For the week just past, who the heck needed Tylenol or Advil PM to send them drifting gently off to dreamland? All I needed was my tape of Y&R. I won't speak for any other fan, but for this fan, things could not have been much duller. So dull in fact, that I lost count of the number of times I woke up and rewound, only to fall right back asleep before the next commercial break.
Okay, of course, I expected the pace to slow a bit after the ashes had settled. But I didn't expect things to come to a screeching halt. And yes, I also expected a vigil or two to be held beside Victoria's bedside. But a little of that stuff goes a long way, especially when we know good and darn well that woman is not going anywhere. And oh the many things we have learned about Victoria's and Nick's happy memories! Who knew? I know I was watching back then, and I don't remember seeing or hearing about nary a one of them. What I do recall is that they were shipped off to boarding school as grade school children and returned all grown up. But that's a minor thing. I really don't mind these newly created memories. It's an interesting way to sort of flesh out the background for their lives, even if none of it really actually happened. Anyway, I just hope she isn't going to remain in that bed and in that precise position very much longer. Or the only thing she's going to get, besides a severe case of bedsores, is an immediate fast forward. I've heard more times than I would care to about the perfect mother she will be to her perfect baby, and the perfect daughter, sister, lover, friend, boss and acquaintance she already is. Just to keep things interesting, let her take a turn for the better, or the worse, and if it's the latter send her to a long term care facility, with the requisite occasional visits, until her maternity leave is over. Something, anything, that won't involve so many maudlin minutes by her bedside. Now, having complained about all the above, that doesn't mean that I wouldn't sympathize with anyone or their family who has ever been in said situation in real life. But, as I sometimes need to remind myself, this isn't real life and after the first day, I was just a bit bored by it all. If you need to, call me cold, callous and unfeeling!
And while I'm complaining, I might as well point that same nitpicky finger at Lauren and her panic attacks. I feel for Lauren, I really do, though probably not for the reason you might expect. Not because I empathize with her panic attacks, because though I tried, I felt nothing. No, my sympathy is due to the fact that poor Lauren is ever having to squish herself into that uncomfortable victim suit. You know the one that requires uncombed hair and a make-up free face, the better to not have mascara streaking from eye socket to chin. Remember the days when Lauren was one of the feistiest felines in town? When her claws were always extended to scratch furrows in her victim's self-esteem? And in those days, her favorite insecure-ridden victim was Tracy Abbott. And she handled well, Mrs. Mary Williams, her then ma-in-law from the hot place, not to mention her own mother, Joanna. When Sheila came along, though Lauren often lost the fight, she certainly never shrank in fear from any of the rounds of the bout. So, who is this weepy-eyed, clingy vine always twining around Michael Baldwin, moaning woe, oh woe, is always me? And where the heck has the real Lauren gone and hid herself? Come on scribes. Write this woman a backbone and a decent storyline!
Paul, Paul, Paul, it's far past time to tear down that deadbeat Dad poster. Was it just me, or did any other fan find that 'we were so young so April decided to raise her alone' story utterly ridiculous and reeking of steaming bullpoo? Wasn't April young too? And what about when neither could call themselves a spring chicken no matter how far they stretched their imagination? He could have told her then. A few weeks ago Heather was telling Paul how she felt unloved and rejected by her father and he just sat there like a cement statue. It's time, Paul, tell the girl you're dear old deadbeat Dad. Sure, she'll hate you for a minute, but once you've recited your ancient tale, I'm sure it'll pass and you'll soon be forgiven.
Of course, though confession will surely be good for Paul's soul, it won't do a thing, good or bad, for that other child buried in his past. Yes, I'm referring to poor little abandoned motherless and fatherless Ricky, if I'm recalling his name correctly. The little boy now likely old enough to accompany Papa on those fishing trips he used to claim he was dying to bond with a son on. Come on scribes. At least put an occasional mention of Paul's absent son in his mouth. Toss in a line or two about a recent visit he made off camera, a check he just mailed off to Isabella's mother. Maybe even give him a 'today is my son's birthday; that's why I'm so melancholy' moment.
