Hopes & Wishes for Y&R in 2022

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Genoa City certainly saw its fair share of ups and downs over the past year, but it's time to put all that behind us now and look ahead to what could be -- and what we'd like to see -- on The Young and the Restless in the new year. Who would you like to see return? Who deserves a bigger story? Which storylines should take a new direction? Which romances are you rooting for -- and who would you like to see find a new romantic relationship? With each new year comes new hope and new possibilities, so let's make a Y&R wish list for 2022!

Happy New Year! I hope that all of you have enjoyed the 2021 holiday season, and I wish each of you a great 2022! A couple of weeks ago, I gave my picks for the Best & Worst of Y&R in 2021, so now it's time to discuss 2022 and all that we hope the new year brings for our favorite (and not-so-favorite) Genoa City denizens. This is my Y&R Wish List for 2022:

Gone, But Not Forgotten Who Should Return in 2022?

1. Sheila Carter. I know, I know -- this character is a divided topic for Y&R fans (I can hear some of you moaning and groaning at the suggestion already), but I just need some closure regarding all the loose ends that her storyline has from years ago (before she made her way back to Los Angeles over on The Bold and the Beautiful)! If I remember correctly, the last we saw "Sheila" on Y&R, she had presumably had plastic surgery to look like Phyllis and been killed by Lauren in a "final showdown" after kidnapping both Phyllis and Fen (Michael and Lauren's son).

Years later, when Sheila's sister, Sarah, came to town to wreak havoc on Lauren's family (with the help of Sheila's kids Ryder and Daisy), I believe it was revealed then that it hadn't actually been Sheila who had had the plastic surgery to look like Phyllis, and it had just been someone working for her? It's been over a decade now, so I can't recall all the specifics, but I believe the last time they were looking for Sheila, it was because someone had signed Daisy out from the mental institution, using Sheila's name. They never found Daisy or Sheila, but police were definitely still looking for them. And now, Sheila is living it up in Los Angeles on The Bold and the Beautiful?

Was Sheila cleared of all her most recent charges in Genoa City because it hadn't actually been her that took over Phyllis' looks (and life)? I don't watch B&B, but, from what I've read about her return over there, her "potential" crimes in Genoa City haven't really been addressed. I just think it was a missed opportunity for last year's Y&R/B&B crossovers to be focused on small little scenes here and there to fluff up the Sally Spectra drama unfolding in Genoa City when there is this big of a storyline with Sheila just waiting to be told that would involve many of the major players from each show. Call me crazy, but that seems like storyline (and ratings!) gold -- not to mention, it would be a much more satisfying crossover; so, fingers crossed!

2. Paul Williams. If there is a new B&B/Y&R crossover with Sheila at the center of it in 2022 (or even if there isn't), Paul Williams needs to be back in the action on Y&R. I don't know if there is just too much bad blood between the show and the actor, Doug Davidson, at this point to even bother putting his return on my wish list, but I think he will pretty much be on my wish list every year until it actually happens (if it ever does). Hell, maybe B&B will hire him to get embroiled in the Sheila drama over on the West Coast to kick things off for the potential crossover -- and then Doug doesn't even have to bother with officially rejoining the Y&R cast to get involved!

3. The Hodges (and Bobby Marsino). It's been great seeing Lauren Woodland reprise the role of Brittany in recent years here and there when someone needs a good lawyer, but I'd love to see her -- and her presumed-dead hubby, Bobby Marsino -- return to the Y&R canvas. I always felt like Bobby's "death" was a ruse that was carried out so that he could be placed in the Witness Protection Program, so I'd love to see that storyline revisited and come full circle. Maybe their son would even be of high school age now and could mix things up for Moses and Faith the way that Brittany always mixed things up for the high school crew back in the day! I was in high school at the same time Brittany, Raul, Billy, Rianna, Mac, and J.T. were all going through their high school drama on Y&R, so I will always be connected to these characters and hope to see them again.

I also loved Brittany's romance with Bobby as it developed -- and I even enjoyed her conniving parents, Fred and Anita Hodges! I always felt her parents were a great addition to the cast and mixed it up well with the other power players in the Genoa City business world. I would gladly welcome them all back! I really liked the romance between Fred and Jill back then, too, so now could be a great time for him to come back and bring some real love back to her life. It could also be interesting to see an Anita/Jack/Phyllis love triangle (Bye, Nick!).

