What's next?

by Nita
For the Week of August 28, 2006
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One thing can be said about The Young and the Restless these days - it's certainly no longer predictable!

Well, you can say one thing about our favorite show these days. It's certainly no longer predictable! And another thing. Thankfully, it's become much more than a repetitive revision of the Abbott-Newman feud or the Victor/Nikki/Ashley triangle. For those of us who may not be as thrilled as we used to be when the Young and the Restless hour rolled around, I guess we should have been careful what we wished for.

As recent columns have clearly revealed, while some changes have been good, I'm not beside myself with unadulterated joy at other changes we've seen since the year began. I still have a big problem with what seems a lot like character lobotomies to me. And nor do I welcome another new trend currently running rampant throughout this town. In this fast-paced, give it to me now, society, there's apparently no time to captivate us with subtle nuances. As if we're too dim to catch a hint, everything is blared out at us, one shocking twist after another. We're whooshed rapidly from scene to scene, loose ends left dangling are so long, we trip on them on our way to the remote. I'm still wondering what was in that darn safety deposit box to which Kevin has the key. And what was the purpose of having Jack and Carmen get all hot and bothered together? Were they dangled before us in hopes they wound turn out to have the hotness of Niphy? Of course it didn't work. We barely even knew the woman. And Jack was supposed to be all heartbroken over Phyllis. It wasn't even believable that he'd suddenly be transfixed by Carmen.

It seems to be all about building up who's hot today. With worry about what promoting their hotness would do to others postponed til the morrow. For instance, I hate that in order to make Phyllis look like Glenda the Good Witch, Sharon had to be painted to look like Oz's evil, horrid Wicked Witch of the West. To make Carmen look calm and reasonable, Dru had to behave as a suspicious, weepy, whiny shrew. What's wrong with mixing up the palette a bit? Put a bit of bite back into Phyllis' tone. Enough of the nibbling and giggling, like she's 15 instead of 45-ish. Leave that to Lily and Colleen. Enough of all that soft-voiced understanding, ever-conciliatory tone she uses with Nick. Makes me think of women I know who turn themselves into whatever flavor they think their man of the month has a taste for. She's but a shadow of her former feisty self. Reduced to parading around in titillating attire, like there's not a brain left in her head.

As for Drucilla, come on! No more apologizing to Miss PR Spin-Mesta. It's her job to make things look like they aren't. I know many fans find Dru too over the top and are raising their champagne flutes in jubilant toasts that Neil and Carmen are trampling all over her, acting as if she's the only one who can see the elephant in the middle of the living room. Whether he's currently unhappy in that state or not, Neil needs to finish one book before taking another off the library shelf to devour. I understand his hurt and rage over the injustice he feels Dru dealt him. But the disrespectful flaunting of his so-called friendship with Carmen in her face is about as despicable as it gets. Their kiss, their obvious flirtation over their business dinners that are only business because she has a manila envelope in her briefcase make them as much liars as Neil calls Dru.

But anyway, back to the show.

First up, the funeral, the Abbotts and the Fisher/Baldwins. When it comes to this particular war, I have a dilemma. Since I despise Gloria with a pure and white hot passion, that should mean my support would lie 100% with the Abbotts. Yet, glaring balefully outward from the Fisher side of the fence is Kevin and Michael, two of my favorite bad boys turned better. At least they used to be. Ordinarily anything having to do with either of the Fisher/Baldwin boys would have my fingers clutching the couch cushions in gleeful anticipation. Unfortunately, the more they continue to align themselves with their scheming Mother, the more my benevolence toward them dwindles.

Is something wrong with their memory? Or mine? Because they are acting as if they have no knowledge of all the dirt their dear old gold digging mommy has swept under every rug she could find. (Drop down and read what fan Tad had to say about Kevin and Gloria He said everything I was thinking and more). And Michael has been no better. So when he leaped to his mother's defense with his indignant eight decibel "Gloria's been nothing but a loving, devoted wife to John!" shout, I countered with "Oh, just how loving and devoted was it of Gloria to taint the face cream, make Ashley appear incompetent, cost Jack his job, secretly deliver information to their Gibson enemy and wind up costing the company of the husband she professes to love so dearly, millions of dollars, not to mention damage their immaculate reputation?" Gloria's minions are in no position to chastise any Abbott when they are in their Mother's muck and mire right up to their duplicitous necks, and as far as I'm concerned, are fully liable accessories after the tainted cream fact.

Anyway, after all the things Miss Eyes So Wide I Can See Tomorrow has done, I find it hard to grant her a free and forgiving pass. And all her waving hand histrionics over how she isn't treated like a member of the family fell on my deaf and uncaring ears. In my opinion, she hasn't earned the right to be an Abbott. Because from the second she stumbled into that family, she has schemed and conspired against them all.

