Lately I've noticed that one of the things that distinguishes The Young and the Restless from that other soap I watch is that on that other soap, the characters never learn from their mistakes and are doomed to repeat them over and over again. On Y&R, characters grow and change. Take, for instance, Adam -- now, as compared to six months ago when he was despicable and seemed beyond redemption. On Y&R, a character's traits can change, which means that today's villain may be tomorrow's hero. And of course the reverse can also be true!
The addition of Connor and Chelsea to Adam's life, not to mention his genuine remorse over his perceived belief that he was responsible for Delia's demise, has made me very sympathetic to Adam's plight. Michael Muhney is a terrific actor. I can only pray that Adam continues to be imbued with the qualities that he exhibits now and that CBS doesn't let this guy slip away like they have a couple of other fine actors -- who shall remain nameless.
On that other soap, a character is defined by his or her traits, which do not change very often -- the villain only becomes a hero if he becomes a fan favorite. But at Y&R, the characters have a lot of gray shades and can change traits as quickly as we change clothes, so I won't be shocked if Adam goes dark again. (They could make him bipolar, and any time Adam does something awful, it could be explained as "off his meds." Oh yeah, Sharon has that gig.) Nick is another good example. Since his split with Avery, Nick has been showing off his very unattractive dark side. Recently, however, he seems to be coming back to his better self.
For now, Victor, instead of Adam, has moved into my sights as the big, bad bully boy. "It's only a soap!" so I can be as wishy-washy as I want to be about which side I'm on! All I want to say is, "Lighten up, Victor! Been there. Done that. Bullying those that you love, and especially those you don't love, never works out the way you want it too!"
I think that Victor should be sent to the penalty box and given a timeout. Victor definitely committed fouls against both Chelsea and Dylan -- not to mention how he treats Billy most of the time. Victor had no business attacking Chelsea for her past mistakes or threatening Dylan for any reason. Victor obviously has a big ego and just as obviously is very insecure, despite his enormous success in business.
When Victor confronted Nikki because she had enlisted Paul in the search that led to Dylan but had not confided in Victor, Victor was correct to say that he and Nikki had trust issues. However, before passing judgment, Victor should take a moment to reflect on the awful things that he said to Chelsea, Dylan, and Billy in Nikki's hearing -- words that Nikki believed applied to her, as well -- and take some responsibility for Nikki's distrust. Even though Victor has told Nikki repeatedly that she is above criticism and nothing he says to anyone else applies to her, ever, I can see how it would be hard to believe him.
Nikki, on the other hand, knows Victor. She knows that he is more bluster than bite when it comes to her, Nick, or Victoria -- the only people that Victor ever forgives -- plus, as Victor pointed out, he and Nikki took vows. She should have told him about Katherine's letter before she told anyone else. Nikki promised to be Victor's partner and Victor promised to be hers, so they really should have worked together to find Nikki's lost child.
Perhaps the fact that Nikki has been married twelve times means that she is incapable of forming that trusting bond that is necessary for a truly stable, loving marriage. I suppose that must apply equally to any relationship, even one of deep friendship. What good is a friend that you can't trust?
I don't know how many couples there are out there who both read this column and fit the criteria, but if any of you have comments about real life love and commitment vs. "reel life" (soap opera) love and commitment, I'd enjoy hearing your views on this topic.
Victor seemed to be on his way to proving to Nikki that he meant the "till death do us part" part of his wedding vows, but then Paul appeared on his doorstep. Personally, I think Paul should have left and let Nikki use her soothing charm instead of going head-to-head with Victor. I am glad to report that one thing I have finally learned in life is that you can't win a battle of words with someone who is too insecure to lose. Beating such folk is lose-lose. Concession doesn't always mean defeat, and I think that it's much better to make a friend than an enemy.
If I had been Paul, I would have walked away instead of walking in. Heck, I would not have rushed to the ranch in the first place, so maybe there is something simmering on the back burner between Nikki and Paul. I'm still hoping that Paul turns out to be Dylan's father. Oh! Oh! He could be Sharon's father, too! Maybe unknown to Paul, the cult leader used him as a sperm donor! Sorry, that is probably way too far-fetched for Y&R! Yet, somehow, I just can't stop thinking…
Now that the truth is out and the DNA test has verified Nikki's story, I don't expect that it will be very long before Dylan and Nikki get closer -- maybe by Christmas -- and perhaps Dylan and Nick will also make up. I thought that Friday's scenes between Dylan and Nick had a lot of chemistry. I can see them eventually becoming close as both brothers and friends. Nick seems to be moving out of his bully phase and going back to the solid, reasonable Nick that we love. It's interesting that Nick is willing to make peace with Dylan for Nikki's sake but did not make peace with Adam for Victor's.
