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Up, up and away
For the Week of January 20, 2014
Will Adam manage to evade the slammer and get on a plane to Paris with his family before Billy balances the scale of karmic justice? Will Summer's high on energy pills be a catalyst for Jack to launch a successful attack on Victor? Is Alex suffering from DID, or has he morphed into an undercover nark. Read along as this week's Two Scooper channels Madame Zelda to predict the future for residents of Genoa City.
Is it me or has The Young and Restless suddenly become must-see TV? My "spidey" senses are tingling, and for the first time in over a year, I am watching Y&R before I watch the other soaps that I record. That's got to mean something! I sense a big turnaround in the force. I liked what I saw on the show last week. I pray that I'm not delusional and won't be accused of spending too much time with my imaginary friends!


I still think that there are problems on the show that need to be resolved, but obviously the producers are way ahead of me because in order for me to have noticed a change last week, those changes had to have started long before. This is what the producers promised in the fall, and it feels like they are beginning to deliver.


Why do I think the show is improving? Here's the short answer. Gloria held court at Crimson Lights; Chloe's obsession is growing; Chelsea and Adam's happiness is delightful, but doomed; Jill got kidnapped; Devon, Lily, and Cane got jobs together; Dylan is looking for his father; Summer is in the hospital; Alex is undercover as Zack, and Courtney is not a ditzy teen; Phyllis is responding; Sharon almost spilled the beans; Kelly and Stitch are connected; Victor's Achilles heel and the source of Summer's pills may or may not be the biotech company. Lastly, fan faves Billy and Adam are counting down to a blowout that we can only hope will be of epic proportions, acting-wise. If we are going to lose them, they might as well leave us with outstanding performances to remember them by!


I'm about to put on my fortune telling turban, get out the tarot cards and the Ouija board, look into my crystal ball and then share all that Madame Zelda channels through me. If you are interested, read on! If not, stop reading. These are only my predictions, not actual spoilers.


In the beginning, I was appalled at Lily's cancer scare, but now I think that the cancer scare was just a plot device that allowed Cane to tell Victor about the biotech company. It also gave Jack and Kyle a weakness to exploit. I believe that the pills that Summer took will trace back to that company, giving Jack even more reason to go after Victor. I also believe that Alex is working undercover with Courtney to bust a drug ring dealing those pills, which involves, and may be headed by, Womack. Courtney and Noah will eventually get back together, and I predict that she will be older than 18.


Filed under picky, picky, I noticed that Courtney's acting coach must have given her the same advice about squinting and cocking her head that I did. It's a big improvement. Way to go, coach!


I'm convinced that Carmine is still out there, perhaps even in witness protection if he gave the cops evidence against Womack, or maybe he's in it with Womack. The substitute medical examiner disappearing undercover in the FBI (did they fake Carmine's death?) and the missing crime scene photos are suspicious. I predict that the legal eagles among you will support me when I say that no jury of our peers would convict us of murder if the crime scene photos were missing and our lawyer could not question the medical examiner.


Michael ought to know that and ask for the case to be dismissed, but alas, the Baldwins never take the easy path! If I didn't know better, I would guess that they are all stubborn left-handers like me! I do think that Lauren, Michael, and Fen will face Carmine again. I'm foretelling that the third time will be the charm, and Carmine will be done once and for all. After that, the Baldwins will find something else to keep them interesting, busy, and in turmoil.


I think I've figured out what Kelly's connection is to Stitch. I'll bet that she slept with Stitch after her son died and then Kelly told Stitch's wife, Jenna, which is the reason that Stitch is separated. Perhaps it was a moment of weakness for Stitch that he deeply regrets. I think Kelly will become the "girl we love to hate," which is who Phyllis was when she first appeared, but fans loved Phyllis, anyway, and she was redeemed.


Whether or not that will happen with Kelly remains to be seen, though that possibility seems remote to me. Kelly is looking like a needy women who sleeps with married men and then ruins their marriages. If that's so, then I will have no difficulty disliking this character and may even enjoy trashing her! Does that make me a bad person?


Kelly seemed to be on the verge of telling Victoria something. She was certainly ready to have it out with Billy. I suspect the truth will appear just about the time that David Tom takes over the role. That will allow Victoria and Billy to fall in love again, and I am more than willing to give Tom a chance. I don't mind a romantic story, either. The characters are the same, but the actors have changed, so watching to see if Tom and Heinle have the same chemistry as Miller and Heinle will be entertaining.


