Things in Genoa City are getting deliciously, diabolically twisted. But, nearly a month into the new storytelling, some fans continue to withhold their thumbs-up verdict. Fans are infuriated that characters they liked were unfairly given the boot, while those they loathed escaped true comeuppance for their crimes.
Of Phelps, fans point to much of her previous work as proof that Y&R's doomsday is likely just around the bend. Yet others sing her praises. I didn't watch the shows some feel Phelps ruined, and the little I've learned about her was gleaned from message boards, your e-mails, and a bit of lazy Googling on my part. So, I officially count myself unqualified to offer an opinion until I've had a chance to see how Genoa City life fares under her direction.
For now, I confess I am enjoying myself immensely, and scribble my initials in the contented consumer column. But, can my current enjoyment simply be due to the fact that I am just easily entertained? Or, is it just that Y&R had gotten so bad, anything would look good by comparison?
Like most people, guilt-free, me time often proves difficult to squeeze into my daily schedule of commitments to work, family, and friends. So, when I do find an hour or two to escape from my reality, I expect full entertainment as my reward. For instance, Person of Interest, followed by Elementary, are double scoops of enjoyment I refuse to delete from my Thursday. Even though it means much-needed sleep is often the payment for my weekly addiction. But, while Person's Reese, Finch, Carter, and Fusco, and Elementary's Sherlock and Watson, are new favorites, the assorted vixens, villains, and virtuous citizens of Genoa City remain my first love. Oh, the webs they weave.
For Adam, Chelsea, and Sharon, although they aren't a threesome in the traditional sense, theirs is a sticky web that is bound to bind them ever tighter together. Despite their monumental argument -- one of the most realistic arguments I've heard in this town -- Chelsea is fully supporting her husband. In her anger, I was afraid Chelsea would spill some of the beans to Chloe, but to my relief, she covered for Adam and Sharon. Unfortunately, in every web, there is a predatory spider, and in this case, that might turn out to be the arsonist. The arsonist's fires may successfully remove the bright beam of suspicion from Sharon, but it could also lead to future blackmail. And, should the arsonist get caught, which seems likely if he continues to burn down buildings, how long before he points an accusatory finger at Adam?
As for Sharon, she brought me to tears this week. The pacing, leg jiggling, muttering to herself, and a fear that was almost palpable literally kept me glued to the screen in fascination. Pitifully grateful for whatever crumb of compassion anyone was willing to toss her way, Sharon's mental instability was so apparent, Chelsea softened just the barest bit, despite her distrust. When Sharon finally began to open up to her therapist, I wanted to cry for her apparent pain.
Of course, Chelsea is right to worry.
If ever there was a web more tangled than the one entrapping Adam, Chelsea, and Sharon, it would have to be the one whose sticky strands are wrapped around Billy's legs. This one could lead to an explosion of epic proportions. I get that Billy wants to get his kidnapped wife back without turning to Victor, but all I can say is: what is he thinking? I bet Billy thought he had trouble when he was caught between pit bull, Jack, and prettier pit bull, Victoria, to borrow Phyllis' phrase.
However, wedged between a mad mobster and Victor Newman is likely to prove a much worse position to be in. And what possessed him to go to Nikki, of all people? That seemed an odd decision to me. He couldn't have gotten that two million dollars any other way? We know Victoria isn't going to die, but given that gun Billy will be carrying, this one is going to get ugly.
Speaking of Nikki for a momentÖ Okay, I understand that Nikki's house and all its memories just went up in flames, but I'm past ready for her to put her broom in the closet and give up her long-running witch hunt for Sharon. She's been hating on this woman since Sharon was 16. Nikki got the man and the marriage in the near future, and Sharon is no longer in Nick's heart or under his protection. Unemployed and shunned like an Amish person who strayed from the faith, Sharon has been exiled from the ranks of town hypocrites. But apparently Nikki won't be happy until Sharon is imprisoned for life -- or dead. Time for Nikki to find a hobbyÖ or a life.
A sticky web clearly awaits Fen and Jamie, with Summer as the black widow spider patiently waiting to feed on them. Summer's plot, perhaps torn from the headlines of the real world, seems to be heading toward cyber bullying. I just hope it blows up in her face and teaches the spoiled little rich girl a lesson she won't soon forget.
Victor is the brooding spider hunkered down in the center of a gigantic web, waiting for one of his victims to wander by. He'd obviously prefer to make a meal of Jack Abbott, and be done with him once and for all. But he'd settle for using either of his sons to help him crush his mortal enemy. Anyone still holding out hope that Victor's California adventure and brush with death had mellowed him was surely set straight after his conversation with Nick. Victor blew up so quickly and shockingly, he almost scared me. The man was seriously and royally pissed -- if I can use that term without offending anyone's sensibilities -- and though I swear he flinched, Nick unexpectedly held his ground, even in the face of being disdainfully labeled a coward. I was rather proud of Nick.
