Saturday, October 27, 2018

Y&R Report (October 27, 2018): 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.

Now we know why the Abbott family is so dysfunctional.  We've been given glimpses into the childhood of Jack, Ashley and Traci via flashbacks. We've learned that John Abbott was not as perfect as he has been made out to be.  He was decent enough, but he was not a saint.  He encouraged Jack to stifle his emotions and to hold his feelings inside.  Thus, Jack was unable to express his devastation about Dina leaving the family.  Also, John played favourites,  He called Ashley "my beauty" and poor Traci had to play second fiddle to her older sister.  Dina played favourites too.  Jack was her favourite, although she still abandoned him and the rest of her children.  Still, Dina was not the complete ogre she was made out to be.  She really did love Ashley and that's why she had documents drawn up so that Ashley would be compensated with ownership of the patents for all the Jabot products she had created over the years.  By the way, I am somewhat more sympathetic to Ashley than I was earlier.  I understand that she felt like an outsider in her own family and disrespected.  I think she went too far, though, when she deceived Jack and led him to believe that John was not biological father.

The Young and the Restless has problems and its ratings are down.  Many viewers have been lost and several fan favourites have left the show, including Doug Davidson (who was treated abominably), Eileen Davidson, Mishael Morgan and Melissa Claire Egan.  There have also been disturbing allegations of harassment behind the scenes of the show.  To my knowledge, they remain allegations and have not been confirmed.

If Doug Davidson was fired (after forty years) in order to save money, that decision was penny wise and pound foolish.  Fans are very loyal to characters they have been following for years, more loyal than Y&R was to Doug.  As for Eileen Davidson, her presence on the show will be missed greatly.  However, it was Eileen who chose to leave.  I understand she has a life beyond Y&R and a family to consider.  However, she will still be missed.  At least, Ashley wasn't killed off.  She's moving to Paris and may return to Genoa City for special events.

Many Y&R viewers hope that Eileen's departure from the show will not be permanent.  Unfortunately, head writer Mal Young misled fans when he said "Ashley is just popping off (for) a little while.  She's still going to be a massive part of the show.  Eileen is still part of our family, so this is just a little time-out."   In a September 28th message on Twitter, the Eileen contradicted Young.  She wrote,"Thanks for your support but I have left y and r last week.  I'm not taking a break.  I did say I would be open to coming back for a party of something possibly down the line.  Just wanted to clarify!!!"  It's hard to believe that Mal Young did not know the truth.  Why did he lie to fans?  I will be happy if Ashley shows up in Geona City on special occasions.

What's up with Tessa?.  I have never really trusted her and I don't think she's been hiding things.  She always manages to talk Mariah into forgiving her for her transgressions, such as stealing Mariah's diary and plagiarizing her words.  Tessa's desperate for money, so I think she has to be considered a suspect as the person who has been sending blackmail notes to Nikki, Victoria, Sharon and Phyllis.


VIEWER FORUM

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:  jmadden16@yahoo.ca

I received an email from regular contributor CC in Etobicoke.  Here are CC's comments.

What is the purpose of Dr. Nate being around?  He is so unprofessional. noses into everyone's business, talks about one patient to another, just a busybody who doesn't seem to really have a calling or job.  Jumped into to treat Hilary from nowhere.  Is he on Victor's payroll?  Romantic storylines going nowhere.  He needs to leave town.

I am very much enjoying this new, quick-paced "every day has to have a cliffhanger" style of soap opera.  

Phyllis as CEO?  I guess they had nowhere else to go with her character.

I tend to agree with you about Dr. Nate, CC.  He isn't very professional and he is a busybody.  He is on Victor Newman's payroll because Victor hired him to be his private physician and Nikki's too.  I am not ready to say he should leave town yet.  It's not his fault that the writers still haven't given him a good storyline.  He's just someone for the rest of the Winters family to talk to.  He's just a sounding board right now.  However, given the right storyline, his character may come to life and serve more of a purpose.

As for Phyllis as CEO, I don't like the idea at all.  I hope the Jabot board of directors doesn't go along with it, although they probably will.  I'm sure the writers can find somewhere else to go with her character.  That's their job.


Longtime Y&R viewer, Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario, told me she was really impressed with Beth Maitland's performance as Traci Abbott this week.  She said Beth Maitland has received accolades for her acting during the Abbott saga.  I have to concur.  I think Beth's acting was outstanding.  In fact, it was a real tour de force.



