And no, I never actually started a stopwatch and clocked it at exactly 40 minutes, minus commercials, so don't quote me on that. Anyway, maybe it wasn't the same for you, but unlike the week before it, I was quite entertained with the recent week's showing by some of our favorite fictional family members. Just my opinion, but it's in high hopes of seeing performances like the past week that keeps me double checking my VCR to make sure it's programmed correctly. So, let's get started on what worked for me and what didn't.
First, Kevin and the most annoying Colleen. Thank goodness this is all just make believe, because I'm about to say something callous and hateful. Because Colleen has returned to the city so enormously unlikable, when she was reminding Kevin for the millionth and one time that "you tried to kill me," before I could stop the thought, I heard myself muttering to her TV image, "yeah, too bad he didn't succeed." From the moment of her first appearance, I tried to keep an open mind; give her the benefit of the doubt. After all, I presume it can't be easy fitting your foot into a pair of too-small shoes some other actress has already walked in rather successfully. But I confess I found her almost immediately detestable, despite my good intentions. And things only worsened the more times I had to see or hear her. I remember when Colleen used to be so syrupy sweet at times, mostly whenever J.T. was within smelling distance, that I couldn't stop myself from occasionally poking gentle fun at her puppy dog devotion. Which is why I should learn to be careful about whom I complain. Well, there's certainly no danger I'll overdose on sugar now. In fact, I find now Colleen (as opposed to then Colleen) so annoying, I actually groan out loud the second I see her countenance coming into the camera frame. "J.T.tttttteeeee" she whined so repeatedly I wanted to stick my fingers in my ears and go na-na-na-na to drown her out. "Why can't I use your computer? Why are you being so weird? Why don't you want me on your computer? Why are you being a jerk? Why? Why? Why?" And what was so important about her immediate need to get on the computer anyway? She doesn't attend school, she has no friends outside of Daniel and Lily, who are only a cell phone call away and she has no apparent life outside of her persistent pursuit of J.T.. She went to the coffeehouse. Why couldn't she use a computer there to go through and delete the spam collected in her mailbox? Because she was too busy badmouthing Kevin, that's why.
Which brings me in a rather roundabout way to one of the high points of the week. I absolutely loved the latest conversational clash between Kevin and Colleen. Even though Colleen is admittedly the woman wronged, Kevin is the one who wound up getting my sympathy. Greg Rikaart is mesmerizing and I never tire of seeing him light up a scene. I was on the edge of my sofa through each rewind and rewatch. And while the lone tear tracking down Colleen's cheek was good, I still found it hard to feel empathetic pain on her behalf. I get that she hates the guy, and with very good reason. And if she knew for a fact that Kevin was still a dangerous dude, it would make sense that she might want to warn a stranger about what he's capable of. But therein lies the sticking point for me. Is Kevin still dangerous? Or has he changed for the better for all time? I've chosen to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe that he has. Have all the pages of his criminal history been stamped paid in full? Of course not. But that can also be said about the pages in the books of many other now law abiding and upright Genoa City citizens. If Colleen so can't stand Kevin, it's time to quench her caffeine thirst someplace other than the coffeehouse. And if she truly thinks Kevin is the devil in disguise, just a nanosecond away from messy mayhem and murder, then she's purposely playing with fire and deserves to be cooked to a crisp. Were I Kevin, she would be the woman the sign on the door: "we have the right to refuse service to anyone" would be written for.
Next up, Phyllis and Michael. Although I don't much appreciate the fact that Phyllis has that feline-described knack of landing securely on all four of her painted paws, I could never deny that she plays her part to perfection. She's definitely more than just a pretty face. And, Michael, like his little stepbrother, is about as good as it gets when it comes to the Genoa City men. He can play it anyway it needs to be played. Sad, mad, and sarcastic. Kudos to Michael for easily making me believe his sorrow and fear over his unborn son. And the same to Phyllis. The quickness with which her pretended nonchalance over similar fears for her own child disappeared the moment she didn't have to put on a brave face for Michael was excellent.
