Victor and Nikki Newman. All soap fans know those two iconic names, since they have been the cornerstone of Genoa City for decades. Off and on, Victor and Nikki have been together forever and have had a lifetime of love, since their love has endured through thick and thin, through good times and bad times, and has weathered many storms and also shined brightly during the sunniest days. Eric Braeden and Melody Thomas Scott have been so believable in portraying the complex relationship of this remarkable couple. Our beloved Victor and Nikki are fortunate to enjoy the "Greatest Love Of All Time," a.k.a. GLOAT. Hey, if Ken Jennings can be the GOAT or the "Greatest Of All Time" of trivia, Victor and Nikki can surely gloat over having the GLOAT in the soap world.
But should Nikki and Victor gloat over having GLOAT for soaps? Considering how many soap superstar couples (a.k.a. supercouples) there have been throughout the years, the answer would be yes. I mean, after all this time, they are still a couple, and even when they split up, the breakup usually doesn't last. This twosome knows each other very well, and nothing can keep them apart, because one can't stay away from the other for too long. From when they first said "I do" to each other in 1984, this couple has been inseparable, even when they were separated, since they always end up back with each other in the end. Even other spouses couldn't keep them apart, as their three or four weddings (depending on if you count both the legal and illegal ones) will attest.
General Hospital has had supercouples from the 80s, such as Luke and Laura, Alan and Monica, and Frisco and Felicia, but none of these partnerships has lasted throughout time, although Monica might have stuck it out with Alan had he lived. And since Bo and Hope, and Patch and Kayla have fallen by the wayside, Jack and Jennifer remain the only supercouple still together on Days of our Lives, although they just recently reunited after many years, once Jack again returned from the grave. The Bold and the Beautiful's Ridge and Brooke never even exchanged vows for the first time until 1994. So, longevity alone gives Victor and Nikki the crown for the supercouple that keeps on going and going and going -- just like the Energizer Bunny.
Victor and Nikki are fortunate that they have their kids to help keep them together, even if, at times, they can pull them apart. Victor has always claimed that everything he has ever done has been to protect his family, which may have been true for financial and safety reasons, but it was Nikki who always tried to keep her children's hearts safe. Because of that, they would sometimes butt heads, even as they worked together for the same goal. Because Victor could appear emotionless, his kids would work hard to try to not be like him, even as they would take on his very characteristics, especially in the corporate world. And Victor's youngest son, Adam, has become quite the thorn in each family member's side. Their children have helped to keep Victor and Nikki front and center in the storylines.
It's so bizarre looking back, isn't it? "Victor the decorator" and Nikki were so young when they first started getting to know each other in 1981. You forget how much time has passed by until you look back into the past. And what a romantic way for Victor to win her over, even if Nikki mistook the colonel's offer as a proposition and even if it was her trap to spring on Victor. Thank heavens for the horses (or at least, for the saddles, which were all we ever saw in the tack room.) But still, you could almost feel the romance and the chemistry oozing through the screen between the two. Oh, to be so young again!
In 1987, still dreamy-eyed and weak-kneed over Victor, Nikki had a bad dream of Victor as he considered moving on with Ashley the minute Nikki was dead. In Nikki's dream, Victor only had good things to say about not wanting anyone else, so maybe it wasn't so bad, after all. Still -- the whole being dead thing. But wait...Nikki was still alive, after all, and Victor was deliriously happy. However, Nikki didn't appear to need her dreams when Victor agreed to spend some alone time with her later, even though he clearly didn't trust her. I guess it was only in her dreams, after all. It's funny how soft-spoken Nikki was then. She obviously had to learn how to speak louder, as the years went by, to get the stubborn and arrogant man just to hear her and to listen to her.
The lifetime-of-love road has never been a smooth one, though, and in 1990, a tipsy Nikki cozied up to her hubby Jack at a party as she reminisced about her prowess as a superb exotic dancer, who had once had all the moves. Even as much as Victor was distracted by his own date, "the Widow Rawlins" as Nikki referred to her, not even lovely Cassandra could keep Victor from noticing Nikki when she showed off her sexy dance moves and stripped down to her skivvies. Even if Victor wasn't amused, he couldn't take his eyes off her. Who could blame him? Nikki was flashy and gorgeous. Victor even followed her home on the pretense of returning her earrings. Oh, yeah, Victor was still smitten with our saucy blonde.