I thought that David Tom was a perfect Billy the last time he played the part, and I've been watching soaps long enough to know that just as no person in a job is indispensable, neither is an actor in a role. That applies to Michael Muhney as well as Miller. I am not holding Y&R or CBS responsible for what happened with Michael Muhney because I don't believe that it made good business sense to fire him. I don't think that they would have dismissed him if the powers that be had had any other choice.


I can certainly see Muhney as a successful Jason on GH, and I genuinely hope that he gets another chance. I grew to love him as the tortured, redemption-seeking Adam, and I am very sorry to lose him. It will probably take a recast or two before I can accept anyone else in the part unless the first recast is an exceptional actor. Both parties in this unfortunate situation are excellent actors, so I'm not taking sides. Both of them could fool me in the "he said/she said" battles. I am accepting the status quo and moving on. I'm anticipating the recast, kind of like getting a new puppy but without the toilet training or whatever you call it with dogs.


Phyllis has started to respond, so I expect that if we don't get a new Phyllis then perhaps Michelle Stafford will return. I've noticed that they keep showing Jack looking at a photo of himself with Stafford. If they stop showing the photo yet Phyllis continues to improve then I predict a recast. If the photo is shown then I will cross my fingers and pray that Stafford regains her senses (or CBS does) at the same time as Phyllis and returns to us.


Acceptance is a wonderful thing. Now that I've accepted Nikki's rewritten history, and accepted that Dylan, who is Nikki's firstborn, did not suffer from SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome), and accepted that that is the reason that he is ten years younger than Victoria, I can get into the storyline that's beginning to take shape.


I think that it might be fun, and Ray Wise will make a great villain. I hope he gets scenes with Eric Braeden. I would love to see those two actors duel it out. Wise would be terrific with Jack also. I looked on the soapcentral.com website but couldn't find the location of the biotech firm that made the pills that Summer ingested. I wondered if it might be in Indiana and if, perchance, Ian Ward will turn out to be the kingpin of the whole shebang. I know, that's way out there, but I'm just sharing a thought. (If I'm right, remember that I predicted it. If I'm wrong, feel free to remind me that I'm not the know-it-all that I aspire to be!) Madame Zelda is keeping mum on the subject.


Nikki, Dylan, Nick, and Victoria will have some great scenes together, especially if they bond to protect each other from Ian Ward. We already know from predictions several weeks ago that Sharon will also share a connection. I don't know how long it will be before the truth is revealed about Summer's paternity. Sharon tried to tell Nick, but he brushed her off. She persisted, but thanks to a tried-and-true, never-fail soap opera device, someone interrupted, and the moment was lost.


I prefer the reveal to be sooner rather than later, but I suspect that this is going to hinge on when Phyllis wakes up. Jack has to have time to blame Victor for Summer's pill-taking, and he might not be able to summon up enough righteous indignation if he learns that Summer is not his daughter.


I'm hoping that the big reveal will happen no later than May sweeps! There's also another tried-and-true soap possibility that Summer will need some kind of blood thingy that only Nick can provide, and Summer's paternity will be revealed without Sharon being forced to confess. I'd like that because I want the sweet, kind, caring Sharon back permanently, so I'm rooting for her to find redemption somewhere along the line.


Having Devon buy the Athletic Club was a great idea and gives Cane, Devon, and Lily a reason to be on-screen and interact with other cast members. I do like the new and improved Hilary, though I have to wonder why she doesn't go back to her birth name. I think the actress is very good. I enjoy her on-screen work, and I've gained a measure of respect for Devon, who seems to be stepping up. Maybe as more is demanded from him, the actor will show us that he does have the chops to meet the challenge. Again, I'm encouraged enough to give this new direction a chance.


I don't have a clue about what's going on with Jill yet, but since Tristan Rogers is blowing into town, I don't doubt that he is involved in the shenanigans that are about to take place. One of my New Year's wishes was a storyline for Jill, and it looks like that wish may be coming true.


I love the terrific scenes between Chelsea and Adam, even though I know they are doomed. At least Adam and Chelsea have had a few months of happiness. On GH, Jason, Sam, and their son, Danny, had about an hour together before Jason was shot and presumed dead. There is no doubt in my mind that Chloe is going to snap and snatch Connor at some point, probably just before Chelsea leaves for the airport to meet Adam and board a plane to Paris. Chloe's obsession is escalating, and Kevin seems to be the only one who is concerned. I will not be at all surprised if Chloe starts calling Connor "Delia" and tries to pass him off as a girl.


And finally, there's Gloria holding court in Crimson Lights. Her scenes with Lauren, Kevin, and Chloe were clever and well-written and contained surprisingly good advice. I could use a lot more Gloria. She was like sunshine and fresh air, and those scenes went a long way toward dissipating the miasma of doom and gloom that hovered over last year. 2014 is starting out with a bang, and I couldn't be happier. You won't hear any whimpering from me for a while.


