Thursday, December 1, 2016

60th anniversary of the I Love Lucy Christmas Episode


In 1989, the year of Lucille Ball's passing, the vice-president for CBS Video was searching for some Christmas programming for video release.  While working on this project, he learned about  I Love Lucy's seldom seen "Christmas Epiisode."  The episode was originally aired on December 24, 1956, during the sixth and final season of the series.  It was never included in the package of 179 episodes for syndication because of its Christmas theme and its lengthy flashback scenes.

Back in 1956, it made perfect sense to compose an episode of flashbacks from past shows.  When I Love Lucy premiered in 1951, television was still a novelty and many North Americans did not own a television set.  By 1956, when the Chrismas episode was broadcast, the number of TV owners had increased dramatically. Thus, the flashback enpisode provided viewers with an opportunity to watch scenes from earlier shows for the first time.

As it truned out, the CBS executive was able to track down the Lucy Christmas episode in the network's vaults. When the original negative.was found, CBS broadcast the "lost" episode as a prime-time special on December 18,1989, about eight months after Lucy's death.  It attracted over 29 million viewers, outdrawing ABC's Monday Night Football. The following year, on December 10, 1990, a colourized version of the episode was aired, with the flashback sequences remaining in black and white.  (As a Lucy fan, my view is that I Love Lucy does not need to be tampered with.  I prefer watching it in beautiful black and white, as it was presented in the 1950s.)

"The Christmas Episode" begins on Christmas Eve.  An anxious Little Ricky is reluctant to go to sleep for fear that Santa Clause would have difficulty coming down the chimney. His father, Cuban-American  band leader Ricky Ricardo, tells him that Santa won't deliver the tree and the gifts until he goes to bed. Lucy convinces the child that Santa will have no problem climbing down the chimney ("He brings the North Pole with him and slides down it like a fireman.")

As soon as the little boy is sound asleep, Fred and Ethel Mertz arrive with a Christmas tree.  It's an unimpressive five dollar fir.  Referring to her cheapskate husband, Ethel proclaims that it's "a gift from me and Ebeneezer." The Ricardos and the Mertzes begin decorating their Christmas tree and Lucy notices an uneven branch.  Fred saws the branch while Ricky tells Lucy how the birth of Little Ricky has changed their lives. They reminisce about the day that Lucy told Ricky the news that she was having a baby while he was performing at the Tropicana (flashback from "Lucy is Enceinte"). Meanwhile, a distracted Fred cuts off too much of the tree while listening to all the reminiscing.  He leaves to find another tree.  During his absence, Ethel and Ricky break into a rendition of "Jingle Bells." Lucy joins in with her off-key singing. They are reminded of the time she sang  "Sweet Adeline" as part of their barbershop quartet (flashback from "Lucy's Show Biz Swan Song").

Fred returns with a tree he got "last minute" for 50 cents and they all begin to decorate the new tree.  They also discuss Little Ricky's Christmas gifts and Ethel remarks that, "It seems like only yesterday when he was born."  A flashback is the shown of Ricky, Fred and Ethel preparing for Lucy's trip to the hospital maternity ward (from "Lucy Goes to the Hospital").

Christmas morning arrives and the four friends are up early and dressed in Santa Clasus suits.  They hear Little Ricky coming and they hurry into the kitchen as not to disenchant him with the appearance of four Santas.  Suddenly, a fifth Santa shows up.  However, the "real" St. Nick vanishes as the Ricardos and Mertzes look into the camera and gingerly proclaim, "Merry Christmas!"

For the past three years, an I Love Lucy Christmas special has become an annual Yueltide tradition, each combing the "Christmas Episode" with a different classic episode from the show. This year is no exception.  So, take note, Lucy aficionados.  Tomorrow, Friday, December 2, 2016 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) CBS will broadcast an hour-long I Love Lucy Christmas Special featuring two back-to-back episodes  - "The Christmas Episode" and the newly colourized "Lucy Gets in Pictures."  "Lucy Gets in Pictures" was first aired during the fourth season of the series, on February 21, 1955.  In the episode, Ricky arranges for Lucy to play a showgirl and Lucy is required to walk down a staircase wearing an enormous feathered headdress.

END NOTE

* As part of the 2015 Lucy special, the "Christmas Episode" was broadcast entirely in colour for the first time - including the flashback sequences.  It was shown along with "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" (also know as the "Vitametavegamin" episode), which was aired in colour for the first time.  The 2014 Christmas special included "Lucy's Italian Movie," the grape-stomping episode.  "Job Switching," the chocolate factory epispde. was shown in 2013.


- Joanne

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Y&R Report (November 26, 2016): The Latest on The Young and the Restless


Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance.

How did you like Turkey Day on Y&R?  I really enjoyed watching the Thanksgiving activities in Genoa City.  The wealthy and privileged citizens really made an effort to help the homeless and needy this year. Jill's participation, however, was not entirely altruistic.  She was also motivated by a desire to drum up some positive publicity for Brash & Sassy.  Speaking of Jill, it was fun to see Esther annoy her former boss by insisting that she wear a hair net while serving food.  She had Jill squirming.

I also enjoyed watching how Abby and Summer burnt the turkey and almost caused a fire.  Only the pies were fit to eat.  It was quite amusing to see Jack take such delight in devouring Victor's favourite pie.  That may have been the only time Jack put one over on Victor.  

