Y&R Report Card: 2022 Half-Year Review

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It's that time of year when school is ending for the summer and many students are receiving their report cards; so, it seemed like the perfect time to give The Young and the Restless a report card, too. Join our Two Scoops columnist for a half-year review of Y&R as he looks back at the past six months! Did your favorites get all A's, a passing grade, or a Fail?

It's Daytime Emmy season, so we're taking a brief break from your regular Two Scoops opinion column about the past week's episodes, and instead, we'll be taking a look back at the past six months in Genoa City! I'll be handing out failing grades, passing grades, and a few "A" grades to everything Y&R in 2022 (so far). These grades I'm handing out are solely based on how the show is handling the characters, so I mean no offense to those actors whose characters or storylines may receive a lower grade than others. In fact, I actually love all the actors on the show right now and do not fault them for any of the material they are given. So, with that disclaimer out of the way, here is my Y&R report card for our 2022 half-year in review:

2022 Fails

Billy
Sigh Where do I begin? For me, his character is one of the biggest fails of 2022 thus far. His first storyline this year felt like a joke as he "confronted" Adam and told him all about his plan, which he decided not to go through with, to fake a downward spiral to provide Adam with "fake news" in an attempt to discredit Newman Media. And the confrontation was, well, pretty pathetic (to say the least). Don't get me wrong, I am glad that Billy seemingly ended his vendetta against Adam, but he could have done so quietly without having this awkward conversation with him that led absolutely nowhere. He just came off as a fool when he revealed his master plan to Adam.

And don't get me started on Billy's current podcast storyline because... yikes. This storyline is not only boring, but it is also completely unnecessary. Hell, if I were to describe Billy's character in one word this year it might as well be "unnecessary." In fact, he may deserve a "U" instead of an "F" on this report card -- especially since we are being subjected to not one but two podcasts of his (and neither of them is entertaining in the least). His health and wellness podcast seems like something the writers maybe wanted to do in their spare time but decided to just throw into the show instead (thankfully, we haven't heard much of this one). And his other podcast, "The Grinning Soul," is clearly just a writing device being used for the writers to provide commentary on their own show via his narration. So far, neither podcast has had any real effect on the show itself, and they seem to serve no purpose other than filling airtime. Please make it stop!

Chelsea
Another seemingly unnecessary character that the writers don't know what to do with right now is Chelsea. I was irritated with her at the beginning of the year for trying to win Adam back before things got too serious with him and Sally (because I'm an Adam and Sally stan), but I was intrigued by the direction her character was taking when she started to have feelings for Rey. And although I was intrigued by the possible Chelsea/Rey/Sharon love triangle the writers were seemingly building up to, I just couldn't get behind it 100% because Rey cheating on Sharon seemed like something that would be incredibly out of character for him after all the relationship woes he has had over the years. And apparently, the writers came to the same conclusion, which is why they killed him off instead!

I'm curious to see what the writers have in store for Chelsea now that they nixed her biggest storyline so far this year by getting rid of Rey. I'm happy to see her rebuilding her life and working for Lauren to build her fashion line with Chloe, but there's nothing super interesting going on there, and it seems like the writers aren't sure what to do with her now. So, until the writers figure out what the point of Chelsea is right now, her character's storyline (or lack thereof) gets a big "F" on my Y&R report card.

Rey
It's truly a shame the way the writers handled Rey's character (or, rather, decided to stop handling him) by unceremoniously killing him off. Jordi Vilasuso is a talented actor that they should have found more to do with. I am actually disappointed that as soon as the new writers took over awhile back, they began to get rid of the Rosales family one by one. It was great having a Latin family on the show, and their presence will be sorely missed. Y&R could use more diversity on their canvas, and all the Rosales character exits felt like a slap in the face to all the story building that had been done for them over the past few years. They made us care about them only to then take them away from us, which is a shame and a huge missed opportunity. I'm still crying about Arturo's exit from the show, too!

