• Read Boone's Best and Worst of Y&R 2013 column.
• Listen to our special two-part year-end podcasts: The Best of 2013 and The Worst of 2013
As we come to the end of another year, we can fondly remember the events, both good and bad, that took place throughout the year on our favorite soap. We cried, we laughed (well, maybe not a lot), we hoped, and we dreamed right along with our much-loved characters. Time took its toll on some characters, while others attempted to move on and to deal with what life had given them. We shall start with the Worst, since I prefer to end on a happier note.
Delia's demise, thanks to the hit-and-run driver. While the acting was stellar for this storyline, the storyline itself was totally unnecessary. It's hard to believe that losing a beloved character, who still had so much potential, was needed to bring out such outstanding acting from the cast. It seems to me that another story, which didn't involve a young child's death, could also have served that purpose. The fans were upset, to say the least, and many loyal viewers threatened to quit watching. The biggest tragedy is that Delia had so much to offer down the road as an Abbott and could have played a huge part in future Newman/Abbott battles.
So, the question really is: was it worth it? In my opinion, no. While the executive producer and head writers claimed that this storyline was character-driven, it sure felt horribly plot-driven to me. Once the outrage passed, things pretty much went back to normal. Sure, Billy and Chloe are still trying to deal with their young daughter's death, but the supposed rewards to develop and expand on the characters' relationships due to the tragedy were not as great as promised.
Fans still hope for a Dallas "Bobby in the shower" scenario for Delia, but I fear that will not happen. Sadly, sometimes in soaps, once a character has been killed off, he or she can only return as a ghost or as a symptom of someone's mental illness. (Just ask John and Cassie.) Alas, Delia appears to be gone for good, and our loss is also a huge loss for the soap.
Hearing that we would be losing Billy Miller in the beginning of 2014. Say it ain't so!!!
Hearing that we would be losing Michael Muhney as Adam after January 30, 2014. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
Adam may be Delia's hit-and-run driver. We can still pray that this is not true. However, with the latest horrible news about Michael Muhney's release, I rather suspect this is how it will play out, and I'm not happy. It appears that the evidence will prove that Adam was indeed the hit-and-run driver. Adam finally had a chance to be happy and in love. He had always wanted a family to cherish, and he was trying to resolve his prior bad acts and what he believed to be the truth by doing good deeds. But now we will not get the results that we have been praying for. I finally had a reason to smile again, watching Adam and Chelsea together. I honestly feel robbed!
Losing so many beloved characters in one year! While it was more than appropriate not to recast our treasured Katherine Chancellor, the fans grew weary of dealing with one loss after another. Losing Katherine, Phyllis, and then Delia was just too much sadness in such a short span of time, and we all grew tired of being depressed, of wiping our teary eyes, and of blowing our noses. We need some happiness to counterbalance all of the sadness, and joyful tales loaded with sparks of humor were in short supply this past year. We can only hope for some warm and fuzzy moments in the new year. We need a reason to smile again! Too many storylines dragging on or left without a resolution. Did Sharon really change Summer's paternity test results in the lab? Will Phyllis ever wake up from her coma? Who actually shot Carmine? Did Adam unknowingly hit Delia, as he thinks, and leave her for dead? Will the Winters clan ever get a decent storyline? (Okay, maybe not the last one so much.) So many questions…so few answers. By the time the writers get back to answering these questions, the fans may no longer care. That's the danger of putting storylines on hold. And speaking of the Winterses…
Yet another not-so-great storyline for the Winters family. Can someone, anyone, please write a good storyline for the Winters family?! Neil and company are one of the signature families on this show, and it's time that they had a good story that will keep the fans riveted in their seats with eyes glued to their "telly." Hilary's plot turned out to be a bust, as the fans only wished for the whole thing to be over. If giving Neil and his family something worth watching means bringing back Drucilla, I am all for it! (At least Sharon would finally have a female friend again.)
