Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Internet TV Digest #10

This is the tenth 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

What's new on Nexis in February 2019?

This February, several popular original get netflix series productions will return to the streaming giant, including Nailed It!, Chef's Table and Patriot Act and some highly anticipated stand-up comedy specials are coming from Ray Romano, Ken Jeong and Kevin Hart.  Netflix will also air the dark thriller Velvet Buzzsaw as well as Stephen Soderbergh's sports drama High Flying Bird.  

Velvet Buzzsaw is a Dan Gilroy' horror film and it was made for Nexflix.  It is a combination of supernatural and satire and it stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Morf, a respected Los Angeles art critic.  High Flying Bird is the story of an NBA agent who is caught between the players and the league during an NBA lockout and must find a way to salvage his career.  Soderbergh and his team shot the film on iPhone.  It arrives on get netflix series on February 8, 2019 and co-stars Zazie Beetz. Zachary Quinto, Kyle Mach;a and Bill Duke.

Scene from High Flying Bird
Coming to Nexis

Also coming to Netflix is a new comedy starring Steve Carrell.  The series is co-created by Carrell and director/writer Greg Daniel.  It's called Space Force and is inspired by a military branch of the United States Armed Forces, set up by President Donald Trump.  The goal of the new branch is to "defend satellites from attack and perform other space-related tasks."

News of the series broke on Wednesday, January 16th and not much is known about the show.  Hollywood Reporter stated that get netflix series immediately acquired the rights to Space Force since Carrell and Daniel's The Office is so popular.  No release date for the series has been announced.

What's new on Amazon Prime in February 2019?

Amazon Prime will present Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders.  This original series, based on Christie's mystery novel of the same name, features John Malkovich as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, who is on the trail of a serial killer known simply as "A.B.C."

Arriving in February is the first season of four-part Prime original documentary, Lorena, which deals with the infamous 1993 Lorena Bobbitt wife abuse case.  There is also an original movie entitled Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot, with Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role.  The film, based on the autobiography of award-winning quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan, stars Jack Black and Jonah Hill in supporting roles.

In addition, Amazon Prime will offer Season 3 of the PBS crime drama The Tunnel, comedy classic Wayne's World and The Matrix trilogy.

Study finds that Netflix has better movies than Amazon, Hulu, HBO combined

According to a new study by the technology site Streaming Observer, Netflix has better quality movies than its rival streaming services.  Streaming Observer made a list of all the movies on Netflix. Amazon, Hulu and HBO Now and cross-referenced these films with their Rotten Tomatoes ratings.  It found that while Amazon had far more movies in its library than the others, it had the least number of movies that were "Certified Fresh" by Rotten Tomatoes (meaning that 75 per cent or more reviews of a film are positive).

Amazon, with 17,461 films in its library, had a mere 232 acclaimed movies, only 1.3 per cent of its library.  Get netflix series, with 3,839 films, had 596 Certified Fresh titles.  Hulu. with 2,336 movies, had 232, while HBO Now, with 815 movies, had a paltry 38.

Source: Entertainment Weekly, January 28, 2019 (by James Hibbard)

Apple may launch its new streaming service in mid-April

According to The Information, tech giant Apple may launch its long-anticipated streaming service by mid-April  The company is known to be secretive about its direct-to-consumer plans, but The Information reports that Apple is looking to launch its new streaming service in April of this year and has been relaying that launch date to the entertainment companies involved.  However, potential viewers wonder how they'll access all the content that will be coming.

Source: Observer, January 29, 2019 (by Brandon Katz)

Netflix under criticism for its documentary series on serial killer Ted Bundy

Bundy mug shot

Netflix is under fire for its documentary series Conversation with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.  This year marks the 30th anniversary of Bundy's execution and Netflix has been accused of capitalizing on the anniversary and renewed public interest in the murderer.  The company has been criticized for portraying a man who ruined so many lives as a handsome and attractive to women.

On January 28, 2019, Get netflix series responded to the controversy surrounding Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.  It posted a statement on its twitter account regarding the online reactions to both its docuseries and a new Bundy film, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, staring Zac Efron in the lead role. The statement read, "I've seen a lot of talk about Ted Bundy's alleged hotness and would like to remind everyone that there are literally THOUSANDS of hot men on the service - almost almost all whom are not convicted serial killers."

