This year, The Young and the Restless brought something new to the table when Nikki chose to celebrate Veterans Day by paying tribute to all who had heroically fought for our country. Nikki's idea to have a charity benefit at the Underground was ideal because, rather than just throwing money at another cause, she desired to be personally involved. With Stitch as a worthy honoree, Nikki and Victor gave heart-warming speeches that spoke of the strength and courage of our veterans. What an honorable way to salute the millions of veterans of all wars.
I loved it when Nikki pointed out that the strength of these courageous men and women was not just borne out of duty, but also out of love for friends, neighbors, and family. Nikki claimed that these deserving comrades were her heroes, who had generous hearts to guide them through their lives. She clearly showed her high regard for veterans, and the room lit up with her respect and love. As a lady who has gone through her own battle, Nikki understood what these admirable folks had faced and the hardships they had endured. Nikki spoke beautiful words that were her "measure of devotion." Y&R fan Robin applauded Nikki's tribute:
I'm a Veteran and the episode for the Vets was excellent. Very well done! Thank you! I thought the funny part was Nikki hugging Dylan and the look on Victor's face.
I had not realized that Jack was a Vietnam veteran, so I was pleased that he was at the benefit to represent the soldiers of a past and not-so-popular war. My husband is also a Vietnam vet, and he is proud to admit it, even though the soldiers were treated with disdain and contempt upon their return home. Although I was young and na´ve at the time, I was old enough to realize that the treatment they received was horrendous. I could not understand how United States citizens could boo and jeer at their own men (and women) who had just fought so hard for their country. I had never understood their scorn then, and I still don't now. I just hope that I never will.
While Nikki was not one to throw money at a cause, that is pretty much just what Victor did when he announced that he was starting up a new veterans program where qualified vets could apply for jobs at Newman Enterprises. And, actually, I absolutely see nothing wrong with that. After all, that would be the only way that Victor would know how to honor these fine individuals -- with money. But if it opens up opportunities for the veterans and their families, so be it. Victor may seem to have a black heart, but there are times when Colleen's heart briefly peeks out.
At the event, Avery witnessed Nick returning Sharon's bracelet to her, so, of course, she completely misunderstood and thought they had slept together. Of course. But Sharon was quick to persuade Avery that Sharon and Nick were only friends, and she stressed that she and Nick had just been locked up together in the Underground's freezer.
You know, Sharon is starting to resemble the Sharon that I remember from years ago. It's nice seeing this side of her again. It's been a long time. Actually, Sharon referred to it, as her "reclamation tour." According to dictionary.com, the definition of reclamation is "the act of reclaiming, or the state of being reclaimed," or "the recovery of useful substances from waste products." I guess you can decide for yourself which definition she actually meant.
Later, Sharon informed Dylan at Crimson Lights that she had made a donation to the cause in Stitch's name, even though she would not be attending Nikki's benefit. (Seriously, could you imagine the fireworks, if she had attended?!) After Dylan explained that he was avoiding the benefit so that he would not be put on exhibit as Connor's kidnapper, Sharon reminded him that nobody's life was a clean slate and that "the more she faced the fire, the better she felt." What terrific advice to give to Dylan, and it appeared to have done the trick, because he went to Nikki's gathering.
Stitch introduced Dylan to Gene Scarborough, who had lost everything after the war and had lived on the streets, drinking. Gene pointed out that he had been able to turn his life around, and you could see the admiration in Dylan's eyes as he called Gene a hero for aiding other lost veterans to get them back on track. Gene's story is based on fact, because many veterans were totally lost once the war ended.
My husband told me that he had started out on the same path as Gene, until he had realized that he needed help. My husband sought counseling at the Veterans Administration Hospital and was able to avoid going completely off the tracks. It was not an easy road to take, but he was able to overcome his obstacles and to have a successful life filled with love. My husband has never forgotten his term in the war, though, and he never will.
Once Dylan joined Avery, they left the event together, which did not go unnoticed by Nick. Avery shared that the benefit had left her feeling sad, because it had put her back to the time when she had worried about Dylan overseas in battle. Avery admitted that she had deeply loved Dylan at the time, and it was pretty obvious that she still did as they kissed. Who saw that coming? (Everyone, I am guessing.) While it would not be surprising if they reunited, where could they go from there that would make for good soap material? Y&R fan Linda A. is concerned also:
They missed being able to have a great love story with Avery, she should have been married to Nick when he came back and have her still be completely in love with Dylan...A real soap triangle. That is a good question, why don't soaps have real love stories anymore?
