Saturday, November 19, 2022

Hands off our CBC, Pierre Pollievre!

Pierre Pollievre and the Conservative Party of Canada, have asked supporters to help defund the CBC.  In a fundraising email to Conservative backers, they described the CBC as the "billion-dollar propaganda arm of the Trudeau Liberals"  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I have watched the CBC for years, and it bends over backwards to be fair and neutral. It is not overtly liberal like MSNBC in the United States.  Nor is it overtly conservative like Fox News, although conservatives such as Kevin O'Leary, Don Cherry and Rex Murphy have been given prominent roles on the CBC.

I often watch At Issue, the CBC's political discussion show, and it presents different points of view.  It is not a mouthpiece for the Trudeau Liberals.  Yes, the CBC endeavours to be politically correct, but that is not the same as openly supporting one political party, or one ideology, to the exclusion or dismissal of other points of view.  Remember that it was Sportsnet, not the CBC, that fired Don Cherry, when he went too far.

The CBC has produced such fine shows as Kim's Convenience, Little House on the Prairie, and the award-winning Schitt's Creek.  It is also home to such venerable dramas as The Murdoch Mysteries, Anne with an "E" and Heartland.  Just imagine the fine programming that the CBC could produce if it had more funding.

Right-wing conservatives are hostile toward the CBC simply because they are hostile to anything funded by the government.  Yet conservative politicians make their living in the private sector.  I don't see any of them returning some of their government pensions, though.  

I support the CBC because it is the network that best reflects Canada.  It is ours and we should protect it.  I also enjoy the commercial free online programming on CBC Gem for a reasonable price.  

- Joanne

Y&R Report (November 19, 2022): 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, the high drama over Chelsea's suicide attempt has subsided.  She has received psychiatric treatment and her condition is steadily improving.  She is ready to start a new life in the apartment about Sharon's coffee house.  Chelsea's on the road to recovery, which means she'll eventually be ready to have a man in her life again.  Whom will it be?  Billy Boy Abbott seems the mostly likely candidate.  His relationship with Lily seems to be faltering.  Since relationships don't last long on a soap, they are due to move on.

Billy seems more concerned about Chelsea than his relationship with Lily.  When Chelsea texted him, he appeared more eager to meet with her at Crimson Lights than to spend time with Lily.  That message has not escaped Lily and she is very unhappy.  After Billy left, a blast from Lily's past showed up - Daniel Romalotti.  She and Daniel ran away together many years ago and they had a teenage marriage.  Now that Lily feels neglected by Billy, will she rekindle a romance with Daniel?  I doubt it because he has only returned for Christmas.

I don't trust Audra at all.  She is a barracuda and she is out to destroy Noah and Allie's relationship.  I wouldn't be so fast in believing her story about having a miscarriage.  She probably lied to win Noah's sympathy.  Noah and Allie didn't even question the veracity of Audra's story.  Are they that naive?  Noah might buy it, but Allie sharper than that.  That's why I think that if Audra is lying, Allie will figure it out.  Even if Audra is telling the truth about the miscarriage, she's using it to manipulate Noah.

Nicholas Newman and Sally Spectra don't have much chemistry.  Their coupling seems so contrived.  It appears that they have been thrown together to spark a sibling rivalry between Nick and his brother, Adam.  Sally and Adam seem far more suited to each other.  Trust me, SNICK will never be a super couple.  They are no Bo and Hope.  I've read many online comments and fans have not shown a positive reaction to Nick and Sally.  

According to an online spoiler, Victor will probe into Sally's past.  That means he wants to keep either Nick or Adam away from her.  Actually he wants to keep both sons away from the redhead.

Adam has decided to put his cards on the table.  He has proposed to Sally.  Will she accept?  If so, Nick will be left out in the cold again.  He really should go back to Sharon, but will she want him back?

Not that I am a fan of Diane Jenkins, but she did come up with a good name for her trio of adversaries - Phyllis, Nikki and Ashley.  She called them the "Evil Trifecta."  They are certainly no angels, but Diane certainly knows how to play the victim.  She acts as if she has no ulterior motives and that she has behaved perfectly since her return to Genoa City.  She can sure manipulate Jack and Kyle.

