The Bold and the BeautifulSoapbox
Finally, Bold & Beautiful Is Telling Multiple Stories — Plus, How Crazy Will They Let Thomas Get?
Jill Johnson/JPI, CBS screenshots
Fasten your seatbelts, because it’s looking as if The Bold and the Beautiful will be firing on all cylinders during November sweeps. Over the past year, the show has far too often fallen into the trap of telling only one story at a time. But these days, there’s something for pretty much everyone!
Attack of the Devil Doll
If The Bold and the Beautiful were following its typical pattern, we would be cutting from scenes of Thomas talking to his new toy to scenes of other people questioning his recent behavior. And while we’ve had a bit of that, the show has wisely made the mannequin story part of a much larger canvas on which several other tales are taking place at the same time. And in a weird way, doing so illustrates a point I’ve tried to make with regards to this particular soap for years.
The Thomas story is controversial, to say the least. Not in the way we typically think of that word being used but in the sense that some viewers — dare I say those with no sense of humor? — have threatened to turn the channel. And were it the only story taking place, they’d probably feel free to do so. But in between Thomas’ chats with Fauxpe, as some have taken to calling the doll, we’re getting fallout from Shauna and Quinn’s antics, not to mention the Zende/Zoe/Carter triangle. In fact, all told, the Thomas story is actually a pretty small portion of the overall package being presented each day.
I’ve admitted from the start that I’m all-in where the mannequin story is concerned. But I’ll also concede that like cotton candy, a little bit goes a long way. It’s not like I want The Bold and the Beautiful to become Passions, a soap with which I had an often difficult relationship. And maybe, just maybe, Fauxpe’s eyes suddenly glowing red in Friday’s episode was a step too far, especially since it did not appear to be something Thomas was seeing but rather something only we, the viewers, were privy to. But I’m betting that was less a sign that the dummy is actually possessed than the soap’s nod toward the kickoff of Halloween weekend. (Yes, I was disappointed that it didn’t, as usual, do something a little wacky with the opening-credits sequence… I kinda wanted it to be entirely comprised of Fauxpe glamour shots mimicking those of the actual stars, but that’s probably a lot to ask given all the other challenges currently facing the production department!)
Crazy in Love
The question now is how far Bold & Beautiful will take Thomas’ latest dance with the dark side and how they’ll bring him back to the land of the reasonably rational. Just before he began chatting up his new roomie, viewers saw him hit his head, and it’s safe to say that will come into play soon. (This isn’t a show that’s particularly subtle when it comes to foreshadowing.)
Already, they’ve played that Finn is a bit suspicious of his new girlfriend’s brother. (Which, by the way, makes me think maybe Liam wasn’t totally wrong to call the doc out for not having noticed Steffy’s addiction. He barely knows Thomas yet has clued in to his odd behavior.) And next week’s spoilers indicate that Liam just might be in for a big ol’ shock regarding Douglas’ dad. Given the show’s recent pacing issues, it’s tough to tell whether this will set the stage for Thomas to become more dangerous than ever or start to get the help he clearly needs. Stay tuned…
Frenemies To The End
Meanwhile, over at the Forrester estate, Shauna casually strolling down the staircase to interrupt Quinn and Eric’s conversation was a perfect soap moment. After for some reason rushing to reunite Brooke and Ridge and, in the process, playing absolutely none of the drama which should have arisen from the reveal of Quinn and her best friend’s antics, Shauna went missing. Some fans even speculated that perhaps Denise Richards had been written off the show.
But instead, The Bold and the Beautiful left her off screen just long enough that it was a complete surprise when she reappeared. It was almost ironic that Quinn had spent most of the episode singing the praises of her blonde gal pal to Eric, apparently having forgotten just how susceptible he is to both blondes and rebound relationships. Seeing how comfy Shauna looked in Eric’s house, I’m willing to bet the big-hearted guy has taken her under both his roof and wing.
Translation: Get ready, cause Quinn’s head is about to explode, and that’s always a good time.
Modern Love or Something Like It
The other big story this week involved Zoe repeatedly talking about how she and Carter were going to take things slow… even as she slept with the guy. On the one hand, this story feels very modern, especially for a show as old-fashioned as Bold & Beautiful tends to be. For Zoe, not grabbing the key and hiring a U-Haul when Carter suggested she move in is taking it slow. At the same time, however, I’m not sure what we’re supposed to think of her sleeping with Carter when clearly she is head over heels for Zende.
Day after day, we’ve seen Zoe and Zende flirting in a way that would make anyone observing their interactions blush. Well, anyone but Carter, who comes off as downright clueless every time he’s in the room while his girlfriend has eye sex with the designer. And what did Zoe do about five seconds after leaving Carter’s bed? Run to tell Zende so she could see how he would take the news.
Were this triangle working the way a good soap story should, half the audience would be rooting for a Zoe/Zende pairing, while the rest would be hoping for Carter to win the lovely lady. Honestly, I find it hard to imagine anyone being #TeamCarter in this scenario unless they feel sorry for the guy. This is not a Steffy/Liam/Hope or Taylor/Ridge/Brooke scenario, where you can easily imagine the person around whom the other parties gravitate ping-ponging for years. Frankly, I’ll be surprised if this particular triangle is still viable come springtime, by which point I expect poor Carter to be officiating at his ex-girlfriend’s wedding. (Ouch.)
• It probably shouldn’t be all that tough for Eric to forgive Quinn. Nothing she did to Ridge and Brooke came even close to the level of manipulation Stephanie perpetrated against the pair on more than one occasion, and yet Eric took his favorite martini-drinking buddy back every single time.
• It was nice seeing Hope, Liam and Steffy actually getting along. We’ve heard this trio talk about wanting to form a functioning, multi-pronged family… you know, the way millions of divorced-and-remarried people have in the real world. My tendency is to think it won’t last, if only because of Liam’s well-documented history of waffling. But maybe, just maybe, having Finn in the mix as a viable option for Steffy could change things. (That said, I won’t hold my breath… )
• What do we have to do to get Heather Tom’s Katie a story? Because whatever it is, I’m game. Maybe now that Ridge and Brooke have decided that they’re done with the drama (for now), we can shift the focus over to Katie. And no, simply having her reunite with Bill won’t cut it, because he’s done absolutely nothing to earn her forgiveness and/or trust. Years ago, Katie’s insecurity issues might have led us to believe that she’d yet again take Brooke’s leftovers. But Katie’s come a long way since then. We’d sooner buy her making another play for Wyatt than reuniting with his dad.
After hitting the comments to share your take on this week’s action, reward yourself by visiting this gallery in which we turn back the clock and revisit some of daytimes dreamiest teen idols ever.