In the last year, every character seems to have undergone a personality change that unfortunately has not improved them for the better.
Okay, so I know I'm liable to be labeled a cold, uncaring old cow, but I'm sure it won't be the first time, or the last. Maybe it's because it was reported long ago that Josh Morrow signed a new five year contract; maybe it's because the characters' behavior has made many of them so unlikable, or maybe it was just my week to be in a mood. Anyway, whatever the reason, I found myself strangely unmoved by much of the great sob-fest going on in the name of Nick. Oh, don't get me wrong, while sloshing through the knee high tears in my rubber waders, I did manage to spot a golden nugget or two of what seemed like sincerity, but most just made me long for this part of it to be over.
For instance, Victoria was sometimes wonderful in her anguish, totally believable in her devastation. I loved the peek through the window at her silent pain. Victor, always excellent at manfully restraining his emotions, was believable as well. At the very least, the tragedy momentarily deflected his attention from his vicious Jack vendetta. Likewise Nikki, as the mother who'd just lost her only son, was often good as well, and her regretful recall of their last cutting conversation was very true to life. But she lost a bunch of brownie points and received a sharp poke from my Bad Mommy stick when she claimed it would be too hard to attend her son's memorial. I expected Sharon's face to crumple and practically dissolve in salty tears, but I was pleasantly surprised by her reaction. I liked the way she held it together until she'd gotten out of sight and sound of her former pa and ma in law and it was very understated, no wailing and gnashing of teeth, as she leaned against the porch piling, her body flinched like it had just taken a kick to the kidneys.
Jack, his grief focused more on the loss of Sharon, was believable as he became more and more intoxicated as the day wore on. His talking to the television, the stumble from the arm chair and, in full agreement with fan Vette below, that mighty heave of his drinking glass when he thought he was being visited by yet another annoying apparition, was TV worth watching.
And then there was Phyllis. I'm aware that my reactions to her are biased because while I think she's a fine actress, it's just my opinion that a little less air time for this character wouldn't ruin the show. And if that makes me the only one standing out here on this limb, that's okay. I can only speak for the thoughts in my own brain, no matter how out of line with anyone else's they might be. Anyway, I know she just lost her husband and Summer's father and I don't doubt her love for Nick. But this fan felt little for her distress, except a great feeling of annoyance that I had to listen to her screeching and caterwauling, so much and so often. Even when she was rudely getting snubbed by Nikki and Victoria, I still didn't feel much empathy on her behalf, because it felt too much like the writers' contrivance to gain sympathy for her. The poor widow, being shoved aside by her callous in-laws. And by the way, and slightly off the subject, was I the only fan tempted to cover my ears when she claimed Summer said Da-da? Maybe there's something wrong with my ears, but all I heard the child say was Da. That was it. Da. And for that single sound Phyllis reacted like a woman gone plumb loco. I swear I wanted to reach through the screen and shake her silent.
But having said all of the above, I found her performance and her pain much more believable on Thursday, after she sent Lauren home so she could be alone to cradle Nick's picture and talk to him of her pain. Fan Brittany (below), I'm sure you will get your wish when it comes time for next year's Emmy's, how could Phyllis not be up for one? She's everywhere, in everything, every single solitary day.
Like I said, many of the performances were wonderful and outstanding. So why couldn't I care? I think it's because the scribes seemed determined to obliterate any honest or sympathetic trait in every person who lives in this place. Perhaps so they'll be lined up on level playing field, with everyone's character as black as the night, each of them labeled cheater, backstabber, liar, schemer and the like? But must everyone, excepting Noah, Summer and Fen, be stripped of every iota of innocence? Drained of every drop of the milk of human kindness? Because in the last year, every character seems to have undergone a personality change that unfortunately has not improved them for the better.
