The Bold and the BeautifulSoapbox
Bold & Beautiful Ended the Year by Making Steffy, Liam and Hope — Yes, Even Hope — Look as Bad as Humanly Possible
Image: Howard Wise/JPI
The Bold and the Beautiful ended 2020 by rushing to reveal a “twist” that everyone saw coming a mile away. As has been the case for a while now, there were only two storylines playing this week, and both had characters making questionable-at-best moves. Ready to talk about who did what… and try to figure out why? Let’s dive in.
No Surprises Here
It’s safe to say there weren’t many people in the audience who gasped when Steffy ended the week by telling Liam she was pregnant. The one thing which did surprise us — but probably shouldn’t have — was how quickly she found out (and shared) the news.
If I had to guess, I’d say this entire storyline came about because the show wanted to write in Jacqueline MacInnes Wood’s real-life pregnancy. Maybe the writers thought this was the kind of incredible opportunity that’s too good to pass up. But… yeah, they really should have just handed Wood some oversized purses and kept Steffy behind a desk for a few months, because this story isn’t likely to score points with anyone.
The audience was already unhappy that Steffy once again fell into bed with Liam, a man who has treated her like dirt for years. Hope fans weren’t thrilled, either, as it meant that yet again, her hard-won happiness with Liam would be trashed. As for Liam… well, this is pretty much what we’ve all come to expect of him.
Spit It Out Already!
Perhaps the hardest to watch scenes involved Liam’s lame attempts to come clean with Hope. I suppose I could give him credit for wanting to confess his sin, although having watched him don this particular hair shirt in the past makes me less inclined to do so. Liam came off as downright cruel, continuing to hem and haw even as the wife he claims to love tried finding ways to blame herself for his emotional distress.
More: What Liam’s really up to
As is this particular show’s style, Liam took so long to spit out the words that he was interrupted by Steffy’s phone call urging him to come over immediately. Rather than put his wife first by insisting that this moment take priority, he dashed off. And rather than insist that Liam stay put and finish a dang sentence, his wife sent him scurrying off to Steffy’s place.
Which brings us to Hope.
“Wait,” some of you will want to say. “Hope’s the innocent party in all of this!” Which is true. But she’s also being written as so ridiculously naive as to be cartoonish.
As Liam sputtered and uttered and muttered about having something to say that was going to be painful for her to hear, it was ludicrous for Hope not to immediately assume it had something to do with Steffy. They’ve been down this well-trod road too often for that not to be her first thought.
More: What’s next for Hope?
In fact, how amazing would it have been if we’d seen a slow but steady awakening in Hope, culminating in her taking the conversational lead and accusing him of infidelity. Instead, even when Liam managed to say it was about Steffy, Hope still couldn’t connect the planetary-sized dots.
Will Steffy’s News Change Liam’s Mind?
Equally confusing was Steffy’s behavior. In a heartbeat, she went from casually exchanging banter with her dashing doctor to, the second he stepped out of the room, staring woefully at the paper bag which had been sitting on the table the entire time.
Obviously, if she’d gone out and bought a pregnancy test, she had reason to believe she might be expecting. So what are we to make of the way she put up so convincing a facade with Finn? Is it just that she’s a way better liar — and far cooler under pressure — than Liam, which doesn’t speak particularly well for her.
It was also a little unclear exactly how Steffy saw things playing out. Does the fact that she continued to insist Liam keep Hope in the dark mean she plans to do the same with Finn? Or was she perhaps simply buying time so that she and Liam could figure out how to proceed?
We’ll have to wait until next week to see how things play out, but it seems pretty obvious that the show is heading for the “Who’s the daddy?” story we’ve been predicting for a few weeks now, despite the fact it will only further damage the characters involved.
Oh, This’ll Go Well
In this week’s other story, Paris was offered the Forrester Foundation job, just as we knew she would be the moment Carter and Ridge discussed the position. Rather than be happy for or proud of her sis, Zoe acted as if Paris was pulling a Single Black Female on her. She even went so far as to forbid Paris from accepting.
No, seriously, she said those words: “I forbid it.” The look on Paris’ face was friggin’ priceless.
While there was nothing particularly exciting about the scenes, they were a nice break from the increasingly repetitive dialogue of the Liam/Steffy story. At the same time, however, it sort of felt as if we’d missed a beat. Yes, we get that Zoe is not-so-secretly crushing on Zende despite being engaged to Carter. But we’ve seen little more than light flirting between Paris and Zende, so Zoe’s reaction seemed unjustified and over the top.
Both stories currently unfolding illustrate what’s become a real problem with Bold & Beautiful in recent months, and that’s pacing. Steffy’s addiction, recovery and pregnancy — as well as Zoe’s engagement and, before that, the Brooke/Ridge/Shauna/Quinn tales — have all played out so quickly that it’s impossible to invest, and what should be important beats are either glossed over or skipped entirely.
At this rate, Steffy will be going into labor by Valentine’s Day… and I’m only half kidding.
• There was some particularly awful dialogue this week. For example, this is something that actually came out of Hope’s mouth: “I can’t wait to move on from this and just never give that night another thought. Especially that one incident. I think you remember the one, where you thought I betrayed you and kissed Thomas, but he was actually kissing the mannequin.” This was on top of the scenes in which Hope repeatedly talked about Liam’s loyalty, trustworthiness and fidelity. I mean, has she met her husband?
• Shouldn’t Brooke have at least warned her daughter and Liam that Thomas had moved into the main house? Instead, Brooke basically called Hope and said, “Hey, come on by” and put Hope in the incredibly awkward position of strolling in to find Thomas lounging on the couch, his tracksuit and sweatband-like bandage making it look as if he’d just come off the tennis courts.
• This was another week we didn’t see Quinn, Eric, Bill, Katie, Wyatt, Flo, Shauna… even for one of those scenes I often complain about in which they do nothing but talk about Steffy, Liam and Hope.
• Why was Hope hanging out with — and confiding in — Thomas literally five minutes after telling Liam she understood if he had concerns about the guy living in their backyard? OK, technically, I guess they live in Brooke’s backyard, which would make the mansion Liam and Hope’s front yard. But the question still stands.
Before dropping your thoughts on this week’s episodes in the comments, why not join me in revisiting 2020’s best and worst moments from all four soaps? Then come back next week and we’ll do it all over again!