Heartbreaks and heartache

For the Week of January 29, 2018
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Heartbreaks and heartache
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The week of January 29, 2018
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J.T. sought medical attention for his heart's physical sickness, but no amount of medical attention could mend Noah's broken heart or heal Ashley's. Let's find out who needs a transplant in this week's Two Scoops.

Submitted By: Christina
Could your next column perhaps address the fact that
the writing for Y&R is truly terrible these days?
Please? I honestly can't enjoy any of it, but you seem
to, and I'd truly like to understand how.

This email came shortly after my last column, and I've been considering how best to respond since. Christina's opinion appears to directly contradict mine, a situation that's happening with lots of folks on lots of topics in our society these days -- that is if the comments on Twitter are valid examples. I believe that I have mentioned that age has made me more open-minded -- enough so that I can view contrary opinions to be as valid as mine. As a result, I've tried to see my opinion from Christina's point of view, so here goes my process.

My reasons for saying the writing has improved follow and are very simplistic. Dina's story has been spot on. The dialogue and acting have sparkled. The heartache, heartbreak, and resulting repercussions on the Abbott family have been gut-wrenching to watch. I could easily relate to the tragedy as well as the humor in the situation. I felt that the dialogue in the other stories has been much more true to life, down to earth, and relatable than last year at this time. I also factored in that Y&R's ratings are the highest they have been in more than a year, and I made the assumption that good writing was one of the reasons for that.

As I looked at it from Christina's view, I can admit that I was probably thinking of writing as "dialogue," more than I thought of it as "storytelling." I can concede that some of the storytelling has been recycled and is very predictable, like the Sharon, Scott, and Abby triangle. We knew where that was going as soon as Scott and Abby started bickering. Y&R has thankfully terminated that story quickly and sent Scott off to London. Dina's story also appears to be wrapping up, and Graham was quickly terminated before he could murder Dina and frame Ashley, another overused plot device.

So, in answer to Christina, I don't think we are as far apart as it first seemed. I still think that the dialogue writing -- the day-to-day conversations that don't necessarily advance the plot -- has improved, but I can admit that Christina has cause for her feelings, and I may have set the bar just a teensy-weensy bit too low when it came to the storytelling. Overall, I still think that the writing is better than a year ago, but there is plenty of room for improvement, as Christina noted.

Moving on, it was a week of heartbreak for many, especially, Noah, Mariah, and Tessa, who I'm guessing might be the next character to leave Genoa City for parts unknown. I've made no secret of the fact that I am not one of Tessa's biggest fans -- though I love how often her lipstick and earrings are the same color. I think that Tessa's treatment of both Noah and Mariah has been self-serving. She wanted to live and sleep with Noah while keeping her intellectually intimate relationship with Mariah -- essentially being mentally unfaithful to Noah -- which I personally think is just as wrong as being physically unfaithful.

Both Noah and Mariah are heartsick. They deserve better than Tessa, who has used both of them, whether she intended it or not. I love Mariah and want her to be happy, but not at Noah's expense or with someone who is willing to accept the benefits of Mariah's deep love but unwilling to reciprocate. Noah deserves someone who is as honest with him as he is with them, though somehow Noah seems to end up with "liar, liar, pants on fire" types, probably because he's a damsel-in-distress rescuer, just like his daddy, Nick.

Another reason I think Tessa's character might be leaving town is that Devon has abruptly terminated her music career, which was thriving a few short months ago. She was supposed to go on tour, but that never happened. Tessa's dream has turned into a nightmare, and the only job she can get in the music business is as Devon's assistant, so Tessa has some heartache of her own. Perhaps she needs some more experience playing for quarters in the park. Either that or move to a big city where there are lots of "open mic" performance venues, and she can try again.

I admired Mariah's strength and willingness to put her private thoughts on display. I don't know if I would have had the courage to sue. I probably would have caved and taken the royalties and co-writing credits and let it drop, but Mariah is made of stronger stuff.

The Abbotts also experienced heartache last week as they dealt with the latest fallout from Dina's dementia. Frankly, I was surprised that Jack and Ashley were willing to send Dina back to Paris when they were unwilling to use a local, well-regarded facility for her care. I was looking forward to more Dina, who has become a favorite for me.

The Abbotts are in deep trouble, and some of it is because Jack is becoming more like Victor every day. He was willing to do or say whatever it took to get his own way, and as a result, Ashley was hurt in the most devastating way possible. Jack tried to be gracious, but his smirking and gloating got in the way. I don't blame Ashley for walking out on Jabot. Jack should have stepped aside while he cared for Dina and let Ashley run the company, in my opinion.

