This show is supposed to be about people who are young and restless, or so the title would suggest. But what is creator Bill Bell's soap really all about? I'll tell you. Good and evil. Evil people who do things and think they're justified in acting that way, compared to good folks who are usually the victims of the evildoers. But as time goes by, more and more characters have veered into the no-man's-land between good and evil…and this past week was filled with examples.
Phyllis seemed to almost everyone as the victim in her battle with Daisy, and certainly, Daisy was guilty of allowing Phyllis to suffer a miscarriage. Even if they haven't found the evidence yet, Daisy is going to be forced to pay for her callous disregard of Phyllis when she was bleeding on the floor and losing that baby. But as Phyllis pointed out to Michael at the end of the week, Phyllis brought this all on herself by having gotten Daisy out of prison in the first place. Phyllis released the tiger, and the fact that the tiger has turned around and bit her in the butt is more than retribution; it is karma. So can we really feel sorry for Phyllis? She's instigated and stirred up trouble for so many others, all in the name of doing what she thinks is the right thing to do, only to later realize that she made a mistake. That hardly makes her a sterling character.
Phyllis also admitted to Michael that she did something else questionable by paying off Dr. Tim Reid to disappear. Are we really sure that it was just a payoff she gave Tim to go away? If so, why did he leave his blood pressure medicine behind? And why not tell anyone -- like his boss or neighbor -- that he was moving on? Ricky wouldn't have been able to find Tim, and the authorities wouldn't be putting Tim's face on the side of milk cartons if he'd simply told someone he was moving on with no forwarding address! Therefore, was his falling off the radar really just a case of Phyllis giving him enough money to fly to Rio or Sydney or Upper Sandusky? You have to wonder.
What about this possibility? Maybe Phyllis gave Tim the money to flee, and he decided to take the dough but make it seem like he'd met with foul play? Maybe Tim is exacting revenge on Phyllis for ruining his life by setting her up as the likely person to have rubbed him out? Based on what Phyllis told Michael -- who is now in law enforcement and taking his job very seriously -- he may have to use that information against her if a body matching Tim's description turns up suddenly!
Ricky might be a likely suspect in Tim's case, if it comes to that, but I think it's more likely that Ricky is going to be snagged for other crimes. If Daisy meets a deadly demise, I'd put my money on Ricky as the murderer. Although knowing the way soaps work, Daniel is going to be behind bars before anyone is even questioned. Eden and Kevin and about a dozen other characters have heard Daniel say that he wants Daisy out of his life and away from Lucy. He might as well be wearing a neon sign that says, "I want to kill Daisy."
On the scale of good and evil, where on earth can we place Jack Abbott these days? Is he a good man because he loves Nikki and wants to take Jabot back to the top of the cosmetics world? Or is he evil because he finagled millions out of Abby to buy Beauty of Nature and then boldly told Ashley he wanted to run both companies? Seriously, could Jack have been more egotistical? What made him think that Ashley would be okay with that kind of megalomania?
Last week, I noticed that Nita commented on Jack's sudden shift in attitude. On one hand, superficially, it looks like Jack is just trying to be a winner. He wants to win at love with Nikki and he wants to win at business with Jabot…and Beauty of Nature. But it is clear that all the things he wants are things that Victor has had. Jack even sought out Abby and Victoria to be part of Beauty of Nature…Victor's daughters. What's next; is he going to invite Nick to be part of the business, too?
Ashley was absolutely right in recognizing that Jack has been acting selfishly and without regard to anyone else's feelings or opinions. Ashley is the co-CEO of Jabot and has been virtually doing the job on her own since Jack's been confined to the wheelchair. She's been completely supportive of Jack and, despite her reservations, has not stopped him from pursuing Beauty of Nature. But Jack clearly lied to her about merging Jabot with Beauty of Nature. Ash told him that running two competing cosmetic companies was a clear conflict of interest. It would only work if the two companies were one, which is what Jack had told Ashley he would do.
So, why is he singing a different tune now? The only logical answer is that he wants to have more "toys" than Victor Newman. Victor has Newman Enterprises and the new cosmetics firm that Sharon and Nick are running, so Jack has to equal Victor by having Jabot and Beauty of Nature! Jack's motivation is transparent. But I don't think that makes Jack evil…just greedy.
Michael is very much a good man now, as is his little brother Kevin. But they've both had checkered histories filled with evil. It's hard to recall those dark days now…unless you're a long-time watcher like a lot of us are. Daisy made a point of reminding Kevin about the way Michael had given Kevin a second chance to rebuild his life, to become a new person. And because Kevin is such a good-hearted guy, he agreed to give Daisy the benefit of the doubt.
