Mass hysteria -- is there something in the water in GC?

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Most everyone in Genoa City seemed especially hysterical last week. Ashley is hearing voices, Nicki is still teetering on and off the wagon, Audra is skulking around after Tucker. But at least the Newman brothers are getting along. A new columnist weighs in with her take on the antics in Genoa City.

Vance has the week off, but he'll be back in two weeks with his thoughts on Y&R right here in Two Scoops.

Hi Readers, my name is Tiffany, and I'm new to the Soap Central writing team. I've been lurking around here for years and am excited to become a participant. I've been watching Y&R for a very long time, even though my first love is General Hospital. Ever since VCR tapes, I have come home from school (or work), plopped on the couch, and watched my favorite show. My husband knows not to talk to me until I've been able to unwind after work with my "fix" of soaps. Although I wasn't as committed to Y&R when I was a teen, I did watch it on summer breaks and would get hooked again each time. As an adult (with a DVR -- yay!), I decided I had to have them both. At this point I've been watching both shows daily for longer than I care to admit.

I enjoy having two soaps to count on because I feel like when one gets boring, the other heats up, so I can enjoy some storylines while fast-forwarding others. Unfortunately, I am finding most of the current storylines on Y&R to be a bit blah. Some stories are creeping, some stories seem overdone, and some are just not compelling. My beef is the current writing for our leading ladies. Is it just me, or do all the female characters seem particularly hysterical this week?

I'd say over the many years that I've watched The Young and the Restless, a least favorite storyline of mine is the "Nikki-fell-off-the-wagon-again" storyline. There's a lot of fast-forwarding for me when Nikki busts out the old flask, sheepishly looks around, and starts sneaking drinks. You know where it's going, you know how everyone will react, and you know how it will end. So, it's a definite downer for me right now. And what I've always wondered -- with Nikki's serious addiction problems -- why on earth do the Newmans keep a full bar in their living room? Victor's gotten rid of it again, but how long before it pops back up?

That's not to say I'm not Team Nikki when it comes to these shenanigans with Jordan. I'm definitely not a fan of this storyline, but I did get interested at the end of the week, wondering what on earth Jordan was up to by messing with poor, unsuspecting, drunk Seth. Watching her flirt (while wearing a wig reminiscent of Daphne from Scooby-Doo) was almost more than I could take, but I am a bit curious about what she is up to. I'm assuming this storyline will eventually end with Nikki having to kill her off.

Speaking of cartoon characters, has Ashley always seemed like an unhinged character straight out of the Bugs Bunny show? Watching a beautiful, strong, successful woman utterly melt down over a man (like Tucker, no less) frosts my cookies. Why are the writers playing it this way? This has been such a drawn-out storyline, anyway, so to finish the week with the weird shrieky voices in her head was disconcerting. When we are at a point where Ashley tells Jack, "Your hugs are miracle workers," we know we've jumped the shark on this one. Let's move this along.

I'd also like to move the Audra and Tucker pairing along. I cannot tell if Audra is solely using Tucker for business reasons or if she has actual feelings for him (I fear it's the latter). I'm still a little miffed at how she and Kyle were run into the ground. Their chemistry was light years beyond what Audra has with Tucker. But I may feel that way just because Tucker is such a smarmy dude.

I'd like to see Audra get out from under his spell and be redeemed. The character has been at her best when she's been allowed to be vulnerable -- like when she shared her father's drinking with Nikki. Sadly, that story was tossed to the wayside with a completely implausible story of Nikki randomly firing her. Newman seriously needs an HR department! (Side note: as I am a Human Resources professional in my day job, the willy-nilly hiring/firing and rampant nepotism at Jabot and Newman drive me especially nuts.)

Continuing with the theme of the writing for our female characters, let's talk about Phyllis. We've lately been enduring the awkward, cringey scenes of Phyllis repeatedly throwing herself at Danny. I'll never understand why such a beautiful, capable woman would need to throw herself at a man who is not interested. I absolutely detest it when Phyllis gets desperate and pushy. Luckily, I got to see my favorite version of Phyllis this week when she was at Society with Nick.

Phyllis is at her most intriguing when she is with Nick. She's real and steady and doesn't wear the façade that she wears with so many other characters. Nick brings out the best in her, and when they glowingly discuss their daughter, it always feels so sweet and positive. With Nick, Phyllis is a totally different person than she is with any other leading man. Give me a strong, cool Phyllis any day over desperate-for-Danny Phyllis.

It makes me long for the days when Phyllis and Nick would sit around their living room, playing video games. That's a much more authentic depiction of a real relationship than whatever they are trying to do with the Phyllis-Danny-Christine debacle. I hope Phyllis doesn't have to run Christine over with her car again, but you never know with the way they are recycling some of these storylines. Actually, I'm lying, anyway. Phyllis running over the Bug wouldn't bother me that much.

Another winning (and realistic) storyline in my book: the Newman brothers getting along. I hate it that Adam is always the black sheep. I love when the storyline is truer to life -- sometimes siblings like each other, and sometimes they don't. Seeing them working well together -- and Nick acting like a true big brother -- warms my heart. I admit I did agree with Victor when he wondered why Sally has such a hold on both of his sons, but I love it when their storyline does not revolve around passing girlfriends back and forth. Can we please let Adam have a run of success in both business and family matters for a while? Mark Grossman is my favorite Adam so far, and I want to see his character shine.

Billy is another favorite of mine, but I do wonder -- who thought fighting over a corporate name change would be good TV? This is just not riveting stuff. Billy deserves way better storylines than Abbot-Chancellor-Winters drama or chitchats with Chelsea about Connor's elementary school trouble. Use Jason Thompson better than this! To be clear, I do not mean rehash the gambling addiction stuff (Nikki backsliding is enough). We need new material for him. Or send him back to GH as Dr. Drake!

Finally, I'm a bit bored by the Chance and Summer pairing, but getting to see Summer do more than pine for Kyle is refreshing. The aforementioned ladies need to take a page from Summer's playbook and move on to bigger and better things. She may be the only female character who the writers are treating well right now. Chance moving on to Summer is also good because it allows for more interesting material for Sharon. But wait, where the heck was Sharon last week?

At least I saw Amanda in the previews for next week! Here's hoping she's coming to town to kick ass and take names. In my opinion, we need a whole lot more of that from our Genoa City Queens!
Tiffany

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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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