November 19, 2009By Marc Wilkofsky Posted: Nov 19, 2009
Consistently strong writing and Eric Braeden's powerful performances as YOUNG AND RESTLESS' Victor Newman have succeeded in making the manipulative magnate a character I like to loathe. Unfortunately, that "strong writing" part sank a bit the second Colleen's heart hit the villain's body.
I have enthusiastically supported practically everything else about Y&R for decades. As far as I can tell, these are the two reasons Traci and Jack agreed to give Colleen's heart to the man who was absolutely responsible for her death: sympathy for Nikki and the rest of Victor's clan, combined with uncharacteristic short-sightedness. They couldn't have given the heart to someone innocent, who wasn't the reason why Colleen died (Victor brought Patty back to town)?
Because I am usually all for writers taking risks, I was able to understand the decision to kill Colleen, although the scribes easily could have sent her out of Genoa City. Beth Maitland's stunning portrayal of the anguished Traci helped to justify that decision. Also, I gave the writers (who usually do a fine job) a football field's worth of rope, with one hope: that Victor, thrilled to have another chance at life, would actually eschew his evil side for a few weeks. Well, the Mustache humbugged that possibility as soon as he angrily hurtled back to "Bury Jack" mode. That's the same Jack who decided to save his life with Colleen's heart. So aside from Billy's restless need for revenge, basically nothing has changed, which makes me question the point of this heart transplant. When Victor returns, maybe he will show ongoing kindness and unconditional respect to someone other than Nikki, his friend Kay or a family member. Since he now has a half-Jewish heart in him (Colleen's late dad, Brad, was one of the few Jewish characters on daytime), it would be amazing if Y&R has him sit in a synagogue for a couple of minutes, but I know there's very little chance of that happening. At least the show had Victor — who does have a sensitive side — pray by Colleen's grave, and I applauded the choice to make the moment silent, as no words would adequately describe Victor's remorse. Completely redemptive this scene wasn't, but it was at least a commendable, well-produced attempt. The best aspect of this storyline has been Billy becoming completely anti-Victor, so I can at least hope for some Billy vs. the Black Knight scenes when Victor returns.
Okay, that's it for my fairly uncharacteristic negativity (mixed with some positive comments). How much did I like Amber and Daniel's wedding? It was a breath of fresh air after Y&R's weeks of misery (including Sharon and Nick's grief from "their" baby's death). The young couple's lack of planning was true to their impulsive nature, Phyllis' disgruntled reactions were hilarious and the simple ceremony was beautiful. I was fine with Kay becoming a minister within minutes via the Net, especially since she called the groom "Danny Romalotti" (Go ahead and call me nostalgic; what longtime soap viewer isn't?). Yes, the square dancing was corny, but the characters deserve a few laughs and joy now and then. Plus, I'd rather watch Amber and Daniel foster their romance than an anguished Cane collapse over Lily's health crisis...although I've warmed to Amber and Daniel's exes reuniting. I'm also thrilled that Nina is back and often on the canvas; Tricia Cast is always a delight to watch, and her character's disdain about Chloe's connection with Chance is paralleling Jill not being wild about Nina marrying Phillip years ago.
Speaking of years, congratulations to Soap Opera Weekly on its 20th anniversary. I remember picking up the magazine's third issue at a newsstand in Queens, N.Y., and 20 years later, I'm very proud to be part of Weekly's coverage of the ever-changing, always exciting daytime world.