When I think about all the revelations in the news last week, I have to admit that real life seemed infinitely more soap opera that actual soap opera. I admit I was glued to the news, especially all the allegations and admissions of sexual abuse and misconduct that have arisen over the course of the last few days. Most women, at least those of us who've been in the workplace for 20 years or more, have seen lots of sexual misconduct that we tolerated because we had no other choice at the time.
That is no longer the case, and the rules are changing as younger women assert themselves and older women say, "Enough." I couldn't help but compare the news reports to the Brash & Sassy story on Y&R as well as to the one developing between Ashley and Ravi.
That brings me to my point: changing the workplace rules and how it will affect Ashley and Ravi's relationship. Clearly, Ashley, a powerful woman, is in the same position as any powerful man who has had a sexual relationship with a younger subordinate. Regardless of whether or not the relationship is consensual, it could be misconstrued as coercion, just as in the case of Cane and Juliet.
I don't think that Ravi is going to enjoy being Ashley's secret "boy toy," and we've all seen how destructive love can be when it turns to hate. I think it would be better for Ashley if she could find a companion who wasn't one of her much younger employees at Jabot.
I also thought about that Jeanne Cooper memorial episode where the male actors laughed and discussed how she used to grab their private parts. Personally, and I know this will make some of you mad, I don't see that as any different than a man grabbing a woman in her privates. Sexual harassment can go either way, so I hope that we implement rules that also go both ways so that neither men nor women are subjected to sexual misconduct or harassment in the workplace. That would definitely make a nice Christmas stocking stuffer.
In my opinion, that's one way to make the story of Ravi and Ashley very current and compelling. Ravi, like many a character before him, is dispensable. He has no family to anchor him to Genoa City. He can be a good guy or a bad guy. How he reacts when his relationship to Ashley deteriorates or turns out to be something different than what Ravi envisioned will make interesting drama. I don't think Ravi will be totally thrilled with being Ashley's secret stud muffin, though I suspect it suits Ashley's needs just fine.
In other news on the Abbott home front, Dina's Alzheimer's diagnosis has caused Jack to reprioritize. Jack is determined to make life as comfortable and secure for Dina as he can. Not only did Jack step away from Jabot, but he stepped away from Nikki, as well, which ought to tell Nikki all she needs to know about Jack. Victor might pick his business over Nikki, but at this stage of life, I don't think he would pick another woman, even his mother. Nikki can pine after Jack, or she can reconcile with Victor and heal her family.
Victor is manipulative and far from perfect, but Nikki isn't perfect, either. They have more than 30 years of history together, so both of them need to accept the other for who they are now, not some idealized version that doesn't exist in (soap) reality. They are both better together than they are apart. Nikki is about the only person who has any sway over Victor -- except maybe Faith.
Even though I know that the good will won't last long, it would be nice to have Nick back in the fold at Christmas. Victor should have invited Nick to the tree lighting ceremony at the ranch instead of being so petty. I also think that Nick and Chelsea should have planned their activity on a different day than Victor's party. They had to know it would cause a huge family conflict. Personally, I prefer that the holidays be a time of healing, not strife, and I wish that for everyone, especially my imaginary soap friends in Genoa City.
Even a temporary truce won't last long for the Newmans because it looks like Christian's true parentage is about to come to light. Nick is going to be stunned and heartbroken, maybe just in time to find comfort with Sharon, who is starting to see the powerful bond that exists between Scott and Abby. I do hope Sharon and Scott can remain friends, like Mariah and Devon, but as long as it somehow leads to (yet another) reconciliation between Sharon and Nick, I'm okay with whatever happens. They are still my favorite "uncoupled" couple.
Billy and Phyllis are back together for now, and I am wondering what business Billy will delve into next. Now that the Underground has closed, there's room in town for another bar or restaurant. At the moment, there are only three places to go: Top of the Tower, Athletic Club, or Crimson Lights. That's not much of a choice. I remember when Billy ran a successful restaurant a few years ago. Maybe he could do that again. I'm sure that there are many more stories to tell for Billy. Billy and Phyllis may have a good run together, like Phyllis and Nick did, but I still think that in the long view, it will be Billy and Victoria who end up together.
Love the sibling rivalry between Abby and Victoria, who could not be more Victor-like if she were trying. I liked Abby's rewrite for the press conference, and I was kind of gleeful when she skewered Victoria, who really gets on my nerves when she mounts her high horse. I just want to put Victoria in a high chair and say, "Don't be so insensitive to your sister!" It's clear to me, at least, that Victoria is very jealous of Abby, and Abby is jealous of her. Both are in competition for Victor's affection, which I don't think is an issue for him. I do think Victor loves them equally, but he doesn't mind seeing them compete, just like he didn't mind having Adam and Nick competing. I hope that by Christmas dinner, Abby and Victoria can sit down at a table without picking up forks, even the plastic kind, and stabbing each other.
Hilary got a lesson in karma when Jordan released Hilary's nude photos on the Internet, despite having promised that he wouldn't! (Note to self: NEVER trust anything that you don't want made public to anyone, no matter how much they promise not to tell, especially if that promise is made in the throes of passion.) Because she didn't find the photos in Jordan's room, Hilary thought she was safe and so failed to heed the axiom "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
Hilary lost her national commercial, her agent, advertisers, guests and the little credibility that she had, just so she could get revenge on Jordan. Now she is in danger of losing her show and her livelihood. I hope she saves it because I like GC Buzz, and I love Mariah and Hilary as "frenemies." I do suspect that instead of a lump of coal, Hilary might find Devon in her stocking, at least long enough to conjure up some Christmas cheer.
Two characters I could easily do without are insipid Tessa and her rabbity sister, Crystal. From the get-go, all Crystal had to do was tell Zack's name to Paul -- a name she did know -- and give a description to a police artist. Instead, she left the safe house and ran away at every opportunity, and rather than helping the investigation, both Crystal and Tessa hindered it.
Tessa thought it was better to steal a gun and give it to Crystal than to insist that her sister tell the whole story to the authorities who could put an end to the sex trafficking ring. I know the police in Genoa City are kind of dumb, but they probably could have put the whole gang away lickety-split if they'd just had the truth and the facts. One way to look at it is that if Crystal had come clean at the first opportunity, Natalia might still be alive.
I also think Tessa has been leading Mariah on. Tessa wants it both ways: Noah as a boyfriend and Mariah mooning over her. Mariah deserves better, and I hope that she finds it. I'm so ready for Tessa to leave town on a music tour and never return.
At the moment, the most decent person on the show seems to be Lily. I thought her talk with Charlie about Hilary's explicit photos was terrific, as was her reaction to baby Sam's medical crisis. Lily has a temper and holds a grudge if you do her family wrong, but she is loyal, thoughtful, and honest. Lily truly does have a heart of gold. She loves her family, and she still loves Cane. Now that Juliet has passed, I suspect that "Lane" will reunite for Christmas. If baby Sam survives, it will be because of Lily's blood donation, so I'm guessing that Lily will bond with the infant and may even adopt him later on. At any rate, I believe that all will be well with the Ashbys by Christmas. I am so hoping that this family gets a Christmas miracle.
I'm dreaming of a warm and fuzzy Christmas in Genoa City, even if it dissipates in the wake of February sweeps. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you. As always, fellow fans, I welcome feedback about this column in the section provided below. I enjoy all your comments, even when you don't agree with me. I do hope you get all your holiday shopping done early so that you can return in two weeks for another hot-off-the-press edition of Two Scoops.
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