The year 2020 has certainly proven to be most challenging in a world where the new normal has become all about social distancing, which completely contrasts with the soap world where everything is all about sex and intimacy. Therefore, out of necessity, soaps have had to seek out new and creative ways to show our favorite couples in the throes of passion, while also encouraging the viewers to use their imaginations to envision the actual movements. When, due to her insecurity over Devon, Elena fell into Nate's embrace, and they appeared to make love on a hospital bed in the clinic, only the shadows on the cabinet knew for sure; however, we had a pretty good idea of just what was going on between the two. The fans were more than willing to adjust to the necessary changes to keep everyone associated with our beloved show safe, so our stories could continue to evolve. Nick and Phyllis hinted at hot sex from clear across the room. Bring it! Chance proposed to Abby in Chancellor Park, minus an embrace and without any smooching. No problem. So, while keeping all this in mind, here's my Best and Worst of 2020.
Sharon and Rey. This pairing just gets worse each year, since Rey always seems to be the one calling the shots. Even when Sharon tried to deal with the horrible news of needing additional surgery due to her cancer in her own way, Rey was angry that she hadn't handled it properly, since she had chosen to help Adam so she could forget her own problems for a while. And then Sharon apologized to Rey for not doing it his way. I couldn't believe my ears! Rey is very controlling, since, not only does he decide whom Sharon is allowed to have as a friend, but he also pretty much tells her what she can do these days. All the crime must take place at Crimson Lights, since he seems to spend every working moment there, whenever Sharon is around. Rey claimed to be Sharon's rock, but that kind of rock can only bash all the spirit right out of her.
In a flash, the fairytale romance between Lola and Kyle was over. After all the wining and dining and the sweet romance between the young couple, who grew up on different sides of the tracks, in the blink of an eye, Kyle lost any love he had felt for the feisty Lola and went running back to Summer's arms and into her bed. The armor on Lola's white knight had suddenly become tarnished after Kyle flung the lovely lady aside without any regard for her feelings or for the pain that he had caused her. It was a new look for my favorite Kyle -- and not in a flattering way.
The Abbotts' treatment of Theo as a family member. I love the Abbotts, especially since, even with all their feuds and bickering, they still love each other as family members. But when they learned that Theo was Dina's grandson and was another branch on their family tree, the Abbotts never thought to inform him about any of their decisions regarding his grandmother, and Theo was not even included in their gathering for her final moments. Since the Abbotts always pride themselves on putting family first, their treatment of Theo was shameful and horrid.
Theo was banished from the kingdom. As an extended member of the Abbott family, Theo had so much potential for storyline, if they had only accepted him. However, Kyle wanted Theo gone, so Theo was gone. Since people can change, and at one time, Kyle and Theo had been friends, I never understood why Kyle was always so harsh with Theo, who had never had any of the advantages that Kyle had had growing up. Kyle's rotten attitude and lack of empathy for Theo further stained Kyle's knight in shining armor image, which may forever remain tarnished for me. But I am glad that Theo got to leave with something -- the boutique in Paris! -- and I hope he proves that he can be just as successful as the Abbotts. After all, he is Dina's grandson. And you never know -- we may just see Theo in Genoa City again someday.
Nick and Phyllis. No matter how deceitful Phyllis is, Nick returns to her time and time again. Wow, I said the exact same thing last year. So far, since this last reunion, Phyllis has tried to keep her deceit toned down, although she hasn't exactly been completely honest with Nick, either -- but it wouldn't matter, anyway. Nick knows very well what she's all about, and he still always goes back to her. The sex must be great because Nick will probably never be able to really trust her. But really, it's just a matter of priorities, and apparently, Nick has chosen his.
Colin defrauded Devon of his inheritance from Katherine. This story just seemed to pave the way for Amanda's entrance, because otherwise, it really never went anywhere interesting, especially once Tristan Rogers returned to General Hospital to play Robert Scorpio. In the end, Devon got his fortune back, and all was right with the world again.
Mariah and Tessa. Tessa's never around anymore, and Mariah deserves better, anyway. Besides, Mariah really needs a new storyline to sink her teeth into, so Camryn Grimes can show off her Daytime Emmy Award-winning acting chops once again. Hopefully, Mariah's new position as head of marketing at Jabot will help with that.