Just before Thanksgiving, Travis decided to take out an engagement ring and propose to Princess Victoria - right after he had cheated on her.  Unknown to the couple, ex-husband Billy Boy Abbott was lurking quietly in the background (What a great sense of timing!). To her credit, Victoria would not give Travis an answer right away, Instead, after taking some time to think it over, she accepted his marriage proposal during Thanksgiving dinner.  No wonder she was hesitant, with her marital track record - Ryan, Cole, J.T., Billy (three times). If this wedding actually takes place, it doesn't look any more promising than Victoria's previous unions. The princess doesn't realize it yet, but her White Knight has rusty armour.  He's just as much of a liar and a cheat as Billy Boy.  Jill was right on the money when she described Travis as "Billy-lite."  At least Billy doesn't pretend that he's some kind of paragon of virtue.  For all his faults, he's more authentic than Travis. At least he's not "holier than thou."  I hope Travis' not-so-secret tryst with Michelle will be revealed in time to avert another disastrous marriage for Victoria.  King Victor will soon be calling Travis "a punk," as he's done with all the other men in his daughter's life.  However, what will the Black Knight do if the alternative to Travis is a reunion between his princess and Billy Boy?

Although Dylan McAvoy is not my favourite character on Y&R. I think he's one of the most honest male characters on the show.  He's much more honourable than Nicholas Newman.  Nick is a mean-spirited, angry man.  Yes, Sharon has deceived him, but he cheated on her twice when they were married, first with Grace and then with Phyllis.  Why is he so self-righteous?  Of course, Sharon was wrong in keeping the baby secret from him, but he should feel fortunate in having his son back.(even though Christian is not really his son). Why can't he be more magnanimous?  Why did he have to be coaxed into not pressing kidnapping charges against his former wife?  What would that have accomplished except cause more pain and heartbreak for Faith and Mariah and Dylan.

Nick is just as hypocritical and self-righteous as his parents, Nikki and Victor.  Although Dylan and Nick are both sons of Nikki, Nick was raised by the Newmans and Dylan was raised by his adoptive parents.  That must be the difference.  That must be why Dylan, though not flawless, has more integrity than his bull-headed brother.  Sharon's fortunate he hasn't left her, at least not yet.  He will be out of the picture before 2016 comes to an end.  As I've mentioned before, Steve Burton, who portrays the character, did not renew his contract and will be be leaving Y&R.  So, Dylan's fate hangs in the balance.  He may leave town leaving the door open for his return, with another actor playing the part.  Perhaps he'll hook up with Avery again, although that would be a mistake because she didn't treat him very well.  Once he's gone, where will that leave Sharon?  Will she try to mend fences with Nick?  Will she battle Chelsea for Nick's affections?

Well, fans, I am very pleased that Sally Sussman is taking over the reigns as head writer at The Young and the Restless.  I'm glad that she intends to focus on the core characters and their relationships. We've had enough explosions and baby snatching.  Thank goodness Sussman wants to move away from that!  You will undoubtedly notice a change in direction on the first episode with Sussman as head writer - Wednesday, December 7 (CBS), Tuesday, December 6 (Global TV in Canada).  There will be a traditional Abbott breakfast.

By the way, don't expect the character of Adam to resurface anytime soon.  In an an interview with TV Insider, Sally Sussman said that she is "not looking to bring the character back," nor is she planning to make a big issue of Christian's real paternity, at least right now.  "I don't see that we need it,"  she declared.  "Nick believes this baby is his and for all intents and purposes, it is."  She added that when and if an Adam shows up, "then we'll deal with it."    

In her interview with TV Insider, Sussman also revealed that "Jill is going to experience a serious personal crisis that will cause her to reevaluate her entire life."  I can only speculate what that might be.  Perhaps she'll have a close brush with death.  Maybe her crisis will have something to to with Colin.  Hmmm . . .



VIEWER FORUM

If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name.  
My email address:  jmadden16@yahoo.ca

Regular viewer Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario thinks it's obvious that Cane Aasby is going to get hooked on pain killers.  Fifi says she's not too thrilled about the prospect of that storyline.  

Yes, Fifi, it does seem that Sugar Cane is going to become addicted to the pills and I have to agree with you.that it doesn't sound appealing as a plotline.  We've already had so many addiction stories - Nikki, Neil, Jack - isn't that enough?  Why add Cane to the club?



CAST NEWS

Tristan Rogers (Colin Atkinson) is set to return to Y&R again



Tristan Rogers will be back as the roguish Colin Atkinson for four episodes in December.  He'll return again in January for a longer time  The Aussie announced his return on Twitter, despite having said that he would no longer appear on the show.  Rogers obviously changed his mind and his fans will be delighted that he did. His character really stirs thing up in Genoa City.



Y&R REPORT READERS' POLL



Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson) has been very busy lately developing products for Jabot.  She's been single and unattached for quite a while now.  Fans, whom do think would be a good match for her?  Now that Abby and Dr. Stitch have broken up, should she rekindle a romance with him.

There doesn't seem to be any suitable guys for Ashley on Y&R right now.  She and Dr. Neville would have made a good match.  It's too bad he was written out of the show before a romance could develop. Maybe Sally Sussman will bring Neville back, although that seems unlikely to happen.


Should Ashley and Dr. Stitch be a couple?

