Heartbreaks of many kinds

For the Week of February 10, 2020
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Cancer battles, broken marriages, lost jobs, stalkers, and more in this week's The Young and the Restless. Let's unpack all the juicy drama in this week's Two Scoops!

Hello, Y&R lovers, it's me again. I am glad I get to write about Y&R this week because we've had a couple of long-brewing stories that are coming to a climax, and I'm excited for the chance to discuss them with you.

First, I want to start with Sharon's breast cancer. This one hurts to watch because my mother died from breast cancer. I watched her battle it for 20 years. All of the fears that Sharon is having and the dialogue the writers are writing ring so true and remind me of conversations my Mama and I had. When Sharon said, "Cancer has really made me feel isolated and separate from everyone. One day I had a life full of endless possibilities, then the next one, I had cancer," it reminded me of a conversation I had with my mom about how cancer is a dividing line in your life, a "me before cancer, me after cancer" kind of feeling because Sharon will never go back to the person she was prior to battling cancer. It will change her.

As soap fans, we are pretty sure that Sharon will beat cancer because her portrayer, Sharon Case, isn't leaving the show, as far as we know. Does that make this storyline less compelling because we know she won't die? Not at all. According to the statistics I read on the American Cancer Society's webpage, "in 2019, an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women, and approximately 2,670 cases will be diagnosed in men."

With over a quarter of a million people battling breast cancer, this storyline matters to all of them, to all the people that love them, and to the medical professionals who fight to save their lives every day. It gives the people battling breast cancer now hope -- they can watch Sharon going through chemo, losing her hair, having nightmares and fears about worst-case scenarios, and still surviving. We want her to battle this and beat it. We want to see that it's possible.

Knowing she probably won't die doesn't lessen the storyline for me in any way. My mother lived 20 years after her diagnosis. It came and went into remission and came back again twice after a double mastectomy. I know my family's story is not unique. Sharon Case is going to do an amazing job on this storyline every scene, every day. She's going to make me cry. I want to cry. Breast cancer impacted my life and probably many of yours, and I really am invested in watching Sharon kick cancer's ass.

Cancer will change Sharon, and it will change the people around her. Rey is a good guy, a really wonderful man. But is this what he signed up for? He and Sharon haven't been together that long, and six months in, Rey may decide that being a caregiver isn't what he signed up for. I know you're thinking, "No! Rey is a great guy; he wouldn't ever do that." But statistics show that this happens more than you'd imagine. (I know, I'm a nerd with of all my research and whatnot.)

According to the Oprah.com website, "A 2009 study published in the journal Cancer found that a married woman diagnosed with a serious disease is six times more likely to be divorced or separated than a man with a similar diagnosis. Among study participants, the divorce rate was 21 percent for seriously ill women and 3 percent for seriously ill men."

Will Rey be one of the 21% of men who leave their partner when they have a serious illness? Perhaps. But you know who will never leave Sharon? Nick Newman. Nick has a lifetime of loving Sharon and is wholly invested in her remission and recovery. I think it's highly possible that cancer could bring Nick and Sharon back together, and for good this time. But this is only my guess and my opinion, so if you have a different opinion -- that's cool. We can all just enjoy the ride and cry together over Sharon's cancer and see what the writers have in mind.

Although Sharon doesn't want everyone knowing her business, I am glad Phyllis knows and that she is reacting with such kindness and genuine compassion. Phyllis is a character who loves to push people's buttons and loves to stir the pot in most situations. It's what makes her so much fun to watch. But the thought that her longtime nemesis could actually die knocked the wind out of Phyllis. It shook her to her core and, I'd suppose, made all of her shenanigans play in her head on a loop. Sharon's cancer may change Phyllis, too.

Phyllis is not a one-note character and has more depth than she is given credit for, but I think in Sharon's storyline, we will see that Phyllis has the capacity to be a truly good friend. I want that, because I'm in the Michelle Stafford platinum level of fans. I will watch anything she stars in for all time. People think of Daytime Drama as this wooden, bad acting training ground for young actors, and sometimes it is that. But then there are the people in Daytime who can act rings around the people in most any movie you see, and you know how lucky we are as Daytime viewers that she landed in the Soap world.

This reminds me of someone dear. I had a friend named Fig, and he was in local community theatre. I went to see him in everything he was in back when I lived in Ohio. He was just the funniest person -- we are talking Robin Williams funny -- if you were in a room with him, you were at a party. He was always hilarious and always full of light and life. I used to think, "How is this guy working a desk job instead of starring in a sitcom?" because he was funnier than almost anyone I saw on TV. Yet, I was so glad he wasn't on a sitcom but was in town with me and that I got to experience his genius and kindness up close! And now I'm crying as I write, because he, too, was taken by cancer.

