The Young and the Restless Mystery: Who *Is* Adam Newman, Really?
For years now but especially lately, we haven’t known what to make of the character.
We think we can guess how The Young and the Restless wants us to view Adam Newman. “He’s a classic antihero,” we can imagine the show saying. “He’s neither good nor evil but a little bit of both.”
The trouble is, that isn’t how he’s been written. It’s not the fault of Mark Grossman, an actor as sharp as his impossibly chiseled cheekbones, or any of his predecessors, for that matter. The character has just been used to facilitate one plot point after another, regardless of the fact that there’s been no way to draw a coherent through-line to connect the dots.
For instance, Adam is so vindictive and evil that he faked a diary in hopes of framing Daddy Dearest Victor for murder. He dressed up as late stepmother Sabrina to gaslight her replacement, Ashley; it worked, too — to the point that poor Ashley miscarried. And not too long ago, Adam was hatching a plot to blow up Newman Enterprises — with his entire family inside.
Credit: Aaron Montgomery/JPI
That’s not someone who is being sketched in shades of gray, folks, that is someone whose soul is so black that floodlights couldn’t brighten it up!
On the flip side, Adam felt really, really bad about causing Ashley to lose his stepsibling — so bad, in fact, that he stole newborn Faith from Sharon and passed off the baby as Ashley’s. Is that supposed to count as a show of conscience? Letting Sharon mourn the supposed death of her daughter so that Ashley didn’t have to grieve for her actually deceased offspring?
Erm, not too sure about that.
Currently, a lot of plot is hinging on Adam’s rescue of Faith after her drinking-and-driving fiasco. And once again, we’re at a loss. His saving Faith is nice and all, but it doesn’t make him less of a villain any more than our leaving one French fry on the plate makes us more of a dieter.
Also, we went back for that fry. Just sayin’.
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI
We’re 100-percent behind characters changing, growing, evolving, and we’d love nothing more than to see The Young and the Restless allow Adam to do just that. But it isn’t facilitating progress for him by moving him forward, then yanking him back. And we just. Don’t. Get it.
Maybe that’s the way the show thinks that antiheroes are written. “They do a bad thing, then a worse one, and just when you completely despise them, they… I’ve got it! They pet a kitten!” Or maybe — we have no inside intel on this — the network is interfering, insisting that stories already in progress suddenly include, say, a bomb plot. Or, since it’s Wednesday, Adam loves and has only ever loved Sharon, and sorry, Chelsea, it sucks to be you.
What do you think? Does Adam make sense to you, careening as he does from mustache-twirling levels of absolute villainy to super-sweet moments of sincerity that reel us in as easily as they do Sharon? Or does it all just make you dizzy? Before you answer, perhaps you should review the below timeline, which revisits even more of Adam’s best — and worst — moments.
<p>Victor Adam Newman Jr is the son of Victor Newman and Hope Adams. Adam grew up on the farm in Kansas with Hope and his stepfather, Cliff, and had no idea that Victor was his father until Hope’s death from cancer. Victor did visit from time to time, but it wasn’t until Adam showed up in Genoa City that their relationship — one of the rockiest in soap history — really began.</p>
<p>Adam dated Paul Williams’ daughter, Heather Stevens not long after his arrival in Genoa City. The two butted heads with his father, Victor, often.</p>
<p>Adam gaslighted a pregnant Ashley at the ranch while dressed as Victor’s late wife Sabrina. As a result, a fall down the stairs ended her pregnancy and Adam disposed of the fetus in the fireplace. Ashley continued to believe she was pregnant; a ‘hysterical’ pregnancy, and Adam gave her Sharon’s baby when it was born.</p>
<p>As part of his machinations, Adam needed Rafe’s help. He got the young lawyer on board by pretending to be gay and sleeping with him.</p>
<p>Adam was drawn to Sharon out of guilt after stealing her baby and letting her believe it had died. The two fell in love and flew off to get married. He was about to tell her the truth about her daughter being alive when their plane crashed on the way back from Lake Tahoe. It eventually came out and Sharon was reunited with Faith. Despite this, she never wrote him off.</p>
