In this month's Busted to Blissful, Soapdom's Lesleyann Coker has a bone to pick with Guiding Light, but couldn't be more pleased with the way things are going on the Young and the Restless. What has busted her bubble, and what's put her in bubblicious bubble bliss? Read on!
GL’s Kissin’ Cousins
I know I might be in the minority, but the pairing of Jonathan and Tammy on Guiding Light does nothing for me. That’s not exactly true -- they make my stomach turn every time they kiss or profess their undying love for each other.
While their portrayers, Tom Pelphrey and Stephanie Gatschet, are certainly talented, look pretty together onscreen, and share potent chemistry, it does not negate the fact that their characters, Jonathan and Tammy, are first cousins. Since their mothers are half sisters who share the same father, I guess that makes Jonathan and Tammy half first cousins, but it’s still too close for my blood.
Currently, 26 states in the US forbid marriage between first cousins outright. Some states allow it, and yet others put provisions upon the couple, such as one partner is sterile, or they are both over the age of 50.
The genetic risk to a child born from Jonathan and Tammy aside, there is just a big Ick Factor associated with this relationship. After all, Tammy’s mother Cassie was once married to Jonathan’s father Richard, to further blur the too close for comfort lines.
Like any good mother, Cassie is concerned about her daughter and nephew’s intimate relationship. It’s unclear if she opposes it more because Jonathan and Tammy are blood relatives or because Jonathan has done horrible things to her family, such as taking Tammy’s virginity for revenge on the family when he knew they were cousins and she did not; and setting up Cassie to look like she’d slept with him on her wedding night to Edmund.
I’m appalled that Cassie’s sister Reva, who also happens to be Jonathan’s mother, is opposing Cassie and supporting this union. It’s creepy she wants her son involved with her sister’s daughter. Has the show’s creative void reached a new low? We are in the year 2006 where people have choices and don’t have to marry inside their family circle. The fact that Jonathan and Tammy have chosen this, and that their mother/aunt supports it, is beyond disturbing.
I understand the need for a good plot, and when Jonathan “stole” Tammy’s virginity, it made for a compelling story. However, to try to redeem him and have Tammy fall in love with him, misses the mark.
Tammy was going nowhere in her previous relationship with Sandy, so if the show needed a new guy to pair her with, how about Coop? Not only is he in a relationship with Tammy’s on again/off again friend Lizzie, but he’s young, cute and not related to her. There would be drama and conflict, but of the proper soap variety. And Jonathan had chemistry in spades with Dinah, which I wrote about in the July 2005 Blissful column. It’s disappointing this budding relationship was abruptly abandoned in favor of a Jonathan and Tammy redux.
I’m sure I will catch it from the “Jammy” fans out there who support this couple. I look forward to hearing all of your opinions. Visit the Soapdom Message Boards under Lesleyann Coker at http://www.Soapdom.com.
I have criticized The Young and the Restless in the past for focusing on the same relationships and moving at a snail’s pace. However, the show is presently showcasing one of the most entertaining and fast moving web of relationships on all of daytime. Of course, I’m referring to the partner swapping of Jack/Phyllis/Nicholas/Sharon/Brad/Victoria.
For a brief recap: Jack and Phyllis were married and have been inching their way toward a reconciliation; Nicholas and Sharon are married, but have been estranged for months, ever since their teenage daughter was killed; and Brad and Victoria (who just happens to be Brad’s boss as well as Nicholas’ sister) have just gotten engaged. To complicate matters, Phyllis and Nick slept together in a moment of weakness and passion, and Sharon and Brad shared a kiss, after which he confessed his love for her. When Sharon pushed Brad away and told him she wants to work on her marriage to Nicholas, he responded by promptly proposing to Victoria.
The intricate layers of intertwining relationships are not as complicated as they sound, especially to long time fans of the show. As an added bonus, most fans know that Brad was once engaged to Victoria’s mother, Nikki.
I will never understand why soaps continue to write stories where mothers and daughters swap husbands and boyfriends on a regular basis, like they’re just swapping towels. I don’t know anyone in my own life who has done this, but it makes for good TV. You may wonder why I welcome this plot device while deriding the incest on Guiding Light. At least the forbidden unions on Y&R won’t produce possibly mutant children should they ever reach that point!
Speaking of children, Nicholas and Phyllis look like naughty children who have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar every time they’re in the same room together. There’s nothing better than watching a guilt stricken Nicholas and Phyllis skulk around with their guilty consciences practically written all over their faces. It’s been a thrill to watch their relationship evolve from bitter enemies (her son was thought to have driven the car that killed his daughter) to buddies, to fighting a mutual attraction, and finally to consummation. It’s always a treat when writers stumble upon the fact that actors who have been on a show together for years and never shared a storyline, have hidden chemistry. And who knew all this time that Sharon and Brad had chemistry of their own?
It’s a testament to the skills of Joshua Morrow (Nicholas), Michelle Stafford (Phyllis), Sharon Case (Sharon), and Don Diamont (Brad) that these familiar faces feel fresh and fun in their new relationships. It’s also been wonderful to see the underrated Amelia Heinle step out from under the formidable shadow of her predecessor as Victoria, Emmy winner Heather Tom, and make the role her own. Heinle has been a revelation as Victoria blossomed under the attention of Brad, a man she has known for years.
Y&R is one of the few shows that can get away with taking so many beloved characters, tossing them into a salad spinner and seeing who lands where, without alienating fans. Other shows should take notes on how to revitalize long term characters and relationships without sacrificing the integrity of a show’s history.
Who is your favorite new couple on Y&R? Visit the Soapdom Message Boards under Lesleyann Coker at http://www.Soapdom.com and tell me your opinion.
Lesleyann Coker is a contributing columnist for Soapdom.com, and co-author of Boob Tube, a satiric novel currently being shopped to publishers that examines what really goes on behind the scenes of the soap opera industry. She is a former reporter for Soap Opera Weekly magazine, and has interviewed over 200 daytime and primetime actors during her career.
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