Saturday, December 22, 2018

Y&R Report (December 22, 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.    

It's Christmastime in Genoa City and there are plenty of parties and mistletoe.  Nikki Newman has been drinking again and Fen and Charlie were "Dumb and Dumber."  What is wrong with those two teens?  Where are their brains, their good judgement?  I realize that both boys have not had an easy time of late.  Reed's dad, J.T., is presumed dead and his death is under a murder investigation.  His grandfather, Victor, has been missing and the police consider him a suspect in J.T.'s death.  As for Charlie, his mother is in prison.  His girlfriend, Shauna, left town and dumped him for someone else. Still, that does not excuse them for their reckless choices.  Reed should have known better than to drive with a suspended licence and with someone who had been drinking underage as his passenger (Charlie).  Then, in another great act of stupidity, the gormless duo left the scene of the accident without checking if they had hit an animal or a human being.  They drove off, only to discover that they had knocked over Reed's own grandmother, Nikki.

Nikki is fighting for her life.  She is unconscious, but her mind is having visions of her playing the piano and of Victor in a tuxedo.  We know that a shadowy figure has entered her hospital room.  It has got to be Victor, especially since Eric Braeden is back after a long absence.  I'm sure Nikki will recover in time for Christmas., but where has Victor been?  In the words of Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy, he "has a lot of 'splainin' to do."

What's with Rae?  Why is he so wishy-washy.  Why is he stringing Mia along when it's obvious he really wants to be with Sharon.  He comforts Mia and tells her he cares about her.  At the same time, he secretly gives Sharon a Christmas gift.

Rae's marriage will never get back on track unless he distances himself from Sharon, which he doesn't seems unwilling to do.  He's got to decide whether he wants to make his marriage to Mia work or not.  It definitely won't work if he's pining over Sharon.  Detective Rosales, you can't have it both ways.  You've got to make up his mind.  Are you afraid to tell Mia the truth or are you in denial?  That is the behaviour of a cad.

I really enjoyed the scene with Billy and his son Johnny.  Johnny had stage fright about singing "Jingle Bells" at the his school's Christmas pageant.  I loved what Billy told Johnny about Saint Nicholas.  He told him not to confuse Saint Nick with his Uncle Nick, who is no saint.

It looks like Billy Boy and Princess Victoria are getting close again.  Will she give him another chance or has that ship sailed?  Billy has been stepping up with the children lately and he has been very supportive.  Does he deserve another chance or will he slip into his old ways?  I wonder . . .


Mal Young is leaving Y&R

Mal Young has confirmed that he is out as  head writer and executive producer of The Young and the Restless  He said he is spending the holidays in his native England and has stated that "it was a good time to move on."  He is departing Y&R after having been head write since July of 2017.  He made his reputation for his contribution to British soap operas such as EastEnders and Doctors.

Young's departure means there will be big changes at Y&R in the New Year.  The show has been the number one soap for 30 consecutive years, although its ratings have been sagging recently (It is currently averaging 4.2 million viewers compared to 4.7 million viewers last year).  Many viewers have been upset about the departure of veteran fan favourites such as Doug Davidson (Paul Williams) and Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbott.).

Young implied that it was his choice to leave when he said that he had achieved all that he wanted to do at The Young and the Restless.  He gave himself credit for "improved scripts and production value."  Some of his strorylines have been controversial and he has earned praise for the show's portrayal of Dina as an Alzheimer victim.  There is a British style to his writing, which didn't go over well with some North American viewers.         

Frankly, I don't think Mal chose to leave the show.  I think he was fired due to lower ratings and viewer dissatisfaction over the loss of some of their favourite characters  Something has been rotten in the state of Y&R for a while now.  A shakeup was inevitable because CBS will not tolerate a drop in rating and lower advertising revenue.  There is no word yet as to Mal Young's replacement as head writer.  However, Daytime Confidential reports that Anthony "Tony" Morina will be the show's new executive producer.  Morina is the husband of former Y&R head writer Sally Sussman.

 ChristmaBag of Gifts

The most prominent citizens of Genoa City don't need material gifts for Christmas, especially members of the Abbot, Newman and Winters families.  Since they are extremely affluent, I will offer them some non-material alternatives.