Don't expect Diane to be driven out of town anytime soon.  She will stay as long as Jack and Kyle stand by her.  She also has an ace-in-the-hole - Harrison.  The child has become very attached to his "Di Di" and Diane has played the role of the caring grandma to the hilt.  If she leaves town, Harrison will be extremely upset.  Also, if Diane departs, the actress who portrays her, Susan Walters, will no longer be on the show.  The character of Diane is central to the storylines of many other characters such as Ashley, Phyllis, Nikki, Tucker, Jack, Kyle, Summer and Harrison.  

Have you noticed that Devon has been telling a half-truth?  He has only told friends and family, including Elena, that Amanda has gone to Virginia to be with her family.  He has not informed them that he and Amanda have broken up.  I can understand that Devon doesn't want to advertise what happened with Abby, but he should at least reveal that he has break-up with Amanda.  How long can he keep it a secret?  He is being disingenuous.

Tucker McCall is a greedy snake-in-the-grass.  His end game is to have as much money and power as possible.  As for his professed love of Ashley, I think it's more of an obsession with the Abbott fortune than with Ashley herself.  He would love to marry her again so that he can share in the Abbott wealth and prestige.  His other goal, of course, is to gain control of Chancellor-Winters.

It looks as if a romance between Princess Victoria and Nate may be in the works.  Nate seems rather smitten by the Newman heiress.  In fact, he preferred to stay late at the office and chat with Victoria than to meet his newly returned girlfriend, Elena, at Society.  When Victoria reminded him of his date with Elena, he didn't appear to be concerned, and Victoria was flattered by Nate's attention.  Meanwhile, Elena left the restaurant, unable to wait any longer.  Nate stood her up in favour of the powerful Newman CEO.  Some boyfriend!  It seems that Elena was right.  Nate has changed, and not for the better.  He's not the same Nate he was when he worked as a doctor.

Y&R has been very serious and sombre lately, what with Chelsea's storyline and the Abby storyline.  With the Christmas season fast approaching, I hope things lighten up.  I'm sure they will, with the 50th anniversary celebrations and the return of Michael Damian as Danny Romalotti.


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

Not a fan of the direction that the Devon and Abby storyline just took.  Also, the true Jill has returned for a visit, hopefully a short one.  Billy will never get over his demons while he has to contend with mother Jill's control.  Right now, for him, all roads are heading back to Chelsea.

Society restaurant and the coffee house could both use decor makeovers.

Thanks for your comments, CC.  I'm also not a fan of the direction that the Devon and Abby story has    taken recently.  Why did the writers decide to break up Abby and Chance so soon?   They could have kept them together longer.  Also, I don't think Abby would have cheated on Chance so easily and brazenly.  By the way, I'm sick and tired of Devon's excuse that "it just happened" between him and Abby.  The truth is they wanted it to happen and they let it happen.

I can see that you aren't very fond of Jill.  She isn't my favourite character either, but I don't despise her as much as you do.  Although Jill hasn't been a great mother, I don't think she is completely responsible for all of Billy's mistakes and mishaps.  He has made some poor decisions on his own.

Yes, Society restaurant and the Crimson Lights coffee house could both use some makeovers.  However, I don't think that there is any urgency.  Y&R will probably take its time because new sets cost a great deal of money.

I received a call from Y&R fan Helen in Scarborough, Ontario.  Helen has come up with a very interesting theory, and it seems somewhat plausible.  Here's the theory: Audra lied about having a miscarriage.  She actually gave birth and put the baby up for adoption.  It's the baby that Mariah and Tessa are trying to adopt.  They would become parents to Noah's child and Sharon and Nick's grandchild.  Is that what the writers have been cooking up?  We'll find out sooner or later.


Michael Damian is set to reprise his role as Danny Romalotti.  The former teen rock star of Genoa City is now 60 years old, and he has aged well  I  am pleased that he is returning, at least for a while.  What do you think, fans?  Are you pleased about his return?  Reply to the poll below and let me know.

Are you pleased that Michael Damian (Danny Romalotti) has returned to the Y&R for a while? free polls

That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, December 3, 2022.

I would like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers.

- Joanne

Monday, November 14, 2022

What to do about aggravating TV commercials

"Since the beginning of this 21st century, advertising has gotten way out of hand and desperately needs to be regulated.  I swear some of these commercial breaks have annoyingly dragged on for five minutes or longer.  Probably, like many others, I get disgusted and change to another program."

