Wow! If January is a foretaste of what is to come, 2010 could well be a year to remember. Watching events unfold in the various storylines had me feeling like a kid set loose in a candy store, running from one sweet treat to another. On the very edge of my sofa seat, my eyes darting from story to story, I was on pins and needles, anxious to see what was going to happen next. Perhaps I'm only imagining the excitement. It's possible that months of that silly chipmunk head and the yawning boredom of "Daniel goes to Jail" have so lowered my expectations, I would likely have gotten excited watching the paint in Lauren's new office dry. Thankfully, however, the scribes were able to come up with some things for me to watch that are a little more interesting than drying paint.
After years of watching the Genoa City residents repeatedly mate in near-incestuous pairings, it's as if the scribes decided to go in an entirely different direction, resulting in some new couplings with some very intriguing possibilities. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm going ahead and coloring my picture in shades of captivated interest.
Take Ashley and Neil, for example. Their attraction has seemed to come a bit out of the blue, even though many probably saw it coming based on the frequency with which Ashley has been lending Neil her supportive shoulder lately. Still, putting them together as more than friends was a little unexpected. How much heat they'll generate together remains to be seen, because both of them can sometimes come across so stiff and businesslike, it's hard to imagine them loosening up enough to get wild together. Clearly, judging from Victor's early reaction, I wouldn't imagine he would be first in line to congratulate the pair. Not because he wants Ashley for himself, but because Victor has always been the kind of mutt who likes to keep his gnawed-on bones buried in case he wants to go back and chew on them at some future time. He's never been one to fully relinquish his women, especially if they also happen to be one of his baby mamas. Aside from Victor, though, the match-up might work since neither has anyone else lining up to sample their party favors.
Billy and Heather was another couple unexpectedly tossed together in a romantic pot, and I doubt I was the sole fan finding them enjoyable. Heather is too young and beautiful to be so hard and unhappy, and if anyone can thaw that frozen exterior, Billy probably stands a better chance than most. Plus, it's a nice change to see the love 'em and leave 'em Billy Abbott being the one to stutter his surprised goodbyes as he's rushed out the door post-loving, practically with clothes clutched in his hands. I'm looking forward to seeing where this one might lead.
As for Mac, I don't think we should haul out the hankies just yet to dab at sorrowful tears on her behalf. Along with her sleek and shiny new do, I am enjoying watching her and J.T. redraw the lines of their former friendship. I always hated the rather cruel and contrived way the then scribes decided to write them out of existence after Mac lost their baby. Yes, J.T. is a married man with a child, and while he seems too principled these days to cheat on his absent bride, in Genoa City, I've learned to never say never.
Romances aside for the moment, the new dynamic of Sharon, Adam, and Ashley is clearly going to keep my hopes sky-high. No, I have no illusions that the new living arrangements means the end is near for Adam. There's still way too much milk to be drawn from that particular cash cow to end it already. But, until that distant day arrives, I can be happy that one of my earlier expressed wishes has been fulfilled - the threesome is all under one roof. One of my biggest problems with the baby snatch has always been because it cheated Sharon out of her early months and/or years with her child. Especially since we've already been there, done that with Cassie. Now she'll have that time even though she doesn't know Faith is hers.
Aside from that, there are plenty of other possibilities with this one. Sharon and Ashley are already putting their heads together, comparing notes on their birthing experiences. How long before Ashley finds it so odd that she literally has no memory of giving birth that she starts scouring the dusty corners of her brain to figure out why? Another plus is the possibility of a new friendship forged between Sharon and Ashley. With Olivia out of the picture, Ashley has no female confidant, and ever since Liv sampled Brad, their friendship hasn't really been the same anyway. And Sharon hasn't had one since Dru went over the cliff. Seems like a match made in Genoa City heaven. Third, the new arrangement should provide plenty of opportunities for Adam to squirm uncomfortably in the hot seat as he scrambles to keep all his dark deeds from coming to light. I agree wholeheartedly with Jack that Adam is bad through and through. Despite all those strained expressions he fixes on his scheming face, presumably to indicate his supposed sorrow for what he's done, instead he just looks like he's constipated and is calculating how long it will take to reach the nearest bathroom to relieve his discomfort.
Speaking of someone else who seems bad to the bone and in desperate need of psychiatric intervention is Daisy Blank-face whatever her last name is supposed to be. If she is indeed Sheila's spawn, she gives whole new meaning to the belief that the wormy, rotten apple never rolls far from the base of the diseased tree. If it does turn out she is really Kevin's half-sister, how will she ever be welcomed into the Baldwin Fisher clan after trying to kill one of its members? By the way, the family tree of this family is becoming quite deformed and twisted. Just trying to keep it all straight makes my head pound with excruciating pain and sends me running for the strongest pain relief in my medicine cabinet.
Go Billy. Take Adam down! I'm savoring this one like a long-lasting all-day Slow Poke sucker. But since we're talking about Adam, I won't get my hopes up just yet that Billy might actually unearth anything that will actually stick to the Teflon man. Because Adam always manages to find one more white rabbit to yank out of his magic hat. David Copperfield could take lessons from this master illusionist. Still, in this town, I've learned to take my pleasures wherever they pop up, so I'll take whatever dirt Billy can dig up on Adam and be happy with it.
Thanks to Phyllis' trip to the Art store, coincidentally, just in time to hear Dr. Taylor's parting words to Adam right before he went reeling into traffic on his way to meet his maker, Billy's won't be the only eyes scrutinizing Adam's every manipulative move. Although if Phyllis is instrumental in uncovering Adam's sordid plot, resulting in a reunion between Mommy and Daddy and baby Faith, she will no doubt wish she had chosen another time to pick up more crayons and craft supplies for Summer.
