Can you believe it? Yet another double/doppelgänger story, a tale that has been told repeatedly, not only on The Young and the Restless but on all the other soaps as well. Maybe that's the real reason we only have four soaps left; somebody wrote one identical twin story too many, and the shows just imploded on themselves. I agree with my friend Bessie who wrote me that Jeanne Cooper was the only one who really made the double story believable because she was so convincing as two different people. I still remember being stunned the day that Jeanne Cooper played Katherine impersonating Marge impersonating Katherine. Now that was acting. To be fair, I saw David Canary do the same with Adam and Stuart Chandler. He was so believable as two different people that I sometimes forgot he wasn't. Erica Slezak won some Emmys as Victoria Lord and Torie, but Jeanne Cooper was the first, at least the first one I remember, and she's still the best.
It comes down to this: it doesn't matter how good the actor is or how much we like him or her; what matters is that we are tired of this overused device. It's been done to death, and we knew it wasn't realistic in the first place, but we accepted the novelty and the fantasy. Now, we, and I use the royal "we" -- unless you agree with me and then it's the fan base -- "we" want something new, not something tired and lazy like this old chestnut.
I mean, face it, how many identical twins are out there just waiting to replace one of us and take over our lives as easily as Yack has taken over Jack's. Even with Victor's help, how has Yack learned all the intimate details of Jack's life and body? Why can't Phyllis tell the difference? I'd be mighty upset if my significant other couldn't tell the difference between an imposter and me. What's the point of intimacy if you don't know each other intimately enough to distinguish one body from another?
That said, I'm enjoying Peter Bergman's performance as Yack. He does seem like two different people. At the end of his scenes, befuddled Jack bobbled his head but befuddled Yack lets his jaw hang slack in an "O" shape. I sort of like Yack. He's a lot more fun than stuffy Jack and eventually may be even more of a match for Victor. Yack is already straining at Victor's leash. How long before he breaks free? How did Victor find this guy? Did he advertise for a Jack Abbott look-alike? Did Victor pay for plastic surgery? How and why did Victor hatch this plan? The breezy debonair playboy that Yack is emulating is Victor's image of what a rich man's entitled son would be -- though it is not who Jack is -- and Peter Bergman is playing it to the hilt.
Meanwhile, back in the shack, Jack certainly was yakking, but he learned quickly not to talk back -- right after Kelly whacked him with that bat. Peter Bergman gets to do the soap opera version of the James Caan part in the movie Misery. Kathy Bates won an Academy Award for her part in that movie as Caan's tormentor, and I think Cady McClain is doing an equally credible job as Jack's demented, smitten caretaker. If you are going to do camp -- and this is -- then you might as well put the ham on the table and pull out all the stops. Kelly is over the top, but I have to wonder where the character goes from here. Can she be redeemed?
I got a really interesting email from a gentleman named George Thomas who had the most plausible theory I've heard yet about who killed Austin and Courtney and why. George says that Kelly killed Austin because Austin had seen both Jacks in the park and realized there were two of them. That knowledge compromised the kidnapping plot. Kelly killed Austin so she could have Jack. Courtney saw the two Jacks on the video, so Kelly killed her while Yack hacked the police computer and sent the text messages. There's more to support his idea, but the way Kelly is being written into a corner seems to support it. Either that, or Kelly is going away for a long stay in the nearest funny farm.
I can't say that I blame Kelly for being off the deep end. She had her heart broken then Phyllis exacerbated the situation by constantly throwing Phyllis' relationship with Jack in Kelly's face. Kelly tried to let Jack go, but he said no way then while Kelly sat in the hospital with her mother, Jack reunited with Phyllis and cast Kelly to the side. I'd be rattled, too, if something like that happened to me, and I'd certainly be angry. I might not resort to Kelly's extreme measures, but I can admit that there is a certain vicarious guilty pleasure associated with watching Kelly act out her madness with Jack while he tries his glibbest, most convincing patter on her so he can get away.
