Commentary YR

A Critic’s Review of The Young and the Restless: Know Your Characters

When it comes to Young and the Restless, every fan has their own opinion – and Soap Hub is no different. For five days, we sat and watched the good, the bad, and everything in between, and now we offer you a handy review, and a cheeky critique, of Y&R’s week that was.

The Young and the Restless: A Critic’s Week In Review

I frequently use this column to chide The Young and the Restless for one failing or another. More often than not, it’s over the soap’s refusal to give us the delicious drama we’re so desperately craving.

But having viewed last week’s offerings, I think that I’ve finally pinpointed The Young and the Restless’ real issue – Josh Griffith, and the rest of the writing team have no earthly idea who these characters truly are. If you don’t understand the characters that you’re crafting stories for, their true personalities, and the depth of their histories, how can you be expected to produce crackling plot points?

Take Victoria Newman (Amelia Heinle) for instance. Sure, she’s always been unluckily, and a wee bit foolish, when it comes to matters of the heart (Cole Howard, Ryan McNeil, and Billy Abbott spring immediately to mind) and there have been times when she’s been a little bit dim – What?! You mean I shouldn’t have posed for that nudie magazine? It might come back to haunt me later on? You really don’t say?!

But never, not even when she took Billy (Jason Thompson) back for the zillionth time did I ever think of Victoria as someone who was dumber than a box of rocks. A romantic with a blind spot the size of a barn? Sure. But never so dumb that she’d make pebbles look intelligent.

Ashland Locke (Robert Newman) didn’t just lie to her once. He lied to her over, and over, and over again. And unlike Billy, an addict who truly believed himself when he said he’d never give her cause for concern again or hurt her in any way, Ashland would swear blind that he was telling Victoria the truth and though keeping secrets while all the while knowing that he was full of hot air.

How could anyone, especially someone like Victoria, especially the Victoria that I’ve known and loved for years, want to throw their lot in with Ashland?

Also, why is everyone so shocked by Victoria’s bid for independence from the Newman fold? It’s not like this is something new. She’s toiled for the enemy, detoured into the art world, and she once sued her pops for billions. But why reference a character’s backstory?

And then there’s Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman). Remember when he used to be a take charge, virile man? Remember when he was Jack The Cad, The Young and the Restless’ resident playboy? And man oh man when Jack got angry or made up his mind to crush an enemy he was SCARY!

When exactly did he become some weepy, whipped, dispenser of advice and a man almost completely devoid of a sex drive? What I see on my screen is not, “my Jack.”

Never would my Jack so blithely throw Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford) away just because she said something that hurt his poor wittle feelings. The Jack of old would have saved face by wrapping his arm around Ol ‘Red, making a charming quip to Diane Jenkins (Susan Walters), and dragging Phyllis back to the Abbott manse where they would have probably engaged in a shouting match that devolved into hot, passionate sex.

I miss the days when I could rely on the characters to be themselves.

Further Y&R Musings

* Young and the Restless fans, where do you stand on the Billy/Victoria/Lily Winters (Christel Khalil) debate? Is Billy truly concerned for his children’s safety or is he merely trying to keep his ex-wife under his thumb?

Not for nothing, but I wouldn’t want my children around a sociopath who’s never met the truth and who faked terminal cancer. Also, we only have Ashland’s word for how that poor young man died, and we know how much his word is worth…

The Young and the Restless (YR) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Genoa City, check out all the latest that’s been posted on Y&R spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.

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Published by
Garren Waldo
Tags: Christel Khalil Susan Walters The Young and the Restless

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