The Young and the Restless has been terrific lately, mostly, I think, because it is returning to its core. Jack is tilting at windmills as he starts laying plans for yet another assault on Victor, despite his promise to Nikki that he wouldn't start a war that would tear their families apart. (Can anybody say, "Once more with feeling"?) Jack is also standing firm with Phyllis, at least for now. Jack had Ashley's full support as he assigned Phyllis to the file room and declared that there was no going back in either their marriage or their working relationship.
Phyllis, of course, won't take "no" for an answer, and I suspect that while Jack thinks he is done with Phyllis, she is not done with him. Jack will eventually discover that he still loves Phyllis, and all will be forgiven, just not for a while, and not until Phyllis tries harder.
Phyllis will have to find a way to neutralize Ashley, who has been quite the meddler and tattletale lately. Not only did she insert herself into the Jack-Phyllis-Billy triangle, but Ashley called up an old friend, got some dynamite info, and torched Travis after having a brief conversation with him in an elevator. I think that Travis should have come clean about his past once he start living with Victoria and declared his love, but I don't think that it was Ashley's place to make that happen.
Once again, Victoria has had to hear those eight dreaded words, "Victoria, I haven't been completely honest with you," instead of the three little ones, "I love you," that she longs to hear. Victoria must be asking herself why she chooses men who obscure the truth from her. Billy, Ben, and now Travis have all kept major pieces of their past from her instead of being upfront. This will probably drive a wedge between Travis and Victoria that will result in Victoria and Billy being drawn back into each other's arms. At least that is what a gleeful Jill thought.
Jill was positively glowing when she found out about Travis' past. She could hardly wait to beat feet over to Victor's office to crow about his new employee's deceit and call Travis a pale version of Billy. Victor took the news very calmly, and I have no doubt that he was already aware of all Travis' peccadillos. I remember when Victor had his private detective prepare a dossier on Travis. No doubt the detective did detect what was apparently common knowledge in the Wall Street community: that Travis had slept with his boss's wife, been fired from his job, and been blackballed on Wall Street as a result.
Victor surely has an agenda with Travis. Whether it's to keep an eye on him because Travis is involved with Victoria or because Victor really does value Travis' business acumen remains to be seen. Travis won't last long if Victoria and Billy reunite and he doesn't produce for Victor. Victor can accept the failure of a relationship, but he would never accept a failure in business.
Another secret that is about to boil over is Sully's paternity. No matter how Sharon and Mariah scramble, there is no going back for them either. Sharon is going to lose her happy life and be out in the cold once again because she is a lying liar. She will have Mariah for comfort, but I expect that Mariah is going to get her fair share of criticism and ostracism when Dylan finds out that Sully is not his. Dylan is probably going to wish that he had left well enough alone instead of torpedoing his -- up to then -- idyllic (albeit a false reality) life.
Just guessing, but this will likely lead to Dylan leaving Genoa City, since it has just been announced that Steve Burton is exiting the role of Dylan McAvoy. That really comes as no big surprise, and I can now say that it is a welcome relief. I never warmed to the character or thought he fit in, and I never felt that Burton had chemistry with any of his leading ladies. I loved Burton as Jason Morgan on GH, but in my opinion, he's been more of a bust than a boom for Y&R. Burton followed Jill Farren Phelps to Y&R, and now that she's gone, he is too.
It's too bad that soaps aren't more like professional sports teams. If they were, we could move Jason Thompson to a new position, trade Burton for Miller so that Burton could go back to what he did best -- playing Stone Cold, and Miller could do what he did best -- playing Billy Abbott, and Thompson could do what he does best -- playing anyone. Of the three actors -- again, in my opinion -- Thompson does the best job of playing a character other the one that first made him popular.
Thompson is a terrific addition to Y&R, and I do not want to see him leave, but I wouldn't mind if he came back as some other character, like the way Michael Eastman did on GH. I like the edgier, more nuanced character that Thompson is portraying now. He is playing Billy as a spoiled brat to perfection, and his squabbling with Victoria is priceless. Thompson may not be the Billy Abbott of choice for many, but his interpretation of Billy proves that he can be something other than the sanctimonious Dr. Drake or play a pale imitation -- to paraphrase Jill -- of his actor predecessor.
I would love to know what other GH fans who also watch Y&R think about Burton, Miller, Thompson, and the roles that they are now playing. So, please, if you've got a strong opinion, share your comments below.
