As hurricanes such as Harvey and Irma ripped their way through the South to cause devastation and destruction along their paths, some of our most beloved characters found themselves suffering the damage and chaos left behind from their own personal romantic whirlwinds. Hearts were broken and trust was destroyed, yet hope remained that a more promising future was beyond the horizon. So, without further ado, let's battle our way out of the storm and acknowledge the Best and Worst of 2017.
Phyllis was with Billy... and what's even worse, she wasn't with Jack. I do not care for Phyllis with Billy at all. They are both extremely selfish and obnoxious whenever they are together. They truly tend to bring out the worst in each other. For instance, I was stunned just recently to see Phyllis taking personal calls of seduction from Billy during her business meeting. That was incredibly rude. That's why I favor Phyllis and Jack together. They balance each other out. Jack stops her from going too far overboard while Phyllis likes to liven him up. It's rather ironic that I always said the exact same thing about Victoria and Billy Miller's Billy Abbott, whom I loved together. Even if I prefer Victoria with Jason Thompson's Billy, it is more because I want her to keep him away from Phyllis than that I really like the two as a couple. I can only hope that Phyllis and Jack will reunite one day, but it's probably just wishful thinking on my part.
It was all about Tessa. You know, I was okay with Tessa when she first joined the show. Noah desperately needed a new girlfriend as he coped with the lingering effects from the disaster known as Marisa, so I was all too happy to give the two a chance as a couple. But then it seemed like everything was all about Tessa. She was the star singer of the Underground. Then Tessa became Nikki's companion and right hand man -- uh, girl. Then Devon had to sign her up as his newest and biggest musical talent. Then Mariah had to have Tessa as her own, even at the expense of her own brother. Then Tessa's sister was involved in the infamous sex trafficking ring, which put Tessa front and center in that storyline too. Tessa was everywhere. I honestly felt like she was being shoved down our throats. Here's hoping that 2018 brings us a little more variety and a lot less Tessa.
The inconsistent writing for Victor, Billy, and Victoria. When 2017 first started out, Victor had become so benevolent, I could barely recognize him. I kept asking myself, "Who is that strange man with the mustache?" Are you kidding? He was even compassionate and understanding in regards to Faith and Sharon. It was just so un-Victorlike. But by the time the end of the year had rolled around, the Mustache had totally disowned the only son he had left (as far as we know) and had banished Nick from his life. Didn't Victor learn anything from the turmoil he caused Adam? And once Billy and Phyllis started getting it on, Billy became so self-centered, self-absorbed, and obnoxious, he was barely recognizable, and his resentment toward both Cane and Jack was way over the top. No longer the screwup, Billy didn't care about his siblings, the family business, or what he was doing to Victoria emotionally. At times, I'm not sure he even remembered he had kids. And Victoria went from being a total sap by being at Billy's beck and call in the office to becoming a female version of Victor, expecting everyone else to jump at her every command. Honestly, I kept watching her lip to see if I could spot the first signs of a mustache sprouting. While we have seen some clarity and sanity in the writing for these three, we can only hope for more so that the fans can actually recognize them again.
Juliet. I can't say that I disliked Juliet as much as I did Marisa last year, but it was pretty darn close. Juliet was sickening each time she told Cane that she never intended to split up his family, when actually, her every action was to do just that. She would whine something like, "Oh, Cane, I would never want to keep you from your kids," and then she would turn around and make it impossible for him to be with them. Juliet silently manipulated and controlled Cane in every way, whether she intended to or not. But it had to be intentional, since she always won. That wasn't just a coincidence. I didn't shed one tear when she kicked the bucket at the hospital, and in fact, I yelled out, "Good riddance!" No, Juliet didn't triumph that last and final time, did she? Hopefully, it's not too late for Cane and Lily. It would be great if Juliet's death and the baby's life enable them to reunite and to begin a new life together with their brand-new extended family. Now, that would be an ironic twist, wouldn't it?
The new-guy-in-town syndrome. How are the lovely ladies in Genoa City ever going to get a chance at marriage if every single new guy that comes to town is a villain or if he shows that he is not desirable because of some very faulty character flaws? I guess our girls will have to keep sharing the guys who are already citizens of the town. I think Phyllis and Victoria have already been perfecting that art. Abby thought she had found the right guy when she met Zack, but he turned out to be in charge of the sex ring operation. Okay, that's probably not the most sought after quality in a man. But seriously, I thought that Graham might have had a chance to woo some lovely lady, especially after it became apparent that he and Ashley were not siblings. Graham was complex and was made of many layers of grey, which would be ideal for the new soap dude in town. But we never got to explore that possibility, since he suddenly left, never to return. And then Jordan was stricken, as well, once his past as a con artist surfaced, thanks to Hilary. Sadly, the new men in Genoa City just can't seem to catch a break.