Actually, that is a very good question. Fans remember the glory days of love in the afternoon and still desire to return to that from time to time. Unfortunately, Y&R has been so gloomy and depressing lately that fans are almost afraid to watch it anymore. The writers have terrific couples with that hot onscreen chemistry that is so desirable on any television show, and they should take advantage of that.
We want that smoldering passion to exude and engulf us as the couples take us along with them on their ride. Where's the love? Nowadays, there's not even that much lust. It's sad, when a soap opera doesn't even have an animalistic lust front and center. Something's wrong here!
Seriously, the fans are ready for a good, old-fashioned love story again. I guess the closest thing we can come to that, at this time, is the love that continues to exist between long-time, on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again (etc., etc.) couple, Nikki and Victor. I mean, for heaven's sake, Victor even offered to draw Nikki her bath. That's romance!
Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Victor does love Nikki. He worried that the stress would worsen the symptoms of her multiple sclerosis. But Victor also knew Nikki well enough to know that she was covering up something. Surprise, surprise, Victor, when you find out that Nikki has a long-lost son!
Y&R fan Dee referred to Lauren and Michael as she commented on the longevity of Nikki and Victor:
If Nikki/Victor can have umpteenth marriages after so many divorces, why can't a gorgeous beautiful couple who truly love each have a wedding renewal (they didn't get the divorce) surely a real love is more deserving than the indecisive Newman so called love.
It is true that Victor and Nikki have walked down the aisle numerous times, so perhaps it's time to let someone else celebrate their love. Although it looked to be a close call at one time, Lauren and Michael have made their wedding vows stick. So far. More on that later.
Fan opinion seems to lean towards "hate Victor" these days. In fact, the opinion leans so far over to the "hate" side of the fence that it pretty much topples over it. Y&R fan Bessie shares her reasons:
Victor has caused every woman in his life to lose a baby, did you know that? Ashley had an abortion because he pitched such a fit over the possibility of her being pregnant, Nikki lost Jacks' child because of him, Victoria also lost a child as a result of Victor, and he has never paid as a result.... Victor has never paid for any of his crimes and there have been some big ones believe me, from kidnapping and putting people in cages, burning down buildings, you name it, he has done it, where are these people's memories?
Y&R fan Linda A. also had her views on Victor:
I am so tired of Victor winning....He needs to LOSE big time but not at the hands of Hilary.... They should have brought back Stephen Nichols and had Katherine leave her company to him, then Victor would have a worthy opponent.
And Y&R fan Ann continues along with this train of thought:
Victor is annoying the hell out of me -- why does he have to be SO unpleasant and so bossy? All the fans that have defended Victor's rejection of Adam seem to have conveniently forgotten that Victor was the one who hired the spy (Melanie?) to bed Adam and get details on what he was doing, and also that the event that finally put Adam over the top was finding that Victor had bugged his office. All Adam was ever guilty of was not trusting Victor and remaining vigilant -- he never instigated any spying tactics on Victor.
That Victor is truly one unpopular guy! You can't say that he doesn't make for an excellent villain on this soap. If so many fans hate Victor, then Eric Braeden must be doing a marvelous job.
To show that he was not entirely a monster, Victor orchestrated his own search for Delia's hit-and-run driver. Sure, his motives may be selfish, since he suddenly considers Delia a member of his extended family, but if that's what motivates the man, I am all for it. We all know that he sure isn't doing the search for Billy, so he must be doing it for Victoria. Whatever floats your boat, Vic, as long as the truth of what happened that horrible night is revealed.
Victor did learn, through his investigator, that an anonymous witness to the incident, who desired to remain anonymous because of legal issues, revealed that the first letter of the license plate on the black SUV that had hit Delia was the letter, "G." Hey, Adam's license plate number is 6B8 AEY. There is no "G" in that anywhere. Could this finally be the evidence that the fans have been hoping for to prove Adam's innocence? But wait...there were no license plates beginning with "G" in the area, so Victor then wondered if the "G" could have been a "6." I guess that puts Adam back on the hook, and our hopes have been dashed.
Jack and Jill (I love it!) declared they were on a mission to prevent Victor from merging Chancellor Industries with Newman Enterprises, and Jill made no bones about it that she would do anything to regain control of C.I. While Jill was willing to even have Devon spy on Victor, Jack was not as eager to go quite that far. I was rather surprised about that.
In the past, Jack has always done anything and everything to get back at Victor. Maybe he is finally learning. Oh, but then we found out that Hilary was also involved. Great. Hilary informed Jill that she knew about Jill's past, enough to know that Jill had been given tons of second chances, and that's all that Hilary wants. Really?
