Every week for the past five years or so, you've gotten to read what Boone and Teddi think about what's taking place in Genoa City. Their columns have generated thousands and thousands of comments, emails, message board posts, and tweets.
You may have heard the old expression "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." Or maybe it's just a lyric from an old Joni Mitchell song. Either way -- I've always said "You don't know what you want until you've got it." Okay, I don't really always say that. In fact, this column is probably the first time I've even written those words in that order. But I am hoping that it's true because I'm here to share my unsolicited opinions about all of the shenanigans taking place in Genoa City. I typically live tweet Y&R on the @soapcentral Twitter feed (feel free to tweet along with me!), but it's nice to have more than 240 characters to share my thoughts.
Nowadays, it seems like few things are truly surprising. Between leaks and "sources," we know when elected officials are stepping down, when star athletes are being traded, and the identity of the "who" in blockbuster whodunnit films and TV series. Even my surprise appearance here in this week's Two Scoops column might not really be that much of a surprise.
It didn't come as much of a surprise to me that Rey and Arturo ended up being related. In fact, I was almost certain that they'd be brothers from the moment Rey and Nick were debating the merits of football versus football (soccer). There are quite a few reasons that I -- and probably most of you reading this column -- could telegraph it. The first is that, try as they might, daytime soaps aren't exactly teeming with diversity. So, while I could be accused of being presumptuous to have pegged Arturo and Rey as relatives, in the scheme of soaping, it wasn't really that much of a leap. If that wasn't enough, around the same time the show announced that Jordi Vilasuso was joining the cast, we also got word that Jason Canela had been inked to a contract. If the Rey/Arturo connection was supposed to be a surprise, it wasn't.
I am far more interested in exactly what Rey's obsession is with J.T. and the people in J.T.'s life. Death? Former life? The people that figured into J.T.'s world when he was still among the living. Of course, most of the folks in Genoa City and, presumably, the rest of the world still believe that J.T. is alive. Side note: the piece of artwork that is positioned over J.T.'s makeshift gravesite? Not a fan. It's too diminutive for the park. It's like an overgrown pinwheel. Anyway, I digress.
So what is the connection between J.T. and Rey? We already know the connections between J.T. and all of the people on Rey's creepy vision board. My first thought was that J.T. somehow ticked off Rey, and now Rey wants revenge. Maybe when J.T. was working for the government or some other private enterprise, he busted up some sort of dark web operation run by Rey -- or Rey's boss. The problem that I have with that is that it becomes derivative, predictable, and even borderline offensive. Why does a non-Caucasian character have to be the bad guy? Soaps' sketchy relations with telling meaningful stories for people of color have conditioned me to expect the worst.
So, what if J.T. is the bad guy. Seeing how he changed during his time off screen, I suppose that it would be really easy to add another villainous feather in J.T.'s cap. Maybe J.T. roughed up Rey or someone that Rey cared about. Maybe J.T. even killed someone that Rey cared about. You know, after nice guy J.T. went full-on abuser. Or maybe Rey is working for the government and trying to catch J.T. for something shifty that J.T. did. That still doesn't explain the vision board slash perp display and why Rey is interested in all of the people that know/knew J.T.
If the writers really wanted to turn the show on its ear, perhaps Rey and J.T. were lovers. If Rey knew that J.T. had been killed, it would make sense that he would want to make everyone involved in J.T.'s death suffer. I've seen enough episodes of Dr. Phil, Maury Povich, and even early Oprah to know there are situations when some folks who are unable to come to terms with their sexuality lash out at those around them. And then there are all the Lifetime movies that have told similar types of stories. I'm sure Meredith Baxter Birney or Valerie Bertinelli starred in a few of them. Sure, it's seemingly far-fetched, and I'm not saying that I even want that to be the story that ends up being told. However, it would definitely not be a story that was "expected" or predicted by viewers.
Speaking of tabloid talk shows, those same episodes of Dr. Phil, Maury Povich, Sally Jesse Raphael, and early Oprah taught me that there are far more kids trying to steal their parents' lovers than we might think. Now, if you ask me, it's a little weird. But I am not judging because I am sure that I share information on my Twitter feed that other people view as weird. Fighting my rabbit for the last few blueberries, for example. Feel free to judge, er, follow along on my personal account @danjkroll.
I don't like the idea of Summer and Billy as a couple. I am not even sure I like the idea of them as a one-night stand. Still, there's something about it that is just twisted enough to keep my interest. I think that, like the Rey saga, I am trying to figure out exactly what's going on in Summer's head. Admittedly, I would probably say there's not much going on in Summer's head. Does Summer really have the hots for Billy? Is Summer mad at Phyllis for squatting in her apartment for all these months and sees her best way to seek revenge is not eviction but rather an erection? Is making a play for Billy a way to get Kyle to step up and show some interest in Summer? Is spoiled brat Summer just wanting to make her mother unhappy?
Your guess is as good as mine. I am also trying to decide if the Phick (that's Phyllis + Nick, if you're not up on your smooshed names) one-night kitchen island stand factors into the way that I feel about this story. I am not a big fan of the "I thought my relationship was over, so I ran out a few minutes later and had sex with someone." I find that a bit icky. If you can get over someone that quickly, maybe you weren't really as in love as you thought you were. That said, I don't think that the affair clouded my judgment. By that, I mean that I don't think I am giving Summer a pass to make a pass at Billy just because Phyllis was unfaithful. If Phyllis and Nick hadn't had sex, I think I'd feel the same way about what Summer is doing. What do you think? Should the Phick tryst have been written into the story? Did it unnecessarily convolute what's going on?
