Blurring the line between reality and make-believe, it's a sad time in both the real and the soap world today with the loss of the magnificent Jeanne Cooper a.k.a. Katherine Chancellor. She truly was a duchess, and she will be sorely missed.
Many years ago, I was home sick one day and wound up idly watching an episode of The Young and the Restless. It was during the time of one of Katherine's many bouts with alcoholism. Although I knew nothing about Genoa City or its inhabitants, I found myself quickly intrigued by this character, and I had to know more. I wondered about this clearly wealthy woman who wouldn't stop drinking, no matter how fervently her handsome husband begged her to? What unhappiness had driven her to such depths? How had Phillip Chancellor wound up in the arms of his wife's employee, the much younger Jill Foster?
This feisty lady, who seemed so much larger than her tiny stature, snagged me, hook, line, and sinker, and began my present-day addiction to all things The Young and the Restless. From then until now, Jeanne, through Kay, provided me countless hours of immense entertainment. Because of her, I laughed, I cried, and I sometimes gnawed my fingernails to the quick. She was an awesome, wonderful actress, and like all of you, I feel as if I knew her. As she slowly ascended the stairs in her mansion on Friday, May 3, with Jill looking on, I found myself moved to tears, though I didn't know it was likely to be the last time I would see her. I look forward to the tribute episode on May 28. Rest in glorious peace, Mrs. C. You were much loved, will be greatly missed, and will never, ever be forgotten.
Well, her happy homemaker apron slung in a corner on the pantry floor, Victoria Newman has retrieved her favorite power suit from the closet and clomped to the office to declare war on her brother. Again.
There have definitely been times when I've wanted to or have actually cried for Victoria: when she miscarried her first child, when J. T. won custody of Reed, and when Lucy was legally wrenched from her arms. But there have also been many times when she made me so mad, I could barely see straight enough to type my opinionated words of accusation. Times like this one, I am forcefully reminded that Victoria is very much her father's daughter.
I could have kissed Nick when he unequivocally rejected Victoria's offer to enter into another battle against their father. Comfortable blazing his own trail instead of trying to tread carefully within his father's hard-to-fill footsteps, there was no argument Victoria could present that could convince him to help her go after a prize he doesn't even want. And Abby decided to wisely keep her pennies in her pocket and opt out of the fray as well.
But her siblings' refusal to join the fight didn't even slow Victoria's jealousy-fueled determination to smash Adam into the dirt and direct Victor's adoring gaze away from Adam and back onto her.
I must admit I kind of like the idea of Adam and Victor aligned on one side with Victoria glaring jealously at them from the other. This father and son camaraderie is what I've been hoping for from the moment the grown-up Adam entered the picture several years back. It's been a long time coming, and though I fear I'm being foolishly optimistic, I wish it would last longer than 15 minutes.
Now, let me make it clear, I don't want anyone to think I feel sorry for Victor. He's a big boy and can easily take care of himself. But, despite her reasons, I still felt Victoria was wrong to sue Victor for money, the bulk of which she hadn't earned. She is the author of this particular tale of company-losing woe. Except the last time she stabbed her father in the back -- and even convinced her siblings to help her hold the knife -- it had nothing to do with Adam.
Then, it was all about beating her father and taking from him what he loved most, control of the company he built -- shout it with me -- from nothing! When she wants to be, Victoria can be a hateful, mean, and vengeful person -- like I said, she is her father's daughter. She won the first round with that billion-and-a-half-dollar verdict, but I really hope lightning doesn't strike twice. This time, I want her to lose so badly I can almost taste the sweetness of victory on my tongue.
Although Adam has plenty of dirty deeds to his own credit, I am still crossing my fingers that Victoria won't succeed in shoving him out of a company she recently refused to fight for. Unfortunately, she's not only already digging deep for more dirt to discredit Adam, but also has that ace hidden up her sleeve, the knowledge that Adam is the father of Chelsea's baby. Though she condemns Adam for keeping Faith from Nick for the first six months or so of Faith's life, she clearly doesn't mind doing the same to Adam as long as it works to her benefit. Funny, telling Adam about the baby could actually accomplish her goal. Because right now Adam is so hurt over losing Chelsea and thinking she moved on so quickly with Dylan, he would probably accede to any demand Chelsea might make -- like leaving Newman behind to get his family back.
Speaking of Chelsea, for a moment I was convinced she was about to come clean with Dylan and tell him the truth about the baby. Even though it would probably reunite Adam and Chelsea -- a coupling I personally am not a big fan of -- it would be worth it, if only to deprive Victoria of the satisfaction of revealing the information in the most painful way possible. But, of course, the scribes were just playing with my emotions with the frequently used soap opera ploy: the bait and switch. Still, Chelsea clearly isn't enjoying what she set in motion, and it may not be long before her conscience and growing respect for Dylan will urge her to tell the truth before someone tells it for her.
As a long-time soap watcher, I am an admitted sucker for a good romance. A little bit of anguish to make it juicy, of course, but in the end, I will take a happily-ever-after ending over a bitter breakup anytime. So, even though I wasn't exactly a happy camper when Nick agreed to Avery's suggestion that they start all over again (dreading more gushing, grinning, and cooking in the kitchen), when they reunited at the end of the week, I was actually happy for them.
