How well did soaps celebrate Thanksgiving this year? Check out what Digest columnist Carolyn Hinsey has to say about what’s happening across the daytime dial.
Home For The Holidays: Emma’s (Brooklyn Rae Silzer) return sweetened Robert (Tristan Rogers) and Anna’s (Finola Hughes) Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving shows are tricky because soaps have to combine schmaltz and struggle for the proper cornucopia of family drama.
Y&R achieved that with Newman angst, Abbott family lies and a raucous Baldwin-Fisher celebration. Nikki didn’t have much to be thankful for, what with being held captive and all, and then came a voice from the past.
Cole (opening door): “Nikki? It’s Cole. I got your text about Victoria. Is she all right?”
“Aunt Jordan” bopped Cole on the head, the Newmans arrived demanding to see Nikki, and Jordan claimed she was the long-dead Eve Howard’s sister. While that was all sinking in, Claire dragged Cole out and turned to face Victoria.
Claire: “He had to be here for the family reunion, didn’t he, Mother?”
Huh? Turned out, Claire was really Cole and Victoria’s “dead” baby, Eve Nicole, and the Newmans were all poisoned, which really put a damper on things they were thankful for.
Stepford-y Claire morphing into Nikki’s kidnapper from hell and her granddaughter was a dramatic one-two punch. Personally, I’m thankful Colleen Zenk is back on my screen even if she did inject vodka into the veins of our heroine Nikki Newman (a recovering alcoholic) and try to kill the Newmans. Barbara Ryan lives!
Elsewhere, Diane convincing Kyle to keep the secret that he was part of a plot to take over Jabot does not bode well for her new marriage to Jack.
Kyle: “I almost sold Dad out to Tucker.”
Diane: “You reversed course.”
It’s all about the spin when you’re a liar. Diane tried to act like Lady of the Manor for her “first Thanksgiving as Jack’s wife” but Ashley’s arrival stuck a fork in that.
Jack: “This is the one day of the year we set judgments aside, put battles on hold, and come together in gratitude and unity. What could be better?”
Diane: “Have you met your sister?”
Ashley’s desire to invite Tucker for a holiday drink made it difficult to put battles on hold — familiar terrain for the Abbott family.
Jack: “Why are you so stubborn?”
Ashley: “Why are you such a control freak?”
So much for gratitude and unity.
The Baldwin-Fishers aimed for that, but wound up with humor instead when Gloria walked into Society and promptly passed out.
Kevin: “Honestly, I thought it would be worse.”
B&B was thankful they had an A-list couple to highlight since they clearly didn’t feel like throwing a big Thanksgiving dinner and paying all those actors for one episode. Instead, Brooke walked into Forrester Creations and found flowers, candles, and a table for two.
Brooke: “What’s all this?”
Ridge: “Sometimes you gotta say thanks; steal a few moments just for us.”
Brooke: “Are you stealing me away like you did all those years ago?”
Cue the flashbacks! Oh, wait. Ridge was played by a different actor from 1987 to 2012 so cue the flashbacks of Brooke with a voiceover by the current actor, Thorsten Kaye. Nothing is funnier than B&B using headshots of “old Ridge” from when Thorsten was playing Patrick on ONE LIFE TO LIVE for the scrapbook Ridge gave Brooke. The props department worked overtime on that one, so kudos.
Memory Lane was soon up to 2013 when Kaye assumed the role and B&B could use actual flashbacks — like his first day playing Ridge.
Brooke: “You came back a new man. It’s almost like our lives began all over again.”
A new man indeed. Ha!
What’s more American than a Turkey Trot? DAYS’s Chad participated in one before transferring a boatload of cash to Gwen for half of The Spectator. Julie then welcomed Chad and Stephanie over to her house with lots of talk about Chad’s invisible children playing on the swings in the backyard.
Julie: “Doug is taking a nap. Running that Turkey Trot exhausted him.”
