Commentary Y&R

If Fen Isn’t Staying, What Was the Point Of His Return?

Why Y&R can’t have its cake and eat it, too.

young and the restless fenmore baldwin and his boyfriend trey arrive in townFenmore Baldwin and Trey

Lauren Fenmore Baldwin and Michael Baldwin’s son, Fenmore Baldwin, has spent so little time on The Young and the Restless, that viewers never got to know or particularly care about him. That’s why, when he popped up at his mother’s party with a boyfriend in tow, viewers more or less shrugged and said, OK, yeah, fine, whatever. We, however, have questions.

Young and the Restless: Representation Matters

Currently, Y&R’s only gay couple, Mariah Copeland (Camryn Grimes) and Tessa Porter (Cait Fairbanks), only pop up every few weeks to remind us that they still exist, and that they are still planning to adopt a baby. Then they go away again.

And now it seems Fen (Zach Tinker) is being offered the same treatment. It’s nice that no one in Genoa City blinked over Fen’s low-key coming out, and they were all excited to meet his boyfriend. Now they can disappear again.

Two Y&R Ways About It

If Fen were planning to stick around, we might have gotten to know the couple. But, even then, a pairing that already arrives fully formed isn’t nearly as interesting as one we watched meet and fall in love. This is what gives them rooting value.

The main way to get a front-burner storyline on daytime is to have a romance. We’re not staying stable couples can’t be romantic. But what we are saying is that stable couples don’t get to be on the front burner. See Fen’s parents for proof of that.

So Fen would have either needed to break up – and then go looking for love amongst Genoa City’s paltry selection of eligible options – or get the Michael (Christian Le blanc) and Lauren (Tracey Bregman) treatment.

Young and the Restless: In and Out

But since it looks like Fen is leaving again, the whole thing feels cheap and exploitative. Pop in a marginalized character, pat yourself on the back for popping in a marginalized character, then ship him right back out of town. That’s not exactly something to be proud of.

The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS. For more about what’s coming up in Genoa City, check out all the latest Y&R spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.

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