Okay, so maybe I'm just being overly and erroneously optimistic, but in several storylines, I'm beginning to suspect there could be a whole lot more going on than what our eyes are staring at.
For instance, with Sharon and Jack. A lack of charismatic crackling aside, these two still aren't clicking for me. Oh, Jack murmurs all the right words; you know, like beautiful, sexy, irresistible and the like. But from where I sit, though his mouth is moving, his body looks as if it's just going through the motions, leaving his heart, mind and soul uninvolved and unencumbered. That being said, though I would have picked a different suitor had it been up to me, I do like that Sharon didn't end up alone, holding a hefty bag of sour grapes while Nick and Phyllis frolicked happily down the lane of the good life. Second, I really like that emotionally Sharon seems to have given Brad the old heave ho. Whether the thrill has actually gone or is simply slumbering due to lack of reciprocal encouragement remains to be seen. For now, she seems happy again and I can't say it hasn't been immensely enjoyable watching Brad's eyes turn a ghastly shade of green tinted envy every time he looks at what he could have had; the knowledge that Jack is having it instead eating a festering hole inside of him. Nick has proven he's also not completely immune to the nip of the jealousy monster either. Though that may mostly be due to that old 'I don't love her, but I'm not completely ready for someone else to love her either.' And third, considering this is Jack we're talking about, I'm glad to see Sharon isn't tumbling head over hoofs for the former Abbott playboy. Because Jack isn't the man for her. Among other reasons, mainly because Jabot is his first love, followed by himself and I'm guessing third in line for his affection is the former fiery redhead that loves him no longer. Okay, loves him no longer, right now.
But what is Jack up to? I doubt anyone believes he's fallen madly in love with the beautiful blonde. In fact, neither of them appears to feel what they have is anything more than what it is: a mutual decision between two consenting adults to lollygag gaily together, no strings attached. And if occasionally they find themselves in a position to deliver a pinprick or two in the egos of their once significant others, they probably consider that a good thing. Not that I'm implying Jack and Sharon should be professing their undying devotion to each other. I don't see that possibility in my crystal ball, no matter which pair of my industrial strength optical lenses I perch on my nose and peer through. So what could really be going on? Well, for one thing, Sharon hopped aboard Jack's mattress express awfully quickly. I know, I know, some of you would say that's trademark Sharon and nothing out of the ordinary. But did that happen so that when Sharon's belly begins to bulge, people would first suspect Jack instead of Brad? Yes, I know her brief fling with Brad was a bit ago. But so many stressful events have altered Sharon's life lately; she could conceivably have chalked up any absence of her monthly visitor to one or all of them. And though she was wearing that bikini like nobody's business, with not a baby bump in sight, this is Genoa City after all, so you certainly can't go by that. Not, mind you, that I hope they take Sharon down that overused pregnancy road. But it is one of the scenarios that has been rumored. I guess we will see.
When it comes to something else going on beneath the surface, Raaz Cosmetics comes immediately to mind. When Jack secreted his lanky self behind the well-fed body of the Raaz Cosmetics rep in order to trick Kay into selling to him, and Kevin and Michael immediately zeroed in and identified his shadowy presence, I was so infuriated at their easy success, my family prudently restrained me and gagged me besides. They had to do something to stop me from flinging hard and soft objects at our television screen while screaming like a banshee at the screen. Things like: 'I'm so sick of those flea-bitten Fisher mutts. Why do they keep getting away with murder and other assorted crimes?" Like they were the only ones that ever happened to. I was positively beside myself with rage that once again they were about to win. But then, I got a hold of myself, which wasn't easy, considering my hands were tied and mumbled to my family through the gag that I was sane again. You see, I had peeked beneath the surface and saw what could be instead of what appeared to be. On second thought, I decided maybe I had been a bit premature in calling the game in the Fisher-Baldwin's favor. Why in the world would Jack show up at the conclusion of Kay's meeting with Raaz, conspicuously shaking hands before multiple Chancellor and Fisher witnesses, I asked myself? That seemed an inane action for Jack to take after practically demanding the man take a blood oath of secrecy. And then I began to wonder whether Jack was a whole lot more devious than I had given him credit for. Of course, he would expect Michael and Kevin to meet the Raaz threat to their gold-digging diva of a mom with suspicion and any illegal means necessary. Is it possible Raaz was just Jack's decoy? To draw attention and suspicion away from the real buyer, The House of Kim? If that is the case, I guess I don't have to tell you I am literally one breath away from falling off the edge of my sofa where I am clinging in anticipation of the hoops of helpless hilarity I expect to overtake me when the Fisher/Baldwins discover they've been handily hoodwinked.
