Saturday, May 18, 2024

Y&R Report (May 18, 2024) 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 Jordan storyline has gone too far.  Jordan is a sick, demented person.  However, I'm not pleased that Victor Newman is engaging in torture.  What he's doing to Jordan is torture, pure and simple.  It is sick and disgusting.  I watch Y&R to be entertained, not to watch someone be physically and mentally tortured.  Victor seems to be enjoying himself greatly.  He seems to be revelling in his cruelty.  His behaviour is just as sick and twisted as Jordan's.  He's gone down to her level.  I wonder how Eric Braeden, who plays Victor, feels about the storyline.  

According to an online spoiler, Jordan is going to devise and escape plan, but Victor realizes she is up to something.  The Genoa City Police must be very incompetent. since they haven't been able to deal with one mad woman.  The GC residents don't seem to trust their law enforcement.  Victor has his own security force and he likes to take matters into his own hands.  He wants vigilante justice

Cole is obviously going to find out that Victor has locked up Jordan.  I wonder what he will do with the information.  Will he keep it to himself or tell Victoria and other members of the Newman family?

Although Summer seems adamant that Claire will never be Harrison's nanny,  I still think it will happen.  It also appears that there will eventually be a romance between Kyle and Claire.  I'm afraid that Claire will be left with a broken heart, given Kyle's track record with women.  Kyle is not the most admirable character.  He overstepped his own mother, Diane, by making a business deal behind her back.  Yet, Kyle was the one who wanted Diane to have the co-CEO position at Jabot.  He willingly stepped aside for her, and now he wants his former position back.   Kyle is a spoiled, entitled heartbreaker.

There are some serious problems with the way Y&R is being written.  The writing is very uneven and at times some storylines seem to written as they go along, without long term planning.  Other storylines are gong nowhere and several characters have been painted into a corner.  Sharon is a perfect example.  She has been seldom seen onscreen lately and has no storyline.  Mariah and Tessa have no storyline either.  They have no conflict.  The story about baby Aria's hearing could only go so far.  Tessa is managing Society restaurant, but that's about all.  Why doesn't she sing there?  Sally Spectra doesn't have much of a story either, except for giving advice and support to Adam and to her new friend, Audra.

Speaking of Audra, I expected her to get involved with Nate Hastings.  I also expected Tucker to be very jealous of them.  He will be very dangerous when he's angry or upset.  He's a lose canon.  He's capable of almost anything, and now a mentally unstable Ashley is thinking about killing him.

Y&R head writer Josh Griffith seems focused on mental health issues.  I wondered why he chose to write a storyline about Connor Newman having obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).  I've found the answer.  Griffith's daughter was diagnosed with OCD when she was 26 years old.  So, it's very personal for him.  Griffith feels that there is a great deal of misunderstanding and stigma attached to OCD.  He wants to tell the story right.  That's why Y&R has partnered with The Kids Mental Health foundation to present it properly.  Once again, I have to say that Y&R needs some lighter moments and some comic relief in order to counterbalance all the tension and mental health issues in Genoa City.  Some singing and music would also be nice.


Christopher Cousins (Dr. Alan Laurent) will be staying longer in Genoa City

There is some good news for fans of Christopher Cousins, who plays Ashley Abbott's psychologist friend, Dr. Alan Laurent.  Christopher's stint on Y&R has been extended, so he'll be sticking around in order to assess Ashley's mental health situation. This is a pleasant surprise for the actor, who thought he was hired for about ten episodes. "They're keeping me on, which I'm grateful," he told Soaps in Depth.  "I don't know for how long or what, but I'm doing at least some episodes through May, it looks like."  Christopher must be getting positive response from fans of the show.  

As we all know, Ashley is suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder.  One of her multiple personalities, a Scarlett O'Hara type known as Belle, has been hitting on the good doctor.  Will he be able to resist?

Zuleyka Silver (Audra Charles) is engaged

Zuleka Silver (Audra)

Audra Charles may have turned down Tucker McCall's proposal on Y&R, but Zuleyka Silver is engaged to be married in real life.  Zuleyka recently posted photos of herself and her fiancé, Nate Peterson (interesting that his name should be Nate), hiking.  She showed off her rock, using the hashtag "#Happiest" on her post.


