For the past two years, “The Bold and the Beautiful” has won Best Drama Series at the Daytime Emmys with tapes that showcased a rarity in this awards derby — character-driven storylines. The 2009 submission focused on the aftermath of a son’s suicide on a family, in particular the sister who got his heart. This year saw another emotionally-heavy tape, focusing on a person’s right to die. It featured guest star Betty White as the mother of series matriarch Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery) and highlighted the issue of euthanasia.
This year, “The Bold and the Beautiful” has another character-driven arc to enter with four-time Emmy champ Susan Flannery’s character Stephanie foregoing cancer treatment to tackle her bucket list. The only person who knows she is sick is her mortal enemy, Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang) who recently married one of Stephanie’s sons.
“The Bold & the Beautiful,” which began in 1987 and is now the only half-hour soap on the dial, had a difficult time getting noticed by the Daytime Emmys. Its first nomination for Drama Series came only in 2003, followed by further unsuccessful bids in 2004 and 2007. It remains true to traditional soap opera storylines featuring families and emotional conflicts.
“The Bold and the Beautiful” finally succeeded with the Daytime Emmys by focusing on the interactions of characters. Other daytime dramas have submitted tapes laden down with special effects like the tornado and plane crash that dominated recent entries from “All My Children” and “Days Of Our Lives.” These so-called “Emmy bait” episodes stand alone from continuing storylines with epic events that are not the bread and butter of daytime. These episodes typically feature little character interaction and no deep backstory. “General Hospital” prevailed three times in four years (2005, 2006, 2008) with such submissions.
The only other show with a shot at the top prize this year is “Days of Our Lives” which has a slew of excellent episodes to pick from featuring the passing of Alice Horton, portrayed by Frances Reid, who was part of the show since it premiered in 1965. These poignant episodes reunited several key characters from the past and were a moving tribute to a beloved actress, who died in real life in 2007 but wasn’t killed off on-screen until this year.
Image: “The Bold and the Beautiful” logo (CBS)