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Deconstructing Y&R: All talk, little action makes Y&R a dull soap

September 11 - 15

I had the opportunity to sit down and watch an episode of “Y&R” this week without simultaneously recapping and it failed repeatedly to keep my attention. It was too often utterly uninteresting; chock full of endless dialogue that seemed mired in unnecessary and boring minutiae. Conflicts and manipulations continue to be ‘low-level’ and somehow muted, i.e., Victoria discussed taking out a restraining order on Cane, but ended up shrugging it off so as not to ‘escalate’ things. No. Please escalate something – anything – and wake us from our stupor. Thoughts:

Jabot versus Brash & Sassy.
It’s a definite fail to have Billy working against the company that is his and his children’s legacy as much as it is Jack’s. The Jack and Billy animosity isn’t in question, but they should be jockeying for position at Jabot. The further Billy goes to protect Victoria’s company at the expense of his beloved father’s company, the less this storyline works. It’s been amazing to have Lauren injected into the mix, but I feel like her irritable demeanor with everyone involved is symbolic of many viewers, who, as mentioned in the last Deconstructing Y&R, are ‘over’ the agenda-driven Brash & Sassy storyline as well as the triangle involving Phyllis, Victoria, and Billy. Phyllis and Billy have been reduced to bickering about Victoria non-stop, and Billy and Victoria are featuring in scenes about body spray and back-to-school shopping. It’s still a no.

Family feud.
Cane mixed it up with Victoria again this week after Mattie cut school to make out with Reed. Victoria danced around the idea of a restraining order and Cane snapped back at Michael’s warnings about messing with her family. While Cane’s snide attitude may be entertaining and/or conducive to creating conflict, this is a character who functioned as a mature reasonable human being for eons, so it’s borderline ‘too much’ at times. As for Reed and Mattie, they remain adorable, but shouldn’t have cut school which made Cane’s case about Reed being a bad influence. Now they’re forbidden to see one another, thus setting up a classic Romeo & Juliet scenario. A little ‘been there, done that’ for some, but others liked it:

Blah, blah, blah.
Jack and Ashley talked about Dina and Graham, Dina talked to Ravi about Ashley, Ashley talked to Neil about Dina and Graham, Jack talked to Dina about Graham, and Ravi talked to Ashley about Dina and Graham…but nothing happened. Aside from Ashley learning a teeny nugget about Graham’s employment history, and Dina dangling an explanation about her loyalty to Graham under Jack’s nose, the story has barely progressed despite dump truck loads of scenes. This tweet captured the essence:

More: Greg Rikaart’s Y&R return date

Let’s hope the Friday discovery that Graham is hiding something will break this open once and for all. The jumpy bit with him startling Ashley at the door was fun.

Smooth operator.
Zach was smooth enough to talk his way out of hot water after ditching Abby to meet with Alice and Crystal, and also was able to convince the irritated blonde that he hadn’t deliberately attempted to derail the ad deal with Brash & Sassy by mentioning they’d gone to Jack first. Victoria signed on regardless, so Brash & Sassy is now entangled in the dating app/sex ring business. Yike. Abby’s going to have many people furious with her when this all blows up. Meanwhile, as the sex trafficking storyline no one’s invested in inched forward, Tessa got a door closed in her face, and Crystal was moved from Alice’s house. Sharon and Scott were seen rushing out of her house tracking Alice’s car on Monday’s episode, and as of Friday there was no update on what happened, we only saw Sharon back at home in scenes with Nikki, Nick and Faith. Oy.

Committed.
Mariah and Devon decided to try and ‘fix’ things. God knows why. It seems they’re both trying to prove something to themselves, or maybe to Hilary, by clinging on to this relationship, but the look on Mariah’s face when they hugged said it all…meh.

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Photo credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

– Candace Young

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