This Is the Best They Can Do?
Since assuming the job of headwriter of The Young and the Restless and eventually becoming co-head writer with Hogan Sheffer, Maria Arena Bell has given a number of interviews touting the awesomeness that is to come on Y&R. I'm a pretty patient person by nature, but I'm starting to get a little antsy and want to know when, exactly, the awesomeness is going to come. Soon? Next year? When there is yet another new headwriter? I need to know what I am up against, here.
Because I certainly hope she doesn't mean that what we are seeing onscreen NOW is what she "swear[s] will blow [our] socks off". I mean...something's blowing, that's for sure. But what the hell kind of flimsy socks does she think we wear if we are supposed to be impressed with some of these storylines?
Nick: Never a dull day at Restless Style
That is a blatant lie, Mr. Newman.
Everything related to Restless Style continues to either bore, defy reason, boringly defy reason or defy reason boringly. It's especially distressing, since Jack, Sharon and Phyllis are three of my favorite soap characters (and Nick's not so bad), and all of their screentime is consumed by this story which...is kind of terrible.
FOR EXAMPLE, and I know getting irritated about this is kind of petty since there are much bigger issues with this show, but Phyllis and Nick specifically mentioned Audrey Hepburn and Lauren Bacall as the inspiration for Victoria's cover shoot. Now, let's not even dwell on the fact that a random Wisconsin heiress/businesswoman is going to be the cover model for a magazine. I'm not even going to go there. I want to know how on earth Audrey Hepburn and Lauren Bacall get translated into this:
Question mark, question mark, question mark???
In the words of GOB Bluth, COME ON! No one on the staff of this show could point out that this is an homage to the 20s? Are there no fact checkers in this business? I don't even mean that it has to be their actual job title, couldn't some random person, even just a guest visiting the set that day, have corrected that line?
ALSO, and this pains me to say since I love Jack (to put it mildly), but...he wants Restless Style to be uber successful and he decides to change Adrian's story about Sabrina to make it more salacious and sell more issues.
Jack: No, it's not just a Matter of working hard. It's about. . . it's about getting attention, about drawing a crowd, about somehow setting Restless Style apart from the rest of the pack. We need to make a splash.
Yeah, I don't think Jack and I are on the same page about what a splash is.
I don't doubt that Adrian's story was boring, because, well, it's Adrian and boring is what he does. But let's be real here: you're waiting in line at the grocery store, flipping through a magazine (probably after picking it up and idly wondering "Who's the girl on the cover? Did she win a contest?") and you come across a story about the newlywed wife of a business mogul who slept with an artist while she was a curator. Do you say "Wow, this is some fascinating stuff, I simply must know more" and buy it, or do you get bored halfway through the first paragraph and read the latest story in People about, like, dogs saving children who are stuck in wells? THIS is Jack's plan for a successful magazine?
Cane being written poorly is not a new thing. I've always gotten the impression that Lynn Marie Latham & Co. came up with the idea of rewriting the Jill/Philip/Katherine saga and introducing a new guy and then just said "You know, we're undoing decades of history, so we want to make this good. But we can't write on an empty stomach, so let's get paninis". And so caught up were they in a discussion of what kind of panini to get that they completely forgot to discuss what to do with Cane and just decided to throw him and see where he sticks.
[Vulgar joke about men, "sticking to" and Amber redacted]
So, anyway, after months of blandness, Cane falls in love with Lily, which...I don't mind them together. They're not bad. I mean, I don't consider them one of my favorite couples on the show, but they're not Victor/Sabrina or Nikki/Chow terrible. They're just kind of there, being pretty. And on this show, that means that they're kind of worth rooting for.
So Cane's friend asks what he likes about Lily, and this conversation followed:
Cane: You want to know what it is about Lily I love? Lily is so... so... so--
Chloe: She's so...
Cane: She's sensual. She's just gorgeous. She's intelligent and beautiful...
Sebastian: (Laughs) What he means is she's the one.
Cane: And smart, and she's sophist--aw, Bas.
Sebastian: (Laughs) Matey. [Just in case you forgot that they are Australian--Ed.]
(1)If it takes you 3 "so"'s before you can think of a positive attribute your girlfriend has, you're just not that into her
(2)If the first word you can think of is "sensual", you're thinking of a Victoria' Secret model and not Lily Winters, which means you're just not that into her
(3)If you're trying to think of words to describe your girlfriend and you count "intelligent", "smart", "beautiful" and "gorgeous" as four distinct traits, you're just not that into her.
I'm just saying.
