It was the best of soaps. It was the worst of soaps. I swear, watching CBS Daytime's The Young and the Restless feels like being inside the mind of Dr. Jekyll as he morphs into Mr. Hyde.
The climax of the "Gabe is Really Adam" story has been nothing short of phenomenal. The Newman/Abbott feud is reignited. Justin Hartley (Adam), Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea), Eric Braeden (Victor), et al. are turning in one Emmy-worthy performance after another. Victoria (Amelia Heinle) found her bite and Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) her brain. Seriously, it has been soapgasmic!
Cut to: Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John) in a makeshift mosquito tent where he's keeping comatose ex-wife/daughter-in-law Hilary (Mishael Morgan) from receiving the medical attention she so desperately needs. What the f@#k is up with this Tale of Two Genoa Cities on Y&R?
A "dead" Adam Newman assuming the identity of the man who rescued him and living among the people who loved and loathed him for a year paid off huge dividends for this soap opera. The stakes for everyone involved have been huge.
Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman), Chelsea and Sage Newman (Kelly Sullivan) all knew the truth for quite some time but kept it to themselves for their own various reasons, none of which matter to Wisconsin's pitchfork wielders. Relationships came undone, babies were born prematurely and an empire was almost brought to its knees in conjunction with the truth coming out. I was so proud of the brass at Y&R, I could have wept.
The very next episode found Lily (Christel Khalil), Devon (Bryton James), Cane (Daniel Goddard) and a woefully misplaced Dylan (Steve Burton) standing around the Athletic Club set talking loudly about a ransom note for a missing Hilary, as goofy mobster Colin (Tristan Rogers) smirked in the distance. By the time Colin announced himself, I was looking for Velma to show up with the Mystery Machine to pull off his mask and yell "Jinkies!"
How are these two umbrella storylines being written by the same person on the same soap opera? The Adam fallout is worthy of the best TGIT storylines from Shondaland, yet this "Missing Hilary" plot would cause people to hurl their liver and onions at the stage during dinner theater in Poughkeepsie.
One big problem I have with this story, is that all of the Winters are being seen as a collective. Adam's return may be at the center of the latest saga of Newman vs. Abbott, but the various relationships and dynamics stand on their own. Victor vs. Jack, Adam vs. Billy, Adam vs. Nick, Jack. vs. Billy, Victoria vs. Chelsea, Victoria vs. Sage are all being played out masterfully. With the Hilary story, it's as if Cane, Lily, Devon and Dylan all share a brain.
Why don't Lily and Cane have a story of their own? Why is Steve Burton, one of the biggest and most expensive stars in daytime, being smushed up into this mess like a jigsaw puzzle piece that simply will not fit? Now we're adding All My Children's camptastic Michael E. Knight to the mix as a dastardly doc. Oy.
I was glad to see Jill (Jess Walton) remember she had a son last week. I pray this leads to more interaction between one of my all-time favorite soap opera characters, her actual son Billy (Burgess Jenkins) and the Abbotts.
Jill has decades of history with this clan. She married into them twice and worked at their cosmetics dynasty for years, yet she barely shares scenes with the Abbotts when Walton is on. Why is that?
Did we really need to see Y&R waste the precious little time Walton appears on the show by having her and Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) hanging out at the police station for an entire episode? Someone could have called that tip in to Paul (Doug Davidson) about Adam. Use these powerhouses more effectively!
Lauren Fenmore (Tracey Bregman) and Michael Baldwin (Christian LeBlanc) are barely factors anymore. Why isn't Lauren demanding an emergency meeting with Victoria and Abby (Melissa Ordway) to discuss the situation at Newman?
Newman products like Brash & Sassy and Chelsea By Newman are carried in Lauren's chain of department stores. Her concern over the company being brought it its knees would be organic, historical and rooted in history. The Newmans keep talking about their business partners being panicked by the Paragon Virus. Hello, Lauren is one of those partners, people!
If Y&R can get a handle on the rest of its canvas, the way it has the Newmans and Abbotts, it would be the best damn soap currently airing on daytime. It's that simple.