My social media feeds were on FIRE this week with the reaction to the TVInsider two-part Michael Logan interview with The Young And The Restless executive producers Jill Farren Phelps and head writer (and co-EP) Chuck Pratt. (You can find it here: PART ONE and PART TWO: BULLSHIT BOOGALOO.)
Many of Pratt’s responses, in particular, are just as tone deaf as you’d imagine they might be. He and Phelps dismiss criticism as the work of “haters.” Most of the explanations he gave for why a story came to be — like the two Jacks story — defy explanation here. Character seems to be profoundly unimportant to Pratt, as it was at All My Children, and his discussion of storyline and characters seems so oddly disconnected and dispassionate.
I’m not surprised about the reaction — not really — but I remember many folks in the soap blogosphere being more cautiously optimistic about Pratt’s arrival.
To which I say (apologies for the language, but it fits): Did anyone ever expect him to be anything other than that asshole uncle that comes over to your house on holidays and makes a mess of everything? Metaphorically speaking, it’s what he did on AMC — which added to the injuries that eventually ended that show — and almost definitely what he’ll do here.
Pratt clearly has serial chops, but writing for nighttime shows like Melrose Place and Desperate Housewives is a completely different animal. There are many similarities, but the pacing and the format allow for a little more sustained over-the-top action. I’ve liked shows that have had Pratt’s work, like DH and Ugly Betty.
But the kind of stories that played well on Santa Barbara and General Hospital are not for every show. They didn’t fit Pine Valley, and they are not a good fit for Y&R.
Y&R is a snoozefest and it clearly needed to be shaken up. But instead of remodeling and updating the house of Jabot, Pratt sees it as a tear down, and will use the wrecking ball itself as a Friday tag. What will be left standing at the end? Good question.
Meanwhile, we get an EP who claims she’s never heard the online chatter about Kevin and Detective Harding – aka “Harder” — or actor Greg Rikaart’s comments about having Kevin come out as a gay man — because she doesn’t go online.
That gets a serious side eye from me. As does almost everything else about this show these days.