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Crash and burn (Super-duper-soapalistic-expialidocious)
For the Week of February 3, 2014
Say the magic word and presto-changeo, two men crash and burn. One runs, while the other lies hurt in a fiery crash. One villain returns from the dead, and another returns from Indiana. A couple reconciles while their stalker evades detection. Two women and a baby make a daddy-mama plus two. Take a magic carpet ride as February sweeps into Genoa City and the residents clean house.
I've had a crazy week, kind of a low rent soap opera of my own, and I have been very distracted. It started when my brother mentioned that he wanted to locate a blanket that he had stored in my basement. Since I wanted to find a videotape of my younger, more attractive self, I thought I'd look for both.


After a futile search, I realized that my basement could easily be showcased in one of those hoarder shows. Immediately, I called a hauling service to get rid of the unnecessary, and started downsizing. I figured that as long as I was doing that I might as well change bedrooms and move to the one with the largest closet, which, of course, meant moving more stuff.


Once I emptied my bedroom and saw how much dust and cat hair had accumulated in the corners, I became a crazy person and started a massive cleaning campaign. I am still crazed. I have been diagnosed with BCD, Bipolar Cleaning Disorder. No wonder Esther is so nutty. How does she keep that enormous house clean?


After experiencing BCD, I have nothing but the greatest admiration for soap housekeepers, especially those young mothers with the fancy hairdos and the designer duds. They never have a hair out of place, no grime or spit-up on their clothes, and I can't recall ever seeing any one of them vacuum or dust. Maybe they just say magic words, like "Super duper vacuum cleaner expialidocious."


Meanwhile, I find myself akin to that British woman in a YouTube video, who started out to do one task, got sidetracked to another and another and another until she never completed any one of them and could not figure out what had happened to her day -- only for me it's been over a week, and I am still getting sidetracked with no magic words in sight!


To make matters worse, after moving all that furniture around -- most of it by myself -- I realized that I had my big screen TV on the wrong wall for optimum viewing, so I called a handyman to rehang the TV, but that also meant that I had to call the TV provider to install a new line, which is the point of my story and how I know that I am now a deranged and broken victim of BCD.


The install got so complicated that I missed Y&R on both Thursday and Friday at its regular time, though I did catch the reruns on TV Guide channel much later in the evening. Thank goodness for that. If I had missed Billy and Adam in their final confrontation, I would have been beside myself, and I do not think that either my blood pressure or the person on the complaint line of my provider would have survived the force of my disappointment!


Okay! Got that off my chest. Thanks for letting me vent!


I'm going to change my format a little bit and start with this email because it gave me a laugh and got me focused on serious stuff like The Young and Restless instead of myself and my BCD.

    Seems you may have been paid by CBS to think your "spidey" senses are sensing a turnaround.... Maybe you need a steady paycheck coming in…maybe you don't get paid... -- WANT MORE MUHNEY


I can definitely say that I want more money, who doesn't? So I asked this person to tell me where I could apply for a bribe from CBS or anyone else that might pay. I read that there are some situations where it is not illegal to take a bribe if the bribe is reported to the IRS. I think that might apply here, because who, other than me, really cares what I think, so I said, "Bring on the bribes." Unfortunately, despite a lengthy wait of a week, no one has offered to bribe me for my honest opinion! "Darn, what am I doing wrong?"


I'm sticking by my guns as I repeat that I'm seeing some improvement in the show, like the little tulip tips that peek out in spring. I think that there is forward progress with some potentially compelling stories in the works. I expect February to sweep out some old stories and sweep some new ones in. Let the housekeeping begin! No more "Spidey" for me, it's Mary Poppins with a spoonful of sugar all the way!


One story that might finally get swept out is the Baldwin stalker case. As Madame Zelda correctly predicted, Carmine is alive and living in Witness Protection. He's got to be the witness against Womack that Christine or the warden or someone mentioned. Womack probably works for the crime family that Carmine was originally hiding out from. It's really too bad that Carmine can't get over his obsession with Lauren and be redeemed. I liked him until he got all stalkery and creepish.


I think the actor that plays Carmine is much better than some others that they have on the show. I say reform him so he can date both Abbott and Newman women. Get him out of the mob and back in the bedroom with someone willing. Maybe Carmine could be revealed as an undercover cop or an FBI agent, and the whole stalking Lauren thing can be explained as some kind of FBI stunt. I know, I know -- grasping at straws again!


