Seriously, I have almost felt like I have been attending a never-ending costume party hosted by a doppelgänger, along with a devil and the deep, blue sea (filled with an exploding cargo ship) throughout the past year on Y&R. One character concealed his identity with some rather clever yet extremely good-looking plastic surgery, while another of our loved ones had an evil twin masquerading in his place. All the while, our favorite puppeteer continued to call all the shots, as he laughed in amusement and glee at their predicaments. So, without further ado, let the review begin.
The Jack/Marco doppelgänger storyline. The biggest problem with Marco pretending to be Jack, while Jack was forced to fake being Marco, was that no matter how hard he tried, Marco still sounded too much like Jack, even when he was alone or with Victor. That just didn't make any sense -- and neither did Phyllis having absolutely no clue Marco wasn't Jack, since she had been with Jack for so many years and knew Jack better than any female on earth. It didn't matter how much Marco did his research (with Victor's help), he couldn't have possibly known how Jack would have felt every step of the way. Marco's physical similarities could never be enough to mask the emotions, values, and beliefs of our beloved Jack, and it was crazy that the writers tried to feed this to the fans.
Avery Bailey Clark. I actually liked Avery when she first arrived in town as the feisty attorney that fought for the rights of the people who were wrongly imprisoned. But somehow, she just didn't have the sizzle with any of the men she was paired up with, and it was appropriate she left when she did. Avery knew she had to start over on her own, so when she left, she did it as the independent, strong person we knew her to be. I bid you a fond farewell, Avery, but please don't rush to return.
Nick and Sharon's custody battle over Faith. For two parents who had always claimed to love their darling daughter, Nick and Sharon's custody battle was a horribly ugly sight to behold. While he claimed to do what was best for the child, Nick only desired to take Faith from her mother and to allow Sharon no visitation with her precious girl. And Sharon's answer was to hire a bloodthirsty lawyer who refused to consider a compromise between Sharon and her ex. Even though their battle cry was all in the name of Faith, the one who ended up getting hurt was the young girl who could not understand why she was suddenly expected to fear the mother who had always loved her. That alone could have traumatized Faith for life, and it would have been no wonder if she was unable to trust anyone's love again. Thankfully, Nick and Sharon worked it all out, but it wasn't soon enough for Faith or for the fans.
Devon and Hilary cheat on a loving, blind Neil. Devon and Hilary showed just how selfish they could be when they cheated every chance they got, and they cheated on Neil, the man who had always thought of Devon as his son and who had tried to give his wife everything her heart desired. And how was he rewarded by it? With their betrayal and deceit. But what made it one hundred times worse was that Neil's blindness actually made it easier for them to get away with their affair. It was no wonder why Neil felt like the biggest fool on earth once he found out, which eventually led to his plot for revenge. Neil was most certainly blind in every sense of the word during Hilary and Devon's affair.
Kelly went wacko all for the sake of the story. When we last saw Kelly with Jack, it was hard to believe she was once the sad, loving mother, who continued to grieve over the loss of a child. Cady McClain did the best she could with the sudden change of direction for the character, but it was still sometimes painful to watch. Once Phyllis was brought back from her coma, after Kelly and Jack had already become a couple, it was inevitable, I guess. At least the scenes between Cady McClain's Kelly and Gina Tognoni's Phyllis were riveting and entertaining to watch.
Jill's mysterious disappearance from Genoa City. Or at least, it seems that way. We just don't see that much of Jill anymore, and it's a shame. She has been missed, not only by Colin, but by her fans also.
The supposedly big reveal of Austin's and Courtney's killer. By the time we learned Harding murdered Austin and Courtney, it was anticlimactic because it had taken so long for the big reveal, and the fans just didn't care that much anymore. Sometime we almost forgot our superheroes were still looking for their killer, when it hadn't been mentioned for weeks on end. It was almost silly to have such a potentially involving storyline when it ended so weakly. Plus, along the way, we also lost our once-upon-a-time good-guy detective Harding. We shall remember you fondly, Mark. (At least, we got to learn his first name, before he bit the dust.)
Nikki falls off the wagon -- again. Enough said.
Kyle. There is absolutely no sizzle between this latest Kyle and Summer. None.
The fire during the celebration of Delia's life. What? With all the flames and smoke, there were no casualties, and Stitch was the only one who had to be hospitalized?! My mother and I joked about how the rooms were smoke-filled but almost no one coughed or hacked or even had trouble breathing. What was the point of the fire, anyway, except to turn Adam into a hero and to possibly partner up Ian and Patty? Maybe that was exactly the point -- well, that and the marvelous special effects. Bravo to the special effects crew with their terrific scenes of the Newman Towers burning as the helicopter hovered above and of the flames flickering inside the building accompanied by the explosions. A best of 2015 inside a 2015 worst.
Justin Hartley's Victor Adam Newman. When Gabriel Bingham first arrived on the scene, little did I know just how much he was going to light up our screens and our lives. Justin Hartley's Adam has taken Genoa City by storm, especially when he is the one creating the tempest. This version of Adam has wreaked much havoc, while he continues to wear his heart on his sleeve for the woman he loves and the child he adores. Is it possible Adam is finally starting to let go of his hatred for his father? I wouldn't be too sure of that just yet.