But Kyle had a brilliant idea -- he could be the mole! Jack hated the idea, because he would never have his kids fight his battles for him, unlike someone else we know. (Hint...Victor!) Since Jack was against the idea, Kyle asked Victor for a job, behind his dad's back. Another secret! Kyle's reasoning to Victor was that Jack only saw him as a kid, and not as a valued employee, and Kyle wanted to make a name for himself.
Victor, of course, loved the idea of hiring Jack's son. Ahh...another toy for Victor to bat and toss around. I have a nagging feeling that Kyle is going to be in a world full of hurt once Victor realizes that it is all a plot. Dear Victor does not take kindly to betrayal. Just ask Adam.
And Victor just doesn't know when to quit. Instead of ignoring Sharon when she walked into the Athletic Club, he decided to throw a few more stones at her. You know what they say about glass houses, Victor! Seriously, why couldn't Victor just leave Sharon in peace? Being the chivalrous guy that he was, Adam defended Sharon when Victor nastily sneered that Sharon did not deserve to be a parent and that she had arranged to be locked up in the freezer with Nick. After Adam warned Victor to stop trying to buy Connor "with stock options and silver spoons," Victor declared that although Connor would always be a Newman, Adam no longer was. That's pretty harsh, Vic.
Now, in my opinion, the couple that would have the best chance at an explosive, heart-pounding, smooch-filled romance would still have to be Billy and Victoria, if they weren't so busy grieving over Delia's death. Billy showed again just how lost he would be if Victoria weren't there to help him through his grief. I got teary-eyed when he acknowledged to Victoria that he needed help. I am so relieved that he realized and admitted it. His admission had to be the first step toward his healing.
At a survivors' support group, a grieving mother cried over the loss of her seven-year-old son, Sam; Billy and Victoria could relate, since Sam's death had also been due to a hit-and-run driver. The lady, played by Cynthia Watros, mourned over the death of her child and the loss of her marriage to Dean. Victoria was then able to tell the group what had happened to Delia, but Billy was still unable to talk about it. Billy is still trying, though, and that is what's important.
Billy has been somewhat self-destructive in the past, so it's nice to see that he is fighting for his life as he tries to learn how to cope. It's going to be a slow and painful process, but with Victoria's help, Billy should be able to get through it. Now, this could be the big, romantic, love story we have been waiting for, if told in the right way.
Billy seems to be on the right track, because he wants to get help and is aware that he can't do it without Victoria. Those are good signs. However, Billy obviously has a vendetta to get the hit-and-run driver, and he has been hiding a gun in the closet. This is not good! Victoria has no idea about this, of course.
Billy keyed a message online on a "Missing my Angel" message board, asking how to make a hit-and-run driver pay. Adam saw it and sent the response, "Maybe the person is paying." When Billy muttered to himself that the driver would pay, I knew that the big love story I had hoped for might very well not happen for Billy and Victoria. They (and we) need the love! And hopefully Billy Miller signs a new contract with Y&R in order to make it happen.
Oh well, at least the writers are offering us a taste of romance with couples such as Lily and Cane. I had almost forgotten about them. Actually, I thought that the way they had first gotten together was very romantic...that is, until Chloe messed it all up. This is one couple that has been together for a while and that has continued to be happy as a husband and wife with kids. And they sure turned on the heat in the sauna in more ways than one.
After Cane suggested that he and Lily take a trip around the world with the twins, Lily noted that she wasn't sure what turned her on more: Cane as a loving, caring father or as a gorgeous, half-naked hunk. Cane then used the towel to tease Lily, as a strange (as in unfamiliar, not wacko) guy walked in. I admit that this was fun, but writers, it's not enough. We want that whirlwind romance between two characters that we have already become invested in.
Maybe the two characters could have been Tyler and Abby if it had played out in a different way. First, we should have been given more time to learn about the new Abby. While we have grown to love Abby as a Newman and an Abbott, we needed more time to relate with Melissa Ordway's more toned-down version of her. Then, maybe Tyler could have been even more obnoxious when they first interacted. (Hard to believe I would say that about Tyler, right?) They possibly could have started out in a love/hate relationship, which then could have developed into a strong, passionate love. You know, the kind of passion that Sam and Diane had on Cheers. That kind of passion is explosive, and when love is the result, the relationship can become addictive for the characters and for the fans.