Yes, yes, I know it's a soap and interest and excitement must not only be maintained, but ratcheted up every now and then, but does Genoa City life have to move at such a breakneck speed? Does there have to be a death or a mysterious disappearance every single month? Must every day be cliff hanger Friday? Can we have a moment to catch our breath? Can the suspense in a story be allowed to build, to whet our appetites, to make us wonder what might happen next? To give us time to give a hoot about it when it does? Does every woman have to scheme to land her man? Must every man bed every woman at one time or another? Can't he just say "no" to the woman who's tied to another, no matter how frayed the connecting rope might currently be? Maybe it's just me, but how can I care about Gloria, who clearly cares only for herself and won't hesitate to tromp into dust anyone, rather friend or foe, inadvertently standing in the way of what she wants? How can I root for Michael to win when he's hardly got one likable trait left in his blackened soul? Why would I want Victor to beat Jack, when what he's planning to give Jack is way worse than what Jack gave him? I even find Lauren a little hard to stomach, who's been mostly ruined by her too easy acceptance of her family's bad deeds. For far from chastising them and convincing them to mend their ways, she's all but picked up a shovel to help them keep their skeletons buried six feet under.
Then there's Victoria. I really, really want to hurt for her. Her behavior is proof that love really is blind and sometimes stupid. Because those of us who don't love Brad could plainly see what she could not. And even though I haven't personally had to try to tromp around in those shoes, it must be quite painful to realize you're not the only lass your hubby loves. But how can I ache for her, when she's shown she's little better than Brad. Just as he once lied through his teeth about what was going on between him and Sharon, Victoria just as easily lied through the cute little gap in hers when she denied her latest little couch coupling with J.T.. I know, I know, her marriage was already in trouble when she let J.T. run once again to her well and dip his little teapot inside, but that's just a copout excuse, even worse than the 'we weren't together at the time' rationale. J.T. is the man she's running to for support because in her mind her husband isn't there for her. Just as Sharon trotted to Brad after constant rebuffs from Nick. And Phyllis to Nick after Jack stopped "getting" her. And Victoria has not shown so much as a shiver of sorrow for bedding the bed-head.
Of course, why should Victoria be held to a higher standard than the rest of her co-residents? It seems none of them feel bad about their dastardly or dishonest deeds anymore. How is J.T. able to stand there and look Brad straight in the eye, without a telltale blink of guilt to give him away, when he knows there's much more between him and Vicky than that long ago one sofa stand?
How does Michael not toss and turn at night unable to sleep peacefully, knowing what he's done in the name of that worthless woman who calls herself his Mother. I did it to protect my mother, the man had the nerve to mewl, without a trace of irony, as an excuse for his behavior. While pointing out that it was different than Jack who only did what he did to protect himself. So? What makes his excuse any better than Jack's? It was Jack's family's company. Gloria was just the jenny come lately in John's life gold-digger trying to get her dirt-caked claws on what she didn't deserve. Ethics? Michael? I don't think so. He had none of those when he was helping to place the blame placard around Jack's neck, knowing it rightfully should have been hanging from Gloria's, and he has no ethics now. It would serve him right if Victor crushed him like the little cockroach he's turned out to be when he learns Michael knew about Kay buying back Jabot and didn't tell him. Of course, like the rest of his cockroach family, he would probably still be able to scuttle back behind the baseboard, his hard cockroach shell protecting him from the pressure of Victor's hard soles.
Phyllis and Sharon, even Nick, have at least given a little lip service to the professing of remorse. Even if they're only really only saying sorry after getting caught, at least it's more guilt than others have shown. Nikki doesn't seem a bit sorry for what she did to her dear daughter; she's only sorry the last conversation she had with her son was over it.
But enough about that, it's on with the show. Now that Nick will temporarily be absent from any future family photos, I'm looking forward to the ripples that are sure to radiate outward because of his alleged death.
As usual in times of pain or problems, I expect Phyllis will continue to turn to Michael for support, especially legal, but also in friendship. But history has taught us that most Genoa City women aren't long without a man to lean on in a more personal kind of way, and in looking over the scarce stock in the stables, there isn't much available for a feisty mare like Phyllis. Except maybe Jack. So what if he's now legally linked to Sharon? In Genoa City, marriage really is just a piece of paper with some scribbles inked on it. It's not as if it that license actually stands for anything meaningful or lasting.