Connor's in boarding school. While it's completely understandable, it's a shame that it was necessary for Adam and Chelsea to ship Connor away to boarding school. That kid is a holy terror who has his parents completely wrapped around his finger. There's no doubt he will turn out to be just like his dad and his grandad, which will provide plenty of story once he is able to return. Hopefully, that will be possible someday soon.
Billy and Victoria. While, for years, they have been one of my favorite couples, the differences between the two finally became too big of a hurdle for them to overcome, especially since they don't really trust each other. They stopped communicating when Billy turned to Amanda, and Victoria turned to Newman Enterprises, so it was time for them to call it quits. However, Victoria showed that she still had faith in her ex when she believed that Billy was not the culprit who had shot Chance. Right now, they make better friends, which is good for the kids, also.
My choice for worst theme of the Y&R classic episodes. My pick for worst theme isn't so much the theme but that more could have been done with it, and that would be for our favorite supporting characters. While Y&R has had an abundance of riches with recurring diabolical villains and colorful characters popping in and out throughout the years, I wish one week could have showcased some of the ones who weren't on for too long or who aren't the first ones who might come to mind. I would have enjoyed seeing Ted Shackelford as either William or Jeffrey Bardwell or our very own Lieutenant Uhura from Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols, as Neil's mother, Lucinda, again. And okay, I admit that I really would love to have seen quirky Dr. Simon Neville, played by Michael E. Knight, one last time. I still think it was a missed opportunity for a unique romance between the sophisticated Ashley and the quite nerdy Simon. Developing a love between the opposites would have been so much fun to watch.
Victor finally showed that he truly cared about one of his children -- and it was Adam. At long last, after he had been saying for years that family always comes first with him, Victor finally practiced what he preached and put Adam first. Victor hid the truth about his youngest son killing a man, when Adam was just a child, to protect him, and even after the beans were spilled, the Mustache did practically everything he could think of to try to help Adam adjust to the knowledge. Even if Adam didn't see it, Victor really did want his son to be happy with Chelsea and Connor and for him to be mentally and emotionally stable, so Adam could enjoy his life with his family.
As a child, Adam killed the nasty villain, A.J., to protect his mother. This has been a terrific storyline, even though it has been a little uneven at times. First, Adam fell apart and wanted counseling from the only person he thought he could trust, which was Sharon. But then he declared himself healed, so that he no longer needed counseling. But then his inner child would pop up to try to warn Adam against trouble -- but then Adam's inner boy completely disappeared. But then his inner child reappeared when Victor had Adam committed to a mental hospital. Victor was the one who kept the story pretty even by realizing that Adam still needed help, no matter how much he denied it. Since with Victor and Adam, it's pretty much like father, like son, Victor should know better than anyone about teetering on the edge of stability, which keeps this on the best of the year list.
Billy and Lily. It's refreshing to see someone new paired up with Billy, someone who might just be able to give him a run for his money (hopefully, not gambling, though), and also with Lily, since, as much as I loved her with Cane, it will be nice to see her interact with another man in her life. Billy and Lily work well together at ChanceComm with their different skill sets, and they both like teasing each other in a fun and flirty way. And bravo to Lily for sticking up for Billy and for believing he was innocent when he was arrested for the shooting. With his demons always lurking around, Billy will continue to need Lily's angel on his shoulder to help fight them off. At first, I was leaning toward Billy being with Amanda, but Billy and Lily may just be the more dynamic couple to cheer on.
Adam and Chelsea. I have always liked Adam and Chelsea together, because I like that they started out as friends and fell in love afterward. And I like them staying together as long as the writers can keep the story interesting for them to be together. I was okay with Adam and Sharon mixing it up together for a while (okay, maybe to get her away from Rey), because that would shake things up for Adam and Chelsea, also. However, Chelsea's aneurysm has brought some dramatic variety for this complicated couple since Adam genuinely has been concerned for her health. One thing's for sure -- Adam has never been boring, so if Chelsea can help keep him that way, I'm good.
Sally Spectra relocated to Genoa City. Sally brings just the right kind of spice and sass, and it will be fun watching her adjust to life in Genoa City after her heart was broken by Wyatt in Los Angeles on The Bold and The Beautiful. Sally was ready for a new career and probably a new love, so it will be interesting to see how that all works out for her. Hopefully, she won't let her aggressive ambition get in her own way, though.
