Maria Arena Bell Weighs In on Y&R's "Problematic Storytelling Decisions"!






Oh, the shade of it all! Soap Opera Digest started the New Year off by getting a juicy quote from former The Young and the Restless showrunner Maria Arena Bell on the firing of Michael Muhney (ex-Adam). Said La Bell:

"Michael brought amazing dimension and complexity to the role of Adam Newman and his and Sharon's was a great dark love story. Sadly, that story was seriously derailed in the last year, so I am not surprised that the show would look for a solution to their problematic storytelling decisions. It will be a tough role to recast."


Oh Ri Ri, it won't be tough when you have as many friends as Jill Farren Phelps! Y'all know I was one of the Socialite Showrunner's toughest critics, but she is telling the truth about how royally botched Shadam was in 2013. And if anyone should know from problematic storytelling decisions, it is she who penned "So Long, Sister Killer"! All that being said, multiple insiders insist this firing wasn't on JFP.

The woman who used to hold JFP's job isn't the only one speaking out on Y&R's creative missteps during 2013, however. The Boston Herald's Mark Perigard referred to JFP as the "Madame DeFarge of daytime".

Now so you don't have to waste time googling "Madam DeFarge" like I did, I'll just go ahead and tell ya, she's the villain from A Tale of Two Cities. Damn. Sorta puts my Frankie Frame knock-knock jokes into perspective, no? Here's what Perigard said about she with lots-o-friends:
 

 "the longer she’s at the show, the more heads roll, and the exodus of top talent at this CBS serial has been astonishing."


Comments

tedew's picture
Member since:
17 August 2009
Last activity:
1 day 8 hours

At this point I'm thinking that Adam is simply going copy his beloved father and take off on one lengthy sabbatical ... some sort of cleansing affair that never ever works for Victor.

I have the feeling that Adam will be backed into a corner by his faux guilt, by Victor or something else. It will be bitter irony because Adam will be thinking he has no other option and the true culprit (no major character) will be uncovered the instant he leaves town ... Adam will never have been a suspect in the eyes of GCPD.

brettyboy's picture
Member since:
28 July 2012
Last activity:
17 hours 33 min

We all know that Maria had her faults, but Y&R wouldn't be anywhere near as bad as it is right now if she was still at the helm.

SoapArmageddon's picture
Member since:
22 January 2011
Last activity:
11 hours 9 min

MAB must be bored with spending her days trying on unflattering clothes at terrible fashion boutiques.

Girl, give it a rest. Sony doesn't want you back.

Member since:
7 November 2009
Last activity:
13 hours 39 min

brettyboy wrote:
We all know that Maria had her faults, but Y&R wouldn't be anywhere near as bad as it is right now if she was still at the helm.

No matter how bad MAB stuff was, at least we didn't have to put up with terrible non actor DYLDO.

nysam's picture
Member since:
28 October 2008
Last activity:
5 hours 54 min

The drama behind the scenes on all our favorite soaps is so much better than what we see on the air.

Member since:
5 August 2012
Last activity:
15 weeks 20 hours

Sorry but Shictor derailed Shadam for me and uhmm yes Maria that catastrophe was all yours... so please go sit down.

Yoryla's picture
Member since:
26 May 2012
Last activity:
4 min 26 sec

Thank you, Maria. I know many don't agree with me, but I've said it before, and I'm going to say it again: Come back!

I would jump at the chance to watch the Y&R that was EP'd and/or penned by her again. I know she made a lot of mistakes, but I watched every single episode, and kept on watching.

Member since:
27 December 2009
Last activity:
10 hours 51 min

Maria stay away, LOL. She's trying to use MM firing to her advantage but she is not a lick better than JFP. They both sucked.

Member since:
24 January 2012
Last activity:
3 hours 1 min

I don't have a problem with MAB commenting on the recasting of Adam, since she hired MM, but she helped kill the show too. It just got worse and worse: The Silver Chipmunk. Australian Cattle Rustlers. Lauren in a Cage. The Dirty Cops. Jana Goes Bonzo. Pattycakes. Double Doppelgangers. The non-gay, "gay stories." DullDaisy. Killing off Ricky. The destruction of Sharon Newman ... leading to the absolutely disgusting "Shictor" hook-up, etc. etc. etc. Okay, I loved Shadam, but MAB's not worth that - something any good writer could easily turn around.

