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Deconstructing Y&R: Viewers irked by Genoa City characters changed to suit plots

Restless Rant for May 30 – June 3:

The ongoing feeling of some characters/storylines being out-of-whack increased this week – a supposedly sane and medicated Sharon choosing to continue keeping a secret from Nick and letting him suffer, Adam being the nicest guy on the show, Victoria being depicted as spinny and incompetent where her job is concerned, Summer representing Newman Enterprises during a crisis, Newman suddenly being in the oil business, normally melodramatic Abby showing no emotion…the list goes on. Friday’s show at the very least brought a glimmer of the old Adam, which was an improvement. Thoughts:

Take a chance.
Just when I thought Kevin was having a revelation about moving forward in his relationship with Mariah, he told Natalie he wanted to be with her and give it a shot. What?! I’m pretty sure Michael was expecting him to get it together with Mariah too. Oh Kevin…

Go to the dark(ish) side.
If someone framing Adam for murder is what it takes for him to access his darker side again, then I’m all for it. As mentioned in the last Deconstructing Y&R, he needs his edge back desperately. Day after day we’ve seen him in that penthouse jabbering, “Sweetie, Honey, Baby,” at Chelsea and making nice with everyone who walks through the door and it’s like, “Who are you?!” Adam striking a deal with Ian and yelling at Nick was a step in the right direction – way less boring too! By the way, it was fabulous to see Ian again, who gave me the biggest laugh welcoming Adam at the state pen like he was receiving him at a tea party. Hilarious! Others were pleased to see Adam seeming more like his true self as well:

Rumor patrol! Behind-the-scenes shake-up at Y&R?

Newman nonsense.
How about that writing for Newman Enterprises? Luca (who doesn’t work there, just apparently hangs around the offices with his girlfriend) easily put one over on both Victoria and Summer and took charge of a major crisis in the ‘oil division’ (seemingly created just for this plot point). Noah had to tell clueless Summer her lover lied to her (and she still didn’t believe it and asked him to move in with her), and Billy rushed in to ‘save’ Victoria as she was about to shake Luca’s hand for helping her out, you know, because she couldn’t handle having sexy time with Travis and monitor her phone/do her job at the same time. Please! So, Summer, whose work experience probably amounts to running the photocopier, stood in for the CEO of a huge corporation in a critical interview all because Luca patted her on the head and told her what to say. Make it stop! Some viewers feel like this too:

Leave of absence.
Victor’s been so busy over at the state pen denying he framed Adam and playing mind games with Meredith Gates that the goings-on at Newman Enterprises seem to have taken a back seat, as we haven’t seen any reaction from him. Odd. Anyway, Meredith was so insanely attracted to Victor in his prison blues, that she wanted to seduce him right there in the infirmary. I wonder if he turned her down, since the next day, when Victor was expecting her to walk through the door, it was a male doctor announcing she’d taken a leave of absence. Actually threw Victor off for a second, haha! Later, Victor’s reaction to Ian fishing for information suggested that he didn’t set up Adam, either that or he sensed what Ian was up to, or maybe it’s Ian who set Adam up and Victor knows, or… Sigh. In any case it was fun watching them interact again.

Give it up.
Mariah was suddenly okay with keeping Sharon’s baby secret after her conversation with Dylan, which should have been a relief for Sharon, but she continued to crack under the pressure; freaking out that Nick will recognize his own cowlick on Sullivan/Christian’s head, and behaving bizarrely basically in every situation. Like why wouldn’t she talk to Nick for Adam? Ack. Some viewers are frustrated with this storyline, which is messing with Sharon’s credibility, and now Mariah’s as well, as there’s no viable reason for not telling Nick the truth aside from not wanting to hurt ‘Dylan the good family man’…and dragging the storyline on longer.

Winging it.
The Abbott-Winters Foundation dedication was the scene for a fair bit of drama, what with Jill and Hilary verbally duking it out over who would speak, Jill giving poor Brittany/Bethany the cold hard facts about Billy using her and throwing her away (yeesh!), Phyllis leaving after Jack defended Hilary, Esther and Jill’s ‘moment’ wishing they could turn back time, and Jill cutting in front of Hil at the podium. Of course, that wasn’t all. Once the dedication was underway, Neil stunned everyone by signing himself in as the foundation’s first patient, a twist I didn’t see coming and kind of enjoyed. Another twist was Travis, who had earlier complained to ‘Tori’ about his inability to scrape together the mere $20,000 he needed, walking in and hearing Victoria casually donating a cool five million to the foundation. Oops!

Get out!
Victoria should have let Travis cool down after the shock of learning she was one of those awful snooty rich people, but no, she followed him back to the bar and made matters worse by offering to consider floating him a loan if he could forward her his financial particulars. Oh no, girl! Many couldn’t understand why Travis wasn’t thrilled to learn she was wealthy – well, clearly he felt she used him to go slumming, and that she didn’t feel he was good enough to be a part of her ‘real life’, so that would be why. He opened up to her about his money troubles and ranted about the ‘one percent’ who looked down on people like him, only to find out she was not just wealthy, but the CEO of Newman. He’s entitled to feel a bit offside – here’s hoping he gets past it though!

Thrills and spills.
When Phyllis left the dedication, she ended up on a motorcycle ride with Billy, who worked his magic with that low, growly voice. “What do you say, Beautiful?” Of course it ended with Billy in the hospital and Phyllis hiding out in a restroom – not good! Phyllis, not having a lot of choice, showed up at the hospital, where Billy opened his eyes to Jill reading him the riot act. Skeery! Anyway, the unsuspecting Bethany was named as the person who called 911 and left Billy unconscious on the pavement, so Phyllis, after a last-ditch unsuccessful effort to get Victoria to reconcile with Billy, hurried over to the Club to secure Bethany’s cooperation in the cover up. Bethany may be a bimbo, but she sensed that Phyllis was Billy’s mystery woman, so that added an interesting element – though many on social media wished it had been Hilary who found out (that could still happen). The slow roll-out toward the reveal of Philly has actually been good, especially since they are playing beats like Victoria and Billy still being drawn to one another as parents and exes, and Phyllis fighting her feelings for Billy, while still loving Jack and being ticked about Hilary sniffing around him (which Devon has also been noticing). Works!

Not responsible.
Max has a brain tumor, which explains his unthinkable behavior. Cue the eye rolls. Not only is this an overused ‘go-to’ on soaps, but Ashley just had a tumor! While Stitch struggled over his son having to undergo risky surgery, Abby’s reaction to the news didn’t seem realistic. Abby looked for one second like she was going to be angry about Max ‘not being responsible for his actions’, and then slipped back into comforting Stitch as though the news barely had anything to do with her. What? If a kid had deliberately caused you to miscarry your baby and you later found out a brain tumor made him do it, chances are your emotions would be all over the place! Here’s hoping Abby is repressing her own feelings and they’ll blow up at a later date.

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Photo credit: Howard Wise/JPI

– Candace Young

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