THE MAN YOUR FATHER WARNED YOU ABOUT
In how many ways can I call you a cad, Mr. Carlton? With my opinion of Victoria's beloved already at ground level, I would have wagered my dollar and yours that his duplicity couldn't possibly deepen. But after witnessing first hand his year-end maneuvers, I had to haul out my shovel and dig a deep ditch in order to drop it further. I'm sure few fans believed Brad was everything he worked so hard to make himself seem. But for those who still held out hope that he was, this week he proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that cold copper coins, rather than warm bubbling blood races through his avaricious veins. I love you, Sharon, we heard him passionately proclaim, almost down on one knee. But scant seconds after bumping his crafty cranium against Sharon's quickly erected wall of rejection, he moved immediately to Plan B and the woman waiting adoringly behind Door Number Two, Victoria. Apparently Brad didn't learn a thing from Ashley's marital mistake and would rather make his own. He's obviously forgotten the searing red hot pain of finding out you're a runner up rather than a first place prize. Unlike some fine wines kept in a dark cellar, this calculating canine has not improved with age. His rancid soul just gets slimier. What was his favorite song in high school? If you can't be with the woman you love, pretend with the one you're with?
In a city where men have been known to wear many matrimonial hats, Brad is miles ahead of the rest of the Genoa City men-pack because he also has a different deceptive face to go with each one of his Derbys. Remember when Brad was as bad as Jack when it came to singing a vitriolic chorus of I hate Victor Newman? The man who single-handedly killed his son, stole his wife and destroyed his marriage, just to name a few things. But those things were back then, and this is right now. When he's allegedly madly in love with Victor's daughter and wants to make her his wedded wife. I can't hang enough derogatory dog tags around this manipulative mongrel's scruffy neck. With the bedding of Victoria, he carved another notch on his bedpost, claiming the dubious distinction of bedding both a mother and daughter, right above the notches for the two sisters, and a set of best friends. I guess when it comes right down to it, Brad's just a keep it in the family kind of fellow. What could he possibly do next in order to add to his impressive resume? Besides bum rushing Victoria to the altar before she discovers which damsel is really posing provocatively in his daydreams. Why, he could share himself with a pair of sisters-in-law, what else? I predict the Newmans are going to be very sorry they let this fickle fox roam free in their henhouse.
A PAIR OF DIAMOND STUDDED ROSE COLORED GLASSES
Is what someone should have tucked into Victoria's Christmas stocking. Because that's the only way to ensure she remains blind to all the longing looks bound to be exchanged between Brad and Sharon across the Newman special occasion dinner table. Having found and lost love with all the wrong knaves, Victoria will be devastated to learn her present prince's shiny armor is made of cheap sheet metal. The question is, will she stumble upon the truth about Bradley before or after she says I do?
TRAITOR, THY NAME IS NICK, OR GUILT IS JUST A FIVE LETTER WORD
If there was a contest, Nick would be the one most likely to be voted Traitor of the Year. While most family members generally believe wholeheartedly in the "all for one and one for all" motto of the musketeers, Nick Newman isn't one of them. We know this because of his past and repeated plunging of a sharp blade of betrayal in his Daddy's broad back. And also because he didn't hesitate more than a split second when offered the chance to nudge his sister aside to wrest away the corporate crown. Of course some would say he had good reason to point an accusatory digit of derision in Daddy's direction for his brazen bribery behavior. After all, an upstanding and moral young man like Nick would never be able to live with himself if he closed his eyes to Daddy's dirty dealings. And, of course, it had naught to do with his wife's roaming mouth. No, a crime is a crime, and every man should have to pay for committing one, even the great and powerful Victor Newman.
But what of Nick's crimes? Oh yes, he's committed some. Though not necessarily the kind normally prosecuted in court. Unless it's in Divorce Court. Light years away from the kind, gentle, faithful Nick he used to be, he's now in danger of becoming a serial adulterer. And a rather uncaring one, at that. Remember his treatment of Grace? Not that I claim to have felt much sympathy on her behalf, but Nick was unnecessarily nasty, even a bit brutal, in his after the act interactions with her. And while it's not nearly as blatant with Phyllis, I definitely detect a bit of that same aloofness and superiority aimed in her direction as well. And while Phyllis at least claims an occasional pinprick of penitence for succumbing to her desire for another woman's husband, Nick seems to feel no such remorse, in fact has dropped his burlap bag of blame for his marital misstep at Sharon's feet. It's too bad, because until his extramarital detour onto Phyllis' land, I was becoming fond of Nick again. Come on, Nick, you were man enough to stray, now be man enough to fess up to it.
