Or at least that's what it seems we're being led to believe.
In the matter of Victor and Nikki and Ashley, how things have changed yet somehow remain much like they used to. Watching Ashley gaze disdainfully down the length of her nose at Nikki, I felt a bit disoriented. As if I'd stumbled backward into the tangled tale of their long ago past. And I was instantly reminded of all the reasons I've never cared overmuch for the seemingly moralistic Ms. Abbott. As I mentioned last column, I'm not and never was a fan of Victor and Ashley. But, as I was currently equally unwilling to pump my pom poms in the air in support of Victor and Nikki, I resolved to attempt to view 2008's version of Victor and Ashley with unbiased eyes and an unmade up mind. Unfortunately my resolve failed me the moment Ashley slyly and cattily inserted the information that Nikki didn't believe Victor's hands were free of Walter's blood, but she, the wonderful Ashley, more commonly known as the sordid snatcher of unsuspecting swimmers, most certainly did. Because, and I quote her: I know you better. Which remark made me immediately wish to shove her right off her stacked stilettos. Okay, maybe it was just me who thought so, but I felt that statement was unnecessary and whose only purpose was to cast Nikki in a dark and unflattering light. Since Ashley was running her self-promoting mouth, why didn't she confess it was this same clueless about Victor woman who sent her seeking Victor in the first place? Foolish Nikki, by the way. As for Nikki, it didn't take her long to realize her good deed was definitely not going to go unpunished. In fact, I'm guessing she now knows the price tag for her idiotic idea is going to be much, much more than she budgeted for.
For now, anyway. Because I've read the rumors and red herrings littered all over cyberspace. Rumors hinting this was going to be the love story that would allegedly outshine all previous Victor-Nikki romantic reunions. A story that would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Nikki's love for Victor is all-encompassing and will endure until the end of Genoa City time. And that his love for her would eventually return, placing him at the same fork in the road as her, when presumably they would then proceed down the path together. And if that is true, then the day will come when Ashley will be required to pay in full for her every snooty word and deed. She's only a couple of days into her resumed relationship with Victor, yet she's already behaving as if she's wearing his ring and carrying his wee one. I wonder if she remembers how to spell rebound? What would it have cost her to simply tell Nikki she'd found Victor and that if he wasn't completely recovered, was in no danger of doing away with himself? All I can say is she might want to savor the sweet taste of victory while she can, because I'm guessing one day it will surely sour on her stomach.
Now, to the grim-faced Grinch who regularly steals everybody's joy, I mean Victor. Just as I was finally buying into his grief and depression, it ends in the twinkling of an eye. Who knew all the man needed was a warm meal and some hot Ö well you know. Sabrina who? he might as well say. Because it's all about my beautiful Ashley now. The same my beautiful Ashley he kicked to the curb about thirty seconds after she kicked Brad to the curb on the other side of the street. I'll never forget that infamous moment and only wish I had thought to keep it on tape so I could laugh uproariously at it whenever I chose.
Anyway, now that Ashley's, um, adoring attention has made Victor a new and emotionally mended man, it will soon be back to the black business of revenge. With the combined wrath and might of the entire Newman clan assembled against him, does Adam even have a hope in the hot place of coming out unscathed? Not to mention, he's probably only days away from being unmasked by Frank the forger. After that, the magazine will be looking for their two mil back, a portion of which he can probably recoup when Heather flings his engagement ring back at him with one hand while trying to pick up the scattered pieces of her ruined career with the other.
Unfortunately, the possibility of returning to both a penniless and un-engaged state is probably the least of all the misfortunes I expect await Adam in the very near future. When Victor realizes what Adam has done, he isn't likely to be satisfied until Adam is ruined beyond all recognition. Which is too bad. Because I still say the character of Adam had so much promise and his story, if told right, could have turned into a riveting and heart-tugging tale. Instead, he seems to have been brought to Genoa City solely to be a whipping boy for the Newmans and Jack and has turned into this one-dimensional character with no redeeming qualities. Having Victor go after him now just seems like overkill and abuse. If Adam failed to hold his own against lightweights Victoria and Nick, and was easily made a schmuck by Jack, what chance could he possibly stand against a fully-enraged Victor? In spite of my disappointment in where the Adam character has gone, though, I'm still hoping the scribes plan to yank a jackrabbit out of their magician's top hat that will somehow salvage this character.
Owww - ouch!
