Six of one...

by Nita
For the Week of July 17, 2006
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When it comes to making a case for Nick and Sharon or Nick and Phyllis, it's pretty much six of one and half dozen of the other.

Sometimes I strain my brain and try to remember what life was like before the wonderful world of instant gratification technology. Remember when you got off work and went home before you picked up the phone to call someone? Instead of punching buttons on your cell phone while simultaneously attempting to buckle your seat belt and inattentively steer your SUV out of the parking lot directly into rush hour traffic? A time when your phone messages were on an answering machine at home instead of waiting patiently in an electronic mailbox.

So what does that have to do with the Genoa City doings? you might be murmuring right now, your brows creased in confusion. Well, actually nothing, but bear with me. I admit I'm taking a bit of a zig zag route, but I will eventually arrive at my destination.

Remember the days when the only way you knew what would happen in Genoa City tomorrow was when tomorrow became today and you sat down to watch it live or taped? When you flipped to the soaps section of the TV Guide the moment it hit the stands, hoping for a dollop of delightful information about what was to come for one of your favorite characters. Back then, show secrets were guarded as carefully as the Hope diamond, spoilers were practically unheard of, unless you had an in with someone on the show; the internet, well, that was likely a word used only by computer tekkies. And, if asked, many of us might have assumed cyberspace was what NASA astronauts were being rocketed toward. But that was, of course, then, and this is right now. Now, for many of us, cyberspace is right in our living rooms, family rooms and dens, and with it, day ahead, week ahead, sweeps and summer spoiler sites, along with multiple message boards and fan sites.

Now don't get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE this internet stuff. I can't tell you the countless number of times I've shot straight to cyberspace when I needed an immediate answer to some idle question that had just crossed my inquisitive mind. I marvel each and every day at all the stuff that is out there.

Which brings me, in my usual wander all about the wildberry bush fashion, to the first part of this week's column. The things that can be found on the internet if you choose to go looking.

A couple of columns ago I wondered about the existence of fans sites dedicated to Nick and Sharon devotees. I was curious to know if there was anyone out there who might still be enthralled with the endless possibilities in their continued union, if indeed any such people existed. I was also interested in knowing if there were others like me out there, standing indifferently alongside the tracks as the Nick/Phyllis Express chugged right on by. So where else would I turn but to my favorite place in all the land. The Internet's gargantuan, grinding search engine, of course.

Now, keep in mind my quest was by no means scientific. Of the countless sites out there having to do with our favorite soap, I only perused about seven of them. Which was but a miniscule molehill scooped out of a mountain of material. My eventual conclusion was that when it comes to making a case for Nick and Sharon or Nick and Phyllis, it's pretty much six of one and half dozen of the other. And depending on the site you choose, the day you choose to lurk on the outskirts of it, or even who happens to be in and out of it from one hour to another, the pendulum swings first one way and then the other.

For instance, to say Sharon is disliked is somewhat like inferring the heat of the sun's surface is just a little bit warm. I know I've shot more than my share of belittling bullets into her thin skin, you know, like poking fun at the drafty expanses of space believed to make up the bulk of her brain, the depth of hypocrisy in her soul, the amount of unforgiveness in her heart and her good for me but not for you attitude. Which in reality is no different than any of the other characters who hold others to one standard while allowing themselves to perch on another much lower one. But even the worst of what I mumbled pales in comparison to some of the things I saw. She's been called every derogatory name you can think of and even some made up combo names that won't ever appear in any kind of dictionary or in the text of this G-rated column. After reading what many had to say, I decided that if there was such a thing as a "next life", I definitely did not want to return in mine as a soap opera siren with Sharon Newman characteristics.

However, by the same token, those that love Sharon detest Phyllis. While for many, Phyllis has become the poster girl for tragic, true love, she is not without her own detractors. Her character has also been pierced with jeering or name-calling barbs. The bottom line seems to be that when it comes to our particular favorites in this made up metropolis, we are considerably more forgiving of their faults than we are of that special someone's we just can't stand. Most fans tend to give their favorites a free pass while forcing all others to pay at the door again and again and again. And just in case you were curious, yes I confess I include myself under that fan umbrella.

Obviously, among a lot of fans, the city has become a no hold barred free for all with Sharon and Phyllis the brawling, competing contestants tussling in the ring. Not since Sheila haunted the City have I seen such passionate posts of bountiful love and virulent hate.