It will be interesting to see how Hilary's new venture as the face of GCBuzz evolves. I'm sure it won't be long until she's doing more than puff pieces on the local businesses. Hilary is too much of a social-climbing conniver to take the high road if she thinks that the low road is a faster path to get her where she's going. I did love the bickering and sniping between Billy, Victoria, and Cane during their interview. It's apparent that Billy and Victoria aren't over, even though Victoria insists that there is no going back. They were brash, and they were sassy with each other as they scrambled to promote Brash & Sassy.
There is definite chemistry between Billy and Victoria, so Travis better beware if he wants to hang on to Victoria. I also liked the chemistry between Travis and Billy. I hope they bonded over booze, billiards, and bar fighting. Victoria won't be happy with either of them, but there hasn't been a whole lot of male bonding on the show lately, so it's nice to see that the "boys are back in town."
It looks like Ben and Abby are on the rocks. Ben wants to try to salvage their marriage, but Abby doesn't want to go back. If they break up, that will give Travis another shot at bagging a female Newman. I know, I know, Travis didn't know who Victoria was in the beginning, but he does now, and he has become very, very chummy with Victor. That ought to give any starry-eyed lady cause to pause and think whether a charming smile and big muscles are worth it. If Abby hooks up with Travis, then maybe Ben and Ashley will get together so that Ashley has something going on in her own life other than interfering in everyone else's.
Am I daft, or is Bella as old as Johnny and Katie? Johnny doesn't seem to be aging at all, so I guess he spends a few hours every day in the same anti-aging time warp that Lauren does. I suspect that it won't be long until Billy runs into Bella. Will he recognize her as his child? I have to wonder about Chloe and her intentions. It's not like Billy can sue her for his sperm, though I guess he could sue Chloe for custody of Bella when he finds out that he was an unwitting sperm donor. The questions is, how long before Billy finds out? Another "How long?" is, when will it be revealed that Chloe apparently killed Adam? She is literally getting away with murder and has not suffered any consequences for her actions.
I sympathize with Chloe's loss and subsequent mental breakdown, but that does not entitle her to steal sperm and commit murder. Everyone else -- especially Sharon -- pays dearly for their sins, but not so Chloe, who has everything going her way. I'm ready for her to have some discomfort and start tap dancing to keep all her secrets from getting out. Chloe has had it too easy. She needs a challenge. One thing about Chloe, she was a terrible liar before she was institutionalized, but she has emerged an excellent one. Hmm, not exactly a sign of a good mental health facility.
Now that Nick and Chelsea are "just friends," I imagine that they will become much more than that once Nick finds out that Sully is actually dead baby Christian. That will put Chelsea in the difficult position of deciding whether or not to tell Nick that Adam was Christian's real father. As long as Adam remains dead, I expect Nick and Chelsea will become parents to Sully. Sully will be the real loser because he will be uprooted from the family he knows. Chelsea and Nick are not complete strangers to Sully, but after a year with one family, it won't be easy, and there will be no way to tell until much later if ripping him away from one family and giving him to another will leave permanent scars.
Soap babies don't seem to suffer as much trauma as real babies, but still, I find the soap trend of keeping babies away from their biological parents for long periods of time a very disturbing one. I'd like to see a few babies delivered to their true parents in actual hospitals instead of lofts, elevators, and supply closets. Now that Y&R is recapturing its classic magic, anything is possible!
In closing, let me say that next week, I will enter my second year as a septuagenarian, so I am grateful and honored that all my imaginary friends are chipping in to throw me a party at the GC Athletic Club. Victor and Nikki assured me that invitations have been sent to all my Soapaholic buddies, so I hope to see each and every one of you there. I'm thrilled, so I'll be stepping out in my best party wear and looking forward to dancing with all the handsome men that populate Genoa City. After that, if it's not past my bedtime, I might head over to Port Charles and look for some action at Jake's. RSVP if you want to carpool.
Seriously folks, every year for the last several years, around my birthday, I've take inventory of myself and looked at where my life was going. Sometimes, I've had to make course corrections because I was headed in the wrong direction. This year, I have to say that, all things considered, I've had a pretty great life, and I haven't peaked yet! I genuinely wish you -- all my readers -- the same joy and satisfaction in life that I feel. I appreciate all the kindness and support that has come my way since I began writing this column three years ago, especially from folks like Bessie, who don't always agree with me but enjoy lively discussion, which speaks to the strong bond that we share through our love of all things Y&R, especially our wonderful, entertaining, imaginary friends.
Thanks for letting me get a little emotional, and I promise, scout's honor -- though I wasn't a scout -- no more sentimental claptrap until at least next year! Meanwhile, my birthday wish -- when I close my eyes and blow out all those candles -- is that your lives are all filled with sweetness and spice and everything nice, now, forever, and beyond!
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.