Ding dong, the wicked old writer has finally been gonged.
Do unto others, what goes around comes around, and be careful who you trample while tromping upwards lest there be none to break your head over tailbone tumble, are just a few of the clichés I've mangled to make my point about the end of the reign of a certain all pain and few gains script scribbler. After rudely shoving numerous Genoa Citians through the automatically locking exit door, it's Latham's turn to feel the hard rubber sole of the goodbye boot against her soap-wrecking behind.
I just hope I'm not popping the champagne cork precipitously. Because although the Queen has been forced from her throne, with the writers' strike officially over, at least some of the former computer tappers in her court will reportedly remain. But my fingers are crossed they will be the ones who love our soap the way we fans do.
Now, before anyone puts finger pads to keyboard and sends me a scorching cascade of condemnation for my unsympathetic sentences, I'm not celebrating the fact that the woman has no job, nor am I implying she has no talent. She hasn't had her executive paws in day and nighttime dramas for this many years without being at least decent at what she does, so I doubt she'll linger long in the unemployment line. But, just my opinion, when it came to maintaining what Y&R's been doing successfully for all these decades, she was a big square peg trying to squeeze herself inside a little round hole. She came on board, hell bound and determinedly bent on fixing what few thought was even broken, and in the process, the patient nearly expired in the operating room.
It's been a very long, extremely frustrating twenty one months and I know I'm not the only fan who feels December 24th brought a new writers' gift that is still giving as I experience ever-increasing amounts of soap watching joy.
Okay, enough about the soon to be forgotten past and on to the potent possibilities of the present.
On Monday, even in the midst of a joyful reunion, there were enough tears to fill a fistful of facial tissues. And since I've always been a sucker for a heart-tugging tale, as decades long secrets were shared and sorrowful so longs stuttered, I'm sure I wasn't the only fan dabbing at the telltale trickle of tears I wasn't able to blink away. Over the years, the Hope sightings have been few and far between, and even then, she was little more than two listening ears for the Great and Powerful Victor to trickle his troubles into. But still, watching Hope slip away, her last whispered plea for father and son to make peace and grow closer seeming to hang like a presence in the plainly-furnished bedroom, made for some very emotional moments. After the funeral, I can still see the two Newman men, clad in identical black coats, as, in a seldom seen display of affection, Victor embraces his son for what was likely the very first time.
If it's true that in the lining of even the blackest of clouds can be found a sliver of silver, then Victor Adam Wilson (for the moment to be known as Adam) is that glittering glow in the black cloud of Hope's demise. So far, I like this new Newman son. Initially, he appears unafraid and unimpressed by his newfound father, despite the pages of information he must have perused about him by way of Google. But, though he declared a desire to hack the weeds from his career path, unaided by Daddy's guidance or gold, I couldn't help but note it took him but about a day to reverse himself and take a jet to Genoa City. Of course, some might say he's just an ambitious young man, and Newman is just a quicker route to the success he seeks. But I wonder. Hope has nothing but praise for the young man she swears she singlehandedly stuffed to the brim with morals and humility, but she wouldn't be the first parent who was just a bit blind (pun sort of intended) to her child's true character. And though I wear glasses, I can see a little better than Hope, and to me, Adam clearly looks like a competitive young man carrying more than a wee bit of bitterness for the way he may feel he and Mommy were slighted. Beneath the surface, he just may not be feeling all that loving, at least for right now, toward his Newman papa and his progeny.
If my suspicions about Adam are correct, I'm feeling kind of sorry for Victoria in advance. Because, as the only Newman currently toiling in the Newman factory, she's likely to feel the first and strongest pangs of jealousy as she's forced to go head to head with her half-brother on a daily basis. And given her loyalty to the father every other family member has turned their back on, it would really be a painful kick in the keister should Victor begin to bump her aside (the way he did when he was trying to woo Nick back) to make up for his absence in Adam's early life. And because of that, Victor may often wind up bending so far backward trying to get into his Harvard-taught son's good graces, he'll likely be in danger of breaking his back in two.
But Victoria may not be the only one to wind up with her nose forced out of joint. Along with his sister, Nick has long been accustomed to being the biggest, reddest apples of their father's eye, so Adam's arrival is bound to create a dangerous undertow in an already turbulent gene pool. Even though Nick is no longer under his dictatorial Daddy's digits at the office, and lately, has taken every available opportunity to put down the purchaser of the gold spoon tucked in the corner of his mouth, I'm guessing that still won't be enough to render him immune to the vicious bite of the green-eyed monster of jealousy. So I seriously doubt he'll be throwing any welcome to the family festivities in Adam's honor any time soon. Already made to feel he's been a big disappointment to Daddy, it won't be easy for him to watch his half-brother carve out a spot for himself in the family biz. Especially if Victor is determined to repeatedly rub Adam's accomplishments in Nick's face like salt in a still seeping wound. And if the grist being ground through the rumor mill is accurate, business might not be the only battle over which the brothers might one day brawl. Because Adam seems to have the same affinity for titian-tressed women as his half-bro.
