If I wrote The Young and the Restless: A 2023 (almost) midyear review

For the Week of August 14, 2023
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It's been a wild 2023 so far in Genoa City! Faith was nearly blown to bits, Phyllis got a tearful memorial service but wasn't dead, Elena discovered Nate and Victoria were having afternoon delight at the office, Tessa and Mariah became moms, and sadly, Sally did not. This and so much more as we discuss 2023 in this week's Two Scoops!

Hello, dear readers and lovers of Genoa City. It's a little past the half point of 2023, and we are looking back at the first half of the year and thinking about everything that has happened in Genoa City as well as all the things we wish would have happened this year.

There have been ups and downs galore, fake deaths, broken marriages, corporate espionage, cheating, wheeling and dealing, paternity tests, a lost child, siblings squabbling and then reuniting, stalkers who wished they had never come back, and relationships pushed to the brink!

As the writers' strike wears on and the days tick down until we are out of new episodes, I daydream about what I would write if someone put me in charge of writing Y&R for a month.

I'm a long-time viewer of The Young and the Restless. Sometimes, I wish I could catch up with characters gone but not forgotten. What's David Hasselhoff up to these days? It's been so long since Jill has seen her brother. I wish Snapper would come to town -- maybe he has a hunky young son now that can come in and swoop Summer off her feet and make Kyle jealous.

I'd also bring Drucilla back home after a decades-long bout of amnesia, shocked to find Neil gone and to see she has grandchildren. Victoria Rowell was one of the fiercest characters Y&R has ever seen. That scenario would open so many storylines -- where she has been all these years, Lily and Devon reuniting with their mom, introducing her to her grandkids, Dru having strong opinions about their lives, and trying to get a career going, starting a dance studio. If you don't recall, she used to be a ballet dancer. This would also bring Aunt Mamie back to reunite with her presumed-dead niece, and I am always happy to see Mamie in town.

But back to the present reality. I would start by having Nate stab Victoria in the back by becoming a spy for Adam. I believe Nate is driven by ambition, money, and power. If Adam offered him more, I think he'd happily become a double agent for Adustus. (Or whatever they ultimately decide to name it. It's still up for debate as of this writing.)

I want to see Victoria lose. She's so smarmy and entitled! Everyone warned her to be cautious with Nate, but Victoria didn't listen. She tossed Nick to the side to elevate Nate, so it would make me giddy if everyone else was right and she was wrong, just like with Ashland Locke. When Adam takes over Newman Media, he can put Nate in Victoria's chair and Audra in Nate's chair, and maybe he can make Victoria work as Audra's administrative assistant. I doubt Victor would ever let any of that happen, but it's a fun daydream.

If I wrote Y&R, I would focus more on Tucker and Ashley's romance and the new Simply Ashley company they are building versus her feud with Jack. It's boring to me. I dislike seeing the Abbott siblings squabble all day. Jack doesn't like Ashley's fiancé, and Ashley doesn't like Jack's wife, Diane. Well, that's most of America, kids. We all have a relative who is dating someone we hate, and still, we go to the Fourth of July barbecue and smile at them and pretend we like them because that's what family does. When I turn on Y&R, I don't want to see the same fight I see at the family reunion. Give me some glamour and romance!

If I wrote Y&R, I would write Sally and Adam back together. These two wounded souls were an instance of two wrongs making a right. I think they are better together than they are apart. While I like Nick Newman with almost anyone he's ever been with, because Josh Morrow is likable, I would rather see him find his way back to Sharon. After what they went through with Cameron Kirsten, almost losing Faith, and their new business partnership, I can see a pathway back to love for them. They have been in and out of each other's lives since high school, and those roots run deep.

I know Sharon slept with Chance, but with the lack of the previously proposed hot son of Snapper's for Summer to find, I'd l prefer to see Summer with Chance. Ultimately, I'd write Kyle and Summer back together, but Kyle and Audra have a little extra sizzle right now, and I am willing to let this play out and see where it goes.

Audra is a scheming manipulator, but so far, it has worked for her. I would flesh out her character a little more if I wrote Y&R. I can't imagine that's all there is to Audra. I want backstory. How did she end up like this? What secrets from her past is she hiding? I would love to find out if she was set on a course to scam all the wealthy families in Genoa City by some long-forgotten villain or villainess. Maybe she's working with Leanna Love to get dirt for her tell-all book, or perhaps a relative of David Kimble is out for revenge. I want Audra to have more dimension than "ambitious maneater Barbie."

If I wrote Y&R, I would pull a Dallas/Bobby Ewing and un-kill Sally's baby and have her miscarriage just be a terrible dream. I loved the idea of Sally and Adam having a child to co-parent. Imagine what their daughter would have been like! A real spitfire of a girl, no doubt. While Courtney Hope slayed her performances after losing her baby, I still regret that all those potential storylines died with Ava. Mark Grossman did a tremendous job of showing Adam's inner conflict and pain after having to make an unthinkable choice. While both actors gave 100% to the scenes they were written, I would give them a clean slate to build a family on and bring Ava back.

In the glory days of soaps, we would get many teen storylines every summer. Why? Because teens are home from school in the summer, it's the time of year to start hooking new viewers on your show to keep it running for another 50 years. I think of days past, and we had Sharon and Nick as teens, Billy and Mac, Brittany and J.T., and the newly reunited Daniel and Lily.