Well fans, what is your favourite Y&R storyline?  Reply to the poll below and let me know.

What is your favourite storyline on Y&R? free polls
I really need your feedback.  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: 

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R will appear in this space on Saturday, June 1, 2024.

Take care,


Thursday, May 16, 2024

Whatever happened to Michael Cole of The Mod Squad?

Michael Cole in 1973

In the late 1960s and early 1970s. Michael Cole was part of a famous television crime fighting trio.  He played undercover cop Pete Cochran on The Mod Squad.  Billed as "One black, one white, one blonde," the hip trio wore stylish sunglasses.  One critic described them as "the hippest and first young undercover cops on TV."  

Michael Cole was the white guy of the group.  Peggy Lipton was the blonde.  Peggy played flower child Julie Barnes, the sole female member, while Clarence Williams III, portrayed Lincoln Hayes, the cool Black guy.  Peggy and Clarence have both passed way, and Michael is the last survivor of the original cast.  

Peggy died of colon cancer in Los Angelis on May 11, 2019.  She was 72 at the time of her passing.  Clarence died in L.A. on June 4, 2021 at the age of 81, also of colon cancer.

Peggy Lipton in 1968

Clarence Williams III in 1971

Tige Andrews, who portrayed Captain Adam Greer on The Mod Squad, died of cardiac arrest on January 27, 2007.  He was 86.

Michael Cole was born July 3, 1940 in Madison, Wisconsin.  According to his 2018 autobiography I Played the White Guy, Michael never knew his biological father, who abandoned his family when Michael was born.  His mother was left alone and penniless to raise Michael and his brother, Ted, a year and a half older.  "I've had a very emotional, up-and-down life," Michael explained in a 2016 interview with Closer Weekly.  "We never had a dad - well, we did for a while, but he passed."

Michael's TV career began when he appeared as Kipp in a 1966 episode of Gunsmoke entitled "Snap Decision" (Season 12, Episode 1, Air Date: September 17, 1966).  He then guest-starred in a 1967 episode of the TV drama Run for Your Life, starring Ben Gazzara.  

In 1968, Michael's life change forever when TV tycoon Aaron Spelling auditioned him for a starring role on The Mod Squad.  He was cast as Pete Cochran, a young rebel who was kicked out of his Beverly Hills home by his wealthy parents for stealing a car.  After being arrested and placed on probation, Pete became an undercover cop.

According to TV Guide, Michael was reluctant to take on the role of an undercover coop.  After reading the script, however, he changed his mind.  The Mod Squad became a huge hit because it was very timely in the Vietnam War/hippy era.  The show ran for five seasons, from 1968 to 1973, on the ABC network.  Michael appeared in all 123 episodes of the series.

The Mod Squad in 1971

During the 1970s, Michael made guest appearances on numerous television series including Police Story (two episodes 1974, 1975), Wonder Woman (1978), The Love Boat (two episodes, 1979 )and CHiPs (two episodes 1979, 1981).  He also appeared in the 1978 TV mini-series, a thriller called Evening in Byzantium. Michael reprised the role of Pete Cochran in a 1979 Mod Squad TV reunion movie called The Return of the Mod Squad.  The entire original cast is reunited as the three former undercover cops are called back to the force after several attempts are made on the life of their old boss and mentor, Adam Greer.  Pete is now a divorced, stressed-out CEO, while Julie has become a horse trainer, wife and mother.  Linc is a teacher and adopted father to a boy played by Todd Bridges.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Michael guest-starred in two episodes of  The Littlest Hobo (1980), Fantasy Island (1981), Vega$ (1981) Murder, She Wrote (1987, 1990), Good Sports (1991) and Diagnosis Murder (1996)

Michael portrayed Henry Bowers in the 1990 TV mini-series It, based on Stephen King's horror novel. In 1991, Michael joined the cast of General Hospital  He played the role of Harlan Barrett in 64 episodes of the daytime drama.

