To hear Nita discuss her picks for the Best and Worst of the year, be sure to listen to her appearances on Soap Central Live's two-part special wrapup of the year -- The Best of 2011 and The Worst of 2011.
For many fans, 2011 was a disappointing year in Genoa City. For this fan, however, although I didn't like everything that occurred, I, for the most part, enjoyed the journey. Despite the show's shortcomings, I've never been in danger of deleting the watching of Y&R doings from my daily list of things to do, and expect to continue watching until I expire, or the show does.
In fact, I find the end of the year especially delicious, since the scribes usually take that time to set the stage for the year to come. Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but I remain convinced that despite the occasional stinker storylines, if they wanted to, our scribes could weave some compelling tales that would leave us literally hanging off the edges of our sofa seats in nail-biting anticipation.
Many say soaps are a dying genre, that reality shows are the moneymakers of the future. I say, those in charge sorely underestimate the loyalty and staying power of addicted soap fans. Many of us have stuck it out through storylines, dumb, dumber, and dumbest of all, so that should tell them we're not a fickle breed easily chased away. There's no doubt our actors and actresses can bring it if they're given something to carry. Because they often do so whether the scribes give them something decent or not. As for us fans, if our scribes would write things right, we would not only show up, but we'd tell our friends about it so they'd start showing up too. Owners and sponsors could make carloads of cash, much more money than from some copycat reality show.
But that's just my opinion. Now, on to some of my picks for the year.
First, a big thumbs-up -- the family. It's back, and not a moment too soon. Over the past few years, the Genoa City family has suffered greatly. In place of some of those familiar family faces, new people arrived in droves, such as surgically altered look-alikes, terrorizing twins, drug-dealing cops, and assorted other mob-types, with and without hard-to-understand accents. It was not an acceptable tradeoff.
But, lately, it seems as if the scribes may have decided to return to some of what used to really work. Now, not only are families slowly being restored, those residents formerly without a family are growing families, even if it's at the rate of a single sibling at a time.
Jack, the sole Abbott left standing after the others were either sent to their graves, or at the very least, out of the state, at times seemed more like a specter than his Casper-like father. But that's not the case anymore. Not only did Jack gain a full-time son, due to Diane's unfortunate demise, he now has a lady to love, though how long he'll get to love that lady is anybody's guess. On top of that, Jack's dogged determination to regain Jabot has finally paid off. Jabot is once again the family business, and all is right with the Abbotts' world.
For Phyllis, a growing family has not quite been a happily-ever-after experience. While she successfully snatched Lucy from her happy Abbott home, the joy and laughter died when a sister branch was added to her family tree. Although right now Phyllis is doing her best to break the sister branch right off the gnarled tree, 2012 will likely mark the beginning of a renewed bond between them.
Devon has gained both a biological father and a grandmother, and is the future heir of multi-billionaires, though he's not ready to accept their help or any handouts. At the same time, Devon's adopted daddy, Neil, was finally blessed with his own biological boy to dote on. But while little Moses will experience a surplus of love from Neil; love will likely be much more elusive for his mother, Sofia.
When it comes to the residents, 2011 has been a mixed bag of ups and downs.
Victor has been especially vindictive this year. Although at times, his long-time friend, Kay, rivaled him in manipulative maneuvers against friend and foe. Victor's most shameful act? Keeping Delia from Billy. Having said that, however, I have to place at least part of the blame on Billy for not fighting harder against Victor's tyrannical rule. The jury is still out as to whether Victor has partially atoned for that bad behavior by first secretly setting Billy free, and second, sacrificing himself on the altar for Nikki.
For Victor, family first clearly doesn't apply to every member of the Newman clan. Though Nick, Victoria, and Abby decreased Victor's net worth by about a billion and a half dollars, he forgave them in about a nanosecond. The same couldn't be said for Adam "Black Sheep" Newman, who continues to be a very annoying thorn in Victor's side. 2011 did not bring Victor and Adam together, and it isn't likely 2012 will find them posing for a father and son portrait. Still, even though I don't expect relations between them to get all warm and gooey, I am hoping the new year will contain something more than the two of them taking turns trying to frame or imprison the other. Victor doesn't soften easily or often, and while I'd want Adam to keep his edge, it would be nice to see the scribes come up with a new place to take these two.
I do enjoy Nick and Adam trading insulting one-liners, but I also wouldn't mind seeing a new and different dynamic develop between these battling brothers. It was a refreshing change when they were able to put aside their differences earlier this year to clear Sharon's name, but I doubt they'll find any common ground to agree on any time soon.
While I like Nick, he frequently annoyed me this year with his determination to control Sharon's behavior by holding Faith just out of her reach. I know, I know, he's a father looking out for his daughter, but there are laws governing such things as visitation, and what Nick is doing isn't legal, nor, in my opinion, right.
For this fan, it was definitely a thumbs-up when Nick fired Phyllis from both Restless Style and his love life. I've had enough for the moment of Phyllis' shrieking jealousy, and was more than ready for both of them to share themselves with others for a while. Clearly, Phyllis won't be putting out the welcome mat for her sister, Avery, but I'm enjoying Avery's presence both in court and in Nick's life.
