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.
Christmas Bag 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 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.
Y&R REPORT READERS' POLL
Zach Tinker has taken over the role of Fen Baldwin from Max Ehrich. According to soaps.com, 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.
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.
That's all for now. Don'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!