"Kardashian meets Hilton." (Soaps.com)

Dishing on Y&R!

Let’s hear it for the new Abby Newman! While I was sad to hear previous portrayer Haley Erin was being replaced (she did sulky, petulant Gossip Girl so well), clearly The Young and The Restless writers have decided to progress the character into the inevitable nightmare combo of Kim-Kardashian-meets-Paris-Hilton Abby was destined to become. Only now, why wait? New cast member Marcy Rylan also has a Kristen Chenoweth twinkle to her that is suddenly bringing out fresh stuff in her battles with mother Ashley and father Victor that is delicious to watch. Ashley looks like she just wants to walk over and hit her own daughter. Meanwhile Victor seems like he’ll bust out laughing from his own secret delight in his spice girl, as she insists on creating an “aspirational” reality show about herself and the money she never earned. That, friends, is TV I’d definitely watch. Grade: A+.

And do we like the new Heather? I’ve let this one marinate a while, as I was never a fan of Paul’s daughter, but Eden Reigel hasn’t won me over. I have a slight problem that with her dark looks she doesn’t anything like her father Paul, but then again, who does in Soapland? Here’s hoping there’s a good reason why Y&R is even bothering keeping Heather around (let’s face it, her score as Genoa City’s district attorney is unsettling awful, her DA skills match dad’s detective abilities); perhaps there’s a personal storyline ahead that will make for some interesting viewing? Grade: B-.

We move on now to one of the biggest pet peeves I have with soap operas in general: the random, in-depth, exploration of a character’s post-traumatic distress following a horrifying event. Because those of us fluent in Bubbles know, most of the time soap characters all bounce back by the next episode like nothing ever happened. So it’s a little … how do I say this nicely? … Boring to see Lauren now staggering around like a wreck and Janna emotionless following their incarceration at the hands of Sheila Carter’s sister.

But first, this needs saying: I hated that Sarah Smythe twist. For months we were (deftly) led to believe Sheila was coming back only to find out otherwise, a sister we never knew she had, nor cared. I never bought into the irrational hate she had for Lauren (Um, hello, Sarah? Did you read about what your sister did to Lauren? She had it comin’, as the song goes!) and that, combined with the fact that for some reason we can never see Lauren unless she’s in full drag (Even in a cage! Heels! In a cage!) was a total turn-off once all was revealed.

Almost as much as the post-traumatic stress dénouement we’re all having to sit through. Move it along, people, let’s not forget this is Genoa City; all wounds need healing within the hour, please. Grade: C –

Take Emily as a great example. She at least was thisclose to death, she was shot up with drugs more times that Courtney Love, her doppelganger was even shagging her husband, and despite it all, her aftermath is about a new haircut, taking a cue from Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet tour and chopping some gladiator bangs into her locks. Not only that, but already there’s a new problem in life: someone’s following her. All this, and she’s over Jack? This is a Renaissance woman who keeps chugging through life. (Lauren and Jana take a lesson!) I’m also still smiling like the cat who swallowed the canary over Emily’s new attitude about Jack: “If you loved me you would have noticed that wasn’t me you were sleeping with.” Right? We were all thinking that, thank God Emily is calling it, and Jack’s pained expression makes it all the more satisfying. Colour Emily my new favourite character; long may she be young and restless. Grade: B+.