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  1. Y&R November 2017 Discussion Thread

    I think I can get away with this as I suspect not many people on here will know this person but on the November 21st episode there is a cameo appearance from British stand up comedian Romesh Ranganathan. It’s a blink and you might miss it (unless you know who he is and it’s not quite ‘blink’) I did get a chuckle out of seeing him.
  2. Oh how Y&R could do with him back. I would advocate the combination of him leaving at the end of 2003 and Jack Smith elevating himself above Kay Alden as Head Writer when he was made Executive Producer (Shaughnessy’s replacement) was actually when the slight wobble started to occur. It, of course has developed since then, to put it mildly. And absolutely yes to Beth Milstein. In terms of the quality she brings and likely in terms of what her role is. In terms of her quality and impact, I’d say it was as underrrated as Peter Brash and Paula Kwikly in 2003 at Days of Our Lives, before they inexplicably removed them for Dena Higley (and the quality dropped overnight). That period between James E. Reilly and Hogan Sheffer at DAYS was also underrated. As for her role, I remember Sara Bibel saying somewhere that Mal Young offering her the role of Co-Head Writer (or was it Assistant Head Writer?) made it easier to stay after Sally Sussman (bath water) and Kay Alden (baby, unfortunately) were thrown out.
  3. Y&R November 2017 Discussion Thread

    The energy is certainly different and I can see how it’s new iteration would attract (new) viewers or bring some back. The ‘shock’ factor has been upped meaning people would want to tune in to see what happens next. But, unless Mal Young can find ever increasing ways to actually follow through on these hooks (thus potentially burning through story with this pace) then there is a risk they start to mean nothing. See James E. Reilly and those who have followed in his mold. I’ve been made aware of a post in the previous thread that specifically asked me how (certainly the first few episodes of) the show resembled a British Soap and which one? My answer is this. The pacing of British soaps (and Australian soaps) is a lot faster than the traditional pace of American daytime soaps. To achieve a one day, one episode format, scenes are either shorter and snappier or scenes maintain ‘normal length’ but end in one go, allowing characters to leave the room they are in. Thus creating the effect of constant movement. Both of these are in effect. That allows time to shift, as it were, at a quicker pace. I would post episodes of British soaps to illustrate this point but they can be found all over the internet. Also, conversations and beats occuring off-screen to move the story along. So rather than character A saying to B “I’ve got something to tell you....” and then saying what it was on screen, the reaction and building anger detailed on screen, often you either have the comment made and then you jump to the fall-out (see the set-up to Lauren and Sharon’s argument a couple of weeks ago) or the ‘offending comment’ is made off-screen as well. My interpretion is that the viewer “knows enough about the character to guess how they would initially react and we’ve only 22-27 minutes to tell a story here”. But we’re so conditioned to it that it doesn’t seem like we’re missing anything, as the beats and detail we get and expect are different. It’s a different storytelling style and one that is largely alien to the US daytime model. The stories are still the types being told on US soaps (or by certain writers) but are being done using a U.K./Australian model. That’s the best way I can explain it.
  4. Y&R November 2017 Discussion Thread

    Has that non-spoiler (tongue-in-cheek) bit been Y&R (in some way, shape or form, timeframe, notwithstanding) the past few years, especially under Charles Pratt, Jr?
  5. Y&R November 2017 Discussion Thread

    At a guess, Nick will get the blame by the characters. He was seen by the teens, whereas Dina was not. Plus the lighting of the matches. Because, well yeah. But yes, a lot of credibility was stretched in setting up that fire, including Nick’s random comment about preferring to set fire to the club than let Victor take it over. The purchasing of the liquor company shoehorned in there. After suddenly becoming a sulk over Scott being the Newman ‘golden boy’. It was the human equivalent of 1940’s movie pratfall.
  6. Y&R: October 2017 Discussion Thread