And if Jack turns most of his attention to Phyllis, who then will Sharon turn to? Brad, yet again? Or someone new, like Jack's new sidekick and political advisor, Ben?
And Victoria. Will she forgive, promise to forget, yet won't, but still wind up reconciling with her Brad with the roving orbs? Or will it be J.T.'s name penciled on her dance card, he her favors are shared with?
What about Nikki? Even though her time should be consumed 24/7 by her campaign and her regained ownership of NVP, her hubby is about to be placed on the missing list, so who will she ask to help her wipe the tears she sheds in sorrow? Hmmm, let me see, could it be … David?
Neil is another who has received an unexpected benefit from Nick's demise. Brad apparently still in Victor's bad graces, his unequivocal edict has placed Neil in Co-CEO harness with Victoria in Nick's place. While I was happy for Neil, and proud that he refrained from any outward gloating, other than that look he directed at Brad, at least so far, I hope he waits awhile before calling in the office decorators. First of all, I doubt that Nick will be gone all that long, but second and a much more likely and sooner scenario is that Brad will re-woo Victoria and in Victor's absence, the two of them will quickly kick Neil's behind right back to the concrete curb.
Nothing to do with Nick, but I expect the black widow spider will continue to spin her web in hopes of catching the DA in her sticky center, using new/old friend Evan as bait. Speaking of Evan, am I the only one who sees a resemblance to Cameron Kirsten in face and form? It would be nice for a change to discover the old calculating carrion crow has bitten off more than she can chew and swallow with Evan. Can the player get played, just for something new and entirely different?
Jill and JiMin. I'd still like to see that happen, even though he caved to Victor so quickly. After all, both lesser and greater men have been vanquished by Victor, the wizened Wizard of Genoa City. Not a whole lot can be done against the kind of power Victor can wield, even without his loyal lapdog, Baldwin the law-breaking Barrister.
Speaking of playing the player, I wasn't that proud of Kay for her prideful crowing in her low-balling coup in buying back Jabot. So I guess you know I will be standing partially in Cane's corner if he's setting her up for a little monetary fall. What goes around, comes around, not as often in this trifling town as it does in real life, but occasionally, it can happen.
Another player I'd love to see played is our Ambrosia. Still haven't spotted a decent bone in her perfect body. She doesn't care who she does dirt to, as long as she gets to do some. Now, J.T. is the blip on her radar and she is teaming with the Colleen and Kevin to get some on J.T.. Not that I will mind him getting caught with his drawers undone while eagerly eyeing Victoria. And if it does, it couldn't happen to a more deserving dude.
Speaking of that, it comes to mind that it may be prudent for some of these people to put away their tekkie toys and return to old fashioned record keeping; you know like hidden diaries for one, or the brain in their craniums for two, and better. Because as long as Kevin is a resident of this town, infiltrating anything hi-tech is not beyond his capabilities. No password, email or deleted file is safe from his knowledgeable and eavesdropping eyes. And though I'd like to condemn him, I have to admit, that quirky little grin of his while he's doing whatever he does makes it sometimes seem not all that bad. No matter how bad it's been, and for this character, life at times has been dark indeed; he still manages to stagger to his feet, with some amusing little quip already coming out of his mouth.
Well, that's about all I have to say about stuff, so the keyboard is now in your hands, fans.
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VETTE - I now clearly know why this show is still the best despite the craziness of the storylines at times. It's the acting. Monday's (May 14th) episode was excellent. The reactions to Nick's death were so believable I cried with them. And when Jack threw the glass at Sharon, that did it! Great Job.
JUDY - I am probably one of the biggest fans of the young and the restless. I have been watching the show from the beginning! It is a well known fact in my house when I am watching the young and the restless, NO ONE interrupts me! I am a TRUE fan. What are the writers thinking now? I agree with Martinas. Phyllis does not belong with Nick. He is just too good a guy to be with that piece-of-work. (trying not to be too nasty) She's an awesome actress, but, let's have some sense here with her storyline. At least make her accountable for Dru's death, or at least, for the blackmail of Sharon and Brad. She gets away with way too much stuff; it's not realistic at all. So now Lily has forgiven all? Let's feel sorry for Phyllis, who by the way indirectly killed her mom. WHAT? Get Nick away from Phyllis! I agree with Martina. Give him amnesia. Then go from there, but get him the heck away from her!
