By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman
The Young and the Restless: As the weeks go by, Y&R’s plots are changing radically under its new headwriter, Josh Griffith. Here are some thoughts on the latest story twists:
As I wrote in Sunday Reflections 15, there are plenty of presto chango plot revisions that a) make your head spin, and b)creatively launch new stories, GloWorm has burned down, torched by an associate of Adam’s, giving Gloria and Jeffrey $7 million insurance money to play with. Jack has had a quickie back operation to ease his pain (and lead to pill addiction?) In a November sweeps month plot, Victoria has just been kidnapped by an ex-con named Eddie G. He’s the gambling buddy of Billy’s, played by Coleman from General Hospital (in other words, actor Blake Gibbons, a weird choice because the non-contract thesp is still playing the bartender on GH.)
But by far, the biggest change is in the character of Nick Newman, a schlemiel I never thought much about even though he was born on the show decades ago. He’s been the ping pong husband of either Sharon or Phyllis, continually stomped on by both of them and his father, The Great Victor Newman. Headwriter Griffith has chosen to suddenly make Nick grow up overnight and become a real man — rejecting Victor’s command to reclaim Newman in order to have more time to take care of his kids (in a terrific scene), divorce Phyllis once and for all, and get involved in a mature, idyllic romance with Avery (after their unfortunate one night stand earlier), the smartest, most contemporary women on the show. I like the new Mr. Newman at last, or at least notice him now.
And the smartest choice by far is having Adam come back into Sharon’s orbit now that he’s protecting her from being charged as an arsonist. (He just, however unwittingly, sponsored the burning of GloWorm, to distract attention from the fact that Sharon burned down the Newman ranch.) Adam/Sharon has long been one of Marlena’s favorite soap couplings, because both characters are so supremely screwed up. (Yes, I know Adam once kidnapped Sharon’s baby!) Two neurotic characters together make for a classic soap opera pairing (remember Roger and Holly on Guiding Light?) But “Shadam”’s pairing is one step up, they’re so divinely psychotic together. They (a very sick arsonist and a would-be arsonist) are just so twisted together, they’re incredibly alluring! (And remind me of star-crossed dangerous couples out of classic film noir) Sure Adam’s acting like he’s just protecting her now, but I thinkthe two are still in love. Now Adam being married to the extra feisty and emotional ex-con woman Chelsea makes for a spectacularly fiery (forgive me) soap love triangle. Adam hiding Sharon has been the setting for some great arguments between Chelsea and Adam. But I’m rooting for Sharon and Adam. What could I say — Marlena just adores twisted and screwed up!
General Hospital: Wowie! Zowie! Yesterday’s Friday cliffhanger on General Hospital is destined to become a soap classic. “Duke” tore off his latex mask to reveal to Robin he’s … but we won’t see who until Monday! Is it Faison, Robert, Luke, even Helena? I don’t know and I can’t stop thinking about it. That’s old-fashioned thrilling soap opera. And the fake “Duke” plot with the mask unveiling is so very, very Edge of Night!