By Miss Gracie
I wrote an article last summer at the height of the fashion show. At that time, I and most fans were over the moon happy with what we were seeing on our screens. People marveled at how quickly the show had turned around after a few years of destructive writing that went round and round in circles based on only two characters. By last summer the entire cast was being used. The stories were balanced and exciting!
Then something happened. I’m not alone in pointing out that the show went off the rails the second half of the year. Every reviewer of 2015 was dumbfounded as to how fast the show went from the best of Bold to the worst. November was another turning point. Would the writers turn it around and get back to the stories of family and fashion that were featured the previous summer? I decided to wait to pass judgement. But I think after this week, in the middle of sweeps, I am ready to chime in.
The Bold and the Beautiful has always been a story about families. First and foremost was the family created by Stephanie and Eric. For all of Eric’s shortcomings as a husband, they were the anchor couple of the show. There were the Logans, a single mother with three daughters and a son. The Spencers were there, too, from episode one. As time went on, the families grew and developed. Eric had a second family with Brooke. Ridge had a family with Taylor. The Spencers faded and Sally Spectra’s family emerged with a second fashion house. The Marones came and went. But Stephanie’s, Brooke’s and Taylor’s families remained. They had the three big house sets and were the three corners of the triangle that made up the base of the show.
Fast forward to 2015. The show turned over a new leaf and was looking toward the future. There were three leading ladies. Maya Avant and her extended family replaced the Logans as the social climbing family from the rough luck past. Caroline, the beautiful, educated girl from New York, represented the Spencer family. Steffy–smart, beautiful, family leader, business minded–was the perfect representative of her grandmother Stephanie. The show hit its peak with this combination in early August. The Bold and the Beautiful had found its template for going to the future with the next generation.
Then something happened. The fall was a repetitive mess of “muurdah”, surrogate babies with virgins and a forced “whose the daddy” story for Caroline. It was a mess. In November it looked like the show might pull out of it, but then double downed with more of the same and worse. A new character, Sasha, was introduced with a secret. Ivy fell down a lot and was shocked like something out of the Bride of Frankenstein and Caroline and Ridge disappeared.
This brings us to this February sweeps. I do see a sorting out of some things. Stephanie’s picture is back on the wall. Rick has returned to his family home. These are good things. Two of the three leading ladies are in their respective homes. Maya is in the Logan home, which is fitting since the Avants are replacing the Logans in most ways. Caroline is with Stephanie’s first born in his family home. But what about our third leading lady?
Steffy Forrester has been run over by a train and her fans are as mad as hell. I know that seems strong, but if you are anywhere on the fan sites, you see it. Last summer Steffy was in command of her role. Steffy was running the family business with her father. She was giving council to Aly as she was on her downward spiral. She was a young Stephanie Forrester. She was smart, beautiful, a gracious hostess and strong. A force. Liam’s speech on the rooftop during the fashion show said it all. Her fans could see the future as well. Steffy as a young Stephanie; running the company and caring about her family with Liam by her side as the flawed NuEric. From reading interviews, romantic angst for Steffy would come in the form of Bill Spencer.
What have we gotten? Steffy never at work. Bill infatuated once again with Brooke. Liam turning on Steffy, then not, then Steffy being pushed with Wyatt as her bed buddy while she throws all her character growth out the window. The future seems bleak. Steam as “star crossed lovers” in a quad or triangle for all time. The old Hope or Liam role has been handed off to Steffy. The smart, strong Stephanie Jr. will now be the dumb, waffling, tragic heroine again. Big change from last summer. It is enough to make you cry. Oh, this is great for Scott Clifton and Rena Sofer. They get an interesting story that tests their acting chops. Same for Heather Tom, who will no doubt get an Emmy for her slip to the dark side, again. Darin Brooks gets to act with the beautiful Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, who makes any man look desirable and hot.
But Jacqui fans and Steffy fans feel used. After two years of faithfully waiting for her return, we got a few weeks of pleasure. Did we have beautiful love scenes of the Steam reunion? They were tepid at best. Did we have a wedding? No. Steffy wasn’t even allowed to best Ivy. Ivy, the pretender, should have been dirt on the bottom of her shoe. Instead she was put forward as Forrester royalty and equal to Steffy, which she never was and never will be. While CaRidge and Raya got weddings and respect, Steam got destroyed and Steffy threw hopes of her being the future matriarch out the window. Thorsten Kaye and Katherine Kelly Lang got the roles that were rightfully Jacqui’s. They split the matriarch/patriarch of the future roles, as well as put off a Bill and Steffy fling till Don Diamont is in his sixties.
Jacqueline MacInnis Wood deserves better than this. She has been with this show longer than only three other current characters on The Bold and the Beautiful. Only John McCook, Katherine Kelly Lang and Heather Tom have a higher episode count than Jacqui and that is including her two year absence. She brings the ratings. She works with any and all characters on the show. She represents the show well with interviews and special appearances. She has been loyal to the cast and crew and has bent and twisted to accommodate new characters. That deserves respect.
Jacqui is more than a beautiful woman. Sticking her in underwear and throwing her with whatever man needs a side piece is not showing respect. Casting her in a never ending triangle again, this time as a waffling, weak bed hopper is a role for some other character. The character of Steffy has a history. That history stretches back long before Liam, Hope, Ivy or Wyatt were even a thought in a writer’s head. She is and was always meant to be her grandmother’s successor. It is time for Steffy to be brought into that role. Time for her to be the adult in the room as she was just last summer. Time to pass the “star crossed lover” role to a younger actress like Nicole or Ivy. Steffy deserves to grow up. Jacqui has certainly put in her time and talent to the effort. Her fans have certainly been patient and loyal. It is time to allow Stephanie Forrester to return as the woman she was created to be.