And then, on top of that, you decide that, aside from Lily, there's only one possible story for Cane, who, by the way, is (a)Jill's son and Katherine's grandson (b)gorgeous and (c)Australian. And this story is "Cane gets plastered and taken advantage of by a schemer". Which you already did last year. Poorly. That's laziness on a Bob Guza level, which is to say hackish and embarrassing.
When I was little, one of my friends and I played this game where we pretended to be Olympic athletes. I don't know. When you combine my extreme love of the Olympics (especially the Winter Olympics!) and the run of the mill lunacy that comes with being a little girl, you wind up with some strange things.
Anyway, we got into a fight one day about what event we should be fictionally competing in. I wanted to be a figure skater, obviously, and she said that I was too tall and had to be a skier and I got really annoyed because, hello, if it's a pretend game, can't I just pretend to be short? It got pretty heated for a while. I have to say, though, compared to the spat between Victoria and Sabrina, it was downright mature and articulate:
Sabrina: Okay, I-I'd like the look to be clean, contemporary-- square tables, square plates [??? Is she saying it's hip to be a square? Hee! I hate myself sometimes--Ed.], minimal floral arrangements.
Victoria: Well, since we're having it in the Colonnade room, I really don't think that simple and casual will fly.
Sabrina: Why not? I think the contrast could be striking.
Victoria: Do you have something against traditional décor?
Sabrina: Um, it's been done a thousand times.
Victoria: Um, because it works.
Sabrina: So you want to do the same tired idea that you used last year and the year before?
Victoria: No, I really didn't say that, did I?
Sabrina: Okay, good, because if that's the case, a child could do it.
That is an absolutely embarrassing conversation for two grown women to be having. I know that it's symptomatic of the bigger issues between the two, but seriously, it was painful to watch.
(And, since I am apparently the Queen of the Nitpickers today, why on earth are they planning the gala, like, three days in advance? Don't months of preparation go into galas? I mean, I plan staff meetings more capably)
After some drama-rama and the "scandalous" magazine article being published, Sabrina asks
Sabrina: Why is she being so spiteful? I mean, I wouldn't treat my worst enemy the way she's been treating me. (Voice breaks) I just want to know why.
Could it, I don't know, possibly have anything to do with the fact that you married Victoria's father?
I'm not saying that I'm a Victoria fan these days, and I'm not denying that she's been a heinous brat, but I have to be perfectly honest with you: if my father married one of my friends, I'd probably turn to mass murder, so Sabrina and Victor should consider themselves lucky that she's just being snide and eye rolly, which is to be expected when a beastly child gets a stepmother. Has Sabrina really not seen the vast catalogue of movies wherein a spunky girl tries to keep her father from marrying the bitchy woman?
I know I am behind the times in commenting on this, but: we finally found out who killed Ji-Min!
I honestly didn't think this would ever be resolved and, on the off chance that it was, I thought it would be a random extra. Granted, David doing Walter's bidding to pay off his debt isn't many steps above that, but, you know, it's plausible.
Reader Danny correctly guessed the culprit back in October and the massive red flags about David have kept coming since then...
I will use any excuse to re-post that picture, BTW.
I just wish that I didn't already know how this story is going to end: Nikki will wind up in danger. Victor will save her. David will probably die. How utterly compelling!
Watching Nick and Katherine each giving Nikki rational, well thought out advice on the unhealthiness of her relationship with David has been quite realistic, and it's kind of entertaining in a sad, pathetic way to see Nikki twist herself like a pretzel in order to make excuses for him. Oh, goodness, I wish that Nikki could have a story away from Victor and somehow come out on top.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that I was entertained, necessarily, by Phyllis's machinations to get Amber away from Daniel, but it's nice to see Phyllis being rotten. It would be even better if I had any sort of investment in the Daniel and Amber pairing, but apparently that's just asking too much.
The best thing to come out of it may be the impending fight between Colleen and Amber. The way I look at it, no matter what happens, a character I hate will be given a smackdown. It's a win-win!
How utterly amusing was Colleen's waffling over Adrian today?
Colleen: Adrian would never write such a trashy story.
Brad: Remember when was going to write a book about our family?
Colleen: Oh, right. Fry the bastard!
That was paraphrased, but not by much. She started the episode defending his honor and ended it bitchily theorizing about what events made him go on such a downward spiral to sink to the level of, shudder, a tabloid journalist.
While the Jill/Brad union and their plans to dethrone Katherine are unexpectedly entertaining, I need to address the other takeover situation and let you all know that if Gloria and Jeffrey successfully become the owners of Jabot that I will...I will do something drastic. I don't know what, or for how long I will do it, but I will do something. The very thought of them owning Jabot is giving me agita and while 90% of that particular problem is me taking a fictional show too seriously, the other 10 percent is completely warranted outrage.