SK - I've got it! Nick's plane crash was a nightmare! This is how they are going to erase the last 2 terrible years of stories! Nick is going to wake up and all will be well: Cassie will be alive, John
too; no Summer, no Phick, no Amber, no Gloria and no the Baldwins getting away with absurd deeds. This is early in the week, but I hope it's what's planned!
DOLLY - Are there no people in Genoa City with any morals? One of the worst examples of immorality is the fact that Victoria slept with J. T. while she was pregnant. What are the writers thinking? Maybe that is why she had a miscarriage.
LYNNETT - Would Jenna please come back and murder Gloria and smack Nikki around a bit! So it's a crime that Phyllis tried to blackmail Sharon and Brad, but it's okay for Victor and Nikki to do the same to Jack and no one seems to see the similarity? Phyllis and Nick are good together, he seems happier, she seems not as sneaky (well most of the time), but more than that, they make me laugh. Great chemistry, much better than Sharon. Hope Nick gets back in time to see his memorial and let's hope it's not another Victor and Hope storyline. Girl finds him in the water on her little boat, etc.
TRISH - One thing I want to mention that I haven't seen anyone else say, I AM SO HAPPY that Nick shaved off that hideous, scruffy thing that he probably called a beard. I had forgotten how very good looking he is and he's so much younger without it. Well, now I have to vent - I just can't stand it - actually there are lots of "its" I am so annoyed with. Gloria, Kevin and Michael - can spy on Jabot's boardroom, steal files, kill, or almost kill people and get away with it all. And now Lauren has borrowed Kevin's spyglasses to watch Jack give orders to Ji Min. (I digress for a moment - Jack is such a wonderful person when he is with someone he really loves, but in business he's such a jerk. I still don't want to see him brought down though. All those out to get him stand up if you are honorable, upright and noble citizens who have no skeletons in the closet.) How ironic that Lauren was also able see Gloria confess her crime to Kevin, in the aforementioned "bugged" boardroom. Question is, what will she do with it? Will she continue to support this criminal family & try to get Jack for what he did to poor "Glo", or will she go to Dubbya Bardwell and let him know that there is not one word of truth that ever escapes Glo's mouth unless it benefits her (which it never does). Nikki - tried to stab Victor in the back, along with her puppy children to gain control of Newman, & now she has stabbed the puppies to - oh here we go again - GET JACK. She told Vikki she was sorry - NOT! There wasn't one iota of guilt coming from her sneering mouth. I think she has two expressions these days - that screwed up look which resembles those old lady dolls made from dried-up apples, and the one which has her thinking that she has just stepped onto something very unpleasant and malodorous. Phyllis - Nick has forgiven her extortion (even though it is affecting Noah - poor kid - he seems to be an afterthought for everyone, including his parents). Just because she's unpredictable and feisty and can please him between the sheets, or the hay or wherever it is they happen to be. (Ever notice lately how only Amber & Cane actually use the bed for extracurricular activities; everyone else just uses the couch? Eeeeuuuuwww - I wouldn't want to be sitting there.) Now Phyllis has gone all little girl on him, the poor misunderstood soul. When you get right down to it, I don't think there is one person in Genoa City that I would want to call friend, lover, mother, father, brother, sister or anything else. Now it looks as if Cane is a devious, untrustworthy, money-seeking no-good, low-down creep. Come on - can't anyone be just a good kind person? Where is Miguel? After years of shopping, cleaning, cooking, catering to same-day BBQ's or family/friend events, babysitting, playing with & chauffeuring the little ones, he's just disappeared. I bet he's joined Kate or Nate at school to help them with homework and all the other aforementioned stuff he used to do for the Newmans. I could go on, but will stop it right now. Because when you get right down to it, it's just a soap after all.
