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THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS: Neil’s Loved Ones Mourn

Photo: CBS

What viewers saw on Thursday’s and Friday’s episodes of The Young and the Restless was in essence beloved castmates and friends going through cathartic moments themselves as the lines blurred between reality and fiction, and how could it not.   Y&R lost Kristoff St. John back in February and promised the audience that it would honor the character of Neil, and his portrayer in fitting tributes for all he has meant to the daytime drama series.

Neil’s memorial service aired on Thursday.  In it, St John’s longtime friend, Stan Shaw, presided over the service as the reverend.  One by one the key characters in Neil Winters life gave their eulogies and paid tribute to this man.

As Lily (Christel Khalil) tries to get up to speak, she breaks down as she cannot bring herself to address those in attendance.  So, Malcolm (Shemar Moore) steps up and reflects on how different his brother was then him, and brings up their rocky relationship.  Malcolm wishes he could tell his brother how much he helped him become the man he is today. As he cries, he tells Neil he misses him, loves him, and prays to God that he knew.

Photo CBS

Then, it was Victor Newman’s (Eric Braeden) turn.  He struggles to contain his emotions and hold back the tears, but it’s no use.  Victor loved Neil and respected him.  He saw him as a son, and said that Neil was one of the few men he trusted.  Victor said that Neil was a good man, a good friend, and member of the family.  With tears streaming down his face, Victor says. “I shall miss you my friend.”   Next, it’s Jack’s (Peter Bergman) turn to speak and he talks about the lives Neil saved which included his own.

When Devon (Bryton James) takes to the podium he poignantly says that Neil was his father, the one he never had, and was also his best friend.  Devon reminisced how when he came to Genoa City he had a chip on his shoulder, but Neil never gave up on him and it meant everything in the world to him.  In heartbreak, Devon says he doesn’t carry Neil’s DNA, but he can hear Neil’s voice calling him “My man.”  When he finishes, he turns to Neil’s picture and casket and signs “I love you” to him.

When Lily still cannot get up to speak, she asks Cane (Daniel Goddard) to please go up to the podium.  Cane speaks to his regret for the times he let Neil and Lily down more than once, Neil was a role model for Cane on how to be a father, he confesses. Cane brings up Neil’s strength when he lost the love of his life, Drucilla.  He says Neil passed that spirit and strength to Lily.  Cane encourages Lily to speak.  Lily finds the strength through her tears, as she cries, she says how she has now lost both her parents and she feels so alone.  Lily cries that Neil should have had more time on this earth.   She looks to all Neil’s friends and family and says they all have to be there for each other now to honor him, and that they owe him that.  She turns to his casket in tears and tells her father she loves him.  As the service ends, Devon thanks everyone for coming.  At the end of the episode, Lily and Devon hold hands and look at the portrait of their father.

On Friday, Neil’s family and friends gathered at Devon’s penthouse and try to lighten the mood through their tears to celebrate Neil’s life.  Ana sang, everyone joined in, jazz records (Neil’s favorites) were played, Malcolm toasts his brother, and Sofia mourns the father of her child.  Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) tried to figure out how she will go on without her good friend, who shared her addiction and understood her.  Jack embraces Malcolm and says “We both lost our best friend.”  As friends exit the penthouse, it eventually ends up just being the family. Malcolm sets up a photo with everyone as a family memento with Neil’s photo in a frame with them.  Sofia (Julia Pace Mitchell) and Malcolm announce they need to head to the airport to get on their flights, but before he leaves Malcolm hugs Devon, then Lily.  Later, back at her home with Cane, Lily tells Cane that she is ending their relationship, while Devon is sitting and crying at the penthouse when Elena (Brytni Sarpy) arrives.  He breaks down.  The episode featured retrospective clips of characters illustrating the traits of Neil featuring St. John.

Y&R brought all of its viewers to tears with his send-off for Neil Winters; which in turn honors Kristoff.  The eulogies delivered with such emotion, sadness and heart by Eric Braeden, Bryton James, Christel Khalil, Daniel Goddard, Peter Bergman, and Shemar Moore were heartbreaking.  As we watched Genoa City mourn, we mourned.   Neil was such a part of our viewing life, as much as Kristoff was part of so many of our personal and professional lives.

