It Can't All Be Praise
It goes without saying that the worst, most offensive episode of The Young & The Restless is still the kind of quality that the non-Y&R soaps aspire and that, for the most part, cartoon hearts still flutter around my head when I'm watching, and I bat my eyelashes coquettishly at my television when "Nadia's Theme" comes on.
But my love is not blind, and I've spent this week irritated (Nick/Sharon/Jack/Phyllis Round 934238. My eyes hurt from rolling them), confused (how is it, again, that "Chance" was born onscreen in 1988, and Billy was born onscreen in 1993 and now, in 2009, Billy is older than Chance? To say nothing of the fact that each character's age is vague and murky thanks to SORASing) and downright angry (Lily's life continues to be terrible: Cane has lied to her for years, and she can't have children. When he comes into her hospital room, she immediately apologizes to him about not being able to have children. That is downright Guzian).
Today's episode, in particular, was irksome. I am sure that at least part of my hypercriticism is a bad mood caused by wretched humidity, but also...it was an annoying episode, wasn't it? A recap of sorts follows. Actual lines of dialogue are italicized, but even my exaggerations aren't THAT exaggerated...
DANIEL: I never want to see Amber again. She cheated on me! I wish there had been some sort of warning sign about her. Nothing in her history hints at this kind of behavior.
JANA: I can't believe she would cheat on you again after the last time she cheated on you.
DANIEL: Yeah, well, she did, and she sucks. Literally AND figuratively. Yeah, I went there.
KEVIN: You know, she mentioned something about a dilemma that may ruin your relationship and break your heart. I didn't think much of it at the time, but since it's Amber, I probably should have assumed it had something to do with either sex, or larceny. My bad, bro.
JANA: But think of Amber! Poor tragic Amber, with her poor tragic life. She's the victim in all of this.
DANIEL: You cannot be serious.
JANA: She loves you! She did this because she was desperate and crazy with love.
DANIEL: ...are you for real?
KEVIN: Yeah, this is probably just some misunderstanding.
DANIEL: Yeah, well, I think I'd rather rot in this place than be with someone who's gonna stab me in the back.
KEVIN: Wow, dude, even I think that's a drama queen thing to say.
AMBER: You forced me to have sex with you to save Daniel. You are the worst person in the universe.
DEACON: Right? Remember when this exact story played out on Days Of Our Lives to universal revulsion?
AMBER: Oh, that's right! That was terrible. Remember how our history played out on another soap, that not all of the Y&R viewing audience is privy to? We should do some Cliff's Notes for the people who missed us on B&B.
DEACON: Good idea. All right, so I'm a skeevy douche. How can I make them see this, besides my alluringly unopened shirt and windswept hair?
DEACON: I've got it! Tell me that I've taken something from you.
AMBER: Then how could you take away what matters to me most?
DEACON: You mean your virginity? Yeah, I did!
AMBER: Nice! Now I'm going to shriek at you for the episode while you sling smarmy double entendres my way and chuckle at my anger.
MICHAEL: I want Daniel released now, and a public apology would be nice, but I'm not gonna hold my breath for that.
HEATHER: From what?
HEATHER: Oh. No. I won't do that.
MICHAEL: The man Daniel supposedly shot admits he set the kid up, which is what Daniel has been saying all along.
MICHAEL: Okay, look. I know that my incredibly expressive eyebrows probably got a higher score on the LSAT than you did, but could you please try a little bit harder to keep up? I'll speak as slowly as possible.
MICHAEL: There is a DVD that completely exonerates Daniel.
MICHAEL: Jesus Christ. DVD. Says. Daniel. Not do it. If you don't show DVD to judge, you will lose. Again. You have lost many times. If you lose one more time, you will be laughed out of town by an angry mob.
BILLY: So...what happened?
COLLEEN: I'm being fired from the Newman board because of an ill-advised flashing incident.
BILLY: Oh. Uh, how did that come about.
COLLEEN: Well, I was wasted and someone starting yelling at me to flash them, soooo...
BILLY: You know, it's-- it's bad enough that someone's messing with you, but at Jimmy’s? That is the one place you can cut loose without any fallout. Well, it was, until my fake brother bought it.
COLLEEN: Look, Billy... (Sighs) I know you blame Cane for everything from the mortgage crisis to the swine flu, but he doesn't even own the bar anymore.
BILLY: Sorry, what?
COLLEEN: Did you not hear me? I'll say it louder. I KNOW YOU--
BILLY: No, why the hell did you have an Australian accent when you said it?
COLLEEN: Oh, yeah, I do that sometimes.
