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by Nita
For the Week of August 21, 2006
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If you were a John Abbott/Jerry Douglas fan, it was a heartbreaking, dark and emotionally wrenching week.

Well, as expected, if you were a John Abbott/Jerry Douglas fan, it was a heartbreaking, dark and emotionally wrenching week. So perhaps, it's fitting that this week's column should be a little on the murky, maudlin side as well.

As I thought about some of the things that crossed my mind this week, for the first time since I began sharing my sometimes cynical thoughts with all who cared to read them, I considered keeping quiet and letting the fan comments do the talking. Due to my current disillusionment with the direction and state of our favorite show, I just wasn't sure I could muster up much of interest to say. And if any of your mothers are like mine, they probably advised you at some point in your life something that loosely translated means 'keep your bottom lip fastened firmly to your top if you can't say something nice.' But I decided that would be cowardly. Almost everyone I know, if asked to describe me would call me a very positive person. They would tell you I can usually spot a silver lining in even the darkest of clouds. And I would probably agree, more or less, with that opinion. This week, it happens to be less.

If I were to voice a complaint about the way John Abbott left his make believe world, it would be that he never got a chance to say goodbye. Person after person perched beside his bed and had their one way conversation with him. And while there was nothing wrong with doing it that way, I confess I wasn't exactly glued to the screen by some of those monologues. I mean, I wanted to be totally engrossed, wished I could have hung on their every anguished word. But, despite my best intentions, my attention sometimes wandered. If I would have been the one to make the choice, everyone would have gotten a word or two from John, however raspy and hard to hear it might have been, and then he could have had his final stroke. After all the years he's been an integral part of the Genoa City fabric, I felt like he'd been cheated out of the farewell he deserved. And I felt cheated as well. Just my opinion, but it became more about the live bodies bickering around his bedside than about his premature passing.

It should have been a more than satisfying Lifetime moment for me, but it wasn't. Don't get me wrong. It was still a Lifetime moment I wouldn't have wanted to miss. That flat line of finality never fails to tug terrifically on my heart strings. I can't imagine actually having to live that moment; watching a make believe one is usually tear-inducing enough. When it came to Jack and Ashley and even Gloria, their grief and helplessness was poignant and believable. But, though I know it's not their fault they have been erased off the canvas for so long, watching Billy #3, Colleen #2 and long-banished Traci bid John goodbye rang just a little false to my ears. Colleen has a hard time reciting a sentence that doesn't include the initials J.T. and can barely hold a thought in her obsessed brain that doesn't begin and end with something to do with him. And though it would have looked strange had Billy not had his turn at father's side, it was odd watching a complete stranger try to convince me he cared. Poor Traci, flown in for only the direst of emergencies, didn't even get to witness father's last moment. I guess she should be grateful she even got to come. Because she could have been written off on some book tour too far away to return from.

As always, Gloria managed to retain her usual center stage position. The one that's always in direct opposition to Jack's. She deserves kudos, of course, for the acting ability that continues to make her unlikable. Unfortunately, while she always manages to wallow in smelly stuff, yet get up, her clothing unstained, I suspect her loving sons won't fare so well. Like a captor whose fallen helplessly in love with his oppressor, weak-willed Kevin has never stood a chance against her, and I don't imagine he's going to grow a rigid backbone any time soon. As for Michael, he's already proven he will co-sign just about any malicious mischief Mommy puts into motion, up to and including murder, no matter how much he might rant and rave about it before caving in with the slightest push from Mommy's paws. Proving that even bad blood is thicker than water or marriage. The battle lines seem to be shaping up to be an uneven match with Jack and Ashley outnumbered and outmaneuvered by Gloria, Kevin, Michael and perhaps even Jill, Kay and Billy. And if the past is any indicator of the future, I don't expect Gloria's future underhanded acts to be exposed any more than her past ones have been. I might as well post the Wide-Eyed Alert warning signs now. Too bad. John/Jerry deserved better than to be regulated to the ghost status that is rumored to be all that is left in his Y&R future. If anyone should be seen, heard, but rendered ineffective, it should be his wide-eyed wife. And by the way, I don't for one second believe all that baloney about how deeply in love Gloria claims to have been with John. Where was that ardent devotion to her Abbott husband when she was cowardly committing the act that however indirectly, led to murder and near ruination of his life's work? The only thing that gold digger loves is the amount of money and prestige attached to the Abbott name. It will be interesting to see how long she mourns her beloved before gazing greedily around GC for his replacement.

