Before I get started, I must give big, big props to Josh Griffith and Maria Arena Bell. Thanks to these two scribes, I am daring to have hopes of a brighter, shinier Y&R future. It's unbelievable to this fan what they have accomplished in a very short amount of time. This literally feels like a new show. Or should I say the old show. THIS is The Young and the Restless that used to have me racing home to view my tape with baited breath anticipation.
Okay, so perhaps part of my transfixion could be blamed on the glass of wine I was drinking while watching, but that definitely can't be all of the reason.
Gone are the cardboard cutout characters. All over town, some of the sordidness has been left behind and I swear I can see GC'ers skeletons growing flesh and bone and character traits right before my very eyes. And I can actually follow what's going on without having to hit the rewind button to make certain I hadn't somehow missed something important. The reason I'm hitting the rewind button now is because I want to make sure I'm not missing a single syllable. Conversations start at the beginning, stop in the middle and proceed to the end. And wow, whaddya know, they are taking place face to face instead of via cell phone. What a difference it makes to the story when it isn't being told at a warp speed much too fast for full comprehension.
What I'm also enjoying is seeing a little bit of everyone. I don't need a week without letup of Phyllis or Gloria or anyone else for that matter. I want to see what's happening with everyone. When I read a book with a cast of 10, say, I don't want to spend half the book only learning about two of them and then the last few chapters the other 8 are hastily sketched out. No, I want my book to tell me everyone's story at an equally thorough pace.
And I am loving the slowed down pace of GC life these days. It's moving right along, but still leaves time for me to appreciate and savor the story, to be lulled by the background music, to notice all the nuances I'm supposed to and finally to choose one side or the other to stand on supportively. I think the current team is doing a fine job taking the existing storylines, which many of us know are not the best, and not simply playing them out in any old haphazard way, but in a way that somehow manages to slowly edge the characters back to their once believable personas.
For instance, the trajectory of Nikki's nose has lowered appreciably and she's now looking people straight in the eyes instead of gazing imperiously down at them. Her hard, bitter edge has disappeared without a trace and her tone has softened to an 'of course butter won't melt in my mouth' level. Although lately, she's become so sweetly soft spoken, she's making my teeth ache a lot. But I'm guessing her personality whitewash was done, first, to make Victor appear even more unreasonable and vindictive than he already does by contrast, and second, to bring her more in line with the mostly loving, compassionate woman she's been portrayed as until the last couple of years.
Nikki's soon to be ex has changed as well. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on where you stand on the subject of Victor, the change has been either for the better or the worse. At first I wondered whether Victor's vindictiveness would eventually be chalked up to an undetected relapse in his health. But that now seems too simple a solution and might be considered a rerun ripoff of Jana's tumor made me do it defense. Even though I can't say Victor's behaviour toward Nikki is justified, it IS in character. Obviously, his jealousy over the dirty-seeming David is providing the most dry wood for the fire of his wrath, but the orphan's recent mentions of his early childhood abandonment add another layer of tangled yarn to this snarled skein. And why wouldn't the present day happenings call to mind the long ago past? His wife has scorned him for another man, a poor excuse for a partner at that, his son has sided solidly with Mommy Dearest, Paul refused to be his bought and paid for hireling, J.T., probably the most indiscreet PI on the planet, was unable to keep his poker face before Nikki's half-casual queries, and Michael is forgetting to ask how high, when Victor commands him to jump. The controlling reins of the world have been jerked from the Great One's hands and he doesn't like it one bit. This is the ruthless, trample on anyone foolish enough to fall underfoot Victor Newman. Hateful, rude, domineering, controlling, autocratic and all the rest. Okay, so all the stripper name calling maybe could have been omitted. As Nikki pointed out, it isn't as if Victor has always been a monogamous man of honor. Of course, Victor is wrong, but that doesn't make him any less fun to watch. In fact, I practically stood up and cheered when he reminded Nick of his betrayal with the Feds. To this fan, that was one of Nick's lowest moments. And not because he turned his father in; I get that what Victor did was against the law; some fans say Nick did exactly what he should have done. No, my problem with Nick was that he did it out of jealously because Sharon laid that liplock on Daddy. Yet, Nick told Victor he never wanted to be like him. Well, in my opinion, it's a little too late for that wish, because Nick has already proven that given the right set of circumstances, he will behave just like his Daddy. And that's not the only similarity between My'boy and dear old Dad. They also have their propensity for infidelity in common.