Yes. They seem to have a good connection.
No. Definitely not. Stitch is divorcing Ashley's daughter. It would be much too complicated.
No way. Stitch has too much baggage.
Dr. Neville should return. He and Ashley would make a good match.
No. Ashley should meet someone new.
It doesn't really matter to me.
Other
Please Specify:
QuizMaker



That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, December 10, 2016.  The month of December and the dawn of the New Year should be a lot of fun on Y&R.  We'll see what changes that Sally Sussman brings to the show amid all the Christmas and New Year activities in Genoa City.


NOTE TO MY FELLOW TORONTO Y&R FANS

On Sunday, December 4, I will be attending March of Dimes Canada;s fifth annual Toronto OpportuniTea High Tea with Kate Linder & Friends at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.  This year, Kate (Esther Valentine) will be joined by Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin), who will be co-hosting the event.  Other Y&R cast members appearing at the afternoon tea will be Sean Carrigan (Dr. Ben 'Stitch' Rayburn), Christel Khalil (Lily Winters) and Michael Roark (Travis Crawford).  For more information on the event, click on the following link:


I will report on the Toronto OpportuniTea High Tea with Kate Linder & Friends in the next Y&R Report on December 10th.


- Joanne

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Happy 91st Birthday to show business legend Kaye Ballard


To my mother’s horror, I wanted to be in show business. This notion was contrary to every conventional belief she possessed! Mama did her best to dislodge this foreign idea from my head: “You’re too ugly. You can’t be in show business the way you look!” She’d say, “Have a cannoli.” If my mother ever felt maternal pride in any of my achievements, she never shared those feelings with me. 

- Kaye Ballard
Interview with Alesis Hunter for Coachella Valley (CV) Independent, July 2014

The indomitable Kaye Ballard turns 91 years old today.  She was born Catherine Gloria Balotta on November 20, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, the daughter Italian immigrants Lena and Vincenzo (Vincent) Balotta.  She had three siblings: Orlando, Jean and Rosalie.

Kaye is a born entertainer.  In her 2014 interview with Alexis Hunter for CV Independent, she stated that she wanted to be in show business at early age.  "I knew I wanted to perform by the time I was five," she said, "and even before graduating for high school, I began to find work doing imitations of my favourite stars.  I worked all around Ohio."

A versatile, performer, she has had a long and distinguished career as an actress, comedian and singer.  Remarkably, her career has spanned well over 70 years.  During that time, she has done it all - burlesque, vaudeville, big bands, nightclubs, Broadway, movies and television.  However, she is probably best known for her role in the 1960s sitcom The Mothers-in-Law.

In 1941, the teenage Kaye performed in a USO stage production of Stage Door Canteen in her hometown of Cleveland.   Beginning in 1943, she toured with Spike Jones and his orchestra for two years as a featured vocalist and a flute/tuba player.  She then settled in New York and made her Broadway debut in 1946 in Three to Make Ready.  During the 1950s, she performed in Greenwich Village cabarets.

Publicity photo of Kaye Ballard from the 1950s

In 1951, Kaye made her television debut. She appeared as a regular on Henry Morgan's Great Talent Hunt, a show featuring people with offbeat talents.  The acts were interrupted by comedy skits and song.  Contrary to what you may think, it wasn't just an earlier version of The Gong Show or America's Got Talent.  According to The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946 -PresentHenry Morgan's Great Talent Hunt was actually "a satire on the Orignianl Amateur Hour-type program."

On March 31, 1957, Kaye Ballard and Alice Ghostley played the two wicked stepsisters in a live telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella with a young, up-and-comer named Julie Andrews in the role of Cinderella.  From 1961 to 1963, Kaye appeared regularly on NBC's Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall as a member of the "Kraft Music Hall Players."

During the 1950s and 1960s, Kaye was a frequent guest on countless TV/variety shows, appearing with Ed Sullivan, Jack Paar, Steve Allen, Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, Carol Burnett and more.  In 1964, she had a guest sport in an episode of The Patty Duke Show entitled "The Perfect Teenager" (Season 1, Episode 25, Air Date: March 4, 1964).  In the episode, Patty decides to take a modelling course in order to boost her self-confidence. She attends a school for would-be teenage models.and instructor, Mrs, Selby, is portrayed by Kaye.


Kaye Ballard as Mrs. Selby on The Patty Duke Show

From 1967 until 1969, Kaye played Kaye Buell on The Mother-in Law, an NBC comedy. The series was produced by Desi Arnaz and it was created by I Love Lucy writers Bob Carroll, Jr.and Madelyn Pugh Davis,  The premise of the show was this: Kaye Buell and her husband Roger (Roger C. Carmel) were next-door-neighbours to Eve and Herb Hubbard (Eve Arden and Herbert Rudley). Kaye and Roger's son, Jerry (Jerry Fogel), married Eve and Herb's daughter, Susie (Deborah Walley). Despite becoming in-laws, the parents displayed completely different temperaments.  The Buells were emotional, while the Hubbards were more reserved.  The two matriarchs, Kaye and Eve, continually meddled in their children's lives, much to the chagrin of their long-suffering husbands.