Here ends the strictly Y&R commentary.


Part II: COMMENTS FROM THE EMAIL BAG: WARNING, I'M ABOUT TO GET PERSONAL, AND MAYBE MUSHY
This is a new year, so I'd like to take a moment to express my personal thanks to all the Y&R fans that have recommended my column to their friends. I was ecstatic when my first column reached 50 likes, so I am over the moon after the response to my football column! I received more complimentary emails about that column than any previous column, so thank you, thank you, thank you. My goal is to continue pleasing you.


You have given me a Sally Field "You like me, you really like me" moment and I want you to know that there is nothing more heady -- well maybe winning the lottery, but since that's never happened and is not likely to happen -- than your very nice words, which have been more than I could have ever have hoped for, particularly from those of you who don't agree with me but respond with witty, intelligent comments. I enjoy the discussion and dialogue, and I am flattered when you indicate appreciation for my offbeat, left-handed take on things. Now to the email bag.

A comment from a fellow football lover:

    I noticed in the comments below your column that several readers weren't thrilled with the football analogy. As a huge football fan, I loved it. It was a unique and accurate comparison THAT gave me much food for thought. While I don't want to be patient, you are correct that change takes time.

    Also, I happened to have Monday, December 30th off work and was thrilled to have the opportunity to watch Y&R while I caught up on a few things around the house. Unfortunately, the entire episode was dark and depressing. I don't remember a single scene that was positive, light-hearted, hopeful or romantic. I don't need to take a mental-health day from work to see that, I can just go to work. - JULIE


I do hope you get a chance to watch Y&R again and find it improved as I have. And you're in luck, Julie, because I've got more football analogies in store for the future. Meanwhile I have a big shout-out to you, soap and football fans in general, and the Seattle Seahawks in particular. Kudos also go to the 49ers, Broncos, and Patriots. No matter what happens next, you are all winners!

Tim's email proves that there are still enthusiastic fans out there watching and enjoying. Here's what he has to say about his favorite show.

    Y&R is at its best! I am loving the Tyler and Abby story. What a great couple. I would love to see more of them. I still believe that Tom Phelphrey should be added to the cast, maybe as Scottie or Kyle. I think they should get Jamie Luner or Morgan DeWitt to play Phyllis if Ms. Stafford is no longer available. I am still confused about the Rose and Gus story. I wish they would clear that up. Even though Devon and Hillary are leading up to romance, I was thinking that Y&R would put a twist with a gay relationship between Devon and Mason. They seemed more interesting then Devon and Hillary. I really believe that Y&R should bring Bold and Beautiful character Felicia, Lesli Kay to the canvas, since BB doesn't have much use for her. Could be a love interest for Jack or even Nick. -- TIM



I love your enthusiasm, Tim. I also think that Tyler and Abby make a great couple. I'm looking forward to their storyline, even though it's a twist on Carmine and the Baldwins. I didn't like Tyler very much at first, but then, when I thought about his sad childhood, it made sense that he would hide his insecurities with bravado. His heartfelt apology to Lily in the park turned me around. Unfortunately, there is still bias where mixed-race couples are concerned.


Bias goes both ways. People are not always biased against mixed-race couples; sometimes they are biased for them. It can be hard to tell if I really like a couple for the couple's sake or if I am bending over backwards (Wow! That sounds really uncomfortable.) to like the couple so that I don't appear to be biased. I wouldn't doubt that others find themselves in a similar predicament.


In this case, I believe that I am being objective. My experience says that good acting eventually overcomes all and that acting will eventually tell the tale for both the fans and detractors of this couple. So getting a storyline will let the actors show us what they've got. I say, "Bring it on!"


We have traveled a great distance since the 60s, and a lot of it is because of soaps. Of course, back then, the powers that be did not monitor or control the soaps like they do now. Since soaps were "female" shows, they did not realize how powerful a tool for change soaps could be. It's a little more difficult for soaps to be as avante garde as they were then, but they still manage to slip in some important concepts now and again.


Linda took me to task and hit the nail on the head with a very well said comment.


    Why do we need some six-foot stud to play Michael and Lauren's son? We have enough non descript beefcake on this show. Michael and Lauren are very intelligent and attractive characters. They are decent people who have a dark side, but neither is all that tall. Dark-haired, dark eyed Max Erlich looks like his onscreen parents and he is good looking. The young man can act and has good chemistry with his onscreen family. Fen hasn't been written as likeable but neither were his parents when young. I don't get why he needs to be recast into some six foot, likely blue eyed, stud who looks hot with his shirt off but acts nothing like his on screen parents.