THE WRATH OF A WOMAN WRONGED
That would be Sharon Newman when she finds out whose feedbag her husband has been nibbling from. And who would blame her for being extremely enraged? It's bad enough her husband has roamed on another's range, but he's added insults to the injury by allowing her to unknowingly offer her hospitality to Phyllis. I just can't quite imagine this will be a quick case of forgive and forget. Provided he doesn't gallop too quickly to the marital gate, Brad may yet get the woman of his dreams. And Nick could wind up with ...
A WOMAN WHO'D PROBABLY MAKE A BETTER FRIEND THAN GIRLFRIEND
Yes, that would be Phyllis Summers Romalotti Abbott. Although Phyllis doesn't fit precisely into the mold of one of those women other women sometimes nastily refer to as a "tramp", she definitely has many tramp tendencies. For instance, while admitting she may sometimes have had grounds, when things aren't right in her romance, Phyllis has shown she can suddenly develop a wandering eye. Remember how quickly she got into the thick of things with Damon. Unless my memory has gone faulty, after several hot come hither looks and in home visits, didn't she initiate that first steamy kiss? Way back in her past, sleeping her way to get what she wanted was her norm. It mattered little then, as now, whether the object of her obsession had a wife or not. It's true sometimes things change, but more often they just repeat themselves endlessly. The latter seems to be the case with Phyllis because after a few brief moments of bliss and togetherness, Jack and Phyllis are once again floundering on the rocks. And this time it's Nick she's consoling herself with. Our feral feline talks a mighty good game. Mumbles all the appropriate phrases, with demurely downcast head. You know, words about guilt and secrets carried all the way to the dark, dank grave. Yet how can Nick possibly forget when every time he turns around Phyllis is practically crawling on top of him? And when she can't get close, she's spearing him with lengthy looks of hungry longing. And what was all that garbage about feeling so guilty and uncomfortable because Sharon had been so warm and sweet to her and her son? It sure didn't stop her from pasting her mouth to Nick's in the guise of a New Year's, have a happy life kiss.
WHERE'S A ROLL OF DUCT TAPE WHEN YOU REALLY NEED ONE?
Fan Betsy, you snatched the cutting words right off the tip of my tongue. There's a time to talk and a time to zip your yapping trap. Perhaps someone should have told Michael which time it was. Tom the no longer so terrible had much to say and mere moments to choke it out. But Michael barely let him get a word in edgewise.
DID SHE REALLY NEED TO DIE?
Had they been consulted, I'm guessing most fans would have shouted a firm "No" when it came to Cassie's untimely demise. At the time, certain sources swore she wasn't being done away with simply so either or both Newmans could use it as a feeble excuse to stray into someone else's yard. Yet, in the end that's exactly what happened.
MOST SUCCESSFUL WHITEWASH
Kevin Fisher. No longer recognizable (except in the mind of the fans who still hate him) as the internet stalker/child molester of somewhat innocent underage maidens, successful arsonist and attempted murderer by heat, flame and smoke inhalation, the man who was himself severely abused as a child has become a forgiven favorite. I have admitted in several columns to being one of those filled with forgiveness fans. What can I say? The lad can act!
WASHED ALMOST AS WHITE AS THE DRIVEN SNOW
Way to clean up Sharon, writers. Her father in law kissing, abandonment of her family and that ridiculous one-night stand with Cameron Kirsten and his hard ... fist definitely placed her name in the disgusted column on many fan scorecards. But having her attracted to Brad, but for the most part valiantly fight against it, even go so far as to confess her kissing sin, while her husband went way beyond kisses with no confession in sight, has placed her from most fans' viewpoint in a somewhat sympathetic position. And I couldn't help but notice that in recent months, most of the shrewish sharpness has left Sharon's tone, returning her to the sweet, soft-spoken soul she used to be. I'm guessing the longer Nick keeps his immoral act buried, the more sympathy she's guaranteed to garner.
Honorable mention goes to Ashley Abbott. Scorned and ridiculed on message boards everywhere for her semen stealing escapade and its marriage ending aftermath, by unselfishly taking the blame for her father's vigilante violence, her whitewash may be on the way.
