Nitpicking the Week in Soaps, From Sharon’s Cancer Returning on Young & Restless to the Days of our Lives Character You Really, Really Hate!
Images: Howard Wise/JPI (2), Jill Johnson/JPI, ABC screenshot
The week in sudsy cheers, jeers, rants and raves!
If there’s one question I’m asked more than any other, it’s this: “What’s your favorite soap?” And truthfully, it varies every few weeks. By nature, this is a cyclical genre, so it’s not entirely surprising that a show which is stuck in a rut one week might race to the front of the pack the next. I’d love to say that was the case this week, and that one of the CBS soaps reminded us of just how great it can be… but that definitely was not the case. On the plus side, The Young and the Restless did start to show a few signs of life. The Bold and the Beautiful, on the other hand, continued to spin its wheels, repeating snippets of dialogue with a frequency not seen since the heyday of Passions. So again this week, the bright spots for me were General Hospital and Days of our Lives. Let’s dive in to look at the highlights and low points of the week in soaps!
• Over the past few weeks, I’ve sounded like a broken record when it comes to the Sharon/Adam story on The Young and the Restless. But thanks to recent developments, I’m changing my tune! If I’m being honest, Sharon’s cancer story has felt surprisingly drama-free until now. But that all changed when Sharon got the shocking news that her recent surgery had not managed to remove all of the cancer. The performances Sharon Case gave as her alter ego reacted to this news were the kind that earn Emmys. Sharon then ran straight to Adam, explaining that while she had no control over her own life, helping him might give her a purpose. I’ve long railed against the idea of Adam and Sharon reuniting, given the whole “I stole your baby and gave it to my stepmom” thing. But darned if I might not be thawing, just a little bit!
* How amusing was it to hear The Young and the Restless‘ Mariah explain to Rey the concept of “squish names” for couples? “They were face to face with one half of Teriah,” she said of meeting girlfriend Tessa’s fans.
• Like y’all, I love a good spoiler. I always say that I’m not going to read them, but I can’t help it… I have to know what’s going to happen next week! However, there’s definitely something to be said for going in blind. For example, while watching Days of our Lives‘ Robert Scott Wilson (Ben) and Kristian Alfonso (Hope) act their butts off as word spread of Ciara’s “demise” — which I’m putting in quotes because, I mean, come on… does anybody really believe she’s dead? — I couldn’t help but think how much more impactful it would have been, were we not all made aware of portrayer Victoria Konefal’s departure weeks ago?
Quote of the Week: “What happens when he makes some idiotic decision? What happens when I disagree with him? What are we gonna do, arm-wrestle? Actually, that would work out kinda great for me!” — Xander ponders his forced business partnership with Philip, Days of our Lives
* Based on the comments that came in after our post in which Days of our Lives headwriter Ron Carlivati explained exactly how Gwen poisoned Abigail, y’all are not big fans of Jake’s ex-girlfriend! I’m kinda hoping this is a “We love to hate her” situation, because I have to say, I find the bitchy Brit to be exactly the kind of troublemaker I enjoy having around! I particularly enjoy knowing that Camila Banus’ Gabi will eventually return to once again butt heads with her latest rival.
• The Bold and the Beautiful spent most of the week reminding us of how Ridge wound up married to Shauna, but there were a few bright spots. The writers faked us out by making it look as if Quinn was summoning Shauna to serve as a spoiler to any potential Ridge and Brooke reunion, only to reveal that the schemer had actually called Bill. Meanwhile, Shauna contemplating her new life as a Forrester (“Can I still swear and wear my ripped jeans?”) is something I want to see much more of. Classic soaps loved nothing more than tales in which a have-not married a have. (Heck, that’s how Brooke and Ridge’s epic romance began!)
• If you’d have told me that my favorite potential pairing of 2020 would be General Hospital‘s Robert and Olivia, I’d have suggested you were nuttier than Heather Webber. But here we are, and what with not believing for a second that Holly’s dead, I’m giddy at the thought that we might actually get a Ned/Olivia/Robert/Holly quadrangle. Hey, a boy can dream…
• As a longtime fan of the classic mystery soap The Edge of Night — and don’t get me started on why it’s the perfect show for a reboot — I’m digging General Hospital‘s Cyrus Renault story. And I know, I know, a lot of fans don’t share my enthusiasm, saying that the last thing the show needs is another charismatic bad guy. But hear me out, because my feelings about this story are contingent on something pretty big. One of the things I loved about Edge was its ability to introduce temporary bad guys. They’d come in, wreck a few lives, commit a few crimes… and then either be sent to prison or become the victim of a devious murder plot. That’s what I’m hoping for here — that Renault (sublimely played by The Walking Dead vet Jeff Kober) will push the buttons of everyone in town before being ushered off the canvas in a very big way. (Like the way Shiloh should’ve been!)
Now that you’ve heard what I have to say, hit the comments with your thoughts about the week in soaps. Then, check out the gallery below, which — appropriately enough — just happens to be about several daytime stories that were so bad, they were good… and a few that were just plain terrible!