With the changing of the guard of executive producer and head writer at the beginning of the year, 2019 offered a great mix in drama and entertainment. Fan favorites -- Paul, Ashley, Chelsea, Kevin, and yes, even Chloe -- were brought back to rejoin our beloved soap family, as others, not quite as popular (including a few named Rosales), were ushered out. Adored couples such as Billy and Victoria reunited. Adam returned from the dead with a totally new face, and Phyllis returned to being her fiery "Red" self. We had to bid a final goodbye to our beloved friend Neil. And, at long last, we learned that J.T. was alive, and the "murder" mystery was finally resolved! Here's my Best and Worst of 2019.
The Worst of 2019
We lost our beloved Neil Winters and Kristoff St. John. "The hardest part of loving someone is saying goodbye." From everything I've read, Kristoff St. John had a heart of gold and was a wonderful friend to his cast and crew members. And Neil's family and friends have truly missed his advice and wisdom as well as his loving presence in their lives. Kristoff and Neil were beloved to all, and it's only right that Devon keeps a picture of Neil displayed to always remind us of this wonderful man. As Neil would say, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."
The never-ending J.T. mystery was resolved in lickety-split time. While it was great that the fans finally got the resolution needed from this long, dragged-out story, the ending came and went in a flash. J.T. returned long enough to clear our ladies of the dastardly deed of his murder and then left town again, probably never to be seen again. Or could he possibly return down the road? You never know on soaps.
Sharon and Rey. Why, oh why, are the writers so dead set on putting this couple together? They have absolutely no on-screen chemistry together. They don't even act like they are hopelessly and completely in love with each other. At best, they are good friends, which is what they should remain. When Rey split with Sharon for a rather absurd reason, I was mentally throwing confetti in celebration of their breakup. However, I was a little premature in my celebration, when it didn't take long for the two to start sniffing around each other again. Honestly, I'd rather see Sharon with Adam than Rey, even though I'm not the biggest fan of theirs, either. Watching Sharon with Rey has been as exciting as watching paint dry, and actually, it's not even that exciting. It's almost like the writers don't even know what to do with Sharon, so they keep pairing her up with Rey -- but seriously, she deserves better.
Jack and Phyllis are no longer a couple. They are still one of my favorite couples on Y&R, and with Michelle Stafford back, it just seems Jack and Phyllis should be together again. Watching their past clips from Jack's recent tribute only reminded me of just how true that is. But, alas, I can only hope that maybe, someday, the soap gods will act in my favor and reunite this couple, who seem so well suited for each other.
Ana, Fen, and Ana's dad. They were all so forgettable, they almost didn't even make my worst list. While I have liked Fen from time to time, his new career as a singer was pretty dull, especially since he didn't even make it a priority himself. The way Devon treated his sister Ana was rather horrible, since he never gave her a chance to prove her worth in his new music company. And, really, there was no point in even bringing Ana's dad to town, since he provided almost nothing to the show. Seriously, I can't barely remember his name. (It's Jett.)
No matter how deceitful Phyllis is, Nick returns to her time and time again. Whether it was Gina Tognoni or Michelle Stafford playing her, Nick just can't stay away from Phyllis, even though she's proven to him, time and time again, that she's just about as bad as Nick's father in the deceit department. But maybe that's what draws him to her -- that Phyllis reminds Nick of Victor. After all, Nick was raised in that kind of atmosphere, so he must be very familiar and maybe even comfortable with it.
Lily and Cane got a divorce. With Christel Khalil leaving the show, the fans could see that coming a mile away; however, that meant another Winters would be gone out of our lives. I have always liked Cane and Lily as a couple because they had a great love story when they first got together. (And they are one big reason why I never cared for Chloe.) Plus, they were one of the few signature happy couples, along with Michael and Lauren, on Y&R. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and due to Lily's departure, Cane was on his way out, too. But at least they each got their own farewell storyline, unlike the twins, who somewhat disappeared into the woodwork. (Okay, we all know they went to college.)
