Thank you ,fellow fan/addicts, for your -- in most cases -- very kind and welcoming emails and -- in some cases -- not so kind regards. But not to worry! In all instances, I found your responses to be intelligent, insightful, and enlightening.
Emails showed very different opinions about recast Kyle, not all bad:
I agree with this writer. The forbidden love, tortured teen angst story was done really well the first time around. As we all know, in real life, an age difference seems much larger between 18 and 25 than it does between 28 and 35. In all fairness, perhaps this actor, who, it seems to me, is playing Kyle as a good natured goofy "doofus" is doing so because it makes Kyle seem younger and Summer seem older, thereby minimizing the age difference between them. So far, my take is that Summer is leading recast Kyle around by the nose or some other body part that is not attached to his brain, and recast Kyle is too dumb to figure it out.
Kyle is rich and entitled, and appears to have lost several IQ points since the recast, and, now, suddenly, after months of denial, Kyle is showing interest in a girl that is barely older than jailbait and with whom he has a potential familial relationship should Jack and Phyllis tie the knot. Kyle has exhibited no regard for what the long-term consequences of giving in to Summer's crush may be, especially in light of Nick's objections. Kyle is ignoring his promise to Jack and Phyllis to protect Summer like a sister.
We should get an answer about Summer's parentage during the next week or two. Nick will get the paternity test results in the mail shortly, but circumstances will prevent him from reading them for several days. I suspect, if I have interpreted the previews correctly, the test will show that Nick is not Summer's biological father. Whether or not those results are accurate remains to be seen.
In another soap town on another network in a galaxy far, far away, the labs are notoriously inefficient. It took a year and three tests at two different facilities to finally get accurate result for one child's paternity. There remain other critical medical tests, which are still being presented incorrectly by the labs in that town. This is because most of the lab techs are either easily bribed or very naïve and trusting. Labs are routinely left unlocked while computers without password protection remain unattended. This, of course, allows any Tom, Dick, or Sharon to easily change life-altering results to reflect their own personal agenda.
Since the current executive producer of Y&R once ruled this alternate soap town, I suspect that she is very familiar with shoddy lab work. We did see Sharon hanging around the lab when Nick dropped off his samples for the DNA test. We did not see Sharon do anything, but we can speculate endlessly about whether or not she got access and changed the results. Phyllis set the tampering precedent when she faked Daniel's blood test many years ago.
Unreliable lab work may account for the reason that neither Adam nor Dylan has asked for a paternity test. I guess that neither of them wants to upset Chelsea, but it seems to me that both have a legal right to know, and a paternity test would put the subject of the baby's father to rest once and for all, assuming that Chelsea, Sharon, and Victoria had no access to alter the test. One reader was very sympathetic to Chelsea's predicament. She wrote:
I am also a feminist, and I admit that there are several good points here, but the rebuttal to all of them is that Adam is the child's biological father, and he has a legal right to know his child. In the real world, most of the time, mothers do not get to steal children from their biological fathers, hide out, and live happily ever after without consequences, and neither will Chelsea in the soap world.
In real life, a man might easily raise a child and live all his years without ever finding out that the child he raised is not his biological offspring, mainly because that child will probably never develop a life-threatening disease that can only be cured with blood, bone marrow, or (fill in the blank) from the child's biological parent. The soap world is different. If Chelsea does not tell Dylan the truth, then her unborn child is surely on borrowed time because that child will be destined to contract such a disease, especially if Dylan and Chelsea find happiness together!
When I think of Dylan, the words "lovable, gullible galoot" and "white bread" come to mind. In soapland, Dylan has no flaws, or at least none that we have seen as yet, and is very trusting, always pleasant, and very thoughtful, which makes him kind of, well, boring, like the aforementioned white bread. Dylan has been extremely lucky, since he hit town without either money or a job. In the few weeks since he arrived in Genoa City, Dylan has inherited and sold a construction business for big bucks, bought a warehouse, and acquired Crimson Lights.
In no time flat, Dylan has gone from the "have-nots" to the "haves" and did not even break a sweat doing it. And by the way things are going, I expect that after Dylan renames and redecorates Crimson Lights, it will become über successful. Dylan might soon find himself competing in wealth against Jabot and Newman, especially if he franchises a string of popular coffee houses as quickly and handily as he's succeeded everywhere else.
Dylan, "Mr. Too Perfect," has had it pretty easy so far. Other than not getting Avery back (no great loss there, Dylan), everything else has fallen into his lap. No wonder Dylan is so cheerful and smiley all the time.
However, one important rule to remember about soapland is that characters with no family ties, no matter how likable, do not last long. If Dylan wants to keep living in Genoa City, he had better dig up some long-lost relatives among the movers and shakers. Perhaps Dylan will find out that he is a previously unknown son of Victor from the pre-Nikki years. That ought to amp up the Newman sibling rivalry, not to mention scramble the paternity test for Chelsea's baby because Dylan and Adam would be brothers who share DNA.
