Saturday, January 30, 2021

Y&R Report (January 30, 2021): 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 fans,

Well, that was quite a snowstorm in Genoa City and a lot of people were stranded overnight.  Sally Spectra stayed at the Abbott home.  She and Jack shared their life stories.  Did you notice that she eyed Jack like a predator, as if waiting for the right time to pounce.  

Mariah stayed over at Chance and Abby's and agreed to be the surrogate for their prospective child.  However, some news from Chance's doctor put that plan in jeopardy.  Elena, of course, was stranded at Devon's and they had one last romantic tryst.  Devon wanted to talk about it, but Elena was too upset.  She left abruptly, then returned to apologize for leaving that way.  She told Devon that too much had happened and that it was time to move on.  She has chosen Dr. Nate, at least for now.  

Billy, naturally, stayed with Victoria and Johnny and Katie.  They played games and ate cookies.  Of course, Victoria seemed to really enjoy their interaction as a family. 

Moses Winters will be coming to Genoa City soon.  Moses, the son Neil Winters and Sofia Dupre, has been mentioned several times lately.  That's a sign that he will soon be seen on screen, mostly likely in time for the upcoming February sweeps.  Moses' goal  is to become a doctor and Dr. Nate has reluctantly agreed to mentor him.  Moses would actually be about ten years old now, but he will be subject to the Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome. (SORAS).  He will be a high school student at Walnut Grove Academy.  Guess who else is a student at Walnut Grove?  That's right - Faith Newman.  Faith's underage drinking storyline can't last forever and she is bound to return to the straight and narrow, once she ends her association with Jordan.  However, Faith may still be the victim of bullying.  at her school.  Who will be there to defend her and become her ally?  That's right - Moses.  You can figure out where this is going.  It will probably lead to Faith's first young romance.

Billy is really trying to make his relationship with Lily work.  However, I doubt that he will succeed.  Lily seems to have accepted Billy's past wrongdoings and she wants to believe he has changed.  They might work as a couple, except for one huge obstacle - Princess Victoria Newman.  She will always be in the picture due to the two children she shares with Billy.  Victoria will always come between Billy and Lily.  She may even cause Billy to do something reckless in a weak moment.  He's been known to do that before, hasn't he?  Is this new Billy strong enough to avoid messing things up?


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

Here is an email that I received from longtime Y&R viewer CC in Etobicoke.  CC had this to say in response to my last column:

Hi Joanne,

Agree with you on a few of your comments today (January 16th, 2021), but disagree on some others.

Re: lack of storylines for long time main characters....maybe not in all cases but the reason for this may have to do with pandemic work restrictions.  California is one of the most hard hit U.S. states. I expect there are strict limits on how many people can be on set.  When you consider directors, camermen, lighting and other support people it doesn' leave much room for a bevy of actors.  Sometimes, when we see a large # of people in the room, (wedding of Abby and Chance) even though it looks like they are together, the actual shots may be filmed separately and then somehow meshed together like photoshopping.

I suspect that actors like MTS and Eric Braeden have contract clauses limiting the amount of time and face to face they spend on set and who they spend it with.

Remember, scenes are filmed at least a month ahead and not necessarily in chronological order so scheduling is more difficult than usual.

You are soooo right about Elena's horrible hair cut!  However, who would willingly and knowingly do something like that?!  She may have had reasons, like playing another role requiring shorter hair, or if she had extensions before and cut it down for healthier regrowth after they were removed.
Whatever her reasons, it looks awful!  She needs to bring out the wigs and extensions soon.

Sally et al....If fans take to Sally (I am not one of them) they will keep her on and build the storyline while she pits Dad Jack and son Kyle against one another for a number of reasons: to secure power, wealth, status, a husband; to get back at someone(s) (her ex and Summer for some reason).  Something major will happen and Sleuth Chance will have to solve the whodunnit?  So many possible suspects.

We have been hearing that Rey is leaving the show for so long now.  They are definitely dragging out his departure storyline.  Will it be because of something that happens between Sharon and Adam, or will they throw in another twist. Inevitably, Sharon and Adam will make a mistake.  Will they get caught?  Will Victor have a hand in that?

Lily has her head in the clouds if she thinks that she can have a life do over with Billy.  He is too messed up to go the distance and pull that off.

I, for one, preferred Mal's Corrie Street quick paced plot resolutions. However, again, covid restrictions may play a part in why things are moving along even more slowly than usual.

For some time now I have been saying that Eric Braeden is off his game.  It appears that he is even fooling himself if he believes what he said in a recent interview, i.e. he is not quitting Y&R and will continue in his role as long as he is breathing.  We will see about that.  It appears that when it comes to being stubborn the actor and the character are very much alike.

Hope these ideas provide you with some food for thought.

Ciao,
CC from Etobicoke


Thank you, CC, for your thoughtful and detailed analysis of Y&R's current situation.  You are right to point out how much COVID-19 restrictions affect Y&R's casting and its storylines.  That is undoubtedly true.  We fans don't know everything that's going on behind the scenes with regard to the pandemic.  We can only be certain that COVID is a big factor.in many of the decisions that have to be made.

