Soap operas are a dying breed on daytime television, but in its 28th season, The Bold and the Beautiful is going strong as ever thanks to a surprisingly good transgender storyline and just enough sudsy crazy to keep things humming at an operatic pitch.
Maya Avant (Karla Mosley) showed up in L.A. in early 2013 with a secret past and flawless hair. She soon took up with resident lantern-jawed heartthrob Rick Forrester (Jacob Young) —
— and subsequently rose in the ranks at Forrester Creations, becoming a spokesmodel for their Hope for the Future clothing line.
Then, as things are wont to do when you're bold and/or beautiful, it all came crashing down. First, Maya's sassy baby sister Nicole showed up having finally learned the truth about her estranged sister. Maya was born Myron.
Soaps have employed this trope in the past, but to far worse effect. Rather, Maya's story is handled with senstivity without (too much) sensationalism.
If they still give out Daytime Emmys, throw all of them at Karla Mosley. Mosley — who is not transgender, which we could obviously quibble with but that's perhaps missing the bigger picture — said playing Maya has been "incredibly exciting" but admitted to misgivings.
“I was excited, and nervous at first,” Mosley told Janet Mock on So POPular. “Soaps don’t have a great history in handling transgender characters. Twenty years ago, the headlines were ‘So and So is A Man.’”
Instead, we get to go through the entire coming out process with Maya, from accepting her own truth to coming out to Rick, her family and eventually the world.
Of course, it wouldn't be a soap without some sensationalizing, like when Maya's secret is leaked to the tabloids, driving a wedge between her and Rick. But those two crazy kids couldn't stay apart for long and now Maya's heading up a new clothing line, California Freedom, which is all about embracing diversity.
I initially started writing this post about trans models and activists Isis King and Carmen Carrera's guest appearances this past week on B&B.
But then I got sucked in. Not just by Maya's storyline and how well done it was, but I forgot how fun soaps are. They really don't give any fucks, you guys. What's that, you want a disembodied ghost head in the sky telling you to seek revenge?
Got it. Of course, if you were hilariously run over in your best Sunday wig you'd be pissed too.
That sullen young woman slowly going insane is Aly Forrester (Ashlyn Pierce) who has it out for Maya and is determined to ruin the California Freedom fashion show — if that's what you want to call four dresses being paraded back and forth on a two-foot long runway.
Last we left Aly she was staring entirely too long into space as she contemplated enacting her revenge.
With good old Ghosty McSidebang prodding her on.
What will happen with Maya? What happened to the other dresses? When is Rick going to take his shirt off? These questions and more will be answered next time on The Bold and the Beautiful — airing weekdays on CBS at 1:30pm EST or online.
Les Fabian Brathwaite — like sands through the hourglass so are the gays of our lives.