Well, the past week's episodes were an improvement over the previous sleep-inducing week, but not by a whole, heckuva lot. There was the concert, of course, a highlight of the week, if you were an Enrique Iglesias fan. Unfortunately, I'm not. In general, I tend to tune out when a soap performer starts tuning up. I've never forgotten the days of a singing Danny, Lauren, Gina and John. Needless to say, for this fan, those times have not been nostalgically longed for. Nothing too much against any of the performers, sing-a-thons just ain't my cup of hot java. But Iglesias was as good a reason as any to toss most of the inhabitants of Genoa City town together. Except for Kay and Jill, the Newmans and one Newman to be, still holding an around the clock vigil at Victoria's bedside, everyone who was anyone (and not temporarily pidgeonholed at the Prison Camp) was there.
Let's see, we had nervous Lauren and her nursemaid, Mighty Here I Come To Save Your Day Mike, and their new best buds Paul and Maggie (who were gracious enough to stand-in for the Baldwin's real bosom buds, the surely she's soon to be released by appeal Phyllis and her scruffy chinned besotted bed mate). Lauren tried to trade a torrid time in the twisted sheets for Enrique, but Mighty Mike obviously didn't consider it an even-steven trade-off, convincing his reluctant recluse to shrug off her panic and kick up her heels at the Jazz Club instead. Of course, the only thing Lauren wound up kicking up was a ruckus, when she went all into a tizzy at too many mentions of Sheila.
Also in attendance were the former Three Stooges. Amber Never No Pants Moore, as usual led the way, with Daniel, also as usual, practically stepping on the back of her heels. Kevin, the third stooge, was reluctantly coerced into going as well; it was believed simply to provide snappy one-liners to whatever the other two uttered.
Occasional dates, Devon and Roxanne were there to see the show and support dear old Dad, who was himself, supported, in more ways than one, so to speak, by his now lover, Karen. By the way, in my next life, I'm putting in my order to come back 5'2 and a buck oh five soaking wet. The better to be swept off my feet into my lover's strong arms and carried majestically to my next romantic interlude.
Alas, poor Lily was dateless; had she called Cane first and visited Victoria second, perhaps she would have been the woman on Cane's arm instead of Heather. Heather, a woman whose off-putting people skills are really beginning to annoy me and make me think she has more than a fighting chance against Nikki at a run for the prize in the nose in the air 'Am I the only one who smells something stinky?' sweepstakes.
Colleen showed up to be Lily's soft shoulder, in between tossing back shots with Kevin and exchanging quips with Adrian. And last, but not least, we had Cane and Heather. In a sexy, come hither number, Heather was dressed way up, while Cane, obviously not too interested in taking her up on her obvious offer, was dressed way down. And you have to give it to Cane, who was able to give his date all his attention, yet still find time for a little flirtatious smile for Amber along with a "that looks very pretty on you" comment that clearly made her night. And he didn't leave Lily completely out in the cold alone either; he ignited her soul and her hopes with a smoldering look or two.
The concert did accomplish a few things. Before the night was out, Neil and Karen had clearly crossed the line of friendship into intimacy. Heather wasn't able to nudge Cane over it, though she gave it the good old college try. We also got a taste of how things might be between Heather and Kevin and Heather and Daniel, should any scribe decide they feel like writing things that way. Once Kevin gets over his Jana obsession, which is my hope, vain or not, I think he and Heather could make for an interesting combination. The do-gooding girl and badly-behaving boy, both from abusive environments.
But the main thing that came out of the concert was what Heather overheard. Thanks to the inadequate coverage of her cell phone company, Heather was in the right place at just about the wrongest time there could possibly be to hear Paul rehashing the past for Michael and Lauren. As if they hadn't lived it with him and didn't know the whole dam thing by heart. First, I've frequented a lot of clubs and bars in my time, never once did I make my way to the back door to grab a breath of fresh air or to see if my phone would work. And this isn't the first time people have gone behind the bar, you know where the malodorous dumpsters reside, to get away from it all. I don't know about other people, but I tend to go out the front when I need to step out. But, hey, that's just me. Obviously Genoa Citians are an entirely different and most peculiar breed. So, there Heather stood, unseen, of course, at the half open door, listening to Paul confessing to the crime of kidnapping.