So, has Gloria changed for the better? Sure, contact with the Abbott bags of gold have rubbed off her rough edges, but make no mistake, the rot in her heart is as alive and well as it was the day she first pranced through the Abbott door and saw all the goodies for the taking on the other side. Her litany of lies began the moment she overheard the well-to-do John's name at the GCAC, and they didn't stop until they'd indirectly led to his demise Jack was right. A back alley grifter is exactly what she is. Unfortunately, unlike Midas, everything she touches turns not to gold but to tarnished worthless tin.

And I beg to differ on her take on the feelings of her marital mate. John did NOT love her for exactly who she was. Because he never got a chance to meet the real Gloria Fisher Abbott. Does anyone actually believe that had John known what Gloria had been up to while he was imprisoned that he would have continued to love and cherish her so deeply? If, as she herself claims, John was all about his family, I hardly think he would have grinned and bore it when he learned what Gloria had done to undermine, disgrace and destroy it.

Now, on to the funeral. Although I'm against Gloria, I admit Jack's giving her the wrong time for John's funeral was a blow that landed well below her animal print belt. I don't go so far as to say she didn't come to love John, though I don't believe it was that put the other person before yourself kind of love, or that she had no right to be there, because, of course, she did. But can you really blame Jack for not wanting to take the chance she would turn the family's final goodbye into one of her three ring circuses with her pretentious posturing? What would make him believe this would be the one time she didn't make an occasion all about her? For Gloria, any occasion is a reason to make a gaudy splash. Couldn't you see her whispering to the photographers to make certain her grief-stricken, tear-streaked visage appeared next to all the movers and shakers of Genoa City society like she did at Lauren and Michael's wedding?

Unfortunately, on many fan boards across cyberspace and even in fan comments here, Jack is taking a lot of fan heat for what he did. And I think it will get much worse before it improves. Because it's rumored his all-consuming hate for Gloria will take an even more despicable turn. Jack may be the next whose character's gloss is purposely smudged to make another's appear shinier. Fans that hate him now will surely find him unredeemable. And all of them are likely to push their banners of support even more deeply in the ground at Camp Gloria.

But having said that, however, Thursday's final scene between Jack and Gloria was absolutely riveting. And the upcoming battle between them is sure to be must watch TV, no matter who you are rooting for.

But getting back to that funeral, or more specifically, to those not in attendance, was it just me, or did other fans find Colleen and Billy's excuses for not attending weak and selfish? Colleen has hardly had time for her allegedly beloved Grand-dad, what with her round the clock pursuit of Jay-Tee. Who, by the way, she finally dragged down and bedded. The less said about that, the better. The after the fact cat-ate-canary grin was sufficient, thank you very much.

As for Billy, he hasn't sacrificed any of his valuable time for dear old Dad, and now it's too much to ask of him to at least show up and look mournful. If everyone felt like these two, with their I just want to remember him as I last saw him, which by the way was laid out comatose and uncommunicative, there would be no need for the expense of a funeral. Just dig a hole and have the cemetery help dump your loved one in. Shame on both of them!

As one patriarch was sadly bid adieu, an hour outside of town, the welcome home banners were being hung for another. It was a party at the Newmans. Or at least that's what I'll call it for lack of a better, perhaps more appropriate name. Although it could have been mistaken for a funeral. Nick, can you spell insensitive clod? I know some might not agree, but was it really necessary to drag his burgeoning bellied, extramarital mattress mate to father's happy homecoming? I know, he's in love with Phyllis and she is his new older main squeeze, but come on, can we expect just a little tact from this Neanderthal? Whether or not Noah was going to be there wasn't even the point. The woman he's still legally tied to was definitely going to be. And Phyllis is the woman he impregnated while married to her. They're all over each other at work, in the elevators, at the AC, cavorting on the couch that Jack bought. But Phyllis isn't family yet. And I don't care, just my opinion, she didn't have to be there. It wasn't as if Nick was going to be there forever. She would be waiting for him, in one of her seductive siren getups, no doubt, whenever he returned. Again, just my opinion, but I thought it was tacky and tasteless. And before you ask, if it had been Sharon who had the new older squeeze, I would have felt exactly the same way. Of course, why in the world would I ever expect sensitivity from the man who cavorted with his mistress in the stable on his dead daughter's birthday and on motel sheets on his wedding anniversary, grinned at her across the dinner table as his wife served her a home-cooked meal, etc. etc. And I can't leave out Phyllis, squealing like a poked piglet, 'oooh, feel her move, boy can she kick.' I wanted to kick someone too ... Phyliss!

