Y&R’s Newman Family Feud Finally Scores

by | March 11, 2011 at 1:52 PM | Deep Soap

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The Newman Family Feud Finally Scores

Is it just me or has the aftermath of “The Young & the Restless’s” Newman family lawsuit storyline been must-see TV?  I hated the build-up, but from Tuesday’s episode onwards, when Victor’s (Eric Braeden) house of cards came tumbling down, I have been riveted to the screen.  I loved the twist that Neil (Kristoff St. John) came forward at the hearing to offer proof that Adam (Michael Muhney) was lying about being responsible for using the Newman children’s trust funds to to finance Newman Enterprises ventures.

Neil is the person who has been most screwed over by Victor’s mercurial tendencies. He was made interim CEO on numerous occasions, then had the job snatched away from him when Victor decided he wanted it back, or that he wanted to hand the reigns over to one of his children. Neil finally left the company because he realized that Newman Enterprises had a glass ceiling for everyone whose last name was not Newman. If there was anyone who had reason to resent the Newman children’s privilege, it’s Neil. But, as the last person in Genoa City with a modicum of integrity, he had to come forward. Neil also wins a merit badge for being the only person in the G.C. to put the brakes on casual sex in the past two years, when he opted not to have victory sex with Leslie the Lawyer.

Watch Neil’s Legal Compromise:

In my opinion, Victor’s scheme with Adam was the reason that he deserved to lose the lawsuit. He arguably had a moral, if not legal, point that he had the right to use his children’s trust funds as he saw fit. He had no right to commit fraud. It was sweet watching Victor get served a cold dish of justice by Neil, the man he always considered too weak to challenge him.

The actual 1.5 billion dollars that the court ordered Victor to hand over to his kids is irrelevant. Everyone involved was rich before. They are rich now. If Victor is forced to take his company public as a result of this, other than setting up a potential corporate takeover storyline, there won’t be any meaningful consequences. It’s all about the emotional fallout. I laughed at how surprised Victoria (Amelia Heinle), Abby (Marcy Rylan) and Nick (Josh Morrow) were at Victor’s intense anger. Over the years,Victor has attacked his children for falling in love with people he disliked, buying a coffeehouse, and disagreeing with him about anything. How could they possibly think he wouldn’t take them suing him for billions of dollars personally? Or that he would want them to wish him a happy birthday after they dealt him a crushing defeat?

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Victoria, whose true motivation was to get her hands on Beauty of Nature so she could become its CEO, got a rude awakening when Nick told her in no uncertain terms that he had no interest in trading the settlement money for the company. I think the second stage of the battle will be the Newman siblings squabbling over the money a la King Lear, assuming the show actually allows Victor to lose for more than a few episodes.

Eric Braeden did his best work in years, allowing Victor to be vulnerable and hurt even as he vowed that he would fight the settlement. I utterly bought that Victor would turn to Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) when she came by the ranch, and that the two of them would end up making love, even if I never need to hear Victor murmur, “Baby” again. Their talk afterward about how it was just one night, and it didn’t change the dynamics of their relationship, was among the most realistic and mature they’ve ever had.  I was also relieved that Y&R is not reuniting them for the umpteenth time. They are more interesting apart than together.

Though Victor’s decision to elope with Diane (Maura West) is yet another quickie, plot driven Y&R marriage, it makes a certain amount of sense. What better way for Victor to feel like the king than to marry a much younger woman, one who he knows had a fling with his son. I suspect that Victor also plans to put Newman Enterprises in Diane’s name, or otherwise use his marriage as a reason to prevent the settlement from going through – assuming that Diane does not decide that her brief loveless fling with Nick trumps a potential loveless marriage to Victor. Kudos to Y&R for crafting what has turned into a compelling umbrella storyline that does not hinge on anyone dying.

Watch Victor’s Proposal:

Casting News

Yet another former movie star is joining the cast of “The Young & the Restless.”  TV Guide reports that Sean Patrick Flanery, who will always be the pale kid in “Powder” to me, is joining the show as a potential love interest for Sharon (Sharon Case). Given that Sharon is currently engaged to Adam, and Nick is far from over her, I’m not sure why she needs another man.  But perhaps it will do her some good to date someone whose last name is not Abbott or Newman. Flanery’s character is described as “a country veterinarian named Sam.”  I have that Flanery does not follow in the footsteps of the other movie-star-to-Y&R thespians. Sean Young, who plays Meggie, will reportedly be on the next season of “Celebrity Rehab.” Eric Roberts was on the prior edition.

Soaps In Depth reports on its Twitter feed that  Brian Kerwin, who plays Charlie, will be departing “One Life To Live.” Charlie’s marriage to Viki (Erika Slezak) has seemed doomed ever since Charlie cheated on her with Echo (Kim Zimmer). The distinguished theater actor, who has appeared in numerous Broadway productions, was recently pre-nominated by his castmates for a Daytime Emmy, but Charlie has few ties to other characters without Viki. Could he be the one who killed Eddie Ford, or will he just leave town to get treatment for his alcoholism?