Opinions

Nikki and Y&R: You Can't Have One Without the Other

After thirty years of playing one of daytime’s most famous and complex characters, Melody Thomas Scott and her fans deserve to know when they’ll see Nikki Newman again.

Melody Thomas Scott Is Synonymous With ‘The Young and the Restless’

Since her daytime debut in 1979, Melody Thomas Scott has become a Genoa City staple. Through a manslaughter trial, stripper poles, STD’s, pregnancies, miscarriages and births, battles with alcoholism, and eight marriages (three to Victor Newman),  fans of The Young and the Restless‘ Nicole “Nikki” Reed Newman have witnessed the growth and evolution of one of daytime’s most famous and complex characters.

As one of daytime’s most iconic characters, one would think there would be a little more appreciation showed to Mrs. Thomas Scott. But as we all know too well, all is not well in daytime.  Nowhere is that more evident than when the divas of daytime are ignored, fired, or pushed aside. Case in point: Mrs. Thomas Scott has recently taken to Twitter and has drawn to light one of those stunning and incomprehensible brush-offs:  Since April 28, this legendary daytime actress has not worked at Y&R.  And according to her, no one at Sony, CBS, or Y&R has bothered to tell her when, or if, she’s coming back to work.

Can we all admit this is unacceptable? This is an actress with over five decades of show business under her belt and over 30 years on Y&R. THIRTY YEARS. This is not how you reward that kind of longevity and staying power. In those decades of portraying Nikki Newman, Mrs. Thomas Scott has seen her character become a pivotal part of the canvas. Nikki is parent, grandmother, lover, friend, wife and ex-wife to innumerable central characters. She is absolutely necessary to the continuity of the show, not only as one who is tied to others but she is as a unique and central character in her own right.

Never has that been more evident than in Mrs. Thomas Scott’s last few taped scenes. In the June 1st episode, Nikki Newman crashed an AA meeting, drunk, and absolutely mesmerized the audience with the scenes that followed.  In what can only be called an Emmy-worthy moment, MTS perfectly captured the misery and suffering the disease of alcoholism can cause.   I, for one, will never forget her opening line: “My name is Nikki and I’m a drunk….sorry….pardon me…an al-co-hol-ic.” What followed was an equally funny, sad, bitter, sorrowful, defiant, note-perfect performance.

And then, after all that glory, Nikki was shipped off to rehab and we haven’t seen her since.  If need to find a reason why the American daytime genre is suffering, consider this one of the biggest infractions. The intriguing and beautifully written stories, the bread and butter of soap operas, ones that weave the iconic history with modern and relevant blends, that which keeps viewers loyal, are ignored.  As are the beloved characters that we have invested our time in.  Without these characters, and the great stories to keep viewers glued to their sets (or anxious to watch online), it’s pathetically easy to stop watching. Trying to offset the budget-cutting, fat-trimming and lackluster storytelling with stunt casting (and sacrificial lambs that fall victim to it) won’t bring back the viewers that have already given up, tuned out and moved on. Mistreating your veterans also doesn’t do your show any favors.

Beyond that, to simply stop sending scripts to an actress who has given so much, without any words of explanation, is monumentally disrespectful. If this is a storyline-dictated break, then say so. If this is some sort of negotiation tactic, then say so. No one wants to be the person waiting around for a phone call. And it’s clear, based on the new bundles of joy in Melody’s life (her new grandchildren), she won’t be that person.

Melody Thomas Scott has earned her place in daytime history, and as such, should be treated far, far better than what she is now. The fans miss her in Genoa City, and don’t want to have to wonder if she will be the next fan favourite we are forced to say goodbye to.

It’s my hope that fans aren’t forced to go too long without Melody Thomas Scott. We want to see you back where you belong very soon.