I have been watching Young and the Restless for as long as I can remember. I have fond memories of watching live in the summer and after school with my grandma. I lived through multiple affairs, false starts, sad deaths and amazing villains. Yeah, there were clunkers. Bad writing. Bad characterization. It happens. In time we forget those missteps and remember the good.
That is the beauty of soaps. Running one hour a day for five days a week. Lots can happen in one year that drowns out the bad.
However, the ability to recall the bad is easier than ever. Social media, message boards, and video help remind us of when our favorite soaps have fallen, or miss stepped in major ways.
That might be why I am so critical and more willing to look beyond what is shown to us on screen. I can refer to past episodes easily and see the patterns. What worked. What went wrong. What characters had the best development? Which characters were left behind for new blood? You get the point.
Since I do this for Emmerdale almost every day with my live reviews, I decided to take a crack at it with The Young and the Restless. This is not a live review of each episode. I might try that someday, but I cannot do that right now. This is more of an accumulation of my thoughts in general of the show since being taken over by Mal Young. As per usual, please leave your comments below since I am on a twitter break.
The Writing of The Couples
The romantic drama and humor that comes from different pairings of a soap are what put soaps on the map, to begin with. Currently, we have certain couples flitting and flirting around Geona City. I pulled two couples (possible couples) out of this for further review. However, there are three couples I want to talk about here. Phyllis and Billy. Chelsea and Nick. Nikki and Victor. These are some of the pairings that are just in autopilot mode. They seem to pop in and follow a set pattern and leave again.
Phyllis and Bill or Philly, are being cast as the ‘rom-com’ couple. Funny crap happens, and then they leave. However, when they are separated the characters have this dull sheen on them. Like the Walking Dead. They do not seem to have long-term stories outside of each other. There isn’t even a story that they are in together. They are just there for comic relief and then to leave. As someone who is not a fan of the pairing, its just tiring to watch. Give them a story together or separately. Make me like them show. Give me reasons to like them together or like them separately.
Chelsea and Nick or Chick are a couple that is designed to have sex every time we see them together. Yeah, they are cute in a low-grade Peep Marshmallow sugar high binge way. They provide a small thrill that goes away just as fast as Chelsea’s orgasms. The difference between this couple and Philly is separately Nick and Chelsea have a lot going for them. Nick is involved in his own stories. His world. Chelsea has her world too, and lately, Adam has been brought up quite a bit. I wonder if we are headed towards a recast sooner than later. These two work well outside each other but together; they are there. They are nice. I can sit through their scenes, but I forget them just as fast.
Nikki and Victor. THE couple of Genoa City. The ones everyone roots for in the end (I know…the fanbase has dwindled a bit). I do not know what they are doing with them. Lots of blackmailing and reunions and fake weddings (in a sense) but they are still very much a team. It is odd. It is like so much damage has been done over the past ten years that the current showrunner is having trouble getting a hold of them. Separately they are fine on their own. Always been strong characters. Both have their own worlds. Right now though, watching them is a chore, which breaks my heart because some of my fondest childhood memories watching Young and the Restless had Nikki and Victor in them.
Lily and Cane
Right now on my current obsession, Emmerdale, their big couple is running a similar storyline to Lily and Cane (only the details are a lot different, but the result seems the same). I think Emmerdale managed to pull it off. Young and the Restless, to excuse the term, shit the bed with this one. It is part the wrong trope to pick for this couple, changing showrunners and audience tolerance for the story being told.
I am convinced, just my opinion, that the original plan was to have Cane and Juliette (Juliet? I have seen it written two ways in the press too) were meant to try and have a relationship while Lily did the same with that other guy. Whose name I have forgotten (ahem). They were meant to break apart to realize what they had was worth fighting for. It would take awhile, but it would come out in the end. Maybe giving us a DNA revel type trope as well.
Since the past showrunner’s storylines were developing slower than molasses, the process felt horrible. It was not fun to watch. I am not even a HUGE Lane fan, and I felt it. It was just…badly done. They could have split them up so many other ways. Other ways to burn them down to build them better but they chose this. After the new showrunner showed up, it went from molasses to a fast-paced river of plot. Kill Juliette. Almost kill the baby. Get the family involved with the baby. Win Lily’s heart back in Paris. HAPPY FAMILY AHOY! All in a few months’ time.
