For at least two of our once favorite Genoa City couples, 2005 may shape up to be the year for rerun romances. There's a song that swears the second time around is better than the first. Phyllis and Jack and Colleen and J.T. may prove that songwriter's theory. I don't know what the coming days may hold, but if they're anything like the moments leading up to New Year's Day, which were filled with seconds more sweet than sour, these couples are off to a darn good start.
With the bone of contention with Jabot on one knobby end and Newman on the other no longer being jerked back and forth between them, Jack and Phyllis were able to spend a bicker-free New Year's Eve together, albeit buried up to Jack's car bumper in a Wisconsin snow bank. Straying from her time-honored tradition of immediately falling into the bedsheets with a new man while still smelling faintly of the old man's, umm, cologne, this time around Phyllis has decided to tread slower and more carefully on the slippery slope of lasting love. So Smilin' Jack had to satisfy his appetite for Phyllis via chaste mitten-holding, hair stroking and forehead kissing.
Colleen and J.T. are the other couple who appear poised on the rim of replication, provided they can find all the broken pieces and put their romantic puzzle back together. The months away seemed to have changed little between them. Colleen is still the over-eager, gushing pursuer in the relationship and J.T. hasn't lost his knack for planning touching surprises to impress and enthrall her. And they are still as cute as two playful puppies cavorting together on a Persian rug. I am, however, not overly impressed. While I have nothing against cute little Colleen, I confess I haven't really missed her innocent act on the Genoa City stage. But, despite the rumored whispers that her stay is temporary, I wouldn't bet the February rent on that. We've already learned that Miss Brainiac's accelerated class schedule has not only managed to get her through high school early; she's already been accepted at NYU. So it looks like Colleen now officially has no place to go and nothing to do for at least the next 7 or 8 months. Her avoidance of J.T.'s question as to her romantic present hints there could be a boy she left behind in New York, but obviously, judging by the haste with which she hurried to J.T.'s side, if such a beau exists, he means little or nothing. Which leaves her free to pursue J.T. 24/7. Oh joy. Be still my racing heart.
Now, about the object of Colleen's desire. I'll be the first to shout that yes, J.T. is an adorable tall drink of blonde wonder water. And even though he often attempts to play the role of a lanky love 'em and leave 'em ladies man, his ever growing ledger listing multiple warm and fuzzy good deeds makes a mockery of his playboy persona. Having admitted that, however, let's face it, J.T. should not be the only name jotted down in the barely adult section of every Genoa City girl's black book of eligible bachelors. While I thought the flirtation between J.T. and Brit was fun to watch and in my opinion had plenty of potential, I doubt many bought into the belief that he had suddenly fallen towhead over tennis shoes for the once utterly self-obsessed singing siren. And now we have Mac, who seems pitifully determined to toss her hair ribbon in the ring to compete for a man who a month ago claimed to love another, and now appears re-infatuated with the former alleged love of his life. It's way past time for J.T. to make up his mind which maiden he's actually enthralled with so the other can look for love in other Genoa City places. Even though I'm sure I'm in the minority, I wouldn't have minded a J.T.-Mac pairing, but right now Mac's coming across as downright desperate for a mere sliver of J.T.'s distracted devotion. I know the pickings may not be plentiful, but there are other men fish swimming solo in the Genoa City sea. With few other suitors in sight, Kevin may be the best there is and better than no one at all. Anything would be better than watching Mac humiliate herself by forcing any more kisses on J.T.'s reluctant lips.
Lasting love and eternal affection is the last thing on Drucilla's mind. For her, the many worried thoughts she's been having since Malcolm's return have become the deed. Reality has shoved aside her fond memories of a Winters Family Christmas as Malcolm pushes determinedly toward possible Papa-hood. You know what some say about things done in the dark? Well, although it took an extremely long time, the deed Dru and Malcolm did during that long ago cold-medicated dark night may finally be about to totter blinkingly out into the fluorescent light. Consequences be darned. Malcolm belatedly wants to know if he's going to be a Daddy. Next step? Internet DNA. My fervent hope is that after an indeterminate time of hand-wringing, mouth-twisting and of course, copious and gratuitous breast beating, Neil will eventually be declared the Daddy. If I'm wrong, a whole team of wild mules probably couldn't keep Neil from leaping head first back into that whiskey bottle.
Okay, am I the only fan who wishes Malcontent Malcolm would pick up the needle and change the record so we can watch him lip synch to another tune? Yes, he suffered a big blow to his self-esteem when he eavesdropped just long enough outside that hotel room door to misinterpret what he heard. And I give him a hearty hand clap for choosing heroics over self-preservation, causing him to wind up washed up like a half-drowned rat on an African riverbank somewhere, close enough to hear the helicopters but presumably too wounded or weak to call out for help. My sympathy at his unfortunate plight ebbed away a little, however, at learning he decided Africa, not Genoa City, was the place he wanted to be once he'd been nursed back to his senses. Nothing it seemed, including his all-consuming rage at his brother and breaking yet another promise to his ex-wife's son was enough to convince him it was time to go home. But at some point, he apparently decided whatever debt he owed to whomever came to his rescue was finally paid in full and after bartering with someone's sister-wife to cornrow his hair, he slapped on a bandana, threw his duffel bag over his muscular shoulder and by hook or by crook, somehow managed to make his way back to Genoa City's somewhat civilized society.