As for Phyllis, I was surprised to find I liked her paired with Ronan. He really seems to get her, and she appears comfortable enough with him to let down her guard sometimes. I'm looking forward to watching this one play out. I just hope she isn't using him as a Band-Aid to help her heal from Nick.
Nikki, after being absent for a portion of the year, has finally returned, and once again has proven herself a very convincing drunk. At least this time her addiction is out in the open. With Nikki, though, even as some things change, others remain pretty much the same. Such as her star-crossed relationship with the only man she will likely ever truly love. At the moment, Nikki is tied to Deacon, though the rumors say he's received his pink slip, which means their blackmail marriage shouldn't last much beyond the New Year. Unfortunately, Deacon will probably be around just long enough to thwart any possible Newman reunion since other rumors place Victor at the altar himself. I shudder to think his new bride might turn out to be . . .
Sharon Newman. Sharon has nearly been ruined by her association with Adam and almost every other man who ever set foot in this town. If she weds Victor, however, in fans' eyes, there may be no hope for her ever again. So while I'm glad she's no longer the whipping girl for Phyllis' Nick-related rage, I do not want to see her become the Missus of a third Newman man.
The best pairings of the year weren't always between one smitten man and an equally love-struck woman. There were other pairings that were unexpectedly special.
Billy, Cane, and Kevin are one such example. Individually, these three men have each made massive mistakes along their life path, but they have good hearts so I can easily forgive them their errors in judgment.
Ronan, Phyllis, and Nick also have plenty of potential as they work together to solve the mystery of who killed Diane. Ronan's backstory was disappointing. We waited a long time for an explanation for his behavior, and what the scribes gave us was lame and completely unsatisfying. But I'm hoping for better now that he's off the force, yet still determined to work behind the scenes to solve the case. Like Diane's murder, the solving of it can involve many of the residents, and I'm looking forward to that.
Jill and Gloria, who have both often drawn the short stick when it comes to romance, turned out to be surprisingly good together. I hope the coming year gives us more interaction between these two.
Billy Abbott continues to top my most-liked list. Except for his experience as Victor's victim, he has continued to shine in almost every situation. I look forward to every bit of romance happening with Victoria, although I have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach because lasting love is elusive in this town. I suspect there are more chapters in the Chelsea story so I plan to enjoy Billy and Victoria today, since tomorrow will likely bring more problems into their world.
Please, scribes, if Chelsea comes, don't let her arrive with a baby bun baking in her oven.
One of the best moments of the year was the reunion between Billy and Victoria. I was afraid the scribes wouldn't write them back together until after our craving for them had died from lack of oxygen, but when they finally came together in that New York bar, it was a supremely satisfying moment and worth the wait.
I know I'm somewhat in the minority when it comes to Adam, but he continues to be a top pick on my thumbs-up list. Although he has many strikes against him, this character continues to intrigue me in spite of the terrible acts he's committed. Purposely setting up Sharon to spend years in prison was a new low for him, and something Sharon didn't deserve. Especially after her generous forgiveness of his transgressions against her. Yes, Adam is definitely a villain, but he does have his moments of goodness and remorse, though they are few and quite infrequent. But at the same time, I do believe he loves Sharon, and I both see and feel the heat between them.
Kevin rounds out my picks for most favorite. Kevin has come a long way since trying to cook poor Colleen. Some fans will probably forever hold that against him. But since Colleen was able to forgive him, I had no problem doing the same. Kevin is a good guy with a giant heart, and I'd like to smack Angelo and his spoiled brat for ruining his romance with Chloe. Kevin might not be the great love (in capital letters) of Chloe's life, but she didn't deserve being left at the altar because mob-daughter wanted to take what didn't belong to her.
Tucker McCall has grown on me, and I'm ending the year liking him a lot. I can't wait to watch his relationship with Devon develop, and I'm also looking forward to his interaction with his new bride and her family. Plus, there should be plenty of stories to tell involving Kay, Harmony, and perhaps even Genevieve.
Speaking of Harmony, how many other fans predict a relationship between Harmony and Neil? You know Neil and Sofia are not going to get to live happily ever after, but since Sofia has secret weapon, Moses, she could wind up a winner in this threesome.
I don't know who will walk away with the win when it comes to the delusional Patty. I just know I'm more than a little tired of her Jack obsession. If the scribes are going to keep bringing her back, send her to a shrink so she can be cured. By the way, did Patty kill Diane? And what did those embroidered words mean on the pillow she tossed into the fire? Did the bartender kill Diane? Or not? 2012 will give us the answer.
Lastly, a gigantic thumbs-up to you, the fans, who keep coming back, week after week, to read what we have to say. We appreciate your taking time from your busy schedules to let us know what you think about Genoa City things, or just to share your appreciation for what we do.
And to you, Dan, the man who works tirelessly and the busy brain behind Soap Central, thank you for all that you do.
Wishing you all your best and most blessed year yet!