The Borgnines: The Worst of The Young and the Restless in 2023

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After highlighting all the good Y&R content from 2023 in last week's Two Scoops column, our Y&R Two Scoopers Tamilu and Vance are joining forces again this week to revisit what they think were the biggest missteps and mishaps on The Young and the Restless in 2023.

As much as we all love to tune in to see what our favorite Genoa City denizens are up to each week, there are always going to be certain storylines, characters, couples, and/or surprises that we wish had taken up less screen time than Borgnine the cat. Borgine had the misfortune of visiting Genoa City and staying with the Newmans for just one weekend and was almost immediately killed by a psychopath that was targeting their family.

In honor of that poor feline, our annual "Worst of" column will carry his namesake in memoriam. He probably should have been named Borg-One, because he definitely didn't have nine lives. Now, let's revisit the worst of the restless this past year in Genoa City as Tamilu and Vance team up to hand out The Borgnines to all the characters, couples, and storylines that were their least favorite in 2023!

WORST USE OF A CHARACTER

Tamilu: Abby Newman
Remember when Abby was the Naked Heiress and had a bold and wild personality? What happened? Now she just calms Devon when he's in a snit and takes care of a baby. Can she get her old, wild personality back, please? I want her to embarrass her parents again in the worst way. I want her to turn the Chancellor mansion into something sketchy. Like her own YouTube influencer studio where she does duck lips into the camera. Give her an edge again, please.

Vance: Jeremy Stark
Looks like Abby and Jeremy made it to this category for the same reason! Much like Tamilu wants Abby to get her edge back, I wanted Jeremy to have much more of an edge when his highly anticipated villain made his way to Genoa City. Everyone talked him up like he could be the next Sheila Carter -- or worse! -- but what we got was a character that was mostly all bark and not much bite. That's no fault of James Hyde, though, because I thought he did a fantastic job with the material that he was given.

WASTED POTENTIAL: Character Edition

Tamilu: We have a tie! Sharon and Elena
Sharon is eternally stuck at Crimson Lights, giving advice to everyone. My old boss used to say, "Only take advice from people who are successful in the area in which you need help.'' Well, Sharon has failed at love like a million times, so people who are getting love advice from her may be headed for heartache. Sharon is supposedly starting a new company, but she's still at the coffee shop seven days a week. Can't she get Lucy or some other high school student to hand out scones and tea while she becomes a mogul?

Elena vanished after Nate dumped her. Why does she have to be part of that couple to get a scene? Nick has a stab wound; maybe he should collapse in front of Elena at the Athletic Club, and she takes him back to her place for an "exam," where things get steamy! Now that Victoria is busy with Cole and Claire Grace, I want Nate to go back to Elena and plead for forgiveness. And walk in on her and naked Nick Newman. (Alliteration!) I want Elena to say no and revel in a fabulous new relationship.

Vance: Heather Stevens
I've brought this up in my columns on a couple of occasions, but why in the hell hasn't Heather run into Adam even once since being back in Genoa City?! Literally every other person is constantly running into each other all around Genoa City, but somehow, these two exes just somehow haven't crossed paths? Their lack of screen time together was a little irksome at first, and then a bit more annoying over time, but now it is near comical that it has been months without a single run-in between them! Either the writers have completely forgotten the history between these two, or they are trying to ignore it for some reason.

It's been great to have Vail Bloom back as Heather, but the writers' attempt to try to build a Lily/Daniel/Heather triangle has been incredibly boring. Throwing Heather into Adam and Sally's storyline as the two of them are just starting to find their way back to one another could be so much more interesting. I have been dying to see Adam's reaction to seeing Heather around town for the first time. Has anyone even told him that she is back? What is going on?

There is so much drama we are missing out on! I can already picture Chloe plotting to use Heather to break up Sally and Adam, so how has this not happened yet?! That's just one fun idea, but there is so much more that could be done with Heather if the writers weren't keeping her isolated in this "Daniel and Lucy bubble." She has ties to other characters in town, so I hope they have her start to interact with more of Genoa City soon -- especially Adam and Sally. Hell, she'd probably be more interesting paired with Billy, too. Maybe this "Better Luck Next Time" award should just go to the writers themselves for wasting this character as much as they are.

WASTED POTENTIAL: Storyline Edition

Tamilu: Doug Davidson (ex-Paul) Deserved Better
Cricket and Paul divorced off-screen, and Paul's daughter and granddaughter arrived in town right after he left. Doug Davidson deserved a decent send-off and to wrap up decades of Paul Williams. I wanted to see Paul and Cricket's marriage blow up. Give me all the mess.