It's been a long time coming but finally, a little bit of payback pain has been applied to Phyllis' backside. After all the spoilers, I was ready for the moment, and with a big bowl of popcorn cradled in my lap, fully expected to laugh so hard jet propelled popcorn kernels would pepper the carpet. But, surprisingly enough, when the day finally came, it wasn't nearly as gratifying as I had hoped and expected. It wasn't that I didn't feel the painful pinch of payback was deserved; it just wasn't as pleasurable as I had imagined it would be. And while I didn't quite feel sorry for Phyllis, at the same time, I couldn't quite celebrate her comeuppance. I thought she did an excellent job expressing her rage and hurt, both in her reaction when she saw the kiss in Paris and the delayed one that caused her to trash her living room. In the hotel room, it was easy to imagine myself or someone I knew haphazardly stuffing clothes in a suitcase, frantically looking around to make sure there was no trace that I'd ever arrived. But, having said all that, I can't claim I want Nick and Phyllis to soldier on successfully, because I certainly don't. Actually, I'm more than ready for this pairing to die a quick death and recede into the past. I know life isn't fair, but Genoa Citians aren't living real lives and in a make believe world I like things to balance out more equitably. Nick cheated on his wife with Phyllis and she reveled in the joy and pain of that, and I really wouldn't mind watching Sharon return the favor.
I completely enjoyed Nick and Sharon's Parisian promenade. Yes, an awful lot of muddy water has trickled beneath their bridge. He cheated, she cheated. He lied, she lied. But watching them, I was reminded of their early days and how head over heels Nick was about her. Phyllis has always seemed too mature, shall we say, for Nick. In fact, while Nick was daydreaming about and doodling Sharon's name all over the pages of his high school notebook, an all grown up Phyllis was in hot and single-minded pursuit of the very married Danny, coldly plotting to impregnate herself with a seed she would later swear came from Danny's supply. Just like with today's Chloe, I have no sympathy for and refuse to root for any trollop who purposely sets out to saddle a man with someone else's child.
So, will Nick and Phyllis eventually come to a parting of the ways? Had Phyllis confronted Nick with what she witnessed on that Paris bridge, then or not much later, I would have guessed no. Phyllis has always been an in your face kind of feline, and the fact that she's remained uncharacteristically silent doesn't bode well for what she might be plotting as payback to Nick and especially Sharon. Nick, not always the pointiest pencil in the box, must be growing sharper as he gracefully ages, because he seems to sense, just a little, the growing menace in the insincerity in his wife's simpering smiles and short, double-edged sentences. A vengeance seeking Phyllis is no one to play with. Just ask Sasha Green, her co-conspirator in DNA tampering. Oh, wait, you can't. Because she burned to a crisp like a strip of forgotten bacon sizzling in a skillet mere minutes after being visited by Phyllis. And if you should happen to spot a scarf-wearing Phyllis filling out forms at the Avis car rental counter, someone might want to whisper a warning to Sharon to look both ways, two or three times, in fact, before taking a step into any Genoa City street. Should Phyllis continue down the path she appears to be heading for, the chances of her and Nick growing old together seem remote. But what do I know, I'm only guessing like all of you.
When it comes to Jack's pain, if in fact anyone other than Phyllis can make him feel such a strong emotion, who cares? More deceitful and manipulative than anyone else in town, save Gloria, it's really gotten hard to believe he has true, deep feelings for anyone. Or that he's supposedly so devastated by Sharon's disillusionment that he's flinging phones across the floor. Sure, he's jealous of Nick, but that seems more about a blow to his puffed up pride than because he's so madly in love with Sharon. He's become almost a cartoon caricature of a clown who sounds ridiculous ranting and raging about what Sharon could be keeping from him, when the only time he's not telling a lie is when his mouth is not moving. Relationship wise, Jack was at his most interesting and most likable when he was paired with Phyllis. If the scribes aren't going to revisit that scenario, I'd rather watch him wheel and deal and attempt to steal Jabot back. Because having him pretend to be a caring husband and step papa has failed miserably and is painful to watch, not to mention, completely unbelievable.
When Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz said: people come and go so quickly here, she could have been talking about Genoa City. Kay died one day and her funeral was the next. Or so it seemed. If it was more, how might she possibly have survived two cold November nights, with her legs in presumably frigid water, with nothing to warm her but a blazer? And what about yet another example of the incompetency of the GC Police. When Sabrina was killed, Heather and Paul were both poking around the scene. Yet Katherine Chancellor runs off the road, and there's no investigation. Wouldn't it have been apparent, more than one person was in the car? Wouldn't there have been two purses? Blood in both seats? Did Marge not have any identification? Then there was that fax from the rehab center. Wasn't the reason Kay withdrew cold cash from her account (besides giving Kevin an excuse to revert to his untrustworthy ways) to prevent her name on a Chancellor check being associated with the rehab center, thus unleashing a horde of news-seeking reporters on the hot trail of her scent? I know, nitpicks, but still some of the many questions cluttering my distracted mind.
Kay's farewell turned out to be quite a lovely sendoff, and how enjoyable it was to see so many faces from the past show up to pay their respects and reminisce about the days gone by. So different from the pitiful parting John Abbott received from the former key tappers and the sparse sprinkling of mourners who showed up. By the way, Marge was funny as heck and worth the watch as she played narrator at what she thought was her own grand finale. Although I couldn't help but notice she was considerably more bejeweled and elegantly attired than she ever was in real life.
Jill's obvious jealousy of Nikki making her even more of a female dog on wheels than she usually is, she showed all that is ugly in her. I couldn't believe she so coldly suggested Nikki wring out her tear-soaked hanky and go sit her weeping self down. Regardless of the fact Nikki wasn't Kay's daughter, she has been more loyal and loving toward Kay than Jill ever was and it was so callous of Jill to make light of her grief. And what was the hurry for Nikki to plop her posterior in a chair anyway? Because despite Jill's claim that Brock wanted everyone to sit, I didn't see any other mourners rushing for a seat like they were in a life and death game of Musical Chairs. They all remained standing around playing do you remember when. Jill's remark was just mean and spiteful and completely uncalled for. Jill's greed was on clear display as well, as she prematurely claimed the top spot at both Chancellor and Jabot, basically telling her boys to trail behind her and collect whatever scraps she couldn't fit in her in box. You know what that means, of course. That she's probably not getting all she thinks she is. I don't mind admitting my jaws are practically dripping at the delicious thought of the coming reading of the Will.
All in all, we're halfway through and November has been simply grand. This is what soap telling is all about. Scandalous schemes, payback planning and far-reaching romances. Kay wandering around out there, likely touched by amnesia, and probably about to live Marge's life for awhile. Will she find romance with the humble, loyal Murphy? Has she temporarily forgotten who she is or will she only pretend she has until she figures out what to do next? And what about Murphy? Does he not subscribe to the Genoa City News? He eats at the diner daily. Aren't there any papers laying around for the customers to skim? Presumably Katherine Chancellor is as rich and famous, if not moreso, than Victor Newman. So wouldn't her picture be plastered on the front page? Surely Murphy might have a question or two about the remarkable resemblance between the two. I wonder how long Genoa City life is going to go on with all thinking Katherine is gone for good?
And what of Chloe? Her callous cruelty toward Esther and Lily has been shelved temporarily during the emotional upheaval of Kay's loved ones and for a change I didn't want to hit the fast forward button to avoid a dangerous spike in blood pressure. Wouldn't it be nice if all the Chancellor family love and unity rubbed off on her and caused her to come clean with all her sordid secrets? Yeah, I know, pipe dreams, right?
Will Kay leave Gloria those Jabot shares she so greedily covets? And if she did, will the Abbott-Bardwell Jabot takeover finally get off the ground, giving Jack a purpose in life that has nothing to do with Victor? Not that he still won't have a fight on his hands, against the Bardwells, this time. But will he fare any better against them than he has against Victor?
Is Adam really going to be the only hands clutching the bag with the forged diary inside? When Heather finds out what he did and how he tricked her, will Adam have to get his own room at the Inn?
Will there actually be wedding bells in Karen's future? Or will she continue down Martyr Lane and wrap her man up in a big red bow and hand him to Tyra? Much like Lily handed over Cane to Chloe. Will Billy ever stop being Mr. Flippant Remarks and get serious about Lily?
Now that Daddy's home, how will he and number one son get along? Is Nick going to stay at Newman or go back to RSM and wonder what the heck is going on with his rage simmering beneath the surface bride? Is Neil going to remain head honcho in charge or return to his subservient status behind the Newman boy and girl?