Oh look! It's yet another Newman crisis. Once again, the business that bears the Newman name is being run almost entirely by a Winters. Though Nick just pronounced himself fit enough to return to his duties only days ago in soap time, already he's found a reason to slack off and leave the work to someone else. First it was Cassie, then Daniel, then Phyllis, then his lost memory and now it's his sister's coma. And I'm sure I probably left a crisis or two out. Long gone are the days when the Newmans or anyone else suffering a family tragedy flung themselves head first into business to get through their personal crisis. Good thing Daddy owns the company, or along with every other burden, Nick would also need to lug around a big, bulky one labeled Unemployed.
Sigh. Phyllis is back. I know, I know, thanks to near-daily video casts transmitted from the Girl Scout Camp, errr, Prison, she has never really been gone from our minds or our television monitors. And she hadn't been back for more than five minutes, before I found myself feeling mighty nauseous watching her and Nick devour each other with their eyes while mouthing romantic, double entendre speak. I side with the opinions of fans JM and Wanda below about Phyllis and Nick. Seems like nothing more than a scribe-forced way to replicate the couple's original 'we shouldn't but it won't be long before we just can't help ourselves and we do it anyway' passion. This character continues to annoy, rather than intrigue, this fan. Nothing against the actress' talents; at times and in other storylines she has been amazingly good, but for a long time, there has just too much of her. And she seems to have a starring role in just about every single storyline.
For instance, why the heck does she care about John's will? Has she become a new admirer of the money-greedy Gloria because of her ho-hum interaction with Jana the suck-up? Once he got over his rejected suitor male pride (which really didn't take that long) Jack has been the one person who has always been in her corner, even manufactured a position to spring her posterior butt from the poky. Even moreso than her husband, who wanted nothing to do with her during his short stint as an amnesiac. So why is she digging in the dirt covering up John's will? By the way, remind me to be careful which clergy I confess to. Because what's with the chaplain with all the freely given information about John? John's dealings with the chaplain are no business of Phyllis. I suppose Todd, the former cellmate, will have plenty of incriminating things to say. Something like: John told me his son told him to write this and give it to the Chaplain after he left. And John showed it to me and I just happened to notice it was dated a month earlier and thought that was strange. As to why he never said anything. Well, he probably was released before John, left town and never thought about it again until Phyllis tracked him down. I hate contrived stories! Anyway, all of that is just a guess. But depending upon what Phyllis finds out, just what will she do with any information she unearths? Blackmail Jack? Force him to do the right thing by Gloria by way of a huge chunk of Abbott change? The woman has already wormed her way into the former family business and is currently living high on the hog on Michael and Lauren's largess, while watching her own millions gather interest. Sure, Jack cheated her, but we all know what kind of a cheat she is and what she's gotten away with. Gloria has plenty of people helping to hold her carcass afloat; she hardly needs Phyllis to help her get more that she doesn't deserve. Just my opinion, but if Phyllis has to stick her snout in something that doesn't really concern her, why not have her solve the tainted face cream case? Now that would undoubtedly win her a few fans, this one in particular.
Anyway, moving on to another somewhat annoying female. Jill Abbott. Doesn't she have a job she could be putting her effort into? Enough of all this vicious hatred for Jack on behalf of a man she only retrieved from the curb where she'd recently kicked him a day or two before his death. I repeat, instead of pointing her crooked finger at Jack, she ought to level it at herself. Because had she not forced JiMin to prove his love by ruining his character, she'd still be waking up with that just got me some good lovin' glow. To hear Jill's hatred now, it's hard to remember the long ago days when Jack was horrifying his sister with the information that he was the one supplying Jill with that good lovin'. Won't Jill feel ridiculous with all that slimy egg dripping down the side of her face when the identity of the real killer is uncovered? And when that time comes about, I sure hope she at least has the good grace to mumble a grudging apology.