CAST NEWS
Judith Chapman (Gloria Bardwell) signs with Days of Our Lives


Judith Chapman
Where is Gloria Bardwell and why is guy named Ted replacing her as the executive assistant at Jabot?  Well, here's the answer.  It has been reported that Judith Chapman, who plays Gloria, has signed a contract with NBC's Days of Our Lives.  Judith will play the role of Diana Cooper on Days.  In a strange coincidence, Judith's character is Leo Cooper's mother.  Leo Cooper,is portrayed by Greg Rikaart.  Greg, as fans know, played Gloria's son, Kevin Fisher on Y&R.  So the two are destined to play mother and son again.

Judith will remain with Y&R on a recurring basis, but I don't think we'll be seeing much more of her on the show.  Fans of Gloria will be disappointed, but the character has not been involved in any major story lines for a long time.  I'm sure Judith will have a larger role on Days of Our Lives.



Y&R REPORT READERS' POLL





Jack is responsible for the terrible "Abbott blood clause" and Ashley led Jack to believe he was not John Abbott's biological son.  After seeing the whole Abbott family sago unfold, do you have more sympathy for Ashley or Jack?  Respond to the poll below and let me know what you think.


Do you sympathize more with Jack or Ashley?

I sympathize with Jack. Ashley devasted him when she let him think he wasn't John Abbott's biological son.
I sympathize with Ashley. She has never gotten the respect she deserves.
I don't sympathize with either. They are both selfish and spoiled.
I don't know.
Other
Please Specify:
Created with Survey Maker


That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, November 10, 2018.  Halloween, American Thanksgiving and the November sweeps will soon be upon us.


- Joanne

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Why I Am a Fan of Heartland


Heartland is one of my absolute favourite TV shows.  It also happens to be the longest-running one-hour drama in the history of Canadian television, surpassing Street Legal, which ran for eight seasons (1987-1994). Happily, there will be a 12th season of Heartland beginning in January.of 2019.  Note  Heartland is available to U.S. viewers on Netflix.

Heartland is filmed in southern Alberta, much of it around High River and nearby Calgary.  The series is worth watching for its beautiful ambiance alone because it set against the splendour pf the foothills of the Rockies,  Then, of  course, there are all those magnificent horses.  In every episode, they are shown jumping or galloping or racing, often in slow motion. The horses are almost as important as the human characters since they provide the backdrop for all the stories.  That's why the show is a real delight for equine lovers.

Based on a series of novels by Lauren Brooke, Heartland was adapted into a television series by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 2007.  It is the saga of a multi-generational family who live on the Heartland Ranch outside of Calgary, near the fictional town of Hudson, Alberta.  (A large tract of land near the hamlet of Millarville, Alberta serves as the main ranch setting).  The ranch has a tradition of treating and healing diseased and mistreated horses.
The Heartland Ranch

The patriarch of the family is Jack Bartlett, played by veteran actor Shaun Johnston.  Shaun is a native of Ponoka, Alberta (between Red Deer and Edmonton) and he has worked in Canadian film and television since the early 1990s.  According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, Johnston "embodies a stoic Western archetype similar to Gary Cooper, John Wayne and Glenn Ford."  Johnston's character, Jack, can be gruff and cantankerous, but he is also compassionate and possesses a dry wit.  He is proud that the ranch has been in the Bartlett family for six generations.

Shaun Johnston is not as old as the Heartland character (according IMDb, he was born on September 9, 1958).  He ages himself by wearing a wig and dying his moustache grey.  In a 2016 interview with Horse Canada, Johnston was asked what he has learned from playing Grandpa Jack over the years.  He replied, "I've learned that I'm going to grow old gracefully."  He told Horse Canada that when Heartland ends, he he would like to "watch a lot of TV and play more hockey."

Shaun Johnston
Another major character is Amy, Jack's granddaughter, played by Amber Marshall.  Amber was born and raised in London, Ontario and she is a former veterinary assistant.  Since 2016, however, she has lived on a ranch outside of Calgary with her husband, Shawn Turner, and their many animals.  Amber's passion for animals is quite authentic and it shines through in her portrayal of Amy.
   
Amber's character, Amy Fleming was raised by her mother Marion and her maternal grandfather, Jack.  Her father, Tim Fleming, abandoned the family when Amy was five and her older sister, Lou, was 15.  Marion was killed in a car crash when she and her Amy were on a mission to rescue a horse from an abusive owner.