But, anyway, it was Abby's birthday, and Tyler wanted to do something special for the girl who "makes you feel you've been turned on your head." However, leave it to Victor to warn Tyler that family should always come first for Abby. (Remember, Victor earlier claimed that nothing was more important to him than the happiness of his family.) Golly, Victor was everywhere this week. Victor's idea of the perfect gift for Abby was to give her a plaque for her new position as vice president of the lifestyle division at Newman Enterprises. Talk about putting the poor girl in the middle of her two families! But really, Victor only cares about Abby's happiness. Okay....
Thankfully, Abby turned her father down because she was happy at Jabot, where she had control over her own job. Smart girl! She said that working with Victor could be a little intense, and she wasn't just whistling Dixie. Tyler then took Abby to celebrate her birthday in a very special way. These two have cautiously told each other that they love each other, and they do seem to care. I think the most that I see, so far, is that they are cute together. I don't see a heavy-duty passionate on-screen chemistry between them so far, but they might prove to be interesting as a couple.
Their cuteness together continued when Tyler had her make a wish on her special birthday homemade peach cobbler that he had baked himself. Between the cobbler and their cuteness as a couple, Abby and Tyler are definitely satisfying the cravings of my sweet tooth. Tyler then delivered his shining, sparkly, one-of-a-kind gift, which was a star that was named after Abby. Okay, now I'm starting to feel a little nauseous, after so much sugar. But seriously, Tyler and Abby are sweet together, and I am glad that Tyler has grown as a person. However, a storm by the name of Mariah may be brewing on the horizon. ("They call the wind Mariah." Remember that golden oldie?)
And now, I have arrived at the most unpopular storyline currently on Y&R (drum roll or trumpet blare, take your pick): the Michael, Lauren, and Fen fiasco. Paul pleaded with Lauren to help him get one of her men out of prison, so what does she do? Nothing. What else is new? Paul even informed her that the forensics team found a napkin covered with her DNA in the alley, near Carmine's body, but still nothing from Lauren.
Is she crazy? Michael sacrificed himself for his son, and Fen then sacrificed himself for his father, and Lauren still does nothing? At least Paul is intent on pursuing the evidence to get to the truth. It's about time! I will let Y&R fan Christie G. go first:
So, if Michael (or Fen) were to be found guilty of murdering Carmine...and then Carmine turned up alive, they (the "murderer") would be released from prison because no crime has been committed, right?? If they were then to actually kill Carmine, wouldn't they be able to avoid being charged with his murder since they had, in fact, already been tried for it?? Double jeopardy?? Perhaps not in the real world...I'm not that law-savvy...but in Soapiverse?? Anything goes, right?? I'm just tired of this silly story and ready for it to end...even if it does require some kind of crazy suspension of belief!
If Carmine did turn up alive, I would think that Michael would be released from prison, although in the real world, that would take a while, because the wheels of justice do tend to turn slowly. But in Soapland, Michael would probably be out in five minutes. And you are right, Christie, that in the real world, Michael or Fen could not avoid being charged with murder if either was to then kill Carmine (again), because that would be a different crime, a whole new charge of murder. I would think. Wow, Carmine had looked pretty dead to me, but on soaps, who knows? Y&R fan Bessie weighs in on this as well:
...has the Baldwin family become totally brainless all of a sudden? So sick and tired of that mess it has become, it isn't watchable at all anymore.
And Y&R fan Colleen pretty much states the same thing, only in different (and rather colorful) words:
'Dumb as a bag of hair' comes to mind in reference to the Baldwins.? Make no mistake, I love Michael and Lauren, BUT, get a clue!!
This storyline really challenges us, because there isn't any rhyme, reason, or logic to it. It just doesn't make sense. Fen is determined to pay for Carmine's death, and he is already in prison. And he will probably stay there, thanks to the drug charges. So, why won't Lauren do everything she can to get her husband out of prison? Michael would be a much bigger help to her on the outside, instead of languishing in a prison. Y&R fan Ann has plenty to say about this also:
What doesn't make me believe is the ridiculous story regarding the Baldwins -- and even though I'm willing to suspend belief for many of the storylines (it's a SOAP after all!), not even the actors in this story seem to be able to buy into this one. Everything from the idiotic thinking displayed by Michael and Fen and the constant, unconvincing hand-wringing by Lauren, the failure of the whole family to trust their friend Paul, the failure of the police to uncover any evidence at the scene (REALLY???), the fake beating up of Michael, the jail scenes (awful!)...all of these actors deserve better material and we as viewers deserve not to be insulted with this flimsy story. I hope this gets wrapped up very soon and Lauren will never have to be the victim of stalking/kidnapping again -- it's been a recurring theme for her since the beginning.