After a week of the tearful bedside hospital vigil, the wrap-up of the reliquary rotgut almost went unnoticed. Did Brad's rather anticlimactic self-defense disposal of kidnapper and sidekick really happen the same week? It seems so long ago. Disarming bombs, asphyxiation by thigh muscles, body burying and the like. I kept hitting the OK button on my remote control to make sure I was still watching Y&R. Boy, Brad sure learned a lot while wearing that Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company B uniform. Where did he bury the bodies? How did he get them there? In the trunk of a rental car? Did he even have a rental car? Did he stop at the hardware store first to buy a shovel? By the way, how did the sidekick die? I heard Brad say he killed both of them. But when? The last I saw Nick knocked the gun out of sidekick's hand, then Brad immediately went hand-to-hand with kidnapper in charge. I was all confused, but then I thought, who cares? I'm just glad it's over. But it's probably only over for now. Because Brad says it's still not safe to tell the world he's a liar and an identity thief. I wish someone would steal his identity and him with it. John shoots a man in self-defense and he's a murderer and is sent up the river. Brad kills and he's a hero. Go figure!

When it comes to figuring, I bet no one can figure out the brain of rescued kidnap victim Sharon. Obviously the scribes have decided her brush with almost certain death isn't going to soften her tongue. Nothing and no one is going to stand between the raging hormones relationship between Nick and Nibbles. But back to Sharon. Could any thank you be given more grudgingly to the man who helped to save your bacon? Bacon that never would have been in danger of being burned to a crisp had it had sense enough to stay away from Brad's frying pan, like his warden, I mean his wife, demanded. Sharon's dogged devotion to Brad the Cad is enough to make a fan yank out all her hair. I'm not even going to attempt to defend her anymore. Clearly, the scribes are determined to destroy her beyond salvation. One thing about her behavior is understandable, however. The not wanting Nick hovering around her part. Would any woman with a penny's worth of pride want the man who's knocked up another woman spooning portions of pity into her open mouth? Like she said, clearly Nick's thoughts and all other parts of his body are fully fixated on Phyllis.

Which I still find distasteful. The result of adultery, the Newman child to be, is celebrated with such glee and jubilation, it wouldn't surprise me to hear a holiday had been created to commemorate the occasion in Genoa City. If one didn't know better from having watched this show for so long, one would think neither Nick nor Phyllis had ever produced a progeny before. It's sad to see Nick rejoicing so joyously in the coming birth of his illegitimate offspring when his happy union brings the legitimate son so much pain. I guess we're supposed to chalk Nick's joyful acceptance of this coming birth to his maturity. Because he certainly wasn't that thrilled when he learned about Cassie, who he wanted no part of for quite some time, or even Noah, who came from his own loins. I'm not saying Nick, or Phyllis for that matter, shouldn't find happiness together, but it would have been nice to see a little balance here. It wouldn't take that much. So what he and Phyllis have some heat together. Even a little remorse from time to time from Niphy would make this pairing much more palatable to me.

