Sour grapes

by Nita
For the Week of July 31, 2006
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Sour grapes
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Love them or hate them, Nick and Phyllis are not only the first names on everyone's lips, but cheers and jeers for or against them are also filling up every message board in cyber reach.

We begin, as we have in previous columns of late, with the couple no one is tired of talking about. Love them or hate them, Nick and Phyllis are not only the first names on everyone's lips, but cheers and jeers for or against them are also filling up every message board in cyber reach. Whether or not they last really doesn't matter and remains to be seen, so for the moment, who can blame the scribes of our favorite soap for mining the massive gold strike Nick and Phyllis have become as fast as their little fingers can type up the dialogue, or should I say direct their R-rated scenes?

Anyone who has surfed their way to my column lately has probably figured out I'm not exactly standing in line to submit my name for the office of President of Niphy's Fan Club. So you wouldn't be surprised to learn the week sometimes left me feeling just a little funny in my tummy. Of course, it could be what ailed me had less to do with Niphy and more with the overpiled platter of sour grapes someone considerately left beside my sofa seat.

Let's face it. We all have to pick a side. I just happen to be standing on the one against Niphy. Some fans stand with me. While others gloat gleefully and wave their Niphy banners triumphantly, mocking me from the other side. Of course mine is just a single opinion. Which, by the way, is always subject to change without notice, rhyme or reason. That woman's prerogative thing, you know. And all of you are fully entitled to yours. Opinions that if you write 'em, I will share 'em, right along with mine.

Before I go further, let me state for the record that I'm aware these people aren't real, in case you were beginning to wonder if I was delusional. No, that delusional part applies to Victor and his vividly lit visions. It may even seem as if I'm constantly picking this particular pair to poke fun at. But what can I say? The ones with the largest amount of airtime quite naturally draw an equal amount of my quips.

Anyway, just because I'm not jumping for joy on Niphy's behalf doesn't mean I don't completely comprehend their magnetic pull on many other fans, especially new ones gained by way of Soapnet. First, it's an un-debatable fact that Phyllis has a body most women would design for themselves had they anything to do with such things. And she is indeed quite the sparking little spitfire with her man toys. I certainly can't name one Phyllis hasn't had scorching heat with. Excluding Danny, of course. Because right about the time she'd finally gotten him to look at her with something other than revulsion, he got knocked nearly senseless by all those skeletons rattling in her closet. And when it comes to Nick, I'm guessing few women would feel an urge to flee for their very lives after he aimed that dimpled, million buck grin in their direction. I'm sure most of us would be nibbling on our fingers and giggling girlishly right back at him.

For fans who have always liked Phyllis, along with new fans who have just recently made her acquaintance, Nick and Phyllis probably look a lot like an updated version of Romeo and Juliet. Except this cooing couple happen to have enough heat to power all the electrical equipment in Newman Towers. And Jabot. If Jabot still exists, that is. It's been so long since we've heard anything about that company or its employees, I can't be sure they haven't finally succumbed to bankruptcy. Just kidding. Anyway, now that the principal impediment to their joy and ecstasy, Oz's, I mean, Genoa City's, own wicked witch of the West has been eliminated, Niphy can finally be together. New fans don't know or care what Phyllis, or Nick, for that matter have done way back in the long ago day. They just want these star-crossed lovers to have their time to bask in the baking sun.

I'll have you know I did try to look at them as if I didn't know anything about them too. But it didn't work. I'm just too biased. So I FF-ed through their scenes as fast as I could. Then I felt guilty, because how can I write about something I haven't seen? So I went back and forced myself to listen to every syllable they spoke, stared intently at every longing, lustful look one sent to the other. Remember those sour grapes I spoke about earlier? Well, just because it didn't get written the way I wanted (which was Phyllis NOT walking away with the Nick prize), I had to amuse myself as best I could.

I know I was supposed to get all hot and bothered and excited every time Nick executed that lunge maneuver and yanked Phyllis passionately into his arms. And I'm sure I was supposed to feel it right down to my painted toes every time Phyllis shot him that faux virginal come hither glance right before they smashed together and began clutching and pawing frenziedly at one another. But all I could think as I watched them was that a page from one of those Rosemary Rogers bodice-baring romances I used to devour before I started watching soaps had come to life. You know the part near the end when the ruggedly handsome man pulls the swooning, whimpering woman into his hard, strong arms and ravages her mouth until it's all pouty and swollen. Hey, what can I say, my viewpoint has always been somewhat left of center.

