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« The Fosters: Idyllwild | Main | The Fosters: Lucky »

August 11, 2015

The Bold & the Beautiful: Lather Up, There's a Real Soap Happening!

I couldn't say nothing after today. Because as I've urged before, if you've lapsed as a B&B viewer but wonder if you should tune in: HOLY CRAP, TUNE IN. It is soaptastic lately. 

I'd even suggest going back a couple of weeks to get in the lead-up, because seriously. Every single episode has had something worth watching. And the episodes aren't always just one storyline! Today we focused on Maya's family and wedding and watched Steffy confess to Thomas that Aly didn't actually die from a fall, but from Steffy taking a tire iron to her head (in self defense!). (I was terrified the aftermath of that storyline would be more nonsense about Steffy vs Ivy competing for Liam, but I was blissfully wrong.)

But really. If you like good soap and you like good acting and have never even seen B&B, watch today's episode. Go. Go now. Because let me tell you. If Obba Babatunde's performance as Julius Avant today doesn't leave you wanting to give a standing ovation and doesn't make you believe that soaps still have life in them yet, then I don't know what would. 

Just to quickly sum up, Maya interrupted her own wedding to publicly confront her father about what she'd just overheard him saying (basically stating unequivocally that he thinks she's a freak and will never, ever accept his transgender daughter). And yes, of course it was silly to do it in public, but THIS IS A SOAP. And it doesn't lather up more than a public confrontation at a wedding.

Wedding Confrontation 1

Now, sure, you could point out that Julius was perfectly willing to sit through the wedding and Maya could've confronted him later instead of having her wedding day pretty much destroyed like this, but that's not what soaps do and it also would've meant we missed out on half the cast standing around in the background having to hold a furrowed brow for a half hour. Which is always awesome!

I'm also willing to bet Heather Tom was watching this whole thing crying because Babatunde was so damn good. You can't really tell but:

Wedding Confrontation HT

...her eyes were waterfalls this entire scene. Sure, sure, maybe "Katie" was the one crying but I'm not sure she's that much of an empath that she'd be moved such. It was fabulous.

Back to business, Julius gave a speech about his own pride and how he was raised by Myron Avant, a self-made man who worked himself up from nothing. Things got truly ugly when Rick finally asked him to leave.

Julius: Rick, does it make you feel secure to know that you have a woman no other man would want?

Well, my heart broke totally right about there but after he turned around to leave, he realized he hadn't gone low enough.

Wedding Confrontation goes real dark

Julius: Oh! And by the way. Before my father died, he gave me a severance check and disowned me. Because he felt that his namesake had disrespected the whole family.

Wedding Confrontation 2

Wow. When Julius Avant goes dark, he goes real dark. And the most impressive thing was how much feeling and humanity Babatunde brought to these horrible, hateful words. 

But! Anna Maria Horsford is no slouch either! After Julius demanded that she leave with him because this was "unnatural," Vivienne let him have it by explaining that what was unnatural was the day he made her turn her own child out of the family. She begged for the lord to forgive her for it because she knows she can never forgive herself. 

Wedding Confrontation Vivienne fights back

Julius blamed Maya for the rift between him and his wife, and Maya told him it was time for him to go. She doesn't care what he thinks of her anymore and he's not welcome in her life or at her wedding.

Wedding Confrontation Julius Exits

You can still break a too-proud man.

Rick then asked Maya what she wants, and she said she has everything she wants. But Vivienne's guilt overcame her.

Vivienne: I wasted my life being weak. But you know, I look at you now? And you are so beautiful. And tougher than hardwood. You don't look any different than you did before, you look like yourself

Wedding Confrontation you look like yourself

Vivienne: My god I'm so proud to be your mother. I didn't do a good job, but I'm still proud!

Wedding Confrontation hug 1

Wedding Confrontation hug 2

And that's where I fell into a mild puddle of tears. No big deal, y'all. 

(Full disclosure: I've adored Anna Maria Horsford since Amen and The Shield, but I didn't know she could rock the soap genre like this, too!)

Hoooo-eeee! That was a sudsy acting tour de force today and I cannot wait to watch it again.

I really hope the Avants stick around! This show needs them, as evidenced by today's dynamite.

(If y'all wanted snark from me today, my apologies. It was just too damn good!)

Comments

Awww! I'm crying just from your recap! I saw the scenes the other day where Maya overheard Julius and was so hurt for her, I just wanted to smack him. I'm glad Vivienne stood up to him. Thanks for an awesome post!

I had the same thought - that Heather Tom was was crying because Obba Babatunde was so incredible at putting a human face on bigotry.

It takes some courage to let everyone in the room be a recognizable human being.

Exactly!

OMG Louise!!! I almost trembled from how good yesterday's B&B was. That was master class-level acting and writing yesterday. The dialogue was smart, concise and resonant and when delivered by the likes of Obba Babatunde and Anna Maria Horsford, it was breathtaking. And Karla Mosley has so stepped up her game from her Guiding Light days! But yesterday's episode was OWNED by Babatunde and Horsford who imbued every piece of dialogue with this heaviness and import. That's incredibly difficult to do when there's been so little characterization with the relatively new characters of Mama and Papa Avant but, dammit, I already prefer them to 90% of the cast of characters!

I also loved Nicole's talk to Maya before the start of the ceremony. Nearly 100% of this story has been flawless. I never dreamed these emotional beats would be played out to such satisfying results.