So, what did you think of the funeral episode and its aftermath on The Young and the Restless?  Were you moved to tears and then some? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Jamesj75

    April 27, 2019 at 11:47 am

    Okay, I have really enjoyed these tear-jerking episodes, but one critical observation…

    There was no scenery left after Shemar Moore’s performance: he chewed it ALL up!

    • Violet Lemm

      April 27, 2019 at 5:42 pm

      Jamesj75
      He was great. I swear, this man gets better and better. Do you watch him on S.W.A.T? It’s a really good show. When not in “cop” mode, it shows his loving and compassionate side that Malcolm was known for.

      • Jamesj75

        April 28, 2019 at 9:47 am

        Hi Violet: I haven’t seen him in S.W.A.T., but I do know what a great actor he is. One thing I will never forget about him: He is the one who presented/announced the Emmy Award to Susan Lucci for her lone win, and he was so classy and so enthusiastic for Lucci.

  2. Michael Teale

    April 27, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    Having watched Thursday’s funeral episode, where I’m sure I’m not the only one that cried my eyes out and then watching Friday’s episode where I couldn’t help but remember all the times and stories of all things Neil, I was grateful that Y&R did this.
    These shows were much more difficult to watch and get through, more so than when Jeanne Cooper died.

    Here’s what I’m really hoping: that Y&R will submit these episodes for Outstanding Drama Series Emmy next year. While these episodes are not typically what a show would submit when going for a Daytime Drama Emmy award, these episodes were so well done from the writing, to the camera work, the directing, the producing and lastly, the acting, which was something that the cast didn’t have to work hard at when these shows were taped. They were so eloquently done and sublime, something you rarely see on TV anymore.

    Kristoff got his start in this business when he was a young boy from being on ‘Roots: The Next Generation’ to ‘Bad News Bears’, a show that I vividly remember watching back in the 1970’s (as a side note, I remember a conversation that I had with Kristoff years ago when I had a twitter account and I told him that I remember him from that show), to his many other roles on TV and in movies to his breakout role on NBC’s ‘Generations’ to the role on Y&R as Neil Winters that really catapulted him to fame. A role that won him two Emmy’s and numerous NAACP Image Awards. But those accolades almost didn’t come to fruition after he and Victoria Rowell (Drucilla) made a huge statement and stink about there needing to be more diversity on daytime television. His and Victoria’s stance could have easily destroyed their careers but it didn’t. It actually helped the industry to become more diverse on camera as well as behind the camera.

    I remember when Shemar Moore came on to Y&R as Malcolm as an absolute unknown having only been in the modeling industry before starting his acting career. I truly believe that Kristoff made him understand that being humble along with understanding that respect is earned, not given. With that sage advise, it propelled Shemar into a movie and primetime career having starred on CBS’s ‘Criminal Minds’ and currently on ‘SWAT’. Shemar has no ego and I believe that Kristoff had a role in shaping who Shemar is as a human being and as an actor today. Shemar made that clear in the two episodes he appeared in this past week.

    Kristoff is well respected in this industry and you certainly saw that with the many tributes that came in after he passed away. But most importantly, Kristoff was a husband, brother, uncle, friend but more importantly, he was a father to Lola and Paris as well as his late son Julian. Kristoff was never able to get over the loss of Julian when the demons of mental illness took a hold of Julian.

    I am certain that Kristoff is running through the lily fields laughing, joking and smiling with his son Julian.

    As Kristoff as Neil would say, ‘My man’, be at peace and run with Julian. You will be remembered fondly and you will be sorely missed. Rest well, my friend, rest well.

    • Tani Sterling

      April 28, 2019 at 6:19 pm

      Thank you Michael. Your review is so kind and well received!

    • Kevin C

      May 2, 2019 at 5:40 pm

      Very well said Michael…LOVED all the shows featuring Kristoff…

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Elani Wedding (Photos): What Did You Think Of The Nuptials?

This week on Days of our Lives saw the first African-American couple to be married on-screen in the 54-year history of Days of our Lives.  Now while Lani (Sal Stowers) and Eli (Lamon Archey) tried before in a previous ceremony, this one did the job … they are now officially husband and wife!

The ceremony was attended by Lani’s dad, Abe Reynolds (James Reynolds), her mother Tamara Price (Marily McCoo), Billy Davis Jr.  as a former FBI mentor to Eli, Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) – it was her restaurant after all and she is Eli’s grandmother.  Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) presided over the ceremony.

