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Truth, redemption, and deception
For the Week of December 9, 2013
It was the best of times and the worst of times as Genoa City residents wrestled with guilt, anger, and acceptance. Some sought the path to redemption and others trod the road to deception. One got an earful as secrets spilled over. One man looked for atonement while another roared in rage. A few were blessed with moments of fleeting happiness.
Lately I've noticed that one of the things that distinguishes The Young and the Restless from that other soap I watch is that on that other soap, the characters never learn from their mistakes and are doomed to repeat them over and over again. On Y&R, characters grow and change. Take, for instance, Adam -- now, as compared to six months ago when he was despicable and seemed beyond redemption. On Y&R, a character's traits can change, which means that today's villain may be tomorrow's hero. And of course the reverse can also be true!


The addition of Connor and Chelsea to Adam's life, not to mention his genuine remorse over his perceived belief that he was responsible for Delia's demise, has made me very sympathetic to Adam's plight. Michael Muhney is a terrific actor. I can only pray that Adam continues to be imbued with the qualities that he exhibits now and that CBS doesn't let this guy slip away like they have a couple of other fine actors -- who shall remain nameless.


On that other soap, a character is defined by his or her traits, which do not change very often -- the villain only becomes a hero if he becomes a fan favorite. But at Y&R, the characters have a lot of gray shades and can change traits as quickly as we change clothes, so I won't be shocked if Adam goes dark again. (They could make him bipolar, and any time Adam does something awful, it could be explained as "off his meds." Oh yeah, Sharon has that gig.) Nick is another good example. Since his split with Avery, Nick has been showing off his very unattractive dark side. Recently, however, he seems to be coming back to his better self.


For now, Victor, instead of Adam, has moved into my sights as the big, bad bully boy. "It's only a soap!" so I can be as wishy-washy as I want to be about which side I'm on! All I want to say is, "Lighten up, Victor! Been there. Done that. Bullying those that you love, and especially those you don't love, never works out the way you want it too!"


I think that Victor should be sent to the penalty box and given a timeout. Victor definitely committed fouls against both Chelsea and Dylan -- not to mention how he treats Billy most of the time. Victor had no business attacking Chelsea for her past mistakes or threatening Dylan for any reason. Victor obviously has a big ego and just as obviously is very insecure, despite his enormous success in business.


When Victor confronted Nikki because she had enlisted Paul in the search that led to Dylan but had not confided in Victor, Victor was correct to say that he and Nikki had trust issues. However, before passing judgment, Victor should take a moment to reflect on the awful things that he said to Chelsea, Dylan, and Billy in Nikki's hearing -- words that Nikki believed applied to her, as well -- and take some responsibility for Nikki's distrust. Even though Victor has told Nikki repeatedly that she is above criticism and nothing he says to anyone else applies to her, ever, I can see how it would be hard to believe him.


Nikki, on the other hand, knows Victor. She knows that he is more bluster than bite when it comes to her, Nick, or Victoria -- the only people that Victor ever forgives -- plus, as Victor pointed out, he and Nikki took vows. She should have told him about Katherine's letter before she told anyone else. Nikki promised to be Victor's partner and Victor promised to be hers, so they really should have worked together to find Nikki's lost child.


Perhaps the fact that Nikki has been married twelve times means that she is incapable of forming that trusting bond that is necessary for a truly stable, loving marriage. I suppose that must apply equally to any relationship, even one of deep friendship. What good is a friend that you can't trust?


I don't know how many couples there are out there who both read this column and fit the criteria, but if any of you have comments about real life love and commitment vs. "reel life" (soap opera) love and commitment, I'd enjoy hearing your views on this topic.


Victor seemed to be on his way to proving to Nikki that he meant the "till death do us part" part of his wedding vows, but then Paul appeared on his doorstep. Personally, I think Paul should have left and let Nikki use her soothing charm instead of going head-to-head with Victor. I am glad to report that one thing I have finally learned in life is that you can't win a battle of words with someone who is too insecure to lose. Beating such folk is lose-lose. Concession doesn't always mean defeat, and I think that it's much better to make a friend than an enemy.