Summer agreed to donate part of her liver to Lola just to get Kyle to marry her. Even if it was Kyle's idea, Summer should never have held Kyle to his terms of the contract that included marriage. Donating part of her liver truly would have been a generous gesture for Summer, if only her ultimate goal hadn't been to "put a ring on it." That just showed Summer's desperation, since she should have known that the effort wouldn't get her Kyle's love. While part of Summer's liver belonged to Lola after the surgery, Kyle's heart still belonged to Lola.
The CEO hopping at Jabot continued first with Phyllis, then with Kyle and Billy, then with Jack, and finally with Jack and Kyle. I honestly have to wonder how on earth the public can have confidence in a company that changes its CEO so often. However, as long as Jabot and Newman Enterprises stick around to constantly compete and battle against each other, I can't complain too much about the continuous switcheroo at the top executive level.
Mama and Papa Rosales took turns popping into town. At first, I thought Lola's mom was after Jack, but that never went anywhere, just like Celeste, who should just stay out of town. And absolutely nobody wanted Adrian in Genoa City -- not even Lola.
Nick lost Dark Horse to Adam. Dark Horse brought some added complexities to the competition between Newman Enterprises and Jabot, plus it gave Nick a company that he could call his own. Even though losing Dark Horse freed Nick up for other things such as politics, that ended up not working out, either. Oh, well, at least Nick still has New Hope.
Adam tried to wrestle custody of Christian from Nick. My least favorite storylines are ones that involve ignoring what's best for the children. While it's true that Adam is Christian's biological father, Adam had already agreed to let Nick raise his son. So, when he tried to take that away from Nick, Adam also was taking away any security that boy had ever had in his life, since Nick was the only father Christian had known his entire life. Thankfully, Adam was pressured into changing his mind later (Victor!), and Nick retained custody.
Adam and Chelsea. At one time, I loved Adam and Chelsea as a couple, since they had started out as friends. But with Connor doing everything he can to manipulate his parents' reunion, they have become a little too forced. Besides, with Chelsea going back into Adam's universe, that left Nick open to Phyllis' advances -- again. Ugh!
The Best of 2019
The reveal of the J.T. murder mystery. While it's true that the twists and turns to this mystery made for good story, it was way past time to put J.T.'s murder mystery out of its misery. It had just dragged on for so long, which sometimes can backfire and result in the big reveal being anticlimactic. Fortunately, since the fans were craving so badly for this to end, the huge reveal was actually pretty satisfying. Well, okay, who hadn't already figured out that J.T. was still alive by that time? No matter. When we saw J.T. not freshly covered in dirt, we knew he was truly alive and not a zombie who had just crawled out of his grave. And then our four ladies were off the hook for his murder, which finally put them out of their misery. At long last.
Michelle Stafford returned as Phyllis. Don't get me wrong -- I thought that Gina Tognoni did a very admirable job taking over the fiery reins of the character of Phyllis, but Michelle Stafford has her very own flair of playing the troublemaking vixen. And she also has her very own shade of "Red" in hair color that truly matches her personality and temperament. Although I sincerely miss Ms. Stafford as Nina on General Hospital, it's been nice having her back, scheming and conniving as Phyllis as she fights her way back into being a success in the corporate world.
Adam returned to town (and from the dead!), a new and somewhat younger man. Since his introduction to the Newman family, Adam has become an essential, if not entirely welcomed, member of the family. Depending on the actor that plays him, Adam has been colored in various shades of grey that makes him truly intriguing and entertaining, even if it's not always in a good way. 32-year-old Mark Grossman's version of Adam has been devious and despicable, more like 44-year old Michael Muhney's than like 42-year-old Justin Hartley's horribly misunderstood Adam. No matter what actor plays him, though, Adam's like a car wreck -- you can't help but watch him, especially when he self-destructs. Whenever he's around, Adam Newman sure livens things up. The one thing you can never accuse Adam of being is boring. Oh, no, Adam is never boring.
