The Young and the RestlessSoapbox

Soapbox

Big soapy affair drama builds, as Adam’s quickie memorial is mocked

September 5 - 9

There has definitely been positive change at “Y&R,” with the production values, sets, and a definitive shift back to focusing on the characters’ emotions and motivations as opposed to characters merely reacting to plots. Clearly an effort is being made with some characters to restore the complex personality traits that make them unique…more relatable. On the other hand, some things are still right out of whack. Adam’s memorial was mocked by viewers for being totally unrealistic given Adam’s actual character history, and the return of the previously-used ‘hand’ plot was widely panned. The build toward the reveal of Phyllis and Billy’s affair is big-time soapy goodness – fans simply can’t wait. Thoughts:

Teeny tiny heart.
It was interesting they chose to make the letters from Neil’s mother a catalyst for Lily making tentative peace with Hilary. Some are on the fence about this given that their rivalry was so entertaining, but we’ll see if it even sticks. One thing we do know is that even though the Neil’s mother storyline seemed out of the blue, it provided some powerful emotional scenes for the Winters family. When Neil’s voice cracked as he read the end of Lucinda’s note and Lily and Devon went in for a hug, the moment felt like a deep sigh…not just for what was happening at the time, but for all the family has been through with the off-the-wall storylines. Their loving but complicated dynamic seemed to have been set right.

Spotlight on… Y&R’s Victor Newman’s disappearing epilepsy

I want you, I need you…
“Y&R” hit the motherlode with the off-the-charts chemistry between Phyllis and Billy, and Victoria and Travis, and they were sure mining it this week. Billy and Phyllis’ intensity leaps off the screen, their sex scenes are steamy…and the situation they’ve found themselves in is a big soapy mess. Everyone is clamoring for the secret to come out, as Jack being this obtuse is getting old, and of course, because they want to see the fallout. Many are gearing up for an Ashley/Phyllis clash given Ash’s growing suspicions. Love it. As for Victoria and Travis, they are living the ideal – passion and romance out the wazoo – what could go wrong? Jill, that’s what. As much as we’ve complained about Jill meddling in her son’s love life, her involvement really ties things together, adds tension…and comic relief. Oh, the look on Jill’s face when she saw Travis with his shirt open at Victoria’s house, and her reaction to Victoria’s news that she and Travis were both going to Seattle – at Billy’s suggestion. Ha! I thought she’d grind her teeth into dust! Loved all the subterfuge, comedy, and drama surrounding the business trip to Seattle Jill cooked up.

News: The Price is Right’s Amber Lancaster guest on Y&R

Listen to the hand.
There was such emotion and weightiness in the scenes surrounding Adam being declared dead. Chelsea and Nick at the police station, Victor and Chloe in the car, Victor and Michael at Newman, Victor and Victoria at Newman, Chloe and Nick listening to Chelsea tell Connor his father was dead (and Chloe’s slight smirk, omg)…the list goes on. It seemed like mere moments later we were at Adam’s memorial, which is when things went downhill. Where to begin? The guest list read like a ‘who’s who’ of people that had formerly hated Adam’s guts, including Ashley. Clearly she was just there to jaw about Phyllis not supporting Jack and to build up that angle, but not a good call whatsoever. The Newman siblings, who wouldn’t have thrown Adam a water bottle if he was on fire previously, were out in force hand-wringing, eye-dabbing, and in Nick’s case, delivering a heartfelt speech.

Nikki bizarrely told Sharon she was surprised to see her there, when Sharon was one of the few people who actually did love Adam!

Summer, who has been ‘poor Grandpa’s’ staunchest supporter for months, didn’t even show up for his darkest hour. Jack, who saw Adam as more his son than Victor’s (and more his son than his own sons apparently), interjected himself into Victor’s confession, let him off the hook, and then took over the floor to go on about how ‘we can’t control the ones we love’, which clearly was written in so they could cut to the scene with Phyllis and Billy having sex at the cabin. Abby, at least, showed some consistency by reverting back to whining about her own life the minute things wrapped up. Anyway, it was all too much considering the reality of who Adam actually was, and his history with people, and was a cringe-y reminder of how off-track the writing went with the whitewashing of Adam’s personality etc. As per Jack’s flashback, I guess we’re supposed to chalk it all up to Adam promising him he’d be a better man…bleh. After the memorial, just when we were hoping the tired explosion plot was the last reused gimmick we’d have to see for a while…the hand came back. Presumably it was Adam’s, although I wondered for a minute if it could have been Chloe’s.

Friday notes.
The depth and mixture of powerful feelings surrounding Phyllis and Billy’s affair was never more evident than on Friday’s episode. Jack, Phyllis, Billy, and Jill were all reeling from different kinds of desperation…just brilliant stuff. Jack was in such acute denial that it was super uncomfortable to witness the scenes. And what a shocker with Jill having a stroke! Is it real? Elsewhere, Summer and Luca held a predictable conversation at the station. I just shook my head when Paul told Summer he knew she was dealing with Adam’s death – um, what?! There was drama at Dylan and Sharon’s place as they had her acting crazy over the never-ending secret again. So tired of that ridiculousness. Abby was shocked when Ben announced he was ready for another baby – they’re not on the same page and I sense a split coming. Finally!

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Photo credit: Howard Wise/JPI

– Candace Young

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