Carmine!!! Carmine actually started out as a character with potential but changed to one that the fans just wanted erased from their screens. Of course, the writers didn't do Carmine any favors by having him break up one of the soap's most beloved couples, Lauren and Michael. The more obsessed Carmine became over Lauren, the more we all hated him. I guess you can definitely say that Marco Dapper did a marvelous job of portraying a compulsively delusional stalker whose every thought and move was about Lauren. He sure had us convinced!
Lauren and Michael reunited only to be separated again -- by bars! Fans were a little insulted about some of our beloved Lauren and Michael's poor decisions and actions to cover up Fen's supposed crime. Michael took the rap in killing Carmine because he thought that Fen did it? Lauren remained quiet about Michael, even after Fen was sent to prison for dealing drugs? Since Paul already suspected that Michael was covering up for Fen, it made less sense for Lauren not to talk with her dear friend.
Since Paul had suspected that Michael was not Carmine's killer pretty much from the start, what took him so long in properly investigating the crime? Paul quit searching for the truth before the case was even closed and before Michael had gone to trial. Thankfully, the case was reopened and Michael was released from prison. It seemed to me that Michael had always had a better chance of helping his son outside of prison rather than being locked up on the inside.
Another non-wedding! I can remember when the big soap weddings were all the rage! Now, you are lucky to ever see a wedding follow through to the end without something happening to prevent it. I guess we can be thankful that Nick and Avery's wedding never actually got that far, since Nick was left at the altar. Sure, Avery had not intended for that to happen. Or did she? No matter how you look at it, Nick and Avery were not destined to be together. But wouldn't it be fantastic to, just once, see a huge, glamorous, romantic wedding with all of the trimmings again?
Victoria returned to Newman Enterprises, and Billy resumed gambling. I actually thought that this storyline had potential, but it just didn't deliver as I had expected that it would. Maybe that was because Victoria and Billy are my favorite couple, so it just wasn't right that her working at N.E. and his gambling actually distanced them from each other. Anyway, this story fizzled rather than fired and I was glad when they were finally able to move on.
Nikki suddenly revealed to her family that Dylan is her long-lost son. While I also have this on my "Best" list, I do believe that the writers took way too long to bring this big reveal out. If it had been more sudden, it would have made a much bigger impact on the fans. Perhaps because we already knew way before Nikki told her family, her reveal was not so much shocking as it was "well…it's about time!" The announcement was more of a letdown, even if it came as a result of a fight between Nick and Dylan. At least the blows and punches were entertaining.
Dylan and Chelsea. Their entire relationship was based on one huge lie. It made for good drama for a while but they were boring together, and they lasted too long together. Actually, they only got slightly interesting when Adam finally discovered the truth, which does not indicate that they were a match made in heaven.
Phyllis hit on Kyle just to keep him away from Summer. I mean, I can understand that Phyllis wanted to keep the two apart because she thought that Kyle was Summer's brother, but still…that was a little over the top. Phyllis has done some crazy things, and that one was certainly wacky. Plus, it also had the ick factor, so Phyllis trying to seduce Kyle is something that I would prefer to forget sooner rather than later.
We said goodbye to Stephen Nichols as Tucker McCall after the new regime took over. As Katherine's son and Devon's father, Tucker had so much more storyline left in him. But he was immediately ushered out, and we have not heard a peep from him since. It's a shame. There could have been more between Tucker and Jill, which would have given us more of Jill on-screen. A fond farewell to you, Tucker. It was nice knowing you.
We also bid a fond farewell to Darnell Williams as Sarge. Darnell is a Daytime Emmy-winning actor that the fans had welcomed wholeheartedly to the show, and Sarge still had potential, especially since he was Mason's uncle. Sarge pretty much just vanished without a trace once we learned that All My Children would be revived after all. Hopefully, he will still have a bright future on All My Children…if All My Children is still around, that is.
