The grape of wrath

For the Week of September 4, 2023
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In grapeo chokitas. It doesn't flow off the tongue like in vino veritas, but it will have to do. The Newmans are infighting. And when a grape declared war on Ashley, she found an unlikely savior. Could the simple grape be the bringer of world peace? Probably not, but it won't stop a little playful imagination in this Two Scoops commentary.

Who knew that a grape could bring about world peace? One moment, an angry Ashley told Abby that she couldn't work at Jabot as long as Diane was there. The next, Ms. Abbott was almost concord, er, conquered by vitis vinifera. Did anyone else think that it looked like Diane had a brief out-of-body experience where she imagined what life would be like without Ashley? I am not passing judgment. I'd have to imagine that most people would have a split-second part with reality if their antagonist was going through something similar.

I wonder if this near-death experience will cause some sort of thawing of Ashley and Diane's icy relationship. Or is it only a matter of time before they are raisin hell. Sorry. I do suspect that Ashley's brush with death will bring her and Jack back together. I fully agree that Diane didn't do anything that any one of the other patrons at Society could have done, but Diane did step in. You gotta start somewhere. Isn't it amazing what a little grape can do? Maybe they need to slip more of them into the buffet when they hold peace talks.

Or we can start by adding them to the menu at Newman Enterprises and its subsidiaries.

I am trying to decide how I feel about Nick's offer to help fund Sally's new business. Don't get me wrong -- it's an incredible and generous offer. But somehow, I don't see it staying that way. Money has a way of causing all sorts of unforeseen issues in relationships, even if one of the people in the relationship has more money than they know what to do with.

Sally has it easy compared to what Sharon is dealing with. She's not only getting involved with a loved one, but the third partner is also a former lover, and the overlord of the operation is also a former lover. And did I mention that all three of those men are related? Sure, it makes for great soapy drama, but I cannot even imagine what that would be like in the real world.

"I have been a part of too much Newman family drama," said Sharon in one of 2023's understatements of the year. I suppose that we should all be thankful that the Nick, Sharon, and Adam business entanglements aren't sullied by them all being in a love triangle.

I find it funny that there is all this behind-everyone's-back machination taking place. Adam wants to be in charge of SNA, so he runs and tells Victor. While Adam is off with Victor, Sharon it pitching the idea of wresting back Kristen so that she and Nick don't have to deal with Adam. Just as Sharon and Nick formulate a plan, here comes Victor sauntering in to remind everyone that he runs the show.

The Newmans don't get to have all the business intrigue for themselves. The Abbotts have family business drama of their own. I would say that Tucker is the Sharon in this setup, but that would be a disservice to Sharon. Where Sharon is grabbing the bull by the horns (or grabbing the rose by the thorns, as the folk at PETA would prefer that we use), Tucker is pretty much just an instigator.

And I don't mind an instigator. There's something smarmy yet hilariously delicious about Trevor St. John's Tucker. He's like a sassy Eeyore at times. Kind of mopey and low energy, but still somehow a smartass that's ready to deliver a zinger at any moment. Oh, Pooh, indeed.

I'm thinking of all the soaps that I've watched over the years and trying to decide if any family business was without squabble. I suppose the very nature of the word "soap" means that there has to be drama. Even The Bold and the Beautiful has infighting -- and it's happening this week.

I admittedly say this as an only child, but the idea of going into business with a family member seems like absolute torture. Did the Brooks Brothers have this much drama when they were trying to come up with the perfect pair of khakis? The only other set of siblings that I can think of are the Mario Brothers, and I think most of their drama involved angry turtles and the bad boss, Bowzer.

Speaking of boss ladies, Esther working at Crimson Lights threw me for a loop. I admit that I chuckled when a stunned Nikki commented, "Hard times?" upon seeing Esther. It seemed like exactly the sort of thing that an uber rich person would say. Sort of like, "Are you... are you... wearing last season's Gucci?" The horror!

"Reinvention is the rage these days," Esther chirped as though she were Genoa City's version of Madonna. Nikki was horrified at the idea, but I'm not sure which scared her more -- the reinvention part or the working as coffee stripper, er, barista. Nikki has already had a couple of reinventions in her life, so maybe the idea of doing it all over again isn't as exciting as it is to Esther.

