B characters have gone AWOL in recent years...just sayin'.) So, giving Sally a quick chat with Coco was most excellent, and more than Coco got in her final B&B days. I can't believe the level of detail Y&R is allowing for with Sally's past! I love it!
Now, when Sally and Theo met back up in Phyllis' hotel or wherever that was, Theo told her he had heard some deets about Sally's kidnapping shenanigans on social media. I don't know how that's possible, given that Wyatt and Flo and everyone else who knew about it on B&B decided to stay quiet. But it was nice to hear Sally define her relationship with Wyatt as "toxic." Because that's exactly what it became.
Lauren wasted no time scooping up Sally to be her executive assistant, which Sally expressed immense gratitude for...however, in a moment alone, Sally did not look at all pleased. Wonder what's going on with that! Then, when Sally ran into Jack again (Fenmore's is at Jabot now? Or is that just Fenmore's executive office?), she asked about something called JCV and was disappointed to hear JCV was no more.
Didn't JVC used to make video cassettes? Shows what I know about the minutia of Y&R. But, in three episodes (really, two and an end scene), Sally has already made a splash in Genoa City, getting herself a job, getting asked out by a hot man, and running afoul of hot man's ex, Summer. And Sally met Summer's other ex, Kyle. Sounds like Summer has been pretty busy.
I'll be curious to see just how busy Sally gets in the next few weeks. Is her arrival enough to make this lapsed viewer unlapse? That all depends on time, schedules, etc. But the fact that Y&R has gone out of its way to mine Sally's history and base new plot developments on these details has impressed me greatly. I came away feeling like B&B could take a lesson from its soapy progenitor! Even portrayer Courtney Hope is happy with the results!
I hope you've enjoyed this special column and that it's given you a better idea of what Sally Spectra is all about. If you like my written offerings, check out my B&B Two Scoops columns right here on Soap Central! (And, as a die-hard Bewitched fan, I have a few books out on that subject, including Samantha's Seventies, which just came out.) Keep on with the soapy goodness, and may you all be more young than restless!
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