Sources: Flare, January 2019 (by Alicia Elliot); The Wrap, January 29, 2019 (by Brian Welk)

Here are the links to some interesting or useful articles on Internet television.

Fantastic video-streaming services that are not named Netflix Series, Amazon, or Hulu

Cutting the cord cutting: How to cancel Netflix Series, Hulu and other streaming devices

Amazon Gains a Big Win As Rival As Rival Backs Down

- Joanne

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Whatever happened to Peggy Lipton of "The Mod Squad"? Keeping up with Peggy and her family

Peggy Lipton (circa 1968)

Peggy Lipton rose to stardom as Julie Barnes, a hippie undercover cop on The Mod Squad, which aired on the ABC network from 1968 to 1973.  Thin and waifllike, with straight, long blond hair, Peggy wore mini-skirts, bell bottoms, and love beads on the show.  Her vulnerable appearance resonated with television audiences.

Margaret Ann "Peggy" Lipton was born August 30, 1946 in New York City to a Jewish family.  Her father was Harold Lipton (1911-1999), a corporate lawyer, and her mother was Rita Benson (1912-1986), an artist.  Rita was born in Dublin, Ireland to Jewish parents who had emigrated from Eastern Europe.
Peggy and her two brothers were raised in Lawrence, New York, on Long Island.  Her older brother, Robert Lipton (born November 20, 1943), is also an actor and her younger brother, Kenneth Joseph.Lipton (born May 27, 1948) was a businessman who died in 1998.

Peggy attended Lawrence Junior High School.  As a child, she was shy and introverted.  She spoke with a nervous stutter, at times having difficulty even saying her own name.  According to her 2005 memoir, Breathing Out, she was sexually abused by an uncle.

Peggy's father arranged her first modelling jobs in New York and her mother encouraged her to take acting lessons.  At the age of 15, she became a Ford Agency model.  In 1964, the Lipton family relocated to Los Angeles, whereupon Peggy signed a contract with Universal.Pictures.  The next year, at the age of 19, she made her first foray into the world of television with guest appearances on four TV series:  She played a secretary in an early episode of Bewitched entitled "Your Witch is Showing" (Season 1, Episode 20, Air Date: February 4, 1965).  She portrayed a character named Selma in the classroom drama Mr. Novak starring James Franciscus ("And Then I Wrote . . .  ," Season 2, Episode 29, Air Date (April 20, 1965).  She also appeared in The Alfred Hitchcock Hour as Mary Winters in an episode entitled "Night Fever" (Season 3, Episode 28, Air Date: May 3, 1965) and The John Forsythe Show, an NBC comedy,.in an episode entitled "Super Girl"  (Season 1, Episode 9, Air Date (November 15, 1965).

In 1966, Peggy played the role of Dulcie Colby in an episode of The Virginian.  In 1967, she made appearances in such television series as The Magical World of Disney, Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, The F.B.I. and The Invaders.  Her big break came when she was cast as flower child Julie Barnes, a hip undercover cop in the hit series The Mod Squad., alongside Michael Cole and Clarence Williams III.  The trio was young and hip and television audiences loved them.

The Mod Squad

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, as detailed in Breathing Out, Peggy Lipton had relationships with a string of abusive, alcoholic or married men.  She also used drugs during this period.  For a time, Peggy lived with Grammy Award-winning record producer Lou Adler,  However, the great love of her life was another award-winning record producer and composer - Quincy Jones/  Quincy was almost 14 years her senior and on their first date, he cooked lamb chops for vegetarian Peggy.

The couple's biracial romance was highly publicized.  Quincy's daughter, Jolie, introduced her father to  Peggy and they wed on September 14, 1974 (her first marriage, his third).  The ceremony took place in the garden of Peggy's parents' Beverly Hills home, the day after Quincy's divorce from his second wife, Swedish model Eula Andersson, became final.

