Okay, I understand some might question the sanity of someone semi-addicted to daily viewing of the goings on of a make believe soap world, populated by people playing at pretense. And I also get that belief must be severely suspended while viewing said pretense. But, I assure you, despite my soap watching habits, I'm still a grown up with a brain that works quite well during the 23 and a half hours it's not being forced to make sense of soap opera silliness. So, having said that, you can imagine how much that brain and I suffered during our visit to the "prison".
First, let me say that while I have not yet had the unenviable displeasure of looking out at the world from the law-breaking side of a set of steel bars, I do know people who have and therefore can say with near 100% certainty that except perhaps for a visit to one of the cells situated in the courthouse in Mayberry, good-naturedly policed by Andy Taylor, ineptly assisted by Barney Fife, or some other tiny holding facility in a small town much like theirs, no prison visit would ever be conducted the way the one featured in Some Town, Wisconsin was conducted.
By stretching the limits of my imagination only slightly, I could buy that Michael and Nick would have managed to get an audience with the Warden. Phyllis being a brand spanking new inmate and all, it's possible he might be called upon to grant permission for this special visit. What wasn't nearly so easy to swallow, however, was the fact that neither man was compelled to show a photo ID. Equally difficult to believe was the fact that Warden Walrus failed to recognize Nick Newman. Phyllis is incarcerated in Wisconsin, not Alaska, and I presume the Warden's residence is in Wisconsin as well. Does he not read the papers, listen to the news, surf the Internet? Glance through his new inmate's file? After all, it couldn't have been more than a couple of pages long. Lucky for him his prison staff people weren't nearly so current affairs illiterate or Nick could have made repeated visits. Perhaps he and Michael could even have brought Summer along, with Michael insisting she was his and he couldn't find a sitter.
But all of my aforementioned incredulity was nothing compared to what I felt when I saw where the men were escorted to conduct their visit! Never would Phyllis be entertaining her visitors in her very own cell, atop her own tick-filled mattress. No, Mrs. Newman and her counsel would have been parked at a small table in a noisy visiting room under the unrelenting eye of a stone-faced, tight-lipped correctional officer. Or as an alternative, given that she was currently under restriction, Ms. Phyllis would more likely have had to grin goofily at her visitors through a smeary pane of Plexiglas or similar material, and been forced to whisper her sweet nothings to her beloved through a scarred and static-filled telephone receiver. But making out like two over the hill teenagers in one of their parent's borrowed Chevy at the end of a pitch black Lover's Lane?! Uh-uh. Not a chance. The proverbial snowball in a hot place would have more of a chance of surviving intact than that this visit would have happened that way.
Needless to say, by the time I got to the part where the indiscreet idiots got caught in their snare of lies, I was hooting and hollering so loudly, it's a wonder I even heard any of the nonsense that was said. The whole thing was about as silly as Phyllis getting six years, sneaking in a phone call and braying about how she needed to write her family and couldn't be denied an envelope and stamp. Welcome to Oz, Phyllis.
Okay, I had to get that out. Being treated as a fool always annoys the heck out of me. Just my opinion, but a complete lack of research, even in a soap, is just lazy writing and fully deserving of all the ridicule I can dredge up to heap upon it.
Moving on. This week, I was reminded once again why it pays to be extra careful when it comes to what I wish for. Because sometimes, I wind up with something so much worse than what I had. Yes, in case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm talking about the pale-skinned, bottled platinum one. Amber No More Please Moore. Whatever supposed wise one coined the phrase that two heads are better than one, was oh so wrong. Two heads are a horrifying nightmare when both of the brains in them belong to a bimbo like Amber. As Amber shrieked, squealed, schemed and wobble-bounced all about the town, I came within a single hair of joining JiMin by murdering myself. Don't even get me started on the sheer unlikelihood that Amber would be able to start a fire in the very AC room she rented under her own name and not find the accusatory finger of a GC Fire Investigator pointed right at her. But, who am I kidding beside myself? Why in the world would I think the GC Fire Department would be any more proficient at its job than its blind and bumbling police force? For instance, was I dreaming with my eyes wide open or weren't Maggie and Paul on a clandestine journey to solve the late William's tainted face cream caper?
