As was briefly mentioned the other day, Friday's episode of The Young and the Restless was quite good and dropped the kind of bombshells that require capitalization and exclamation points: Victor is BACK! Tucker is possibly Katherine's SON! Mac is having Lily and Cane's TWINS! Ashley and Sharon know they were at the mental institution at the same TIME!
(I know, I know, soaps are supposed to be filled with shocking bombshells and intrigue and excitement, so how can there possibly be a but about an episode filled with them? Oh, you seriously underestimate my ability to whine)
For starters, we sit through an awful lot of boring episodes over the course of a given week where literally nothing happens. Couldn't some of those bombshells have been spread out a little bit? Putting one of those revelations on a boring day would have saved us a lot of yawning.
And most importantly: WHY are some of these bombshells happening already? I'm sorry, Tucker revealing that he's Katherine's son?
Kay: I have owned this company outright for decades, and I have given it every fiber of my being. So why would you want to take my legacy from me?
Tucker: Times change. Legacies don't mean that much anymore.
Kay: For me, they do! For me, they do. Now I thought you were my friend and my ally, but you are neither of those.
Tucker: No. I'm your son.
WHY IS THAT ALREADY HAPPENING?! This should not have happened until, I don't know, this time next year. He's been on the show for literally eight minutes! And this takeover story is bizarre, and makes little to no sense if you actually stop to think about it (I don't blame you if you have not stopped to think about it. The entire story has been thirty seconds long, so there is no real time to sit and think about it), but that, too was rushed like a rushing thing. Way to freaking pace yourselves, Y&R!
Especially since rushing this story along means that we barely had any time to sit back and appreciate the wonder that is JoJo before she was cruelly taken from us.
Jo-Jo: I'm having too much fun in my fancy new digs. Come on, Ess. I got a taste for some of that fancy Russian caviar on my scrambled eggs. I can't get enough of that stuff. Come on.
JoJo was given hardly any time to make the world smile and, meanwhile, Amber Moore continues to exist. Life is completely unfair!
For the spawn of Victor Newman, Nick is generally pretty unobjectionable. He's kind of a douche, and painfully dim, and he whines and stares blankly a lot, but compared to his deadly dull sister and [insert adjective here to describe Adam, because who the hell knows what personality he is going to have on any given day] brother, he doesn't bother me too much.
Except when he says things so hateful, so condescending and so just plain wrong that you'd think Victor himself said them, but you'd know that wasn't possible, because the line was delivered clearly, with no monotonous mumble.
Sharon: We've both made mistakes.
Nick: Well, I've learned from mine. You keep covering the same ground, throwing yourself into desperate relationships without giving a damn how it affects your family.
Sharon: The only people I have to consider now are myself and Noah.
Nick: Well, you sure as hell weren't thinking about him last night, 'cause he almost died.
Sharon: You don't think I know that, Nick?
Nick: If you did, you would have put our son first, before Adam and before yourself. Sharon, how many kids do we have to lose before you get your act together?
I...I just can't even. That was so horrifying and cruel that I got zero satisfaction from watching Sharon slap him.
Scalping him would have been a step in the right direction, but still not harsh enough punishment for that exhibit of...well, I was going to say "dickitude", but that's not a word, and "that exhibit of Victor Newmanism" is probably more apt.
I was going to apologize for this being a drive-by post*, but then I said to myself, "Kyle**, why should I spend more time writing a blog post than the writers spend crafting entire plots?"
In a spectacular example of why you should be careful what you wish for, The Young and the Restless seems to have responded to complaints about the long-ago era where it took a full decade for stories to play out from start to finish by giving viewers stories that move at warp speed. Sharon and Adam? Ridiculous. Jack and Emily? LAUGHABLY BAD. Do you know what it says about a story when I, of the confirmed over-the-top...well, I like to think of it as "appreciation for", but others refer to it as "stalkerish love of" Peter Bergman can't even sit through Jack and Emily scenes? It says a lot, and none of it good.
