March Madness!

For the Week of March 20, 2023
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March Madness can certainly be maddening! The Young and the Restless was cut short by two episodes this past week due to preemptions on Thursday and Friday for the NCAA March Madness Tournament. However, Y&R made up for the shortage by packing lots of drama into the three episodes that did air. Join our Two Scoops columnist as he provides a play-by-play on all the games being played in Genoa City. Who will come out on top?

So, apparently, some sort of basketball tournament was happening this week? I don't really follow athletics, so if you came here for sports puns in my column this week, then I'll tell you right now that you are out of luck (sorry, St. Patrick)! I stream Y&R on Paramount+ rather than local TV or cable, so, in my opinion, the show being preempted due to sports coverage airing at the same time seems not only silly but also a waste of an opportunity for them to get more potential subscribers checking out their streaming service. In this day and age, there is no reason to preempt episodes because of sporting events or even breaking news because they can just be streamed online instead.

Of course, I'm not saying that Y&R should have excluded the viewers that watch Y&R on cable or live TV by making these episodes "Paramount+ exclusives." Instead, they could have allowed the Thursday and Friday episodes to be viewed for free on Paramount+ so that no viewers had to skip any days. While soap viewers were on the Paramount+ app to check out the free-to-view preempted Y&R episodes, they might also see other things on the app that they didn't even know about, which would prompt them to subscribe. Seems like "March Madness" that they didn't try this type of marketing stunt! Hmmm... maybe I should have explored a career in marketing!

But enough about "the sports" and my newly discovered marketing skills -- let's talk Y&R! There were certainly a lot of games being played in Genoa City this past week: Phyllis forged ahead with her war against Diane; Victor found his "ace in the hole" in the battle with Devon over ownership of McCall Unlimited; Adam and Nick were unknowingly engaged in a tug of war with Sally's heart (and mind!); and Victoria placed a bet on bedding Nate.

PHYLLIS vs. DIANE

Who are you betting on coming out on top in this renewed battle between Phyllis and Diane? I'm not even sure that Phyllis wants to win Jack back from Diane anymore after how he has shunned her, but that is certainly not stopping her from waging war and trying to leave Diane's life in ruins regardless.

It's sad to see Phyllis slip back into these destructive habits of lashing out at others because she is unhappy with the state of her own life. But it's not very surprising because Phyllis could probably trademark "misery loves company" as her personal coping mechanism. I'm not sure if I prefer this crazier and unhinged Phyllis over a happier and more mature Phyllis, but Michelle Stafford always makes her scenes "must-see TV" either way. Her scenes with Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren) were especially fun to watch this week.

The friendship between Lauren and Phyllis has always been one of my favorites on Y&R, so it was great to see them interacting -- and to have Lauren call Phyllis out on her behavior. Lauren knows something is awry, and I can only hope that Phyllis' newfound partnership with Jeremy doesn't end up ruining this friendship once all the dust settles and Phyllis is likely shunned by all her loved ones once again.

I was a little taken aback when Phyllis agreed to team up with Jeremy so that they could both get revenge on Diane (even if I may have suspected it could be the inevitable "twist" that would raise the stakes). I really hope Phyllis knows what she is doing because the more she protests to Jeremy that her family cannot be hurt or used as pawns in his scheme, the more I am scared that is exactly what will happen. Karma has never been kind to Phyllis.

But has Diane racked up enough good karma during her missing years to truly deserve the happy ending she is seemingly getting with Jack now that they are engaged? Kyle and Summer sure were surprised when they learned about the engagement (even if they tried to hide their true feelings about it). Kyle wants to think the best of his mother, though, and Summer's reluctance to trust that Diane doesn't have ulterior motives caused them to argue yet again. I'm starting to wonder whether Jack and Diane's new romance might be the beginning of the end of Kyle and Summer's marriage. But they'll all just be lucky to get out of this mess alive once Jeremy unleashes hell on them all (and let's hope that he does give them hell -- and give viewers some actual excitement -- because he has been a fairly boring villain so far).

DEVON vs. VICTOR

Devon made a brilliant move this week by taking what was likely a major step toward getting "his" company, Hamilton-Winters, back from Chancellor-Winters. Could we be calling the company Chancellor Industries again soon? If Victor has his way (and he usually does), then the answer is yes. As much as I hate that Devon is so insistent on breaking the merger between the two companies (and breaking his bond with his sister Lily in the process), I have to hand it to him for the way he roped Victor onto his side. I actually think Devon has a fighting chance to win now!

Devon knows how badly Victor wants to purchase McCall Unlimited, and he also knows that he is the only one standing in the way of making that happen because Tucker would rather keep the company in the family. Devon is, of course, tempted to purchase his father's company so that he doesn't end up with nothing if he can't get Hamilton-Winters back. But now that Victor knows Devon will back down from purchasing McCall Unlimited if he could reclaim Hamilton-Winters instead, I have no doubt that Victor will do everything he can to ensure that Devon gets his company back.

