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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Y&R Report (September 26, 2015): 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.

Could it be that the producers of The Young and the Restless are actually heeding the advice of viewers?  I sure hope so.  After all, the unpopular storyline about Michael Baldwin's prostate cancer seems to have been dropped.  There's been nary a mention of it for a long time. Michael also seems to be reconciling with Lauren. Marco is in jail, at least for the time being.  I hope he doesn't return because we don't need the "two Jacks."  One is sufficient, thank you very much.

The producers have also brought Esther (Kate Kinder) back into the limelight and her character is moving in a new and interesting direction.  It's about time they released Esther from that stuffy Chancellor mansion and took her out of her maid's uniform (Kate's been on the show for 33 years).  I think it's just great that she's found employment at Crimson Lights, Dylan's coffee shop.  She'll shake things up there, won't she?

Best of all, however, is the glorious return of Ian Ward.  Ray Wise, who portrays the dastardly cult leader is such a good actor!   He appears to be having the time of his life in the role.  Wasn't he hilarious when he sang "Chelsea 2.0."  I laughed my head off when he warbled that little ditty.   Wouldn't it be fun if Esther were to fall head over heels for him?  Esther has a history of making bad choices in men.  Ian's may be a scoundrel, but he can be very charming and charismatic.  I can easily imagine her falling under his spell.  Given the fact that Mrs. Chancellor's long-time maid is starving for male attention, she would be particularly vulnerable to his sweet talk.  If he romanced her, she'd be eating out of his hands in no time.  She wouldn't have a clue how wicked the man is.

The problem is that Ian Ward is very recognizable in Genoa City and so many GC residents know the truth about him.  He would have to woo Esther secretly, but that shouldn't be a problem for him.  He's very sly and resourceful.  He had no problem tricking Phyllis into believing that he is a kindly widower named Fred, and Phyllis is a lot more sophisticated and worldly than Esther.  A con artist like Ian would have no problem deceiving Dylan's new employee.

Speaking of deception, Marisa is certainly hoodwinking poor Noah Newman!  It turns out she's married to a man from a wealthy Spanish family, a fact that she conveniently thought she could sweep under the rug.  She has led Noah to believe that she was poor and desperate.  Perhaps she was desperate, but she certainly wasn't destitute.

Noah continues to be unlucky in love.  However, given Marisa's association with a drug lord, he should have been more careful before getting involved with her,  Red flags were everywhere and he was still grieving the loss of Courtney.  Now the unfortunate Noah is about to have his heart broken yet again. As for Luca Santori, Marisa's long-lost hubby, he is a rich, powerful and controlling, and he also surrounds himself with thugs.  He reminds me of a younger Victor Newman, although Victor is self-made whereas Luca was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  Luca is suave, self-confident and very determined to get Marisa back.  Not only that, but the Great Victor Newman is supporting Luca's cause by blackmailing Marisa.  She knows too much and she is a threat to him..  He wants her out of Genoa City and away from his grandson. Meanwhile, Marisa is caught in a web of her own making.  She cares for Noah, but she can't be honest with him.

In Marisa's defence, I can understand why she wanted to get away from Luca.  He's very possessive and controlling.  Why, however, did she have to get involved with a terrible criminal like Marco Annicelli?  She simply exchanged one thug - Luca, for another - Marco.  There's still a great deal we don't know about Marisa.  I guess she likes Noah because he's the exact opposite of Luca and Marco. In other words, he's not a thug. Still, Noah should have steered clear of her until he learned more about her past.  He put his trust in her prematurely.

Are we witnessing Victor Newman's last stand?  Are his enemies finally closing in on him?  Will the Newman empire finally come tumbling down?  "The Moustache" is facing more adversaries than he's ever had to deal with in his life, and they are coming at him from all sides.  Marco, Ian and his own son, Adam, are formidable foes. The "Paragon Project" is a real threat to him.  Still, he has the annoying ability to survive all challenges to his power.

Even the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation bows down to Victor the Great.  He demanded that the Abbotts be arrested and the FBI wasted no time in arresting Billy Boy Abbott.  They did this despite a lack of solid evidence that the Abbott' family tampered with Newman's computer system.  How long can Victor stave off his enemies before the House of Newman collapses like a house of cards? Answer: As long as the writers and producers want him to.