If I had been Paul, I would have walked away instead of walking in. Heck, I would not have rushed to the ranch in the first place, so maybe there is something simmering on the back burner between Nikki and Paul. I'm still hoping that Paul turns out to be Dylan's father. Oh! Oh! He could be Sharon's father, too! Maybe unknown to Paul, the cult leader used him as a sperm donor! Sorry, that is probably way too far-fetched for Y&R! Yet, somehow, I just can't stop thinking…


Now that the truth is out and the DNA test has verified Nikki's story, I don't expect that it will be very long before Dylan and Nikki get closer -- maybe by Christmas -- and perhaps Dylan and Nick will also make up. I thought that Friday's scenes between Dylan and Nick had a lot of chemistry. I can see them eventually becoming close as both brothers and friends. Nick seems to be moving out of his bully phase and going back to the solid, reasonable Nick that we love. It's interesting that Nick is willing to make peace with Dylan for Nikki's sake but did not make peace with Adam for Victor's.


It did not surprise me when Chloe took off with Connor. An earlier statement by Jill, who worried that Chloe's unexpressed grief might have consequences, was a tip-off, but I sure didn't think it was going to happen by the end of the episode! Chloe probably thinks that she has taken Connor for all the right reasons, especially after she was unable to persuade Chelsea to leave Adam. By the way, I was proud of Chelsea -- another person who has learned from her mistakes -- when she said that she had taken Chloe's advice about concealing Connor's paternity, and that particular deception had turned out very badly, so she was not going to follow Chloe's suggestions. Chelsea is another character who has been redeemed and deserves some happiness.


In her grief, Chloe, who is not the most logical thinker at the best of times, might be described as "a few walnuts short of a fruitcake" -- a colorful expression that I got from Garfield the cat! Hopefully, she will not be gone long with Connor, who is barely four months old and has already suffered blindness, had surgery, and been kidnapped twice. What is this kid, a football? Are we supposed to believe that there will be no long-term psychological trauma to this boy? So what if both Chloe is well-intentioned and Dylan meant no harm?


Right. Right. It's only a soap!


Cane and Lily have been very happy of late, including Lily's anticipation that she is still cancer-free after three years. That status was threatened when the doctor called and wanted to see Lily in person. I'm betting that Lily is pregnant. I can't believe that the writers would give us yet another sad story for the holidays. If Lily's cancer is back, I'm joining the other fast-forwarders until that storyline is done!


Billy Miller is great as a grief-stricken father, but, honestly, I'm getting tired of the wallowing, which I think is selfish. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with grieving. It took my dad two years to get over my mom's death, but he did get over it. Billy needs to man up for his wife and son, who are just as devastated as he is. I wish that Billy had listened to Jack's very good advice about concentrating on the living and letting the healing powers of love take over, but it does not appear that Billy is ready to hear anything.


Billy seems to have more in common with Kelly than he does with anyone else right now. I'm not drawn to this Kelly character, and I am not empathizing with her understandable pain because I am suspicious of her motives where Billy is concerned. Some fans have suggested that Kelly's ex-husband is Stitch. That is very plausible, even though Stitch's character profile states that his wife's name is Jenna.


I'm willing to believe that Jenna changed her name in an effort to start over. If Stitch's son died in a tragic accident, then that would explain Stitch's reluctance to talk about his family. Another fan suggested that Kelly would eventually steal Johnny, but I don't see that happening now that Chloe has taken Connor. Two children disappearing seems a tad over-the-top, but maybe Y&R can become the Amber alert capital of the soapiverse like General Hospital is the back-from-the-dead capital.


Stitch and Ashley? Really? I admit that the actors have chemistry, but Ashley has to be at least 15 years older. I know that age is not supposed to matter, but Ashton Kutcher is 15 years younger than Demi Moore, and look how well that turned out! Ashley, however, looks sensational. She must have done a very good job on those anti-aging cosmetics that she developed for Jabot. By the way, where do I order a jar?


Not so sensational is the makeup job on Nikki, who usually looks grea but sure seemed overly powdered and painted on Friday's episode. All she needed was a pompadour, and Nikki would have looked like Marie Antoinette.


And as long as I'm being picky, is my TV color out of adjustment or did the Y&R hair stylists get a bargain batch of henna and use it as highlights on several of the actors, including Dylan, Cane, Lily, and Kevin. Even Paul had red highlights in his blond hair. I definitely don't like auburn-red hair and eyebrows on Steve Burton. I know TPTB wanted us to forget his GH character, but giving him clown-colored hair is not helping. He looks great with either brown or blond hair. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is my advice to Y&R.


