This is part one of a special two-part year-end Two Scoops showcasing the best and worst of The Young and the Restless in 2009. Click here for the second installment in which Nita gives her opinions on Y&R's hits and misses.
We've put together a special year-end list of the top ten most-read Two Scoops columns over the past 12 months. To check out the list and see what came out on top, please click here.
The Best Villain. There's really no competition. The man everybody in Genoa City and most folks watching the soap despise is Adam. Victor Newman, Jr., has earned every bit of that hatred. He may have been the object of pity while he was in prison, but Adam was conniving even then. All that business with the BOTOX in the eyes - YEECH! But that was just a preview of Adam's evil intentions. He seduced Rafe and Heather simultaneously! He plotted to drive Ashley crazy to hurt his father. He was responsible for Ashley's miscarriage and hysterical pregnancy. Adam was the epitome of uncaring, hate-filled, no-remorse evil. And it didn't matter which actor played the role; the hatred was equal.
The Worst Storyline. Well, speaking of Adam, his sabotaging Ashley's pregnancy, which culminated with the baby switch at the mental hospital, was the worst storyline of the year. It wasn't just that Ashley's continuing pregnancy after the miscarriage made no sense. That was bad enough. Hysterical pregnancies like that are beyond rare; it's practically impossible. But we were also supposed to buy that Ashley wasn't aware enough of her body after the miscarriage to know she had bled all over the floor? That she didn't feel differences? That her breasts were not lactating? There were all kinds of questions left unanswered physically. But they also insulted the viewers who had come to respect Ashley for her intelligence. Her sudden refusal to see a doctor in a hospital, her alienation from Olivia, was just dumb.
Then there was the psychiatric hospital baby switch. You know, they still haven't watched the security tapes to see what happened that night. And Sharon never asked why her baby was deformed at birth when the sonograms were all perfect. And how convenient that Sharon was there just when Ashley imagined she was going into labor...so they could both have the baby (there was only one) at the same time. Just too many coincidences, Maria Arena Bell. That was a bad storyline and you wrote it!
The Second Worst Storyline. It wasn't nearly as important as the baby switch, but Daniel and the Terroni was a really bad story. The cardinal sin of any soap story is that you don't care. I didn't care about this storyline at all. Daniel was stupid to get sucked into the scheme in the first place. Then there was the ridiculous Victoria sleeping with Deacon angle. Was that part of the plan or just her sideline indiscretion while working with the Feds? Amber was a screaming Mimi during the entire thing, completely unattractive and off-putting. The Terroni affair made everyone look bad, and the storyline deserved to end with everyone at the city dump sifting through dirty diapers and refuse. The garbage dump was where the storyline belonged.
The Best Character. Jack Abbott really went through it all in 2009. He had emotional up and downs, and you felt him every step of the way. He truly tried with Sharon. He was ready to raise that child as his own, and -- to be fair -- she treated him like crap. She used him, and Jack deserved to be pissed. Jack also had his heart broken by Billy. It wasn't just that baby brother Billy boffed Sharon and might have been the father of her child. Billy also walked out on Jack's dream to reign over Jabot. Jack also had to deal with the whole Patty Williams mess. Talk about your past coming back to haunt you? But Jack didn't bring Patty back, and he wasn't responsible for her insanity -- that would be Victor's cross to bear. The conclusion of Patty's wild ride, however, weighed heavily on Jack. Colleen's death. There was no greater heartbreak for the Abbotts and Jack than losing C.C.
The Worst Character. I had a very hard time enjoying Kevin in 2009. The entire Silver Chipmunk business was just lame. The angle of Kevin reliving his horrible childhood of abuse was substantive, but the way they expressed it with the giant chipmunk head was laughable. I couldn't take it seriously, and then when they tried to make Kevin into a folk hero -- give me a break! Kevin has recently become the dupe of Ryder and, frankly, his treatment of Michael and Lauren is shameful. Kevin needs more time in therapy, if you ask me.
Best Returning Character. Billy Abbott. Since blowing into Genoa City, the new Billy Abbott is trouble personified. He's also a lot of fun. I don't think Mac is the love of his life because Billy loves himself more than any woman in the world. That means Chloe and Delia, too. Oh, yes, he loves his baby daughter, but only when it's easy. Don't expect him to change any poopie pants. Still, Billy is interesting and compelling because he's not a predictable character. He does the unexpected, like buying Restless Style and turning it into a tabloid. Who knows what he's going to do in 2010!
Worst Returning Character. Patty. You thought I was going to say Mac, didn't you? Well, Mac was pretty dull, but Patty was just the worst. It wasn't because she did such horrible things -- that's a given -- it was more because Patty was insane. If she had been responsible for her actions, she wouldn't have been the worst return. By her being crazy, you can't really blame her for what she's done. She should have never been released from the mental hospital in the first place. Now with Patty locked away and her look-alike shrink falling for Jack, this whole return has been a hot, twisted mess.
Worst Rewrite of History. Every soap is allowed to change the way things were for the way the new writers want them to be, but the way we learned that Cane wasn't really Philip Jr. because Philip Jr. wasn't really dead and cattle rustlers in Australia and no body in the coffin and frozen blood samples... It was all too much embellishing and re-embellishing to justify a story that wasn't worth the effort. What was the end result? Cane was cast out by the Winterses and Lily only to be forgiven in the end. Philip returned long enough for us to learn that he ran away in the 1980s because he was gay. Then he was gone again. It wasn't a good enough story to justify the rewriting of history.
Best Bizarre Twist. Victor getting Colleen's heart was such a weird, bizarre twist (and highly unlikely) that is made killing Colleen okay. It sets up the strangest future connection between the Newmans and the Abbotts yet. I don't believe that the Abbotts really would have agreed to give Victor the heart, or that the authorities would allow a personal donation like that (there are rules about stuff like that), but it still made for an amazing twist.
Worst Romantic Tease. Considering how long Nick and Sharon have been kept apart, their reunion, when Nick believed he was the father of the baby and before Summer was poisoned, was just too damn short. They were together for two weeks, right? It felt that fleeting. And now the chances of a reconciliation seem very far away. Too bad. I think we're not going to get the course of true love straightened out for a long, long time.
Worst Treatment of a Kid. I don't like storylines in which kids are hurt. It seems like manipulation, and Y&R was guilty of a major sin this year when they let Patty kiss Summer to cause her allergy to peanuts to trigger an anaphylactic shock reaction. They nearly killed that little girl character for the sake of showing Patty as the lunatic she is. It was one of the worst moments of the year.
Best Medical Miracle. Excuse me, but didn't Kay have a couple of strokes this year? Wasn't she suffering mental lapses? How is it now that all that's been forgotten? The writing has really been lax because for a woman of Katherine's age and health, her recovery is positively miraculous.
Worst Medical Development. It's worst because it's too close to the truth many of us face. Lily's cancer is tragic. Her inability to carry a child is heartbreaking. Her having to go through chemotherapy and lose her hair and suffer the side effects are all real reflections of cancer in our reality. I just hope they play this story as realistically once she reaches a remission.
Well, that's by best and worst overview for 2009. 'Til next year, I hope you all have a joyous holiday season.
Until next time, please be sure to check out the other year-end Two Scoops columns for other soaps. All of the columnists are taking the next two weeks to reflect on the best and worst of 2009. It's definitely a fun read -- even if you aren't familiar with all of the soaps!
Plus, feel free to head over to the Soap Central message boards and join in the discussion about the highs and lows of the year gone by. And, if you're feeling prolific, start your own blog and offer your own take on the Two Scoops' best and worst edition. If we like what you write, you might just see your comments posted here!