It was said of Sharon: She always needs a man to keep her from falling. A gold-digger; married a rich man. All basically true. Nick was indeed a rich man who kept her from falling. Aided at one time or another by Matt, Diego, Victor, Cameron (he's the one who stopped her intoxicated behind from falling with his balled up five fingers and thumb), and now Brad. All of who were either lovers or confidants or both.

But when you open Phyllis' photo album, you see that she too has mostly had a man snuggled firmly against her side. True, way back in the beginning, a few of them were manipulated there, but as the years crept by, most arrived under their own power and of their own free and ecstatic will. There appear pics of Daniel's bio daddy, Daniel's DNA-tricked daddy and the virginal Dr. Tim. Look, there's a funny shot of Michael Baldwin tied impotently to a chair. And several head and shoulder shots of Malcolm Winters. As with Sharon, lovers or confidants.

So, as near as I can tell from my reserved seat on the sofa, it appears that both women have always had a man to fall back on. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

"That Sharon," it was stated. The woman is always feeling sorry for herself, whining to Brad at every turn. Why does she always have to unburden herself to some man? She's friends with Lauren. Why can't she unload her insecurities on her soft shoulder? And she slept with a married man, for goodness sake.

Hmmm, well one could say that Phyllis does her share of pitiable murmuring as well. I'm such a terrible person, she's moaned more than once. To hear her tell it, she's a miserable mom, a bad girlfriend and a horrible friend. Deserving, she says, of being carted to heck in a wicker hand basket. And though he pretended to have forgotten it at the time, Nick was very much married when he and Phyllis played their first game of Bodyslam.

So when it comes to whining and married men, seems like these ladies are just about neck and neck in the race. Okay, fair is fair, Phyllis is lagging by a nose because her man, though married, at least wasn't the matrimonial property of any of her relatives. And to my knowledge, she's never been accused of doing more then pecking the cheek of any of her father-in-laws.

As for choosing a confidant of the female persuasion, well, can't the same be said about Phyllis? She and Lauren bonded, didn't they? You know since Lauren was so nonjudgmental of Phyllis and all. So why doesn't she ever call Lauren when she needs someone to stroke her trembling fingertips? No, she goes instead to her best friend, a man who happens to be her ex-lover, though you wouldn't know it unless you were watching back then. Or to Nick, the man she's had and wants again.

So, if Phyllis can run to Michael and Nick, then Sharon ought to be entitled to race to Brad for solace. Of course, it must be pointed out here that though both Phyllis and Sharon are searching for sympathy from mates married to another, only Sharon is requesting secrecy from hers.

"Sharon's a hypocrite; always crying foul to others, when her sheets are dirt-stained too." Oh and there's absolutely no hypocrisy in Phyllis simpering into Sharon's face while just waiting for her to turn her back so she can leap into the arms of her husband? Yeah, right, Phyllis is no hypocrite.

Well, Sharon is a dishonest liar, another fan said, pointing to what Sharon didn't say about the auto accident. That she and Phyllis were tussling over the map. Well, how about what Phyllis didn't add after the words "I'm pregnant." That the baby's daddy's was in doubt. She wasn't that hurt. She knew Sharon would assume the daddy was Nick. Had it been me, Phyllis might still be out in the middle of a pasture inquiring of a cow as to whether his cell phone got reception. And how about the rest of what was left unsaid? I got real close to the TV screen and watched Nick's and Phyllis' mouths closely. And never once did I hear either of them say. Oh that trip? That was just a trumped up way to get you out of the way so Nick could deliver his DNA. As far as I'm concerned, there are plenty of lies to go around in this motley crew of malcontents.

And yes, in case any of you are about to say it. Sharon is keeping completely mum on her New York sofa siesta with Bradley Barnyard. But keep in mind Nick and Phyllis' lips were sealed for months on what they were up to. Give it time. I'm certain Sharon and Brad's under the covers secret, like most unsavory acts committed in Genoa City, will eventually be dug up and dumped in the middle of the town square for all passersby to gawk and snicker at.

I do have one question though. If Brad and Sharon had turned out to be as hot as Nick and Phyllis, would the cries for her head on a platter be the same, or would a free pass be given on account of chemistry?