Amber Marshall
In 2015, Amy married to Tyler "Ty" Borden.  Ty, portrayed by Graham Wardle, has a troubled past,  He came to Heartland when Jack arranged for him to work there while he was serving his probation (for assaulting his abusive stepfather).  Ty and Amy tied the knot in Season 8 and they have a daughter named Lyndy after Jack's mother, Lyndy Bartlett.  Ty became a veterinarian and is part-owner of the Hudson Vet Clinic.

Graham Wardle was born in Mission, British Columbia and raised in New Westminster, near Vancouver.  In addition to being an actor, Graham is a photographer and filmmaker.  In 2013, he co-founded Lone Maverick, a movie production and entertainment company.

Graham Wardle
                                                           
Heartland has authentic characters and it features good stories with real plots.  Its not pretentious or cartoonish.  It's characters are flawed, but very human.  Their relationships are realistic and believable.  They may not be as glitzy and glamorous and wealthy as the characters on Dallas and Dynasty, but they are true to life.  After all, they deal with horses, not oil.  Heartland is definitely not South Fork, but it's more true to life.


END NOTES

* The Heartland novels by Lauren Brooke are set in the United States, on a ranch in Virginia.

*  Amber Marshall received the inaugural Canada's Screen Star Award (voted by fans) at the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards.


- Joanne

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Y&R Report (October 13, 2018): 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.

Nick and Sharon's wedding turned into a major fiasco.  When Sharon failed to arrive at the church on time, friends and family were uncertain whether she would even show up at all.  However, she finally arrived and apologized for her tardiness.  It seemed as if the marriage would actually happen.  The bride and groom exchanged their own vows, but then Sharon dropped a huge bomb on the proceedings.  She angrily tore up the paper on which her vows were written and publicly humiliated Nick.  She told him that she couldn't marry him and then revealed that he cheated on her with Phyllis. The bridal party and the guests were aghast.  Billy, who had just proposed to Phyllis, freaked out.  He and Nick almost came to blows in the sanctity of the church.

So, are Nick and Sharon finished for good?  Well, I think they are done for the foreseeable future, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility that they could get back together again sometime down the road.  After all, how many times have Nikki and Victor broken up and gotten back together?  In the meantime, though, it looks as if Sharon will hook up with Rae and Phyllis and Nick will get together again.  Rae has moved into an apartment in the coffee shop and he's going to be seeing a lot of Sharon.

Although Rae is smitten with Sharon, he is trying to be subtle.  That's why he announced that Lola would be cooking dinner for them and he emphasized that it was not a date.  Nevertheless, Lola quickly picked up on Rae's crush on Sharon.  She reminded her big brother that although Sharon is single, he is still married.  At some point, Rae's wife will probably show up in Genoa City.  At any rate, viewers will eventually learn what happened between them.

Billy Boy and Phyllis have broken up on in bitter fashion.  Billy kicked her out of the Abbott house.  Then, without missing a beat, he called up Summer and had a tryst with her. (I must say, it certainly didn't take him much time to hook up with Summer).  Our favourite Snowflake is in for a rude awakening, though.  She actually thinks Billy is her new boyfriend, but I think he'll just cast her aside.  He was angry with Phyllis and he just used Summer as revenge.  Just wait until her mother finds out about it.  Phyllis will blow a gasket.

Summer is unhappy about Kyle's relationship with Lola.  She's obviously jealous that he is paying attention to someone else.  Watch out, Lola, because Snowflake is going to use every trick in the book to undermine your romance with Kyle.  She is her mother's daughter and she will be ruthless, especially when she discovers that Billy is not interested in a future with her.

Lola is no shrinking violet, but there is a sharp contrast between her and Summer.  Snowflake is blond, rich and spoiled.  She feels entitled and has enjoyed all the advantages and privileges of being a Newman.  Lola, on the other hand, is hard-working and unpretentious.  Kyle will have to choose between two different women.

I'm pleased that Jack Abbott is John Abbott's biological son after all.  I would not have wanted him to be related by blood to Victor Newman.  Yet, I fond it difficult to believe that Ashley would be so vengeful and devious.  She has never shown herself to be so cold-hearted.  The writers changed her character and her behavior has not rung true.  Eileen Davidson, who played Ashley so well for so many years, has left the show and her character deserved a better send-off.  Why couldn't the writers have sent Ashley to Paris or London. leaving the door for Eileen to make appearances once in a while?

