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Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 23, 1987

This week's Throwback Thursday is filled with drama, excitement, and fashion.  And while it's been a topic that I've talked about before in this blog, I think I can find a way to make it different from the original post that I did years ago.

Before we get into today's selected topic, let's have a look at some of the other events that took place on this date in history.

1857 - Elisha Otis' first elevator is installed in New York City

1868 - The University of California is founded in Oakland, California

1909 - Theodore Roosevelt goes on a post-presidency safari

1919 - Benito Mussolini founds his Fascist political movement in Italy

1924 - Liquid Paper inventor Bette Nesmith Graham (d. 1980) is born in Dallas, Texas

1933 - Adolf Hitler becomes the dictator of Germany following the passage of the Enabling Act of 1933 by the Reichstag

1964 - Actor Peter Lorre dies at the age of 59

1965 - NASA launches Gemini 3

1977 - The first of twelve interviews between Richard Nixon and David Frost regarding the Watergate scandal are videotaped

1982 - The government of Guatemala is overthrown in a military coup

1983 - Ronald Reagan makes his initial proposal to develop the technology necessary to intercept enemy missiles

1991 - Timmy T's "One More Try" tops the Billboard Charts for one week

1994 - The Green Ramp Disaster: Two military aircrafts collide and crash at Pope Air Force Base, killing twenty-four soldiers on the ground

2001 - Russian space station Mir is disposed of - it eventually breaks apart and falls towards the Earth into the Pacific Ocean

2003 - The Battle of Nasiriyah takes place during the invasion of Iraq

2011 - Actress/businesswoman Elizabeth Taylor passes away at the age of 79

2012 - The Disney Channel show "Doc McStuffins" debuts on television

2016 - Actor Ken Howard passes away at the age of 71

And for celebrities who are turning one year older today, we have the following famous faces - Mark Rydell, Craig Breedlove, Tony McPhee, David Grisman, Alan Bleasdale, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Ric Ocasek, Kim Stanley Robinson, Chaka Khan, Kenneth Cole, Amanda Plummer, Hugh Grant, Catherine Keener, Hope Davis, Damon Albarn, Mitch Cullin, Gail Porter, Randall Park, Jayson Blair, Michelle Monaghan, Keri Russell, Miklos Perlus, Brett Eldredge, and Ayesha Curry.

And now we've come to the date that we're going to look at today.  And trust me, it's a date that many people who watch daytime television might know.

We're taking a trip back in time thirty years to March 23, 1987.

So, as I mentioned before in the opening of this piece, today's topic is all about drama, excitement, and fashion.  NONE of which I have in my life.  So, you'd think that I would be at a disadvantage, right?

Well, not really.  One can simply get those things by watching television.  For fashion, all you really have to do is watch E!  For excitement, any action show would do.  And for drama...well, let's face it.  Any of those dull reality shows on MTV are chock full of it.  Not that I actually make a habit of watching shows like "Teen Mom" or anything like that.  Truth be told, those people get too much attention as it is.

But it's very rare that you see all those things in one television show.  And for thirty years and over seven thousand episodes, the show has done exactly that.

Can you believe that thirty years ago today, The Bold and the Beautiful first debuted on CBS Daytime?  This was back in the days in which the hottest fashion trends were jelly bracelets, acid-wash jeans, and mullets!  Oh, how fashion has evolved in three decades!  The show was commissioned as a replacement for the cancelled serial "Capitol", and was created by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell - the same team that also brought us "The Young and the Restless" - a show that has been on the air since March 1973.

The show has also evolved over the last thirty years as well.  It's a show that has combined the cutthroat fashion business with love triangles and scandalous secrets.  It's sort of like what might happen if you combined "Melrose Place" and "America's Next Top Model".  

Originally, the show's focus was on the wealthy Forrester family, who established their own fashion house "Forrester Creations" prior to the show's debut.  As well, the show also focused on the Logan family, a family of lesser social status than the Forrester family.  Naturally, one of the main focus points of the show was making these two families clash at every opportunity to see what might happen.

During the first week of shows, we are introduced to each member of the family one by one.  There are the husband and wife duo at the helm of Forrester Creations, Eric (John McCook) and Stephanie (Susan Flannery).  They also have five children between them - Ridge, Thorne, Kristen, Felicia, and Angela (the latter of which died before the series began).

And the reason why I haven't listed the names of the cast members who played each Forrester child is because each one has been recast at least once, and it would take me a full page to go over each one.  But for the sake of argument, let's just say that when the show debuted, Ridge was played by Ronn Moss and he is now currently played by Thorsten Kaye.

Anyway, back to the opening week of shows.  When we first meet the Forrester's, Ridge is planning his wedding to publishing heiress Caroline Spencer (Joanna Johnson), and it seems as though this wedding has been the talked about event of Los Angeles.  The way the show describes it, prior to the show's debut, Ridge was a bit of a playboy who refused to settle down, and him getting engaged to Caroline was a huge deal.  

A party is thrown by the Forrester's to celebrate the event, and as it so happens, one of the caterers for the party is working class chemistry student Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang), who immediately becomes charmed by Ridge.  Brooke is one of the children of Beth and Stephen Logan, and much like Ridge, also comes from a large family.  The eldest girl, she has a brother named Storm, and two sisters named Donna and Katie.

(Ridge?  Thorne?  Storm?  Where the hell do they come up with these names?)

Oh, and plot twist alert - Eric was once college sweethearts with Brooke's mother.  Bet you didn't see that one coming.

This chance meeting would set the stage for the fiery love affair between Ridge and Brooke - a love affair that has quite literally lasted the entire thirty year run of the show.  If one were to count the number of times that Brooke and Ridge broke up and got back together again...well, I don't even know if I can count that high. 

Of course, Brooke waffling when it comes down to commitment certainly caused a lot of stress within the Forrester family.  After all, in between trysts with Ridge, she also had love affairs with Eric and Thorne as well!  And if you thought that Stephanie would take this lying down, think again.  Over the course of the first twenty-five years of the show, Brooke and Stephanie were arch-rivals, and they would do everything they could to one-up the other one.  Here's one of MANY examples!

Of course, when Susan Flannery left the show in 2012, her character was killed off, and Brooke and Stephanie finally buried the hatched between them.  In fact, of the original cast that kicked off the show in 1987, only two remain - John McCook and Katherine Kelly Lang.

Now, over the thirty years the show has been on the air, the show has tackled some serious issues.  They've dealt with AIDS, affairs, murder, rape, kidnapping, psychological abuse, physical abuse, transgender awareness, and even having a mother engage in sexual intercourse with her daughter's boyfriend during the middle of a masquerade party.

Yes.  That really happened.

But despite the crazy plotlines and constant recasting, the show has survived and thrived.  Over its thirty years on the air, the show has earned a total of thirty-one Daytime Emmy Awards and won the award for Outstanding Drama Series in 2009, 2010, and 2011.  It is also the most watched soap opera internationally, with the series broadcast dozens of countries all over the world and translated into several different languages.

And it seems as though the show hasn't really changed all that much.  Brooke is still waffling over Ridge, Forrester Creations is still in business, and Spectra Fashions is looking to best them once more (the original Spectra opened in 1988 headed by Sally Spectra, played by the late Darlene Conley, and is now being run by Sally's niece, also named Sally).  

And, as a special treat for all of you here, to close this retrospective off...why not watch the very first episode of the series right here?

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