Kevin and Chloe went on a stealing rampage. Please, I beg of you, Y&R writers…no more reminders of "The Chipmunk!" The worst part of this whole "take from the rich and give to us" scheme was when Chloe thought it would be a good idea to steal from Katherine's charity. How could Chloe do that to someone, Katherine, that had done so much for her? I was very relieved when their crime spree finally ended.
Adam "raped" Melanie. Oh, please! Thankfully, that storyline died a fast death. The entire Summer and Fen bullying Jamie storyline. This was the beginning of the end for Lauren and Michael earlier in the year. And the beginning of a way for Carmine to worm his way into Lauren's life. Kids can be cruel, and Summer and Fen were definitely that. Unfortunately, bullying is a fact of life and is a problem that often is ignored or hidden under the rug. Still, this went on for way too long, and the conclusion was less than satisfactory.
New, fresh, innovative storylines are needed for the youth of the show. Y&R has some talented youngsters, so the writers should take advantage of this and involve them in more thought-provoking storylines. And the best way to do that would be to mix them in with the veterans who can teach and guide them with their wealth of knowledge and experience. The youth are the future of Y&R, and we need to get invested in these characters now so that we can grow and develop with them and also learn to love them. They are, after all, part of our extended family.
More humor is also needed for everyone. Back in the day (which wasn't really all that long ago), we could count on Gloria and Jeffrey to bring the humor that was sorely needed to balance out the drama. Nowadays, Gloria and Jeffrey are rarely seen, and the laughs are too few and far between. Fans cannot thoroughly enjoy the drama if they are depressed all of the time. Humor can lighten up the mood, at times, to help keep the viewer engaged. Hopefully, Gloria and Jeffrey (and even Anita) can return and get us laughing again next year.
The acting for Delia's demise, thanks to the hit-and-run driver storyline. While the characters and fans grieved over the loss of the darling who had captured everyone's hearts, outrage followed as fans yelled over the unnecessary death of a character with so much future potential. However, the acting for this sad storyline was stellar. Billy Miller and Elizabeth Hendrickson accurately portrayed Delia's grieving parents, Billy and Chloe, who could not understand or deal with the loss of their child. And Amelia Heinle kept "batting it out of the park" as Billy's wife, Delia's stepmother, who tried and seemed to fail to help her husband as he struggled to retain his grip on reason. All characters involved in this storyline had the fans glued to our sets as we cried over the young girl that we had loved as our own. Y&R has always had the best actors, and this storyline certainly proved that.
Adam desired to be a good father to Connor as he struggled with thinking that he caused Delia's death. It's no coincidence that many of the selections in my "Best" category are due to the acting on Y&R. Michael Muhney has given Adam Newman so many layers, and he has been showcasing them all during these two storylines that have become somewhat intertwined. Mr. Muhney brings out a vulnerability in Adam, which had seemed to be previously lacking, because of his guilt and regret of a tragedy that Adam thought he had caused. Adam wanted to be a father to his newborn son, but his guilt over Delia continued to overwhelm him, especially since Delia's corneas saved Connor's eyesight. By bringing out all of these layers in such a complex character, Michael Muhney continues to deliver outstanding acting time after time. And to think I used to hate this character. (I miss him already!)
Summer was revealed to be Jack's daughter, not Nick's. I think that the best thing that can be said about this storyline is that it did have the fans talking during the summer, and Summer did not even have to die for that to happen. Unfortunately, we lost Phyllis in the process, but Michelle Stafford had decided to leave, so that was unavoidable. At least, Phyllis is in a coma, so there is a possibility for her to return if Michelle Stafford returns or if Phyllis is recast. The acting for this storyline was also outstanding, especially from Peter Bergman as Jack once he learned of Nick's cover-up.
Poor Jack has gone through the mill throughout the years, and it was nice to see him come out ahead, even if it's only temporarily. Sadly, if Jack remains as Summer's father, he still lost all of her precious growing-up years and all of the "firsts" in Summer's life during that time. Jack has slowly gotten to know the young lady he thinks of as his daughter. Now, will we ever find out if Sharon really did change the results of the paternity test in the lab or if she only thought she did due to her delusions? Time will tell.
