What is the last thing any viewer wants to see when they tune into The Young and the Restless (Y&R) lately? Abby Newman-Abbott-Chancellor (portrayed by Melissa Ordway) crying over Chance again. Are we heartless for feeling this way? Are we being petty? No, we’re exhausted with this storyline for one simple reason: writers never gave us a reason to care.
It’s hard to believe that this is the story Y&R writers set out to tell. From Donny Boaz’s (ex-Chance Chancellor) surprise exit to the gong show of Sean Carrigan’s (Ben “Stitch” Rayburn) temporary return, it felt like show-runners had multiple opportunities to either divert their original arc or snowball all of this inaction into a meaningful new endgame.
Want spoilers? Check out Young And The Restless Spoilers For The Next Two Weeks (November 8 – 19, 2021)
Yet precious little of this storyline has evolved over the course of 2021. Abby has pivoted from whiny to worried and back again, while various friends have smiled, tight-lipped, as she vented about her situation. To nobody’s surprise, Chance has remained off-screen because there’s no one to portray him (although a recent set photo suggests that may soon change — we’ll get to that shortly).
It’s almost commendable to watch Y&R try to write themselves out of this tear-drenched cardboard box of a story; I say almost because their persistence is coming at the expense of viewers. And rest assured, the growing chorus of disenchanted fans are making their voices heard. Fans online have described recent scenes as “excruciating” and “a boring dull mess”.
Yet the core problem with this storyline isn’t its length; it’s the fact that it never achieved viewer involvement in the first place. The fan response — especially to the episode of November 2nd, during which Abby dreamt of teleporting to various Genoa City locales and reliving the couple’s so-called “greatest hits” — has made this clear. If the couple had a hit, it was a minor one. Nobody cares.
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There’s no catharsis for viewers amid this long-winded cry-fest. The relationship between Abby and Chance wasn’t that amazing. Chance’s mission, which could’ve been the most interesting aspect of this narrative, occurred entirely off-canvas. We can’t even feel bad for baby Dominic, because he’s still a football wrapped in a blanket.
With Chance a no-show and Dominic a football, Abby is the only face in this entire story, and that isn’t fair to Ordway as an actress. She is executing the material as best she can for her character, but the dialogue is so one-note — presumably because Y&R writers don’t even know what’s going to happen next.
Case in point: let’s look at the multiple incoherencies of Ben “Stitch” Rayburn’s return. Forgetting that he’s a ruggedly handsome and well-liked doctor, Stitch returns to Genoa City and assumes that the only way to get Abby’s attention is to kidnap Mariah (Camryn Grimes) and then provide the clue that saves her. Okay, fine; it already doesn’t make sense, but let’s roll with it.
Want plotline predictions? Check out Young And The Restless Plotline Predictions For The Next Two Weeks (November 8 – 19, 2021)
At the critical moment, Stitch delivers the clue to Mariah’s whereabouts that he thinks will make him a hero in Abby’s eyes. Unfortunately, he picks a convenience store as the setting for his fabrication, and the store’s video surveillance ends up pointing the finger of suspicion directly back at him. Despite his fumbling scheme, he then evades capture like a master criminal and disappears into thin air.
While that side-story served at least one purpose — setting up Mariah’s attachment issues to Dominic — it felt like an improv class gone wrong, and immediately circled back to the stasis of Abby complaining about Chance’s absence. Okay, Y&R writers, where to next?
Spoilers tease that Abby might become dependent on pills, and that Devon (Bryton James) and Mariah may have to step in to care for baby Dominic. More recently, Abby has been planning to head to Spain herself and look for Chance. Now there’s a solid development. I might even know a couple million Y&R fans who’ll help her pack her bags!
Want more spoilers? Check out Young And The Restless Spoilers For The Week (November 8, 2021)
However, a more impactful (and totally unintended) spoiler indicates that all of this drama may end soon. Amelia Heinle (who portrays Victoria) recently shared (and then promptly deleted) a candid set photo that suggests Chance may return to Genoa City alive. In the background of the photo, there appears to be a social event at the Grand Phoenix Hotel. Above a platter of hor d’oeuvres is the fragment of a banner that reads “Chance!”.
Assuming the exclamation mark in that banner isn’t celebrating a funeral scene, it’s likely that Chance will return to the living with a new actor recast in the role. [Updated November 10th: that actor will be Conner Floyd.] Such a return might soothe the raging beast inside most Y&R fans right now, but it won’t validate the past several months of aimless storytelling.
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