Thursday, September 19, 2019

Whoa! Keeping up with Joey Lawrence

Joey Lawrence is a former teen heartthrob whose heyday was in the 1990s.  He was included in TV Guide's list of "TV's 25 Greatest Teen Idols" (January 23, 2005 issue).  He has been a presence on American television for over 35 years.

Joey was born Joseph Lawrence Mignogna Jr. on April 20, 1976 in Abington, Pennsylvania and raised in nearby Philadelphia.  He is the son of Donna, a personnel manager and former teacher, and Joseph Lawrence Mignogna, an insurance broker,  Joey has two younger brothers, Matthew Lawrence (born February 11, 1980) and Andrew Lawrence (born January 12, 1988), who are also actors.  Joey and his siblings are of Italian and English ethnicity.  When Joey began acting, he changed his surname to "Lawrence," his middle name at birth.  The rest of the family followed suit.

Joey Lawrence began his career as a child star in the 1980s.  He got his start in TV commercials for such products as Cracker Jack, Chips Ahoy!, Rice Krispies and the Smurf video game for the ColecoVision game system.  He also appeared in a Buckle Up Seat Belt public service announcement.

Joey appeared in a 1982 episode of Diff'rent Strokes entitled "Big Brother" (Season 5, Episode 4, Air Date: October 23, 1982).  At the age of five, he performed the song "Give My Regards to Broadway" on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.   At the age of six, he moved to Los Angeles and became a regular on the TV comedy Gimme a Break!.  He played adorable moppet Joey Donovan on the series from 1983 to 1987.  His younger brother, Matthew, portrayed Matthew Donovan in 18 episodes of the show, from 1986 to 1987.

Joey on Gimme a Break!

At 14, Joey was cast in the NBC sitcom Blossom.  For five seasons, from 1990 to 1995, he played Joey Russo on the series, co-starring with Mayim Bialik, who portrayed his TV sister. The show was a huge hit and Joey shot to fame as a teen idol, appearing on the cover of numerous fan magazines.  While on Blossom. Joey also popularized the catchphrase "Whoa!."  During an appearance on HuffPost Live, he revealed that he first used "whoa" as a joke. "That word was great," he declared.  "It's so weird that word has transcended 20 years."

Joey Lawrence (far right) and the cast of Blossom

In 1994, at the age of 18, Joey Lawrence graduated from Abington Friends School. a Quaker-run prep school founded in 1697.  It is located in suburban Jenkintown, Pennsylvania (just north of Philadelphia). That was no small accomplishment since the young actor had spent so much of his life on television sets.  In a People magazine article, he lauded his "wonderful" tutor, Miriam Richards, who "constantly communicated with the school and made me feel like Abington was a major part of my life."  By following AFS's curriculum, Joey was able to remain a student there from kindergarten to graduation.  He later attended the University of Southern California.

From 1995 to 1997, Joey starred in the sitcom Brotherly Love, along with his real life brothers, Matt and Andy Lawrence.  Joey played Joe Roman, who returns to Philadelphia a year after his father's accidental death, to claim his share of the estate - a car customizing business.  He finds himself reunited with his two half brothers, 15-year-old Matt (Matthew Lawrence) and seven-year-old Andy (Andrew Lawrence).

Brotherly Love only ran for two seasons, but it made an impression on millennial viewers who watched reruns of the show on the Disney Channel.  Below is a photo of the three Lawrence Brothers in their Brotherly Love days - Left to Right: Matthew, Andrew and Joey.

From 2005 to 2006, Joey Lawrence had a recurring role as Brett Mahoney in Half & Half, a comedy about two half-sisters who share the same father, but are very different.  They live in the same apartment building and regularly have disagreements.

In 2006, Joey teamed up with professional ballroom dancer Edyta Sliwinska and appeared on Dancing with the Stars.  The pair finished third in the competition.  Joey told People magazine at the time that after the gruelling dance rehearsals, "I wake up and the balls of my feet are on fire."

In 2007, Joey portrayed a character named Clay Dobson co-starred in three episodes of the crime series CSI:NY.  From 2010 to 2015, Joey and Melissa Joan Hart starred in the family sitcom Melissa & Joey.  Melissa played Melanie "Mel" Burke, a local politician and Joey portrayed Joseph "Joe" Longo, the man whom Mel hires to be her family's nanny.  After four seasons and more than 100 episodes, ABC cancelled the popular series.

Since 2017, Joey has had a recurring role on Hawaii Five-0 as escaped criminal Aaron Wright.

Joey Lawrence has been married twice.  He wed Michelle Vella in 2002.  They divorced in 2005.  On July 3, 2005 Joey married Chandie Yawn-Nelson, whom he first met during a 1993 vacation at Disney World in Florida when they were teenagers.  The duo set up an ice cream date back then, but since they were only teens, they went their separate ways.  Joey told People magazine that, "Being the cheesy romantic that I was, I said 'Hey look, there's the Disney wedding chapel!  Maybe we'll get married there one day.'  Long story short, we did!"  Their 2005 nuptials took place at Disney World.


The couple have two children, a son named Charleston "Charli" Lawrence (born May 10, 2006) and a daughter, Liberty Grace Lawrence (born March 4, 2010). " Liberty" is a name that Joey has always liked and "Grace" is after his grandmother.

