Saturday, August 19, 2017

Y&R Report (August 19, 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.

So, Nick Newman has been kicked off his daddy's ranch, although it would have been much better if Victor had given him some notice; but that's not Victor's style.  It's about time Nick left anyway.  He admitted so himself.  It's the best thing for him and he should have done it long ago.  It's the only way he'll be able to break free of "Moneybags."  After all, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that as long as Victor pays the piper, he'll call the tune.  This is Nick's chance to start a new life and be truly independent.  However, his future will not be with Chelsea.  Although the two of them think that they will live together in bliss, it isn't going to happen.  They have been keeping huge secrets from each other.

The Dina/Graham story is intriguing, but I think the writers need to give us a few answers to the mystery soon.  If they keep us in suspense too long, we will lose interest.  Unfortunately, it sometimes appears as if they don't know the answers themselves, that they are just writing this as they go along.  One day Dina seems as if she is developing dementia.  Another day she admits to being depressed.  

It's quite amusing to see Dina working at Jabot and to see her lock horns with Gloria.  It should be duly noted that Gloria is reporting to Graham about how Dina is doing at Jabot.  In other words, she's Graham's spy.

Dina made s mathematical miscalculation in her first project for Jabot.  That sounds like another sign that she may be suffering from the onset of dementia.  However, I also wonder if Graham has been tampering with her medication.  Who knows?  Do the writers even know yet?

At least we've finally learned what's wrong with Princess Victoria.  She's been having momentary blackouts, distorted hearing and fuzziness ever since Abby threw a drink at her and she fell.  She claimed that the doctor told her she had a minor concussion and she confessed to Neil Winters that she's "not at the top of her game."  Now her doctor has told her she's still having lingering symptoms from her concussion.  The symptoms may last a while and she should avoid stress.  With all the problems she's having, I don't know how she's going to accomplish that.  Well, at least she didn't sign a deal with that sleazebag businessman, Benjamin Hochman.  Still, her life is quite a mess right now.

Speaking of messy lives, can things get any worse for Sugar Cane Ashby?  He's unemployed, down in the dumps, Lily has kicked him out and his children are disillusioned with him.  His father-in-law, Neil Winter, had some advice for him, though.  He reminded Cane of an old saying: "We make our own luck."

Many viewers are pleased that Cane is paying for his transgressions. Nevertheless, Daniel Goddard, the Australian actor who portrays Cane, defends his beleaguered character.  Goddard made the following comment about Cane to TV Insider.  "He's almost an anomaly in this genre. Cane is not a bed-hopper like Billy or Nick. He's a man of integrity who truly loves his wife and children. He sets the standard for family values. But he made a very stupid mistake and his world collapsed - and then he's made it worse by lying to keep his loved ones from being hurt and to stop his company from being ruined."  Okay, Daniel, you've made some valid points, but I still wouldn't let Cane off the hook that easily.  After all, he ended up damaging his own company out of pure spite.  He was determined to get revenge on Billy.  He was also willing to share Brass & Sassy's secrets with Jack Abbott and Benjamin Hochman.  That's corporate espionage.  To his credit, though, he sold his beloved sports car and paid the twins' tuition.

As for Lily, after kicking Cane out of their home, it didn't take her very long to lock lips with Jordan.


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 Carly in Barrhaven, Ontario:

Glad to have a break from Chloe and Kevin.  Absolutely detest Nikki and Jack together again. Come on writers!!!!!!  Getting used to Sharon and Scott.  I was so glad to see Cane get what he deserves.  Wonder where that's going???   Interested in the Dina and Graham storyline.  Still wonder what he's up to.

Well, your break from Kevin and Chloe won't be too long, Carly, because Greg Rikaart (Kevin) is returning to the show.  As for Nikki and Jack, I think she has better chemistry with Victor.  Too bad he's so controlling, scheming, dastardly and ruthless, although Jack's behaviour hasn't been much better lately.  Don't get too used to Sharon and Scott together because it's doubtful they'll remain a couple for the long term.  As I've mentioned before, I think Scot will end up with Abby and Sharon will reunite with Nick Newman.  Yes, Cane deserved to suffer the consequences tor his actions and his poor judgment, but I think he's paid enough now.  The Dina and Graham storyline is definitely intriguing.  I Just hope that when we finally discover the truth about them, it will be surprising and just as intriguing.

Helen in Scarborough, Ontario has also weighed in with some comments and observations:

Christian, is he raising himself?  

Sharon shaved Scott's beard, but she should have reached for the scissors too to chop his locks.  

I predict that Abby is going to be kidnapped and will be missing for a while.  She is having a baby in real life.and they will have to write her off.

Why is Cane in such terrible financial trouble?  He was a very wealthy executive.  He was even rich enough to bid against billionaire Devon for a fancy sports car at a fundraising benefit.  

Benjaman Hochman is a wealthy corporate raider.  Why would he bother helping Jack get inside information on Brass & Sassy?  He's going to stab Jack in the back anyway.  He may even find himself falling for Victoria.

It seems, Helen, that Christian has been primarily raised by his nanny.  He's a little too young to bring to The Underground.

As for Scott, he does look better, but his hair needs to be styled much more attractively.  Another one who really needs to trim his mop is Reed.  How does he see with all that hair in his eyes?  At least Reed can argue that he's trying to cultivate a rock star image.

Helen, I have to agree with your prediction about Abby being kidnapped.  I'm sure her daddy Victor will be asked to pay a ransom for her safe release.  Scott will help to free her and they will fall in love.