Yes, there may be a romantic triangle between Jack, Kyle and Sally Spectra.  Jack certainly seems impressed with Sally.  He is quick to come to her defence and he always encourages her.  There is a good chance that he will become romantically involved with Sally and that may pit him against his son, Kyle.  To be honest, though, I really hope that doesn't happen.  I'm not looking forward to father and son competing for Sally's affections.  I won't enjoy the spectacle of Jack being taken in by Sally's youth and her flattery.  Is he really so naive that he won't realize that she is after the Abbott money, status and power?  As for Kyle, now that he has been informed of Sally's shady background in Los Angeles, would he actually fall for her - or would he pretend to do so for Summer's sake, in order to dupe Sally?  It's also very possible that Sally will blackmail him into doing her bidding.  There doesn't seem to be any end to her ambition.  The only question is how far she would she go to get what she wants.  Also, what about Gloria.?  Now that she's back in Genoa City, how will she fit  into the picture ?  Will she also sets her sights on Jack, as I expect that she will.  Did you notice Sally's reaction when Gloria burst into the room with Kevin?  She considers Gloria somewhat of a threat, due to her past association with Jack.

Sally Spectra is definitely not a likeable character, but there may be other sides to her personality.  For the time being, she is a very necessary character  She is needed for the storyline because she is a troublemaker and she stirs the pot.

Yes, rumours persist that Rey Rosales (Jordi Vilasuso) will be leaving the show.  So far, it hasn't happened.  I don't know what will happen to Rey when Sharon eventually leaves him for Adam.  Will he return to Miami?

Eric Braeden is 79 years old.  He will celebrate his 80th birthday on April 3rd.  Obviously he is not as robust and healthy as he used to be.  However, I really can't fault him for wanting to remain active and to stay on the show.  He doesn't seem to be the kind of man who is suited to retirement.  If he did choose to retire, however, what would happen to the character of Victor Newman?  Y&R fans would never countenance another actor in the role of Victor.  To my knowledge, no other actor has played Victor Newman, not even on a temporary basis, since Eric joined  the cast in 1980.   Even when the legendary Jeanne Cooper had to take some time off from the show in 1986, Canadian-born singer/actress Gisele Mackenzie played Mrs. Chancellor for a while.

So, if Eric retired, the writers would be forced to kill Victor off or have him leave town.  I don't expect that to happen.  I really think Eric will remain with the show as long as he is physically able to do so.  I doubt that Victor will be written out unless Eric passes away.  I think you are correct to say that Victor and Eric have similar personalities.  They are both resilient and determined.  Victor Newman has retired as CEO of Newman Enterprises, at least for now.  I doubt that Eric Braeden will ever retire.


I also received some commentary from Carly in Barrhaven, Ontario, who wrote the following:

I want Adan ti stay with Chelsea and Sharon to stay married to Rey.  Gloria always adds fun and excitement.  Cannot stand Kyle and Summer.  He's a terrible actor and she bugs me.  Billy and Lily, not sure, but the fact that their relationship is bothering Miss Victoria makes for a good storyline.  Phyllis is Phyllis, and yes, I like her with Nick.  

Now, Sally Spectra, she is trouble and I just hope the writers don't involve her romantically with Jack.  That would be ridiculous.  But it looks like it's headed in that direction.  We will wait and see.


Well Carly, I think Sharon is going to mess things up.  She is struggling to do the right thing, but she really doesn't want to stay away from Adam Newman.  Rey has been very patient about his new wife's obsession with Adam.  Sooner or later, he's gong to reach a breaking point.  Some would say that Rey has been far too patient.  A lot of men would not put up with Sharon's behaviour.  I don't think she appreciates Rey enough.

Lily is being putting up with Victoria because she knows how important Billy's kids are to him.  At some point, however, she too will reach a breaking point and her patience will run out.

I am not a big fan of Kyle and Summer either and I don't think they will last.  Neither will Lily and Billy or Phyllis and Nick.  As fans know, few couples last on a soap.

Yes, Gloria certainly does add fun and excitement.  I am pleased that she's back and I hope she interferes with Sally and Jack.  I don't want them together either, but it certainly does seem as if it's headed in that direction.


CAST NEWS

Tracey Bregman (Lauren Fenmore Baldwin) celebrates 38 years on Y&R

On January 21st  Tracey E. Bregman took to Instagram to mark her 38th anniversary on The Young and the Restless.  She expressed her gratitude to fans.  She wrote: "I can not tell you what this job has meant to me and how I love each and every person in our production.  I am truly grateful every day and say a prayer to Bill Bell (Y&R's c o-creator), thanking him for my career and giving me the opportunity to be a mom and an actress."  She also thanked the writers for keeping her character, Lauren, "alive and fesity."  Since Tracy's actual anniversary fell on the Inauguration Day of a new American president, Tracey felt it inappropriate to post anything on that day "for obvious reasons."

Tracey Bregman is the mother of two sons, Austin and Landon, who are 24 and 30 years old respectively.  She recalled how Bell "asked me to bring my babies to work with me, so I would feel secure."

Over the years,. Y&R fans have watched Lauren Fenmore evolve from a teenage troublemaker into a confident and powerful business executive.  Unfortunately, Lauren is not at the forefront of a major storyline.