Anyway, Amber continues to meet my ground level expectations of her. Although it was her lies and greed that landed her and her two stooges' carcasses in the very large pot of boiling legal broth they find themselves in, she has no more loyalty to them than she had to anyone else she's ever hoodwinked. It is still all about Amber above any other. What a skank! There doesn't appear to be a single redeeming bone in her toned body. Amber's motto must undoubtedly be something like: why tell the truth and behave honorably when lies and dishonesty could possibly make me rich. She's disgusting and I wish it had been her dead on the carpet instead of JiMin.
Speaking of JiMin, I can't help but notice that in death, Jill seems to love him more than she did in life. So much belated concern over JiMin's besmirched reputation. In her grief, Jill might not be thinking straight, along with feeling sick at the thought of long loveless nights alone once again, but I haven't forgotten much of anything. JiMin was a big boy. He knew what wrong he was helping Jack do at Jabot, but he continued to do it anyway. But in Jill's eyes, holding the same belief as so many other Genoa Citians, everything is all the fault of Jack Abbott. It's Jack's fault John died and forced Gloria to look in the direction of William to pay for her next free ride on the gravy train. It's Jack's fault too, that Gloria doctored that coffee and made Jill lust after JiMin. Why it's even Jack's fault Kay wrote Jill out of the will. So naturally, it follows that it's also Jack's fault JiMin is dead. Well, okay, for that last part, maybe that will turn out to be Jack's fault. Perhaps there really was no murderer? What if after Jack gave him the choice of keeping his yap zipped or living with the guilt of causing his presumably aged parents to become homeless, JiMin did murder himself and make it look like an accident because he couldn't face the disgrace of backing out of the tell all interview, along with the likely loss of Jill's love? I don't know, when it comes to who is at fault, perhaps if Jill must point a shaking finger of blame at someone, she should face the mirror and point at the face glaring back at her. Because sort of like the high school boy who tells his virginal young sweetie, if you loved me, you'd let me love you, if you know what I mean, Jill just had to make JiMin prove his adoration to her doubting behind by standing before a bank of snapping, flashing digital cams and disgracing himself before all of Wisconsin. Maybe if Jill had been willing to accept a simple declaration of undying devotion and a glittering, oversized engagement ring, her love might still be living today.
I couldn't help but giggle as I listened to Katherine on the subject of JiMin's murder/accident. How terribly inconsiderate of the GC Police to drag their motorcycle boots in the dirt when it comes to neatly wrapping up the JiMin case and sticking a big red bow on it. Dammit, my daughter is distressed, Kay shrieked. Stamp solved on the blasted case and be done with it, she didn't actually say, but clearly meant.
And that wasn't the only chuckle I enjoyed at Kay's expense during the week. Ahh, she sighed regretfully to Nikki. I wish Jill would rip a page out of you and Victoria's mother daughter book. Weeell, I daresay that had Nikki literally left Victoria on some other woman's doorstep, buried it in a locked vault in her alcohol pickled memory for over fifty decades, not to mention switched her son at birth and buried that memory too, there just might be about as much love and loyalty between that mother and daughter as there is between Kay and Jill. Heck, all Nikki did was tell her daughter wild Wicked Witch tales about the other woman, then bundle her and her brother off to boarding school until they were practically old enough to take care of themselves.
And when it came to giggling, I had a good one just about every time Jack opened his mouth this week. He is so very good at civil sarcasm. Words something like, "We'll just take the phone off the hook until it passes" Jack nonchalantly told Nick as a way to avoid the unrelenting press onslaught Nick predicted for the Abbott household because of Jack's lies. "I'll call you later, Nick soon promised Sharon. "On second thought, maybe we'll leave it off a little longer," was something like Jack's reply to that. And he was quite amusing again as he interrupted Brad and Sharon's cozy twosome and made it an uncomfortable three's a crowd meal.
