Nitpicking the Week in Soaps, From the Mystery Surrounding Young & Restless’ Amanda to the Days of our Lives Shocker We Never Saw Coming!
Image: John Paschal/JPI, ABC Screenshot, XJ Johnson/JPI; Howard Wise/JPI
What left us baffled, befuddled, cheering and jeering!
It was a strange week in daytime, with one show moving at such a breakneck pace (and dropping so many bombshells), we checked the calendar to see if we were in a ratings sweeps period, while another moved so slowly, we considered checking it for signs of life. Ready to dive in and discuss what worked, what didn’t and more? Then read on!
• While it shouldn’t be big news that The Young and the Restless had some forward plot movement this week, it kind of is, based on how rarely that’s happened of late. Granted, it’s not like suddenly three or four plots took off, but Amanda did finally get curious about her past, even if it took her about six months longer than it did the rest of us. But didn’t it seem weird (and almost cruel) that she had to ask Devon to tell her Hilary’s birthday? How hard would it have been for her to look up her dead doppelganger’s obit? Whatever… we’re finally moving toward answers, so all is forgiven. Or at least will be as long as they don’t simply recreate Mariah’s story by revealing that Amanda is the sister Hilary never knew she had. Let’s get creative here, people!
• For ages, fans have been begging The Young and the Restless to give much-loved vet Doug Davidson a storyline. Instead, the show rubbed salt in their wounds by having Paul offer Chance a job… off screen. Then we got more talk of what went down when Chance and Adam were in Las Vegas, a storyline that we’ve never once heard anyone ask for more of. On the plus side, the show gave us that fantastic confrontation between Chelsea, Victor and Nikki. Accusations flew (“Is it really worth destroy Adam’s life just so Victoria can hold on to a job?” asked Chelsea), history was referenced (“I’m sure it thrilled your cold little grifter heart!” shot back Nikki), and a good time was had by all.
• Sadly, The Bold and the Beautiful continued to mistake exposition for story. In fact, both of the CBS shows have been so devoid of actual plot movement lately that the network has been running ads featuring humorous moments. Sure, the promo featuring Shauna and Ridge discussing him doing naked backflips in the pool was cute, but I’m not sure it would necessarily get a viewer — whether new or lapsed — to tune in. Especially when Days of our Lives features a serial killer having a meltdown and General Hospital‘s playing about 10 storylines at once.
* One storyline The Bold and the Beautiful seems determined to roll out again is the Steffy/Liam/Hope triangle. While the introduction of handsome doc Finn is clearly meant to be a new element, we’ve seen so little of him that he’s not yet a contender. So when Steffy mixed booze and pills before winding up at the crossroads of Memory Lane and Liam Boulevard, we could hear the twitterverse groan, in unison, “Not again!” But hold out a little bit of hope, soapers, because spoilers for next week indicate that when Steffy hits a low point, she and Finn will grow closer. (Anybody else think it might be time for us to see him interacting with other people? It would help flesh out this new character while also providing him with more than one story avenue to traverse.)
Quote of the Week: “Everybody tiptoes around all the really truly awful things that you have done over the years. I mean, you’ve slept with practically every single Forrester man! How many times can a woman say, ‘Whoops, I’m sorry, I accidentally kissed my sister’s husband’?” — Quinn, to rival Brooke
• Camila Banus’ Gabi has only just left Salem, and already we’re counting down the days to her return. Days of our Lives did a great job of putting myriad characters under the DiMera roof, and having Gabi there to push buttons, stir pots and generally make life interesting is a crucial element. Speaking of exits, the show did a nice job with the departure of Will and Sonny, even if it did seem a bit rushed. Heck, it was nice to see people actually leave town as opposed to being victims of a plot contrivance. In real life, folks move away… and sometimes, they come back!
• Days of our Lives also earned big kudos from us this week for the twist in which Vincent was revealed to be far more than simply Eve’s henchman. Never in a million years could we have pulled the name “Wendy Taylor” out of our hats, yet headwriter Ron Carlivati & Co. used Ben’s forgotten victim to great effect. That said, it would have made a lot more sense to have Vincent kill Ciara in that dorm room and frame Ben for her murder as opposed to going the Bond villain route by setting up an elaborate plot and discussing it at lengths with his would-be victim. Read more thoughts about Ben and Ciara’s storyline in the weekly Days’ opinion column.
• Which brings us to General Hospital, which for my money was last week’s best soap. At least two twists — Alex’s phone call to Anna and Neil’s death — caught us off guard, with the latter proving to be a genuine shocker. We have to assume Neil’s death will serve a greater purpose (several fans suspect it will be linked to Cyrus somehow), although it would be kind of cool if it turned out that Neil simply… died. Hey, it happens.
• One General Hospital storyline we totally didn’t see coming was the slowly unfolding Ned/Olivia/Robert triangle. What a delightful, unexpected little treat. Sure, so far Olivia and Robert are only friends, but the chemistry is as obvious as it is unexpected. Who would have imagined that Dante’s return would focus not on the status of his own relationship but that of his mom!
Before hitting the comments to weigh in on your favorite (and least favorite) moments from the week in soaps, why not swing by the gallery below for a flashback-filled look at the handsome men some of your favorite soap stars made members of the Real-Life First Husbands Club!