Phyllis Abbott as played by Gina Tognoni. At one time on Y&R, it seemed most of the women could have been interchangeable as rich socialites who didn't show too much personality or character. But Phyllis has never been put in that category, and Gina Tognoni has made sure she still isn't. Gina brings her own unique spin to Phyllis, and I am loving it. Sure, she can be fiery and can go a little haywire sometimes, but that's what makes her so much fun to watch. Phyllis is another character whose heart matches her temper, and the mix is something to behold. Gina Tognoni has totally made Phyllis all her own.
Jack and Phyllis remarried! What can I say? I love these two as a couple, and I really want them to stay married. I was so relieved when it was revealed that Phyllis was indeed married to Jack and not Marco. What a scare that was! The on-screen chemistry between Peter Bergman's Jack and Gina Tognoni's Phyllis is off the charts, and this is one soap couple I hope can weather any storm that comes their way.
Tad "the Cad" Martin...oops, I mean, Simon Neville arrived to save the day. Looking even more distinguished with his salt and pepper locks, Michael E. Knight has brought a truly intriguing character to Genoa City, and I hope he gets the time to develop the layers of his disgraced doctor. I still laugh when I think of his florist disguise in the hospital, and there are just so many directions the writers can take this complex character. Hilary is not the only one grateful he arrived in the nick of time to get her out of her coma. As long as he is on the scene, no character should stay comatose for long. Will something be brewing in the Jabot lab between Simon and Ashley besides a cure for her undisclosed medical condition? We can only hope.
Adam and Chelsea finally reunited! Wow, I just realized all of the best on my list, so far, have been either a character or a couple. But that's where Y&R's strength is -- in character development that brings great story-telling through complex relationships. And there is no other relationship as complex as the one between Adam and Chelsea. (If you don't count Adam and Victor, that is.) As much as Chelsea knows she is better off without Adam, her love for him will always pull her back. And Chelsea feels Adam truly loves her also. So, what do a few lies and deceit hurt as long as they have each other? And Connor.
Okay, okay...Victor and Adam. There, I've said it. This relationship between father and son is as complicated and confusing as can be, but they will always love -- and yes, hate -- each other. But when it comes down to it, Victor is proud of the son who has always wanted his father's love and respect. Because they are both so very much alike, Victor and Adam will always go through the twists and turns of a bumpy ride in their relationship. This is truly the best duo that has come around in a long time.
The diabolical demon, Ian Ward, returned with a delightful ditty. When Ian first graced us with his presence, he was more of a pest than he was a villain. But this time around, he has done more than just pester both the Newmans and the Abbotts -- he hit them right where it hurt, directly in their corporate financial belt. While he was at it, the dirty devil wrecked the costume party celebrating Delia's life -- and he set Newman Towers ablaze. Ian has finally evolved into the villain we all knew he could be, and he really brought the drama to Genoa City in 2015. The expression on his face when he sang his little ditty about Chelsea 2.0 said it all.
Patty came back as Sharon's roomie in the psychiatric hospital. It was actually a nice change to see Patty attempt to help Sharon by trying to warn Dylan of Dr. Anderson's intentions. We knew Paul had to love Patty for a reason other than that she is his sister. However, Patty seems to have hooked up with Ian Ward. Patty's mental state has always been fragile, and she can be easily persuaded. Has Patty finally given up her obsession for Jack? Time will tell. I just hope we haven't seen the last of Patty.
All of the masquerades. Sure, while there were some misses along the way, the storylines of Adam pretending to be Gabriel Bingham, of Jack's doppelgänger, Marco, and of the fire at the celebration costume gala did what soaps are always trying to do, and that was to bring the drama. The best part was many of our most beloved characters were involved in the masquerades, and there is nothing better than having our soap family members interacting with each other.
Dr. Anderson's secret agenda concerning Nick. As much as I hated the storyline where Adam gave Sharon's newborn baby to Ashley, I am not minding this turn of events with Christian most likely being Dylan's and Sharon's son, Sully. Maybe it's because Dr. Anderson is not a regular character, and she obviously has her own agenda -- which appears to be all about Nick. The rare treat is that Nick actually seems to be paying for his past actions for a change, when he had always come out smelling like a rose beforehand. Plus, does "Sandy" want revenge on Nick, or does she want him all to herself? And in an even more interesting twist, we all know now that Adam is actually the biological father of Christian. Yes, this storyline promises to deliver the drama for months to come in 2016.
Neil finally regained his eyesight -- just in time to see his wife in bed with his son. That was soapy and dramatic and everything you would want from catching an unfaithful spouse in the act. But when the other man was Neil's own son? A true soap moment if ever there was one.
A drunken Neil, accompanied by Nikki, ran smack-dab into Christine. Christine must be a magnet for these hit-and-run vehicles. I'm just saying.
Avery accidentally knocked Joe off the balcony -- and he landed in the trash. Just like the garbage he was.
The cargo ship, where Jack and Marisa were held as hostages, blew up. Well, okay, Jack caused the explosion, but the ship most certainly went up in flames.
