8 Y&R Characters Who Went From Exciting to Tragically Boring
Image: Jill Johnson, Howard Wise/JPI
Young and Restless characters who need soapier storylines.
Young and Restless has been uninventive and tedious storyline-wise recently, and the lull has negatively affected some characters more than others. These eight characters, in no particular order, who were known for being dynamic or controversial have become less interesting recently in contrast to how their characters were originally conceived or are typically perceived.
Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford) arrived in town like a red tornado and became a plotting, scheming, and seducing going concern, especially for the various men in her life and her nemesis, Sharon Newman (Sharon Case). Over the years, Phyllis has fallen in and out of love on a regular basis and has a penchant for bad boys, such as the brooding Ronan Malloy. She never balked at using her sexual wiles to get what she wants and would go to any length to decimate her competition or those who dare to challenge her. Phyllis currently spends her time skulking about and indulging in petty exchanges in a hotel she should have taken over by now. Not only has she set a new record for going without a man, Phyllis has taken to wheedling and whining and seems a tired, less dynamic version of her usual self.
Kyle Abbott (Michael Mealor) came back to Genoa City in cahoots with Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) working against his own father, Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman), had an edge, and was messy – he told Summer Newman (Hunter King) her mother’s secret, and even got drunk and dug up Phillip Chancellor’s grave. Torn between perpetual pining for Summer and fiery new love interest, Lola Rosales (Sasha Calle), who intriguingly pulled him into a hot kiss right in front of his ex, and holding vent sessions with his redheaded bestie, Mariah Copeland (Camryn Grimes), Kyle had scads of potential. He now does home improvements and bitches.
Arguably the most powerful mogul in Genoa City, Victor Newman ruled his company with an iron fist, dealt with rivals (and his daughters’ boyfriends) with unapologetic ruthlessness, and protected his family with no thought to those who became collateral damage. The once all-knowing Mustache, now retired, has gone soft on the likes of Billy Abbott (Jason Thompson) and Jack, hangs about the ranch in a cardigan watching The Price is Right, and dons paper hats for holiday gatherings when he ought to be kicking ass and taking names.
When Adam Newman (Mark Grossman) was discovered alive in Vegas the anticipation was palpable. Adam is such an intriguing character with a controversial history and complicated relationships; anything but dull. There was a shooting, heated exchanges, and sexual chemistry out the wazoo with Sharon, who helped to bring him back to town. Few could have imagined he would end up watered-down and in a ‘storyline’ in which he has no interest whatsoever in engaging in conflict and spends all his time holed up in his penthouse wringing his hands over his son. It’s nice for a bad boy to have a soft side, but Adam Lite is a snore.
Mariah turned up in Genoa City as a tattooed stalker working to come between her ex-fiancé, Tyler Michaelson (Redaric Williams), and Abby Newman (Melissa Ordway), after which she took Victor’s money to gaslight Sharon. Even after she was revealed to be Sharon’s long-lost daughter, Mariah was full of attitude and tough-as-nails. While it was heartwarming to see her grow closer with her mother and grow to trust people more, she now has almost nothing left of the ‘edge’ that made her so interesting and so different from her late twin, Cassie. Her interaction with Theo Vanderway (Tyler Johnson) built anticipation she’d get a new sparring partner – the first since Hilary Curtis Hamilton (Mishael Morgan) died – but nothing came of it. For months now it seems Mariah has existed only to encourage/advise Sharon and Kyle, and to occasionally canoodle with her partner Tessa Porter (Cait Fairbanks).
Summer blew back into Genoa City in a stolen car and quickly made herself known as a troublemaker, schemer, and sexual dynamo. She regularly clashed with the likes of Mariah and lived to tease Kyle. Pursuing and having sex with her mother’s boyfriend was a plot that many felt was a step too far, so toning the character down a bit was desirable, but she’s been dialed down so many notches now that she’s a Stepford version of herself. Making nice with Lola, and politely pining for her ex while working calmly to keep the peace between him and Theo is boring to the extreme.
Jack was a playboy and often a cutthroat businessman, and though he’s always had a soft spot for family, and can be quite a romantic, recently he’s been misty-eyed too much of the time. While Jack reading the Abbott memoir made for a brilliant special episode, Jack’s rapidly become a dull boy as his epic rivalry with Victor has been all but doused, and his various forays into finding himself have proven far less compelling than seeing him involved in business drama surrounding Jabot and falling for the wrong women.
Sharon may not have been a bad girl, but she’s been no slouch as far as exciting storylines go. She has battled mental illness, committed crimes, fallen for questionable men, and even went on the run and changed her name. Sharon holds her own when challenged by the likes of Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott) and Phyllis, and fights for what she feels is right. Yet the powers that be have placed her in a tepid pairing with Rey Rosales (Jordi Vilasuso), and reduced her to scenes of studying and building blocks with Adam’s son, Connor (Judah Mackey), like a dayplayer, rather than capitalizing on the chemistry and history she shares with his father, or even with her other ex, Nick Newman (Joshua Morrow).