The tale of two cities

For the Week of October 28, 2013
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Y&R Two Scoops: The tale of two cities
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Enough of the doom and gloom says this Two Scoops scribe as she muses on Dickens and explores the plights and plot holes that transverse the soapiverse in her never-ending quest to find truth, justice, and a happily ever after for all.

We love to hear your thoughts on The Young and the Restless -- and now there are more ways than ever to share your picks for what's hot and what's not. As always, you can use the email link to drop our columnist a note, and you can also call our 24/7 caller feedback hotline at 267.341.7627 and record your thoughts on Y&R. And if you have a Facebook account, you can scroll to the bottom of the column and leave your comments right here on this page!

Wow! I asked for email last time, and I got a ton of it -- more than twice as much as ever before! I tried to answer them all, but if I missed any, I apologize for the oversight.

That said, only 20% of you mentioned something other than Delia's death and Adam's involvement in it. 75% of you hated the storyline, 10% of you complimented the acting and the show, and 25% of you threatened to quit watching. The following is for the haters and the quitters. You might want to skip ahead if you are a liker and a watcher!

If all the fans who threatened to stop watching actually do, then there ought to be a drop-off of about a million viewers, according to the latest ratings and my calculations. I know from personal experience -- I think I've mentioned that I have a two-soap-a-day habit -- that quitting cold turkey is easier said than done. So I expect most of you will grumble but will keep watching because an addiction to soaps is just as hard to break as one to hard drugs, like coffee!

I quit Y&R cold turkey when they killed off Cassie a few years ago, and I lived to regret it! I wish I had stayed the course! I think of all the truly wonderful stories that I missed and the wonderful acting that I will never see, and I regret that impulsive decision.

The next time that I had that impulse -- when General Hospital was tanking -- I resisted the urge to quit. I hung in and used the fast-forward. The reward has been great. The show is better than ever.

I can see some hope for Y&R as well, especially after I found a very excellent Two Scoops on the subject, "Dark and Dangerous," written by Nita, October 5, 2009, which I urge you to read.. She explained some of the good outcomes that occur to stories when children are sacrificed. She also provided some great insight into both Adam and Victor.

So, in this column, I'm not going to dwell on Delia's death. Teddi did a great job <>a href="">last week of showcasing the collective feelings of us outraged fans.

This email from Patty is a great summary and gets the Most Reasonable-Of-All-The-Rant-About-Delia's-Death Award:

I certainly agree that children in peril (or worse) have become far too common on the soaps and in other TV and movie plots. Like others who wrote, I don't want to be horribly stressed out about soap characters that I've watched for years and decades. It seems to be part of the whole need by writers to push the envelope, but it can backfire and cause viewer loss.

I've been reading the recaps lately because it's just too stressful to watch some of those scenes. The acting may be stellar, but to what end? It sucks the joy out of life in so many ways and creates a cloud over so many other plotlines. Yes, people who really go through it can be strong, or put on the face of strength, for their families, but why must it be shoved in all loyal viewers' faces and cause so much sadness, especially for those who've actually lived it?

Personally, I don't need to see extreme drama every day on the daytime shows, and would actually like to see more developments that we watchers actually can relate to, with occasional high drama instead of several times every day! I'd also like to see a lot more fun and humor written in. Yes, I know these shows aren't sitcoms, but they're more enjoyable with more highpoints, and not relentlessly full of low points. Sure, I want to be shocked and surprised, but the over-the-top tragedies for children are just too much. And the never-ending feuds between stubborn characters just remind me of our recent futile politics. The world, and our soaps, need more problem-solving.

I agree with Patty, as do the majority of you. More problem-solving, less death and destruction -- unless it's Carmine (LOL).

I still don't think that Delia had to die, but we need to move on. If you are having problems doing that and watching Y&R is making you miserable, here are five things that you can do to help alleviate your grieving and begin the healing process.

1. If you pre-record, use the fast-forward button.
Rita wrote:

I really enjoy your column and read it every week. I'm forever grateful for the fast forward button on the remote. I can tune out Victor Newman, Hilary, Cane and Lily, and a too sad storyline about a child's death. Sometimes I only actually watch about 20 minutes. It seems most of GC residents are complete morons who can't see what's in front of their faces. Anyway, it's just a soap. (Amen, sister!)

