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 Two Scoops: December 1, 2008 columns
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Michelle Stafford
She's baaack!
by Nita
For the Week of December 1, 2008
For a long time now, some Phyllis fans have been dismayed at the docile direction the character had taken.
For a long time now, some Phyllis fans have been dismayed at the docile direction this character has taken. As she girlishly giggled and loud talked her way through many a situation, many found her watered down persona barely bearable. In fact, some claimed Michelle herself might also have been a bit bored with her personification of bad girl gone goody goody, and accused her of sometimes seeming to phone in her performances. I'm not saying she was, I'm just repeating some of the stuff people wrote. Well, after this week I think fans and foes alike might agree this is no longer the case. For all who have missed and wished their old Phyllis back, Christmas has come early.

While the Paris kiss wasn't seen round the world, as was Nikki's lip lock with Chow, it was observed by the one person who would hate to see it most. But not for Phyllis a straightforward confrontation with the man with the roving mouth, or even an acrimonious episode of accusing finger pointing at her ex-rival for Nick's affection, Sharon. No, instead Phyllis has chosen to solve this situation once and for all, albeit in a complicated, roundabout, bound to backfire on her behind one day kind of way. When Jack turned a deaf ear to her pleas to shorten the leash on his Nick-seeking bride, especially when Phyllis revealed she'd dug deep into his personal dirt, his refusal to help didn't faze her in the least. She simply crossed off his name and went to the next on her short list of available accomplices. And unlike his former bro-in-law, Brad's arms have been empty for a very long time, so though he put on an admirably indifferent front, it took but an hour or two for that fašade to crumble, and soon he was greedily gobbling the Sharon bait from Phyllis' palm.

I know soap situations are make believe, but there are definitely times when the pretend thing can be an exact replica of the real life thing. So it seems to be when it comes to infidelity. For instance, when a man cheats on his wife in reality, the wife rarely snatches up her fellow to rip up one side and down the other. No, she typically nudges him aside in order to heap scorn and abuse on his female partner. I don't know why it's that way, but I've seen it happen time after time. And so it happens in the soap world. Just like when Nick and Phyllis were doing their wild thing behind Sharon's back, most of the heated remarks slammed either Phyllis or Sharon. Nick, by comparison, sometimes got barely a mention for his part in that threesome. Phyllis is all about blaming Sharon. I can understand that. But how come she isn't also demanding to know why Nick has a problem keeping his soft lips to himself? Denying any possibility of it taking two to tangle limbs together, in Phyllis' mind, the fault is solely Sharon's. She even said so, when she disagreed that it took two to tango. Oh yeah, well have YOU ever seen someone tango-ing with themselves? She said it was because Sharon always turns for solace to the first man who comes along. How funny that she can't see her own reflection when she picks up that mirror to hand to Sharon. Or, for that matter, every woman's face who resides in Genoa City. It's not as if any of these ladies ever truly make it on their own. Despite what several have been heard to proclaim, there is always some man's arm in easy reach when they find they need to steady themselves.

Phyllis fans might strongly disagree, but her desperation and insecurities are clearly showing. Badmouth and blacken Sharon's name and reputation all she wants, if she's so confident she's all her husband wants, why is she going to such elaborate lengths to keep the two apart? I guess she believes the one about cheater once, cheater again. And, regardless of the whys, wherefores and endless arguments about who cheated first or most often, we definitely all agree the hat labeled cheater dies fit Nick's handsome head rather well.

At the moment, I'm not a Phyllis fan, although I was in the Jack-Phyllis days, but even I must admit, I find her much more interesting in her diabolical mode. Don't get me wrong, I'm still rooting for her to get herself entangled in her own snare and to wind up losing Nick, but I can still enjoy her putting all the pieces in place. This Phyllis makes enjoyable watching. Coldly determined to do whatever it takes to ensure Nick's neck remains in the noose with her hand holding the rope, she could care less whose toes she might trample on her way to what she wants. So what if she helps hasten the end of Jack's marriage? As she likely looks at things, she gave Jack the right of first refusal and his decision to decline her offer means he deserves whatever he gets. So what if Noah gets caught in the crossfire when yet another family he's part of falls to pieces, once again due in part to Phyllis? I say bring on your best, Phyllis. If there's any justice in the soap world (though sometimes when it comes to Phyllis, there isn't always), she could come to rue the day she put this putrid plot in motion.