The special tribute to Jeanne Cooper and Katherine Chancellor's memorial. The episodes dedicated to Jeanne Cooper and to Katherine Chancellor were remarkable, and we wistfully watched as the cast and characters both said their goodbyes to this very classy, feisty, and amazing lady. She was grand to the end, and we truly miss her.
Cassie's return. We loved seeing Camryn Grimes as Cassie again. She has grown into a very lovely young lady. We just wish that she could have remained with the living and that she could still be around for future storylines. That's what happens when writers kill off one of the show's youth. All potential storylines for that character die right along with the character. But we did get to spend time with Cassie again, even if she was only a symptom of Sharon's mental illness.
Sharon Case's portrayal of a woman with bipolar disorder. Once you get past all of the wackiness, the comments sent by the fans seemed to indicate that Sharon Case gave a pretty dead-on performance of a woman struggling with this very complex disease. Because there are various stages and levels of bipolar disorder, Sharon did an excellent job of a woman trying to cope with her mental illness. Yet another exceptional job of acting on Y&R this past year.
Nick was left at the altar. I could almost hear the fans cheering at their television screens when Avery left Nick at the altar. I can't say that they were the most popular couple. (Quite the contrary.) I personally have no problem with Avery, but the fans' comments indicated that they found Avery and Nick rather boring together. I am not sure that Avery and Dylan will be any more exciting as a couple, but I guess that remains to be seen.
Lauren and Michael reunited -- and then reunited again! This duo remains one of Y&R's most popular couples, and gratefully, they persevered even after a total lack of trust almost destroyed the two, which led to Lauren's tryst with Carmine. Together, Lauren and Michael are a force to be reckoned with, and they need to continue to work together as a united front in order to remain happy and to also support their son.
Nikki suddenly revealed to her family that Dylan was her long-lost son. I debated whether this belonged on the Best or Worst list and then decided that it probably belongs on both. I do like future storylines that could result from this big reveal, mainly the conflict that will more than likely continue between Nick and Dylan with maybe Victor and Adam on the sidelines, smack-dab in the middle of it all. It appears that Nikki and Victoria will try to keep the peace, no matter what happens. This has possibilities, and I will be interested in seeing where it goes.
Victor! For the most part, fans either love or hate Victo,r but I really see him as a catalyst that drives stories. Certainly, there is one thing that Victor is not, and that is boring! Sure, he's given many characters and fans a reason to hate him, but he does keep the show interesting by continually manipulating and controlling his family members. And think about it…the Newman/Abbott feuds would be pretty dull without Victor.
As long as Victor remains in the picture, there is always hope that Jack will one day best him. Eric Braeden is one of the veteran actors on the soap, and Y&R cannot afford to lose any more of their veterans. Victor and Nikki's off-and-on relationship continues to provide fodder to feed the writers' frenzy for intense drama. We need Victor Newman in Genoa City!
Cane supported Katherine when she took her tests and later as she waited to learn the results. I know that Cane is not squeaky-clean, but for the most part, he's a good guy who has honorable intentions. I did enjoy watching the closeness between Cane and Katherine while she waited to find out about her health. Although he tried to do what he could for her, Katherine refused to let Cane coddle her. The relationship was solid and tender at the same time. This affection became even more memorable when Jeanne Cooper and Katherine Chancellor sadly did not last much longer. The irony was that her diagnosis provided the perfect exit for a character that we, the fans, had loved so well and for so many years. I was glad that Cane was there for Katherine in her time of need.
Jack battled his narcotic addiction with Phyllis by his side. I loved the scenes with Phyllis remaining steadfastly by Jack's side as he tried to conquer his addiction to pills. Phyllis can be tough and proved to be loyal to a fault when she refused to let Jack chase her away. The chemistry between Jack and Phyllis has always been spot-on, and I enjoyed watching the two of them in action. It's a sad reminder that the normally unstoppable Phyllis has been paused for what we hope will be just a brief time. We need her back to stir things up again.
