I am going to break one of my long-standing rules. I typically do not get involved in online petitions because I think that once, as a web site operator, you open yourself up to one side of an argument or group of fans, you really need to give equal time to the other side. That being said, there is a first time for everything. I would hereby like to propose a ban of any and all public gatherings at the Chandler mansion. Sure, they are entertaining as heck to watch -- but they never end well.
In just the past few years, there was the shooting that left Marissa dead, and now JR blew a gasket during the Chandler Media presentation. Or maybe we just need to raze the Chandler mansion and turn it into some sort of open space. I'm sure it has a fantastic view of the ocean.
One of the most pressing questions I've had over the past week or so is a biggie: is Adam to blame for JR's behavior? We could probably have the greatest psychiatrists weigh in on this -- Jung, Freud, Cooney-Martin -- and get any number of answers. Adam probably isn't a picture perfect father, but then again, few people have Ward Cleaver as their dad. And I'd venture a round of drinks at Jane's that JR's life is as messed up as it is due in part to Adam's "parenting" skills.
However, ultimately JR has to take accountability for his own actions. I'm racking my brain here, but I don't think that he ever has. The quick (and easy) blame always lands squarely on Adam. I think the tricky part this time around is that JR's own past worked against him. Had he not flown over the cuckoo's nest before and shot Marissa, there would not have been the skepticism on everyone's part about JR being a changed man. It was that desire to get back to normal, to prove that he was a different person, that led to JR's use of steroids.
Whenever JR dons his fancy wear, for whatever reason... his hair gets extra fluffy. I'm fighting the urge to insert the sound file from the first Despicable Me film where the little girl wins a prize at the carnival and squeals, "It's SOOOO fluffy!!!" Oh, what the heck. Click here for the audio blip if you'd like a chuckle.
The confrontation scenes between AJ and JR were riveting. Up to the screaming match at the gala, Ryan Bittle didn't have any really heavy acting scenes as JR. "All you ever do is disappoint me," AJ screamed at his dad. Wow. We were all thinking that, but there's something extremely powerful about hearing AJ put those thoughts into words. I feel that JR is living on borrowed time. If he doesn't get his act together soon, he may not be given another chance.
Then there's his sister. Colby is a spoiled brat, but I sort of feel sorry for her. (At times, I also feel sorry for JR, in case you are wondering.) It is clear that she is missing something in her life -- and that missing piece would appear to be a relationship with her father. Liza is also missing in action, but the Powers That Be made the decision to turn Liza into an absentee parent the very moment that Colby returned to town as an "aged" teenager back in 2006. Nothing against Jamie Luner, but I really miss Marcy Walker -- and Marcy squaring off with Jennifer Bassey as dysfunctional daughter and mom.
Colby and JR have some common issues, and they also have some interesting possible outs. We'll start with Colby because she has the unlikeliest of possible balls in her court: Opal. Colby and Opal share a mutual disdain for Celia Fitzgerald. Not that you asked, but years of updating profiles for Passions makes me want to type Celia's last name as "Lopez-Fitzgerald." Considering all the wacky visions she has, Celia could very well be related to one of the witches or animated dolls that roamed around Passions.
After all this time, we still have no idea what Celia's visions are all about. At first, I assumed that something bad had happened to her family, presumably by the spooky guy that haunts her thoughts. What if, as several of the wonderful readers of this column have suggested, Celia is the one who did whatever horrible deed she's seeing. Oh, snap! Celia could be a serial killer. And her boarding school is now an air quoted "boarding school" as in a way to keep her out of an insane asylum. I don't know if that's where the writers are going, but I'd grab a box of popcorn and Milk Duds to watch that storyline play out.
I've also got snacks at the ready for this impending ceasefire between Colby and Opal. Their verbal altercation in Pete's condo remains one of the highlights of AMC's first online season, so I can't wait to see these two enemies morph into temporary frenemies. I'm not sure what they can possibly do to unseat Celia in Pete's heart. Are Opal and Colby going to recreate the visions that Opal is seeing? Will they start Googling into her past to see what they can turn up? Will they unmask her mysterious guardian, who I am now thinking is not Billy Clyde Tuggle?