Peggy and Quincy had two daughters, Kidada Ann Jones (born March 22, 1974) and Rashida Leah Jones (born February 25, 1976), but their marriage did not last.  They separated when Rashida was ten years old and officially divorced in 1990.

Peggy, Quincy and Kikada

Quincy Jones had his share of health issues during his years with Peggy.  In 1974, he had two brain aneurysms and underwent two operations that left six steel pins in his head.  After the second aneurysm, he was given a 50-50 chance survival.  He and Peggy were newlyweds at the time and Peggy was breastfeeding their baby daughter, Kidada.

Quincy beat the odds and lived.  However, in he mid-1980s, he suffered from depression, which caused him to have a nervous breakdown (his mother suffered from a debilitating mental illness that could have been controlled by medication today).

In 1982, Quincy achieved great success by producing Michael Jackson's Thriller album.  According to Peggy, her husband's life changed after his success.  "The popularity made demands on his time and his life, and he had to change to meet them," she told People magazine.  "Eventually it just wasn't working as a marriage anymore,"  she said.  "It was a mutual decision based on a lot of things.  By '86, he was doing his own thing, and I was doing mine.  It was over."

When Peggy Lipton was 39 years old, she returned to television after a self-imposed fifteen year exile (The only exception was her appearance in the 1979 TV reunion movie, Return of the Mod Squad, which she made as a favour to producer Aaron Spelling).  During her time away from acting, Peggy raised her two children, lost her mother, with whom she had been close (Rita died of lung cancer in 1986), and ended her marriage to Quincy Jones.  She made her comeback in a TV movie, Addicted to His Love, which aired on ABC on March 28, 1988.  The movie starred Larry Hagman and Polly Bergen and Peggy played an Assistant District Attorney.

When asked by People magazine why she was making a comeback, Peggy replied, "Why not?  I had a great marriage, but it's over, and acting is what I know best how to do.  When I met Quincy in 1973, I was exhausted and burned-out.from Mod Squad.  He never said I should stop working, but there was never a doubt in my mind I was going to.  I wanted children very badly, and I knew I couldn't do both well.  This doesn't mean it would be that way for other mothers, but that's how it was for me,"  She added that when she separated from Quincy in 1986, she thought, "I couldn't just shop all day."  She also stated that her children supported her decision to return to television and that her late mother "always wanted me to go back into acting, and now I'm doing it."

In 1989, Peggy Lipton portrayed Norma Jennings in in the pilot for David Lynch's surreal drama Twin Peaks, a series that chronicles the mysterious happenings in a quaint northwestern American town.  Peggy then appeared as Norma on the show's two seasons on ABC, from 1990 to 1991.  Twin Peaks was cancelled after its second season due to declining ratings, but Peggy resumed her role as Norma Jennings in the 1992 feature film prequel to the television series, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.  In 2017, Peggy one again played Norma in new episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return, which continued the story of the inhabitants of Twin Peaks, 25 years after their homecoming queen, Laura Palmer, was murdered.

Below is a photo of Peggy in a promo for the first season of Twin Peaks.

In 2002, Peggy and daughter Rashida performed in the play Pitching to the Star, along with Peggy's brother, Robert.  Four months later, 56-year-old Peggy was diagnosed with colon cancer.  She had undergone a routine colonoscopy and her doctors discovered a Stage III tumour.  As a result, she underwent surgery and chemotherapy.


For her role as Julie Barnes on The Mod Squad, Peggy Lipton earned four Emmy nominations and four Golden Globe nominations.  In 1971, she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress a Television Series Drama.

* Peggy Lipton enjoyed some success as a singer.  Three of her singles appeared on the Billboard Charts: "Stoney End" (which became a hit for Barbra Streisand in 1970), "Lu" (1970) and "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" (1970).  "Stoney End" and "Lu" were both written by Laura Nyro and "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" was written by Donovan.

* Peggy was co-writer (along with Quincy Jones and Alan and Marilyn Bergman) of the song, "L.A. Is My Lady," that Frank Sinatra recorded and released in 1984.

* Peggy and Clarence Williams III made cameo appearances in the 1999 film version of The Mod Squad, starring Claire Danes, Omar Epps and Giovanni Ribisi. 