It is a mess. A huge mess. Now we have a slightly more interesting storyline developing. How can Lily love Sam? That is something interesting that is developing, but I wonder if they can pull it off in a believable way. I felt like while those two were talking in Paris, the baby should have been one of the major aspects of that conversation. Yes, let’s give the Lane superfans a treat, but the general audience needs to see more than just fluff right now when it comes to Lily and Cane.
Mariah and Tessa
The couple that almost was and might be? I am down for this couple seeing their natural chemistry develop to that kiss that seemed to stop everything. Yes, they are controversial for some reason. I think Young and the Restless are the only soap without a running same-sex couple or storyline. That is pathetic in 2018. The world has changed, and soaps should reflect that change in the world. That includes showing same-sex couples. I am very much outside the inner circle of the Young and Restless rumor mill, but I hope the new showrunner is not scared off and tries to give Mariah and Tessa a chance. The journey will be worth the watch.
I think the show should be willing to let people go to gain an even bigger younger audience. This is a great way to do it. Tell an interesting story that reflects the world we live in. It is not rocket science. Time for Young and Restless to join the other soaps in telling this story.
Dina and her Dementia
Ok. This one is personal. I assume Dina and her storyline of Dementia is somewhat closed up for now. Sending her off to France takes her off the canvas for a while. Regardless, I have something to say about how it was portrayed on screen. I am going to try and be as even as possible though, in my mind, there was more negative than positive for me. I am going to ignore the crazy storyline attached to this as well. Its just dumb and didn’t amount to much.
I did not appreciate it being used as a comedy plot point at all. There were times when she would enter a room and start fights because she thought a person was Nikki or she thought it was someone John Abbott dated, and it was played for comedy. It is not funny. This disease should NEVER be used as a comedy plot point EVER. It’s not funny its hell on a family.
Speaking of family. They attempted to show the emotional toll it has on a family to care for someone with dementia. To a point. They have money. They can give Dina the BEST in everything. They can put her in those trials for new drugs I hear about all the time. They can give her a private nurse. They can put her in the best care possible. To see Jack and Ashley put down some of the care centers they visited, made me so angry. Why? Some of us do not have a choice. We cannot be there all the time to take care of our loved ones. Sometimes we need help, and that help is not available because we are not millionaires like The Abbotts are. There is guilt there that doesn’t go away, and the show decided to stomp all over that by implying that people who put their loved ones into homes are making a bad decision. NOT EVERYONE HAS A CHOICE. I wish the show acknowledged that.
Some small things. You never give alcohol to a dementia patient. Especially with her pills. The pills are not a cure, just something to slow it down and even then, it is not meant to last. There are different ‘levels’ of dementia. Different types of dementia. The show ignored that fact. They got some of the testing right though; I appreciate that. Drawing a clock and reciting lists are part of the first test. Those tests usually come with a neurological exam. Which Dina never got. At least not on screen.
You think I am just bitching and moaning, but they did get one thing right. How Dina acted herself. Marla Adams gave an amazing performance. The moments when they did not use her dementia for comedy is where she shined. That is what it is like. They get angry easily. They are frustrated. They are scared. They know their mind is not right, but they cannot do anything about it but go along. There are moments of clarity, but that goes away as time goes on. I thought she did an amazing job showing those feelings.
Emmerdale did an amazing job with their dementia storyline. If you want to see the episode that made me cry message me blow, and I will direct you to it online. Its worth the watch especially if someone you love has the disease.
The show had the support of the Alzheimer’s Association and Mal Young himself gave an interview talking about his experiences with the diseases. They should have done better.
Odds and Ends
Nice to see Sharon and Nick hanging out and being friends. I will always ship them. That will never go away for me.
I love Mariah in general. She was a great addition. As well as Mattie and Charlie Ashby. Those actors are great, and I cannot wait to see the show give them more challenging stories in the future.
The less Paul I see, the better (that is more personal than anything else)
Since Genie Francis was treated like crap by General Hospital, maybe she wants to come back and have some fun in Genoa City? *wink*
JT and Victoria are weird. That is all. Getting divorced while your characters are screwing on every surface must be weird. WEIRD. No matter how positive and mutual the divorce is. That is WEIRD.
Ravi deserves the best. I love him and the show should learn how to use him better than someone Phyllis sets up on random dates.
I still mourn the beauty and possibility of Chloe and Ronan. *bows head for moment of silence*
I have left a lot out here, but this is how I feel about the show right now. It is not bad. I can watch it. I do not shy away from it like I did a few years ago. I just know that it can be better and I think it might be better once a lot of the above is clarified or fixed. Until next time, see you all around Genoa City!