If you have any questions about why Maria Arena Bell has been dumped as the head writer, check out this past week. Tim Reid -- a man who should know better about medicine since he's actually a physician -- cavalierly swallowed about a dozen Viagras to be as potent as possible with Phyllis, which led to him dropping dead from a heart attack. Yes, that's a really believable story. Tim would be just that dumb.
Then we have the very believable story of Sharon Newman, high school graduate, walking into a corporate board meeting and citing case law like she's a legal eagle. Note to Ms. Bell... Sharon's not a lawyer. She had a 30-minute cram session with Tucker -- who's also not a lawyer -- and managed to seize control of an international conglomerate without knowing her ear from her elbow.
So, welcome to the land of soap opera disbelief extraordinaire. This isn't Genoa City, Wisconsin; it's Never Never Land. I fully expect Victor to return from his sabbatical with a silver hook in the place of his hand and a dozen Lost Boys to hang out at the ranch!
Sharon is virtually unrecognizable these days. Clearly, Bell has decided that this is all going to be explained as Sharon's mental collapse. It'll be called a nervous breakdown or a break with reality, something to justify all her craziness. In that way, Bell has been able to make Sharon a terror. She's turned paranoid ("Everyone is against me!"), vindictive ("Let's give away Abby's horses!"), uncompromising ("Get rid of those drapes!"). I half expected her use the fabric from the drapes and have a new ensemble created à la Scarlett O'Hara. That would have been hilarious, don't you think? Sharon strolls into the next Newman board meeting wearing Nikki's curtains as a business suit?
But while I'm sure that Sharon's madness is going to be explained away by a breakdown, what's to make of Victor? Did he really just take off because he wanted alone time? I think based on his encounter with Sister Celeste, when he asked her to call him Christian, that Victor's had some kind of stroke, maybe when he was thrown from the horse back at the ranch. Victor doesn't remember that he's Victor Newman. He thinks he's Christian, the name he was born with, prior to his rebirth as Victor Newman. If it turns out that it was a stroke and it's affected his memory, Victor can be forgiven for abandoning Sharon and his family. It's not his fault.
Nikki, however, has no excuse for her actions. She's walked out on her marriage to Jack. That's the simple truth. Her decision to go off and look for Victor is proof positive that her heart does not belong to Jack. She's still in love with Victor and always will be. She disrespected Jack and rendered her marriage vows a lie, and then she compounded her sins by abandoning her husband before they even celebrated a honeymoon.
If Jack has any gumption, he cannot take Nikki back. If he couldn't forgive Genevieve for outbidding him for Beauty of Nature -- a business betrayal -- how can he forgive Nikki for leaving him to run off in search of Victor? To me, what Nikki did was far worse than what Genevieve did. And if Jack does abort his marriage to Nikki, I'd like to see him swear off matrimony for a few years. Jack just has no luck with marriage.
Tucker's also failed at marriage, but at least he's rediscovered his groove as a tycoon. Being free of Ashley's influence has been a plus for the character, even if it makes him less of a good guy. But Tucker's plan to take over Newman Enterprises is brilliant. He's like Machiavelli. He's using Sharon to do his dirty work. He's playing Sharon like Yo-Yo Ma plays the cello!
Of course, what's going to happen when Katherine figures out that he's pulling Sharon's strings? Katherine considers Victor her bosom buddy. She's not going to be pleased that her son is orchestrating a coup against her best friend. Now, when Kay did the same thing when Tucker was suffering from a brain injury thanks to Abby Mini-Cooper running him down, it was a-okay.
It's funny that when Tucker went through that "accident," Phyllis never once was reminded of her experience as the driver of a car that hit and nearly killed two people. Talk about a missed opportunity for Maria Arena Bell. She could have used that storyline as groundwork for Phyllis' story, but she never even dropped a hint that Phyllis made the connection, or was haunted by what she'd done to Paul and Chris.
But then, Phyllis has no feelings about what she did, and that makes her an even shallower human being. She's never had a shred of remorse for wanting to kill Christine. She has no conscience. She still feels like she didn't do anything wrong when every bit of evidence shows that her actions were reprehensible.
Phyllis is really a character without any scruples. She lies as easily as she breathes. For instance, on Friday's show, Nick asked her point-blank if she had any involvement in Tim's death. Looking Nick straight in the eyes, Phyllis said "no." Well, I don't know about you, but I fell on the floor with laughter. She didn't even blink or hesitate or have a catch in her throat. No, she just looked in her husband's eyes and lied.
Considering how Phyllis is so lacking in morality, why are Ronan and Michael so sympathetic to her? It makes no sense, unless we're supposed to think that Ronan is still so in love with Phyllis based on the handful of sexual liaisons that he cannot do enough for her. It doesn't matter that she's purportedly happily married to Nick. Ronan is still twitchy for her.
Michael's loyalty is much harder to fathom. It's one thing to say that he likes Phyllis, that she's a fun friend. It's quite another to risk your your career for her. Michael's not doing his job as D.A. He's not pursuing Phyllis as aggressively as he has Paul.