He decided to believe her when she claimed that she didn't hear Phyllis crying in pain during the miscarriage. Kevin decided to let Daisy have a chance to prove that she's not a monster. Of course, we viewers know that truth; Daisy is a monster. Kevin is in for a big disappointment because Daisy is as mean and evil as their dad, terrible Tom, as well as Daisy's rotten mother, Sheila. There is no redemption for Daisy.
Genevieve often walks the line between good and bad. She feels completely justified in finding out exactly who has been siphoning off her ill-gotten funds in the Swiss bank account. To Genevieve, the fact that the money was once illegal cash from Colin's criminal activities doesn't matter to her. So what if the money came from drugs or intimidation or theft…Genevieve believes she's entitled because she suffered by being Colin's wife.
The government won't see it that way. They will not buy her rationalization that she can't give up all of her treasure. The Feds are like that; they will be out to seize it all, and if they find out about the Swiss bank account, they'll take what's left of her assets and probably throw her in jail for withholding information from them. But that makes Genevieve misguided, deceptive, and a liar…not really evil.
But it is evil that she would draw Kevin into her web. Although, Kevin is not a babe in the woods, and he could have walked out on Genevieve saying, "Thanks, but no thanks," he didn't. He's choosing to flirt with danger by using his computer skills to muck around in the bank computers. Kevin really has no justification for doing this except that it's going to result in a big payday for him. Yes, he wants the money for his new website with Chloe, but they have already gotten Kay and Gloria to invest.
With some hard work, Kevin and Chloe could legitimately become Internet billionaires without Kevin resorting to criminal activity. This isn't even like the Angelo situation where Kevin was forced to juggle the books for the gambling operation because Gloria and Jeffrey were being threatened. Nope, Kevin is responsible for his actions with regard to Genevieve.
Sharon and Nikki are two characters who fervently believe that they are good women. They are good women…except when they're not. Nikki was picking a fight when she went to the Newman ranch and rode Victor's gift for Sharon. Was that the action of a lady who was trying to be good? No, it was an act meant to instigate a row. Nikki succeeded. When Sharon realized what Nikki had done, they got into yet another bitch fest.
To be really honest with you, I thought the fight was ridiculous. I didn't believe it for a minute. Maria Arena Bell needs to stop writing these scenes where intelligent women try to slap each other with hay or throw one another into chocolate fountains or attack each other walking through the park where there's a pile of muddy top soil conveniently nearby.
Fights like the ones I described don't happen in real life among normal people. They happen on reality television shows and dumb programs like Cops! The characters in Genoa City, especially, Sharon, Nikki, Genevieve, Phyllis, and Jill, all of whom were in these altercations, are civilized, cultured women. They wouldn't be likely to risk breaking a nail by engaging in fisticuffs or ruin a Dior skirt with chocolate sauce or a tumble in the mud!
It certainly seems as though Adam is trying to be a good man -- and it's worrying me. He's boring. Watching him hang out with Chelsea as she studies for her GED test is hardly riveting entertainment. These two characters have no tension and no conflict. They like each other and have a friends with benefits relationship, but so what? It was far more compelling television when Adam was lusting after Sharon. The transformed Adam is a dullard.
While we're talking about dull and boring, what are we to make of Sharon and Victor's romance? Sure, it's a major case of inappropriateness, but once you get over the fact that Sharon is sleeping with the grandfather of her children, once you're over the outrage, there's nothing to talk about. Sharon and Victor have no chemistry. He spoils her, and she enjoys being spoiled. He takes pride in her accomplishments on the job, and she preens at being appreciated. Where is this going? Nowhere.
Finally, there's Tucker. I felt really bad for him when Ashley said she'd filed for divorce. Hmm…does Ashley have a divorce lawyer on auto-dial? Her marriages never last. Maybe instead of her accusing Tucker of not being the marrying kind, she should look in the mirror! Since Eileen Davidson is leaving the show, presumably they had to end her relationship with Tucker, but it seems to me that this was a bungled storyline.
After everything Tucker and Ashley went through with Abby having tried to kill him, Ashley being thrown in jail as the likely driver who ran him over, his brain injury, you would think they had the makings of a successful relationship. It would have been better to see how they made it together. For them to break up over silly stuff like his being unfaithful on one drunken night is a cop-out.
So that's it for this week. Please feel free to write me with your insights and thoughts. We love hearing from you -- and your comment might be posted in a future column!