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Deconstructing Y&R: Christmas cheer triumphs in Genoa City

Restless Rant for December 21 - 24:

Sean Smith/JPI

Warning: contains spoilers from Thursday’s US episode.

The Genoa City Christmas gatherings were heartwarming, but stories revolving around newer characters with no real connection to Genoa City’s core players (Sage, Neville, Luca, Marisa) were leaving many cold. Why not bring back interesting characters rooted in “Y&R’s” rich past (and not with recasts in the roles) and tell stories that resonate historically with fans so they can actually feel emotionally invested?

Fired and hired.
So, Gwen was shocked when Jack fired her due to budget cuts. Wouldn’t the head of accounting have been involved in assessing the company’s financial position? And if Jabot’s immediate focus is on financial recovery, wouldn’t her job be more important than ever? Just saying… Anyway, we all know the real reason she was cut loose was so she could be sucked back into the ‘everybody wants Neil’ storyline, which has been set up to revolve around newcomer Dr. Neville and his research. This is such a dud story. Few buy into these women fighting over Neil, or care about Neville or his research (except whether he can save Ashley, who we do care about), and it’s just ugly that Devon is funding it all. Worse, Ashley and Neville will be spending a lot of time together and we know what that could mean; another forced romance. They may be working in a lab, but there is none of that kind of chemistry happening.

Clueless.
Summer is 21 but still feels clueless about her future…Zzz. As mentioned in the last Deconstructing Y&R, Summer and Kyle’s scenes could be the key to curing insomnia. The writers don’t seem to have any inkling of how to use these two, let alone make them interesting. No one wants to hear Summer and Kyle drone on and on about themselves and/or how the war between their families affects them, because, frankly, it doesn’t.

Intervention.
Phyllis went and dusted off Billy and cleaned him up, and then set up an intervention of sorts between him and Jack at the cabin. Jack blustered and Billy took off in a huff, but Jack eventually trucked after him, and Billy then opened up emotionally a bit. After Jack jumped to the conclusion that Billy was suicidal, the brothers reached an understanding and Billy trotted off back to the Club. Waiting there was Jill, who though we haven’t seen her interact with Billy in eons, even at family events, went on to Colin about being a hands-on parent. I only wish Jill would be on screen regularly so that this could actually be true. Anyway, Jill got up to speed on the reconciliation with Jack and later pressed Victoria to forgive Billy as well. While people pushing Victoria to ‘give Billy another chance’ and to ‘fight for what they have’ got to be a bit much, Jill’s line about love; “In the end, what else is there?” resonated. Love Jill. In related news, some have speculated whether the Phyllis/Billy interaction could be foreshadowing an affair down the road. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but would definitely like to see Phyllis out of the Jack relationship.

Secret weapon.
Noah kicked off his new career as Adam and Victor’s secret weapon against Luca and the Santoris, which basically involves him suffering humiliation in front of Luca to lull him into a false sense of security. Marisa, who now comes across as little more than a bimbo, bought into the illusion of Luca as the ‘big man’ at Newman and took him into her bed accordingly. This is a classic soap opera case of ‘who are these people and why should we care’?

Reconnect.
Shadam fans were one happy bunch this week as Sharon and Adam (finally!) managed to make it into each other’s orbit – not once but twice. Both were rather hurried exchanges, but at the very least their history was acknowledged. Considering that’s his baby she’s mothering, here’s hoping there will be more run-ins.

You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.
Victor was a real Scrooge, making family members work at Christmas so they couldn’t shop. Why had Victoria and Abby left their Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve anyway? Too funny! In any case, Nikki shuttled into the office and set him straight, so they were set free. A visit with Connor softened Victor up enough to let Adam and Noah leave, and even led to a brief meaningful exchange with James the security guard…but he still wouldn’t go to the party.

Christmas magic.
Christmas was a feelgood affair in Genoa City as Lily and Cane kissed under the mistletoe, Hilary and Devon had a civil exchange, and Victoria invited Billy to stay for Christmas Eve. Victor put up a whole lot of resistance, but was finally convinced by little Faith to attend Nikki’s party, and the nurturing Traci Abbott arrived in town just in time to pull the Abbott clan together for an old-fashioned holiday gathering at the cabin. Cheers!

All the best for a safe and happy holiday to our Soaps.com readers!

This blog is an opinion piece. Feel free to share your thoughts below.

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Photo credit: Sean Smith/JPI

– Candace Young

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