FOR NICHOLAS NEWMAN:  Nick definitely needs anger management therapy.  His temper should be controlled.  He should also be served a nice big piece of humble pie.  He is so arrogant and vain.  He must stand in front of a mirror admiring his dimples.

FOR REED HELLSTROM:  Reed needs a new hairstyle badly.  He spends so much of his time pushing his hair away from his forehead.

FOR LILY WINTERS ASHBY:   Lily just needs a "Get Out of Jail Free" card.

FOR CANE ASHBY:  Voice lessons so he doesn't sound as if he's whispering all the time.

FOR PHYLLIS SUMMERS:  Phyllis needs a personality transplant to make her less bossy, nosy and controlling.  The new Phyllis has got to stop interfering in other people's lives.

FOR VICTORIA NEWMAN:  A dose of reality so that she can see her father, Victor Newman, for what he really is.


Noah Newman (Robert Adamson) will be back for Christmas
Robert Adamson

Robert Adamson will back in the role of Noah Newman for a Christmastime visit with his family and his injured grandmother, Nikki.  Noah has been living in London, England.  Mackenzie Browning (Lauren Woodland will also return to Genoa City to help resolve the J.T. Hellstrom mystery.  I hope the new head writer will provide a good ending to the J.T. saga, although I don't know if it has been written already.


Zach Tinker

Zach Tinker has taken over the role of Fen Baldwin from Max Ehrich.  According to, Max didn't reprise his role as Fen because of a stalker issue.  He felt  unsafe at the time.  So now Zach is the new Fen.  Fen has dropped out of law school and is an aspiring singer.  Fans, now that you've heard him sing, do you like his voice?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Do you think Fen is a good singer?

Yes, I think he has a great voice. I enjoy listening to him.
Not really. His voice is just okay.
No, I think he has a terrible voice.
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Created with PollMaker


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 nowDon't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on January 5, 2919.

To those who celebrate, have a very Merry Christmas!  All the best in the New Year!

- Joanne

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Y&R Report (December 8 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.    

Fenmore Baldwin is back in town and he has really thrown his parents for a loop.  Michael and Lauren were aghast when Fen informed them that he had quit law school and was planning on launching career in music.  It was not what they wanted to hear, especially Michael.  Michael has a passion for the law and was thrilled that his son seemed to be following in his footsteps, so he is very disappointed.  However, Fen is "young and restless" and he marches to the beat of his own drummer.  As you have noticed, another actor is playing the role of Fen.  Max Ehrich has been replaced by  Zach Tinker and I think Zach has done a good job so far.

What has happened to Hunter King (Summer) and why has she been sent to Dubai?  It's very hot there and the Snowflake might melt ( I couldn't resist that one).  At any rate, I have tried to find out if Hunter King has left the show.  Apparently, Y&R has made no comment on her status.

The J.T. mystery continues.  It's been dragging on and I hope it will be cleared up by the New Year, but I'm not holding my breath.  Mac is about to return to Genoa City and she may provide the key to solving the puzzle.  Yet, there are still so many unanswered questions regarding J.T. Hellstrom.

Who moved J.T.' body?

Who set fire to the Newman stables?

Is Victor being framed for J.T.'s murder?

Who placed the gun and the bloody shirt in the Newman stables.  Why is J.T.'s blood on the shirt and why are Victor's fingerprints the only fingerprints on the gun?

Is J.T. really dead or did he somehow climb out of the grave?

If he somehow escaped from the grave, did Victor murder him?  One thing is for sure, Victor is definitely involved.  He just has to stick his moustache into everything.

Nikki and Victoria and Sharon continue their criminal activity and callous behaviour.  I find it hard to believe that they would be so cruel toward Tessa.  They actually kidnapped her and left her out in the cold in the middle of nowhere.  Sharon was the only one who displayed some qualms about it, although she did nothing to stop it.  All three women are desperately trying to save their own skins and Nikki and the Princess are attempting to protect Victor from being accused of J.T.'s murder.  They don't want to believe that he may have moved J.T.'s body.  It's far easier for them to bully Tessa, who is not exactly the most trustworthy or forthright person.  Tessa's the perfect scapegoat for them because, unlike the Newmans, she's not rich and powerful.

