There's definitely a new vibe in the air on The Young and the Restless. There's a new aroma, and I'm not talking about the burning embers of the Newman ranch. Nope, it's the scent of new stories, new energy, and new ideas enlivening the characters of Genoa City. It's great, and I'm thrilled to watch the way things are changing. Sure, its not all "happy days are here again," but things are perking along at a nice, new pace.
Adam and Sharon are back in each other's lives, and I know some readers find that reprehensible because they want Adam to be true to Chelsea. Well, the way I see it, what he's doing for Sharon is not motivated by love and romance. He's not cheating on Chelsea, but he is determined to help Sharon. If anything, Adam is actually being noble. He's trying to rescue Sharon from her own folly -- or mental illness. If Adam hadn't stepped up like he did, Sharon would be in the clink right now!
While Sharon clearly must be punished for starting the fire, I loved that Nick made the point that Victor had a major role in Sharon's breakdown, which led to her bizarre behavior soon after Victor married her. Even if Victor hadn't had the accident that caused the first concussion, Victor was still using and abusing Sharon, even if she was a willing participant. Victor knew that his marriage to Sharon was a ploy to get back at Nikki. Victor had no business toying with Sharon, but he did so with deliberate malice. And so, he does bear responsibility for what's happened.
Nikki doesn't see it that way. In fact, I don't really understand why she's been so vindictive. Hasn't Nikki learned forgiveness in her recovery? Sharon is a flawed, damaged woman -- but so is Nikki! Remember, it was Nikki who had Diane's blood on her hands. Yet she's been forgiven and has been allowed to resume her status as a respected member of society. Shouldn't she have the grace to give Sharon a second chance, considering all the second chances that she's received?
While I'm enjoying the rush of fresh storytelling on Y&R, the rush to get rid of Harmony and Genevieve was rotten. Debbi Morgan deserved more than a single scene at Crimson Lights to explain her character's exit. What about her storyline with Sarge? Will we ever know about Pittsburgh? Probably not.
As for Genie Francis, well, you guys know where I stand. I wanted her to remain as Genevieve. The way she was written off was -- in a word -- lame. Talk about "exit stage left." There was so little explanation for the Claude Shirl storyline, who was behind it, why it was perpetrated, and who really wanted Genevieve framed, that it was ultimately insulting to the viewers. I realize the new head writer had this hunk of bad storytelling dumped in his lap when he took over, but come on. There had to be a better wrap-up than a wad of cash from Tucker and a cab ride to the airport so Gen could disappear. The only positive was that the door remains open for her to return some time in the future.
Jack has been ticking me off. I realize that they're trying to make him more of a wheeler-dealer, but he's coming off as a jerk. It was completely wrong for him to hand over Jabot to Neil Winters. It should have been Billy or Ashley named -- someone who's an Abbott. For Jack to stick it like that to Billy was just out of character. It was also completely selfish of Jack. He wants Billy at Newman, and he could care less that Billy's unhappy. But then what did Jack do? He set up Billy to test his loyalty. Really nice brotherly love there.
Didn't you find it the height of hubris that Jack declared that Billy had broken his heart? Who knew that Jack had a heart anymore when it comes to business! I so wanted Billy to throw Jabot in Jack's face, but he didn't. Instead, Billy took the criticism and swallowed the pain of being slapped down by big brother. It would have been great if he dished it out to Jack. I guess they're building to that point. But make no mistake: this was not Michael and Fredo in The Godfather, Part 2, where Michael said the same line. This betrayal by Billy was mild by comparison.
By the way, who's running Restless Style? Did Billy ever name a replacement? Chloe mentioned that she's a stylist for the magazine, but is there an editor or publisher actually producing issues? What about the television show? Seems like the powers that be want us to forget all about Restless Style… And Abby, too. Will she get a goodbye, or was that last scene with Carmine her fade-out?
The changes on the show have been happening across the board. Apparently Neil moved into the CEO office at Jabot in about 20 minutes. I guess that must have been a record, because one day he was having a meal with Kay about Jack's offer, and then he was out of Chancellor and in at Jabot. Not only that, he had a new guerrilla marketing campaign all set up for his daughter to run. Hmm…do you think Jack knew about that bit of nepotism? Not that Jack can complain. I fully expect him to promote Kyle from intern to Vice President any day now. Of course we haven't seen Kyle lately. Does he know that Jack is his boss now?
As I said in my last column, I love the renewed focus on Avery. She's such a refreshing character: smart, sexy, honorable, and seemingly the type of woman who's not a big game-player. Yes, she once arranged for Phyllis to find Nick in bed with her, but since then she's been pretty upfront.
I loved her cupcake scene with Summer. See, that was very good writing. We got insight into Avery, all the analogies about how baking is a precise science compared to cooking, which of course relates to how Avery thinks. But more than that, she was giving good advice to Summer, offering her real world guidance rather than the wild swings of emotion she sees from her mother. Can you imagine what kind of life lessons Summer's learned from Phyllis? It's no wonder that this Jamie storyline reeks of a scam. Summer is going to hurt that kid just to get back at Ronan.
Of course, Ronan deserves to be cut down to size. What a creep he's turned out to be. All the mentoring in the world can't wash away the stink of his duplicity. I'm shocked that Michael let him stay on the force. Ronan has no integrity and a history of hurting anyone who's ever tried to help him. Look at how he treated Chance and Nina. Maybe it's just deserts that he's panting after Phyllis and she'd give him the cool-down. Take that, Ronan!
Phyllis can have Ronan or Jack, but she's got to leave Nick alone. Nick is finally attracted to a woman who's a step up from Sharon and Phyllis -- Avery. I've wanted Nick to have a new partner, someone who wants more from him than his hot body. I also wholeheartedly approve of Nick telling Victor that he doesn't need to prove his love for his father by fighting for Newman Enterprises. Nick does need to break out and do something all his own.
Finally, Friday ended with the commencement of two new tales. Jill returned from Australia (at Tucker's behest), and Victoria was abducted while leaving her Miami hotel room. Regarding the Victoria story, it looks like a really dumb plot device. There's going to be some nonsense about Billy's gambling past and thugs out for revenge. Yawn. Will Angelo and Angie be back?
Jill, on the other hand, is a character I've missed. And I like her paired with Tucker. This should be good. By the way, is it possible that Tucker and Jill engineered Genevieve's frame-up? Jill certainly had a lot of information about Cane's childhood. She was close to Colin and remains tight with Cane. And she had motive: she hates Genevieve. Tucker also wanted to get back at Gen, so… What do you think?
That's it for this week, fellow fans. So, till the next time, let's take a look at some letters from the mailbox. And remember to click here to send me your thoughts. They could very well appear in a future column!