Dear readers, so many things are going on in Genoa City this week to discuss.
But before we discuss anything else, I need to acknowledge the shock and absolute body blow we got this week after the tragic loss of our beloved Billy Miller. I want to honor his electrifying work as Billy Abbott on Y&R.
I've watched soaps for decades. Over those decades, some actors just jump off the screen into your heart the instant they appear on-screen. The first time I saw a scene with Billy Miller, I was mesmerized. I could not take my eyes off him. His smile was like 100 watts of pure electricity. He was shiny and added life to every scene he was in. He brought out the absolute best in his co-stars. Amelie Heinle, as the usually icy Victoria, was never more alive than when she fell for Billy Boy Abbott and they drunkenly married in Jamaica. I was utterly enthralled with their whirlwind romance. Billy oozed charm and personality. How could anyone resist him?
But he was not a one-trick pony. When Delia died and Billy took the blame for her death, I wept through weeks and months of his and Chloe's (Elizabeth Hendrickson) heartaches. He had just as much fire in the sad scenes as in the playful and joyful scenes. He cemented himself as a true soap star, able to maneuver through comedy and tragedy with equal ability. His colleagues honored his work with awards and accolades. I adored him. When he went to General Hospital to take on the roles of Jason and eventually Drew, I loved him there, too. But more on that next week in my GH column.
Jason Thompson, who took over as Billy Abbott, posted a beautiful message about his admiration for Billy Miller and his work on Y&R. I love Jason Thompson as an actor and a kind human being, and I think he does a fine job with Billy Abbott. But one area where Billy Miller excelled is that his Billy Miller had more joy. That's not Jason's fault. They have written Billy darker since Jason took over the role. Billy Miller's version of Billy Abbott got to laugh, dance, smile, and sparkle more. I'd love to see the Y&R writers honor that part of the character and bring more levity to Billy Abbott for Jason Thompson to have fun, too.
I'm realizing now that this beautiful man who was so much fun, with a beautiful smile for the world, was struggling behind the scenes. He was battling demons we never knew about. That breaks my heart, and I know it breaks yours, too.
It's odd to mourn the life of a person you've never met, but I hope it comforts his family to know we loved him and that his life mattered to us.
My dad was a pastor and a chaplain in a psychiatric hospital for kids with substance abuse and other issues. After his death, my mom and I got a bunch of letters, like, "You don't know me, but your dad saved my life." And it was eye-opening to realize how much of a reach he had had over the years. It brought my mom and me joy in a time of sorrow to know his work lived on in so many lives he had touched. I hope the love and the support the soap community has for Billy Miller will help his family, too.
The soap community has experienced so many losses this year. As much as our hearts are broken, imagine being one of the actors who worked closely with these beloved people we have lost. My heart aches for all of them.
And now, let's wade into this week's The Young and the Restless happenings.
Tucker's marriage was over so fast, the ink is probably still drying on the marriage certificate. Oddly, the writers spent all that time getting us to invest our hearts in this couple just to blow them up immediately after they married. What was the point of all that, anyway? I feel bamboozled. Maybe the real Y&R writers had a storyline arc that the substitute writers decided to abandon? Maybe they just like Audra and Tucker getting it on too much to keep them apart? I don't know, but here we are.
Tucker is back to his old tricks, and he's already hit up Phyllis to break the law for him, but with the promise of paying off her debts. How can she resist? She can't. Phyllis vowed to be a better person and to walk the straight and narrow. Still, just a few weeks after being given the gift of a second chance, she is already doing shady things for a nefarious guy. Girl, can't you stop yourself?
On Friday's episode, Jack confronted Phyllis and asked her what she was up to. He told Phyllis that they had one thing left in common: that their kids were married, and she had managed to blow that up, too. He said when he'd thought she was dead, he'd said goodbye to her and that she was still dead to him. Readers, it was hard to hear that, since I loved Jack and Phyllis in the past, and I hate that they are so estranged.
Daniel ran into his mom and offered her a job working with him at Omega Sphere. She said she had to think about it, which seemed to throw Daniel off. I am sure he thought she would jump at the offer, since she's supposedly about making amends with her kids. But in truth, Phyllis thought about what it would mean to take a low-paying job and have her wages garnished to pay off the insurance claim. But the thought of being poor and living through decades of financial hardships vs. the temptation of doing one quick job for Tucker and being instantly flush was too much for her to resist.