As for Benjaman Hochman, he can be charming, but I wouldn't trust him at all.  He didn't get a chance to stab Jack in the back because Victoria refused to accept a loan from him when she discovered he was planning to hire Cane to provide him with inside information about Brass & Sassy. Given the chance, however, Hochman would have backstabbed Jack.  He's an opportunist and is eager to take advantage of anything that will advance his agenda.. He was certainly quick to claim responsibility for the flowers that he didn't send to Victoria.

Here is an opinion from regular Y&R viewer CC in Etobicoke, Ontario:

I know it's just a soap, but I'm wondering why there is so much hoopla about bailing out Brass & Sassy. Victoria and her siblings have gazillions of dollars from their law suit against Victor.  Nikki is well-heeled, thanks to Victor, and so on.  It sorts of tinges the whole storyline with a lack of credibility.

Well said, CC.  I couldn't agree more.  We all know soaps can't be completely realistic.  At the same time, however, they can only stretch the truth so far or they will loose credibility.  The Brass & Sassy storyline has some very entertaining aspects to it.  Unfortunately, in some aspects, such as the one you have mentioned, the storyline is not believable.


Seinfeld's Newman to appear on two Y&R episodes

Another Newman, is set to make a guest appearance on The Young and the Restless - only this time he's not a member of the prominent Genoa City family.  Seinfeld fans will be pleased to know that Wayne Knight, who portrayed postal worker Newman on the hit comedy, is heading to Genoa City.
Knight has been cast in  the role of Irv West, a music promoter, who will come to town on Wednesday, September 20th and Thursday September 21st on CBS (Tuedsay September 19th and Wednesday, September 20th (Global TV, Canada.  According to Yahoo!, he will check out GC's music scene and meet Tessa Porter (Cait Fairbanks), Noah Newman (Robert Anderson) and Devon Hamilton (Bryton James). He will also cross paths with other characters such as Mariah, Scott and Sharon.

Melissa Ordway's baby is a girl

About two moths ago, Melissa Ordway (Abby Newman) and her husband, Justin Gaston (ex-Ben Weston, Days of Our Lives), revealed that they are expecting their second child.  Now the couple has announced on Instagram that their baby is girl, a little sister for their daughter Olivia.  Their new bundle of joy is due in January.


Which of these Y&R relationships is most likely to last the longest?

Nick and Chelsea
Sharon and Scott
Phyllis and Billy
Ashley and Ravi
Reed and Mattie
Nikki and Jack
online poll creator

That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday. September 2, 2017.  Hope you enjoy the rest of August.

- Joanne

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fall Television Preview 2017: Young Sheldon and 9JKL

                             TV PREVIEW

There is still some summertime left and I'm going to make the most of it.  However, it's time to take preview some of the new shows on American television this fall.  Here us an outline of two CBS comedies that have caught my attention.  The will be premiering in September and October.


Young Sheldon will debut on CBS on September 25th.  The series is a prequel to The Big Bang Theory.  It is set in 1989 and stars Iain Armitage as child genius Sheldon Cooper.  Nine-year-old Sheldon has a "one in a generation mind capable of advanced mathematics and science."  He lives with his family in East Texas, where he attends high school after having skipped four grades.

Jim Parsons, who portrays the adult Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, narrates the series and also stars as its executive producer.

Jim Parsons

Zoe Perry portrays Mary Cooper, Sheldon's mother, who prepares her son to face bullies by reminding them that his dad, George Cooper (played by Lance Barber), is the football coach and his elder brother, George Cooper Jr., (played by Montana Jordan) is on the team interesting to note that It is interesting to note that Zoe Perry is the real-life daughter of Laurie Metcalf, who plays an older Mary Cooper on The Big Bang Theory.

Raegan Revord portrays Sheldon's twin sister, Missy Cooper.  Missy, unlike her twin, does not have an exceptional mind.   Rounding out the cast is Annie Potts as Contance, Sheldon's grandmother, who is called "Meemaw."


9JKL is a CBS comedy created and executive produced by Dana Klein and Mark Feuerstein.  It will premiere on Monday, October 2, 2017 and is loosely based on the experiences of the couple, who are married in real life.  The show was inspired by a period in Feuerstein's life when he lived in apartment 9K in the building he grew up in.  The 46-year-old New York-born actor is best known for his role as Dr. Henry "Hank" Lawson in the USA Network's series Royal Pains.  He also co-starred as Jacob Anton in the reboot of Fox's Prison Break.  He has been married to Dana Klein since 2005 and they have three children.

He portrays Josh Roberts, is a newly divorced actor who moves home to New York after 12 years in Los Angeles.  He tries to get his life together while living in an apartment sandwiched between members of his immediate family.  His parents resided in apartment 9J and his brother, sister-in-law and their newborn baby lived in 9L.  Feuerstein's character tries to set boundaries with his meddling, but well-meaning kin.

Mark Feuerstein  Phot Attribution: Lan Bui

The cast of 9JKL is impressive.  Elliott Gould plays Josh's father, Harry Roberts, an attorney who is eager to assist Josh in landing his next starring role, with the help of his Hollywood "connections." (Mark Feuerstein is the son of lawyer Harvey Feuerstein).  Linda Lavin portrays Josh's doting mother, Judy Roberts.  David Walton is Andrew Roberts, Josh's brotherr, a successful surgeon. Andrew's wife, Eve Roberts, a Harvard-educated pediatrician, is played by Liza Lapira.  Matt Murray is Nick, the doorman, whom Judy bribes to notify her whenever Josh comes up on the elevator/  She wants to greet her son in the hallway. Rounding out the cast is Albert Tsai, who plays 12-year-old Ian, a neighbour from apartment 5A, who spends a lot of time in the lobby.  Tsai is best known for his role as Bert Harrison on the ABC series Trophy Wife and as Dave Park on the ABC series Dr. Ken.

