Soap Opera Weekly: Blogging With Mala

Is it YOUNG AND RESTLESS’s intention to make me want to punch Billy in the face this week? Somehow, I’m thinkin’ no. We’re supposed to root for him as he worries about his pregnant bride, Victoria, and her tyrant of a father who’s scheming against them. The problem…? This is also the week that Billy’s nephew, Chance, was brutally cut down in a drug bust gone awry…and Billy’s been about as affected by it as if he saw some stranger’s death reported on the news. 

I don’t blame actor Billy Miller in the least. I know he’s perfectly capable of pulling off deeper emotions, as is his playboy character. This is more of a scripting and direction issue! Why were we seeing Cane, who is not even related to Chance by blood, taking Jill and Phillip in his arms to comfort them, while Billy made distancing, casual mentions about how his ex-wife, Chloe, is taking the death so hard? And the blocking of Billy’s scenes had Miller standing apart from everyone; his body language aloof. I’m not a director, but I was sitting there, watching, and silently willing him to move closer to his loved ones…to at least muster up a sheen of tears on behalf of Jill’s grief! I know Chance and Billy were romantic rivals and didn’t get along, but they’re still related. At the least, Chance was Delia’s stepfather figure, and meant a whole heck of a lot to Jill and Katherine, you know? This kind of “islanding” of characters, forgetting their basic family ties, is really jarring. Billy should be more invested in these family scenes! Instead, he went off with Victoria to get wedding rings tattooed on their fingers. Apparently Y&R wants us to think Billy considers ink thicker than blood? 

The same thing happened for me watching yesterday’s AS THE WORLD TURNS, when the extended Snyder clan was skipping around merrily, plotting Carly and Jack’s latest reunion and discussing Liberty’s college plans. Do they just not care that Lily and Holden’s son just experienced a gut-wrenching loss? That Jack’s former sister-in-law (and ex-girlfriend!), Katie, nearly lost another lover when Chris’ condition took a turn for the worse? It was as if the scenes were taking place in an alternate version of Oakdale, where nobody talks to each other! It was Dusty, of all people, who acknowledged last week’s story arc, when he asked John, in passing, how Chris was doing. WTH, dude? 

It reminds me of how no one on GENERAL HOSPITAL acknowledged the vampires and werewolves running around on PORT CHARLES…and that’s not a good reminder, since both ATWT and Y&R are complete shows, not a parent and its spin-off.

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