There were some unwelcome guests at the ceremony as well; leading the bride to question, are we doomed?  Why does this keep happening to us everytime we tried to get hitch!

However, fate was on Lani and Eli’s side this day, as even Gabi (Camila Banus) with her antics, and a shocking arrival from Vivian Alamain (Louise Sorel), couldn’t rain on this day.  Vivian even tried to shoot the bride, but thanks to Rafe (Galen Gering) saving the day and armed with news that her son Stefan (Brandon Barash) could be alive; he informs Viv firmly that she would be killing someone for the wrong reason, even though Vivian is in disbelief that her son is alive.  Next, she is whisked out of the ceremony.

Lani still feeling rattled by all the wedding interruptus gets a sign she should marry the man she loves; when her mother, who needed to go lie down earlier, as she was feeling faint, was able to show back up just in time to restart the wedding.

Broom

During the ceremony, Eli mentions the loss of little David Abraham and the struggles they went through, but how in the end it brought then closer together.  After the rings are exchanged and they are pronounced man and wife, the newlyweds “jump the broom” a wonderful tradition and a symbol of African-American heritage, where the sweeping of the broom signifies sweeping away all the bad energy.  After they sweep the broom, Elani jumps over it.

In a behind-the-scenes of the wedding segment released this week on the DOOL app, Sal Stowers and Lamon Archey talk about the inclusion of the ‘jump the broom’ moment in the episode, and how they suggested the idea to DAYS Co-EP Albert Alaar, and how  it was written into the episode.

So, what did you think of Lani and Eli’s wedding? Did you enjoy it? Let us know via the comment section below, but first check out this wedding photo gallery of the big day!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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General Hospital

GH’s Steve Burton and Maurice Benard Deliver “The Power Performance of the Week”

Last week, as General Hospital aired the final episodes they had in the can, prior to the coronavirus TV production shutdown, viewers of the series were left with a one-two punch of gut-wrenching performances from Daytime Emmy winners, Steve Burton (Jason) and Maurice Benard (Sonny)

Burton, also received great news last week, when he found out he was again Emmy-nominated in the Lead Actor in a Drama Series category, while Benard, told fans he did not submit himself in the competition this year, when they were wondering where his name was in the list of the finalists in the category.  However, Maurice won last year for the second time in his career, for Outstanding Lead Actor.

Courtesy/ABC

Now on last Tuesday and Wednesday’s episode of the ABC daytime drama series, Jason was trying his best to break it to Sonny that Sonny’s dad, Mike (Max Gail) is not going to get any better as he continues to decline from Alzheimer’s disease, and that Mike is waiting for Sonny to let him go.  Sonny is devastated sitting with Mike watching him being completely unresponsive.  He tell Mike he will be back to see him tomorrow, as he leaves Mike reaches out his hand slowly.

Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) has just told Jason that she believes the signs are all there that Mike is on his final decline and battle with Alzheimers. Mike is unresponsive, not eating. and slipping away quickly. She believes he wants to let go, but is holding on for Sonny’s sake, something that tears through Jason.  Knowing Jason was told something by Elizabeth, Sonny asks what it is.  That is when Jason tells Sonny he thinks Mike is waiting for Sonny to let him go.

An overcome Sonny tells Jason that he worries that Mike might still want to fight, but for what? He is a shell of himself and has no memories.  It is then that Burton as Jason, in a touching performance, tells Sonny what he’d want if he were in Mike’s place. Jason reflect that he wouldn’t want machines keeping him alive or his kids having to go through what Sonny is having to deal with right now   Jason goes on to say that even when Sonny put walls up between himself and Mike through the years, that Mike never stopped trying to break them down.

Photo:ABC

Once Jason leaves, with tears running down his cheeks, Sonny sits with Mike trying to come to terms with what he must do now.  Will Sonny let Mike die and spare his father any further misery … or will he try to prolong whatever time Mike has left?

These scenes for anyone who has endured or lived through losing a loved one battling through Alzheimer’s and having to make a life and death decision, and the emotional turmoil and sadness it causes a family, could feel the pain and heartbreak played  by Burton and Benard. That is why Michael Fairman TV gives Steve and Maurice the honors of The Power Performance of the Week.