As one stalker story is winding down, another one is starting up. I'm sensing that a stalking story is one of the staples on Y&R, and there will always be one. Just like every character ends up in the hospital or has a major disease, sooner or later, everybody must get stalked.


This time, the stalker is aimed at Abby. I was very fond of this Abby until she started being so insecure in her relationship with Tyler. The Abby who went into that relationship was cocky and confident. The Abby we see now is not. Thinking the worst of Tyler and breaking up with him because of Mariah's actions is not the behavior of a daring, adventurous person, which Abby is supposed to be.


Abby should be facing this crisis with Tyler, not doubting him, at least in my opinion. With my new Mary Poppins attitude, I'm taking a spoonful of sugar as I watch what goes down with Tyler, Abby, and Mariah. Will we get a new twist, or will the magic words be "fast-forward."


I'm so glad that I was able to see the final scenes between Billy and Adam. They were truly powerful and worth remembering. As Adam taunted Billy one last time and laid the ultimate blame on Billy, it was clear that Adam had been correct in his assessment that the only way that Billy could live with his own negligence was to place the blame so firmly elsewhere that Billy did not have to consider his own responsibility. Both actors brought their best in the heartbreaking scenes at the memorial and in the car. It was very appropriate that they went out in a blaze of fiery glory.


I still hold the opinion that Adam did not kill Delia because Delia had already been hit by another car. Madame Zelda is still predicting that the mysterious "Kelly" who appeared in the license plate list with Adam may yet be involved. I think that the greatest twist of all would be for Victor to uncover the truth and set Adam free without asking anything in return! I'm not saying that it will happen, I'm just saying that it would be unexpected and a great example of unconditional love!


On Wednesday, I realized that Muhney and Miller were going to exit in a car crash -- it was pretty obvious when they got in the car! I assumed that one of them would get out of the car safely, and the other would need plastic surgery. My guess is that Billy will get out, and Adam will eventually have surgery after a long coma or recovery period -- I figured that the producers would need time to regroup and find a recast. I won't tell you anything, but I did hear from my friend Bessie -- who has been very ill, so please wish her well -- and she told me that the correct answer, which will be common knowledge on Monday, can be found on the Internet if you want to look it up now! I don't, I'd rather guess!


Poor Chelsea and Victoria are both in a world of hurts. Chelsea is the poster girl for bad choices, even when they are for the right reasons. She just can't catch a break. For most people, getting married is the start of something; for Chelsea, it's the kiss of death. Chelsea's marriage to Dylan fell apart shortly after a fairytale ceremony and her quickie marriage to Adam is on shaky ground. Does Chelsea wonder if all would be well if she had just said the magic words and gotten on that plane to Paris with Adam instead of insisting on a wedding first?


At least Chelsea will always have Chloe by her side. For as long as Connor has Delia's corneas, Chloe will be his daddy-mama and Chelsea had better get used to it! There is no magic word, except maybe "psychotherapy" that is going to change that. I like the actress who plays Chelsea, -- Ditto Chloe -- and have, ever since Melissa Claire Egan was on All My Children. She cries so well that I cry with her!


I had an email from fan LB, who mentioned that Egan had amazing chemistry with the actor who played Adam Junior on AMC and that Y&R should bring him over from B&B, like an NFL team buying out a contract player. I thought that was a great suggestion. Y&R could use more acting talent in the Chelsea age group.


Victoria also does a great job of crying, and her scenes with Victor were very touching as she digested the news that Adam had killed Delia. I cried with her, too. Not only is her husband soon going to be a changed man, but I'm pretty sure that no magic word is going to prevent Victoria from finding out about Billy's infidelity with Kelly. I do expect Victoria to turn to Stitch.


Stitch did have terrific scenes with Ashley, but since she's off to Salem for a spell, there's no reason we can't enjoy a magic little interlude with Victoria and Stitch. I'm still betting that Kelly cheated with Stitch and spilled the beans to his wife. Perhaps the magic words are "balance the scales of karmic justice" if Victoria sleeps with Stitch.


Ray Wise is proving to be a stellar addition to the cast, don't you think? He literally makes my skin crawl as he oozes that smooth smarmy charm. I've accepted the rewritten history, and I am looking forward to a powerhouse story with powerhouse acting skills. I am particularly intrigued to see how this will bring Dylan and Nick together as brothers. I think that we will see magic as the actors begin to explore that dynamic.


