Another year gone by, and if there was one constant among the characters of Genoa City, it was that their lives were filled with ups and downs. As viewers, we had a ringside seat for all the good and bad, the weird and wonderful, the ordinary and the outré. It was quite a cornucopia to behold, and as Nita pointed out in her review last week, we had many reasons for "squeals of delight and shrieks of dismay."
The Wacky Worst of the Year -- Hands-down, the winner (loser) in this category was Lauren and Jana's incarceration in the cage. It wasn't just the idiocy of two characters being kidnapped and confined to a carnival prison, it was the stupefying revelation that it was not Sheila Carter who was stalking Lauren with acolytes Daisy and Ryder in tow, it was Sheila's nurse/nutjob sister, Sarah. And she had Lauren's face! Imagine that? She just so happened to have had plastic surgery to look like the woman she despised. I felt sorry for Tracey Bregman, having to play Lauren and Sarah. Even Meryl Streep would fail to pull off that kind of hysterical nonsense.
The Wacky Worst of the Year, Section 6 -- At least the Sarah story was mercifully brief (although not brief enough for my taste!) The Patty/Emily "woman with my face" storyline went on and on and on. And just because Patty's somewhere far, far away, don't think she's gone forever. There was so much wrong with this story that's it's amazing it held together as potently as it did. Victor pulled his Machiavellian evil to bring Patty Williams back to town, but with the face of Dr. Emily Petersen, a psychiatrist. Jack fell for Emily, never guessed that she was Patty -- his former wife -- and Patty proceeded to make everyone believe that she was Emily. Even Boo-Boo Kitty bought the deception. Maria Arena really insulted our intelligence by having Patty fake it as Emily. Clearly, the head writer thinks it's a cinch to be a fake psychiatrist.
Man of the Year -- He's the guy you love to hate, the hero with the black heart. He's got Colleen's heart and no conscience whatsoever. Is there any question that Victor Newman was the man of the year on 'Y&R? Victor had his hands (and feet and nose) in everybody else's business...bringing Patty home to destroy Jack; kidnapping Adam to the cabin to force a confession; having Victoria arrested on her wedding day; letting Abby wind up in jail as "The Naked Heiress"; bringing Meggie into Nikki's life; flying to Brazil to capture Adam; entrapping Meggie the murderess; crashing the Newman Fund; faking Skye's death and then letting her die in Hawaii! For a man who seemingly has everything, he never ceases to want more and force the action. Love him or hate him, Victor makes you pay attention.
Woman of the Year -- As much as I can't stand her, Phyllis earns my vote in this category. She's a pain in the ass and full of herself, but like Victor, Phyllis makes things happen. This past year, she finally got wise to the fact that Nick loved her, but wanted Sharon more. It was a bitter pill to swallow and turned Phyllis into the bitter pill we've been seeing since she rejoined Restless Style. She's lost all sense of proportion, turning her PC into a cannon to destroy her enemies! And she's so stuck on herself that nobody can bring her down to earth. It's nice that she's reunited with Jack -- they're two peas in a pod -- but the Redhead needs to be cut down to size sooner or later. And when she does get knocked off her pedestal, it'll be fun to watch.
Mega-Bomb Memories -- Did you hear the one about the barmaid Victor met in Ottawa? She turned out to be a con artist/killer who just so happened to be Murphy's daughter-in-law. Wow! What a coincidence! It may have seemed like a fine idea to expand ex-movie star Sean Young's stay on Y&R by moving her into the Newman Ranch, but it was a bizarre web of deceit and questionable connections. It was all just too pat and contrived. Nikki had no idea she was being lured back to booze, while Murphy was left to die when Meggie confronted him at the Harvest Festival, and Victor was completely oblivious...until the very last moment when he turned the tables on Meggie and she was captured.
Couple of the Year -- Unlikely though they were, Billy and Victoria were utterly delightful as a romantic love story. While they played up the domesticity with references to Father Knows Best, Victoria and Billy remained hot and fun and sexy. They weren't homebodies at all, but they did grow from "players" to "lovers" to "partners" to "better together." Billy grew up with Victoria, and Victoria loosened up with Billy. This is a couple you found yourself rooting for.
Close But No Cigar Couple -- Sorry, but all the back and forth with Chloe and Kevin was just annoying. Maybe if I'd been a bigger fan of Pretty In Pink, I would have had more fun with them, but instead they came off as uncertain and unfocused. Chloe doesn't deserve a Kevin, even if he is a bit of a basket case himself. And her fixation on Chance and Ronan just mucked up the storyline.
Bachelor of the Year -- It's hard to hand this one over to Nick because he's barely been a bachelor. Still, he does love to dance around as though he is a bachelor, doesn't he? Sharon, Phyllis, Phyllis, Sharon, Diane -- cha-cha-cha. Nick's in a rut and needs to really embrace his bachelorhood and start dating.
Snidely Whiplash Award -- You have to admit that as evil as Adam is, he's a damn compelling character. Sure, he's faked his death. Yes, he's ignored his blindness. Of course, he thinks he's worthy of Sharon's love. And perhaps he really did kill Richard Hightower (after giving him bone marrow to save his life). But Adam makes the world go round in Genoa City. He has more enemies than the phone book has numbers! Does anybody believe he's not evil? Even Sharon, who loves him, knows that Adam's been a bad, bad, bad, bad boy. Bad, yes, but fascinating.
Lost In Space -- Some storylines were just beyond the pale in 2010, leaving characters adrift in outer space like some intergalactic satellite scraps. We're talking about you, Jill Abbott. Or is that Jill Fenmore now? Not forgetting the detour into Foster and Abbott territory. Anyway you cut it, Jill was a hot mess, and it wasn't pretty to watch. Then adding to the confusion was Philip's rising from the dead, Cane conning everyone he loves, Nina reuniting with one son while losing another -- only she never really did lose Chance, and just to round things out, the introduction of the Australian mob family headed up by Tristan Rogers! Lots of action, lots of story, not too much resolution.
Cancer Be Gone- - It was a triumph to see Lily deal with her cancer so bravely and get into a remission. And to make sure she had a reason to live, Mac handed over two babies to Lily and Cane, thanks to a successful IVF procedure. Happy, happy, all around...but you know that in 2011, the world is going to come crashing down around her. I just hope Maria doesn't ignore the cancer storyline. Believe me, cancer is a real threat that needs to be dealt with honestly on soaps.
Just Jack 2010 -- Is Jack the flip-side of Victor or just the foil who seems to lose to the mustache in every round? It's hard to say, but essentially, it's more fun to be on Jack's team. He tries to be good, even when he's bad, and he's so damn earnest about it all. Flawed though he is, Jack's still great to watch, and 2010 was a good year for him.
The Last Round-Up -- Overall, it was a year that offered a helluva lot of entertainment from Y&R, because even when it colored outside the lines, the characters of Genoa City remained must-see TV. My grade for the year is (drum roll, please) ... a B! B for it could have been better. B for some of the best moments in daytime. And a solid B for being America's highest-rated soap for another year.
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