Noah and Kyle competed for Victor's notice and respect at Newman Enterprises. I think that one of Y&R's strengths is the depiction of the corporate world and the characters' scramble to fight their way to the top in business. With Noah representing the Newmans and with Kyle being an Abbott, these two young men are the future of the corporate world -- and of Newman Enterprises and Jabot Cosmetics. Who better to "train" these young whelps than Victor Newman? Sure, Victor has his own agenda -- he always does -- but we can be entertained as we watch to see what Victor has in mind for these two. And you know that it will be something to benefit Victor, as it always is. That is if Kyle is recast and sticks around. A fond farewell also to the departing Hartley Sawyer as Kyle.
Billy and Victoria. Billy seems to be the "ying" to Victoria's "yang," which is what makes them such a great couple to root for. He is the bad boy that is trying to be a better person for her. And because of him, Victoria tries to loosen up and to have some fun. (In other words, not be as much like her father as she tends to be sometimes.) Billy and Victoria have been a favorite couple of the fans, and it's easy to see why. Things are not looking to rosy for this couple now, however, and I am wondering if their marriage will be able to survive Delia's death, after all, especially since there will be a new chemistry for them with the casting of David Tom as Billy.
Adam and Chelsea. I really liked Adam and Chelsea the first time around, and they are showing that they can still sizzle as a couple now. Adam has tried to be a positive influence in Chelsea's life (I especially liked how he helped her get her GED), and he has helped her while having no ulterior motives. (Shocking for Adam!) Chelsea fell in love with the Adam who showed that he could be a good guy. These two have been great for either other, and I would love it if they ended up together again, which appeared to be happening. This could have been another couple to cheer for! But of course, now we have the worst news ever in that Michael Muhney has been let go from Y&R. Are they crazy? We finally had something to look forward to, some love and romance from Adam and Chelsea, and it feels like it was snatched right out of our grasps. I was finally excited about a storyline again, and now it will be gone. I am sorry -- I am going back into mourning. First, Billy Miller, now Michael Muhney. This is the worst of the worst, mainly because Adam and Chelsea were part of the best in 2013!
Adam and Jack. These two definitely need a male friend to talk to for guidance and support, and they have been fantastic as friends to each other. Strangely enough, one will actually try to talk the other out of making a poor decision, when the occasion calls for it. In a time when you don't see too many friends bond together on soaps, it is nice to see Adam and Jack interact as friends. But alas, that will be short-lived, as well, with Michael's Adam gone.
Dash dashed out of the car, and Delia chased after him. I think we all knew what was coming when Delia's puppy ran out of the car and into the street. You knew that Delia would chase after her precious dog to save him. And she lost her life because of it. The fans all wanted to jump into the TV to prevent what was to eventually happen, but alas, we could not save her from the hit-and-run driver. We cried in horror at the terrible tragedy that could happen to a child in real life. Our only hope will be that another child can be rescued, as Delia was not.
Billy found a limp Delia by the side of the road and cried over her. Who did not cry along with Billy after he found his darling Delia lying unconscious in the brush at the side of the road? Billy felt helpless as he cuddled his daughter, and we felt helpless as we watched. This is one catastrophe that we all would have liked to have stopped.
Katherine ad-libbed a final "Goodnight" to Jill on her way up the stairs. Sometimes life imitates art, and Katherine painted a glorious picture with her final on-screen farewell to Jill. Her parting words forebode that we would be losing both our cherished Jeanne Cooper and Katherine Chancellor way too soon. Never mind that Jeanne was 84 -- she was way too young to leave us! I know that she is looking down from heaven, doing what she can to guide her dear fellow cast members and her treasured soap along the way.
Nick realized that he had been left at the altar. Although many fans were thrilled that Avery left Nick at the altar, Nick probably wasn't as glad. Feeling embarrassed and foolish, Nick calmly thanked his guests once he realized that Avery was a no-show. Nick truly showed class in such a difficult and awkward time and circumstance.