Vance: Jack and Diane Frame Jeremy Stark for Robbery
I was so disappointed in this storyline because the whole thing could have been a lot of fun, but it was just so rushed and ridiculous in the way it all played out. This plot could have been (and should have been) drawn out longer to build more suspense. Instead, the whole thing played out over maybe two episodes? We learned about everything that happened by characters talking about how exciting and dangerous it was. Maybe next time they will actually try to entertain us by showing the storyline they built up play out on-screen.

WASTED POTENTIAL: Couple Edition

Tamilu: Kyle and Summer Break Up
Kyle and Summer have loved each other so long, it feels odd that they are just completely out of one another's orbit and are barely seen together. I want sad, longing, soulful glances and to see regret for what they lost on their faces. But Kyle moved on to Audra, Summer moved on to crushing on Chance, and it's like Skyle never existed. But if Summer and Chance hook up, I won't be mad. Audra and Kyle's fling is interesting, but I don't think it has legs. Why? Because Tucker seems very possessive of Audra right now, and I predict he will set up Kyle to take the fall just to get Kyle out of Audra's bed.

Vance: Noah and Allie Disappear
There's not much to say about these two and their storyline in 2023 because they literally didn't have one. I don't know why the writers seem to have such a hard time writing for the character of Noah Newman. After opening a successful nightclub in town, he just decided to move away to Europe with Allie? And we learned about all of this after the fact without even getting a goodbye episode featuring the two of them? These two are legacy characters that are part of rival families, and there should be no problem finding storylines to give them.

WHAT WAS THE POINT?! Character Edition

Tamilu: Tucker McCall
It seems to me that there isn't a clear plan for his character. Tucker wants to take over Jabot. But wait, he wants to start a new company. But wait, he wants to meddle in McCall Unlimited. Tucker's character has just been all over the place. Now he bought out Ashley's share in Glissade and wants to start his own cosmetics firm, but his big plan is to steal a new product from Jabot. It's like he thinks Jabot isn't keeping records of all their research and experiments on their new innovations.

Vance: Elena Dawson and J.T. Hellstrom
I'm a big fan of Brytni Sarpi and wish that her character, Elena, hadn't essentially gone missing since she and Nate broke up. I'm especially disappointed that we didn't see more come of J.T.'s blink-and-you'll-miss-it return as Elena toyed with the idea of bringing him back to town as part of a medical podcast. Not only would it have been interesting to hear more about how his tumor caused his abusive and psychotic behavior in the past, but it would also have been a great storyline with a lot of drama as J.T. tried to reinvent himself and make amends to those he hurt. His character deserves that redemption storyline. Elena certainly deserves a lot better than what she's been written, too, and I have secretly been holding out hope for a potential Nick and Elena coupling. I really enjoyed their brief scenes together this year and felt that their interactions had a spark to them. 2024 should feature both of these characters more and give them a brighter future.

WHAT WAS THE POINT?! Storyline Edition

Tamilu: Ashley and Tucker's "Blink-And-You'll-Miss-It" Marriage
Ashley and Tucker break up the day after their wedding after months of buildup -- the writers worked hard at getting us to invest in them as a couple and then immediately tore them apart. Tucker groveled for months for Ashley to give him another chance, and now he's totally indifferent to her and jealous of Audra sleeping with Kyle. I'm confused about what he actually wants. Does he even know? Do the writers know? The writers' strike may have played into this. I know there were two sets of writers in 2023, and their interests did not seem to align.

Vance: Cameron Kirsten's Quest for Revenge
I was so excited when it was revealed that Cameron Kirsten was back in town and was the person who was stalking Sharon and sending her ominous gifts! And that's why I was so disappointed when his return storyline lasted all of about a month. What is with Y&R rushing their most exciting storylines lately? It was a terrible trend this past year. And it seems it was pretty much a pointless storyline, because after Sharon ended up inheriting Cameron's company in his will, all the potential storylines involving that company have been sidelined or stopped completely. Sharon Case and her character, Sharon, deserve so much better. And the viewers deserved to have a longer cat-and-mouse game between Cameron and Sharon before the storyline escalated and climaxed so quickly. He could have schemed for months while pretending to be redeemed.