In recent years, Joey Lawrence has fallen on hard times.  He and his family have gone through some dire financial circumstances.  In March of 2018, The Blast reported that Joey and his wife Chandie had filed for bankruptcy.  The Chapter 7 bankruptcy case was reportedly settled on April 6, 2018.  According to court documents obtained by US Weekly, the couple sold "items of clothing, accessories and furniture prior to bankruptcy."


* In May of 1994, Joey Lawrence was designated as one of People magazine's "Most Beautiful People in the World."

* Joey is a musician.  In 1993, a song called "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix," from his eponymous debut album, reached number 19 in the Billboard Hot 100 and number 13 in the UK Singles Chart.  In 2017, Joey and his two brothers, Matt and Andy, formed a band called Still Three.  They released a single called "Lose Myself."

* Joey shaved off his thick, long locks to play a police officer in the 2006 horror film Rest Stop.  Soon after, he appeared on Dancing with the Star and its producers liked the Mr. Clean look.  "People either love it or" he told People magazine in 2006.  "But I like it, so who cares."

* Joey supports the March of Dimes charity.

* Joey made a cameo appearance in a 2006 advertisement for Ice Breakers gum, featuring sisters Hillary and Haylie Duff.

Joey Lawrence


Us Weekly, "Joey Lawrence and Wife Sold Clothes Before Filing for Bankruptcy," by Sarah Hearon, March 9, 2018; People magazine, "Whoa, it's Joey!," by Monica Rizzo, November 13, 2006; People magazine, "Class of '94, by Michael Lipton, June 27, 1994; The List, What ever happened to Joey from Blossom?; by Ariel Karline; TV, Celebrities: Joey Lawrence; Wikipedia; International Movie Data Base (IMDb) 

- Joanne

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Y&R Report (Saturday, September 14, 2019): 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 can't be true!  Victor Newman hasn't really breathed his last, has he?  Did the invincible man meet his match in his own son?  Stop right there!  Don't worry, fans!  Victor is not really dead.  We have not seen the last of "The Moustache."  Eric Braeden's character is far too popular for the writers to just kill him off.  Y&R would not alienate its viewers by making such a move.  As far as I know, Eric Braeden has not announced that he is retiring or leaving the show.  I think Victor's "death" is part of a scheme cooked up between Dr. Nate, Nick and Victor himself.  Dr. Nate probably figured out evil Adam's game from the results of  Victor's blood test.  They know he's tampered with Victor's medication in order to have his father incapacitated by the extra side effects.

Victor has been distrustful of Adam. He wants to protect himself and the rest of the family from his wayward son's diabolical attempt to bring down the Newman clan.  Victor will likely show up in some hidden location watching Adam's every move  like a hawk.  He'll have the upper hand as long as Adam believes that his father has died.  The reason I think Nick knows what's going on is that he warned Adam about what he would do if autopsy linked him to Victor's death.

We all know that this Adam plot has a lot of holes in it.  Granted, this is a soap opera and it's not expected to be realistic, but have some respect for the intelligence of viewers.  There is no way Phyllis could have hacked into Victor Newman's medical records in two seconds flat.  Also, who was that woman who brought extra doses of Victor's medication to Adam?   A rogue nurse?  A rogue pharmacist?  A rogue doctor?  Supposedly, Adam payed her off handsomely, but how easy would it be to find a health professional who would take a risk like that?

Adam's reaction to Victor's supposed demise is puzzling.  He hasn't exactly been as cool as a cucumber and he's not shouting with glee, but neither has he displayed a great deal of remorse or grief at his father's "death."  He told Phyllis that he didn't intend to kill Victor, only to incapacitate him..  Isn't that bad enough?  He must have realized that his actions could have led  to the death of a vulnerable man with a blood disease.

Snowflake certainly had a fan in Zoe.  The upstart young blonde was determined to be a social media star, "an influencer," just like her idol, Summer Newman.  Perhaps Summer should have been flattered to be so admired.  However, she just seemed annoyed whenever Zoe fawned over her.  Her attitude toward Zoe was very condescending, while Zoe was not exactly thrilled that her idol constantly spurned  her.  Methinks that Snowflake Sr. underestimated the deviousness of Snowflake Jr.

Zoe is very cunning.   She goes after what she wants and tries to stop anyone in her way, even her idol.  That makes her dangerous!  She demonstrated that by spiking the drinks at the Grand Phoenix party.  Summer has never done something that wicked.  Sharon and Devon could have died.  Although Paul and Rae arrested Zoe, Clueless and Company did not get the goods on her.  It was Phyllis who provided the evidence by recording an incriminating conversation with her.  Zoe didn't seem too upset about going to jail.  She was more concerned about her status on social media.  That's probably the last we'll see of her, at least for now.

Since when did Chelsea and Lola become singers?  We don't know, but there they were backing up Tessa when she sang opening of the Grand Phoenix Lounge.  Chef Lola is amazingly talented, isn't she?  Her career certainly fast.  In almost no time flat, she's gone from running a food truck to being a gourmet chef.  She's made it look easy, too.

I must say, the Y&R writers have a fixation on rising from the dead.  In addition to all the characters they've resurrected, they have named a hotel after a phoenix, a mythical bird that rises from the ashes.