John Abbott made another ghostly appearance this week to chastise his son for his continuing lies. Did he really say "plums in a vise?" Self-explanatory. How completely unlike him. As for Jack, what day did he try to play by the rules? I happen to like Jack most of the time, but I'm having difficulty remembering when he was being aboveboard. Did he do it and I just happened to miss it?
It would have been so nice to see Jack take Sharon's advice and just come clean. He does remorse so well and could possibly have spinned things and himself into such a sympathetic figure, all might have been fast forgiven. But no, Jack not only piled one flagrant lie atop another and another, he convinced Nikki and Kay to lie fluently through their perfect teeth as well. Oh what a tangled web those three are busily weaving with their practiced deceptions. And Victor might very well be the scowling black spider waiting at the edge of the web to creep silently toward them and ensnare them in a sticky trap they can't escape. Kay he might step aside and let pass, after all, he has no real quarrel with her. But Jack and Nikki are a whole 'nother story.
Especially after Romeo's steely-eyed gaze spotted his bed-rumpled, bathrobe clad Juliet hustling down the stairs on the arm of her Chowhound. Guess it only took one guess for Victor to figure out which bear's bed his Goldilocks had recently been bouncing about in. And speaking of that consummation, am I the lone fan who found that whole interlude distasteful and difficult to watch? Don't get me wrong. I have absolutely nothing against mature and beautiful love, but just my opinion, I just don't see it between Nikki and David. I found them exactly as icky as I suspected I would, but was holding out hope I'd be proven wrong. I did enjoy taking a quick stroll through the younger Victor/Nikki days. The chemistry they shared together back then seems long ago. With all the muddy water stinking up the area beneath the bridge, does anyone else wonder whether that magic can ever be recaptured?
By the way. Nikki? An independent woman? How? I share fan Carolyn's (below) sentiments about Nikki's so-called independence. The Chowhound does all her speaking for her. It happens so much when anyone asks Nikki anything, I automatically look toward her Hound for the answer. I'm beginning to think Nikki's just a wind up doll who can't talk unless someone walks behind her and pushes the button in her back. Obviously, she'd fall flat on her butt if not for David hovering nearby to catch her.
One last thing I found rather funny. When Colleen was trying to console Lily she claimed to have been a wreck when she and J.T. broke up. Huh? She had to have been talking abut that other Colleen and the first J.T./Colleen separation. Because that's certainly not the way I remember things. In fact, by the time J.T. received his Dear J.T. letter, for all intents and purposes he was already yesterday's paper and Adrian was Colleen's new headline of love. Colleen barely knew J.T. was gone.
Okay, does anyone else already anticipate a big boulder of disappointment and rejection blocking the road ahead for Lily? Lily, like so many other Genoa Citians, is obviously a firm believer in the adage that the best way to obliterate the memory of an unsatisfactory old love, is to immediately rush out and fling yourself at a new one, and is already casting her infatuated eyes in Cane's direction. And up until the last day of the week, I thought that coupling could contain a kernel of possibility. But after seeing Cane's obvious interest in Heather, I have to wonder if there's only more doom and gloom ahead for Lily.
And finally, what exactly might be going on with Adrian? He was noticeably nervous around Heather, and is behaving like a man with something distasteful to hide. And as we all know, these days nothing in Genoa City stays buried for long. Okay, besides Gloria's role in the tainted face cream, that is. But if Adrian turns out to be the next reasonably good Genoa Citian gone bad, will Colleen be packing up that cardboard carton and returning to the Abbott family home? And begin making goo goo eyes at Kevin? Hmmm. I guess time and a convoluted story will tell.
Okay, so much for me. It's my fellow fans' turn now. Hope you all enjoy what they had to say as much as I did.