Harding was revealed to be Austin and Courtney's killer. At long last!
Gabriel finally admitted to Chelsea that he was Adam. Finally.
The rest of Genoa City learned (all at about the same time) that Adam was really Gabriel. And it wasn't even the November sweeps period at the time.
Chloe plowed into Adam outside of the courthouse in her hit-and-run for revenge. I'll bet Christine was just relieved it wasn't her for a change.
Nick cried on the hospital floor as he held his son's death certificate. Only, of course, Christian wasn't dead -- and he wasn't Nick's biological son.
Adam admitted to Victor that Christian was his son. I just hope the reveal to the rest of Genoa City won't be too long in coming.
Ian's Chelsea 2.0 ditty tops this list: "Chelsea 2.0, be careful what you sew, misery and woe. You are my puppet show." Not only were the words hysterical, so was the wicked grin on Ian's face when he sang them. Priceless!
Jeffrey can always be counted on for comic relief, and his visit to Chelsea certainly provided it from calling Ben "Dr. Stitches" to taking his Gloworm out on the town to celebrate the rest of his blackmail payoff. Welcome back!
Phyllis, a.k.a. "the rabid, pissed-off, former coma patient," offered up an embarrassment of riches in colorful phrases, but Kelly had one herself. After Phyllis declared that she knew what Jack wanted, Kelly observed, "Well, according to you, he wants a deranged fiancée waving a wig around a public place." Clever writing and a funny exchange.
I loved it when Phyllis screamed that the deranged Kelly made her look like "some freaky psycho killer" who could only claim that "the devil made me do it." Shades of Flip Wilson's Geraldine!
As Jill and Cane left to sign the contracts with Victor for ownership of Chancellor Industries, Jill aptly remarked, "And we will go and rescue Katherine's company from the big, bad wolf before he huffs and puffs the whole damn thing down."
Kevin and Mariah humorously discussed moving in together. Kevin voiced, "Hmm...my expectations. Hypothetically, let's see, I would expect gobs and gobs of hair in the drain, and I would expect having yogurts in my fridge." Mariah noted, "I don't like yogurt." Kevin added, "Oh, fighting over the remote." Mariah quipped, "That sounds like me."
After Jack noted in the church that Victor no doubt had a long list of sins to confess, Victor responded that no one was in the confessional. Jack replied, "Of course, there's not. Victor Newman answers to no higher authority than Victor Newman." How true!
Ashley was so right when she stated, "Victor's agenda always has another agenda behind the agenda."
Phyllis asked Victor, "Tell me...how can you be such a cold and calculating man one minute and soft as a kitty cat the next?" Yes, you can almost hear him purring every time he flattens Jack into the ground.
As Mariah and Kevin discussed Jack and Kyle's possible involvement in Austin's murder before Noah and Courtney's (non-) wedding, Mariah related, "Ah, that's what family means: stress and freaking out," and Kevin replied, "That should be your toast at the reception."
Later, when Mariah saw Abby rush over to Summer in the park, Mariah gleefully cheered, "Finally, some drama!" Kevin responded, "Oh, because our lives have lacked drama up until this point," to which Mariah explained, "I mean the hair-pulling, eye-clawing fun kind. We need popcorn."
Then, after the fireworks between Abby and Summer didn't happen, Mariah lamented, "That's it? What kind of Genoa City wedding is this? Shouldn't someone swoop in fresh from a coma wearing a white dress?" Kevin answered back, "Because once wasn't enough?" Brilliant!
Billy was funny when he faced "Gabriel" at Chelsea's and demanded "Fabio" button up his shirt.
I had to laugh when Marisa said, "I'm beginning to wonder if anyone in this town is who they claim to be." It was a funny and very accurate line.
After viewing Avery's very public confession online, Michael said, "No use crying over spilled confessions."
Adam commented to Chelsea that Victor couldn't "see past his own mustache." Adam sure can bring the humor.
After Ashley learned Gabriel was not Jack's son, Adam asked her if that meant there would be "no favorite nephew birthday card this year." Oh, yes, Adam is still Adam, no matter how he looks.
Neil poked a little fun at his past after he realized the last time Hilary was trapped in an elevator had been no accident. "Even a blind man could see that." Sadly, at the time, he couldn't.
Jack had the funniest suggestions of what Ashley and Phyllis could do with the Newman Abbott business cards from using them as kindling to shoving them under the leg of a wobbly table. Hey, maybe they could be used as coasters under the many drinks served at the Athletic Club. Classy!
After Abby pleaded for a rah-rah cheer of "Go, Abby, go," before she stormed out of the Underground, Mariah responded with her own roar of "Go, Abby, go -- please!" Hey, they were all thinking it.
Adam has always had the best one-liners. Adam acknowledged to Jack that "even Victor's ulterior motives have ulterior motives." In a warning to Jack, Adam said Victor would accept an olive branch with one hand while he stabbed you in the back with a knife in the other. And when talking to Victor, Adam noted that the judge liked to polish every letter of the law. I am so very glad Adam is back.
Please be happy and joyful during this glorious holiday season. Until next time, please stay tuned.
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