Michael guest-starred as Charles Hadley in a 2006 episode of the medical drama ER.  In 2006, he also appeared alongside Clarence Williams III in Mystery Woman: At First Sight, an episode of the Mystery Women film series on the Hallmark Channel.  In the 2007 feature film Mr. Brooks, Michael played the attorney for Demi Moore's character, Detective Tracy Atwood.

Michael Cole has had a long battle with alcoholism.  In his 2016 interview with Closer Weekly, he opened up about his addiction.   He said that he started drinking at 12 or 13 years of age.  "There were many times we didn't have a place live and we'd stay with aunts and uncles" and he "really started to get in a lot of trouble drinking."  At 14 or 15, Michael ended up in Dayton County Jail after passing out in a gutter.  "My locker at school was just full of old wine bottles.  I was married at 16, became a father and quit school." he told Closer.

In 1994, the actor finally underwent treatment for his drinking problem at the Betty Ford Clinic.  "My wife Shelley said, "You better go the the Betty Ford Center." he revealed to Closer.  "And I wound up there within two days.  I didn't want to lose her - and she was right."

Michael Cole has been married three times and divorced twice.  He is the father of two children from his first marriage as a teenager, and a daughter from his second marriage.  

Michael's second wife, Paula Kelly (Junior), whom he married in 1971, was the daughter of Paula Kelly and Harold Dickinson of the vocal group The Modernaires.  Paula (Jr.) also sang with the Modernaires at one time.  Michael and Paula (Jr.) had a daughter, Jennifer Holly Cole, born 1972.   Paula (Jr.) passed away in 2012.

Paula Kelly Jr.

Michel has been married to Shelley Funes since 1996,  Shelley helped organize an intervention to help Michael with his alcoholism. He credits her for saving his life.

Michael and Shelley

SOURCES: Closer Weekly, "The Mod Squad's Michael Cole Opens Up About His Past Struggles With Alcohol - "I Started Drinking at Age 12," by Closer Staff, April 8, 2016; Interview with Australian morning TV talk show Studio Ten, Wikipedia, Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

- Joanne

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Y&R Report (Saturday, May 4, 2024): 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, 

Aunt Jordan lives on!  I swear, that woman has more lives than a cat, and her storyline has more holes than a golf course.  It is one of the most convoluted plots I have ever seen on a soap.  I think the reason Jordan keeps escaping death is that the writers need to keep the storyline going so that they can continue her conflict with the Newman family.  Furthermore, Y&R would probably like to keep Colleen Zenk, who plays Jordan, onscreen for as long as possible.  Colleen is a soap legend, having played Barbara Ryan on As the World Turns from 1978 until 2010.  So, expect her to continue terrorizing the Newmans for a while yet.  

Victor Newman has lied to his family and friends.  He has told them that Jordan is dead, but he has locked her up in a cell deep in the basement of the Newman ranch, where the alcohol is stored.  This isn't the first time that Victor has confined someone against their will.   Long-time Y&R viewers will remember that a jealous Victor kidnapped photographer Michael Scott, the  lover of his first wife, Julia, and held Scott prisoner in the bomb shelter under the Newman ranch. Nick Benedict, who passed away last year, played Michael Scott.

The confrontation between Nikki and Jack was riveting.  They were the only two characters in that episode.  I didn't think Jack would go as far as he did, even risking his own life for Nikki's sake.  I wondered if the pills were the real thing or some kind of placebo.  It turned out that they were real.  Jack could have died.  He really acted foolishly.  I don't blame Diane for being upset with him.  She was right to reprimand him.

At any rate, Nikki is on her way to rehab and Victor is not happy with Jack.  He was a dark, hulking figure as he show up at Jack's door and warned him to "stay away from my wife!  He continues to keep Jordan locked up, even though Claire and Harrison have returned home safely.  The cruel side of Victor has emerged and he threatens to exact his revenge by making Jordan drink herself to death with alcohol.

Eileen Davidson seems to be having great fun playing Ashley Abbott right now with her multiple personality disorder (now known as dissociative identity disorder),  especially her sultry southern belle character.  We've finally met Ashley's psychologist friend from Paris, Alan Laurent, and it turns out he's actually American.  I'm intrigued by this mystery man and what his role in the storyline will be.  Will he have a romance with Ashley?  If so, will Tucker be jealous, or will Ashley just use the doctor to make Tucker jealous?  (By the way, the orange outfit Ashley was wearing for lunch with Alan was very bright.  It really stood out).

