Tracey Bregman Weighs in on if Y&R is Becoming Passions



In an interview with TV Guide Magazine’s Michael Logan, consummate trooper Tracey Bregman weighs in on whether The Young and the Restless is becoming more and more like Passions.

Lately, there’s been a big shift in tone at Y&R. It’s becoming more and more like Passions.

I think the mysteries are tweaked a little bit more, and there is the fun, fantasy element of Sheila’s twins, Daisy and Ryder, but it’s still based somewhat in the reality of the relationships. We still have the rich, family stories and the romances. Y&R’s success has always been based on the audience’s connection to the characters. Don’t forget it was [Y&R creator] Bill Bell who had Lauren buried alive, and that was a wild, very emotional story. As long as you can keep the character relationships on point, I think the audience will go for the ride. When it gets outlandish on other shows, I find it difficult as a viewer to connect with that. But I don’t think that’s ever been Y&R’s problem.

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Member since:
7 November 2009
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First of all let me give my one compliment.  Lauren/Tracey looks great in the above photo. This show has gotten so bad that I find it very hard to watch,  and I have been a fan for over 27 years.  It is really sad what Maria Bell and Paul Rauch have done to this onetime great soap opera.  I do not believe that the great Bill Bell would have ever let all of this recycled hoopla go on like this.  The show lost 128,000 viewers just last week alone and I can not see it doing anything but losing more.
Some of the new actors are just horrendous. The ones playing for example Daisy,  Malcom,  Mac and too many others to go on.  I am just so sadly disappointed in what was at one time my favorite show and I would not have missed an episode no matter what and now I almost don't even care if I miss one.  Very disappointed.

alstonboy4315's picture
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Tracey is far too classy (not to mention proud to have a paycheck and more screen time) to ever say anything disparaging about Y&R, even if the show is becoming a cartoon.

I agree, though, that Y&R is nowhere near being as cheesy, plot-driven and silly as "Passions" was. The dialogue on "Passions" was HORRID, and it was clearly written for teenagers and tweens. However, James Reilly invented it and wrote it to be silly and campy on purpose, so that became the show's personality.

Yes, William Bell Sr. wrote outlandish stories, but he would have NEVER had FOUR psychotic characters on the canvas simultaneously, and he would never have dumbed down characters like Ashley, Jack, Jill, Paul, Lauren and Michael Baldwin simply to advance plot lines. He understood the art of moderation.

Y&R may have too many psychos, but they have not hit the bottom of the barrel YET!!! However, it seems that they are crawling deeper into the gutter each day. Maria and Hogan need to restructure this show and get rid of this plot-driven foolishness NOW!!! These types of storylines, ideally, shouldn't last more than a month or two. Anything longer than that becomes too outrageous. I would hate to see Maria and Paul Rauch drive this show into the dirt, but that's exactly what is happening.

Chels725's picture
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8 November 2009
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What a trooper Tracey Bregman is. All the crap her character is going makes Passions almost look normal. I gotta agree with an above post that she looks amazing. Such an elegant lady.

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15 May 2008
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This is just too ironic on the timing of this interview. When Luther Kerr has the podcast up you'll hear why...,.

craigcp's picture
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I don't know what I'm going do when ATWT is over, was going to start watching Y&R. The psycho show is really getting old. Does it have another year on it renewal? Just has the Janet show on ATWT. I watch it on DVR zoom through it in 10 min.

Member since:
15 October 2008
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Idk what to say! I can see why ppl make the comparison, but I hope it is being compared to the final yrs of Passions whe the show went too far w/their stories which in their essence was a spoof of all of the soaps.

As for the response I don't blame Tracey for playing politics. She is having fun.

I guess MAB sent out a memo to the cast that when interviewed and asked about the current story just use Bill Bells crazy stories as a way to justify what the team has on screen.

Even though I love the genre, I now take a page from Mr. Giddens book by not really expecting the soaps that are left to become modern and just enjoy the ones I like that are still on. It's not a defeated attitude, but more accepting the notion it is what it is at this point.