* In 2007, Peggy guest-starred as a character named Fay in an episode of the TV comedy Rules of Engagement.  The episode is entitled, "A Visit from Fay" (Season 2, Episode 9, Air Date: November 19, 2007).

Peggy with David Spade in Rules of Engagement (2007).

* Robert Lipton's list of television and film credits includes Bullit, Die Hard 2, The X-Files and Melrose Place.  His former wife is actress Marie Masters.

Robert Lipton

* Peggy's brother, Kenneth died in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1998 at the age of 50.  At the time of his passing, Kenneth had been a Vegas resident for eight years and owned a mortgage company.  According to his September 3, 1998 obituary in the Los Vegas Sun, Kenneth Lipton was "survived by his wife, Brandy, one son, Trevor Baker; two daughters, Justine Lipton Copus and Jennifer Lipton; his father, Harold Lipton, one brother, Robert Lipton; one sister, Peggy Lipton-Jones; and one grandchild."

* Quincy Jones never remarried after his divorce from Peggy Lipton.  He has seven children with five different women, including daughter Jolie from his first marriage to Jeri Caldwell, two children from his second marriage to Ulla Andersson (a daughter named Martina and a son, Quincy Jones III, who is a music producer and author).  Quincy also has a daughter named Rachel Jones from a brief relationship with Carol Reynolds and a daughter, Kenya Jones (born 1993), with German actress Nastassja Kinski,(they dated and lived together in the 1990s).

* Kidada Jones is an actress, model and fashion designer.  Kidada attended the Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.  She left at the age of 19 to work with designer Tommy Hilfiger.  She now works for the Walt Disney Company as a designer and has her own line, known as Disney Couture.

From 1992 to 1994, Kidada Jones' boyfriend was hip hop artist LL Cool. J.  In 1996, she lived with rapper Tupac Shakur for four months until he was fatally shot in Las Vegas on the night of September 7.  He died in hospital of internal bleeding on September 13th.  Kidada described Shakur's killing as "the most horrible thing that ever happened to me."  In 2003, Kidada married actor and writer Jeffrey Nash.  They divorced in 2006.

Kidada Jones

* Rashida Jones is known for her role as Ann Perkins on the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation.  She also portrayed Karen Filippelli NBC's The Office.  In addition. she portrayed Louisa Fen on the Fox drama series Boston Public.  Since 2016, Rashida has played the lead role n the TBS comedy series Angie Tribeca.  In 2017, Peggy appeared in an episode of Tribeca.

* Peggy Lipton's 2005 autobiography, Breathing Out, was co-written by David and Coco Dalton. 

SOURCES:  People magazine, March 17, 1975, "Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton: Death Nearly Did Them Part," by Barbara Wilkins; People magazine, April 4, 1988, Can You Dig It?  the Mod Squad's Peggy Lipton, One Marriage and 15 Years Later, Returns to Acting," by David Hutchings; Las Vegas Sun; BlackDoctor.Org, "Quincy Jones Breaks Free from Brain Aneurysm;" Wikipedia, Internet Movie Data Base (

EDITOR'S UPDATE (May 12, 2019): Peggy Lipton died of cancer on May 11, 2019, her daughters Kidada and Rashida Jones announced in a statement.  The statement said: "She made her journey peacefully with her daughters and nieces by her side.  We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her.  We can't put all our feelings into words right now but we will say: 'Peggy was, and will always be our beacon of light, both in this world and beyond.  She will always be part of us.'"

Peggy was 72 years old. at the time of her passing. In her 2005 autobiography, Breaking Out, Peggy revealed that she had been diagnosed and treated for colon cancer in 2004.

- Joanne

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Y&R Report (January 19, 2019): 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.   

Okay fans, who has been scaring Nikki and who has been recording her every move at the ranch with a surveillance camera?  I have considered every character  on the show and I can't think of a single one who would be motivated to do that.  Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that J.T. Hellstrom is probably alive and that he is the one who has been stalking Nikki.  That would explain why J.T,'s body has not been located since it was supposedly removed from its burial place in Chancellor Parker.  Nikki, Victoria, Sharon and Phyllis  could have been mistaken that J.T. was dead. I still remember that he had a heart condition and was taking medication for it. Maybe that has something to do with the women falsely believing him to be dead.  After all, why would the writers include J.T.'s heart condition in the story for no reason?

