Saturday, May 27, 2017

Y&R Report (May 27, 2017): 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.

Well!  Well!  Well!  Sugar Cane Ashby is not so sweet anymore. He's displayed some appallingly poor judgement of late.  First, he wound up in a compromising situation with Juliet in Tokyo, thereby opening himself up to blackmail and putting his marriage at risk.  Then, he became involved in a feud with Billy Boy Abbott.  In order to get Billy into hot water, he tampered with a video. He deleted the "just kidding" part from the end of the video and made it appear that some hockey players had been gambling on their own sport.  By his actions, Cane put Brass & Sassy's advertising contract with the hockey league in jeopardy, but the sly Aussie didn't stop there.  He bribed the video man not to reveal what he had done.  Maybe he is more like his daddy, Colin, than we've ever imagined. 

Hilary learned about Cane's wild night in Tokyo and practically salivated at the prospect of spreading the news to her nemesis, Lily.  The mischievous look on her face was absolutely priceless.  Now that Hilary knows the truth, it's just a matter of time before the whole world finds out. Cane is sweating bullets, as he should. The Candy Man is definitely headed for disaster, both personally and professionally.  I can't see how Lily and Cane's relationship can survive this upheaval.  Lily may eventually forgive Cane for his drunken night in Japan, but she's unlikely to forgive his lies and his underhanded behaviour at Brass & Sassy,  What happened in Tokyo hasn't stayed in Tokyo; but that's not very surprising, is it?

Phyllis was unable to conceal her presence in La La Land from Princess Victoria.  She hid when Victoria knocked on Billy's hotel room door, but her fragrance gave her away.  I was quite amused when the Brass and Sassy CEO suddenly declared, "You can come out now, Phyllis."  Then she advised Phyllis to use a lighter perfume.  Actually, I'm surprised that the Princess didn't advise her rival to use  Brass & Sassy fragrances because they are not as strong.

As for Princess Victoria, she sure threw Juliet under the bus in order to save Billy's skin.  She didn't want Billy Boy to be the sacrificial lamb, so Juliet got the chop.  Juliet, however, is receiving advice from Hilary and she is sure to try to exact her revenge. She will soon discover who is really responsible for the hockey advertising debacle.  Look out Cane!  You know what they say about a woman scorned.

So, Gloria wants to know where she stands with Jack.  Jack referred to whatever they have as  "our arrangement."  That tells you it's certainly no great love affair, doesn't it?  Gloria is walking a thin line.  If she becomes more demanding and controlling, Jack won't put up with it.  Speaking of Jack, hasn't he been getting rather cozy with Nikki lately?  Phyllis looked rather taken aback when she saw how chummy Jack and Nikki have become.  She looked somewhat jealous.  What's her problem?   She has her Billy Boy.  

Oh, my!  Lily and Cane's twins have grown up so fast!  What have they been feeding those kids.  It also turns out Mattie and Charlie are both stereotypes too.  Mattie is a studious and bespectacled. Charlie is the quintessential teenage jock, with a bit of youthful angst thrown in for good measure. It's obvious why the writers decided to age Charlie and Mattie.  They wanted to incorporate them into Reed's storyline.  However, the rapid transformation of the twins from children to high school students was too drastic, even for a soap.  Also, Lily appears too young to be the mother of a pair 16-year-olds.  Christel Khalil, the actress who portrays Lily, is only 29 years old and she is the mother of seven-year-old son.  

Reed Hellstrom has a very bad day.  First he caught Zoey, whom he regarded as his girlfriend, snuggling up to Charlie Ashby.  Then he inadvertently witnessed Billy playing kissy-face with Phyllis.  Now wonder he was upset.  I really can't blame him.  He was so disillusioned and angry that he hurled a real zinger at Billy.  When Billy referred to Johnny and Katie, the two children sleeping upstairs, Reed retorted, "You know, I'm really glad that your their dad and not mine."  

First of all, Phyllis really shouldn't have shown up at Victoria's place when Victoria was out of town on business. By the same token, Victoria, should not be using the children as pawns in her battle with Phyllis.  Yes, Billy and Victoria are divorced, but Reed should have been informed that Billy was seeing Phyllis.  He had a right to know.  I also think Billy is eventually gong to tire of Phyllis popping up everywhere all the time. Surprises are one thing, but she isn't giving the man any breathing space.  

Phyllis is certainly one very busy lady, but she still found time to needle Victor.  She cheerfully informed "The Moustache" that she had seen Nikki "in the arms of another man," namely Victor's arch-enemy, Jack Abbott.  Phyllis exaggerated, of course.  Although Jack and Nikki were hugging affectionately, they were not in each other's arms or kissing passionately.  As Victor correctly pointed out to Scott, Phyllis likes to stir things up.  Boy, does she ever!

Abby Newman and her grandmother, Dina Mergeron, seem to be getting along quite well.  They have a rapport, unlike Dina and daughter Ashley.  Abby's pleasant relationship with Dina could drive a wedge between her and her own mother, Ashley.


Jason Thompson (Billy) and wife expecting their second child

Jason Thompson (Billy Abbott) and his wife, Paloma Jones, are expecting their second child.  A representative for the actor confirmed the baby news to People magazine.  A little girl is on the way for the couple, who already have a 1-year-old son named Bowie Banjo.  

People published a photo of a pregnant Jones playing with Bowie.  Thomson stated that he loves being a dad and that he's "looking forward to bringing a girl to our little family."

Odds and Ends

Beth Maitland will make another appearance as Traci Abbott on Wednesday, May 31. 2017 and Thursday, June 1, 2017 on CBS (May 30 and May 31 on Global-TV in Canada).  It will be interesting to see how Traci reacts to the reemergence of her mother, Dina, after all these years.

Corbin Bernsen will reprise his role as Father Todd Williams on Tuesday, June 5 and Wednesday June 6 on CBS (June 4 and June 5 on Global-TV.).


Robert Adamson (Noah Newman)

Noah Newman has been unlucky in love, to say the least.  His bride-to-be, Courtney Sloan, an undercover policewoman, was brutally murdered.  The murder took place on their wedding day. After grieving Courtney's death, Noah had an ill-fated relationship with Marisa Sierras, the exotic former girlfriend  a Peruvian drug lord.  He's now unattached and has shown interest in Tessa, a singer whom his grandmother Nikki has taken under her wing.  However, Tessa has been acting strangely and she has been making mysterious phone calls.  She's clearly up to something and Noah is starting to become suspicious of her behaviour.  What do you think, fans?  Should Noah give Tessa a chance?

Should Noah take a chance with Tessa?

Yes, she may be worth the risk. Maybe she's the one being victimized.
Absolutely not. She has too much baggage and she's hiding something.
Maybe, but not until she proves trustworthy.
I don't care.
Please Specify:
survey maker

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.  
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That's all for now. Fasten your seatbelts, though, because the May Sweeps aren't over yet. The Chloe storyline is drawing to a close and the Abbotts are coming to terms with Dina's return. Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

- Joanne

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Y&R Report (May 13, 2017): 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

There are some clear signals that Scott Grainger will eventually end up with Abby Newman  . Although Scott is pursuing Sharon at the moment, there are obvious indications that he will switch his affections to Abby in the future.  Victor has hired him to work at Newman Enterprises so that he can keep an eye on his daughter.  He doesn't feel that she is street-wise or experienced enough. Scott, however, is a journalist and has no business experience.  That alone has aroused Abby's suspicions. The two will be in close proximity and they will most likely fall in love.  Abby will also soon realize what a fondness Scott has for sweets.  He sure likes his doughnuts, doesn't he?

The fact that Scott and Abby aren't getting along right now is another signal that there will eventually be a romance. The Newman heiress finds Scott annoying and self-righteous, but her feelings toward him will likely change.  It's a common tactic on television and in movies for couples to dislike each other at first. Scott, however, may inadvertently uncover Abby's secret deal with her Uncle Jack. That will probably ruin Abby's chances of becoming Victor's successor and the future CEO of Newman Enterprises.  

Methinks Mariah Copeland has become too big for her britches. She's been acting very cocky lately. I know Hilary has treated her abysmally.  However, Mariah's living a jet-set life with Devon now. Was it really necessary for her to have a cat fight with her nemesis or to wear Hilary's dress to work?  Mariah has always criticized wealthy people.  Now, she's flaunting her relationship with billionaire Devon.  That seems quite hypocritical to me.

What's going on with Tessa?  What's her game?  Is she really so grateful to Nikki or is she hiding her true intentions.  Is Tessa sincere or is she a big con artist?  Is she ingratiating herself with Nikki so that she can get close to Nikki's grandson, Noah?  Is she just a gold digger who is hoping to marry Noah so that she can live the Newman lifestyle as a lady of the manor?  I've been wondering about that incident where Tessa tried to stave off the unwelcome advances of a sleazy patron at The Underground.  Was that a set up so that Noah would save the day?  We'll soon find out.

Well, the Battle for Billy Boy has begun and Victoria seems to have the upper hand right now. Phyllis, who is not known for her prowess in the kitchen, tried to surprise Billy with a soufflĂ©. Billy showed up, but was in a rush to leave for Los Angeles.  He explained that he couldn't stay and left in a hurry.  Perhaps Billy's quick exit was for the best because the soufflĂ© sank when he slammed the door.

Both Phyllis and Victoria are determined women.  Victoria is using Billy's ties to the children as a means of winning him back.  Phyllis is starting to feel insecure.  In the previews, Phyllis was shown secretly arriving in Hollywood to spy on Billy and Victoria and to keep them apart.


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.  
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Regular contributor CC in Etobicoke has some comments about Greg Rikaart's imminent departure from Y&R:

Maybe the door will be lift open for any of them to return in the future.  For sure, if we survive long enough, we will see Bella return someday as the reincarnation of the evil Chloe, especially if she finds out that the DNA results were switched and her real father is Billy!

Well CC, the door remains open for Kevin's return someday when Bella is older.  Since characters age much faster on the soap, maybe she'll be involved in a love triangle with Connor Newman or Johnny Abbott, son of Billy and Victoria. Remember that Johnny and Connor are half-brothers because Chelsea is Johnny's biological mother,  But wait!  If Billy turns out to be Bella's father, then Bella and Johnny would be half-siblings.  Oh no!  Let's not go there.

Philomena in Woodbridge, Ontario thinks that Tessa may be linked to Ian Ward's cult.  It would be fun to see Ian again, wouldn't it?                                                                                                                                           

Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario had an interesting prediction for me and it sounds quite plausible.  She put forth the theory that Dina may have a terminal illness.  That would explain why she decided to sell her company.  That would also explain why she decided to sell it to Neil and Devon, who are located in Genoa City.  Perhaps she intends to return to GC to make amends with her children before she dies


Greg Rikaart (Kevin) leaving Y&R

Greg Rikaart is leaving his role as Kevin Fisher after 14 years.  Greg joined the cast of The Young and the Restless back in 2003.  However, his contract has not been renewed and he will be exiting the show sometime in August.  That means that Kevin will be leaving town this summer with Bella.

It's odd that Kevin is being written out of the show at a time when he is involved in a big storyline. Nevertheless, Greg Rikaart's fans should take heart in the fact that Kevin is not going to be killed off. He can easily return in the future.

Jess Walton (Jill) will be returning

Jill will soon be returning to Genoa City.  Jess Walton has been on a short hiatus in Oregon awaiting the birth of her third grandchild and first granddaughter.  The actress told Soap Opera Digest that she will be back in the studio to resume her role as Jill in a couple of weeks.

Fans will recall that Jill and her scoundrel of a husband, Colin Atkinson (Tristan Rogers), left town in March to travel the world.  Tristan Rogers' status with the show is less clear.  At this time, it has not been confirmed whether the Australian will be returning with her.

Julie Chen of "The Talk" to appear on Y&R

Julie Chen

The Brass &Sassy crew is in Hollywood filming a commercial.  Since Y&R is filmed in Los Angeles, CBS did not have to spend a great deal of money on travelling to a far-off location.  Hilary is in Hollywood too.  Y&R's executive producer, Mal Young, told Entertainment Weekly that Hilary "will stop at nothing to interview her idol, Julie Chen,” for GC Buzz. The Hollywood-themed storylines begin airing Monday, May 15 on CBS.  They started airing on Global TV in Canada on Friday, May 12.  Chen, one of the hosts of The Talk, will make her cameo on May 17 on CBS (May 16 on Global).

Y&R Daytime Emmy winners

One Y&R cast member and one former cast member received Daytime Emmy Awards on April 30, 2017.  Gino Tognoni (Phyllis Summers) won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.  Steve Burton (ex-Dylan McAvoy) won for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.  The Young and the Restless also earned an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team.


Marla Adams (Dina Mergeron

Dina Mergeron has returned, but why?  Does she have an agenda?  Why has she decided to sell her company.  Does she simply wish to retire with loads of money and reconcile with her children, or does she have other motives?  Madam Mereron is one tough cookie and she drives a hard bargain.  Her reemergence has rattled her family and other Genoa City residents.  Why do you think she has returned?  Respond to the poll below.

Why do you think Dina has decided to sell her company?

She just wants to retire with as much money as possible.
She has a hidden agenda and is hiding something.
She wants to make amends with her children.
All of the above
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Poll Maker

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will be posted in this space on Saturday, May 27, 2017.  Enjoy the rest of the May sweeps and the great Hollywood adventures of your favourite Y&R characters.  Check out their sunglasses.

- Joanne

Friday, May 12, 2017

Style Your Home Like a Reality Star

Although I am not a big fan of reality television, I am well aware that many viewers enjoy this genre of entertainment.  It is for their sake that TV Banter presents this infographic on styling a home like a reality star.  From kitchens to living room rugs, you can take a look at the interior design tastes of popular celebrities and reality TV stars. 

- Joanne

 Discover how to Style your Home Like a Reality Star by The Rug Seller
Discover how to Style your Home Like a Reality Star by The Rug Seller by The Rug Seller

Monday, May 8, 2017

Unhappy Days: The death of Erin Moran

I will always remember Erin with her sweet smile that greeted me on the very first day I walked onto the set of ‘Happy Days’ in 1974 . . . For the next 10 years that smile never faded. Unfortunately yesterday it did. My condolences go out to her family. She will always be locked in my heart.”

- Henry Winkler

Somewhere along the line, Happy Days actress Erin Moran became Troubled Erin Moran, yet another casualty of the Hollywood child star machine, whose death in an Indiana trailer park at the age of 56 would be shocking if it weren’t so cripplingly inevitable.

- Adam White
The Telegraph, April 24, 2017

Erin Moran literally grew up in front of our eyes on Happy Days.  The Burbank, California native was just 14 when she assumed the role of Joanie Cunningham, kid sister of Milwaukee high school student Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard).  The popular series ran from 1974 to 1984 and it catapulted Erin to stardom.

Erin as Joanie in 1976

In 1982, Erin continued her role as Joanie in the short-lived spinoff Joanie Love Chachi. opposite co-star, Scot Baio.  Baio portrayed Joanie's love interest, Chachi Arcola. and the series followed the adventures of the duo as they pursued music careers in Chicago. Scott was a teen idol back then and the Joanie and Chiachi characters were so popular that CBS was eager to feature the pair in their own spinoff.

Erin , however, was not enthusiastic about starring in Joanie Loves Chachi.  In a 2009 interview with Xfinity, she remarked that she "liked working with the people, but I didn't even want to do it.  I was talked into it. I wanted to stay on Happy Days.  They were running them at the same time." Unfortunately, the show was not well-received by viewers and it was cancelled after only one 17-episode season.

Following the canellation of Joanie Loves Chachi in 1983, Erin and Scott returned to Happy Days for its final season.  After the series went off the air, Erin had difficulty finding acting roles.  She was just 22 years old when the show ended, but was never again cast in a leading television role.  She was left with minor guest appearances on various series such as Hotel (1983), Glitter (1984), The Love Boat (1983, 1985), Murder, She Wrote (1986) and Diagnosis Murder (1998).

In the mid-1980s, Erin left Hollywood and moved to a home in the California mountains. In 1988, she told The Toronto Star that she had suffered from depression after the two series had ended and she was faced with a lack of acting offers.  She said she wanted some time to reassess her life and her career.  Moran also told Sitcoms Online that she had been the victim of "mental and physical abuse" in her childhood, although she claimed that the entertainment industry had, for the most part, treated her well.

In 1987, Erin Moran married singer Rocky Ferguson.  Not much is publicly known about Ferguson, although it appears that he and Erin had a troubled union.  In a 2007 interview with People, Erin described how her first husband struggled with her fame.  "He wanted me to lie in who I was and if anyone recognized me to say no, I wasn't.  And that's the pressure he put on me."  Erin and Rocky Ferguson divorced in 1993 and Erin wed Steven Fleischmann on November 23rd of that same year.

Steve Fleischmann

In April of 2011, Erin and four other members of the Happy Days ca st filed a multi-million breach of contract suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the CBS network.  The other plaintiffs were Anson Williams (Potsie Weber), Don Most (Ralph Malph), Marion Ross (Marion Cunningham) and the estate of Tom Bosley (Howard Cunningham), who passed away in October 2010.  They claimed that CBS had failed to pay them for merchandising profits under the contract.  In July of 2012, the Happy Days actors settled their lawsuit with CBS.  They received $65,000 per person and future royalties.

In recent years, Erin struggled with hard times and financial difficulties.  In 2010, she and Steve lost their home to foreclosure. ABC News reported that a representative for Erin had confirmed that the two had moved into a trailer park to care for Steve's ill mother, Donna Woods.  According to the Telegraph article by Adam White, Fleischmann was working a day job at Walmart while Erin cared for her ailing mother-in-law.  In September of 2012, however, the Huffington Post reported that Erin and her husband were ousted from the trailer due to excessive partying.

Erin was later seen living in a Holiday Inn Express in Corydon, Indiana, about 130 miles (209.2 kilometres) south of Indianapolis.  Photos of her in the parking lot of the hotel were shared on the Internet.  A tabloid described her in the this very unflattering fashion: "Moran, who has not aged well, is seen walking in a grey T-shirt and plaid shorts, a cigarette hanging out of her mouth."

Sadly, Erin Moran died recently at the age of 56.  On April 22, 2017, police in Harrison County, Indiana responded to a 911 call and found her unresponsive.  She had passed away at her home at her home in New, Salisbury, a rural community in southern Indiana, about 8 miles (12.87 kilometres) north of Corydon and about twenty miles (32.18 kilometres) northwest of Louisville, Kentucky.  She had been living in a trailer park in New Salisbury with her husband and mother-in-law.

After Erin's death was reported, there was a flurry of speculation and rumours.  It was commonly assumed that her death was drug-related and Mail Online reported that she had died of a suspected heroin overdose in her mother-in-law's trailer.   However, on Monday, April 24, 2017, the coroner and sheriff of Harrison County, Indiana issued the following joint statement: "A subsequent autopsy revealed that Mrs.(sic) Moran likely succumbed to complications of stage 4 cancer.  Standard toxicology tests were performed and the results are pending however no illegal narcotics were found at the residence."

Although the statement did not identify the type of cancer, friends Paul Petersen of The Donna Reed Show and actor Steven Wishnoff, told the New York Post that Erin had been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation for cancer of the throat.  The cancer was later identified as  squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) of the throat.

That same Monday, Erin's former co-star Scott Baio stirred up a hornet's when he suggested that longtime alcohol and drug abuse may have contributed to the actress's untimely passing.  During a radio interview on the WABC's The Bernie & Sid Show, Baio stated that he was "not completely shocked" by Erin's death.  "I'm okay, a little shocked that this happened.  My thing is, I feel bad because her whole life, she was troubled, could never find what made her happy and content.  For me, you do drugs or drink, you're gonna die.  I'm sorry if that's cold, but god gave you a brain, gave you the will to live and thrive and you gotta take care of yourself."

Baio admitted that he was not certain of the cause of Erin's death.  He said, "I knew Erin well,  over the last many years I have not spoken with her.  She was just an insecure human being and fell into this world of drugs and alcohol.  Again, I don't know if that's what killed her.  I'm sure it was a culmination of years and years of doing it that might have had something to do with it.  She just never found her way."

Baio was roundly criticized for his insinuation that drugs had caused Erin's death  He later apologized on Facebook, explaining that when he did the radio interview, her actual cause of death had not been released yet. He also attempted to clarify himself further by telling TMZ  that had he been unaware of Erin's cancer diagnosis, he would have "kept his mouth shut," especially since his wife, Rene, has battled cancer.  He also pointed out that he was only asked about "Erin's troubled past due to drinking and drug abuse" on the morning of April 24th.

On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Erin's husband, Steve, released this poignant open letter, describing Erin's last days.  The letter was posted on Scott Baio's Facebook page.

Erin and I met 4/22/1992 and parted ways 4/22/2017. We were planning to go to
Thunder Over Louisville to celebrate. She was feeling fine on our anniversary 11-23-2016. Maybe four or five days after we got back Erin woke up and had about a dime size blood stain on her pillowcase. She said I think i bit my tongue. A couple days go by and there’s a bigger spot of blood. We get like 4 days into December, there’s more blood. I get a flashlight and say let me look.

It was not her tongue it was her tonsil on the left side. I thought it was tonsillitis.

So we went to an ENT who said they wanted to biopsy it. It came back squamous cell carcinoma. She started radiation and chemo. Five days a week radiation and chemo only on Thursdays. We did that the whole time. It got so bad so fast.

By the middle of February, Erin could no longer speak or eat or drink. She had a feeding tube implant and i feed her 6 to 8 times a day. She was still happy, she was active, she texted people on her phone all day. On the 21st she was having trouble breathing. She woke up on the 22nd, she was not 100%.

She needed Kleenex, so i went to the store and came back. She was there watching T.V in bed. I laid down next to her held her right hand in my left. I feel asleep woke up about a hour later still holding her hand and she was gone, she was just gone.

Norton Cancer Institute never said how bad it was.. The coroner told me it was really really bad. It had spread to her spleen, she had alot of fluid in her lungs and part of her brain was infected. The coroner said even if she was in the hospital being pumped full of antibiotics she still would not of made it. He said it was the best that she was with me and went in her sleep.

So that’s it.

PLEASE feel free to send the above to Any and ALL news outlets

The press has been relentless. they knock on the door constantly. Thank you Harrison County Sheriff’s I Called last night and they came out ran them off got up this morning
they were all back sheriffs ran them all off again. the last time two cop cars ran off the last ones right before it got dark. we will see what tomorrow brings….

PEACE my friends.

The apology didn't satisfy Erin's older brother, Tony Moran.  He blasted Baio on Twitter and Facebook.  Moran, 59,  also told the British tabloid The Sun that "Erin was a tortured soul who never recovered after Happy Days.  Hollywood chewed her up and spat her out."


* In 2009, Erin appeared in an episode of the daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful as Kelly DeMartin.

* Erin Moran had a supporting role in the 2010 film Not Another B Movie.  She played Mrs. Klien in this spoof of cinema's behind-the-scenes experiences.  It was her last credited acting role.  Erin's last television appearance was in a 2012 episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories.  She recounted a story of being haunted by the ghost of her deceased mother in her California home.

* In late October of 2016, Erin appeared at an autograph show in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  She answered questions from fans and spoke warmly of Scott Baio.  She made it clear, though, that she didn't agree with Scott's support of Donald Trump.

* Erin was said to have been working on a memoir about her struggles. It was reportedly titled Happy Days, Depressing Nights.

- Joanne

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Y&R Report (April 29. 2017): 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.

Well fans, it turns out that Scott Grainger is not only an investigative journalist.  He is a secret agent too.  He had a clandestine meeting with his Auntie Cricket (Ooops, I mean Christine). Cricket has been trying to persuade her nephew to become involved in some further undercover work, which he is reluctant to do.

Some of you may wonder how the Cricketmeister is Scott's aunt.  Longtime Y&R viewers will remember that Scott's father, Scott Grainger, Sr., was Cricket's half-brother.  Scott Gainger, Sr., played by Peter Barton, was a doctor who died of an unnamed terminal illness back in 1993.  Scott Sr. was the result of an affair between Cricket's mother, Jessica, and Scott Sr.'s father, Jim Grainger.

Peter Barton as Scott Grainger, Sr.

Wasn't it was creepy to see Lauren encourage a love match between her son and her best fiend, Phyllis?   Lauren later back tracked and told Scott she was just encouraging a friendship between the two..  Sorry, Lauren, but I don't buy that for a minute.  Neither did Scott.  He and Phyllis agreed not to pursue a relationship anyway.  Scott is now interested in Sharon and Phyllis has reunited with Billy Boy Abbott.

Fans of Billy and Phyllis are naturally quite pleased about the couple's reunion.  However, some viewers would prefer to see Billy Boy with Princess Victoria Newman.  Those fans, of course, are not so happy about the recent turn of events. This time around, however, the circumstances are different. Billy and Phyllis are both legally single, although they have been meeting secretly. The two have not gone public yet and they are still hiding their relationship from Jack and Victoria. They can't bring themselves to reveal the truth to their former spouses.  It leads one to believe that they actually enjoy sneaking around.  They find it exciting, especially Phyllis. Will her ardour cool once everything is out in the open?

A feud between Candy Cane and Billy is escalating.  The Australian has the goods on Billy.  He knows about his clandestine reunion with Phyllis.  Will he use the information against his rival or will he take Lily's advice and mind his own business?  Given Cane's lack of judgment, I suspect he will divulge the secret.  That would be a bad move on Cane's part since he is concealing a secret of his own. His drunken escapade in Tokyo with Juliet will soon be exposed.  Hasn't he heard the old proverb about those who live in glass houses?

The "Who's the Daddy?" suspense is over where Bella is concerned.  Kevin is the father.  It's going to be interesting to see Kevin adjust to his new role as a single dad.  Gloria also has a new grandchild, as does Esther.  Imagine that!  Gloria and Esther have something in common.  As for Bella, she will be surrounded by quite an unusual family.

Young Reed caught in a triangle with Betty and Veronica (Oooops, I mean Zoey and Kendall).  One is blonde, the other brunette. Kendall, the brunette, is quite the manipulator, isn't she? She tricked Reid into going to a movie with her. They viewed the classic 1953 film From Here to Eternity with its famous beach scenes and ended up kissing.  (Just wondering . . . do today's teens watch 1950s moves at theatres?  Do they read Archie comics?)

Reed wasn't allowed to keep the car he received from Grandpa Victor for his birthday, but I didn't feel too sorry for him.  After all, he was also gifted with a cool new guitar.  When the car was taken away from him, the spoiled rich kid complained about having to walk or take a bus.  Ah, poor boy!  Life is tough.  My heart goes out to him.

So, Abby has made a secret deal with her Uncle Jack.  Jack will buy a warehouse where Abby will secretly launch a pilot project for new tech companies.  The deal was made behind daddy Victor's back while he was out of town.  Victor designated Abby interim CEO of Newman Enterprises during his absence.  She is really trying hard to impress her father in the hopes of becoming the future head of the company.  She is insecure and fears that the position will be given to her sister, Victoria.  Abby has been working hard. She's young and ambitious, but she lacks Victoria's business experience. She's still rough around the edges.  The fact that she made a deal with Jack proves that she is not polished enough to take over the reins of Newman Enterprises.  She isn't ready for prime time yet.

I don't think Victor has any intention of retiring yet anyway.  He's got something up his sleeve.  He always does.  However, if did choose to retire soon, I doubt he'll choose Abby as his successor.  Abby has one black mark against her in Victor's eyes.  Her mother, Ashley, is an Abbott, so Victor regards her as somewhat tainted.  When he discovers that she has made a deal with his arch-enemy, Jack, he'll never trust Abby again.  He'll regard her as a disloyal, half-Abbott daughter.

It's obvious that Devon still has feelings for Hilary.  He always looks jealous when he sees her with Jordan.and Hilary is not pleased that he is dating Mariah.  She made a snarky comment about it being a "rebound" relationship.  It was a catty remark, but so true.

Phyllis loves fashion and she bought Ravi a new wardrobe.  So, why does she overdress for the office?  Instead of wearing office attire, she wears dresses that are appropriate for a fancy cocktail party.  Victoria sometimes does the same thing.  Speaking of the head of Brass & Sassy, she was in a generous mood and decided to treat her staff to dinner at the Top of the Tower.  The dinner was filled with intrigue because Genoa City is so full of jealousies and secrets and lies.  Almost everyone is trying to cover up something. Victoria's latest deception was to inform Billy that her mother's MS had flared up again. Nikki gave her the idea, but the Princess didn't have to follow through.


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.  
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Here are some comments from regular contributor CC in Etobicoke, Ontario

Not liking the whole Victor thing.  The writers will have to be very creative to work this one out. They may even have to resurrect Adam.  

I am finding the storylines very ho-hum.   Ashley and Ravi are ridiculous!  Scott the womanizer. . . . Yuck!  Billy is screwing up again!  Does Nikki really think she and Victor can live one kind of life for the public and another behind closed doors!  Too much water under that bridge.

Well CC, I think the writers will work out the Victor storyline..  I also think it's unlikely that Adam will be resurrected for the second time. That doesn't mean I'm ruling out the possibility.  We're talking about a soap after all.  Still, I doubt it will happen.

I don't find the storylines ho-hum at all.  The show has improved since Sally Sussman took over as head writer.  No more look-alikes and explosions.  The focus is on relationships and families.  The history of the show isn't being forgotten.

Actually, I've been enjoying the Ashley and Ravi storyline.  The recent New York episodes were fun. By the way, Ravi's hair annoys me.  He often has this one long strand that's always falling over his eye. I'd like to get a pair of scissors and cut it.

I agree with you that Nikki is being unrealistic.  She and Victor are never going to be able to live that kind of a double life.  As "The Moustache" would say, "It ain't gonna happen."  Nick and Victoria will eventually regret going along with their mother's plan.

Regular Y&R viewer, Fifi from Collingwood is pleased that Kevin turned out to be Bella's biological father.  She points out that Kevin really wants Bella in his life.  For Billy, on the other hand, Bella would be a complication and an obligation.  He would certainly do right by her, but his heart would not be completely in it.

I received an email from Elba, a long-time Y&R viewer.  Elba has a much different point of view on Kevin's fatherhood.than Fifi.  Here are her comments

Kevin is Bella's real biological father!  How this ex-rapist and doofy "Chipmunk" will raise a child is another story indeed!  Tessa, the guitar teacher/babysitter is up to no good, it seems.  Is she planning to kidnap little Christian right under Nikki's nose?  Gosh, not another baby-snatching which takes one or two years to unfold! Just saying . . .

You don't like Kevin Fisher very much, do you?  Yes, he has an unsavoury, criminal past. I am not excusing his previous actions, Elba, but he was locked in a closet by his father, the despicable Terrible.Tom.  That really messed him up.  Soap writers sometimes transform a bad guy into a good guy for plotline purposes.  Kevin's brother, Michael, is a perfect example of that.  Many years ago, he tormented Christine (Cricket) and tried to rape her.  He spent some time in prison.  Now he's one of the most upstanding citizens in Genoa City.  It seems that the writers are trying to reform Kevin, the way they reformed his brother.  He is behaving in a much more mature manner and he even risked his own life to save Scott.  Kevin sincerely loves Bella and wants to be a father to her.  He will get plenty of assistance from Grandma Esther and Michael and Lauren.  They will all help to raise Bella.

I don't understand why Nikki trusts Tessa so much, especially since she is so desperate for money.  I agree with you, Elba, that she seems to be up to no good.  I also hope that viewers don't have to endure another baby kidnapping episode.  I'd like to think head writer Sally Sussman will avoid that kind of a storyline.


Gina Tognoni (Phyllis)

Billy (Jason Thompson) and Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) are back together - for now.  After all, few relationships survive on a soap.  We'll see what happens this time.  Of course, we know there will be complications.  Victoria will fight her rival tooth and nail and she has history on her side.  The Newman family members tend to break up, make up and remarry the same person over and over. Witness Victor and Nikki, Nick and Sharon and Victoria and Billy.  The pairing of Phyllis and Billy, however, is quite popular among some fans. Respond to the poll below and let me know what you think.

Are you pleased that Phyllis and Billy have been reunited?

Yes. They are a great couple and they have great chemistry.
No. He is better off with Victoria. They have a history and a family together.
No. They are very selfish and their affair was very hurtful to Jack.
I'm not sure.
Please Specify:

That's all for now.  The next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, May 13, 2017.  Don't miss it and don't forget that the 44th Daytime Emmy Awards will be held tomorrow. Sunday, April 30th.  The show will be streamed online, but I wish it could be shown on traditional television too.  The merry month of May should be a lot of fun on Y&R.  I'm looking forward to how the Abbott children will be affected by the return of their long-lost mother, Dina. This will coincide with the May sweeps too.

- Joanne

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Internet TV Digest #3

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


Good news and bad news for Netflix

Netflix released its first-quarter earnings yesterday (April 17, 2017) and there was both good news and bad news for the giant Internet streaming company  First, the good news. First quarter earnings surpassed expectations and revenue was in line with the estimates of analysts. Indeed, the company's first quarter profits were $178 million.  Now, the bad news.  The company added fewer subscribers than had been forecast.  The total number of subscribers was 98.75 million, which fell short of the expected number of 98.93 million. According to Bloomberg, analysts expected Netflix to pull in 5.49 million new users. However, the actual number was 4.95 million.  That's hardly a disaster, but as Rhett Jones points out in his April 17th article on ("The Competition May Be Catching Up With Netflix'), "missing the projections means a lot when you're a publicly traded company."  In other words, perception is an important factor.

Netflix attributed the disappointing subscription numbers to the absence of blockbuster series such as House of Cards.  However, there are likely other considerations to explain the lacklustre growth of Nexflix subscriptions.  Rhett Jones thinks it means that Netflix is facing stiffer competition.  He says that "Netflix is probably waking up to the crowded streaming landscape."  Netflix was founded in 1997.  Is it really surprising that things have changed in 20 years?  Hulu is no longer its only real competition.  Other companies are catching up and new streaming services are sprouting up everywhere.

According to Reed Hastings, Netflix's CEO, the company's biggest competition is sleep. In an interview with analysts after the Internet TV provider released its first quarter report. Hastings stated, "When viewers get addicted to a Netflix show, Hastings  "you stay up late at night," "We are really competing with sleep on the margin," he added.

Amazon's streaming service is riding high with success of Manchester by the Sea and new NFL deal

Amazon's studio earned three Academy Awards for its much-acclaimed film Manchester By The Sea, which will be shown on the service beginning May 5th.  Furthermore, this season, Amazon. rather than Twiitter, will stream Thursday Night Football to sports fans. The company has completed a deal with the NFL to stream 10 Thursday night football games during the 2017-2018 football season.  According to Jacob Klein in an article on the website, the value of the deal is estimated to be $50 million.

Here's the rub, though.  Klein says that Amazon will be "paywalling these games behind an Amazon Prime subscription."  This mean that users will be required to pay the $99 a year fee in order to get access to these games. Twitter and Yahoo! had offered streams of games for free, so viewers who are less interested in a subscription will not be so pleased.

Netflix replaces five-star rating system in favour of thumbs up, thumbs down 

Netflix has replaced it's five-star rating system with a "thumps up" system.  The company has chosen to go with binary digits instead of stars.  The writing was on the wall, according to Tom Vanderbilt in his March 31st opinion piece in The New York Times.  Vanderbilt says that in 2012, Netflix's vice president of production innovation, Todd Yellin, told him that the firm was "de-emphasizing" ratings in its algorithms.  Netflix, writes Yellin, is no longer as reliant on viewers expressing their opinions by rating shows.  It can discern their preferences by analyzing what they have actually watched.

Guide to watching live television online

Are you searching for a guide to watching live television online?  An article titled "How to Watch Live TV online should be helpful.  It appears on a tech website called Tom's Guide. Check,news-17512.html for the April 4, 2017 article by science/games/tech journalist Marxhall Honorof.

Guide to watching free internet TV for Canadians

More than six years ago, Stephen Weyman published Free Internet TV: A Complete Guide for Canadians.  Weyman describes Internet TV in Canada back then as a "primitive beast."  He says there are now more than 30 Canadian networks streaming complete episodes of their shows online "using top quality media players "  Here is the link to a website where you can download the PDF version of Weyman's step-by-step guide:

Quitting cable for online streaming video?

Are you considering quitting cable for online streaming video?  If so, you will find some tips in an March 29, 2017 article by Ryan Waniata that appears on the website Digital Trends.  Waniata's article is titled "Cord Cutting 101: How To Quit Cable For Online Streaming Video.  Here is the link:

Ryan Waniata @ryanwaniata
is the Associate Editor of Digital Trends.  His biography describes him as an" audio engineer, musician, composer, and lover of all things tech, audio and cinema".  

- Joanne

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Y&R Report (April 15, 2017): 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.

Move over Julia Roberts.  Make room for Chloe Mitchell, the new "Runaway Bride." Chloe left poor Kevin at the altar and is now a fugitive.  Aided and abetted by Victor Newman, she was able to evade justice. Victor, not realizing that she had confessed to the murder of Adam, helped her escape on a plane to some mysterious unknown destination.  Canadian viewers were amused to learn that she had landed in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Prior to the wedding that didn't happen, Chloe finally confessed to the dirty deed.  After being cornered by Chelsea, she admitted that she was responsible for the cabin explosion that killed Adam Newman.  , When Chelsea found Adam's wedding ring in Chloe's room, she realized what her "best friend" had done.  She did some quick thinking and substituted Adam's ring for Kevin's ring.  When the ring appeared during the ceremony, a freaked-out Chloe ran upstairs.  Confronted by an angry and disillusioned Chelsea, Chloe promptly knocked her former friend out cold and took off.  She did leave a note for her abandoned groom, the unfortunate Kevin.  How thoughtful of her! Actually, in her own twisted way, she does love Kevin.

I've never found Chloe to be a likeable character, so I won't miss her very much, although she was needed for storyline purposes.  She's obviously very mentally disturbed.  She needs help. However, I have never been able to warm up to her personality.  She is nosy and obnoxious.

Kevin was devastated when he learned the truth about Chloe.  However, he is dealing with his disappointment in a very mature manner.  He's really come a long way from the disturbed person he used to be. Chloe's mother, Esther, was also dumbfounded and brokenhearted.   She was comforted by Father Todd Williams who prayed with her.

While Michael and Lauren were out of town, Scott and Phyllis got cozy.  After drinking too much, they were all over each other - until Kevin walked in and interrupted them. However, I don't think Phyllis is the one who will win his heart.  I think he'll eventually end up with Abby.  It will be a while before he settles on one woman, though  It seems to me that he wants to play the field right now. According to an online spoiler, Scott is going to get chummy with Sharon this week and ask her out on a date.

Well, well, well!  Look who's in the dog house.  It's the Big Man himself - The Great Victor Newman. Nikki is taking a really hard line with him.  However, I think she's being quite unrealistic.  She can't prevent him from attending every Newman event without arousing suspicion. How does she expect to keep him away from all his grandchildren indefinitely?  Faith is crazy about him.  

Nikki should have taken a stand a long time ago.  It's far to late now and her plan will obviously not work.  It is simply not feasible for the Newmans to present a united and happy front in public while isolating Victor in private.  As for Nick and Victoria, they were foolish to go along with her plan. Victoria is keeping the secret from Billy, but it won't be long before he discovers the truth.  

Nikki stated that if Victor goes down, all of the Newmans will go down with him.  It is true that some of the Newmans, especially Nikki herself and Victoria, have a lot to lose if Victor is implicated in his own son's death.  They are desperately trying to save their own skin by preserving the Newman brand name.  Victoria, of course, is trying to protect Brass & Sassy.  As usual, though, Daddy Dearest is ruining her life.  Because of Victor, she's jeopardizing her chances of a reconciling with Billy.  He's losing patience with her because she refuses to open up to him about her family crisis  Due to Victor, Princess Victoria is also alienating her son at a time when they were getting along much better.  She is not allowing Reed to keep the car that his grandfather gave him as a birthday gift.

As for Nick, he is acting like a jerk.  What purpose did it serve for him to punch out Victor?  He also upset his daughter, Faith, who is too young to understand what's going on.  As I've said before in this space, Nicholas Newman is in dire need of anger management.  He's also quite the hypocrite too. When did he become such a staunch defender of Adam?  When Adam was alive, the two were at odds most of the time.  

There is zero chance that Nikki's solution will work.  Scott is certain to uncover Victor's secret role in bringing Chloe back to Genoa City.  He's an investigative journalist and he's writing Victor's biography.  So Nikki will be left in a difficult position.  Note:  The cover of the most recent edition of CBS Soaps has the following headline: "Victor Leaves Nikki: And She May Not Want Him Back."

I loved the scenes of Ashley and Ravi in New York.  We also learned that Ravi has a life outside Jabot.  He called some friends in the Big Apple.


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:

Filomena in Woodbridge, Ontario is pleased that the writers have shown a more human side of Gloria,  Gloria comforted Kevin when he was grieving over the loss of Chloe.  She demonstrated that, despite her many shortcomings, she really does love her sons.  She is not just a one-dimensional character. She is not all bad.  The woman may be selfish and scheming, but she is not a monster.  

Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario thinks that there is going to be a three-way fight for Scott between Phyllis, Sharon and Abby.  Yes, Fifi,  I think that could very well happen, although Sharon will probably end up back with Nick.  I also think there could be a possible fourth entry in the Scott - sweepstakes - Summer Newman.  Right now, Snowflake is doing some travelling.  That is because Hunter King, the actress who portrays Summer, has a regular role as Clementine in the CBS prime time comedy series Life in Pieces.  King is no longer on contract at Y&R, but will show up on a recurring basis.  Her future on the show, and that of her character, Summer, is up in the air.  I wouldn't count Mariah out of the mix either, especially if things don't work out between her and Devon.  That brings the count to five.  Scott could have a lot of women chasing after him.  


Cane and Lily's twins to become teens

A younger Noah Alexander Gerry 

We all know how quickly children age on the soaps.  Y&R's Reed Hellstrom became a teenager in no time. He'll be joined soon by the latest kids on the show to grow up fast. According to CBS Soaps, Lily and Cane's twins, Mattie and Charlie, have been recast and are set to become teenagers too. Since he twins were born in 2010, they would actually be about seven years. Poof!  Abracadra! Welcome to the magical world of soaps!

Lexie Stevenson will take over the role of Mattie Ashby and Charlie will be portrayed by Noah Alexander Gerry.  Gerry has appeared on a Disney Channel series called A.N.T. FARM.  The newcomers will make their Y&R debut on Wednesday, May 24th on CBS and Tuesday May 23rd on Global TV in Canada.  So, Victoria will not be the only who has to deal with teenage angst.


The 44th Annual Daytime Emmys will take place on Sunday, April 30, 2017.  Soap star Susan Lucci is scheduled to take part in a tribute to Agnes Nixon, creator of All My Children and One Life to Live. Nixon passed away on September 28, 2016.

The show will be streamed live, so you can watch it online via Facebook: Emmy Awards and Twitter: Emmy Awards.  As of this writing, there is still no word that the show will be televised on cable or network television,  I really hope to see the event on television.


Tristan Lake Leabu

Reed Hellstrom (Tristan Lake Leabu) just celebrated his 16th birthday.  He has a brand new guitar and Grandpa Victor has just gifted him with a cool new car, although his mother is refusing to allow him to keep it.  He already has groupies following him and he's even caught in a love triangle. Two girls, Zoey and Kendall, are smitten with him.  He favours Zoey right now and Kendall is jealous.  Is he a budding rock star?  Let me know what you think by responding to the poll below.

Do you think that Reed is a good singer/guitarist?

Yes, I think he is a talented young musician.
No, the kid just doesn't have it. I don't like his music.
Maybe, but he needs more polishing. That's why he's taking music lessons.
I don't know.
Please Specify:

That's all for now. The next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, April 29, 2017.  Don't miss it.  The May Sweeps are approaching and the storylines should be heating up, especially the Abbott family saga.  It should get really interesting when Dina, the long-lost mother of Jack, Ashley and Traci, arrives on the scene next month.  Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbott) told Too Fab that there is "an amazing story coming up for the entire Abbott clan.  I mean, it's something very pertinent, very compelling, involving her, our mother."

- Joanne