At least Noah and Victoria are finally starting to realize that the "Black Knight" is not just a kindly patriarch trying to protect his children and grandchildren.  Now that Marisa has told Noah about the "two Jacks" and how Victor unleashed the Marco Monster on Genoa City, Noah is finally starting to see his grandfather for what he truly is - a tyrant and a bully.  As for Princess Victoria, she has devoted herself to her father's company and usually comes to his defence.  Yet he won't trust her judgment and says his plan is to make Nick the next Emperor of the Newman empire, despite the fact that Victoria much more capable and experienced in business.  Victor has even given greater responsibility and a higher position to his other daughter, ditzy Abby.  There is no comparison between the two sisters when it comes to business.  Abby's not even in Victoria's league.  Why then is daddy Victor shutting the Princess out?  It's partly male chauvinism and it's partly to punish her for reconciling with that "obnoxious punk," Billy Abbott.

Well, isn't Adam Newman is behaving like a chip off the old block?  He's in league with Ian Ward, of all people. He even managed to get Ian released from prison (through bribery, I assume).  There seems to be more of Victor in him than his mother.  The late Hope would not be too pleased with her soon if she knew how he was behaving.

As Adam's partner-in-crime, Ian Ward, pointed out, Adam is going to have to choose between his picture-perfect family and his overwhelming desire for revenge on his father. He can't have both.  By the way, how was sly Ian able to purchase or rent the apartment across from Adam and Chesea so easily?  Ooops . . .  that's a question we're not supposed to asked.  At any rate, I couldn't help grinning when Ian greeted Adam with a hearty "Howdy neighbour!"

Patty Williams and her kitty cat have also returned to Y&R.  I don't think her return is permanent, though.  She's obviously back for plotline purposes and is going to play a role in the Sharon storyline. She already knows that Sharon miscarried and will probably become involved in some baby drama involving Sage's unborn child.


Daniel Goddard (Cane) breaks elbow in accident 

Unfortunately, Australian heartthrob, Daniel Goddard, who plays Cane Ashby, was injured during the filming of an episode of the Y&R.  Here's what he wrote on Twitter about the incident:  I broke my elbow on Friday at work while filming a fight scene.  I am just bummed out . . .

Ah, the perils of being an actor!  I guess the writers will explain the cast by having Cane injured in the fight too.

Sofia Pernas (Marisa) signs contract with Y&R

Here's some good news for fans of Sofia Pernas, who plays the role of Maria.  Sofia is now under contract with the show for one year.  That means Marisa will be staying in Geona City, at least for a while.


It's Esther's word versus Colin's word!  Whom do you believe?

Esther claims that Colin hit on her.  I wouldn't put it past that scumbag.  However, Esther may have her own reasons for lying.  Perhaps she just needed an excuse to get away from Jill and the Chancellor estate.  At any rate, it's a case of "he says," she says"

Who is telling the truth, Esther or Colin?

Esther, of course. Colin is a sleazebag.
I believe Colin. The Aussie may be a cad, but I can't see him harrassing anyone without his usual motive - financial reward.
Esther may truly believe Colin hit on her. Howver, she could be unstable. She could be imagining the whole thing in her mind or she may be lying as an excuse to get away from living in the Chancellor mansion with Colin and Jill.
I don't know who's telling the truth.

That's all for now.  Don't forget to check out the next edition of Y&R Report in this space on Saturday, October 10, 2015.  We will see what changes autumn brings to Genoa City - and they won't just be the colour of the leaves.  According to an online spoiler, there is going to be an explosion at a Newman ballroom gala and there will be casualties (The Newsmans and Abbotts just can't have an event without disaster and mayhem).

- Joanne

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Farewell, Batgirl: The Death of Yvonne Craig

Before Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman, before Joanna Cameron's Isis, before Scarlett Johannsson's Black Widow, Yvonne Craig was a pioneer of female superheroes on screen. As an actress, she originated the role of Batgirl in the 1960s Batman television series. As a trained dancer, she did her own stunts.

- Henry Hanks, CNN 

Yvonne Craig, who is best known for her role as Batgirl in the 1960s Batman television series, passed away on August 17, 2015 at her home in Pacific Palisades, California.  She was 78 years old at the time of her death.  For two years, she had battled breast cancer and, according to an obituary posted on her website, the disease had metastasized to her liver.

Here are some tributes to Yvonne from her Batman co-stars:

I was deeply saddened for us to lose Yvonne. It was too soon. She always brought humor and a fine attitude to our stage. She was a joy to work with. A good person. My heartfelt condolences to Yvonne's family. We will miss her.

- Adam West, the actor who played Batman in the classic TV series
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Adam West and Yvonne on Batman set, 1967

Yvonne was a very, very sweet person who had a love of animals. She was a very spirited happy energetic person. When she entered the room, everything seemed to light up. It was a tragic loss.

- Burt Ward, who portrayed Robin, 
quoted on CNN website

Below is a photo of Yvonne as Batgirl with Burt Ward and Robin and Adam West as Batman.