Due to low ratings, NBC wanted to cancel The Mothers-in-Law after just one season. Desi Arnaz, however, persuaded the network to give the show another chance and it returned for a second season. The cast, except for Roger C. Carmel, agreed to forgo a pay raise,  As a result of the salary dispute, Carmel was replaced by veteran actor Richard Deacon, known for his roles on Leave it to Beaver and The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Ratings for second season of Thee Mothers-in-Law failed to improve and NBC cancelled the series.  Although the show was short-lived, Kaye became typecast as a loud, Italian mother and it damaged her career.  "It's hard to get away from anything like that," she told Neil Genzlinger in a January 8, 2010 article for The New York Times.  "It's like the Fonz. Only he made a lot of money.  We didn't."

Below is a publicity photo of the two sets of parents from The Mothers-in-Law. From left: Roger C. Carmel, Herbert Rudley, Kaye Ballard and Eve Arden




Kaye Ballard was a regular on The Doris Day Show as Angie Palucci.  The Doris Day Show ran from 1968 until 1973, but Kaye didn't join the cast until 1970.  At the beginning of the third season, Doris and her two sons moved into an apartment in San Francisco. The apartment is owned by Angie and her husband, Louie (played by Bernie Kopell), who run an Italian restaurant on the ground floor. Other cast members included Rose Marie as Doris' frined Myrna Gibbons, a secretary at the magazine where they worked and MacLean Stevenson as Michael Nicholson, the magazine's editor.   By the start of the fourth season in the fall of 1971, the entire supporting class had left the series, including Kaye.  McLean Stevenson, of course, moved on to greater stardom on M*A*S*H as Lt. Col. Henry Blake.  By the fifth and last season, the cast of The Doris Day Show hasd been reduced to just three regular characters: Doris, her new boss Cy Bennett (John Dehner) and a secretary named Jackie Paarker (Jackie Joseph).


The Doris Day Show: Left to right: Doris Day, Rose Marie and Kaye Ballard

Kaye appeared with Lucille Ball in a 1971 episode of Here's Lucy entitled "Lucy and Harry's Italian Bombshell" (Season 4, Episode 3, Air Date: September 27, 1971).  She played Donna, a woman Lucy's boss, Harry (Gale Gordon) met in Italy during World War II.

Kaye was the  guest star on The Muppet Show.  She sang "One Note Samba" with Miss Piggy and played several musical instruments.

Kaye with Miss Peggy and Kermit the Frog

On March 11, 2014, at the age of 88, Kaye Ballard performed a "Going Out of Business" show for a sold-out audience at the Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs, California.  The one-night event, featuring nearly two hours of live entertainment, was billed as her possible final performance.  As Kaye put it, "I wanted to do one last show before I retired.  But the only business I know is show business, so I decided to say I was just going out of business."


END NOTES

* Kaye Ballard has never been married and has no children.  She is a long-time resident of Rancho Marage, Califonia, where a street is named in her honour.  It is called Kaye Ballard Lane. In the New York Times article by Neil Genzlinger, Kaye is quoted as saying, "Frank Sinatra had a street.  Dean Martin had a street.  I have a lane."

* In 1993, Kaye played the role of Mrs. Remo on the daytime soap opera All My Children.

* Desi Arnaz directed some episodes The Mothers-in Law and he also guest-starred in four episodes of the series as a bullfighter from Barcelona, Spain named Raphael Del Gado.

* Kaye is the author, along with Jim Hesselman, of a memoir titled How I Lost 10 Pounds in 53 Years: A Memoir.  It was published in 2006 by Back Stage Books and it includes a a forward by comedian Jerry Stiller.  Kaye also recorded a four-CD memoir called My Life, In My Own Words, With My Own Mouth, produced by Mastermind Studios.






- Joanne

Monday, November 14, 2016

Paul Sun Hyung Lee, Kim's Convenience and the Asian experience on Canadian TV

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee

I enjoy watching the sitcom Kim's Convenience on CBC. I'm particularly impressed by the work of Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, who plays the lead character of Mr. Kim or Appa (Korean for Dad), as his children call him.  Kim is the patriarch of a Korean Canadian family and the owner of a convenience store in the Regent Park area of Toronto.

Paul Sun--Hyung Lee was born in Daejeon, South Korea in 1972,  His parents immigrated to Canada when Lee was just three months old.  Growing up, he lived in London, Ontario, Toronto and then Calgary.  He later returned to Toronto to attend the University of Toronto, graduating from the drama program at University College.

From 2003 to 2005, Lee was a member of the cast of the Global Television soap opera Train 48.  He played the part of Randy Ko for the entire run of the series.  Lee also had a supporting role in the 2005 film Ice Princess as Tiffany's father and he appeared in the 2007 Canadian/American horror thriller P2.

In 2011, Paul Sun--Hyung Lee began playing the role of Mr. Kim on stage.  He appeared in several Toronto productions of Ins Choi's play, Kim's Convenience.  Lee also portrayed Mr. Kim with the Soulpepper theatre company as well as in an Off Broadway presentation of the play.  In 2016, he brought the role of Appa to television when it was adapted as a television series.

Speaking on CBC Radio's q, Lee told guest host Candy Palmater that he brought elements of his own father into his portrayal of Mr. Kim, especially his father's "quirky sense of humour."  He said that Mr. Kim is "an amalgam of all these great, strong Korean men"  he grew up with as a child. Unlike his character, Lee does not speak with a heavy Korean accent.  In fact, he revealed to Palmateer that he originally had a difficult time voicing a Korean accent because "it was one of those things where I could have a mental block because growing up I wanted to assimilate and be so Canadian that subconsciously I just pushed away my Korean heritage. And my Korean accent would sound like I was Russian."