Based on the "Next Week on Y&R..." preview at the end of the week, it looks like Victor wastes no time in seeking out Jill to discuss the future of Chancellor-Winters and the potential outcome of Devon's lawsuit. Yay, more Jill!! I'm excited to see her go toe to toe with Victor when he tries to goad her into doing his bidding. I doubt she will simply roll over and say, "Yes, Victor. Whatever you'd like, Victor" when he tells her what to do with her company. I really hope that Jill doesn't take it easy on him. If she does cave in to Victor's request/intimidation then she better get something damn good out of him in return. Or, if she simply refuses him altogether, will there be a Jill vs. Victor storyline in the near future?!

NICK vs. ADAM

Nick and Adam may be trying their best to "play it cool" and get along for the sake of Sally and her unborn baby, but that isn't stopping Sally's heart from playing tug of war with her mind! I was a little irritated that we had to watch so many of Sally's "dream sequences." It is rare that I ever like or enjoy a dream sequence. It does not appeal to me to see a fantasy played out -- I just want to see what is actually happening to the characters. However, I was at least happy that we learned Sally is seemingly starting to realize that Adam is the better match for her in the long run (even if I thought this could have been relayed to fans in a better way than the dream sequence).

And, of course, the writers had to have Nick interrupt this latest Adam/Sally development (because that is seemingly their favorite thing to do now) by having him wake her from dreaming. Naturally, this led Sally to initiate what could only be described as "panic sex" with Nick so that she could get Adam off her mind and continue to ignore her feelings for him. Poor Nick! I do want him to find some happiness eventually but I'm so tired of his dalliance with Sally.

Hopefully, Adam and Sally will be back together soon (if the writers can do their potential reunion justice), and then maybe Nick can start spending time with someone else -- like Audra, maybe? Nick does tend to be drawn to bad girls, and Audra has been very naughty lately!

VICTORIA vs. ELENA

I'm not sure what Audra's endgame is when it comes to sticking her nose into the Victoria/Nate/Elena triangle, but it's been a lot of fun to see her toy with all three of them! Since she first saw the obvious connection and sparks that Victoria and Nate have together around the office, she has been dropping hints and innuendos to make all three of them second-guess themselves. Her motive hasn't always been clear, though. At first, I thought she might be going after Nate for herself, but then it started to seem that she was trying to push Victoria and Nate into having an affair. Now it seems that she wants Elena to be aware of the fact that Nate is "invigorated by Victoria" in more than just a professional context.

Perhaps Audra is just so used to being an agent of chaos in general that she can't help herself. After this past week, it appears that Audra is, indeed, after Nate romantically. Or is her meddling in the personal lives of her colleagues just part of a larger plan to boost her own career? Like Audra told Tucker, "Both can be true." It certainly seems that she wants to sabotage Nate's personal feelings for both Elena and Victoria so that she can snag him for herself. And I must give kudos to Audra because the fact that she has been my main topic so far in a "Victoria vs. Elena" conversation only proves that she is already succeeding toward her ultimate goal. I hope everyone is liking the fun drama that her character has been bringing to the show as much as I have lately. She certainly keeps things from becoming boring!

But let's not spend all this time talking about Audra. Victoria was certainly making some bold moves of her own this past week! I was shocked when Victoria blatantly invited Nate up to her hotel room for sex. I don't know whether to be appalled or impressed by Victoria. But I do really like the chemistry between her and Nate, so I was excited about this potentially big moment for them.

Alas, it was not mean to be (yet). It was nice of Nate to politely turn down Victoria's advances for sex in person, wasn't it? I can't decide if that truly was his attempt at being nice, if he was making a power move, or if he just still wasn't sure whether he would say no or not until he was in the hotel room with her. Whatever the reason, it all had me on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen. I didn't even feel let down that they didn't "hit the sheets" because all the drama leading up to it was satisfying enough (for now).

I do feel bad for Elena, though. She is just trying to be a supportive partner to a boyfriend who is essentially gaslighting her on a daily basis. Nate knows full well that there is something more personal going on between him and Victoria, but he continues to berate Elena for even bringing up the possibility. She has every right to feel insecure, given that they are both prone to cheat. Audra certainly pushed the right buttons as she spoke to Elena about Nate and Victoria's relationship around the office. Elena is now starting to see the underlying truth that she suspected has been there all this time -- Nate's feelings for Victoria go beyond a professional connection.

I am so curious to see where the writers are headed with all of this. Are Victoria and Nate their endgame? Is anyone rooting for Nate and Elena? Will Audra be the wildcard in this storyline that ends up winning Nate over? I can't wait to find out!

Well, that's all from me for this week, folks. But now it's your turn to say what you think about this past week on Y&R! And let me know, who would you place bets on to win in all four of these Y&R "March Madness" brackets we've discussed? Hit the "Comments" (here on the site and on social media throughout the week) to share your picks and opinions!

Until next time,
Vance

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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