 Tyler Johnson (Theo Vanderway) is returning to Y&R



Tyler Johnson is returning to Y&R as Theo Vanderway the week of February 1.  That was fast!  He's only been gone since December.  However, it seems as if his return is only temporary and he will probably return to Paris, where he has been running a fashion business.  

Theo has some unfinished business in Genoa City with the Abbotts and Dina's will.  Expect him to cause trouble for Kyle because an online spoiler says that Kyle's past will come back to haunt him.  That obviously refers to his wild days in New York with Theo.  You can be sure that Sally Spectra will use any negative information about Kyle's past to her advantage in her feud with Summer.  Theo will most likely provide her with the dirt.

I have to admit that Theo is not my favourite character, but I think his return will shake up the Kyle/Summer/Sally/Jack storyline.  I also like the connection between Theo and Sally Spectra.


CASTING NOTES

Don Diamont, who played the role of Brad Carlton on Y&R from 1985 to 2009will make an appearance in Genoa City.  No, Brad is not returning from the dead.  As fans know, Don currently portrays Bill Spencer on Y&R's sister soap, The Bold and the Beautiful.  There will be another crossover between B&B and Y&R. the week of February 8th, during the February sweeps.

Tricia Cast, who plays Chance's mother, Nina Webster, will also be returning in February.  I don't have details, but presumably she will be involved in the Chance/Abby storyline.


Y&R REPORT READERS' POLL

Three's a crowd and Victoria is really in the way of Lily and Billy's romance.  Fans, do you think she will succeed in braking them up?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Do you think Billy and Lily will last as a couple?
Yes, they make a great couple. Victoria will try to interfere, but Billy will not go back to her.
No, Billy and Lily don't have a chance with Victoria in the picture. She will continue to use the children to manipulate Billy.
Maybe. It depends on how much Billy has really changed.
I don't know.
Other
Please Specify:
Created with Poll Maker

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, February 13, 2021.  The February sweeps will soon be upon us and Y&R is pulling out all the stops; so enjoy the show.

Take care and stay safe,

- Joanne

Friday, January 29, 2021

Update on Rich Little

On December 5, 2019, I posted an article on Canadian-born entertainer Rich Little.  I recently received some correspondence from Lyndsay Cottrell, the daughter of the legendary impressionist.  She says that her father is "doing great, healthy as ever ever and performing, which is his favourite thing to do."  He performs at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas four nights a week (Thursday to Sunday).  He has an autobiographical one-man show called "Rich Little Live." at the Tropicana's Laugh Factory.  

Lyndsay Cotrell was born in 1988 in Wilmington, Delaware and her mother is Lalette Cotrell.  She describes her parents as "great friends."  Rich has another daughter, Bria Little, from his marriage to Jeanne Worden.  

Lyndsay has been a resident of Las Vegas for about seven years now and has a fiancĂ© named Garrick.  She is the mother of two children, a daughter named Alaina, 10, and a son, Lincoln, 3.  She says  that she "loves being a mother" and that "my kids are my everything."

I asked her about how the pandemic is affecting Las Vegas.  She informed me that the Strip is still open but that there are no shows except for her father's and a few others.  The casinos, however  "are booming like always."  Why am I not surprised about that?

In his show at the Tropicana, Rich Little continues his tradition of impersonating many actors, singers and politicians he has known throughout his stellar career, especially American presidents.  The show includes impressions of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden.  

Below is a photo of Rich with his two daughters, Bria and Lyndsay (right) on Father's Day, June 21, 2020.


- Joanne

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Betty White's 99th Birthday and the Re-release of Pet Set

Betty White i n 1954

TV legend and animal activist, Betty White, celebrated her 99th birthday two days ago (Betty was born on January 17, 1922 in Oak Park, Illinois, USA).  Her many friends and admirers flooded social media with well wishes on her special day.

Here's what Betty tweeted about turning 99:

"Would you believe it?!  It's my 99th birthday which means I can stay up as late as I want without asking.  I am also very pleased to let you know about the re-release of my long-lost series after fifty years!  I am just so proud of the “Pet Set”.  I hope everyone is safe and well."

Betty shared a clip on Twitter of her long-unseen series, The Pet Set, which featured animals and animal lovers.  The 1971-72  syndicated talk show lasted 39 episodes   It was hosted by Betty and produced in part by her late husband, Allen Ludden of Password fame.  The idea for the show came about after Ludden challenged his wife to create a show reflecting her longtime passion for animals.  The couple presented their idea to the Carnation Company, which sponsored the series,

On Pet Set, Betty interviewed many high-profile guests such as Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore, James Brolin, Jimmy Stewart, Vincent Price, Doris Day and Marlon Brando, who showcased their pets.  She visited a wide range of animals - from dogs, cats, birds and horses to elephants, wolves and lions and bears- both in the studio and on location.

Below is a phot of Betty on The Pet Set with guest star James Brolin and his Great Dane Buck.