Of course, though I know you can't tell it from my words today, there was a time I liked Phyllis; thought she and Jack were just the cat's meow, sweet as well as chemically charismatic. I still recall their role playing days where every intimate encounter featured Phyllis in attire ever more titillating than the one before. Remember her Little Bo Peep outfit? Of course all that was in the days before Ms. Jackson and her "wardrobe malfunction". After which daytime became considerably more subdued. But, that was Phyllis and Jack then. For now, clearly that ship has sailed so far out to sea it may never dock in the Genoa City harbor again.

But in the end, even I have to grudgingly concur that Niphy is performing precisely like most couples would while cavorting carefree-ingly in the brand new, first blush of love and longing. May they enjoy it while it lasts.

My problem is, I've always had this tendency to root for the underdog. Even when they may not deserve it. So though there's no chance anyone would paint a halo over her head, to my warped way of thinking, Sharon has become somewhat of the underdog. Of course, before Niphy's cauldron of chemistry boiled over, I often was as frustrated and disgusted with Sharon as so many are today. When Nick was off in California playing Incredible Hulk slash Mighty Avenger, with Neil and Phyllis hanging helplessly from his bulging biceps, my mouth habitually turned down into a mocking sneer every time Sharon ruined another of Brad's suit shoulders with her scalding, salty tears. As I suffered through that year-long Cameron Kirsten absurdity, no one could have been jeering louder than I. And I bet I was one of her loudest detractors when she was longing for Diego even while clasped in her unaware husband's warm and loving embrace. Hmmm, maybe I better stop there, otherwise, I might talk myself out of rooting for her after all.

For fans, Sharon's biggest problem seems to be her hypocritical habit of holding her nose over other people's messes, while pretending the similar mounds she's left behind have been scented with roses.

Anyway, as Sharon's mostly writer-inflicted injuries began to mount, making her resemble an overburdened pincushion with legs, I found myself rallying to her defense. My teen-age son, who constantly shouts that Sharon is "HOTT", "HOTT", "HOTT" added his jeers against her attackers to mine. Not so my Mom, who, all my arguments in Sharon's defense notwithstanding, remains completely unconvinced, chortling that the hypocritical Sharon deserves everything she's gotten and is due much more besides.

Of course even I, champion of the most maligned mongrel, can't deny Sharon's recent actions have been more than a bit indefensible. I cut her every slack on the rack and gave her every break in the book, and still I can't excuse her for what she's done with Brad. The sympathetic shoulder, the kisses, okay, on the Genoa City scale, pretty close to the bottom. But I have to admit the New York mattress mamba, the parking lot petting session and her continued insertion of herself into any unprotected cranny of Brad's life make it hard to stick any gold stars in any of her columns. It's hard to see how she can possibly be made palatable again, but this is the soaps. Where anything and everything is possible with time, a viable storyline, the most flattering camera angles and, of course, exactly the perfect piano music.

Moving on from Niphy and Sharon to the remaining possibly problematic pairing on the five point pentagram made up of Nick, Phyllis, Sharon, Brad and Victoria, I can't help but hope Brad the Opportunistic Cad may have finally met his match. Learning that her marital mate had been seen in the company parking lot making out, I mean, up, for an experience he presumably missed out on in high school, has removed much of that flaw-forgiving rose color from the glasses Victoria dons to gaze at her adored. And, as we all know, she doesn't know the half of what went on under her nose and behind her back. But after months of handling her man with soft kid gloves and lovey-dovey mush, there has been spotted a wee glimpse of the famed Newman steel in Victoria's spine.

Even though Sharon betrayed her in the worst way, I can't say I felt much, if any, sympathy for Brad-blind Victoria. Only every single family member warned her at one time or another about Bradley and his possible motives. And like some women often do, the brunt of Victoria's initial wrath was spewed against Sharon. Who was allowed to retain her life, but was stripped of all of her Newman spokesperson gig and most of her dignity.

I held tight to my blanket of support for Sharon most of the week, but by the time Friday rolled around, she had made it almost impossible for me to mount any kind of defense on her behalf. Because although Victoria told her in words of such few syllables even Sharon couldn't possibly misunderstand them, which loosely translated to "Keep clear of my man, or else," what did Sharon do? Why she trotted right to Victoria's man's house, opens his door and calls prettily, Brad? Brad? So I guess you all know I didn't soak any hankies with my tears when Sharon got snatched. I guess I'll have to give up defending her for now and just accept that her life is about to become an unavoidable train wreck. Because just beyond the blind curve ahead, someone has dynamited the track and there will be no time to keep her caboose from tumbling into the deep canyon it crosses over.