Newer viewers who didn't see his first reign of terror definitely deserved to be treated more to Linden Ashby's maniacal character. Part of what made him so threatening the first time around was that he was such a smooth talker and good at hiding how evil he was to those that he wasn't targeting or obsessing over. I wanted to feel afraid of him again, but it all just sort of fell flat because of how rushed it all went. The bomb strapped to Faith was a bit much, too. None of the conclusion to that storyline really felt satisfying at all.

IN NEED OF A NEW DIRECTION

Tamilu: Phyllis Summers
I was originally going to give this award to Billy because he was in limbo both romantically and professionally, but now that he has reconnected with Chelsea and is headed back to work at Chancellor-Winters with his mom, I have changed my mind. This award is being handed to Phyllis now. Instead of working for her son, I want Phyllis to get her old fire back and come up with some amazing new project where she is in control. Her character should be doing much more than being a background worker for her son. And let it have something to do with Danny. Like a recording studio or something, where she will constantly be in his face!

Vance: Traci Abbott
This award could also be filed under "Wasted Potential: Actress Edition" because Y&R doesn't feature the talent that is Beth Maitland nearly enough. Her character, Traci, is such a bright spot on the show. I smile every time she is on-screen, and I look forward to seeing her impart her wisdom onto the other Abbotts just as their father used to do in order to keep them in line and united as a family. Sure, they don't always listen to her, but Traci still manages to remain the glue that holds the Abbott family together. I would love to see her character find some happiness and/or some romance -- or even get embroiled in a good mystery. 2024 better have a lot more Traci Abbott on our screens!

WORST DEBUT

Tamilu: "Dead Phyllis"
Phyllis going incognito at her own funeral was laughable. It was like Clark Kent; people don't recognize him when he parts his hair on the other side. I would like to think if I wore a wig and sunglasses, my family would still recognize me. Having her standing there like a Robert Palmer "Addicted to Love" girl for the entire service and never catching anyone's eye was ludicrous to me. Michelle Stafford cannot be invisible. She's stunning. You will always be able to recognize her, whether she is wearing a short wig or not.

Vance: "Aunt Jordan"
While I am a fan of the suspenseful storyline we were served when Jordan and Claire kidnapped the Newman family and tried to kill them all, I think Jordan's debut suffered by how quickly things escalated. Colleen Zenk has been knocking it out of the park as the unhinged and psychotic Jordan, but I feel her entrance was another case of the writers rushing to a climax of a storyline too quickly and just expecting viewers to care about what happens without doing much work to get us truly invested. Jordan, like Claire, could have come to Genoa City first and lurked around town, making nice with everyone while all the while scheming and waiting to stab some of Genoa City's elite in the back -- literally!

My problem with Jordan's debut is the same problem I had with Cameron's return, which is that I wish the writers had taken more time to build suspense and get us more invested in the characters involved before rushing to the exciting, often action-packed conclusion where everyone's lives are suddenly in danger. It's a shame they played things out the way they did because Jordan's days are certainly numbered now that she's been exposed and was a fugitive, which means Colleen Zenk will only be around for a short time. I would have loved to have seen this written in a way where she could have had a much longer visit in Genoa City. But the storyline hasn't wrapped up just yet, so we shall see what else is in store. Fingers crossed!

SWING-AND-A-MISS

Tamilu: Black-and-White Flashback Technique
This drove me nuts! I would like someone to explain to me the reasoning for this. Are they trying to get viewers who missed an episode up to speed, or was it due to the writers' strike and they just needed filler material? Seeing old flashbacks from years ago, yes, 100%, bring it on. But seeing flashbacks from one or two days prior is just annoying. It's like they think we are Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates, and we need to be reminded of what we just saw 24 hours ago.

Vance: Tiresome Triangles
There have been a lot of misfirings this past year on Y&R in regard to the love triangles we've been dealt. They have either been incredibly frustrating (Nick/Sally/Adam), incredibly lazy (Heather/Daniel/Lily), or incredibly boring (Sharon/Chance/Summer). Now we've seemingly got a new triangle beginning as the trio of Christine, Danny, and Phyllis are becoming increasingly entangled. I am trying to give it a chance and want to care more, but I am just not invested in seeing Phyllis end up with Danny because I think that his character makes hers completely boring. A Christine/Danny/Traci triangle would have been far more interesting, in my opinion. The writers seem to assume that viewers are just automatically going to care about a storyline because we care about the characters in it. As a result, they are not taking the time to make us care about the story itself, too.

