Devon and Tyra's Hot Plot Mess of a Romp, Plus How to Fix Y&R's "Black Storyline"
When I first read the spoilers that Devon (Bryton McClure) and Tyra (Eva Marcille)— whom he believed was his aunt up until just a few months ago— would be hooking up on The Young and the Restless, I decided to wait and see how the story/scenes would play out before making a judgement call. Sometimes the most taboo, illicit circumstances can lead to good, juicy drama on soaps. That wasn't the case with this ridiculous plot twist.
Devon and Tyra ripping each other's clothes off, before getting busy on the couch, was all shades of nasty, and just plain wrong on so many levels. For starters, Devon and Tyra's attraction came out of left field. Does Y&R's brass really believe the one, tired wet dream Devon had a few weeks back was enough to set up this hot plot mess? This isn't how you spin stories on a soap opera. You don't drop some dangling plot point and then pick it up weeks later, believing it was proper enough set up for an out-of-character twist.
Unless I am mistaken, we've never seen Devon so much as lose his virginity on this show. Now the character's first real love scene has McClure playing Billy Bob to Marcille's wannabe Halle Berry?
"I half expected her to start grunting I want you to make me feel good," Luke wrote to me in an email after watching the scene play out.
To make matters worse, there hasn't been a hint of romantic or erotic subtext played between these two characters, ever. Devon has been furious with Tyra ever since he learned the homewrecker wasn't his biological relation, however McClure hasn't been playing it as "I hate you because I want you." For weeks, any time Devon has been in Tyra's orbit, he has looked at her with revulsion, contempt and pity. Which brings me to what I felt for Marcille after seeing her woefull attempts to emote during the scenes.
I am sorry, but it's time to stop tip-toeing around the hair model in the room. Eva Marcille just plain cannot act and Paul Rauch and Maria Arena Bell know it. You put out a casting call for a "new Dru" and this is what you came up with? What exactly were the requirements for this "new Dru", that she be African-American, pretty and the star of a reality show? Marcille is as bad an actress as she is a breathtaking beauty—and she's quite beautiful.
I can name half a dozen strong, black and yes, beautiful actresses who could help fill the enormous void left by Victoria Rowell on Y&R. Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long, Robin Givens, Holly Robinson, Amelia Marshall, Renee Goldsberry all come to mind. No, they weren't top models, but they are actresses, and one would hope that still counts for something on a soap opera.
Even Tatyana Ali, whom Y&R has failed to utilize as Roxanne, could shine opposite fellow teen sitcom alum McClure if given half the chance and a decent storyline. Emmy-winners Kristoff St. John and McClure deserve better than to have to spend their sparse screen time trying to teach Marcille how to act. It's dragging down their performances and making fans apathetic about a family unit we once loved.
Here's a thought, put Ali on contract as Roxanne, recast Marcille with someone who can do more than furrow her eyebrows to denote feelings (Passions' Brook Kerr would do nicely), then pit Roxanne and Tyra against each other. It's not like we can take back yesterday's disgusting episode—unless Y&R borrows from Dallas and makes it all one big nightmare— so they should go balls to the wall with it!