I buy that because we love Doug and we know his portrayer is 98 years old. Ding dong! It’s Nick Fallon, er, a newbie named Everett.
Everett: “Happy Thanksgiving.”
Julie: “He has no family here in Salem so tonight we are his family.”
Chad: “You two know each other?”
Everett: “From a previous life, maybe.”
Cleverness aside, you know how I feel about DAYS repeatedly casting the same actors in new roles and expecting us to buy it.
Okay, moving on…
Stephanie: “Everett is my ex-boyfriend.”
Julie: “He didn’t share that little fact. Thanksgiving dinner this year will be awkward.”
As the new editor of The Spectator, Everett said he wants to restore the reputation of Chad’s late wife Abigail’s family newspaper. I have a better idea: Bring back Jack and Jennifer.
Over at the Brady Pub, Tate was complaining about being “ghosted” by Holly. Brady told Tate to take Grandma Caroline’s pie to her and then gave his son advice that was hilarious to me but probably foreign to Tate.
Brady: “Maybe you should call Holly. It’s this weird thing we do. We take the phone and we talk to the person. We did it in the olden days.”
Paulina and Abe kissed, Nicole and EJ cried, and baby snatcher Sloan’s scheming continued.
Sloan: “Tomorrow we’re getting our baby. It’s a holiday miracle!”
Eric: “Oh right, it’s Thanksgiving.”
Sloan: “Mommy and Daddy have a lot to be thankful for.”
Too bad the tot’s actual mommy was across town sobbing her eyes out. Eric chose that moment to fill Sloan in on the time Nicole switched Sami’s baby, unwittingly counseling that two wrongs make a right.
Sloan: “Nicole switched Sami and EJ’s daughter for the one she planned to adopt?”
Eric: “She did. Only that baby died. Sometimes desperate people do desperate things.”
The struggle is real for any baby born in Salem.
As is the struggle for GH’s Anna, who just learned her boyfriend’s daughter has been terrorizing her and he didn’t tell her.
Valentin: “We’re hoping to have Charlotte back by Thanksgiving. She needs professional help.”
Anna: “She needs deprogramming.”
Not sure how Victor could program Charlotte from the grave with playing cards and a letter but the point is more that Valentin hid it from Anna.
Anna: “You know why you don’t trust anyone? Because you yourself cannot be trusted. Your lies ended with me shooting an innocent kid.”
Valentin: “Charlotte will be okay.”
But Anna won’t — and neither will their romance. Enter Robert with his trademark tough love to add much-needed schmaltz to Anna’s struggle.
Robert: “Wakey, wakey! I have something that will pull you out of your funk.”
Anna: “You think a joyride in that midlife crisis motor of yours is going to cheer me up?”
Robert: “What’s got your knickers in a twist? You look pathetic.”
Robert: “You want to get that?”
Anna: “Don’t tell me what to do.”
Enter their granddaughter Emma to lighten the mood and the ‘tude.
Which brings us to the Quartermaines, where the annual drama reigns supreme on Thanksgiving. Everyone warned Lois and Gloria to accept failure on the front end and not try a traditional dinner but you can’t keep those Bensonhurst broads down.
Lois: “Ma and I have it under control. We have finally gotten over the Quartermaine curse.”
Eeeeeeeek went the smoke detector. Splash went the sprinklers onto the turkey. The bird was pronounced ruined.
Lois: “It’s not ruined. It’s just extremely wet.”
Olivia: “This place is cursed.”
Lois ordered turkey from the Metro Court but Nina arrived with — what else?— pizza. That gave Nina the chance to run into Ned, who threatened to spill her secret and make her marriage to Sonny more ruined than that turkey. (But not today.)
Olivia (groaning): “Pizza.”
Ned (looking up to the sky): “Did you hear that grandfather? The curse continues.”
A disastrous meal combined with a wink from the Great Beyond… the perfect recipe for Thanksgiving drama.
Hey. It’s only my opinion.