I realize that Lily and Candy Cane have to face complications and issues.  There can't be an easy path for Princess Victoria and Billy Boy either.  Yet, I just don't see any sense in matching those two up.  I don't think they will never click as a couple or that viewers will ever want them together.  We'll have to see what the new head writer does with this storyline (In December, Daytime Confidential reported that supervising producer Josh Griffith would return as head writer after Mal Young's departure).

What's going on with Kerry Johnson?  What's her game and why was she carrying a syringe in her purse?  Is she planning to drug Jack for some reason?  She is definitely bad news and is up to no good.  A longtime Y&R viewer, Fifi in Collingwood Ontario, has an interesting theory.  She thinks that Kerry may be the daughter of the Abbott family's former maid, Mamie Johnson.

Phyllis and Mia are Class-A troublemakers.  They are out of control and they just can't help themselves.  I find Phyllis more annoying, though, because she interferes with so many lives.  Mia is piece of work, but her misdeeds are mostly confined to her relationships with Rey and Arturo.  Phyllis, on the other hand, is Genoa City's biggest busybody.  She had to ruin Reed's memorial service for his father, J.T..  She let the teen know that his dad had abused his mother.  Maybe Reed needed to know the truth, but that was not the time or place.  Furthermore, who appointed Phyllis to be the one to tell him?

As if Phyllis hadn't caused enough trouble at the memorial, she also managed to drive a wedge between Victoria and Billy, just as they were on the verge of reconciling.  She just had to let Victoria know that Billy had tried to get back together with her first.  This information, of course, made Victoria feel as if she were Billy's second choice.  It also made her turn to Cane.  However, the princess is very confused right now.  She doesn't know what she wants.

Now that Mal Young has departed, I hope Doug Davidson will return as Genoa City Police Chief Paul Williams.  There still has been any explanation as to Paul's whereabouts.  No one has said that he's left town.  His name has not been mentioned for a long time.  That can't continue.  Wouldn't his return be a great surprise for fans?  Maybe he'll even solve the J.T. mystery.  I've nicknamed Paul "Clueless." but another longtime viewer, CC in Etobicoke, Ontario, thinks that Rae is even more clueless than Paul.  She may be right.  Detective Rae Rosales doesn't seem to be getting anywhere in solving the J.T. case.



Rae and Sharon and Mia and Arturo are playing with fire and they will all get burned.  As much as Rae professes his love for Mia, he still can't get Sharon out of his head.  Arturo claims to love Abby, but he is still very tempted by Mia.  Mia?  Well, she just loves to live la vida loca,


Elizabeth Hendrickson (ex-Chloe) is engaged

Elizabeth Hendrickon (ex-Chloe Mitchell on Y&R) is engaged.  Her longtime boyfriend, Rob Meder, apparently proposed on Christmas Day.  Elizabeth, who now plays Margaux on General  Hospital, announced her engagement on social media.  In an Instagram photo, she wore a band on her left hand.  She wrote that she preferred a band "instead of one big bling."

Hunter King is returning to Y&R

The Snowflake is coming back to Genoa City. According to Soap Central, Hunter King is returning to her role as Summer Newman.  As fans know, Summer has been working for Newman Enterprises in Dubai  I guess it was just too hot for the Snowflake there, so she had to come home and cause trouble.  So watch out, Lola!  She is bound to interfere with your relationship with Kyle Abbott.  She may even conspire with Fen to break you and Kyle up, although she probably accomplish that on her own.

The air date of Hunter King's return is not yet available.

Reed Hellstrom (Tristan Liabu) is leaving Genoa City again

Say goodbye to Reed Hellstrom (Tristan Liabu) again.  He's going back to school, but he will probably return again at some point, depending on future storylines.