The rest of the cast of Kim's Convenience

Jean Yoon,plays Kim's wife and co-owner of the convenience store.  Mrs. Kim is known as "Umma," (Korean for mother).  An actor and playwright based in Toronto, Yoon originated the role of Mrs. Kim, in the Soulpepper theatrical version of Kim's Convenience.

Jean Yoon as Mrs.Kim

The Kims have two children.  Their son, Jung, is portrayed by Simu Liu.  Simu (born April 19, 1989), is a Canadian actor, director, stuntman and writer.  Born in Harbin, China, he immigrated to Canada when he was five years old.  He studied accounting and finance at the University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario) and was employed as an accountant before becoming an actor.

When Simu's character, Jung, was 16 years old, he had a falling out with Appa involving a physical fight and stolen money.  He was kicked out of the family home.  Although still estranged from his father, Jung secretly contacts his mother and his sister, Janet.


Simu Liu   Photo Attribution: Aznrom3o

Andrea Bang plays the Kims' daughter, Janet.  Bang is a Canadian actress of Korean descent, born in Burnaby, British Columbia.  She graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of British Columbia (UBC).  She pursued graphics, art and fashion design before launching an acting career.,  She was hesitant because she didn't see many people of Asian background.on North American televison,

Andrea Bang's character, Janet, studies photography at an art school.  In an October 6, 2016 article by Craig Takeuchi in The Georgia Straight, she describes Janet as the one character "who's able to go into Umma and Appa's world, but also Jung's world."  "A lot of things are filtered through her," said the Vancouver area native.

Takeuchi characterizes Janet as the "true nexus of the familial relationship" because she is still on cordial terms with all family members.


Andrea Bang

People of Asian background have not had a strong presence on North Americnan television.  When the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat premiered in 2015, it became the first Asian-American sitcom since All-American Girl in 1994.  All American Girl, starred Margaret Cho as the rebellious teenage daughter of a traditonal Korean-American family.  The series was cancelled after only one season.

With its depiction of Korean-Canadian life, Kim's Convenience is a groundbreaking.TV series.  Lucas in his article for tvo.com (TV Ontario's website), describes the sitcom as the first mainstream Canadian television show with a lead cast of Asian background. Costello also argues that the CBC and Canadian television is general are far behind in reflecting the diversity of Canada's population.

Joel Rubinoff, in his November 6, 2016 piece for the Waterloo Region Record, writes that Kim's Convenience is "a hilarious depiction of a Canadian-Korrean family that, in its fearless desire to stir the pot, comes off like Archie Bunker meets The King of Kensington." 

Mr. Kim has worked hard all his life and is very old school.  For all his good qualities, he has elements of Archie Bunker in him.  He doesn't like the Japanese because "they invaded Korea."  He doesn't want his daughter Janet to buy Japanese products.

According to Rubinoff, the "genius of Kim’s Convenience is that despite its intentionally rough edges, its main characters are sympathetic, flawed beings who make occasional missteps but learn from their mistakes.  And they feel real, not - in grand CBC tradition - like generic holograms mouthing platitudes about diversity."

END NOTES

* When Kim's Convenience playwright Ins Choi and his parents moved from South Korea to Canada, they stayed with an uncle who had a Toronto area convenience store called Kim's Grocer.

* Andrea Bang's sister, Diana Bang is also an actress.  She has appeared in films such as The Interview (2014), Entanglement (2016) and The Master Cleanse (2016).  She is also a member of an Asian Canadian sketch comedy troupe called Assaulted Fish.

* Paul Sun-Hyung Lee a real life "appa."  He is the father of two sons.


- Joanne

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Y&R Report (November 12, 2016): The Latest on The Young and The Restless


Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance.


Poor baby Sully/Christian!  The little guy is caught in the crossfire of several selfish and foolhardy adults. At least Dylan avoided having a physical fight with Nick over the little boy.  Someday that poor child is going to be confused.  Just wait until the other seccret comes out!  How will Nick react when he eventually learns that Adam is Christian/Sully's biological father?  Will Chelsea choose to marry Nick so that she can be a mother to her beloved Adam's child and Connor can have a little brother?

Poor Faith.  He family situation is so confusing.  She's more mature than most of the adults in her life. Her father, Nick, needs anger management classes.  He smashed glasses at The Underground restautant.  He burst into Sharon's place like a caveman and demanded his child immediately.  He had no thought about upsetting Sully/Christian and disrupting the baby's routine.  He wss really cruel to Sharon when she brought some of Christian/Sully's toys over to his place.  He wanted no part of a birthday party for the child that Dylan had planned.  Yes, Sharon deceived him.  However, he should be absolutely overjoyed to have his son back (the child he thinks is his son).  He should also look at his past behaviour before judging Sharon so harshly.  It'a a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Chelea wasn't too impressed with Nick's treatment of Sharon.  Don't forget that she also witnessed his glass-throwing tantrum.  She may think twice before telling him the truth about Christian/Sully's paternity.  By the way, according to an online spoiler, Sharon and Chelsea are goong to clash over Nick.