NO, A MILLION TIMES NO, I shouted at the set, when I saw that hard light of cold determination steal into Heather's eyes at what she'd overheard. Please not another stupid Sheila storyline! But all my shouting and wishes were in vain. Because though the wicked Sheila witch was shot dead, yet still she lives on. She lives, not just in Lauren's nightmares, but in real time as well, in full, Technicolor flashbacks, this time with Phyllis's face and form. Of all the flashbacks available for playback and dissection, no the scribes didn't resurrect Sheila, and by extension Phyllis. Yes, yet one more way to showcase Phyllis! As if it wasn't ridiculous and stupid enough the first time around, the scribes were going to try to make me watch that garbage again. But not a chance in the hot place. I don't have control over a lot of things in life, but thankfully the FF button is not one of them. Which enabled me to fly right past every double exposure sight of Phyllis. Let me tell you, the two of them looked quite hilarious zipping by at the fastest speed possible. I beseech all those who might have a hand in this, NO Ö MORE Ö SHEILA. Not as herself, not as Phyllis, not at all. So what Heather heard what sounded like a confession? A case could easily be made that what she heard she misconstrued. In these days of the current scribes, we've been forced to swallow much less believable fare. The victim is dead and the survivors can lie.
But enough about that. There's too much else going on to belabour the worthless point of Sheila/Phyllis. As long as I've got my FF button, I'm safe. And whenever Sheila/Phyllis is on my screen, I certainly plan to make very good use of it.
Heather has decreed: We can't let criminals go free because we like them is her motto. That's what she told Kevin about his hope of Jana's release. By the way, when did Jana have a trial? I guess innocent until proven guilty is not described in Heather's play book. Not that I care one way or the other. In fact, I don't care if I never see Jana again in this lifetime. Talk about a poster girl for Boredom. She's it. Anyway, it will be interesting to see how Heather handles prosecuting her criminal father versus letting him go free. Of course, that may be a moot point for her, since there's no guarantee she's going to like Paul at all, especially now that she knows he's her father.
Speaking of that new found knowledge, for a smart assistant DA, Heather sure played clueless to a tee. Obviously expecting a confession of a whole different sort, perhaps a rambling rationalization for why he kidnapped Sheila, it sure took her an eternity to grasp what Paul was saying. In fact, she never grasped it at all. Not until he blurted out the 'I'm your Father' words. I know it was the last thing she expected to hear but I really thought the light bulb would illuminate her cranium about three quarters of the way through his tale. I guess I should cut her a little slack though. With no apparent knowledge of her absent Daddy, including his birth place, the last thing she'd expect was to find Daddy living in Genoa City. But Ö on the other hand, just why exactly did she think he picked her to confess his sordid past to? Did she honestly think all that had anything at all to do with why he kidnapped Sheila? Oh well, regardless of all that, she knows it now. Unless the whole conversation turns out to have been just one of those misleading daydream scenarios we see from time to time. Her expected and rightful anger at Paul hopefully will make for some decent watching, especially as it relates to her obligation as an Assistant D.A. At any rate, bringing down Paul is kind of like picking up a spare after knocking down just one pin. Because the ball should also topple Maggie and Michael (and their careers) as well as Lauren, which in turn should kick the legs out from Phyllis, Nick and anyone else who could be dubbed an accessory after the fact.
Well, while we don't yet know how far Heather might bend the rules, if at all, we certainly know how far Maggie can be convinced to stretch or outright break them. After we saw how easily she was persuaded to help shovel dirt and rocks over Paul's not so perfect crime, how surprising to see her rediscover her here today, but where were they last year ethics? Apparently, it was okay for her to get a hank of Fisher's hair with a quick sleight of hand, but when Jack does exactly the same, she rejects, without a second's thought, a handful of Zapato's. Of course, having said that, I could understand how she would toss Jack's dog hair offer in the trash heap. Besides the fact that she's apparently convinced if anyone is guilty, that someone is Jack, she has no real way of knowing whose dog that hair came from. Of course, had she been sleeping with Jack, like she was with Paul, perhaps we'd be seeing a whole 'nother story.
And while I'm on the subject of Maggie. What is with her sudden and mysterious tummy pains? Just a ploy to reintroduce Phyllis, I mean Sheila? Or, heaven forbid, the first sentence in another pregnancy chapter? Remember Paul's seemingly out of the blue question as to whether or not Maggie wanted kids? Please don't tell me that there's a chance Maggie is about to play happy host to yet another of Paul's potentially abandoned babies?
