What a long, strange decade it's been in Genoa City
For the Week of December 16, 2019
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Two Scoops is an opinion column and the opinions expressed are solely those of the author. The views expressed do not represent the opinions of Soap Central, its partners, or its advertisers.
It's hard to believe that we've come to the end of another decade. Contrary to what critics might say, things are not exactly the same as they were ten years ago. Don't believe it? We've reached into the Soap Central Two Scoops archives to look at what our columnists thought were the best and worst of 2009. And our current columnist is taking a look at how things have changed in the past ten years.

As we draw to not just the end of the year, but also to the end of a decade, we thought it might be fun to take a trip down memory lane and see what our columnists were talking about at the end of the previous decade. We picked some of the Bests and Worsts from 2009 that we think are notable or have an interesting application to the way things have played out in Genoa City in 2019. If you like these visits to the past, you can read Two Scoops columns dating back to 2004 in our archives. To add a strange twist, one of our current columnists adds her two cents throughout.

Here are some of the highs and lows of 2009 from one of our columnists at the time, Nita, with random commentary by a current columnist, Christine:

Best newcomer who seems too good to be true: Chance Chancellor. Is the man really perfect, or will 2010 reveal some very human cracks in his good guy façade?

Christine: We're getting glimpses now that Chance Chancellor, while on the whole a good guy, may not be a perfect Boy Scout all the time. The rapport between him and Abby is kind of refreshing (okay, the fake jewels thing, I really thought someone had put them in her purse to frame her, but nope, she did it and he's cool with it). His return could prove to be the right character at the right time.

Missed Opportunity: Adam Newman. He arrived in Genoa City to much fanfare, and I'm sure I wasn't the only fan ready to sit back and enjoy a thick, meaty story as the half-siblings circled warily around one another before finding some common ground as family. Instead, we got this nasty, acerbic-tongued man with a chip on his shoulder. And that, as it turned out, was actually the best of him. The worst was yet to come. When it comes to Adam, the first emotion that comes to the fore is distaste. Nothing he does can be cheered for (other than the occasional zinger he manages to land on the soft and pampered skin of Nick or Victoria). It wasn't even remotely interesting to see him gaslight a pregnant Ashley who was missing most of her marbles. Nor did it do my heart good to watch his self-serving seducing of Rafe and Heather. And lastly, the snatching of Sharon's wee one. That was the worst of all and makes it impossible to root for anything good for this man. Will someone have to die before Sharon believes what everyone around her, save Ashley, says is the truth about Adam?

Christine: I'm not seeing a lot of growth in Adam. Maybe age has slowed him down a little, but the way he's letting Connor run the show and the way he's using Connor's manipulation to further manipulate Chelsea (after failing in his attempts to hook up with Sharon, who still struggled to see any bad in him), I don't think there's much to love about him. The one thing that might potentially offer some redemption is whatever happened with him and Chance. I had thought his devotion to Connor might be a bright spot, but not so much now.

Best Brother and Sister: Those brother and sister chats between Jack and Ashley. A close second: siblings Nick and Victoria.

Christine: Well, I think Ashley and Jack are warming up again, but they've gone through the wringer in their relationship (some are still recovering after the effects of the "blood Abbott" drinking game). Nick and Victoria still do seem to care about one another, and there is warmth there (less warmth toward their half-siblings, though). I do like the Rey and Lola sibling connection. They aren't big as siblings for plots, but the warmth and connection are always there, and it feels genuine when they spend a little time together.

Worst Rewrite of History. Every soap is allowed to change the way things were for the way the new writers want them to be, but the way we learned that Cane wasn't really Philip Jr. because Philip Jr. wasn't really dead and cattle rustlers in Australia and no body in the coffin and frozen blood samples... It was all too much embellishing and re-embellishing to justify a story that wasn't worth the effort. What was the end result? Cane was cast out by the Winterses and Lily, only to be forgiven in the end. Philip returned long enough for us to learn that he ran away in the 1980s because he was gay. Then he was gone again. It wasn't a good enough story to justify the rewriting of history.

Christine: And Cane is still (possibly, probably) involved in a scam. I'm not sure he's grown a lot as a character all these years later!

