“The Young & the Restless” Wins The Internet
Whether it was the year’s wild plot twists, the stuntcasting, or just a general love of all things Genoa City, “The Young & the Restless” achieved a very twenty-first century milestone in 2010. According to marketing firm Experian Hitwise, it was one of the most Googled television shows. Y&R was the number three show, behind primetime juggernauts “Dancing With the Stars” and “American Idol.” That is quite an impressive accomplishment, especially given that Y&R has far fewer viewers and does not benefit from the constant stream of controversy or the web traffic from people who want to find out who was voted off the primetime reality series each week. This means that Y&R is the most searched for scripted show on television, beating hot primetime shows like “Glee.” Kudos, Y&R, and a special shout out to Eric Braeden and Neil Patrick Harris, who may have been responsible for a December Y&R Googling surge.
The Braeden-NPH Twitter War Will Never End
Speaking of the Braeden-Harris feud, Harris referenced it in the New Year’s resolutions he posted on Twitter. He wrote, “Part 3: Try not to insult aged soap stars, especially when you’re on the same network.” Juxtaposing “Try not to insult” and “aged’ does not seem to bode well for their ceasefire.
“Days of Our Lives”: Rumble in the Rectory
I hope people watched “Days of Our Lives” on December 30th and 31st. While the ABC soaps were airing repeats, it was going down in Salem. The truth that Philip (Jay Kenneth Johnson), not Daniel (Shawn Christian), was the father of Chloe’s (Nadia Bjorlin) baby finally came out in full-on soaptastic, melodramatic glory.
The build-up to this story was interminable and poorly based, but the payoff was the perfect way to ring in the New Year. There was matriarch Caroline Brady (Peggy Mccay) confessing that she switched the paternity tests in front of the crowd gathered at the baby’s christening after Daniel overheard her discussing the situation with Kayla (Mary Beth Evans). There was a potentially blasphemous fight scene in which Daniel hit Philip with a giant ornate metal cross. I don’t think that even the WWE’s gone there. It ended with Caroline experiencing the karmic payback of a minor stroke. God works fast in Salem.
Then there was the epic explosion as every single person who lied or kept quiet about what they knew was called out. Carly took it on the chin for arranging Chloe’s paternity test but never telling Daniel of his bride’s unfaithfulness. Both Melanie (Molly Burnett) and Philip’s marriage and Chloe’s and Daniel’s marriage are on the brink of failure. Listening to everyone’s rationalizations for why they cheated and kept secrets was hilarious. Philip and Chloe felt they did not need to come clean because they only cheated under the mistaken belief that they were being cheated on. Though the day to day writing was unimaginative, it was well constructed. Daniel was aware Philip had cheated, but not with his wife. Carly was aware Chloe had cheated, but not with her son-in-law. This is the second time that Carly has kept the truth from Daniel about his children. So many great soap storylines are about the withholding and release of information.
Victor (John Aniston) misunderstood Caroline’s motivations and concluded that she wanted to keep another Kiriakis man from his child, not that she wanted to spare Chloe and her family the ordeal that she experienced. Then he said he sort of hoped she’d die from her stroke. That’s a cold thing to say about the mother of your child.
I suspect it is all downhill from here. Few viewers care about Chloe and Daniel’s relationship or Phillip and Melanie’s. They constitute the B-list of DOOL. But for a few days they provided some serious drama that was the perfect college football counter-programming.
Those Who Don’t Learn From The Past
“The Bold & the Beautiful“s’ Amber (Adrienne Frantz) wins the award for stupidest soap character of the week. Along with her mother, Tawny (Andrea Evans), she hatched up a plan to pass off the baby she conceived with Oliver (Zack Conroy), as Liam’s (Scott Clifton) so she can get her hands on some of his money. That would be a standard issue soap scheme, except that Amber tried the exact same thing over a decade ago when she told Rick she was pregnant with his child, when she was unsure if her baby was Rick’s or Raymond’s — who was played by superstar singer Usher Raymond. I still wish that Raymond had turned out to be the father, because I would have loved to see Amber scrambling to explain to Rick why their baby was so tan. Instead, her baby died and she ended up passing off her cousin’s baby as hers. It all backfired spectacularly on her, and she lost both her man and the child. Yet, she is clearly about to try it again. She has never been the sharpest tool in the drawer, buy nobody has ever learned less from her mistakes than Amber.
I do think it’s hilarious that this whole situation probably would not have happened if Hope (Kimberly Matula) were not so hellbent on becoming Los Angeles’s oldest living virgin. If she had not refused to have sex with Oliver, he never would have accidentally had Eyes Wide Shut with Brooke, ending their relationship. He would never have slept with Amber. If she were sleeping with her new boyfriend Liam, he would have been a lot less vulnerable to being drugged and faux-seduced by Amber. B&B: reminding younger viewers all over the world that waiting to have sex can backfire spectacularly.