DO YOU REMEMBER?
Thinking about certain Genoa City citizens, brings to my mind a partial phrase from one of my favorite Michael Jackson tunes, "Do You Remember." Like Victor Newman. I know many fans hate him and are glad he has been forced into the background fabric of Genoa City life, but I like him, and I miss what he used to be. He was what business was all about. You'd never see him mooning pathetically over his subordinate's shoulders, grateful for any romantic crumb tossed his way. Nor would he be abnormally absorbed in one tiny Beauty of Nature sliver of a huge and tasty company pie. When you looked for Victor, you found him suited and tied down, presiding majestically over his massive CEO desk. Not for him to report for work in play shirts and jeans, with a face that had forgotten what a razor felt like. Not for him to meekly allow outright insubordination while sharp-tongued employees put him firmly in his place and made major decisions about his company. Not for him the nonsense that passes for business these days, where going to work is just a place to conduct your office flirtations. These days there is more business done in the gathering room of the Athletic Club than the boardrooms in the offices.
Jill Abbott. Do you remember the razor tongued, power hungry Jill? The one who suffered not a shred of remorse for robbing John Abbott of 20% of his company? From sun up to sunset, Jill once could be found at Jabot, cracking the whip over the hapless heads of her staff. Now she's in charge on paper only, a figurehead of a CEO, easily overruled and forced to run weeping to Mommy in order to get her corporate way.
And speaking of Mommy, do you remember the magnificence of those stroke victim scenes? Now she's been reduced to playing Cupid's matchmaking assistant, holding the arrows and quiver and spending nearly every single waking hour nosing into her granddaughter's romance with J.T..
MOST SURPRISING ABOUT FACE
Her tiny little heels once anchored obstinately in the dirt, bottom lip petulantly protruding and pointing toward the ground, with no previous warning, the grownup who dresses in Abby's childish clothing has suddenly reversed herself. Victoria is no longer the hated half-sister. The precocious little poppet has decided to do her best to get along with the woman who makes her Daddy happy. How very adult of her.
WHO SAYS DISHONESTY DOESN'T PAY?
Talk about being repeatedly rewarded for never telling a straightforward story. It doesn't matter how many times Gloria has fallen and wallowed in extremely stinky stuff; she always manages to stumble to her feet smelling exactly like a fragrant rose.
BREATHING FRESH HOT AIR INTO AN OLD STALE VENDETTA
As long as Victor Newman Hatfield is alive and occasionally kicking, Jack Abbott McCoy is never going to live a happy life. As eaten from within with hatred as Jack has to be, I'm surprised he can remain upright in a good, stiff breeze. Even a frail breath of fresh air like Gloria could likely bowl him over simply by brushing past. For Jack, the yearly changing of the calendar means nothing. He's going to get even with Victor even if it kills him. And at the rate he's going, it probably will.
And now, some quickies:
Most Watchable Family: No contest. The Baldwin, Fisher, Abbott clan.
Don't Let the Doorknob Hit You When You Get Chased Out: Sheila Carter.
See Ya, Wouldn't Wanna Have Been Ya: Terrible Tom Fisher
I'll Drink the Comely Cow's Milk, But Don't Think I'm Gonna Buy Her For My Farm: J.T.
Big Brother of the Year Award: It's a tie, Michael Baldwin and Daniel Romalotti.
Most In Need of a Store Bought Smile: Devon Hamilton
Most Preposterous and Laughter Inducing: Marsino and the Mob
Least Missed: Lily's whine and Brittany's complaining twang
Sure Fire Cure for Insomnia: Mac and J.T.
Captain of Team Empty Threats: Jack Abbott
Most Short-lived Romantic Reunion: Phyllis and Jack
Right Hand Who Never Knows What the Left is Up To: Neil Winters
Who? Yolanda Hamilton
A too-nice guy whom will likely finish last: Scott Granger Jr.
Major Annoyance #1: Daily dollops of Lily
Major Annoyance #2: Brittany's constant belly pawing
Not the Best Starter, But Always a Fine Finisher: P.I. Paul Williams and Company
THE GOOD, THE BETTER, THE BEST
In a year filled with twists and turns and hills and valleys, there was plenty that was good, better and best. I can't possibly mention or remember them all. Here are just a few of my favorites.