The sacrificial lamb: Looking back through the past several years, there seems to have been at least one Genoa City character who's given their make-believe life so their fellow residents could live on more interestingly. In 2009, there were two: Brad and Colleen Carlton. How tragic that in the space of a year, a father and daughter both lost their lives in a lake, and coincidentally, both deaths ended up saving the life of a Newman. Colleen's was the hardest to take, with her gift of life benefiting the man indirectly responsible for her demise. But it seems her sacrifice accomplished what it was meant to. Because, by adding Billy's venom to the already poisonous mixture constantly being stirred by Jack and Victor, the scribes have ensured the vendetta can flourish far into the future. Yes, Victor and Jack will undoubtedly continue to poke their sharp sticks at each other's Achilles heels as long as they draw breath, but for all intents and purposes, the baton has been passed to Billy, Victoria, and Nick. In spite of the sadness of the official end of the Carlton line, what made this one a standout hit was the memorable and poignant moments it provided as the Abbotts bid their loved one adieu.

Christine: This did lay some of the groundwork for Victor and Billy's issues with one another. We lost Neil and we lost Hilary recently, but nobody benefited from their deaths. They were just gone, and perhaps we all lost, especially from losing Neil. Jack and Victor had a moment or two of calm and peace this year, and there is less venom between Jabot and Newman (for now, at least). Billy and Victoria remain somewhat together and in love (something weird is still going on with Billy, whose dissociative episodes might have needed more treatment than Victoria provided). Victor sort of died but not really, but that didn't really do anything except drive more of a wedge between Adam and the rest of his family -- and maybe break up Nate and Abby, which was a rebound relationship that she had said up-front she wasn't all that invested in.

Best wishy-washy flip-flopping fellow: Nick Newman. Like someone pulling leaves off a four-leaf clover, Nick must constantly murmur to himself: I love Sharon, I love Phyllis not. I love Phyllis, I love Sharon not. Like his father with Nikki, will Sharon be the one woman he can't get out of his heart?

Christine: Nick seems to be slipping away from Chelsea now, and Phyllis is waiting in the wings, tempting him with her hot video game skills. He seems to have a "love you forever" situation on the regular, but it isn't always the same one.

Best baby of all time: Cutie pie scene stealer Delia Abbott.

Christine: Well, we saw ghost Delia this year. We never see baby Sam (he's probably in middle school now with SORAS). We don't see Mia and Arturo's baby, but according to Rey and Lola, it's the cutest baby ever. My personal favorite kid (spoiler alert for my best and worse) is Christian. I really like the rarely seen SORASed version.

He's his own man now: Neil Winters. With his very own shadow. At last. Now, may he please get a decent storyline in 2010?

Christine: Nope, I still haven't recovered from this. Rest in peace, Kristoff St. John. You are missed. You were such an important person on The Young and the Restless. While his shadow still follows Nate and Devon, it's not the same as if he were here.

The Worst Storyline. Well, speaking of Adam, his sabotaging Ashley's pregnancy, which culminated with the baby switch at the mental hospital, was the worst storyline of the year. It wasn't just that Ashley's continuing pregnancy after the miscarriage made no sense. That was bad enough. Hysterical pregnancies like that are beyond rare; it's practically impossible. But we were also supposed to buy that Ashley wasn't aware enough of her body after the miscarriage to know she had bled all over the floor? That she didn't feel differences? That her breasts were not lactating? There were all kinds of questions left unanswered physically. But they also insulted the viewers who had come to respect Ashley for her intelligence. Her sudden refusal to see a doctor in a hospital, her alienation from Olivia, was just dumb.

Christine: I've got nothing here. There's nothing as absurd that I can think of that happened this year. And Adam, while no saint, hasn't (to the best of my knowledge) done anything this awful in quite some time!

Best humorous moment: Jill and Kay smearing each other with Chloe and Billy's wedding cake, while Murphy looked on disbelievingly, probably wondering what the heck kind of family he'd married into.

Christine: Oh, yes, we had Katherine ten years ago. I'm struggling to think of anything as hilarious that's happened recently. We don't really see weddings (non-weddings, sure). Honestly, maybe the moment with the greatest level of disbelief was Victor and Jack drinking together at Society. Different, but pleasantly stunning, nonetheless.

As always, there was a "Two" in the Two Scoops. A professional second opinion, if you will. Since not every fan sees things the same way, we know that our columnists often don't always agree. Here is what Alison J. Waldman selected at the tops and the flops of 2009.

