Part two of a special two-part year-end Two Scoops showcasing the best and worst of The Young and the Restless in 2009.
Genoa City 2009 was a mixed bag filled with a little bit of something for everyone. Some things made me laugh, others made me cry like a baby, and a few practically had me pulling out my hair in clumps. When it comes to picks for top and bottom, I have to agree wholeheartedly with Allison's choices from last week. In fact, I could just say "ditto what Allison said" and call my column written. But, of course, I couldn't get away with that, so I'm putting on my gloves to dig into the bag for a few more 2009 tidbits to talk about.
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; 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.
Best at sabotaging himself: Top honors go to Billy for having no equal when it comes to sabotaging himself. Who needs an enemy when you can wreck your own world without any outside assistance? Though several Genoa City women have been bowled over by Billy's inherited Abbott charm, his unquenchable thirst for strong drink has made his appeal hard to appreciate. His love of alcohol once almost cost him his life, but the effects of that wake-up call have apparently faded over the years.
Best at moving on: Jack Abbott. Proving that you can't keep a good player prone, Jack has completely recovered from losing Sharon and is already more than half in love with the new woman in his life, Emily. He might not usually be the man who gets to keep the girl forever, but he sure doesn't let that stop him from trying again.
Still the very, very best: Those brother and sister chats between Jack and Ashley. A close second: Siblings Nick and Victoria.
Best supportive spouse: Lauren Fenmore. During the rare periods she isn't needed to prop up her felonious family members, she's being terrorized by someone who apparently has no purpose in life other than making Lauren's hell.
Best supremely satisfying moment: Kay resuming her life and the moment Jill finally had to admit Marge was Kay.
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.
Best at healing herself without benefit of any kind of medical intervention: Ashley went from foggy to feeling froggy enough to jump back into business. I won't be happy until Ashley has lovingly placed little Faith back into the arms she belongs 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?
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?
Always the best man, never the groom: Paul Williams. For the umpteenth year in a row, Paul once again ended the year as the man who just missed winning the woman. Maybe that will change in 2010. Now that J.T. has hitched his wagon to the rising star called Tucker McCall, perhaps the new sign hanging outside Paul's office will one day read Williams and Webster.
Could have been a best: Kevin Fisher's kidnap. Beginning with a promising bang, it went bad fast. I was thoroughly enjoying Kevin and Amber's fierce determination to rescue Kay and looked forward to many meaningful moments as Kevin revisited his childhood abuse. But it seems the scribes got mired down in the mundane middle and didn't know how to call it quits. When it veered into the silly - a bank robbing silver chipmunk head - I gave up and buried this one, along with the giant chipmunk head, in the bottom of the trash bag.
Queen Teflon: Still covered with the best nonstick surface in town, right before our eyes Phyllis Newman has morphed into an updated June Cleaver. Well, except for the stinging slaps she occasionally delivers to the cheek of the unfortunate fellow who inadvertently or on purpose pisses her off. Those are more Betty Davis than Mrs. Cleaver. Maybe I'm the only fan who thinks so, but her physical assaults on her fellow citizens, whether a slap, a push or just plain old verbal abuse, leave me cold. Just shows her lack of control. Everyone else in town (other than Victoria, who believes striking out is a Newman prerogative) has to make their point with their hands in their pockets. A little déjà vu for Mrs. Newman: how things change yet still remain similar. Last year at this time Phyllis was sulking because Nick couldn't quite let go of Sharon. The calendar has come full circle and once again Phyllis is pouting in pain because her beloved won't quite move on. This one is beginning to feel very recycled. How many more times can the Newmans fight the same Sharon battle, then kiss and have make up sex?
Missed Opportunity: Adam Newman. Arriving in Genoa City to much fanfare, 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?
Worst and fastest trashing of a character: Sharon. After being shoved down a slippery snow covered slope, this character has picked up all manner of debris on the way down hill. Could redemption be in her 2010 future?
The Limping Letdowns:
Storyline contrivances: For instance, a barely sighted Adam easily slipping out of his ankle bracelet and regularly jumping out of his second story bedroom window. Another contrivance: Ashley's hysterical labor pains at the exact moment Sharon was whimpering painfully with hers. In fact, the whole baby delivery debacle in an allegedly top of the line facility with not a nurse or doctor in sight was a total insult to collective fans' intelligence.
Is that all? Most lukewarm comeuppance award goes to Chloe with no other character even in shouting distance. That's it? She marries Billy, leaves him, then finds a new love before she even got depressed enough to down a carton of full-flavored Haagen Dazs?
Somehow Missed the Mark: The cancer storyline. This one felt lopsided with Lily's constant complaining and Cane's dogged devotion in the face of her verbal tirades. For this fan, it was a good idea that somehow fell flat.
