The Bold and the BeautifulSoapbox
As Bold & Beautiful Throws Deacon Under the Plot-Above-Everything Bus, It’s Time to Talk About How to Fix This Show in 2022
December 27-31, 2021
Howard Wise/JPI (4)
Just when I was really getting into the Brooke/Deacon story, The Bold and the Beautiful went and ruined it with a series of events that may have been fun to watch unfold but made no sense. And sadly, the bus that plowed down Deacon was hungry for more, so by week’s end, a few other locals were tossed beneath its wheels. Let’s take a quick look at what went down and then focus on the changes that could take this show to the next level in 2022.
For a hot second there, it looked as if Bold & Beautiful might be telling a real story with Deacon. And yes, for me there is a big difference between a story and a plot. One has depth, characterization and follows a logical trajectory. The other is what this show does on a daily basis. Time and again, it starts down a path that has potential, only to give in to its baser instincts, throwing logic to the wind in favor of shock value.
We’ve been reminded in recent weeks just how much chemistry Brooke and Deacon had back in the day… and portrayers Katherine Kelly Lang and Sean Kanan have still got it in spades. I loved watching Deacon becoming a better man right before our eyes in order to prove to Hope and Brooke he’d truly changed. Ridge bristled and confided in his newly-returned ex-wife. Hope, Steffy and Thomas watched as their respective parents grew closer… There was so much good, juicy drama to be played.
And then, Brooke inexplicably poked the bear that is Sheila, whom she knows to be dangerous. Worse, the threats Brooke issued were completely dumbfounding. Why was Brooke so determined to prevent Sheila from being part of Steffy and Finn’s life as opposed to those of Deacon and, by extension, Hope? Heck, she could have clumped everyone together and insisted Sheila stay “out of our lives.” But instead, she opted to go into Mama Bear mode on behalf of Taylor’s family.
Why? For one reason and one reason only: Because the writers wanted Sheila to push Brooke off the wagon and into Deacon’s arms. Sure, the same thing could have been achieved in a way that made sense, especially given the history between the former gal pals. But hey, at least Sheila had a reason to arch her eyebrow (just the one, dear) and cackle while plotting. Take the wins where you can find them.
Drink, Drank, Drunk
Next thing we knew, Brooke and Deacon were throwing back shots and making out. Now we’ll get a few weeks of Brooke lying before the truth blows up. (The one upshot? According to the new Soap Opera Digest, the couple sleep together but don’t, you know, sleep together.)
But imagine if instead of things playing out the way they did, Deacon had come upon a drunk Brooke and not joined her in partying? If instead, he’d realized something was up and kept the blonde from completely derailing her life. She could have wept herself to sleep before passing out on the couch, her head innocently in his lap…
Ridge would, of course, come home the next day and assumed the worst… including that his wife had gotten drunk. As Ridge ranted and railed his way further into Taylor’s orbit, Deacon could have stood by Brooke, the only one to believe her insistence that she hadn’t been drinking. He could even earn the wrath of former partner-in-scheme Sheila, putting himself in danger in order to protect Hope and her mom.
In other words, Deacon could prove to Brooke, Hope and even himself that he truly has become a better man, worthy of their love and forgiveness.
And just like that, we’ve gone from a plot point to a story.
Stop That Bus!
Next to be thrown under the Plot Point Express? Paris, who only a short while ago was telling anyone who’d listen that she wanted exactly what Steffy and Finn have — a happy marriage, a baby. But this week? Out of absolutely nowhere, she declared herself a free spirit who was too young to be tied down and then made out with Carter.
For those keeping track, over the past month or so, Zende went from “We have to slow down” to “I like it and wanna put a ring on it.” Carter went from in love with Quinn to holding hands with Katie to kissing Paris. And of course, Paris continues to have no discernible character traits aside from being so awesome that every man falls in love with her and every woman sings her praises.
OK, enough complaining. Let’s talk about how to fix this situation.
Stay Beautiful, Get Bold
So what would I love to see in 2022 for Bold & Beautiful — which, by the way, is the only remaining soap I can proudly say I’ve been a fan of since the beginning? Simply put, I want the show to stop coasting.
More than any other soap, this one goes back to the same wells so often that the pathways leading to them are dead. The audience knows the show’s tricks and can see them coming a mile away. There’s no subtlety, therefore no surprises or thrills. The whole point of a soap is to keep viewers on the edge of their seats wondering what will happen tomorrow. Unfortunately, we’re less likely to say, “Whoa, I didn’t see that coming!” than we are “Told ya that’s how it would play out.”
It would also be great if we could dial back the endlessly repetitive dialogue. Cutting from Eric and Quinn discussing his bedroom issues to Brooke, Katie and Donna discussing said issues is boring for the audience. This is especially true when those conversations are had day after day.
At the end of the day, I just want Bold & Beautiful to be the smart, sophisticated, fun show I know it can be. Use the entire canvas! Don’t relegate happy couples to the backburner! Stop rushing people down the aisle (and let weddings take place somewhere other than Eric’s living room). But most important of all, as I said earlier in this very column, stop writing plot points and start writing fleshed-out stories for the wonderfully complex characters who come into our homes for 30 minutes a day.
Need help figuring out how to do that? Call me. I’ll make time.
Now that I’ve said my piece, let’s hear what you guys have to say. Is my assessment of Bold & Beautiful on the money or so far off target as to be embarrassing? Share your thoughts in the comment section. Then, join our staff in discussing the best couples, worst plots, strangest twists and general mayhem which unfolded on all four daytime dramas over the past 12 months. Trust me, it’ll be a good time…