Being cynical about The Young and the Restless these days is easy. There is upheaval everywhere you look, and the fans are fighting it out on social media. It’s a battlefield out there, no I don’t mean the awesome Pat Benatar song either. Being a soap fan can be like a metaphorical solider on a battlefield for a dying genre. Regardless, this blog post isn’t going to be about the negatives for this is a big week for The Young and the Restless. They are celebrating 45 Years on the air, and I’m here to celebrate with them.
Here are three positive ways The Young and the Restless affected my life.
Me and Grandma
I remember my grandmother telling me about the first episode of The Young and the Restless. What was happening back then and how much it had changed since then. That was when I was a teenager, but I’ve been watching since I was in utero. I have fond memories are watching it with my grandmother growing up. On videotape once I started school and then in the summers I remember coming home from the pool to watch smelling of chlorine and a stomach full of brown cow ice cream. I remember being obsessed and confused by my feelings for Victor and Hope when I was a hardcore Nikki and Victor fan. I remember being so in love with Nick and Sharon and feeling devastated when they kept falling part just to be elated when they got back together. I cried my eyes out when Cassie died. Katherine Chancellor and Jill Abbott. Their fights, friendship, and love for each other were epic, and I loved to see what they were that week. I had (have really) a huge crush on Neil and became very protective of him (I still am).
These are memories I hold dear. Watching the show with my grandmother week after week as I grew up. She has dementia now but every so often she will ask me about the show, and I tell her. No matter what my grandmother blames Victor and that is how I know she is sane that day. She used to blame Victor for everything back then too. We laugh, and I get another memory thanks to The Young and the Restless.
People see soaps as a genre where women fight over men and slap each other as they fall into pools, cakes or fountains. Yeah, it has a lot of that, but The Young and the Restless had lots of women in charge of their own businesses and held essential jobs in the major companies. Katherine Chancellor is the one that stands out to me the most. This is a character that defines the soap diva. She started out as a bored housewife with a drinking problem to someone who beat the odds and ran her own company while being an inspiration to everyone. I grew up watching her and admired her to her dying day. Her ability to push forward even when everything was terrible, and she was at her worst stuck with me. Also, how to deal with a crazy person watching her epic battle with Jill Abbott. (I adore Jill by the way). Katherine was like another grandmother to me and one hell of a role model. She wasn’t perfect at all, and that is what made her a true daytime diva.
Made Me Want to Write
I always wanted to write. That was a given. I would write stories about my stuffed animals and my family before The Young, and the Restless became a considerable part of my life. That is when I took my writing to the next level. For every great storyline from my time watching Young and the Restless, there were a few duds that drove me up a wall. I would grab my Lisa Frank notebook and write what I wanted to happen. Yes, I participated in early fanfiction, but it helped me find a passion for writing complicated stories that went beyond my family and what my stuffed animals were doing that week. I never lost that passion.
I grew up watching The Young and the Restless. This show has been a part of my life forever, and I can’t see myself ever walking away for good. I might have moments when the show is just terrible, and I can’t relate, but I can never walk away. So, I wait, watch and complain, but I will always support this soap and the people that work in and behind the camera.
Here is to 45 more years of feeling young and restless! Until next time, enjoy the week and try and stay positive.