Nothing unlocks the tear ducts faster than a sad and permanent so long. And Cassie's was well done and heart breaking. Emmy winning material for all concerned.
Although Tom was a bad guy for most of his brief stay in the City, by the time the sands in his hourglass had mostly trickled away, he proved there was at least half a caring heart beating bravely in his chest. He gets credit for saving Lauren's life and trying to let Michael know he'd done so. And Tom's last moments definitely deserved a blue ribbon. No matter how I feel about the victim, that flat line gets me every single time. Likewise the heart-jolting paddles.
The end of the cold war between Newman father and son and brother and sister working together.
The Sheila Shenanigans. Although I hated the beginning and most of the middle, I'm loving the way it's wrapping up.
The talented men and women behind the lens. Maybe it was just me, but I absolutely loved the slow-mo camera moves, the whooshing scene switches and the poignant window pane finishes.
And finally, the writers. We moan and groan, complain and whine and swear if we were tapping the keyboards, we could do things much better. But, good ideas or bad, sweet words or sour, we all keep coming back, day after week after month after year.
MIGHTS AND MAYBES FOR 2006
What might the New Year hold for our favorite (and not so) fictional folks? Here's a handful of my wild guesses.
Wanted - Dead or Alive. That could be the words in bold black type appearing just below one or all of the many faces of Sheila Carter. I'm not holding on to a shred of hope that the woman with twice the lives of the most fortunate feline is going to expire during the expected exciting finale of her latest felonious act. No, my uneducated guess is that Sheila will be presumed dead and buried, much like a few other unnamed ghouls once were. But I bet the back door to this one will probably remain ajar, just in case circumstances (read, storylines) someday necessitate a miraculous rise from six feet under. But since it's generally believed Sheila's recent resurrection has been less than what was hoped for, it's possible we may never see her disguised face again.
The Bride or her Maid of Honor. Will there be a wedding in the early months of the year? Well, provided Brad has gotten one of those quickie divorces from Ashley, I mean. Are we already in the six month waiting period or have they even started the process yet? But all that aside, will Victoria really remain blind, deaf and not too bright right past the uttering of her from the heart spoken vows? Will someone have to strike her on the back of the head to clear her vision enough so that she can see the remnants of Sharon's bright red lipstick on Bradley's lying lips? I'm no psychic, but if I squint my eyes, I can almost see the luridly painted picture. Brad declaring his life long love before preacher and peers while gazing past Victoria at Sharon. Or an even worse one. Wedding night liplocking with a Victoria wearing Sharon's face. Poor, poor Victoria.
February 2006 marks the Newman's 10th Anniversary. Will they make it all the way to their 11th? I know Nick's a rich boy and probably has a roomy king in his luxurious bedroom, but is there any bed big enough to hold all the buff bodies lolling invisibly between him and his bride? Let's see, even if we limit the numbers only to the consummated couples, with Grace and Phyllis and Cameron and Diego, Nick and Sharon make six. If we add the unfaithful in thought if not in completed deed, the list expands to include Brad and Victor and what's-her-name from the Crimson office kiss clinch. We might as well make it an even 10 by tossing in Matt Clark's name as a close call. I know Nick and Sharon were once the storybook couple in a fairytale marriage, but they sure have packed an awful lot of infidelity in a short 10 year span. Perhaps the time is nearing for these unfaithful family members to seek their marital fortunes with others.
Will Ashley be singing the prison blues? No way. I'm certain John will eventually confess all to save his "Beauty." Although if things go as these things usually do, he won't remember right away. Remember his head injury? Does that mean John is going to jail instead? Of course it doesn't. With Ashley as an eyewitness, I'm sure an open and shut case will easily be made for self-defense.
With the gauntlet flung down and the hostilities renewed, will 2006 see Jack finally winning a battle in the ongoing war he's waging with Victor?
So fans, it's done. As we're all well aware, all good things must eventually come to a close (and bad things as well) so it's time to store 2005 in the attic, I mean archives. Because come Monday, we're going to snatch off the big, flamboyant bow and rip away the bright and shiny wrapping on a brand spanking, sparkling New Year. You've just read what I thought and hope for. Now it's your turn to share yours.
FRED - Why Tom Fisher? He is the only thing that keeps Y/R interesting. Now it will be back to who is making love with whom! Goodbye Y/R.