VETTE - I know this is wrong for me to say but since it's just a character on TV, I'll go ahead and put it out there. Can the writers of Y&R either age Noah about 5 years or have him get hit by a car? I could stand for him to be in a coma for about the next 5 years. I'm tired of him. My stomach turns just having to listen to him. I wouldn't mind seeing him get beat up by the neighborhood bully! And his parents talk to him like they are his friends! That child has no respect for anyone. Now on to Phyllis. Six years; we will be lucky if it's 6 minutes. And I can see this whole business about Summer's paternity playing out in my head. At the very moment that it is revealed that Jack is Summer's father, the dumbest Adonis on the show (Nick Newman) will get his memory back and will remember he lied about that baby's paternity. You know who I really feel bad for in all of this? Sharon. She will have to deal with the realization that Nick left her because he just didn't want her anymore. Her heart is going to break all over again. And to top it off, she will still have to deal with Phyllis. If you didn't know by now let me enlighten you, Nick is a Ho! He has always been a Ho. It took him all of a minute to profess his love to Sharon and then go home and sleep with Phyllis. People slam Brad constantly for his treatment of women but no one says anything about Nick. The only difference between Nick and Brad is a little thing called murder. If I had to make a choice I'd pick Brad. If he loves you, he'll protect you like a pit bull on coke! And he really does love Sharon. I can't say the same for Nick. Are the writers about to wipe the last remaining Abbott off the show? Where is all of the hatred for Jack coming from? I know he's not the best guy in the world but he certainly is not the worst. And what the hell is wrong with Kay and Jill? Jill hates Jack because she got involved with Ji Min? I really don't think that a love connection was part of Jacks diabolical plan! And if I have to hear that dried up battleaxe Kay say one more negative thing about Jack or anyone else I will scream! She got drunk and gave a baby away, need I say more? I'll finish my venting with the Fisher clan. I have lost hope for the redemption of any of them, but hearing Gloria threaten Jana was classic. Jana should be afraid of Glo. No one else on this show has as many dead bodies in their past as Gloria. If she doesn't intentionally kill you, she'll kill you accidentally!
CORI - I need to get all the thousands of Phick fans to start writing to your column. Although the writing makes no sense, the amnesia storyline ridiculous and selective to the say the least, watching Nick and Phyllis fall in love all over again has made all of us very happy. Michelle Stafford is a brilliant actress, and her character multi-dimensional. The chemistry between her and Joshua Morrow is off the charts and the only thing interesting on this whole show. MS has been outstanding as Phyllis in spite of the material.
JUDY H - Nita, please apply for the job of head writer at Y&R! We all agree with every observance you make. I even agree with all the comments of the fans in this column concerning all the characters, so there is no point in reiterating all their disgust. One thing I'm beginning to question though is my own sanity; if I'm truly as outraged with this show as I say I am, why do I continue to tune in every day? In fact, I may send Y&R a bill for my high blood pressure medicine if I'm not allowed to smack the livin' daylights out of that smart-mouthed Noah! I hate that character now! He's not mature enough to have a clue about the whole situation and I am about to totally lose it when he opens his stupid mouth! And lastly, every time I see the Amber character, I feel the urge to vomit, another one we could all do without. These people are making me feel very un-Christian! Oh yeah, I forgot - this is not real.
PATTY - In regards to your "loyal viewers vexed" tirade -- I couldn't agree more. Up until about a year ago, I was a faithful viewer of almost 25 years. Last fall, I decided I'd had enough of the ridiculous storylines and quit watching. I kept taping for a while in case I got a wild hair to watch an episode, but every time I'd tune into an episode it was more of the same garbage and I'd hit the delete button before 10 minutes had passed. Six months ago I quit taping altogether. Obviously, I still read your column, which is hilarious and much better than the actual show in my humble opinion. My point is that if I - a loyal, longtime viewer - quit watching, it could happen to anyone - even you. I will miss your column if and when you go, though!
