Was the hype better than the reality?

by Nita
For the Week of July 28, 2008
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Y&R Two Scoops: Was the hype better than the reality?
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The week's viewing was bittersweet, as each episode brought fans one day closer to witnessing Sabrina's unfortunate fate.

While the previewed portions were obviously hand picked for their potential to titillate and leave us hungering for more, the week really wasn't half bad. For this fan, the week's viewing was bittersweet, though, knowing each episode brought me one day closer to witnessing Sabrina's unfortunate fate. And from the avalanche of emails filling my inbox, I'm clearly not the sole fan outraged the scribes are deleting Sabrina's character. In fact, I received so many indignant opinions (more protesting than applauding the firing) for the first time since I began penning this column, I won't be able to include them all in their entirety. Many fans seemed to be pretty much of the same mind when it came to Sabrina. They found her a beautiful woman who brought a class and sophistication to Y&R that, judging from the unprecedented outcry, has apparently been sorely missed. I guess we've all gotten so accustomed to the same type of women on soaps, you know, the kind that scheme, manipulate and would never tell a truth when a lie came more easily to their lips, that they're the only kind we've come to expect. A character like Sabrina, one that is gentle, honest, forgiving and supportive, seems foreign, takes a little getting used to. We keep waiting for her to show her true colors, get caught in a lie, prove she's just like every other woman in town. We're used to women who leap out of one man's bed only to land on all fours in the bed of the man next door. No matter that that very man might once have enjoyed the favors of their mother or stepdaughter. So what one or the other, or even both of them, were married to other people at the time? To the men and women of Genoa City, despite their fervent vows made at the time insisting their marriage would be for better, worse, richer and poorer, in reality marriage was just something that sounded good at the time.

Anyway, obviously, I can't include all you fans had to say about Sabrina, but here is a sampling:

Kathlyn - I think it was a very bad decision to get rid of Raya Meddine so quickly. Her character was so romantic. Like Old Romance the kind today's society is not familiar with. Most of us are sick and tired of Nikki and Victor's back & forth every episode, same old same old. We are also sick and tired of everybody jumping in everybody's beds. There's more to love and life then that. I am a loyal Y&R fan. I like change but not at the expense of good quality TV.

Suzanne: It took some time getting used to the new character; however, I do believe her character is finally demonstrating substance that brings about a little more intrigue to the program. The trouble with Y&R is they do not keep some of the new characters long enough to add more substance to the program. Jen: Good stories take time to develop (think - foreplay) and most fans are patient enough. Firing actors is not necessarily the answer. You just have to ride through the ratings.

Kamal: I really began to like Sabrina. She's been a fave for past two months. The reason why is because she was the only woman in GC with any type of sense. It was like she was the viewer's voice of reason. Such a different class of woman. She'll be missed when we are left with the likes of Gloria, Jill, Nikki, Victoria, Amber, Colleen, Phyllis and Chloe on our screens.

Darlene - Big mistake to let Raya Meddine go. Writers need to concern themselves with writing great storylines and the producers need to recognize that and not cater to the whims of the fans. No one likes change in the relationship of their character's lives. But the purpose of great storylines are to bring out emotions in us. Keeping axing good storylines and good characters and your show will fail.

Auriana: This news about Sabrina is so disappointing! I thought the writers were doing a great storyline. Sabrina and Victor make a great pair. The love seems genuine and as a person who works in OB/Gyn, vasectomies are not 100%. Therefore, the storyline is believable. Sabrina was a nice breeze in an otherwise stuffy room full of family who feels they are they only ones entitled to happiness. I hope Y&R reconsiders.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to share your heartfelt thoughts about Raya Meddine and the character of Sabrina. Though she is not yet gone, clearly she will be greatly missed. Okay, on with the show. It's been a tough week for this fan. Determined not to spoil it for myself, I worked hard to shield myself from spoilers and day ahead reportings about what was to come, especially for Friday and Monday's show. I confess it wasn't easy, but I'm proud to say I managed to pull it off.