Third, Kevin and Gloria. I was practically leaping up and down on my sofa with glee when he was giving her a piece of his mind and the sharp and salty side of his tongue. Even though I knew she wasn't the real source of his irritation and anger, I was still beside myself with joy to hear him tell her all about her sorry self. Not that his self-absorbed saucer eyed mother was overly affected by his anguish. She just pulled her turtle head inside and let his rancorous words roll right off her hard-shelled back. But I still loved him for saying what we've all been shouting at the screen for months.
On to Phyllis and Nikki and Jack and Victor. Boy, was I ever giggling with gladness when V told N & P what mischief he'd been up to when their backs were turned. The shock and horror on the ladies' faces would have been worth the price of admission, had there been one required. Especially when compared to the look of superiority and satisfaction they wore just the week before when Phyllis was being brought back on board. It's business, not personal, I'm sure they were heard to exclaim. Sharon will just have to like it or lump it. Or words and phrases similar to those. But that was then and this is them. Hmmm, where was all that outrage from Nikki on her daughter-in-law's behalf when Phyllis was returned to the NVP payroll? Yeah, as hard to find as that proverbial needle in the haystack. Now they're crying foul in unison because Phyllis has to face Jack on a daily basis.
Victor and Jack. Although I hadn't forgotten a moment of their turbulent tussles, it was a nice touch to be treated to a satisfying smorgasbord of them one after another. Plus, many of us fans see these people five days out of seven, year after year, and like our own family members, don't really realize how much they've changed until you see them as they used to be. Kind of like that recent glimpse we got of Brad in his "we wear short shorts" shots of yesteryear. The disbelieving look on Phyllis' face when she was watching Jack and Victor trade polite and civilized banter was a Kodak moment.
Speaking of Victor, it's more than a bit unbelievable that his family is blind to what Jack sees so obviously. Granted, Jack has the benefit of medical advice where the family does not, but come on. I realize we're living in soap land, fans, but what Victor's doing cannot realistically be chalked up to suddenly realizing the fragility of a loved one's continued existence. I could buy the Brad to the Board, jet to the Winters and Jack to NVP, though all that was tough, stringy meat to choke down, but the man was making photocopies of the side of his head!! Cutting out snowflakes and making chains of tiny red paper dolls. Come on family, a screw hasn't just come loose up there, it's fallen out completely and brain cells are leaking out of the hole it left. And now it appears his hearing is taking off for parts unknown as well. I know his head injury has left him impaired, but does he have enough functioning brain matter left to convince him to seek medical attention? And if he does, will he then become healed and begin "pretending". Now that would make for must see TV, watching him attempt to get the snakes OUT of the garden after he himself dug them a hole in the ground and invited them onto the grounds.
Also listed on my mustn't miss a moment memo pad: the day Victoria discovers who else has been warmed by the heat of her hubby's candle. And when the time comes, if Nick is too much of a gentlemen to rub it in, I will be pleased as punch to croon an obnoxious "I told you so" tune in the ears of his sister and mother. Can you imagine their faces when the mask is ripped off Brad's and they see the real gold-digging Brad, or whoever he turns out to be? Well, until we discover who that man is, I'll just call him the Wooden One. Is it only me who thinks so, or does anyone else think Brad comes across as just about the most passion-less person they've ever seen? Does anyone out there feel the love when he looks at Victoria? Or even Sharon for that matter? If Barbie's boyfriend, Ken could come to life, he would look and act remarkably like Brad.
So the new couple coming over the horizon is made up of Jack and Carmen, perhaps? Obviously, Jack's goal is to make Phyllis see green. And it may work to some extent, but unless things have changed and we haven't yet heard, Phyllis is no longer "in love" with Jack.