I also want to say that while I don't condone violence, Phyllis slapping Summer was really sort of jaw-dropping. This wasn't just a slap for the sake of slapping. It was reactionary. If Phyllis had hauled off and whacked Sharon or Victoria or Ashley, I don't think that anyone would have batted an eye. The fact that a mother slapped her daughter has a bunch of people talking. I'm significantly older than Summer, and I will say that if my mother were to smack me, I'd be pretty sure that I had done something to deserve it.
I don't want this column to become its own version of War and Peace, so let's move into a quickfire round so that I can share my thoughts on some other story points -- some of which may not have exactly happened during the last week.
Tessa is out to reunite with her sister Cryzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Sorry. I nodded off there. What was I talking about? Probably nothing important.
I'm not really happy that Hilary was killed off, but I think it was a ballsy and ultimately correct decision. What made it the right decision is that it wasn't done in a single episode. There was an entire week of story following the accident that made Hilary's death far more impactful than many other recent soap deaths. We revisited the relationships that Hilary had with other Genoa City residents. We also got payoff from her death. Hilary turned down a dream job because she wanted to stay and raise a child with Devon. For as much as people have blasted Hilary as being self-centered, one of her final acts proved that she was anything but self-centered. Mishael Morgan and Bryton James have been stellar. I will miss Mishael and Hilary, but I'm glad Hilary's death made me feel something more than anger or disappointment about the decision to snuff out the shining light that was Hilary.
I have to say that I am really glad that The Young and the Restless has let go of the idea that every episode needed to be a new day in Genoa City. I wouldn't call it a failed experiment so much as I would say that it is a work in progress. The problem that I had is that the day's cliffhanger often ended up being inconsequential because the next day picked up much further into the action. There was often little in the way of payoff. Now, the show has tilted back toward a more traditional ongoing, serialized format. Picking up where the action left off isn't always the right thing to do. Sometimes I'd rather see viewers have a chance to come up with their own ideas of what might have happened. That can make for a much more rewarding viewing experience when the truth is finally shown on-screen.
Soaps may not seem like incredible learning experiences, but I did learn a bit about quantum physics. Apparently, there is less in the way of gravity and friction and, um... maybe something like centrifugal force when one does a handstand sans shirt. Or maybe Nate just doesn't have a large clothing budget because he is paying back all of that student loan debt he has from years in college. Somehow, I don't suspect that anyone will be starting up a GoFundMe account to buy Nate some shirts anytime soon.
With Eileen Davidson leaving Y&R sometime in the next month, I'm starting to wonder how they will write Ashley out of the show. Ashley is suddenly really intent on ousting Billy from Jabot, Jaboat, Jaboutique, Jabooty, and all the other Jabplaces. She also has this sort of quasi-dating thing going with Neil. Will Ashley do something illegal to oust Billy and then be sent off to jail? Will Ashley decide that the only way to find happiness is to leave Genoa City? Will Y&R do what DAYS did and opt to recast Eileen Davidson's role? Would fans accept a recast Ashley?
For a few moments a few weeks ago, the stage looked set for Billy, Nick, and Jack to be competing for Phyllis' attention. I have to admit, I really kind of liked that idea.
I'm not sure how Crimson Lights turns a profit. The place seems empty most of the time, and it doesn't appear that a lot of money changes hands there. Sharon also isn't the best at planning ladies' nights out. And has she given up taking calls at the crisis center? Somewhere in the distance I hear a phone ringing... and ringing... and ringing... and ringing...
Maybe the call is from Paul Williams asking what he needs to do to see some action down at the Genoa City Police Department. I'm pretty sure that the local dairy is preparing to put his photo on the side of a milk carton. It will be one in a special series, featuring other luminaries like Michael Baldwin, Lauren Fenmore, Jill Abbott, Ravi Shapur, and J.T. Hellstrom. Collect all six!
Oh! I wanted to talk about Tessa's search for her sizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Gosh, I think I forgot what I was saying again. I'm so embarrassed! No wonder I haven't asked myself to write a Y&R Two Scoops column before.
I really can't complain because it takes a lot less effort to write a weekly commentary than it does to churn out a new hourlong episode of a soap opera five times each and every week. Everything may not all click at the same time, but I can tell that everyone involved at Y&R is doing everything they can to get as close to perfection as possible. There have been changes made to the way that scenes are shot -- new lighting, new special effects, and new camera angles. There have been attempts to change the pace and the way that stories are told. As a fan, I am buoyed by the fact that there are folks behind the scenes who care enough to take chances and make changes to make sure that the show stays on the air. It's when people stop caring -- and that includes the fans who watch -- that there would be cause for concern.
Now I have to get back to chasing my fruit-stealing rabbit, live tweeting, and all of the other fun stuff that I get to do to keep Soap Central up and running. I hope that you enjoyed my unsolicited opinions about all things Y&R. Feel free to drop your thoughts in the Comments section further down the page or zap me a tweet or two. Thank you for reading my column and thank you for your continued support of Soap Central.
What are your thoughts on The Young and the Restless? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.