Thursday, April 12, 2007

The mystery of The Bold and The Beautiful

cross posted from Desicritics

My wife is the smartest person I know. And every weekday, she faithfully records The Bold and the Beautiful on our DVR and watches it in batches once or twice a week. And while it is true that you should allow every woman her mysteries, this was one puzzle that I felt was worth solving.

I run across this in India as well. Whenever I’m visiting friends and relatives, conversation eventually veers to B&B and how hot “Ridge” is. Who was this guy? I asked myself. My wife told me a little bit about Ridge Forrester.

Apparently he was in Australia recently, punching out his daughter’s boyfriend which caused him to suffer a broken engagement with Brooke because Brooke was said boyfriend’s mother. Once (of many times) that Ridge was married to Brooke he had to abandon her when his previous wife, Taylor, returned back from the dead after having been kept captive against her wishes by Kabir Bedi who managed to fool everyone by keeping her under the influence of a mysterious jadibooti although Ridge must have known because he once dug up her grave to find an empty casket. (Yes, yes, I triple checked that – it’s all true.) Good call, Ridge. The stepson-daughter romance would have ended up in some pretty awkward family dinners.

Wow! I thought. A show that encompasses drama, romance, marital issues, medicine and horror! It must be watched! Turns out Ridge is quite an interesting character. Played by 54 year old actor Ronn Moss, he comes across as a grizzled playboy. He shows up often seemingly dazed and speaks in very measured tones – even when he is pissed, which is quite often. He walks with an exaggerated swagger of the shoulders and often tries to capture a range of emotions by partially opening his mouth.

When I ask fans of the show why they chose to watch something of such choppy quality, they will often tell me that they’ve watched it for so many years that this was like an extended family to them. “We stay up at night thinking about their problems and how they can be solved” they tell me.

This moved me – no, sincerely. As humans, we have such an ability to reach out and form bonds even if it is with moving images on screen.

So the next time I see my wife watching B&B, in the spirit of looking at the glass half full (something I’m not good at), I remind myself of her generous capacity to extend her love. And that even makes Ridge Forrester in the background tolerable.


Beth Loves Bollywood said...

Mind reader! I just encountered a clip of Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen in the Miss India competition of 1994 and they were asked something or other about The Bold and the Beautiful, and I was shocked to discern it was common currency enough in India to show up in such a setting.

I've said it before and I'll no doubt say it again: I will never understand why the rest of the world latches on to particular pieces of American pop culture. The popularity of The Simpsons and Seinfeld I get, but why on earth don't people let Baywatch and Cops sink back to the dreck from whence they came? I've never watched a single episode of The Bold and the Beautiful - what's its specific appeal in India, do you think?

Unknown said...

Gosh, my investigation wasn't that thorough that it can answer your question Beth. But it might have to do with first dibs. Most Indians might have welcomed American culture into their home through B&B and grown attached.

Just like Baywatch.

Now that is a sobering thought :)

Tanya said...

I think when the cable revolution happened in India, the Bold and Beautiful and Santa Barbara were the first 2 american shows to be shown. That is why BNB remained so popular and its demographic wasnt limited to just housewives. In fact I rem everyone in school was enthralled by the whole Ridge,Taylor, Brooke saga!

Anonymous said...

Five years ago when I first switched on the television on American soil two things shocked me Jerry Springer and Taylor's face!!

Got used to Jerry but Taylor's face continued to give me the creeps. She seems like a sister version of the Joker from Batman.

Unknown said...

Hey Tanya, since I missed the whole cable revolution (too old - me that is) thanks for the update. Now Santa Barabara - that I don't know anything about.

Deepti, I'm going to think of that Joker reference every time I see that woman on TV.