The Young and the RestlessSoapbox
The Big, Dramatic Ashland/Victoria Twist We Didn’t Actually Get — Plus, Can We Just Reunite Sharon and Adam Already?
July 12-16, 2021
Howard Wise/JPI (2); CBS screenshot (2)
For some reason, The Young and the Restless seems bound and determined to avoid drama at all costs. I know this is something your regular recapper/commentator, Candi, talks about a lot and, with her on vacation this week, I’m finding out just how right she really is! Time and again, the show has set up situations in which it looks as if something very juicy is about to unfold, only to take the least interesting route possible. This week, it was Victoria and Ashland’s turn to take a drive down Missed Opportunity Boulevard. Meanwhile, Rey and Chelsea’s road trip put Adam and Sharon on a collision course as the path toward their reunion seemed more inevitable than ever. Ready to throw things into reverse and look at the week that was? Then buckle up and let’s go!
Close But No Cigar
The pairing of Victoria and Ashland is a total win in my book. I get why these two are together, from her long-simmering daddy issues to him seeing in her a worthy partner on both a business and personal level. (I’m a lot less clear on what he ever saw in Tara, but that’s a discussion for another day.) But in what has become this soap’s signature move, it missed a major opportunity to send shockwaves throughout Genoa City in a way which would have impacted numerous characters and relationships in a truly soapy fashion.
I’m talking, of course, about the much-ballyhooed livestream during which Ashland and Victoria announced that they would be merging their respective companies. I know I can’t possibly be the only one who expected that the livestream would end with the power couple announcing, “Oh, and by the way, we’ve also merged our lives in the most meaningful way possible by becoming husband and wife.”
That would have been a truly jaw-dropping moment. Imagine the steam that would have come out of Victor’s ears! Picture Billy reacting in such a way that Lily couldn’t help but wonder if maybe her new beau wasn’t quite as over his favorite ex as he’d like everyone to believe. Down the road, it could be revealed that rumors of Ashland’s imminent demise were not only greatly exaggerated but started by the manipulative millionaire himself, leaving Victoria to wonder if it was all part of his grand scheme to get control of Newman Enterprises.
Talk about missed opportunities.
The Problem With Tara
Meanwhile, the rapidly-approaching exit of Michael Mealor’s Kyle — a loss of epic proportions — has rendered the character of Tara essentially pointless. While Ashland’s estranged wife had great potential when first introduced, the show has reduced her to a desperately scheming caricature who, once Kyle is gone, will serve no real purpose on the canvas. She’s no threat to Victoria and Ashland, given that he clearly has no interest in reuniting with her. I suppose they could try and create a Sally/Jack/Tara triangle, but that feels like a major waste of both Jack and portrayer Peter Bergman.
Assuming the show goes the logical route and has Kyle join Summer in Italy, it feels as if Tara will soon be a loose thread waiting to be snipped.
The Return of Shadam
Everything about the story crafted to accommodate Melissa Claire Egan’s maternity leave was questionable. Are we really to believe that Rey — the guy Chelsea nearly killed with her poisoning plot — would be assigned to escort her to her mom’s place? Seeing as Paul’s been missing for months, who, exactly, is running things at the PCPD? Kevin?
On her way out of town, Chelsea made sure to basically give Sharon and Adam her blessing. “I now realize Adam’s always loved you more than he could ever love me,” she told the blonde. “It’s a twisted, pathetic, one-sided love that he has for you, but I think that’s the only way Adam knows how to love.”
Chelsea’s argument certainly seemed to hold some water, given that Sharon was the only one able to talk him into letting Connor’s mom take him to see his grandma. The one part I question is her insistence that Adam’s feelings for Sharon aren’t reciprocated. When did she come to that conclusion? Because wasn’t it her belief that Adam and Sharon were canoodling behind her back that pushed Chelsea over the edge to begin with?
In any case, with Chelsea and Adam clearly kaput, it seems almost inevitable that he and Sharon will soon be on a path toward reuniting. This is, of course, a topic which will inspire much debate, what with the fact that Sharon and Adam are one of the most divisive pairings on daytime. (That is, by the way, a good thing. Show me a soap that doesn’t have at least one couple or triangle which inspires fan debate, and I’ll show you a soap with a wildly disinterested audience.)
• Hard as it might be to imagine, I feel as if Chelsea and Sharon should kinda be best friends. Not only do they clearly share a similar taste in men, but they both know what it’s like to be under Victor’s thumb. If that doesn’t bond people, I don’t know what will!
• One of the reasons I’m really digging Victoria and Ashland is that unlike with Billy, she seems to be standing up for herself. “I don’t know who let you get away with this kind of behavior,” she told him at one point, “but you can’t pull this kind of garbage on me. If something is wrong, you don’t get to take it out on me!”
• Sorry, I still don’t care about this murder mystery. I find Imani and Naya intriguing but can’t help thinking there were a million better ways to introduce us to Amanda’s family. A case from decades ago that has some vague connection to Newman Enterprises is a total snoozefest. Worse, Amanda and Devon have gone from a hot couple to people who talk to one another about their storylines but don’t really feel like they’re in a relationship.
• I guess we’re supposed to think that maybe Stitch kidnapped Mariah… maybe to replace the baby he and Abby lost? It feels as if someone said, “I know we’ve got Mariah carrying a baby fathered by Devon for Abby while Chance is off galavanting, but it feels as if we need one more plot point in here to really make this story click.” It did not need one more plot point, much less one that ruins the appealing Sean Carrigan’s character.
That’s my take on this week’s episodes of The Young and the Restless… now let’s hear yours. What are you loving, liking and loathing? Hit the comments section with your thoughts, then check out this gallery in which we take a closer look at some of daytime’s most handsome leading men. A much, much closer look!