Before I get started, I first have to admit that I am thoroughly enjoying the show. In fact, it has once again become must-see TV for me. I realize, however, that every fan does not share my bubbly enthusiasm. So, a warning to all currently dissatisfied fans: you might want to stop reading now. Because you'll probably soon be calling me blind, deaf, crazy, or possibly, all three, and in possession of a tiny mind, besides, for admitting I love this stuff. But if you, too, like the show, I hope you'll continue reading to the end of the page.
Of course, I'm not claiming the show is perfect, with no room for improvement. But the list of things I currently like is far lengthier than the list of things I don't.
For instance, like #1 on my list is character development. Finally gone are the cardboard cutout-like Genoa Citians who consistently behaved so out of character, we were often left scratching our skulls in confusion. Instead, they are slowly being fleshed out, revealing insecurities, weaknesses, strengths, and motives. People are talking to each other again, and families are starting to look and act like they're actually related. Friendships are even being allowed to grow and flourish. Like Michael and Paul, and Adam and Jack. With the crazy situations these people manage to get themselves into, they certainly could use a friend or confidant. Speaking of friendships, if Sharon isn't given one soon, I swear I'm going to wiggle through my screen and offer my services.
Of course, there are some characters that seem destined never to change. Like Victor. This egomaniac seldom veers from his path of fierce self-focus and woe to any family, friend, or foe that refuses to participate in his never-ending nefarious plots. I guess Victor will always believe everyone else's desires are far subordinate to his own.
Like #2 -- Storylines. With the scribes busily scribbling scripts for just about everyone in Genoa City, most fans will hopefully find something to like, whether they are a fan of Adam, Chelsea, Sharon, Victor, Jack, Noah, Nick, Avery, the Fishers, the Baldwins, Summer, Phyllis, or the Winters group. Compared to periods in the past when the show was cattily subtitled the Victor, Phyllis, or Gloria hour, the writing these days seems more balanced, with just about everyone receiving a few moments in the warming spotlight.
Anything involving the twisted tangle of Adam, Chelsea, and Sharon is immensely enjoyable. One minute I've kind of got my fingers crossed for Adam and Sharon, the next I'm not sure. At first I liked Chelsea and Adam together. I thought they were great as friends and defenders of each other, but once they became romantic, I liked them less. Even though I understand Chelsea's dissatisfaction with Adam's caring for Sharon, her insecurities, accusations, demands, and loud arguments are getting repetitive and wearying.
At times, Adam's insistence that Chelsea is the love of his life is believable. But at other times, his heart just doesn't seem to be wholly in it. Perhaps it's my imagination, but something seems a little off in his devotion. Chelsea honestly told Adam she doesn't trust him. I can't blame her for that, because I don't quite trust him either. However things shake out, I'm completely invested in this triangle.
I also don't dare fall asleep on anything having to do with Jack and his addiction. Unfortunately, Jack probably shouldn't be trusted by the people who are trying to help him. When he found himself in over his head, facing Stephanie's lifeless form on his living room floor, Jack was quick to dial up Adam, begging him to help haul his hungover carcass from the brink of disaster. But once Adam had dragged him out of imminent danger, he immediately reverted back to distrusting and insulting "Junior." I practically cheered when Adam called Jack on that. I hope Adam plans to watch his back carefully when it comes to Jack. After all Adam did to pull Jack's burning bacon from the fire, Jack had the nerve to offer Billy the CEO seat with instructions to keep his eye on Adam. Talk about ingratitude!
I am so enjoying this new and improved Adam. I really don't want to see him return to his former dark side, so I hope assisting Jack with this cover-up doesn't hand Adam the short stick. But after the way Jack pushed Adam directly into the path of the speeding bus over the forged diary, I'm a little worried about what he might do. Adam would do well not to trust Jack with his freedom.
Jack's behavior often makes it hard to sympathize when things blow up in his face. Victor has made it clear he is going after his company. Yet Jack, in his arrogance, refuses to consider this a likely outcome and is putting Jabot at risk. But we all know Victor is going to get his company back eventually. And I have to say he probably should. If Jack loses Jabot again, he'll only have his own stubborn self to blame.
Some fans don't like this latest Noah, but I am a fan, both of the actor and the storyline. It's nice to see the newly grown-up Noah starring in his own drama, instead of standing helpfully on the sidelines of someone else's. As for Alex, is the relentless New York detective good cop or bad? I'm looking forward to the rest of this story.
