Dear readers, it is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that Lauralee Bell has played Christine "Cricket" Blair for 40 years on The Young and the Restless. First, she has barely aged, and second, thinking about Cricket in the AARP is unfathomable. But then again, thinking of me in the AARP is unfathomable, yet here we are.
I truly enjoyed the flashback show of all the trials Christine has faced over the years. When she was first hired, people said, "She only got the job because she's the bosses' kid. Well, maybe that's how the door opened for her, but Ms. Bell has certainly proven that her parents made a good choice when they hired her. Christine has been a core character in Genoa City for decades, been the center of a great soapy love triangle, cried her way through many broken hearts, and overcome a lot of adversity. I loved watching clips of all those highlights over 40 years of the show and remembering why I loved it in the first place.
Congratulations, Ms. Bell, on 40 magnificent years of entertaining and delighting us.
It was a bittersweet episode, though, because it reminded me of the glory days of Y&R, when things...happened. Like action and location shoots. It's been quite a while since we had an episode that wasn't just dialogue. I'm a writer, so I like words as much as the next person, but for instance...was it Halloween in Genoa City? Who knows. We didn't see any kids in costumes, Halloween parties, or even anyone carving a pumpkin. There was no indication that it was October. Meanwhile, on General Hospital, we saw every missing kid from the entire town dressed up in costume, and it was delightful. In my opinion, Y&R missed the chance to change things up and add a little excitement to Genoa City by acknowledging the holiday.
But back to Christine...some of her previous storylines were glossed over, like when Michael was creepily obsessed with her and would have raped her if Paul hadn't shown up. Christine constantly reminds Phyllis of her sins and that she tried to run Christine over every time Christine sees Phyllis. But when Cricket runs into Michael Baldwin, she never says, "You tried to rape me 30 years ago, Michael." Why is that?
Also, with this special episode, we faced the final erasure of Paul Williams. Paul was a hero on Y&R almost since he arrived on the scene in 1978. But now, Paul apparently casually ended his marriage to Christine off-screen and decided to never return to Genoa City? Um. Sure. I will never stop being mad about how badly Doug Davidson's exit was handled after so many years of faithful service.
But of all the memories of Christine, the ones that are most relevant now are her love triangle with Danny and Phyllis, because I fear history is about to repeat itself. Danny has a calming influence on Phyllis; he's a Phyllis whisperer, if you will, and urges her to be her best self. But Danny has been in love with Christine for ages, and he is still drawn to her and she to him. Are these two women going to go into catfight mode in their AARP season of life? I hope not. I hope they can be mature and find a balance and ...what? No, that's a total lie. I want soapy catfights! But no running each other over with cars this time, just some yelling and hair pulling.
Next up, when do you think Adam and Nick will punch each other over Sally? When Nick finds out that Sally slept with his brother, it will create even more tension between the two brothers than there is now, which is saying a lot. For a brief window in time, these two made some sort of peace and were working on a relationship. It pains me that Adam is always the villain. I won't stop saying it.
Nick and Victoria both know that Victor confessed to pretending to lose his mind for his own reasons, but Adam does not. But now Victor is pretending he never told Nick the truth, and Nick and Victoria don't know what is true. Can Adam just win this time? Nick and Victoria refuse to let him in, but can he be the guy who is doing the honorable thing for the right reasons this time? Let Adam win the girl and the company for Christmas, and I won't ask the Y&R Santa for anything else. I never like it on soaps when one person is the eternal punching bag. Certainly, Adam has done some shady things and has some bad karma coming to him, but he genuinely loves Victor and is looking out for his dad's best interests. I want that to matter this time.
Ashley and Tucker are still at odds, but Ashley is trying to find an opening to reconnect with him. It is presumably merely to spy on him for her brothers, but I am convinced she still loves him. On Friday, we saw that both Ashley and Tucker fell apart crying as soon as they were out of each other's sight lines. They are both pretending not to be as hurt and lost as they both obviously are. Why do people pretend not to care when they absolutely do care? It's such a common plot point in romance films, and it's so relatable that it must be a universal flaw in humanity. When they split, I was angry that the writers had me invest in them as a couple just to pull them apart, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe these two crazy kids will find their way back to each other.
I am very curious to know what Tucker did that made Ashley so afraid? Did he, in a drunken rage, throw a vase at the wall like Sonny on General Hospital? Did he shake her, slap her, or threaten her? Exactly what did he do that left her so shaken? She keeps telling people she was afraid of him, but unless one of the many "breaking news" stories that interrupted my soaps this week was badly timed, I have yet to hear any details on why Ashley was frightened by Tucker. Maybe no one has ever yelled at her before. Lucky girl. I am rooting for those two. I like them together, which probably means they will never end up together.
