As one of the daytime TV shows affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic The Bold and the Beautiful finally resumed filming. New episodes have begun airing but fans say it’s hard to ignore the new safety measures put into place.
Filming ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ during a pandemic is tricky
Like any other production affected by COVID-19, The Bold and the Beautiful implemented a few key changes for the cast and crew. The new safety measures follow CDC and union guidelines in order to continue filming.
On July 20, CBS aired its first new B&B episode after almost three months off. The soap remains the first scripted network TV show to resume production, paving the way for others to follow.
Previous reports indicated the show now utilizes blow-up dolls and actors’ significant others to stand in as a body double for an up-close-and-personal scene.
“Very often we’re shooting one actor alone with the double,” executive producer Bradley Bell told Soap Opera Digest. “And then we shoot one side of the scene and then we take that actor out and bring the other side in. When you edit it together it’s very effective.”
Filming B&B now is a little more meticulous, but for good reason. Still, there are some fans who can’t get into the soap anymore because of the changes.
Fans can’t get past this obvious safety measure
In a world where a pandemic continues to rage, shows like B&B had to adopt new safety regulations to resume production. CBS2 This Morning reported that temperatures are taken regularly and a “COVID-19 supervisor is on set at all times to make sure government and union protocols are followed, according to producers. Fewer people are allowed on set.”
“We are getting tested frequently…getting our temperature, we are obviously social distancing, which sounds crazy when you’re filming, but we are making it work,” Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, who plays Steffy Forrester, said.
“Directors are doing a phenomenal job…Obviously, wearing a mask, and when we are filming we don’t have the mask on, but we are social distanced.”
It’s the social distancing part — which is necessary — that is keeping fans from fully investing.
“Idk if it’s only me but watching now all I see is social distancing. I need to get pass this,” one fan commented on the show’s Instagram post.
“it is awkward… I’m wondering why they can’t get tested, then film the scenes without the Social Distancing. It looks like bad camera work,” another said.
“Exactly. The love scenes are too much to watch. You can clearly see it’s not the actors. It’s just awkward,” another fan added.
Others said the show is harder to watch because the focus is on the distance between characters. Some said they have little hope for other soaps like The Young and the Restless because it’s evident the characters aren’t interacting in the ways they were before.
Will the restart inspire changes?
Despite all the safety measures in place for the B&B cast and crew, fans hope writers use this time to create new storylines for the characters. In another Instagram post from the show highlighting Steffy’s (Woods) motorcycle accident, many recalled the exact scenes from her previous accident years ago.
The recycling of those takes, along with the usual love triangles, have fans wanting more. As one viewer commented, fans want “a re-energized writing team and no longer recycling decades-old storylines focusing on love triangles.”
The commenter asked for seasoned characters like Taylor (Hunter Tylo), as well as relatable health stories — such as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Some noticed a lack of storyline with other major players like Brooke with one asking “what does Brooke do?” suggesting she hasn’t had a job in years and isn’t utilized the way she once was.
And, of course, a few mentioned abandoned characters, overused characters, and the characters many would love to never see again. Only time will tell if the new normal allows for a digestible TV experience or if the social distancing is something we all have to get used to — even in entertainment.
The Bold and the Beautiful airs weekdays on CBS.