According to Betty White's 1995 autobiography Here We Go Again: My Life in Television, "Pet Set" was cancelled due to the Carnation Company's decision to earmark its advertising budget solely for commercials rather than to allocate some of its finances for programming.  Pet Set was not cancelled because Betty took on the role of Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1973.


Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, Betty spent her 99th birthday in quarantine.  Next year, when Betty celebrates her 100th birthday, the pandemic will have subsided and she can celebrate to the max.

Note: As of February 23, Pet Set will be streamed on Apple TV, Google Play and Prime Video.

 

SOURCES: Vulture, "Betty White Celebrates Her 99th Birthday With Carol Burnett Feeding a Babby Elephant," by Halle Kiefer, January 18, 2012; ET Canada, "Betty White Trends on Twitter as Celebs Pay Tribute On Her 99th Birthday," by Brent Furdyk; January 17, 20201; Lost Media Wiki "LMW " (lostmediawiki.com), "The Pet Set (partially found Betty White talk show; 1971-1972)"; Wikipedia


- Joanne

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Y&R Report (January 16, 2021): 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 fans

Is there trouble in paradise already for newlyweds Abby and Chance?  Since her marriage, Abby has been totally obsessed with having a child.  She freaked out when  her pregnancy tests came out negative.  She couldn't seem to relax and give it time.  She refused to just settle into her new marriage before having a child.  I found her impatience very annoying.  After all,  she had just recently returned from her honeymoon.  It wasn't as if she had been trying for years.

After being checked by her doctor, Abby learned that she had scar tissue related to s miscarriage she had suffered when she was married to Dr. Stitch.  As a result, she underwent a procedure and discovered  that she would not be able to conceive due to the scar tissue.   Now she's devastated.  A sympathetic Traci reminded her that she had options.  Abby is not ready to explore those options yet, but I think that's the direction this storyline is taking.

I am not pleased with many aspects of Y&R right now.  For one thing, the writing is still sluggish and there is still too much repetition.  The  characters sit around discussing the same thing over and over.  A A little less talk and a bit more action is needed.  It seems to me that the current head writer, Josh Griffith, takes a different approach than his predecessor, Mal Young.  Mal Young's storylines moved too fast and ended too abruptly.  The only storyline Griffith could have fleshed out more was the "Who Shot  Chance?" mystery.  It lacked suspense and failed to develop into a juicy whodunnit.  It just faded away and Billy was quickly declared innocent and released from prison.  

Victor Newman has not been the same sine he retired as CEO of Newman Enterprises.  To be honest, he's lost his edge.  He needs to take a more active role in the storylines.  He has become too calm and grandfatherly/  All he does now is try to help Adam.

There are several characters on the show who haven't had real storylines for a while.  I am referring to Michael and Lauren, Nikki and Traci.  It seems as if the writers have difficulty finding storylines for older actors.  They have talent, so why waste it?  Why not take advantage of what they have to offer?  The writers tried to give Traci a storyline and paired her with Cane.  That was a very bad decision and it went absolutely nowhere.  Then Daniel Goddard, who portrayed Cane, was let go.  Can't the writers come up with something better for Traci? 

As for Jack Abbott, why are the writers taking so long to get him involved in a romantic entanglement.  I realize that Dina's illness and death has been a harrowing experience for him.  However, it's about time he started dating and meeting women again.  Perhaps he could become involved in a good old soap opera love triangle.  I just hope he doesn't fall for Sally Spectra.  Right now, he is very sympathetic towards her.  He defends her when she is criticized.  However, I really don't won't to see Jack being taken in by a cunning and ambitious younger woman. 

The writers also don't seem to know what to do with Adam Newman.  He's all over the map.  One day his angry and unbalanced.  Another day he claims that he is a new man and that he has left his demons behind.  He swears there will be no more vindictiveness from him.  I realize that soap characters, like real life people, can be complex.  They are not always black and white.  Adam has many sides to him.  However, he seems to changing too often and he is always veering in different directions.

Speaking of Adam, he and newlywed Sharon just can't stay away from each other.  Phyllis seems to be the only one who can see right through them.  There's a look in their eyes when they see each other, as if they long to be together. (It may be because they appear to be a couple in real life).  Sharon just had to phone Adam after she saw him at the coffee shop.  Poor Rey is definitely in for more heartache.  I don't blame him for being upset whenever Adam shows his face.  It is  inevitable that Sharon will at some point abandon him for Adam.

Meanwhile, Chelsea has not been making much progress in recovering from her stroke.  I have to give Melissa Claire Eagan credit for her portrayal as a stroke victim and for appearing onscreen without makeup.  The look in her eyes when she Sharon paid a visit was incredible.  It was so intense and so visceral that Sharon wanted to leave immediately.  Chelsea was so emotionally upset by Sharon's visit that she made a sound for the time since her stroke.

The feud between Sally Spectra and Summer is intensifying.  Snowflake finds Sally a real threat.  Otherwise, why would she be taking the time to investigate Sally's past in Los Angelis.  I've been enjoying the L.A. scenes and the crossover between Y&R and The Bold and the Beauiful.  


ROSES AND THORNS


A rose to Mishael Morgan for her performance as Amanda in those emotional scenes in which she confronted her mother.



A rose to Melissa Claire Egan for her portrayal of Chelsea as a stroke victim.




