Recently I was reminded of what disdain some supposedly "smart" people have for those of us who are students of the soap opera genre. I won't get into details because I'm sure all of you have had similar experiences. Like me, you've probably learned not to waste breath with people like that, which brings me to the point. In a small way, like a pinprick compared to a gushing wound, such prejudicial thinking mirrors the intolerance that Martin Luther King and other leaders pointed out in the sixties to those of us who were sadly ignorant to the plight faced by all people of color.
In celebration of Martin Luther King Day, I commend The Young and the Restless for understanding early on the responsibility they had to demonstrate diversity. Y&R seized the opportunity to create a family that has become more than window dressing. The Winters clan could be "Any Family, USA." It is as integral to core of the show as any other family, and has produced at least two breakout nighttime TV stars in Victoria Rowell and Shemar Moore. Y&R recognized those talented actors and wrote storylines that showcased their abilities at a time when there was much less diversity in media than there is today.
I think all of us can be proud to say that Y&R, in particular, and TV in general is leading the way toward making "equality for all" a reality. So please join me and take a moment of silence in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who had the dream and shared it in words that speak to all of us who are willing to listen.
The acting in the Winters' storyline is great, but the plot is predictable and pedestrian, even though it is giving all the actors involved a chance to show their chops. I'm still convinced that Neil will regain his sight, probably when he "surprises" Hilary at the fancy spa hotel where she is trysting with Devon. He will arrive just in time to "see" Hilary and Devon in a revealing smooch, perhaps even in bed -- that would be fun! I sure hope Neil doesn't return to the bottle but instead goes a little berserk, just for a while, and does some unnice-Neil things that he will have to apologize for later -- after he makes life extremely uncomfortable for Devon and Hilary.
You just know that Lily will go crazy, especially when she finds out that Cane knew all along. Victor's wrath over the coming attempt to take over Chancellor will be nothing compared to Lily's over this. I think I'm on Lily's side this time. Better that the truth be told sooner rather than later. Now Lily can start calling Hilary a gold-digging opportunist. I kind of liked it when I could rag on Lily, but lately she's been so sane and sensible that I like her again. Have I mentioned how shallow and wishy washy I am?
Hilary has some serious competition from Gwen, and she had better watch out. Not only for Gwen, but also for the green-eyed monster that pops up every time she sees Devon flirting with Gwen. In my experience, it's not the flirting that's the relationship killer, it's the jealousy. So listen up, Hilary, if you want to preserve your union with Devon.
Another union whose state might be in question is that of Victor and Nikki, now that Victor's ownership of the warehouse district has been revealed. Nikki has a real dilemma. She's been married twelve times, several of them to Victor. Does she really want to start over, or can she handle being alone, which seems to me has to be an issue for someone who has been married twelve times during the last 40 years. Again, in my experience, being alone has been infinitely preferable to being uncomfortable in a life with someone who did not meet my needs or expectations, and whose neds I did not. I like my own company, but I don't think Nikki does.
Nikki is starting to show signs of alcohol abuse, and she is lying to herself and to everyone around her. I always thought of Nikki as a stronger person, and while her anger at Victor is justifiable, I don't understand why she feels so powerless. Nikki has lots of money of her own. She can drum up just as much support as Victor and can take him on. If I remember correctly, she's done that in the past, so what's different now?
Nikki had no trouble putting her stripper past behind her, so she should also be able to put Ian Ward away, especially since he vanished off the canvas without even a splotch of color left behind to mark the spot -- not that he couldn't come back in a year or so, or be the secret behind some plot against Victor, but in the now, Nikki needs to put on her big girl pants and focus. This is the time to act in defense of your cub, not wallow in alcohol and self-pity. Suck it up, Nikki -- and I don't mean the booze -- and act your age!
Speaking of ages, I got a laugh when Christine and Paul announced that Christine is pregnant. According to SOWAS -- Soap Opera Weird Aging Syndrome -- Paul should be 60 or 70, and Christine in her 40s. I can't imagine anyone that age wanting the responsibility of a child.
I guess Christine is now supposed to be 30ish, and Paul slightly older, about the same age as Nick. We know that Paul is older than Nikki who is old enough to have a 25-year-old grandson. See why I have a headache? I have to shake my head over this just like I do on my other soap where nobody is ever dead, even if you shoot them through the heart and dump them in the middle of the ocean. Like the famous saying by Roseanne Roseannadanna, "It's always something!"
So where are Christine and Paul headed? How long can they possibly stay together now that Nikki, Paul's first love and the mother of his son, is the latest damsel in distress? Will Christine conveniently miscarry and leave for a sabbatical in an ashram while Nikki, Paul, Dylan, and Avery move closer to that porch in Dogpatch? Stay tuned!
And the beat goes on, or at least the beatdown for Dylan, but honestly, don't you think with all his muscle and military training that Dylan should have been able to take both those guys, especially the little one who beat him up and left him on the floor. The previews for next week made it appear that Joe Clark sent the thugs, and personally, I hope it was Joe. I'd like to think that Victor would never do something so heinous to Nikki's son. I'm pretty sure Victor believes that if he throws enough money at something, he will get what he wants, and ultimately what Victor wants is to secure his dynasty for his family, even though the family swears they don't need it or want it.
