The Young and the Restless Best and Worst of 2018: Digging up dirt to bury the past

For the Week of December 24, 2018
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The dirt was shoveled, and graves were dug, as some of our beloved characters scurried to bury their deepest secrets. Was J.T. a necessary casualty to provide the fans with a complex storyline that would keep a grip on most of our adopted family throughout most of the year? It's time to wash our hands of the filth -- and of The Hilary Hour's dirt -- in this review of the past year in Two Scoops.

To read part two of our Best and Worst of Y&R 2018, click here.

2018 was a year filled with fond farewells to some of our veteran actors and not-so-happy hellos to a few newbies, as dirt was thrown to cover up lies, secrets, and one dead body. As one was welcomed back into the loving arms of his biological family, another put her hopes, dreams, and a lot of patents on a plane to Paris to escape the clutches of hers -- which happened to be the same family. A mustache almost died twice, while a once-despised vixen prematurely met her maker. Since there's no way to ever really bury the past, instead, let's acknowledge the Best and Worst of 2018.

The Worst of 2018:

Phyllis and Billy and then Phyllis and Nick. No, just no. And again no. I have always been a Phyllis and Jack fan, and a Sharon and Nick fan, so both these pairings are wrong on so many levels. Plus, Phyllis and Billy are just too much alike to be paired up together. Why put them together, when there can be twice as much entertainment happening with each of them coupled up with someone more innocent? I would be willing to give Billy with Sharon a try, since they could prove to be an interesting duo. Which brings me to the next item on my list.

Sharon and Rey. Just when Sharon was making so many strides in getting the respect she deserved in town, she went and started messing with a married man. Ugh. And Rey doesn't seem to be such a big prize, since he had no qualms with pursuing the blonde, even though he belonged to another. Spin it any way you like, writers; Sharon took a big step back when she became enamored of the detective. It was almost as if Rey's wife didn't matter because she wasn't in plain sight. For all Sharon knew for quite some time, Rey's wifey-poo could have been the innocent party in their separation, although the writers appeared to be painting Mia black as black to justify keeping Sharon and Rey chasing after each other. Ugh.

The revolving beds...uh, doors for soap partners. I tend to blame Phyllis a lot for jumping straight from Jack's bed to Billy's to Nick's, but our other beloved characters are just as guilty. Nick actually started out the year with Chelsea, and Sharon with Scott, although I do give Sharon some credit for taking a small break from Scott before she almost hitched her wagon again to Nick. But soap characters tend to get over their heartbreak over a breakup in record-breaking time and are ready to move on at a moment's notice. How can they ever figure out what went wrong with their last relationship when they don't bother to even take a breath before their next one? You can't change a self-destructive pattern if you never even try to find it.

Mariah and Tessa. Here's the case of another favorite of mine being hooked up with someone totally unworthy. Mariah finally got the courage to try to have an honest romantic relationship, and she got stuck with a thief, liar, and blackmailer. Those qualities are enough to turn any girl's head. But when she continued to lie to Mariah and to keep secrets from her after she revealed she was the blackmailer, Tessa showed that she only cared about herself and money. Mariah will stick with her heart and with Tessa, which is a crying shame, because the redhead deserves someone a lot better than Tessa. But Sharon finally wanted Mariah away from the schemer, so at least I have that.

The J.T. story has dragged on and on and on. As much as I have enjoyed watching this tale, it would be nice to know that there is a resolution in sight for this. I mean, I really feel for J.T.'s kids, including Reed, who has always wondered why his dad deserted him. It wasn't fair to Reed, and it was rather surprising that Victoria allowed for it to happen to him. But part of the fun for such a complex story is resolving it, which needs to come sooner rather than later after all this time.

Hilary tried to trick Devon into fathering her child. Yeah, it's true this storyline was whitewashed later, once Devon agreed to be Hilary's baby daddy, but it was pretty disgusting when Hilary first tried to make that happen without his knowledge. Again, Hilary was only thinking about Hilary, which she did up until the very end. And speaking of that...

Hilary was vanquished from our screens forever. No, there will be no coming back from the dead for Hilary. There were too many witnesses to her demise. I guess a long-lost twin could suddenly pop up in town, but since Hilary loved talking about herself all the time, that would be a strange fact for her to leave out about her life. Yes, Hilary's bright light was constantly shining, mainly highlighting the dirt in town for The Hilary Hour, which is one huge reason why she will be missed.

First Billy was CEO of Jabot and then Phyllis. Having Billy as CEO really was not fun to watch, since we knew it was just a matter of time before he imploded. Our only hope was that he did not take the company down with him, and he didn't. But having Phyllis, who no longer had a connection to any Abbott, as CEO of Jabot has been downright scary. Maybe there was something to that blood Abbott clause, after all.

