Becoming Bold & Beautiful
David Gregg and Adrian Aviles
Simon & Schuster, $36.99
This book could change the viewing attitudes of Bold & the Beautiful fans forever. Well, it has mine. I won't take phone calls at 4.30pm because I'm glued to the box watching the antics of the world's most popular soap. It's the brazen plots that keep me going, not the terrible acting. (Although, to be fair, the cast does its best with the scripts. Still, identical twins who don't look alike, a black man claiming a dazzling white woman is his mother, and no one is surprised?)
Nor is it the sex, as producer Bradley Bell claims. B&B fornication is humdrum. Same old kiss, same dreary sliding southwards onto the bed, same boring smoochy music. And, though some fans are attracted to the togs, vulgarity doesn't work for me, either.
So why has my attitude changed? Because now I know each scene is shot on a poky set and, worse, it's a shambles and pictures prove it. So every time there's a wedding (loads of those), or a clinch in the beach house (ditto), or a bust-up in the office (ditto), or a tete-a-tete wherever, I actually visualise the clutter outside the frame, the mess of ladders, cameras, wires. The glamour, I am afraid, has gone. Boohoo.
That aside, the photo essay showing 25 years of the loves, lives, trials and tribulations of the Core Four (Eric, Stephanie, Ridge, Brooke) and Forrester/Spectra fashion is a gem. Who's not to be tickled by Ridge's chiselled jaw with sideburns snaking down his cheekbones? Brooke has hardly aged at all. Great nips and tucks. Stephanie and Eric let it all go. She with her instant white hair cropped - what a laugh and, at the same time, how brave; he sliding gracefully into dotage and sex sliding out the door. A tender pat on the hand is worth a thousand boring bonks on the sofa.
Replayed are hunks of oiled male flesh poolside; Liam and Steffy's steamy Aspen wedding leaving Hope and her virginity behind; the ground-breaking, berry-induced hallucination scene; what really happened between Thomas and Brooke on that island? (still don't know - the book's light on words); Hope's graduation party with appalling sexual behaviour; pregnant Amber marrying Rick. Are they like their characters in real life? Nah. Is the champagne real? Don't be silly.
Must fly. It's 4.30pm and you-know-what beckons.