For the 27th year in a row, The Young and the Restless has been numero uno in the ratings race, and there are a lot of very good reasons for that -- in case anyone was wondering, and someone was -- so I am going to discuss that in my column today, which, incidentally, is supposed to be a "best and worst," and since I don't have a lot of "worst" to complain about (because Y&R fixed most of my 2014 complaints), I'm going to be giving out more gold stars than dunce caps for 2015.
Redundant storylines are the biggest hitch in my get-along. Duping Dylan into believing that he is a father for the second time is one duping too many for me. I say, either give Dylan his own kid or dupe someone else. Steve Burton has already acted out this heartbreak. Let some other performer have a chance to shine. Besides, what is going to happen is so predictable, I can almost write the dialogue myself. Sharon will finally realize that she is not lactating, that her breasts aren't sore, and that she has no pelvic discomfort whatsoever. Instead of telling Dylan the truth, she will lie until the truth emerges. Then everyone, including Dylan, will desert her, and Sharon will be on her own again. Why is it that lying liars never learn?
I wish I could say that in real life they do, but unfortunately, I can't. I have a few family members who are challenged in that area, just like Sharon, and I don't doubt that most of you know people like Sharon, too! Poor Sharon and Dylan -- I wish I could share their current happiness, but I can't because I know what heartbreak is ahead for them.
Soon, Sage is going to recognize that Sully is Christian, but no one will believe her at first. She and Nick might break up over it, just like Dylan may divorce Sharon when he learns that she lied. Sharon and Nick might turn back to each other if Nick finds out that Christian is not his. Sage will probably turn to Adam, who, by the way, is a dope for not telling Chelsea the truth: that Christian is his. Chelsea would have accepted the truth, but she will not tolerate the lie, and frankly, neither would I, and neither should anyone who is in a committed relationship.
Lies create distance in relationships. For example, I recently, told my niece that I could tell when she lied about something because she quit calling or dropping by to visit. When you lie to someone you love it's hard to look them in the eye. You can see that in Adam every time he tells a falsehood to Chelsea. He looks away and changes the subject. Better to tell the truth, Adam. It's easier!
Nick might also put his faith in Dr. Anderson. When the duplicitous Dr. Anderson first arrived on the scene, it was hard to tell if she was targeting Sage or Nick, but it does seem that she is after Nick, and Sage's heartbreak and loss are just collateral damage. Who is the doctor, and what is she after? My best guess is that she is the young woman (or a close relative) who was hurt in a pool accident at the ranch and paid off by Victor. Is she after love or revenge? I think she is holding onto a teenage crush on Nick. Kind of makes you wonder about who shrinks the shrinks, doesn't it?
Let me hasten to say that it's probably only us older viewers who are grouching about the storylines because we've been watching for so long. The same stories that are old to us are fresh to younger viewers. Original, innovative stories, great acting, and compelling characters with terrific dialogue made Y&R the number one soap. Recycling those popular tried and true stories hasn't hurt because all the other components are still in place. " If it ain't broke, don't fix it," as the saying goes.
Y&R still has great actors, dialogue, and characters. Y&R gained the highest core audience by dominating all the soaps 27 years ago, so it is no surprise that it continues to dominate today. The soap genre is addictive. We can't get our fill. No matter how many times we say we're going to quit, we rarely do. It's cheaper and healthier than most other addictions, including chocolate and ice cream, but it is an addiction nonetheless, and like smokers who prefer a certain brand and stick to it, those of us who prefer Y&R stick to it. We became the majority 27 years ago and we are still the majority today. That's quite an accomplishment for all of us to crow about.
Y&R already has some pretty terrific actors, and they are about to get another one in Jason Thompson, the latest Billy Abbott recast. How he will fare as Billy is anybody's guess. I believe that Jason Thompson can pull it off, but I'm not sure how long it will take me to get used to his dark hair and eyes, which are in direct contrast to the rest of the Abbott family's blond, blue-eyed looks -- I've been trying to imagine him with blonde hair and blue eyes, but so far, I can't get there. Thompson is a good actor. I think he's been robbed of an Emmy a couple of times, so maybe he will win one as Billy, as long as us fans don't run him out of Genoa City quicker than we did David Tom!
In my opinion, Y&R hasn't missed a beat, despite losing some outstanding and popular actors. I think it still has the most stellar acting cast of all. GH made a big run for acting dominance, but, again, I feel, was the big loser in the actor war. Steve Burton is starting to hit his stride as Dylan. Gina Tognoni is terrific as Phyllis, and Justin Hartley is as close to Adam as any actor can be. Over at General Hospital, Michelle Stafford hasn't found her character's rhythm, and Billy Miller is not Jason Morgan -- he's Billy Abbott with a spine, right down to the way he spits out dialogue through clenched teeth when he's angry, just like whenever his Billy talked trash about or to Adam.
