Once again, a crazy suicidal lunatic mowed down a bunch of helpless innocents, which led to more televised speeches deploring the violence, without anyone in the news department ever figuring out that the more notoriety that such incidents get, the more attractive such actions become to angry, hateful, attention-seeking loonies. Not to mention that interrupting my Friday soap episode with less than two minutes to go was just plain wrong. If I wanted to deal with reality, I'd watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills!
I am not making light of what is quickly escalating into a serious, worldwide epidemic. I do believe that the news should be reported, but I do not believe that it should be sensationalized to the point that people are willing to murder other people to get their 15 minutes of fame and then commit suicide by cop so they don't have to face their actions. What cowards. My heart and prayers go out to all the families who are suffering through the tragic aftermath of Dallas and Nice.
That said, last Thursday marked the beginning of the Mal-content era under new executive producer Mal Young. I'm reminded that it was a mere three-and-a-half years ago when the -- at that time -- new show runner told us her time was beginning and asked us to wait and give her a chance to make changes. We waited. She did make changes, but we didn't like a lot of them. We didn't like a lot of the cast changes. We didn't like that history got rewritten and that we went from old-fashioned storytelling to event-driven stories. We had disaster after disaster. Whenever there was a big gathering anywhere, you could just about count on a storm, or a plane wreck, or a jewel robbery, or a cave-in, or the worst disaster of all, a towering inferno, to put a real damper on the party.
If I lived in Genoa City, I would never go to large public gatherings. In fact, I probably wouldn't leave my house for fear of a tornado that would land me in the Emerald City of Oz, which, come to think of it, might actually be an improvement. What will happen with Mal Young, who has already asked for our patience and told us there won't be big changes? Something fantastic, I hope. And although there is something familiar about that refrain, I'm going to ignore my better judgment and give the guy a chance.
I did look him up on Wikipedia -- I know, not the most reliable information source -- and it looks like Mal hasn't had a steady job since 2006. He developed a couple of pilots that never aired but had promise. I hope Mal was not a one-hit wonder. (Too harsh?)
Fortunately, Mal's big hit was a pretty good one according to the critics, so perhaps he will bring that same acclaimed insight to daytime. Wouldn't it be terrific if those of us who are picky, picky, picky would go from malcontents to Mal-content because we are thrilled with Mal's content? As good as that sounds, what the heck would I have to write about if I couldn't gripe and nitpick? Oh, I'm sure I'd think of something!
There did seem to be some startling changes last week. For instance, Travis. Is he really selling the bar and leaving town without a backward glance? I thought the bar was his dream, but apparently a sailboat has that honor. How unrealistic is it that Travis wanted to take off sailing with Victoria and two toddlers in tow? Hmm. That ought to be romantic and no problem at all toddler-proofing the boat and the ocean. Now that Victoria has said that she can't take the kids from Billy and skedaddle, Travis vowed his love then said, "See you around," in practically the same breath.
I hope Travis is actually gone and that this is the beginning of a clean sweep by Mal. I think that Travis has the same low-key personality as Dullen, and I didn't feel any chemistry between "Tori" and Travis. I like Victoria much better with Billy. They have children together, so they have another generation that can be aged as soon as Billy and Victoria get too old to play 30-somethings.
Apparently somebody's been listening to all us malcontents complain about Billy's 50 shades of gray house. It's got a long way to go, but at least it doesn't look like Billy is living at Wuthering Heights any more. Busybody Jill just can't leave her baby boy alone, but in this instance, I'm kind of glad to see the place lightened up a bit. Looks like Jill and Colin are on their way back to town, so Billy's bachelor pad is going to get crowded. I'm sure that Jill and Colin will both be making a lot of mischief for their nearests and dearests. Will Colin be the first to find out about Billy and Phyllis and do his usual blackmail, or will Mal be more imaginative?
I missed how Hilary relapsed and ended up back in the hospital. I thought that she was cured! I guess it happened on that other day that Y&R was preempted in my area because of a tragedy. I do like seeing the nicer Hilary emerge again. I know that a lot of people don't like her actions and behavior, but really, she's a lot like Phyllis was when she first arrived in Genoa City.
I like to think that Hilary is insecure, afraid, and vulnerable but hides it under a callous toughness. I would love to see her revert to the woman that Devon fell in love with. I thought their romance was sweet, and I wanted them to be happy. Hilary and Devon should be a power couple, just like all the other rich townies, but Hilary needs to love Devon for who he is, not his money. I also think that it would be easier for Hilary and Devon to climb the social ladder if they lived in a nice house instead of a hotel room, no matter how posh it is!
