Watching John during the week was a wonderful reminder of how incredibly talented he is. His performance caused me to look nostalgically back at those days when emotions were more often conveyed through subtle little nuances that gave an action impressive punch; an incredulous look, a disgusted sneer, the near palpable pain in the eyes, a sigh somehow conveying a world of contempt or grief, a stiffened body and tightened mouth the only clue its owner was filled with suppressed, impotent rage, the pathos of a single tear trickling silently down a cheek. So unlike the present with the often cartoonish and obvious mannerisms of so many; overwide eyes that appear on the verge of popping from a skull and rolling under the furniture, sweeping hand gestures that threaten to topple every knickknack on the shelf. Sure, there are a few souls who still believe understatement can often have a much bigger impact; but mostly these days it seems to be about walking a fine line between baring most of one's body while still avoiding the sensors' scissors. More and more, everyone's placing their penny wagers on the shock factor. Plaster this half naked woman against this half-dressed man and see what carnage can be caused. Day after day is filled with the pair of lust monkeys of the moment who lunge at one another forcefully before rutting wildly in the hay, atop the sofa cushions or on the carpeted corporate floor. These days it's cleavage not cleverness that is most often the order of the day. And we are deluged with such idiotic conversational delights like: Phyll: What are you thinking? Nick: You first. Phyll: "I'm thinking we did this again. Nick: Yeah. Phyll: Which is one more time than once." Well, I don't presume to speak for the thoughts that may be in any of your minds, but I'll tell you what mine were. As I sighed in frustration and rolled my eyes toward the ceiling in mocking disbelief, I was thinking .... What!!!????
But thankfully, John didn't have to take off one stitch of his designer duds to get me to feel his frustration and impotence at repeatedly being patted on the head, shushed into silence and shepherded from the room so the so called adults could decide what he should and shouldn't be privy to. Determined to get to the truth buried beneath the many tall tales he was being told, John followed the clues found in his murky memory, retraced his steps and merged the past with the present when he finally remembered every minute of those lost hours.
I also enjoyed the emotional connection as John and Kevin bonded closer together over what to do about what's left of Tom. A rather ironic touch for John to pay the costs of the final journey of the man he indirectly started on his way to the hereafter. Though he had no love for Tom, leave it to generous John to still insist on doing what he could to help. Much like he practically gave his wife a key to the bank vault in the name of Michael's wedding. Even though he was obviously aware both Lauren and Michael were more than affluent enough to pay their own way. I can't think of many who are in greater need of a guiding fatherly hand than Kevin, no matter that he's already a man. With Gloria as a Mom, a Mom whom at that time was undoubtedly even more self-absorbed than she is today, John is the first real example for Kevin of what a parent is supposed to be like.
Colleen was the second source of my enjoyment this week. She is what I would consider a breath of rarefied air blowing through this polluted town. By the way, I like this Colleen very much. Like the last Colleen, this one is very pretty, but that is about all that is the same. Gone is the little girl voice that, forgive me, I found excruciatingly annoying. Worse than fingernails on a chalkboard. It always made we want to stick a lollipop in her mouth and send her to play in Gina's Athletic Club kitchen with the other ice cream seeking children. Also unmourned are those puppy dog eyes that used to follow J.T.'s every move, seeming to beg him not to break her fragile little girl heart. It would seem that the little girl who departed a year ago, tears welling up in her big blue eyes, has grown into a woman with a core of stainless steel in her spine. Obviously there is a working brain inside Colleen's comely cranium, and the last thing it needs is someone telling it how to think. What it appears to be thinking right now is that the whole of Genoa City has lost its collective mind if it thinks Kevin has actually changed or that she would blithely agree to let attempted murder bygones be bygones.
With Colleen's departure, much of the anti-Kevin venom subsided, but her return and adverse reaction to Kevin has fanned the dancing flames of dislike once again. Everybody knows I'm a Kevin fan, which isn't likely to change unless he returns to his cyber stalking ways. But I'm not completely hardhearted; I see Colleen's point. I wouldn't have expected her to blow into town and give him a happy hug of heartfelt forgiveness. Her incredulous reactions are perfectly understandable and quite well done, in my opinion. I particularly loved that sad, solitary tear of bewilderment and hurt as she lit into Kevin. Of course, she would be devastated to learn that those closest to her, particularly J.T. and John, had accepted Kevin into their inner circle of friendship. Just imagine her shock when Lily returns and reveals she too has forgiven her former molester. According to Colleen, once a sleaze, always a sleaze. So, do you suppose that also means once a disobedient willful weed head runaway, always one?
