Things I am thankful for on Y&R

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It's been a wild ride on The Young and the Restless this year -- fake deaths, marriages that end the day after the wedding, pretending to have dementia, and infighting at every business in town! Let's unravel it all in this week's Two Scoops.

Dear readers, it is Thanksgiving week, and we decided it would be fun to count our soapy blessings and write about what we are thankful for on our favorite soaps!

First off, I am thankful that The Young and the Restless exists. It was the very first soap I ever viewed, and I was instantly mesmerized. I grew up in a small town in Ohio, a rural area, and seeing all the gorgeous ladies with fancy gowns, jewelry, and false eyelashes made my heart pound. I wanted to be THAT. Whatever that was, I liked it. I was determined to be a fancy lady with a mink stole and diamonds. I was hooked. The lady I most wanted to be was Lorie Brooks, who married a stud named Lance Prentiss, whom you may know as Eric Forrester. Sigh.

I am thankful that The Young and the Restless is still on the air. Between COVID and several Hollywood strikes, I panicked, thinking soap operas would vanish into the abyss like many other things I have loved in my lifetime, like Blockbuster Video, the Ed show, and Pepsi Light with lemon.

It has changed and shifted with the times. However, the good people of Genoa City are still wheeling and dealing, loving and losing, allowing me to watch their triumphs, tribulations, and tragedies. I'm feeling very alliterative today, apparently.

Next, I am incredibly thankful that Eric Braeden announced he is now cancer-free, and I pray he stays that way. I cannot imagine Genoa City without Victor Newman. Like Logan Roy of Succession, Victor looks over his life's work and wonders if any of his entitled, spoiled children have the integrity and grit to take over his empire. At present, he has found them all sadly lacking.

His plan to trick his kids was a fun plot device, even though cruel. I wondered whether, if he had let it go a little longer, it might have brought his children together. And now, when Victor finally faces a real health crisis, will they even believe him? It ended with Nate being kicked to the curb, another thing I am thankful for.

Is that mean? Maybe, but I suppose it's a lifetime of personal bitterness that shapes my view of Nate -- me and all the people who work hard their entire lives but see people like Nate get promoted by sleeping with the boss's daughter. He's a user, in my mind, and now that he has been fired from Newman, we will discover if he ever really loved Victoria, since she can't help him climb the Newman ladder anymore. I hope he goes and begs Elena to take him back, and she says, "Nope."

Another thing I am thankful for on Y&R this year is the reappearance of Danny Romalotti. I can't begin to explain the amount of giddiness I feel every time Michael Damian appears on my TV. He is incredibly likable, and he came home at the perfect time because both of his former flames, Phyllis and Christine, need his brand of genuine kindness in their lives. But, of course, it also sets it up for another love triangle and more crazy antics.

But let me propose that Danny could do the unthinkable and help Christine and Phyllis bury the hatchet. He already got Phyllis to stop calling Cricket "the bug" and use her actual name. Phyllis will have to tune in and think about it every time she mentions Christine's name, because old habits die hard. (Happy 40th anniversary, Lauralee Bell!)

I am thankful that Lucy and Heather are back in town, even though it will complicate things with Lily and Daniel. I love Daniel's relationship with his daughter and look forward to watching it grow. Heather wants Daniel back, and I am unsure if he will ultimately choose his family or his old flame Lily. The complicated thing in this scenario is that there are no bad guys. You can't hate Lily or Heather because they are both excellent people.

I enjoy triangles like this because it makes you realize there isn't always a villain. One person can love two people. The decision often isn't "Who do I love more?" but instead, "What can I live with?" Sometimes, people choose honor and integrity over their personal happiness.

If Daniel decides to return to his wife and daughter and keep their family together, it doesn't mean he doesn't love Lily. He clearly does. In fact, he has loved her for years. But he made a vow to Heather and wants to be an excellent father to his daughter. He knows he failed his marriage, and the guilt of that and wanting to right what he did wrong may move him in their direction. I am anxious to see how this plays out and which charming woman ultimately wins his heart.

I am also thankful for Sally Spectra. I find Courtney Hope utterly delightful. She has something in common with Michelle Stafford other than red hair. Sally is compelling to watch, and I find her fully present and engaging in every scene she does. She is never treading water. When Sally lost baby Lila, Ms. Hope shined in those gut-wrenching scenes of grief and loss -- powerhouse performances, which I hope will be rewarded come Emmy time.

But that having been said, I am not at all thankful that they killed the baby off. A Spectra/Newman baby would have a million stories to play out over the years. I feel it was a missed opportunity. But truthfully, everyone who has ever lost a baby has also lost the baby's future and the dreams and hopes they had for the baby. Hence, the writers did a fantastic job of breaking all our hearts and allowing us to experience what parents in this terrible situation experience.

In the battle between brothers Nick and Adam, both have feelings for Sally, and she has feelings for both. But my heart screams, "ADAM! Pick Adam!" because they fit. I think it's very rare to find that connection with someone, two wounded people who somehow heal each other just by being together. They are better together, in my opinion.

Nick is not a bad guy. He is a genuinely good person, albeit slightly smarmy and judgmental. But sometimes, I felt he stayed with Sally to keep her away from Adam. After Nick discovered that Sally was pregnant with Adam's baby, I thought he should have gotten out of the way. He and Sharon seem to be reconnecting; she supports him and understands him better than anyone. I wouldn't mind Nick and Sharon reuniting, especially if it gets Sharon out of Crimson Lights. That being said, I am still looking forward to the scenes when Nick discovers that Sally and Adam slept together!

