By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman
Bradley Bell has been trying a bold soap experiment the last three quarters of a year on The Bold and Beautiful, featuring one storyline, the Hope-Liam-Steffy triangle, almost to the exclusion of most others. And he’s been succeeding — the ratings are still comparatively healthy. So I ask B&B viewers: are you smothered by this storyline?
I’ve always said you can watch this story with the sound turned off, the soap “types” are so obvious. There’s the blond heroine, Hope (Kim Matula); the dark (and sexy) villainess, Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood), and the boy, er, I mean man they
both love — Liam(Scott Clifton). Does anyone ever remember a soap character who has been more of a wuss? (Write in, darlings.) It’s too bad, because while Clifton delivers nicely here, he’s an excellent actor who is capable of so much more.
Of course Liam has to be a wuss to swing back and forth between the two women so easily. But Bell has also done some nice things with this story — the recent beautiful Italian remote, and Steffy’s scenes full of hot vibes with Liam’s scheming, villainous father (and future lover?) Bill Spencer. Jr. (Don Diamont). Veteran B&B viewers, do you remember James Storm as the ultra-nasty Bill Spencer Sr.? As the character is written by Bell and played by Diamont, Junior really seems to be his son! Steffy, too, is the rare soap villainess who has matured nicely, even graciously, letting Liam and Steffy proceed with their recent wedding, when it was more than clear that Liam still loves her, and of course that she loves her ex-husband. Does anyone remember the columns I wrote complaining that most soap characters (like my beloved Erica Kane on All My Children) never grew up very much emotionally as they got older?
What help to fill out this storyline are the support scenes of the women’s mothers, those old rivals Brooke and Taylor. Katherine Kelly Lang is ever passionate as Brooke, but why does Hunter Tylo play Taylor’s scenes without much energy? These two are quite the contrast.
So, darlings, does this show-eating story hold your interest or not?