Deep Soap: Soaps’ Children Have an Unhappy Holiday

'Days of Our Lives' (Photo: NBC)

'Days of Our Lives' (Photo: NBC)

Do They Know It’s Christmas Time At All?

Ah, soaps during the holidays. The warmth of the family celebrations.  The beloved traditions, like watching the Hortons decorate the Christmas tree on “Days of Our Lives” and the holiday miracles that tend to pop up in numerous soap towns.  This year, soaps are celebrating the holidays by putting adorable children in grave peril. 

Last week, I praised the unusual way “DOOL” began the saga of poor little Johnny’s eye cancer.  But having to watch a toddler learn he was going to lose his eye hardly put me in the holiday mood.  The only appropriate seasonal reference to child occular trauma is the department store Santa in “A Christmas Story” warning the protagonist that if he gets a BB gun, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”  I liked it better when soap Christmases featured a guy who may or may not be the actual Santa bonding with the characters.

General Hospital” is already promoting its big post-Christmas event storyline: a school bus crash involving most of the kids on the show.   These big stunts are what the show does best, although I am already dreading that it will be an excuse to kill off characters. Chaperone Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) has not had much to do lately, and “GH” probably will have no qualms about killing off a child.  But, given that the plotline does not begin until December 29th, does ABC really need to advertise every parent’s worst fear prior to the holidays?  It’s bad enough that the spoiler-filled promo kills all the suspense about what will happen.  Now it’s killing viewers’ spirits.

Melissa Hayden Joins “Y&R”

The best casting news of the week: Melissa Hayden, who won a Daytime Emmy for playing Bridget Reardon on “Guiding Light” is coming to “The Young & the Restless” on January 7th.  According to Soap Opera Digest, she will be playing a character named Agnes who will be “kicking something off. It will be meaningful when it happens.”  That sounds like a short term role.  I say as long as “kicking something off” does not refer to kicking the bucket, keep her around.  Hayden is a powerhouse.  I never understood why an actress of her caliber virtually disappeared after leaving “GL.” I want to see her in scenes with “Y&R’s” other underused award winning actress, Tricia Cast.

Where’s the Scandal?

Am I missing why Nick (Joshua Morrow) and Diane’s (Maura West) hook-up is a scandalous secret on “The Young & the Restless“?  Yes, it’s weird, given that she used to be his stepmother and a couple of decades older than him.  Now, she is neither.  Once upon a time, Nick only slept with women other than Sharon after months of attempting to fight his attraction to a would be temptress, but those days are long gone.  This is the Nick that had a drunken make out session with Christine (Lauralee Bell) just because he was down in the dumps.  So it was no surprise that, still smarting from Sharon dumping him for Adam, an evening of flirtation mixed with chat about their children ended with Nick and Diane having sex.  Given that Nikki and Victoria both slept with Brad and Cole, parent-child partner swapping is hardly unprecedented in the Newman family. Heck, Victor kissed Sharon once. Now Sharon is sleeping with Nick’s brother.  Basically, if anyone gets an STD, the entire family needs to get tested.

So, other than avoiding an awkward situation, why are Nick and Diane acting like this is a deep, dark secret?  Now that the audience knows that Diane is flat broke, it’s clear that her hidden agenda is a surgardaddy search.  Her Baby Daddy Jack (Peter Bergman) is not available.  Nick, being a newly single millionaire who loves kids and wears his black boxer briefs well, seems like the perfect choice.  Yes, Diane’s ex-Victor is newly single, thanks to his judgmental hypocrisy about Nikki sleeping with Deacon — after she thought that Victor had married another woman.  Victor does have billions compared to Nick’s millions.  He also has years of bad history with Diane  (including, most notably, Diane attempting to steal his sperm) that should render them incapable of being in the same room together.  Then again, this is the same show that has Sharon falling in love with a man who not only stole her newborn baby, but faked its death.

So unless Diane has somehow assumed responsibility for the entire U.S. debt, Nick’s bank account should be more than sufficient to solve her financial problems.  (Are we ever going to learn how a successful architect got into so much debt?)  Diane, however, seems poised to go after the mustache who has offered her a job, and, *spoiler alert* will let her move into his house.  So it looks like Nick and Diane will keep their fling a secret for absolutely no reason.  If Victor and Diane were already an item, or Victor made Diane’s celibacy a condition of her employment, this might make sense.  But, given that this involves two single, consenting adults, there just doesn’t seem like any motivation for the subterfuge.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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