In our current crop of couplings, am I the only fan who thinks finding some has become akin to the frustrated search and recovery of that proverbial hatpin in the haystack? I'll come back to this later. But first, I have to wander off the beaten path for a handful of paragraphs.
After making my way through five full servings of the chills and thrills, hills and valleys and highs and lows in the lives of our favorite fictional folks, I found myself feeling strangely unsatisfied. Though I'd received at least a full measure of angst and agony, frustration and fury and pleasure and pain, my little yellow notepad wound up as pristine at the end as it was at the start. Not a single caustic comment had been chicken-scratched there.
Why was that, I asked myself. What more did I want from the beleaguered citizens of this Genoa City burg? Some had laughed. Others had cried. Needle and thread had been taken in hand, and jagged tears in the fabric of certain lives had begun to be mended. Temporary marital discord in Genoa City's youngest marriage had quickly been resolved. A pair of best friends continued to bond over babies to be. What was once GC's version of Hatfield and McCoy has now become a virtual love fest as Victor and Jack, now the bosom-est of buddies, giggled together over puppies and NVP. Junior PI J.T. Hellstrom was automatically promoted to Senior when Colleen Carlton officially appointed herself his sidekick in detection. Oh, be still my pounding heart. I hope it can stand the coming summer excitement as these two become like peanut butter and jam, constantly stuck together.
What a flurry of activity the week contained. I could hardly keep track of all the comings and goings between offices, breakrooms and elevators. Round and round and round they went, until my head was positively spinning and I had to lie down on my couch with a cool cloth across my forehead. At Newman Towers, Phyllis followed Jack and Jack followed Victor and Victor followed Nikki. Then it was Nikki and Phyllis and Phyllis and Jack and Nikki and Victor and Sharon and Brad. And we musn't leave out Sharon and Nick and Nick and Phyllis and Sharon and Nick with Phyllis watching. And while it seemed at one point, everyone would be leaving on the new Newman jet plane, in the end the only two who actually boarded were Nick and Phyllis. What a surprise! Not exactly.
All that to say, there was plenty going on. Even with the knowledge that I'll probably be subjected to the constant trek of Colleen's tears as she turns the spigot on and off to bend J.T. to her will, along with her infernal whining that she can hardly put one foot in front of the other unless J.T. is there to move her legs, I'm still intrigued by the Brad mystery. The new nicer, though extremely needy and almost child-like,Victor has taken some getting used to but it's been an interesting change. I've been able to buy into the whole 'head butting resulting in a drastic character change' scenario with just a wee bit of belief suspension, but I admit I'm ready to begin seeing at least some flashes of the old Victor. As for Jack, he's behaving completely in character with his behind everyone's back puppet string pulling. When will he learn that his despicable deeds never remain unpunished? He's the kind of guy you can sit back and enjoy watching him dig his devious holes in the ground because you know in the end he's the one who will wind up buried to his neck in them and hollering for help.
And if that wasn't enough, there was Nick and Sharon to watch as they carefully tried to balance on that thin line between love and disgust. I had a hard time with that one myself. Nick: "It's my job to make you trust me again," he promised, or words sounding suspiciously like those. So what was with all the eye contact later with Lady of the Held in Belly, Phyllis? Come on ladies and gents, I'm sure we have all played the spine-tingling game of flirtation. Phyllis was not born two weeks before yesterday. All that "our massages are not ordinary, deep within the muscles" dialogue, complete with steamy through the eyelashes come hither looks. By the way, was I the only one cackling like a crazed hyena watching her in the background while she was watching Nick and Sharon share a moment? She was like a puppet being manipulated by a drunken puppeteer. She appeared, she was jerked away, she appeared, she was jerked away. But back to the subject. Nick is the one I judge most harshly here. Either he wants to keep his wife and his current life or he doesn't.
Which brings me, in my usual all around the mulberry bush fashion, back to the subject with which I began. The charismatic couplings. Or not. About once a year, or more if the notion enters my capricious cranium, I always come back to them. The beating heart of our favorite soap. The reason so many of us come back to this particular spot on the world map week in, year out. To see what they're going to say and do, and who they're going to love and hate. Me, I'm having a real problem right now caring who does what to whom or why. To coin a current phrase, I'm not feeling 'em.
Take for instance, Brad and Victoria. Two good looking, well maintained people, so it's not about their outer package. They're happy. They're in love. They're a brand new blended family. Who could ask for anything more? Well, okay, it would be nice if hubby hadn't once shared the sheets with wife's Mommy and much more recently, sister-in-law. Then there's Victoria. Who although it's NEVER mentioned, is step-mommy and half-sister. And just to make the waters a little more murky, said mommy has also sampled other stepdaughter's ex, and likely soon to be current main squeeze. Just a little bit of ick factor in all of that. But worse, marriage notwithstanding, these two together still leave me chilled and unconnected.