It's interesting that both Jack Abbott and Sharon left town town to find themselves and its no surprise that they ran into each other.  Jack is taking a page from Victor's book.  He's heading out on the road to figure out what's missing from his life.  One answer is obvious for Jack.  He needs to find the right woman.  He doesn't have a very good record with relationships.  Neither does Sharon, for that matter.  However, the two had a heart-filled and friendly conversation about their failed relationships.


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:

I received an email from regular contributor CC in Etobicoke.  Here's wat CC had to say.

Hi Joanne

Just saying
Curious minds are wondering . . .
After Adam stole Dr Nate's iPad to get info on Victor's illness and treatment, and then was confronted by Nate, the whole thing was just dropped.  No mention of him reporting it, replacing it etc.  The powers that be must think the audience members are lame.  On the other hand, perhaps it will be resurrected when Adan's actions to seek revenge on Victor come to the fore.

They should't underestimate our intelligence.  However, as you say, the missing tablet may come to the fore later on.  Still, I wouldn't necessarily count on that happening.  Remember when it was revealed that J.T. Hellstrom was taking medication for a heart condition and he was seeing a cardiologist?  I thought that might be further involved in the plot but it was never mentioned again.

Longtime Y&R viewer, Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario. had some comments about the show.  Fifi is not impressed with the storylne about Adam messing with Victor's medication.  She told me that she doesn't enjoy watching it and fast forwards past those scenes.  She fears that it will put similar ideas into the heads of mentally unstable people and impressionable youngsters.  Fifi feels the same way about Zoe spiking the drinks at the Grand Phoenix party.

Melissa Claire Egan in Hallmark Christmas TV movie

Fans of Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea Lawson) will be interested to know that she will starring in a new Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Christmas television movie.  It is called Holiday for Heroes and is scheduled to air on November 8th.

Holiday for Heroes is the story of a woman who becomes pen pals with a soldier.  They write to each other until they eventually meet in person.

Kate Linder (Esther) has role in true crime film

Kate Linder (Esther Valentine) has a role in a feature film and she won't be wearing a maid's uniform.  Nor will she holding a duster.  This time, Kate will appear in a burglary drama called Echo Boomers.  The film is based on a true story about five unhappy post-graduates who deal with a unfair economy by robbing from the wealthy and giving to themselves.  It stars Lesley Ann Warren, Oliver Cooper, Michael Shannon and Patrick Schwarzenegger.

Echo Boomers will be released in 2020.


Y&R's head writer, Josh Griffith, has been very active in bringing back several familiar faces to the show.  We've seen the return of characters such as Chelsea and Kevin and Michelle Stafford is playing the role of Phyllis.again.  Of the returning actors, which one pleases you the most?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Several actors have returned to Y&R recently. Which one are you the most pleased about?

Melissa Claire Egan as Chelsea Lawson
Michelle Stafford as Phyllis Summers
Greg Rikaart as Kevin Fisher
Elizabeth Hendrickson as Chloe Mitchell
None of the above
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Created with Poll Maker

That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, September 28, 2019.  As the autumn leaves begin to fall in Genoa City, Wisconsin, we will watch the latest happenings on Y&R.

- Joanne

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Whatever happened to Joyce DeWitt?

Joyce Anne DeWitt was born on April 23, 1959 in Wheeling, West Virginia, the second oldest of the four children of Paul and Norma DeWitt.  She has Dutch ancestry on her father's side and Italian on her mother's.

Joyce was raised in Speedway, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis.  She graduated from Speedway Senior High School and later later attended Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she earned a bachelor's degree in theatre.  Following graduation, Joyce performed in summer stock in Chicago.  Until then, her plan had been to go to New York.  "I never even thought about going to Hollywood," she told Sitcoms.Online in 2011.  However,  a guest director that summer happened to be one of the senior professors at the University of California, Los Angeles' (UCLA) Department of Theater.  He relentlessly urged her to move to Los Angeles and enroll in the school's Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program.

A reluctant Joyce finally relented and agreed to attend UCLA for a while, but wound up receiving her Master Degree in 1974.  "Life unfolded," she explained to Sitcoms Online, "and within a couple of years there was Three's Company and I had this MFA and life just unfolded.  It's kind of like, your life will lead you.  If you don't try and figure it out too much and you just kind of follow your heart and that's what happened  I ended up in Hollywood, I was never going there.  And I got very lucky; I got very lucky indeed."

Joyce De Witt made her television acting debut in two 1975 episodes of Baretta, "The Goodbye Orphan Annie Blues" and "Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth" in which she was uncredited.  She portrayed Janet Wood on Thee's Company from 1977 until 1984, after being cast in the show's 1976 second pilot episode, which was never aired.  Three's Company was a huge hit and Joyce was catapulted to television stardom.

Along with John Ritter and Suzanne Somers, Joyce appeared on the ABC sitcom about a man and two women who are platonic roommates in a Santa Monica, California apartment.  It was based on the British comedy, Man About the House, which aired on ITV from 1973 until 1976.  John Ritter played culinary student Jack Tripper, while Suzanne played blond Chrissy Snow, a legal secretary,  and Joyce played dark-haired Janet Wood, who was employed at a flower shop.  Chrissy, the daughter of a minister, was the stereotype of "dumb blonde."

Below is a 1977 publicity photo with L to R: Joyce, Suzanne and John.