2 If you don't pre-record, use the mute and/or closed caption option.

3. Send emails to CBS.

4. Send emails to Sony (As I was preparing to write this column, I wondered if the handful of Japanese martial arts films that I've streamed on Netflix is an indication of viewing tastes in that country. If so, then Delia's death might not be viewed as so much of a tragedy there, because in all the films I've screened, the hero either ends up maimed or dead, and if there are lovers, one of the lovers dies tragically. So maybe someone, somewhere among the powers that be at Sony thinks that all this tragedy is a treat!)

5. Change soaps or become a soap hopper. Up next: the tale of another city!

This last suggestion came up as I was pondering the soap opera genre in general. I realized that Charles Dickens, who wrote serialized fiction for the "penny dreadfuls" -- the tabloids of his day -- was actually one of the first "soap" writers. I bet that if Dickens found himself here today, he would be applying his talents to daytime drama.

I also decided that soaps are either patrilineal or matrilineal. AMC and OLTL, both matrilineal, are in decline. But Y&R, which is patrilineal, shares that enormous similarity, among others, with its twin and opposite, GH, in the dwindling soapiverse.

With a few minor substitutions, it should be easy to make a switch, or at least have a place to hang until Y&R gets through this rough gloomy patch. So if you do want to change soaps or add one, here is the tale of another city and some reasons to visit Port Charles and get a checkup at General Hospital.

In Genoa City, I've likened Victor, Nick, and Adam to the movie versions of Odin, Thor, and Loki. I will add Jack as Odin's family-privileged nemesis. In Port Charles, those characters equate to Sonny, Michael, and Morgan, who is about to betray his father as Adam did. Julian Jerome, like Jack, comes from a privileged family, Julian may win a few victories here and there, but Sonny will win the war. However, Julian is charming and likable, and it will be hard not to root for him.

In GC, the heroes are corporate raiders. In PC, they are gangsters who threaten but rarely kill and don't sell drugs or handle prostitutes. The police are bumbling morons most of the time just like in GC. If this intrigues you, give GH and the outstanding Two Scoops writers for that show a try. GH is a lot more upbeat, and it's at an all-time high with its fans right now. If you like sci-fi and coming back from the dead, be warned, once hooked, this soap just might become a guilty pleasure for you, too!

Now, let's get the Y&R party started! If you skipped to here, the rest of this column is devoted to you, the likers and the watchers, for your great loyalty and sacrifice -- You keep watching no matter what! Here are some comments from folks with upbeat attitudes. Tony had this to say:

I have to be honest, even though I hate to see a story about children dying, I must remember this is a Soap. I believe this storyline is great. This could happen and has happen in real-life when we leave kids alone in the car. What great storytelling Y&R is doing. If you are going to be writer you have to sometimes push the envelope and Y&R did it! Great acting from everyone. It will make people think before they leaving a child in the car by themselves.

Lorraine had this to say:

I don't follow columns because I don't want spoilers, but I have to say the reaction to Delia's demise shocks me. I thought we were far past watching soaps for pure escapism. I guess not! I applaud Y&R for tackling yet another thorny issue, or issues: preventable harm, unexpected death of a child, guilt, and loss. This one covers all and very realistically. Society needs this as we are so far removed from grief, and our responsibilities...Great acting as well I might add.

Agreed. The acting has been terrific. Robin commented:

I think the handling of Delia's death was realistic and the acting by Billy, Victoria, and Chloe were excellent.

Joanne had this to say:

Y&R have so many talented actors, watching Adam & Chelsea with their new son is incredible, they are amazing actors. The scenes with Dylan losing Connor were gut wrenching. The Jack, Nick and Summer episodes have shown some of the BEST acting on Y&R, We could feel their pain. The recent episodes losing Delia are heart wrenching, difficult to watch but again the acting is incredible, Billy, Victoria (amazing), Kevin and God Love Chloe -- you would think she really lost a child -- I LOVE Y&R and could never say anything negative about it. ERIC BRAEDEN & PETER BERGMAN are the loves of my life. Joanne -- A CANADIAN FAN.

Here's what Tim says about Billy Miller:

Saw Billy do a fabulous job of acting today. The intensity of losing his daughter was absolutely incredible. Worthy of an EMMY! Also saw him on Castle! Outstanding job Billy! You are one dynamite actor who is going to great things. Definitely going to miss you on Y & R if you're not electing to stick around! My hat goes off to you sir!!!!!

