First of all, let me once again thank all of you for your patience and for not pelting me for admonishing emails for the late postings of the column this month. As I mentioned before, this is graduation month and it seems there is something going on nearly every day. But Graduation Day is Saturday, so I will finally be able to get back on track and on time with the column again.
Now, onward to what you came here for.
Much like the crumbling cement in the parking garage of the ill-fated Casino, cracks are also beginning to form in the foundation of the once fearless foursome at Restless Style. There is definitely trouble brewing in that particular paradise and it is sure to get worse, not better, as time goes on.
Nick, his main desire to find a sunny spot of his own, untouched by the large shadow of his forbidding father, has likely only exchanged one domineering despot for another. As we saw with NVP, Jack isn't good at sharing top mutt status and last week showed that his habits haven't changed just because he's now co-running Restless Style. Though the importance of the magazine launch is all the fearless four have been talking about for weeks, that didn't stop Nick from answering Victor's summons, then wasting time holding handfuls of hankies to his silly sister's sniffling snout. And while the two siblings prattled about pre-nuptials and who might be the most outraged by Daddy's betrothal, Jack was taking fair advantage of Nick's supposedly unreachable status to make unilateral magazine decisions. By the time Nick finally returned, the new cover decision was done, and there was little left for him to do except impotently protest. Though the two men talked and eventually resolved this particular difference, agreeing to let bygones be bygones and renewing their vow that all decisions would be co-made, we all knew that wouldn't be the final time Jack and Nick would butt their big inflated heads together. In fact, Nick wasted no time immediately showing Jack that two could play that executive veto game and evened the score by making the next decision all by his lonesome.
The animosity in the air doesn't begin and end with just the men, either. For Phyllis, just having Sharon in her general vicinity seems to bring out the hissing feline in her and every chance she got, she reached out and clawed another furrow in Sharon's skin. I'm not quite sure where all this is coming from. Clearly, she has the love of the man she cavorted with behind Sharon's married back and right under her nose, along with the toddling tot that's now rarely mentioned and never seen, so why the continuing attacks? You're always defending her and taking her side, we heard Phyllis whine more than once in Nick's direction, while taking verbal potshots at Sharon every other chance she got. She couldn't have been much more insulting with her accusations about Sharon's computer incompetence; though there was no reason to believe Sharon wouldn't be at least as computer savvy as any of the others when it comes to opening email attachments. The woman might not be the Web Wonder of the World as Phyllis is often touted as being, but with all the other hastily hired staff, it was just pure cattiness to automatically point to Sharon as the witless offender. Especially with GC's biggest airhead, Amber, answering the phone and playing at proficiency.
Then there was Jack, way too quick to grab a bucket and join Phyllis's let's dump dirt on Sharon brigade. I could have reached through the screen and hugged Sharon when she paid Jack back in spades with her lack of sympathy when he came crying to complain about Nick's high-handedness.
But, after one potential launch-halting crisis after another, in the end the magazine was successfully launched and apologies somewhat grudgingly extended to those who perhaps were entitled to it. And though the caustic contention was eventually chalked up to first issue jitters, every fan can see the tension goes much deeper than that. I expect a great deal of future fun and prideful breast beating, and as the two testosterone-stuffed males jockey for the top spot position, cheered on enthusiastically or dutifully defended, whichever the case may be, by their respective mates.
Speaking of mates, once again Nikki has let her emotions carry her into unchartered marital waters. Not much more than moments after learning of Victor's engagement to Sabrina, and obviously wanting to be a Mrs. Before Sabrina was, Nikki impulsively decided August was too long to wait to pledge her troth to her lying lizard of a man and agreed to take a crowded commercial flight to Mexico to be married by a mail order minister. Silly Nikki, I guess her daughter comes by it naturally. We already know it isn't likely to be all that long before Nikki begins to bitterly rue the day she wed her gambling man. When it comes time to separate herself from this latest spouse, she'll probably look to Michael or her in-house counsel, Heather. I'm sure one of them can find a way to somehow have the union declared null and void. In the meantime, though, I expect David will try some separation tactics of his own. As in separating Nikki from some of her fortune.
I swear, if Victoria doesn't start living her own dang life and stop throwing stones at Sabrina and Adam, I'm going to … well, I guess I can't do anything but continue to fume and hurl insults at her onscreen image. I about choked to death and died when she and her brother started talking about pre-nuptial agreements. Uhhh, do they even know what that is? Did Vicky have Brad sign a pre-nup? What about J.T.? And did Nick make Phyllis sign on the dotted line promising not to try to snatch most of his dollars to come should their marriage dissolve? But I digressed a bit. As usual. Anyway, how many more times do we have to listen and watch Victoria lash Adam and Sabrina with the same thorny switch? She's getting monotonous. Go to work, pamper your husband, take care of your invisible infant that you were allegedly prepared to die for yet now spend no time with and let Daddy's current woman and newfound son alone. I am so sick of her and her wounded woman portrayal. She needs to grow the heck up and pluck some of the weeds in her own overgrown garden. How can she even find the words to condemn Sabrina for her hasty engagement? Isn't she the wanton woman who cheated on her cheating husband, managed to get herself impregnated with her lover's child, then started co-habitating with him before she had even completely moved out of her husband's home? This is the woman in the glass house throwing rocks of accusation out the window at others?
