Deep Soap: Does Daytime Need A Makeover?

B&B Fashions A New Look

The Bold & the Beautiful” has decided to revamp its image. The show, which is set in the fashion industry, has hired executive producer Brad Bell’s wife, Colleen Bell, to be its fashion consultant, as well as a new costume designer, Danielle King. Colleen Bell told TVGuide that, “B&B shouldn’t be following trends. We should be setting them.” Hear, hear! Fashion is an increasingly important part of how television is marketed, as well as a secondary reason that people tune in to watch. Every week, the CW e-mails a press release headlined, “What are those “Gossip Girls Wearing?” highlighting the outfits in each episode of the teen drama. The low-rated but buzzed about show inspired teenage girls to wear headbands, inspired a line of clothing at Target designed by Anna Sui, as well as teaching them about gorgeous couture that will remain aspirational for ninety-nine percent of viewers. Banana Republic is launching a “Mad Men” line of clothes, which will further promote the Emmy winning show that averages about as many viewers as a daytime soap. In other words, clothing is a way for a show with a small but passionate  fanbase to make a bigger cultural splash. These days, soaps fall into that category. As Bell says, “What we hope to do is organize a groundswell of awareness about B&B and get people talking and blogging.”

It’s about time soaps capitalized on something that has always been an element of the shows. Fans have always loved it when characters wear glamorous clothes. I will admit to buying an empire waist sundress because I liked the way they looked on “All My Children’s” Greenlee and coveting most of Maxie’s wardrobe on “General Hospital.” Other than occasional articles in soap magazines about the clothes, there has been no attempt to make fashion a bigger part of the shows. Perhaps B&B can follow in the footsteps of its sister show, “The Young & the Restless”, which recently launched a cosmetics line inspired by Jabot Cosmetics, and start selling Forrester dresses on HSN. I also am excited by this quote: “I was at the Gaultier fashion show in Paris last January and was very inspired by the runway models who were all sporting these beautiful Mohawks. I would love to do something that bold on The Bold and the Beautiful!” I can’t be the only one imagining Ride (Ronn Moss) replacing his signature mullet with a mohawk.

That’s Fierce, All Right

Speaking of soaps attempting to modernize their looks, I laughed hard at Friday’s episode of “All My Children” when Madison (Stephanie Gaschet) presented her new concept for a cosmetics line.  Her pitch to her bosses included dressing up in leather pants, black eyeliner that extended halfway across her skull, and obvious hair extensions and playing a video with dominatrix images. There was no explanation of what the products, color scheme, price points, retail outlets, or target consumer would be.

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When she announced that she intended to call the brand Fierce, my first thought was,”Madison wants to create make-up for drag queens.”

Genoa City Needs Conditioner!

This is a trivial complaint, but while watching Friday’s episode of “The Young & the Restless” I realized that the show was having a major hair emergency.

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First Adam (Michael Muhney) showed up with his hair sticking up like Alfalfa in the “Little Rascals” cartoons. Sexy! Then,later, Genevieve (Genie Francis) decided to continue her campaign to get Jack Abbott’s (Peter Bergman) attention with her flyaway hair. I would attribute the problems to a freak electrical storm plaguing Wisconsin but, Sharon (Sharon Case), who is hundreds of miles away, and whose locks have been looking great since she went incognito by dyeing her blonde hair light brown, was afflicted with the same syndrome. Was there extra static electricity on the set? Did budget cuts send Y&R’s normally excellent hairstyling team home early? Or did Nick (Josh Morrow) get all of Y&R’s good hair karma with his hot new haircut?

Odds and Ends

It turns out that Nikolas’s terrific good-bye scene on “General Hospital” was at least partially written by the actors. Tyler Christopher blogged that he and Jonathan Jackson, like so many other aspiring writing teams, went to Starbucks and hammered it out in a couple hours. (Tyler, I adore you, but you might want to spellcheck the headline on your blog, particularly given that it’s about writing.) I’ve got to admit I’m a little disappointed that it was the actors, not the writers, who were responsible for Nik’s last minute character redemption, if only because it means that it does not signal a sea change in the show’s storytelling.

One Life to Live’s” Rama (Shenaz Treasury) always order a cocktail called the Delhi Belly. It turns out that’s a reference to an Indian movie that Treasury appears in, also named “Delhi Belly.” The Hollywood Reporter compares it to “The Hangover.”  The film is in English and is doing so well in India that it has now been released in the United States. If you live in a city with a sizable South Asian community, check it out. Treasury, the newbie not only to daytime but to American audience, may end up being one of the most successful OLTL alumni.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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