I can't say the same for Sharon, however. Once the love of his life, Adam's feelings for Sharon have clearly changed. I know some will say she deserves it, but I already kind of feel sorry for Sharon, because I don't see how this can possibly end well for her. Victor is already against any relationship between the two, and while his disapproval isn't exactly a deal breaker -- Billy and Victoria are proof of that -- the baby Chelsea is carrying is a different story and will undoubtedly be the straw that makes the camel's knee's crumple. Adam's despair and frequent imbibing of liquid forgetfulness point to his love for Chelsea. Sure, he's indulging in sex play with Sharon, but unfortunately for her, his body is performing, but his heart doesn't seem to be fully present. I had really hoped that at long last there would be a real love for Sharon, but it still doesn't seem to be in the cards.
Well, we barely got to know Gus Rogan, but already he's in the past. I like Leslie, but she's been a bit hard to take in this storyline, flip-flopping between supporting Gus and cutting furrows in his skin with her sharp, tart tongue. The man just had a heart attack, and I would guess that one of the first pieces of advice his doctor gave them was that he should avoid stress. I guess Leslie thought immediately jumping down his throat over the identity of Rose would not be the least bit stressful. Gus died while trying to tell us what part Rose played in this tale, but we know that wasn't the end of the story. To be continued.
Neil. First of all, who knew he had a journal and that he was writing about Leslie in it? For that matter, who knew he kept a flash drive loaded with sensitive company information at home? Could Wheeler be behind the break-in to avenge himself against Jack? Or could it possibly be Victor for the very same reason? Well, I've been begging for a decent storyline for Neil for quite some time, so I will stop complaining, sit back, and wait to be entertained.
I'm not quite sure why Traci has shown up now, trying to smother the flames of her brother's romance with her big old wet, smelly blanket. While Jack and Phyllis have always been one of my favorite pairings, they haven't quite recaptured their former chemistry this time around, so they don't need Traci's overbearing interference. Jack is, as always, gushingly in love with his Red, but she hasn't convinced me her heart has given up completely on Nick.
Of course, as I thought about what could happen next with Phyllis and Jack, the thought crossed my mind that one thing could bring them closer. Yes, I'm talking about that loose end that's been dangling from the blanket since Summer was conceived. Is Nick really Summer's father? Or is Jack? Fans have always made much of the fact that Nick was the only person to see the results, which left the door open for a rewrite flip-flop in the future.
With Nick reconciled with Avery, it is likely that marriage and perhaps a child will soon follow. So it seems a perfect time to revisit the events of the past and at the same time derail Summer's plans to experience love for the very first time to someone who could turn out to be her brother. Of course, that would make Nick quite the bad guy for knowingly keeping Summer and Jack apart, making him no better than the half-brother he so despises for doing the same. Worse, if you consider that Nick took 18 years to come clean instead of six months. But, there is another option. What if Nick never read the results all those years ago and just decided he was probably the father?
There was much about the week that was wonderfully done, but the best performances of all involved the Baldwin family. Lauren employed her usual tactics, attempting to evade, blame, and retreat her way out of responsibility, but Michael was relentless, determined to wring the truth from her, even if it finished them. And even though I was literally crying for Michael, I was thrilled when he finally put all the pieces together and figured out the identity of Lauren's lover. So deadly and dangerous did Michael look and sound, even Carmine had enough sense to look just a wee bit alarmed. And perhaps he should be. At that moment, it was quite easy to see where Fen's dark and diabolical side originates.
The conversation between Phyllis and Michael was moving and superbly done. Phyllis very rarely coddles anyone, and she was brutally honest with Michael with her advice. So often in the past, Phyllis came to Michael when she needed support, but seemed to care little for anything he might be going through. But this week she was the best friend to him that she's always claimed to be.
Paul was behind the scenes, performing similar best friend duties to Lauren, and like Phyllis, didn't spare his words or pull his punches.
Finally, when confronted with more facts than she could refute, after months of blaming her cuckolded husband for her extramarital mistake, Lauren finally did the right thing and admitted the truth. I was practically on my feet, cheering, but when Michael started describing in painful detail the heartbreaking pictures playing relentlessly in his head, I had to sit down again and reach for the Puffs.
And lastly, Lauren wasn't the only Baldwin to finally show some remorse for the damage they've selfishly inflicted on others. Fen, too, has lived to regret his actions both against Jamie and Summer. Unfortunately, his regrets may not win him many brownie points with Summer, but I'm hoping the two will eventually find their way back to each other and at the very least, salvage their friendship.
It's been an emotional week, both in the soaps and in real life. Jeanne Cooper obviously touched many of our lives with her acting, and was clearly just as admirable in her real life. Fans loved her and will miss her. Please continue to share your opinions with us. We love them, and your comments could pop up in a future column! You can also post your comments here on this page, and don't forget about our 24/7 feedback line. In In the meantime, here are just a few of their heartfelt emails we've received over the past few days.