The Young and the Restless Weekly Blog!
Week of June 8 -12:
Whenever I sit down to ‘Rant’ about The Young and the Restless, there is always that hope in the back of my mind that it will come out as more of a ‘Rave’. As with any viewer, when the show is full of good-storytelling and great acting, I’m happy, and love to acknowledge it! This week is a mixed bag – some stories are looking really good, but my beef is that every main storyline is simultaneously incorporating dark and twisty stuff. Where is the balance? Each tale involves a mystery, or a psycho, or plotting and scheming – even the romance-based triangles and couplings seem to have negativity surrounding them! Let’s see how it breaks down:
Dark Tale #1, Daniel’s Stolen Art Story: While Michael Graziadei (Daniel) is a very talented actor, and is totally pulling off the material being provided to him, the story itself isn’t working. Why? No one cares. It feels contrived. The plot is clearly aimed at putting the fab four in ‘hot water’ again, except that this time, viewers aren’t feeling it because it’s not written from the emotional standpoint of the characters, but from the clinical perspective of executing a scripted plot. It’s nice that they tried to give Victoria and JT something to do in this, but the only moment worth watching was when JT thought he was walking in on his wife with another man – because it made us feel something for JT, who we know and love so well. I would have much rather watched Victoria and Colleen duke it out in the boardroom and/or over JT, than this stuff. BTW, where is Colleen?
Dark Tale #2, Addam’s Family: Well, Adam has emerged as a true ghoul, although Chris Engen has done a wonderful job this past week in giving us a subtle sense of Adam’s teensy bit of regret. But there’s not enough regret in the world to redeem this guy – not to mention when it all finally comes out, he’ll be completely annihilated by his father! Adam may even become the one common enemy that brings Victor and Jack together! Unfortunately, as with Kevin’s abuse tale, the story has become a little too dark for some viewers. What began as a very compelling mystery – trying to figure out who was gaslighting Ashley – has downgraded perhaps just a step too far into the territory of ‘sick and twisted’. With the cover-up of the miscarriage, the believability factor is now completely out the window too, which takes away from the enjoyment of the story, and is not what I expect for Y&R. For me, however, the big problem is the same as with the Daniel story – it’s plot-driven. We don’t understand Adam’s motivations or feelings – not really – because it hasn’t been written from that standpoint. So, again, we find ourselves being dragged along through a scripted story that feels disconnected from the characters. Ashley and Victor are certainly not behaving like themselves, and Adam we don’t understand – so how are we supposed to continue to invest in the story? The saving grace for this tale is that we are anticipating Adam getting his comeuppance, we are able to feel something about Ashley’s miscarriage, and that Nikki has gotten involved – now that’s a twist I like!
Dark Tale #3, Cane/Nina/Phillip: This would be the little gray cloud hanging over Lily and Cane’s romance – but they may weather the storm, we don’t know. With the reveal this week that ‘Langley Down Under’ is definitely Phillip III, this officially became even more interesting. Why? This will rock the emotions and lives of characters we know well – viewers will feel the enormity of the situation right along with them as the story unfolds. This is what is required for a story to ‘work’. I can’t wait to find out why Phillip III would have wanted to leave the life he had and miss out on raising his son. Why would he desire to distance himself from his wife, mother, and grandmother,so much so, that he seemingly went to the extremes of faking his own death and recruiting a replacement! Not only that, but I want to understand why Cane got involved in this – was it for the money, but that changed at some point? This has great potential.
Dark Tale #4, Mary Jane Benson: Obviously truly psychotic, Mary Jane comes complete with a cut-and-paste enemy list, a penchant for smashing the skulls of living creatures, a creepy little-girl giggle, an appetite for kinky sex, and an incredible set of manipulating and plotting skills! Mary Jane is an absolutely delicious character! I can't wait to see what she will do next. Why? Because, as Soaps.com revealed exclusively earlier this week, MJ is none other than Patty Williams! Patty, of course is Paul's younger sister who left town after trying to murder her philandering ex-hubby, Jack Abbott! The ramifications from the past are huge, as are the potential new messes for Mary Jane to make as she builds up her list of 'done me wrongs'! Once again, it's dark, but a winner, because of the emotional connection to characters we care about.
Gloria/Jeffrey: More plotting and scheming, but thankfully, the writers have avoided overkill with this duo, and the comic relief they bring is hugely welcome right now! When they laugh uproariously together, it's absolutely infectious! I love that they think Mary Jane is a high-class hooker! Hilarious! I can see Jill rolling her eyeballs already!
Nick/Sharon/Phyllis/Jack: Noah might be a smart-mouthed kid with an attitude, but he has a point in questioning the bed-hopping and house-swapping going on - it's gotten bizarre! Nick Newman has no credibility left, and Sharon's been back and forth between the Club and Jack's house how many times? Now we have Phyllis and Jack getting it on within five seconds of discussing their undying love for their respective others - and even worse - Jack then goes and has sex with the bunny-boiler the same night! Just, yuck!! I'd consider throwing a dead bird at him too - user! I'm all for tons of love (and sex) in the afternoon, truly, but lately it's gone slightly to the wrong side of nasty! Lots of well-acted scenes this week with the kids though - Sharon/Nick/Noah, Phyllis/Daniel, and Phyllis/Summer.
Billy/Chloe/Mac: If I ever have to see Mac do the 'stare and lunge' at Billy that way again, I swear I'll fast forward (gasp)! For the love of Pete - these two characters have NO chemistry! Viewers who never thought they would see the day they would root for Chloe, have found themselves doing so, because love her or hate her, at least Chloe has sizzle with the man! There is no triangle happening here, folks. I've tried to appreciate how 'different' she is, but the truth is that the Mac character is still a bore on the whole. Overall, I'm interested in seeing how Billy gets sorted out though. He and Chloe are both compelling characters regardless of what happens to them as a couple.
So, although we're getting some comic relief from Mary Jane smooching and giggling with her kitty, and Jeff and Gloria's idiocy, the show, overall, has a weird feel again - not like itself. I thought we'd moved on from that after the Kevin/Chipmunk thing - guess not. The contrast/balance seems to be missing once again. There are big stories that are working, though (see Dark Tales #3 and #4), and others that might work with some tweaking. So, it looks like it's partly a 'Rant' and partly a 'Rave' for this week!
What are your thoughts? Are you enjoying the current writing? Which stories are 'working' for you? Be sure to share your thoughts below!