But I digress. I am excited to see Michelle Stafford have the opportunity to expose new layers of Phyllis to us as she supports Sharon through her cancer journey. I know she will bring us Academy Award-level performances, even though "it's just a soap."

Next up, the topic of supercouples. Do you have one couple you root for above anyone else? If so, what happens when that couple breaks up? I'm on soap Twitter a lot, and I see a lot of comments like, "If they break up Billy and Victoria -- I am never watching again!" or "They better not let Kyle and Summer reunite, or I am never watching again!"

I used to be that person over Luke and Laura on General Hospital. But Luke and Laura ended years ago, and I have rarely missed an episode of GH since high school. I think it's kind of silly to threaten to quit watching a show if a certain couple breaks up. The journey of a love story is part of the joy of a good drama. I like happy endings as much as the next person, but every love story that lasts any length of time has its bumps. My husband and I have been married over 30 years, and there have been times of crisis in our relationship, breakups, counseling, times when we faced obstacles we didn't think we could overcome. But those struggles were not the end for us, just a chapter in a book.

A lot of Y&R fans were really invested in Lola and Kyle, "Team Kola," and now that they have broken up, some people out there are really infuriated. Others are celebrating because they were on "Team Sklye." Personally, I like Kyle and Summer together. When Summer donated a kidney to Lola, I was like, "Damn, that girl really loves Kyle." I am glad he loves her back for a minute. But six months from now, will he miss that good home cooking of Lola's and miss her and go back? We don't know, because it's a soap, and the drama is what we are here for, right?

One of the things I am enjoying right now is the friendship of Mariah and Lola. I love that Mariah has been protective of Lola and refused to let her sit alone in her apartment after the breakup. Wouldn't we all love to have a friend like Mariah, who is loyal and present in our times of heartache? Mariah has some extra time on her hands with Tessa off on tour with Tanner, so I suppose she can be more present than if Tessa were in town.

Tessa asked Tanner point-blank if he had hopes of reconnecting with her. He denied this, but the way the two of them looked at each other when they were duetting on the plane made me think there is still a spark between them. Maybe Lola will fall for Mariah, and Tessa will cheat with Tanner, and Theo will work to reunite Tessa and Mariah so he can have a shot at Lola, and we can have lots more drama, which is what we love!

Okay, readers, don't hate me, but... at first, I just didn't see anything with Billy and Amanda. But after Friday's episode, when Amanda's stalker, Ripley, was sitting in her room, and Billy provided the save, I thought, "Hmmm. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe this is something." What do you think? Sure, Nate would be the safer choice for her. He's not as much of a mess as Billy, but that's also less fun for a soap. Okay, girls, take Auntie Tamilu's advice. In real life, pick Nate. But on a soap, pick Hurricane Billy.

That scene when Amanda walked in and Ripley was sitting there just gave me chills. I think that is every woman's nightmare -- that the creepy guy who likes you that you don't like back is sitting in your house in the dark, waiting for you like prey. I'm glad Billy didn't listen to Nate and leave Amanda alone, or who knows how that scene might have played out. And I don't care that Ripley says he went to anger management classes or that he has changed. If he had changed, he wouldn't have been sitting in her hotel room in the dark. Creepers creep.

I know some of you are rooting for Billy and Victoria, but I have a hard time sympathizing with Victoria because she's so harsh and judgmental, and she says horrible things to Billy all the time. Who cares if they are true or not? She rarely ever shows him affection or the unconditional love one should show to their spouse. I see why he'd rather sit in a dive bar with a stranger than go home to her bitching at him day and night. Ugh.

That having been said, one of my favorite scenes this week was Victor and Victoria boxing. It was a sweet scene between dad and daughter, and I enjoyed seeing the lighter side of those two typically harsh characters.

Also, note that the 50th anniversary gala for Newman just happens to coincide with Eric Braeden's real-life 40th anniversary on the show. I am hoping the gala will give us lots of flashbacks of Victor's past and that we can admire "the Mustache" in all of his years of glory.

What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Victor get a "Goodbye, Billy Boy" tattoo? Will Theo heed Jack's advice and not take advantage of Lola in her vulnerable state, or will he seduce her immediately? Will the Naked Heiress ride again, since Chase seemed to dig that idea? Will Abby get more detailed stories on all of Chase's bodily scars? Will Tessa have a good meeting with "Tanner's people" once she finds out Devon pulled the plug on Power? Will Sharon have any more It's a Wonderful Life type dreams during her chemo? Will Devon get his loot back before he's reduced to sleeping on someone's couch? Will I ever stop missing Neil Winters? Will you join me in celebrating Y&R's renewal?

Only tomorrow knows, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.

The Bold and the Beautiful | Days of our Lives | General Hospital |

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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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