Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Bold, The Beautiful, And The Bewildered

A few days ago I wrote on the matter of inaccuracies and slander against my home town of Ottawa, as contained in the soap opera The Young And The Restless. It doesn't take me much to get started on a theme, and so today I'm moving on to another soap, namely The Bold And The Beautiful. It might well be the second in a series. This, despite the fact that I've never seen one of these two soaps, let alone others. That's all right. I've got plenty of ammunition that's been provided for me.

It turns out this show just won the Daytime Emmy for best show. Hmmm, obviously from what I've heard, the people who make such decisions are senile, crazy, or being bribed. Surely all daytime soaps can't be like this?

The show is set in the fashion industry, which, for me, is an automatic strike against it. Fashion is this bizarre, shallow, self absorbed world which thinks it's the center of the universe, while designing clothes that no woman will ever wear, sending Size Zero models with dead eyes onto the runways, and contributing to young girls having eating disorders. Just a note or two to the fashion industry: real women don't look like strung out heroin addicts, and your so called epitome of beauty? Allow me to correct it. Real beauty comes from within. Elements of character like a bright mind, a sense of humor, compassion, warmth, passion. Those are things that make a woman beautiful. Not dead eyes and a sneer as they do their little turn on the catwalk in ridiculous outfits.

As much as I'd like to, this isn't a rant against the fashion industry. Well, that last paragraph was. This is about a supremely silly soap, set in a supremely silly industry, populated by supremely silly people. So, let us have ourselves a look.

This show centers around a heroine who's basically summed up in one word: tramp. And it's centered around two families, the Logans and the Forresters. The tramp, Brooke, crosses both lines, having had slept her way through most of the men in the Forresters, while being a Logan herself. Let's see here. She's supposedly devoted to one man named Ridge; another strike against the show: who the hell names their kid Ridge? Along the way has slept with, had kids with, or has been married to, his brothers, his father, the family butler, a couple of boyfriends/significant others of her daughters, and pretty much half of the city around her, including the starting lineup of the Anaheim Ducks. And the Los Angeles Kings. And the Dodgers. This walking STD commercial is the heroine of the show. And a grandma. Uh huh.

I'll let you think that over for a bit before returning to her. Not that anyone else on this show is much better, including the men. One of her brothers, it seems, accidentally shot his other sister, and how did he respond? By shooting himself so she could get his heart and live. Wow. That's brotherly devotion. Tell me this, genius. How about if you hadn't been a donor match? Oh, that's right, you can't tell us. Because you're dead. Another one of soap's conventions; the dead come back. Well, a heart donation pretty much eliminates that. Unless he comes back as a ghost. Or a zombie. Or a vampire. Which, I'm told, we can't say would never happen.

Then there's Eric, the patriarch of the Forrester clan. Norma tells me this chap has himself a mid life crisis every year. Apparently including viagra use and getting caught in nude photography. This, despite the fact that according to the math (which gave me a headache) he's got to be well past seventy by now. Apparently he's got a taste for the women of Brookes' family, having had dalliances with Brooke, her sister, her mother (am I missing anyone?) And apparently he doesn't learn from his mistakes. I'd say given his age, we're looking at senility here. Just saying.

Then we've got Brookes' daughter, apparently the most forgiving human being on the planet (more on that in a bit) but apparently also armed with her mothers' judgment. Bridget was a doctor, and in Normas' words, gave that up for a more noble profession: fashion designer. Roll your eyes on that one. She's been married to the same guy three times, and at the time of writing is pregnant courtesy of... get this... the much younger husband of her mother-in-law.

From the information I've got, this show's all too willing to go down the conventional soap route. For one, we've got really weird names (Storm? Ridge? Thorne? Did these people lose a bet? Were their parents stoned?) For another, there's a tendency to age kids inexplicably. So, for example, let's say a child is born five years ago in our time. Well, by now, in Soapland, that child will have turned up fully matured after a few months in a Swiss boarding school; what do they feed kids in those schools? Continuity, no doubt, will be rewritten to adjust to the six foot tall young man or the new hottie, who just a couple of years ago were toddling along in diapers. Just a thought to the writers: retcons are usually sloppy writing. If you're so desperate to introduce new characters with connections to your existing characters, here's one word: cousins. Not only are these kids retconned into adulthood, they're ready to compete with Momma or Poppa for whichever romantic interest they happen to have at that particular moment.

Which brings us back to Brooke again. Not only is she the proverbial Happy Hooker, she's also pretty dumb. Case in point: after her first round of horizontal mambo with her daughter Bridget's lover, a chap named Deacon (bad name alert!!!!) she's gone and done the same thing. You'd think she'd learn. You'd think that maybe this time after getting her daughters' forgiveness that she'd realize that it's a bad idea to get naked with the younger set. Well, Norma informs me she slept with her other daughters' boyfriend. During a high school graduation party. And her excuse? She thought it was her hubby. Because everyone was wearing masks. Oh, sure, and if you expect us to believe that, I've got ocean front property in Alberta for sale. Either she's lying, or she's too damned stupid to recognize the differences in body type between her hubby and an eighteen year old boy.

And this nonsense wins a Daytime Emmy? Oh, sure. That makes loads of sense. If you've got a headache from trying to make sense of this, join the club. Just thinking about it gives me one.

And in conclusion, I'll ask the big question: is it too much to hope that someone in the history of this show ever had a bit of common sense? Didn't anyone ever say to the rest of these people, "Oh, to hell with you all. Fashion bites. I'm going to do something meaningful with my life. Like rugby. Or cave diving."

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