Seriously though, I think everyone should just stop pressuring Colleen to hurry up and make Kevin her new best friend. Regardless of how much he might have changed from those distant days, the fact remains that he did try to kill her. I can't say I've skipped a block in her sneakers, but had someone once tried to snuff out my existence, I imagine I'd feel exactly the way she does. So I certainly can't fault the fans that are less than pleased that he got away with what he did. But, the warped way I see things, until they make all the other GC criminals pay for their crimes; I won't feel bad that Kevin didn't pay in full for his. Like Phyllis, who went beyond attempted and actually killed her culprit by fire. And to this day a debt remains owed for her attempt at murder by motorcar. If anyone needs to repent or see ten therapists, she does. So, why should she get a get off scot free card simply because she's "Hot, Hot, Hot?"
But getting back to Colleen, she especially isn't likely to want to hear anything pro-Kevin from Mac, her replacement in J.T.'s arms. In this particular case, perhaps they shouldn't try so hard to convince Colleen to "just get along." Time will certainly tell if Kevin can remain a changed man. Hopefully Colleen didn't consult any psychics or crystal balls that predicted a return to Kevin's old evil ways. Because I would hate to see him revert to what he used to be. Will Colleen's hatred keep her from patronizing the place he co-owns? Not likely. And, if she doesn't want the sight of him across the Abbott table to spoil any of her meals, she could always move. Last time I checked, Daddy Brad actually had a house of his own. Perhaps she could go live there.
By the way, and kind of on the subject of who lives where, what was that Brad was muttering about? "I don't want Abby to be with a nanny any longer than she has to be. She needs to feel that at least one parent will always be there no matter what." Could his words be a portent of bad things to come? Like Ashley unpacking her bags in the guest room soon? Just guessing.
But if that does happens, it's for later, not now. What's happening now is that Ashley's Martyrdom has drifted into another week and I continue to remain unimpressed at her decision to prostrate herself across the sacrificial slab to save her father. And even though I dug clear to the bottom of my canvas satchel of sympathy with both hands, I couldn't find a sliver of any for her. I might feel differently if Ashley was suffering in resigned, but brave, silence. But that hasn't exactly been the case. Though her fate was self-chosen, she has whined and whimpered through it as if someone had held a gun to her head and made her do what she did. And what was the point of hiring herself a top-notch attorney if she was going to tie his legal hands together and force him to stand docilely behind the crooked lines in the sand she keeps drawing? So, my advice: Slap this martyr cap on your head, Ashley Abbott, and go directly to jail. Do not pass go, do not moan and groan to all and sundry about the ruinous mess you've made of your life, and by extension, your daughter's.
Paul provided an extended moment of merriment during his discussion with Michael about Ashley's case, causing me to speak sarcastically to the screen like the writers had given me a line or two to recite. I love how some of these Genoa City folks are so proficient at passing the buck. For instance, though Paul once literally held the smoking gun in his hands, right before he passed it on to John, in his opinion that doesn't make Tom's blood and hence Ashley's predicament in any way his fault. No, according to Paul's bedside book of Who's To Blame, Ashley's present problems are all Michael's fault for coming up with the plot for her to plant drugs on Tom's motorcycle. That's right. I remember now. Michael took Ashley by the hand, dragged her to his office, forced her to her knees and demanded she beg him to come up with a plan to get Tom out of her family's life. And Michael also forced Gloria to lie to John about the danger Tom posed to his loved ones which made John feel the need for a gun in the first place. And even though we didn't see him, an invisible Michael must have been in the office that day, twisting Paul's arm until he handed his gun to John. It's probably also Michael's fault that Ashley refused Paul's offer to dig into Tom's background before Ashley knew he was Tom. Yes, of course, Michael had a finger or two in the pie, but what happened to Ashley is mostly because of Ashley.