Noah continued to show his displeasure at the disintegration of his parent's union with his bursts of disrespectful acts and comments. And, as so many of his kin has done, he's shoveling the largest share of blame onto Sharon's overloaded and dangerously tilted platter. Though he's currently giving Phyllis his little cold shoulder, I don't expect for a moment that that will last. Before the week is out, I'm sure young Noah will be as enthralled as his papa with Daniel's mother.

And what was with Victoria. Purring and mewing around Brad. I expected any moment for her to drop to all fours and start rubbing her fur against Brad's trouser leg. Is she really that in love with her liar, or was all that affection for Sharon's benefit? Sad to see, that Sharon didn't miss the keep away from my mate message being magnified by megaphone from Victoria. And was obviously hurt by it. Of course, Sharon continued to blow hot and cold this week. One moment she seemed cordial with Nick, almost seemed content and happy to have him around at Noah's return from Aunt Casey's. But in the next, she was back to snapping the heads off his and any other Newman who wandered too close.

I must commend Nikki, however, for her graciousness. Yes, she can certainly rise to the occasion when it comes to being snippy, snobbish and judgmental. But seeming to have put Sharon's cutting mother-in-law comment completely out of her mind for the moment, she's at least making an effort to extend solicitousness and support to her embittered, beleaguered daughter in law. Victoria's disdain can be understood, of course. She can hide from the truth until the cows come home and moo at her gullible behind, but in her heart where she's hidden the truth, she knows if Sharon was the one with the millions and the company, Victoria would still be coughing from the dust Brad left in his wake hurrying to Sharon's side.

So Brad pronounces himself ready to building a life with Victoria. Too bad the foundation on which he's erecting this life is formed on lies and half truths. And now the wooden totem pole wants to also plant the first seed for a Carlton-Newman dynasty as well. In hopes, no doubt, of solidifying his position. But before that, for one sweet second, I caught a glimpse of a backbone forming in Victoria's spine. Finally, I though, less simpering and more steel. But at the thought of a mini wooden totem pole with Brad's hair and her too-trusting eyes, the steel disappeared, the second was over, and before my eyes, like pliant silly putty, Victoria melted back into the Brad is my be-all and end-all blob she'd been before.

Still on Brad's wishy-washy case, obviously no lesson of any real value was learned when J.T. went snooping into matters that would have been better left buried another 20 years. Heck, if it would have been up to me, they could have NEVER been unearthed. I mean, call me stupid if you want to (but, if you do, could you whisper it to yourself and not tell me you did), but wasn't it J.T.'s snooping that triggered the alarms that Mr. I want the Reliquary heard and caused him to come a-hunting? So, if there are any other termites like him in the woodwork, wouldn't J.T.'s continued reliquary-related questions cause them to come crawling out?

Speaking of crawling, wormy Neil is now so low, you have to follow his progress by the ridge he leaves as he wiggles just below the surface. I have one word for this poor excuse for a married man. And if this wasn't a PG rated column I'd spell it in three letters, but since it is, I'll be polite and spell it d-o-n-k-e-y! I take that back. I just thought of a few more. Like ninny. Liar.

Cheater. And a self-righteous, rigid, controlling ... well, donkey, again. His defection makes it official, and leaves Genoa City without one honorable man left standing. Continuing to treat his wife as if she had three heads and all of them without a brain, he slaps her upside each and every one of them with Carmen. Drinks and dinner at Eve's, morning, midday and evening supposedly business meetings at the AC, leisurely lunches of Chinese cuisine in the Newman break room and the like. Call me violent, but had Neil been married to me, he would have been wearing those Lo Mein noodles. And Carmen wouldn't have been able to grin so sexily at Neil with pointy shards of fortune cookie sticking through her pearly whites. And now he's slobbering all over Ms. Messy. Whew! (fanning myself here). I want to see this bozo on the ground, in pain and gasping out a plea for mercy!

Okay, I'm back. I had to go in the other room and get a hold of myself.

Thank goodness, Lily is her father's daughter - I mean her real father, not that fake behind Neil Winters. For her, forgiveness may come a little easier and Daniel may wind up back in her good graces. I'm glad, because this daily diet of hate, cheating and deceit is getting a little hard on my digestion. I'm ready for some happy moments, untainted by infidelity or revenge.

Which bring me to my final few comments. First, Fall Spoilers. If even half of what I read actually comes to pass, the months ahead should be worth watching. Well, except Niphy, of course. I'm sorry. They are just too much for me to stomach. I regret to say most of their tête-à-têtes get treated to my furious FF finger. I don't need to listen to them spew cooing noises at each other, or in the general direction of their kicking baby girl to be to figure out what's going on. I can glean all I need to by just watching Phyllis nibble and giggle while Nick grins and paws her at super-fast speed. When they move to a place beyond bliss and beatific smiles, I'll tune in again. My teeth and nerves just can't stomach all that sugar.

