Friday, April 1, 2011

Hope springs eternal (confessions of a fanboi)

As the free world knows, EW "broke", and a Twitter trend confirms, Genie Francis is coming to The Young and the Restless as Cane's mom.

I know to be cynical. For all the high-powered infusions of outside soap stars to Y&R in recent years, some show signs of being amazing (especially when written for): Jeff Branson, Elizabeth Hendrickson, Tristan Rogers, Maura West, Marcy Rylan; some have been shoehorned into the most awful, unlikeable character-actor combinations (shocking because the stars are so good): Eden Riegel, Stephen Nichols, John Driscoll; and some are criminally ignored (Judith Chapman; jury is still out on Kin Shriner's Jeff Bardwell).

The casting also sends chills regarding a luminous cast of contract and recurring vine who are already dying on the vine or have had long story droughts (Melody Thomas Scott, Jess Walton, Jeanne Cooper, Michael Fairman, Kristoff St. John, Bryton McClure, Tracey Bregman, Doug Davidson, Tricia Cast, Tricia Cast, Peter Bergman, Eileen Davidson ... and I'm adding Beth Maitland because I mss the heck out of her).

But even as the thinking part of my brain thinks these dark thoughts, the fanboi in me can't stop this silly smile of delight. GENIE FRANCIS! The likeable part of the Luke&Laura story (and the REAL reason we all loved it). The chance to see her reunited with some of her best General Hospital co-stars is just extra icing on the cake...but she brings such a deep likeability to all her roles, I can't wait to see how this plays out.

Y&R is playing some good tales these days...Newman corporate/family drama, Nikki drinking. I'm even finally interested in a Neil-Sophia-Leslie triangle because we finally have three people with some chemistry. I deplored the Lily-Cane union, but the current beat (haunting/gaslighting of Lily, hints of relationship rejuvation for the chemistry-in-spades Daniel-Lily...echoes of their youthful love-on-the-run) has me remembering why I liked all these characters. Michelle Stafford and Michael Muhney have found a mojo with each other that they've largely lacked in other recent pairings (though Muhney's yearing for Sharon Case's character is always superb). No scene chilled me more recently than when Victor INSISTED his new wife Diane wear her diamond necklace everywhere--his mark of ownership confirming that it was really a "diamond dog collar". The luminous Maura West played her discomfort beautifully--but then one episode later played genuine delight in her husbands growing financial fortune--it is wonderful to finally see that Emmy-winning actress worthy of her. I'm going to think that Y&R is on an upswing...and that Genie's casting helps that alone.

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