By Marlena Delacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman
The Young and the Restless: The hardest job in the soap world is being done right now by new executive producer Jill Farren Phelps and headwriter Josh Griffith as they revamp Y&R and are rumored to be paring down its expensive cast. Marlena has always believed it’s not a critic’s job to tell producers what to do; it’s our job to react to it. Yet, I can’t resist making some observations on the Y&R they are examining right now.
How the hell are Phelps and Griffith going to get rid of any veterans, when the greatest strength of Y&R is its plethora of actors who have been on for decades? Firing any will be an amputation, with the fans just screaming bloody murder even after just one pink slip. Look at how wrenching it was to lose Eileen Davidson as Ashley, who departed Y&R just last week for Days of Our Lives! Almost all the older vets have proven their worth by improving the awful stories of Ms. Arena Bell and company though their great acting abilities. Examples:
Peter Bergman’s Jack conquering paralysis and his joke of a marriage to Melody Thomas Scott’s Nikki; Michelle Stafford in the on-going travails of Phyllis; Doug Davidson, bravura as Paul in the father kills son Ricky story, and on and on. For whom will the bell toll?
Caution: cutting or deemphasizing the vets on Y&R would likely kill the show, as it will cause longtime viewers — its core audience — to flee. Plus, any of these actors can be maintained or saved by improved writing for their characters.
Most likely cuts will come from the shorter-termed vets from other shows, like the Genie Francis (totally miscast as scheming Genevieve) and those who have run out of story, like Stephen Nichols (Tucker). Please don’t cut Debbi Morgan (Harmony) and Darnell Williams (Sarge)! Each has more than carried over their momentous acting skills from All My Children to Y&R and I’ll cry if they get the sack.
The most effective move would be to punch up or recast most of the young cast, who range from nothing more than ordinary to dreadful. I have never been a fan of (recent Emmy winner!) Christel Khalil (Lily) and Daniel Goddard (Cane). Lily and Cane are insipid and I don’t care to see any more about Cane’s past. The relative newbies such as Blake Hood (who plays the newly adult Kyle) and Jessica Heap (who plays Eden) don’t do much for me. I have a feeling the show will be bringing in [Read more…]