Okay, will all the real men in Genoa City please stand up and take a bow? Oh, look, Neil's the only man getting slowly to his feet. Well, never mind, a hearty hand clap and a standing ovation for him anyway. Not many men in this town can resist the pungent scent of strange, forbidden fruit from the twisted tree next door. But our Neil can. Not for him sticking his sign in the grass growing on the other side of the fence. Just because it looks green and carries no telltale odor of decay, doesn't mean it's safe to roll around in. I almost felt sorry for Yolanda. Nothing extinguishes that burning inner fire faster than a bucket filled with icy rejection. Talk about misreading the signals! Perhaps Yolanda should have spoken to Olivia before she went and bared everything God gave her before Neil. Olivia could have told her that with the exception of Alex Perez, there's ever been only one strong-willed woman for our Neil. And that's his hat-wearing wife. So, her tail tucked shamefully between her legs, another GC resident who didn't quite fit in has packed her bag and dejectedly departed the City. With little fanfare and a brief, but heartfelt bye-bye, Yolanda is no more. And after all his big talk about his imminent age of 18 year old emancipation, carrying with it the believed ability to do precisely as he pleased, which was to move in with Mommy, in the end Devon thought better of biting the hands that have been feeding him so well and decided to remain with his foster family.
And finally, let's end with the duo whose names are on everyone's lips. Although there are a handful of fans who find their tummies twisting in revulsion over what this pair is up to, an unofficial survey of my four favorite sites finds the overwhelming majority are on the edge of their sofa seats, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows in the blazing fire generated by this pair. To make a long story short, the thoughts of many can be summed up in three brief words: Hot, Hot, Hot.
But then, Phyllis always blows red hot heat at first. Remember Damon? That was hot too, until reality set in and cooled her hot bottom down. And she generated heat with Jack too; role playing bedroom games like Little Bo Peep meets Farmer Jack. Until Diane moved in and stopped Jack and Phyll from going up and down Ö the hill when she splashed them with her pails of icy water. She also used to burn up the bedcovers with Michael. That is until she tied him to a chair and kept him captive. That pretty much cooled his ardor.
I know, I know, sex sells. And I have nothing at all against it. Especially when I only have to see the beginning and ending panting and am spared the rest of it. But I do miss the days when storylines were meaty and relied more on acting ability than the ability to flaunt everything you got. And yes I know, this is a soap world and infidelity is the way of it.
Now, what don't I like? I'm already tired of these two rushing each other like both have been stranded on a desert island for months without sight or smell of the opposite sex, crashing together like human bumper cars. And I don't like how Phyllis has turned this into a game. How easily she minimizes Nick's marital and family commitments. So she's sad for Nick that he just can't throw reality to the four winds and have some good old fashioned, no strings, guilt free, extramarital frolicking. Well, excuse me for being a prude, but Nick gave up the right to all that when he joyfully murmured I do. If he wants no strings, then perhaps he should untie his marital apron and get a divorce or at the very least a separation. If Nick's going to re-write the rules of matrimony, at least Sharon should be given the same opportunity to go sampling as well. And how very lucky that Nick has managed to meet another "incredible" woman. Why after Phyllis shows Nick a few more tricks as they twist and turn in the sheets and shows off more of her math skills and scintillating after the act conversation, I bet Nick will immediately promote her to "amazing".
Now that they've done it one more time than once, Phyllis is growing bolder in her pursuit, as she begins to think of Nick as her private stock, available for her sipping pleasure at a moment's notice. Sex has always been the most used weapon in her arsenal and she is now beginning to blatantly wield it like a club atop Nick's head. Not that she has to drag him kicking and screaming under the covers with her. But text-messaging?? Pinky Swear?? How very high school of her, 20+ years after graduation. She's making a joke and a mockery of his marital commitment, and he's snickering stupidly right along with her. When Nikki said Sharon was going to be missing from the marriage bed for one more night, you could see Phyllis' nostrils flare as she caught the scent of another possible tryst.
Of course, I really shouldn't be so hard on Phyllis. After all, many of the residents in this twisted town are allegedly a product of their upbringing (read, Kevin, for one) so why should Phyllis give a flying fig leaf about the paws off policy implied by a flimsy piece of parchment signed and sealed and representing promises pledging love, honor and fidelity before God or priest and an assembled host of friends and enemies until death or divorce do they go their separate ways? Because if I remember correctly, Phyllis had no family life to speak of and couldn't buy a moment of attention from the pair purporting to be Ma and Pa Summers.
As for Nick, we know he's not too picky about his sheet mates. Remember, this is a man who even after multiple years married to the same woman, still couldn't tell it wasn't her hills and valleys, but Grace's he was tracing so amorously in the dark. Any other man, upon first touch would have immediately known the lady wasn't his and would likely have leapt from the sheets and clicked on the light to see just what they were lolling in bed with. But not our Nick. Obviously, it was at men like him the phrase; "all cats are grey in the dark" was aimed.