Naya
Speaking of huge missed opportunities, it's a shame we didn't get to see Naya's health scare play out on-screen. I understand that much of her storyline played out off-screen because Mishael Morgan was going through some issues in her personal life and they needed to explain her absence, but I just really like the character of Naya and have been anxious to see more of her. It's always good to see her portrayer, Ptosha Storey, when she shows up here and there. Hopefully, we will see more of her character as Amanda and Imani's storyline continues to grow.

Abby and Chance
These two went from front and center to the back burner really suddenly in 2022. I was looking forward to seeing more of Conner Floyd's take on the character of Chance once he took over the role, but now I'm wondering why they didn't just keep the character in a "presumed dead" status, given how much screen time he and Abby have gotten lately. I guess it is good for the characters to be living happily without any drama of late, but it just feels like they could be doing more with them. I hated the way Abby and Chance just rolled over and gave Devon partial custody of Dominic when that storyline came to a head, but I thought we'd see more conflict there after all was said and done. Instead, Abby has just made small appearances here and there in family scenes with the Abbots, and Chance is barely getting any screen time at all. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they have a story coming up for them this year, but for now, the way they are being handled so far receives a failing grade.

2022 Passing Grades

Victoria (D)
I was torn on whether or not to put Victoria on the "D" list, but I am just not thrilled with where her journey has led so far this year. I'm irritated with the way she treats Adam even after all he did to try to be a good brother to her last year, so that is one strike against her. I was torn about the low grade, though, because her overall journey so far has been satisfying, as we have seen her go head to head with her father over Newman Media, get in a bidding war over ChanceComm, and manipulate Ashland after learning the truth about his cancer diagnosis. It was great to see her taking charge -- and taking no prisoners! -- so Victoria was definitely on her way to scoring an "A" for the first half of the year. But her story has taken a drastic turn in recent weeks that has left a sour taste in my mouth. I had a feeling she would ultimately come to forgive Ashland for his latest deception and that the two would reunite, but I just have a hard time believing that she would walk away from Newman Enterprises and everything she has worked so hard to achieve her entire life just to leave town with him and start an entirely new life abroad.

It would make more sense -- and be a much more satisfying story -- if Victoria were to dig her heels in at the company and stay in town even as she continues to rebuild her relationship with Ashland, regardless of all the conflict her reunion with him has created. Victoria has never been one to shy away from conflict, so it just seems odd and feels out of character. This turn for her character makes the overall story a bit unsatisfying after all the lead-up and anticipation that was built around her finding out the truth about Ashland's faked illness. Deep down, I am hoping that this is still some sort of manipulation of hers and a larger plot to continue seeking revenge against Ashland. But ultimately, I don't know what to think about her anymore because the writers are starting to make her a bit wishy-washy and unrecognizable; so, until they sort out what they are doing with her character and clue us in on what there is to root for in her story now, she keeps her "D" grade.

Devon and Amanda (D)
I really like Devon and Amanda together as a couple, so it pains me to grade them with a "D," but I have not been a fan of the direction that their characters have taken individually. I hated how Amanda encouraged Devon to seek a custody arrangement over Dominic, and I felt Devon crossed a line by asking for it in the first place. Since then, they continue to demonstrate behaviors that are not too admirable and are a bit egocentric. I have not been enjoying the way that Devon is so dismissive to Nate (or nearly anyone else) in their new business venture together as they merge Hamilton-Winters and Chancellor Industries into one company. His ego is on full display in most of their business meetings, and it almost seems like he enjoys shutting down Nate's ideas and revels in reminding Nate that Devon is the superior businessman.

Amanda is also showing an unprofessional side at work when she constantly belittles Imani in front of their coworkers. I am not saying Amanda shouldn't discourage Imani from overtly flirting with Nate every chance she gets, but Amanda could be a lot more tactful about it and wait to speak to Imani in private rather than pulling her aside to scold her during business meetings and events. Thankfully, Devon and Amanda are still likeable as a couple, and their scenes at home or out on a date are always a breath of fresh air, which is the only reason they didn't score an "F" on this report card.