SoapSnob's picture
Member since:
1 July 2008
Last activity:
3 weeks 1 day

Well, she speaks the truth. For all her story-telling issues - and she definitely had them - MAB shades it perfectly referring to the current regime's "problematic storytelling decisions." It feels like the show is trying, but something is still severely missing. I understand the need to update, but this current incarnation of the show does not even possess the essence of Y&R. There's nothing special about it. It's just a soap opera. That is clearly in terrible disarray. (Sigh)

ChrisGa's picture
Member since:
9 September 2009
Last activity:
51 min 48 sec

GrandGrace wrote:
Sorry but Shictor derailed Shadam for me and uhmm yes Maria that catastrophe was all yours... so please go sit down.

Yep, Sharon's been a train wreck all year but MAB was the one that started that cuckoo train down the track. She may have been behind the emergence of Shadam but she otherwise systematically destroyed that character--again, Shictor--and placed the character in arguably the worst storylines on the show(consider these few words--crop dusting and volcanoes). So yeah, her "shade"--and no, it ain't that subtle--might have some truth behind it but, like us, she has no clue why MM was really fired. So yes, please go sit the f--- down.

Restless Fan's picture
Member since:
12 December 2008
Last activity:
3 hours 13 min

I don't disagree with MAB but she shouldn't throw stones in glass houses. She's a hot mess of a writer/producer in her own right. The show was every bit as wretched under her killer pen.

Member since:
26 July 2011
Last activity:
20 hours 45 min

You know when they say be careful what you ask for; and we wanted somebody new at Y&R. As much as Maria could be a hot mess, but JFP could go kick rocks. I would rather have Maria there, because so many top talents are leaving this show.

A part of me feel that Sony/Steve Kent want to kill this show and they will find any crackhead to helm this show instead of Kay Alden and Sally Morina, but they went and got JFP who is a partial show killer.

I just hope 2014 could be a better year for this show, because it beyond a hot mess. I can't with this show, but I like the Maria/JFP rift-

luverica's picture
Member since:
16 March 2008
Last activity:
7 hours 16 min

Here you go – Ri Ri vs. Jill ‘DeFarge’ FarrenFuckup Phelps:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrCn7o8CwwI

Member since:
16 April 2010
Last activity:
1 day 9 hours

At least with MAB the show was recognizable and somewhat true to the history of the show. The destruction has just begun, if anyone told you when JFP took over that you would loose Michelle Stafford, Michael Muhney, Billy Miller, Kyle recast, Abby recast, Summer recast, FOJ Steve Burton, you all would have screamed bloody murder. This is only the beginning, her reign of terror isn't over. After a little over a year, GH is just starting to recover from the decade of destruction caused by this hack.

Member since:
31 March 2008
Last activity:
2 weeks 3 days

SONY wants to kill Y&R??? NO WAY!!!! Wink

soapjunkie88's picture
Member since:
3 July 2008
Last activity:
2 days 4 hours

Shictor and Chadam were not created by the current regime. Maria started it. JG just finished Shadam for good.

So sadly this dark love story that she created never stood a chance.

Peterascal's picture
Member since:
17 January 2013
Last activity:
23 hours 11 min

MAB had some wonky stories, but she tried using the show's history and vets.

RealityCheck 33's picture
Member since:
13 February 2010
Last activity:
1 day 8 hours

Sorry, MAB fucked up, but JFP has truly made Y&R horrid. It's a long, depressing slog with Stevie Burton taking over center stage. I don't give shit what Muhney supposedly did. Braeden knocked out Bergman's teeth and the SOB is still on the show. What a pile of crap.

Y&R is headed into very troubled waters with this current regime and silly show killing writers. Take Stitch, Kelly, and Dylan, then shove them up your ass. Fucking show.

thecourt99's picture
Member since:
30 April 2009
Last activity:
19 hours 9 min

Is MAB correct? Yes and no. Shadam is done, but JFP only finished the job that she herself started. MAB's flaw, IMO, is that she doesn't see the damage that she did. She can point out what others did, but can't see the damage that she inflicted on her family's brand.

That being said, I could care less about Shadam and I wasn't a fan, and frankly, shouldn't Adam be more than just one half of a couple?

JFP's version of Y&R is extremely slow and often boring, but I stopped watching altogether under MAB. If you ask me, neither one represented Y&R well, so I don't fall into the camp of wanting MAB back.

