Another network built a soap empire in the 1980s by promising love in the afternoon, but nearly 30 years later soap fans still love romance. Is there enough love in Genoa City or does someone need to spice things up? Our Two Scoops columnist has some thoughts.
Confession time, readers. I am a sucker for romance. I love a good sweeping love story, and I root for romantic partners to reunite. I want to see the happy ending! Of course, in daytime drama, you can't have a happily ever after for long. The very nature of soap opera is that couples are rarely allowed to stay happy. In soaps, happy couples equal boredom.
But when there's an interlude in the drama and angst, and there is a great coming together of lovers who've been torn apart, I swoon! That's why on Friday, as I watched Billy and Victoria finally kiss and make up and fall into bed in a lover's embrace, I was all choked up with tears of happiness. I think I might have actually sighed out loud -- Awwww!
Kudos to Maria Arena Bell for the long-awaited reconciliation. It was an arduous journey for us viewers, struggling through a painful breakup of two characters who are so perfectly suited for each other. There's an old line about the great movie dance team Astaire and Rogers that went, "He gives her class and she gives him sex." In the case of Billy and Victoria, it's switched around, "He gives her sex and she gives him class." They're made for each other!
There was never a question that they loved each other. It was so evident in everything they'd done since apart. They never fell out of love or were tempted by others… The culprits who broke them up were Phyllis -- who stole baby Lucy from them for the lamest of reasons -- and then Victor, who seized upon the fissure in their relationship to keep his princess daughter away from the big, bad wolf of an Abbott!
What can you say about Victor and his diabolic tactics? He doesn't play fair, that's for sure. He's ruthless, just like the book written about him about 20 years ago. Nothing's changed. He hasn't mellowed. A year ago at Christmas time, he was having a Scrooge-like dream in which he reviewed his life and presumably altered his ways. No, not really.
But here's why the character works so well. Just when I was sure that there was no way to forgive him for his actions against Billy -- and hurting Victoria by destroying their marriage -- ol' Vic did something right. He ordered Tank to let Billy get away. In that one gesture of human kindness, Victor proved that Colleen's heart is still beating in his chest. He's not without sympathy and compassion. It takes a long time for it to show, but he has goodness beneath that crusty exterior.
Now, did Victor know that Victoria and Billy would run into each other at the layover bar in New York City and reunite? No. I suspect that Victor anticipated that Billy would run home to Genoa City to see Delia. And if the planes had not been grounded in New York, he might have. But Maria -- the puppet master head writer -- pulled strings and arranged for Billy and Victoria to be in the same place at the same time…and in the same adjoining motel rooms with just a door between them…and wearing big, fluffy terrycloth robes that were just bound to become untied… And voila, romantic reconciliation. Take that, Victor!
It was great to see Billy and Victoria stop talking about who did what and how he was a coward and just kiss. Sometimes all the words in the world are unnecessary. Victoria adores Billy. She's going to forgive him for being a bad boy. And when she finds out that he was providing the bone marrow for Delia and was sneaking around in a Santa Claus costume on Halloween to give Dee-Dee and Victoria secret visits, she's going to melt. She's going to want to kill her father and kiss her husband, you just wait and see!
Didn't you like Tank? I know, he was an odd character and all, but I would love to see the show keep him on as Victor's muscle. Or maybe he could go to work with Paul Williams? Paul used to have a partner in the detective agency; maybe Tank could team up with him. I just really liked the actor, Matthew Willig (he was also on NCIS last season as a special agent). Sign him up, Maria; he's a keeper.
In other romantic happenings on the show, Tucker and Ashley were finally given a proper wedding. It was sweet; I liked the jazzy music when the bride walked down the aisle, and it was nice that Devon proved what a good man he is by attending…even though he really didn't want to be there. But the best part of the wedding was before the bride and her family arrived.
What was that mysterious exchange between Stefan Cassadine and Laura Spencer? Oops, wrong soap; those were Stephen Nichols and Genie Francis' names on General Hospital. Hmm…will Y&R pull a page out of the ABC soap playbook and write a steamy backstory for Tucker and Genevieve? Were they once lovers or -- possibly -- something more sinister? I don't think we're going to learn that they ever had a kid together. That would be too much like the Devon story… but something went on between them. They definitely have a past together. Genevieve seemed to suggest that it was a romance. Count me in as a viewer who's now intrigued to see how these two interact in the future!