Of course, even if Jack is the brains and big bucks behind The House of Kim and beats Fisher-Baldwin at this round of the corporate espionage game, that doesn't necessarily mean he should declare himself the victor and start popping champagne corks. That's something else that lurking just beneath the surface. Victor, I mean. Who just happens to be the real money man in all of Jack's deals. Because with the latest 250 million dollar loan, Jack's rising debt has got to be well above his eyebrows by now. I know he manipulated his way to a healthy chunk of Daddy's fortune and I imagine he's paid more than a paltry penny or two for snatching NVP from NVP, so to speak. But can he really afford the monthly payments on both the NVP Loan and the one he's using to buy Jabot?
Which brings me to the man with the bottomless buckets of gold. Ooh, Victor, bring it on! I'd say there's a whole lot going on beneath that surface! Just how sick is Victor really? It's been a week without a single seizure. And while he still seems benevolently benign on the face of things, I can't be the only fan wondering if he's as placid as he was even a week ago. Is the veneer of his unlikely friendship with Jack starting to develop a crack or two? Something distasteful was definitely on his face when he uncaringly tossed Jack's good will gift over his shoulder. And he took the news that Jack wouldn't be returning that allegedly unnecessary loan uncharacteristically calmly. Not to mention all those questions about Jack's relationship with Sharon and his distrust of someone who would deliberately keep such a secret from their supposedly almost best friend. Just a guess, but maybe the real Victor is on the way back. If that's so, everyone in his path might want to be on guard. Because something tells me Victor is going to start asking a whole lot of questions and given what's been going on while he was off smelling the roses and searching for himself and the deeper meaning of life, it's almost guaranteed he won't like many of the answers. I hope Jack has studied well for the tests that might be coming his way.
Okay, so when it comes to Gloria the gold-digger, nothing is beneath her surface except for more gold digging tricks tucked up her voluminous sleeves. To the purple dinosaur's theme song, please sing with me. 'I loved John, he loved me, I must protect his leg-a-cy. With a great big bag of Will-Bardwell's mon-ey, won't you boys please help poor me?" The motives of that bulbous-eyed reptilian lizard, forked tongue flicking in and out in anticipation of what tasty money treat might be hers for the taking, is as clear as a pane of just Windexed glass. Her interest in Will, despite the drivel dripping from her calculating mouth to the contrary, has nothing to do with her professed concern for the tender feelings of Jill. It is just like Gloria to never hesitate to not only bite the hands that reach down to lift her up, but gnaw them off at the wrist if it will fatten her bottom line. She's better than any light switch in my house with her ability to turn that grieving widow blarney on and off. I live for the day the mask is ripped off this cancer on Genoa city society so Kay, Jill, and even Will, can see the utter ugliness it has been hiding.
Is the Carlton marriage headed for deep doo doo? It would certainly seem so. Having to choke down the undenied truth that Hubby has the hots, albeit currently banked, for his soon to be ex sister-in-law has been hard enough for Victoria to digest. She's already a stepmother helping to raise her half-sister. Now a mother-in-law with an ever-hovering halo is a big part of her household. No wonder she's back pedaling away from having a baby with a man she's just now admitting she knows even less about than she thought. And, since few women in this town have female friends to discuss their personal problems with, who will Victoria turn to for advice and commiseration? J.T., perhaps? Who is liable to find himself just a bit at loose ends while his girlfriend tries to prove to her professor that she's not just another coddled coed.
I've never been Colleen's biggest fan. Heck, I've never even been her smallest fan, for that matter. But I'm rather intrigued by the possibilities of what could happen next. Romantically, the professor might be a better fit for Colleen, but that could be because I find J.T. and Colleen completely unappealing together. Once she and the Professor make their meandering way past the antagonistic stage, they might turn out to be very interesting together.
