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« A Tree Grows In Port Charles | Main | File This Under "Too Little, Too Late" »

February 08, 2009

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.  

Divider

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.

Bradfrozen

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:

Brad80s

Bradpoolboy


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!

Colleen

Tracicoll

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

Mourners

Sharon

and I really enjoyed all of their flashbacks.

Brashley

Bradvic


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.

Phyllis

Phyll

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.

Comments

Great review of Y&R, Mallory. Y&R has been stellar of late.

I completely agree with Eric Braeden also. I haven't been Brad's biggest fan, but I think it was a mistake to kill him off with such finality. Plus, I was creeped out by the sight of Brad frozen under the ice.

Colleen has been okay, but the actress is out of place in the role.

The funeral was also well done and the flash backs were a nice touch. It does Brad credit that his ex-wives still care about him enough to mourn for him.

I didn't like Victor and Neil bitching about dead Brad, but cracked up over Jack's "the Bradcicle" snark. Love Jack.

Sharon/Nick/Phyllis can have each other. They are all such unlikeable people. Jack can do much better.

I love Billy and Chloe and hope that they find a way to be a family once the truth about the baby comes out.

Stellar Y&R post Mallory. I will miss the Bradsicle, his recent bitchiness has been fun. His life as a slut angle was kinda weird for me at the funeral. How many generations of women has he been with and even married? Not to mention the sister thing, ewww. On what SORAS'd wackadoo planet does he wed Victor's daughter and raise another of Victor's daughter's? Did he hook up w/ Katherine too during the years I missed...JK, but did he?

And thank you for pointing out more Victor BS with his claim on said second daughter! STOLEN SPERM does not make you Daddy of the Year ASSHOLE!!! He is vile, insensitive, selfish, fugly and had terrible hair.

EB's comment about DD's firing was shocking. Who knew he was such a smart considerate kind man? Considering I hate the waste of life character he plays and wish Victor would die a million deaths and never utter another word again on air :-) I enjoyed his comment and appreciated his willingness to speak out against the execs.

VICTOR IS EVIL. JACK MUST DESTROY HIM ONCE AND FOR ALL! Nikki and Paul are cute, but I would LOVE LOVE LOVE Jack and Nikki teaming up to end Victor on every level. His treatment of the Abbott's has always pissed me off, and his recent treatment of Nikki is appalling and Sonnylike. Nuff Said ;-)

And as much as I love Jack, not as much as you but still, why the hell is he with Sharon at all anyways? Didn't he help raise Nick as a freind and one time lover of Nikki's when Nik was a boy? Again with the Ewww Factor of this SORAS'd freak show. As for the quad w/ Phyllis, it's like a sad episode of Wife Swap. Again I must say...EWWW. Jack needs to jet on them all then the three remaining whiners can shank each other silly.

Still the best all around soap I watch. Unless you count Big Love. That shit is UNREAL. Anyone of those wacky polygamists could kick Sonny Victor Jason and Carly's asses without blinking.

YAY! YAY! THANK YOU!!!! I am so happy to see you writing about Y&R again! Although I never e-mailed you directly, I did post a few times about being increasingly rageful that you were ignoring the show as it is getting SO GOOD. But...I know, you're busy. I respect that.

I cannot, CAN. NOT. wait for Phyllis to go ape-s*** like she used to in the old days. Bring back Joanie; she can be Summer's nanny and once again, Phyllis' lackey in all the scheming. I heart crazy Phyllis. and I heart this show!!!!

I agree that the show has been improving--with the exception of anything/anyone related to the Winters family. I've never been a religious watcher of Y&R, but I do know that the show has a large African American following. So why is every black character on the show merely a victim of circumstance? Drucilla may have had her crazy and manipulative moments, but at least her character had depth and dimension. I feel like this was true of many of the African American actors on the show in the past.

I am a recent ABC to CBS soap convert for this very reason...Cough*ElizabethHebdrickson*cough.

But the writing for everyone else made me stay...Just lately it rocks and I have been ubber impressed!

So much better than the Reese lovefest on AMC any day that just makes me want to go all Annie on her ass every time she's on!

Y&R, as far as soaps go, actually have *gasp* numerous soap stories I am totally into and are way more balanced. So yeah, the writing for the CBS soaps in general has begun my pull AWAY from all soapy (i.e. crappy) daytime serials on ABC.