I think someone needs to have a heart-to-heart talk with Neil about romance. Did he really think that Sofia was going to be knocked off her feet by his marriage proposal? Granted, this is not a big romance, but his suggestion that they get married had all the allure of a corporate merger. Sofia doesn't need to be married, and Moses will not thrive growing up in a household where mommy and daddy don't kiss and touch and enjoy sharing the same bed. Kids do need nurturing and parents who are present, but kids also see everything. If Neil really wants to do right by Moses, he should decide whether he wants a real love with Sofia.
And Sofia has real love for Neil. She needs to feel that love in return, or else the marriage will be frustrating and unhappy for her. So, it's really up to Neil. If he loves -- really loves -- Sofia, he must commit to her and let himself fall in love. He's capable. He's attracted. He's just got to listen to his heart and turn off the business brain.
While we're talking about men who need to stop thinking and just feel, let's look at Ronan Malloy. On one hand, he's feeling a lot with Phyllis. The two have definitely enjoyed getting to know each other in the Biblical sense, although I doubt they were using scriptures in their get-togethers. In fact, Phyllis and Ronan's interactions have been pure emotion. Some might even call it animalistic and base. But I don't want to judge; maybe they do really like each other.
But if I were to analyze the true reason for Phyllis' fascination with Ronan, I think it has a lot to do with Nick's entanglement with Avery. Phyllis was devastated when Nick said he wanted to just be business partners with Phyllis. Her reaction was to go straight to Ronan. Nick, meanwhile, accepted Avery's apology and went back into bed with her. He's a simple guy, after all. Phyllis was a turn-off and Sharon was out of town. Why not turn to Avery? That's kind of how Nick thinks! Or maybe that's how his nether regions think!
Back to Ronan, what is his deal? I listened to his telling Phyllis that he's grappling with his feelings for Nina and Chance, but I'm not really getting it. Is it really that hard to be grateful to them for the liver transplant? Is it really that difficult to get to know them and maybe develop a relationship? It's not like he has to move into the Chancellor mansion and have breakfast every morning with Nina; he just needs to be open to whatever develops between them.
Since we're talking about the Chancellor mansion, a few observations. First, Kay is crazy! Why on earth would she invite Harmony to live with them? Trouble's coming for sure. And if she thinks that Harmony's arrival will do anything to help her forge a relationship with Devon, she's crazy as a loon! Kay needs to listen to Murphy more and refrain from her tendency to become over-involved in the lives of those around her. Try playing computer solitaire to pass the time, Kay; get a hobby!
The second Chancellor mansion development is a happy one: Delia's return from the hospital. I'm relieved that the cancer story is over (for now) and will be replaced by Kevin and Chloe's relationship. It's going to hit an iceberg, however, once Chloe hears about Kevin's part in Victor's plan. But even Chloe is going to have to forgive Kevin. He really is a good guy, and he didn't have much choice; he had to go along with Victor's plan to help Billy and save Delia.
Finally, there's Patty. Well, I'm bored already. Seriously. This seems to have no zest or excitement, just another go-round with the bonkers cat lady. Do you feel different? Watching her in Jack's house with the kitty fixation in full bloom, I was actually kind of irritated and sad. Is that all there is? More obsessing about Jack? More plotting to do evil? More of the same old same old?
Before saying TTFN (ta-ta-for-now), I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week! We'll have a short soap schedule, but -- trust me -- there will be exciting developments. Can't wait to see what happens when Billy and Victoria get back to Genoa City. I'm anxious to hear more from you all -- your theories are dynamite. And tell me about which characters you'd like to talk about in the Two Scoops! Write me! If you're not sure how to write to me, click the Feedback option at the top of the page, the Email link at the footer of the column, or just click here
. Till then, let's take a look at some letters from the mailbox:
- Victor is really too old to be acting the way he does. Adam is Satan Jr. and Victor is Satan Sr. They can't get along because Adam is just like Victor. Please don't let Sharon go back to Adam. That will send out a bad message to the young viewers. Some of the stuff that Maria Arena Bell writes is stupid. Abby is a monster and so is Kay. Billy and Victoria are great together. I like the way kid around with each other. Will Jack ever find out than Summer is his daughter? Phyllis gets away with too much. Her ways and attitude is very ugly. -- Donna J.
- The Victor storyline is ridiculous; and it seems to me that all the story lines for veteran characters have just been a mess. Look at Katherine and her crazy antics with Tucker. We all know how crazy Phyllis is, but let's not go off deep end with her either. I like the idea of her being Avery's mom. I really want Billy and Victoria to get back together and stay together like Lauren and Michael. I hope the writers don't do anything to mess them up. - Kary
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.