Llanview76's picture
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I think with Paul Rauch he knows how to make a splash on a soap in the first year but then subsequent years he keeps trying to outdo himself. I don't know what his work was like on ANOTHER WORLD, though I hear more credit due to Harding Lemay than Rauch, but on ONE LIFE TO LIVE he was executive producer when the program revisited Victoria Lord Buchanan's bout with schizophrenia and reintroduced Viki's alternate personality Niki Smith back into the storyline. He managed to compel not only with that one story, but to have it intertwined with the return of Andrea Evans as Tina Clayton, and the advent of Mitch Laurence's strange religious cult. Then slowly but surely, Llanview became more of a campy hotbed that knew no bounds year after year...after Viki was integrated by '86, she went to Heaven in '87, then Clint fell down a time tunnel in '88, only for the next year most of the town to come upon the secret underground city of Eterna in '89...leading up to the Daisy Awards that summer, and mafia infested Badderly Island in '90. I mean yeah each of the these moments made for some very memorable moments on ONE LIFE, and the cast especially Slezak acted the hell out of it all, but sometimes it was like...this is so beyond what the show use to be about. For some reason ONE LIFE got away with it, because by the time Rauch came to GUIDING LIGHT, nobody much cared for Reva's time travel or her cloning, all under Rauch's regime. And now Y&R fans are a bit uncomfortable. In essence they are right, Rauch's presides over PASSIONesque stories, but Rauch's camp has an air of sophistication where Reilly's was so cheesy you could spread it on crackers! I will take a plot device  using a bomb built into a wedding cake over black sorcery any day!

RCLGuard's picture
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Don't diss Passions. That was my show. Pure, unapologetic, guilty pleasure. Loved every second of its 9 years.  

soapjunkie88's picture
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That poor thing shouldn't answer this question, Maria Arena Bell should!

This show is horrible to watch right now. You have Patty posing as Emily, while she is locked by in the nut house. Then you have the Adam "murder" investigation and all this aftermath of the baby switch ... and then you have a crazy sister of Sheila coming to town. A sister we never heard of in 20 years ... with two children we don't care about and where their existance makes no sense at all. Oh yeah, and that crazy sister of Sheila has to look like Lauren.

Give me a break!!!

Y&R always had it's psychos ... and I could deal with this. But all of this happing at the same time - Geona City has become Crazy Town ... or Harmony if that's a better name.

As for Tracey Bregman, she looks stunning these days. Never saw a woman looking that sexy in a cage after being kidnapped by some crazy people.

Anyway, NOBODY should be allowed to even come to the idea that someone could like this stuff that Y&R is showing us these days. And sorry, but at this point Maria Arena Bell and her team - whoever is responsible for this nonsense - need to be FIRED.
They turning the number one soap into a big joke!

alstonboy4315's picture
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East.West---

I agree with that about the cast members basically being "not so gently persuaded" to not say anything that might sound disparaging against the writers or producers, even though they have earned all the negative press that they're getting.The only person who is exempt from this rule is Eric Braeden, who says and does as he pleases, and STILL gets front-burner stories and a fat paycheck. Victoria Rowell said on Buzzworthyradio that Kristoff St. John made some "questionable" remarks about the show (either the lack of diversity or his lack of screen time) and was later told that he would be "going on a hiatus," and as we can all tell, his screen time has SIGNIFICANTLY diminished. (I don't recall what he said, but I have posted the link below.)......I also suspect that Melody Thomas Scott may have pissed some people off, which explains why she's not on much longer anymore. Not enough money my behind!!!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/buzzworthyradio
 

And we all know where speaking her mind has gotten the fabulous Mrs. Rowell. Even though she has unearthed many behind the scenes truths, she has a better chance of getting struck by lightning than being asked back to Y&R anytime soon. I guess that it pays sometimes to keep your opinions to yourself and not bite the hands that feed you. Tracey has clearly learned that.

Member since:
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With Passions, Reilly intended to poke fun at the genre. He wrote his stories with major tongue in cheek. Maria really believes this is award-winning storytelling, and that is the sad difference.
 

soapfan8's picture
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22 February 2010
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WHY DID THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN 2 YR LIFE REALLY SUCKS ALL I CAN SAY JUST WROTE A REALLY LONG GREAT RANT AND WHEN I CLICKED SAVE A COMPUTER GLITCH HAPPENED AND NOW IM TOO PISSED OFF TO WRITE I AGREE WITH ALOT OF PEOPLES POINTS

Member since:
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I guess from an acting standpoint you have to just do your best with whatever outlandish thing you are asked to do and Tracey has been around long enough to get that. From her perspective, I could see why she would enjoy the story, especially coming off a year where she was ignored for a great amount of time and had to deal with rumors that Lauren was going to be written off.

