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For the Week of September 11, 2023
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The shakeup at Newman left everyone's heads spinning. Who will be sitting in which seats when the dust clears? Will Audra and her part-time lover be able to keep their affair a secret, or will it all blow up in their faces? We will cover this and so much more in this week's Two Scoops

Dear readers, when Summer casually informed Nikki that Kyle had moved on with Audra, we saw the rage boiling up inside Nikki. Nikki already disliked Audra. When Nikki discovered that the same woman who tormented Noah with the tale of miscarrying a nonexistent baby was now wedged between Kyle and Summer reuniting, we knew it wouldn't be pretty for Audra.

But Audra was brilliant in winning over Victor. She has at least one Newman in her corner. The most important Newman, in fact. Nikki told Audra in no uncertain terms that she had to end her affair with Kyle if she wanted to continue to be employed at Newman Media. Audra lied through her teeth and swore that she'd never smash with Kyle again. We instantly knew she was lying.

Readers, Zuleyka Silver is an old-style soapy vixen. Every soap used to have a bad girl who seduced and schemed her way across town, and today, Audra Charles is that girl. I went from being totally annoyed by her to finding her one of the most exciting characters on the canvas. She slithers into every scene with an agenda. She has the most powerful men of Genoa City, including Tucker, Nate, Kyle, and Victor, all under her spell and doing her bidding. She's never met a problem she can't squirm out of. And her wardrobe is to die for. She looks stunning every day in every scene. In the real world, we are offended by women using their sexuality to get ahead, but in the soap world, it's the standard.

I am waiting for the day when Audra gets busted. After swearing she would end things with Kyle, Nate has already seen Audra and Kyle together. Will Nate tell Nikki to score points, or will he keep Audra's secret safe so he can keep boffing Victoria in the break room? Will the two of them strike a deal? I suspect they will, as they are both opportunists with highly suspect moral compasses guiding them through life.

Meanwhile, Kyle is being wooed back across town to Jabot with the bait that Jack needs to fire Billy for Kyle to return. Diane said she didn't want to influence Jack with her thoughts. Still, she immediately tried to influence Jack with her opinion. Diane wants her son back at Jabot because she feels they are losing him. If Kyle leaves Newman Media, will Nikki be able to have any say over who she dates? Since it's a family company, Nikki could invent some reason to fire Audra if she wanted to get rid of her. While an employer can set up rules for employees dating, I don't know of any companies where an employer can have a say in your love life except for churches and the military.

If Kyle returns to work at Jabot for Jack, that will take him out of Audra's orbit and put him into Summer's. Will daily interaction make them realize how much they miss each other and try to find a way back together for Harrison's sake? The thing is, I love the character of Summer just like I love her crazy mom, Phyllis. I root for them even when they make terrible choices that are at the root of their own heartbreak. I have asked myself, if I was Summer and my mom was in trouble, is there anything I would not do to save her? I would do anything to save her. I would take her side over anyone's side on earth. She is gone now and was not the person who would have faked her death for revenge, but you get my point. I see Summer's point of view and understand her actions.

In like manner, if I look through Kyle's lens, I see his point of view just as clearly. If my mom was in jail for a murder she didn't commit, and my spouse knew and didn't tell me, I'd have a hard time forgiving that, too. I don't know if this couple can be saved, but I hope they can. In the meantime, I think Summer and Chance should have a fling, and I will keep writing that in my column every week until someone listens to me and lets them connect.

There is something I have noticed on Y&R that is different from the old days. It used to be Victor vs. Jack -- the competition was between Newman and Jabot. But now it's all internal family fighting. Jack is fighting Ashley and Billy, and Victor is refereeing fights with Victoria, Nick, and Adam. I don't find it as satisfying as the rivalries from the glory days of Y&R. Am I alone in this?

Dear readers, as you may know, I write Two Scoops for both Y&R and General Hospital. Last week, I posed a question to my GH readers that I will now pose to you. Which current storylines will pass the test of time and be discussed 20 years from now? Any? I miss the old catfights of Jill vs. Kay, the Abbotts and the Newmans' clashes, Gloria the gold digger, Victor going to Kansas and falling for Hope (Adam's mama!). I even miss the wack-a-doo storylines, like Drucilla accidentally sleeping with Malcolm because she drank too much Nyquil and thought he was Neil; Cassie's death; Daniel and Lily running away together; Paul, Cricket, Danny, and Phyllis; and even the creation of new companies like Tag and Grab and Restless Style were fun to watch.

Right now, Phyllis faking her death was the most exciting storyline, but I miss Jeremy Stark because he was so pretty. Yes, I am that shallow.

Currently, many of the storylines leave me unimpressed. Watching Victoria and Adam fight for the 800th time over who is Daddy's favorite just doesn't wow me. We aren't quite at the redundancy levels of B&B's two never-ending triangles, Liam/Hope/Steffy or Ridge/Taylor/Brooke, but it's getting there. I find myself rolling my eyes a lot.