Where is the couple chemistry? Do you see it in Lily and Daniel? They've been in love for a long, long time, and while they're cute together, I have a hard time seeing adults. They still look like kids playing house. What about in J.T. and Colleen? I'm too blinded by my dislike of her so I'm obviously not the one to ask. But if anyone wants to know anyway, dislike aside, I find them about as exciting to watch as the family cat dozing in a shaft of sunlight. She's a hypocritical, lying, sneaky schemer who has a bad habit of pointing a stiff, fault-finding finger at everyone else when her own heart and character are as black as shoe polish. Her question to J.T.: Don't you trust me? Why should he? It isn't as if she's proven herself deserving of trust. And given her past track record of deceit, I doubt she's about to start now.
And lastly, a few scathing words aimed at the Reigning Queen of Immorality. Yes, that would be Sharon Sleeparound. If she were Pinnochio, her nose would be poking me in the back as I sit typing at my computer. Even though she's recently shared her free favors with her brother-in-law, she still has nothing but scathing syllables for her separated but in the same house spouse. Will they repeat their indecent and immoral act? Of course they will. This is, after all, Genoa City, a place where fools are constantly being made of too-trusting people. And when she gets her comeuppance for what she's done, you will find me in a front-seat clapping for all I am worth.
Next up: Fan observations:
ERIK - Although Phyllis isn't a completely great person, I'll take her over skank mama Sharon any day. I didn't hate her during the Diego days, but ever since the Cameron Kirsten absurdity, she has become one of the most disgustingly self-righteous characters on any show. She has some nerve cocking her head and hissing at Phyllis when she is willing to sleep with the husband of her sister-in-law. Sharon can toss the big words around, but she was the maid of honor at Brad's wedding and she has redefined the bottom of the barrel with this latest display of salaciousness.
TASHA - I truly agree with fan Ronnea on every point - Jack was her 1st champion, though these days Gloria gives Jack no reason to be kind to her. And if the whole truth be known she would deserve any amount of wrath he directs at her. Gloria, be gone! Well, the writers seem to be trying to put a halo over Phyllis' head, especially with their continued portrayal of her rival Sharon as a hypocritical strumpet. And viewers may be tempted to justify Nick and Phyllis wrong by pointing out that Sharon (the victim here) did wrong several times in her life too. But two wrongs don't make a right. Though it is the Soaps, when we write our comments on whether what is being portrayed seems right or wrong I believe we are speaking from our personal perspective - what we would do if that happened to us. And it is good to see that most of us think this cheating is morally wrong, and not justify it by saying that the one being cheated on cheated before, so it is ok for the partner to go have an affair to even the score. But here we're seeing this is more than a casual affair - the heart is involved here! Why else would Nick consider Phyllis his best friend, the only one in whom he can confide his most intimate and private moments and conversations with his wife? Notwithstanding the fact that Phyllis takes pleasure in rubbing it in Sharon's face the moment they bump into each other. That would make any wife feel real good, right? Everything going on in your house is shared with your husband's mistress! And I think that is what is getting to Sharon the most. However, instead of growing a backbone, and standing tall above blowsy Phyllis, considering the fact that Noah's life is also involved, Sharon is being farther reduced to even LESS than Phyllis, further destabilizing the marriage that she really should try to be holding on to, if just to not let Phyllis know she has won. All in all I think this is the nastiest piece of writing for the Newmans that we viewers have ever had to put up with - Nick bedding old-enough-to-be-his-mother Phyllis, Victoria sleeping with, and then marrying her near-father Brad, Sharon fighting the 'I'm undesirable to my husband' noise in her head by bonking new b-i-l Brad... Need I go on? I join the cry for new blood. My stomach is sore from all the throwing up! PS: Always loving your column - you speak for me on the others!