And while you cannot snark...I will take up the mantle...Why were there so many empty chairs present? Why would the set designer/director want to draw attention to how few folks were in attendance?

And I don't care if Bill is Katie's husband, why was he there? Rick wasn't invited to Bill & Katie's nuptials a few months ago, because Bill doesn't like him! Hmm.

Why was Carter even there?

So, Bridget shows up for a wedding but not her cousin's funeral?

Speaking of funerals, who wants their wedding held in the same damned room as a funeral held there just a few weeks ago?

Snark aside...nothing matters when the soap is SO GOOD ;-)

soapbaby - Bill was there to apologize to Maya. Totally out of character for Bill, of course but I guess we're suppose to belive he wanted to be there. I doubt he was invited, he was just there with Katie, same as Ridge was Caroline's date in Bill/Katie's wedding.

You know that a soap is at the top of its game when you're in tears over people you hate (Rick/Maya). Superb acting by OB, AMH and KM!

I agree that the Bill thing was a bit silly, too. He owed an apology, but not there!! But you know.... soaps.

As far as redemption stories, Rick and Maya were bullies and aren't anymore. It's far preferable to silly "this sociopath now has a heart, get over it!" stories! But I do think this show goes back and forth too much with who people are. Remember when Caroline was a scheming Mean Girl?

@callie: Thanks! I missed that part of Bill apologizing to Maya but I still don;t think he should have been there, Katie or no Katie. He specifically stated that Rick was not welcome at his wedding to Katie! Still, it has been fantastic soap so I shouldn't nitpick ;-)

@Louise: I agree with you. I never hated Maya and Rick. Their "bullying" was as lame as could be so I could barely muster up any care about that! In fact, I enjoyed Maya's increasing cattiness and wish that had been extended. That's when Karla Mosley and the character of Maya got interesting to me. I like cattiness in my soap divas! LOL.

But the story they are now telling with Maya has been amazing. Remember your trepidation about how this story would turn out? I was much more skeptical but this show has truly surprised me. Never in a million years would I have imagined that a transgender woman would be featured frontburner on a daytime soap opera but it be a romance at it's core! So beautiful!

I have zero sympathy for Maya, and Rick too, because she's a bully and she never apologized to Aly and everyone else she treated like crap for the past year. The transgender storyline doesn't whitewash her lousy behavior.

I think use of the term bully is an exaggeration of the insignificant amount of time Maya and, primarily Rick, spent subordinating Aly or Ivy. They are all rich and had the means to move out of the mansion or work somewhere other than Forrester. Also, the Aly and Ivy are adults would could have stood up for themselves versus whining about Rick & Maya! I thought that was a really insignificant portion of story and unrelated to Maya's journey/struggles/the love story between her and Rick.

Maya was really crappy to people for about 6 months, now she's nice to everyone again (and has expressed regret) the way she was for years prior to that. That's enough for me, considering the past behaviors of every single character on this show.

I've only recently started watching B&B again at your urging, Louise. And it's just been getting better and better. Amazing performances all around, and the writers have done an incredible job. Really top notch stuff. Sincere applause.

Ivy stood up for herself, and she got crapped on more and more at work by Napoleon and Maya. It's the whole reason Liam instigated the takeover. Aly, well, she didn't stand up for herself. She made some nice scrapbooks instead... and ended up dead. Bottom line, Maya and Rick are bullies and didn't apologize to Aly and Ivy. Maya only sorta apologized to Caroline. Rick and Maya are idiots and I don't have sympathy for her.

Ivy's now exploiting her best friend and cousin's death to get a modeling career. None of these people are "good," but in certain storylines they can be rooted for. That's all we can really ask of soap characters considering they pretty much all have to be involved in something unsympathetic at some point or another.

This is just a reminder that Serial Drama is a place to come and make fun of and/or celebrate soaps. However, if your sense of humor is nothing but bigoted and transphobic, please fuck off elsewhere, the world is full of places for that nonsense. Your comments will be and have been deleted.

Whee! I just got the "you're the bigot for censoring me!" refrain. (If anyone's curious, this person thought it was hilarious to misgender Maya and make fun of of men who love transgender women and it included a lot of HYSTERICAL comments about surgeries, and complained that human compassion is "political correctness." Nothing you haven't heard a million times, don't worry.)

It was adorable. Write your own transphobic blog, it's free. Nobody got censored here.

I have read so many comments on other blogs where people think making fun of Maya's story and calling Rick names is the height of hilarity. I have often wanted the mods to shut it down. So, thank you.

Yes, this is a soap, but it's a soap that is trying to educate and promote acceptance. I have loved this story and the excellent acting and writing that it is generating.

While the Maya transgender reveal got off to a shaky start, the show has course-corrected admirably, and cemented the improvement by hiring two superb actors to play her parents. By casting an actor as gifted as Obba Babatunde to play Julian, the show effectively humanized the father's transphobic responses without excusing them, which I thought so important. It's too bad that some people can't see past their knee-jerk responses, but on the up side, we know from the past that more sympathetic portrayals of marginalized populations in popular culture means that the journey towards broader acceptance is well under way.

I am not interested in Maya, but these days, I am enjoying Ivy blackmailing Steffy. That sleazy tramp has blackmailed at least three people, it's about time she got a nasty dose of her own medicine.

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