Albert Tsai

- Joanne

Friday, August 11, 2017

Internet TV Digest #4

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


Coen brothers' first TV series to appear on Netflix

Coen brothers
The Oscar-winning Coen brothers are now streamers.  On August 9th, Netflix announced that Joel and Ethan Coen are developing a Western anthology called The Ballad of Buster Scuggs.  It will consist of six separate stories set in the American West and will star Tim Blake Nelson as Buster.

The Coen siblings are the writers, directors and executive producers of the project, which is expected to begin in 2018.  The brothers join other filmmakers, such as Woody Allen, who have made a transition to television. Allen'a series, Crisis in Six Scenes, debuted on Amazon in September of 2016.  It is a comedy set in turbulent times during the 1960s.

Robert Redford and Jane Fonda movie to premier on Netflix

Robert Redford and Jane Fonda have reunited for their first film in 38 years.  They star in a romance entitled Our Souls of Night.  The film premiers on Nexflix and in select theatres on September 29th. It is based on a novel by American author Kent Haruf and was adapted for the screen by writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber.

In Our Souls of Night, Redford and Fonda play neighbours whose spouses have died.  The last time these two Hollywood legends appeared together on screen was in 1979's Electric Horseman.  Their first pairing was in the 1966 Marlon Brando thriller Chase, more than 50 years ago.  Our Souls of Night marks the fourth time that the duo have been cast in the same film.

Disney to start new streaming services

On August 8th, Disney announced that it will pull all of its movies from Nexis.  It intends to start its own streaming services.  The company will launch an ESPN video streaming service in early 2018, which will include content from the Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the National Soccer League.  Plans are also underway to stream the Disney brand directly to subscribers in 2019.

Netflix raises subscription prices in Canada

Viewing your favourite show on Netflix Canada has just become more expensive.  The giant streaming company has just increased the subscription price for its basic plan by one dollar to $8.99 a month.  The increase will apply to all future subscribers.  Existing subscribers will be notified  by email that their fees will be increased. Netflix's standard plan, which allows the viewer to watch programming on two screens at a time,  will also cost a dollar more - $10.99 monthly.  The price of a premium plan, which features up to four simultaneous streams and ultra high-definition 4K content, has been upped by two dollars to $13.99 per month.

In a statement, the company said, "From time to time, Netflix plans and pricing are adjusted as we add more exclusive TV shows and movies, introduce more product features and improve the overall Netflix experience, to help members to find something great to watch even faster."

- Joanne

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Y&R Report (August 5, 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, Jack Abbott has certainly thrown Cane under the bus.  He changed his mind about giving the beleaguered Aussie a job at Jabot because Princess Victoria Newman reminded him that Nikki wouldn't be very pleased with him if he ruined Brass & Sassy, her daughter's business.

Sugar Cane has now reached rock bottom.  The man with the whispery voice (If Victor is "Mr. Mumbles," then Cane is "Mr. Whispers.") has arrived at his lowest point ever. Lily has had enough of his deceit and has kicked him out the door and the twins have lost respect for him.  Lily would have forgiven his drunken escapade with Juliet, but the other lies were just too much to bear.  Cane finds himself unemployed and friendless, although Juliet may still want him, even though he allowed her to take all the blame for the hockey video fiasco.

Hilary has many faults.  She is definitely no paragon of virtue.  She has been selfish and devious, but at least she isn't sanctimonious.  She admits her faults and doesn't pretend to be perfect.  What you see is what you get with Hilary.  That's a lot more than I can say for many other residents of Genoa City.  I really enjoyed her speech to Jordan.  She was refreshingly candid about herself and their relationship. She told him that If he wants to rescue some damsel in distress, he should look elsewhere.  She made it clear that if that's what he's looking for in a woman, she isn't the right one for him. Jordan was somewhat dumbfounded at her straightforwardness.  He didn't quite know how to react. It's obvious, though, that  his heart is with Lily.

By the way, my intention is not to heap fulsome praise on Hilary.  She has hurt a lot of people and she is extremely self-centred.  It is only to commend her for being honest about herself and honest with Jordan.

There are quite a few scumbags hanging around Genoa City these days: The list includes Jesse, the cameraman who blackmailed Cane, followed by Zack, whose dating app is a front for a sex trafficking ring and then sleazy businessman Benjamin Hochman (Ben Hermes). Speaking of Hochman, did he drug Princess Victoria during their business meeting/"date."  Did he put something in her wine?  The Princess has been really off lately, especially since she fell at Nikki's piano concert.  She's been suffering from headaches and fogginess.  She says that her doctor told her that she experienced a minor concussion.  However, I think there is more to Victoria's behaviour with Hochman than meets the eye.  She was definitely not herself that night.  Nosy, gossipy Hilary found out and couldn't wait to spread the word about the Newman heiress and Hochman.

It was Phyllis who engineered the "date" between Victoria and the bearded venture capitalist.  She wants Billy all to herself and doesn't want to share him with Brass & Sassy and Victoria, but even she was surprised at how well her scheme seemed to work.  Not so fast, Phyllis!  Your plan may have backfired on you.  If Victoria is really ill or if Hochman took advantage of her, then Billy Boy will give her his complete support.  He will spend more time with her than ever.