Before we get too judgey, imagine if you were drowning in debt. Someone called you and said, "I'll give you a million dollars if you just log onto your company website and tell me the CEO's salary." Would you consider it? Would you do it? At this point, Tucker hasn't asked her to do anything other than look at Billy Abbott's financial records. That doesn't seem so bad, right? Well, it's Tucker, so there is a 99% certainty that he has something nefarious in mind and isn't just curious about Billy's net worth. Fun fact: I ask Siri people's net worth all day long. Do it sometime. It's very eye-opening.
Likewise, Adam is trying to be a new version of himself and be a better man. Still, Billy decided he wanted the dirt on Tucker and was willing to pay Adam's going rate. Adam explained that things have changed, and he has let go of his vendetta. Adam proclaimed that he would start at the bottom and work his way up. Adam said he is determined to prove to his father and family that he is willing to "work the soil to harvest the fruit." Billy laughed out loud at the absurdity of his statement.
With both storylines, I hope they do a split screen. Show us Adam being serious and changing, while Phyllis doesn't change and continues to watch her life implode. I'd love to see these two storylines play out side by side. I would love to see Adam become the man Victor thinks he can be, win Sally back, beat Victoria out for the successor of Newman, and become the hero we know is inside of him. I wish they would use some flashbacks of Hope speaking wisdom to him sometimes, but I realize it's tricky because we have changed Adams many, many times.
I want Phyllis to be happy, too, but I also love it when Phyllis is a train wreck, so I have difficulty landing on what I want for her. I can almost see Phyllis and Tucker teaming up, and I wouldn't mind watching Phyllis eat Audra alive, either.
If you had any doubt Audra was cold and calculating, note how quickly she dumped Kyle when it became clear that Nikki was onto her schemes. Kyle tried to talk her out of it, but she dismissed him. "You're not the love of my life, and I'm not the love of yours." She told him they were two consenting adults having fun and urged him to return to Summer.
And here's where it gets interesting...Billy is ignoring Jack's mandates and doing what he thinks Is best. Jack is fed up. So, if Jack pushes Billy out for Kyle, will Billy team up with Tucker? There are so many power players right now needing a place to land. Sally, Adam, Chloe, Kyle, potentially Billy, Tucker, and Audra are in flux -- I am excited to see how this all shakes out.
Not to mention the new mystery investor at Hamilton-Winters! When Lily visited Victor, he was very sketchy about not giving the investor's name. I am so curious to find out who it might be. Next week's previews show both Mamie and Danny Romalotti back in town. Could it be one of them? Is Danny giving up the rock and roll life to go into business? What business venture is Mamie in town for? Inquiring minds want to know.
Sharon is ready to hit the ground running with Nick and Mariah at Kirsten when Nick returns to town. What are the odds they will succeed before someone bigger swallows them up? Sharon's focus is a bit divided because she told Mariah she has a little competition for Chance because Summer is interested in him. I hope Summer keeps pursuing Chance and leaves Kyle swinging in the breeze. He was unwilling to talk to her or try to work out their marriage, so if he shows up now after getting fired and being dumped and wants to try again, I'd say, "Nope."
When I saw in the previews that Victor assigned Adam to be Nate's assistant, I laughed and laughed. Can you imagine Victoria's reaction to Victor's latest move? She is going to BLOW. Adam being in the room will put a damper on Victoria and Nate having desk sex three times a day -- assuming that Adam even agrees to this plan. We will see how deep his commitment to humility and moderation is.
What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? In the never-ending game of high-stakes musical chairs in Genoa City, who will end up at which company and at which desk? Should we make it into a drinking game? Will Victoria spray graffiti on Victor's portrait, since she's so traumatized that there isn't a giant photo of her head on the wall anymore? Will Y&R keep using black-and-white flashbacks to fill in the empty space left by actual scripts while the writers' strike lingers?
Will Kyle take some of his money and move into his own apartment, so he doesn't have to get interrogated by Diane and Jack every time he walks in the door? Will anyone but me notice how hot Billy and Audra look together on camera? Chelsea left town, so Billy has to find someone to kill time with. Will Danny be able to broker peace between Cricket and Phyllis when he gets to town?
Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.
What are your thoughts on The Young and the Restless? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.