    By the way I don't agree that most fans believe Michael Muhney was fired without cause. Even before the TMZ story broke, many were turned off by the arrogance and unprofessional behavior he displayed on social media. Every couple months he was getting into dust ups or shooting off his mouth and having to retract his statements. I was not surprised to read that he was a problem on set. -- LINDA


Linda makes a very good point. I admit I was shallow. Fen does look like his parents, and he fits his family perfectly, but I'm still unapologetically shallow! Her thoughts on Muhney speak for themselves.


Jill had a different thought:

    Good lord this show is bad! I came over to Y&R when Maura West joined and look how that ended! I stayed because of Michael Muhney and look how that's ended! The stories are lame, the actors that are left (with Billy Miller going too) are boring. They may be soap hierarchy, but Victor and Nikki just can't carry this show. They're predictable and uninteresting. And don't get me started on the Winters family. Yawn. I fast forward whenever they are featured. There is no drama left, no edge of your seat stories, no romance -- nothing to keep fans watching. Remember the good old days in other soaps like Jake & Vicki (Another World) and Carly & Jack (ATWT). I loved them!! I can see my days watching soaps are sadly coming to an end. I do speed watch GH but I am not a fan of mob stories. Anyway, my 2 bits! -- JILL


Jill certainly has her opinion and I definitely agree that we need more romance. Here's another fan that agrees with us about the romance.

    I agree with you. Totally!!! Please give us more stability & less drawn out storylines. We want happy couples that stay happy for a change. Thank you for the well-written Two Scoops! Kudos to you! Happy 2014 -- LORA


Thanks Lora! Being so nice to me wasn't the reason I published you, but it totally didn't hurt!

Here's a letter that would have stung more if I hadn't been cruising the comments immediately after my column was published and noticed that a commenter had found a huge gaffe that made me sound like an idiot. The commenter also hated the football reference and called my column, "drivel." She had a point! So did this letter writer, though in a much more kindly way.

    Kelly's son's name is Sam, not Ben. Stitch's first name is Ben. Just thought I would let you know. Thanks for writing the 2 Scoops. I look forward to reading it each week. -- JUDY


I apologize. Fortunately the commenter caught my attention early enough that I was able to make a quick correction. I had recapped a GH episode just before starting my column. There is baby Ben and mama Sam on GH and Dr. Ben and son Sam on Y&R. I must have had a senior moment. I switched Sams and Bens -- like mixing up the "P's" and "Q's." Thank you, Judy, for being my Mary Poppins. A spoonful of sugar did make the medicine go down.

Mary's email gave me quite a chuckle. You deserve to laugh, too.

    Why don't you let the dead be dead and quit bringing them back? It gets tiresome listening about Cassie and John and most of all Lauren's lover. Who cares? If they wanted to bring them back then they shouldn't kill them off on the program, dumb I think. Why not just bring on new characters instead of making the audience mad? -- MARY


I agree with Mary. It's one thing for campy GH to kill people and resurrect them, but it doesn't seem right on Y&R. I also agree about the new characters.

I had a fun letter from Timothy, who always has interesting ideas for plots and storylines. I think some of you folks in Fanland will appreciate these suggestions as much as I do.

    Ian should be Dylan's dad. Dylan should sell the coffee shop and become a full time contractor who works secretly for Tucker who is building a business right next to Newman Enterprises that infuriates Victor. [Nick should go back and work for his dad so that he and Dylan also can butt heads.]

    Dylan sells the coffee shop to Noah. Let the kids hang out there. Nick sells that stupid bar! Have Gloria and Jeff buy the Colonnade Room.

    Jill needs to take over the Katherine role and have someone younger come into the house and stake its claim. Perhaps Tucker has a daughter or son who could want grandma's fortune. [Not Devon, too weak!]

    My guess is Billy and Adam will get into a very nasty fight and both go to jail while we brace for the recasts, especially where Adam is concerned.

    Paul and Lauren hook up and realize Daisy is their daughter? Michael and Cricket together. Michael needs to go back to work for Victor.

    Hiring a strong businesswoman, maybe a woman from the nighttime soaps, a name, to come in and wrestle Chancellor off of the Mustache. He falls for her and she ends up blackmailing him and then the "New Adam" arrives to stick it to Victor and he toasts champagne with this powerful women he was responsible for bringing into town to give it to dear old dad.

    I enjoyed your 14 thoughts and agreed with them so I just went ahead to see what I could come up with.