4. Kyle and Summer deserve a quick shout-out in this section, too, because I'd love for Y&R to work out the contract issues with Hunter King and Michael Mealor and bring their characters back ASAP! Maybe in 2023?

Oh, You're Still Here? Who Deserves a Bigger Storyline in 2022?

1. The Fisher/Baldwin Clan. Yes, I've heard that Y&R is planning a big 30th Anniversary "special episode" early in the new year to commemorate Christian LeBlanc's time on the show as Michael, but I just hope that it is not the only time that he (and his family) are highlighted in 2022. Michael, Lauren, Gloria, Kevin, and Chloe are some of my favorite characters because they bring such a fun element to all the drama that they inevitably get themselves mixed up in. I have certainly missed them as they have been on the back burner in recent years, and I hope we see more of them in 2022 (and a B&B/Y&R crossover with Sheila at the center of it would be just the thing to do that -- just sayin')! It would be great to see Scott and Fen again, too!

2. Jill! I don't know what the storyline should be or what drama they should get her mixed up in, but having Jess Walton back for multiple episodes as Jill toward the end 2021 reminded me of just how much I've missed her. Now that Jill is retiring from Chancellor Industries, maybe she can focus on her love life more again. As I mentioned above, her romance with Fred Hodges would be great to explore again. Hell, bring back Larry Shark for her (those two were comedic gold!) -- just give her something to do all the time!

3. Naya and Imani (and Amanda). Although we see Amanda quite often between her romance with Devon and friendship with Phyllis (and occasionally in legal scenes with Michael), I am really hoping that we see more of her interacting with her mother and sister in the new year. I have really enjoyed the introduction of these characters and would love to see them all get fleshed out more and explore their new relationships. We've heard too much about them off-screen in 2021, and I hope it is their turn to shine on-screen in 2022.

4. Rey Rosales deserves a special mention in this section. The man needs to do more than whine about Adam and Sharon! Give Jordi Vilasuso something great to sink his teeth into and make us care for this character more. Currently, he doesn't amount to much more than a poor stand-in for Paul Williams whenever someone is breaking the law. Case in point: he somehow ended up treated as a supporting character in a storyline that was about him getting poisoned by Chelsea this past year! Now that his entire family has left town, we need to see him interacting with more folks and getting a storyline we can become invested in.

Is This Working? Which Storylines Should Take a New Direction in 2022?

1. Billy and Lily. I mentioned in my 2021 Year in Review that this was one of my favorite new couples in 2021. However, by the end of the year, I started to sour on them a little bit. I was hoping Lily would be a calming influence on Billy's often erratic behavior, but she has turned into more of an instigator whenever he tries to hatch a scheme that is certain to blow up in his face. How many times does he have to go up against the Newmans before he gives up his vendetta? I don't love that she has been supporting and encouraging him as he continues to make bad decisions -- especially considering how close her father, Neil, was with the Newmans. I'm not necessarily saying that I hope these two break up, but I hope we see more growth toward a healthier relationship -- and that Billy chills out!

2. Baby Drama. I was certain it would be Mariah trying to gain some sort of custody of Abby and Chance's son, Dominic, in the new year, but it looks like Devon is going to be the one vying for a more substantial role in his biological son's life. And, as much as I like Devon and want to empathize with his position, I just don't get it. He knew the arrangement when decided to be a sperm donor, and now he is demanding more because he babysat for a week and doesn't like some of the decisions that Chance and Abby have made? Yikes. The writers have got to tread carefully -- or just reverse course altogether -- if they don't want Devon to become unlikeable in 2022.

3. Ashland the Liar. As I'm writing this, the last week of 2021 episodes haven't completely aired yet, but rumor has it that Ashland has yet another big secret coming out soon that may cause problems for his relationship with Victoria. And all I have to say is -- really? Because, yaaaawn. This has literally been the revolving story for Ashland and Victoria since they got together, and I'm not sure I'm ready for another rehashing of the same tale. Is Victoria expected to put up with Ashland lying (by omission or otherwise) yet again? Is Richard Burgi exiting the show soon? I am actually surprised that he is still around because I assumed he was just on the show in a "guest actor" role that would wrap up fairly quickly. I really enjoy the actor, though, so I was pleasantly surprised when it seemed Ashland was putting roots down in Genoa City. But maybe his contract is up soon? If so, why go through another "Oh, sorry I lied to you, Victoria" storyline to usher him out? I'm not even sure that is what is happening, but it's just the impression I get. I hope he has not been lying about his terminal illness -- I would prefer the writers kill him off! Having said that, though, I hope I'm wrong and he sticks around.