It does seem as if the tide has finally turned in Genoa City. The show is beginning to feel like it has substance again. Instead of every man, woman and child being their own individual island, the threads of families and friends are being knitted back together. Genoa City inhabitants are beginning to feel and act and talk like real people with interesting lives and problems some of us can relate to. Hopefully things will continue to improve leaving us fans plenty to look forward to in our favorite soap town. And I don't plan to miss a moment of it.
Until then, enjoy the remarks from the mailbox:
Claudette - If Nick and Sharon get back together I will quit watching Y&R for good. They are just such a pathetic match.
Marj - I hope Mrs. C takes on the role of Marge. That would make the storyline pretty exciting. But then again at 80, I can't imagine having a brain that functions so well and a career I enjoy at that age and still want to do, let alone remembering lines, and acting in such a marvelous, passionate way. You go Jeanne Cooper, you are an inspiration to us all. I am rooting for Nick and Sharon to get back together especially since Noah is heading for trouble. I have never liked Nick and Phyllis together. She acts so high and mighty when she was cheating behind Sharon's back to get Nick. She and Jack do deserve each other. Neil needs to stay with Karen. Tyra and Ana need to go. They are boring. I love that Daniel came to his senses and followed his heart back to Amber. He and Colleen did not fit. I can't wait until stupid Cane finds out Chloe's baby is really Billy's. The whole marrying Chloe before finding out if the baby is even his was pretty lame. The 50s are long past. Gloria is one of my favorite characters since she is always scheming in some way, she keeps things interesting. Don't see enough of Brad. He's really easy on the eyes and great to look at no matter what he is doing. Victor is so full of himself. He needs to get back to his family and get his head out of his a%& he can grieve at home, stop treating his family so poorly, and put a stop to Adam. It would be different if Victor had a heart, but he is so self centered, I would love for Sabrina's death to change him for the better, make him softer toward his family and his grandkids. That would be great if he came back and helped get Noah on a different path. Now that would make for good TV since so many grandparents are taking more of a role in their grandchildren's lives.
Vivien - I know it's daytime. I know I'm supposed to suspend my disbelief. But I'm really having problems with this Paris storyline. Nick had to leave Restless Style to take over at Newman Enterprises. But now he's doing the tourist thing with his ex-wife, who only just returned to NE. but is also strolling around the city as if she didn't have a care in the world. Nikki, who also just started her completely unqualified position at Restless Style, had the time to fly to London, and is now traipsing around looking for Kay. So who was running the magazine? Phyllis, who had to hop a plane to, guess where? Paris, to do a modeling shoot. Now she's all adrift looking around Paris for her husband. Where can I get a job like any of these slackers have?
Nicky - I personally love the fact that Tyra is back. I dunno about Ana but I want to see something happen between Neil and Tyra. Eva Pigford is just beautiful in that role. We need another sista in this soap. Lily doesn't count. And seriously what kind of black woman has no black friends? I mean Lily keeps on hanging out with the same people- Colleen, Daniel etc. She should have at least one good black friend.
Lori - I also think Nick & Sharon, Lily & Cane belong together. Cane needs to find out the truth about her lying and scheming ways. Along with Billy. I heard at one point that Summer was really Jack's kid. Instead of all the heartache with the favorites in Genoa City, we need a real shake up that rocks the lives of some and brings our favorites back together for good!
Poppycock - Tuesday's eppy had me in tears; something that's been foreign to me watching Y&R for the last couple of years! The Paris location scenes have been everything and more for fans of Nick and Sharon! There can be no denying any longer. Nick is certainly feelin' the love for his ex-wife, Sharon. They looked happy, carefree and appeared to be falling in love all over again! It was a beautiful sight to this fan! Also a beautiful sight was seeing Phyllis reel at the passionate kiss her husband was clearly enjoying with Sharon! All I have to say after the rushed exit from Nick's hotel room is hide all the matches & car keys, cause hurricane Phyllis has been released! Jack, are you ready for round two with the fiery red head? I hope so! Just when I dried my eyes, Nikki & Jill finding a dead Katherine/Marge was so heart wrenching! I really love that crusty ol' bird, Mrs. C! Let's hope her story doesn't end here! Cannot wait for what's in store, Y&R is back on track!
Barbara - The only story at all interesting to me at this time is the Katherine/Marg storyline. Victor needs to get over himself and Lord help us all if they put him back with Ashley. He belongs with Nikki. And please kill off Heather and Adam.