BROKEN RECORD

Tamilu: Jack Abbott
Jack should just appoint himself King of Jabot and be done with it. I love Jack Abbott and always root for Jack Abbott, but currently, he's being a bit of a bully. Also, Jack and Diane canoodling all the time gets boring. I am anxiously awaiting the fallout when Jack finds out that Diane knew about Kyle working with Tucker to spy on him -- and that she even encouraged him to do so! Diane thinks he will fall at her feet and thank her, but I'm not so sure. What if Tucker had pinned a crime on Kyle, and Diane knew he was in danger but said nothing? That might be the end of Jack and Diane. Then Phyllis can say, "I told you so," to Jack, and they can hook up again. 🙂

Vance: Chloe Fisher
I understand that Chloe and Adam have a complicated history because of how Chloe's daughter Delia died, but I am bored of Chloe constantly trying to push Sally toward Nick. I understand that she thinks she is protecting one of her best friends, but she is also blatantly ignoring the real connection that Adam and Sally have. She is not doing what is best for Sally -- she is doing what is best for Chloe, which is to keep Adam away from her best friend and, thereby, out of her life, too. But she is like a broken record, going on about how Nick is the best man for Sally and how any woman would be lucky to have him. Chloe has talked Nick up so much that it's almost a surprise that she hasn't left Kevin and gone after Nick herself!

WORST STORYLINE

Tamilu: Nate and Victoria
At first, I wanted Victor to make Victoria be Adam's secretary for having the bad judgment to hire Nate. I wanted her to be humiliated and to grovel. But now? Not so much. I can't hate Victoria now because I'm so sad that a psycho stole her precious baby Eve. I am willing to rethink her punishment now. At the very least, I think Victor should put her on a forced leave of absence, just like she did to Nick after Sally lost Adam's baby. Then perhaps she and Cole can reconnect during that time, and he can stay forever.

Vance: Victor Fakes Having Dementia
Victor is such an ass. How bored was he in retirement that he had to stir up trouble at Newman Enterprises to take his job back and "seek out a traitor" within the company. Nate was absolutely right that Victor targeted him to be used as a scapegoat in his plot to get Adam back at Newman Enterprises. Victor absolutely set Nate up and tried to tarnish his name as a doctor, which is surprising because Victor always valued and respected Nate's medical expertise in the past. It was also incredibly insensitive of Victor to do something like faking dementia when there are so many out there who are actually suffering from it. It's too bad Y&R didn't decide to tell a more grounded and heart-wrenching story about Victor actually dealing with dementia. But it's no surprise they didn't go that direction because the writers seemed to favor telling stories that have big surprises with no clear direction and often result in messy and unsatisfying endings.

PICKY PICKY (Final Grievances)

Tamilu:
• Connor getting shipped off to school. Adam hasn't even mentioned Connor since he left town, even though Connor used to be his reason for existing.


• Everyone having very private, sensitive conversations in Crimson Lights. It is a very small establishment, and anyone can overhear you.


• Mariah and Tessa are only mommies now, and we never get to hear Tessa sing. Mariah is supposedly working for Sharon at the new Kirsten Inc., but we have not seen any office scenes with either of them.


• Esther supposedly takes over Crimson Lights but has only been seen there twice since.


• Nikki guzzles "gallons" of vodka a day. Good Lord, that should kill her!

Vance:
• Not enough of the Baldwin/Fisher clan was featured in 2023. Can we get a B&B crossover storyline revolving around Sheila and Lauren, please? Why hasn't this happened yet?! Sheila's granddaughter Lucy just came back to town, so now is the perfect time for the storyline to play out. It would be a real family affair with all the major players.


• I'm a little bummed that a certain character didn't return to cause trouble this year. I hope that Lucy's real mother, Daisy (Sheila's daughter), returns to Genoa City now that Lucy and Daniel are back. Daisy going after Daniel and Lily could be quite exciting, and the dynamic between Daisy and Lucy would be interesting to see.


• Sharon is in desperate need of a new storyline -- or at least for her latest one to be explored more! What is going on with the company she inherited from Cameron? I hope this isn't a forgotten storyline.

Well, now that the grousing and grumbling is complete, we believe that is all from us for this week (and for this year, too). We had a great time teaming up like this and hope you enjoyed reading about our picks for the first-ever Borgnine Awards. Looking forward to reading your picks, too, so share them in the Comments here on the site or on the social media posts throughout the week. And if you missed our "Genoa City Elite Awards" last week, be sure to check out that column to read what we chose as the Best of Y&R in 2023!

Until next year,
Tamilu Who and Vance

READ MORE OF THIS WEEK'S WORST OF 2023 YEAR-END TWO SCOOPS COLUMNS
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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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