Okay, because I sometimes watch this soap like it's the real life thing, I had to chuckle just a bit at Adam's avid interest in Phyllis. He's sorased to 27; in soap years, she's got to be closer to 50 than 40. Yes, I know, the woman is hot, but he's only a half dozen years older than her son. But maybe Adam has a thing for women as old as his Mommy. And one other thing, then I'll leave this alone. He said he scoured the net for all the dirt on Daddy. Hard to believe not a single link led him to pics of the family so firmly connected to him. Yet he looked at one of his mother's main rivals like he'd never seen her before. And remember all the internet publicity surrounding Phyllis? Noah could find it, but Adam couldn't. Okaaaaay. But anyway, all that really has nothing to do with anything else. I just couldn't stop my fingers from picking at those couple of loose threads that didn't quite fit the fabric. Of course, in the interest of storytelling, I can easily overlook them.
Anyway, back to the story. The fault for the bad feelings between father and son cannot, of course, be laid solely at Nick's door. Victor has been equally as inflexible when it comes to holding his ground and a grudge. Obviously, it still rankles somewhere deep down in Daddy's soul that his son once relished being the instrument that would have imprisoned him indefinitely in a federal jail cell. And it couldn't have felt that fine knowing your son believed you malevolent enough for JiMin's murder, despite your insistence of innocence. Still, it seems clear both might be amenable to a kiss and make up, as long as it's the other man who puckers his lips and apologizes first. I don't count as betrayal Nick going into business for himself, even if it is in partnership with one of Daddy's mortal enemies. Victor gave his boy the boot, told him to hang his little plaque at his next place of employment, and that's exactly what Nick has chosen to do. And he wouldn't be the Victor some fans love and others loathe, if he didn't veto Neil and yank the Beauty of Nature plum right out of his son's hands. Nick has repeatedly said he wants to feel the sun on his skin, unblocked by Daddy's forbidding shadow, but it seems he'd like to have his cake and savor it too. He wants to shun Daddy, but covet one of his companies. It's no wonder Victor shouted Nay. Sure, the magazine might be successful and make money hand over fist. But it's not as if Victor needs the cash or the magazine's customers. Ridiculous or not, in Victor's unforgiving mind, it's obviously a matter of principle. He's the one man in GC who could easily afford to bite off his nose to spite his face. And why Nick would even think it was a possibility in the first place baffles my mind. Victor's mad at Nick, but he hates Jack and would never knowingly do anything that might put pennies in Jack's pocket.
Outside of the family, Neil, as the highest ranking non-Newman in charge, is also likely to feel a pretty painful pinch of pressure. Obviously, despite the praise infrequently bestowed upon him by the Great One in Charge, we've repeatedly been shown that to Victor, Newman blood is much, much thicker than Neil's career-long loyalty. He was already going to have to share the Co-CEO chair with Victoria whenever she returned, and with said return pushed up to now rather than later, plus Adam's arrival, Neil could find his power base reduced to miniscule proportions.
Across town, the question being asked by Jabot employees is: Who else can Nikki possibly hire? It's a wonder the Jabot Luxury Liner hasn't sunk what with all that extra executive baggage Nikki has lugged aboard. Makes a fan wonder how in the world Jabot wound up keeping its bow above water, since apparently they were short at least two high level heads at the helm. Why, just the hiring of Nikki's personal lap puppy and Brad must have wiped out all of Jabot's 2007 profits. And, had they accepted, she was prepared to add exorbitant salaries for her son, her daughter, and both their spouses! With Nikki staffing Jabot essentially from Newman rejects, perhaps if things become untenable for Neil, he can petition Nikki for employment at Jabot.
Newman, Jabot, and now Restless Style. The lines in the sand of the only three GC employers who matter are now clearly drawn. At Newman, a glowering Victor stands in the center, hands in his pockets, his minions, Victoria (nervous), Adam (confident), Neil (wearing a here we go again grimace) and J.T. (still thinking he can handle whatever hot potato Victor hands him), surrounding him like spokes. Nikki, her nose imperiously pointed upward, is the point of the Jabot triangle. Brad, his expression, as usual, belligerent, has one corner. At the other, tail wagging slightly, David leans forward attentively, trying to anticipate his mistress' next move so he can be there before her. And lastly, at a rapidly-filling warehouse downtown, Nick, Phyllis, Jack, and Sharon wait to show all of Genoa City the future that awaits the world in the online and print pages of their Restless Style magazine. Oh yay! Let the business games begin!
But business isn't the only place games are being played. At the Abbott mansion, Jeffrey the cat continues to gleefully stalk the millionaire mouse he married and her mini-mouse. It would certainly appear that Gloria has finally met her match and she didn't have to wait till she got to the hot place to make his acquaintance. And I am enjoying every bit of their battle. Apparently the thought that Jeffrey might be smarter than the average predator didn't occur to the plan-preparing pair even after Jeffrey spotted Kevin's trespass through his electronics almost the instant he traipsed there. After easily hoodwinking all the other Genoa Citians for so long, Gloria and Kevin apparently thought Jeff would be as gullible as all those they'd previously fooled, and were so careless in discussing their poison plan, Jeffrey picked the lock on their plot with ease. By the way, Phyllis would have spotted that video cam with one eye closed and the other half open.
