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 Two Scoops: October 19, 2009 columns
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Eric Braeden
Is anyone left out there?
by Nita
For the Week of October 19, 2009
Fans were shocked by some behind-the-scenes drama, but it's still too early to count Eric Braeden, or Victor Newman, out just yet.
Before the dust could even settle from the hordes of fan feet angrily pounding the pavement, marching in unprecedented numbers toward the exit doors of Y&R due to Adam's baby theft, another grumbling crowd began pushing against their backs at the news Victor Newman may soon be a fast-fading image on the dusty pages of Genoa City's history books. But, despite Eric Braeden's cantankerous comments to many media members, I won't count him out just yet. Because I've been in this soap watching business awhile now and know many times these supposed contract impasses have a way of unsnarling themselves in the eleventh hour. But who knows? Even though this particular time could prove to be the exception, I'll still save my sad so long for a later column if and when his departure has become a fait accompli.

So, since I'm not going to talk much about Victor today, at least where it concerns his departure, I'll turn my attention to his annoying soon to be ex-wife instead. Okay, is it just me, or does any other fan want to join me in shaking Ashley until she cries Uncle? Although Ashley has never made the top of my most liked character list, after her return from B&B, I resolved to try and look at her with new and less biased eyes. Alas, it took only a few episodes for my resolve to drain away. Because somehow, no matter what the situation, whether it be misplacing her marbles for the umpteenth time, dying from cancer, losing her and Brad's son, unloading Brad in preparation for her big reunion with Victor (a reunion that instantly unraveled when Victor told her he loved Nikki not her), I have a hard time feeling many pangs of sympathy on her behalf.

It's a wonder I could hear a word she said this week since each time she opened her mouth, I opened mine too. To drown her out with my derogatory comments. First, when she marched her nutty self up to Victor's sickbed and proceeded, for the second time, to give him a piece of her dysfunctional mind. A piece, I might add, she can ill afford to lose. Right Ashley, make an emotional scene and cause the man's newly transplanted heart to pound itself into a heart attack, all while swearing you want him to be in his daughters' life. I'm a girl finally grown into a woman, she told Victor, or words similar to those, and as such, allegedly no longer gazes at him with lovesick eyes covered by pink colored spectacles.

But how can I view her as this newly cognizant, capable woman when she's not even knowledgeable enough to figure out she could not possibly have just birthed a baby? I know she's insisting she stopped needing medical mental intervention the moment Adam placed Sharon's baby in her arms, but how can I count her sane when she's seemingly forgotten every single detail surrounding a birth she was told she was wide awake for and assisting with? Maybe she was the one born last week instead of baby Faith. Because what mother could ever forget what comes after their baby's birth? Like all those follow-up doctor and nurse visits she didn't have. What mother doesn't still recall with a grimace those repeated visits where some nurse waltzed in and proceeded to push forcefully on your belly to ensure no afterbirth remained? And what new mother wouldn't question why her nether regions seem good as new with no soreness, stitches, residual bleeding or the like? I'd wager not a single mother in the entire viewing audience buys any of the aforementioned.

Yes, for the sake of the storyline, you could tell yourself Ashley's subconsciously blocking all those silly details out to make certain she won't accidentally stumble on any full or partial memory forcing her to acknowledge there's no way she's delivered any baby meaning there has to be something rotten and stinking to high heaven in Denmark. But, whether she's blocking or not, in my book that still makes her mentally unstable with no business playing Mommy.

I guess my biggest problem with this whole Ashley gets a baby yarn (and a few other current tales as well) is that there really is nothing and no one to root for, and except for the day Sharon finally gets her Faith back, no payoff for this fan. I do get that the scribes are trying to come up with a story that will utilize as many GC characters as possible, as well as give Adam a chance to show a little remorse for the terrible thing he's done to Sharon, but what do I do in the meantime? I certainly can't root for Ashley the fruitcake. I know it's not her fault nor does she have the tiniest clue Adam stole Sharon's baby and deposited it into her dysfunctional arms, but it bothers me that Sharon and Nick had to suffer through the death of their child, while crazy, but still sanctimonious Ashley gets to traipse all about town, smirking and acting as if she's Mother of the Year. And what joy can be found in watching Ashley bonding with baby, when she's experiencing all the early firsts her real parents should be savoring. I might feel differently if an actual baby switch had been done. At least all parties would have had a baby to cuddle even if it was revealed later that they were raising babies not their own. Eventually, Ashley will have to face the fact that Faith did not come from her loins. But who knows how long that could take. Lily didn't find out the identity of her true father until she was practically past the age of consent. It's already been 'been there, done that' with Cassie's first years being spent with someone other than her mother. I'm probably hoping in vain, but it's my hope Faith comes home while her age still numbers in the months.

While it will be unlikely I will ever enjoy anything about Adam, given all his dastardly deeds, I have to admit, I came close when he poked at Victoria with his red hot stick of truth. Don't get me wrong. I'm by no means rooting for Adam, but I do so love to dislike that over privileged, self-indulgent diva, Victoria, and confess I had a big belly laugh at her expense and her speechlessness when he compared his education and experience to hers and Nick's. Nick and Victoria are often at their obnoxious worst when dealing with their half-brother and their nastiness would normally make me side with Adam except I know the depraved depths to which he will stoop. And deep down, so probably do his half-siblings. But I couldn't help but giggle when Nick was hurling words of condemnation at Adam for daring to frame their father. I know Nick didn't try to frame his father for murder, but much like Adam, he was perfectly willing to see him sent to prison for a very long time. Victor eventually forgave him, yet he begrudges Adam that same privilege. Nick is like many of his fellow Genoa Citians, though, often condemning others for the very actions they themselves have also committed, but rationalized away.