And I've noticed that when it comes to one of Sharon's tasteless or tawdry decisions, often it's: why that tart, that tramp, that so and so and such and such. But when it's Phyllis, you sometimes hear, well, it's not her fault, it's the storyline. She has to do what is written. Yeah, like Sharon's sleeping with Brad wasn't storyline dictated. Like she just up and decided on her own to cavort with Brad and turn her name into Slimy Sharon Sleeparound. Whether we're talking Sharon or Phyllis, if it's storyline for one, it should be storyline for the other.

And speaking of Brad, where are all the volleys of venom-tipped arrows winging their way toward this wriggling worm? He's just as guilty and nasty as Sharon, yet I barely found a typewritten syllable maligning him. The same could be said of Nick, though on at least one message board, the tide seems to be on the verge of turning against him. Like sharks scenting bloody chum in the water, they have begun circling around Nick in preparation for a feeding frenzy. So while many fans still consider him the Cream of the Good Men Crop, plenty of others are snickering and pointing behind their hands, counting him as not that great of a catch for either woman. As far as I'm concerned, maybe it's time Sharon opened Nick's cage and set that lounge leopard with his constantly-changing spots, free so he can lope into Phyllis' littered lair.

Speaking of that, yeah, old Nick has it soo, soo bad doesn't he? What a terribly tough decision my boy has to make? I mean, come on. We're talking Sharon and Phyllis here. I can't be the only fan who was measuring and comparing one to the other as Sharon helped Phyllis into the hospital? Whether you prefer one or the other, you have to admit that neither of them are women an unspoken for man might be likely to murmur "no, no thanks," if someone offered either of them to him on a heated platter. Sure. Sharon has more smudge marks in her marital column. But then she's had 10 years to make mistakes. Phyllis and Nick only have about half a year in and already she's run to another man's unprotected ... um ... embrace for solace. Should it come to that, it will be interesting to see just how true blue Miss Phyllis might be after 10 years of Nick's shenanigans. Yeah, either way it goes, Nick Newman can't help but come out on top no matter which woman the spinning bottle winds up pointing to. And if he doesn't, why there's always Carmen Mesta. Somehow I doubt she'd be rushing to button up her blouse to keep him from looking.

Just for a moment, ladies, put out of your mind whatever longings Sharon might have been harboring for Brad before their revenge romp, and slip your feet into her high heeled mules and meander along awhile. How would some of you react if you learned your husband had not only been doing the horizontal hokey pokey, you know putting his left hand in and .... you get it ... with another woman, but had managed to fall in love with her? While leading you to believe he had finally conquered his grief over his daughter's death and was supposedly working on his marriage? I can't speak for anyone else, but quiet and quick forgiveness would not be my first reaction. Rage and hurt and heartbreaking pain would probably be closer to the feelings coursing through my being. Not to mention an unquenchable thirst for some in-kind revenge. If you had the chance to participate in a little payback, how many would primly decline on the grounds that it might muddy your character? And before you bring it up, if I had to have a little monkey business payback, yes, I would definitely choose someone, anyone, other than my brother-in-law.

The point I'm trying to make is that while Sharon has behaved far from saintly, her behavior in a situation like this hasn't been all that hard to comprehend. Maybe none of you have ever been left holding the cheated on bag, or felt the white-hot jolt of jealousy, but I have, and believe me, the feelings that come out of you are nothing to be proud of. So, perhaps before being so quick to tar and feather Sharon before throwing her into the vat of boiling oil, ask yourself whether her actions are really so far removed from what some, not all, of us, might do?

If it was up to me, which couple would I pick? Nick and Phyllis or Phyllis and Jack? I have to admit at the moment I'd weigh in with the latter.

First, I agree that chemistry is crucial. If a couple doesn't have that, they are no fun at all to watch. GC has had some of those and still does. Nick and Phyllis happen to have buckets of the stuff. But then again, people used to see plenty of fireworks between Nick and Sharon as well. Same goes for Jack and Phyllis. The point I'm attempting to make, is that all of that heat can't have simply dissipated, just because they've been buried on a back page under a tiny heading while Nick and Phyllis are getting the big, bold, black headlines on the front. Everything that's shiny is not pure gold. Some of it's only a gold plated layer that won't stand the test of time and will soon flake off with repeated wear.