On to the Winters family. After months of Neil cold-shouldering and icy-toning his wife at every single turn, Devon's collapse and meningitis crisis seems to be rallying the splintered factions of Winters into a more cohesive whole. But could it really be that easy? Not likely. After all, Carmen still has to be run outta town. And that probably won't happen without going at least halfway around the mulberry bush. I just hope her disappearance won't mirror the method Isabella used in her attempt to cut Christine out of future family pictures with Paul. By the way, was I the only fan who cackled with delight when Devon told Carmen to get her own family and leave his alone?
After his initial nastiness, I admit I found it refreshing to hear Neil actually address his wife with a civil tongue for a change. Actually, for the most part, I like Dru (except during that Olivia-Brad infidelity mess) and she has been especially enjoyable these past couple of weeks. I loved her vulnerability during her therapy sessions. By the by, was I the only fan who had something smart to say when Neil told Dru he can't look at her without seeing her with his brother? I don't know about any of you, but my immediate response was, "well, since your vision is 20/20 when it comes to that night, perhaps you could hit the high points for you wife since she was practically insensible and couldn't possibly remember it." But back to Dru. Her dealings with her 'son' are always exceptional and these scenes were no different. Speaking of Devon, I'm excited about seeing what he will do with this long-awaited storyline. I think this young man is an awesome actor with unplumbed depths, some of which we saw when he had to deal with the knowledge that Neil didn't really want him as part of the family circle. I've been waiting for him to have his turn to shine, instead of constantly being chosen to be the gloomy faced wet blanket tossed on everybody else's roaring good times.
The ghost of John Abbott past made another couple of ghostly visitations to his son. Again, either because he's supposed to represent Jack's chiding conscience or because he's as blind in his afterlife as he was in his former, John remains ignorant of Gloria's misdeeds, both those in the past as well as those she's currently committing. Where was he hovering when Gloria was kicking up her round heels, galloping gaily around the dance floor with Will? Anyway, given that ignorance, I couldn't help but scoff and nearly drown him out with my mocking laughter when he wondered aloud whether he ever really knew his son. Oh no, John, I could have told him had he asked. You should have had Jackie's number long ago. It's not as if his sneaky methods have changed significantly. It's Gloria you haven't the faintest idea about. Be like me, John told his son. What? Gullible and incapable of detecting the acrid scent of deceit and moral decay beneath a woman's sweet perfume?
Of course, John isn't the only one who can only see Gloria's character in pastel shades of pink. Kay and Jill are just as clueless although I suspect it won't be long before Jill's bullpoo meter begins to shriek with strident alarm whenever Gloria comes within its radius. I'm quite disappointed in Kay, by the way. How many times have we had to listen to Kay pontificate about her great, long union with her dear, dear friend John? So where has all this overwhelming Fisher support come from? Her allegiance to all things Fisher and dogmatic stance against her dear friend's children seems way off kilter to me. Plus, I realize CI owns Jabot, so ultimately Kay is in charge, but where does Jill figure in this equation? What was the point in appointing her CEO if she can't make any decisions of any import? Even a paper puppet has more power than Jill. Mommy makes all the decisions. Mommy and Michael, that is. Poor Jill has to rely on information stolen by Kevin, spoon-fed to Gloria, who in turn, dribbles it to Jill whenever she wishes to wrest her away from Will. It's a good thing CI can apparently run itself since no one is minding that particular store.
All this hullabaloo over whether or not to sell Jabot is really rather amusing. It would serve Kay and the Fishers right if Jack gave up on Jabot and he and Ashley, the only one apparently capable of creating new products, started a company of their own. Who would bother buying Glo's little glass bottles to wear on their wrists if they were empty of Jabot scent?
I can't wait to see what happens next week.
Okay, fans, that's my take on most things. Here's what you all had to say.
ROSE - Where is Paul's son? Didn't he leave Christine and turn his life upside down because he wanted to have a baby? So where is the baby?