These are good questions the interviewer is asking, but Tracey can't really be expected to answer them honestly.  They should be asked to those in charge of the show. Tracey is an actress. She is paid to act and has no say in story, so I don't know what other answer she could say but be positive about her own acting experience. She can't very well say that she agrees it is a bit too much that there are two double stories or that the show is losing its identify and becoming more like Passions. Not if she wants to keep her job. 

Maria, Paul and Hogan are the ones who should be held accountable for deciding to write two doppelganger storylines at the same time and three in the last year and a half.  I will watch because I love Tracey Bregman and have missed having her presence on the screen more.  I just wish she could have had a better storyline after being backburned for so long.

On a superficial note, only Lauren Fenmore would be held prisoner in high heels and a Vera Wang gown and look better the longer she is held.  Plus, I don't think this is going to be a long storyline.  The Pheila story only lasted 6 weeks and I would expect this one to run about the same amount of time.

Member since:
7 December 2009
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man barabra bloom better go to them bell studios and tell them what the hell yall during

Member since:
22 July 2009
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This "Bill Bell told psycho storylines too" response is pretty weak tea. Yes Bill Bell told these stories but he took his time and built suspense. His villians worked because Bill let us in on their motivations - we knew David Kimble was a snake, we knew Sheila wanted Scott and a baby, we knew Matt Clark wanted to make Nick Pay, we knew Veronica wanted Joshua Landers back, we knew Tricia was getting a little crazy for Ryan. etc.
This is why Patty and Adam work. We were willing to go along with the madness, because we could understand their motivations even when the storyline was getting preposterous.

But this story was set up as a mystery with the writers clearly making it up as they go along. Why don't they just admit that they went a little too far and wrap it up quickly? My only hope is that is what they're going to do. If this drags on, I'm outta here.

Btw...not to insult the late, great Bill Bell, but he did have a couple of psycho storylines that tanked for similar reasons.  Who else cringes when remembering the horrible Blade and Rick Bladeson mess of a storyline? Or the wonderful "who Killed Victor?" suspense  which got stupid pretty quickly when it turned out that Mary Joe shot Victor about a fax. Even both of these were still better than this mess. Who cares about Shelia Carter's never before mentioned sister? It's nuts!

Member since:
12 April 2009
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17 weeks 5 days

I never watched a single episode of Passions, so I could not weigh in to compare the two, but.....

While the actors may be instructed not to say anything negative about Y&R right now, the fans are not stupid, we can see what a train wreck the show has become.

What Eric Braeden says or doesn't say really doesn't make much difference to me.  That man is so self absorbed I rarely read what he has to say in the first place.

When it was revealed that Momma Bear was yet another plastic surgery transformation that pretty much threw cold water on this story line for me.  Now I couldn't care less how it turns out.

I don't care what the actress who played Dru has to say either, that woman has such a case of sour grapes it isn't even funny.  I didn't like her character  either.  All thant ranting and raving and screeching  she did most of the time was about as pleasant to listen to as fingernails on a blackboard.

Member since:
25 February 2009
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Who is to blame more? Hogan Sheffer or Paul Rauch or both?  All I know is that I want whoever is to blame for these idiotic storylines fired!
Ironically, I've watched Days of Our Lives for 20 years or so and loved that type of stuff on that show, but Days has been known for the craziness.  They just don't know how to do crazy on Y&R.  The list of crazy storylines on OLTL by Paul Rauch sounds awful (sorry to the OLTL fans who actually liked that stuff).  I couldn't bear the sci-fi or silliness on Days after awhile, so I certainly don't want people falling into a time warp on Y&R!

ChrisGa's picture
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9 September 2009
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Well, I agree the Lauren doppelganger storyline is lazy storytelling at its' worst, especially with the Patty/Emily mess running concurrently.  That said, the luminous Tracey E. Bregman is doing a bang-up job(as is the brilliant Stacy Haiduk as Patty/Emily) playing Sheila's apparently equally nutjob sister.  And therein for me lies the critical difference between Y&R and PASSIONS (though frankly I don't think they're that similar to begin with)--no matter how off the rails you may think it's gone/is going, the actors are at least going to make the most of it.  PASSIONS was played for camp, pure and simple, and the good actors(Juliet Mills, Ben Masters, Kim Ulrich) were in on the joke and played it for what it was.  But, unlike Y&R, who does have it's share of questionable "talent", alot of the folks on that show's front burner were just plain BAD; they couldn't carry off the serious storylines, much less the campy schtick.  Just how I see it.