Whether you like Jack or hate him, that was an enjoyable encounter between him and Phyllis when she told him her bouncing baby to be news. When it comes to acting chops, Jack is one of the best. As our former Prez used to say, Jackie, my boy, I was feeling your pain. And in spite of the battles they've waged against each other, I still like these two together. Yes, Jack can be an obnoxious donkey, but then Phyllis is no docile mare herself. And the failure of their marriage had as much to do with one as the other. What I like is that when they are toiling on the same side, these two are dynamite together. Jack is mostly bark with no bite at all and it's clear he loves him some Phyllis. Even when he knows she's likely to dump a shovel full of wet sand on his best shirt, he will still get in the sandbox to play with her. Phyllis has always been the only one able to make Jack temporarily forget his apparent mission in life. Paying back Victor Newman. She easily brings out his lighthearted, playful side. With Nick, Phyllis often seems to have been dumbed down to this shy virginal acting thing (no slam to shy, virginal things), but considering she's 40+ (her character, not her), this just doesn't work for me no matter how much she's supposed to be in love. The Phyllis we all know would never have allowed herself to be treated the way Nick has treated her (as he's tried to determine which female den he wants to lounge in). Jack brings out a softness and tenderness in her that seems real. And with Jack, he knows just about every bad deed she's ever done and loves her anyway. So she can be herself with him. Whereas Nick, as much as he might be in love with her, hasn't a clue as to what Phyllis is (or should I say used to be) about. All he really knows is that she can expertly wield a video game controller and smoke a mean cigar. Until they were caught, almost their entire relationship has been conducted in an insulated world of secrecy, where real life was something other people lived. They were just rolling in the sheets whispering about how they did this again. They have never even had a raised-voice argument, let alone a no-holds barred battle.

On a side note, is Nick really that insensitive or does he just work hard at appearing to be? I can't believe he suggested Sharon fly to the other side of the moon, with Noah, no less, to join up with Dru? He actually told her "it might be fun!" The woman just found out her husband's ex-lover, the woman he's still madly in love with, may be having his baby and he thinks she might want to go off and have some fun???!! Maybe Nick is the one with too much empty space in his cranium.

And another thing. As much as I like Michael, I wanted to pop him upside his head when he snidely snorted "it hasn't been the best night for her" referring to Phyllis. Oh and the night has just been one big, old barrel of tumbling monkey fun for Sharon, I suppose. Paging Michael. You have a wife. Concern yourself with her sometimes instead of embroiling yourself in your bosom buddies never-ending crises.

Okay, enough of that. Moving on to some moments, which, gasp, had nothing whatsoever to do with Nick, Phyllis or Sharon.

Kevin and Colleen. I admit my mind works in warped ways, but what fun I had watching these two have their bi-weekly tangle of tongues. Figuratively, of course. When Kevin abruptly waltzed away from Colleen in the middle of yet another of her tirades, my raucous barks of laughter almost made me fall off the couch. And you know I ran for my pom poms to thrust them in the air when he told her if she couldn't leave her grudges outside, to stay out of his place. You go boy! I know, I know, he's one my favorites, so I'm always available to cheer him on. Of course, it helps that I find Colleen one of the easiest people not to sympathize with. Along with obnoxious and irritating. And no I haven't forgotten his history with Lily, but how bad can you feel for someone who was chasing the boy down like he was a dog and she was the animal control officer hired to catch him and cage him? Besides, Lily certainly doesn't seem to be looking for sympathetic pats on the shoulder. She treats Kevin as if there was never a bit of bad blood between them. Yes, I know he didn't try to kill her like he did Colleen. I'm not claiming Colleen isn't fully justified in her continued hatred for Kevin, but I still don't feel one pang of sympathy on her behalf. And finally, I howled and knocked my popcorn everywhere when I jumped up and down with laughter when he told Colleen; "Hire a detective. Aren't you obsessed with one? That was too funny.

So, someone is leaving mysterious notes. But are those notes for Colleen? Or Lily? Is this another one of those red herrings which point us to one person when we really should be looking at someone else? At first thought, it could be presumed that Jana was behind the notes, just as some have suspected she might have a hand in the Carlton break-in. But no one is lying to Colleen. Nor does she have any reason to watch her back. But someone has been lying to Lily. If you count lies of omission, that is. Her dear darling, Daniel. And that raspy voice on the phone was quite familiar? Is Daniel's past misdeed with Alex and Kevin about to catch up and overtake him?