Not that Sharon inspires any sympathy with her persistent pursuit of her sister-in-law's untrustworthy man. Although I fail to see what she finds so admirable about a money grubbing man who tells you he loves you, but plans to stay married to someone else. And now she seems poised on the brink of a mental breakdown. Brad has reminded her for the 99th time that while part of his heart might belong to her, he's elected to stay where his bread can be liberally slathered with Newman butter. I expect Noah will be the next to reject her, by transferring his allegiance to the Niphy side and his defection, combined with the ever-nearing date of the miraculous birth, could send Sharon tumbling into the abyss. And the saddest part of this possibility is the fact that due to the erosion of Sharon's character, I wonder if more than a handful of fans will even care. And what of romance? In this near incestuous city, undoubtedly it will wind up being with someone who has already cozied up to someone she's related to. Like Jack. Not a pretty picture to contemplate.

While Sharon at least has plenty of reasons to unravel, dating back to Cassie's death to the present, Victoria has no good excuse for her actions. Still refusing to blame Brad for his part in Sharongate, Victoria continues to rip holes in Sharon's already tattered hide. Yeah, like Sharon tied Brad down with bedsheets and had her way with him against his will. 'If I stay, Victoria warned, 'it will be on my terms.' Brad didn't laugh in her face, but I sure did. Having stuck her fingers deep in her ears and yelled na na na na na so as not to hear anything that might prevent her from making Brad Mr. Newman, it's hard to feel any empathetic pain on Victoria's know-it-all behalf. She should be glad Sharon's still so infatuated with Brad. Enough to keep his sordid secrets to herself for now. If Victoria's suffering pangs of insecurity now, imagine how much worse she'd feel to know her bended knee proposal came only after Sharon refused. Not to mention their New York interlude while Victoria was still basking contentedly in the honeymoon afterglow.

If there was any light coming from the Winters cave, it must have been supplied by the fires of rage. Neil continued to disrespect his wife by flaunting his relationship with Carmen in her face. There's not much to say that I haven't already said about this hypocritical, self-righteous mangy mutt. He's proven to be as much of a liar as the wife he so detests. And Carmen is no better. Both of them know, even as Drucilla grovels apologetically before them, that there's a whole lot more than business between them. I wish Drucilla would unearth all that Jack dirt in the bottom of Carmen's bucket. It's past time for Ms. Mesta to be knocked from her lofty pedestal.

I had a thought as I worked my way through the week's offerings. And I admit it may be only me, but I think the biggest source of disappointment when it comes to my soap is that these people are beginning to feel more like strangers and less like family to me. Of course, I know it's only a soap, as we like to say, but after years of emotionally investing in these made-up people, after awhile you feel like you know them. Sure, I expect them to change as the years go by, the young get older, the older grow older still. As in life, I also know I sometimes have to adjust to these make believe people passing away. I'm not a person who lives in the past, but I miss the old Y&R. It isn't the fact that it's changed, it's that it has changed so drastically and with such speed. In more than a few scenes, I felt nothing as I watched what seemed like strangers interacting with each other. With all the new faces carefully pasted over the old, like Lily, Victoria, Colleen, the mismatched matings that smoke more like green wood than burn ferociously like dry kindling, like J.T. and Colleen, Brad and Victoria, it's no wonder some of the fun has gone out of this show. Why does everyone seem as if they're trying too hard? Is it because with all the necks already sacrificed to the guillotine, everyone is afraid theirs may be the next one placed on the block? Where there used to be well thought out stories, now a tale is told using shock after shock and infidelity after infidelity. Family values? Not these days.

I know I'm only one fan and my departure, should it come to that, won't cause even a microscopic wrinkle in the fabric of Genoa City life. There was a time when I never would have believed my leaving was even possible. But there was also a time I used to be a big B&B fan, too, but them days are long in the past. By the time it deteriorated to people climbing out of their graves, multiple times, a mother who always put her children first, suddenly so overcome with lust for her daughter's husband, she winds up bearing his child, after having first meticulously slept her way through every male in the same family, and another mother whose obsession with every aspect of her first born son's life bordering on the incestuous, I had had enough. It had changed too much for me to find enjoyment in it any longer.