And finally Judy wrote:

You are missing part of what makes a good soap....The ability to make one cry. I thought all the actors portrayed grieving parents really well. And what a lesson to teach about the dangers of leaving a child alone in the car! Many otherwise very good parents have left a child alone in the car for a moment, thinking it was ok. Maybe others just want sugary happiness in a show, but at the end of the day, I can watch and thank the powers that be, my world is ok!

I want to respectfully point out that what Judy says is very true for those of us who have never lost a child, but I think that this story could be understandably painful for those who have suffered such a crushing loss. The following email is from Annabell.

These people do not realize what it is like to lose a child. This story line should have never happened. I lost my granddaughter, age 2, of drowning. Thanks a lot Young and the Restless for making these feeling come back to haunt me.

Annabell, you have my deepest condolences on your loss, as do all the other viewers who have lost a child.

Chelsea's attitude gained respect from Bessie who wrote:

But I do love it all, even as bad as it has been lately. I hate to admit it but I think how they wrote about Peanut getting Delia's corneas was done well, it took how everyone felt about Chelsea and pretty much turned it around so she did not look like the troll she has been looking lately. She really looked like the loving, caring friend to Chloe she should be and I am glad for that. Maybe this will turn her the other way now with people and she won't keep getting all the hate comments she has been all this time. I do like Chelsea, she doesn't always make good choices but who of us regularly do anyway?

I agree. This story has made Chelsea very likable.

Roxy, on the other hand, thought that Chloe did not cry enough:

Billie is a rock star of an actor. Chloe needs to work on crying, daughter killed and no tears, just a lot of frowning. So much more believable when something wet is coming down the face of crying moments.

But Kim had this to say.

Thought I had made it thru the week but reading your column made it all come back, I lost my brother when I was 6 yrs old, he was 3, by a car hitting him... it hit home hard, but must say, that Chloe with no tears makes sense to me, tears don't easily come when u are in shock, it took me 3 days before I cried and I tried hard! As much as I hate the storyline, and I do, it was watchable even for me and the performances were outstanding, to get thru Monday, had to watch Billy on Castle, reassurance it wasn't true I guess, made the remainder of week easier.

I think that we can all agree that we have been treated to some terrific acting. Adam, Michael Muhney, has been especially good in his nuanced portrayal of guilt, compassion and tenderness. Many of you have expressed a similar sentiment. Mary had this to say.

Unless things change they may as well change the name to "The Young and the Tragic." I am really tired of all the negativity and senseless tragedy these writers are pouring out. Who is left in GC that has any degree of happiness in their lives? I also have grown to love Adam as a character and really hate all the storylines that keep him twisted and alienated from everyone. Michael Muhney has done a masterful job of gradually turning a very unsympathetic villain into a person we are pulling for as he gradually shows more and more feeling. So stop with the "Adam did it" stuff and let us embrace Adam.

James wrote this:

Just hope the producers pay some attention to the viewers, the fans, those that help the program stay on top. Let Adam become the "changing of the guards" and get this awful hit n run thing done away with. He should be the character of the future of this show. Also he's the only real movie star caliber on the show, anyway.

James makes a very good point, and a lot of you wrote that you would prefer that someone other than Adam be responsible for Delia's death. As of today, the police were on their way to apprehend a suspect. Adam thinks that he hit Delia, and there is certainly evidence.

In my mind, it is still possible that an unknown party hit Delia and she was already down when Adam swerved. He could have broken his turn indictor light on a bush and snagged Delia's scarf without ever hitting Delia, so it is still possible that Adam did not do the dirty deed. He will, however, I'm sure, be blamed for the accident, even if he is later proven innocent.

Susan thinks that Adam should go to Paul and tell his story.

I have never witnessed Adam interact with Paul. With the reality that Adam did stop in the road and was confused that the supposedly hit "dog" was okay I'd like to see Adam ask to speak to Paul regarding the events of that evening. Not to confess, but to convey the events and he perceived them and be humble and admit his fear that he thinks he was the driver. Paul is a level headed guy and I think Paul would be surprised if not shocked to find Adam coming to him in this manner. Adam deserves a break and people need to see Adam in a different light. I think coming forward under the most difficult circumstances to the very people who hate you shows character. I think Chelsea would be so supportive of the new Adam and furthermore they would find their way back to each other. And, I'd like to see the Chief of Police and his DA wife try to help Adam stirring the pot amongst their own frenemies. It would be refreshing.

