"The Bold and the Beautiful," the world's most popular soap opera (seriously! It's seen in over 150 countries), is celebrating its 22nd anniversary today, March 23rd. Oh, what a magical 22 years it has been. We checked around to find out what to get them and we found that the traditional gift for a 20th anniversary is china and the 25th is (famously) silver. However, there is no Emily Post suggestion for the 22nd -- so we'll assume it's the crochet anniversary and we'll get everyone a gorgeous knit bikini by Pam with some non-poisoned lemon bars on the side.
Feeling the urge to celebrate this landmark in some way, we collaborated with our friend Andrew, westside Manhattan's biggest "B&B" fan, to come up with a list of the 22 things we love most about this amazing show. The first thing he said, and it's SO TRUE, is "that the show is all about strong family values." In these fractious times, it's the core values of the Forresters that remind us that family matters most, even if you have to sleep with them and/or attempt to kill them to prove it. So we'll put that at No. 1 and go from there.
#1: Strong Family Values. The Forresters and the Logans make the Gambinos and the Gottis look like amateurs.
#2: The Original Opening Credits. Sparkling glamor shots of Downtown L.A. remind us of "L.A. Law" -- and anything that reminds us of that super sexy nighttime soap is good. This is topped by fantastic unrolling bolts of fabric and many hot hat looks.
#3: Hunter Tylo's versatility. In both looks and acting ability, Hunter takes a ho-hum dramatic beat and makes you feel it in your bones. Also, she's the best phone call actress on the show, hands down.
#4: Donna's cleavage. Va-va-voom. No wonder she's a top model.
#5: Eric's charm. He's slept with nearly every woman on the show and has managed to never form any real enemies. We need to learn his tricks!
#6: Hatred. We love that Stephanie still hates Brooke after all these years. Stephanie never lets anything go.
#7: Stephanie's sass. Basically, we just love everything Stephanie -- from her broaches to her fierce haircut. And it's so cool that Susan Flannery was in "The Towering Inferno."
#8: Jackie M.'s accent. 'Nuff said.
#9: Jackie M.'s past. She used to be a whore for sailors -- awesome! Work those docks, Jackie!
#10: Corded Phones. No one at Forrester Creations has ever gotten a cordless phone because it would then be impossible for Stephanie to strangle them with it. Stephanie always needs a phone cord at the ready for impromptu stranglings.
#11: Gorgeous use of fake candles. But then they had a real fire, too. So, who knows what's up with that.
#12: Explosions! Rick's car being blown up was just the latest example.
#13: Bridget Forrester's remarkable bad luck. Is there any guy in Los Angeles that won't dump her? For her mother or aunt?
#14: Crocheting. Thank goodness for Pam and her amazing crochet work. Up next: macrame!
#15: Ingenious Murder Methods. We love that Pam dumped honey all over Donna in an attempt to get a bear to eat her. It didn't work, but Pam still gave it the old college try and we respect her for that.
#16: Spectra Fashions. We miss Sally Spectra so much! R.I.P. Darlene Conley. We love how she used to call Stephanie "Queenie."
#17: Fantasy. Forrester Creations seems to exist in some alternate universe where no gay men are involved in fashion design.
#18: Gorgeous fashions. Who needs Galliano and McQueen when you have Ridge Forrester's stunning, contemporary looks for the modern woman?
#19: Attention to fabric details. We've already mentioned how much we loved the unrolling bolts of fabric in the credits. We were recently reminded of the fact that they pay attention to all levels of fabric down to lint. Hunter Tylo recently played opposite lint in an exciting scene where she holds some under a lamp while it suggests that her son tried to kill Rick. Best lint scene in the history of television.
#20: Near-incest. These people are so close that they are only interested in dating someone if they are somehow already related to the family. Family first, people.
#21: Sheila Carter. The most notorious villain on the show, Sheila had it all -- looks, access to poison, a casual relationship with reality. Too bad she's dead. But since it's Los Angeles, she may rise again. Look at Mickey Rourke.
#22: Great locations. Sheila held James prisoner in Houdini's basement. Or how about when Maggie decided to hold Sheila hostage, she picked the set of the Bates house from "Psycho" on the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot. How cool is that? Sheila escaped, of course.
So we could go on and on, but we have to limit ourselves somehow. Tell us, what are your favorite things about the show? Here's to you, "B&B"; may you live long and bring us another 22 years of spectacular acting, stories, and magic!
Photo: Bell Phillip Productions/Gilles Toucas