BUSTED: Y&R’S MISCELANIOUS MISSTEPS
There are numerous offenses and rewrites to history currently underway on The Young and the Restless. From Cane's heir apparency to nuAdam's gay storyline, I have so many gripes with the show that it was hard to pick just one, so I’ll touch on them all.
1. ADAM GOES GAY – AND Y&R DOESN’T SHOW ITMy issue with this storyline isn’t the heretofore heterosexual Adam suddenly seducing his gay friend Rafe. Rafe was about to bust Adam for stalking Ashley, so it was consistent with Adam’s history of taking extreme measures (injecting botox into his eyes to feign blindness comes to mind) to keep his secrets hidden. My issue is with CBS or Sony or Y&R itself – whomever decided not to show the guys in so much as an embrace.
Since Adam’s seduction of Rafe is strategic and not romantic, it would have been a fascinating study in character to watch it play out. Adam’s face was bound to reflect a myriad of emotions before, after or during that pivotal first kiss, as he decided on the spot to take his distraction of Rafe to the next level. Was he conflicted? Satisfied? Disgusted? We’ll never know. Instead, the scene cut from Adam caressing Rafe’s face to them buttoning up their shirts, delicately implying something more had transpired between them. I’m not saying we need to see a Brokeback Mountain style tent scene, but Y&R was so skittish in the way they handled this content, some viewers might have missed altogether the exact innuendo the show was striving for.
As if that omission wasn’t insulting enough, a few weeks later, Nikki spied Adam and Rafe kissing, but again we weren’t privy to the incident. We were only allowed to glimpse Nikki’s shocked expression and hear her recount the story to Victoria. I can appreciate the fact that a same-sex sex scene (even an implied one) is controversial, but I don’t understand why a simple kiss is cause for censorship in this day and age.
Fellow CBS soap, As the World Turns, has a gay male couple, “Nuke,” that is so popular with fans, they clamor for more scenes between the two, including romantic ones. Noah and Luke kiss and show affection on at least a semi-regular basis, and when Bianca was on All My Children, she and her fiancé Reese were often shown kissing - including in the bedroom. They were even married in daytime’s first same-sex wedding.
Daytime has always been a good place to break down barriers and stereotypes. After all, Erica Kane had television’s first abortion back in 1973, even though this historic event was later rewritten. Through the years daytime has never shied away from discussing social issues relevant to the times – everything from gender roles to protests against the Vietnam War to interracial marriage to AIDS.
Y&R does a disservice to the genre by alluding to a complicated, groundbreaking story and not showing it. You can’t have it both ways. If you’re going to “go there,” than go there.
2. SHARON AND NICK’S NOT SO GREAT LOVE STORY
I’m sick and tired of Y&R portraying Nick and Sharon’s marriage as this fairy tale love story. Yes, they were high school sweethearts who married young, and since the same actors are still playing the roles fifteen years later, there’s a virtual treasure trove of flashbacks to reference to support the notion of them as star crossed lovers.
However, the truth is more complicated and not nearly as romantic as the current storyline would have you believe. The fact is, Nick and Sharon cheated on each other throughout their marriage. Nick slept more than once with Grace, and Sharon was with Diego and Cameron. Not to mention it was Nick’s affair with Phyllis that ultimately broke up the Newman marriage for good, after Phyllis got pregnant.
All the show does is shove the “soul mate” theory down our throat and rhapsodize about how happy Nick and Sharon were when they were together. While they had moments of happiness, their marriage wasn’t perfect by a long shot, and it’s too convenient by half to write it as such after the fact. It doesn’t do the characters or the relationship justice to white wash history now. Nick and Sharon may well be the love of each other’s lives, but they have both certainly loved a few others along the way.
3. THE CHANCELLOR HEIR DEBACLE
Is there anyone left who understands this story? It’s become so convoluted I can’t keep track of who is related to whom. How is it possible for Cane to have made up the baby switch story if Katherine remembered doing it? Why is Phillip still considered Katherine’s grandson when Cane was not (after Jill learned she wasn’t Kay’s daughter anymore)? The whole thing gives me a headache. I watch soaps to relax, not for them to cause me stress trying to figure out how everyone is connected.
Is it just me or is it a matter of time before this new Philip aka “Chance” becomes involved with Colleen (assuming they’re not related, which at the moment I’m having trouble deciphering)? Or even Lily? Though she was his fake Dad’s wife, so that might be a bit incestuous. However, a Lily/Chance romance wouldn’t make any less sense than anything that has already happened.
BLISSFUL: GH’S NEW LOVE TRIANGLE
I’m loving Olivia and Johnny paired together on General Hospital. Even though she keeps saying she’s old enough to be his mother, it doesn’t translate that way onscreen. Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) and Brandon Barash (Johnny) are smoking hot together. Their chemistry radiates from the TV, with as little as a smoldering glance passing between them.
At the same time, the show is finally capitalizing on the considerable chemistry between LoCicero and Maurice Benard (Sonny). Benard has more chemistry with LoCicero than he has had with any leading lady since the much missed Vanessa Marcil (Brenda). LoCicero brings out Benard’s tender side, which hasn’t been evident in awhile, as well as his humor. Sonny is a serious character and Olivia makes him smile, which is all too rare an occurrence for the manic-depressive mob boss.
The story merely gets better when you add in the extra layers of drama, such as Sonny’s business arrangement marriage to Johnny’s sister, and the fact that Sonny and Johnny loathe each other. These characters create a compelling and combustible mix of emotions whenever they’re together.
Thanks in large part to LoCicero’s charm, Olivia’s relationship with both of her potential suitors is believable, as are their fights over her. She never comes across as indecisive, shrewish or playing one man against the other, as Sonny’s ex-wife Carly, so often did in her triangle with Sonny and Jax. Whereas Carly derived a twisted pleasure from having the men compete for her attention, Olivia appears ambivalent. She has a take it or leave it attitude that increases her appeal to each man.
Even though Olivia hasn’t slept with Sonny since high school (a union which produced a son he doesn’t know about), it’s inevitable she will again. I hope when that time comes, it won’t signal the end of her relationship with Johnny. The Olivia and Johnny relationship is fresh and fun. It’s a sign GH has a great triangle on its hands, when the characters work well in either permutation.
Lesleyann Coker is a reporter and monthly opinion columnist for Soapdom.com. She is also the co-author of Boob Tube, a forthcoming novel that goes behind the scenes of the soap opera industry. The book is available in ebook form at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/3 . She was previously a reporter for Soap Opera Weekly Magazine.
Marla Jones said:
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