Why are these things happening so quickly?! There is honestly more character development and plot build-up in the average music video.
I do have other quibbles.
The first, to no one's surprise, is Sharon's hair, which distracted me to no end during the otherwise great scene where she confronted Jack.
Sharon: You know, that is exactly what I said. I just wish that you had sat down and talked to me about this, Jack, before you did something so impulsive.
Chloe: Okay, powder room break?
Emily: Oh, actually, I'd like to hear what Sharon has to say.
Sharon: Well, then you should have been in my living room last night when Jack was attacking my marriage, pretending to be my friend.
Jack: I am your friend.
Sharon: Oh, really? Well, then I hope that you will enjoy this bottle of bubbly, because you're gonna need it to wash down all those words you're about to eat.
Jack: This is not the time.
Sharon: Yes, now is exactly the time. You come to my door and you condemn me for eloping with Adam, claiming that I'm unstable?
Jack: I never said that.
Sharon: What? Yes, you did. You must have a selective memory, Jack, which is probably why you neglected to tell me you're engaged to a woman who you've known for, what, ten minutes?
Compelling stuff, right?! So why was the only thing running through my mind, "...how does that even HAPPEN?"
She needs an intervention.
The second quibble is Malcolm.
Maybe I shouldn't call it a quibble. Maybe I should call it something I am having a REALLY hard time with. Because I'm trying so hard not to pre-judge, which is unlike me, but you know, new year, new you, etc. I actually originally typed "Malcolm" and I deleted the sarcastic airquotes, because that's not fair to Darius McCrary. THAT's progress, right? Because it's not his fault that I am used to Shemar Moore, no doubt due to watching Criminal Minds near obsessively and seeing him daily (I actually just stopped referring to HIM as Malcolm in, like, October). And it's also not his fault that I was a big fan of TGIF on ABC as a child and will therefore always think of him first and foremost as Eddie Winslow (if it makes him feel any better, I think of nearly all TGIF alums as their character. Just ask William Russ!).
BUT. In the LOVE column: Jo Jo.
I think I may be obsessed with her, if by "obsessed" you mean "fascinated enough by her to consider watching a Jo Jo spinoff and DVRing every minute of said spinoff. Or writing said spinoff if no one else recognizes the entertainment world's need for it".
*I actually do apologize for that, and for the lateness with which I will bringing you the Young and the Restless year-in-review and more posts. I am the worst!
**I still have a couple more weeks for random Boy Meets World references and I plan to use them, even if Tucker has nothing to do with the topic at hand.
For our column in the December 29th issue of Soap Opera Digest asked us for our thoughts on the Best and Worst of 2009 in soaps. And we had...well, we had many thoughts, which we compiled for this month's Our Take. (It's our first ever jointly authored one, for those keeping track -- which we assume is roughly zero). You've seen some of these choices before in the Serial Drama Best and Worst of 2009 entry (along with those containing profanity, as well as thoughts on One Life to Live), but we are both slightly OCD and bring you the column below anyway, because incomplete archives would drive us crazy and/or to drink. Plus watching soaps has taught us that redundancy is not only a good thing, it earns you the most prestigious awards in your field. And we're totally shooting for that.
As two practically semi-professional list-makers, we look forward to Best and Worst lists at this time of year like little kids do to holiday gifts. In truth, we look forward to holiday gifts with similar zeal, but it seems shallow to admit that, so…on with the year-end soapy analysis!