Despite Victor's love for family, his love of money is going to seriously jeopardize the state of his union with all his nearest and dearest. No one is going to be happy that Victor is behind the redevelopment project, and Victor is going to be too proud to tell them that his business is in trouble and he needs the sale to bail himself out -- if he had been up-front, gathered everyone together, including Dylan, and explained the problem, then they could have solved it as a family. That's the way happy, functional families do it in real life, and it really cuts down the drama. In the Newmans' case, what kind of story would we have if they'd done that instead of demonstrating their dysfunction? There would be no drama, and we'd all be tuning in elsewhere.
As always with Victor, the state of the union will eventually return to harmonious with his family. No matter how many times Nick, Noah, Victoria, Nikki, or Abby vow that Victor is out of their lives for good, Victor's deep love for his family always wins them back. Victor goes down occasionally, and I sincerely hope this is one of those times-- with "Gadam," Jack, Jill, and Cane all after him -- but he gets right back up and starts punching. He's the Victorator and hasn't lost a match yet.
Is there still such a thing as a breech of contract in Wisconsin? Isn't that what Nick did to Sharon? Even though the minister did not pronounce them man and wife, Nick did make vows. I suppose he would have a case for annulment against Sharon, so maybe that's a mute point -- just a thought. Anyway, the state of their union remains unchanged, Nick is still a dumba@@ jacka@@! How dumb is he? A box of rocks has more common sense. Cases in point: the unshakable belief that Father Nick knows best -- despite very pointed talks with Mariah, Noah, and especially Faith, who is most upset and the one who will continue to be traumatized by Nick's actions, not to mention, he should be questioning Gabe a lot more closely, considering all the inconsistencies he's heard from Gabe and Sage.
Nick, meanwhile, who Gadam, very aptly described to Sage as having a "white knight complex," has never been a very deep thinker, nor does he feel the need to honor his word if doing so is inconvenient or causes him to have to use his brain. How long before Nick realizes that Sharon is perfect for him because she doesn't use her brain very much either. Sharon is a very good mother, and she is generally kind and caring to those around her, except when she's delusional and off her meds -- a condition that seems to be under control, but she could definitely use a white knight, especially the one who made "forever" promises to her. And besides, Nick and Sharon are hot together!
This is one reunion I'm hoping will take place, not only for Faith's sake, but for Mariah and Noah -- and mine as well. I loved all the joyous family scenes leading up to the non-wedding. They had all the sweet touches that made me remember the good and bad of my own youth. I want more of that, and I don't think any group seems more real together than Nick, Sharon, and their brood. I'm team Sharon all the way!
Sharon's nemesis, Phyllis, is (a.) scary and vindictive or (b.) being outplayed by someone even scarier. I have to admit that it's hard to choose, because it could go either way. Phyllis is certainly clever enough and vindictive enough to set Kelly up, but Kelly is messed up enough to have snapped and one-upped Phyllis. If Kelly has temporarily defeated Phyllis, I have no doubt that Phyllis will rebound and drive Kelly into an institution for the criminally insane, after Kelly goes whacko-psycho and we finally get bored of them, which could be a long time!
Meanwhile the state of Jack's union is in jeopardy. I don't think Jack has treated either woman well. He vowed that he would love Phyllis forever. He went to Georgia and told Phyllis that he was moving on. He moved Kelly into his house and then dumped her for Phyllis. I wouldn't be surprised if he flip-flops back to Kelly. Jack's still got that bobblehead thing going and is getting more indecisive by the minute.
That blonde wig on the chair has to make Jack question if Phyllis is telling the truth should she claim that Kelly planted it. If Kelly did plant it, then Kelly is one clever cookie and a worthy opponent for Phyllis, who had it pretty easy when she blindsided Sharon. Now, Phyllis may be getting some of her own back. What goes around comes around, perhaps? If it is Kelly who's gone whacko, maybe this is one time that Phyllis should have left well enough alone.
Michael still seems more worried about the state of his union than the state of his life. His lacsidasical attitude has me very worried for him, so I hope he starts treatment immediately. So what if you lose your hair, Michael? Better than losing your lif,e and beside,s Michael, your hair will grow back.
Not feeling the love in the union of Ben and Victoria. There are too much history, too many longing looks, and too many children between Billy and Victoria for them not to be drawn to each other. I bet they start cheating with each other soon, hopefully February sweeps, if we're lucky. Ben needs to get back in that shower with Ashley and let Billy and Victoria realize their shared dream of family -- not to mention thwart Victor's plans for Victoria and Katie. Billy and Victoria belong together, and both need to do all they can to repair the state of their union.
As awesome as I think the chemistry is between Billy and Chelsea, I sense that it will be even more dynamic between Gadam and Chelsea. I wish Adam could stay Gabe. But at some point, it will have to be revealed that he is Adam. There is still the possibility that Delia had already been hit before Adam swerved to avoid the dog. Since I like the cheeky charm of this Adam, I am really hoping the writers have some twists coming that will redeem him. Gadam's relationship to Sage and the way that will play out certainly adds another delicious layer of complexity to the canvas.
In closing, I am happy to report that the state of the union, at least in Genoa City, has proven to be healthy and will dazzle us for another year. So, till next time fellow fan addicts, laugh out loud with your friends as much as you can, even if they are imaginary! I certainly do.
Click here to read Boone's take on 2014 in part one of The Young and the Restless: The Year-In-Review
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