Victor had no more success luring Adam into his web than he did Nick. Adam, clearly weary of deflecting all the hurtful arrows hurled by his family, betrayed little during Victor's latest round of insults. Victor even slapped the mother card on Adam's desk, to no avail. Even so, it's obvious Adam would do much to win his father's approval. I'm still holding on to my foolish hopes that will somehow happen eventually, not just with Victor, but with Nick and Victoria as well.
There is one final web waiting in a dim, dusty corner, but it's still a mystery who will wind up being the spider, and who the fly. At first glance, happy homemaker at night, principled counselor by day, Avery, doesn't seem much like a predatory arachnid. But looks can be deceiving.
Fans have been slow to warm up to Nick and Avery 2.0. I try to look past the fact that Nick is bouncing once again between sisters, mostly because there are so few available women in this town. The two are pleasant enough together, but something is off for me. Maybe it's just hard for me to reset my brain to Avery's current shy, fantasizing, school-girl behavior, when not so long ago, they were slamming each other against walls and ripping off blouses and shirts. It doesn't help that Nick keeps mentioning Avery's principles.
I grant you that she's not nearly as bad as some of the others, but neither is she a lily-white paragon of virtue either. It's not very principled to set your sights on your sister's ex after the sister has specifically stated she wanted to win her husband back. And how principled can you be if you take a job doing Victor's less-than-ethical bidding? And lastly, was it just me, or did anyone else think Avery was purposely overstaying her welcome and derailing the mother-daughter moment clearly happening between Phyllis and Summer?
Which brings me to Phyllis. I've actually enjoyed her this week. Yes, I know. You never expected to see those particular words on this page. Most readers realize I've never been a fan of Phyllis' pairing with Nick. I was a Jack-Phyllis fan until the Diane years mostly ruined them. Jack, like Ronan, seemed to understand that Phyllis was one of a kind, and they loved her, anyway, flaws and all. I also like the way Phyllis has chosen to stand by Jack both personally and at Newman.
Of course, her loyalty to Jack would have had more impact if we hadn't all heard her offering to betray him by spying for Nick. Thankfully, Nick declined. As for Phyllis' future with Nick, it may not be the end for them; only time will tell, but for now, it's nice to see this character move in a different direction. I'm looking forward to plenty of clashes between Phyllis and Adam, because I'm guessing Jack's return to the big chair at Newman could be considerably delayed. If Adam is on the up and up, and can convince Phyllis of that, the two would make a formidable team.
It's a good thing Jack has Phyllis is his corner. It's apparent he's going to need someone, and something tells me Phyllis will be the only one he will trust enough to confide in. The pain he's already having, post-surgery, and the bottle of pills (like that would happen in any hospital), seem to point to a coming dependence on pain pills. And though she'd never show it, Phyllis needs Jack too. She hasn't yet mended fences with Michael. Daniel has been missing for weeks. Summer has still not fully forgiven her, and Avery is panting after her soon-to-be ex.
Finally, over at the luxurious digs of the Baldwins, Michael was relaxing, breathing a half-sigh of relief that his best friend, Phyllis, was finally off the hot seat and his FBI buddy's crimes successfully covered up. But there is, as that saying goes, no rest for the wicked, and it doesn't look like Michael will be getting any rest for the foreseeable future. Fenmore isn't in the best of moods. Frustrated with his inability to alter Summer's behavior, he's overreacting to his well-meaning parents' every innocent remark.
Then there is Kevin. Furious that Adam abandoned the TagNGrab ship, leaving him unable to pay the fifteen million dollars needed to keep the bargain barge afloat, Kevin seems to be reverting to his darker side. We know Kevin's talents do include arson, and he's desperate to hold on to his TagNGrab dream, but I'm going to inch out on a limb and guess he isn't the one who torched Gloworm.
Even though the Fisher-Baldwins effortlessly hop back and forth over the line separating legal from illegal, I still enjoy them in family mode. Kevin behaved like a petulant little kid, and it was good to see Gloria hold up a mirror and show him his bad behavior.
Well, I hope the week has been as good for you as it was for me. I don't normally wish my weekend away to get to Monday, but I can hardly wait to see what the coming days have to offer. Until my return to this space, please enjoy some fan comments from the e-bag, and keep those comments coming. We love them, and your comments could pop up in a future column!