Well, one thing can be said. Our favorite show can no longer be called predictable. In this new Genoa City, anything goes, no one is what they seem, there's little love and even less loyalty. Commitment means I'll be true for the next hour ... or maybe not quite that long. It's here today, and gone tomorrow, if you're lucky. If you're not, your time could be up today.

But, I haven't given up quite yet. I'm hoping that this too shall pass ... onto something better. Just my humble opinions. Yours may be exactly the opposite.

* * * * * * *

TB - Why couldn't we just see John ride off into the sunset with Gloria riding side-saddle,and then Jack,Ashley, could just email him from time to time, what a disgrace to a fine, actor Jerry Douglas to end his 24-25 years on the Y and R. I agree with the comments I think it is time to do some house-cleaning on the show, the time span in the Brad/George storyline was a insult to our intelligence, I know it is only a soap-opera, but from time to time they want us to pay attention to health and safety storylines and then hit with this nonsense.The storyline with Victor and the plan to enlighten the public with his condition started out great, but like everything else it seemed to get out of control and has lost any value it hoped to achieve. Enjoy your column keep up the good work.

AN OLD FAN - North by Northwest anyone?? George Kaplan?? An invented character?? And stop w/ Jack as the bad guy all the time- have watched many years and am afraid we are about to lose another central family w/ the death of John as we did w/ the ORIGINAL central family that the soap started with.

PAM - I think Rachel touched on an important point. Maybe the reason they showed Phyllis and Nick after John's death is because the baby is an Abbott. With all the similarities between Nick and Neil, Phyllis and Dru now their children's paternity questions will be similar too. Although I guess that was already the case with Lily and Daniel.

CYNTHIA - Thanks again Nita for all your wit, and hard work entertaining us while managing your family! I just returned home from Europe and caught up on Toni's spoiler site...sorry, but it's the best as it's almost verbatim. Couple of things if you don't mind. I'm a travel agent and flying is now worse than being stuck on I-75 during a blizzard and WW2! France (Chamonix) does not air Y&R! They love B&B. Ewwww. Now back to the grit. Whatever happened to escapism in the afternoon? Are we soo PC that we can't have any real drama? My life is more exciting than Y&R! Where is Maimee and Victor if you're killing John? Why isn't Nikki on serious pain meds or drinking while Victor is gone, Dru....BUCK UP! Sharon, Nick and Phyllis ... well, if you've watched as long as I have ...Who Cares? Sorry to say, I have also been reading your mail from the fans ... doesn't anyone remember Kay and Jill? It's so sappy anymore ... this daughter and Mother scenario. Writers ... Please, I beg you, give me a storyline that we can sink our teeth into!! Gosh, I miss the 80's!!

CRYSTAL - I recall something a little differently with regard to the validity of John and Gloria's marital ties. Didn't Michael post an intent to divorce to the presumed 'dead' Mr. Fischer? And when he did not show up (at least on the surface of it) doesn't that make that marriage null and void? I also recall John and Gloria having a 2nd marriage ceremony. Wouldn't this make her the legal Mrs. John Abbott? Just a thought.

SUE - I have watched Y and R for many years and loved it but these days I can barely stand the storylines and casting! Brad and his Mothers story is absurd of course the dates being way off-terrible!! The new Billy couldn't act his way out of a paper bag and that goes the same for Lily and Colleen! Who does the casting for the show these days? Or the writing for that matter? I hope things pick up or I may have to say goodbye to the residents of Genoa City!

TRACY - Hi Nita, I absolutely love your column. Well, I have mixed emotions about John's death. I think the most interesting thing to come from it will be the fallout from Billy's return. Remember when Jill tricked Kay into putting her back in the company with that phony letter she wrote, pretending it was from Billy. I can't wait until "Mommy Dearest" finds out that her lovely sweet Jill is the same conniving Jill she's always been. If Dru doesn't get some back bone and tell Neil to get out, I'm going to scream. Please let Malcolm email his brother and straighten this mess out. Imagine the look on Neil's face when he realizes his daughter was conceived, not from a lusty rendezvous, but from what I consider to be a sexual assault. It's been fun seeing Dru get a taste of her own medicine, but enough already. My last bone to pick is with Victoria. Please eave Brad/George or whatever his name is over the curb. He's longing for Sharon, lying about his identity, and just plain irks the "poo-pooh" out of me. Enough already!!