J.T. and Colleen. Despite the moo cow eyes and repeated vows from each that they care, care, care about one another, just my opinion, remember, but these two really do come across as simply roommates. That crackling, undefinable something is just not there. But maybe it will come when they actually cross over into official boyfriend/girlfriend territory.
Lily and Daniel. Cute as two little romping puppies sired by Zapato. But still seems like they're just playing pretend together. But I do hope they don't have another argument like that again soon. I was positively biting my nails in anguish on their behalf. Yes, of course, I'm being sarcastic. I know, I know, I hear you fan Trey (see below). They're young and I was too ... once (and not so long ago that I can't remember), but running back home to Daddy for a night, seemed just a bit of an overreaction. Just my opinion, nobody else may agree with me.
Sharon and Nick. Alas, Nick isn't hungrily eyeing Sharon like he's a chocoholic and she's the last Milky Way on the shelf. He's saying all the right words, but he's sure acting like his heart belongs to Phyllis. Which makes it almost impossible to invest in anything happening between him and his wife. Add to that Sharon's own transgression onto Victoria's Brad and you have yet another reason not to care.
Jack and Carmen. Could be some heat there, but they hit the breakroom floor (or is there an as yet unseen sofa in there) a little too quickly for comfort and good taste. A quickness which unfortunately made poor Carmen come across just a wee bit easy, as they used to say.
Now, lack of heat is definitely not the problem with Nick and Phyllis. Like them or not, these two burn like a pile of dry kindling. So why am I having such a hard time rooting for them? As I mentioned earlier, mostly because of Nick's marital pretense with Sharon and because Phyllis doesn't seem to miss an opportunity to drop those double entendres.
So what it all comes down to for me is - I don't care. I don't care if Brad and Victoria break up because I don't believe in Brad's love for her. I'm sorry, but in my version of Webster's, forget never having to say you're sorry, love means never sleeping with your sister in law. I don't care if J.T. and Colleen ever get together. Her fixation on J.T. and only J.T. is tiresome and annoying. How do you care about someone who has spent her every waking moment scheming, lying and conniving to trap the man of her dreams? On second thought, don't answer that. In that particular sense, it's only fair to admit she's done no worse than any of the other schemers, and hers have actually been pretty harmless. But she does try my nerves a bit. Like with that, "oh, please, please, please, J.T., let me glue myself to your side and come with you to Newman," she begged. "I'm going to see my Daddy and I just don't see how I can possibly face him without you there to prop me up." Gag me, gag me, gag me, so I won't hurl all over the place. And right now, it really doesn't matter to me whether Lily goes or college or not, or if she ever graduates from high school. As for Sharon and Nick, my only question is who will trip and accidentally fall on top of someone else first? Sharon onto Brad or Nick onto Phyllis?
Don't get me wrong. I want a reason to root for these couples. I want another pairing like Mac and Billy to make me believe in innocent young pure love again. Heck, it doesn't even have to be innocent or young, but even in this make believe world, it does have to seem real and it does have to be believable. I believed that Ryan was crazy about Victoria and vice versa. And I cried right along with Victoria that time in her room after he died. I believed that Tony Viscodi loved Meg McNeal and I hated that Tricia ran him down and killed him. It's too bad that Diane and Kyle and company competition came between Jack and Phyllis. Remember how good they used to be together? Phyllis nearly died trying to have his child and those weeks when Jack was trying to convince her to marry him in spite of the fact she'd never be able to give him a child were weeks not to be missed. Nothing like this love child of my married lover or the ex-lover I slept with trying to forget my other lover stuff we have now. And we can't forget Katherine and Rex. Their relationship proved that love isn't just for the young. And so many others. I know I'm not the only one who misses some of those.
But, those were then and this is what we have to be content with now. It's going to take some time to wash some of the dirt and debris off these couples, and hopefully I will begin to care about them. In the meantime, I'll just turn my attention to other things and other people, not necessarily couple people.
