Well, we all had been waiting for what seemed like an eternity for a final resolution to the J.T. storyline, and it came and went in an instant. After almost a year of the twists and turns of J.T.'s fate, he returned from the dead just in the nick of time to save our ladies from life behind bars, and then he was gone again in a flash. So, where do we go from there? It seems that not only are Nikki, Victoria, Sharon, and Phyllis wondering that, but the fans are, also. You can almost feel a change in the air, because the events of today are transitioning into something totally different from the situations of yesterday, and yesterday's gone. Oh yes, long gone.
I can practically feel the difference in the tone of the scenes, and it will take a little time to adjust to it. I am not a fan of the characters singing, singing, singing on soaps...and I like musicals. But when I sit down to watch Y&R, I expect to see my favorite characters facing the trials and tribulations of their lives as they pursue love and happiness. They don't need to warble in song in order to move their stories along. Okay, Devon has a music business, but he can run that just fine without the constant singing of his upcoming stars. In fact, in the past, anytime Tessa sang was a good time for me to take a bathroom break or to get a glass of water and then return in time for the good stuff. (Or, since I have a DVR, I could have just fast-forwarded through the singing, I guess.)
With Tessa back in the spotlight, figuratively and literally, I had the frightening thought that her sister may return. No! I thought we had finally moved on from that dreck. At one time, not so long ago, almost all storylines revolved around Tessa and her sister, which was crazy and tedious. The fans didn't even know Tessa well enough to care that much about her, and I can't even remember her sister's name. But somehow, Tessa was front and center in just about every story. Please, let's not return to that. Those are the yesterdays that I want banished from my beloved soap forever.
I have noticed differences in some of my favorite characters, also. Since Sharon has been with Rey, she has become almost unrecognizable. Again. Sharon has always had the sad fate of having the most uneven traits developed for her character. For every step forward, she takes two or more back. When she was with Scott, Sharon was going back to school to become more independent and self-sufficient, and she took pride in working with the Help Line. But once she got with Rey, it was like every lick of sense she possessed left her pretty head. Rey says jump, and she asks how high. Sharon's judgment has become so impaired, I'm even wondering if she's still taking her meds.
It's amazing, even to this day, how a betrayed woman will always blame the other woman rather than blame her husband, who was the one who did the cheating. But it was outrageous that Sharon confronted a pregnant woman (even if Mia didn't know it at the time) to stake her claim on a man who didn't deserve it. And then they fought over this guy, who didn't even have the decency to keep his girlfriend away from his wife, because legally, they were still married, and as far as Rey knew, Mia was carrying his child. And then Rey and Sharon had the nerve to hug each other, knowing full well that Mia could see them through the window of the hospital room door. Tacky!
Rey continues to show, over and over, just what kind of prize he is. It's shocking that Sharon and Mia would even consider fighting over him. Rey made it pretty clear that if he learned the baby was Arturo's, he would divulge that Mia was the culprit who had clobbered Lola on the noggin, which would send his wife to prison. What a prince. While Rey was fine with lying to Paul about Mia's phony alibi to protect his baby, he'd have no problem with his nephew or niece being born behind bars. And to Lola, he totally whitewashed his actions since arriving in town by placing the blame for all the problems of his marriage on Mia and Arturo, conveniently forgetting that he chased Sharon throughout the entire time. Oh, yeah, Rey's some dreamboat, all right.
But you know that once Mia learned she was pregnant for real from the ultrasound and that she was twelve weeks along, she had to suspect the baby was Arturo's. And with the coming of Noemi Gonzalez's exit, once the jig is up about the child's paternity, Mia will probably ride off into the sunset to hunt Arturo down, so they can live happily ever after, far, far away from Genoa City -- unless she's serving time in the pokey, that is. That will leave us with Sharon stuck like glue to Rey forever. Oh, joy. The writers have been dead set on pairing up Sharon and Rey, come heck or high water. I had hoped that wouldn't happen with the head writer change. But sadly, that appears to be their destiny -- and mine to have to watch them together. Ugh.