Alan is not Ashley's doctor.  They are friends.  He is not treating her.  As he pointed out, he doesn't have a licence to practise medicine in the United States.  So, it would not be technically unethical for them to have a romance.  It would be of questionable ethics, though, considering that Jack is seeking Alan's advice in helping his sister.  However, even if it were completely unethical, I don't think it would stop Ashley.  She's been involved with her therapist in the past.  Back in the 1980s, she suffered a breakdown and became involved with her shrink, Steven Lassiter.  She even married him, but he suffered a terrible fate.  He was shot to death by one of his patients.  

Summer seems to have a visceral dislike for Claire.  For some reason, Claire sets her off, even though she now knows that Claire did not try to harm Harrison.  In fact, the two really have developed a bond.  Maybe Summer is jealous.  She is afraid that Harrison will have more affection for Claire that her.  That's why she doesn't want Claire near the boy.

I won't be surprised if Kimberlin Brown, who plays Sheila Carter, Lauren Fenmore's archenemy, shows up in Genoa City,  for a bit.  Sheila was seemingly stabbed to death by Steffy Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful.  However, it was soon announced that Sheila was still alive, because Steffy had actually stabbed her look-alike, Sugar, instead.  (Ah, the old look-alike trick to keep a character alive).  I don't think it's coincidental that Lauren mentioned Sheila in a recent episode.  Lauren hasn't had a storyline for a while and the characters on Y&R and B&B often crossover.

Kimberlin Brown


Christopher Cousins plays Ashley's Paris friend

C. Cousins

Actor Christopher Cousins is playing the role of Alan Laurent, Ashley Abbott's psychologist friend from Paris.  Christopher is a familiar face to  soap fans.  In additions to short stints on Anther World and As the World Turns in the late 1980s and early 1980s.  He had a leading role as con man Cain Roga on One Life to Live.

Christopher also has an impressive list of prime time credits.  He is probably most well-known for his portrayal of Ted Beneke on Breaking Bad, but has also appeared on Glee, The Vampire Diaries, UnREAl, Chicago Fire and Law & Order.

IN MEMORIUM:  Two former Y&R cast members pass away

Meg Bennett (Julia Martin Newman) has died at 75

Meg Bennett, who played Victor Newman's first wife, Julia, has died from cancer at the age of 75.  The soap veteran, who passed away on April 11, 2024, used her talents on and off the screen. In 1972, Meg made her soap opera debut as Liza Walton on Search for Tomorrow.  In 1980, she began playing Julia Newman on Y&R.  She portrayed Julia for six years and made some cameo appearances on the show after that, the last one being in 2020.

Meg also worked as a writer on Y&R, The Bold and the Beautiful, General Hospital, Generations, Santa Barbara and Sunset Beach.  She has earned five Daytime Emmy nominations for her writing, garnering a win with the General Hospital team in 1995.  Meg starred as the villainous Allegra Montenegro on GH, the show where she met her husband, Robert Guza Jr., the creator of Sunset Beach.  They married in 2004.

Marla Adams (Dina Abbott Mergeron) has passed away

Marla Adams who played Dina Mergeron, the mother of Jack, Ashley and Traci Abbott, has died at the age of 85.  Marla began her soap career as Belle Clemens on the The Secret Storm.  She portrayed Belle from 1968 to 1974.  In 1982, Marla  took on the role of Dina Mergeron, John Abbott's wayward ex-wife.  Marla played Dina on and off for four decades, until her character died of Alzheimer's Disease.  In 2021, Marla won a Daytime Emmy for her portrayal of Dina's struggle with Alzheimer's.


Well fans, would you like to see a romance between Ashley Abbott and Alan Laurent, her doctor friend from Paris?  Do you think that would make for an interesting storyline?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Would you like Ashley and Alan Laurent, her psychiatrist friend, to have a romance? free polls

I really need your feedback.  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: 

That's all for now.  Enjoy the May Sweeps.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, May 18, 2024. 

Take care,