Genoa City has been abuzz with talk of March Madness for the last two weeks, so I gave CBS an "A+" for shameless self-promotion, especially after Hilary, with Neil's help, got to "Come on down!" on The Price is Right. What a whirlwind afternoon Hilary and Neil had. First lunch, then they secured tickets to appear on a TV show coincidentally filming that afternoon. They appeared on the show and still made a meeting at Forrester before the close of business that day.
Hmm. That's got to be what they mean by "living on borrowed time!" I wonder what is the interest charge for that, is any collateral required, what's the damage, and where does one apply for a loan?
After all of that, instead of making a short flight home that evening, Neil and Hilary's plane got grounded in some tiny town -- ah the indignity of flying commercial. A plot ploy, I suspect, so that Neil and Hilary could bond over March Madness and CBS could get in another plug. You hoop fans probably loved all the basketball references, just like I loved it the day that Seahawks player Michael Robinson traded quips with Victor. I agree that the March Madness references were cute, though perhaps a tad overdone for the non-basketball fans!
I certainly hope that the bonding going on between Neil and Hilary is of the father-daughter variety, rather than the mad, eventually romantic, kind because that would set off my "ick" alarm. Hilary is Lily's age and definitely young enough to be Neil's daughter. Visualizing them engaged in anything even remotely passionate makes me want to rip out my eyes. Not that May-December romances don't work, because some do. I just don't get that vibe between Neil and Hilary.
One advantage of the grounded plane, besides the priceless promotion of the basketball tournament, is that Devon and Leslie will be jealous when they find out that Neil and Hilary spent the night together in a hotel room, because, conveniently, not only was the plane grounded, but a convention had booked all the hotel and motel rooms, except one.
Lily will have even more reasons to say mad, nasty things to and about Hilary, which will culminate in a catfight on the catwalk at the fashion show. Personally, I'm rooting for Hilary, unless "she's done me wrong" and fooled me with that "I want to atone" act. Woe to her, and an Emmy nod if she has, because I am convinced that Hilary is sincere! Great acting, Mishael Morgan.
I'm sympathetic to Hilary, but I wonder who her father is and what those letters from her mother to Gus have to do with anything and why doesn't she use her real name, Ann Turner? Am I mad to wish that Lily and Hilary were switched at birth so that Neil is Hilary's father? They seem to have a lot more in common than Neil and prima donna Lily.
Speaking of siblings from another father, it appears that my mad New Year's wish that Paul be Dylan's father wasn't so mad after all. A general rule of soap opera is that when actors start appearing in scenes together, and their scenes, when they are not acting together, appear back-to-back, it usually means that there is a connection, which is often unknown to both the audience and the characters.
Since Paul has been reminiscing about the good old days with Nikki, as well as getting to know Dylan, it's a good bet that Dylan and Paul will be father and son. I did do a Google search before I started this column and was surprised to find that many of the fan boards seem to agree with my assessment.
A quick aside: I want to give a shout-out to all the people who connect through the boards. My friend, Bessie, is a board buddy to many. I was touched to tears when she told me about a recent bullying incident that had more than 100 of you tell a bully that his/her words to another were inappropriate. I commend you all for proving that everyone has a right to express an opinion in a supportive environment and that, even though we may not watch soaps in a group at lunchtime anymore, we can still connect, make friends, and treat each other with kindness, dignity, and respect.
I may be delusional, but I seem to remember reading an allusion to the fact that Sharon's father's identity has never been established and that Sharon would eventually prove to be Dylan's sister. How cozy would it be if Nikki found out that her new son's father is Nikki's old pal, Paul, and that her new son's sister is the despised ex-wife of her other son? Lots of plot potential there with our favorite characters, don't you think?
Those of us who love Sharon and Nick together are both relishing and bemoaning their reunion. We've been racking our brains about how to redeem Sharon and now, just like a Pam Ewing dream, ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) has accomplished what we could only dream about. Sharon has returned to the sweet, lovable person of twenty years ago and conveniently forgotten everything that she has done or has had a reason to feel guilty about.