Noah (D)
Noah is another Newman on the "D" list so far this year -- and it's not just because of his horrible outfit at Mariah and Tessa's wedding! Although his story is in an upswing now and he's well on his way to earning a higher grade, the overall handling of his character has been a mess since he returned to town last year, and it didn't get much better during the first half of this year. It was nice that he stopped moping about Mariah and Tessa finally, but it was pretty sad that his only storyline for a while was helping them to plan their wedding. I am really excited about the scenes he has had with Allie lately, though, and I find them to be pretty adorable together, so I am looking forward to seeing what is next from him. But I'm not basing these grades on what the future may hold, so his D grade stands (and, honestly, his budding relationship with Allie is the only thing that kept him from receiving an "F").

Michael and Lauren, Nick, Chloe, and Esther (C)
Moving on to the "C" list, I've lumped all of these characters together because I pretty much have the same thing to say about all of them, which is that they aren't given enough screen time. I understand that on soaps, certain storylines take center stage over others from time to time, but it feels like they have a lot of characters just floating around without much to do. For example, marketing for the show made a big "hoopla" about Michael and Esther's milestone anniversaries on the show and promised big stories for both of them, but so far, we've only seen them slightly more than we used to, and they are still primarily on the back burner.

It has been great to see more of Michael now that he is working for Victor, but I want to see him get a larger role in those storylines or have a storyline independent from the Newmans. The same goes for Lauren because, while I love seeing her in business scenes like the ones she has with Chloe and Chelsea, there are much meatier storylines they could throw at her. In my opinion, Michael and Lauren's storylines are always must-see TV, so I'm hoping for their next big one to come soon. I still think a B&B crossover into the Sheila storyline would be a lot of fun (but I'm not holding my breath for it to happen).

As for Esther, I am hoping that her milestone storyline wasn't just as simple as meeting a man on a dating app. The scenes with her and Chloe were a lot of fun as Chloe helped her update her dating profile and crashed their first date, but we haven't heard a word about them since. Hopefully, we will see Chloe and Esther connecting again soon to get an update -- and hopefully, we get more of Chloe in general, too. I don't hate that most of her storylines are business-related, but I wish they would amp it up a bit. The show has all these great leading ladies working together (Lauren, Chelsea, and Chloe), but they are just wasting their talent on small throwaway scenes here and there. With Gloria in that mix, there could be a lot of fireworks!

Lastly, another character who could use more screen time (or any story at all) is Nick. I see what the writers are doing by leading him back toward Sharon, and I understand that it has to be a slow burn because she literally just became widowed a few weeks ago; but he hasn't been showcased enough to receive more than a "C" so far this year. I really like the way he is supporting Victoria, and it has been sweet to see him comforting Sharon through her grief, but he's only been a supporting character in other people's stories this year. Like all the other characters I've mentioned in this group, he made it on to the "C" list simply because he is not featured enough and doesn't have a story of his own. There is nothing wrong with any of these characters, but they are not really being handled right, either. Their stories are all just... average.

Victor and Nikki (B)
Victor and Nikki earn a "B" so far this year. It's been great to see a lot more of them on-screen, and I am loving Nikki's new role at Newman Enterprises. It is a nice change of pace to see her as a strong businesswoman while still maintaining her helm as the matriarch of the Newman family. It's a shame we might not see her and Victoria working together again at Newman Enterprises now that Victoria is jumping ship and supposedly running off into the sunset with Ashland. It was a refreshing twist on their mother/daughter relationship to see them in the office together, so I hope this won't really be the end.

And is it just me, or does Victor seem a little less ruthless than he has been in the past? The way he used Harrison (and Kyle and Summer) as chess pieces in his war against Ashland was certainly ruthless, but his plan to simply just sue Ashland after all of his misdeeds seemed quite a bit less ruthless than I would have expected. I will admit it's not a bad thing to see him softening up a bit in his old age, though, so I'm not totally mad about it. And while I don't love that he and Nikki have given Adam the CEO position at Newman Enterprises solely as a way to entice Victoria to come back, it will certainly make for some good drama, so I'll hold my judgment until we see more of that storyline play out. I hope that we continue to see these two at the forefront of storylines, and I am looking forward to seeing how Diane might shake things up for them this year, too. Overall, I think the writers are doing a good job with them so far in 2022.

