After returning from a ten-day trip south to visit friends -- who live so primitively that they have neither DVR nor Internet -- I could not believe all the great news that I found waiting on soapcentral.com when I booted up my computer.
Right off the bat, I was thrilled to read that Cady McClain would be taking over the role of Kelly when Cynthia Watros departs. I can hardly wait for McClain's first appearance! I do like Watros as an actress, but she has always seemed too old for the role of Kelly, and I don't think that she is all that believable with either Billy or Stitch, though I thought that she was great with Jack. I really can't imagine Billy or Stitch being married to or sacrificing their marriage for this sad sack, but I sure can see why both Billy and Doc Stitch would go for Cady's Kelly.
Fans of AMC -- and I am -- must be thrilled to have Jill Larson headed to Genoa City for Chelsea's big fashion show. So what could be better to me than all that? Michael Robinson's appearance, that's what!
A few columns ago, I mentioned what a great rebuilding job that the Seattle Seahawks had done. I take their accomplishments as personally as any other member of the recliner-bound 12th man contingent in the great northwest, especially after faithfully supporting them for the last twelve years! And while I am not usually star-struck, I've been a little bit giddy since learning that a sensational football player like Michael Robinson watches The Young and the Restless. I knew that the Seahawks were a smart bunch of fellows, which now, Michael Robinson's awesome taste in TV entertainment confirms. He is one of the few celebrities (i.e., all the Seahawks) that I'd actually like to meet.
As I binge-watched two weeks worth of episodes to prepare this week's Two Scoops, I noticed that I had an alarming tendency to want to hit the fast-forward (FF) button. The first time was when two people had a long conversation and filled each other in on all the events that I had watched a few episodes earlier. That kind of recapping is an essential part of the format for the genre. I thought that the writers did a good job of making those conversations sound normal and natural.
I was forced to admit to myself that I am a monogamous, fuddy-duddy prude. I automatically seemed to fast-forward (FF) through all the sex scenes that didn't have dialogue, except, of course, for the ones that featured my soap opera Prince Charming of the moment. While I feel the need to be faithful to my character in the short term, I do not feel the need to stick around, if I get bored, disappointed, lied to, or cheated on. I'm what you call fickle, but since "It's only a soap," I don't feel guilty when a new guy smites my fancy. Like my old granny used to say, " Soap opera crushes are like buses in the big city, there's another one along every 15 minutes." So far granny's been right. Just like Nikki, I've lost count of the soap opera men in my life.
Right now, I'm fancying Neil as my new crush. Normally, I would have FFed through his scenes with Leslie, but I was afraid to miss something, so I didn't, and I was glad that I didn't. Neil's impassioned soliloquy about marriage being a leap of faith for two people who want to proclaim to posterity that they had been on the earth and had loved each other was very profound and compelling.
I had tears in my eyes as Neil explained his perspective on marriage, but I related more to Leslie, and I could understand her fear. Commitment is not an easy thing, especially for someone who had terrible role models, like Leslie did. Plus, Neil is a lot like Jax on GH -- the hero who swoops in and rescues the damsel in distress, but when things become routine and boring, he finds another damsel to rescue. If I had lived Leslie's life, I might also have difficulty accepting the word of a much-married man who says he wants to commit.
I also felt Leslie's pain when she returned Neil's ring and left him behind. In my brain, I could hear Joni Mitchell's refrain, "… and her heart is full and hollow like a cactus tree, 'cause she's so busy being free," during that scene when Leslie realized what she was giving up in order to retain her freedom, and I could relate.
I FFed through the steamy sauna sex scenes. I noticed that there was more steam in the sex than in the sauna, because Abby's hair was as fresh and perfect when she and Tyler finished copulating as it was when she entered the sauna. I can't even imagine having sex in a private sauna after three other couples have been in it, indulging their passion, let alone doing it in a public sauna that has no lock on the door.
Besides, I've been in heath club saunas numerous times. After a mere five minutes, I ooze perspiration from every pore in my body. If I had tried to have sex, I would have been "slip-slidin' away." Or else, I'd be so hot and sweaty that I'd probably expire singing, "I can't get no satisfaction." Maybe, since the Athletic Club sauna seems to be a popular trysting place, they should have a flashing sign that says, "Occupied, sexual congress in session," or at least provide a tie to hang on the doorknob.
Abby-Pollyanna is convinced that Mariah is gone with the wind, but think again, girl, or you are going to play Elmer Fudd to Mariah's Bugs Bunny. I have no doubt that Mariah is just waiting for a chance to jump out at you and munch on your man's carrots, so woman up!
I do have to agree with readers who are apathetic to Abby, Tyler, and Leslie. I don't mind them, and I do applaud Tyler's newfound attitude toward love after Mariah cheated on him, but I wouldn't miss any of them if they were gone or replaced. This story needs to heat up to be interesting, and I don't mean more public sauna scenes.
