Perhaps it was only wishful thinking on my part. Or maybe I was just in the right frame of mind while watching certain episodes of the past week. Well, whatever the reason for it, by Thursday, I was feeling more than cautiously optimistic that the tide might have finally turned on my favorite soap. In fact, I found my Y&R viewing hours so pleasurable, I watched the last two days twice. Could it be that at last the strident shrieks and hissing whispers of many long-term, die hard fans, begging for a return to the days of more satisfying soap writing, are being heard? Were there and will there continue to be things to dislike? Of course there were and will be. I know I'm not the only fan who doesn't have bottom of the heart love for each and every character on the canvas. Nor do I expect to be helplessly hooked on the outcome of every single storyline. But thankfully there are enough characters listed in my fav column to make suffering through the antics of those not currently residing there at least tolerable. It's also possible what I've experienced amounts to nothing more than having a couple of better than usual weeks, and my newly raised hopes are destined to be dashed on the hard, rocky ground when things return to normal. But for now I'm just going to sit back and enjoy watching the moments unfold.
And there was much to like, at least in this fan's opinion. Let's start, shall we, with the still near new newlyweds, the Chows. Oh, has the dew ever evaporated from that rose, hasn't it!? Distant now seem the days when David was hanging worshipfully on Nikki's every uttered syllable. It's been quite some time since David was running warm bath water, rubbing her tired tootsies or sweating in the kitchen over a hot and appetizing meal for his beloved. Oh, and those ingratiating grins they used to aim at each other, those are a thing of the past too. When you see their pearly whites these days, it's because they're bared in a grimace, not a grin.
Amazingly enough, in their disenchantment, they've now become quite interesting. Before, David, in his "yes, dear-ism", was as dry as dust and about as much fun to watch as a cardboard cutout doll. If Nikki said "leap, David", David didn't bother asking how high, he just started flinging himself skyward, trusting that Nikki would tell him when he'd jumped high enough. But, it's certainly a different David stalking the halls these days. Or should I say, that cardboard creature has grown flesh, bones and ... well, you know, those other things many fans probably doubted he owned a pair of. Well, it's clear he does and now Nikki knows it too. I don't happen to know a gambling addict personally, but David has now managed to completely convince me he is one. Just recently David was a character who inspired nothing but contempt when I even bothered to waste more than a second thinking about him. In my critical opinion, he was a waste of good screen time, and had it been up to me he would have been gone, poof. But, now this new character has taken off in a direction that is quite good and should only get better. For the moment, his love for Nikki, which I have come to believe he does have, unfortunately, is a distant second to his love of games of chance. For a while, when he confessed all to Nikki (well almost all, he still hasn't confessed that name change), it seemed that would be that. He'd agree to get help and life would go on as usual. But, that's not the way it is in real life, and so we now see, that's not the way things are gonna play out in this pretend life either. He had many moments I admired. One of my favorites? That very sarcastic comment to Nikki, in front of Jill, no less: "That was helpful, Nikki." And Jill's face as she watched in barely concealed amazement as the two sniped at each other, was, as they say, priceless. Equally enjoyable was his brief encounter with Paul who happened by as he brooded over a stiff drink. David played it perfectly, weary, resigned to receiving yet another sharp poke from Paul's boot while he was down, but still with a bit of a belligerent air.
Nikki was at her best as well. We definitively saw shades of the classic Nikki of yesteryear. Her hair loosed from that horribly, tiny tail sticking from the back of her skull, it was perfectly coiffed. Anger obviously simmering impotently beneath the surface, she came to the table facing David loaded fully for bear. She was cold, aloof, accusing, and sharp-tongued in turn, making it clear she believed in the adage, fool me once, shame on me. Try it again, you better guard your rear. I almost, but not quite, bought into her reach for the bottle. Mostly because she's suffered through a heck of a lot of stuff in the past years and was never once even tempted. But, I guess, it could happen.