I got a laugh when Ashley told Neville that she was putting her reputation on the line. I thought, "What reputation?" Ashley stepped down as CEO of Jabot after the Paragon debacle. She failed at developing that man-attracting perfume in her new lab. She admitted to fixing tests -- though she didn't actually do it; she just covered for Neville, who was covering for Hilary -- and now she's worried that Neville wasn't completely truthful? Duh! This is the guy who experimented on a comatose patient held incommunicado in a boathouse and now has let you take the rap for something you didn't do. Wise up, Ashley, my dear. Though we will soon be waving farewell to Dr. Neville, I have enjoyed the humor that Michael E. Knight brought to Y&R. I'm so sorry that there isn't a place for him in the cast.
Over the years, Y&R has had some top-notch whack-a-doodles -- think Sheila Carter, Kelly Andrews, and now Chloe Mitchell, who was scary, scary, scary when she declared to Victor her intention to see that Adam paid for Delia's death. Chloe is tortured, determined, and driven. She does not intend to ever let Adam out of the trap that Victor set for him. I think that Elizabeth Hendrickson is going to give a stellar, Emmy-worthy performance this time around. I just hope that the writing is worthy of her talent.
The Victator may have been a little too clever in his elaborate frame because, as Chloe pointed out, Victor is not in a position to stop her from making sure that Adam is punished. I do think that we all wanted to see Victor pay for his crimes, but he's been in jail long enough. It's been an eternity in soap opera time. On General Hospital, Sonny killed someone and spent way less time in jail than Victor has. Surely there is some technicality that will apply, or maybe Victor can qualify for an early work release program.
We may also have seen the last of Dr. Gates -- no great loss. The good doctor had no self-respect. Despite how Victor used her and humiliated her, she still helped him escape then hung around with that goofy grin plastered on her face. What kind of woman does that? The only explanation is Prozac and lots of it. So now that Victor and Nikki have reconciled, maybe the smiling doctor will exit quietly. I noticed that neither Nikki nor Victor brought up Victor's unfaithfulness with Dr. Gates, which is probably for the best!
As I noted last time, I'm tired of Sharon going off her meds, lying, and becoming so paranoid that she freaks out. This time, Mariah freaked too. I feel sorry for baby Sully and all the other children in Genoa City who have been kept from their real parents for critical months in their lives. When the truth comes out, and it will, it's a no-win situation for Sully/Christian. Adam is his biological father, so Nick, even though married to Sage, is not Sully's father. I've no doubt that Adam and Chelsea would make wonderful parents, but Sharon, Dylan, and Sully have bonded, and so has Faith. How confusing and devastating for the McAvoys when the truth shatters their happy family illusion, and what happens if Adam's still in jail?
One thing I'll say for Sharon is that she really knows how to bring down the mood. There she was with Abby, Stitch, and Dylan, all of them just laughing, laughing, laughing when Sharon decided to tell a funny story about Sully, then she decided to apologize for offending Abby and Stitch, and then she brought up Abby's miscarriage. Sharon might as well have had a checklist of sore and sensitive subjects, because she pushed all the buttons. To top it all off, Abby took Sharon's very bad relationship advice, and Stitch did not take the good advice that Dylan gave him. Stitch and Abby have a long road ahead if they are going to get through this very difficult situation with Max and emerge as a family.
Adam is also in deep trouble. Both he and Chelsea have lost hope. Adam has decided to take a plea deal rather than risk being found guilty. I guess Adam, Victor, and Ian Ward will all be sharing quarters at Walworth. I wonder how long before Chelsea or Kevin finally catches onto Chloe, or will it be Natalie who finally gets wise? And what about Chloe's daughter Bella? I'm sure that Chloe will pass the kid off as Kevin's -- that's typical Y&R -- because there "is nothing new under the sun!" How likely is it that Bella is Billy's baby? Pretty likely, I'd say, what with all that missing sperm a couple years ago.
Another character that could use reenergizing is Jack. What a dupe. Nobody who is that smart can be that stupid. When will he ever figure out that Phyllis is having an affair? All the signs are there, but Jack has been too busy looking after Hilary to see what's in front of his nose. I'd really like to see Jack get a clue and regain my respect. I was glad that Devon told Jack to take care of Phyllis and leave Hilary to Devon.
I can't imagine the fallout once Billy's affair with Phyllis is discovered. I'm pretty sure that the only way it can end is badly, which is what always happens, but hormones do not listen to, or learn from, history.
Please join me in two weeks for the next meeting of Soap-aholics Anonymous and a potluck at the Chancellor Mansion. Our topic will be "The pros and cons of sleeping with your brother's wife," facilitated by Billy Abbott and Dylan McAvoy. Seating is limited, so imaginary friends are asked to provide their own imaginary chairs. Hope to see you there.
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