Reed, Charlie, and Mattie were all SORAS'd and ended up being practically the same age. Okay, I could have tried to suspend my disbelief on this if the payoff had been worth it. But when a pretty dull guy hooks up with a Miss Goody-two-shoes lady, it can be pretty snoozy. Plus, that meant I could no longer catch a glimpse, now and then, of Max Page, who had previously played Reed. And we hardly ever get to see Charlie except to hear, every once in a while, that he has a basketball game. It's just a shame that no one ever goes to watch him play. Hey, tell them Charlie sent ya -- right, Mattie and Reed? (Remember those Starkist Tuna commercials?)
Chloe and Kevin. I have always admitted that I have never been a fan of this couple. However, the biggest problem I had with them this time was that Chloe returned to town only to give Kevin a reason to exit. And since Kevin is one of my favorite characters, I was not happy about this. But I am wishing the very best of luck to you, Greg Rikaart, in your new gig with Days of our Lives.
Jack and Gloria's fling. I actually like Gloria, but her affair with Jack was just wrong on so many levels.
Lily's stalker scare was much ado about nothing. For a topical issue, that storyline was wrapped up in record time, probably to make way for Cane's one-night stand with Juliet. It's a shame, since that is a current concern for today's female (and even some male) celebrities and even for normal, everyday people.
Learning the cause of Victoria's vision and headache problems was anticlimactic. When Victoria first started showing signs of having headaches, distorted hearing, and vision problems, I was curious to learn just what was going on with her. But then her symptoms began happening infrequently and sometimes were forgotten altogether. Then, all of a sudden, out of the blue, they popped back up, and Victoria landed in the hospital so she could finally get her answer. But because this was so dragged out, the reveal was pretty anticlimactic, which was a shame, because the writers could have developed it into a terrific storyline. Alas, it was a lost opportunity for Amelia Heinle, who could have had some very juicy scenes to practice her acting chops.
Dina has Alzheimer's disease. I consider this the best storyline of the year, probably because this is based on a very scary reality. It's something that we all fear for ourselves and for our families, and something that we would rather not even think about. But Jack had to face the truth when he learned that his mother had Alzheimer's disease, and he realized that he had to find a way to cope with it. There's no written handbook on that, so he just had to wing it and hope that he was doing the right thing for Dina and for the Abbott family. And a huge kudos goes to Marla Adams for her remarkable acting, especially at an age when the disease could be a concern for her. Ms. Adams has been pulling out all the stops to make Dina come across as totally believable when she is confused, frustrated, scared, angry, and flustered with her symptoms and with her dire situation. And bravo to Peter Bergman for the fear and sorrow Jack has shown to make Dina's story real. Jack and Dina are tackling her disease with compassion and honesty, and their acting has reflected the realities and horrors that life can offer.
The rectangle of Mariah, Devon, Hilary, and Jordan (because Hilary could never believe she was a square.) I was not the least bit surprised that Hilary seduced Jordan as soon as Devon dumped her. But it was rather fun to watch her trying to make Devon jealous by cozying up to her new hunk, whenever Devon was around. But Devon absolutely surprised me by "listening" to my suggestion of pursuing the lovely Mariah, whom he considered to be genuine and real. Finally, someone was actually looking at the attractive redheaded ex-con. It was about time.
Hilary, Mariah, and The Hilary Hour. I thought all along that Hilary and Mariah would make a great combination for a fun and festive talk show, since the feisty redhead doesn't always bow to Hilary's every wish and command. And even if Hilary would never admit it, Mariah has helped to keep the ratings of the gossip rag up by their conflicting opinions and differences. But just think if they added Lily to the mix. That would be ratings gold. The one show that Lily was a guest on was hilarious. She really had Hilary's number, and what audience wouldn't lap that kind of bickering up? Since Lily was demoted once Brash & Sassy became a part of Newman Enterprises, maybe she should consider a career as a talk show host. It's just a shame that Hilary would never let that happen on her show, though. But since Jabot is the sponsor of Hilary's show now, Jack could suggest it, right?