I find that a very refreshing solution Susan, but it's too logical. Adam tried to confess, but Chelsea stopped him and now he can't bring himself to tell the truth. He is suffering mightily, and the actor's performance is riveting, but Adam's regret is not enough. He needs to take responsibility. Mary had this to say:

To make Adam continue on his path to being a nice guy, he should confess to hitting Delia. Adam is not a bad person but if he doesn't take responsibility, he will once again be the ruthless person he once was.

Many of you have given Adam a break and put the blame for Adam's behavior on Victor. Even Adam blamed Victor for abandoning him as a child. Victor explained that he had honored Hope's wishes. I know Victor was telling the truth. I remember the episode where Hope said that she wanted to raise Adam away from Victor. If Victor had not honored Hope's wishes, we would have accused Victor of terrorizing a blind woman, so Victor was in a no-win situation.

If anyone should have abandonment issues, it's Victor. As childhoods go, his was much worse that Adam's was. Victor was left at an orphanage by his mother and rejected by his father. Victor earned everything by his own hands, so his need for control is understandable, though it does not make it right.

Victor is not a perfect person and he has many flaws, not the least of which is that he acts in his own selfish best interest, but Victor did take a bullet for Jack, just as Adam took one for Victor -- hm, yet another plot rehash! -- so Adam's gesture is no more remarkable than Victor's.

The only difference that I can see between Victor and Adam, at the moment, is that Victor proved his love for Adam by standing behind and supporting Adam when Adam was falsely accused of rape. That Adam did not believe Victor made it no less true on Victor's part and Victor deserved acknowledgement of that from Adam.

Adam's pride runs very deep, and it is very hard for him to admit that he is ever wrong. I know from personal experience that pride definitely goes before a fall, so I would personally urge Adam to find the power and joy of confession. It can be emotionally freeing to admit mistakes, even big life-changing ones.

Victor suffers from the same sin of pride, and his hurtful treatment of Billy is very unattractive, even to his fans. Victor is always the ultimate loser in matters of family even though he is the perpetual winner at business. Jack has the distinction of a happy family, and all of that is what Victor really values, but never gets.

Colleen summed up what a lot of viewers felt when Victor started disparaging Billy as soon as Victor heard that Delia had died:

I have always felt that Victor is a pompous ass. However, yesterday, he sunk to a new level of reprehensible. He is completely unconscionable and Nikki should have turned around and slapped him. I would have. He is beyond disgusting.

There were several fan responses to Carmine's death and suggestions for a solution that would keep Michael out of jail. Jocelyn said:

Although I love Michael and Lauren I am done with the Carmine story. I'm guessing he killed himself knowing Michael would say he was the one who shot Carmine to protect Lauren and Fen.

Jannie had a different idea about the shooter:

Being in the alley for the Carmine shooting scenes reminded me of the time Paul shot his son. Whatever happened to the part of that story when someone seemed to be watching from the alley? I thought the son's mother was going to come back or something. By the way, Alex is the Carmine shooter.

Good idea, but I doubt it. Alex is too "law and order" to shoot Carmine in cold blood and frame Fen, who seems like the dumbest person in Genoa City after his lame confession. I'm not the only one who thinks Fen inherited his stupidity honestly. Timothy says:

Michael Baldwin is an attorney AND was the D.A? In what brain cell did this make sense to him to cover up a murder where either his wife or son had reasonable motive to end Carmine's life? Michael covering up Carmine's death makes him look like an idiot! [I still love you Michael!]

Fans commented about Nikki's recent, though anticlimactic, reveal to baby Johnny that Dylan was Nikki's long-lost son. Denise had this to say:

Yes, I'm afraid that Dylan IS going to be the long-lost son of Nikki, even though we've never heard of him before. How else could Y&R justify his constant presence on the show! He has to be tied to one of the core characters.

I agree with you that it is OK to compare some storylines with other soaps, especially when they are so much alike. The Delia accident, for example, is the exact replica of the Jake Spencer hit and run on GH and his kidney was given to save another child. His father was played by none other than Steve Burton (now Dylan). How can we not notice the similarities?

I think Nikki was very clever to tell Avery her news. Avery is not very closed mouthed, so I wouldn't be surprised if she lets it slip to Dylan. That would take the burden off Nikki. I'm still hoping that Dylan is somehow also Paul's son.