The Best Character. Jack Abbott really went through it all in 2009. He had emotional ups and downs, and you felt him every step of the way. He truly tried with Sharon. He was ready to raise that child as his own, and -- to be fair -- she treated him like crap. She used him, and Jack deserved to be pissed. Jack also had his heart broken by Billy. It wasn't just that baby brother Billy boffed Sharon and might have been the father of her child. Billy also walked out on Jack's dream to reign over Jabot. Jack also had to deal with the whole Patty Williams mess. Talk about your past coming back to haunt you? But Jack didn't bring Patty back, and he wasn't responsible for her insanity -- that would be Victor's cross to bear. The conclusion of Patty's wild ride, however, weighed heavily on Jack. Colleen's death. There was no greater heartbreak for the Abbotts and Jack than losing C.C.

Christine: I'm guessing this was some of the stuff in the Abbott memoir that we didn't see Traci write this year.

Best Bizarre Twist. Victor getting Colleen's heart was such a weird, bizarre twist (and highly unlikely) that is made killing Colleen okay. It sets up the strangest future connection between the Newmans and the Abbotts yet. I don't believe that the Abbotts really would have agreed to give Victor the heart or that the authorities would allow a personal donation like that (there are rules about stuff like that), but it still made for an amazing twist.

Christine: You'd think that somewhere along the line, Victor would have been kinder and gentler to the Abbotts because of this. I didn't really see it until Victor softened this year when he had his dangerous illness. Sometimes things stay a lot the same, but perhaps not so much here.

Worst Romantic Tease. Considering how long Nick and Sharon have been kept apart, their reunion, when Nick believed he was the father of the baby and before Summer was poisoned, was just too damn short. They were together for two weeks, right? It felt that fleeting. And now, the chances of a reconciliation seem very far away. Too bad. I think we're not going to get the course of true love straightened out for a long, long time.

Christine: All these years later, and Nick and Sharon still haven't gotten it right, no matter how many people think they're end game. They try, but they just can't make it work. So, Nick tries with Chelsea or Phyllis (maybe he's due for someone new), and Sharon seems to be making a go of it with Rey (despite challenges from Adam).

Worst Treatment of a Kid. I don't like storylines in which kids are hurt. It seems like manipulation, and Y&R was guilty of a major sin this year when they let Patty kiss Summer to cause her allergy to peanuts to trigger an anaphylactic shock reaction. They nearly killed that little girl character for the sake of showing Patty as the lunatic she is. It was one of the worst moments of the year.

Christine: The worst treatment of a kid was Connor locking Christian in the garage. Bad, bad, bad call. And he was not held accountable. The next time might result in a body. Little girl Summer grew up a lot in the past ten years, too.

At the time, Alison also looked into her crystal soap dish to predict the year ahead. Here's what she thought might be highlights as the 2010s began.

Nick and Adam. The embodiment of evil, Adam is in dire need of a makeover and multiple coats of whitewash. If Phyllis, Gloria, Lauren, Ashley, and so many others could be successfully whitewashed to respectability, so can Adam. But for this fan, it ain't gonna happen, to quote Victor Newman, until he comes clean about what he did with Sharon's baby. Do that first, scribes, then redeem him from there. But in the meantime, there is plenty of animosity between the brothers to enjoy. Despite the way he's fawning all over Sharon, Nick might be right on the mark about Adam's action being more about Nick than Sharon.

Christine: Still not seeing Adam as fully redeemable. And he and Nick almost got along before Adam almost died, but now I'm not seeing it.

Cane and Lily. With so few loving relationships to choose from, I really want to like these two. But they're so sweet; they sometimes make my teeth ache. Lily's life has been one tragic event after another. Near rapes, marital betrayal, lying lovers, witnessing her mother's death, and now cancer. May this poor woman finally find some lasting joy for at least part of 2010. And scribes, please don't turn Mac's surrogacy into a tug of war for Lily's baby-to-be.

Christine: Perhaps with Cane as he is, Lily is okay on her own. She can do better. I know people loved them, but this is how it is now.

J.T. and Victoria. Talk about a role reversal! Once the one cooling his heels while his wife fielded round the clock calls from the boss, now it's Victoria tapping her toe impatiently while her hubby tries to keep all his executive balls aloft. It has been wonderful watching J.T. finally find his backbone, and I look forward to more in 2010.

Christine: Well, um, the J.T. and Victoria thing didn't go so well. But we're in a similar place with Billy and Victoria. I hope these crazy kids can work it out.

You've gotten my two cents. Perhaps that was more than it was worth, but you'll hear from me again in two weeks when I share my best and worst from 2019. I look forward to visiting with you then. Until we meet again, keep watching, and know that I'll be right here watching with you.

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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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