A Happy Ending? Which Romances Should Continue in 2022?

1. Mariah and Tessa. I am much more interested in seeing these two form a path toward parenthood together than I am in the writers rehashing the Mariah/Tessa/Noah love triangle. I am a fan of Rory Gibson taking over the role of Noah, but I am not a fan of the way Noah has been looking longingly at Tessa since he has returned!

2. Phyllis and Jack/Nick. This love triangle seemed like it was an open-and-shut case when Nick and Phyllis called it quits and Phyllis and Jack began reminiscing about their past "great love"; however, now the writers have me wondering if this is just the beginning of a larger storyline for this trio. And I'm not mad about it! I've said a few times that I think Jack and Phyllis ultimately belong together, but I do like some of the growth we've seen with Nick recently as he begins realizing how he tends to push people out of his life whenever he comes to a "crossroads" of sorts with them. Rather than dealing with issues head-on, Nick finds the nearest exit and walks away angry and frustrated -- even when dealing with family. Did the writers try to trick us in 2021 by making us think that Jack and Phyllis are the endgame when, really, it might be Nick and Phyllis who find love again in 2022? Although I wasn't on board with this storyline at first, I am actually hoping that we see the plot between the three of these characters thicken more before it simmers out altogether. Who will end up with whom?

3. Amanda and Devon. In 2021, I didn't warm to the idea of Devon getting together with the identical twin of his deceased wife. It seemed a bit obvious and an easy route for the writers to take without having to put much effort into their storyline. I actually wanted to see Abby and Devon become close and strike up a romance while Chance was out of the picture and missing in action. But now that Chance is back and Devon is going "baby-crazy," I am not hoping or wishing for an Abby/Devon romance (even though I've felt their pairing has been a missed opportunity for years). I'm actually invested in Devon and Amanda now, and I like what they bring out in one another, so I hope we see their love and their bond continue to grow in the new year.

Match Game! Which Characters Need to Find New Love in 2022 ... and with Whom?

1. Chelsea/Adam/Sally/Noah. The budding romance between Adam and Sally has me intrigued, and I want to see more of these two; however, I do also like the potential of an Adam/Chelsea reunion. Adam and Chelsea were one of my favorite couples back when Justin Hartley was in the role of Adam, and recently, I have seen glimmers of that spark between them again for the first time since Mark Grossman took over the role. I always hoped their love would last, so a part of me is still wishing they work it out. I also think it would be great to rope Noah into this storyline and steer him toward Sally (especially if she is the alternative to him pursuing Tessa again!).

2. Imani/Nate/Elena/Noah. Ever since Nate and Elena got back together, their whole relationship and storyline (or lack thereof) has felt forced to me. I don't feel any real chemistry between these two since she cheated on him with Devon. It seems like they are just going through the motions because they don't want to be alone and because they have a lot in common. I hope we see Imani become a more regular character on the show in 2022 to mix things up for them -- she and Nate definitely had the chemistry he is lacking with Elena! Perhaps if Nate does break up with Elena, then Noah could help to mend her broken heart? These two could be unexpectedly fun and cute together -- a breath of fresh air, even! (Can you tell I want to see Noah paired with anyone but Tessa?!)

3. The Lonely Abbotts (Jack, Traci, and Ashley -- but especially Jack). Not to imply that Traci and Ashley don't deserve to have love in their lives as much as Jack does, but I really hope Jack is able to find the love he is actively seeking in 2022. Traci and Ashley seem to have all but given up on love with no mention of potential romances as they come in and out of Genoa City throughout each year, but Jack wants someone to love so badly that it hurts to even look at him sometimes! Whether it is with Phyllis, Anita Hodges (as mentioned in my picks for who I'd like to see return in 2022), or someone new entirely (Naya or Nina, perhaps?!), I wish him all the happiness he deserves. I would also be thrilled if 2022 brings love for the other lonely Abbotts, Traci and Ashley -- if only because it means we would see more of Beth Maitland and Eileen Davidson on our screens!

Now that I've shared my list of Hopes and Wishes for Y&R in 2022, hit the comments and let me know what yours are! You can stick to the same categories I chose or just let us know your general hopes and wishes for the show in the new year. I look forward to reading your comments and I look forward to seeing you all again here at Soap Central in 2022!

Until next time,

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