If I wrote Y&R, I would reignite the teen scene with Lucy and Faith and maybe age Connor and Christian to have a little teen foursome adventure. We need to keep this show going for another 50 years, and teenagers don't want to watch old people romance.

If I wrote Y&R, we'd see more of Tessa and Mariah. We have barely laid eyes on them since they adopted their baby. We see Mariah as a shoulder for Kyle to cry on, but what about their family life? I want to see them at home, snuggling their baby, just like we see Abby and Devon with Dominic. I did enjoy the scenes recently where Tessa encourages Mariah to take a role with Sharon's new company. It was a sweet scene between the two new moms and set them up to be more visible, since Adam, Nick, Sharon, and Phyllis' latest venture should be front and center for a season.

Over the years, soaps have usually been the first form of media to take on challenging topics, like the Vietnam War on All My Children, and AIDS on General Hospital. I think Y&R has the opportunity to have a storyline where Tessa and Mariah face some discrimination over being same-sex parents. These two beloved characters, who are great and loving moms, might be able to make a point to the viewing public that words in an abstract argument just can't make. There's a line in Hamlet: "The play's the thing wherein we will capture the conscience of the King." This means that when the king sees the play about someone who committed the same sin he did, it will impact him. I think that could be true here, too.

I'd also write a substantial storyline for one of my favorite soap divas of all time -- Nikki Newman, played by the incomparable Melody Thomas Scott. Nikki had a rough past. I would love to see her bring that into the present, maybe mentoring a young woman she meets, who must strip to pay the rent money, and helping her find her way -- a "paying it forward" sort of storyline. So often, Nikki only gets to be the advice giver for her family, but I want her to show her heart and strength by doing something meaningful all on her own.

In like manner, I am delighted that it seems Sharon will finally have something to do besides pour coffee and listen to everyone in town whine. I'm excited that she has a new business venture, even with two of her exes, and it might get a bit complicated.

Victor is Victor, and I want Eric Braeden to keep being perfectly Victor Newman until he's ready to retire (which I hope is many years away.) I admire Mr. Braeden's strength of spirit as he battles cancer, and I appreciate his positive and confident attitude about everything he is going through. I believe that he is going to kick cancer's ass.

Here are some of the major storylines from the first half of 2023. Which were your favorites and least favorites? What did I miss? Write me and let me know!

2023 on Y&R

Billy and Lily break up.

Abby and Chance divorce.

Adam is jealous of Chelsea spending time with Billy following her suicide attempt.

Nate, Tucker, and Audra make a move on Chancellor-Winters.

Jack and Diane con Jeremy Stark by stealing jewelry from Nikki, and Stark is arrested.

Sally's pregnant, and the paternity test of Nick and Adam -- Adam's the dad!

Lily and Devon battle over Hamilton-Winters, and right before a lawsuit that would destroy them both, they reconcile.

Genoa City has a new jazz club -- a space to honor Neil.

Kyle plots with Victor to get Adam out of Jabot.

Adam vows to destroy Newman Media.

Daniel creates a game platform. Heather and Lucy are in town. Chelsea is part of the creative team and designs a mental health aspect for the game.

Victoria and Nate cheat on Elena, and she busts them on a business trip to LA.

New writers took the helm in March, and now the writers are on strike. Is another set of new writers coming?

Masquerade ball /Genoa City's 50th -- an elegant evening until Phyllis fakes her death after marrying Jeremy Stark!

Phyllis crashes her own funeral in disguise.

Phyllis kills Jeremy Stark.

The Abbott family feud includes Billy, Kyle, Ashley, Jack, and peacemaker Traci. Abby, Kyle, and Summer are all drawn into the fray.

Kyle and Summer split when she lies about her mom being alive while Diane is in prison for Phyllis' "murder."

Michael defies Victor and defends Diane.

The powerful grief scenes sweep across Genoa City when Phyllis dies, as Genoa City residents all find their way to say, "She was nuts, but we loved her."

Y&R 50th Anniversary -- flashbacks of classic Y&R episodes

Special episode honoring Jerry Douglas (John Abbott)

Ashley and Tucker pretend to be a couple, but their act turns real, and they admit their feelings for each other

Phyllis tells Summer she's alive and not to tell Daniel. Summer instantly tells Daniel.

Kyle and Audra have an affair, and Kyle takes a job at Newman Media after being pushed out of Marchetti by Jack.

Elena needs a new love interest.

Nate and Victoria have sex all day at work in some quickie suite at Newman.

Christine and Phyllis' past is going to impact Phyllis' future; Christine is bound and determined to convict Phyllis for faking her death and killing Jeremy Stark, despite a witness that backs up her story of self-defense.

Sharon has a stalker from her past -- Cameron Kirsten.

Sally is diagnosed with preeclampsia, and it causes her to miscarry. Adam is the only one there with her, as Nick is with Sharon, searching for Faith as Jeremy kidnaps her and straps Faith to a bomb. Sally is furious Adam chose her life over baby Ava's.

Adustus/Kirsten merger with Nick/Adam/Sharon

Jill on Zoom

Adam offers Phyllis a job.

Chelsea is offered a new creative role at Marchetti and accepts.

Doug Davidson cleaning out his dressing room after being written off

I don't know what will happen for the rest of 2023, dear readers, but I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.

The Bold and the Beautiful | Days of our Lives | General Hospital |

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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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