No past love or even death could defeat the connection between Victor and Nikki, as they proved when Victor remarried Nikki in the hospital in 1998 to give her the strength and the will to live. Even as Victor tried to deny it to himself, the pull to Nikki was too strong. It was obvious that the color in Nikki's cheeks and the sparkle in her eyes were all for Victor. She declared her love to her white knight, who had once again saved the damsel in distress. And Victor's huge smile said more than any words could ever say. He was still in love with Nikki, and he needed no time to see that, no matter what he said. Victor was so tender when he put the makeup on her face. Oh, yes, it was true love, all right.
Nick, Victoria, and even a young and still alive Cassie were on hand to celebrate Victor and Nikki's remarriage in 2002, and it was a glorious event. But plenty of angst filled the room, also in true soap fashion, since Sharon was clearly unenthusiastic about being there, and Ashley was feeling nauseous, so she left. Nikki and Victor were both ready to travel their journey with renewed faith, commitment, and love; to share their joys and their sorrows; and to spend the rest of their lives together, walking hand in hand in the sunshine and in the rain. Okay, I may have gotten some of that wording from Nikki's vows to Victor. Meanwhile, Ashley feared she was dying, so she disclosed her secret on videotape -- that Victor, not Brad, was Abby's biological father. It was soap storytelling at its best.
Hopefully, this break in production will give the writers of all the soaps a chance to really comb through the storylines to determine which ones are working and which are not. The classics episodes are reminders of a time when soaps were all about love and betrayal, and even the simplest topics, such as cheating on a long-time spouse, could once again be revived. As much as fans hate to see their favorite couples in trouble, it sure brings the drama. We all hated it when Lauren cheated on Michael, but we made sure to tune in to watch them find their way back to one another. And as much as Hilary drove me crazy, it was wild watching father and son, Neil (RIP!) and Devon, battle each other to win the heart of the selfish vixen. It's this kind of suspense that keeps us coming back for more.
That's also the reason why Victor and Nikki have worked so well as a couple throughout the years. There's a thin line between love and hate, and those two have never been afraid to cross it. Nikki has used alcohol as a crutch to cover up the hurt that Victor piled onto her and his neglect -- and also as a reason to cheat. Oh, those binges with Deacon Sharpe! At one time, Nikki and Neil seemed to be taking turns falling off the wagon. And one is never sure if Nikki or Newman Enterprises is Victor's true love. Because Victor and Nikki are so different, but they know each other so well, the conflict between them keeps things interesting and the pair intriguing, which is the reason they drive many of the stories on Y&R.
As long as the soaps bring a variety of different stories to the table, it should keep the fans glued to their TVs. Soap fans are diverse, and all have their favorite characters, so if one story doesn't work for some, another one will. Not every scene on a daytime serial has to be about Wiley or about Sally hoodwinking Wyatt and Flo. And if a story gets played out for too long (J.T.'s murder!), the fans can grow bored, and the ending may fall flat. I applaud Days of our Lives for bringing back Brandon Barash, since the chemistry exploded between Stefan and Gabi. Is he Jake or is he Stefan? It has us wondering. This was a good soap strategy that's bound to keep the fans wanting more.
For Y&R, Sharon's topical cancer storyline's been on the right track, and the latest battle between Victor and Adam has potential if it is sent in a different direction from previous skirmishes. It would have been a breath of fresh air if Nick and Phyllis had stayed good friends, since the hot-sex-all-the-time thing between them has already been done a couple times. And there's way too much nicey-niceness in the foursome of Devon, Elena, Nate, and Amanda. Amanda almost needs to be more like her look-alike, Hilary, although Billy would most certainly add some spice to the group. (Could Amanda be the deceased Hilary's twin? That would be so cool!) All the soaps have an unplanned golden opportunity to really explore their storytelling and make it must-see TV when the shows go back into production!
Weren't the scenes with Vanessa and with Barbara and her father delicious?!
I still miss watching scenes between Katherine and Jill, two feisty ladies who loved their battles as much as they claimed to hate each other. One could be just as stubborn as the other, which made them so much fun to watch.
You would think that someone would call Christine "Cricket" every once in a while, since she went by that name for so long. Maybe Paul could in a playful kind of way.
It's interesting that all of the servants have completely vanished from both the Abbott and the Newman households throughout the years. Boy, times really are tough. (And hello again, Shani Wallis! I loved her as Nancy on Oliver!)
Until next time, please stay tuned.
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