In an interview with Dan Greenfield, who writes a comics blog called 13th Dimension, Julie Newmar, who played the villainous Catwoman, paid tribute to Yvonne (Although Julie did not appear in the third season of Batman, the two women became acquainted at conventions and other events). “My memory of her, especially, was her ebullience,” Julie told Greenfied.   “I’m looking at a pale, pink dahlia in my garden. They’re the dinner-plate dahlias, bigger than your face and they’re just bursting with joy and that’s the kind of person she was"  Newmar reminisced about how Yvonne "would always show up in these marvelous clothes. They were all made of this silky kind of material. It’s body-hugging. It’s what our Catwoman and Batgirl costumes should have been made out of. Kind of similar but very clinging and comfortable."

Below is a photo of Yvonne (far left) with Julie Newmar (centre) and Lee Meriwether, who also played Catwoman in the 1960s Batman series.

Yvonne Joyce Craig was born on May 16, 1937 in Taylorville, Illinois, the daughter of Maurice, a tool and dye worker, and Pauline Craig, a department star clerical worker.  About 1940, the family relocated to Columbus, Ohio.  Yvonne began studying ballet at the age of ten  and she was very talented.  In 2002, she told the San Francisco Chronicle that she was "born turned out - a natural dancer."

Around 1950, her parents decided to move again, this time to Dallas, Texas, specifically Oak Cliff. She spent most of her teen years there, attending W.H. Adamson High School and then Sunset High School.  Although accepted by the famed George Balanchine for the prestigious School of American Ballet; the young ballerina decided to take a different route.  In 1954, at the age of 16 or 17, she became the youngest member of The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, with which she toured for three years. She left the ballet in 1957, apparently over a casting disagreement, and headed to Los Angeles to continue her dancing career.  Instead she found herself on film and television.

In an interview with CNN, Yvonne Craig described how she got into acting quite by chance.  While still touring as a dancer, Yvonne was invited to dinner by a producer who wanted to make her a film star.  She told him she wasn't interested, but then movie director John Ford's son, Patrick, walked by and asked her if she were an actress.  As Yvonne shook her head, the producer stepped in and claimed to be her manager.  Ford explained that thy were making a film with John Wayne's son, also named Patrick, and that they were searching for a lead actress.  Despite her lack of acting experience, Yvonne was signed  to co-star in The Young Land, a Western drama, along with Patrick Wayne and Dennis Hopper.  She never looked back.

One of Yvonne's earliest television appearances was on Perry Mason, starring Raymond Burr.  She had a key role in a 1958 episode entitled "The Case of the Lazy Lover" (Season 1, Episode 35, Air Date: May 31, 1958).  It is interesting to note that Neil Hamilton, who portrayed Police Commissioner Gordon, Barbara Gordon's father on the Batman series, played her stepfather in the Perry Mason episode. Below is a photo of Yvonne as she appeared on Perry Mason.

Below is a scene in the Case of the Lazy Lover with Yvonne and Neil Hamilton (foreground).

Yvonne appeared in the 1959 pilot episode of The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis and in five regular season episodes of the sitscom during the 1960s: "The Flying Millicans" (Season 1, Episode 18, Air Date: February 2, 1960), "Dobie's Navy Blues" (Season 1, Episode 24, Air Date: March 15, 1960), "Like Mother, Like Daughter, Like Wow" (Season 2. Episode 28, Air Date: May 2, 1961), "The Sweet Success of Smell" (Season 3, Episode 28, Air Date: April 24, 1962) and "Flow Gently, Sweet Money" (Season 4, Episode 9, Air Date: November 21, 1962).  She played a different role in each episode.

Yvonne with Dobie Gillis star Dwayne Hickman

During the early to mid-1960s, Yvonne appeared in episodes of numerous television series such as 77 Sunset Strip (four episodes from 1960 to 1964), Dr. Kildare (1964), Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964), McHale's Navy (1965). The Man from U.N.C.L,E. (1965), My Favorite Martian (1965), Ben Casey (1965), The Big Valley (1965), The Wild Wild West (1966), and My Three Sons (1966).

In the the My Favorite Martian episode, "Keep Me from the Church on Time" (Season 3, Episode 4, Air Date: October 3, 1965), the martian (Ray Walston) has a special camera that reveals the future.  It shows journalist Tim O'Hara (Bill Bixby) marrying a woman named Louise Babcock,(Yvonne) within 24 hours. By the way, Yvonne and Bill Bixby actually dated for a time during the mid-1960s.