There were some cast changes on Three's Company, through the years.  In 1979, Norman Fell and Audra Lindley, who played Stanley and Helen Roper, the owners of the apartment complex, were relocated to their own sitcom, a spin-off called The Ropers.  Don Knotts then joined the cast as Ralph Furley, the goofy building manager.

Suzanne Somers left the show after a nasty salary dispute.  Her final episodes on the show were in 1981. She was fired after she demanded a raise from $30,000 an episode to $150,000 and 10 per cent ownership of the show, the same as fellow castmate John Ritter's salary.  ABC refused and Suzanne finished the remaining season on her contract.  After her contract expired, she sued the network for $2,million, claiming that her credibility had suffered a blow.  An arbitrator decided that Suzanne was owed just $30,000 for a missed episode.

Somers was replaced by Jenilee Harrison as Chrissy's accident-prone cousin, Cindy Snow, a veterinary student.  Harrison soon departed and was replaced by Priscilla Barnes as Teri Alden, a lovelorn nurse.

Three's Company finished its run in September of 1984 with a two-part episode, "Friends and Lovers," in which Janet Wood marries art dealer and critic Philip Dawson, played David Rupprecht, Philip,the heir to a recently-deceased wealthy tycoon, was a regular visitor to the Arcade Flower Shop, where Janet worked.  Meanwhile, John Ritter's Jack Tripper character moved on to a new sitcom called Three's A Crowd.

After Three's Company ended, Joyce DeWitt appeared in an episode of the TV drama Finder of Lost Loves, about private investigator who specializes in helping clients find their lost loves.  She played the role of Lynn Powell in an episode of the series entitled "Portraits" (Season 1, Episode 9, Air Date: December 1, 1984).  For several years after that, Joyce took a break from acting.  She travelled the world and searched for spiritual enlightenment.

In 1991, Joyce resumed her acting career with a role on stage.  She had a part in a production of Noises Off  at Cherry County Playhouse in Traverse City, Michigan.  Joyce returned to TV with a role in Spring Fling, a 1995 television movie.  She also appeared in 1995 episode of the sitcom Cybill starring Cybill Shepherd.  The episode id entitled "The Odd Couples" (Season 2, Episode 10, Air Date: December 3, 1995).

In 2000, Joyce guest-starred in an episode of the short-lived TV.drama Hope Island.  She portrayed Miss Dewitt, the housekeeper, in the 2003 Nick at Nite Holiday Special, a TV movie which aired on November 28th of that year.

In July of 2009, Joyce was arrested for drunk driving in El Segundo, California and released on her own recognizance.  On May 10, 2010, she pleaded no contest to one court misdemeanour and was subsequently placed on 3 year's probation and ordered to take part in a nine-month alcohol program.

In February of 2012, Suzanne Somers and Joyce reunited after Suzanne invited Joyce to be a guest on her web series, Suzanne Somers: Breaking Through.  The two women had had a falling out when Suzanne left Three's Company.  On Suzanne's show, they reminisced about Three's Company and the late John Ritter.

In 2014, Joyce portrayed Nikki in the family comedy My Boyfriends' Dogs, a television movie that aired on October 18th of that year.

Joyce prefers theatre to television. At the age of 13, she began appearing on stage.  In a 2017 phone interview from her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, she told the Culpepper Star Exponent, "I consider the theater my home.  It's my natural state, like falling off a log."

For several years, Joyce DeWitt was in a relationship with American actor Ray Buktenica, best known for portraying Benny Goodwin, Brenda Morgenstern's (Julie Kavner) boyfriend, and later fiancé, on the 1970s sitcom Rhoda.  Joyce met Ray during her second year at UCLA.

In January of 1980, Ray moved out of their Malibu, California beach house. Later that year, Joyce told People magazine that "We fought constantly.  We were like Bogart and Bacall on a lower level.  I would live in terror of what he thought.  If I did a talk show a thousand miles away, I would ask, 'Did I make a fool of myself?'  She said that her "self-esteem and self-confidence had disappeared.   Ray thought she was spoiled, "and he wanted to be waited on hand and foot," she claimed.

In 1979, Janice and Ray appeared together in a segment of The Love Boat entitled "The Scoop" (Season 3, Episode 5, Air Date: October 6, 1979).  In the episode, Ray plays a tabloid reporter and Joyce played a celebrity whom Ray follows because he thinks she may be meeting a secret lover.  There has been speculation that Joyce and Ray were married, but that has never been any evidence or confirmation of that.

Below is a photo Ray Buknenica as Dr. Norman Solomon on the sitcom House Calls (circa 1979-1982).

According to a 2009 Toronto Star interview with Joyce, there are false rumours about the actress circulating on the Internet:

* She never spent her pre-Hollywood years as a contractor and she never painted the garage of Abe Vigoda, of Barney Miller fame).  Joyce denied that she'd even met Vigoda.  "I never painted his house, his garage or anything he has," she told the Toronto Star.

* She never dated Roots star LeVar Burton.  There is a picture of Joyce and Burton from 1980 on the Internet, but that doesn't mean she dated him.

* She is not the niece of TV actress Fay DeWitt.

In the Toronto Star interview, Joyce declined to comment on her drunk driving incident, which had just happened.