Nick and Chelsea finally give in to their attraction for each other. Since we can't have Justin Hartley's Adam around to pair up with Chelsea, I am perfectly fine with Nick being her new beau. And I do like that she is one of only two people (Victor!) that knows the truth about Christian's paternity, which could create some major craters in their romance down the road. I still applaud them being together, and I hope any bumps they experience won't tear them apart. This is one couple I would like to see handle any obstacles they may face along the way.
The big reveal that Chloe killed Adam and that Victor was her accomplice. Although there were some things I didn't care for about this huge development, for the most part, it was pretty gripping and entertaining. The always self-absorbed Chloe murdered Adam because she was jealous of the time he spent with her best friend, Chelsea. We already knew that. Chloe then returned to town just to give this story a final resolution, and that in itself was good. Plus, the viewers finally learned that Bella was, in fact, Kevin's daughter, not Billy's (although I was rather disappointed about that). The big reveal about Adam's killer came in a dramatic fashion, just as Kevin was about to remarry Chloe. The Newmans also learned that Victor was the reason that Chloe had been on hand to murder Adam in the first place and that he had helped her to escape after the fact. That set the stage for future drama among the Newmans, who then became a divided family pretending to be united. Wife turned on husband, son turned on father, and through all of it, the community remained unaware of the friction, in true soap fashion.
Newman Enterprises vs. Jabot vs. Brash & Sassy. Corporate drama is normally what Y&R does best. However, this year was a little underwhelming, since most of it was between Jabot and Brash & Sassy -- and that got rather old pretty quickly. Y&R still does drama in the business world better than anyone else, so I will keep it in the best category for now. But I truly got tired of watching Billy call all the shots at Brash & Sassy, even to the point where almost everyone else was fired from the company. At least Jabot kept it interesting by trying to bring Brash & Sassy down, even as Billy tried to stick it to his older brother by taking the Abbott family business out. Victor could actually step back and watch the two of them duke it out, although he did eventually come to Victoria's rescue. With the merger of Brash & Sassy into N. E., hopefully the corporate drama between Newman Enterprises and Jabot will heat up again and return stronger than ever. And who knows? Maybe Chancellor Industries will be drawn back onto the battleground again next year, with Katherine watching from above.
Changes in the writing. While we are still in the beginning stages of our new head writer's material, I have seen some improvement, most notably in the humor. It's true that I am not a fan of Billy and Phyllis together, which made it doubly pleasurable for me to watch their hilarious breakup scenes after Phyllis realized that Billy had deceived and used her for Brash & Sassy and for Victoria. I will never forget seeing Billy's legs dangling over the balcony as he tried to find his way back into her apartment and into her heart. This was so much fun to watch, and I truly hope there's more humor to come in the future.
After Dylan left town, Sharon's love life wasn't put on the backburner. Sharon has always been one of my favorite characters, even after the very essence of her character was practically destroyed, so I was a little worried that she would be left without a storyline, when Dylan was placed into the Witness Protection Program. But rather than become just a prop for her children, Noah and Mariah and their loves (or in their case, I should just say "love," since they both desired the same girl), Sharon was thrown into another romance. Lauren's son, Scott, returned to town and was immediately taken with the beautiful blonde. So Sharon has a new guy, even if Scott has already had a dalliance with another gorgeous blonde. Hey, that's soaps for you.
Steve Burton's final scenes as Dylan McAvoy. Even if I wasn't overly impressed with Steve Burton's exit storyline, I could appreciate his final teary scenes with Sharon as he told her goodbye. He proved, once again, that he truly deserved last year's Daytime Emmy that he won for the sadness and devastation he showed when Dylan discovered that Sully -- I mean, Christian -- wasn't his son. Bravo, Mr. Burton.
Eileen Davidson. Okay, I admit that I have to cheat a little and include Days of our Lives for this Best selection. It is just so hard to believe that the same actress who plays the elegant and glamorous Ashley on Y&R also plays the whack-job Susan on DAYS. I know, I know -- I have seen her as Kristen before on Days, but I wasn't watching in the glory days when she played numerous characters on the NBC soap, so I can truly appreciate her acting now. Great job, Ms. Davidson, and I hope to get to see more of any and all of the characters you play on both soaps in the future.
The music box mystery was finally solved. Hurray to Y&R for finally finishing a storyline that had been dropped many months ago. Whether the ending was satisfactory for the viewers or not, at least there finally was an ending.