Lily and Sharon (B)
Christel Khalil and Sharon Case have been killing it this year, and the only reason they didn't both receive an "A" from me is because the writers haven't been featuring them very heavily, given all the storylines that they are involved in. Lily is primarily wrapped up in the goings-on at Chancellor-Winters, and Sharon primarily had scenes that featured her children for most of the year. But unlike some of the folks I put on the "C" list, they have had more chances to shine the few times we have seen them. Sharon Case, in particular, has been given a lot of great material to work with and knocks it out of the park with her performances every time.

I am looking forward to the new direction for Sharon now that Rey has died, and it seems that she is headed on a course straight back into Nick's arms. However, there has been some speculation that she may get more involved in a storyline with Chance, too, which is sort of exciting! It will be interesting to see how things play out for her in the coming months. As for Lily, as much as I like to see her happy at work and at home, I am not a huge fan of her pairing with Billy. They are fine together, but I don't get excited to see them together; in fact, Billy's storylines tend to bring her down a bit for me, as far as watchability goes.

2022 "A" List

Adam and Sally (A-)
These two are probably my favorite couple on the show right now! I am always excited to see them in scenes together, so, of course, my only gripe is that we haven't seen a lot of their romance since they became "official." They are great together in both the bedroom and the boardroom, though, so I still appreciate their scenes in the office, working to accomplish their mutual goals. It is really refreshing to see Sally thriving instead of struggling for a change (even though her character is a lot of fun when backed into a corner). I hope we continue to see these two hold each other up and bring out the best in one another because their relationship has been a welcome change for the direction of both characters! And I'm also anxious to see what trouble they may stir up together this year!

Ashland (A-)
I've got to hand it to Ashland because he always finds a way to pull himself up and come out on top when all the odds are against him. If he were a superhero, his moniker might be "The Teflon Man" because nothing seems to stick to him! He has had lie, after lie, after lie, after lie revealed in the past year but always manages to turn things around -- and it has been incredibly entertaining to watch unfold! Aside from all the Newman and Victoria drama he's been embroiled in this year so far, I've thoroughly enjoyed his budding friendship with Diane, and I hope we see that relationship continue to develop. The writers have done a great job of getting us invested in his character (whether we love him or hate him at times), and I hope they can continue to keep him and his storylines as entertaining as they have been already.

Traci, Ashley, Allie, and Jill (A)
How great has it been to see the Abbott sisters so frequently this year? Given that they are not on contract with the show, the amount of screen time that has been given to Traci and Ashley has been great! I love those two so much, and the "Abbot sister special episode" from last week that highlighted them and their legacies was such a treat! Speaking of which, congratulations are in order for both Eileen Davidson and Beth Maitland's 40th anniversaries in their roles of Ashley and Traci! They have had some great scenes in the small amount of time we have seen them this year. Ashley's scenes with Phyllis wherein they made an unholy alliance to plot against Diane was a lot of fun, and I hope that storyline thread doesn't drop now that Jack and Phyllis have broken up. And Traci is always a delight because of the level of positivity that her character brings to everyone she is around -- I wish I could get a pep talk from her, too!

While we're on the topic of Abbotts, I have to give a shout-out to the newly discovered Abbott, Allie! I am really liking what the show is doing with her character and I give props to the writers for her slow but steady introduction to the Y&R canvas. She may have inherited her fascination with science and chemistry from Ashley and Keemo, but it seems she also inherited some of Traci's perseverance and positivity -- she's even still friendly with Diane after Diane used Allie in her plot to get back in Kyle (and Jack's) good graces! In fact, those simple scenes at the coffeehouse with Diane, Traci, and Allie having a chat have been some of my favorite so far this year! I am a fan of her budding romance with Noah, too, and I hope she can pull him out of his funk and give us a good romance story this year. Fingers crossed!