Most of the other mail dealt with the return of Phyllis. While we all would prefer the return of Michelle Stafford, most us realize the importance of Phyllis to the show, and we just want a great actress recast in the role! It's time for the Summer paternity fiasco to be over, now that Sharon is back on her meds. Sharon should fess up before Phyllis emerges from her coma. Penny wrote:

I think you really should bring back Phyllis -- too many have disappeared and Jeanne Cooper has left such an enormous hole in the show. Bringing back Phyllis is a must to keep our interest. Too many people just vanish -- now even Murphy, and others

Some of you questioned the shoddy financial practices at Newman and Jabot. Julie, a financial analyst said this:

Since this week's Two Scoops included a lot of inconsistencies in business practices and common sense, I'd like to ask my burning question. Didn't Jack have difficulty finding enough cash to buy back Jabot just last year? If I remember correctly, didn't he need his sisters and niece's help? If so, then how on earth did he come up with the financial means to buy part of NE? No banking institution would allow one individual to be that leveraged especially since Jabot just created a new and expensive clothing division. The financials wouldn't justify a loan to buy NE of any significant amount.

As a financial analyst, I find the business dealings on this show to be utterly ridiculous. Not only do they defy common sense, they defy any normal business processes, approvals and protocols. In addition, NO company makes these types of decisions on the fly. Months and months of analysis are required before they even start down the path of making these type of decisions. I can only hope that at some point they hire a consultant with real world business & corporate America experience.

One viewer questioned why Leslie has not tried to uncover the connection between Rose Turner and Leslie's father, Gus. Here's what Linda wrote:

Do you have any idea why when Leslie wanted to know what Hilary's mom Rose had to do with her father (Gus) it was dropped and now Leslie hasn't even talked to Hilary? Not to mention has anyone seen Moses? LOL

Neil called Moses on Friday's episode. Moses is probably getting SORASed as I write . As to why no one's asking about Rose and Gus, I guess the Winters Clan is as tired of this story as we are!

Plot hole alert! I was just thinking about that small market where Billy stopped for ice cream and wondered why it did not have a well-lit parking lot and why it had no cameras and how it could stay in business with no big sign, no street lights, no gas pumps, and no traffic except for people taking the "long way home."

Picky. Picky. Picky. On GH, Elizabeth moved her children to a safe, suburban, out-of-the-way neighborhood, but when Jake died, their street had morphed into a dark, busy, pothole-filled thoroughfare.

Picky. Picky. Picky. Wasn't Chancellor Park built to honor Katherine's memory and dedicated during her memorial? How could Faith and Abby have had so many memories of being there with Delia?

Finally, I had a hard time picking the Tirade-of-the-Week Award, because there were so many worthy entries. Honorable mention goes to Bessie and Cathey, but this Halloween-appropriate rant from Ang was my favorite:

I am sick and tired of Adam being the bad son. For real, this storyline sucks. Now he killed someone else. At this point, the show should be called Adam, AKA the GRIM REAPER, and the Restless. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

You know it was upsetting, here is Hope's son who grew up without the Mustache, got an education and the story makes him a villain. Then to make matters worse now he killed a child. You know what else, the way they have portrayed Adam compared to his brother and sister is stupid. Why not make him self-made and not so dark of character. I am sick of this story line already. You know Phyllis went through the same type of story line. I mean either get new characters or develop new story lines and quit doing the same rerun stuff. OH YEAH PLEASE FOR GOD'S SAKE bring Phyllis back. OH don't get me started with the all in the family crap. ... If they need a new storyline why not bring in a new family or better yet, why not have a funny type of theme. I mean it needs something other than ADAM THE GRIM REAPER BOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Now Ang, take a deep breath and repeat after me, "It's only a soap!" Seriously, thanks for the chuckle. I won't soon forget the "The Grim Reaper and the Restless," or the Young and the Tragic," both terrific, Halloween-worthy, mocking euphemisms for our favorite drama.

Keep those emails pouring in. We are finally heading into sweeps month and hopefully some upbeat stories, worthy of our love and attention, but remember, if you don't find what you are looking for in Genoa City, there are still cities in the soapiverse ready and waiting to make a place for you. I've told the tale of two cities, but there are still more for you to explore, just a DVR or VCR away.

Until next time, dear fan addicts, my best wishes as you observe Halloween, Dia de Meurtos, Hallowmas, or any of the customary celebrations that honor our dead, including our dear Delia, at this time of year. And, as always, friends, may the soaps be with you.

What are your thoughts on The Young and the Restless? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts. Use the email link to drop our columnist a note. You can also call our 24/7 caller feedback hotline at 267.341.7627 and voice your thoughts. And now if you have a Facebook account, you can scroll to the bottom of the column and leave your comments right here on this page!

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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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