Which brings me to a question. Is there anything Adam finds too vile to do? We saw him fall down on the stairs at the thought of the son from hell to Hope he's become. And we know he feels bad now for what he did to Ashley, hence his rewarding her with Sharon's baby. But maybe Adam should have thought about the tangled web he would be weaving when first he started his grand deception. Because although he's fixed Ashley, at least unless or until something happens that proves she couldn't have mothered Faith, how's he going to fix what he broke in Sharon? And on top of that, it isn't as if Adam has learned anything, despite all his self-reproaching syllables. Because he hadn't been working for Newman Enterprises for two seconds before he was hatching yet another scheme to do in one of his family members. It's enough to make a fan tune in just to be there when that Humpty Dumpty finally has his great big fall.

After all the sadness and tears of Colleen's impending and then actual death, I guess the scribes were trying to lighten things up by tossing us the Chloe/Chance, Billy/Mac bone as they tussled over who has the most right to hang out at the cabin. But while there's no denying Chance is a gentleman, wholly infatuated with his idea of Chloe, I confess I found it all a little tough to trudge through. First, Billy and Chloe behaved like a couple of 12 year olds (and I hope I'm not offending 12 year olds everywhere), and Mac and Chance seemed like the weary parents of the two. As much as Chance adores Chloe, he had to be blind not to see that it's all Billy for her. Forget about the fact that she's still legally an Abbott and therefore had alleged equal rights to the cabin. Why in the world would anyone want to be in such close company with the man you still love and his lover? And couldn't the duo find a single other place in Genoa City where Chloe and Chance could have stared at the leaves while munching on store-bought picnic items and sharing pickle-flavored chaste kisses? Besides, maybe I missed while my eyes were rolling upward at all the immature taunts being tossed back and forth, but did either Chloe or Chance even glance at a single leaf? Not unless they dragged some in on the bottom of their shoes. The main thing the whole scene pointed out clearly was that Chance at 21 is much more grown up than his Uncle Billy and Aunt Chloe. It also seems clear that right about the time Chloe realizes Chance is the man for her, Billy will decide he loves her after all.

Yay! Phase One of the Teroni fable is finally over. But, don't bother popping the corks on the Champagne yet because as we saw, the tall tale just took yet another twisted turn. So, it wasn't about Deacon's Amber obsession at all, nor was it likely really about the Teroni itself. It seems now that it's more about Deacon's son than anything else and it turns out the puppet master was a puppet himself. But who is the man or woman manipulating his strings? And what does he/she have to do with Ryder? I guess we will soon see.

Well, fans continue to transmit through cyberspace their dissatisfaction with our once favorite soap and so many have said goodbye or are threatening to bid the show Adieu, one wonders how many of us are still out there. It seems to be the same sad story on the four or five message boards I monitor on a reasonably regular basis and if it continues I fear for the continued longevity of Y&R. It's too bad because it really wouldn't take much for the scribes to turn things completely around. I'm convinced they have plenty of good stories to tell. And if they want to know what will keep most fans glued to the tube, all they have to do is check out just a handful of the many sites out there. Even with the sometimes sub par stories, I still count myself a fan, but even for me it's been more difficult than it used to be to find that golden nugget amid all the not so riveting rot. But as long as I can uncover the occasional jewel, I'll keep watching and talking about it in this space for anyone willing to keep reading. Until the next time my turn comes up, here is a small sampling of the vast numbers of fan opinions. Have a joyous week, all!



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Karen - After being a loyal fan of Y&R since way back when Nikki was a stripper at The Bayou, I find myself among the many former fans who aren't watching anymore. I'm particularly disgusted with the storyline involving Adam. It's impossible to believe he could pull off all the horrible things he's done with no repercussions, especially his involvement with the loss of Ashley's baby and the subsequent baby switch. Anyone with any intelligence at all has to be totally insulted that the writers would expect viewers to buy this stuff. Now with the possibility that Eric Braeden is leaving the show, we won't even have the satisfaction of seeing Victor's reaction and payback to Adam when he discovers the truth. There was a time when I was really upset that Y&R might be cancelled, but as a former viewer, now I couldn't care less. I do have a lot of sympathy for all fine actors on the show that will probably be out of work soon.

Leah - I think Victor's leaving would be the best thing for Y&R as the whole show shouldn't be about Victor and the garbage he gets away with. It's too bad he wasn't taken off first instead of John Abbot.

Mary - Surely in this day of shrinking soap ratings, the producers of Y&R must have lost their collective minds to not reach agreement with Eric Braeden. A Y&R with either no Victor or a different one might as well turn out the light and close up shop. Whether together or apart he and Nikki are the central characters of this program and it will never recover from this fatal blunder. Love him or hate him, he drives the plotlines of this show, and the Newmans are the primary family in this drama, especially with the impact of the ever shrinking Abbott clan being diluted by death, insanity and general boredom or unlikeability. Wake up folks, even recording viewers will turn off the machine if you continue with this folly!

Jan - The Adam storyline has to go and hopefully before Victor. It's tiring and much too unbelievable. How does a smart woman like Ashley fall through all the holes in Adam's care for her. If Eric Braeden is truly off Y&R, it seems so am I. There is a reason soaps are falling by the wayside. Bring some romance back and get rid of Adam's darkness. His character is not endearing enough to support his schemes.

Silvi - Good God. I don`t know one person who watches Y&R and isn't hating it right now. The writing is horrible, the plots dreadful, the show soooo boring, some days we just ff through most of it. Soaps are in enough trouble these days, without the writers just ignoring the fans' complaints. People really will start watching less and less if what we see every day makes us sad, angry, uncomfortable or insulted. We want to have fun and be entertained. Not get so pissed by the show we want to have a public lynching for the writers every day. Hopefully, the writers will come back to earth, the show will be saved, and we'll all live happily ever after.



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