What is going on at The Young and the Restless?! Things have become downright schizophrenic. Storylines are running the gamut from wildly entertaining to deadly dull, and some are still going missing! Michael, River & Co., after their dramatic and emotional warehouse scene on Tuesday, which brought me to the brink of tears, have not been seen since! Beyond frustrating. The momentum has been utterly lost! The 'gaslighting' of Katherine by Gloria and Kevin, seen last Friday, was not even mentioned this week. Ridiculous! The writers went to such lengths to have Billy witness Gloria's behavior, and then didn't pursue it! The storylines for the younger set have been moving along and have been very well written, while the older set seem to have a completely different writer penning their scripts - and not in a good way! The Newmans and Abbotts are supposed to be the lifeblood of Y&R, and the concepts for their stories seem good, but the actual playing out of the plots, and the scenes themselves, are so dull that unless you're shaking your head in disbelief, you're in danger of falling into a glassy-eyed stupor! Here's how it breaks down: Michael/River/Gloria: I'm madly in love with Christian LeBlanc's (Michael Baldwin's) acting, and have been so moved by this emotional journey he is taking with his father. To have been so bereft and angry at him all those years, and to have struggled emotionally and reached the point where he is finally reaching out to his father, helping him up, and allowing River to lean on him (very symbolic), moved me nearly to tears. Christian does such a wonderful job of expressing Michael's inner feelings without even saying a word. I'm really disappointed that the writers chose not to carry the momentum from that scene through the week. Meanwhile, a stunned Gloria, who had helped River by bringing Eden to Lauren's, and who almost won my sympathy, went after her departing husband, Jeffrey, on Tuesday - and we still don't know if she caught up with him! Jeeze Louise! Eden checkpoint - I can sympathize with the character, and like the idea of Michael having a sister, but I still don't like her, can't seem to make myself like her, and I just can't help it! Kevin/Jana: After Jana confronted Kevin about the path he was going down last week, they haven't been seen since, except as gawping witnesses to Amber's phone call. I miss them. Brad: An important, main character, who is facing federal charges of money laundering, and who shares incredible chemistry with many of the ladies on the canvas. Sounds like someone who should have been on screen this week, but sadly, he wasn't.
Nick/Phyllis/Sharon/Jack: I'm still wishing they would stop being so obvious about devising ways for Sharon and Nick to be in close proximity. After all that he went through to establish his independence and to take control of his beloved Restless Style, Nick would never have agreed to return to Newman - if they want to throw Nick and Sharon together, fine, but why not be a bit more clever and creative about it? The Sharon/Phyllis confrontation about the letter was overdue, but I found the scene a little underwhelming, and quite frankly, the whole bickering thing between them is getting old. A very nice touch this week was having Sharon discover that Jack has been at the Motor Arms Motel. Too funny! I'm looking forward to an entertaining confrontation!
'The Plan': Be sure to correct me if I'm wrong, but why was it necessary for Nikki to concoct a detailed master plan to throw Heather off Victor's trail, when no one has any idea on Earth where he is anyway?! It's beyond ridiculous! And how about that Nick lecturing everyone about how they shouldn't be 'making giant sacrifices' for Victor, when he just rearranged his entire career path! The most interesting thing about this whole story is the plot point that has Paul Williams torn between helping his daughter, and helping his friend, Nikki.
