A lot has happened while I've been away.
I was in NY for CBS press day (summer prime time shows) and then at the ATX festival (all TV all the time!), and then this week The Young and the Restless was preempted three times. Meanwhile, the showrunner was fired, word is characters are on their way out...sheesh!
So, forgive me for my absences and if I miss anything that went down this week, because in case you didn't know, the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup, and a parade with over 300k people filling the streets gets priority in my hometown!
Now. Let's get to the good stuff. Ashley isn't the only one being driven nuts by Hillary.
Yes, Hillary is relapsing. Or is she?
Until Friday, I fully believed Hillary was about to succumb to a coma again like the other patients in the drug trial. She is fainting and has a hand tremor.
But she's also been doing really Hillary-ish things, such as paying off the lab tech to usher the results too quickly.
Come to think of it, as an aside, why is it that Adam was suspected of murdering Constance Bingham, who has been dead and buried for ages, simply because of a diary entry, but there was a warm, dead lab tech who was ripe for murder, was considered suicide and never mentioned again?
Anyway, the look Hillary had on her face when she decided to shut up Devon with sex rather than really talk to him was a giant red flag. Did you see it? When they hugged, her face was over his shoulder, and she practically twirled her mustache and chuckled maniacally. Very odd.
Hillary is either not sick at all or using that sickness for everything it could be to her benefit, whatever that might be.
We have Phyllis and Billy going full steam ahead on their affair, too.
What I don't understand about this is how they thing they can just sit around in Billy's living room and let the world go by. If there's one thing they should know by now, it's that nobody texts or calls. They all bang on Billy's door. Sometimes while there is other banging going on!
It's not really the best place to carry on an affair.
And as much as I like Billy and Phyllis together, I'm somewhat worried the powers that be will be afraid to turn their backs on Phyllis and Jack.
The other thing that happened while I was gone was the firing of Jill Farren Phelps. With the showrunner out and a fresh face taking over the reigns, it's entirely possible all of the current storylines will be tossed.
Heck, we could even see some characters exiting sooner rather than later.
With the current actors playing Phyllis and Billy, there is a very comfortable feeling when they're not getting their sex on, and a very exciting feeling when they are. That's rare these days. I would hope they continue to explore it to see what happens.
What that would mean for Jack, I don't know, but it would allow Victoria to remain free to explore Travis.
Tori was outed at about the same time Luca outed Travis to Vic. It's highly unlikely all of Travis' secrets have come out. There are never any happy beginnings on soaps.
What I do know is it's the first time in years I've seen Amelia Heinle get the opportunity to laugh and smile as Victoria. She must be so relieved! After ages of playing a dour and anxious Vicki, she appears to be having fun.
There has been far too little of that on Y&R, and if the new guy can bring more of that to the show, I'll be one happy viewer.
It was so funny that Billy and Phyllis were getting all adult and dirty having an affair behind Jack's back while Travis was being old fashioned, asking Victoria to go steady.
Even if I'll never approve of Victoria's strappy sundress attire as a CEO of a major corporation, I can get behind her letting go a little bit and introducing Travis to Summer as her new man. She deserves to have some fun.
Heck, all of the characters deserve to have some fun.
Mariah and Kevin used to have a lot of fun together. They were a bright spot when others were busy being serious. Since the PassKey fiasco, Kevin's been attempting to have fun with Natalie.
But Natalie has no ties to Genoa City, and unless I'm wrong, it doesn't appear they're going out of their way to give her any. Natalie might be slipping slowly out of the door (fingers crossed). It's been enjoyable seeing Kevin trying to win back Mariah's friendship.
Mariah has had a lot on her shoulders. Sharon is having nightmares about the secret she's keeping (as well she should), and is even seeing Sage now. Mariah's so messed up about it she's starting to balk on whether Sharon should tell the truth or not.
Frankly, it's hard to think Sully is in a good place. Every time someone comes to the house Sharon and Mariah look like deer caught in the headlights. They're going to have heart problems before this is all over.
Victor is still whining about his family putting him in prison, but it is his dirty deed that set up Adam for the Constance murder. How? No idea. The hands of the lady who visited will most likely belong to Chloe, who should be in prison herself.
Whether or not Ian would really help Adam in return for the prison break probably doesn't matter, but I'd bet anything that Ian does know what Victor did. Ian manages to know everything. My favorite line was Ian telling Adam he was hitting Victor in the hand with his face. HA!
It's still hard to believe that crazy prison doctor would get involved with Victor. I've always liked Alicia Coppola. She's far too good for this role. Victor hasn't even spent one minute recalling he's married. What gives with that?
The new showrunner, Mal Young, worked his way through many British soaps and shows, including Eastenders. British soaps run rings around their American counterparts. They're more dramatic, exciting and humorous.
Here's hoping he brings a little something new to The Young and the Restless and we're not stuck with the same old stories as we roll into the second half of 2016.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.