As long as I am ragging on the perfect and imperfect men of Genoa City, Carmine leaps to mind. Is he a sleazy stalker, who, to paraphrase Chloe when she was talking to Chelsea about Adam, is lower than the fungus that grows on pond scum, or is Carmine just clueless because he overestimates his own attractiveness and thinks he God's gift to older women?
I'm pretty sure that Lauren is a much older woman. I remember that Lauren and Tracy had a conversation last week about being teenagers together, so they are surely close in age. Tracy looks her age, but Lauren does not. I can only assume that Lauren lives in the part of Genoa City where time stands still and SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome) works in reverse on the adults.
Anyway, getting back to Carmine. I wonder where his money comes from. He works at two low-paying bartender jobs. One of then is at the Athletic Club, where the computer that is posting Neil's private journal is located. Is it possible that Carmine is behind the posts? Carmine seems more like a dim bulb doofus than a computer geek who is smart enough to do the actual sneaky posting. Carmine is, however, certainly amoral enough to be involved in any underhanded scheme. Perhaps, instead of being the mastermind, Carmine is merely helping the culprit.
According to the previews, Carmine will soon meet up with Sharon, who has some issues of her own. If Carmine is merely clueless, then Sharon might be just the older woman that Carmine needs to prop up his flagging ego. That could certainly turn out to be an interesting match made, if not in heaven, then in that other place, you know, where none of us wants to end up going.
Many of you who wrote to me said that you want to see Michael and Lauren reconcile. I do, too. I cried along with Lauren as I watched the video of her wedding to Michael. I was really glad that she told Michael the truth about Carmine, the strawberries, and everything else. Even though Michael was hurt, I could feel the change in the atmosphere between them, and it gave me hope that they could forgive each other for the pain and move on.
I also agree with those of you who want to see more happy couples and drama based on loving relationships, which has been the winning formula for Y&R since it began and the chief reason that Y&R has remained the most-watched soap in daytime for so many years. Hopefully the-powers-that-be (TPTB) will pay attention to loyal, long-term fans such as yourselves, who have supported the show since the beginning. I encourage TPTB to put on their listening ears and pay attention when fans grumble about too many broken relationships on the show.
Lots of you had something to say about recasts. No one, including me, thought that Jeanne Cooper could ever be replaced as Katherine Chancellor. Neither did the show, which will deal with Katherine Chancellor's death and its aftermath in July. I recorded the memorial episode, which was very touching and extremely well done, and I'm keeping it on my DVR to watch for as long as I need a Katherine fix.
Recasting Phyllis is a different matter. Some of you love Phyllis, and some of you hate her. Some of you think the character is too important to leave town, and you believe that Phyllis should be recast. Others cannot imagine that any other actress except Michelle Stafford can play the part. Here's what I think.
I don't like Phyllis. I'm still mad at her for running over Christine and then faking Daniel's blood test, but I think Michelle Stafford is fantastic as Phyllis and that Phyllis is a lynchpin on the show, so I don't want either the character or the actress to go. However, the actress is going because she wants to, and the fans can't stop that, so I'm hoping for a terrific recast.
Now, before "you who have viewed Y&R from the beginning" get your hackles up, think back to the original Jack, Terry Lester, who was wildly popular. Now, be honest! In retrospect, when Terry left the show, did you think that he could be replaced? At this moment, can you imagine a better Jack than Peter Bergman? No? I didn't think so!
I can recall two recasts in that other soap town in that galaxy far, far away that have been very successful. In one case, it took three different actresses to find the right one, but the actress who is currently playing the part owns it, and I cannot imagine that any actress, even the one who originated the character, could do a better job.
I suspect that even though it might be difficult, and that more than one actress may have to try on Phyllis' skin, it will be possible to find an acceptable Phyllis, otherwise who will mother Summer, keep Jack on the straight and narrow, needle Carmine, keep Michael and Lauren together, and taunt Avery about Nick?
As always, dear fan/addicts, I ask you to help me iron out the wrinkles on these and other pressing questions.
Who do you prefer as Summer's father? Did Sharon doctor the DNA tests? Is it just my imagination, or does Tyler have a chip the size of Quasimodo's hump on his shoulder? Should Lily continue Ashley Abbot's fashion tradition of "hooker couture" or opt for more demure daytime dresses in the workplace? Will Victor wise up to Adam's secret alliance, or is Victor already one step ahead? How long before Billy gambles his first born away? Will Victoria send Billy to rehab or kick him to the curb? Will Victoria quickly become a successful children's author, or will daddy issues lure her back to Newman? What other sordid secrets will Neil's journal reveal? How long will it take Genoa City's finest to track down Neil's tormentor? Will Kevin's crimes catch up with him before he teaches Dylan to operate the coffee machine?
Till next time, dear friends, I welcome your opinions and insights, and as always, feel free to contact me.