Young & Restless’ Chelsea Locks Horns With a Formidable Rival – Plus, Her Next Love Interest, and the Man Pain Holiday Train

December 13 - 17

Sally, Chelsea, Mariah, Nick Y&R

Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

Young & Restless has gone to longer scenes, which is good when it’s riveting material, but feels like an eternity if it’s not. And too often it’s not, as the soap continues to do the very least when it comes to soapy drama or intense conflicts. While some of the scenes are downright excellent, such as this week’s emotional hashing out of issues between Nick and Victor, the big picture stuff continues to be directionless and/or disappointing.

What Could Go Wrong?

It bears repeating that Young & Restless is doing Tessa and Mariah dirty with this Noah storyline just as they did with the surrogacy. The tone-deaf writing continues as Noah pines for someone he should not be interested in for several reasons, and with the preview now showing Tessa suddenly ready to have a baby with Mariah, the writing is on the wall. Mariah will probably suggest her half-brother as the sperm donor, meaning the child would biologically be Noah and Tessa’s – what could possibly go wrong? The optics/trajectory for this story are terrible… and we aren’t even getting drama out of it.

All Aboard

Our journey on the man pain train continues from Adam and Billy to Chance, Devon, and now Nick, who will get a standalone episode this week as per spoilers. I know Young & Restless loves to do a holiday standalone, but I’m weary. At this point, I’d have preferred a Devon episode to launch us into an emotionally dramatic custody battle for Dominic rather than to watch Nicholas whine about problems of his own making. I mean, he already had an epiphany about how he pushes people away and half an episode of reconciliation scenes with Victor. Those, by the way, were very raw and realistic. Eric Braeden, whew.

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Not a Good Look

Billy continues to put his need for revenge above all else and it’s exhausting. I hope he does tell Jack that he’s faking being back on his addictions and that his brother reads him the riot act for it. It’s not a good look to make a mockery of drinking and gambling when his downward spirals in the past have been so hurtful to others… especially in the name of vengeance. Why on earth would Lily want to entangle herself in such an ill-advised plot right when she’s starting a new high-powered job? What happened to the bidding for Chance Comm? Where did Jill go? Mess. With all of that said, I do enjoy Billy and Lily’s couple dynamic and the scenes with him setting up the photo shoot and practice interview were cute… though longer than they needed to be.

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A Promising Rivalry

Chelsea’s return provided an immediate injection of energy by establishing a rivalry with Sally. The scenes with her sizing up her competition got us off to a very good start, along with Chelsea’s later comments to Chloe about what the power structure will be at Newman Fashion. But whether Sally and Chelsea will be professional and personal rivals fighting over Adam remains to be seen. He seems to be making it pretty clear that he’s not at all interested in reuniting with someone who tried to frame him for attempted murder, so it may be that Chelsea is headed in another direction for love… perhaps Rey? They wasted no time in dropping Chels into the coffee shop, in eye-rolling scenes that had Sharon and Rey bending over backward to be congenial. Rather than letting Sharon have tension with Chelsea, they had her glaring at Sally. Anyway, it’s possible Chelsea and Rey’s odd connection will blossom, which might free Sharon up for a Nick reunion. Then again, Chelsea might look to reconcile with Nick, with whom she had a nice set-up before. But I hope not… because boring.

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The Chelsea/Sally rivalry is the most promising element of the con’s return as they’re well matched. However, given the low-level drama we’ve been getting, they could very well design a dress together and become besties in a month.

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This is just my opinion. Feel free to join the conversation below, but first, get your holiday spirit on by browsing through our soap Christmas-palooza in the photo gallery below.