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Deconstructing Y&R: Few treats in Pratt’s final bag of tricks

October 24 - 28:

As we enter into the final month of Chuck Pratt’s episodes it’s not been a good look for “Y&R.” Stories seem boring, make little sense, or feel predictable. One storyline that has viewers truly sitting up and paying attention is Sharon’s baby secret unraveling, which brings with it the great ‘treat’ of Stacy Haiduk’s performances as Patty, and the anticipation of a great deal of fallout.

One track minds.
It continues to be tough to get excited about Jack’s ‘too little, too late’ revenge plot against Victor, and honestly it’s tiresome to hear him blame the Mustache for Billy and Phyllis’ affair when his own inaction following the Marco reveal played a significant role in alienating his wife to such a degree. Likewise, it’s disheartening to watch Phyllis obsess over Jack on a daily basis, with the aim being to get back into a marriage that only seemed to work when she behaved like a Stepford wife. Instead of seeing her realistically torn between the guilt compelling her to right the wrong with Jack, and her passion for Billy, she’s being written as an automaton with one setting to serve the plot. Billy, meanwhile, has been reduced to a disgruntled, wheedling third wheel type, which is equally as frustrating to see.

More: Reminisce over past scary moments in soap history in time for Halloween

Trust issues.
Over at Newman Enterprises, Victor’s dream team now consists of Natalie, who screwed him over previously and would never realistically have been hired or trusted again, and Travis, who appears to be loyal and efficient, but frankly, is a wildcard if only because he’s so new on the scene, as well as Summer, Abby, and possibly Noah – I can’t remember if he’s still supposed to be around or not. Sigh. We know and anticipate that Victor will best Jack in the end, so there’s no real tension there, and did they really have Devon stop by and try to threaten Victor? I’m pretty sure Leslie told him to make Victor an offer, not further offend him. Honestly, viewers were offended that they would write Devon as even going there. Devon knows better; we all know better. Come on.

Tabloid trauma.
Speaking of Devon’s troubles, what’s up with Hilary being so consumed by the need to dish dirt and get good reviews from the tabloid crowd that she’s willing to cause problems repeatedly with her husband? Wasn’t she the one so bent on reporting with integrity in the first place? Are we to believe that a woman so intent on garnering respect is now fine with running up to the likes of Nikki Newman and jamming a cellphone in her face in the middle of the Club dining room like the paparazzi? One interesting development at GC Buzz this week was Hilary hiring Mariah. This could be a really good fit, and finally gives Mariah another focus aside from supporting Sharon and Kevin in their respective dramas.

Birthday suit surprise.
The last Deconstructing “Y&R” reiterated that Chloe and Kevin are an unpopular pairing, so it was no surprise to see some of the cringe-y reaction surrounding Chelsea walking in on Kevin undressed, the Chloe/Kevin bedroom scenes, and Kevin’s post-nooky glow at Crimson Lights when he ran into Mariah. They will go down in soap history as a couple that had fabulous friend chemistry that simply didn’t translate romantically. Chloe’s actions toward Adam, and the ongoing deception in her friendship with Chelsea, have negatively affected the perception of her character by viewers at this point as well, which certainly doesn’t help.

Who’s the boss?
The theme of Cane’s unflagging dedication to Brash & Sassy continued with him missing the twins’ play, only to later be reamed out by Jill for closing a deal he apparently had no business negotiating. Sigh. For the millionth time – why is he doing this? And why do they keep having him say he’s doing all the work? Victoria’s solved at least two big issues they’ve faced recently. Even if he were doing all the work, it makes no sense, as mentioned last week, that Victoria isn’t all over this company. It also makes no sense that Jill is the head of Chancellor Industries but has time to micro-manage this one division and the lives of the three people running it. Bleh.

Related: Y&R alum Victoria Rowell reveals role on The Bay

No more dancing.
As Patty’s intensity amps up, Mariah’s become fed up with spinning cover stories, suspicions are dawning on Paul, and even Dylan seems to be buying a clue, Sharon’s secret appears to be on the verge of exposure. Finally! Viewers are of mixed emotion about the reveal, the potential fallout, and what the future should be for the characters involved, but whether kicking back with popcorn or peeking through splayed fingers and cringing, fans are going to be there for this truth coming out at long last.

Friday notes.
They had Esther dressed as a maid for Halloween? Really? I also didn’t like the way Mariah came off looking stupid with the Natalie and Kevin situation – she’s too clever to have been so obvious. While we’re on the topic of things that aren’t too smart, how about Jack letting Phyllis do the drop? Considering Victor just paid a visit to Jabot and said he knew Phyllis would do anything for Jack, would it not stand to reason that he’d have both of them tailed? Yet this possibility didn’t occur to either of them. What was fun was Abby catching Phyllis in the act at the same time Jack smugly thought he’d put one over on Travis, and therefore Victor. Not so fun, Stitch going caveman on Travis earlier. Not a good look. Ack, I hope they don’t ruin him.

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Photo credit: Chris D/JPI

– Candace Young

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