Enough of Sharon and on to Brad.

Colleen, who couldn't keep a confidence even if her lips were super-glued and duct-taped together, has clambered aboard that magic carpet Genoa Citians use when they need to fly like the wind through the friendly skies, and hastened to her Daddy's side to hear his twisted tale of stolen art and a life on the lam.

So now we know that though Brad may not be much of a gentlemen, he's no murdering madman either. But just because he's allegedly a son any mother on the run would be proud of, his middle name is still Sleaze and he probably can be trusted just about as far as a very weak woman can throw a thick, sturdy stick.

Not that I believed for one minute in that "I never felt like this about anyone" love he claimed for Sharon just hours before going down on bended knee with a ring for consolation prize Victoria. No more believable was his flimsy "J.T. made me do it", excuse for intense interaction with his in-law.

And while "I never had sexual relations with that woman," weren't the exact words Brad used when asked outright by his wife had he, with Sharon, he was right on the money with the pretended affronted dignity part. Even though it will mean yet another hole gets poked in Sharon's character, it will be a treat to have a first row seat when Brad's arrogant behind is swept off the pedestal he was elevated to by way of his marriage to Victoria. I know Sharon swears adoration for her is what she sees in Brad's eyes, but the only expressions I see are those of calculation, manipulation and self-preservation. Brad couldn't possibly have fed Sharon to the wolves and distanced himself from her any quicker. And this is the man Sharon threw her marriage away for? Silly woman.

Even so, despite Brad's ardent denials of wicked wrongdoing or hanky panky, I doubt he's been entirely successful at lifting himself off the hook just yet. Showing that she too could very well possess the scheming, bayonet in the back gene already shown to exist in her Daddy-betraying brother and mate-betraying mother, Brad may find himself caught in the rapids heading for the falls without a Newman stock life jacket in sight. For Victoria, clearly, some of the shine has worn off her Brad doll as a result of rubbing against Sharon. Something tells me Victoria will soon prove she's indeed her father's daughter.

And why shouldn't Victoria strive for the title of the second most powerful Newman? She's the one doing most of the work. The brother part of this sister-brother co-CEO act rarely pulls his share of the corporate load. As far as I can see, the only weight he's bearing is .... oh yeah, I said I was done with that part of the column, didn't I?

The thick, meaty plot featuring the Newman patriarch was stirred ever so gently over the week. I was beginning to become just a little impatient for the heat on this particular plot pot to be turned up a little, and it seems my wish was granted. Although he's presumably still swallowing aspirin instead of his TLE meds, the curtain of Victor's seeming childlike-ness was pulled aside for a second giving us a strangely chilling look at what could be to come. Up 'til now, Jack has easily steered Victor in whatever direction he wanted him to go, but like a truculent tot, without warning Victor suddenly dug in his heels and refused to go forward. That was some look Victor speared Jack with, wasn't it? It sure made Jack grope for a seat to catch himself. Heck, it almost scared me until I remembered it was just a soap and besides I was clear on the other side of the television screen and therefore out of Victor's reach. I know Victor has a ways to go before he returns to at least a semblance of his once ruthless self, but that look sure gave me a reason to look forward to its coming. I almost already feel sorry for Jack.

Sympathy is what I felt for Neil when every Newman plus the Newman by marriage were using him as a door mat. But I'm not feeling that anymore. Now I'm about as disgusted with him as he is with his wife. After all, it's not as if his recent actions have been far above reproach. And when it comes to secrets, I haven't heard him confessing his basketball court clinch with Carmen. While admitting Neil has cause for his antagonistic attitude, his actions still disappoint me, although I must admit fan Tad below makes a good case for him and almost makes me change my mind. What stops me, however, is what I remember about Neil and his brother's intended. The only thing stopping him from sneakily snatching Alex out of his brother's embrace was not his guilty conscience, but hers. Of course, I shouldn't be that surprised at Neil's unyielding stance. He's always been a rather judgmental man, not prone to quick forgiveness, which is part of the reason Dru kept the secret in the first place.

