On October 25, 2017, Mal Young officially replaced Sally Sussman as Y&R's head writer. I have to say that the most recent episodes of the show have been chaotic and uneven. I'm going to cut Mal some slack for the time being, since the show is in transition from one head writer to another. However, his grace period will have to come to an end at some point.
I know Mal's very experienced and that he's produced several good TV shows in the United Kingdom, including the popular British soap EastEnders and the medical drama Doctors. However, I don't expect him to have the same knowledge of the history of The Young and the Restless that Sally Sussman has. Sally has moved on though, and it's now up to Mal to maintain the integrity of the show. I just hope he focuses on the relationships of the characters, as Sussman did. What most fans don't want is a return to storylines involving look-alikes, fires and explosions. (Online spoilers say that there is going to be a fire at The Underground).
I'm hoping for the best, but I'm already disappointed at what's been done with Scott Gainger. Scott is an experienced journalist who has been in war zones. He has been taken hostage. So, why would he behave so helplessly after waking up in a motel room with the blood of the murdered Natalia on him. He acted as if he'd never faced a difficult or dangerous situation before. Instead of remaining calm and composed, he whimpered and begged Victor Newman to come to his rescue. In other words, Scott wimped out. This is not the Scott Grainger we have come to know. Why has his character been changed? Also, why didn't Scott immediately suspect Zack of drugging him? Weren't there security or video cameras that would have shown Zack slipping the drug into Scott's beer? What about Clueless Paul Williams? Not surprisingly, the inept Genoa City police chief was unbelievably easy on Zack when he questioned him.
Zack is a sleaze, but is he actually the big boss of the sex trafficking ring? After all, if Zack were the Big Kahuna, why would he have been the one to drug Scott right out in the open? The really big guns keep a lower profile than that. We don't really know who has been on on the receiving end of all Zack's phone calls. It certainly hasn't always that goon Leon. So, who is Mr. Big, if it's not Zack?
We finally know what's wrong with Princess Victoria. Her Brass & Sassy face mask is toxic. She's in a state of panic - not about her health, but about her company. With Victoria, her company and Daddy Victor always come first. Did you notice how Victor was the first person at her bedside when the sleeping princess awakened?
Here's the question: Brash & Sassy did not approve a toxic chemical for its product. It is assumed, therefore, that the company must have been sabotaged. If so, who's responsible for the sabotage? It would have to be a vengeful person with an axe to grind against Brass & Sassy. The following suspects come to mind:
1. Gloria (Judith Chapman): Gloria, as long-time fans remember, was involved in a tainted Jabot face cream scandal about ten years ago. That's why suspicion may fall on her, but this time she seems innocent. When Billy confronted her she behaved as if she knew nothing about it and phoned Jack to find out if he we was involved.
2. Cane (Daniel Goddard) also has a grudge against Brass & Sassy, but I don't think he had anything to do with the toxic face mask. He's got too many other problems in his life with Juliet, Lily and the twins. His reputation has been tainted enough already without having him tainting a Brass & Sassy product.
3. Juliet (Laur Allen): Some have pointed the finger at Juliet. After all she worked at Jabot and she is vindictive enough to do so. Also, she has a real grudge against Brass & Sassy and she must resent the fact that Lily has been given her former job. She's not trustworthy her at all and she'd probably stop at nothing to trap Cane or to get revenge on Victoria, Billy and Brass & Sassy. However, Juliet is quite occupied these days with a troubled pregnancy. She has Cane wrapped around her little finger anyway.
There is another possibility that is much more plausible. What if it wasn't sabotage? What if it wasn't event intentional? What if the face masks were poisoned out of sheer negligence? Well then, the culprit would be none other than (drum roll) . . . Billy Abbott. Yes Billy Abbott, the King of Carelessness, the only executive who could get caught spying on a rival company and then unwittingly cause his own company to produce a toxic product.
It was Billy's fault. Online columns and spoilers point to Billy as the guilty party. He, of course, didn't order toxins into the product. However, he rushed production of the masks because he was so determined to bring down Jabot. He told the factory manager to cut corners in order to get the masks on the market as soon as possible. Sloppy work at the factory resulted in the toxic poisoning.
Victoria isn't the only possible victim of the poisoning. Remember that Brass & Sassy brought in people to try out the product. Neil Winters was one of them. Billy has been in hot water many times before, but this could take the cake. Not only that, but he is currently on the receiving end of Phyllis' anger and she gave him the boot. There was just no way it could last. As Phyllis pointed out, Billy's priorities are Victoria, Brass & Sassy and getting revenge on Jack. There is no way a woman like Phyllis would be content to play second fiddle to all that. She's too far down Billy Boy's list of priorities.
Two of the woman at the ritzy Florida hotel with Dina were the real-life mothers of Esther Valentine (Kate Linder) and Lauren Fenmore (Tracey Bregman).
What is wrong with Abby? Could this character actually have poorer judgement than Cane? (I didn't think that was possible). How can she keep reconciling with Zack after the way he behaves. The guy broke up with her via a cell phone message, for heaven's sake.
Hey Lauren, tell us how you really feel about Sharon being your son Scott's girlfriend?
Ashley and Jack sure made a fast road trip from Genoa City, Wisconsin to Florida, didn't they?