Like Kevin and Gloria. Of course, I live for the day I get to witness the latter stew in her own devious juices, but as I've mentioned many times before, I've come to adore that Kevin guy. The recalling of his closet captivity, his jailhouse blanket beating, the vulnerability of his crush on Lauren, his chemistry with half-brother Michael, all combined to help me forgive, if not completely forget, what he tried to do to Colleen. Forgiveness for what he successfully did with Lily was quicker and easier (though I, of course, would NEVER condone statutory rape for real) because she was so insistent upon being a victim. In fact, my blue ribbon for best of the week goes to Kevin and Phyllis. Those two were too funny comparing notes on Ashley and her snobbish behavior. "Try living with her," Kevin muttered, sitting back down after Ashley sailed by both of them, her nose high in the air. I'm looking forward to more scenes between these two as Phyllis helps Kevin clamber aboard the good ship, Jabot.
"Ha-ha-ha," that was the sound that burst out of my mouth when J.T. "investigated" his own hacking of Brad's computer. Forgive me for always nitpicking at unbelievable threads in the Genoa City carpet, but J.T. could determine it was an email virus, but the IT Department could not? Oh spare me from such stupidity. And HE will install a firewall? Again, you mean the IT doesn't already have a score of them in place? And since when did J.T. become such a computer tekkie anyway? Not from GCU, that's for certain.
So what do we think of Jill and Will going up the hill to fetch ... well, it is Jill, so we know they won't be going up there for a pail of cold water. These two are too new to call yet. But I did like Ashley and Will together, yes I said that, so I'm anxious to see more of Jill and Will to see how they relate and compare.
Back to Nick and Phyllis for a minute; off to a new adventure in some distant city. What will happen between them this time? Was Phyllis just blowing hot air into a balloon, or does she really want to keep her pregnancy between herself and the Baldwins? Oops, there goes my mouth again, HA HA HA. Of course she doesn't mean that. She wants Nick to know so bad she can taste the telling words on her tongue. Remember their pillow talk after their snowstorm sojourn? "I never felt like this before," she blurted out, or words similar to those. So what's she going to blurt out this trip? If I squint my eyes, I can see the "I'm pregnant" words forming on her lips from here. On the other hand, I see no such temptation to tell Jack forming. Not that I blame her, Jack is taking his obnoxious-ness to a level not seen before. And now that Victor has sold him NVP, things promise to only get worse.
Speaking of Victor, I'm willing to risk my own sanity and head butt the old dear myself if I thought it would bring him back to reality. How in the world is he going to undo this mess he's making? Is there any chance he'll be able to legally undo all the damage he's done, perhaps by proving he wasn't in his right mind when he did them? This one is rather fun, if only because it's impossible to guess what will happen next.
As is the Brad thing. Despite my disrespect for the little opportunist, I still don't see him as a killer. I could imagine him taking over Brad Carlton's life after the real Brad met with some kind of permanent calamity, though. Maybe they were in the Navy together and two went in but only the fake Brad came out. Time will tell.
Okay, fans, it's way, way past my bedtime, in fact it became Monday morning about three hours ago, and here I still sit, foolishly tapping on my keyboard instead of sleeping. So, I've done just about all I came here to do, and what I forgot, well perhaps I'll remember for next week. Until then, here's what all of you had to say about this soap situation.
WILLIAMS - When is Gloria / Michael / Kevin going to get caught for what they have done to Ashley & Jack, so Jack can return to Jabott? Jill thinks its her company, & I like Jack & Carmen 2 gether. Phyllis need to be with Michael- BOTH LOW DOWN PEOPLE! Lauren needs to be with Paul again. I hope Jack is the father, so he can volunteer to leave Victor's Company & become a good father so he & Carmen can be a family. Why does Jill go alone with everything Gloria says? The secret date man should be Michael or Brad's father who Jill is going to date. Writers please respond! If you don't do that LET GLORIA / MICHAEL / KEVIN get caught, STOP giving GLORIA POWER!
JANE - Nita, I can't wait to read your column every week. I love the way you bring humorous perspective to all this dysfunction and craziness in Genoa City. Thanks for the laughs.
MARY - Nita, I just watched the episode today and just wanted to jump through the screen and slap Colleen and J.T.. She just bats those tear-filled eyes at J.T. and he melts and spills his guts. Has he no professional ethics at all? I wanted to call Paul and tell him what his partner is up to. Why doesn't J.T. tell Paul how Colleen is badgering him? They both deserve whatever comes from her whining, and I hope it makes them think. One more thing--just who is dressing Nikki lately? She just looks terrible! The clothes are so unflattering and make her look old and fat. Can't they see that? I know she can look so stylish, but they are ruining her. Oh, and I hope Jack gets his comeuppance soon or I will just barf over the new best buds.