Yvonne and Bill Bixby in a scene from My Favorite Martian

In 1967, Yvonne had her big break.  She was cast as Batgirl in Batman's third and final season of the campy superhero series. To revitalize the series for a new season, DC Comics was approached to create a new "Batgirl" for the show.  It was Batman executive producer, the late William "Bill" Dozier, who came up with the idea of making her Police Commissioner James Gordon's daughter, and that even her own father wouldn't be aware of her secret identity.  Yvonne said that she was probably chosen for the role because of her dance backgound.  "Although they didn't want me to do my stunts (and I ultimately did my own stunts).  I mean, I kind of talked them into it.  They knew that I danced and what they didn't know was that I rode a motorcycle so I could do the stuff on the bikes."

Despite the fact that she only appeared on the series for one season (26 episodes), Yvonne made quite an impact as staid librarian Barbara Gordon whose alter ego was the high-kicking crime fighter Batgirl.  Clad in a vivid purple and yellow costume, her red wig cascading behind her, Batgirl sped through Gotham City on her custom motorcycle, constantly in pursuit of evildoers.

In her interview with CNN, Yvonne declared that her time on Batman was "a wonderful experience." She said, "The crew liked one another, the cast liked one another. It doesn't happen often, and when it does, it's a joy to go to work every day. I got to work with people that I would never have the chance to work with. We had Ethel Merman, I would never have met Milton Berle, I got to work with him, and he was a delight."


After the cancellation of Batman, Yvonne Craig continued to take guest starring roles on television. She appeared in 1968 episodes of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and It Takes a Thief.  That same year, she appeared in an episode of The Mod Squad entitled "Find Tara Chapman!" (Season 1, Episode 7, Air Date: November 19, 1968). Yvonne portrayed Tara Chapman, a young woman who arrives in Los Angeles unaware that she has meningitis.  The Squad tries to locate Tara, but she believes they want to murder her because she witnessed a mob killing.

Yvonne had a memorable role in a 1969 episode of Star Trek entitled "Whom Gods Destroy(Season 3, Episode 14, Air Date: January 3, 1969).  She played Marta, the green-tinted Orion slave girl who tries to woo Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and then attempts to kill him with a dagger. The actress was familiar to science fiction fans for her role as Dr. Marjorie Bolen in the 1967 independent cult film Mars Needs Women.  She auditioned for the part of Vina in the Star Trek pilot "The Cage" and was considered for the role due to her dancing abilities.  However, the late Susan Oliver was ultimately cast as Vina.

Yvonne as the Orion Slave Girl on Star Trek

In addition to her many television roles during the 1960s, Yvonne co-starred in two Elvis Presley films, It Happened at the World's Fair (1963) and Kissin' Cousins (1964).  According to an article by Glenn Flanagan in Jam Showbiz, Yvonne had barely heard of the singing heartthrob when she was cast to co-star with him in It Happened at the World's Fair.  'My sister Meridel had to tell me who he was, but only because I had lived such an insular life as a dancer. I didn't know he was hot stuff'."

Elvis and Yvonne got along well, spent a lot of time together and filmed Kissin' Cousins a year later. Of her relationship with Presley, Yvonne stated in the Glen Flanagan article, "'It wasn't the love of your life or the love of his life',  'It was just kinda hanging out'."

Yvonne and Elvis in Kissin' Cousins

During the 1970s, Yvonne guest-starred on many popular TV shows,  In 1970, she worked with Billy Bixby again in an episode of The Courtship of Eddie's Father entitled "Don't Look Now, But Your Scorpio's Rising" (Season 1, Episode 25, Air Date: March 4, 1970).  She also appeared in episodes of
Land of the Giants (1970), O'Hara, U.S. Treasury 1972, Kojak (1973), Emergency! (1974), The Six Million Dollar Man (1977) and Starsky and Hutch (1979).  In 1983, she appeared on Fantasy Island with Ricardo Montalban in an episode entitled "Remember . . . When?" (Season 6, Episode 21, Air Date; May 7, 1983).

Yvonne was married twice.  Her first husband was singer/actor Jimmy Boyd, who had a Yuletide hit with "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," which he recorded in 1952 at the age of 13.  Jimmy and Yvonne met while they were filming the Bing Crosby movie High Time.  They married in August of 1960, the year the film was released. The bride was 23 years old and the groom was 21.  Not long after the wedding, Boyd was drafted into the U.S. Army and stationed in Texas.  The union ended in divorce after two years.   Jimmy Boyd died of cancer at a convalescent hospital in Santa Monica, California on March 7, 2009. He was 70 years old at the time of his death.