Speaking of good or bad, Fen is more than a little menacing these days. For a baby arriving in the world with a 24-karat gold spoon just waiting for insertion into his privileged mouth, he has turned into one angry young man. Michael might have very good reason to worry about the extent of the rage growing inside his son.
Summer isn't having much luck opening up to the people around her. As her frustration and unhappiness grows over her role as Brittni, I'm beginning to wonder whether she might wind up causing harm to herself in some way, much like her sister, Cassie.
Like #3 -- Background music has improved and seems to better fit the scene.
Like #4 -- The pacing actually makes both the like and dislike list. While many scenes proceed logically, occasionally things happen so quickly, or are skimmed through so rapidly, it is a little jarring and hard to follow. I find myself hitting the rewind button, thinking I surely must have missed something that tied one scene to the next. For instance, in a short space of time, Jack began by talking to Phyllis, and then we saw him answering the door to Billy. That was followed by a conversation with Adam, which seemed to start in the middle, then he was being taunted and mocked by Victor, and finally Jack wound up full circle, talking to Phyllis again. By the end, my head was whirling, and I was rewinding trying to piece it all together.
Like #5 -- Welcome back, Phyllis. Yep, that's right fans. I've moved Phyllis' name from the annoying to the acceptable column. The talented Ms. Stafford is so much more than flailing arms and screeching, Sharon-fueled jealousy, and I find her much more interesting and layered away from Nick. Finally, we get a chance to see Phyllis' remorse, regrets, and sadness for the consequences of her choices.
I'm not nearly so enamored of Avery, however. I realize a rousing game of men-swapping between sisters, or mothers and daughters, is standard soap fare, but Avery hooking up with Phyllis' not-yet ex still leaves a sour taste on my tongue. Maybe it's my imagination, but Avery does sometimes seem to go out of her way to annoy Phyllis with her almost gloating comments about Nick, or by seemingly trying to replace Phyllis in Summer's life. Because of that, though I never would have predicted it, Avery's behavior has succeeded in making me empathize with Phyllis.
Like #6 -- The new trend: low riding jeans on the gents. So low, in fact, that I hold my breath sometimes, fearful of just how far they will fall. Bringing sexy back, perhaps? On the other hand, the ladies of Genoa City have awesome bods, but this two-sizes-too-small, sausage skin look is flattering on few of them.
The final name on my list involves the Winters family and their associates. In my year-end column, I wished for the scribes to do better by this group. And while things are a little all-over-the-map at the moment, there are definitely some intriguing possibilities. For instance, will Tyler tempt Lily right out of her marriage to Cane? Has Neil finally found the love of his life in Leslie? But if Jabot is the spoils that wind up going to the victor, will that just mean that both are out of a job?
Now, while I found plenty of items to jot down on my like list, there are a few things that missed my favorite things list, but aren't so bad that I have to heroically resist the urge to fast-forward.
For instance, Cane. Flat, unemotional, sometimes so lifeless it's nearly impossible to care about him or whatever his issues might be. For someone who virtually lied and schemed his way into the hearts and lives of everyone, he is annoyingly judgmental of other people's mistakes. He often wears the same blank expression whether someone is telling him a tragic tale or a joke. Even when he's trying to do something good, like offering to reinstate Neil after Jack fired him, his motives are questionable. Was his decision to help Neil simply to gain Lily's gratitude and distract her attention from the new Tyler in town? By the way, was I the only fan picking myself up off the floor where I had collapsed with helpless laughter after Tyler told Lily she should be Jabot's CEO?
Next on my least-liked list is Chloe, the ever-complaining, catty, selfish shrew. This woman has been kicking around Genoa City for years but has generally remained unlikable to this fan. Always scheming, complaining, or bashing someone, it's hard to wish her anything but more hard times. Hand-me-the-world-on-a-silver-platter Kevin is Chloe's perfect match. The computer whiz and fashionista presumably have plenty of talent between them, yet neither seems willing to actually work for what they want, always begging at their fellow Genoa Citians' doors, hoping for a handout. Perhaps Chloe should call on all those phenomenal contacts she supposedly has and do something on her own, instead of latching on to someone else's coattails to rocket to richness.
In keeping with my pro-show column, the comments below are from fans who appreciate the show, too. Actually, for the first time in a long while, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my e-box held more positive comments than negative. Hope you enjoy their opinions! And don't forget that you can send your thoughts on the show by clicking here. We love them, and your comments could pop up in a future column!