Even though I was laughing myself off the couch as they rumbled across the office and toppled the likeness of Victor's grim visage from its perch, I absolutely loved the brawl between the bickering Newman boys. How funny that they chose to reach their breaking point seconds before Victor's unannounced arrival. Kudos to Victor for being able to keep a grin off his face while staring into the embarrassed faces of his boys. They looked exactly like tots caught with their hands in the forbidden cookie jar. I don't know about anyone else, but I much prefer watching Adam battle his brother for supremacy in the office or for Victor's elusive affection than watch him manipulate or terrorize unsuspecting women who trust him.
Forgive me for not crying a cup of crocodile tears over the fact that Tucker snuck in and tricked Kay out of her company. NOW she wants to prattle on about the importance of a family legacy! Remember how she advised Jack to suck it up and get over it when he begged her to let him buy back Jabot? Despite his burning desire to run the company his father founded, she somewhat callously reminded him John was gone and basically suggested he find another cause to champion. Determined to keep Jabot tucked securely under the Chancellor umbrella, she even added insult to injury by selecting a non-Abbott to run it. If Jack decided to parrot her uncaring words back at her, few would probably blame him for it. That's one of the funnier aspects of life in Genoa City. That its inhabitants usually only cry foul when the injustice is directed at them, though they may have been the very one who subjected someone else to the exact same situation.
Everyone connected to Chancellor treated Tucker as if he was the prodigal son come home. In her eagerness to hitch Chancellor's red wagon to a pair of Tucker's high-stepping thoroughbreds, Kay even shoved aside her longtime friends and almost-family members. Had she and Neil taken the time to brush the stars out of their eyes, they might have avoided this calamity. Because had they been looking more closely, they might have noticed Tucker was pushing them so hard every step of the way they should have been able to see his handprints on the backs of their jackets.
One other reason I'm not able to dredge up much sympathy for Kay is because, unlike Jack, in the end she isn't likely to really lose anything. We know that despite his animosity and anger at this moment, as time goes on, Tucker will likely come to love Kay as much as the rest of Genoa City. I don't doubt that when that day finally arrives, Tucker will probably return controlling interest to Kay. And why wouldn't he? With no other direct heirs interested in captaining the company, it would likely all come to Tucker anyway.
Victor's back! I know many fans hate the man with every fiber of their being and think he brings little if anything of worth to the table, but I mostly enjoy the arrogant old boy. Yes, he's rude and domineering and won't hesitate to cut any enemy who dares cross him to ribbons. When it comes to business, he gives and takes back control of Newman from his children whenever the whim strikes him. But what's even funnier is each time the kids actually believe they'll be running Newman things until they're as old and gray as Daddy. If nothing else, history should have shown them that like a bad penny, Daddy always eventually rolls back into the picture. And yanks the big cheese chair right out from under them.
And Victor has few soft spots when it comes to the personal either. No matter how they might have helped him in the past, Victor seldom bothers to show any gratitude. Case in point was his unapologetic disregard for the part Jack played in putting Colleen's healthy, beating heart in his chest. Nor did fond feelings prevent him from telling Ashley he wanted his ranch back and was prepared to move all of Genoa City, and heaven and earth if need by, to eject her from his rightful place in the family home. Okay, for that at least, I don't blame him. Ashley always points to the fact that Nikki was the mistress at the ranch as a reason she and her children should enjoy that same luxury. But maybe it's just me who thinks there aren't as many similarities in their situation as Ashley thinks. Unless my memory is faulty, Ashley has barely lived at the ranch two years, if that. Add to that the fact that she already has a family home with more than enough room for her tiny family. Not to mention Abby's half-burned place. Just my opinion, but I think the only reason Ashley wants the ranch is because Nikki once had it and is, therefore, just part of the competition she's had with Nikki over Victor for too many years to count.
Along with all of the above stories that have captured my interest, though, I never would have believed I would ever be admitting to the following, I am even intrigued by the Sheila and company shenanigans. I'm sure once she arrives, I will soon begin singing a different complaining tune, but right now I really want to know the true identity of the puppet master who is yanking Deacon, Ryder, and Daisy's strings. Did Sheila survive Lauren's bullet? Was it really Sheila who took the bullet, or was the woman who died yet another look-alike who'd been convinced to switch places at the last minute? What happened to the drugged, Sheila look-alike left in the mental institution so Sheila could escape? What happened to Sugar, a former lover of Sheila's? Now that it's generally assumed Sheila or someone who was so close to her they decided to continue her vendetta after her death, I understand why Daniel might have been targeted. Because Sheila, or her stand-in, would likely now hate Phyllis as much as Lauren.
And there's more that this inquiring mind wants to know the details about. For instance, where does Amber's mom fit in this picture and why did Deacon choose her to safeguard Little D? How old is Little D anyway? Why is Lauren suddenly assailed by headaches? Is she being slowly poisoned or drugged by Daisy? Remember the treated necklace that was once making Lauren sick?
And lastly, there is the Winters family circle. Who is Malcolm engaged to and how is she connected with one or more of the Winters? Because you know she probably is. When the twins come, likely a boy and girl, will Mac be able to give them up without a murmur? And finally, will poor Devon ever get a storyline?
So much going on, I know I left something out (like the travails of crazy Patty and my admiration of this new, stronger J.T. - pant, pant) but I have to stop somewhere and I've chosen this point. See you next time. Until then, happy watching!