"It's not me, it's you..."

For the Week of February 20, 2023
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Happy Valentine's Day? There were some romantic moments on The Young and the Restless, but the focus for the V-Day holiday (or should we call it D-Day this year?) seemed to be on couples that are arguing, ruined, or doomed. Whether it was romantic or familial relationships that were facing hardships in Genoa City this past week, our Two Scoops columnist has all the latest Valentine's gossip!

Normally when folks are trying to let someone down easy, they will tell them: "It's not you, it's me"; however, that was not the case this week on Y&R, as a number of characters were essentially told "It's not me, it's you!" It seems we may have some writers on the show that are jaded about love and Valentine's Day because this past week on Y&R highlighted relationship tribulations more than relationship celebrations. What kind of Valentine's week is this?! Maybe the best kind? If drama, more than romance, is what you are looking for, then you would have been served a treat this week, as Y&R went heavy on the drama and said "maybe next year" to the romance!

But is all the drama deserving of airtime? Yes, I'm talking about Kyle and Summer. Is this the best the writers could do to concoct something interesting for these two to talk/argue about? I get it -- Kyle misled Summer regarding his involvement in Victor's plot for getting Adam fired from Jabot -- but did the writers think that any of us thought this was actually something serious enough for these two to break up over? Sure, Summer can be a bit dramatic at times. And sure, marriages are fraught with minor disagreements (and it's almost refreshing that Y&R is acknowledging how couples can work through those types of situations), but why is Valentine's week the time to highlight this?

I'm actually surprised that the writers didn't make this a week of celebrating love on Y&R because of how much they seem to avoid drama in general lately. As I stated in my previous column, they seem to prefer to give us a lot of build-up to potential drama that resolves quickly and leads nowhere. Sure, Summer had some valid arguments for why she was upset with Kyle, but I never felt like their relationship was in any real danger (despite how many times she told him that his actions were problematic). And, of course, by the end of the week, Summer all but assured Kyle that things would be fine, and she just needed some time to process his deception.

But maybe I'm being too harsh about the lack of drama on the show? I thought we'd seen the last of Jeremy Stark when he was arrested and sent to a Chicago prison (before he even had a chance to be the least bit menacing), but now he is out of jail because he has "some great lawyers" that were able to get him released due to most of the evidence against him being circumstantial. I hope this means the writers are trying to deliver on the threat that Jeremy actually poses to some of our favorite Genoa City denizens! Don't get me wrong -- I am a big fan of Jack and Diane becoming a couple and don't want to see them torn apart -- but it would be nice if we could see a side to Jeremy that makes us quiver in our boots (rather than wondering why anyone was scared of him in the first place)! Our own Soap Central guru, Dan Kroll, shared with me that he wondered whether Diane might be playing Jack based off something Jeremy said recently -- "Never underestimate Diane."

Could Diane be disingenuous regarding her rekindled love for Jack? Might she be in cahoots with Jeremy still and pulling a long con?! If we had different writers on the show, then that might be a possibility. Dan agrees with me regarding the likelihood of the current writers pulling something like that off, though, which is slim to none. And, truthfully, I would prefer if Diane wasn't in cahoots with Jeremy, anyway. I have loved having Susan Walters back on the show, and I don't want Y&R to send her packing anytime soon. I feel like if the writers were going to do something like reveal Diane has been in cahoots with Jeremy all along, then it would ultimately lead to her character leaving the show -- and that's a lose-lose situation in my book.

Whether Diane is causing the drama or the drama is following her around like a loyal puppy, you can guarantee that there will always be something worth watching when she's involved. And I like the idea that Diane isn't in the driver's seat, manipulating people, this time around and, instead, is a "victim" of her own making. I've also really enjoyed seeing Jack in the "protector" role when it comes to his relationship with Diane, so I would hate for him to have been played for a fool all this time. But I also can't deny that it would be great drama (and a major twist I didn't see coming!) if Diane does have ulterior motives where her relationship with Jack is concerned.