    I try to keep my comments focused on the show but I’m getting this weird sense of deja vu (almost word for word) on the Y&R threads. Instead, the names ‘Jean Farren Phelps’ and ‘Jean Passanante’ are being replaced replaced with ‘Mal Young’. Go figure... I’m still at the ‘taking it all in’ and readjustment stage when it comes to the severe gear change that has occurred over the past 6 episodes but if I can offer one objective criticism, though mentioned a bit already, are the jarring (overnight) character changes. Scott and Sharon are suddenly idiots, Victoria’s approval-seeking of Victor (“In case you stopped loving me”) is more pronounced, Devon’s sudden stance on financing Brash and Sassy and sort of putting Neil in his place. And, of course, Paul becoming Danny Reagan from Blue Bloods. At no point have I thought I totally understood the ‘in-character’ motivations for their actions. Instead, I’ve just seen it all as moving stories from point A to K. Maybe naively, I’m still holding out hope that things will settle a bit after Sweeps finishes. Otherwise, I refer you to my previous car crash analogy.
  7. Y&R: October 2017 Discussion Thread

    For some reason, and maybe I’m re-imagining things, I’m not certain that’s the first time Mary’s death has been implied or outright stated.
  8. Y&R: October 2017 Discussion Thread

    He represents the police. Either he’s merely becoming a device to put sympathy on Scott or how he is viewed and presented will accord with the U.K. soap opera perception of the police- oppressive, gung-ho and to be inherently regarded with suspicion. That perception isn’t exclusive to the U.K. but our brand of police distrust on the television (outside of shows that focus on the police) is quite something.
  9. Y&R: October 2017 Discussion Thread

    This change and storytelling style comes as absolutely no surprise to me. I won’t explicitly go down the ‘told you so’ route but a leopard doesn’t change its spots. Having seen Brookside undergo the changes in March 1991 when Mal Young became the Series Producer and the style of stories he told (sensational, rating-grabbing, etc), and as others have said, the fact his daytime soap grounding came at the hands of Jill Farren Phelps and Charles Pratt Jr, I knew the show would move away from what it was before. It may seem like I’m being negative or have already formed a view of what we’ve seen so far, but alas, I’m fairly neutral at the moment. I suspect I will either fall out of love with the show again or will watch it but start to disassociate it from The Young and the Restless. As I did when Lyn Marie Latham was in charge or when Jill Farren Phelps and Charles Pratt where running the show and tried to re-invent the wheel, as it were. Only this time, it’ll feel like I’m watching a glamorous British Soap with largely North American accents. To address the ratings point that is already being flogged within an inch of its life, doubtless there will be an upswing in ratings, as we enter Sweeps and the show takes its first swig of Red Bull under Mal Young. My concern in that it will become the equivalent of the moment a car explodes in a field. All eyes within sight (and sound) of the event will turn to see and admire the towering blaze that has aroused its senses, but when the flames die down, all that is left is a damaged, burnt out and rather useless shell of a car...
  10. Y&R: October 2017 Discussion Thread

    An observation. From memory, I believe the initial Scott/Zack scene was at Crimson Lights during the day. Though they moved on fairly quickly to The Underground (where, to be fair, the time of day/night is open to interpretation due to lack of natural light) I think Billy had got into the apartment before that had occurred.
  11. Y&R: October 2017 Discussion Thread

    I just watched Wednesday’s episode (it’s starting to appear online, thank you Canada) and there is a definite tonal shift and yes, the pace has increased. It’s like watching the show on fast forward, ‘dramatic’ and ponderous pauses already consigned to history. And is it telling that Amanda Beall was given the script? Whereas most of the recent new head writers have begun with Janice Ferri Esser/Natalie Minardi Slater or any longer term writers to capture the ‘essence’ of Y&R No spoilers in this post, mind.
  12. Y&R: October 2017 Discussion Thread

    Bless you for the kind offer, and I appreciate it, but it’s been taken care of (as far as I’m personally concerned) though others will probably thank you equally over in the spoiler thread. The board comes through again ?
  13. Y&R: October 2017 Discussion Thread

    That SOD interview has proven to be highly elusive. I’d been interested in reading it (either in scan form, as I’ve seen other articles from that edition online or transcribed as I’ve seen with other interviews in the past) but as a man based in the U.K. it hasn’t been a case of just picking it up off the shelf. I’m not 100% certain online subscription would work with international restrictions, though I’m happy to be corrected. I’m even pimping out my PM inbox if this message is frowned upon. Many Thanks.
  14. Y&R: October 2017 Discussion Thread

    It’s painful. As has been said in the past, it was a character all in itself and enhanced scenes no end. Though it could also probably be argued that the way scenes are produced and even the pacing of the last few years doesn’t lend itself to the classical scores. I don't personally subscribe to it myself.