GRACE - It is really bugging me the way Phyllis & Nick act as if they've done nothing wrong, but get all critical of Sharon because she wasn't home when Noah snuck out and about kissing Jack. Sharon isn't innocent, but she isn't hypocritical either. I also can't believe how Michael & Kevin are supporting their mother in her latest schemes. They need to remember & remind her that this kind of behavior has gotten her into a lot of trouble. And poor John's body isn't even cold yet before Gloria's trying to move onto another man for money - Michael was right to call her opportunistic, but he should have included gold-digger. Now I'm glad the judge ruled against her on John's will. In reply to a post by June, being Jewish is a religion, not a race / ethnicity. There are Jews in Italy and all around the world. So it is possible to be from Italy and be Jewish, just like it is possible to be from Italy and be Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, etc. And in reply to Eve's post about Brad's mother's age - soaps have always fooled around with characters' ages and Y&R is probably the worst about it. They sent Victoria to boarding school when she was about 6 and a year later she came back 16! I'm glad, however, that Y&R recast Brad's mother's role to an older woman. Neil - if he is so committed to his marriage why does he avoid his wife at all costs, even before the therapist told him to? He should just file for a divorce so he & Dru can move on. I do like Dru going to therapy and opening up, but I wish she'd get off the "it's not my fault" bus - she sounds like my 9-year old.
JACKIE - To anyone who thinks the storyline about Brad and Rebecca is unbelievable please think again. My Grandmother is a spry 86 years old who very active and still works. She escaped the concentration camp and came to America. I think this storyline is great. I like Brad turning out to be Jewish and a good guy. I also like explaining the Jewish culture on TV. Y&R has always done a good job with bringing controversial subjects to the forefront of day time TV and they are doing a marvelous job with the Epilepsy storyline. It was so terrifically genius to use the Newman family because no one is more understanding in these types of things then the Newmans. By the way, wasn't it Brad's dad that was Italian and his Mom Jewish? Thanks for bringing Daniel and Lilly back into marital bliss. It's nice to see someone not end up in an affair or divorce. Leave Gloria and the writers alone. Yes, she got away with the murder ... anyway it was unintentional. It's a soap, ladies, dream a little and use your imagination. Love ya Y&R from the wardrobe people right on up to the Execs and especially the writers.
DEIRDRE - Sharon makes me gag. Jack should leave her on that island! I love Phyllis and Nick. I wish Phyllis would get her edge back and slam Sharon the whine. And Dru well, maybe she deserves the wake up call. Though I was hoping it would be with someone more interesting than Carmen. And HELLO! MICHAEL! Get away from Kevin and Gloria NOW! Oh am I the only one who wants to slap Ashley? Who does she think she is EEEWWW. I hope she and Jill and Gloria all fight over the same man, that would be a great cat fight. Brad - I don't know what to make of that whole storyline. But Victoria ! Eeww!
CAROL A - This is my first time writing. I, along with many others, think it is time for Gloria to get her come-uppance. I think she has gone too long without suffering some consequences. Since when has Jack been the "villain" all by himself? Glad to hear Carmen is leaving!
LINDA - I have watched for years but I can't stand what is going on now. Since the Nazi thing and now Jack and Sharon? What are the writers thinking? Jack must be 20 years older than Sharon. Yuck. I am very close to switching to Dr. Phil.
APRIL - Apparently, John can only see one side of the story on the other side. Why isn't he haunting Gloria? Self-righteous Carmen and Neil belong together. She trashes the man's wife like she hasn't done a thing, and Neil let's her do it. I hope Michael and Kevin burn along with their mom. I get the feeling that Gloria isn't going to have to pay for anything she has done. The writers obviously want to keep her around, so now they'll play the "Forget It Ever Happened Game" (just like they did with Phyllis).
JENNIFER - I have to argue a little bit with two scoops reader, Eve. Although I agree that the Brad/Nazi SL is ridiculous, it is possible that his mother could still be alive. I say this because my family is from Austria (I was born in America) and my grandmother lived with her family in Austria during WWII. Everyone over the age of 15 was either put to work or drafted by the Nazis. Most women were put to work in factories, but because my grandmother had two years of college (which she started at 14), she was put to work as a secretary for a Nazi cadet school. She is now very much alive at 78 years old. So, while extremely implausible, it is possible for Brad's mom to be alive and still do what she did. Times were different then, and being 16 60 years ago was not the same as being 16 today. I know this story sounds far fetched, but I swear it's true. I recently "interviewed" my grandmother about her experiences because I am going to help her write her memoirs. By the way, I have one additional comment. I have one word to say about the Jack and Sharon pairing. GROSS. JUST GROSS. (Okay, that's three words).
