For four months, instead of airing new episodes -- something that has been the case for nearly five decades -- The Young and the Restless has been rebroadcasting episodes from years gone by. Of course, it's not of their own choosing, but rather the result of a very serious real-world situation. Soap fans almost never get a chance to see re-airings, encore presentations, rebroadcasts, reruns, or whatever you'd want to call them. So, as much as I know we're all ready to see new episodes, I have enjoyed these classic episodes.
This week -- the week of July 20, 2020 -- will be an outstanding week of fan favorite, classic episodes that include the very first two episodes of Y&R. Why two? Because Y&R started as a 30-minute show! We'll also see the remarkable reveal of Katherine's facelift -- which was the first real-life facelift written into a soap opera. As the number one soap for over 30 years, Y&R has provided numerous stories that the fans have loved and that have kept us all tuning in while we laughed with our loved ones during the good times and cried with them during the bad times. Since Y&R has offered us such a high value of talent and entertainment throughout the years, it must have been difficult to narrow down the choices for fan favorite week, although I must say that they did a fine job with the selections.
It has also not been easy for me to just pick a few of my favorites, but I will give it my best shot. I started by making a list of my favorite characters and couples. That only helped but so much. Since I love a good surprise, some of my favorite memories are when I was left shaking my head, not believing what I was seeing. (Are you kidding? I'm still in shock that Eli Clarke was revealed to be the serial killer on One Life to Live). I'm sure I changed my list several times before I submitted it to be published. And I'm sure I'll think of something I forgot, even after this column is posted. [EDITOR'S NOTE: If Teddi does change her mind, we'll add her updated selections at the end of the column.]
So, here are five of this fan's favorite episodes of The Young and the Restless, complete with links to recaps for those episodes.
In 2010, Victor had Victoria arrested on the day of her wedding to Billy. Victor had always made it perfectly clear to Victoria (and to pretty much everyone else in Genoa City) that he did not think that Billy was good enough for his precious daughter, since Billy was a screw-up and, as an Abbott, was also the brother of his archenemy, Jack. But Victoria was in love with the charming "Billy Boy" and was determined to marry the man of her dreams. Their wedding was lovely, and just when it looked as if they would be able to live happily ever after, Victor had his daughter arrested at the altar to show his disapproval. So, while Billy and Victoria were able to get married, her jail time rather put a crimp in the romantic plans for their wedding night, which was just the start of a rocky road for the couple.
In January 2014, Billy Abbott (then played by Billy Miller) took Adam Newman (then played by Michael Muhney) hostage at gunpoint in a car after he learned that Adam had been the hit-and-run driver who had killed his precious daughter, Delia. Billy forced Adam to drive to Delia's gravesite, so Adam could grovel and confess what he'd done to the darling girl. After Billy insisted that he would never allow Adam to watch his son, Connor, grow up, Adam wrestled with Billy for the gun, which went off, and the car plowed off the road and over a cliff. This was tremendous acting by two awesome actors and forever stamped the anger and conflict between the characters.
Brad Carlton dove in to rescue Noah Newman from a frozen pond in 2009 and died a hero. This was shocking and totally unexpected. Brad had actually gone to the Abbott cabin to declare his love to Sharon, but she spurned his advances. So, in an ironic twist, he saw someone, who happened to be Sharon's son, flailing around in the pond and jumped in to save him. His heroic act ended up costing Brad his life, since J.T. found Brad's lifeless body under a sheet of ice. Later, Jack callously referred to the dearly departed as the "Brad-cicle," which was pretty funny but also terribly tacky at the same time.
In 2018, during the eternal fearless female foursome's conspiracy to cover up J.T.'s death storyline that held the viewers hostage for almost a year, "J.T." removed his mask to reveal that he was Nick Newman. After Victor took temporary full custody of Nick's son Christian, Nick wanted to get revenge on his father by gaslighting him into believing that J.T. was alive and well and behind the attempts to ruin Victor and his company. It was still shocking to see that Nick was behind the mask, since he was a good and honest man, and especially since Victor believed him to be weak. I was disappointed that I was unable to watch the big reveal at the time because of special news coverage in the area; however, I was able to see it online later.
Later in 2018, Ashley revealed that Jack was John's son and was, therefore, an Abbott, after all. The complex scheme that Ashley concocted to get even with her brother for creating the non-blood Abbott clause at Jabot was brilliant and horrific. Ashley knew the best way to get back at her brother was to take away what he loved most -- being an Abbott -- since Jack was proud of being the son of John Abbott, a man he loved, admired, and respected. Jack was completely lost when he believed that he was no longer John's son, and no matter how hard he tried, he struggled with the loss of his identity. When Ashley finally confessed and admitted to Jack that he was an Abbott all along and that she had sabotaged him, it was intriguing to hear how she had pulled it off with all the intricate details involved. But mostly, we were relieved that Jack was an Abbott and that all was right with the world again.
A few of my honorable mentions for fan favorite episodes (at least this fan's favorites) are when Phyllis helped Jack beat his drug addiction at the Abbott cabin in 2013, when Drucilla Winters fell off a cliff during a photoshoot as she fought with Sharon and Phyllis over a phone in 2007, and when Phyllis made a dramatic entrance after emerging from a coma to crash Nick's wedding to Sharon in 2014. I know that I must have other favorites that I am forgetting. There have been so many terrific episodes with amazing stories played out by exceptionally talented actors on Y&R, I could never name them all. I know there will be more to come -- and I'm really looking forward to watching them.
How shocking was it to see Christian LeBlanc sporting his "real-life" salt and pepper look, when he introduced Monday's episode in a week that paid tribute to the Baldwins and Fishers?! Obviously, he's been darkening his hair to play Michael Baldwin, which sometimes can be a shame. Mr. LeBlanc is quite dashing with the white streaks flowing throughout his dark locks of hair (and his facial hair!) Men can be so lucky in that respect. Some guys (but not all) grow more distinguished as they age, especially as their hair lightens and turns to grey or white. My husband has been one of those men. And Christian LeBlanc is also fortunate to just get better and better looking, the older he gets. Lucky guy!
It's hard to believe now that Phyllis had, at one time, been gracious enough to back down in order to try to let Nick and Sharon repair their marriage. Oh, please! Even Phyllis probably wouldn't remember doing that, and she sure wouldn't do that now, especially for Sharon.
Michael was truly surprised and scared when Lauren announced that he would be a father, but he was also happy to hear the news, just as all soap fans should be. Just think how boring soaps would become if there were no children born to torment their parents and to complicate their lives (especially once they are afflicted with SORAS). It's the new generations that keep the family tree evolving, even if sometimes the limbs of the tree become somewhat entangled and gnarly. Hey, Victor should know this better than anyone.
Hooray! Y&R is back into production, so we should soon be getting our daily dose of drama and angst during the week from our favorite soapy families once again. I am confident that the powers that be have found a way to film safely for all the cast and crew members. While it's been fun watching classic episodes from the past, the real entertainment comes from fresh stories, and hopefully, those will have us gripping our chairs in anticipation once new episodes from our beloved soap return. So, it looks like we all are starting to head toward the light at the end of a very long tunnel. Welcome back, The Young and the Restless!
Until next time, please stay tuned. And take care and please stay safe!
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