Phyllis isn't the only hater in the house. Not since Olivia returned to town. I was really planning to give her a chance, but it hardly took any time at all for me to recall why I haven't missed her wet blanket presence. Sad to see her long time away hasn't made her any happier or less judgmental. Was I the only fan who wanted to shove her right out of sight when she gave her unsolicited opinion of Neil's choice for a wife? Hater, hater, hater. What is her major malfunction anyway? Still alone and without an adoring man to call her own, how dare she toss a monkey wrench in some other women's happy romance. She has no idea about what they've gone through or the ties that bind them. There's no chemistry between you and Karen she told Neil, after having observed them on less than a handful of occasions. You'd be better off with Tyra, who is more like Dru, she opined. Oh puleeze. Tyra is nothing at all like Dru. And maybe it's just the view from my biased eyes, but I fail to see any chemical spark between Neil and Tyra. Obviously, Tyra is interested in Neil. We can't help but see all those googly-eyed looks she's always aiming at the side of his head. I have to give her credit, though, for not trying to step to Neil despite his relationship with Karen. Not so with Olivia, who slept with Brad while best bud Ashley struggled with cancer. Not surprising she would have no respect for Karen's relationship with Neil.

As for Neil, I'm not too thrilled with him either for his reaction to Olivia's words. After all his big talking, he sure seemed to be giving a lot of weight to what she said. Sometimes he can be so wishy washy. Just because Karen isn't Dru and Olivia has Neil thinking Tyra might be, he seems to be second-guessing his love for Karen. He already knew Tyra had an eye on him because Karen told him so. He's been babbling about how Tyra and Ana are family. Now we're supposed to believe he could suddenly get the hots for his family member. I can see it now. Tyra will have no use for Gil since he was forced to do his job and take Ana away. So whose shoulder is she liable to weep on? Neil's, of course. I already feel bad for Karen because Neil has already shown that he'll make decisions about Tyra without consulting Karen.

It was nice to see the various families enjoying Thanksgiving. Turkey Day at the Chancellor mansion was a hoot. All of what Esther had to say, Jill has had coming for a very long time and the look on Jill's face as each cutting comment struck dead center was hilarious and warranted multiple watching. Now that Esther is no longer the maid, Chloe finally felt she had a Mommy to be proud of and her attempts to stifle her laughter was also worth a double watch. By the way, moving for a moment into fashion, Chloe and Victoria both took home the blue ribbons for their Thanksgiving Day frocks.

Without Olivia to dampen the festivities with her long face of disapproval, the Winters were having a decent time until Gil and Child Protection dropped by. I guess Yolanda set aside her crack pipe and got sober long enough to report her daughter missing. Ana's reaction was actually quite good and completely believable and would likely have had me dabbing at my eyes if the moment had lasted any longer. Does this mean Devon will try to get custody of his sister? And if he's not successful due to his youth and the fact that he has no visible means of income, will Neil step into the breach and volunteer his services with this possible scenario: Karen goes into martyr mode (something she's proved she's great at) and insists on stepping aside so Neil can marry Tyra with the two of them providing Ana a stable and happy home? Hmmm. There's all kinds of ways this one could go. I'll guess I'll sit back and see what happens next

Getting back to Olivia for a moment. Nice that she didn't limit her doomsday predictions just to Neil and Karen's relationship. She was no more encouraging to Ashley about her ill-advised decision to link her life with Victor's yet again. I think Olivia just needs to find somebody to love. At least it would let her focus on her own life's ups and downs instead of everyone else's. Although I couldn't help but giggle as she carefully picked and chose her words concerning Ashley's previous departures from reality when it came to Victor. I know I'll never forget the sight of a robe-wearing Ashley babbling about the blue blanket named Robert she was cuddling in her lap.

Speaking of someone who's been repeatedly pummeled by Victor, Nikki had her high hopes dashed yet again when she answered Ashley's Victor extended invitation to enter the presence of the great and powerful Oz. Contrary to her belief that Victor might be ready to lay a forgiving paw upon her bent and repentant head, instead he only wanted to berate her for the thousandth time about how she was to blame for everything gone sour in his once sweet existence. This time, in addition to being to blame for the slaying of his wife and unborn child, Nikki was also considered the likely carrier of the damning diary. Even though he was way off the mark, I do see why he might come to that conclusion. As far as he knows, Nikki was the only other person to frequent the little thatched hut on the beach. He has no idea Jack and Adam also found his hovel hideaway. It was good to see Nikki finally fight back and tell Victor exactly what hot place he could haul his horrid hide to. It's too bad everyone is so intent on blowing smooches toward that unmentionable spot on Victor's bod. Because I wish just one person would buy the guts to tell him if he's determined to blame someone for Sabrina and Baby Doe Newman, it's the man glaring back at him from the mirror. He'll probably never admit it, at least not for months, but in his heart, Victor knows it's he, not Nikki, who's to blame for Sabrina climbing in that limo with Chow that fateful night. For had he, with his pet attorney, Michael, obediently in tow, not been at the Newman Ranch playing Grand Inquisitor with Sabrina's ex-boyfriend, he could have taken his own wife home and he'd be halfway to having another Newman heir by now.