Things in the Chow marriage continued to deteriorate. Perhaps proving the truth of the adage about the third time being the charm, P.I. Paul finally hit the jackpot in his investigation of David Chow, or Angelo Sarafina, as we now know him to be. Well, Paul with help from his many and far-flung contacts. How many times has David Chow changed his name? According to Walter, a man who appears to have been in David's life practically forever, he was once called Clark. We fans haven't forgotten that even if the scribes are now pretending to. But, no matter. Clark, Angelo Sarafini, the Cat's Meow, Mob Man, or whoever else he's been, right now he's David Chow. And as David Chow, Paul has finally figured out he killed JiMin and likely had a hand in murdering many others, among them two wives, a former daughter-in-law and a wannabe card shark who sold her soul simultaneously to the Devil and Brad Carlton for $80,000 (although right now, the demise of Skye and who did her in is purely speculation on my part). But, whoever Chow is, and whatever evil he will eventually be proven to have been part of, the discovery of his latest lie was finally enough to force those rose tinted sunshades from Nikki's weary eyes. The gravy train is pulling into the station and its lone money grubbing, murderous passenger is about to be escorted off by two burly security men. Clearly, however, David did not plan to unresistingly give up his seat, spiking Nikki's drink with morphine, in an apparent attempt to somehow do away with her. Unfortunately, his diabolical plot was foiled when J.T. used Reed to pluck her from David's clutches. And even without reading the spoilers, despite the way it appeared as the week ended, Nikki, will of course live to talk about her almost brush with the hereafter.

I can't say the same about Sabrina, however, who made an unfortunate and fateful decision when she chose to hitch a ride in David's limo. Why David thought, being in the mob as long as he has, that his disobedience would not be unfavorably rewarded, is beyond me. And too bad that while Victor was busy concerning himself about Nikki-the-mother-of-two-of-my-children's welfare, he didn't take a moment to warn his own wife about keeping a safe distance from "that loser" David Chow. A whole line of limos to choose from and Sabrina's manages to pick the one that wasn't destined to make it back to the company garage. For that matter, had Victor not decided the middle of the Gala was the time to meet with Philippe to listen to his slanted, self-serving side of the Philippe-Sabrina saga, he could have taken his own wife home. I expect Monday's episode to be quite emotional as all the friends and relatives of the injured meet at GC Memorial. I'm sure there will be enough blame to pass around to each and everyone in attendance.

When it comes to grieving, though, I doubt there will be much done about David's demise. The whole mob thing was a bit of a stretch, especially given what we already knew about David's background as a prominent politician pusher, a married executive in a sexual harassment or whatever it was situation starring Carmen Mesta, but at least the loose ends were neatly tied together, however improbably. I won't miss David or his sidekick Walter and I hope the scribes write in a little ingratiating and apologetic dialogue with Jill and Gloria begging Jack's pardon for their determination to make him JiMin's murderer.

So, Jack decided to come clean about his part in the mudslinging RSM article. And nearly at the same time, Nick shared the same information with his whiny, judgmental, point the finger, sibling. Oh, I was wrong about Sabrina she squeaks, slapping a palm over her pouty mouth. I have to find her, she squeals, as she races off to nowhere. I presume that at some point in the near future, that will entail a bedside apology, complete with a waterfall of regretful tears, about two seconds before Sabrina's monitor flatlines, the final second being reserved for Victor to say his own sorrowful so long.

If there is no last minute, scribe penned, reprieve, and everything happens as most fans believe, what will be next for the Newman family? More of what we've all seen too many times before to be interested in watching it unfold for the trillionth time? Victor and Nikki, stiff and angry at first, cautiously moving into a truce stage, before finally running down the road of romance and directly into the forest for another round of Jack hunting. At the thought of it, I'm yawning so widely, it's a wonder you don't hear my jaw cracking.

And yes, I'm yawning again at the thought of the Chloe stalking storyline. Even if I wasn't a fan of Cane and Lily, this one would still leave me bored and uninterested. Talk about been there, done that! Chloe's already pregnant, so we already know it can't be Cane's. It doesn't even matter if they actually did the deed or not, since if it happened, he was too drunk to ever remember it. I'm no expert on men and their workings. In his state, was it even physically possible to complete the act? And what's the point of a DNA test? Because I'm sure that Chloe will have, among her contacts, an extensive and ever-growing contact list that's beginning to rival Paul's, by the way, a lab assistant pal with matching scruples who will be happy to make it come out anyway she wants it to. Chloe represents no new fun under the sun for me. Not much redeemable about her. Just another desperate Genoa City dame determined to land somebody else's man, by hook or with a series of crooked deeds. The thought of this cruel, manipulative stalker thing as a mother makes me shudder.