Sharon and Nick are free to pursue each other with a clean slate. As a result, when the truth is revealed, Nick won't stay mad at Sharon or accuse her of lying because Sharon's memory was zapped and her hard drive erased. All I can say is, "How very convenient," but it is a worthy soap opera save.
According to the medical "facts" that Sharon's TV doctor cited, modern ECT is nothing like yesterday's shock treatments. I hope for Sharon's sake that she is correct. About forty years ago or so, I had an aunt-in-law who sought "shock treatments" to cure her depression. When she finished the treatments, she wasn't depressed, but she wasn't all there, either, and never was again. I think I would stick hot coals up my nose -- well warm to the touch maybe -- before I would let anyone, for any reason, run electricity through my brain.
Sharon may have forgotten that she faked the DNA test or assisted Phyllis down the stairs or made love to Nick, but I don't doubt that fake Cassie will turn up very soon, and Sharon will be shocked to see her. If Sharon isn't crazy now, she soon will be, though I suspect that fake Cassie will develop a soft spot for Sharon. Eventually I expect that she will also prove to be Sharon's biological daughter.
Honestly, don't you wonder why fake Cassie can wander around and never be seen by anyone, yet Victoria catches poor Billy every time he accidentally runs into Kelly in the park or at Crimson Lights, and Billy always catches Victoria with Stitch any time they accidentally bump into each other in a bar or the coffee shop? Mad Karma, bad karma, mad drama, bad drama? You be the judge.
Some of you have complained that nuBilly and Victoria have no chemistry, and I agree, but I don't care. Victoria has already had four weddings and a funeral in her recent past, so Billy is her fifth "true love." She's young enough to have several more before she reaches her mother's milestone of twelve weddings and a few funerals.
I don't really expect actors to have instant chemistry together, though a few do, like Stitch and Ashley -- smokin' hot -- and Jack and Kelly, though it remains to be seen if that chemistry translates to nuKelly. I think acting partners have to bond, just like real-life couples, so I look forward to watching that process all over again as Victoria and Billy try to find their way back to each other. I also don't mind if more compelling combinations of actors emerge instead. Different pairings of actors help keep the stories fresh yet familiar.
I think we can all see where the Kelly story is going. Both Jack and Billy will fall for her and fall out with each other. Just as Jack is about to find happiness with Kelly, Phyllis will emerge from her coma. I read in the previews that Phyllis would be returning to Genoa City soon. I thought that they were recasting, but after hearing Jack and Avery's conversation about long-term care, I wonder if Phyllis' comatose body will be returned to town so that her family can sit by her bedside and soliloquize. If anything could shock Phyllis out of her coma it would be finding out that Nick and Sharon are back together or that Jack is moving on.
As far as Victoria and Billy are concerned, I'm not so sure that Victoria would not be better off without Billy, who has let Victoria down so many times and hurt her so badly and so often that I think Victoria has to be a masochist to stay with him. If it were me, I'd kick Billy to the curb. I'm more the "Get the heck out of my house, you emotional moron," than the "Stand by your man" kind of gal.
Depending on what kind of father you had, Victor is the sort of guy you either love or hate. I am pathologically incapable of unconditional love for a soap opera character -- and most everyone else, for that matter -- but with Victor, I'm inclined to love him more than I hate him. Lately, I've been appalled by him, and I've applauded him.
I can relate to Victor's control issues. I'm a kinder, gentler female version of Victor, but I'm as much of a control freak as he is. I want my own way all the time, but I don't compel people to bend to my will, or crush them like bugs if they won't. I've learned to rein myself in. I wish Victor could do the same.
I would never treat anyone the way that Victor is treating Sharon, but I applaud Victor's ability to see how much Dylan means to Nikki and to relent on that point. Giving Nikki an IOU and promising to give Dylan a chance was a gesture that meant more to Nikki, and cost Victor more personally, than the expensive diamond necklace that Victor also gave Nikki. Victor proved that he could change and make a personal sacrifice for love. So maybe Nikki will teach an old dog a new trick after all -- however, I don't expect Victor to be as understanding when he finds out that Paul is Dylan's father, no matter how artificially inseminated Nikki might have been.