Like a shiny nugget peeking up from the muck and mire that represents most of what else is going on in GC, Cane and Lily brought an indulgent grin to my mouth. I loved their warm hug and could feel the yearning and innocence in the kiss she gave him. Cane, too, seemed to be filled with a wistful longing as well, exactly as a man might behave who, in spite of himself, wants something he knows might be frowned upon by certain parties, not the least of whom would be Lily's father. Yes, fan Femmebleu, my thoughts were running right along with yours about Lily and Cane. It seems we both have a soft spot in our hearts for the innocence and purity of love. I know every fan won't agree, but I find it a nice and long awaited change from all the lunging lust that most others are portraying. Although Cane was a bit wishy washy this week, what with his date with Heather, and a few sentences conversation with Miss Who Needs a Dress when a Shirt Will Do, clearly he has feelings for Lily, feelings he seems to be trying, for the most part, to manfully fight off because of her youth and inexperience. By the way, scribes, can Lily grow up now? At least a little? Sure, it's sweet to watch her hesitant hopes with Cane, but there are a few chapters in her short romantic tale. After Kevin, the elevator almost assault, her marriage to the rather nerdy, turned porn addict, Romalotti, it's time she got to act a little closer to her about 20 years, instead of the 13-ish her dialogue suggests.
Ahhh, week two at Victoria's bedside. Will those people never run out of made up on the spot anecdotes? But, of all the bedside monologues, the one I liked best was Victor's. Okay, what I could understand of it anyway; for even with repeated rewinds there were still some passages left hopelessly undeciphered. But he did a wonderful job showing remorse, tenderness and the guilt he carries that it was his word that started the chain reaction whch landed her comatose in that hospital bed.
J.T.'s show of jealousy when it came to Brad's visit was a bit unbecoming given that he has the girl and the baby boy, for real and for soap play, no matter whose genes said baby will carry, and thus there's no real chance he'll lose his lady love to Brad the Cad. But on the other hand, I could see how Brad's rather proprietary behaviour would get beneath his skin and start stinging. But I also would think that in his desperation to see his Sleeping Beauty open her eyes at his kiss, he'd be welcoming any and all suggestions that might accomplish that. Despite my understanding, just my opinion, but Brad for a change came out looking the better man when he quickly agreed to make himself scarce, so J.T. could continue to mutter to her in private.
What fickle and contrary folk Genoa City people can be. It seems a lot of people have just been waiting for Victor to land in a position of vulnerability. And it took no time at all for all the vultures to come out and start picking at his still warm flesh. Genoa City, when it comes to Victor, tell us how you really feel.
Like Jack. Just once or twice it would be nice to see Jack stroll down the high side of the street, instead of always stepping in the mud collected on the low side of the lane, all for the chance to get in a lick at Victor. Besides the fact that he just helped to save Jack's lanky frame from the ashes and assorted parking garage rubble, because of Victor's vindictive choices, not only was one life lost and others compromised, but his daughter is lying in bed like a straw-filled rag doll and he well knows at whose door most of the fault lies. So, Jack could have earned a few fans nods of approval by being a bit more magnanimous once he learned Victor was partly at fault for the collapse.
After all, it's not as if Jack doesn't have his own set or two of skeletal bones clanking and rattling in the back of his closet or buried in the bottom of his cedar chest of secrets. Like the will he dictated and talked his father into signing. Although, in keeping with all things always getting to go the Gloria Fisher way, that one's obviously about to be hauled out and re-examined in the cold light of day. Although John's original will left the house to his kids, it wouldn't surprise me if the past was re-written to give that too to Glo the Gluttonous Hag so she could toss his belongings onto the leaf-covered ground. She's gotten everything else, why not most of John's millions? Forged Will or not, legal wife or not, I still maintain that had John known the extent of Gloria's complicity, his love for her would have blown away like a dried out tumbleweed in the desert. Anyway, Jack should keep front and foremost in his mind the adage to do unto others. Because he may soon be the one on the hot seat, his pride stinging from the insulting barbs thrown at him, if John's ex cellmate has an incriminating tale to tell or sell.