Oh, and because all things AMC & GH suck to the degree that I can't watch them without hearing this blackhole vacuum sucking sound in my head that completely drowns out the dialogue of said shows (Thank you gawd!) while they're on.

Embrace the vacuum I say - It's my happy place!

Y&R is rocking and totally what soaps used to be and why I fell in love with them on my Grandma's knee in the first place (I miss you Another World!)... Also, another show that I've noticed ya'll don't watch, GL, is really kickin' butt...

Otta check it out - It is definitely a delight in soapy goodness.

I am loving it and just started watching it (for the first time ever) in January, after Y&R (and Elizabeth Hendrickson) successfully pulled me over to CBS...I figured something had to be better than GH and boy was I right!

If you want a good alternative for General Hospital (Or, as I call it, General Mobsters), which just sucks on so many levels now I can't even make jokes about it and when you can't make fun of something anymore...Time to move on.

Anyway, Guiding Light has replaced GH on my DVR and I am a much happier soaplover for it.

They have the classic coming back from the dead storylines going, interrupted wedding bliss, who-done-it kidnapping highjinx, the classic romantic triangles of two girls and a guy with a twist, there is the wedding blackmails, tragic deaths and surprise infatuations that make my soap fangirl heart all a'tingle...

So oh yeah...Y&R and GL, not to mention CBS can definitely be qualified as quality soap telling and even as weird as it is to see it, after all these years...

Dang, as a soap fan, it really feels oh so good to have it back!

One of the real joys of this show recently is how well balanced airtime is these days. I loved Brad, but agree that "The Brad & Gloria Smile Time Variety Hour" was unwatchable. Sure there are characters I wish I saw more of, like Lauren and Neil (minus just about all the people he normally interacts with), but it's an ensemble show and we're actually getting to see the ensemble.

Down side, mumblepus Victor is likely going to come out on top, and I'm irritated that I was forced to cheer for Colleen... but I still love this show.

Best part about it? The only toxic balls on this show belong to Victor.

Elizabeth Hendrickson is the reason why I started watching Y & R, and she has yet to disappoint. It's a joy to watch Chloe, the schemer that she is. She's vexing and infuriating, at the same time I find myself rooting for her. It's a shame she didn't get an Emmy nom from the show.

Along the way, I was surprised to find myself suck into the show. Stellar cast with good writing, what more could you ask for? AMC could learn a trick or two from this show. I'm on the verge of barfing from all the Reese propping.

Oh the "Bradcicle" LOL! It feels so incredible wrong to laugh at that though... I'm still creeped out by the site of Brad frozen in the ice... probably always will be too.

Victor is such a DICKHOLE! I will say that I'm kinda hypocritical though b/c I loved Jack's snark... but in my defense Jack is made of win.

Also I totally agree about the Billy/Chloe/two-other-not-as-entertaining-people. I mean Billy and Chloe are my faves(I too am devoted to BM and EH... words don't express their great) but Cane and LIly are just there to me. Like occasionally entertaining, sometimes annoying but just there. And its almost sad b/c I feel like I should be rooting for them b/c they are the "better" of the four but Billy and Chloe, bad as they may be, are just so entertaining and while I don't condone their actions, they are pretty fabulous.

The only regret I had about the Brad episodes was a lack of Lauren/Brad flashbacks. I really liked the conversation between Lauren and Tracy, but a few flashbacks would have fantastic!

Eden: Too Tedious To Even Discuss is my category nomination.

Glad to see a Y&R post finally!
I too hated Brad, but some characters exist to be hated on soaps, right?
I actually really enjoyed the scene recently when Brad smirked in the background during the Jabot meeting at the club. Too bad he's gone; smirks like that add to other storylines and are reason enough to keep him around!
I seem to be in the minority on this site, but I HATE Jack and I want to see Victor destroy him!!
Also, Ashley deserves to be used again by Victor since she's stupid enough to be swept off her feet by him! I don't get it....she's portrayed as this smart sensible businesswoman but so dumb!!! It won't be long before we see her sitting around in a catatonic state pining away....but now Abby's old enough to see how pathetic it is! Oh, HATE Abby too!!

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