I do think that Victor's actions reflect the madness of his love for his entire family, but Victor's paranoia, some of it justified, and his sad past defines him and prevents Victor from trusting anyone but himself to ensure the overall happiness and well-being of his family members. I did enjoy the boxing repartee between Victor, Stitch, and Tyler as they flexed their muscles. There's no greater bond on earth than that forged by sweaty men punching each other in the face.
Victor seems genuinely concerned about Chelsea and her belief that Adam is alive. It may just be a way to get close to his grandson, but I believe that Victor has real concern for Chelsea and a genuine love for Adam; he just states it poorly. Both Victor and Adam have a difficult time expressing what they really mean, and both seem to deliberately misunderstand what the other is saying.
Chelsea is not having an easy time of it. At the meeting with Lily, Lauren, and Chloe, Chelsea tried to make nice, but it was Chloe, the kidnapper, who acted like the injured party. Lauren and Lily's attitude toward Chelsea seemed to back that up. Neither Lily nor Lauren took a side, but it seemed clear that if forced to choose, both would support Chloe.
In my opinion, Chloe should be in treatment. She has unrealistic expectations about her relationship to Connor. Chloe may have been caught, but she was not cured, and her grief is still very fresh and very real. Chloe is not happy and will never be happy until she deals with the madness of her unresolved loss. Kevin is just as unrealistic to think that his love is enough to save Chloe, especially if Chloe refuses to be saved. Even if Kevin does manage it, there is no guarantee that Chloe will love Kevin the way that Kevin loves Chloe. Kevin is "cruisin' for a bruisin';" he just won't accept it.
You've probably noticed that Alex the cop (Ignacio Serricchio) has been missing in action lately. Last week, I found out why. He was shooting a guest role as an amorous Cuban doctor for an episode of Bones, which I saw. Bravo, Ignacio! I don't know how long Alex has been off-screen, but I think at least four or five weeks. If that represents how long an actor has to be off the canvas to take a primetime job or a movie, then I can understand why actors with major storylines, like Dylan, Nick, Sharon, Victoria, and Billy seldom get contracts that allow them time off for "special projects."
Accommodating an actor carrying a major storyline who has to be seen three or more times a week would be a difficult, if not impossible, task. We fans would be denied the pleasure of seeing our fave's performance on the regular basis that we've come to expect. If our favorite daytime actor were off-screen, filming primetime shows for weeks at a time, it's likely that we would be just as cranky as if the actor had actually left the show.
I've heard a few moans of madness from some of the fans about the mystery of the missing music box. Frankly, my dears, I'm torn. I like Bad Boy-o Scorpio with Jill the Pill. I like the bantering and smoldering. I can easily ignore the obvious in favor of the preposterous -- as long as they both keep most of their clothes on! Ugh! Old flesh is old flesh. I've even stopped looking at myself in the mirror, and I have keep my eyes closed while I shower so I don't turn to stone! Ah, the madness that is aging!
The madness of younger love is growing on me. I'm beginning to like Dylan and Avery a lot better that I did before. When Avery won the cooking contest and that young woman in Crimson Lights said that Avery was from the nineties, I realized that Avery represents the perfect blend of successful, tough career woman and house frau -- sort of the fifties meets the 21st century at 1990. Now I understand her hairstyles and wardrobe choices. Avery and Dylan's modestly intimate, PG-rated video didn't gross me out, but I couldn't even imagine accidentally sending out a deleted video instead of the one that I intended to send. The first time I tried to send a cute cat video from my phone, I couldn't figure out how to find the video, let alone send it.
I'm sure that, despite Dylan and Avery's (Dare I say Davery's?) best efforts, that video will get a lot of mileage on the Internet before the embarrassment fades. Avery and Dylan may have to take some advice from Lauren and Michael, who have experienced a certain frenzied madness as Internet curiosities themselves.
When I read in the spoilers that Lauren will make a shocking announcement to Michael, my first thought was that Lauren is pregnant, but surely I am mad. Though I suppose, since we already know that Lauren lives in the anti-aging part of town, it is not too big a stretch to assume that in soap years, Lauren is a youthful 31 or 32, even though Lauren's first pregnancy occurred in 1986.
Enough nitpicking! Now, on to my favorite part of the column, where I give thought and space to what you have to say.