So, dog hair aside, who did do away with the illustrious JiMin? Most of my money is plunked down on the square with David Chow's simpering likeness stamped on it. At first I thought he could have been hiding in the room when Jack came to call with his threat, then leaped out and did the dapper businessman in. But if that's the case, how did he sneak by the AC security cam? Not that I place much faith in those cams? They only seem to catch the innocent while apparently going on the blink whenever the guilty stroll by. And I seem to have a vague recollection of Jack coming up to Chow at the AC bar and advising Chow the tell-all press confab was now off. So how did Chow kill JiMin, beat Jack down the stairs and get himself in position to hear what Jack had to say. BUT ... there still is that one niggling thread hanging from this tapestry (unless, of course, the scribes have decided to snip it off and pretend it never was). And that is the question of Chow's whereabouts during the critical time? I know I'm not the only fan that still remembers Nikki saying to Chow in that querulous tone she sometimes adopts. It went something like "where were you?! I've been looking everywhere for you!" And I also clearly remembering him neatly side-stepping that question without responding.
But, there is one other possibility, though it's a little out there. What if the killer was someone from JiMin's own family? Someone who felt JiMin had disgraced the family name enough? And was not going to stand for any further blackening of it, nor additional dents to the armor of the family crest with what they might have considered a cowardly confession. I'm not saying it's so. Just that it could easily be written that way.
But that's for later. For now, the finger of blame remains mostly pointed at Jack. I wonder, just what would some of the good citizens of GC do if there was no Jack Abbott to blame or bat about? So many seem to be consumed with him, you wonder if they'd have a life of their own at all if Jack was taken out of it. What would they think about if they couldn't be concerned about what Jack's done, is doing or might do in the future?
Clear Springs. The ashes sit in soft and ever-shifting piles except when the excavating equipment or the capricious wind sends them scuttling skyward. The blame game has begun. Victor vows to make the one to blame pay. Nick vows to make the one to blame pay. Kay vows to make the one to blame pay. David and Jack and Neil all vow to make the one to blame pay. And Cane, well, he feels like he might just be the one to blame. Was it the substandard cement? If that was so, why did only two buildings collapse and not all the others. Or is it more likely Victor will turn out to be the culprit? Oh, how he chortled with glee at the secret underground drilling he was doing and how it would devastate his not so dear darling, Nikki. And all the while doing the one thing many elders repeatedly admonish us against doing. You know the one I mean. The one that warns one not to count one's little chickens before they've picked their way from their fragile little shells. Victor has vowed that those responsible for his daughter's comatose position will pay and pay dearly. So, pray tell, just how does Victor plan to extract his revenge from his own tough hide?
I'm really getting attached to this Cane fellow. Not only is a decent piece of eye candy, he seems to mesh well with everyone. Okay, I hated him and still hate him with anything Amber, but that could have more to do with the fact that I absolutely detest Amber (who has been absent all week - Yay!) than that she and Cane were a total mismatch. So, in this era of scribe-dropped storylines, my fingers are crossed that the things we heard Cane say to his uncle on the phone that long ago day were misconstrued and will actually turn out to have meant something else entirely and innocent. There's plenty of potential for this character. In the romance department, I still like him with Lily. And while some fans echo that sentiment, others do not, and see romantic sparks with Heather. I think for now Heather can best be used in a storyline with Paul. After that, why not try her with Brad, to keep him from sniffing after Sharon again. We've been there, done that, and just my opinion, I didn't find the pairing particularly riveting the first time around. Or if Brad is too old, give her a round with Kevin. Sure, he's in love with odd bird Jana, but he's likely in the minority because used as little more than Phyllis simpering sidekick, she's lost whatever appeal she once may have had and has become nothing but a useless nuisance, with nothing to add to the scheme of things. Of course, that just my opinion, many of you might feel otherwise.
Anyway, back to Cane. Although Jill's single-minded hatred of Jack has been a bit annoying lately, I really am rather enjoying the interaction between her and Cane. Ditto for Cane and Katherine. So I really would hate to see him painted in new and unflattering shades of villainy. With the demise of John Abbott, William Bardwell, and JiMin, we've lost enough men with potential. I hope the scribes won't make a fourth mistake and eliminate Cane.