Since I've admitted being petty and shallow, I might as well admit that I like Abby and Tyler as a couple. I saw Abby in a movie recently, playing a different character. Also, I like her hair, which is a very lovely color and looks natural, or at least she never seems to have dark roots. Anyway, I like her perkiness and her bubbly, ebullient approach to life. It doesn't hurt that she's rich, beautiful and directly related to the two most powerful families in town.


Abby could be a first-class witch, but instead, she is kind and caring. So I'm giving the actor some slack. Ditto for Tyler. He's good-looking, and now that he's talked to Lily, taken responsibility for his behavior, and moved forward, he's risen higher on my list and been redeemed! Later, when I open the email bag, I will address two viewer's comments about this couple and "the elephant in the room" -- stay tuned!


The verdict is in on NuKyle:, fans don't like him. I don't, either, again for the shallowest of reasons. I thought his haircut couldn't get worse, but it did. Here again, old Kyle, who was universally loved, changed when he became NuKyle. Instead of the loyal, honest good guy that old Kyle was, NuKyle is prepared to be a disloyal, back-stabbing traitor, which will allow us to hate him as much as we do Victor, and we will have no guilt because we already don't like the recast.


We might even root for Victor if NuKyle is dastardly enough. "It's only a soap," so don't forget that Kyle can morph back to the good side if he finds out that Summer is not his sister and has to do a 180 to rekindle their romance. You really have to wonder where all the plotting and scheming is going. Is Victor being fooled, or is he seducing Kyle to the dark side?


In a battle of wits, I would give the advantage to Victor. Truthfully, Kyle seems none too bright, and personally, I don't care for Kyle's idea to promote healthy lifestyle products by giving free alcohol to young people, but what do I know about marketing? I also have to wonder what Victor can gain by pitting Noah against Kyle. It does truly amaze me that Victor always seems to win when there is money involved but is so clueless at everything else. You would think that a man with so many blind spots would walk into the occasional wall.


The opposite is true for Jack. He is such a decent, caring person, and he gives great advice. It is truly a shame that his business acumen is off just enough that he always loses out to Victor. It's also too bad that Jack's penchant for jumping to the wrong conclusion when someone is trying to tell him something often contributes to his disappointment. Victor could learn a lot from Jack about how to treat family, and Jack could learn a lot from Victor about business. Perhaps in the future, they will again confront a common enemy -- and this time find redemption.


Paul managed to get Michael out of jail and seemed to have found a clue to Carmine's real murderer at the end of the week. But will it lead anywhere? The soap police are so dense. For example, when Alex had that conversation with Adam in the steam room a few weeks ago, it seemed like Alex had figured out that Adam and Anonymous, the guy that Billy exchanged words with in the chat room, were one and the same. But did Alex check out Adam? Perhaps find that Adam owned a black SUV?


Alex had a warrant for the chat room, so why didn't he find out who Anonymous was? You can't really be anonymous -- you have to sign up for those sites -- and besides, an IT guy could easily trace the ISP of anonymous. You would think that Alex would be interested in knowing why anonymous was so passionate in his defense of the driver and that Alex would question the similarities between Adam's words and those of Anonymous.


All I'm saying is don't count on Paul to actually work out what happened in that alley. Before that happens, Carmine will rise from the dead, or one of his cronies will start seriously tormenting Lauren, who certainly must be the unluckiest person alive, or perhaps the luckiest, to have been targeted by so many psychopaths and to have survived. I still think that there is some tie between Womack and Carmine and potentially between Courtney, Zach and/or Womack, and Carmine.


I feel sorry for Fen, but good grief, what an idiot. I can't imagine anybody deliberately getting tossed in prison. Fen acted like a selfish spoiled brat who threw a big temper tantrum because he didn't approve of Michael's confession -- which I admit was as lame as Fen getting himself locked up with the hard cases. Fen has now suffered a beating and is being forced to rely on Womack's protection. Let's hope that Fen does not go back to drugs, but if he does, I imagine that we can expect him to continue using and perhaps distributing them a well.


I'm not attracted to the character of Fen or the actor who plays him, so I only care what happens to him for Michael and Lauren's sake. I feel the same way about Devon, who seems like a really bad judge of character and way too closed-minded to make objective decisions.


I don't know what to make of Hilary. I would really like to believe that she has found redemption, but she is so good at being bad, I think that I prefer her as a deceptive snake-in-the-grass, because then I don't have to worry about if she'll strike, only when. Hilary did give Devon good advice about Mason. Devon didn't listen, but maybe he'll get suspicious the next time his credit card charges come due.