Victor was awarded full custody of Christian and snatched the child from his loving parent's arms. It was ridiculous that an old man who had been struggling with health issues (mainly thanks to J.T.) would be awarded custody of a small child with only the servants to raise him. Nick was the only father Christian had ever known, and it was cruel to take away the only stability the boy had ever had. Thank heavens Nick got custody back, although the instant mommy switch for Christian, from Sharon to Phyllis later, was nonsense.

The entire Rosales family moved into town, complete with bags and baggage. Okay, I like Arturo with Abby well enough. They are rather harmless. And Kyle is rather cute with Lola. And although it took awhile, the writers finally started making Mia more likeable. But if Rey left town immediately with bag and baggage, I wouldn't shed a tear. In fact, maybe then there would be a reason for Paul to return. Please, no more new Rosales family members. They seem to be taking over the show.

Ashley Abbott left Genoa City, taking her patents with her. It's always a shame when we lose an Abbott, and Ashley still had so much story to tell. I wish we could have seen her romantic relationship with Neil grow and flourish. And I feel so much was wasted with the feud between Ashley and Victoria when they both worked at Newman Enterprises. Their battles could have escalated into the ladies dueling over any smidgeon of Victor's attention as well as for promotional opportunities at the company. But sadly, Ashley chose to leave town with patents in hand, after she revealed her part in deceiving Jack about his paternity, and she is already missed. Hey, I was still waiting for Dr. Simon Neville to return to town for his fair lady. But with Ashley gone, I guess that will never happen. Sigh.

Chelsea (and Melissa Claire Egan) left town for the lamest reason. That Chelsea would resort to old con artist ways by stealing money from her own company to secure Connor's and Christian's future is just absurd. She was engaged to a Newman, for heaven's sake. With both kids being biologically Adam's sons, they would never want for anything. Victor would make sure of that. (Well, until he felt betrayed by them, and then he would financially cut them off. Oh, wait...maybe Chelsea's reasoning wasn't so lame, after all.)

What happened to Gloria? With Paul gone, we will probably never know, since Rey only wanted to investigate J.T.'s disappearance.

Lily was sent to an out-of-state prison. I realize it was necessary, since Christel Khalil wanted to be taken off contract, but it still has left Cane, the twins, and the invisible Sam pretty story-less.

Paul Williams vanished from the Genoa City police station, never to be seen again. This was perhaps the biggest crime of all. After 40 years with The Young and the Restless, Doug Davidson was let go, which resulted in Paul Williams vanishing without a trace. One minute, Paul was in his office, the next, he had suddenly disappeared. So, why isn't Rey trying to investigate Paul's disappearance? This has truly become a mystery within a mystery.

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The Best of 2018:

The whole is J.T. dead or isn't he mystery. Due to the interactions of so many characters and to other storylines that were able to branch off from it, this was the best storyline of the year. Sure, it dragged on at times, but then reminders of what had happened to J.T. would suddenly pop up again and go off in a different direction. Nick impersonated J.T. to get back at his dad. Tessa blackmailed Nikki and company for money. J.T.'s body vanished from his impromptu grave. Honestly, J.T. has been more fun dead than alive, and the question of his whereabouts has kept the viewers wondering. The twists and turns to this mystery have made for good story this past year, which is what soaps' storytelling should be all about.

First, Jack wasn't a "blood" Abbott, and then he was. Any gripping story with Jack as its lead goes straight to the top in my eyes, and this was truly enthralling. Of course, I was very disappointed when I believed Jack was not John Abbott's biological son, and I honestly thought it was a horrible mistake that needed to be rectified. But the payoff of the big reveal was huge when Ashley announced that Jack had always been a blood Abbott and that she had arranged for the paternity tests results to be manipulated. All was then right again with the world. But truthfully, I should have known better, and maybe secretly I did. After all, have there ever been any paternity test results on a soap that haven't been fixed?

Hilary's exit from Genoa City and from our lives. Although she may have been brushed with too broad of goodness and purity brush strokes at the end, Hilary did have the wedding of her dreams, since she was reunited with the love of her life, Devon, before she left us for good. And she was brave and courageous until her death, which was probably the most admirable trait that Hilary had ever shown. The show got a little less interesting once Hilary was gone, and we will miss the strife she always brought to the table, due to her insecurities and jealousies. I bid you a fond farewell, Hilary Curtis Hamilton.

J.T. tried to kill Victor -- twice. Okay, I really didn't want the Mustache to go to the devil, so to speak, but it was rather entertaining getting to watch someone actually try to put his lights out. And J.T. tried to kill Victor twice, so we got double the pleasure, double the fun. It doesn't get any better than that.

Summer Newman evolved into a more complex and interesting character. Yeah, for a long time, Summer was ultra boring as a Miss Goody Two-Shoes who just liked to bicker with Mariah. But when the blonde girl returned to town, more as her mother's daughter than as her father's, she became much more interesting. Genoa City may not be ready for a younger version of Phyllis, but we are. And Summer proved she could go toe to toe with Phyllis when she slept with her mother's boyfriend. Oh, yes, Summer played for keeps, so the rest of the world had to watch out, especially the women with significant others.

