From back burner to front runner, or gone too soon?
by Nel
For the Week of June 29, 2020
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There have been so many interesting characters on The Young and the Restless, and we the fans have developed a love/hate relationship with a number of them. Some characters haven't been allowed to shine while others have. Many have come and gone, but maybe they were gone too soon and should be resurrected. Join our columnist as she looks at which characters have been underplayed, which have shone over the years, and why some should return.

While watching Y&R, who hasn't cheered for the good guy and hissed at the bad guys? With the present cast of characters, perhaps some of your favorite characters have been relegated to occasional scenes and have been underplayed, in your opinion. Who wouldn't love to see some of the lesser-played characters in a more predominant role with storylines involving them, rather than focusing mainly on the main characters?

Many of you have watched Y&R from day one, while others have discovered Y&R over the years. Whatever the case might be, everyone has seen characters come and go, and you have embraced some, while others you never missed after they left. If you could change a character's status to an occasional main character, how would you change them and why? Would you turn them evil or good? Who would you pair them with if you had the choice? I have seen some of my favorites go, and I have embraced some of the new ones, but I would love to see some of the seasoned players have more presence on Y&R. Here is what I would do if I was given the opportunity to change a thing or fourteen.

Paul Williams seems to have been tossed aside completely. Is there no crime in Genoa City? We all know that isn't the case. Many have referred to Paul as one of the Keystone Kops, who couldn't solve a crime if it hit him in the ass. Paul has always been a fan favorite. In the past, he had a significant role as one of the front runners on the soap, and he did a great job.

There is enough crime in Genoa City to warrant having a good cop like Paul. Paul has been dumbed down to the point where everyone is solving crimes but him. Time for a change. Paul is a kindhearted soul but tough when he needs to be. It's time for Paul to be brought back as police commissioner or as an investigator to fight the crime and corruption that is so prevalent in Genoa City. Having him help Victor trap Adam when nothing came of it was not a good use of this gifted veteran, but that's about all he's done since his return.

I also believe that Paul and Christine should remain a couple. They have had a great love story since they first met, and just like Nikki and Victor, their love has kept them gravitating toward each other. I would love to see Paul brought back from the bumbling cop that he has been made out to be, to a crime-solving and respected cop or investigator.

Michael Baldwin had many ongoing storylines over the years, but in recent years, he has been downplayed drastically. Lawyers are always needed for one thing or another (especially with this group of lawbreakers). Michael and his wife, Lauren Fenmore, have also had a great love story, but for some reason, that love story has been placed on the back burner. It seems that Michael only pops in for a few words now and then, when in the past, Michael had always appeared regularly. I'm wondering why we almost never see him anymore -- and we see Lauren even less.

This couple has remained devoted to each other over the years. Where Michael is concerned, there are always ongoing contracts, mergers, divorces, and lawsuits, but it appears that he is no longer needed. Is everyone drawing up and/or filing their own habeas corpus, divorce papers, and contracts themselves? Using Attorney Google, Esquire? Michael doesn't need to be a main character, but I believe he should be doing more "lawyering" than he has been over the last couple of years. I know Amanda is a lawyer, but she doesn't have roots. Michael does.

Fenmore's and Lauren have been part of Jabot for a while. Is she still part of Jabot, and if so, why isn't she more prevalent in the daily running of the company? She had been a major player in Jabot affairs. Lauren should be more involved, since Fenmore's is such a huge part of the Jabot line. Christian LeBlanc and the ageless Tracy Bregman are amazing, and their abilities should be utilized to a greater extent.

What about Traci Abbott? Other than her relationship with Brad, I don't recall Traci ever really having a real front burner storyline. It appears that the only time Traci comes home is to keep the family from imploding, and then she is brought in as the voice of reason. Doesn't she deserve a love life rather than constantly fretting about family? Traci needs more airtime, and I believe she has a great opportunity with Chancellor Media and working with Billy and Lily.