2009 brought a regrettably large number of stories that can be aptly summarized with a groan and an eyeroll, but standing out as the Worst Story is the murder of Stuart Chandler on AMC. It’s troublesome that the show’s powers-that-be listened to the storyline we can only assume was pitched as “The three times a year that Stuart is onscreen being cheerful and sweet is just too much, so for our big sweeps story, he gets murdered. And then it turns out that ADAM killed him. What’s more exciting than a twin killing a twin? Nothing! And then Kendall confesses to the murder that she didn’t commit because…well, the ‘because’ part isn’t important” and not only didn’t run away screaming from the story’s inherent badness but agreed to film and televise it. The debacle’s lone saving grace is David Canary, who proved again that he is daytime’s Best Actor by rising above the material and giving amazing performances in a story that does not deserve it.
For our latest My Take/My Take, Too column, we took a look back at the highlights and lowlights of 2009 in soaps and share our thoughts on the Best and Worst of the year*. It appears in the December 29th issue of Soap Opera Digest, on newsstands today. We are kind of freaked out that it is already the end of December.
*Obviously, our thoughts about the year that was could fill up way more than two pages. Make sure to check back here next week for the rest of our Best and Worst of 2009 (um, not to kill the suspense or anything, but it's mostly worsts), as well as looks at the past year for all of our soaps.
I am late in commenting on this, but holy cannoli! Mr. Matthews (AKA "William Russ) is out as Tucker McCall. Replacing him: Stephen Nichols. !!! That is insanely exciting.
My friend Erin and I have a list of celebrities who can do no wrong and all celebrities must go through a complex vetting process in order to earn a spot on the list. Were there such a list for soap actors, Stephen Nichols would most certainly be on it; I think he earned the spot based solely on Steve Johnson, but when you figure in that he was also Stefan Cassadine, well...I think that's pretty much the definition of "can do no wrong".
I am SO seriously looking forward to seeing him interact with the Y&R cast.
But at the same time, I'm sad for William Russ. Especially since I no longer have the chance to work bizzarre references to Boy Meets World into all of my Y&R posts. I mean, I guess I still can, but they'd be bizarre and out of context without him in the cast.
And about that anvil...
Lauren: We've had some pretty close calls. You know, our honeymoon, the warehouse.
Michael: We are still standing.
Lauren: The only other time I felt this uncomfortable--
Michael: Don't. Don't say her name.
Lauren: I'm not gonna pretend that Sheila never existed. She ruined my life and my relationship with Scotty for many years.
Michael: Sheila is dead. There's no reason for you to go there.
Sheila is not dead, on her way back to town and also Ryder's mother, isn't she? If that is the case, I offer a heavy sigh and eyeroll in advance!
It has been near impossible to watch a full episode of The Young and the Restless without being overcome with the urge to take a nap.
Of course, it is possible that the overwhelming desire for sleep is due to the frigid weather; I'm always cold as it is, and when you figure in frigid temperatures, then I'm extremely cold and sit with a blanket on me at all times, and a blanket often makes me want to go to sleep. But I think it's more likely that the show itself is dulling my senses and making my eyes heavy.
Take, for example, Friday's episode, which I finally watched this afternoon. The moment that I was most engaged with what I was seeing onscreen was during the commercials! A commercial for A&E's new "reality" show about the Jackson Five irked me to the point where I had a visceral, verbal reaction to it and shouted insults at Jermaine, who I think we can all agree is the worst Jackson. Why is that even a thing, first of all, and why are they taking away precious Criminal Minds episodes to make room for this freakshow on Sunday nights?
The show itself? Dull.
Neil: Oh, yeah. You bet I am. Tucker McCall is the Evel Knievel of the business world, accomplishing unimaginable feats. He--making them look easy. Case in point-- Collins/Macarthur. They were on life support until McCall singlehandedly stepped in and brought 'em back from the dead. So to me, business is like an art, and that was a masterpiece.
Kay: Mm. He's an iconoclast not bound to the old ways of thinking. I, uh, I really appreciate that.
I'd appreciate a business story that was written with some sense of what the business world is like (not that I am an expert in the field of business, but I do watch the thirty second CNBC segments on the local news in the morning!)! And maybe some entertainment, while I'm making apparently unreasonable demands.