Member since:
15 October 2009
Last activity:
14 weeks 2 days

KAY ALDEN could save Y&R!

kintex's picture
Member since:
8 November 2010
Last activity:
2 days 19 hours

Sharon and Adam were a great love story, and the actors have amazing chemistry but TPTB including MAB herself wasted their potential and ruined what could have been.

I can give MAB credit for having the brilliant idea to create Shadam but she started their derailment. Sharon dumping a blind Adam because he knew about Patty, forcing that dull Adam & Chelsea pairing on us so they could pair Sharon and Victor was all written by MAB.

JFP, JG and Altman just made it worse and totally botched Shadam in 2013 but MAB should own her part in their destruction.

And the writing of this Delia story makes it soooo obvious that they planned to fire Munney months ago, no way did they just decide it recently.

ChrisGa's picture
Member since:
9 September 2009
Last activity:
51 min 48 sec

Toscanti wrote:
KAY ALDEN could save Y&R!

Yeah, I think you're right, she'd be a huge step in the right direction. I watched the New Year's Day classic episode from '98 and I think she and Jack Smith were the main writers then if I'm not mistaken. And it again reaffirmed the fact that the show is just a shell of it's former self. I did notice that Janice Ferri Esser and another current writer(Natalie Minardi maybe?)were writing for the show back then as well and I've seen others post on here that they've had their hands on some of the better episodes of late so maybe they can continue to exert some small influence. And speaking of some of the classic regime, why not bring Ed Scott back in? These soaps keep going back to the same well for EPs; in Y&R's case, the least they could do is get one that shared the creative vision and spirit of Bill Bell.

TraceyAbbot101's picture
Member since:
4 March 2012
Last activity:
14 hours 21 min

well... the classic 98 episode featured a plot VERY similar to what is going on today: just take lil Cassie out of the 98 plot and insert lil Faith..

Christmas time

lil girl who...

tries to reunite Nick and Sharon...

Member since:
30 April 2013
Last activity:
8 weeks 1 day

The article was not what I thought it would be..MM was fired, according to other articles, because he was a troublemaker behind the scenes and his demands were intolerable. Why else would you recast the actor? This article makes no sense.

hey mon's picture
Member since:
19 May 2011
Last activity:
8 hours 41 min

Train wreck, train wreck, that is what Y&R is right now. Been watching Daytime for over 35 years, and Ive never seen a woman who was EP 'take' to an actor like JFP does to Steven Burton. Thats where the REAl sexual harassment lies, or affair, or whatever in the *blank* they have going on. There is NO logical explanation for The Entire Newman to reset itself as a type of extension of Dylan Mcalroy. Nick is Dylan's half-brother, so will be Sharon. Dylan is Nikki's son, and now Victor doesn't like Dylan... and on and on and on.

Lets face it... this Show is boring as hell. Everyone good is gone. Carmine, Phyllis, Muhney-soon, the 'real' Michael Baldwin, even Fen is a yawner.

And over the last year, what winners were there? Rose and Hillary -- yeah, that was a winner. Summer is Jack's -- but loony, but now boring, Sharon was responsible.

The highlight is going to be Bonaventure ruining Victor Newman owning Chancellor in the next few months? A half-crazed Mariah stalking Abby and Tyler - who cares? Dylan meeting his psycho-dad Ian?

At least when Pat Falken Smith reset Days of Our Lives back in the early 1980s, she made Roman and Bo Brady police officers, and brought in Stefano DiMera. JFP has brought in Dylan -- boring as hell. I wish she would have brought him in as an organized-crime hit-man, at least it would be interesting -- and had him working for Angelo Veneziano.

Oh well.

Bring back MAB (which will never happen). MAB had quality, high paying actors and actresses working for her. JFP has one high paying actor working for her named Steve Burton, and everyone else is paid much, much lower. But at least SONY is happy.

brettyboy's picture
Member since:
28 July 2012
Last activity:
17 hours 33 min

The loyalty to these soaps is an amazing thing, and I include myself in this, both CBS soaps are complete piles of shite these days and yet they are still doing better in the ratings than the 2 amazing soaps still on air (DAYS and GH).

Yoryla's picture
Member since:
26 May 2012
Last activity:
4 min 26 sec

TomZulawski wrote:
The destruction has just begun, if anyone told you when JFP took over that you would loose Michelle Stafford, Michael Muhney, Billy Miller, Kyle recast, Abby recast, Summer recast, FOJ Steve Burton, you all would have screamed bloody murder.

