Restless Rant
Week of April 20 – 24:

Well! I enjoyed The Young and the Restless much more this week than last. In fact, I’m going to deviate from form just a bit in order to center out Monday’s episode – shout out to Tom Casiello, who wrote it – as being a classic ideal of the sort of balance a soap needs to be successful. Unfortunately, by Friday, things had darkened considerably again, but here’s how it looked from this point of view:

Monday’s Episode:
Great eppy – I was riveted, and when all was said and done, each essential element had been represented: the emotion-evoking serious drama of Ana’s custody being decided, and of Karen leaving Neil; the happy, uplifting, ‘feelgood’ moments of Chloe’s relief at Cane dropping the custody suit, and Cane/Lily/Billy/Chloe celebrating and embracing; and the classic comedic zingers from old faves such as Jill, “What’s wrong, Ashley? Satan’s spawn giving you indigestion?” and Jack, telling Adam he could always turn Zapato into a seeing eye-dog. We even experienced a touch of outrage as Tyra, Devon, and Ana walked in to witness Karen’s humiliated anguish – so many feelings were drawn from the viewer! After an episode like this you feel exhilarated, like you’ve been on a roller coaster ride – it was very well done, and not just by the writers – the acting was superb – here we give a shout out to the departing Nia Peeples (Karen) who probably did some of the best work of her career!

Cane/Lily/Chloe/Billy/Mackenzie:
Cane caught my attention right at the start of the week with his idiotic grinning! Discussing Jill and Katherine’s tense situation – and he’s grinning. Discussing the upcoming custody suit with his mother – and he’s still grinning! I found myself wondering if he was on ‘happy’ pills – but alas, it turns out the Aussie bartender was simply overjoyed because he’d recently purchased a dive all of his own – Jimmy’s! It’s a perfect fit – he’s still in charge, while being true to who he is deep down. As for Cane and Lily, I thought they were a total snore the first time around, but I am feeling it more this time – I’ve also sensed a difference in Christel Khalil’s interpretation of Lily which is helping me along. Chloe and Billy are growing on me as they share more connecting moments, however, the complication the writers are trying to impose in the form of Mackenzie is still not working for me. The character of Mac just seems to be written as though she is perpetually bored and half-asleep – I just can’t get interested in her – even her scenes with Katherine aren’t very compelling! That being said, I’m not blaming the actress – I’ve almost always found this character to be a bore – with the exception of a period of time during Rachel Kimsey’s tenure as Mac, when the character was written more upbeat.

Neil/Karen/Tyra/Devon:
The storyline reached a fantastic pinnacle this week, but how will this now continue forward in a compelling way? Tyra and Ana have not caught on with most viewers, and the events of this week did nothing to help that cause. Neil did the right thing by insisting that Ana be placed with Tyra, but most still think he’s been a total jerk. Karen is gone. Devon is somewhat interesting (let’s see more of him and Roxanne), but on the whole, the writers have dealt themselves a tough hand – a group of characters that viewers aren’t too thrilled with! Here’s hoping that something surprisingly great happens with this bunch, because the actors certainly have it in them – Bryton embodies his character, Devon, and Eva Marcille and Kristoff St. John both did a wonderful job in the courtroom scenes.

Jill:
Jill’s been at her campy best in some scenes this week – sucking back drinks at the GCAC bar and eyeing up Jack and Ashley, before slipping off the bar stool and wending her way over to drop the bomb that Victor was the one who bought the Jabot stock from Gloria. Of course, she never got the chance, but it was fun watching her salivate over the idea of it as she exchanged barbs with the Abbott siblings! I still take issue with her interactions with Katherine though – her anger seems illogically over-the-top to me – especially when she insults Murphy. It comes across like manufactured conflict between Katherine and Jill for the sake of re-establishing their old rivalry. I don’t think there is any need to go to those lengths – there is a natural competitiveness and irritability that these actresses play in their scenes that supersedes the need to create phony issues between them.

Mary Jane:
She’s starting to show her horns and I’m excited to see what’s in store for Jack – I still think she’s Mary Jo!