I am so glad to see Jill getting some airtime. Nobody is better at insults, invective, and being deceptive than Jill. She can jump to a wrong conclusion as often and as easily as Jack, but she is right to be worried about Kyle. I loved it when she said that sending Kyle to Victor was like sending Bambi into the lion's den. Jill has had some good barbs lately, which means that whoever is writing her lines is doing a better job than most.


Jill always goes for the brass ring but never quite catches it, and because she's so busy looking for the trap, she doesn't see the truth when it stares her in the face. I imagine that the solution to the mystery of the music box will be much more straightforward than Jill suspects. I can't wait for it to unravel or for Colin to arrive in town and team up with Jill. More "Jill the pill" is definitely a plus for me.


Here ends the commentary. Now it's time to dive into the email bag and give our viewers a chance to offer an opinion. First up, a very nice compliment to soapcentral.com, where everyone works very hard to keep you updated on all the soaps, all the time.

    I love your website, have been reading it for a few weeks now and find a very nice place to read about my favorite soap Y&R. People that submit their spoilers or stories about the show make it so enjoyable to read. Thank you for having a nice place to visit and see what will be the next big story. -- MARGE


Thank you on behalf of the entire staff. A lot of people tell us what we do wrong, and we appreciate the feedback, but it's nice to hear when do something right!


Now, let's get to that elephant in the room that I referenced earlier. These two emails were very thought-provoking. Teddi shared the first one last week, but I wanted to add my own two scoops take on it.

    Here is a question for you, why is it Victor butts in on Nick and Victoria's love life but never blinks an eye at Abby's? She is one if not his youngest child. Not saying that any of the Newmans are racist, but not one of her family members questions her dating a black guy. At the very least, discuss with her what type of negative opinions might be thrown their way. Yes, one day it would be nice for one human to date and marry another human, regardless of color but that's not how some people view mixed relationships. Y&R is missing out on a story line here. Even when Abby dated Alex, Victor never blinked. Besides him being Latino, He was a detective. Do you think Donald Trump would allow one of his daughters to date a detective! -- TIMOTHY About Victor and his family dating non-white people. I guess people forget that many years ago, Victoria was pregnant by Neil. That was when Heather Thom had the part. Nothing was said on the soap then. -- KATHY ELSIE


Soaps have always been at the forefront of positive change. I think that most writers buy into the phrase "Life imitates art," and so write the soap world the way that they want the real world to be, assuming that if prejudice is not made an issue in the soap world, then it will eventually cease to be an issue in the real world. And there does seem to be evidence that soaps and the media in general do have that effect on us -- kind of "monkey see, monkey do" -- or maybe the soaps just help us to understand that people are all the same; we have many of the same wants, needs, and desires, no matter how disparate our cultures, religions, or races may be.


That said, I agree with Timothy. This would make a really good story that could address a serious issue. Instead of being afraid to offend anyone, it could offer some insight into the very real dilemmas that people who marry outside their religion, culture, or ethnic group can face from others, including those in their own family. I don't know if it's ever possible to get rid of all our ingrained bias. I do know that bias can be identified and acknowledged, and that we can refuse to let that bias color our opinion or compromise our objectivity.


By stifling prejudice and creating new thought patterns, we will eventually conquer our bias. And wouldn't that be a wonderful world to live in, where no one is judged by the color of their skin, their religion, their cultural identification, or their bank balance -- where communication, not conquest, is the main objective of all the world's powers.


Okay, I'm getting off the soapbox!


Now for the I-Totally-Agree-With-You Award:

    Great two scoops column! In particular, I totally agree with you that the writing is on the wall for Adam now that the folder of license plate numbers and the owners of the cars have been placed on Victor's desk but did you notice that there was also someone named Kelly on that list too? Isn't it funny that the woman in Billy and Victoria's support group also happens to be named Kelly? I can't believe this is a coincidence, what do you think? -- MELISSA


Thanks for the lovely compliment, but you may have agreed with me too quickly. One of the things that drives me crazy about Y&R is that they give you a big tease, like the folder on Victor's desk, make it seem really important, and then when it disappears, the folder is treated as an insignificant afterthought. And, Melissa, even though I didn't notice Kelly on the list of drivers, I do think that you could definitely be onto something about her part in the tragedy.


Robin enjoyed the good old days of Y&R, and so did Colleen.