Z-Z-Z-Z: Daniel. From the moment the undercover art caper began, this one worked on me like Advil PM. In my opinion, Daniel's been the wrongfully accused too many times. I don't care, and why should I? Because despite all his tiresome moaning and groaning about his future incarcerated fate, we all know he'll never spend a single night in prison.
Give it a rest or just kill me now: Anything related to Sheila, Sugar or anyone representing the dearly departed (if departed she actually has) Sheila Granger. And that includes Ryder and Daisy. I can't believe 2010 might bring the possibility that Sheila still lives, though we saw her die with our very own eyes. Will nothing ever end this fiend's reign of terror and control? Sheila, Sugar, or Phyllis look-alike, this one takes a licking but keeps on ticking and ticking and ticking. Unplug the clock, please.
Why?? Tyra Hamilton. Whatever was originally intended when Tyra was painted onto the canvass failed miserably. Despite Olivia's assertion that Tyra brought the same fire to Neil's life her sister once provided, few fans agreed with her. Instead, Tyra came across as a home wrecking harlot who arrogantly stepped onto another woman's posted territory. And the singing sensation sister to Devon didn't really improve matters. Lastly, as if enough damage hadn't already been done, the scribes then pounded the final nail in this coffin by painting Tyra in a sofa fling with Devon. Ewww!
The one thing that might have at least made a glass of lemonade from these sour lemons would have been Devon following the trail of his mother's letter and finding his biological father. That might have been more interesting than listening to Devon talk about making a music demo.
Biggest fan outcry over what turned out to be naught: A tie between the gay storyline that never materialized, and the down to the wire contract negotiations between Victor and the show.
No gut, no career glory: Heather Stevens. She's Paul's daughter, but clearly didn't inherit one single bit of his gut instinct. Perhaps its time to seek out a new career, because she really sucks at her current one.
Fastest Recast Rejection: Darius McCrary as the new Malcolm Winters. New, but obviously not improved if fan reaction is anything to go by. Universally panned before he's so much as shown his face on camera, it doesn't bode well for his longevity or success in Genoa City.
Best baby of all time: Cutie pie scene stealer, Delia Abbott.
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?
Biggest belly laugh: The dye pack in the ransom money exploding all over Jeff and Gloria.
Who were those masked men? If you blinked, you might have missed them: Phillip Chancellor, Raul Gutierrez and Tucker McCall, whose last air date was announced practically the day he first set foot in the city.
Well, there are always more highs, lows and letdowns to be found, but I have to stop somewhere and this is the point I picked. But before I go, here's a stab at my picks for:
Could be a best in 2010:
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.
Patty Williams. This was one I didn't much care for in 2009, but the New Year might well bring about a change of heart. Patty has been so all over the place I didn't have a clue what was really going on in her mixed up mind. To everyone around her, she seems mostly stuck in the distant past. But now I'm beginning to wonder what's real and what's pretend. The way she seamlessly transitions from past to present, I'm beginning to think Patty might not be the only soul inhabiting that body. Is there an invisible friend also receiving her mail from this post office box? Could there be a switch in Patty's future? As in Jack one day making love to Patty while Dr. Emily pounds futilely on the walls of Patty's former padded cell?
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.
Chloe and Billy. Have they had their last dance in 2009 or will Chloe and Billy wind up waltzing together again in 2010?
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.
Tucker McCall. Even though the new Tucker has yet to appear, this one is bound to have plenty of sizzle. Clearly, a love tug of war will be part of the McCall mix, likely between Jill and Gloria. And I'm guessing there will also be some toe-to-toe tussling between Victor and Tucker as well. It will give Victor someone else to fight with when he's not beating Jack at his own games.
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And last, but most certainly not least, before I call this year a wrap, I want to thank you, fans, for all your input throughout 2009. You've given me smiles, giggles, and big belly laughs with your comments and compliments. It's nice to be appreciated and so many of you have taken the time to let us know that you like what we do here at soapcentral.com. So, I raise my glass to toast you, my fellow soapers, wishing you a 2010 that is all that you dare to dream it to be … and then some.
Until next time, please be sure to check out the other year-end Two Scoops columns
for other soaps. Over the past two weeks, all of the columnists have been reflecting on the best and worst of 2009. It's definitely a fun read -- even if you aren't familiar with all of the soaps!
Plus, feel free to head over to the Soap Central message boards
and join in the discussion about the highs and lows of the year gone by. And, if you're feeling prolific, start your own blog
and offer your own take on the Two Scoops' best and worst edition. If we like what you write, you might just see your comments posted here!
Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.