The Bold and the BeautifulSoapbox
Bold & Beautiful Mysteriously Benched Its Hottest Story So Liam Could Confess — Plus, Why We’re Not Quite Ready for Steffy’s Return
May 17-21, 2021
Howard Wise/JPI; CBS screenshot (2); Paramount/Courtesy of the Everett Collection
Two weeks ago,The Bold and the Beautiful was all about Carter and Quinn. Literally all about them, as in every scene was somehow tied to the secret lovers who’d unexpectedly become the hottest pair on the show. So of course, having hooked us on that story, the soap immediately slammed on the brakes and switched lanes, going back to the Liam-killed-PDV (Poor Dead Vinny) story that had dominated the show previously. We definitely got some major movement in that plot, but we’re also heading straight for a Steffy-sized (pregnancy) bump that could become a major issue. Read on, and I’ll explain…
Spit It Out, Dude!
Nobody in daytime — and I mean absolutely nobody — suffers better than Scott Clifton (Liam). I don’t know exactly what his face is made of, but every actor in Hollywood should immediately run out and try to have some injected into their veins. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear there was a team of Disney Imagineers backstage pushing and pulling a thousand levers in order to facilitate dozens of conflicting emotions being expressed in the span of a few seconds.
This week, there were scenes in which Liam and Hope were laying in front of the fireplace having just — in the words of my friend Mark — made sweet, sweet love. Liam was looking at his slumbering bride, and Clifton, without a word, conveyed not only his alter ego’s overwhelming love for Hope but all of his fears about what might happen should the truth about PDV come out.
Then came Thursday’s episode, which was classic Bold & Beautiful. No other show is as good at the episode-long build-up, and here, Liam’s sputtering attempts to confess left me shouting, “For the love of French fries, spit it out!” It was kinda fun watching Annika Noelle as Hope do everything in her power not to throttle the truth out of her man.
And of course, in those final seconds of the episode, Liam admitted he’d run down Vinny as the music swelled dramatically and the scene faded to black.
Was it as good for you as it was for me?
A Penny For My Thoughts? I Want a Quarter!
I honestly do not understand this show’s flat-out refusal to play two stories at the same time. Here we are, in the middle of May sweeps, and Bold & Beautiful didn’t give us a single second of the Quinn/Carter story.
What the actual… ?
I’ve said it before, and I know I’ll say it again, because nobody seems to be listening: If two minutes into any given episode, I know you’re not going to be giving me the story I’m most invested in, why should I stick around?
Yes, ideally, fans are tuning in because they’re invested in all of the stories you’re telling. But that’s often not the case. And why in the world would you not mix things up? Why cut from Liam and Hope talking about how happy they are to Brooke and Ridge talking about… how happy Liam and Hope are? It’s repetitive and, quite frankly, lazy.
Here’s a crazy thought: Instead of having two weeks in which it’s nothing but Quinn/Carter followed by two weeks in which it’s nothing but Liam/Hope and PDV, why not — and this is going to sound radical — do four weeks in which each episode contains both stories? You can cut from Liam and Hope canoodling to Shauna and Quinn plotting to keep Zoe in the dark. Got a day when Liam and Hope aren’t on? You can cut from Quinn drooling over Carter’s abs to Brooke and Ridge wondering what Hope and Liam are up to.
See how that works? Give it a try. I promise, it won’t hurt, and you might even like it. I know for a fact the audience will.
The Comeback Kid
We now know that Jacqueline MacInnes Wood’s Steffy will be hitting screens again on Monday, May 31, which is great news for those who’ve been waiting to see what happens next for Finn and his lady love. If there’s a potential downside, it’s with regard to how the show will incorporate Steffy upon her return.
As we just discussed, they’re not particularly great at telling more than one story at a time, and they currently have two very big tales in progress. Hopefully, Steffy will find herself being drawn into one of the currently unfolding dramas… which actually seems likely, now that I think about it. After all, she and Finn have no story of their own, what with the babydaddy drama having been resolved before she left.
It’s a shame that while Wood was on her maternity leave — which sent Steffy to Paris — the writers didn’t take this opportunity to flesh out Finn’s character. Instead of establishing him as someone who exists outside of his relationship, the guy completely vanished. Imagine if he’d somehow discovered that Liam was the one to plow down Vinny? What would Finn do with that powerful information, given the complicated history between Liam and Steffy? Might Finn find himself comforting Hope, a character with whom he’d bonded in the past?
Instead, he was relegated to the already-crowded backburner. For all we know, he’s been passing the time flirting with Katie over cocktails at the Bikini Beach Bar. Which, now that I think about it, would be kinda fun…
• Sweet Lord, it’s wonderful to see couples kissing and touching again. Heck, it’s awesome that characters don’t have to stand across the room and shout dialogue at one another. While I’m eternally grateful that our soaps figured out how to go on under the most difficult of circumstances — and when nearly every other form of entertainment had shut down — I can’t deny being glad to see a return to normalcy.
• Sometimes, I’m grateful for Bill Spencer, especially when he says what nobody else on the canvas will. When Thomas went on and on about the demise of his best bud, the publishing magnate rightfully refused to let Vinny’s ghost wear a halo. I may have loved PDV, but he was, as Bill pointed out, a drug dealer whose antics in the lab turned several lives upside-down.
• Speaking of Bill, wouldn’t the story of him covering up Vinny’s death be far more impactful if we saw him spending time with Katie and Will? Why is the entire story focused on what Liam has to lose when we’re told (but not shown) that Bill is still trying to convince Katie to take him back? I am willing to bet we’ll get a scene of Bill proposing to Katie and her tearfully accepting a day or two before the truth comes out so that they can play the big, dramatic beat of her lashing out at him. Because Don Diamont and Heather Tom are phenomenal actors — and this is a relationship we’re already invested in — the scenes will be great. But they’ll also be a cheat, given that the necessary beats that should precede them are being completely skipped.
• I’ve noticed that over the past few weeks, the writers have been working overtime to find ways in which they can talk about a couple’s sex life without actually saying the word “sex.” First, everyone was discussing the severed “intimate connection” between Eric and Quinn. This week, Brooke spoke to both Ridge and Bill about the “special night” Liam and Hope had spent “celebrating.” I kept waiting for Laverne and/or Shirley to ask if the newly-reunited couple had vodeo-do-do’d.
So what do you say, Bold & Beautiful fans? Did you miss Quarter as much as I did this week? Are you psyched for Steffy’s return? Have any theories as to how Finn’s been keeping himself occupied in her absence? Hit the comment section with your thoughts, then be sure to check out the gallery below featuring some of your favorite fashionistas in the kind of drop-dead gorgeous looks you’d expect to find the beautiful people donning.