BILLY: Because a dialect coach just wouldn't work for you?
COLLEEN: Do you know how hard it is to just learn my lines? I keep looking offscreen for cue cards.
BILLY: Yeah, I've noticed.
COLLEEN: So how am I supposed to learn my lines AND cover my accent?
BILLY: Fair enough. So, wanna go confront Victoria together? I have loads of pent up aggression that I need to get out and god knows you can't hold your own in a verbal confrontation.
JT: Why are you doing this to Colleen?
VICTORIA: See my eyes, how they have no expression? This is my serious businesswoman face.
JT: And the monotone?
VICTORIA: It's my serious businesswoman voice.
JT: Oh. Well, you know, Colleen is a good kid.
VICTORIA: My father says she isn't.
JT: But...he's wrong.
VICTORIA: That's hate speech, JT.
COLLEEN: You can't fire me.
VICTORIA: I can fire you.
COLLEEN: He's always had it out for me.
VICTORIA: Well, you acted like a braindead skank and validated his opinion.
COLLEEN: You've turned into your father.
VICTORIA: Why do you have an Australian accent?
BILLY: Look, there has to be a way to compromise on this.
VICTORIA: There is no compromise in the Newman language.
BILLY: Newmans have their own language?
VICTORIA: Well, what my father speaks definitely isn't English.
BILLY: You do see that this is a blatant plot by Victor, right? Back me up, JT?
JT: Oh, I don't have any lines in this scene.
BILLY: On what grounds are you dismissing her?
VICTORIA: Moral turpitude. It's in the board's article of service.
BILLY: "Moral turpitude"? Okay, if moral turpitude were a deal breaker, there wouldn't be a single Newman on the board. Billy: Your mother was a stripper, which is perfectly fine. I love strippers. Your father has been married and divorced more times than Elizabeth Taylor, plus he has a criminal record, and let's not forget the centerfold you posed for.
VICTORIA: See my face, how I expressed zero emotion to that series of cutting remarks? That's how a serious businesswoman reacts in a tense situation like this.
JT: Uh, you know they were right about your dad, don't you? He wanted me to investigate Colleen or whatever.
VICTORIA: How could you not tell me that?
JT: I mean, am I just supposed to bow at the altar of Victor Newman all the time?
JT: Yeah, well, not anymore. This is me with my balls back, Victoria. Victoria? Are you all right? Are you sleepwalking?
VICTORIA: No, I'm fine.
JT: Oh. You just seemed dazed and lifeless.
VICTORIA: No, that's just my face.
ASHLEY: A present! A seat on the Newman board! Oh, I do so love you, Victor.
VICTOR: And I you. I also like giving gifts, especially when I can use the giving of said gift in the future to manipulate people.
ASHLEY: You are generous and wonderful.
VICTOR: That I am, my dear.
ASHLEY: So, am I taking someone's seat? Did someone resign?
ASHLEY: It was Colleen, wasn't it?
ASHLEY: She's my niece or whatever, isn't she?
VICTOR: You asked me to treat you as an equal.
ASHLEY: Yeah. And I meant it.
VICTOR: And I mean it. You're my equal-- at work and at home.
ASHLEY: You're not just humoring me?
VICTOR: I am completely humoring, but I am going to couch it in a grand, cliche riddled monologue that is flowery enough to obstruct the fact that I am humoring you.
ASHLEY: Oh, that sounds delightful.
VICTOR: Do you know how much you have given me these past few months? I was dead inside. Your love has just reinvigorated me, given me a new reason for being. I adore you. You're my partner in business and in life, and that seat on the board of directors is the least I can do to show you how much I love you and appreciate you.
ASHLEY: Oh, that was beautiful.
VICTOR: Yes, I know. I love you. I will demonstrate this by eating your face.
ASHLEY: Oh, I love you too.
VICTOR: I also adore you, and our miracle baby.
ASHLEY: I know, our beautiful, non-existent miracle baby that we are naming after your dead wife. We're going to have a beautiful life together. Best life ever, in fact!
VICTOR: How come you were so protective of Colleen Carlton at that bar? Have you forgotten who you work for?
JT: No, I haven't. But it's a job, and you're my boss, not the king of Genoa City.
VICTOR: How dare you say that?
JT: Dude, if you don't like the way I do my job, I'll quit.
VICTOR: Yes, you will.
JT: Yes, I will.
VICTORIA: JT, what has gotten into you? Why are you behaving like this? Like someone with a personality?
JT: Yeah, that's right. I'm here, I've got a personality, get used to it, Genoa City! At least until I am inevitably sent to the backburner again.