There's something about the Internet that has made most of the residents of Pine Valley smarter. Things that used to take them months to figure out -- like they were making out with a man wearing a plastic mask (Oh, wait. That was General Hospital.) -- they now figured out lickety-split. Take Cara, who at times hasn't always been the smartest person in town. In the blink of an eye, Cara figured out that JR was the one who swiped her prescription pad. I feel like in years past, JR would have been able to give her a bogus excused, and Cara would've been snowed and walked off smiling and believing what JR had said. The speed at which she put the pieces together was breakneck!
If you thought that debating over whether or not Adam is responsible for his children's dysfunction was a possible point of controversy, get ready for another one: should David be allowed to be a father to Oliver? In spite of all the dastardly things that David has done over the years, I'm inclined to say that he should and that keeping Oliver away from David is cruel and unusual punishment.
I couldn't help but smile when David was interacting with Oliver. Of course, I was also cracking up as I watched Letitia give great facial expressions of uneasiness. It's only a matter of time before David backslides and becomes Dr. Evil again, and that will probably take place when he learns that truth about Oliver. Perhaps David will find out about JR's steroid use, rope Cara into it, and then file for custody of Oliver. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Just as I admitted earlier in the column that Adam's "parenting" skills messed with JR's head, I also suggested that Colby acts the way she does because of the absence of her dad in her life. I think that Oliver should have a chance to know David. Maybe it will right whatever's wrong in David's heart. Losing three children has to be one of the most horrific things I can imagine for a parent. I don't know if uniting Oliver and David means that Oliver will be lurking in passageways in 20 years, but I'm hoping for the best.
I am also hoping that Dixie doesn't allow Dr. Anders to wish on her and Tad's star. The moment she asked Dr. Anders if he ever wished on stars, a pall cast over my body. Wishing on a wishing star with another man is akin to sacrilege. I will track Dixie down and slap her with a chicken finger if she even so much as thinks of sharing that star with another man.
Then there's Count Undressy, um, Andrassy. Dimitri swooped in with some bobbles and beads, albeit very expensive bobbles and beads, to try to show his appreciation for Brooke. If there was any doubt that Brooke loves Adam, she washed away that doubt by automatically assuming that the necklace came from Adam. Then when the truth was revealed, there was that very uncomfortable kiss.
Surprisingly, I like the idea of Dimitri and Brooke as a couple, but I like Adam and Brooke much, much more. So knowing that Adam was still in the picture made the kiss... not exactly on my top ten list of favorite things. However, if it means that we get to see David Canary explode upon learning that Brooke was locking lips with Dimitri -- I am all for it. Pine Valley is a much better place when we have a little Adam Chandler in it.
Now that I've had my chance to offer my thoughts, it's your time to weigh in. Is Adam responsible for JR's issues? Should David be allowed to be a father to Oliver? Are Brooke and Dimitri a couple to be pursued? Is Dixie on the verge of becoming a star-sharing hussy? What do you think of Opal and Colby teaming up? Share your thoughts on those questions and more by sending me feedback or posting your thoughts below.
Here are some of the messages I've received in the past two weeks from readers:
• When Adam showed up for just that split second to lash out at JR, it took me back to the old All My Children with pleasure. I also wanted to say that I hope Jesse will calm his anger down a little, I don't like how the writers are making him that angry. That's all keep writing, you are the best. (Pamela)
• Thanks for putting some of my thoughts online, Dan. I'm having a difficult time embracing Celia, for sure. I want her to stand up to Colby and she won't do it. I'm old-school AMC and their rivalry reminds me of Erica and Tara Martin. Tara was soft spoken and "nice" but she would get into Erica's face from time to time and it made for a good story. I long for Tad's return and Michael Knight's great wit. There isn't much "fun" on AMC these days and they could use some. (Frannie)
• THANK YOU for NOT mentioning Zach and Lea this week! They are an obviously "OFF" pairing, and the less said about them, the better!! (Zen)
• You made me laugh out loud -- so that's what happened to Griffin! I thought perhaps he had joined Bobby in the attic! I have liked Colby from the start. She reminds me of her mother back in the day. And even though she showed her better side with Cassandra, she turned right around and zinged Celia a good one by sabotaging her dress. And speaking of Liza, I wish she would pay a visit. Has anyone even mentioned her yet? (Susan)
I'll be back here next week with more Pine Valley musings. I hope you'll join me. If you missed any of the columns from this season or from the past 9 years, check out the Two Scoops Archive to see what columnists were talking about during other memorable storylines.