I am thankful for Adam Newman. I have loved every version of Adam. The character has had the same good fortune as the many Carlys over on General Hospital. Adam and Sally have been my favorite pairing for Adam. I thought I'd never recover from losing Justin Hartley as Adam, but Mark Grossman won my heart.

Mark Grossman's Adam is the perfect mixture of confident and cocky, and vulnerable and lost. We need both in the ideal Adam. I have a feeling this time, Adam may come out the winner. When Victor said, "You think like your father," I felt like he was reassessing Adam and taking stock of his son in a new light. When Adam pointed out that after all the times he has proven himself to Victor, he still comes in third place to Nick and Victoria, I think Victor contemplated his words and took them to heart. Is it possible that Adam will end up on top this time? If so, I will be super thankful because I think it's time.

I am thankful that Aunt Mamie is back in town and brought some of Genoa City's beautiful history. The flashbacks of her long-time contentious rivalry with Jill are a delightful trip down memory lane. Mamie wants her family to control Chancellor-Winters, eliminate Jill, and reunite Nate with Devon and Lily. But her partner is Tucker, and he doesn't necessarily share her goals.

Truthfully, I have no idea what Tucker's goals are, what he wants to accomplish, or what his motivations are. So, he wants to take over Jabot, but why? To stick it to Ashley? Would that act satisfy the hole in his heart? I am thankful that the writers allowed us to see Ashley and Tucker fall apart after they sparred to let us know that they still love one another somewhere inside.

Frankly, I was annoyed that the writers worked so hard to get me to invest in Tucker and Ashley as a couple, only to break them up on their honeymoon two days into their marriage. So, now, do we just hit repeat and redo the entire story we just did, where they both must try to convince the other that they are sincere in their desire to work things out? I'm not crazy about that, but I hope they will ultimately end up back together, and then I can be happy about that.

I am thankful for Jack and Diane. There was a time when I could not imagine rooting for Diane, but after all this time of her being sincere and faithful to Jack, I am starting to trust her. I know I may end up regretting that. Still, it appears that old "Smilin' Jack" finally has a happy marriage and a stable relationship. I have wanted that for him for years. I love Peter Bergman so much, and Jack has had so many lousy love affairs, he was due for something real. He and Susan Walters are so beautiful together. It's easy to see how they made a child as beautiful as Kyle.

I am thankful for Kyle, but I think he's an idiot and will end up being the pawn in Audra and Tucker's scams. I am also grateful for Zuleyka Silver, Audra's portrayer. She has brought the old-fashioned soap vixen back to life and breathed life into Audra, so you can't take your eyes off her. Although Audra will squash Kyle like a bug as soon as he's no longer beneficial to her, it's fun to watch her snare him in her trap. She's cunning, devious, and absolutely stunning, so you can believe any man would fall under her spell. Audra hops from Kyle's bed to Tucker's without blinking, and I'm sure she'd jump in with Nate, Adam, or anyone else who would help her climb her way up to the top. She's one of the most exciting characters in Genoa City these days.

I am thankful for Summer, Allison Lanier. As a recast, I am sure she was worried about whether fans would accept her, and I think she has done an incredible job making the character her own. Also, we get the best of both worlds, as we can still watch Hunter King in Hallmark Christmas movies and enjoy Allison on Y&R as Summer. In the Sharon/Summer/Chance love triangle, I am ALL IN for Summer and Chance.

I look forward to the day those two rip each other's clothes off. Is that naughty to say? If so, I will happily accept my lump of coal this Christmas.

I am thankful for Billy Abbott. I adore his current portrayer, Jason Thompson, and I am still heartbroken over the death of his former portrayer, Billy Miller. I want Billy to have joy again. I want Billy to have a wild, adventurous love again. He deserves more than being gloomy and fighting for his job every day. I am hoping that 2024 brings Billy some fun and happiness.

I am thankful for Phyllis, despite all the crazy things she did this year, like marrying Jeremy Stark, faking her own death, going to her own funeral in disguise, and making her children accessories to her crimes. If I had to list my all-time favorite soap actors from 40 years of soap viewing, Michele Stafford would be in my top five. I loved her on GH as Nina, I love her on Y&R as Phyllis, and I am just a big geeky fan of Michelle. She makes me happy every time I see her. Watching her flirt with Danny these past few weeks makes me giddy, even though I feel she will ultimately get her heart broken. She should go back to GH as Nina and claim Valentin.

I am thankful that baby Aria can hear and that Tessa can sing her lullabies with that angel voice. I am happy that Mariah and Tessa have a daughter, but I hope that doesn't mean their only stories will be baby-related because they are much more than moms. Since Nick seems intent on returning to Newman, that may leave Sharon and Mariah alone to handle Kirsten Inc. together. I'd like to see some lady bosses rise to the top in Genoa City.

What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Esther return to Genoa City, parading around in her genuine Forester gown that she beat out Marie Osmond to get like Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris? Will Lily and Devon host a Thanksgiving meal in the new Neil Winters club and let Nate eat turkey with them? Will Chloe regret taking ownership of her life and run back to Chelsea, begging for a job? Will Nina (please) stay and give Cricket a true friend in town?

Will Elena get a new love and storyline, or will we only see her in the hospital when someone gets shot? Will Claire Grace make Nikki rethink ever hiring an assistant again? (I am thankful to have Hayley Erin back, but I'm afraid of Claire!) Will Victor notice Nikki is missing the first day that Claire kidnaps her, or will it take a week before he calls Casey to discover Nikki never arrived?

Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows. Happy Thanksgiving!

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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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