Right now! (CBS)

Lose the hat. (CBS)

Genoa City for the week of June 16 - 20:

"Y&R" viewers are bored and feel like they're on the outside looking in at a show they don't recognize, rather than experiencing the emotions of their beloved characters along with them. Thoughts:

The Underground.
You know things have deteriorated to an unacceptable degree when you find yourself agreeing with Nick Newman on a regular basis. Mariah is not Cassie and it's messed up that Sharon is forming an attachment to her dead daughter's doppelganger. Looking for a positive - we did experience a slight thrill when Mariah physically attacked Abby. The writing seems to be on the wall in this story - Mariah will prove to be Sharon's new pride and joy and Nick and the naysayers will hang their heads in shame for not believing. Noah, who is incapable of being a badass for longer than five minutes, is already in apologetic mode, Summer's too self-involved to truly care, and Abby, the one-dimensional blonde heiress who spends most of her time foot-stomping and name-calling, will continue doing just that until she eventually is forced to (begrudgingly) admit that Mariah was just a scared misguided girl who needed someone to care about her. Yak. Victor finding out Mariah is connected to Ian may be the saving grace.

Right this minute.
How can we feel any real emotion about the Neil/Hilary/Devon situation when it's so ridiculous? Neil speeding to the altar clearly indicates an infatuation with the idea of being married and/or a reaction to what happened with Leslie. We've been told Hilary's very smart, so why isn't she calling him on this or having concerns? In any case, as discussed in the last rant, at this point, Neil deserves whatever happens to him. So now, Devon has just a matter of hours to make Hilary doubt herself. It would have helped for viewers to have seen Hilary acting hesitant with Neil or thinking a little longingly of Devon now and then; feeling Hilary being pulled in two directions would have built up some anticipation to her having to make this decision.

No-tell motel.
So Summer's first time was exactly how she imagined it (except, we presume, for a few technicalities such as the seedy motel, the bullet wound, the APB, and the cops). Sigh. This story has been so dumb since Avery's cooking show began that it's enough to make one shed tears. We can feel for all Summer's gone through, but who cares about the plight of yet another newbie, Austin? How about Aunt Avery digesting the news that Summer gave up her virginity to the guy who held her at gunpoint and then agreeing to defend him? In what universe...? Thrown into the mix for good measure were the two dads (aka Dumb and Dumber, aka Jack and Nick) blustering around the police station, with Nick's Neanderthal tendencies on full display while Jack fretted and talked on the phone to his new squeeze. When the cops left them alone with Austin and turned their backs there was a hopeful moment when it seemed things might get gritty, but alas nothing happened. Blah, yuck, double yuck. Wake up, Phyllis, and kick some butt! What do you think about Avery's decision? Vote in Soaps.com's Y&R Poll: Should Avery defend Austin?

Down Under.
Billy and Chelsea looked equally as unbelievable in their TV production people costumes as Courtney always does in her police officer Halloween costume. Did Billy and Chelsea hit up the local theatre for props before they knocked on Jenna's door? Egad. Anyway, that whole trip was boring and pointless and seemed to exist for the sole purpose of establishing that Chelsea and Billy get turned on by each others' misery...and having them share another kiss.

Hospital drama.
Paul's loved ones are appropriately distraught over his worsening condition, the problem is that viewers aren't getting fully drawn into the emotions because they suspect this was more about exposing Dylan's paternity than anything else. Most expect Paul to make a complete recovery, probably just in time to endure Christine's histrionics over him sharing a child with Nikki. Super Dylan, having overheard that he is Paul's son will almost certainly insist on risking his life to save the life of his father. Viewers guessed that Paul was Dylan's bio-dad months ago (despite the ludicrous premise that Nikki and Paul must have - oops - forgotten they had sex!) and it's still playing out predictably, which makes for a dull storyline. Case in point - Father Todd's most compelling scene was with Stitch, whose private hell at least still has a bit of mystery to it. Speaking of which, Ben/Stitch had some moving scenes in the chapel as this strong guy struggled with his personal issues and viewers felt/saw his vulnerability. My current theory regarding Stitch's secret is that he had something to do with the death of Kelly's father. If it turns out they are siblings, it was his father too. It also sounds like the death may have involved Stitch making some sort of controversial judgement call since he says he doesn't regret what he did, only that others were hurt by it.

Jack and Kelly.
They have become terminally boring in record time.

There's no place like home.
Nikki moved back into the ranch. Shocker...not. There were some heartwarming scenes between her and Victor, though, who is really spreading some feelgood vibes lately, unless you're Ian Ward. By the way, why is Ward still around? Jeeze.

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- Candace Young