TAD - Nita, great insight from you as always, and from the fans on Y&R! I thought Sandy and Starr made excellent points regarding Neil last week. I must say that I'm very disappointed in the writing for Neil. He comes off as nothing less than shallow by accepting the Newman jet, in my opinion. There is a fine line in being loyal, and being a fool. I'm hard pressed to remember a time when Neil's character has looked so foolish. Neil has always been a principled, smart, and loyal executive. When he accepted this jet from Victor, he crossed that line from being faithful to being brain-dead. He had to realize that there were strings attached to this token gift as he told Victor that he couldn't afford the maintenance. What is really more valuable? I think the seat on the board of directors for Newman is much more valuable and much more deserved. The character that we know as Neil Winters would have thought so as well. Now that Neil has accepted this gift, he has no one but himself to blame for not feeling the love at Newman Enterprises. His circumstances of not feeling appreciated at Newman will not change upon receiving such an enormous and expensive pacifier. He has been stepped on by Victor, Nick, Victoria, and finally Brad. The "real" Neil Winters would have said very diplomatically, thanks, but no thanks to Victor. He has never made good on his word to Neil. What really irritates me about Victor's character is he is so quick to right a wrong with monetary gifts. I guess that's typical for the wealthy. What is even more galling is those that he extends compensation to, via the check book, are so very grateful for how kind and generous he is. Hello, he's a billionaire! It's really not that big of a deal!!! I really liked the storyline with Victor planning and constructing the rec center as part of his community service agreement, because that was trouble he couldn't buy his way out of. To show his appreciation for Neil's dedication to Newman, Victor needed to give something of himself..something that took a little more thought and imagination to show how much he really valued "his right hand". I guess Victor Newman really isn't as partial to "his right hand" as he would have us believe.
PAT - Ok, I've been reading the two scoops section for years, and only now do I feel the need to comment. Will someone please tell me where Sharon's mother is? I don't even remember if I saw her at Cassie's funeral. Where was she in the months after that? Where is she now? I also seem to recall that not only did Sharon sleep with Diego, she was having fantasies about him as well. Please don't misunderstand my Sharon rantings in favor of Nick because I don't. I agree, if he wanted his marraige to work, he would steer clear of Phyllis even if he saw her in the halls - I've seen it done before. This means no conversation - period - not even about the weather. If he can't do that, there is no point in trying to get Sharon back. Frankly, I think the two of them should have been broken up a long time ago. She has a lot of nerve trying to put him out of his own house on his parents' land. I would really like for Gloria to get what's coming to her. So, if Ashley is moving on to Mr. Bardwell, where does that leave Paul? Someone mentioned Olivia last week - aside from her, where is Nate? Devon could have been a friend for him.
PAT P - Love your column! Agree that hopefully Sharon (Y&R) won't try to justify cheating with Brad on Nick 'cause they're separated.' But alas, she might; it's bad enough the actress, Sharon Case, is defending her character with this excuse, in soap mags! Which only proves that the actress is as dumb as dirt and white trash-y as her character (at least Sharon no Y&R isn't a damn Scientologist, baarf.) I wish they would kill that character - Sharon - off, and replace her with, you know, an actual ACTRESS. Of course Y&R is unfortunately full of lousy, lousy performers: the J.T., Paul, Brad, Nick, Sharon. Thank God there are SOME good/great actors in other parts. Thanks for listening! If you think this is too harsh, too bad - actors put themselves out there and I feel we can all comment on them.
WANDA - Help! I cannot watch another day of this senile, goofy, childlike Victor Newman. His family doesn't notice anything but Jack Abbott has it all figured out. If he and Nikki don't stop playing "kissy face" ALL the time I'm going to upchuck. It is really getting sickening. Maybe when he goes away for his vacation he will get a bump on the head. The "ruthless" VN will return and wonder what Brad is doing on the NE Board of Directors, Dru off flying in his jet, Phyllis and Jack working for NVP and his ungrateful brats running the show again. Maybe he will immediately clean house and put all of his affairs in order. Free Michael and Lauren! Let them be happy with their marriage and impending parenthood, although with a son 23 (almost 24) Lauren is WAY OVER 35. I still can't get over the writers graduating Devon (who couldn't even read a few months ago) with honors and failing to graduate Lily (an honors student who failed ONE class). Didn't she have any extra credits she could use? Daniel is really looking cute these days with the "new do". Phyllis and Neil??