- Kevin Dwyer, from a July 2021 letter to the Buffalo News

There was a time when you could enjoy good television shows with few commercial breaks -maybe at the beginning and end of your show, and once in the middle.  Those days are long gone.  Advertising has deprived us of much of the fun and entertainment value of watching television.  It is becoming more and more difficult to watch live network programing on television.  It's bad enough that our shows are interrupted by commercials so frequently, but now we have to endure ads at the side and bottom of our screens while watching our programs.  Even if  we PVR our favourite shows, we can't fast forward past those annoying ads at the side and bottom of the screen during programming.  Not only that , but live sports events and political events are meant to watched live.  Sure, one can PVR them, but it doesn't have the same impact.

I realize that the networks and cable stations need to pay for programming.  However, they are killing the golden goose.  They are causing more and more people to turn away.  There are far too many commercial interruptions and disruptions, and it's only getting worse.  So, what's a TV viewer to do?  What is the alternative?

One can change the channel during commercial breaks, but that interrupts the flow of the program you are watching.  These days, if you change the channel, you are likely to find another commercial about a medical treatment that lists possible side effects that seem worse than the original affliction.

If you are a film fan, Turner Classis Movies (TCM) is wonderful.  It's a blessing.  It shows movies uncut and without commercials.  There are no interruptions from people asking for donations or your financial support.

It's gone out of fashion, but I still watch my ad free DVDs  I have amassed a collection of them and I'm not going to discard them just because streaming has taken over.  So, my DVD player stays!  I have movies, TV shows and documentaries that can't be found on YouTube or any streaming service.

Speaking of streaming services, they are becoming more and more expensive, especially if you want your programming to be ad free.  If you live in Canada, as I do, I recommend that you subscribe to CBC Gem.  It's not expensive and you can watch CBC programs and documentaries commercial free.

Frankly, I'm sick and tired of ad pollution.  I'm sick and tired of watching the same mindless commercials ad nauseum.  There is certainly a lot of greed involved.  We are already paying a great deal for cable TV.  Why should we be forced to sit through endless commercials?

- Joanne

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Y&R Report (November 5, 2022): 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,
The Young and Restless bravely tackled a very sensitive issue - suicidal tendencies related to distress and mental illness.  It is a very disturbing subject, but I think that Y&R handled Chelsea's trauma with grace and dignity.  I was pleased that Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea Lawson) and Sharon Case appeared at the end of the episode to promote the suicide distress helpline.  The show provided a very important public service. 
It hasn't taken long for Abby and Chance's marriage to turn sour.  They're just not on the same page anymore, which is not surprising.  As you know, very few couples remain happy on a soap because there has to be conflict.  On Friday's show (on Global), Abby was seen kissing Devon. CBS viewers saw it in the previews.  It's been coming for a while.  Remember that Mishael Morgan, who plays Devon's girlfriend, Amanda Sinclair, is no longer on contract.  She will only make occasional appearances.  Amanda has been spending time with her ailing mother.  There have already been hints to the effect that she and Devon have hit a rocky patch in their relationship.  In the last scene (on Global), we see Amanda returning home with a smile on her face.  The smile won't last long because she will find Abby and Devon together.
Billy and Lily are another couple in trouble  They don't seem to be on the same page either.  Billy really helped Chelsea in her hour of need.  He saved her life.  Now he is determined to keep his promise to stay with her every step of the way.  Lily feel bad about Chelsea, but she is certainly not happy about how devoted Billy is to the distressed woman.  Lily feels that Chelsea is safe now and that she is undergoing treatment.  She doesn't understand why Billy can't leave her side.  This is driving a wedge between them.  It may even bring Billy and Chelsea together as a couple.
I thought that Connor had a great Halloween costume.  Kudos to his costume designer.
I am pleased that Eileen Davidson has been making more frequent appearances on Y&R.  I am enjoying the cat and mouse game she is  playing with Tucker McCall.  Their banter is light and fun.
I can't stand when Harrison calls Diane "DiDi," (By the way, will somebody trim that poor kid's hair.  It's all over his eyes).  Diane is not some sweet grandmother.  She is using an innocent child to achieve her own ambitions.  Her main purpose in Genoa City is to win the heart of Jack Abbott.  Her goal is to marry Jack and get her hands on the Abbot fortune.  She wants to become the "Lady of the Abbot Manor" the way Nikki is the "Lady of the Neman Manor."  Jack can't see it, or he doesn't want to see it.   He's so gullible.
Lauren was right.  Phyllis had got to let go.  She's got to put an end to her crusade to drive Diane out of town.  It's consuming her and it's creating problems for Kyle and Summer.  It's not necessary either, because Diane is going to do the job herself.  However, Phyllis being Phyllis, won't be able to stop.  She can't control herself.  