Oh Carmen, what are they doing to you? Does any woman in this town (and sometimes man for that matter) have any respect for the institution of holy matrimony? Although things are not looking good for the last faithful to his vows man in the city (not counting Michael), my fingers are still crossed that when the rubber actually meets the road, Neil will recover his senses and back off before Carmen notches his name on her bedpost. Right next to Jack's. Obviously, Carmen was taking copious notes when her Momma told her, "honey chile, never put all your eggs in one man's pants pocket." Does she want Jack? Neil? Either or both?

The coming week promises to be explosive in many more ways than one. I know most are perched on the edges of their couches; waiting with fingers and toes crossed and bated breath for the long anticipated and much ballyhooed baby reveal. Not me, of course. Sure I want to know, mostly so we can move on to the rest of that story, whatever that may be, but this is after all Genoa City, where things are often, almost never, in fact, what they seem. Just because they say Nick or Jack is the Daddy doesn't really mean Nick or Jack is actually the daddy, if you know what I mean. Just ask Neil. It took, what, 17-18 years for Dru's baby daddy truth to come out.

The coming week also promises that Victor will finally learn the truth to what's been medically ailing him. In this particular story, the best is yet to come. Because how many wonder whether Victor is going to keep his steady recovery shrouded in secrecy for awhile, pretending to be his same, new docile self? For Victor, unlike those who have so far reaped special benefits from his medical malady, revenge may taste very sweet and flavorful indeed.

And lastly, this sinister side of Brad has become my second favorite story. Was Brad the driver of the hit and run car that mowed down the man whose identity he presumably pilfered? Was he alone in the car or was the person he phoned to inform "we have a problem" with him and fully privy to his predicament? What has he to do with the family found slaughtered, the same family he himself was reading about online? Though we know now we actually know next to nothing about the man purported to be Brad Carlton, the same man who perhaps began life as George Caplan, one would be able to topple me with a feather if it turned out he was a murderer, let alone, one who snuffed the lives from an entire family. Obviously, we know Brad is an opportunist. As least he seems to have been once since shortly after he arrived in this town, but it's unlikely he only became one then. More probably, he's been one from the start. But why did he need to rewrite the story that had originally been written for him? What is he hiding from? Or is it not a what at all, but a very powerful and murderous who?

By the way, fan Trey, below (in response to another fan's previous comment) wonders whether there's a story he hasn't heard about any issues that existed between Sheila and Brad. The spam catchers on computers these days have become so sophisticated unless I hear back from a fan I've replied to, I don't always know that they received my answer. Anyway, I really don't remember any reason Sheila might have it in for Brad, but perhaps my recollections are incomplete. Does anyone have an answer for him?

Well, so much for what I think about things. You fans had plenty of opinions of your own, so let me step aside, so you can express them. fans.

* * * * * * *

LAVERN - I love Nick/Phyllis. There's so much chemistry between them. I love seeing them together. Phyllis has changed; she and Nick will make great parents. Let Sharon continue to go after Brad. They deserve each other

SUZANNE - Nita, your column is wonderful! You really hit the nail on the head with your comments. Thanks for making my Monday mornings fun. I do have one comment regarding Gloria. You know, I don't think it was Terrible Tom who ruined Kevin, it's GLORIA!!!! With all of her planning and scheming, and batting her eyes like woe-is-me-the-world-is-against-me look she gives her sons, she's done more damage than Tom! When will Kevin and Michael realize it's Gloria's actions that cause them harm? At least with Tom, it was more physical damage. With Gloria, it's all mental!

RACHEL #1 - I heard two of the best lines on Y&R yesterday. First one - J.T. to colleen - "I hate this mushy stuff" - between you two? Couldn't agree more! Second one - Colleen to J.T. "I love you J.T." followed by J.T. to Colleen "I'm glad we finally talked about this" (or something to that effect)....yeah, cause there might be a waiter at GC hotel that HASN'T heard that Colleen loves J.T.. Hello? Has she talked about ANYTHING else since she came to town??? Was this a flashback episode or something? The scene wasn't fuzzy so I don't think so....hmm

TREY - Hey Nita, You have to know how much your fans anxiously await to hear your opinions and once again you didn't disappoint me. Although, I am a fan and have always been a fan the character of Phyllis, she has been front and center for way too long. I loved what you said about there being another pregnant woman in GC (Lauren), but yet her story is totally being ignored. I have no idea what could possibly happen in the future, but I must say again how much I love Y&R. Take this mysterious, character of Jana. The way she was introduced was soo subtle, so unobtrusive, that I didn't realize she was even being brought into the whole story. I love that! That seems so natural and real. I am anxiously waiting for this character to be revealed for who she truly is. I wanted to know what you thought about Jana? I know you must have some more in depth speculation on who she is and who she is connected to? One of your commentators mentioned that Sheila had an axe to grind against Brad. When did Sheila and Brad ever come into contact? I've been watching Y&R for almost 15 yrs but maybe I missed something. Could you elaborate for me?

