Y&R Newcomer Makes A Great First Impression

Angell Conwell Makes A Big Impression in a Small Role

Every now and then an actor debuts on a soap in a small role and makes a big impression.  It happened last week when Angell Conwell first appeared on ‘The Young & the Restless‘ as attorney Leslie Michaelson.

I initially thought she was just going to show up for one episode to inform Adam (Michael Muhney) that he was going to have to rely on a public defender since he can no longer afford an expensive attorney.  Later in the week, she popped up again as Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) and Daisy’s (Yvonne Zima) lawyer.  Since she announced that she is taking over Vance Abrams’ (Eric Roberts) caseload while he handles a case in California, right now she seems to be filling the Random Lawyer role that Vance did for the past few months.

For all of the hype that surrounded Roberts taking on a daytime role, Vance was a generic supporting character that any competent actor could have played.  Conwell has the potential to be so much more.  She generated sparks with Muhney in a two minute scene.  She has given Leslie spunk and confidence to burn, not  an easy task when all of her scenes have been about the main characters’ legal problems.

Sneak Peek: ‘The Young & The Restless:’

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Leslie could give Y&R a much-needed African-American leading lady.  Y&R, once the most diverse daytime show, has not been using most of its African-American characters to their fullest potential.  Neil (Kristoff St. John) has not had a storyline since his brief romance with Ashley (Eileen Davidson) ended.  It seemed like the show was going to write a love triangle between Neil (Kristoff St. John), Malcolm (Darius McCrary) and Sophia (Julia Pace Mitchell), but it has not gotten off the ground  yet.  In fact, I am not sure why Y&R went to the trouble of recasting Malcolm, because he has not had a storyline since he returned to Genoa City a year ago.

The obvious storyline for Leslie would be a romance with Neil.  I would like to see the late twenty-something Leslie with the slightly younger Devon, who has been languishing without a storyline for years.  His portrayer, Bryton James, is currently a recurring guest star on ‘Vampire Diaries,‘ playing a teenage warlock.  In two episodes, he has gotten more character development than Devon has since he temporarily lost his hearing.  Seeing James play a strong, manipulative character with a sex drive has made me realize how much Y&R is wasting him.  Watching him fall for an older legal shark and perhaps being seduced to Genoa City’s dark side would be a lot of fun.

The Bermuda Triangle

There are only three certainties in life: death, taxes and the Brooke/Ridge/Taylor love triangle on ‘The Bold & The Beautiful.’   It has been going on, with a few interruptions, since 1990.

If you consider that it developed out of the Brooke/Ridge/Caroline triangle that was the major storyline of the first few years of B&B’s existence, the storyline of Brooke battling another woman for Ridge’s heart has been going on since the waning days of the Reagan administration.  Every other longrunning soap triangle seems fresh and novel by comparison.

Each woman has married Ridge (Ronn Moss) multiple times.  They both have children with him.  Both have also been with numerous other men, yet just can’t seem to quit Ridge.  I have always found it baffling.  Other than a constant supply of free designer clothes, there does not seem to be anything all that great about being married to Ridge.  He is, obviously, fickle.   He is not particularly funny or smart.  Yet, he is the end all and be all for two women with plenty of other options.

Sneak Peek: The Bold & the Beautiful:’

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Last week, Taylor  (Hunter Tylo), who is currently married to Whip (Rick Hearst) — who is smarter, funnier, younger, and more interesting, decided it was high time she go after Ridge again.   After having a heart to heart talk with Ridge about Taylor’s realization that Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) was not actually having an affair with Ridge and Taylor’s son Thomas, Taylor decided that Ridge’s off-hand remark that he would leave Brooke is she did anything scandalous means that she and Ridge are MEANT TO BE.

She told Stephanie (Susan Flannery), “There’s something else. He said if there’s one more scandal with Brooke… that he is going to take flight to safety, straight to me. Don’t you see? Stephanie, don’t you get it? It’s–it–it isn’t me that needs Ridge. He needs me, when this whole thing falls apart, and that day is coming. It is going to happen. It is inevitable.”

As I screamed, “What are you, twelve?” at my television, I realized that may be the appeal of the triangle.  Despite their decades of complicated history, Taylor and Brooke both still feel that Ridge is their Edward Cullen.

Their love for him is an intense and irrational as a teenager’s.  It is not tempered by their experiences with him, experiences that should have taught them that he is far from perfect.  On some level, the idea of being that excited about a man, putting him up on a pedestal despite even after messy break ups and raising children together, is appealing, They are often compared to Victor, Nikki and Ashley on ‘The Young & the Restless.’

At least Nikki and Ashley usually acknowledge that Victor is often a huge jerk that they just can’t quit.  Ridge, like Victor, gets free reign to treat the women who love him like dirt.  He is rarely judged for ping-ponging between two women.  Brooke and Taylor are always striving to be good enough for him, while Ridge never has to change.  It is not a dynamic that appeals to me, but given B&B’s international popularity, a lot of people all over the world think it is the height of romance.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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