What Is More Awesome Than Awesome?
Q: What is more awesome than awesome?
A: Tricia Cast is more awesome than awesome.
If I were the poetic sort of person, I would write a sonnet about the myriad ways in which The Young and the Restless makes me happy: the soapy storytelling! The shrewd decision to cast Michael Muhney as Adam! The Peter Bergman! It's the stuff long, tortured poems are made of.
However, I am not a poetic person. When I had to take a poetry writing class during as an undergraduate, we were urged to hand our poems in to be workshopped by the class; even on days that I did hand one in to be workshopped, my professor never handed it out to the rest of the class, no doubt wanting to shield me from the peals of derisive laughter that would soon follow. So rather than humiliate myself on the world wide web, I will settle for saying: this show is awesome and it makes me happy.
If I had to pick one part of a great show that stands out as the greatest, it would have to be Tricia Cast as Nina. She is reliably fantastic, and always has been, but she's been so completely stellar in this latest return that it makes me wonder how we ever lasted so long without her. Like, I always thought that having her back in Genoa City would be an added bonus, but it turns out that she actually completes me. She delights me so much that I won't even make a comment about her
completely dull, unflattering, Mom jeans and a tucked in top-laden (Y&R? Seriously? You're better than that) wardrobe.
The "PSYCH! Cane isn't really Phillip and Phillip isn't really dead!" story is filled with plotholes and if you pause to think about it for a few minutes, it takes a while for sense to be made.
Phillip: Yeah. I-it seemed like a good idea at the time, you know? I met the guy, and he was the Phillip Chancellor that I thought everybody wanted. I-I thought he would make everybody happy. I thought it was--it-- I thought it was great. And he didn't have anybody in Australia.
Really? The Phillip Chancellor everyone wanted was ten years younger than you and dumber than a stump? That's an interesting way of planning an identity switch.
But I don't even care. I know it makes me a hypocrite to denounce every factual error on All My Children and General Hospital and then go all mushy and turn a blind eye to Y&R's faults, but when I watch Y&R, I don't look at the clock; I don't swear under my breath/loudly to an empty room in irritation; and I get upset at having to wait 24 hours for a new episode. This show could have a character call me out by name and insult me, and I'd be all, "He's right, I totally deserved that." Sue me!!!
Where was I? Oh, right, Tricia Cast kicking ass. This show has a whole group of actors who are amazing even when they are in the background of a scene, but she really stands out. She just seems so natural. Like, all of her reactions are reactions you would have if you had an insane life where random Australians pretended to be your dead husband who actually isn't dead. She was shocked.
She was angry. She was confused. She was angry again, some more.
Nina lashing out at Phillip was--here's that word again!--awesome.
Nina: (Sighs) You grew up without a father because he died in a horrible car crash. How could you turn around and-- and do that to your own child? You know, when Phillip was growing up, I told him again and again the story about how his father-- the last day that he spent on this earth-- the last thing he did was reach out to his son and take his hand because that's how much he loved his little boy. I told him that you were in heaven with the angels watching over him. You've made a liar out of me because you wanted to be dead rather than be a part of your son's life. How could you do that? How could you do that to your son?!
Seriously, Phillip! I don't know if this is how Thom Bierdz always is (can any longtime Y&R viewers provide some insight?), but Phillip was unbearably aloof in his first episode with Nina, Katherine and Jill. Like, great, you have secret pain and your life is terrible, but you faked your death and hid out for twenty years, hurting people in the process. Dial back the smug a notch or six.
He kept whining and being a sad panda, and Nina continued not to have any of it.
Phillip: No. No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying I'm just a little overwhelmed, okay? I don't feel like getting into this right now.
Nina: Why? You've had 20 years to prepare. You just pop up out of the grave. We're gonna have questions. And, what, you can't handle that? Just like you couldn't handle having a wife and a child? So we could all just go to hell? You know, maybe you're the one who hasn't changed.
But TB was much better when he told Nina his big secret.
Phillip: No, no. The drinking-- that was just a symptom. That wasn't the cause of it.
Nina: Well, then what? You said that you felt like you were letting us down, but you weren’t.
Phillip: Oh, I-I knew what was expected of me. I did what was expected. I was acting a part.
Nina: And you felt trapped.
Nina: In the marriage?
Phillip: In my own skin. That's what you guys have to understand before anything else. This is not about you. It's not about Mom. It's not about Katherine. This is about me. It's about the truth that I've been hiding all this time.
Nina: What truth?
Phillip: I'm gay. I've always been gay.
I'm really excited about this twist. If this were any other soap, I'd be horrified at the many ways it could be screwed up, but I trust these writers to do it justice.
Is it Monday yet? How about now?