LUCY - Nita, I enjoy reading your scoops and I agree with you girl. Although Phyllis is a good actress, she gets WAY too much airtime. If this keeps up I think they should change the name of the show to "I Love Phyllis" or should it be "Who Loves Phyllis". OMG Nick is in lust. All he and Phyllis have in common is sex. Sex with her was his escape from the reality of the loss of Cassie. Although I agree that Sharon is a hypocrite, I did feel for her when she lost Cassie and her husband was emotionally unavailable when she needed him the most. Some days it's all I can do to sit through the whole show without hitting the fast forward button when Gloria, Lilly or Colleen are whining about something or the boring scenes between Brad & Vikki. Gloria needs to get her pay back. Why couldn't she just quit when she was ahead? Dru is a hypocrite to and I'd like to see some action between Neil and Carmen. I can't wait to see how things unfold later this summer.

JANET - You're all upset that it's the Nick/Phyllis show? I couldn't be happier! There isn't much else going on in Genoa City. I'm so bored with the other storylines and/or characters. Colleen, Lily, Gloria & Victor's storylines I can FF and still know exactly what happened or really didn't! Nick/Phyllis is the only thing that has me excited right now! When will everyone find out she's pg? Who will the daddy be? When is Nick going to leave drippy Sharon? That's what I want to know! If I have to listen to Coll/Lily whining anymore, I may pull out all of my hair. The writers really screwed up the Colleen character. She's not even likable! Now Lily on the other hand doesn't annoy me as much, but she really needs a story of her own, instead of being Colleen's patsy! Victor's storyline really needs to get going. How long do we have to watch him like this? And the fact that no one has put 2 and 2 together is astonishing! Maybe that's why this storyline bugs me so much, please move it along! I do like that Kevin is finally getting the girl, however she seems to know way too much! I hope she isn't using him or turn out to be Sheila. I'm so over her! I don't want her coming back to steal Lauren's baby! Note to writers: You've already done that story, move on! Gloria, Gloria, Gloria what can I say. The writers are really making her unlikable. Jack, poor poor Jack! Give me a break. That guy made his bed and now he wants us to pull back his covers and have a pity party for him. Please! He pushed Phyllis away all by his ruthless self. I would also like to point out that he slept with his step-mommy Jill back in the day, so he's not as white as the driven snow himself! Okay, I'm done ranting now, can't wait till next week!


TAD - Nita, I loved your column this week. In particular, the line about Brad being in everybody's bed but yours was classic. Speaking of classic lines, how about Phyllis when she said "I've been trying to do the right thing". That statement might be accurate if five more words succeeded it. That would be, "I've been trying to do the right thing, only if it benefits me". How is Phyllis trying to do the right thing for anybody but herself with her constant plotting to get as much one-on-one with Nick as she can? As for Nick, the words that keep flowing from his mouth about the importance of his marriage and family ring hollow. At some point he needs to be able to back his words up, and Nick can't do that. His attention is diverted by more than the possibility that the baby could be his. I'm speaking of the New Mexico excursion where he and Phyllis found themselves in a perpetual position of compromise. Working on that marriage, are you Nick? Now how ironic was it when Sharon was speaking to Nick about honesty. When exactly was it that Sharon would be confiding in Nick about sleeping with his sister's husband shortly after his sister and new brother-in-law were married? I guess that's a different level of honesty, a level that Sharon isn't prepared to commit to. Right now, I'm hard pressed to find anyone more hypocritical than Nick, Sharon, Phyllis, and Brad. I'm very disappointed in the role that has been cast for Marisa Ramirez, Like Trey, I'm a fan, and I also followed her in GH. I was pleased that she was joining the cast of Y&R and would be playing Carmen Mesta, PR executive hired to rescue Jabot from the corporate chaos created by Gloria. I was envisioning a character like Alex Perez, with maybe a bit more zig in her zag (less up-tight). What we've seen from Carmen Mesta is nothing more than a well-educated skank, recently converted to a well-educated scheming skank. I hope there will be more to her character than what we've seen thus far. I really like the relationship that Neil and Devon share as father and son. They've come a long way since this S/L began with Drucilla having a vested interest in helping Devon overcome the hardships he faced, which seemed to be largely attributed to his childhood neglect. Neil was not in favor of bringing Devon into the Winter's household, but he has accepted this young man as his son, and is teaching him what being a man is all about. I must say as an African American, it's refreshing to see a positive depiction of African Americans, and The opportunities that are available to those who take education and responsibility seriously. We also see how different a young man, who had no sense of direction, becomes someone who he never dreamed he could become. That is the result of Devon's hard work, and the guidance that Neil and Drucilla have provided for him thus far. The cast has been set by Neil for Devon as Neil has achieved an enviable level of success in his life. It's up to Devon to make sure that he does his best to blaze his own admirable trail.

