It's 2012 is in full swing and it’s time to rate the soaps!
The Bold and the Beautiful
The Story So Far: After months of waffling back and forth between the feuding Steffy and Hope, Liam has seemingly settled down with Hope, while Steffy finds herself in Rick’s orbit once again, much to Amber’s chagrin. Brooke and Ridge have been focused on their daughters, while Taylor and Thorne have grown closer.
What Works? I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again - B&B is a blast to watch. It’s funny, it’s fast-paced and it has an extremely talented cast. Audiences who tune into B&B every day know what they’re getting: frothy, light romance with characters they love. Great character moments, like Liam and Bill’s recent falling-out, serve as great chasers to the often-campy stories.
What Needs Work? For a show that’s got such a strong cast of women, the stories border on misogynistic. Hope and Steffy shouldn’t be fighting for Liam! He’s hurt them both and hasn’t exactly proven himself to be a catch. Other characters like Jackie and Owen, who are interesting and fun, don’t get nearly enough airtime. And stories often start and stop with little to no warning.
Days of Our Lives
The Story So Far: Love and family is the name of the game in Salem, as couples come together and fall apart and families crumble as buried secrets and resentments come to the surface. Sami’s family has all but fallen apart after Will revealed that he caught her and EJ having sex, while Rafe and Carrie gave in to their attraction with a passionate kiss - witnessed by their spouses. Months after discovering that Alice was keeping secrets from her loved ones, Hope learned the terrible truth that Alice had tried to hide: she and John are still married! The next generation of Salem has had its own turmoil, as Abigail’s issues with her father have led to an unhealthy obsession with compassionate Austin, and Will’s sexual confusion has led to volatile and rash behavior. And Brady and Madison’s carefree romance has been rocked by the surprise entrance of Madison’s much older, devious husband Ian, who seems to have connections to everyone in Salem.
What Works? DAYS has delivered on its promise of romance and family drama in spades. Watching Sami’s family fall apart before her very eyes has been riveting, and seeing seemingly solid couples John and Marlena and Bo and Hope rocked by the revelation of John and Hope’s marriage has made for great drama. Brady and Madison’s bland romance has surprisingly become the springboard for a new umbrella story with new character Ian, which is finally going to give Kate and Stefano something to worry about. Will’s coming of age story has been exciting to watch, as well, and the overall use of vets and fan faves have made for easy viewing.
What Needs Work? The constant shuffling of couples, especially with the teens (Melanie, Chad, Gabi, Abigail), has made it hard to invest in any new pairings. Sonny, a compelling new character, has been relegated to being Will’s sounding board and seems to exist in his own after school special. Jack’s return has been less than stellar, with his trademark humor being replaced with upsetting anxiety and trauma. And where are faves like Justin and Adrienne?
The Story So Far: Fates are about to collide as a tragedy rocks Port Charles to its core and changes the course of everyone’s lives.
What Works: As usual, the cast is uniformly excellent.
What Needs Work: The whole show, but the new creative staff knows that, so it’s okay!
Grade: N/A, as the show is in transition and rating it in its current state would be unfair.