The circle game

For the Week of November 21, 2016
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The circle game
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The Newmans circled the family wagons as news shark Hilary circled them. Jack denied his desire to circle Phyllis while Michelle expressed passion for Travis. Get all the news in this week's Two Scoops.

In a soapiverse far, far away, our intrepid heroes found themselves trapped in a time loop endlessly circling the same stories over and over again. Though the acting remained solid, our characters seemed fixed and unable to grow or learn, like cold planets orbiting a distant star, that is, until one character pointed out the circle game!

Thank you, Nick, for waking up while you were talking to Dylan. Thank you, Nick, for finally analyzing how Sharon operates. First Sharon lies, then you forgive her, and then the circle starts all over again. Now if only Sharon could figure it out and break that cycle.

As much as I defended Sharon two years ago after she had "forgotten" about Summer's faked paternity test, I'm not really in her corner this time, though I can understand how hard it would be to give up a child after believing for more than six months that the child belonged to you and your husband. Not to trivialize, but in some ways, telling the truth to Dylan was like ripping off a bandage. The quick way -- telling the truth immediately -- might have been more painful, but in the long run would have hurt fewer people for a shorter period of time.

It might be argued that if not for Sharon, Sage would still be alive, and there is a really good chance that Sharon would never have been victimized by the devious Dr. Anderson if Sharon had told Dylan that she had miscarried their child instead of lying about it and checking herself into Fairview. Sharon was ripe for the plucking and prepared to believe anything she was told as long as it did not jeopardize her vision of an idyllic life with Dylan.

Obviously, that is about to end. Mainly because Steve Burton's contract is ending, but also because Sharon's story always ends with the loss of whatever man is her current love. That is the perpetual price of her lies. So far, Dylan is sticking by Sharon and is, in every way, proving to be a very honorable man. Steve Burton excels at playing the heroic, stoic, sensitive melancholic, and nowhere better than here as he and Detective McAvoy prepare to exit Genoa City. I expect that Sharon will eventually either alienate Dylan, or reject him. After that, Dylan will leave town to start over and rarely be mentioned again, much as though he and his history had never existed until three years ago.

Once Christian's paternity was exposed, the Newmans quickly circled the wagons to fend off Hilary and the GC Buzz, but not before Sharon made everything worse by telling her side of the story. Nikki wanted to see Sharon locked up for kidnapping and was angry because Sharon had hurt both of her sons. While I'm not Team Sharon, I thought that Nikki could have been a little more understanding, especially after all the shenanigans that she has pulled over the last 30 years. Ditto for Victoria.

Nikki also squared off with Darth Victor, who seemed completely unsympathetic to Dylan. Victor and Chelsea bonded over the secret that Christian is actually Adam's son, a secret that they decided was better kept between them. As I've said many times, there can't possibly be enough therapists in Genoa City to serve all the children who are messed up because they were not allowed to know their biological parents at an early age.

The Newmans are certainly glad to welcome yet another Newman soldier in the ongoing war against the Abbotts, who, I noticed are not producing heirs at the same rate as the Newmans. If the Abbotts don't watch out, the Newman's will replace them by attrition alone! And then what will we do for conflict?

For the first time ever, Faith did not understand why her mother lied, and she decided that it was time to go live with her dad and baby brother. I must have missed something, because I thought that Nick got sole custody of Faith two years ago, and I don't remember him relinquishing that. I know that Faith started spending more time with Sharon, but I thought it was Nick's decision, which he could revoke at any time. I guess I must have been working the crossword puzzle at the same time I was watching the show, or else I had a senior moment and missed it when they went back to court and got a new custody agreement.

Faith will probably be a lot better off with Nick than with Sharon, but full circle being what it is, I have no doubt that all will be forgiven, so Sharon can find happiness, then tell more lies and be ostracized, then all will be forgiven, so... well you get the picture! I think the trick for the writers is finding something new for Sharon to lie about. If you look at the whoppers she's told, there's not much left. Hey, people at Y&R, get creative and stun us again!!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am getting increasingly tired of Victoria and her very bad radar for men who tell lies. She broke up with Billy, who vowed to be truthful then lied to her. Victoria then turned to Ben, who promised to be truthful then lied to her. She might have stayed with Ben if Katie had been his, but Katie was Billy's, so Victoria gave Billy another chance to be honest. And we all know what happened. Billy was a spectacular failure. He went behind her back and tried to take down the Victator, and that was all she wrote for Billy and Victoria.

Billy left Victoria alone long enough so that he could fall for Phyllis and betray Jack, while Victoria, once again, picked a lying liar for her forever man! Will that woman ever learn that all she is doing is circling the drain in relationships where she expects to get honesty from people who don't tell the truth? For someone so smart in business, she is a real ditz when it comes to men. Something is obviously missing in the trust department, and she should be able to sense that in her sexual interactions, as I'll bet that everyone out there whose significant other is his or her best friend can attest!