Jimmy Boyd

Yvonne and Jimmy

Yvonne was survived by her second husband, lawyer and real estate entrepreneur Kenneth C. Aldrich, whom she wed in 1988.  She was also survived by her sister,  Meridel Carson.and nephews Christoper and Todd Carson.  She did not have any children.

Kenneth Aldrich


*  In the year 2000, Yvonne Craig published her autobiography, From Ballet to the Batcave and Beyond.

*  Yvonne's favourite villain on Batman was Egghead because she liked Vincent Price, who portrayed the character.

*  In later years, Yvonne Craig pursued various business ventures. She worked as a real estate broker and went into the prepaid phone card business with her sister, Meridel,  Yvonne also did voiceover work, including the role of "Grandma" in the recent Nickelodeon cartoon series Olivia.  She continued to make appearances at comic and science fiction conventions in the United States.  Below is a 2008 photo of Yvonne taken at the Screaming TikiCon convention.  She is holding a drawing of herself as Batgirl.

* Yvonne Craig was a philanthropist and a tireless advocate for workers unions, free mammograms for women who cannot afford them and equal pay for women.

 - Joanne

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Y&R Report (September 12, 2015): 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.

Ian Ward, my favourite snake in the grass, is back!  Yes, folks, actor Ray Wise, has returned to his role as the devious cult leader.  Not only that, but he's on a mission to bring down the mighty Victor Newman.  Will he succeed?  It doesn't seem as if anyone can bring "Moneybags" down.  However, Ian Ward is a difficult adversary for Victor because he uses psychological techniques against him. It's fun to see Phyllis so blissfully unaware of Ian's true identity.  Boy, is she going to have a rude awakening when she finds out the truth about her new friend.

It's also good to see Esther (Kate Linder) back in the thick of things.  When I saw her pack her bags, I thought she might be leaving Genoa City and I wondered if Kate was leaving the show after all these years.   However, Dylan hired Esther to work at his coffee shop, and it should be fun to see her interact with the customers there.  She's quite a gossip, isn't she?  I guess the writers wanted to get her out of the Chancellor mansion. She hasn't had much to do since Mrs. C.'s death.

Much to Paul's disappointment, Dylan won't be joining the Genoa City police after all.  Not that he was ready to be a cop just like that.  Although he's had military training, he would still have to have police training, except on a soap.

It appears that oily Joe Clark (Scott Elrod) is sticking around to stir up trouble in GC.  Ashley doesn't seem interested in a romance with The Smirky One.  She only made a date with Joe to find out what he's up to.  It's obvious that Dr. Stitch is the one she really has her eye on.  As for Mr. Clark, he seems to be focusing on Lilly. Although Lily's reconciled with her Aussie husband, Mrs. Candy Cane remains quite friendly with the phony real estate dealer and somewhat receptive to his fake charms.

Victoria and Billy have reunited yet again.  Unfortunately, there isn't much chemistry between Amelia Heinle and the current Billy (Burgess Jenkins).  It's not Jenkins' fault, though.  It's just that Billy Miller was so good in the role and he is still greatly missed by Y&R viewers.  In fact, in the last edition of Y&R Report, there was a poll asking readers which actor they would most like to return to Y&R.  As of this writing, Billy Miller is the overwhelming choice of respondents with 48 per cent of the vote. Michael Muhney (ex-Adam Newman) and Victoria Rowell (ex- Drucilla Winters) are tied for second place with 14 per cent of the vote each.  Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe Mitchell) is in third place with 9 per cent of the vote.

I've been critical of the show's writers, but I have to give them credit for the memorial to Mrs. Chanellor on the anniversary of her death.  It was done very well and it was an example of Y&R at its best.  The show should always go back to its roots and its history.  The flashbacks in the episode were very enjoyable.  It's interesting to note that Katherine Chancellor was the one person in Genoa City who could stand up to Victor Newman and tell him when he was wrong.  She was the only who could reprimand him.  Have you noticed that his behaviour has become much worse since she passed away?

It's thumbs down to the writers, however, for Neil's storyline. Neil Winters has a Masters degree in business from Stanford University, but where did he get his medical knowledge?  He knew how to set up an intravenus (IV) for Hillary.  Also, he may have saved Hilary's life, but he's greatly responsible for what happened to her. He's been lying constantly and he just used Gwen to get access to the hospital medical supplies.  That's not Neil Winters  It's someone else completely.


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.

From CC in Etobicoke, Ontario:

It looks like Sharon will do a repeat and kidnap Sage and Nick's baby.
It's possible Victor may help her with that as even though he wants the Newman grandchild, he doesn't want Sage to be around to interfere with his gaining control over the child.

