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.  
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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