BRITTANY - I just wanted to say that I really hope Phyllis goes up for an Emmy Nomination. What an amazing performance this week! My heart broke for Phyllis when she realized that Nick would never get to hear his little girl say "Dada" or when she thought that she would have to be the one to tell poor little Noah that both of his parents were dead. That killed me! I was also really upset when they said Nick was dead because I absolutely love Nick and Phyllis together! They make the show. And as for Sharon, why is Jack suddenly being nice to her? Since when did he forget being angry with her? If you ask me I think she should be with that hot, steamy scum-bag Brad. They deserve each other!
JAN - Phyllis gave, gave and gave of herself this week; particularly her brokenness upon learning of Nick's death. The directing this week too has been vintage Y&R including muting all sound as J.T. told Vicky of her brother's demise. Victor's classic my boy, my boy. Perhaps if Nikki had fainted her performance would have seemed more genuine for me. Strengthening Vicky's role as a strong leader (most like her dad) can happen while Eric Braeden is on hiatus. I did not like the Amber character on B&B and now with more conviction, I don't like the Amber character on Y&R. Hopefully, Amber will succumb to soap opera death soon. Maybe Cane and Jana and Amber can all go down in the Chancellor's jet together with this weak, tawdry storyline. Gloria, Gloria, Gloria is a perfect mother-n-law for Phyllis. She and Michael deserve each other. What a deceitful group and how does a character like Lauren tolerate the cunning, trickery and lies? Expose Gloria; reunite Sharon and Nick; unite Jack and Lauren returning his family's business back to him and give them an empire to build. Phyllis and Michael are perfect for each other. Daniel and Kevin are both creepy enough to find themselves in the same family. As much as the character Drucilla Barber Winters contributed to some meaty storylines, why isn't anyone being held accountable for her death? Also, Lily deserves so much better than Daniel. Being single is better. Perhaps back in school full-time; maybe law or medical school? In soap time she could do this by next spring, you think?
EVE - As the Newmans rallied round and started planning Nick's memorial service, I turned to my husband and asked, if I was on a plane that went down, and no wreckage and no bodies were found, would you have a funeral service for me within a week? He said, no way, thus proving he's a lot smarter than the Newmans are. Even in the real world, you wait until the body is found. In fact, you can't declare somebody legally dead without a body until a certain amount of time has passed - it used to be a few years! But not on GC; by gosh, you hit the water and you're dead, everyone's crying, and Bardwell's rushing your will through probate so you can return to zip. (Personally, I've decided Bardwell deserves Gloria, and am looking forward to their wedding; I hope the groom will wear white.) Of course, that's the pace on Y&R these days - kill 'em and forget 'em as quickly as possible. As far as the future goes, I'm predicting that an amnesiac Nick will return thinking he's still married to Sharon, perhaps even that Cassie's still alive, and Sharon, who won't want to upset him any more, will play along, and Jack will sidle up to Phyllis, etc. Of course, Nikki's going to have to explain a few more things than her hairstyle, and Victor ... Now wasn't that the biggest gag of all? There's Victor, who's vanished into the ozone himself a few times, weeping over the loss of his son, when he KNOWS that there's always a woman who will pick you up, dust you off, feed you for a while, and send you back to your family after you've left a kid or two behind. And to top the whole thing off, we had the same @#$%@ thing happen with Dru, when Neil knew that his brother Malcolm vanished into a river and returned two years later, scowling and angry and very much alive. The fact that no one ever mentions these prior "deaths" and resurrections only strains our credulity even more. If we know it and remember it, so do they. For that matter, I remember that Nick was born AFTER Victor and Nikki split up, and so Nick and Victor didn't share many tender father-and-son moments. But then, I'm a dinosaur, and in the world of Lynn Marie Latham, I should at least have the same amount of amnesia she's given to everyone else, and is planning to give Nick.
JESSICA - I really wish everyone would stop bad mouthing Phyllis! I happen to love her and Nick together. I can't stand Sharon. When Phyllis first came back I was ecstatic! Michelle is an amazing actress. I don't care what anyone says! Oh and Ppplllzzzz bring back Nick! Summer and Noah need him! Go Phyllis!
Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.