I'm ready for Sharon to find a special someone to cherish her. And, for goodness sake, can we please move out of this monotonous semi-incestuous circle? Don't let it be Jack, both her mother-in-law's ex and her husband's lover's ex. Or J.T., her sis-in-law's one night sofa stand. Come on scribes, give it a rest. I don't care if it's the bartender at the AC, Paul Williams, a man she meets through her NVP spokesperson position or the darn Federal Express man. Just make him single and untouched by any of her relatives.

I wish the same for Drucilla. Off with the cold and uninterested boor. On with the hot and intrigued fox. I want Neil's brown skin to turn a ghastly shade of green with jealousy. Leave him salivating over his sloppy seconds Carmen while Dru moves on to a new man and an even newer attitude.

Lastly, I so want to love my Y&R again. So I went looking for love for it in all my favorite cyber places. And I finally found it, too, on that video site. At times I found myself quite misty eyed. My poor little brain can only hold so many Y&R memories, and I had forgotten some of its more precious moments. For instance, though I couldn't help but poke a little gentle fun at it at the time, the dance and journey of love between J.T. and original Colleen was sweet and rather wonderful to watch unfold through video moments. Drucilla and Jill from years gone by (and I do mean years, because these were scenes from 1990). I stayed there a long time looking at both old and new stuff and by the time I departed (with many, many more videos to return to and watch another day), I had remembered why I've been anchored to the Genoa City part of the soap map for so long. And, in case, you wondered, yes, my visit to the past provided enough lifetime moments to hold me for awhile. And it left me with hope that if I just hang in there through all these current changes and beyond, I'm going to get some lifetime moments in the present and future as well. And me and my trusty box of Super soft Puffs will be more than ready to receive them.

And now, fans, here are the thoughts you had in your minds, uncensored by my clattering keys. So step right up and have your say.

* * * * * * *

ELAINE - Hi, Have to agree with everything you say. I actually have stopped watching the show because every character that I loved I don't even recognize anymore. Michael and Kevin who were one of my favorites have turned into little boys who just listen to everything mommy says. Michael was so strong and opinionated and now all he does is agree with his mom. And the way he cares and carries on about Phyllis, what is that all about? You would think he cares about that woman and her baby as much as his own. I don't know who the heck Sharon is and I liked her when she found out about Nick and Phyllis and was so strong and telling him off and then they go and make her out to be some jerk with Brad. They could have made her storyline so much more interesting if they just made her become stronger and Nick realize what a dope he was. O Well, I probably will still read your commentaries because I enjoy them but I really can't watch Young and Restless anymore.

CYNTHIA - Thought I was alone ...Thanks Nita. P.S. I agree, may be time to leave GC after watching since '72. Bummer.

LORI - Nita, I agree totally with your assessment of this show. I too am a long time viewer of both Y&R and B&B. I tolerated the glorifying of this unborn child about as much as I could stomach up until last week. I love Sharon with Nick. I hate how the writers have ripped this family apart. How the fans of N&P are cheering it on. It truly sickens me. Now they are on the same path with Dru and Neil. I miss the tyrant in Victor and Jill and Ashley fighting over a man? It just was too hard to watch, not one story that gives me something to look forward to. I am sure it matters very little to the powers that be, but I am taking my viewing time to another network until things improve with CBS daytime.

ROSEMARY - Nita, I've been waiting for your feedback of this past week. I do believe Gloria truly loved John. I felt sorry for her and Ashley but not Jack. He would do anything to undermine Gloria. Nothing or no one can stop him. I will so miss John & am just sick they killed him off. What are these writers thinking? They're brains are in la-la land. Who's next--Victor? As for Neil & Dru, Neil needs to get over himself & on with a woman (Dru) who really loves him. He should stop hanging around that tramp Carmen who is up to strengthen her own position in Newman Enterprises. Colleen should be sent overseas to college-far, far away! Whining Victoria needs to get a back bone about the creep she married. I don't know what to call him now-Brad/George? Nick & Phyllis are in bliss now, but the baby hasn't arrived yet & I'm getting the feeling Jack may be the Daddy. As for John's death, I thought the prayer Kay said was absolutely beautiful! The best part of the week. A great actress like Katherine can always be depended upon to come through, and she certainly did. I can barely wait until John's will is read! I hope he left everything to charity!