I can't guess yet where this is all going with Victor. There are so many roads leading out. Is Victor right about David? If he's dirty, just how much dirt has been swept under his rug? What is the money he owes for? Did he hire someone to help set Victor up and plant that blood evidence in his bag? Or is his crime much more deadly than that? Like, murder? And how will Victor end up back in the good graces and loving arms of his family? Guess, I'll just have to wait and keep guessing.
Funny comment of the week. Nick told Nikki she ought to come and prostrate herself before the great but slowly becoming less powerful Victor one final time before the hearing in hopes of reaching a compromise. When asked whether Victor had actually said that, Nick replied, not exactly, he was just reading between the lines. Well, if that was what he read between the lines of that cantankerous, antagonistic conversation he had with his father, I think he ought to schedule a visit to the eye doctor and get some glasses. Because Victor was hard, unyielding and rude and I couldn't find a single chink in his raging armor. After all, he had just told Nick to hang the plaque he'd once given him on the wall of his new place of employment. That did not sound like a man in the mood for reconciliation or compromise. All Nikki wound up getting for her trouble was some fresh claw marks.
So, at last, there's a new company in town. The Abbott Foundation. Sure, part of the reason Jack came up with the idea was probably in hopes of binding Sharon closer, but it doesn't matter. Jack is a wealthy man and there's no earthly reason he should be labouring along in someone else's restrictive harness. It's more than past time Jack had a business of his own. This could definitely prove to be very interesting. For one thing, it long ago grew tiresome having almost everyone who was anyone in the City drawing a check that came out of the Newman payroll. Obviously Jabot has fully become a Chancellor entity; and with Gloria and Kevin allegedly employed, it really bears no resemblance to the class act Jabot Cosmetics used to be. And now that Nick has been fired, he just might end up working for Jack, further infuriating his father.
Speaking of working in the future for the Abbott Foundation, who the heck does Sharon work for again? Victoria fired her from Newman; last I knew the only thing she had left was being the mouthpiece for NVP. So why is she touring for Beauty of Nature? Isn't that Newmans? And didn't Victoria also pretty much strip Brad of any real responsibility at Newman? So what's he doing planning Sharon's tours? Shouldn't that be Karen's job? By the way, when is Brad going to have an original idea of his own and start his own company? How much longer is he going to beg for scraps from the Newman employment table?
Not that Brad's all that bad at begging. How amusing it was watching Sharon pull the plug and let all the wind leak out of his puffy sails. And I didn't feel so much as a flicker of sympathy for Brad. He had his chance to take home the top prize in the Sharon sweepstakes. But he chose the consolation prize he assumed would have the biggest payoff in the long run. And then he had the nerve to think he was going to eat his champagne cake at home but nibble in secret on a little cupcake on the side. Instead he winds up with nothing and no warm body in his bed at night. Just what the calculating cad deserves!
Talking about a calculating cad immediately brings a couple of other names to my mind. Like Jeffrey and Gloria Bardwell. These two are just too much fun to watch. Two seemingly evenly matched game players, at least so far. Gloria's gotten away with far too much for far too long, so it's impossible for me to root for her in any form or fashion. So my fingers and toes are crossed for Jeffrey to keep besting the bimbo. She has more money than she can spend on spotted designer clothes and it's not as if we don't all know he's going to fall in love with her eventually. The murder plot could be interesting, and since it's hatched by Gloria, it's bound to have a few flaws and is likely to go awry. But if I'm wrong and she again comes out smelling like a rose, again, than I have one wish for the current scribes: let Gloria finally gets her comeuppance and wind up stripped of some, not all, of her ill-gotten gains. And if I could miraculously get two of my wishes granted, my second desire is that John the Ghost would have the veils of denial stripped from his old, rheumy eyes and he could see Gloria in all her greedy glory. Yeah, I know, but a fan can hope can't she? Of course, from all the rumors I've read recently, I'm not holding my breath in hopes of either of those outcomes. It appears John will forever remain blinded to Gloria's true colors.