Doug Davidson returned as Paul Williams. Hooray! And it would have been a double pleasure if Rey had left upon Paul's return. But since you can't have everything, I will just be happy that Paul is being shown on my TV screen again.
Eileen Davidson as Ashley paid several brief visits to her Abbott family. It looked like Ashley might be gone for good once she moved to Paris, but thankfully, she was able to return later to visit with her family. Ashley has always been an essential part of the Abbotts, so it's only right that she pops in from time to time. And it's easier for Ashley to return for visits now that she and Jack have made amends. They had some electrifying moments in their non-blood Abbott clause feud, but it's time for that to be over and forgotten so Ashley can keep coming back to grace our screens with her presence. Ashley and Jack have a sibling rivalry that is usually very entertaining to watch, so it will be fun to see what the future holds for the Abbott companies in both Genoa City and Paris.
Chelsea, played by Melissa Claire Egan, also returned and pretty much picked up right where she left off in her romance with Nick. It was rather strange, really, that Nick and Chelsea reunited almost immediately upon her return, even after she had left him high and dry, almost taking Christian with her. (Thank heavens, she thought better of that.)
And, yes, welcome back to Kevin -- and even to Chloe. I have never been a fan of this couple because I always felt that he loved her more than she loved him, and that's probably still true. But I give thanks to Rey and Sharon for making it possible for me to tolerate Kevin and Chloe as a couple now. Plus, I have always admitted that Chloe tends to deliver some hysterical one-liners. I mean, I can't totally despise a character who can make me laugh at times. And with Kevin back, Michael can be on more often. When he learned Chloe was alive, after the recent resurrection of Adam, Michael, who can also bring the chuckles, yelled out to his brother that "only one person should be allowed to come back from the dead at a time." With Kevin back, Michael will certainly need to keep him out of trouble. Hey, what are big brothers for?
Victoria and Billy reunited. I still love this couple together, and Jason Thompson's Billy has finally grown on me. Mr. Thompson has made Billy his own character, and his Billy Boy has a different kind of chemistry with Victoria than Billy Miller's did. But it's still an endearing one, which makes them a couple to root for, even as Billy seemed to constantly sabotage himself. It's like Billy doesn't feel he's good enough for Victoria, so he creates his own self-fulfilling prophecy by self-destructing. The dark clouds certainly hovered over them, as Billy kept the truth from her about his meetings with Amanda at the bar and about his gambling again. In fact, Billy's chomping on the bar nuts reminded me of when he was chomping on his chewing gum. Oh, that can't be good.
Two of the Rosales family members left town. It's just too bad that Arturo and Mia didn't take Rey with them.
Lola and Kyle have been adorable as a couple. They are just so cutie pie, sweetie-sweetie together, but they need to be cautious about letting others (namely Theo and Summer) get too involved in their marriage. They also need to remember to take a break from their busy lives once in a while to make time for each other.
Traci was back, writing a romantic novel that featured a love story between her and Cane. Yes, I realized that there was an age difference between the two, but it was still sweet, anyway. Plus, it was Traci's time to shine. And even though the romance between the two thrived in fiction, in reality, it was cut short when Traci and Cane decided to remain very good friends.
Theo was discovered to be related to Dina. Because he's been cloaked in so many shades of grey, the character of Theo can prove to be most interesting, which has made his tie to Dina all the more intriguing. Because he is related to Dina, he is also related to several of the Abbotts, and anyone tied to the Abbott family is welcome in my book. Also, Theo was sincere about wanting to know about the grandmother he never knew he had, which made their meeting even more special.
A recast Chance returned with a mystery involving Katherine's will. I'm a little iffy on this one, but for the most part, this has been an entertaining story that also has included Cane's grand exit out of Genoa City. Plus, it also brought back Jill and Colin for a short time, and those two are always hilarious to watch. And while the recast Chance appears to be a good guy, could skeletons be lurking around in his closet since we last saw him? The fake codicil to Katherine's will also left Devon without the majority of his fortune, so I am hoping he can make his own way now without the help of the money.