JM - It's confirmed. Victor is truly a male. All it took was some sex with Ashley to make him feel alive again. It's amazing how quickly this solves all male problems, even deep, dark, unimaginable grief.
April - Phyllis is getting everything she deserves. She moved in on Nick & Sharon's marriage like a freaking vulture. Karma is kicking her in the rear. I'm usually a fan of Jack's, and always feeling sorry for him. However, he has gone too far with this journal thing, and I can't wait until he gets his. Gloria will never be redeemed in my eyes until it is revealed she & not Jack tainted that cream. I don't care how many bug-eyed crying scenes we get from her. Finally, all I have to say is poor Ashley.
Alissa - I am loving seeing Phyllis have to deal with Nick and Sharon kissing! What goes around, comes around, Phyl! Deal with it!
Eve - Okay, I know the writers are trying to dig themselves out of that hole that LML got Genoa City into, but if I hear or see one more soap opera cliche, I am going to give up. One of these two look-alikes died, but not the one everyone thinks! Ex-spouses exchange a tender kiss, but who spots them but his wife! Mourning patriarch wallowing in doom, defeat, and despair, slips into the first ex-lover's bed he's offered, and it brings him alive again! This perky little buttercup is pregnant by one of two brothers - but not the one she's married to! And on and on and on. Is there nothing new under the Genoa City sun? I'm quite willing to take bets that Ashley is now going to be pregnant by her one-night stand with Victor; that Sharon may decide to Jack, but before she does will end up sleeping with both Nick and Jack within the same weekend, end up pregnant, and we'll play who's the daddy again; and that just as Neil and Karen are about to tie the knot, Ana will start singing and Neil will, sadly, NOT strangle the kid, but decide he needs to be with Tyra. And that the Chloe/Cane/Billy triangle is going to go on for ever and ever and ever, about as long as Ana's singing career, and between the two of them, I'm hitting fast forward a lot.
June - I have to say that last week's soap was pretty interesting with a death, a Paris trip, a lip lock, a teen arrest, a rebound sleepover, and a reunion of long lost characters. I enjoyed the scenes in Paris and I really enjoyed the closeness that Sharon and Nick shared. They talked about a lot of things that should have been shared long ago. I especially enjoyed Phyllis's temper tantrum. I watched it multiple times. I thought it was rather funny. If one kiss brought her to such rage, what would she have done if Sharon started to have an affair and get pregnant with Nick's baby and flaunt it in her face on a daily basis...hmm. Can we say Karma? I thought that Ashley's condescending comments to Nikki were so horrible and unsympathetic. I guess sleeping with Victor one time makes her feel like she is the Queen Bee again and Nikki is the outcast. Nikki is the one who pleaded with her to look for Victor she could have at least assured her that he would be okay. Then for her to sit apart from her family and look so smug when Victor sat down next to her was so disgusting. I didn't realize that Jill was so insecure as to not even allow Nikki to grieve for Katherine without acting jealous.
Linda - I'm thrilled that Catherine will be staying on the show. Hope her exit is only through her real demise 100 years from now. I'm also delighted that Ashley is back and would love to see her and Victor live happily ever after. Vicky can take a hike.
Marie - I love the character of Adam but the abuse is getting real thin with me. How long will the Adam character last on this show with the way he is being written. Victor, Ashley and kiddies are just grotesque. Cane was a good character now he looks dumb and stupid.
Cheryl - Interesting times. Jeanne Cooper was great in her scenes in the church beside the coffin. She was a delicate but boisterous blend of Katherine and Marge. If the will re-distributes the wealth a little, Jill may just find out that she is not the Queen of all that she can see. I would love to see Katherine walk through the door of the mansion a few weeks after the inheritances have been laid in the benefactors' laps, so she can see what they have done with their new wealth. Then she would see who her friends really were. Gloria certainly doesn't deserve anything. She is a user and an abuser, using John's name in every other sentence to garner sympathy in her weekly schemes. I say she needs to wear that orange jumpsuit for awhile, along with her fellow Fisher felons. Jack's plea for love again, is just plain revolting. John's ghost should go away, for good. In the after-life, how convenient it is that he can see all of Jack's dirty deeds, but none of Gloria's. I am glad Victor is back and Ashley is with him, but that will likely only last as long as it takes for him to stay the night. I hope to see a new power base in GC.