Of her years on Three's Company, Joyce stated in 2009, : " I really felt that Three's Company was a gift.  When it ended, I had money in the bank and the luxury to pursue a life that meant something, to learn and discover.  Hollywood can be brutal, inhuman, the opposite of what the theater is and I had little desire to be part of it.  But now, I'm excited to work again and to, at my age, be able to keep working"


* Joyce DeWitt appeared as Janet Wood in a 1979 episode of The Ropers entitled "The Party" (Season 2, Episode 1, Air Date: September 15, 1979).  Her Three's Company co-stars, John Ritter and Suzanne Somers also guess-starred.  In the episode, Stanley Roper decides to throw a surprise party for his wife, Helen.  He asks his former tenants, Jack, Janet and Chrissy to assist him.

* Joyce has done a great deal of charity work for the homeless.  She took part in the Capitol Forum on Hunger and Homelessness and she  co-hosted, with Jeff Bridges, the World Food Day Gala at the Kennedy Center.

* John Ritter died on September 11, 2003 at the age of 54 due to cardiac problems.

* Audra Lindley, who played Helen Roper, passed away on October 16, 1997.  She was 79 years old at the time of her passing.  Norman Fell, who portrayed her TV  husband, Stanley Roper, died of bone marrow cancer on December 14, 1998.  He was 74.

* Don Knotts, who played Mr. Furley, passed away on February 24, 2006 at the age of 81.  He died of lung cancer.

SOURCES: People magazine, "Success and Self-Doubt Had Joyce Dewitt Licked - Until She Shed Her Man and Found Herself, by Lois Armstrong, April 4, 1980; Sitcoms Online, "Seven Questions with Joyce DeWitt of Three's Company," July 14, 2011; Toronto Star, JOYCE DEWITT: Comedienne's Timing a little off, by Chris Anderson, July 12, 2009; International Movie Data Base (IMDb); Wikipedia 

- Joanne

Monday, September 2, 2019

How To Choose the Best TV For Your Needs

TV Banter presents a guest column today.  It contains valuable tips on how to decide on the best television to suit your needs.  If you are considering buying a new TV, this is a guide that will help you make your choice.

- Joanne

Choosing the best TV for your needs can be challenging. Many of the television manufacturers use the same technology to produce a finished product. The differences come down to price, size, resolution, and connectivity. Here are some tips on how to choose the best TV. 

By Connor Ryan

Choose Your Price Range

Before you begin to look for a television, decide how much you want to spend. TV prices have come down significantly in the last decade and continue to drop. However, some of the premium features are still pricey. If you determine your price range ahead of time, you won’t be as tempted to get a TV you don’t necessarily need, but that looks good.  
For around $1,000 you can get a 42-inch 4K smart tv or a 70 inch HD TV. Depending on what you plan on using your television for, and where you are placing it, you may not want a larger television. 
The higher your budget, the more features become available. You can get into the world 4K, with fantastic resolutions that make the images look amazing. You can also get an enormous television that is equipped with high-end features. Depending on your budget, you are almost guaranteed to get a better TV than you currently have; however, what features and size are yet to be determined. 

Choose a Television Size

Size is not everything, but it’s a lot. Deciding what size television you desire, before you leave for the store, is a good idea. Measure the space where you plan on using the television and figure out what will look best. 
If you do not decide before you leave the house, you will be blinded by the most beautiful, big screens on the market. These may, in fact, be too large for your space, but in the heat of the moment, you will want it. You can’t fit a 100-inch TV in your one-bedroom apartment, right? 
Don’t get caught in this trap. Determine the size you want for the television and your budget. Then, stick with it.  
 To help you decide, consider what will look good from where your couch is positioned. A 65-inch television has twice as much viewing space as a 42-inch television. This is a huge difference. Plus, there are sizes in between that you can also consider. 
Take some measurements and decide what will be best. Remember, television sizes are measured from top right to bottom left (or top left to bottom right) on the diagonal. Measuring across will not give you the correct size when TV shopping.  

Choose the TV Resolution You Want

If you have the money, spring for a 4K TV. You won’t regret it. However, they do cost more. 
4K TVs, or Ultra HD, provides you with the best TV viewing experience possible. Where HD TVs typically have over 2 million pixels (also referred to as 1080p resolution), 4K TVs have over 8 million pixels. This means that there are 8 million tiny dots that produce one image. That’s honestly ridiculous but provides the brightest, most precise, crispest picture you can get. You will think that you can actually catch that football flying at the screen; it’s that impressive. 
However, 4K, TV’s are not in everyone’s budget or even needed. If you only have room for a small television, a 1080p, HDTV, has a fantastic image. On a screen 32-inches or smaller, HD is more than sufficient. The larger you go, the more pixels you will want to achieve the same type of image. This is a logical argument. Therefore, if you are purchasing a television larger than 42-inches, you should consider a 4K TV.

Smart TV’s are a Must

Unless you have a firestick or other similar device, you will want to get a smart TV. These devices come with streaming service capabilities built into the television. 
If you are considering, or already have cut the cord, streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and others are great options. Not only will you be saving money every month, but you can still access your favorite local channel through some of these services. 

For gadget reviews, click on the link below:

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Y&R Report (August 31, 2019): 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. 

