B&B: Still a Smart, Sexy, Trashy Romp 21 Years Later
After a weekend catching up on Bold and the Beautiful episodes while relegated to my couch by a nasty bout with the flu, I am officially giving myself and other fans permission to get over the ick factor of the somewhat incestuous intermingling of the Forrester, Marone and Logan clans and simply enjoy the guiltiest pleasure on television! Once again I am hooked on Brad Bell’s campy, trashy, rip-roaring take on the lives of the Forresters- a rich family of Beverly Hills fashionistas (the haves) and their San Fernando-bred rivals/love interests (the oh-so-hot have nots)-the Logans. B&B is a turgid, melodramatic pot boiler; think Peyton Place meets Nip/Tuck.
From the very beginning in 1987 until today, B&B’s continuing theme has been sun-kissed Valley girl Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang)’s quest for happily-ever-after with her “one true love” Forrester scion Ridge (Ron Moss). The major problem for the couple has always been that Ridge has another California blonde equally determined to possess his heart-his mother Stephanie Forrester! Played by insurmountable soap legend Susan Flannery (the original Laura Horton from Days of Our Lives), Stephanie and Ridge’s oedipal relationship manifests itself through Stephanie continually trying to choose more “suitable” women for her son i.e. Caroline, Taylor, Ashley, which causes our Miss Brooke to well… act out a bit by bedding all of the other men in Stephanie’s family!
These days it isn’t Brooke, but another nubile Logan sex goddess who Stephanie has to contend with for her husband Eric’s affections and little blue pill count. Brooke’s little sister Donna (Jennifer Gareis) is carrying on a torrid affair with the man who was once married to her big sis and fathered Brooke’s elder two children. Not to worry, it’s ALL good between the Logan sisters! Brooke is happy to see anyone with Eric (John McCook) besides Stephanie. Now that’s what I call keeping it in the family! Did I mention Donna was recently engaged to Eric and Stephanie’s son Thorne, who was also once married to Brooke? Just checking.
Donna may not have had to contend with a biblical plague of locusts nesting in her flaxen mane due to her tryst with her sister’s ex-husband, but she has been given notice by the Devil herself-Stephanie’s unhinged sister Pammy (Wonder Years mom Alley Mills). Pammy paid Donna a visit last week, with her cuddly pet Doberman Tiny to warn Donna that if she tried to steal Eric from Stephanie again, Donna just might wind up as doggie chow! Not since Sheila Carter has anyone managed to use a Doberman pincher as a potential murder weapon so successfully! And Pammy does it all while looking like one of those freshly-scrubbed black-and-white sitcom housewives! You almost expect her to have a son named Timmy and a daughter named Kitten who loves to rock out to Davey Jones!
As for golden couple Brooke and Ridge, well they are headed for the altar once again and once again one of Brooke’s many children by someone related to Ridge is standing in the way of this kinky fairy tale having its happy ending. This time it isn’t Rick or Bridget, the aforementioned kids Brooke bore Ridge’s father Eric, nor is it Hope, the adorable moppet sired by Brooke’s daughter Bridget’s then husband Deacon Sharpe (Sean Kanan). And of course it couldn’t be little RJ, the sole child Ridge and Brooke actually share together. No, this time it’s a kid Brooke didn’t even intend to have with another man! It turns out Baby Jack, the artificially inseminated miracle tot of Ridge’s ex-wife Taylor and Brooke’s ex-husband Nick (who also happens to be Ridge’s half brother and Bridget’s ex-husband. Got all that? Maybe you should get out a notepad?), is actually Brooke’s biological child!
Brooke’s sloppy doctor daughter Bridget (Ashley Jones) made a fairly common goof in soapland-yet it would probably cost you your medical license in the real word-and impregnated poor Taylor with Brooke and Nick’s child! And while Bridget is hollering it must have been fate (wouldn’t you if you were facing down the barrel of that malpractice suit?), Taylor’s crying foul and ordering bottles of premium Vodka to be delivered to her home post haste. Oh yeah, Taylor’s a not-so-recovering alcoholic. Never fear, Brooke’s opera-singing son Rick (Kyle Lowder)-who used to date Ridge and Taylor’s daughter-is there to keep Taylor sober and offer her the occasional hotly-inappropriate smooch to take the edge off. Hmm, I must have missed that step in AA! Just kidding, I’m not an alcoholic I just play one of TV. No…okay, I don’t, but Hunter Tylo does and brilliantly I might add! As I said in the Daytime Confidential podcast last week-Drunk Taylor is GOOD Taylor!
For the longest time I was turned off by B&B’s family tree basically trimming off all the branches. But darn that Brad Bell, no matter how unseemly some of the pairings might be (a Nick and Bridget redux, say it ain’t so!) it’s still doggone entertaining! Even the scenery-chewing, telenovela-esque showdown between crazy Pammy and slutty Donna was a knee slapping, laugh-out-loud. good time and you know, maybe that’s all soaps are supposed to be? I can be educated and informed all day long by watching PBS, but if I want some sexy, stress-free trash TV, I’ll go for B&B any day!