The same goes for Summer as she responds to Ian Ward's lure. Both she and Fen will get a chance to be front and center, so it will be interesting to watch what happens. If this is a retelling of the Nikki-Paul cult story, I think that it will be a hoot, especially for those of you who were watching the original story! The magic words for Summer are "path of least resistance," but whether it leads to redemption or destruction will depend on Summer's gullibility.


It's probably safe to assume that Summer and Fen's story will coincide with Courtney and Noah. Someone wrote to me and commented that Courtney could not be older than 18 as I'd speculated because Courtney had been a classmate of Summer's and had graduated with her.


I have three magic words: 21 Jump Street, the TV show that started the trend of twentysomethings pretending to be high school students to bust drug dealers. While it might not be true in real life that adults go undercover as teens, it is certainly plausible in TV land. So there is no reason that Courtney can't be lying about her age. According to the previews, we'll find out about Courtney during February sweeps, but meanwhile, I stand behind Madame Zelda's prediction that Courtney is a nark, who will eventually say the magic words, "You have the right to remain silent…"


The whole drug story, including the battle between Victor and Jack, should be exciting. Jack finally has a chance to be a winner. For all appearances, Victor looks set to take a fall, but I'm not so sure. It certainly appears that Kyle got the goods on Bonaventure, but I wonder if Victor set Kyle and Jack up instead. Victor did tell Kyle when he fired him that Victor had known Kyle's agenda all along.


If Victor didn't set them up, and Bonaventure did make and sell the drugs that Summer took, I will be itching to see if Victor wriggles out or if Jack, unlike the "Wiley Coyote" of Roadrunner cartoon fame, finally gets to chalk up a win in the victories over Victor category.


Victor has his detractors, but he also has supporters. Here's a Victor rah-rah from Ruth:

    I am so tired of you and other Y and R fans downing Victor. I love his character and especially how he always wins. He deserves to win because Victor started from scratch, built his empire, and always takes care of his family. It is not his fault that Jack is so stupid and can't see that he is obsessed with hurting Victor and all it does is hurt someone else. Hey Victor keep up the good work.


Ironically, some of the letters that I receive bash me for being too kind to Victor. I confess that I like Victor for the same reasons that Ruth does. My grandfather was a lot like Victor. He started with a $2 crowbar during the depression and built a substantial business with his own hands. He was proud and controlling and cared about his family. He was a loving person, but he had a temper and did think that he always knew what was best. It certainly caused a few problems with his children and grandchildren as they grew to be adults. But, like Victor, family never stopped being family to him.


As I told Ruth, my problem is not with Victor the character, but with the writing of the character. I don't like him drawn so black and white, the soap equivalent of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He's either a mean-spirited controlling bully or a tender, comforting loving father. I want less cartoonishness and more shades of gray.


Poor Jack does seem to be an unlucky also-ran. No matter how safe the bet, he always backs the wrong horse. Just look at his relationship with Adam and how foolish he feels now that the truth is out. He's sad-sack Jack, and I feel so sorry for him. He's a good man who loves his family, cares for others, and is a faithful friend, but the karmic scales never seem to balance in Jack's direction.


Life hasn't been fair to Jack, and he's got even more pain ahead, when Sharon's actions regarding the paternity tests are revealed. If Jack has even a smidgen of a chance of finally being able to satisfy his obsessive need to defeat Victor at something, sometime, somewhere, Jack had better remember that his magic words are "Stay off the pills and booze."


Another character that is getting some story is Jill. I have to say that it is very sad to know that she's been tied to a bed for almost a month now and no one has missed her. I know that Jill's captor has been sending texts, but still! I have no doubt that streetwise "Jill the Pill" will find the magic words to get her out of this mess and solve the music box mystery. I'm certainly intrigued, and I don't have a clue where this is going. The not knowing is what makes it magic for me, Tristan Rogers begins appearing soon, and I am looking forward to his return also.


Rogers said his farewells on GH yesterday, so I expect him to sweep into Genoa City posthaste. Since he is Cane's father, Cane and Lily can participate in family histrionics just like everyone else on Y&R and maybe get a storyline. I have to say that Lily's attitude toward Hilary is very unflattering to Lily. I've found that it is always better to take the high road, if only because it makes the other person look bad. Doing so is based on the same principle as sword fighting.