So, Adam has declared war on his own family and he is determined to bring down The Great Victor Newman.  Since his return to Genoa City, Victor's youngest son has operated from The Dark Side.  He has turned many people's lives topsy-turvy.  They are determined to put an end to his reign of terror.  The latest to join the anti-Adam brigade are Michael and Lauren, whom he is attempting to blackmail over their son Fen's drug problem.  Adam's main ally is Phyllis.  Phyllis also wants to bring the Newman family down.  She despises Victor and Abby and blames her problems on them.  She and Adam both consider themselves outsiders and pariahs.  They don't feel accepted.  Sharon had sympathy for him, but she seems to be keeping her distance from him, at least for now.

Adam's only pangs of conscience comes from the memory of his mother, Hope.  When Victor said that Hope would not be please with the man her son has become, Adam became very upset and angry.  Victor's comment really hit a nerve.

Adam,is quite a busy beaver.  He is also trying to find out more about his father's medical status, regarding his rare blood disease.  Victor claims he's doing okay and that his treatment is working.  Is that really true?  If so, he could still easily relapse and require a transplant from.  Adam would be the best donor match, of course.  Then he would really be in the driver's seat. He would really have leverage if he refused to donate his bone marrow unless Victor met his demands.

It seems as if the writers are having problems finding a romantic interest for Jack Abbott.  I thought that he and Celeste Rosales were going to become involved because he brought her back from Miami for Lola and Kyle's wedding.  However, she said her goodbyes to her daughter and son-in-law and is headed back to Florida.  Still, that doesn't mean we've seen the last of her and it doesn't necessarily rule out a romance between her and Smilin' Jack.

Devon Hamilton received a mysterious letter saying that there are issues regarding his inheritance from his grandmother, the very wealthy Katherine Chancellor.  Is he about to lose the billions Mrs. C. left him?  That will obviously change his life drastically.  Also, who is challenging the will?  Is Adam involved due to his Las Vegas connection to Philip Chancellor IV, also known as Chance Chancellor.  Why would the writers invoke Chance's name for no reason at all?  Is Chance making a play for Katherine's fortune?


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:

I received an email from regular contributor CC in Etobicoke, Ontario:  Here are her comments:

Hi Joanne,

I am not thrilled about the storyline with Billy.  I found it very difficult to handle the entire storyline of Delia's death.  I never believed it should have gone in the direction of Adam being the guilty party.  The character of Delia had so much potential for future storylines, yet they wrote two death scenarios for her, killing her off in the end.  I don't feel dredging this up again was worthwhile and have to force myself to watch the related scenes.

I don't mind the present Billy (Jason Thompson) but always preferred Billy Miller.  The way things seem to be going, it provides many scenarios that could come up over the next weeks that would allow for the present Billy to be off screen for a while and then reappear played by Billy Miller.  

It would be wishful thinking for me to believe we have seen the last of Celeste.  She is not my favourite.  If she has been sent packing, it is an admission of the powers that be that the introduction of the Rosales family was not a success.  We may see Lola behind her, with Rey close on her heels.  The miscast of Celeste as Rey's mother is quite difficult to swallow.  Arturo was the most interesting of them and the best as an actor.

Re Nick and Chelsea back together: While it might feel comfortable and look like the right thing to do, the old "you never can go back" saying applies here.  It will likely be short-lived.

I like Chloe's lighter hair colour.  It is fresh and youthful on her.

I'm not thrilled with the  Billy Abbott storyline much either, CC.  I really didn't relish hearing Delia's cries for help.  I wonder why they took the storyline in that direction.  It almost seems as if the writers made Billy have a breakdown so they could send him to a hospital and replace Jason Thompson with Billy Miller.  According to online spoilers, Billy is going to be diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID).  I looked it up and discovered that it is a mental disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder). It is characterized by at least two distinct personality states and is accompanied by memory gaps.  A person suffering from DID loses his sense of being as an individual.   Hmmmm.  Somehow that doesn't fit the description of Billy Abbott.

Eva LaRue, is not how I envisioned Celeste.  Frankly, I don't mind her as much as you do.  She's certainly not my favourite character, but it really wouldn't bother me if she stayed in Genoa City.  I also think the Rosales family is going to hang around for a while.  The Lola and Kyle storyline has to unfold and that will take time.  I don't see Rey leaving right now either.  He's too involved in the Sharon/Adam storline.  As for Arturo, I just couldn't connect with him and I'm glad he's back in Miami.  I will say, however, that he's a better actor than Lola.

I agree that Nick and Chelsea's rekindled romance will be short-lived.  Nick Newman's relationships with women have been a disaster.  At least he stayed with Sharon for ten years.

As for Chloe's hair, I liked it better before.

I spoke to longtime Y&R viewer, Helen in Scarborough, Ontario.  Helen doesn't think that what Kyle and Theo did to Zoe was unforgivable.  Their actions were cowardly and unethical, Helen argues, but not bad enough to send them to jail for years.  Why wouldn't Lola forgive Kyle if he was straight with her and told her the truth?  What Kyle and his former best buddy did in New York was wrong, accordng to Helen, but it's not as if they physically assaulted her or harmed her for life.  The gravity of their misdeed has been exaggerated.