Watch a few scenes from part of Steve and Maurice’s ‘Power Performance’ below

Then let us know, what did you think of Steve and Maurice’s performances in the Alzheimer’s storyline? Comment below.

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All My Children

ABC and PEOPLE’s ‘The Story of Soaps’: What Was Your Review Of It?

Tuesday’s night airing of ABC and PEOPLE’s two-hour special The Story of Soaps featured many notable daytime and primetime soap stars, past and present, clips from backstage to classic memorable moments, and some participants who were providing commentary on the erosion of the daytime soaps in our culture.  Still others, maintained and realized that everything today is serialized from the news we watch, to some of Netflix’s most binge-watchable series, and of course, the birth of reality-programming.

Throughout the airing of the special, The Story of Soaps was trending on Twitter and social media either at the #2, #3 or #4 spots for the entire duration of the broadcast presentation, and the cancelled and beloved All My Children was also at one point trending.

However, known soap writers, journalists, ardent fans, and actors of the genre, were all on Twitter last night live-tweeting their thoughts as the special went down, and there was definitely mixed reactions and reviews, when all was said and done.

What the special did not shy away from, but tackled, was Luke’s rape of Laura at the campus disco on General Hospital. and how that moment now, as Genie Francis (Laura), so eloquently put, would be considered as ‘date rape’ in our culture.  The series even included a pivotal moment where Laura addresses Luke (Tony Geary) about the rape years later, after helping Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) through her rape ordeal.

John Stamos (Ex-Blackie Parrish, GH) got a bevy of “Right On’s!” for his comment that the soaps do not get the credit that they deserve and clearly came through as one of the soaps greatest supporters, as did former The Doctors and Knots Landing star, Alec Baldwin.

However, throughout the two-hours, Andy Cohen’s commentary was thread throughout; mostly citing soap’s demise and the creation of reality-programming and his “Real Housewives” franchise, that the special touted as the new soap operas.  It continued on the narrative that people preferred to see real-life drama then made-up drama on a fictional soap.  And while, that has been a trend in American culture for decades, the commentary came off as often out of place in a celebration of the soaps; and bringing in a lot of negativity to the special that soap fans were tired of hearing.

In a lighting rod moment, Cohen stated: “I know Susan Lucci doesn’t agree with me, but I think that the Housewives have replaced soap operas because truth is stranger than fiction. Soaps became kind of unnecessary because you could do it with real people, and they’re writing the drama themselves.”

The special did also address the cancellations of All My Children and One Life to Live, (which many were not sure they were going to do – given this special was airing on ABC), where One Life’s leading lady and six-time Daytime Emmy winner, Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki) said what we all wanted to sa ywhen the ax fell on the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, “People were horrified”.

Clearly, OJ Simpson and his murder trial and reality-programming were also given a chunk of time to show where the once mighty landscape of daytime soaps which once had 13 shows on the air, dwindled town to 4.  But, it would have been nice to see more time spent on how in this day and age, the people in this current landscape of the genre work so hard to get episodes done at an unbelievable pace, and how in that climate the performers still deliver gut-wrenching performances.

Photo: ABC

Former Loving, OLTL and Breaking Bad star, Bryan Cranston, did point out how the once powerful soaps, just don’t have the dollars they used to, and need to, to help with production costs and their taping schedule.

Viewers were reminded of soaps’ socially relevant storylines including hankie-inducing moments from: Robin (Kimberly McCullough) and Stone’s (Michael Sutton) HIV/AIDS storyline on General Hospital, to Billy Douglas being a gay teen coming out on One Life to Live, played by a young Ryan Phillippe.

There also did not seem time spent on the contributions of William J. Bell; one of the most prominent writers of the soap genre of all-time.

For many commenting on social media last night, there seemed to be a feeling of some glaring omissions of participants who could speak on this genre, who have been in the trenches as soap producers, soap writers, pundits, actors, and more, who were not included in the special.

So, what was your review of The Story of Soaps? How would you grade it? Do you feel it accurately reflected the history of the genre?  Were you happily surprised,  or when it came to the end where you over it, or somewhere in between? Sound off in the comment section below.  Below are some tweets from notables who have worked as an actor, a writer, and a journalist in the soaps.  

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Video du Jour

B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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Power Performance

Steve Burton as Jason & Maurice Benard as Sonny

General Hospital

Airdate: 5-19/20-2020

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