But I think the real drama for Jack and Diane will stem from a potential Jeremy/Phyllis partnership. Phyllis doth protest too much when Jeremy points out to her that they have a lot in common -- especially when it comes to wanting to get revenge on Diane! I don't think Jeremy is going to be around for very long, so I don't see any real potential for a Phyllis/Jeremy romantic pairing, but I do think they could be great partners in crime! Granted, I am also a big fan of Phyllis (and Michelle Stafford), so I don't want to see her exit the Genoa City canvas over some illegal wrongdoings, either, but a partnership with Jeremy could be very interesting (if the writers can execute it properly).

But maybe Jeremy should stay away from Phyllis because 2023 does not seem to be her year. She was fired from two different jobs by both of her children, she remains the loser in a love triangle with Jack and Diane, and she seemingly sealed the fate on her son's divorce by sticking her nose where it didn't belong! But hell hath no fury like a Phyllis scorned, so the writers may have positioned her in just the right spot to bring some great drama to the show again (I'm keeping my fingers crossed)!

I was a little shocked by Ashley's return this past week -- especially her seeking out Tucker! She had made it pretty clear the last time she saw him that they were not going to get back together, so her visit to essentially just tell him the same thing was a little baffling. Why did she feel the need to seek him out and drive that nail harder into the coffin that is their relationship? Regardless of how many times she shuts Tucker down, this latest interaction with him has likely only proven to him that she can't stay away from him. And I'm not mad about it!

As much fun as I think a Phyllis/Tucker (Phucker) romance could be (yes, I just really want to use that couple name!), I probably feel stronger about wanting a real Ashley/Tucker romance. Just like I'm thrilled that Jack has potentially found a happy ending with Diane, I would also love to see Ashley find a happy ending -- and Tucker seems to be her best bet at that happening! I have no doubt that Tucker truly loves Ashley, but I also don't blame her for being skeptical and dodging his advances after all they have been through together. She certainly had no problem essentially tell him point-blank: "It's not me, it's you!"

But I do think that Ashley feels Tucker's sincerity in his feelings toward her, and she revels in the fact that he is chasing after her (especially since she has more often than not been the one doing the chasing -- and usually losing out -- in her various romances over the years). I like that she is stringing him along and enjoying being sought after. However, she will eventually need to decide what kind of relationship she wants with him one way or the other and stop sending him mixed signals (her actions say more than her words).

Speaking of mixed signals, let's talk about Nate. If I were Elena, my head would be spinning! Nate has a way of telling her what she wants to hear and making promises to her (like a much-needed vacation), only to turn around a couple days later and say it's probably not possible. Is his hesitancy to go away with Elena stemming from feelings he is starting to have for Victoria? Or is he just so drawn to the power that he has in his new career that a vacation doesn't sound appealing? Maybe it's a little of both?

I know a lot of fans have turned on Nate since he has seemingly had a personality transplant, but I actually think the writers have done a good job of taking us on a journey with him and showing us how and why he has changed over the last couple of years. I still like Nate and root for him because I've seen that journey and understand where he is coming from. He's obviously still insecure because he keeps bringing up how he was treated at Chancellor-Winters vs. Newman Enterprises. It almost seems like he has to give himself "pep talks" (like when he is bragging to Elena about how great his job is) so that he can reassure himself that he has self-worth. I actually feel that his newfound sense of self-worth is driving him more than the power that he has in his new position, which is what I relate to. Feeling valued and important (or the lack thereof) can be a major motivator in directing one's actions. Deep down, I don't think Nate has changed all that much -- he is just trying to find himself in his "new normal" and figure out what that means.

Will Nate's "new normal" lead to a romantic relationship with Victoria? As much as he wants to have a solid and real relationship with Elena, I think he knows they are not right for each other, given that he has openly flirted with Imani and Audra and is now locking lips with Victoria during business meetings. In my opinion, the writing is on the wall for Nate and Elena, and they do not have what it takes to last. He literally promised her a vacation, and as soon as she started to try to plan it, he shut her down. Her look and demeanor said everything -- "It's not me -- you are the problem." But maybe the problem is that they are just not right for each other (no matter how badly they want to be).