Eileen Davidson (ex-Ashley Abbott) stars in new movie

Eileen and Vince

Fans of Eileen Davidson are understandably disappointed that she has left her role as Ashley Abbott on Y&R.  Here's some good news, though.  Eileen will appear in a new film that was co-written by her husband, Vince Van Patten.  The film is called Walk in Vegas and it tells the story of a poker named Duke who bets a million dollars that he can walk from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in a seven days.  Vince, who plays Duke, is a poker enthusiast and he claims that he once made such a crazy bet.  By the way, Eileen plays Duke's wife.  She encouraged him to write his story and told him that "I'd better play your wife or else!"


Most Y&R characters display poor judgement  That's why they always find themselves in trouble and keep secrets.  Which of the following characters do you think has the worst judgment?  Reply to my poll and let me know.

Which Y&R character has the worst judgement?

Sharon Newman
Cane Ashby
Phyllis Summers
Victoria Newman
Billy Abbott
I don'tknow.
Please Specify:
Created with SurveyMaker


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, February 2, 2019.

- Joanne

Monday, January 7, 2019

Carol Burnett and Dick Van Dyke - We'll never see their like again

"My first love growing up was the movies . . . and later, when I was a teenager, we got our first television set, and then I got a new love.  But what fascinated me was how the stars on the screen could make people laugh, or cry, or maybe both . . . I catch myself daydreaming about being young again and doing it all over, and then I bring myself up short when I realize how incredibly fortunate I was to be there at the right time.  Because what we did then, it couldn't be done today."

- Carol Burnett
Golden Globe Awards
January 6, 2019

Carol Burnett is 85 years old.  She is one classy woman and an extraordinary comedian.  Her career spans seven decades of television.  Last evening she received the inaugural Golden Globes prize for lifetime TV achievement.  Not only was she the first recipient of the award, but it was named in her honour.  Henceforth, it will be known as the Carol Burnett Award.  It will be presented to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to television, on or off the screen.

Carol's acceptance speech was full of gratitude for her good fortune. It was very moving, very gracious and somewhat wistful.  Her variety show, The Carol Burnett Show, first aired on September 11, 1967 (over 51 years ago) and it ended in 1979.  Carol was a pioneer because she was the first woman to host a variety sketch show on American television.  In her speech, Burnett said that her show ran for "11 joy-filled years."  She stressed, however, that it couldn't be done now because the "cost alone would be prohibitive."  Other popular variety shows at the time, she added, "could never see the light of day today because the networks just wouldn't spend the money."  "Sad to say today's audiences might never know what they are missing," she declared.

Times and have changed radically. Variety shows haven't been in vogue for years and network television is in decline due to the Internet and streaming.  There are so many television shows that no one can begin to watch them all, or keep track of them.  Millennials generally prefer to watch what they want, when they want and how they want.  Long gone are the days when families sat around the television together and watched Ed Sullivan and All in the Family.  Many young people regard that as the ancient past.  However, for baby boomers, they evoke fond memories.

Dick Van Dyke was also on hand at the Golden Globes, where he was given a standing ovation.  The 93-year-old as starred in two major television series:  The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966) and Diagnosis Murder (1993-2001).  Dick is a very active nonagenarian.and he has a cameo role in Mary Poppins Returns (He played Bert the Chimney Sweep in the original 1964 Disney film alongside Julie Andrews).

Van Dyke in 2016  PHOTO ATTRIBUTION: Gage Skidmore

Van Dyke is a master of physical comedy.  He is tall, lanky and very versatile.  He can sing, dance and tell jokes.  He's extremely talented.  I recently saw a documentary in which Dick comments about an entertainer who had a great influence on him.  The documentary, entitled The Great Buster, explores the life and achievements of another great physical comedian, - Buster Keaton.  Van Dyke is a great admirer of Keaton's talents as well as those of  other silent film era comedians such as Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy.  In fact, when Stan Laurel died in 1965, Dick Van Dyke delivered the eulogy at his funeral.

So, here's to Carol and Dick.  Thanks for for all the joy and laughter you have brought  to people.  We'll never see your like again.  However, as Carol pointed out in her Golden Globe speech, we can still watch them on reruns and YouTube.

Below is a photo of Carol Burnett and Dick Van Dyke in 1977, when Dick appeared in 11 episodes of The Carol Burnett Show.