It did not surprise me when Chloe took off with Connor. An earlier statement by Jill, who worried that Chloe's unexpressed grief might have consequences, was a tip-off, but I sure didn't think it was going to happen by the end of the episode! Chloe probably thinks that she has taken Connor for all the right reasons, especially after she was unable to persuade Chelsea to leave Adam. By the way, I was proud of Chelsea -- another person who has learned from her mistakes -- when she said that she had taken Chloe's advice about concealing Connor's paternity, and that particular deception had turned out very badly, so she was not going to follow Chloe's suggestions. Chelsea is another character who has been redeemed and deserves some happiness.
In her grief, Chloe, who is not the most logical thinker at the best of times, might be described as "a few walnuts short of a fruitcake" -- a colorful expression that I got from Garfield the cat! Hopefully, she will not be gone long with Connor, who is barely four months old and has already suffered blindness, had surgery, and been kidnapped twice. What is this kid, a football? Are we supposed to believe that there will be no long-term psychological trauma to this boy? So what if both Chloe is well-intentioned and Dylan meant no harm?
Right. Right. It's only a soap!
Cane and Lily have been very happy of late, including Lily's anticipation that she is still cancer-free after three years. That status was threatened when the doctor called and wanted to see Lily in person. I'm betting that Lily is pregnant. I can't believe that the writers would give us yet another sad story for the holidays. If Lily's cancer is back, I'm joining the other fast-forwarders until that storyline is done!
Billy Miller is great as a grief-stricken father, but, honestly, I'm getting tired of the wallowing, which I think is selfish. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with grieving. It took my dad two years to get over my mom's death, but he did get over it. Billy needs to man up for his wife and son, who are just as devastated as he is. I wish that Billy had listened to Jack's very good advice about concentrating on the living and letting the healing powers of love take over, but it does not appear that Billy is ready to hear anything.
Billy seems to have more in common with Kelly than he does with anyone else right now. I'm not drawn to this Kelly character, and I am not empathizing with her understandable pain because I am suspicious of her motives where Billy is concerned. Some fans have suggested that Kelly's ex-husband is Stitch. That is very plausible, even though Stitch's character profile states that his wife's name is Jenna.
I'm willing to believe that Jenna changed her name in an effort to start over. If Stitch's son died in a tragic accident, then that would explain Stitch's reluctance to talk about his family. Another fan suggested that Kelly would eventually steal Johnny, but I don't see that happening now that Chloe has taken Connor. Two children disappearing seems a tad over-the-top, but maybe Y&R can become the Amber alert capital of the soapiverse like General Hospital is the back-from-the-dead capital.
Stitch and Ashley? Really? I admit that the actors have chemistry, but Ashley has to be at least 15 years older. I know that age is not supposed to matter, but Ashton Kutcher is 15 years younger than Demi Moore, and look how well that turned out! Ashley, however, looks sensational. She must have done a very good job on those anti-aging cosmetics that she developed for Jabot. By the way, where do I order a jar?
Not so sensational is the makeup job on Nikki, who usually looks grea but sure seemed overly powdered and painted on Friday's episode. All she needed was a pompadour, and Nikki would have looked like Marie Antoinette.
And as long as I'm being picky, is my TV color out of adjustment or did the Y&R hair stylists get a bargain batch of henna and use it as highlights on several of the actors, including Dylan, Cane, Lily, and Kevin. Even Paul had red highlights in his blond hair. I definitely don't like auburn-red hair and eyebrows on Steve Burton. I know TPTB wanted us to forget his GH character, but giving him clown-colored hair is not helping. He looks great with either brown or blond hair. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is my advice to Y&R.
Since I've admitted being petty and shallow, I might as well admit that I like Abby and Tyler as a couple. I saw Abby in a movie recently, playing a different character. Also, I like her hair, which is a very lovely color and looks natural, or at least she never seems to have dark roots. Anyway, I like her perkiness and her bubbly, ebullient approach to life. It doesn't hurt that she's rich, beautiful and directly related to the two most powerful families in town.
Abby could be a first-class witch, but instead, she is kind and caring. So I'm giving the actor some slack. Ditto for Tyler. He's good-looking, and now that he's talked to Lily, taken responsibility for his behavior, and moved forward, he's risen higher on my list and been redeemed! Later, when I open the email bag, I will address two viewer's comments about this couple and "the elephant in the room" -- stay tuned!
