Every place Jill Farren Phelps lands, she finds herself pitted against the show’s heroines, even the show’s best actresses. On “General Hospital,” she found Nancy Lee Grahn, who is beloved by fans, one of the most exciting and gifted actresses and a great character, in Alexis, her nemesis. Soon after Jill began her horrible writing, dismantling of characters’ souls, and soon, a head writer (in that case, ghastly Megan McTavish), out the door, and then she proceeds to have male writers, then (Bob Guza), dumb down female characters, and eventually turn our favorite characters into maniacal maniacs.
She then went after Genie Francis (Laura Spencer) and also Jackie Zeman (Bobbi Spencer). She loves to destroy strong female characters, or popular female actors. She claimed once she took over “Y&R” that Genie Francis was safe, three days later, after that declaration, she was gone! In the new showrunner, Phelps, “The Young and the Restless,” misogynist (usually men who hate women), Farren Phelps has gone from having Josh Griffith explain Sharon Newman’s (played by gorgeous and the show’s best actress), Sharon Case, prior behavior as a bipolar disorder, and now even medicated Sharon has overnight been turned into Sheila Carter, with no good reason. Sharon and Phyllis long ago got past their hatred of each other, and were almost communal in their maternal behavior toward each other’s children. Now Sharon is the cause of Phyllis being in a coma, and Phyllis’s portrayer, Emmy Award-winner, Michelle Stafford off the show, and Jill didn’t even bother to come downstairs from her raven’s perch to bid Michelle a farewell. Whether fans like Phyllis or not, Michelle Stafford deserved more respect than Farren Phelps is willing to give. You see, she’s a woman, and Jill Farren Phelps long ago figured that if she’s going to succeed (herself), that she’d align herself with powerful men, and treat women on TV shows, the way these powerful studio executives would treat women themselves if they weren’t in Ivory towers and fancy offices, and way above, not only the actresses themselves, but fans as well.
“The Young and the Restless” current writing regime, led by Josh Griffith, has made Sharon a villain, Nikki a victim, and more importantly, boring, despite the genius acting abilities of Melody Thomas Scott, one of the most underrated actresses in TV history. She’s made Summer a sulking brat, Victoria a hard-nosed unforgiving socialite, and Lauren a slut, who is also dumb. Not the Lauren we know and love, but then again, none of these characters mean a thing to Jill Farren Phelps, she’s got Jason Morgan, I mean, Steve Burton and is plotting to bring even more of her (Friends of Jill’s) over from Port Charles to Genoa City, just give her time.
Longtime “Y&R” fan, L.A. based Danielle recently surmised on Facebook, “Jill hates women!” Very astute of Danielle, who gets it. Indeed, she does. Other fans are just mortified by where the show is going, and it is no longer engaging, entertaining or even watchable. “Y&R” was once a show that on Friday afternoon, fans would chatter until Monday morning, about the cliffhanger that we were left to ponder. Blake Hood, who was sensational as Kyle Abbot, and very handsome, found his way out the door, while (Friend of Jill’s), Hartley Sawyer, who with all due respect, is not attractive and actually very boring in the role.
Jill immediately fired Emme Ryland, who was the best thing on “Y&R” in decades, and then after being laughed at by every critic in the industry, and screamed at by millions of fans, quickly rehired Emme, without a contract, but that was the plan. She never wanted talented or pretty women on “Y&R.” She’s determined to get rid of every one she can. And now she’s replaced Emme, who thankfully has found a solid home, and a contract no doubt at ABC’s “General Hospital,” and replaced her with Melissa Ordway, or “Melissa Ordinary,” who yes, just happens to be a (Friend of Jill’s). Ordway is as exciting to watch, as being stuck in traffic on the L.A. Freeway.
Jill Farren Phelps does have her fans and allies, which is good for her. Everyone needs and wants them. But, her incredible miscasting as a showrunner is now having its lasting effects on Daytime TV’s number-one rated drama. In an interview with TV Guide last year, she admitted that killing Maureen Bauer was a huge mistake. Amazing, it took her over a decade to realize what fans knew within hours of it occurring. She claimed she didn’t kill Frankie Frame, but we know she did. She not only has killed some of the most beloved characters, but she is the last to take credit for it.
She also fired 91-year-old Anna Lee (Lila Quartermaine) on “General Hospital,” and ignored Anna’s desperate calls for weeks, refusing to return her calls or even to accept them. A woman who had more class and talent in her pinky-finger, than Jill has in her entire body. Some in the media defended Jill’s firing, but guess they didn’t realize that it was done over the phone to her son, and a woman, who wanted to just say, thank you to Jill, didn’t warrant any respect. Not to mention how she treated Anne Jeffreys. That story would definitely make Jill’s supporters shrink in shame.
Now she shows favoritism on the set of “Y&R,” which has become a snake-pit, when it was once, the most enjoyable set of all daytime TV shows. Fans have always had a say in who and what they want to see at “Y&R,” but Sony and CBS are determined to keep Jill Farren Phelps on board, for what many insiders believe to be, the show’s swan song.
“Y&R” viewers, Patrick of San Francisco says, “The characters [on “Y&R”] are becoming so dark they might reach the point of no redemption. Jack Abbott flops from smart and in control to clueless and believing in fate. Phyllis is history after going from cunning and convincing to stupid and lying. Everybody seems to have lost their marbles and their personalities as well. It’s about time for Sonny Corinthos to swoop in and blow up what’s left of Genoa City!
While Wendy in Sherman Oaks added, ” I’m not liking what is happening with Sharon/Nick/Phyllis/Jack stupid story with Summer. I cannot stand the actor who play’s Kyle! Making Sharon insane again to change lab reports (she is no wiz kid either). I figure she would do something stupid with Phyllis, now that Michelle’s leaving the show. I hate this coma situation! Jill Farren Phelps is sour grapes about Michelle stating the truth of the way JFP is. They might as well just kill the show now and put us all out of our misery with slow changes and inevitably bad talent and killing off veteran players now.. Fans are sick and tired of these bad changes!”
So, while Jill’s small number of supporters rally to her side, we’ll see just how happy even they are, when she decides to KILL off a beloved “Y&R” character later this year. And no, we are not talking about Phyllis or Katherine Chancellor.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP, JPI and CBS
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