Well, CC, Sharon's life is about to come crashing down.  I don't believe her relationship with Dylan will survive her latest deception.  Dylan will never accept that she did not tell him she lost the baby.  I just hope she doesn't try to kidnap Sage's baby.  Haven't we had enough that on the show? Remember how Sheila stole Lauren's baby and Ashley stole Sharon's own daughter, Faith?  Surely the writers can come up with something new and different, or can they?  After all, they never seem to tire of stories involving look-alikes, do they?

All sarcasm aside, a kidnapping story is very likely, although it seems so obvious and predictable. Victor may become involved because he has to have his slimy,controlling hands on everything, especially if it has any connection to the Newman name.  Sharon is certainly not in his good books right now, but controlling all things Newman trumps everything for The Black Knight.  By the way, CC, if he says that he has to protect his family one more time . . .

From Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario

More power to Ashley Abbott played by Eileen Davidson.  She's my favourite actress on the show.

I like Ashley Abbott too, Fifi.  I'd rather see AA with Dr. Stitch'em Up than her spoiled, self-centred daughter, Abby.


Michael E. Knight joins Y&R cast as mysterious doctor

Michael E. Knight is coming to Genoa City this fall.  According to TV Insider, the popular actor, who portrayed Tad Martin on All My Children, will play the recurring role of Dr. Simon Neville, a mysterious man of medicine.  Knight, a three-time Emmy winner, will make his first appearance on The Young and the Restless on Thursday, October 15th, 2015 on CBS  (Wednesday, October 14th on Global TV in Canada).  Hmmm .... will he give Dr. Stitch some competition for Ashley's heart?

Is Judih Chapman (Gloria) still on the show?

Where is Gloria Fisher Abbott Bardwell these days?  We haven't seen the sassy character around Genoa City for quite a while.  I don't think anyone has mentioned her or stated that she is out of town. So, what's up?  Well, I wish I could give you a definite answer, but it seems that Judith Chapman, the actress who portrays Gloria, doesn't know herself.  At last report, the character's future is still very much up in the air.  However, Judith is not very optimistic.  She thinks it's possible that Gloria may never be seen on the Y&R again.  Here' what she wrote on Facebook.

 I have no idea when or if GLORIA will be back on Y and Restless.  If they never call.. It looks like no... Such is the nature of Soap Operas.. C'est La vie... A shame for those who loved, loving GLORIA.. AND those who loved hating, her...... And a shame for me... Who loved playing her...

Update on Billy Miller

Here's an update on whether Billy Miller will be returning to his role as Billy Boy Abbott on Y&R. Billy is currently portraying Jason Morgan on General Hospital, but his contract will be up in October.  Burgess Jenkins, who currently plays Billy Abbott, had his contract up in June and there hasn’t been confirmation that he’s signed a new one.  Understandably, General Hospital and the ABC network would dearly love to keep Billy M.  Losing him to Y&R would be a real blow to GH. It would be a bonanza, however, for The Young and the Restless, which never should have let him go in the first place.  

Right now, I'm sorry to report, the news does not sound too promising for Y&R fans.  ABC executive Nathan Varni insists that Billy, who is in the midst of a big storyline on GH, is not going anywhere. Responding to fans on Facebook, Varni confirmed that Billy Miller will remain on GH.  He insisted that the actor is not leaving his role on General Hospital after his contract is up.

Even if Miller remains on GH, as expected, Y&R will have to put out a casting call for a new Billy if Burgess Jenkins decides to leave.  That will be no consolation to Y&R fans who just want Billy Miller back.  Stay tuned and I will keep you posted.

What happened to Detective Alex Chavez?

Ignacio Serricchio, who played Detective Alejandro "Alex" Chavez from 2012 to 2014 won't be coming back to Y&R any time soon.  According to CBS Soaps in Depth, the actor has a role in a romantic comedy series called Zoe Ever After.  He will play a character called Miguel, a handyman, who is very different from the tough cop he portrayed on Y&R.


What is your favourite venue on Y&R?

The Underground
The Genoa City Athletic Club
Crimson Lights
Chancellor Park
Poll Maker

That's all for now.  As the autumn leaves fall, I'll be hoping for a lot of intrigue and romance in Genoa City.  Don't forget to check out the next edition of Y&R Report on Saturday, September 26, 2015.

- Joanne  

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Y&R Report (August 29, 2915): 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.

