Most of you who read this column know that a guilty pleasure in this life is watching my Soap Operas.
I have been watching most of them since they began and have enjoyed the worlds they present where literally anything and everything is nearly always on tap for the viewer.
The stories woven around the characters in these fictional towns and cities are quite captivating and as a Soaper, I have spent several decades happily hooked on them.
Yet for me continuity is a must in a good soap opera.
Regarding both character continuity and storyline continuity, these two elements must play in tandem if the story is to be believable.
However I have found that many times over the years, viewers pay more attention to continuity than the writers do as evident when they simply decide to change the character of a character without any explanation at all.
This has happened in soaps before but it is difficult to buy when no plausible explanation is offered for a character who suddenly presents as diametrically opposed to the one viewers were first introduced to.
Case in point:
The Bold and The Beautiful’s “Caroline Spencer,” who was first presented to viewers as a sweet, caring individual with a huge heart for her family as well as a kind regard to other human beings, this character was introduced as the very “soul” of her beloved Aunt, the late Caroline Forrester, for whom this Caroline was named.
Then as the story progressed a few things happened to our new Caroline, one noteworthy event is when she fell backwards off the Spencer balcony and sustained a head injury, but no worries mate…she recovered and her life seemed to get back on course.
Then out of the clear blue sky, the writers decided to change the good girl into a bad bitchy girl.
Again this kind of thing has been done on soaps before, but there is usually an acceptable explanation for a total change in a character’s personality, especially when it’s a change of this magnitude.
From actress Linsey Godfrey’s TV Guide.com interview, Caroline’s portrayer tells viewers:
“When she first came to town a year ago, she was sweet as pie and pretty vanilla. She literally had no opinions about anything! But that was all an act. The truth is, she’s a bitch…but a very funny one.”
Yet without explanation, the character as she is played now versus the one the viewers were first introduced to, are miles from the other and the writers of “The Bold And The Beautiful” have apparently chosen to offer no reason that could explain such an extreme diversity.
I can’t find anything in Caroline’s bitchy, soul-less behavior that is the least little bit “funny” or interesting.
This 180 in her personality makes her appear as a self centered jerk who is obviously devoid of any basic human compassion.
She comes off as vengeful and really, quite insane…in short Caroline is now someone to be avoided at all costs.
The actress tries to explain away the re-write of her character saying that “what we saw of the Caroline that first came to town was all an act.”
Yet the dichotomy between that Caroline and the one we see now doesn’t add up.
In short, it makes no sense and it’s hard to concentrate on the character as she is played now because the difference is so huge that I keep wondering; where the original Caroline Spencer went as well as when and how did her evil doppelganger come to town unbeknownst to anyone?
It’s as though Caroline Spencer has suddenly developed a split personality… or…something. At least that explanation could suffice here.
Or perhaps another scenario that would explain such a decidedly diverse shift in this character’s personality is that she might have developed a brain tumor, from her fall off the Spencer balcony.
Any explanation would be better than no explanation as to why Caroline Spencer is suddenly so very, very different.
No matter what is going on with regard to the writers and this character though, the vast chasm they have created between the Caroline Spencer we first saw and the one that we are seeing now cannot be explained away by simply saying “it was all an act.”
Oh well….stay tuned.