Who is the mysterious Crystal, the young woman whom Sharon wants to help escape from the sex ring? It's possible that she's Tessa's sister.  On a date with Noah, Tessa mentioned to him that she has a younger sister.  Scott is going to uncover the truth about the sex trafficking and win Abby's heart.  That will please Victor, since he seems to want them to be together.  There's one thing that bothers me about Scott, though.  I know Victor paid the ransom when he was held hostage in the Middle East.  I can understand why he feels grateful to Victor.  Yet, why does he feel he needs to bow down to "Mr. Moneybags" and do his bidding at every opportunity.  Sadly, he has become Victor's lackey.

Poor Noah!  He just can't get a break.  He has the worst luck in love and in his business career.  He has no idea that his current girlfriend, Tessa Porter, actually prefers Mariah. Nor does he have any inkling that his dear old grandpa, Victor, has sabotaged his plan to open other a chain of Underground restaurants in college towns..  That is Noah's dream, his passion and "The Big Man" is destroying it.

Victor Newman's dirty hands are involved in almost everything. Not only has he hurt his own grandson by curtailing Noah's effort to expand The Underground into a franchise.  He has also cut off the Newman account at The Genoa City Athletic Club.  Nick and the others are going to have to pay for their own fancy drinks.  It's about time they started doing that anyway, if they really want to loosen Victor's control over them.  It would help if they started carrying some cash on them.  As long as Victor pays the piper, he will call the tune.

There's also no way Victor will allow Jack and Nikki to be together.  He must have been the one who sent someone to spy on them at the Abbott cabin while they were enjoying their cozy little interlude in the outdoors.  I had to smile when Nikki said they needed to talk about "the elephant in the room" and Jack replied, "Does the elephant have a moustache?"

Victor is going to win, as usual.  Jack has been warned that he is playing with fire.  He knows he is being reckless, but continues his relationship with Nikki.  Just like his nemesis, Victor, Jack is a real schemer.  He is determined to wreak vengeance on Billy Boy and destroy Brass & Sassy.  Nikki won't be too thrilled when she discovers he is out to ruin her daughter's company.  Victor will probably make sure she finds out.


Surprise!  Greg Rikaart is coming back

Just when you thought Kevin (Greg Rikaart) had left Genoa City, at least for a while, there has been an unexpected turn of events.  The Emmy-winning actor is already set to return to the show and his fans will be delighted.

When we last saw Kevin, he and Chloe and daughter Bella had left Genoa City to begin a new life in Portland, Oregon, with Victor Newman's blessing.  Although Chloe faked her own death Victor and Dr. Harris know that she is alive.  There is no word yet of the circumstances in which Kevin will return.  There is also no indication that Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe) will also be returning.  That probably means that Chloe will either be killed off, jailed or sent to a psychiatric hospital.  She may also run away and disappear in order to protect Kevin.  That would leave Kevin free to return to Genoa City with Bella.

Is Dina really depressed, as she admitted to Ashley.  Perhaps, but there is much more to the story than that.  You can be sure that Graham is not just helping her deal with depression.


Bombshell! Sally Sussman and Kay Alden   leaving Y&R

Sally Sussman

According to a report from Daytime Confidential, Sally Sussman head writer for The Young and the Restless, and story consultant Kay Alden, are both exiting.  Their departure is really surprising since they only returned to the show last year.  They have a great knowledge of Y&R's history and their storylines focus on characters and relationships.

Daytime Confidential states that they are "choosing to retire" from the demands of soap opera writing.  Sussman has been successful as a documentary filmmaker and apparently wants to concentrate on filmmaking, a source informed Daytime Confidential.  Her documentary Midnight Return was released earlier this year and was well-received.

Still, there will be much speculation about their abrupt departure.  We are left to wonder if they were pushed out or not.    Mal Young, Y&R's executive producer, will add to his responsibilities by assuming the role of head writer, at least temporarily.


A reader sent me the above photos of a scene from the 1990 Sylvester Stallone movie Assassins.  She believes that the little girl in the scene is Camryn Grimes (Cassie/Mariah).  Camryn would have been five years old at the time.  She may have been an extra because she is not credited with being in the film.  What do you think?  Is that child in the photos Camryn Grimes?  By the way, if anyone can absolutely confirm that the girl is Camryn, the information would be much appreciated.  I have tried, but to no avail.

Is the girl in the photos Camryn Grimes?

Yes, I definitely think so.
No, the girl is not Camryn.
She certainly looks like Camryn, but I'm not completely sure.
I don't know.
Please Specify:
online poll


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

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, August 19, 2017.

- Joanne

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Y&R Report (July 22, 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 folks, Nikki got through her concert despite Nick's cockeyed attempt to prevent the event from happening. I expected the concert to take place because Victor was so adamant that nothing would get in the way of Nikki's performance.  Whatever Victor wants, Victor gets.  After all, he has the Newman royal jelly.

Nick Newman erred in trying to sabotage the concert by tampering with the sound board. His heart was in the right place and he truly wanted to help his mother. However, he went about it the wrong way.  Nevertheless, I have to give Nick credit, however, for standing up to his father, although he has more in common with Victor than he would like to admit.  In order to defend their actions, the two men use the excuse that they have to protect their families.  As I've said before, Nick and Victor both need anger management.

At the concert, Victor, of course, behaved like the bully he is.  He punched his own son and it was caught on camera by a gleeful Hilary and her TV producer, Howard Green.  If the actor who plays Howard Green seems familiar to you, that's because he's David Faustino (Bud Bundy on Married . . . with Children).

Speaking of that video of the altercation between Victor and Nick, why did Victor give Hilary permission to air the video?  It certainly doesn't present him in a good light.  Was he purposely trying to upset and humiliate his family?  There's always a reason behind everything "Moneybags" does.