Nick Newman has become the most conceited person in Genoa City.  He thinks he just has to flash his dimples and women will come running.  It's just sickening how Phyllis feeds his overblown ego.  That Rebekkah woman didn't help either.


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:

I received an email from longtime Y&R viewer CC in Etobicoke, Ontario.  Here are her comments.

Hi Joanne

I wonder where and why Victor has gone under the radar.

So far, the new Fen is more pleasant to look at and listen to, so not as annoying.  We will see how things go with Lola.  Regardless of the outcome, it will be a real tussle between him and Kyle over her.  Someone could get seriously hurt . . . maybe even killed.  

Don't you think it a little strange that virgin Lola would just grab Kyle for a big smack on the lips.  There might be more to Lola than what we have seen so far.  If her character sticks, we may find out what she is really about.  As far as I am concerned, Y&R can do without her and Ana.

Although it is too son, Devon needs to meet a replacement for Hilary.  I think they may be setting him up for that.  Who knows, they may even bring Mishael Morgan back post-baby to play the part of a new love for him.  Any word on her baby's due date?

Yes CC, Victor has gone under the radar, but he will be back soon and he may be the one behind the J.T. mystery.  He would do almost anything to protect his precious Nikki and his Princess Victoria.

Well, CC, I also like the new Fen, although I find him somewhat arrogant.  I don't think he'll make a play for Lola unless Kyle really messes things up.  It will probably happen because things can't go too perfectly for any couple on a soap.  Although Summer is out of the picture for now, I don't expect smooth sailing for Kyle and Lola.  They will hit some bumps on the road to romance.

Actually, CC, I don't think it was a little strange that Lola gave Kyle a "big smack on the lips."  I think Lola was just sending Kyle the message that he is the one she is interested in, not Fen.  As for Ana, she has just joined the cast.  I would like to give her a chance.  She needs a good storyline, though.

I agree that Devon needs to eventually have a new woman in his life.  However, I doubt he will fall in love with a Hilary look-alike played by Mishael Morgan.

Mishael Morgan (ex-Hilary Curtis Hamilton) gave birth to her second child, a baby girl on
November 8, 2018.  The child is named Naliya.  Mishael and her husband, Navid Ali, also have a three-year-old son, Niam.

Mishael Morgan and family  PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram

I recently chatted with regular contributor Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario.  Fifi had a prediction for me.  She thinks that Fen and Tessa are going to become involved.  It could happen because Tessa also seems to likes men.  Right now, however, she seems to be mending her fractured relationship with Mariah.  Mariah was shocked to find Tessa left alone in the cold.

Fifi also pointed out that Shauna (Camryn Hamm), unlike Paul Williams (Doug Davidson), was given a good send-off.  Doug Davidson a member of the Y&R cast for forty years, whereas Camryn Hamm has been on the show for less than a year.  Eileen Davidson, who, like Doug, had been on the show for a long time, was also given a wonderful send-off.  In her last scene, she was shown drinking champagne in an airplane on her way to Paris.

Much to Y&R's discredit, Doug Davidson has been treated shabbily.  Also, why has there been no explanation for Paul's absence.  At least, I haven't heard one.  The powers that be at Y&R should know that viewers are not impressed when longtime characters disappear without explanation.  Unlike the powers that be, fans have loyalty to their characters.  They will not soon forget how horribly Doug was treated.  I urge viewers to send emails to CBS tn protest.


Christel Khalil (Lily Winters Ashby) is returning

Crystel Khalil

There's good news for fans of Christel Khalil (Lily Winters Ashby.).  She will be returning to Y&R in time for the holiday season.  Daniel Goddard, who plays Christel's TV husband Cane, revealed the news on Twitter.  It looks as if Lily will be getting out of jail soon.  The Winters/Ashby family will probably have a big Christmas reunion with Lily at the prison.


Michael Mealor

Sasha Calle

Lola (Sasha Calle) and Kyle (Michael Mealor) appear to be in a good place right now, especially since Summer has left town.  Do you think they are suited to each other or would they both be better off with someone else?  Respond to the poll below and let me know your opinion.