But perhaps I am just impatient. Maybe things are just about to get juicy. The previews at the end of Friday's episode suggested that Nick would choose to run Kirsten Inc. with Sharon, leaving his seat open. Victoria starts a pitch about who she thinks should be in that seat, and Victor shuts her down. He said he had already decided who to fill the role with and that it would not be Nate. Also, at the end of Friday's episode, he was at Adam's door. I can't decide. Will Victor give Adam the role, or will he give Audra the position and put Adam back at the helm of Newman Media? Either way, Victoria will be furious, and that will delight me.

I need to say that I love Amelia Heinle. My dislike of her cold-as-ice character has nothing to do with her. Well, wait. That's not entirely true. It has to do with the fact that she is a fantastic actress who convinces me daily that she is a cold, entitled, selfish woman who doesn't care who she hurts as long as she wins.

I know from years of writing for Soap Central that expressing my dislike of a fictional soap character often prompts people to write to defend the actor. Trust me, it's never about the actor. If I think someone is a bad actor, I will say so. But in this instance, I find Amelia Heinle to be a delightful person on her social media! But Victoria Newman is a character that I rarely root for. I want her to lose. I want her to go down hard. I want Adam to beat her and ascend to the throne just because she is so confident that he can't.

If you disagree, that's totally cool. We watch the same TV show and like different characters.

Right now, Victoria Is fuming that Victor made all the changes to the company structure while she was out of town and didn't even consult her. He had to remind her that his name is on the door, it's his company, and he can do as he pleases.

Readers, I know that someday, Eric Braeden will retire. I dread that day. I can't imagine Y&R without him. I can't imagine the Newman family without their patriarch pulling the strings. I adore Eric Braeden both on- and off-screen. This past week, when he had the big family meeting to inform them of his decisions when Adam reminded Victor that he hadn't done anything differently than Victor would have done going after something he wanted, Victor gave his son a wink that was everything.

Mark Grossman is electric to me. I never ever fast-forward an Adam scene. When Adam is angry, I'm a little scared. When Adam is lovesick, I feel it. When Adam is grieving, I cry with him. When Adam is immature and selfish, I understand why his siblings find him annoying. He brings every facet of Adam's character to life, and I greatly appreciate his work. I root for him over his sister because he's the underdog. He's always been the one who didn't fit in. He's always danced outside the circle, trying to get in.

But do I trust him? Nah. He told Sharon he'd be willing to start at the bottom of the mailroom and work his way up if needed. How long do you really think that would last? But perhaps this time, he is sincere. For fun, let's assume he is genuine and wants to make things work with his family. If it is true, will Victoria ever embrace him? Will Nikki? Can he ever get himself all the way inside the family circle? Time will tell.

Nick's offer to fund Sally's new company is intriguing -- she wants him to be hands-off. Unlike the rest of his family, Nikolas isn't all about money. I think he may honor his agreement with Sally, but I am not sure he can keep from offering his opinions. I hope Chloe comes back to partner with her, despite their rocky past. I enjoy the friendship between the two of them.

Nick's ex Phyllis, the supposedly changed woman, is gently meddling in Daniel's love life and seems downright giddy that Heather is still in town. Doesn't she recall that her visit to Heather and meddling in Daniel's love life before is one of the things that drew a wedge between them? But this time, I think Heather is on board. I think she has seen that Daniel has turned his life around, and she's changed her mind about being done with him. I'm a little torn here because I like Daniel and Lily. I also like Heather, so I will keep an open mind and allow the writers to take me along on the ride and see where Daniel lands.

But which writers? The writers' strike is still in full force. I have already noticed creative editing where characters have flashbacks of things they said three days ago to fill up the time between new and old scenes. I know that GH is using scab writers. Is Y&R, too? I honestly don't know. What I know is that many of the current storylines are not connecting with viewers, and I hope viewers don't give up on the lackluster plots and give up watching before the strike is settled. The next sweeps period for 2023 is October 26 to November 22. That's usually the climax of all the big storylines we wait for all year -- but will we even have any stories with cliffhangers that need thrilling conclusions? I sure hope so.

What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Tessa return from her tour to an empty house and wonder where baby Aria and Mariah have gone? Will Lily still want to have coffee dates with Heather when she realizes Heather wants Daniel back? Will Adam invent a new mail sorter in the mailroom that saves the company millions and fall back into Victor's favored child role? Will Sally decide which brother she wants or keep them both hanging on the line?

Will Audra sleep with Adam if he becomes her new boss and leave Kyle by the wayside? Will Sharon be able to turn Kirsten Inc. into a success, or will one of Cameron's long-lost kinfolk show up and try to take it from her? Will Jack realize that Billy is right about Diane and that their post-nuptial contract isn't as cut and dried as Diane claimed? Will Tucker have an answer for why Ashley is missing, or did he lock her up someplace so he can take her patents and reclaim his empire?

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

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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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