After declaring that she felt secure in Devon's love, Elena did the dirty deed with Nate. Elena kept swearing over and over to Devon that she didn't feel the least bit threatened by Amanda's resemblance to the deceased love of Devon's life, Hilary, but her insecurity constantly showed through. So, it wasn't surprising when she leaped into Nate's arms and lips, as their shadows showed that they did the deed on the bed at the clinic. Elena and Devon were so sweety-sweety together that it was almost sickening, so it was about time something shook things up for them. And as it turned out, Elena was right to feel threatened by Amanda, since Devon ran to her and pretty much asked her out on a date practically the second after he learned that Elena had cheated on him. Good stuff.
During the necessary break over the summer, Y&R showed classic episodes from throughout the years. Y&R wisely showed classic episodes from the past during the summer break, and fans got to relive some of the best moments with their beloved characters, some of whom are no longer with us, such as Katherine and Neil. The Y&R classic episodes were terrific, and the fans got to be reminded of some favorite characters and storylines from the past.
Sharon's cancer storyline. Sharon Case was remarkable in showing Sharon's attempts to hide her fears from her loved ones while also trying to stay strong, as she battled cancer and faced her surgeries to beat it. And Team Sharon remained united to finally defeat the evil foe!
Thanks to Billy's exposé about Adam, Faith finally got her own storyline. It's about time, and it will be interesting to see how Faith handles the mean kids in school. After they learned that Adam had taken Faith from Sharon as a baby and had given her to Ashley to raise as her own, the mean kids kept putting out on social media that she had been unwanted when she was born. It just seems to me that Faith had been very much wanted by two women, but that's kids for you. They can be so cruel.
Chancellor Communication. This new business has shaken up the corporate world in Genoa City and has provided some new dynamics for some of our favorite characters. Even though Billy used it as a tool for his own agenda of getting back at Adam, Lily still believed she could keep Billy toned down, and maybe she can -- both professionally and personally. With legal eagle Amanda also around, hopefully, ChanceComm will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
Phyllis and Abby as the partners of the Grand Phoenix. While it had to end eventually, it was rather entertaining to watch Phyllis and Abby constantly go after each other for control over the Grand Phoenix. Since Abby already had Society, it was obvious that she did it more for the challenge and to get Phyllis' goat than for her love of the hotel, which was Phyllis' baby. However, Phyllis jumped from the frying pan into the fire when she had to switch out Abby for Victoria as her business partner, since Victoria tends to play for keeps.
Phyllis' inspiring idea for the Escape Club for women at the Grand Phoenix. This truly was a great promotional idea and just what the women of Genoa City needed to escape the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Shoot, even I wanted to go there.
Dina's final farewell. When the Abbott family gathered around to return the teardrop necklace that she had cherished to Dina, it brought back memories of her family, and she stayed lucid long enough to tell them that she had loved them all. Then, Dina quietly slipped away from them. It was sweet, heart-warming, and tear-jerking for her children, who had always had very mixed feelings about their mother. And, thanks to Theo, the Abbotts had the proper tribute afterwards to a lady who had always been so strong, savvy, and successful throughout her entire life.
We bid a fond farewell to Dina and to Marla Adams. At least Dina left us with a smile on her face, and I truly hope that Marla Adams is finally rewarded with a Daytime Emmy Award win for her awesome portrayal of Dina Mergeron. RIP, Dina!
Chloe and Kevin were blessed with a new baby boy. Okay, I don't even dislike Chloe anymore. I had always felt that Kevin loved Chloe more than she loved him, but now I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Chloe has even taken a break from trying to kill Adam, so maybe she has changed. With Michael and Lauren around, Kevin and Chloe can finally be happy with their two young kids, although they also need to get back into the groove with a new and intriguing storyline. It's just too bad that the melodramatic Gloria had to leave so soon.
Sharon grew closer to Nikki and Victoria during her cancer scare. It was downright weird to see Nikki comfort Sharon when she learned of her former daughter-in-law's cancer after all the years of being so nasty to her. But it was also nice to see. Plus, when Sharon counseled Victoria after her stabbing, they became friends. With so much snark going on among many of the ladies on the show, it really was refreshing to watch the pleasantness between the two. Most women in the real world have girlfriends, which seems to be somewhat of a rarity on soaps.
