Report Card: Young and The Restless
"Kardashian meets Hilton." (Soaps.com)
Dishing on Y&R!
Let’s hear it for the new Abby Newman! While I was sad to hear previous portrayer Haley Erin was being replaced (she did sulky, petulant Gossip Girl so well), clearly The Young and The Restless writers have decided to progress the character into the inevitable nightmare combo of Kim-Kardashian-meets-Paris-Hilton Abby was destined to become. Only now, why wait? New cast member Marcy Rylan also has a Kristen Chenoweth twinkle to her that is suddenly bringing out fresh stuff in her battles with mother Ashley and father Victor that is delicious to watch. Ashley looks like she just wants to walk over and hit her own daughter. Meanwhile Victor seems like he’ll bust out laughing from his own secret delight in his spice girl, as she insists on creating an “aspirational” reality show about herself and the money she never earned. That, friends, is TV I’d definitely watch. Grade: A+.
And do we like the new Heather? I’ve let this one marinate a while, as I was never a fan of Paul’s daughter, but Eden Reigel hasn’t won me over. I have a slight problem that with her dark looks she doesn’t anything like her father Paul, but then again, who does in Soapland? Here’s hoping there’s a good reason why Y&R is even bothering keeping Heather around (let’s face it, her score as Genoa City’s district attorney is unsettling awful, her DA skills match dad’s detective abilities); perhaps there’s a personal storyline ahead that will make for some interesting viewing? Grade: B-.
We move on now to one of the biggest pet peeves I have with soap operas in general: the random, in-depth, exploration of a character’s post-traumatic distress following a horrifying event. Because those of us fluent in Bubbles know, most of the time soap characters all bounce back by the next episode like nothing ever happened. So it’s a little … how do I say this nicely? … Boring to see Lauren now staggering around like a wreck and Janna emotionless following their incarceration at the hands of Sheila Carter’s sister.
But first, this needs saying: I hated that Sarah Smythe twist. For months we were (deftly) led to believe Sheila was coming back only to find out otherwise, a sister we never knew she had, nor cared. I never bought into the irrational hate she had for Lauren (Um, hello, Sarah? Did you read about what your sister did to Lauren? She had it comin’, as the song goes!) and that, combined with the fact that for some reason we can never see Lauren unless she’s in full drag (Even in a cage! Heels! In a cage!) was a total turn-off once all was revealed.
Almost as much as the post-traumatic stress dénouement we’re all having to sit through. Move it along, people, let’s not forget this is Genoa City; all wounds need healing within the hour, please. Grade: C –
Take Emily as a great example. She at least was thisclose to death, she was shot up with drugs more times that Courtney Love, her doppelganger was even shagging her husband, and despite it all, her aftermath is about a new haircut, taking a cue from Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet tour and chopping some gladiator bangs into her locks. Not only that, but already there’s a new problem in life: someone’s following her. All this, and she’s over Jack? This is a Renaissance woman who keeps chugging through life. (Lauren and Jana take a lesson!) I’m also still smiling like the cat who swallowed the canary over Emily’s new attitude about Jack: “If you loved me you would have noticed that wasn’t me you were sleeping with.” Right? We were all thinking that, thank God Emily is calling it, and Jack’s pained expression makes it all the more satisfying. Colour Emily my new favourite character; long may she be young and restless. Grade: B+.
Question: Where’s Nina? Not fair bringing her into romance with Paul and at battle with Chloe and then having her disappear! Please bring her back, because if we have to watch Chloe whine over Chance’s career (can you imagine actually giving your cop lover a hard time because he’s in the middle of a murder investigation?) then at least we deserve to see Chloe claws out doing battle at The Chancellor Estate with the real Mama Bear in this town. Grade: C.
Hey, do you think Adam is really dead? I know it’s been played out hard core to this extent, and I used to follow Michael Muhney on Twitter, and he for sure has been playing along, but now that Phyllis and Sharon have discovered the existence of one missing Mr. Hightower, who has very similar features to Adam and was wearing an identical masquerade costume (hate it when that happens), then I’m kinda-sorta still putting my money down that one of Genoa City’s best villains ever (and Newman stock at that) will return from the dead. And thank God, because if Muhney plays him again, we get the benefit of his awesome acting chops. Grade: A … if Adam is still alive. F if he’s dead done gone.
Now of course I wouldn’t just pass over Phyllis and Sharon without a further in depth examination. I’m glad to see them working together to find out who really killed Adam so that their father of each of their bastard babies stays out of jail. (Besides, it couldn’t have been Nick who killed Adam, I have the same pen and you would never waste it as a murder weapon, too gorgeous.) There’s something wonderful about seeing archenemies uniting for a common goal, the whole I-hate-you-but-let’s-do-this vibe is always awesome to watch. But other than that, I’m pretty much done with the Sharon-Nick-Phyllis triangle. It’s been explored – to death – over the past many years, and for me it’s too often a story told from Nick and Sharon’s point of view. Frankly, Michelle Stafford is so strong and amazing an actor I just want to see her Phyllis embark on a new direction. Could some hot hunka munka not turn up and seduce her while Nick is off clipping Sharon’s toenails one day? Something? Anything? And not Jack, either, ‘cause that’s also been played out. And while we’re at it, perhaps even a fresh archenemy should be ordered up. Not that I don’t love every roll of the eye Phyllis gives whenever Sharon enters their business, but remember Phyllis versus Christine? Phyllis versus Drucilla? That. Grade: B+
Let’s leave things where they should always be left: steeping in romance. Are we not digging the coupling of Juliet and Romeo, also known as Victoria and Billy? Just as the new Abby brings out something fresh in Ashley and Victor, Billy brings something out in Victoria that is genuinely interesting. And let’s face it, Vic was always head and shoulders above old’ what’s-his-face, the whiny, judgmental JT, so it’s a treat to see someone with some spark woo-ing Victor’s daughter. Especially if it’s one of his most hated enemies. Ain’t love grand? Grade: A
Oh. Right. Cane and Lily. Ugh. Let’s just say I’m glad she’s gone to France, I’m glad there’s finally some conflict between her and Cane, and I will be so glad when this story goes where it’s obviously going: in the direction of a hot glue gun mess involving Mac, her love for the kids she’s been surrogating, her possible love with Cane, and how we’re going to possibly all get through it.
Grade: B, only ‘cause Lily’s left town.
- Shaun Proulx