TAD - The darkest days are yet to come was what I thought when I learned that John Abbott would no longer be a part of the Y&R cast. He was an integral part of Y&R for many years, and was always one of the good guys, with a positive attitude, and an infectious smile. It's unfortunate that he never found that life mate that was worthy of his generosity and kindness. I thought there might be some hope when the writers flirted with the possibility of paring him with Gina, but that romance seemed to be permanently derailed when he met Gloria. The character, John Abbott was always a doormat for troubled women. He might have been portrayed as a man with excellent business skills; however, he was less than successful when it came to judging the character of women in the relationships he sought. When he told Jack that his (Jack's) criticism of Gloria was over the top, John would never get the chance to see that his son had Gloria pegged just right. After making so many mistakes in his personal life, one would think that John might have proceeded with caution at some point. It's hard to believe that Jerry Douglas played John Abbott for more than 24 years. Unfortunately, people do move on; things never stay the same. Jerry is a fine actor, and his presence will be sorely missed! There isn't another character on Y&R that even remotely exudes the character and charisma of this man. As a long time viewer, I find it very sad and very disturbing. Big mistake by Y&R to kill off such a unique character, and please writers, no new renditions of Ghost!!! I see a parallel that can be drawn between the character of Nick and Neil. They both would like nothing more than to have their cake, and eat it too, as the old cliché goes. Both men would like nothing more than to have their old wives on stand-by, just in case the grass isn't greener on the other side. Nick is now starting to see the light. His wife has made it painfully obvious that she has moved on, at least, emotionally speaking. It's pretty clear that Nick is bothered by her emotional attachment to George, which is why he found himself lying to Phyllis about the need to spend more time with Sharon. Jealousy is certainly rearing its ugly head here, and Nick is finding out that it won't be so easy to rekindle that old flame, if he were so inclined to do so. Now, Neil has got Drucilla right where he wants her. It's too bad that Drucilla doesn't have anyone that she can move on with. Since there is a lack of eligible men in GC, I can only characterize her as annoying and pathetic. Insecurity will almost always reflect such unattractive traits. Neil will continue with his asinine behavior as long as there's no conceivable threat of loosing his wife. When that threat becomes apparent, we'll see an immediate change in his attitude to someone much more humble. He's arrogant and abrasive because he's very much aware that he is now holding all of the cards. It's time that the playing field was leveled just a bit!! Lily wants to take advantage of the benefits of adulthood, but she doesn't want to assume the not so glamorous side of being all grown up. The quicker she learns that you can't have one without the other will be the day that she makes the successful transformation into being a responsible adult. Neil's behavior toward Daniel is hard to watch, but not really out of line. Viewers are sensitive to Daniel, because we have the advantage of knowing the rest of Daniel's story as we have with all the characters on this soap. We know, emphatically, that Daniel's feelings for Lily are genuine. Neil's funky attitude these days is not endearing him to many fans, but Lily's father doesn't have our unique vantage point. What he sees is that his daughter's husband was involved in a diabolical plot to help Kevin The Menace improve his image in the court of public opinion. Daniel's indiscretion has led to doubts with lily where there were none, and led to much skepticism with Neil where there was little. Unfortunately for Daniel, Neil is also transferring some of his aggression that he feels toward Dru onto Daniel. Putting myself in Neil's shoes, a tongue-lashing would be the least of Daniel's problems. Kevin would have a custom pair of cement shoes, and he need not concern himself with comfort. The castigation that Daniel is experiencing at present is something that he should be sharing with Kevin, but that little weasel would never allow himself to be put in the position that Daniel finds himself in today. With that said, Kevin's character would never survive such a flogging; therefore the scarlet letter is there for Daniel to wear, and he to wear alone!