My choice for best theme of the Y&R classic episodes. My pick for best theme has to go to Victor and Nikki, our very own GLOAT (Greatest Love Of All Time.) This couple has been the staple of Y&R for years, and if they aren't actually driving the storyline, Victor and Nikki are usually the backseat drivers in many other stories, especially if their kids are involved. No matter how many times they break up, Victor and Nikki always wind up back together in the end. These two characters have been masterfully developed as their own unique individuals, and it's the differences between them that keep us all tuning in to see them as they love, and sometimes hate, each other. While the theme that paid tribute to Katherine Chancellor would be a close second, Victor and Nikki take first as my choice for the best theme of the classic episodes.
Y&R celebrated a milestone 12,000th episode on December 1st. And we all celebrated with the wedding between Abby and Chance and by showcasing, through flashbacks, some of our favorite couples from throughout the years. Our beloved show continues to shine as the number one soap through its remarkable storytelling and its fantastically intriguing characters.
Connor found a kitten he named Oliver, which Adam and Chelsea let him keep. I was so fearful that the poor little guy's days were numbered as I hoped that Connor would never get mad at him or become bored with him.
Billy and Amanda celebrated feeling free and alive by screaming at the top of their lungs while standing on the ledge of a tall building. And that would be even more understandable if they had a fear of heights.
At the Newman gala, Victoria was stabbed by Amanda's ex Ripley. Believe it or not.
Nikki offered a frightened Sharon her shoulder to cry on. After all their catfights throughout the years, I never thought I'd see the day!
Christian LeBlanc first showed off his naturally mostly salt (with just a tad bit of pepper) hair during an introduction for a week of classic episodes. He looked so handsome and distinguished.
Lily returned to Genoa City. I missed Lily! She needed to be back home to carry on her dad's legacy of being a business whiz. But would Neil have approved of her romance with Billy? Hmmm...
As he hid under the dining room table in Kansas, Adam remembered that as a young boy, he had killed the varmint A.J. Even I felt bad for Adam, since the memory obviously traumatized him.
After Adam turned the power off, when Chelsea tried to pry her way out of the elevator, she fell and was knocked unconscious. Going down...
Dina quietly slipped away with a smile on her face after telling her children that she loved them. It was so sweet and heart-wrenching!
The shadows on the cabinet showed a pair of lovers embracing in the throes of passion. Yeah, I have to admit -- that was pretty cool.
Devon decked Nate in the lobby of the Grand Phoenix after he learned of Nate's fling with Elena. Yeah, that was pretty cool, too. And well deserved!
Chelsea was kidnapped at Chancellor Mansion by a masked man -- played by Melissa Claire Egan's very own husband. It was just a shame that we never got to see his face.
Chance proposed to Abby without laying one finger -- or one lip -- on her. Yeah, even though we all understood the reason why, it was still a little jarring not to see them hug or kiss after Chance proposed to Abby and she accepted.
Chance jumped in front of Adam and was shot by an unknown assailant. Hey, what are friends for? Boy, unknown assailants really like to target Adam, don't they?
Abby smooched up Chance big time when they got married. Since Abby married a temporary Chance played by Melissa Ordway's very own hubby, their kiss at the altar was perfectly safe. It was no mannequins for them!
The way Connor, Chelsea, and Adam were going on about the poor, sickly kitten in the box, I expected to see a tiny kitty cat who was so weak, it would hardly be able to move. So, imagine my surprise when Connor brought out an older kitten, who looked like it was ready to spring from his arms to play. Talk about a miraculous recovery!
Jill certainly seemed to be a tad delusional when she hoped that Lily would join Cane and the twins overseas, since that was one ship that had already sailed.
When Victoria worried about being paranoid over Billy, Nikki stated, "Honey, it's only paranoia if you're worrying for no reason." Hey, if anyone's going to be paranoid, it should be one of the Newmans.
When Billy went to his dive bar, he saw the strangest sight. That had to be the quietest poker game in the history of gambling. The three men sat straight up, stiff as boards, in their chairs, as each one continuously picked up and put down cards. No one spoke, no one drank, no one ate...and I'm not even going to mention the weird hat the middle guy was wearing. (Yeah, I know they are in Wisconsin, but still...) They sure had the poker faces going on, though. No change in expression or even in the rhythm of playing their cards. It was just bizarre to watch.