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:
Here are some comments I received in an email from longtime Y&R fan, Carly in Barrhaven, Ontario.

As for Y&R, I am finding the Chelsea mental illness storyline very depressing.  I watch this soap opera to be entertained, not depressed.  There is enough sadness in the world without adding to it in a soap opera.

I hope Sally ends up with Nick, not liking Adam’s character as much.
I’m not fussy about the actor playing Tucker.  I keep thinking he will grow on me but to date, he has not.  

Victoria is such a witch.  I want her to fall flat on her face.  She plays the role well.
Nate has turned out to be a real jerk.  Hope he gets his too.  I don’t think that Elena will stay with him even though she didn’t accept the other job.

Well, Carly, I have to agree that Chelsea's mental illness is not the most lighthearted.  However, it's a story that needs to be told.  Her battle to recover will be uplifting and inspiring.  Having said that, I think that Y&R could do with a little more humour.  

I have to disagree with you about Sally.  I think she is better suited to Adam.  As for Tucker, his character is not exactly likeable.  Still, I think he's a good actor.  As for Victoria, I've written that she's becoming more like Daddy Victor every day. All she needs is a moustache.  Oh, and she should take up the game of chess.

Nate has been acting like a jerk, but Devon is no angel either.  He assaulted Nate and he is currently cheating on Amanda with the very married Abby.

What is going on with Brytni Sarpy, who plays Elena Dawson?  When Elena broke up with Nate and decided to take a job in Baltimore, it seemed that she had left the show.  However, she returned to Genoa City and told Nate that she had decided against taking the position in Baltimore.  She appeared ready to reconcile with Nate, until he informed her that he was the new CEO of Newman Media.  Elena was definitely not pleased with that news.  So, maybe she will remain in Genona City, but she won't go back to Nate.  On the other hand, that may have been one of her last scenes on the show.  Her disappointment with Nate may cause her town after all.

BREAKING NEWS: Michael Damian is set to return to Y&R as Danny Romalotti

Michael Damian

If you are a longtime viewer of The Young and the Restless, then you will remember Michael Damian in his role as Genoa City's rock and roll heartthrob Danny Romalotti.  Well, I am pleased to report that Michael will be making another appearance to the show.  Michael originated the role of Danny Romalotti back in 1981 and he left the show in 1998.  Since then, he's made some brief appearances, but has not been seen onscreen on Y&R since September of 2013, when Danny attended Katherine Chancellor's memorial service.  This seems like an opportune time to bring him back, since the show is about to celebrate its 50th year   Also, Danny's son, Daniel Romalotti, played by Michael Graziadei, is also returning to the show.  Since Daniel's mother is Phyllis, things should really be interesting.

What's going on with Reylynn Caster (Faith Newman)?

You've probably noticed that Faith Newman (Reylynn Caster) has not appeared on screen much lately, even in scenes with other Newman family members.   Her onscreen boyfriend, Moses Winters (Jacob Aaron Gaines), has been seen even less. Yes, Faith has gone off to college, but does that mean she's no longer involved in the storyline?  Fans wondered if she was on contract with the show any longer.
Last year was an eventful year for Faith.  She was bullied.  She was involved in underage drinking. and an alcohol-related car accident.  After some time in rehab, she underwent a kidney transplant.  After recovering and pulling herself together, she embarked on a sweet teenage romance with Moses.  Since then, her storyline has ground to a halt.
One fan was curious to know what was going on, so he tweeted Reylynn, hoping for an answer,  He asked if she were still on contract.  Reylynn saw the tweet and responded.  She didn't explain her absence on screen by she did post a smiley face emoji with the message that she's "still here!"  
Reylynn revealed that she participated in a Y&R wardrobe fitting in late October.  So, something is definitely on the horizon.  We should be seeing Faith and Moses again soon.


Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea)

What do you think of the Chelsea storyline, fans?  Is it too depressing for you, or do you think it's a story that needs to be told on a soap?  Was it handled sensitively?   Reply to the poll below and let me know.

What do you think of Chelsea's mental breakdown storyline? free polls

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the nest edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, November 19, 2022.  

Take care,