But that, of course, was not the end of the story. Although he claimed a desperate need to reconnect with his pretend "son" was the real reason for his unexpected return to the land of the allegedly living, to no one's surprise, it took less than a five minute conversation with Warden Liv to dissuade him. But Malcolm wasted no time brooding over that thwarted wish. Not when there was a chance he had a real daughter from his own loins that might fit nicely into the empty space once filled by Nate. Well pardon me if I don't race for my Puffs to weep over Malcolm's sudden burning need to be a doting Daddy. Not after 15 years. If my faulty memory and a recent flashback to the distant past serve me correctly, Malcolm was the man who wanted to keep the circumstances leading up to Lily's birth a dark and sinister secret. By the way, when does Lily get to have a birthday? Since her unexpected Genoa City arrival, Colleen has raced rapidly from 15 to 18 while Lily has continued to cling by her fingertips to the same old unchanging 15. And another thing, enough with the whole flirty thing going on between Lily and Malcolm. Even if it turns out that he is the Daddy, I doubt he'll be any better father to Lily than he's been to Nate. Just my opinion, but anyone who has kept quiet about his possible fatherhood for 15 years may as well just keep his trap snapped shut for all time. Just what does Malcolm hope to get out of this impossible situation? His daughter living with Mom and Uncle Neal, while making dutiful visits to Daddy Malcolm living at Aunt Liv's? Isn't the girl confused enough? And enough too with Malcolm's so-called resentment because Neil went to college and decided to go into a white collar life. I know Malcolm had it a little less easy, but come on, his youthful choice to be a roughneck was his own and he and the trusty little camera to take those pretty pictures he now so disdains have come a very long way since then. Despite his rather ratty looking outer appearance, he's hardly the poster boy for poverty.
Speaking of lonely Lily, I sure wish someone would have packaged up a boyfriend and slid him under her Christmas tree. She's a lovely young lady but has spent nearly every second of her existence in Genoa City abnormally obsessed with some older inappropriate fellow. At one time a romance between her and Devon might have worked, but now that he's her foster brother, perhaps she and Daniel might find common romantic ground. I have to agree wholeheartedly with Devon's sensible advice. It's time she quit tinkering with the broken adult toys around her and got back to the business of just being a teen. But of course she won't. Obviously she plans to make her "cool" uncle her pet fix him up project. And what is he doing that's so cool anyway? Sure, he can tell an absorbing Africa-flavored fable about lions and tigers but no bears, oh my, and still has the knack for snapping pretty pictures, but the bulk of his time has been spent making mean faces at his brother and overreacting to practically every spoken syllable from everybody else. What's so cool about all of that?
Moving on to another fractured family heading into yet another crisis, Nikki's joyful seasonal spirit quickly became a tired old emotion of the recent past, as she revived her rabid rage at Victor. Weary of hearing Nikki then Bobby agonize endlessly over all the time-consuming troubles that are draining them of interesting life and any lasting vitality, Victor matter-of-factly told the toddler accidental gunplay tale. He should have known better. Because instead of the truth setting Nikki and Bobby free, instead both immediately took aim and attempted to murder the messenger. Okay, so I'm exaggerating a bit, although not by much. Even though it wasn't his mortal misfortune to miscommunicate, I don't blame Victor for spilling the ancient beans. While I enjoy the interaction between Nikki and Bobby, I long ago grew tired of watching Nikki go up and down on her to tell or not to tell teeter totter. If Nikki didn't want Victor in her business, then she should have kept it to herself. Damon could have told her a thing or two about the dire consequences that could come from peeling the scabs off unhealed wounds and showing them to the ones you allegedly love. It was time the truth came out. After all just how many more times could Nikki rush from the room claiming a headache or other ailment to avoid telling Bobby what it was high time he knew? And something I always wondered. A question to ponder: Why do the run-out ons never go chasing after the run-ees, but simply stand helplessly in the empty room looking stunned? Here's something to try. Start a conversation at home or wait until the middle of a debate, then suddenly cry "Oh, I can't do this anymore" and race madly from the room or the house. Let me know if your significant other comes after you.