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.
Here are some comments from Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario:
There seems to be a double standard on soaps that it is okay for a woman to slap a man hard across the face. In other words, it's okay for Phyllis to slap Billy, but Billy would never slap Phyllis. Violence of any kind is not acceptable.
Also, I have noticed that of late, Gina Tognoni (Phyllis) is becoming extremely animated in her scenes and overusing her hands.
Yes, Fifi, you are absolutely right about the double standard. What's good for the gander, however, is not always good for the goose. It should not be considered acceptable behaviour for a woman to slap a man in the face if she is angry with him. Unfortunately, both female and male characters in Genoa City accept this as justifiable. The male characters don't seem to protest, seemingly condoning it. They act as if they deserve it. By the way, not only did Billy receive a slap from Phyllis, but Gloria also slapped him in the face when he accused her of helping Jack sabotage Brass & Sassy with the tainted face masks.
As for Gina Tognoni becoming extremely animated, I have noticed that too. I realize that her scenes with Billy are quite intense and emotional. I've been trying to decide if she has been overacting or it's just in Phyllis' nature to be over the top.
Here are some questions and comments from regular contributor CC in Etobicoke, Ontario:
Do you think Graham is giving Dina some kind of happy pills?
How involved do you think Victor is in Victoria's business downturns, or the things happening around Abby and Zack's relationship? He is so slick and sleazy. Even if his involvement boarders on illegal, he'll still get out of it.
The time has come for Nick to find out that Christian is Adam's child. Enough already.
You've asked some good questions, CC. No, I don't think Graham drugged Dina or brainwashed her. I think her erratic behaviour is the result of early dementia or Alzheimer's Disease. Graham, of course, is aware of her condition.
I think Victor is involved in some way in what is happening with Abby and Zack. I wouldn't put anything past him and he seems to dip his hands into almost every bit of dirt. He certainly would prefer Abby with Scott rather than Zack.
As I've mentioned, it appears that Billy's carelessness resulted in the toxic face masks. On the surface, it doesn't seem likely that Victor would have any involvement in Victoria's business downturns. He knows how much Brass & Sassy means to his daughter. Why would he want to sabotage his own daughter's company? Why would he want to hurt her? That wouldn't make sense, would it? However, Victor is n ordinary father, He is another kettle of fish. He always has an agenda and as you put it, he's "slick and sleazy." The fall of Brash & Sassy would bring Victoria right back into Victor's orbit. He would be able to control her more. She may even go begging to him for money to stave off lawsuits and avoid bankruptcy. Another scenario is that if Victoria's company collapses, she may return to work at Newman Enterprises in some capacity, or perhaps Victor would agree to finance Brass & Sassy if it became part of Newman Enterprises again. Of course, Victor would not allow Billy Boy to work at Newman. That would be a plus for "Moneybags" because it would prevent his princess from working with that "punk" and "playboy."
I agree that it's about time for the truth about Christian's paternity to come out. Like you, I feel like exclaiming "enough already!" However, I'm afraid we're going to have to wait a bit longer for the secret to come out. The writers are focusing on too many other storylines right now, especially the Dina/Graham saga and the sex trafficking ring storyline. Remember that Victor knows the truth. If he really wants to hurt Nick, he can always tell him. That would destroy Nick's relationship with Chelsea. He'll never forgive her for not telling him. Given Victor's mean-spiritedness and his desire to "teach Nick a lesson." I wouldn't put it past him to divulge the secret.
I received some comments and observation from longtime Y&R viewer Helen in Scarborough, Ontario. Helen calls Michael Baldwin a one-stop attorney and the most versatile lawyer on the face of the Earth. There isn't an aspect of the law that he doesn't deal with - criminal law, wills and estates, divorce - you name it, Baldwin does it. He appears to be the only lawyer in Genoa City right now. Once in a while, Leslie makes an appearance, as she did with Juliet's lawsuit against Brass & Sassy.
Here's what Helen would say to Jordan: "You are such a cool dude, but please get your love life in order. Make up your mind about Hilary. Do you really want to be with her, or is she just your second choice after Lily?
Helen has the answer to why Abby went back to Zack again. It was that forest of multi-coloured balloon he brought her. Those balloons would sweep any woman off her feet.
Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters) troubled over loss of son
There has been concern about the mental health of Y&R's Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters). On Sunday, October 22nd, there were multiple reports that the actor had been hospitalized and placed under psychiatric care, after allegedly threatening to kill himself with a gun. His ex-wife, Mia St. John, set the record straight in an interview with ET. Mila aaid that "inaccurate and fabricated iinformation" had been reported with regard to her former husband and reports that he had allegedly threatened to shoot himself. She acknowledged that Kristoff was distraught over the suicide of their son, Julian, almost three years ago, and that his heart was broken. According to Mila, however, an incident occurred that "pushed him to the breaking point, but was not accurately reported. She asked for the public's thought and prayers and declared that our society needs to take mental health more seriously.
Y&R REPORT READERS' POLL
What's going on with Graham Bloodworth? Have we seen the last of him. Has he taken off for good? Has he just given up? What do you think?
That's all for now. The next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday. November 11, 2017. Don't miss it! The November sweeps will be in full swing.