year in review 2020 collage Y&R
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

 It was a year of style over substance where Genoa City’s residents were concerned.

It’s safe to say that in general, 2020 isn’t a year most of us will look back on with fondness. Unfortunately, most viewers have found that to be true of The Young and the Restless as well. While there were bright spots along the way, they seemed few and far between compared to years past, in part due to what seemed like issues with pacing and — ironically, given the nature of the beast — a lack of actual storylines.

In asking fans about their highs and lows, we learned many are at their wit’s end when it comes to the unending focus on Billy and Adam’s respective and collective man pain, which at times has felt like it’s eating the show. That’s not to take anything away from respective portrayers Jason Thompson and Mark Grossman, who consistently delivered brilliant performances even as the motives of their alter egos were often murky at best.

The big players in the romance department — Chance and Abby as well as Nick and Phyllis — had, as you might expect, both fans and detractors. Folks either loved Chance and Abby’s Hallmark Channel-style romance or found them overly effusive, while Phyllis and Nick have always been controversial given their history. While a fresh approach was taken as they worked through issues rather than cutting and running, there was sometimes a “been there, done that” feel that permeated many of this year’s tales.

Two quadrangles popped up this year. Kyle, Summer, Lola, and Theo had their moments but the storyline, and particularly the rivalries within the quad, were either lacking intensity or poorly explained. It was then cut off at the knees by Theo’s exit. The other foursome — Devon, Elena, Amanda, and Nate — enjoyed a brief flare of drama thanks to a certain hook-up, but they haven’t done much since.

Cheating gave us probably two of the soapiest scenarios this year, those being Mariah having sex with Lindsay, and Elena’s tryst with Nate. It’s odd when you’re cheering for these kinds of things to happen just to get some old school drama going.

More: B&B Year in Review features memorable soap slap

A recurring theme was storylines or plot shifts that showed promise and then fizzled out. Sharon’s breast cancer story started strong thanks to a character we love facing a relatable battle. But aside from a few of the more emotional beats, it — like so many other stories this year — never seemed to gain momentum, ultimately taking us on a journey to nowhere.

Join us in taking a look back at Young & Restless’ 2020 highs and lows in the photo-filled gallery below, then share your thoughts in the comment section. And get a daily dose of drama from The Young and the Restless — and all of the other daytime dramas — delivered straight to your email inbox by signing up for’s newsletter.