Restless Rant for the week of December 16 – 20:

It’s been difficult to focus on the “Y&R” storylines this week what with the the behind-the-scenes drama rather stealing the spotlight. The news that Michael Muhney was let go from his role of Adam Newman proved to be the proverbial straw that broke the change-weary camel’s back for “Y&R” fans, who took to social media, comment sections, message boards, and phone lines to express their feelings.

Having taken time to watch this erupt, to read countless comments and posts, and to reflect, one thing became clear – certainly fans were distraught and shocked to be losing another super-talented actor from the cast, but it went beyond that. There’s been a cumulative sense of exasperation with the lackluster storylines, the parade of new faces, and the departure of several top-notch actors soon after the body-blow the show suffered when it lost Jeanne Cooper/Katherine Chancellor. At the heart of the outrage there seems to be an underlying theme that some fans feel disrespected, as though what is important to them is not being recognized; or perhaps not understood. As I wrote this, many viewers were still seeking some accountability. While this is understandable, the fact is viewers may never know the whole story when an actor departs or changes are made, and making assumptions, accusations, and/or spreading rumors doesn’t help.

With that said, the passionate, loyal fans who are willing to invite the same characters into their homes five days a week all year deserve to have their preferences considered, to trust that their investment in the characters and actors will not be disregarded or downplayed, and to expect that every effort will be made to protect the integrity of their show. The trouble is, the amount of change that’s been imposed on “Y&R” seems to feel like an insult to many of those loyal fans. That, paired with complaints about boring stories and uninspired writing, has caused many to come to regard the show as a shadow of its former self. The good news is that viewers are still enjoying performances from numerous amazing actors playing favorite characters, and that if any show in Daytime can weather changes and still come out strong, it’s “Y&R.”