Why Fans No Longer Think The Bold And The Beautiful Is As Good As It Used To Be

Just as all soaps have changed due to budget constraints, cast cuts, and new production protocols because of COVID-19, "The Bold and the Beautiful" has seen its fair share of shifts over the last decade. The half-hour CBS soap was once a show known for lavish location shoots, big and complicated families, and multiple storylines that intertwined and never left you bored with the same old, same old for weeks at a time.

That doesn't mean that "B&B" doesn't remain popular worldwide, still seen in countless nations globally (via Soaps), and the No. 2-rated soap of the four remaining daytime dramas, with sister soap "The Young and the Restless" continuously ranking at the top (via TV Series Finale). Loyal viewers still tune in day and day out, as they have since the show first premiered in 1987 (via IMDb). However, fans don't always like everything they see and often have a few gripes about the show.

Where did the Forrester fashion shows go?

"The Bold and the Beautiful" centers on the Los Angeles fashion industry. It was originally supposed to be called "Rags" before it premiered, according to Soap Hub. Eric Forrester (John McCook) has run Forrester Creations from the start, putting on fantastical fashion shows, with the most unique and risque things happening on the runway.

CBS used to take "B&B" on location to such destinations as Italy and Aspen, according to Soaps In Depth. The drama that unfolded at these shows would move stories in entirely different and surprising directions, and the sheer spectacle of it all kept viewers looking forward to them year after year.

The last Forrester fashion show took place in 2017 — unusual for this fashion soap. While fans hoped to see one in 2020, like most Hollywood productions, "B&B" had to shut down for several months when the coronavirus pandemic began. When it returned, like other soaps, it limited the number of people in scenes so that physical distancing was possible (via Los Angeles Times), leaving production of a fashion show more difficult.

Where did all the Forresters go?

Not only did the Forresters host fashion shows, they were also a very large on-screen family at one time. Now hardly any of them are ever seen. The characters are either dead or live their lives somewhere outside Los Angeles.

When the show first premiered, Eric and Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery and John McCook, above) were the patriarch and matriarch of the show and parents to Ridge (then played by Ronn Moss, now played by Thorsten Kaye), Thorne, Felicia, and Kristen, according to Soap Central.

As of this writing, the only two original Forresters remaining on the show are Eric and Ridge. Fans still get to see Ridge's two adult children, Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) and Thomas (Matthew Atkinson), but we never see his teenage son RJ, and his siblings are all spread across the world. Matriarch Stephanie died in 2012 after actress Susan Flannery chose to retire, according to Michael Fairman TV, taking much of the show's heart with her.

The Bold and the Beautiful needs to tell more than one story at a time

The entire TV soap genre produced 30-minute episodes for decades, until the 1970s, when NBC's "Another World" went to 60 minutes (via The New York Times). Despite the historical precedent, "The Bold and the Beautiful" can't seem to do what it and other daytime dramas once did: fitting multiple storylines into each half-hour episode.

As of this writing, fans have had to sit through several years of the soap focusing on only one story at a time for weeks or even months, leaving some characters not seen for close to half the year at times. In 2021, fans have been wondering where Wyatt Spencer (Darin Brooks) and Flo Fulton (Katrina Bowden) have gone, as stories have not featured them since spring (via Soaps).

Liam (Scott Clifton, above) and his father, Bill (Don Diamont), were involved in a major hit-and-run story (via Daytime Confidential) early in 2021, but since that plot wrapped, they have remained mostly off-camera. It can often feel like whiplash as the soap wraps up one story and moves on to another, making "B&B" feel more like an anthology series than a continuing drama.