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Carolyn's Opinion

How much is too much when it comes to outlandish soap tales? Check out what Digest columnist Carolyn Hinsey has to say about what’s happening across the daytime dial.

What defines farfetched on a soap? To paraphrase Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart on obscenity, “We know it when we see it.”

The more familiar a story is to us, the more likely we are to buy it. GH’s Laura battling Victor Cassadine in Greenland for a pathogen that could kill 80% of the population would have been an eye roller if wasn’t a perfect callback to 40 years ago when Luke did the same thing by typing the words ICE PRINCESS into a computer to save the world.

Victor (after Laura grabbed the pathogen): “You drop it, you die.”
Laura: “So do you. That might be worth it.”

A battle followed, while back home the OGs tried to stop the WSB from bombing Greenland to neutralize the pathogen.

Felicia: “Any luck?”
Scorpio: “Yeah, all bad.”

Frisco and the weather machine were name checked as it started snowing back in Port Charles (in May!) and the action shifted to Holly confronting Victor with a thread that had lain dormant — much like Victor’s manhood — since last year. She confessed to adding a drug to his “cocktail” which rendered him impotent.

Obrecht: “A lot of good it did, he’s still alive and kicking.”

Holly: “Alive, yes. Kicking, not so much. I want you to know it was me: No more heirs for Uncle Victor.”

Shout out to GAME OF THRONES! I bought every second of that nuttiness because it highlighted GH’s history right down to the 1980’s Scorpio flashback and Laura recalling the code to the weather machine.

Victor: “I am not having a very good day.”

Cue the end of The Pathogen Play.

Willow (on phone in hospital): “Are you okay?”
Drew: “Not only am I okay…”
Obrecht: “I am okay too. Not that anyone has asked.”

Bone marrow secured!

Ironically, I find GH’s real diseases much more difficult to watch than the fake ones because so many are fatal. On the heels of Mike’s Alzheimer’s we got Willow’s leukemia, Britt’s Huntington’s, Molly’s endometriosis and Gregory’s ALS. Yes, the action is based in a hospital but could they throw us a fictitious Lassa Fever once in a while?

Y&R prefers fake deaths to fake diseases. Phyllis appeared to Summer after her funeral, so Summer relayed to Daniel that their mom was alive and well.

Daniel: “I’m gonna need a minute.”

Ha! I wasn’t buying Elena’s milquetoast response to Nate’s obvious cheating until she finally acted like a classic soap heroine and boarded a plane to confront her cheating lover and his BOSS.

Elena: “This is what traveling on a business trip alone looks like?”
Nate: “What are you doing here?”
Elena: “You don’t get to question me.”

Victoria slithered away and Elena badgered the lying Nate until he ’fessed up. She poured water on him and called him pathetic which was totally believable — and not just for soaps.

Elena: “You can go straight to hell or you can go back upstairs to your hotel room with your boss. It’s over.”

I hope to hear those words from B&B’s Liam soon because (as outlined in a recent Thumbs Down) it makes no sense for his wife Hope to suddenly be attracted to Thomas. Aside from the obvious reason that Hope was happily married until last Tuesday, Thomas manipulated her, stalked her, and made out with a mannequin that looked like her. If that’s not creepy enough, they spent years being raised as (step) siblings after her mother Brooke married his father Ridge.

And spare me all this talk of how “Thomas is working on himself” which in Forrester parlance means “Thomas is talking to his mommy.” Liam is so much better than all of this! You could make an argument that in B&B’s L.A. there are only six people in the entire fashion industry so Hope’s options are limited, but she still wouldn’t make googly eyes at the guy who stole their son’s phone to split-up Ridge and Brooke with a fake call to CPS.

Steffy: “You were flirting with Thomas. Are you turning into your mother?”

Even Brooke wouldn’t do that, but we better brace ourselves for the inevitable scenes of her daughter launching Hope’s Bedroom Line in her skivvies at a Forrester fashion show.

DAYS’s Nicole stripped down to her skivvies with Eric (believable) while under the influence of hallucinogen biscuits (not believable, especially on the heels of all the fake deaths) but if that tough-to-swallow tale gives us back “Ericole”, I’ll wash it down.

EJ (to Eric): “I know you had sex with Nicole, you sanctimonious son of a bitch!”

Across town, Nicole was doubling over in pain as Gabi accused her of faking.

Gabi: “You’re no Meryl Streep.”
Nicole (later, at the hospital): “You’re alive!”
Kayla: “It’s strange, I know.”

Not as strange as an invasive pelvic exam from a back-from-the-dead doctor…. Nicole checked her cycle on the app on her phone and realized she was late, so Kayla suggested menopause and came back with the results.

Nicole: “My gut tells me no way.”
Kayla: “Right. You’re pregnant.”

Take the biscuits out of it and it’s all very 2023. I’m totally on board with Nicole’s late-in-life surprise because it’s not that unusual for a woman in her mid-40s to get pregnant today. (You couldn’t have told this story so cavalierly with AS THE WORLD TURNS’s Nancy Hughes or GUIDING LIGHT’s Bert Bauer back in the day.)

DAYS can also get away with Kate turning up alive on a fishing boat — a farfetched but fun callback to 1996. Less believable was the perfect shiny gel manicure Kate was sporting (in two different colors!) after spending months alone at sea.

Like I said, we know it when we see it…

Hey. It’s only my opinion.