Watching A Quality Soap Feels So Weird To Me These Days...
In the six decades (I round up) since I last wrote about The Young and the Restless*, the show's new-fangled experiment with goodness has continued, making for some actual entertainment. Legitimate entertainment, I mean, not the kind of entertainment where you only have fun if you play a drinking game.
*Before I continue, I do apologize for the Y&R hiatus. Part of it is that I have been enjoying it so much that it's hard to write about, especially since first and foremost on my mind is "Why can't I be as good as these writers?!?!?!" I have the same problem writing about The Office. But also, sometimes real life gets in the way and it's hard to juggle my schedule of school and soaps and James Franco-stalking. I am way busy! And while I appreciate that a bunch of you emailed me about Y&R, the fastest way to get me to not do something is to be obnoxious about it and tell me that there is something wrong with me for not blogging about it or that I am lazy. You know that saying about flies, honey and vinegar? Yeah, that. ANYWAY, all I ask is for for a little patience with me. Patience or pictures of Peter Bergman. Whichever.
The big story of late has been Brad's death. Who knew, a couple of years ago, that Brad would ease up on his chokehold of Y&R airtime and die, and that I'd be sad about it? I never thought I'd become fond of him, but in the past couple of months, I've developed a soft spot for that arrogant, secretly Jewish jerk with the freakishly immobile face.
Eric Braeden gave a very interesting interview and had this to say about Don Diamont's fate:
I was very sad about that, to be quite frank with you. He did some of his best work in the last months, where he played the ‘shifty’ guy and the bad guy and you don’t know quite what he is up to. I think he played that extremely well. I always think that’s a mistake to let people go that have been part of the fabric as long as he has been. Furthermore, he was related to people on the show, and personally, I think those things are a mistake. If you want to want to save money, then cut down on hiring new actors.
Word up, Eric Braeden.
Aside from the fact that it sucks on principle that Brad got fired and so many lesser characters roam Genoa City, I feel like killing Brad off is a huge mistake. Why can't people just leave town?
Also, he wound up frozen.
Traci: Besides, you got your payback-- all those names you used to call him?
Jack: The hedge clipper. Junior. Golden boy. Bradski.
Traci: You were incorrigible.
Jack: And now I got a new one-- the Bradcicle.
Ouch. And also, hee.
Well, at least he died a hero, saving Noah. A frozen hero, but a hero nonetheless.
Let's take a moment and reflect on the genius that was Brad's 80s self:
RIP Brad Carlton. RIP.
You know, I have to say, when I heard that Brad was going to die, I braced myself for the onslaught of Colleen Grieves scenes, and busied myself creating witty one-liners about Tammin Sursok's acting. But...maybe I have become a softie, but I think she's been kind of okay!
She's not award-worthy and she isn't in the top half of the cast in terms of talent, but she's far from the disaster I'd been anticipating. Hey, a backhanded compliment is still a compliment. Perhaps I just loved her bitchiness to Victor and am grading her on a curve....
Colleen: That wasn't business talk, that was you being horrible to our father. You hate him because Ashley married him, because Abby loves him, and because he won't bow down and kowtow to you like everyone else does! You know what? For all we know, he heard your message and was so upset that that's why he didn't show up for dinner.
I especially loved how Brad's chief mourners were his daughters, his ex-wives and his ex-mistress
and I really enjoyed all of their flashbacks.
Oh, Brad, you slut.
The nadir of these scenes has, of course, been Victor, whose smug, mumbly (smumbly?) has been insufferable.
Victor: I'm her father, her only father - and that's how it should've been from the beginning
Um, wrong. You were the sperm donor. And not even a willing sperm donor! Abby was conceived through theft, so WTFever, Old Vic.
Victor: To be quite frank with you, I think having Brad Carlton no longer there is gonna be good for Newman.
The man is a popsicle! There is no need for such dickishness.
Victor: Why don't the three of us go back to the ranch?
Dude, they've been at the memorial for like five minutes! The memorial for their ex-husband and father, respectively! Get the hell over yourself!
The show may have gotten better, but Victor has not followed suit.
So much of the Brad/Victor/Ashley/Newly Aged Ashley drama was dumb. The sudden bonding with Victor is stupid, and the idea of Victor, Ashley and Abby having a family portrait together was so silly that it made me laugh out loud. I guess it's a nice reminder that no show's totally perfect...
Random, scattered thoughs from the past few weeks:
- Sometimes I forget that JT is even on the show anymore, so it was sweet to see him comfort Colleen during Brad's disappearance and death. I am sure that his anniversary scenes with Victoria were similarly sweet, but I fast forwarded through them becausezzzzz...
- I normally detest quads, but I am finding the Billy/Lily/Cane/Chloe quagmire surprisingly entertaining, perhaps because I am hopelessly devoted to Billy Miller and Elizabeth Hendrickson. I'd watch EH read the phone book, there is something so adorable and charming about her. I've been accused of propping Chloe in the past, and I don't condone most of what she does, but...it sure is fun watching her do it.
- How is it that Amber's tolerability increases by about three thousand percent when she's with Katherine? I feel like Adrienne Frantz should surgically attach herself to Jeanne Cooper.
- Eden: enormous waste of space or ginormous waste of space? Discuss.
- Did anybody else find it sort of comical that the Winters family were the ones to give President Obama a shoutout on Inauguration Day?
- Something about seeing Gloria in jail makes me exceedingly happy. I'd like it better if she were mute, but for now, I will keep settling for jailed.
- The Nick/Phyllis/Sharon/Jack story is puzzling to me, because I don't know who to root for (besides Jack, who I would root for even if he were systematically killing puppies). Nick has been SUCH a doofus, Sharon has been SO irritating and self-righteous and Phyllis's desperation is downright pathetic; watching her is like watching a hysterical freshman who is worried that her jock boyfriend is going to dump her. Except even more clingy and sad. I will admit that the last scene of Friday's episode hinted at possible interesting things to come, what with Phyllis looking like she's about to shank Sharon at Brad's grave.
For those of you who are Nick/Phyllis fans, the newest issue of Soap Opera Digest has a very funny interview with Joshua Morrow and Michelle Stafford, who play off of each other really well.