Cane and Lily, also alums of sex in the sauna, returned to work following the hostage crisis and went straight to the mattresses. At first I thought that they had leaped into bed without closing the hotel room door, but I rewound and heard the door shut, while the camera was on Lily. When it panned back to Cane, he was standing in the same place that he had been when the door was open. Still, I had to assume that the Ashbys had at least enough self-restraint to shut the door before falling in bed, so Cane must have closed the door while Lily was talking and returned to the exact spot he had occupied before! Anyway, that's my explanation, and I am sticking to it.
Devon and Esmerelda, the gold-digger, also got it on in the sauna during the gala. She tracked Devon down the next day and found him trading quips with Hilary. Devon did leave the club with Esmerelda, but it was clear that Devon only has eyes for Hilary. I liked the actress who plays Hilary enough to look up her name in the cast list. I want Hilary to be reformed. I am, however, mystified by Hilary's schoolgirl crush on Jack. She is much better suited for Devon, whom I actually find interesting when he's with Hilary. He's not such a namby-pamby quitter when she's around.
You'd think that Devon would have done enough research to know all about the other disastrous events that had taken place at the Athletic Club before he bought it. With his billions, Devon could have hired rent-a-cops to protect the gala goers, and he would have been suitably prepared for the possibility of trouble, but no-o-o-o-o, after the fact, Devon just whined and threatened to sell everything and quit at the first little hurdle. Fortunately, Neil was the voice of reason.
Creepy, smarmy Ian Ward is making Victor look like a saint. I can hardly wait for the confrontation that has to happen if Nikki ever gets around to telling Victor what she has been keeping from him. I can't imagine being that closed-mouth with my mate. What's the point of marriage if you can't trust and share with the person you've committed to love? Sounds like a big crock of smelly cabbage to me.
I couldn't decide if Nikki was as dumb as a brick or as smart as a rock when she decided to confront Ian Ward alone and give him five million bucks. If I had been Nikki, I think I would have informed my strong, strapping, protective sons or my wealthy, ruthless, protective husband and let them deal with Ian. Chances are that Victor could send Ian someplace from which there would be no return, and it wouldn't cost five million dollars.
I'm curious to know how Nikki laid her hands on five million bucks in an hour. Was it just laying around the Newman house for Nikki to scoop up like nougats on the "Big Rock Candy Mountain," or do the Newmans use it as toilet paper? Last time I tried to get five mil from the bank, not only did my check bounce, but the bank also informed me that they had to notify the government about such large cash transactions because they did not keep that much cash on hand and had to acquire it from a bigger bank.
I think that Nikki could benefit from spending less time attempting to play the piano and more time watching crime shows on television. Then she would know that blackmailers are greedy. They never get enough the first time, and they always return for more. There are only two ways to deal with a blackmailer: tell the police or resort to extreme personal violence. Even though telling the police means exposing the secret, the alternative, removing the blackmailer with premeditated violence, risks not only exposing the secret, but ignominy and incarceration as well.
Nikki did show some gumption with Ian Ward, and I sure hope that she was recording everything that he said to her in his office. I was impressed with a lot of the dialogue between them. I loved it when Nikki told Ian to "Put that on your path and step in it!" She did show him that she was not a little girl, and she definitely was not in Kansas anymore. I was overjoyed when her sons thundered to the rescue, with Paul close behind.
I do like the growing relationship between Dylan and Nick, despite the fact that I want to giggle every time I accidentally glance at Dylan's bright red eyebrows. Viewer Joshua suggested that Dylan might still prove to be Paul's son -- Joshua thinks that Ian drugged both Nikki and Paul, who don't remember having sex -- and that is what Ian Ward was about to tell Dylan just before Paul walked in.
It was great to see Paul arrest Ian, though I have no doubt that Leslie, or better yet, Avery, will be forced to represent Ian and will get him out of jail to the consternation of Dylan and Nick. Ian Ward is not done yet, and I am sure that it will ultimately be up to Victor to dash the hopes of such a dastardly villain, but in the meantime, we've got a charming, slimy weasel that we can love to hate. I adore Ray Wise in this part.
I do think that the writing is starting to show a lot of improvement. I loved the banter between Dylan and Nick, and Dylan and Avery. It almost felt like Dylan and Avery had chemistry together. I'm not a fan of the actress who plays Avery, but she definitely proved that she could bring it in the scenes where Avery went toe-to-toe with Ian Ward.
There are many of you out there who, like me, want to see a reunion between Nick and Sharon. There will have to be a whole lot of truth-telling and forgiveness going on, but it's more than possible to return Sharon and Nick to the happy, forever-in-love couple that we remember from the past. I agree with the readers who have said that what Victor is doing, gaslighting -- great film, Gaslight, by the way -- Sharon, is despicable. I see Victor's point of view, but it's hurtful and hateful, nonetheless. I would call him a fuddy-duddy, but that's much too kind.
