Poor Nick.

The way the character of Nick has been presented the last few months has been a source of increasing frustration to me. I’m not talking about Chick here, just speaking as a fan of the character of Nick by himself. I cannot think of a single good scene for him other than the scene in the hospital with the teddy bear, and that was good largely for its Chick appeal, not for Nick as an individual. I also liked the scenes in Chelsea’s bedroom at the Kiriakis mansion, when Nick was “boring” everyone with his enthusiasm for his grant project.

Since Higley took over, Nick’s scenes with Chelsea have been, on the whole, perfunctory. He has played the generic devoted boyfriend to set off her emotional drama. I am not thrilled with the direction Chelsea’s character has taken either—to me it feels like she has lost her edge—but Rachel Melvin has been given some wonderful emotional scenes. The scene with Hope after Chelsea found out she couldn’t have children was powerful stuff, and Rachel Melvin made the most of it. The same cannot be said for Nick and Blake. He has been defined almost entirely as “Chelsea’s boyfriend.”

But, you say, what about the grant proposal storyline? I have been holding off talking about this, in the interest of giving it every chance. But I think it can be summed up thusly: Max propping. Max is now a natural-born math genius, a la Good Will Hunting. I actually like what they’ve been doing with Max’s insecurity about his career and his future, but the execution for this whole “math genius” thing has been poor. The secrecy is stupid. According to Max, Nick is so proud he couldn’t handle being corrected, but then he’s supposed to be fine with finding out someone went behind his back and turned in the proposal? Plus we’re supposed to believe that Nick’s work is so riddled with errors that Max can find one every time he happens to glance inside Nick’s notebook.

Far better would have been for Max to be intrigued by Nick’s work. He could be shown stealing glances at it whenever he could, while maintaining an indifferent front. Then, with Nick’s deadline fast approaching, the work with the beer spilled on it could have given Max the opportunity to catch an error for the first time. He would doubt himself, checking and rechecking his calculations. Then, when Stephanie told him to tell Nick about it, Max could say bitterly that he’s probably wrong and anyway, Nick would never listen to an uneducated rube like him. Then when the proposal was turned in, Max’s work could be accidentally included, leading all to recognize his (snicker, snicker) genius.

But that’s still Max. The basic problem for Nick is that he has been given scant screentime, and when he is on he is supporting Max or Chelsea. He’s a Horton, for Chrissake. How about showing him with Hope, with Maggie, or the new Mickey? How about concentrating on his pain regarding the breakup with Chelsea? How about giving us Nick’s point of view on anything?

And let’s not forget about the ladies: I think he has chemistry with Shelly Hennig, but that’s probably not going to happen. Chloe, meh. Morgan is a possibility, though I like her with Phillip. My fellow Nick fan Tripp has suggested Nicole, and I am actually intrigued by the idea. She’s another bad girl, but I think the bad girl/good boy storyline is perfect for Nick (I wanted Sami for him at one time). Nicole’s flip cynicism would contrast nicely with his compassion and sincerity. Go Nickole!

9 thoughts on “Genius

  1. *hugs* I wondered how you were doing.

    I’m getting to love Nickole so much. It’s in my head now and it just wno’t leave. And God help me I may send in a letter asking for it (would it hurt? Could it?)

    Anyway, I may hate the Max is a genius story more than I hate Chelsea with Daniel. Because they had to actually dumb Nick down and have Max view him so OOC for this to work.

    Your idea makes so much more sense. We also had the idea of having Max help out because he’s more mechanically minded then Nick who is fine on his math and formulas.

    Remember how when Hogan wrote Nick last summer and we wondered if he suddenly hated Blake? Now I’m sure Higley LOATHES him.

  2. I’m with you all the way here. Nick’s been so poorly treated it’s ridiculous – and as you say, that’s even separate from the Chick side of things. And the Good Max Hunting story, which could have been really interesting if plotted the way you set out has instead been stupid and glaringly obvious from second one. Guh.

    They’ve got five young, charming actors and potentially/formerly insteresting characters in Steph, Max, Chelsea, Nick and Morgan, and the only one they seem to be doing anything interesting and not ewww with is Morgan. It’s such a waste. Flashback a few months to the Sorority Story and refreshing and good it was – even if Nick was getting the short shrift then too – and now only one of them is getting decent treatment.

    I’ll stop ranting now.

  3. I would be interested in Nick being paired with either Morgan or Nicole. Selfishly, I partly want the Morgan/Nick coupling to keep her away from Philip, because I continue to not feel them. I’m going to start actively disliking Morgan if she’s with Philip and I don’t want to do that. I see a lot more chemistry with Morgan and Nick than I do Morgan and Philip, and it would be good for Nick to have someone who actually strokes his ego instead of crushes it.

    I could see a lot of ways they could go with Nickole, all very intriguing, I just suspect it won’t happen. I have to say I would much, much rather see Nicole in an odd couple relationship with Nick than have her humiliated repeatedly by EJ, as I fear may be the plan. I kind of feel like Nicole is the new Sami, and that we are supposed to root for her comeuppances and dumpings, and I don’t like that. I think Nicole deserves better than to be merely a bump in the road for EJami. AZ has really done a terrific job in her return and she livens up the show a lot. I see no reason why she should be wasted as a pathetic, lonely alcoholic who can’t form a human relationship.

  4. I don’t think they will go for Nickole, it’s just fun for me to imagine. (I would accept Nick and Anna, too, hee!) I think they will stick with the younger crowd for him, which means Morgan, Stephanie, or Chelsea (if she ever wises up).

    Zara, I remember when the sorority story was the best storyline going on the show! I really thought Hogan and Ed Scott did well with the Ford Decker story.

  5. Oh, good lard, are they really doing a Good Will Hunting thing with Max? I’m very behind, and I’ve FF’d most of his scenes.I just can’t understand why tiic put so much effort into that character. It’s been going on for, what, 2 years now? The propping is OTT and not working.

    Nicole has somehow become my favorite character…she and Nick could be a lot of fun together.

  6. Yes, sadly, Max is now a math genius.

    I am really enjoying Nicole too. She’s interacting with a lot of different characters and is full of snarky one-liners. It’s good to have someone like that on the show.

  7. i can’t understand why max has to be a jerk to nick in order to be a math genius. nick is not some haughty, proud, “i’m smarter than you” jerk, which is what max basically seems to be saying. this grant proposal story stinks. i’m afraid nick will never be more than an appendage in someone else’s storyline. such a waste of a great character and BB’s terrific talent.
    i’d be delighted if they actually decided to pair him with anyone. i love the idea of him with nicole but would settle for morgan or even stephanie, if she and max ever fall out of twu luv. i hate that they’ve made chelsea so indifferent and bitchy towards nick, their chemistry was golden.

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