Wandering off the secrecy path for just a moment, perhaps Neil should have snatched those new clothes his rebuffed bride bought him and raced with them straight to the executive restroom. Because when I noted what he chose as suitable office attire, I snatched my cell phone, speed-dialed the fashion police and urged them to take their own magic carpet ride to Genoa City. And not only issue him a ticket, but force him to wander around in Fenmore's until he recovered his fashion sense. Pardon me if I'm wrong about the weather, but wouldn't Wisconsin be about 90 degrees in the shade with no cooling breeze in sight? So what possessed Neil to put on a shirt beneath a sweater, some baggy booty old man pants, and those light shoes, which presumably were a perfect match for that tannish shirt. email to Neil. "My brotha, casual attire may not be the best choice for you."

But Neil's unappealing clothing choice is just one of the bones I want to pick with him. Now I fully understand he is displeased, disillusioned and downright disgusted by what his wife has done. If you asked 100 fans, probably 98 of them would say he has a very valid reason for his righteous wrath. And they would add their voices to Neil's declaring Dru should have hauled out the basket and showed him the dirty laundry inside it long ago. As Neil whined to Phyllis (I'll get to that bone in a second) "she's acting like nothing's wrong." Well, pardon me if I'm remembering wrong, but when Dru tried to talk about it, didn't Neil slam out crying "I don't wanna talk about it." And before he left, he took the little of the tale he did let Dru recite and rewrote it into something that never happened before tossing it back in her face.

Now, to that other bone. No, Neil didn't share he and Dru's husband-and-wife business with Phyllis, the one woman guaranteed to take great pleasure in taunting her with it at the very first provocation! That's like breaking the first rule of marital relations.

"I felt free," Neil had the nerve to tell his wife's arch enemy, when describing his state of mind in Dru's absence. I knew he couldn't hear me, but that didn't stop me from retorting, "you want free, Mr. Winters, well let me give you a tip ... it's spelled d-i-v-o-r-c-e. If you're still having trouble with it, ask Sharon or Nick. I'm sure either of them can tell you what it means, how to say it and who to call to get one."

As a woman I couldn't help but feel sorry for Dru as she threw herself at her husband and he tossed her right back, unwanted. I can only imagine how humiliating that would be were I the woman sprawled rather inelegantly atop his desk. Dru, give Yolanda a call. I bet she can feel your particular pain of Neil's repulsed rejection.

Considering the adultery he's surely committing in his daydreams, Mr. Morality needs to dismount from his high horse of indignation. She may not be his neighbor's wife, but Neil is sure coveting someone he shouldn't. He wouldn't be the first Genoa Citian who discovered grass on the other side of the fence was so brilliantly green because it was liberally laced with manure and still retains that particular odor. Would Neil think so highly of Ms. Mesta if he knew how casually she shared her self with Jack or discovered she is likely no less manipulative than the woman he's wed to.

Speaking of divorce, I felt sorry for poor Noah, who's probably feeling like a drunken sailor, dizzy at the constant about faces his parents keep making. Daddy's moving out. No, Daddy's moving in. Nope, Daddy's moving out after all. And I doubt anyone will hand Nick the most sensitive Daddy in the land award. Come and stay with me, buddy. You'll have a room of your own. Oh right, Nick. You're going to move your heartbroken boy just down the hall from where you're busily bouncing on the bedsprings with the woman who at least in part contributed to your family's breakup? Hey, I wonder if Sharon will follow her mother-in-law's long ago footsteps by telling her son bedtime stories featuring a redheaded wicked witch named Phyllis?

I don't usually root for wicked witches like Gloria, but at this point, I'm for anything that features one of my favorite reformed flawed fellows, Kevin. Have you seen the new promo for him, by the way? I loved it. Besides, I don't like Alex and I want to see him brought down and banished from the City. And I don't much care how it happens. History has shown that Gloria tends to get away with her dirt, and if that's the case, I hope her record remains unblemished, at least where Alex is concerned.

Fan Debra below, among many others, express their dismay from time to time about some of the changes in our favorite show. I understand how Debra feels. Like her, I too number in the double digits when it comes to years of watching this show. And just in case you wondered, no, this is not the part when I say how old I was when I started. Unlike the residents of GC, a girl's got to keep some cards close to her chest. Anyway, I was skipping around cyberspace the other day and I ran across a Y&R site that mentioned the recent dismissal of several scribes from the 80's. Which sort of explains why some characters are slowly changing. The ones that aren't getting killed off, that is. Sadly, soon there may not be any writer left who remember who these people used to be. They'll just keep being re-invented with every new storyline.