Since I'm on the subject of newlyweds, I might as well mosey on over and cover the Newmans. Okay, when it comes to this couple, I suspended my disbelief a long time ago. Are they believable? Only in part. I mean, it was easy enough to buy that they could fall in love. Once I'd taken the rather large age difference off the table, that is. Both were rebounding so hard, it's a wonder they weren't killed outright from the force of their collision. Sabrina has already confessed to being a recent graduate of the school of Hard Knocks and Heartbreak. As for Victor, we all know he wanted Nikki but she'd already nudged him aside on the shelf in order to reach what she thought was a younger, better, more considerate model. On top of that, thanks in large part to his own actions, his adult children had pronounced themselves filled to the brim with his stinky stuff and decided to walk away. Into the picture sashays Sabrina, searching for a father figure, sort of. What mortal maiden wouldn't be swept into lovestruck waters if Hurricane Victor roared into her life, with his elaborate gestures and bottomless wealth? Getting married so soon? Well, that I discounted too. I mean, this is Genoa City. Who among them thinks overlong before they just jump right in? Not very many. To loosely quote Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz: Oh my, people come and go so quickly here. In Genoa City, sooner is always infinitely better than later, lest it wind up being not at all. Sabrina's pregnancy? Well, except for that not so small matter of that still unmentioned vasectomy, I could buy that too. Although why Victor at 70 would be thrilled to be contemplating fatherhood again is less easy to understand. Now, for the not so believable part. That constant kissing! Enough. Really. Enough. Have you ever seen anyone, real or pretend, who kiss that darn much? Maybe it's just me who thinks so, but they're beginning to look and sound ridiculous. Makes me want to watch them with the mute button on and just try to read their lips during the brief moments they don't have them pressed tightly together.
But, somehow I don't have very high hopes for their continued happiness. At first I though Mommy can I make money on this somehow Zara might bring a little sadness into the midst of their happiness, but since Adam sent her packing, she didn't get to stick around long enough to cause any trouble. However, Adrian Korbel might be a different story. He's not the jolliest of Joe's on his best day, and since Colleen served him his walking papers he's been more dour than ever. Since he considers himself a real "writer" I don't see him writing a flattering fluff piece about Sabrina, so I'm guessing he might be turning over some stones in her life that perhaps conceal a dirty little secret or two she'd rather have kept from Victor's sight. I'm guessing if Korbel uncovers it but is too kind to write it into his article, Jack will see that it all gets said. And if it turns out there's not enough dirt to make a decent pile, Sabrina's marriage might still be doomed if Nikki in need awakens Victor's currently slumbering protective instincts. I guess time will tell.
Who was that woman in the Restless Style offices tossing her red-tinted tresses about? Yep, that sure looked like the old Phyllis to me. Insecure, razor tongued, jealous, immature. It's been so long since I saw that side of her, I had actually forgotten it existed. Maybe I was blind to all but what I wanted to see, but I didn't think Sharon did anything to deserve all those petty pot shots. "Stuff a sock in it", Phyllis actually said, among other equally stupid things. Nick was looking at her like she had lost her calculating mind. And so was I. I loved Sharon's idea by the way. And surprisingly enough, I even liked the idea of Restless Amber. I was not a fan of the Amber-Cane pairing, and even though I like her with Daniel, I'm happy to see the scribes thought of something for her to do that has nothing to do with having bodice ripping relations with some hungry hunk of manhood. I'm looking forward to seeing where this one goes and how Daniel will handle Amber's sure to happen fame. Speaking of Amber, was that not one of the most unusual getups you'd ever seen? Phyllis' "I inspired that?" reaction was funny, but Nick's was fall on the floor hilarious. "What is that?" he asked after a barely heard chuckle of disbelief. But, after that, Nick, continuing in his new motto to live and let others live the way they want to, was cool and accepting of Amber's unique look. Gotta love that Nick! Lucky he feels that way about things, though, because he's probably going to need both his hands to hold the women partners of Restless Style apart. Phyllis seems determined to turn any decision making into a contest, trying to force Nick to stand united with her no matter the cost to the magazine. And that will only get worse should Jack delete his name from the RSM roster if he can figure a way to clamber back aboard the Jabot barge.