And now I'm at the Indigo, and I'm yawning yet again. I always wished so much for the Winters family. But things keep getting worse, not better. Can someone say, new storyline material please? Does Neil have to be such a starched shirt? Can Devon get something fun (and appropriate to his age) to do? Must Lily always wind up with the short pointy end of the relationship stick, while some slutty type female minces away with the man, such that he might be? I like this family, but this is getting really, really painful. Though I want to feel otherwise, I'm left completely unmoved by the new relatives. Sure, Ana has a lovely voice. Devon is wonderful as well, but a little singing, no mater who is crooning the song, goes a long way for me. Back when it was Danny, Gina, Lauren, or John Abbott singing, I typically left the room or heard the first and last notes only as I fast-forwarded past. I want action, riveting dialogue in an edge of the sofa seat storyline, even cat or mutt fights. But at the bottom of my list, oh heck, it's not even on my list of favorite things, is singing. Whether it's only because she's down on her luck or not, Tyra comes across as an obvious cling-on. A cling-on with no personality, at that. Why is she even living at Neil's? I know, I know, we are family, says Neil. But unlike other GC families, Neil doesn't own a mansion, the man lives in an apartment, for goodness sakes. Me and my daughter have been alone since Ana was two, Tyra says, pausing to give Neil time enough to praise her superior single parenting, line he immediately and predictably rattled right off And now that she's 12, it's time I found my girl a Daddy. No, she didn't say that, but everything about her screams out: Apply here. But, it's all a little too close for comfort for this fan. After all, like Neil says, they are family. So, in my book, whether it's by blood or through adoption, we don't hook up with our family members, now do we? Okay, I immediately stand corrected. Because in GC, they obviously have been known to do exactly that. Anyway, Mr. Neil and Tyra have already danced, so can their first kiss be far behind? And to quote that really bad line by Ana shortly after her arrival, when it comes to Karen, what is she, chopped liver? Unfortunately, it would seem so.

As for Jack and Sharon and Nick and Phyllis, well, hmmm. Phyllis can usually be counted on to annoy me. Snipe, snipe, slash, slash. Okay, Red, we get that you can't stand Sharon. Cutting her out of the family pic and inserting herself wasn't enough. She still feels the need to keep Sharon cut down to size. And she seems to have lost most of her affection for Jack's sneaky smiles too. She was even rather snippy and flip with Lauren and Michael, her best, no, only friends. And she hates Amber too. Phyllis hates everybody that's not named Newman it seems. By the way, was I the only one pointing a ridiculing finger when Phyllis was sparring with Amber. I know Phyllis has been completely whitewashed over the past could of years, but no amount of paint can ever keep her rottenness from bleeding through. Because when it comes to deceit and extreme manipulation, Amber will never even come close to Phyllis; level.

I'm still liking Nick. While he's by no means perfect, he's an interesting multi-dimensional character. At times, he's been jealous, vindictive and hateful, when he's been wronged or at least felt he's been treated that way. But, he's also easily able to show his vulnerability and his compassionate, sympathetic side. Unlike Victoria, who once she felt Sabrina had crossed her, treated her with childish hatred and unforgiving harshness, no matter how Sabrina groveled, Nick's reaction to Sabrina becoming part of his father's life was much more realistic and human. I really enjoyed watching how his interaction with Sabrina changed and progressed. He might be younger, but in this instance, he proved he was much more mature and likable than his sister.

Sharon's recent behavior has cost her many brownie points with me. Other than standing by her man, there's not much to admire about her these days. As a woman who was the subject of pages and pages of derogatory articles, it's hard to believe she could rejoice so heartily at what Jack did to Sabrina apparently without caring about the repercussions that affected Nick, the father of her son. Sure, it sold magazines, but it made the rift between father and son even wider. But then again, why should she care? Nick is, after all, also the man who dumped her for Phyllis. And we already proved she could care less about her ex sister-in-law, otherwise she would never have put her mitts and other body parts off of Vicky's then husband Brad.