STACY - Amen! I am sick of the Phyllis show, too. It nauseates me that people actually love her and Nick together and want to see their many (way too many) love-fest scenes. I was a fan starting about 27 years ago, and I've never liked Phyllis. I was out of the loop for many years because I worked full-time, but in the past year got back into the show. If I remember correctly, Phyllis is way older than Nick - too old for him, I think. I always felt Sharon and Nick were a power couple. I can't handle them being apart! I keep on waiting for them to get back together, but it isn't happening and I'm sick of getting annoyed. I am going to stop watching, but I'll keep up with episode recaps and spoilers. Until I see something I like, I won't watch.
JANETTE - Why all the fuss about Phyllis? I think she is a great actress! She would do well in a murder mystery movie. I do think the recent jail scenes are poorly written. I agree with the other fan who wrote about the 6-year sentence being too much. The writers should check the law before writing these scenes. The scene I would like to see is where Cane tells Jill he's an imposter and they team up against Katherine and Jack. I would like to see Victor in a scene that requires more acting than a stoic face. I would like to see Nikki with that weird hairdo again, and have Sharon come up and make fun of it.
JM - There have been many very stupid scenes on Y&R in the past few months but nothing takes the cake like the almost unwatchable Nick/Phyllis make-out jail scene! Like no one knows who Nick Newman is! Especially with all the supposed 'internet exposure' of this family. Also, I am so annoyed by the new Colleen. I'm so distracted by her on again/off again Australian accent. April is also annoying to me, bad acting and that mole on the lip! Too much death/legal in GC, bring back the romance!
STEPHANIE - Thanks for the editorial stand. This may be the beginning of a grass roots movement. What is the best way for your readers to directly reach the producers/head writers of Y&R to voice our displeasure and concerns about the marked decline in the quality of this show over the past year? I always loved it because it was different from the other soaps. It's the only one I've watched in the past 10 years, since the rest are just ridiculous.
JAN - Love your column, Nita! Thank you for saying so eloquently what most of us feel about the show these days. I'm hoping I'm not the only one out there that noticed Daniel relating a story about how the Phyl-pill plied him with mac and cheese when he was sick with the flu as a child. 'Scuse me for watching this show for so long, but I remember when Daniel was taken away from Phyl-less the first time. He was barely a toddler. So, how in the world he can come up with a story about anything she did is beyond me. I guess continuity no longer matters.
TONI - I just finished reading some of the emails and the fans are getting so sick of these awful storylines on Y&R. After Mr. Bell passed away everything went to hell and the stories have just been so stupid! They need to give those writers a kick in the rear and tell them to get some decent storylines going for some of the characters who seem to have disappeared, i.e., Paul, Christine, etc. In one email someone mentioned about Jack having a child, well do a paternity test and I can almost guarantee Summer is Jack's baby and not Nick's. Also whatever happened to Jack's son who went back to Viet Nam? If Jack was in Viet Nam he has to be over 50 years old and he's beginning to look like it. So why is he married to Sharon? Put Sharon and Nick back together now that Phyllis is locked up. And get rid of that smart aleck attitude that Noah has suddenly developed. And what about Victor Jr.? Get rid of dippy Amber and do something with Carson and Cane. Oh well. One can dream can't one! Thanks for your column.
EMILY - Sigh. So much has been said already. I agree with the posts that say, 'enough with Phyllis!' for I agree ol' Red has had too much exposure. She probably doesn't have the SPF to cover her bod so, give the babe a break. I also agree, it's time that Gloria got her comeuppance, but hey, Phyllis got away with murdering Sasha and running down Paul with her car all those eons ago, so what's a little bit of face cream and unintentional manslaughter? I've been entertaining a thought that the writers, whether intentionally or not, have been working with the idea that really bad people often do not get what is coming to them. That happens in real life, right? Real sickos get away with unspeakable things. How about in soaps? Is it possible? According to the formulas, it should not - I so loved how David Kimble got his punishment. But the more Phyllis goes on and on, I wonder if she is going to be rehabilitated like Luke Spencer was, even after he raped Laura. A bit of a stretch, but I can see how they might want to turn Y&R into a more plot-driven story than a character-driven one (sniff!) like GH. Y&R will need hot leads, like Phyllis, to take on physical storylines, solve murders, save the world ... not really Victor, Nick or Jacky-boy material, but Cane might fit the bill. What thinkest thou?
