The Young and the Restless Weekly Blog!
Week of September 28 – October 2:
Viewers of The Young and the Restless seemed to snap this week, flooding message boards and soap-related sites with emails expressing their disillusionment with the path the show has taken in recent months, which has culminated with the unbelievable and truly twisted Adam/Ashley/Sharon baby switch, and the Victor/Colleen heart swap. My first thought about the uproar was to wonder what it will mean to those in power at the Y&R. It’s been said that creating controversy is one of the goals of writers – since viewers who are riled up will keep tuning in to see if there is a resolution in their favor. However, if everyone who is threatening to tune out, actually does, and the ratings fall – well then, that’s a different matter.
Personally, I genuinely have mixed feelings about the show these days. While I love the high drama and emotion, and the fantastic acting, the reality is that some of the storylines have dragged on beyond what is bearable and my fast forward finger has been feeling the itch. Also, I absolutely feel that the show has become predominantly negative, which honestly does not hold much appeal.
The Big Picture: My opinion is that the breakdown writers and actors have been doing a terrific job of mining the storylines for every nugget of raw emotion, and evoking feelings from the viewers. Unfortunately, the bigger picture is out of whack, with stories having been overwhelmingly focused on tragedy, mental illness, and conflict. To appreciate the dark, we need the light, and vice-versa. If the show was all hearts, flowers, love, and happiness it wouldn’t be entertaining, and by the same token, having misery, crying and arguing everyday is not entertaining either. Y&R is not tending to that balance. One tender scene between Katherine and Jill in the midst of all the misery at the hospital does not make for a great viewing week.
The Pace: Many viewers have complained about the stories dragging on too long. The Adam/Ashley story is an example, as is the recent drama in the hospital on a smaller scale. I was ready by the end of last week for a decision to be made about Colleen and Victor, so we could all move on. This past week of hospital scenes, in spite of the great acting, felt unbearable at times. Five bickering matches between Billy and his family members is four too many! In this technological age, attention spans are shorter than ever. Viewers can pick up the remote and instantly have dozens of other choices at their fingertips if they become bored. Audiences demand ‘instant gratification’ more than ever now. It’s left me wondering if the issue/problem is that long story arcs just don’t cut it anymore, or is it simply that these writers are dragging out unpopular plots?
Stupid Factor: The Y&R has always been a class act, and while it has been known to dance around the outskirts of reality, it has rarely left the vicinity altogether. The Adam storyline has been pretty ludicrous all the way through, but this week really took the cake! Ashley goes into ‘hysterical labor’ at the exact same moment as Sharon goes into real labor? Ashley believes Adam when he insists she gave birth via the birth canal – yet she was unconscious and couldn’t push the baby out – and also would have none of the very obvious bodily issues a woman would have after natural childbirth?! While this storyline might have worked on Passions, or even Days of our Lives, it’s beneath Y&R, and the viewers know it.
Nick/Sharon/Phyllis: Sharon Case did excellent work this week in the wake of 'losing' her baby, but she's going to need one big vacation after all the misery this character has been through. It must be exhausting! The comment I want to make about this triangle, though, is how disappointed I continue to be at the writing for them. It's like these characters are recycling the same scripts over and over, and they are never given any new lines. Nick promises to be there for Sharon/Phyllis, Sharon tells Nick she'll be fine/go back to your family, and Phyllis questions Nick running to Sharon's side/they make up. Stale.
Adam: It's completely beyond me why the writers have made such a huge investment in this character and his storyline. He's a cowardly weasel who has no background story (such as Kevin did) to make us sympathize with his issues and poor choices. Ironically, I'm sure all of this controversy and hatred the character has generated will ensure he's around for a long time to come.
Other Characters: Where are they? What are they doing? It's anyone's guess. They seem to be an afterthought these days. The foursome visited the hospital for five minutes on Monday, but are we really supposed to believe that Deacon has given Daniel this much time to produce the painting? Yes, Michael popped into the hospital too, and Katherine and Jill had a 'moment' after her ten-second long birthday party, but I feel like I've been watching "The Hospital Show." We'll be hard-pressed to remember what was going on with the other storylines if we're ever lucky enough to get out of Genoa City Memorial.
Throughout the week, Beth Maitland and the other actors have been nothing short of fantastic, but in all honesty, I was ready to move on storyline-wise by Tuesday, and spent the rest of the week wanting to fast-forward and rolling my eyes at the utterly ridiculous Ashley/Adam/Sharon stuff. I'm the first one to admit that I have really enjoyed some of the intense emotion and great acting in recent weeks, but I feel disappointment about the bigger scheme of things where Y&R is concerned.
Would love to hear your comments this week. Be sure to post them below in the Soaps.com comment section!
- Candace Young