Billy started gambling again. Since he's an addict, it was very realistic for Billy to be enticed by Summer and by gambling. Plus, it began the breakup between Billy and Phyllis, which was fine by me. Strangely, it was Phyllis' one-night stand with Nick that sealed the deal and caused Billy to turn to Summer for revenge sex. For a couple that was plagued by so many demons and insecurities, this was a satisfying ending to anyone who wasn't a fan of theirs.

Marla Adams continued to shine as the Alzheimer's-stricken Dina. Marla has been absolutely amazing in her portrayal of Dina. Flipping back and forth from confusion to reality, Dina has given an excellent picture of the turmoil someone suffering with Alzheimer's disease would have to go through every day of their existence. Bravo to you, Ms. Adams!

Nick created his own company, Dark Horse. Nick has been trying for ages to get out from under his father's thumb, and now, maybe he's finally found the way to do that. And he took Jack along for the ride, so having new blood in the competitive corporate world is just what Genoa City needed, since it could pit Nick and Jack directly against the Newman and Abbott companies. It's been nice seeing these two men work together as their friendship continues to flourish.

Devon named Mariah as the new host of GC Buzz. Hilary got many stories from being the hostess of The Hilary Hour, and I am hoping that Mariah gets the same breaks as the new hostess of GC Buzz. While Hilary always dug into the dirt, Mariah should shine with class and dignity as she delivers the latest news about the town. I just hope she gets some good stories from her new gig that have nothing to do with Tessa.

Nikki took a flying leap off the wagon. At one time, this became a big joke when Nikki and Neil were constantly taking turns in falling off the wagon. But thankfully, we got a reprieve from that, and it's been a while since the last time that happened. Since it's a fact of life that there is no real recovery for alcoholics, it's only right that Nikki would turn to drink for comfort during her time of stress from worrying over Victor. And her slip really became her downfall, when her grandson, Reed, while illegally driving on a snowy and icy road, ran right over his drunken grandmother. Oh, yes, two really bad decisions led to Nikki being hit by a car and fighting for her life.

Victor, Nikki, Jack, Nick, Sharon, Billy, Victoria, Phyllis, Neil, and all the veteran characters of our beloved soap. And I give a special salute to those such as Victor, Nikki, Jack, Nick, Sharon, Neil, Michael, Lauren, Jill, and, up until recently, Ashley and Paul, who have consistently portrayed their characters for over 20 years. The veteran actors and characters keep the viewers tuned in, because they have become a part of every fan's extended family. Long may they all shine on the air to keep us smiling, yelling, or crying, as they share their loves and their lives with us.

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2018 Y&R Outstanding and Memorable Moments (Good & Bad)

Nick finally learned he was not Christian's biological father. And it was about ding-dong time!

Jack learned in a very public way that he was not John's biological son. Jack was all smiles one minute and totally in shock the next, when Dina announced the news in her filmed biography. And Victor's disgusting smirk...ugh!

Nikki clobbered J.T. over the head, apparently causing his demise. No one can say that J.T. didn't have it coming, but I'm sure he would rather have woken up with a splitting headache.

In a showdown with Victor, "J.T." pulled off his mask to reveal he was Nick. I still can't believe the beginning of this episode with the big reveal was preempted so that I couldn't watch it on TV. Thank heavens for online viewing!

A truck smashed into Lily's car with Hilary and Charlie as passengers. That crash was loud enough to wake the dead. Oops, sorry J.T.

After Hilary fought the valiant fight, she finally succumbed to the injuries caused by the accident. I'm sure there wasn't a dry eye in the house (any house), when Hilary's death followed her beautiful wedding to the love of her life.

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Devon said some cruel words against Lily during her trial. Although we all knew it was coming, the fans had hoped Devon would ease up and realize Lily had never meant to cause the death of Hilary and of their unborn baby. And even though Devon recanted his words later, they were still rather harsh to hear.

Ashley boldly and callously announced to Jack that he was the son of John Abbott, after all. Hey, Ashley wanted revenge for the blood Abbott clause, and she got it. Take that, Jack!

Sharon tore into Nick at the altar of their gorgeous wedding, with everyone watching. I'm sure Nick would rather Sharon had left him at the altar after she viciously ripped him apart due to his one-night stand with Phyllis.

Tessa finally revealed to Mariah that she was the Fearsome Foursome's blackmailer. The raven-haired girl has shown, time and time again, that she will risk everything, including love, for the almighty dollar.

And then three of the four ladies kidnapped and threatened Tessa -- even went so far as to hint at her death. Even if she didn't take J.T.'s body, Tessa still deserved every syllable Nikki and Victoria spoke.

Under wintry road conditions, Reed illegally drove and plowed straight into a drunken Nikki. Splat! That would be freaky to learn, after feeling a thud, that you had just run over your own grandmother.

Until next time, please stay tuned -- and keep on buzzing.

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