Deep Soap: ‘The Young & the Restless’ is Again Living Up to Its Name

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New Y&R is Now Improved

It took a while, but the revamped “The Young & the Restless” is starting to work for me. Suddenly, there are stories that I find interesting. Some of the new characters are growing on me. I especially like the expanded role for Leslie (Angell Conwell) and the addition of her sexy brother Tyler (Redaric Williams). I love it when soaps reward an actor who has been doing good work in a smaller role with a real storyline. Leslie is the first woman to have chemistry with Neil since Dru left the show. Her romance with Neil has brought out a fun, playful side that I forgot the character had.

Watch Full Episodes of “The Young and the Restless” on and with XFINITY ON DEMAND

As for Tyler, the show has finally found a successor to Shemar Moore’s Malcolm. Making his character a supposedly cutting edge, ultra hip graphic artist is fairly laughable in that so far none of his marketing ideas for either Jabot or Nick’s new nightclub have been remotely innovative, but he has proved himself more than a glib fast talker with designs on the married Lily (Christel Khalil). Now that I know Tyler and Leslie have a secret past that involves someone wrongly accused of murder and a corrupt congressman who is also blackmailing Victor, I care about them as a family unit. I am also relieved that they aren’t being isolated into a minority characters ghetto. This plot involves them with Victor and the ubiquitous Avery.

I am also interested in the two brewing medical crisis for best friends Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) and Kay (Jeanne Cooper). All we know is that Nikki is hiding whatever is wrong with her from Victor and that, based on the way she was staring at her hands while she was playing the piano, it has the potential to affect her motor skills. MS? Parkinson’s? I usually find soap medical storylines tedious because I know going in that the character will inevitably be cured. But giving a  character a chronic but manageable illness is a fresh spin. Kay is concerned that her memory is going. I am terrified that she might have Alzheimers because I don’t want that to happen to daytime’s most bad ass senior citizen, but I know Cooper would be brilliant in the storyline.

Oh, right, Steve Burton has joined the show as Dylan. I know I am supposed to be excited about this. CBS has promoted his arrival with great fanfare. So far, I feel like  the writers are letting the casting of a big name influence the way the character is written. There is no reason that this newbie would be getting end of the show shots or, more subtly, already having scenes written from his point-of-view. I have no idea who Dylan is. I don’t care about his feelings yet. Avery’s reaction to his return is where the story is, and I say that as someone who is not a fan of her character.  I am amused that Burton has stated in interviews that Dylan is nothing like Jason yet he has already gotten a job that requires him to wear a black t-shirt. So far his character seems like Jason minus the mob. He’s damaged from his war experiences. He’s kind of a jerk in that he let her think he was dead, then got a job working for her boyfriend, instead of tracking her down and handling their situation in private. Burton is not playing Dylan very differently from Jason either, which makes it harder to think of him as a different character.

There are a few other storylines I could do without.  I don’t care about Kevin and Chloe’s financial struggles, or Noah’s relationship with the irritating thief Adrianna. Fen and Jamie’s feud would be a lot more interesting if Jamie’s character were better developed. So far he is Random Bullied Kid. But finally, the top rated soap is worth watching again.

Sabrina or Molly

This week on “General Hospital“, Patrick (Jason Thompson)  finally realized that Britt (Kelly Thiebaud)  was a total bitch and dumped her, but Sabrina (Tersa Castillo) still didn’t tell Patrick that she has a big crush on him. I know I am supposed to be pulling for her. She’s saving the Nurses Ball. She loves kids. I am supposed to think of her glasses and hideous hairstyles as signs that she is hiding her light under a bushel, instead of noting that she looks hipster chic.  But when she made her big speech to Liz about how she had been madly in love with Patrick from the moment she laid eyes on him, all I could think was that she sounded like Molly. Molly is 15. She’s supposed to say things like that. In fact, I think you could play a game Sabrina or Molly in which you quotetheir dialogue out of context and ask people to guess who said what. It’s really hard to tell the difference. Although, in the past two weeks Molly has invited a cute hungry boy to lunch, sneaked into jail to visit him after he was wrongly accused of murder, then calmly called out her actual boyfriend on being jealous. Molly could teach Sabrina a few things about dating. That’s why I can’t root for Sabrina and Patrick’s relationship. She seems far too immature for a thirtysomething widower.

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

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