And last but not least, Jeffrey Bardwell. He appears to be playing his cards pretty smart so far, but he's got his work cut out for him. Kevin and Gloria have proven to be formidable opponents on their own, and could be even more so with the aid of Michael and Lauren. But I'm still hoping that comeuppance is waiting just around the corner and halfway down the block for Gloria. What will happen in this particular stories is one of the things that I'm tuning in for.
And with that said, I'm done until the next time, faithful fans, so enjoy what some of you had to say.
ROXY - When is something going to be done about Gloria. She killed an innocent woman and blamed Jack. This is taking too long.
CAROLINE S - It is time for Gloria to be exposed. Jack is my favor rite David my least. I think sometime we will find that Jack is the father of Phyllis's baby, I hope so
ENGLISHTEACH - I agree with you on some points of your column. I waited with baited breath each day to see what would become of each of the characters (I even got my hubby hooked0, but I have to say that the overall effect was really disappointing. It was one of those annoying movies where things have been moving inexorably toward this conclusion, only to have things neatly wrapped up in a scant few moments. If Amber, Phyllis and her little psychophant, Jana, all were simultaneously sucked into a black hole, I would do a dance of Joy. As for the Winters, I have always loved Neil and Dru. The kids are, admittedly obnoxious, to say the least. Cane and Lily? Gag.
COLLEEN - I am a long-time fan of soaps starting with 'Young Dr. Malone'. I watched Y&R long ago and switched to AMC. However, I have come back to Y&R and when it comes to disasters, Y&R is the best. So, sign me up for the whole pound of cheese!! I thought it was amazing, the acting, everything. The only soap that is a close second is GH. There again, good acting, great looking men. My only gripe is that they should have left Amber down there and why wasn't Gloria buried up to her wide eyes n rubble!! Oh, and don't let me forget that snake, Brad. Lift any rock and out he slithers.
KATHY - Not that it matters really but Jack's dog is a Golden Retriever and Victor's dog is a Lab. By the way, your description of the stuff in your trunk was hilarious, also sounded like my trunk! You always make me laugh. Kathy
HOLLY FROM SOUTH DAKOTA - Great column this week. I also liked the out of the ashes week & look forward to the fall out. I pray Vicki & baby come out of this. I hate when they use babies for these sort of storylines. I concur the new Victoria is growing on me & I also enjoyed the brother/sister "talks" she & Nick have been having. I will add that I'm so sick of Victor thinking he is "God" & all of his finger pointing of late. If I were Nikki I may have found David pretty irresistible also. He & Stephanie from the B&B must be related I swear. Both are control freaks & when they don't get their way look out...enough said. My Christmas wish list: I hope the baby is J.T.'s (gosh he is soooo cute). I hope Cane hooks up with someone more mature than Lily. I hope Gloria & Jill stop trying to ruin Jack. (I mean they were both married to his father for the love of Pete) I want Ashley to come home. I want Amber to quit being so selfish & melodramatic. I want Phyllis out of jail. I want Victor to get some therapy. I want Neil to go away. I want Adrian to find a more likable Colleen. I want Nikki to actually like one of Nick's women.
MADDYSMOM - Love your column. Look forward to it every week. Just a thought I had this morning when watching yesterday's Y&R episode - when Victor says whoever is responsible for this (the disaster) will pay, wouldn't it be great if he somehow someway, most likely unwittingly, was the truly responsible party for Victoria's situation. He is always so high and mighty, it would be great to see him have to reach back into the recesses of his Buddhist (or wherever it was) experiences and hold himself responsible for this. Maybe not legally responsible, but let's see him have a true struggle about his own morality.
JM - While I thought last week's Clear Springs collapse was some of the best Y&R that's been shown in some time, this week was a letdown. Would someone explain to me the whole Phyllis work release drama of "I can't kiss my baby or my husband, here's the secret file..." Yuck! Did the warden install secret cameras throughout Newman to catch her doing something not work related? And please don't even pull the sympathy/crying in the elevator thing! Most prisoners would be picking up trash alongside the highway but the privileged inmate gets to wear make-up and heels and go back to real life in the daytime hours. This is wayyyy unreal!
