The Bold and the Beautiful, CBS
In a year filled with ups and downs, no soap opera was more consistent than CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful. Under the leadership of Bradley Bell, B&B continues to reinvent itself and find new ways to rival the likes of some primetime series.
B&B positioned its younger stars and characters, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy), Kim Matula (Hope), Liam (Scott Clifton), Jacob Young (Rick), Adam Gregory (Thomas) and Lynsey Godfrey (Caroline) to the forefront of storylines, while still utilizing its veteran cast as the backbone of the show. Longtime stars Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke), Ronn Moss (Ridge), Susan Flannery (Stephanie) and John McCook (Eric) still drove storylines throughout the year, but there was a definite shift to ease them into supporting the other stories, as well as maintaining their own.
The Hope/Liam/Steffy triangle was the main storyline for 2012. Just when it seemed like it was becoming predictable, the writers found ways keep it interesting with new twists. This is a female driven storyline – Liam isn’t the one “choosing” between the women, it’s the women who are choosing him. Their desire to be with him (for reasons we sometimes don’t understand) has brought the Logan/Forrester feud into the new generation. Each woman loves Liam uniquely and believes strongly that they’re the best woman for him. Most of importantly, there story is balanced – the show isn’t saying “You must support Hope and Liam” – they’re giving showing you that Liam truly does love these women, why he’s torn between them and why they continue to fight for him.
Don Diamont’s Bill is a key factor in the success of the storyline. He walks the line between concerned father who wants the best for his son, and the controlling Shakespearean patriarch whose main goal is to keep the forbidden lovers apart. Bill feels his son deserves someone who is worthy of the Spencer name, someone who is worthy of being his wife. He doesn’t feel Hope is that woman. His plans may work in the short term, but ultimately the truth comes out and it blows up in his face. Heather Tom’s Katie provides some much needed levity in Bill’s life, usually doing her best to pull her husband back from the ledge. Katie’s belief that true love will conquer Bill’s schemes offers a nice juxtaposition to his “I can control destiny” mindset.
Also rounding out the future generation is Rick, Caroline and Thomas. Rick’s desire to be an equal at Forrester and make his father proud has driven a lot of his actions this year. Whether it was scheming with Amber or falling in love with Caroline, his rivalry with Thomas is tied to Forrester and women. Bringing Rick into the Hope/Liam/Steffy storyline in the fall was a brilliant move. Rick manipulated Othello into convincing Hope that Liam and Steffy were making out the night before his wedding. Rick played on Hope’s fears about Liam/Steffy’s friendship, while also using moral standards to facilitate getting the outcome he wanted – Hope away from Liam.
The series lost two original cast members when Ronn Moss and Susan Flannery opted to leave the show. While Ridge’s exit left a lot to be desired, the opportunity it created for Katherine Kelly Lang’s Brooke made it worthwhile. Just a few months later, the Forrester family would say goodbye to matriarch Stephanie, as she finally succumbed to her battle with cancer. The series sent Stephanie off with a celebration as familiar faces returned to say their goodbyes and honor her legacy.