LK - I completely agree with your last column! Neil & Dru please...where's the fork! They're done. The only really BIG mistake Lily made was running home to Mommy and Daddy!! NEVER! I agree with you about Dru and Neil's attitudes toward Daniel especially now that the truth is out. Don't you think they should work on their own stuff before they draft divorce papers to sign for Lily? (Since there's no WAY they'd LET her make that decision on her own ... she's their BABY and she shouldn't have to stay married to someone who would LIE ... AHHHH

SHANA - I agree with Bonnie ... the Nick/Phyllis baby paternity may be a ruse. Nick never showed the results to anyone. There was no confirmation of it. I am sick of Neil's attitude as well. He needs to get on with his life if he is going to be Mr. Sour Grapes day in and day out, and let Dru get on with hers as well. Keeping the marriage in tact for Lily's sake certainly doesn't seem worth it now. I'm tired of Lily's run-to-mama card every time there's a little trouble with Daniel. The girl needs to grow a backbone, and show some forgiveness so her parents can see a good example from their child. Maybe they'd learn a thing or two. As for Sharon, I do still like her character. I like where she's come from, where she's been, and her past ability to forgive Nick and vice-versa. I am probably the only one here that would like to see Nick and Sharon back together. Wish there was more than just Michael and Lauren (who don't get much airtime lately) who were a happy, legally-married couple. There are enough relationships on the rocks on Y&R, let's salvage a couple of good ones.

BETSY - Reliquary SL - I must be in the minority. I think this is a means to add some more history to GC. After all, it hasn't been a SL for very long and will be over soon. However, like you said re Cassie's death, what will be the ripple effect? How will lives be changed? Maybe the story itself is over quick, but what tangential events will occur because of it? Passionate viewers and Dru, the Drama Queen, make me crazy. It's my belief that an unwritten rule of Soapdom is that reality is suspended whenever needed. So, I go with whatever the writers dish out in the hopes the entertainment factor overrides the missing parts. After all, remember "Dark Shadows" - what could be more unrealistic than a vampire? Yet I loved the show. So I'll opt for any Y&R SL over the drivel that is fed to us at any other time of the day or network. Passionate viewers and the Actors - I know I've said this before. The character shouldn't be confused with the actor. If they make viewers rant, have opinions, and yell at the screen, they are doing their job. I hate it when folks write they would like so-and-so to be permanently gone. Our lives are made up of lots of characters and we sure can kill them off because they don't think or act like we do. Unfortunately, I think that's what the writers are doing with John Abbott. There are so few honorable men and women out there that they just can't relate to him and are making him disappear. Too bad.