The mysterious Amanda Sinclair played by fan favorite Mishael Morgan. So, just who is Amanda Sinclair? We didn't know much about her past except that she was a brilliant attorney, until we just learned that she is an orphan. Uh-oh. Could Amanda be Hilary's twin sister, after all, that Rose had maybe sold at birth because she was strapped for cash? And then Devon found out that the name of Amanda's ex-fiancÚ was Ripley Turner. Well, what a coinky-dinky that Amanda's former love had the same last name as Hilary's mother. No, that can't be a coincidence, so maybe it was just possible that Rose Turner and Ripley Turner were related. So, if Rose was Amanda's mother and Ripley was a relation to Rose and therefore, Amanda...oh my! Could that discovery be the reason for the bitterness between Amanda and Ripley that had them filing restraining orders against each other? If the writers dare, this story has the potential of being really good in a soapy and maybe even controversial kind of way.
Connor is scary good. The more that Chelsea and Adam try to fix Connor, the more they play right into his hands. Even if it appears sometimes that Adam is calling all the shots, Connor is really the one pulling all the strings. Connor definitely is a chip off the old puppeteer block, Victor, willing to do practically anything to get what he wants. And what he wants is to have only his father and mother in his own little world, so, by golly, he's going to have it. Anyone who crosses him (Sharon, Nick) had better be afraid. Connor already is antisocial, and I can't blame the school for wanting him gone. But how will Connor ever learn how to share and to get along with other kids if he never has any interaction with anyone else but Chelsea and Adam? However, the other kids and their parents should be grateful not to be around the little devil any longer. Their lives may have depended on it.
Victor still pulled all the strings in Genoa City. Once Victor survived his rare blood disease and Adam's swap of his medication, everyone in Soapland breathed a sigh of relief. When Victor Newman's around, drama flourishes. And Adam's return has given him more to work with, as Victor bounces back and forth between loving and admiring his youngest child to disowning Adam as his son. Although Victor constantly claims that everything he does is for family, more times than not, the Mustache seems to still enjoy pitting his children against each other, which makes for great entertainment. Whether you love him or hate him, Victor Newman grabs and holds our interest with his constant and continual diabolical manipulation in both his business and his personal life.
2019 Y&R Outstanding and Memorable Moments (Good & Bad)
Shortly after Victoria learned that Reed had been the one to hit Nikki with a car, she kissed Cane. I guess it's only fair that, since her son had bumped into her mother, Victoria's lips should bump into Cane's.
Kerry secretly hid a syringe in her purse, which hinted that she was not the loyal and honest professional businesswomen she pretended to be. Jack has sure had his bad run of picking the wrong girl, and he was able to add Kerry to his already long list.
Nikki finally confessed to Christine and Rey that she had killed J.T. It didn't matter that it ended up not being true. It was still pretty shocking, anyway -- and it was about time!
Out of spite and jealousy, Mia accidentally pushed Lola, thinking she was Abby. Even if Mia hadn't really meant any harm, her action caused the whole Summer-donating-part-of-her-liver-to-Lola-just-to-get-Kyle storyline. Therefore, we all had to suffer along with Lola.
Nikki, Victoria, and Sharon were found guilty at trial of conspiring to murder J.T. Hey, they should have served a lengthy sentence in prison just for keeping their silence about that fateful night for so long.
J.T. finally returned, very much alive and with a brain tumor to boot. Although the final reveal, much like J.T., came and went swiftly, at least the fans finally saw the end of this long, drawn-out storyline.
Michelle Stafford as Phyllis sat at a bar in Las Vegas. Although we had heard that Ms. Stafford would be returning as Phyllis, it was still rather stunning to see Gina Tognoni as Phyllis one day and Michelle Stafford as Phyllis practically the next.
An alive Adam Newman returned to Y&R with a brand-new face. Adam was back in all his diabolical glory -- and we missed him!