- Joanne

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Y&R Report (January 5, 2019): 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.   

Hi everyone.  I hope you enjoyed your holidays and I trust they were better than those of some of the residents of Genoa City.  We did have a Christmas miracle on Y&R, this year, courtesy of Victor Newman.  All he had to do was exclaim "Merry Christmas, my darling!" and Nikki was able to come out of her coma.  It was the power of "The Moustache."

Candy Cane and Princess Victoria Newman?  Really?  What's that all about?  Those two have terrible judgment and any relationship between them, secret or not, can only end in disaster - but that's the idea.  As I've said before, there has to be conflict on soaps.  That's why very few couples stay together.  According to an online spoiler, the Winters family is going to discover that prison has changed Lily (Christel Khalil).  She not the same person and you can be sure that that will affect her relationship with Cane in a negative way.

Victoria accused the whispering (or should I say wimpy?) Australian  as being "weak and cowardly." which is true. She really doesn't think much of him. Yet, she still kissed him and we all know it won't end there.  The princess told her therapist all about the kiss.  She said she loathed Cane and denied having any attraction to him.  She thought she may have done it to subconsciously sabotage a reconciliation with Billy.  Although Billy has been more mature and responsible lately, Victoria is reluctant to reunite with him.  That's because she can't have a perfect family life with him and the children.  There's no story there.  That's why she told him she wasn't ready when he tried to kiss her.

Jill (Jess Walton) has returned to Genoa City with some news.  She has called it quits with her con man Aussie husband, Colin Atkinson and she wants to meet someone more stable.  Good luck finding such a person in Genoa City, Jill!  At least she had interesting conversations with her stepson, Cane, and her son, Billy Boy Abbott, plus a visit with former stepson Jack Abbott.

When Cane told Jill that he may have more in common with his wayward father than people think, I had to agree.  I also give him credit for being honest about himself.  Cane Ashby may not be as crooked, but he sure messes up.  In some ways, he really is a chip off the old block.  Remember his adventure in Japan with Juliet?  Remember how he let Billy take the blame for altering a video when they were at Brass & Sassy?  (By the way, why does Cane call himself "Ashby," when his father's last name is "Atkinson?" I assume he wants to distance himself from Colin's criminal activities.).

Jill was pleasantly surprised to hear that Billy had broken up with Phyllis and that Phyllis and Nick were together.  She was also pleased that her son looked happy and attributed it to an improvement in his relationship with Victoria.  She is determined to see those two back together.  She will certainly be upset if Cane becomes an obstacle to their reunion.  Cane confessed to Jill that he had kissed someone but, of course, he didn't reveal that the woman was Victoria.  Jill, in her infinite wisdom, advised Cane not tell Lily about his indiscretion.  We all know what happened when he hid his other misdeeds, don't we?

I can''t warm up to Kerry Johnson.  She's going to break Jack Abbott's heart and he'll probably regret getting involved with her.  Kerry has been meeting Jack's ex-wives and she is amazed at how many times he has been married.  She's also met Jill and learned of Jack's past dalliances with her.  Kerry commented that everyone has skeletons in their closets, but the Jabot chemist has some secrets of her own, according to an online spoiler. 

It's not official, but It looks as if Josh Griffith is set to return as Y&R's head writer.  In July 2012, Griffith became the show's sole head writer.  He resigned in August 2013, reportedly due to creative differences with then-executive producer Jill Farren Phelps.  Griffith returned to Y&R in August 2018 as supervising as supervising producer.

Josh Griffith

Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters) has already welcomed Griffith back on social media.  On Twitter, St. John wrote:  "Let's welcome Josh Griffith back to Y&R.  His inspiring leadership, focusing on the core characters, will prevail.   The character assassination of Paul (Doug Davidson) was brutal.  Raise your voice!  Bill Bell Sr. created this legendary show.  It is our duty to protect his legacy."

Kristoff is right on the money with his comments.  Y&R does need to focus on the core characters.and something definitely has to be done to rectify the Doug Davidson situation.  Doug should return to the show or at the very least, some explanation should be given as to what happened to Paul Williams.