A thorn to Brytni Sarpy (Elena Dawson) for her latest hairstyle.  This is purely subjective, of course,  but I don't think her short hair does her justice.  I think her other style was more attractive.  I wonder what her real-life boyfriend, Bryton James, who plays Devon on Y&R thinks of her hairstyle.



Before

After


CAST NEWS

Eva LaRue (Celeste Rosales) tests positive for COVID-19


Eva LaRue, who plays Celeste, matriarch of the Rosales family, has tested positive for COVID-19.  When Eva's TV son, Rey, married Sharon Newman on New Year's Eve, her Celeste character did not appear at the wedding.  She only made a virtual appearance by phone and congratulated the newlywed couple.  I wondered why Celeste wasn't there in the flesh like her other son, Arturo.  Now the answer is clear.

Eva says that she is turning to Integrative Medicine to combat the disease.  Here is a definition of Integrative Medicine from the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona: "Integrative Medicine (IM) is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies."  

Eva, 54, iz receiving IV treatments that she hopes will minimize any long-term effects from the virus.


Get ready for the return of Judith Chapman as Gloria


Young and Restless fans will be seeing Gloria Fisher Bardwell back on their screens soon.  Judith Chapman, who portrays feisty Gloria, recently underwent COVID testing in order to start filming new episodes of the show.  

Judith has been playing Gloria off and on since 2005.  Her character was last seen in Genoa City in a couple of episodes last October.  She returned to GC to visit her new grandson, Miles, and her sons, Kevin and Michael.  She's been living in Los Angeles.  Before returning to L.A.  Gloria left behind a flash drive at the Chancellor estate.  Kevin found the flash drive, which sparked a new mystery about some embezzled money from Newman Enterprises.  Gloria, who is always hungry for money, is at the centre of the mystery.  Our Glo is so desperate that she he may set her sights on wealthy Jack Abbott.  We all know how devious Gloria can be.  Will Jack be able to resist, especially at a time when he is so vulnerable?

I fear that Sally will also make a play for Jack if she does not get anywhere with Kyle.  Jack has a soft spot for her and she will gain real clout at Jabot if she becomes his main squeeze.  She can just rub that in Snowflake's face.  It would not be amused to see her Uncle Jack with Sally.  Why can't Y&R find a more suitable love interest for Jack than Gloria and Sally, someone whose not using him for his money and status?

Victoria Newman is also at the centre of the embezzlement scandal.  Victoria's archenemy, Phyllis, was delighted to learn from Kevin that Victoria knew about the stolen money and that she hid hidden the scandal.  Phyllis correctly surmised that Victoria didn't want daddy Victor to find out about what happened.  Phyllis told boyfriend Nick Newman that she had decided to take the high road and wouldn't blackmail Victoria.  However, Phyllis being Phyllis, she will eventually use the information against Victoria, even at the risk of alienating Nick.  Nick may be irritated with his sister right now.  He doesn't like how she's conducting herself at all.  Still, Phyllis will go too far.  She can't help herself.


YOUNG AND RESTLESS REPORT READERS' POLL

Mark Grossman (Adam ) and Sharon Case

As I've pointed out, it doesn't look as if Sharon will be able to stay away from Adam. Poor Chelsea has suffered a stroke, but she will eventually recover. As for Rey, it seems as if he is going to be taken to the cleaners for a second time - first Mia and now Sharon. What do you think fans?  Will Sharon stay with Rey or leave him for Adam?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Will Sharon and Adam end up together?
Yes, there is chemistry between them. They can't stay away from each other. It's inevitable.
No, at least not any time soon. Sharon is not going to abandon Rey  right now. They just got married. Also, Chelsea is not going to just let Sharon move in on Adam so easily..
It's more likely to happen than unlikely.
I don't know.
Other
Please Specify:
Created with Poll Maker
/>

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.  I really need your input.  I really need to hear your opinion.  I want to know if you agree or disagree with me. 

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 Saturday, January 30, 2021.  

Take care and stay safe,

- Joanne

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Heartland fans shocked;: Ty is dead


I am a huge fan of CBC's Heartland.  It is the longest-running drama on Canadian television and its fans have been following the fortunes of their favourite characters on the series for years.  They love watching the adventures surrounding the Bartlett/Fleming family and their idyllic horse ranch in the foothills of the Rockies.  

Last Sunday night, I settled down  to watch the opening episode of the show's 14th season.  I was eager to watch the latest happenings in the fictional town of Hudson, Alberta.  Within the first few moments, Ty Borden, husband to Amy Fleming, and father of their little daughter, Lindy, collapsed and died of undetected complications from a gunshot wound he suffered in the final episode of Season 13,  It was shocking because I, like many other fans of Heartland, have watched the show for so long that we have become emotionally involved with the characters.  It's difficult to imagine Heartland without Ty or Amy without Ty.  We saw them meet as teenagers.  We saw Ty mature and become a veterinarian.  We saw them get married and have a child .