THORNHILL WATCHER - I cannot stand what is going on with this show! Why have they made Dru crazy and Sharon an evil tramp? Why are Gloria, Phyllis and Carmen walking around as if they have never done anything wrong? When are they going to pay for their actions? Why doesn't John "visit" Gloria and the boys to see what she is up to, what with their conspiring against Jack and her coming onto her next victim, Will Bardwell? Come on! If Sheila returns as I believe she is supposed to, most likely she will look like Lauren because the last time we saw her she asked her plastic surgeon to make her "look like this person" (had to be Lauren for her to finally get back at her). I am sick of the Sheila character. Kill her off already and have Phyllis, Gloria and Carmen go with her. Enough is enough! The actors who portray Billy and Colleen are not very easy to watch. Billy comes across as an arrogant jerk and Colleen is the biggest brat I've ever seen on the show. Bring back the old actors if you have to continue with their storylines. I wish I wasn't hooked the show - I'm really tempted to pull the plug. I also cannot stand Nick and Phyllis together. She looks way too old for him. Please put an end to all this madness!
TRISH - I was just wondering, as was Silly (Billy), why Katherine is so intent on keeping Gloria (with no experience) & Kevin (who has only a little more) but just doesn't care at all about Jack and Ash. They are the children of her lifelong friend & Gloria's just been around (too long) a couple of years. Speaking of Gloria, it looks like Will Bardwell is going to be hammered from behind by her - he won't even know what hit him when she gets her hooks into him & his billions. Can't believe the bartender would tell her about Will's inheritance & no one else. Maybe the $$ signs in Glo's eyes hypnotized him into spilling the info. Why oh why do Kevin & Michael keep hearing things behind closed doors that they're not supposed to, but they themselves never get caught in their criminal activities? I used to really like Michael, but now that he is tippy-toeing through landmine territory to help Mommy, I am beginning to dislike him again. Where is Lauren? Where is Phyllis? (Actually I'm enjoying the break from her). Thankfully Rebecca has remarkably aged & changed her appearance to fit the role better. Hope this storyline ends soon.
SK - The one thing that really gets to me about the Winters storyline is Malcolm. Why haven't we seen a scene where Neil looses it on him? Even if they can't get the actor back, how about over the phone? Why don't we see an email or a phone call where Malcolm at least takes some responsibility for all of this? Him saying "my bad, Dru had no idea; she was messed up on something." I remember that day and she called out Neil's name, and Malcolm just kept on taking advantage of the willing confused Dru. I know it was bad to keep a secret from Neil, but this SL is getting weak. I think they've made me hate him forever. If my mother guilted me out like Gloria does to the brothers Grimm there, I'd tell her to kiss it where the sun don't shine (and my mother is the queen of guilt trips!) First, if all Michael can do is spit venom at her when she's being blackmailed, but now that she has turned into this evil bug-eyed witch (not that she was ever nice) he'll do anything for her? I only just started liking Michael when he was sweet with Lauren. He's a terrific actor, but this SL is terrible. I can see many things upsetting him and turning him to the dark side again, but Mommy dearest's guilt trips can't be one of them. Especially when she doesn't deserve one thing. If she was getting screwed by Jack and was sweet and nice, then I'd defend her, but this snake has never once told the truth and KILLED SOMEONE!
MARY R - Please say it isn't so! After not taping the year Terrible Tom and Sheila were on, it looks like Witch Sheila is going to be flying in to Genoa city again on her broom. I don't know why I watch Y&R and other soaps unless I went to see Abnormal Psychology fictionalized. I like the present sls all right, but I guess the TIIC decided they cannot give Lauren a story without her nemesis Sheila. What a shame! If she dominates Y&R this time, I made have to sit it out again, or watch selectively when she isn't on. I cannot abide her. She is evil personified.