By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman
The Young and the Restless is getting a new headwriter. He is veteran Chuck Pratt, who wrote for Santa Barbara, General Hospital, and All My Children, amassing an uneven record with enough successes to give Y&R fans hope for improvement of their show. Anything is likely to be better than what has been happening on Y&R. To put it mildly, the show hasn’t been very entertaining lately because so many storylines have left viewers scratching their heads. I count four ill-conceived tangles in the plot department that desperately need to be fixed.
Whose idea was it to stage a gigantic weeks-long catfight between Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) and Kelly (Cady McClain) over Jack (Peter Bergman)? As you know, Kelly was living with Jack when Phyllis came out of her year-long hospital stay in a coma in France, came back to Genoa City and promptly reclaimed her man. Since then Phyllis has done all sorts of crazy things to torture and trick Kelly, including slapping her and luring her into a hotel room ambush while Jack, that wimp, stood passively by. It’s just a garden variety clichéd exercise in two women clawing at each other over a man – a storyline is so sexist it’s offensive to any thinking woman.
Then there’s the yucky storyline in which Devon (Bryton James) is romancing his blind father Neil’s wife Hilary (Mishael Morgan), and has had sex more than once with her. All the while, Devon is telling his father stories of a made-up girlfriend. Neil (Kristoff St. John) was blinded by electrocution while renovating the house he bought to surprise Hilary. But Devon and Hilary’s deception may be undone: lately, Neal is seeing beams of light and is beginning to doubt his son’s accounts of the pretend squeeze. Whose twisted idea was this, anyway? This storyline can only end badly, perhaps in tragedy.
Then there’s Michael, who got a diagnosis of prostate cancer and withheld the knowledge of it for weeks from his wife Lauren, confiding only in his brother Kevin. What kind of man does this? Christian LeBlanc plays this sensitive soul masterfully and is wasted on this kind of folly. Michael is very much in love with and close to Lauren (Tracy Bregman). But having him keep this secret from her is jarringly out of character. I guess you have to give Y&R points for doing a prostate cancer storyline (which I can’t recall ever being done on daytime before). But how will this storyline end? Will Michael die because the cancer has spread because of his failure to take action? Yikes! Many times Emmy nominated Leblanc is too valuable to Y&R to lose him.
Then there’s perennially alcoholic Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) who is proud of the fact that she hasn’t had a drink since Thanksgiving. So, why, why, why does she keep a bottle of liquor and a glass permanently on display in the Newman living room? All she does is endlessly stare at it. No real recovering alcoholic would do this. Of course, husband Victor (Eric Braeden) is obnoxious enough to drive any woman to drink, but Nikki has put up with him through all these years and through many marriages. Just for the heck of it, (“It’s business’) Victor has seized control of the district which houses Nikki’s son Dylan’s (Steve Burton) coffee house Crimson Lights and wants to tear it down. Nikki is furious at him. But will she leave Victor once again? Will she again succumb to the bottle’s lure? What do you think?
We’re rooting for you, Chuck. Get this once reliable vehicle out of the mud and on the road again.