Which brings me to the final member of the fractured foursome, Jack. Nice that he momentarily found his conscience and confessed his part to Sabrina. It was nothing personal, he told her. Well Jack, your little insincere words are too little and came too late. The damage has already been done. And it's all meaningless anyway. Because obviously, Jack would do it or something similar again and probably worse, to win. I hope Sharon is enjoying this little laugh, though, because with Jack's track record, it's a certainty the last laugh will likely be on him, and by extension, her. And you can trust that I'll be laughing at both of them as well.

Okay, Amber and Daniel, the dysfunctional duo. Like Jeffrey and Gloria, these two were made for each other. I haven't bothered to shed any crocodile tears for them because I'm sure they'll soon be back to cooing like lovebirds. I don't really care enough about either one of them to lose any sleep over them even it they stay separate. Except that I would enjoy their reunion simply because Phyllis wouldn't. I guess if I had to take a stand, I would probably be more interested in Amber and the Professor. At least with him, she more often acts her age. I thought the Professor was wasted on Colleen, who is really boring. She's a Victoria in training and it wouldn't bother me to see her stay alone, except that then I'd have to hear her whine about it ad nauseum.

And speaking of making me sick, that would still be Victoria. I'm happy that she knows some of the truth about Sabrina, but I don't look forward to the way I expect she will probably hog the spotlight, making Sabrina's death all about her, but I'm glad she will finally feel bad about the heartless and cruel way she has treated her so-called best friend for so long.

What exactly is Jeff up to? He had me convinced he really was all about his love for Gloria and he would never hold jail over her head again. So why is he still hiding the face cream? Is he planning to wrap it up in a little red bow and present it to her to dispose of as she sees fit? Did he have it all along, and if so, why did he go to Korea? Why did he set up the dummy company himself instead of letting Michael cross all the t's and dot all the little i's? I guess when it comes to a man like Jeffrey; he likes to leave nothing to chance and has probably covered his backside just in case at some point in the future, Gloria tries to kick him to the curb. Nevertheless, despite my random thoughts about Jeffrey and his motives, I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next in the plan for a hostile takeover of Jabot. Since Jill and Brad are not my two favorite Genoa Citians, I plan to sit back and enjoy watching them all wage separate battles over the little slice of Jabot and the big Chancellor pie. I'm disgusted with Jack right now, but I still want to see him back at Jabot.

That Victor is more than a little illogical isn't he? First he decides to cut Nick and Victoria out of the will, even kicks Nick off the ranch, though at Sabrina's urging, he takes it back later. None of that was surprising. I mean, that is all trademark Victor. But where he really caused me to fall to the floor and roll around in astonishment and laughter was when he then demanded they put in a command appearance at the ranch to hear a mysterious announcement. Only Victor would have the arrogance to expect them to be there. Why in the world would he think they would want to show up? Why should they care about anything he had to say, didn't he practically disown them, even though he still planned to provide for their progeny? But what was even funnier, was knowing the cut out children didn't even consider not showing up.

And lastly, great sources of amusement for me were:

How dare you do this to your children? You're a pathetic excuse for a father, a hair pasted to her skull Nikki accused Victor, her lips twisted in a sneer. Well you're just as bad as a Mom, you former drunk, Victor shot back. This is all your fault, he screamed, veins popping out all over his neck, for bringing that loser David Chow into our lives. No, a whiny voice pipes up, this is all your fault, all about me shouts at Sabrina. Whaaat? If I could have reached her, I swear I would have smacked her.

Minutes later Katherine and Victor return to the subject of parenting, with each politely pointing out the other's mistakes. Well, I have to say that though vindictive Victor wasn't the best he could be, at least he didn't put any of his offspring into a basket, put them on some other woman's doorstep and then conveniently block out the memory until the child was 50+ years old. I don't know about any of you, but in my opinion, Victor won that round.

