Credit: Images: Howard Wise/JPI (2), John Paschal/JPI (3)
1. Go Long
It was just in January that The Young and the Restless was renewed for four (!) years. So why isn’t the daytime drama playing the long game? When it should be planting seeds that can sprout into gripping plots months, even years, later, it’s instead got its characters walking around sorta haphazardly, exchanging pleasantries and exposition with whomever they meet. That’s not the kind of thing that’s gonna make anybody declare, “Well, now I must tune in tomorrow!”
2. Get With the Times, Man
When did The Young and the Restless become such an old fuddy-duddy? Back in 1973, the soap was applauded upon its launch for its frank approach to sex and sexuality. Now… eh, not so much. Not too long ago, the show had a solid start toward sexual diversity, owing to Mariah’s coming-out and her relationship with Tessa. But that’s not (nearly) enough to make the soap seem modern. So the powers that be should bring back Mariah’s one-night stand, let her be bi and get her involved with Theo… even as she continues to be a temptation to Tessa’s significant other.
3. For Paul’s Sake, Write for Your Vets
The fans keep asking for more of Doug Davidson as Paul. No less than Eric Braeden (Victor) has expressed his astonishment at his fellow Emmy winner’s reduced role on the show. So what’s the holdup, people? Give everybody what they want — Paul, back where he belongs, front and center. If that means breaking up his marriage to Christine, so be it. We already came up with a boffo storyline that would do exactly that — and provide juicy material for Christian Jules LeBlanc (Michael) and Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren) at the same time!
4. Reveal the Truth About Amanda Already
It’s been almost a year since Mishael Morgan returned to The Young and the Restless as a lookalike for Hilary, so c’mon, let’s get to it. (No, putting off telling us why the women are doppelgangers doesn’t count as long-term storytelling — not when the issue’s been swept aside and all but forgotten as often as it has!) Pull the trigger and give not only Morgan’s plotline a shot in the arm but Devon and Elena’s, too. Much as we adore them, and the spillover between their romance and that of portrayers Bryton James and Brytni Sarpy — they could use some momentum.
5. Have Phyllis and Abby Bury the Hatchet
We’re not sure what’s going on with these two. Is The Young and the Restless trying to recreate the magic of Katherine and Jill’s epic feud? If so, it ain’t working. There were reasons — good reasons — that Kay and Jill despised one another. Phyllis and Abby’s animosity toward one another, on the other hand, feels trumped up and makes them both seem childish and petty. They deserve better — and so does the show’s sought-after female audience. Why not write these strong, independent women a storyline to which viewers might actually relate?
6. Lean Into the Show’s History
If The Young and the Restless could give its audience amnesia, it would be fine ignoring its history; we wouldn’t know the difference. But since the show can’t wipe our minds clean, it’s got to, got to, got to stop pretending things that happened… didn’t. Case in point (and it’s just one instance of many): Adam stole Sharon’s baby. Viewers remember that. Vividly. So why don’t the other characters on the canvas? At the very least, shouldn’t Nick’s head explode over the prospect of his half brother being anywhere near his daughter, Faith?
7. Bring Back Keemo
“Who?” you ask. Jack’s forgotten son, that’s who. And now just happens to be the perfect time to return to the canvas the character, missing since 1996. “Why’s that?” you ask. For starters, that old home movie that Jack watched featured dad John saying that he wanted his newborn to know nothing was more important than family. What’s more, Jack has been lecturing Victor on the importance of healing his relationship with Adam. And yet… has Jack done so with Keemo? Nope. So imagine how ticked Keemo would be to swing through Genoa City and discover that, while he’s been largely ignored by his dad, Jack’s wholly embraced random half nephew Theo!
8. Mix Business With Pleasure
We know it’s trickier than usual to tape a love scene at the moment, but we still can’t for the life of us understand why The Young and the Restless doesn’t have all, never mind any, of the Abbott siblings involved in romances. Jack and Ashley have never, in the history of the show, been loveless for as long as they have now. (Nor should they be!) Billy is gravitating toward Lily but at a pace that makes a snail seem like an Olympic sprinter. And Traci… for heaven’s sake, Traci is the most relatable character on the whole show! A lot of us look at her and think, “She’s me!” So among the surest ways that the show could attract or re-attract eyeballs has to be telling a story that makes us feel like we can still fall in love again. This isn’t rocket science.
9. Resurrect Drucilla
We know. There’s a lot of bad blood between The Young and the Restless and Victoria Rowell. But it’s. Just. Time. Ever since Dru went over that cliff, never to be heard from again, fans have clamored for her return. Rowell has fought to come back. Maybe now, finally, she can and will. (The actress recently told Soaps.com that she was hoping to hear from CBS, but as always, the ball was in the network’s court.)
10. Introduce a New Villain
When was the last time The Young and the Restless established a baddy as big as David Kimble or Sheila Carter, as scary as Lisa Mansfield or Shawn Garrett? You could make a case for Ray Wise’s nefarious Ian Ward, but all told, he only appeared in 56 episodes. So he was memorable, yes, but enduring? Eh. We want an antagonist to come in and stick around to the point that his nemeses and neighbors forget a time when they weren’t shaking in their shoes. Maybe it doesn’t even have to be a new villain. If Cameron Kirsten were to be sprung from prison, his “sincere” insistence that he’s a changed man would surely give Sharon nightmares. And were Mari Jo Mason to be released from the mental institution she’s called home for years, not only would Victor — whom she once shot! — start sleeping with one eye open, fans would start watching with both eyes open!