DESIREE - I have to admit that I have not been watching the Young and the Restless that long. I just started when it began airing on SoapNET. I must admit though, that I love Nick and Phyllis together. Perhaps it is because I don't know about any of her past misdeeds, but I still really, really like her. Again, because of my lack of knowledge regarding the history of all the characters, I don't particularly see what Nick and Sharon are trying to hold on to. Not to mention that they are blind to their son's manipulations. Also, children realize when their parents aren't happy and Noah is bound to see through the facade that they are putting on for him. I understand that every child would want their parents to be married and happy, but I doubt they want them to be married and miserable. I wasn't really feeling Jack at all, but I really liked how he came to see Phyllis at the hospital and showed genuine concern for her. Even though he has been kind of an ass for a while, I completely understand taking out your hurt by acting angry. People do it all the time. I'm somewhat weirded out by him and Carmen because she is really young to be messing around with him, not to mention he is her boss. I know I might be in the minority when I say that I like Colleen. Well, not really Colleen, as much as the actress that plays her. I think that the writers might want to hire an actual young woman so that maybe they could have some insight on how 20 year olds actually act. I'm 22 and have never in my life (not even as a teen) have been so whiny and obsessed with a guy. Also, Lily is cute, but she is incredibly immature. As a married woman (albeit a really young one), she really needs to step up a bit and start acting more responsibly. She can't keep a secret, and she lacks all common sense. It is incredibly annoying. I also understand why Neil is so mad at Dru. And before she left, she wasn't exactly begging forgiveness. She was basically being a heifer to both Neil and Lily. I don't blame Neil for not rushing to forgive her. As far as the baby goes, I hope it is Nick's! I really, really like those two together.

DENISE - I love Nick and Phyllis together. They have a chemistry that is so fun to watch. He is trying so hard to save his marriage, yet he is in love with Phyllis. I hope the baby is his. Sharon is such a hypocrite, yet neither of them have been faithful in their marriage and her sleeping with Brad is not any different than him sleeping with Phyllis. When Nick smiles at Phyllis he looks really sexy. I am enjoying every moment of this storyline. It is weird seeing Victor act so childlike and doing everything so against everything he would normally do. I knew months ago that there was going to be something wrong with him after the head butting incident. I just get so sick of him being so ruthless and nasty but this is getting tiring too. Colleen is so sickening. I do not like the new Colleen. I also do not like the new Lily, I can't stand how she calls Daniel "baby" all the time. This is the best soap of all.

RACHEL #2 - I can't believe Nick wants the baby to be his, which by the way I think it is, but anyway about Victor, why is Hope calling him from the other side? What about J.T. do you think he is doing the right thing? I think he is because I think Colleen should know about her dad.

CYNTHIA - Kudos to Nita for taking the time out of your busy life to entertain us with your wit. We appreciate it. I wanted to put my two cents in this week and I must say, I really had to think about this, as I don't want to come off too crass. My input is not so much about the storylines, but the acting. Jack is one of the best if ever seen, (although I miss the old jack at times), J.T., Victoria, Paul, hate to say it, Katherine, Nick and Sharon ... bad, bad actors! I can't even say how many times this week I hit the ff just to get through it! Carmen is in my class with Gloria...ewwww, but at least Gloria can act and keeps my attention. Does anyone else think this a blurred storyline with Carmen? Wake up Jack...first Victor now Carmen, and we won't even go into Phyllis. I forgot about Colleen and Lily... bad actors. Quit insulting my intelligence and get back to the essence of great writing. Last but not least, I was very disappointed to log on and have Victor's diagnosis blurted out on the front page. Bummer. Now just another drawn out storyline. Get some meds and take on Jack and the rest, bring back Sheila, give Lauren a real story, and give us a reason to tune in. Sorry, but this has been the most boring summer for Y&R. Keep up the good work.

