On an unusually warm December day in Los Angeles, Hope Logan (Kim Matula) returned to the scene of her despair. She bared soul and mourned the loss of her unborn baby boy. She was lovingly comforted and reassured that despite her pain on that day, her life would go on. No, not by her husband Wyatt (Darin Brooks), but by her ex-love Liam Spencer (Scott Clifton). The same man who not even 3 months earlier suggested a termination for his own selfish reasons. This has not been an uncommon trend this year between these characters by any means. Hope has been ping ponging between the Spencer brothers since 2013. However this year it became more and more insufferable with each passing day.
Many viewers who had their fill of the merry-go-round that was Lope/Steam from years prior found the pairing between Hope and Wyatt refreshing, fun and sexy. Personally, the “Hott Roadtrip” at the beginning of the year were some of my favorite scenes to watch. The young carefree nature of their relationship was such a complete 180 from the angst ridden groan fest that Lope had turned into. And viewers seemed to agree with that sentiment in droves. So imagine their annoyance when a pregnancy scare undid all of that in a span of a week. The day Hope decided to date both brothers was a bad day. The day they both tucked in their manhood and agreed to it was even worse.
Enter in mama scapegoat Quinn (Rena Sofer), Liam’s air of superiority, and an absurd amount of screen time (both domestic and international) and this storyline quickly became the most infuriating arc on the show. There was nothing remotely subtle about the writing choices. It was blatantly designed to be a redux of the triangle between Hope/Liam/Steffy but with Hope as the main focus. The problem was that at no time in doing this did the characters or writers attempt to acknowledge that Hope was treating Wyatt the exact same way Liam treated her when he constantly ran back to the Steffy. At no time did it seem to bother Hope that she was damaging the relationship between the Brothers Spencer before they really had a chance to form one. Much like her mother, Hope just had to follow her heart. Where ever it led her that week.
And so the beat went on. Hope married Wyatt… because Liam wasn’t there. Hope found out she was pregnant… and told Liam first. Hope lost her baby… and mourned with Liam. Not even the insertion of a rushed love between him and the cousin from down under, Ivy Forrester could curve this pattern of ridiculous actions. Hope continued to spend most of her marriage/pregnancy with Liam than she bothered to with her husband. The incessant pinning, yearning and sulking between Lope was more than irritating. It was borderline vomit inducing. So much so that Hope literally vanishing into thin air won’t only not help matters; it will most definitely make it worse.
The news of Kim Matula’s sudden departure from the show shocked many soap fans, myself included. With quite a few rejoicing that her leaving would finally end the wash rinse repeat storylines she’s been in since taking over the role in 2010. Unfortunately I fear that it will be the opposite. At present time, the recast for Hope has not been announced, but make no mistake about it, the problems with Hope had nothing to do with Kim Matula. She is a beautiful and talented actress who did the best with what she was given. The problem was, is and will continue to be the writing. What will make it worse is that whoever they choose to take over the role will not have the same connect with the audience nor the audience with her. So instead of giving the new actress time to acclimate herself to the canvas, she’s going to be thrown back on the same ride Kim opted off of.
You might read this and come to the conclusion that I hated The Bold and the Beautiful this year. Au contraire. I actually picked it as the best soap of 2014 (you can find out if the other writers agreed with me later this month when our Best and Worst of 2014 is published). They gave me everything I needed – romance, action, angst, a floating ghost head. Not to mention that it remains the most visually stunning soap on television that could even rival its prime time counterparts. But when you enjoy a show as much as I did B&B, these things stand out in your mind as roadblocks to perfection. Yes, I am aware that no show is perfect, but the need to strive for that should remain high priority in a genre that’s seen its brother and sister shows guillotined.
There were a lot of other things this year that were fun to watch. The return of Sean Kanan as Deacon Sharp being numero uno in my book. I was not at all amused by them trying to shove yet another man into Brooke’s… orbit. But the pairing with Quinn has proven to be every bit as sexy and endearing as I hoped it would be. I also enjoyed them giving Maya some bite. She’s been such a dormant character for so long that you almost forgot she was there. The case of buyer’s remorse did however tend to be a little on a peculiar side. Maya had Rick then wanted Carter. Got Carter then kissed Oliver. Got bored with both and then wanted Rick back. Had she been featured more than she was prior to the last 3 months, it would have given you whiplash.
One of the last things Wyatt said to Hope before she left was that she always wanted what she couldn’t have. Interesting how that exact sentiment stretches across the entire canvas. But like many times prior, I fully expect Bell to approach each of these storyline with a tool belt around his waist ready to build a replica as brand new.