Deconstructing Y&R: Near-death drama, business betrayal rock Genoa City

January 2 - 6:


The new writers have made astonishing changes in just a matter of weeks; characters are no longer one-dimensional and are behaving like themselves again, and the elegance and character-driven storytelling structured around family and business that made “Y&R” unique has been restored. Being nitpicky, as noted in the last Deconstructing Y&R, we’re still waiting on pairings with the ‘wow’ factor aside from those that already exist, and there were a few happenings that left us scratching our heads. Thoughts:

Best man for the job?
Dylan headed off on his undercover mission this week, which gave us some final sad scenes with Sharon, and some panicky scenes involving his parents and Faith. Given that Dylan was clearly not in a good place emotionally, it’s bound to compromise his ability to stay safe while bringing down the drug kingpin or cartel or what have you. Ahem. The storyline premise is definitely a stretch, and it remains to be seen if we will be privy to Dylan’s fate in Miami.

Victoria’s ‘problem’?
Reed was home to stay this week and that brought good news and bad news. The good news is that the casting was amazing…Reed actually looks like he could have been spawned from Victoria and JT, he’s a cutie, and the actor has chops. Even Reed’s style and interests are spot on.

The bad news is that Reed brought with him the bizarre storyline premise that Victoria hardly knows her own son, and that with all the Newman money and obsession with family, none of them had so much as seen a photo of the kid in years, let alone visited with him on video chats or in person. What?!

Considering Reed’s the only teen on the canvas, we suspect his return, at this point, is about using his connection with Billy to bring him and Victoria back together. Most enjoy this duo as friends and supportive exes, but the interest in a romantic reunion seems lukewarm. It was curious that the writers had Billy announce that he and Victoria have chemistry, which was unnecessary with the likes of Victoria and Travis or Phyllis and Billy because it was obvious. On Friday, Victoria was frazzled and unable to deal with a blown fuse, so it was Billy to the rescue. Cute? Sure, but portraying Victoria as incompetent is still a sore spot for some after the previous writers depicted her as unable to handle her executive position while conducting a personal relationship.

Related: Y&R’s Steve Burton and GH’s Derk Cheetwood launch Hollywood Schooled

Taking care of business.
Jack plotted a hostile takeover of Fenmore’s as Ashley disapproved and foreshadowed about it ‘not being the right time’, while Phyllis aligned herself with Lauren, who has kept her business troubles hidden from Michael, and now has to contend with Gloria butting in. Delicious drama, and look at the characters behaving exactly like themselves – Jack acting cocky (probably thinking he’ll make a smart business acquisition and take Brash & Sassy down in the process), which usually means something will go wrong, Ashley being super cool with the adorable Ravi, Lauren on edge and setting herself up for stress in her personal life again, Gloria broke and desperate, which means anything goes, and Phyllis about to be caught in the hostilities between Jack and Lauren, and confiding in Nick. Love that ‘Phick’ don’t ‘B.S.’ each other and that there is always a sexy undercurrent in their interactions.

Tragedy and turmoil.
The big story continued to be Devon’s accident and the aftermath, which was loaded with conflict and drama. Happily, Stitch was back on our screens as well. I love the ongoing animosity between Hilary and Lily because it’s believable, and it made the moment they clutched each other as Stitch shocked Devon back to life that much more powerful. That said, the intensity of the loathing for Hilary seemed a tad much at times under the circumstances, and Devon’s near-death should have put the tripping incident into perspective. Anyway, it was a week of high emotional drama. Hilary made us not only feel her love for Devon, but also her guilt, exhaustion, desperation, etc. In true soapy fashion, Devon came to with amnesia, and just about did us in by asking his family’s forgiveness for putting them through the worry. Ack. Naturally, Stitch forbade anyone to risk sending Devon back into cardiac arrest by telling him ‘the truth’, which left Lily steaming and kicked off another round of behind-the-scenes confrontations, featuring Neil telling Hilary she ‘won’t get away with any of this’. Considering the whole ‘Hilary in a coma in the boathouse’ deal perhaps he wasn’t the best man to deliver that line, hehe.

Friday notes.
Loved the tense scenes between Lauren and Jack, and wow, I totally didn’t see Gloria’s duplicity coming! Ashley and Billy having coffee was low key, but meaningful.

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Photo credit: Howard Wise/JPI

– Candace Young


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