I'm not liking Travis these days, either. I figured that out when I quit caring about Travis and Victoria and started speculating about the tan and black sweater that Travis wore to the Newman birthday party. I idly hoped that the top of the sweater would magically change from tan to red, so that Travis would be mistaken for a crewman and beamed up to the Starship Enterprise.

Okay, I know I'm being very snarky. I just think that it would have been so much better if Travis had either refused to work for Victor at all or had respected Victor and passed Victor's tests instead of going behind Victor's back and against his wishes. I wish Travis had shown loyalty. I would also have liked him better had Travis been strong enough to resist Michelle. Travis is exactly what Jill called him a few weeks ago -- "Billy lite." In which case, I'd rather have Billy with Victoria than the pale blond imitation, which is Travis!

The story I'd hoped Y&R would tell was of a man who finally did meet Victoria's expectations and did tell the truth to Victoria. Perhaps the conflict in that relationship could have been that he was too truthful, maybe brutally truthful. I don't respect the way that Travis treated either Michelle or Victoria. Being drunk is not an excuse for cheating, and neither is having an argument.

Don't get me wrong. I love Jason Thompson, and he would be great -- is great -- with Victoria. Of all the recasts and actor switches on all the soaps that I've seen over the course of the last three years, I think that Jason Thompson is the one that I most look forward to seeing in his new role and, in my opinion, has made the most successful transition. I loved Billy with Phyllis, and I had hoped that the writers would keep them together a little longer and explore the different dynamics that a fractured Abbott family would evoke before having Billy circle back to Victoria.

In these stressful times, I can't really question the apparent decision by the powers that be to play it safe and predictable -- although, they may be fooling me, and I would relish it -- but if not, I understand. Soaps don't command the audience that they once did, so budgets are at an all-time low, and you get what you pay for. Memory being what it is does lead us to forget if we try really, really hard. I'm trying to forget that most of the stories are reruns from yesteryear. I just keep thinking about that saying, "The definition of insanity is repeating the same action and expecting a different result." It makes me wonder just how insane I've become since I keep watching Victoria, Sharon, et al, making the same mistakes over and over again with the same outcome and hoping that they will learn something. Hmm. Maybe I should book a room at Fairview.

Following along with the "Play it safe" policy, I think we can expect that the burgeoning friendship between Nick and Chelsea will grow romantic -- probably by Christmas -- and they will be the model blended family, with Connor and Christian growing up as half-brothers and none the wiser -- until it's time to break up Nick and Chelsea. There is a lot of story potential there, even if it's repeating an old tale with different characters. Poor Faith will be further traumatized to learn that she is not Christian's sister, but his cousin.

I'm not sure how I feel about Nick and Chelsea together, but Chelsea's been great with every guy she's been paired with, and I don't think Nick will be an exception. Besides, the tighter that Chelsea gets with Nick, the more jealous Chloe will get, so there is a tale that can be told and a lot of plot twists that can make even an old story interesting. I don't mind the crazy coming out in Chloe at all. In fact, I look forward to it.

Someone else I'm bored with is Jack. I wish there were a love interest for him other than Phyllis. Instead of the same people romancing each other then breaking up and starting over, I'd like to see some different couples. Period. Something new, something...not the same. When I think about the limited cast of characters, the choices are bleak. Hilary could break up with Devon and be available, and then there's Lauren -- she could have an affair with Jack and then Michael and Jack could feud instead of Jack and Victor -- just thinking out loud. I did mention that I was insane, didn't I?

It is great to see Traci back home. She is so gracious and loving. I wish I were a whole lot more like her! As predicted, Traci wasted no time in letting the Abbott men know that family meant everything, but in a really nice way. I loved the outfit she was wearing, and it looked great on her. Traci is a class act, and she has arrived just in time to settle the family feud and make sure that all is right in the Abbott world.

In some random last thoughts, I've been thinking that I don't remember Ashley being such a blabbermouth tattletale in the past, but I find that her candor is refreshing. She sure hasn't been holding back with Michelle, Travis, Jack, Phyllis, or Billy. She has been putting all their business on the street with a no-holds-barred attitude. What will happen now?

No real guesswork here. Travis told Michelle to leave town, but she won't go. She may even be pregnant after her one-night stand with him. Ashley will ferret out everything, and Billy won't be far behind. Down the road, this could even lead to a murder mystery, but we will have to have a disposable character or two on the canvas first. Hopefully, TPTB can afford some new faces now that some older ones have moved on.

That's it for me. See all you Soapaholics in two weeks at the Athletic Club. Our guest speaker will be Jill Foster Abbott Atkinson on the topic: Successfully controlling your adult children -- gloating and loving it! Meanwhile, have a terrific Thanksgiving with your family and friends, hopefully not of the imaginary kind, unless you have plenty of imaginary turkey, of course!

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. You can leave your comments below in the comments section, you can click here to submit Feedback, or you can call our 24/7 caller feedback hotline at 267.341.7627 and voice your thoughts.

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