Though Amber still continues to grate on my nerves most of the time, she has become just a bit more palatable lately. While she doesn't seem to have learned a thing from her disastrous trickery of Cane, at least she's showing a little more vulnerability these days, even if it's only Cane-related. And I noticed something else as the week unfolded. Amber and Daniel have been in each other's hip pockets for a long time now. And I really never thought of them as more than friends. For the last couple of weeks, I've been distracted by the possibility of Daniel and Heather, but I'm now leaning in another direction. Toward a possible pairing between Daniel and Amber. I think in a pinch, if there was nothing else going on, Daniel and Heather could be forced together. I know opposites are supposed to attract, and sure Daniel and his jokes can draw a laugh from the serious, career-driven Assistant DA, but he seems much too immature for someone like her. It's hard to picture them as more than platonic pals. On the other hand, the serious, sympathetic way Daniel watched Amber as her eyes wistfully clung to Cane gave me some ideas. Right now, Amber's tunnel vision is focused solely on Cane, but I think it would be cool for her to get over Cane once and for all and discover she had feelings for Daniel while watching him start to fall for Heather. But the main thing I like about the idea of Daniel and Amber together is because Daniel knows most of Amber's dirty secrets, yet still continues to stand supportively by her side. That's the best kind of love, the kind that knows your faults and loves you anyway.
But then, if Daniel gets taken by Amber, what can be done with Heather? Well, Brad's up for grabs. Something just didn't work for me with Brad and Victoria and Brad and Sharon so maybe a romance with Heather is a possibility. Wonder how Daddy Paul would deal with that!
So the two Fresh Faces of Jabot are both infatuated with Cane? How can Amber even think she can pull this one off? I'm not a fan of the disguise thing. Because they're never disguised enough. A near-blind person should be able to recognize Amber in that poor disguise. It's ludicrous (to borrow a phrase from John Abbott) that those who were most close to her, Cane, Jill, Lily, Kay, can't easily spot the manipulator under that wig and fake mole.
Okay, so what's everyone's guess about Jana? First, I have to say that I'm happy with anything that will give Kevin something to do other than obey his Mother's bidding. But is Jana for real or not? I thought she might just be keeping Kevin around to provide her get out of jail free card, and maybe she was at first, but how can she not love someone who has done the things that Kevin has done for her? While I don't exactly wish for her to turn out to be a villain, at the same time, I don't really find her at all intriguing as the grateful girlfriend either. Right now, I'm neutral about the character. I wouldn't miss her were she gone, and I'm not at all interested in her while she's here. But I'm willing to withhold judgement until I see some of what the scribes might have cooked up for her.
It was good to see Paul show he's not a complete deadbeat Dad. I took a slight dislike to April Stevens on sight and nothing she had to say made me alter my opinion of her. So I reached through the screen and gave Paul a high five when he told her he'd played by her wishes long enough and was going to step up and play Daddy no matter what April wanted. So there, he did not retort, but I did it for him.
I don't know what's ahead in this writer's strike. If it's resolved soon, what will it mean for our show when all the other pens return and start printing their ideas on the sketchpad? Maybe I'm one of the few fans who feels this way, but I think the show is vastly improved. We've already seen firsthand the disastrous results of fixing something that wasn't even broken. I guess I can only cross my fingers and hope for the best.
Like I said at the start. There really is so much to look forward to. I'm sure everyone's heard that Victor Jr. will soon show up on the GC canvas. Can't wait to see his siblings' reaction to his arrival (especially the recently fired, in the doghouse son). Not to mention, what will Jr. have to say to his long absent Daddy. And whose gene will be the dominant one in Jr. Tranquil, peace loving Hope Adams Newman or Victor the Vindictive. Can't wait to see.
