Young & Restless Is Asking the Impossible of Fans — and in the Process Making a Bad Situation Worse
The show wants us to forget a character they won’t stop mentioning!
We’ve long said that being the headwriter of a soap opera is one of the most difficult jobs on the planet. Why? Because your job is to make everyone in the audience happy… despite the fact that not everyone in the audience wants the same thing. Every now and then, however, viewers make the job much simpler by unifying behind a storyline, couple or character. They make it clear in no uncertain terms exactly what they want, speaking both loudly and in unison.
In those rare cases, all the show has to do in order to earn praise from fans is listen. Give them what they want. Reward their loyalty.
Or at the very least, don’t antagonize them by constantly teasing the thing they want and not delivering it.
Yet that’s exactly what The Young and the Restless has been doing for ages now when it comes to the universally loved Doug Davidson and his wildly-popular alter ego, Paul Williams. Every time we think maybe the show will simply let the topic drop, they have someone reference Paul in a way that’s completely unnecessary and simply serves to remind the audience of his absence.
— Wonder Wench (@CandiBea_1966) December 15, 2021
That’s exactly what happened in the episode airing on Wednesday, December 15th. Of course, our ears perked up when Chance said that he was taking a meeting with Paul concerning his future on the force. But did we see that meeting? Nah. Instead, we were later told by Christine that Paul feared it might be too soon for the recently-returned Chance to return to the force.
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI
So much Paul talk, so little Paul. As in none.
Worse, there was simply no reason for the tease. Do the writers somehow think that hearing about Christine’s husband — knowing that he is still in Genoa City, doing his job — is comforting to fans? Because if so, they might want to take a closer look at how viewers respond to these mentions. The general attitude viewers express is frustration. “Why,” they ask, “can’t we have Paul on screen?”
They also question the logic behind the Paul mentions, pointing out that they could be entirely avoided were the show to simply allow the top cop to retire and put someone else in his office.
— sharon champagne🇨🇦🤸♀️ (@yogachampagne) December 14, 2021
Certainly Paul isn’t the first character to disappear into the ether, but there’s usually an excuse. Take, for example, Bold & Beautiful‘s Sally Spectra — the original, not the version currently residing in Genoa City. The character is occasionally mentioned as lounging by a pool in some tropical location, no doubt with a sexy younger man fetching her cocktails with umbrellas in them. This despite the fact that portrayer Darlene Conley passed away back in 2007. Here, the Sally shout-outs are a tribute to the actress and her creation, not a slap in the face to viewers.
The Paul situation, however, is completely different. Davidson is alive and well, as is Paul. While the actor seems somewhat resigned to the fact that the show has prematurely benched Paul, the audience continues to remain loyal. At each mention of the character, they remind Young & Restless of their desire to not only hear updates about Paul, but see him on their screen.
What say you, readers? Do you feel as if your voices are being ignored, or do you perhaps take comfort in the fact that Paul’s still around, even if he’s mentioned but not seen? Hit the comments with your thoughts, then join us in walking down Memory Lane as we flashback on everything from Paul’s stint as a centerfold model to his sometimes-rocky romances.