Christian/Sully is really smart and cute.  He is portrayed by twins Jamie and Alister Tobias

Baby Sully with Sharon and Dylan

Not surprisingly, Victor Newman has contributed to the ruination of another of his daughter Victoria's romances.  Travis and Victoria's relationship began to deteriorate the moment Travis decided to accept a comfortable position at Newman Enterprises.  Another irritant is Billy Abbott's continued presence in Victoria's life.  Travis can't accept their connection, despite the fact that they have children together.  That's why he cheated on Victoria with is ex-love, Michelle, who is in town for a visit. Although he regrets his infidelity, he's not going to tell Princess Victoria about it.  When she finds out, Travis will wind up in the doghouse.

If Victoria and her boyfriend break up, the path will clear for Billy to make his move on Miss Brass & Sassy, Jill will certainly be thrilled, but "The Moustache" will not be amused at all.  As usual, Daddy Dearest will do everything in his power to come between them.  Still, V and B seem headed for a reconciliation at some point.  Complicatinos will arise, however, when it is revealed that Billy is the father of Chloe's daughter, Bella..  Victor will probably find out about it and use the information to prevent his daughter and Billy Boy from reuniting.

I doubt that Michelle will give up on Travis so easily.  Sh is divorcing her husband and wants him back. She's smart enough to realize that his heart is with Victoria, so she won't push him.  If Victoria breaks up with him, though, Michelle will undoubtedly pursue him again.  This time her competitin won't come from Victoria but from another Newman - Abby.  Abby will soon be Stitchless, so she may set her sights on Travis.  As for Dr. Stitch'em-up, he'll probably hook up with Ashley Abbott again.  If that should happen, It will be interesting to see how her daughter Abby reacts.

Phyllis and Jack started up again, just after they signed divorce papers.  They kissed and Jack won't be able to get that kiss out of his mind.  Phyllis will be more determined than ever to win him back.

What's with Noah?  He doesn't seem to have anyy direction in his life.  He just seems to be drifting, occasionally helping out at his father Nick's restaurant, The Underground.  Noah made an interesting point, though.  He said he'd rather be pouring drinks than working for Grandpa Victor at Newman Enterprises.

Here are some things I'd like to do if I could visit Genoa City.  I'd like to take a stroll in Chancellor Park and enjoy some refreshments at Crimson Lights.  I'd like to visit GC Buzz and I'd like to try Ashley's new app, "Jabot Go."  My list is much longer but I will same some items for another time.

Tale note, fans.  The first episode from new head writer Sally Sussman will be shown on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 (Tuesday, December 6 on Global TV in Canada).  The direction the show will be taking is evident as you can tell by the cast news below.  Sussman wants to return the focus to the core families and the core storylines.  As far as I'm concerned, that's great news.


CAST NEWS

Gloria Fisher Bardwell (Judith Chapman) returning for Christmas storyline


Judith Chapman

Judith Chapman will be reprising her role as Gloria Bardwell for a Christmas storyline. Her first airing will be Wednesday, December 21 on CBS (Tuesday, December 20 on Global TV).  She's a fun character, very sassy and scheming.  It's about time she visited her sons, Michael Baldwin and Kevin Fisher.  They haven't mentioned their mother in ages.

According to Soap Central, new headwriter Sally Sussman is rumoured to be a big fan of the Gloria character.  Could this mean we'll be seeing a lot more of the golddigging matriarch?  That's entirely possible.  For now, though. Judith Chapman,ouldn't be more delighted to be back on Y&R.  "This is all such a nice surprise," Chapman told Soap Central.com  "I had truly made peace with the idea that I would never be called back to the show."


Beth Maitland back as Traci Abbot


Beth Maitland

Fan favourite Beth Maitland is returning to The Young and Restless as sweet Traci Abbott.  Beth told TV Insider that Traci will return to Genoa City on Novermber 17th on CBS (November 16th on Global TV).  It is possible, with Sally Sussman as the new head wrter that Beth's stay could be more permanent.  If Traci were to move back to Genoa City, the Abbott family would be reunited.  Traci is warm-hearted and helpful (What a diffeernce between her and some of the other charcters on the show).  She also provides a link to the show's past and all the Abbott glory years.


Kelly Frye has joined Y&R as Michelle


Kelly Frye

Former General Hospital star, Kelly Frye, has arrived in Genoa City.  She portays Michelle Hazelton, the woman from Travis Crawford's past.  It's uncertain how long Kelly will hang around GC, but according to Soap Central.com, rumour has it that she'll be staying for a while.

Kelly was born in Houston, Texas on December 6, 1984 and has four brothers.  She graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a BBA in International Business and Business Law.  In addition to her role as Ivy on GH, her television credits include appearances on Anger Management (2012), NCIS: Los Angeles (2013), The Flash (2014), NCIS (2015) and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (2016).  On her Twitter page, Kelly writes that she "loves pizza & being silly."  She's also "a bigtime Houston Rockets fan."



Rumours of Michael Muhney's return



Right now there is no solid evidence that Michael will be returning to The Young and the Restless. However, the Internet is awash with rumours about Michael's return to the role of Adam Newman. Some fans have become encouraged by some comments he has written on Twitter.  The fate of Adam Newman is still up in the air.  The character is presumed dead, but that doesn't carry much weight on a soap opera.  Still, nothing is certain,  Is it a real possibility or is it just wishful thinking on the part of fans?  Will Adam return from the dead for the second time?  What about the ugly allegations that led to Musney's firing?  How will Hunter King react if he is rehired?  Y&R Report will keep you posted.


