Does romance still make soaps run? Check out what Digest columnist Carolyn Hinsey has to say about what’s happening across the daytime dial.

Romance and family are at the heart of all good soap stories, and they’re juicier with both.

Eric Forrester managed that on B&B by hitting the sheets with his ex-wife Donna, who is the sister of his daughter-in-law, Brooke, and the aunt of his employee Hope Logan … who caught them.

Hope: “You and Eric?!”

Donna: “What are you doing here?”

Hope: “That is not the most burning question here.”

Donna claimed her trysts with Eric were “pure” and begged her niece not to say anything to Quinn, who was already suspicious enough to have called Eric’s daughter Bridget for a consult about his rising heart rate. There’s no “hope for the future” when it comes to keeping that quiet!

“Family” has many meanings, none weirder than the bio mom of a murdered man trying to defend herself to his adoptive mom secretly nursing him back to health.

Sheila: “I am not a monster!”

Li: “Keep telling yourself that. What you did is evil. Finn is a wonderful man.”

Sheila:Is?”

Oops. Bonus points for bringing back Sheila’s old pal Mike Guthrie to bust her out of prison, an excellent callback to the 1990s, when Mike and Sheila had a business together changing paternity tests and kidnapping. We probably won’t see a romance between them, but look for some quality amour when Steffy returns and we get the courtship with Finn we missed the first time around. I wonder which of his mothers will interfere? Sudden family does not lead to harmony but it does make for good drama.

So does murder, but it’s much harder to watch. I get that DAYS was tired of recasting Abigail when actresses quit, but stabbing her and pointing the finger at her sudden half sister, Gwen, was a stretch. To recap: The basis for Gwen’s grudge was that Abigail got to be raised by their mutual father, Jack, which made no sense because Abby had no say in who raised her. Gwen then went scorched earth: drugging Abby, sleeping with her husband, lying that Abby threw her down the stairs causing her to lose her baby, and kidnapping Abby before finally getting caught.

Abigail (to Chad): “The woman’s behind bars. There’s nothing she can do to me.”

Famous last words … literally. Cut to Gwen calling Leo (because apparently prisons give unlimited minutes to inmates), outraged that Abby had broken a mug Gwen made for Jack’s birthday.

Gwen: “I want you to find the nearest, sharpest object and I want you to stab her in the heart with it.”

If that’s Gwen’s motive for murder she’s nuttier than Jan.

Leo and Lucas are also suspects, but their motives are thin. And I’m not sure why they made a point of telling us Abby was ovulating just before she got stabbed in the belly, but I won’t be surprised when she turns up alive giving birth on DiMera Island because #DAYS.

Bring on Sami/Lucas/EJ and Belle! Has there ever been a quadrangle more intertwined by marriage and blood than this toxic mixture of Brady/Horton/DiMera and … Sami’s sister?

GH’s Nikolas, Ava, Spencer and Esme would qualify, except Esme is more certifiable than viable. Putting them under the same roof is Soaps 101, though, and Esme’s inevitable pregnancy (via father or son?) will launch Ava into a revenge that will be freezing-the-world worthy. In the meantime, I’m enjoying Spencer gaslighting Esme while trying to prove she framed Trina.

Spencer (fake hugging): “What’s more important than family?”

GH is teasing that Felicia could be Esme’s bio mom, which I don’t hate. She spent all those years in Texas so the timeline is believable, and Ryan was laser-focused on Felicia for years.

Felicia (to Esme): “Whatever you do, don’t let him get in your head.”

Too late! Esme is in Nikolas’s head, too, thanks to his constant dread of their one-night stand coming out. It’s fun watching him try to erase it.

Ava: “Marriage isn’t an Etch A Sketch you can shake and start over.”

Nikolas: “Together we will forge a future. But first we have to get divorced.”

I’d cover my swimsuit area first, bro.

The fight for ELQ is all about family, but Drew and Michael bombarding Lucy with compliments was a subtle reminder of her romance with Alan.

Lucy: “Clearly there’s a pitch here.”

Drew: “Last time you voted with Valentin.”

Michael: “He’s not a Quartermaine.”

Lucy: “Suppose I back this return to nepotism. What’s in it for me?”

Nothing good — her boyfriend is Valentin’s lawyer.  Valentin (to Martin): “ELQ has been my salvation.”

Doesn’t Brook Lynn owe Valentin her vote after the baby lie? Make it right, BLQ!

Y&R’s Victoria is up to here with her family and chose Ashland over their judgmental proclamations.

Nick: “Why are you defending this guy?”

Victoria: “I am sick to death of you trying to control me. I’m leaving the company.”

Victor went mental, banging the desk, yelling, pointing his finger and threatening her, which yielded the predictable results.

Victoria: “Good-bye, Dad.”

Victoria and Ashland headed for Manhattan, where they will plot their takeover of Newman Enterprises from a hotel room while her hated brother Adam tries to run the company with Vicky’s portrait staring down at him.

Sally: “You’re going to have to do some redecorating.”

Adam: “I’d be a little uncomfortable staring at myself.”

Yet he’s perfectly comfortable boinking Sally on the desk at work after conspiring with her to manipulate his sister out of the company? My money’s on Victoria.

Ashland: “We’re going to be their worst nightmare.”

I take it back. Romance and family are the goal, but sex and revenge work, too.

Hey. It’s only my opinion.




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