And lastly, I hear Sleeping Beauty is finally going to open her eyes. Once she's finished cooing over her new son and arranging to marry his father, where will she stand in the Newman skirmish? I might be wrong, but I'm guessing it will be right next to Mother and brother.
Okay fans, I'm sure I probably left a few things out, but I better sign off here anyway and let you all say what you think. See ya in a week!
SARA -Worst of '07-Recasting Colleen-WHY? Adrianne Leon was perfect.
DL - Intrigued last week with Gloria's Star Trek outfit. I know that time on a soap does not move in a linear fashion, but did she really not change clothes all week? Got to disagree with your defense of Victor regarding Nick. Let's see, he shipped Nick off to Switzerland to be force-grown and deprived of half of his childhood. Poor boy has to make up memories of a childhood with his sister to entertain her during her coma. Let his 'Jack-of-all-trades' houseboy Miguel do what little raising of Nick that actually occurred at the Newman Ranch. Put himself in the bizarre position of letting his arch enemy, Jack Abbott, prove to be more of a loving parent to Nick than he was. Got caught making out with his son's wife. Watching Victor and Brad kill their way through the Reliquary storyline, why would Nick not assume his father capable of violence. I don't know that I blame Nick for happily spending Victor's money. Might be called revenge for emotional child neglect.
BEATRICE - Hi Nita. I basically agree with everything you wrote in this week's column, except for the whole Victor thing. You may like and agree with what Victor is doing, but I don't. I'm not saying I'm on Nikki's side, because she is stupid to mingle with David too ... but to say Victor's actions aren't personal? I don't believe for a minute that he called in the loan because of "business". If that were true, he would have taken action with it before now, and not right after witnessing a close moment between Nikki and David. Victor is jealous as hell about them being together, otherwise, he wouldn't have flashbacked to them and smashed the picture frame holding Nikki's photo in it. As for Nikki and Nick riding on Victor's coattails and betraying him now...it's true Nikki has been too dependent on Victor, she never should have went into business with him...and to call herself independent while David calls all the shots for her is ludicrous. But that doesn't mean Victor is justified in treating her like trash for years on end, while always showing nothing but respect for Ashley and rubbing his relationship with her in Nikki's face. Heck, the man didn't even flinch over Ashley stealing his sperm and making a baby with it, and lying about the paternity for years! And out of all the heinous things he's done over the years, he's stunned his family thinks he COULD be guilty of murder? I'm sorry, but it's easy to wonder if Victor is a murderer, over say, Nick, who's never had a violent streak in his life...Nick is only a serial cheater, lol. As for Nick living off his dad's money, ah no---he gets paid a salary to work at Newman just like Neil does. He earns his own money outright, and it's not just Victor's company anyway, it's the family business of which Nick has done plenty, like Vicki has. I do wish however he would move off the property, but other than that, I don't see how he's taking advantage of his father's money. I think it's about time Nikki stop taking Victor's BS, she's been his doormat for too damn long, which is why I never respected her. But to think Victor is justified in doing what he is now I think is pushing it. Victor's always been a bastard to anyone and everyone around him, it's only when people take him to task for it that he calls it "betrayal". Frankly, I hope Nikki never goes back to him, but I know she will...these two put the "dys" in dysfunctional.
SK - I know I've said it before and I'll say it again. I HATE NICK & PHYLLIS! When they have their awful sex scenes I HAVE to look away. It's soft, terrible porn and makes me nauseous. And for those that want Phyllis "I can't have children, poor me" to have ANOTHER baby, come on! DO the math! When she was trying to pass off baby Daniel as Danny Romalotti's she was no spring chicken! She had to be at least 25. Now Daniel is at least 21, making Old Red in her late 40s. Her first miraculous pregnancy with Nick was a HUGE stretch and was what made me go from a daily watcher to only reading this fabulous column. I Still want them to erase the 2 terrible LML years with someone's nightmare and bring back Cassie, John, Shick, Phack, No Mesta murder, no stupid Sheila story! Bring back our beloved Bill Bell's soap to the way it was and maybe, just maybe, Cricket will even want to show her face again. I would have wanted my name as far away as possible from this show if I was her. Thanks again Nita, for your dead on columns, it's the only thing about Y&R I enjoy anymore.