I don't mind that Kelly makes Jack think about how he behaved to her, but I'm betting on Jack to best Kelly and make his way back home. As long as the writers are taking this tack, they might at least give us one scene of Jack playing Yack playing Jack. Surely Jack deserves some crumb, some small victory over Victor even if it's only getting Jabot back and returning to the status quo. Meanwhile, as long as they are serving ham -- and they don't drag it out -- I'm feasting at the table. Imaginative plots and better writing would be a nice complement to the splendid acting on Y&R, but maybe, after 42 years, there is no gas left in the tank.
While Jack was in "misery" with Kelly, Hilary was in court as a surprise witness for Neil's defense. It was worthy of Marlene Dietrich's performance in that old Hitchcock film. Dietrich's character told the truth in such a way that she convinced a jury that she was a spiteful, lying opportunist, thus securing her lover's acquittal. Not exactly the same scenario with Hilary, but similar -- and nicely done, I thought. I do hope that Hilary and Devon find their way back to each other. I like this actress. She's pretty; she wears clothes well; she could be with any guy on the show, oh, and by the way, I think she is a terrific actress, so go, Hilary, go! Devon will come around again. No matter how much money he has, he is hotter and sexier with Hilary. Hilary brings out the "manly" in men, just like Chelsea does.
I have to wonder why Chelsea did not recognize Adam when they made love, or at least discerned, what should have been, some disturbing similarities in the sack between Gabe and her dead husband. It's understandable that Chelsea did not recognize the physical resemblance, since Adam emerged from his surgeries several inches taller, and I believe that his eyes also changed color, but she should have questioned all the intimate details that he knew about her. Modern medical science is a marvel. I wonder if I could go in looking like me and come out looking like Courtney before she croaked.
Not much happened with the Scooby gang mystery, except that Sharon got carted off to jail, arraigned, bailed out, and sent home with Michael and an ankle monitor. Sharon has Dylan to lean on, and I have no doubt that she will eventually consummate a relationship with him after Dylan and Avery drift apart. Avery is walking down a predictable and derivative path -- the same one that Hilary walked with Neil -- stick with the guy who needs a nurse, not the one you love.
Avery is snooty. She walks around like she's St. Avery. I'm Team Sharon all the way, and Avery was unnecessarily mean to Sharon when she said that she would not have defended Sharon on an earlier false arrest charge if she had known Sharon better. What a Goody Two Shoes! Avery has been blind, deaf, and dumb to all of Joe's machinations, and I have no doubt that before long, Joe will be able to walk but will conceal it from Avery until he gets her back in his clutches, just like Neil concealed the return of his sight.
As I've said many times, Sharon is her own worst enemy. She panics in a crisis and does the wrong thing at the wrong time, guaranteeing that no matter what befalls, she will be blamed. I was so happy to see in Friday's episode that Sharon finally developed a backbone. Dylan was right when he told her that she had to have a positive attitude and not let herself drown in negativity. That's good advice for anyone anytime. The evidence against Sharon is flimsy at best, and in real towns in real courts, I don't think Sharon would have been arrested, much less arraigned and tried. But like I always say, "It's only a soap!"
Sharon will be ready and willing to help Dylan mend his broken heart when Avery dumps him, but I am sure it's still just a matter of time before Nick and Sharon have another go. Maybe they'll even make it to the altar this time! If Y&R lasts long enough for Nick and Sharon to replace Victor and Nikki, then they need to get cracking if they are going to get married as many times as the senior Newmans. In the meantime, a fling with Dylan might just put a little zip in Sharon's step once she can notch Dylan on her bedpost along with Victor, Adam, and Nick -- kind of like getting it on with Ben, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe (if you are old enough to remember Bonanza)!
Don't get me wrong, I would love to see Sharon happy for a while. I think she is a wonderful mother, and I truly reveled in the happy family scenes, scenes that are sorely lacking at the moment. I can only think of five happy couples, and none have a big family like Nick and Sharon do. I'm rooting for them, but like the wishy-washy person that I am, if Dylan and Sharon are as hot as Nick and Sharon, I'd accept Dylan as a stepdaddy to the group, at least until Nick comes to his senses again.
A little aside here: I caught an old Diagnosis Murder on TV that starred Dick Van Dyke and Victoria Rowell. The plot centered on a murder on the set of Y&R. Paul, Christine (she was called "Cricket" then), Victor, Nikki, and Victoria (played by Heather Tom) all had cameos. They looked so young, and then I realized that the TV show was 20 years old!
