Deconstructing Y&R: Comedic touches make scenes more engaging

August 7 - 11


As mentioned in the last Deconstructing Y&R, a couple of unexpected developments revived lethargic viewers, and this week we were jumping from scene-to-scene more, and there was lots of dialogue – it was busier – but there’s still little in the way of ‘high-stakes’ drama. With a few exceptions, the characters continue to feel somewhat passive, with low-key reactions. For example, why hasn’t the historically volatile Phyllis been allowed to totally lose it on Billy, who can’t seem to go five minutes without saying Victoria’s name? Even her scheming has been relatively sedate. Fans feel some of the characters seem like pod people, and they’re not wrong. On a positive note, the writing has had some nice comedic touches that have made the show feel more entertaining in that regard, and the more intense personal drama has been a plus. Thoughts:

The buzz.
Victoria’s concussion-related alter-ego is definitely fun (and funny) and frankly, I’ll be sad to see her go when the time comes. From Vikki waking up in bed with Big Ben and scrabbling for her clothes, to asking Billy when was the last time he plundered Phyllis, to boogying in The Underground and snarking at Ashley that maybe she’s too uptight to appreciate Hochman, she’s been pretty entertaining. Amelia Heinle’s facial expressions and delivery have been on the money. As far as where it’s headed, I think Abby’s starting to see something’s wrong, and it will probably be Billy to the rescue, as this is likely a new angle for another attempt at a Victoria/Billy reunion. That means stormy seas for Billy and Phyllis, and worse troubles for Billy and Jack when the schemes involving Hochman come to light. Oh, and Nikki’s not going to be pleased with Jack either. Yike.

The split.
Cane let Juliet know that he was the one who set the whole mess in motion by setting up Billy, and she was irked for thirty seconds before gushing that the ultrasound photo baby was lucky to have him as a father. I can see her trying for a relationship with him, but that holds no appeal. Meanwhile, in a genuinely emotional scene, Lily spilled her guts to Abby about her feelings surrounding Juliet’s pregnancy. In related news, Cane sold his car to Zach, and offered up his services. As Zach clearly has ties to something unsavory (like the sex trafficking ring), this could be more bad news for Mr. Ashby if he gets involved.

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No-tell motel.
Sharon located Crystal in the motel and you just had to giggle at the ‘john’ and the ‘thug’, who were amazingly cliché to go along with the cringe-y dialogue. The thug made off with Crystal despite their valiant attempt to convince him they’d just had a threesome and Sharon wanted more. Hehe. I was just expecting Sharon to hit him over the head with a lamp or something. Anyway, Scott arrived on the scene, and in a stroke of further bad luck, Paul was busy so Sharon ended up with a lecture from Christine. Eek. Sharon ended the exchange by giving Chris some blunt advice and went home. Conveniently, for both Mariah and the sex ring storyline, Tessa will now live there, so she got the scoop on Crystal, who had also called her for help, and whom I instantly suspected was her younger sister. Scott’s going to write about it all, which will prove to be a major conflict of interest if it turns out Zach’s running the sex ring from his dating app, which is a Newman Enterprises start-up company and Abby’s claim-to-fame. Ooo.

Done and done.
Jordan seemed to go off of Hilary again this week, and I’m hoping that will be that. I’d much rather watch her in scenes with Devon, or even Jack, as their unconditional friendship is refreshing and kinda’ cool.

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Mama Mia.
I’m more convinced than ever that Dina has Alzheimer’s or Dementia based on Graham’s concern over her ‘disappearance’ and his worry about whether she’ll be able to do the work at Jabot. That said, why the continued secrecy? It would be easier at this point for them to share the diagnosis with her family members than to keep dealing with their suspicions. Silly. In other news, Ashley invited Ravi along as her date for dinner, and is taking him up the Abbott cabin. Will she finally rock his world? After the endless months of Ravi basically acting as Ashley’s therapist, I can take it or leave it, but some are hoping so:

Friday notes.
Well, it turned out Crystal is Tessa’s sister, and Tessa seemed to think Zach had cleaned up his act and would help, but he’s actually still loathsome. While I’m still glad to see Sharon getting story, this is not one I want to last a whole lot longer, and it’s a lot of focus on new characters. In related, Sharon’s shaving scenes with Scott were cute; I’ll miss his scruff… Nick and Chelsea’s shower scene was further evidence that nothing is likely to make this couple catch on in a big way.

Jabot was a hotbed of goodness what with the expression on Jack’s face when he realized Ashley’s research project at the cabin was Ravi, hehe, and with Dina’s first day on the job. The one-liners were hilarious, as was Gloria, especially when Nikki showed up. Dina and Nikki squaring off was soap gold… Down at the ranch, Victor kicked Nick’s butt to the curb, which had some cheering and others jeering. I kind of wished Nick had moved out under his own steam, but then again he should have done that years ago.

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Photo credit: Howard Wise/JPI

– Candace Young


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