Y&R fans are still left in the dark about the fate of the Summer Newman character.  Our dear Snowflake has been sent off to work in Dubai, where she is surely melting in all that hot weather.  It's really no place for her.  Victor should have sent her to Norway or Buffalo or Minnesota or maybe even northern Ontario.  Actually, I was surprised by the move.  I thought she was going to really interfere with Kyle and Lola's romance.  Instead, Fen is the third member of the love triangle.
So, what happened?  Has Hunter King decided to leave the show?  If so, will she be replaced by another actress?  Also, why has there been no clear explanation for Gloria's absence.  Michael Baldwin doesn't even mention his mother or his brother Kevin anymore.

Here's something else the new head writer should clear up:  What happened to Chelsea and Connor?  I was very disappointed in how the writers abruptly ended Chelea's storyline when Melissa Claire Egan decided to leave the show.  Chelsea's return to her con woman ways was not credible.  Y&R viewers did not buy it.


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. 

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I received an email from regular contributor CC in Etobicoke, Ontario.  Here are her comments.

Hi Joanne

Loved your Xmas wishes for character, especially Lily, Cane and Phyllis (in the last edition of Y&R Report).  

Glad to see Mal Young go except for his strategy of having a daily cliffhanger.

Not sure if they know how to wind up the J.T. storyline.  I guess it depends on whether Thad is open to reprising the role now and again in the flesh, and not in a ghostly way.  Reed clearly has to go.

I will be very surprised if someone other than Victor has Nikki.

Despite the fact that his role has diminished over the last couple of years, it would be interesting to know what the scoop is on Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters).

Spare me from Tessa,  Mia, Lola, Rey, Fen, Ana, Charlie, Cane, Maddie, the return of Lily, SUMMER, Noah and a few more . . .

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you too, CC.  I think it was time for Mal to go too.  It will be interesting to see what direction the new head writer will take the show.

Yes, it was pretty much a no-brainer that Victor would come back for Nikki's sake.  He may even know what really happened and is willing to go to prison in order to protect Nikki and Victoria.

I'm not sure if they know how to wind up the J.T. storyline either. However, in its 2019 previews, Soap Central states that the "truth about J.T.'s death is finally revealed - but that might not be the end of the mystery."

I've tried to find out why Kristoff St. John has been absent from the show again (Neil is said to have moved closer to the prison where Lily is being held).  Unfortunately, I have been unable to find an explanation.  He'll probably return when Lily returns.  I haven't heard any reports that he's left Y&R and I don't think he would have made those comments about the new head writer if that were the

I must say, CC, that is a long list of characters that you don't like.  I am not a fan of some characters on the show either, but I accept them because they serve a purpose.  They set the plot in motion.

I received a New Year's greeting from longtime Y&R viewer, Carly in Barrhaven, Ontario.  Carly wrote:

As for Y&R, I hope the new head writer writes Kerry out of the show.  Can't stand her . . . Watch out for Cane and Victoria.

Well, Carly,  it seems that Kerry doesn't seem to be very popular with fans.  If that's the case, the new head writer (presumably Josh Griffith), may write her out.  Perhaps some viewers  have a bias against her because she seems to have replaced fan favourite Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbott) as Jabot chemist.  If that's the case, she's been asked to fill some pretty big shoes.  As for Cane and Victoria, they are both headed for disaster, as usual.


To be perfectly honest, 2018 was not the greatest year for The Young and the Restless.  Many fan favourites departed and Doug Davidson was fired.  Fans hope that 2019 will be better.  In the meantime, why not reply to my poll about the worst Y&R happenings?   Let me know what you think.

What was your worst Y&R happening in 2018?

The departure of Eileen Davidson as Ashley Abbott.
The firing of Doug Davidson as Paul Williams.
The head writing of Mal Young.
The departure of Mishael Morgan as Hilary.
The departure of Melissa Claire Egan as Chelsea Lawson.
I don't know.
Please Specify:

That's all for now!  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, January 19, 2019 With a new head writer, there should be a lot to talk about.  Big changes are coming to Y&R.  Let's hope the changes take the show in the right direction.

- Joanne