Traci and Lily seem to have a lot in common. They are both compassionate, levelheaded, and loyal, and they have the ability to maintain peace. I believe they would make a great pair, especially in keeping Billy from going off half-cocked, which seems to be the norm for him.

How about bringing a new man into the fold at Chancellor Media to give Traci a love interest? Traci is a talented and published writer. Perhaps Lily and Billy could hire someone equally as talented, and he and Traci could have a working and a personal relationship. Maybe their relationship could be tested by inserting some drama into it. Maybe the new guy could be accused of some wrongdoing, and Traci would help to clear his name. Beth Maitland is a super actress, and she should have a bigger presence than just being the glue pot for the Abbott family. Perhaps Chancellor Media will give her the opportunity to do that.

I think Abby Newman Abbott is another underrated character. She started off as being a complete airhead with her Naked Heiress persona, which I personally thought was absolutely ridiculous. Abby has grown tremendously since the Naked Heiress days of her late teens and early twenties. She has developed a good business sense, and she had great teachers, especially Victor, Ashley, and Jack. She has opened a successful restaurant and is now aiming for a grand hotel that will outshine the Grand Phoenix. But I feel she should have more meaty storylines, and I would love to see it happen with her and Chance.

Abby is a product of two very powerful families, the Newmans and the Abbotts. How much longer can Victor and Nikki remain on the front burner? Isn't it time for their children to take command and bring in new blood?

Victoria has been primed to take over Newman. Nick has gone off on his own and, in partnership with Devon, has successfully developed a project called New Hope, which helps the underprivileged in their community. Adam -- who knows what Adam will do? -- but he is a Newman, and he will more than likely continue to cause grief for the rest of the family with his never-ending retaliation for what he still perceives as having been abandoned.

Abby is strong-willed, smart, and determined. She thinks on her feet. In my opinion, she could be the dark horse of the show and surprise everyone. She still comes off as a bit of an airhead, but that might be deliberate because it would give her an advantage if she appears to be easy prey while she gets a leg up with her adversaries who might believe they can outsmart her.

Her relationship with Chance is very different than what she had with Stitch and Arturo (and even Nate, which was totally a rebound). Abby and Chance seem to fit comfortably, like two spoons. So far, there doesn't appear to be any jealousy or rivalry between them. I love this pairing, and I hope Abby has finally found the love of her life. Both Stitch and Arturo had their eyes on other women while they were with Abby, but Chance seems to have eyes only for her. Melissa Ordway and Donny Boaz play really well off each other and are very believable. Love them.

That brings us to Kevin and Chloe. In the past, they both had great storylines, Kevin acting out because of having been abused by his father, Tom Fisher, and Chloe trying to manipulate Billy and Cane, but in the end, these two characters were redeemed. Kevin wound up working for the police department, and Chloe was in business with Chelsea and her clothing line. So, what has happened to them? The last time they had a major storyline was when Chloe faked her death, and she and Kevin ran off together. Now that they are back, they have become a ho-hum couple.

Elizabeth Hendrickson and Greg Rikaart are two really great actors, and they should each have major storylines (not involving chipmunk costumes). Perhaps Kevin could unwittingly be involved in doing some undercover work for the police, and Chloe and Chelsea could really get into the new Chelsea clothing line and go through the growing pains again, including all the drama that went with it. They could include more drama with Chloe's hatred of Adam and how she tries to convince Chelsea to move on and away from him. Chloe will never get over the fact that Adam killed Delia. Anything would be better than what the writers have done with them at the moment. I love Kevin and Chloe as a couple, and I wouldn't change that, but they need some new life poured into them.

Should some characters be resurrected?