And honestly, who didn't know this was going to happen? It's Jill's exact MO.

ChrisGa's picture
Member since:
9 September 2009
Last activity:
51 min 48 sec

TraceyAbbot101 wrote:
well... the classic 98 episode featured a plot VERY similar to what is going on today: just take lil Cassie out of the 98 plot and insert lil Faith..

Christmas time

lil girl who...

tries to reunite Nick and Sharon...

True, it did. The main difference for me being that back then I WANTED them to reunite their family and also that Cassie was a sweet, endearing little girl that we cared about and were invested in. I mean, does ANYONE really care about demon seed Faith? I don't care how many different little girls you get to play her I'm not gonna really give a damn about her(felt pretty much the same about Delia, may the character rest in peace). Also, neither of the Faiths or Delia measure up to Camryn Grimes in my book. Lastly, the whole episode was done to the nines(hello, the Colonnade Room!) and this year's was the damn athletic club cheaply decorated with roughly TWO EXTRAS in the background. So yeah, big difference for me.

pjc722's picture
Member since:
6 February 2012
Last activity:
10 hours 56 min

I don't mind a little shade thrown at Jill because at the end of the day, Jill Farren Phelps is in charge of the overall direction of the show. It's a shame that in the year plus that Jill has been on the show all she has been able to do to reset the mess that Maria left behind was abruptly stop the Phyllis attempted murder trial, let the likes of Michelle Stafford, Billy Miller and Michael Muhney leave and, now to bring on not one BUT TWO evil dads... Cane's dad, Colin and Dylan's dad, Ian.

Oh she was able to hire Steve Burton. As I have said all along, the guy is an OK actor and can deliver when called upon, but to make him the central focus of the show and the character, himself, not to have any direction is ridiculous. Searching out an EVIL man... if he is to believe Avery, Paul and Nikki and THE INTERNET about him, solely because he is concerned about his family health history AND THIS BAD SIDE OF HIM THAT WE HAVE YET TO SEE but only hear referenced.

I still think that this Delia story was a bad idea that ruined an opportunity down the road for drama with a young ABBOTT daughter. Plus, how much more loss can this family have to endure? First, Colleen. SENSELESS under Maria. Then DELIA. EVEN MORE SENSELESS under Kill. Then we will have Summer soon when and if they opt to recast Phyllis.

But Maria started the show's destruction with harebrained ideas like Skye dying in a volcano and Sharon being put on trial in GC (when it happened in Hawaii). Or Victor being there and saying nothing and then Sharon marrying him TWICE. Or Victor's disgraceful verbal abuse of Nikki and Nikki going back to him. Or any of the things done to the Abbotts... LIKE getting rid of Eileen Davidson. The best part of separating Tucker and Ashley would have been one of those great SOAPY divorces where it comes down to money, blackmail and the woman winning 50%. But it was such a lack luster conclusion that when Ashley & Eileen left the program it wasn't earth shattering or sad.

There was a slew of other bad things from both E.P.s. Like making Kevin the paragon of morality and ethics. This character under ANY EP should not be allowed to pass judgement on anyone, especially Adam, when his crimes are as vast and potentially more sinister. From giving Lily an STD to gaslighting GINA's and in the process, almost Colleen to robbery, tricking Katherine and even stealing from her, I wonder why this character, whom I like, has not been killed off already.

Even a bright story with the Baldwin's and the destruction of their marriage has turned into one drawn out and long drama that is more "DRAMA" than drama. Enough already with all the angst with this family. Stop with the WHO KILLED CARMINE because no one cares. Drop FEN is a murdering drug addict and pair him with Summer in a romance. Give Lauren a career and partner Michael in a TRUE SET with Avery and Leslie at a law firm. (Finally, there are enough characters to do so and give Courtney the job as receptionist and maybe even bring in a new 'middle class' character that could work there and give the show dimension.)

Both EPs screwed up Y&R and both should be sure not to shade the other without hearing shade back.

Y&R is one of the best soaps on TV. It could easily be fixed in a heart beat and turned around to being a great soap again. No one has to read into why Michelle Stafford left to know that she was UTTERLY unhappy at the show by her comments "I don't miss Phyllis" or be concerned for the employment prospects for Billy Miller or Michael Muhney. They are both tremendous actors.

What we have to be concerned for is whether or not this show rights the course its going on before we see another soap UNSEAT it in the OVERALL ratings.