Will Someone Just Tell The Young and The Restless' Eric Braeden to STFU Already?






What a difference five years makes. When I first started blogging for Daytime Confidential, I applauded The Young and the Restless' leading man Eric Braeden (Victor) for speaking out in the press. We soap lovers have a tendency to support the actors during backstage drama. After all, they're the ones who come into our living rooms every day, so they have to be right. Right? Not always.

One contract negotiation drama too many, alongside his head-in-the-sand defense of disastrous, socialite showrunner Maria Arena Bell, has me saying enough is enough. In the August 27 issue of CBS Soaps In Depth, Braeden blows hard about how wrong Bell's much-needed ouster is for the show. Said Braeden:

"I have no idea why the changes were made, he adds, shaking his head. "The powers in charge have their reasons, but I found it completely upsetting!'


 

Uh, since when do Sony TV Prexy Steve Kent and/or CBS Daytime Chief Angelica McDaniel owe Braeden any explanation for what they're doing to try to save this show? Of course Braeden finds the firing of a head writer/executive producer, who co-signed Victor getting to bed one 30-something woman after another on this soap opera, "upsetting". I can bet you one thing, Braeden's current leading lady, Sharon Case (Sharon) doesn't feel the same way! 

And please, spare me the invocation of the Bill Bell legacy everytime you want to speak about why giving MAB the boot was wrong. The late, great Bell would have been mortified at "So Long, Sister Killer"; Greg Rikaart being dressed as a chipmunk to rob banks and Kay Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper) and her 100-year-old husband flying a plane to the rescue on this serial, among countless other MAB storyline stink bombs.

I have long been a proponent of supporting daytime's veteran players—and will continue to do so—but there is something very wrong about a show called "The Young and the Restless" where a 70-something megalomaniac (Victor, not Eric), who never loses, is still driving every freaking story. It isn't 1988 anymore.

Look at TNT's brilliant reboot of Dallas. JR (Larry Hagman), Bobby (Patrick Duffy), Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) and Cliff (Ken Kercheval) are still viable, but the action has been masterfully refocused on their offspring. Y&R must do the same thing if it wants to stay on the air. 

That doesn't mean vapid stories for Valley Girl Summer or dim-witted villain-in-training Daisy (Yvonne Zima). It means sexy, smart stories, driven by the dynamic actors representing the next generation of Newmans, Abbotts, Chancellors, Winters, etc, with their parents and grandparents along for the ride.

It makes absolutely no sense that billionaire Nicholas Newman (Joshua Morrow) still has to go to his daddy, hat in hand, when Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) gets into trouble for a pesky hit-and-run 20 years ago. Or, that even after causing his daughter Victoria (Amelia Heinle) to lose custody of one child after another, Victor still gets to "win" every scene with her by hissing about "how dare" Vicki be mad at her father, or have the audacity to speak to him that way. I think if my dad hired a hooker to drug and sleep with my spouse, I'd be allowed to at least win one argument with him!

We all know Braeden allegedly demands those scenes to end this way. It's the biggest non-secret in the industry that the actor won't allow his character to be spoken to in a certain manner, which makes for absolutely no dramatic impact to his storylines. if Braeden had been cast in the new Dallas, he would have likely made Cynthia Cidre re-write the scene where John Ross (Josh Henderson) threatened to put JR in a home. Or, he would have ad-libbed: "How DARE YOU?! I will put YOU in a HOME! Got that?"

When no one can ever best Victor in a scene or a business deal, where's the fun in watching? It's a sad day when Bobby or Cliff can take down JR for an entire season on the most popular soap opera of all time, but Jack (Peter Bergman) nor Adam (Michael Muhney) ever beat TGVN for more than a couple of weeks on Y&R.

 When Y&R's ratings were better, I was okay with Braeden's blustering, bellowing and holding this show hostage. Not anymore. If he can't learn to be a team player on an ensemble soap opera, then I can't think of any producer better to show him just how dispensable a former soap superstar can be than one Jill Farren Phelps...


