So Ronn Moss, who has played Ridge Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful since its inception in like 1987, is saying goodbye. I’ve only been watching the show for about three years but I have a great respect for the show’s veterans, so this news that Ronn has already shot his last episode for Bold caught me off guard. It’s weird, too, because I had this dream a couple months ago. It was at an award ceremony and Ronn Moss won an award. I was sitting like three seats to his right and as he was walking towards the stage, I (for God knows what reason) slapped him really hard on his elbow. Maybe it was my way of congratulating him, but anyway, he didn’t take kindly to it. He turned back in almost slow-motion and looked at me like he was gonna kill me. He made one of them classic “Ridge in shock” type of faces. Yeah, there’s something really tw0-dimensional to his acting and it comes off as if he’s a horrible actor but it’s really almost as if he’s mocking the over-the-top melodrama of soap operas by performing Ridge this way. Plus, this two-dimensionality really helps the three-dimensional characters like Brooke, Stephanie and Steffy come to life: the contrast between them.
So, in spite of the fact he seems to be hated and ridiculed by many fans for hiding his neck with scarfs and his supposed poor acting skills, this is a big loss for the show. What is even more shocking, though, is that Bradley Bell, the head writer for the program, is going to replace him with someone else. I thought it would be a formality that Ridge would be killed off, as it seemed apparent that he is irreplaceable. At first I was kind of offended by this and empathized with longtime viewers of the show who would be more than disappointed by seeing someone else—anyone else—playing Ridge. However, what I respect most about this show and what has made it not a show that I watch but a show I have to watch every day is the script. Being a writer myself, I’m very picky about any show that I watch and I am incapable of watching a show that is poorly written. The Bold and the Beautiful is a well-written television show, as the writers know, unlike most other dramas on TV, what they’re doing. Bradley Bell is excited about the challenge of going on without Ronn Moss and giving Brooke a great story that drifts her away from Ridge and into the arms of another man. Hope it turns out as amazing as it sounds.
And now, let’s get to the possible replacements for Ronn Moss. It’s really intriguing. Being a sports fan, it’s similar to my favorite sports team trying to replace a longtime favorite player of the fans with some other player. Yeah, I have no say in the matter, but it is fun giving my two cents. The first soap opera I watched as a kid was Days of Our Lives. I stopped watching that show at around the age of fifteen because it was too over-the-top and because General Hospital completely won me over. I remember not liking the Bo character, played by Peter Reckell. He just didn’t do it for me and someone needs to explain to me how he was good enough for his leading lady on that show. She was too hot for him and he was the epitome of boring. They had some really good characters on the show, though, but he was just, again, too boring. But he finds himself, coincidentally, like a baseball player who just had his contract bought out, a free agent. Yes, he’s a good actor, perhaps even better than Ronn Moss, but his character on Days was more of an all-around good guy who’s all about morals and blah, blah, bah. Bo Brady is not the ambitious businessman that Ridge is. He’s not dynamic enough for this show; not bold enough. The logic, though, behind signing him would be the desperate need for ratings and the potential boost he would bring, with Days fans crossing over to Bold and the Beautiful. And if that’s the logic the head honchos at Bold are using, than they are misguided. If Soap Operas are dying and in desperate need of new viewers, the last thing that is going to help save the show from extinction is bringing in another big soap opera character from another show. Need to do something different, bold.
The guy that should be strongly considered is Wally Kurth of Ned Ashton fame on General Hospital. Last I checked, he was on Days of Our Lives, so, unlike Peter Reckell, he’s probably under contract. However, Bradley Bell has recently said he is in no rush to replace Ridge. He said that the Ridge character “eventually” will return to the show, but exactly when is still to be determined. So by the time they are set to bring in a replacement for Ridge, Wally’s contract may be up and, at the very least, he will be an option to consider, as he is a white man in his 50s with a similar acting resume to Ronn Moss. If his contract isn’t up, though, and Bold would like to get him, it is possible they can do what I believe they did with Sarah Brown, by getting permission to work something out while the actor was under contract.
But now for the answer to the obvious question of why Wally Kurth is an ideal replacement for Ronn Moss as Ridge. It all points me back to General Hospital back in the mid to late 90s, before it was destroyed by the producer who took over that show in the early 2000s. I’m sure the other soaps back then were dynamic, too, as the ratings would indicate, but General Hospital was the best show on TV in so many ways at that time. The characters, which are now total caricatures, were so freaking dynamic, from Carly Roberts, to Jason Morgan, to Alan Quatermain, to Justice Ward, to Emily Quatermain, to Edward Quatermain, to Ned Ashton. Yeah, the ladies loved his looks and his dimples and all that, but this guy could act. The Ned Ashton character was fun to root for: so dynamic, so intense. He was the head of ELQ, much like Ridge is the head of Forrester Creations. He was the glue that held the Quatermain household together.
When I first started watching The Bold and the Beautiful three years ago, I believe Bill Spencer had just taken over Forrester Creations and Ridge and family were coming up with a creative scheme to get the company back. The importance, the significance of Forrester Creations was so apparent, so real. Sadly, ever since they got the company back, the show has kind of drifted away from that. Anything lately that involves the company has taken a backseat to the less-than-bizarre love triangle between three of the little youngsters on the program. These minor instances, for instance, in which Ridge has a beef with Rick or Thomas or Thorne trying to undermine his authority, perhaps wouldn’t be so dull if Wally Kurth could inject some life into it. Just go back to when he played Ned Ashton on GH. Those clashes between Ned and AJ were classic, to this day they stick in my memory. The way Ned despised and spoke down to AJ, putting him in his place can be reborn in similar situations with Rick on Bold. In one episode, I remember AJ tried to hire counsel for ELQ in the form of Ned’s ex, Alexis Davis. A furious Ned, in front of the rest of the suits at the ELQ board meeting, said, pointing at AJ, “He isn’t qualified to sniff GLUE, let alone hire counsel!” Neither Ridge Forrester nor Bo Brady could ever make a comment like that. It’s that way he has of bring a character to life in such a vibrant way that would rejuvenate Ridge and the [insert adjective] at Forrester Creations.
So under no circumstances do I want to see Peter Reckell on The Bold and the Beautiful. Under all circumstances do I want to see Wally Kurth as Ridge on The Bold and the Beautiful. However, if there was no way of prying Wally Kurth away from Days, I wouldn’t mind seeing Michael E. Knight, who played Tad Martin on the late All My Children, as Ridge. I’ve never really watched much of AMC, not even sure of his name on that show, but I know he’s a really good actor. I can see it in his eyes; he really puts everything into his performances. Plus, he and Brooke, even as a couple no longer together, would look good in the same room. He has a very likeable face, which is something I can’t say about Peter Reckell, who I’m sure is a great guy. He just creeps me out, kind of. So, Peter is a bad move, Michael is a good move and Wally is a bold move. Thanks for reading.