The high ground, moral or otherwise, offers the best opportunity for victory. Recently, I had a similar, though less combative, situation to Lily's. I did not repeat or acknowledge the confrontation to anyone, and I never said anything derogatory about the other person. I did the opposite and said something nice if it was appropriate. The other person sought support and told a version of the truth. You can guess the rest. Keeping my mouth shut made me look like the injured party, and all the sympathy went my way. I'm still snickering about that one.


And you know, I learned to do that by watching the soaps (and reading the Bible)! I saw the results, year after year on soap after soap as character after character gave in to their anger instead of taking the high moral ground. I learned from their mistakes, and my life is better for it. I suspect that those of you who read my column faithfully have learned the same thing, and I am now "preaching to the choir!" So say the magic words with me, "It's not just a soap, it's a morality play!"


I'm not grooving on the Leslie-Neil relationship or Dylan-Avery because both are ho-hum, and I don't think any magic words are going to make them better. Neither of the relationships is terrible; they are just not exciting -- I don't feel any chemistry, no abracadabra. I think I preferred Dylan with Chelsea and as a father to Connor. It would certainly chafe at Victor to have Dylan reunite with Chelsea and get guardianship of Connor from Jack. I could see some magic there.


Leslie seems like a nosy buttinski who is more than willing to break confidentiality to give advice -- that is, if she's not too busy defending criminals, but hey, a girl's got to eat! I also don't understand why she dropped her investigation of the letters that Gus had in his safe deposit box. Why hasn't Leslie asked for a DNA test to see if Hilary is related to her? Maybe if Leslie paid less attention to other people's business and more to her own, we could finally sweep this boring story away.


Will Leslie go through with the wedding? I'm voting yes, but how long it will last is anybody's guess. Leslie is certainly skittish about having a child around, so I suspect that quicker that you can say "super-duper-soapalistic-expialidocious," Neil's young son will start spending more time with Leslie and Neil. I could get interested in a stepparenting story, but unless they cast a super duper cute kid, the magic words will be, "Double fast-forward."


Maybe it's just Avery's wardrobe, but lately I feel like I've been looking at a housewife from the fifties or sixties. Somebody must have said a magic word, otherwise I can't explain how an attractive blonde, last seen in a glamorous red dress, has morphed into a dowdy, bespeckled, house frau -- who unlike me never has to clean or vacuum. Avery seems very bland. I don't particularly dislike her, but I don't like her either. If she disappeared in a puff of smoke, I probably wouldn't notice that she was gone until a few weeks had passed.


Some people don't like Sharon and Nick together, but I do. I really want Sharon to say these magic words very soon, "Sorry Nick, in my non-medicated state, I changed the paternity test results and accidentally pushed Phyllis down the stairs. If you choose never to speak to me again, I will understand and consider the scale of karmic justice balanced." Sharon could write that out and read it to Nick in the four or five seconds she dithers around, and Nick, who suffers from ADD whenever Sharon tries to tell him anything, loses interest.


After that, Nick can pout for a while, Sharon can stop seeing Cassie on the sly, and they can recreate a version of the love story that made them the hottest couple on soaps during the nineties. I know that there are plenty of you out there that remember all the soap magazine covers and interviews. I loved them as a couple, and I thought that they defined modern parenthood at the time. I want to see if they can make magic again. So come on, writers, make it so. Break Jack's heart before he gets any more invested in Summer and get on with it!


This month's ratings will be very interesting. I've received several emails from fans that have said that they have stopped, or will stop, watching when Miller and Muhney exit. That deadline was yesterday, and this is sweeps month, so ratings will be the magic word. Can enough of you really quit cold turkey to impact the ratings, or will your addiction win out? I'm betting that the loyal fans outweigh the disgruntled and that more of you will tune in than tune out because you, like me, are beginning to see the turnaround!


Well, I think I've covered everything that I wanted to for now. I've got to get back to searching for the magic words that will get my house clean. Yikes! Here it is: "housecleaning services." Hmm, imagine that, the Internet, like a phone book is filled with magic words!


FROM THE EMAIL BAG

    I will be very happy when the Billy/Delia/Adam saga has ended. From the beginning I have found the entire storyline just...sad. And really, Victoria? Who didn't laugh when she said, "How could Adam do this to his sister?!" So NOW she sees Adam as a sibling? That's a first... -- ELLEN


It is certainly good to see that someone out there still has a sense of humor! How about this?