I would be remiss if I didn't include Jill in this group of "A-listers," too, because, like Traci and Ashley, it is such a treat any time Jess Walton shows up on the show! She's another character that has barely been featured this year, but she always leaves a lasting impression and leaves me wanting to see more of her. I know that Jess has suffered some personal losses in her life recently, so I am hoping that is the only reason for her lack of screen time. More Jill, please!!

Kyle and Summer 2.0 (A)
I am thrilled to have these two back in town! I was really hoping Kyle would be back once Diane returned, and it is great to see Michael Mealor back in the role. I was a little hesitant about the Summer recast when it was announced because I'm such a huge fan of Hunter King, but Alison Lanier has been doing an excellent job since taking over! Their return has been everything I wanted from them so far, so let's hope the writers keep up that momentum!

Imani/Nate/Elena Triangle (A)
If you've read any of my past columns since Nate and Imani started their flirtation last year, you know that I have been clamoring for an Imani/Nate/Elena triangle for some time now, so obviously, I am thrilled that this story is kicking into high gear now! I've seen some hate for Imani's character online recently, which I absolutely do not get because I think she is fantastic! Sure, she could be a little more tactful in her pursuit of Nate, but what fun would that be?! I don't even need Imani and Nate to be the endgame in this story, but it's just nice to see them all actually getting a storyline! Nate and Elena have been a little boring to me in general for the majority of this year, so maybe I like this storyline so much because there is finally something worth watching regarding all of these characters. The jury is still out on which couple I am ultimately going to be rooting for, but the trio as a whole definitely gets an "A" from me!

Mariah and Tessa (A+)
I know these two have gotten a lot of flack online for having a "boring storyline," but I have absolutely loved the journey these two have taken to get the altar this year. Aside from Noah's brooding, their romance has been an absolute "A+" for me! Their proposals to each other were some of the best this show has given us in a while, and the writers did a great job of providing a solid couple to root for that wasn't tangled up in a ton of drama -- just good, old-fashioned romance! And yes, some may say it seems odd to call their romance "old-fashioned," since they are the first same-sex couple to wed on the show (it's about time, by the way!), but they have truly given us that old soapy romance feel, which had me gushing over them!

Diane/Jack/Phyllis Revisited (A+)
If "A++" was a grade, this storyline would earn it from me. I am so thrilled to have Susan Walters back on the show, and everything with this story has been a win from the get-go. From the mystery surrounding the mysterious texter, to the reveal that Diane is "back from the dead," to all the drama that has unfolded just from Diane being in town -- it has been a roller coaster that has had me on the edge of my seat! I have always been a big supporter of Jack and Phyllis getting back together, but this wrinkle in their story with Diane coming back has been more than I could have hoped for, as far as story goes. Diane didn't even have to lift a finger to send Phyllis into her old habits and make Phyllis her own worst enemy again, all of which resulted in pushing Jack away from his budding romance with Phyllis in the process. There is still a part of me that wants Jack and Phyllis to work things out, but I'm loving Diane so much that I wouldn't be opposed to seeing a flame strike up between her and Jack again to see what they might have to offer as a couple this time around. This whole plot has given all the actors great material and has kept me guessing every time something new develops for their characters. I am so excited to see what else 2022 has in store for this trio!

Well, that's nearly the end of my report card for this half-year in review. There's just one thing left to do, which is to give the show an overall grade for 2022 so far. In looking back at all the grades I've handed out, it looks like I've given more "A's" than anything else, so in my mind, that means the show deserves an overall "A" (although I'm tempted to give it an honorary "B" because of all the characters they are neglecting)! I'm sure many of you might disagree with some of the grades I handed out, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts! If you disagree, I'd love for you to share the alternate grades you would have handed out based on how the show has treated them so far this year. Whether you agree or not, you know what to do -- hit those comments and let me know what you think!

Until next time,
Vance

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