Daniel Goddard (Cane Ashby) back at work

As I mentioned in the last edition of Y&R Report, I've been wondering if Daniel Goddard (Cane Ashby) has left the show.  He hasn't been on screen for a while now, not since Traci Abbott told him she only wanted to be friends.  With Lily and Charlie and Mattie out of the picture, it doesn't seem like there is much of a storyline for Candy Cane.  However, I checked Daniel's online tweets.  He thanked everyone for wishing him a Happy Birthday (his birthday is August 28) and he posted a video of himself and his mother, who is visiting Los Angeles.  In the video, Daniel said he and his mother were at CBS and that he is "back at work."  That means we should see him on screen soon, perhaps in a new storyline and a new love interest.


Families are the driving force on soaps like Y&R.  Over the years,  some have come and gone on the show.  Remember the Brooks family and the Foster family?  The most enduring clans are the Newmans and Abbotts.  Fans, what is your favourite Genoa City family, past or present?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

What is your favourite Y&R family, past or present?

The Newman family
The Winters family
The Abbott family
The Brooks family
The Rosales family
The Foster family
The Williams family
Please Specify:
Created with Poll Maker

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, September 14, 2019.  Enjoy the Labour Day weekend and the rest of the summer.

- Joanne

Saturday, August 24, 2019

You wanted to know . . . if Annette Gorman was a murder victim

Annette Gorman, 1963 press photo

A reader wanted to know to if Annette Gorman was the same person as Stephanie Gorman, a murder victim.  The answer is NO.

Annette Gorman is an actress born on September 5, 1947 in New York City, USA.  From 1959 until 1961, she made ten appearances on the long-running television anthology series, The Magical World of Disney.  She also played the role of Pamela Harrington in Five Finger Exercise, a 1962 feature film starring Rosalind Russell, Jack Hawkins and Maximilian Schell.

In addition, Annette appeared as Pauline in a 1962 episode of the TV sitcom Mr. Ed entitled "Ed, the Matchmaker" (Season 2, Episode 26, Air Date: April 29, 1962).  That same year, she guest-starred in episodes of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis  ("Flow Gently Sweet Money," Season 4, Episode 9, Air Date: November 21, 1962) and Leave it to Beaver.

In the Leave it to Beaver episode entitled, "Beaver's Autobiography" (Season 6, Episode 13, Air Date: December 20, 1962), Annette portrayed Betsy Carter, the brainiest girl in Beaver Cleaver's (Jerry Mathers) class.  In the episode, Beaver enlists Betsy to help him flesh out the required words for an assignment to write his autobiography.  When she discovers that Beaver is just using her, she makes up a ridiculous life story to embarrass him.

Annette had role in a 1964 episode of Karen, a short-lived sitcom created by Joe Cnnnelly and Bob Bob Mosher, who also created Leave it to Beaver.  She played Bonnie in an episode of the series called "Father Daughter Dance" (Season 1, Episode 7, Air Date: November 16, 1964).  That is Annette's last television credit.  She had an uncredited bit part as a teen girl in the 1966 feature film Batman: The Movie, starring Adam West and Burt Ward.  Her eighth and last screen acting credit is a small role as Mamie's New A Time for Dying, a 1969 Western.

After A Time for Dying, Annette Gorman seems to have left her career.  I have not been able to discover any recent information about her online, nor have I been able to find the reason why she stopped acting.  As far as I can determine, Annette is still alive and is nearing her 72nd birthday (September 5th, 2019).  Perhaps she just wants her life to be private.

Annette, if you are willing and able, I would greatly appreciate an email from you.  Readers of TV Banter and Leave it to Beaver fans would enjoy hearing from you.


Stephanie Gorman

Unfortunately, Annette Gorman has been confused with another actress, the late Stephanie Gorman, who was born on June 11, 1949 in Los Angeles, California.  Stephanie sang "America, America" in Pollyanna, the 1960 Disney film starring Hayley Mills.  She also played a teenage dance extra in the 1963 comedy/musical Bye Bye Birdie, staring Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke and Ann-Margret.

Stephanie Gorman was an honours student at Hamilton High School in West Los Angeles. She was a promising young actress who met a tragic death at the age of 16.  On August 5, 1965, Stephanie was brutally raped and murdered by an intruder who broke into her Los Angeles home while the rest of her family was out.  Her body was discovered by her elder sister, Cheryl, 19, and her father, Ed, a prominent attorney, when they returned home.  The killer was never apprehended, although Cheryl has made efforts to help solve the case.  Stephanie Gorman's murder has been chronicled on the documentary TV series James Ellroy's L.A.: City of Demons

SOURCES: Homicide Special: A Year with the LAPD's Elite Dectective Unit, by Miles Cowan; International Movie Data Base (; Wikipedia

- Joanne

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Y&R Report (August:17, 2019): 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. 

Hasn't Chelsea always been Adam Newman's true love.  Well, at least she was when Justin Hartley played the role.  Now that Mark Grossman is the new evil Adam, she's just a mean's to an end.  He doesn't mind using Chelsea to get what he wants.  He's doing the same with Sharon.  He's using her too.

In the previews, viewers saw Adam propose to Sharon.  He knows if he marries her, he'll have a better chance of winning custody of his two sons if he can convince the judge that he can provide them with a mother figure and a stable home.  Sharon would be a fool to take the bait and marry Adam.  I wouldn't put it past Adam, though, to coerce or blackmail her into it.  However, as I keep pointing out, isn't Adam still technically still married to Chelsea?  Athough, Chelsea believed Adam was dead, she never divorced him, which means her marriage to Calvin was invalid.       