Just when it looked Nikki had forgiven Victor yet again, she quickly ran off with Jack Abbott after her concert.  He whisked her away to the Abbott cabin where she revealed that she hadn't really forgiven her controlling husband at all.  It's one thing for Jack to tangle with Victor Newman over business. However, when it comes personal matters, watch out Mr. Abbott!  Victor is very possessive of Nikki and Jack doesn't have a chance against The Big Man.  As we Y&R fans know all too well, Victor always wins and he always gets his way.  Why should this be any different?  Once again, Jack is playing with fire and he is going to get burned.

I think Jack really cares about Nikki, but he's also wooing her to annoy Victor. He's not completely sincere because he's using Nikki  to get back at "The Black Knight."  Nikki is a pawn in the competition between the two men..  Although Victor informed Nikki that he was finished trying to win her back, I seriously doubt that's true.  As Victor himself has said, "I never quit."  I just can't seem him stand idly by while his worst enemy, Jack Abbott, flaunts his relationship with Nikki.

In addition to competing with Victor, Jack is also trying to get revenge on Billy by bring down Brass & Sassy.  He wants to hire Sugar Cane Ashby to work for him in the hope that Cane will be able to give him inside information on his rival company.

Jack also has to deal with Gloria who is not to happy about his connection with Nikki. Neither is Abby, who caught the two of them in a lip-lock.  Neither are the other assorted Newmans.  As for the Abbotts, they won't be too thrilled when Gloria pursues Graham. They will not want her to get her hands on Dina's fortune.

I can't see the relationship between Billy Boy and Phyllis surviving much longer. Phyllis craves Billy's full attention.  She is trying to be understanding, but she is losing patience with him.because he is devoting all his time and energy to Brass & Sassy and Victoria's problems.  Phyllis is not the type of woman who can tolerate playing second fiddle to anyone or anything for very long.

Since Y&R's writers want us to keep watching, they continually tease us.  For example, does Dina have some kind of illness, possibly dementia?  At Nikki's concert, she confused Jack with Graham.  Her family has observed changes in her personality and her behaviour.  It appears that something is wrong with her, or is there?  We'll just have to wait and see.

The writers are also keeping us guessing about Graham's attachment to Dina and what kind of hold he has on her.  Many viewers, including myself, think that he may be her son. We'll just have to wait and see.

It appears that Tessa is gay and that the writers are setting viewers up for a gay storyline involving her and Mariah.  However, there has been no confirmation from The Young and the Restless that the show will feature a same-sex couple.


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:

Here is some feedback from regular Y&R viewers.

Helen from Scarborough, Ontario made some comments about Cane Ashby's voice.  Helen wants to know why Daniel Gooddard, the actor who plays Cane, always seems to be whispering.  I have to say that Helen is right.  He should speak more clearly.  Victor is not the only "Mr. Mumbles" on the show.

Filomena from Woodbridge, Ontario isn't pleased that Chloe seems to have gotten away without being punished for her terrible deeds, including blowing up a cabin and killing Adam Newman. It does appear that she and Kevin and Bella have gone off  into the sunset with Victor's blessing. Remember, though, that she is considered mentally ill - although she seemed far more rational than Dr. Harris, her psychiatrist.  I wonder, though, if we've seen the last of Kevin (Greg Rikaart and Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson). According to various online reports, Greg's last episode will air sometime in August.  I think the door will be left open for him to return with Bella.  So, where does that leave Chloe?  Is it possible that she could still be killed off?

Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario has plenty of praise for classic older actresses on the show such as Marla Adams (Dina), Judith Campbell (Gloria) and Jess Walton (Jill).  Amen to that, I say.


BABY NEWS: Melissa Ordway expecting second child

Melissa and Justin

Melissa Ordway (Abby Newman) and her husband, singer/actor Justin Gaston, have a baby on the way.  They are already the proud parents of a little girl named Olivia Christine Gaston (born on April 30, 2016), whom they adopted. Now Melissa is pregnant with baby #2.  The due date for the new baby is January 2018.

I wonder how Melissa's pregnancy will affect her storyline?  Will they write Abby's out of the show for a while?

Crystal is coming to Genoa City

Morgan Obenreder

A new character is coming to Genoa City.  Her name is Crystal and she will be played by Morgan Obenreder.  Crystal is the frightened young woman who phoned Sharon's crisis hotline.  Paul and Scott believe that she might have been forced into a local sex ring.  It seems logical that sleezy Zack's dating app is a front for the ring.  Tessa has a past association with Zack and Abby has been getting cosy with him.

Morgan Oberander, 22, was raised in western Pennsylvania.  She starred in Lifetime's Double Monnmy and she portrayed Natalee Vrendenburgh on the TV series Mr. Student Body President.  She also appeared in a 2016 episode of NCIS.


Is Jack sincere about Nikki?

Yes, he really cares for her and they have a close relationship.
No. If he truly cared about Nikki, why would he use her to get back at Victor?  Of all the women in Genoa City, why is he involved with his worst enemy's wife?
No. His involvement with Nikki will only end up complicating her life and hurting her.
Maybe. I haven't decided yet.
Please Specify:
survey maker

That's all for now.  I hope you are having a good summer.  Please don't forget that the next issue of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, August 5, 2017. 

- Joanne

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dan Blocker: A Tribute to Bonanza's Hoss Cartwright

He [Dan Blocker] was a man of great energy, but he was a gentle man who refused to allow his sons to own a gun or go hunting - until the animals learn to shoot back.