Nick received the paternity test results that indicated he was not Summer's father. We were all horrified when we learned that Nick had not done the retest for Summer's paternity test shortly after she was born. And the "truth" only came out because Kyle and Summer were growing closer together. If it turns out that Jack is indeed, for sure, Summer's father, Nick had stolen all Summer's precious growing-up years from Jack as her father. The paternity test results shown on the paperwork had all of the fans shocked and talking at the water cooler for quite some time.
Adam took a bullet that was meant for his father. Sure, Adam and Victor may fight like cats and dogs, but when it comes right down to it, Adam really loves his father and honestly wants his respect. The ultimate proof of that was when Adam jumped in front of a bullet that was meant for Victor. Adam showed that he loves Victor and will do anything he can to protect him. No matter what else he says.
Kevin repeatedly denied knowing anything about the robbery of the houses, but Chloe knew better. Chloe cried out, "Yeah, your posture. You're all proud. You're like a cock crowing." She then added, "Yeah, you're like strut, strut, strut. Look at me. I'm Kevin. I stole and nobody found out. You are getting off on it."
When she saw Kevin and Michael in the holding cell, Chloe noted that she had just spent the night with "half of the red-light district, a couple of noisy drunks, and two chicks who probably would have cut their grandmother if they had ten bucks in it." That Chloe…never at a loss for words.
Kevin was talking to Chelsea in Crimson Lights when he saw Madam Miranda, the fortune teller from the fair, swoop in. "No, no, no, no, no, no! Her…Eliza Doolittle keeps coming in here and annoying all my customers. Well…both of them."
After Chloe kept answering his questions to Chelsea, Adam said to Chloe, "Let's retire the ventriloquist act, and let Chelsea answer for herself." That Adam's such a kidder. Billy greeted his mother, Jill, who had been traveling, when she stopped by On the Boulevard to visit him, "Mom, wow, two times in one year. Cut the cord."
When Dylan remarked that Jeffrey could depend on him to care for Chelsea, Jeffrey responded, "Can I? Cause, see, the truth is I don't know you from Adam. Well, not that Adam…I, um, you know, the biblical one, the saying."
Paul offered Michael some very solid advice when he told him, "Don't pull a gun in front of a security camera." (Come on -- it's funny if you think about whom Paul is talking to.)
Anita (with Jeffrey) told Adam, after Chelsea's wedding to Dylan, "We will always have a warm spot in our hearts for you and your billions."
Billy said to Chloe and Victoria, "Dog training…it's a lot like husband-training. You have to reward good behavior." If only it were that easy. Right, ladies?
After Chelsea asked what Victor was doing at their apartment, Adam replied, "Doing what he always does…spreading joy and happiness and rainbows, wherever he goes." Adam can say a funny line with the absolute best delivery.
Dylan served drinks and cookies to Sharon, Faith, and a disapproving Nick at Crimson Lights. After Dylan saw the scowl on Nick's face, he remarked to Sharon, "Two out of three happy customers ain't bad."
Riding on the elevator, Jill exclaimed to Hilary, "I'll bet your favorite part of the day is sharpening pencils…so good for back-stabbing," and Hilary retorted, "I use pens. They're permanent." These lines had me laughing out loud!
Well, that will be it from me for this year. Although it's the end of 2013, "Fool, if you think it's over, it's just begun." (Remember that marvelous Chris Rea song?!) The Young and the Restless will return in 2014 filled with nail-biting drama and soul-searching angst accompanied by rich and compelling love and romance. (We can only hope!) And, please, Y&R -- don't forget the humor also. We can always use a good laugh. Also, fans, please share your submissions for the Best and Worst of 2013 for Y&R. I would love to hear your views. I sincerely hope that you have a happy holiday season. Here's to wishing for a joyous and healthy 2014 for you and for your loved ones.
Until next time, please stay tuned.