Christine was a lot nicer when she was Cricket. I'm really sorry about her baby, but she did have a fight with Paul, and she wasn't watching where she was going. Christine has to take some responsibility for her part in the accident, also. Had she left Paul five minutes earlier or five minutes later, the accident would have been avoided. The same goes for Neil and Nikki. There was nothing deliberate about their actions. Nikki really was trying to be a friend to Neil, and Neil was too full of alcohol and rage to control his behavior. He should be punished for the carelessness that led to a lost life, but I don't think prison time would serve justice, and it certainly won't bring that baby back. Paul and Christine don't feel the same way, so I won't be surprised if Christine files some kind of personal injury civil suit.
When I was much younger, someone filed a nuisance suit against me when I was a board member of a small nonprofit. What a nightmare! Fortunately, we had some kind of insurance that provided legal protection, but if we had not had that insurance, hiring an attorney to fight what was eventually proven to be a bogus claim would have been an expensive nightmare. So a word to the wise: if someone asks you to serve as any kind of board member, make sure you can't be sued as an individual. Some people make a living out of filing suits.
Maybe that will be Billy's new career, now that he's out of a job at Jabot. I can't really see this Billy as a gambler or running a restaurant or doing any of the things Billy did before settling down with Victoria. Billy really seems grown up. I am anticipating his reunion with Victoria now that she has ditched Stitch, who ran directly into Abby's waiting arms. Again, I agree with Bessie who thought that Victoria was trying to have it both ways. She told Stitch to go away, but Victoria got angry when Stitch took comfort elsewhere -- the old "I don't want him, but I don't want anyone else to have him either" syndrome. I don't mind Abby and Stitch together. Maybe Abby will be so busy with him, she won't have time to meddle in everyone else's business -- although her affair with Austin didn't seem to have that effect, perhaps because we didn't know about it.
Things are hunky-dory right now between Victor and Victoria. Both of them enjoyed usurping Ashley's office and title. Victor did a great Godfather, sitting in that chair. I almost expected Yack to kiss Vicapone's ring. Victoria showed her spine when she bossed everyone around. At least she was nice to Chelsea, who seemed like a kitten confronting a tigress. Have fun while you can, Victoria. It could all come crashing down if your eventual reconciliation with Billy Boy displeases your daddy dearest.
So what is going on with Michael? While it's nice to see him interacting with a different set of characters, he's not looking so good, and passing out in the middle of a catfight is not a reassuring sign. Is there even the slightest possibility that Michael might not make it? He certainly seems determined to push Cane and Lauren together, which seems strange. I can understand that Michael might want to make sure that Lauren has someone to help her through her grief if he passes, but why Cane? Cane is married and has kids, so it seems mean-spirited to foster a relationship that could become hurtful to so many parties, especially those children. That's really unMichael-like.
Hmm. Maybe Michael was also replaced by a double, possibly during those cancer treatment sessions. Maybe Michael is pale and sick because his doppelgänger is an alien who is not adjusting to our atmosphere. Maybe he doesn't want to be intimate with Lauren because Michael's sex organs are in his navel, which Lauren might eventually notice.
But then again, couples doing the do-si-do, changing partners, and creating new love stories with different chemistry is what makes soaps. Fortunately, most soap characters have SOSAD (Soap Opera Strange Aging Disease), which makes them all the same approximate age, no matter when they were born. Lauren is a stunning woman, and it does seem that Cane is falling for her charm. Lily is feeling the green-eyed monster. Cane and Lauren are unaware of the attraction that is developing between them, but both Michael and Lily can see it clearly. This is another familiar soap path. How will the writers handle it, with something new and bold or something tired and old? The joke will be on Michael if he pushes Lauren and Cane together then finds out that his cancer is cured.
I can see by the clock with the broken hands that my deadline is fast approaching, so I must end for now. Take care, fellow fan addicts, until next we meet up with our imaginary friends for imaginary coffee at Crimson Lights. Meanwhile, I'll see you at the Emmys. I hope you are there to cheer for the fabulous cast and crew that make The Young and the Restless such a pleasure to watch.
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