POPPYCOCK - Well, Nita, we can certainly agree on the difference a few scribes are making on our Y&R. Finally, some decent sl's that seem more character driven and balanced. The past couple years of horrible pairings, lightening speed sl's and dropped stories of the LML days, may be mercifully gone! I welcome the changes and hope for a renewed, refreshed Y&R in 2008! Hmmm, where to start? Cane & Lily - bleh! I just can't get into a couple who have no chemistry, nothing in common, too much of an age gap, dull and tiring. Oh, yeah, we already have that couple - Nick & Phyllis. Please, don't subject us to another one! Cane has become smarmy and creepy with Lily. I don't know what it is other than I can't get over the age & maturity thing, but they turn me off! Who does not love Michael & Lauren? If they could just give Glo-hag the heave ho, this pair could really show other couples on Y&R what real passion is all about! I have to say, I am LOVING Jeffrey! To make that faux furred hag squirm like fishing bait on a hook is just priceless! Please, don't let this guy fall for those bug-eyed blues! Boy, I'm really ticked off that Jack is giving that wench any of the Abbott fortune. She doesn't deserve a nickel! Sharon, Sharon, when are you gonna make up your mind and stick with it! Most importantly, when are you gonna see your choice in a friend sucks! Brad-ho was practically giving you a lap dance at your meeting, putting down your hubby, kisses you like he wants to ravage you and you still call him a friend? This man doesn't know the meaning, and even his daughter knows it. I would say, a beat down is in order and long overdue! Now, the Newmans. How about Red giving her two cents worth on Sharon giving Jacky-boy another chance? Gee, ya think she really cares what Sharon does? Only if he keeps her away from her Neanderthal husband! Nick, the gem of a prodigal son, hasn't learned to keep his over blown self out of his parents business (seems he's getting those lessons from Phyllis, too) even shows how much respect he has for ol' Pops by doing the nasty on his office couch! Where's the camera when you need it? Nikki and dog Chow? Can't say they bother me that much, but if Nikki wants to be taken seriously, than swinging like a monkey to her next tree for support, isn't gonna win her that! If she wants to live a new life, I say go and don't let the Newman cashola smack you on the backside on your way out! Vic is being Vic and I love it! He will be alone for a while and who knows, maybe (hopefully) Ashley will grace his doorway again! Ahh, there's hope for this new year after all!
SUZANNE - Hi Nita, first time commenting. I love your column. You have such a way with words. I noticed one fan mentioned some names that have not been heard in a while, like Mary Williams. What happened to her nosy self? What happened to Miguel, Ester and her daughter Kate? What about Victor's search for Victor Jr? Are they ever going to show J.T.'s parents especially now that he has a child? I like him and Victoria together. Can't stand Sharon! FF most of her on screen. Can't stand Lily, she is too immature. Do we really think Cane is a Chancellor? I think they should bring back Larry Warton for Jill. They were great. I don't like what all Gloria has done, but Judith Chapman brings a flare for the dramatic to that character. I too believe David Chow is setting up Victor. Remember when he first came around it was to avenge Carmen's death, so I think they should let crazy Jana out of jail so she can kill him too! OOPS my tumor came back! Paul used to be interesting, but now with Maggie they are boring. Let's see some Action! Thanks for letting me vent. Keep up the good writing and I agree that you, Nita should be Head Writer of the show!