Many of the characters have either been written off, or they have chosen to move on to other projects. I, for one, would love to see some of the characters resurrected. They wouldn't necessarily need to be the same people who played them previously, they could just be new faces to old characters. Okay, I hear the groaning about recasting some of the characters. Who could possibly replace Shemar Moore as Malcolm, right? I'm sure they can find someone just as yummy as Shemar. Look at how many times Billy Abbott has been replaced, and almost every time, people have accepted and embraced the recast. Let's keep an open mind!

Since I mentioned Shemar Moore, let's talk about Malcolm Winters. Phyllis Summers and Malcolm had a special relationship. They had a bond as very close friends. Before Malcolm left the show, I honestly believed that he and Phyllis would wind up as a couple, married or otherwise. I think if Jack and Phyllis don't find their way back to each other, then I would love to see Malcolm return for a Phyllis and Malcolm love story.

I have said it before: I don't like Phyllis with Nick. They are just too volatile together. They start off being kissy face and swear they won't hurt each other ever again, but in the end, they always do, and it's always in a very big way. So, I nix this relationship completely. Unlike Nick, who thinks he knows Phyllis, Malcolm knows Phyllis to her core. For the most part, like Jack, Malcolm was able to keep Phyllis on an even keel. I would prefer Phyllis with Jack, but if that isn't going to happen, bring back Malcolm for her.

I would love to see Mackenzie Browning return and be paired with Billy Abbott again. They were married for 30 seconds, and it was annulled because it was believed they were related, even though it was later discovered they weren't. There is nothing stopping them from having a relationship and moving forward. Mac always understood where Billy was coming from. I don't believe Victoria will ever reunite with Billy because there has been too much water over their bridge -- it is perhaps washed away entirely. Mac and Billy's relationship was never filled with drama the way that Billy and Victoria's relationship has been. Mac seemed to have a calming effect on Billy, and she felt safe with him.

I think Billy needs someone like Mac in his life. To me, it seemed that Billy felt inadequate with Victoria because she held such a power position in an enormous corporation, and he needed to either be an equal or better. I think that is the reason he gambled, a form of release, so to speak. He never felt like he was in control. Billy always wanted to show he was an equal with Victoria, and whether it was subconscious or a blatant fact, it was a competition for him to show Victoria he could be a high-powered player, as well. It never ended well. With Mac, there wouldn't be any competition, because he would always be the dragon slayer for Mac.

We need a new character as a love interest for Nick Newman, or should we bring back Avery Bailey Clark for him? He hasn't been very lucky in the romance department. He and Sharon broke up because Nick had an affair with Phyllis after Cassie died. When they reunited and were at the altar for their second wedding, Phyllis arrived before they were pronounced husband and wife. They tried one more time, but Sharon found out that Nick had cheated on her again, with Phyllis again, and she outed him at the altar and in front of friends and family.

Nick and Phyllis' two marriages had been volatile. His marriage to Sage ended in her death. Avery left Nick at the altar while she comforted Dylan, and Chelsea abandoned him when she left town. When she returned, she and Nick resumed their relationship, only to have Chelsea reunite with Adam. If it wasn't for bad luck, Nick wouldn't have any luck at all.

In my opinion, Nick and Sharon are done as a couple. They are far better as friends than they were as husband and wife, and I hope it remains that way. He is better off without Chelsea because she is more suited to Adam, because both are con artists in one form or another. Nick has chosen to hook up with Phyllis again, and that's never a good sign. Phyllis might have mellowed, but she hasn't really changed, and this is going to blow up in Nick's face again.

Nick and Avery have matured since she left Nick standing at the altar, so maybe a new relationship for these two might be a good idea, but then again, it might not. So, maybe someone new should be brought into the fold.

Last but not least, how about bringing Travis Crawford back for Victoria. I loved these two together. Travis brought out the lighter side of Victoria, and she smiled a lot when she was with him. They had an easy and uncomplicated relationship. I would love for him to return and reunite with Victoria.

Let me know how you feel about my opinions -- even if you think I'm completely wrong -- and that's a wrap until next time.
Nel

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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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