TANIKA - I totally agreed with your column this week! The demise of Sharon's character is painful to watch. I love the character and she has had her faults just as all the others on the show. How can you not like Sharon, but love Phyllis? I have to say neither of them is a saint, but Sharon and Nick make for a more believable couple than Niphy. I really hate watching Nick nowadays. All I see is him kissing and loving on Phyllis, then running to check on Sharon. Now he is talking about marrying Phyllis, yuck! I have to say that when they first got together I thought it was a hot storyline, but to see them continue and get together isn't so appealing to me now. I think now Sharon deserves to be happy since Brad and Nick don't want her. I say bring some young hot doctor to GC and let him make Nick so jealous he cant see straight. As for Neil and Dru, I am tired...He is just sickening to watch. Treating Dru like he never liked her sister Olivia. I think it has to come out that Dru was on medication when she was with Malcolm. Whether he believes it or not! He needs to get off his high horse and quit treating Dru like she is nothing. I can stop until I say how sad it is that John Abbott is no longer on the show. He was a great actor. He will be missed.

DEB R - I read your column every week while I am on my lunch break at work. I usually laugh out loud! I love it. I just had to finally write because you and I think so much alike. Everything you said this week is so right on. I have been a fan of Y&R since the very beginning. (I won't say my age.) Ever since William Bell died, the show has taken on a new personality. I used to look forward to watching my tivo-ed Y&R every day but now it's like... "aaa who cares". What really got me was the Brad/George storyline. I felt like I was watching Days of our Lives! I hope that the powers that be make some changes ... and fast! Thanks for your hard work to give us fans some laughs! You're great.

DONNA - I am from Australia and I love reading your column every week. We are about 8 months behind the USA. Lauren and Michael have just recently married and she is currently trapped with Sheila. (will be so glad when this woman is gone!!) I dont like the fact that they have just written off John Abbott. He was one of the true gentlemen on the show and he will be sorely missed. I just wish he had found out what Gloria did to the cream before he died. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts. Keep up the good work.

SANDI - For weeks now I just could NOT write as I agree with what everyone says and you, Nita, especially. But I have to write about how Nicholas Newman is looking these days. His grooming is not the best for a head of a company AND a Newman! Talk about Daniel's hair, Nick needs to get a hair cut, a facial trim and just clean up his act. Once the sex wears off with Nick and Phyllis and day to day living sets in, Phyllis and Nick will not last as that is all they have to keep them together. Still hanging in there by a thread with the storylines of the Y&R.

BEA - Have watched the show forever! Can't believe that with the wide scope of viewers, the writers have the audacity to ignore basic legal principles, and allow felonies to go unpunished. Gloria, especially, needs to be written out of the show. Her progeny should also be exposed!

LEANNE - I agree with your disappointment in the show. I don't understand why they would sacrifice a long-standing character like John Abbott so they can create a storyline for a newcomer like Gloria. I wish they would get rid of her instead. Hopefully once they've finished off the fight over the estate she'll be back-burnered. I certainly wouldn't miss her.

DIVA - Finally somewhere where I can vent about the recent turn of events on this show! I love Nita; you are absolutely hilarious! I am heartbroken over the writers decision to get rid of John! I am at the point of letting the show go because I am upset with all the changes. No, I don't want things to remain the same, but it seems so odd that the writers have paired up for instance Nick and Phyllis. They are nauseating! No, I don't necessarily want to see Nick and Sharon back together, but for goodness sake, Phyllis and Nick?! Phyllis was married to Nick's stepfather Jack at one time, so how in the world are they even in the same bracket to hook up? Then there's Dru and Neil. Give me a break! The Drucilla I know would have written Neil off in a heartbeat with his current attitude and treatment of her. Carmen would have gottena beat down by now because Dru is a sista that don't take no crap period! Victor? Lord Jesus! Please! I hope when they bring him back, he's found himself! The storyline about Gloria and how she caused all the trouble at Jabot. They left those ends loose, so maybe now that John is gone, it will come out. Michael, Lauren, and Kevin. I don't know what to say and what is going on with Jana? I am soooo lost! I also agree with what another fan said: where is Mamie now that John is gone? She was an integral part of the Abbott family for so long, practically helping John to raise his children. One And where is the current maid? Where is Esther, Kay's maid? There are so many missing people and why didn't they insert any of the people from Jabot since John was the founder? Where is Paul in all of this and Gina? There is so much that has been left out. I fear that if the storyline continues the path it's going down, I may have to kiss this soap good bye as well as I've already written off the Guiding Light, All My Children, The Bold and he Beautiful, and Passions which is as crazy as the day is long! Thanks for this space. Peace out!