HOLLY - Okay Nita, I have to disagree with your synopsis of Victor. Yes he has a right to be angry but gosh the man is going to have ulcers, goat, a stroke, or a total break from reality. He is nasty & Nikki hasn't done anything to him he hasn't already done to her. I'm sorry but if I had Mr Stephanie Forrester/Victor Newman telling me how to "think" every time I turned around I might turn into a rebel too. Yes she's probably going to get into deep do do with the David character but hey he has given her something Victor never has...an ability to think for herself, a backbone, emotional support, and passion. Victors heart has always been divided with Ashley and I forget the blind chicks name. Plus Victor has always wanted his kids around in the family business. That is as long as they didn't go off & think for themselves. I also would be a little hateful if my father was out to destroy my mother. Yes be angry but there is a line between anger & psycho and victor has definitely crossed it. Also in a court of law, she is entitled to "something". Enough about Victor. Is Heather losing her mind as well? Get over it girl. Paul is your father, your mother convinced him to lie, she lied but heck you have a good job, are smart, cute; get on with life. Geeze. I could go on & on, but I'll save some until next week.
PATRICE - I often wonder what Nikki is thinking. She has known for a long time what kind of man Victor is and yet she continues with this ridiculous independent woman attitude. Did she really think Victor would leave her with anything when she continues to flaunt (up to no good) David Chow in his face. Even continuing the affair on Victor's property. Also, since Victor wants to take everything, why doesn't he throw her out of Sharon's house(it is on his land)and send her back to the Club to live with David. On another note, I like the chemistry between Daniel and Heather. This set up is finally giving her some character because she was extremely boring and stiff. I also like the Lilly-Cane pairing. Before this I was hoping the took her off the show because she was soooo boring to watch. Please Y&R end the relationship between Nick and Phyllis, being with her has aged his character.
ELLEN - Oh please, please, in the name of all that is right and good in this world do NOT make me sit through another Genoa City trial, whether its the divorce, the countersuits or the murder - ENOUGH! I'm tired of all the legal blather and the prosecuting of innocent people by clueless police and lawyers - UGH. I may be in the minority but I really hope Victor sticks it to all of them. How can his friends and family not see how devastated he is by Nikki's affair? In his alone moments we certainly get a glimpse of his broken heart. The fact that he would try to strip Nikki of everything, whether right or not, seems completely in character for someone who has their wife flaunting her affair right under their nose. And what about Nick? How many scrapes with the law has Victor saved him from and he shows NO support on the murder charge? Wasn't Victor the one who got Phyllis a work release and didn't insist on his request she rat out Jack? Yes. What an ungrateful jerk. I think Victor needs a new love interest and his OTHER son, Victor, Jr. to appear on the scene and let Victor, Jr. take over Nick's job. Then we'll see how self-righteous he is. And Katherine, she may say she is in Nikki's corner and think Victor is being too hard on Nikki but where was she when Nikki asked for help with the loan. I believe a polite no, sorry I can't was the best she did. I've also realized what it is I don't like about the Lily and Cane hook-up. It's not so much the age difference as when I saw them making out on the couch I realized I have NO desire to see the two of them in bed. That just yucks me out. It would be like watching kiddie porno. Thankfully, we've been spared that with Adrian and Colleen. Cane is HOT and I would like to see him with a hot woman and sorry Lily, in my eyes you just do not fit the bill. I see Cane with someone in a hot get-up like Sharon or Phyllis wear but on Lily? That would just look silly. I have every intention of fast-forwarding through those scenes. On another note, I read that the contract for the character of David was extended another year. Please do not make us wait a year for that slimy character's comeuppance! I am hoping much will be revealed during sweeps.
JACE - I am still waiting for answers to a couple of questions. Is Cane really Jill's son? Will Jack ever find out what Gloria did and will Jack's father's ghost get to know about it? Wonder what he'll think of Glo then?
WANDA - This was one of the most b-o-r-i-n-g weeks of Y&R ever. The only bright spot was Glo left Genoa City. Yippee! I hated the "Free Jana" bull and that Goth party was so stupid. Victor has finally succeeded in making everyone hate him though. Nikki had better get her checkbook ready for the "chow hound". He owes someone "big time". Daniel's hair is sooooo bad and that swept up do of Nikki's was almost as ugly as the 2" pony tail. My mother always said, "Don't say anything unless you can say something good". I have absolutely nothing good to say about last week.