Victor: You are missed. Everyone back in Genoa City needs to be straightened out - stat! I'm kind of puzzled about the burning of the Chateau - sort of a grand emotional gesture for the ever-practical businessman, Victor Newman! Not to mention that it's kind of going to tip everyone off to where he is! Devon/Neil/Karen/Tyra: So, Tyra and Ana are moving back. First, what kind of 'guardian' lets their child drop out of a prestigious art school after one month? Second, Neil hasn't even spoken to them since they left, but he is suddenly feverish to have them stay? Third, the Karen and Neil dynamic has finally gotten interesting, what with her revelations about her past, and now they're going to throw the perpetual-downer, Tyra, into the mix? I've been enjoying Neil and Karen, and I'd love to see more of Devon 'being a guy' with Roxanne, but this tale with Devon's relatives just isn't lighting up my life - as is so often the case with this family, the story is rather mundane. One bright spot, however, is that Aunt Olivia is coming back into the fray - I actually can't wait to see her again! Go get her, Lily! Jack/Adam: Hmmm. There are simply no words to describe the scenes where Jack is 'channeling' Victor into the voice recorder. Cringy, comes to mind. Whack. Embarrassing. Unbearable. What on God's green Earth were the writers thinking with this?! It was too bizarre to even be funny! Kudos, though, to Peter Bergman, who probably did the best Victor Newman impression ever. As with Nikki's interminable drunken rantings about Victor in the Mexican bar, the acting was sensational, but it is not entertaining whatsoever to sit through endless scenes of it! I mean, why would Jack have felt the need to sound like Victor - it made him seem insane! If I were Adam, I would have run for the hills! In any case, it looks like these two will end up turning on one another in the end. When the truth comes out, although Jack has distanced himself from meeting with the forger, he is on the tape, which is in Adam's possession. Adam has been seen with the forger, and is also on the tape. Any way you slice it, they're screwed! Wonder if this revelation will spell the end of Adam and Heather? You see, if she uses the forged diary in her case against Victor, and it is exposed as a fraud, she is going to lose her case, and her job again - all because of Adam! Chloe/Cane/Lily: Oh, oh! Do you see what's happening? Cane is going to fall for the mother of his child! With one, no two, of those sexy, lopsided grins in Chloe's direction this week, I have seen the light! He still loves Lily, yes, but he's getting as tired of the triangle as the rest of us are, and Chloe's quirkiness is growing on him. Perhaps she'll even fall for him as well - but then the sinister truth will be revealed - his dark horse brother, Billy, is actually the father of the baby! Muahahahahaha! I like it. Now that I have seen behind Chloe's façade, I am enjoying this story much more. Cane telling Lily that she should leave town was a bit of a face-slap, wasn't it? It's funny, though, how she seems taken aback, even angry, when he stops pursuing her - even though it's exactly what she keeps telling him to do!
The Chancellor Dinner Party: Fabulous! I loved every minute! The undercurrents running between Billy and Cane, then Billy and Chloe, as well as between Jack and Jill, were divine. Chloe's entrance in the smokin' hot red dress - good stuff! The unapologetic Cane discussing Jabot with Jack was excellent. Katherine telling the Cain and Abel story - a perfect touch. Jill copping on to Katherine's memory lapses - right on! Billy texting with Lily, while Cane stands there grinning - all of it, just perfection! I can't rave enough - more scenes like this, please! The Loveline Three-Way: Another brilliant piece of writing! I was totally eating up the on-air face-off between Amber and Phyllis - I call it a draw - when it got even better because Daniel came in and began wrestling his mother for the phone! Classic! His impulsive confession, and the immediate reaction of all those listening in was amazing! Phyllis rolling her eyes and putting the receiver down in defeat was perfect! Amber going to get some advice from Katherine was a good scene, and having Daniel bounce things off Chloe, of all people, was really inspired. Her own frustrations with men drove her to give Daniel the blunt advice he needed to hear, "It takes stones to be in love!" Amber's talk with Billy was right on the money - they are 'birds of a feather'. Daniel's break up with Colleen made me want to slap her - why so outraged? She's known all along how he felt, but chose to try and make him forget Amber with sex! The scene where Daniel goes to the door of the penthouse, Amber starts blathering, and he grabs her and kisses her, had me out of my chair, grinning from ear-to-ear, and doing the victory dance! Really great scenes and writing!
My summation for this week? It's so clear that the scenes that make us feel something - whether it is sadness, joy, anticipation, or that just make us laugh, are those that make Y&R worth watching. Crazy plot-driven stories such as the Mexican debacle the Newmans, Jack, Adam, and Heather are embroiled in - do not make us feel anything, that's why they tank. I'd be willing to bet that most viewers couldn't care less about the outcome of this story. When writers focus on the character-driven stuff, and develop the characters so that we can relate to and care about them, that's when the amazing moments happen! More importantly, when incredible moments do occur, it would seem wise to make the most of that momentum - good plot points that go unmentioned for days on end become meaningless and/or forgotten - such a waste. Consistency is appreciated.
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