Genie Francis Debuts on ‘The Young & The Restless’

Genie Francis (CBS)

Genie Francis (CBS)

Genie Francis Is One of Many Awesome Aspects of Friday’s Y&R

Friday, soap superstar Genie Francis debuted on “The Young & the Restless” as Australian mobster Colin’s (Daniel Goddard) seemingly evil ex-wife Genevieve. She predictably did not appear as more than a silhouette in a hat until the final thirty seconds of the episode, telling an upset Caleb: “It will all go as planned. Don’t worry. Mother will take care of everything. Come on love, have a cookie.” It is way too early to judge Francis’s performance. But she looked like she was having a blast playing the antithesis of compassionate earth mother Laura Spencer. I hope that she will be a multidimensional character rather than a campy, over-the-top short term villain.

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The admittedly implausible evil-twin-gaslighting-his-brother’s-widow storyline is intriguing because I don’t have a clear sense of where it is all going. Caleb is obviously double crossing Colin at his mother’s behest. But what did he mean when he said that he was not going along with Colin’s plans for Lily? Did that mean that he intends to kill Lily instead of just focusing his efforts on stealing her children? Or does it mean that he actually is on Lily’s side and is going through an extremely convoluted plan to protect her in the longterm while destroying her sanity in the short term? Is the show going to forget about logic and make the Lane fans happy by revealing that this is actually Cane pretending to be Caleb? That would mean that Caleb took a bullet to protect Lily, but more far-fetched retcons have happened in soapdom.

Christel Khalil gave, what was in my opinion, the best performance of her career as Lily became convinced that she was losing her mind. She summoned a power I did not know she had in her as she will herself to stop seeing what she thought was a hallucination of her dead husband, resolving to live in reality even if it meant giving up time with the man that she loved. She summoned up a passionate anger I did not know she had in her. This storyline is definitely bringing out the best in the actress. When Caleb as Cane refused to leave, doing his best to seduce her, she showed both strength and vulnerability as she made the decision to have herself committed.

In fact, Friday’s episode was across the board soapy deliciousness. Abby (Marcy Rylan) began to redeem herself in my eyes when she made the decision to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting without any prodding and confessed her confusion about what happened the night her mother allegedly rammed her car into Tucker (Stephen Nichols). Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) overheard and immediately figured out what should have been obvious to everyone: Ashley (Eileen Davidson) was taking the blame for Abby. Let’s hear it for Nikki having a brain.

I even enjoyed, in a love-to-hate way, Victor being typically rude and condescending to her when she told Victor she thought Abby was the driver. Am I the only person who would like to see Nikki kick Victor where it hurts the next time he treats her like dirt?  Of course, if Victor treated her with the respect that she deserves, I would not have had the joy of watching Nikki swigging from a giant bottle of vodka wrapped in a paper bag while sitting on a park bench. I laughed out loud when Nikki muttered to herself that she didn’t need a bar to drink. I have been asking myself why I love off-the-wagon Nikki while find drunk Luke (Tony Geary) on “General Hospital” tedious. I think it’s that Luke wallows in self-pity, while Nikki stirs the pot and has flings with inappropriate yet hot men.

The one storyline that did not thrill me was Nick (Josh Morrow) and Adam (Michael Muhney) teaming up to investigate Sharon’s (Sharon Case) “death.” Maybe it’s because once they learn that she’s alive, the show will have to revisit Skye’s death by volcano in order to get Sharon’s murder conviction overturned. I doubt anyone wants to see another minute of that convoluted story. Maybe it’s because, other than the children that she left behind, Sharon’s new life seems so much happier than the one  she left behind.

That’s a minor quibble. After I watched Friday’s episode, I immediately checked to make sure that there would be a new episode on Memorial Day. Fortunately, there is. Well done, Y&R.

Blair’s Body of Work

The casts of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” are in the unfortunate position of planning their post soap careers. Should OLTL’s Kassie DePaiva happen to stumble across this column, I would like to offer her the unsolicited advice that she become a fitness guru. Friday’s episode featured a steamy scene between Blair and Tomas (Ted King). The sight of Blair in nothing but a bra and panties was enough to inspire me to skip dessert and hit the the gym.

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DePaiva is 50 years old! In other words, she is a year too old to be part of the coveted 18-49 demographic. I am sure I am not the only one who would like to know the secret to having a body to rival Megan Fox’s, particularly after reaching the age that television networks deem too old to count. Though I suspect DePaiva’s abs are as much as a product of genetic superiority as they are exercise and nutrition, I would definitely buy the Cramer Woman Work Out.

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

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