In an online interview, Graham Wardle, who played Ty, said he felt it was time to move on after 13 years with the series.  In another interview in the Calgary Herald , Wardle's co-star, Amber Marshall (Amy), said that Wardle revealed his plans to leave the show in a phone call to her about two years ago.  His departure has been kept a secret.  Here's what Marshall had to say about the shocking storyline. Keep in mind that the interview took place before Sunday's episode was aired.

"This is a story that people might not want to see in the beginning.  I think there's going to be a lot of people devastated by this.  But I believe the journey through this season is so important for viewers to watch and to know that death is real.  Death is something that impacts all of us at some point in our lives.  To see this widowed mother find the strength and courage to move forward for her daughter and really think about what's best for the family around her and to come together an be that support I think is so important.  And to know that it isn't easy.  There's nothing easy about death and it shouldn't be.  But to honour that person and that person's journey and by moving forward and living each day is the best way that you can"

At the time of Amber Marshall's interview, Wardle's departure was still a secret and she did not wish to speak for him.  However, she did say that he left to pursue interests other than acting.  He recently launched a podcast called Time Has Come.  On a YouTube trailer last May, he stated that his podcast is designed to focus on "people stepping outside their comfort zone and into a world, into a life, into a vision of the future that they desire." 

When Graham Wardle decided to leave the show, what choice was there but to write Ty out?  I don't think fans would have accepted another actor in the role of Ty.  The writers could have had Ty go to Mongolia again, as he did once before.  He and Amy could have gotten a quickie divorce.  Nah.!  None of that would have worked.  So, Ty's death was written into the script and Amy, is now a grieving widow, with a child to raise.

Ty was far too young to die and that doesn't often happen on television shows.  However, it does happen in real life.  Last Sunday, Heartland gave its viewers s a dose of the hard, cold reality of death and of life's unexpected changes.  It stung.  However, Graham Wardle felt it was time for a change and he had to do what was right for him.  He had to move on.


- Joanne

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

All About The Queen's Gambit: Will there be a Second Season?

 "The main conflict in The Queen's Gambit is not between the protagonist Beth Harmon and her brilliant opponents across the chess board.  It's between her and her struggles with addiction."

- Matt Miller. Esquire magazine, November 11, 2020

The Queen's Gambit is a Netflix coming-of-age period drama, set during the Cold War of the 1950s and 1960s.  This incredibly popular miniseries is based on a 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis.  Although the story is fictional, it was inspired by real-life events.  It begins in the mid-1950s and it chronicles the life of Elizabeth "Beth" Harmon, an orphaned chess prodigy, played by Anya Taylor-Joy.  The series also features a stellar supporting cast including Marielle Heller, Bill Camp, Harry Melling, Moses Ingram and others.

The Queen's Gambit debuted on October 23, 2020.  In four weeks, it became an enormous hit and even sparked a renewed interest in the game of chess.  Netflix says that The Queen's Gambit is the most-watched limited series in the history of the streaming service.   It was created by Scott Frank and Allan Scott.  Scott Frank, the writer and director of every episode of the seven-episode drama series, says the appeal of The Queen's Gambit is that is is a story that's "not about the game, it's about the cost of genius."   Beth is driven to become the best chess player in the world, but she she tries to conceal a growing dependency on the drugs and alcohol that she uses to function in a competitive and demanding environment.

Despite the popularity of The Queen's Gambit, it does not seem likely that there will be a second season of the show.  It was made as a limited series and the story is not designed to be extended. The series is quite faithful to Walter Tevis's novel.  Since Tevis passed away the year after The Queen's Gambit was published, so there is no sequel to his novel and no additional source material for a second season.  It's not unprecedented, however, for a "limited series" to become a "traditional series."  HBO's Big Little Lies. starring Nicole Kidman, is a case in point.  On the other hand, Netflix has been more rigid with its "limited series" designation.

Here's what series star Anya Taylor-Joy told Town and Country about the potential for  a second season: "If I've learned anything from being in this industry, it's never say never.  I adore the character, and I would certainly come back if I were asked to, but I think we leave Beth in a good place."  

Harry Melling, who portrays Harry Beltik in the series, is also open to the idea of new episodes.  However, he has pointed out that there is no more source material.  "It'd be good, right. a Queen's Gambit part two?  The place we end in the limited series is the place we end in the book.," he stated last year.  "I don't know if there can be another one, but stranger things have happened."

Writer/director Scott Frank is extremely satisfied with the series as it stands and may not want to rock the boat.  In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said, "This was the single best experience I've had in a 30 some-odd year career of really nice experience.


WHAT DOES THE CHESS TERM "THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT" MEAN?

For those who are not familiar with chess, the "Queen's Gambit" refers to the oldest opening move in the history of the game, dating back to the 15th century.  It occurs when White offers a wing pawn in exchange for better control of the centre of the chess board.  It is called the "Queen's Gambit" because it begins with the Queen's pawn.  The "gambit"  refers to trading a piece for control of the middle of the board.


ABOUT ANYA TAYLOR-JOY, THE STAR OF THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT

Anya Taylor-Joy

Anya Josephine Marie Taylor-Joy was born on April 26, 1996 in Miami, Florida.  Her Zambian-born mother, Jennifer Marina Joy, is an English-Spanish psychologist.  Her father, Dennis Alan Taylor, hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina and is of Scottish-Argentine heritage.  He was an international banker who changed careers and became a professional offshore powerboat racer.  Anya is the youngest of six children and she holds American, British and Argentine citizenship.