Victoria got Victor the perfect gift of a statue of the make and model of the car he owned when he had started out by selling items out of his trunk. That would remind Victor of just how far he had come, although with the constant stories that he always tells of when he had first started out as "Victor Newman," he really didn't need too much reminding.
It seemed that Noah had only just arrived when his family started trying to shove him right back out the door. Let's see -- Noah made a surprise entrance at the party, his parents hugged him, he showed off his artistic tribute to Victor, and Sharon immediately suggested that he return to London and then called Nick to have him back her up. Weird.
Okay, I am sensing that the Genoa City Chronicle is the town's newspaper and that they have their own website. I mean, there are almost no physical newspapers anymore. So, it would seem that anyone who checked the Genoa City Chronicle website would see the same headlines and the same column about the big news in town, right? Yet the front page (so to speak) of the Genoa City Chronicle that Billy checked out online was slightly different than the one Sharon looked at. Billy read that Victoria was stabbed with the "suspect still at large." Sharon saw that Victoria was attacked at the anniversary gala and that the "suspect remains at large." Also weird.
What?! I can't believe that it's only been one year since Summer manipulated Kyle into marrying her. So much has happened since then. It's crazy that Lola and Kyle's marriage came and went in less than a year.
It was so bizarre to see Jack carry in bags of groceries for Dina's return home, since it wasn't known at the time of the episode's taping about the crisis ahead. Hopefully, some of the bags contained plenty of hand sanitizer, meat, eggs, bottles of water, and milk. And toilet paper. Heaven help him if Jack didn't stock up on toilet paper!
While Kevin deserved the nod for best sense of humor, they should hope that their little one will have Chloe's delivery of one-liners. If Kevin and Chloe's son has a good combination of both, he may be able to make some big bucks as a stand-up comedian -- maybe even like Rodney Dangerfield. Take my blue dinosaur...please.
Victoria had a point when she told Nick that Adam could even get away with murder and still be in Victor's good graces; however, I'm not so sure their father has ever considered Adam his "golden boy." There's just been so much bad blood (so to speak) between the two of them throughout the years.
Chance told Chelsea that the Adam he had just seen at the hotel was like "a coiled spring, and the slightest touch could make him explode." But isn't that the way Adam always is?
Wasn't it great that Chelsea could still use her con artist skills to manipulate the mother of Connor's best friend into sending her son to the same boarding school as Connor? It sure doesn't say a lot about the kid's mother, does it?
It's crazy that when Nate reflected back on his fling with Elena, he could only picture their sexual interlude as shadows against the cabinet.
Even though Kyle's always the one who throws the tantrums whenever Theo is around, Jack warned Theo to do "nothing disruptive" at Dina's will reading. Okay.
The young Sally Spectra and Pierson Fodé's Thomas Forrester were once an item on B&B, and I really liked them as a couple. However, I just can't see where Sally would be a good fit now for the Hope/Hope's look-alike mannequin-obsessed version of Thomas, currently played by Matthew Atkinson. Matthew Atkinson previously played Austin Travers on Y&R, who had been married to Summer at one time. So, in a rather bizarre, twisted way, it was appropriate that Summer was the first one to meet Sally when the redhead first arrived in town. Apparently, the two of them had a lot more in common than either of them knew.
Wow, Victor has almost transformed from huffing and puffing as the big, bad wolf to being as meek and gentle as a baby lamb. Chance wasn't the least bit intimidated when he approached his future father-in-law for Victor's blessing, not his permission, for Abby's hand in marriage. Why, Victor was almost baaing in delight.
Dash was the name of Delia's dog, right? The dog who leaped out of the car, causing Delia to chase after him, which resulted in her being the victim of the hit-and-run that killed her? No, Chance and Abby, please, please, please do not consider naming your son Dash. That would be such a painful reminder to Billy, Chloe, and practically everyone else in Genoa City of the tragedy that caused them to lose their precious, darling girl.
Until next time -- when the calendar will read 2021 -- please take care and stay safe! And don't forget to check back next week for Nel's picks for the Best and Worst of 2020! [You can read Nel's Best and Worst column here.]
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