Guest Author - Kelley Paradis
You watch the soaps, and if you’re anything like me, you sometimes find yourself talking at the TV, warning Brooke not to flirt with her husband’s son, shaking your head as Erica waffles between men (again), staring in disbelief as the shocking results of a paternity test are revealed. Soaps give us a place to go that is full of fantasy, where we can forget our daily stresses and get lost in the countless conundrums our favorite characters face. But have you ever considered taking your interest in soaps to the next level by joining a show’s fan club?
I didn’t know much about what fan clubs were all about, so I thought I’d do a little research to see how much membership costs and see what kinds of exclusive perks members get for the money. I started by checking out The Bold & the Beautiful’s website, where I was excited to find lots of free content that would delight any fan of the show.
The website is clearly organized and easy to navigate, chock full of cast photos and biographies, breaking news alerts, and even teasers about future episodes. And then there are the lists: upcoming cast events, awards the show has received (more than I could count), and even a roster of countries where The Bold and the Beautiful can be seen. We’ve all heard about the show’s tremendous popularity in the United States and Italy, but did you know that viewers follow the Forresters in 38 other countries, including Iceland, Estonia, and Botswana? With this in mind, the fan website accommodates viewers from around the world by offering translation of its content into 8 different languages.
But perhaps the best feature of the site is The Clarence Update, an entertaining series of weekly recap videos. In less than two minutes, you can catch up on the events of the week, humorously narrated by comedian Brad Sanders.
Most of the site’s contents are available without membership, but there are some definite perks for making your fandom official by becoming a site member. Fans who register with the site can voice their opinions in the forum and enjoy a 10% discount in the online store. This membership is free – all you have to do is fill out a brief form with your name and contact information, and set yourself up with a user name and password.
If all of this free web content only whets your appetite for even more B&B goodies, there is an official fan club membership that allows participants to receive lots more by mail when they join, including a color photo of the cast and a list of their birthdays. Fan club members will find additional treats in their mailbox throughout the year, including a personalized birthday card and numerous 5x7 color photos shared only with the official fan club.
Annual membership fees vary by location, and are as follows:
United States: $24.95
All other countries: $30.00