Now, first, let me say I have not one single thing against change. And I'm aware that since our favorite soap began airing on Soapnet, it has gained new and quickly intrigued viewers. Those new viewers don't know or likely care one whit about whether or not the show is true to the history of the characters. In a sense Y&R has arrived in primetime. And with primetime slots come entirely different standards.

Like at least one shock per episode. Or more. Over the past week, we have seen Victoria shockingly fire Sharon, but continue to shower Brad with gag-inducing compliments. The Newmans have not only made the decision to divorce, but already sat their little lad down and battered him with the bad news. And almost before the sound of the decision had died in the air, Nick and his overnighter had hightailed it over to Phyllis. A day later Nick and Phyllis were still insatiably climbing all over each other. You go, Phyllis. Would that all of us a handful of fingers away from 50 (the character, not the actress) still be that hot to trot multiple times a day. But then, perhaps we would if we had a boy toy like Nick to play with us. Not so shocking was Nikki casting a disapproving brow and looking down her nose at Sharon, asking what she thought Nick would do had Sharon been implanted with a little extramarital seed during one of her dalliances. I can answer that one for Sharon because I still remember what Nick did want her to do when he thought it was possible. Not have it. My question to Nikki. What if Grace had been the one implanted? What was shocking was Sharon's sharp and unexpected insulting "at least you won't be my mother-in-law" jab". Something tells me, Sharon's might pay a high and heavy price for her impertinence. Hope she's not tied up too long. Sharon's had so many knives stuck in her character, she should leak when she takes a drink. How much more punishment can one character take without keeling over lifeless?

Soap opera-ing is a rather strange pastime. We know they're make believe people, but the writers work hard to make us care about them as if they're real. And watching these people year after year makes them seem almost like family members. So when they suddenly start changing unexpectedly, yeah, sometimes we scream in protest about it.

Gone seemingly forever are the days when a fan could tune out for a week or two and return feeling as if they'd never left. Now things happen so quickly sometimes, one might wonder if they'd tuned to the wrong channel if they were away too long.

But, changes and all, I'm still fully enjoying our favorite soap. Sure I poke gentle (or sometimes not gentle enough) fun at the events of GC and its confused citizens. And even when I find certain storylines (cough, cough) temporarily unpalatable, I know if I stick around long enough they're likely to change to something I might find easier to digest. Despite how it may seem, I really don't take this stuff as seriously as my comments might lead some to believe.

There's certainly plenty to pick from in the days ahead. With the current trend of marriages in peril, Lily and Daniel's is likely to be the next to find its neck stretched across the block in danger of being axed.

Along with the continued unfurling of the parchment telling George Kaplan's convoluted tale, there's the rescue of Sharon and J.T. to contend with. I know, I know, some fans would probably say good riddance to bad rubbish to at least one if not both of them.

Now that Nick has made a definite decision, it's time for Niphy to start bonding over baby. Surely shared and tender tummy touching is just around the bend and before long the eternal question will be answered. Will Phyllis be a belly cradler or not?

Whew, seems like my fingers have been walking forever, so I think it's time to retract my claws and let you fans tap the keys your way.

Trey, fan SB below has the answer to your question of a couple of weeks ago regarding how and when the paths of Sheila and Brad crossed each other.

* * * * * * *

KAREN - Having watching Y&R for more years than I want to admit, I thought I knew what was going to happen next based on the characters, BUT this week takes the cake! Would have loved to have Victoria not Nick catch the fallen Brad and Sharon - too bad. I always knew Brad was a trumped up character - how can one go from a pool boy to a corporate type - where are the credentials? Mr. Slick was always given more brains than his tanned body could ever have and so quickly. Get Alex out of town - he has nothing really - a cheap tape recording - any good lawyer would have that tossed out so fast. Why isn't Jack helping these boys out? Why tell Gloria and have her come up with another way to dispose of the boy - like she did Tom? Oh come now. Victoria lost her brains someplace in GC. Hope she can find them really quickly and get herself out of this so called marriage and protect the Newman empire while Victor is in lala land and not taking care of himself. Can't wait for the past to be out in the open about Brad and get Paul to find J.T. quickly - J.T. can't take being beat up, etc.

S.B - Sheila took a picture of Brad and Lauren doing the deed. Turned it into a puzzle and mailed it to Lauren the last piece Lauren put in the puzzle was Brad's Face. Sheila was having an affair with Scott Lauren's husband and wanted him to herself.