It's true that Lauren has been the victim quite often in recent years. If she's not careful, she will become a bigger helpless and hopeless case than Sharon has been, especially if Sharon remains on her road to recovery, good health, and independence. I don't see why soaps always need women to play "the helpless victim," but even that may be okay, if there were the knight in shining armor, riding on a white horse, to rescue her. Who doesn't love a hero? But since Michael is in prison, he can't even be Lauren's knight. Maybe this wasn't such a good strategy.
One more comment from Y&R fan Dee on this subject, before we finally (and thankfully) move on:
My main interest is Lauren/Michael and Fen their story is far from over but it was put on hold for two weeks while a child died. Not my cup of tea been there done that in real life don't need to go through it again (My friends 7 yr old) so back to Lauren and Michael, we still do not know who killed Carmine, don't know if the Likey marriage is on solid ground yet, and Fen the young man has? a heap of problems.? We saw the dirty sordid affair more then we have seen Lauren and Michael putting their marriage back together again.? Michael has paid since the beginning of this affair and still is paying a way bigger price than the two who started the problems. So the way for the writers to make it up to us Lauren/Michael fans is to give us on their anniversary a wedding Marriage renewal party...There ya go. No gloom and doom there.
That's a terrific idea, which is why it will never happen. I guess there's just not enough drama without all of the gloom and doom. Maybe, if we keep our fingers crossed, one day, love and romance will return. Please!
Yet matters had to go from bad to worse, as Michael came up with another ridiculous idea: to be an informant for the prosecution. Yes, you heard correctly -- Michael wants to become a snitch in prison, in exchange for a reduced sentence for his son. Michael, you fool! Do you really think that Lauren and Fen would want this?
Well, of course, Lauren will just quietly sit by and do nothing, which is what she has been doing all along. Sure, go ahead, Michael, paint an even bigger target on your back. This is crazy! Christine tried to convince Michael of that when she pointed out that Fen should pay for his drug crimes, just as Michael paid for his crimes, which resulted in Michael becoming a better person. But Michael would have none of Christine's logical advice.
The warden decided that Michael's first mission would be to spy on Womack, the very same inmate that had offered protection to Fen, unbeknownst to them. (Wow, I think that is the very first time that I have ever used the word "unbeknownst." I can now mark that off my bucket list.) What worries me is that Womack never revealed to Fen what Fen had to give him in return. I am sure that Fen is in over his head, and I doubt if throwing in with Womack will help him any. In fact, Fen should be very wary of what Womack will want. I can't think about that now!
Other notable (or humorous) items that happened during the week:
Amelia Heinle as Victoria continued to bat it out of the park when she stated that Billy was trying to cope with the uncope-able. As a mother, I realize that no truer words could be spoken.
So, "Alien Cheerleader from Planet Z" is a little too tame for Victoria? Makes you wonder what isn't. I realize that she was just trying to lighten the mood for Billy though.
Summer was unaware that Courtney did drugs, and she confronted Courtney about it. Of course, Courtney denied it. Poor Noah knows something's up with Courtney, but he doesn't know what. Should Summer warn him?
I really felt for Jack when he slipped and stated that the family birthday dinner for Abby wasn't like a tea party for a little girl. He looked destroyed when he realized what he had just said. Everyone is still dealing with the pain of Delia's death.
Hey, I want Leslie's mom's recipe for charcoal black meatloaf. Such a delicacy!
Even the car radio was acting as Adam's conscience, although I don't think that Adam needed any help in feeling guilty.
Faith discovered the perfect medicine for her broken arm: Dylan's super-frosted pumpkin cookies! Yum!
Dylan delivered a funny line after he served Sharon, Faith, and a disapproving Nick at Crimson Lights. "Two out of three happy customers ain't bad."
So Dylan decided to get back into architecture in a small way by making Faith a dollhouse? I bet Nick will love that!
When Adam remarked that life was so fragile that everything could be gone just like that (imagine the finger-snap) and that he wouldn't be able to protect Connor from everything, I thought to myself, "Welcome to parenthood!"
For someone who is not so great at taking good advice, Kevin can sure sometimes give it. After Chloe feared that she had not hugged her daughter and told Delia she loved her the last time she saw her, Kevin asked Chloe to not beat herself up for what she might have done wrong as a mother, but to focus on what she had done right. Kevin has been such a comfort for Chloe during this very tough time.
No, no, I refuse to make any reference to Mr. T from The A-Team, due to my "pity the fool" reference. I just won't do it!
Until next time, please stay tuned.