JOANNE - I have watched the Y&R since I was 12 when it first began in the early 1970s. With growing up, getting married, having children, etc. I did not watch it for several years but began watching it a few years ago with my two teenage daughters who were hooked. I loved the action and storylines until the death of Cassie and I have hated the direction the show has been going in. Poor Sharon has lost her daughter (Nick was not even her biological father and he was grieving more than Sharon?), had her husband ignore her mourning and needs during this difficult time and going and having an affair with the woman whose son was the cause of Cassie's death! Sharon has lost everything and now has to find out Nick and Phyllis are having a girl. Why don't they just throw Sharon off a cliff?! I know she is no saint but she is not the devil incarnate as Phyllis is. Why does everyone like this witch with Nick? When they show scenes of the two of them, my daughters and I get sickened and turn the station to avoid seeing their disgusting lip locks. I have never liked the Phyllis character since she first came on the scene and I cannot believe how many viewers love her now. She is also the reason Neil and Dru are having problems because she interfered and let the information of Lily's paternity out of the bag when it was none of her business. She does seem a bit desperate these days though what with the leopard skin nightie she had to pull out to take Nick's thoughts away from his real family. Hopefully Noah will give them a run for their money but judging by the scenes for tomorrow's show Noah will go live with Nick and Phyllis and poor Sharon will again lose. Every time the writers put Phyllis in Sharon's face with that stupid smirk on I want to throw something at the TV. How can Victor and Nikki be so happy for Nick and Phyllis when they have to know how devastating this will all be to Sharon. Sharon is not a bad person. She has made some mistakes but has not purposely set out to hurt people as Phyllis has. I hate that she is getting everything she wants and Sharon is having a total meltdown. I can't believe they have killed John off and now there is going to be a big fight between Gloria and Jack. Who cares. I will most likely stop watching as nothing is the same. I hate Victoria who comes across as some saint (can't stand the actress playing her either). Lily and Colleen are not great characters and Colleen and J.T. do not seem suited to each other at all. Even the Neil/Dru/Carmen storyline is getting frustrating. Why is Dru being made to look the fool. I thought when she returned and realized Carmen was after Neil she would take care of her but it looks like the writers are deciding to split up another great couple. I give up. Hopefully this past year will all be a dream and Victor will come out of the shower and be his old self and take care of all the stupidity going on around him.

TAD - Nita, I couldn't agree with you more regarding everything you had to say this week. I share your concerns. I really haven't been excited to tune in for some time now. Despite the dark aura around the program, I still like to watch, but it's not Must See TV these days. Hopefully, this is just a lull. The unpredictability in the characters is not a lull, though. The writers need to really understand that we cannot build rapports with characters that have continuous and drastic changes in their personalities. For me, part of the fun in watching has been predicting with some degree of certainty, what a character might do in a particular situation. That is becoming more and more difficult to do these days. When I see a character doing something that is contradictory, or over-the-top for the profile of the character that they've outlined for us, that is unappealing to me. At one time I was a regular viewer of 4 soaps for more than 25 years, now I am a viewer of just one. My loyalty and patience will go only so far! I just can't buy into the sincerity of the words from Kevin and Gloria in the final moments for John Abbott. How nauseating it was to listen to the garbage that seemed to flow, ever so freely, from the mouths of these two hypocrites. Kevin had the gall to speak of the lessons concerning integrity that he learned from John. It wasn't that long ago that Kevin was falsifying expense reports for his mother, which allowed Gloria to embezzle money from John for her so-called wedding project for Michael and Lauren. In more recent times, he planted the hidden microphone, which allowed his mother to create further turmoil for her husband's financially strapped company. Then, Jabot had to resolve a financial claim with a customer for an act that his mother was solely responsible for. It's obvious that the lessons that John taught Kevin on integrity went right over his head!! Kevin does know right from wrong. It's Kevin's fault for the idiotic decision to aid Gloria in an act that he knew was wrong. If he has trouble just saying NO, then he shouldn't have been so quick to discontinue those therapy sessions. Gloria's grief appears to be genuine, but she's twisted and misguided. I don't like Gloria; never have liked her, and never will like her. The talk she had with the unresponsive John about how he has made her a better person was laughable. Please, in what way is Gloria a better person? John's marriage to Gloria was a farce from day one. There was never a time when Gloria appealed to John's kindness that the basis for that appeal wasn't self-serving. Now, she wants to blame Jack for John's demise. All of the lies that Gloria repeatedly told put John in a bad position. Whose fault is it that John ended up in jail? It certainly wasn't Jack's doing. The stress of life in jail might have been a contributing factor of that massive stroke. I'm not saying it was Gloria's fault that he had the stroke, but John wouldn't have gone to jail had he not hooked up with the Fisher clan. It would have been much more appropriate for these two to just say their good-byes, and skip the tribute. Take that stroll down memory lane, if you must. Play the movie, but skip the credits! I think fan Betsy made some excellent points last week about not confusing characters with actors, as well as what may be yet to come because of the recently concluded storyline with Brad and the Reliquary. I would have to respectfully disagree with her take on the soap, Dark Shadows, a show that I also liked very much. Those of us that watched it knew it was about Vampires, up-front; therefore, realism was not expected. I wouldn't think that it's too much to ask for more than a hint of realism in the scripts. Without it, the entertainment value suffers, in my opinion. A good writer, someone who has chosen a career in professional writing should be both imaginative and thorough. Neither of which would seem likely to cost any more money.