JOHN - I'm a new viewer of Y&R and I must say I now know why it's the number one rated soap. Every week I wait to read your column and every week I'm impressed by your writing style. I know that you don't like the Nick/Phyllis pairing, but as you admitted before they have more chemistry than any couple on that show, excluding Michael and Lauren. Although the character of Sharon is annoying as they come I must say I like her, but I don't like her with Nick, maybe someone new. A random thought: someone wrote in the feedback section about how Jack or Peter Bergman was a bad actor and I must say I disagree. He's one of the better actors on a show that has too many great actors. Thanks and keep up the really good writing, it's inspiring.

ROBIN - I love, love, love your column! Yep, I didn't see much more than Nick's bare chest, but a girl can dream, can't she? Seems the place to be is the basketball court or the breakroom, where no one but Sharon, Phyl, Carmen or Neil ever go. What happened to the pool at the athletic club? They sure wrote that out in a hurry. I'm sick of Sharon, she's got a lot of nerve blaming Nick when she was once (oh yeah, still is) the biggest ho in GC. I anxiously await the day Sheila shows up, then we can get off the baby daddy story and on to more devious things. Keep writing, I look forward to your column every week!

ERIK - Your Phyllis insults are hilarious. She's one of my favorite characters, but that is some truly funny stuff. Also, where is that awful Ashley? The beauty has disappeared. It probably won't be for long, but I appreciate the break!

DEBRA - I enjoyed reading the two scoops column. My comment is that I have been a faithful fan of young and the restless for years. I watched the soap for at least twenty-nine years. Anyway, my comment is that I hate the storyline that has broken Nick and Sharon up. It's makes me very sad and disappointed to see this and it really upset me and my friends that watch the show. I have no interest in continuing to watch because I get no pleasure of seeing anyone give up on a ten year marriage and watching a child suffer through the situation. The world is already full of pain and problems, I used to enjoy at lunch time having a least one or two couples maintain their vows instead of when it gets hard just leave and fall in love with the next best thing. I'm really disappointed with the storylines that Young and the Restless are airing now. At least consider the fans who been faithful for a long time we deserve some since of loyalty instead of anything goes storylines. You use to be better than this. Please don't change a good soap opera to a show with no merits. I use to watch the show with my Aunts and even some of my church family and enjoyed the show. Now, I don't enjoy it anymore since Nick and Phyllis hooked up. If Nick wants to work with Phyllis more, he needs to consider he faithful fans who was loyal to him for years. I guess in the real world nobody really cares what we think. After all most of us have being watching Y&R at least over 25 years. Anyway, I'm sure your going to do what you want to do with the story. I guess I'll have to watch jeopardy. Disappointed fan.


JUDI - I can see it now: Sharon will turn out to be pregnant and while everyone thinks she only kissed Brad and that the baby is Nick's, it will really be Brad's. Then Neil will actually leave Dru and hook up with Carmen because she will be pregnant and he will think it is his. But it will really be Jack's. I know they have yet to make that possible, but it will happen. Meanwhile Lily will be so upset when she finds out that Daniel has been lying to her that she will run out and have sex with Damon, who has just been waiting, and then try to pass that baby off as Daniel's. Let's see, who else can we get pregnant at the same time with the wrong person's baby?

SALLY - I love reading your two scoops column and this week's was right on the money! I too questioned whether Nick really is the father. You are right - he told Phyllis and Sharon he was but he didn't actually show anyone the letter from the Lab. Looking back at Phyllis' past and her lying to Danny about being the father of Daniel, wouldn't it be a hoot if the tables were turned and she finds out she was lied to by Nick?!? I must admit I was hoping for a Nick and Phyllis match-up. Time for Sharon and Nick to be paired with other for awhile - their relationship was getting old. I can't shake the feeling that Nick and Sharon aren't finished, though. With the heavy make-out sessions between Nick and Phyllis this week, I almost feel as if it's too much too fast and that it isn't going to last. Can't wait for Victor to get back to normal. Why hasn't anyone in the Newman family done some research on epilepsy and the fact that dogs can predict a seizure? Twice we have seen Zapato whining just before Victor has an episode - how long is it going to take for these people to clue in? Something is going to happen to make Victor realize how serious his condition really is; maybe he's driving a car with Noah or Abby and he has a seizure then? We haven't seen a child in critical condition in Genoa City for awhile. If it were Noah, would serve to bring Nick and Sharon together now wouldn't it?