So what Adam now lives in his father's house? Victoria should have thought of that possibility when she was busy jabbing Adam with her pointy little stick, enjoying lording over him the fact that she had a family to go home to and all he had was his little paid for room at the Club. Well, I guess he has a spacious place to call home now, doesn't he? Albeit, a slightly dysfunctional one made up of Daddy, Stepmommy dearest to be and a virtual army of hired help. Why shouldn't Adam live at the ranch? She and Nick once did. Oh, I guess they still do. Whether she likes it (or him) or not, he's as much a Newman as she and Nick are.
For Victoria, to hear her tell it, life seems to suck like lemons. Daddy and Mommy somehow living happily ever after together? To quote Daddy, it ain't gonna happen. At least not right now. Daddy ignoring his new son? Another ain't. Jabot her dream job? Well, despite Mommy being mostly in charge, even that may not be exactly the way she thought it would be. Brad's using every dastardly device listed in his little black book of betrayal and backstabbing, trying to detach David's link from the chain of command. No way he's going to all that trouble just to let Victoria get in line ahead of him. By right, when it comes to experience, he should be the man steering Jabot's ship through the corporate seas anyway. It's only the large soft spot in Katherine's heart for Nikki that has her, and by proxy, her new hubby, calling all the shots. Maybe I'm a fan among few, but I'm thoroughly enjoying watching Brad's antics. He's covering all the bases, softly stroking the egos of both Jill and Nikki with one hand while using the other to knock down all the beams holding David upright. And with a patronizing smile on his face, using his elbows to try to keep Victoria from edging ahead of him. Fun, fun, and hopefully a lot more fun.
When it comes to Adrian and Colleen, I'm not sure I agree with Professor Churlish that Colleen is the one with the immaturity issues. I know, I know, because she had second thoughts about the so-called truths contained in his book, Colleen has ruined his career, his chance at tenure, and to hear him tell it, allegedly the entire rest of his miserable life. But I was watching his little flashback, and what I saw was an older man manipulating his clearly conflicted and confused young lover. Can't you see it now, he said, whipping out a slide he'd made of the possible future. Why your Granny will be lauded as a hero, he claimed. I don't care what tripe is tripping off Professor Pouty's tongue now, despite her hesitation knowing her grandmother had always insisted on continued secrecy where she was concerned, he used Colleen's then rage against Daddy to persuade her to go along with his wishes to be a famous storyteller. Just my biased opinion, but he's getting exactly what he deserves. And I don't have a sliver of sympathy for him.
I have plenty of sympathy, however, for Karen. For the most part, I like Neil, but once again he has invited another woman on a roller coaster ride with him, then halfway up the steep incline, clambered out of the car and left her to free fall screaming down the other side alone. Remember his long ago one wild night with Olivia? Well, he's pretty much done the same thing with Karen. He begged this woman to move in with him (way too soon in my opinion), then threw Dru's name or habits in her face at every turn. Next, he wanted her to help raise Lily's baby, then gave her the cold shoulder because she didn't leap at the opportunity. When she left, he left message after message begging her to come back. But when she thought about doing so, he finally admitted she was right. It was Dru for him after all. So does that mean Dru is coming back? The rumors saying so haven't been confirmed, but the signs certainly seem to point in that direction.
For Gloria Bardwell, things continue their downward spiral. With her family still not willing to open their arms and let her completely back into their dysfunctional family circle, Gloria has split her time between listening to Jana prattling about good and bad karma and denying any feelings of love for Jeffrey. As a result of heeding Jana, she has irrevocably given away half of her fortune to the tune of 50 million. And because she was too stubborn to admit to Jeffrey that she's edged over into the love half of that thin line between it and hate, he's once again waving that face cream blackmail bag before her face, using it to wrest away every bit of the other 50. Though it's been long in coming, it just may be true that in her case, she really is going to reap a full harvest from the rotten seeds she's sown for so long. But I don't worry overmuch about Miss Gloria. Because even though Jeffrey may end up stealing every single red cent in her bank account, we know he still loves her, so in the end, she'll probably get it all back when they finally stop fighting and start loving.
Wow, has Lily finally gotten to grow up or what? She's certainly making all these other so-called grown-ups look a bit immature. First she refused Cane's marriage proposal, knowing she wasn't ready for that kind of commitment. And now she's impressed me with her reason for not scurrying into a shack-up with him. Of course, there is perhaps still one lesson from her past that didn't quite take. The one where Amber and her soft porn undermined her marriage. Inviting another woman into her home might not have been the smartest move. Despite all the many cutting comments Chloe has hurled in Lily's direction, clearly she's positively foamy green with envy and wishes more than anything that she could be Lily. I'm loving Cane and Lily together so am not looking forward to a big misunderstanding over Chloe's drunken kiss and pass at Cane that might derail this fresh, clean romance. Besides, I thought Chloe was hired by Jill because she was supposedly good at her job and much in demand. And I presume at a more than adequate salary. Yet, now we're supposed to buy that she's financially and emotionally incapable of sustaining herself without the help of the barely legal model she was hired to promote. The whole thing reeks of semi-rancid contrivance to me, but oh well. Anything to move things along at a fast and interesting pace.
Wow, I just read a bundle of spoilers of upcoming events. If even half of them are accurate, the final week of May should be well worth watching. I can hardly wait.
Well, fans, I see after reading your comments that in many instances, some of our thoughts are racing along the very same paths. Nice to know I have a little company. So, without further ado and another paragraph of my prose, I'll step aside so others can read what I already enjoyed.