Adam was shot in the gut by an unknown assailant. Hey, what can I say? He deserved it.
Adam and Phyllis crashed Victoria and Billy's recommitment ceremony. Phyllis stated in her toast, "May each and every one of you get exactly what you deserve" -- and she didn't mean that in a good way. That said it all.
Billy chomped on his gum as he stepped on the gas to run down Adam. Anytime Billy is chomping on chewing gum, it's best to beware. He was almost as frightening as Connor is these days.
Connor chanted as he watched Sharon, "Can't beat three. Mom and Dad and me." Man, that's one scary kid. Be afraid, Sharon. Be very afraid.
Chance ran into Abby, and jewelry stolen from the Grand Phoenix patrons fell out of her purse. And then she took a hammer and pounded the fake baubles into smithereens.
The line of the week was Victoria's to Nikki, "It's only paranoia when no one is out to get you." That's a slightly different spin of the way I know it: "Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you." Either way, it's true, and I love it.
I found it a touch ironic that Victor was reading a story to Johnny about a kingdom where men were brave and honorable. Well, Victor may have the brave part down pat, but honorable? Not so much.
I had to snicker at the irony when Jack claimed that Kerry healed his broken soul after she had used her heel to rub his back. Apparently, Kerry's magic foot could loosen all the knots in Jack's back to eliminate his trouble and pain. If only her foot could stop Arturo from being a heel after he refused to let Kyle see Lola.
Dina's statement to Jack was so heartbreaking. "It's almost...it's almost like I break your heart every time I go." And the saddest thing was that it was probably true.
Who says Summer is spoiled? Nick decided to build his daughter a house as a wedding gift. What? Most people are lucky if they can get an appliance that isn't a toaster. All I can say is that it must be nice.
Lola reminded Rey and Arturo at the Society opening that their mother used to say, "Don't let those society types get to you," yet the three of them seemed to be doing their best to be one of them. I guess the current Rosales motto should be, "If you can't lick them, join them."
Mariah recollected that Neil had once told her, "Not choosing is the same thing as not living." Neil Winters must have made some right choices then, because all his loved ones claimed that his life had been so meaningful.
Hmmm...Phyllis was in charge when Jabot tanked, and she was still wondering why she was given her walking papers? Apparently, Jack needs to spell it out to her in written detail, maybe even skywriting, since she's just not getting the gist of what has already been explained to her numerous times.
I'm still mulling this over: Rey and Kyle are each moving in with a lovely yet single lady when their divorces aren't even final yet. It must be the latest fad in Genoa City. Maybe Billy should quickly marry Phyllis or Summer, just so he can file for divorce, before moving in with Victoria. Hey, he really needs to stay in touch with the times.
I truly appreciated Adam's wording, when he informed Phyllis that he wanted to set the town on fire and asked if she would be the match to light his gas. Oh, no, they absolutely had no intention of serving revenge as a dish cold to anyone.
Abby hit the nail on the head when she described her father as "a riddle wrapped up in a mystery inside an enigma." Oh, that description certainly fits Victor to a tee.
If Abby insists on closing her new club early, when the place is hopping, every time she has an emotional crisis, Society is doomed. Since she's both a Newman and an Abbott, the place would never be open.
Abby told Nate that she felt she didn't fit in the Newman family, but seriously, does anyone besides Victor?
Adam has his own saying, which he told Kevin, "I draw the lines. You cross them for me." Yep, that's Adam.
Michael sure hit the nail on the head when he stated to Adam, "Even supervillains take an occasional day off."
Chloe joyously remarked to Kevin how happy she was to be able to return to a "perfectly normal life." Come on, we are talking about Chloe here. When she's involved, there's no such thing as normal.
Chelsea told Nick, "It just goes to show, when you're doing good things, good things come to you," but her actions spoke louder than words when she, almost immediately afterwards, left him to move in with Adam.
Until next time, please stay tuned -- and keep on buzzing.
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