REGGIE - I think that the marriage between Nick and Sharon should be over for a little bit because it is not there now, but I believe they will find there way back into each other. I think the show is doing a ok job, but I don't care about Brad because he is written as a arrogant, pompous, self-righteous jerk and Vicki shouldn't have married him in the first place. They are the worst couple since Jt and Mac. They don't have chemistry and the relationship seem force. I hope that the writers redone this quickly because the character of Vicki is become unrecognizable. She wouldn't marry a guy who almost marry her mother and slept with all the woman in GC.

DARVA - I absolutely love your column! I absolutely hate the Nick and Phyllis combo. I am really surprised at the viewers that are happy about this pairing. I wonder if they would feel that why were it real life and happening to them or someone they know. I think it would be great to actually see a soap couple work through their issues and stay together. I have always liked Nick and Sharon together and don't understand the script writers vilifying her and trying to make Phyllis saint-like. Let me also say that I have always liked Phyllis, even when her character was pure evil. This storyline is for the birds. Well, I just wanted to get that off my chest, not that it will make a difference to the writers. I have taken a break from the show, but continue to read your column. Keep up the good work!

TAD - "One thing led to another". That was the explanation that Brad gave to Victoria for his moment of weakness with Sharon. That seems to be the all too common phrase that folks use when they don't want to answer the difficult questions. "One thing led to another" says it all, without actually saying anything, at least the offender is hoping so!! The thing that I found most curious is that Victoria knows after her conversation with Nick that there is a lot more to this story than Brad is giving up. She didn't address the issue with Brad regarding his closer than close encounter with Sharon prior to he and Victoria getting married. Being played for a fool is certainly one of the most difficult realizations to reconcile. Right now, I'm sure Victor's disparaging remarks against Brad are reverberating quite loudly throughout the hollow dome, otherwise known as Vicky's head. Unfortunately, she was blinded by Brad's deceit. Victoria wouldn't be the first to be mesmerized by this smooth operator, and as we see Dumb Dumb, I mean Sharon sacrifice everything in the name of Bradley Carlton, we see that Victoria won't be the last. There are also many questions that can be raised about some of the business decisions Victoria has made at Newman; however, it would be foolish to underestimate her effectiveness in the art of retribution. We can see by Vicky's meticulous plotting that she is conjuring up a special kind of pay-back with Brad's name written all over it. Considering the way that she went off on Sharon, I think maybe it's time for Bradley to reacquaint himself with the phrase, "Hell has no fury like a Newman scorned". The Young and the Restless is doing a good job with the S/L involving Neil, Carmen, and Drucilla. This is as realistic as it gets. At some point in time, many of us who are involved in a serious, monogamous relationship are faced with that internal conflict of whether we should do it or not. The conflict; better known as temptation, for Neil is heightened by the fact that he is hurt by Dru's actions with Malcolm from many years ago. There is a constant reminder of her "mistake". Neil has been confronted with the devastating news that his only biological child, daddy's little girl is not exactly daddy's little girl. Neil has accepted Lily as his own, and rightfully so given there history as father and daughter; nonetheless, it's still a crushing blow. I saw the exchange between Dru and Malcolm many years ago, and I don't remember it happening exactly as the writers would have us believe that it happened. It seemed clear to me that Malcolm forced that situation with Drucilla. The question now remains to see if Neil will do the right thing. The right thing is clear, as Nita stated in her column last week. My words are not quite as creative when I say; you don't start a new relationship with Carmen until you have concluded the relationship with Drucilla. With that said, it might be interesting to explore a relationship between Neil and Carmen given how much they seem to have in common, but the show is lacking a level of character stability right now. The relationship as husband and wife that Neil and Dru have shared has played a big part in the character cohesion that we've seen on this soap in recent years. Sadly, Michael and Lauren appear to be the only two in GC that personify a couple with great balance and chemistry. It's fun to see some of the cast explore new challenges with the characters that they play; however, a free for all for all is not exactly "Must see TV" for me. That seems to be the common theme in many of the soaps that are struggling for ratings today. Many of them are clearly lacking direction and substance. I hope the writers don't neglect the principles that they've established for writing a successful soap that has been The Young and the Restless.