POPPYCOCK - Well ... out of the ashes and into the dumpster. Did anything really change in GC? Some two episode, nobody is the only person who died in this horrific disaster? Yeah, right. Let me start with the only heart wrenching moment--Nick upon getting out of the disaster with Sharon (which they looked yummy together!) finds out his son is trapped in there & tries to run past the rescuers with Sharon's screams of horror behind him! It was the first time, in a long time an eppy brought me to tears. What anguish on both of their faces and the thought they may lose ANOTHER child! Now, onto the foam pebble that dropped on Victoria's face after waving to the crowd like she was alighting from a carriage in England. Who knew she was such an acrobat?? My, what dexterity and agility she showed. I think she missed her calling - Cirque du soliel anyone? Okay, I have to say, Amber frayed my last nerve with her shrill screams! I had to run through the house protecting all the glass objects from shattering when that woman was howling on the screen! She is intolerable and adds nothing to the show, get her off, ship her anywhere, say I have an idea - she may be a great cell mate to Phyllis & Jana. Yeah, they aren't too annoying, are they? What the frig was the point of seeing these two hens clucking and pecking at anyone who came close to the communal tv? Who made Phyllis mother hen and protector of the phone & tv? Her scenes and demands from the jail cell were the most annoying and pointless scenes ever. How dare she ask "the great one" to get her out or her son to help her 'break out' of jail. Yeah, nice Mom, let's get my son in more trouble by being my accomplice. Guess that 'Mother of the year' award isn't going on her mantle anytime soon! She already has one lap dog named Nick, does she really need more? Did anyone else notice how Nick Newman shined during the crises without his red ball and chain? Boy, I did and it made me long for the good old days. Anyhoo, can't see that this disaster has changed anything in GC. Jill is still after Jack's 'plums' for JiMin's murder, no new baby to see who's the daddy and everything else seems status quo. Well, there's still November sweeps.
TRACY M - I am so disappointed with Y& R, is there some kind of petition we can sign to change the direction that the show is headed. It probably doesn't help that they received an award for outstanding show because that just reinforces this horrible turn of events. I was just thinking about the Phyllis/Nick/Sharon situation and I find that even though the affair happened about 2 years ago, I am still angry about it. A lot of the viewers of soap operas are married women and it pains me to think that the other woman can come in have an affair with my husband laugh about it, eat dinner at my house, smile in my face at work, and have sex with my husband behind office doors in the same building, give him little mementoes about the affair, and help destroy my family after our child dies so tragically. She then ends up with my husband, a new baby, MY son adores her, and she lives happily ever after. Are you kidding me? This is not want I want to see as an escape from the real world. I really wanted to see Nick go after Sharon and not get her because he needs to be remorseful for that, but what do they do-drop the storyline and he falls back in love with Phyllis. Don't get me wrong I actually love the character of Phyllis but somebody needs to be remorseful and this just infuriates me. Well enough about that. I really hate Y&R right now but I want to hang in there.
BEATRICE - I wish I could feel something for those tired of you picking on Gloria and Amber, but all I can think to say is that anyone who thinks there is nothing wrong with being an opportunist must have that word mixed up with the phrase "go-getter". An opportunist is a person who will do anything and step over anyone, and use any situation [including bad ones that hurt other people] to get ahead. Whereas, a "go-getter" is a person who sets goals and goes about achieving them for the sole purpose of uplifting themselves in a positive way, either professionally or personally. Personally, I don't know any 'go-getters' that would willingly stab others in the back in order to do that. But an opportunist would. Gloria and Amber are nothing but opportunists, and frankly I am sick of both of them. JMO.