Member since:
22 January 2009
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2 years 48 weeks

Yep, the only hope we have is with the actors.  Maybe they won't pull a Jack and Patty redo and we will actually see a husband realize that his wife has actually been replaced.

I am glad I am seeing more of Tracey and Christian on screen, but I just don't get who would think running two doppelganger stories at the same time would be a good move.  Plus, they are going back to history (with Tom and Sheila) that is only five years old.

Maria claims she values the history of the show, so why is she playing so fast and loose with it?

marknsprmo's picture
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14 June 2009
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Personally if you give me Tracy Bergman on my screen and shes doing something besides doing the Nancy Hughes thing, I am a happy camper. And she looks twice as smashing with two characters. Lets see Days had Eileen Davidson play how many characters? 6? Lets see if Tracy can break a record here. Maybe everyone in Sheilas family went to the same Doctor and got the same face......
Seriously I love alot of action and crazies on my soaps. Yes Maria Bell needs to slow down and play the beats but I like her creativeness and serious love of soaps. Cause she plays homage to soaps every day ( I prefer homage to stealing storylines).

But I am a little tired of people saying these stories are stupid or horrible. They are the same damn stories that daytime has been telling for 40 years now. Many of these stories were created by Bill Bell. Just because she is telling them at break neck speed doesnt mean they are bad stories. And they beat the hell out of stories about "gangsters" on some shows where the gangsters don't deal in drugs and prostitution and murder.Yeah thats good story telling......

Member since:
11 December 2008
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 I wonder what's going on over at Y&R because it seems that everyone is reading from the same script - word-for-word!  Ive seen at least three different people connected with the show making the exact same statement about Y&R being about family relationships and the rest of that gobbly-gook.  

Can't say that I blame them.  There's a recession going on and I'd memorize the script too, if MAB and Paul Reich gave it to me just so I can keep my job.  

But I sure would like to know what these actors and production people think behind closed doors. 

Member since:
2 January 2008
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1 year 13 weeks

This whole lauren storyline is garbage im surprised because in the beginning maria's writing was on fire.All i can say on the lauren storylinebeen there done that recycled storylines anybody?????Hate to say but right now amc is looking pretty good

Member since:
19 March 2010
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25 weeks 2 hours

If Maria Arena Bell does not get TVG”s Michael Logan’s not so subtle dig at her writing by comparing Y&R to Passions, then she’s completely in her own orbit. At least Passions had its insane brand of humor reveling in the ridiculous. MAB actually thinks this is a good idea. My goodness she’s ripping herself off! And could they actually rectify the Sheila situation instead of this Sheila sister rewrite. This is like the new trend in Daytime: the sudden sibling syndrome. B&B never mentioned a Bill Spencer Junior, same w/ this Sarah Smythe crap! No one can compare to Kimberlin Brown. Either have her return, or don’t even go down this path.

Bergman selling this by saying “Lauren was buried alive” is grasping for straws. Lauren can be a bitch and dump Michael, since they have no chemistry. This does not compare at all to Lauren vs. Sheila. Christian Leblanc is one of the worst actors in daytime ever since there's not a single scene on Y&R where Michael is convincingly straight. 

Y&R and B&B could have Frantz playing 1 twin Amber on 1 soap and 1 twin April on the other soap! How horrible is that?! What are Brad Bell and MAB thinking? B&B has never launched a successful twin storyline ever. They never should have killed off Caroline, the character w/ history on the show who was so popular that B&B was named “Caroline” in some coutries since they brought Joanna Johnson back to portray a boring missing twin. Phoebe was paired w/ duh faced Lowder's Rick and Constantine, and then got killed off to usher in Steffy. Dumb HOwen’s even dumber twin Casper bombed so fast, he was off the air after a week! Now they want to revive April and put her either on Y&R or B&B? April was a trashy redhead from Vegas w/ a Southern accent even faker than Rose’s joisey accent on ATWT. Brooke told her to get outta her mansion when she was crying about ridge/bridget's incestuous kiss at Brooke and Ridge's engagement party. April was never mentioned again. LOL! April was a complete trainwreck, if she ends up on Y&R or B&B, then MAB needs to hand the writing reins to Sheffer while Bell should let Mulcahey write B&B.

