All the pretty ladies (have some issues)

For the Week of April 8, 2024
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Ashley is in pieces, Nikki has more purse vodka, Jordan looks like a dude from a '60s sitcom, Claire is acting like she has nothing to fear, and Audra rejected Tucker's proposal -- for now. So many pretty ladies with so many problems. Let's discuss in this week's Two Scoops.

Dear readers, after returning from a whirlwind three-week trip -- a glorious cruise of the Panama Canal from coast to coast -- I had a lot of soaps to catch up on. When you binge the shows back-to-back, hour after hour, patterns emerge. In Genoa City, the sad pattern that emerged for me is that nearly every female in Genoa City is in some stage of mental or emotional crisis.

Nikki somehow found another bottle of purse vodka and is sipping at it again. Ashley's personality is fractured into many pieces, one of which has regressed to a pigtailed schoolgirl. Phyllis, a confident and accomplished businesswoman, has become so jealous of Danny being with Christine that after listening to them through a hotel door, she pulled a fire alarm to break them up. Jordan has more disguises than Houdini and is mentally unstable. Lily fired Daniel and Heather for getting back together, despite the two of them having done nothing wrong at work. Chelsea is tearing herself apart and blaming Connor's OCD on her suicide attempt. But in another head-scratcher, so do the experts at Connor's new school, which only had one meeting with him.

Claire is cavalier, flaunting her newfound freedom -- despite knowing how dangerous Jordan is -- and toying with disaster. Victoria is constantly on edge, worrying about her mother and daughter. Sally, the sanest of the bunch right now, is still flailing to get her business off the ground and thinks she should return to fashion. Diane is fighting with Kyle for helping her with her work at a job she's most likely not qualified for in the first place and only got due to being married to the CEO. Traci is babysitting Ashley and working on her novel. Still, she never seems to have any plans of her own or any relationships outside of her siblings. Audra swears off Tucker "for good" about once a week and then takes him back, despite all the evidence that he is still obsessed with Ashley.

Mind you, we have seen some magnificent work out of all this nonsense. Melody Thomas Scott's scenes at her A.A. meeting were a tour de force. I have watched her on Y&R for decades, and she still has the power to totally suck me in, wrap my heart around Nikki's pain, and make me cry. Can you imagine being in Nikki's A.A. meeting? I bet the people at her meeting wait every week to hear the next chapter in her bizarre saga of being force-fed vodka through an I.V.!

Readers, it bothers me that Jordan can escape from anywhere and apparently roam freely to wig stores and costume shops. Perhaps she raided some local theatre company's prop room. Her last get-up included a beard and mustache, a Thurston Howell ascot, Mr. Magoo glasses, and an Andy Capp cap. Sure, all my references are from '70s cartoons and shows, but I'm old.

This woman tried to murder the most prominent family in town, and she's a wanted escaped felon who burned down a prison. Who would sell her all these disguises? Where does she get the money for them? How is she calling cabs and Uber to get around town? How is she tracking Claire and Nikki and always knowing where they are and just happens to be there when they are there? All these Swiss cheese-sized plot holes are making me nuts -- just like all the other women in Genoa City! But man, I bet Colleen Zenk is having the time of her life playing this loopy woman!

Across town, Ashley finally confessed to Traci that she is losing time and winding up in places she doesn't know how she got to. When we were getting somewhere, one of Ashley's alters took over and made Traci "pinky promise" not to tell Jack. Traci should 100% break that promise. But I hope she doesn't. Call me an old-fashioned romantic, but I still hope Tucker gets to save her. Tucker tried to convince Jack that Ashley was in trouble. Still, because Tucker was saying it, Jack immediately dismissed the notion. However, he had his own doubts before Tucker spoke up. The Y&R writers sure are up on all their gender stereotypes.

Eileen Davidson is making each one of Ashley's alter egos a unique and recognizable character. We can spot the teenage girl trying to fumble her way through business meetings and wing the lingo. We can spot the real Ashley, confused and horrified by her missing memories. And the third personality seems to be the one with the plan, who has some reason for all the things she is doing and the games she is playing with Tucker. How long will this play out before Ashley gets help and gets all the personalities merged back into one person again? This is a dynamic and different storyline, and I bet Eileen Davidson is having a ball with it.

Back to the Newmans, Claire met some additional family members and happily visited with Kyle, Summer, and Harrison. It was going swimmingly up until Summer did research and discovered Claire's past transgressions. Claire will not be Harrison's new nanny if Summer gets a vote. But Kyle? Kyle and Claire met up and appeared to have a spark. Kyle listened to Claire's backstory and seemed strangely dazzled by her. I can already see the fireworks coming when Kyle and Claire start hanging out, and Summer loses her mind that Harrison is near the woman who tried to murder her family.

In the real world, I'd be in Summer's corner; it would take more than a DNA test to get me to trust Claire again. But in Soap Land, I am enjoying Claire getting to know her family and even her dream sequence of what it would have been like to grow up as Eve. I wonder if Claire is all better or willing to snap under Jordan's command again.

And now, a shout-out for Judah Mackey's remarkable performance. His portrayal of a young man with OCD is completely gut-wrenching and has me spellbound.

This is a perfect time for the Daytime Emmys to realize what an error it was to eliminate the younger performers category. It seems completely unfair, considering the level of work Judah is turning in in Connor's OCD storyline. So, for Judah's work to be recognized, he would have to compete in the adult category with decades-long veterans like Maurice Benard or Peter Bergman? That is just nuts to me.

But awards aside, this young actor is turning in performances that have leveled me. I have friends and family who have dealt with mental health disorders, and Judah is opening realistic windows into the life of a family struggling with these kinds of issues. Adam and Chelsea are expertly reflecting parents who have impossible decisions before them. Connor is a kid who is discouraged and hopeless because he can't process the emotions and behaviors that trigger those emotions. But this is more than a PSA storyline. It's got heart and never feels like a one-note message. Hats off to the writers and actors who are bringing this to life.

There have been many scenes in this storyline that deserve attention, such as Adam telling Victor he feared he was failing Connor as a father and Victor reminding Adam that he failed Adam as a father -- and is proud of the good man and father Adam is now.

What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will a pirate with a beard and a hook hand leave a triple premium vodka for Nikki at the bar? Will Tucker propose to Audra again, get a yes, and then dump her at the altar when one of Ashley's alter egos sends out an SOS on their wedding day? Will Nick and Lily have lunch again, despite everyone tweeting about their age difference? (It's not that much)

Will Billy and Lily take over and push Devon back to the music division? Please? Will anyone consider putting a dog tracker chip in Jordan next time she's in the hospital? Will anyone be brave enough to tell Victoria that, yes, it was a bad idea for her, her mom, and Claire to insist on confronting Jordan? Will anyone come to work for Y&R who doesn't think all women are unhinged and dangling by a thread? Will Claire change her name to Eve now, or three months from now?

Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows. (Or until I take my next cruise!)

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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