DEE - You know, it just occurred to me that every character on this show has done bad things. Some worse than others, but bad none the less. John Abbott, Miguel and Noah are the only exceptions. (Give Noah time). Then sooner or later they are rehabilitated and become "good", then sometimes they slip back into their old evil ways only to be rehabilitated again. I can deal with the out and out rascals and all their backs and forths between good and evil (Michael, Kevin). What I can't stand are the sanctimonious, self-proclaimed paragons of virtue (Ashley) and the holier than thous who castigate everyone else while cutting themselves all the slack in the world (Sharon, Brad). But that's life isn't it? People are good and bad and YR reflects this better than any other daytimer. But answer me this: How can it be the highest rated show year after year, but another show is named "best" and handed the Grammy? Search me! Love your column, Nita. You're an absolute scream.
TREY - Hey Nita, I've missed your column while I was out of town and so I couldn't wait to see what you thought of this week's show. Like you, I too have been confused by Y&R lately. It seems as though the show consistently does not let the audience see things they want to keep secret. Responding to your comments about Coll and Lily. Although I agree these two do hold others to a certain double standard, I find myself understanding and identifying with these girls. Although they reject lies...they are still young. And as a person in the same age bracket, we often expect certain things then turn around and do another. I feel as though it's a part of growing up and coming into our own. Young adults are very fickle and judging by the amount of lies and betrayal these two have had to deal with in their young lives, it makes sense to me that their sense of right and wrong would be rather muddled. Ok, now I understand Colleen's disdain for Kevin, he did try to kill her. But why haven't we seen more scenes with Lily and Kevin? I mean he did seduce her when she was a teenager and gave her an STD. Why haven't we seen Lily raging against Kevin? She should be the one warning Jana against Kevin. I hope the show does not miss out on the opportunity to utilize Davetta Sherwood (Lily). I like her and want to see more of her.
MASAMF - Nita, Thanks for this site. Now I have an opportunity to say what's on my mind. I don't see how anyone can defend Sharon. Granted, Nick cheated on her, but does that give her the right to cheat on him; and with Brad? Whose sunk lower now? Oh man! It would have been easy for me to watch her character had she not turned around and slept with Brad. I can't wait to see her face once J.T. (and it has to be J.T., what with all the animosity Brad has against him) finds about Brad's past and tells all GC! I also want J.T. to be the first to find out about that little fling Sharon and Brad had in NY. Let's see how much more hypocritical her little self can get.Who said, they wished Nick could hook up with Carmen and live happily ever after? Same here, though I know the ever after never happens in GC. Even the Nikki/Vic couple has seen more infidelities between them than I care to count. I just want Sharon to be left out in the cold. What does one have to do to get the writers of Y&R to get rid of Victoria and Gloria? Michael Kevin, Lauren, Daniel and Lily are my favorite. I enjoy watching them, they are great actors. What do you guys think will happen to Victor? At first I thought he was gonna wake up in a few days and get back to his old self. I am getting very worried now that he has sold his shares of NVP to Jack, Scary! Ah, Phyllis, Phyllis, what can I say? Please don't wish for Phyllis's bad behavior to be rewarded. That baby should neither belong to Jack nor to Nick. I mean, she just terminated her relationship with Damon only a few months ago. Oh, how I wish the baby belonged to some unknown guy so she would go crazy trying to figure out how to deal with that! Is Nikki still in her right mind? She has never been anyway. Why can't she, a woman who is sleeping with Victor, see that his brain has a problem? Did you see her dancing the afternoon away before Victor forgot what really happened? Nikki herself needs a shrink, I guess.
WANDA C - AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Someone please get a clue about Victor's "problem". And call me naive ( I do realize soap time is different than real time- kids aging 5 years overnight, etc.) but wasn't Nikki just taking pain pills because she hurt so bad after her back surgery, and now Victor is giving her Salsa lessons! Puuu-leee-se.
FRIEDA - Okay, I watched Tuesday's episode where Victor & Jack & the puppy were on the floor playing like little kids. OMG! What the HECK is going on & when will it stop?! It is really getting to be a bit much. I agree with your Two Scoops from last week's episodes. What is up with the waitress chick? is she someone's long lost kid? Please don't let Sharon get away with her latest round of infidelity with Brad. Nor should Gloria get away with her crimes & misdemeanors. Love Phyllis, I'm not sure who I want the father of her baby to be, tho. With all the strangeness going on, I'm still glued to the tube -what will happen next?! Stay tuned. Nita you are doing a fantastic job -love Two Scoops!!