Comments

Coffee_Junkie's picture
Member since:
30 March 2009
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8 hours 58 min

david46208 wrote:
Eric bullying his bosses to get his way has hurt story and narrowed the possibilities. So I hope JFP hands him a Gitterbug, some Metamucil and tells him he can play shuffleboard on a retirement cruise if he tries to run the show. So i'm Team STFU!

She'll probably fall in love with him like all others who came before her in which case this show is in big, BIG trouble. EB knows how to turn on the charm which is why *Victor* is portrayed the way that he is. I don't have a lot of hope of that changing, but I sincerely hope his reign of terror has finally come to an end.

Member since:
6 July 2010
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6 weeks 7 min

david46208 wrote:
@Pferrando: Bill Bell chucked most of the cast in the early 80's. He transitioned them out and replaced them. There was no full Abbott, Newman, Winters, Barber, Baldwin clan back then. It was clearly centered around the Fosters and the Brooks. Y&R went on to be the number one soap and create the Victor, Jack, Phyllis, Dru, Malcolm, etc.

But's it's not 1980 anymore. And if great writing is all they need ,and all new & young is better, why not start a brand new soap with a brand new name specifically for their target age group?

Dallas TNT is a hit because they are getting viewers from all age groups. They could of created a brand new show called Houston with all new people, but I sure wouldn't be watching it.

Y&R has great "guts". Bill Bell created something that could last with the Chancellors, Abbott's, Newmans and Winters. I'm interested in the younger generations IF they are the legacy kids. Numerous stories revolved around the Phillip Chancellor offspring for decades, why isn't one cast? MAB ruined the show by casting has-beens from other soaps instead of growing Y&R families. Y&R was the Super Bowl of soaps and MAB took it a re-created into the All-Star game of retired football players. Snore.

david46208's picture
Member since:
15 January 2009
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5 days 2 hours

@pennywise555: Yes starting with the legacy kids is a good way to go. The older actors just have to realize that their roles will transition from romantic leads to mature adults with issues. Nobody wants to see Kay Chancellor in a Teddy accept that actor Jeanne use to date from the show who had a thing for older women (lol). And I don't know many women who want to see Victor at the punching page showing off his Wrabs (wrinkled abs).

But if they can write a multi-generational soap with age appropriate issues, then we have something.

Think James Scott came on Days and became the new popular villain when Joe Mascolo had left due to contract issues. James brings sex appeal to the female viewers in that bad boy kind of way that makes them like him.

Joe is a good actor too and I like him around as Stefano. But he does not need to be the center of all the bad deeds anymore.

A much better story was to have E.J. and his brother battling for Daddy's respect, approval and their place at the head of the Dimera empire when he retires or dies.

I think the Tony vs E.J angle was good. But Tony was much too old to tangling with E.J. An E.J. vs Chad battle would have been and could still be better. All we have to do is learn that Alice tricked Stefano when they hid those secrets in the safe. But that is after Stefano has returned and Chad has finally given in to his Dimera side. Then the battle can begin. And that is something more in line with what a man at Stefano's age would be concerned about, passing along his legacy.

John and Marlena are too old to be the central hero and heroine leads they once were.

What does a women do when she become old, washed up and completely undesirable...I kid...I Kid! That was a Soap Dish movie quote by the way.

No really, Marlena fits best in struggling and managing all the problems her offspring have and trying to maintain a healthy marriage with John. I would though like to see John and Marlena's marriage fall apart due to real life issues that draw married couples apart.

I think a Stefano/Kate/John/Marlena/Roman love Pentagon could be just what the doctor ordered.

RealityCheck 33's picture
Member since:
13 February 2010
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2 hours 26 min

Eric Braeden won't win the war of words with JFP because she's the voice of Sony & CBS. Sony will let him go, they aren't afraid of his threats. It's time for him to face reality, he can't continue to dictate s/l's to his satisfaction.

Frankly, I'd think he'd welcome a change in his character. It might be an actual acting challange for him! Wow!