BETSY - IMO, the casting folks got New Mac and New Vic mixed up. I don't like either of 'em with their respective parts or their very respectable hotties either. Even their hair color is backwards. But, switch 'em, and Y&R would have something. I hate to see Tom go. He's definitely on the Visually Pleasing List. If we didn't have the bad guys (Tom, Sheila, Kevin, Michael, Dru, Phyllis, Victor - heck - all of them have had their turns at stirring the pot) - why else would we watch? I don't see the chemistry between Nick and the New Noah. He doesn't get the Genuine Nick Newman Smile (Yum!) like the other little guy did. And today, we had two smart men (on & off camera) who WOULD NOT SHUT UP! We'd be bootin' Sheila out TODAY if Michael and Kevin would have clapped their traps! Do I see a "twin" storyline coming to keep Kimberlin Brown employed? She's certainly a terrific actress - is she going to play "Sugar" now?
KARIN - Does everyone forget that Jack was Nick and Victoria's stepfather, and Brad was with Nikki, now he is going after the younger generation of Victoria and Sharon. I know soaps have to skip a few years to help the kids grow up for the storyline, but can't Brad go after someone closer to his age? Good looks or not, he could find someone else his age, poor Jill growing old alone!
LYNDA - Y&R is or soon to be was one of my favorite soaps. I love the Nick and Phyllis attraction but I wish oh so very much that they would lose Sheila - this is so ridiculous. Gloria is entertaining - Ashley should walk off into the sunset with Brad and Sharon in tow - they are all too painful to watch. The Neil and Dru story has lost its charm, and there is no magic between Mac and J.T.. Victoria is painful to watch, how can she run a company with her attitude and how can she not be aware of what's going on with Sharon and Brad!!! Now as I said - Nick and Phyllis pure magic, bring back some entertainment in Y&R. Bring back Shemar Moore - he has charisma like Nick and Phyllis. Michael and his family are pure fun to watch but let's have Lauren back where she belongs and let Sheila finally get what she deserves. I think we need to develop Scott's character. He is just a little too wimpy for my liking, and to fall for the whole Sheila story, please. Let's not make him like his father - that would be too painful!
KARI - I have been watching y&r for 25 yrs. I believe the recent twist and turns have kept me more faithful then ever. I watch the show during my lunch hour and have been late returning to work twice! I wish Nick would shave and get a new hairstyle he doesn't look like Victor Newman's son. Keep up the great storyline.
NICOLE - Okay. I have to disagree with some of you. I absolutely love the show! You can tell that Mr. Bell is no longer here though. But what's really going on with Phyllis? She used to be my girl, because she was so fearless. Now she has a heart-come on! Please make Phyllis be her old self again. Nick is sooo on fire. I'm glad he hooked up with Phyllis. Please do something with Jill, Kathryn, and Esther. They all annoy me. How much money do the Winters make? I mean they are just splurging! I really don't like the new Victoria-she just doesn't have that same spark. I hope Brad does have something up his sleeve-like taking Victoria's place somehow. I wonder if Tom is really dead or just unconscious. And I'm sure they want us to think that Ashley hurt Tom, but I think it was Mr. Abbott. One more thing-please get rid of Abby or give her very little acting parts-she needs more practice.
SANDI - I agree with Julie S. in the previous Two Scoops -- the van, two women, drive all the way to Genoa City overnight, but the biggest mystery is the abandoned farm house with a working refrigerator, TV and electricity! The little 'extras' sitting on the counter and on the walls to make it all cozy and abandoned! I think not. Let's guess how long it is going to take Dumb and Dumber (Paul and J.T.) to figure out that is why Sheila and Tom took a drive in the country that day and J.T. even followed them! And Sheila said something that I did not remember -- Lauren had an affair on Scott Granger? With who? Another knee slapping incident on Y&R -- when the detective said they have to call the CSI; oh my gosh GC has a CSI unit! What happened to Detective Weber -- now slim is the only detective!
All in all, regardless of what I might have said or did not in the past 51 columns, it's been a sometimes thrilling roller coaster ride of love, hate and vengeance through Genoa City 2005. And I have no reason to believe 2006 won't be just as good or better. Keep watching! I plan to.
And last, but not least, to all you faithful fans of Y&R, I wish a year filled with more blessings than your hands and hearts can hold. Happy New Year!