But lastly, what I dislike the most about these two is their utter lack of guilt. Of Phyllis, of course, I didn't expect any. For her to learn the meaning of morals, someone who had some would have to explain them to her. And when it comes to the institution of marriage, she proved long ago that other people's meant nothing to her, so I'm not surprised to see she has no more respect for Nick and Sharon's than she had for Danny and Christine's. Phyllis has always gone after whatever man she wanted, no matter how attached he was to someone else, so Nick is just another notch on her knotty pine bedpost. On my measuring stick, Nick is the one most deserving of being painted a dark, unflattering color. It would serve him right to wind up with exactly what he thinks he wants. A woman like Phyllis.
I expect next we'll see them both begin to justify their illicit affair. I can hear the words now spewing from either or both of their mouths: "At first it was only sex, or lust, but now, we've come to 'care' about each other. She makes me laugh and forget all my responsibilities, like my young son and wedded wife. He makes me feel young and free, like I'm 10 years younger with no teenage son. It just happened. We didn't MEAN to hurt anyone." Yeah, whatever makes these pigs in smelly slop able to sleep guilt free at night. Well, I don't buy it.
I do admit, though, that whether you are for or against these rutting monkeys, this controversial couple has certainly got all tongues wagging and most eyes glued to their big or little screens. Whether you like them or wish you could delete them from your screen like any other unwanted item on your VCR schedule, the fallout when these frantically frolicking fornicators are found out will definitely have far reaching consequences. Nikki, Victor, Victoria, Sharon, Daniel and Jack are all eventually going to learn just how dirty and disloyal the spider Phyllis can be.
Now for the amusing moments. One, now that Jack has lost his lady love; he suddenly wants to return to playing fond former stepfather to Nick. Not so long ago, he would have considered a civil conversation with Nick akin to speaking with the enemy. Two, Jack asking Phyllis what had gotten in to her. As close as he was to her, the answer to that should have been coming off her in waves. Three. However did Nikki manage to keep a straight face when she told Victor her meeting with Phyllis had been profitable? I certainly couldn't. I was sitting at that table and business matters hardly got an honorable mention. It was all about Phyllis' glow from her infusion of Nick's ... youthful ardor and Jack, Jack, Jack. That is when Phyllis wasn't rudely interrupting their business talk to send a text message to Nick. And four: Phyllis scorning Jack and their on again, off again relationship because she now wants something "stable". Hmmm, seems like that filly already had some in the stable. Seriously, though, only Phyllis would look at her game of tonsil tag with somebody else's spouse and call it a stable relationship.
And so it went. And now, so am I. Going, I mean. After these comments from some faithful fans. See you all next week.
JEM - I have to say, I have never enjoyed Y&R as much as I do right now. I can't wait to get home from work to see what's happening with Nick & Phyllis ... hot! hot! hot! I'm just waiting for the domino effect. Sharon catches Nick; she runs to Brad, they fall into bed. Victoria walks in on them; she runs to J.T., they make out. Mac gets an eyeful, Kevin consoles her. Of course they make out. Colleen gets a look and is traumatized, runs to Daniel ... hehehe ... I'm lovin' it!
LAURIE - Wow, let's hear it for honesty! Nick & Phyllis pledge always to be honest with each other! Gloria told John she would never lie to him again!! All this coming from the 3 most dishonest people on the show. I am really looking forward to the day the rest of the Newmans find out about their son's deceit. Thank goodness John is getting his memory back; the idea that Ashley would put her child through this kind of trauma is absolutely ludicrous. I hope, when Brad finds out, he will sue for full custody of Abby. Somebody please shoot Daniel and put him out of his misery (and all of us). I hope Scott gets more of a role, I would like to see him and Mac get together. Am I the only one who thinks Colleen is right not to embrace Kevin with open arms? After all he has never paid for his crimes and he did leave her to die in a fire.
O'HOCK - I just love your entertaining and (bottom line) honesty telling how it really is. Sure wish more people used their common sense. I have been a fan since the first show in 1973. I skipped school with a schoolmate to watch the very first show. I have been a fan on and off all these years. I saw the show in New Zealand and realized they are well over a year behind. Again thank you for your enthusiasm and bluntness. How Refreshing!