THERESA - So Brad picks up the phone, knowing exactly who to call and says "we have a problem." How cool is that? The plot thickens. Victor is suffering from epilepsy. OK, I understand the public awareness angle, but I think a psychological reason for his troubles would have been WAY more interesting. This reminds me of when Raul was diagnosed with diabetes. Thin plot on this one, but great acting and directing. I want Phyllis' bambino's father to be either Jack or some other dude. (Not Nick) I still think Nick and Sharon should split, but I bet the writers will keep them together. I think we need to see more of the other citizens of GC. Lots of Michelle on screen, but she is really good. We just need to SHARE the screen time!

ANITA - I would like to see Nick be the baby's father. Phyllis and Nick make a great couple.

NIKKI - I really want Nick to be the father of Phyllis's baby. Everyone is so upset that he cheated on poor innocent Sharon but have we forgotten about Sharon's many affairs and the fact that she jumped in the bed with Brad at the drop of a dime and if you ask me she'll do it again. Nick needs to get rid of her as a matter of fact she should have been long gone. Nick deserves true happiness and I think he'll have that with Phyllis and besides he won't have to worry about his wife getting weak and kissing his father.

DESTINY - I totally agree with you about everything you stated. I feel the same exact away. I couldn't have expressed that as well as you did. I also really hope that Phyllis baby belongs to Nick also. I also believe they should be together they are a much better couple then he and Sharon were.

PAT - Love your column! I'm in the minority here, but I hate, despise and detest Nick and Phyllis together. It is the most complete pile of bull I have seen on any soap. To have those characters have a brief fling, "hate sex", "straight banging, baby" (direct quote from Nicholas Morrow in a soap mag. when storyline first started - fine. To have them "in love"? Puleeeeze! Complete absolute utter garbage. I don't believe it for a millisecond. And yes, Stafford is only 7 years older than Morrow but she seems older probably 'cause her character has an 18-year old son. I actually wish the writers would be bold and brave and kill off Phyllis, perhaps in childbirth. That character - while interesting, and while Michelle Stafford a good actress - has been around long enough; agree with you that she is onscreen WAY too much right now (although the same could be said about other characters at other points in time, too.) Writers don't help when they make what was a fascinating bad girl/villainess once upon a time into this giggly schoolgirlish (when she's around Nick) thing. Completely wrong part for Stafford to play; she's tough as nails. Probably why the new head writer Lynn Marie Latham (and you DO realize they worked together on Pacific Palisades?) likes Michelle Stafford so much. To be writing for her to the exclusion of a lot of the other actors. Among other reasons. Which I won't speculate on here, ahem. I hope the baby is Jack's - I have a feeling though that either it IS Jack's and Nicholas will lie, or show will say it's Nick's and later turn out to be Jacks. If it IS Nick's, I may quit fast-forwarding and just QUIT Y&R (after 20 years) all together. Thanks for listening!

ROSEMARY - I so enjoy your column. However I am a huge Phyllis fan and think she should win an Emmy. Also how gorgeous can one gal be? Back to my point, I bet Nick IS the father, but will lie & say Jack is to save his marriage to Sharon for Noah's sake. No one has mentioned this spoiled rotten brat! As for Jana being Sheila, she's much toooo young. Maybe Sheila's daughter? Now for Brad, is it me or my TV, but Brad looks like his aged lately. Get on with the storyline PLEZ! Hit me with a wet noodle, but I like Gloria too! She's smart in a dumb way but some of her ideas really do make sense. PLEZ get rid of Lily. She makes me nauseous as does Colleen. Emmys to those two for best whiners on TV!! What's with Daniels lawn-mower hair? And why is Jack lusting after Carmen when he could be the baby's daddy? Before he wanted a baby so bad, but that seems to not be the case now. Poor Victor! I look for a return of the real Victor for November sweeps and then sparks will fly. Wait until he finds out his "best buddy" is Jack! I can't wait!

WANDA - Carmen is such a "cheap" date. Jack buys her lunch and she sleeps with him. Such slutty behavior.

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