Chelsea is back in town, and I'm glad she left Connor back in boarding school and came home solo, so Chelsea and Billy can have grown-up time without that mopey kid sucking all the air out of the room. Just kidding. The actor is adorable, and I like him very much, but Connor was getting to be way too needy. Chelsea can use her cheerleading skills to boost up Billy and encourage him to be his best self and vice versa.
I wasn't thrilled about the cattiness between Summer and Chloe this week. It seems that TV and movies always portray woman as rivals, both personally and professionally. It's fun viewing, I suppose. But in my own life, I worked at a place for a decade where all the women banded together, were advocates for one another, helped each other, and felt like a true sisterhood. There were no power struggles or competition. Mind you, this was for a non-profit and not a place that sold things, so maybe that's part of it, but I have had more experiences where other women were allies rather than enemies. I'd rather see them collaborate, be fantastic at what they do, and take over the town.
But then there's Audra...Readers, what do you think -- does Audra like Kyle, or is she just messing with him? I can't tell. I feel like if he ever got in the way of what she wanted, she would slice him open in his sleep. She is ruthless, ambitious, and driven, and I think she would use anything or anyone to accomplish her goals. I know some people hate her, but she's the most interesting person on the canvas right now, in my humble opinion. Why? Because she's unpredictable, and I can't see five steps ahead of what she's up to.
Next up: missing women. Ever since Elena and Nate broke up, Elena has been missing. Where is she? Does she have a new flame? Has she buried herself in her work? Is Brytni Sarpi still on the show? Who knows. She's vanished. Also, when Sharon took over Kirsten, Inc., and went into business with Nick, I thought it would finally get her out of Crimson Lights and give her a juicy storyline of her own. Wrong. She's vanished, too. A sighting here or there, but no real plot development on creating her new business. Summer was only seen this week in the aforementioned scene, bickering with Chloe. What do these three women have in common?
As far as we know, Elena is single, Summer is single, and Sharon is casually dating Chance. So, is it because they are not in the midst of a hot love triangle that they are not pivotal to the story? I think back to the era of Katherine Chancellor. Whether Katherine was in or out of a relationship, she was still central to the storytelling. She never had to be with a man to make the cut. Or maybe they were all on vacation and I'm dead wrong. It's happened before.
I am looking forward to Christian LeBlanc coming back to Genoa City and bringing his family with him. I hope and pray that he is in good health after the announcement of his cancer diagnosis. The soap world has had so many heartbreaking stories this year, from illnesses like Christian LeBlanc and Eric Braeden's, to the heartbreaking news we got this week on the passing of Tyler Christopher from GH following so closely behind the loss of Billy Miller. I wonder how these daytime stars are maneuvering all the bad news and still managing to function. My heart aches for them.
Opinion... the truest thing uttered this week in Genoa City was when Victor told Nate that he raised his kids to be ruthless and cutthroat and that now they are monsters of his own making. I think Nate is the one who Victor should watch out for, like trying to get him to take a leave of absence... hmm, who would Nate suggest being in charge in Victor's absence? Maybe himself? Or will he cut and run at Aunt Mamie's urging and leave the Newmans to deal with their own mess?
The second truest thing is when Billy told Kyle he was an entitled, spoiled brat. Kyle pretended to receive that and vowed to change, but we all know better. Billy does seem to be the most levelheaded Abbott right now, but I fear this rivalry with Kyle and his uneasy relationship with Jack may push him over the edge. Chelsea has her cheerleading work cut out for her.
What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Nina have to stay in Genoa City after the ominous call she got in Friday's previews? Will Abby and Devon come to blows when Devon's dad and Abby's mom square off? Will anyone ever go looking for Elena? Will Aria's hearing aids work, and will she be able to hear her mama Tessa's angelic voice? Will Aunt Mamie and Jill throw down over control of Chancellor-Winters?
Will Kyle act like a spoiled brat right after Billy called him a spoiled brat? Will Victor continue to pretend he is losing his mind, or has he actually lost his mind and just doesn't know it? Will Nikki be able to conceal her disgust for Victor's behavior until after Christmas so he will buy her more jewels? Will Nick find Adam's pocket square on Sally's pillow and put two and two together? Did Adam and Sally make another baby? Will Christine give Nina another My Fair Lady makeover?
Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.
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