Could the same be said for Adam and Victor continuing to try to make a business relationship work between the two of them -- are they just not right for each other? On paper, Adam is the perfect successor to the Newman empire because he is ruthless just like Victor -- possibly even more so than Victoria. But that seems to be their ultimate downfall because this father/son duo always has to "one-up" each other and prove something to the other. I thought they were making some headway this week, but then Adam told Victor his one demand, which is that his father needs to give him Victoria's job as CEO of Newman Enterprises.

Of course, there is no way that Victor is going to fire or demote Victoria. Adam may not like to hear that, but I think he may like Victor's ultimate plan, which is that Adam runs McCall Unlimited once Newman steals it away from Tucker. In fact, I think Adam will like that idea so much that he steals the company away from Tucker all on his own, leaving Newman Enterprises in the dust! That's just speculation on my part based on the "Next Week on Y&R preview" in which Victoria indicates that someone is doing just that. I can't imagine who else would be after the company other than Adam, but I guess we shall see! It would be interesting to see Adam team up with Tucker rather than usurping him from his own company. Those two working together would certainly make a lot of waves in the Genoa City business world -- and I'm here for it!

If Tucker and Adam do join forces, then that makes me excited for the possibility of Daniel joining their ranks should Chancellor-Winters pass on developing his gaming division. Daniel seems very interested in working with Tucker more than anyone else (aside from Lily at CW), and it's kind of exciting to think of Tucker, Adam, and Daniel (and maybe even Ashley?) as a new team and Genoa City powerhouse!

I really enjoyed the focus on Daniel this past week. He is one of my favorite characters, and it was nice to see his story fleshed out so we could get an idea of all that has been going on in his life while he has been off the show for so many years. I loved all the flashbacks that they showed of him and Lily on Valentine's Day when they were commiserating together over their failed relationships. I hope that highlighting these Lily/Daniel memories was an indication of things to come for this duo and that the writers are reminding us why we should be rooting for them (as if I wasn't already). And Heather's return this week seemed to lay the groundwork for a Lily/Daniel reunion, too.

It was really nice to have Vail Bloom back on our screens this week! I always liked her in the role of Heather, and it felt like no time had passed since she left town. I know it was supposed to be a sad moment when Heather told Daniel that she had met someone new that she has feelings for, but I was ecstatic! This is a smart move for the writers to make because now they can pursue a Lily/Daniel romance without having Daniel cheat on Heather, which avoids making him look like a bad guy.

Of course, the writers certainly didn't shy away from making Daniel look like a bad guy this past week. His interactions with his daughter, Lucy, were heartbreaking. Their first few scenes were a little awkward (in a very real way, given their recent history), but they were also very touching as she realized that the heroine in the game he is developing is based on her. This revelation helped her to see how much she really does mean to him.

Lily Brooks O'Briant was truly a highlight of the week for me in her portrayal of Daniel's daughter, Lucy. What a welcome new addition to the show! I hope she sticks around for a while and doesn't leave town with Heather (especially since Heather is not her mother). If she does leave town with Heather, I hope she returns to Genoa City soon. I was floored by how emotional the scenes between Lucy and Daniel became toward the end of the week as she expressed to him all she had gone through because of his recent absenteeism in her life. It appears they are on the road to repairing their relationship, and I hope she sticks around Genoa City long enough for them to do so! Y&R would be smart to keep a great young actress like that around for as long as they can.

What are your thoughts on Heather and Lucy's return? Would you like to see either of them back on a more permanent basis? And how did you feel about this Valentine's week in general? Were you hoping for more romance from the Y&R couples that are happily committed to each other? Or did you think there was a nice balance of romance mixed in with the drama and angst that played out? Don't forget to hit the Comments (here on the site or on social media) to share your opinions -- I'll see you there!

Until next time,

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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