TONI - I love your column and read it every chance I get. I have been watching Y&R for years and because I work when it's on I tape it everyday. I just do not get the Phyllis/Nick love affair/pregnancy storyline. Just a few months ago Nick hated Phyllis so much he could hardly stand to be in the room with her and now she is pregnant with his child and he is shagging with her every chance he gets! Finally a storyline about Brad and who he is! I love this one and can't wait to find out what awful deed he committed. I hope Victoria throws him out on his ear and he and Sharon finally hook up - Sharon can't keep her hands off him anyway so they might as well be together. The Victor has epilepsy storyline is so weird to me - and no one seems to know what he is doing except Jack of course who is exploiting the whole thing! Oh yes and I too wish someone would do something with Daniel's hair! He looks like some little kid got hold of his hair with some kindergarten scissors.

ERNESTINE - I've been a follower from the beginning. Here of late the writers have really out done themselves. I use to hate the weekends but now I really hate the weekends. Two days to wait to see what's going to happen next. I guess that's what makes the show. My hat's off to the writers this round. Keep up the good work. Why wait for the day time awards. Y&R are winners already. My heart is beating.

SUE - I can not believe the storyline with Brad and his mother! Shouldn't Brad be in his sixties and his mother be in her late eighties if she is fleeing Nazis! How dumb do these writers think we are? Anyways love your commentary it is truly hilarious!

RACHEL - I'm sorry, yesterday must have been very painful for you when Phyllis said to Nick "It felt so good being in your arms again" followed by Nick's comment "Well, these arms are always attached to me so feel free to make use of them whenever you want" (or something to that effect) I know how much you enjoy their "witty banter". That conversation was pretty painful for me, and I don't even mind the two of them together!

EVE - I am still stunned from having to listen to the biggest load of cods-wallop I've ever heard in my life! Brad's story to the ever-teary Colleen makes me fear that we are about to descend into a new "Boys of Brazil" saga -- Nazis lurking in the bushes! His mother was a saint! They killed his family! They're still after them! He saw his best friend die! All I can say is, I didn't believe a word of it. And if it turns out to be "true", then the writers are watching too many old movies. Meanwhile, I hope that Victor does go in search of Hope, mainly because she was the only character with sense Y&R ever had. Besides, it's about time that Victor, Jr. showed up to take part in the general madness. Maybe he can start dating a suddenly aged Abby (I figure a weekend trip to Hawaii should add about 15 years to the little princess). I don't even have the words to say what I think about the whole Sharon/Brad ("You adore me!" she cooed last week, causing me to snort my iced tea out my nose; I wonder if she feels the same now that she's being manhandled by the Nazis while Brad's taken everyone but her off to frolic on the beach...) Nick/Phyllis mess. (For a woman who was overwhelmed with morning sickness, Phyllis is having some pretty athletic sex.) All I can say is I hope the adoption papers for Noah go through pretty soon with the family he's spending all his time with, because Daddy's banging, Mommy's kidnapped, Victor's hallucinating, and Nikki's busy.

PAT - Excellent column, love reading people's thoughts. I'm in the minority, but I hate, despise and detest Nick and Phyllis together. She's a good actress; he can't act as way out of a paper bag, but those two characters together - other than a fling - is absolutely crazy and completely disgusting. If the writers want to continue the "beatification" of Phyllis - making her so nice, soft-spoken, like the columnist points out - they ought to go "all the way" and have her bravely and sadly die in childbirth. The kid can be raised by Nick (unless Jack really is the father which I suspect), be a Newman; she can atone for all her sins, and the character of Phyllis, origainlly intended to be short term, can disappear FINALLY and the show can move on. Failing that, have the baby be born dead. Or have Phyllis go away to think things through. I'm sick of the character AND the actress.

LAURIE - Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't Rebecca a little old to be Brad's mother. She has to be in her 80's at least to have been used to categorize art and valuable objects in WW2. She should be Brad's Grandmother, at least that is my observation. How long are they going to keep this docile, all forgiving Victor up. It is awful to see him accept Phyllis and her baby so readily. Before too long Jack will have Newman Enterprises in his hands. I agree with you, none of the current couples are worth caring about, I just hope they keep Nikki and Victor in tact. They have really introduced a lot of immorality and unfaithfulness into the show now, what happened to the days when we had someone like Mac who stood her ground against sleeping with anyone. I agree with you about the DNA test and the possibility it could have been switched. What a delightful prospect. After all Phyllis knows all about fixing DNA. And you are right; we are to assume that Nick told the truth without seeing the proof. I guess I am in the minority when I say I never liked these two together. What is up with Neil and his casual dress? I think they have made him look like an idiot, no COO of a huge conglomerate would dress the way he does. Keep up the good work Nita, your column is so much fun.

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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