I question the arbitrator's decision, which I think validated one of the #MeToo movement's points, which is that in a "he said, she said" situation, the male is more likely to be believed than the female. That's what happened to Ashley, who had every right to bring a "no confidence vote" to the board. Despite the board's decision, Jack refused to step aside and continued to run the family's company as though he could act unilaterally without consequence. The arbitrator supported that position by siding with Jack and upholding the "blood Abbotts only" clause that Jack added.

Ashley didn't do herself any favors by uncharacteristically losing her temper at the hearing, another tired, overused plot device, not only for Y&R, but for most police procedurals, as well. Ashley's resignation from Jabot and her rejection of Jack broke his heart, too. I probably would have done the same thing if I had been in Ashley's place. It looks like Jabot's loss will be Newman's gain, though I don't think Victoria will be happy to have both Ashley and Abby at Newman. Victoria is potentially in for some heartache of her own.

With the recent reveal that J.T. is suffering from a weak heart, I have to wonder if the powers that be brought him back to town so that they could kill him off, thus giving Victoria, Amelia Heinle, another opportunity to cry and chew scenery, plus it will make her a widow, which is much more sympathetic than yet another ill-advised, going-nowhere romance. I still expect that she will reunite with Billy eventually. [EDITOR'S NOTE/CORRECTION: J.T. and Victoria are not married; Mackenzie would be the widow]

Meanwhile, I enjoy the light-hearted, adult relationship that Billy and Phyllis share. No heartbreak there, at least not now. I really do like Jason Thompson as Billy, though he is not the same Billy as Billy Miller was. If you want that Billy, he is now on GH, calling himself Drew, but still the same clenched teeth, holier-than-thou, unforgiving character. I'm wondering how long it will be before Miller returns to Y&R as the real Billy Abbott and Thompson is revealed as his long-lost, brainwashed twin.

I did think that Victoria should have talked to Billy before allowing J.T. to move in, particularly since she insisted on having a say about Billy's relationship to Phyllis because of their children. One thing I do not like about Billy is his proprietary feelings for Victoria. I don't like that about any of the males on the show who treat the women as though they don't have minds of their own and can't make good decisions without a man to tell them what to do. In my opinion, this is a reflection of society's attitude toward women in general, one that I think is erroneous and I hope to see corrected in my lifetime. I would genuinely like to experience true intellectual equality between the sexes.

Y&R is built around relationships and the search for a lasting one. The mission statement seems to be that no one is complete without a soul mate. I don't necessarily think that is true. I'd much rather be single than settle for something that is unsatisfying just so I'm not alone. My younger self found more loneliness in bad relationships than my older self does in being alone, or in my case, companionship with a cat.

One relationship I'm a fan of is the new one that has been forged by Victor and Nikki. It may not last, but they seem to have developed a more equal partnership, if their recent cooperation in tag teaming Ashley, and Nikki's independent project with Nick, are examples.

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Nick and Chelsea have been together about a year now, so I expect their relationship to hit the skids sooner rather than later. Naturally, I'm all for a Sharon/Nick reunion. Both of them are fine with other partners, but together, they bring out the best in each other.

Finally, some comments about Hilary, the baby mama wannabe. Does Hilary really want a baby or does she just want Sam, and were you as surprised as I was that Hilary and Lily had a civil conversation and Lily confided her fears about Sam to Hilary? I was glad to see it -- I'm tired of their animosity -- and I think Hilary gave Lily some good advice. If Lily doesn't bond with Sam, how about this: Cane allows Hilary to adopt Sam, and they co-parent. That would relieve Lily from the need to bond until she's ready. It would be the best of both worlds for baby Sam. It's not a likely scenario because Lily's guilt and need to make everything right for everyone will probably prevail.

If Hilary does pursue getting pregnant, my guess is that somehow Devon will end up being the father -- maybe by artificial insemination -- which would reunite Hilary and Devon, another couple that I like better together than apart.

I can't decide about the fashions on Y&R right now. Sometimes I really like them -- Hilary's dress on her blind date with Ravi -- and other times I think they are bizarre -- the pink Victorian era funeral dress with the black decoration and long dangling tails that Phyllis was wearing on Thursday. Also on that day was Hilary's strapless outfit with long unattached sleeves. I kept expecting her to put on a black pointy hat, pull out a broom, and start cackling, "My pretty," to Sam. Maybe fashions are like plots; it's hard to come up with something truly original.

I'm late with my column today. It's too long and my cat is walking on the keyboard to help me type faster, though she is not much of a speller, and her vocabulary is limited to "Pet me, feed me, play with me." What Miss Kitty wants, Miss Kitty gets, so time to wrap this up and pay attention to the one creature that has me completely enthralled. I wish all of you the same joy -- with a pet if you don't find a suitable human!

Thanks again for letting me share my thoughts with you. As always, fellow fans, I welcome feedback about this column in the section provided below. I enjoy all your comments, even when you don't agree with me. Please return in two weeks for another edition of Two Scoops.

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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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