Why Do Y&R’s Neil and Malcolm Keep Sharing the Same Women?

by | May 4, 2011 at 12:40 PM | Deep Soap

Kristoff St. John (CBS)

Kristoff St. John (CBS)

Brotherly Love

As everyone who has ever watched more than five episodes of a soap opera predicted, hot on the heels of her one night stand with Neil (Kristoff St. John) and her marriage to Malcolm (Darius McCrary), “The Young & the Restless’s” Sophia (Julia Pace Mitchell) discovered she was pregnant. Cue the “Which one of the Winters brothers is the Daddy?” drama. The show gets points for acknowledging that the exact same storyline played itself out with the two brothers over Lily’s (Christel Khalil) paternity, but, really aren’t there any storylines for the Winters that don’t involve them falling for the same woman? Dru only slept with Malcolm once under the influence of cold medicine that made her confuse Neil and Malcolm – a far more plausible scenario when Shemar Moore was playing the role. They have also both been involved with Dru’s sister, Olivia. Neil had fallen for Malcolm’s fiancée, Alex, shortly before Malcolm’s presumed death. Genoa City’s other siblings, Billy (Billy Miller) and Jack (Peter Bergman) are not constantly swapping women – although they both were potentially the father of Sharon’s (Sharon Case) child. Nick (Joshua Morrow) and Adam (Michael Muhney) have also both fallen for Sharon. But their rivalry is much more about their relationship with their father. In fact, Sharon seems to be the common factor here. Why aren’t the Winters men sleeping with Sharon? Everyone else is.

In contrast, Malcolm and Neil’s entire romantic raison d’etre in Genoa City is to spar over the same women. It’s boring. Any time one of them meets a new woman, you know the other is soon sure to fall for her.  I am hesitant to claim that there is any sort of racial aspect to their repetitive storylines. Yes, they are the only African-American men in Genoa City aside from Uptight District Attorney. In the 1980s and 1990s, when television was skittish about portraying interracial relationships, that was probably a factor. But now, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. In daytime and primetime, there are as many interracial romances as there are stories of an African American man and woman falling in love with each other. Last year on Y&R, when Neil and Ashley (Eileen Davidson) were briefly involved the collective audience response seemed to be, “Wow. This is almost as exciting as when Ashley dated Paul for five minutes,” not “I am so offended.”

This really just seems to be a case of a lack of imagination on the parts of the writers. While Neil has a complex relationship with Victor (Eric Braeden) and is involved (though not as involved as he could be) in the business storylines, since his return to Genoa City, outside of the occasional photography gig, all Malcolm has done is hang out with his family. Neither has many personal relationships outside of their family. Phyllis and Malcolm’s friendship is a shadow of what it used to be when Moore was in the role. So I beg the writers to think outside of the box. Expand the role of Neil’s occasional date/legal shark Leslie and have them shock everyone by buying a controlling interest in Newman Enterprises. Then let Neil and Leslie be sexy moguls in love without any involvement from Malcolm. Put Malcolm’s creative skills to good use by having him direct and produce Abby’s reality show. Let him interact with all of the women in town and see if he has chemistry with someone unexpected. After nearly twenty years, it’s time for something new.

Crazy People Logic

I realize that, unlike other characters on “General Hospital,” all of Lisa’s (Brianna Brown) illogical behavior can be explained by the fact that she’s crazy. But why exactly is she getting Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) hooked on pills? Lisa is still obsessed with Patrick (Jason Thompson). Kristina’s only connection to Patrick is that she babysits his daughter. So, turning Patrick’s teenaged babysitter into a junkie will help her achieve her nefarious goals… except that it does not. So far, she has used Kristina to gain access to Patrick and Robin’s (Kimberly McCullough)house and plant listening devices while Kristina was taking a drug induced nap. She could have accomplished the same goal by checking Robin and Patrick’s work schedule at the hospital and breaking into their house while nobody was home.  In fact, that plan would have made a lot more sense since it was not reliant on Kristina deciding to take a pill while Lisa was there and conveniently passing out, which she has not done the other times she has taken the “herbal supplement.”  I am not asking for Lisa to be as logical as say, Jason (Steve Burton), but it would be nice if there were some dialogue articulating that she wants Kristina to be an addict so she can get her to kill Robin in exchange for  a bottle of the pills, or whatever she thinks the voices inside her had are telling her to do. The town’s other psycho, Anthony Zacarra (Bruce Weitz), may talk to plants and wear color block shirts, but I understand why he decided to frame Abby (Andrea Bogart) for murder. The crazy surgeon should be held to the same standards.

Line of the Day

“Are you trying to make me feel better by telling me all of your children have been kidnapped?” – “General Hospital’s” Brenda, to Sonny. Ha. Ha. Ha.

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