Arturo's story ran its course, and he and Abby as a couple were rather bland, so bye-bye. But when Mia first hit town, she was a feisty lady who got her beauty business up and running in no time at all. With her talent and skills with makeup, Mia was the perfect fit for a town whose businesses cater to the glamour of women. And Mia's future looked bright, as she made contacts and developed a working friendship with Phyllis. Shoot, Mia had more potential than Rey ever did. When I heard another Rosales was out the door, I was so happy, because I thought it was Rey. I mean, Rey has not only ruined the character of Sharon, but he replaced Paul right at the start. That alone was unforgivable. But my bubble was burst when I learned that Mia was leaving. I am bummed.
However, there's hope for the future (I always think of The Bold and the Beautiful when I hear that expression), because Billy and Victoria seem to be working their way back to each other again. Finally, a couple I can root for! It took me a while to get used to Jason Thompson's Billy, but I'm finally there, and I really like Billy and Victoria together as a romantic couple. They really are so sweet together, and they still love each other, even if they seem to be total opposites. But really, it's not out of character for Victoria to run to Las Vegas to get away from herself.
After all, Victoria pretty much ran away when she went with Billy to Jamaica for some drunken fun. And they still connect in the same way they did back then, when they fell head over heels in love. She's the responsible one who helps to keep him on his feet, and he makes her laugh. Billy and Victoria are well suited for each other. She really is the calm to his chaos, the yin to his yang, the peanut butter to his jelly. It's weird that Victoria didn't give her kids much thought, though, since she practically went straight from jail to Las Vegas. But a girl's got to have some fun, right?
That's all fine and good as long as Victoria doesn't pick up any of Billy's bad habits. However, Victoria claimed her only urge in going to the poker game was to find out what her father was up to, since Victor was attending the games to meet with some guy named Spider, which was a relief to hear, since Phyllis had already learned that joining in on the gambling was not the best way to go about winning Billy's heart. Bravo to Billy for backing out of placing a few bets himself. But what is going on with Victor, anyway? Where has that guy been? New Zealand? Las Vegas? Lately, it seems Victor has been more of a ghost than they had once thought J.T. was.
Y&R is at its best when it comes to drama in the business world, and with the Abbotts in charge of Jabot again, it can happen again. Once Nick got Dark Horse, I expected to see more corporate entanglements between him and his father. But the only thing that has happened with Dark Horse is for Nick to mention, every once in a while, that he owns it. Lately, Nick's mind has been more on his prior business the Underground, thanks to a little hanky-panky. And Victor hasn't had enough airtime lately to cause any kind of commotion with either Dark Horse or Jabot. But with Jack back as CEO of Jabot, will the rivalry pick back up? That's certainly one tried-and-true Y&R tradition.
Ashley won't make it easy, though, since she appeared to know every business strategy that sprung from Jack's lips. Maybe he should start speaking in sign language. Well, of course, Ashley had planted a bug in that box of Jabot products. You'd think Jack would have been suspicious enough to check the box for bugs before unveiling all of Jabot's secret plans. But after seeing the smirk on his face, Jack had obviously missed playing the game, because I don't see how he won his negotiation with Ashley by paying her four million dollars of his own money for the Collective line, which had been his idea in the first place. Oh, yes, Jack was back and raring to go.
Lola is the one Rosales that I am glad is sticking around. It will be nice to see Abby and Lola recover their dignity from their doomed romances by starting a new, successful business together. I truly like Lola with Kyle, so it will be interesting to see if he can move on without her, or if he will even try. Kyle has been doing his best to be a stand-up guy, but it all keeps working against him. He is unable to be with the lady he truly loves because he made the ultimate sacrifice to save her life. How could Kyle think a marriage to Summer would ever work, when all he wanted was to be with Lola? But unless Summer let him go, Kyle was trapped -- and she didn't seem too willing to do that.