DEE - Suddenly it's clear why poor John Abbott had to go... he was too good! There couldn't have been any evil conflict with him alive! He had to be deep-sixed to make way for Gloria and sons to take Jabot away from the Abbott children, especially Jack. Jill and Katherine who have no idea that it was Gloria who caused the lotion fiasco at Jabot, will vote with her which will give her a majority over Jack and the other Abbotts. With John alive, none of this could happen. So we'll have the typical soap opera storyline - one family pitted against the other. We'll all mourn John Abbott, but we'll all be drooling and screaming at our TVs because of the plotting and scheming and backstabbing that's going to take place. I say rest in peace John, but let the games begin!

MICHELLE - What is going on? My friends and I have watched Y&R forever and for the past 2 years or so the storyline has just flopped! Y&R used to be so exciting and on another level than other soaps. It was a soap opera to try to emulate. Now the storyline is as exciting as watching paint dry - if that. The characters are acting "out-of character", nothing makes sense anymore! You have such an extraordinary cast; they deserve an extraordinary script. This is not an email trashing the show but to show concern for the livelihood/script of the show. Sadly, it's come to the point where we don't watch the show much at all anymore and we have tuned in to other soaps. We hope that this email reaches the right dept and our concerns taken seriously. Hopefully the writers will go back to providing an exciting script like before and Y&R will once again be a soap opera to contend with.

BETSY - Low of low of low...Jack's timetable given to Gloria for the funeral. Whatever Jack does from now on, I have no sympathy for. More and more I'm starting to see comments on various Y&R sites that Brad is "wooden." (I called that a while ago!) He's a dud. Like the newest Billy. Is this an acting trend? Jack's actions last week just sucked. At the same time Nick was bringing Phyllis to Vic's Welcome Home party (pretty low in itself), Jack was even lower. I bet Peter Bergman is loving this. Fans love to hate. However, in the age of blended families, it's Nick/Phyll at Sharon's aren't as unusual as we would like to think.

MIMI - Sorry, but I disagree with you on just about everything but the loss of John/Jerry from the cast. Not only am I angry re the write out, but the shabby and unsatisfying farewell he received. I think Gloria's ability to wring sympathy then anger for her character is a marvel, and I have detested Jack Abbott ever since he first appeared on Y&R. I rejoice at every blow Gloria lands on him. Judith Chapman is a terrific actress. Don't want to see Sharon go, and I hope she's given a good storyline; she's an integral part of this cast. I don't want to see Michael & Kevin turned into villains, and am tired of Ashley's holier than thou attitude-wish Nikki could just slap her upside the head! Am also pulling for Carmen; I think Dru has been a royal pain in the derriere for years and would love to see her written out. Agree w/assessments of the new Colleen (gag), Lily and Billy. I do enjoy your column though; you bring interesting perspectives.

ROXY - Did Gloria get away with murder. When will she get caught for putting the solution in the face cream. What happened to the police, did they just give up the investigation? I'm so sick and tired of her trying to take over everything. If she loved John so much why did she try to destroy his company. I want Michael, Kevin and Gloria to pay for what they did to the Abbotts. Kay and Jill are no kind of friends if they take the word of a stranger (Gloria) over the word of someone they have known for many, many years (Jack). If John was Kay's nearest and dearest friend, she should have stuck by Jack.

SANDY - Everyone thought over the years that Victor Newman was the heartless one. Now Jack Abbott reigns supreme. He knows Victor is very ill and supported Victor's decision to go off his meds and take a trip where nobody could reach him. Jack's agenda is all about himself. Finally the passing of his father. To purposely exclude Gloria from the funeral is heartless. John loved her. They need to change Jack's attitude. Thank God Phyllis is having Nick's baby. Wouldn't want Jack to be daddy dearest.

CASEY - The Young and the Restless is getting pathetic. Where did they find Colleen? I think she's the most irritating character due to her voice, child like demeanor and natural stupidity. Dru needs to kick Neil's butt to the curb since he is more concerned about spending time with Carmen than working on his own marriage. Hopefully Dru will develop brains sometime soon. Sharon needs to go away and not come back. Why is it okay for her to mess around with Brad, but not okay for her husband to do the same with Phyllis? Sharon obviously loves Brad and God only knows why. Not only is Brad a liar, but he's a gold digger. Why would he leave Victoria for Sharon? At least Sharon is smart enough to figure that one out. Then again, you'd think that would tell her something about Brad's character, right? Nope, because Sharon isn't too bright either. Brad's past was hilarious. I don't claim to know everything about his past, nor do I really care, but why would the "bad guys" first come after Brad some 15-20 years later? I mean what were they doing the whole time Brad changed his identity, moved to GC, got married so many times and fathered children? What the heck were they waiting for? And why would Brad tell them to keep everything a secret or they would endanger the lives of other people? The men are dead...or did I miss something?! Are there more men out there waiting for revenge and if so will they strike again in another 15-20 years lol. As far as Gloria...she's a gold digger plain and simple. Her tears are not fooling anyone. I hope she gets nothing from John's will.