- Julian Goodman
President of NBC from 1966 to 1974

Dan Blocker was easy to get to know - the kind of guy you could go and have a beer with.

- Mitch Vogel, actor who played Jamie Hunter during the last three seasons of Bonaznza
From 2010 PBS Special, Pioneers of Television: Westerns

Dan Blocker was a big man, both literally and figuratively.  He was often described as a "gentle giant" because he stood 6 feet, four inches (1.93 metres) tall and weighed over 300 pounds (136.07 kilograms).  However, the measure of the man was far greater than his physical size.  He was generous, warmhearted and well-respected.  For 13 seasons, from 1959 to 1972, Dan charmed viewers as Eric "Hoss" Cartwrght in NBC's long-running television Western, Bonanza.  He played the role of Hoss in 415 episodes, until his untimely death.

Bobby Dan Davis Blocker was born on December 10, 1928 in the rural community of De Kalb, Bowie County, Texas. He was the son of Ora "Shack" Blocker (August 8, 1895 - December 19, 1960) and his wife Maria (Mary) Arizona Blocker (née Davis) (May 4, 1901 - June 30, 1988).  Dan had an older sister named Ora Virginia (born Feb. 2, 1921) who died at the age of 11 on January 1, 1933.

It has been reported that Dan was the biggest baby ever born in Bowie County, weighing 14 pounds (6.35 kilograms) at birth.  His parents were of average height and weight but Dan claimed that his size came from his maternal side, one generation removed.

Financial hardship during the Great Depression forced Dan's father to abandon the life of a farmer.  In 1934, Shack Blocker moved his family to O'Donnell, Texas (just south of Lubbok), where he operated a grocery store.  Below is a photo of the abandoned Blocker store in O'Donnell.

Photo Atribution: Billy Hathorn

As a teen, Dan Blocker attended the Texas Military Institute in San Antonio, Texas.  In 1946, he began undergraduate studies at Hardin-Simmons University, a private Baptist university in Abilene, Texas. In 1947, he transferred to Sul Ross State University in Alpine Texas, where was a lineman on the football team and developed an interest in acting. After graduating from Sul Ross with a degree in speech and drama in 1950, Dan moved east and performed in repertory theatre in Boston.  He also appeared in a 1950-1951 Broadway production of King Lear and performed in Othello on Broadway.

1946 year book photo (Texas Military Institute)

Dan's budding acting career, however, was interrupted by the Korean War,.  He was drafted into the United States Army.and served as an infantry sergeant from December 1951 to August 1952.  Upon completing his military service, he returned to Sul Ross State and earned a Master's Degree in the dramatic arts.

On August 25, 1952, Dan married Dolphia Lee Parker, whom he had met while attending Sul Ross.   The couple had four children: identical twin daughters Debra Lee and Danna Lynn (born 1953) and sons David (born May 4, 1955) and Dirk (born July 31, 1957). Below is a photo of Dan and his children circa 1960s.  

Dan and Dolphia circa 1968

During the 1950s, Blocker worked as a high school English/drama teacher in Sonora, Texas and as an elementary school teacher in Carlsbad, New Mexico.  Dan and his family eventually moved to California where he accepted another teaching position.  He also began working on his Ph.D at the University of California in Los Angeles.  Due to financial difficulties, however, he ended up reviving his acting career instead.

At first, Dan was cast  in small television roles.  His work became more steady as he made appearances on several Westerns including Gunsmoke (1956) (1958), The Restless Gun (1957) (1958),  Have Gun-Will Travel (1958), Maverick (1958), Wagon Train (1958) and The Rifleman (1958).  This led to a recurring role in a short-lived Western series called Cimarron City.

Cimarron City, starring George Montgomery, ran for one season (1958-1959) and Dan Blocker portrayed Tiny Budinger in all 26 episodes.  The show's cancellation proved to be extremely fortuitous for Dan because it made him available for the role of his lifetime, that of Hoss Cartwright on Bonanza.  The series also featured Lorne Greene, Michael Landon and Pernell Roberts.  It focused on the adventures of wealthy rancher Ben Cartwright and his three sons.  The Cartwrights lived on the sprawling Ponderosa Ranch in Nevada Territory during the 1860s.

Bonanza was TV's first full hour Western series filmed in colour.  It did not become popular with viewers until its second season, when it was moved from its original Saturday time spot to Sunday evenings at 9 p.m., following The Ed Sullivan Show.  By 1961, it had become a Sunday night fixture and had settled into the top five of the Nielsen ratings.  In fact, it ranked number one in the ratings from 1964 to 1967.

Dan's character on the show, Eric "Hoss" Cartwright, was the middle son of the well-to-do family of the Ponderosa.  He was born in 1836, the son of Ben Cartwright and his second wife, Inger Borgstrom, a Swedish immigrant.  The origin of the nickname "Hoss" could have two explanations.   "Haas" is a Swedish word for "big in stature and big in spirit." The name is also a play on the Southern pronunciation of "horse" and the character's girth.

Hoss was sweet-natured but somewhat slow-witted and gullible.  Dan Blocker, on the other hand, was scholarly and intelligent.  Understandably, Dan became weary of portraying Hoss for so long and was well aware of the pitfalls of being typecast.  In a January 23, 1966 article by Lloyd Shearer for the Dallas Times Harold's "Parade" magazine, he made the following statement: "I am getting mighty tired of playing Hoss Cartwright. Although his character and myself are integrated, playing that part is a workday job and I'm getting bored.  The public may never accept me in another role.  One of the few advantages is that I'm not the leading man type.  I've had people tell me to get my teeth capped, my face fixed, wear a wig and become a leading man, but that is not my route."