I wasn't watching way back in the days when not yet legal Paul and Nikki first made eye contact, so when I heard the rumors they'd be rumpling the sheets together, I wasn't sure how that would come across. But now that the deed has been done, I'm really looking forward to Victor's reaction to the new couple. Because as much as he claims hatred for Nikki, he's never been able to stomach another man having any real claim on her. As for Paul, he's held the short end of the stick when it comes to women for too long. It will be rather nice to see him have someone on his arm for a change.

I'm also really looking forward to the coming battle for Jabot and am on pins and needles in anticipation of the look on Jill's and Cane's countenances when they realize Jabot has escaped from beneath the Chancellor umbrella. With Jack, Ashley and Billy all presumably vying for the CEO seat, it will literally be brother against brother against sister. Add into that the bickering Bardwells and there could be a whole lotta secrets coming out. If Gloria betrays Jeffrey, will her part in the tainted cream plot finally come out. How delicious it would be if Jeff sold Glo down the river to Ashley, who then used the info to keep Gloria in a name only position in the company.

Adam is holding on to his best poker face for all he is worth, but you can definitely see the cracks beneath the surface. I know he's been written sometimes as a man with a mere speck of brainpower at his disposal, but even he can't help but hear the truth in Nick's words. Jack has manipulated him so that his paw prints appear to be the only ones on the forged diary. But now that Victor knows Jack's invisible prints are right alongside Adam's, he won't rest until he's bested Jack yet again. I imagine it will only take a minute or so for Michael to discover Frank the forger is in custody and after putting one and one together and figuring out the whole plot, Victor's money, power and veiled threats will do the rest. Unfortunately, I don't yet see how Adam can possibly come out of this unscathed, let alone be allowed back into the Newman family, although I won't give up hoping he somehow will until the stout lady warbles the last high note on the ending song.

In the takes one to know one category I place a little Neil stick figure. How funny to hear him disapprovingly commenting to Billy about the inadvisability of a relationship with his brother's ex-fiance. I bet that brought back a few memories for old Neil, the man who lusted so hard after his brother's fiancÚ, he nearly got the man killed. Not to mention his one night stand with Olivia who in turn had her own fierce fixation on two of her sister's men.

Oh, the rumors about coming events are being bandied wildly about across cyberspace. As Phyllis puts her plan in motion, I've heard Jack is going to find himself once again caught between a covering lie and the ugly truth. Of course, it's Jack, so it is universally believed he will choose the covering lie. He thinks he's a match for Phyllis, but I doubt he is, which means his lie isn't likely to buy him much time and will probably bring Brad's dream of a happy home with Sharon one or two steps closer to fruition.

And what's that I heard about Chloe and Lily and a possible visit to the hospital? What could it mean? That the little girl news Chloe so happily shared with Cane last week may never come to be? Or will someone realize the wee one Chloe's carrying couldn't possibly belong to Cane? I don't know about any of you, but my fingers are crossed that the truth about Chloe's baby daddy drama will finally come out. And it would serve the little minx right if both of Jill's boys wound up infatuated with Lily and none with her.

Well, November might be at an end, but it sounds as if the excitement is going to continue for some time to come. I'll be watching with bated breath right alongside all of you. See you in a week. Until then, your fellow fans share their opinions next.

* * * * * * *


Nanette - When Nick got the paternity test of Phyllis' baby he ran away. Some of us think the baby may not really be his and that he claimed her because he really wanted Phyllis at the time. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

JM - Kudos to the new writing staff! The changes are evident and things are getting back on track for my fave soap. I am so happy about the Paul/Nikki pairing. I have loved Paul since I started watching many years ago and never felt he got good storylines. While I'm not a huge Nikki fan, it at least puts Paul at the forefront. However, I was disappointed in some of the Paris scenes. While Nick and Sharon were interesting to watch, why have the fake background scenery? If they were shooting on location, why have the whole obvious video of people in the background? I do have high hopes for a Billy/Lily pairing, as Cane's character has now been reduced to being Chloe's wimpy tag along. And I find Tyra just annoying. I see no chemistry with her and Neil.

Trey - I don't like all the Tyra hating! As a person of color, I'm thrilled to see another face of color on this show. And I'm all for giving Tyra a chance. Neil and Karen are extremely boring and I think given time Tyra could prove to be a very compelling character. So I wish everyone would give her a chance before deciding she's a waste of space. Remember people were saying the same thing about Sabrina, then when the show listened and killed her off, everyone was shocked and asked why? Let's give Tyra a chance please!

Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.
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