It remains to be seen whether the forced departure/demise of Skye, David and Sabrina will be the right decision in the long term. I can't see in the future, but in my opinion as a fan, a successful soap has to have a little bit of everything, not a whole lot of the same. Everyone can't be a villain or have an agenda. The current crop of Genoa City women and most of the men are all hard edges and sharp points. For instance, does a heart beat strongly in their chests? If so, then give us a glimpse of it sometimes. How about a little bit of guilt? Brad should certainly feel some for dragging Skye into his plot to topple David. And if the scribes want us to feel something other than contempt for Brad, then they better make us feel his regret. Victor's a hard man, we know that. But we used to see him thaw every once in a while. You all know what I think about Sabrina. I think getting rid of her was premature, especially if as it has in the past, all roads wind up leading right back to Nikki and Victor. There wasn't much else that could have been done with David once he was made a murderer. So unless you were more a fan of the actor than the character, I doubt he will be much missed. And that is about all I'm going to say about Genoa City things this week. Here's what some of you thought about non-Sabrina stuff. I must admit, I'm on pins and needles and can't wait to see what the week brings.

Eve - Would the writers please remember the story of girl stalker pretending she's pregnant to nail her man has been done to death on the soaps? I like that so far neither Cane nor Lily is buying into Chloe's story - could we keep that up? That no matter how hard she beats and batters, she can't get into Cane's life? That would be a nice change. And, finally, how about keeping Philippe around for a while? He's hot. Amoral, but hot.

Melanie - Whatever happened to the steps writers were taking to bring Sharon into her own? When she testified for Phyllis, it seemed like the character was putting dumb mistakes behind her & gaining strength without a man. Now, they've taken 20 steps back with her choosing Jack over whatever morals she's got left.

George - I enjoy watching Y&R, but lately, as well as many times in the past, there are outrageous situations that are illogical and (frankly) an insult to the viewer's intelligence. The Chloe storyline is so predictable and trite. She needs to be publicly humiliated, slapped really good by Lily and told to leave town permanently. The truth about the cream needs to once and for all come out. Gloria needs to pay, although I must write that I feel she been charged quite a bit by life lately. After all, someone did die! Sorry Gloria, you have to pay. Jeff needs to wait for you, in the meantime, amassing power and rivalry between him and Victor. I see a better power between these two than I do between Jack and Victor. No more John Abbott as the ghost. The apparition to Gloria was funny, but since then, it's boring. Jack doesn't listen to the ghost anyway.

Glenda - I see why the ratings are falling. I mean, Chloe's manipulating a drunken Cane and while he is supposedly passed out, have sex. The next day he did not even look like he'd ever been drunk. Let's back it up a minute! Wasn't she supposed to have been stung by a bee? What happened to that? Please put some competent writers back on the show and for God's sake take Chloe, Sabrina, David, and that darn Ouija board out of the show!

Carolyn - I do like how Jack is sticking it to Nick! Serves Nick right for pairing up with Jack to spite daddy dearest! Now Nick sees that Jack is no better than Victor! That Jack is a piece of work! He can dish it out, but he can't take it. Just bring up how Jack isn't nor will ever be half the man John Abbott Sr. was and Jack tears up and goes on the defensive! What a loser! I've heard of standing by your man, but Sharon and Nikki are both looking quite foolish! Just when is enough truly enough? Sharon sides with Jack after his latest knifing of Phick and tasteless article-editing. Now she sees Jack for the snake he really is and she's ok with that? Please!

Pat - In response to Julie, the judge at Brad's last game was a real judge who has a syndicated courtroom show every day. He's openly gay and very funny at times. This soap has no life in it. And the contriving to get something romantic going for Neil is straining to watch. There's not one interesting thing about him. His daughter/niece is lackluster, his adopted foster son is a bore, the whole Tyra Ana business couldn't be more uninteresting, and as for the girlfriend, what's the point? There's no passion there either. He is so reserved and formal.

Auriana - This news about Sabrina is so disappointing! If Nikki and Victor reunite, Y&R will have one less viewer. It's bad enough we have the tired pregnant storyline with Chloe and Cane, which has been done a million times. It was nice seeing something different with such strong characters. It really bothers me that Victoria and Nicholas will get their way...again. Two ungrateful spoiled brats that are nothing but hypocrites considering who they are married to and how they all got there. Nikki is the biggest hypocrite of all with her self righteous attitude forever forgetting her roots and the fact that she cheated on Victor with useless David.

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As always, I appreciate everyone's comments! Back in a week.

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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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