From 1968 to 1970, Dan deviated from his Bonanza role by appearing in TV movies such as Something for a Lonely Man (1968) and Swing Out, Sweet Man (1970).  In 1969, he made a guest appearance on a Jack Benny television special in which he spoofed Western films.  He also guest-starred on variety series such as The Red Skelton Show (1970) and Pat Paulsen's Half a Comedy (1970).

Dan with Jack Benny inn1969

Dan Blocker died on May 13, 1972 of a massive pulmonary embolism (a blood clot to the lungs) following "routine" gall bladder surgery.  He was 43 years old at the time of his death and Bonanza was only a few weeks away from production of the 1972-73 season.

Lorne Greene, who played Bonanza patriarch Ben Cartwright (Dan's TV father), declared, "After Dan's death, I didn't see how the show could continue. I said to my wife, 'That's it.  It's finished.'"  He was right.  After Dan's passing, Bonanza lasted for one final season.  It was never the same with out him.  Richard Collins, the show's producer, put it this way: "Just as we personally suffered a loss, so the audience suffered one, too."

After Dan Blocker's unexpected passing, Bonanza became one of the first television shows to address a character's death.  For the 1972-73 season, big plans had been made for Dan's character.  In a two-part episode entitled "Forever," Hoss Cartwright was to fall in love with a woman named Alice Harper (played by Bonnie Bedelia).  The episode was written by Michael Landon, who portrayed Hoss' brother "Little Joe."  Landon replaced Dan in the starring role of "Forever" and it was Little Joe who ended up falling for Alice Harper and marrying her.  "Forever" never dealt with the exact circumstances of Hoss' death, but there were obvious references in several scenes.  Candy Canaday, played by David Canary, returned to the series to take Dan's place.  However, ratings declined and the show was cancelled.


* Dan Blocker was an astute businessman.  In 1963, he founded the Bonanza Steakhouse restaurant chain.  In 1965, the first Ponderosa restaurant opened in Kokomo, Indiana and it also expanded into successful chain.  Bonanza and Ponderosa were two separate companies but  eventually merged under the ownership of the Metromedia Restaurant Group.

* In a memorable 1959 episode of Bonanza entitled "The Newcomers," (Season 1, Episode 3, Air Date: September 26, 1959), Hoss Cartwright falls in love with a woman named Emily Pennington, played by Inger Stevens.  He is devastated when she dies.

* Dan was a liberal Democrat and an ardent supporter of civil rights.  Although he served in Korea, he strongly opposed the war in Vietnam.

* Dan was interested in auto racing.  Although not a race car driver himself, Dan enjoyed discussing the sport and he was a partner in in a company known as the Vinegaroon Racing Associates.

* Dan's widow, Dolphia, is 84 years old and she currently resides in Santa Barbara, California (according to "People Finder.").  She seems to be keeping a low profile and not much information can be found about her.

* All of Dan and Dolphia's children have names that begin with the letter "D." Two of them have followed in their father's footsteps.  David Blocker is a film producer and production manager.  David is known for films such as Frailty (2001), Into the Wild (2007) and Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009).  He won an Emmy in 1998 for producing Don King: Only in America.  The critically acclaimed 1997 television movie stars Ving Rhames as flamboyant boxing promoter Don King.

David Blocker is married to actress Debra Dusay and they have a daughter named Deena.

Dirk Blocker is an actor.  Dirk's movie credits include Poltergeist (1982), Starman (1984) and Mad City (1997).  Dirk has appeared in numerous episodes of television series, beginning with Marcus Welby, M.D. in 1974.  He was a regular on Baa Baa Black Sheep (1976-1978) and currently co-stars as Detective Michael Hitchcock on the Fox comedy series Brooklyn Ninety-Nine.

Dirk married actress Danielle Aubuchon on November 3, 1990

Dirk Blocker

David Blocker

* Dan Blocker is buried at Woodman Cemetery in De Kalb, Texas, his birthplace.

Photo Attribution:  Jeffrey A. Mack

- Joanne

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Y&R Report (July 8, 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.

My oh my!  Gloria sure had dollar signs dancing in her eyes when Jack informed her that Dina left the bulk of her estate to Graham.  She just can't wait to get her greedy little hands on all that money.  Dina will not be too pleased if Gloria pursues Graham.  Neither will Ashley.  That's for sure.  It will be interesting to see how Graham reacts if Dina makes a move on him, as I fully expect her to do.

The green-eyed monster has reared its ugly head in Genoa City.  Devon is really jealous of Hilary and Jordan,  Hilary, of course, flaunts her relationship with the Brass & Sassy photographer to the hilt.  At the 4th of July pool party, she went out of her way to show off in front of Devon because she knows that he still has feelings for her. and she can really push his buttons.  At the pool party, Devon was unable to hide the fact that seeing Hilary and Jordan together really upsets him.  Mariah certainly noticed and she can't be too happy about that.  That's why she asked Sharon if it's possible to ever get over the love of your life.  She wonders if Devon will never get over Hilary.  Deep down, she realizes that Devon's heart does not really belong to her.  How long will she tolerate playing second fiddle to Hilary?

Cane Ashby is about to hit rock bottom.  He's been fired by Princess Victoria Newman and it won't be long before Lily gives him the boot.  He's unemployed and soon he'll be divorced.  Someone will want him, though.  Although Juliet wouldn't admit it to Hilary, she has her sights set on the dapper Australian and she'll be waiting to help him pick up the pieces of his shattered life.  Will she still want him, however, when she discovers the dirty trick he played on Billy.  She took the blame for that and it cost her her job.