Y&R REPORT READERS' POLL



Sharon Collins Newman Abbott Newman McAvoy is one of the most disliked women in Genoa City. She has a history of lying and keeping secrets.  She also suffers from bipolar disorder. Wicked Dr. Andersnon drugged her and deceived her.  How much sympathy do you have for her?


How much sympathy do you have for Sharon?

None. She's a liar and she's selfish.
Some. She's no angel but she was a victim of Dr. Anderson and she does have a mental illness.
I have a great deal of sympathy for Sharon. She was caught in a difficult situation and Nick and the others are no better.
I don't know.
Other
Please Specify:
made here



That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday November 26, 2016.  In the meantime, enjoy the November sweeps.  Fans, don't forget that if you have any comments on Y&R or on anything I've written, I welcome your feedback and I will publish your comments.
My email address:  jmadden16@yahoo.ca


- Joanne

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Internet TV Digest #2


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This is the second of an occasional feature on TV Banter called Internet TV Digest.. Internet TV Digest contains recent news, information and discussion about online television.

Here's what's new on Nexflix for the month of November

The big premiere on Nexis this month is The Crown (arriving November 4th), a docudrama that follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II.  The Crown consists of 10 hour-long episodes and it stars British actors Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth and former Dr. Who star Matt Smith as Prince Philip.  Netflix will also present four original comedy specials from funnymen Dana Carvey (Straight White Male, 60arriving November 4). Colin Quinn (Colin Quinn: The New York Story, arriving on November 18), Michael Che (Michael Che Matters, arriving November 29) and Dieter Nuhr (The German comedian's special, Dieter Nuhr: Nuhr in Berlin will arrive on November 15).

Movies on Netfix's November schedule include Richard Linklater's highly acclaimed coming-of-age film Boyhood (arriving on November 25) and the Coen brothers' 2008 black comedy Burn After Reading (arriving on November 16).

Netflix will also release an original film called True Memoirs of an International Assassin, starring Kevin James.  It is an action-comedy about an overweight action writer who is mistakenly identified as real assassin due to the accidental publication of his novel as a work of non-fiction.  It is set to be released on Netflix on November 11.



Note: Nexis has pledged to present 50 percent original content.


Ustream

On January 21, 2016, International Business Machines Corp.(IBM) announced that it had acquired Ustream Inc., a provider of cloud-based video services to businesses and broadcasters. Ustream Inc. Ustream was founded in 2007 and is based in San Francisco, California.  Its slogan is "The Future of Video."  The company streams live and on-demand videos to such clients as Samsung, Facebook and the Discovery Channel.  It streams everything from events such as concerts to corporate keynote addresses.  Ustream attracts over 80 million viewers a month.

According to a Wall Street Journal article by Robert McMillan,  IBM purchased Ustream in a deal valued at $130 million.  In the WSJ article, Steve Canepa, the general manager of telecommunications and media and entertainment at IBM, is quoted as saying, "Video is finding its way into the core of how you provide value to customers."

IBM is competing with Amazon.com Inc., which acquired its own video streaming company, Elemental Technologies, in 2015.


Newspaper says large number of Brits using legal software Kodi to search for illegal streaming

The British tabloid Daily Mirror reported today that a large number of Brits are using legal software to find illegal streams of sporting events and films.  It says they are using Kodi to avoid paying for costly premium content.  Kodi is an open-source software designed for home entertainment and it is free.  It was initially created for the Microsoft Xbox.

According to a digital platform security company called Irdeto, more than 20 million people worldwide are searching online for instructions on how to get hold of illegal streams through means of apps such as Kodi, These apps are known as "addons."  Mark Mulready, senior director of cyber services and investigations at Irdeto, stated that there is a trend for British consumers to exploit legal devices such as set-up boxes, Android devices and software centres "to illegally receive premium content, including movies, TV shows and sports channels which are protected by intellectual property rights - whether they realize the legalities or not."  Mulrady wants to fight this kind of online piracy through strong enforcement and investigation.


- Joanne

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Y&R Report (October 29, 2016): The Latest on The Young and The Restless


Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance.

It's about time!  Sharon's dirty little secret will finally be revealed on Tuesday, November 1 on CBS (Monday, October 31 on Global TV here in the True North.  Sharon Case, who plays Sharon, made the following comment to TV Insider: "I guess a good soap secret is one that's kept for a long time.  Half the people in Genoa City are involved in this and a lot of lives will be changed once the news breaks."  The news will break on GC Buz and Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott), for one, will be livid.  According Case, there will be some good scenes between her character and Nikki who already loathes Sharon.  They'll have quite the confrontation.

I don't know if I completely agree with Sharon Case on her first point, that a good soap secret is kept for a long time.  Yes, a soap secret definitely should remain hidden for a time, but there are limits. After a while, viewers tend to lose patience.  They want the secret to come out.  Otherwise, they lose interest and they don't really care when the truth comes to light.  Sharon's baby secret regarding Sully has reached that point.  It's a good thing her lies will soon be exposed.  As for Case's second point, that Sharon's actions will affect the lives of many Genoa City residents, I couldn't agree more.  Sharon is about to become one of the most unpopular persons in Genoa City, a pariah.  So,who will lend her some support?  The only one I can think of is Mariah.