Adam is obsessed with getting custody of both his biological sons.  Is it about love for his sons or is it about control?  I believe it's the latter.  Adam has become a control freak like his father, Victor.  He really isn't trying to do what's best for his sons.  Yes, he does have a right to share custody of Connor with Chelsea.  After all, Connor remembers Adam and misses spending time with him  The young boy needs a father figure in his life.  Chelsea, to her credit, is being reasonable. She is willing to let Adam be a father to Connor.  However, that isn't good enough for Adam.  He wants full custody of the child.  He would tear Connor away from his mother and involve him in a nasty custody battle.  How would that benefit Connor?

As for Christian, Adam has only confused the child by telling him that he is his real father.  Christian is too young to understand.  He only knows that Nick has been a father too him and has always been there for him.

Chelsea's mother, Anita, is a piece of work.  I knew there was some fraud involved with Calvin's money.  Chelsea never should have signed anything.  She finally clued in when her mother turned down a million dollars.  She knew something was fishy then because Anita has never been known to refuse money.

I am pleased that  Eileen Davidson making so many appearances lately as Ashley Abbott.  She has been around so often that I've wondered if she had decided to return to Y&R.  Now that Ashley's company and Jabot have merged, is A,A. coming home to Genoa City?   That doesn't appear to be the case, at least not just yet.  Ashley's staying in Paris for the time being.  However, she did say that her family would be seeing a lot more of her.

Well, Kyle and Lola made it through their wedding ceremony, but there are dark clouds on the horizon.  Thee are so many clouds that this couple is as doomed as Romeo and Juliet.  Where do I start?  Well, first of all, Kyle is keeping a big New York secret from Lola involving a young blonde named Zoe Hardisty (Anna Grace Barlow).  That's never a good way to begin a marriage and Lola will not be thrilled about it.  Secondly, Theo is determined to undermine the couple's happiness.  Summer seems to be behaving herself at the moment, but that could change.  Surprisingly, Lola invited the Snowflake to the nuptials and she was very upset when the couple took their vows.  She obviously still has feelings for Kyle.  Thirdly, Lola's parents are going to be thrown into the mix.  They will cause stress for Lola and interfere in the newlywed's affairs.                                                                                                                                                                         
Where oh where is Candy Cane Ashby (Daniel Goddard)?  The whispering Australian has not appeared on the show since Traci Abbott informed him she only wanted to be friends with him.  There doesn't seem to be much storyline for him right now.  I wonder if he has any future on the show or if the writers have cooked up anything for him.


 Website says a reliable source has confirmed that Mishael Morgan is back on Y&R.  Is it really true?

According to Soap Dirt, a reliable source has confirmed tha Mishael Morgan (Hilary) will be returning to The Young and the Restless.  I can't tell you how reliable the source is, but it claims that she has signed a three-year deal with Y&R.  Apparently, there's no confirmation about whether she'll play her Hilary character.  Although Hilary is supposedly dead, Y&R's writers should have no trouble dreaming up some cockamamie explanation for her being alive.  I know most fans would love to see her back in her original role, even though all these soap opera "returns from the dead" are becoming far too common and somewhat ridiculous. However, having said that, I know that most fans would prefer her in her Hilary role.  I really hope that they don't bring her back as Hilary's long-lost twin or some other character.

Mischel's two children are still quite young and this could just be speculation.  Stay tuned to see if this is really true.  Nothing has been officially confirmed.


* Jay Montevalso is playing the role of Adrian Rosales, the wayward father of Rae, Arturo and Lola.  Jason Canela is back as Arturo Rosales, at least for his sister's wedding.  Just when viewers thought they might be seeing less of the Rosales clan when Arturo and Mia returned to Miami, the family is front and centre on the show right now.

* Judah Mackey has been cast as Connor Newman.  I have been impressed with Judah's performance as Connor so far.  He seems to be a good child actor.  I hope he stays in Genoa City.

* Elizabeth Hendrickson will be returning in more episodes as Chloe Mitchell.

*  Lauren Woodland will make another appearance as lawyer Brittany Hodges on Tuesday, August 27 on CBS (Monday, August 28 on Global TV in Canada).


Melissa Ordway (Abby)
Sean Dominic (Dr. Nate)

Dr. Nathan Hastings is dedicated to the medical profession.  Spoiled wealthy socialite Abby Newman is concentrating on making her restaurant, "Society," a success.  The couple seems to be at different places in their lives.  Nate has bought Cane and Lily's house and is ready to settle down.  Abby has a history of choosing the wrong men.  Her relationship record includes a failed marriage to another doctor, Stitch, a disastrous relationship with Arturo and other unfortunate affairs.  To be fair, Abby has made it abundantly clear to Nate that she is not ready to make a commitment.  Yet, Nate wants to continue seeing her.  Is he the right guy at the wrong time?  Does this couple have any chance?  Fans. what do you think?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Do Abby and Nate have any chance of making their relationship work?

Yes. Dr. Nate is the most stable guy Abby's been with. She just needs time.
No, those two are on different pages and in different stages of their lives.
Maybe, but Nate isn't going to wait forever. He may turn to Elena because they share a medical background.
Please Specify:

Readers, I would appreciate your feedback

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:

That's all for now.  Please don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, August 31, 2019.

- Joanne