The verdict is in on NuKyle:, fans don't like him. I don't, either, again for the shallowest of reasons. I thought his haircut couldn't get worse, but it did. Here again, old Kyle, who was universally loved, changed when he became NuKyle. Instead of the loyal, honest good guy that old Kyle was, NuKyle is prepared to be a disloyal, back-stabbing traitor, which will allow us to hate him as much as we do Victor, and we will have no guilt because we already don't like the recast.
We might even root for Victor if NuKyle is dastardly enough. "It's only a soap," so don't forget that Kyle can morph back to the good side if he finds out that Summer is not his sister and has to do a 180 to rekindle their romance. You really have to wonder where all the plotting and scheming is going. Is Victor being fooled, or is he seducing Kyle to the dark side?
In a battle of wits, I would give the advantage to Victor. Truthfully, Kyle seems none too bright, and personally, I don't care for Kyle's idea to promote healthy lifestyle products by giving free alcohol to young people, but what do I know about marketing? I also have to wonder what Victor can gain by pitting Noah against Kyle. It does truly amaze me that Victor always seems to win when there is money involved but is so clueless at everything else. You would think that a man with so many blind spots would walk into the occasional wall.
The opposite is true for Jack. He is such a decent, caring person, and he gives great advice. It is truly a shame that his business acumen is off just enough that he always loses out to Victor. It's also too bad that Jack's penchant for jumping to the wrong conclusion when someone is trying to tell him something often contributes to his disappointment. Victor could learn a lot from Jack about how to treat family, and Jack could learn a lot from Victor about business. Perhaps in the future, they will again confront a common enemy -- and this time find redemption.
Paul managed to get Michael out of jail and seemed to have found a clue to Carmine's real murderer at the end of the week. But will it lead anywhere? The soap police are so dense. For example, when Alex had that conversation with Adam in the steam room a few weeks ago, it seemed like Alex had figured out that Adam and Anonymous, the guy that Billy exchanged words with in the chat room, were one and the same. But did Alex check out Adam? Perhaps find that Adam owned a black SUV?
Alex had a warrant for the chat room, so why didn't he find out who Anonymous was? You can't really be anonymous -- you have to sign up for those sites -- and besides, an IT guy could easily trace the ISP of anonymous. You would think that Alex would be interested in knowing why anonymous was so passionate in his defense of the driver and that Alex would question the similarities between Adam's words and those of Anonymous.
All I'm saying is don't count on Paul to actually work out what happened in that alley. Before that happens, Carmine will rise from the dead, or one of his cronies will start seriously tormenting Lauren, who certainly must be the unluckiest person alive, or perhaps the luckiest, to have been targeted by so many psychopaths and to have survived. I still think that there is some tie between Womack and Carmine and potentially between Courtney, Zach and/or Womack, and Carmine.
I feel sorry for Fen, but good grief, what an idiot. I can't imagine anybody deliberately getting tossed in prison. Fen acted like a selfish spoiled brat who threw a big temper tantrum because he didn't approve of Michael's confession -- which I admit was as lame as Fen getting himself locked up with the hard cases. Fen has now suffered a beating and is being forced to rely on Womack's protection. Let's hope that Fen does not go back to drugs, but if he does, I imagine that we can expect him to continue using and perhaps distributing them a well.
I'm not attracted to the character of Fen or the actor who plays him, so I only care what happens to him for Michael and Lauren's sake. I feel the same way about Devon, who seems like a really bad judge of character and way too closed-minded to make objective decisions.
I don't know what to make of Hilary. I would really like to believe that she has found redemption, but she is so good at being bad, I think that I prefer her as a deceptive snake-in-the-grass, because then I don't have to worry about if she'll strike, only when. Hilary did give Devon good advice about Mason. Devon didn't listen, but maybe he'll get suspicious the next time his credit card charges come due.
I am so glad to see Jill getting some airtime. Nobody is better at insults, invective, and being deceptive than Jill. She can jump to a wrong conclusion as often and as easily as Jack, but she is right to be worried about Kyle. I loved it when she said that sending Kyle to Victor was like sending Bambi into the lion's den. Jill has had some good barbs lately, which means that whoever is writing her lines is doing a better job than most.
Jill always goes for the brass ring but never quite catches it, and because she's so busy looking for the trap, she doesn't see the truth when it stares her in the face. I imagine that the solution to the mystery of the music box will be much more straightforward than Jill suspects. I can't wait for it to unravel or for Colin to arrive in town and team up with Jill. More "Jill the pill" is definitely a plus for me.
Here ends the commentary. Now it's time to dive into the email bag and give our viewers a chance to offer an opinion. First up, a very nice compliment to Soap Central, where everyone works very hard to keep you updated on all the soaps, all the time.