THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS SOAPBOX

Deconstructing Y&R: Newbie-centric sex ring story still struggling

September 4 - 8

Deconstructing Y&R: Newbie-centric sex ring story still struggling image

It’s a bit of a cranky rant this week as the show’s storylines once again are suffering from a variety of issues ranging from not much happening besides dialogue, to a whole lot happening with little apparent direction. The highlights for me have been the one-on-one scenes between characters who share amazing chemistry whether as friends, rivals, love interests or something else, regardless of the writing/storyline. Thoughts:

Kinda' over it.
As noted in the last Deconstructing Y&R, Victoria and Phyllis’ rivalry has heated up, and while it’s fun to see the characters butt heads, and the bolder Victoria adds an interesting element, the direction remains predictable. Victoria went in for a kiss with Billy that looked awkward (whether intentional or not), and made it clear she’d take him back. Meanwhile, Phyllis was upstairs conceding to Hilary that Villy has chemistry. It’s a low point in the writing to have those words come out of the rival’s mouth. This has been a long haul, and many feel ‘over’ the so-called triangle and Brash & Sassy survival storyline despite the intensification. On a positive note, the scenes between schemers Phyllis and Hilary held possibility:

Slowdown.
The Dina storyline feels draggy again. Are we really supposed to be on tenterhooks about Graham seeing a Jabot sales report? Ashley and Ravi are going to dig for information on Graham now – didn’t they already do that? Dina is upset by Graham having to leave…again with the ‘mystery’. Sigh. In Jabot-related commentary, it was an eye-roller when Jack chastised Hilary for upsetting his darling Nikki by airing Victoria’s argument with Hochman while actively plotting to bring down Victoria’s company. It was also funny when Jack told an angry Phyllis that he planned to compete against Brash & Sassy legitimately and she bit his head off - more like her old self.

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What's happening?
As mentioned previously, Cane and Hilary being unlikely, and slightly hostile, allies has made for some entertaining scenes, however, it’s an ongoing issue that Sussman fails to clearly define Hilary’s motivations. Is she trying to get Devon back or Jordan? While Hilary’s scenes with Lily always draw viewers in, the idea of a Hilary/Jordan/Lily triangle falls flat, and most everyone is over the bickering between Mariah and Hilary at GC Buzz. Adding to the confusion, this week we had a Cane/Jordan clash over Lily…so maybe they’re doing a triangle there? But wait, we also had a hug between Cane and Juliet, so maybe that will be a thing? What exactly is happening?!

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Investment issues.
Aside from really enjoying the fact that Sharon and Nick are once again mixing it up with Alice Johnson (well, Nick’s being annoying), the sex ring storyline remains lackluster. It was well and truly a mistake to center it around three characters we don’t know, and after several months, still don’t much care about - Tessa, Crystal, and Zach. Is Zach slimy as the head of the sex ring? Sure, and it will be a ‘moment’ once Victor gets a hold of him in the end, but at this point, I’m more invested in seeing whether Alice is really the ‘den mother’ or if there will be a twist with her, than I am in the rest of it. Oh, hehe, and there's this:

Friday notes.
The show opened with Scott and Abby bickering, which had many viewers doing 'the Victoria' - holding our heads and cringing while our ears buzzed. Painful. There was a run-in between Devon and Hilary that had them looking like they wanted to jump one another right there amid the barbells and yoga mats; that was fun. We then moved on to the sex ring storyline and it was back to cringing. The scenes with Zach and Crystal...painful. Zach being lectured by Abby...painful. Tessa stressing to Mariah and reliving Chicago...painful. Nick and Sharon hugging when Chelsea walked in...painful for some, funny to me. Hehe. On the whole, the solid one-on-one interactions in which the characters brought the scenes to life saved an otherwise 'blah' and annoying episode.

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Photo credit: Howard Wise/JPI

- Candace Young

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