One might think that soap opera fans suffer fools gladly in the name of melodramatic entertainment. Turns out quite the opposite is true, especially when it comes to Brooke from The Bold and the Beautiful.
Perhaps because soap operas are not as numerous as they once were, fans cling tightly to the ones that remain. It helps that The Bold and the Beautiful is one of the more recent creations, having started in the 1980s.
How did The Bold and the Beautiful come about?
Most of the soap operas that are still on the air have been on for generations. General Hospital is still chugging along after nearly 60 years, but it’s one of only four that remain. The other daytime soaps are Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful and its sister show, The Young and the Restless.
The creative forces behind The Young and the Restless, William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell, came up with The Bold and the Beautiful in 1987 to help CBS replace the canceled Capitol. The show would center around the Forrester family. The pilot episode depicted the family getting ready for the marriage of the eldest son Ridge to Caroline Spencer, the daughter of a media mogul. The show has crossed over with The Young and the Restless a number of times.
In fact, per TV Series Finale, The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful are the number one and two soaps, respectively. The Young and the Restless attracts 3.6 million viewers to The Bold and the Beautiful’s 3.1. General Hospital is in third place with 2.1 million viewers and Days of Our Lives fourth with 1.9 million.
Why do fans have a problem with Brooke?
The show’s official Twitter account sent out a picture with the caption “Today on #BoldandBeautiful, Brooke reminds Bill of his love for Katie and her love for Ridge.” This seemingly innocuous caption led to some not so innocuous responses.
One fan said, “I honestly can’t stand this woman. The hypocrisy. She legit just made out with her sister’s man, and yet she wants to remind him of his “love” for Katie. People wonder why folks can’t stand her. She’s legit the worst soap character. Ever.” On the other hand, another fan said, “I have been waiting for this couple! Brill is the only true couple in daytime ever!”
But a third fan took the entire show to task, saying, “I remember how good this show used to be. Hasn’t been the same since Bill and Lee Bell were at the helm. They were a great partnership who knew a good storyline. Now it’s just a constant rehashing of trash like this storyline of one sister cheating with the other’s husband.”
Most recently on the show, Brooke has reunited with Ridge. When they do so, she actually gets a call from Bill, who wants to discuss their kiss, but she brushes him off, saying “Not another word, OK. I’ve got to go.” And go she does, right back to Ridge.
Why have soap operas disappeared?
In a way, it’s almost surprising there are still four soap operas on the air. For years now, so many shows that seemed like they would be on forever and a day only ended up being on forever. Included in the now-concluded soaps are All My Children, As the World Turns, One Life to Live and Guiding Light, which is still the all-time long-running champion with 57 seasons and several years as a radio drama before that.
A report by the BBC actually fingers OJ Simpson’s sensational murder trial in the mid-1990s as part of the culprit in the demise of soaps. Not only was the trial itself more riveting than any soap could hope to be, but the coverage pulled soaps off the air for months, and after that, the genre never recovered.
In a vacuum, soap operas could probably stand to make a comeback with so many people stuck at home with the coronavirus, but with Hollywood shut down along with the rest of the world, viewers will have to turn to the four existing soaps or to reality TV for their melodrama fix.
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