(Soaps.com)

Hello February sweeps, when The Young and the Restless shines brightest! If you have been fluent in Y&R as long as I have (about 30 breathtaking years), then being with our friends in Genoa City this month is like a special thank you gift of love from the writers for our loyalty and devotion.

So many layers, such clever mining long character history for gold. Diane Jenkins anyone? Yes, looking as sculpted and smooth as she was before high tailing it out of GC years back, the former Jabot model – and, more importantly, a key ingredient as to why Patti shot Jack decades ago – has returned.

As if Patti didn’t have enough on her hands, what with bottle-blonde Emily waking up from her coma, all Glenn-Close-in-the-bathtub-Fatal-Attraction style. Boo!

The complexities of this storyline make it perfect soap opera. We get to see Emily’s hospital bed battle against doctors, drugs, Paul, Patti, and that awful blonde hair, trying to convince people of who she really is. (“I know what you’re going through!” we half expect Katherine to pop by and say.)

Then we get to see Patti, nutty enough to try and smother her shrink with a pillow, then dash back to the Abbott mansion to deal with Jack and Diane. That, friends, is a desperate housewife. No wonder she spends all her private time freaking out on that doppelganger oil painting hanging in the Abbott great room.

Oh, and did I mention Jack’s ex, Phyllis – top name on Patti’s Hate List and Diane Jenkins’ bitter enemy – also dropped in on this hot mess reunion, making it even more layered?

Every actor in this story is en pointe, especially Stacy Haiduk in her dual Emily / Patti role, flawless. Extra kudos to Doug Davidson, who as Paul hasn’t been this good in years. He’s such a good brother, and it’s heartbreaking to see Patti-as-Emily try not to crack as she witnesses her brother’s true protective love over and over.

Grade: A+

And yay Jana! (While we’re praising, because there will be some complaints.) Finally something interesting for Mrs. Fisher other than wiping up coffee spills (sorry about the cold cage). Doublemint twins Ryder and Daisy, creepy like the kids from those V.C. Andrews novels, have Kevin’s Brit bride locked up in what appears to be an abandoned zoo, on behalf of their boss / mother “Mama Bear”.

Are we feeling confident that Jana telling her twin captors she knows “who your mother is” pretty much spells S-h-e-i-l-a? Yum. The catch is, the mini versions aren’t nearly as intimidating as Lauren’s archenemy herself, so we’re getting a little impatient. It’s always fun to watch Kevin disintegrate, though, so as he searches for his wife, he’s at his best. Plus, Gloria (remember Gloria?) gets to come out of the woodwork, and do fun things in this crisis like console her son at Crimson Lights and tape him for his ‘Find Jana’ campaign on ViewClick.com.

Grade: A

Hey, just speaking of coffee, when we see scenes where characters are carrying to-go coffee, would it be possible for them to pretend there’s hot coffee in them? Instead they get waved around in scenes like magic wands. If this were really the case, everyone in GC should be walking around town with first-degree burns on their faces.

Grade: D (is for details.)

Bigger fish to fry, though. The Lily has cancer storyline. Insulting to anyone who has had cancer. Or even a sore throat.

Seriously, when I think of the brave people I know who have dealt with cancer, and then watch this pampered, manicured, glowing, whiny, complaining princess be completely negative all the time, in designer duds, looking and acting nothing like anyone I know who has had cancer, it hurts my head. And when Lily is then praised like she’s some kind of cancer warrior, it hurts worse. Worse than those toques that made her look like the cancer was a huge head tumour she was trying to cover. Worse than the Raquel Welch wigs she’s now wearing since that patronizing photo shoot with Malcolm to document her hardships, even. Ugh, this storyline, ugh.

And I dare add that a couple of the actors kinda look like they want to stab their eyes out with a fork and go “Ugh” too?

Grade: F. Fail.