<p>Adam could be mercurial and went through a lot of ups and downs with his siblings and in his on-again, off-again relationship with Sharon. At one point, Adam threw a memory card that could have exonerated Sharon in a murder case into the creek.</p>
<p>Adam skipped town more than once after causing chaos. Victor always managed to track him down and bring him back.</p>
<p>An old friend and fellow scammer, Skye and Adam reunited in Genoa City and started a hedge fund. Skye and Adam married at one point. She later died after falling in a volcano and Sharon was accused of murdering her.</p>
<p>Adam’s mother was blind, and blindness has been a theme throughout Adam’s life. He injected his eyes while in prison to cause temporary blindness as a ploy for release, and later was temporarily blinded when Patty Williams threw chemical pesticide in his face. Adam’s son Connor inherited his mother’s eye condition and his vision was restored with cornea transplants from Delia Abbott, who died after Adam struck her in a hit-and-run, believing he had run over a dog.</p>
<p>Adam and Chelsea struck up a conversation when they met in the Genoa City Athletic Club and bonded over being pariahs. The two first became friends, and then fell in love and were married.</p>
<p>Although Chelsea passed off Adam’s son Connor as Dylan McAvoy’s out of fear her ex-husband would take the baby from her when he was born, the truth eventually came out. Adam and Chelsea had divorced over his involvment with Sharon, but she moved back in and they formed a family, which reignited their feelings.</p>
<p>After it came out that Adam had covered up his role in Delia’s death once he realized the truth, Billy and Chloe’s hatred for him was cemented. Billy forced Adam at gunpoint to drive past Delia’s school and the incident ended in a fiery crash after which Adam was presumed dead.</p>
<p>Adam returned to Genoa City with a new face and a new name after his presumed death — Gabriel Bingham. He ingratiated himself back into Chelsea’s life before revealing his true identity.</p>
<p>While posing as Gabriel Bingham, Adam lived with Sage, who had helped him recover and make his way back to Genoa City. The two hooked-up once before he reunited with Chelsea and she became pregnant. Adam delivered his son, who was thought to be Nick’s. Although all parties concerned learned the truth, Nick has raised Christian since Sage’s death.</p>
<p>After Adam did a stint in prison when Victor framed him in Constance Bingham’s death, he and Chelsea planned to run away with their son Connor following his release. They holed up in a cabin, but before they were to leave, Connor spiked a fever. Nick took Chelsea and Connor to a doctor, and in the meantime, Chloe got to Adam, drugged him, and left him to die when the cabin exploded. Once again, Adam was presumed dead.</p>
<p>Victor discovered Adam was alive and living in Las Vegas. He was going by the name Spyder and didn’t remember his life as Adam Newman. Victor enlisted Sharon to help bring him back to Genoa City. Adam’s memories returned and he picked up his former rivalries and loves.</p>
<p>Chelsea returned to Genoa City upon hearing that Adam was alive again, and after her wealthy husband died, she briefly reconnected with Nick before ending up back with Adam. The pair, along with Connor, resumed their life as a family until Adam’s feud with Billy caused things to go off track.</p> <p> </p>
<p>When Adam’s machinations were indirectly responsible for Chelsea ending up in a wheelchair unable to speak or move anything but her fingers, he decided it would be a great idea to bring in Sharon to help jumpstart her recovery. And while he wasn’t wrong, Adam was undeniably drawn to Sharon, with whom he shared a kiss. When Chelsea saw the photo she tried to frame him for attempted murder.</p>
<p>In a new twist, Adam mended fences not only with his father, Victor, with whom he went into business with at Newman Media, but managed a slight thaw in his relationship with sister, Victoria. He even got invited to her wedding in Tuscany, where he saved the day by making sure the wedding went off as planned.</p>
<p>When Adam’s fashion division hired designer Sally Spectra, these birds of a feather kept flocking together. Sally kissed Adam when he was kind to her after a run-in with Phyllis, and while he insisted they keep things professional, the pair flirted up a storm and shared another kiss at Victoria’s wedding in Italy.</p>
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