The world without Nancy

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Pass the tissues. This is a heartbreaking week for longtime fans of As the World Turns. Helen Wagner, who played beloved Nancy Hughes for more than 50 years, passed away. It's the end of an era.

Sadly, viewers haven't seen too much of Nancy in the past few years, as her screen time dwindled. But whenever she did make an appearance, the scenes were always among my favorite. Most recently, she gave her wedding ring to her great-grandson Casey to give to his betrothed. The marriage didn't work out, but it was still a touching scene that paid homage to family bonding and tradition, a centerpiece of Oakdale life for decades. And at the center of family life in Oakdale is the Hughes family, most notably Nancy.

I'm hoping - okay begging - the show to do a tribute to Nancy onscreen. I think viewers should get a chance to mourn this character, with the other characters, and it would be a treat to see old clips of Nancy and Chris and their family through the years. Since the show is ending, why not give fans a detailed look back at the past for a couple episodes? Personally, I wouldn't mind skipping a day of Gabriel, Janet, Craig, Jack and Carly to take a walk down memory lane.

A lot of famous faces have come and gone from this show, but few left the imprint that Nancy Hughes did. Whether she was loaning her classic convertible to Katie and Simon for a romantic evening or dispensing advice to Bob and Kim, Nancy was the one lady in town everyone loved and admired.

It's a shame that Wagner will not be here to see the final episode of As the World Turns in September, considering she spoke the first line on the very first show. I've heard that viewers will get to see Wagner's last taped appearance on the show sometime in June. Let's hope the folks in charge honor this lady and her body of work with a heartwarming tribute. Nancy, you will be missed. Goodnight, dear.


• Jack Snyder, break out the lie-detector machine. It seems lying is spreading through Oakdale this week faster than an outbreak of swine flu. Craig is lying about setting the fire. Parker is lying about leaving Gabriel in the building. Carly is lying to protect Parker. Molly is lying to make Holden jealous. Lily and Lucinda were lying about Gabriel's paternity. Dusty is lying to Janet about her inheritance and upgrades at her new apartment. And Henry is lying to Vienna and perhaps himself. I'm all for drama, people, but this is a little much.

• Vienna Hyatt has gone too far. Shame on the writers for turning this once-fierce diva into a pathetic, desperate cartoon character. Her single-minded obsession to get pregnant with Henry's baby has eclipsed most of the character depth that she had. Handcuffing an unwilling Henry to the bed, so that he would perform, is in such poor taste that I can't believe the writers went there. It's too eerily similar to Jack's rape and Luke's attempted rape. If that weren't bad enough, Vienna then opened the door to Barbara so she could witness the humiliation. I get that Vienna was trying to prove to Barbara that Henry wasn't single anymore, but all I could think was "Ewwww!" And just when I thought I'd had enough of Vienna's whining pathetic pleas for Henry to marry and impregnate her, she tearfully begged Henry to tell her the truth about their relationship. It was heartbreaking. Ewa de Cruz played it beautifully, and made me realize the real person I should be venting about is Henry. Vienna already knows the truth: Henry doesn't love her. I believe she's just unwilling to accept it. Henry, on the other hand, has lost my respect for not being honest with this woman, who loves him to a fault. Man up, Hank, come clean, and stop hurting Vienna.

• Barbara and Henry, Dancing With the Stars is calling. Their disco dance to Last Dance was fantastic. Colleen Zenk Pinter was phenomenal. I assume she's had some dance training somewhere. Seriously, I think she'd be great on Dancing With the Stars. But how is it possible that Henry has never seen Saturday Night Fever? When he didn't get Barbara's reference to Tony Manero, I had to chuckle.

• Is there any better type of family bonding than a mother coaching her son on how to lie? Happy Mother's Day! Carly and Parker's scenes this week had me rolling, when she told him that his hands fidget when he's dishonest. Poor Hal would be so pleased that Parker is learning how to lie like a pro.

• Reid and Luke's make out scene was hot! Noah had better get his eyesight back soon so that he won't be blind to what's going on with his doctor and his ex. I'm pleased that we're finally seeing a better-told gay storyline for Luke than what we've had in the past. More please.

• Has Craig stressed out Margo so much that her hair turned gray? I know we've seen Margo touching up her roots on previous episodes, but this is the first time we've seen evidence that Margo has gray hair.

• Talk about an unexpected hookup. I was shocked that Vienna and Casey hit the sheets this week. Poor Casey thinks he was just having an innocent one-night stand, when in fact, Vienna was using him as a sperm bank so she could get pregnant and pass the kid off as Henry's. Casey had better buckle down in his pre-law classes. He may have a law suit here.

• Barbara's fashion sense is usually spot on, but that gold lame' dress left me scratching my head. I know '80s fashions are making a come back, but not everything should. Barbara would look good in a sack, but if I never see that dress again it will be too soon.

• Is it too much to hope for that Molly's insecurities don't ruin her relationship with Holden? She used Silas to make Holden jealous, a plot he didn't fall for. I fear he'll go running back to Lily saying he can't trust Molly. But, I'd like to remind those in charge that Molly and Holden are a nice change of pace.

• It seems Craig is on edge. He drank himself into oblivion this week when he realized his careless arson injured his son. It looks like Craig may go to jail for his crimes this time, and I'm telling you Scoopers, that is not how I wanted this character to go out. I know many of you want him to get his comeuppance, but frankly, Oakdale is a much more entertaining place when Craig is front and center, not rotting in a prison cell. The reason Craig's character works is that despite his moral failures, he still manages to make audiences empathize with him and the decisions he makes. I don't know how he's going to recover from stealing a teenager's money.

Best Lines of the Week:
(Former alcoholic Carly finds Craig drunk and tells him drinking isn't a good idea.)
Craig: "You just stand there and enjoy sober, and I'll give oblivion your regards."

(Cops Margo and Jack realize that her brother and his ex wife may be involved in arson.)
Margo: "I wish I had gone to secretarial school."
Jack: "Me, too."

(Vienna asks Casey if he has any horrible family secrets in the closet, as she plots to have him impregnate her.)
Casey: "I'm a Hughes. We invented normal."

Reader Spotlight:

  • I really hope that Paul and Meg end up together. I am not a fan of Emily and I can't understand how she can justify keeping Eliza when she doesn't even have her own child, Daniel. -- April

  • I would like to see Reid and Luke as a couple. As far as Carly and Craig go, I want to see these two together as well. So, I would have to disagree that the compass is pointing towards a happily ever after Carly and Jack. Those two will never be happy forever because they will always do something (more than likely Carly), that will end the relationship like it always does. She lied about her death prognosis to force Jack to remarry her, among other crazy things, that ultimately ended their relationship. Like Craig said, Jack will never ever accept Carly for who she is and that's why I don't think they'll end up together in the end. -- Dwayne

    Happy Mother's Day everyone. It's a tough job. That's all for now Scoopers! See ya next time.
    Jennifer Biller

  • Jennifer Biller
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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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