Oh please don't tell me we're in for another round of Ashley and Victor. I guess the pain of rejection no longer smarts for this brainless bimbo who undoubtedly is the poster girl for every dumb blonde joke that's ever made the internet rounds. How many times must you kick a dumb dog before it quits running up to you tail all a-wag? Yes, I understand Ashley is manfully trying to save her family firm. And I get that this time around it's all supposed to seem about business. Yeah, uh huh. With Nikki the Mama of Melodrama freezing her husband out of bed with her ice cold shoulder while busily boo-hoo-ing bitterly into her tea cup over Bobby, the stage is set for Ashley to blink her infatuated eyes at Victor so rapidly he'll stumble into her sand trap and be entwined in her octopus tentacles. That will definitely give Nikki something to cry about. By the way, how hilarious it was to hear Ashley of all dysfunctional dames muttering derisively about Nikki's inattention at the wake, I mean board meeting, for Jabot. That from a woman who spent months first cradling an empty blanket than wandering about in a dead-eyed daze executing a perfect imitation of a life-sized dummy, parroting "Victor? Victor? "Hey burned pot" she should have asked Nikki. "Recognize me? I'm a scarred up skillet." Ashley was just mad because John had put her properly in her place for kicking in disrespectful anger at his interfering mutt, oops, I mean, mate, Gloria. So finally, after years of tottering on the edge, Jabot is supposedly going to toss in the towel and file for bankruptcy. Yeah, like any fan believes that will actually happen. Thanks to Ashley, Victor has probably already saddled his white steed in preparation for riding in to save the day for Jabot. After all, since he's turned over his own company to his imbecilic son, he has nothing better to do than spend his days pulling Brad, John and Jack's daggers out of his back.
So Jack has finally fulfilled months old fan predictions by officially accepting the Chancellor CEO seat. But since Kay is still nursing her bitter grudge against Jill, for the immediate future, Jack will have to trot up and down the Chancellor hill without his Jill, at least until Kay has a change of heart. Of course, Jack can't plop his designer suit clad derriere in the big leather seat just yet. Why? Oh do you even need to ask? Because of the tried and overly utilized renovation ploy, what else? My firm moves lawyers in and out of offices all the time. A paint job, new pics, two moving men and a weekend. And Monday morning better find you at your desk and already on the phone. But, of course, that's in the real world. Not so in Genoa City, where the living and working is anything but easy. By the way, what the heck was wrong with Elliott's old office anyway? With Elliott's expensive tastes, it had to have all the latest toys, bells and whistles. And what was wrong with temporarily toting his folders to a boardroom at Chancellor? Oh well, one can only hope the renovators aren't the same firm handling the office re-don't at Baldwin Williams. But we fans are no fools. Jack making himself at home at Jabot will place him in a perfect position to oversee Victor's expected comings and goings and enable him to more easily launch his taunts and fire his verbal missiles at his intended target. Hmm, Jack at Chancellor and Victor at Jabot. Should add a whole new dynamic to the ongoing battle between the corporate boys.
Hopefully, the first few days of the New Year will turn Phyllis' frown upside down. I suspect Damon has bitten his tongue bloody over the prison conversation transcript about as long as he's going to and will soon hand Phyllis the key that will set her free forever from her fear of captivity. And least until she does something else to make herself the focus of Weber's microscopic eyes. And even though this conspiracy case may drag on for another few weeks or even a mouth, in the end I doubt even one fan believes Phyllis' conspirator in conspiracy will ever do a day of soft time either. But if one of my wishes written down and mailed in a letter to Santa comes true, what is nearly at an end is hopefully Phyllis and Damon. After watching Phyllis flip out on Damon and Adrienne in her usual crass and crude manner, the end couldn't have come at a better time or happen to a more deserving hotheaded redhead. It's hard to feel sorry for Phyllis for the predicament she finds herself in. She burrowed into Damon's problems against his wishes and now acts as if he held that Samurai sword to her throat and forced her. She deserves every sleepless night she's spent tossing and turning in worry.
Of course, Damon may find that a bird in the hand, well you know the rest. It's too early to tell if Adrienne or Damon are at all interested in rekindling whatever she and Damon once had, especially if she's going to be distracted and tempted by the challenge of peeling away all the intricate layers of bitterness hiding the once fun-loving Malcolm. Malcolm's involvement with Damon's ex, coupled with his already low opinion of the muttering man, can only mean more bitter exchanges between the two.
And finally, even though the New Year has not helped me to change last year's opinion of Bobby and Britt, this new side of the suddenly demure Mrs. Marsino is much easier to take. Married life has managed to soften the sharp, flinty edge of Britt's tart tongue and miraculously halted her constant complaints. On the other hand, I'm not sure marriage has wrought many positive changes in Mr. Marsino. Once a virile, manly man easily able to balance all the pies he had his fists into, Bobby is now virtually homeless, practically penniless and for most intents and purposes nearly business-less as well. Sure he has a new child bride to cuddle up to at night, but that's about all he has. I do give him props though for finally drawing a line in the sand to stop Nikki from throwing Victor's money at him. Now that Victor has filled in all the blanks in his memory, managing at the same time to smash all Bobby's hopes and fantasies of a future tearful reconciliation with his long missing older brother, it will be interesting to see what this new knowledge will do to his friendship with his fairy godmother, Nikki. Will he continue to live in luxury on Victor and Nikki's dime or will Mac and J.T. soon be acquiring two additional roommates?