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 News for canadian shows - 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 News for canadian shows 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 News for canadian shows 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 News for canadian shows 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