According to an online spoiler, Lily is going to try and escape from prison.


CAST NEWS
Kelly Kruger is returning as Mackenzie Browning



Yes fans, Mac is coming back.  She hasn't been in Genoa City since June and she should stir things up.  She'll be trying to solve the J.T. mystery and her involvement will make the Victoria, NIkki, Phyllis and Sharon squirm.  She'll certainly provide Rae with a lot of information.


Y&R REPORT READERS' POLL

Someone has been sending threatening letters to Victoria, Nikki, Sharon and Phyllis, the four women involved in J.T. Hellstrom's death and burial.  Who could it be?  The messages are short and cryptic.  They have shaken up the quartet, as they were intended to do.  However, the women cannot show that they are rattled.  As far as viewers know, nobody knows their secret.  So, it seems that someone suspects them of involvement in J.T.'s disappearance and is trying to get them to let down their guard.  Detective Rae appears to be the most logical suspect.  He's determined to solve the J.T. mystery and has commented that there has been no sign of J.T. since the girl's night party.  However, Rae seems too obvious.  It may be more complicated than that.

The messages have not mentioned J.T.'s name, but most viewers assume they have to do with him.  Why else would the four women involved in his death be targeted?  Still, the writers may be trying to fool us.  Who knows?  What do you think?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.


Who has been sending threatening letters to Victoria, Nikki, Phyllis and Sharon?

Rae
Victor
Billy
Tessa
I don't know.
Other
Please Specify:
Created with PollMaker



NOTE TO READERS

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:  jmadden16@yahoo.ca

That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on October 27, 2018.


- Joanne

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

You wanted to know . . . what happened to Dennis Kort

A
Dennis Kort as he appeared on M*A*S*H

Reader Peter P wanted to know what happened to actor Dennis Kort.  Here is what I discovered.

Dennis Kort is not a major star.  He has only 19 credits on IMDb and he's never had a leading role in a TV series.  His most recent credit is a 1984 film called Angel in which he played a character named Wayne.  Dennis has had no screen acting roles since then and has remained completely out of the spotlight.

During the 1970s, however, Kort made appearances on some of the most popular television shows.  He  is best known for his portrayal of Cpl. Howard Owens in an episode of M*A*S*H entitled "Smilin' Jack" (Season 4, Episode 21, Air Date: February 3, 1976).  The episode revolves around a chopper pilot, Smilin' Jack (Robert Hogan) who wants to be Chopper Pilot of the Year by rescuing the most wounded.  The problem is that Smilin' Jack suffers from diabetes and insists on flying against doctor's orders.  Dennis Kort's character, Corporal Owens is one of the wounded soldiers brought in by Jack.

In addition to his guest-starring role on M*A*S*H, Kort's other TV credits include Fantasy Island (cameo roles as ice cream vendor (1981) and soda jerk (1978), CHiPs (1978), Eight is Enough (1977), CPO Sharkey (1976), Rhoda (1976), Swiss Family Robinson (1975), The Waltons (1975), The Rookies (1975), Sanford and Son (1975).  He also appeared in two television movies: Dominic's Dream (1974) and The Rear Guard (1976).

So, what has happened to Dennis Kort.  He seems to have vanished into obscurity.  It's also very difficult to find any online information about him.  He doesn't even have a Wikipedia page.  Nevertheless, I was able to find an Internet message board with some information.  There is a July 2012 posting on a website called The Waltons Forum in which Dennis Kort is discussed (He appeared in an episode of The Waltons entitled "The Genius." (Season 4, Episode 2, Air Date: September 18, 1975).  In the episode, Kort plays Lyle Thomason, a college student who, although a genius, lacks social skills.  He upsets the devout Baptist family with his views on religion.

Dennis Kort on The Waltons

In 2012, Kort was the subject of a Waltons Forum discussion because he couldn't be located for a September 2012  Waltons reunion event in California.  Someone wrote that it's "like Dennis fell off the planet after 1981."  Another commentator claimed that he had found information stating that Kort was born in 1958.(60 years ago) and that he currently resides in Panama City, Florida.  Actor Rex Sykes, who co-starred with Kort in the 1976 film Massacre at Central High, was quoted as saying that he's been trying to find out for over 30 years where Dennis went.  Sykes mentioned that the last heard from Kort, was in San Pedro. California.

Whatever the reason, Dennis Kort has chosen to disappear from the public eye.  His location seems to be unknown.  It seems he wants it that way.


- Joanne