Friday, August 25, 2017

Maureen McCormick: From Marcia Brady to Reality Star

"For most of my life people have expected me to be perfect. That's because I played the role of Marcia Brady—a pretty girl from a flawless family—from 1969 to 1974. She was perky, well-balanced and above all, always happy. It was an image I portrayed on screen from the age of 12 until I turned 17, but one I'd battle to overcome the rest of my life."

- Maureen McCormick
From "A Very Brady Confession," Newsweek Magazine, November 10, 2008 issue

Maureen!  Maureen!  Maureen!  What has she been up since The Brady Bunch went off the air all those years ago?  Well, for one thing, it took a long time for her to come to terms with the many expectations associated with playing Marcia Brady.  It wasn't easy, especially since she also had to battle drug addiction, depression and eating disorders.

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.  
My email address:

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