REGGIE - I feel the show is great than the others ones, but I do feel that it is changing from the old style of things it use to do and I am not liking it. I think the show should have kept JD on as John Abbott because he is the only man on the show that I trust and have great faith in people. He is the anchor on the show that people go to talk and be there for. I just not feel Brad or George or whatever the hell he is calling himself. The character is not likable in the sense of the word and this s/l is not making him even more sympathetic to viewers. I see it as a stunt to make viewers care about Brad, but I am not buying it. I hope the s/l ends soon because it went downhill from there a long time ago. The timeline doesn't add up and many fans are not buying this Nazi crap. I think that Nick should be honest with his choice and stop this back and forth with Sharon and Phyllis. Is he going to be with one or the other? Make a choice and stick with it. I love Phick because they great and have great chemistry, even through it will destroy a marriage, but their marriage have been done a long time ago. The need a break and I don't think Nick really forgave Sharon for her indiscretions and I think the death of Cassie really did them in. They need a break to find themselves and to discover what they want in life. I don't care about Daniel and Lily's marriage because they shouldn't have gotten married in the first place. They are the most boring couple on the show. I think they need a lot of growing up to do before getting involve with each other and they are young and need to experience life a bit. I just think that Dru and Neil should get a divorce or work it out. I think the Malcolm-is-the-daddy s/l should of have more bit than it had in the past. I think Neil is a judgment, holier-than-thou, hypocrite who thinks he is better than anyone and can't do no wrong. I think he should think about who he get high and mighty and know what things he done in the past as well. If John death is going to happen, it will bring some great drama and emotion from Peter Bergman and the rest of the cast and bring a battle of Jabot between Jack and Gloria. Gloria's schemes will be reveal and will have to face the consequences of her actions, like tainting the cream. And bring back Victor's smarts, but have him act like his is still delusion, but faking to get revenge against his enemies. It is don't let them know hands you are dealing with. I hope the writers don't lose Phyllis' edge because that the part the fans love about her and let no one, not Nick or Jack, control her and lose what she want in life. I also hope that Brad loses everything that he gains over the past 20 years. I think Vicki is better divorce him or can get an annulment for fraud and take control of the stock he gained. I hope the show turn out better for the last four months of the end of the year and the new writers add Katherine, Jill, and the cast a better s/l for years to come.

LYNN - I wish Dru would divorce judgmental Neil. I've watched Y/R since day one. Everyone knows slimy Malcolm knew Dru was on cold medication and he wanted everything his brother had and he raped Dru. I hate the way the writers have made this look as if Dru is at fault. The only thing she is at fault for is not having his slimy ass arrested for rape. Dru needs to smack her spoiled daughter across the mouth, kick Neil and Carmen's asses and go on being the fabulous Dru we love. Neil does not deserve her strength and love. I hate Phyllis and Nick. Phyllis is toooooo hold for Nick and to be having a baby. I wonder who she will sleep with next, Kevin? I am not a Nick and Sharon fan either but I prefer them over Nick and Phyllis. Since the writers like to bring up old storylines (in the case of the rape of Dru) why don't they imprison Phyllis for running down Christine years ago trying to keep her from Danny. I guess they would twist it to say Christine had was at fault. I wish they would keep John Abbott and kill his crazy wife off. I love Jack and the scenes with his father. I am glad Ashley doesn't have much air time. never liked her anyway

TANIKA - Last week with Dru and Neil was almost unbearable to watch. Since we all know the real story behind Lily's paternity (Malcolm took advantage of Dru)its hard seeing Dru turned away by Neil. I love those two together and hate that Lily is not Neil's daughter. I am personally ready for Neil to just move around and let Dru be with someone else. Also, can't wait to see who Sharon runs to when she is rescued, Nick or Brad?

LONDA - Looovvvee your column! Anyhoo, here's a fan that cares about Daniel & Lily. Best teen couple since original Billy & Mac. Lilnial is such a cute, sweet couple. Whenever Lily is not whining and acting oh so immature with her BFF Colleen, I do enjoy her with Daniel so I hope they stay together! They'll make a great new-age Nick&Sharon. Speaking of which, I just can't make up my mind about these two. At some point the sheen will wash off Nick & Phyllis - he will see he has a well-worn neighborhood bicycle and she will see that she has stolen herself an off-times temperamental spoiled brat who bottom-line, wants his will his way. Last time I checked, Phyll wasn't the type of gal that bent to the wishes of her beau. What a wake-up call for the both of them when it's 2am, the baby's crying and that top-coat personality peels back to reveal the actual person underneath ... LOL! Are those two really going to still be drawn to one another like magnets? I don't know ... Dru, leave him!!! Neil the righteous and Sanctimonious Sharon can share their pedestals together and neck while looking down on all you immoral citizens of GC! But be careful, Sharon might be playing toesis with Brad while Neil shares a reach for the stars with Carmen during those rare times when no one is standing near being castigated by the sinless two.

