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News for the week of 22-Apr-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) is slowly making progress while recovering from an unknown illness. She’s dying to get out of the hospital and cussin’ up a storm again. Good signs. Check out her son Corbin Bernsen’s Twitter for updates.

Michael Muhney (Adam) has nothing against children. He has his own loving brood, including a fairly recent newborn to help take care of. It’s just that, as an actor, he prefers to work with other actors on top of their game. Working around children’s shorter schedules in odd bursts, with their unpredictability, just isn’t his thing. But he’s ready now, since it would make so much sense for the character as the next step forward and add to the character-driven angst.

He also discussed at length his excitement at knowing way in advance, way before other co-stars, that Adam would take a bullet for Victor, as well as his feelings about the newest regime of executive producer Jill Farren Phelps/head writer Josh Griffith (loves ‘em), after so many years in darkness. When he first played Adam, he assumed he’d be a part of a long legacy of character-driven, character actors. Um… “I thought that there was this amazing wealth of characters on a show that all have so much history with one another, the mythology of four decades worth of a show was enough to mine story for ages and you didn’t need to throw plots in there to blow things up to create story. I was a little taken aback at how plot-driven things were before the regime change in October,” he explained to MSN writer Jeevan Brar for an April 17th-posted interview. “I cannot praise Josh and Jill enough. Any fault that people are finding with them within the first few years of their tenure will be no fault of their own. I’m talking contracts with particular actors – people who have to be fired or let go – these are things that aren’t even their call. It’s coming from high above – Sony and CBS. What they are doing to service the show is to enrich that sort of character-driven storytelling and I’ve been really impressed.

“What I’m seeing today and what I’ve been seeing with their scripts is exactly what I thought I would be seeing when I joined the show. I’m glad I was patient. It gave me an opportunity to muddle through some stuff and figure out the format of the show, how quickly it films and who my character is with regards to others. I was able to build my history, so now we can hit the ground running with scripts that are very character-driven. There’s the occasional plot point (i.e.: getting shot at the wedding), but it’s a quick plot-point, which creates a lot of story that is character-driven. I can say that I have never had more fun on the show than I am having now.”

Muhney has a weird approach to following colleagues on the show. He won’t. He used to follow a few, then unfollowed them because it wouldn’t be fair to everyone. Huh? Normally, famous people follow everybody in their cast, just not fans, don’t they? Here’s what happened, in Muhney’s own words: “It was the beginning of the year… Steve Burton (Dylan) had just joined the show and we were having a conversation in the hair and makeup room. ‘Tell me your Twitter handle, I want to follow you,’ he said. ‘Don’t follow me because then I’ll have to follow you,’ I replied. Now that I’m thinking about it, if I follow you, there’s a lot of my cast that I don’t follow and now I’m starting to feel guilty. I’m from the mindset that you either do it for everyone or do it for no one. Case in point, when I meet with fans and they grab their phone and say, ‘Look, I’m calling my spouse, can you say hi to them real fast?’ If I say yes, then I have to say yes to everybody. If I say no, then it’s a no across the board.

“So, I thought the simplest thing to do since I only followed nine cast members was that I would just tell each of them individually that it’s nothing personal and that I was going to unfollow them later that day. Each of them were so magnanimous and sweet and went ‘I’m still going to follow you and you do Twitter your way.’ So I unfollowed these people and then I was called that evening at my house by journalists, ‘It’s going viral that you’ve been fired or that you quit or something huge has happened!’ I’m like, ‘What? Where? When? How?’ And they said, ‘Well you unfollowed your cast members. They’re saying that Steve Burton came in and you’re going out and that Jill…’ I just had to laugh!”

He said he’s also “glad” he unfollowed the rest of the cast, so he could maintain a separate Twitter identity from his work. Go figure.

Gossip for the week of 22-Apr-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

SoapTown USA’s Loose Lips in the April 14th column stated that Y&R was downright boring, putting a lot of the blame on the soap’s fearless leader, Jill Farren Phelps. You know the one that all the Y&R actors talking to the press love so much for turning the ship around. Loose Lips is right. With the exception of a handful of veteran-generated character acting — Victor/Adam, Chloe/Chelsea, Tyler in anything (brightest rising star) — the rest of this show is a snoozefest. Why TPTB over at Sony/CBS continue to showcase boring Lily and Avery, for example, is a question for the ages. Christel Khalil portrays Lily as a cold, unfeeling robot who doesn’t spark with any man on the show and coasts by on looks alone (Tyler and Cane’s portrayers do all the heavy lifting—watch next time). Jessica Collins is a nice person and an accomplished chef by all accounts, but she’s no actress. Everything she’s had to emote comes off forced, wooden, and without any sort of introspection. Her heaving hyperventilating passes for crying in those dreadfully forced, endlessly narrative scenes of tell not show opposite the hard-working Steve Burton (Dylan). Talking about how she fails at everything is very different than showing. Talking about how clumsy and wacky and offbeat she is, isn’t the same as showing it in dialogue, give-and-take response.

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