    Some people/characters cannot be replaced and Muhney is one of them. I followed Steve Burton to the young and the restless because I was just torn to bits when he left GH. Jason can never be replaced and neither can Adam. -- ANGIE


I don't agree. I think Muhney could replace Burton as Jason on GH and Burton could play Adam on Y&R. Frankly, I would love to see Burton play such a layered character, and besides, he was great with Chelsea. I'd be good if everyone woke up from a dream, and Burton was Adam, and Dylan was a figment of Nikki's delusional imagination.


This is the email that sent me down the Mary Poppins path:

    So glad to know Y & R's contract renewed until 2017.Yes, sometimes the story lines have been better at times than others, but so glad it is continuing! Been a fan for many years! I do wish sometimes the character of Jack would win over Victor! -- PG STILES


I love the loyal fans! How about this from Cathy:

    Did Billy forget that he was the one who left Delia alone in the car that night? I still do not feel that Adam killed Delia. I think the story will be dragged out just like the Carmine story. -- CATHY


Two great letter from disgruntled fans:

    I have stopped watching due to the sadness and depression that continues to linger, just not fun anymore. I really miss the complex characters that add interest and complexity to this soap (role of Katherine Chancellor, Phyllis, Billy and now Adam). Hopefully, the writers will … check out the ratings to see if there is a drop in viewership. Maybe then they will listen. -- CATIE

    This is indeed a sad day for me. I just removed Y&R from my DVR and … now it is time to let go because of the bad writing and the characters I care about leaving Y&R, i.e. Michelle Stafford, Billy Miller, the death of Mrs. C and now Michael Muhney. Too much pain in watching the remaining characters I like. ... The writing must improve for the characters and the story lines. …Something has definitely changed to make the show and story lines laughable. Someone at Y&R PLEASE wake up before it's too late. Y&R RIP or grow up. -- ROSE


These ladies eloquently sum up the dissatisfaction that many viewers have expressed over recent changes. Very soon the rating will tell the tale!


On the other hand, there were some kudos:

    We were all told how Ray Wise would come onto the show as Ian Ward and be great but this is an understatement! #1 He looks like Steve Burton's dad. #2 When he talks to Nikki, he does speak in a way where no matter what he says, he says it in a smooth, convincing way that makes you believe he could manipulate one into joining his "Path" and doing what he says. Very good casting, Y&R! -- TIMOTHY


Here's a viewer with a very visually humorous take on Avery and Dylan. Made me snort out loud:

    I just have to say that I think Avery and Dylan are about as exciting as his plaid couch. I mean it's functional, usable but does not stand out in the room. In fact I'd want it replaced for a new one. I feel that together they seem to age each other about ten years or so. I mean can you imagine them at a dance club or music concert?? -- LB


Now that you mention it, I can't! Finally some suggestions and thought-provoking questions from Jenna:

    With this whole Mob story going on with the Baldwins, I think it would be the perfect time to bring back Brittany and Bobby. I know that Bobby was killed and Brittany moved their baby to live elsewhere (I think New York?). BUT, they could have been in witness protection all this time. Bring them back to tie up loose ends. All these forgotten characters... Oh, and where is Victor while Nikki is fighting off Ian? How did tattoo lady manage to come into the apartment at JUST the right time, know that the key and Abby's phone are in her purse at JUST the right spot, and that Abby wouldn't come out until she was gone? A little far fetched, even for a soap. -- JENNA


I really liked Brittany, and I remember how thrilled I was when she was put on contract. It might be great to have her back. She and Bobby might have met Carmine in the Witness Protection program! Maybe Bobby and Carmine bonded when they came back from the dead together! And where is Victor, and why hasn't Nikki told Victor about Ian? Let Victor go after Ian Ward and battle it out with him instead of Jack. It would be a nice change.


As to Mariah, the tattooed lady, repeat after me, "It's only a soap. It's only a soap. It's only a soap." Turn around three times and say "Super-duper-soapalistic-expialidocious" and those words -- along with a spoonful of magic tonic and a daily dose of Y&R -- will ease your troubles away!


Until next time, may the soaps be with you. Go Seahawks! Go Broncos! Go Dan Kroll and the Soaper Bowl!


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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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