Personally, I think that Timothy has some very interesting ideas, and not, (Wink! Wink!), because he said something nice about me, but again, it didn't hurt, especially after my ego took a big blow with that "drivel" comment! Why, I could barely manage 5,000 words this time!


Seriously, I publish comments that have a different point of view than mine, that are funny, and especially those that are clear and well-written, because space and therefore length is a consideration! If your comment is longer than 150 words, it must be unique enough to pique my interest!


If your thoughts take less than 50 words and are clearly expressed, I can almost guarantee that I will publish them because I like giving a forum to lots of voices, and I believe that those of you who read my column regularly feel the same way!


If I am mistaken, let me know, and I will structure future columns to fit the desires of my readers because it is my pleasure to keep you entertained. In duplicate bridge, I find that I win more often when I suit myself to my partner. I can only assume that the same would hold true with my readers, so please let me know if you have soap topics that you would like me to elaborate on.


Finally, I have one last letter. It's a long one, but it is well written, with a point of view that is very valid, though different from mine in several respects. It was not addressed to me specifically, but it seems to apply to my recent columns more than it does to Teddi's, and it was forwarded to me for reply! Either way, it's an honest response from a true fan, and Carolyn deserves to be heard.

    I just read your Two Scoops article and I must say that I don't think I can recall ever reading more negative Two Scoops articles than I have the last 3 or 4 weeks. I guess I just don't get how someone can be so invested in a show that it allows him or her to get depressed. That seems extreme to me. While some stories could be better, I suppose, I don't see all of the horrible writing that others see. You say that you would like to see more love and romance and less sadness, yet when there is love and romance, you find it boring because it doesn't involve the characters you deem as your favorites.

    I like Billy Miller and I will miss him playing Billy Abbott, but I don't feel depressed about his leaving, nor do I see that as a reason to stop watching Y&R. Michael Muhney is a good actor also, and while I don't like Adam, I admit that it will take some time to get used to some other actor portraying him (if that is the direction TPTB are going in). That being said, I can't see myself protesting an actor's exiting Y&R to the point of calling for someone else to lose their job.

    I don't know what Michael did or didn't do, but if he didn't do what he is accused of, he can sue for defamation of character. If he did do it, he deserves to be fired. Either way, I will still watch Y&R. I know people handle things in different ways, but it seems that folks are forgetting that this is a fictional show and are taking it way too seriously.

    I don't know why you seem to dislike Steve Burton or keep calling his character boring. I don't think he is on the screen more than some of the original cast. I find it hard to believe that TPTB would work with SB, but would not work with BM. Lastly, I get tired of reading how much better the writing for GH is than Y&R. Why even write a column for such a poorly written show? Why not write for GH only if it is so much better than Y&R?

    I have never watched GH, but I am sure that some of its fans can find fault with that soap as well. No soap is perfect, but I am hard pressed to believe that Y&R is so much more horrible than any other soap.

    There has got to be a reason that Y&R is #1 in the ratings every week. If the writing was that bad, they would not be #1 week in and week out. I, for one, will continue to be a fan of and watch Y&R through the good and the 'just ok' storylines. -- CAROLYN


This is a thoughtful, intelligent, well-written opinion, and I agree with a lot of it. I concede that I might have been too hard on SB, so I'll watch that. I also agree that a real fan does not leave the show or stop watching when times get bad. A fan watches. I did that with GH, and I now have the same commitment to Y&R. I, too, believe that the show is character-driven not actor-driven.


The fact that Y&R has been consistently at the top of the ratings for 25 years is valid. That fact is also the reason that I hold it to a higher standard. Y&R has been number one all these years because it was better than the others, and I believe that it should stay that way. I'm a critic, and it's my job to point out both the good and the bad as I see it, so I definitely try to be more objective about Y&R than those shows that I watch as guilty pleasures and do not critique. Y&R has slipped a little lately, but there is every reason to believe that it will rebound, just as GH did when loyal fans stuck by that show.


That said, I intend to keep soaping until someone takes the cat out of my lap and removes the remote from my lifeless hand, or until the powers that be figure out a way to stop us from fast-forwarding through the commercials and guff. Just read an article in the local newspaper that said advertisers are working on a DVR system that would force us to endure 23 minutes of mindless commercials in order to enjoy 37 minutes of drama. I don't think my ADD-addled brain could handle that. I would have to give up TV altogether, and that would definitely kill me!


Until next time, fellow fan addicts, may all your dreams come true, especially on the soaps


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. You can leave your comments below in the comments section, you can click here to submit Feedback, or you can call our 24/7 caller feedback hotline at 267.341.7627 and voice your thoughts.


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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