    During Thanksgiving week I enjoyed the reruns of Victor and Michael in the 90's. I do not remember Victor and Michael being at odds with each other. They seem to have a mutual respect for each other. Does Victor like anyone? I feel bad for Dylan once again being made a fool. I'm surprised he doesn't grab his bag and leave this town. I have always said, Phyllis is not my favorite character but she makes the show. Is she coming back? Now Billy is leaving. This Billy is awesome! Too many good characters are leaving. In the 90's the characters seemed so interesting and intense. Since Dru passed, the Winters are not that interesting and I do agree Roxanne should have been more involved because she's been with Devon for a long time. Tyler is a hunk but not convincing. Come on Abby wake up. The old Abby would see right through him. I love Y & R but please do not let anyone else go -- ROBIN


Like I said earlier, I'm shallow enough to like Tyler because he is a hunk, and on the up side, I can always hope that Tyler will learn to act.


Here's another opinion:

    WOW!! That 1998 classic was really cool. Sharon had shorter hair, not that long stringy stuff, and a smaller bust, Christine had shorter hair and styled beautifully. Maybe they should take a look back...or find a new hair stylist. Not a David Tom fan. -- COLLEEN


I am in complete and total agreement about the hair. At least the stylist didn't color both of them red!


There were lots of comments about the departure of Billy Miller.

    ABSOLUTELY AND TOTALLY P!##&D OFF!! The news of Billy Miller leaving Y & R is devastating. Not that I don't like Mr. Tom, but Billy Miller made the Billy Abbott character. Can't you guys entice him to stay? I am sure ALL of his fans are upset about this change. -- JOAN


    I will miss Miller playing Billy Abbott. He was perfect for the part. Try to bring him back. -- VIRGINIA


    I am devastated at the loss of Billy Miller. He is the only Billy Abbott and his natural emotions he brings to the show make him a loveable and believable character. There is no other Billy Abbott than Billy Miller, ever for me. I am so sad and angry at them for letting him go -- CATHY


    I think you should do whatever you can to keep Billy Miler and then some more!!!!! Nothing will be the same without him!!! Quit being so selfish! -- SHERRI


    I am so upset you are letting Billy Miller leave. He is THE BEST character on the show especially playing the story line he is playing in. NO ONE and I repeat, NO ONE will ever fill his shoes. This is the way I feel about Jeanne Cooper and Eric Braeden. Please re-consider. -- GLO


At soapcentral.com, we are really flattered that you think we can influence the show. Unfortunately, we don't have any direct control. Our job is to report news, write recaps, and give our opinion. In my opinion I would prefer that Billy Miller stay on, but since he is leaving, I'm willing to give David Tom another chance.


This week's "It's-Only-A-Soap" Award goes to Teresa.

    Hit and run story has gone on too long, time to find the driver and end it. Glad to see Ashley back hope she stays. Let Sharon and Dylan be related, at least she will have someone on her side. It will not be the same without Billy Miller, still do not like the nukyle. But after all it's only a soap. -- TERESA


And finally this rant from court reporter Lynne, who hates how people in her profession are portrayed.

    I have been watching daytime soaps since I was 7 back in the 70's. I love them all! However, I have one HUGE pet peeve when it comes to court scenes on any of the shows. I am a court reporter in Los Angeles, and can I just say 99% of the time the portrayal of a court reporter is completely WRONG!! Go into any court today and you will see a young beautiful woman or man. We are no longer old and drabby looking!! And the machines they use on television are stenographs they used in the 50's! The ones we use today are computerized! HELLO! I love the court scenes, but why oh why do they always make the court reporter look absolutely antiquated? AND a true court reporter does NOT type on a stenograph machine! It's obvious that the person playing the court reporter isn't real! Tell somebody that I as a true court reporter would play a court reporter in the court scenes for free just to ensure that my profession is portrayed in an accurate manner! -- LYNNE


After watching a recent soap trial I can definitely see why Lynne is upset. I'm just glad I was able to offer a platform for Lynn so that she could have her day in court.


Don't think I didn't hear you groan!


Yes, folks, "It's only a soap," but it's our soap to love, hate and cherish. Until next time, fellow fan addicts, may the soaps be with you.

What are your thoughts on The Young and the Restless? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts. Use the email link to drop our columnist a note. You can also call our 24/7 caller feedback hotline at 267.341.7627 and voice your thoughts. And now if you have a Facebook account, you can scroll to the bottom of the column and leave your comments right here on this page!


Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.
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