Devon cracked up his brand-spanking-new car, after Hilary smashed up his heart into tiny pieces. Come on, Devon... it was just Hilary being Hilary.
Once her funeral was over, Chloe raised the lid of her coffin, causing Kevin to faint. That was so shocking. And it was so funny.
Nikki played beautifully at her concert. Her lovely piano playing truly was memorable.
Billy's legs were shown hanging over the balcony of Phyllis' apartment after she kicked him out. What a terrific shot for Phyllis, for the viewers, and probably for any pedestrians hanging around below.
Dina revealed to everyone that Ashley's father was not John Abbott at Ashley's Innovator of the Year Award gala. Dina really likes to be the center of attention, doesn't she?
Dina accidentally started the fire at the Underground. Oops!
Dina stabbed Nikki at Abby's (really Victoria's) celebration party. Hey, Dina knew that knife she stole from the Athletic Club would come in handy someday.
Juliet died of complications in the hospital. Bye bye bye.
Abby and Scott rewrote Victoria's self-serving script for the press conference. Take that, Victoria! Victor should genuinely be proud of his youngest daughter, since she finally took the bull (Victor) by the horns and stood up for herself. And he was.
Jordan posted Hilary's nudie pictures online. Nobody deserved it more. He just gave Hilary a dose of her own medicine on his way out the door. Good going, Jordan!
When he heard Faith was at Sharon's home, Victor remarked to Nikki that his granddaughter should spend time with her mother. What?! Did I hear correctly? This kinder, gentler Victor is taking some getting used to.
Michael and Gloria can still bring the humor. When Gloria told Craig her cell phone was like her third child, Michael quickly responded, "not in the order of preference." It was funny and probably true.
I had to laugh when Phyllis referred to her dating pool as more of a puddle. That was a good one, Phyllis.
After Ravi commented that online dating was done by trial and error, Phyllis had it right, when she added, "and error and error and error." She has definitely seen her share of mistakes in all her "trials."
Since Victor can't give his autobiography the title of "Ruthless: The Story of Victor Newman," one would have to wonder just what he will call it. "How I Scratched and Clawed My Way Up the Corporate Ladder, One Rung at a Time, Straight From the Orphanage"? Hmmm, although accurate, the title might be just a touch long.
When Chloe noted that everyone thought of her as "crazy, party of one," Kevin stressed that she was rational and balanced. Apparently, Kevin also suffered from delusions if he thought "Crazy Chloe" was that.
"Head-over-heels, faceplant Mariah" remarked about her zero talent in singing to Tessa, "Yeah, when I look at sheet music, the notes jump off the page, because they're scared I'm gonna sing them." That makes me want to hear her sing, just out of curiosity. But I know that curiosity killed the cat. Fingernails on a chalkboard? Meow.
Let's see -- Cane uncharacteristically got smashed in Japan, when he was with Juliet, and then Victoria unexpectedly started drinking too much, while she was also in Juliet's company. Hmmm...what's the common element here? Could Juliet just drive people to drink?
I couldn't help but laugh when Victor refused to let Nikki "sully" her own name or the name of their family. I wonder if that particular word reminded him of anyone.
Victor is absolutely correct that if Abby's siblings have to be judged by his higher Newman standards, she should be too. However, Victor has a nasty tendency to conveniently forget any excellent decisions and actions his children take whenever they are in charge. That hole that Victor has dug for his kids is a bottomless pit.
It was interesting to hear Victor declare that Nick would no longer be able to enjoy the privileges of being a Newman. The next thing you know, Victor will demand that Nick change his last name. Victor made up his own last name when he decided to become a "new man." So, what could Nick pick? Nick Niceguysfinishlast? Nick Dashingherorescuesthefairmaiden? Or even just plain Nick Nolongeranewman? The possibilities are endless.
When she learned that Cane would be staying with the twins at the house, Mattie yelled that they did not need a babysitter. Hey, I hate to burst your bubble, girlie, but a father cannot babysit his own kids. His job as a parent is to love and raise them, which is just what Cane would be doing during his stay.
If Benjamin Hochman was a shark, then Victor Newman must be "Mack the Knife."
When Sharon asked her daughter about her day, Mariah stated, "Just another live show with a narcissist who thinks everyone in the world is a puppet, and if she can get ratings out of it, she pulls the strings just so." That describes Hilary to a T.
Until next time (and next year), please stay tuned.
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