JUDI - You know Nita, I have to agree with some of your sentiments. The program is at its lamest point. The likes of Gloria, Jana, Amber, Sharon and Colleen, and that horrible girl playing Paul's daughter: yuck. None of these characters have any qualities I would want. I think that whoever is writing this should look back. One of the things that made such a difference in Y&R is the storylines were somewhat believable. Now they are ridiculous; always murder, fraud, lying, and infidelity. I loved it when we could depend on relationships lasting more than 1-3 weeks. I love when John comes back in a cameo, it at least feels like the same soap. I hate where Nikki is, where Nick is, and you are right he is the testicle less man, maybe he should go to drama queen and then it would be a tie with Sharon and Phyllis. I just wish we could depend on our regulars. Please don't give my girl Phyllis a hard time, she deserves to get out of jail. Make Brad your target of a nauseating person.
CAROLYN - I have just a few comments about some of the Genoa City Hypocrites I've been privy to lately. Isn't it funny how Katherine, Nikki and Jack all felt so much 'sympathy' for the death of JiMin (who I liked a lot and still wonder to this day why he had to be killed off), when they all really wanted to do the happy dance knowing that he would not be able to expose their dirty little secret? So glad the secret came out anyway! Then there's Sharon. I know I'm in the minority here, but I have disliked her for a long time! Now she's demanding honesty from Jack...why doesn't she tell Jack that just a few weeks ago, she was playing tonsil hockey with Nick? Or that she has played tonsil hockey with Brad 'my real name is George' while she and Jack were together? If she wants honesty, she should try being honest herself! Phyllis, why wasn't Summer thought of while she was blackmailing Brad? Now she can't go to prison because Summer is sick? What a way to push home the idea that the rich can do whatever they want, so glad they hauled her off to jail anyway! I do think 6 years is a bit much for extortion, but what do I know? Nick, I too enjoyed his scenes with Summer, but I don't see the chemistry between he and Sharon! Besides, Sharon professed to be in love with Brad. Are those feelings gone now? Or will she reunite with Nick and have a dalliance with Brad on the side? Sharon's no angel either, a fact many seem to overlook! Devon, I'm glad he wasn't on my screen for a while. I can't believe TPTB are contemplating a relationship between Devon and Lily! Ewwwww! Devon is Lily's stepbrother, that's a tad bit too incestuous for my liking. Let's leave the incestuous relationships to The Bold and the Beautiful! Noah, one minute I can tolerate him, the next I want to put him across my knee and spank some respect into him! I'm sick of him calling adults liars and demanding things be done for him NOW! What a brat! Amber, when is she leaving Y&R? Not too soon for me. I'm sick of her shrill voice claiming that she's a 'good girl that just has a run of bad luck'. Puhleaze, she's a sleazy con artist and she can't get what's coming to her soon enough for me! Lastly, Nikki, Nikki, Nikki! I am all for a woman being independent. Heck, I'm an independent gal myself. Yet, if you're going to talk the talk, you should walk the walk. How is Nikki being independent when she has to borrow money from the one man she claims to want independence from? Independent women stand on their own! Also, if Nikki can't stand the way Victor treats her, why doesn't she divorce him? How is cheating on him supposed to help anything? If Victor flaunted another woman in Nikki's face the way she is flaunting slime ball David Chow in his, she'd be throwing a 'how could he do this to me' pity party! Also, where did Nikki get this high and mighty attitude she has exhibited lately? She's making me ill and I hope David Chow cons her out of her millions...that will bring her back down to Earth! Then she'll be running right back to the man that she claims doesn't treat her with the respect she deserves! Funny how Nikki is doing the same thing she despises Phyllis for ... cheating? Go figure!
MAE -When did Daniel get so dumb? Am I the only one who knows Amber is the one who messed up his life and ripped apart his marriage?