Amber: Will we ever celebrate an anniversary?
Daniel: Of course we will. (Chuckles) You just can't lose hope, that's all.
Amber: I know. It's just hard, you know? I just can't stand sleeping in our bed without you.
Daniel: Well, I'm never without you, 'cause I dream about you every night.
That is what Y&R thinks a landfill looks like. So many questions, all of them starting with "What the hell...?"
I just don't know what to make of this show. Not that long ago, I was riveted, and now, the only thing that has my full interest is Jack, because of my well-documented, deep (and, let's face it, a bit creepy and irrational) love of Peter Bergman, and even his story is pushing it at the moment, which is just COMPLETELY depressing. Mr. Matthews as Tucker McCall (which is a terrible name) does show promise, so maybe this coming week will be better...? Let me cling to that dream.
December, in addition to being filled with holidays and snow and the official start of winter and the very best drinks that Starbucks has to offer, is the official month of lists, since everyone decides to reflect upon the year that was and put their highlights and lowlights into list form.
I am fully in favor of this; any query about my favorite things will generally include an answer related to making lists. Is there anything in the world more satisfying than writing a good list? Even when I am completely swamped with work and things to do, there is something therapeutic about writing it all down in a to-do list (bonus points if it is on an adorable notepad and/or in adorable colored pens), and then typing it up in a to-do list, and then re-writing it on a Post-it note. I...should probably stop this tangent before I delve any further into my OCD nature and endless love of office supplies.
Where was I? Oh, right, the end of the year lists. I always have a hard time picking my Bests and Worsts of the year. It's way harder than it looks (and no matter what Becca and I choose at the end of the year, there are always people who are sickened and aghast at our picks), and I am sure that listing the Bests and Worsts of the decade is even more difficult!
So, bearing all of that in mind, I know that what I am about to say makes me a complete hypocrite, but I cannot let this go unmentioned: SOAPNet. Best couples of the decade. Crack-smoking and blackmailing almost certainly involved.
I mean...I know that the SOAPNet powers-that-be are perplexed and a bit horrified at the "SOAP" part of that title, but their confusion must also extend to the definition of the word "best", because their top five soap couples of the decade are:
The rest of the list, after the jump!
Three things madeThe Young and the Restless today must-see-tv:
1. Amelia Heinle making this face for almost an entire minute
I thought I had accidentally hit pause, but then I noticed that JT was moving in the background. I have no idea what sort of emotion it was supposed to convey, but it was pretty amazing.
2. Estimating the weight of Michelle Stafford's fake eyelashes
There was a point in the episode where I didn't know if she'd be able to remain upright!
3. This actually has nothing to do with today's show, and his role in the Chancellor story will, like the rest of the story, be the antithesis of must-see-tv (for realsies, is there anything on the planet duller than that repetitive story? It's three lines of dialogue that I don't care about over and over and over again), but Mr. Matthews (AKA William Russ, but I think I'll continue to refer to him as Mr. Matthews indefinitely) joining the cast as Tucker has led to me having Boy Meets World on the brain, and at the mall yesterday, I was convinced that I saw William Daniels. Needless to say, it was not him, but a kindly older man who didn't seem outwardly perturbed at the fact that I was staring at him and thinking "FEENY!"
The fact that an unintentionally funny facial expression, excessive cosmetics and my borderline psychosis when it comes to 90s sitcoms were the highlight of the show should tell you something. And that something is, "Oh my holy hell, everything about this show is dull".
I don't know how, but Y&R even managed to make a story about a crazy person bedding the ex-wife/love of life of his hated brother whose baby he stole and faked its death in order to replace the baby of his stepmother after he caused her to miscarry while gaslighting her boring!
When Adam was taunting Nick about his night with Sharon and Nick hauled off and punched him
all I could think to myself was, "I love Dannon's apple cinnamon fruit on the bottom yogurt". And I'm usually all over soapy fights! But it was just...eh.