I wasn't any more pleased with Katherine for her quick condemnation. Kay acted like she's never stooped to any low levels or acted underhandedly when wanting to get her way. With Jack practically strapped tightly over a barrel, she got Jabot for practically pennies on the dollar. And when Jill at first refused to gyrate erratically when Kay jerked her puppet strings, she cut her supposedly dear daughter's digits right off the Chancellor purse strings. And we won't even talk about the low character of a woman who has her own daughter dumped on someone else's doorstep then later sells said daughter's son for the price of a glittery brooch. But all that wasn't what made me go tsk, tsk, tsk and shake my head disgustedly at Kay. No, that was because after all those interminable years when Kay was quick to mouth what we now know was a hypocritical phrase. Yes, I'm talking about Victor and the many times she's referred to him, both behind his back and to his grim countenance, as her 'dear old friend'. Well, obviously Victor is not as dear to her as she would have had us believe all these years. Because she sounded particularly vicious in her haste to condemn him. Victor might be a dear old friend to her, but she's definitely not much more than a fair weather friend to him in return. Plus, Kay's hate-filled vow to make Victor pay won't just harm her faux dear old friend. It will also hurt her fax dear old friend's wife, though estranged, and children, who hold stock, not to mention job titles, in the family company she now wants to destroy.
And then there is Michael. Yes, fan, Wanda, you were practically in my brain while I was thinking, and took most of the words right out of my mouth regarding Michael's hypocrisy when it comes to Victor. 'A man has to take responsibility for what he has done' Michael pronounced pompously with undue righteous indignation dripping from every syllable. I found myself wondering how he was able to form his mouth around those hot words of condemnation. Because he certainly doesn't seem to be saying it when it comes to his criminally-minded Mama taking any responsibility for the part she played in Ms. Gibson's death. On the contrary, I distinctly recall him advising Gloria to keep her lying lips double locked, the better to keep from taking any responsibility for tainting the cream. It's moments like those that make my disgust for Michael Baldwin rise to intolerable levels.
That's the funniest thing about Genoa Citians. They are always flapping their lips about other people paying their bills in full, but when the bill for their illegal or immoral activities comes due, then they want to run a tab and pay it Ö well preferably never.
Against all that skin-devouring acid dripping off so many tongues aimed at Victor, it was nice to hear from those who continued to support him, despite his ill-advised decision to drill. Like Nick. Though his sister was left comatosely insensible, his son spleen-less and seemingly headed toward a bout of depression, Nick has once again proved to have a forgiving spirit, and refused to kick his father when he could clearly see he was already half on the ground.
Like her ex, Sharon too, clambered to the higher ground of quick forgiveness. Right now some might be muttering, well she should, the things she's done and been forgiven for. But I disagree. Because she's no different than any other Genoa Citian who has done wrong and ALL of them have. It was her son who was left with a missing organ and is likely on his way to further psychological damage. Not to mention, she was trapped too. She could have done like most of the others, hastened to add her bowie blade of accusation to the others already bristling from Victor's broad back. But she didn't. She went out of her way to assure him what happened was a freak accident and nothing intentional on his part.
Neil was another Genoa Citian to show Victor a little sympathy. Yes, I know. I hear those fans shouting he has to; kind of kissing up to the boss is written in bold type in his job description. But I think that has nothing to do with it. It's just the kind of man he is.
I bet, even Victoria, if she were awake, would also quickly forgive Daddy for the bad thing he did. Like her brother, I doubt she'd be rushing to give her notice and strike out down her own entrepreneurial path. She'd likely forgive him just as she always has in the past. I'm sure she knows better than to snap viciously at the hand feeding her. After all, it wasn't that long ago that stress from mortification at Mommy's hand during her unsuccessful run for the Senate perhaps partly caused Victoria's miscarriage, but she and Nikki are just like mother daughter pals today. And I don't ever remember Nikki apologizing for what she did to the daughter she's now doting on, even eschewing makeup of any kind, for.
Actually, I think this a good storyline for Victor. One that for once has nothing to do with continuing revenge on Jack. Or Nikki. Speaking of that Jack vendetta, will the debt ever be marked paid in full or will the total just keep mounting until Jack is dead and buried? But, as for the storyline, I love it when people get what's coming to them, even better when it comes without a single nudge from any other party, just fate and the universe weighing the rights and wrongs and keeping the scales of retribution in balance. At any rate, Victor is doing a superb job, showing how he's dealing with the pain inside. And believe it or not, though Victor's actions have irked me more often than not lately, I couldn't help but feel a small pang of sympathy as Genoa Citians fought each other for a place in the line marked "kick Victor here'".
