ashland tucker
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

Open it at once.

The return of The Young and the Restless’ Tucker has so set the show on fire that it’s a wonder alarms haven’t gone off. But to keep those flames rising, the powers that be are going to have to take care — and learn from the mistakes that were made with previous power player Ashland.

You’ll recall that, before we met Victoria’s future husband, we were told that he was big and bad, the scary Locke Ness Monster. But on screen, he was at worst conniving and cranky (at least until he went around the bend at the tail end of Robert Newman’s stint in the role). As a result, what should have been a thrilling and fearsome villain wound up being… meh, an interesting enough character who never quite lived up to the hype.

Ashland Assaults Victoria YR

However, Ashland, in a way, left behind a gift for Tucker: almost a blueprint for how not to write an antagonist. Young & Restless should know, thanks to its missteps with Ashland, that it can’t go halfway with the part that Trevor St. John inherited from Stephen Nichols (Steve, Days of Our Lives). It has to go all in. If Tucker is going to be a Machiavellian rat bastard, let ’im be full-on rotten.

That’s not to say that Tucker should be one-dimensional. But if he’s gonna be bad, make him bad in all capital letters. Make him remorseful after the fact, sure. Make him so charming that it’s hard to write him off as rotten to the core. But if you’re giving us a villain, Young & Restless, he had damn well better be villainous. Painting Ashland in too bland a shade of gray stymied his potential; let Tucker be the character that Ashland was supposed to be… but never was.

Review Tucker’s checkered past in the photo gallery below.