But the joke is on her -- because Victor named her as head of Newman Media. I don't know if this is the best idea. And that's nothing against Nikki. Appointing Nikki to run things because all the other supposed candidates weren't viable (or rather, were being punished) is... not exactly a ringing endorsement of Nikki's capabilities. It's an odd move because it feels like there were only four possible candidates out of six billion Earthlings. It might be time to age some of the Newman grandkids and get them roaming the halls of Newman as a way to get some new blood into the company.

I do like the way that Nikki started off her reign: calling Audra over for tea and, in between asking if Audra wanted sugar or cream, blasting her for being a homewrecking hussy. I might have embellished that a bit. Audra leaning in and whispering that she'd heard that Summer and Kyle were headed for a divorce made me chuckle. Not one to back off, Audra dug herself in deeper by saying that Kyle was free to see who he wanted and that Summer wasn't exactly blameless in her split from Kyle. Wowzers.

It is not lost on me that while Nikki was firing off a few zingers of her own, she was sipping literal tea.

There is something that Victor does that amuses me. It's probably not meant to be funny, and I am probably the only one that finds it funny. But I love when he summons his family to the house and then enters the room by saying, "Thank you all for coming."

Adam always seems to end up the odd man out. In my head, it's because he is too much like Victor for Victor's liking. And that's ironic, because Victor wants to mold Adam in his own likeness. I guess the likeness that Victor sees isn't actually the likeness that everyone else sees.

At what point does outcast Adam need to either go away or become permanent? I'm kinda there already. At some point, Adam needs to realize that the relationship he has with his father is not healthy. While it might seem rash or mean for me to say this, I think he needs to cut all ties to Victor -- for good. If this were a romantic relationship, we'd have declared it dead ages ago. Why should we view a familial relationship to be any different?

With all the drama at Jabot and Newman, now would be the time for some unscrupulous squillionaire to surreptitiously stroll into town and snatch up both companies. A pair of hostile takeovers. I don't know if that's realistic or plausible, but it wouldn't be the first time that something happened on a soap that wasn't totally based in reality.

If you've spent any time on social media over the past week, you'll know that there are a lot of opinions about what's going on in the Mariah, Tessa, and Aria storyline. Some fans are angry that the writers have thrown a wrench into what they felt should have been Mariah and Tessa's blissful time as moms. There are also some hateful comments that I won't give bandwidth in this column.

In the wise words of Tessa, "The Internet is certainly not always our friend." Yes, she was referring to playing doctor by googling symptoms, but her words certainly do apply to the Internet as a whole. Unfortunately.

It's hard to "enjoy" a storyline that involves a little one dealing with some sort of medical issue. It seems unfair that infants have to deal with anything other than health and happiness. The Internet usually lights up with comments that soap viewers, which have historically been predominantly comprised of moms, don't want to see stories about sick babies.

I don't know if it's a popular opinion, but I do think Aria's hearing loss is a really great use of history. Being able to tap into Devon's history is a smart decision. The Young and the Restless has been on the air for over 50 years, so being able to mine that history is incredibly important. I like that Mariah and Tessa will be able to lean on Devon for support -- and that Devon can be there for the couple.

The scene of Tessa singing to Mariah both broke my heart and gave me hope.

A lot of people have a lot of things to say about inclusivity efforts. I think this storyline shows that all parents worry about their kids and want what's best for them. It doesn't matter what the makeup is of that pair of parents -- or, in many cases, single parent.

Commonality is a strength that soap operas have always had. Even though most of us could never imagine what it would be like to be infinitely wealthy and seemingly never having to work more than a few hours a month, there is almost always something that we can agree on: so-and-so make a cute couple, what's-his-face needs to be taken down a few pegs, you-know-who needs to find happiness.

The nature of this Two Scoops column means that opinions are shared. And we don't always have the same opinions, but we certainly do share a love of The Young and the Restless. I'm interested in hearing what you think about this week's action on Y&R. What did you like? What drove you nuts? What would you like to see happen Share them -- and then check back next week when Tamilu shares her thoughts on everything that's taken place. Thanks for reading -- and thanks for supporting Soap Central.


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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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