As delicious as Jeffrey's plate of payback has been, his good thing will probably not last much longer. Although I about laughed myself to the edge of collapse watching Jeff merrily scarfing down that burnt baked Alaska as Gloria staggered around pretending to be poisoned. Priceless! Equally enjoyable was watching Kevin spread those poison red herrings on the coffeehouse floor at Michael's feet. Michael, of course, wasn't fooled for a second, but Kevin's painstaking attempts at facial innocence had me spitting up my popcorn. As for Gloria, she's proven she's not a completely foolish feline, at least not since she maneuvered her way into money, so she's bound to remember that one about joining those you can't beat at their own game. Jack hasn't done too well blocking Gloria's body blows, so I don't think he'd have a hope of beating two skilled manipulators. Buy maybe Jeff's hidden handycam is the key. If the Abbotts can see and hear the Bardwells talking about her tainted cream and his blackmail of her for it, perhaps they can use it as leverage to squirt the squatters right out of their home.
Now, about that patient I mentioned in the title, not only is Y&R showing definite signs of renewed life, like chocolate, it's quickly becoming my addiction again. Often, I find myself perched on the edge of my sofa, glued to the drama playing out on the screen. Once again, starting my tape or tuning in to Soapnet is like picking up that book on my nightstand, opening it up to my bookmarked page and excitedly immersing myself in the next chapter.
Even those characters or couplings I once had little liking for (like Amber and her two stooges, Daniel and Kevin, the barely above boredom J.T. and Victoria, the haughty Heather, even Kevin and Jana) are beginning to grow on me as the cardboard characters they'd been turned into grow flesh and bone and substance before my daily watching eyes.
For instance, I must admit I felt quite proud of J.T. when in the middle of yet another of Nick's warning rants featuring father, J.T. put on the brakes. Something like: What happened between you and your father doesn't make him a monster and everybody else an idiot. You could almost hear the wind rushing right out of Nick's puffed up sails as J.T. strolled away. Now, I'll be the first fan to admit Victor is overbearing and contrary, and often as infuriating an individual as one can be, but it does get a little tiresome listening to Nick and Nikki talk as if nothing they've done has a bearing on Victor's vindictiveness. How many husbands, ex or otherwise, would tolerate their estranged spouse's lover practically living in his house on land he bought? Not any I know. And regardless of why he did the things he did, Nick owns shares in the family separation as well. But, back to J.T.. Though I was cheering him on, I really hope he doesn't one day live to hear Nick's gloating 'I tooold you so' syllables.
Another sign of improvement in the patient is the pace of our soap. Slowed to give us ample time to begin to care about couples. Okay, I still don't care about David Chow. I don't know that there's anything that can change my mind about him. I literally disliked him from the first sentence he uttered upon his arrival, hated the way he wrongly persecuted Drucilla with no real proof for the murder of his supposedly beloved almost fiancé, and then after finally being proven wrong, offered only an empty apology, then barely reacted at learning the real killer's identity. Unfortunately, nothing I've learned about him since has changed my original opinion and familiarity has only bred continued contempt. By the way, what does David do again? As Jabot's Co-CEO shouldn't he be seated at Nikki's side, poring over paperwork with her, instead of calling her up to inquire when she's coming home?
As for the new and improved (and much softer voiced) Amber, she's become not only tolerable, but likable. I find I'm actually rooting for her and Daniel. I guess Heather and Daniel could be all right together (Daniel seems likely to go after any girl as long as she's hot), but it's not quite as easy to buy into Heather's attraction for him. As a friend, sure, as a boyfriend, nah. Pair her with the Professor, Brad, maybe Adam, and they might generate a spark or two. These days, though, I'm getting the definite impression that Daniel is more sweet on Amber than he's letting on. Unfortunately, a rumor making the rounds hints at his discovery of something disturbing about Amber. Many are guessing it could have to do with a certain stash of currency Amber illegally confiscated. Of course, even if that rumor turns out to be true, it's not as if that would have to be the straw that knocked the camel flat. After all, it's not as if Daniel is a total stranger to telling a boldfaced lie or three. I think her one-time betrayal of her two bosom buddy boys could eventually be a forgivable offense.
In the just wondering category, I wonder why Nick didn't mention Hope's death to Jack. I remember she and Jack grew quite close during her stay in Victor's world, despite Victor's vehement disapproval of their friendship. With so many in GC (Nikki, Vicky, Nick, especially) reluctant to lay out the welcome mat for Hope, could Jack's long ago liking for Adam's late mother be the first board in a bridge between them? Whoa, wouldn't that get Victor's goat galloping?
So, Victoria has a friend. And it's said she'll soon be heading to Genoa City. And since this is such a May-December town, the rumors have her eyeing Victor. I'm looking forward to her arrival. It's about time Victor had someone new to romance. All corporate work and no sweet lovin' has made Victor a mean and bitter old man. Maybe Sabrina can mellow him out and make him mumble something positive.
Okay, I've rambled on enough. Time to give you fans a chance to type.