Genoa City for the week of September 8 – 12:

Bringing back ‘Drunk Nikki’, resurrecting Cassie via Mariah, the two-day return of Shemar Moore as Malcolm, heavy use of flashbacks, and the trend of hiring primetime actors and popular actors from other soaps are among the most recent moves aimed at improving the “Y&R” viewing experience. The good news is that clearly an effort is being made to give viewers more of what they want. Unfortunately, the underlying problems aren’t gone. There are two biggies. First, the spates of unoriginal, rather weak writing. It’s worth noting that each time an actor is cast who viewers genuinely feel optimistic about, there is immediate concern as to whether the writing will be there for the character. Second, as demonstrated by the debacle of Lauren Fenmore asking for sex advice, is the lack of proper knowledge/use of the show’s history. This was brought further into the spotlight last week when Shemar Moore revealed to TV Guide that he and Kristoff St. John (Neil) had to ask for re-writes in the scripts for Malcolm’s return to make them historically accurate and make sense as to what Malcolm would know and say. And it still seemed off. Half the time the Winters clan was talking as though Malcolm hadn’t been seen in about a decade, and then they’d suddenly reference the character’s more recent departure after Moses was born. That said, Malcolm’s was a return to remember, and it’s awesome that a more concentrated effort is being made to incorporate the history into the show, it’s just frustrating that it’s so hit or miss. Thoughts:

Liquid courage.
There were a few complaints about Nikki slurring and undergoing personality changes after a single sip of her vodka rocks, which is both funny and true, but hey it’s a soap. What we didn’t need to see was Nikki Newman praying to the porcelain god later. Ack. Anyway, the scenes with Nikki and Maureen bonding were entertaining, the Nictor argument was epic, and the tie-in with Maureen being Kelly and Ben’s mother, and later figuring out ‘Sherry’ was Victor Newman’s wife made it all that much more fun. Clearly, Maureen will be out to see what she can get for herself out of her new ‘friendship’ and her children’s connections to the Newmans and Abbotts. Soapy goodness.

Burning down the house.
So, Jack is having dreams and ‘feelings’ about Phyllis now that she’s awake because he’s just psychic like that? Okay fine, there was Nurse Hathaway’s weird phone call as well. Not surprisingly, Kelly and Jack got Summer’s seal of approval just as Phyllis sat upright and let out a blood-curdling scream down in Georgia. It’s a wonder they didn’t hear her in Genoa City. So excited for her to make her way back to town!

How are you now?
Okay, Avery needs to stop grilling Dylan about his feelings every time they share a scene. Is she his girlfriend or his therapist? She even forbade him to read the newspaper article about Ian. So unappealing. It’s like they really don’t know what to write for Avery sometimes. As for Dylan and Paul, just as Dylan’s ready to be his ‘friend’, Paul is going to haul him down to the station for questioning. Although Dylan’s no Ricky, it looks like Paul will be revisiting the issue of tension with his son.