Another thing that I enjoyed about Y&R in 2015 were the storyline nods to popular movies of the past, like The Towering Inferno and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Graphics and special effects, especially the cityscape and burning tower, were outstanding, though it was a little low budget to have both Jack and Hilary held in a boathouse. I'm still scratching my head over that one.
The best couple of 2015 had to be Adam and Chelsea, at least for me. Unfortunately, because of Adam's lie, it won't last, but right now, they are the go-to happy family. At some point, I expect Adam and Sage to hook up again. Hartley has as much chemistry with Sullivan's Sage as he does with Egan's Chelsea. I think that Adam will be the one who ultimately helps Sage reclaim baby Christian. A lot of "worst couples" come to mind: Summer and Kyle, Neil and Gwen, Noah and Marisa, Neil and Hilary, or any couple that's not Adam and Chelsea! Take your pick.
Another reason for Y&R's enduring popularity is its ability to maintain a diverse cast. The addition of a Spanish-speaking family to Y&R is a huge stride forward and a move that will increase or at least maintain its high ratings. The Santori family also gives Victor and Adam an enemy that is not an Abbott. I consider that a plus, though I do not want to see this new family characterized or stereotyped as gunrunners or drug dealers. Victor is no saint. He is more than willing to get down in the mud and do whatever it takes to "protect family." It appears that the Santori family will do the same.
The story I liked best in 2015 was Adam reconnecting with Chelsea and almost connecting with Victor. I'm still hoping that will happen and that Victor and Adam will finally become allies instead of enemies. My least favorite story was Neil kidnapping Hilary so that she and Devon did not get a "happily ever after," though I suppose that they really didn't deserve one after betraying Neil. I could not suspend enough belief to imagine that Hilary could have been kept alive and in a coma for all those months without medical supervision. On the plus side, it brought Michael E. Knight to the canvas for some much-needed comic relief. I look forward to Dr. Neville and Ashley working together to cure the life-threatening brain tumor (just guessing) that Ashley is concealing from her nearest and dearest.
Cane and Lily continue to have their problems, even though Joe made a plea bargain and shuffled quietly off to the slammer, unlike his fellow miscreants who had better lawyers or a more unscrupulous family. Since Lily and Cane's children are the only ones who have a two-parent family, it would be a shame if Lily and Cane do not reconcile and forgive each other. Besides, I can't imagine either of them with anyone else. Hmm -- Lily and Adam or Noah, or Nick or Billy or Kyle or Jack or Victor or Michael or Kevin or Luca or...? Okay how about Cane and Phyllis, Victoria, Mariah, Summer, Marissa, Nikki, Sage, Chelsea, Gwen, Ashley, Lauren, or...well, you get the picture.
I think it's much better for Cane and Lily to find their way back to each other. That's also a repetitive story, but I'm a sucker for love, and you can replay that for me over and over again because I will never get tired of seeing people happy and in love. I really hope that the same thing happens for Devon and Hilary. Poor billionaire Devon, whose money can't buy him love -- and at the rate he's spending it on blackmail won't even buy him coffee much longer. I'm rooting for Hilary to remember their love -- or discover it again -- and reconcile with Devon. They were great together, and Devon seemed a lot smarter when he was with Hilary and much more likely to hold on to his money. I'm not worried about Neil. He's already found true love several times during the last 27 years, and I'm sure he will again. Meanwhile, look out if Hilary seduces him and gets pregnant!
Next week ought to be fun for us fan-addicts as we enjoy the holidays with our imaginary friends and then prepare to top off the week on Christmas Day with the greatest gift of all, celebrating the joy of the holidays with our non-imaginary family and friends.
Oh, and one last thing -- as most of you know, I live on the west coast, and the president has an alarming tendency to think that whatever he has to say is important enough to preempt Y&R -- it isn't, but he doesn't listen when I tell him that -- anyway, a BIG SHOUTOUT TO ANNE CARPENTER, the Friday recapper, who did an awesome job. It was as close to actually watching the program as I could get, so thank you very, very much for your hard work, Anne.
In closing, I wish all of you a wonderful holiday. May 2016 be the happiest and most blessed year for everyone everywhere, and may this be the year that we finally achieve the promise of "Peace on earth."
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.