The year in soaps on Bold and Beautiful, Days of our Lives, General Hospital and Young and Restless
Credit: Image: ABC; CBS; Jill Johnson, Howard Wise/JPI

Daytime’s love triangles, baby swaps and unforgettable storylines of 2019.

There were mountains of standout storylines in soap operas in 2019 – some good, some bad. highlighted many moments that dominated fan conversation including Bold and the Beautiful focusing too heavily on one storyline and rarely straying from love triangles; Days of our Lives producing the most shocks and twists with the time jump, which divided fans; General Hospital drawing out the cult, baby swap, and memory mapping storylines; and Young and the Restless leaving fans longing for its former glory.

Bold and the Beautiful

It felt like 2019 was all about Hope’s baby switch and Thomas’ evil ways. Viewers were not happy to spend most of the year watching Hope’s anguish or the propping of newbie Flo, who was conveniently made a Logan, after her role in the baby swap. Our readers tell us it wasn’t enjoyable to watch Thomas turn cruel, creepy and possessive towards Hope and his sweet son Douglas, though Thomas falling into that vat of thought-to-be-acid was a great cliffhanger and maybe well-deserved.

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The Bold and the Beautiful’s signature go-to trope, the love triangle, also dominated 2019 beginning with Liam continuing to ping-pong between Hope and Steffy. Ridge and Brooke, of course, got in on the triangle action when they differed over Ridge’s son manipulating Brooke’s daughter, and Shauna just so happened to be a convenient shoulder for Ridge to lean on. Some fans thought Taylor should have been there in place of Shauna, but this was a nice change of pace as that triangle had been long overplayed and many clichéd beats were skipped when it came to Ridge and Shauna. Perhaps the worst triangle of 2019 though was Flo/Wyatt/Sally. Wyatt’s interest in Flo felt forced, and Sally and Wyatt’s fun chemistry was preferable to the majority of viewers.

Days of our Lives

The NBC soap did a great job of utilizing their vets this year as they highlighted the romance between John and Marlena, put Julie in the middle of Stefan’s death/Gabi’s revenge storyline and brought back several old school characters like Jack, Diana, and Steve. Unfortunately, Jack and Diana were highly unlikeable most of their time back and there are mixed feelings on Steve being somehow brainwashed to think he’s Stefano.

Days of our Lives succumbed to writing for plot over character more than once in their storytelling this past year including the illegal immigration storyline, Claire being the firestarter, Dr. Shah turning into a psycho overnight and all of Rolf’s sci-fi shenanigans. Then there was Kristen impersonating Nicole and raping Brady in the process, as well as Leo harassing half the men in town. Hopefully, Days will finally leave the sexual assault storylines out of 2020. Our readers did tell us that beyond what he did to Sonny and Will that at least Leo was a lot of fun and some really miss him.

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The biggest thing to happen on Days of our Lives in 2019 though was the time jump. Some fans love it for the near-daily cliffhangers, most of which occur without getting spoiled. Other viewers are unhappy with their couples and/or characters getting turned on their heads and want things to go back to the way they were. If nothing else, it definitely got everyone talking.

General Hospital

The mostly dark year in Port Charles spent a lot of time on Drew’s memories, Oscar’s death, and Shiloh’s cult, which most hoped would end in his death and a whodunnit story. The storylines were drawn out and sidelined many characters in their own stories. Not to mention, no one wanted to watch a grieving Kim and slimy Shiloh almost rape characters viewers cared about. Though there have been good moments, other storylines that have dragged on for far too long are the truth about Wiley’s parentage and Valentin duping Nina about Sasha being her daughter.

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Mike’s Alzheimer’s storyline hit many poignant notes in 2019 with fans, who also enjoyed getting a few fan-favorite characters back. Hayden’s return was welcomed, but her quick exit was confusing. At least it allowed her to finally introduce the adorable Violet to her father Finn, which has gone over very well with the audience. Hayden’s exit was courtesy of the long-anticipated return of Nikolas, who has done little to make viewers want to root for him. One highlight of his return has been fellow returnee Jax’s constant, yet humorously relatable frustration with the bumbling Prince. 2019 should go out with a bang though as excitement surrounds the impending arrival of Tracy Quartermaine for the holidays.

Young and the Restless

As they do so well, The Young and the Restless focused on vets such as the Abbott family, who was front and center in drama surrounding Jack grappling with Dina’s Alzheimer’s decline, digging into his family’s history and battling Ashley over business. The special episode celebrating Peter Bergman’s 30 years playing Jack Abbott was a highlight for fans. Traci even got in on the action, with a near romance with Cane. While not all loved that pairing, fans were thrilled to see Traci get meaty stuffy to do after so many years of just supporting other characters.

However, many fans were not thrilled with the new Rosales family’s perceived dominance on the canvas. Arturo and Mia were eventually shown the door, leaving Lola to marry Kyle, a move that domesticated this once fun, interesting couple. As for Rey, he’s been left with not much to do but sort of reunite with Sharon who seems more interested in her ex Adam.

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While Hilary’s lookalike Amanda arriving in Genoa City created interest and intrigue, several moments in 2019 promised excitement only to fizzle out. Some were plot-driven. Adam’s return, Billy’s split personality, Michelle Stafford reprising the role of Phyllis and the G-rated blackout that had so much illicit potential all fell a bit flat. Though, Phyllis re-entering Nick’s orbit is a promising sign. Then there’s the once formidable Victor Newman who is now reduced to spending his retired days watching The Price is Right, which might be the biggest indicator of the state of this once-dominant soap opera. Not to mention, seven other boring Y&R characters who were once exciting to watch.