In fact, Summer wised up enough to realize that working for Jabot was the best way to stay connected to Kyle, since her marriage was on shaky ground, so she accepted Jack's offer. With her brilliant ideas, won't Summer make a great team player? Well, she will if she never breathes a word of Jabot's strategic movements to her grandpa. If Summer gets upset with Kyle, all bets could be off, though. Summer switching teams should certainly get Victor riled up and ready for a fight again. Jack has never learned not to poke that sleeping bear.
It's sad, though, that Summer knew Kyle still loved Lola but was willing to hang around, anyway. Summer was not only denying Kyle the woman he desired, but she was also preventing herself from having the happiness she craved. How could Summer only want to be second choice? She should want a man who would make her number one in his heart, but it's possible she lacked the confidence in herself to believe she would ever find that special someone. Her relationship with Kyle was not all "rainbows and unicorns," and Summer was blinding herself in not seeing that Kyle's heart might never belong to her. But Jack was right that Kyle needed to make a decision quickly for both ladies' sakes. Either way, he will end up hurting one woman he loves.
Phyllis surprised me with her desire to split up Summer and her new husband. Even if Red was worried that the longer her daughter stayed with Kyle, the more she would be hurt, Phyllis would never throw in the towel if she were in the same situation. You'd think she would want Summer to fight for her man. But Phyllis had "a concerned bystander" following Kyle and Lola's every move and taking pictures of them while Summer was supposed to be away on their little spa trip. It didn't bode well for Summer that Kyle was already ready to cheat with Lola so soon after the surgery and their marriage.
Kyle declared his love for Lola in every way possible except physically. It was just too bad Phyllis' private investigator didn't catch it all on video. While it appeared that her motives were to help her daughter to wake up and smell the cappuccino about her marriage, Phyllis actually planned to use the P.I.'s pictures to blackmail Jack into giving up Fenmore's. Ahh...it's so good to know that some things never change and that Phyllis being selfish to the core is one of them.
But for once, her dirty dealings seemed to bite Phyllis in the rear when Lauren actually decided to jump ship and let Jack captain Fenmore's through Jabot's empowered woman campaign, after all. Phyllis' dreams were as smashed into pieces as the mirror she broke, and she finally got a taste of what she had been deserving for quite some time. It seems like it was just yesterday when Phyllis had the world on a string as the CEO of Jabot with Nick's love and the support of her best friend, Lauren, who had championed her every cause. But, of course, yesterday's gone.
I honestly will miss Gina Tognoni's version of Phyllis, which I find to be a tad more subtle than Michelle Stafford's in-your-face Phyllis. It's funny, though, that I love both actresses' Phyllis with Jack. Phyllis and Jack are just one of my favorite couples, period. Jack has always been able to tone Red down and keep her from being her own worst enemy when times were tough, which was no easy feat. Peter Bergman has the talent to have exceptional chemistry with either actress, which is truly a wonderful gift.
There have been so many casting changes, and another welcomed one is the return of Greg Rikaart as Kevin after his short stint as Leo on Days of our Lives. Could it be possible that Judith Chapman's Gloria may not be too far behind? It would be great for Gloria, Kevin, and Michael to have their family dynamic back, which would also give more airtime to Michael's Christian LeBlanc. Really, Michael's been pretty much missing in action the last several years. It would be great to have Michael Baldwin back on our screens on a more regular basis.
I truly enjoy watching Michelle Stafford as Nina with James Patrick Stuart's Valentin on General Hospital, and I will miss that. I have met Ms. Stafford a couple of times at the GH Fan Club Weekend event, and she really is the most elegant lady, who has a true appreciation for her fans. The first time I met her, Michelle Stafford was sick, but she showed up at the event, anyway, because she didn't want to let her fans down. (She wasn't contagious.) At her last event that I attended, she was with James Patrick Stuart, and they were so funny together. You could tell they were friends. And again, she was as gracious as ever to her fans. However, it will be neat seeing Michelle Stafford as Phyllis again, since I had the privilege of meeting her. It makes watching my favorite characters that much more special when I know just how terrific the actors are in real life.
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