BAJANGIRL - Jill is working my last nerve. She was the one who pushed JiMin to come clean and as far as she knows that's the reason he's dead, and yet she's shown no guilt over what happened (it's not her fault, but most of us would've been thinking "If only I hadn't). And why is she so quick to point the finger at Jack, even before Maggie told her about the dog hair? Why doesn't she see Amber as a suspect? Why don't the police see Amber as one, too, for that matter? Amber was standing over the body when Jill walked in and she had a bigger motive than Jack - she thought JiMin had the money that she needed to find or else she would be going to jail for a long, long time. Seems to me the police should be looking at her, too; not that I think she did it. Why did Maggie tell Jill about the dog hair? I'm sure Maggie's dealt with bereaved victim's families before, so her heart shouldn't bleed so easily that she would reveal critical evidence about the case. What if Jill had flown into a rage and killed Jack? But revealing confidential information seems to be common these days on Y&R. The priest was discussing this talks with John Abbott to John's former daughter-in-law, not even his kids; and that woman doctor who rescued Nick (can't remember and really don't care what her name is) told Brad about Victoria and the baby even after he told her the doctors weren't telling him anything because he wasn't family. And Phyllis. Why didn't Y&R sentence her to six months let her serve her time and get out? We all know she's isn't going to get six years, so why pretend? She gets to see her family regularly, hang out in a clean rec room with a TV and new magazines, call her family and friends and get calls from them mostly at will, and not be harassed by older and more hardened criminals... boo hoo. If I had to be in jail, that's what I'd want. Nick should be telling her how lucky she has it, since when he went to jail he spent most of the time with his back to the wall. But on a positive note, I love Kane and Lily together and I feel the chemistry between them whenever they share a scene, something I don't when he has a scene with Heather. I really hope he's not going to turn out to be no good. If he was supposed to, they can drop that storyline the way they did with the one where Phyllis tried to kill Paul and Christine in the hit and run or like they did with Jack having an older son, Keemo (who apparently doesn't rate a mention in Jack's deathbed letter). I also like J.T. and Victoria. Not every couple has to be a super couple; I find them one of those couples that really cares about each other and enjoy them that way.
JAMIE - The 'out of the ashes' story was a bit of a let down. I was expecting at least one of the main characters to die. Why has the show been so poorly written lately? They focus on the most annoying characters - Phyllis, Amber, Gloria - please kill them off. I wish the show would look back at its rich history. Why no mention of Nina or young Philip, who apparently got the Chancellor fortune although they are not entitled to it now because Nina wasn't married to the real Philip. And why, why, why are Phyllis and Nick together? They have absolutely no chemistry. Is there any chance Nick and Sharon will get back together? And who really cares about Paul and Maggie - and Heather. There is a reason Y&R didn't deal with it years ago - its boring. And who liked Michael better when he was evil? Please bring Y&R back to its former glory.
WANDA - GMAB! Nick and Phyllis were all over each other in prison (in front of the guards) but are not allowed to touch at NE. She can't even hold Summer. How stupid. TPTB are setting us up for Phick to finally lose it and tear into each other. How "cheesy" is that one? Jill, please stop with the JiMin mourning. You weren't even that into him anyway (until he died). Give it a rest. How many more scandals and "dirty deeds" are they going to dig up on Jacko? Everyday is a new one. Now, John's will is going to get looked at (by Jana of all people). Did we not see that coming when Gloria decided to visit her in the "big house"? Globag, please, please, please, get your own place to live. At least move into a GCAC suite for heavens sake. You have $50 mil (at least until Jeff finds a way to get his hands on it). I'm already sick of watching everyone talk to Victoria's back. It seems that it is going to continue for a long while so the AH can have maternity leave. Nikki, please go home and shower, change, and PUT ON SOME MAKE-UP.
DEE - I find the storyline on Phyllis absolutely ludicrous. I realize she does tend to overdo things - but, the storyline would make someone think she committed a murder. The "Law Society" is over-reacting. She is out daily and cannot even see her child. Ridiculous. I wish they would rethink this storyline. She admitted to the blackmail but come on - she did not commit a murder. Also, it is about time the writers got rid of Neil and family as well as Amber.