By the way, how many of you have made your way to Restlessstyle.com? Yes, it's a real site for Y&R's RSM. You can even upload your own photo to show off your best style. Check it out when you get a chance. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
But getting back to Jack Abbott and a possible return to Jabot. Although it'll never happen the way Jack daydreamed it, I do hope it will happen. Yes, there are a few obstacles blocking his path, but if certain things fall into or out of place, it's possible he could find himself reclining in his old office chair. Well, the replacement chair, since he threw the original one through the office window a long time ago. Anyway, first there is the little matter of that lawsuit barring him forever from his former family company. But hey, if a vasectomy can be ignored, so can a lawsuit. And if it can't, then I guess somehow Gloria has to come clean, without having to serve a day in jail, of course. No, I don't know precisely how that can be done, but we live in Genoa City, so where there's a writer, there's a way to type around it. Especially now that he and Gloria are no longer enemies. Nikki, and to a lesser extent, Jill and Brad are a few others who stand between Jack and his running of Jabot again, but they could easily be moved. For instance, Jill is already CEO of Chancellor, so she would be the easiest to nudge aside. Katherine already takes anyone's side over Jill, especially Nikki's, and if Kay gets sick enough of Jill's vindictiveness and petty behavior, she might push her completely out of the picture by selling the company back to Jack. As for Nikki, all it takes to get rid of her is to get her back with Victor. I doubt she'd continue running Jabot while married to Victor. And if she goes, especially if it's due to a Newman reconciliation, her pouty daughter would undoubtedly follow dutifully. At the moment, since Brad has no real power, he's of little consequence in the large scheme of things.
There are big changes taking place in the Winters family. Karen has returned to Neil's life, probably just in time to enter into a fierce competition with Devon's Aunt Tyra. As I've mentioned before, Neil has often been a bit wishy washy in his relationship dealings, so I feel a little bit apprehensive on Karen's behalf if Tyra is planning to stick around. Of course, where Tyra goes, little Anna will follow and that would be enough to make me pause to ponder were I Neil. OMG, Annoying! I'll leave it at that. Those fans who felt what I felt will know exactly what I'm not saying.
It will be a miracle if Lily's happiness with Cane is allowed to continue to flourish. When it comes to how many more dirty tricks remain in Chloe's burlap bag, I don't think we're even close to scraping our fingernails on the burlaps bottom. The drunken kiss didn't work, the sly "oh did you know Cane got it for me" statement fell flat, and her puny attempt to derail the couple's Cabo plans collapsed, but obviously she's not even close to tossing in the towel. Now she seems to be forming a new plan. To push the other Fresh Faces forward in hopes they will completely eclipse Lily. On top of all that, there's a rumor running rampant out there about a pregnancy. Can you spell oldest, most boring trick in the book? If the rumor is true, will Cane actually slip up and sleep with this scheming snake in the grass, or will she drug his beer and make him think so? It may not even happen, and I'm already mad about it.
So Michael finally finds his father then discovers he's a murderer on the run. Well, we can probably win a penny wager by guessing that when all is said and done, River Baldwin will be proven to be no more a murderer than I am. I'm sure he was framed; maybe his prints were on the bomb casing because he was trying to dismantle it. And he never came back for Michael and Gloria because he didn't want to endanger them. Where this story is concerned, there are plenty of possibilities. One thing is for sure, though. River might have been on the run for 40 some years, sought after by the best the Feds had to offer, but I bet Paul will have him found in a matter of days.
And lastly, Jeff and Gloria. You might not agree, but to me, these two are dynamite. I was practically cheering in my chair when Jeff gave that flesh eating piranha, Jill, the big kiss-off. I thought she said she was a big girl and could handle grown up business. She wasn't in love, she said, and she knew Jeff didn't love her. But that was okay with her. Humph. Guess it ain't okay no more. Most of the time she acts like a bitter old bag, as if she's forgotten how to show any softness, if she ever had any to show. What man with a sane mind would want to be around her for any length of time? In her case, it really is true that money can't buy you happiness or love. Anyway, once Jeff had dispatched Jill back to the island of unwanted witches, he confessed his love to Gloria in a totally unique way. Fifty million totally unique ways as a matter of fact. The joy of those two was completely contagious, both in the Indigo and later in Jeffrey's room when they were flinging that cash all about and laughing like two crazed hyenas. I'm so looking forward to seeing what mischief this duo will cause in the lives of their fellow Genoa Citians.