When Anya was just a baby, her family left Florida and relocated to Buenos Aires. Argentina.  Anya spoke mainly Spanish as a child and did not learn English until she moved to London, England when she was six years old..  Reading Harry Potter books helped her to learn the language.  

At 14, Anya moved to New York and then divided her time between the U.S. and England.  At 16, she became a model after being scouted outside Harrods department store in London.  As a result of her modelling work, Taylor-Joy signed with an acting agent. She appeared in a 2014 episode of the British detective drama series Endeavour and in a number of episodes of the British fantasy-adventure drama Atlantis.  Her big breakthrough came with her performance in the 2015 supernatural period horror film The Witch.  She had the lead role in this international co-production of the United States and Canada. 

Anya starred in the 2017 BBC One miniseries The Minaturist.  In 2019, she had a starring role in the acclaimed BBC One period crime drama series Peaky Blinders and also the Netflix fantasy drama series The Dark Cyrstal: Age of Resistance.

Anya Taylor-Joy did not know how to play chess before she took on the role of chess prodigy Beth Harmon.  In an interview with NPR's Scott Simon, she was asked if she felt it necessary to learn how to play the game for the role.  She replied, ""Yes, absolutely.  And, I mean, I had to have a theoretical understanding of chess because I didn't feel confident or arrogant enough to show up on set and pretend I knew what I was talking about."   

So, Anya trained with world-renowned chess instructor Bruce Pandolfini in order to learn the basics of the game.  With the success of The Queen's Gambit, her star continues to rise.


ABOUT WALTER TEVIS, AUTHOR OF THE NOVEL, THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT

Walter Tevis

Walter Tevis, the author of The Queen's Gambit was a "class C" chess player.  Tevis was born in San Francisco, California, U.S.A. on February 28, 1928.  He lived in San Francisco for the first ten years of his life.  When he developed a rheumatic heart condition, his family placed him in convalescent home for a year.  At the convalescent home, young Tevis was drugged three times a day with phenobarbital, a barbiturate.  Of the drug, Tevis stated, "I loved it.  That may be one reason I became a drunk."

It's no coincidence that Tevis's Queen's Gambit protagonist, Beth Harmon, is given green pills daily as a child in an orphanage (In the 1950s and 69s, it was not uncommon for orphanages to give children "tranquillizers " or "Mother's Little Helper," as they were nicknamed).

While Walter stayed in the convalescent home, his family returned to Kentucky, where they'd been given a land grant.  At the age of 11, Walter travelled by train to rejoin his family there.  At 17, he served in the Pacific during World War II as a Navy carpenter's mate aboard the USS Hamilton.

Tevis attended the University of Kentucky, where he earned a B.A. (1949) and an M.A. (1954) in English Literature.  While a student, he worked in his friend's pool hall..  He became a decent player and he wrote his first "pool hall" story, The Hustle, which was published in Collier's magazine in 1955.

Walter's first novel, The Hustler, was published in 1959.  It was the story of pool hustler "Fast Eddie" Felson and was made into 1961 film starring Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason.  Walter also wrote a 1984 sequel to The Hustler called The Color of Money, which was turned into a film starring Newman and Tom Cruise.    

Walter's second novel, The Man Who Fell to Earth, a work of science fiction, was published in 1963.  For the next 14 years, he taught English literature and creative writing at the Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, publishing very little.  In 1978, he moved to New York City and returned to full-time writing.  It was during this time that he wrote The Queen's Gambit.  The novel was released in 1983 and Tevis told The New York Times that it was a tribute to "brainy women."

Walter Tevis spent his last years in New York, where he died of lung cancer on August 9, 1984.  He was 56 years old at the time of his passing.  During his writing career, he published six novels and more than two dozen short stories for a variety of magazines.

SOURCES: Esquire," What  Exactly Are Those Green Pills in The Queen's Gambit?" by Matt Miller, November 11, 2020; Screenrant (www.screenrant.com), "Anya Taylor Joy - Ten Things You Didn't know about The Star of  The Queen's Gambit," by Nathan Sharp, November 30, 2020; The Ringer, "The Man Who Brought 'The Queen's Gambit' to Life," by David Hill, November 9, 2020; Men's Health, "Don't Expect a Season 2 of Netflix's The Queen's Gambit: We've most likely seen Beth Harmon's final move," by Evan Romano, November 2, 2020; NPR: Anya Taylor-Joy and Scott Frank Of 'Queen's Gambit" On Making Chess Mesmerizing, Interview with Scott Simon, October 31, 2010; Collider, Watch How 'The Queen's Gambit' Was Made in 14-minite Making-of Documentary," by Adam Chitwood, December 10, 2020; Town and Country, Will There Be The Queen's Gambit Season 2?" by Adam Rathe, October 24, 2020; Wikipedia


- Joanne

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Y&R Report (Saturday, January 2, 2021) 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 fans

A new year has dawned and we will see what 2021 brings to Genoa City.  I really hope that Nick Newman finds something useful to do with himself this year.  He spends most of his time hanging around Phyllis at the Grand Phoenix and cavorting with her.  Aside from that, he checks in on Sharon and Faith.  I realize he's doing some worthwhile work building low rental housing, but he never looks very busy, unlike his sister.