LEANNE - I agree with Bonnie on the whole paternity thing. I think Nick lied about being the father so he'd have an excuse to dump Sharon and be with Phyllis. He was telling a lot of people before the results came out that he was in love with Phyllis. She's a lot more fun than drippy Sharon. I disagree with your opinion on Dru/Neil. I'll be glad to see him kick her to the curb. She should have told him the truth from day one. I think she's a complete hypocrite in how she talks about people like Daniel and Phyllis. She's been a scheming opportunist her whole life herself! Also, didn't John/Gloria renew their vows after Fisher died, or was that before? I would love to see her leave the show. I'm tired of looking at her deer-in-headlights eyes!

HEATHER - I know this is just television, but please let me vent! This Brad Carlton storyline is the most insulting and ridiculous crap I've ever seen. Nazis?? Puh-leeze!! First of all, Brad's mother would have to have been born in the '20s to be a useful age in 1940. Besides that, the Nazis themselves would most likely be much older than her, since she was just a teenager at the time and they were officers in the German military. So who the heck are these kidnappers supposed to be?? FINALLY, do the writers really expect us to believe that Victoria can "go to the art supply store" and then make a high-quality replica of a vintage, jewel-encrusted, gold art piece from the Middle Ages?? I am beyond disgusted, not to mention insulted!

RACHEL - I am so upset about John's death, even though I knew it was coming - definitely needed Kleenex for that one (but my grandpa died of a stroke and had to be taken off life support so that's part of it...). But what was with ending the episode with Nick and Phyllis looking at their baby just after that super-emotional build up at John's bedside? Couldn't we have left it with that and had the credits go up (or a few flashbacks or something)? Nick and Phyllis take up enough air time as it is, they really didn't need to tarnish the end of the episode with John's death too. That made me wish more than ever that that kid is Jack's and Jack and Phyllis would get back together. Still tearing up here though...guess you got your lifetime moment, though hopefully next time it will be a little less depressing.

SUSAN - Regarding the loss of Jerry Douglas, I feel sad that an agreement was not reached with Mr. Douglas. I just watched the final episode and it is indeed heartbreaking to see such a fine actor lost to lack of agreement. How sad for the show and its future. Mr. Douglas was an integral part of the show - the backbone if you will. It was almost like experiencing my own father's death all over again. While I understand that mutual agreements cannot always be reached, this is a loss that will surely affect the future of this show. Couldn't a replacement have been found to at least keep the character alive in the show? Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share my thoughts with you.

PAT - Nina, you make a lot of excellent points; the head writerand writers should pay heed! I know a lot of long-time Y&R viewers, which I also am, are disappointed in a lot of the current stories, especially the ridiculous reliquary storyline. At least Millie Perkins is being replaced by what looks to be a MUCH better actress (sorry, can't remember her name right now.) To me, the only bright spot, all too brief, in the recent "reliquary" episodes was the brilliant British actor Mark Lindsay Chapman as "the well-dressed man" - the bad guy, whose father it turned out had been killed by Brad/George's father. In earlier largely voice-over episodes he was a sinister, commanding presence; in person he was a great villain, good-looking in a sinister way, and such an excellent actor, IMHO, that he wiped the floor with the other very limited actors who have too long been on Y&R: the actors who play Brad, J.T., and Paul. There is unfortunately no "hierarchy of talent", it seems; if there were, mediocre actors like those who play J.T., Paul, and even Nicholas would be LONG GONE and another great actor, like Roscoe Born as Terrible Tom, would still be on. Sucks to be a villain! Oh, well, at least there are brief respites to remind people that there ARE talented actors on soaps.

PAM - I think Rachel touched on an important point. Maybe the reason they showed Phyllis and Nick after John's death is because the baby is an Abbott. With all the similarities between Nick and Neil, Phyllis and Dru now their children's paternity questions will be similar too. Although I guess that was already the case with Lily and Daniel.

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