I am my father's son, Adam was heard to say seconds after arranging for the immediate banishment of Zara to parts far removed from the daughter she hoped to use to plump her pocketbook. And as Victoria gave him a standing O for his efforts, it was a rare and touching moment between the half-siblings. For her approval, Adam rewarded his sister with that electrifying grin of his that transforms him into something special. And for the moment, Victoria seemed to have forgotten the gnawed bone of contention which had torpedoed the best-friendship between her and Sabrina. And something tells me we could see more of those companionable moments between not just Adam and Victoria, but with Nick as well. Because I think Adam is going to see that ruthless side of Daddy everyone's been warning him about. But I don't think Victor's disapproval will be enough to deter Adam from Heather, so that means there will be stormy days ahead for Daddy and youngest son. If Adam is indeed really his father's son, there promises to be fireworks that will rival those set off on the 4th of July. And I don't plan to miss out on a single sparkler.
Well, that's a wrap for me. Here's what you all thought.
MARY - Kudos to the Y&R writers. I find myself cheering for both Gloria and Amber, who I hated just a few weeks ago. They have made me detest Jill more than Gloria and actually hope Daniel reunites with Amber. Great writing and great acting you think this is why Y&R has been the number one soap for all these years?
COLLEEN - I am really tired of people trying to compare Y&R to OLTL. If OLTL is so much better, why is Y&R consistently in the #1 spot? If I miss an episode of Y&R, I always catch up on SoapNet. OLTL never. The only bad thing on Y&R right now is that dizzy Sabrina. She's starting to wear on my nerves as much as Gloria. It's obvious she has a father complex and Victor is trying to replace his daughter. Get over yourself.
CATHERINA - Can someone please tell me why Victoria thinks she is better than everyone and has the highest moral standards that everyone else should live by? I'm so tired of her whining, whether she's at Jabot or anyplace else, that I FF her all the time. I couldn't help but laugh every time Zara opened her mouth. She should become friends with Gloria; they would either hit it off or cancel each other out. And another thing, why should Jill be pissed if Adam and Heather go out? I mean look at J.T. and his **#ch wife Victoria. If there is no conflict of interest there, why should there be with anyone else? By the way, I really want Nick's mag to fail. I'd love to see my man Victor holding himself back from saying I told you so. Anyway Mommy Nikki will probably give him and Phyllis a job at Jabot. That place is so busy that the struggling economy has no effect on it. Did anybody else need their barf bag when super sexy, I mean skanky, Jill was seducing Jeffery? I know I did.
DEBBIE - Thanks for mentioning Victor had a vasectomy. My co-workers and I said he had one. Do the writers think the fans have Alzheimers? I have been watching the show from the very beginning and I have a long memory. Too bad the writers don't.
TRACY - I really hate this version of Victoria! Heather Tom was the best Victoria ever. I'm having a very difficult time accepting this total character makeover of Vicky.
KAMAL - I have to wholeheartedly agree with you about Victoria's whining. I'm sorry, but her going on and on for months about Torbrina as I call them was ridiculous. It will take a long, long time for her name to be crossed off my list. And will someone in the wardrobe department stop dressing Victoria so shabbily and dowdy? For a woman that dressed like a sexpot back in the day and who has spent years living in Europe she sure has lost all sense of style. She always looks disheveled and unkempt which adds to her annoyance factor. Where's the Victoria of old? I sort of agree with you on Thursday's episode the week of June 23rd. Many classic Y&R moments that day. Jack and Ashley's scenes for me however were bittersweet. The scenes were great but they reminded me that the Abbott family remains devastated. John's dead and Traci, Billy and Ashley are gone. Sharon and Noah aren't true Abbotts to me yet. I miss having the Abbott family be a core staple of the show. What really got me though were Ashley's comments to Jack about Gloria staying at the manse. Um, but wasn't it Ashley who was willing to throw in the towel when they were fighting Step-Mommy Dearest for that house? I recall specifically that she said something along the lines of, "It's what dad wanted." That reminded me of how I was not in Ashley's corner back then. If anything I really do want them to rebolster the Abbott family. Jack needs support from other sources besides Sharon.
As always, I appreciate everyone's comments! Back in a week.