Fans, I have a great deal to rant about this week.  I am quite disgusted with the direction head writer Charles Pratt has taken with some of the characters on The Young and the Restless.  In particular, I'm disappointed about what's happened to the characters of Neil Winters and Victor.Newman.  First of all, let's talk about Neil. Over the years, Neil has made many mistakes and he's been far from perfect. Like most soap characters, he's made some bad decisions.  However, there is no doubt in my mind that he was at his best when he was with Drucilla, played by Victoria Rowell.  Too bad she left the show in 2007.  Neil has never been the same without her.  Since then, he has been with other women and has battled alcoholism.  Of course, what happened with Hilary and Devon was devastating to him.  However, I don't buy that it would cause him to become so cold and calculating.  The writers have changed his character so drastically that his personality is unrecognizable. Who is that Machiavellian man who seems so amoral and devoid of conscience?  It's certainly not Neil Winters.

As for the Victor Newman character, it's time for the writers to make The Moustache pay the price for his dastardly deeds.  He should lose control of his company, suffer financial hardship and be forced to seek employment with Jabot. Now that Ashley is  CEO of Jabot, I'd like to see her become Victor's boss.  Wouldn't it be great to see ol' Vic simmering with rage at having to take orders from his ex-wife and Jack?  Isn't it about time Jack and the Abbotts came out smelling like a rose rather than The Black Knight. Victor always wins and fans are getting sick and tired of it!  He's a mini-dictator and his slimy hands are into everything.  He wants to exercise control over anyone with Newman blood, including the unborn child of Nick and Sage.  He's also been interfering with Noah's relationship with Marisa.

Speaking of Ashley becoming CEO of Jabot, her new position will pit her directly against her daughter. Abby, who has chosen to work for Newman.  Ashley was certainly a keen observer while Abby was kissing Dr. Stitch.  She didn't look too pleased either.  Obviously, there is going to be one huge mother versus daughter conflict.

Kyle Abbott is an ordained minister???  According to the Reverend Kyle,it was "a random thing he did online" so that he could marry some friends in New York. Okay, I understand that someone was needed perform Nick and Sage's wedding ceremony, but couldn't they have brought in a real minister or some justice of the peace. What shoddy writing!  It was just thrown in without purpose.

On the positive side, the writers seem to have dropped the unfortunate and ill-conceived Michael Baldwin cancer storyline.  Maybe they listened to the viewers.  At any rate, it's great to see Michael acting like his old self again.

Have you noticed that Marisa's accent has been reduced considerably from the time she first appeared on the show.  It's barely detectable now.  She obviously exaggerated it at first and they've asked her to tone it down, for whatever reason.

Sofia Pemas, who plays Marisa, was born on July 31, 1989 in Fes, Morocco to a Moroccan mother and a Spanish father.  She settled in Los Angeles and pursued a modelling career.  Her exotic look is a refreshing change from all the California blondes.

The "two Jacks" storyline seems to finally have come to end.  Thank goodness! Peter Bergman has had a wonderful time playing both characters and he was great in that final confrontation between Jack and Marco, but it's time to put the storyline to rest.  It's long past its due date.  I fervently hope that we viewers will never have to see Marco again.

I'd be very surprised if Sharon and Dylan ever get married.  When he finds out she didn't tell him about their miscarriage, they're through.  Sharon still has feelings for Nick.  Although, she tries to conceal her jealousy, but it's rather obvious that she's upset about his marriage to Sage.


From Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario

The Victor Newman I know from his years on Y&R would not order thugs to cut someone's ear off. Mind you, he did keep a rival for his wife Julia's affections in a dungeon many years ago.  

It's time for the writers to think about the return of Chloe. There is a lot of potential regarding storylines with Billy and Kevin.  It would be perfect if Billy Miller would be back at this time.  Also, it would open the door for more airtime for Kate Linder who plays Esther (Chloe's mother).

Yes, Victor Newman has done some despicable things over the years.  The dungeon incident occurred over three decades ago, during the character's early years on the show.  Victor was originally intended to be a temporary character when he first appeared on the Y&R. However, due to his immense popularity, he became a permanent member of the cast and eventually one of the biggest stars of the show.

When Victor became increasing popular, the writers decided to soften his character. He became more likeable in order to be a romantic partner for Nikki.  His ruthlessness was tempered with a few attractive qualities. Now, however, the attractive qualities have disappeared.  The current writers have him behaving as an absolute thug and a criminal again.  His dark side is the only side of the character we've been seeing for quite a while.

Although Chloe has never been one of my favourite characters on the show, I agree with you that this would be an opportune time to bring her back.  After all, her storyline was left hanging and she was hiding a pregnancy when she left town. There certainly is a lot of potential fir a plotline involving Chloe and Kevin and Billy. I too would like to see more of Esther.  The biggest bonus would be if Billy Miller returned to the role as Billy Abbott.


It's a boy for Mishael Morgan (Hilary Curtis)

Here's some happy news.  On August 9th, Mishael Morgan gave birth to her first child, a baby boy named Niam.  Congratulations to Mishael and husband Navid.

Mishael with new baby and hubby

Nadine Nichol returning as Gwen

Life isn't as sweet for Mishael Morgan's onscreen character, Hilary Curtis Hamilton. The newlywed has been missing since Neil secreting went to her honeymoon island and upset her with information of Devon's supposed dalliance at his bachelor party. New hubby Devon Hamilton is suspected by police.

Now there is news that Nadine Nichol (Gwen) will be returning to the show.  Gwen starting "dating" Devon to cover up his relationship with Hilary.  That can only mean trouble for besieged couple once Mishael returns from maternity leave.

Miles Gaston Villanueva to play Luca

Miles Gaston Villanueva

Get ready for a new character in town!  Miles Gaston Villanueva will play the new role of Lucas Santori this September.  Villannueva has been seen on the Y&R before.  He played Father Martin in 2013 for story in which Nikki Newman and Paul Williams searched for Nikki's long-lost son child, who turned out to be Dylan.

Hmmmm . . . Maybe Luca will be attracted to Summer.  That would cause problems in the relationship between the Snowflake (as Mariah calls her) and Kyle.  Another possibility is that he might set his sights on Marisa, provided he doesn't turn out to be her brother.


Many fan favourites have left Y&R, much to the disappointment of their fans.  Some viewers are just hoping for their return.  My own choice would be Billy Miller as Billy Abbott.  Here are some of the actors who are gone from show, but not forgotten.

Which of the following actors do you most want to return to Y&R?

Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Newman)
Michael Muhney (Adam Newman)
Billy Miller (Billy Abbott)
Michael Damian (Danny Romalotti)
Victoria Rowell (Drucilla Winters)
Jessica Collins (Avery Baily Clark)
Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe Mitchell)
Stephen Nichols (Tucker McCall)
Shemar Moore (Malcolm Winters)

That's all for now.  Be sure to check out the next edition of Y&R Report on Saturday, September 12, 2015.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum and Desilu Studios in Jamestown, New York

As an ardent fan of  Lucille Ball's comedy, I've wanted to visit her hometown of Jamestown, New York for a long time.  Jamestown, where the great comedian was born on August 6, 1911, is located 112.7 kilometres (70 miles) southwest of Buffalo. It is about 3 hours or less from Toronto, Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

Well folks, this summer I finally made the trip.  On Wednesday, August 19, 2015, I toured the Desilu Studios and the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum in the city of Lucy's birth.  It is my pleasure to share some photos of my experience with TV Banter readers and fellow Lucy fans.

Among the many items on display at Deslu Studios is some of the clothing that Lucille Ball wore on I Love Lucy, including her polka dot dress and her maid's outfit. You can also see the saxophone Lucy played.on the show.

Here is a photo of some other items used on the show.

The Desilu Playhouse features a re-creation of the living room of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo's New York apartment . . .

. . . and a re-creation of the kitchen of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo's apartment.

Below is a photo of a display case containing Lucy's Emmy Awards.

Lucille Ball appeared on the cover of TV Guide a remarkable 36 times.

There is also a re-creation of the suite at the fictional Beverly Palms Hotel, where Lucy and Ricky Ricardo stayed when they went to Hollywood during Season 5 of I Love Lucy in 1955.

One of the most popular episodes of I Love Lucy is "Lucy Does a TV Commercial." In this classic 1952 episode, Lucy advertises a medicine called "Vitameatavegamin." She believes that the product contains vitamins. minerals and vegetables.  What she doesn't know is that it has an alcohol level of 23 per cent.

At Desilu Studios, there is a re-creation of the setting where Lucy gives herself spoonfuls of "Vitameatavegamin."  Visitors can stand behind the table, hold up the bottle and read the exact words Lucy speaks in the commercial

There is an extensive collection of Lucy dolls on display.

Right beside the Desilu Studios is the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum.  Due to the contributions of their children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr., the museum has tripled in size since 2008.  It features an audio tour narrated by Lucie Arnaz and contains the personal belongings of Lucille Ball and and Desi Arnaz - letters, costumes, gowns, photographs, scripts and awards.  It also traces the family history of Lucy and Desi and the rise of their careers.


Lucy's legacy can be seen throughout her hometown.  Take a close look at the building in the background of the photo of Jamestown below.  There is an I Love Lucy mural of the structure.  The full-colour mural depicts the well-known scene in which Lucy, Ricky and Fred and Ethel Mertz drive to Hollywood.  There are other Lucy murals in the city and they are the work of local artists.


- Joanne