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17 November 2008
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Bottomchef,

I do not understand that statement.  Your comments are all over the place and I could not make any sense out of them. Christian LeBlanc is NOT the worst actor on television. He can be over the top at times but to say he is worse than the likes of Drew Tyler Bell is foolish. But I guess you are intitled to your opinion. Also, did I miss something? Since when has anyone talked of April rejoining the cast of the Bold and the Beautiful?

Also, Owen's twin did not fail. He was not meant to have a long ongoing storyline. It was just a plot device. How can you say that the Owen twin story was a failure when he was on only two or three times! Get it together.

Member since:
12 April 2010
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1 week 2 days

I have watched Y&R since its first episode back in March, 1973 & I cannot remember a time when I have been so disgusted with the show as I am now.  The show started out as a compelling drama about people and families that Bill Bell made us care about .  What I am seeing now is more like a comic book and not a very enjoyable one at that!  I am so sorry Bill Bell that your family obviously does not have the warmth and heart that you put into your writing Y&R for so many years.  If I stopped watching the show today, I wouldn't feel like I was missing a thing.  Please bring back Kay Alden, John Conboy & Ed Scott.  Apparently, THEY knew what they were doing! 

Member since:
25 February 2009
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2 years 2 weeks

Gush900, what changed was who was the co-headwriter and executive producer.   As soon as Paul Rauch and Hogan Sheffer came on, the show got worse and worse.  I'm thinking Paul Rauch is the one who is coming up with the off-the-wall, ridiculous, and annoyingingly long storylines.  Hogan Sheffer and Maria Arena Bell are just along for the ride.

Member since:
13 April 2010
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4 years 1 week

I've been watching the show since the mid 70's. It's always been my favorite soap at least up until this year and last year.  I use to be clued to the TV screen and would drop whatever I was doing so I wouldn't miss an episode.  However as of right now I am disapointed and bored with each and every storyline.   I've always enjoyed the character of Lauren at least up until now.  I am sick of the plastic surgery s/l or look-a-like s/l.  MJ/Patty/Emily,  Sara Smyth/Lauren Fenmore.   It was done with John Abbott as well.  There is so much wrong with the show these days.  I use to be able to connect with the characters.  I would become invested in their storylines.  Now I find myself shaking my head and wondering why such ridiculous story lines are written.  I almost couldn't se through the Chipmunk  story line with Kevin.  I found myself fast forwarding through those scenes.   Now we've Got Tracy B playing a dual roll.  Talk about boring, and very poorly executed.   What happened to the happy ending?  The grand Parites and all the good guys.  Now I find myself choosing between the lessor of two evils.  What's up with that.   I've watched as my favorite characters have been turned into idiots.   I've watched as Y&R has time and time again tried to get rid of the characters on the show.  Victor, Nikki, Katherine, Jill.   These boring stories like Chance and Chloe.  Please take about no chemistry there, no sparks, no anything but two characters go through the motions. I'm fed up with Y&R's storylines.  I also could hardly stand watching as the camera jumped back and forth to Tracy B during the cage scene.  I foun it distastful and sorry Tracy I don't think you were able to pull it off.   Honestly I don't care if you could pull it off I have no interest in yet another look-a-like story.    My favorite soap is being run into the ground.  I see it being cancelled just like Guiding light and as the world turns.  What a sad day that will be.  Nothing on CBS daytime but game shows. UGH

Ryan-Scott's picture
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4 May 2009
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When Y&R ventures into hell and magic and stuff like that then yes but right now no.

And I am still pissed that Luis and Sheridan didn't end up together when Passions ended.

CarlyCfan's picture
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14 May 2009
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10 hours 54 min

I can't wait until Summer's dolls start talking.

Member since:
29 April 2009
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3 years 40 weeks

I didn't read through all the comments to see what other posters had to say but Daisy on Friday gave a compelling reason why she and Ryder hate Lauren.  Why bring in a Lauren doppleganger - I guess this doppleganger is supposed to be Shelia - their mother.  Shelia has had Phyllis' face and she is supposed to be dead.  I can understand why Daisy and Ryder would want to torture Lauren.  That makes more sense to me than having them being controlled and manipulated by  a "Shelia" in a Lauren look-a-like who is supposed to be dead.