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0 June 6th, 2009 FRI. POWER CLIFFHANGER EPISODES: “Y&R” “OLTL”

Can we all just bask in the afterglow of a Cliffhanger Friday, that served up two, count em, two sensational episodes that remind us why we love soap operas? Let’s take a moment…..bask….bask…OK. One Life to Live and The Young and the Restless delivered two very different stylized pieces. Each in it’s own right was spectacular.

I am going to start with One Life to Live because it “got” me from the on-set of the episode, and scene by scene was a heart-tugging, exceptionally written and beautifully produced show. For all the slamming head writer Ron Carlivati and his team have taken in recent months for the Stacy/Rex/Gigi debacle, (which, I concur IS a debacle) they certainly stepped up to the plate and gave us a show worthy of the baby switch storyline and a pay-off that fans have waited for. The juxtaposition of Jessica preparing to say goodbye to baby “Chloe” (Hope), Starr’s indecision, and Marcie’s and Michael’s excitement that they will finally have their baby girl, was stunning. But this time folks, it was Bree Williamson (Jessica) who broke our hearts in little tiny pieces with each scene. I cannot tell you how effective it was to see Jessica play each beat of telling her daugher Bree, that Chloe was going to live with another mommy, then, handing the baby to Blair, (while informing her what foods or care to give the little girl) and loosing it later in the baby’s room.

During the episode, supporting star turns were also given again by Erika Slezak (Viki), Kassie DePaiva (Blair), Kristen Alderson( Starr) and Brandon Buddy (Cole). Viki having to also say goodbye to baby “Chloe,” Blair watching her daughter Starr struggle with her decision to keep or give away her “incoming” baby, and Cole trying to hold it together through the poem his late father, Patrick , read to him as a baby all were moments to remember. And what’s best of all…there is still more angst, decisions, and heartbreak to come on Monday episode.

Turning to the spectacle in Genoa City and The Young and the Restless, all i can say is “Wow!” There is nothing like a creepy thunderstorm and weird creepy people wandering around houses, bars, and hotel rooms to shake things up. Lets start with Adam and Ashley. The very perverted Adam finally hit rock bottom, wandering around with a purple dress or fabric, to spook Ashley into tomorrow. The creep did such a good job, she has now taken a tumble down the stairs. Oh-oh, Baby dead? Chris Engen, who departed several weeks ago from the part of bad boy Adam, gone off the deep in, really has delivered solid performances. So much so, that I just want to hit the guy. Perhaps there is a subliminal message there, for my frustration with the source of the actors real life walk-out!

Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) gave another Friday Cliffhanger Power Performance, the honor I bestowed on her last week. She is just THAT good. How heartbreaking was it watching her try to understand Nick’s decision to dump their marriage, leave her, and go wait for Sharon to leave Jack? When Nick explained to Phyllis a list of: what she meant to him, did for him, felt about her, and Phyllis looked at Nick bewildered going, “And you are walking out on me for Sharon, why?” Nick looked like the biggest doofus! Wake-up Nick!

The second shocker came moments later when Nick moved out on Phyllis and within minutes bedded Sharon… and then….Phyllis and Jack commiserated by getting drunk and having SEX! But wait! Mary Jane Benson, the eerie Stacy Haiduk, was seen clenching her teeth and losing her grip, while somehow watching Phyllis and “her” Jack “doing it” through a window, standing in the thunderstorm through the lightning! Mary Jane had already come uncorked earlier in scenes with Sharon and Paul. And just who is Mary Jane? Have you figured it out yet?

Dramatically produced and written, (and kudos to Tom Casiello, who I hear had a big hand in the scripting) this was great soap opera and a great night at the haunted house!

Till next time,

Michael

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