There is, of course, another secret, that has nothing to do with Sharon.  In fact Sharon doesn't even know about it.  She isn't aware that Adam is Sully's biological father.  So, only part of the story is soon to be revealed.   For the foreseeable future, Nick will continue to believe he's Sully/Christian's father.  Chelsea knows the truth, but she promised Sage that she would never tell Nick.  Will Chelsea honour her pledge to Sage?  That is hard to predict.  However, someday the truth will be revealed, whether it comes from Chelsea or not.

Abby and Dr. Stitch 'em Up's marriage doesn't seem likely to survive.  Neither does Princess Victoria's relationship with Travis.  As I wrote in the last edition of Y&R Report, it is quite obvious that Victor's interference will come between them.  Travis has already gotten on Daddy Victor's bad side  by suspecting that someone in Newman's own family was leaking sensitive information to Jack Abbott.  Then he had lunch with Abby to try determine whether she was the culprit.  That didn't sit well with Dr. Stitch and it certainly didn't sit well with Victor.  It won't be long before Victor will be referring to Travis as a "punk and a playboy."


 A heartbroken Abby informed Dr. Stitch that she'll be filing for divorce. She made that decision after seeking advice from Daddy Victor who was been married and divorced so many times he's lost count. Actually, neither Abby nor Stitch have tried very hard to keep their marriage together.  They appear to be throwing in the towel without putting up that much of a fight. They are unwilling or unable to deal with adversity.  It also seems to me that Abby quite enjoyed the attention from Travis and her champagne lunch with him.  I wouldn't be surprised if those two eventually hook up.

Computer nerd Natalie Soderberg is back in town and she has a new job.  She's Victor Newman's executive assistant.  I have to admit the character has grown on me a bit.  I've been trying to figure out why Victor hired her.  After all "The Moustache" doesn't do anything without a reason.  Natalie says she has to work again because she squandered most of the money she made on the Pass Key deal.  I wonder if she's telling the truth about that.


Dave, the silent security guard is a fun character.  I get a kick out of watching him as he keeps an eye on Billy Boy Abbott.  He provides some comic relief from all the tension between Jack, Billy, Phyllis and Ashley.

Y&R text messages are now being blown up on the screen for viewers.  That's a good move.  It was terribly difficult to read the text messages on the phone.  They camera zoomed in on them so quickly and they were gone before you could finish reading them.  You couldn't read them at all if you had poor vision.

There have been  more outdoor scenes this past year on the show, especially in Chancellor Park.  I enjoy those scenes.  We've seen the stars of the show in their cool sunglasses.

It's good to see Esther back in the swing of things.  However, I don't know why she chose to dress up in her French maid uniform for Halloween.  She wore that silly outfit everyday for years when she worked for Katherine Chancellor.  You'd think she'd be sick of it.  You'd think she'd never want to wear it again.  I'm surprised she didn't get rid of it.

It was interesting to hear Jack Abbott admit his doubts about his ability to bring Victor down.  He complained to Phyllis that Victor always ends up on top and wondered why his latest scheme to dethrone his enemy would turn out any differently.  Jack is like Wile E. Coyote in the Road Runner cartoons.  He will never catch the Roadrunner, but he continues to chase him.

Hillary is really a piece of work and she really enjoys being a gossip queen.  If it weren't for Devon reigning her in, she'd really get down and dirty.

Why doesn't Mariah show Kevin that there are other fish in the sea?  She should find someone else instead of waiting around for him. Isn't she tired of playing second banana to Chloe and Natalie?



CAST NEWS

Abhi Sinha will play new character on Y&R


Indian-American actor Abhi Sinha has been cast to to play the role of Ravi Shapur on The Young and the Restless.  According to Soap Opera Digest, he will be employed at one of Genoa City's most successful companies.  Would that be Newman Enterpirises by any chance?  Ravi has been described as an "attractive nerd."  He sounds like a good match for Natalie, doesn't he?  She works at Newman now too.  Our little Snowflake, Summer, is another possibility for Ravi.  He'll certainly run into her at Newman.

Sinha, 26, was born in Mumbai (Bombay), India and raised primarily in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He will be appearing on several episodes of Y&R beginning on Monday, December 12 (CBS), Friday, December 9 (Global-TV, Canada).  His previous acting credits include The Social Network, The Conjuring II, NCIS and Freeform's Chasing Life.  

Y&R REPORT READERS' POLL


Jack Abbott is leading the charge against Victor again

The feud between the Newman's and the Abbotts is heating up again with Jack plotting a new plan of revenge against Victor.  We all expect Victor to win, as usual.  Jack himself has acknowledged that Victor always comes out on top.  So, fans, is the feud becoming tiresome or do you still enjoy it?  Do you still watch even though you know the outcome?  After all. people still watch Road Runner cartoons even though the coyote will never capture the Road Runner.  The feud is the source of many secondary storylines too, even though it has been going on for years.  What do you think, fans?  Have you had enough of it?


Are you tired of the feud between the Newmans and the Abbotts?

Yes, it's been going on too long.  It has become boring and predictable.
No, not at all.  It creates excitement and it's fun.
No, but I'm tired of Victor winning all the time.
No, but the writing could be be better.
It makes no difference to me.
Don't know
Other
Please Specify:
Inspirational quotes


That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, November 12, 2016.  The November sweeps will be well underway by that time and there will be lots to discuss.  Fans, don't forget that if you have any comments on Y&R or on anything I've written, I welcome your feedback and I will publish your comments.
My email address:  jmadden16@yahoo.ca


- Joanne