Before I go, I have to address one final thing. From perusing many message boards and the occasional fan comment, I know Neil gets a lot of grief from fans. Along with Devon and Lily, and previously Dru. And like fan Susie, below, I'm not always sure why. I hope it's a storyline thing and not a black thing. What exactly do so many dislike about Neil Winters anyway? Is it because he's a good father? Unlike at least three (Brad, Paul and Jack) who by choice, decided to leave the rearing of their offspring to the mothers. What other Genoa City man besides Neil has adopted a child that didn't belong to him and hadn't been inherited as a stepchild from a current wife? Of course, he's going to be concerned about Lily's attachment to Cane. I can't quite recall, was there such an outcry for his removal when Brad was trying to micromanage his young daughter's love life? Neil has seen the damage Daniel and his lust for Amber and anonymous porn princesses did to his daughter. And where Kevin and Daniel's dim bulb idea for Kevin's redemption in society's eyes lead. Given those who have gone before, and the fact that no one really knows a darn thing about Cane, Neil is well within his rights to be a little concerned when it comes to Lily's choices in men.
Or is Neil despised because he was for the most part a good and faithful husband? He wasn't married to Dru when he had his one nighter with Olivia and we all know the reason he originally turned to Carmen. Remember when Yolanda Hamilton took it all off then offered him what her clothes were hidden? Neil nicely told her thanks, but not thanks. But what fun is watching a mate remain faithful for a change, when you can have out of wedlock lust in the afternoon like Nick, or have newly married Brad lusting after his sis-in-law?
Could the hatred of Neil be because he's a loyal employee? Even after being kicked in the teeth by every one of the Newmans on multiple occasions. I mean who needs loyalty when you can have children, son-in-law and mothers stabbing the family patriarch in the back to gain control of his own business? Or employees like Jack and Brad who enlist a shady ex-felon lawyer's aid in snatching away that same business?
Or maybe Neil's hated because he never slept with anyone's best friend, or tasted the forbidden fruit of his father's bride. I know, he's hated because he's proven to be a good friend to many with not a thing in it for him. Well, I like Neil, and Lily and Devon and think they do as well as one could with the lousy storylines they've often been handed. Although Devon only gets to be a wet blanket most of the time, and the scribes seem determined to keep the I secretly love my sister storyline alive (let it die, scribes, please, not a single fan is panting for it), I remember during the early days of his life with the Winters, he was really good and believable. Then someone had the dumb bright idea to send him to the zoo to hide in the lions' den and nothing has ever been the same.
As for the rest of the Winters family, what have they done that's so reprehensible that fans would call for the dismantling of their entire family? Like Daddy, Lily and Devon have mostly been nothing but true and loyal to each other and their friends. Gee, how despicable of them. I guess they have to go!
Seriously, the Winters are about as normal as a family can be on a soap. No alien abductions, underground burials, family back-stabbing, in cages or caging others, forged wills, takeover plots, ongoing marital affairs. Just people, living for the most part trying to do the right thing. And I'm not putting any of them on a pedestal labelled Perfect. I still say Neil was way out of line for how he handled his more than friendship but less than a full blown love affair with Carmen. Though I understood why he was enraged with Dru for the decades she kept her Malcolm secret, he let things go way too far. Still, my vote goes for all of the Winters sticking around for a long time to come. Of course, that's just my opinion, you are all entitled to contrary ones of your own.
And lastly, after reading the contribution from our final fan, Debbi, I decided to delete every word I had written about Lauren's panic attacks, out of respect for every fan who suffers from this illness. As I hope I've mentioned before, my problem isn't with the panic attacks themselves, just that I wish there was some other storyline that could be written for Lauren, given her strong background as we once knew it to be. But, as in most things, there is something for everyone to relate to, even in a make believe soap world. As Debbie describes it, even as Lauren acts it, I know it's something I'm thankful I don't suffer. And my heart goes out to those who deal with it on a day-to-day basis. Thanks, Debbi, for sharing your experience!
Okay, fans, I'm hopping down off my soapbox now. First fan up, let's hear how you see things. Then pass the Mic to the next one in line. The last one up, sheath the Mic and turn off the lights in the auditorium on your way out. See you next week, fans. Same time, same place.