The show is bleeding viewers because it's become predictable and just awful. The Shictor pairing was the straw that broke the camel's back. If it was EB's idea, then he read the audience incorrectly. It couldn't continue on the path it has been going down. The show was failing. Enough!

Cuppa_Coffee's picture
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17 July 2012
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3 weeks 15 hours

I don't think EB has the clout that people think he does. It was MAB that put him on so much. They say that EB wanted the romance with Sharon Case. He's a happily married man with kids and grand kids. If it were true, that info would get back to his wife and family, you think he'd risk it, no matter how old he is? He doesn't need that shit.
MAB is making him Superman, MAB made the Victor we haven't liked so much.
He wants to stay on the show because he's been there so long. It isn't like he's dependent on Sony's check. Good God the man has a life outside of Y&R unlike some of the actors on there.
EB, BM, MS,MG all do things outside of Y&R.
They can tone Victor down a little bit, but the reason the ratings don't drop when he's gone is because they KNOW he's coming back.

pferrando's picture
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28 June 2012
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@david...Bell didn't chuck, a lot of the cast left in the EARLY 80's and when the show expanded to an hour he added a lot of the characters we still watch today. It was his consistent hand and writing, yes, that allowed the show to be elevated to and remain #1. Why did GH end up where it is today when it was getting a HUGE share in the early 80's? I never watch it, but am amazed at how it's fallen to where it is today. The other shows I mentioned were shredded to death over the years. Look at Maureen on GL, and all the characters that Douglas Marland introduced in the 80's on ATWT for example. Hardly any were left when the show was cancelled and it too became unrecognizable in the end. I hope JFP doesn't break out GL's shaky hand helds.

Not only are fan favs great to have, they are a must to the show's history and continuity.

I am all for spreading the wealth when it comes to a well balancde, smartly written show. Eric really isn't on that much. I see more Phylis these days. It is a complete shame that they wrote for Ashley only when she was heading out the door. Trust me, I think we want the same thing. I've been watching Y and R since I was about 10 or so.

david46208's picture
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15 January 2009
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@pferrando: That is what I saying in my own way, he transitioned them out when they kept leaving. And yes his writing is what rose the show through the ranks.

GH: I watched it back in the 80's and into the 90's. Though I preferred the Claire Labine years. The one big problem with her was that despite being a good writer, she wrote one depressing storyline after the next. This made GH so emotionally draining that fans tuned out.

But ultimately when soaps started having a barrage of writers is when things really started to go down hill.

AMC should have kept Lorraine Brodrick in the head writer's seat and never let her go or changed writers. She was Agnes's heir apparent.

Kay Alden should not have been removed from Y&R. She was Bill Bell's heir apparent.

Days should not have pissed off Sally Sussman Morina to the point where she said she would never return.

ldylkng's picture
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14 July 2009
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Totally agree with cuppa-coffee! MAB has damaged the Victor I came to love and admire so much! I think every one is just thinking EB is Victor in real life! He is not, and I hope JFP will realize that he is a major part of the show. He does not need to be on everyday and he can go back to being the grandpa & business man. Not just the jealous ex of Nikki, and using Sharon to get back. We all know that's what was intended, but wasn't written well.

pferrando's picture
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28 June 2012
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3 hours 2 min

David42068...wouldn't you give your left arm just to get Kay Alden back? Those were the days...

Member since:
31 July 2012
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1 year 20 weeks

OMG! I'm not in the minority! I could have written your article. I am so sick of Eric Braeden and have been for a very long time. He turns my stomach when he comes on screen. The soap name should be changed to the Eric Braeden Show. He dominates screen time and storyline. He NEVER loses and he NEVER pays for anything he's done. All stories begin and end with Braeden. Have you ever noticed he ALWAYS has the last word? He is so full of himself. I so hope Jill can reign him in and if he leaves?....oh well. I think the show would be more enjoyable and less frustrating and frankly I think a good number of the cast and crew would enjoy their time in the studio more. Thank you so much for telling it the way it is. I so hope there is an end in sight to him holding The Young & the Restless hostage. I'm seriously hoping Jill will bring him down a notch or two, or three, or four...