Cane has paid dearly for his night in Tokyo, but his troubles are far from over.  His children, Charlie and Mattie, are going to be so disappointed and disillusioned when they learn of his infidelity.  He's still going to have to face more music when his other bad deed is exposed.  He's not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot.  As a matter of fact, his actions toward Billy may turn out to be the final straw where Lily is concerned.  She may forgive him for his cheating with Juliet, especially if the paternity reveals that Cane is not the father of the baby. That could happen because it would be more unexpected.  The writers know that most viewers expect the opposite and they want to surprise viewers with a few twists and turns.  Cane and Lily's marriage may survive his drunken night in Japan, but it may not survive his scheme to altar a videotape in order to hurt Billy.

Well, at least Cane will still have his scoundrel of a father to turn to.  When Cane told his dear old dad about the Juliet situation, Colin advised him to keep on lying.  Like father, like son.

Victor seems to be promoting a romance between Abby and Scott.  He always asks them to work together.  Is he just playing Cupid or does he have an ulterior motive?  If you think he's just matchmaking, then you haven't been paying attention and you really don't  know Victor Newman. There is an underlying reason for almost everything he does.  "The Moustache" usually gets what he wants and he is relentless.  As he reminded Nikki, he never gives up.

So, Faith is away at summer camp.  I hope she doesn't return in September looking 17 years old.  They've already aged Reed and the Ashby twins.  Aging Faith would be a bit much.  Besides, I like Alyvia Alyn Lind, the young actress who plays the character.  I don't want an older actress to take over the role.

Kevin Fisher announced to his friends and family that he is moving to Portland, Oregon with his daughter, Bella.  He told them that he needs to make a fresh start.  He said a tearful farewell to Michael, Paul, Esther and Gloria and Chelsea.  There were some poignant moments during Kevin's goodbyes.  It all seemed so final.  Yet, according to Soap Central, Greg Rikaart, who portrays Kevin, will be onscreen until August.  If that's the case, then the storyline hasn't quite wrapped up yet.


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:

Here are some comments from regular viewer CC in Etobicoke:

Pretty boring the past few days.  Seems like they used the 4th of July party to showcase the bodies in bathing suits.  Most of them look better with their clothes on.  The public displays of affection were a turn-off for me.

Chloe's doctor is a real psycho or has he devised this crazy ploy to stay in Victor's good books? Whichever it is, the fallout will be devastating for Bella.  

Nikki must have been off on hiatus during this filming period (maybe that is when she went for her makeover), given that they have her getting away to steady and ready herself for the performance.  Wonder how she will do?

Many of the relationships are teetering on the edge of falling apart.  It looks like the match-up cards will be shuffled again.   

Yes, CC, they usually have a summer swimming party and you are right about showing off in their bathing suits.

Yes, they are probably giving Nikki some time off.  Her concert should be very interesting.

Many of the relationships are indeed teetering on the edge, especially Cane and Lily's.  I can't see them staying together now.  The other couples in trouble are Nick and Chelsea and Devon and Mariah.  On the surface, everything seems to be going well for Nick and Chelsea.  However, there are storm clouds ahead.  When Nick learns what Chelsea is hiding from him (that Adam is Christian's biological father), he will never forgive Chelsea for keeping that from him.  I've long predicted in this space that Nick will eventually reunite with Sharon.

As for Devon and Mariah, I don't think they will last much longer.  Devon's heart belongs to Hilary.  Mariah realizes it, but she doesn't seem to want to face the unpleasant truth.  It's about time she found someone who really wants to be with her.

Another regular viewer, Fifi in Collingwood, Onario has weighed in with some remarks:

I don't like the storyline with Chloe and the doctor.  I think the writers thought that up at the last minute.  I'm trying to find out what the history was between Chelsea and Hilary's beau.

Yes, Fifi, it seems as if the Chloe-Dr. Harris storyline was tacked on to resolve the storyline.  I guess they had to do something to tie up all the loose ends, but I wish they had come up with a better solution.

As for the history between Chelsea and Brass & Sassy photographer Jordan Wilde, they have a bond. They were friends but not a romantic couple.  It seems they were con artists togethter "back in the day." Jordan took risque or pornographic before he became legit.  Now he and Chelsea have successful careers and they both want to leave their unsavoury pasts behind.


Steve Burton (Dylan) is returning to General Hospital

General Hospital fans are pleased that Steve Burton will be returning to General Hospital. However, his Y&R fans miss him in his role as Dylan.  Steve played Jason  Morgan on GH from 1991 to 2012.  He played Dylan for four years on Y&R.

... but Michael Muhney is not returning to Y&R - at least not yet

Sorry, Michael Muhney fans, but it doesn't appear that he'll be returning to the role of Adam Newman anytime soon.  However, the good news is that he hasn't slammed the door shut on the possibility.  Michael was quoted on Soap Central as saying, "There is no return to Y&R at this point.  But who knows what the future holds."


What is your favourite storyline on Y&R right now?

The Cane storyline with Lily, Juliet and Brass & Sassy
The Abbott family astoryline with Dina, Graham and Ashley etc.
The Chloe and Kevin storyline
The Newman storyline with Nikki's concert and Tessa
The teen storyline with Reed and the twins, Mattie and Charlie
I like all of the above.
None of the above
I don't know.
Please Specify:
free poll maker

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, July 22, 2017.  I'm looking forward to more summer fun on The Young and Restless  Nikki's concert should be very interesting.

- Joanne