B&B’s Susan Flannery: “Bill Knew Brad Had The Right Stuff Before He Died”

He Got It From His Daddy. The amazing Susan Flannery (Stephanie, The Bold and the Beautiful) gave a touching interview to TV Guide‘s Michael Logan about the best storyline daytime has done in years —Stephanie’s battle with lung cancer. My fave part of the chat was when La Flannery mentioned how proud the late Bill Bell would be of his son Brad Bell for winning back-to-back Daytime Emmys.

TV Guide Magazine: Indeed! Don’t you think Brad’s late dad, [Y&R and B&B creator] Bill Bell would be bursting buttons over his kid?

Flannery: Yes, but I think Bill knew Brad had the right stuff before he died, even in those last stages before he totally slipped away from us. He was very aware of Brad’s gifts and very proud of him! And I know how much finally winning that writing Emmy last year meant to Brad. He so deserved it. This is one of the best working experiences a lot of us on the show have ever had. His writing has pulled us all together as a company. We are totally juiced!

I couldn’t agree more. As a fan of The Young and the Restless from the time I was suckling a teet, and as someone who has watched The Bold and the Beautiful since two years into its run (circa 1989) I have to concur that B&B has managed to become the soap that truly showcases traces of the Bell DNA. 

While I ripped B&B a few years back for being all camp, all the time (RIP, Honey Bear), the show has managed to create a delicate balance between sexy scandals and real-life, powerful, diverse human drama. Who woulda ever thunk it?

 If the Soap Gods were kind, Brad Bell would offer to consult for B&B’s big sister sudser. For more of Flannery’s chat with Logan go to TV Guide.

10 Responses

  1. Profile photo of AHeart4Fiction

    I would die and go to soap heaven if Brad was a consultant on Y&R. That show is a mess right now and has absolutely no balance but it does have it’s moments like today with the montage and the little wink to The Untouchables.

  2. Profile photo of Soap_Stud

    Brad Bell believes in the genre and is a true lover of daytime dramas and storytelling. We have too many folks writing, producing, and acting on soaps these days who just see it as a stepping stone or a job. They do not have the fire and love for the genre that people like the late Bill Bell, Michael Zaslow, and DOuglas Marland did. My hope is that we got more Brad Bells involved in soaps and less Barbara Blooms. :)

  3. Profile photo of Restless Vixen
    Restless Vixen

    [quote]Brad Bell believes in the genre and is a true lover of daytime dramas and storytelling. We have too many folks writing, producing, and acting on soaps these days who just see it as a stepping stone or a job.[/quote]
    I completely agree Soap_Stud. While not all of Brad Bell’s SLs sing to me, I appreciate that he loves the genre. He’s not trying to recreate The Sopranos redux or borrow from whatever’s currently airing on TMC or AMC. He loves the genre for what it is, and as a result B&B, IMO, lacks the pretention some of the other soaps can have. B&B is always good campy and soapy goodness, IMO. I never feel like Brad talks down to his viewers and even during the lather/rinse/repeat of Brooke v/s Stephanie or the Taylor-Ridge-Brooke triangle, I never once felt he attempted to dictate who the viewer is “supposed” to root for. That’s one thing that I think the other current soap writers do not understand about the genre – let the audience decide who they root for, don’t dictate – but still to the story you are telling. There are strong Steph and Brooke camps, and Tridge and Bridge camps, and each side has a legitimate POV. I think the lively debate between camps, without the writers shipping or playing favorites, is what keeps soaps alive – and is one of the major reasons I think ABC soaps (especially) are in trouble. You can tell Brad loves both Stephanie AND Brooke. They are the stars of his show, even though they have been enemies through most of the life of B&B. Some might argue that B&B lacks a moral compass, which I partly agree with, but I think Brad has never wanted to have a permanent moral compass on his show. I think he plays morality as being relative to the situation, and that the same righteous person in scenario A can be the dysfunctional heathen in scenario F, and vice-versa. Kind of like real people, which is why I think B&B has a global following. It’s a soap with just the right amount of decadence, camp and self-awareness at the same time. The show loves to wink and nod at the viewers, another thing I love about B&B.

    This latest SL with Stephanie’s cancer and the Skid row stuff is groundbreaking IMO. I know some people don’t want a PSA in their soaps, but it was nice to have a soap acknowledge the real world when more and more of them are so outrageous with jobless characters with bottomless pits of money out of nowhere. And one of the things that marked the genre in the beginning was social relevance that primetime often chose to ignore. I applaud Brad for going out on a limb and doing something different.

    So in short (lol!) – Bravo Brad Bell! He’s finally getting the props he deserves.

  4. Profile photo of dwood37

    Well, I think Brad Bell’s writing is hit or miss. I mean, B&B is one of those daytime dramas that can be really good for a while and then be really bad for a while. There are time periods where the show is simply unwatchable. I mean the honey bear stuff, the campiness of Pam, the Taylor/Ridge/Brooke triangle we tired of 10 years ago, the stupid Cougar stuff that went on forever with the photo shoots between Jackie and Owen, the Amber pregnancy re-tread, Brad’s propensity to utterly WASTE great actors (see Sarah Joy Brown), I can go on and on. I also don’t see why people think the Stephanie cancer storyline was all that epic! She found out, she wasn’t going to get treatment, she went to see homeless people, decided to get treatment and now she takes pills. Not getting the epic nature of it. Now. I am NOT a fan of Bob Guza, but the Michael rape storyline-now THAT’s epic. Stephanie’s cancer storyline doesn’t hold a candle to that. Now granted, he is using people of color (though most of them are homeless), and he does have the occasional good story (when Bill took over Forrester was some of the best writing I’ve witnessed on B&B). Suffice to say he’s a fairly good writer, but not the genius this article is making him out to be.

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