My oh my!  Isn't Princess Victoria Newman quite the workaholic?  She spent Christmas Eve in her office hard at work.  Wow!  She sure gave Ebenezer Scrooge a run for his money.  Scrooge worked on Christmas Eve, but he was a prominent businessman, not a CEO.

I don't know about you, but I found Victoria's behaviour difficult to fathom.  She is the CEO of Newman Enterprises, supposedly a multinational conglomerate.  How many CEOs of multinational corporations need to work on Christmas Eve?  In non-COVID times, they generally vacation in tropical settings.  I just don't think you'll find many bigtime CEO's ensconced in their offices on the evening of December 24th.  Victoria really needs to get a life.  She's trying to hide the fact that Billy and Lily's new romance disturbs her greatly.  However, she's not doing a very good job of it.  It's written all over her face.

As for Lily, she's not too concerned about Victoria right now.  She's just enjoying the bloom of her new romance.  However, the Princess will get to her sooner or later.  Billy will eventually mess up and the bloom will come off the rose.  That's what happens on a soap.

Y&R's writers have been portraying Victoria Newman in a very unflattering light.  They have turned her into quite an unlikeable character.  Phyllis is embroiled in a nasty feud with the Princess and there is a growing rift between Nick and his sister.  If this were a card game, the fiery redhead would have a good hand to play.  Phyllis being Phyllis is bound to overplay her hand and lose Nick in the process.

I know Abby wants to have a child, but why is she in such a rush?  It's not as if she's 40 years old and her biological clock is ticking.  She just got married.  Why doesn't she settle into the marriage first?  

Here are my comments about the wedding of Sharon and Rey:

Firstly, it seemed strange that Nick Newman, Sharon's ex-husband was the best man.  It's great that they all get along so well, but that might be taking it too far.  As for Reverend or Judge Arturo officiating at the ceremony, that was ridiculous.  Why would Arturo suddenly take a course so that he would be qualified to marry his brother?  Devon did the same for Abby and Chance's wedding.  Can they not hire someone to portray a member of the clergy or a justice of the peace?  Maybe they can't because of COVID regulations.

Secondly, why did Chance and Abby get all dressed up in tuxedo and gown and then suddenly decide to skip the ceremony so they could spend a cozy New Year's Eve together?  I know they are in love, but please . . . They have lots of nights to spend alone together.  I also wonder why no one at the wedding seemed to notice that the lovebirds were missing.  There weren't many guests at the wedding, so their absence would certainly have been noticed.

As for Sharon and Rey, I don't think their marriage has a chance of lasting.  Rey should not have married her, knowing that she is still drawn to Adam.  She and Adam will hook up sooner or later.  Phyllis knows how Adam's mind works and she was absolutely right when she told him that Sharon is the one he really wants.  Right now, Adam feels guilty because he knows that if he hadn't been spying on Sharon's wedding, he would have been there with Chelsea when she had a stroke.

I really hope Sally Spectra doesn't get romantically involved with Jack Abbott.  Can't the writers find anyone else for Jack?  I'd rather see Sally go after Kyle.  Maybe she'll get involved with someone else.  I actually thought she had good chemistry with Theo, but he's gone to Paris.  I think Sally's a very interesting character and I hope the writer's do her justice.

CAST NEWS    

Shemar Moore (ex-Malcolm Winters) tests positive for COVID-19

     

Shemar Moore, who played the role of Malcolm Winters, younger brother of Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John) on Y&R, has tested positive for COVID-19.  The actor revealed his diagnosis on Instagram on Christmas Eve.  He stated that his symptoms originally felt like food poisoning but he is feeling well overall.

Shemar is among a select group of  Y&R alumni who have made it big on prime time television.  Tom Selleck and Justin Hartley are others who come to mind.  After leaving Y&R, Moore co-starred on Criminal Minds.  He currently stars on S.W.A.T.

Y&R REPORT READERS' POLL

Michelle Stafford (Phyllis)


The Newman family has a history of marrying the same person more than once.  Victor and Nikki are a prime example.  Most fans have lost track of how many times they've been wed.  Victoria and Billy Boy have had two legal weddings, a ceremony in Jamaica that was not legal, and a commitment ceremony in Genoa City that was not legal either.  Nick and Phyllis have already been married twice.  They are back together again, but have decided not to make it official this time - at least for now (one never knows with a soap).  What do you think, fans.  Should Nick and Phyllis remarry?  Would the third time be the charm?  Respond to the poll  below and let me know.

Do you think Nick and Phyllis should remarry?
Yes. They have good chemistry and they belong together.
Absolutely not. It would be a disaster. It hasn't worked before, so why would it work now. Phyllis hasn't changed.
Maybe. It might work this time.
I don't know.
Other
Please Specify:


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.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, January 16, 2021.    

Take care and stay safe.  All the best in 2021.


- Joanne