JEAN - This is my first time to write, although I've been reading your great column for a while now. Like everyone else, I feel awful about Jerry Douglas leaving the show as he was such a good, smart character and had been part of the show for so long. I guess I am another of the few who still care about Sharon. I've always liked her, and hate what the writers have done to her character. Nick and Phyllis turn my stomach and every time they come on acting like teenagers I want to leave the room. I like Phyllis with Jack, I liked her with Damon, I liked her with Michael, but not Nick. He belongs with Sharon. I wish they'd have her meet someone great who is new to Genoa City and give Nick a taste of pain he has inflicted on his wife. And poor Noah - how can he do this to his son? I'm hoping that the writers who are trashing all these characters we've loved get a clue and get them back to being who they really are. It's as if when Mr. Bell passed away they decided to destroy our favorite soap opera. I never thought I'd say this but, after all these years of watching Y&R, I also feel like I'm watching strangers and don't know if I like them well enough to continue with them. Very sad.

KAREN - I totally agree about the way the show has changed. In fact, I have stopped watching Y & R. Like you, I no longer find most of the characters sympathetic or even likable. ATWT is the only soap I can stand at this point. And if they ever bring James Steinbeck back, I'm done with them too.

PAUL - Thank you for consistently speaking my mind as well as yours! Everything you wrote in this weeks scoop on Y&R is exactly what I have been thinking. And sadly, I too am only counting the days til I turn the TV off and change my TIVO settings. Y&R at one point was so far ahead in the ratings even after the OJ Simpson debacle that destroyed soap ratings that it truly seemed that this one show knew what it was doing and just continued doing it. Most of the blame has to be put on the producers and the writers. The actors and directors on this show are amazing, as are the sets designers and all over behind the scenes crew. The writers/producers have learned ZIP from Bill Bell Sr. After he left the show for a much deserved retirement and then sadly, death, these people opted to change the way Y&R stories are told and how the characters are presented. True to their defense, Y&R had stories that lasted WAY too long and seemed to never end, but one thing they had was great writing. You never felt as though a story that had been on for over a year (most now last no more than 2 months - so looking forward to Victor's epilepsy being cured QUICKLY) because the writing was spot on. Now the writing, even though the pace is lightning speed, seems to be repeated daily. All we have to do is remember all the time that Nikki lambasted Sharon over and over again for leaving GC a couple of years back to remember how Sharon reacted by FINALLY telling Nikki SHE KNOWS SHE KNOWS how bad she was cause Nikki won't let her forget ... or us for that matter. Presently, the show is being acted amazingly, Jack and Glo's argument at the Abbott house after John's two funerals was excellent. I wish they can argue or scheme everyday like that. But what is missing is reality. John has a stroke and was a character who was on the canvas for 24 years yet only his 3 oldest siblings and one ex-wife and an old friend showed up for his first funeral and than the second funeral only his present wife's family and her. Come on, Billy was in town he should have been at the funeral, as should John's adult granddaughter, Colleen. Even Abby should have been there. Brad. Nikki, all the Abbotts. John was at Cassie's funeral as was the whole cast, even Phyllis showed up and Cassie was just a kid, played by an exceptional actress. Y&R writers and CHEAP producers lost out here. It was a slap in the face to the character of John and actor Jerry Douglas. The same type of drama that existed over those two days would still ring true if EVERY cast member was there. No, we get the tiny tiny funeral with missing family (has Kemo been erased TOTALLY from the family tree or even Kyle) and we also got at the same time self righteous Neil (why the reveal of who Lily's true dad is without Malcolm or a new Malcolm is just dumb) arguing with Dru and then the Newmans planning a party for Victor who has been gone maybe 2 weeks and having lil Abby there as if her granddaddy was not being buried was just bad storytelling. Y&R start listening to your fans or you will not have any fans to listen to when it's too late to save you. Your ratings are sooo close to other shows now that you are very close to losing the top billing of #1 soap. GH has gotten better ... the actress who plays Lulu is sooo amazingly sympathetic in her portrayal of a lost teen with great hair that I am always looking for scenes with her ... so this show could give you a run for your money. And Days fan are more loyal than any other soap. Once the shows direction is cleared up again and the cast is trimmed down (someone please run over Chelsea) fans will return and they could possibly take over the top spot. Sadly if that happens Y&R will sink. PLEASE pay attention people over at Young and the Restless.

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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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