Reader Elizabeth suggested that Scary Cassie is Sweet Cassie's twin, a child that Sharon never knew that she had. That is certainly a plausible soap explanation and one that I would readily embrace if it would bring Nick and Sharon back together again and return to them the child that they lost. It would also fill the hole in Nick's heart, if Sharon did not change the tests and Summer really is Jack's daughter, plus it would give the writers a gazillion ways to advance the plots and love lives of our beloved Genoa City citizens.
I definitely like Courtney, and the actress who plays her, much better as an undercover Scooby-Doo cop than as a silly fashion-obsessed teenager. There is a lot more storyline to go here, including drugs on the modeling set and Victor and Jack's battle over the biotech company.
I'm glad that Noah and Courtney reconciled, but I think Noah should look farther than at his mother for answers to the recent Cassie sightings. I really admire how Scary Cassie can zip-a-dee-doo-dah around town and stay out of everyone's sight except Sharon's. I think that Noah should have more faith in his mother, even if she is putting her trust in a Ouija board. I wonder why no one thought to dust those Cassie photos for fingerprints that don't belong there.
Nobody cries or panics or forgives as well as Chelsea. My heart was breaking for her when Connor disappeared. Although she panicked and jumped to the wrong conclusions at first, Chelsea had much greater compassion for Chloe than many people in a similar circumstance might have had. I really liked the kinder, gentler side that Victor showed to her, and I hope that Victor is sincere. Eric Braeden is such a good actor that it is hard to tell if he is truly sincere or doing a great job of feigning sincerity. Either way, I cannot imagine the show without him. And yes, before you ask, I do think that phone call that Chelsea received was from Adam.
I have never been a fan of the character Chloe, but the actress playing her, Elizabeth Hendrickson, has been giving a gut-wrenching, standout performance. I could feel the soul-numbing despair that gripped her and motivated her to take Connor. It was fortunate that Michael and Kevin were able to convince Chloe that falling back on the time-honored Baldwin tradition of using prison as a catharsis for life's problems was not a long-term solution for her grief. Chloe needs counseling and treatment, not punishment.
All is momentarily well with the Baldwins, who have kissed and made up with Paul. Carmine is a distant memory, who I suspect will surface again in the perhaps distant future. Fen is happily on his way to following in dad's footsteps. I applaud that he is looking for a job so he can send himself to law school and become legally bland. If Fen follows a typical soap opera higher education schedule, he should be graduating from both college and law school in a year or two -- a bit longer if Fen changes his major to medicine.
Stitch has been a resident doc for a few months now. I have no doubt that if he sticks around Genoa City for another year or so, he will probably qualify as head of cardiology, or surgery, or some other prestigious position. I'm still guessing about what's up with the doc's relationship to Kelly. I've narrowed it down to Sam's father, the doctor who did not save Sam, or the driver who hit Sam. Probably not the latter because I don't think Kelly could be around Stitch without screaming. I'm leaning toward the second choice.
I'm very comfortable with David Tom as Billy. He did look and sound a little like Billy Miller at first, but as viewer Erin commented, that was probably to ease the transition. The scenes that Tom played with Jack at the end of last week were purely his own. I think that his speech to Jack about his failures was very heartfelt, and Jack's advice to him was exactly right, even though Billy ignored it and met Kelly anyway. Billy wants to gloss over his mistake as though it can be easily erased and forgotten. Billy needs to look deeper and deal with his real guilt and his genuine failure. When all is said and done, Billy left Delia in that car alone, and her death rests on his shoulders. Billy has to admit it and then forgive himself.
When Victoria kissed Stitch, I was reminded of some friends who survived a similar situation many years ago. The husband cheated, they separated but reconciled after the wife had a fling of her own, essentially tit-for-tat, so they could call it even. Last time I got a Christmas card, they were still happily together, and as far as I know, neither has ever cheated again. I hope that the same can be said for Victoria and Billy. Victoria has every right to be angry with Billy. She grieved as much as he did and struggled alone to take care of their child and family. Amelia Heinle has given a terrific understated performance, and she certainly deserves an Emmy nomination for her exceptional work in this role, at least in my opinion!
Last, but not least, I am definitely enjoying the interplay between Colin and Jill. They also had some very saucy dialogue and witty banter. I look forward to the search for answers to the music box questions. Colin is my new favorite bad boy, and I really hope that he does not turn out to be actually evil, but merely a seriously misguided man who can be redeemed by the love of a good woman, or in this case, Jill. I have an inkling that Colin recognized the photograph in the journal that Jill found, so I expect that the yellow brick road to the music box is close by. I would love it if Colin became the new Murphy and Jill took over the wise matriarch role that was left vacant by Katherine's passing.