Also, while Michael may think Phyllis is a great woman, she's also the same Phyllis that's terribly hurt Michael's wife, Lauren, in the recent past. When Phyllis manipulated the judicial system to get Daisy out of prison in order to seize custody of Lucy, she never once worried about Lauren's fragile psyche based on being imprisoned in a cage at Daisy's hands.
During that storyline, Phyllis was selfish and single-minded in her desire to get her hands on Lucy. She didn't care about her good buddies, Lauren and Michael. But now we're supposed to buy that Michael is so loyal and dedicated to Phyllis that he's willing to subvert justice to keep her from doing jail time for her crimes? Does he have amnesia?
Speaking of Phyllis, I know many of you really like her. She's definitely fun to watch. But she's really evil. Her litany of crimes is growing. She's a maniac, a woman who doesn't believe in the law. The rules just don't apply to her. Think about it… There was the original crime against Paul and Christine. Then there was the cover-up that included computer hacking. She stole money from her daughter's trust fund. She blackmailed Tim, another crime.
She lied to the police on numerous occasions, which is either perjury or obstruction of justice. She tried to drug Tim before he dropped dead. Then she moved a dead body, a crime that included disabling the security cameras to deceive the police. She even destroyed the rug so she can dispose of it before the cops can check it for forensic information. Is there any law that Phyllis will not break to get her way?
On principle alone, Michael should hate Phyllis' guts. She's everything wrong with the system. Instead, he's only Mr. Law and Order when it comes to Paul Williams. That's right, Paul who has been an Eagle Scout most of his life and has protected Lauren from a gun charge that would put her back in the pokey for violating her probation. There's a real imbalance to this storytelling.
Of course, Maria Arena Bell is the author of this mess. She's probably already out of the office, so I should stop beating her up, but what a bunch of loose threads and unresolved stories she's left behind.
Do you think there's going to be a resolution to the case of Claude Shirl? This has been the slowest-unveiling mystery in the history of soap stories. And since Genevieve is on the road, looking for Victor out west, will Cane still be plagued by Claude Shirl? If he is, does that eliminate Genevieve as the culprit? Do we even care at this point? He's such a boring character. Maybe Caleb never died, after all, and Cane's been Caleb all along?
I'd like to say that I'm upset about the news that Christel Khalil is leaving the show, but they've done nothing with Lily in the past year. What difference does it make who's playing the role? All Lily does is cuddle with Cane, care for the twins, and worry about Neil and Devon. She's never been shown with post-cancer health issues, even though many cancer patients do have setbacks. Lily acts like she was never ill. I wish Khalil well with her future projects, but I don't know if we're going to notice a big dropoff if they recast the role.
Is Sofia still on the show? I ask because while Tucker has this amazing storyline about stealing Newman Enterprises, his right-hand hasn't been involved one iota. Hasn't she had more experience as Tucker's sidekick than anyone else? It seems to me that she should be in on his plans.
About this search for Victor, I have a question. Doesn't Nikki have a vast fortune…at least as much as Tucker? If that's the case, why are his private detectives finding clues to track down Victor, while Nikki meanders in Kansas at Hope's farm. I realize that Nikki's not exactly a rocket scientist, but she sure knows how to hire underlings. She should have asked Paul for the names of the top detectives in the state and hired them. Going out on her own to find Victor is pretty naïve.
I did enjoy the push-pull between Tucker and Genevieve, though. Genevieve noted that Tucker was getting off on issuing orders to her while she was out on the road, driving from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas and then Los Angeles. Her insubordination was great, proving that she was feisty and not inclined to be treated like a flunky. She knew just how to make Tucker bristle.
In other action, I'm really upset with Kevin. If ever a character should know better, it's Kevin. After the Angelina experience, the chipmunk storyline, and on and on, why did he go along with Phyllis? Kevin's finally getting his life together with Chloe and Delia and the new website. By becoming Phyllis' accomplice, Kevin has taken a left turn into disaster-ville.
As much as I'd like to slap Kevin for getting into trouble again, I want to slap Kyle Abbott more. If this is what happens with recasting, count me out. I hate this new Kyle. What a brat! Sharon may have been a bitch when Kyle and Eden were fooling around at the ranch, but Kyle's attitude was out of line. He was completely disrespectful and deserved to be thrown out of the house. Kyle apparently forgot that he was a guest in the mansion.
When you're a guest, even if you don't like the hostess, you mind your manners and stay out of the way. Also, who the hell was he to accuse Sharon of being a user? Kyle has to know that his mother flitted from marriage to marriage, using men to advance her fortune. By comparison, Diane was worse than Sharon. I'm surprised Sharon didn't throw that fact in Kyle's smug face.
Then there's the other brat who needs to be given a time out, Abby. I don't get this character at all. She collected half a billion dollars from her father when she won her share of the trust lawsuit. She doesn't need money, so why would she consider siding with Jack against Victor or buying up Newman stock to make a killing? Abby wants fame. She wants to be a star. Business is boring to her. The motivations for this character are muddled to say the least.
That's it for now. I suspect big doings in the weeks to come, especially since it looks like Genevieve and Billy are going to be finding Victor. That should be fun. I'm anxious to hear more from you all. Write me by clicking here! What's your opinion about the current storylines? Are you buying what they're dishing out? Till then, let's take a look at some letters from the mailbox: