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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Y&R Report (September 27, 2014): 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.

As the Big Weddng draws near, rebellious daughter, Mariah, has agreed to be a bridesmaid.  That girl really has an attitude!  I realize that she hasn't had an easy life and that she was deceived by slippery Ian Ward, the man she regarded as a father figure.  I can even understand why she doesn't want to be beholden to the wealthy Newmans and how she is tired of hearing everyone sing the praises of Cassie.  After all, who would want to be constantly compared to a deceased twin sister?  Having said all that, however, Nick and Sharon have treated Mariah well. They have tried to give her the family she's never had.  Yet she has been particularly resentful toward Sharon.  It doesn't really make sense because Sharon has given her wayward daughter more than a fair shake. Mariah keeps complaining about the things Sharon said to her before kicking her out of the house. She seems to have conveniently forgotten that Sharon caught her red-handed in an attempt to seduce NIck.  At the time, Sharon didn't even know that Mariah was her biological daughter. Mariah also accuses Sharon of abandoning her, even though Sharon was a fightened 16-year-old who didn't even know she had given birth to twins.  The second child, Mariah, was hidden from her.

As far as I'm concerned, Maria is an ingrate and she is behaving like a brat.  She is treating Sharon unfairly. However, the conflict between her and Sharon creates drama.

The whole storyline about Phyllis escaping from the hospital is too unbelievable - even for a soap. It's amazing how clear her faculties are after being in a coma for so long.  She's no longer groggy or disoriented.  She certainly had no problem remembering where the key to the Abbott home was hidden, and she entered the mansion so easily.  Speaking of the new Phyllis (Gina Tognoni), I  have to say that she should have redder hair.  Red hair is part of Phyllis' identity.

The writers have created a sense of foreboding about Nick and Sharon's upcoming nuptials.  Faith even declared, "This wedding is jinxed," when Nick caught a glimpse of Sharon's wedding dress. With Sharon's secret hanging like a dark cloud over the couple, the wedding appears to be doomed - or is that just what the writers want you to think.

One thing is for certain, the wedding, if it happens, will be filled with plenty of drama and intrigue. Frankly, I'm really looking forward to it and I hope that the writers do not disappoint.  This is their chance to really engage the viewers and keep us on the edge of our seats.

It looks as if Clueless Paul Williams is about to make another tragic mistake, this time with son Dylan. So what else is new?  Aided and abetted by wife Christine (also know as the Cricketmeister) hapless Chief Williams is about to find himself in a similar situation with Dylan as he was with his other son, Ricky.

As Chelsea pointed out, Princess Victoria Newman can't have it both ways.  She was the one who chose to divorce Billy Boy Abbott.  Now she's spying on him and Chelsea.  She's also jealous of Stitch and Abby.  Talk about having your cake and eating it too . . . Although she is disillusioned with both Dr. Stitch and Billy, The Princess would be better off knowing which one is the father of her baby.

Not that I'm defending Billy Boy.  He's always exercised poor judgment and displayed a lack of discipline. I'd describe him as the quintessential lovable jerk (more lovable when Billy Miller played the role). Although Chelsea seems quite taken with him at the moment, I wonder how Adam's return will affect their relationship.

By the way, who knew that sweet, little Connor would turn out to be such a dangerous hellraiser? The Princess doesn't want him around Johnny for fear that big, bad Connor will bite his half-brother.  She even attributed his behaviour to having Adam as a father.

Well, Ashley's back in town, and she's making quite an impact.  She doesn't mince words and she isn't one for false modesty. She told brother Jack that things are more fun when she's around, and she's right.  It won't be long before the former Dr. Stitch thinks so too, but where will that leave poor, unhappy Victoria?  Will the Princess be left out in the cold?

It's hard to figure Hilary out.  She dreams of being with Devon.  Yet when Neil offered to give her a divorce, she steadfastly refused.  Remember, though, that a soap needs conflict.  Neil has to catch Hilary and Devon together.


Here is another realty check from Patsy from Sarasota, Florida.

I am perplexed that neither Sharon nor Nick noticed that Victor stole a champagne glass. I would certainly notice if I served three glasses but only ended up with two after my guest departed. Just how roomy are Victors suit pockets if he can shove a plastic bagged flute glass AND a hair brush into them.? Not as if he is wearing a safari jacket!

Right on, Patsy!  I guess the writers hope we won't notice.


Kelly Sullivan, who played Connie Falconeri on General Hospital, will have a recurring role on The Young and the Restless.  Sullivan will play a new character named Sage Warner.

Sullivan will first appear on-screen on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 on CBS and on October 27, 2014 on Global TV in Canada.  She described her "Sage" character to Soap Opera Digest as "intelligent, competent, discreet, and reserved" woman.  Sage, she said, "will do anything for those she loves."

Kelly Sullivan as Connie Falconeri

Well, Y&R fans, if you are dissatisfied with the current storylines, take heart!  Change is coming! The show has hired a new head writer.  His name is Charles Pratt, Jr. and he has a great deal of experience. He has been the head writer for many soaps including All My Children (2008-2009), General Hospital (2002-2006), Santa Barbara (1984-1990) and Sunset Beach.  He has also worked on such prime time series as Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty and Melrose Place.  Pratt received three Daytime Emmys for his contribution to General Hospital. The bad new for those who are not fans of Jill Farren Phelps is she will remain on as executive producer of Y&R.


Do you think Nick and Sharon's wedding will happen?
Type your answers here
Yes, they will wed, but Nick will learn of Sharon's secret and their happiness will be short-lived.
No, Phyllis will interupt the ceremony.
No, Victor will put a stop to the nuptials.
No, Ian Ward will interfere with the wedding.
No, Sharon will leave Nick at the altar, fearing that her secret will come out.
I don't think it will happen, but I'm not sure why.
It will not happen, but not for the reasons cited above.
The ceremony will be completed, but there will be chaos afterward.
Don't know.
Poll Maker

Be sure to check out the next edition of Y&R Report on Saturday, October 11, 2014.

 - Joanne

Canada's Newfoundland comedians are outstanding

Rick Mercer

Sean Majunder

Mary Walsh

We have a kind of survivalist instinct, that kind of humour that comes from surviving and clinging onto something It gives you an edge, it gives you an energy, it gives you emotion and passion in the stuff produced here that you don't see in Toronto. 

- Janis Spence
Newfoundland actor, playwright, director, died 2008

It is often said that the best comedians are Jewish, black or Irish.  They have experienced adversity and discrimination, and they use humour as a means of coping. It is for this same reason that Canada is blessed with a treasure trove of Newfoundland comedians.  There is little doubt that Newfoundland has borne more than its fair share of hardship.  With its history of harsh weather and unemployment in the fishing industry, the people of the province have learned to struggle against adversity.

In his 1982 book, In Search of the Newfoundland Soul, Cyril Poole describes how climate has shaped the character of Newfoundlanders.

Because we have not been able linguistically to slay our enemies, fog and rain, sleet and snow, we must each day go forth and do battle with them.  And the battle has moulded our character.

Newfoundland humour is also derived from the province's unique brand of oral stroytelling.  Many Newfoundlanders are of Irish descent, and of course, the Irish have a rich history of oral tradition.

But aside from having a different view of things, Newfoundlanders generally don't regard hmour as something that needs to be written.  It is something that is an oral happening, in the form of a particularly imaginative piece of swearing, a spontaneous witticism  or a fabricated tall tale embellished according to the taste of the teller.

- Robert B. Moore
McGill Uniiversity, Montreal

According to Robert Moore, a native Newfoundlander and a physics professor, word play is learned at a young age in the province and the following example is popular among its children.

A matron, visiting from Toronto, encounters a young boy offering blueberries for sale.  The matron remarks:

"If they are blueberries, why are some of them red?"

"Cause dey's green, Mam."

Given this background, it is no surprise, therefore, that Newfoundlanders have been such successful television comedians. I am a devoted fan of CBC comedy shows such as The Rick Mercer Report and This Hour Has 22 Minutes. The preponderance of Newfoundland comedians on CBC, however, really began with a show called CODCO.  
CODCO (an abbreviation for Cod Company) was a comedy troupe of Newfoundlanders who reflected the province's history of self-deprecating humour and satire.  The group performed at the Fisherman's Union Hall in St. John's during the 1970s.  An active theatre troupe from 1973 to 1976, CODCO toured throughout Newfoundland and Labrador and in manor Canadian cities.  They also travelled to the United States and England. An example of their humour: they claimed to have formed the "Cod Peace Movement" for the purpose of protecting poor, helpless cods from the brutality of barbarian seals.

CODCO was eventually given its own television series, which aired on CBC-TV from 1987 until 1992.  The show's comedy consisted largely of satirical sketches and social and political commentary. Some of its recurring characters included a talk show host with terrible guests and a couple of lost souls who ride the bus because they can think of nothing better to do.  Below is a publicity photo of the CODCO cast - L to R: Cathy Jones, Andy Jones (Cathy's brother), Greg Malone, Mary Walsh, and Tommy Sexton.

In 1993, the highly successful This Hour Has 22 Minutes was launched.  22 Minutes originally featured Cathy Jones, Rick Mercer, Greg Thomey and Mary Walsh - all Newfoundlanders. It is a fast-paced and humorous look at Canadian and international politics and events.  The series was created by Mary Walsh, who departed in 2004 to pursue film roles and to host Mary Walsh: Open Book, a discussion show about books and literature.  She has returned for guest appearances.

Rick Mercer left 22 Minutes in 2001 to spend more time on another CBC show he was doing at the time, a satire about the Canadian TV production industry called Made in Canada.  After Made in Canada went off the air in 2003, Rick became the host and star of Rick Mercer's Monday Report, now known as The Rick Mercer Report.  While a member of the cast of 22 Minutes, Rick began performing his popular "rant" in which he walks briskly while making scathing social and political comments.  "Rick's Rant" is now a regular segment of The Rick Mercer Report.

On 22 Minutes, Mary Walsh's character, Marg Delahunty, became known for ambushing politicians and other public figures, forcing them to undergo her fearless questioning.  She would confront them with criticism and motherly guidance, and some of them would squirm uncomfortably at her acerbic remarks.  She frequently appeared in a bright red costume as "Marg, Princess Warrior" (a parody of Lucy Lawless' Xena, Princess Warrior character.

On October 24, 2011, in a reprisal of her Marg, Princess Warrior role, Mary accosted Toronto Mayor Rob Ford at his home.  Ford reacted angrily and allegedly hurled verbal abuse at a 911 operator.  The incident made news headlines and Walsh was criticized by some for showing up at he mayor's home. Mary, however, denied she was trying to upset Ford, who apparently did not recognize her.  "I'm a 60-year-old woman with a plastic sword, "she declared.  "I was only going to give him a bit of friendly advice."

Mary Walsh as Marg, Warrior Princess

This Hour Has 22 Minutes is still going strong, with Cathy Jones the only original cast member remaining.  The rest of the current cast consists of Mark Critch, Sean Majunder and Susan Kent - all Newfoundlanders.

Mark Critch, was born in St. John's in 1974. and began doing sketch comedy when he was 15.  In 2003, he moved from being a 22 Minutes writer to being one of its permanent anchors and reporters. He is a talented and hard-working comedian.  On the show, he has done spot-on impressions of singers such as Burton Cummings and Neil Young.  He has a great knack for imitating their mannerisms and their singing voices.

Mark has appeared in CBC's Winnipeg Comedy Festival and hosted the Halifax Comedy Festival.  He has also written for and appeared in CBC's popular Just for Laughs series.  However his talents are not just limited to comedy.  He has played the role of Ned Bishop in the CBC's detective series Republic of Doyle and a Gander, Newfoundland airport radio man in the 2006 World War II mini-series Above and Beyond.

In 2013, Critch won the Best Actor Award at the Atlantic Film Festival for his performance in the Newfoundland-themed comedy The Grand Seduction.  In the much-acclaimed movie, he portrays a branch bank manager Henry Tilley, a resident of the small harbour community of Tickle Head, Newfoundland.  For 22 Minutes fans, the film is a must-see because Cathy Jones and Mary Walsh also have roles in it.

Mark Critch

Sean Majunder is a native of Burlington, Newfoundland.  He was born on January 29, 1972 to a mother of European background from Newfoundland and a Bengali Hindu father.  A stand-up comedian, Sean first joined the cast of 22 Minutes in 2003.  He is probably best known for his portrayal of a character named Raj Binder, a nervous, bespectacled Indian reporter who sweats profusely.

Majunder as Raj Binder

Sean also stars in a show entitled Majunder Manor.  It's all about his attempts to turn his picturesque hometown of Burlington, Newfoundland into a tourist haven. The tiny hamlet is located on the east coast of Newfoundland on Notre Dame Bay.  It's a small lumbering and fishing community with a population of about 349 people (2011 Canada census).

“Having grown up in this small community, I know what a different place it is,” Majumder told the National Post last July.  “The truths of Burlington are universal. If you take the story of a small place that has gone through ups and downs and is in a new reframing of itself through this TV show, I think that has universal appeal.”

Sean Majunder has been married to American actress Shelby Fenner since December of 2012. Shelby, who was born in Petoskey, Michigan, is known for films such as Vantage Point (2008), Wolf Girl (2001) and The Guardian (2006). 

Susan Kent, the most recent addition to the cast, is an actress and writer from St. John's.  She started working in TV in 2005 when she played the role of Darlene in CBC's Hatching Matching and Dispatching.  She became a member of the 22 Minutes team in 2012 after being a writer and guest performer for the show.

By the way, on October 22, 2014, This Hour Has 22 Minutes will begin its 22nd season.

L to R - S. Kent, M. Critch, C. Ones and S. Majunder

- Joanne

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Y&R Report (September 13, 2014): 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, Y&R, has given me a nice, hearty laugh this week.  Genoa City Police Chief Paul Williams, former private detective, has been awarded a "distinguished citizen's award."  Please stop me!  I'm rolling in the aisles.  Is this to be taken seriously or is it tongue and cheek on the writers' part?  As regular readers of Y&R Report know, I call Paul "Clueless" for good reason.  Incompetence, Paul Williams is thy name!

So Billy Miller (ex-Billy Abbott) has joined the cast of General Hospital.  General Hospital has scooped up another one of Y&R's best actors.  It's obviously GH's gain and Y&R's loss.  On General Hospital, Miller will be playing the role of the presumed dead Jason Morgan.  Ironically, Jason Morgan was last portrayed by none other than Steve Burton, now Dylan McAvoy on Y&R.

Billy Miller is one of my favourites and I'd much rather have him be a resident of Geona City than of Port Charles.  Every time I watch a scene with Burgess Jenkins as Billy Boy Abbott, I imagine how much better Billy Miller would have done the same scene.  I also believe that Y&R could have signed him to another contract if they had really wanted to.  They were fools to let him get away!

It was great to see Eileen Davidson's return as Ashley Abbott.  When she entered the room, she brought so much energy to the scene.  She really is attracted to Dr. Stitch.  Now that he's an employee of Jabot, it's pretty obvious that they will become involved - if Eileen Davidson stays around long enough.  It was hello and goodbye once more.  No sooner did she appear in Genoa City than she took off for New York again. I assume the reason is that she has joined The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and has to film that show. 

Eileen will be back, though. In June, she signed a two-year contract with The Young and the Restless with a proviso that she could continue appearing on Days of Our Lives in the future and that she could take some time off if her workload became too heavy.

Ian Ward (Ray Wise) has disappeared and Clueless Paul is hot on his trail.  He phoned the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to find out if the slippery criminal had crossed the border. I hope we haven't seen the last of Ian. (Ray Wise). I  really consider Ray to be a good actor and I doubt Ian Ward is dead.  I don't think Dylan or anyone else killed the sneaky cult leader. Clueless Paul is probably going to end up arresting his own son, though.  It's obvious that Victor's investigators do much better detective work than the Genoa City police.  Speaking of the GCPD, what do you think of Detective Harding? I'm really not impressed with him and I find him to be a very unlikeable character.  He seems quite arrogant and ill-mannered. He also bullies Kevin. Alex Chavez was much better and I hope he returns someday.

Have you noticed that Lily's attitude toward Hilary has been softening lately?  She has been defending her nemesis, even thanking her for supporting Neil after his accident.  There's a reason for this. When Lily discovers that Hilary was planning to dump Neil and run off with Devon, she's is going to be quite angry. Her extreme wrath will be directed at her stepmother, whom she will blame for almost everything (Don't forget that Hilary is Lily's stepmother)  Lily will also be upset with hubby Sugar Cane because he knew about Hilary and Devon and failed to confide in her about it.

Sharon and Nicholas are engaged again.  I really like the two of them together and Sharon has never been so likeable since she got back together with Nick.  Alas, on a soap such as Y&R, they will not be allowed to be happy for long.  Phyllis is coming our of her coma and will be determined to get revenge on Sharon.  There is bound to be plenty of drama at the wedding, which will probably be interrupted.  Sharon's secret is hanging over the couple like a dark cloud, and it's doubtful that Nick will forgive her for her transgressions.

Nick presented Sharon with the original engagement that he had given her when they got married the first time - with some upgrades and enhancements, of course. When Sharon asked him where he had found the ring, he told her he had found it in her underwear drawer.  Now I ask you, how many people leave a valuable engagement ring in their underwear drawer and forget where they put it?

It looks as if Kevin is going to hook up with Mariah. On the other hand, perhaps Bad Girl Mariah will pursue Summer's husband, Austin, now that he's working at The Underground and there's no love lost between her and Super Girl.  Summer's jealous that Mariah will become closer to Daddy Nick than she is.

Not that I'm any great fan of Kevin, but I think I'd prefer him to Austin.  Austin is one of my least favourite characters on the show.  I find him very wooden and uninteresting.


Our reality checker, Patsy from Sarasota, Florida, wrote:

Phyllis has been hospitalized in a coma for over one year and Nurse Hathaway had kept her massive engagement ring in her uniform pocket for SAFEKEEPING. Are you kidding me!! No nurse or medical staff would keep any personal item least of all that huge rock.

You are absolutely right, Patsy!  It was so ridiculous seeing Phyllis lying in a hospital bed with a big rock on her finger.  Only on a soap . . .

Here's a comment from Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario  Fifi, by the way, predicted that Meredith Baxter's character, Maureen, would turn out to be Stitch and Kelly's mother.

The wealthy residents of Genoa City should start checking who's behind their door before they answer it.
Case in Point:  Nikki just flings open the door whenever it rings even though Ian Ward has been standing behind it on a few occasions.

Yes, isn't the Newman ranch supposed to be surrounded by security guards?  Victor always claims that his first priority is protecting his family.  It seems he's more interested in getting Phyllis to come out of her coma so that he can break up Nick and Sharon.

Helen from Scarborough called Neil Winters the king of  jazz. She really loves how Neil gets into that jazz music.  Helen also remarked on Malcolm's visit.  She didn't think it was much of a visit. She said he just arrived with a duffel bag, upset Neil, stayed a few days and took off again.

Well, Helen, to be fair to Malcolm, he did try to make amends with his family.  After all, Neil did have an affair and a child with Malcolm's then-wife, Sophia.  It was interesting to see Shemar Moore in the role of Malcolm again, even for two episodes and just to tie up lose ends.  I enjoyed the flashbacks of the brothers from years ago, especially when Neil was a fresh-faced Stanford University MBA graduate and Malcolm wore braids (cornrows) and a bandanna.


Longtime viewers of The Young and the Restless will remember Tom Hallick, who last appeared on the show in 1978.  Tom was a regular member of the cast when Y&R started back in 1973.  He played the role of Brad Eliot, who was the source of an intense rivalry between two sisters, Leslie and Lorie Brooks.

According to Michael Logan of TV Guide magazine, Hallick will once again appear on Y&R after a 35 year absence.  This time, Logan reveals, he will portray "a kindly truck driver who helps an on-the-lam Phyllis find her way back to Genoa City."


Did you notice that Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) has lightened her hair?  How do you like her new look?  I can take it or leave it.  Besides, there are too many blondes on the show as it is. the latest being Maureen (Meredith Baxter).


MARIAH (after throwing water at Abby) : I haven't seen somebody freak out over a little bit of water since Dorothy doused the wicked witch.

Abby referred to Stitch and Ashley as Stashley.

That' all for now.

Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear on TV Banter on Saturday. September 27, 2014.

- Joanne

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Drawing of Kelly Harmon

I received an email from Gary Boettcher of Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S.A., an artist of many and varied media. He specializes in mosaic marble table tops and sometimes draws to be creative.  In 1981, when he was a 16-year-old high school student, Gary drew a portrait of actress/interior designer Kelly Harmon in commercial art class. For many years, he has wanted to give his artwork to Kelly's younger sibling, Mark Harmon, the star of NCIS.  Kelly and Mark also have an older sister, Kristin Harmon, who was once married to the late singer Rick Nelson, son of Ozzie and Harriet.

Gary is very proud of his drawing and he believes that Mark would appreciate this portrait of his big sister.  I have posted a photo of the portrait above in the hope that it will be drawn to Mark's attention.  Gary can be reached at the following email address:

Note:  On February 19, 2011, I posted a piece on Kelly Harmon and her sister, Kristin Harmon Nelson, on TV Banter.  Kristin may also be interested in the portrait of Kelly since she is an artist in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

- Joanne

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Y&R Report (August 30, 2014): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

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

So Mariah is Sharon's daughter and Cassie's twin sister.  She is also the Bride of Frankenstein.  Boy, that Ian Ward is one sick man!  He's even driven Nikki back on the sauce again.  It's enough that Nikki is drinking again, but I fear we will also have to endure Neil's return to the bottle when he discovers the truth about Devon and Hilary.  Speaking of Neil's blindness, I doubt it will last long.  A regular viewer, Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario, has predicted that after regaining his sight, Neil will fake blindness long enough to discover the truth about Devon and Hilary.

Now, back to Ian Ward.  Ian is probably the most diabolical character ever on Y&R. Longtime viewers will remember a gruesome character named Mr. Anthony.  He was a mobster who kept a tank of sharp-toothed piranhas.  Well, I think Ian Ward has topped Mr. Anthony in the evil department.

Rumours abound that the Michael Baldwin character is going to die.  There has been much speculation online that he will be diagnosed with cancer (probably prostrate cancer).  As of this writing, nothing has been confirmed.  So far, it is all conjecture and hearsay based on a report in the current issue of Soap Opera Uncensored in which Nelson Branco writes, "Rumour has it a veteran character will learn he has cancer." Also, in a recent episode, Lauren urged a tired Michael to get himself check out by Dr. Barton Shelby.

I would be very disappointed if Christian LeBlanc left the show.  He is an excellent actor and Y&R certainly can't afford to lose any more actors of his ilk.  LeBlanc has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for his role as Michael Baldwin a whopping eight times, and he has won the Outstanding Lead Actor award in 2005, 2007, and 2009.  Unfortunately, however, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of his departure because Y&R producer Jill Farren Phelps is unpredictable.  As fans well know, she is a loose canon, with a reputation for making controversial moves.

I must say I enjoyed the memorial to Mrs. Chancellor, even though it hasn't really been a year since her death.  Jeanne Cooper actually died last May 8.  However, as we all know, soaps distort time.  Anyway, Murphy showed up with a white beard and Nina had a strong warning for Clueless Paul Williams.  She told him that after having dumped her for Christine, he had better not mess things up with the Cricketmeister.

So Abby kissed Dr. Stitch, purportedly because she was trying to make Tyler jealous. Yet, I have to wonder if there was more to that kiss.  Although she appears to despise Stitch'em up for his interference in her sister Victoria's marriage to Billy Boy Abbott, I can't help thinking she may be somewhat attracted to the disgraced doctor herself.

Abby originally tried to match Stitch up with her mother, Ashley.  Now that Ashley is returning to Genoa City, will she have competition from her own daughter?  Actually, I hope not.  There is already a storyline about a father and son with the same love interest.  The Neil,/Hilary/Devon triangle is enough, thank you very much.

The mystery of Jill's music box has taken far too long to unravel.  Now the box has been stolen, so it's not over yet.  I just hope the writers come up with an interesting conclusion to this convoluted storyline.


Here are some comments by Jessica from Oshawa on the rumoured death of Christian LeBlanc's character, Michael Baldwin, and Mariah's "wedding" to Ian Ward.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if they killed off Michael Baldwin.  Show is getting crazy.  The most laughable one so far is Ian Ward putting Mariah in a wedding dress, the girl he raised as his own daughter!!!!

Here are some very astute observations from Patsy in Sarasota, Florida:

August 20, 2014

In Neil's new blind state he mentioned to the social worker that he knew it was a man that walked in the room. Knew it was not a woman as Neil has a heightened sense for perfume because of Jabot!! Please - hospitals and offices have been scent free for years. We can tell that Hilary and Devon will be caught in their tryst due to Hilary's lingering perfume on Devon. Just saying.


A new Adam has been cast.  He is 37-year-old Justin Hartley.  Hartley has previously appeared as Fox Crane on the daytime drama Passions (from 2002 until 2006) and has had roles on the prime time soaps Revenge and Mistresses. The actor has also portrayed Green Arrow on Smallville.

Don't expect to see Justin on screen until November.  He will start filming in September and will make his first appearance during the November sweeps.

Justin Hartley


Jaime Lyn Bauer portrayed the beautiful and sophisticated Lauralee "Lorie" Brooks on The Young and the Restless from 1973 until 1982. After her nine-year run on Y&R, she went on to play the role of  Barbara Fisher on the short-lived prime time series Bare Essence.  She then won positive reviews for her performance in the theatrical production of Extremities.

In 1993, Jaime Lyn joined the cast of Days of Our Lives and played the role of psychiatrist Dr. Laura Horton until 1999.  In 1984 and again in 2002, she briefly reprised her role as Lorie Brooks on the Y&R. During her original stint on the show, her Lorie Brooks character was romantically involved with Jed Andrews, played by Tom Selleck, who, of course, found fame as Thomas Magnum on Magnum, P.I.

Jaime Lyn Bauer was born in Phoenix, Arizona on March 9, 1949 and her real name is Norma Marvhne bauer.  After graduating from Phoenix Junior College, she pursued a modelling career in Chicago and Los Angeles. She then landed many guest spots on television series.  The aspiring actress eventually had to choose between a seven year contract with Universal Studios and a three year contract with The Young and the Restless.

According to a 2012 biography on her website, Jamie Lyn Bauer is married to Emmy Award-winning make-up artist Jeremy Swan.  She and her husband reside in Studio City, California, a neighbourhood of Los Angeles, and are the parents of three children.

After the birth of her third child, Jaime appeared in episodes of Knots Landing and Young Riders.  She also also played a leading role in the mini-series Judith Krantz's Secrets, which was filmed in Italy.  For almost a decade, Jaime was the celebrity spokesperson for the Epilepsy Foundation and travelled extensively to raise money to increase awareness and educate the public about the disease.  She also launched her own production company, Envision Entertainment.

That's all for now.  Y&R should be very interesting next week!  Eileen Davidson will return as Ashley Ashley and  it looks as if Sleeping Beauty Phyllis will finally awaken from her coma.  Don't forget that the next edition of the Y&R Report will appear on Saturday, September 13, 2014.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

For Robin Williams, it started with Mork and Mindy

The best tribute to (Robin) Williams's skill, though it's not his best project by a long shot, is Mork and Mindy.  That show  never should have worked, or even existed; it happened because Happy Days did a completely ridiculous episode about Richie and the Fonz meeting a space alien.  But the alien was Williams, and he was so funny that he'd practically earned his own spinoff by the time the cast was taking bows.

- Jaime J. Weinman
From "The Mad, Sad Genius of Robin Williams," Maclean's Magazine, September 1, 2014

The recent death of Robin Williams stunned and saddened many people around the world.  As a tribute to the actor/comedian, I decided to write about the television comedy that made him a star - Mork and Mindy. Mork and Mindy was a spinoff of Happy Days, as was Laverne and Shirley, Blansky's Beauties, Out of the Blue and Joanie Loves Chachi.  The Happy Days episode that spawned Mork and Mindy is entitled "My Favorite Orkan" (Season 5, Episode 22, Air Date: February 28, 1978).

The premise of that Happy Days episode sounds patently absurd.  After all, who would expect a comical alien to appear to the Cunningham family of Milwaukee,Wisconsin during the late 1950s?   "My Favorite Orkan"  is a take-off on the early 1960s sitcom My Favoritre Martian, starring Bill Bixby and Ray Walston.  The episode, in which the alien lands on Earth and attempts to kidnap Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard), would have been a disaster if a lesser talent than Williams had played the role of the extraterrestrial.  It might have been as infamous as the episode in which Fonzie jumps a shark.

Robin McLaurin  Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 21, 1951.  After studying theatre at the Juilliard School in New York City, he worked as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles during the mid-1970s.  His television career began in 1977 when he appeared in a Laugh-In revival and became a member of the cast of a short-lived variety series, The Richard Pryor Show.  That same year, he played a small role in an episode of Eight is Enough entitled "The Return of Auntie V (Season 2, Episode 12, Air Date: November 30 1977)

In 1978, Robin Williams was 26 years old and largely unknown when Happy Days creator Garry Marshall cast him in the role of Mork from Ork.  His performance in "My Favorite Orkan" made such an impact that he literally became a star overnight.  He was a whirling dervish, spewing one-liners with rapid-fire delivery Filmmaker Brian Levant, who became a Happy Days writer/producer in the show's fifth season, made the following remarks about the episode to E! News.

It was Robin Williams’ literal birth as an entertainer.  He was an unqualified genius in that rehearsal and the cast of Happy Days was tremendously generous ceding the stage to him and everybody walked out of that show saying ‘spin-off, spin-off, spin-off.’ And we walked upstairs and wrote a bunch of great stuff.

The spin-off, of course, was Mork and Mindy.  It was created as a vehicle for Robin Williams' comedic talent, and it ran for four seasons on the ABC network, from 1978 until 1982.  The series chronicled the adventures of Mork from the planet Ork who came to Earth in a tiny egg-shaped spaceship. The series was not set in 1950s Milwaukee but in present-day Boulder, Colorado.  It co-starred Pam Dawber as Mindy McConnell, his human friend and eventual love interest.  Mindy was a clerk at a music store run by her father, Frederick (Conrad Janis).  She befriended Mork and allowed him to stay in the attic of her home.

Mork (Robin Williams) and Mindy (Pam Dawber)

Mork, a misfit on his own planet, was sent to Earth to observe human customs and behaviour.  At the end of every episode, he reported back to his Orkan leader, Orson.  Orson was never seen on screen, but the character was voiced by Ralph James.  James, who passed away in 1992, did voice work for Looney Tunes cartoons and Pink Panther animated shorts.  He also provided the voice for Mr. Turtle in the Tootsie Pop commercials of the 1970s.

Mork's attire consisted of a red and silver space jumpsuit or a striped sweater with rainbow-coloured suspenders.  After reporting to his boss, Orson, he would tug his his ears and sign off with the words "na nu, na nu," meaning both hello and goodbye in the Orkan language.  Due to the popularity of the show, "na nu, na nu" became a catchphrase along with "shazbot," another alien word used by Mork.  The term "shazbot" has also been used by aliens in The Simpsons and is generally defined as a euphemism to express disappointment or substitute for a curse-word.

In the autumn of 1981, Mork and Mindy were married.  They honeymooned on the planet Ork, which was inhabited by outlandish creatures.  Not long after, Mork gave birth by ejecting an egg from his naval.  When the egg cracked open, a fully grown Jonathan Winters emerged!  Winters, by the way, was Robin Williams' inspiration and model as a comedian.

Mork and Mindy named their bizarre offspring Mearth.  Although Mearth appeared middle-aged, he babbled like a baby, uttering gibberish.  By this time, the series was losing popularity and experiencing low ratings.  At the end of four seasons, it was cancelled.

Robin Williams, of course, went on to delight audiences in such films as Dead Poets Society, Mrs Doubtfire, Good Morning, Vietnam and Patch Adams.  He proved himself to be not only a great comedian but a fine dramatic actor, winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Sean Mguire, a psychiatrist in Good Will Hunting (1997).  Sadly, on August 11, 2014, Robin was found dead at his California home, the victim of a suicide.  Upon his death, Henry Winkler the Fonz himself, shared this memory of his initial reaction to the frenetic comedian :

Here I am playing this man of very few words and I’m watching brilliance explode like fireworks every 10 or 15 seconds… This young man (Robin Williams) comes in and we started rehearsing and I quickly realized I had one job: to keep a straight face. What ever you said, he inhaled out of the air and then threw it back at you. There was not one time it came out the same. There was not one time it was not truly, endlessly and fervently funny. You saw it and your mouth dropped. You couldn’t believe it. I’ve worked with a lot of people and there is and was no one quite like him.

Williams with Laverne (Penny Marshall) and Fonzie (Henry Winkler)

- Joanne

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Y&R Report:(August 16, 2014): 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.

The summer storylines are heating up on Y&R and September promises to be quite intriguing.  We've had our first glimpse of the new Phyllis, as portrayed by Gina Tognoni.  The Sleeping Beauty is just beginning to awaken, so we don't really know what she'll be like in the role.  I'm trying to keep in mind that it's not Gina's fault that Michelle Stafford decided to leave the show.

What is Jack going to do when he has to choose between Phyllis and Kelly?  I think he's going to choose the redhead and there will be heartache for Kelly.  Victor will probably be praised for helping Phyllis come out of her coma.  The Big Man always seems to win.

So Neil Winters has lost his sight after being electrocuted.  Of course, that`s just a plot device to prevent Devon and Hilary from being together (at least Hilary isn`t having a baby).  Neil`s blindness will be temporary and he will eventually learn that his new wife was about to dump him before his accident.  Will he then be tempted to go back to the bottle?

Speaking of Hilary, the writers have left a loose end hanging in the wind.  Who was her father?  We know that her mother was Rose Turner, the woman Neil met at a bar and who subsequently died after he thought she had fallen asleep in a hotel room. Was Hilary's father Gus, the father of Leslie and Tyler.  He had a connection with Rose and they wrote letters to each other.  If Gus was indeed Hilary's father , that means that HIlary is their half-sister.  However, that has never been made clear. Why haven't Leslie and Tyler discuss the matter.  To my knowledge, they have never referred to Hilary as their sister, nor has HIlary referred to them as her siblings.

Billy Boy Abbott has been acting far too smug and overconfident.  I also think that the departure of Billy Miller has ruined the coupling of Victoria and Billy.  Amelia Heinle (Victoria) had great chemistry with Billy Miller.  As for Dr. Stitch, I think he has great chemistry with Ashley Abbott.  I am looking forward to Eileen Davidson's return as Ashley in September.  That should cause even more conflict between the Newmans and the Abbotts.  Billy certainly won't be happy if his sister becomes involved with Stitch 'em up.  It would certainly upset Jack and Victoria and Kelly too.  Abby wouldn't be thrilled either.


I received the following letter from regular contributor CC in Etobicoke, Ontario

Here are some of my thoughts.

Shouldn't supposed wannabe super-dad Billy have taken Johnny to Connor's birthday bash in the park since they are half brothers and Chelsea is his biological mother?
Might that have been him in the stroller with the nanny/sitter?

If they continue with the Billy/Chelsea story line it could become very explosive if Billy tries to get custody of Johnny and create his dream family.
Right up Victor's alley.

Now that Chelsea has a hankering for Billy will her maternal instinct of love for her firstborn Johnny suddenly surface?
I smell a potential Newman/Abbot sibling rivalry brewing!  

Was the party clown Adam himself or his smarmy gofer?

Just an Michael and Lauren pay rent to the GCPD for the regular use of their department to conduct their professional and personal business?  

That's all for now!

CC from Etobicoke

Yes, CC, young Johnny should have been at Connor's birthday party.  As you mention, he is Connor's half-brother.  At the very least, the writers could have given us a plausible explanation for Johnny's absence.  For example, perhaps Chelsea doesn't want to get too involved in Johnny's life, or too attached to him, after giving him up to Billy and Victoria.

I also wondered whether the party clown was Adam Newman in disguise.  I came to the the conclusion that the clown was actually Adam.  II don't think he sent his "smarmy gofer." because he wanted to see Connor for himself.  It was an ideal way for him to be near his child without being recognized.

Yes, Michael and Lauren do spend a lot of time at the police station for "professional and personal business."  It seems they are always rescuing Kevin and helping him deal with his problems and misdeeds.  Now that Fen has gone off to college, they are empty nesters.  It's challenging for the writers to come up with storylines for happy couples.

As for Fen, I think he will return at some point, but perhaps another actor will play the role.  He may eventually become romantically involved with Summer because there's just no way she and Austin are going to last.

Patsy from Sarasota, Florida checked in with this observation:

I noticed that Police Chief Paul Williams with his new liver was drinking wine at the cabin. He sure bounced back from that transplant. Just saying  . . .  I  do remember your previous comment that he and Dylan sure bounced back from surgery pretty fast BUT alcohol intake is just toooo much.

And much toooo soon. I might add.  That's a very astute observation, Patsy.  Thanks for pointing it out. Perhaps the writers just forgot about Paul's transplant, or maybe they figured that viewers wouldn't notice.  If so, they underestimated the show's fans, especially keen observers like you. Someone must have been asleep at the switch.  In he past, the writers have made a point of having recovering alcoholics drink club soda or sparkling water.  What next?  Will a pregnant Victoria be shown drinking wine?

By the way, I don't blame Cricket for being upset with Nikki for barging in on her honeymoon getaway with the Clueless Paul.  Nikki has some nerve disturbing the Cricketmeister and Clueless on some flimsy excuse about Ian Ward sicking the tabloid journalists on her.  Christine was right on the mark when she told Nikki that she should be turning to her own husband, Victor, for support.


There is some disappointing news for fans of Michael Muhney.  Michael officially announced that he won't be returning to his role as Adam Newman on Y&R.  He made the announcement on Twitter to his thousands of followers. "Just got an official call, although things got very close, I will not be returning to ‘Y&R,’"  he tweeted.  "That part of my life is over. Moving on…”

Nikki Newman is going to start drinking again.  She will have a new drinking buddy named Maureen, played by Meredith Baxter of Family Ties fame.  Meredith will be a great addition to the cast.  By the way, Y&R viewer, Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario thinks that Meredith's character will turn out to be Dr. Stitch's mother, whom he is probably protecting.  She may have killed Stitch and Kelly's abusive father and Stitch 'em up may have served time in prison for her sake.

A representative for The Young and the Restless described Meredith Baxter's new character, Maureen, as "a charming, intelligent, middle-class woman who has always aspired to a more privileged life than she's had.  She appears kind and sympathetic, but can be quite manipulative.  She is skilled at getting people to do the things she wants them to do by making them think it's their idea!"

Meredith Baxter will make her first appearance as Maureen on Friday, September 8 on CBS (Thursday, September 7 on Global TV in Canada).

Meredith Baxter

In October, Scott Elrod will be seen in the role of Avery's ex-husband, Joe Clark ( a familiar name to Canadians, that of our former prime minister).  I doubt that Dylan is going to be thrilled about Avery's ex showing up in town.


In the last edition of Y&R Report, I wrote a "whatever happened to . . . on Julianna McCarthy, who played Liz Foster for many years.  Now I would like to hear from readers.  Which former Y&R actor would you like me to do an update on?  This poll will give you a list of five former stars of the show to choose from.  On my next Y&R Report, I will do a "whatever happened to . . . on whomever you, the readers, decide on.  If there are other Y&R actors on whom you would like an update, please let me know.

Which of these five former Y&R actors would you like me to write a"Whatever happened to . . . ?" about? free polls 

The nest edition of the Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, August 30, 2014.  

- Joanne