LAURALOU - Nita, my co-worker and I always check out your Two Scoops first thing every Monday a.m. You're a great columnist. This week, I had to write because your questions were exactly the same ones that I've been asking my friend - and she to me - we thought we were losing it, because so many strands seemed to have been cut loose (Jana's remark about Kev's two dads, Sharon's pingponging behavior, etc., etc.) Is this the new writing regime? This is NOT the daytime jewel that is Y&R. But at any rate, thanks for making us realize that it's the writers, or TPTB, and not us that are losing our minds!
LORI - Has anyone else noticed that the picture of the "real" young Brad Carlton looks like Will Bardwell? Where could that go, they can't be related because one is blond and the other brunette. And my comment about the dual pregnancies of Phyllis and Lauren. Remember when we last saw Sheila, she was talking to her Plastic Surgeon showing him a picture and saying she wanted to have him change her to look like this? But remember, we didn't see the picture. Welllll, she is going to look like Phyllis and somehow get rid of the real Phyllis after the baby is born, then switch the Lauren baby with the Phyllis baby. What about that for a storyline? Love your column and I agree with most of the comments, but lay off the young actor/actresses, they are only taking the direction from the writers and directors.
SANDI - Yes, Yes, Yes, to all your comments on "did you miss something". I, too, was thinking the same thing about (1) Phyllis' amnio test, which was to determine Daddy, but what took me back was the fact it took Lauren and Michael ALL week before they found out their results of the same test Phyllis had, and it took Phyllis just over night to find out AND the doctor gave it to her OVER THE PHONE and Lauren and Michael had to come to the office (which is the correct way). (2) Jana's knowing about Kevin and Michael's different paternal parentage and this week she made a comment about Victoria's paintings? Yes, there is something more there -- I like the idea that maybe she is another of Brad's children. (3) Sharon flip flopping on divorcing Nick, not divorcing Nick -- that was because Brad has NO intentions of leaving Victoria as he is "building future and family with Victoria, his wife". Sharon is not going to be left alone. On something entirely different, but on the same track - Victoria and Brad are building their family/future whatever, but Victoria moves into the house Brad shared with Ashley and does NOT change a thing? Doesn't she have any personal touches, furniture, paintings, etc. to change they way the house looks? Neil should have said 'no' to silly Lily about staying the night because she had a fight with Daniel - you don't run back to your parents house over a fight. I agree with Daniel over college and the tuition thing - you find a way; besides all Lily has to do is what she is doing, run back to mommy and daddy and they will pay her tuition. Daniel is more mature than Lily ever will be, at least at this point in time. I think Neil is coming around to Daniel and once he finds out what the fight is about, will agree with Daniel.
TAD- Nita, I'm sure that I speak for all Y&R fans that read your work weekly when I say that your column is Second To None. Your hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated! With that said, I really don't want to see Kevin at Jabot. Gloria wants him there, but we know her interests are always self-serving. Kevin is easily manipulated, and he seems to fall prey to his mother's pleas to making a name for herself at Jabot, and looking after the family's ... I mean Gloria's best interests. He was also easily manipulated by Jack when Jack asked him to inform him of what bug Phyllis installed in the Newman computer when he was hired by Victor to find out the same information. I want to be able to like Kevin, but I find it difficult to do when he is constantly making the wrong choices. Mommy Dearest does what she can to take advantage of him, but he is a grown man, and he is ultimately responsible for making decisions that he knows aren't right. I found the conversation between Jack and John compelling when John asked Jack to put himself in Phyllis' shoes. Jack has the most difficult of times being accountable for the things that he does wrong, and there have been a number of idiotic business decisions he made at the helm of CI. How many times did Kay have to call Jack in to reprimand him for a "Business Decision" he made? He was a poor CEO, and deserved to be fired long ago. Jack's rationalization of profit distribution in which Jabot receives a larger piece of the pie than does NVP is ridiculous. His new position of heading up NVP is a clear conflict of interest, because of the tie-in with his family's struggling company, Jabot. Jack cannot and will not be objective. The NVP tie-in exists to strengthen the Jabot image. I fail to see the advantage of this alliance between Jabot and NVP from NVP's standpoint. The re-invention of Victor Newman is certainly interesting. I like the storyline, because we really don't know what Victor will do next. He is definitely a flawed businessman, though. Calling off the investigation of Brad, nominating Brad to the Board of Directors, hiring Jack to head up NVP, and allowing Jack to buy into the company are just a few decisions that could spell disaster. His character was much more predictable as the ruthless patriarch. As much as I am enjoying exploring this other side of Victor, I do hope that it is short lived. Victor has a few scores to settle, namely Brad Carlton, and I'm anxiously awaiting the day when he puts Brad in his rightful place. I can also see that there may be a twist of irony with what Jack is planning to do to Victor as opposed to what he will actually do.