Are Lola and Kyle a good match?

Yes. They have good chemistry and she is better for him than Summer.
No. They come from different worlds. it won't work.
No. She would be a better match with Fen.
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Created with PollMaker


I was unable to attend the Y&R tea for the March of Dimes on December 2nd at the Royal York Hotel.  If you were there and have any photos of the event or any information that you would like to share with other Y&R fans, I urge you send me an email.  I would really appreciate your input and I would be happy to publish your photos and information on this website. 

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, December 22nd.

- Joanne

Friday, December 7, 2018

Internet TV Digest #9

This is the ninth of an occasional feature on TV Banter called Internet TV Digest.  Internet TV Digest contains recent news, information and discussion about online television.

Internet TV Digest

AT&T's WarnerMedia will launch new streaming service in late 2019

There seems to be a glut of new streaming services and WarnerMedia will enter into the fray by the end of next year.  On October 10, 2018, WarnerMedia, the division of AT&T that includes HBO, announced plans for the new service.  It is a potential rival to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney's upcoming new venture, Disney+.  It will build on the strength of HBO.

WarnerMedia's CEO, John Stankey. made the following statement in an internal memo: "Our service will start with HBO and the genre defining programming that viewers crave.  On top of that we will package content from Turner and Warner Bros. with their deep brand connections that tough both diverse interests and mass audiences."

Details of the pricing and the name of WarnerMedia's new service will be announced later.

Source: Brian Stelter, CNN Business

Gamespot's ( choice for seven best entertainment streaming services in 2018

Did Netflix stay on top in the streaming game, or did a new challenger emerge to dethrone the champion? 

"Yes, Netflix has absolutely dominated in the category of original content - largely by simply making as many exclusive movies and shows as it can, and hoping some of them turn out great (which they did).  But did you manage to take advantage of Filmstruck while it was around?  If not, you missed out on streaming some of the greatest films ever made, not to mention the exclusive special features that often accompanied them.

Or what if horror is more your flavor?  Sure, Netflix had some great original horror movies and shows this year, but the classics were located elsewhere, on a platform that finally hit its stride stride in 2018.  If you were looking for more recent TV, Hulu was your best best . . ."

- Gamespot staff

Gamepot's choice of the best entertainment streaming services in 2018
1.  Netflix
2.  WWE Network

3.  Hulu

4.  Filmstruck

5.  Shudder

6.  Amazon Prime Video

7.  DC Universe

Disney+ and WarnerMedia will not slow Netflix's momentum says Netflix content boss

Ted Sarados

Netflix's chief content officer, Ted Sarados, has played down looming threats from Dsney+ and WarnerMedia.  He says he doesn't think that his company will lose ground due to the imminent launch of new streaming video services from large media companies.  In a December 3, 2018 speech at UBS's 2918 Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, Sarados stated, "I don't think they'll be to the detriment of Netflix . . . I think there's plenty of room in this business for other players to be successful."  He pointed out that when Netflix ventured into original programming seven years ago, starting with House of Cards, it "was a sure bet that studios and movie companies would likely move in to launch their own direct-to-consumer VOD (video on demand) offerings."

Source: Variety

Netflix has increased subscription rates in Canada

Watching Netflix in Canada costs you more now.  The giant streaming company has hiked its subscription rates in this country.  The increases were announced at the end of November and became effective immediately for new subscribers. Current subscribers were to receive an email notice before their bills increase.  The price for Netflix's standard plan, which enables subscribers to watch content on two screens at a time, has risen by $3.  It is now 13.99 a month.  The basic plan, which does not offer high definition and only allows one stream, has increased a dollar to $9.99 a month.  Premium plan subscribers will be paying $3 more or $16.99 a month to maintain four simultaneous streams and ultra high definition video.

Netflix is facing fierce competition from other streaming video services.  For example, Disney+ will enter the market in 2019 with its own streaming service and CBS All Access is adding to its library of of original shows,  Netflix has defended its subscription increases by saying that the funds will be used to subsidize upcoming TV series and for other improvements to its service.

Sources: The Canadian Press and CTV Ottawa