Justin Hartley played Adam Newman on ‘The Young and the Restless’ from 2014-2016. As all solid performers know, it’s hard to follow a superb act. But, Hartley took the baton from Michael Muhney and ran a great race.
Soap opera fans are fierce. Selective entertainment connoisseurs who don’t passively consume their escapist lore. Instead, they passionately express and share opinions. The effect of fan power in the modern daytime world isn’t underestimated by Y&R’s decision-makers. They knew Muhney was loved by a wide section of the fan base. That’s why careful consideration was given to his replacement.
Hitting a home run means ultimate success in baseball. But, as diamond devotees know, there are different types of dingers. With Hartley’s hire, ‘The Young and the Restless’ hit a grand slam. He consistently delivered a sound performance, created chemistry with all key people in Adam’s life and established an upbeat relationship with the fans from the moment he was introduced. Kudos to him on all accounts.
Melissa Claire Egan’s (Chelsea) sharp skills combined with Hartley’s nuanced version of a character that Muhney masterfully played as frenetic. Egan and Hartley developed their own power couple chemistry that was genuine and believable. That was no small accomplishment, as the previous version of ‘Chadam’ was also fondly thought of.
Adam’s interactions with Billy during the past two years weren’t written to the same intensity levels that Muhney and Billy Miller were previously asked to work at in the past. And those actors (Muhney and Miller) collaborated brilliantly, as fans of ‘The Young and the Restless’ know. But, Hartley did have countless deep scenes with Eric Braeden (Victor). He and Braeden forged an engaging, more vulnerable, on-screen connection since 2014. Hartley’s efforts (along with Braeden’s) were laudable.
Well wishes are easy to offer to good people. So, Hartley is surely encouraged to succeed in his new NBC series ‘This Is Us’ and during the rest of his career. He will certainly be missed by Y&R’s fans. As for the role Hartley just departed, viewers must be wondering when, not if, Adam will be seen again.
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